WND's Farah Knows He Can't Defend Not Going Birther on Cruz Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've been documenting how WorldNetDaily has refused to open up its can of birther whoop-ass on Ted Cruz the way it has on Barack Obama foryearsnow, and it has never seen fit to respond.
Pissing off its own readers by not doing so, however, has finally motivated WND to act. Sort of.
In the wake of WND editort Joseph Farah's endorsement of Cruz -- and his complete refusal to mention Cruz's eligibility issues in the process -- comes an unbylined March 8 article which admits there were "thousands" of comments sent WND's way over the endorsement, and "most, by far, focused on – Ted Cruz’s eligibility." (Curiously, eligibility didn't make the article's headline, which mentions only "Trump supporters" being critical of the endorsement.)
WND didn't explain why birther king Farah didn't mention Cruz's eligibility issues in his endorsement, but it did finally concede the existence of a 2013 column in which Farah doubted that Cruz was eligible. And then it let Farah spin away:
In fact, WND has carried numerous columns and reports on the eligibility for the presidency of Cruz, Rubio and others. Farah, ever at the tip of the spear on a news issue, wrote more than two years ago that he wasn’t sure, but suspected Cruz was not eligible, “at least not by my understanding of what the founders had in mind when they ratified the Constitution.”
But he was pointing out the double standard of the legacy media, which steadfastly refused to raise any questions about Barack Obama when nearly 100 lawsuits were brought from 2007 until about 2010 over his eligibility.
“Never mind that the only law enforcement investigation into Obama’s birth certificate found that it was a fraud and forgery. It didn’t matter. The media, besides WND, have steadfastly refused to report the facts for fear of being labeled part of the ‘birther’ conspiracy,” he wrote.
Then along comes Cruz, he wrote, and, “Every media outlet in the country is questioning his constitutional eligibility.”
Fast forward more than two years, and the endorsement of Cruz brought out hundreds of Joseph Farah’s detractors to WND.
He explained: “I was inundated with more than 100 emails eviscerating me for my personal endorsement of Ted Cruz. On the other hand, I received about a half dozen atta-boys. Most of the protests claimed Cruz is constitutionally ineligible – even though, as the candidate has explained, his mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth.
“As I have explained before, ad nauseam, from my point of view, when the Congress and courts abdicated their responsibility with regard to the questions of Barack Obama’s eligibility, a precedent was set. If Obama was not going to be held accountable to any standard during eight years as president, how could we hold others accountable?” he wrote.
“I was the one who saw this coming during the last eight years. That’s why I kept calling for a national dialogue that no one wanted to have. But as far as Ted Cruz goes, there is no doubt in my mind that he doesn’t have any allegiance to the country in which he was born – Canada. It’s a non-issue. Ted Cruz is the most pro-American official I know. He was also very forthcoming with his birth certificate. He has made his case on eligibility in the media. I have suggested to the campaign that it offer even more in the way of constitutional justification for his candidacy. However I was surprised by the outpouring of concern among many that he could be elected president and challenged successfully by the Democrats.”
That's a lot of subject-changing going on there.
First, WND's "numerous columns and reports on the eligibility for the presidency of Cruz" are actually not very many, and they are effectively zero compared with the literally hundreds of items WND published on Obama's eligibility. WND cannot plausibly suggest it has covered the two issues equally.
Second, the question is not what the "legacy media" did on eligibilty issues, no matter how much WND and Farah want you to think otherwise -- besides, the media didn't cover it until Trump pushed the issue, and most of the media agreed Cruz, like Obama, is eligible. It's about the disparity of coverage at WND between Obama eligibility and Cruz eligibility.
Third, Farah's claim that "a precedent was set" by "Congress and courts" not getting into Obama eligibility, therefore "how could we hold others accountable?" is nothing but a cop-out. When has stopped Farah or WND before?
Fourth, Farah is apparently adjusting his own "understanding" of what a "natural born citizen" is. As the WND article itself states, "From other, contemporaneous writings to the Constitution, it likely was understood then to have meant the offspring of two citizens of a country born in the country" (never mind that no court has endorsed it). But now he's suggesting that because Cruz's "mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth" and because Cruz "doesn’t have any allegiance to the country in which he was born – Canada," that's now sufficient for Farah to presume that Cruz is eligible.
Needless to say, that completely contradicts what Farah and WND have pushed when Obama's eligibility was in question. So, yeah, another cop-out.
Farah reiterates some of this, and spins some more, in his March 9 column:
Many have asked me, “What about the question of constitutional eligibility?”
My answer is direct: Obama and the establishment media have made a mockery of the Constitution in many ways, but none more than their attacks on the “natural born citizen” requirement. So much damage was done to that simple clause in the last eight years, I don’t believe there’s any going back.
You can’t even have a serious conversation about the eligibility issue any longer. So be it.
What I do know is that Ted Cruz loves America.
I could never say that about Obama.
The eligibility requirement of the Constitution was intended to protect the nation from foreign corruption, entanglements, intrigue, suspicion and conflicts of interest.
I don’t believe anyone in their right mind thinks Ted Cruz has any allegiance to either Canada or Cuba. This guy loves America with all of his heart, mind and soul.
And he’s demonstrated that fact with virtually everything he has said and done throughout his life.
When Ted Cruz tells you what he will do as president, you can take that promise to the bank. Why? Because he’s consistent. He’s committed. He’s passionate about America. He always has been. And he always will be.
That’s why he is my first choice for president.
No, "Obama and the establishment media" did not make a mockery of the "natural born citizen" clause -- Farah and WND did. And they are continuing to mock it by effectively declaring that their years of fulmination over the issue imeans nothing now that a conservative Republican, not a black Democrat, is the subject.
But in all this spinning, Farah and WND have yet to give a straightforward answer to a very simple question: Why are they giving Cruz a pass it refused to give to Obama when, according to the definition they applied to Obama, Cruz is even more ineligible?
The fact that they won't give that straightfowrward answer can be taken as an admission that their birther crusade was never about the Constitution and completely about the personal destruction of Obama.
Farah can't defend not going birther on Cruz, and he knows it -- and, more importantly, WND's readers know it.
The latest example: the MRC's conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" is secretly plotting to make Donald Trump the Republican nominee so that he'll lose to Hillary Clinton in November. From the MRC's mouth to Cruz's ears, as chief conspiracy-monger Curtis Houck eagerly regurgitates in a March 6 post:
Republican presidential candidate and Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.) sat for an interview with CBS’s John Dickerson Friday afternoon in National Harbor, Maryland that aired on Face the Nation. Cruz lambasted the media for “hav[ing] a coronation” of Donald Trump as the GOP nominee so he could be viciously defeated by Hillary Clinton in November.
While discussing the possibility of a brokered Republican National Convention, Cruz pointed to how he’s remained close to Trump in the delegate count but at the same time, “the media wants to just have a coronation” of Trump “because the media knows Donald can't win the general, that Hillary would wallop him.”
As we noted the last time Houck pushed this, his theory conveniently omits -- and he does so again here -- the facts that 1) even conservative voters like Trump; 2) the "liberal media" has produced much negative reporting on Trump, which competitors like Cruz have largely ignored until recently; and 3) Fox News, which is decidedly not the "liberal media," has been the biggest Trump promoter of them all.
But Cruz may have been reading from a list of talking points faxed to his campaign by the MRC, and that's the only important thing to Houck.
WND's Farah Endorses Cruz, Deep-Sixes His Birther Issues Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah made his endorsement in his March 7 WorldNetDaily column:
I think Ted Cruz's history demonstrates he has the clearest, most Reaganesque vision of where the country needs to go in its much-needed recovery from eight years of Barack Obama. Cruz is principled, sophisticated and a solid conservative whose understanding of and commitment to the Constitution is unshakeable.
At a time when one of the three branches of the federal government, the Supreme Court, hangs in the balance, it is Ted Cruz who, without question, can be counted upon to nominate justices who will uphold the high standards of Antonin Scalia and the originalists.
Ted Cruz is the real deal. That's not to slight Donald Trump, who has played an invaluable role in this campaign – breaking the back of political correctness, presenting a positive vision forward for America and standing up to those who would prefer to see the nation borderless and rudderless.
If Trump turns out to be the winner of the GOP nomination, I will unhesitatingly support him.
But it's time to choose – between two.
For me the choice is clear – Ted Cruz.
Unmentioned anywhere in Farah's column: the issue of Cruz's eligibility.
Of course, Farah and WND have aggressivelyavoided pushing the birther issue on Cruz for fear of damaging his election chances; even when Trumpmade it an issue, WND gave it only token coverage. And Farah is certainly not going to mention today that back in 2013, he wrote that he doubts that Cruz is eligible under the standards WND tried to enforce on President Obama.
Farah went on to state that "it’s time for everyone, including Trump, to stop trashing his Republican competitors" and that "The two top Republicans need to stop the scathing attacks on each other and to focus on the real threat posed by the specter of the socialist and the criminal vying for the other party's nomination." Again, Farah failed to mention that among those "scathing attacks" is Trump going birther on Cruz.
To address the birther issue honestly, Farah would have to admit that his birther crusade against Obama was never about the Constitution and all about personal destruction. But as we know, Farah is not an honest man.
And this isn't the only dishonest thing in his column. It begins with the editor's note: "The following column represents a personal political endorsement by Joseph Farah, the editor and founder of WND.com, and not a corporate editorial endorsement." As if there's any meaningful difference between the two; WND's editorial agenda has always been a reflection of Farah's right-wing, conspiratorial views.
Heritage Foundation Columnist Published by CNS Invokes Discredited AAPS Topic: CNSNews.com
CNS picked up a column by the Heritage Foundation's Sarah Torre in which she defends Texas' attempt to regulate abortion out of business by using possibly the worst argument to do that: invoking the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Torre benignly describes the AAPS as a group "whose membership includes thousands of physicians working in a variety of medical specialties," but offers no other description of the grou. In citing an AAPS amicus brief in the case, Torre includes three lengthy quotes, making sure to introduce the group by its full name each time, as if to enhance its credibility as a prominent medical organization.
As a fringe-right group, the AAPS has an anti-abortion agenda Torre didn't disclose. In a press release on the Supreme Court taking up the Texas case, the AAPS effectively portrayed all abortion doctors as either current or future Kermit Gosnells, suggested data showing the safety of abortion procedures were somehow doctored, and claimed that critics of the Texas law want "a constitutional right to potentially unsafe abortions."
The fact that Torre cites the AAPS completely discredits her piece. It's disappointing she did no apparent investigation of the group before deciding to build her column around its claims.
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily's 'Real Reporter' Gambit Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND tries to bolster its roster of right-wing hacks with a couple Washington Times refugees with something approaching actual journalism credentials. Turns out they're prone to right-wing hackery too. Read more >>
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Lonesome Rhodes References Topic: NewsBusters
P.J. Gladnick rants in a Feb. 28 NewsBusters post:
Perhaps Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher of the far left The Nation, had the Oscar ceremonies tonight on her mind when she appeared this morning on ABC's This Week. She compared Donald Trump to Andy Griffith's character of Lonesome Rhodes in the movie "A Face In The Crowd" and even cited the fictitious scene which she thinks/hopes translates into real life when Lonesome mocked the television audience when he thought his mike was turned off.
So likening Trump to Lonesome Rhodes is now forbidden and only the province of "far left" writers, eh? Funny, we don't remember Gladnick complaining when conservative columnist Cal Thomas wrote this last September:
Rarely and perhaps not in modern times has a presidential campaign more resembled the classic 1957 film, “A Face in the Crowd.” Written by Budd Schulberg and starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau, the storyline follows an Arkansas hayseed named Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Griffith), whom Marcia Jeffries (Neal) discovers in a county jail.
Jeffries has a local radio show on which she interviews interesting characters. She finds Rhodes irresistible and puts him on the air. Rhodes becomes a sensation, eventually climbing the ladder to his own network TV show and then, as politicians approach him for endorsements, a self-described kingmaker.
I think of Rhodes when I watch Donald Trump. The two have much in common. Rhodes‘ view of women seems to mirror Mr. Trump‘s. In one scene, Rhodes says, “A guitar beats a woman every time.” He marries more than once and has several affairs during and in between those marriages.
Rent or buy the film if you haven’t seen it. Think of Mr. Trump as you watch Lonesome Rhodes, his rise and eventual fall, as ego and arrogance lead to the self-immolation of his career and life.
Curiously, NewsBusters -- which publishes Thomas' column -- didn't publish this one.
And if Lonesome Rhodes references themselves are now verboten, perhaps Gladnick should send a memo to himself. After all, he wrote this last September bizarrely likening Steven Spielberg to Lonesome Rhodes, which doesn't even make sense:
Even Lonesome Rhodes, I mean director Steven Spielberg, couldn't make Hillary Clinton's image more likeable. According to a New York Post excerpt of Edward Klein's book, "Unlikeable," Spielberg acting as Hillary's "consigli di immagine," tried but failed in this difficult endeavor. When you see the video clip below of Lonesome Rhodes in the movie "A Face In the Crowd" giving similar advice to make Senator Worthington Fuller more likeable you will see why I used Italian terminology for "image adviser." But first let us read of Spielberg acting as Lonesome Rhodes giving advice to his Senator Fuller, Hillary Clinton:
So would Hillary have had more successful results if her image adviser had been Lonesome Rhodes? Check the video below of Lonesome Rhodes also advising Senator Fuller on how to be more likeable.
But hey, who said you needed to be consistent to be a NewsBusters blogger?
CNSNews.com's coverage of the newest unemployment numbers repeated its pattern of the pastfewmonths:
The lead article, by Susan Jones, emphasized the labor force participation rate while omitting the fact that it's an unreliable economic indicator because most people who aren't in the labor force are retired or students.
A sidebar by managing editor Michael W. Chapman once again emphasizes the fact that black unemploymentis "more than double the rate of whites" while omitting the fact that it has historically been so and not a product of President Obama.
This time around, though, there's a bonus in the form of an article by Jones completely devoted to a Republian congressman insisting that the jobs report "seems far better than it actually is." Jones did not seek out a Democratic member of Congress for a balanced view.
Kessler Comes Back to Newsmax to Fluff Trump Topic: Newsmax
When he worked for Newsmax, Ronald Kessler was a huge Trump-fluffer and feeder of Donald Trump's presidential ambitions, to the point that he's possibly the person most responsible for establishing Trump as a plausible presidential candidate.
Not only is Kessler still heavily in the Trump-fluffing business, he has come back to Newsmax to do it.
A March 2 Newsmax article by Greg Richter highlights a appearance by Kessler on Newsmax TV, in whichhe explains that "Republican front-runner Donald Trump is very different in private than his public persona on television that has been seen so far in his presidential campaign" and that "Trump will transition away from that persona if he wins the nomination."
Kessler was on to promote an article he wrote for the Daily Mail in which he gives a fawning depiction of how Trump runs his Mar-a-Lago private club, asserting that he "the same management techniques that have made him so successful as a businessman: hiring the best and the brightest, holding department heads accountable, firing employees when necessary and insisting on quality and cost cutting." (The above photo of Kessler and his wife hanging with Trump is from that article.)
Curiously, neither Richter nor the Newsmax TV segment mentioned that Kessler is a former Newsmax employee, which he was for a good six years.
Outside of the fact that a good portion of Americans believe that the Clintons operate outside and above American laws, they, along with other criminal players, have gotten America’s eyes off of Oregon. They have been found to be taking massive payoffs, while promising the Hammond ranch and other “publicly owned lands” to Russians with one-fifth of our uranium ore. This is one detail the state-controlled narrative steers clear of concerning what is taking place in Oregon.
We know that the only ones who show up to her speeches are the state-controlled media in an attempt to make her campaign look legitimate. Remember, America, this is nothing more than a Saul Alinsky tactic: Cause the enemy to believe that that there are more of you than there really are.
My, what a long way Mrs. Clinton has come from her altruistic college days and her Watergate investigative committee attack job as a new lawyer. Her law partner from Arkansas, Vince Foster of the Rose Law Firm, may have been able to provide some insight into what actually turned her to the dark side, but someone put a bullet into the deputy White House counsel’s brain one evening in Ft. Marcy Park. Who knows? It may even have been him.
No one except hubby Bill Clinton knows more about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criminal past and present than the author of this column. Perhaps its time for the Wicked Witch of the Left’s would-be Republican presidential opponents, and even Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, to take a walk down memory lane – that is if they wish to defeat her this year.
Hillary Clinton is white. The pastors who declared her to be the next president of the United States, surrounded by the favor of the Lord, were black.
Hillary Clinton is a woman. Most of the pastors were men.
So, this is not a color issue, and this is not a gender issue.
This is a righteousness issue, and it is shameful for ministers of the gospel to bless a candidate who stands for a woman’s “right” to shed innocent blood in the womb (through all nine months of pregnancy), who aggressively supports the redefinition of marriage and who calls for the changing of cherished religious beliefs.
Mrs. Clinton must not be allowed to lay her hands on sacred pulpits while her fingers drip with the blood of unborn babies. Black Christians with large voting blocks in the North and the South must no longer do the bidding of a Democratic Party that opposes so much of what the Bible which they hold so dear teaches. If there is a firewall for Hillary, it is the fire of hell and believers must not jump into it with her.
We can pretty well mobilize consensus behind Hillary’s loss of Iowa. I believe she really lost Nevada, too. When I was a boy anybody who stole or participated in the theft of votes would have been universally denounced as a scoundrel. Today he’d be hailed as a hero and would brag about his cleverness.
Why aren't these representatives (effeminate thugs) calling for the indictment of Bill and Hillary Clinton? It is not like they have to speculate about the list of crimes committed against the American people when it comes to the Clintons.
Just recently it was found that the Clintons are selling uranium ore to the Russians from underneath the ranchers in Oregon.
Why are they not bringing this to light (Ephesians 5:11)?
What of the Travelgate scandal? Whitewater scandal? Filegate scandal? Lootergate scandal? Drug Dealer Donor scandal? Ponzi scheme and political favor scandal? Benghazi? The email scandal? Mena, Arkansas, drug trafficking scandal? What of the dead bodies strewn across the path of the Clintons (147)? And the list goes on and on concerning who Hillary is and what she is truly about.
MRC Still Flip-Flopping On Denouncing, Defending Trump Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center still can't get its act together regarding whether it should denounce or defend Donald Trump.
In a March 1 post, Ken Shepherd praises the Daily Beast for uncovering Trump denouncing Ronald Reagan as weak in 1987. Shepherd adds his own denunciation of Trump for good measure:
There's always a willing audience for doom-and-gloom populists who insist that only they have the key to restoring American "greatness," all the while heaping praise on other, less democratic regimes for supposedly being smarter, more successful, and potentially more enduring than our constitutional regime.
Trump's answer has always been electing the right hard-nosed bully, not in trusting the genius and greatness of the American people to fuel the nation's economic progress.
Kudos to Daly for reminding us all just how wrong, and consistently wrong, Trump has been with his simplistic populist messages and denunciation of real conservatives.
Then literally three hours and 27 minutes later, MRC Latino's Edgard Portela rushed to Trump's defense over the whole KKK thing:
The portrayal of Donald Trump as a racist continues full bore on Univision and Telemundo.
On Monday evening, the national evening newscasts of both networks craftily played up Trump’s stumbling Sunday morning answer to CNN’s Jake Tapper on the question of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke’s endorsement.
It’s clear that both networks committed journalistic malpractice by completely ignoring Trump’s unequivocal rejection of Duke’s endorsement just the Friday before, as well as his repetition of his rejection of the endorsement both Sunday afternoon on Twitter and Monday morning on NBC’s Today show.
In their woefully incomplete coverage of the important matter, the agenda of portraying Trump as a KKK-embracing racist could not be more patently manifest.
Portela conveniently ignored what exactly Trump did during the Jake Tapper appearance: he said nothing stronger than "I don't know anything about David Duke, OK?" even after Tapper asked him three times to disavow Duke and the KKK.
It's interesting, however, that the MRC is not going after Tapper for asking the question -- even they realize he was as fair as one could be about it, giving him three full chances to answer. So Portela had to bash outlets for reporting it and not all the times Trump wasn't a racist.
Which seems to contradict the MRC's whole anti-Trump vibe. You'd think Shepherd, as NewsBusters managing editor, would be cool with Trump being portrayed as a racist.
WND Brings On Dubous AAPS Docs For Misguided Rant About STDs Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is thoroughly discredited pretty much everywhere in the medical and secular world -- except for WorldNetDaily, where AAPS officials are the go-to guys for medical advice despite much of said advice being wrong or dangerous, not to mention putting politics over medicine.
And so, we have a Feb. 25 WND article by Paul Bremmer about the federal government removing three rare and obscure sexually transmitted diseases from the conditions that keep foreigners out of the country. Cue the right-wing AAPS making it political:
Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, said this new rule shows the Obama administration’s disregard for its own constituents.
“I think it’s one more piece of evidence that they are reckless, irresponsible and unconcerned about the welfare of the American people – especially women,” Orient told WND. “It’s kind of a war on women to let in people who might be infecting women with a loathsome disease.”
Orient, an occasional WND contributor, noted Obama has lately been admitting large numbers of “refugees” from primarily Muslim countries that could be said to have a “rape culture.” When a penchant for rape is combined with the possibility of carrying STDs, it creates a scary situation for American women.
“Here we have immigrants who follow an ideology in which the rape of infidel women is actually acceptable,” Orient said. “And these migrants, when settled in places like Sweden, are causing an epidemic of rape, certainly of sexual molestation and assault on women, and so you have people who not only think rape is acceptable, but who have infectious diseases to boot. It sort of compounds the problem.”
[Former AAPS official] Lee Hieb, author of “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare,” also trembles when she thinks about the type of person this new rule will allow into the country.
“If people are coming in with this, what that does is it doesn’t open the gates to three-year-old girls; this opens the gates to, in my opinion, the 18-year-old gangbangers who couldn’t get in because of these diseases,” Hieb said. “Think about it. It’s not little girls that can’t get in because they have chancroid; it’s young men. Why are we bringing in all these potential-problem young men into our country?”
Hieb, a periodic WND columnist, rejects the idea that this is another attempt to increase the pool of cheap immigrant labor.
“Don’t tell me this is a labor force issue, unless we’re short of gangbangers,” said Hieb, who recognizes “gangbangers” is a politically incorrect term. “These are not your engineers and rocket scientists that are coming in with these [diseases]. The people that get these are unlikely to be the people we would want in our workforce to begin with. It’s unnecessary.”
Even if the nation’s leaders do want people with these STDs to come and work, Hieb said they should insist the immigrants receive treatment for their diseases before they enter the country. She claimed it would be much cheaper to send the necessary drugs to the endemic areas than to deal with an STD outbreak in this country.
So the new rule serves no humanitarian purpose in Hieb’s mind. She wonders if it might be a simple political ploy from a Democrat administration trying to bring more Democrat voters into the country.
“What is the possible benefit of doing this?” Hieb asked again. “Is it to get voters? I mean, really? Are you willing to sacrifice our young women for the point of getting more voters for some party?
“If you tell me that’s not it, then what is it? What is the point? Because I can’t come up with one.”
Well, that certainly went far afield from medical concerns, didn't it?
At no point does Bremmer bother to quote directly from, or link to, the actual Health and Human Services document announcing the change; instead, he features the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies paraphrasing it, then speculating that "this move proves once again that for the Obama administration more immigration is the most important goal, all costs aside."
Thus, because Bremmer quotes only critics of the change and can't be bothered to seek out an alternate view, WND doesn't tell its readers why the change was actually made. It's summarized here:
HHS/CDC notes that, according to the analysis provided in the notice of proposed rulemaking, the incidence and prevalence of these STIs is declining globally and so the potential for introduction and spread of these diseases to the U.S. population is considered to be low. By removing the three STIs which no longer pose a threat to public health, the medical examination will be able to focus on the other communicable diseases which are considered more serious risks to the United States. Removing these 3 STIs does not mean that persons will not be treated for these infections if the infections are found during the medical examination. Removing these 3 STIs means that persons who have these infections are no longer considered inadmissible to the United States.
But that would have blown up all the AAPS ranting, and Bremmer wouldn't have an article.
The MRC's Trump-Media Conspiracy Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been obsessing over the amount of time network news (but never the cable news channels) devote to covering Donald Trump. The endgame of that obsession is clear: a conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" is plotting to get Trump the Republican nomination so that he will be trounced by the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in November.
The MRC's Curtis Houck expresses the conspiracy clearly in a Feb. 29 post:
By essentially deleting his opponents from their airwaves, the networks (and cable outlets) have been employing a visible strategy to force the billionaire on GOP primary voters and through to the general election against Clinton or Sanders.
My colleague Rich Noyes brilliantly highlighted this very problem as it was evident for months with the month of January seeing Trump be bequeathed 60 percent of the total GOP race airtime on the network evening newscasts (with Cruz well behind at 30 percent and Rubio at four percent).
The Media Research Center’s Bias the Minute writer Mike Ciandella outlined the same pattern on CNN in an even shorter window as between August 24, 2015 and September 4, 2015, Trump was the topic of discussion in over 77 percent of their primetime election segments. For reference, Jeb Bush came in second for this study but only attracted roughly 12 percent.
MRC chief Brent Bozell and right-hand man Tim Graham echoed the conspiracy in their March 2 column:
These supposed opponents of "Big Money" dominating our democracy have spent month after month giving the lion's share of their political coverage to the billionaire reality TV host. Through Feb. 25, Trump's presidential campaign has received 923 minutes of coverage on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, nearly five times given to Ted Cruz (205 minutes) and seven times the amount of coverage provided to Marco Rubio (139 minutes).
The tone of Trump coverage is routinely negative. But it still plays into Trump's strategy of saying outrageous things to starve the other candidates of any oxygen from the establishment press. The billionaire pledged to self-fund his campaign but has spent little. It's being fueled almost entirely by free TV airtime.
But there's one thing Trump doesn't want covered, and again the networks are complying. In that overflowing tank of news hours, only a small amount (14 minutes, or 1.5 percent of Trump's total) were spent talking about Trump's past record of support for liberal positions and liberal politicians. Put that number in this perspective: Twice as much time was devoted to Trump's negative comments about Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Almost an hour was dedicated to Trump's proposed (temporary) ban on Muslim immigration.
It used to be said that when the GOP field is winnowed from 17 to about six, Trump would no longer dominate. Wrong. On the night before Super Tuesday voting, the networks obsessed over Trump with more than 15 minutes of coverage, compared to just two for Rubio and less than a minute for Cruz.
The accusation should be made. The liberal media want this vulnerable, blabby billionaire with the high unfavorable numbers to be the Republican nominee.
Employing the Occam's Razor approach to the issue -- which the MRC is steadfastly refusing to do -- most objective media analysts would argue that Trump is being covered because he is, in fact, the most popular Republican running and has been for months. Trump dominated Super Tuesday coverage because he won the most states.
The idea that Trump is being "forced" onto voters is belied by the fact that the voters don't seem to mind. And Bozell and Graham would be screaming about "negative" coverage of any other Republican, so their claim that "negative" coverage of Trump is part of the conspiracy is ridiculous.
Further, the entire MRC conspiracy coterie has been silent about the one media outlet that has done more to promote Trump than any other: Fox News, which effectively established his campaign by giving him more than $30 million in free airtime in 2015. And the night before Super Tuesday, Sean Hannity devoted half his show to an interview with Trump.
The MRC's absolute refusal to scrutinize Trump's symbiosis with Fox News is not just a huge blind spot in its so-called media research, it's also self-serving. As they've shown in their selective outrage over how various media outlets have conducted GOP debates -- slobbering all over Fox-hosted debates and bashing everyone else -- Bozell and Co. don't want to go after Fox because it's their main TV outlet. Bozell has a weekly spot on Hannity's show, and he and others pop up regularly on Fox News and Fox Business.
One of the things the rise of Trump has exposed is the hollowness and shoddiness of the MRC's "media research." So Bozell and crew must continue to blow smoke about the "liberal media" so his fellow conservatives don't figure that out.
Chumley Takes Her Scalia Conspiracy Theories Outside WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Cheryl Chumley has been promoting conspiracy theories about the death of Antonin Scalia as "news" at WorldNetDaily. Why doesn't she get to wildly speculate about it at WND as well?
Instead, Chummley does this at some website called People's Pundit Daily, which can't be bothered to disclose who runs it (its "Meet [the] Team" page is "under construction"), is filled with right-wing ranting, and is seemingly desperate for content while also offering the opportunity for sponsored content and advertorials. It's a glorified content mill, basically.
Others put it differently. Comedian and social justice activist Dick Gregory put it this way: “You know they murdered him, right? … One of the most powerful people in the world and he ain’t got no bodyguard, man?”
Radio giant Michael Savage put it this way: “Was Scalia murdered? We need a Warren Commission-like investigation. This is serious business.”
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump put it this way, first on a Savage show that was later widely quoted: It’s “pretty unusual” Scalia was found with “a pillow on his face.”
Look, Scalia’s sudden and shocking death could be nothing more than that – a sudden and shocking albeit natural death. But the fact that so many questions have gone unanswered, and that those in position to answer those questions are shrugging their shoulders –a la “Questions? What questions?” – is suspicious in and of itself. An autopsy could have quieted all the whispers. Unfortunately, historical accounts of Scalia’s life and his considerable list of accomplishments, both in and out of court, are now going to be marked with a giant asterisk that overshadows and prods: But was his death really natural?
The only reason we can think of is that WND wants to maintain the fiction that there's a difference between "news" and "opinion" on its website and that Chumley, as a "news" reporter, shouldn't be seen writing "opinion." Yet that doesn't hold water either, as Chumley currently has a piece in WND's opinion section lauding Donald Trump for "tapping into a surging conviction of the American voter that expresses both disgust with and distrust of Capitol Hill."
Or maybe Chumley thinks every word she writes is so important that it must have an outlet. If so, she may be forgetting the historical relationship between quantity and quality.
UPDATE: Chumley points out that her Scalia-death piece was also posted at the Glenn Beck-operated The Blaze and the right-wing News With Views, where many of the same pieces she posted at People's Pundit Daily also appear. That's a lot of extra media outlets for someone who is employed by a different one.
MRC Lets Bill Donohue Peddle Lie Linking Catholic Priest Sex Scandal To Gays Topic: Media Research Center
Last time we saw the Catholic League's Bill Donohue writing for the Media Research Center, it was a NewsBusters post complaining about the film "Spotlight," which focuses on how the Boston Globe exposed sex scandals among Catholic priests and whining that other random sex scandals weren't getting the same media attention.
Now that "Spotlight" has won an Oscar for best picture, Donohue is back in distraction mode. NewsBusters published a Feb. 26 post by Donohue complaining that "Hollywood has no interest in turning its cameras on itself, which is why the public's eyes have been shut tight from seeing a movie that documents child rape in Tinseltown." Donohue doesn't even mention "Spotlight" after the second paragraph.
After the film's Oscar win, an updated version of Donohue's rant appeared at CNSNews.com, with a new beginning:
The politicization of "Spotlight" began even before it won the Oscar for Best Picture. Actor Mark Ruffalo held a rally outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels; 20 persons showed up. He said he stood by victims of priestly sexual abuse. On stage, screenwriter Josh Singer exclaimed, "Pope Francis, it's time to protect the children and restore the faith."
Apparently, these men are unaware of the fact that the homosexual scandal occurred mostly between 1965 and 1985, and that no institution in the United States has less of a problem with this issue today than the Catholic Church. That's because Pope Benedict XVI made it hard for practicing homosexuals to enter the priesthood. But no matter, the propaganda experts cannot resist trying to keep the scandal alive.
Donoue is lying when he claims that the priest sex scandal was exclusively "homosexual." As we've documented, a report by John Jay College commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explains that "there is no causative relationship between either celibacy or homosexuality and the sexual victimization of children in the Church. Therefore, being celibate or being gay did not increase the risk of violating children. So, blaming the clergy abuse crisis in the Catholic Church on gay men or celibacy is unfounded."
Donohue is simply engaging in homophobia, which suits the anti-gay MRC just fine.
The CNS version of Donohue's column omits an important disclosure included on the NewsBusters version: that MRC chief Brent Bozell serves on the board of advisors for the Donohue's Catholic League. You can thank us for guilting the MRC -- parts of it, anyway -- into finally admitting that.
WorldNetDaily signaled that it was going to revive fake Clinton scandals to try and take down Hillary Clinton. It's now chosen one of the fakest of them all to re-litigate: the death of Vince Foster.
Leo Hohmann dramatically writes in a Feb. 28 WND article:
It’s been 23 years since Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster was found dead in a Virginia park, setting off one of the biggest controversies of the Clinton administration.
Foster, a close friend and former law partner of Hillary Clinton’s, was discovered on July 20, 1993, lying in Fort Marcy Park with a fatal gunshot wound.
Two investigations, the first led by Robert Fiske and the second by Kenneth Starr, concluded Foster suffered a single, self-inflicted wound. A simple suicide. Case closed.
But newly discovered evidence unearthed from boxes stored deep in the National Archives lend credence to theories about foul play and cover-up that have been hinted at by at least three books and countless articles.
Actually there were more than two investigations. As Starr's investigation points out, there were two congressional inquiries that also concluded Foster committed suicide.
The "newly discovered evidence" Hohmann is going on about is "a two-page letter of resignation and a 31-page memo both written by Starr’s lead prosecutor, Miguel Rodriguez." Actually, it's not all that new; Rodriguez's resignation letter has been floating around on the Internet since at least 2009, and the memo has been around since 2013.
So if it was really the "smoking-gun information" Hohmann claims it is, somebody other that Clinton-hater conspiracy sites would have picked it up long before this. Instead, it reeks of desperation (and, of course, the Clinton derangement that helped build WND).
Curiously, Hohmann didn't mention one interesting bit of gossip about Rodriguez that might very well discredit him in WND's eyes: It's rumored that he is now a transgender woman named Michelle. (And we know how much WND hatestransgenders.) We haven't been able to independently verify this, so we're categorizing it as rumor for now.
If Hohmann knows this, he's in denial; his article states that "WND reached out to Miguel Rodriguez, who is now a U.S. attorney in Sacramento, California, but the calls were not returned."
Hohmann also quotes Patrick Knowlton, a claimed witness to events at Fort Marcy Park prior to the discovery of Foster's body, repeating his claims of a cover-up and that he "also reported in the appendix to Starr's report about repeated acts of harassment and "intimidation" by what he believes were agents of the U.S. government. Up to 25 'well-dressed men' approached him on the streets of Washington, glaring at him and pulling on their coat sleeves. He said these strange encounters were witnessed by several others including his girlfriend, his sister, a reporter and his attorney."
Hohmann didn't mention that Knowlton sued all of those "well-dressed men" -- unidentified, of course -- who purportedly intimidated him. As USA Today reported in a story on the Supreme Court refusing to take up the dismissal of the lawsuit, "A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in September 1999, saying the FBI agent who questioned Knowlton about the car accurately reported that Knowlton believed the car was not the same as Foster's car. The judge also said Knowlton did not show there was any agreement to interfere with his testimony or that the 26 other people even knew each other."
So this is the best WND can come up with after all these years? Sheesh.