WND Wrongly Portrays Court-Martialed Marine As Victim of Anti-Christian Persecution Topic: WorldNetDaily
Greg Corombos writes in an April 27 WorldNetDaily article:
Five military judges heard oral arguments Wednesday in the appeal of a U.S. Marine punished through a court-martial for refusing to remove Bible verses from her workstation, and a retired general says the case could determine whether there really is religious freedom in the U.S. military.
Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling lost her original court case, as the court ruled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act did not apply to the the type of religious expression she was displaying and did not protect her from punishment for refusing to remove the verses.
A decision is expected this summer.
Corombos interviews retired Army lieutenant general William “Jerry” Boykin, who reinforces the idea that Sterling was punished for being a Christian and that members of the military are not required to "sacrifice your First Amendment right to the freedom of religion."
Just one problem: That's not what happened to Sterling.
As Chris Rodda details at the Huffington Post, the Bible-verse infraction was the least of the offenses that led to Sterling's court-martial:
The charges against Sterling resulted from several separate, unrelated incidents over the course of five months. These incidents included failing to go to her appointed place of duty, disrespecting a commissioned officer, and disobeying direct orders from her superiors to wear the proper uniform. These incidents had nothing to do with religion or religious freedom.
The most serious of the charges that Sterling was found guilty of were her failing to go to her appointed place of duty, and her disrespecting of a commissioned officer in relation to that incident. Sterling was assigned the duty of giving out passes to family members visiting Marines who had just returned from a deployment. This duty was to be for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. Sterling claimed that she couldn’t perform this duty because she was on medication for migraines that made her drowsy, but, as the court-martial found, there was no reason that this medication would have interfered with Sterling performing this duty if she took it at night as prescribed. But, as Sterling admitted, she was not planning to take her medication as prescribed on that Sunday. She was planning to take it earlier. Her reason? She was going to church and the loud choir at the church service might bring on a migraine. Seriously, that was her excuse — that she planned to take her medication not as prescribed. Needless to say, this excuse didn’t work. The disrespecting of a commissioned officer occurred a few days before the Sunday on which Sterling was assigned to be on duty giving out the passes. Sterling refused to take the passes from the major who was trying to give them to her, an incident witnessed by a first sergeant who, when asked at the court-martial to describe Sterling’s behavior towards the major, said it was “the most disrespectful thing [he] had witnessed from a Marine of junior rank” to a commissioned officer in his over eighteen years of service.
The right-wing Liberty Institute glommed onto Sterling's case, Rodda writes, and the appeal of Sterling's punishment it's leading makes no mention whatsoever of the other, more serious infractions that led to the punishment: "Even without the charges resulting from Sterling’s refusal to remove her signs, she would certainly still have been court-martialed and found guilty of these other charges. And, by failing to appeal the other convictions to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Sterling’s 'counsel' has waived any legal arguments or defenses she may have had regarding her other convictions, making those convictions now final."
Rodda also notes that Boykin is among nine retired military officials who filed an amicus brief in support of Sterling -- something Corombos doesn't mention in his article. As with the Liberty Institute appeal, the generals failed to mention the other charges for which Sterling was punished.
But actually helping Sterling is not the point -- exploiting her to advance the right-wing narrative of Christian persecution is, and WND has eagerly played along.
A May 2015 WND article by Cheryl Chumley reported on the case pushed the persecution narrative, and lying preacher and WND columnist Bradlee Dean ranted how "Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling was court-martialed for refusing to take down a paraphrased Bible verse on her computer," calling it evidence of "the attacks toward America’s Christian heritage." Needless to say, neither mentioned the other charges Sterling faced.
WorldNetDaily hates Hillary Clinton, so it's no surprise that it would jump on her comment that "I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak."
Chelsea Schilling does the honors in an April 29 WND article. After noting that "WND has reported extensively on Bill Clinton’s sexual exploits through the years and how the couple even threatened women to stay silent about alleged sexual assaults at the hands of her husband," Schilling adds: "At any rate, the former president appears to have fared better than another man in Hillary’s life who apparently went off the reservation – former deputy White House counsel Vince Foster."
Yes, Schilling is suggesting that Hillary murdered Foster, or at least had him murdered.
Schilling's evidence for this is WND's article last year about "Hillary's 22 biggest scandals ever," which quotes the unreliable Ed Klein to claim that Hillary engaged in purported skullduggery after Foster's suicide -- but which doesn't go so far to claim Hillary killed Foster, as Schilling suggests.
As we noted at the time, WND is simply trying to revive fake "scandals" to attack Hillary.
Lead WND Hillary-hater Joseph Farah can't help but pile on, of course, so he devotes his May 1 column to further abuse, bizarrely calling the "off the reservation" remark a "thoughtless, careless, anti-indigenous people slur" and declares himself to be offended because he's "one-quarter Micmac of the Algonquin tribe."
We're not aware that Farah has claimed to have Native American heritage before. He does have a habit of conjuring up personal information as the situation demands. He has repeatedly claimed to have marched with Martin Luther King when he was younger, though he would have been no more than 13 years of age had he done so and though the claim conflicts with his oft-repeated insistence he was also a left-wing radical when he was younger.
He then lists all the reasons he despises Hillary with the heated passion of a thousand suns, up to and including "she smells bad."
That's not the kind of statement inclined to inspire any sense of credibility for WND's current anti-Hillary jihad. Then again, neither is a WND reporter suggesting that Hillary murdered Vince Foster.
Newsmax Maintains Silence on Kessler Being A Former Employee Topic: Newsmax
We'venoted how Ronald Kessler's recent appearances on Newsmax TV omit the fact that Kessler was Newsmax's chief Washington correspondent from 2006 to 2012. That streak is continuing.
In an April 15 Newsmax TV interview, in which Clinton-hater Kessler insists that Hillary Clinton will be indicted over her mail server, host Steve Malzberg does not mention that Kessler used to work at Newsmax. And the accompanying article describes Kessler as a "veteran journalist" and "a former Washington Post reporter and author of "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents," published by Crown Forum" -- but not as a former Newsmax correspondent.
There's also another level of nondisclosure going on here. Crown Forum, the imprint that published Kessler's book, began life as Prima Forum, a joint venture with ... Newsmax.
Did Sharyl Attkisson Pay WND To Write Fawning Stories About Her New Show? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Since Sharyl Attkinson's Sinclair-syndicated show "Full Measure" first aired last October, WorldNetDaily has run a series of unbylined "news" articles that are effectively promotions for it. Each article summarizes a segment from the show -- something WND has done for most of the "Full Measure" shows since it started in October 2015.
Only two of these show summaries, from Nov. 8 and Dec. 6, carried bylines, from Douglas Ernst and Leo Hohmann respectively.
The article actually appears to closely follow the show's script, nearly word-for-word. The March 20 article is one example. Here's the script of the beginning of the segment about Donald Trump:
Pundits have talked themselves sideways looking for a label to hang on the Donald since he entered the race last summer.
Billionaire, reality show star, but one that some never imagined is Republican Nominee.
With a major win last week and three more states up this week, Trump has had success beyond all predictions, except perhaps his own.
How could the experts have been so wrong?
Scott Thuman reports it's the media coverage that's looked more like a reality show.
And here's how the WND article interpreted it:
Pundits have talked themselves sideways looking for a label to hang on “The Donald” since he entered the race last summer: billionaire, reality-show star. But one that some never imagined is “Republican nominee.” With a major win last week and three more states up this week, Trump has had success beyond all predictions – except, perhaps, his own.
How could the experts have been so wrong? Full Measure correspondent Scott Thuman reports it’s the media coverage that is looking more like a reality show.
That looks too close to be mere coincidence -- either some anonymous WND staffer is a serious Attkinson fanboy/fangirl, or "Full Measure" has a deal with WND to promote the show as "news."
Oddly, the most recent show summary-slash-"news" story WND did on the show was March 20, which would roughly coincide with the show's six-month anniversary. That seems to suggest some sort of six-moth promotion deal between the show and WND, or it could be an odd coincidence.
It appears that either WND had a contract -- paid or otherwise -- with Attkisson and "Full Measure" to manufacture "news" articles on it, or WND is so obsessed with the show that it felt Attkisson deserved free promotion. The former, if true, raises question's about Attkisson's journalistic credibility, but neither possibility does anything to boost WND's cratering credibility.
NewsBusters Blogger Diverts Discussion Of Hastert to Bill Clinton Topic: NewsBusters
Leave it to the Media Research Center to steer a conversation about now-admitted child molester Dennis Hastert away from him and to MRC nemesis Bill Clinton.
Mark Finkelstein writes in an April 27 NewsBusters post:
As far-left MSNBC hosts go--an admittedly low bar--I'll admit to having found Chris Hayes a relatively fair and decent proponent of his misguided policies. But he did two things tonight that made me lose respect for him. First, he literally laughed in the face of Rick Tyler, calling "preposterous" his depiction of Donald Trump as a "northeastern liberal progressive." This despite Trump's record of donating to . . . northeastern liberal progressives and describing himself, among other things, as "very pro-choice." Would Hayes ever be so rude to a liberal guest?
Even worse when it comes to hypocrisy, it is hard to top Hayes' skeptical suggestion about Denny Hastert's pattern of sexual abuse of boys: "good Lord Almighty do I wonder whether that just stopped when he left the precints of Yorkville high school?" Come back and reclaim your integrity, Chris, when you wonder the same about Bill Clinton. Did his abuse stop when he left "the precincts" of the White House? Orgy Island, anyone?
"Orgy Island," by the way, is a reference to Jeffrey Epstein, a political donor who is alleged to have a private island where sexual crimes were committed. Clinton reportedly flew on Epstein's plane, but there's no evidence thus far that Clinton took part in any inappropriate behavior.
WND Marks 19th Anniversary By Highlighting Some Of Its Bogus Stories Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 24 WorldNetDaily article touted how WND is about to turn 19 with the usual self-aggrandizment. It then went a step further and highlighted "some of the most important and consequential stories WND has published over the years." But maybe it shouldn't have highlighted these particular ones, because they demonstrate what a shoddy, biased "news" organization WND is. Let's go through them, shall we?
“10 years later, Terri Schiavo’s death still hurts.” WND began reporting on the famous Terri Schiavo case way back in 2002 – long before almost any other national news organizations – exposing the many troubling, scandalous and possibly criminal aspects of the case that to this day rarely surface in news reports. Schiavo abruptly collapsed in her home, eventually being moved to a care center, and died only after her estranged husband requested, and a judge ordered, that care center workers stop providing her with any food or water, literally starving and dehydrating her to death, even though her parents desperately wanted to take her home and care for her themselves.
In fact, WND's coverage of the Schiavo case was highly biased and selectively reported, so much so that an article it claimed whas "the whole Terri Schiavo story" was actually interested only in telling the side of Schiavo's parents, who were trying to save her life, and maligning Schiavo's husband by suggesting he was trying to kill Terri. A book on the case written by then-WND reporter Diana Lynne was similarly biased.
“Ramos, Compean freed from prison.” WND was on the forefront of reporting the case of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were prosecuted and imprisoned for non-fatally shooting a fleeing Mexican drug smuggler who was carrying 750 pounds of marijuana into the United States. Characterizing Ramos and Compean’s incarceration as a “political prosecution,” Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, called for a congressional investigation into alleged prosecutorial misconduct by El Paso U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton under the direction of Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Poe also called for an investigation into the alleged role of the Mexican government in demanding that Ramos and Compean be prosecuted. When the two law enforcement officers were finally freed, Ramos’s family credited WND, saying, “Your reporting had a lot to do with the decision today by President Bush to commute the sentences.”
In fact, WND buried the other side of this story -- Ramos and Compean covered up their involvement by picking up their shell casings and failing to file an incident report, as well as the fact that pursuing fleeing suspects violates Border Patrol policy.
“Loretta Lynch lets HSBC skate despite Iran transactions.” WND has long reported on the scandals involving the HSBC bank, including when Loretta Lynch, as U.S. attorney and a nominee to become attorney general, decided not to prosecute HSBC for money-laundering for terrorists and drug cartels. Thousands of instances in which HSBC violated U.S. law prohibiting transactions with Iran were documented in a July 17, 2012, staff report by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations titled “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case Study.” And many of the dirty details regarding HSBC’s operations came from WND’s reporting.
Actually, while HSBC did not go through a full courtroom criminal prosecution, HSBC did agree to pay a $1.9 billion fine in the case -- a record fine at the time -- which is hardly letting them skate. WND went even farther, falsely and maliciously claiming that Lynch was "tied to terrorists [and] drug cartels" because she obtained a monetary settlement in the case.
“DOJ: No comment on why cops killed Miriam Carey.” The still-ongoing Miriam Carey story centers on why police in Washington, D.C., shot and killed a mom who apparently made a wrong turn into a White House access point, then tried to back out and leave. The list of remaining issues is extensive and includes such questions as why she was shot in the back, where the officers’ statements are, what happened to the video from nearby cameras – and more.
Actually, WND has done little on this story beyond filing a couple FOIA requests and leaping to conclusions the available evidence doesn't support, and it's a story WND is pursuing apparently for the sole purpose of continuing its largely failed war against President Obama -- all of which is probably why the story didn't win the Pulitzer Prize WND editor Joseph Farah was counting on to restore WND's credibility.
“Hamas terrorists endorse Obama. As WND exclusively reported, the terror organization Hamas endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 when WND Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein interviewed Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, about the upcoming U.S. election. “We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections,” Yousuf told WND. “I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. … I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance,” Yousuf said, speaking from Gaza. The controversial endorsement became a featured meme of GOP presidential challenger Sen. John McCain, although Hamas later claimed it was neutral on the U.S. election.
Klein has a habit of manipulating his reporting to suit his agenda, which in this case was pro-Israel and anti-Obama. After all these years, Klein has never explained what behind-the-scenes dealmaking went on to secure the interview (because Klein is anti-Hamas as well, and there's no good reason a Hamas representative would chat with a Hamas-basher), whether Yousuf's endorsement of Obama a condition of his interview, what if anything Yousuf get in return for furthering Klein's political agenda of if Yousuf was even aware he was being duped into furthering Klein's political agenda.
“Ayers ‘confesses’ he wrote Obama’s ‘Dreams.'” When Bill Ayers, the unrepentant Weather Underground bomber, self-identified “communist” and Chicago colleague of Barack Obama, mockingly admitted, “Yes, I wrote ‘Dreams from My Father,'” many wondered whether he was serious. But not WND columnist Jack Cashill, whose exhaustive published research has documented that Ayers, an accomplished author in his own right, unquestionably played a significant role in the writing of Obama’s celebrated autobiography, “Dreams from My Father.” Best-selling author Christopher Andersen, in “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of a Marriage,” later acknowledged the groundbreaking work of Cashill, who has written more than two-dozen columns since June 2008, making the case that Ayers – dismissed by Obama during the campaign as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” – at the very least, shaped and refined “Dreams” with his exceptional writing skill and radical ideas.
WND is touting getting punked by Ayers as "important and consequential"? In fact, Andersen walked back the claim in a CNN interview, stating that "I definitely do not say [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book," and actual language experts have debunked Cashill's purported evidence that Ayers wrote Obama's book.
“The tragic story of Jesse Dirkhising.” WND reported extensively on the tragic death of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising, for which two homosexual men were convicted. The facts suggest strongly that the boy had been used as a sex toy as the two men tortured him to death. But Dirkhising’s horrific demise was largely ignored by the national media, which chose to focus instead on the killing of Matthew Shepherd – an adult homosexual brutally murdered in Wyoming. Dirkhising suffocated to death during the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 1999, after being bound, drugged, gagged and brutally sodomized by Davis Don Carpenter, then 38, and Joshua Macabe Brown, then 22, at the men’s apartment in Rogers, Arkansas.
In fact, the Dirkhising and Shepard cases were quite different, which resulted in different media attention. Shepard's death has been classified as a hate crime which, generally speaking, tends to get attention from the mainstream media, while Dirkhising's death has been classified as a sex crime, which rarely gets national media attention. Further, Shepard's death raised larger issues that Dirkhising's death didn't.
Further, as obsessed as WND and other ConWeb outlets were with Dirkhising's death -- since it could be exploited in a way that advanced their anti-gay agenda -- they largely ignored the trial of one of the men arrested for his death.
“The giant, gaping hole in Sandy Hook reporting.” WND is one of few major news organizations to comprehensively cover the vastly under-reported dangers of psychiatric medications, especially antidepressants with their “black box” suicidality warning labels. In 2013, a few weeks after the Sandy Hook mass shooting, WND documented the jarring correlation between such mega-crimes and psychiatric drug use, showing that most school shooters in recent years have either been taking, or just coming off of, antidepressants or other mood-altering drugs. Many followups came later, including publication of a “Big list of drug-induced killers.”
WND rushed to blame psychiatric drugs Adam Lanza may have been taking almost immediately after the Sandy Hook massacre -- a time when no evidence had been forwarded that he had been taking any. In fact, it has since been revealed that Lanza's mother resisted the recommendation of medical experts that Adam be placed on medication, and a toxicology report found no drugs or alcohol in Lanza's system at the time he committed the massacre. That would seem to be a giant, gaping hole in WND's reporting.
But never mind all that -- or the fact that WND apparently no longer considers its years-long Obama birther crusade to be "important and consequential," judging by its absence from this list -- Farah has some more self-aggrandizment to do:
“WND reporters and editors all came from traditional news media experience,” he explains. “They didn’t just start blogging one day. For instance, before I started WND, I ran daily newspapers in major markets, I worked as an investigative reporter, I served as a foreign correspondent, I covered entertainment, I did time on the copy desk, I worked as a senior-level news executive at the age of 26. Pardon my boastfulness here, but there is no one in the New Media or old who has a resume like that. And I’m hardly alone among my colleagues at WND. They all have remarkable professional backgrounds in newspapers or newsmagazines or wire services or TV news or radio news. That’s the common denominator among our team and the mark of distinction that sets WND apart from others in ‘independent news’ operations.”
With experience comes standards, Farah explains.
Oh, please. Actually, this "experience" has only made WND more biased and unfair, and Farah is strangely proud of the fact that WND publishes misinformation.
CNS Frames Volunteers' Emotional Support As 'Abortion-Related Care' Topic: CNSNews.com
Melanie Hunter tries to make it sound as scary and offensive as possible in an April 26 CNSNews.com article:
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) found that members of AmeriCorps, a federally funded service organization, were allowed to provide abortion-related care to pregnant women at three New York City clinics operated by the Institute for Family Health (IFH) between 2013 and 2015.
But what is this "abortion-related care" that Hunter finds so offensive? She doesn't tell us until the fifth paragraph:
According to the report, NACHC [National Association of Community Health Centers, an AmeriCorps grantee] in Bethesda, Md., allowed “a few AmeriCorps members to provide emotional support (doula care) to women during abortion procedures” at three IFH clinics in New York.
Wait ... providing "emotional support" is the offense? Apparently.
Since Hunter doesn't bother to explain what "doula care" is -- all the better to make it sound more sinister, as if AmeriCorps was directly providing abortions -- we had to go elsewhere on the internet. Here's how one abortion doula provider explains what they do:
We provide nonjudgmental, compassionate and empowering support focused solely on nurturing your needs during your experience with pregnancy. Having a Full Spectrum Doula during your experience can alleviate anxiety and help with healthy aftercare. We listen to you and respond compassionately without judgment. We honor your unique needs and feelings throughout your experience. Your well-being is our only concern.
Apparently, the anti-abortion activists at CNS don't want anyone involved in providing "nonjudgmental, compassionate and empowering" support.
But it's not just them; this was apparently a Republican-led provision that AmeriCorps violated, given how Hunter provides ample space for Republican Rep. Diane Black to rant that AmeriCorps "broke trust with the American people" and provided "support of abortion" (even though, again, it provided emotional support for those having one, not for the procedure itself).
But Hunter doesn't explain why volunteer compassion is forbidden when it comes to abortion. Which tells us she's more interested in pushing an agenda than being an actual reporter.
WND's Malloch Actually Claims His Trump Fanboy Crusade Is 'Moderate and Reasoned' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Donald Trump fanboy Theodore Roosevelt Malloch recently went to Canada's Regent College to give a speech, and was aghast that some students criticized said Trump fanboyism. As Malloch described it in his April 21 WorldNetDaily column, "I was treated rudely, disregarded and accused of hate."
Fair enough. But then Malloch asserted that he had endeavored to "write the editorials supporting Trump from a moderate and reasoned perspective." He added: "The idea that my editorials on Trump might be fairly argued and moderately written appears to be antithetical to the far-left Bernie socialists, including former weathermen and now the overtly aggressive Black Lives Matter radicals who populate today’s protest marches, mixed together with anarchists from the Occupy movements, as well as those being paid by wealthy socialist forces like Soros to disrupt free speech and cause harm to the very fabric of civility."
OK, stop right there. Malloch is claiming his Trump fanboyism is "moderate and reasoned" and "fairly argued." This is the same guy who:
Fantasized that Trump's first six days would parallel that of God's first days of creation.
Likened Trump to Aristotle (albeit in that they guy can competently give a speech).
Went vaguely racist in touting Trump's appeal to the "white working and middle class."
Insisted that Trump is a "principled actor" in politics, again ignoring his actual history of unprincipled politics.
Malloch went on to sneer at the name of the college's newspaper, noting that it is "named “&c,” whatever that means." Well, it's an alternate rendering of "et cetera," something you'd think a guy with a doctorate and enough pretentiousness to insist on being called by his entire full name, two of which belong to another man to whom he's (as far as we can tell) not related by blood, would know.
Malloch then takes potshots at the entire country in apparent revenge for being treated rudely there:
Trump supporters agree America is not a sovereign nation as long as the southern border with Mexico is left open and largely unguarded.
This is why in the United States we have 12 million illegal immigrants and more on the way, not to mention a drug war.
Would Canada allow such a travesty?
Trump may better be portrayed as a gladiator in the arena who will fight for the common person, who will defend freedom, who will build and rebuild American infrastructure and who will in his own theme: Make America Great Again.
Is this unappealing to Canadians and others who for decades have depended on American largesse, on our military shield, on our nuclear deterrence, on our charity, on our economic engine of growth?
Malloch also serves up some of that so-called "moderate and reasoned" Trump fanboyism. He states that "Trump has made it clear he intends to defend the national interest to bring jobs back by negotiating better trade deals," then adds: "Isn’t that what Americans expect of a leader? Is it authoritarian or hateful to suggest and enforce real policies, or is it the responsibility of a leader who truly wants to serve his people? In the great tradition of Western civilization, the notion of a servant leader, expressed in Christ, is a model to follow and uphold not decry."
Yep, Malloch really is suggesting the thrice-married Trump is Christ-like.
Malloch concluded by whining about "students who appear to hate Trump as much as they hate the idea of a traditionally moral Christian America dedicated, as our Founding Fathers understood, to Christian morals that supported profitable business founded with an understanding of spiritual capital."
Yeah, that massive logical leap was totally moderate and reasoned.
MRC Whines That Curt Schilling Was Fired, Won't Show The Post That Got Him Fired Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has done a lot of whining over ESPN's firing of Curt Schilling:
Coward-hiding-behind-a-fake-name "Bruce Bookter" complained that Schilling was fired because he "posted a picture of a transgender person, and made a comment regarding the effort to let transgender men use women’s restrooms."
Matthew Balan wrote that Schilling was fired after "Tweeting out a controversial image" that another writer (who Balan makes sure to tell us "moonlights as a cross-dressing musician in a rock band") said "many deemed transphobic."
"Bookter" wrote again that Schilling's firing was what "so many members of the liberal sports media openly, and privately, rooted for" but mentioned the image only in quoting another article.
Kyle Drennen asserted that Schilling was fired because he "objected on social media to liberal demands that transgender people be allowed to use whichever bathroom they choose." He mentioned the image only in quoting others.
Clay Waters declared that Schilling was fired "after sharing a post on his Facebook account against allowing transgenders to choose which bathroom they use, accompanied by a crude photo of a large man in unflattering drag."
Yet for the centrality of the image in Schilling's firing none of these MRC wreiters reposted the offending image. Is that perhaps these writers know the image does not help Schilling's -- and right-wing anti-trans activists' -- cause?
For the record, here it is:
One derives from Schilling's posting that he clearly thinks this image is an accurate depiction of transgenders, which makes us think that he also believes a pickaninny is an accurate depiction of black people.
The only place at the MRC the image appears is in an April 20 NewsBusters post by Dylan Gwinn, though he posts it only in block-quoting a USA Today post that was more offensive to him because it noted that transgenders have a higher suicide rate and Schilling's offensive post probably isn't helping things.
Gwinn ranted that it's "not funny at all" that the writer implies a link "between Schilling’s conservative views and transgender suicide, and besides, "middle-aged white males --by far-- the group most likely to commit suicide." He then downplays the suicide risk:
Seriously, though, people commit suicide for all kinds of reasons. Like, depression, drug abuse, mental illness, poverty, dysfunctional upbringings. All things that apply to transgendered people. And all things that many of them suffered from way, way before they ever knew what a Curt Schilling or a conservative ever was.
Conservatism doesn’t kill. Being forced to watch I Am Cait every week kills. (Violently clears throat.)
Dylan, honey, nobody's forcing you to hate-watch shows you don't want to watch. You have -- and have always had -- the choice to walk away. Apparently, that MRC cash must be good for you to put yourself through such torture, eh?
WND's AAFP-Linked Doc Still Trying To Blame Zika on Vaccines Topic: WorldNetDaily
The last time Jane Orient -- WorldNetDaily-fave doc and executive director of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- weighed in on the Zika virus, she was blaming the microcephaly Zika was believed to have caused on vaccines instead, even though there was no actual evidence to support the claim.
Now, the Centers for Disease Control has definitively confirmed that Zika causes microcephaly and other fetal abnormalities. Guess who isn't buying it?
Yep, it's Jane Orient. In an April 15 WND column (a version of which was also published April 18 at Newsmax), she rants that the CDC is offering "politically correct advice on Zika," and she's sticking to her anti-vaxxer conspiracy theory:
Zika virus has been found in the brain of a few babies born with microcephaly. But two things are very clear: MOST microcephaly is NOT caused by Zika. About 7 of 10,000 babies born in the U.S. have microcephaly – no thanks to Zika. Most (more than 90 percent) of the Brazilian babies recently confirmed to have microcephaly tested negative for Zika.
Additionally, MOST mothers who have Zika during pregnancy give birth to a normal, healthy baby. Mothers in northeastern Brazil also had a lot of other problems, including malnutrition, heavy exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals and an aggressive vaccination campaign.
We don't know where Orient got her claim that "Most (more than 90 percent) of the Brazilian babies recently confirmed to have microcephaly tested negative for Zika," since she provides no link for it. She may be referring to a report last month that of 2,197 have so far been investigated by Brazilian officials, 854 have been confirmed as microcephaly, and in 97 cases laboratory tests have confirmed a link with the Zika virus. But Nature reports that while Brazil lacks reliable historical baselines for comparison, "an increasing number of reports on individual newborn babies, or stillborn or aborted fetuses with microcephaly, show Zika viral RNA at the scene of the crime."
Orient is eager to downplay the threat of Zika -- "while Ebola has killed thousands, Zika has likely not killed anyone," she writes, ignoring those stillbirths linked to Zika -- but the fact remains it's the first mosquito-borne virus linked to congenital brain defects.
Orient, meanwhile, is still not done fearmongering about vaccines:
A registered clinical trial that sought 50 pregnant volunteers to test Tdap (adult tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine, in Vietnam, was scheduled for completion in 2015. But Tdap had already been given to thousands of Brazilian expectant mothers some months before reports of microcephaly started to surface. There was no control group of unvaccinated women. It was not, after all, research, but a public health response to an increase in pertussis (whooping cough) cases.
A Zika vaccine would likely be a live virus, and all live virus vaccines are contraindicated in pregnancy – and possibly while nursing. That includes measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, shingles and rotavirus. There is a case report of a nursing infant who got meningoencephalitis, probably from yellow fever vaccine virus. Nursing Labrador puppies got canine distemper, a relative of measles, after their mother got a booster shot.
WHO and CDC are quick to indict Zika virus, which might eventually turn out to be an innocent bystander.
Actually, the microcephaly outbreak in vietnam may not only be related to Zika, but may be linked to a chemical, pyriproxyfen, used in the country to kill mosquitoes.
Speaking of which, Orient renews her call to un-ban DDT, which she called "the safest and most effective public health weapon in history." She doesn't mention that most mosquitoes are now immune to DDT's effects, making it ineffective and unnecessary.
Orient adds: "In the 1990s, Mexico agreed to abandon its DDT program as a condition of NAFTA. Mosquitoes travel." Actually, according to the Global Health Group, Mexico had largely abandoned DDT use by the time NAFTA was approved because it was no longer working; using alternative treatment and vector control methods, cases of malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, in Mexico dropped 83 percent from 2000 to 2010. Further, Mexico has the potential to be free of malaria by 2020.
Orient concludes by declaring that "Alarm about Zika will be a public-relations exercise." So what's Orient's excuse for raising needless alarm about vaccines?
MRC Attacks How Networks 'Censor' Anti-Abortion Hearing, Ignores How Its Own CNS Censored It
In an April 21 NewsBusters post headlined "Networks Censor Congressional ‘Pricing of Fetal Tissue’ Hearing," Katie Yoder complained: "A congressional probe into whether or not businesses profited from aborted baby body parts should scream big news. But not so for the three broadcast networks."
But Yoder ignored the censorship of infor mation in the hearing going on down the hall at another Media Research Center division, CNSNews.com.
CNS published three articles on the hearing:
Lauretta Brown played up Republican Rep. Mia Love's assertion that fetal tissue donation was like organ donation and asking, "Who protects the minor’s interests in this case?"
Melanie Hunter touted Republican Rep. Joe Pitts sneering that the deceptively edited anti-Planned Parenthood videos issued by the Center for Medical Progress uncovered "the Amazon.com of baby body parts." Neither Hunter's or Brown's article quoted a person at the hearing who was not anti-abortion.
Brown wrote another article actually getting around to quoting the other side, noting that "Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) expressed concern at a Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives Subcommittee hearing Wednesday." Unlike with her other article, Brown inserts the other side: "Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), a cardiac surgeon, interrupted Speier to ask that it be noted that he took 'personal offense for it being said that I, as a physician, am here to allow people to die.'"
But Brown and Hunter, along with Yoder, deliberately excluded information from the hearing that didn't make the anti-abortion side -- the one CNS and the Media Research Center are on -- look good.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank pointed out that committee chairman Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, ave an opening statement mentioning the buying and selling of “baby body parts” no fewer than seven times despite the fact that none of the several state investigations launched in the wake of the misleading videos have found any wrongdoing, and that Blackbur's staff handed out an exhibit claiming without evidence that abortion clinics have no costs in obtaining fetal tissue so payments made to them for the tissue are "pure profit" -- despite other exhibits noting that clinics do have reimbursable costs. Rather than offer evidence to back up the claim, Blackburn simply insisted there was "no discrepancy."
And while Yoder complained that "MRC Culture found that the six Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Select Investigative Panel had received more than $81,000 from Planned Parenthood," neither she nor the CNS reporters mentioned that, as Milbank mentioned, Blackburn took part in an anti-Planned Parenthood protest before coming to the hearing -- which you'd think would compromise her hearing's objectivity at least as much as Planned Parenthood donations to Democrats.
Even though the hearing's witness list was stacked in favor of Blackburn's anti-Planned Prenthood agenda, there were at least two witnesses who were on the other side: one who pointed out the state investigations finding no wrongdoing, and another who noted that the committee has yet to order CMP's David Daleiden to testify under oath, presumably because she knows his stories wouldn't hold up under penalty of perjury. Neither Yoder nor the CNS reporters mentioned this testimony.
If Yoder really wants to have an easy job of finding journalistic censorship, she doesn't even have to leave the MRC offices. But perhaps she's totally down with censorship that helps her agenda.
NEW ARTICLE: The Gallup-ing Conspiracy Theorist Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily wants its author Carl Gallups to be taken seriously, but his promotion of wild conspiracy theories (not to mention his birtherism) keep putting WND in cleanup mode. Read more >>
MRC Hides Behind Levin Again To Criticize Fox Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center still can't quite find a way to criticize Fox News in its own voice.
As it did last month, the MRC uses right-wing radio host Mark Levin as cover for its Fox News criticism. Tim Graham writes in an April 20 NewsBusters post about how Levin was "hitting back at all the election propaganda being spouted by the media and pundits after the New York primary results," going after Fox News in particular:
The Fox News Channel – the Donald Trump super PAC – hasn’t discussed any of this, all day long. Instead, the pom pom boys and girls are dancing all over the place. Telling you that everything’s changed, even though nothing’s changed. They repeat what Donald Trump says. They repeat what his sycophants say, his surrogates say.
Graham doesn't explain why the MRC doesn't criticize Fox News itself and instead trots out Levin to do the dirty work for them. Because Brent Bozell would like to continue appearing on Fox, perhaps?
WND's Bitter Its Dubious Miriam Carey Crusade Didn't Win A Pulitzer Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in January, WorldNetDaily proclaimed that it had submitted its reporting on the death of Miriam Carey, killed by law enforcement agents in 2013 after apparently attempting to crash the White House gates and then fleeing. In usual self-aggrandizing fashion, WND editor Joseph Farah is quoted as saying that "WND has already been cited by other news agencies for its determined leadership in rolling back the layers of an enormous and scandalous cover-up" (despite citing only one actual example of such, Mother Jones, which noted only that WND was obsessed the story). Farah followed up with an even more self-aggrandizing column declaring that "If WND’s diligent commitment to this case resulted in a Pulitzer Prize or two, it would give the Miriam Carey case more prominence and exposure – the kind that could ultimately result in a measure of justice being served."
Well, the Pulitzers were awarded last week, and WND's entry did not win. We're guessing it's because its lead reporter on the story, Garth Kant, apparently did little more than file FOIA requests and has not proven that Carey's death was the result of a conspiracy instead of being merely a tragedy involving a woman driving suspiciously and erratically in a nervous Washington, D.C., just two weeks after a shooter killed 12 people at D.C.'s Navy Yard. The facts that nobody believes WND , the Pulitzer bid is a desperate stab and acquiring some credibiity, or that it's Farah is clearly using the Carey story to continue his (largely failed) war on President Obama are probably irrelevant to the Pulitzer judges. The bitter headline of WND's article on the awards says it all: "Major WND probe snubbed by Pulitzers."
Speaking of bitter, Farah devoted a column to the Pulitzer snub, beginning with rehashing old glories and then whining that the "new media" didn't win any Pulitzers:
Only Old Media news organizations were selected for the honors, even though the public long ago began getting its news from the New Media.
I’m only a little disappointed because what happened is just what I expected.
The old institutions die hard. The good old boys’ networks don’t usually open their doors unless you knock them down.
But I’m also more than a little disappointed that the Pulitzer insiders didn’t see the value of honoring our reporting on the Miriam Carey case. Their recognition would have done something much more significant than make my day. It would have made it nearly impossible for the official cover-up and stonewalling by the most powerful people in America over the death of Miriam Carey to continue.
CNS Slobbers All Over Brent Bozell's Buddy, Charlie Daniels Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is not just a huge fan of country music artist Charlie Daniels -- he's Daniels' buddy as well.
In a 2015 column, Bozell huffed that critics of the Confederate flag were by extension attacking Daniels, "a friend of mine." In 2010 he devoted an entire column to Daniels, touting how "In recent years, I’ve come to know Charlie Daniels personally." And in 2012, Bozell wrote in a NewsBusters post: "Charlie Daniels, a man for whom I have so much respect, sent me his new video," adding, "Amidst all the anti-American garbage poisoning our culture, it gives me—and I’m sure you—great comfort to know that patriots like Charlie Daniels continue to make such inspirational, pro-military music."
So it should not be a surprise that CNSNews.com, the "news" division of Bozell's MRC, has made Daniels a regular columnist, which he has used to tell lies about Margaret Sanger.
It should also not be a surprise that CNS also gives Daniels fawning "news" coverage.
On March 29, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote what is effectively a press release on Daniels' upcoming induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame -- indeed, all of the information from the article appears to come straight from a Country Music Association press release, so rewriting it and putting a byline on it seems superfluous. Maybe Chapman was trying to kiss up to the boss.
On April 19, CNS' Brian Lonergan repeated a Twitter post from Daniels announcing that he will not be canceling any concerts in North Carolina in protest of that state's new anti-gay law. In other words, not news at all. Fully half of Lonergan's article is biographical information copied from Chapman's article.
As much as the MRC likes to complain about other media outlets giving allegedly fawning coverage to its political enemies, it clearly has no interest in holding itself to the same journalistic standards.