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Tuesday, August 16, 2016
MRC Blames Media for Building Up Trump, Then Trying to Destroy Him
Topic: Media Research Center

For the Media Research Center, it's always the media's fault. Exactly what the media did, however, changes and is even contradictory -- like how it blames the media for both creating donald Trump's presidential candidate and for trying to destroy it.

The MRC has long whined that "NBC has spent more than a decade building [Trump's] brand as a successful businessman of almost mythic proportion," even after Trump clinched the Republican nomination and the MRC was supposed to be fully supportive of the campaign as a good right-wing outlet should. It was still doing so in an Aug. 3 post by Sam Dorman, who disapproved of NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt disputing the notion that his network was responsible for Trump.

Dorman grumbled that "Starting in 2004, NBC’s Today show acted as a de facto PR outlet for The Donald and gave regular interviews to him and his Apprentice contestants," adding, "NBC imprinted a mythic persona of Trump onto its broadcasts by hyping his business success, and at times, describing him with messianic language."

Three days later, Trump sycophant Jeffrey Lord took to the MRC's NewsBusters blog to whine that the media is reporting on the crazy things his boy Trump says, and insisted that this somehow proves that the media is biased against Trump:

Out and abroad in the land there are millions of Americans who feel intensely that “the media” - fill in an outlet of your choice in print, TV, radio and now the Internet - are out there with the sole object of destroying Donald Trump. That the slightest misstep of Trump’s will be magnified and replayed over and over endlessly - while major events like the clear case of the Obama administration’s payment of $400 million in cash to ransom Iranian hostages are simply downplayed.

On Friday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity on Sean’s radio show that real conservatives have to wake up and understand that 80-90 percent of the media are enemies and that the Left is in such an anti-Trump frenzy that the media has set out to destroy him. As if to confirm Gingrich’s point Hillary Clinton that same day gave a speech to the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists - in which she essentially made a bald appeal for the members of those groups to use their positions in the media to help her defeat Trump. I would add to this that any GOP nominee would have faced this situation, although it is indeed more intense now that Trump is the nominee. 

[...]

Donald Trump has never refrained from taking on the media in this campaign. The point now is that millions of his fellow Americans get the problem - and as I saw first hand the other night in a Pennsylvania high school gym, they have his back. They believe with Newt Gingrich that the Left is in such an anti-Trump frenzy that the media has set out to destroy him.

Which says that it won’t just be Hillary and the Obama era that are that the issues in this campaign, but rather the media itself in all its many forms.

Lord forgot to mention, let alone offer thanks for, the fact that according to the right-wing outlet that publishes his column, that very same media is reponsible for Trump being a presidential contender in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Monday, August 15, 2016
WND Does Damage Control For An Anti-Clinton Author
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Art Moore was doing so well, engaging in actual journalism at the Republican National Convention. When he got back, though, he reverted to WND form with July 31 article that played damage control for a Clinton-hating author.

That would be former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne, whose book "Crisis of Character" WND surprisingly did not publish or even carries in its online store; links top the book in Moore's article direct you to Amazon. His claim to fame is that, as Moore states, he was "posted outside the Oval Office door for three years" during the Clinton administration and has some sordid tales to tell.

Unfortunately for Byrne, the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service has denounced the book as eroding the trust between the Secret Service and those it protects, and Politico has reported that critics of the book point out that Byrne, as a low-level agent, could not have firsthand knowledge of some of the things he claims in his book.

Thus, Moore's damage control efforts. Moore mentions the Politico article but refused to provide a link to it so readers can see for themselves. Instead, he gave Byrne a space to respond vaguely to critics: "I’m telling you what I saw personally, what I know is true. ... If it wasn’t true, who would put themselves at this risk and this exposure?"

Byrne also faces the accusation that some of the sordid stories he tells are different from what he testified to before independent counsel Kenneth Starr. When Buzzfeed tried to ask Byrne for an explanation of his changing stories, he hung up on them.

By the time Moore came calling, Byrne had invented an excuse for the discrepancies:

He noted that Clinton supporters went right to the testimony when the book came out and tried to compare it.

“They tried to say that I was saying stuff that I didn’t say in testimony,” Byrne told WND.

“Well, of course I did. I was answering questions to things the investigators were asking. It wasn’t my job to tell them how to do their job.

“They asked me questions about tissues, I answered about tissues.

He explained there were “so many things that happened that I had information about.”

“If they didn’t ask about those things exactly, then I couldn’t talk about it,” he said.

He said the investigation had many rules that “seemed to change by the day,” and he noted that because he was a government employee, he had no attorney-client privilege.

Note that Byrne is once again speaking vaguely about a specific allegation -- in this case, Byrne claims in his book he disposed of a stained towel, something he told Starr he didn't do.That's not a place where narrowly answering a question to prosecutors is a sufficient defense for changing one's story. Then again, Byrne claimed in a radio interview that somehow both stories were true.

Moore, however, didn't address another Byrne discrepancy that he had previously. In a June 20 WND article, Moore touted Byrne's claim to have walked in on a tryst between Bill Clinton and Eleanor Mondale, then an E! Network correspondent. But Buzzfeed noted that Byrne told Starr that he had merely heard rumors about the tryst.

Moore has apparently given up on his brief journalism career and is back to peddling dressed-up falsehoods like a good WND reporter should.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 15, 2016 9:31 PM EDT
CNS Becomes the PR Division of Judicial Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

One way you know a news organization isn't really into news is its willingness to serve as a platform for the views of an ideological group.

CNSNews.com has chosen to do that for the right-wing legal group Judicial Watch. An Aug. 10 CNS article by Rachel Hoover is about how "The U.S. Department of Justice gave $342,168,401 in grant money to 10 “sanctuary” states and cities that shield illegal aliens, even violent ones, from deportation by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials, according to a Judicial Watch report."

It's effectively a rewrite of a Judicial Watch blog post issued several days earlier. Nothing appears in Hoover's article that wasn't in the Judicial Watch post, and Hoover makes no apparent attempt to contact anyone to respond to Judicial Watch's accusations, which would seem to be a violation of the edict by her boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, that "The first rule of journalism is that if you don’t have two independent sources, you don’t have a news story." (She's done this before.)

Then, interestingly, just three hours after Hoover's article was published, CNS posted a column by Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton on the very same subject, ranting that "You and I are less safe on the streets these days because President Barack Obama and his Justice Department reward localities that openly break the law." Fitton actually reprints word-for-word much of the earlier blog post -- which, of course, was rewritten by Hoover for a "news" story.

The near-simultaneous timing of Hoover's "news" story and Fitton's column raises some questions. It certainly appears that CNS worked with Judicial Watch to coordinate its editorial content -- a collaboration with an outside organization that is usually frowned upon from an ethical standpoint.

Also curious is that Judicial Watch lists CNS on its list of apparently approved "sources." Granted, numerous other news organizations are also on the list, most of which are right-leaning like CNS, and there may not be any quid pro quo going on, But it's still brings up the seeming appearance of impropriety and the definite appearance of bias, which CNS doesn't admit it engages in, still insisting in its mission statement that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Then, on Aug. 12, CNS' Barbara Hollingsworth devoted an article to Fitton complaining that  Congress won't investigate its politically motivated attacks on the Obama administration. Like Hoover, Hollingsworth doesn't bother to seek comment from anyone else about Fitton's work; indeed, she's so content to serve as a stenographer for Fitton that she devotes fully half her article to "a list of its major court filings" that "Judicial Watch provided CNSNews."

Nope, not a lot of balanced or independent reporting that fairly presents all legitimate sides of a story going on here.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT
WND Asks: 'Is Zika A Sign It's Time, Again, for DDT?' (No, But They'll Never Admit it.)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is just asking, in an anonymously written Aug. 8 article headlined "Is Zika a sign it's time, again, for DDT?" It includes the usual bias: that DDT isn't harmful to humans, that Rachel Carson falsely "convinced the public that DDT represented a threat to bald eagles," that Jane Orient of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons says to bring it back.

What you won't see, however, is the main reason not to bring it back: that, as we've documented, most mosquitoes are immune to DDT's effects due to past overuse and, thus, it wouldn't be effective.

That's one reason the WND reporter may have decided to remain anonymous. Another one: he or she stole a quote she didn't cite. That would be this:

“It’s a difficult question, and it’s a very controversial question,” says Jonathan Chevrier, an assistant professor at McGill University, of how policymakers weigh the use of DDT to protect public health. “What the Zika virus is potentially doing is terrible. But using any pesticide needs to be considered very, very carefully.”

That's actually from a Time magazine article, but the article does not credit Time. That article also notes another reason not to use DDT: The current way it is mostly used -- on the walls of indoor dwellings, mostly in Africa -- may not be effective in other application methods or for the specific type of Zika-carrying mosquito (in addition to the resistence factor).

The anonymous WND article also quotes the Jillian Kay Melchior of the right-wing Independent Women's Forum asserting that DDT is "reasonably safe" and that Rachel Carson peddled "junk science."

But as the Time article also notes: "Research has suggested that DDT has the potential to disrupt the human nervous system in the same way it does to insects. That may mean cancer, infertility and other long-term health effects including developmental problems in young children. DDT remains in the environment where it’s sprayed for years, potentially affecting multiple generations."

So WND wants to bring back a chemical for political reasons, a chemical whose full effects are still not completely known. We're not surprised.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 15, 2016 12:47 AM EDT
Sunday, August 14, 2016
MRC Tries to Raise Money Off Our Blog Post
Topic: Media Research Center

This may be a first for us -- the Media Research Center is using something we wrote to raise money.

On Aug. 12 MRC Action's David Martin sent out a email complaining that "Huffington Post is now attacking the Media Research Center's yet-to-be-released documentary film, which details the disastrous effects of President Obama's War on Coal." The email links to the anonymous NewsBusters post criticizing the Huffington Post version of our post on the MRC's crowdfunding campaign for its upcoming Obama-bashing film on the coal industry. It makes sure to call HuffPo a "well-known leftist news outlet."

Martin largely rehashes that anonymous NewsBusters post, which was so poorly written that it failed to include our name or link to the offending post, dishonestly attributed our view as being the same as that of HuffPo (in fact, we're just one of the hundreds of bloggers who get paid nothing to post there, so we're not even a HuffPo employee), and igores the main points of our post: why an organization that raised $15 million last year can't come up with the $15,000 it's trying to crowdfund on its own, and that the trailer misrepresented President Obama's views on the coal industry and falsyly portraying him as the sole cause of the current collapse in coal-mining jobs (which are still higher than they were under much of the Bush administration).

But why let a lack of facts get in the way of fundraising? Martin proceeds:

Despite not having viewed the documentary, HuffPo believes it "will be on the dishonest side," and is hard at work trying to prevent this important MRC project from happening. We're counting on you to help us ensure that Huffington Post doesn't get its way.

They also claimed that criticizing Obama is "rather pointless," because he is not running for re-election. The point isn't to criticize Obama; it's to shine a light on the impact that reckless policies have on real people's lives!

We can't let these die-hard liberals stop this important project. These people's voices need to be heard. That's why we're asking you, our faithful supporters, to help us fight back against Huffington Post and push on with the production of this important film.

The MRC must raise $15,000 by the end of August in order to continue production of this important short film. We need your help to achieve this goal.

No, Mr. Martin, neither we nor HuffPo (who I don't speak for, let alone dictate its entire editorial agenda, as Martin and the MRC seem to think) are "trying to prevent this important MRC project from happening." At no point did we do anything even so benign as tell anyone not to fund your little crowdfunding effort. We simply told the truth about it.

And if Martin wants to talk about "reckless policies," will the MRC's film mention that fracking has impacted the coal industry by sharply reducing natural gas prices that make gas a better, lower-polluting option than coal? 

If the film turns out to be a reflection of the MRC's attacks on a single critic, it will be a very dishonest one indeed.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:01 PM EDT
What Is WND's Farah Lying About Today?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's astonishing the extent to which WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah just can't stop lying.

In the midst of an Aug. 9 rant against Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky -- unsubtly headlined "The Clinton crime family -- the 2nd generation" --  Farah huffed: "Marc and Chelsea represent the second generation of royal privilege. They’re in their 30s and own a $10.5 million apartment in New York City. They got married in George Soros’ mansion."

Nope: As Snopes points out, Clinton and Mezvinsky were married "at the Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, New York, an historic property owned by Kathleen Hammer and Arthur Seelbinder."

Farah also uses his column to push lies by proxy, writing:

You might also recall that Hillary Rodham Clinton served on the staff of the [Richard Nixon] House impeachment inquiry, but she was fired for ethical breaches by her boss, the late Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat and general counsel, not to mention a friend of mine in his later years.

As we first documented back in 2008, when Zeifman first surfaced to oppose Hillary's presidential bid, he's on record as saying he didn't have the power to fire Hillary from the impeachment inquiry, which makes anything else he has to say highly dubious. That also includes the fact that fact-checkers have found no evidence Hillary was fired from that inquiry -- she apparently remained on the inquiry panel until Nixon resigned from office.

Zeifman's lack of truthfulness also applies to his claim of being a "lifelong Democrat," which he appears to be trading on solely to get published on right-wing websites as a "Democrat" who bashes other Democrats. Plus, the fact that Farah is declaring that Zeifman is "a friend of mine" is a dead giveaway that he's not a real Democrat, or even a Democrat at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:57 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2016 6:05 PM EDT
Saturday, August 13, 2016
CNS Concedes (Sorta) That Labor Participation Rate Is Meaningless As Unemployment Measure
Topic: CNSNews.com

A few days ago, we published an article detailing how CNSNews.com is weirdly obsessed with presenting the labor force participation rate as a meaningful measure of unemployment, regularly refusing to admit the fact that the number covers millions of retirees and students who are not seeking employment and are thus not "unemployed" by any stretch of the imagination.

How conveniently coincidental, then, that the very next day after our article was published, CNS published an article by Susan Jones -- the author of many of those unemployment articles pushing the labor force participation rate -- admitting the rate includes mostly students and retirees who aren't looking for work.

But this being CNS, the article had to be written from an angle that echoes its right-wing agenda (which admitting it's wrong about treating the labor force participation rate as a meaningful measure of unemployment does not do). So Jones seizes on Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner Erica Groshen noting that the country's "safety net" plays a role in the labor force participation rate to highlight numbers of people on food stamps and Social Security disability.

Will Jones admit these facts about the labor force participation rate when she writes future articles obsessing about the number for new unemployment numbers? Or will she just push the "safety net" aspect of it? We shall see.

So even when it's reporting things accurately, CNS must put a right-wing spin on things. That's the very defintion of media bias, and it's sadly hilarious seeing it from the "news" division of a organization that purports to fight such bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 AM EDT
WND Getting Desperate for Travelers On Its Holy Land Trip
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For months, WorldNetDaily has been heavily promoting a trip to the Holy Land in November, to be hosted by WND editor Joseph Farah and WND fave author, messianic rabbi and Obama-basher Jonathan Cahn. But in an apparent reflection of its financial problems, WND is having trouble getting enough people to sign up.

In a June 5 article, WND declared that "Registration and deposits must be completed by June 10," adding that "your opportunity is fading fast. The final deadline for the 2016 WND Israel Tour is almost here." The article also asserted, "The window of opportunity to join in this extraordinary quest is almost closed. Travelers need to register now or it will be gone for good. And an experience which even the first man on the moon called the highlight of his life will be lost to you forever."

Well, not so much. Just a week later, WND announced that the "final deadline" had been extended month, which it furiously spun by asserting there was so much demand it had no choice but to extend it:

The calls and emails were frantic and desperate. And they all had the same message – we need more time!

They got what they asked for. In response to a last minute surge of registrations, the deadline to sign up for the WND Israel Tour has been extended to July 9. More than 300 people have registered for the extraordinary trip – and registrations are still pouring in. But the window of opportunity can’t be held open much longer.

“We’ve got hundreds signed up for participation in this spiritual trip-of-a-lifetime and still plenty of space to be part of it – but time is our enemy,” said WND Founder and CEO Joseph Farah. “If you yearn to be with us, now’s the time to register. We will not be able to guarantee your participation for much longer.”

It’s urgent anyone who wants to join this incredible pilgrimage go to the official website at WNDIsraelTour.com or call Coral Tours toll-free at 1-866-267-2511 and register right away. Registration and deposits must be completed by July 9.

An article on June 26 pushed the July 9 deadline, but a July 3 article made no mention of it, claiming vaguely that "The window of opportunity ... is closing quickly" and adding that "Cahn pleaded with believers not to wait, as reservations and openings may be limited."

A July 10 article -- a day after the previous deadline expired -- pushed the tour again without imposing a new deadline, repeating the exhortion that "Cahn pleaded with believers not to wait." A July 17 article was effectively a repeat, again with no deadline.

Nearly two months after the original "final deadline," WND was still promoting the tour. A July 31 article stated this:

Hundreds of people already have signed up, and while space remains open, organizers are encouraging those interested to sign up quickly, since airline seats are filling up, and when that happens, fares will increase, possibly substantially.

But if "hundreds of people already have signed up," there wouldn't need to be such a heavy push nearly two months after its initial deadline to add more. And we thought that in tours that include air travel, the price for the flight is negotiated beforehand as part of the total tour package and not subject to change afterwards barring unusual circumstances (of which there are currently none; prices for flights have been trending downward this summer).

An Aug. 7 article, however, pretty much eliminates all deadline urgency, beyond copying-and-pasting the claim that "Cahn pleaded with believers not to wait, as reservations and openings may be limited."

It seems that even WND is giving up on the possibility of a successfully filled package tour.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Friday, August 12, 2016
MRC Vilifies Howard Stern, Gives His Friend Trump A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell dedicated much of their Aug. 5 column to bashing "sex-crazed radio shock jock" Howard Stern and sneering at the idea that he should be allowed to interview Hillary Clinton:

Stern, who left broadcast radio for satellite radio so he could be as raunchy as possible and make his millions dwelling on the lowest common denominator for the demographic, men ages 18 to 34, has a less-than-zero chance of scoring a Clinton interview. The risk-averse woman, who hasn't held a press conference yet in 2016, isn't going to upset all her feminist supporters to please Stern.

If any Clinton adviser wanted to suggest to her that it could be a great opportunity to address the gender gap, one can easily look at what accomplished women discuss on his show. Take a Newsmax headline from a year ago that read, "Megyn Kelly Talks with Howard Stern: Breasts, Penises, Sex." Those are the lifelong obsessions of Stern (and his audience).

It was an act of media trolling for The Washington Post's Geoff Edgers to help Stern make his sales pitch to Clinton. Edgers insisted Stern's show is "simply the best broadcast entertainment interview show around."

Stern gave the Post an hour-long interview, but somehow Edgers didn't ask why an aspirant of the highest office in the land should lower herself to an interview with a guy who played fictional superhero Fartman and sold videotapes called "Butt Bongo Fiesta."

Graham and Bozell go on to note that Clinton's fellow presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is a "friend" of Stern, but only in passing while complaning that Edgers asked Stern to criticize Trump for his attacks on the media while Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference in months.

But Trump does not get the guilt-by-association treatment from Graham and Bozell for being friends with Stern. But it was just a few months ago that Graham was somehwat more willing to use Stern to attack Trump.

In May, Graham complained that the Washington Post did an article about Trump's "sex boasts….and sex life" as discussed on Stern's show, whining that "the Post didn’t locate these 19-year-old quotes when there were still Republican opponents in the race appealing for the conservative-Christian vote." But as we noted, neither did the MRC or its "news" division, CNSNews.com -- both entities completely ignored the Trump-Stern interviews when they first surfaced three months earlier, making Graham's bashing of the Post for doing the story his employer refused to do utterly hypocritical.

Graham and Bozell concluded their column by huffing that Stern is "not going to criticize his pal" Trump. And neither will Bozell or Graham.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EDT
CNS Lifts Story Idea, Headline From Liberal Website
Topic: CNSNews.com

On Aug. 2, liberal-leaning watchdog group Right Wing Watch published an article on a 2001 speech by then-Rep. Mike Pence, now Donald Trump's running mate, proclaiming how Rush LImbaugh inspired his political career, under the headline "FLASHBACK: Mike Pence: 'It Is A Literal Truth... I Am In Congress Today Because Of Rush Limbaugh'."

On Aug. 11, CNSNews.com's Rachel Hoover did a blog post on the same subject, with a suspiciously similar headline:

While Hoover apparently cribbed from Right Wing Watch for her headline and subject matter, her article is different, uncritically repeating Pence's praise of Limbaugh while Right Wing Watch emphasized how Pence, like Trump's campaign, is a creation of right-wing radio.

Good to know CNS is getting content ideas from liberals.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2016 11:22 AM EDT
WND Goes Further Down the Conspiracy Rabbit Hole With Clinton Body Count Speculation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After WorldNetDaily plunged into the conspiracy-theory pool with dubious speculation about Hillary Clinton's health (something it's been doing for months, actually), it's treading quickly toward the deep end with another old conspiracy chestnut: the Clinton Body Count.

The fact that it's been discredited hasn't kept WND from trying to revive it for the 2016 election, or from trying to add to it. Dutiful WND stenographer Bob Unruh cranks it up for n Aug. 9 article, declaring that "Three people with tangential connections to Bill and Hillary Clinton have died in unusual circumstances over the last few weeks, sparking a renewed interested in the so-called 'body count' of people who allegedly got in the way of the 'Clinton machine.'"

Note the word "tangental." That tells us WND knows this is utter bull, but its utter hatred of all things Clinton compels it to pretend said bull as legitimate.

One of these purported Clinton-linked deaths, according to Unruh: "Seth Rich, a DNC staffer, reportedly was shot in the back on July 10 in Washington while he apparently was walking home from his girlfriend’s apartment. Reported [right-wing column ist Rachel] Alexander: “Some are speculating that Hillary Clinton is behind the murder, because Rich could have been the DNC staffer responsible for leaking the 20,000 damaging DNC emails to WikiLeaks." Unruh added that "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared to suggest Tuesday that recently murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, a 27-year-old Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot near his townhouse in Washington, D.C. last month, was the source of the WikiLeaks-exposed DNC emails."

Unruh trires to do a pre-emptive runaround of a Snopes item debunking various conspiracy theories around Rich's death by quoting Alexander huffing, "This is strange, since how does Snopes know that it is false? The police haven’t even completed their investigation yet, which Snopes admits. Many murders go unsolved, including several of the strange deaths of people associated with the Clintons.”

Another of the new persons on Unruh's list is actually a rehash: "WND reported just weeks ago on the death of former U.N. official John Ashe in his New York home. Some have speculated whether it was a case of 'Hillary Clinton silencing people who ‘know too much.'" As we've documented, Snopes debunked this conspiracy, which Unruh doesn't mention.

Unruh also added:

Alexander also noted: “Victor Thorn, who wrote four books exposing the Clintons, reportedly killed himself with a gun on his 54th birthday, August 1, while on top of a mountain near his Pennsylvania home. The books he wrote were ‘Hillary (And Bill): The Sex Volume,’ ‘Hillary (And Bill): The Drugs Volume,’ and ‘Hillary (And Bill): The Murder Volume,’ and his latest which was published in February, ‘Crowning Clinton: Why Hillary Shouldn’t Be in the White House.'”

She continued, “According to the Inqisitr, Thorn had appeared multiple times on The Russell Scott Show and told the host, ‘Russell, if I’m ever found dead, it was murder. I would never kill myself.'”

Neither Unruh nor Alexander mentioned that Thorn was a Holocaust denier who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks and wrote for a website considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Perhaps if WND wouldn't traffic in politically motivated conspiracy theories, it wouldn't be in such deep financial trouble.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Thursday, August 11, 2016
The MRC Flip-Flops on Ice-T
Topic: CNSNews.com

An Aug. 8 CNSNews.com blog post by managing editor Michael W. Chapman praises "rap artist and TV star Ice-T, who is liberal," for declaring that "right to bear arms is 'the last form of defense against tyranny,' and that the right is not about hunting animals but about protecting oneself from an oppressive government." Chapman rather benignly describes Ice-T's rap career this way: "Ice-T, born Tracy Lauren Marrow, started his rap music career in the 1980s and won the “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group” in 1991."

Curiously, Chapman did not mention Ice-T's most notorious moment as a rapper -- though a fellow Media Research Center employee did not two weeks earlier.

Sarah Stites devoted a July 23 NewsBusters post to describing "The Five Most Vile Anti-Police Raps," harrumphing, "Long before the #BlackLivesMatter movement took hold, many rappers have been singing about police run-ins, alleged 'police brutality,' and their overall hatred and distrust of the 'system.'"

One of Stites' vile five: "Cop Killer" by Body Count, a rap-metal fusion fronted by none other than Ice-T.

So is Ice-T a vile cop-hater or a Second Amendment hero? Chapman and Stites have apparently decided he can be both.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EDT
MRC Downgrades Trump's Implicit Threat to Hillary To A 'Remark' And 'Slip'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center doesn't think Donald Trump's implicit threat against Hillary Clinton's life is that big of a deal. It's predicably whining that Trump got more coverage than something involving Hillary Clinton.

Nicholas Fondacaro is first up to distract:

Similar to how the “Big Three" played down the alleged ransom payment to Iran, the nets chose to focus primarily on a Donald Trump controversy instead of a Hillary Clinton one. On Monday Clinton held a rally in Orlando, Florida and in attendance was Seddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando nightclub terrorist, while on Tuesday Trump used innuendo to suggest that 2nd Amendment supporters would somehow stop Clinton. In all, the nets dedicated over four times the coverage to Trump, rather than Clinton, during their Tuesday evening broadcasts.

Note that Fondacaro refuses to admit the implicit violence in Trump's "innuendo."

Next up is Scott Whitlock, who portrays Trump's threat as a "gaffe":

The journalists at MSNBC responded differently to gaffes by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. On Tuesday morning it became clear that Seddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando nightclub shooter, sat directly behind Clinton at a rally in Florida. Rather than express outrage, MSNBC journalists praised the Democrat’s quick response in putting out a statement in response.

However, when Donald Trump at a rally on Tuesday said that “maybe” “Second Amendment people” can do something about Hillary Clinton’s liberal judges, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd pounced. He opened show by demanding, “What did Donald Trump mean by this?”

Whitlock also fails to acknowledge the implicit violence in Trump's"gaffe."

Whitlock returned with a so-called "study" of coverage, downgrading Trump's threat to a "remark" in his headline and in the accompanying chart:

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should have been forced to deal with campaign messes on Tuesday, but the three networks only treated the Republican’s problem as a huge gaffe worthy of extensive coverage. ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with more than five times more coverage — 25 minutes and 35 seconds versus 4 minutes and 41 seconds —  to Trump’s “Second Amendment people” remark than they did to the father of an ISIS-inspired terrorist sitting right behind Clinton at a rally in Orlando, Florida. 

CBS pounced on Trump’s comment that “maybe” “Second Amendment people” can do something about Clinton’s judges, highlighting the story for 14 minutes and 24 seconds on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. In contrast, the Evening News and CBS This Morning hosts allowed just a scant 59 seconds to Seddique Mateen, the father of a man who murdered 49 people in an Orlando night club, attending a Clinton at a rally on Monday. 

As expected, MRC chief Brent Bozell ran to Fox News to tout the coverage "study" (keeping his mouth shut about Roger Ailes' travails pays off!) and makes it clear how he intends to interpret Trump's implicit threat:

What did Donald Trump say? Either you believe what he said, which is that a political movement, gun rights movement, could stop the election of Hillary Clinton or you believe her supporters, which is that he's openly advocating killing her. Now, I’m not even going to debate it. It's obvious. However, it becomes a huge controversy. 

Bozell went on to rant about "the Clinton playbook for the media in deflecting from really any Clinton-related scandal." Meanwhile, he's using the Trump playbook for the right-wing media to push the Clinton Equivocation, the right-wing axiom that anything a Clinton does (even if there's no evidence a Clinton had a role in doing it, as with the case of Seddique Mateen), is automaticlaly worse than anything any conservative or Republican has done.

(Funny thing is, last week Bozell appeared on The Blaze to complain that Trump is "stupid" for saying things that distract from Hillary's purported crimes and stuff. And yet he's defending Trump's latest stupid act. Apparently, Trump is not so stupid that Bozell will not ultimately defend him.)

Bozell's lieutenant, Tim Graham, followed shortly thereafter with his own trip to Fox News, and the NewsBusters post hosting the Graham clip downgraded Trump's threat even further; it's now apparently a "slip." Graham, meanwhile, somehow managed to avoid passing judgment on Trump's words, but we assume that he's in lockstep with MRC groupthink and considers it a "slip" as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EDT
WND Doubles Down on Hillary Health Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The whole Hillary-is-a-criminal thing isn't working out for WorldNetDaily.

At a time when three anti-Hillary books are at the top of the New York Times' nonfiction bestseller list, WND's attempt to play to the anti-Hillary crowd, Jerome Corsi's "Partners in Crime," is tanking -- ranking a dismal 11,703rd at Amazon as of this writing, a terrible showing for a book out only a week on a candidate for president. Perhaps Corsi's track record and the fact that the book is dedicated to a convicted criminal has something to do with it.

Obsessing about Hillary Clinton's purported health issues, however, is apparently drawing enough eyeballs to the website -- never mind that it's mostly bogus, but when has that ever stopped WND before? -- so WND is doubling down. Bob Unruh does the stenography job this time around:

Two prominent physicians sounded an alarm about Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s suspect health just as a video of her appeared revealing what the Drudge Report labeled “another brain freeze.”

There long have been questions about Clinton’s health, from her tripping and falling, to reports of blood clots, to special glasses that she used during the Benghazi congressional hearings.

But those incidents happened before she formally entered the presidential race.

Now that she is running, the “seizures,” the “brain freeze” and the fact she was helped up steps are raising red flags, according to Fox News “Medical A-Team.”

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, Dr. Marc Seigel and Dr. David Samadi both insisted Clinton’s health is a campaign issue.

[...]

“The picture going up the stairs speaks a million words,” Samadi told Hannity. “Is she fatigued? Is she dehydrated? One of the main reasons she fell in 2012 and had the concussions was severe dehydration. They’re holding her and going up the stairs. So she may be really dehydrated, she may have arthritis, she may have back pain, she may have fallen again. We don’t know. There are questions that are unanswered. What we know today is she’s on thyroid medication, she suffers from hypothyroid, low thyroid, that can cause fatigue and gaining weight and all of that.”

Needless to say, Unruh doesn't mention that Samadi is a urologist who specializes in prostate surgery, so he cannot possibly add anything relevant to Hillary's health to the discussion.

Unruh fills out the rest of his article with right-wing conspiracy theorists and armchair analyses of alleged professionals who have never examined Clinton.

Unruh followed that with another article breathlessly declaring that "Fresh questions are being raised about Hillary Clinton’s health, including her mental well-being, after a new photo emerged that appears to show an aide holding her up at a campaign event." LIke the right-wing blogger from whom he lifted the information, Unruh offers no context for the months-old photo but insisted that the image "suggest[ed] a physical problem."

WND also published a column by right-wing doctor and misinformer Jane Orient, who goes full conspiracy theory:

While we don’t have Mrs. Clinton’s medical records, it is widely stated that she experienced a fall that caused a concussion. Since then, she is sometimes seen wearing eyeglasses with prisms, as are used to correct double vision.

Concussions often cause traumatic brain injury, which might not be visualized on a standard CT or MRI. Many of our veterans who experienced blast injury from improvised explosive devices suffer from it. These are some symptoms: difficulty thinking, attention deficits, confusion, memory problems, frustration, mood swings, emotional outbursts, agitation, headaches, difficulties with balance and coordination, and seizures. Many veterans with such an injury cannot hold a job or interact normally with their families.

Obviously, it would be very dangerous for a person subject to symptoms like this to be dealing with foreign leaders or making critical decisions. The president of the United States may have to make world-changing decisions on a moment’s notice. For example, should we launch nuclear-armed missiles? And if the commander in chief is confused, who will make the call?

[...]

Is it conceivable that Hillary supporters would really be voting for Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top aide, or for the first first-man president, Bill Clinton? The American people are entitled to know the objective medical facts about Secretary Clinton.

The American Medical Association discourages doctors from speculating on the health of a public figure. Orient might want to look into that sometime.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Does the Unemployment Shuffle
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com just can't stop playing up cherry-picked jobless statistics to make President Obama look bad while burying the good news about new jobs created. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EDT

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