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Friday, October 7, 2016
Will WND Defend Birtherism From Racism Claims?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily used to be very sensitive to the charge that birtherism was racially motivated. In 2009, for instance, WND editor Joseph Farah huffed that it was a "smear" to make the claim, as Farah interprets it, that to say Obama "should be held to the same standard as previous presidents and his opponent with regard to establishing constitutional eligibility to serve" is racist, ranting, "They think their job is to label anyone who doesn’t close their eyes, lie down and enjoy the rape of America as a racist." He then declare, "I will never be intimidated into ceasing to stand up for the Constitution and for America."

(Though Farah apparently was intimidated into doing so when it came to applying Ted Cruz to his birther standard.)

Now, the "racist" claim is flying around birtherism -- and now there's some science to back it up. Vox has highlighted a survey conducted by political scientist Philip Klinkner, which found that a stronger belief in birtherism correlated tightly with increasing levels of racial resentment. Vox continued:

It’s possible the correlation was coincidental: The study acknowledged that whiteness, Republicanism, and racial resentment all tend to correlate, so maybe this really reflects that partisan beliefs, not racial resentment, drive birtherism. But when Klinkner put all of these factors through a statistical control model, he found that racial resentment significantly correlated by itself with birtherism.

To prove this, Klinkner also looked at Democrats who believed Obama was born outside the US. He found, “Among those with the lowest levels of racial resentment, party had little influence as both Democrats and Republicans had a low probability of believing in birtherism. As racial resentment increased, however, the probability of birtherism increased for both Democrats and Republicans, but more among the latter.” So partisan beliefs did play some role, but racial resentment played a significant role as well.

So an all-white Fox News panel may disagree, but birtherism really was driven, at least in part, by race and racial attitudes.

The Vox article came out last week, but WND is been silent about it. Is it because WND concedes the racism aspect? (WND does like to fan the flames of racial resentment, after all.) Or is it just trying to shut up about birtherism in order to help chief birther Donald Trump get elected? (WND didn't really want to talk about it after the subject came up during the first presidential debate.)

But you know what they say: silence equals assent.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Thursday, October 6, 2016
MRC Complains That Yet Another Historic Event Is Described As Historic
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center continues to be mad that historic events are called historic in the media. Kyle Drennen grouses in a Sept. 22 post:

On Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer proudly announced that the network had received an Emmy award for its biased coverage of the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling legalizing gay marriage across the country. Lauer told viewers: “By the way, the News and Documentary Emmy awards were held last night and NBC News and MSNBC picked up this one for our live coverage of the Supreme Court's landmark decision on same-sex marriage.”

He continued: “As always, we are very proud of the people who work here and the efforts that they put forward on a daily basis.” Co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: “Proud of the whole team.”

Lauer, Guthrie, as well as correspondents Chuck Todd, Peter Alexander, and Pete Williams were all named in the presentation of the award for “Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story - Long Form.” In addition, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and legal correspondent Ari Melber were included for the cable channel’s reporting.

During a live NBC News special report on the day of the court decision – June 26, 2013 – the Today hosts, along with Todd, celebrated the ruling as one that “has potential to go down in the record books...[with] the significance of something like Brown versus Board of Education.” Later in that same one-sided coverage, Alexander gushed that the outcome of the case was “very personally satisfying” for President Obama.

That kind of liberal cheerleading helped guarantee the network’s Emmy win.

How, exactly, is it "liberal cheerleading" to acknowledge the historic nature of the same-sex marriage ruling or note that Obama supported the ruling? Or how that supposedly garnered NBC the Emmy? Drennen doesn't explain -- he's just speculating and imposing his own right-wing bias on news he doesn't like.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 6, 2016 2:23 PM EDT
WND Skews The News To Protect Its Favorite Right-Wing Judge
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long been a fan of Roy Moore, the right-wing, anti-gay Alabama Supreme Court judge -- it even published a book by him. So it's no surprise that WND took an interest in the Moore being on trial for ordering judges in the state to defy federal law and not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Of course, WND expresses that interest by uncritically quoting Moore's supporters and bashing his critics, when it's not completely ignoring them.

Bob Unruh's Sept. 28 article on Moore's trial before a Court of the Judiciary panel quickly goes into attack mode, comlaining that the complaint against more that resulted in the trial was "raised by the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center" and spends much of the article bashing the SPLC, including rehashing Floyd Corkins' attack on the right-wing Family Research Council even though the SPLC had no contact with Corkins before the attack (Corkins claimed he located the FRC on the SPLC website's list of anti-gay groups). Unruh quotes only Moore's attorney, Mat Staver of the right-wing Liberty Counsel, and makes no attempt to lay out the evidence against Moore -- that is, act like a fair and balanced journalist.

Unruh's Sept. 30 article on Moore losing his case and being effectively removed from office (he was suspended without pay for the remainder of his term) was similarly biased -- once again putting the lie to WND editor Joseph Farah's laughable assertion that "WND reporters and editors are always encouraged and required to seek out multiple sources and contrary viewpoints in news articles" -- Unruh quotes only one line from the ruling, its final statement that Moore should be removed from office but did not reach a unanimous decision to do so, but he fails to mention any of the evidence used toreach that conclusion. Unruh also claims he tried to contact the head of the Court of the Judiciary panel that ruled against Moore, but this was an empty gesture -- he and WND should know that judges rarely talk to the media about their rulings -- that doesn't excuse his failure to cite the evidence against Moore.

By contrast, Unruh gives plenty of space to Staver to rant at will about the ruling against his client and to Moore himself to rant about this "politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups," and he bashed the SPLC again.

It's this kind of reporting -- flagrantly biased, disinterested in reporting facts that don't advance its far-right agenda -- that have put WND into serious financial trouble. The fact that Unruh still has free rein to skew and distort doesn't bode well for WND's future.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 6, 2016 12:58 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Working the Refs, MRC Style
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is lobbying debate and forum moderators to get them to take it easy on Donald Trump -- and it complains that others are doing the same thing (with seemingly more success). Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
WND's Kupelian Still Trying to Shame Evangelicals Into Voting for Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The mind of WorldNetDaily editor is still in major snappage mode as he continues to convince himself to abandon his moral principles -- and try to shame others into doing the same -- and vote for Donald Trump. Witness this Sept. 29 WND article, in which Kupelian concedes yet again that Trump is evil, to the point where he's effectively likening Trump to Stalin (but Hillary Clinton is Hitler):

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are very flawed candidates and flawed human beings, which means Americans of good conscience should refuse to vote for either one of them, right? After all, choosing the lesser of two evils is still “choosing evil.” Right?

Wrong, says award-winning journalist David Kupelian, who goes so far as to call such thinking “deluded.”

During a recent appearance on theDove TV, Kupelian mocked those who proclaim, “I don’t like either one of these people; I’m not going to vote.”

“That is – pardon me – immature, infantile thinking,” Kupelian told host Perry Atkinson on the program “Focus Today.”

Kupelian, WND’s managing editor and the best-selling author of  “The Snapping of the American Mind,” was discussing a recent viral commentary he wrote, titled “Trump, Clinton and ‘the lesser of 2 evils’ foolishness.”

During wartime, Kupelian said during the TV broadcast (watch it below), conscientious leaders are daily forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. For example, he said, when the U.S. bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, killing over 200,000 people, President Harry Truman was choosing the lesser of two evils. The greater evil would have been to invade Japan, which would have caused much more death on both sides – an estimated 400,000 to 800,000 American fatalities and up to 10 million Japanese deaths.

Likewise, the U.S. allied with Stalin during World War II, even though he was one of history’s worst mass murderers. But at the time, partnering with Stalin represented the lesser of two evils, since it helped America defeat Hitler’s cancerous spread.

So, squeamish Americans need to show a little moral courage and vote for the “lesser of two evils” this November, according to Kupelian, who says it’s pointless to waste a vote on a third-party spoiler candidate.

Of Trump and Clinton, Kupelian said, “We’re going to have one of these two people, and one is clearly better than the other, and we need to face that and stop being babies.”

And, once again, Kupelian turns on the shame:

“To look at the current election between Trump and Clinton and to conclude they’re both equally evil, now it’s not so much an issue of the lesser of two evils argument, it’s more a matter of delusion,” Kupelian argued.

He said there’s no way a rational person can regard Trump and Clinton as equal options. Clinton promises to continue the disastrous policies of Barack Obama that are crippling America both domestically and around the world, while Trump promises to move the country in a new direction by putting America first again.

“Somebody who makes the case that these are equally evil, I say, respectfully, there’s something seriously wrong with their perception,” Kupelian stated.

He warned evangelical Christians not to sit out this election as in 2012, when 42 percent of them didn’t vote. Evangelicals represent a large natural Republican constituency, and Kupelian urged them to realize a President Hillary Clinton would be antithetical to their values.

“Somehow their emotions have gotten in the way,” said Kupelian, “because this is a common sense thing. We have two candidates, you pick the better candidate, you vote for him, otherwise you’re saddled with the worse candidate, and you are condemning your children and your friends’ children to grow up in a country – you’re bequeathing to them a different country than the one your parents gave you. It’s not fair.”

Kupelian is still insisting, without offering evidence to back it up, that "There is goodness in Donald Trump," but he then adds, "I don’t know if there is or not in Hillary; I’m not going to condemn her. I don’t know where she’s going when she leaves this world, but right now, just taking her at her word, at what she says she’ll do, she will destroy the country."

Kupelian is transparently lying about not wanting to condemn Hillary -- he is the managing editor of a website where condemning Hillary has replaced obsessing over Barack Obama's birth certificate as its main editorial mission.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EDT
MRC Excuses Trump's Misogyny By Invoking Clinton Equivocation
Topic: Media Research Center

Funny how the Media Research Center's defense of Donald Trump has little to do with actually defending him. Rather, it invokes the Clinton Equivocation -- the right-wing idea that Trump and other conservatives get a pass for a given offense because a Clinton is presumed to have done it first and worse.

The MRC does this again in a Sept. 30 post in which Sarah Stites gives Trump's long record of misogyny a pass because Clinton:

Sleazy and misogynistic men have roamed the halls of the Capitol Building and White House for years. However, the media tend to disproportionately target those on the political right.

Following Monday’s debate, the media went wild attacking Donald Trump for his fat-shaming of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, devoting nearly 20 minutes to the scandal. In order to brand him a complete cad, some outlets went further, unearthing other damning examples from his past. Yet, although Trump has earned this evisceration, it’s clear to see that the media has often given a pass to worse behavior displayed by liberals or at least avoided noting their party affiliation.

In the following slides, you’ll find some of those liberal lions that the media has downplayed – from JFK to Bill Clinton to Anthony Weiner.  

Stites not only gives Bill Clinton's "scandalous sexual past" its own entry, he gets dinged again in a separate entry for officiating at Anthony Weiner's wedding.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Is WND's Cahn Allied With ISIS On Destruction of Pagan Ruins?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily gave its main cash cow, Jonathan Cahn, to wax prophetically, as he's wont to do, about a recreation of the arch from the Temple of Bel (Baal, as Cahn insists on using) at Palmyra, Syria, going on display in New York City. As one would expect from a guy who wrote a book called "The Harbinger," Cahn declared this a harbinger as well:

The idea that anything linked to an ancient Canaanite god would be erected in America would seem unthinkable. But just as it was with the nine ancient harbingers of judgment, so it has now taken place – the Sign of Baal has manifested on American soil.

It took place on a rainy Monday afternoon, Sept. 19, 2016. It happened in the city of the harbingers of judgment – New York City. No one who erected it or who unveiled it had any idea what they were doing – just as with the harbingers – but they did it anyway.

One of the centers of Baal worship in ancient times was Palmyra, Syria. The city contained not one but two prominent temples to Baal. The Romans erected an arch there to lead to the Temple of Baal. So the worshipers of Baal would walk through the arch and approach the temple in which they would venerate their god. This arch that led to the Temple of Baal was reproduced down to the smallest detail and erected in New York City.

[...]

As I stared at the ancient object being set up in New York City, I was struck in the same way as I was when I saw the nine prophetic signs of “The Harbinger.” Since 9/11, America has not only not returned to God – it has rebelled against Him in an ever deepening, ever intensifying and ever accelerating apostasy. It is eerily following the judgment template of the harbingers and the footsteps of ancient Israel as it headed to destruction.

And now, against all odds, the sign of Baal has appeared on American soil, the sign of a nation that had once known God, having fallen away, the sign of the god of the harbingers, the sign of national apostasy, the sign of judgment.

Missing from Cahn's article -- as well as from the accompanying video, which distractingly adds ominous-sounding background music and an echo to Cahn's voice to make him sound more authoritative -- is a bunch of important information: the full history of the temple, the fate of the original arch and why a replica was created. Cahn wants you to think this was done apropos of nothing other than to fulfill his own prophecies.

While the temple started as a worship site for a pagan god, the temple was converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine Era and, later, a mosque. The temple's remains were destroyed by ISIS during its occupation of Palmyra last year, and the arch is all that remains.

The recreation of the arch -- which was also on display in London --  was spearheaded by the Institute for Digital Archaeology, a joint venture between Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Dubai’s Museum of the Future that promotes the use of digital imaging and 3D printing in archaeology and conservation. The recreations are meant to celebreate World Heritage Week, as well as serve as an act of defiance to ISIS' attempts to erase evidence of the Middle East’s pre-Islamic history.

A few days later, WND did a follow-up article rehashing much of what Cahn said. This article did admit the original temple was destroyed by ISIS and quoted officials calling it an act of "solidarity" with those "lost in Syria," and "a symbol of freedom," but adding that "Cahn said it was anything but a symbol of freedom." Cahn is not quoted as further discussing the destruction by ISIS.

Which raises the question: Does Cahn endorse ISIS' destruction of a priceless, centuries-old historical artifact?

While Cahn and ISIS do not share religious views, they seem to align with their hatred for certain ancient relics -- ISIS because it thinks any shrines or statues implying the existence of another deity are sacrilege and idolatry, Cahn because he despises pagan gods. (Again, never mind that the Temple of Bel had also served as both a church and a mosque.)

Cahn never discusses the historical value of the temple or mentions ISIS, much less condemn it -- all he cares about is that he can exploit the situation for his own gain --  and one would think ISIS' destruction of a 2,000-year-old temple would be worthy of some criticism, if only on a historical level.

So it seems Cahn is cool with ISIS on this act of destruction, and perhaps with the obliteration of other pagan-linked site and artifacts by ISIS. Is that the kind of person who should be taken seriously?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
NewsBusters' Blumer Still Trying to Blame Birtherism on Clinton, Not Trump
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer just can't stop spinning the birther stuff in Donald Trump's favor. We've already noted that Blumer is obsessed with insisting that Hillary Clinton and her campaign started birtherism, which -- even if it was true -- doesn't explain why Trump pushed the issue for years.

In a Sept. 21 post, Blumer calls on an unusual source for backup: "Larry Johnson, who runs the No Quarter USA blog, which was a heavily visited pro-Hillary site in 2008 but is anything but that now." Blumer doesn't mention that the reason nobody wants to visit Johnson's site anymore is because he spent years pushing one of the biggest hoaxes of the Obama years: that there is a secret recording of Michelle Obama railing against "whitey." That purported "whitey tape" never surfaced, and years later, Johnson tried to handwave it by claiming he was the victim of a Democratic "dirty trick."

Blumer cited Johnson again in a Sept. 25 post, in which he mostly rants about Sidney Blumenthal allegedly shopping the claim in 2008.

Blumer tried again in a Sept. 27 post by citing another less-than-solid source: Trump surrogate Omarosa. He also cites another purported Clinton birther link: "the matter was hand-carried into long-term general visibility when Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania Democrat and a former deputy attorney general in that state, filed suit in federal court in August of 2008, 'alleging that Obama was born actually in Mombasa, Kenya and that the 'Certification of Live Birth' on Obama's website is a forgery.'" But Blumer offers no evidence that the Clinton campaign had anything to do with Berg's actions; indeed, Berg himself has said that he had "no direct contact with the Hillary campaign."

And who embraced and promoted Berg's legal actions? No prominent Democrat or even any prominent Hillary supporter -- it was WorldNetDaily, which in turn was the birther whisperer to Trump. Note the utter lack of involvement by Clinton.

Blumer then tries to shut down the whole discussion by harrumphing: Trump put the issue to bed with the statement he made on September 16 when he announced that 'Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.'"

Yeah, no, that's not how that works. None of Blumer's posts address the real issue at hand: that Trump continued to push the birther issue for five years after he "finished it" in 2011. That means Trump is lying.

Will Blumer concede that about his preferred candidate? Don't count on it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 PM EDT
WND Defends The Honor of Meaningless Online Polls (For Trump, Of Course)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After last week's presidential debate, WorldNetDaily did its best to spin things Donald Trump's way, even insisting that unscientific online polls showing Trump won actually meant something.

Jerome Corsi insisted that "snap polls after the debate Monday night" showing Trump won the debate "validate[d]" Trump's debate plan to "hold back on aggressive attacks on opponent Hillary Clinton, focusing, instead, on projecting a presidential bearing." He even included in his article a chart showing various polls (it's unclear whether WND or the Trump campaign made it), but the only scientific poll included in the chart is the only one that Clinton won.

An unbylined Sept. 30 WND article insisted that "While Trump and Clinton fight for voters in the battleground states, most unscientific snap polls conducted online showed Trump as the overwhelming winner of the presidential debate," followed by a screenshot of an unidentified poll in which Trump got 97 percent of the vote. The oddly worded question asking "Who will you be voting for in the upcoming United States presidential election?" tells us that it was probably not a U.S.-based website.

That same day, WND's Bob Unruh trotted out an old friend to not only defend the honor of meaningless online polls but assert that they show Trump will win the election:

While spot polls are not scientific, author Brad O’Leary of the O’Leary Report believes they do tell a story.

He highlighted on Friday several results “that the national media ignores.”

“The national polls clearly say that Hillary Clinton was a major winner” of this week’s presidential debate. “Spot polls tell a different story. Spot polls and focus groups are a little harder to analyze, but they tell a clear story.

“We can only find two media-related focus groups. One took place in Pennsylvania sponsored by the Pittsburgh Gazette. Clearly, Hillary Clinton lost ground among the independents and Democrats who were watching. The second focus group was in North Carolina sponsored by the Charlotte Observer. Unlike Pennsylvania, it did not show Trump gaining ground, but it showed Hillary Clinton losing ground. Governor Johnson was the winner with a couple of Clinton donors saying they were now supporting him,” he said.

“Three polls that are indicative of Republican precincts are The Drudge Report, Washington Times and Breitbart. In The Drudge Report, readers chose Trump 81 percent to 18 percent for Clinton. In the Washington Times, the poll showed Trump won 71 percent to Clinton’s 22 percent, with 35,000 people responding. In Breitbart, with 168,000 people responding, Trump took 76 percent to Clinton’s 24 percent.

“Clearly, these three polls indicate that by election day, Trump is likely to have all the Republican votes he needs with the exception of philosophical whiners who can’t believe he’s not using their philosophy,” O’Leary explained.

You might remember O'Leary as a onetime WND author who was paying Zogby to do skewed polls that pushed his anti-Obama agenda, so he's predisposed to like polls, scientific or not, that reinforce his right-wing views.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:56 PM EDT
MRC Censors Tim Graham Getting Schooled on CNN
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro sure does what he can to make his boss, Tim Graham, look good in in writing about his appearance on the Oct. 2 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:

The Media Research Center’s Tim Graham appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday to discuss The New York Times’ recent article featuring leaked information about Donald Trump’s taxes. Even though the information is striking, Graham took issue with the Times’ motives for writing the way they did, “They have the anonymous tax expert on the front page of the paper today say he benefited from his vast destruction, like he was Hurricane Donald.”

“This paper has all the restraint of a pack of flesh of eating zombies,” Graham joked, “The idea that anyone would take them seriously when they’ve announced on the front page that their job is to take him down, when they’ve done repeated editorials about how he needs to be defeated.”

Host Brian Stelter tried to claim that there was no connection between the Times’ editorial board and their newsroom. He backed up his claim by ridiculously pointing out that the departments are on different floors. “Having worked there in the past, the editorial page is produced way upstairs; the newsroom is downstairs,” Stelter argued.

Graham also point out how the network news outlets, parroted the Clinton Campaign, by glorifying the development as a “bombshell,” while not running with news damaging to Clinton:

[...]

Stelter tried to paint Graham’s position as being against anonymous sources as a way of getting critical information to the public. “Anonymous sources are for important information, when you have information, you cannot get any other way,” Graham explained, “What we see too often in political and news media today… is you use anonymous sources to say incredibly nasty things.” He went on to elaborate saying, “Often from political consultants who have clients they’re trying to be friends of, like, “I cannot say nasty things about other Republicans because they may hire me later this year.””

The two also spared over presidential debate moderator Lester Holt, with Stelter criticizing Trump’s disapproval of Holt’s biased approach. “Obviously the whole news media sent before the debate telling Lester, “Truth squad Trump. Truth squad Trump.” No truth squad Hillary,” Graham countered. Stelter claimed that the called were for the moderator to fact-check both candidates.

But the Sunday before the debate Stelter was arguing that Trump “require[s] a different kind of moderator.” Plus, Stelter seemed to back up Univision’s Jorge Ramos’ personal crusade against the GOP candidate, while he went after Associated Press reporters who examined Clinton’s calendars. Ironically, later on in the show, the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan said she believes there is a “way of thinking that many members of the media share” and that it creeps into their content. 

What you don't see in Fondacaro's writeup -- and he only appears briefly in the edited transcript of the segment -- is the other person appearing in the discussion with Stelter and Graham, the Daily Beast's John Avlon. The video clip accompanying Fondacaro's post is even more censored, using less than a minute from the pair of segments on "Reliable Sources" Graham took part in, which lasted more than 13 minutes.

Why? Because Avlon pretty much mopped the floor with Graham, sharply countering his kneejerk right-wing ranting about the "liberal media" with a dose of reality. And the MRC doesn't want you to know that.

In the first segment discussing the Times article, Fondacaro omits the fact that Graham's claim that the person in the Times articlewho said Trump "benefited from his vast destruction" was anonymous is false. In fact, that quote is on the record, attributed to Joel Rosenfeld, an assistant professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. When Stelter noted he couldn't find the anonymous quote Graham claims in the Times article, Graham continued to insist it was there.

When Avlon pointed out that the Times article is solidly backed up, which is "uncomfortable for people with partisan agendas," Graham huffed, "Oh, and you don't have one, John? You're about as Republican as Lester Holt. To come on here and say you're not ideological? Nobody buys that." Avlon pointed out he's "not a right-wing ideologue who profits from polarization."

Also omitted is Graham's petulant response to Avlon's claim that right-wing attacks on the well-sourced Times story are just "pure partisan spin": "The New York Times is pure partisan spin! ... This newspaper is trying to intimidate Trump into releaseing his tax returns." When Avlon pointed out that Trump has flip-flopped on releasing taxes, Graham played the Clinton Equivocation: "Oh, and Hillary Clinton have never violated a standard?" After more ranting from Graham about how "everybody's out to destroy Trump," Avlon retorted, "When did conservative start loving to play the victim so much? When did that happen?"

Another large chunk of the CNN discussion censored from Fondacaro's article is Avlon's response to Graham's rehearsed attack line on Holt (which curiously appears only in the transcript) that "If Lester Holt was referencing a football game, he would have gotten thrown out of the stadium" and his weird assertion that "the whole assumption of liberal media is Hillary somehow never lies."

The transcript cuts off before Graham falsely claims that "everybody cites PolitiFact and says Hillary never lies," then, as the full video shows, goes back to the '90s to claim Hillary Clinton lied about not knowing about her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky. Avlon pointed out that Hillary's trustworthiness levels are low "in part because for 25 years she's been demonized by partisan media. And so it comes back to partisan media and the role it plays." Avlon added: "And those of you on the side of partisan media who say that the impicit bias of mainstream over the years can only be corrected by explicit bias, well, you carried the day for a while, but now people are hip to your tricks, and it's a fundamental problem that's undercutting trust in media, journalism and democracy writ large."

Graham, as he is wont to do, responds by mocking and sneering, only to get smacked down by Avlon again:

GRAHAM: Nobody buys this whole pretense that somehow John Avlon and the Daily Beast are the soul of objective media coverage when you sat in a studio and you all made fun of Dick Cheney's heart trouble and what wouldn't take his heart in a transplant --

AVLON: Go back and look at your own clip, because while you're exquisitely sensitive about things when there's perceived slights, you'll see actually I defended Cheney in --

GRAHAM: That's a perceived slight?

AVLON: -- the clip you're referring to, which is ancient history, but I'm happy to engage in it. Look, the bottom line is you guys have a real credibility problem, and there's a need for a place for you to call out whatever explicit and implicit bias exists on the left. But you sacrifice your real credibilty because you're only going to focus on one side of the problem, and that perpetuates the polarization. We try to be nonpartisan, we're not neutral at the Daily Beast --

GRAHAM: This is a show in which we're all focusing on Trump.

AVLON -- and what that means we will hit the left or the right as the facts indicate. We will report without fear or favor --

GRAHAM: The Daily Beast does not do that.

AVLON: -- and you have explicit favor -- your donors and your ideological agenda from day one, and that's why your credibility fails.

In short, Avlon outlined everything that's wrong with the MRC. Graham doesn't want to have to defend that on his own website, so he made sure the discussion never appears there.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 1:22 AM EDT
Monday, October 3, 2016
WND Reporter Doesn't Understand Why We Can't Assume Every Muslim Is A Terrorist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

First, WorldNetDaily publishes a false report claiming that Arcan Cetin, suspected in the shooting deaths of five people in a Washington state mall, committed "voter fraud" because he voted while not being a U.S. citizen (turns out he is, and WND still hasn't corrected or retracted its false story).

Now, WND reporter Leo Hohmann is wondering why we have to go through the rigamorale of actually investigating the shooting when it's so much easier to presume that Cetin is an Islamic terrorist simply because he may be Muslim (well, a Turkish immigrant, but close enough for WND work):

A pattern has emerged, repeating itself after almost every new terrorist attack committed on U.S. soil.

The connection to Islam is initially ignored, then downplayed as mere coincidence. The attacker’s motive is either “unknown” or cannot be “speculated” about, according to local law enforcement.

It happened again Friday night when Arcan Cetin, a 20-year-old Muslim immigrant from Turkey, shot and killed five people at the cosmetics counter of a Macy’s store inside a mall in Burlington, Washington.

Investigators said they didn’t know what Cetin’s motive could have been.

KIRO TV in Seattle reported that authorities had “no indication the shootings were a terrorist act.”

And by Monday night Savannah Guthrie, anchoring NBC Nightly News, said “The motive is still a mystery.”

But if the previous pattern of Islamic terrorists who struck at Fort Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino and Orlando hold true, the FBI will come forth with some piece of evidence weeks or months from now that shows exactly what motivated Cetin to commit his crime. But by then most Americans will have moved on to other things, and the memory of the massacre of five people at the mall in Washington will be fuzzy at best.

“It’s almost like ‘oh ho hum another immigrant has killed a bunch of people now let’s move on to the debates,'” said Ann Corcoran, who blogs at Refugee Resettlement Watch. “Plenty of people have been warning that our future is going to be this type of stuff, just like Europe. That’s what’s happening. Five more people are dead and everybody’s just moved on.”

Hohmann was really put out that Cetin was originally identified as Hispanic when he's an "immigrant from Turkey," adding, "While more than 98 percent of Turkey is Muslim, that was never mentioned by most major news outlets, even after pro-Islamic sayings were discovered on Cetin’s social media sites."

Hohmann also complained that "Many of the major TV networks were referring to Cetin initially as a naturalized U.S. citizen of Turkish descent but that also turned out to be false as he is a lawful permanent resident or LPR, not a citizen." In fact, he is a naturalized citizen, and Hohmann should really correct his article.

Then again, given that Hohmann's main purpose as a WND reporter is to fan the flames of Islamophobia, the truth is somewhat lower on his list of priorities.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:45 PM EDT
MRC Mad At Samantha Bee For Making The Exact Same Anti-Trump Argument It Used To Make
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Sept. 20 post, the Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro complains that "Full Frontal" host Samantha Bee "lashed out at NBC" for giving airtime for Donald Trump for years: "She claimed that by letting him on the air, 'NBC tacitly condoned a race-baiting demagogue.' Bee slammed NBC for allowing Trump to appear on their comedy shows, and insisted it was, 'because ratings matter more than brown people.' 'Sure, he's making life palpably dangerous for Muslims and immigrants, but hey! He's good entertainment,' she continued."

If that argument sounds familiar, it should: The MRC was saying the exact same thing just a few months ago.

The MRC's Sam Dorman was similarly lashing out at NBC for letting Trump appear on its airwaves in a post from May:

Donald Trump’s rise as a presidential candidate has prompted many political observers to blame TV outlets for giving him historic amounts of free air time. While it’s true the media have overwhelmingly focused on Trump in their coverage during the current election cycle, there is another media phenomenon at play. NBC has spent more than a decade building his brand as a successful businessman of almost mythic proportion.

The network’s coverage of Trump was overwhelmingly and consistently positive. MRC Business found only 15 stories (out of 335) on Trump’s business failures, and 320 stories promoting him as a businessman, his businesses and his shows. The vast majority of stories were about the network’s show The Apprentice, which featured Trump.

During the period of 2004-2015, NBC had two partnerships with The Donald -- his hit reality TV show and Miss Universe, which also included Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. NBC News’s Today served as a de facto PR machine for The Apprentice and its star. Today anchors interviewed fired contestants, presented Trump as “the ultimate businessman,” and even “fired” NBC interns on a mock Apprentice called The Intern. Today also made Trump into a career savior after his “divine intervention,” as host Matt Lauer put it, allowed a scandal-plagued Miss USA to retain her crown.

NBC’s relationship with Trump was mutually beneficial, and fraught with ethical problems. Even when the network covered The Donald’s business shortcomings, NBC failed to disclose its business partnerships with him. NBC also outright advertised (complete with prices) his and his daughter Ivanka’s businesses, and engaged in activities that jeopardized its credibility as an impartial news organization. For example, NBC donated more than $500,000 to Trump’s foundation, and filmed episodes of Today from Trump venues.

The MRC gave this the full "special report" treatment, complete with an "executive summary" (which Dorman's post repeats) and a high-minded recommendation that NBC "disclose its previous contractual relationships with him and be transparent about its ethical processes and choices in covering him."

How does the MRC's bashing of NBC's buildup of Trump differ from Bee's critique of it? Nowhere that we can see -- other than a certain flip-flop that means it's now official MRC policy not to criticize anything directly related to Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EDT
WND's Favorite Ex-Soviet Bloc Spymaster (And His Co-Author) Still Won't Explain His Trump Contradiction
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted on a couple of occasions that WorldNetDaily's favorite former Soviet Bloc spy, Ion Mihai Pacepa, is supporting Donald Trump despite Trump's history of close ties with Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin -- himself a former spymaster who Pacepa considers at least somewhat dangerous -- apparently clinging to the kneejerk right-wing argument that Hillary Clinton is axiomatically worse.

After our second post on the subject, we had a Twitter conversation about this with Pacepa's co-author and apparent public face, Ronald Rychlak. Here's how it went:

 

 

As you can see, Rychlak doesn't really offer any suitable answers to our questions about Pacepa, and non-answers like "Look past headlines and optics" are completely meaningless.

We have heard nothing further from Rychlak in the more than two weeks since that conversation, but interestingly, neither Pacepa nor Rychlak have surfaced at WND or anywhere else since then to discuss the election or anything else.

There remains a disconnect between Pacepa's Cold War history and his endorsement of a presidential candidate whose ties with another Cold War relic are unambiguous and disturbing. Having weighed in on the election already, Pacepa and Rychlak need to further explain why we shouldn't believe our own eyes regarding Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT
Sunday, October 2, 2016
NewsBusters Argues Clinton Didn't Really Deny Alleged Rape Because Spokesman Issued His Statement
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer has been living on the rhetorical edge. Last week, Blumer was trying to justify the racism of Trump supporters by arguing that it's really not racist to believe that blacks are less intelligent and more rude because liberals made them that way.

Now, in a Sept. 29 post, Blumer is straining logic to its limits by insisting that Bill Clinton's denial that he raped Juanita Braoddrick isn't real because the denial came from spokesmen and not directly from Clinton's mouth.

No, really. Blumer is actually arguing this:

In a narrow sense, the item discussed here really shouldn't be newsworthy, because it's based on history which has for all practical purposes long been settled. But now that it's being treated as news, let's look into the can of worms at least two media outlets have chosen to open, perhaps without fully grasping the consequences of their doing so.

Leada Gore, an AL.com reporter who says she's "been covering Alabama news for more than 20 years," reported Tuesday morning that Ed Henry, an Alabama lawmaker who is also the state's Donald Trump for President co-chair, tweeted a sharp response to accusations of sexism directed at Trump by Hillary Clinton in Monday night's debate, specifically: "It is ironic that Lying Hillary blast (sic) Trump as a sexist when she is married to Bill, who is likely a rapist." We're supposed to believe that this tweet is controversial or over the top. It is, of course, no such thing.

Leada, you may not like it, and the topic may be unpleasant, but Henry's tweet really isn't beyond the pale. Nevertheless, the Associated Press has posted an abbreviated story based on Gore's work at its main national site. Both reports critically err in claiming that "Bill Clinton has adamantly denied" the related rape charge.

[...]

Why couldn't the president -- on national television -- offer an "adamant denial" of his own? Why answer in such an indirect and lawyerly way? Kendall was (and still is) Bill Clinton's lawyer. That denial reads: "Any allegation that the president assaulted Mrs. Broaddrick more than 20 years ago is absolutely false. Beyond that, we're not going to comment."

As Broaddrick's son Kevin Hickey stated in an April 12, 1999 story at the New York Observer, "He didn’t even say, ‘The President told me this. How do we know it’s not David Kendall’s opinion of what happened?” The key is: We don't — and if you ask Mr. Kendall anything about his statement, he'll either say nothing if not under oath or cite attorney-client privilege if he is. Mr. Kendall's "denial" also could be read as a tacit admission that the encounter on the date Broaddrick contends that the rape occurred did indeed occur, and that if Mr. Clinton were ever to speak on the matter, he would likely attempt to defend that encounter as consensual.

But wait a minute. I just indicated that Bill Clinton has never spoken on the matter, while both the AL.com and AP items (each saved in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) have implied that he "adamantly denied" the charges personally[.]

[...]

So let's be clear here. In the circumstances, nothing short of a direct denial spoken by Bill Clinton himself constitutes a genuine denial. Is there any evidence that Bill Clinton himself has denied Juanita Broaddrick's rape allegation in his own voice since she made it over 17 years ago?

[...]

What needs to be removed from both the AL.com and AP reports is their statement that Bill Clinton has "adamantly denied" the charges. Unless they can drum up some evidence to support that claim which has surfaced in the past eight months, there is no record that Bill Clinton himself has ever done that himself.

Yep, that's Blumer's argument -- Clinton's denial is not "a genuine denial" unless Clinton himself is on record saying it. Sad, yet not unexpected from a guy who insists racism isn't really racism.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 2, 2016 9:16 PM EDT
WND Portrays Obama Smugly Looking Down On Its Readers -- Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily is exceedingly fond of appending out-of-context pictures of Obama to its article in order to suggest he's smugly mocking WND readers. WND does this again in a Sept. 15 article by Bob Unruh:

WND is being doubly dishonest this time because the article is not about anything Obama personally did or said -- it'a about a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights letter pointing out that anti-gay religious activists are hiding behind the First Amendment to perpetuate their discrimination. True to form, Unruh uses the letter to play the persecution card, quoting only critics of the letter and whining that "The commissioners deliberately chose to single out for denigration Christian colleges or organizations that don’t promote homosexuality and business owners who choose not to endorse homosexuality with their artistic talents, such as photography and cake-making."

How much does WND know what they're doing by using this photo in this context? If you download the picture, you'll see that WND has named the photo "obama_shrug_smirk.jpg". 


Posted by Terry K. at 11:48 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 2, 2016 11:54 AM EDT

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