WND Admits Man Who Pushed Woman Down Stairs Wasn't Muslim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember earlier this month when WorldNetDaily's Joe Kovacs effectively asserted that the perpetrator in a German incident in which a woman was pushed down a flight of stairs was a Muslim "migrant" -- then had to walk it back (to the point that Kovacs' byline disappeared from the article) in the face of the utter lack of evidence to support that claim without issuing a correction?
Well, Kovacs has written an update that put the definitive never-mind on his original reporting:
An arrest has been made in the high-profile case of a man who kicked a woman down a flight of subway stairs in Berlin, Germany – an attack that horrified the world when video of the incident went viral.
Svetoslav Stoykov, 27, of Varna, Bulgaria, was taken into custody at a bus station upon his return to Berlin from France, where authorities think he went to hide with relatives in coastal town of Nice.
According to the Guardian, Stoykov is a married father of three children, and has a criminal record for robbery, theft and hooliganism in his native Bulgaria. He was reportedly working in a restaurant and on a building site in Berlin.
In other words, not a Muslim.
Kovacs wrote in his final paragraph: "As WND reported, the release of the video initially sparked a firestorm on social media, as some were blaming the attack on a migrant as a result of Germany’s policy of welcoming migrants, many of whom are Muslim." Kovacs failed to tell his readers that among the people blaming Muslim "migrants" was himself.
Again, no correction for Kovacs' earlier, false reporting was issued.
CNS Reduces George Michael's Life To Arrest, 'Video Showing Two Cops Kissing' Topic: CNSNews.com
After singer George Michael's death, the Associated Press sent out an article with a feature-oriented angle under the headline "Pop superstar George Michael dies of heart failure at 53." It began by noting how Michael turned his embarassing 1998 arrest for lewd behavior in a public toilet into an artistic statement through the video for the song "Outside" and how its "memorable image of the two uniformed policemen kissing in the video -- both funny and outrageous at the time -- helped Michael come out as a proud gay man."
CNSNews.com ran that AP article as well, but as it has many times before, it decided the original article wasn't biased enough. CNS' new headline for the article: "After Arrest for Lewd Conduct in Public Toilet, George Michael Made Video Showing Two Cops Kissing."
No, really. CNS really did reduce the career of a man who sold 100 million albums and was a worldwide superstar to an arrest and a video for one of his less popular songs.
And CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has the temerity to complain about the alleged bias of other media outlets?
An anonymously written Dec. 27 WND article claiming that "the Obama administration gave Iran secret exemptions, allowing the terror-sponsoring state to stockpile uranium in larger amounts than the limits imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal" is illustrated with a picture of President Obama apparently posing with Iran President Hassan Rouhani.
WND uses the image again in the front-page carousel tease for the article:
But as Right Wing Watch reports, Obama has never met Rouhani. The photo is a fake -- the image lifts a photo of Obama, who has never met Rouhani, meeting with former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The orange in India's flag behind them has been replaced by the green from Iran's flag.
Right Wing Watch adds that FactCheck.org has caught others using the image. Maybe if WND didn't dismiss all fact-checkers as liberal shills, it would have caught this before publishing it and embarassing itself -- and damaging its credibility -- even further.
UPDATE: WND has replaced the image with a stock photo of Obama. It didn't tell readers that the image was changed, let alone why.
MRC Complains Media Isn't Thanking Trump Enough for Stock Highs Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Sam Dorman complains in a Dec. 19 post:
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average neared the 20,000 mark for the first time in history, the index set 16 closing-day record highs since Donald Trump’s election.
Even some liberal media outlets have drawn a direct connection between the soaring stock market and Trump’s election, going so far as to label it a “Trump stock market rally.” But the broadcast networks often ignored any connection.
In just over a month’s time, ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows aired fewer stories combined than the number of records. The evening shows reported the market records in just 11 stories between Election Day and Dec. 13, despite huge investment gains. Forty-five percent of those stories ignored Trump in their market reports (5 of 11).
Meanwhile, the Dow industrial average has more than doubled under President Obama, and we don't recall anyone at the MRC crediting Obama for it even once.
WND Regurgitates Lurid Hit Job on Fact-Checker Snopes Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 24 WorldNetDaily article is largely a rehash of a Daily Mail hit job on the fact-checker website Snopes, making sure to play up claims that "One of Snopes’ leading fact-checkers is a former sex-and-fetish blogger who described her routine as smoking pot and posting to Snopes.com, and the company now is embroiled in a legal dispute between its former married founders that includes accusations the CEO used company money for prostitutes."
This is another attempt to discredit those with whom Facebook is working to ferret out fake news on its website. WND is a major source of fake news, and needless to say, WND doesn't mention that Snopes has busted it for its falsehoods afewtimes. Further, at no point does WND prove Snopes got anything wrong in its fact-checks, despite its whining that it "has been criticized by conservatives for a left-leaning bias."
WND is also silent about the Daily Mail's motivations for its hit job, and its reputation is much different that WND's biased description of it. Richard Bartholomew points out that Snopes " enjoys a reputation for truthfulness and accuracy because it has earned it. Nowhere does Snopes demand that we simply trust the site’s judgement – instead, it provides judicious quotes from relevant sources, which anyone can then check for themselves."
As the Guardian notes, the Daily Mail "has come under Snopes’ microscope enough times to be called in July 'Britain’s highly unreliable Daily Mail' by a Snopes writer who just happens to be named in the Mail story." Rather than having a debate about Facebook's fact-checker policy, the Guardian adds, "the Mail has attempted to cast doubt on the notion of fact checking. In the battle between those who profit from playing fast and loose with the truth and those trying to fix the fake news problem, the Mail has made it clear in which camp it sits."
WND is lazily engaging in a second-hand hit job on not only a political enemy -- yes, to WND anyone who tells facts inconvenient to WND's right-wing agenda is an enemy, just like we are -- but a critic who knows all about WND's shoddy reporting record.
Did The MRC Prime Trump's Attack On NBC Reporter? Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 16 post, the Media Reearch Center's Tim Graham huffed that "Donald Trump correctly felt NBC reporter Katy Tur was hostile to him on the campaign trail." Graham doesn't mention how the MRC played a big role in ginning up the idea of that purported hostility.
At a Nov. 2 rally, Donald Trump singled out Tur, complaining about the purportedly "dishonest" media before shouting at Tur: "There's something happening. They're not reporting it. Katy -- you're not reporting it, Katy. But there's something happening, Katy. There's something happening, Katy." Tur respondedafterwards by pointing out that while attacking reporters is part of Trump's "schtick" on the campaign trail, and his complaints about how the media covers the rallies is false, "it does make the crowd very angry and it does concern a lot of folks about the safety of journalists."
this wasn't the frist time: Tur wrote that after Trump targeted her in a December 2015 rally, the Secret Service hed to walk her to her car for her protection.
Did Trump get advice for choosing Tur as a target from the MRC? Let's look at the evidence.
In an Oct. 24 Media Research Center item, Nicholas Fondacaro complained that "The 'Big Three' networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) put their undying loyalty to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on full display Monday evening, as they completely blacked out two news stories with explosive consequences for the campaign," in contrast to the reporting of pro-Trump Fox News. He sneered: "NBC Nightly News led with Clinton fangirl Andrea Mitchell talking about how comfortable Clinton is with her lead, then pivoting to Katy Tur who mocked the GOP candidate." Curiously, Fondacaro provided no evidence whatsoever of the "mocking" he claimed Tur did.
That seemed to be a catalyst for Trump's Nov. 2 attack on Tur, but the MRC has long bashed her for not being a right-wing shill throughout the 2016 campaign:
In a September 2015 post, Ken Shepherd huffed that Tur "trashed Values Voters Summit attendees as the 'far right' of the GOP" (though Shepherd doesn't prove otherwise), but he cheered when she "was interrupted by an attendee who told her to quiet down."
In December 2015, Curtis Houck asserted that Tur "hyped that the crowd at the Trump rally on Monday 'was anything but merry and bright' as reporters like her were 'booed and cheered' by the 'riled up and angry' crowd."
On March 11, Houck was upset that "Tur took to MSNBC to air a multitude of concerns about the growing number of violent incidents at Trump rallies to go along with Tuesday’s alleged bruising of Breitbart’s Michelle Fields by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski."
On March 30, Kristine Marsh complained that Tur "slammed" Mike Huckabee as a "hardline anti-abortion rights conservative," declaring that "anti-abortion" a "biased" term (even though it's a more accurate term since all "pro-life" activists are, in fact, opposed to abortion).
In May, Mark Finkelstein grumbled that Tur suggested that it's "veiled sexism" to suggest that Hillary Clinton lacked the stamina to be president, arguing that it wasn't sexist because Trump said the same thing about Jeb Bush.
Marsh cheered in July when Trump "shushed" Tur for "continuing to press her question after he briefly answered it then shifted the focus to Hillary Clinton," justifying Trump's rudeness by delcaring that "Trump is universally brusque to reporters regardless of gender."
Sam Dorman complained on Aug. 9 that when Tur reported on Trump's sketchy tax plan as revealed in a speech, she "framed it as an attempt to appease disgruntled republicans."
On Sept. 26 Kyle Drennen was angry that Tur pointed out that Trump was trying to "game this system" by pre-emptively bashing media debate coverage"; according to Drennen's interpretation, Tur "denounced Donald Trump’s campaign team for demanding fair treatment from the press ahead of the upcoming debate."
A Oct. 2 post by Nicholas Fondacaro complained that Tur "seemed outraged that being able to write off net-losses on taxes was legal."
The MRC -- as its agenda dictates -- had a definite interest in painting Tur as hostile to Republicans in general and Trump in particular, even though much of the criticism was because Tur accurately reported events in a way that didn't advance the agenda of Trump and Republicans. It wasn't necessarily "correct" -- it was a politically motivated campaign.
The MRC was determined to paint Tur as "hostile" to Trump simply because she was not a Trump sycohpant. And it appears they made Trump know that Tur was not a sycophant, which encouraged him to single her out with anger on the campaign trail.
WND Still Covering for Trump And The Russians Over Election Interference Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has been an unusually apologetic defender of the Russians who hacked Democratic emails for the apparent purpose of getting Donald Trump elected president -- even praising such foreign intervention in the election. The defense hasn't stopped.
Chuck Norris engages in som serious spin in his Dec. 18 WND column, asserting that while Russian intervention may be a bad thing, it didn't help Trump:
I’m not minimizing the severity of the charge of cyber espionage and attempts of election sabotage by a foreign power. I love the Russian people, but, if true, it is contemptible on several levels for the Kremlin to interfere in our free elections in any respect. Whether or not the digital footprints lead to Putin’s front door, our government must track down the culprits and take some retaliatory course of action.
But the truth is: Even if the hacks originated with Putin himself, they aided Trump’s election victory about as much the Grinch helped Whoville to love Christmas. Just because the Grinch finally got it right and cheered a little on one particular Christmas, neither he nor his actions forced or even influenced the Whos’ decision to celebrate the holiday. They did that on their own volition.
There’s not a single shred of evidence or intelligence discussion that voting devices were tampered with. There’s not a single shred of evidence that WikiLeaks’ DNC and Podesta’s revelations convinced even a posse who were not already steadfast in their political conviction and decision to turn their vote against Hillary and for Trump.
Are you kidding me? As if those WikiLeaks’ emails exposed any new or greater insight into the depth of Hillary’s career corruption or chronic congenital liar syndrome.
Jesse Lee Peterson used his Dec. 18 column to take a similar stance, but then melt down in yet another fit of Obama derangement:
Any interference or effort to create uncertainty in our elections should be investigated, but there is zero evidence that the outcome of the U.S. presidential election was affected by Russia.
Vladimir Putin has been outplaying Obama at every turn. From the Crimea invasion to the Syria smackdown – Putin has been snubbing Obama and aggressively pursuing his interests.
Obama says Russia tried to influence our election, yet his State Department reportedly spent several hundred thousand dollars in an attempt to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu. He worked to get rid of Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, and backed the Muslim Brotherhood (which was ultimately kicked out of power). Obama undermined Moamar Gadhafi and allowed Libya to descend into civil war, which resulted in Gadhafi’s murder. Obama reportedly spied on German leader Angela Merkel and tried to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad deposed – that one is blowing up in his face, with untold suffering and Assad still firmly in power.
Further, it’s the Democrats who notoriously register dead people to vote in elections, and who’ve opened the floodgates to let illegals come into the U.S. and vote.
Despite all his bluster, Obama has a fragile ego, and that ego – not the United States – is under serious threat right now. Obama is playing a dangerous game of chicken with the Russians, risking all of our lives in the process.
Peterson even goes birther, citing Joe Arpaio and Mike Zullo's bogus presser to assert that "The truth about this poser is coming out in many ways, and soon Obama won’t have the power of the presidency to block it."
And WND's favorite former Soviet Bloc spymaster, Ion Mihai Pacepa -- who we showed was trying to ignore Russian ties to Trump and his key supporters to justify his endorsement of Trump -- mysteriously popped out of the woodwork once againin a Dec. 20 article by Art Moore.
Moore writes that "Pacepa said that while he has no specific knowledge of the Kremlin’s current intelligence operations against the U.S., he can confirm that during the Cold War, influencing foreign elections was one of the main tasks of the Soviet bloc intelligence community." But that's buried in touting Pacepa's claim that it was Trump, not Hillary Clinton, who was the victim of a disinformation campaign and, Moore writes, "insisted that while the left is complaining that Americans are being duped by the Russians, the most influential dis-informers are the U.S. establishment media and its allied Democratic Party."
Pacepa again remained silent about the Trump team's Russian ties, and he's a loyal Trump man:
“Fortunately, the United States is still run by ‘we the people,’ and it still has free elections,” Pacepa said. “On Nov. 8, 2016, we the people overwhelmingly endorsed capitalist freedom.”
He said Trump’s “crushing victory may prove to be the Democratic Party’s Waterloo and the funeral for Marx’s socialism and American progressivism.”
MRC's Graham Bashes CNN's Stelter For Making Accurate Observations Topic: Media Research Center
One of the ways Media Research Center Tim Graham loves to slag the so-called "liberal media" is by asserting the prowess and alleged robustness of right-wing journalists -- minus any actual proof to back it up, of course.
Graham does this again in a Dec. 14 post attacking CNN media critic Brian Stelter for daring to criticize those who dismiss journalism:
Stelter maligned Trump voters and supporters of Trump’s media critiques as anti-journalism: “A big part of the country has opted out of journalism and opted in to an alternate reality.”
Liberals always think that you either swallow the liberal media consensus whole, or you've "opted out of journalism." Why don't they understand conservatives are journalists? Could they acknowledge conservatives were tougher journalists in the last eight years?
Again, if would be nice if Graham had cited any examples of conservatives being "tougher journalists" than non-conservative ones in the last eight years, but of course he doesn't.He certainly can't point to his fellow MRC co-workers at CNSNews.com as an example, since all they care about is slavish stenography of Donald Trump and his minions and snide attacks on liberals.
Further, his view of the media is unrealiastically binary -- in his eyes, any media that's not slavishly right-wing is "liberal." That view may bring in the big bucks from right-wing donors, but it's not how the media world works.
Graham also complains that "Stelter also predictably bashed Fox News in the usual Clintonista terms as a kind of super PAC instead of a news channel," but again, Graham offers no proof that it's not.
So it seems that Graham is once again criticizing others for making accurate observations about the right-wing media.
WND's Unruh Turns In Yet Another Biased One-Source Wonder Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily reporter Bob Unruh -- who loves stories about alleged persecution of Christians and right-wingers so much that he can'tbebothered to report the other side of the story lest it undermine the whatever biased story the right-wing legal group is trying to get out -- writes in a Dec. 17 article:
Police officers who are accused of shutting down a woman’s prayer in her own home, and joking about it, have defended their actions to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, saying it did not “burden” her constitutional rights.
But that defense claim is gaining little ground with advocates for Mary Anne Sause, a Louisberg, Kansas, resident who has brought the charges against the officers.
WND reported in October when a lower court rejected Sause’s claim and the case moved up to the appeals court.
The case is being handled now by lawyers with First Liberty Institute after Mary Anne Sause, a retired Catholic nurse on disability, handled the initial claim on her own.
“When Sause came to the door, the officers asked why she didn’t answer the door the first time. Ms. Sause saw a pocket Constitution, given to her by her congressman, lying on a nearby table and showed it to the officers, who still had not explained the reason for their appearance. One officer laughed and said, ‘That’s just a piece of paper’ that ‘doesn’t work here.'”
Once inside, they “harassed” her, she said, at one point telling her to get ready to go to jail.
“When Sause asked why, he said, ‘I don’t know yet,'” First Liberty reported.
She was frightened and asked permission to pray, and one officer agreed. The other then came back into the room and ordered her to “stop praying,” the complaint explains.
They then “flipped through the codebook to see how they could charge her,” finally choosing “interference” and “disorderly conduct.”
At the end of their visit, they finally explained they were there because someone thought her radio was too loud.
As usual, Unruh once again fails to tell the other side of the story, sticking only with the propaganda supplied by the First Liberty Institute. The Christian Examiner reported after Sause's case was first dismissed that Sause has a history of making dubious claims:
This is not, however, the first time Sause has launched a claim the court deemed implausible.
In 2011, she filed assault charges against Mark Pederson, the manager of a Kansas City abortion clinic, for reportedly body slamming her during a scuffle outside of the clinic. Sause was reportedly protesting abortion at the time.
Pederson was found not guilty because numerous eyewitness accounts didn't support her version of the story.
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She also filed another pro se case (a case filed without a lawyer) over the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services' placement of her child in the state's foster care system. She claims the state's court case reflected "inaccuracies in her parenting history" and the child was taken "into custody" by the state in violation of federal law.
The court dismissed that case, as well.
The federal court that dismissed Sause's claim -- which Unruh could have quoted from to provide balance to his article, but didn't -- explained further that Sause offered no proof whatsoever to back up her allegations:
While Officer Stevans’s instruction to Plaintiff [Sause] to stop praying may have offended her, it does not constitute a burden on her ability to exercise her religion. Plaintiff fails to provide any allegations that would suggest Officer Stevans’s actions coerced her into conduct contrary to her religious beliefs, or that he otherwise prevented her from practicing her religion. Rather, he merely instructed her to stop praying while the officers were in the middle of talking to her about a noise complaint they had received. The Court thus finds that Plaintiff has not made a plausible claim that her First Amendment rights were violated.
In other words, it's more journalistic malpractice from a reporter who, to be blunt, is getting paid to be a unfair and highly biased reporter -- making his boss Joseph Farah's laughable insistence that "WND uses the same standards and practices I cherished during my 20 years in the 'mainstream media'" even more laughable.
The WND-ization of the MRC, Part 87 Topic: CNSNews.com
Nominee Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, not only has been supportive of the abortion industry, through his company’s donations to abortionists, but also played a key role in opening the Boy Scouts to homosexuality.
Those accomplishments have left Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council appalled at the idea of Tillerson continuing the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda outlined by Hillary Clinton and followed by John Kerry at the State Department.
“The left, which doesn’t usually need a reason to oppose Trump’s choices, won’t find many here, since the ExxonMobil executive may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas,” Perkins said.
“That should be particularly alarming to conservatives, who’ve spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality,” Perkins continued.
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, lobbied for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change its rules on youth membership and allow homosexuals to join the organization, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Commenting on Tillerson as Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “The Left, which doesn't usually need a reason to oppose Trump's choices, won't find many here, since the ExxonMobil executive may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas.”
“That should be particularly alarming to conservatives, who've spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality,” said Perkins.
-- Michael W. Chapman, Dec. 15 CNSNews.com article
Newsmax's Ruddy -- A Trump Buddy -- Is Concerned About Anti-Trump Media Coverage Topic: Newsmax
A Dec. 19 Newsmax article summarizes its boss' appearance on CNN:
The news media was biased in its coverage of Donald Trump and that partiality had a bigger impact on the election than any "fake news," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy told Brian Stelter Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources."
"You guys had a responsibility to give fair and balanced news," Ruddy said in his one-on-one segment with host Stelter.
"Instead the mainstream press focused on Trump's use of Twitter and the release of an audio recording on 'Access Hollywood.' The voters in Ohio and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, they were worried about jobs and trade.
"Donald Trump, to his credit, was in those states talking about those issues. You guys missed the story."
Ruddy said the media continues to be critical of Trump, focusing on stories like fake news and Russian hacking.
"I don’t think they’re necessarily giving him a complete fair shake," he said.
In that segment, however, Ruddy doesn't really discuss his own "responsibility to give fair and balanced news," as if conservative news outlets are exempt from responsible journalism. He said only that Newsmax will grow its online and video operations during the Trump presidency and that Newsmax "is going to be tough on Trump when we think he's going off the rails on policy issues," but he made it clear that his news operation will be "supportive" of him overall. IN other words. he's demanding more balance from his competition than from his own operation.
Ruddy also didn't explicitly disclose how close he and Trump are, or that Newsmax played a major role in legitimizing the idea of Trump as presidential timber. Ineeed, the day after his CNN appearance, he tweeted: "Just finished Newsmax Christmas @ 230 Fifth, Pres. Trump called my cell at party wishing 'Merry Xmas' - @realDonaldTrump is not happy w CNN!"
Ruddy then repeated how a study (he incorrectly claimed it was from the Pew Center; it was actually done by the Freedom Forum) from the 1990s reported that "89 percent of the people voted for Bill Clinton -- of the press corps in Washington voted for Bill Clinton." We documented way back in 2000 how skewed that study was; most study respondents weren't from national news outlets but from small regional papers whose Washington bureau reporters, some of whom are just one person, focus their coverage mostly on local issues and have no influence on the national political agenda.
CNS Censors Biased Nature of Anti-Abortion Poll Topic: CNSNews.com
Lauretta Brown writes in a Nov. 21 CNSNews.com article:
A poll released Friday by the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) shows that a majority of voters, 64%, support legislation such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would prohibit abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The poll was commissioned by the SBA List and conducted by the polling company, inc./WomanTrend.
What Brown doesn't report: The Susan B. Anthony List is an anti-abortion group, and the polling company (lowercase is cq) is operated by Kellyanne Conway, manager for Donald Trump's presidential campaign and works on behalf of right-wing causes. Indeed, Conway's firm cashed in big during the 2016 campaign even before she joined Trump's team through her company's work for the campaigns of both Trump and Ted Cruz.
That ideological bent makes the poll results unreliable since we can assume that the questions were skewed to provide the desired result.
Brown goes on to tout that "The results mirror a Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus in July." The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal orghanization that reflects Catholic tenets, one of which is opposition to abortion. Marist College, which operates a polling center that the K of C utlized, is a Catholic university; while its polling generally has a good reputation, one cannot discount the possibility of skewing questions to achieve desired results.
Indeed, CNS regularlypromotespolls conducted by Marist-K of C since they provide results they like to push on its readers. Most recently, Brown used a Dec. 23 article to tout a Marist-K of C poll finding that "Americans prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holidays’ by 20 percentage points."
WND Columnist Spins for Flynns Over Pizzagate Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has commendably stayed away from buying into the "Pizzagate" hoax -- on the news side, anyway. WND's columnists, however, are a different story. We've documented how WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson promoted the story as if it was credible.
In his Dec. 8 WND column, Jeff Roorda admits Pizzagate is fake news, but he labors heavily to distance national security adviser-designate Michael Flynn and his son from accusations they promoted the story:
Most recently, media outlets have been atwitter with reports about the firing of Michael G. Flynn from the Trump transition team for his role in the “pizzagate” fake news story.
The only problem is that Flynn appears to have had nothing to do with debuting or spreading the “pizzagate” story. In fact, the tweet that has everyone lathered-up attributed to Flynn (this is the younger Flynn, by the way, not to be confused with his father, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who President-elect Trump has tapped to serve as his national security adviser) innocently pointed out, “Until #Pizzagate (is) proven to be false, it’ll remain a story.”
What, exactly, is wrong with that statement?
Isn’t it more social commentary or an observation about the nature of the Twittersphere than it is scandal-mongering of some fraudulent, unfounded narrative?
Even though so-called mainstream media outlets – including the New York Times – reported that Flynn was fired from the Trump transition team for “using Twitter to spread a fake news story about Hillary Clinton that led to an armed confrontation in a pizza restaurant in Washington,” the plain facts seem to tell us that Flynn did not spread the story but rather commented on it’s miasmal nature and that his actions did not lead to the armed confrontation and that he was NOT fired from the Trump transition team because he was never on the Trump transition team.
Talk about your fake news!
The actual facts of the case, according to the Washington Post: The elder Flynn did tweet about "New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc...MUST READ!" but did not specifically reference Pizzagate -- there are other sex crime-related conspiracy theories about the Clintons that Flynn sorta gets a pass on, but only sorta because his Twitter feed is filled with fake news.
Roorda also leaves out the last part of the younger Flynn's tweet, which reads in whole: "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many ‘coincidences’ tied to it." Flynn's evidence that Pizzagate might be true are the purported "coincidences" in the emails stolen from John Podesta, which nobody has proven true. That's much more than a comment on its "miasmal nature."
If Pizzagate hasn't been proven true, it should presume to be false. Flynn should know that, and Roorda should not give him the benefit of the doubt.
It's unclear whether or not the younger Flynn was officially on the payroll of the Trump transition team -- he was assisting his father with administrative and scheduling duties-- but the statement from the transition team that he was "no longer involved" with the transition after the tweet went viral indicates some sort of official role from which he was removed. And he apparently he resigned before he was fired, possibly seconds before.
The rest of Roorda's column is dedicated to telling us that "no matter where you get your news, it’s filtered, spun, or embellished," and that "it’s incumbent on you to decide what is and isn’t fake."
MRC Takes War-On-Christmas Shot at Univision Topic: Media Research Center
Apparently, the "War on Christmas" has ended because Donald Trump was elected president. That's the message MRC Latino's Jorge Bonilla seems to be imparting in a Dec. 16 post, in which he's mad that Univision failed to follow the implicit Trump edict that only "Merry Christmas" is permitted by not saying it in its annual holiday video:
Univision continues its gallant resistance against the seismic results of this election. As Donald Trump declares that "It is OK to say Merry Christmas again", Univision responds with a holiday video that bravely transcends "Merry Christmas" and even refuses to wish you "Happy Holidays".
But this is 2016, and we are talking about Univision. So bound is the network to political correctness that "Merry Christmas" is a non-starter, and "Happy Holidays" is an impossibly heavy lift. And so it is that we end up with the best that Univision can muster this year, "Mejores Deseos (Best Wishes)". The full subtitled video is available here, one minute and 43 seconds of anodyne ambiguous-holiday-flavored treacle that makes Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" look like Handel's Messiah in comparison. In fact, "Mejores Deseos" is what you'd probably be left with if you stripped Christmas out of "Wonderful Christmastime".
In and of itself, this video provides a perfect snapshot of the manner in which Univision continues to lose touch with its traditional audience while pursuing the clicks and page views of the "rising American majority".
Actually, only 29 percent of Hispanics -- near as we can tell, Univision's target audience -- voted for Trump; some argued that Latino support for Trump was less than that. So it's unclear that what Univision chooses to include in its holiday message is an issue for anyone besides right-wingers like Bonilla who get paid to bash Univision.
CNS' Jones Plays Stenographer to Distract from Russian Meddling Topic: CNSNews.com
WorldNetDaily's not the only ConWeb outlet trying to give Donald Trump -- and Russia -- a pass on allegations Russia meddled in the presidential election to boost Trump. CNSNews.com's Susan Jones is taking a crack at it as well.
On Dec. 19, Jones churned out a couple of stenography specials to try and deflect attention from the growing scandal:
Jones dutifully transcribed Reince Priebus spinning: "Even this question is insane. Of course we didn't interface with the Russians. I mean, this whole thing is a spin job. And I think what the Democrats ought to do is look in the mirror and face the reality that they lost the election. And they lost the election because they're so and completely out of touch with the American people that they're so shell-shocked and they can't believe it."
Jones also transcribed John McCain saying, in her words, that there's no reason to think that Russian activity changed the outcome of the election.
Then, on Dec. 20, Jones played stenographer for Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher actually excusing Russian meddling in the form of stealing emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign because "The e-mails were factual, and thus the American people, it did not hurt the American people to have more factual information available to them."
Jones, meanwhile, skewed her transcription job on Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta discussing the issue, framing it as him evading a question on whether he thought the election was "free and fair."
Jones, of course, is known for her stenography for Trump and for her snide skewing of the news regarding non-conservatives.
Jones even gave space to someone she identified only as a "Russian reporter named Andre" slagging President Obama in a Dec. 16 article:
A Russian reporter named Andre challenged President Obama's leadership Thursday, running down a list of problems that have worsened on Obama's watch, including relations with Russia and racial tensions in America. "Does he feel any responsibility for all this?" the reporter asked.
Jones undoubtedly approve of the reporter's attack on Obama. If he was saying the same thing about Trump, it would never make the CNS front page.