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Sunday, February 5, 2017
Shocker: WND's Unruh Tells Both Sides of the Story, Sorta
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily reporter Bob Unruh is best known for reporting only one side of the story -- the one that mirrors his (and WND's) right-wing views. In November, for example, we caught Unruh slavishly spinning a right-wing legal group's view of events in the case of a transgender teen who is considered to be emancipated from his mother. Unruh didn't report that the mother (whom the right-wing legal group, the Thomas More Society, is representing) had made no effort to contact the teen, who had been living apart from her for many months, nor did he mention that among the targets of her lawsuit to fight the teen's emancipation (which Unruh had handwaved as "others") is her own child.

Unruh wrote a Jan. 28 update on the case, and it seems itmight finally be getting the message about what balanced reporting is. He acknowledges that the woman, Anmarie Calgaro, is in fact suing her own "minor son," and he even more surprisingly acknowledges the teen's side of the story:

The London Daily Mail reported the minor son’s lurid claims that his mother and stepfather engaged in drug activity and abused him.

But the paper also said Calgaro described herself as a loving mother, even though the son, E.J.K., had been living on his own for two years.

The son claimed his mother and stepfather “became mentally and physically abusive.”

Well, that's a start. Unruh has yet to report that, as we noted, Minnesota common law allows for the emancipation of minor children without a defined legal process, state law does provide for minors to make their own medical decisions. Nor has he mention criticism that the Thomas More Society may be using this lawsuit as a stealth attack on state abortion law because the statute that allows minors to make their own medical decisions is echoed in the state's parental notification law regarding abortion.

Unruh also insists on identifying the teen as a male, even though he is transitioning to female and the Associated Press -- considered the authoritative source on media grammar and style -- states that media outlets should use the gender identity preferred by the person or as shown by the way the individual lives publicly.

It's clear Unruh still has a ways to go to be considered a real journalist employable by anyone other than WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:08 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 5, 2017 5:16 PM EST
Saturday, February 4, 2017
MRC's Bozell & Graham Do Ad For Anti-Abortion Activist Disguised As Op-Ed
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham's Jan. 25 column give a prominent plug to Phelim McAleer's " new book titled 'Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer.'" They don't mention that the plug is part of a longtime PR campaign for McAleer's anti-Gosnell work that McAleer may or may not be paying Bozell's Media Research Center to do.

Much the column, though, is dedicated to re-litigating the Gosnell case, with Bozell and Graham expliciting portray the rogue abortion doctor as exactly the same as every other abortion practitoner: "This monster chose to kill. He is the face of the abortion doctor. His story peels back the onion on this ghastly practice."

Bozell and Graham also pushed the right-wing line that the "national media" ignored the story, actually claiming at one point: "In the last two years, the big three networks devoted more than 75 minutes to the rape allegations against Bill Cosby. He killed no one."

But the two ignored that even right-wing media ignored the Gosnell story for a while too. The right-leaning New York Post hypocritically bashed media for ignoring Gosnell's trial despite the fact that the Post itself couldn't be bothered to cover it. Bozell and Graham are apparently giving the Post a pass for that, just like it stayed silent about the Post running nude pictures of Melania Trump. As a friendly media outlet that's a sister to its beloved Fox News, the Post gets protection from the MRC.

And as Mother Jones' Kevin Drum showed, right-wing media in general couldn't be bothered to cover the trial  -- devoting much less time to the trial itself than to manufactured outrage that other media outlets weren't covering it -- right-wingers' concern over Gosnell is more about working the refs and exploiting the issue for their anti-abortion crusade than it is about, say, justice for Gosnell's victims.

(Surprisingly, Bozell and Graham aren't being totally hypocritical here; its "news" division, CNSNews.com, did send someone to cover Gosnell's trial.)

That's the tone Bozell and Graham take here. They rant that "The national media were barely curious" about Gosnell and "When Dr. Gosnell went to trial in 2013, again the national media couldn't be budged to cover the outrage." They do grudgingly concede, however, that NPR covered the Gosnell story as early as 2010.

The thing to remember about Bozell and Graham's column, though, is that it's in (paid?) service to Phelim McAleer. It's an advertisement presented as an op-ed. The fact that they refuse to come clear on that undercuts any integrity they claim to have.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:03 AM EST
WND Keeps Lying About Margaret Sanger
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of the ConWeb's favorite pastimes is to spread lies about Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger as a way to attack the organization.

In his Jan. 30 WorldNetDaily column, Mychal Massie asserted that Sanger was "rabidly racist," adding:

Sanger wrote: “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” (“Woman, Morality, and Birth Control,” New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.)

Then in a 1939 letter, Sanger reaffirmed to another white racist, eugenicist, Dr. Clarence Gamble: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” To be fair, abortionists argue that’s what she said but that’s not what she meant. However, Sanger’s Negro Project, which she established in Harlem because of the great number of blacks living there, proves otherwise.

Rita Dunaway similarly wrote in her Jan. 30 WND column:

The organization that is today Planned Parenthood gave birth to its deadly “Negro Project” in the 1930s, hoping to stunt the growth of black families. No wonder that today, a whopping 79 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located within a 2-mile radius of a neighborhood that is primarily black or Hispanic.

A lot of things wrong here. Massie's first quote of Sanger is not from "Woman, Morality, and Birth Control" but from the same letter to Gamble he cites in the following paragraph.

Both Massie and Dunaway are falsely smearing Sanger's "Negro Project." As a Washington Post fact check explains, the "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population" passage "is frequently taken out of context to suggest Sanger was seeking to exterminate blacks," and that in fact the Negro Project -- which was about birth control, not the attempt to "stunt the growth of black families" Dunaway dishonestly claims it is -- sought to recruit black leaders for the effort to allay suspicions blacks might have had about whites like Sanger being involved.

Further, contrary to Dunaway's claim, the Guttmacher Institute found that 60 percent of them are located in majority white neighborhoods, and that fewer than one in ten are located in neighborhoods where more than half of the residents are black.

And no, Mr. Massie, Sanger was not "rabidly racist"; fact-checkers have pointed out that while Sanger likely held paternalistic attitudes toward blacks that were unfortunately common during her lifetime, there's no evidence she was an avowed racist or that she coerced black women into using birth control.

Remember, WND editor Joseph Farah is weirdly proud that his website publishes misinformation.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EST
Friday, February 3, 2017
CNS Writer Again Censors Mel Gibson's Ugly Past
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's resident Mel Gibson fanboy, Mark Judge, has struck again with more fawning praise in a Jan. 24 post:

Variety is reporting that “for the first time in 20 years, Mel Gibson is back in the Oscar fold.”

Gibson’s film “Hacksaw Ridge” has been nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Film Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing.

[...]

“Hacksaw Ridge" tells the story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector during World War II. Doss saved 75 people during the Battle of Okinawa and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

This is the first time that Gibson has been nominated since he won the Best Director Oscar for “Braveheart” in 1996. The 2017 Academy Awards will be presented February 26 in Los Angeles.

But as with all of Judge's fanboy works, a crucial and relevant part of Gibson's past is missing. It was even right there in the Variety article he's citing. Let's see what Judge censored:

After his nomination, and eventual win, for Best Director in “Braveheart,” Gibson became embroiled in several scandals, turning many in Hollywood against him. He was arrested in 2006 for a DUI, during which he unleashed a drunken tirade capped with him shouting “f—ing jews” at the police officer. He was later sentenced to three years probation.

Four years later in 2010, he was recorded during a phone call with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva where he suggested if she were “raped by a a bunch of n—–s,” she would be to blame. Gibson was barred from going near Grigorieva or their daughter by a restraining order, and later plead no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge.

At the time of the anti-Semitic rant, he apologized to the Jewish community, though in recent years he has preferred to deflect attention away from his misdeeds with euphemisms such as saying he went through a “rough patch.”

Most people would consider that relevant. But Judge doesn't -- he has chosen to be Gibson's unpaid PR agent, it seems.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:11 PM EST
MRC Analyst Joins 'State-Run Media' Defending Trump Immigration Order
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center "news analyst" Nicholas Fondacaro has been on quite the tear this week in helping his employer serve as the "state-run media" of the Trump administration, pushing back on criticism of Trump's immigration orders just like his co-workers at MRC "news" division CNSNews.com.

In a Jan. 29 post, Fondacaro complained that ABC "sought out" Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of a soldier killed in the Iraq War, for comment on the order. No, really: The headline of his post is literally "ABC’s Wright 'Sought Out' Khizr Khan to Slam Trump on Ban."

Fondacaro does know that seeking people out for comment on something is pretty much how journalism works, doesn't he? Perhaps not.

On Jan. 31, Fondacaro was outraged MSNBC's Chris Matthews pointed out that  Trump's effective ban on Muslim immigration and refugees to the U.S. could feed Muslim resentment and terrorist recruitment. Fondacaro huffed in response:

Their claims that a travel ban would be the catalyst for a major boon for terrorist recruitment is (to borrow a term from a former Obama administration official) “stone cold crazy.” They asserted that the ban gave ‘great credence” to the idea of a war between east and west. But do you know what’s a gives, even more, credence to that idea? Actually dropping bombs, like the over 26,000 former President Barack Obama dropped in 2016 alone.

Of course, we are at war with terrorist organizations throughout the region, so those strikes are to be expected. But to act as though Trump’s three-month stay on travel was what the terrorists needed as a proof of war is ludicrous. They could just exploit the accidental US airstrike on a hospital in Afghanistan for their recruitment.

But as ABC's Brian Ross reported, members of ISIS are already using Trump's words as proof the U.S. is at war with the entire Muslim world -- a key recruitment tool for ISIS. The Washington Post added that extremist groups are indeed using Trump's order as validation of their claim that the U.S. is at war with Islam and that Trump was fulfilling the predictions of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American born al-Qaeda leader and preacher who famously said that the 'West would eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.'"

So Matthews is not off base, as Fondacaro claims.

In another Jan. 31 post, Fondacaro complained that "liberals around the country continued to rage over President Donald Trump’s not-a-travel-ban ban." But as we noted when CNS tried to push that Trump administration talking point, it's undermined by Rudy Giuliani saying that Trump told him he wanted a Muslim ban and that he asked Giuliani to form a commission to show him “the right way to do it legally.”And it has since been further undermined by Trump himself tweeting, "Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST
WND Tries To Help Birther Martyr Whose Life It Helped Destroy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just because Jerome Corsi is leaving WorldNetDaily doesn't it has stopped being birther. In fact, WND has a new birther-related crusade going.

Jack Cashill launched it in his Jan. 25 column: a petition campaign to get President Trump to reinstate birther ex-military officer Terrence Lakin. Cashill -- who just so happened to have co-written a book with Lakin spinning his side of the story -- claims:

“Court-martialed, imprisoned, expelled from the Army and denied pay, pension and benefits,” declares the petition accurately, “Terry was merely following his officer’s oath and constitutional duty.”

For the record, Lakin spent five months in prison at Fort Leavenworth before his release in May of 2011. Lakin’s crime – his real crime, that is – was to challenge Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president.

Wrong. Lakin's real crime was his refusal to follow an order to deploy to Afghanistan, as well as his stupidity for becoming a birther martyr in the first place.

Lakin has only himself to blame for ruining his life and throwing away his military career and pension -- with a big assist from WND for pushing the birther conspiracies he swallowed. He seemed to finally figure it out near the end of his court-martial, when he conceded that perhaps his own court martial was the wrong venue to push birther conspiracy theories and that maybe he should follow orders. That didn't save him, though; he was convicted and sentenced to six months at Leavenworth.

But since Lakin couldn't save himself, he has enlisted Cashill to polish the martyr act again. Cashill dramatically writes about Lakin's "ultimate humiliation, a seemingly endless perp walk, a shuffle really, through a concourse filled with flags and patriotic bunting and the happy sight of returning soldiers." He declared that "Lakin manfully survived the ordeal and emerged a stronger person for it. That he gave up $2 million in benefits and left his lovely family behind for prison should have further endeared him to our generally weepy progressive friends, but, of course, it did no such thing."

Cashill also complained that Lakin couldn't get a medical license in Kansas upon his release from Leavenworth: "The Kansas Board [of Healing Arts] may have indulged outlaw abortionist George Tiller for 30 years, but this timid crew was unnerved by the thought of this veteran flight surgeon practicing medicine in this doctor-short state, impeccable record notwithstanding."

Of course, Cashill is lying about that too. The Kansas board rejected Lakin's application for a license because his "refusal to deploy to Afghanistan to provide medical services in support of Operation Enduring Freedom due to his own personal beliefs represents a disregard for his professional duties and undermines the integrity of the medical profession.Of even more significance, [Lakin's] action's potentially jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the military troops for which [Lakin] was employed to provide medical care."

Naturally, this was all newsworthy enough for WND to do a "news" article on Lakin (it is safe to be birther in public again not that Trump is president, after all). A Jan. 29 article by Jack Minor sympathetically fleshes things out -- the fact that Minor devotes the second paragraph of his article to all the medals and ribbons Lakin received in the military tells you how hagiographic this article is -- and repeats a lot of the distortions and falsehoods Cashill did.

Minor adds an "exclusive interview" with Lakin, who's now working in Colorado, and it's clear he's in martyr mode; he baselessly claims his application for a Kansas medical license was rejected over Obamacare, since "The former governor was the HHS secretary and many of the board members were supporters of Obamacare so they took it out on me." Minor also writes that Lakin claim "there was an attempt by Obama supporters and others on the left to destroy him by stripping him of his medical license."

Minor also quotes Lakin's brother who also baselessly accused the Kansas board of "serious corruption." He also repeats WND's standard line that Obama merely "released what he claimed was his long form birth certificate" (italics ours) which "the only official law enforcement investigation, done on the orders of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, found to be fraudulent. Like the rest of WND, Minor didn't admit that Arpaio's investigation was incompetent and driven by hatred for Obama.

Because WND never reported how its birther conspiracies have been completely discredited, its readers have been deluded into thinking there's merit to the story. One of those readers, presumably, was Lakin. So we can assume that WND played a key role in deluding Lakin into throwing away his military career for a conspiracy theory at a time when WND needed a martyr for its cause.

Which makes its new campaign to try and fix Lakin's life -- which it played a major role in screwing up -- not just ironic but pathetic as well. If WND was truly sorry for ruining Lakin's life, it would simply pay him the $2 million in benefits he threw away.

P.S. As of this writing, Lakin's petition has a paltry 537 signatures.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Thursday, February 2, 2017
MRC Blogger: Transgenders Getting Murdered Is No Biggie
Topic: Media Research Center

Karen Townsend's Feb. 2 MRC NewsBusters post is yet another complaint that gays are on TV -- or in her words, how the TV show "The Fosters" has "continued with its deliberate promotion of liberal Hollywood’s aggressive LGBT agenda through the use of young people.

Townsend took particular offense to a transgender character on the show saying that "People literally get killed for being trans," because she thinks it's really nothing for anyone, trans people included, to worry about:

Getting killed for being trans is a horrifying thought for any transgender and their allies, however the risk is severely overblown and an already vulnerable population is being needlessly terrified with such worries. While, certainly, there have been people who were killed for being transgender, people are killed for pretty much every reason imaginable. The number of transgender murders is exceptionally low, with only 21 in all of 2015 (with various motives). A recent study claimed that there are 1.4 million transgender people in the United States, so that's a murder rate of 1 per every 66,667 trans people. Compare that to the national murder rate in 2015: 15,696 total murders in a country of 320 million people equates to 1 per every 20,387 Americans.

Interesting that Townend things transgenders being murdered is only an issue for transgenders "and their allies." Also interesting how Townsend feels the need to minimize the issue of violence against transgenders which, despite Townsend's claims, is very much on the increase, as is the rate of transgender suicide.

But there aren't that many of them so it's OK, right, Karen?

This is pretty much what we've come to expect from the anti-gay Media Research Center.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:01 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2017 5:02 PM EST
WND Trump Messiah Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Though WorldNetDaily mocked people who ascribed messianic qualities to Barack Obama, it's been uniroinically doing the same for Donald Trump.

A Jan. 25 article quotes WND's favorite prophet-slash-cash cow Jonathan Cahn, after first having "presented a grim image of the Obama era," went on to "hail[] the rise of Trump as an example of God’s will":

Thus, the Trump administration should not be regarded as an unmitigated triumph. Instead, Cahn showed, it is a charge and a challenge laid before both the nation and the new chief executive. It is for American believers to fulfill what is commanded in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – to seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways. And it is for Donald Trump, a man who has not lived the life of a believer, to now become a vessel for God.

Cahn gave a charge to the new president.

“As you are lifted up to become the most powerful man on earth, remember always that it is the Almighty who lifts up kings to the throne, and the Almighty who removes them,” Cahn said to Trump. “Your authority comes not from man but from God, the King above all kings. Therefore, submit your life to His authority, and by His authority you shall lead. Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.

“Your life has been a vessel of your will. Now it must become the vessel of His will and His purposes. Walk in His footsteps, seek His righteousness, and follow the leading of His voice.

“Uphold His ways, and you shall be upheld. Keep His Word and you shall be kept. Give honor to His name, above all names, and your name shall be honored. Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. If you do this, and you will arise, and you will shine, and the glory of the Lord will rise upon you.”

[...]

“What was it that all the experts and pollsters missed?” Cahn asked. “The answer was 3,000 years old: ‘If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.’

“For the power of prayer is stronger than kingdoms. And God is faithful. And His promises are true.”

Then, A Jan. 29 article touted how "An American-born member of the Israeli Knesset, in Washington for the inauguration of Donald Trump, says he sees the new administration in biblical terms in an era in which the words of the prophets are becoming a reality."

That was followed by Jesse Lee Peterson's column. After spreading his usual anti-Democrat hate (he claimed black men "believed in God and took care of themselves and their families" until "Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act" and "Democrats seduced blacks away from God and the Republican Party with 'programs'"), anti-Obama bile ("We know that a radical feminist mother who hated her own race raised Obama; he no doubt resented her, and, therefore, thinks and acts just like her") and false claims (he asserted "Murder, violent crime, unemployment and taxes all rose dramatically" when Cory Booker was mayor of Newark, N.J.; in fact, it was going down until the Great Recession forced the city to lay off police), Peterson declared that Trump is the "white savior" for blacks (no, really; his column is titled "TRUMP: WHITE SAVIOR TO BLACK AMERICA"):

Trump is going to reinstate law and order because he loves all Americans. His father was his role model. When men and women love their fathers, it’s like loving God, and they have real love and a desire to help people.

Still, many blacks hate Trump even though he is trying to save them. It reminds me of how Jesus Christ made it possible for us to return to the Father, and yet he was hated for that.

To help himself and his family, the black man must recognize that Donald Trump and whites aren’t the enemy. The black man’s anger was first caused by his impatient mother and grandmother who raised him (the father is rarely in the home). When the black man understands this and repents of his anger, he will be set free. He can then help himself, his family and his community.

After eight years of denigration of Obama -- Antichrist, anyone? -- WND can't stop heaping on the praise for Trump, praise he can't possibly live up to.

UPDATE: WND managing editor David Kupelian perpetuates the idea Trump is heaven-sent in his monthly begging-for-money letter (italics his): "In fact, many people, myself included, saw the hand of God in the election’s outcome, as if He were saying to America, in response to an avalanche of urgent prayers: 'You have fallen far away from Me, but I have not given up on you – and am giving you one last chance.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2017 11:16 PM EST
'State-Run Media' At CNS Repeat The Trump Line on Immigration Order
Topic: CNSNews.com

A couple of weeks ago, the Media Research Center declared NBC to be "state run TV" for airing what it considered an insufficiently hateful profile of President Obama.

But a new administration has taken power, and there are new "state-run" media outlets. One of them is the MRC's own "news" division, CNSNews.com.

CNS' coverage of President Trump's order stopping immigration from seven mostly-Muslim countries was, as usual, extremely Trump-friendly.

First CNS hammered the Trump talking point that it was not a "Muslim ban," as with the Susan Jones article headlined "Priebus and Conway Echo Trump: ‘This Is Not a Muslim Ban’." Jones failed to mention that Rudy Giuliani said that Trump told him he wanted a Muslim ban and that he asked Giuliani to form a commission to show him “the right way to do it legally.”

An article by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey dutifully transcribed White House press secretary Sean Spicer complaining that "some people are misinterpreting President Donald Trump’s executive order on protecting the United States from foreign terrorists seeking to travel here because they have not read the order themselves and are instead basing their understanding of it on 'misguided media reports.'" He didn't mention that the Trump White House has only itself to blame for that since, as CNN reported, administration officials took several hours to publicly release the text of Trump's action, and administration officials themselves were initally confused about what was in it.

Another article by Jeffrey reads like Spicer dictated it directly: "The order does not single out or specify any religion. It does not call for either advantageous or disadvantageous treatment of individuals belonging to any particular religious sect or denomination when the seek U.S. visas or admission as refugees." Jeffrey not only doesn't mention Giuliani's statement, his article is illustrated with a picture showing how "A member of the Islamic State removes the cross from atop a Christian church in Mosul, Iraq, in 2015." That image was also used to promtoe Jeffrey's article on the CNS front page (image above). It seems Jeffrey is trying to send a different message that the one he's writing about.

Jeffrey also wrote a column defending Trump's order, asserting yet again that it does not "mention or single out Muslims, Christians or any religious sect," adding "This could be a Sunni in a Shiite-majority country. Or it could be a Shiite, or, yes, a Christian in a Sunni majority country — like Syria." Jeffrey didn't mention that for well over a year, his reporter Patrick Goodenough has been attacking the Obama administration for letting in more Muslim Syrian refugees in comparison with Christians -- and rarely bothering to tell CNS readers that Muslims who oppose the Assad regime are being persecuted in Syria.

CNS also sided with Trump on the firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates for declining to enforce Trump's order amid questions about its legality. Jones wrote an article headlined "Trump WH Fires Sally Yates, Who 'Betrayed' DOJ 'By Refusing to Enforce a Legal Order'." which was illustrated by a protester holding a "Drain the Swamp" poster, indicating CNS' editorial approval of Yates' firing.

Michael Morris was on Trump-shilling patrol as well with an article about how "A recent Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 57% of likely U.S. voters favor President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees from seven Middle Eastern and African terrorist havens." He waited until the sixth paragraph to mention that the Rasmussen poll was taken before Trump actually issued his order.

Manwhile, CNS was trying to disparage any critic of Trump's order. One article by Jones seemed to mock Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer for crying during his criticism of it, while another Jones article obsessed over microphone problems at a rally led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

CNS also made sure to play stenograph for all praise of, and spin for, Trump and his order:

CNS also played its old game of gotcha with Democratic members of Congress, ambushing them with the question of whether "the U.S. should prioritize refugee admissions for persecuted religious minorities" as stated in Trump's order.

CNS' Penny Starr, who's been doing the ambushing, got into an argument with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer for calling Trump's order a Muslim ban "even though the executive order does not mention a specific religion":

“It is a religious test,” Hoyer said.

CNSNews.com told Hoyer at the briefing: “It doesn’t say Muslim, Jew, Christian in the actual executive order.”

“The seven nations are all Muslim nations,” Hoyer said. “If it were nonspecific as to religious minorities, it would say anybody that’s religiously persecuted.

“But [the order] says all persecuted religious minorities,” CNSNews.com responded.

“I understand,” Hoyer said. “I do not rationalize that distinction, nor do most people who have – legal scholars who have reviewed it.

“They believe it is, in fact, a religious test, which is unconstitutional, in my opinion under the First Amendment,” Hoyer said.

Starr couldn't be doing this any better if she was on the Trump White House payroll. Is she?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2017 7:45 PM EST
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Conflict of Interest: Newsmax Doesn't Disclose It Published Horowitz Book It's Promoting
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has been touting the new pro-Trump book by David Horowitz, "Big Agenda":

  • A Jan. 12 article promotes the book as "the first major book to be released on Trump's presidency (release date January 17), and reveals major components of his "first 100 days" plan and first-term agenda."
  • A Jan. 18 column by John Gizzi claimed that "Author David Horowitz's new book 'Big Agenda: Trump's Plan to Save America' drew fire from White House Spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday," asserting that the book was "already topping the best-seller lists
  • A Jan. 19 article highlights how Horowitz's book "released just this week, reveals Trump's 'first 100 days strategy' to roll back Obama's legislative and executive record."
  • A Jan. 20 article proclaimed Horowitz as "author of the just-released bestseller, 'Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America.'"(If it's just released, how can it already be a "bestseller"?)
  • That same dubious claim is made in another Jan. 20 article on Horowitz.
  • A Jan. 27 article regurgitates a Daily Caller review of the book claiming the book explains "how America will change for the better under the leadership of the nation's 45th president."
  • A Feb. 1 article touts a Newsmax TV special on the book.

Only two of these articles mentioned the book's publisher, Humanix; the Jan. 12 article claimed Humanix "also offered the #1 bestselling book on the 2016 campaign with its 'Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary.'"

None of these articles, however, mention that (as we've documented) Humanix Books is owned by Newsmax.

That's a fairly serious conflict of interest, though one it's done before in promoting "Armageddon," written by disgraced right-wing pundit Dick Morris.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: NewsBusted: The Blumer File, Part 2
Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer is as clueless as ever about how the media works -- which he topped by justifying the racism of Trump supporters. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EST
Down the Credibility Spiral: Corsi Moves from WND to Infowars
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi made the announcement on Twitter: He has left WorldNetDaily to join Alex Jones' Inforwars operation, where he hopes to be its White House correspondent, if he can get the credentials. (Apparently, despite what claimed were "12 very good years" at WND, they weren't good enough for Corsi to give Joseph Farah and Co. proper notice of his leaving; he said in a later tweet that "I resigned from WND on Monday & began working w INFOWARS today TUES Jan. 31.")

This new job seems like a perfect fit for Corsi: Having destroyed his crediblity through his biased and inaccurate work for WND, Infowars -- the even less credible and even more conspiracy -obsessed than WND -- is probably only other place that will have him and keep up the charade that he's a real reporter.

WND hired Corsi following the publication of his 2004 hit job on John Kerry, "Unfit for Command" -- before which he was known only for vulgar posts on right-wing message boards -- a book that was unreliable but served its purpose by undermining Kerry's presidential bid.

We've summarized Corsi's WND career here, which includes the following:

  • In 2008 he published falsehood-ridden smear book "The Obama Nation," which he promoted on white nationalist radio shows.
  • He also became a birther and flew to Kenya for some purported investigative reporting, which resulted only with a run-in with authorities there and a handful of documents designed to smear Obama but were obviously fake.
  • He and Farah fed Donald Trump birther stories behind the scenes. When President Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011, it knocked the legs out from under Corsi's "Where's the Birth Certificate," which came out the following month.
  • Corsi apparently tried to take revenge on Obama for this by pushing sleazy tales about him and his mother.
  • Corsi also helped Sheriff Joe Arpaio sleaze into existence the biased and incompetent "Cold Case Posse" to investigate Obama's birth certifidcdate.
  • Corsi then pushed a claim -- that a ring Obama wears has Arabic writing on it -- that was so ridiculous that even Corsi's fellow birthers felt compelled to discredit it.
  • Corsi followed his 2012 failure by publishing a book pushing another wild conspiracy theory: that Adolf Hitler didn't commit suicide at the end of World War II but, rather, fled to South America.
  • By the time the 2016 election rolled around, Corsi was such an irrelevant afterthought that his hit job book on Hillary Clinton tanked.
  • Corsi also teamed up with fellow sleaze merchant Roger Stone to throw all the mud they could find at Clinton.

Corsi's atrocious journalistic record is one key reason WND was forced to beg for money from readers last year in order to stay afloat -- such is the level of Corsi's (and WND's) credibility.

And now, Corsi has found a new job at an outlet with even less credibility than WND. Well played, Jerry.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EST
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
CNS' March for Live Coverage Was As Positive As Its Women's March Coverage Was Negative
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we expected, CNSNews.com did not follow the mandate of its boss, Brent Bozell and give the March for Life the same amount and type of coverage it gave the Women's March. Contrary to CNS' sparse and overwhelming negative coverage of the Women's March, CNS' treatment of the March for Life was voluminous and unfailiingly positive, with a lot of pro-Trump bias worked in as well as the political opinion of an entertainer (well, a football player) that CNS says we're not supposed to listen to:

Such one-sided coverage violates (again) CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Of course, CNS has always been exempt from the media mandates of its boss -- and, as a result, is far more biased than any of the media outlets Bozell and Co. denounce for their purported "liberal bias."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:43 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2017 3:45 PM EST
It's Opposite Day In Joseph Farah's Column
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah rants in his Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily column:

Well, now many of these red diaper babies are all grown up, and they’re squealing in horror and outrage because maybe Hillary Clinton’s campaign might have been, possibly, hacked by Russians during the run-up to the 2016 election. They exaggerate the unproven breach by making it sound like Moscow hacked voting booths all over the U.S. to turn Hillary votes into Trump votes.

It’s maniacal conspiracy theorizing with no evidence to back it up.

Meanwhile, ask any one of these Russia-bashers if voter fraud had any impact on the 2016 election and they will all say, “Absolutely not! Never happened. It’s a myth. There’s no evidence of voter fraud in the U.S.”

Why? Because voter fraud is actually part of their campaign strategy. They encourage it. They incubate it. They subsidize it. They recruit it. In fact, from their perspective, it’s not even fraud. It’s the right of every non-citizen to vote in America. After all, we’re all citizens of the world. And if those votes overwhelmingly support their candidates and causes, then it must be something God smiles upon.

While there is absolutely no credible, independent evidence to suggest Russia had any impact on the 2016 election, there is overwhelming, conclusive, proof-positive evidence of widespread voting by people who are ineligible to vote. And, thank God, President Trump is ordering an investigation of it.

And, at the end of the day, what’s this Russia-phobia and voter-fraud blindness all about?

It’s about the fact that the so-called progressives cannot accept the outcome of the presidential election. They can’t understand what happened.

You know what's funny? If you replace Farah's references to Russia with references to Barack Obama's birth certificate, he'd be talking about himself for the last eight years -- after all, that remains "maniacal conspiracy theorizing" with "absolutely no credible, independent evidence" to support it.

Farah's huffing that "so-called progressives cannot accept the outcome of the presidential election" is particularly precious because, again, he's talking about himself. He never accepted the outcome of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections; remember, he wrote in a 2014 column: "Obama has never been my president. I have steadfastly refused to acknowledge him as such. He is undeserving of the honorific. To this day, I am unconvinced he is even eligible for office."

In rejecting conspiracy theories and the idea of pretending the president isn't really the president, Farah is not only rejecting the tactics he spent the past eight years promoting, he's ascribing them to his political enemies. That shows what an utterly craven hypocrite Farah is.

Finally, Farah doesn't cite any of that "overwhelming, conclusive, proof-positive evidence of widespread voting by people who are ineligible to vote" he claims exists. Perhaps because WND can't cite any.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EST
No, MRC, WaPo Didn't Concede That Liberal Media Bias Has 'Documentary Backing'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock declared in a Jan. 27 post that "In an online column about the mainstream media, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple on Friday conceded that claims of liberal media bias have 'documentary backing.'"

No, he didn't.

In his Jan. 27 column, Wemple was actually talking about liberal identification among journalists, not bias:

The characterization of mainstream media newsrooms as left-leaning hives indeed has documentary backing. Some of the research is narrow and entertaining: In 1990, for example, Washington City Paper — then under the leadership of current Politico media critic Jack Shafer — found that Tony Kornheiser, then a sports columnist for The Washington Post, was the only registered Republican among a sampling of 49 top editors, reporters and columnists at the newspaper. And Kornheiser was a RINO. “I don’t think the Republican Party would claim me,” Kornheiser told reporter Christy Wise, adding that he and his wife had registered with different parties so that they could receive mailings from both sides. Upon further reflection, he deemed his party affiliation a “mistake.”

The Pew Research Center in 2004 undertook a nationwide survey of 547 local and national reporters, editors and executives. The result? Thirty-four percent of national press identified as liberal, as opposed to 7 percent conservative (“moderate” was the largest category). Liberal identification among national press types had shot up from 22 percent in 1995.

Liberal identification by journalists does not necessarily equal liberal media bias, no matter how much the MRC is paid to claim otherwise. Liberal journalists working for a mainstream publication are arguably more likely than a conservative journalist working for a conservative media outlet to be fair and balanced (see: the MRC's Trump-fluffing "news" division CNSNews.com), and you will never see the conservatives who demand that mainstream outlets skew right allow liberals to write at conservative outlets (CNS has no liberal columnists).

Wemple quotes the MRC's Tim Graham claiming that young conservative journalists want to work at mainstream outlets but aren't getting interviewed: "They’re there for the interviewing and not just the 20-somethings." But Graham provides no evidence that "mainstream" outlets are refusing to interview conservatives based on identification alone; it's more likely that conservative journalists have shown no interest in being fair and balanced.

That's uniroinically followed by Graham throwing shade at conservative writers who actually did get jobs at the Post:

He cites the trajectory of journalists such as Bob Costa and Jonathan Martin, both of whom once worked for the conservative National Review and are now at The Washington Post and New York Times, respectively. But does that mean they’re both conservatives?

Not necessarily, responds Graham. “Let me be blunt, though,” he continues. “Any reporter who is willing to blog for the National Review without vomiting is at least somebody in whom conservatives vest hope. We are so hungry for a foothold.”

It's that kind of ideologically driven logic that makes Graham a terrible media critic.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EST

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