We'veestablished that CNSNews.com is little more than a stenographer for the Trump administration. It was Trump's obedient servant again this week for President Trump's claim that the media isn't covering reports of terrorist attacks.
Melanie Arter (nee Hunter) led the stenography brigade with her loyal transcription of how Trump said "'the very, very dishonest press' doesn’t want to report on the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorists determined to strike the homeland." CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman followed up with an article copying-and-pasting the "list of 78 terrorist attacks" the Trump White House says were underreported.
CNS won't report, however, what a mess that list is (the typos that CNS faithfully reproduced, wuch as the repeated misspellings of "attack," are the least of it). Actual reporters at the Washington Post point out that many of the attacks listed did not result in fatalities, the list omits non-Western victims, it includes attacks such as the San Bernardino and Orlando nightclub attacks that indisputably not underreported, and appears to list one attack that was a workplace dispute and not terrorism.
Note to CNS: Serving as a stenographer doesn't fulfill your self-proclaimed mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
More WND Fake News: Author Exaggerates Bio in WND-Published Book Topic: WorldNetDaily
When we first wrote about WorldNetDaily's favorite Donald Trump fanfiction writer Ted Malloch, we noted his propensity for pumping up his resume. WND insisted on presenting him as Theodore Roosevelt Malloch in honor of his claimed lineage to the former president, but we could find no proof of it. And in a May WND column, Malloch described himself this way to sell himself as a VP pick for Trump:
THEODORE ROOSEVELT MALLOCH, Republican extraordinaire, Oxford professor, Ph.D., best-selling author, earliest Trump supporter (see: WND archive), international political economist of some renown, accomplished corporate strategist, served on dozens of boards, held ambassadorial position for President Reagan in the U.N., worked in the State Department and in the U.S. Senate. No skeletons, great namesake and very good-looking.
Turns out Malloch has gone way overboard in his self-aggrandizement -- to the point that it's not true at all.
Upon Trump's appointment of Malloch as U.S. ambassador to the European Union (which WND is absolutely giddy about), The Financial Times looked into Malloch's WND-published book "Davos, Aspen & Yale: My Life Behind the Elite Curtain as a Global Sherpa" and fond that several things Malloch writes about himself "are misleading or are contradicted by available evidence." Among them:
He claimed that a documentary he made "was nominated for an Emmy Award"; in fact, it was for a regional Emmy in the Lower Great Lakes.
He claimed that Margaret Thatcher described him as a "genius" and "global sherpa" in a 1992 speech; in fact, those words weren't said specifically about him.
He claimed he was "knighted in the Sovereign Order of St John by the Queen, Elizabeth II herself" and that "to my family and closest friends, I am therefore known as Sir Ted"; in fact, the honor is several ranks below knighthood and carries no right to a title like "Sir."
He claimed he was "made a laird by Lord Lyon of Scotland and given a personal coat of arms with a fancy Latin inscription"; in fact, the Lord Lyon does not have the power to make anyone a laird.
He claimed he completed his "entire doctoral program in an unprecedented less than three years"; in fact, he completed it in four years.
The Scotsman newspaper adds that Malloch wrote in his book that he was "president of the Ancient Scottish Universities Trust"; in fact, there is no such institution by that name.
Meanwhile, WND has published a new insta-book by Malloch, in which he takes his Trump-fluffing skills to new heights by writing about Trump's election win and puporting to explain how, "as the twenty-first century Theodore Roosevelt, Trump is a strong and authentic leader who will fix America, defend America, and make it great again."
We're guessing WND fact-checked that one about as well as his first one. Then again, WND did republish so-called historian David Barton's book on Thomas Jefferson that was considered so fact-deficient that its original publisher withdrew it from the marketplace, and the WND edition includes added falsehoods about the critics who forced the withdrawal of the book in the first place.
NEW ARTICLE: Russia's New ConWeb Comrades, Part 2 Topic: Accuracy in Media
CNSNews.com and Accuracy in Media joined WorldNetDaily in defending Donald Trump -- and, thus, Vladimir Putin -- over allegations that the Russians meddled in the U.S. presidential election. Read more >>
Another Fake-News Fail From WND, George Soros Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
An anonymous writer asserts in a Feb. 5 WorldNetDaily article under the clickbait-y headline "12 top Republicans backed by Soros in 2016":
WASHINGTON – Everyone knows about the tens of millions of dollars various George Soros front groups poured into Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential efforts in 2016, but the Republicans he supported – from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and his predecessor, John Boehner, have received less attention.
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich was also a big recipient of Soros largesse – to the tune at least $202,700. That makes Soros one of the Kasich presidential campaign’s top funders.
While the Soros Fund Management, just one of the Hungarian billionaire’s political tentacles, spent $224,300 on Democratic Party congressional campaigns in 2016, it also spent $31,400 on Republicans, including $10,800 on Ryan – the most of any member of the GOP, the same as it invested in Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a Democrat.
Other GOP congressional recipients of Soros contributions include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ($2,500); Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. ($2,700); Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev. ($2,700); Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio ($2,600); Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif. ($2,500); Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. ($1,000); Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa ($1,000); Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. ($1,000); Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. ($1,000); and Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y. ($300).
Except that's not what happened at all. As Mediaite points out, those donations were from employees who happen to work at Soros Fund Management, not from Soros personally as the anonymous WND reporter is claiming.
That anonymous reporter curiously failed to state where his or her information came from, but it was obviously the Center for Responsive Politics; the article includes a donation chart that was lifted from the CMP. But WND missed the bold, colored type below that chart at CMP: "The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families."
This story was published two days after WND complained about another media outlet publishing a "fake news" story.
MRC Writer Sloppily Labels Berkeley Protest As Both 'Liberal' And 'Left-Wing' Topic: Media Research Center
As much as the Media Research Center likes to whine about precision of political labeling -- witness its complaint about usage of "anti-abortion" versus "pro-life" -- the MRC's Kristine Marsh is extremely sloppy about it in a Feb. 2 post:
Last night the ultra liberal campus of U.C. Berkeley erupted in violence after an estimated 1,000 students came out to protest Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who was invited to speak by the school’s College Republicans. The crowd quickly turned into a mob when they began setting fires, throwing smoke bombs, breaking windows and punching Trump supporters while chanting against Trump and Yiannopoulos. But instead of accurately identifying the crowd as a liberal, left-wing mob, ABC, NBC, and CBS went out of their way to avoid using any harsh labels or political ideology to describe the crowd. All three networks refused to describe the crowd as liberal, saving the “conservative” and “controversial” labels for Yiannopoulos.
Marsh seems to think that "liberal," "left-wing" and "ultra liberal" are interchangable. They're not, and she offers no evidence otherwise. How can a "mob" be both "liberal" and "left-wing"? What makes it so? How did Marsh determine that the violent elements were either, or both? She doesn't explain.
In fact, the protest against Yiannopoulos was peaceful until a group of "black bloc" anarchists -- who are likely not even students at Berkeley -- showed up.
Marsh's outrage that Yiannopoulos was accurately labeled as "conservative" and "controversial" is hilarious. Is she denying that those words apply to him? It would appear so, because she continues to rant about it (boldface is hers):
On CBS, correspondent John Blackstone called Yiannopoulos a “ultra conservative” known for his “outrageous comments and articles.”
ABC referred to him as “right-wing” twice, while NBC’s Almaguer described him as “a leading member of the Alt-Right movement” from the “far right.” NBC’s Hoda Kotb also called Yiannopoulos as the “controversial” editor of “right-leaning” Breitbart News.
On top of that,instead of focusing the criticism on the ones causing violence, all three networks took the opportunity to bash Yiannopoulos instead, calling him out for past controversial statements in an apparent effort to legitimize the violent riot.
NBC’s Miguel Almaguer called out Yiannopoulos in his report for his “racist and misogynistic views,” “inciting harassing tweets” and being accused of being a part of “the growing group of white nationalists.” CBS anchor Gayle King also delved into Yiannopoulos’ “racist and misogynistic” online comments.
Marsh does not dispute any of this -- she can't because it's indisputably true -- only huffs that it's being said about him.
If only Marsh would learn to be as precise about labeling people she hates as she is about people she agrees with.
WND Still Serving As Operation Rescue's PR Spinmeisters Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've writtenbefore about how Operation Rescue has enlisted WorldNetDaily to whitewash its connection to anti-abortion violence -- specifically, the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, and how litigious it is about trying to enforce that whitewash. (Disclosure: We've received a cease-and-desist letter from them through WND, since it published a book, "Abortion Free," by president Troy Newman and assistant Cheryl Sullenger, over an earlier post we wrote on them. We explained that we reported on the group in a fair and balanced way and that we did nothing that WND itself hasn't done; we never heard from them again.)
Now, Operation Rescue is back at it again, with WND's help. A Jan. 10 article by Bob Unruh tells us the group is outraged that U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal described Operation Rescue "as a group that advocates execution of abortion providers," and uncritically serves up the group's defense (repeated in a Jan. 29 article by Unruh describing how Operation Rescue president Troy Newman and his lawyer "visited Blumenthal’s office to deliver" a letter "seeking a retraction and apology"):
Operation Rescue also was previously attacked by Terri Butler of the Australian parliament by using out-of-context statements from a book about the Old Testament’s practices for dealing with the death of an innocent person.
“In that book, which was a theological study of the biblical doctrine of bloodguilt, Newman and Sullenger discuss the Old Testament principle that required those who commit murder should be sentenced to death by a court of justice. They surmised that if indeed abortion is murder, then it would be acceptable, based on the Old Testament teachings, for governments to treat it as it does any other murder with those convicted through a court of law subject to the same punishments other murderers would face, including capital punishment.”
But the explanation notes Butler refused to mention “later chapters in that now out of print book referenced the New Testament concept that mercy is preferable to judgment, and that repentance and restoration is available through Jesus Christ to all men who seek it.”
“There is a distinct difference between saying that the Bible gives the authority to governments to execute justice, as we explained in the book, and advocating that individuals commit murder of abortion providers, as Ms. Butler erroneously has accused Mr. Newman of doing,” Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger wrote in a letter Australian officials at the time.
In fact, in the book in question -- "Their Blood Cries Out," a title Unruh curiously fails to provide to his readers -- Newman is indeed advocating for the execution of abortion providers. As we've previously noted, Newman's claiming that abortion doctors should go through the legal system before being executed is still advocacy for execution, no matter how much he tries to deny it; what he actually writes in "Their Blood Cries Out" does not differentiate between abortion doctors doing their job legally and those who aren't. Thus, Blumenthal's statement that Operation Rescue "advocates execution of abortion providers" is factually accurate.
Further, Operation Rescue's dismissal of Newman's words by claiming the book is "out of print" is belied by the fact that the book is available for purchase through the Operation Rescue website (a screenshot of which is above). So Newman clearly has not renounced the book and its contents, contrary to what he and his lawyers are suggesting.
(Neither has Sullenger; her co-authorship of "Their Blood Cries Out" is touted in her WND Books bio and repeated in WNDarticles promoting "Abortion Free.")
Unruh, in both articles, also uncritically repeats Operation Rescue's denial of involvement in the murder of Tiller: "All accusations, implications, or inferences that there was any involvement by Operation Rescue in the death of George Tiller is completely false. Operation Rescue and its staff were not involved in any way. Operation Rescue explicitly denounces violence in any form as a means of ending abortion."
But as we've documented, Operation Rescue had contact with Tiller's murderer, Scott Roeder: not only did he have Sullenger's phone number on a note in his car when he was arrested, Roeder has claimed that Newman said it 'wouldnʼt upset' him if Tiller were murdered, as well as Roeder's claim that he was an active and regular participant in Operation Rescue events with "donation receipts, event T-shirts and a signed copy of Newman’s 2001 book, Their Blood Cries Out, to prove it." Further, given that Newman and Sullenger moved Operation Rescue's headquarters to Wichita for the specific purpose of targeting Tiller, it is logical to assume that even if Roeder had no connection to Operation Rescue (which he did no matter how much Newman has tried to deny it), the provocation of moving the headquarters and continued aggressive targeting of Tiller helped create an atmosphere that resulted in Tiller's murder by Roeder, whether or not Newman and Sullenger actually intended that outcome.
Further undermining the claim that "Operation Rescue explicitly denounces violence in any form as a means of ending abortion" is a newsrelease (h/t Media Matters) Operation Rescue under Newman and Sullenger issued a defending Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion doctor in Florida in 1994, by denouncing a court decision not to let Hill use as a defense in his trial the ability to call his murder a "justifiable defensive action" -- thereby effectively suggesting that the murder of an abortion doctor was justifiable. Newman and Sullenger called Hill's execution for the doctor's murder "nothing less than murder of a political prisoner." (Operation Rescue has since claimed that this seemingly self-evident interpretation is a "gross distortion," insisting that "Newman deplored the fact that Hill had murdered two people, but felt the need to express disappointment that the court refused to allow Hill to use the defense of his choosing, especially since conviction meant facing the possible death penalty.")
Operation Rescue must feel lucky to have such a pliant "news" organization like WND doing its PR work -- and being litigious -- for them.
MRC Digs Up A Zombie Lie to Defend Trump Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen, in a Jan. 30 post, predictably parroted the Trump administration in the matter of acting attorney general Sally Yates, pronouncing her "insubordinate" and touting how President Trump "lawfully fir[ed]" her "after she refused to do her job and enforce his executive order on immigration." But Drennen also dredges up a zombie lie in the process:
The media double standard on Justice Department staffing changes has been well-documented by the Media Research Center. In 2007, the networks hounded then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for firing eight U.S. attorneys and replacing them with appointees selected by the Bush administration, treating the common practice as if it were a scandal. However, in 1993, the press didn’t bat at eye at then-President Clinton firing 93 U.S. attorneys to make room for his political appointees.
As we documented way back in 2007 when the MRC first pushed this claim, what Clinton did -- calling for the resignations of U.S. attorneys is traditional at the start of every new administration -- was much different from what Gonzales did, which took place well into President George W. Bush's second term, and were appointed by Bush in the first place, amid speculation the attorneys were too tough on Republicans and not tough enough on Democrats, as well as newly passed legislation that allowed U.S. attorneys to be replaced on an interim basis without Senate or district court approval.
If the MRC is dredging up old Bush talking points to defend Trump, it will be a long next few years.
Muslim-Hating WND Reporter Blames Abortion For Muslims in U.S. Topic: WorldNetDaily
If abortion wasn't legal, we wouldn't have to deal with Muslims in the U.S.
That really is the premise of Muslim-hating WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann's latest attack. He explains it in an anonymously written Jan. 30 WND article:
Leo Hohmann, a veteran WND reporter who authored the new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and the Resettlement Jihad,” says he believes immigration from Muslim countries might not be such a big concern today if not for the prevalence of abortion in the U.S. since 1973.
“In ‘Stealth Invasion,’ I lay bare a sinister globalist strategy that has been going on for decades, playing us, the people, for fools,” Hohmann said.
“The global elites, using our public education system, pop culture and other modes of indoctrination, encourage people in Western democracies to have smaller and smaller families. We’re told rigorous family planning and abortion on demand are good for our country. The incessant promotion by these elites of sterile same-sex marriages is part and parcel of the same agenda. We are missing approximately 58 million people in America as a result of abortions alone. The fertility rate is down to 1.9 children per woman in the U.S. – that’s less than replacement.”
Having created the problem of population decline, the same global elites then turn around and offer a solution, according to Hohmann.
“Because we listened to them and had smaller families, they say we need to open our borders and expand our immigration numbers,” the author explained. “We must become more ‘inclusive’ and ‘diverse,’ to use the words of the globalists, because we don’t have enough worker bees to sustain economic growth. We must ‘fill in the gaps’ with refugees, illegals and temporary work permits! In short, we must be more ‘welcoming’ to the Third World. Once in the country, these migrants have much larger families than Europeans, Americans or Canadians.
“If these ‘missing’ Americans aren’t ‘replaced’ with migrants, our companies won’t have enough of a labor force to fill their needs and our aging work force won’t have enough worker bees to support their Social Security during retirement, we are told by folks like Jeb Bush and John Kasich.”
Considering that Islam is by far the world’s fastest-growing religion, self-induced reductions in native-born Western populations could prove fatal.
“Abortion, same-sex marriages and other values of the post-Christian Europe are now coming back to haunt,” Hohmann warned. “Will America continue to proceed blindly down the same suicidal path?”
This is just a version of the "demographic winter" argument pushed by white nationalists, reframed to emphasize the Christian vs. Muslim aspect. The goal is the same: to scare white people about brown people outbreeding them.
Creeping WND-ization of The MRC Watch, CNS Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
We've caught CNSNews.com seemingly lifting story ideas from WorldNetDaily twice in the past couple months. Why wouldn't it also lift a couple of its columnists and authors as well?
A Jan. 27 post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touts Jesse Lee Peterson's ridiculous portrayal of Donald Trump as the "white savior" for black America during an appearance on Newsmax TV. That gives us an unusual intersection of three main ConWeb components.
A few days later, CNS republished Peterson's WND column on the subject, -- albeit changing the headline from WND's statement of fact "Trump: White Savior to Black America") to a question ("Is President Trump the White Savior to Black America?") --including the even more ridiculous assertion that black men "believed in God and took care of themselves and their families" until they got civil rights and "Democrats seduced blacks away from God and the Republican Party."
(We noted Peterson's meshing with WND's interest in depicting Trump as a messianic figure.)
Then, in a Feb. 2 post, Chapman nicked another WND favorite, birther pastor Carl Gallups. Chapman didn't mention the birther stuff, of course, despite devoting two paragraphs to Gallups' bio; he was too excited to be quoting Gallups trashing the idea of evolution, which somehow morphs into claiming that immigration to America is a "judgment from God":
Evangelical pastor and best selling author Carl Gallups said the United States has violated so many of God's moral borders in relation to sexuality, family, marriage, gender, and even the teaching of atheistic evolution that it affects our geographical borders, such that enemies enter and chaos erupts in society. This is both spiritual and physical warfare, he added, stressing that the current political attempt to bring law, order, and borders back to the nation -- to right the ship of state -- is facing opposition from the left and its "counterpart in the demonic realm."
“Here’s what I have been saying for years," said Pastor Gallups during a Jan. 30 interview on the Rob Schilling Show (Newsradio WINA). "Look, we have violated the borders of our children’s minds. For 100 years we have told them that they come from monkeys and that there is no God. We have violated the borders of their souls and their spirits."
"We have violated the borders of the womb in America and have destroyed 60 million children," said Gallups. "We have violated the borders of sexuality. We have violated the borders of family. We have violated the borders of marriage. We have violated the borders of gender."
"And now," he said, "as a judgment from God or as discipline from God, our own geographical borders are now being violated."
NEW ARTICLE: Russia's New ConWeb Comrades, Part 1 Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily rushed to defend Donald Trump -- and, thus, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin -- over increasingly proven allegations that the Russians meddled in the U.S. presidential election. Read more >>
CNS' Coverage of Unemployment Changes Under Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
We had an inkling that CNSNews.com would not treat unemployment numbers as harshly under President Trump than it did under President Obama. Looks like we've been proven right.
In her main story on January's unemployment numbers, CNS reporter Susan Jones touted job outlook improvements -- something she did only grudgingly under Obama -- and seemed sad that she couldn't credit Trump for it all:
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday released its first look at employment since Donald Trump became president, and although that report does not reflect actual Trump policy changes, it does include the period just before Trump became president and was tweeting about jobs saved.
According to BLS, the labor force participation rate improved in January, increasing two-tenths of a point to 62.9 percent, its best showing in four months.
By contrast to Jones' enthusiasm for Trump "tweeting about jobs saved" -- she insisted that January's report "undoubtedly reflects anticipation of Trump’s policies" -- CNS made every effort to downplayanddiscredit talk of jobs that were saved under Obama's stimulus plan.
Jones also did something she rarely did during the Obama administration: explicitly state that one major reason for the high labor force participation rate she regularly blamed Obama for is the "retirement of baby boomers" and that "Members of the baby-boom generation will continue to retire from the labor force in large numbers."
The only sidebar this time around -- CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman declined to fret about black unemployment or tell us the "real" unemployment number this month as he usually has, and probably never will again during the Trump presidency -- is from editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, who proclaimed that "The United States gained 5,000 jobs in manufacturing in January while losing 10,000 in government."
WND's Farah Blames Sin for Climate Change Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Hoseph Farah has a new book out, "The Restitution of All Things" -- published by WND, natch, which means this is effectively a vanity project -- which claims to provide "a clear picture of what the coming kingdom of God will be like." Iin his Jan. 31 column, Farah offers an, er, creative interpretation of climate change apparently taken from his book:
I used to be a “denier,” as those who sacrifice their reasoning ability at the altar of Big Government power label skeptics of man-made, catastrophic climate change.
If you asked me, do you believe in it? I would have said no.
But the deeper I get into the study the Scriptures, I have to admit, my opinion has changed. I do believe man’s behavior on the Earth can have catastrophic consequences – and, indeed, has in the past.
However, before the climate-change lobby begins celebrating a convert to the cause, let me say unequivocally that my acceptance of past, current and future changes in the climate – including those with potentially catastrophic results – has nothing whatsoever to do with an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the activity of mankind.
Instead, I have concluded that previous climate catastrophes have been the result of another activity of man – the commission of sin.
While Al Gore and the carbon-phobes have no evidence to support their dire predictions of imminent doom other than computer modeling, those who take my position actually have more than 6,000 years of biblical and historical patterns along with the inerrant Word of God.
So maybe it’s time for a new bumper sticker – “SIN, NOT CARBON, CAUSES CLIMATE CHANGE.”
Blame Adam and Eve for this, Farah says:
We know the Garden of Eden was the perfect climate for mankind because Adam and Eve didn’t even need clothes. There’s really nowhere on the planet today where you would be comfortable 365 days a year without any duds whatsoever – and that’s putting aside the shame factor. Even in Hawaii you have fluctuating temperatures that would make nudists uncomfortable from time to time.
When Adam and Eve committed the first sin by eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good an Evil, everything changed – including the climate.
Farah also interprets the flood of Noah-and-his-ark fame as producing climate change: "People didn’t live as long as the generations before Noah. Perhaps the oxygen content of the atmosphere was reduced." He even called the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah an "environmental disaster." He concludes that "God did not forsake intervening in the climate when sin ran amok."
Clearly, science is not a big interest for Farah.
We have to wonder: Does Farah view being reduced to beg for money from his readers last year to keep WND afloat as a sign from God that perhaps he was not on the right path with with his falsehood-laden war against Obama?
MRC's Graham Is Still Serving Up Terrible Media Criticism Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham made an appearance on C-SPAN on Jan. 29, undoubtedly happy that the channel played the Fox News game and didn't have anyone else on with him (like, say, John Avlon). Graham repeated his usual right-wing anti-media talking points, reminding us that he cares nothing about the media and everything about partisan attacks. And he reminded us why he's a terrible media critic.
Responding to a caller who called New York City a police state, Graham responded:
I would say to you that the news media is very hyperbolic right now about fact-checking. And the same newspapers that hire a fact-checker, like the Washington Post, will have a big article in the Sunday paper about how [Trump] compares to the dictators of literature. The caller suggests that New York City was a police state, all right? If we asked PolitiFact to evaluate whether New York City is a police state -- but they won't do that. When you look at PolitiFact since -- their evaulations of utterances by politicians from election day to inauguration day, they didn't evaluate Barack Obama once from -- during the entire Trump transition. That shows you that their fact-checking is -- they check who they want to check. And they make hyperbolic statements all the time about Trump being a dicator and a loon and all that, and they say, "we're the fact-checkers." Nobody trusts hyperbolic fact-checkers.
While it may be true that PolitiFact evaluated no statement by Obama since the election, Graham provides no reason why that should have been the case or even offered an example of Obama saying something -- anything -- that needed to be fact-checked. He's also rather deliberately confusing news and opinion; he never admits that any supposed Washington Post article on how Trump "compares to the dictators of literature" is an opinion piece, while the fact-checkers work on the news side. The people writing opinion pieces critical of Trump at the Post are not the same people doing fact-checking, and Graham knows it -- it just plays into his right-wing agenda to pretend there's no separation.
This is merely an extension of the MRC's war on fact-checkers -- and, thus, facts -- which it fought all through the presidential campaign to cover up for the fact that Trump lies about pretty much everything all the time.
Graham also gets in a rant against public radio, ridiculously asserting that NPR is "every bit as biased as Rush Limbaugh ... every bit as biased as Mark Levin," then complains that conservative tax dollars pay for NPR, which "routinely attacks conservatives." Again, Graham offers no factual evidence to back up his claim that federal tax money directly pays for purported NPR bias.
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.
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, didsendsomeone 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.