MRC Joins Anti-Immigrant Bandwagon, Exploits Alleged Rape Case Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hasn't historically done much in the way of anti-immigrant activism, but apparently that's changing.
Last week, two students at a high school in suburban Washington, D.C., were arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting another student in a school restroom. One of the alleged assailants is an undocumented immigrant, however, and the second is a recent arrival to the U.S. So the MRC decided the story was ripe for a little right-wing political exploitation.
In a March 21 post, the MRC's Curtis Houck cheered that a reporter from the Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C., asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer about the incident, going on to complain: "As far as we can tell, no network or cable news coverage has been given to the rape that occurred last week at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland since it’s an inconvenient story for their liberal narrative."
Or, you know because it's a local story that doesn't merit national coverage. Not that the MRC will allow a little thing like that conflict with its political agenda.
Indeed, the next day, Kristine Marsh had already convicted the defendants without a trial -- and cheered that her favorite news outlet did latch onto the story:
Last Thursday, a young girl attending Rockville High School in Maryland was brutally gang raped in her school’s bathroom by two fellow students, at least one of which was in the country illegally. Jose O. Montano, 17, from El Salvador, and Henry E. Sanchez-Milian, 18, from Guatemala, were charged last week with raping their 14-year-old female classmate in the school’s men’s bathroom. Both had only been in Montgomery County for a few months before they were placed in the school’s 9th grade class. Sanchez-Milian is a confirmed illegal immigrant that is being detained by ICE officials while officials will not comment on Montano’s immigration status, as he is a minor.
Fox News’s Bret Baier was the first reporter to tell the story on national television on his show Monday.
Marsh asserted that the reason why "ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC, don’t want to report" the story is because "it makes their side look bad." Curiously, she doesn't ascribe any political motivation to Fox News' report, even though "it makes the other side look bad" is much more plausible than the mind-reading she imposes on those other outlets.
Later on March 22, Houck complained that "The 'big three' networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC continued their shameful blackout into Wednesday night of the horrifying alleged rape of a teenage girl in a Washington D.C. suburb high school bathroom by two men, including one here in the U.S. illegally. Instead, the pathetic liberal media that’s shown no interest in the Rockville High School case complied with Rolling Stone in giving over 10 minutes of coverage in two days to the fake 2014 claim that a University of Virginia fraternity gang raped a female student."
Houck didn't mention that the networks did not know the story was fake at the time they reported it. He did concede, though, that it "can be a noble cause" to report on sexual assault at college fraternities. But he also touted how Fox News ran another story on the case; while he assailed those media outlets who didn't report the story as "pro-illegal immigrant," he refused to describe Fox news as "anti-illegal immigrant" for embracing it.
Then, the MRC was rewarded for politicizing the story: MRCTV ranter Brittany Hughes made an appearance on "Fox & Friends," where she "lambasted ABC, CBS, and NBC for their callous refusal to cover the alleged heinous rape of a female student in a Washington D.C. suburban high school by two men and one of which is here in the country illegally."
Hughes hit all her talking points -- even ranting that the networks would rather be "slamming President Donald Trump's agenda" -- as the MRC post praised her for doing: "As we often do here at NewsBusters, Hughes astutely pointed to examples of what ABC and CBS gave airtime to instead of another crime allegedly committed by an illegal alien."
It's so funny -- in a sad way -- who the MRC pretends it doesn't have an agenda in accusing others of having an agenda. But then, they're not getting paid to be honest.
WND's Hohmann Still Fearmongering About Proposed Michigan 'Mega-Mosque' Topic: WorldNetDaily
It seems WorldNetDaily's chief Islamophobe, Leo Hohmann, isn't done fearmongering about a proposed mosque in Michigan. He ramps up the victimization arrative in a March 13 article:
The saga of the 21,000-square-foot mega-mosque in Sterling Heights, Michigan, is not over yet.
The mayor and city council voted Feb. 21 to settle a lawsuit by a Shiite Muslim group and allow it to build a mosque in a residential neighborhood populated largely by Chaldean Christian refugees who escaped Islamic persecution in Iraq.
A companion suit against the city by Barack Obama’s Department of Justice alleging the city had denied the mosque a permit based on “anti-Muslim” sentiments in the community was also settled at the Feb. 21 meeting, paving the way for the mosque to start construction.
But the counter-lawsuit filed Monday argues that city officials were actually favoring the Shiite Muslims of neighboring Madison Heights while ignoring the wishes of its own citizens who were overwhelmingly against the mosque.
If built, the American Islamic Community Center, or AICC, will become the third mosque in Sterling Heights.
As we documented, this proposed "mega-mosque" is actually about the size of an Aldi grocery store and about one-tenth the size of a megachurch. And he doesn't mention that there are at least 64 churches in Sterling Heights, so three mosques isn't really that a big of a deal.
Curiously, Hohmann dropped all mention of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal regulation that was invoked in the the fight to get the mosque built -- and a law WND has praised Christians for exploiting, at one point approvingly quoting one right-wing legal group as saying, First Liberty has won multiple cases using RLUIPA. ... We know this law well."
Instead, Hohmann attacked "Obama's DOJ" for getting involved in the case, adding a new smear by claiming that "Obama’s DOJ forced a madrassa on Pittsfield Township, near Ann Arbor." In fact, what was permitted was a school;Hohmann wants to maliciously portray it as a place where potential Islamist terrorists are created, like right-wingers do.
Hohmann also maliciously portrays the Muslim community in Sterling Heights as building the mosque to intimidate a group of Christians that live in the neighborhood where the mosque is to be built, who he claims "escaped Islamic persecution in Iraq." Needless to say, Hohmann can't be bothered to interview anyone in the local Muslim community about that slander.
MRC's Graham: 'You Have No Right To Tell Us What The Truth Is' Topic: Media Research Center
We know that the Media Research Center's Tim Graham is a terrible media critic, but other mainstream media outlets haven't figured that out yet.
The Associated Press got a comment from Graham for a March 6 article regarding aggressive media questioning of Trump surrogates
Many of Trump's supporters are angered by aggressive questioning because they believe the media did not ask similar tough questions of the Obama administration, said Tim Graham of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog.
"You have no right to tell us what the truth is," Graham said.
Actually, telling you what the truth is is pretty much a reporter's job, Tim.
We know what Graham wants: uncritical, fawning coverage of Trump, the kind the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, provides in spades.
(Oh, and Graham iscompletelywrong that the media never offered tough coverage of the Obama administration.)
Graham pops up again in a March 22 Washington Post article on how thte presence of Shepard Smith on Fox News drives people like Graham crazy:
However, Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative Media Research Center, buys the buzz that Smith is ready to bolt: “His aggressive defense of the liberal media suggests he’s looking at Greta Van Susteren and saying, ‘Yeah, I could do that.’ ” Van Susteren left Fox last summer and joined MSNBC.
Added Graham: “To me, it sounds like he’s advertising to other networks. It just seems bizarre for him to be sticking up for CNN and MSNBC. It’s like Jif peanut butter taking an ad sticking up for Skippy.”
But Graham's MRC praised CNN's Jake Tapper for that very same act of reporter defending in 2013, when the phone records of Fox News' James Rosen were seized in an investigation. It also touted that "Even very liberal journalists like Jonathan Alter have lashed out at Obama over the Rosen incident."
Did the MRC think these "liberal" reporters were advertising to Fox News? Probably not -- Graham and Co. just liked that its favorite news channel was being praised.
And that sort of rank double standard is just another reason why Graham is a terrible media critic that the "liberal media" shouldn't be taking seriously just to provide an alternate voice.
Another Fake-News Story Remains Live and Uncorrected At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has a problem with reporting dubious claims that later turn out to be completely false, then leaving the original claim on its website uncorrected.
So we have this anonymously written March 14 article:
Former President Obama used the British to spy on President Trump – both as a presidential candidate and as president-elect – to avoid having American “fingerprints” on the scandal, according to Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano.
He says three intelligence sources have confirmed the bombshell revelations.
Napolitano explained that statues allow the president to surveil anyone in the U.S. without suspicion, probable cause or a warrant, but doing so would leave a trail of evidence.
Instead, he said, Obama deliberately chose to use Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, the British spying agency with “24-7 access to the NSA database.”
He told “Fox & Friends” Tuesday:
Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice… He used GCHQ. What the heck is GCHQ? That’s the initials for the British spying agency. They have 24/7 access to the NSA database. So by simply having two people go to them and say ‘President Obama needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump, conversations involving President-elect Trump,’ [Obama’s] able to get it, and there’s no American fingerprints on this.
Napolitano claimed the GCHQ was approached on behalf of Obama. He said the unnamed man who ordered the surveillance quit his job in January.
“President Obama needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump, conversations involving President-elect Trump, he’s able to get it,” Napolitano said. “What happened to the guy who ordered this? Resigned three days after Donald Trump was inaugurated.”
Yet this utterly false story remains at WND, live and uncorrected. That's an egregious journalistic violation.
What was that WND editor Joseph Farah was saying about WND being staffed with "journalism professionals" with "collectively hundreds of years of experience" that, if true, would have kept them from committing such an egregious journalistic violation? Never mind.
MRC's Heathering of Anti-Trump Conservative Continues Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been regularly targeting conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin (a process we call Heathering), mainly because she didn't sell out her principles and blindly support Donald Trump (unlike the MRC). And the shots have continued:
In a Jan. 14 post, Brad Wilmouth sneered that "allegedly conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin sounded like just one more liberal analyst on top of the other four liberals already on the panel as she could only find negative things to say about Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare, and even fretted over the move to defund Planned Parenthood."
On Jan. 30, Wilmouth complained that Rubin "play[ed] the role of allegedly right-leaning MSNBC guest who mostly offers agreement to the liberal MSNBC host, and spends little time injecting the conservative point of view into the conversation."
On March 8, Wilmouth called her a "supposedly right-leaning" columnist who was "appearing on MSNBC to mostly agree with a liberal host."
The next day, Curtis Houck declared Rubin to be "shameless" for "touting federal bureaucracy as this marvelous institution that they (and not business, the people, and states) have been the impetus behind the country’s prosperity."
And on March 19, Wilmouth once again lamented that Rubin "has recently been a recurring MSNBC guest who has bolstered the network's anti-Republican commentaries" and grumbled that she "declared that she is not a Republican any longer" because of Trump. But he leaves relegated to transcript excerpts her explanation of what that is:
[Trumpism] has destroyed the Republican Party, which was based on a set of principles, frankly, that abhors discrimination, that is -- takes the Declaration seriously: "All men are created equal. All men are endowed with certain rights." Donald Trump and his sidekicks do not believe this. They have turned into this ethno-tribalism. It's contrary to American expressions of history of law from its founding.
He's a buffoon. He's insulting our British allies. He's insulting our German allies. Angela Merkel -- who has an election later this year -- you could see she wasn't too pleased at the press conference yesterday. I think there's going to be reaction against him with their far-right party in Germany as well.
It's telling that the MRC is burying this viewpoint instead of engaging with it. But then, the Mercers aren't giving the MRC millions of dollars a year to do that.
WND Invents 'Miracles' So Trump Can Take Credit For Them Topic: WorldNetDaily
Not only does WorldNetDailiy think Donald Trump is sent from God, it thinks he can perform miracles as well. An anonymous WND writer enthused in a March 10 article:
Is it the federal government’s hiring freeze on non-essential employees?
Or is it a miracle?
The U.S. debt clock is actually spinning backwards since Donald Trump moved into the White House Jan. 20.
On inauguration day, the debt stood at $19.947 trillion. Since then it has reversed by $68 billion, or 0.3 percent, for the first time in at least 10 years.
What happened in the same period after Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009? The debt rose $320 billion in the same period – an increase of 3.1 percent. Overall, the debt nearly doubled in Obama’s eight years, by far the largest increase in any administration in history.
The "miracle" here is that Trump supposedly caused this to happen despite having done nothing that would have caused it. Trump is wrong, of course, as PolitiFact points out:
"Considering that Trump hasn’t enacted any fiscal legislation, it’s a bit of a stretch for him to take credit for any changes in debt levels," Dan Mitchell, a libertarian economist and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told us.
"Debt levels go up and down in the short run based on independent factors such as quarterly tax payments and predetermined expenditure patterns," he said.
Dean Baker, an economist with the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research, said the temporary dip in the debt is triggered by the timing of tax payments and government spending, "both matters that he has not affected one iota."
Added Neil Buchanan, a George Washington University law professor and author of The Debt Ceiling Disasters: "No one who knows anything about budgeting would take a 30-day change to have any meaning at all. There is no credit to take, because it's like noticing that rainfall numbers from one month to the next are not exactly the same or that attendance at baseball games is not a constant number."
Donald Marron, Director of Economic Policy Initiatives at the Urban Institute, speculated that the drop in debt may be because President Barack Obama’s administration left Trump with cash on hand to run the government. So the government's need to borrow hasn't been high recently.
Also, WND has apparently forgotten that Obama took office while the economy was in free fall during a recession, less revenue was coming in, and new government spending was needed to pay unemployment benefits and food stamps.
The anonymous WND writer also touted taht Trump is "already making America great again" as shown by a higher than expected increase in new jobs, even though, again, Trump had implemented no policies that would have caused such an increase.
Yeah, Trump is such a miracle worker that WND has to embellish facts, if not outright lie, to demonstrate those miracles.
MRC's Blumer Pushes Obama Unemployment Stats Conspiracy Theory Topic: NewsBusters
White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to handwave the double standard between Donald Trump's pre-elecction assertions that the government's unemployment numbers were somehow rigged with the Trump administration's embrace of positive numbers in February by declaring, "They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now."
The one person who didn't think that was a ridiculous statement? Media Research Center blogger Tom Blumer. Why? He has a conpsiracy theory for that.
Trump's apparent belief in the jobs numbers as relayed by his press secretary may be defensible, despite his campaign rhetoric.
The AP reporters failed to note that former BLS head Erica Groshen's four-year term expired on January 27, six weeks before yesterday's release.
Groshen's appointment was delayed for 11 months before she was confirmed in January 2013, likely because of Republican senators' and others' concerns over appointing a far-left partisan with "ties to decidedly left-wing political groups" into a technical position with the potential to spin or even alter underlying data.
During Groshen's reign, as the reported unemployment rate dropped from 8.0 percent to 4.8 percent during her term, there was reason to believe that BLS may have changed its criteria for whether a person was in the labor force and began excluding more people who were legitimately looking for work. Doing so in a manner inconsistent with previous practices would artificially reduce the officially reported unemployment rate.
Groshen has been gone for six weeks. With new leadership, it's at least possible that Team Trump has gained confidence in the BLS data, and has had the opportunity to correct any major flaws which the previous director might have allowed into its processes.
Those alleged "ties to decidedly left-wing political groups" Groshen had, according to the Daily Caller article Blumer cites as evidence? She co-authored an article "urging an end to small businesses’ exemption from expensive federal regulations," and her husband donated $20 to "the far-left Working Families Party."
Really, that's it.
Also, Blumer provides no evidence that Groshen ever falsified unemployment data or even, as he suggests, "changed its criteria for whether a person was in the labor force and began excluding more people who were legitimately looking for work." Indeed, Groshen has pointed out that the agency has used the same method for calculating the unemployment rate since 1940.
In fact, there was no reason to believe Groshen would manipulate the unemployment figures, despite Blumer's rant. There is, however, reason to believe that whomever Trump appoints to replace Groshen -- and he hasn't done so yet despite Groshen leaving in January -- might be ordered to do so, given Trump's obsession with appearances and his baseless attacks on jobless stats under Obama.
Apparently, neither Trump nor Blumer can accept the indisputable fact that the economy improved under Obama. So it seems Obama Derangement Syndrome never dies.
NEW ARTICLE: At WND, It's Donald the Divine Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily slandered Barack Obama as the Antichrist, but it's now pushing the idea that hand of God brought Donald Trump's election as president. Read more >>
MRC Blogger's Fake-News Fail on Trump and Russia Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center blogger P.J. Gladnick has been laboring quite hard to pretend there's nothing to see in regard to Donald Trump's links with Russia. For instance, he declared in a March 8 post:
Be very careful Democrats and your mainstream media allies. The fake news story about collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia is a minefield that could destroy your credibility even beyond conservative skeptics who already don't believe you.
On March 9, Gladnick asserted that "the Trump-Russia fake news story is crumbling" and complained that an Associated Press writer talked to a few spy novelists for their take on this "fake news fiction."He added: "Newsflash! If you had been following the real, not fake, news recently, the premise has definitely returned to the far-fetched category. Not one intelligence agency has provided proof of collusion between Trump and Russia. In fact the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, flat out denied it on Sunday."
But as the AP has stated elsewhere, Clapper not signaling any evidence of collusion does not mean that none exists, or that none was discovered after Clapper left office on Jan. 20.
The next day, Gladnick ranted about a Politico report on the subject:
When reading the series of charts containing a weird labyrinth of rather tenuous connections published in the March/April edition of Politico Magazine, it is hard not to channel Inspector Jacques Clouseau trying to connect the unrelated dots to make the case that was always far off the mark. The Politico dots on the series of seven elaborate charts are chock full of oligarchs, both Russian and Ukrainian, a beauty contest, a mixed martial artist, a dossier that no one has seen, a couple of Russian energy giants not to be confused with a regular Russian oil company, and, to top it off, a mystery person. This is the laughable evidence presented by reporter Michael Crowley to desperately give the Trump-Russia fake news story an aura of validity despite no proof.
The only things that seem to be missing from Crowley's charts are Boris Badinov and Natasha.
Gladnick went on to assert that "the only ones to be shaken by the Trump-Russia fake news story are the mainstream media and the Democrats," who are in a "futile search for the Trump-Russia collusion Holy Grail."
Gladnick hasn't written anything in a few days, so we don't know what he thinks about the news that the FBI is officially investigating allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow while Russia was interfering in the presidential election.
WND Managing Editor Complains About Websites (Not His Own) Pushing 'Fake News' Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is rarely more ridiculous than when it's hypocritically ranting about fake news. Take, for instance, Chelsea Schilling's smear-filled screed personally attacking a college professor for putting WND on a list of unreliable fake-news purveyors.
Take also WND managing editor David Kupelian's March 16 article. He begins it by uncritically taking the side of Fox News and Sean Hannity, prlclaiming as "fake news" a CNN report that Hannity pulled a gun on Fox contributor Juan Williams.
Kupelian also takes refuge in his soul-selling to back Donald Trump, refuting the claim in the CNN report by Dylan Byers that Hannity is acting "conspiratorial" by obsessing about a "deep state" of federal officials working to undermine Trump: "Pause-button, please: The last several months of news have comprised a non-stop prosecutorial case demonstrating precisely such efforts by entrenched, anti-Trump federal employees to sabotage the new president, including through naked violations of the Espionage Act."
Kupelian then hopped to another subject:
More from CNN’s Byers: “Earlier this month, Hannity conducted an interview with Monica Crowley, the conservative commentator who would have become Trump’s deputy national security adviser were it not for her rampant plagiarism, which was uncovered by CNN’s KFile. Hannity announced that anyone who had questions about Crowley’s plagiarism – which, again, had been well documented – could ‘go to hell.'”
However, as the respected former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explained in National Review, Crowley’s actual errors were minor and the plagiarism allegations – surfacing just as she was about to become President Trump’s senior director of communications at the National Security Council – were wildly overblown as a means of discrediting her and knocking her out of the Trump administration.
In fact, McCarthy quoted well-respected copyright attorney Lynn Chu, who conducted a careful study of the plagiarism allegations against Crowley, and not only “found CNN’s splashy ‘plagiarism’ accusation to be ill-supported – a heavily exaggerated, political hit job” – but even found that CNN omitted Crowley’s end notes in its reporting so as to make it appear she was failing to credit her sources.
McCarthy's column -- which did concede that Crowley made "missteps" -- is mostly a rehash of Chu's Facebook post defending Crowley, in which Chu curiously states that "I was engaged to conduct a detailed review" of the CNN report on Crowley but fails to state by whom she was "engaged."
But as Business Insider details, CNN did in fact address the footnotes in Crowley's dissertation, saying that she "often failed to include citations or to properly cite sources in sections where she copied their wording verbatim or closely paraphrased it." Politico similarly reported that Crowley "lifted passages from her footnoted texts, occasionally making slight wording changes but rarely using quotation marks. Sometimes she didn't footnote at all." Crowley also sometimes initially cited sources but then failed to do so on subsequent references that appeared to be taken wholesale from or were extremely close to the original text.
Further, the fact remains that the publisher of Crowley's book "What The (Bleep) Just Happened" pulled it from the marketplace amid the plagiarism allegations, and it remains off the market.
Kupelian concludes: "Sounds like it’s CNN, not Hannity, that has the problem with reckless behavior and not only threatening – but hurting – innocent people. But that’s what happens when you’re really, really angry." You mean like WND behaved all through the Obama administration?
The MRC-Mark Levin Cross-Promotion Spectacular Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a business relationship with Mark Levin, in which they promote each other. They both remind us of this once again, even as they fail to disclose this relationship to their respective readers and listeners.
On March 5, CNSNews.com blogger Craig Bannister touted how "Levin Uses Liberal Media’s OWN WORDS as 'Evidence' Obama Spied on Trump." (Though we doubt Levin spoke with the boldface and underlines and all-caps Bannister generously ascribes to him.) Except, well, that's not exactly what happened; Levin is desperately trying to pump up intelligence agencies' alleged monitoring of the Trump campaign's links to Russia into something he can maliciously speculate about but can't prove: that Obama personally ordered it or, at the very least, knew about it at the time.
When CNN's Brian Stelter had the temerity to point out that Levin's conflation did not constitute actual evidence that Obama personally had Trump Tower wiretapped, as President Trump claimed in a tweet, Bannister was there to dutifully transcribe Levin's open-letter rant to Stelter sneering that he was being "thoroughly dishonest" for reporting the truth. A NewsBusters post pretty much did the same thing.
WND Launches Another Personal Attack on Prof Who Put It On List of Fake-News Sites Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is still in personal attack mode against anyone who tells the truth about its lack of credibility.
Last November, when Merrimack College professor Melissa Zimdars put WND on a list of "not credible" websites -- something that's pretty obvious about WND from simply reading the site -- WND's Chelsea Schilling devoted an article to smearing her, stealing unflattering photos of her from her Twitter account (without permission, we can guess) and mocking her academic credentials by emphasizing that she has done research in "fat studies," published a paper on "fat acceptance TV."
Well, Zimdars' list got linked by Harvard University in a research guide, so Schilling is dragging out her attacks again in a March 13 article, republishing all those unflattering stolen pics and sneering that Zimdars is "leftist, Trump-bashing assistant professor in Massachusetts who specialized in 'fat studies'" and who "only actually held her teaching position at the private college in North Andover, Massachusetts, for about 19 months."
Indeed, Schilling is so busy trying to smear Zimdars that the vast majority of her article is dedicated to bashing her. Despite calling Zimdars' list "error-riddled," at no point does Schilling deny or disprove anything Zimdars said about WND beyond complaining that the "Zimdars’ project offers no explanation for" calling WND "unreliable."
Of course, the fact that WND tries to smear its critics rather than engage with them is one clear sign it's "unreliable."
There's also the record from just the past few months, in which WND:
MRC Defends Gay Conversion Therapy Topic: Media Research Center
A March 17 Media Research Center post by Dawn Slusher noting that an episode of the new TV series "Greenleaf" touches on the subject of "conversion therapy" intended to turn a gay person straight feels the need to speak up for the practice:
There has been much rancor over gay conversion therapy programs for decades, but the topic has again been hotly debated as of late with Vice President Mike Pence’s support for such programs as well as Ken Blackwell, Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team. ABC’s 20/20 revived the debate in an exposé last week, as well. Though judging by the reviews, the exposé leaned heavily in favor of those who demonize such programs.
Rarely will you find the Hollywood left giving facts, statistics and answers on those who have found success in conversion therapy, but the season premiere of the Oprah Winfrey Network's (OWN) Greenleaf, “A House Divided,” is providing an interesting look on the issue from the point-of-view of a married couple who are leaders in the family church facing a tumultuous time after the revelation that the husband is attracted to men.
For these "facts, statistics and answers," Slusher cites a pro-conversion therapy group that claims criticism of conversion therapyare "opinion, not science" and cites the virulently anti-gay group NARTH in support, and self-proclaimed ex-transgender woman Walt Heyer, a current fave of anti-gay activists who admits he was misdiagnosed as transgender.
Slusher goes on to rant:
If we are supposed to accept those who believe being gay isn’t a choice, why then are we not allowed to accept those who believe it is? If women in this country are allowed to take the life of their unborn child in the name of “freedom of choice,” why then can’t a gay man or woman have the right to choose conversion therapy without the threat of the government shutting down such programs?
Reparative therapist the late Dr. Joseph Nicolosi spoke to VirtueOnline.org about the left’s attempt to deny conversion therapy treatments to those who seek to change, saying, “The justification for denying the client's autonomy and self-determination is the arrogant assumption that ‘we know better what's good for you than you do.’ We will tell you what your problem is, which is to learn to enjoy gay sex. So drop your inhibitions, drop your archaic religious beliefs, forget your morality or ethic and join the gay parade.”
Yes, there have been horror stories and abuses of conversion therapy programs, but that can be said about any type of therapy. There will always be those who use it for selfish gain and profit, or for pure power and abuse. That doesn’t mean there are not good and successful programs out there for those who wish to pursue them.
Nicolosi was a founder of NARTH, which tells you all you need to know about him and his motivations. And if are "good and successful programs" for conversion therapy as Slusher claims there is, why have none surfaced during state hearings to ban the practice that use a scientifically valid, replicable method that does no harm to the client, and why did Slusher cite any in her post? Perhaps because one doesn't exist.
The MRC is being irresponsible in promoting a discredited therapy method, just as it was in promoting a certain strain of anti-vaxxer activism.
WND's Anti-Gay 'Beauty And The Beast' Freakout Fails, As Does The Boycott Topic: WorldNetDaily
When the news came out that Disney's live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" had re-imagined the villainous sidekick LeFou as gay, the gay-haters at WorldNetDaily did what it does: go into fearmongering mode.
Bob Unruh fretted over Disney's disturbing pattern of treating gays like normal people in a March 8 WND article:
The Disney company long has had a “gay” advocacy position at its theme parks, where “gay days” are routinely held.
That’s far afield from reports that founder Walt Disney “personally” fired Tommy Kirk, the actor of “Swiss Family Robinson” fame, over his homosexuality.
But since then, Disney used “out” singer Elton John’s music for “The Lion King” and more.
Now, however, the company has stepped into a whole new minefield with its promotion of homosexuality – to children.
Unruh went on to uncfritically quote gay-hater Franklin Graham fretting that "'Beauty and the Beast' will feature a gay character in an attempt to normalize this lifestyle" and demanding a boycott of all Disney products.
Funny, one would have thought Graham and WND would be at least cheered by the fact that the gay character is a villain.
The same day, WND columnist Michael Brown asked whether "As followers of Jesus, it is right for us to boycott Disney in general or 'Beauty and the Beast' in particular?" He approved the boycott as long as it was done in a manner that is not hypocritical, insisting that "it is not hate to say, 'I don’t want my kids to witness a gay kiss or a gay romance,' any more than it is hate for a Jewish atheist to say, 'I don’t want my kids to listen to a rabbi’s sermon,' or for a gay parent to say, 'I don’t want my kids to be exposed to Bible verses that speak against homosexuality.'"
WND columnist Scott Morefield lamented that "there is enough diversity of opinion in the United States to almost unequivocally state that boycotts never work, at least not in the way they are intended," but he also ranted:
Has the homosexual lobby’s relentless efforts to sway the public in their direction now reached the point where it is potentially damaging to our kids? After all, it’s one thing to teach children to treat all people with respect, but it’s quite another to “normalize” a lifestyle that at best is contrary to what Christians and thousands of years of human development believes is the best way to raise children – the nuclear family – and at worst is rife with disease and psychiatric disorders. And make no mistake, the path Disney and others are on goes far beyond simple “normalization.” They want children to see this behavior as something to be desired.
Don’t believe it? Then why do upwards of 15 percent of young women and girls identify as “bisexual” when for most of human history the percentage stood around 2?
Morefield added of Disney that "the once-trusted studio continues to reach new lows and it would be awesome to see the pendulum swing in our direction for once, just a little."
Still, WND started a petition citing "Beauty and the Beast," as well as other purported offenses, including one it had nothing to do with -- that "LGBT activists have long pressured Disney to promote their sexual agenda to America’s youth – as with their 2016 campaign to persuade Disney to portray Elsa from 'Frozen' as a lesbian, using the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend -- to (all caps is theirs) "TELL DISNEY YOU WILL BOYCOTT 'BEAUTY AND THE BEAST' AND OTHER DISNEY FARE UNTIL IT RETURNS TO THE WHOLESOME FAMILY VALUES IT ONCE CHAMPIONED AND STOPS MARKETING A HARMFUL SEXUAL AGENDA TO OUR CHILDREN."
As with most other WND petitions, this is email address-harvesting operation to build up its mailing list, and no count of signature -- let alone any mention of a verification process to prove the signatures are from actual people and not duplicates or automated -- is provided.
So how's all that working for WND? Not very well. "Beauty and the Best" earned a record $170 million in its opening weekend and $350 million worldwide.
In all this freakout, however, WND expressed no concern about the central romance of "Beauty and the Beast,"even though it has warned against human-animal hybrids in the past.
Maddow's Trump Tax Reveal Sends MRC Into Attack Mode Topic: Media Research Center
After MSNBC's Rachel Maddow revealed a couple of pages of Donald Trump's 2005 tax returns, the Media Research Center went into overdrive trying to dismiss it as a "fail" and/or a "flop" and/or a "non-story":
The fact that the MRC devoted 12 posts to Maddow's tax-return reveal within 48 hours after the story aired would seem to indicate the opposite of what it's trying to tell us -- that it really wasn't the "fail" or "non-story" the MRC repeatedly insists it was.
The MRC is certainly not going to give Maddow credit for doing something no other media organization has done to date, as the Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out: get Trump to didsclose information about his taxes.
The MRC went even further into pro-Trump spin mode with a March 17 post by James Powers asserting that "Trump’s effective tax rate for 2005 was 79 percent" accounting for the $103 million in losses he took (on $151 million in income) and the alternative minimum tax he paid.