MRC's Labeling Study Fail Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Geoffrey Dickens complains in an April 25 post:
With Republicans set to make another run at repealing and replacing ObamaCare this week, look for the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) to blame conservatives, specifically, the House Freedom Caucus for any sort of obstruction to getting a deal done. In 30 days of health care debate coverage (March 7 through April 5), the broadcast networks consistently framed it as a fight between unreasonable conservatives versus more moderate Republicans and Senate Democrats by overwhelmingly applying ideological labels to one side of the argument.
MRC analysts reviewed all 141 stories on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening and morning shows that mentioned the efforts of the House Freedom Caucus and their Senate counterparts during the ObamaCare repeal/replacement debate, and discovered that while congressional conservatives were overwhelmingly given ideological labels, those that opposed them were rarely, if ever, labeled by journalists.
In these stories, MRC analysts documented how network reporters assigned a whopping 223 ideological labels to House and Senate Republicans — either to individual members of Congress, or factions like the House Freedom Caucus within the GOP.
Overwhelmingly, the networks used “conservative” tags to talk about Republicans. Fully 80 percent of these labels (179) talked about “conservatives” or those on the “right;” just 20 percent (44) referred to “moderate” Republicans.
Eleven percent of the labels (20) painted conservatives as extremists: “far right,” “hardline,” “very conservative” or “ultra-conservative.” Such deliberate labeling is designed to stigmatize conservatives, casting them as outside-of-the-mainstream ideologues, as compared to their (usually unlabeled) adversaries.
Democrats were never labeled as “liberal” or “progressive.”Twice Democrats were referred to as “moderate,” both times on CBS.
Dickens fails to mention the reason why ideological factions were identified on the Republican side: That's where the fight over repeal is being fought and there are, in fact, conservative and moderate factions. It's not just the "liberal media" reporting on this -- even right-wing Breitbart (like the MRC, a major benificiary of the Mercer family's largesse) has noted the conservative-moderate split. Democrats are unified against any Affordable Care Act repeal, so there is no ideological split to report on -- and, thus, no need to sort between "moderate" and "liberal" Democrats.
In other words, Dickens' "study" has a fundamentally dishonest basis.
There are other issues as well. Once again, a conservative MRC exmployee is inexplicably upset that conservatives are accurately labeled as "conservative." As far as the "far right" label goes, Dickens fails to identify who exactly was labeled as such, so without more information it's impossible to determine the extent of bias here. But given the MRC's propensity for tossing around the "far left" label for anything and everything it doesn't like, there's likely
And for all his complaining about the conservative House Freedom Caucus as an "obstruction to getting a deal done," Dickens does not explain how they were not.
As with its so-called study of "negative" Trump coverage, this MRC study is too biased, loosely defined and narrowly tailored (again, Fox News does not face scrutiny) to be taken seriously by anyone other than the MRC's fellow right-wing travelers.
This week is the 20th anniversary of the founding of WorldNetDaily, so Joseph Farah is cranking out a lot of blather about how WND serves as a "check and balance on government power."
But there are no checks and balances on government power in an April 23 WND article by Chelsea Schilling drooling over White House press secretary Sean Spicer:
Americans of all political stripes have a new daytime TV obsession, and their favorite, “wildly entertaining” show stars none other than White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Spicer, known for his scrappy encounters with members of the mainstream media, regularly calls out the press for what he sees as their inaccurate and biased reporting.
It’s reality TV at its best: Spicer has publicly accused members of the media of being“engaged in deliberately false reporting” and making “irresponsible and reckless” claims.
When an ABC reporter dared to interrupt the press secretary, Spicer quickly shut him down: “It’s not your press briefing. … Please calm down.”
As reporter April Ryan repeatedly cut him off, Spicer unloaded both barrels: “At some point, report the facts.” He then called her out when she didn’t like his answer: “I’m sorry that disgusts you. You’re shaking your head. … At some point, April, you’re going to have to take ‘no’ for an answer, with respect to whether or not there was collusion [between Russia and Trump].”
In yet another case, Spicer told the Washington Post it “should be ashamed” at how it covered a story he twice called “100 percent false.”
For whatever reason, Americans are digging Spicer’s bold media smackdowns. And Spicer himself has become a bona fide national celebrity – with name recognition above 60 percent nationally, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll.
In fact, some viewers say they’re addicted to the Spicer briefing drama. They simply can’t get enough.
One of those viewers, obviously, is Schilling. It's not until paragraph 54 -- repeat, paragraph 54 -- of her article does she bother to mention any criticism of Spicer for "giv[ing] out misinformation on everything." And that takes up only four paragraphs in her 85-paragraph article. So, not exactly fair and balanced.
Farah should slow his roll on how WND is acting as a "check and balance" on government," since it clearly has no intention of holding Trump to the same standards it held President Obama. Or, apparently, any standards at all.
MRC Is Incensed That Jorge Ramos Won An Award Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been in an ongoing war against Univision anchor Jorge Ramos -- including trying to get him fired -- for committing the offense of offering critical coverage of Donald Trump. Ramos was just given a Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, which is making the MRC even more angry at him.
To be clear, Ramos is being honored for going to Iowa and stage-managing his ejection from a Donald Trump press conference, doing all sorts of media about the cataclysmic effects of his stage-managed ejection, and then taking a stridently anti-Trump stance going forward which, subsequently, built a permission structure for the rest of the Acela media to retreat into its bubble and also take a side during the election. This, explicitly, is the basis for Ramos' acclaim throughout elite establishment media and academia...and it's not just USC Annenberg [which gives out the Cronkite awards].
As we've noted, the MRC has never substantiated its claim that Ramos engaged in a publicity stunt, nor would it similarly characterize as a stunt a attempt by conservative reporter Neil Munro to grandstand during a press conference by President Obama.
Bonilla insisted that the award to Ramos honors "ugly, racialist political activism," adding, "That such behavior would be honored as journalism is a telling indication of the profound disconnect that exists between the industry and the American people (Hispanics, too), as well as an indictment of our nation's elite media."
The award to Ramos also warranted an official MRC press release. MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted: "This man doesn’t deserve a prize for political journalism, but for political activism, as one of the worst of the worst. Instead of meeting at the National Press Club to celebrate him, journalists should be meeting to censure him, for being an impostor."
The guy who perpetuated the lie that he wrote his own syndicated column is attacking someone else as an "impostor"? How rich.
MRC Latino director Ken Oliver-Mendez huffed:
Ramos was not seeing reality because, as MRC Latino repeatedly exposed throughout the election and the Wikileaks email dumps of their communications also confirmed, he and his network, from the highest levels on down, were hell-bent on manipulating their viewers in favor of the Democrats, colluding with the Clinton campaign and constantly demonizing Donald Trump.
The record shows Jorge Ramos did nothing in his 2016 political coverage but a historic disservice to the audience to whom he was supposed to provide unaligned and undistorted news. The good news is that more viewers than ever see entirely through him, and the proof came on Election Day, when millions of Hispanics throughout the country roundly rejected his anti-Trump agenda and helped elect Donald Trump to the White House.
Meanwhile, the MRC is much lessconcerned about providing unaligned and undistorted news through its own "news" operation, CNSNews.com.
WND's Hohmann Still in Freakout Mode Over The Idea of Muslim Politicians Topic: WorldNetDaily
We'vedocumented how anti-Muslim WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann freaks out every time a Muslim politician in the U.S. demonstrates any kind of actual or potential electoral success.
Imagine the freakout Hohmann has over the existence of a political action committee working to get Muslims elected.
In an April 23 WND article, Hohmann writes about Jetpac, a group whose "sole purpose is to organize and train Muslims for elected offices at the local, state and national levels," and its founder, Nadeem Mazen. It's an unusually straight article until Hohmann asserts: "This is exactly how the Muslim Brotherhood envisioned the takeover of America, through non-violent civilizational jihad, experts on the shadowy network tell WND."
And then it's time for Hohmann to start quoting the Muslim-haters:
But the narrative provided by Mazen is mostly propaganda meant for the untrained non-Muslim ear, dutifully passed on as “news” by politically correct media outlets, says Clare Lopez, vice president of research and analysis for the Center for Security Policy and author of “Star Spangled Shariah: The Rise of America’s First Muslim Brotherhood Party.”
Lopez noted Mazen was a founding member of the CAIR chapter in Massachusetts after serving as the president of the Muslim Student Association at MIT.
CAIR and the MSA are both off-shoots of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned as a terrorist organization in at least half a dozen countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE.
While most Muslim politicians publicly support social justice, environmental justice, free and easy abortions, same-sex marriage and the full pallet of LGBTQ rights, that is merely a means to an end. The ultimate goal is Shariah law for Americans, Lopez said.
“We know that the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood began planning at least a decade ago to seed the U.S. political system with young, up-and-coming, Shariah-adherent, Shariah-promoting stealth jihadist like Ilhan Omar in Minnesota – now it’s happening – they are shrewdly using our own system against us – via Star Spangled Shariah.”
Omar was a previous freakout target of Hohmann, who added: "Omar made headlines Thursday when she was one of only two lawmakers to vote against a bill in the Minnesota State House that would allow life insurance companies to deny death benefits to the families of dead terrorists." Hohmann links to an April 20 article he wrote about Omar's vote, in which he relies on his his usual retinue of Muslim-haters and couldn't be bothered to contact Omar for an explanation.
But Omar later stated on Facebook her reason for voting against the bill was a rushed process and a poorly written bill -- in opther worfds, much less sinister than what Hohmann was trying to intimate in his biased writing.
Similarly, Hohmann couldn't be bothered to contact Mazen for a response to WND's attacks on him.
CNS Editor Uses Same Budget Argument His MRC Co-Worker Mocked Two Days Earlier Topic: CNSNews.com
In an April 23 post, the Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro mocked a CBS program that pointed out that funding for agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasating -- which President Trump has proposed to eliminate -- makes up "less than 2/100ths of a percent of the federal budget." Fondacaro added: "This, despite the fact that all together funding for these agencies costs taxpayers close to $1 billion."
Two days later, Terry Jeffrey, the editor in chief of CNSNews.com, the MRC's "news" division, made the exact same argument -- at tedious, editorializing length, despite the article being tagged as "news" -- to push for funding for a border wall:
President Donald Trump’s request that Congress include $1.4 billion to fund the beginning of his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border equals approximately 0.035 percent of what the federal government will spend in total this year, according to the latest estimate of fiscal year 2017 federal spending made by the Congressional Budget Office.
It also equals less than the Department of Health and Human Services spends in just twelve hours and less than the Treasury collects in taxes in four hours.
The $1.4 billion Trump wants from Congress in this fiscal year to begin the border wall project equals 0.035 percent of the $3.963 trillion the CBO estimates the federal government will spend this fiscal year.
By comparison, the Department of Health and Human Services alone will spend an estimated $1,108,457,000,000 in fiscal 2017, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. That $1,108,457,000,000 in annual HHS spending equals approximately $126,546,187 for each of the 8,760 hours in the fiscal year.
In other words, HHS will spend approximately $126,536,187 per hour this year—assuming that it spends money 24 hours a day.
That means that HHS spends in about 11 hours an amount equal to the $1.4 billion that President Trump wants this fiscal year for the border wall project.
In half a day—12 hours—HHS spends more than Trump wants for the border wall for the entire year.
The $3,404,000,000,000 that the Treasury will collect in taxes this fiscal year, according to the CBO estimate, equals about $388,584,475 in tax collections per hour.
The $1.4 billion that Trump wants for the border wall project this year equals about 3.6 hours in federal tax collections.
In just 4 hours, the federal government collects more in taxes than President Trump wants to spend for the entire year on the border wall.
Jeffrey doesn't explain why he's making the same argument his MRC co-worker declared to be invalid just two days earlier.
WND's 'Path to Greatness': Vince Foster, False Claims Topic: WorldNetDaily
To mark its 20th year of existence, WorldNetDaily has been running a daily list of stories it claims are a "milestone" in its "path to greatness." We've noted one early entry on this list: pushing the conspiracy theory that Antonin Scalia was murdered. So how has WND been adding to that dubious list during the month of April?
On April 7, WND touted how it pushed conspiracy theories about the deah of Vince Foster:
April 7, 1998: Americans skeptical of the official pronouncement of former Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster’s 1993 death as suicide were given further reason to question how the close associate of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton died when WND reported on an FBI memo containing significant inconsistencies
Further, all the official investigators who might have been the source of the faulty observations pleaded ignorance and refused to accept responsibility.
WND contacted the FBI’s Washington Field Office and a media representative said no information could be provided as to the author of the memo, particularly since she did not possess a copy of it. When asked if she would like a copy faxed to her, she responded, “No, I don’t want to get involved in this.”
A quick check on WND's site search page reveals years of coverage on this still-strange death.
It's only strange if you're complete conspiracy nuts, like WND's employees are.
The next day, WND touted a 2001 article promoting a "Southern heritage group's " effort to petition Congress for a "review of what it said were 'neglected injustices' committed by Union troops and generals in the South during the 1861-65 War Between the States."
For April 14, WND's "milestone" was the never-substantiated claim from right-wing legal group Judicial Watch that "ISIS is running a camp just a few miles from the Texas border.
For April 15, it was a rehash of a stunt to promote WND managing editor David Kupelian's book "The Marketing of Evil," in which WND teamed with the Alliance Defense Fund (now the Alliance Defending Freedom) to falsely portray a college librarian as perpetrating "sexual harassment" and a victim of "censorship" for recommending Kupelian's book.
And on April 26, the big story was, somehow, right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.
If that's what WND considers to its "path to greatness," it continues to be a pretty sad excuse for a "news" operation.
The Month In CNS Obsessing Over Calls to Release Trump's Tax Returns Topic: CNSNews.com
In addition to her extensivecollection of Trump stenography, CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones has obsessedover calls for President Trump to release his tax returns. That obsession has continued through the month of April.
On April 6, Jones complained that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Trump, as president, doesn't have a right to privacy regarding his tax returns. Jones huffed: Democrats believe they’ll find information damaging or embarrassing to the president in his tax returns. They have sought to delegitimize him, at the very least, since he was elected. Some Democrats have even raised the prospect of impeachment."
In response to Rep. Richard Neal pointing out that presidents releasing their tax returns is "custom and practice" and "settled tradition," Jones parenthetically huffed: "For the record, it is also 'custom and practice' to confirm qualified candidates for the Supreme Court, but Democrats in the Senate are now bucking that 'settled tradition.'"Funny, we don't recall Jones making that point last year when undeniably qualified candidate Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court.
The next day, Jones did another article about how Sen. Ron Wyden asked IRS commissioner John Koskinen about Trump's tax returns, grumbling, "Every year around this time, the Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on the tax filing season. But this is the first time a committee member has asked the IRS commissioner about a president’s tax returns."
On April 18, Jones tried to play gotcha with a Democratic congressman:
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I) has co-sponsored a bill that would require U.S. presidents and vice presidents to release their tax returns, and now Whitehouse has agreed to do what he’s demanding of others -- for the very first time.
The Providence Journal, quoting a spokeswoman for Whitehouse, saidthe senator and his wife “have in the past kept their personal tax return private to protect the privacy of their children,” who are now 23 and 27.
Many congressional Democrats and other anti-Trump Americans – looking for conflicts of interest or other potentially damaging information -- have demanded that President Trump release his tax returns, which he has so far refused to do.
Jones' boss, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman, even got in on the fun in an April 19 article quoting his favorite gay-hating, Muslim-hating right-wing pastor:
Commenting on the liberal media's demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said, "No Way!" and added that it would become "a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want."
"Should President Donald J. Trump release his tax returns?" asked rev. Graham in an April 19 post on Facebook. "A lot of liberals keep demanding it."
"The President hasn’t asked for my advice, but I would say—No way!" remarked Rev. Graham.
"Even if these were published, the average American -- or the average politician, including Senator Chuck Schumer, for that matter -- wouldn’t be able to understand them," said Graham. "President Trump is a billionaire with multiple businesses in multiple states, using our very complicated and corrupt tax code that Congress is responsible for writing—that should be scrapped."
"It would just be another huge distraction, and a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want," said Rev. Graham.
"We don’t need distractions," he said. "We need to let President Trump focus on what America elected him to do."
"We need to get on with the business of solving the problems facing our nation," he said. "Forget the tax returns! We need a simple tax code that all Americans can understand."
Did Graham ever say that President Obama need to be protected from "distractions" about his personal life? Nope -- Graham pushed birther conspiracies. Of course, Chapmann won't tell you that.
Leo Hohmann writes in an April 28 WND article, under the clickbait headline "Quran blamed in new U.S. disease outbreak":
An outbreak of measles is sweeping through a community of Somali refugees in Minnesota and the growing number of cases may be starting to test the limits of the Hennepin County healthcare system.
According to reports from the health commissioner’s office, there are now 30 cases of children in Hennepin County who have been diagnosed with measles, and 28 of them are Somali children who have not been vaccinated. All of the cases involve children 5 years of age and younger.
Measles were declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, But Minnesota and other states see sporadic cases, typically linked to international travel and the influx of Third World refugees and asylum seekers.
At no point in his article does Hohmann specifically make the headline's claim that the Quran says not to vaccinate people. He does, however quote an anti-Muslim activist suggesting something similar:
Dr. Andrew Bostom, M.D., an academic internist specializing in general internal medicine who has also authored several books about the history of Islam, said Muslim communities often prove difficult to convince that vaccinations are appropriate for their children.
“The case against vaccinations is first an Islamic one,” he said, citing a 2011 article by Dr. Majid Katme, spokesman for the Islamic Medical Association in the United Kingdom.
“We are giving our innocent children haram [forbidden] substances and harmful chemicals that destroy their natural immune systems, causing disease, suffering and death,” Dr. Katme wrote.
But as blogger Richard Bartholomew points out, Hohmann is conflating Somali Americans with Somali refugees. He also notes WND's anti-vaccine attacks, adding:
Further, in 2007 WND‘s tie-in print publication Whistleblower ran a special issue on “Scary Medicine: Exposing The Dark Side of Vaccines”. Contributors included one Dr Sherri Tenpenny, who is on the board of directors of the “International Medical Council on Vaccination”. The council has a website, which includes among its resources…the very screed by Majid Katme quoted by Hohmann and Bostom!
Oops. Is WND renouncing its previous anti-vaccine activism? Or is it only doing so when it can blame someone other than anti-vaxxers for outbreaks? Given WND's history of fundamental dishonesty and Hohmann's obsessive hatred for Muslims, it's likely the latter.
MRC's Hatred of Anita Hill Continues Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has spent the past quarter-century hating Anita Hill for exposing Clarence Thomas' issues with female co-workers, and it't not going to stop now.
In an April 20 post, Kyle Drennen complained that NBC used the Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment scandal to "resurrect the unsubstantiated 1991 smear campaign against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Astonishingly, the numerous sexual harassment claims against former President Bill Clinton were never mentioned."
The same day, the MRC's Scott Whitlock similarly whined:
In the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox News, USA Today on Thursday decided to highlight a woman who endured sexual harassment from someone powerful and is now the “torchbearer in the decades-long fight against sexual harassment.” Unsurprisingly, that woman is not Paula Jones or one of the women who stood up to Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment. It’s Anita Hill and her efforts to take down Clarence Thomas.
USA Todaywriter Jessica Guynn praised, “Though some dismissed her testimony against Thomas as a partisan attack, for many Hill is a torchbearer in the decades-long fight against sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace.”
Nowhere in the April 20th article did the journalist point out that Hill’s outrage at sexual misconduct is rather selective. On September 28, 1998, she came to the defense of then-President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Hill wrote an op-ed for the New York Times that decried the “moral fundamentalism” of those who would demand she hold the Democrat accountable.
Funny how Whitlock doesn't describe Paula Jones, et al, as having the goal of trying to "take down" Clinton.
Newsmax's Hirsen Blames Venezuela Crisis On ... Hollywood? Topic: Newsmax
The headline of James Hirsen's April 24 Newsmax column reads, "Hollywood Inflames Crisis in Venezuela." Huh?
Hirsen rehashes the key right-wing trope about the situation in Venezuela these days -- namely, that it's a direct result of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, being socialists. In fact, it has more to do with authoritarian behavior by Chavez and Maduro combined with mismanagement of both the country's oil industry and its economy as a whole.
And somehow "Hollywood" is responsible for that? Hirsen sort of backs off the headline's blanket indictment, instead targeting just a few people he doesn't like:
This is a country that is now being devoured by chaos. Looking back, though, liberal celebrities such as Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte, Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Oliver Stone, and Naomi Campbell supported Chavez while he ransacked the country, and/or they oftentimes lent their influence to assist his chosen replacement Maduro.
Some of the Hollywood glitterati actually traveled to Venezuela multiple times to aid Chavez’s socialist oppression. Penn acted as a surrogate for Chavez during the dictator’s campaigns. Moore praised the despot for redistributing oil company profits. And Campbell gave kudos to Chavez, even referring to him as a "rebel angel."
The Hollywood left continued its support for handpicked socialist successor Maduro, who doubled down on Chavez’s failing policies. Penn explicitly endorsed the new dictator Maduro, and Foxx appeared at a staged media event for Chavez’s replacement.
The Chavez-Maduro fans in Hollywood have been unusually quiet as news from Venezuela becomes increasingly grim.
It is time for the far-left in Hollywood to speak out against an ideology built on the greed and egos of power hungry elites, one fueled by the envy and resentment manipulatively induced in the poor and disenfranchised.
Notice that Hirsen uses "liberals," the "left" and the "far-left" interchangeably. Words mean things, but Hirsen doesn't seem to think so. Who, exactly, does Hirsen want to speak out?
It's also worth noting that Hirsen's sudden concern about "the greed and egos of power hungry elites" seem to have went AWOL when Donald Trump was running for president. Hirsen has repeatedlydefendedTrump in his column.
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now? Topic: Media Research Center
The LGBT freakouts are continuing at the Media Research Center.
Alex Nitzberg -- who we last saw having a transgender freakout -- complained that "CBSNews.com published propaganda pieces promoting the radical left’s perverted LGBT agenda" by discussing gender identity. He ranted: "In the twisted logic of the choose-your-own-gender world of contrived gender identities, boys can be girls, girls can be boys and anyone can declare themselves to be something in between, a combination of both or something entirely foreign to the male/female dichotomy." He says it like that's a bad thing.
Sarah Stites huffs in an April 1 post noting awards given out by GLAAD: "When it comes to media portrayal, the LGBT community has one mission – promoting complete and total acceptance. Tolerance is no longer enough." She went on to complain about a "burgeoning movement of beauty vloggers working to de-stigmatize male makeup usage."
Nitzberg struck again in an April 8 post whining that "NBCNews.com’s pro-LGBTQ propaganda arm “NBC OUT” recently announced that it will create a “#Pride30 List” for “Pride Month” this June," complaining further how "many media outlets jettison journalistic standards by blatantly promoting and celebrating the LGBT movement." Does that mean the MRC jettisons any journalistic standards it pretends to have by attacking the LGBT movement at every opportunity?
Lindsay Kornick grumbled that the ABC show "Imaginary Mary" featured a plotline in which a high school student stages a rival version of the musical "Grease" starring her brother in the lead female role.
That was followed by a Sarah Stites freakout over Dove soap putting a "transgender 'mother'" in an ad, as well as "a large number of transgender-themed ads within the beauty sphere."
And Matt Philbin turns in a reliable freakout over a claim that Timon and Pumbaa might be a same-sex couple in an upcoming live-action remake of "The Lion King":
That whirring sound you hear is Walt Disney spinning in his grave, or his cryogenic vault, or whatever his final resting place really is.
Disney is on a big gay roll. Having won props from the left for making this year’s live action Beauty and the Beastreboot the studio’s “gayest film ever,” why shouldn’t it giveThe Lion Kinga similarly fabulous makeover?
And with at least a dozen live action remakes on the slate, it looks like Walt won’t be getting rest anytime soon.
And neither will anyone at the MRC, if their goal is to attack any and every instance of suspected gayness in the media.
WND Changes Chobani-Bashing Article Months After Publication Topic: WorldNetDaily
Earlier this week, Chobani yogurt sued far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for promoting false claims about refugees that work for its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho. But WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann has also attacked Chobani as well over doings in Idaho. Why isn't he being sued?
The short answer: WND corrected his false attacks.
We've already noted that Snopes debunked Hohmann's unsubstantiated claim in a January 2016 WND article that the Chobani plant in Idaho "is in line to receive about 300 refugees this year, many of them Muslims from Syria. But there were other issues with that article as well.
It started with the way WND promoted it, with the headline "American yogurt tycoon vows to choke U.S. with Muslims." Numerous media outlets that documented the right-wing war against Chobani and founder Hamdi Ulukaya for encouraging refugees to work in his facilities claimed that this was the original headline on Hohmann's article. We could find no evidence of that; the article was, however, promoted in the carousel on WND's front page with that headline (an screenshot of which is above).
That's not to say the original headline on Hohmann's article -- "American yogurt billionaire: 'Hire more Muslim refugees'" with the subhead "Calls on biggest U.S. companies to join Islamic surge" -- didn't have issues. The chief one is that at no point does Hohmann quote Ulukaya saying "Hire more Muslim refugees," and he doesn't even quote Ulukaya explicitly calling for the hiring of Muslim refugees over other refugees.
Hohmann also wrote that refugees in Idaho are "sent there, many of them, to work in the world's largest yogurt factory" and that Ulukaya "has stepped up efforts to hire as many refugees as he can at his yogurt plants, where they currently account for 30 percent of the total workforce."
But sometime between March 29 and April 3, 2016, the main headline of Hohmann's article was changed to "U.S. Yogurt billionaire asks businesses to hire more foreign refugees." And between June 7 and and June 29, other changes were made:
The subhead became "Calls on major American companies to 'step up and do more'."
Hohmann's assertion that refugees are "sent there, many of them, to work in the world's largest yogurt factory" was changed to "Many of them end up working in the worlds largest yogurt factory."
HOhmann's assertion that Ulukaya "has stepped up efforts to hire as many refugees as he can at his yogurt plants, where they currently account for 30 percent of the total workforce" was changed to read "Currently refugees account for about 30 percent of the total workforce at Ulukayas yogurt plants."
The article also gained an "editor's note" stating that "This story has been updated since the original posting to clarify certain parts."
WND didn't tell its reader that these updates were made six months after Hohmann's article was first published. And, thus, there's no mention at all of the only logical reason why one would even bother making such significant updates to an article six months after publication: WND heard from Chobani's lawyers.
Hohmann's and WND's walkback seems to have saved WND from a lawsuit from Chobani. It also apparently made WND much more sensitive about pushing dubious claims about Chobani and refugees. A June, 30, 2016, article by Hohmann now states: "Editor’s note: Originally this story indicated Chobani was going to increase hiring of refugees above the already high 30-percent level, based on a report by Bloomberg News. Bloomberg later scrubbed all references to additional Chobani hiring of refugees."
Unfortunately, a lawsuit threat is usually the only way to get WND to correct a false or malicious story on its website.But Chobani knows that and -- good for them -- is not afraid to go there. Now if only WND were capable of being more honest about having to make those corrections...
MRC Bashes Anyone Attacking Ivanka Trump ... Except Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center started off the week in full Ivanka Trump defense mode:
Nicholas Fondacaro complained that media outlets "hype[d]" -- read: reported on -- Ivanka getting booed during an appearance in Germany, further whining: They had the option to simply note the heckling and move on to what else she said about women in business. But they chose to hyper-focus on the most sensational and inconsequential moment."
Dawn Slusher grumbled about an Ivanka joke on the new TV show "Great News," huffing that "the left" would never do such a thing about Chelsea Clinton. "So much for children of presidents being off-limits," Slusher added, apparently unaware that Chelsea never worked in the White House as a senior presidential adviser to anyone, let alone her mother.
But when Fox News' Jesse Watters made the creepy comment that Ivanka was in Germany, "I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone," the MRC couldn't be moved to express any outrage. Indeed, it tok the MRC nearly two full days to respond -- and it sought to distract from the incident.
In an April 27 post, Kristine Marsh declared Watters' comment to be "offhanded" and "innocuous" and blamed the media for covering it:
That offhanded comment has thrown the media in a tailspin of ridiculous accusations of oral sex innuendo, riding on the heels of O’Reilly’s departure from the network.For example last night on CNN, host Don Lemon hosted a whole panel segment on the throw-away comment as if it were an actually newsworthy controversy.
Watters explained shortly afterwards that the comment was about how Ivanka’s cadence reminded the panel of how smooth jazz radio hosts crooned, and was in no way a blow-job joke, as the media has spun it.
It’s no surprise that CNN would want to continue the Fox News sex scandal storyline as long as they can after O’Reilly and Ailes ousting. But to read something sexual in Watters’ comment is just plain grasping at straws.
Marsh offers no reason why we should take Watters' denial of malicious sexual intent in his Ivanka comment at face value -- and she also didn't mention the hand gesture he made while saying it. (Nor did Marsh feel the need to embed a video clip of Watters' comment so we could judge for ourselves.)
Instead, Marsh rants about "faux-outrage from the left" and offered "small sampling of actually misogynistic comments made on-air by liberal tv hosts about Ivanka Trump" and others. Marsh labels a couple clips "incest joke about Trump and Ivanka," failing to mention that Donald Trump's own comments about his daughter invited such a response.
It seems that the MRC's Fox News-shaped blind spot is current coalescing into the shape of Jesse Watters. Is the guarantee of talking-head time on Fox worth all this hypocrisy?
WND Has Mixed Feelings On O'Reilly's Departure From Fox News Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily, it appears, can't quite figure out how to feel about Bill O'Reilly's firing from Fox News and the allegations of sexual harassment that caused it.
WND did dutifully serve up a list of "all 12 leer, stare, grunt and grab claims against O'Reilly," and editor Joseph Farah's first column on O'Reilly after his departure was a typically self-aggrandizing account of "My recollections of the late, great Bill O'Reilly" reminding us that O'Reilly's syndicated column was started at WND.
For his next column, though, Farah decided he wasn't ready to throw O'Reilly under the bus after all, with a rant in which he rather stupidly likens sexually harassing women to ... being gay:
However, let’s think about this in the context of leftist ideology. It generally insists that people are who they are sexually and there is generally nothing they can do about it. Someone who is “gay” can’t change. Someone who is bisexual can’t change. Someone who was born anatomically a male could really believe he is a female, and we should all understand his need to live out that fantasy.
They can’t help being what they are – and sex drives and predilections are impossible to change, the left tells us.
Do I have this right so far?
If so, what if Bill O’Reilly can’t help himself?
Aren’t there lots of men and women prone to adultery?
Aren’t there lots of men and women prone to sleeping around?
Should there not be some consideration and tolerance for men and women who are simply being who they are sexually?
Or is it only homosexuals, bisexuals, lesbians and “transgenders” who have the right to be who they are? What about the poor male slob who just can’t stop hitting on women?
Jesse Lee Peterson joined in the bluster, asserting: "O’Reilly’s departure from Fox News had little to do with sexual harassment. The firing of O’Reilly is about silencing a straight, white, powerful, Christian man who had the backbone and decency to treat Donald Trump fairly."
Peterson added that "I don't believe" O'Reilly is guilty of the allegations against him, and that even if he was, the punishment doesn't fit the crime and blamed it all on "man-hating feminists." Recall that Peterson said pretty much the same thing about Bill Cosby.
Mychal Massie followed by asking, "what makes Bill O’Reilly worse than Bill Clinton?" adding, "O’Reilly should be a lesson to all men, especially those in the political arena. The adulterous leftists use sex to buy and own politicians, and they also use it to destroy those they hate."
The so-called news side of WND flipped as well. On April 23, Art Moore expressed concern that Rupert Murdoch's "politically progressive son" James was looking to create a global news brand that would make Fox News look more like --gasp! -- CNN. And an April 26 article by Chelsea Schilling fretted that Fox News employees were being ordered to attend sensitivity training.
Looks like WND is having trouble trying to thread the needle of protecting O'Reilly while also trying not to be too hypocritical about it.
CNS Columnist Blames Victim's 'Culture of Entitlement' In Airplane Incident Topic: CNSNews.com
WorldNetDaily columnist Sean Harshey isn't the only ConWeb writer who wants to blame that guy for choosing to be dragged off that United Airlines plane.
CNSNews.com columnist Lynn Wardle joins the victim-blaming in his April 18 column with a lot of complaining about a "culture of entitlement":
His behavior seemed to be deliberately intended to maximize the stress and trauma for everyone – including not just the United employees and airport police but also all of the other passengers on the plane.
He succeeded in doing that. Somehow he got back on the plane and had to be removed a second time.
Apparently that passenger claimed to be a doctor who had patients to see the next day. Certainly that is a relevant consideration. But is it really dispositive? Are doctors really so much more (that much more) important than other passengers?
Are doctors somehow morally superior to other passengers who are teachers, students, public employees, and business men and women who are working hard to provide for their families? Are they more important than moms and dads who are trying to get back to their families, to help their children get off to school the next morning?
The passenger was described as a 69-year-old man. Perhaps his age had something to do with his behavior. Older people sometimes can be grumpy and difficult. (I say that sheepishly as an older person myself.)
Perhaps other factors contributed to his disturbing behavior. The incident exemplified what could be called a “culture of entitlement.” While it can be found in many (probably all) nations and cultures, it seems to be in abundant supply in the United States today.
It is a “pound-your-fist-on-the-table-and-stand-on-your-rights” mentality. It says: “I paid for this service so I am entitled to have it without any disruptions or inconveniences.”
Sadly, this incident contributes to a public perception that doctors consider themselves to be better than other people. It fosters the perception that doctors are arrogant, superior, and think that they are above the common inconveniences of life that other people have to experience from time to time.
Wardle does aver that "it also could be argued that the United employees and the airport police displayed a “culture of entitlement” in the way they dealt with the situation." But much of his ire is directed at the doctor, and he's weirdly oblivious to the fact that, yes, there is something of an entitlement to paying for an airline ticket and going through all of the hoops necessary to actually get seated on the plane -- one has paid for a service and one does not expect to be randomly kicked off the plane after one has been seated on it, for no reason other than the airline wanted to put its own employees on instead.
Wardle claims to be a law professor, and he doesn't seem to know about any of the legal ramifications of any of all this, which go beyond questions of "entitlement"?