CNS Blogger Tries to Spin Away Trump Reneging On Border Wall Topic: CNSNews.com
We already know CNSNews.com blogger Craig Bannister is a terrible media analyst. We now also know he's a rather desperate spinmeister for the Trump administration.
After transcripts of President Trump's conversation with the president of Mexico went public, Bannister used an Aug. 3 CNS post to spin away the negative parts of it:
On Thursday, The Washington Post published purportedly-leaked, classified transcripts of President Donald Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia - but, the worst thing The Post could find to headline its expose’ is that Trump asked Mexico’s president to stop saying he’s against a border wall.
The Post’s top six ‘Highlights” from the Trump-Nieto conservation, according to its “annotated transcripts” are:
“Trump threatens potential tariffs on Mexican goods,”
“Trump vows to help fight the ‘tough hombres’ driving the Mexican drug trade,”
“Trump seems to acknowledge that his threats to make Mexico pay had left him had left him cornered politically,”
Trump asks that they avoid publicly disagreeing over how the wall will be funded
Trump describes the wall as ‘the least important thing we are talking about,’”
Trump tells Peña Nieto to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay for the wall.
Thus, the biggest scoops from The Post’s claimed leaked documents are that an American president:
Threatened to use tariffs,
Wants to fight drug smuggling,
Says it’ll make him look bad if he doesn’t deliver on his promise,
Discourages public opposition,
Says there are more important problems to tackle than building a border wall, and
Discourages public opposition (See above).
Of course, Bannister is ignoring that Trump is effectively admitting that he's reneging on his own campaign promise to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. But Bannister cannot admit that's happening, so he must spin things to trying to falsely turn this into a fake-news nothingburger.
This is the kind of so-called analysis for which the MRC is paying Bannister the big bucks.
MRC Turns Trump Tweet Into An Item Topic: Media Research Center
On Aug. 14, after reluctantly expanding his condemnation of the violent events in Charlottesville, Va., to specifically call out neo-Nazis and white supremacists, President Trump tweeted: "Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied...truly bad people!"
Three hours later, the Media Research Center turned it into a media-bashing item. Nicholas Fondacaro wrote (excessive boldface his):
On Monday, President Trump called out the racist hate groups involved in Saturday’s chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to calling them “evil” and “repugnant,” Trump said: “Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.” This full throated denouncement was exactly what the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) craved from the President, but now that they had it, they shifted their attacks to: “What took him so long?”
“President Trump finally finds the words to condemn white supremacists two days after facing an intense bipartisan backlash for blaming quote “all sides” for the violent unrest in Charlottesville,” sneered Anchor Lester Holt during the opening tease ofNBC Nightly News. Soon thereafter, Holt called Trump’s first remarks “tone deaf” and then mocked him for trying “today to find the right notes.”
During CBS Evening News, White House Correspondent Major Garrett turned the snark up to 11 when he chastised Trump. “The leader of the free world, President Trump, was behind his daughter, Attorney General and Vice President in denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis by name,” he chided.
Garrett also pretended that leftist counter protesters didn’t do anything violent during Saturday’s clashes, not that it justified the car attack. “On Saturday, the President implied counter-protesters and armed shield-wielding white supremacists were equally to blame,” he said.
“That initial equivocation echoed ways in which Mr. Trump has played to racially motivated segments of American politics,” Garrett added.
Trump’s latest and most refined condemnation of the violence in Charlottesville was exactly what they had been begging for him to do. But not that they got it from him, they moved the goal post and bemoaned how it wasn’t good enough.
Fondacaro didn't mention the tweet from Trump or that he was effectively writing on orders from the president.
WND's Hohmann Tries to Troll A Muslim Candidate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Muslim-hating WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann is particularly prone to going into freakout mode when he writes about Muslim politicians. And he does exactly that in an Aug. 13 WND article.
This time, the subject of Hohmann's ire is Minnesota's Regina Mustafa, who is "trying to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress." After playing the usual guilt by association for having started a community interfaith dialogue group with the help of the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- which he smears as "a Hamas-tied Muslim Brotherhood front group which operates with impunity inside the United States, even though the extremist Brotherhood has been banned as a terrorist organization by several Arab countries" -- Hohmann gets onto the business of hurling increasingly biased and loaded questions at Mustafa. She eventually figures out Hohmann was trying to play gotcha and she ends the interview, which of course makes him even more incensed:
Despite her work on interfaith issues, Mustafa was not open to discussing her personal faith. WND asked what attracted her, as an American woman, to Islam and why she converted.
“How do you know I converted?” she asked.
WND told her it was just a guess, since she doesn’t appear to be from the Middle East or other regions where Islam dominates.
“I did convert,” she said. “I just don’t see why that question has anything to do with my campaign, if I was raised with a certain religion or not I just don’t see that as pertinent.”
WND asked Mustafa why Muslims tend to persecute Christians in almost every Muslim-majority country.
“I think that’s a gross generalization,” she said.
WND asked her which Muslim-majority country would be the most welcoming of Christians.
“Oh Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, I have Egyptian friends who are Coptic Christians,” she said.
All of those countries have blasphemy laws where it is illegal to criticize Muhammad, Allah or Islam.
In fact, it was reported Friday by the Investigative Project on Terrorism that Malaysia has initiated a police program of “hunting down” non-Muslim “apostates” and assigning them to re-education camps designed to “fix” their faith.
Mustafa did agree that some Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia needed to loosen their restrictions on other faiths, although she denied that it’s illegal to own a Bible in Saudi Arabia and said freedom of worship is allowed “in compounds,” where international workers live.
When WND asked her to provide information and facts to support the open expression of Christianity in Saudi Arabia, she abruptly ended the interview and hung up.
WND hadn’t even gotten to these other pertinent questions:
If elected, will you renounce the extremist Muslim Brotherhood?
Will you renounce Shariah law and place the American Constitution above all other forms of law?
Meanwhile, Mustafa has been receiving death threats because of her candidacy. Hohmann apparenlty didn't think that was a "pertinent question" to bring up with her.
WND is apparently totally down with such threats -- the death threats have remained live on the comment thread five days as of this writing. We'd complain about WND's sloppy comment monitoring system (we've been banned for pointing out WND's bias, but death-threat issuers get to post with impunity), but holding Muslims up for attack by its readers is Hohmann's job, after all.
Newsmax Complains About Media Covering David Duke, Forgets It Publishes Ed Klein Topic: Newsmax
John Gizzi complains in an Aug. 12 Newsmax article:
Twenty-eight years after he won his only elective office as a Louisiana state representative, following a dozen losing bids for offices ranging from president to governor, David Duke is — almost incredibly — still sought out by the national media.
As reporters from across the nation and abroad covered the white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday, Duke, onetime Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was showcased extensively by the press.
In one widely-shown TV clip, Duke declared: [T]hat’s why we voted for Donald Trump ... because he said he's going to take our country back, and that's what we gotta do"
Trump supporters will inevitably argue that the liberal media is trotting Duke out simply to link a storied white supremacist and the president. But his string of successive losses at the polls and recent embarrassing antics have so demolished Duke's credibility that one wonders why any journalist would take him seriously.
We would remind Gizzi that his employer lovestopublish Ed Klein mostly for his anti-Obama and anti-Clinton attacks, which rarely if ever have on-the-record sourcing -- a major journalistic blunder. That matters because the anonymous sources he loves to cite have been wrong on a regular basis, and his attack books simply can't be trusted.
Klein clearly has no credibility. Instead of complaining about how others work, shouldn't Gizzi be wondering why his employer takes Klein seriously?
WND on Charlottesville: Whataboutism And, Of Course, Conspiracy Theories Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already detailed the hot mess of hot takes WorldNetDaily columnists have offered following the events in Charlottesville, Va. WND's "news" side -- which is really just opinion written in inverted-pyramid style -- did exactly what you'd expect when its fellow right-wingers get caught in bad behavior: deflect and spin conspiracy theories.
An Aug. 15 article by Chelsea Schilling touted Rush Limbaugh's insistence that "both 'reactionary fringe groups' – neo-Nazis and Antifa – are actually extreme leftists and are not aligned with Republicans at all." Schilling goes on to tie efforts to remove Confederate monuments to George Soros, because everything WND doesn't like can be blamed on Soros, apparently.
In another article, Schilling is just asking (and conspiracy-mongering) regarding Jason Kessler:
The organizer of the violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was until recently a Barack Obama supporter and was also a member of the leftist radical Occupy Wall Street Movement, according to a report from a hard-left activist group.
The details from his recent past have many in the blogosphere and on social media asking: Is the Charlottesville rally organizer really a left-wing plant?
Leftists claim they are fighting hate and violence, and they cite the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a prime example.
But the evidence indicates the left is actually spreading hate and violence.
Those are the conclusions of writers for two prominent left-leaning news outlets, the BBC and the Atlantic.
Their articles describe in detail how the taste for violence is seeping from the fringe left into its mainstream.
As he has before, Kant continued his audition to work at the Trump White House press shop, touting how "Trump had stated a demonstrable truth, recorded by cameras, that there was violence from both sides. But, for some reason, that assertion enraged the press, which responded by trying to portray the president as defending the Nazis.
Kant went conspiracy-mongering too, asserting that "There is evidence that reason is quite literally being removed from American academia, and that it is increasingly seen as racist by academics."
Liam Clancy complained about Republicans who allegedly "defend[ed]" the "violent left" by pointing out that they were attacking neo-Nazis.
And Greg Corombos promotes an interview with a "black leader" -- actually, just a guy from the tiny black-conservative group Project 21 -- getting all conspiratorial about the alleged failure of the police to stop violence in Charlotteville.
MRC Pretends Sinclair Doesn't Have A Right-Wing Bias Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves Sinclair Broadcast Group because it shares the MRC's right-wing media agenda. The love is felt so much, in fact, that an Aug. 9 MRC post by Aly Nielsen puts mention of Sinclair's editorial "agenda" in scare quotes as if to falsely suggest it doesn't actually exist. Then again, Nielsen is full Sinclair stenography mode:
Liberal journalists hate to be proven wrong. So they’re going to despise the latest video from Sinclair’s Mark Hyman that bashes Politico and other lefty outlets for sloppy reporting.
“Donald Trump's campaign struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group during the campaign to try and secure better media coverage,” claimedPolitico. Turns out that wasn’t evenclose to the whole story.Sinclair offered to show Politico emails proving it offered the identical deal to the Clinton campaign, but Politico showed no interest.
“They’re either awfully incompetent or awfully dishonest,” said Hyman in a two-minute video.
Hyman -- and, thus, Nielsen -- are being awfully dishonest themselves. Hyman offers no evidence that Sinclair ever provided any balance to offset its pro-Trump coverage deal, and is silent on the fact that it still offers no balance to the right-wing commentary of Hyman and Boris Epshteyn. Nielsen, meanwhile, fails to mention that Sinclair's long history of right-wing bias proves the Clinton campaign correct in rejecting a purported deal.
Nielsen then complained that "The Politico piece was one of many attempts by liberal media outlets to attack Sinclair after it announced it purchased Tribune Media Co. for $3.9 billion. If approved, the May 8 purchase will add 42 new local stations, according to Bloomberg."
Nielsen doesn't mention that Sinclair's bias is playing a major role in the Trump-controlled Federal Communications Commission approving a loophole in federal regulations -- in which looks like a quid pro quo -- to allow Sinclair to own more stations beyond the current cap that would permit the Tribune purchase.She also ignores that other conservative broadcasters, such as Newsmax TV, One America News Network and The Blaze, oppose the Sinclair-Tribune deal because it would eliminate diverse media voices.
Having omitted information that discredits her post, Nielsen is reduced to whining that critics were "opposing what they saw as conservative bias in the media" -- note that she won't admit the unambiguous fact that Sinclair's bias is real -- and that criticism of the Sinclair-Tribune deal "was hypocrisy at best, and censorship at worst."
Of course, "hypocrisy at best, and censorship at worst" is pretty much how the MRC operates.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah loves to try and steal reflected glory from others, from claiming he marched with Martin Luther King to having thought up the "Left Behind" books. His latest attempt comes in his Aug. 17 column:
When President Trump again Tuesday denounced not only the Klan, the neo-Nazis, the white supremacists and the plain old racists who were clearly guilty of violence, thuggery, instigating mayhem and, possibly, even murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, he also point out accurately and – and this point – even courageously that there was, indeed, another side to this story.
This, despite the fact that the "alt-left" is not an actual thing. As Emma Grey Ellis explains at Wired:
Ultimately, the intent seems to be to frame alt-left as the opposite of alt-right and create a false equivalence between groups on the far ends of the right and left. But here's the thing: No left-wing group has ever called itself the alt-left. And the groups smeared by the alt-left label don't include anything like the heinousness of overt white supremacism that has increasingly defined the alt-right.
It's a blanket term some right-wing media commentators and white nationalists have taken to throwing over groups they disagree with, like the umbrella of "fake news" they use to describe stories they disagree with. Doing so manages to both minimize the ugliness of the alt-right and vastly overstate the actions and intentions of leftist groups.
In other words, Farah is trying to take credit for maning something that doesn't exist. He seems a little desperate for some kind -- any kind -- of legacy.
CNS Disappears Trump's Originial, Deficient Statement on Charlottesville Topic: CNSNews.com
Melanie Arter dutifully transcribed in an Aug. 14 CNSNews.com article:
In an impromptu speech at the White House on Monday, President Donald Trump specifically called out white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The president said anyone who commits violence in the name of racism are “criminals and thugs,” and specifically named the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis.
“Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said.
Curiously missing from Arter's article: Any mention of Trump's statement two days earlier in which he failed to specifically call out white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, criticism over which appears to have forced Trump's "impromptu speech" being more specific.
The following day, Arter wrote up Trump's wild remarks about Charlottesville that took stenography to a new level -- she simply presented Trump's remarks as matter-of-fact as possible and made no mention of the controversy over them. Wouldn't want inconvenient facts to get in the way of the stenography, after all.
Arter also asserted that "The president's comments come a day after he specifically condemned the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who took part in demonstrations in Charlottesville." Needless to say, Arter didn't mention Trump's deficient original statement in this article either.
Your WND Charlottesville Hot-Take Roundup Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already noted how WorldNetDaily immediately ran to President Trump's defense on his insufficient initial remarks on the neo-Nazi-led violence in Charlottesville, Va., by putting words in his mouth. WND writers' takes on Charlottesville are so hot, they've turned into a crispy black powder.
First up is Jesse Lee Peterson bizarrely claiming that black men hate too much and white men don't hate enough:
I have warned for more than 27 years that we are in a spiritual battle of good versus evil. White people are under attack – especially white, straight, conservative Christian men of power. The children of the lie hate them because they represent good. They love truth, freedom, responsibility, the values that make America great.
Evil already wiped out black and Hispanic men – separated them from their families and deluded their thinking. Evil, too, has chipped away at whites, the last men standing in the way to stop evil from completely taking over America.
But white men have forsaken their responsibility to lead their wives and children in the right way, and to tell the truth in the world without anger, fear or apology.
Instead, white men take a timid, people-pleasing, apologizing approach toward their wives in the home, and toward angry blacks and others in the world. Their fear and weakness toward the children of the lie only makes them a greater target for evil.
Peterson then played the whataboutism card by bizarrely blaming "the anger and false-identity politics of most blacks and leftists" and not, you know, bigoted while people.
Carl Jackson served up his own Obama-centric whataboutism:
I’ve been clear and consistent over the years that I believe President Obama is responsible for setting race-relations back in America a generation because he refused to speak out against the racist propaganda of Black Lives Matter, which ultimately resulted in violence, riots and looting and the assassinations of cops across the country.
Surprisingly, Jackson alsso criticized Trump for having "unnecessarily courted the alt-right during his campaign and brought their homeboy Steve Bannon, who provided them a platform on Breitbart, into the White House.
That entire tragic exercise was a stage-show. By whom, and for what purpose? I say it was a plain and simple part of the slow-motion coup underway against President Donald Trump!
No American election has ever generated as much rage and distress as the remarkable upset victory of Donald Trump. By Saturday, Aug. 12, one thing was becoming clear. Too much good news was coming out of the Trump White House. Jobs, confidence, the fall-off of illegal border crossings and unemployment and the fall-up of American prestige and U.N. support – all this and more overshadowed the failure of all previous attempts to derail the Trump Train. Worst of all – for the Trump haters – it was becoming evident that Trump’s “tough talk” to North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un was working and would propel Trump’s popularity to still higher pinnacles. Trump’s supporters were beginning to feel the heady warmth of total vindication. His enemies were about to gag.
Either the admittedly extreme claim of this Charlottesville theory is correct, or Trump’s enemies have coincidentally harvested one of the greatest rewards in history. Consider!
Naturally, Trump forcefully denounced the violence. I assumed that meant the bigots. the so-called white nationalists or white supremacists with their zero-credible roll-call of Nazis, KKK members, David Duke followers and independent haters. But wait a minute! Apparently, Trump’s forceful condemnation was insufficiently forceful and condemnatory of the bigots!
We’re told “Trump is afraid to alienate important elements in his base.” Is it possible Trump isn’t aware of the breadth and depth of his own popularity? Trump has no reason to fear calling out the enemy by name.
Since the bigots hijacked all the news channels last Saturday, none of that good news Trump has accomplished for the American people is being mentioned in the coup-complicit media.
Also, WND ran a poll asking readers what they thought about "violence at Unite the Right event." To nobody's surprise, readers regurgitated the WND agenda by overwhelmingly choosing as the top answer: "Antifa, Black Lives Matter and -- ultimately -- Barack Obama are responsible for the outbreak of racial violence in our country."
MRC's Graham: The Act of Asking Questions Has A Liberal Bias Topic: Media Research Center
So Breitbart had a cow recently over a New York Times reporter emailing Environmental Protection Agency employees seeking information -- which, as the Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out, is kinda how journalism works.
Cue the Media Research Center's Tim Graham, whom we last saw insisting that Mike Pence denying something means more than 75 people interviewed by the Times who say otherwise. Graham rants in an Aug. 8 post:
Wemple is right that reporters don’t just have leakers call them up and leak; they often go out looking for disgruntled or ideological insiders to become their anonymous sources. But in hailing [Times reporter Coral] Davenport as “unassailable,” he’s ignoring the obvious point of Davenport’s liberal get-Pruitt agenda. After the election, Davenport lamented the victory of Donald Trump as a "new peril" for climate-change doomsters.
The truly naive people believe that journalism is something created objectively, serving a readership without any explicit attempt to convince readers to support one political side. Anyone who readsThe New York Timesfor a week should know what they’re attempting to manufacture when they create the “news.” They function as Governing Partners when Democrats are in power, and are much more hostile and thumping their chests when the Other Party is in charge.
Graham has this cynical view of journalism because that's how the MRC runs its own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com. Terry Jeffrey, Michael W. Chapman -- and, we must presume, Brent Bozell -- see CNS not as a place for journalism to take place but as a propaganda mill.Under a Democratic president, for instance, only negative news about unemployment must be reported, while a Republican president means the news must be positive.
Because CNS operates this way, Graham assumes that every news outlet operates this way. And because he and CNS are so far right, he thinks that any news outlet that doesn't look and sound like CNS must therefore be "liberal" and must be destroyed.
Of course, unlike the Times, CNS would never be caught doing actual reporting -- it's much more content to be a loyal Trumpstenographer. Graham, meanwhile, can't seem to understand why the rest of the media aren't Trump stenographers.
Graham concludes by huffing: "The email demonstrates the process or [sic] organizing anonymous sources to embarrass or inhibit government officials like Scott Pruitt from doing conservative things." If "conservative things" can be stopped simply and solely by exposing them to the light of day and, thus, embarassment, how good can they really be?
WND: Don't Mock Our Attempts to Hijack The Eclipse, Or God'll Get Ya Topic: WorldNetDaily
An anonymously written Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily article gives WND author Mark Biltz a platform to politicize the eclipse and pre-emptively bash anyone who says differently:
The discoverer of the “Blood Moons” phenomenon says God is sending a message to the church – and all people need to do to see it is look skyward.
The Boston Globe recently reported the path of the upcoming total solar eclipse which will cross the United States on August 21 will overwhelmingly move over counties won by Donald Trump in the recent presidential election.
The paper was mocked on social media for suggesting heavenly events have some connection to earthly politics.
But Pastor Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the “Blood Moons” phenomenon, argues people should be cautious before resorting to snark.
He points out Genesis 1:14, which says astronomical phenomena were partially intended “for signs.” And as Biltz believes the solar eclipse itself is a sign and a warning to the United States, he suggests there may also be meaning in the solar eclipse’s path.
“I would not mock those who do or do not believe there is significance in this eclipse’s path,” the pastor told WND. “The path of totality is showing where it is the darkest and the path of judgment unless there is repentance. At the same time, though, judgment always begins with God’s people first. This is a call for the church to repent and become more like Abraham rather than Lot and to intercede. The church needs to wake up and repent if we are to save this nation and not be mocking the unrighteous. We need a different tone in America.”
Ultimately, Biltz argued, America is entering a troubling time because of the collapse of the Christian faith in the United States and rising political and social divisions as the culture breaks down. Biltz suggests God is giving America a chance to turn back to Him. But this requires taking the signs of the times seriously.
“Americans have become too divisive and polarized,” mourned the pastor. “The atmosphere is corrosive and as the Bible says, ‘the love of many will wax cold.’ Interestingly, the Bible says when Lot spoke to his son-in-laws he was as one who mocked. We have become a nation of mockers.”
Biltz returned to scold the mockers anew in an anonymously written Aug. 10 WND article:
The “mockers” are coming out of the woodwork, but one pastor says their time is coming.
The total solar eclipse that will traverse the continental United States on Aug. 21 is fascinating much of the world. But it’s also drawing scoffing and snark from those for whom astronomical events of this kind have no significance.
A sheriff in Oconee County, Georgia, posted a joking message on his Facebook page, saying he expected “each of you to begin panicking today.” Humorously predicting “vast hordes” descending on grocery stores, he further sarcastically advised “pregnant woman should smoke and drink liquor during the eclipse.”
On the other hand, one conspiracy theorist, David Meade, is claiming the eclipse heralds the arrival of “Nibiru,” or “Planet X.” The planet, he predicts, will crash into the Earth on Sept. 23, 2017, leading to massive death and destruction. His prophecy is partially based on what Meade calls the “33 Convergence,” a string of coincidences surrounding the event that all include the number 33.
Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the “Blood Moons” phenomenon, shies away from specific predictions of this kind. But he argues it is similarly misguided to simply laugh off extraordinary signs in the heavens as having no meaning.
“As far as how I respond to those who are ‘laughing’ at the idea the eclipse could mean something, it depends on who is doing the laughing or mocking,” Biltz told WND.
“I expect people who do not believe in the God of Israel to mock. Look where that got them in Noah’s day. To those who do believe and still mock, look at Lot’s family with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. His was a completely different situation than Abraham’s family.”
“The total lunar eclipses in 2014/2015 on Passover and Sukkot were signs Messiah is at the door. The solar eclipse this August is a sign as well as the sign in the stars at the end of September. So yes, we have been in the last of the last days since 1897. Where does that put us now? Well, I would say it is about time to look up, for our redemption is drawing nigh.”
Biltz suggests Americans should “enjoy” the eclipse, “as it has been 100 years since the last one.”
In his view, it is not a cause for panic or worry. But he does say God is communicating with the faithful, warning them to repent. They ignore this warning, Pastor Biltz said, at their peril.
If Biltz and WND didn't have a record of interpreting such things to conveniently fit their personal right-wing evangelical agendas, we'd be a little more concerned about the whole mocking thing.
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Managing Editor of Gay-Bashing Topic: CNSNews.com
Michael W. Chapman uses his Media Research Center-provided platform to push the idea that gays and lesbians are literally the spawn of Satan. Read more >>
Fake News: WND Blames Mosques for France Tearing Down Churches Topic: WorldNetDaily
Alicia Powe writes in an Aug. 8 WorldNetDaily article:
Many Muslim immigrants express a sentiment of entitlement, believing they one day will replace the natives and the land in which they are strangers will come under the authority of Islamic law.
It’s already happening in France, according to a report published by the Gatestone Institute by Giuliu Meotti, cultural editor for Il Folgio.
He says, in the last 30 years, more mosques and Muslim prayer centers “have been built in France than all the Catholic churches built in the last century.”
At the same time, Christian churches are being bulldozed.
Let's unpack this. The opening paragraph is opinion from Powe -- she presents no evidence to support her claim -- and has no business in an article claiming to be "news."
The report Powe is writing about, from the right-wing, anti-Muslim Gatestone Institute -- whose ideology Powe does not identify, and about which Powe makes no effort to find a contradictory view -- is rather bogus. The The headline claim -- that more mosques and Muslim prayer centers "have been built in France than all the Catholic churches built in the last century" -- is both misleading and outright false.
It's misleading because it omits the fact that there were already 90,000 Catholic churches in France at the beginning of the 20th century, so Catholicism had quite the head start on Islam.
Powe uncritically quotes the Gatestone report as claiming that there are "nearly 2,400 mosques" in France. In fact, according to Haaretz, "There are 2,449 registered Muslim prayer rooms in France, only a small number of which are officially defined as mosques. Prayer rooms can exist in any form but a mosque is a free-standing structure that costs millions of euros to build." Haaretz also reports that "45,000 new churches" have been built in the past century-plus in France. That seems to put the lie to Gatestone's assertion.
Why is that 100-year length of time such a big deal? Because as Powe admits, "France is able to demolish old churches because the government appropriated all church property and the cost of maintaining them in 1907." Which means there's no link whatsoever between closing churches and opening mosques.
While Powe uncritically quotes the Gatestone report as portraying an attempt in France to systematically replace churches with mosques, she cites only one example of a church being turned into a mosque.Which is pretty close to the rea-life rate: Haaretz states that since 1905, only five churches have been turned into mosques.
To sum up: Powe basically wrote a press release about a bogus report from a right-wing anti-Muslim group, and she couldn't be bothered to do even the most basic journlaism to verify anything.
MRC's Bozell Hypocritically Criticizes Jeffrey Lord's Firing By CNN Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been surprisingly quiet on its official front about CNN's firing of pro-Trump sycophant (and NewsBusters columnist) Jeffrey Lord for tweeting "Sieg Heil!" at Media Matters president Angelo Carusone -- perhaps because of the MRC's own recent success in getting someone else fired from CNN, Reza Aslan. It was mentioned only once in passing at NewsBusters and had not been mentioned at at all at MRCTV and CNSNews.com immediately afterwards.
One had to go to MRC chief Brent Bozell's Twitter feed for a quick response. Bozell first complained: "@CNN's firing of @realjeffreylord falsely smears him as a Nazi. In fact he was criticizing Nazi-like tactics from the left. Slander?" He then huffed: "If @CNN objects to their commentators making Nazi comparisons, several liberals at the network should lose their jobs. What hypocrites!"
Bozell then ran to another media outlet -- not Fox News this time, but to Larry O'Connor, a former Breitbart editor who's now a right-wing radio host in Washington, D.C. Aeter admitting he had just been chatting with Lord before his radio hit, Bozell laughably echoed Lord's attack on Media Matters as "fascists" who "are using intimidation and smears and -- i'll say it right now -- flat-out lies to get conservatives thrown off the airwaves because they don't want conservative voices on the airwaves."
Bozell, of course, didn't mention his own campaign of intimidation and smears to get Aslan thrown off the air for the offense of criticizing Trump. No difference, really, though Bozell would never call himself or his organization fascists.
Bozell then went into revisionist history in recalling Rush Limbaugh's calling soldiers who opposed the Iraq War "phony soldiers": "All you have to do is listen to the transcripts and that's not what he was saying. He was talking about people playing phony soldiers and trying to get medical benefits out of it." In fact, the transcript proves quite the opposite: There was nearly two minutes between Limbaugh's reference to "phony soldiers" and his reference to a specific case of fraud.
After O'Connor brought up Aslan's firing, Bozell responded by not discussing similarity in tactics, but instead complaining that CNN took too long to fire him while it took "only four hours" for Lord to get fired.
Finally, on Aug. 14, Bozell brought his whining about Lord to his own website. He repeated the same arguments he made on the radio, including the misleading defense of Limbaugh -- almost as if they had been written out for him as talking points and he was just testing them out on the air first before committing them to an MRC site -- and tries to coin the term "smear-fired." Again he references Aslan only in passing, complaining it too so long to fire him but not about the pressure tactics he put on CNN to do so. He smears Media Matters as "leftist censors" without admitting he's a right-wing censor.
Bozell goes on to declare that "Jeffrey Lord is one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet" and that CNN, in dumping Lord while he was on his way to an appearance on the channel, "had his limo driver turn around in mid-journey from Pennsylvania to New York and take him home." Lord has a limo driiver? Real man of the people.
Bozell is essentially claiming the tactics he used to get Aslan fired by CNN shouldn't be used by anyone else to get a friend of Bozell's fired. What rank hypocrisy.
WND Puts Words In Trump's Mouth After Charlottesville Topic: WorldNetDaily
When President Trump issued a vaguely worded statement following the white supremacist and neo-Nazi-linked violence in Charlottesville, Va., WorldNetDaily hdd to leap into action to put words in Trump's mouth that he hadn't actually said.
Cue an anonymous WND writer in an Aug. 13 article:
President Trump unequivocally condemned the ugly rally by neo-Nazis, Klan members and other white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent when a man rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters.
“The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups,” the White House reported in an official release Sunday. “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”
Virginia police have not yet provided a motive for a man plowing a car into a crowd of people objecting to the white nationalists, but U.S. attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have opened a civil-rights investigation into the crash, an FBI field office said.
While Trump’s denunciation of the rally was unambiguous, much of the media reporting is attempting to link him to the racists and by claiming he didn’t blame only white supremacists.
Of course, Trump's denunciation was anything but "unambiguous" and unequivocal, given that he vaguely denounced only "many sides" and no group by name.
WND never gave the same pass to President Obama, who was repeatedlyattacked for not using the term "Islamic terrorism" even though Obama unequivocally and unambiguously denounced extremist terror.
Similarly ironic is WND averring on speculation about James Fields' motive in allegedly driving his car "into a crowd of people objecting to the white nationalists," since WND routinely freaks out every time authorities want to wait until an investigation is conducted before calling an act of violence and not jumping to conclusions about alleged Islamist jihidism.
Speaking of freakouts, Joseph Farah served up one in defending Trump's non-specificity in his Aug. 13 column:
I guess unless you say you despise, detest, reject and hate white supremacists, racists, fascists, the Klan, neo-Nazis and other scum, you bear responsibility for the carnage and violence in Charlottesville.
That’s the distinct impression I’m getting from media coverage of this national tragedy.
I thought it was a pretty good statement – unequivocal, unambiguous, absolute, categorical, unmistakable.
I was wrong, because some people hate Donald Trump more than they hate racism. This is especially true of people who work in what we euphemistically still refer to as “the mainstream media.” There’s nothing “mainstream” about it. And their coverage of this showdown between two extremist groups – vicious, hate-filled white supremacists and the so-called “Antifa” brown-shirt creatures on the other side – leaves no room to denounce both, as Trump did.
Now we have three dead – two law enforcement personnel killed in a helicopter crash and one woman run down by a driver who injured 19 others – because of the inevitable toxic explosion of hate in Charlottesville.
And, I predict, this is far from over.
It could be the beginning of a new civil war – not just between two groups of nutty extremists – but a long national propaganda siege to condemn only one form of tyrannical, blind hatred.
There are common denominators that bind the two sides: Neither has any love in their hearts. Neither respects the precious right of free expression. And neither knows a thing about Robert E. Lee, who was nota racist, not a slaveholder and, yet, was the focal point – the excuse – of this ugly skirmish.
Farah also rants: "There will be no reasoning with anyone. There will be no possibility for rational dialogue. There will be no room for condemnation of both sides. Nevertheless, I will do it anyway. Because I’m tired of the guilt-by-association with racists and other reprobates by the fascist left."
Oh, we rather doubt that Farah is interested in "rational dialogue," given his website's history of engaging in the exact opposite. Does anyone believe that a website that repeatedly likened President Obama not only to Hitler but to the Antichrist is interested in rationality and reason?
Further, Farah's portrayal of himself as not a racist belies WND's history of anti-black race-baiting by giving a platform (and a book deal) to ColinFlaherty.
Also, the fact that Farah sees no moral distinction between neo-Nazis and liberal critics of Trump, whom he's painting as "so-called 'Antifa' brown-shirt creatures," says all we need to know about his brand of "rational dialogue."
When Trump finally issued an updated statement that specifically denounced white supremacists, WND trumpeted it in an Aug. 14 article by Garth Kant helpfully headlined "Trump specifically condemns white nationalists." Kant followed his boss in equivocating white supremacists with "the radical-leftist Antifa."