WND Is The (Paid?) PR Shop for A Primary Opponent to Paul Ryan Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is in business with Paul Nehlen, having published his anti-"globalist" book "Wage the Battle" in July, which also apparently serves as a manifesto of sorts for his quixotic 2018 Republican primary challenge against House Speaker Paul Ryan. (How quixotic? Nehlen ran against Ryan in 2016 and lost by 68 percentage points.) WND is also selling a Nehlen-produced anti-Muslim film called "Hijrah," which purports to expose "the dark underworld of the Muslim refugee crisis."
But WND is also in business with Nehlen in another way: It's effectively the PR shop for Nehlen's longshot campaign, in an apparent attempt to make it somewhat less quixotic.
The June 16 WND article announcing Nehlen's candidacy was written by Paul Bremmer -- who works on the marketing side, not the "news" side, not that there's much difference between the two at WND in practical terms -- touted Nehlen's "spirited" campaign against Ryan in 2016 but didn't mention he lost by 68 points, or that WND published his book, which is prominently promoted in the article.
This was followed by a series of articles featuring Nehlen bashing Ryan:
An anonymously written June 25 article let Nehlen complain that Ryan is "actively thwarting" President Trump and is "giving a blank check to the left's priorities."
On July 14, Liam Clancy -- an WND "news" intern -- forgoes any pretense of journalistic balance in writing of Nehlen: "Everyday Americans are sick of the corruption in Washington, and one man plans to 'drain the swamp' himself, by starting in his own congressional district."
A July 26 article by Clancy touted Nehlen's tweeting that "'Ryan never misses an opportunity to undermine [President Trump]' and that Ryan has spent more time defending Mueller rather than defending 'this nation from illegal aliens,' defending President Trump, and defunding 'Obama’s spending priorities,'" adding, "Stop and think about how much good work we could do if Paul Ryan was an America First guy."
An anonymously written July 29 article gives Nehlen a platform to rant about "we have a Congress full of spineless jellyfish, unwilling to fulfill their oath of office to protect and defend this country from enemies foreign and domestic." the anonymous writer also gushes over "Hijrah" as "the most explosive documentary of the year. It reveals an Islamic invasion like no other before it."
An Aug. 1 article by Bremmer is a fluffy profile of Nehlen, pumping up his credentials as a "businessman and inventor" and hyping Nehlen's alleged hope to "bring a message of hope and encouragement to business leaders and working-class people – not just in Wisconsin’s first district, but all across America."
An anonymously written Aug. 26 article promoted how Nehlen "contends the speaker [Ryan] is betraying the GOP grassroots by failing to forcefully condemn 'Antifa.'" (The anonymous writer also asserts without evidence that Antifa "instigated the violence in Charlottesville.")
Even before Nehlen officially announced his campaign, WND was giving Nehlen a platform to bash Ryan:
In none of these articles, however, does WND indicated they ever attempted to contact Ryan for a response on Nehlen's attacks. That tell us that this is public relations -- not news. Which makes WND's work an in-kind contribution to Nehlen's campaign.
The Federal Election Commission has laws regulating the use and disclosure of in-kind contributions. Both Nehlen and WND would be wise to follow them. Unless, of course, Nehlen is actually paying WND for all of this fawning, uncritical press, in which case that would have to be disclosed as well.
MRC Likens Jorge Ramos To A White Supremacist Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long despised Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos, mainly for daring to be critical of President Trump. This is taken to a new level in an Aug. 24 post by Ken Oliver (bolding his):
As President Trump recently stated, many media outlets are currently having a field day giving platforms to hate groups, on both ends of the country’s political spectrum.
At Univision, activist anchor Jorge Ramos decided to replay on his weekly Al Punto show his 2016 interview with white nationalist leader Jared Taylor.
In the segment, one of the central exchanges between Ramos and Taylor reveals how both men actually share a similar, race-based view of American politics that is inherently divisive (not to mention un-American).
JARED TAYLOR, WHITE NATIONALIST:You want more power for Latinos.
JORGE RAMOS, HOST, AL PUNTO, UNIVISION: Exactly.
TAYLOR: That comes at the expense of my people’s power.
RAMOS: We are 17% of the population.
RAMOS: Andwe only have three senators. Therefore, we do not have the political representation we deserve.
TAYLOR: And you want more and more.
RAMOS: Of course, because we only have three senators.
RAMOS: Right now,14 more senators.
As MRC Latino pointed out when the segment originally aired as part of Ramos’ pre-election horror film, titled Hate Rising, both Ramos and Taylor exhibit a race-based logic that is inimical to the core, color-blind ethos of the American political project.
It is, at both extremes, an identity politics gone mad, that only serves to divide Americans, rather than heal and unite them as President Trump has urged. In other words, in Jared Taylor’s America, as a white man he evidently cannot be adequately politically represented by a non-white, nor in Jorge Ramos’ America can Ramos be adequately politically represented by a non-Hispanic.
It is a race-based logic that the vast majority of Americans roundly reject.
The fact that Oliver invokes Trump twice in an item that has nothing whatsoever to do with Trump tells us the level of bias he's going to serve up. Oliver also fundamentally misunderstands the concept of identity politics -- and, thus, the difference between Taylor and Ramos.
Taylor wants all power to be kept in the hands of whites and no other races to have a voice -- he is a white supremacist after all (which Oliver strangely softens as being a "white nationalist"). Ramos is arguing for Hispanic political representation proportional to their portion of the U.S. population, which is not the same thing. Oliver doesn't explain how it's racially divisive to include more Hispanics or any other minority in politics.
That's important because history has shown that minority legislators represent the concerns of minority constituencies better than non-minority legislators, which suggests that those concerns are not adequately addressed by non-minority legislators. And rightly or wrongly, voters use a candidate's race as a proxy for ideology.
No, Mr. Oliver, Ramos is not a Hispanic supremacist, and wanting proportional political representation doesn't make him one. Ramos wants Hispanics to have a meaningful voice; Taylor wants Hispanics to have no political voice at all. Taylor wants supremacy for his race; Ramos just wants a proportional voice. In other words, Ramos and Taylor couldn't be more different in their "race-based view of American politics."
Portraying Ramos as no different from a white supremacist is nothing but a lazy, hateful slur.
WND Still Pretending Arpaio's Birther Probe Was Legitimate Topic: WorldNetDaily
In an Aug. 28 article, WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh cheered Joe Arpaio's "tongue-in-cheek reference" upon his pardon by President Trump "to the years-long investigation by his Cold Case Posse of the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate." Unruh then served up a selective history of it:
At issue was whether or not Obama was a “natural born citizen,” a term that is not defined by the Constitution. Complaints about Obama’s status went nowhere in U.S. courts during the first four years of his presidency.
Arpaio, however, assigned the only official law enforcement investigation of the issue.
The conclusion: What Obama released to the public in a White House news conference likely is a forgery.
The posse, comprised of former law-enforcement officers and lawyers with law-enforcement experience, interviewed dozens of witnesses and examined hundreds of documents. It also took numerous sworn statements from witnesses around the world.
Mike Zullo, Arpaio’s lead investigator, said at the time his team believed the Hawaii Department of Health has engaged in a systematic effort to hide from public inspection any original 1961 birth records it may have in its possession.
“Officers of the Hawaii Department of Health and various elected Hawaiian public officials may have intentionally obscured 1961 birth records and procedures to avoid having to release to public inspection and to the examination of court-authorized forensic examiners any original Obama 1961 birth records the Hawaii Department of Health may or may not have,” Zullo said at the time.
The investigators say the evidence contained in the computer-generated PDF file released by the White House as well as important deficiencies in the Hawaii process of certifying the long-form birth certificate establish probable cause that a forgery has been committed.
The investigation was launched after 250 members of the Surprise, Arizona, tea party presented a signed petition to Arpaio in August 2011 asking him to undertake the investigation.
The tea party members petitioned under the premise that if a forged birth certificate was used to place Obama on the 2012 Arizona presidential ballot, their rights as Maricopa County voters could be compromised.
Unruh leaves out a lot of important information -- such as Zullo misrepresenting numerous facts during his presentation, his utter botching of earlier parts of his investigation, his refusal to take questions about it, and his refusal to let anyone else see his purported evidence.
Further, the Surprise Tea Party petition to Arpaio was a setup by then-WND reporter and rabid birther Jerome Corsi (presumably, with the help of the rest of WND) to get an "official" investigation done. Corsi was also a member of the Cold Case Posse despite lacking the law-enforcement and legal credentials -- as well as any interest in a fair investigation -- Unruh falsely claims all posse members had.
The birther conspiracy -- never anything more than Joseph Farah's attempt to turn Obama's birth certificate into the new Vince Foster -- remains WND's greatest act of fake news, as demonstrated by Unruh's refusal to report all the facts regarding it.
The Late Chuck Colson Is Still Earning Bylines At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Looks like Chuck Colson remains the hardest-working dead guy at CNSNews.com, still earning bylines despite the fact that he died in 2012.
Now, though, Colson is sharing bylines with an actual living person -- John Stonestreet, who now heads the BreakPoint ministry Colson founded. A July 28 CNS column appears to be nothing more than a transcript from a BreakPoint radio show, with Stonestreet doing an introduction followed by a rerun Colson commentary, this one on how archaeology allegedly proves the Bible is true.
CNS took the same lazy transcript approach with a Aug. 25 column, but for a more callous cause -- this time, denying the humanity of transgenders. (Not a surprise, given the anti-LGBT hate of CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman.) Stonestreet touts anti-transgender "renowned psychiatrist" Paul McHugh, formerly of Johns Hopkins University, followed by a clip of Colson intoning a stereotyped, mean-spirited view of transgenders:
You see them at night in big cities: men dressed up as women, complete with makeup, jewelry, and high heels. Despite their best efforts, it’s not a pretty sight. Nor is the sight of men who take a more drastic step: undergoing so-called sex-re-assignment surgery.
As we've documented, McHugh's views on transgenders have been widely discredited -- something Stonestreet doesn't mention. Inastead, there's an snide editor's note: "This commentary first aired on June 5, 2005. Johns Hopkins University has recently, and tragically, resumed sex-reassignment surgeries."
Interesting, in neither of these columns does Stonestreet or CNS explicitly point out that Colson is dead. That would seem to be a necessary, important disclosure, given that the byline suggests otherwise.
WND's Farah Spins Another Charlottesville Conspiracy Theory Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've noted how spinning conspiracy theories has been a key part of WorldNetDaily's coverage of the events in Charlottesville, Va. And WND's leader, Joseph Farah, made sure he contributed to the cause:
While the left of the ’60s and ’70s accused the FBI and political opponents of employing agents provocateur, they did so because they themselves used them so effectively.
It certainly looks to me like history is repeating itself in 2017.
The Charlottesville “alt-right” rally, bringing together a motley collection of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white supremacist scum, has all the familiar trappings of a setup by the left, designed to incite violence and mayhem that could then be blamed on Donald Trump.
Take the case of “Unite the Right” leader Jason Kessler. He had been a big-time supporter of Barack Obama, an Occupy Wall Street activist, a gun-control supporter, and, for some reason, suddenly shifted gears to become a “pro-white activist” in 2016. I suppose that could happen. Anything can happen. But this strange turnabout certainly came at a convenient time for the left. With the “Russian collusion” narrative fading as the focal point of the “Stop Trump” movement, the left needed a new cause.
The left got what they needed in Charlottesville, tragically, propelled by the death of Heather Heyer.
Did Kessler have any regrets?
Not at all. Instead he tweeted this disgusting message: “Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.”
There’s one thing I can absolutely assure everyone. Jason Kessler was never a right-wing activist, a conservative, a constitutionalist or even a rational American nationalist. My guess? Agent provocateur.
In fact, in a 2015 blog post, he may have given himself away. He wrote: “I can’t think of any occupation that I admire more than the professional provocateur, who has the courage and self-determination to court controversy despite all slings and arrows of the world.”
Later in his column, Farah hilariously contradicts himself, insisting he's not spinning a conspiracy at the very same time he's spinning one:
My intent is not to weave a conspiracy theory here; it’s to point out facts about this national tragedy that has left our country on the brink of a new civil war.
Who was it that told the police to stand down in Charlottesville – leading to things getting uglier than almost anyone could image?
Two people come to mind:
Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a big supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama; and
Charlottesville’s Democratic Mayor Mike Signer.
Since Charlottesville, we’ve seem similar clashes occur in big cities like Boston. But the police remained engaged, and tragedy was averted.
Let’s hope and pray Charlottesville was one of those unholy “perfect storms,” aided, perhaps, by overly zealous puppeteers who actually welcomed violence, mayhem and death – with the united purpose of hurting the presidency of Donald Trump.
If Farah didn't weave conspiracy theories, what would he write about?
And let's not forget that Farah has worked as the kind of "puppeteer" he now purportedly deplores, guiding Donald Trump behind the scenes on birther conspiracies and doing other things with the purpose of hurting the presidency of Barack Obama.
Newsmax Columnist Complains About Lack of Respect for President, Forgets Who His Employer Is Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen complains in his Aug. 21 Newsmax column: "One of the unfortunate byproducts of the irrational treatment of President Donald J. Trump by the politically entrenched establishment class, predisposed mainstream media, and Hollywood radical left is a precipitous decline in the respect customarily surrounding the presidency." Hirsen was referencing how some recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors were refusing to show up to accept the award if President Trump was to show up.
Hirsen, however, seems to have forgotten who publishes his column.
Newsmax has never shown much respect for President Obama. Then-reporter Ronald Kessler repeatedly attacked him during the 2008 presidential campaign, as did other Newsmax writers. After the election, Newsmax had trouble accepting the results, with one Newsmax columnist likening him to Hitler and another calling for a military coup to resolve the "Obama problem" -- among the many ways Newsmax disrespected Obama just in his first year in office, which also included embracing birtherism.
CNS Managing Editor Pens A Political Attack, Calls It 'News' Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman huffs in an Aug. 18 "news" article:
When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was Speaker of the House for four years (2007-2010), at least 709,885 black babies were killed by abortion, which is 35.4% of all the abortions during those years, according to the Abortion Surveillance reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In all, that equals 709,885 black abortions -- 35.4% of the total -- during the four years that Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, based upon the areas that reported to the CDC.
There were a total 1,918,419 abortions during those four years.
Blacks make up 13.3% of the U.S. population, according to theCensus Bureau.
In 2015, Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, presented then-Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) with the Margaret Sanger Award. The award is Planned Parenthood's "highest honor" and is named for a woman who believed in breeding better humans through eugenics and even promoted her birth control philosophy to female members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
What is the "news" hook that justifies the existence of this article? None that we're aware of -- the Margaret Sanger Award Pelosi received was two years ago. What direct link does Pelosi have to the number of black women having abortions? None. What relevance does the number of abortions among blacks have to any current debate about abortion, expecially given that no organized campaign led by Planned Parenthood or anyone else exists for force black women to have abortions? None.
In other words, Chapman is simply making a partisan political attack and, yes, presenting it as "news" -- it does appears in the "news" section of CNS.
One side note: As proof of Sanger's speaking to "female members of the Ku Klux Klan," Chapman links to a 2015 CNS column by right-wing historian Paul Kengor in which he's responding to me (though he refused to use my name) after I had called him out for distorting the events surrounding Sanger's talk and for misleading about Sanger in general. Kengor didn't condede his factual failings, of course, but he effectively admits he's exploiting the alleged ambiguity of Sanger's words to present the worst possible interpretation of them as fact in order to smear her as a virulent racist.
Fake-News Story Still Live And Uncorrected At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
On Aug. 20, WorldNetDaily copied-and-pasted an article from an Australian news website (misleadingly credited to the New York Post, which is merely cited in the article) about Joshua Witt, "believes his long-on-top, buzzed-on-the-sides haircut got him mistaken for" a neo-Nazi, "and he was nearly stabbed to death by a confused anti-fascist."
Turns out that's not true. Authorities now say that Witt's knife wounds were self-inflicted, and that he made up the story about being attacked by a protester "with hopes that the Department of Veterans Affairs would pay for his medical bills."
Despite the fact that Witt's faslehood has been exposed for two days now, WND's original copy-and-past job remains on its website live and uncorrected.
WND does have this problem of perpetuating fake news (not to mention generatingitsown). For instance, a story WND copied-and-pasted onto its website in February about a claim that "dozens of Arab men sexually assaulted female patrons at bars and restaurants in downtown Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve 2016" has long been discredited, but it remains live and uncorrected five months later.
MRC Plays the Reagan Hagiography Card Topic: Media Research Center
In the middle of an Aug. 23 post comlplaining that CNN's Don Lemon had a "deranged reaction to President Trump's Arizona rally," the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck took a little time to complain that "Lemon falsely claimed that Ronald Reagan already had Alzheimer’s Disease while President," later restating that "Lemon promoted fake news about Reagan."
How does Houck know that this is "false" and "fake news"? The only evidence he cites is from conservative columnist George Will and a review of a book by conservative Craig Shirley on Reagan done by "conservative scholar Lee Edwards."
Meanwhile, Reagan's son, Ron Reagan Jr. -- who likely had a closer, more realistic view of the situation than a couple of Reagan hagiogrphers -- argued that his father may have shown some early signs of Alzheimer's during his presidency, such as the occasional bout of forgetfulness.
So it appears that, at best, the jury is out on the issue. Perhaps Houck shouldn't be making such a definitive claim without examining evidence from people not predisposed to default to polishing Reagan's legacy.
WorldNetDaily's Paul Bremmer writes fawningly about his boss in an Aug. 24 article:
“These are sick people,” President Trump thundered during his Tuesday night rally in Phoenix. “If you wanted to discover the source of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and crooked media. It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions, and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage.”
The crowd applauded wildly. This is the type of fighter Trump voters wanted when they elected him president, according to award-winning journalist and WND managing editor David Kupelian.
“Everybody’s been afraid all my life of the news media – all the politicians, because they want to get re-elected,” Kupelian said in an interview this week on “Caravan to Midnight.” “Trump comes out and says, ‘You’re dishonest, you’re fake news. No, I won’t take a question from you; you’re fake news. You’re not fake news; you’re very fake news.’
“Everybody loves that because it’s a guy who’s not intimidated by the news media.”
Of course, the website of which Kupelian is managing editor is infamous for promulgatingfakenews, the fakest of which is its obsession with birtherism. Kupelian has apparently forgotten that he denounced those very same voters for that very act, insisting they purportedly did so "to absolve their guilt over our great national sin of slavery."
Kupelian also tried to defend Trump -- the man for whom he sold out any moral principles he claimed to have because wanted to be on what he hoped would be the winning side -- against accusations of racism and, by extension, the idea that there's still racism in America:
“For God’s sake, America is the least racist nation on the face of the Earth and the least racist nation in all of history,” Kupelian said. “The great American middle class bought into Martin Luther King’s dream of a colorblind America. … The vast engine of America, the great middle class, changed its mind, basically, on segregation in one generation, and we got rid of it legally but also in our culture. And the proof of that – we elected a black guy twice as president.
Kupelian apparently also forgot that his website tried to smear and denigrate that "black guy" at every opportunity, including likening him to Hitler and the Antichrist -- or that his top boss, Joseph Farah, refused to acknowledge Obama was ever president. It's likely that race played some role in WND's vicious campaign of hate against Obama.
CNS Is The Mark Levin's Official Stenographer, Apparently Topic: CNSNews.com
We alreadyknow CNSNews.com is the unofficial stenographer for the Trump administration. But CNS serves also serves as the (apparently) semi-official stenographer for right-wing radio host Mark Levin.
CNS' parent, the Media Reseach Center, has long been in a business relationship with Levin regarding mutual promotion, which is still in force as far as we know. That would certainly explain the frequency at which CNS simply transcribes something Levin said on his radio show.
Indeed, so far in the month of August alone, CNS has a whopping 16 articles of Levin stenography:
In addition, there was a CNS post transcribing a Levin guest host, Ben Shapiro.
No radio host is that newsworthy -- that's more than one stenography session every two days. That frequency tells us the CNS standard on Levin is not newsworthiness at all but, rather, keeping up its end of a business deal. If true, that makes these "articles" advertising, not "news," and they should be identified as such.
NEW ARTICLE: Once More Into The Heart of Whiteness Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's insistence that whites in South Africa are being subject to a "genocide" is so fictional, a WND columnist used bogus quotes from an anti-genocide activist to try and further it. Read more >>
MRC Researcher Plays Trump Protector Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center shows they're all about protecting President Trump and not so much about "media research" in an Aug. 22 post by Nicholas Fondacaro, who's trying way too hard.
Fondacaro is very concerned that an Instagram post by Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, bragging about her designer duds while traveling on a government plane would be used to make Trump look bad.Fondacaro complained that CNN's Jake Tapper "tried to link someone else’s Instagram controversy to the President" and was claiming that Linton's comments were "somehow Trump’s responsibility because of his 2016 campaign messaging.Finally, Fondacaro huffed:
It’s one thing to discuss Linton’s Instagram post and her relation to the Treasury Secretary. But it’s another to try and rope the President into it. Trump appointed her husband, not her, to a position in the government. So her actions bear little or no weight on Trump’s shoulders.
We suspect Fondacaro would not be so eager to distance Linton from Trump if the president was a Democrat.
WND's Medical Misinformer Now Misinforms to Defend Trump Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's chief medical misinformer, Jane Orient of the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, knows how to misinform about non-medical things too.
In her Aug. 24 WND column, Orient goes far afield from her claimed area of expertise to play defense for President Trump and to blame the media and other various enemies real and imagined for not letting Trump talk about infrastructure during the White House's Infrastructre Week, and not Trump himself for feeling the need to rant about confederate statues instead of staying on topic:
President Trump sent a signal that he was going to start cutting useless red tape. Would this be good for black people? Poor people? Industry? Taxpayers? Absolutely yes, yes, yes and yes. It would be a start for making America great again.
But the signal set off panic among swamp dwellers: the 3 million bureaucrats who block productive work, the lobbyists who advocate for rules to crush little guys, CEOs of mega-corporations who dread competition. And of course there are those who really don’t want America to be great and politicians who keep their power by demagoguing on problems they themselves caused.
The hate-Trump, stop-Trump-at-all-costs media couldn’t allow people to learn about our infrastructure problems and what must be done to fix them. They needed a diversion. So they talked about a mob scene in Charlottesville, where part of the project to obliterate America’s history is happening.
Orient then decided she knew best about what black people need:
Some type 2s carried Black Lives Matter signs. Black lives are indeed threatened, but not by swastika-waving misfits. These are their real problems:
Crime. Thousands of blacks are killed by (mostly black) criminals, mostly in inner cities ruled by liberal Democrats for decades. Trump wants more effective law enforcement.
Drugs. While authorities blame doctors, international drug cartels thrive under the protection of sanctuary cities, pushing heroin, carfentanyl and other things you can’t get at Walgreen’s. Thousands are dying. Trump wants to clean up sanctuary cities.
Abortion. More than 19 million black babies have been aborted since 1973; the rate is three times that of whites. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a rabid racist. Trump wants to decrease abortion.
Poor medical care. The past eight years of Obamacare have brought huge cost increases and deterioration in availability and quality. Trump wants to repeal it.
Disease and poverty. Over-regulation by environmental radicals, based on fraudulent science, has killed and keeps on killing millions of African blacks (from resurgent malaria since banning DDT), and the war on affordable energy will keep Africa mired in poverty. Americans are less affected – so far. Trump wants to restore reason and honesty to the EPA and other regulatory agencies.
Harvey Ends CNS' Years Of Writing About How Long It's Been Since A 'Major Hurricane' Topic: CNSNews.com
Over the past couple years, CNSNews.com has loved to tout how long it's been since a "major hurricane" has made landfall in the U.S. -- making sure to define "major hurricane" as narrowly as possible -- as an (failed) argument agains global warming. Hurricane Harvey, however, has forced CNS to change its arguments -- though not its conclusion, since that's right-wing dogma, since climate denialism is right-wing dogma that can't be disputed.
On Aug. 24, reporter Susan Jones bid a fond farewell to that longtime template: "Thursday, August 24, 2017 marks a record 142 straight months since the last major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States. But that record major-hurricane drought may be coming to an end." She continued CNS' arbitrary designation of "major hurricane" as one being category 3 or higher.
The next day, as Harvey bore down on Texas, Jones seemingly contradicted CNS' previous talking point by pointing out how hurricanes hit Texas seemingly all the time: "A total of 63 hurricanes have made landfall in Texas since record-keeping began in 1851, according to data posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Harvey would be number 64." She also included a list of hurricanes that hit Texas, highlighting how many years it was between hurricanes.
That was followed a couple hours later by another Jones article, in which she flip-flopped again by downplaying how many "major hurricanes" there have been:
Major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 or higher, have made direct landfall in the continental United States in every decade since 1851, except for the present decade. That may change tonight.
Since 1851, when the government started keeping records, 274 hurricanes have made direct landfall in the continental United States (see note below), according to data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Of those 274 direct-landfall hurricanes, only 94, or 34.30 percent, have been "major" storms, defined as Category 3 or higher, with winds at or above 111 miles an hour.
A note at the end of Jones' article demonstrated just how narrowly she was defining things: "The 274 direct-landfall number excludes hurricanes that did not make landfall in the continental U.S. but may have produced hurricane-force winds on land from locations offshore; and it excludes four storms that made landfall in Mexico, producing hurricane-force winds in Texas."
Finally, when Harvey made landfall, Jones wrote a rare weekend article with a final body count, as it were: "Hurricane Harvey roared ashore near Corpus Christie as Category 4 storm late Friday night, breaking a record 4,323-day (142-month, 12-year) major hurricane drought." And, of course, morecaveats about how narrowly she's defining things:
Since 2005, only nine relatively minor hurricanes (Categories 1 or 2 – and yes, they can be damaging) have made direct landfall in the United States.
That does not include the devastating superstorm Sandy, which approached New Jersey as a Category 1 hurricane, but transitioned into a “post-tropical cyclone” just before making landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. in October 2012, according to the National Weather Service.
(As noted above, Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the crowded New York-N.J.-New England area during Obama’s term, but it was not a hurricane when it hit land.)
Jones concluded her article with a little Trump stenography, this time transcribing Trump's Harvey-related tweets.