The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell Tim Graham started their Oct. 6 column with a personal shot at him:
Dan Brown, the author of "The DaVinci Code," is back with another blockbuster anti-religion novel, and CBS "Sunday Morning" rolled out the red carpet on Oct. 1 to honor him and his massive commercial success.
The segment began with what he called his "fortress of gratitude" — his house loaded floor to ceiling, over several stories, with bookshelves ... stuffed with copies of Dan Brown's own books.
So we know who Dan Brown worships.
So Bozell and Graham hae never engaged in self-promotion in a media appearance before? They then rant further:
For all the folderol about "fake news," the media never found it necessary to challenge the veracity of Brown's scurrilous charges he posits as facts in his novels — that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child; that the Catholic Church took the human Jesus and cynically invented him as a god at the Council of Nicaea in 325; or those nonexistent "monks" in the Catholic group Opus Dei. They spent hours on ABC, CBS and NBC elaborating on Brown's "intriguing" theories, when what they were enthusiastically broadcasting was an atheist version of birtherism.
Brown's new novel, "Origin," once again features his hero, Harvard professor Robert Langdon, who tries to learn what discovery computer genius Edmond Kirsch was prepared to reveal that (as The Washington Post explains) "boldly contradicted almost every established religious doctrine, and it did so in a distressingly simple and persuasive manner."
So Bozell and Graham are mad that Brown presents fictional things as fact in a book of fiction? Isn't that the very definition of fiction?
Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily was taking even more shots at Brown. Joseph Farah huffed in his Oct. 13 column:
How do I say this politely?
Dan Brown is a fool.
The author of “The Da Vinci Code” may have sold 200 million copies of a novel based on enormous lies about the history of Christianity, but that does not mean he has wisdom.
Farah goes on to complain that Brown "did his best to make news about his latest release, “Origin,” by explaining why the Creator of the universe will not survive science, which, of course, is another way of saying God never existed except in the imaginations of man."
The same day, WND gave a platform to various and sundry fellow travelers to trash Brown. Birther pastor Carl Gallups, for instance, declared that “Dan Brown has been used as a tool of Satan for many years" because "A big chunk of his life has been dedicated to the task of minimizing and marginalizing the pure biblical message of salvation in Jesus Christ.” WND managing editor David Kupelian groused that "Brown has sold 200 million books, which I guess says something about the low state of ‘consciousness’ in today’s world" -- which sounds a little like professional jealously on Kupelian's part, since his books haven't sold 1/200th of the number Brown's have.
WND also brings on right-wing radio host Jan Markell to assert, "“Brown mocks the God who ‘sits up there and judges us.'” ... Someday Brown will be judged by that very same God and he won’t be laughing – and he won’t be mocking. He will have to say he was wrong, but it will be too late. The fires of hell will not be pleasant.”
None of these writers, by the way, offer any proof whatsoever that they have read Brown's new book, let alone "The DaVinci Code."Which means they're just bashing an undeniably popular author without knowing what they're talking about.
Joseph Farah writes in his Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily column:
Somebody has to state the obvious when it comes to the political agenda of “transgenderism.”
There’s no science behind it. There’s no common sense behind it. There’s no morality behind it.
Yet, our society has embraced the idea of allowing gender-confused small children to determine for themselves whether they are boys or girls and want to choose chemical castration and/or sterilization – ignoring the dire medical and health risks such procedures pose.
That’s why I appreciate Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, for speaking out boldly against the advance of political correctness and for sound medical practices.
“Chemical castration is what you’re doing when you put any biologically normal child on puberty blockers,” she said recently. “It’s treating puberty like a disease, arresting a normal process which is critical to normal development and bad for kids.”
I’m not a doctor, but this seems like simple common sense to me. What about you?
Farah is quoting from an op-ed by Cretella published three months ago at the conservative Heritage Foundation's "news" website, The Daily Signal. He goes on to tout Cretella's attacks on transgenders, claiming that "Her credentials affirm her expertise in this area."
But Farah is lyining in portraying Cretella as someone without a political agenda. In fact, the entire existence of the group Cretella heads, the American College of Pediatricians, is politically motivated, and the Southern Poverty Law Center considers it an anti-gay hate group. The Daily Beast details the love for the group on right-wing websites (like WND):
ACPeds is a favored citation among the far right because the organization disagrees with most major medical associations on LGBT and other social issues. It is not the leading organization for U.S. pediatricians. That would be the similarly named American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which has 64,000 members. The much smaller ACPeds was founded in 2002 to protest the AAP’s support for same-sex adoption.
But despite its small size, the Gainesville, Florida-based ACPeds makes frequent appearances in conservative news articles, especially stories about LGBT issues.
Further, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine has refuted all eight of the "hard facts" from Cretella Farah touts in his column, pointing out that Cretella repeatedly cites correlated claims without establishing causation, concluding of Cretella: "One cannot claim to be an unbiased medical professional writing for the greater good when one’s entire article is predicated upon gender dysphoria as a choice."
Farah concluded: "This crazy cultural tide needs to be reversed – with real science, real common sense and real morality." Too bad he offers someone who ignores the former to push the latter.
Crappy MRC Media Study Watch Topic: Media Research Center
It's another month, so it must be time for another terrible media "study" from the Media Research Center! Take it away, Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella:
With September’s news coverage now in the record books, the latest Media Research Center analysis finds TV’s hostility to the Trump presidency continues unabated. According to our analysts, the President received 92% bad press, vs. just 8% good press on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows last month.
Since Inauguration Day (January 20), the broadcast networks have tilted 90% anti-Trump, vs. 10% pro-Trump, not counting partisan statements or neutral/informational coverage. (See our methodology statement at the bottom of this article for details.) While coverage has pivoted from topic to topic — the travel ban, Obama wiretap claims, Russia investigation, ObamaCare repeal, Charlottesville — there’s been little variation in the negative tone of coverage each month.
The networks focused most of their evaluative coverage on immigration, the NFL and the private jet flights of cabinet officials (especially Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who resigned September 29).
Not surprisingly, 100% of the coverage of the expensive jet flights by Cabinet officials was negative, as was nearly all (96%) of the coverage of the administration’s immigration policy. On September 5, for example, CBS Evening Newsanchor Anthony Mason framed the President’s decision to end the Obama-era DACA program as “a dream lost for thousands of undocumented immigrants,” while a subsequent story by correspondent John Blackstone focused only on the negative reaction of those who benefited from the policy.
In other words: Noyes and Ciandella are once again complaining that stories are being accurately reported. They don't explain what possible "positive" coverage should have been given to, say, those private jet flights by Cabinet officials.
As before, Noyes and Ciandella have ensured their results are biased by narrowly focusing only on network evening newscasts(and pretending they're representative of the entire media) and refusing to acknowledge the existence of neutral coverage, forcing everything into a binary narrative in which everything is either "negative" or "positive" -- their so-called "methodology" states it counted only "evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story." And once again, they refuse to back up their work with a complete list of the actual statements they claim to have evaluated.
It's bad research specifically designed to reinforce a political agenda -- the only kind the MRC is apparently capable of doing.
WND Wants You To Know Shooter Had A 'Muslim Name' Topic: WorldNetDaily
When WorldNetDaily called on Leo Hohmann to write about a pair of shootings in Maryland and Delaware, he knew what his job was: to demonize the shooter as a Muslim, even though he had no idea of his actual religion.
So, while the gunman was still on the loose, Hohmann wrote an article carrying the headline "FBI hunts gunman with Muslim name in 2-state shooting spree." It carried the subhead "'Armed and dangerous' Radee Labeeb struck in Maryland, Delaware."
Actaully, the shooter's name is Radee Prince -- somewhere along the line, Hohmann forgot he had a last name, because he had to sell Prince as a Muslim:
“Labeeb” is one of Allah’s 99 names, according to Islamic tradition. Al-Labeeb means “the one with passion and heart” in Arabic. “Radee” means approval. The whole name Radee LaBeeb means “an approval or agreement of Allah.”
Never mind that at no point does Hohmann offer any evidence at all that Prince actually is Muslim. He sounds like a Muslim, and that's all the "fact-checking" Hohmann can be bothered to do.
After prince was captured, Hohmann updated the headline but kept the Muslim-baiting: "Shooter with Muslim name kills 3, now in custody."ANd he was mad that authoritiesdidn't immediately rush to judgment and declare Prince a jihadist without bothering to do an investigation:
Police initially called it a “workplace shooting” because Labeeb Prince is reportedly a machine operator at the Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood, a little over 25 miles northeast of Baltimore. He has worked there about four months, according to company owner by Barak Caba.
At a 4 p.m. press conference, Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy was still trying to sell the attack to the public as work place violence.
“Every one of the victims that this individual shot, the victims and the offender knew each other. So these were targeted shootings, for whatever reason,” Chief Robert Tracy told reporters.
Rather than work place violence, it’s also possible that Prince was carrying out a planned jihadist attack on multiple soft targets.
Again, Hohmann offers no evidence -- none -- that Prince is a jihadist or even a Muslim. Merely having a Muslim-sounding name is enough for Hohmann to spew unfounded conspiracy theories.
That's extremely lazy and biased journalism, even by WND standards.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Selective Outrage on Sexual Harassment Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is happy to lecture about Harvey Weinstein -- but was mostly AWOL when prominent conservatives were exposed as sexual harassers and misogynists. Read more >>
After Vegas Massacre, WND Still Doesn't Want To Talk About Dylann Roof Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've previously documented WorldNetDaily's reluctant to hae a serious conversation about Dylann Roof, the young man who murdered several black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 -- WND would rather talk about anything other than the white supremacist views he held, and which WND was working on the fringes of prior to the shooting.
After the Las Vegas massacre -- which seemed like a good time to rehash previous mass shootings -- WND made sure not to talk about Roof.
Shortly after the shooting, WND's Alicia Powe wrote an article declaring that "Over the last 20 years, the perpetrators of nearly all the deadliest mass shooting in the United States have shared one of two traits: Besides killing innocents with firearms, they either were Muslims or were using mind-altering psychiatric drugs." The article included a list of those perpetrators -- a list that curiously omitted Roof, despite the fact that WND has previously argued that Roof was "a young man who was into long-term and hard-core drug abuse" and allegedly using the "powerful narcotic" suboxone, and published another article placing Roof on its "big list of drug-induced killers."
WND managing editor David Kupelian followed with an Oct. 8 column that rushed to blame "the left" for somehow making Stephen Paddock commit the Vegas massacre:
Within this nihilistic worldview, a person like Stephen Paddock, who for whatever reason decides to shoot hundreds of human beings, is arguably just changing the form and configuration of their energy and matter from one form into another. Not that Paddock consciously thought this way; demons controlled his mind. He was extremely angry at whatever had gone wrong in his life and wanted revenge – and, probably, also to be remembered as a notorious mass-murderer.
Friends, this is a dangerous realm into which the left is ushering us, this place where there is no objective meaning, no absolute right and wrong, no good and evil, no moral and immoral, no male and female – where everything is relative and means whatever you choose it to mean, all because you demand ultimate freedom. Because when nothing means anything, even murder is reduced to rearranging matter and energy in other people from one form to another.
Kupelian doesn't mention Roof in his article -- he can't, because he can't blame "the left" for Roof's racism.That's a phenomenon of his side of the ledger.
WND did do an article that referenced Roof, albeit a few days before the Vegas massacre. An anonymously written Sept. 30 article noted the claim that a black man who killed one person and wounded several others at a church in Tennessee did so in retaliation for Roof's massacre. WND called Roof a "white supremacist" but didn't note how his views on black crime and South Africa paralleled that of WND.
MRC Still Pretending Anti-Muslim Group Isn't Anti-Muslim Topic: Media Research Center
We've noted how the Media Research Center has defended right-wing anti-Muslim group ACT for America against charges that it's, well, anti-Muslim. It did so again in an Oct. 5 post by Corrine Weaver:
The Southern Poverty Law Center is at it again -- spreading hate against people it disagrees with.
This time, the SPLC targeted ACT for America during ACT’s seventh annual national conference. The assault triggered a response among liberals eager to prove their fidelity to SPLC’s intolerant agenda of hate. The SPLC attacked ACT as the “largest anti-Muslim organization in the U.S.,” and criticized Marriott hotels for hosting the conference. It also claimed Media Research Center president Brent Bozell was a person “better known for bashing LBGT persons.”
ACT for America isn’t what the SPLC pretends. It’s a “national security grassroots organization,” that has more than 750,000 members and 12,000 activists who help to “educate, engage, and mobilize citizens and elected officials to impact legislative outcomes to protect America.” The group, founded by Brigitte Gabriel, focuses on radical Islamic terrorism. However, the SPLC has translated this mission to mean “anti-Muslim,” even though a practicing Muslim spoke at ACT’s 2016 conference.
Founder Brigitte Gabriel defended ACT in a written statement to Newsbusters, “Our members include Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, gays and Lesbians indeed people from all backgrounds coming together to ensure America stays a safe and free country. The speaker right after Brent was an Ex-Muslim from the Palestinian territory. The man who read his introduction was a gay guy that works for us who organized ‘The Deplorable Inaugural Ball’ and had worked on the Trump campaign. He is our lead activism strategist.”
How funny that the extent of Weaver's "research" on whether ACT! for America hates Muslims is peruse its website and talk to its leader to get quotes denying. She also doesn't bother to examine the evidencethe SPLC uses to identify Gabriel's group as anti-Muslim, such as her various Islamophobic rantings.
Weaver also fails to mention ACT for America's ties to white nationalism, which the SPLC has also pointed out. She also didn't mention one other reason she's rushing to Gabriel's defense: She'll be a guest on the MRC's cruise to Alaska next year.
Instead, Weaver was merely content to engage in some lazy SPLC-bashing, rehashing the usual right-wing attack lines.
Weaver isn't the only MRC employee who got marching orders to defend Gabriel and her group. CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman ranted in an Oct. 13 "news" article:
Left-wing activists and Muslim advocates are trying to besmirch and silence the mainstream national security group ACT for America, labeling the organization an "anti-Muslim hate group," protesting against its conferences and rallies, and urging lawmakers to condemn them, according to documents from the activists and remarks made by ACT for America President Brigitte Gabriel.
"We are the NRA of national security," Gabriel, a Lebanese-American, told CNSNews.com. "We want to empower citizens to become active in their community.... We want to make sure America preserves its identity, its traditions, its Constitution, its American values, including especially the protection of freedom of speech -- preserve America in the way our Founding Fathers envisioned it.”
As Weaver did, Chapman lazily takes Gabriel at her word that ACT for America isn't anti-Muslim -- and uncritically repeats her assertion that any criticism of her group might as well be coming from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a longtime bogeyman for conservatives -- and refuses to examine the particulars of the SPLC's case against it.
Chapman is rather desperate to paint ACT for America as "mainstream," using the word in the headline of his article as well as the lead paragraph. Perhaps that's an attempt at cover for the MRC to justify inviting Gabriel on its cruise (which Chapman, like Weaver, neglects to mention).
Interestingly, at no point in either article -- despite both Weaver and Chapman serving as pro-Gabriel stenographers -- does Gabriel offer any definitive evidence that would disprove the claim that ACT for America is anti-Muslim.
Both Gabriel and the MRC seem to think that hurling enough empty words at critics are enough to dispel criticism.
UPDATE: While we were writing the above, the MRC posted another item on Gabriel, an interview with her at the Values Voter Summit in which Katie Yoder lets her rant at length against the SPLC's designation of her group. Again, no refutation of the claim ACT for America is anti-Muslim, no mention of the evidence the SPLC used to make its claim, and no disclosure that Gabriel is a guest on an MRC cruise.
WND's Dubious Doc Flip-Flops on Opioid Epidemic Topic: WorldNetDaily
Dubious doc Jane Orient of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons opines on the opioid epidemic in a Sept. 29 WorldNetDaily column:
Legalizing what was formerly called the “gateway drug” obviously hasn’t reduced heroin use. The new gateway is now said to be prescription painkillers, and the chief villains are claimed to be legal pharmaceutical manufacturers, doctors and pharmacists. Because of multiplying regulations and physician prosecutions, patients who urgently need pain relief are being left in agony. But the ODs continue to mount, mostly on drugs not stocked at Walgreens – such as heroin laced with fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opioid.
What is going on? On the demand side, Americans are well indoctrinated by the sea of advertising about taking a pill for every ill. Nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Then there is the pervasive culture of instant gratification and moral relativism. As Paul Harvey predicted in his classic 1965 monologue “If I Were the Devil,” these trends would lead to metal detectors and drug-sniffing dogs in schools.
On the supply side, profits are enormous. The largest seizure to date of 63.8 kg of powdered fentanyl plus 30,000 counterfeit drug tablets, found in a tractor-trailer rig at a checkpoint near Yuma, Arizona, had a street value of $1.2 billion. Most of the fentanyl comes from China – a turnabout from the Opium Wars.
While pouring billions into costly treatment methods with a one-year failure rate of around 90 percent, the government continues to provide “free” opioid prescriptions to Medicare and Medicaid enrollees, some of whom sell them on the street. And the Massachusetts attorney general shut down a network of sobriety-centric primary-care-based clinics with an astonishingly high success rate and imprisoned the founder, Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore. His alleged crime: ordering too many urine tests.
Is there any way such massive international trafficking could thrive without some level of political protection? And is the government attempt to remedy the problem making it worse?
Ini fact, what Kishore actually did was far worse than ordering "too many urine tests"; he paid illegal kickbacks to the operators of sober houses to do urine tests for them, which was even more illegal because those sober-house clients never met with providers employed by Kishore as required. Kishore pleaded guilty to fraud, received a jail sentence and was ordered to pay $9.3 million in restitution. The success of Kishore's methods are irrelevant if he's committing fraud to promote them.
Further, Orient seems to have forgotten that the AAPS -- for which she serves as executive director -- used to defend opioid-pushing doctors. In 2005, we documented how AAPS was an excuse-maker for William Hurwitz, a Virginia doctor specializing in chronic pain reliefsentenced to prison for drug trafficking in the form of prescribing hundreds of opioid pills per day to patients, at least one of whom died.
Orient heself wrote a commentary defending Hurwitz, asserting that "many patients, who had tried everything else that modern medicine offers without relief, have been restored to a productive, relatively normal life by opioids, even in doses that could knock out an opioid-naïve horse." She insisted that "High-dose opioids, used properly, are relatively safe," going on to lament that "Opioids, however, are unique in the risk they pose to the physician: prosecution for drug dealing -- or even for murder should a patient die while using the drugs." Orient went on to huff:
Now that he's been shackled and carted off to prison, possibly for life, prosecutors may be popping champagne corks and preparing new indictments.
The effect on the illegal prescription-drug traffic in Virginia because he has been convicted will be precisely zilch. This is known with absolute certainty: the last prescription Hurwitz wrote was in December 2002 when he voluntarily closed his practice.
We won't know how many patients will suffer torture because of the deterrent effect on other doctors. But it's not the DEA's problem. It did its duty. A message has been sent, in the interest of protecting the public health from demon drugs.
Shouldn't all patients be willing to be sacrificed for such a noble objective?
In her WND column, Orient admits that "medical opinion is shifting in the opposite direction" on opioids. Perhaps she should apologize for her past defense of massive doses of opioids and show that her medical opinion has shifted as well.
MRC Blogger Freaks Out Over Idea That Conservatives Should Challenge Their Readers Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center blogger Clay Waters devotes an Oct. 13 post to a big ol' freakout over a New York Times column:
It was only a matter of time. A New York Times opinion piece attacked conservative opinion media outlets as prejudiced and cowardly (including a rising conservative star) while purportedly criticizing right-wing groupthink in “The Hollow Bravery of Ben Shapiro,” posted Thursday.
Contributor Jane Coaston, a former MTV news writer who has recently penned liberal political essays for the New York TimesSunday magazine, smeared influential conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro (who has appeared in threatening environments when delivering talks on liberal college campuses) as cowardly for not challenging his fans' awful right-wing opinions.
Keep in mind that Shapiro opposed Trump, which hardly ingratiates him to the people Coaston is considering.
The focus of Coaston's column is Shapiro's initial refusal to remove a racist Columbus Day video off his Daily Wire website until the bipartisan criticism grew too loud for him to ignore. Waters immediately rushed to Shapiro's defense, declaring that "Shapiro had that video taken down and apologized for leaving it up on the Daily Wire as long as he had" and later complained, "Shapiro did everything he could after the Columbus Day video gaffe, but Coaston still roasted him."
Well, no. Shapiro initially defended the video -- something Waters ignores -- because "conservatives are allowed to make satire, too." It took another day for Shapiro to realize the controversy wasn't going away; only then did he relent and have the video removed. That's hardly doing "everything he could."
Waters then went on a defensive tit-for-tat tirade against the column writer, first responding to Coaston's criticism of conservative attacks on transgenders that require "denying scientific fact":
The new official term is “gender dysphoria," but until 2013, “gender identity disorder” was included in theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, in various editions), meaning the diagnosis was accepted in the authoritative manual of the psychiatric field until a few years ago.
She attacked one of Donald Trump’s campaign “falsehoods” that “America’s inner cities are hellholes and that black people have ‘nothing to lose’....”
Many liberals consider black life in America to be a racist hellhole, but when Trump says something similar it’s ludicrous?
Water's then deflected from Coaston's point that conservative media are cowardly for failing to encourage debate on issues among its readers:
Actually, it takes far more courage for a conservative to speak on a left-wing campus than it does a liberal speaker to talk on a conservative campus, as shown by how then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appeared at Liberty University without unleashing violent acts. To get to her unbalanced blame of the right, Coaston had to glide over the violence and property damage radical leftists like Antifa provoke on college campuses, not to mention the intolerance of conservative thought in general.
Sanders at Liberty University is not the best example Waters could have cited, since, first, Liberty refuses to permit the existence of a College Democrats chapter at the school and otherwise strictly controls the lives of its students; and second, Sanders was a token liberal chosen to dispel the (not unfounded) notion that the school only invites conservatives to speak. And third, Sanders' appearance was in August 2015, well before politics got really ugly.
If Waters wants to see firsthand the monoculture of conservative thought the Times columnist was railing against, all he has to do is visit the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, which these days is largely Trump stenography.
In his Oct. 11 WorldNetDaily column, Erik Rush recites the history of "Hollywood excess" that allegedly resulted in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal. His first example of this: "silent film actor Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle killing Virginia Rappe with a wine bottle in 1921 (he did not beat her to death with it)."
In fact, the available evidence is that he didn't do either.
Actual historians at the Smithsonian recounted the case. Witnesses reportedly corroborated Arbuckle's claim that he was never alone with Rappe, and he claimed that she tore off her own clothes complaining she couldn't breathe. As far as Rush's implication that Arbuckle killed her by raping her with a wine bottle (she died of a ruptured bladder, and medical evidence introduced at trial showed she had a chronic bladder condition) even the National Enquirer doesn't buy it.
Arbuckle was tried three times; the first two ended in hung juries, and the third returned an innocent verdict in five minutes, four of which were reportedly used to prepare a statement apologizing to Arbuckle for the injustice he suffered. Alas, Arbuckle's career and life were ruined beyond repair by this point, driven by sensationalized media coverage of the case, and he died in 1933.
WND's penchant for publishing fake news is clearly not limited to current events.
CNS Gives Space to Donohue For Fact-Deficient Rants Against Weinstein Topic: CNSNews.com
A sideshow of the Media Research Center's hypocritical fixation on Harvey Weinstein's newly revealed history of sexual harassment is the space it gives to Bill Donohue of the right-wing Catholic Lague -- on whose board of advisers MRC chief Brent Bozell serves, not that the MRC will reliably disclose that.
Donohue's columns for MRC "news" division CNSNews.com have largely been a campaign of schadenfreude on Donohue's part; as he writes in his Oct. 6 column, "Harvey Weinstein and I have been doing battle for decades—he is the supreme Catholic basher in Hollywood."
Donohue cranked that attitude up in his Oct. 12 column, declaring, "Hollywood has had a jolly good time ridiculing the Catholic Church for its sexual abuse scandal. Now the tables have turned." Actually, Donohue has repeatedlymispresented the facts regarding sexual abuse in the church.
In his Oct. 11 column, Donohue railed at Weinstein for the purportedly anti-Catholic films his company has released:
In 2013, they released "Philomena," a tale of malicious lies about Irish nuns and the Church (Harvey lobbied hard for an Oscar, but came up empty). In real life, Philomena Lee was a teenager who abandoned her out-of-wedlock son, and who, because of the good efforts of the nuns, was adopted by an American couple.
In fact, the real-life Philomena did not "abandon" her child; she was forced to sign away all rights to him to the nuns who then put him up for adoption. That, unfortunately, was a depressingly common fate at that time or women with out-of-wedlock children, who then were forced to work in the laundries operated by the nuns.
Donohue might be a more credible critic of Weinstein if he could ever be bothered to get basic facts straight.
Statues of American heroes desecrated or ripped down nationwide. Supporters of the president of the United States attacked in the streets. Peaceful gatherings of conservatives targeted with bomb threats or even acid attacks.
“Antifa” has emerged as one of the most terrifying forces on the American left since the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
Short for “anti-fascists,” these black-clad, masked and sometimes heavily armed activists more often resemble their supposed enemies as they attack peaceful protesters, police and even animals during the riots they have conducted all around the country.
Examples of violence perpetuated by antifa are continuous.
The spectacle of a Republican openly siding with far-left revolutionaries instead of President Trump shocked the conservative grassroots. But it wasn’t surprising, considering how little many Republicans know about what WND columnists Jason and David Benham have called the “paramilitary arm of the radical left.”
Now, a new WND Special Report, for the first time, reveals who antifa really is, what antifa activists want and what all Americans, especially conservatives, Christians and libertarians, desperately need to know. “Antifa: What Americans Need to Know about the Alt-Left,” a FREE download from WND, is an in-depth look at antifa.
Already the No. 1 new release in the category of “Communism & Socialism” at Amazon.com with blazing sales, it reveals antifa is less a singular organization than a “brand” that can be utilized by left-wing extremists to further their goals, much like the brand of ISIS.
First: we weren't aware that Confederate generals were "American heroes." Second: You can't claim something has "blazing sales" when it's being given away.
So we downloaded WND's little e-book like the masochists we are (in exchange for our email address, which WND already has, though this link may work as well without the transaction) and skimmed through the thing.
The book carries no byline or any other indication of authorship -- either the author didn't want his name associated with the work (despite a reference in the book to something "this writer" claimed to have observed) or WND wanted to play the game of being anonymous lest the author receive death threats. The only named credit is the book's designer.
Which is an odd decision, because the e-book is not your typical slapdash WND effort. The 88-page tome is pretty densely written, what with chapter subheads like "The Implications of Unlimited Egalitarianism" and "Fascism as a Response to Socialism in Theory." In fact, it may be too densely written for the typical WND reader.
The anonymous writer generally portrays all antifa activists as violent or violence-supporting,and insists that liberals who criticize antifa's violence are missing the point because "militant tactics have the effect of shifting the Overton Window by making less extreme protest tactics seem moderate."
Tha author also surprisingly deviates on a few other points -- conceding, for example, that the ugly events in Charlottesville were fueled in paret by "attention-seeking Alt-Right activists" and admitting that many of the counterprotesters there were peaceful. The author further declares that "the Alt-Left, if only because it has been branded by Donald Trump, now exists -- apparently forgetting that WND editor Joseph Farah is demanding credit for creating the term "alt-left."
It's not until the end of the book that the anonymous author finally gets back to some good ol' WND-style right-wing ranting:
Decent Americans should not be deceived. No matter how reasonable their rhetoric, apologetic their tone, or inoffensive their positions, Antifa will always consider them as enemies. No matter how furiously good Americans denounce fascism or parade nonwhite supporters for the cameras, they will still be called fascists and racists and homophobes. And the rights of freedom of speech, assembly and association will continue to fade away until real Americans, those who truly love their country, culture and Constitution, fight back.
WND puts bylines on much less thought-out and much more jingoistic stuff than this. Why doesn't it want people to know who put in the massive time and effort required to write this thing?
MRC Baselessly Attacks Anita Hill -- Again Topic: Media Research Center
As the Media Research Center continues to exploit the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal, it's still in trash-the-accuser mode when it comes to conservatives accused of the same offense (as Gretchen Carlson just learned). Take this from the MRC's Kyle Drennen in an Oct. 11 post:
Discussing the growing list of sexual harassment and rape allegations against left-wing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on her MSNBC show Wednesday afternoon, anchor Andrea Mitchell saw a chance to deflect away from the scandal swirling around the prominent Democratic Party donor to instead attack conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
“And you know, we shouldn’t just pretend that it’s just Hollywood, because every profession has its own dynamics. And I remember covering the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991,”Mitchell declared as she recalled the discredited sexual harassment charges hurled at Thomas by Anita Hill.
As we pointed out in documenting the MRC's 25-year-long campaign against Hill, her accusations have never been "discredited." While Hill's side has not been definitively proven, neither has Thomas' side.
This is simply a false, baseless attack that demonstrates how the MRC treats victims of sexual harassment depending on the ideology of the alleged perpetrator.
WND's Farah Pretends He's Not Profiting From Endorsing Survival Food His Website Sells Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah's Oct. 9 WorldNetDaily column begins ominously:
We live in turbulent times.
Civil strife is increasing. Division characterizes our society.
There are wars and rumors of wars – the kind that can affect us in minutes from threats thousands of miles away.
As we’ve seen in recent days, the lives of hundreds can be impacted by unseen threats within our own community.
And, there are the natural disasters we’ve experienced recently that leave in their wake the hungry who haplessly wait for others to help them – government, insurance companies, neighbors, family members.
That’s why preparedness – first spiritual and second material – is simply wise stewardship.
For years, I’ve been looking for a partner with whom I could help wise stewards prepare themselves with the necessities of life. And I’m so grateful that I’ve found one who can help equip people prepare for the inevitable worst of times with long-lasting food supplies for any emergency situation – storms, terrorism, grid failures, societal breakdowns, even, God forbid, nuclear attacks.
No one likes to think these things can happen to us, even when we see them happening to others.
But never fear! Farah's column quickly morphs into a plug for his favorite survival food company -- after all, he admits to being a "long-time prepper." Farah then adds:
Yes, this is my personal endorsement of Live Prepared. I’m not getting paid to make it, except with the same peace of mind I get when I buy my own emergency food supplies for my household. It’s just the right thing to do.
Actually, Farah is getting paid to make this endorsement. All the links in his column regarding his prepper food goes to ... WND's online store. Farah is not only WND's CEO but has an ownership stake in the company, so he is very much making money by endorsing this product.
Farah's column was joined by a "news" article touting said survival food in the WND online store, telling us that "These complete, long-term meal solutions will ensure you and your family have enough healthy, tasty food to survive a long-term disaster."
WND also appears to be ramping up its production of disaster-related "news" articles to provide an opportunity to promote survival food. For instance, Farah's Oct. 15 column warns of a possible EMP attack on the U.S. by North Korea. Toward the end, the following text is inserted into the column:
What’s the best defense against a catastrophic EMP attack for the average American? Long-term, emergency food. The blast won’t hurt you, but the aftermath of chaos and disruption of food supplies will.
It's linked, of course, to a search for survival food at WND's online store.
Unduly covering "news" that just happens to relate to things you're selling is highly unethical. But when has WND ever been all that concerned about journalistic ethics?
MRC's Bozell & Graham Lecture on Weinstein, Remain Silent on Ailes Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell lecture in their Oct. 13 column:
We can guess no one will make a movie about the decades of harassment by Weinstein and Hollywood's cover-up. And, certainly, no one would win an Oscar for it. No Holy Father in Tinseltown has moral authority. Feminist superstars like Meryl Streep professed they hadn't the slightest idea of what their friend Harvey was doing ... which makes them either profoundly cynical or amazingly clueless.
A far more believable response came from French actress Lea Seydoux, who wrote in the Guardian that she was groped by Weinstein. She said: "Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything. It's unbelievable that he's been able to act like this for decades and still keep his career."
If the liberal intelligentsia found it completely unbelievable that a Catholic bishop might have been uninformed about sexual abuse by priests, then how do they expect anyone to believe it's impossible for the Streeps of Hollywood to be unaware?
How about conservatives who regularly appeared on Fox News -- like Bozell, for example, who for years had a recurring weekly segment on Sean Hannity's show, or any of the other MRC -- who pontificate about Weinstein by don't want to talk about the serial sexual harassment perpetrated by Fox News chief Roger Ailes and host Bill O'Reilly?
As we've documented, Bozell not only couldn't be bothered to condemn Ailes -- that would have likely cut down on Fox News appearances for him and MRC -- his praise of Ailes upon the latter's death earlier this year completely censored mention of the sexual harassment that cost him his job.
As far as O'Reilly's sexual harassment goes, Bozell and Graham wrote a column that included exactly one sentence in perfuctory denunciation of the harassment and the entire rest of the column attacking O'Reilly's critics and the "liberal media" for exposing it. Further, Graham appeared on the final episode of O'Reilly's show (albeit after he had been suspended) and didn't think he needed to comment on that situation.
Graham then took it one step further in an Oct. 15 post by attacking one of Ailes' accuser, whining that "this week’s People gave three pages to a big article on former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, whose sexual harassment accusations against Fox News chief Roger Ailes created a similar hubbub in July 2016. Fox News settled her lawsuit for $20 million." Yes, according to Graham, Ailes' serial sexual harassment was just a "hubbub," apparently not a big deal.
Graham then portrayed Carlson's allegations as part of a liberal hit job on Ailes: "Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, and they loaded in an excerpt. The book’s dust-cover testimonials come from a progressive crowd: Maria Shriver, Katie Couric, Larry Wilmore, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, Billie Jean King, and Fox-loathing journalist Gabriel Sherman."
Graham seems not to have considered that Carlson's publishers could find no conservative who would speak out on her behalf for fear of alienating Fox News and losing those precious TV hits -- after all, Bozell and Graham certainly have no interest in doing so.