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Thursday, November 30, 2017
MRC Slow to React to O'Keefe Fiasco
Topic: Media Research Center

Right-wing provocateur and troll James O'Keefe really screwed the pooch in a seriously botched sting, sending a minion to a Washington Post reporter with a false claim that she had an abortion following an affair with Roy Moore. the Post investigated, found major holes in her story and her background, and the sting was turned around on her -- thus having the effect of proving that the Post investigated the claims of Moore perving on teenage girls with the same rigor and found them to be credible, as well as proving the Post itself to be a credible news organization overall.

This created a dilemma for the Media Research Center. After all, it has given videos released by O'Keefe's Project Veritas lots of free publicity over the years -- in October alone, the MRC touted two videos of secretly recorded videos of people in the media saying things that advance the MRC's anti-media agenda, and a third item that month featured Tom Blumer endorsing the illicit videotaping: "We also know that O'Keefe got it right."

The MRC's first reacton seemed to be to do nothing and hope it would blow over. But after outrage continued to build -- after all, O'Keefe's minion was not only to try and discredit the Post but also the women who accused Moore of perving on them -- it seemed clear that it couldn't stay silent. So 24 hours after the scandal broke, on Nov. 28 it took a baby step -- not by posting anything at any MRC website, mind you, but having MRC chief Brent Bozell use his Twitter account to denounce O'Keefe's actions:

Regarding WaPo/O'Keefe incident, this was entrapment, & the kind of "gotcha" stunt that should be condemned. If a liberal did this to a conservative outlet, we'd be outraged. Once again, O'Keefe is grandstanding & hurting the conservative movement. I'm glad the Post outed him.

O'Keefe's story was a fabrication to create a scandal. That's slanderous. The day conservatives endorse these tactics, we've lost all moral standing.

The problem, of course, is that Bozell and his fellow conservatives have already lost moral standing by endorsing a thrice-married adulterer and misogynist for president (and after Bozell insisted that Donald Trump "did not walk" with conservatives), so his word doesn't mean much. And his MRC has no problem pushing fabrtcations, as demonstrated by its pre-election promotion of a fake-news Fox News story, one the MRC never corrected or retracted when it was proven to be false.

Nevertheless, The Hill did a story on Bozell's tweets the evening of Nov. 28. Curiously, these same statements weren't being repeated at any of the MRC's three main websites: NewsBusters, MRCtv, and CNSNews.com.

It was not until the morning of Nov. 29 -- nearly two full days after the O'Keefe fiasco broke -- that any Bozell statement made it to a MRC-operated website, in the form of a NewsBusters post by Tim Graham summarizing Bozell's tweet and a comment he made to the hated Associated Press.

Missing from all of this: Any mention of the MRC's previous promotion of O'Keefe, as well as an answer to the question of whether Bozell and Co. will now treat O'Keefe with the same disdain it treats a member of the "liberal media" who does something similar.

In other words, it was a perfunctory CYA move, driven by fear of damage to the conservative movement and the MRC's own brand than any genuine concern about journalism.

Bozell and the MRC couldn't have been happier that the news of NBC host Matt Lauer's firing over sexual harassment claims broke around the time Graham's post went live, because it swept O'Keefe out of the news cycle and all but guaranteed Bozell would never have to address it again.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EST
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Fake News: WND's Antifa Fearmongering Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As its weird, densely written e-book demonstrated, WorldNetDaily is intent on portraying diverse left-wing "antifa" activists as unified, violent Trump-haters. A Nov. 4 anti-Trump rally by various liberal-leaning groups gave WND an opportunity to push that meme anew.

An anonymously written Oct. 27 article warned:

Antifa activists around the country are declaring something huge is going to begin on Nov. 4. There are wild rumors of revolution and civil war. But what looks more likely is something along the lines of Occupy Wall Street on a national scale.

And while violence is not inevitable, the inherently violent nature of antifa suggests scattered violence is very likely.

Strangely, though, the article strayed from fearmongering and right-wing orthodoxy enough to  impart a couple actual facts, such as admitting that "One of the leading misconceptions about antifa among many conservatives is the idea 'antifa' constitutes a single grouping or organization" or "funded by George Soros."

Another anonymously written Nov. 2 article declared that antifa are "masked left-wing extremists" just like the ones in Europe and claimed:

Antifa are attempting to rise to the prominence their counterparts have in Europe on Nov. 4, with demonstrations nationwide designed to “drive” the Trump administration out of power. The umbrella group Refuse Fascism, which is hosting the protests, is a front group for the Revolutionary Communist Party. Though the mainstream media is largely silent about the nature of the group behind the event, the Revolutionary Communist Party is an openly anti-American organization that has openly called for the overthrow of the U.S. government.

Leo Hohmann tried to up the ante in a Nov. 3 article -- carrying the speculative headline "Will antifa spark civil war this weekend in America?" -- portraying the group leading the rally, Refuse Fascism, as secretly violent, or something:

The planning has been going on since at least August, and the chatter on social media would indicate that antifa, the loosely connected group of anarchists, communists and other splinter groups angry at the outcome of last year’s presidential election, has something big planned for Saturday, Nov. 4.

Depending on where you choose to get your information, one can find descriptions for what is planned that vary from an attempt to spark civil war, to a massive outbreak of peaceful protests filled with well-behaved hippies holding signs signifying their common hatred of America’s 45th president. They will “drive him out,” they say, and he “must go,” because they have “had enough” and “this nightmare must end.”

[...]

So what does the organizer itself say about how protesters should conduct themselves?

We searched their website and while we could find no outright calls for violence. But it seems fair to point out that the group makes no concerted effort on its website to emphasis peaceful rallies. In the absence of an explicit call for peaceful marches, is it not reasonable to assume that some people could interpret phrases like “drive them out of power” as a call to violence?

The group’s Nov. 4 protest page explaining its “methods” says nothing about peace or striving to remain peaceful.

[...]

Again, no detailed explanation of what this call to action requires and no explicit declaration that violence will not be tolerated.

If such a declaration is somewhere, hiding in small print, we could not find it, and that was after spending a good amount of time on the website. We did find lots of angry words meant to stir up hatred, spark division, and call for some vague “action.”

Angry words meant to stir up hatred and spark division? Are we sure Hohmann isn't talking about website of his employer?

Another Nov. 3 article attacked the New York Times for running a full-page ad from Refuse Fascism, continuing to insist that it's a "communist front group," adding, "The black-clad, left-wing terrorist group known as 'antifa' is likely to be a major force at the protests."

Finally, the day of the rally came, and ... nothing happened. As Right Wing Watch noted, there was none of the violence WND and other fearmongering right-wingers predicted. That wasn't worth any WND reporter's time, though; instead, it stole an article from the New York Daily News noting the smallish crowd and lack of violence, and ran a poll question asking, "Why did antifa's civil war flop?" It didn't mention that the only people calling the protest a "civil war" was right-wingers like WND -- or that its own coverage of the rally proved to be fake news.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:32 PM EST
CNS Suggests Roy Moore Accuser Was A Temptress
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com, despite presenting itself as a "news" operation, has continued to mostly ignore the news about the scandal of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore's history of perving on teenage girls (while pushing sexual harassment scandals involving non-conservatives). Now it's suggesting that Moore's accusers are the ones at fault.

A Nov. 20 CNS article by Susan Jones summarizes an interview witih Moore accuser Leigh Corfman. The writeup is mostly straightforward; the headline, however, betrays CNS' right-wing bias. It reads, "Leigh Corfman, Roy Moore’s Accuser: ‘I Was Expecting Candlelight and Roses’."

Huh? That makes it seem like Corfman was the one trying to seduce Moore.

The quote in questions doesn't appear until the fifth paragraph of Jones' article, the it reads much differently in its proper context:

She said it did not occur to her at the time that she had been molested, but she said the experience did change her life for the worse:

"I'd been reading Harlequin romances, you know, for years at that point, and I was expecting candlelight and roses, and what I got was very different.

"It took away a lot of the specialness of, you know, interactions with men. It took some trust away. It allowed me to delve into some things that I, you know, wouldn't have otherwise. It took years for me to regain a sense of confidence in myself. And I felt guilty," she said. "You know, I felt like I was the one to blame. And it was decades before I was able to let that go."

In other words, Moore is the one who anti-candlelight and roses and basically ruined adult relationship for Corfman.

Curiously, Jones edited a Corfman quote later in the article. She writes:

Corfman told NBC's Savannah Guthrie she was not paid or compensated in any way for coming forward: "If anything, this has cost me. I have no tickets to Tahiti. And my bank account has not flourished. If anything it has gone down."

In fact, Corfman said (Jones' omissions in italics): "If anything, this has cost me. I've had to take leave from my job. I have no tickets to Tahiti, and my bank account has not flourished. If anything, it has gone down because currently I'm not working.

Why does Jones want to hide the fact that Corfman has been unable to work because of the accusations she made against Moore? We don't know.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:19 PM EST
More WND Columnists Join the Roy Moore Defense Brigade
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An impressive array of WorldNetDaily columnists have already come to the defense of Roy Moore in the aftermath of the revelations of his history of perving on teen girls. The parade hasn't really stopped.

Carl Jackson pretty much summed up his take with the headline of his column, "If you're not an Alabamian, shut up about Roy Moore!" Still, for a guy whose column name is "Making Politics Personal," Jackson is quite put out that people are making the Moore allegations personal:

There are dangerous precedents at stake in the Alabama U.S. Senate race, primarily being imposed by outsiders – a precedent in and of itself. Initially, I was inclined to throw Moore overboard based on the mere “seriousness” of the accusations alleged, though I never bought into the groupthink that Moore isn’t fit for the Senate based on the accusations alone. My concern was and admittedly remains that the seat, not the state, could temporarily go blue. Under that scenario, Republicans would have a slim majority in the Senate of 51-49, making it even more difficult to pass major legislation. Given the GOP Senate leadership’s inability to get anything done with a 52-48 majority, it’s understandable why outsiders would want Moore to step aside. However, what if there’s something larger at stake?

First off, we’re abandoning constitutional federalism by nationalizing state races. Secondly, we’ve politicized sexual assault. Thirdly, if opponents of Roy Moore are wrong about the allegations, it’s not just a Senate seat at stake – they’re complicit in undermining Christianity. Lastly, if conservatives won’t recognize the consequences of freedom, how can we expect Democrats to?

Mychal Massie deflected in a column whose headline also summed up his take: "Members of Congress are the predators, not Roy Moore."

Scott Lively invoked the Bible and "To Kill A Mockingbird" to suggest the women making accusations against Moore were lying, then denied he was doing so:

The point here is not to say that the accusers in any of these many cases are liars or that the men are innocent but that our society has a system for determining what the truth is, and we risk doing great damage, not just to the individuals but to the nation as a whole, if we abandon the rule of law to emotional expedience.

That risk is especially high in the case of pro-life, pro-family stalwart Judge Roy Moore, who is rightly outraged at being tried by the leftist media in the court of public opinion on the eve of an election in which opponents like Mitch McConnell have proven a willingness to stop him at all costs. What is more, his many feminist opponents (and perhaps the accusers themselves) routinely justify the wholesale murder of unborn babies as “women’s rights,” so what’s a little election fraud compared to that?

Yes, that’s a serious charge! Which proves my point about due process. Opinion and unproved accusations cannot be a substitute for facts in public policy!

A pretty funny statement from a guy who's best known for substituting opinion and unproved accusations for facts in public policy.

WND editor Joseph Farah goes on Moore defense patrol again, though without mentioning his name. He wonders if the victims of unwanted sexual advances are maybe a little too sensitive about it, and that maybe it didn't actually happen:

And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, if victims don’t understand what “unwelcome advances” mean, are they really unwelcome? How is anyone to know if the target of the advances doesn’t know? If the target isn’t certain about whether they are unwelcome, how can anyone else make sense of such “offenses”?

And, of course, he blames the Clintons somehow: "And, in retrospect, were all those who excused, overlooked, rationalized and trivialized the outrageous sexual activity of the most powerful man in the world back in the 1990s, including his wife, to blame now that the chickens have come home to roost? Just asking."

Alan Keyes kicked off his Moore-defending column with a rhetorical flourish bordering on the ridiculous:

Because I am standing with Judge Roy Moore I find myself within the circle of malice now focused on him by the forces of evil that are moving inexorably to procure the complete destruction of the Constitution and identity of the people of the United States. Their greatest enemy is God, of course, as He has shared Himself, in Spirit and Truth, in and through Jesus Christ. Their enmity naturally extends (as Christ said it would) to anyone willing faithfully to bear witness to God’s authority over the universe created by and through His Word. This includes, of course, His authority over all the determinations and conceptions that define human existence; the bonds of material, moral and spiritual obligation that allow for human action and choice, according to the Providence by which He makes good the promising nature on which our continued existence depends.

There's more ridiculousness throughout his column, until he finally declares, "We must never contemn [sic] as fools brave and God-believing leaders, like Judge Roy Moore, who are faithful unto civic and even corporeal death."

Jason and David Benham claimed to offer "5 observations on Roy Moore from [a] Christian perspective," none of which were "Perving on teen girls is kinda gross and maybe Moore doesn't deserve to be elected." instead, they huff that "Jesus teaches His followers the proper way to expose sin, which has a specific order found in Matthew 18," and that it's not being followd. Then they move to slut-shaing, claiming that Moore's "first accuser lacks credibility with her three divorces, three bankruptcies and three charges against pastors for the very thing of which she accused Moore."

The Benhams also blame society: "it’s glaringly hypocritical for our society to objectify women through pornography and “sex sells” advertising and then condemn men for objectifying women." But it's not glaringly hypocritical for evangelical Christians like the Benhams to give Moore a pass for failing to live up to his (and their) professed standards on the treatment of women?

Finally, there's Pat Boone, who follows the pattern of attacking Moore's accusers while denying he's doing so:

Let me be very clear. My wife and I raised four beautiful girls in Beverly Hills California. By the time any of them were 12 at most, they knew better than to be alone anywhere with an older man. And, God forbid, if they had reported any incident like the ones Moore is accused of – as furious as I’d have been with the man, I would also have laid part of the blame at the feet of our daughter, who knew better than to be in the situation! I’m not excusing Moore’s alleged action or accusing the women, if the claims can possibly be proven at this late date, but it’s undeniable that if any of the accusing women had told their parents or any authority after it happened, it would have been dealt with, and we wouldn’t have to be sorting it all out, after Moore has been investigated and elected so many times since then!

Boone then moves to the "nobody's perfect, so let's elect the perv" argument:

God didn’t make perfect people. Though He says we’re created “in His image,” that includes free will and the likelihood we’ll make mistakes along the way, probably some serious one with bad consequences. That’s why we need a Savior, one with God’s own divine nature, one who was sorely tempted like we are, yet without sin, and one who is able to take a penitent failure, lift him up and help him become a more admirable person. Someone like even Roy Moore.

That’s the main theme of the whole Bible. God makes man and woman and desires their companionship. But they fail and fall away, forfeiting the relationship. Then the loving God provides a way back into the relationship through His Son, who pays the debt of all our sins.

There's the usual Clinton Equivocation and more attacks on the accusers, but you get the idea.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Bozell & Graham Hypocritically Shame Charlie Rose
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's Nov. 27 column is all about piling on Charlie Rose over sexual harassment allegations. They call him among the "elites," "privileged" and a member of the "ruling elite."They lecture: "Every powerful man who is getting caught up in this wave isn't living by the Ten Commandments but by the 'Access Hollywood' code: When you're a star, the women will let you do it. You can do anything."

Funny thing about that: Graham and Bozell never lectured the man who invented the "Access Hollywood" code -- Donald Trump -- that way. As we documented, both Bozell and Graham went the Clinton Equivocation route when Trump's misogyny surfaced, insisting that Bill Clinton did much worse . Rataher than devote an entire column to shaming Trump, Graham and Bozell whined and deflected for an entire column, hufing about an "October surprise" and deflected by insisting, "As repugnant as it was, Trump's offense was words. The Clintons' offenses were actions." The word "repugnant is the only criticism of Trump's behavior in that entire column.

And Graham and Bozell certainly didn't spend an entire column shaming Roger Ailes or Bill O'Reilly for their actions in the field of vile sexual harassment. As we also documented, theit column on O'Reilly could muster only a perfunctory "indefensible, if true" disclaimer, then dismissed the accusations as old news and went all Clinton Equivocation again. And when Ailes died earlier this year, Bozell gushed over his work in building Fox News but stayed silent about Ailes' victims, and his Media Research Center attacked anyone who brought them up.

Graham and Bozell extended their Rose-shaming to his employers: "Charlie Rose exploited women for decades as he produced shows at Bloomberg's TV studio for PBS and hosted shows on CBS. None of those news agencies ever seemed to find any wrongdoing inside their own offices worth reporting. The embarrassment and shame should also be theirs." Again, they never shamed Fox News for not finding Ailes' and O'Reilly's regpugnant behavior worth reporting on.

Back in their 2016 column whining about and deflecting from the Trump misogyny, GHraham and Bozell concluded: "The cynicism boggles the mind." True -- especially your own, boys.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EST
WND Still Struggling to Crowdfund A Film
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's crowdfunding campaign to praise pre-production costs to make a film about Obama-smearer Anita Dittman's WND-published memoir about life in Nazi Germany remains a failure -- after four months, it's raised only about $14,000 of its $120,000 goal. So WND is getting a bit desperate in its appeals. Last month, WND offered up this vaguely worded morsel:

It’s only a matter of time and a few tweaks: Things are looking good for an independent campaign to create a feature movie about the remarkable survival under Adolf Hitler’s regime of a teen Jewish girl who became a Christian.

The project, “Trapped,” got a thumbs-up from a team of professional script analysts who gave it a “consider” rating, which was given only to 4 percent of scripts submitted.

A few changes and the rating could end up being “recommend,” according to George D. Escobar, vice president of WND Films and the co-writer and co-director of Academy nominated film “Alone Yet Not Alone” and the documentary “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” based on Jonathan Cahn’s New York Times bestseller, “The Harbinger.”

According to an actual script analyst, the "consider" rating is basically the same as "mediocre," in which some parts might be good but others need work. If it was just "a few changes" that were needed, the script would done better than it did before the nebulous panel of script analysts WND called in. 

The article also tries to punch up the premise of Dittman's story, calling it "a harrowing true story in which a Jewish girl embraces Christianity during the Holocaust, handled in a way highly respectful of both faiths." We'll believe it if we ever see it; typically, conversion tales are less than respectful to the religion one is leaving, since there's usually a big reason that someone chooses to reject their native religion.

The article also reprises the questionable appeal that its recommended donation of $10 of "less than two cappuccinos, or lattes, or mochas from Starbucks," despite the fact that there's likely very little overlap in the Venn diagram of Starbucks customers and WND readers.

In other words, the overall appeal remains less than compelling.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:35 PM EST
CNS Gives Space to A Fox News Democrat
Topic: CNSNews.com

While the Media Research Center tries to make "MSNBC conservative" a thing, the MRC's "news" division is giving space to a Fox News Democrat.

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted in a Nov. 7 blog post:

Democratic strateist Doug Schoen, who worked on Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign and Hillary clinton's 2008 campaign, said that, given the allegations of "rigging" the primaries against Bernie Sanders by the DNC and new revelations about the Clinton email and Uranium One scandals, it is time for a "special prosecutor" to look into the entire mess. 

Schoen, a Harvard Law School and Oxford University graduate,  added that "the entire Democratic Party stinks from the head down, the whole process," and "everyone really has a stain on their hand."

Schoen made his remarks on the Nov. 6 edition of Hannity, where he was joined by Tezlyn Figaro, the national justice director for the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign.

Chapman fails to menton that Schoen's main purpose on Fox News is to bash what he claims are his fellow Democrats. Schoen is so not an actual Democrat that he has helped fund-raise for Republicans (along with fellow Fox News Democrat Pat Caddell) and has donated to Republicans.

So, the MRC is being hypocritical and a bit cynical. No surprise there.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EST
Monday, November 27, 2017
NEW ARTICLE: Fake News At WND, Margaret Sanger Division
Topic: WorldNetDaily
For years, WorldNetDaily has repeated lies about the founder of Planned Parenthood, with nary a correction in sight. You can't libel the dead, right? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EST
MRC's Graham: Better A Pedophile Than A Democrat
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham kicked off a Nov. 18 post by complaining that "pseudoconservative David Brooks" had accused Christian supporters of Roy Moore of being "heretics" who are practicing "idolatry" by almost voicing an unequivocal condemnation of Moore:

One can understand the "making an idol out of politics" part, but "heresy" means something different to religious folks than it does to David Brooks. It means a false teaching against the core teachings of Christianity, a rejection of orthodoxy. He's not exactly separating church and state on the special election. Personally, I think the charges against Moore are serious enough that I would withhold my vote from him. 

Graham doesn't live in Alabama, so he'll never have to act on that. Unfortunately, he went on to justify voting for Moore anyway because no matter how "serious" those charges against Moore are, simply being a Democrat like his opponent, Doug Jones, is infinitely worse:

But a Christian could look at the two choices left on the ballot and say if I need a Senator to vote against abortion, against the LGBT agenda, and for religious liberty, one cannot vote for the Democrat. That would be closer to a heretical vote, if we're buying the Brooks definition. 

Graham then went on to defend right-woing evangelical Franklin Graham for standing by Graham, with a quick pivot to the Clinton Equivocation:

Franklin Graham spoke to Roy Moore on the phone, and is accepting Moore's denials of wrongdoing. He tweeted “The hypocrisy of Washington has no bounds. So many denouncing Roy Moore when they are guilty of doing much worse than what he has been accused of supposedly doing. Shame on those hypocrites.” This drew angry tweets from CNN's Jake Tapper and Andrew Kaczynski. But on its face, if Rev. Graham is talking about the Clintons and their defenders, then he has a point. The Broaddrick rape charge is a very serious charge that a vast majority of liberal journalists have dismissed as fake news for decades -- which makes them look hypocritical on Moore. 

Finally, Graham attacked the Washington Post for its purported political motivation in running the story on Moore's history of perving on teenage girls -- with even more Clinton Equivocation:

Nowhere in this PBS discussion is there any questioning the timing or the liberal tilt of The Washington Post, who for whatever reason couldn't locate these charges until the very convenient (for Democrats) time that Alabama could not change the ballot. There was no reflection by Brooks that the Post sat on its Juanita Broaddrick story in 1999 -- as did NBC News -- until Bill Clinton was safely spared in a Senate impeachment trial. So are they hypocrites, or heretics? Once again, the press doesn't discuss its own political manuevering.

Graham doesn't question why, if this story has been out there so long, why right-wing mrdia outlets -- like the MRC's own CNSNews.com -- didn't beat the Post to the punch and defuse it before Moore got the GOP nomination. Sounds like he's just mad that the truth was told at all.

You know, we're starting to doubt that Graham was telling the truth when he said he wouldn't vote for Moore. He's laboring hard to give Alabama voters every reason why they should.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EST
At WND, The Clinton Derangement Never Dies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If there has been one constant thread throughout the 20-eyar existence of WorldNetDaily, it is the near-patholigical hatred it has exhibited for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Anger continues to seethe and conspiracy theories continue to be obsessed over by Joseph Farah and his crew.

An anonymously written Nov. 20 WND article tries to revive the "Clinton Body Count" conspiracy theory by suggesting that a onetime supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign died by nefarious, possibly Clinton-related means, despite no actual evidence of such:

A wealthy Democratic mega-donor who  co-founded the Ready for Hillary PAC, which helped launch Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for the White House, has died of a gunshot wound to the head after “a sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue,” his family says.

Steve Mostyn, a 46-year-old Texas trial lawyer who reportedly contributed millions to pro-Clinton super PACs, was found dead in his Houston home on Nov. 15. Mostyn was a member of the George Soros-founded Democracy Alliance.

Mostyn’s death was ruled a suicide by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. According to the New York Times, Mostyn’s wife, Amber, said her husband died after a “sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue.”

[...]

Mostyn’s death is the latest in a long list of Clinton friends and associates who have died sudden and tragic deaths, many ruled to be suicides.

This is followed by a lengthy list of those purportedly mysterious deaths -- which, as we've documented, aren't.

The same day, Farah wrote a column attacking Brett Kavanaugh, a lawyer President Trump has nominated for a federal judgeship, over his "role in leading the badly flawed investigation into the death of Vincent Foster in July 1993," citing "smoking-gun information" from a former investigator, Miguel Rodriguez. As we've noted, Rodriguez's claims have been floating about for years.

Curiously, Farah never explains what, exactly, Kavanaugh had to do with any of this.

But Farah wasn't done rehashing the events of nearly a quarter-century ago in as conspiratorial a way as possible. The next day, Farah's column went after Kenneth Starr, independent counsel in the trumped-up Clinton scandals of the '90s , first for hiring Kavanaugh and then for failing to find anything to convict a Clinton on -- and, of course, arguing he was part of a conspiracy to protect Clinton:

I couldn’t understand why he fired prosecutors who were building a real case against the White House, while he botched even the measly Monica Lewinsky business.

Then I began to figure it out.

Starr was not an independent investigator at all. He was the designated “fixer.” He was the cleaner. He was the handler. He was the guy who protected the powerful from themselves. There was no other conclusion to be drawn.

Look, Starr was either the most incompetent prosecutor in the history of the country or complicit in the cover-up of those crimes. I lean toward the latter judgment.

I’ll keep telling and retelling this classic Kenneth Starr story until people start to wake up and understand who he is and what he is.

[...]

I admit I have been on a lonely, one-man mission to tell the truth about Kenneth Starr. Few want to hear the truth. Until recently – very recently – Democrats have no desire to shatter the myth they helped create. And Republicans were in no hurry to expose the facade of one of their own fellow Deep Staters.

Or, you know, it could be that Farah is such a pathologically obsessed Clinton-hater that people long ago stopped taking him -- and his website -- seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EST
Sunday, November 26, 2017
CNS Reporter Is WH Press Secretary's Unofficial Stenographer
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has a White House press pass, it seems, and the CNS reporter who has it a majority of the time is Melanie Arter.

But according to ConWebWatch research, Arter is using that press pass the way the Trump administration would like the news media to act: as a servile stenographer.

In September and October alone, Arter wrote 26 articles that primarily or entirely -- including making it the story's lead element -- are simply repeating what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, largely without full context, fact-checking or analysis.

Here they are:

That's 26 stories by Arter in which the White House saying something is presented as the most important aspect of the article and in the headline -- something that fully functioning journalistic judgment should tell you is not accurate. A spokesperson's parroting of official talking points about a given thing is almost never the most important thing said about it, let alone worthy of an article in its own right, yet Arter is repeatedly portraying it as such.

In short, she's a stenographer, not a reporter. And CNS is paying her to do exactly that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 26, 2017 11:04 PM EST
WND Quietly Walks Back Another Attack on Yogurt Maker Over Refugees
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this year, we documented how WorldNetDaily had to walk back articles by reporter Leo Hohmann falsely claiming that Chobani Yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya explicitly called for employers to hire more Mulsim refugees and a suggestion that Chobani prefers Muslim refugees over other workers at a plant in Idaho.

Apparently, WND didn't learn its lesson, because it was at it again. An anonymously written Nov. 14 article -- though one can probably assume it was written by Hohmann -- carried the headline "U.S. yogurt billionaire expands plant to hire more foreign refugees." The article complained that "Chobani Yogurt, the world’s largest yogurt company, which relies heavily on imported refugee labor, is investing $20 million to expand its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho." The article includees quotes from Ulukaya, but nothing that explicitly states he was expanding the plant solely to hire more "foreign refugees."

For Hohmann's and WND's purposes, "foreign refugees" means "Muslim refugees." This is made clearer later in the article by stating that "Chobani’s welcoming of refugees in Idaho also has taken a darker turn, however, prompting calls to boycott the yogurt giant after a spike in violent crimes perpetrated by Muslim refugees."

But Chobani is not afraid to sue, or threaten to sue, those who tell lies about it -- just ask Alex Jones -- and it appears that has happened again at WND, because some undisclosed editing has taken place on this article

By Nov. 17, he headline of the article had been shortened to "U.S. yogurt billionaire expands plant" and a statement later in the article referencing "criticism that Chobani’s drive for cheap labor and the refugee resettlement there were to blame for the string of horrific crimes" in Idaho has been removed, while a statement that "none [of the crimes] have been connected to any Chobani employee" had been added.

Also deleted was a claim that "The influx of refugees has also caused the number of active TB cases in Twin Falls to spike by 500 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to Breitbart News." That's highly misleading, because as even Breitbart admits, the actual number of cases increased from one to six; the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has added that none of the cases were infectious and have been treated, and that none of the TB cases being treated in the state in 2016 involved refugees.

Despite these arguably significant changes, the article has not been flagged as updated or corrected.

It's a shame -- and a sad commentary on the state of fact-checking and journalism in general at WND -- that Chobani apparently has to threaten legal action against WND in order to get reported on fairly and accurately.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 26, 2017 12:19 AM EST
Saturday, November 25, 2017
MRC Writer Resorts to Victimization, Generalization To Justify Attacks on 'Liberal Media'
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Nov. 17 post, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck tries to justify his employer's existence in the face of a podcast discussion by CNN nemesis Brian Stelter, who accurately complained that "right-wing outlets" are impugning all media with the mistakes of a few.

Houck first reportted that "a reason for conservative distrust in the media had been repeated instances of fake news, mass plagiarism, and/or scandals that did serious damage and called into question entire outlets. In reality, Stelter should admit that those instances and subsequent rehabilitations for offending parties only further damaged the media’s credibility, but more on that later." Indeed, Houck later listed instances of poeple in the media caught in plagiarism who "were given slaps on the wrist and then welcomed back into the journalism community with open arms."

Needless to say, Houck omitted exposed plagiaraists on his own side, like Ben Domenech, who lost his job as a conservative blogger for the Washington Post after his background of plagiarism was exposed. Where is he today? Publisher of the conservative website the Federalist. And far from being drummed out of the right-wing journalism community, he was welcomed back with open arms; one of Houck's fellow MRC writers cheered when Domenech "shot down the 'partisan' slams on Congressman Devin Nunes, attacks that are coming from Democrats as well as their enablers in the media" in a March TV appearance.

For a more recent example, Breitbart published a column last month by right-wing politician Kris Kobach that was largely copy-and-paste talking points from various message boards and Yahoo! Answers posts. Where was Houck's outrage about that?

Houck might have more credibility in attacking the foibles of "liberal" media if he held the media on his own side to the same standards. Even the "news" division of his employer has gotten things wildly wrong over the years -- i.e., falsely portraying an official's reference to "Christian Identity" as a reference Christianity in general instead of the extremist group by that name -- with no correction and no apology. Shouldn't CNSNews.com be held to the same standards the MRC holds the "liberal" media? (But since the MRC won't, we will.)

Houck went on to play the usual right-wing victim card. While conceding that "conservative media do have a seat the table," he huffed: "The problem is when it’s still five networks against one and droves of liberal newspapers against a handful of conservative websites, having one seat at the table seems almost irrelevant."

Houck slipped into MRC-speak here. Do any of those five networks (presumably CBS, NBC, ABC -- which have only a couple hours of news at most a day -- CNN and MSNBC) pursue a partisan agenda as aggressively as Fox News? Reporting things conservatives don't like to hear does not equal "liberal media."  And Houck's framing of the media landscape as "droves of liberal newspapers against a handful of conservative websites" is just pathetic. How much is in a drove, anyway? Or an handful? And does Houck have documentation that every single newspaper is "liberal"? Again, he's assuming that every newspaper that ever reported anything negative about a conservative is, by default, "liberal."

That's generalization on steroids. If that's the only way Houck can justify the MRC's existence -- completely avoiding the fact that it's apparently profitable conservatives to bash the media -- that's a bit on the pathetic side.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 PM EST
WND Embedded Russian Troll's Tweet In Article
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've already caught WorldNetDaily doing a fawning profile of a someone claiming to be a black woman who supports Donald Trump -- and who apparently doesn't exist, revealing the nonexistent vetting of facts at WND. Now, we've caught WND retweeting an account belonging to a Russian trolling operation.

Earlier this month, a Twitter account popular among conservatives and Trump supporters, under the name Pamela Moore, was revealed to be the creation of the  Internet Research Agency, a "troll farm" funded by the Russian government that also operated thousands of other fake Twitter accounts. According to Philly.com, the "@Pamela_Moore13" account heavily promoted Trump's presidential campaign and was retweeted by Trump administration officials.

WND also forwarded a "Pamela Moore" tweet. In a  June 16 article, Alicia Powe embedded several tweets attacking CNN for a tweet containing incorrect information. One of those was from "@Pamela_Moore13" screaming "CNN IS SO BIAS." The formatting on"Moore's" tweet has disappeared because the account was deactivated after it was exposed as a troll-farm production, but the content of the tweet and a now-dead link to the original is still there.

It's unlikely that WND could have known at the time that "Pamela Moore" was a fake and a Russian troll. Still, it doesn't look good for WND to have promoted her, since it rails against the idea that the Russian government tried to help Trump get elected.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EST
Friday, November 24, 2017
MRC Attacks Country Musicians For Expressing An Opinion
Topic: Media Research Center

Being perfectly fine with censoring journalists at the Country Music Awards is not the only recent foray into the country music realm the Media Research Center has undertaken recently.

MRC writer Corinne Weaver was in a lecturing mood in a Nov. 10 post that took country singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to task for expressing an opinion on guns in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre that killed dozens at a country music concert. Weaver started her post by huffily declaring, "Celebrities who don’t understand the meaning of political debates should stop alienating their audiences and keep to themselves."

It seems that to Weaver "the meaning of political debates" actually means "expressing only conservative-friendly opinions." The issue Weaver has with McGraw is that he committed the offense of thinking that we perhaps should look at the issue of gun regulation in the wake of repeated massacres. That set Weaver on a lecturing roll, with an added dose of rich-shaming:

But gun control is about the Second Amendment -- “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Gun control is an infringement, and ineffective to boot.

[...]

Faith Hill added her two cents in the interview: “In reference to the tragedy in Las Vegas, we knew a lot of people there. The doctors that [treated] the wounded, they saw wounds like you’d see in war. That’s not right. Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including the government and the National Rifle Association, to tell the truth. We all want a safe country.”

Again, taking guns away from law-abiding citizens isn’t going to solve anything. In fact, it might make the situation much, much worse. Stephen Willeford, an NRA instructor, was able to stop the shooter in Sutherland Springs by shooting him, forcing him to drop his gun and flee. More people could have died.

While the pair is being hailed by liberal celebrity activists, such as George Takei and Julianne Moore, it’s important to remember their fan base is not necessarily privileged enough to leave the self-defense to their bodyguards. Parroting a stale cry that has become the left’s tiresome refrain in the face of every tragedy isn’t going to win anyone over.

How hilarious that Weaver thinks McGraw and Hill have suddenly turned into George Takei simply for expressing a non-controversial opinion. And that she thinks that any celebrity who expresses an opinion different from hers should just shut up and sing-- which is what she really means by the "alienating their audiences and keep to themselves" crack.

It's hypocritical as well -- Weaver's employer currently regularly gives a platform for the opnions of a wealthy country music celebrity, Charlie Daniels. Ah, but he expresses the correct (to Weaver) opinions on things (read: right-wing), so he gets a pass -- and certainly no condescending questions about whether he "understands the meaning of political debates" -- even as Weaver rages against other artists who say anything at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 AM EST

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