CNS Portrays Trump's Scarborough Conspiracy Theory As Plausible Topic: CNSNews.com
The problem with CNSNews.com's pro-Trump stenography is that it just lets anything Trump and/or his administration says go by without fact-checking -- you know, like an actual news organization would.
For instance, in a Nov. 29 CNS article, Susan Jones lets this go by:
In a later tweet, Trump took aim at MSNBC's "Morning Joe," which daily attacks the president as incompetent and "not well."
"So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the “unsolved mystery” that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!"
Scarborough is a former congressman from Florida. Trump apparently was referring to the death of Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old intern who was found dead in Scarborough’s district office in Okaloosa County, Fla., in July 2001, two months after Scarborough announced that he would resign from Congress.
(Scarborough tweeted later on Wednesday, "Looks like I picked a good day to stop responding to Trump's bizarre tweets. He is not well.")
Had Jones bothered to go beyond stenography to, you know, do even the slightest bit of basic research like a real news organization would, she would have told her readers that there is no mystery about Klausutis' death: Authorities investigated it at the time and concluded the woman's death was caused by hitting her headwhile collapsing from an abnormal heart rhythm.
Jones was still treating Trump's conspiracy theory as plausible the next day, instead attacking Scarborough for engaging in another "anti-Trump diatribe":
Declaring President Trump to be mentally unfit for office and in the early stages of dementia, the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday said it is time for Trump's Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows for the president to be removed from office when “he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
The anti-Trump diatribe -- not too much different from those that occur daily on "Morning Joe" -- follows President Trump's tweet on Wednesday aimed at NBC executives and "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough:
Trump tweeted: "So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the 'unsolved mystery' that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!"
A 28-year-old intern was found dead, reportedly of natural causes, in Scarborough's Florida district office in 2001, two months after Scarborough announced his retirement from the U.S. Congress.
Jones does not acknowledge that Trump's conspiracy theory is bogus; instead, she feeds it by suggesting it was never investigated and Klausutis merely "reportedly" died of natural causes. That's important context to this story and, arguably, a key explanation to why Scarborough criticized Trump so harshly and why it was not, as Jones insisted, "not too much different" from other criticism of Trump.
Jones is treating Trump as accurate and authoritative despite the fact that the truth is not on his side, and she's treating the person Trump lied about as a deranged partisan for calling out Trump's lie. That's the textbook definition of media bias -- but it's apparently what CNS is paying Jones to do.
CNS Suggests Roy Moore Accuser Was A Temptress Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com, despite presenting itself as a "news" operation, has continued to mostlyignore 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.
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.
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.
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.
CNS Managing Editor Censors Trump's Frederick Douglass Faux Pas Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman couldn't have been prouder to be a Trump shill than he was in a Nov. 3 "news" article:
Although completely ignored by the major news networks, President Donald Trump signed into law on Thursday legislation to establish the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission, which will make plans to honor the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), a slave who escaped to freedom and became a leading orator, abolitionist, writer, publisher, and statesman.
Douglass was a Republican who often criticized the slavery-supporting Democratic Party.
“Our Nation rightly honors the life of Mr. Douglass, a former slave who became an outstanding orator and a leader of the abolitionist movement," said President Trump. "I also welcome the participation of the members of the Congress in the valuable work the Commission will perform."
“… All Americans have much to learn from the life and writings of Mr. Douglass," said President Trump, "and I look forward to working with the Commission to celebrate the achievements of this great man.”
So proud was Chapman of Trump's achievement in signing a bill to honor Dougless that he completely ignored the fact that Trump once thought Douglass was still alive.
In Febraury, Trump blathered his way through a Black History Month event by saying, "Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice" -- implying that he thought Douglass was a living person.
Chapman is surely aware of this; his website published an Associated Press article about the event noting that Trump's comments "drew immediate backlash on social media from critics who perceived it as a reference to a still-living Douglass."
Rather than remind readers of the relevant history of a faux pas made by the president for whom his "news" operation has become a servile stenographer, Chapman focused instead on detailing Douglass' religious leanings.
In other words, Chapman is censoring from his readers facts he thinks will harm his president. Is that what the managing editor of a real "news" operation does? Nope.
CNS, by the way, will trash even Frederick Douglass if doing so serves its agenda. And it apparently did in a Nov. 22 column by the Catholic League's Bill Donohue that's a long diatribe against Douglass and his "anti-Catholic bigotry," which he then turns into a thing about not tearing down "the monuments and markers of American icons.," adding: "Finally, nothing I have said should be read as a plea to remove the statue of Frederick Douglass from Central Park. It should stay."
Um, has that statue of Douglass been an issue? Not that we're aware of. Donohue was obviously alluding to questions about statues honoring Confederate generals, but he misses the obvious fact that they were not "American icons"; they fought a war against America.
CNS' Jeffrey Forgets There Was A Recession, Makes Dumb Spending Claim Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey writes a lot about economic stuff. Perhaps he shouldn't, if his Nov. 14 article is any indication:
If Congress had frozen federal spending at the level it reached in fiscal 2008, the last full fiscal year before President Barack Obama was inaugurated, the federal government would have had a balanced budget from fiscal 2014 onward based on the actual revenues the federal government collected under the existing tax laws in those years.
However, rather than freeze federal spending after 2008, Congress permitted it to rise by $998 billion—or 33.5 percent.
Um, remember the recession that hit the U.S. during fiscal 2008? Jeffrey doesn't seem to -- he makes no reference to it in his article. He does, however, allude to recession-related things while complaining about the spending that has been associated with it:
But federal spending increased dramatically after fiscal 2008, jumping to $3,517,677,000,000 in fiscal 2009, driven in part by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which Obama voted for in the Senate and President George W. Bush signed in October 2008, and by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus bill, which Obama signed in February 2009.
In fiscal 2009 through 2012, federal revenues fell short of the $2,523,991,000,000 the federal government took in during fiscal 2008. But in fiscal 2013, federal revenues climbed to $2,775,105,000,000; then, in fiscal 2014, they climbed to $3,021,491,000,000.
Why was there a TARP and a recovery act? Because there was a recession. Why did federal revenues drop between 2008 and 2013? Recession. Why did federal revenues increase above 2008 levels in fiscal 2013 and 2014? In part because of TARP and the recovery act.
Since Jeffrey is ignoring the existence of the recession, he also ignores that his hypothesis has a huge hole in it: If federal spending didn't increase in response to the recession -- as Jeffrey seems to have wanted to happen, and which runs counter to generally accepted economic theory -- it's likely that the economy would not have recovered enough to increase revenues starting in 2013.
In short, there are consequences to not increasing spending during a recession, and Jeffrey makes sure not to examine any of them in order to stay resolutely on point and completely divorced from the last decade of economic reality: "Had federal spending been frozen at the fiscal 2008 level through fiscal 2017, the federal government would have run a surplus of $332 billion in the last fiscal year."
Such fantasy-based analysis will not help CNS with maintaining any sense of credibiility.
CNS Revives Old 'Catholics vs. Convicts' Meme After Miami Thrashes Notre Dame Topic: CNSNews.com
Somebody at CNSNews.com either really likes Notre Dame or hates the University Miami (or both).
CNS commentary editor Michael Morris cranked out a mean-spirited Nov. 13 blog post after the Notre Dame-Miami football game:
The Miami Hurricanes, also known as the “Convicts” in their rivalry game “Convicts vs. Catholics” with the “Catholics” of Notre Dame, roundly humbled the third-ranked Fighting Irish 41-8 on Saturday, Miami head coach Mark Richt saying about the win, “[P]raise God.”
“Both sides of the ball did play very well, and specials as well,” said Miami head coach Mark Richt after his team defeated the Irish. “And I want to say, praise God.”
According to the ESPN summary of the game, the “Convicts” (374 total yards) outgained the “Catholics” (261 total yards) in total yards, in time of possession (ND: 26:01 and Miami: 33:59), in first downs (ND: 13 and Miami: 18), in turnover margin (ND: four turnovers, none recovered and Miami zero turnovers, four recovered) and ultimately in the final score ( ND: 8 and Miami: 41).
Miami also clinched the ACC Coastal division Saturday when Virginia lost to Louisville. The Canes (“Convicts”) will play Clemson (8-1) for the ACC title.
Now, the "Catholics vs. Convicts" meme is an old one, coined in 1988 by T-shirt-making students at Notre Dame to hype a game between the two schools at a time when both were undefeated and after a couple of Miami players had gotten into legal difficulties.
Further, it doesn't really apply to the situation between the two schools (or is it a "rivalry" in a traditional sense despite what Morris claims, since the teams have met only four times since 1990). As SB Nation points out, the phrase didn't apply all that well back then (Notre Dame wasn't exactly a clean team either) and applies even less today.
It seems Morris is mad that Miami thrashed the Fightin' Irish on the field, and also apparently that the Miami coach said "Thank God" about the victory. How petty of him.
CNS Goes All In on Franken Allegations, Continues To Bury Moore Topic: CNSNews.com
We documented how CNSNews.com waited a full four days before reporting on Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore's history of perving on teenagers. But when an allegation of groping surfaced against Democratic Sen. Al Franken, CNS -- in yet another display of media bias -- went all in.
In the eight hours after the news about Franken broke on Nov. 16, CNS cranked out three "news" articles and a blog post on it:
The next morning brought an article about President Trump's tweets on Franken, with added whining fron reporter Susan Jones that "reporters at the White House wanted to talk about Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore"; the usual statement of manufactured outrage from Brent Bozell (first identified as "ForAmerica chairman" instead of the head of the Media Research Center); and the column Tim Graham hastily wrote for him and Bozell on Franken, proof that they can address sexual harassment when it helps their political agenda.
The column shows why Bozell (via Graham, his once-anonymous ghostwriter) has been silent on Moore so far -- he apparently has no problem with a grown man perving on teenagers, because he can't be moved to raise an objection. Here's what they wrote:
As the Franken scandal unfolds, the media and Democrats have insisted that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore cannot win the seat due to allegations that he had sexual contact with teenagers. There's no photograph here either. There is no admission of guilt like Franken's. But journalists demanded the voters of Alabama tar and feather Moore.
Apparently, if you deny the accusations, Bozell is cool with that -- well, if you're a conservative, anyway. Bozell and Graham rant about how Bill Clinton accusers like Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick were treated by the media even though they, like Moore's accusers, have offered no evidence to back up their claims. That makes this yet another example of the MRC' inability to unequivocally critizize Moore's behavior.
(Meanwhile, the only other CNS article to focus on Moore is a blog post by managing editor Michael W. Chapman complaining that Stephen Colbert called out evangelicals who continue to support Moore. Chapman protested that "Only one woman alleged that Moore molestd [sic] her, not 'four teenage girls'" and that "Moore has not been charged with any crime and none of the allegations against him have been proven in a court of law.")
Bozell and Graham complain about the "rampaging liberal hypocrisy" on media coverage, but they will never admit their own rampaging right-wing hypocrisy, and that of the "news" operation they run.
CNS Managing Editor: Gays Practice 'Sexual Depravity' Topic: CNSNews.com
Michael W. Chapman has a long record of using his position as managing editor of CNSNews.com to attack and defame the LGBT community, including portraying them as the literal spawn of Satan. Chapman was at it again in a Nov. 8 blog post defending a "faithful" Catholic bishop for deny funerals to gays:
Because Robert C. Morlino, the Catholic bishop of the Madison Diocese, adheres to Church teaching and opposes funeral rites for homosexuals that would cause "scandal and confusion," gays and pro-sodomy advocates have launched a petition that calls on Pope Francis to remove Bishop Morlino from his position.
Simply, the LGBT activists do not want a Catholic bishop to actually believe in and follow Catholic teaching. They are in effect demanding that he celebrate sexual depravity.
But in all the Catholic canon law and allegedly authoritative statements from other Catholic officials, the word "depravity" is not used -- which means Chapman is freelancing from Catholic doctrine and hating on gays once again.
Not News Here: CNS Very Slow To Report on Roy Moore Scandal Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com purports to be a news outlet, what with the word "news" in its name and all. But it clearly cares little for reporting news that does not advance its right-wing agenda.
Take, as just one example, the story of Roy Moore and his perving on teenage girls as a 30-something adult. When the Washington Post broke the story on Nov. 9, CNS apparently didn't think it was news, even though it concerns a prominent conservative politician who attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted earlier this year and whose ranting against gay marriage CNS promoted in 2015.
No stories about Moore appeared the next day -- its lead story for much of the day was about the Air Force needing pilots. What did appear, oddly enough, was twostories highlighting child marriage in Islamic countries. If that was a way for CNS to deflect from Moore bypointing out other places that are even more pervy about teen girls that Moore has been accused of being, that was a bizarre way to do it.
Finally, four days after the story broke, CNS finally got around to doing a story about Moore -- a summary by Susan Jones of Moore's friendly appearance on fellow conservative Sean Hannity's radio show, in which he denied the charges. Jones made sure to write it as favorable to Moore as possible and highlighting his blaming the controversy on a media "agenda," not on his own actions.
It appears that if it's not good news for conservative, CNS is simply not going to report it at all -- at least until it can find a way to put a positive spin on it. That's not anybody's definition of a "news" operation.
CNS Sides With Infowars to Spite Dem Congressman Topic: CNSNews.com
Susan Jones writes in a Nov. 2 CNSNews.com article:
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) made himself the arbiter of "fake news" on Wednesday, pointing to an InfoWars article on the New York City terrorist attack and asking a Twitter executive, "what's your responsibility to set the record straight so that the people who saw this know that it's fake news?"
The InfoWars article in question was titled, "Imam: I Warned DeBlasio About NYC Terror; He Was Too Busy Bashing Trump." For a while on Wednesday, that story was trending at the top when Twitter users went to #NYCTerroristAttack.
But is the report fake news? And who gets to decide?
Speaking at the same hearing of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) said, "We all recognize that fake news is in the eye of the beholder many times."
While some news reports "are demonstrably untrue," Stewart said, "the vast majority" of reports are combinations of "opinion and reality."
That's right -- CNS' Jones is effectively defending the honor of Infowars, run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Instead of reflexively taking the side of a website with a long history of false and outrageous claims just because a Democratic congressman justifiably impugned its credibility, Jones could have, you know, looked into the article in question to evaluate its veracity.
Yes, a self-proclaimed imam named Mohammad Tawhidi did make the claim that Infowars reported, Infowars reporter Paul Joseph Watson -- a major generator of fake news -- doesn't appear to have attempted to verify any of Tawhidi's claims.
It turns out that Tawhidi is kind of a shady character. Based in Australia, he has claimed to be both an imam and shiekh, claims actual Muslim religious authorities in Australia don't recognize, calling him a "fake sheikh." He's earned the approbation of right-wingers by pushing fears of an Islamic caliphate and demanding that certain Islamic texts be banned, thus making him the equivalent of a Fox News Democrat. In reality, he's a Shia extremist who's battling majority Sunnis in Australia.
In other words, he's a fraud. It wasn't that hard to figure out using just a few minutes of online searching.
Yet Jones wants us to treat this Infowars report as credible, for the sole apparent purpose of trying to counter a Democratic congressman trying to expose fake news. This is clear, since the headline on Jones' article makes the point that Quigley is a "Democrat [sic] Lawmaker."
But still, Jones has to know what Infowars is, and defending it damages her own credibility. That's the price of being a pro-Trump shill, apparently.
CNSNews.com ran into another one of those situations where the latest month of Trump-era unemployment news was too bad to spin away in yet another fit of pro-Trump stenography.
The main story by Susan Jones led with the good news, but also gave prominent play to the bad, mainly because it directly impacted its longtime obsession, the labor force participation rate:
The economy added 261,000 jobs in October – the most since President Trump took office -- and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a point to 4.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.
But a record number of Americans – 95,385,000 – were not in the labor force in October, and the critical labor force participation rate dropped four-tenths of a point to 62.7 percent, a disappointing show, as 76,500 Americans left the civilian labor force..
The previous "not in the labor force" record of 95,102,000 was set in December 2016, the final full month of the Barack Obama presidency.
That story was CNS' lead story when posted early on Nov. 3, but it didn't stay that way for long -- can't havenegative news on Trump leading a pro-Trump "news" site, can we? So that was quickly supplanted as the lead by its sidebar -- the usual story by Terry Jeffrey on manufacturing jobs -- which had the necessary pro-Trump spin.Taht story remained the lead for the remainder of Nov. 3.
CNS Blogger Forgets His Employer Flip-Flopped on Assange Topic: CNSNews.com
Craig Bannister tried to claim the moral high ground in an Oct. 27 CNSNews.com blog post:
After The Daily Beast reported that the head of a data analytics firm that worked for the Trump campaign had approached Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange, liberal media pounced on the opportunity to condemn the connection. But, media haven’t always been so critical of Assange and Wikileaks.
But, times have change – especially at The Times, which had previously framed pro-Wikileaks hackers as defenders of “freedom” and Assange a champion of “truth.”
And, on another episode of “Today,” the show promoted Assange as one of “short list of finalists to be named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” in which Time's Managing Editor Richard Stengel declared that Assange “absolutely” had a shot at winning because he had “an enormous year” of “changing the perception of secrecy.”
Time changes, indeed. We remember when Bannister's colleagues at CNS used to despise Assange and Wikileaks before he was linked to Trump and hacked DNC emails.
In a December 2010 column, Bannister's boss, Brent Bozell, denounced Assange as "the notorious radical mastermind of 'WikiLeaks,'" and declared that "Americans the world over could die because of these intelligence betrayals" caused by Assange.
A December 2010 CNS column by Rich Galen called Assange "the creep behind, and the face of, Wikileaks" and huffed that "He has decided that he, among the 6.7 billion humans on the Earth, is solely qualified to decide what should be held secret and what should be made public." He concluded that "It is not for Julian Assange to decide, not just that the system is flawed, but that he has the right to put thousands of people at risk of physical harm because he doesn't like it."
Wikileaker-in-chief, Julian Assange, is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London asking for asylum so he can't be extradited to the U.S. for leaking all those classified documents a couple of years ago.
At about the same time a Syrian Air Force pilot flew a MIG-21 to a Jordanian air base asking for, and being granted, asylum,
If Julian Assange can pilot a MIG-21 to Ecuador, I say let him stay.
If not, hang him.
Now that Assange is linked to helping Trump and attacking Democrats, Bannister certainly doesn't want to follow Galen's advice now.
See, Craig? Two can play that game -- that's how lame your gotcha attempt is.
Once the actual indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates and the plea deal involving Trump adviser George Papadopoulos came down, CNS was slow to react. Its first post-announcement story, posted at 10:42 a.m. Eastern time, was the second taken from Chris Christie's Sunday show appearance, featured Chrstie complaining that "Whoever leaked news of the grand jury indictment in the Russia investigation to CNN could face criminal charges." The second -- and its lead story the rest of the day, posted at 11:04 a.m. Eastern time -- was another Jones piece repeating Trump's tweet falsely asserting (not that Jones bothered to explicitly point that out) that the conduct for which Manafort was indicted took place "years ago." It was not until 40 minutes later that Jones wrote a relatively straight story on Papadopoulos' plea deal.
Later in the afternoon, Melanie Arter did her usual stenography from the daily press briefing by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, dutifully regurgitating her talking point that the indictments of Manafort and Gates "have nothing to do with President Donald Trump."
That's exactly the kind of servile pro-Trump stenography Brent Bozell, head of CNS parent the Media Research Center, wants to see in the rest of the media.
CNS Obeys White House Marching Orders to Ignore Kelly's Falsehood Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter serves up her latest bit of stenography on behalf of the Trump White House in an Oct. 20 article:
The White House said Friday that the media’s focus on President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a soldier who died in Niger should have ended yesterday after White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly spoke on the issue, but instead, it’s the main topic of news coverage a day later.
A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders why Kelly felt the need to address Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) publicly and call her “an empty barrel” instead of calling her privately like he’s done with other members of Congress who were critical of the president and why Trump felt the need to tweet about Wilson again Friday.
“I think that it's real simple: You guys are the ones talking a lot about that story, and he felt it was important to address you and all of America directly. This story has been given an enormous amount of coverage over the last 48 hours, and he thought it was important that people got a full and accurate picture of what took place,” Sanders said.
It seems Arter took Sanders' complaint as marching orders, because CNS has indeed stopped talking about what Kelly said. That's too bad, because Kelly got some key facts wrong in attacking Wilson.
In his remarks, Kelly said this about Wilson at a 2015 dedication of an FBI building in Florida:
And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money -- the $20 million -- to build the building. And she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned. But, you know, none of us went to the press and criticized. None of us stood up and were appalled. We just said, okay, fine."
A video unearthed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of the April 10, 2015, event preserved Wilson’s speech. While it does portray Wilson speaking animatedly and indulging in some braggadocio -- she is known as a colorful, outspoken politician with a soft spot for fashionable hats -- Kelly mischaracterized her remarks in significant ways.
Kelly said that Wilson "stood up there ... and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money -- the $20 million -- to build the building. And she sat down."
However, in her speech, Wilson didn’t mention funding for the building, much less claim credit for it or tell the audience how she leveraged influence with Obama to secure it.
Wilson did describe how she helped secure legislation to name the building for two slain agents, but Kelly’s description leaves out that the FBI pressed her to make that effort and that she shared credit with several other lawmakers, including the Republican House speaker and Florida’s Republican senator. Wilson also spoke at some length about the bravery of the slain agents and the FBI in general.
We rate Kelly’s statement False.
Since CNS has acceded to the Trump White House's demand to not report this story anymore, its readers are being deprived of the truth. Sad!