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Tuesday, December 5, 2017
CNS Dutifully Regurgitates the Trump White House's Line On Flynn
Topic: CNSNews.com

As a dedicated Trump stenographer, CNSNews.com has a primary mission to spin news events to a pro-Trump orientation and unritically report anything that comes out of the Trump administration. And so it goes with the guilty plea by former national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI.

In her Dec. 1 article on Flynn's plea, Susan Jones frames it as narrowly as possible to reflect the way the Trump administration wanted it reported -- that Flynn's plea had nothing to do with any other controversy the Trump White House is facing:

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was fired last February for giving “incomplete information” to Vice President Mike Pence about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador, and on Friday, he pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of lying to the FBI about those same phone calls.

Lest there was any doubt about whether CNS was doing Trump's bidding in playing up that angle, a story by Melanie Arter later that day quoted a Trump attorney saying basically the same thing, albeit with more words:

President Donald Trump’s attorney Ty Cobb issued a statement Friday in response to news that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia probe.

In his statement, Cobb downplayed Flynn’s involvement with the Trump administration, saying he’d only been working for Trump for 25 days and referring to him as “a former Obama administration official.”

“Today, Michael Flynn, a former National Security Advisor at the White House for 25 days during the Trump Administration, and a former Obama administration official, entered a guilty plea to a single count of making a false statement to the FBI,” Cobb said in a statement.

Cobb added that the “false statements” that Flynn gave the FBI “mirror the false statements” that led to his departure from the Trump administration. Flynn was fired for giving “incomplete information” to Vice President Mike Pence about his calls to the Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

“The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year,” Cobb said.

“Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn. The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion,” Cobb added.

Jones didn't really need to do her story, since Arter's stenography of Trump's lawyer was all the pro-Trump spin CNS was really obligated to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EST
Monday, December 4, 2017
We Want The Perv, Part 3: More Roy Moore Defenders At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've already filled two posts with WorldNetDaily writers defending Roy Moore against credible accusations he perved on teenage girls while a thirtysomething man. And the hits just keep on coming!

WND editor Joseph Farah -- who has skin in the game, having published Moore's autobiography, sales of which presumably plummeted since the scandal broke -- once again shows he's on Team Roy by setting conditions for his accusers that he never applied to people accusing a Clinton or an Obama of wrongdoing:

Not one of the charges against Moore offers any real proof. There are no photographs. They’re all ancient allegations made 40 or more years ago. There were no charges made at the time. In fact, not only is there no proof, there’s no real evidence.

But, on the basis of obviously politically motivated allegations, none of which could ever be adjudicated before the vote in Alabama, Moore is facing possible defeat, the loss of support from his own party, which never liked him anyway, a deeply tarnished character, even a refusal by the Senate to seat him should he win.

[...]

If enough so-called victims make allegations, little or no evidence is necessary to ruin people.

Scott Morefield suemmed it all up with the headline of his column, "I'd vote for alleged ax murderer over a bloody Dem." Still, he elaborates:

To the headline of this column, Moore is no alleged ax murderer. Not even close. But his faults, whatever they may be, pale in comparison to the damage Democrats would do to the country if they seize power, and a Jones victory would put them one crucial step closer to doing just that.

Jane Chastain offered a full-throated defense of Moore, pronouncing the (credibly accused) perv to have a "moral life" and slut-shaing his accusers:

Whether or not you agree with everything he has done in his political career, you must agree that he is a man of principle. He was twice removed from his elected office as as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the state of Alabama for refusing to abide by an order he considered unconstitutional.

Despite press reports to the contrary, Moore has only been accused of wrongdoing by three – not nine – women, and only one of the three passes the smell test. For the record, dating teenage girls is not against the law, and by all accounts from the teens who dated Moore, he was a gentleman.

So let’s examine the one serious accusation that looks somewhat credible, the case of then 14-year-old Leigh Corfman. Ms. Corfman was a troubled teen whose parents were divorced. Moore is said to have offered to watch the young girl (he doesn’t remember it) while her mother went to court to transfer custody to her father because (according to court documents) she was too difficult to handle. Apparently, Corfman bragged to friends that she was seeing an older man, Moore, after that. Then, according to her story, she broke it off after he took her to his home and tried to seduce her.

Washington Post reporters went snooping for dirt, anything, on Moore, and supposedly one of these friends led them to Corfman. Is it possible that this troubled teen had a crush on Moore who was a respected young man in a very small town and made up the story to impress them? Is it possible that this woman, who continued to have problems, actually began to believe it?

Moore has led a moral life. Corfman not so much. At the very least, Moore deserves his day in court. He does not deserve to be roundly excoriated by by members of his own party, absent any proof, and asked to drop out of his Senate race at the 11th hour.

Purple-prose Moore defender Alan Keyes strikes again, this time taking a biblical approach:

With the example of the passion and crucifixion of the innocent Christ continually refreshed by their observant remembrance of His suffering, I marvel at the ease with which some Christians abandon their trust in those whom they have, by their good fruits, adjudged to be fellow members of the living body of Christ. I’m thinking of Judge Roy Moore, of course. During the solemn observance of Christ’s sacrifice, we who profess to represent his presence in our time remember that he was falsely accused and falsely condemned. Some of the people who did so acted unwittingly, carried away by their zeal. They did not recognize in Christ the authority of God, though God’s command of love was the very reason Jesus Christ was born, the ultimate motive for every word he spoke and every miracle he performed, as well as his patient endurance of every insult, defamation and tribulation inflicted upon him.

Even dubious doc Jane Orient, of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, felt the need to defend Moore, because hitting on teen girls used to be a good thing:

Moore, after all, has been accused of being a “child molester,” surely the most heinous of crimes. And what does this mean, in his case?

Apparently, when he was a 30-year-old bachelor, he dated younger women. Back in my day, jealous women might have called him a “cradle-robber” because they felt they deserved him more. And maybe on occasion he kissed his date too passionately.

The worst accusation is that he engaged in “inappropriate” behavior (we would’ve called it “heavy petting”) with an underage “child.” The woman was 14, not 16, the Alabama age of consent, and not 12, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s suggested age of consent. Women used to marry much younger; my great-great grandmother was about 13, and she had a happy, long and fruitful life.

What he allegedly did sounds icky to me, and not very smart. Guys, if a 14-year-old girl (“jail bait”) gives you her phone number, invites you to call her on her bedroom phone and offers to sneak out to meet you, you should run, run, run!

But is it credible? I don’t think so. It sounds very fishy to me. How many women did the Washington Post have to stalk to find a few accusers from 40 years ago who have held their peace through other campaigns until now?

(No, Ms. Orient, Ginsburg did not advocate lowering the age of consent to 12.)

Surprisingly -- though, perhaps, mostly to keep its bogus claim of airing a diversity of views viable -- WND did publish a dissenting voice, with a column by Larry Elder claiming that "By supporting Roy Moore, Republicans, on the issue of sexual misconduct, risk turning into the my-guy-wrong-or-wrong hypocrites from across the aisle." Needless to say, if the comments are any indication, Elder's column did not go over well with WND's more vocal readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EST
MRC Confuses Companies In Trying to Justify Blocking Time Warner Deal
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Nov. 21 post, the Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained that "all three network morning shows fretted over the Justice Department filing a lawsuit to block a planned merger between telecommunications giants AT&T and Time Warner Cable. Hosts and correspondents warned of 'politics' being 'at play' in the decision and touted how critics were “raising concerns about the motive behind the government’s legal challenge.'" In attacking people on NBC for raising questions about how the Justice Department wants to block the merger, Drennen added:

The NBC journalists conveniently failed to mention that the last company that attempted to purchase Time Warner Cable was their parent company, Comcast. In 2014, the news network actually pushed that proposed merger with several positive reports on the business plan. Ultimately the deal collapsed when the Obama Justice Department came out in opposition to it on the same antitrust grounds now being cited by the Trump administration.

Apparently everyone at NBC came down with a case of memory loss on Tuesday as they skipped over that important background information.

Drennen's problem here is that he doesn't know there's a difference between Time Warner -- the company that actually is trying to merge with AT&T -- and Time Warner Cable, which operated cable TV franchises and was not involved with CNN or other cable TV channels operated by Time Warner. Time Warner spun off Time Warner Cable in 2008, and was a completely separate company from Time Warner at the time Comcast attempted to buy it. Time Warner Cable was ultimately purchased in 2015 by Charter Communications, a cable provider smaller than Comcast so the same antitrust questions were raised.

As such, it doesn't exist anymore. But Drennen seems to think it still does.

Further, counter to Drennen's claim, the proposed Time Warner-AT&T merger raises none of the same antitrust concerns that the Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger proposal did. A Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger would have created a cable TV behemoth; by contrast, the merged Charter-Time Warner Cable (along with a third company that merged with Charter at the same time) is the same size as Comcast's current cable operations. By contrast, AT&T is mostly a landline and phone company that also owns satellite TV provider DirecTV, while Time Warner owns a movie studio and TV networks and productions (the titular magazine division was just sold).

In short, it's not that much different from the current Comcast, which merged with NBC Universal and now has movie and TV production and TV networks along with its cable offerings. 

Nevertheless, Drennen insisted that the Trump Justice Department was engaging in "routine government oversight -- something the liberal media usually champion." Of course, a president hadn't regularly attacked and disparaged a component of the Comcast-NBC merger. Nor did we have the spectacle of the head of the Justice Department's antitrust division scramble to walk back an earlier claim that he saw no major antitrust problem with the merger, as we're seeing regarding the Time Warner-AT&T proposal.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EST
WND's Unruh Still Obscuring Inconvenient Facts In Praying Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A year ago, we detailed how WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh hid inconvenient facts about a case pushed by a right-wing legal group in which a woman, Mary Anne Sause, is suing a Kansas police department for purportedly arresting her for praying. Well, there's a new appeal in the case, and Unruh is back to write another press release for the woman's lawyers at the First Liberty Institute.

The Nov. 20 article is about First Liberty's seemingly doomed, grandstanding attempt to the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court rejecting an earlier appeal of a court ruling against the woman. As usual, Unruh is long on uncritically repeating every claim about the case First Liberty makes and short on direct quotes from the court ruling being appealed.

Tellingly, the only direct quote from the ruling that portrays Sause's case as "plausible." Why? Because, as we noted, there are questions about whether the woman is telling the truth, and earlier courts have called Sause's claims implausible. But the appeals court made it clear it wasn't ruling on the facts of the case; it was assuming they were true for the purposes of examining the claim Sause has standing to sue for the purported violation of her constitutional rights.

The appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling that even if Sause's rights regarding freedom of religion were violated, the police officers involved have qualified immunity from being sued.

Because Unruh is too busy writing a press release for the First Lilberty Institute instead of being the "news" reporter he purportedly is, his readers get stenography instead of a full and accurate recounting of the case.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Sunday, December 3, 2017
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EST
WND Still Obsessing Over Arch, Still Won't Say It's Glad ISIS Destroyed It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented WorldNetDaily's obsession with a reproduction of the entrance arch to the Temple of Palmyra (which it insists on calling the Temple of Baal), while downplaying the fact that the reason it exists is that the terrorists of ISIS destroyed the original -- making it seem that WND and its favorite messianic rabbi, Jonathan Cahn, are endorsing ISIS' handiwork here.

A Nov. 20 WND article by Bob Unruh is ostensibly about a Burning Man-esque event on the National Mall called Catharsis that featured "representations of 'Lord Shiva Natarja,' a Hindu god, a massive seven-headed dragon representing Satan" -- curiously, WND doesn't turn to any American source for this; it cites Breaking Israel News, a biased pro-Israel outlet that hosts conferences on prophecy -- but a significant chunk of it is devoted to the Palymra temple reproduction. This time, though, Unruh finally states in a straightforward manner the fate of the original amid all the hand-wringing:

WND has reported recently on the repeated appearances of a reproduction of the historic Temple of Baal.

The arch has risen in London and New York City, the latter only a few steps away from Ground Zero. It was placed outside a global summit in Dubai. More recently, it was even constructed for the G7 Summit in Florence, Italy. 

It’s a replica of a Roman triumphal arch originally built in Palmyra, Syria. Destroyed by the terrorist group ISIS during the current Syrian civil war, the Institute for Digital Archaeology used 3-D printing to rebuild the arch. Since then, the arch has been on a world tour, appearing near global summits and in important cities.

But the arch isn’t just a Roman ruin. It was originally an arch for the Temple of Baal, a pagan god repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament. The rites of Baal were marked by child sacrifice and ritual prostitution. And many Christians find it strange that such a god keeps being honored or invoked repeatedly at global summits.

Jonathan Cahn, who rocked American Christianity with his New York Times bestseller “The Harbinger” and produced a revolutionary new kind of devotional with “The Book of Mysteries,” told WND he finds the developments ominous.

“When looking at this phenomenon, we have to understand the nature of the god involved,” he explained. “Baal was the god that Israel turned to after it turned away from the God of Scripture. He was the substitute god, the replacement god, the anti-God god – the god of their turning away, their fall. Baal was the god of the apostasy.”

Or, you know, people who care about world history don't like to see terrorists destroy ancient ruins for their own extremist religious purposes.

Cahn clearly approves of ISIS destroying the temple -- for its serves his religious purposes too -- but he and WND know they can't say that out loud.

Also, Unruh began his article by noting that the Burning Man-esque  event came "only 20 years after more than 1 million Christian men gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the “Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men” event organized by the Denver-based group Promise Keepers." Actually, best estimates were that the 1997 Promise Keepers event drew between 600,000 and 800,000, not a million-plus.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:03 PM EST
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Newsmax's Gizzi Takes Roy Moore's Side, Bashes Opponent
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax "political columnist and chief Washington correspondent" John Gizzi has made it clear whose side he's on in the Alabama Senate race.

After the Washington Post reported on allegations of Moore perving on teenage girls as a thirtysomething man, Gizzi pussyfooted around at first with a Nov. 10 column that highlighted how "almost to a person, Republican leaders in Alabama who spoke to Newsmax rallied behind their already-controversial nominee and denounced both his accusers and the Post." A Nov. 14 column noted concerns from other Republican senators about Moore but added that "keeping Moore out of the Senate would be difficult to imagine" because the procedure has been done so rarely.

Gizzi made his bias crystal clear, though, in a Nov. 20 column dedicated to attacking Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, for the purportedly "radical" positions of opposing Obamacare repeal and trusting in science:

Jones, 69, has showed no sign of distancing himself from his party’s national platform — an inarguably radical, Bernie Sanders-influenced document that calls for raising the minimum wage to $15, a tough pro-climate change stance, a surtax on millionaires, and abortion-on-demand.

Jones strongly opposes any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Jones strongly disagrees with the administration’s position on climate change (“because I actually believe in science”) and has sharp differences on immigration with opponent Moore.

Gizzi then branded as "outrageous" the idea that the American judiciary should look more like America:

At times, Jones’ comments to the press as a private attorney border on the outrageous. In a feature by the Associated Press entitled “Experts Say Alabama Needs More Black Federal Judges," Birmingham attorney Jones endorsed the view that “the federal bench is identified with discrimination laws [and] It would seem the minority population has to be well-represented.”

Gizzi didn't explain why that view is so "outrageous."

Finally, Gizzi found it outrageous that Democrats in Alabama should have any sort of voice in government:

Perhaps Doug Jones’ most telling comment came earlier this year. Noting that he felt the election of 2016 was “very disturbing,” he acknowledged that Alabama voted “overwhelming” for Donald Trump. But, he quickly added, “there were about 37 percent of the people who did not, and they need a voice too.”

Based on his comments on many issues and political associations, it is clear Jones wants to be that voice — and with a very left-of-center tone.

Gizzi doesn't seem equally offended at the related idea that Moore wouldn't be a senator who would represent all Alabamans.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 3, 2017 7:03 PM EST
WND Wavers on Thanking God for Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Should WorldNetDaily readers thank God for the elction of Donald Trump? WND itself has wavered on the subject.

Richard Bartholomew noticed that a promo for WND's new state-media campaign to get readers to send thank-you cards to Trump originally read "Thank God for Donald Trump's first year" but was later changed to "Give thanks for Donald Trump's first year." The wavering was odd, given that WND has profusely credited divine intervention for Trump's election.

But over the next few days, WND apparently decided there wasn't enough God in its thank-you campaign. As a Nov. 26 article explains:

When WND.com founder Joseph Farah created the ThankTrump.us program that allows Americans to send the president an e-card thanking him for his accomplishments, he noticed right away a preference among the six optional messages.

People were more than enthused about a simple statement of faith, “Praying for your continued success! May the Lord bless you and keep you.”

About half of all participants in the program were choosing that message for the president.

So when the booming program faced expansion, the next step was entirely logical.

“I noticed that the most popular choice early on was the one and only card that had a strong spiritual hook,” said Joseph Farah, the inspiration behind the ThankTrump.us campaign. “So, I asked our creative director to help me come up with three more card choices – two of which have a spiritual tone. Now everyone has more choices. Anyone can see how popular each one is, because we keep score publicly for you.”

(Note that WND manages to credit Farah twice in five paragraphs for having created this.)

So, anyway, WND now has cards that read "Thank God for the Trump miracle" ...

... and another that says "You are proof that God answers the prayers of his children."

WND still has not addressed the possibility that God sent Trump as a warning and not a blessing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EST
Friday, December 1, 2017
AIM Writer Still Thinks Obama Was Born In Kenya
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Brian McNicoll's Nov. 22 Accuracy in Media column is a rebuttal to an Atlantic piece by Adam Serwer arguing that people who voted for President Trump were motivated in part by racism. McNicoll complains at one point:

Birtherism, Serwer contended, “is rightly remembered as a racist conspiracy theory, born of an inability to accept the legitimacy of the first black president.” Actually, it was an effort by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 to find a way to delegitimize Obama in the Democrat primaries.

If the rules didn’t prevent someone born in Kenya from serving as president, we never would have heard a word about where Obama was born, and nobody would have cared that he played cat and mouse about the subject for a decade before presenting something he claimed to be his birth certificate but which is not.

1) There was no "effort" by the Clinton campaign to question Obama's birthplace -- that was the doing of right-wing outlets like WorldNetDaily ... and AIM.

2) The "certification of live birth" Obama released in 2008 is legally equivalent to a birth certificate, making McNicoll's complaint moot. He failed to mention that Obama did, in fact, release his birth certificate as well.

3) Obama was not born in Kenya. McNicoll offers no evidence to prove that.

Good to see that McNicoll is coming closer to filling the conspiratorial void at AIM left by the departure of Cliff Kincaid.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EST
MRC Exploits The Hell Out of Matt Lauer's Firing, Flushes Fox News Harassers Down the Memory Hole
Topic: Media Research Center

As we noted, the Media Reserach Center could only be bothered to barely acknowledge the fiasco that was James O'Keefe and Project Veritas' attempt to fabricate a fake scandal against Roy Moore in the hope that the Washington Post would take the bait -- apparently failing to account for the fact that Post is a credible news organization that verifies things before they're published. That was in no small part because it wanted to distance itself from the fiasco (even though the MRC has uncritically touted O'Keefe's work in the past), but it ultimately had to speak up in order to protect the so-called integrity of conservative journalism.

But the MRC also had another excuse to quickly move on: a shiny object called Matt Lauer. 

The MRC's belated acknowledgement of the O'Keefe fiasco finally made it to a MRC-operated website about the time NBC announced it had fired "Today" co-host Lauer over  allegations of sexual harassment. O'Keefe was quickly memory-holed; as far as Lauer went, the MRC was ON IT, cranking out a whopping nine posts in the next 12 hours.

That's approximately nine more posts that the MRC has ever devoted to the sexual harassment allegations against personalities at its favorite channel, Fox News: Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and Eric Bolling.

Speaking of which: The first Lauer post was one in which Scott Whitlock bashed him as a "hypocrite" for questioning O'Reilly about his sexual harassment cases. Taht would be the interview in which the MRC's Randy Hall endorsed O'Reilly's porrayal of himself as the innocent victim of a "hit job," even though he has effectively admitted guilt by paying out millions of dollars in settlements.

The second Lauer post was also hypocrite-themed, in which Whitlock wondered if Lauer "doesn't have any concept of self-reflection" and "might have pondered his own actions while slamming Donald Trump over the infamous Access Hollywood tape," going on to huff that "Lauer brezzily reported on allegations against others."

Recall that the MRC helped Trump play the victim over that tape by dismissing it as politically motivated, with a heavy dose of Clinton Equivocation.

We also got the preening moralizing from MRC chief Brent Bozell, asking: "Clearly, there must have been numerous people at NBC who knew about his repugnant behavior. Where have they been all this time? How many people who could have put an end to this actually enabled his abuse of women?"

Bozell never asked that about the goings-on at Fox News.

The MRC's Rich Noyes took a similar tack, arguing without evidence that NBC News president Andy Lack must have known earlier about  the accusations against Lauer "unless he's living in a cave or everybody else whose talking on the record is lying." He didn't mention that at Fox News, it was the president himself, Ailes, who was doing the harassing.

Not to be outdone, MRC bigwig Tim Graham asserted (on Fox News, natch): "But I think that the news media, these are people, that the shocking thing about all of this, is, you have never seen a group of people who say that they're on top of everything and then don't seem to realize they have a sexual predator in their midst for 20 years." Neither he nor his Fox News host, Shannon Bream, discussed how long Bream's fellow employees knew there were sexual predators in their midst -- or whether Graham, Bozell or anyone else at the MRC knew of the Fox News predators before it went public.

Finally, Bozell (though, in reality, probably his ghostwriter Graham) penned a piece for Fox News (of course) in which he rails once again at Lauer for his interview with O'Reilly: "How could Matt Lauer make these solemn pronouncements on national television with a straight face?" Funny, we ask that same question (except for the Matt Lauer part) every time we see Bozell on Fox News.

Bozell, Graham and the MRC have suddenly developed another Fox News-sized blind spot. Now that there are non-conservative sexual harassers to rant about, the last thing they want to talk about Ailes, O'Reilly and Bolling -- and their own hypocrisy in holding conservative harassers to lower standards and less lecturing.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EST
WND Thinks All Muslim Women Wear Full Burqas
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Muslim-haters at WorldNetDaily have never been completely moored in the harbor of facts when lauching their repeated attacks on Muslims. So it's no surprise to see WND descend to lazy stereotypes like assuming that all Muslim women wear full-body burqas.

A Nov. 24 article by chief Muslim-hater Leo Hohmann lamented that a Muslim woman won't be deported because she fears she'll be killed by a family member because she had a child out of wedlock. It's certainly problematic that Hohmann is rooting for a woman to be murdered, but he doesn't apparently see the issue.

The article was promoted on its front page with a picture of a woman in a full burqa:

 

 

A similar picture is used to illustrate the article itself:

WND offers no evidence that this is an accurate representation of the woman.

Similarly, a Nov. 25 article by Bob Unruh is weirdly happy that a group of Muslim women suing a restaurant for discrimination won't be allowed to keep their names anonymous. The front page promo uses a different burqa stock photo:

The article itself is illustrated with the same photo.

As before, WND offers no evidence this is an accurate representation of the women involved in the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, in the real world outside WND's anti-Muslim bubble, relatively few women wear the burqa.  IN Europe, it's estimated that less that 1% of Muslim women wear one, and the number is similar in the U.S.

Unless WND can prove these photos are an accurate representation of the typical Muslim woman, let alone the women these two articles are about, this should be considered yet another example of fake news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EST
Thursday, November 30, 2017
NewsBusters Blogger Wants To See IRS Non-Scandal Drag On, Just Because
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer just doesn't know when to give up on a scandal.

he devoted a Nov. 24 NewsBusters post to being outraged about a Bloomberg View op-ed by Francis Wilkinson proclaiming the IRS controversy over alleged targeting of right-wing groups seeking tax exemptions to be nothingburger it was. Blumer first goes the ad hominem route, denigrating the op-ed's writer as a "career leftist" who once worked for a "Democratic media firm." But the evidence he cites comes from an anonymous "longtime Tea Party activist" and a guy so obsessed with the non-scandal that he posted articles about itfor "1,353 striaght days." Blumer offers no evidence why his partisans are any more trustworthy than the op-ed writer.

Never mind that the so-called scandal effectively ended four years ago, when the IRS admitted that the groups were targeted -- not for their political bias, but because of a flood of applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012. Blumer rants insteadabout alleged stonewalling that led several congressional committees to fail to find evidence:

The failure to produce evidence occurred because, as just noted, they made every attempt to either destroy it or withhold it. Of course, Wilkinson never mentioned the IRS's obstruction and evidence destruction.

Enough evidence to matter is still available, which explains why the IRS scandal's conspirators are still stonewalling and attempting to enlist the assistance of the courts to keep that evidence under wraps.

Blumer didn't mention that those congressional committees are controlled by Republicans, and if there was actually something there, they could have easily  found something -- anything -- to destroy the IRS with. But Obama's not president anymore, and raging against the IRS doesn't have the same political juice when there's a Republican in the White House.

Curiously, Blumer didn't mention the report issued in September by the Treasury Department's inspector general, which pointed out that liberal-leaning groups were also singled out for more scrutiny and that the IRS had changed its procedures in that area.

In other words, there's really nothing left to investigate. Yet Blumer wants it to drag on anyway for no apparently reason other than political retaliation and pursuit of a nonexistent conspiracy. Sad, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:41 PM EST
Muslim Derangement Syndrome, Barbies in Burqas Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Will Barbies in burqas be next?

That’s the question every parent, especially mothers, should be asking now that Mattel has rolled out a new Barbie for little girls to look up to – one wearing a hijab, the headscarf worn by millions of oppressed Muslim women worldwide.

Why would an American doll maker promote a widely known symbol of female oppression, you wonder? You can thank political correctness.

In the spirit of promoting diversity, the toy manufacturer decided to honor fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad – the first American Olympian to compete wearing a hijab, at the Rio de Janeiro Games last year.

Memo to Mattel: No matter what PC “Kool-Aid” you’re drinking these days, promoting oppression and the subjugation of girls and women is never OK.

In fact, it’s flat-out dangerous.

-- Adriana Cohen, Nov. 19 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EST
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

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