CNSNews.com has been unafraid to politicize American military casualties in the past -- remember that it repeatedly credited President George W. Bush for falling casualities (from a surge that he ordered) while blaming President Obama for increasing casualties in Afghanistan (made necessary because Bush largely ignored Afghanistan to focus on Iraq).
Which brings us to a Jan. 2 CNS article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman headlined "2017: Chicago Homicides Outnumber U.S. Military Casualties 18 to 1." Yes, it's a stupid point, but Chapman is fully committed:
There were 664 homicides in Chicago in 2017 and, for comparison, 37 casualties in the U.S. military in its myriad operations around the globe. That's according to data from the Chicago Tribune and from the Department of Defense's press office.
The Chicago deaths are for the period Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2017; the military deaths are from Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 22, 2017, which is the latest update on casualties by the DoD posted so far. (There may have been a few more military casualties in December.)
From the data available, it shows that Chicago suffered 17.9 times more homicides than the U.S. military worldwide -- combat and non-combat related deaths -- last year.
Of course, the U.S. military is not engaged in any major combat operations anywhere in the world. But that won't keep Chapman from pressing his dume analogy -- after all, his allegiance is to political ideology, not to journalism.
CNS Follows White House Marching Orders on Steve Bannon Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com these days is mostly about being faithful to the dictates of the Trump White House. And when Steve Bannon was quoted in Michael Wolff's book criticizing the Trump administration and its related scandals, CNS was there to eagerly help the White House make sure that Bannon is persona non grata.
CNS' Melanie Arter dutifully transcribed official White House reaction in twoarticles on Jan. 3, the day book exerpts were released. The headline of the second article, though, sums up just how much being sucked up to means for this adminstration and inadvertently reveals the game CNS is currently playing: "White House on Steve Bannon: Going After President’s Son ‘Not the Best Way to Curry Favor’."
The next day, Susan Jones wrote an flashback article on Bannon -- which was CNS' lead story for part of that day -- insisting last September that the current investigation into Trump's connections with Russia was a "farce,"the goal of which is to try and discredit Bannon's assertion in the Wolff book that there is something to the investigation. She followed that with an article touting how Trump tweeted that Bannon was "Sloppy Steve."
On Jan. 7, CNS published an unusual weekend column by Tim Donner attacking Bannon and declaring, "Let's not mince words here. Bannon is toast." Donner added that Trump supporters with stick with their "game-changing president" over "a guy who rode the wave into the White House before imploding and turning on the man who put him there."
CNS couldn't have followed the Trump agenda any closer if they had been told by the Trump White House what to publish -- which, for all we know, may have actually happened.
CNS Editor Perpetuates Misinformation About Planned Parenthood Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has a long, sadhistory of perpetuating a falsehood: that federal money to Planned Parenthood pays for abortions. CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey -- who has done this before -- is all too eager to perpetuate that misinformation. He writes in a Jan. 2 CNS article:
Planned Parenthood says its affiliates did 321,384 abortions in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2016, according to its newly released 2016-2017 annual report.
In the same report, Planned Parenthood says its affiliates received $543.7 million in payments from government—“Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants,” the report calls them—in the year that ended on June 30, 2017.
Jeffrey does not report, however, that money from Title X and Medicaid -- which is where the federal funding to Planned Parenthood comes from -- by law cannot pay for abortions.
Then, in his Jan. 3 column, Jeffrey repeated his dishonesty:
Planned Parenthood has now released its 2016-2017 annual report. It says its affiliates performed 321,384 abortions in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016.
It also says Planned Parenthood received $543.7 million in government money in the year that ended on June 30, 2017 — which included the first five months of the Trump administration.
Planned Parenthood takes money from federal taxpayers primarily through Medicaid and the Title X Family Planning Program. In 2012, according to a Government Accountability Office analysis cited by the Congressional Research Service in a May 2017 report, Planned Parenthood affiliates received "$400.56 million in Medicaid reimbursements (including both federal and state dollars)" and "$64.35 million in Title X funding."
But the Mexico City Policy does not stop federal Medicaid and Title X money from going to domestic Planned Parenthood affiliates — the affiliates that aborted 321,384 babies in the United States in fiscal 2016.
Again, Jeffrey failed to report the inconvenient fact that Medicaid and Title X money does not and cannot pay for abortion. Instead, he rants that Republican spending bills "have permitted federal funding of Planned Parenthood to continue -- again, despite the fact that none of that federal funding pays for abortion.
CNS Gives Operation Rescue (But Not The SPLC) A Pass On Violence Linked To It Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman devoted a Jan. 3 article to telling us how "One of the leading pro-life organizations in the United States, Operation Rescue, has named President Donald Trump its person of the year and awarded him its 2017 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award." Chapman later writes, "Operation Rescue was founded in 1986 and is based in Wichita, Kansas. It counts as one of its greatest successes the reduction of the number of abortionists in San Diego County."
Chapman, needless to say, was never going to mention Operation Rescue's link to anti-abortion violence. As we'vedocumented, Scott Roeder, murderer of abortion doctor George Tiller, had a sticky note with the phone number for Operation Rescue's Cheryl Sullenger in his car at the time he was arrested, and Roeder has claimed that Operation Rescue chief Troy Newman once told him that it “wouldnʼt upset” him if Tiller were murdered. Further, Sullenger was sentenced to three years in prison in 1988 for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.
CNS has not been so reticient to repeat tangental links to violence when they involve non-conservative groups. An August 2017 article referencing the Southern Poverty Law Center took care to extensively note this:
In 2013, left-wing domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins attempted to commit mass murder at the [Family Research Council's] headquarters and arrived in the building’s lobby with a bag full of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-a sandwiches, which he intended to place on the people he killed.
A security guard was shot by Corkins, but managed to apprehend him before law enforcement arrived.
When the FBI asked Corkins how he had heard about the organization, he told them the SPLC had labeled the group an “anti-gay” organization on their website’s “hate map.”
If CNS is blaming the SPLC for the FRC shooting -- despite the fact that, unlike with Roeder and Operation Rescue, Corkins never had any contact with any SPLC employee and merely looked at its website -- there's no reason it shouldn't also hang Tiller's murder on Operation Rescue. Fair's fair, right?
Well, it would be if CNS wasn't so outrageously biased.
On November 20, President Trump tweeted: "Under President Trump unemployment rate will drop below 4%. Analysts predict economic boom for 2018!"
On Friday, the nation's unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent for the third straight month, and the number of employed people increased by 103,000 to 154,021,000, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Since December 2016, 1,788,000 people have been added to the nation's employment roster, and the number of employed people has set six records since February, most recently in September.
The article is illustrated with a picture of a Trump "Make America Great Again" hat, just to hammerh ome the point that Jones is doing Trump's bidding here.
By contrast, as we've documented, Jones' main article on the December 2016 unemployment rate led with the number of people not in the labor force, didn't mention the December unemployment rate until the seventh paragraph and waited until the 13th paragraph to concede that 14.8 million people found jobs during Obama's presidency.
By contrast, CNS sidebars related to the December 2016 unemployment rate referenced high black unemployment (despite the fact it has always been higher than white unemployment), the decline in manufacturing jobs (which have been declining for 30 years) and the purportedly "real" unemplyment rate (a metric CNS has curiously not referenced during Trump's presidency).
CNS primed this pro-Trump barrage with a Dec. 18 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheering how "the unemployment rate for black Americans is the lowest it has been since the year 2000, 17 years ago." Needless to say, Chapman doesn't mention that this is simply the continuation of a trend that began under President Obama.
We've documented how CNSNews.com is following the right-wing media playbook in trying to discredit the Robert Mueller investigation into President Trump's links to Russia and related issues. There's another article to add to the list: a Dec. 26 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman lovingly documenting a Fox Business TV appearance by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan. The level of mendaciousness Chapman exhibits in this article is surprising for someone who runs a purported "news" organization.
Chapman kicks things off by referencing "the salacious and false dossier about Donald Trump, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee." In fact, several parts of the dossier have been verified and corroborated. Nevertheless, Chapman uncritically quoted Jordan dismissing the dossier as "a bunch of lies. ... It's a bunch of National Enquirer garbage and fake news in this thing."
Chapman then writes: "It has been reported that former Trump campaign officials Carter Page and Paul Manafort were spied on in 2016 by U.S. intelligence agencies after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) granted warrants to do so." But the links Chapman uses to back up those claims show that monitoring of Page and Manafort had begun before their affiliation with the Trump campaign.
Chapman then writes:
On Dec. 23 it was reported that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will resign in March or April 2018, which is when his full pension and benefits would kick in. McCabe's wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, received a little more than $700,000 in payments from two Democratic PACs in 2015, one headed by Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe. (Jill McCabe, a left-wing Democrat, ran for a state senate seat that year.)
In early 2016, Andrew McCabe helped to oversee the Hillary Clinton email investigation, a scandal for which she was exonerated by then-FBI Director James Comey in July 2016. (McCabe did not recuse himself from the Clinton case until one week before the 2016 presidential election.)
As we've previously documented, there's a timeline issue that shoots down Chapman's conspiracy theory: The donation from McAuliffe's PAC to Jill McCabe's campaign were made several months before Andrew McCabe was named to the Hillary email investigation, and Andrew McCabe wasn't assigned to the investigation until three months after Jill McCabe lost her election. This makes it highly unlikely, if not impossible, there was a quid pro quo.
Also, Chapman doesn't back up his assertion that Jill McCabe was a "left-wing" Democrat, unless he's operating on a knee-jerk assumption that all Democrats are "left-wing."
This is lazy partisan stenography on Chapman's part, proving yet again that CNS under Chapman and Terry Jeffrey care next to nothing about journalism.
CNS Follows Right-Wing Playbook In Attacking Trump-Russia Investigation Topic: CNSNews.com
We've previously noted the Media Research Center's huffiness when it's pointed out how its bretheren in the right-wing media ahve launched a full-scale attack on Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign as well as related issues. One likely reason it was huffy was that the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com -- like the good pro-Trump stenographers they are -- was a part of the right-wing attack on Mueller.
Here are some of the articles CNS published over the past couple months attacking the investigation, the FBI and related issues such as the notorious Trump dossier:
NEW ARTICLE: Susan Jones' Year of Trump Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
The CNSNews.com reporter is so dedicated to making President Trump look good that she's penning pro-Trump opinion pieces that are presented as "news." Read more >>
CNS Stenography By the Numbers: Mark Levin and Franklin Graham Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
If CNSNews.com has been known for anything in 2017, it was servile stenography. Mostly that was of the Trump administration, but it also covers the various rantings of CNS' favorite commentators. Two of those commentators who regularly get CNS love are right-wing radio host Mark Levin -- with whom CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has had (and may still have) a cross-promotion deal -- and increasingly right-wing pastor Franklin Graham, whose anti-gay and anti-Obama rants WND managing editor Michael W. Chapman has given much love (and stenographic promotion) in the past.
We've looked through the CNS archives, and here's a tally by month of the articles CNS devoted to Levin and Graham in 2017.
Feb: 6 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
March: 6 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
May: 7 (plus 2 on Levin guest)
June: 14 (plus 2 on Levin guest)
Sept. 7 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
Nov: 8 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
Total: 102 (plus 8 on Levin guests)
Feb: 6 (plus one on Anne Graham Lotz, Franklin's sister)
The pace for Graham is a little slower in the past -- we've noted that Chapman devoted 46 articles to Graham's rantings in one previous six-month period -- but it's still a lot for someone who's known mostly for hating gays and loving President Trump.
CNS' promotion for Levin, meanwhile, didn't stop with serving as a transcription service. It promoted Levin's "new best-seller" book in a July interview with CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, and a November post by Michael Morris was basically a lightly rewritten press release on Levin's new show on Fox News -- so lightly rewritten that Morris simply copied-and-pasted the last three paragraphs of the press release to fill out his article.
The fact that CNS has outsourced such a singificant part of its content to right-wing ideologues is a big indicator of how much of a non-factor it's becoming.
CNS Doesn't Disclose Its Link To Group Run By Bozell's Son Topic: CNSNews.com
Craig Bannister dutifully types in a Dec. 19 CNSNews.com blog post:
On Tuesday, in anticipation of final passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ForAmerica President David Bozell issued a statement touting the tax reform plan’s benefits.
“The American people should be pleased to see the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cross the finish line. Congratulations to the Trump Administration and Congress on their accomplishment,” Bozell said.
Bozell declared the bill “a home run for the middle class,” as well as for small businesses:
ForAmerica is an award-winning, national grassroots organization whose mission is to use social media to reinvigorate the public with the principles of American exceptionalism: freedom, prosperity and virtue, be it in its educational efforts, the support of legislation or the support of public policy.
Despite writing for what purports to be a "news" operation, Bannister breaks a basic rule of journalism by failing to disclose a major conflict of interest. As we've noted, David Bozell is the son of Brent Bozell, CNS publisher and head of the Media Research Center, which owns CNS. Brent Bozell also founded ForAmerica, and the group shares a building with the MRC.
Further, a look at the ForAmerica website reveals it's filled mostly with posts copied from various MRC divisions, including CNS and NewsBusters.
So, yeah, it's pretty integrated with the MRC. Bannister should've told his readers that -- but journalistic ethics isn't a big deal these days for the Trump stenographers at CNS.
CNS Reporter Keeps Up Stenography for WH Press Secretary Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter devoted a whopping 26 articles in September and October to whatever White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had to say. Well, it's time for another count.
In November and December, Arter added another 10 articles to that total:
CNS Reporter Serves Up Pro-Trump Rant As 'News' Story Topic: CNSNews.com
The general decline of standards at CNSNews.com over the past year or so, plus its determination to be a pro-Trump stenographer, has led to embarassing things no real "news" operation would ever publish -- like a Dec. 15 "news" article that's more political rant than news. Jones huffs:
Impatient to get President Trump out of the office to which the American people elected him a year ago, media liberals on Monday re-introduced some of the women who have accused Trump of harassing them sexually years ago.
The women first spoke to Megyn Kelly on her cable show, then they held a news conference organized by a group called Brave New Films, which produces liberal propaganda on issues such as "justice," "inequality" and "gun violence."
The re-emergence of Trump's female accusers fits neatly into the script written by Democrats, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who said after the complainants' news conference that President Trump simply must resign.
We don't recall anyone at CNS or its Media Research Center parent similarly portraying the emergence of the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and worse as stunts to drive the Republican political agenda. Indeed, MRC chief Brent Bozell and Tim Graham used them to deflect from Trump's offenses when they first surfaced before the 2016 election.
So, apparently, it's OK for only one side to exploit sexual harassment charges for political purposes as far as Jones and Bozell are concerned.
Still, Jones continued to whine, grumbling on the Trump White House's behalf that "Trump's female accusers were among the topics at the White House press briefing on Friday, as spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders fielded questions she's answered before." She concludes that the story is being pushed by reporters "biased against trump" for the sole purpose of trying to get Trump on something since the Russia scandal purportedly isn't panning out:
One biased-against-Trump reporter insisted that Sanders answer her question about Trump's accusers, "because this is spinning and it's focused on him now and--"
Sanders interrupted, noting that Trump has already addressed the issue directly with the American people.
The reporter persisted: "But will he -- it's coming up new and afresh and more people are now speaking out. Will...the president address the nation on this? This is a huge issue, Sarah," the reporter insisted.
As Trump himself noted, that other huge issue -- the special counsel's investigation into the Trump campaign's possible coordination with Russia -- so far has produced no clear evidence implicating the president, which seems to be the point of the investigation.
So cue the Trump accusers...
Again, the complete opposite of the way CNS and the MRC has portrayed Clinton's accusers, which it has never accused of being political pawns though they were certainly no less so than CNS and the MRC accuse Trump's accusers of being.
Being a CNS reporter, it seems, means never having to be held to journalistic standards.
At CNS, Winning Trumps Conservative Beliefs Topic: CNSNews.com
Surprisingly, the Trump stenographers at CNSNews.com found something to dislike about the Republican tax bill: it lowers the maximum age a child is eligible to be counted for the child tax credit from 18 to 17. CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey laid this out in an overly dramatic way in a Dec. 17 article, using language and a headline -- "Republican Tax Bill Says Your 16-Year-Old Won’t Be Your Child Next Year" to bizarrely suggest that the government was going to actually take custody of your children:
The final version of the Republican tax bill released by a congressional conference committee on Friday holds that your 16-year-old child who is living in your home this year and attending high school will no longer be your child next year—even if they continue living in your home and attending high school.
That is because they will turn 17--the age at which the Republican congressional leadership has decided American parents should no longer be able to claim a child tax credit for their child.
This is in contrast to the version of the bill that passed the Senate, which, through 2024 at least, would have allowed parents to claim the child tax credit for their children until they turned 18.
Your newborn, who will be eligible under the final Republican bill for an increased “child” tax credit next year, will no longer be eligible for that increased credit when he or she is 9 years old--because the increased credit will disappear after 2025.
Jeffrey's concern over this provision didn't stop CNS from enthusiastically promoting the tax bill -- as Trump stenographers, they are highly invested in helping Trump score a legislative victory. It touted a (unsubstantiated) claim that the bill had bipartisan input, gave Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin a platform to promote the bill, and promoted a Republican congressman's promotion of the bill, as well as Paul Ryan's shilling for it.
Interestingly, none of those articles mentioned Jeffrey's concern about the child tax credit change, even though they were all written after Jeffrey's article was published.
When the tax bill did pass, Jeffrey's article on it curiously failed to mention his own previous concerns about the child tax credit, instead cheering about how the bill "kills that individual mandate to buy health insurance" under the Affordable Care Act. So much for principled outrage.
And after the bill fully passed Congress, Susan Jones gushed about the "vintage Trump press conference" held afterward, with a headline that summed things up: "Trump: 'It's Always a Lot of Fun When You Win'." She also didn't mention the child tax credit her boss was worked up about just a few days earlier.
Winning is all that matters, apparently, and Jeffrey and CNS ultimately care more about making sure Trump wins than holding to any conservative convictions they may have claimed to have.
For CNS Managing Editor, It's Homophobia For the Holidays Topic: CNSNews.com
Michael W. Chapman, the rabidly anti-gay managing editor of CNSNews.com, has struck again. He devotes a Dec. 20 blog post to whining about a new book that "tells the story of a black Santa, his white husband, and their life in the North Pole," complaining that it arrives "just in time to further sexualize (and homosexualize) children."
After quoting the book's author stating how its aim is to mock the "war on Christmas" meme promoted every year by conservatives, Chapman huffs: "Apparently, depicting two 'married' male Santas who presumably anally sodomize each other as pretend-love -- and deliver gifts to children! -- is in no way an attack on Christmas." Looks like someone isn't getting the joke. (And how does Chapman know that gay relationships are "pretend-love"? Has he ever talked to a gay person in his life?)
Chapman concludes his tirade by huffing, "Maybe next Christmas the publisher Harper Collins can gift the world with a transgender Santa." Given that such a book will most certainly set off humorless homophobes like Chapman into paroxysms of rage -- a perverse entertainment unto itself -- we wouldn't be surprised if that's in the works.
CNS Managing Editor Lets Donohue Lie About Catholic Sexual Abuse Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has a new client for its stenography services: The Catholic League's Bill Donohue. Remember that CNS' publisher, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, is on the Catholic League's board of advisers probably has something to do with the whole stenography thing -- not that CNS is disclosing this conflict of interest to its readers.
CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman is Donohue's personal stenographer. In a Dec. 14 post, he let Donohue rant about a son succeeding his father as New York Times publisher, making the bizarre complaint that "no women were interviewed for the top spot." No women were interviewed either for the top spot in the Catholic Church the last time that job opened up, but we don't recall Donohue complaining about that.
On Dec. 18, Chapman was the servile stenographer for another Donohue rant, this time about the Boston Globe -- who in Chapman's words "has turned stories about child sexual abuse by Catholic priests into a cottage industry-- not publishing the names of staff members accused of sexual harassment. Donohue ultimately huffs, "We need Hollywood to do a 'Spotlight' film on the corruption within the Boston Globe," forgetting that a couple instances of sexual harassment at a newspaper have nothing whatsoever in common with the decades of systematically covering up sexual abuse of children in the Boston diocese.
Speaking of which, Chapman was the silent stenographer again for another post in which Donahue ranted about too many gays in the priesthood and blaming them for the sexual abuse crisis:
"Though it is not considered polite to say so, most people know that homosexuals are responsible for the lion's share of the problem in the Catholic Church," said Donohue. "This includes those who insist they are gay-friendly."
"We do know that in the U.S., 81 percent of the clergy victims were male, and 78 percent were post-pubescent, meaning that homosexuals committed most of the abuse," said Donohue, "less than 5 percent of the abusers were determined to be pedophiles (see the John Jay College of Criminal Justice reports on this subject)."
"What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse," said Margaret Smith, a researcher from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which is conducting an independent study of sexual abuse in the priesthood from 1950 up to 2002. "At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse."
A second researcher, Karen Terry, also cautioned the bishops against making a correlation between homosexuality in the priesthood and the high incidence of abuse by priests against boys rather than girls -- a ratio found to be about 80-20.
"It's important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior," Terry said. "Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity." Terry said factors such as greater access to boys is one reason for the skewed ratio. Smith also raised the analogy of prison populations where homosexual behavior is common even though the prisoners are not necessarily homosexuals, or cultures where men are rigidly segregated from women until adulthood, and homosexual activity is accepted and then ceases after marriage.
Donohue frequently lies about this, so you'd think Chapman would want to fact-check his claims instead of playing the servile stenographer. But we know fact-checking the things conservatives say -- particularly conservatives who are friends with the boss -- is not a big priority at Chapman's CNS.