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Wednesday, January 17, 2018
CNS Still Violating MRC's Standards On How A 'News' Outlet Should Behave
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last April, we caught CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey making the argument that President Trump's proposed multibillion-dollar border wall cost only "0.035 percent of what the federal government will spend in total this year" -- despite Jeffrey's co-workers at the Media Research Center attacking liberals for making the same comparative-spending argument to preserve funding for arts, humanities and public broadcasting.

Jeffrey trotted out that same argument again in a Jan. 9 CNS article:

President Donald Trump’s current border wall proposal would cost $18 billion over the next ten years, according to an estimate U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent to members of Congress last week.

“The Trump administration is asking Congress for nearly $18 billion to construct more than 700 miles of new and replacement barriers along the Southwest border, its most detailed description yet of the president’s vision of a wall separating the U.S. from Mexico,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

That $18 billion would equal just 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period.

It also equals only 2.7 percent of the money the federal government will spend on the food stamp program (the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”), which will eat up $679 billion in the ten fiscal years from 2018 through 2027, according to CBO’s estimate.

The $679 billion the CBO estimates the federal government will spend on food stamps during that ten years is 37.7 times as much as the $18 billion it would spend on President Trump’s proposed border wall.

At the same time, the $18 billion required for the border wall would equal a mere 0.34 percent of the $5.232 trillion CBO estimates that the federal government will spend on Medicaid over the next ten years.

While the nation is preparing to spend a total of $6.838 trillion on national defense over the next ten years, according to CBO, the $18 billion that President Trump would like to see dedicated to defending the U.S.-Mexico border with a wall would equal only 0.26 percent of that.

Again, we see that the MRC has very different standards for the "news" operation it runs than for the "liberal media" it's constantly dictating to. If CNS actually followed its parent's standards, the MRC might have a little more credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:47 PM EST
WND Pretends Its Lack Of Credibility Isn't To Blame For Its Financial Woes
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's latest warning of an "existential threat" appears to have had the desired effect: It seems to have raised most or all of the $100,000 it claims it needed by the end of January to stay in business.

WND editor Joseph Farah started his Jan. 11 column with a ridiculous "It's A Wonderful Life" analogy, then declared: "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I never realized I had so many friends – real friends, the kind that rush to your side when you’re in trouble. We thank God for you – and you are the answer to my fervent, tear-filled-eyes, on-my-knees prayers." He added, "Elizabeth and I could have cashed out when times were good, retired with millions of dollars in the bank and enjoyed our old age together. But we had a mission – to seek the Truth with a capital T, to bring you the news the fake media wouldn’t and to do it all within a Judeo-Christian worldview."

A Jan. 15 email by Farah to WND's mailing list expanded on the reasons it claims are "the primary causes of our situation":

  • There was a day, not long ago, when every time WND broke news you could find it high atop the Google search results. But Google continuously alters its search algorithms specifically to penalize independent news operations like WND. That negatively impacts traffic and revenues. Google also is the gateway to most advertising dollars on the Net. You could say, without exaggeration, it operates like a monopoly driven by left-wing political and cultural activism. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a powerful, exclusive WND story ranked on Google’s news pages.
  • Likewise, Facebook drives enormous amounts of traffic – but its owners don’t like driving it to sites like WND. Imagine trying to compete in a game where the rules keep changing specifically to put you at a disadvantage. That’s what Google and Facebook do to WND and other independent news sources.
  • And, as everyone knows, Amazon, the owners of the Washington Post, has gobbled up much of the e-commerce business not only nationally, but internationally. For 20 years, WND relied on its own e-commerce business to sustain us. Yet, the reality is, month by month, Amazon grabs a bigger percentage of all retail e-commerce activity. 

Farah is silent on what may very well be the actual cause of WND's situation: It doesn't care about the truth. It's not trusted, and it's not credible. We've recounted the false, misleading and utterly fake news WND has published in just the past few years. It does not tell the truth, in either the uppercase or lowercase varieties. It can't even be bothered to do something so simple and logical as to renounce Paul Nehlen, an author it published and promoted who has since been revealed to have white nationalist and anti-Semitic sentiments.

That complete lack of credibility is directly linked to the first two problems Farah cites. Google is not ranking WND highly not because it's "independent" but because it's not trustworthy. Same for Facebook driving traffic elsewhere. It's telling that even with Facebook's problems with promoting fake news, WND couldn't get a toehold.

Still ignoring those credibility problems, Farah says he needs more money:

We have some exciting plans we want to launch – a redesigned website that is innovative and blazingly responsive, blockbuster investigative reporting projects that take time and money, as well as cost-savings that better technology can bring us. But everything costs.

I waited too long to ask for your help a week ago. I don’t want to make that mistake again. So, this week, I’m coming back to our friends and partners with a new two-week campaign to raise another $125,000. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of one-time donations in amounts ranging from $3 to $1,000. And those are ever so helpful. But for those able to make a longer term commitment to WND, I’m asking for you to become a sustainer of WND with monthly contributions. It would only take 1,000 people making a $100 monthly commitment to get us where we need to go – or 4,000 people making a $25 monthly commitment. Don’t worry, you can cancel any time if your personal financial situation changes.

Can you be one of those partners? 

Unless and until Farah can prove WND is worthy of being saved -- by apologizing for WND's legacy of fake news and publicly distancing itself from Paul Nehlen, to name just two easy things that would go a long way toward proving that -- readers should be wary of offering support.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Pushes Dumb Statistical Comparison
Topic: CNSNews.com

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:46 PM EST
Leo Hohmann Leaves Cash-Strapped WND With A Flurry of Muslim-Hate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leo Hohmann appears to be one of the WorldNetDaily employees editor Joseph Farah has intimated was laid off or let go due to its current financial crisis; his last byline was Jan. 7. Hohmann stayed true, though, serving as WND's resident Muslim-hater to the very end.

A Dec. 26 article by Hohmann carried thet headline "U.S. woman stabbed 14 times by Somali migrant, media go dark." Hohmann latched onto an unsubstantiated description of the alleged assailant as a "Somali" and ranted that the media wasn't covering that angle, lashing out in particular at a local newspaper that "did not return WND’s calls Tuesday to inquire about why it went dark on such a brutal, unprovoked attack on a defenseless, unarmed woman walking home from work."

Indeed, Hohmann initially only identified the assailant as "black" and did not explain how he made the leap from "bnlack" to "Somali," let alone what the supposed identifying characteristics of a "Somali" are. Nevertheless, he then served up a list of unrelated crimes that somehow proved in his mind that the stabbing incident "continues a pattern of Somali crimes being covered up, downplayed, lightly investigated and eventually falling off the radar in Minnesota."

Hohmann followed up with a Jan. 3 article that included a clip of an TV interview with the victim, which according to him she described as "a black man in his early 20s, thin build, low-cut afro and a slight Somali accent." But according to the reporter in the TV interview, the description is of "black, mostly likely Somali with a slight accent" -- a slight but important difference showing that Hohmann's eagerness to impugn an entire country's immigrants over the act of a person who may not even be from there is driven by hate rather than any sense of justice.

Hohmann went on to criticized supposed "sloppy police activity" and complain that "police have still not released a composite sketch of the suspect, which would seem to be a normal course of action in a case like this."Hwe then trots out fellow Muslim-hater and adulterer John Guandolo spitting that "Minneapolis police and the sheriff’s office there are so in bed with the jihadis they don’t know which way is up."

Hohmann's most recent -- and, it appears, final -- byline for WND was a Jan. 7 article complaining that  the name "Mohamed" came in third in the list of top baby names at one Minnesota hospital. Hohmann goes on to quote a man named Ron Branstner, whome he describes only as an "area resident," complaining about all the Somalis. In fact, he's a noted "anti-Islam and anti-refugee" activist so extreme -- he loves to rant that the United Nations sends Muslim refugees to the U.S. as "to divide and conquer, get rid of our Constitution, get rid of our way of life and implement it with another way of life called ... sharia law!" -- a speech he was to give was canceled when sponsors realized who he is.

So, in the end, it appears that funding -- and not the fact that he hates Muslims so much he falsely blamed them for a measles epidemic and lied about the makers of Chobani yogurt and its hiring of mostly Muslim refugees to such an extent that his articles had to be corrected months after the fact following what we can safely assume was a not-so-friendly phone call from Chobani's lawyers -- has caused Hohmann's tenure at WND to end with a quiet whimper. Sorta ironic, dontcha think?

UPDATE: Turns out Branstner isn't a Minnesota "area resident" at all -- he's from California. And he gets stuff wrong too. Hohmann won't be telling anyone at WND, or wherever he ends up, about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:57 PM EST
MRC Is Weirdly Sensitive About Idea That Reagan Had Alzheimer's Symptoms While President
Topic: Media Research Center

Last fall, the Media Research Center had a weird little freakout over the idea that Ronald Reagan might have been suffering from symptoms of Alzheimer's disease while president, calling anyone who would raise the issue "deranged" -- even though Reagan's son, Ron Reagan Jr., has said he observed possible early signs of the disease in his father.

The MRC continues to be bizarrely sensitive about the issue, however. Curtis Houck put the word "disgusting" in the headline of his Jan. 8 post attacking a couple of people on MSNBC for talking about it:

Continuing the liberal media’s insistence that they can diagnose someone as mentally or physically ill, Monday’s Deadline: White House on MSNBC featured detestable liberal Republicans Nicolle Wallace and David Jolly asserting that Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer’s while president to the point that he may have been unfit for office.

[...]

Wallace used the late Michael Deaver (and YouTube videos) as her main sources for claims Reagan having Alzheimer’s while in office, wondering to Jolly if Trump knew about Reagan while tweeting over the weekend: “I don't know if the President doesn't know, has never heard Michael Deavers — the late Michael Deaver post-White House really heartfelt, really honest, really frank articulations of what it was like to see Ronald Reagan age.”

“I wondered today, rereading Donald Trump's tweets about Reagan, if he knew that Ronald Reagan was suspected to have had the early signs of Alzheimer's during his second term as President,” she concluded.

[...]

Bill O’Reilly made this claim in his much-maligned book Killing Reagan and it drew widespread condemnation. At the time, George Will penned an absolutely scathing takedown on the book, including the portions about Regan having Alzheimer’s while in office.

Reagan biographer Craig Shirley trashed the book as “garbage” and “total B.S.” for peddling such views. Reagan library executive director John Heubusch said the book was “a disservice to history.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Lee Edwards addressed Reagan’s health in reviewing a Shirley book, writing in 2015 that Reagan “had no serious health problems before his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 1994.”

When Reagan’s son Ron alleged the same in 2011, his half-brother Michael denied the claim by arguing that Ron “was an embarrassment to his father when he was alive and today he became an embarrassment to his mother.”

Houck didn't mention that all of those deniers are Reagan hagiographers who have a vested interest in bending history to obscure the idea that Reagan might have had health problems while in office. And Michael Reagan insulting his half-brother is evidence of absolutely nothing.

Then, in a Jan. 12 post, Kyle Drennen attacked CBS' Dr. John LaPook for accurately stating that "there are questions about whether Ronald Reagan had symptoms of Alzheimer’s while in office." Drennen retorted: "The claim about Reagan has been repeatedly dispelled by experts of his presidency. George Will denounced the notion as 'slander' in a 2015 Washington Post column. Reagan biographer Craig Shirley called it 'total B.S.'" Like Houck, Drennen didn't admit that Will and Shirley are Reagan hagiographers.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EST
Monday, January 15, 2018
Irony: WND Columnist Complains About Media Deception
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Tomczak's Jan. 8 WorldNetDaily column is headlined "Why media deliberately deceive you." How ironic, giving that WND is one of the foremost peddlers of fake news and misinformation in America.

Needless to say, Tomczak does not call out the publisher of his column, presumably because he would like to continue to be published. Instead, he complains that movies based on real people don't stick to what he thinks should be said about them. First, he huffed that "The Darkest Hour," the film about Winston Churchill, has a scene that "erroneously depicts him as uncertain of the direction to take and needing to poll citizens on a subway before deciding what to do. This is blatantly false because Churchill was a man of steely conviction who never wavered in his resolve to stop Hitler."

Next, Tomczak complained that  a new film about Tonya Harding tried to "sympathetically present her as a somewhat victimized woman who unfortunately got mixed up with the wrong crowd and subsequently fell short in her quest. The truth is, Tonya Harding was out-of-control and squandered her opportunities because she made deliberate choices to get involved with low-lifers who discussed killing her nemesis." Then he served up revisionist history on another story:

The film, “The Post” with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep portrays them as champions at the Washington Post publishing top secret Pentagon papers revealing U.S. government lies about the Vietnam War. What is blatantly false is piling on President Nixon as a sinister villain, when in actuality he sought legal recourse to prevent publishing sensitive confidential information that would harm our diplomatic standing as we tried to extricate America from an unpopular war. He tried to protect Democrats LBJ and JFK whom the papers revealed as misleading the masses.

In fact, the Supreme Court found that the government failed to prove its case that publication of the Pentagon Papers harmed national security.

Tomczak then grumbled: "In the coming days, I fully expect Hollywood to release a big budget film depicting the life of former President Barack Obama in the most glowing, flattering way imaginable. For those who 'have ears to hear,' I offer '10 Reasons Why Barack Obama Was Our Worst President' as a factual rebuttal." That article, on Tomczak's personal website, mostly attacks Obama as a "counterfeit" Christian who failed to hate gays as much as Tomczak does and repeats other right-wing Obama-hating talking points.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EST
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 two articles 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EST
WND Still Doing Joe Arpaio's Bidding
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Perhaps one reason that WorldNetDaily is teetering on financial ruin is because of its unusually close relationship with unsavory types.

WND was so tight with then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio that not only was it able to maneuver Arpaio into launching that bogus, biased "cold case posse" looking into President Obama's birth certificate, it was able to slip then-WND reporter Jerome Corsi onto it (who, as a birther dead-ender, did nothing to help the posse's credibility).

Having finally lost re-election to his sheriff post after too much corruption, Arpaio is now running for the Republican nomination to a Senate seat in Arizona. And WND is there to lionize him some more. Cue stenography by WND's Bob Unruh in a Jan. 9 article:

He set up work camps for jail inmates and clothed them in pink during his decades as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. He also fought on the front lines of the war against illegal aliens entering the United States and sued Barack Obama over the issue.

Now he wants to take his no-nonsense approach to government to Washington to help President Trump.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an octogenarian who has stated repeatedly that he’s not done being a public servant, announced Tuesday he’s seeking to replace outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz..

“Moments ago, I filed the paperwork to run for United States Senate in Arizona to fill the seat that Jeff Flake is leaving behind,” he wrote in an email. “This is NOT going to be easy, and I pray to have your continued support today on DAY ONE of my campaign.”

Unruh whitewashed Arpaio's legacy of corruption by claiming that he merely "went too far trying to protect Americans from illegal aliens."

Shortly after that article was published, it was followed by another one, this one anonymously written, declaring that "It took only a few hours after self-described “America’s toughest sheriff” Joe Arpaio announced his bid for the U.S. Senate to move into a statistical tie with the front-runner." 

This article was largely a rehash of Unruh's article, including his proud delcaration that Arpaio "was behind the only official law-enforcement investigation of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. His investigators concluded that the birth certificate Obama presented at the White House as an official government document almost certainly is a forgery." No mention, of course,of how WND worked with Arpaio to sleaze into existence, or how that so-called investigation's findings have been completely discredited.

Of course, another reason WND is teetering on financial ruin is that it refuses to tell its readers the truth about Arpaio, his corruption and his bogus birther investigation.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EST
Sunday, January 14, 2018
'Barf': MRC Researchers Get Even More Unprofessional
Topic: Media Research Center

There's always been a streak of unprofessionalism running through the Media Research Center -- remember when MRC chief Brent Bozell called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead"? -- most recently reveling in the personal issues of people it hates.

That snide unprofessionalism pops up again in a Jan. 3 post by the MRC's Scott Whitlock in which he rants about the new movie "The Post" for being positive about the power of journalism. The headline on his post actually starts out with the word "Barf."

Yep, crude insults are a surefire way to argue a point about "media bias."

Whitlock doesn't do much in the way of fact-checking in his post -- indeed, he challenges none of the history in "The Post" movie -- but does a bit of lame whataboutism in whining that ">there's no film exposing actions such as Barack Obama spying on Fox News reporter James Rosen or how the ex-president derailed a government effort to stop Hezbollah’s trafficking of cocaine. But, then, Obama is a Democrat."

Whitlock also whined that "there are almost NO Republicans in The Post and the film is mostly a conversation between the left and the center-left." As if it mattered what political persuasion one was during the Pentagon Papers incident, which is what "The Post" is about.

The "barf" comment, besides being unprofessional, shows just how little the MRC cares for the media, and its desire to silence any voice that does not spout pro-Trump talking points 24-7.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 14, 2018 10:16 PM EST
WND's Farah Hypocritically Complains About Intellectual Property Abuse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah complains in his Jan. 7 column:

If you or I committed plagiarism, or facilitated another’s act of plagiarism, we wouldn’t get away with it.

And that’s good. That’s right.

But if a mega-corporation like Facebook did, it would. In fact, it does.

Let me explain how.

I’m going to give you one example with all the vital details. I’m going to name names, so there’s no doubt about whether I’m speaking in theoretical terms, making stuff up or, as we say now, just creating “fake news.”

The example I’m going to provide is hardly the only instance I’ve seen on Facebook. I will tell you in advance that I have taken all the steps Facebook recommends in its processes to protect intellectual property claims with little success. That’s why I think it’s fair to say that Facebook does not really put a high priority on fighting violations of intellectual property rights for a corporation with the resources to do it right.

There’s a Facebook page under the name Atticus Howard that has a history of copying my verbatim writings and posting them without attribution, without links, without credit of any kind. I don’t know if the Facebook page is monetized by the person responsible, but I know Facebook is a super big business that is monetized in the extreme by all of its users – one way or another.

You know who else monetizes the stolen intellectual property of others? Joseph Farah.

Virtually every day of WND's existence, employees of Farah's website copies and pastes the first few paragraphs of articles from other news organizations into articles at WND. While WND links to and credits the source article, there's no evidence that WND seeks permission from or compensates the sources for its use of the article, since WND is not a member of any news or information syndicator.

In the past, Farah has insisted that WND is merely engaging in "fair use" through such practices. Still, as a copy-and-paste job done for the benefit of a private, pro-profit enterprise, the practice adds no value -- it's just straight theft, and announcing from whom it's being stolen is hardly a mitigating factor. It may not be illegal, but it is certain unethical to take another's intellectual property without permission for your own for-profit use.

Farah's criticism of being plagiarized is ironic given how WND has had issues with plagiarism over the years -- the most embarrassing example being a 2011 WND-commissioned report attacking Obama, which it claimed was conducted by "trusted Kenyan professionals" but turned out to be largely plagiarized from news articles. WND has also been a promoter of alt-right figure Jack Posobiec, who has been caught plagiarizing the work of others.

It might be possible to feel for Farah and WND over his intellectual-property issues, the thing we're feeling the most is karma.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EST
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Pro-Trump Newsmax Writers Defend Trump's Sanity
Topic: Newsmax

As questions about President Trump's mental fitness began to swell in the wake of Michael Wolff's book, two of his biggest buddies and boosters -- both tied to Newsmax -- knew it was time to come to his defense.

First, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy went on CNN to vouch for Trump's sanity, while also humble-bragging about how much he hangs out with the president:

"I was with the president in early December, and I spent an hour and a half with him in the private residence, and the conversation was terrific," said Ruddy. "He was not repeating things."

Ruddy mentioned he also was joined by a mutual friend, a respected medical doctor.

"He had no belief and view that the president was mentally incompetent and unfit. This is just an absurdity and it's really trash, actually," Ruddy said.

Ruddy also noted that he first met Trump 20 years ago, and has been around him often this past year, adding that Trump is not "psychologically unfit or has 'lost it,'” as Wolff claims.

Ruddy added that he saw Trump "every other day" over a 10-day period during the Christmas holidays, and talked with him numerous times.

“He was remembering things, he was on point, he was following up on discussions," said Ruddy. "I brought to the golf club a well-respected New York Times reporter who had a half-hour sit-down interview with him, Michael Schmidt ... but I don't believe Michael walked out and said, 'This man is crazy, this man is unfit.'"

Then Ron Kessler -- who helped build the foundation for Trump's political ambitions as a Newsmax writer -- went on Newsmax TV (while once again failing to be identified as a former Newsmax employee)  to trash Wolff's book while promoting his own Trump-fluffing book:

My book is about unique access to Trump and his aides. In fact, I interviewed him last weekend the night before the Mar-a-Lago New Year's Eve party and he was perfectly normal, on top of everything. He said that this interview he's giving me is the only interview he's doing for a book or will do for a book. And I obviously don't want to go into a lot of detail about my book coming out April 3 -- "Inside the Trump White House: Changin the Rules of the Game" -- oreven the Michael Wolff book, which I will be going into with the inside story of how that book was done, but I do have a personal experience that I can share with you about the book.

Kessler later claims that his book is "the real story of Trump and his presidency, and it's something that you can bank on." Given the absurd amount of Trump-fluffing Kessler has done over the past two decades, we somehow doubt that.

(Photo: Ronald Kessler and his wife, Pamela, with Donald Trump, from Kessler's 1999 book "The Season," in which he actually wrote of Trump: "His typical facial expression is to set his mouth in a moue, somewhere between a pucker and a pout. It says, 'I'm a handsome guy. I'm going to WIN.'")


Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 AM EST
WND's Rush Doesn't Need Evidence To Call Trump Sex Accusers Liars
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Erik Rush's Jan. 3 WorldNetDaily column is largely paranoid ranting about how President Trump, "as the consummate capitalist, represents a symbolic as well as an existential threat to the elite-run oligarchical collectivist model the political establishment is attempting to install in America." But the column is headlined "Trump sex accusers' crimes and the fake-scandal racket," and Rush makes sure to go there by, yes, claiming without evidence that Trump's accusers are making things up for money:

Among the most widespread animadversions cast in Donald Trump’s direction has been the claim that he is a misogynist and/or a sexual predator of some sort. Although this backfired during the 2016 campaign when Trump’s political enemies proved incapable of finding any women able to corroborate these charges out of the thousands with whom Trump has worked and employed over decades, they obviously have not given up.

One of the prominent stories in the current news cycle has become that of Trump’s political enemies having conspired during the campaign to financially compensate prospective Trump accusers for their testimony against him. As reported in the New York Times last week, celebrity lawyer Lisa Bloom, who was working with a number of prospective Trump accusers, received at least $500,000 from donors supporting Hillary Clinton during the campaign to this end. Among them was Susie Tompkins Buell, founder of Esprit Clothing and a long-time Clinton donor. According to the Times, Bloom reportedly solicited donors by saying that she was working with women who might “find the courage to speak out” against Trump if the donors would provide funds for them.

Bloom, daughter of the equally odious celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, was largely responsible for employing similarly unethical methods to oust Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly last spring.

This is not only illustrative of the lack of scruples evidenced by people like Lisa Bloom, but it is also illegal. Such action-conspiring with individuals to proffer false testimony against another in a legal proceeding falls well within the purview of anti-conspiracy statutes and should be prosecuted accordingly, as is the case when members of organized crime do likewise. More importantly, it is essential to recognize that any rationalization or justification for going after Trump in this manner represents the culture of abject lawlessness described earlier.

As I pointed out last November, once again, we have liars, cheats and thieves with law degrees abetted by other liars, cheats and thieves with law degrees, all of whom are well-acquainted with the most effective ways to skirt – or break – the law. The government-media complex, which repeatedly overlooked dozens of crimes committed by the previous administration and its surrogates, nevertheless holds out the vain hope that an undoctored photo of Trump handing Russian President Vladimir Putin a fat check or raping someone on the Capitol steps at High Noon will eventually materialize.

Barring that, it’s become evident that they intend to simply make something up.

Still more important is the realization that the willingness of the political establishment to engage in these tactics illustrates how none of this is about Trump at all. We are indeed in the midst of a carefully crafted, protracted political coup of the foulest order, orchestrated by individuals no less vile and acrimonious than the old Soviet apparatchiks who enslaved generations of people during the last century.

Rush, meanwhile, would never apply the same logic to Bill Clinton, given that some of Bill Clinton's accusers got paid off. He would never concede that many of the people promoting Clibnton's accusers were "liars, cheats and thieves with law degrees." He would never say that Clinton's sex scandals were never about Clinton at all but about a "political coup." 

It appears that Rush is pathologically devoted to protecting Trump, facts be damned.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Friday, January 12, 2018
CNS Editor Perpetuates Misinformation About Planned Parenthood
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has a long, sad history 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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST
WND Still Freaking Out About Fixed Antiquties Destroyed By ISIS
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has a weird niche of freaking out over reproductions of ancient artifacts destroyed by ISIS -- but downplaying that fact and ludicrously portraying it as a revival of pagan worship. That freakout and downplaying continues over the latest project, the reconstruction of a lion statue ISIS destroyed when it invaded Palmyra, Syria (where ISIS also destroyed an ancient temple, and whose arch reproduction sent WND on its original freakout).

A Jan. 2 WND article by Bob Unruh complains that "a third project is nearing completion, and it again has a theme of pagan gods," though he only describes the project at first as "a statue of a lion." He eventually identifies it as the Lion of al-Lat, but even he can't figure out just how pagan it is, conceding that "There are several trains of thought regarding al-Lat.

Unruh mentions only in passing that the statue was "damaged by ISIS," but he doesn't admit that the reproduction was completed three months ago, meaning Unruh is a little late to this story. Instead, he quotes a Daniel Ashur, member of Israel's self-proclaimed Sanhedrin -- whose extremism WND has previously praised -- to freak out about the "alarming series of events, meaning the statue's reconstruction. He apparently did not consider ISIS' wanton destruction of a priceless piece of antiquity to be alarming.

Because UNESCO helped fund the restoration, Unruh uncritically quoted Ashur ranting that the restortation was some sort of anti-Israel New World Order maneuver, despite the fact that the statue has nothing whatsoever to do with Israel:

“The entire mission of the organization is to blur the differences between the nations in order to bring them all under one roof and one authority in a New World Order,” he said. “The truth is, as the Bible says, there are 70 distinct nations. The U.N. believes they can create nations out of thin air. Once they do that, they can say that there are many gods, even ones you can create by 3-D printing.”

He pointed out the U.N.’s long-standing and dominant anti-Israel bias. After all, it has voted to condemn the state of Israel more than all of the human rights offenders around the globe combined.

“Because Israel stands as proof of what a nation is and the concept of one God, the U.N. has a vendetta against Israel and is irrationally biased against us,” Rabbi Assur explained to BIN.

“They have a messianic vision of a unified government that will fix the world without God and without the Torah. This has always been the goal of idolatry, beginning with Egypt and continuing with the attempts of Rome and Greece to spread paganism across the world. Now we are seeing its modern manifestation.”

He warned: “The New World Order promotes that everything is one, genders are all the same, there are no borders between nations. They believe everything is one, except God.”

The fact that WND gives an uncritical platform to this kind of paranoid, fact-free ranting -- not to mention falsely reporting the motives behind these restorations and reconstructions, giving the unmistakable impression that it's on the side of ISIS in destroying priceless antiquties -- is one reason it's in deep financial trouble.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Thursday, January 11, 2018
NewsBusters Blogger Pretends Trump Isn't Riding Coattails of Obama's Economy
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer, in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post, is very upset that a Politico article would point out the obvious and note that the good economic numbers President Trump is taking credit for are a continuation of the grtowing economy under President Obama:

So Trump supposedly inherited reasonably strong or tolerable growth, job creation, wages, and stock market performance. That's all so wrong it's very hard for me to keep from laughing.

Let's also be clear, because the Politico pair aggressively tried to muddy the waters with meaningless comparisons to Obama's first year: What matters is what kind of momentum and accumulated damage Obama bequeathed to his successor. It's clear that Trump got an unprecedented amount of the latter, principally a mountainous national debt, massive over-regulation, and the monstrosity known as Obamacare, and very little of the former, which will be discussed in the rest of this post.

Start with growth. Our 44th president's economy turned in average annualized growth of 1.5 percent during his administration's final six quarters:

Exactly how is the growth of above 3 percent seen in the second and third quarters of this year "squarely built" on six quarters of growth which averaged barely half of that? The obvious answer is that it isn't. (Who "owns" the first quarter of 2017 is subject to debate, but if one thinks it belongs to Obama, then the seven-quarter average rounds down to 1.5 percent.)

We also should not forget that several economists were trying to manage expectations for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's continuation of Obama's high-regulation, slow-growth economy by claiming that the best level of growth the U.S. economy could achieve would be 2 percent from here on out.

Now let's look at job creation. The Politico pair overlooked two important things.

The first is that there has been a decided change in the mix of full-time and part-time jobs added this year compared to 2016 — and it has been towards full-time employment:

The clear shift towards full-time employment is an indication of greater business confidence in the Trump administration after it inherited a business environment sorely lacking it.

The second is that the government may be understating this year's level of job creation. That's because ADP's private-sector jobs estimate shows 2.296 million jobs added during the first 11 months of the year, which is 422,000 more than the 1.874 million reported by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics. If ADP is right — and it may very well be, because its methodology appears to give it a better chance of detecting job creation at startup and emerging companies on a timely basis than BLS — the difference of roughly 38,000 jobs per month would bring Trump's monthly average per the Establishment Survey of employer payrolls to 212,000, well above the 2016 average of 187,000.

As to wages, increases in average hourly pay haven't improved, but thanks to the heavier concentration of full-time jobs, the average work week has nudged up a bit, leading to a larger increase in average weekly pay during the past 12 months than that seen during calendar 2016:

To be clear, this year's performance in this area hasn't been satisfactory, but it's an improvement, especially compared to the 2.3 percent compound growth in weekly earnings seen during the last six years of the Obama administration.

[...]

Thus, it's obvious that Donald Trump inherited no meaningful "legacy" of economic momentum from Barack Obama. Though Politico reporters White and Cook, and others in the establishment press, will no doubt continue brazenly pretending otherwise, no one should be fooled.

For all of Blumer's bluster, at no point does he name any specific economic policy detail Trump has implemented that he can directly attribute to the improved 2017 numbers. That tells us Blumer just can't admit that it really is Obama's economic momentum for which Trump is taking credit.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 PM EST

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