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Saturday, February 3, 2018
Where Are They Now? Working At Breitbart And Buying Twitter Followers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We haven't heard much from Aaron Klein around these parts since he departed WorldNetDaily for Breitbart in 2015. We did notice he got shipped to Alabama last fall to pull a Weinstein on the women who accused Roy Moore of perving on them as teenagers by trying to dig up dirt on them, but that's about it.

It turns out, however, that this wasn't the only shameful behavior Klein has engaged in. The New York Times recently reported on companies who sell Twitter followers -- at least some of which are stolen identities -- to clients willing to pay them for the privilege of pumping up their follower count, with particular focus on a company called Devumi. And guess who is among those clients?

The Times reports that "Aaron Klein, a radio talk show host and the Jerusalem bureau chief for Breitbart News, bought at least 35,000 followers from Devumi, according to records. A Times analysis found that the majority of his followers were bots." The Times also charts the "unusual patterns" in how he accumulated his followers, particularly the presence of a known fake follower that appears in numerous accounts.

As we noted when Breitbart hired him (without, apparently, looking very closely into his work for WND), Klein has a bad habit of playing fast and loose with the facts. It seems some things haven't changed.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EST
Friday, February 2, 2018
With Its SOTU Coverage, CNS Is A Total Trump Suck-Up
Topic: CNSNews.com

Being the loyal Trump stenographers they are, the crew at CNSNews.com turned the sycophancy on full-blast for its coverage of President Trump's State of the Union address.

First, in a combination of padding and ego-stroking, CNS cranked out a whopping seven articles on the speech itself and things directly related to it when they could have been combined into one or two:

CNS followed this with an article parroting Paul Ryan's praise of the speech, followed by an article about how "conservative leaders" loved the speech.

From there, CNS goes into attack mode, courtesy of a couple of sneering opinion pieces presented as "news" by Susan Jones, who's prone to this sort of thing. In the first, Jones takes a shot at the ACLU because "The American Civil Liberties Union -- note the word 'American' in its title -- complained Tuesday night about President Trump's repeated use of the word "America" in his State of the Union speech" because Trump's vision of America is dramartically different from that of most people. Jones' idea of a response is to rehash Trump's proposed immigration policy. This was accompanied by a reposting of a 2014 article by editor Terry Jeffrey complaining that President Obama "used the first person singular--including the pronouns 'I' and 'me' and the adjective 'my'--199 times" in a speech. (CNS had a thing about counting Obama's words.)

In the second, Jones recounts a Fox News segment in which Tucker Carlson bashed a Democratic congressman who left the chair next to him at the speech empty in honor of an Ohio resident who was deported, cheering how Carlson was "cutting off [the congressman] with the video equivalent of a mic drop."

That's the way "journalism" works at CNS these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EST
Updated: Friday, February 2, 2018 8:58 PM EST
WND's Farah: Evangelicals Will Ignore Trump's Personal Life As Long As He Delivers The Goods
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We previously pointed out that WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah effectively abdicated any moral authority to pass judgment on the personal behavior of others by giving a pass to President Trump's alleged affair with a porn star. He doubled down on that position in his Jan. 23 column, effectively saying he doesn't care about Trump's sleazy personal life because he's delivering the political goods:

The Washington Post Sunday called evangelicals “moral relativists” for supporting President Trump, but unless you subscribe to that fake news outlet, you can’t read the story.

I would not suggest doing so, but, instead, read it for free here. Or, just take my word for it.

Is that assertion true?

No, it is wholly a lie.

That’s not to say some evangelicals are not moral relativists.

But people like Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr. and Tony Perkins are not.

In American politics, we have choices to make. When “candidate A” supports 99 percent of what you believe and his or her opponent, “candidate B,” supports none of it, the morally responsible thing to do is to vote for “candidate A.” And when “candidate A” is elected president of the United States and fulfills his promises in record time, as President Trump has, you praise him, thank him, pray for his safety and continued good health and thank God for the blessing He is pouring out on your country.

It’s really that simple.

But, you know, there are some people who call themselves “evangelicals” who don’t see it that way. I would suggest to you that if they are truly supportive of life, liberty, religious rights, Israel’s self-determination and security, national sovereignty, the Constitution, the sanctity of marriage and the rule of law, that they should be as supportive of President Trump as I am in his dedication to those issues to date. If he falters in his second year or third year of fourth year, we should criticize him for doing so. Right now, however, there is very little to criticize. It’s quite simply, from an evangelical worldview, the best start to a presidency in modern history.

And here, we get to the part where Farah once again gives Trump a mulligan on his past, something he has never done for anyone named Clinton:

Those who attack evangelicals for supporting Trump are being disingenuous at best. Why shouldn’t they? He listened to them. He’s doing what they asked him to do. This is not a mystery. And it’s certainly not moral relativism. They didn’t change their positions. Trump changed his.

The Washington Post story, in making its case for evangelical moral relativism, cited one of its own columnists, Michael Gerson, described by the piece as “a leading evangelical.” Gerson wrote, according to the piece, “At the Family Research Council’s recent Values Voter Summit, the religious right effectively declared its conversion to Trumpism.”

That’s a lie and an insult.

When one “converts” to something, it suggests leaving behind one’s previous beliefs.

If anyone “converted” from his previous political beliefs, it is clearly Trump. From the perspective of the evangelical majority, that’s a good thing. We love converts to life, liberty, religious rights, Israel’s self-determination and security, national sovereignty, the Constitution, the sanctity of marriage and the rule of law. We make no apologies for that. We love it even more when people embrace God. And, whatever his past suggests, President Trump has demonstrated at least a public respect and reverence for the Creator of the universe and His ways.

In the world of politics, that is reason for praise, enthusiasm and thanksgiving.

Just as Farah provided no evidence in his previous column for his claim that Trump "was a very different Donald Trump" when he had his alleged porn-star fling, he provides no evidence for his new claim that Trtump has "converted" from his previous views.

Farah betrays a little skepticism by acknowleding that "whatever his past suggests, President Trump has demonstrated at least a public respect and reverence for the Creator of the universe and His ways" -- indicating that he at least suspects Trump is being insincere. But, again, Farah doesn't care Trump's personal life the way he cared about, say, Bill Clinton's, at least as long as Trump continues to do Farah's bidding.

And that was the whole point of the Washington Post article Farah is attacking -- that evangelicals are placing access to power before character. Not only does Farah avoid actually engaging in that argument beyond saying, "Damn straight we're putting power before character!" he attacks anyone who makes it as a "Trump hater."

Spoken like a true believer. That dogmatic attitude shows that Farah really is a Trump convert after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EST
Thursday, February 1, 2018
CNS Tries to Credit Trump for Fewer Suicides Aat Golden Gate Bridge, Or Something
Topic: CNSNews.com

How deeply is CNSNews.com in the pocket of the Trump administration? It seems to want to credit Trump for fewer successful suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge.

A Jan. 22 CNS blog post by Craig Bannister carries the baffling headline "Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Attempts Set Record in Trump’s First Year, But Police Ensure Fewer Succeed." Baffling because the article itself doesn't mention Trump, and also because we're not sure exactly what Bannister is trying to credit Trump with. Is he blaming the higher suicide attempts on Trump, or thanking him for fewer successful ones?

Bannister notes that "In May of last year, construction began on a $211 million project to build a suicide deterrent system," but he offers no evidence that Trump had any role in that. In the press release to which Bannister links as part of that statement highlights the commemoration ceremony to start contruction of the deterrent system featured Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Jared Huffman -- all Democrats. Bannister clearly could not give them any credit.

So, it appears that all we have here is an attempt by Bannister to create some clickbait by putting Trump in the headline for no reason at all. Is this what CNS has come to?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:51 PM EST
Obama Derangement Sydrome Forever!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I almost forgot how surreal it was for eight years when [Barack Obama] was in the White House. The arrogance, the smugness, the effete snobbiness, the petulant know-it-all-ness. I realized how liberating it has been over the last year. To think so many people would prefer to return being led like lambs to the slaughter of liberty is astonishing to me.

[...]

Amazing. Stunning. I’m almost speechless. Notice I said “almost.”

I wonder how many hurricanes and natural disasters he thinks he prevented in the eight years of his presidency.

He thinks he’s a god! But, what’s worse is too many others still fawn over this kind of gobbledygook.

All I can say is: Thank you Donald Trump for delivering us from this kind of superciliousness.

-- Joseph Farah, Dec. 27 WorldNetDaily column

A top-secret memo that has been released to members of Congress, but still is being withheld from the American public, characterizes Barack Obama as “the vengeful narcissist” and alleges surveillance abuses by his administration that one representative likened to the work of Russia’s KGB.

[...]

Author, former Secret Service agent and former congressional candidate Dan Bongino tweeted: “Take it to the bank, the FBI/FISA docs are devastating for the Dems. The whole image of a benevolent Barack Obama they’ve disingenuously tried to portray is about to be destroyed. The real Obama, the vengeful narcissist, is going to be exposed.”

-- Bob Unruh, Jan. 19 WND article

And now let’s examine the myth that Hitler’s great Luftwaffe, the Nazi air force, metamorphosed from the crop-dusters and glider clubs still permitted under the Versailles Treaty that banned military aviation after Germany’s surrender in World War I. Barack Obama’s birth certificate may not be the only one in error as to place of birth. 

-- Barry Farber, Jan. 23 WND column

Nixon’s White House plumbers included five men, a few of whom once shifted to Nixon’s re-election campaign, who bugged the opposition Democratic National Committee headquarters with the listening devices of that day.

Barack Obama’s efforts were orders of magnitude larger, more sophisticated and damaging. He very nearly succeeded. Based on their reporting, the mainlining media seem to think that a permanent Obama-offspring government would have been just fine.

Obama employed the United States’ secret security apparatus, which is surely in the hundred-thousand-plus employee range, its budget unimaginable, to spy on his enemies and accumulate blackmail evidence on those who would someday be political opponents of himself or his party successors.

Leading Democrats know this. They’ve seen the same evidence as the Republicans on these committees. The mistake the Democrats have made is the same mistake Nixon made. Cover-up.

-- Craige McMillan, Jan. 26 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 1, 2018 2:10 PM EST
MRC Pushes Bogus Attack on 'Jerry Springer: The Opera' Production
Topic: Media Research Center

Apropos of apparently nothing, the Media Research Center published a curiously worded Jan. 23 press release:

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell delivered remarks at the National Press Club on Tuesday calling on the National Endowment of the Arts to withdraw its funding of the "gleefully profane" Jerry Springer: The Opera in New York City. He issued the following statement at the conclusion of the press conference:

“The NEA must withdraw its funding of the wildly anti-Christian, especially anti-Catholic, hate-filled production entitled Jerry Springer: The Opera. As Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has pointed out, this so-called ‘opera’ receives the majority of its funding from public sources, including the NEA. This is an outrage which must end.

[...]

The play is ugly, unadulterated hate. The current tenure of the NEA chair ends in April and President Trump must appoint a new chairman who will once and for all put an end to taxpayer funding for anti-Christian ‘art’ such as this piece of garbage.”

You have to follow the embedded link to fingure out what, exactly, Bozell is so worked up about. It's a production of "Jerry Springer: The Opera" put on by a theater company called The New Group.

Bozell's mention of Donohue obscures the fact that this whole kerfuffle is spearheaded by Donohue and his right-wing Catholic League. Bozell fails to disclose that he's a member of the Catholic League's board of advisers, which would seem to be important and relevant.

Beyond that, however, the whole thing starts to fall apart. Donohue is attacking the musical and its producers because, according to his own press release, "the New Group receives most of its funding from public sources, led by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)." But he doesn't identify exactly how much funding its gets from the NEA, nor does he identify whether any of that NEA funding went toward this production.

Donohue has since been trying to milk this evidence-free story -- with the MRC's help, of course. Donohue sent a letter to President Trump about it, but again he offered no proof to back up his claim, vaguely stating only that "The New Group is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts."

A Jan. 25 CNSNews.com blog post by Craig Bannister regurgitates another letter Donohue sent to a House committee claiming "potential guideline violations by the NEA." This is all Donohue has to offer:

The nexus between NEA and the New Group is more than disturbing: it is so incestuous that it is in violation of NEA’s own strictures. In 2009, the NEA gave the New Group $50,000, "To support the preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn." Yet under NEA guidelines, "General operating or seasonal support" is explicitly prohibited.

That's apparently the only "evidence" Donohue has -- a small donation nearly a decade ago that has nothing whatsoever to do with the group's current production. That's the opposite of "incestuous."

But the MRC will never admit that emperor Donohue has no clothes here -- he's just a hateful old man with some money to throw around to push his right-wing agenda and a few friends in the media (and on his board) who will help him spread his bogus claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 1, 2018 1:16 AM EST
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Farah Admits Issues In Trying To Save WND, Still Won't Admit Its Bad-Content Issues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As WorldNetDaily tries to save itself from going out of business, it's been sending out regular fund-raising appeals from editor Joseph Farah -- part of its current campaign to raise $200,000 to get it through March -- that, on occasion, offer insight into how WND has been run over the years.

Some of it has been dishonest, of course, as one would expect from Farah and WND. Farah has previously blamed Google for stealing ad dollars away from WND (actually, WND is a Google AdSense client, and it remained so even after Google forced WND to abandon its Colin Flaherty-fueled obsession with "black mob violence" by threatening to cut off that particular avenue of revenue) and "Amazon, the owners of the Washington Post" for hurting its e-commerce operation (no, Amazon doesn't own the Post; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos does, about whom Farah has spun a factually challenged conspiracy theory).

Farah wrote in a Jan. 19 letter:

WND has always been undercapitalized compared not just with the big corporate media, but even with our friends in the independent media. I’ll share some amazing stats with you. No more than $5 million has ever been invested in WND over 20 years. With that meager investment, WND has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over two decades.

Sounds like a gravy train, doesn’t it?

But it’s not. Because when we bring in revenue, we pay our bills, try new things, and invest the rest back into the company. That’s what we have always done. 

Well, if you generated "hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue" but only spent $5 on the operation, it's not unreasonable to ask where all that money went and why it's not helping WND now. (Not to mention how much of that went to the Tennessee car dealer it falsely defamed during the 2000 election.)

Farah then added a little surprising insight about how its revenue patterns align with who the president is:

Political years are generally good for WND. Non-political years, not so much. In addition, when you feel danger from your elected officials, we’re like your best friend in the media. But, conversely, when you feel like your best friend is in power, some of you don’t think you need us so much anymore. It’s ironic, but the Clinton years were a boom for WND – the Bush years, not so much. The Obama years were good for WND, the first year of Trump, not so much.

I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about that phenomenon.

Remember, WND was founded in order to attack President Clinton. And this explains why it fought so hard (and failed miserably) to destroy Obama -- its revenue depended on being always on attack, regardless of whether any of those attacks were true. It also raises the question of why Farah felt the need to start a "thank Trump" campaign when WND's finances were so precarious.

In his Jan. 30 letter, Farah made another admission, in the midst of announcing that WND's online store would take payment through PayPal for the first time in several years (he admits dropping the PayPal option may have been "really stupid"):

The WND Superstore was once WND’s No. 1 source of revenue – for years! It was reliable. It was steady. But because of the “Amazonization” of our culture, fewer people think of any other place to go for their books, Bibles, movies, gifts, preparedness needs and even unique products not carried at Amazon.

Yes, merchandising has tended to be the savior of other operations whose main content loses money. Yet on Jan. 31 WND sent out a promotion for Farah's book "The Restitution of All Things" which reprints favorable reviews of it from ... Amazon. So Farah is clearly not entirely displeased with how Amazon does business if he's trying to ride its coattails.

But throughout all of this, none of Farah's letters has mentioned the elephant in the room, the real reason why Google ranks WND so low in its searches: it's not credlble because of its fake-news-riddled content.

Instead of teasing us with possible site redesigns and secret projects, Farah should be talking about WND's biggest issue -- its bad content -- and telling us what he will do to fix it.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EST
CNS Hides Bad News About Trump With Attacks on Mueller, FBI
Topic: CNSNews.com

As bad news piled up against President Trump as week, culminating in the revelation that Trump actually tried to fire the special counsel investigating him, Robert Mueller, CNSNews.com -- like the good little pro-Trump stenographers they are -- knew what it had to do.

Almost as if acting on marching orders from the Trump White House, CNS began pumping out story after story attacking Mueller's investigation and the FBI for having a role in it, as well as obsessing over personal texts between two FBI agents:

A couple notes on these articles: CNS never bothered to report that the "secret society" reference that conservatives like Ratcliffe freaked out about last week was a joke, and it didn't report that Trump's complaints last June about Mueller's investigation coincided with a campaign by Fox News' Sean Hannity and other Fox News commentators to demand that Mueller be fired.

That's a lot of chaff being thrown in order to obscure facts CNS doesn't want reported.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 4:12 PM EST
WND Goes Easy on Trump In Magazine Issue on Sexual Harassment
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The new issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read (if it had a significant readership, WND would never let us hear the end of it) Whistleblower magazine is about sexual harassment, and WND claims it "not only exposes the entire iceberg – it also points the way back to moral sanity."

But it looks like that, according to its promotion, it's trying to conceal a good portion of it. Here's the introduction:

Sex. It’s the sacred entry point for human life into this world, yet it frequently appears in the form of grotesque criminality. As such, sexual abuse has become the focal point for one of America’s most sensational mega-stories over the last year.

The story – actually a never-ending torrent of reports implicating almost 100 different men since accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced in October – chronicles an epidemic of prominent men allegedly using their power and authority to seduce, manipulate, bribe, bamboozle, intimidate, coerce and physically force women into sex.

Beyond Weinstein (accused of sexual abuse by 84 different women), the alleged offenders range from entertainment icons like actors Dustin Hoffman (8 accusers) and Kevin Spacey (15 accusers), comedian Louis C.K. (5 accusers) and director/screenwriter James Toback (38 accusers) to news media big shots like CBS/PBS host Charlie Rose (8 accusers), NBC “Today” anchor Matt Lauer (7 accusers), MSNBC’s Mark Halperin (12 accusers) and New York Times White House reporter Glenn Thrush (4 accusers) to U.S. Appeals Court Judge Alex Kozinski (6 accusers) to Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine (4 accusers) to New Orleans-based TV chef John Besh (25 accusers) to – of course – politicians including Rep. John Conyers (6 accusers), Sen. Al Franken (8 accusers) and many others. Indeed, it was recently revealed that millions of taxpayer dollars have been quietly doled out to settle harassment claims against members of Congress in recent years.

Notice anything about that list? Nearly all of them are eitherconsidered political liberals or in entertainment (and, thsu presumbed to be liberal). The only apparent conservative on the list is Kozinski, who was appointed to the appeals court by President Reagan. Somehow, WND didn't see fit to mention, for instance, any of the numerous hosts and executives at Fox News who have been accused of sexual harassment.

The promotion does get around to noting that conservatives -- and President Trump -- have been accused, but WND is eager to gloss over that inconvenient fact with a quick Clinton Equivocation:

Notably, the vast majority of those implicated over the last few months are on the political left, though at least one – former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (8 accusers), a conservative Christian – narrowly lost December’s Senate election because of decades-old sexual allegations against him, one involving a 14-year-old girl. And of course, multiple women have accused President Donald Trump of having committed various sexual improprieties over the years.

[...]

For example, Juanita Broaddrick credibly accused Bill Clinton of forcible rape, a heinous crime once punishable in the U.S. by death. At the other end of the spectrum, 2006 Miss USA contestant Samantha Holvey told CNN that the pageant’s then-owner, Donald Trump, “personally inspected each woman” beforehand and would “step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat, we were just sexual objects, that we were not people.” Unseemly, perhaps, but there’s a world of difference between He raped me and He looked at me like a piece of meat.

WND managing editor David Kupelian's magazine essay on the subject, published at WND on Jan. 29 and hyperbolically titled "The left's ongoing sexual assault on America," plays the same game; the above promotion excerpt is actually the beginning of his essay. But Kupelian never mentions Trump -- or any other conservative recently accused of sexual harassment (he references Bob Packwood but doesn't mention that he was a Republican) -- at any other point. Instead, it's a version of his usual liberal bashing harangue, ranting that "The left, which has been obsessed with removing Judeo-Christian morality from our schools, culture and minds for several generations, now claims to be shocked – shocked – at the inevitable excesses and crimes they themselves have brought about."

Meanwhile, Kupelian has published the same old attacks for years, and is presumably shocked -- shocked -- that the website he runs with Joseph Farah is going down the tubes. He doesn't seem to get that maybe his content -- and, more specifically, that he refuses to hold conservative sexual harassers to the same scrutiny and scorn as non-conservatives -- is a big part of the problem.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 1:21 AM EST
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
NEW ARTICLE: The Stenography Factory
Topic: WorldNetDaily
CNSNews.com gives up journalism to serve as servile stenographers (and a damage-control squad) for the Trump White House, as well as for friendly opinion-mongers and pro-Trump legal groups. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:21 PM EST
Dueling WND Columnists, Radium-In-Water Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Well, here’s one for the record books.

Drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that are carcinogenic, according to a nonprofit group’s investigation released this past week.

The report examined the levels of six radioactive contaminants in drinking water, including radon, radium and uranium. Its primary focus was on radium because it is naturally occurring though a dangerous carcinogen, according to Newsweek.

[...]

From radioactive carcinogens to lead poisoning, could our tap water be another contributor to the increased rates of cancer in children and adults today?

Friends, this should not be, especially in the greatest industrialized nation in the world with the greatest of health resources. Once again, we the people are left on our own without the government’s help to right the national wrongs.

This countrywide drinking water disaster is one more reason I’m super proud that my wife, Gena, established CForce Water Bottling Co. on our own Texas Lone Wolf Ranch in 2015. Gena is actually the CEO and majority owner and is registered as a National Certified Woman Owned Business through NWBOC/ WOSB Certified and HUB – historically underutilized business.

-- Chuck Norris, Jan. 14 WorldNetDaily column

On Jan. 11, 2018, Newsweek ran the headline, “170 million Americans have cancer-causing radioactive elements in their drinking water.” This headline was very similar to those run by many other news outlets – but are the headlines justified, or is it just another example of the ineptness of the media?

First: The original information was not peer reviewed or published in any scientific journal, but generated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). So, the first point here is the media’s sloppy coverage of the EWG reporting science or junk-science. Have reporters taken the time to validate the reliability of EWG’s source?

[...]

The bottom-line: If you believe all the food phobia fears the media and purported consumer groups would like you to embrace, you had better learn to enjoy your anorexic diet, because all foods contain potential carcinogens, and you would croak from water intoxication long before you would perish from the infinitesimal amount of radium in your water.

-- David Lightsey, Jan. 17 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EST
MRC's Bozell Falls for O'Keefe's Bogus Twitter 'Shadow Ban' Story
Topic: Media Research Center

James O'Keefe screwed the pooch when he got busted for trying to fool the Washington Post with a bogus sexual harassment "victim" of Roy Moore -- and even then, the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell was slow to denounce O'Keefe, if only to preserve his self-proclaimed "moral standing" in the conservative media and hide the fact that the MRC has been an enthusiastic promoter of O'Keefe's previous charades.

When O'Keefe did another goofy sting -- in the form of secretly recorded videos of a random Twitter employee who said something about "shadow banning" conservatives -- he managed to un-screw the pooch in Bozell's eyes. Cue Bozell's usual pop-eyed freakout mode:

I have been a critic of some of James O'Keefe's work in the past, so I have the credentials to say the following: What O'Keefe has produced is not just extraordinary but it demands national attention. If social media is the communications vehicle of the future —  and it is —  then this represents the most sinister threat to free speech in history. That is no exaggeration. The radical left is out to censor the voices of all with whom they disagree. O'Keefe has proven it. Every American needs to watch this —  if, of course, Twitter will allow it.

Yes, Bozell really did claim that this purported "shadow banning" was "the most sinister threat to free speech in history."

Bozell followed this with an open letter to Twitter's CEO insisting that "Project Veritas’s videos provide evidence which cannot be disputed."

Well, actually, it can. As tech news site Ars Technica details:

If you talk to enough people at an organization with thousands of employees, it's inevitable that you'll catch some of them saying stuff that at least sounds bad. We don't know how many Twitter employees O'Keefe's organization talked to who didn't say anything embarrassing—or even directly contradicted O'Keefe's thesis that Twitter is systematically censoring conservatives.

[...]

The group definitely established that Twitter's workforce is predominantly liberal—something that will be unsurprising to anyone familiar with the politics of the Bay Area. Given the power of Twitter's content moderators and engineers, there's an obvious danger that the company's liberal biases will cause them to treat conservative content more harshly than liberal content.

What Project Veritas hasn't uncovered, however, is any evidence that Twitter is systematically using its platform to silence conservative voices. When an engineer talked about "banning a way of talking," he was clearly not referring to conservatives. The same is true of another former engineer's discussion of "shadow banning"—and it's not even clear if Twitter still engages in shadow banning at all.

[...]

Project Veritas did find one person involved in Twitter's content moderation policy who said he saw the policy being used more strictly against conservatives than liberals. But that's about it. O'Keefe didn't find any evidence of systematic anti-conservative bias in Twitter's policies or filtering algorithms.

Which might explain why we haven't heard much about this non-scandal from Bozell and the MRC since his initial rage. Bozell probably doesn't want to admit he got burned by someone he should never have trusted in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EST
Monday, January 29, 2018
WND's Farah Pretends He Doesn't Care That Trump's Actions Fulfill End-Times Prophecy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah huffs in his Jan. 21 WorldNetDaily column:

Here is a headline in Newsweek from Jan. 12: “Trump Will Start the End of the World, Claim Evangelicals Who Support Him.”

Did any evangelicals actually say that in the article? No.

Is there any truth to the claim? No.

In fact, I think I can better speak for evangelicals than the headline writers and fake-news purveyors at Newsweek. I’ve been one for over 40 years. I founded and run the largest Christian website in the world. I write books on the subject – including many on prophecy.

Evangelical Christians do not overwhelmingly support President Donald Trump because they believe he’ll cause the world to end, as Newsweek asserts, without any substantiation or evidence.

[...]

I could go on ad infinitum.

But I neither know nor have I ever met a single evangelical Christian who supports Trump because he’s going to end the world. Neither has anyone at Newsweek. And that’s what demonstrates it’s a fake-news machine.

The Newsweek article went on to say “many evangelical Christians believe that Trump was chosen by God to usher in a new era, a part of history called the ‘end times.’ Beliefs about this time period differ, but it is broadly considered the end of the world, the time when Jesus returns to Earth and judges all people.”

Newsweek quotes one misguided pastor to build its narrative, concluding he represents “many.” He does not. He is quoted as saying: “What kick-starts the end times into motion is Israel’s political boundaries being re-established to what God promised the Israelites according to the Bible.” That’s just silly.

God doesn’t need the help of Donald Trump to set His timing for the return of the Jewish Messiah to Earth.

It will not surprise you to learn that Farah is being less than honest here. Here's how the Newsweek article lays it out in a way Farah won't tell you it did:

Jerusalem has a central role as the city of prophecy and the place where the end of times plays out. According to the prophecy, a 1,000-year period of peace must be followed by seven years of tribulation, during which wars, disease, and natural disasters will lay waste to the earth. In the book of Revelation, Israel is described as a nation that exists during the time of tribulation, and Jerusalem's Jewish temple is resurrected during this period. The last temple was destroyed around 70 A.D, and today there is a mosque on the Temple Mount where the previous two temples are believed to have stood. Evangelicals believe that a unified Israel with control over Jerusalem will facilitate the construction of a new Jewish temple, and set the groundwork for the end of times. 

That’s where Trump comes in.

[...]

“Most evangelicals subscribe to a belief in pre-millennialism, the belief that the second coming of Christ will begin a 1,000-year period where Christ will rule over a peaceful and prosperous earth,” Neil J. Young, a religion historian, told Newsweek. Young, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, writes frequently on evangelical culture and politics. 

“Israel is a key part of this story, too, as Christians believe that events there are fundamental to bringing about the end times,” Young continued. “At this point, Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the only concrete thing that his evangelical supporters can point to as part of fulfilling biblical prophecy to bring about the second coming of Christ."

You know who else has promoted the notion that Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is one in a series of events -- inculding building the third temple -- that will start the end times? Farah's own website.

An April 2017 WND article touts one of its favorite pastors, Mark Biltz -- who we last saw trying to hijack last year's eclipse -- as confirming the idea the construction of the third temple signifies the start of the end times:

Biltz says Christians need to be closely following these developments. Though he cautions “of that day and hour no one knows,” the reconstruction of the Third Temple would be a critical sign the last days are actually at hand.

“In the Christian community many are waiting for the Temple to rebuilt as a sure sign of the last days about to be fulfilled,” he said. “One thing we know for sure is history keeps repeating itself. We don’t know the form yet. Whether it’s a full-blown Temple or just a prefab one that can be thrown together quickly, we will have to wait and see. It may not be anything more than an altar doing Passover sacrifices.

“But one thing is for sure. If the Temple is rebuilt and sacrifices are resumed, hold on to your shorts as the time is short!”

Then, a Dec. 10 WND article promoted a claim that Trump's recognition of Israel would help head to the construction of the third temple:

While Muslims jeer, Israelis cheer President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, prompting Jewish religious activists to suggest building the Third Temple is closer to reality than ever before.

“What he did … was an enormous step in bringing the Temple,” said Asaf Fried, official spokesman for the United Temple Movement, an association of organizations working towards making the Third Temple a reality.

He added, “This necessarily had to come from a non-Jew in order to bring them into the process, so they will be able to take their part in the Temple.”

Fried sees Trump’s role similar to the one played by Cyrus, the Persian king who ended the Babylonian exile and helped build the Second Jewish Temple.

“There have been amazing advances towards bringing the Temple this year. It was clear that Trump was part of that process, guided by Hashem (God),” Fried declared.

Curiously, the article didn't reference WND's previous claim that construction of the third temple would signify the start of the end times.

One can also argue that Farah himself ascribes to this view. In a 2016 column written on one of his Holy Land tours (the one in which he and Jonathan Cahn staged a publicity stunt on the Temple Mount), Farah touted "an amazing prophecy dating back to 1217 by a scholarly and highly respected rabbi by the name of Judah Ben Samuel":

It was not until the Six Day War in 1967 when the entire “west bank” of the holy land was conquered by the Israeli army that the whole city of Jerusalem passed back into the possession of Israel. So once again the prophecy made by the rabbi 750 years previously was fulfilled to the letter.

It certainly would be significant if indeed both 1917 and 1967 were Jubilee years, considering the significance of what happened in Jerusalem in those years. But it gets better.

The rabbi also prophesied that during the 10th Jubilee, Jerusalem would be under the control of the Jews and the Messianic “end times” would begin. The 10th Jubilee began in 1967 and will be concluded in – 2017.

What should we expect to happen in 2017? I will leave that to your imagination.

But one thing is certain: Judah Ben Samuel made some truly remarkable prophecies that came to pass. We’ll have to wait until next year to see if his final prediction does as well.

Remember, Farah is a guy who claimed that "I have no doubts that someone actually colluded with the Trump campaign to bring it victory in 2016. That someone was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel who repeatedly promised in the Bible to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse it." So he's totally down with the idea of Trump fulfilling prophecy.

Farah may not be supporting Trump for the explicit purpose of bringing about the end times -- his column lists "many good reasons" why he and his fellow evangelicals do, one of which just happens to be "He respects Israel and recognizes Jerusalem as its eternal capital and the capital of no other nation or people in the history of the world" -- but he certainly can't be displeased that Trump's actions are in line with his own eschatological beliefs.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:40 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 29, 2018 8:52 PM EST
Dishonest CNS Editor Just Can't Stop Perpetuating False Planned Parenthood Myth
Topic: CNSNews.com

Earlier this month, we caught CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey perpetuating his website's long, dishonest history of falsely suggesting that federal money to Planned Parenthood pays for abortion -- something that is prohibited by law -- by placing the amount of federal money it receives in close proximity to the number of abortions its clinics perform. It seems Jeffrey is determined to continue his dishonestly.

He writes in a Jan. 10 column:

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."

This was followed with a complaint that "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." Jeffrey refused to explain that Medicaid and Title X money to Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortion.

Jeffrey did it again in his Jan. 19 column:

In its recently released 2016-2017 annual report, Planned Parenthood said that its affiliates did 321,384 abortions in the year that ended on Sept. 30, 2016 and got $543.7 million in government money in the year that ended on June 30, 2017.

The Congressional Research Service reports that in 2012, Planned Parenthood affiliates took in $64.35 million in Title X family planning funding from the federal government and $400.56 million in federal and state Medicaid money.

Again, Jeffrey refused to make clear that none of this federal money pays for abortion.

CNS' mission statement claims it's a "news source" for those "who put a higher premium on balance than spin." But Jeffrey's journalistic dishonesty shows CNS puts right-wing spin first and foremost.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EST
Thank-You Campaign Makes WND's Farah A Total Trump Suck-Up
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If anything has illustrated WorldNetDaily's abject fealty toward President Trump, it's WND's "Thank Trump" campaign. And editor Joseph Farah has gone to embarrassing lengths to promote it.

Farah unsurprisingly used his pre-Thanksgiving column to tout it:

I am so thankful for Donald J. Trump. I thank God daily for the privilege of waking up in a country led by a man who seems driven to take America back from the brink of absolute ruin.

That’s why I launched a week ago the ThankTrump.US campaign, so everyone could express their gratitude to the president in a meaningful way, with personalized digital cards sent his way. Because it’s off to such a great start, I’m extending it through at least February to give Americans the opportunity to hear about it and take part – for free!

Make sure you take a look at the Big List of Trump’s first-year accomplishments, which is updated constantly with new achievements. If that doesn’t inspire you to take part in this project, nothing will.

Farah went biblical to promote it in a Dec. 14 column:

Specifically, I was thinking about that verse in 2 Kings when Elisha said: “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

Do you believe that?

Then let President Trump and his White House team know we’ve got their backs – with our votes, with our energy, with our feet, with our voices and with our prayers.

[...]

Yes, it looks like Trump’s opposition is overwhelming. His adversaries are powerful, organized, wealthy, determined, and they have devised wicked plots against him. They conspire to remove him from power and demoralize all those responsible for electing him.

But, as Elisha said: “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” You can help deliver that message to President Trump through this campaign and with your fervent prayers that can open the eyes of the spiritually blind.

Am I passionate about this effort? Yes, I am. But I need help spreading the word, delivering this very good news – not only to President Trump, but to the entire nation and the whole world.

Farah enthused further in his Dec. 20 column:

It’s time like this, when I am in a celebratory mood, that I urge everyone who agrees with me to join the ThankTrump.us campaign. Where else do you have the opportunity, in your euphoria about his accomplishments, his tenacity, his spirit, his determination and his courage to express your gratitude publicly with a digital personalized thank-you card?

The answer is nowhere!

Also, spread the news through social media. Counteract the negativism of the left.

ENCOURAGE him! That’s what this campaign is about. Everyone needs encouragement – even Donald Trump.

Even if he doesn’t need it, you owe it to yourself to give it to him because his presidency could well be a once-in-your-lifetime opportunity for a rebirth of American greatness.

On Dec. 25, Farah got mad that Time magazine didn't name Trump as person of the year, going on to bloviate:

So, it’s safe to say Donald J. Trump is not only the person of the year in 2017. He’s a force of nature that will continue to overshadow the competition for years to come.

Maybe he’s the person of the decade.

Maybe he’s the person of the century.

Maybe he’s the person of the millennium.

Person of the year, however, would be a giant, anti-climactic understatement.

And, of course, there was a plug for his thank-Trump campaign, asserting that "When someone like Trump leaves his comfortable existence of wealth and comfort to enter public life with the intent of slaying dragons, I say he needs and deserves encouragement."

In his Dec. 28 column, Farah insisted his campaign has "gone viral":

There’s something wonderful about campaigns like this. Already, it’s clear to me that this simple idea has caught fire. Every day, I hear more and more commentators and pundits suggesting there’s a lot for which to thank our president.

I wish I had millions of dollars to make great ads promoting this idea. I’m glad others do and are taking up my challenge to thank the president both directly and publicly for all he’s done.

WND even ran an article every day in January before the anniversary of Trump's inauguration plugging the campaign, with Farah's full endorsement:

“Jan. 20 marks the anniversary of the president’s Inauguration Day, so it’s a great time to let him know how much you appreciate all he’s done for the country in such a short time,” said Joseph Farah, WND’s founder who launched the campaign just before Thanksgiving. “It’s a record of accomplishment unparalleled in modern American history.”

[...]

“As President Trump heads into a new year, it’s important he doesn’t lose the courage and boldness that have enabled him to defy the establishment and get so much done for the American people,” said Farah. “Given all the opposition he faces, it would be too easy for him to surrender to the forces that besiege him.”

That’s why ThankTrump.us is so important. As 2018 begins, it is a perfect time to look back with thankfulness to the man who made 2017 such a great year for America.

WND even harnessed Ugandan President Yoweni Museveni's praise for Trump in an article as evidence that "a word of thanks also has come to Trump from overseas." Needless to say, WND didn't report that Museveni is a corrupt dictator who lifted an age limit on his office so he could stay on the job, jailed his critics and spent $77 of state money on expenses related to his residence.

Perhaps this servile fealty to Trump -- which demonstrates the complete opposite of its current claim to be "credible, independent and fearless" --  is one more reason why WND is circling the drain.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EST

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