Farah Says WND Is Saved, Going Back to Nonprofit Roots Topic: WorldNetDaily
Well, WorldNetDaily's not-terribly-transparent fundraising campaign to avert death has apparently succeeded. Editor Joseph Farah's March 1 letter declared that WND met its $200,000 goal by that day's deadline, adding, "You have provided the cushion we needed to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps so we could fight another day."
Farah also shared "some exciting plans for the future – even if I can’t provide the details today":
We are working with a non-profit foundation through which we can more efficiently produce the kind of content that makes WND unique as an independent media pioneer and a Christian one at that. Once we’ve got everything set up – and we hope that is soon – we’ll have a way for future contributions to supplement WND’s content to be tax-deductible.
We are developing a new revenue stream that is very exciting – even revolutionary, I would say. And that’s what it takes for independent media to survive and flourish when they are playing on an uneven playing field designed that way purposely by the Internet Cartel to make our work next to impossible. More on that to come shortly.
Going nonprofit will bring WND back to its roots; it was founded as a division of the Farah-founded nonprofit Western Journalism Center before being spun off a couple years later as a for-profit operation. The WJC, by the way, still exists, run by Floyd Brown and presenting itself as a training center and laughably insisting that its goal is to "nurture, develop and deploy top notch classically educated journalists of integrity who will report the news in an unbiased fashion," despite being staffed with right-wing operatives like, uh, Joseph Farah.
We don't know if WJC is the nonprofit WND is working with, or even if WJC under Brown still has the nonprofit status it had under Farah. But this is likely the type of nonprofit WND is trying to hide behind.
As far as the "a new revenue stream that is very exciting" goes, well, who knows? An organization that is partly nonprofit and partly for-profit is tricky to manage, since a nonprofit is not allowed to be as explicitly political as WND has been over the years. More details are needed on that.
And, once again, Farah has refused to address the problematic content that helped bring WND to this state. Further, if WND is going to become part of a nonprofit, is Farah really the best person to continue running it, given that it was under his watch that WND was mismanaged to its apparent loss of independence? He can't blame everything on Google and Facebook, after all (not that he isn't trying to do exactly that).
So WND will live another day. But if it continues as it was content-wise, Farah will not have learned the lesson of how he got to this point -- and will be dooming WND to yet another "existential threat" down the road.
MRC Won't Tell Its Readers CNN Is Vindicated In 'Scripting' Allegation Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hated Hillary Clinton so much -- and loves Fox News to the same extent -- that it never told its readers that Fox News retracted its story that Clinton's indictment was imminent, a story the MRC heavily promoted until said retraction.
It appears that the MRC is going to censor news of another retracted claim, again apparently out of spite toward its target.
Last week, the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro latched onto a claim by Florida school shooting survivor Colton Haab that CNN to him to ask a question it scripted in order to take part in the channel's forum on guns. When CNN swiftly denied it, Fondacaro attacked CNN anew (in a separate post to which his original post was never linked), basically saying, "Hey, it could've happened! And CNN sucks no matter what!"
Meanwhile, CNN released the emails it and the Haab family exchanged before the forum, which showed that the Haab family released an edited version of one email to falsely support the "scripted" narrative; in reality, CNN wanted Colton to ask a question that he himself had proposed. And even Fondacaro's fellow conservatives were buying into the anti-CNN narrative; commentator Erick Erickson argued that Haab misunderstood what CNN wanted for its forum.
A couple days later, the final vindication for CNN arrived: Haab's father admitted that he altered the CNN emails he released.
Fox News commentators Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, who like Fondacaro promoted the bogus story, have corrected the record. Fondacaro has not.
Even though he has had two days to do so -- and to tell his readers that the story he promoted has proven to be false -- Fondacaro has said nothing. He has found the time to whine about Dick's Sporting Goods ceasing the sale of AR-15 rifles at its stores and to freak out about President Trump wanting to take guns from certain people without due process ... but not to correct the record. Nobody else at the MRC has corrected the record either.
We know the MRC is heavily invested in its institutional hatred of CNN for not parroting the pro-Trump agenda found at, say, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com. But is hate more important to the MRC than the truth? Apparently so.
WND Touts Commemorative Trump Coin Issued By Israeli Extremists, Downplays The Whole End-Of-The-World Thing Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember back in January when WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah was denying that right-wing evangelicals like himself were pleased that President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel because it brings us one step closer to the end of the world as foretold in the Bible -- even though WND has touted how an Israeli-controlled Jerusalem will set in motion construction of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount, the major key step in bringing the biblical end of the world?
Well, WND is still promoting that progression, even if it's now doing so less explicitly than in the past. A Feb. 15 article tells us this:
When President Trump in December recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, two decades after Congress authorized it, he drew the wrath of Arab nations and their allies.
Now Israel’s recently re-constituted Sanhedrin is honoring Trump for the move by putting his image on a privately minted half-shekel coin.
Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz reported at Breaking Israel News the nascent Sanhedrin and the Mikdash (Temple) Educational Center are creating a replica of the silver half-shekel coin that the Bible mandates be donated by every Jewish male in the Temple.
As we've already noted, the Sanhedrin is a group of far-right rabbis who have no actual power over anything in Israel, though they would like some. The Sanhedrin's goal is to get the Third Temple built on the Temple Mount. Interestingly, the WND article soft-pedals that:
According to a proposed image presented on a website dedicated to raising money for the construction of a temple and more, the coin will feature an image of Trump on the front and the Holy Temple in Jerusalem on the back.
Also on the front will be an image of the ancient Persian King Cyrus, who was key to the construction of the Second Temple, BIN reported.
BIN reported the coin is to have at least 9.5 grams of silver, as required by Jewish law.
However, the report noted that since the coin itself is not intended to fulfill a biblical commandment, it is not officially designated for use in the Temple.
[Rabbi Hillel] Weiss said the coin “is intended to help in preparations for the Temple and anyone can take part in that at any time.”
But the Breaking Israel News article from which WND cribbed its report makes it clear which temple the coin's revenues are meant for: "Proceeds from the sale of the coin will be used in reenactments of Temple services as well as in other educational and practical endeavors that help prepare for the Third Temple. Should the need arise, the proceeds will be used for the actual building of the Temple." The article also quotes Weiss as saying, "Trump’s political agenda can only succeed if it is focused on building the Third Temple on the place that God chose: the Temple Mount. He must not advance any two-state solution or this will lead to his downfall."
That, again, is the same temple that, when constructed, is a key step to the biblical end of the world -- the same idea WND's Farah denies is driving his support for Trump despite his own website promoting it.
CNS Takes Hypocritical Shots At Companies Abandoning NRA Topic: CNSNews.com
As loyal stenographers for the Natiobnal Rifle Association, it's only natural that CNSNews.com would defend it when companies who offered NRA members discounts decided to pull out of those deals in the wake of the NRA's strident, unapologetic rhetoric after the Florida school shootings.
A Feb. 26 article by Susan Jones uncritically quoted the NRA denouncing those companies -- then just went ahead and lazily copied-and-pasted the entire NRA press release she was summarizing.
A Feb. 28 article by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman attacked Enterprise car rental for dropping its NRA discount because the company's foundation "donates thousands of dollars to groups that, in turn, either support abortion or send grants to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States."
But while CNS is bashing companies for dropping support of the NRA, it along with its Media Research Center are engaging in the very same pressure tactics on corporate America they appear to be denouncing here.
As we've documented, the MRC has been manufacturing outrage over a brief comment on ABC's "The View" mocking Vice President Mike Pence's extreme view of Christianity. Having refused to accept the idea that the comment was a joke -- despite having previously portrayed Hank Williams Jr.'s likening of President Obama to Hitler as a joke -- it's now trying to get advertisers to withdraw from the show.
As WND Nears Funding Deadline, Farah Still Denies He Publishes Fake News Topic: WorldNetDaily
If WorldNetDaily is going down on March 1 -- which seems entirely possible given that as of today's fundraising email, WND still needed $29,000 to make its $200,000 goal by that date -- it's going down in a state of denial.
We've pointed out that WND editor Joseph Farah's daily fundraising letters to WND readers conspicuously refuse to discuss one big reason WND is in dire straits right now: the amount of dubious content and outright fake news it has published that has earned its untrustworthy status by major search engines and by Facebook.
Farah's Feb. 27 letter was also published at the WND website, and as usual, he's blaming anyone other than himself for WND's state of affairs:
Well, consider that none other than CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, has now publicly confirmed – to the letter – everything I’ve been saying for weeks.
In a speech he gave Monday in Barcelona, the CNN chief urged U.S. government authorities to pay closer attention to the raw power wielded by Google and Facebook, who together are making it all but impossible for news organizations to “survive.” That’s right – he said that.
“In a Google and Facebook world, monetization of digital and mobile continues to be more difficult than we would have expected or liked,” Zucker said. And without something new to support news organizations, he added, “good journalism will go away.”
Of course, the difference between WND and CNN – aside from the fact that WND is committed to real news while CNN, due to its hatred of President Trump, is daily drowning in the fake variety – is that CNN is owned by super-wealthy Time Warner and has tremendous resources to float it even as the Digital Cartel dries up its advertising. WND has no such resources, no big corporate backers and no billionaire “sugar daddies.” WND has always earned its own way.
While monetization has been an issue for all media, Farah is, also as usual, not telling the full story -- because Farah is part of the problem.
Every day, WND regularly steals content from other media outlets to repost, but never asks permission or provide monetary compensation for doing so. While WND links back to the original source, that source sees no revenue from WND's links. And WND has never belonged to a news syndicate or cooperative in which monetization of news content is baked into the membership. While Farah has previously insisted WND's theft of content is merely "fair use," the fact remains that it is indeed theft.
Further, Farah's claim that "WND is committed to real news while CNN ... is daily drowning in the fake variety" is laughable on its face. We'd be willing to wager that WND has publishedmorefakenews in the past year than CNN ever has.
So, not even this near-death (or perhaps actual death) experience will not persuade Farah to be honest with his readers about WND's low-quality content, let alone explain any plans to do something about it. That's a major sign that WND deserves to die.
MRC Played Clinton Whataboutism on Abusive White House Aide Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's "news" division, CNSNews.com, so loathed having to report on Trump White House aide Rob Porter's history of spousal abuse that it dedicated one of the few articles it did publish on it whining that the "liberal media" forced CNS to acknowledge the story and a blog post trying to deflect from it by recounting a Democratic politician's decade-ago consensual affair.
The MRC's main content site, NewsBusters, gave the Porter story more attention -- but it too tried to deflect by engaging in a lot of Clinton whataboutism.
A Feb. 8 post by Kyle Drennen complained that "MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle talked to Democratic Congressman and former Bill Clinton White House Staff Secretary Patrick Maloney about Trump White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter being embroiled in scandal following allegations of abuse by his ex-wives. Amazingly, rape and harassment accusations against President Clinton were never mentioned." But spousal abuse is not analogous to a dubious rape accusation, so there is no reason it should have come up.
Despite that, Drennen registered an almost identical complaint five days later: "Remarkably, for the second time in two weeks, MSNBC invited on a former Bill Clinton White House staffer to lecture the Trump administration over now-fired aide Rob Porter being accused of domestic abuse. This time, it was Clinton’s former Senior White House Aide Ron Klain appearing on Tuesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports to denounce the Trump team’s handling of the situation, without once being asked about rape and harassment accusations against his former boss."Drennen further huffed: "How about the Clinton White House and what people like Klain knew about the numerous allegations against the former Democratic president in the 1990s? That was certainly within the time line Klain mentioned. Was it equally “inexcusable” for an accused rapist like Bill Clinton to not just 'work in the White House,' but in the Oval Office?"
Drennen didn't mention that the woman who accused Clinton of rape, Juanita Broaddrick, spent nearly two decades denying anything happened and filed a sworn affidavit to that effect before abruptly changing her story.
But Drennen was not done huffing:
Bill Clinton and his hatchet men not only “cast doubt” on the former President’s accusers, but actively tried to destroy them. Klain has no right to pass judgement on the current administration until he is first forced to account for the scandal-plagued Clinton presidency.
Drennen didn't mention that President Trump is doing the exact same thing to the women who have accused him of sexual harassment and worse, and we don't recall him or anyone else at the MRC being bothered by that. To the contrary: the MRC is helping Trump try to destroy them.
Beyond that, the MRC joined CNS in whining that the story was being covered at all (though Curtis Houck did briefly concede the allegations against Porter are "serious"):
Ryan Foley complained that "CNN spent nearly the entire day on Monday hammering President Trump for his response to the Rob Porter controversy," but he never mentioned what that defense was or argue why it didn't deserved to be hammered.
Bill D'Agostino grumbled that "MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell repeatedly redirected any coverage of President Trump’s infrastructure plan back to discussions about the domestic abuse allegations against former White House staffer Rob Porter," further grumbling that "the media simply prefer to focus on the negative aspects of the Trump presidency."
It has been a week since the disturbing allegations came to light that Rob Porter, a now-former White House staffer close to the President, had a history of domestic abuse against his two ex-wives. And during that time, the evening newscasts of the major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) had dedicated almost a combined hour to the story. But when it came to similar accusations against congressional Democrats, they couldn’t be bothered.
Fondacaro's reference to former Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson -- who, unlike Porter, did not work in the White House and was not a close aide to President Obama -- and allegations of abuse leveled by his estranged wife in 2014, generated a lengthy clarification appended to the end of the post in which Fondacaro insisted in bold italic type that "it is beyond the scope of NewsBusters’ expertise, and mission, to make claims about the validity of the underlying charges; our job is strictly to analyze the news media’s coverage of these various claims."
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Paul Nehlen Problem Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily published a book by an anti-establishment Republican who quickly turned into an anti-Semitic white nationalist. While WND (eventually) stopped selling Nehlen's book, it has never publicly denounced him or his views. Read more >>
MRC Still Falsely Spinning Trump's Old Attack on Central Park Five Topic: Media Research Center
Former Media Research Center researcher-turned-NewsBusters blogger Brad Wilmouth has a bad habit of clinging to lost causes. We've already caught him denying that Republican Rep. Steve Scalise gave a speech to a David Duke-led white nationalist group -- despite the fact that Scalise apologized for giving it.
Wilmoth's current lost cause -- as we first noted last September -- is denying that a 1989 newspaper ad placed by Donald Trump wasn't advocating for the death penalty to be applied to the Central Park Five, a group of teens accused of raping and beating a female jogger in Central Park who were cleared of the crime years later. Wilmouth insisted that Trump's ad couldn't have been referencing the Central Park Five because they weren't mentioned in the ad itself, despite the timing of the ad and the headline "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY" -- and they would not have been eligible for the death penalty anyway since they were juveniles. Wilmouth also denied that despite being cleared of roles in the attack, they weren't actually exonerated even though New York City officials paid a large settlement to them.
On Sunday's MSNBC Live, host Yasmin Vossoughian repeated the discredited claim that President Donald Trump in 1989 used an ad to urge the execution of a group of underage teens who turned out to be innocent, as she even gave a forum to one of the teens, Yusef Salaam, to rail against Trump talking up "due process" for members of his administration accused of domestic violence.
At 4:37 p.m. ET, after recalling the case of White House aide Rob Porter resigning after the airing of spousal abuse charges, the MSNBC host read a tweet from Trump asking for "due process" before she then brought up the Central Park Five case:
But Trump himself has been known for making serious allegations without allowing justice to run its course. In 1989, when five African-American and Latino teenagers were accused of raping a jogger in New York's Central Park. Trump bought a newspaper ad suggesting they should be executed. The so-called Central Park Five were later exonerated.
But, in context, the 1989 "Bring Back the Death Penalty" ad came at a time when capital punishment was not a legal option in New York because the old law had been struck down by a court ruling. At the time, there had also been a movement for the state legislature to pass a new death penalty lawwhich was likely to be vetoed by then-Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo.
Because there was no death penalty option on the books at the time, capital punishment could not have been applied to the Central Park Five even if a new law were passed.
In fact, in an interview with CNN's Larry King from May 1989, Trump stated that he believed a new death penalty law should only apply to adults, contradicting the claims by liberals that the point of the ad was to advocate the death penalty specifically for the Central Park Five. Additionally, the ad only called for the death penalty for those who commit murder, and the Central Park attack victim survived.
Wilmouth overlooked the part of the Larry King interview in which he also said, according to the CNN article to which he linked, that "Trump told King his newspaper ads were not 'pre-judging' the five teens, but rather advocating for their execution if they were to be found guilty."
So, yes, even though he admitted that the death penalty doesn't apply to minors, Trump was calling for it anyway. It's a muddled message, something Trump is prone to -- muddled enough that Wilmouth should know better than to try and defend Trump over it.
But then, defending Trump no matter what is what the MRC does these days.
Remembering WND's Favorite Domestic Terrorist, Since WND Won't Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Moore tries to work up a little indignance in a Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily article:
Employed as a communications specialist for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., police stopped Randall “Ismail” Royer for a traffic violation in September 2001.
The officers found in Royer’s automobile an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition. Two years later, Royer was indicted along with 10 others for conspiring to levy war against the United States and to provide material support to al-Qaida. For agreeing to cooperate with the government, he pleaded guilty to lesser weapons and explosives charges, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Now, released after serving nearly 14 years of his sentence, Royer, an American convert to Islam, says he is a changed man and rejects terrorism.
The Washington Post gave Royer space to write a column this month, noting in his bio he serves as a research and program associate at the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington. Since his release from prison in December 2016, the Post said, he has “worked in the nonprofit sector developing strategies to promote religious liberty and undermine extremist ideology.”
A feature by Quartz magazine in May 2017 said Royer’s goal now is “to fight fanatical ideologies, such as those held by extremist groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda.”
Moore goes on to pen a lengthy denunciation of Royer and CAIR.
Given Moore's lengthy screed, now is probably a good time to remind folks of WND's own favorite domestic terrorist.
G. Gordon Liddy is best known for his actions that set the Watergate scandal in motion, such as participating in the break-in at the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate office complex and being a conspirator in the break-in at the office of the psychiatrist for Daniel Ellsberg. But Liddy also plotted numerous acts of domestic terrorism that were fortunately not carried out, such as the murder of Richard Nixon's critics. He also advocated the murder of federal agents in his radio show in 1994, saying, "Well, if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests."
As we've documented, WND was a good friend to this domestic terrorist. WND editor Joseph Farah appeared on Liddy's radio show numerous times as both a guest and guest host, and several WND writers made guest appearances on the show. One WND article touted Liddy (who was to appear on a WND-sponsored cruise) as a "bon vivant, raconteur and general all-around nice guy" with no mention at all of his history of domestic terrorism. Former WND writer Aaron Klein's 2007 book, "Schmoozing With Terrorists," not only offered a shout-out to Liddy in the acknowledgements section -- "looking forward to many more Mideast adventures together" -- he begins one chapter by recounting one such "adventure" with Liddy, awestruck by how damn studly the guy is, again with no mention of his domestic terrorism.
If Moore can't work up any anger about his employer being so buddy-buddy with a domestic terrorist like Liddy, he has no moral standing upon which to criticize others.
In the aftermath of the Florida school shootings, CNSNews.com knew who had to be denounced: survivors of the shooting who demanded solutions to gun violence in America. CNS also knew who needed to be protected and promoted: the National Rifle Association.
CNS reporter Susan Jones -- best known for her pro-Trump stenography -- applied those same skills onbehalf of the NRA. She devoted two articles to NRA official Wayne LaPierre's speech at CPAC, both of which highlighted his rants about socialism for some reason:
Jones also penned an article highlighting how "President Trump reached out to the National Rifle Association on Thursday, amid the unrelenting demonization of the organization in America's latest gun control debate." Jones dismissed Trump's divergence from NRA-approved position by claim that he was "apparently responding to things he watched on morning television."
CNS, this time in the person of managing editor Michael W. Chapman, also fawned over NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch's aggressive defense of her employer in her CPAC speech:
A couple days before CPAC, Jones penned an article about an "liberal Democrat" and "anti-NRA" candidate for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court who failed to advance in the primary, and she touted how one of the candidates who did advance (the Republican, natch) was effectively endorsed by the NRA. But Jones glossed over the fact that the two Democratic judicial candidates got more votes combined than the lone Republican candidate, and she also ignored the fact that one possible factor in the "anti-NRA" candidate losing was not his NRA stance but that he was not a judge like the other two candidates and had tried few cases in Wisconsin courtrooms.
Newsmax's Hirsen Develops Conspiracy Theory Over Russian Indictments Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax columnist James Hirsen has a conspiracy theory to share with you in his Feb. 20 column about special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russian nationals for meddling in the 2016 presidential election:
The timing of the recent announcement by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding the indictments of 13 Russians appears to be part of an effort to provide possible cover for the FBI, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and the Democratic Party-aligned mainstream media.
The hasty public release occurred via a press statement by Mr. Rosenstein on an unusual choice of days, a Friday afternoon that was a lead-in to a three-day holiday weekend.
It is highly possible that the intention was to have the public focus on the headlines coming out of the press conference rather than zeroing in on the underlying facts of the matters at hand.
In other words, there may have been an attempt to employ a frequently used technique of diversion to direct public attention away from the admitted wrongdoing on the part of government, which was rapidly taking over the social media and conventional headlines.
In this case, it would be the effort to direct attention away from the FBI’s failure to investigate warnings that the man accused of the atrocious killing of 17 high school students had expressed a desire to kill innocent people and was in possession of a weapon to carry out his threat.
Like any good conspiracy theorist, Hirsen has a sub-theory to throw in as well:
The indictments helped to eclipse another inconvenient developing story, which would be a major embarrassment for the special counsel’s probe, and that is, that former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn’s guilty plea is likely to be set aside.
The judge who originally accepted Gen. Flynn’s plea for lying to the FBI has recused himself from the case, since he was also a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the very court that accepted from the Obama Justice Department the Steele dossier as evidence to support the issuance of a FISA warrant to spy on members of the Trump campaign.
The new judge assigned to Gen. Flynn’s case has ordered Mueller to release to Gen. Flynn’s lawyers any exculpatory evidence in Mueller’s possession. The judge has also directed that any information which is favorable to Gen. Flynn be submitted to the court, even if the Mueller team believes that it is not material to the case.
This means that even if Mueller claims that his evidence is classified or not relevant, it still must be provided to the judge so that the judge can decide what can be released. This takes away the ability of the prosecutor to withhold or redact evidence on his own.
Just one thing, though: the judge's order is his standard one. So there's nothing new here.
You'd think that a guy who claims to be a lawyer, as Hirsen does, would have noticed that.
MRC Censors CNN's Full Defense In 'Scripted' Question Debate Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so eager to destroy CNN for not being a pro-Trump cheerleader that it will embrace any claim to make it look bad.
It's in that spirit that the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro breathlessly wrote in a Feb. 22 post:
The Wednesday CNN town hall promoting gun bans and moderated by Jake Tapper was arguably a train wreck from the beginning. Between a student saying Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reminded him of the shooter and shouts of ‘murderer’ at NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, it was out of control. But in the wee hours of Thursday morning, things got worse for the anti-gun network when the local Florida ABC affiliate WPLG-TV reported that CNN had been planting questions.
The whistleblower was Colton Haab, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who heroically shielded his fellow students from the bullets with sheets of Kevlar and was a member of the Junior ROTC program. “I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions,” Haab told reporter Janine Stanwood.
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab added. “I don’t think that it’s going to get anything accomplished. It’s not going to ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”
Stanwood noted that being given scripted questions was something Haab couldn’t stand for: “Colton wrote questions about school safety, suggested using veterans as armed school security guards, but claims CNN wanted him to ask a scripted question instead. So he decided not to go.”
CNN quickly responded to Haab's claim by denying it, stating that "CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night's town hall, nor have we ever." But Fondacaro couldn't be bothered to update his post; instead, he whined: "The questions asked by attendees were grossly slanted for the liberal anti-gun agenda. In all, there were 23 questions asked between the two segments (politicians and spokespeople). Not included in the total were repeated questions during arguments, but follow-ups were counted. Of those 23, 17 were asked from the left, five from the center, and only one from the right." Fondacaro provided no evidence to back up this claim.
Several hours later, Fondacaro finally got around to noting CNN's response in a separate post. He again repeated his unsupported claims about tyhe purported slant of questions during the forum, then irrelevantly brought up other alleged examples in previous CNN forums. He went on to suggest that CNN was lying:
But CNN’s assertion that they didn’t script Wednesday night’s event might not hold up well under scrutiny. And when it came to their claim that they never had a scripted event or planted questions, it’s easy to discover they have a long history of planting questions and tipping the balance of discussions.
CNN can deny that they scripted the town hall this time, but saying they never scripted anything at all was going too far. In fact, given their history, their denials should be received with great skepticism.
Fondacaro's earlier post does not provide a link to this one, which tells us he's not exactly interested in fairness and balance.
After President Trump picked up on Haab's claims, CNN released the emails between it and the Haab family before the forum. They show that the Haab family released an edited version of one email to falsely support the "scripted" narrative; in reality, CNN wanted Colton to ask a question that he himself had proposed.
Fondacaro has yet to acknowledge that CNN is right.
Farah Actually Cites His Exploitation of Seth Rich's Death As A Reason WND Should Live Topic: WorldNetDaily
Perhaps indicative of the state of its campaign to raise money to raise money to stay alive by its declared deadline -- it's still about $50,000 short of the $200,000 it said it needed to raise by March 1 -- WorldNetDaily and editor Joseph Farah are getting a bit desperate in its emailed pleas to readers.
In his Feb. 21 letter, Farah basically argues that if WND doesn't get saved, Donald Trump gets it:
So again, I just need to ask the tough question: Can you imagine America without the independent media during the critical 2018 election cycle – or with a weakened independent media that is struggling to stay alive?
You know what that will mean. It will very likely mean the hapless Republican Party will lose the Congress – making it impossible for President Trump to carry out his plans to restore American greatness, secure our borders, and continue the economic recovery.
And as I have said before, we all know the very first item on the Democrats' agenda should they retake Congress will be to impeach President Trump.
That’s how big this fight is. But WND is not just about the 2018 election. We’re about changing the culture of America for the better, about restoring the magnificent pro-American, free-market, constitutional, Judeo-Christian system our founders intended. We’re about saving America’s soul and restoring its inner greatness.
Two days later, Farah tried a different appeal, one that -- to put it charitably -- backfired:
Why are the independent media so critical to the future of America?
What is it that we do that the fake-news cartel doesn’t do?
We keep truth alive.
How important it that?
Here’s just one example from earlier this week.
Who else, besides WND, has consistently kept alive the memory of Seth Rich’s 2016 murder?
It’s a good example of what we do – almost uniquely.
We take a battering for it, too. It’s expensive to do this kind of reporting. And it’s costly in other ways than money. There’s real opposition to this kind of reporting. But we do it because it’s our job – the pursuit of the truth.
True, WND's obsession with Seth Rich is "a good example of what we do – almost uniquely," though not in the way Farah wants you to think. As we've documented, WND has been cynically exploiting Rich's death and pushing baseless conspiracy theories about it solely to fuel its decades-long obsession with hating the Clintons.
The article Farah is citing, a Feb. 19 piece by Bob Unruh, is problematic as well. Its two main sources for its claim regarding Rich is the Zero Hedge blog -- a fringe blog that published a false story that WND picked up in late 2016 -- and Kim Dotcom, a con artist and fugitive from justice who's hiding in New Zealand to avoid extradition to the U.S. on fraud and racketeering charges. Of course, Unruh fails to mention Dotcom's legal troubles.
So, yes, the Seth Rich pursuit is indeed a good example of what WND does: push conspiracy theories as a tool to fulfill the personal and political vendettas of Farah and Co.
If Farah is proud to be exploting a young man's tragic death for political purposes, maybe WND really doesn't deserve to live.
CNS Deflects From #MeToo By Recounting Someone's Decade-Old Consensual Affair Topic: CNSNews.com
You know things are getting uncomfortable at the Media Research Center on the #MeToo front -- after all, it has studiously avoided talking about the sexual harassment allegations against numerous Fox News personalities even as it rants about non-conservative alleged perpetrators.
As the spousal abuse scandal involving White House adviser Rob Porter was blowing up, CNSNews.com was studiousy ignoring that too, until it got to the point that biased reporter Susan Jones whined that she had to cover it. The only other article CNS has done on Porter is a Feb. 12 piece by Melanie Arter uncritically regurgitating the Trump White House line on Porter.
In the midst of this, CNS felt the need to ... recount a decade-old consensual affair involving a current Democratic candidate for California governor. Craig Bannister grumbles in a Feb. 8 CNS blog post:
California Lt. Governor Gavin Newson [sic] (D), now running for governor, says the #MeToo movement doesn’t apply to his affair with a female staffer who was married to his chief campaign adviser.
But, addressing the scandal at a Politico event on Monday, Newsom said the #MeToo movement should focus on “deeper issues” than his sexual affair with a subordinate:
“The #MeToo movement represents "a profound opportunity to address deeper issues,'' he said, adding: ‘It’s not a political movement, it’s a cultural movement.’”
“I applaud women for coming forward” as part of the #MeToo movement, Newsom added.
One woman who has come forward – the subordinate Newsom had the affair with – agrees with Newsom that the #MeToo movement doesn’t apply to the Democrat running for governor:
So everyone agrees -- except Bannister -- that a consensual affair, however ill-advised, is not sexual harassment. But it diverted the eyes of CNS readers away from actual bad things happening in the Trump administration, so it arguably served its purpose.
WND Steals Donation Box Idea From Liberal News Website Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has recently started running pleas for donations at the end of its articles , in a box that looks like this:
If that box looks familar, it should. It appears WND stole its layout and basic content from a very similar box used in a very similar fashion by the British newspaper the Guardian -- ironically, a liberal-leaning outlet:
WND cribs the gray background, the yellow highlighted text, the yellow bar at the top of the box, the overall typographical scheme, the random quote from a reader and, apparently, the credit card images from the Guardian's box. Even the text of WND's plea hits the same beats as that of the Guardian's -- ad revenues are falling, the desire not to impose a paywall, the attempt to flatter the reader into donating, the reference to "independent, investigative journalism."
We know that WND has laid off people due to its current dire financial situation, and that it has had problems with plagiarism in the past (not to mention the outright theft of others' content without permission or compensation that's a key part of its business model), but this is ridiculous.