Melanie Arter is too busy dutifully transcribing what comes out of the White House press office to be concerned about things like fact-checking. Read more >>
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
WND Columnist Gets It Wrong On Effectiveness of Waterboarding
Patrick Brady's May 15 WorldNetDaily column is all about how he's "fed up"with John McCain: "I am sick of his hero stuff and McCain being the gold standard of torture and those who demonize Gina Haspel in his name. The moral preening of those questioning Haspel on the fact that she obeyed the law is nauseating, as is McCain’s slandering of this good woman. Elect these people, and watch the swamp turn into a sewer." Brady goes on to write:
In fact, waterboarding did not get us Osama bin Laden. A Senate investigation found that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods provided no key evidence in the hunt for bin Laden; the key piece of evidence 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided came only months after he had been waterboarded 183 times.
Tim Graham's Funhouse Mirror: Bashes Straight-News Fox Anchor, Defends The Fake-News Anchor
Topic: Media Research Center
Just one of the many reasons the Media Research Center's Tim Graham is such a terrible media critic is his funhouse-mirror view of Fox News.
Graham whined in a May 3 post:
Graham doesn't mention that there is truth to Smith's claim -- Fox News host Sean Hannity, for one, has denounced the questions as "crap,"and Fox News as a whole is all but begging Trump to fire Mueller and shut down the investigation (therefore precluding an interview).
Instead, Graham huffed that "Smith isn't relaying facts on a Fox News Channel. Like the other cable 'news' operations, he's sitting in a political playground he could call the Fox Imagination Channel. " Of course, if Graham doesn't think Fox's hosts are trying to influence Trump's behavior regarding the Mueller investigation, he's the one living in fantasy land.
Meanwhile, on May 17, Graham was much more praiseworthy of another Fox News host:
Graham ignored another salient fact -- that in reality, blinders really aren't Baier's thing. Certainly he remembers the bogus story Baier reported -- and the MRC heravily promoted -- before the 2016 election claiming that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent. Baier had to retract that story a few days later, but Graham and the rest of the MRC never told their readers that, despite Brent Boizell declaring that "We will report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour from here on out." Apparently, the fact that the story was fake news wasn't a development worth reporting.
And then there's that book Baier was on "The View" to promote. Judging by the promotion for it on Baier's personal website, it's on the hagiographic side, touting how the book "reveals as never before President Ronald Reagan’s battle to end the Cold War" and lovingly recounts how "In 1980, Reagan represented a new spirit of optimism—a remedy for the sense of malaise the nation was experiencing."
Does this sound like a guy who's wearing ideological blinders? To Graham, it does, apparently.
To sum up: Graham is gashing the straight-news Fox guy for saying something he can't be bothered to disprove, and he defends the Fox guy who's on record as promoting fake news. That's the way things work at the MRC these days.
Reminder: WND Still Pushing Seth Rich Conspiracies
Even WorldNetDaily's recent near-death experience -- driven in no small part by its lengthy history of publishing bogus conspiracy theories -- isn't stopping it from continuing to exploit Seth Rich's death by pushing conspiracy theories about it.
An anonymously written May 16 WND article reports that the Department of Justice won't release records related to Rich's death, as requested by an attorney named Ty Clevenger. As we noted the last time WND touted Clevenger's exploits, he appears to be little more than a gadfly lawyer motivated more by his hatred of the Clintons than by any alleged sense of justice.
The article then goes on to rehash the conspiracy theories, claiming that "The Metropolitan Police Department and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowers [sic] insist Rich was randomly killed during a “botched robbery.” But others are doubtful because he was found with his wallet, credit cards and other valuables" and that "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hinted that Rich, and not Russian agents, may have been the source of the Democratic National Committee emails he published online."
Assange's continued insistence on being coy about Rich fuels those conspiracy theories, despite his strategy of creating "maximum ambiguity" and not telling the truth.
We'd complain about WND continuing its irresponsible ways, but Joseph Farah never promised to fix WND's faulty brand of journalism, let alone admitted there is a problem in the first place.
Monday, May 28, 2018
O'Reilly Not Helping His Credibility By Promoting Corsi's Book
We've noted how Newsmax has been courting disgraced former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly for months, in conjunction with an image rehab operation it's doing for him by giving him a platform on Newsmax TV and shoving all those sexual harassment claims against him down the memory hole. Indeed, rumors of O'Reilly hooking up with Newsmax have been heating up again of late.
Another sign of a possible O'Reilly-Newsmax hookup: O'Reilly is shilling for Newsmax's products -- and a particularly substandard one at that. A May 9 Newsmax article touts:
Of course, as we noted, the real reason nobody will have Corsi on TV to promote his book -- published by Newsmax's book division, Humanix, something this article failed dto disclose -- is because he's an utterly discredited, conspiracy-mongering author whose main employment was formerly with WorldNetDaily and is currently with paranoid Alex Jones' Infowars.
Putting his now-meager promotional weight behind anything written by Corsi is not a good way for O'Reilly to rebuild his credibility, even if it might help him land a steady gig at Newsmax.
How Is CNS' Managing Editor Hating Gays Now?
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman loves to use his post to indulge in gay-bashing. He does so again in a May 11 article in which he viewed with horror that major league baseball teams have LGBT nights.
"Sadly, 23 of the 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are promoting homosexuality through "LGBT Pride" nights this year, reported Outsports.com," Chapman intoned, hadding with pride that "only two MLB teams -- New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels -- have never held such 'pride' nights."
Chapman then described in a similar horror-stricken tone what happens on such nights:
Oh, the horror.
Chapman also quoted MLB official Billy Bean, "an openly homosexual former player," calling the pride nights as being "in the spirit of Jackie Robinson," which caused Chapman to huff: "There is no equivalency between race and sex and it is not known whether Robinson ever supported homosexuality."
For all of this simmering outrage, Chapman never mentions that many MLB teams also offer "faith and family nights" in which players and fans get to play up their Christian faith.
WND Columnist Pushes Lies About Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood
David Ruzicka's May 17 WorldNetDaily column is dedicated ot attacking Kamala Harris for a couple of reasons. The first is calling waterboarding torture and thus immoral; Ruzicka claimed that "Her torture definition could’ve come straight from the pages of '1984'" and that "Kamala wouldn’t know morality or torture if it hit her in the face. He further huffed:
So, waterboarding isn't torture when Americans do it -- which is itself a very tortured definition of it. Also, Harrigan was pretty much the only journalist who underwent waterboarding for reporting purposes who thought it wasn't torture. Oh, and a Senate committee found that waterboarding didn't work in trying to gain accurate information.
Ruzicka also attacked Harris' support for Planned Parenthood, claming that the group's "founder, Margaret Sanger, said, 'Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated'" In fact, Sanger said no such thing.
Ruzicka also claimed that Planned Parenthood "puts 79 percent of its clinics in minority neighborhoods (let that sink in) to carry out Sanger’s vision of exterminating black people." This isn't true either; as we documented, the claim -- from an anti-abortion group -- actually stated that 70 percent of clinics were "in or near" minority neighborhoods, with the exceedingly generous definition of "near" being a two-mile radius.
That's a lot of falsehoods and misleading information coming from a man who claims to be a Christian pastor.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
MRC Demands Trump's 'Animal' Insult Be Put Into Context -- But It Mocked CNN Reporter for Demanding Context Of His Words
Topic: Media Research Center
Following President Trump's remarks that appeared to smear at least some undocumented immigrants as "animals," the Media Research Center does what it's paid to do and rushed to Trump's defense, insisting despite his vague linking that Trump was referring only to the gang MS-13. Scott Whitlock complained Trump's words were "distorted," Nicholas Fondacaro called it "totally false," Curtis Houck bizarrely claimed that the media was defending MS-13 by merely acknowledging that they are human beings, and Fondacaro returned to claim that the media thought it was fair to allegedly take Trump out of context "given his past comments about immigrants."
The MRC might have a point if it wasn't so eager to take the peiople it despises out of context -- something, in fact, it did just a few weeks before.
In an April 24 post, Houck (pictured) insisted that CNN correspondent Jim Acosta was "attacking the intelligence of the American people" by saying that some people don't know that Trump's attacks on the media are an "act" and that "their elevators might not hit all floors."But Houck plucked those words out of context, editing out the fact that Acosta immediately said afterward that "My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days. Somebody's going to get hurt." In other words, he was worried about the safety of himself and other journalists.
Houck merely paraphrased this important context as saying that "Acosta reiterated prior predictions that Trump’s criticism of the press will result in someone getting hurt" and hid the fact that it's directly related to the "elevator" comment. The MRC loves to dismiss how some reporters on the Trump beat feel threatened.
The next day, Houck mocked Acosta for demanding that the right-wing media put his words in context, cheering how "conservative Twitter unloaded" on Acosta for demanding context "and, in a brief moment of indulgence, it was glorious."
Houck then included a fuller quote of Acosta "since he claims he’s being unfairly attacked" (though he didn't mention that he was one of those who had previously published only a selective quoting of Acosta), then baselessly decided "there's no ambiguity there" -- again ignoring that Acosta was talking about threats to journalists.
Houck's hatred for Acosta is so personal and so unhinged (to use a favorite MRC term) that nothing he writes about Acosta should be taken as anything other than vindictiveness.
Charlie Daniels Likens Trump to Jesus As He Denies Doing So
-- Charlie Daniels, May 8 CNSNews.com column
Saturday, May 26, 2018
MRC Complains Oliver North Accurately Labeled As 'Controversial'
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been protecting Oliver North since his ascension to president of the National Rifle Association. We've already documented how the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, failed to mention North's central (and criminal) role in the Iran-contra scandal -- the one thing he's most famous -- the MRC itself complained that it was accurately reported.
A May 8 MRC post by Scott Whitlock huffed that media reports called North "controversial." Whitlock can't dispute the accuracy of that claim, so he takes a stab at whataboutism in the form of a Clinton Equivocation: "How often was Bill Clinton referred to as a 'controversial' Whitewater figure or Hillary Clinton a 'controversial' person connected to having a secret e-mail server?"
Whitlock might have a point if Bill Clinton was ever charged, let alone convicted of anything regarding Whitewater -- which he wasn't. Similarly, Hillary Clinton's email server may have been "controversial" -- though that's been mostly due to the Republican obsession over it. But despite an FBI investigation, Hillary has never been charged with criminal wrongdoing regarding it.
By contrast, North was convicted on destroying documents, obstructing Congress and taking a bribe in relation to the Iran-contra scandal, which were ultimately dismissed only because of having been granted immunity for his congressional testimony.
Whitlock also tried to dismiss the scandal as old news not worth bringing up, variously calling it a "scandal from 30 yerars ago" and "a scandal from 1987." Whitlock failed to mention that Whitewater was 25 years ago.
WND Columnist Begs For God To Do Something To America Over Abortion
WorldNetDaily apparently seems to think that since God purportedly intervened in American affairs to make sure Donald Trump was elected president, He should be helping right-wingers out with their political agenda.
We've already documented WND columnist Larry Nevenhoven lamenting that God wasn't helping him go gay-bashing. Now, another WND columnist is begging for divine political intervention.
In a May 15 column headlined "Is God mad at America because of abortion?" Jerry Newcombe asks, "Is America shaking its collective fist at God through the wholesale slaughter of the unborn?" After some dubious likening of abortion to slavery, Newcombe writes:
Newcombe has previously lied to downplay the extent of anti-abortion violence.
Friday, May 25, 2018
CNS' Arter Lets More White House Misinformation Go Unchallenged
CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter was helping her favorite stenography client, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, out of another Trump-instigated mess -- his tweet that perhaps the government should "take away credentials" of journalists that write things he doesn't like -- in May 9 article. Arter regurgitated Sander's insistence that the White House believes in afree press, and then pretty much stay in stenography mode later in the article:
If Arter had bothered to fact-check Sanders -- something she's loath to do -- she would have found that Sanders' claims were, shall we say, less than truthful.
The word "AWOL" appears nowhere in the New York Times article Sanders is bashing. The article accurately points out that former secretary of state Rex Tillerson was "thousands of miles away" when Trump announced his intention to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and that current secretary of state Mike Pompeo, was "again thousands of miles away, this time on an unannounced visit to Pyongyang" when Trump announced "what could be the most significant diplomatic announcement of his presidency — that he would exit the Iran nuclear agreement." The Times alsoreported that such absences "left perplexed European diplomats privately complaining that they were having trouble getting answers from Washington, and created an uncertainty about what was next that spanned the Atlantic Ocean." While it was later revealed that Pompeo was trying to secure the release of three Americans imrpisoned in North Korea, that was not a done deal at the time the article first appeared.
Sanders got the Post article she attacked completely wrong. It never claimed that Melania Trump doesn't livein the White House; toward the end of the lengthy article -- which focuses on her daily routine and her unusual distance from her husband as a presidential spouse -- it notes that Melania not living in the White House has been a "persistent rumor," then immediately quotes Melania's spokeswoman and the White House social secretary denying it.
And not questioning anything Sanders says, even when it's misleading or even false, is a big part of Arter helping her do cleanup.
WND Doubles Down on Bogus Claims About Calif. Bill Banning Conversion Therapy
We've already caught WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah spreading the false claim that AB 2943, a proposed law in California that would ban anti-gay conversion therapy for commercial purposes, would also ban the Bible. WND has apparently decided to double down on misinformation about the bill.
An anonymously written May 15 WND article misleads from the get-go, falsely claiming that the bill is designed so "people with same-sex inclinations don’t hear messages challenging them." Then it quotes Mike Huckabee ranting at length about how the bill is "one of the most dramatic ideological shifts away from the First Amendment in our nation’s history" and hyperbolically claiming that "it can easily be interpreted to stop the sale goods and services that promote a biblical worldview!” and that "the sale of ANY book that states the practice of homosexuality or transgender identification as immoral actions would be illegal in California. …This could include the Bible!”
Uh, no. As we noted, the bill's sponsor says it does not ban the Bible or any other book or speech.
The article then quotes an article from the right-wing site The Federalist that appears to put the lie to the idea that conversion therapy is a legitimate thing at all; in it, the author claims it's all about demonstrating how "Christ can empower people not to engage in homosexual practice or not to identify as ‘gay’ or ‘transgender’ because such behaviors and self-identities are morally wrong" or about "efforts to persuade people of Christ’s power to transform in this area."
That's evangelism, not therapy as recognized by any mental health professional.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
MRC Denounces 'Insane' Trump-Hitler Comparison, Never Questioned Sanity of Obama-Hitler Comparisons
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Julia Seymour grumbled in a May 14 post:
Seymour's headline called the Trump-Hitler comparison "insane."
Seymour even squeezed a second post out of this two days later, claiming that Steyer "is still digging out from under his response to a question about whether President Donald Trump is like 'Hitler.'"
By comparison, when various extremists likened President Obama to Hitler, the MRC never denounced the comparison as insane -- or at all, mostly:
And as we've documented, when conservative country singer Hank Williams Jr. appeared on "Fox & Friends" in 2011 to claim that then-Speaker of the House John Boehner's recent golf game with President Obama was "one of the biggest political mistakes ever," adding, "It's like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu" -- Obama, of course, is the Hitler in that analogy -- the MRC raced to dismiss the comparison as nothing more than "intemperate" and a "bad joke."There was no questioning Williams' sanity as Seymour did Steyer's.
WND Finds A New Bible Hero To Liken Trump To
WorldNetDaily has long seen Donald Trump as a figure of Biblical proportions, repeatedly pushing the idea that God himself had a hand in Trump's election as president. But there's another Biblical figure to which WND has likened Trump.
A May 15 WND article highlights how Fox News host Jeanine Pirro "is comparing the president to the biblical King Cyrus," adding: "Cyrus, a Persian king, founded the Achaemenid Empire, conquered Babylon and made history by allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple. The prophet Isaiah wrote of him as an 'anointed one.'"
This is far from the first time WND has likened Trump to Cyrus. Even before the election, an October 2016 article by the notorious Jerome Corsi touted a sermon "sweeping quietly across evangelical America" featuring "a minister asking a simple question: 'Would you have voted for Cyrus the Great?'" The sermon didn't mention Trump but implicitly argued that God would "use a pagan king like Cyrus the Great to advance his glory" like he would purportedly use Trump.
Another pre-election article cited an Israeli rabbi and "international Bible codes expert" who "sees Trump as a leader in the mold of Cyrus the Great of Persia, who helped free the Jewish people from Babylonian captivity in Old Testament times. They were then able to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem."
a September column by WND editor Joseph Farah touted how "Michael Freund, an American-Israeli political activist, pleads with President Donald Trump to follow in the footsteps of Cyrus the Great by fulfilling his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the nation’s capital, Jerusalem." Farah concluded: "All I can add is this: From Freund’s keyboard to Trump’s heart to God’s ears."
In December, WND promoted a claim that Trump's moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would help lead to the construction of the third temple, citing the spokeman for a group of organizations working towards making the Third Temple a reality, claiming that "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."
In February, as we previously noted, WND touted a commemorative Trump coin minted by the far-right Israeli rabbinical group the Sanhedrain marking the embassy move, which would also have "an image of the ancient Persian King Cyrus, who was key to the construction of the Second Temple."
An April article highlighted how the Sanhedrin and other groups were making another commemorative coin to fund the construction of the Third Temple. The article stated of the earlier coin: "The Trump-Cyrus coin, which honored two Israeli foreign heroes – one present and one past – came following President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital." The article quoted a spokesman saying, "Hopefully, Trump will continue in this path and, like Cyrus, play a central role in the building of the Temple."
Notice the conflation of moving the embassy to Jerusalem and building the Third Temple. The temple reconstruction on the Temple Mount -- currently home to a mosque -- is something WND has been cheerlead ing for years, though Farah has tried to deny that he supports it because it sets in motion certain End Times prophecies.
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