WND Finds A Seth Rich Conspiracy Story Even It Won't Promote Topic: WorldNetDaily
Over the past couple of years, WorldNetDaily has cynically exploited the death of Seth Rich (and just barely avoiding getting sued over said exploitation) as a way to attack the Clintons, for whom it has an obsessive hatred, and to feed its own conspiratorial inclinations.
An anonymous written July 9 WND article pushed the latest conspiratorial development:
The convoluted case of the murder in Washington, D.C., of Democratic operative Seth Rich has taken another turn, with a lobbyist who has been investigating the case claiming a “credible” witness has been found.
Jack Burkman, a Washington-based lawyer and lobbyist,told the Gateway Punditblog: “We believe that we have reached the beginning of the end of the Seth Rich murder investigation. After two long hard years of work, we have a witness who is prepared to identify the two killers of Seth Rich.”
Burkman told the blog in an exclusive interview on Sunday that one of the culprits identified by the witness is an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration and the other is an agent for the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Burkman said the witness has conclusive evidence that will bring the killers to justice.
WND didn't mention that the Gateway Pundit article was written by a former WND emplolyee, Alicia Powe, who lost her job as WND shed personnel earlier this year in a cost-cutting frenzy to stay alive.
But Burkman's press conference was, to mut it mildly, a disaster. As Right Wing Watch reported, the purported witness appeared only via "an off-white speakerphone from years past resting on a table" and was coached through the call by Burkman, but "reporters in the room—even those largely sympathetic to conspiracy theories about Rich’s murder—left unconvinced" of the purported witness' credibility.
Even Powe -- who pushed Seth Ricih conspiracy theories, particularly those from Burkman, while at WND -- wasn't convinced. Her follow-up story at Gateway Pundit carried the headline "Activists Sully Second Anniversary of Seth Rich Murder with Batsh*t Crazy Press Conference"; the article itself doesn't really back that, instead uncritically repeating what happened at the presser. It's a badly written, badly edited piece that strangely omits Burkman's name as the ringleader of the charade and concludes (typos in original): "If you presume the witness is telling the truth the reasons he would fear for his safety are quite obvious you are dealin with bad feds. Its clear to me a big problem in law intel bureaucracy the government works out of necessity with too many people who have been on the other side of the laws."
Interestingly, WND did no reporting at all on what actually happened at Burkman's presser. Could it be that WND recognized what a fiasco this was and decided not to give it any coverage even though it's still firmly in its conspiratorial wheelhouse?
Perhaps. The shocker here is that WND apparently has standards.
CNS, WND Play Down Scandals In Reporting on Pruitt's Resignation Topic: CNSNews.com
The resignation of EPA chief Scott Pruitt amid a lengthy and growing list of scandals and controversies got the ConWeb in the way you'd expect from pro-Trump state media: by heavily downplaying the scandal aspect.
CNS' Melanie Arter led her article on Pruitt's resignation by noting that it came "after months of misconduct allegations" -- but that's the only reference to them. The remainder of Arter's nine-paragraph article is dedicated to repeating President Trump's praise for Ptuitt.
WorldNetDaily's Art Moore began his article by noting the "accusations of multiple ethical failures" against Pruitt, and he later noted that "Government investigators have been looking into Pruitt’s renting of a Capitol Hill condominium linked to an energy lobbyist on favorable terms, the high cost of his travel and security detail and other accusations of mistreatment of employees, wasteful spending and unethical decisions."
But Moore then went on to portray Pruitt as the victim of a "political hit job":
One of Pruitt’s biggest critics, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., tweeted Thursday that Pruitt remained in his position so long only because Trump “liked his zealotry” on deregulation.
“Scott Pruitt’s reign of venality is finally over,” wrote Connolly. “He made swamp creatures blush with his shameless excesses. All tolerated because Trump liked his zealotry. Shame.”
In contrast, talk-radio and Fox News host Mark Levin on Thursday characterized Pruitt as a victim of a political hit job.
“Well, they finally got Scott Pruitt. The EPA is hostile territory for any true conservative trying to tame it,” he wrote. “And the acting administrator is another lifer. Major step backward.”
Washington observer Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at the online magazine The Federalist and a contributor for Fox News, said Thursday that the issue is “not that Scott Pruitt showed bad judgment” – although she said some charges were false or exaggerated – it’s that he was effective in his job and, from the beginning, drew the wrath of a campaign called “Boot Pruitt.”
Hemingway, in a panel discussion on Bret Baier’s “Special Report,” said Pruitt was “articulating and advancing an agenda very different than what you had seen from previous EPA administrators.”
She emphasized that the reason Pruitt was under attack for the entirety of his administration was not because he showed bad judgment.
“The campaign that was funded by so many of these environmental groups was about going over every single decision he made, every single casual comment he made, with a fine-toothed comb so they could oust him,” she said.
Hemingway said the success of the Boot Pruitt effort will make it a blueprint for the left, noting that already activists are calling for the new acting administrator, Wheeler, to be removed, arguing he will continue Pruitt’s policies.
Framing Pruitt's ouster as a conspiracy very much up WND's editorial alley.
Apparently, Mocking Bono Is 'Media Research' At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's brand of "media research" is departing further and further from anything substantive and moving closer to just insulting people its writers don't like.
A good example is this July 3 post by Gabriel Hays, who seems more interested in taking potshots at Bono than having anything useful to say:
The world’s ambassador for peace and self-righteousness, Bono hasn’t been holding up well in light of recent criticisms against the UN and NATO.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the famous U2 frontman warned “that the United Nations and other international institutions including the European Union and NATO are under threat — and nations must work together to ensure their continued existence.”
Bono, a giant in the world of fancy charity events and posing for photos with impoverished African kids, did his best to kiss up to crowd of UN diplomats at an event for a potential Irish UN seat. Referencing the recent criticism by various world governments, Bono worried that the role of unaccountable international organizations was in danger.
He claimed, “I love that it [the UN] exists, and I’ll tell you, I don’t take for granted that it exists, or that it will continue to exist because let’s be honest, we live in a time when institutions as vital to human progress as the United Nations are under attack.”
Well, the UN is at least vital in propping up famous faces like Bono as international do-gooders, but that’s beside the point, right?
Of course, actual media criticism is beside the point for Hays when there's a popular musician -- who, unlike Hays or any other MRC employee, has an actual track record of helping people in the world -- to mock for believing things he doesn't.
WND Columnist Repeats Evidence-Free Rumor of Ex-CIA Chief's Conversion to Islam Topic: WorldNetDaily
When we last checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist John Griffing, he was so busy spewing hate that he couldn't be bothered to get his facts straight. He's still at it.
In the midst of a July 8 WND column spreading his usual anti-liberal hate, Griffing described former CIA director "John 'Benghazi' Brennan" as "a man who once voted for the Communist presidential candidate and may have converted to Islam." Griffing actually gets the first claim right, albeit out of context; Brennan did vote for a communist presidential candidate in 1976 -- but he was a college student at the time, it was a protest vote, and he was hired by the CIA anyway despite admitting the vote.
Griffing's so-called proof that Brennan " may have converted to Islam" is a 2013 WND article quoting the evidence-free claim being made by ex-FBI agent John Guandolo. Griffing didn't mention that -- as we noted at the time -- Guandolo is utterly discredited, having left the FBI after being exposed as a serial philanderer and adulterer who jeopardized a federal investigation by having sex with a witness and trying to get her to donate money to a right-wing "anti-terrorism" organization. Guandolo has still not offered any proof to back up his claim.
So, not exactly the most reliable source. Then again, neither is Griffing.
White Nationalist Links Cost Blumer His NewsBusters Gig Topic: NewsBusters
Well, that was quick.
Earlier this week, Media Matters discovered that a 2015 NewsBusters post by contributing editor Tom Blumer linked to an article on the white nationalist site American Renaissance stating in part that "my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike." Blumer also linked in a 2017 post to white nationalist site VDARE, benignly suggesting that it is a "center-right" operation.
NewsBusters has since deleted the links and added editor's notes to both posts noting the deletion, adding to one post, "NewsBusters does not associate with known white nationalists." Blumer has not written any new posts since the story broke, despite near-daily contributions before that; he apparently has been fired, as his NewsBusters author bio page now speaks of him in the past tense, calling him a "former contributing editor."
The thing is, Blumer's white-nationalist leanings should not have been a surprise to NewsBusters. Did nobody at the MRC edit his posts and double-check his links? Are they not aware that AmRen and VDARE are white nationalist websites? Blumer's post apparently don't get a lot of editorial scrutiny, given that we've devoted twoarticles to their shaky logic and general cluelessness about how the media works.
NewsBusters should have known, especially since it had to edit a post to tamp down some of Blumer's more racially inflammatory claims.
As we documented, NewsBusters published a 2016 post by Blumer in which he tried to argue that a poll showing Trump supporters are more likely to believe that blacks are more “lazy” than whites, “less intelligent” than whites, more “rude” than whites, more “violent” than whites and more “criminal” than whites somehow doesn't indicate racist beliefs. The original version of the post on Blumer's BizzyBlog site went even further, desperately trying to blame those conditions regarding blacks on liberal meddling, insisting that "Those who have seen the difference in behavior in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole [engage in a particular undesirable behavior] than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so" and that Trump supporters are simply "more willing to recognize those realities."
It's a delicate bit of needle-threading that fails because it still comes off as racist, and NewsBusters should never have published it in the first place -- or, at least, it should have sent up a red flag about the rest of Blumer's content. But given that NewsBusters' editing of Blumer has been on the lax side -- as the direct white-nationalist links show -- he was given a pass that it seems has not been earned.
As of this writing, Blumer hasn't noted his dismissal from NewsBusters on his personal blog, and NewsBusters itself hasn't mentioned it beyond changing his author bio to the past tense. NewsBusters should, however, publicly explain the editorial process that allowed a link to a white nationalist website making explicitly racist statements to get through in the first place, not to mention remaining live for three years.
Self-Unaware: WND's Farah Complains That People Are Doing To Trump What WND Did To Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah complains in his June 24 WorldNetDaily column:
At what point does the left’s Trump Derangement Syndrome cross the line of criminality?
In criminal law, incitement is defined as encouraging another person to commit a crime.
Threatening the president is a felony under United States Code Title 18, Section 871. It consists of knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making “any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the president of the United States.” This also includes presidential candidates and former presidents. The Secret Service is charged with investigating suspected violations.
There’s been far too much of this going since the day Trump was elected president – in fact, even before.
Celebrities seem especially susceptible to Trump Derangement Syndrome – probably because there is absolutely no price to pay career-wise. In fact, it probably helps. You don’t get the Roseanna Barr treatment if your venomous wrath is directed Trump-ward.
As usual, Farah has forgotten what he's been doing for a living the past couple decades. We doubt Farah was concerned about Barack Obama's safety when hepeddledliesandfake news about the president for eight years. We also don't recall Farah being offended when Ted Nugent effectively threatened Obama's life in 2007 when he called Obama a "piece of shit" who should "suck on my machine gun"; not only has Nugent never faced any consequences for it, Farah effectively rewarded him for it a few years later by giving him a column at WND with Farah gushing, "Ted Nugent rocks!"
Farah then complained that "what we euphemistically call the 'mainstream media' ... portrays Trump as a criminal, a Nazi, a white supremacist, an uncaring bigot, a let-them-eat-cake billionaire, a sociopath." Farah apparently doesn't remember that WND used most ofthose words to attack Obama, with the added slur of Antichrist.
Farah is so obtuse (perhaps strategically so) that doesn't see he's criticizing people for doing to Trump what he did to Obama. Unless he can honestly own up to -- and apologize for -- his role in creating the toxic political environment he now decries because it's his guy being targeted instead of him doing the targeting, WND will never be taken seriously.
CNS Reporter Complains Media Treats 'Socialist ... Latina' Candidate Like CNS Treats Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones is such a pro-Trumpstenographer that she regularlypresents whatever the Trump administration and Trump-promoting Republicans put out without bothering to fact-check. Which makes Jones' June 27 blog post -- in which she complains that a "socialist ... Latina" candidate who won a congressional primary was "not pressed on her agenda":
The 28-year-old Latina who knocked a Democrat Party leader out of the running in New York's congressional primary Tuesday made her morning television debut on Wednesday.
Maybe it was the contrast with the "Morning Joe" sourpusses, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came across as downright delightful -- happy, peppy and brimming with positivity.
She told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Democrats need to "lay out a plan and a vision that people can believe in," rather than getting into twitter fights with the president.
Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, made it clear that her interests lie with the "working class people of the United States," but no one on the "Morning Joe" set asked her specific questions about the far-left positions outlined on her campaign website.
In other words, Jones is complaining that "Morning Joe" gave Ocasio-Cortez the same treatment she gives the Trump administration.
Jesse Lee Peterson Is Talking Like A White Nationalist Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed WorldNetDaily columnist Jesse Lee Peterson's propensity sounding like a white racist because he's a black conservative and, thus, suffering no consequences for it. He does this again in his July 1 column, the theme of which is that "most black people hate white people." He goes on to rant:
Whites have sacrificed their children to public schools and leftist indoctrination at colleges and universities. Parents have failed to raise their children to be strong and independent, so they are vulnerable to the lies and evil of the world. They become atheists, don’t get married and don’t have families – whites do not even make enough babies to replace the whites dying!
Now the children of Satan pretend to care about illegal alien “children” and “families” – the Wicked Witch of the West, Maxine Waters, calling for harassment, intimidation and violence against President Trump’s cabinet and his supporters. The liberal media think they have the moral high ground, calling the president and his supporters racist Nazis, trying to spark assassinations and civil war. They don’t value human life or morality at all. With their phony “fact checkers,” they deny the truth: that Democrats want open borders, in order to fundamentally transform America, tear down and remake the country in their image.
The children of the lie have destroyed the average black man – he isn’t worth a dime. They’ve done the same to Hispanic men – most of their children are born out of wedlock. Now they’ve turned their hatred toward the white man, taking his children away from him, his job and business away if he defies political correctness, and encouraging boys to grow up weak, soft, unable to deal with “bullies” or issues of life without medication and help from the government. If his child becomes confused about his gender or sexuality, they don’t want parents to have any say or moral guidance in what is right for their own child!
We finally have a breath of relief with the presidency of Donald Trump, the Great White Hope. One man – a straight, white, conservative, Christian man of power – stands against the madness. Through his courage in plainly telling the truth, he is awakening men of all races, and many women, to reality and renewed love for God, country and fellow man.
Once again, Peterson is cheering Trump's whiteness by using a term with a racist history (and he provides no evidence whatsoever that Trump is a practicing Christian).
Peterson concludes with this confusing bit of logical jiu-jitsu:
If you take no other bit of advice from me, do this: Let go of anger. Take an objective look at our president: So far he has not displayed anger. Many people think he’s angry. But they’re angry, and judging him. He simply has no fear. He will call you out no matter what race or gender you are. He’s from the old school, the tough, logical, masculine men who put up with no mess, and who made our country great.
Trump, of course, is an angry man as his tweets regularly demonstrate. And so is Peterson -- does a happy warrior so viciously demonize people he doesn't agree with by smearing them as "the children of Satan"?
MRC Goes Into Promotion Mode Again For Right-Wing Anti-Abortion Movie Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is good buddies with right-wing filmmaker team Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney -- so much so that it gave them copiouspromotionalspace four years ago for the crowdfunding campaign for the husband-and-wife team's film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (and made sure not to ask where McAleer and McElhinney got the money to buy a billboard petulantly trashing one crowdfunding site for dropping their campaign). Then, we found that McAleer and McElhinney was apparently paying the MRC to run the campaign -- something the MRC never disclosed to its readers. That apparent pay-for-play agreement continued last year, when the MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell promoted McAleer and McElhinney's movie and tie-in book.
Now that the exploitative Gosnell movie is about to come out, the MRC is back in PR mode with a June 27 post by Katie Yoder touting an "exclusive statement to MRC Culture" from McElhinney. Yoder forwarded all the appropriate talking points, including baselessly suggesting that Gosnell is representative of all abortion providers, while also relying on a Hollywood Reporter article for the meat of her post. Which led to this curious detail late in the post:
According to THR, the distribution deal came after Judge Jeffrey Minehart, presiding at Gosnell’s trial, “sued to block the release of the film, fearing he was portrayed as part of ‘Philadelphia’s liberal corrupt government.’”
That has since been resolved, THR added.
That's better known as defamation. That seems like an important issue to address given that it held up release of the film, but Yoder was apparently not interested in getting an "exclusive statement" from McElhinney discussing the lawsuit or how exactly it was "resolved." Much of what's online about the lawsuit concerns itself with procedural matters, and nothing mentions how Minehart's lawsuit was settled.
But that would have gotten in the way of the PR function of Yoder's post, and McAleer and McElhinney are not paying the MRC for that.
Trump Buddy Ruddy Serves Up A Defense for Trump's Foundation Topic: Newsmax
When you start out your column by treating the National Enquirer as a source of sage knowledge, you're in the hole already. Yet that's what Christopher Ruddy does in his June 28 column, in which the Trump buddy defends the Trump Foundation:
The recent New York State Attorney General’s legal action against the Donald J. Trump Foundation sparked my interest.
In the years I have known the president, one thing about him is true: he’s quite generous and charitable.
Iain Calder, the long-time editor of the National Enquirer told me the story that in the 1980s, when the paper did a story about Trump’s quiet charitable giving, the rising billionaire called him to complain.
For the Sinatra generation, publicity about your charity was not a good thing.
So we're likening Trump to Sinatra now? Whatever.
Ruddy then complained that "the phrase 'no good deed goes unpunished' seems to apply to our president," claimed that the investigation of the foundation by the New York attorney genera was political and launched a lengthy defense of it:
So what’s the deal with the Trump Foundation?
Without having conducted a forensic review, the allegations seems to be the legal version of Fake News.
Although the Donald J. Trump Foundation accepts funding from outside donors, as a private, non-operating foundation, it’s primarily a vehicle to distribute grants from Donald Trump and his family.
A glance at its IRS form 990 filings reflects this. The foundation pays no salaries and its total expenditures each year are at zero or nearly so. Its charitable distributions each year are at or near 100 percent of what it takes in.
This is highly unusual. We have all read stories of celebrities who “pad” their foundations with salaries for family and hangers-on. Foundation funds are often used as a personal slush fund.
This has never been the case with the Trump Foundation.
The State’s case is largely based on nonsense.
Well, actually, not so much. As a real news organization notes, Trump did not donate any money to the foundation between 2008 and 2015 and most of its money was not actually his, and he used foundation money to settle legal disputes with his businesses. And Ruddy's hometown newspaper has reported that "Nearly all of the $706,000 in donations made by the Donald J. Trump Foundation in Palm Beach County since 2008 went to charities that hosted lavish fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago," which certainly looks suspicious (though the charities deny any quid pro quo). Further, the alleged use of foundation assets to help Trump's presidential campaign violates federal tax law.
Ruddy takes the "so what?" approach, literally, to addressing these allegations:
They note that since 2009 the Trump Foundation received little money from Trump himself but instead donations from friends and business partners.
If Trump was offered money and suggested the other party donate to his Foundation instead — so money could be distributed directly to charities — why is this bad?
Another allegation is that the Foundation made donations to some charities that paid for facilities at Trump golf clubs, hotels, or Mar-a-Lago.
The State implies the donations were used as an inducement for business.
Typically such donations were $5,000 to $10,000. Hardly an amount that could be considered a “bribe” to get a charity to spend $250,000 or more at one of his properties.
And considering the sheer number of groups using Trump properties, those who received donations were just a tiny fraction. Hardly a pattern of misconduct here!
Ruddy concludes by concluding there's "no evidence" to support the allegations, just like with "Trump-Russian collusion."
That's the kind of toadying that will keep Ruddy in Trump's inner circle.
CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones has figured out a way to distract from non-Trump-friendly employment numbers: lead with a rah-rah Trump quote. And that's what she does in her lead article on June's numbers:
"Our economic policy can be summed up in three very simple but beautiful but beautiful words," President Donald Trump told a rally in Montana Thursday evening: "Jobs, jobs, jobs," he said.
On Friday, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 213,000 jobs in June, a strong number; the number of employed Americans, 155,576,000, set its tenth record of the Trump presidency; but the number of unemployed Americans (which includes people who are actively looking for jobs) increased by almost half-a-million. The unemployment rate increased two tenths of a point to 4.0 percent.
Jones' article is accompanied by Terry Jeffrey's usual article about increased manufacturing jobs and Michael W. Chapman's usual article about falling black unemployment -- needless to say, neither of them reported that both of these trends began under President Obama.
A new feature this time, though, is an article by Craig Bannister highlighting that "The national seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. labor force fell to the lowest level on record in June of 2018." But the accompanying chart shows that this trend began as well under Obama. Bannister did concede this in an article, but in a convoluted way that tries to make Obama look bad and avoid giving him credit for the decline:
During the 17 full months of the Trump administration, beginning in February 2017, Hispanic-Latino unemployment has averaged 5.0%.
In contrast, the national Hispanic-Latino unemployment rate averaged 9.4% during President Barack Obama’s eight years (96 months) in office, impacted by the 2008 recession, which officially ended in June of 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Hispanic-Latino unemployment was 11.3% during Obama’s first full month in office, February of 2009. By January of 2017, the Hispanic-Latino unemployment rate had dropped to 5.9%. Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017.
NEW ARTICLE: WND's New Favorite Bible Hero Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily pushes the purported divinity of President Trump again by likening him to the biblical figure Cyrus. It's also pretending that Trump's actions regarding Israel aren't hastening the End Times it so fervently wishes for. Read more >>
After Newspaper Shooting , MRC Plays Down Trump's Anti-Media Rhetoric, Fears Right-Wing Media Criticism Is Threatened Topic: Media Research Center
The first reaction of the Media Research Center to the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper offices in Maryland was damage control -- for President Trump as well as for the MRC's brand of petty, mocking, politically motivated right-wing media criticism.
Curtis Houck whined that one CNN correspondent "blamed President Trump’s near-daily comments about the news media for the deranged gunman’s actions" (he didn't note that those "comments" involved trashing said media). He went on to huff:
Everyone should be careful with what they say in private and public, but most (or at least enough) people were raised to be responsible for their own actions. 2018 is certainly part of an era where the level of partisanship seems like it couldn’t possibly get any worse, so it would behoove all of us to take a few deep breathes.
However, recklessly blaming the President for a deranged and sadistic gunman’s actions serves no one besides push a partisan agenda. And such behavior helps no one on a dire day such as this one.
Two days earlier, however, Houck's MRC colleague Nicholas Fondacaro championed Fox News' Tucker Carlson pre-emptively blaming Rep. Maxine Waters for any possible violence resulting from her urging people to publicly confront members of theTrump administration -- despite the fact that Waters did not advocate violence and none had actually occured. Fondacaro hypocritically lamented that "many reasonable people were rightfully fearful that we might be headed for a tragedy" as a result of Waters' comments and insisted it was "out of control hatred" to liken Trump to Richard Nixon.
Despite that hypocrisy, Kristine Marsh complained that "journalists and media outlets irresponsibly sent out provocative tweets directly or indirectly blaming the president for supposedly inspiring the deadly shooting, even as reports revealed the shooter had a personal dispute with the paper, in 2012," and Scott Whitlock groused that "we've seen this attempt at blame play out on multiple media outlets.
Another post by Houck feared that by highlighting Trump's vicious attacks on the media in connection with the Capital Gazette shooting, it would hurt media criticism -- specifically, the MRC's version of it, which tracks closely with Trump's views though with slightly less viciousness. He pretended to read the minds of a couple of people on CNN, insisting that when they referenced "the rise of threats against journalists" they really meant "criticism of the news media." Houck then tried to deflect scrutiny away from his employer with a bit of unusual-for-the-MRC praise of the media:
Journalism is a basic tenet of our representative republic and democracies throughout the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re free from criticism and offering sober, substantive appraisals of media in all its forms. And that’s what we try to do at NewsBusters.
Feel free to laugh at that self-assessment.
Does Houck think his war on Jim Acosta for not parroting the Trump White House line -- which involves derisively mocking him for being worried about his safety because he's not an MRC-approved toady or for even expecting to have his words taken in context -- is sober and substantive? Does he think that his boss, Brent Bozell, was offering a sober, substantive appraisal when he called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead"? Is freakingouteverytime someone in the media fails to hate the LGBT community the way the MRC does sober and substantive?
Sober and substantive media criticism is appreciated -- but that's not how Houck, NewsBusters and the MRC make their living, and Houck embarrasses himself when he tries to pretend otherwise.
WND Columnist Who Called Trump Accuser A 'Super Whore' Laments Decline of Civil Discourse Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jane Chastain spent her June 27 WorldNetDaily column lamenting that "legitimate discourse" has become an "endangered species," using lots of examples of the decline such as "baseless or outright false political Facebook posts" and attacking public officials -- all of which, of course, come from what she portrays as Democrats and liberals.
Just as with Joseph Farah, Chastain has apparently forgotten about the website that publishes her column, which is filled with bogus and misleading claims. She has also forgotten her own history of less-than-civil discourse.
We've noted that Chastain dismissed Stormy Daniels, who has made credible accusations of having an affair, as a "super whore" because she has worked as a porn actress.Chastain also went on a slut-shaming tirade of the woman of accused Roy Moore of perving on them as teenagers, calling the accusations against Moore "obviously politically motivated and attacking one woman as having teen a "trouble teen" with "problems" who may have "made up the story to impress" people, huffing, "Moore has led a moral life. [The accuser] not so much."
On the plus side, Chastain does concede that Fox News does have a "conservative slant." So there's that.
CNS Bashes Supreme Court Justices, Former And Future Topic: CNSNews.com
When Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, CNSNews.com made sure to bid him good riddance.
A June 27 article -- credited to "CNSNews.com staff" but carrying the pedantic tone of editor in chief Terry Jeffrey -- complained that "The two opinions Kennedy wrote that may have had the greatest impact on American society and law were both in 5-4 decisions, where he was the swing vote. One upheld Roe v. Wade and declared abortion a constitutional right. The other declared that same-sex marriage is a 'right' and that the Constitution commands that the states recognize it." Putting the word "right" in scare quotes while discussing those decisions are a hallmark of this article; it devotes nine paragraphs of the 35-paragraph article repeating dissenting opinions from the same-sex marraige decision, which aren't really about Kennedy but are all about forwarding CNS' anti-gay agenda.
Jeffrey's July 3 column insisted that "History will remember Justice Anthony Kennedy for advancing an illogical argument to deny a God-given right" regarding the Casey decision that upheld a woman's right to an abortion, huffily adding, "That places him on the opposite side of a fundamental question from the great Roman senator Cicero — as well as from Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr." Jeffrey concluded by declaring that "in Justice Kennedy's world, all rights are mutable — subject to whomever holds five votes on the Supreme Court." Of course, that's the same on the conservative side as well as Jeffrey and his ideologues fight to ensure a five-vote majority.
And fighting for a specific ideology on the court is exactly what Jeffrey is doing by taking aim at one particular reported candidate for the job.
A July 6 article by Jeffrey complained that Brett Kavanaugh "declined to rule against Obamacare’s individual mandate and argued that the case could not be decided by a federal court until at least 2015 because of the Anti-Injunction Act, adding: "All nine members of the Supreme Court—including Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas—would later join in opinions (in the Obamacare case that the Supreme Court decided in 2012) that rejected the argument Kavanaugh embraced that the Anti-Injunction Act prevented a pre-2015 ruling on the Obamacare mandate."
Jeffrey followed that up on July 8 with an article grousing that Kavanaugh "accepted the assumption in a dissenting opinion he filed last October in the case of Garza v. Hargan that a teenage illegal alien caught at the border and put in detention has a right to an abortion in the United States," insisting that the assumption "contrasted sharply with the argument made by the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina in an amicus brief presented to the court. Those states argued that Supreme Court precedent did not in fact recognize a right to abortion in the United States for an illegal alien caught entering the country—and that there was, in fact, no such right." Jeffrey did not explain that athese states have no actual interest in the case at hand, nor did he explain that an amicus brief is something parties without standing do.
If Kavanaugh actually is nominated, it will be interesting to see if Jeffrey and CNS keep up their opposition to him or if they will fall in line like the good little Trump stenographers they usually are.