MRC Outraged That Avenatti Abuse Allegations Were Fact-Checked Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long been triggered by Michael Avenatti, lawyer to Stormy Daniels, mostly because he helped expose the fact that President Trump paid off Daniels to keep their alleged affair from hurting his presidential campaign, to the point that it can't stop calling him a "creepy porn lawyer" because the collective MRC mind is apparently 11 years old.
Well, Avenatti has found himself in a spot of legal trouble, and the MRC is triggered again. After Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro was immediatedly demanding wall-to-wall coverage on all news channels and was outraged when that didn't happen:
At 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday, TMZ first broke the news that Democratic lawyer and 2020 presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti was arrested by Los Angeles police on domestic violence charges. Despite the fact that Avenatti granted them over 200 combined appearances on their networks, both CNN and MSNBC downplayed the charges. MSNBC brushed over it while CNN spent part of the time correcting TMZ and touting people who claimed Avenatti wouldn’t hurt anyone.
As Fondacaro later admitted in his post, one of those "people" vouching for Avenatti was his ex-wife, which you'd think would elevate her above Fondacaro's suggestion that those defending Avenatti are just random people.Bizarrely, Fondacaro was even more outraged that one outlet pointed out that TMZ got key details wrong:
Disturbingly, CNN spent an additional one minute and one second correcting the TMZ article (despite TMZ’s own corrections) and touting a statement from Avenatti’s ex-wife who said he wouldn’t hurt anyone. “This is Lisa Avenatti and when I spoke with her on the phone … she also said that he is somebody who wouldn't ever hit anyone,” [CNN correspondent MJ] Lee professed.
“Also, just a key sentence here from that statement,” Lee added. “‘My client states that there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael and that she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone.’”
Only at the MRC would someone find it "disturbing" to get facts straight.
The next day, Scott Whitlock complained that two cable TV morning shows "managed a total of 67 seconds on the felony abuse arrest charges against Michael Avenatti. This is despite their previous fascination with the porn lawyer and Democratic antagonist to President Trump." Another Whitlock post grumbled that the New York Times "buried [Avenatti's] domestic abuse accusations on page A-22 of the paper."
When there was a new development in Avenatti's case a few days later, Fondacaro demanded blanket coverage of that too:
After being arrested on felony domestic violence charges last week, there was a new chapter in the saga of Michael Avenatti’s alleged abuse late Monday night when news broke that New York actress Mareli Miniutti had filed a domestic violence restraining order against him. Both CNN and MSNBC couldn’t be bothered to mention the development on air that night.
Fondacaro vaguely alluded to the fact that TMZ originally got the story wrong: "This was the first time we were able to put a face to the original felony domestic violence charges. Prior to Monday, it was thought that Avenatti’s ex-wife was the one who made the claims. She denied it was her and praised her former husband as a non-violence person, much to the relief of the liberal media who touted her defense." He didn't mention his outrage that TMZ's story had to be corrected.
A day after Fondacaro's post appeared, prosecutors announced that they would not pursue felony domestic violence charges against Avenatti -- which tells us that the MRC's obsession with this story has been overblown. Neither Fondacaro nor anyone else at the MRC found that development to be newsworthy.
CNS Editor Still Won't Blame Trump For Growing Federal Deficit -- But Blamed Obama For Debt Under His Watch Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey loves to bemoan the federal deficit but won't place any blame on President Trump and Republicans for its current state, even though he was quick to blame Barack Obama for the deficit while he was president. Jeffrey does it again in a Nov. 14 article stating that "The federal government collected record total tax revenues of $252,692,000,000 in October" but "the government still ran a deficit of $100,491,000,000 for the month—because it spent $353,183,000,000." As before, the words "Trump" and "Republican" are absent, even though a Republican-controlled Congress passed, and President Trump signed, a tax cut bill earlier this year that blew up the deficit.
By contrast, Jeffrey implicitly blamed Obama for deficits that happened under his watch. A November 2016 article that, like the above article, focused on federal revenue in October did not mention Obama's name but did include a picture of Obama giving the 2016 State of the Union address. There was no similar picture of Trump in Jeffrey's Nov. 14 article.
Indeed, most Jeffrey articles referencing the federal deficit and debt in mid- to late 2016 pointedly invoked Obama, usually in the headline:
Another Jeffrey article, from Ocober 2016, didn't blame Obama in the headline, but he did lament that Obama "signed the “Bipartisan Budget Act,” a spending deal he had cut with the Republican leaders in Congress," adding that "The day Obama signed the budget deal, the total federal debt jumped from $18,152,981,685,747.52 to $18,492,091,120,833.99—a one-day climb of $339,109,435,086.47."
Jeffrey wrote an equivalent of that article on Oct. 1, highlighting htat "The federal debt increased by $1,271,158,167,126.72 in fiscal 2018" and "The total federal debt started the fiscal year at $20,244,900,016,053.51 according to the Treasury, and finished the fiscal year at $21,516,058,183,180.23." Jeffrey added:
The $1,271,158,167,126.72 in debt accumulated in fiscal 2018 made fiscal 2018 the eighth fiscal year in the last eleven in which the debt increased by at least one trillion dollars.
The $1,271,158,167,126.72 increase in the federal debt was also the sixth largest fiscal-year debt increase in the history of the United States.
Again, Jeffrey refused to tell his readers that a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Congress presided over that large increase in debt.
Newsmax Still Won't Disclose It Published Corsi's Book Topic: Newsmax
We've seen before that as conspiratorial writer Jerome Corsi gets deeper into trouble as part of Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation, Newsmax is reluctant to admit that it, under its Humanix Books division, published his most recent book, "Killing the Deep State."
And so it is again in a Nov. 12 Newsmax article by Jason Devaney noting that Corsi "revealed in a new interview he expects to be charged with a crime stemming from the Russia investigation." Regarding Corsi's book, Devaney vaguely wrote only that "His most recent book, 'Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump,' is a New York Times bestseller." It did, however, link to an offer promoting the book.
On Nov. 23, though, Newsmax followed up with a message to its mailing list under its "Moneynews" banner exploiting Corsi's legal troubles to sell his book:
We told you this would happen. Now he’s terrified — afraid for his life.
Look, they’re after him big time — the Deep State.
America’s shadow government is gunning hard for the man who exposed the truth...
The highly respected author and commentator who revealed the dark money trail in Washington — from Clinton to Obama to Comey to Lynch and scores of others in the highest-ranking positions in Washington.
What are you waiting for? This is, quite possibly, the most explosive book on Washington ever written.
It’s so shocking and so revealing we decided to foot the bill and just GIVE IT TO YOU — FREE.
Listen, you’d better get it here now because Corsi is at the very epicenter.
Mueller’s team says he knew too much...
What exactly does Corsi know?
It was only a matter of time something like this would happen — surely a travesty of justice.
One thing’s for sure…
Mueller’s office has emails and phone records.
As Corsi has insisted…
He just put all the pieces together, connected all the dots.
Seriously — it’s what he does best and anyone who follows Corsi knows this.
Corsi’s only “crime” was putting them in a tell-all book.
In Mr. Acosta’s case against President Trump, is there reasonable grounds to conclude that the president is guilty of some high crime or misdemeanor for maintaining order and decorum during press conferences over which he personally presides? Just as judge’s have the prerogative to maintain order in their courtrooms, so the president must maintain order in the White House. If federal judges forget their duty to honor the prerogative they themselves require, president’s may remind them that the disorder they inflict implies disorder they will have to endure.
Indeed, it would be best to remember that demanding respect for officials who represent the U.S. government’s authority in all three branches is the prerogative of the people whom they are supposed to represent and serve. Disrespecting any such officials brings the sovereign self-government of the people into contempt. Those who demand the right to show such disrespect are not exercising their freedom. They are demanding license to degrade and overthrow our liberty.
First, “hot off the press,” there is the ruling of the Honorable Timothy J. Kelly, incredibly granting a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit filed by CNN against the president and his staff for revoking the White House press pass of the “Communist/Clinton News Network’s” Jim Acosta for improperly touching a White House female intern. Incredibly, and most tellingly, CNN was supported by Fox News, which increasingly has been moving left thanks to its new chiefs, the Murdoch sons, both of whom are dyed-in-the-wool liberals. (See Adriana Cohen, “Bill O’Reilly: Fox Has Gone to the Dogs,” Boston Globe, Nov. 15.) More importantly is the sellout by this Trump-appointed Judge Kelly in ordering the president to give the vile Acosta back his press pass.
Not only is there clearly no First Amendment constitutional right to own a White House press pass – as CNN is free to send another, hopefully this time respectful reporter to cover the administration, among many other legal grounds for Kelly to have denied the CNN complaint – but this incredible ruling underscores what I have been preaching about the federal judiciary in particular for many years since I conceived of and founded Judicial Watch in 1994.
Since the arrival of the World Wide Web of deceit and disinformation, CNN has moved from reporting the news to framing the news. Now, their unattributed claim to fame is, “First to tell you what to what to think about the news that’s actually reported elsewhere.”
Mr. Acosta, it seems, is sort of a newsroom efficiency guru during his working hours. He jumps into the situation personally, creates a controversy, and thereby creates news. Once he has made the news, he then tells his viewers what to think about it. Very innovative, really. But quite useless when it comes to informing the public about what matters.
Judges require journalists to treat courthouses and court proceedings with extreme deference, but President Trump has been made powerless to regulate who can roam freely inside his own home. Let’s hope the president makes the White House Great Again by posting a burly security guard next to Jim Acosta with orders to remove him the next time he misbehaves.
MRC Promotes Report on Media Bias That Reflects The MRC's Biases Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver writes in an Oct. 17 post:
Is Google News neutral? Not according to a new report that studied the issue and determined that its results were skewed liberal.
AllSides, a media technology group, spent two weeks analyzing Google News’ homepage and determined that news outlets with a left-leaning bias were always at the top of the list. The study determined that out of 123 individual measurements, 65% of the news links provided were liberal, while only 16% of the links were conservative. That’s a 4-to-1 ratio. 20% of the links given were considered to be from a middle perspective.
The study pointed out that the positioning of the news was very important. Overall, left-wing news tended to be in the top two results, and right-wing news was always below the fold, 12 positions down.
AllSides wrote, “The numbers are so significantly strong and consistent in favor of news media sources from the left that the overall conclusion of a leftward bias is well justified.” Later on in the study, it stated, “AllSides analyzes the news on a daily basis and have often found it difficult to find perspectives from the right when using Google News.”
In the methodology, AllSides noted that sites like ABC, Buzzfeed, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR, Politico, Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Huffington Post were heavily favored, while sites like Breitbart, The Blaze, The Daily Caller, Fox News, and the National Review were almost always below the fold. Even some of the news considered to be in the center wasn’t necessarily neutral, as the study included NPR, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, and BBC.
91% of the 123 measurements “indicated at least some preference for news media with a left bias over sources with a right bias.” It went even further: apparently 80 percent of the 123 measurements preferred left-wing news over news from a center source.
First: Note how Weaver conflates "liberal," "left-leaning" and "the left," as if they all mean the same thing. Second, any "report" that buys into the MRC's ideological idea that any news outlet that is not blatantly conservative must be on "the left" is suspect. And this one certainly is.
AllSides claims to be about eliminating "filter bubbles" so people "can better understand the world — and each other." But its media bias rating system questionable. It states that it uses "patented media bias detection and display technology," but it also incorporates public opinion as well. That's problematic in an age when organizations like the MRC spend millions of dollars a year to perpetuate the notion of "liberal bias" in the media and the president denounces anyone who fails to report on him less than positively as "fake news" and "enemies of the people." That sort of propaganda can't help but skew the results.
AllSides' report, like Weaver, occasionally differentiates between "lean left" and "hard left" but more often not just uses "left," as if there was no difference between the New York Times and Mother Jones. The report apparently did not rate the alleged bias of individual articles highlighted in Google News, just that of the outlet.
AllSides also clearly buys into the right-wing idea that because most journalists are liberal , news outlets are therefore liberal:
There are far more news sources on the left than on the right, and it is well documented that individual journalists (that the Google algorithm might automatically recognize as more credible, and therefore their clicks and linking behavior would have greater-than-average influence on Google’s relevancy score) are much more likely to have views on the left, to the left of the average American. This would likely skew search results toward the left.
Considering the fact that online news consumers tend to be younger and lean farther left than the rest of America, that would also likely skew search results toward the left.
AllSides, like conservative anti-media activists, ignore the idea that liberal journalists working for a mainstream media outlet do generally endeavor to be fair and balanced in their reporting, while conservative journalists working for conservative outlets feel no such constraint.
This report seems to have swallowed whole much of the MRC's guiding anti-media philosophy. No wonder Weaver liked it.
Former first lady Michelle Obama reportedly rips President Trump's spreading of the "birther" conspiracy theory against her husband in her upcoming book.
In excerpts from her memoir “Becoming" obtained by The Washington Post, Obama says she will "never forgive" Trump for the "xenophobic" claims that her husband, former President Obama, was not actually born in America.
"The whole thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed," the former first lady writes. "But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him," she continues.
WorldNetDaily copied-and-pasted this article onto its own website -- but only the first three paragraphs, not the one about Michelle Obama fearing for her and her family's safetyover the birther conspiracy. Perhaps because WND knows just how complicit it is.
WND was, of course, the planet's most enthusiastic and prolific promoter of the Obama birther conspiracy, and to this day it has refused to admit any of it was wrong, even as others haveproven it so. It was also feeding those bogus conspiracies to Trump in 2012, when Fox News gave him an unchallenged platform to spout them.
That means when Obama is blaming Trump for endangering her family, she's also blaming WND.
Given that the copied-and-pasted Hill article -- selectively edited to remove the offfending text -- is the only reference we've been able to find regarding Obama's statement at WND, it's a good bet that Joseph Farah & Co. feel no guilt whatsover about endangering their lives. It's made them a lot of money over the years (until it didn't) and got them a lot of attention (most of it bad), and since they utterly despise the Obama, they are almost certainly not heartbroken by this development. In fact, it's likely they were rooting for the outcome Obama feared and would not have minded if such an attack actually happened.
That's why Farah's move to presenting himself as a pious Christian rings hollow. He was always a right-wing partisan before being a Christian, and his amorality and lack of care for the consequences belie any Christian compassion he claims to hold.
If Farah were a true Christian, he would be apologizing to Michelle Obama for playing a major role in creating an atmosphere that caused her and her familiy to fear for their safety. But we know enough about Farah to know that will never happen.
CNS Rooted For Failure Of CNN's Lawsuit Over White House Ban of Acosta Topic: CNSNews.com
As befits a "news" operation operated by the Media Research Center -- which already has a vendetta against the guy -- CNSNews.com's coverage of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's tussle with the White House over his questioning of President Trump and its subsequent suspension of his White House press pass was never going to be fair and balanced. We already saw that with CNS' difficultly in admitting the simple, indisputable fact that a video released by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was doctored to show an encounter between Acosta and an White House intern trying to take a microphone away from him as more violent than it was.
When CNN sued the White House for reinstatement of Acosta's press pass, CNS' anti-Acosta bias shifted into overdrive.
Not at first, though. Melanie Arter's story on the lawsuit is unusually balanced for a CNS piece, giving relatively equal space to supporters and critics of CNN. She didn't, however, note that the White House had changed its rationale for pulling Acost's press pass -- it had originally blamed Acosta's (doctored) contact with the intern, but was now blaming Acosta's alleged general failure to yield the floor.
Arter also wrote an article focused on the White House's legal response to CNN's lawsuit -- but she waited until the seventh paragraph to note that the RMC's favorite news outlet, Fox News, fiiled an amicus brief on behalf of CNN, which you'd think would be the more newsworthy of the two.
In addition to running a column by the guy who runs CNS, Brent Bozell (along with the guy who actually wrote it, Tim Graham), purporting to cite "6 Reasons the CNN-Acosta Lawsuit Is Lame," CNS also called in the usual suspects in attacking the lawsuit in general and Acosta in particular, with special attention given to a guy to whom CNS has already spent more than 100 articles so far this year promoting:
There were, of course, no posts uncritically arguing the merits of CNN's lawsuit.
So sure was CNS that the fix was in against CNN, in fact, that it touted the bias of the judge reviewing it. Arter was practically salivating in a Nov. 14 article when she wrote: "The judge in the case--Timothy J. Kelly--was appointed to this judgeship by President Trump and before that worked on the staff of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa). Prior to that he was an assisant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia during the adminisration of President George W. Bush." Strangely, otherarticles Arter wrote in anticipation of Kelly's ruling failed to mention that he is a Trump appointee.
But when Kelly granted CNN's request to at least temporarily restore Acosta's press pass, Arter came off as a bit dejected, turning in another unusually balanced article that again failed to note that the judge is a Trump appointee. She did follow up, though, with an article giving heavy play to the White House's claim that it was drawing up "rules and regulations" for reporter conduct.
CNS couldn't stop the bias, though -- one article touted right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro, who has a law degree but no apparent expertise in media law, insisting that "no major precedent was set" in the ruling, and another quoting Trump saying the ruling is "not a big deal" (though this one did admit Kelly was a Trump appointee). Another post, by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, called on former CNN host Larry King, whose current show airs on Russian propaganda channel RT -- something Chapman curiously failed to tell his readers -- to complain that CNN "is not a news network" anymore.
Still, CNS' animus toward Acosta is such that it published a Nov. 19 article -- anonymously written under the "CNSNews.com Staff" byline -- trying to suggest that Acosta told an actionable lie when he stated in a court filing "under penalty of perjury" that he "politely" questioned Trump.
WND's Zumwalt Tries His Hand At Smearing Murdered Journalist Topic: WorldNetDaily
James Zumwalt went full Horowitz in smearing murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his Oct. 24 WorldNetDaily column. Like the Horowitz-run FrontPageMag, Zumwalt rehashed old links between Khashoggi and Osama bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood, treating them as if they were current. Then he declared:
Because of his friendship with bin Laden and his support for bin Laden’s Islamic extremist ideology – perhaps even knowing about 9/11 beforehand – Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the apparent victim of a Saudi rendition attempt gone wrong. He was no moderate Muslim, nor was he a supporter of the U.S. and its values. For all intents and purposes, Khashoggi was a bin Laden ideological clone who preferred the pen to the sword in promoting a religion mandating Islam’s ultimate world domination.
While Khashoggi’s death may have been ordained by senior Saudi officials – an extrajudicial act which the U.S. cannot condone – it must also be recognized that the man was no innocent victim. The world he sought to create was one in which sharia ruled supreme and non-Muslims pay a price for rejecting conversion – either monetarily or with one’s life.
Zumwalt is engaging in paranoid, misleading speculation. As an actual news outlet reported:
While Khashoggi was once sympathetic to Islamist movements, he moved toward a more liberal, secular point of view, according to experts on the Middle East who have tracked his career. Khashoggi knew bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s during the civil war in Afghanistan, but his interactions with bin Laden were as a journalist with a point of view who was working with a prized source.
Zumwalt then argued that Khashoggi's death should not interfere with the U.S.-Saudi relationship because it's need to stop Iran:
There have been several times in the course of world events when the U.S. allied itself with less-than-perfect partners to further U.S. interests. For example, in World War II, Stalinist Russia was an ally; during the Vietnam war, Philippines’ President Ferdinand Marcos was more dictator than elected president, but his country’s military bases were critical to our operations in the region; and, later, during the Cold War, we befriended China in a power play against the Soviet Union.
The role the Saudi government played in the death of Khashoggi awaits clarification, and we may not like the results. But, based on the grave threat that Iran poses not only in the Middle East but worldwide, it is critical we maintain a close U.S./Saudi alliance.
Looking behind the liberal dissident mask the media has affixed on Jamal Khashoggi will help us make wise decisions regarding that alliance.
Even though President Trump ultimately embraced that view, Zumwalt has affixed a false extremist mask to Khashoggi and dishonestly claiming it's the real thing and insists that the entire U.S.-Saudi relationship be judged by that mask.
MRC Misfires On Getting People To Trash CNN's Acosta Topic: Media Research Center
As part of its current war on Jim Acosta for failing to be a pro-Trump suck-up, the Media Research Center is doing compliation pieces filled with people who say how terrible Acosta purportedly is.
The headline of a Nov. 15 item by Geoffrey Dickens declared, "Even Acosta’s Reporter Peers Think He’s Gone Too Far." He insisted: "It’s not just President Donald Trump, White House press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders who think Jim Acosta is out of control. Even some of his journalist colleagues think his antics are bad for journalism."
In other words, not really a "reporter peer" at all beyond being in the same general profession.
Dickens also cited anonymous CNN co-workers attacking Acosta in a Politico article. Wait -- doesn't the MRC normally despise anonymous sources? Only when they don't benefit the MRC's agenda, apparently.
The same day, there was an anonymously written piece noting how "we at the Media Research Center reached out to conservative leaders around the nation" to get reaction to Acosta, and "hese leaders responded with frustration at CNN’s dramatic publicity stunt." Among the responses was this:
The Acosta-intern video shows what it shows, whether CNN likes it or not. We can disagree over how to characterize the video, but any claim that there was no contact is akin to, as CNN would put it, calling an apple a banana.
James O’Keefe Founder Project Veritas
Yes, that James O'Keefe -- whose very brand is publicity stunts and doctored videos -- apparently defending the doctored video sent out by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders showing Acosta's contact with a White house intern trying to take a microphone away from him as being more brutal than it actually was.
Maybe the MRC should screen its signatories closer before promoting them.
WND Sad Stockman's Going to Prison, Still Clings to 'Deep State' Conspriacy Theory Topic: WorldNetDaily
We'vedocumentedhow WorldNetDaily has been trying to paint corrupt ex-congressman (and close WND buddy) Steve Stockman as a victim of the "Deep State" through his conviction on 23 counts of financial crimes. Now Stockman has been sentenced, and WND is still clinging to its conspiracy theory.
Former Texas Congressman Steve Stockman, a conservative whose criminal charges, trial and conviction on financial crimes have been characterized by supporters as a “Deep State” attack, has been given 10 years in prison by a federal judge.
WND reported last summer the congressman was convicted of using money from mega-donors for personal and campaign expenses.
His supporters have promised multiple appeals claiming that his campaign against the “Deep State” in Washington prompted the attack on him.
Stockman’s family said in a statement he also was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution, to be divided among three defendants.
WND censored the prosection's case against Stockman, instead suggesting that his prosecution was retaliation for his trying to have then-Internal Revenue Service chief Lois Lerner arrested in the midst of a controversy over alleged extra scrutiny of nonprofit applications for right-wing special interest groups.
This was followed on Nov. 12 by another rant from Rachel Alexander, whom we last saw perpetuating those "Deep State" conspiracy theories and laughably insisting that "almost anyone" could get charged with mail fraud and money laundering like Stockman did. She's still conspiratorial:
The U.S. Department of Justice is full of deep state operatives. They have continued conducting political witch hunts against vocal conservatives under the Trump administration. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions did nothing to stop it. The deep state went after Stockman hard because he was a threat. They wanted to silence him and make an example out of him, so others would be hesitant to follow in his footsteps.
Sadly, most of the conservative media haven’t reported on this corruption. They are running articles that rubber stamp the press releases from the DOJ.
Pushing a conspiracy is much easier than reporting facts, but it also means nobody takes you seriously as a "news" organization and you start facing extinction-levelevents. WND still hasn't figured that out.
CNS Targets Minor Misdeeds of Federal Employees, Buries Scandals of Trump Cabinet Heads Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has fixated on petty federal spending mismanagement in recent days, as cited by department inspectors general -- though weirdly anonymously written, credited only to CNSNews.com Staff."
An Oct. 25 article pointed out that "an Internal Revenue Service employee used a federal government charge card to purchase an Amazon Prime membership."And an Oct. 31 article by "highlighted a U.S. Housing and Urban Development inspector general's report noting that "Employees of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, armed with government charge cards, made 'at least 950' 'unauthorized, unsupported, or ineligible purchases' in fiscal 2017," including "a $400 charge at 'an adult entertainment gentlemen’s club' and a $282 'unauthorized ATM withdrawal' followed by an $849 'unauthorized charge' at a Las Vegas casino hotel."
Curiously -- or maybe not so curiously, since CNS is such a loyal pro-Trump stenographer -- CNS has not given the same granular level of scrutiny to Trump cabinet members and agency leaders as it has to the federal rank-and-file.
We've already documented how CNS reported the departure of Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt under a growing cloud of scandals by stating only that it came after "months of misconduct allegations."
Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is caught up in his own mounting swirl of scandals -- there were 15 ethics probes into Zinke's conduct at one point, with particular focus on his closeness to the oil and gas industry.
But you won't read a thing about Zinke's scandals at CNS. In fact, he hasn't even been mentioned on the pages of CNS since Aug. 24 -- as near as we can tell, one of only three references to him at CNS in the entire calendar year of 2018 -- when columnist Paul Driessen cheered Zinke for "his recent decision to reopen certain wildlife refuges to modern farming practices." (The othertwo are also columnst praising Trump-era policy as implemented by Zinke."
Once again, so much for CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
WND Is Sad An Anti-Muslim Graphic Novel Was Removed From Library Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Moore complains in a Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily article:
Under pressure from the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Washington, D.C.-based group named an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-funding case, a Texas library removed a graphic novel about super heroes fighting al-Qaida.
CAIR’s Dallas-Fort Worth chapter said in a statement it “applauded a decision by the Plano Library to resolve an issue related to anti-Muslim material in its catalog,” reported Andrew Harrod for Jihad Watch.
The book, “Holy Terror,” is by renowned graphic-novel author Frank Miller.
Harrod called the book’s removal “a disturbing act of censorship and a flagrant violation of longstanding library standards,” noting the irony of it coming during the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week.
Note that Moore is quick to apply its usual descriptof of CAIR as being "an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-funding case," he never in his article offers a descriptor for the vehemently anti-Muslim Jihad Watch.
Moore cited the Plano library official allegedly claiming that one reason "Holy Terror" was pulled was because it lacked "professional review," to which he quoted Jihad Watch's Harrod retorting that "dozens of reviews of the comic book have been published, including by prominent newspapers and journals." They didn't mention that the vast majority of those reviews are bad ones; the Hollywood Reporter compiled several, one of which noted that Miller didn't bother to explore the differences between Muslims and terrorists and another calling it "mean and ugly." Spencer Ackerman, writing at Wired, called it "one of the most appalling, offensive and vindictive comics of all time" and "a screed against Islam, completely uninterested in any nuance or empathy toward 1.2 billion people he conflates with a few murderous conspiracy theorists.
Moore did concede that Miller has tried to distance himself from the book, then let the Jihad Watch guy try to walk it back by citing another interview in which Miller said that he doesn't "I don’t want to go back and start erasing books I did." But he also admits in that same interview that the book is "bloodthirsty beyond belief" and that "I’m not capable of that book again."
Moore concluded: "Harrod noted that Plano libraries hold materials such as Adolf Hitler’s 'Mein Kampf' and a DVD of the 1915 American white supremacist film 'Birth of a Nation.'" But those are well established as offensive works. We can assume that Harrod, as well as Moore, would never admit there is anything offensive about "Holy Terror."
NEW ARTICLE: Making A Film -- And A Narrative Topic: Media Research Center
Right-wing filmmakers found a willing (and possibly paid) partner in the Media Research Center for a four-year campaign to fund, shoot and promote -- and manufacture victimhood over -- a movie about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. Read more >>
WND's Mercer Responds To Criticism With Attacks and Whitewash Topic: WorldNetDaily
It took a few months, but Ilana Mercer spent her Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column taking issue with a Slate item from August calling her out for being on a panel with since-departed White House speechwriter Darren Beattie. It's arguably a indictment of the weakness of her case that Mercer starts off by questioning the manhood of the Slate writer, Ben Mathis-Lilley, solely on the basis of having a hyphenated last name:
Incidentally, double-barreled surnames are largely a feminist affection. “Mathis-Lilley” happens to be male. Or, rather, an excuse for a man. Real men don’t bully, berate and bitch baselessly.
That’s what my many dogged, anti-Semitic, unmanly readers do.
Mercer also irrelevantly claimed her Jewish bona fides -- "I’m a Jewish, independent writer, the daughter of a scholarly, penniless rabbi. Bullies invariably target the weakest" -- despite the fact that Mathis-Lilley does not mention Jewishness or anti-Semitism anywhere in his article.
Mercer then defended her book, "Into the Cannibal's Pot" from Mathis-Lilley's headline description of it as comparing black South Africans to cannibals:
Cannibalism serves merely as metaphor in my book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.”
The origin of the title is expressly and unambiguously explained in the Introduction. “It is inspired by Ayn Rand’s wise counsel against prostrating civilization to savagery.” (p. 8)
The exact Rand quote is citation No. 15 in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot.” It comes courtesy of “Robert Mayhew (ed.), Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q&A (New York, 2005).”
Unlike Mathis-Lilley’s unsourced material in Slate, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” is topped and tailed with hard evidence, and sports over 800 endnotes.
Based on the evidence presented, readers come to see “that South Africans had been tossed into the metaphorical cannibal’s pot.” (p. 9)
These are facts, not slander. Slander is Slate’s purview.
Mercer also complained about Mathis-Lilley's description of the book's cover -- dark handprints covering a naked white woman's body -- as "insanely unsubtle" -- while also trying to wash her hands of the work: "Mathis is no wordsmith. His choice of adjectives is positively Kardashian. The cover art, of course, is the publisher’s purview, not that of the author."
As has been her recent trend, Mercer then presents herself as someone who was an anti-apartheid activist back in the day:
Daddy was a noted anti-apartheid activist before it became a fashionable and safe virtue-signaling pastime. The book maligned by Slate’s Mathis-Lilley as “racist” pays homage to dad (who refuses to leave his South Africa) for being “… a leader in the Promethean struggle to end apartheid. Rabbi Abraham Benzion Isaacson’s fight for justice for South Africa’s blacks was inspired by the advanced concept of Jewish social justice showcased in Deuteronomy and in The Prophets. …” (“Into the Cannibal’s Pot,” 2011, pp. 185-186.)
Mathis-Lilley is a pig of a man (with apologies to pigs, which I love and do not eat). The woman he dubs “a real piece of work, racism-wise” worked tirelessly against petty apartheid.
A couple of pathos-filled pages in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” detail how, in one single day, with nothing but determination, this “racist” broke a bit of the apartheid bureaucracy, to benefit a beloved domestic worker, Ethel, tribal name Nomasomi Khala. (pp. 70-72)
Accompanied by me, Ethel entered the Department of Home Affairs in Cape Town as a woman whose tribal marriage was unrecognized by the authorities, whose kids (in tow) were without birth certificates and whose decades of toil left her bereft of state benefits.
Ethel was not in The System. She was stateless. But not for long.
When we departed the Department, that same day, Ethel and Jim, her husband of 25 years, had had their union solemnized by a grumpy magistrate, summoned at my insistence. And the children – bless them, they had dressed to the nines for the occasion – had birth certificates.
Good people, Mathis-Lilley, act. Bad people badmouth.
Note Mercer's use of the term "petty apartheid." That tells us she appears to have no problem with the overall concept of apartheid, just its "petty" aspects. Indeed, a few months back, Mercer spent a column trying to make an intellectual case for apartheid as a response to crime and communism, pretending it could be separated from its racist aspects.
Mercer took particular offense to Mathis-Lilley's descrption of her book as making the case that "white people shouldn’t support democracy in countries in which they’re a minority population because they will be exterminated by nonwhite savages.”
And I’m the pseudo-intellectual?
Every democratic theorist worth his salt knows that South Africa doesn’t even qualify as a democracy.
The scholarly data cited in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” stipulate that a prerequisite for a classical liberal democracy is that majority and minority status should be interchangeable and fluid; that a ruling majority party should be as likely to become a minority party as the obverse.
By contrast, in South Africa, the majority and the minorities are permanent, not temporary. And voting is strictly along racial lines.
If majority and minority are perpetual or fixed, then government ceases to have a mediating or remedial function. It becomes an instrument of perpetual oppression of the minority by the majority.
That’s untrammeled tyranny.
Meanwhile, what Mercer doesn't say in her column is perhaps even more important -- specifically, that she is completely silent about the context in which her name came up in reference to Beattie.
That panel on which Mercer and Beattie appeared took place at something called the H.L. Mencken Club Conference, described by CNN as a gathering of white nationalists. Indeed, also appearing at the conference were white nationalists Peter Brimelow, Jared Taylor and John Derbyshire. Mercer was listed as giving a talk on "Libertarians and the Right" and taking partin a debate called "Should The Right Be Pro-Capitalist?"
It's worth noting her that Brimelow runs a notorious white supremacist website called VDARE, and it published the preface to Mercer's "Into the Cannibal's Pot," along with a promotional blurb from Derbyshire.
We suspect VDARE would not have done that if it didn't think Mercer was making a racial argument that would appeal to its white nationalist audience.
If Mercer is the anti-apartheid activist she claims she is, why is she palling around with white nationalists like Brimelow? Perhaps because, at heart, she really isn't that.
Mercer also whined that "Duly ignored was my polite request, addressed to Slate’s editors, to let me counter Mathis-Lilley’s lies." In the middle of nitpicking statements, Mercer is certainly not going to concede just how close Slate got to the truth.
Trump Gives MRC An Excuse To Ramp Up Its War Against Jim Acosta Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center already despises CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta for failing to adhere to its right-wing agenda, and it hardly needed added ammunition to perpetuate its war against him. But President Trump provided some anyway, and the MRC's war on Acosta went to a whole 'nother level.
When Trump insulted Acosta for trying to ask a question at a Nov. 7 presidential briefing, the MRC's Scott Whitlock reveled in it, hyperbolically calling it "WAR" in his headline and touting: "The President slammed Jim Acosta as a 'rude,' 'horrible' and 'terrible person.' At one point, Trump told Acosta to sit down as a White House aide tried to take the microphone away from him." Whitlock went on to happily transcribe:
As a White House aide attempted to take away the microphone from Acosta, the journalist pushed her away. Trump snapped, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN.”
The fight continued as the President fought back: “You're a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible and the way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way.”
When CNN personalities defended Acosta, noted Acost-hater Curtis Houck put "HISSY FIT" in all-caps in the headline of his rant, sneering that the defense was a "20-minute love letter to itself":
After Wednesday’s free-wheeling and tense White House press conference, CNN went on the offensive against President Trump, illustrating a level of self-centeredness that’s unrivaled in the media and showing petty levels of emotion on-set reacting to the President’s condemnations and heated exchanges with chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, political analyst April Ryan, and PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor.
Check out the video here of co-hosts Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper welcoming on Acosta like a triumphant Captain America who took on the President as if he were Thanos in Infinity War, but actually won.
Legal analyst Laura Coates led off this shameless display of arrogance, ludicrously claiming that the media did not “take the bait” or engage in a “tit for tat” and lashed out in the same way the President did at the media, including Jim Acosta and his throwdown. Yes, really.
Of course, Houck also thinks that it's "self-centered" for journalists to be concerned about their safety in the face of an anti-media president, so his priorities are a little distorted.
When the Trump White House pulled Acosta's press credentials, Houck was excited about that too, squarely blaming "circus act" Acosta and, again, a purportedly narcissistic CNN and certainly not a thin-skinned president:
As Acosta had likely hoped, it drew attention to himself and CNN, triggering over 20 minutes of CNN expressing its love for, well, CNN while showing its undeniably deep disdain for the President.
After years of back-and-forth jousting, this feud came to quite the head Wednesday night and will certainly reverberate across the political universe. And without a doubt, CNN will seek to make this about, well, CNN.
And, predictably, Houck whined again when CNN defended him on air.
Also predictably, the MRC almost completely ignored the fact that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a doctored video showing the contact between Acosta and the White House intern trying to take the microphone away from him as more violent than it actually was. It was only obliquely referred to in a Nov. 8 post by Kristine Marsh noting the "suggestion" that Acosta assaulted the intern.
When CNN filed suit against the White House over the pulling of Acosta's press pass, the MRC cranked up the anger again. MRC chief Brent Bozell issued a rant claing that "Jim Acosta is not a reporter; he is a left-wing activist" and "CNN is not a news organization but a political hit squad for the far left." He and Tim Graham followed with a column listing "Six Reasons the CNN Acosta Lawsuit Is Lame," one of which was defending Trump's right to take questions from whomever he chooses like other presidents have, adding: "President Obama never consented to questions from Sean Hannity."But Hannity is not a White House correspondent; he's a right-wing Fox News ranter with an affinity for conspiracy theories.
Geoffrey Dickens and Bill D'Agostino introduced a montage of out-of-context "disruptive behavior" moments by Acosta under the headline "Here’s Why Jim Acosta Should Be Kicked Out of the White House," huffing: "CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta – during the Trump administration – has shouted at and talked over press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders. He has interrupted his fellow White House press corp [sic] colleagues, called the President himself “fake news” and even screamed at Trump as he was talking to children at the annual Easter Egg roll."
Alasa for the MRC, that was not to be, at least in the meantime: a judge restored Acosta's press pass. And, of course, they grumbled about that:
Houck complained about the "exuberant mood" at CNN after the ruling, adding an attempt at a hip allusion: "For as much as CNN thinks of itself as The Avengers, there's likely a fair portion of the American public that instead sees them as the cast of Monty Python and the Holy Grail running away from the Rabbit of Caerbannog."
Whitlock dismissed CNN's "excited" reation to the restoration of Acosta's press pass as "self-important," further grousing that "Panelist Jeffrey Toobin smugly redefined the liberal Acosta as an American hero."
D'Agostino was annoyed that CNN's Brian Stelter said that "the courts effectively did their jobs" in restoring Acosta's press pass.