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Tuesday, December 18, 2018
NewsBusters Blogger Doesn't Know His Political History
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has apparently dealt with the departure of the disgraced Tom Blumer by bringing back Mark Finkelstein as a contributing editor. Finkelstein has a shaky history of veracity and insults in his previous work for NewsBusters, but you might remember him best as the guy who suggested that then-NBC "Today" co-host Matt Lauer was supporting Palestine by his choice of wearing a checkered scarf.

Finkelstein has apparently been given the MSNBC beat at NewsBusters. A Nov. 25 post on one MSNBC segment featured a guest forwarding a possible Michelle Obama-Oprah Winfrey ticket for the Democrats in 2020, followed by host Joy Reid shooting down the idea because "We know racially-polarized voting is a real thing and people will say they'll vote for Oprah until she is on the ballot." Finkelstein then complained: "So those racist white Americans won't support a black presidential ticket. Reid didn't try to square her view with Barack Obama's two presidential victories, or with the fact that Oprah is wildly popular across a broad swath of Americans, including countless whites."

It seems that Finkelstein has never heard of the Bradley effect, which summarizes the pattern of non-white candidates losing elections despite leading the polls, suggesting that some white voters don't accurately tell pollsters who they will vote for. It's named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, who is believed to have lost a race for California governor due to this.

In other words, Reid is correct, and Obama's election may have been an anomaly from the Bradley effect.

So ... welcome back, Mark!


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Monday, December 17, 2018
WND Cheers Efforts To Build Third Temple, Start the End Times
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've caught WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah blowing off the idea that President Trump wanting to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem plays a role in fulfilling evangelical end-times prophecy -- even as WND has promoted the next step in end-times prophecy, the building of a third temple on the Temple Mount that is currently occupied by a mosque (where Farah and Jonathan Cahn staged a publicity stunt a couple years back).

Well, WND hasn't stopped promoting efforts to build the Third Temple, though it's downplaying the end-times angle.

An anonymously written Dec. 1 article touted how "The newly re-created Sanhedrin in Israel is planning a ceremony to consecrate a stone altar prepared for use in the Third Temple, and it has released a declaration intended to be an invitation for other nations to participate in the Temple 'and to receive its blessings.'"

As we documented when the Sanhedrin issued a Trump medallion for the purpose of funding Third Temple activities, they are a group of far-right rabbis with no political influence but eager to establish religious influence whom WND has promoted in the past.

An article the next day enthusiastically declared in its headline that it was just "7 days until dedication of Third Temple altar." The article gushed further:

The re-established Jewish Sanhedrin is pushing the envelope on the rebuilding of the Temple next Monday, the last evening of Hanukkah, by consecrating a stone altar and reading of a declaration to all nations intended as an invitation to participate in receiving its blessings – leading to an effort to replace the United Nations with a new, God-centered organization.

A full-dress re-enactment of the Korban Olah Tamid (the daily offering) will also take place, with Kohanim (Jewish men of the priestly caste descended from Aaron) wearing biblically mandated garb leading the ceremony.

WND also much mnore benignly describes the Sanhedrin:

The Sanhedrin is the name given to the council of 71 Jewish sages who constituted the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period. It continued to function for more than 400 years after the destruction of the Temple. There have been several orthodox attempts to re-establish it since that time. The current attempt to re-establish the Sanhedrin is generally referred to as the “nascent Sanhedrin,” the “developing Sanhedrin,” or the re-established Sanhedrin.

WND even noted the Sanhedrin's political intent by referencing the group's goal "to replace the United Nations" with "a universal organization that will return to the Bible, re-educate the world." A Sanhedrin rabbi is then quoted laughably adding, "This is not a religious initiative," given that the Sanhedrin in the past has advocated placing religious law above secular law in Israel.

WND not only didn't mention the whole end-times aspect of establishing the Third Temple, it weirdly left abandoned the story after that. Instead, a Dec. 8 article touted "a plan to create a golden crown for the Messiah’s arrival in Jerusalem," promoted by "Rabbi Yosef Berger, of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion."Berger is quoting claiming that creating the crown "will hasten the arrival of the King."

As it so happens, Berger has declared that he thinks Trump will build the Third Temple, thus making the way for the Messiah for who he's making that crown.

Somehow it all comes around to Trump at WND. Imagine that.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:47 PM EST
CNS Touts Levin-Beck Media Merger, Censors Controversies Surrounding Its Hosts
Topic: CNSNews.com

When Mark Levin's CRTV merged with Glenn Beck's The Blaze earlier this month, CNSNews.com -- as befits a "news" outlet so convinced (or has been paid to be convinced) that Levin can do no wrong that it has run well over 100 fawning stories on Levin so far in 2018 -- gave the merger its usual gushy treatment.

Craig Bannister proclaimed in a Dec. 3 article: "The new Blaze Media company debuted Monday, consolidating the draw of popular conservative pundits Mark Levin and Glenn Beck under one multiplatform entity with a combined monthly reach of 165 million." Bannister also included a list of the "popular pundits" who would appear on the merged channel. At the top fo the list was Michelle Malkin, who would announce the next day she was departing the channel.

Also on the list was Eric Bolling, who had joined then-CRTV after leaving Fox News following allegations he sexually harassed his colleagues there. (And, no, neither CNS nor its Media Research Center parent has ever reported on the allegations against Bolling.)

Conspicuously missing from that list, however, was longtime CRTV host Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, whose propensity for violence and white nationalist leanings have earned them classification by the FBI as an extremist group. As we've documented, CNS and the MRC has also censored any controversy regarding McInnes and the Proud Boys.

The next day, Emily Ward wrote the standard fawning CNS piece featuring Levin on his radio show spinning the merger as "not about personalities; it's about liberty." No mention of the controversies surrounding McInnes and Bolling, of course.

A few days after that, though, Blaze Media fired McInnes and his YouTube account was disabled. Curiously, CNS didn't find that, or Malkin's departure, to be news worth reporting despite its reporting on the merger.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 PM EST
Now That Kavanaugh's On SCOTUS, WND's Farah Is Suddenly Criticizing Him Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, he was complaining about the possibility of Brett Kavanaugh being nominated as a Supreme Court justice -- until he actually was; Farah then went silent on him through the controversial nomination process.

Now that Kavanaugh is safely ensconced on the Supreme Court, Farah is suddenly able to criticize him again.

In a Dec. 10 column hyperbolically headlined "The Kavanaugh betrayal!", Farah rants that Kavanaugh siding with the majority -- "the high court's leftists" in Farah's description -- in refusing to hear a case focusing on "Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood," it means that "Brett Kavanaugh is a fraud. He should never have been President Trump’s first choice. He’s a weakling. He buckled to the extreme left to salvage his own reputation."

Farah then rehashed his conspiracy theory about Kenneth Starr, for whom Kavanaugh worked investigating President Clinton in the '90s, as "either the most incompetent prosecutor in the history of the country or complicit in the cover-up of those crimes. I lean toward the latter judgment."

Farah also wrote of Kavanaugh: "I had a bad feeling about this guy – ever since his role in the Vincent Foster cover-up and his tutelage by former independent counsel Kenneth Starr." Farah didn't explain why he didn't vocalize any of this "bad feeling" during Kavanaugh's nomination process.

Two days later, Farah was back to rant some more about Kavanaugh and Starr:

Are you puzzled about what went wrong with the Brett Kavanaugh appointment?

You should be.

We just got a Supreme Court nominee confirmed who will be with us for decades who is likely to uphold abortion on demand for his lifetime term.

We should have known better. A little more research could have prevented this human-rights disaster.

It was ever-so-predictable. I know, because I did.

Again, Farah didn't explain why he didn't speak up during the nomination process.

Farah went on to complain that "Starr appointed Brett Kavanaugh to oversee the [Vioncent] Foster investigation. Kavanaugh, with Starr’s approval, covered it up by firing the young prosecutor who raised too many questions."

What Farah is ultimately complaining about, though, is that Kavanaugh refused to put politics -- specifically, Farah's politics -- before facts or reason. In Farah's mind, Bill and/or Hillary Clinton was ipso facto guilty of causing the death of Vincent Foster, if for no other reason than because Farah hates the Clintons with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Similarly, Farah believes that abortion should be made illegal and doesn't care how that's achieved. He thinks that the ideal Supreme Court justice should put right-wing poiitics first and then build a legal rationale for them.

By complaining that Kavanaugh not only wouldn't adhere to right-wing orthodoxy on abortion but also that he apparently accepted the judgment of pretty much every legitimate investigator that Foster committed suicide, Farah is inadvertently bolstering the case that, contrary to many liberals' expectations, Kavanaugh might actually be a decent and thoughtful (albeit still conservative-leaning) justice.

Probably not what Farah was intending to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EST
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Fake News: MRC Promotes Never-Proven Claim About Protest At Tucker Carlson's House
Topic: Media Research Center

As one would imagine, the Media Research Center rushed to Fox News host Tucker Carlson's defense following a protest at his house by antifa activists. The MRC uncritically painted the protesters in the most negative terms. For instance, Nicholas Fondacaro declared that "a mob of Antifa protestors descended on his Washington, D.C. area home to threaten him and his family with violence," further attacking the protesters as "radical leftists," and Kyle Drennen highlighted the "mob of left-wing Antifa activists surrounding the home of Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson and terrorizing his family."

The MRC also uncritically promoted claims about the amount of damage the protesters allegedly caused. Curtis Houck asserted that the protest resulted in the "front door being busted and vandalism on his car, house, and driveway." His proof was a tweet by noted plagiarist Benny Johnson, who linked to an article at the Carlson-run Daily Caller, which described the "vandalism" as "signs left on the vehicles parked in the driveway as well as a sign left on the front door of the home." The only apparent actual vandalism was the anarchy symbol spray-painted on the driveway.

Fondacaro returned in another post -- again referencing the "radical leftist mob" who committed an "assault on Carlson's home" -- to uncritically repeat a claim from Fox News’ media reporter Howard Kurtz that "the radical mob 'pushed against his front door until it cracked.'" Similarly, Corinne Weaver claimed that the protesters "smashed [Carlson's] oak door."

But no proof has ever been offered that the door on Carlson's house was damaged in any way.

Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple actually went to Carlson's house after the attack and found that the front door "appeared to be in working condition," and that a person he talked to at the house offered no evidence of damage. A week later, Wemple pointed out again that the door "seemed sturdy and fully intact. A woman who answered a knock looked it up and down and appeared to conclude it was in fine shape," and the police report on the incident mentioned no damage to the front door. Carlson has ignored repeated requests to corroborate the damage he claims was made to the door, Wemple says.

Meanwhile, Alan Pyke, writing at Think Progress, was at the protest and observed what happened: "One of the protesters knocked firmly on Carlson’s front door three times then trotted back down the steps to join the rest of the group in the street. This person did not throw their body against the door, as Carlson has claimed to newspapers."

Pyke also observed: "Right-wing media have characterized Wednesday’s group of fewer than 15 activists shadowed by four legal observers as a violent mob. In reality, a small group knocked on Carlson’s door, shook a tambourine, and chanted slogans aimed at his chosen career hyping hateful speech aimed at racial minorities and political opponents, then left."

Despite all of this, the MRC continued to hyperbolically overstate the protest. A Nov. 12 post by Corinne Weaver claimed that protesters "attacked Tucker Carlson’s house," and the next day Weaver asserted the protest was carried out by a "violent antifa group."

It seems that by uncritically repeating Carlson's apparently embellished claims about what happened at the protest, the MRC has published fake news. But since that fake news helps the MRC's right-wing agenda, don't look for an apology or correction anytime soon -- just like it has failed to do in the past.

(Photo of Carlson's door via Washington Post)


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EST
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally
Topic: CNSNews.com

How many times did CNSNews.com do stenography for its favorite sources in November? Let's find out!

Judicial Watch: 1

Franklin Graham: 1

Mark Levin: 13

White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter: none, largely due to the fact that the White House held only one press briefing in November.

Year-to-date totals:

  • Judicial Watch: 46
  • Franklin Graham: 29
  • Mark Levin: 129
  • WH press secretary: 82

Another good month for Levin! He must be paying the MRC well for all this "free" coverage.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EST
Saturday, December 15, 2018
MRC Upset That Trump Was Unfavorably (Though Not Inaccurately) Described At Bush Funeral
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so fawningly pro-Trump that it sees any criticism of him as "liberal bias." And when media commentators couldn't help but notice the difference in overall demeanor between President Trump and President George H.W. Bush at the latter's funeral, the MRC fumed.

In a Dec. 6 post hyperbolically headlined "Washington Post Rips Trump a New One Three Times at Bush Funeral," Tim Graham complains in a fit of whataboutism:

The Washington Post loves to present President Trump as boisterously snide...and quite obviously, they can't imagine anyone would apply that description to them. On Wednesday night, the Post website was boasting at least three articles ripping into Trump's behavior at the funeral, or his bad optics. This isn't a "newspaper." It's an Insult Aggregator. 

Let's acknowledge the elephant in the room: the president did present a picture they could suggest was bored or cranky. He only shook hands with the Obamas. Fine. But these "reporters" -- who sound much more like editorial writers -- were trying to make Trump, not Bush, the big story. Even their Thursday headline praising the late president -- "President, patriot, gentleman" -- could be seen as another knock on the current president.

Graham went on to huff that a Post story on the funeral, in which all other living ex-presidents appeared alongside Trump, "described others in the front row...by how Trump had insulted them," grousing: "Notice the Post could have done this 'reporting' both ways....listing the insults Barack and Michelle Obama offered about Trump, the insults Bill and Hillary Clinton lobbed against Trump, and then the insults Jimmy Carter threw at Trump. But the problem is the Post deeply enjoyed anything they said."

The MRC whining continued:

P.J. Gladnick claimed: "It was a funeral for former President George H.W. Bush but all the [MSNBC] show's panel could focus on Wednesday aftenroon was Trump, Trump, Trump. Any mention of the recently deceased was only in relation to President Donald Trump." He added: "Just a reminder again to everyone that Trump was sitting there not saying anything yet his mere presence at the funeral inspired this laughable outbreak of TDS among the panelists."

Nicholas Fondacaro asserted: "They just couldn’t help themselves. During their Wednesday evening reports on the deeply touching and emotional funeral service for the late President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral, broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC had to get in their digs against President Trump for his behavior (or lack thereof). One even touted how Trump managed to keep his mouth shut about Bush all week."

Clay Waters insisted that a New York Times article's "focus was on attacking one of the attendants: President Trump, through biased interpretation of body language and some light mind-reading."

Mark Finkelstein shot back at a commentator who argued that giving credit to Trump for not screwing up anything during the Bush funeral is "a very low bar": "God rest the soul of George H.W. Bush. But God forbid that President Trump should receive credit for according H.W. all possible honors and conducting himself with grace during the funeral service."

None of these MRC posts, by the way, dispute the accuracy of the observations made, just the fact that they were made at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 AM EST
WND's Latest Deal: Ancient Coins
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily still has to beg for money. The cryptocurrency thing isn't quite working out, at least in the short term (at last check, the AML Bitcoin WND is giving away to those who donate is hovering around 12 cents). The publishing of WND editor Joseph Farah's new Bible book is not going well. How else can WND entice a little support from its readers?

How about some ancient coins? A Dec. 11 article tries to set the selling mood:

Elizabeth Farah, the cofounder and chief operating officer of WND, walked down a quiet lane in the capital city west of the old green line separating Arab East Jerusalem and the Israeli side of town.

Music was in the air courtesy of the music conservatory across the street from a three-story, 19th century Oriental house. She knocked on the door and was greeted by a legendary figure in the antiquities business – Lenny Wolfe.

The native of Glasgow, Scotland, greeted her with a brogue-tinged accent, which Hebrew speakers say carries over to that tongue as well.

He showed her around.

She had been in search of treasures and she had found them. The house was full of them – everywhere you looked. Clay lamps from the First Century that still work with a little olive oil. Ancient jars. Magnificent 2,500-year-old pitchers and bowls. Priceless antiquities lined the walls, covered the floors, and trimmed the tables.

Wolfe eagerly handed her treasure after treasure – many costing a small fortune. While Farah handled them gingerly, Wolfe seemed gleeful and carefree about showing off his discoveries.

But what caught Farah’s eye were the coins – piles of them, most from the First Century or earlier.

Long story short: Farah bought a bunch of thse coins -- mites, "the kind of coins the poor widow in Mark 12:41-44 deposited in the treasury of the synagogue" -- allegedly dating from 135 B.C. to 29 A.D., "so she could make them available as Christmas and Hanukkah gifts in the WND Superstore."

The coins are available in various settings from as low as $49.99 to as much as $300; each comes with "a certificate of authenticity signed by the distinguished Israeli antiquities dealer Lenny Wolfe, and are individually wrapped in a velvet pouch and gift box."

But it seems at the setting is more valuable than the coin itself; highly worn coins aren't worth very much -- $6 by one estimate -- even if they are authentically a couple millennia old. WND presumably got these coins at a price good enough to make money through reselling them.

But remember that WND remains on shaky ground financially and is doing what it can to stay alive, and this is just one more effort toward that end.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 16, 2018 1:27 PM EST
Friday, December 14, 2018
CNS' Loopy Rabbi Goes Even More Pro-Trump Than Usual
Topic: CNSNews.com

Loopy right-wing rabbi Aryeh Spero let his pro-Trump sympathies go even more over the top than usual in a Nov. 29 CNSNews.com column:

On Tuesday, during an interview with The Washington Post, President Trump declared, “We wish to remain in the Middle East region for our interests and for Israel.” 

It is once again apparent that President Trump has a deeply felt and unwavering tie to the Jewish state and the safety and viability of her citizens. His profuse commitment to Israel, and thus the Jewish people, is singular among Presidents. It is astoundingly genuine.

His commitment to Israel and the Jewish people continues despite the constant drumbeat against him from too many of the establishment liberal Jewish organizations here in America. He courageously, and with compassion, visited the Pittsburgh synagogue where in late October 11 Jews were gunned down. He did this despite the hostile, divisive, and obnoxious slogans and press releases made against him by liberal Jewish groups demanding that he not come.

Spero offers no actual evidence that Trump's pro-Israel sympathies are "genuine" or anything else other than a cynical political calculation to attact right-wing Jews and Christians to support him.

Spsero goes on to complain: "By now it is obvious that liberal Jewish groups will always come up with some reason to criticize Mr. Trump’s actions no matter how sincere and good he may be." And by now it is obvious that Spero will not pass judgment on the immoral acts of Trump's personal life as long as he toes the right-wing line and adheres to Spero's political agenda -- which is anything but sincere on Spero's part.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EST
WND Ignores Trump, Dershowitz Role In Pedophile Scandal -- But Hypes Clinton
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Dec. 4 WorldNetDaily article tried to be as salacious as possible:

The Bill Clinton-linked financier accused of sexually abusing women on his “Orgy Island” getaway agreed to a last-minute settlement that likely means none of his accusers will testify in court.

Jeffrey Epstein, 65, allegedly operated a sex ring at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, a residence in New York City, and his private-island estate in the Virgin Islands, dubbed by some “Orgy Island.”

The deal was announced Tuesday as jury selection in a civil lawsuit brought by a lawyer for his accusers was set to begin, Fox News reported.

Fox News said court documents it obtained in 2016 showed former President Bill Clinton took at least 26 trips on Epstein’s private jet, known as the “Lolita Express.”

The former president apparently ditched his Secret Service detail on some of the excursions, Fox News said.

Epstein’s jet was said to be outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

Note that despite all the salacious implication, WND provides no evidence whatsoever that Clinton ever sexually abused anyone. And completely censored in the article is the connection between Epstein and Donald Trump.

Politico reports that Epstein "was a regular for several years at Mar-a-Lago. Testimony in a prior court case indicated that Trump flew at least once on one of the planes Epstein owned and Trump’s phone numbers were in Epstein’s personal phone directory." One of Epstein's victims, a 15-year-old girl, was recruited by Epstein while working as a towel girl at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club.

Also implicated in the Epstein case is lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Not only does he serve as Epstein's attorney,  one of the girls Epstein enticed into his operation -- as it happens ,the same one who was recruited from Mar-a-Lago -- claims to have sex with Dershowitz several times. Dershowitz has long denied the allegation.

While Dershowitz has generally been considered to be a liberal, his defense of Trump made him a WND favorite. It has, among other things, posted numerous videos from Israeli channel ILTV  of a segment called "One on One with Alan Dershowitz," touted Dershowitz's claim about the criminalization of political differences and his lament that "The attacks on President Trump by onetime personal lawyer Michael Cohen are hurting America."

Meanwhile, the same day, WND editor Joseph Farah wrote a column demanding that Alexander Acosta -- who was the federal prosecutor that helped work out a deal that let Epstein serve only 13 months in prison -- resign his current position as Trump's labor secretary and most definitely shouldn't be considered as a candidate for attorney general. Farah didn't mention Epstein's connection to Trump and Dershowitz, though surprisingly, he didn't throw in a gratuitous Clinton reference.

That's an unusual show of restraint for Farah, who hates Clinton so much he's still clinging to Vincent Foster conspiracy theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EST
Thursday, December 13, 2018
MRC Censors Just How 'Far-Right' (And Islamophobic) Activist Banned From Twitter Is
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver spent a Nov. 26 post detailing how "Twitter's war on conservative thought" claimed a couple so-called victims. The first was right-wing radio host and failed congressional candidate Jesse Kelly, who was removed for unclear reasons but was actually reinstated the day after Weaver's post.

The second was "far-right journalist Laura Loomer," whom Weaver writes "was erased from the platform on November 21 for criticizing Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)." Weaver added: "Loomer was booted off the platform on Wednesday for accusing Muslim Rep. Omar of being anti-Jewish, supporting Sharia law, and being pro-female genital mutilation. She was told that by doing so, she had “promoted violence against, threatened, or harassed other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” Almost immediately after her Twitter ban, Loomer was given a 30-day Facebook suspension."

While Weaver earned a little credit for admitting that Loomer is "far-right," she failed to inform readers just how far right-- and Islamophobic -- she is. Loomer was banned rom using Uber and Lyft after she ranted that "Someone needs to create a non Islamic form of @uber or @lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver" and complaining she couldn't find a "non Muslim cab."

A couple days after her banning, Loomer handcuffed herself to the door of Twitter's corporate offices in New York while wearing a yellow star of David as if getting kicked off Twitter for spewing hate was the same as getting Holocausted. (Quick, someone call Rabbi Spero!)

Loomer is clearly not a person who anyone should take seriously. But Weaver wants you to think she is in order to keep up the MRC's anti-social media narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EST
WND's Brown: Doesn't Matter That Trump Is A Horrible Person, As Long As He Delivers The Right-Wing Goods
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown isn't expressing faux compassion for transgenders, he's an apologist for President Trump, insisting that evangelicals should ignore Trump's deeply troubling personal life and be happy that he signed on to promote a right-wing evangelical agenda. He's provided "talking points for pro-Trump evangelicals" and even written a book on the subject.

Brown took this argument to its crass, cynical extreme in his Dec. 6 column, writing in response to the fact that Trump, unlike all the other presidents who attended the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, refused to recite the Apostles' Creed. Brown, needless to say, gave Trump a pass for the religious faux pas -- summed up in the headline "Ask me if I care" -- because the only thing that matters is that he pushes a right-wing agenda:

During the presidential campaign, did I take Trump’s references to the Scriptures seriously? No.

Was it meaningful to me when he held up his family Bible at his rallies? Absolutely not.

Did it surprise me when he really couldn’t quote a single, favorite verse? Not in the least.

And that’s why it didn’t surprise me when he remained silent during the recitation of the Apostles’ Creed.

As to why he was silent, God knows.

Perhaps he didn’t want to put on a religious show.

Perhaps he was committed to being totally quiet and out of the way during the Bush funeral.

Perhaps he was unfamiliar with the words.

Perhaps he’s not a true Christian and so had no interest in making the statement of faith.

To repeat: God knows why he didn’t recite the creed.

But, to repeat: His silence is of no material concern to me, since I would rather have a president who kept his promises to evangelicals and didn’t worship publicly than a public worshiper who broke his promises to us.

Brown then invokes WND's favorite divine-Donald narrative, that Trump is just like biblilcal hero Cyrus:

But even if it was the worst case scenario, namely, that he was silent because he is not a true believer in Jesus, that would only confirm the “Cyrus” prophecies about him. (Namely, that God raised him up for His own good purposes, despite the fact that Trump himself did not know God, just as he raised up Cyrus, who was an idol-worshiping pagan king. See Isaiah 45:1-4, and note carefully the last words of verse 4.)

To be clear, I have said for more than three years that we make a mistake when, as evangelicals, we present the president as “Saint Donald” or when we whitewash his worst words. We can support him and pray for him without being puppets and lackeys. We can stand with him while expressing our disagreement and differences.

But as long as he continues to nominate pro-life justices and push back against LGBT extremism and fight for our religious liberties and combat radical Islam and stand with Israel (among other things), he has my ongoing support.

And that holds true whether he himself is a genuine Christian or not.

Somehow, we suspect that even if Trump suddenly stops delivering the right-wing goods, Brown will still find a reason to support him.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EST
CNS Spins on Flynn to Protect Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

When Robert Mueller released his sentencing recommendations regarding the guilty plea on making false statements entered by onetime Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn,  CNSNews.com reacted the way you'd expect.

A Dec. 5 article by Susan Jones is a surprisingly straightforward account of Flynn's offense and Mueller's recommendations -- until the last paragraph, in which she claimed: "Flynn's defenders note that he was the victim of illegal surveillance and unmasking by members of the Obama administration, but so far, no one in that orbit has been held accountable."

Jones provided no evidence that any surveillance and unmasking of Flynn under the Obama administration was "illegal." Indeed, experts have argued that surveillance of Flynn was quite legal, given that he was chatting with Russian officials as an agent for Trump and it was the Russians, not Flynn, who were the target of the eavesdropping.

Jones also penned an article making a well-worn CNS argument, quoting Republican Rep. Mark Meadows attacking Mueller insisting that Flynn's case had nothing to do with collusion with Russia.

Finally, Jones wrote an article claiming that the no-prison-term recommendation Mueller made for Flynn was what President Trump wanted all along, featuring another right-wing congressman (appearing on Fox News, natch):

There's a "great irony" in Special Counsel Robert Mueller asking a federal court not to put Gen. Michael Flynn in prison, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told Fox News's Sean Hannity Tuesday night.

“The great irony, Sean, is that Robert Mueller has achieved the same outcome that Donald Trump was (after). I mean, Robert Mueller has essentially said to court, lay off of Mike Flynn -- he's a good guy. If Trump said the same thing to (former FBI Director James) Comey, they apparently want to throw him in jail for it. And it shows the double standard.”

[...]

Flash back to early 2017, when – according to notes written by then-FBI Director Comey – Trump took Comey aside the day after Flynn was fired. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Comey quoted Trump as saying.  “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

In his court filing on Tuesday, Mueller seemed to agree that Flynn was a good guy. He mentioned some of Flynn’s “mitigating” characteristics, including his “exemplary” military and public service. “He served in the military for over 33 years, including five years of combat duty, led the Defense Intelligence Agency and retired as a 3-star Lieutenant General.”

Of course, the threat of prison time is the leverage Mueller had over Flynn to get him to cooperate with investigators. Jones doesn't mention that, of course; instead, she quotes Gaetz ranting at length that "Flynn should never have pleaded guilty" and how Hillary Clinton is the real criminal.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chuck Norris Touts His 'Bromance' With Hungary's Right-Wing Authoritarian Leader
Topic: WorldNetDaily

CNSNews.com is not the only ConWeb outlet to fall madly in love with Viktor Orban, Hungary's right-wing authoritarian leader. Chuck Norris touted his "bromance" with Orban in his Dec. 2 WorldNetDaily column. He kicked things off with press clippings and self-aggrandizement:

You might have heard in the news that my wife, Gena, and I spent time this past week with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the country’s great capital city of Budapest.

The Washington Post reported, “Hungary’s strongman leader has a new American friend.”

Breitbart News reported, “Brussels Beware: ‘Street Fighter’ Orbán Teams Up with Action Man Chuck Norris in Hungary.”

Russia’s RT network reported, “Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was spotted hanging out with none other than Hollywood actor and walking epitome of badassery, Chuck Norris. They cruised around Budapest as Orbán showed off the nation’s anti-terrorism unit.”

Sputnik news reported, “‘Badass’ Chuck Norris Spotted Bromancing with Hungarian PM Orbán.”

CNN similarly reported, “Move over Vladimir Putin and Steven Seagal, there’s a new strongman bromance brewing.”

I don’t know about a bromance, but he is certainly our newfound friend. Or as Gena echoed when we said goodbye to the prime minister: “ Friends forever“!

It was so great to spend the day with Orbán as he personally drove us around the capital city of Budapest. It was our first time in the country, and, boy, was it beautiful. And the people were remarkable! We saw many sites, including the bridge over the Danube that was almost named after me.

Interesting that two of the outlets Norris invokes -- RT and Sputnik -- are Russian propaganda operations.

Norris also does som serious sucking up to Orban:

Prime Minister Orbán is a staunch conservative all the way, from protecting his borders to espousing Christian values and even establishing a “Stop [George] Soros” law. He was just reelected for the third time in a landslide victory. He’s very popular among the common people, though progressives vehemently dislike him.

At one point PM Orbán said to me, “90 percent of the comments on me is negative … the liberals hate me.”

I replied, “You’re like [U.S. President Donald] Trump.”

He retorted, “A little bit more than that!”

He also explained to me that: “I am a street fighter basically, I’m not coming from the elite.” He’s also a brilliant street fighter, having been educated at Oxford University[.]

[...]

The Prime Minister posted a video of different aspects of our day together on his Facebook page. You can watch it here.

Norris is not going to mention that Orban's attacks on Soros are based on fringe conspiracy theories.

Norris closed his column with a message to his wife, who accompanied him on this junket: "Happy Anniversary, my love and best friend! As great as it was to be in Hungary, my bromance with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán can’t hold a match to my romance with you!"

Oh, we don't know about that -- his bromance with Orban is strong enough that he's more than willing to act as as his shill.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:33 PM EST
MRC More Angry At Criticism Of Redskins Name Than The Fact The Redskins Hired A Suspected Abuser
Topic: Media Research Center

Proving that conservative correctness rules over all at the Media Research Center, mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson writes in a Nov. 30 post:

Signing linebacker Reuben Foster, released earlier this week by the San Francisco 49ers for alleged domestic violence, opened up the Washington Redskins to collateral media attacks on their team nickname. ESPN Around the Horn commentator Kevin Blackistone, USA Today For the Win writer Steven Ruiz and others couldn't resist the temptation to take swipes at the Redskins' nickname while blasting the team for signing Foster.

Maxson went on to whine that "Ruiz emptied a bagful of grievances he has with the Washington team, much of it devoted to the issue of the Redskins' name, which many liberals want changed" and that Ruiz "blasted team founder George Preston Marshall, 'a man whose Wikipedia page features a 'Racism' section, ...' and who was the last NFL owner to sign black players." Maxson said nothing further about Foster.

That's right -- Maxson is more offended at writers criticizing the Redskins team name than he is about the fact that the Redskins signed a player credibly accused of domestic violence against his girlfriend. Shows you were the MRC's priorities are.

A few days earlier, Maxson had ranted about the idea that Colin Kaepernick -- about whom Maxson has regular attacks of derangement -- might be hired by the Redskins as a replacement quarterback. Maxson sneered that Kaepernick is a "notorious anthem kneeler" and a "SJW favorite," dismissing those advocating for Kaepernick as making "pithy powder puff arguments" and adding that "to objective people, these are flimsy, pathetically weak points. Beating a dead horse, the Kaepernick apologists are embarrassing themselves by begging and pleading for his return."

Maxson can't even be bothered to write more about Foster than he has about a former NFL player whose political views he disagrees with.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:44 PM EST

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