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Thursday, December 20, 2018
MRC Fears New Film Will (Further) Demonize Anti-Gay Conversion Therapy
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long clung to the belief that anti-gay conversion therapy is a good thing despite a lack of scientific evidence proving it. Now, following in the footsteps of WorldNetDaily, it's denouncing the new film "Boy Erased," based on the real-life experience of a teenager at a conversion facility.

In a Dec. 5 MRC post, Gabriel Hays complains that "[t]he media of course has been running cover for the film and at the same time subtly bashing Christian parents for even hinting that it may be wrong for kids to embrace homosexuality." Hays seems particularly put out by Garrard Conley, who wrote the book about his own experience that the movie is based on and whose interview on the NBC website Hays is attacking, called conversion therapy "diabolical" and "medically discredited":

Regardless of whether conversion therapy is harmful or not, it’s been evident that the media in particular would like meddling Christian parents to back off on promoting traditional sexual lifestyles, because in the eyes of their fine-tuned progressive world, that’s what is truly disgusting here.

Garrard’s memoir-turned-motion-picture details the author’s formative years during which the young gay man was forced by his parents to undergo the controversial practice. He told NBC that he just wanted to get his story of hardship out there, that it’s “incredibly important to get those around queer people to get to the most basic thought of ‘I think that gay conversion therapy is torture.’”

“Even if they are not there yet in terms of acceptance, I just don’t want people to get sent to conversion therapy.”

NBC mentioned that “talk therapy is the most commonly used therapy technique” though some extreme proponents of conversion therapy have employed “aversion treatments” such as “induced vomitings or electric shocks.”

Now of course, electric shock, vomiting, lobotomies aside (there are always overzealous weirdos) the fact that NBC is blasting talk therapy as akin to “torture,” is notable. If talk therapy is “torture,” does that mean parents merely talking to kids about their unique orientation is now harmful or abusive? From current society’s angle, is it now wrong for parent’s to make their kids uncomfortable about issues they don’t agree on?

Hays further groused that the NBC interview "stressed Garrard’s standpoint that the therapy is 'pseudoscience' and a practice that’s been denounced by 'nearly every major professional health association,'" insisting that, by golly, even if we don't send them to camps that don't work, something's gotta be done about all these gay kids:

Yet when Garrard’s “real science” is presumably the same one that makes the case for the 64-plus gender identities, it makes it easy to see him as the pot calling the kettle black and that, at least for the liberal media, this is for the sake of political firepower against straight white Christian parents. And while it’s not healthy to send children to boot camp or stick them in the closet for weeks on account of their homosexual urges, we should be careful demonize parents into adopting a completely hands-off attitude when it comes to their kids.

Hays doesn't explain why "straight white Christian parents" must try to change the sexuality of their children, regardless of how much harm that it likely to cause. And his sneering reference to "64-plus gender identities" tells us that he's pretty eager for those forcible attempts to continue that go beyond "merely talking."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 20, 2018 2:13 AM EST
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
WND, CNS Lash Out At Christian Singer For Failing to Hate Gays Enough
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Christian musician Lauren Daigle recently appeared on a Christian radio show and answered a question about whether she thought homosexuality is a sin by saying, "I can't honestly answer on that. In a sense, I have too many people that I love that they are homosexual. I don't know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can't say one way or the other. I'm not God."

That didn't go over well with some of the more gay-hating ConWeb columnists.

WorldNetDaily's Michael Brown called Daigle's answer "very weak" and likened it to others who have expressed "compromised views on homosexual practice." Brown insisted his column was "not about Lauren" but about "our response" to her answer -- then argued that Daigle undergo a little Christian re-education:

Perhaps the first thing we should do is reach out to Lauren and say, “We’re thrilled with the success God is giving you, and your music has been a tremendous blessing to us. And we’re cheering you on when you have the opportunity to appear before the secular world. What a great open door!

“We’re also praying for you because we know the temptations and challenges you face are great, and we’d love to spend some time with you looking at the Scriptures together and helping you formulate solid answers to tough questions. Can we do that together?”

Brown did ultimately extend a little sympathy toward Daigle, though framed in re-education: "So, yes, I fully understand the disappointment in Lauren right now. But unless you’ve been in that situation yourself, you have no idea how you would perform. And even if she did fall short in her answer, now is not the time to condemn her. It’s the time to reach out to her, pray for her and make ourselves available to strengthen and equip her."

Over at CNSNews.com, John Stonestreet flip-flopped between feeling sympathy for Daigle for being put on the spot and lecturing about how Christians must reject gays:

Now let me say from the beginning here I understand how hard this high-pressure situation can be. For a young woman like Daigle with a skyrocketing career, calling homosexuality a sin in a public forum could mean closing a lot of doors and alienating a lot of fans. There’s a real cost that comes with taking a stand for the Christian view of sex and marriage. Deciding to pay that price in a split second with a microphone shoved in your face is something better-trained theologians and pastors have failed to do.

But this whole story reveals something else—the deep crisis of authority plaguing evangelicalism right now. First, we should be past the point of answering this question, because the Christian view of sex and marriage should be so clear and our commitment to it should be so well-known by now that there should be no longer any point in asking the question!

[...]

Neither the Bible nor nearly two millennia of Christian teaching are at any level ambiguous about homosexual behavior. Numerous passages in the Old and New Testaments condemn it, along with any sexual behavior outside of God’s good design for marriage between a man and a woman. No one in Christian history ever doubted this until about five minutes ago. There is no room for disagreement on the point.

For Daigle or any other Christian for that matter to publicly say, “I don’t know whether homosexuality is a sin” is like saying “I don’t know whether stealing or worshipping false gods are sins.”

Stonestreet concludees with a call to all to despise gays like a good Christian should: "What will you say when someone with the power to seriously damage your career asks you what you think about a culturally popular sin? For that matter, what will you say at Christmas dinner when that one relative—maybe a relative who identifies as gay—asks you the same question? There are no easy answers in that moment. But that doesn’t mean there are no right answers."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: More Catholic Than The Pope
Topic: CNSNews.com
The Catholic guys who run CNSNews.com are so uber-right-wing Catholic that they have the temerity to believe they can lecture Pope Francis about Catholicism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EST
WND Columnists Double Down On Fearmongering About Filthy Immigrants (With Bonus Discredited Research)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As if responding to our post pointing her fearmongering about disease-ridden immigrants, dubous right-wing doctor Jane Orient doubled down in her Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily column, in which she actually suggests that migrants are spreading disease deliberately:

Epidemics can happen naturally or through neglect — or they could be caused deliberately. Biological warfare is probably the very worst weapon of mass destruction.

One scenario is to embed a suicide agent incubating a deadly disease in a mass of migrants. There are doubtlessly innocent persons infected with deadly diseases to which Americans have no immunity among thousands of migrants overwhelming our border – from Central America and many other places.

Orient accused doctors and others who call out her fearmongering of being in "denial," then rants about the migrant caravan approaching the U.S. from Central America:

Is concern about the caravan just “fearmongering”?

We don’t hear that term applied to those who say we must treat a child missing some mandated vaccines as a “Typhoid Mary” and bar him from schools or doctor’s offices – even though nobody ever caught a disease from a child that wasn’t infected with it. Rather, that’s the word for those who warn about tropical diseases, even if they are much more common and deadly than indigenous measles – or for those concerned about tattooed MS-13 gang members, rapists, jihadists, human traffickers and other criminals intent on harming Americans. Such people also infect, molest, assault, or murder people in their own countries and in the caravan.

Our nation faces real threats that produce genuine body counts from violence and disease. Instead of addressing those threats, we are supposed to worry about carbon dioxide, invisible dust particles and imperceptible phobias and isms. And not just worry, but shut down industries and shut out dissenters from public discourse.

A wall is indeed proposed – to confine the half of America that votes the “wrong” way and wants to protect American lives, liberties and property.

What we need is an outbreak of common sense.

Or, you know, a little less fearmongering from people who don't assumse that all foreigners are "tattooed MS-13 gang members, rapists, jihadists, human traffickers and other criminals intent on harming Americans."

(Also, the entire point of vaccinating children is to build up enough herd immunity to contain or even stop spread of a disease. But Orient and the fringe-right organization she runs, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, generally opposes mandatory vaccination efforts.)

Not to be outdone in the fearmongering-about-filthy-foreigners department, Ilana Mercer used her Dec. 12 WND column to complain that nobody appears to be interested in finding a"Patient Zero" in the current outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis. She added her own attack on the caravan: "In any event, along for the ride with the thousands of migrants poised to pour into the U.S. from Central America is a healthy array of microbes: measles, Chagas disease, hepatitis and much more. Diversity, baby."

Mercer then wrote:

First in the liberty community to decry the health hazards from the unfettered flow of migrants across the 1,940-mile-long border with Mexico was dazzling Randian scholar and patriot, Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D., Esq.

Coupled with her health-care policy expertise, Dr. Cosman was an avid outdoorsman and marksman who regularly volunteered to patrol the border with the San Diego County Sheriff’s agents.

In a 2005, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons paper, “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine,” Cosman addressed the effects on the U.S. health system of the bleeding Southwestern border.

Yes, Mercer is referencing the very same paper -- published, as it so happens, under the journal editorship of one Jane Orient -- that has been discredited for falsely asserting that cases of leprosy in the U.S. have exploded because of immigration. As far as we know, Orient and the JAPS have yet to issue a correction despite the claim being debunked years ago, and the PDF of the paper to which Mercer links is similarly uncorrected.

Compounding fearmongering with bad research does not help the whole earmongering-about-filthy-foreigners thing.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EST
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
At The MRC, Kevin Hart's Anti-Gay 'Thought Crimes' vs. Mika's 'Disgusting' Anti-Gay Remark
Topic: Media Research Center

When comedian Kevin Hart lost his job as host of next year's Oscars when old homophobic jokes and Twitter posts resurfaced -- one of which called a critic a "FAT FAG" -- the Media Research Center's Jacob Comello was outraged ... for Hart, ranting that Hart had committed a "thought crime" in the eyes of liberal Hollywood allegedly eager to destroy his career:

For the Hollywood left, there is no forgiveness, let alone consistency. There is only a volatile mob mentality that, if dissented from, will get one’s career destroyed.

Kevin Hart, an African American comedian who has appeared in Scary Movie 3, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and other comedies, announced on Tuesday that he had been selected to host the 2019 Academy Awards, according to Huffington Post. Almost immediately, opposition to the Academy’s decision came pouring in from left-leaning journalists, many of them LGBT types. The reason: people had discovered tweets the comedian made years ago which contained gay jokes.

[...]

[Buzzfeed writer David] Mack’s censure (“just imagine if this was any other marginalised group”) is rather interesting, considering the fact that Travon Free, a writer for Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal TBS show, faced a similar incident earlier this year when his old anti-Semitic tweets began to resurface. But for Free, there was hardly media hype at all: A< few articles on smaller media sites covered it, and TBS never issued an official condemnation.

So Mack may have a point in saying the media treats some minorities worse than others, but LGBT people certainly aren’t at the bottom of that totem pole.

Note that Comello wasn't outraged at all by Hart's homophobic content at all -- apparently because gays are no longer sufficiently discriminated against for him to be concerned about -- but only that he was being held accountable for it.\

By contrast, when a perceived enemy of the MRC makes an anti-gay remark, that person gets attacked as not just hateful but mentally deranged to boot. Scott Whitlock huffed in a Dec. 12 post:

The unhinged hosts of Morning Joe on Wednesday took it to a new level, sliming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as unpatriotic and a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy.” The vulgar language was so bad that MSNBC producers tried to cut Mika Brzezinski’s audio, just missing her disgusting attack. 

[...]

Just last week, Brzezinski’s co-host and husband, Joe Scarborough, cited the need for civility in the wake of the death of George H.W. Bush: “You can have a contentious relationship with people professionally and still save your humanity the way George H.W. Bush did for people.... It's an example we all have to follow.” 

Still save your humanity? Maybe the hosts at MSNBC should start by not calling the Secretary of State a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy.”

When Brzezinski apologized for the remark a couple days later, the MRC did what Comello complained about in his Hart post: deemed that her apology was insufficient. Mark Finkelstein complained:

When you apologize for using a term that you yourself call "vulgar, crass and offensive," wouldn't you include in your apology the person against whom you used it? Apparently not, if you're Mika Brzezinski, and the person you insulted is a prominent conservative.

Returning to Morning Joe today after a day off for "a family matter," Mika Brzezinski apologized for having on Wednesday's show called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "butt boy." NewsBusters editor Scott Whitlock reported the slur here.  But whereas Brzezinski apologized "especially to the LGBT community" and to her colleagues, she  didn't apologize . . . to Mike Pompeo.

[...]

This NewsBuster doesn't consider Brzezinski's words a firing offense. But if anything, Mika today compounded her mistake by failing to apologize to the person she insulted.

Weird how the MRC thinks anti-gay slurs are "disgusting" when someone on MSNBC says them but somehow noble enough to elevated to a "thought crime" when Kevin Hart says them.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 PM EST
Junk-News Purveyor Farah Complains About Junk News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Oh, the irony. WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah starts off his Dec. 6 column by declaring that "I like to think God created me to do journalism." He goes on to complain:

I’m seeing what’s happening in the world of journalism. With hundreds of thousands more bloggers and commentators, analysts and opinion-ators seemingly springing forth, does anyone even appreciate real journalism anymore?

Just look at how many days it took for a super-solid, weighty piece of investigative excellence like the Miami Herald series on that Jeffrey Epstein kiddie sex fiend to be read. It still hasn’t really caught fire with most Americans. Most are too busy falling for month-old click bait.

It’s not that there aren’t enough playing in the journalism world. It’s just that they are all desperately, wistfully seeking Google-Facebook approbation – and there’s not enough of it to go around.

For every story written and published somewhere on the internet, there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of other copycat stories written. There’s so much plagiarism, nobody notices anymore; nobody cares anymore.

There’s little discernment by news consumers about quality. And, how could there be? There’s just too much junk news out there – which may be a greater danger than fake news.

Ironic because WND has been one of the biggest purveyors of junk news (birtherism, Seth Rich) and fake news (a shockingly, depressingly large amount) on the Internet that also tries to masquerade as a real "news" organization.

Farah's irony continues:

Now consider this: Up until a few years ago, there was nothing I considered more meaningful and fun in my life than journalism – whether it was creating it or watching it. More recently, I have the feeling I am not seeing anything new, nothing I haven’t seen before, like there’s nothing new under the sun.

Must every story have a political agenda?

Are there no more good human-interest stories to be told anymore?

Is any news organization ever again going to devote the resources and time to a muckraking investigative series if it’s going to be here today and gone tomorrow?

See above for the fake and junk news WND published that apparently made Farah's life "meaningful." And isn't WND pretty darn close to being here today, gone tomorrow?

Farah concludees his column by outlining his definition of "a true believer when it comes to journalism," which includes: "It’s someone who personifies fairness, fearlessness, credibility, independence and indomitability of spirit," adding, "It’s not just individuals who believe in those things. It’s also institutions that believe."

Farah and WND arguably meet some of that. But the key part there is credibility -- and Farah and WND squandered that a long time ago.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:41 PM EST
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

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