Time For Another Bogus Trump Coverage Study Topic: Media Research Center
Since the Trump presidency started, the Media Research Center has pushed narrowly defined studies purporting to show that the media's coverage of President Trump has been highly negative. As we've pointed out, the MRC's studies 1) focus only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and suggests it's indicative of all media; 2) pretends there was never any neutral coverage of Trump by explicitly rejecting neutral coverage in favor of dishonestly tallying only "explicitly evaluative statements"; 3) fail to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover a given story; and 4) fail to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its work could be evaluated by others. Not only does the MRC get huffy when the extreme narrowness of its so-called studies are highlighted, it actively encourages falsely extrapolating its bogus results into an indictment of the media as a whole.
The latest installment came on Jan. 15, and Rich Noyes began by falsely conflating his tiny sliver of "research" as representative of the entire "establishment media": "At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s first term, the establishment media’s obvious hostility shows no signs of relenting, but polls show this negative coverage has had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes toward the President." Fox News has been firmly established for more than 20 years, but Noyes will never admit it's part of the "establishment media."
Noyes does admit that "neutral statements" are excluded from the MRC's work, then bizarrely complains that the so-called "negative" coverage of Trump peaked when "a White House aide [was] accused of domestic abuse." Noyes did not explain what positive spin the networks should have been done to lower that number.
That, of course, is one key flaw in the MRC's methodology -- it refuses to acknowledge that at least some negative coverage is deserved.
Still, Noyes concludes by whining: "The media elite have clearly waded into the political fray to wage war against this President. But have they accomplished anything beyond cementing their reputation as political partisans, not objective journalists?"
Yes, that's coming from an organization whose "media research" lacks all objectivity and is narrowly designed to reinforce a right-wing narrative instead of following where the evidence leads.
Newsmax Columnist Joins Snowflakes Triggered By Challenges to Toxic Masculinity Topic: Newsmax
The message I see in this ad is that men need to stop being men and that men’s default position is bestial. I think that’s outrageous.
I am not surprised that ad executives have fallen prey to the "men are bad" narrative, which is the extreme and ridiculous response to the equally extreme and ridiculous “women are victims” narrative that has become conventional wisdom in the wake of the sexual abuse accusations against Harvey Weinstein. Madison Avenue has about as much of a social conscience as Wall Street.
Unfortunately, the executives at Gillette aren’t the only ones who think that men are a problem.
This month, the American Psychological Association (APA) released its first-ever guidelines designed to help psychologists work with men and boys to address the so-called epidemic of “toxic masculinity.” According to the APA’s research, "traditional masculinity - marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression - is, on the whole, harmful.”
I believe this hostility toward men is dangerous, but I also know that it’s nothing new. As the second and third wave feminists gained momentum over the last 50 or so years, they bolstered a narrative that has become accepted wisdom: Men, the patriarchy, and masculinity in general have been the source of women’s suffering. Women are taught to blame men for everything bad that has ever happened to them. The #MeToo movement is just the next generation of this.
The new guidelines put a negative spin on characteristics that have traditionally belonged to the male of the species.
The people who support the APA’s new guidelines and praise Gillette’s message are pretending to care about the welfare of boys and men, but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe they are mistakenly trying to protect women from a patriarchy that they deem to be harmful.
Masculinity is not toxic. It’s normal, it’s human, and it’s good. We need to remember that, despite what Madison Avenue or #MeToo wants us to believe.
CNS Keeps Cheering On Its New Favorite Right-Wing Authoritarian Leader Topic: CNSNews.com
We've previously noted that Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro is the latest hardline right-wing leader CNSNews.com has become infatuated with. That infatuation has grown over the past month as Bolsonaro assumed the presidency in Brazil.
A Jan. 1 article by Patrick Goodenough highlighted Bolsonaro's inauguration and his pledge to free Brazil from "corruption, crime, economic irresponsibility and ideological submission" and to respect its "Judeo-Christian tradition." Goodenough described Bolsonaro's ideology only as "conservative" but did concede that his critics "accuse him of homophobia and misogyny."
On Jan. 7, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how Bolsonaro "suggested it is possible that a U.S. military base could be installed in Brazil dependent up on what happens in the world ... to counter Russian influence in nearby Venezuela, a socialist regime that is collapsing under the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, a Marxist."
Three days later, the homophobic Chapman cheered when Bolsonaro "signed an executive order removing LGBT concerns from the government's human rights ministry, apparently affirming his traditional Christian, pro-family views and his rejection of 'gender-based ideology.'"
All three items also noted that President Trump has tweeted his congratulations to Bolsonaro.
In addition, a Nov. 28 item by Chapman proclaimed that "Brazil's newly appointed foreign minister, Ernesto Frago Araujo, who starts his new job in January under President Jair Bolsonaro, has stated that the climate change issue was invented by 'cultural Marxists' to help push a globalist agenda that is anti-growth and anti-Christian." Chapman also highlighted Araujo's wild anti-gay, anti-socialism rant:
The incoming foreign minister also criticized Brazil's left-wing Workers' Party for promoting a "socialist ideal" while crushing individualism, freedom of thought, and economic freedom.
It is nothing more than totalitarianism, he wrote, because it "criminalizes everything that is good, spontaneous, natural and pure. Criminalizing the family on charges of patriarchal violence. Criminalizing private property. Criminalizing sex and reproduction, saying that any heterosexual act is rape and every baby is a risk to the planet because it will increase carbon emissions."
Socialism is "criminalizing faith in God," he said. "Criminalizing patriotism. Criminalizing biology by prohibiting the statement that a person is born a man or a woman. Criminalizing competition ("sport is a fascist thing," I once heard a leftist colleague). Criminalizing red meat. Criminalizing air conditioning [for climate science reasons]. Criminalizing beauty. Criminalizing all Western thinkers since Anaximander [d. 536 BC]. Criminalizing history and its heroes. Criminalizing Disney movies. Criminalizing love for children and ancestors. Criminalizing oil or any energy efficient and cheap."
Chapman probably thinks this is all true. Fact-checking isn't CNS' strong suit, after all.
WND's Farah Pretends There's No Evidence Of Trump's Racism Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah rants in his Jan. 24 column:
Democrats running for president against Donald Trump in 2020 are staking out their campaign theme.
Do you know what it is?
“Trump’s a racist.”
Kamala Harris said it. Bernie Sanders said it. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, took the slur even further, saying, “We have a hater in the White House, a birther in chief, the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
The dirty little secret behind these irresponsible and dangerously hyperbolic lies is that all of these people know very well the claims are false, groundless, without any substance.
How do I know that? How can I prove it?
It’s not exactly like Donald Trump was an unknown before running for president in 2016.
He was a major celebrity, one of the most well-known businessmen in the world, a best-selling author, a major donor to Democratic politicians, a media star, the billionaire prince of New York City.
Trump was the toast of the town in New York. He was the toast of Hollywood. He was the toast of the Democratic Party.
In all the years before he ran for president, guess what no one called Trump? A racist.
Why? Because there was no evidence to support such a malicious accusation.
And there is no evidence to support a malicious accusation like that today. And his accusers know it.
How do I know they know it? Because they never provide any evidence. They just make accusations, reckless claims, smears.
It’s time to demand they all put up or shut up with the racism accusation. Where’s the evidence? It’s un-American to make such a charge against a standing president, inviting, encouraging and inflaming violence against him.
Even by Farah's and WND's standards, this is an exceptionally lazy column.Both of Farah's accusations -- that nobody accused Trump of racism before he ran for president, and that there's no evidence to support current claims of racism -- are easily disproven.
Snopes has a list debunking the former, including racial discrimination in Trump-owned rentals and racial slurs against employees of his casinos. (Which puts the lie to Farah's claim that Trump has "worked with people of all races throughout his career without incident.") And there are numerouslistsavailable substantiating the latter, which you can read for yourself -- many more than Charlottesville, which Farah insists isn't actually proof because Trump "was 100 percent correct" to blame both sides for the violence.
A simple Google search would have prevented Farah from embarassing himself by writing this column. The fact that he wouldn't do even that serves up much more evidence that he has not demonstrated WND deserves to live.
NewsBusters Blogger Tries to Justify Black Guest's Eviction From Hotel Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters blogger Brad Wilmouth complained in a Jan. 1 post that "CNN has devoted a substantial amount of time to hyping the story of a black man who complained about racial discrimination after he was evicted from a DoubleTree hotel in Portland, Oregon. Two employees were fired for the incident." Wilmouth snarked that the security guard who challenged the guest "should have known he was going to be on CNN in heavy rotation....and out of a job," then tried to justify that the man deserved to be evicted from the hotel he was staying at because "became loud" after being challeged about being in the lobby:
Viewers could see why a black man would feel singled out. But you also wonder why, if he wanted privacy, [guest Jermaine] Massey didn't simply go to his room. Other guests appeared to be walking to their rooms, and not "loitering" in the lobby. It's also obvious that taking Massey to his room to get his things would certainly demonstrate he was a guest at the hotel.
In contrast with the other networks, Friday's CBS This Morning did at least inform viewers that, according to the police report, Massey "became loud and started yelling that the hotel was racist."
He also allegedly got angry and slid a hotel Bibleacross the floor while berating the security guard as he packed his items in his room, according to the police report. “While he was getting his belongings he took the Bible from the hotel room and slid it across the carpet toward [security guard Earl] Meyers and told him he needed to read it and learn how to be a human.”
Wilmouth is leaving out certain details that more fully explain the story. According to a news article to which Wilmouth links, Massey had just returned to the hotel following a concert and had stayed in the lobby to return a phone call to his mother when the security guard approached him and demanded that he prove he was staying at the hotel or leave. When Massey couldn't immediately give the guard his room number, the guard had the manager call police. Massey claims he was singled out because he was a black man wearing a hoodie while white guests in the lobby were not similarly questioned.
Rather then demanding that the hotel explain why it singled Massey out in an instance of what looks to all the world like racial profiling, Wilmouth seems to believe the man deserved to be thrown out of the hotel because he objected to being singled out.
CNS Kept Up Pro-Trump Stenography During Gov't Shutdown Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has never stopped being dedicated to pro-Trump stenography, and that behavior didn't change during the government shutdown.
A Jan. 2 article by Susan Jones uncritically rehashed several Trump tweets, including claims that Obamas have a "ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound" and that the idea of a concrete wall "was NEVER ABANDONED." In fact, as an actual news outlet reported, there is no "ten foot Wall" around the Obamas' house but, rather, chain link fencing and security fencing on top of an existing retaining wall; and Trump has wavered on the kind of wall he wants built.
Meanwhile, Jones was much more opinionated about Democrats she featured. She huffed that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer highlighted "their plan to end what they call the 'Trump shutdown'" (you know who else called the Trump shutdown? Trump himself) and going on to opine: "One of President Trump's harshest critics in the liberal media, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, began Wednesday's "Morning Joe" with a sneer, proving that 2019 is beginning with the same anti-Trump venom that thrived in 2018."
Jones didn't mention that she and the rest of CNS were beginning 2019 with the same pro-Trump stenography that they embraced in 2018.
A Jan. 8 article by Craig Bannister touted how trump sent Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's (whose name Bannister misspells as "Nielson") presentation on "the threat of illegal immigration" arter "Democrat [sic] leaders refused to hear it at the White House," then repeated many of the numbers in it. But as another actual news outlet reported, several of the numbers are misleading or unsubstantiated; for instance, thte claim that "Illegal drugs at the southern border experienced a dramatic spike FY17-FY18" omits the fact that most of those drugs are seized at ports of entry.
The same day, Jones gave a pass to Nielsen (whose name was spelled correctly this time) for refusing to say exactly how many suspected terrorists cross the border because "the exact number is sensitve," then played up her assertion that "I am sure all Americans would agree that even one terrorist reaching our borders is one too many. As a fact-check pointed out, "the terrorist watch list doesn’t mean these are terrorists. It means their names were similar to those of people on the list." The fact-check added: "If any of these people was actually a terrorist, you can bet that we would know by now."
On Jan. 9, Melanie Arter devoted an article to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham slobbering over Trump's Oval Office address, proclaiming it "the most presidential" he has seen Trump. Arter did not permit any dissenting opinion.
In a Jan. 14 article, Bannister highlighted how Trump "described the horrors of women who are bound and gagged by traffickers, crammed into vehicles “three, four, five, six at a time,” and smuggled against their will into the U.S.," adding that "Human traffickers don’t enter through official U.S. checkpoints – they go through unsecured areas on the border that don’t have a wall or steel barrier – Trump said." In fact, as another fact-checker documented:
[H]uman-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about.
In interviews with The Washington Post this week, nine aid workers and academics who have worked on the border or have knowledge of trafficking there said the president’s tape anecdote did not mirror what they have seen or heard. A separate story reported in the Toronto Star cited several additional experts who said Trump’s lurid narrative — migrant women bound, gagged and driven across the border — does not align with their known reality.
When Trump offered concessions in the form of temporary extensions of DACA and TPS policies for undocumented immigrants already in the country as an enticement for Democratic negotiation, Arter devoted an article to summarizing the proposal, then publishing the entire speech. Bannister, meanwhile, only vaguely noted Trump's "concessions to Democrats on the issues of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for asylum-seekers." Neither of them told readers that Trump was giving up nothing; as TPM reported, "it was the Trump administration that attempted to terminate DACA in the first place, and the Trump administration that has aggressively sought to end Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for the vast majority of foreign nationals currently living legally in the United States with the designation."
In a Jan. 24 article, Arter quoted only Republicans in attacking Democrats for failing to support a bill that would have allowed the federal government to continue paying federal workers furloughed by the shutdown -- but she didn't explain why Republicans would support paying someone for work that wasn't being done, nor did she clarify that that bill would not have ended the shutdown at all, since the workers would still be forbidden to work.
Another article by Arter the same day was only slightly less biased: Sixteen of its 18 paragraphs were devoted to Republicans attacking Democrats for refusing to negotiate on border security until the shutdown ended.
When Trump did finally cave and permit the reopening of the government while border negotiations continued, CNS didn't want to admit he caved, at least at first. Arter's initial story on Trump announcing the end of the shutdown quoted only Trump, but it waited until the next day (a Saturday) to publish another, anonymously written article highlighting Schumer's speech on the Senate floor before the body voted to reopen the government, conceding in the headline that "Schumer Claims Victory."
MRC's Double Standard on Vandalism Topic: Media Research Center
In March 2017, Tom Blumer, the departed contributing editor to the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog, was offended that a Washington Post report on "far-left environmental vandals" defacing a Donald Trump-owned golf course called it "a daring act of defiance." "In a sane world, reporter Peter Holley and anyone else who reviewed the post before it went live would be severely and publicly disciplined," Blumer complained, adding that "The original report did not characterize the actions as "vandalism" until its fourth paragraph." Blumer further huffed of the vandals: "They and their destructive sympathizers are surely thrilled to see their handiwork given such prominent national visibility."
But the MRC has since found some vandalism it can get behind and give prominent national visibility to. Gabriel Hays cheerfully wrote in a Jan. 14 post:
It turns out there are still a few good-humored, politically-incorrect folks in Hollywood after all. Over the weekend, lefty-bashing street artist provocateurs publicly slammed HBO’s Bill Maher with a satirical billboard depicting him not as the thought leader he imagines himself to be, but as a rote purveyor of mainstream liberal propaganda. Specifically he was made fun of as being an “NPC.”
On Sunday pranksters from conservative street artist group “The Faction” decided to point out the fact that Maher might actually belong to this category, going after a Real Time with Bill Maher billboard located at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard & West Holloway in West Hollywood. “The Faction” spray painted a gray, expressionless face over Maher’s and changed the image’s tagline from “The Whole Truth and Nothing But” to “The Whole Narrative and Nothing But.” They also changed “HBO” to “NPC.”
Hays never uses the word "vandals" to describe the perpetrators -- they're "street artist provocateurs" -- or the word "vandalism" to describe what they did -- it's just "satirical" (though he did complain about Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star "being vandalized multiple times since his election."
Clearly, Hays and his editors were not "severely and publicly disciplined" for endorsing vandalism the way the MRC was demanding of others not too long ago, even though we can assume that The Faction and their destructive sympathizers are surely thrilled to see their handiwork given such prominent national visibility by the MRC. (Of course, the MRC couldn't even do that with the editors who let the white-nationalist links in Blumer's NewsBusters posts get through whatever editing process it claims to have, and then to stand unchallenged for years before it was pointed out to them).
Snowflakes At WND Also Triggered By Criticism of 'Toxic Masculinity' Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Media Research Center wasn't the only group of right-wing snowflakes to freak out over the guidelines from the American Psychological Association and a Gillette commercial that challenge negative aspects of traditional masculinity. WorldNetDaily columnists were triggered as well.
The last thing American males need today is less masculinity.
If you need proof, ask women who are looking for a husband whether the men they date exhibit too much masculinity, too little masculinity or just the right amount. I have talked to hundreds of women on my radio show (every week I have a “Male/Female Hour”), at speeches and in private who are dating to find a spouse. Not one has said men today are too masculine. Virtually all of them have said men today lack masculinity.
Also, he wrote, this somehow proves that "The left ruins everything it touches," adding that "Any therapist who cannot unequivocally condemn the APA statement is unworthy of your time and your money, let alone your psyche."
Erik Rush similarly denounced the APA guidelines: "Given the APA’s track record in contributing to the normalization of deviant behavior in recent years, I’m not quite sure why many who should know better continue to validate the organization as an arbiter of healthy psychological paradigms."
For starters, since when does anyone – in this case, a manufacturer of men’s shaving and body products – have the right to tell an entire gender how to act or, even more intrusively, how to raise their sons? Alluding to its own slogan, the company degradingly asks in the ad, “Is this the best a man can get?” Last time I checked, raising children is a parent’s job, not the purview of a disposable razor company whose products, after a few uses, get thrown in the trash – exactly where its male-bashing ad belongs.
Perhaps the company has forgotten that alpha male “boys being boys” were who fearlessly stormed the beaches at Normandy and led Allied forces to ultimate victory in World War II, putting an end to the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler’s satanic grip on Europe. Boys being boys dressed in New York Police Department and New York Fire Department uniforms bravely rushed into collapsing buildings at ground zero during 9/11, rescuing lives while risking – or losing – their own. And let’s not forget the brave boys being boys on United Airlines Flight 93 who charged the cockpit and battled with terrorists, thereby diverting the hijacked plane from its target, the U.S. Capitol – saving countless lives.
If that kind of masculinity – that “let’s roll” bravado and heroism – is what “boys being boys” is all about, someone should tell the “woke” crowd we need more of it, not less.
WND devoted a "news" article to the "serious backlash" Gillette has received over the ad, citing such supposed paragons of masculinity as Piers Morgan and Rush Limbaugh. It also [published syndicated columns by Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin bashing the ad.
CNS Managing Editor Obsesses Over Possible Presidential Candidate's Sex Life Topic: CNSNews.com
So South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is considering a run for the Democratic nomination for president. But filtered through the homophobiclens of CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman, the only thing that matters is that Buttigieg is gay.
The headline on Chapman's Jan. 24 article on Buttigieg is headlined "First Openly Gay 'Married' Man Announces 2020 Democratic Presidential Exploratory Committee." The scare quotes around "married" persist in Chapman's head paragraph:
Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., who is openly gay and "married" to another man, announced on Jan. 23 that he has launched a presidential exploratory committee to determine whether he will run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The stuff about Buttigieg being a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, a Rhodes Scholar and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard? Chapman waited until the second paragraph to mention it.
Scare quotes abounded in Chapman's piece: He noted that "On June 16, 2018, Buttigieg 'married' Chasten Glezman at the Cathedral of St. James' Episcopal Church in South Bend, Ind. ," and he included a picture of Buttigieg and his spouse with a caption stating that it showed him "and his 'husband,' Chasten Glezman."
He even suggested that Buttigieg was deceitful by claiming that he "came out of the closet as homosexual in June 2015, a revelation he did not make to South Bend voters back in 2010-11 when he first ran for mayor." Chapman did not explain why this was important.
MRC Ignores Facts (Again) in Attacking ProPublica Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Julia A. Seymour groused in a Jan. 14 post:
The liberal journalism non-profit ProPublica is expanding again — this time to Washington, DC so it can do even more anti-Trump administration investigations.
Of course, that wasn’t how the group framed it, but it’s doubtful it’ll be doing a lot of investigations of liberals considering its donor base and the articles it chose to showcase this expansion.
Seymour groused burther that ProPublica receives "money from a host of liberals and their foundations" -- read: George Soros and Tom Steyer -- then uses this as an excuse to paint ProPublica's content as "liberal." But the only example she notes is a list of three stories that "were obvious attacks on Trump, Trump 'associates,' or the people he chose to lead government agencies." At no point does Seymour dispute the accuracy or those stories or or even identify anything in them that she considers to be biased.
Fursther, as ProPublica president Richard Tofel detailed in a previous attack on the organization (which Seymour underreported on in December), ProPublica covers many stories that target liberal and Democratic politicians.
But Seymour is not trying to report fairly; she's trying to perpetuate a right-wing narrative.
CNS Denounces Appropiating King For Political Purposes -- While It Does Exactly That Topic: CNSNews.com
When Planned Parenthood issued a tweet honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday, CNSNews.com enlisted his niece, anti-abortion activist Alveda King (whom CNS, for once, refrained from giving her the unearned honorific "Dr.") for a Jan. 21 article denouncing Planned Parenthood for approprating King for a political cause: "To dishonor a prophet by raising a political banner which supports killing innocent babies on MLK’s birthday is so inhuman. To dishonor a prophet by raising a political banner on his birthday is so inhumane."
Elsewhere the same day, CNS was, um, appropriating King for its own political causes.
A column by Media Research Center "senior fellow" Allen West appropriated King for the anti-abortion cause:
Last week was the National March for Life, and potentially hundreds of thousands, not just 1,000s, gathered to be the voice of life for our unborn. The march is going on 45 years, and I believe that Dr. King would have been part of this march. Why? Put simply, Dr. King was an impeccable man of faith, and watching now, some 18 million black babies having been killed in the womb of black mothers would undoubtedly bring tears to his eyes. In that number, how many could have been the next man, or woman, from the Old Fourth Ward, a leader and a visionary, not just for the black community, but for freedom and liberty for all?
CNS also reposted an October column by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey placing Ronald Reagan on the level of King, declaring them "two of the greatest leaders in American history not only because of the struggles they won but how they won them." Jeffrey equated Reagan's1987"tear down this wall" speech at the Berlin Wall to King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, then declared:
Reagan and King believed that human freedom depends on faith in God and respect for His laws.
Reagan led America in defeating an evil that threatened us from abroad by standing up for and righteously speaking that truth. King led America in defeating an evil that threatened us from within by using the very same means.
Today, as in other eras, there are forces that would like America to abandon this ultimate truth that King and Reagan embraced and acted upon. To these forces, the principle enshrined in the Declaration of Independence is like the sign of the cross shining off the tower at Alexanderplatz. It needs to be eradicated.
We should teach our children that these forces are wrong, and that King and Reagan were right.
So, apparentl, it's OK at CNS to appropriate King for political purposes after all.
NEW ARTICLE: MRC's Years of Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
Mysterious Media Research Center blogger Jay Maxson just can't stop ranting about the existence of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Read more >>
Newsmax's Ruddy Still Defending Trump Topic: Newsmax
As a good friend of Donald Trump, Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy has been a staunchapologist for the president. Now he's venturing toward ridiculous-defense territory.
Ruddy's Dec. 29 column is devoted to trying to shoot down the idea that Trump is acting like a mob boss. He insists that "Over many years of speaking privately with the president, in the most unguarded of moments, I don’t recall him ever referencing" mob-related films like the "Godfather" movies or "Goodfellas." He then tells us all the reasons Trump mob-esque behavior are really just the opposite:
If he emulates guys in movies, I think he sees himself as more John Wayne in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” or George C. Scott in “Patton.”
Trump does value strength. And loyalty.
But I don’t see the president’s view here as too different than other business and political figures I have known that value the same.
The president does like to vent against critics and old enemies.
Much of it can be over-the-top. He would rise higher in the polls if he kept such resentments to himself.
But that’s not Trump. He likes the shtick.
Remember that more than half of the senior staff in the White House and the Cabinet have, at one time or another, said critical things about the president.
Is this the government of a mafia don?
Or what about after 9/11?
When most folks in New York were evacuating the city, Trump raced down to the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the attacks.
He asked Trump Organization staff to join him and help first responders.
As others fled to safety, Trump ran to danger. I talked to people that were at Ground Zero and saw him up close.
Is this mobster behavior?
OK, so I give you permission big media. Accuse Trump of many things, but admit he isn’t a mafia man.
Because if he really was, you wouldn’t be talking.
Ruddy spun hard again in his Jan. 28 column, insisting that Trump's cave on the border wall during the government shutdown he forced wasn't a cave at all:
The press spin these days is that President Trump lost to Nancy Pelosi on the government shutdown.
But Trump has a way of winning when he loses, and this will prove to be one of those cases.
So, did he get wall funding?
But he has moved the needle.
By the end of the shutdown, the Democrats were signaling they would give him the full $5.7 billion in border security funds he asked for, though they don’t want the word “wall” used in the appropriation.
OK, let’s call it a “protective barrier.” That works for me.
My view is that Schumer and Pelosi are starved for deals they want to see happen.
The president is actually sitting quite pretty.
The White House should not tie border funding to the CRs.
But tying border funding to any and all legislation is fair game.
Those betting against President Trump on border funding should take their chips off the table.
Ruddy clearly knows on which side his bread is buttered.
CNS Labors to Downplay Roger Stone Indictment, Touts Trump's CNN Conspiracy Theory Topic: CNSNews.com
It's telling of the right-wing bias of CNSNews.com that its first reaction to the arrest of longtime Trump friend Roger Stone was to distance him from President Trump and allegations of Russian collusion and to spread a conspiracy theory about how Stone's arrest was covered by CNN.
Susan Jones kicked off the distancing in her initial story on the arrest:
The charges against Stone do not involve Russian collusion; they involve his alleged obstruction of, and false statements to, the congressional and FBI investigations into Trump-Russia coordination.
However, in what may be a preview of future legal cases, the indictment mentions the "Trump campaign" or "Trump campaign official/officials" 28 times, mostly in connection with Stone's attempt to get information from Wikileaks that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign.
Jones used the last paragraph of her article to play some partisan whataboutism demonstrating that she's not a fair and objec ctive reporter:
It should be noted that while Stone allegedly was seeking damaging information about the Clinton campaign from Wikileaks, the Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee were paying Fusion GPS, through a law firm, to gather information damaging to the Trump campaign. The so-called Steele dossier contained salacious and unverified information gathered by Christopher Steele from Russian sources; and eventually the FBI used the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on a Trump campaign volunteer.
Jones didn't mention that nothing in that paragraph was a crime, unlike Stone's dealkings with Wikileaks and lies under oath.
Jones followed up later in the morning by uncriticallly repeating what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had to say:
"I can tell you the specific charges brought against Mr. Stone don't have anything to do with the president," White House spokewoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday morning, shortly after longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was arrested at his Florida home on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering.
Asked for her reaction, Sanders said, "Real simple, this has nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House. This is something that has to do solely with that individual, and not something that affects us in this building."
By midday on Jan. 25, Jones was doing her best to promote Trump's conspiracy theory about CNN's presence at Stone's house at the time he was arrested:
In a mid-morning response to the indictment of his friend and former campaign adviser Roger Stone, President Trump tweeted: "Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?"
In an early morning tweet, CNN's "New Day" explained how a TV crew just happened to be in Stone's neighborhood before dawn: "CNN's @davidgshortell was on the ground when Roger Stone was arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this morning. He says he was monitoring the situation because of 'unusual grand jury activity in Washington D.C. yesterday.'"
Back to Trump's question: "Who Alerted CNN to Be There?"
Attempts to reach the FBI press office during the shutdown were unsuccessful.
But some suspect that Mueller's office or someone in the FBI or even the grand jury tipped off CNN, a liberal media outlet that Trump has blasted as "fake news."
Journalist Greta van Susteren tweeted: "CNN cameras were at the raid of Roger Stone...so FBI obviously tipped off CNN...even if you don’t like Stone, it is curious why Mueller’s office tipped off CNN instead of trying to quietly arrest Stone; quiet arrests are more likely to be safe to the FBI and the person arrested."
Jones spent one paragraph on how CNN pointed out it had been alerted to a possible Stone arrest because of "unusual grand jury activity," and nine paragraphs of random conservatives falsely speculating that CNN was somehow tipped off by special counsel Robert Mueller himself.
Promoting presidential conspiracy theories is no way to present yourself as a legitimate "news" organization.
WND Peddles Alveda King's Lies About Margaret Sanger Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerry Newcombe writes in his Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column:
Does Planned Parenthood target blacks? That is what Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece thinks.
Recently, I spoke on my radio show with evangelist Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is the director of Civil Rights for the Unborn with the organization Priests for Life. The focus was on Planned Parenthood and the African-American community.
Alveda King told our listeners: “Margaret Sanger, the founder of the Birth Control League [later, Planned Parenthood], said, that ‘colored people are like weeds,’ and they need to be eliminated. They need to be exterminated. We don’t want the word to get out, so let’s not package it that way. So that’s why they began to make a lot of propaganda and marketing materials, saying that abortion is a woman’s right. It will help her to finish college, get a job, do this or do that.”
But King is lying. As we've documented with others have made the same claim, there is no record of Sanger describing "colored people" as weeds. And since Newcombe is being a sympathetic host, he has no interest in fact-checking King as long as she keeps spinning the anti-abortion narrative he had her on his radio show to peddle in the first place.
(WND is not the only right-wing outlet to give King's lie a pass; a 2016 CBN article also uncritically quotes her making the same bogus claim.)
King is not the only misinformation peddler that Newcombe privileges and fails to fact-check. He also repeats right-wing historian Paul Kengor's biased, inaccurate framing of Sanger's speech to a women's Ku Klux Klan auxiliary: "Why would the KKK be so interested in Ms. Sanger? The reasons are obvious, a natural fit. It was because Sanger was a passionate racial eugenicist with grandiose dreams of 'race improvement.'"
As we've also documented, the KKK in the 1920s had a broad appeal beyond racism, to the point where it could almost be considered a mainstream conservative organization today. Further, Sanger spoke to a women's auxiliary of the KKK, not the KKK itself, and seemingly contrary to Kengor's portrayal of the speech as a "smash hit," she later called the speech "one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing." There's also no evidence that Sanger had any special fondness for the Klan, and it's clear from her writings that she would speak to any group that would have her. (Kengor walked back his portrayal of Sanger as a racist after we called him out on it.)
Newcombe also wrote:
Sanger did not want it known that she believed blacks should be targeted for a significant reduction in their population. She wrote, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” (Margaret Sanger, letter to Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, Dec. 10, 1939.)
That's another right-wing distortion. Anti-abortoin activists love to take that statement -- made in reference to a so-called "Negro Project" to target black women for birth control efforts -- out of context; in fact, it refers to an attempt to recruit black leaders for the effort in order to allay suspicions blacks might have had about whites like Sanger being involved.
But Newcombe wasn't done with pushing misinformation. He also writes: "To see for yourself the ongoing racism of Planned Parenthood in action, notice how often their clinics are still in very poor neighborhoods. Alveda notes some of those Planned Parenthood neighborhoods have streets nearby named after her uncle."
As we also documented, the Guttmacher Institute found that 60 percent of abortion providers are, in fact, located in majority-white neighborhoods. Newcombe seems to be alluding to an anti-abortion group's claim that a majority of abortion providers are "within walking distance" of a minority neighborhood -- which is defined as two miles.
Newcombe also refers to King at one point as "Dr. Alveda King," which is yet another bit of false privileging. As we've pointed out, King's doctorate is honorary, not earned.