CNS' Jeffrey Misleads To Portray Gov't Workers As Overpaid Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey thinks he's onto something in his May 8 column:
Which class of full-time, year-round American workers has the highest median earnings? Is it the class that works for private-sector employers? Is it the class that works for the government? Or is it the entrepreneurial class, who are self-employed?
According to the Census Bureau's Personal Income Table 07 (PINC-07), the competition isn't close. When it comes to making money in the modern United States of America, government workers win.
Among Americans who actually earn income by working, they are the upper class.
The overall median earnings for all of these full-time year-round workers in 2017 were $48,500.
Workers in private industry, however, made less than the overall median. Their median earnings were $46,797.
The self-employed did a little better than the national rate. Their median earnings were $50,383.
But government workers did the best. Their median earnings were $53,435.
That was 14.2 percent better than private-sector workers and 6.1 percent better than the self-employed.
In trying to bash federal workers as needlessly overpaid, Jeffrey deliberately ignores critical nuance. A 2017 Congressional Budget Office report reveals facts that Jeffrey considers inconvenient: Those "upper class" earnings for federal workers are actually on the lower end of the scale.
The CBO reports that compensation for federal jobs requiring a high school education or less is notably higher than private-sector jobs requiring a similar education level. But as the job requires increasing levels of education, the federal-private differential slowly disappears until federal jobs requiring a doctorate or other professional degree are actually paid less than in the private sector.
Further, one could argue that the private sector has many more jobs requiring only a high-school education level than does government, which tend to be low-paying and may be skewing the numbers Jeffrey cites by dragging down the overall private pay level.Indeed, one study found that 54 percent of state and local government employees have a college degree, compared with 35 percent in the private sector. (Another study found that nearly 52 percent of federal workers have a college degree.)
Jeffrey then gets into even more misleading territory:
Among all the classes of workers whose median earnings were reported in the Census Bureau's Table PINC-07, the greatest disparity was between those employed in private-sector agricultural jobs and those employed by the federal government.
The median earnings of federal government workers ($66,028) were 86 percent greater than the median earnings of private-sector agricultural workers ($35,490).
The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made a telling observation about one part of the labor force in the American agricultural industry.
"The share of hired crop farmworkers who were not legally authorized to work in the United States grew from roughly 14 percent in 1989-91 to 55 percent in 1999-2001," it said in a report on farm labor published online.
"Since then," says the report, "it has fluctuated around 50 percent."
While Jeffrey does concede taht the crop farmworkers are "part of the most poorly paid class of workers listed in PINC-07," but he never admits that the federal government doesn't employ farmers or cropworkers, which no doubt accounts for the huge salary differential he's decrying.
CNS Gushed Over Trump's NRA Speech -- But Censors NRA Drama Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com, like a good pro-Trump stenography operation, gushed over President Trump's speech at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting last month. So much so, in fact, that it generated three "news" articles from that speech -- two by Melanie Arter and one by Craig Bannister:
By contrast, CNS has published exactly nothing about the behind-the-scenes drama and power struggle that boiled over at the meeting -- accusations of financial misconduct by NRA officials, particularly in relation to millions of dollars paid to a public relations firm to run its TV operation, which resulted in the ouster of NRA president Oliver North.
This silence is doubly perplexing, since Allen West -- a "senior fellow" for CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, and a CNS columnist -- is also an NRA board member. He didn't have much to say either. His April 30 column, the first after the meeting began this way:
I just got back to our home in Garland, Texas from the 148th National Rifle Association Annual Meeting of the Members and Convention. Yesterday, we had our full board meeting. I have already made my comments about that.
He didn't, however, make those comments at CNS. And he hasn't make a peep about it at CNS since -- though he has since called for (at his own website) the removal of NRA executive VP and CEO Wayne LaPierre, who won the power struggle with North at the annual meeting and has since been accused of questionable spending.
CNS has an in with West and could get all of his NRA musings if it wanted to -- yet it refuses to report what he has to say about an issue CNS' conservative audience would want to hear more about.
Apparently, censoring bad news about its conservative friends trumps reporting the news at CNS.
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 72: CNS Obsesses Over Peter Strzok's Sex Life Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com doesn't want you to forget that the ex-FBI agent involved in Trump and Clinton investigations had an affair. But President Trump's extracurricular sex life and paying hush money to a porn star? CNS had trouble even saying her name. Read more >>
CNS Uses Prayer Breakfast To Suggest Trump Is Sent From God, Has Healing Powers Topic: CNSNews.com
We noted back in March that CNSNews.com was creeping further toward WorldNetDaily territory by forwarding the idea that President Trump's election was divinely ordained. It leaned into that much more after Trump's appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman kicked things off with the blaring headline "Trump: 'We Pray That THIS Nation, OUR Home' Will be Blessed by the 'Eternal GLORY OF GOD!'" He further gushed that "In his remarks for the service and worship at the White House for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, President Donald Trump stressed that Americans place 'our hope in the hands of our Creator' and pray that that "these United States" will be blessed by the goodness, grace, and 'eternal glory of God.'" Sadly, Chapman probably thinks that Trump actually believes what he spouted.
Melanie Arter laid it on even thicker in a companion piece suggesting that, through the words of the rabbi at the California synagogue victimized by a shooter, Trump has the power of spiritual healing:
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad of Poway told President Donald Trump on Thursday that the president was the first person to begin healing him following the shooting last week at the synagogue that claimed the life of one of his parishioners and injured three others.
During the National Day of Prayer service in the White House Rose Garden, Goldstein said he “faced evil and the worst darkness of all time” when a gunman opened fire on him and others during Passover service on Saturday.
“If something good could come out of this terrible, terrible, horrific event, let us bring back a moment of silence to our public school system,” he said. The rabbi thanked the United States and Trump.
“Mr. President, when you called me, I was at home weeping. You were the first person who began my healing. You heal people in their worst of times, and I’m so grateful for that. You have helped me bring great honor to Mrs. Lori Kaye of blessed memory – a 60-year-old dear friend of our congregation. I’ve known her for 25 years,” he said.
Finally, CNS published a column by Alveda King, who fully went there by rhapsodizing that "God has placed America on a path to redemption" through the election of Trump:
May history always remember the day the president of The United States humbly acknowledged God our Creator at the annual National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2019. My heart was filled with love for humanity, faith for a gloriously transformed nation, and hope for a better day there in the Rose Garden of the White House yesterday.
The sincere prayers of our vice president and our first lady set the tone for the impactful message delivered by America’s 45th president, Donald J. Trump. As the president spoke, tears filled my eyes, and during the lovely worship song, I heard myself resounding along with many gathered there: HALLELUJAH!
President Trump reaffirmed “In God we Trust” in so many ways. His strengthening of America’s religious freedom, his affirmation of the sanctity of life from the womb to the tomb, his compassion for those burdened by the opioid crisis – all of which are powerfully blanketed in prayer by those in support of the POTUS agenda – is so very encouraging.
When Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein called President Trump a healer, the resounding amens from among those gathered reminded me of the need of a great awakening. President Trump recently said he believes in redemption. Indeed, God has placed America on a path to redemption.
The Spirit of the Living God is upon many of us, evident in the POTUS delivery on promises of criminal justice reform, economic assistance for everyone, sanctity of life, compassionate humanitarian intervention and so much more.
If King really things that trump does anything humbly, she is sadly mistaken.
CNS Still Promoting Right-Wing Insult Comic DiGenova Topic: CNSNews.com
We'vedocumented how CNSNews.com has becomed enamored of right-wing lawyer Joe DiGenova as something of an insult comic, hurling clickbait invective at liberals and other people he doesn't like -- at one point ridiculously and maliciously claiming that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller investigation, "deserves the guillotine." DiGenova has continued to serve up the ranty sound bites, and CNS -- usually managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- has continued to pretend they're newsworthy.
Chapman served up a DiGenova rant on Jan. 30, in which he claimed that "the scandal at the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) involves a "brazen plot" to exonerate Hillary Clinton of felony crimes involving her mishandling of classified documents, and an ongoing "false case" to "frame" President Donald Trump with a "false Russian conspiracy that never existed."
On Feb. 22, Chapman touted another DiGenova rant that the U.S. is in a "civil war" because non-conservatives criticize President Trump, adding, "And as I say to my friends, I do two things – I vote and I buy guns.” Chapman chimed in that "the leftist press constantly refer to President Trump as Hitler, Stalin, a dictator, a Nazi, Mussolini, racist, white supremacist, treasonous, disturbed, demented, bigoted, etc.," referencing his own piece last October that conveniently omits that CNS never complained about similar epithets hurled at President Obama; for instance, in 2016 Chapman uncritically promoted Roseanne Barr's hyperbolic claim that "Obama's actions on the eve of Hanukkah mirrored those of the Nazis."
Susan Jones did the honors in a March 5 article, cheering how DiGenova encouraged Americans to break the law by refusing to respond to subpeonas from the Democratic-run House Judiciary Committee asserting in Jones' words that "private citizens should refuse to cooperate."
Chapman returned for an April 24 item repeating DiGenova's claim that "the forthcoming report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will be "condemning of senior DOJ/FBI officials" in their abusive handling of the Russia-Trump collusion matter, and that he is '100%' certain Attorney General William Barr will use the report to launch a 'full-scale, criminal investigation' of the Justice Department and the FBI.
Then, an April 25 piece piece by Chapman featured a prime DiGenova rant under the headline "DiGenova Shreds TheHill.TV":
After The Hill.TV's Krystal Ball strongly implied that Attorney General William Barr lied about part of the Mueller Report, former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova strongly denounced her insinuation, stating that Ball had "no evidence that he lied, and you know it!"
He added that Barr had come "out of retirement to serve this country" in the Justice Department and that it was not acceptable to go on "national television calling the attorney general a liar!"
CNS Cheers Gay-Bashing of Buttigieg Topic: CNSNews.com
The anti-gay activists in charge of CNSNews.com will not let you forget that Democratic presidential candidtate Pete Buttigieg is gay. CNS also loves it when someone -- preferably right-wing political pastor Franklin Graham -- attacks Buttigieg for being gay.
So when Graham lashed out at Buttigieg for proclaiming his Christian faith, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- who loves Graham as much as he hates the LGBT community -- was on it, complete with scare quotes for Buttigieg's marriage:
Reverend Franklin Graham criticized Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay and "married" to another man, for stressing that God does not belong to a political party while ignoring God's commandments against homosexual behavior and so-called gay marriage. Without following God's Word, he said, we have no moral foundation and are at risk of "eternal damnation."
Pete Buttigieg, 37, is the mayor of South Bend, Ind. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Pembroke College, Oxford. Buttigieg is "married" to Chasten Glezman, a teacher.
In an April 23 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, "Presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is right—God doesn’t have a political party. But God does have commandments, laws, and standards He gives us to live by. God is God. He doesn’t change. His Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
Chapman filled out his article with selected gay-bashing Bible verses and a statement from St. Bernardine. But he was silent on Graham's hypocrisy in bashing Buttigieg but lending his political and religious support to a thrice-married adulterer who pays hush money to porn stars.
The next day, Chapman gave attention to a rant from "Ana Samuel, Ph.D., a research scholar at the Witherspoon Institute and founder of the marriage movement CanaVox," a "Latina Mama" who hates gays as much as Graham does:
But this "cuts both ways," wrote Samuel, specifically naming "policies that undermine our parental rights and duties by seeking to indoctrinate our children in progressive sexual ideology without our consent and sometimes in spite of our explicit protest."
These policies, she said, include reading assignments in the public schools that are explicitly designed "to normalize LGBT lifestyles"; sex education classes that promote abortion, masturbation, condom use, sex toys, and rectal intercourse; "[p]ediatricians who ask to see our teenagers alone and then push to prescribe them contraceptives or ask them about sexual behaviors that we find offensive"; "public library programming where unicorns, rainbows, gingerbread persons, drag-queen story hours, and other symbols of progressive sexual ideology make an appearance, so that we must regularly steer our toddlers clear of the propaganda"; and promotion of transgender propaganda in the schools.
"Mr. Mayor, it is hypocritical for you to cry foul about policies that 'harm you and your family' while your side pushes for government intrusions into the parent-child relationship at the most fundamental levels," said Samuel.
As for the gay lifestyle itself, Samuel said, "It is not a good idea to tell society that you don’t need a member of the opposite sex to have a baby or that kids don’t need a mom and a dad because they will do fine in any kind of arrangement. That’s not true, and there’s plenty of empirical data to prove it."
"Ask yourself: is the lifestyle you are setting up as a pattern for others to follow replicable and sustainable?" said Samuel. "Or does it further destabilize the family form that has provided the greatest financial and social stability to women, children, and the poor? The evidence consistently points to the latter."
"The weight of the past 50 years of social science evidence is virtually unanimous in its conclusion: children—and societies—do best when kids are raised by their married, stable, biological parents," said Samuel.
In conclusion, Samuel said, "Speak up! Do not let the gender ideology of the Left destroy our family values! Do not stop exercising your rights as mothers! Mamas of the world, unite!"
A few days after that, CNS' Craig Bannister complained when Buttigieg once again invoked religious values:
Morals and values are “grievously missing” from the White House today, gay Democrat Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg said Monday night.
But, Christian leaders, such as Reverend Franklin Graham, say that, by practicing homosexuality and gay marriage, Buttigieg is behaving immorally and violating Christian values.
As previously reported by CNSNews.com, Rev. Graham recently rebuked Buttigieg for “ignoring God’s commandments against homosexuality”[.]
Like Chapman, Bannister also failed to point out that Graham's political hypocrisy in bashing Buttigieg while gushing over the amoral Trump.
What CNSNews.com gave up in breadth of coverage of April's employment numbers -- only two articles this time around -- it more than made up for in gushiness. See how Susan Jones started her main story:
Not since 2000 has the number of unemployed Americans been this low.
That drop -- to 5,824,000 in April from 6,211,000 in March -- helped lower the nation's unemployment rate two-tenths of a point to 3.6 percent, the lowest rate since 1969.
The Bureau of Labor statistics counts people as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and are currently available for work.
Jones thenturned to the not-so-good news, which would have been the lead and headline of her article if Barack Obama was still president:
However, not everyone who is jobless is unemployed. A growing number, including retirees, are counted as not in the labor force, meaning they are not working and are not looking for a job. That number increased by 646,000 last month to 96,223,000.
The number of employed Americans, which has set 18 records so far in the Trump presidency, dropped slightly in April to 156,645,000 from 156,748,000 in March.
The economy added a strong 230,000 jobs last month, beating analysts' estimates of +190,000.
But the labor force participation rate dropped two tenths of a point to 62.8 percent, below the Trump-era high of 63.2 percent.
The only other story CNS did was its usual sidebar from Craig Bannister on Hispanic employment, which was similarly gushy. CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey did not contribute his normal sidebars on manufacturing jobs and government jobs.
This was, however, apparently replaced by another column by the Heritage Foundation's Timothy Doescher in full gush mode:
It’s time to celebrate: We have the lowest unemployment rate in 49 years, and wages continue to rise—especially for lower-wage workers.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor statistics reported that in April, the economy created a whopping 263,000 jobs, and the U-3 unemployment rate—the one commonly cited—fell from 3.8 percent to 3.6 percent. The alternate measure for unemployment, the U-6, which includes those discouraged and underemployed as well, remained unchanged at 7.3 percent.
This is consistent with the larger pattern we’ve been seeing of the economy booming: Over the last year, our economy is averaging 213,000 jobs per month, and we now have 103 consecutive months of job creation.
Doescher waited until the 13th paragraph of his column to mention that it's "a little more troubling" that "the falling unemployment rate might be partially fueled by a decrease in the labor force participation rate."
Another column, by Hans Bader, was similarly gushy, proclaiming that "The Trump administration has helped fuel economic growth by bringing an end to the flood of red tape issued by the Obama administration." Bader identified no specific instance of red tape removal that could be tied to a specific impact on the economy.
CNS Didn't Get The Joke, Or The Point Topic: CNSNews.com
Craig Bannister grouses in an April 25 CNSNews.com blog post:
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) took a shot at the heritage of President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, on Thursday after Mrs. Trump said German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision in 2015 to allow more than a million migrants into the country was "one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany."
Responding on Twitter to an article by The Hill reporting on Lara Trump’s comments on Fox Business Channel earlier in the day, Rep. Swalwell took issue with Mrs. Trump’s German heritage:
“But what about her German-born grandfather-in-law?”
In an interview with Fox Business’ Stuart Varney, Lara Trump said her father-in-law, President Donald Trump, is trying to avoid Germany’s mistake by securing the U.S. southern border:
“It was the downfall of Germany, it was one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany. This president knows that, he’s trying to prevent that from happening here.”
Bannister not only missed that Swalwell was making a little joke, he missed the entire controversy that's happening here. Swalwell's tweet alluded to Trump's claim a few weeks earlier that his father was born in Germany -- which, like a lot of things Trump says, is not true.
Bannister also pretends Lara Trump's comment that Germany allowing refugees into the country was "one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany" and the country's "downfall" is not controversial or ridiculous. Many online have pointed out that the comment seems to downplay the whole Nazi thing, not to mention that other world war the Germans played a role in starting.
For Bannister to twist a joke over an outrageous comment into an attack on someone's ethnic heritage requires a lot of deliberate ignorance of reality. And he succeeds a little too well.
CNS, The Mark Levin News Service Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is such an enthusiastic promoter of everything Mark Levin says or does -- 135 articles in 2018 alone on the alleged pearls of wisdom dropping from his mouth or of the guests (and even the guest hosts) on his TV and radio shows -- that it might as well rename itself the Mark Levin News Service. Levin even rewarded all this free publicity by giving Brent Bozell, head of the Media Research Center, which runs CNS, a fluffy, logrolling interview on his Fox News show in his first show of 2019.
The stenography hasn't stopped. In the first four months of 2019, CNS made Levin's rantings the subject of 43 articles. Here's the breakdown by month:
That's an average of one Levin stenography piece every 2.8 days. All of these articles simply repeat what Levin says, often in blockquoted text; nobody is permitted to respond.
It's ironic that Levin rants about objectivity at one point when he benefits from a complete lack of it at CNS. Levin might as well be paying Bozell and the MRC for all this fawning exposure, if he isn't already doing so.
CNS Obsesses Over Beto O'Rourke's Name (And Nickname) Topic: CNSNews.com
Beto O'Rourke has had the "Beto" nickname since he was a child, but right-wingers love to remind people that his real name is Robert in an attempt to undercut claims of authenticity and just plain pettiness (much like their insistence on incorrectly referring to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party"). Now CNSNews.com has joined that campaign of pettiness. Here are some recent examples of CNS needlessly emphasizing his formal name, complete with middle name:
Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke told his supporters in El Paso, Texas Monday night, "We know that walls do not save lives. Walls end lives." -- Susan Jones, Feb. 12
Former Congressman Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke, a Democrat from Texas who announced today that he is running for president in 2020, supports abortion across the board, including up to the moment of birth, according to his legislative record.-- Michael W. Champan, March 14
Newly minted presidential contender Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke wants to open lawful paths of immigration to potentially millions more people. -- Susan Jones, March 14
On his first day on the campaign trail Thursday, Democratic presidential hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke called for urgent action on climate change, and linked the leadership required to confront the issue with the storming of “the beaches in Normandy” in 1944. -- Patrick Goodenough, March 14
Democrat and newly minted presidential candidate Robert "Beto" O'Rourke said Tuesday he sees "a lot of wisdom" in abolishing the Electoral College: “You had an election in 2016 where the loser got 3 million more votes than the victor," he said. "It puts some states out of play all together.” -- Susan Jones, March 20
Speaking at a press gaggle following a town hall event at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA on Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate and former congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas) called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “racist.” -- Craig Millward, April 8
Robert F. “Beto” O’Rourke released 10 years of tax filings on his website spanning from 2008 to 2017. -- Michael Morris, April 22
Speaking at a campaign event last week in Nevada, Democratic Presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O'Rourke was asked by a student how he will “protect a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion.” -- Michael New, April 30
Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, one of 20 people running for the Democrat presidential nomination, went to Yosemite Valley on Monday to announce what he calls “the most ambitious climate plan in the history of the United States.” -- Susan Jones, April 30
We found no instance in the CNS archive in which it ever referred to Sen. Ted Cruz -- whom O'Rourke ran against in 2018 -- as Rafael, his legal first name.
CNS Published WH Press Sec's Lie, Hasn't Told Readers It's A Lie Topic: CNSNews.com
One of the side stories of the Mueller report is that it exposed as a lie a statement by then-deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a 2017 press briefing (remember those?) that "countless members of the FBI" had lost confidence in James Comey, who had just been fired by President Trump. Sanders insisted the claim was a "slip of the tongue" made in "the heat of the moment" and that it "was not founded on anything." Sanders has since doggedly stood by the "slip of the tongue" defense.
Among the outlets that published Sanders' original lie was CNSNews.com. A May 2017 article by pro-Trump stenographer extraordinaire Melanie Arter dutifully repeated Sanders' talking points:
One reporter asked what gives the White House “such confidence that the rank-and-file” within the FBI lost faith in Comey, given the perspective of an FBI special agent who said “the vast majority of the bureau is in favor of Director Comey” and “the real losers” are those in the FBI who “lost the only guy working in the past 15 years who actually cared about them.”
“Look, we've heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things. In fact, the president will be meeting with Acting Director McCabe later today to discuss that very thing -- the morale at the FBI -- as well as make an offer to go directly to the FBI if he feels that that’s necessary and appropriate, and we’ll certainly provide further information on that meeting for you guys,” Sanders said.
Since the release of the Mueller report, CNS has not only ignored this revelation about Sanders -- thus hiding from its readers the fact that 1) Sanders told a lie and 2) CNS published it -- it has also failed to update its original article to acknowledge this fact. Not exactly a credibility-enhancing move.
The man once responsible for all FBI counterintelligence investigations, including the Clinton email and Trump-Russia probes, told Congress in a closed-door session last June that the FBI has no policy forbidding agents from having adulterous affairs.
"There is no FBI policy that prohibits somebody from having an affair," FBI Assistant Director E.W. "Bill" Priestap told House Judiciary and Oversight Committee investigators on June 5, 2018. "There's no FBI policy that says you can't have an affair, and if you do, you're going to be punished."
A transcript of Priestap's remarks was published this week.
The subject of extramarital affairs arose several times in Priestap's interview, in connection with Priestap’s deputy, Peter Strzok, who was having an extramarital affair with FBI attorney Lisa Page. Strzok and Page were part of the Clinton email investigation and immediately afterward, the Trump-Russia investigation, both of which Priestap was overseeing.
Priestap told congressional investigators he heard from others that Strzok and Page might be having an affair, but he never asked them if it was true, nor did he report it to the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
“[Y]ou make reports to OPR when you believe somebody has violated FBI policy. There is no FBI policy that prohibits somebody from having an affair,” Priestap said. “So I had no information that Mr. Strzok, if he was engaging in an affair, that that was against FBI policy. So, no, I didn't have any information that I thought was reportable to OPR.”
FBI Assistant Director E.W. "Bill" Priestap, the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, told investigators from the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on June 5, 2018 that the FBI does not prohibit adulterous affairs.
"There's no FBI policy that says you can't have an affair, and if you do, you're going to be punished," Priestap said, according to a transcript of the closed-door hearing. The transcript was released last week.
Priestap told the committees he heard from other people that FBI Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page might be having an extramarital affair, but he never asked them if it was true, nor did he report it to the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
“[Y]ou make reports to OPR when you believe somebody has violated FBI policy. There is no FBI policy that prohibits somebody from having an affair,” Priestap said. “So I had no information that Mr. Strzok, if he was engaging in an affair, that that was against FBI policy. So, no, I didn't have any information that I thought was reportable to OPR.”
The main difference between the two articles is that in the latter, for some reason, Jones felt the need to waste the FBI's time and seek clarification on policies regarding agents "engaging in adultery":
CNSNews.com asked the FBI two questions:
--Were Bill Priestap's statements to these congressional committees--that the FBI has no policy prohibiting extramarital affairs--correct? --Does the FBI have a policy that prohibits FBI personnel from engaging in adultery? Yes or no?
Jones then linked back to a June 2018 CNS article recounting how "FBI Director Christopher Wray declined to tell Congress on June 28, 2018 if engaging in adultery was a "significant vulnerability" for an FBI counterintelligence agent," then copied-and-pasted from the FBI's Ethics and Integrity Policy Guide and its Code of Conduct.
The day before this rehashing, Jones published another article referencing the infamous texts between Strzok and Page, making sure to add that "Strzok and Page were having an extramarital affair." Jones later complained that a congressional interview with the FBI's former general counsel "switched to another subject and nothing more was said about the Strzok-Page text messages. The subject of their extramarital affair was not discussed at all."
Now that's obsession. If only anyone at CNS could show a similar interest in, say, the crimes of Paul Manafort.
CNS Lets Loopy Rabbi Suck Up To Trump Again Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com knows it cancount on loopy rabbi Aryeh Spero to offer a sycophantic pro-Trump take on a given issue. Thus, CNS gave Spero an April 16 column to over-effusively praise Trump for bashing Rep. Ihlan Omar's "some people did something" remark (which was plucked out of context to maliciously portray her as anti-American):
Omar trivialized 9/11, referring to it in a cavalier fashion. The President correctly demonstrated via his video the enormity and the devastating catastrophe of 9/11. It has nothing to do with racism, rather the correct response to a disrespectful statement made by Omar against this country, demonstrating her gross indifference to the suffering of Americans.
Those that impute racism to the President’s tweet are living in a make-believe world or, worse, themselves are trying to incite an issue of racism where such is not the case. People of truth and historical awareness cannot remain silent out of fear that their opposition will fabricate claims of racism.
Thankfully we have a man of President Trump’s candor, who is willing to fight against the rewriting of history and who is willing to protect the free speech of Americans defending their country. He has made an Executive Order protecting free speech from the politically correct censorship prevalent on campuses and is, similarly, by example, giving support to all those who wish to exercise their right to tell the truth.
Note that Spero didn't mention the actual content of Trump's anti-Omar tweet -- a video that edited Omar's out-of-context remarks into footage of the 9/11 attacks.
That's five articles on Barr's pre-release presser. By contrast, CNS published only one article taken from the actual contents of the Mueller report on the day of release, a piece by Susan Jones narrowly focusing on a finding that "Russian officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, weren't sure how to get in touch with Trump to congratulate him on election night." That was joined by a blog post featuring one of the Republican members of Congress CNS called upon to pre-spin the report justifying Trump's anger over the Mueller investigation.
The next day brought more articles on the report's contents -- apparently needing the extra time to figure out how to best spin things for Trump. Jones spun the hardest, insisting that Trump's reported statement on learning Mueller's investigation had started -- "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm fucked." -- was really about how "he feared he wouldn't be able to get anything done as president with the cloud of investigation hanging over him.," lecturing: "Various liberal media outlets have seized on the President's "I'm f****d" remark to make it appear that he knew he had something to hide. A full reading of the paragraph suggests otherwise."
Jones also framed the no-obstruction narrative by highlighting how the president largely failed to obstruct the investigation because "Trump was unsuccessful in getting his subordinates to carry out his will."
Patrick Goodenough seized on a claim that "Weeks before President Trump took office, he and his transition team tried energetically to thwart a major U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel," thus demonstrating "a foreshadowing of what would became a signature policy of the Trump administration’s dealings with the U.N., where strong defense of Israel has been a high priority."
Jones did an article on one negative claim from the report -- that Trump ordered then-White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, then asked him to create a false record that he never asked such a thing -- but spun it her president's way, leading not with the claim but, rather, with Trump alluding to the note-taking McGahn by calling his claims "fabricated" and "bullshit."
The coverage concluded with another rant from Levin denouncing the report post-release (though it's unclear how much he actually read before launching said rant).
CNS Editor Still Has Trouble Blaming Trump for Rising Federal Deficits Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey loves to fret about rising deficits and national debt, but is much more reluctant to pin the current situation on President Trump Republicans than he was about blaming Democrats when the president was named Obama. That reluctance hasn't really stopped, despite the occasional dose of reality.
A March 26 article by Jeffrey fretted: "The federal government spent $1,822,712,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2019, the most it has spent in the first five months of any fiscal year since 2009, which was the fiscal year that outgoing President George W. Bush signed a $700-billion law to bailout the banking industry and incoming President Barack Obama signed a $787-billion law to stimulate an economy then in recession." Even though that spending occurred under Trump, Jeffrey never blames him or his fellow Republicans -- indeed, rather than a picture of Trump, his article is illustrated with a shot of Obama and Bush.
And Trump is mentioned only in passing, in the second-to-last paragraph of the 25-paragraph article, when Jeffrey paraphrases a government official who justified lower corporate tax revenue -- one key reason why deficit spending is up -- by stating that "the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Trump in December 2017 was understood to be frontloaded in that corporations early on would take advantage of the new expensing rules to build their businesses."
Jeffrey similarly stated in an April 10 article that "The federal government spent $2,198,468,000,000 in the first six months of fiscal 2019 (October through March), which is the most it has spent in the first six months of any fiscal year in the last decade, according to the Monthly Treasury Statements." This time, however, Jeffrey doesn't mention Trump at all, despite this massive deficit spending happening under his watch. The accompanying picture, meanwhile, is not of Trump but a stock photo of Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and two other unidentified politicians. Jeffrey did not explain why the photo includes people who weren't directly responsible for the situation he's complaining about.
The tagline at the end of both of Jeffrey's articles reads: "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." If Jeffrey is making dishonest points with his funded reporting, it would seem that that gift money is being wasted.