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Tuesday, June 11, 2019
WND's Massie Joins The Divine-Donald Bandwagon
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We were surprised that among the many WorldNetDaily writers and columnists who found divine will in the election of Donald Trump, Mychal Massie was not one of them. Until now.

Massie's June 3 column is mostly his usual rant against anyone who's not as right-wing as him, including shots at Colin Kaepernick, public schools, the LGBT community ("The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise to never destroy the earth again by water; it isn’t a sign to be stolen by homosexuals and promoted as the approval symbol of debauchery and sexual sin") and any business that doesn't spew the same vicious hat at the LGBT community thathe does.

He also targeted Christians who fail to hate those who are LGBT as much as he does: "Churches today believe themselves to be making magnanimous statements of love and inclusiveness when they ordain homosexuals and install as pastors homosexuals, lesbians and those who have had themselves butchered in the convoluted belief that they are becoming another sex."

Massie concluded his column by revealing who he thinks his real savior is: "I believe God has given us a window of reprieve through President Trump. But this moment is only of value if we repent and say no to sinful machinations."

If Massie uses this opportunity to repent his own extensive history of hate and lies, we might believe him.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:26 PM EDT
CNS Attacks Judge As Too Old Because Of A Ruling It Didn't Like
Topic: CNSNews.com

Most anonymously written CNSNews.com articles -- credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff" -- are innocuous, generally serving up a straight quote of political figures. A May 29 article, though, may very well lacking a byline because no CNS writer wanted to put their name on an article attacking a judge as too old because he issued a ruling CNS bigwigs didn't like. Here's how it starts:

Judge William J. Bauer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, who is now 92 years old, yesterday that says women have a constitutional right to abort an unborn baby specifically because of the baby’s sex, race or disability.

Bauer, who was appointed to the appeals court by President Gerald Ford in 1974, published the opinion on April 19, 2018—when he was 91.

The focus on Bauer's age was no passing mention. The anonymous CNS writer highlighted Bauer's background, further emphasizing his age:

The biography of Judge William J. Bauer posted online by the Federal Judicial Center (and linked to the webpage of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit) says he was born in 1926 in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune published a profile of Judge Bauer in 1988 that noted his birthday was Sept. 15, 1926.

Bauer, according to the biography, graduated from Elmhurst College in 1949 and from DePaul University College of Law in 1952. President Richard Nixon nominated him as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 1971. President Gerald Ford nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in 1974.

Since 1994—a quarter of a century ago—Bauer has been serving in “senior status” on the appeals court.

The article concludes with an explanation from a federal court website of "what it means to be a judge on 'senior status.'"

Unmentioned is the fact that, regardless of Bauer's age, the judge's ruling is apparently legally sound enough that even a conservative-leaning Supreme Court let it stand.

That's called media bias. Tha fact that the writer is hiding behind a generic byline simply means we can blame the entire CNS staff for that bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:15 AM EDT
Monday, June 10, 2019
Newsmax's Kessler Keeps Shilling For Trump
Topic: Newsmax

In April, Trump-fluffing author Ronald Kessler wrote for Newsmax a defense of President Trump over Robert Mueller's investigation, insisting (falsely) that Trump really didn't mean it when he said "the Russia thing" prompted him to fire then-FBI director James Comey. Kessler took another crack at it in his May 30 column, raging at Mueller:

With his confusing, contradictory, and ever-changing comments about the results of his investigation of President Trump, Special Counsel Robert Mueller made a mockery of the criminal justice system.

In that system, there is no place for concluding that the subject of an investigation is not criminally charged but is not exonerated. To say, “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so” makes as much sense as saying, “The moon could be made of blue cheese, we just don’t know.”

In fact, Mueller very clearly explained that because of the Justice Department's policy against indicting a sitting president, he did not  consider whether the evidence rose to a crime but pointed out that the evidence was not exculpatory.

Most of the rest of Kessler's column is devoted to rehashing his bogus insistence that the "counterintelligence investigation that specifically targeted Trump after he fired James Comey as FBI director was based on false pretenses," complaining that "by unfairly impugning President Trump, Mueller ended his otherwise sterling career with a travesty while ignoring an abuse of the FBI’s authority the likes of which we have not seen since the Hoover days." A bigger travesty than Kessler starting out as a journalist and ending up a right-wing, pro-Trump shill?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EDT
MRC On Pelosi Video: It All Depends On What The Meaning Of 'Doctored' Is
Topic: Media Research Center

When is a selectively and misleadingly edited video about Nancy Pelosi not "doctored"? When the Media Research Center decides it's not. Bill D'Agostino huffed in a May 24 post (bolding is his):

Cable news hosts spent Friday morning running damage control for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the President tweeted a video mashup of her verbally stumbling at a press conference. Curiously, CNN and MSNBC parroted the language used by Pelosi’s own office in their efforts to discredit the video: “doctored.”

Between 6:00 a.m. and noon EDT on Friday, CNN and MSNBC hosts and journalists used the term “doctored video” 32 times. That term was attributed to Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff only once within the same time span.

[...]

The video tweeted by President Trump was a compilation that aired on Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, depicting some of the Speaker’s verbal fumbles during a press conference. While certainly unflattering, that collection of disparate clips – mashed together, but otherwise unedited – could not be described accurately as “doctored” by any stretch of the imagination. A doctored video portrays a false reality, which the simple mashup did not do.

Actually, the non-"doctored" video did portray a false reality -- the idea that Pelosi had nothing but "verbal fumbles" during that press conference -- which, by D'Agostino's definition, makes it "doctored." And calling a heavily edited clip "otherwise unedited" defies reality.

Joseph Chalfant then took a crack at parsing things, comparing it with a different video of Pelosi tweeted out by Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani:

The video retweeted by Trump was only a mash-up of the slip-ups Pelosi had Thursday during her weekly press conference. The video retweeted by Giuliani was a slowed-down video of Pelosi speaking that made her seem as if she was slurring her words. CNN hosts and guests regularly called both of the videos “doctored” despite the fact that nothing was altered in the tweet Trump sent.

Chalfant then complained: "It seems that whenever Democrats' own words are used against them by conservatives, the liberal media will be there to energetically defend them."

Kristine Marsh followed in a May 28 post:

On Tuesday’s show, the hosts of ABC’s The View conflated two unflattering videos starring Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that circulated social media late last week. While only one video was altered, the co-hosts claimed both were “fake,” angrily came to Pelosi’s defense, and demanded that both “doctored” videos needed to be taken down.

[...]

Whoopi [Goldberg] then made a fair argument, that political opponents should be beaten “fair and square” without resorting to doctored videos. However that’s a moot point when the video Trump tweeted about Pelosi wasn’t doctored at all, it just was unflattering to her. Still, Whoopi called both videos, “lies” from the right[.]

Alexander Hall and Corinne Weaver sniffed that the videos merely "made Nancy Pelosi look silly" and criticized those who sought their removal from social media.

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell felt the need to weigh in on this as well in a column filled with their usual whataboutism:

When President Trump creates a verbal miscue, the late-night comedy brigade has a field day. A misspelled tweet. A facial expression. A hand gesture. It takes nothing to trigger media mockery.  What if it's a Democrat?  In the Dobbs video, Pelosi cites “three things” while holding up two fingers. If you think anyone in late-night world is going to pan Pelosi for mental errors, you’re not paying attention.

The perpetually angry left and their allies in the “news” media were outraged that Facebook and Twitter didn’t take down the distorted Pelosi video, although Facebook “deprioritized” it, making it less visible. They don’t remember how they have mangled videotape (and audiotape), like NBC mangling George Zimmerman’s phone call about Trayvon Martin. Or everyone pretending President Trump called all immigrants “animals” when he was discussing MS-13 murderers. Or everyone misrepresenting the Covington Catholic kids as hate-speech villains.

Graham and Bozell even justified mocking Pelosi, complaining that one media outlet "insisted that the Fox Business clip package “offered a misleading impression of a perfectly coherent 21-minute news conference” (as if holding up two figures and saying “three” is perfectly coherent). "

They then used the videos to push their tired victimization narrative: "Right now, it seems to conservative Americans that the current policy is to take down videos and accounts quickly and haphazardly, often based on angry left-wing activist complaints. Conservatives cannot count on the 'independent fact checkers' to police videos, since they have all the same leftist biases as these activists and the "news" media. If these imbalanced current practices continue, these social-media companies will be as mistrusted as the Old Media."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 10, 2019 3:09 PM EDT
WND Employed Even More White Nationalists
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A few weeks back, we detailed how a BuzzFeed News profile of former alt-right white nationalist Katie McHugh revealed that WorldNetDaily -- in addition to its already-known ties to white nationalism by publishing the likes of Colin Flaherty, Paul Nehlen and Scott Greer -- had employed another white nationalist, Kevin DeAnna, as well as a pre-mea culpa McHugh. It turns out there are even more links.

A Twitter thread by McHugh claims that Michael Thompson, who worked as a marketing director for WND, was apparently enough of a white nationalist that notorious white nationalist Peter Brimelow, founder of the white-supremacist website VDARE, attended his wedding.

We caught Thompson in 2012 promoting Alex Jones-inspired conspiracy-mongering protesters outside a Bilderberg Group meeting in the Washington area (not too far from WND's then-headquarters), and in 2016 when he -- who "works in the marketing department for WND.com and WND Books and is the social media manager for WND," according to his bio at the time -- attacking the researchers who debunked claims in David Barton's book about Thomas Jefferson, which WND republished with minor edits after the original publisher pulled the book from the marketplace.

(Tim Dionisopoulos also wrote about the Bilderberg gathering for WND along with Thompson; as we documented, he was a member of the racist, misogynist group Youth for Western Civilization and later went on to run social media for several years at the Media Research Center.)

Weirdly, Thompson's byline no longer appears on those pieces; it seems that somewhere along the line, WND removed Thompson's article archive, which apparently wiped out formal bylines on the pieces he wrote as well. Pieces from 2012 and 2013 in which Thompson's byline is integrated into the body copy still have them intact.

McHugh also claims that Andrea Prevette, whom she identifies as "Elizabeth Farah's assistant," is an "active member of the Wolves of Vinland," which the Daily Beast describes as a white supremacist group with a neo-pagan twist (and identifies Prevette as a member as well). DeAnna has also attended Wolves of Vinland events.

Prevette, along with Thompson, apparently worked in WND's book division as well. In his WND-published 2015 book "When A Jew Rules The World," Joel Richardson thanked both Thompson and Prevette for being the "marketing coordinators" for the book.

WND's shoddy journalism is one big reason it probably doesn't deserve to live. Its extensive association with white nationalists is another.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Sunday, June 9, 2019
MRC's Graham Whines That CBS' Pelley Won't Admit He's Part Of The 'Liberal Media'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham is as mad as ever that mainstream journalists won't buckle to the MRC's narrative and admit they're part of the "liberal media." In a May 19 post, Graham takes aim at CBS' Scott Pelley, grumbling that Pelley doesn't talk about CBS scandals while plugging his new book:

As part of CBS kissing up to CBS, Late Show host Stephen Colbert brought on 60 Minutes correspondent (and former Evening News anchor) Scott Pelley to promote his new book Truth Worth Telling. No one was going to bring up Dan Rather, not to mention sexual harassment scandals at CBS News, from Pelley's dismissed 60 Minutes colleagues Charlie Rose and Jeff Fager to CBS's harasser at the top, Les Moonves. No, Pelley came on to lecture about how President Trump and foreign governments are poisoning the information well. It sounded like...collusion.

Will Graham and Brent Bozell, in plugging their new anti-media book, agree to appear on any show that might ask about, say, the scandal of Bozell hiding for years the inconvenient fact that Graham ghost-wrote his columns -- let alone anywhere outside the right-wing bubble where they might face any questioning that's less than softball or designed to tee up talking points? Doubtful. Would Graham describe that situation as "collusion"? Doubtful.

Graham, meanwhile, is still miffed that Pelley won't play along with his narrative. Huffing that "Pelley implied the Old Media, the liberal media are the gold standard" when it comes to correcting misinformation, grousing further:

It should be said that just having experience in journalism for decades isn't enough to make you trustworthy, as Dan Rather proved. It can also be said that at sites like NewsBusters, you have senior people who've been reporting on liberal bias for 30 years (ahem). Evaluating the credibility of your news media should involve engaging with media critics and their arguments, not just dismissing their criticism as "poisoning the information." 

It should also be said that "reporting on liberal bias for 30 years" also does not make one trustworthy -- especially when so much of that "reporting" is in bad faith, designed not to make journalism bnetter but to push a partisan political narrative. Graham 's insistence that members of the media should be "engaging with media critics and their arguments" is especially right, given that both he and Bozell have blocked us from following them on Twitter and, therefore, to more personally engage with their arguments. You can claim you're credible if you refuse to engage with your critics, right, Tim?

And, proving that he can hold a grudge like a champion, Graham is still upset with Pelley for failing to lead his first CBS Evening News broadcast with the Anthony Weiner scandal, opting instead for a report on the war in Afghanistan. "The Washington Post showered accolades at the time, gushing Pelley had pleased the late CBS legend Edward R. Murrow," Graham reminded us. Yes, Graham complained about it then, too.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 9, 2019 9:23 PM EDT
CNS Writers Freak Out Over Gays, Drag Queens Selling Cookies
Topic: CNSNews.com

Michael W. Chapman isn't the only writer at CNSNews.com who feels he needs to spend time bashing the LGBT community.

CNS gave column space to John Stonestreet to assert that homosexuals claiming they were "born this way" is a "zombie" argument, in particular addressing Pete Buttigieg, whom CNS won't let you forget is gay:

Nowadays, the LGB movement has largely retired the “born this way” argument to make way for the “T”—transgender identity. So in place of “I was born this way and I can’t change,” we now hear “I was born this way, it was wrong, and I want to change.” In fact, these days, the “born this way” argument almost always comes from self-identified Christians who are trying to convince us that homosexuality is compatible with our faith. I think especially of the comments of Mayor Pete Buttigieg that God made him gay and anyone who disagrees has a quarrel with the Maker.

My response is simple, and I’ve given it countless times: Even if there is a biological impulse toward a certain kind of behavior, that doesn’t make it right to act on the impulse. Science tells us of all kinds of biological impulses for behaviors that are harmful, like depression, extreme anger and violence, anorexia, even pedophilia. And of course, biological impulses don’t alter the very clear biblical condemnations of homosexual behavior.

Sadly, the gentleman ended our email discussion with another zombie argument: that the only reason I hold the position I do is because of homophobia and disgust toward gay people.

That’s just not the case. The clear teaching of Scripture, natural law, Christian tradition, and even scientific evidence leads me to reject same-sex behavior, while still loving and seeking the best for those engaged in it.

Stonestreet doesn't explain how rejecting people different from him equals "loving" them.

Stonestreet also claimed that "leaders in the LGBT movement have long known that the 'born this way' argument is bogus," citing as evidence the book "After the Ball," which claims sexual orientation involves "complex interactions" that involve -- wait for it -- "innate predispositions." That sounds like "born this way" to us.

Meanwhile, Craig Bannister was triggered by a cookie commercial in a May 23 post:

Chips Ahoy! is promoting a famous drag queen’s video endorsement of its cookies on Twitter.

In a May 12th post currently on the cookie’s Twitter page, Chips Ahoy! wishes a “#HappyMothersDay” to “drag moms” and features a video by drag queen Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. Mateo starred on two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH!.

In the video, Mateo, surrounded by bags of Chips Ahoy! cookies, recommends giving cookies to “your drag mama” - or anyone you identify as you mother:

“What’s a sweet gesture for you to do to your mama? Your real mama, your drag mama, whichever mama … whoever you feel or consider your mama, it’s their day today. Get them a cookie.”

Bannister somehow managed to restrain himself from making overt insults or attacks.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EDT
Saturday, June 8, 2019
MRC Insults Taylor Swift For Expressing Political Opinions
Topic: Media Research Center

As singer Taylor Swift has moved toward making her political voice heard, the Media Research Center has reacted in the way we've come to expect: with lame, juvenile insults.

When Swift first ventured into the political arena last October, the MRC showed some restraint at first. Kyle Drennen pushed the narrative that it as a media distraction: In the wake of [Brett] Kavanaugh being confirmed to the high court, the liberal media were clearly desperate for any positive news they could find for Democrats. Swift jumping into the midterm campaign on behalf of the left gave the networks exactly what they looking for."

When a candidate Swift supported lost to a Republican the following month, the MRC's Kristine Marsh couldn't help but gloat: "After all three networks gushed over pop star Taylor Swift endorsing the Democrat, Phil Bredesen, in Tennessee’s Senate race, they largely ignored the GOP candidate Marsha Blackburn completely demolishing Bredesen in last night’s election." Gabriel Hays similarly gloated, stating that even though Swift inspired hundreds of thousands of voter registrations, "Swift failed to attract enough turnout needed" to beat Blackburn.

Later in November, when Swift signed a record deal that required the label to split royalty revenues from Spotify with all its articles, Jacob Comello groused:

Taylor Swift is undeniably talented, but she seems to have been struggling with identity for the better part of her career. Her days of strumming tunes about lost high school love into the hearts of country audiences are very long gone, and since the early 2010’s she has been trying to reinvent herself as a pop princess of the same strain as Katy Perry and Ke$ha. Simply put, Swift is a revolving door for labels.

But what about the title “labor radical?” Do you think that befits any of Swift’s incarnations? Apparently, Maxwell Strachan of Huffington Post thinks so.

In Comello's eyes, the writer committed the offense of saying something nice about Swift; he went on to dismiss the deal as "a product of corporate goons hijacking 'solidarity' as part of a slick PR stunt."

But as Swift made it clear she was going to dabble more in politics, the MRC lashed out more. Hays sneered in a March 8 post:

Finally, Taylor Swift has promised to grace us with more of her political opinion. After years of media haranguing and being quiet when asked her opinions on the bad Orange Man (Vice claimed her silence may be partially to blame for Trump’s election) the pop princess claimed that from here on out she “ will be more active in political campaigns.”

And if her stance during the 2018 midterm elections were any indication — she had claimed Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn’s conservative policies “terrified her” — she’s definitely not going to be supporting any conservatives for 2020. Well, not that her record label Universal Music Group would have let her anyway.

[...]

That’s commendable (if only more celebs were that circumspect) but in the end it is no different than any other entertainer who has to sound good to a bunch of postmodern, new age romantics — just use a couple of alt-left buzzwords and you’ve got your ticket. It’s taken almost 30 years for Swift to figure it out, but it seems she’s finally got it. “Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly-veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders,” she claimed.

You don’t say.

Of course, we all know Taylor Swift is referring to conservatives. It’s the same rhetoric she used when she slammed Republican Senator from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn during her election in 2018. This marked Swift’s first foray into the public forum, and revealed that she has chosen the lefty team. And who cares if she went in for the wrong candidates and annoyed fans who just wanted her to stick to her craft; Taylor mentioned that she will not be dissuaded in speaking her mind.

Hays wasn't done sneering at Swift for exercising her constitutional right of speaking out on the issues of the day. He heaped more scorn on her in an April 9 post:

Remember when Taylor Swift refused to get political? Good times. Now we know she’s a garden-variety entertainment lefty, and she’s proving it with a large donation to an aggressive pro-LGBT interest group in Tennessee.

[...]

Well at least she’s committing to it, and not only spouting off progressive cliches. Who knows? With her enthusiasm, by this time next year maybe she’ll have kicked out Chick-Fil-A from every airport south of the Mason-Dixon. I’m sure that’s the dream anyway.

After Swift expressed her support for the Equality Act, Jorge Plaza huffed in a June 3 post: "Ever since her decision to go political back in October, Taylor Swift has chugged the entire pitcher of liberal Kool-aid." But Plaza showed he has chugged the entire pitcher of conservative Kool-Aid, uncritically repeating scary Heritage Foundation talking points against the Equality Act, such as that it would force "schools to allow boys into girls' restrooms." Plaza went on to complain that Swift was engaging in "virtue signalling" -- as if that's not what Plaza himself is doing -- and concluding by sneering: "Based on the promise she made in March to be 'more active in political campaigns,' it doesn’t seem like Swift and sanity are never ever getting back together."

Because failing to march in lockstep with the MRC is the definition of insanity, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 AM EDT
WND's Cashill Pounces on Dubious MLK Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill thinks he has something worth writing about in his May 29 WorldNetDaily column:

Without intending to, civil rights historian David Garrow may have just preserved the legacy of Thomas Jefferson.

In a Standpoint article due to be published Thursday, Garrow reports on the FBI memos regarding Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that were part of a substantial U.S. National Archives data dump from earlier this year.

Among the revelations from the FBI’s year-long bugging of King’s hotel rooms is that King had sex with more than 40 women, participated in orgies and, most damningly, stood by and laughed as a friend raped a woman.

As of this writing, the average consumer of mainstream news knows none of this. Although all of the major British publications have reported on Garrow’s research, none of America’s major media outlets has.

The problem for the major media is Garrow. A Pulitzer Prize winner and King biographer, he is no one’s idea of a right-wing smear artist. In his 2017 Obama biography, in fact, he critiques the president from the left.

As of this moment at least, Garrow is comfortably at home among the liberal journalistic elite. He has little use for those of us who are not.

Needles to say, Cashill omits certain inconvenient details about this alleged MLK revelation. As a real news outlet reported, Garrow's source is "FBI files purported to be summaries of recordings of King and his colleagues in the 1960s when their rooms were being bugged and phones wiretapped by Hoover." Any corresponding tapes and transcripts, if they exist, are under court seal and won't be made public until 2027, meaning that Garrow hasn't confirmed what those summaries claim.

Further, the FBI at the time was engaged in a disinformation campaign against King, and because of that, more circumspect historians have raised questions about whether the summaries should be taken at face value. (Garrow thinks the summaries are accurate.)

Nevertheless, Cashill insisted that Garrow "may have just preserved the legacy of Thomas Jefferson" and Andrew Jackson, bizarrely adding, "Say what one will about Jackson, but most of the Cherokees survived the Trail of Tears."

Laura Hollis also used her WND column to highlight the controversy, also making sure to leave out pesky details. She took a slightly different approach:

In this era of #MeToo and “Trust Women,” what would the reaction be if a group of feminist activists were to arrange a protest around the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., take sledgehammers and other blunt instruments to the statue of the man there, deface it with spray-painted sayings and hire a crane to knock it over? What would the public reaction be if local police and the National Park Service personnel were ordered to “stand down” and allow that to happen? Would pundits, gender and race scholars and Hollywood tweeters jump to the protesters’ defense? Would we hear calls for all streets and schools and parks named for Dr. King to be renamed?

I don’t think so. (And I would hope not.) But the deafening silence since the sordid revelations – unverified though some of them are – says plenty about the public discomfort when our heroes are revealed to be deeply flawed individuals. What does it do to their legacy? What standards are we holding public figures to now?

Hollis had an interesting argument but for her mention of Confederate monuments that have been removed. Changing standards don't change the idea that maybe we shouldn't have monuments to the losing side of a war against the United States.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Friday, June 7, 2019
NewsBusters Blogger Gets Mad Trump's Affinity For Right-Wing Strongmen Is Pointed Out
Topic: NewsBusters

Blogging at NewsBusters, former Media Research Center intern Ryan Foley tries the ol' whataboutism route in a May 16 post:

Opening Wednesday's CNN Tonight, the horribly biased Don Lemon pondered: “Why this President loves to surround himself with strong men, with dictators?” Naturally, Lemon proceeded to criticize Trump for meeting with dictators, apparently forgetting that President Obama attended a baseball game with Cuban dictator Raul Castro while administration officials had numerous meetings with Iranians. Lemon went further by saying that President Trump wants to “follow their lead” by acting like a king.

While Obama did attend a baseball game with Castro -- though some people were more upset that he did so in the wake of a terrorist attack in Europe -- he also held a joint news conference in which Castro was allowed to be asked questions by the news media for the first time in, well, ever. Foley also offered no evidence that any Obama administration officials treated those Iranians with the same deference Trump has treated his right-wing strongman buddies.

And who are those right-wing strongmen that are Trump's buddies, anyway? Foley mostly avoids them in his post. Two of them -- Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Viktor Orban of Hungary -- are two of the MRC's favorite right-wing strongmen as well; its "news" division CNSNews.com just loves them.

Foley did complain that Lemon pointed out Trump said to Chinese president Xi Jinping, "you’re President for life and therefore, you’re king," then sneered: "The far-left CNN host asserted that 'it should be no surprise President Trump is behaving like a king.' His evidence? Trump saying 'I alone can fix it' at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Big whoop."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EDT
CNS Gives Mueller Statement A Pro-Trump Spin
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com was in full pro-Trump spin mode when the Mueller report came out, and it jumped back into spin mode when Robert Mueller himself made a public statement about his report.

The narrative CNS pushed was that even though Trump could not be charged with a crime due to Department of Justice policy that a president cannot be charged while in office, no alleghed co-conspirators were either; thus, Trump could not have possibly committed a crime. Susan Jones framed itas such in her lead article:

"The matters we investigated were of paramount importance," Special Counsel Robert Mueller said on Wednesday in his first public statement on the Trump-Russia investigation since he released his report.

Mueller said in addition to Russian interference, he was authorized to investigate actions that could have obstructed the investigation, and while Justice Department policy prohibits the indictment of a sitting president, co-conspirators could be charged now, if the evidence supported such charges -- but apparently it didn't.

Jones later added parenthetically to drive home the narrative: "[Mueller did not charge any "co-conspirators" with obstruction, but he did not mention that on Wednesday.]"

Melanie Arter echoed the narrative in a sidebar on Mueller's contention that he could not determine if Trump committed a crime: "Mueller also said that the evidence used in the investigation of Trump could have been used to charge co-conspirators. However, no one has been charged with conspiracy in the probe – a fact that Mueller did not mention."

Craig Bannister served up the usual stenographical sidebars: repeating a Trump tweet cheering that the case was closed and uncritically quoting White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders' contention that everyone should move on with their lives. Bannister did also serve up the lone article on Mueller that didn't have a right-wing bias, a statement from Nancy Pelosi that the Mueller report will be used as a blueprint for future action against Trump.

But that's just window dressing. The point was to spin for Trump, and CNS fulfilled that mission.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 7, 2019 5:10 PM EDT
Thursday, June 6, 2019
MRC Dismisses Abortion Clinic Violence
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained in a May 22 post:

During a report on Wednesday’s Today show promoting “protests from coast to coast” against pro-life legislation in various states, NBC reporter Stephanie Gosk fretted over such a measure being considered in Louisiana. She noted how “calls from patients have spiked” at a New Orleans abortion clinic and ironically asked a member of the clinic’s staff if a “violent act” had ever occurred at the facility.

[...]

After Caldwell described seeing “protesters almost every day” outside the clinic, Gosk assumed the pro-life demonstrators were dangerous: “Has there ever been any violent act? Any attack on your clinic?” Caldwell claimed: “Absolutely, and on clinic staff.”

Apparently it was missed on Gosk that abortions themselves are acts of violence.

Note how Drennen frames reporting on protests against "pro-life legislation" -- euphemistic terminology instead of the more accurate "anti-abortion" -- as "promoting" the protests. That's what we call the depiction-equals-approval fallacy, a longtime MRC staple.

Note, too, how Drennen quickly deflects away from anti-abortion activists committing violence to claiming that the REAL violence is going on inside the clinic -- perhaps as a justification for anti-abortion violence.

Of course, this sort of deflection is part of the right-wing anti-abortion playbook. When a man shot and killed three people inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, immediately portrayed the man as mentally ill and not part of the anti-abortion movement (even though the killings advance the movement's goals and was clearly inflamed by anti-abortion rhetoric). The MRC proper did the same thing.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EDT
WND Columnist Can't Separate Trump And America
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Scott Lively takes a break from hating gays in his May 24 WorldNetDaily column to go the divine-Donald route. Not only does he assert that God chose Trump to be president, there's no difference between Trump and America and if you oppose one, you oppose both:

This unique, world-shaping nation – our “sweet land of liberty”– faces an existential Satanic threat in the Marxist Uniparty campaign to destroy our president. For His own reasons reminiscent of His picks for the Old Testament judges, God chose this flawed but fearless bare-knuckle fighter, Donald J. Trump, to rescue America from the Clinton/Obama/Bush/Soros/Deep State takedown in 2016 and to grant its people a short reprieve: a limited window of opportunity to rally behind the Constitution and Christianity as they were understood by our Founding Fathers.

[...]

Why do they hate Trump so zealously? Because America – the real America handed down to us by the founders – is the only thing that stands in the way of these diabolical, God-hating fanatics and their world-conquering agenda. And President Donald Trump is the man chosen – by God and American voters – for this desperate season, to lead real America’s last stand against them.

In a very real sense, at this critical moment America is Trump and Trump is America. If Trump goes down, America goes down. The window of reprieve will have closed, and this once exceptional nation will be cannibalized and assimilated into the new globalist order along with every other country that has followed Trump’s lead.

Because if this tireless, thick-skinned, hard-punching, PC-rejecting, Christianity-defending warrior, who can’t be steered or intimidated by the leftist media, who knows all the left’s dirty tricks as only a former insider can know them, and who isn’t restrained by the Marquis of Queensberry rules that only Republicans are ever held to … if he can’t defeat the swamp creatures, then who among the very limited universe of possible alternative leaders could?

No. These are times and circumstances of biblical proportions, and for His own reasons God has raised up Donald Trump as our warrior-champion. Our duty as patriotic Americans is to keep a crystal clear focus on the enormity of the stakes we all face in this war against Trump and to do all that we can to prevent our common enemies from taking him down.

Lively even managed to keep his gay-hating to an absolute minimum. merely listing "LGBT radicals" as part of the "axis of evil" arrayed against Trump. That's pretty tepid by Lively's standards.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EDT
CNS Sends Another Intern To Pester Members of Congress
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's summer intern season, and the Media Research Center has a whole crop of 'em. Some get assigned to the "news" division, CNSNews.com, where they get assigned to do things like pester members of Congress with whatever right-wing bias-driven question Terry Jeffrey and crew want to pin them down on an answer.

We're unclear on whether Alex Madajian is an intern -- if so, he appears to have been there for the spring season, since his last article at this writing appeared May 24. His second-to-last article appeared the same day, and it was that bias-driven drudgery:

Although the Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee have issued a subpoena to the IRS demanding the tax returns of President Donald Trump for 2013-2018, Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said he has no plans to demand the release of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) tax returns.

Also, when asked if he would release his tax returns, Chairman Neal did not answer directly but said, “At the right moment I’d be happy to, sure.” At that point he was escorted away by a staffer.

[...]

CNSNews.com contacted all 42 Ways and Means Committee members – Democrat and Republican – and asked them three questions:

-- Should the committee also subpoena the tax returns of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the six tax years from 2013 through 2018?

-- Has the representative publicly released his/her tax returns for the six tax years from 2013 through 2018? If so, where can we see copies of them?

-- If he/she has not publicly released her/his tax returns for the six tax years from 2013 through 2018 will he/she release them now?

CNSNews.com contacted each member’s office by email and telephone. Also, CNSNews.com went to several of the members’ offices and spoke with the press personnel there and interviewed several committee members in the halls of Congress.

To date, only 11 committee members (or their offices), out of 42, have responded to CNSNews.com’s questions.

That's right -- Madajian was forced to hound 42 members of Congress with a partisan series of questions because someone at CNS was mad that Democrats are seeking Trump's tax returns.

Madajian went on to complain that "The committee has not demanded the tax returns of any previous president," but he didn't mention there was no need to because all presidents since Richard Nixon have released them on their own.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
AIM Cites Biased Tweets To Attack Article's Alleged 'Biased Framing'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Carrie Sheffield spends a May 29 Accuracy in Media post complaining that "The Washington Post relied on anonymous sourcing and biased framing in its reporting that “President Trump’s new executive order giving the attorney general broad authority to declassify government secrets threatens to expose U.S. intelligence sources and could distort the FBI and CIA’s roles in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections.'" Her idea of rebutting things was to cite a partisan figure's tweets that are, yes, filled with biased framing:

Former George W. Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer called out the Post’s Shane Harris for his framing and assertions:

“Flynn was unmasked and the info leaked,” he tweeted. “Hillary’s campaign funded a false dossier that the FBI used to justify a FISA warrant. Comey’s briefing to Trump about the dossier was leaked. But Barr is the problem?!”

[...]

Fleischer called out the unprecedented nature of questionable actions taken by Obama officials.

“The headline on the story should be ‘Obama officials exposed secrets, politicized intelligence with Russia probe,’” Fleischer tweeted. “The subtext here is that if Trump does something, it must be wrong. If Obama does something, it must be right.”

In fact, corrupt Trump official Michael Flynn was "unmasked" -- a revealing of the identity of the person communicating with a foreign entity who intelligence sources were monitoring -- because, according to then-national security adviser Susan Rice, she was trying to understand why the United Arab Emirates was trying to establish a back channel of communication to the incoming Trump administration without alerting U.S. officials of the effort. Despite right-wing insistence to the contrary, there's no evidence the unmasking was done for political purposes. There's no evidence Rice leaked Flynn's identity or that the Obama administration "politicized intelligence."

Of course, Fleischer doesn't explain why Flynn's secret communications with Russian and other officials should have been kept secret -- and Sheffield doesn't either.

Further, while some details of the Steele dossier of raw intellligence remain unproven or have apparently turned out to be false, its overall message -- that Russia worked to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election -- is true and was arguably confirmed by the Mueller report. That's far from the "false dossier" claim Fleischer makes.

P.S. Someone at AIM should probably be alerted that the stock photo of the Washington Post building it used to illustrate Sheffield's post is wildly out of date; the Post sold the building and moved its offices elsewhere a few years ago, and the building has since been torn down and replaced.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:35 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 7:42 PM EDT

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