ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, July 4, 2019
MRC Pushes A Hillary Whataboutism Lie To Deflect From Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro and Curtis Houck did their best to play Hillary whataboutism in trying to deflect from President Trump's admission he'd take opposition research from foreign powers in a June 13 post:

President Trump made more headlines Wednesday night after he told ABC chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he would be fine with taking “oppo research” on his 2020 opponent from foreign countries. This comment drew criticism. But during their almost two hours and 30 minutes of prime time coverage, or hair-on-fire panic, neither CNN nor MSNBC cared to mention that that’s exactly what the Clinton campaign did in 2016 with the now-infamous dossier.

[...]

While these networks spent all this time railing against President Trump, they failed to decry the Clinton campaign’s use of former British spy Christopher Steele to obtain dirt on Trump from Russian sources.

Sorry, dudes, but there's no actual equivalence between the two. The Washington Post explained:

Steele was hired by Fusion GPS to see what links might exist between Trump and Russian actors. Those connections, built during his service for the British government, were why he was valuable to Fusion GPS. It’s akin to a campaign looking to investigate an opponent’s history of real estate deals in Mexico: Hiring a Mexican firm that’s familiar with the available records would be perfectly legal, if the firm were paid with legally raised campaign contributions.

By contrast, these foreign countries would be coming to Trump unsolicitied and would presumably want something in return. Or, as Wonkette further explained:

Paying Fusion GPS -- which it should be noted again is an American company -- and therefore indirectly paying Chris Steele? Legal, because money is going out. Taking things of value from foreigns -- not just our sworn enemies, it's just that Trump likes to hang with America's sworn enemies, because let's be honest the president of the United States is America's sworn enemy? ILLEGAL. And what Russia provided Trump, which Junior clearly thought he was going to get from the Trump Tower treason meeting, but ended up coming through WikiLeaks releases, was stolen goods.

The only way it could possibly be the same is if Hillary Clinton or the Democrats had hired foreign nationals to commit crimes. You know, like, say, for instance, hacking into their computers to steal their emails. Like Russia did for Trump.

We know Fondacaro and Houck have to forward a pro-Trump agenda as part of their job, but they don't get to lie, no matter how many times theyhave heard their fellow conservatives say the same thing. Isn't is their job to, you know, research things before publishing them?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:21 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 5, 2019 12:39 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Pride Month Derangement Syndrome, Linda Harvey Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Have you had your fill of “pride” yet?

Corporations, government agencies, online sites, schools. AT&T, Walmart, Kellogg’s, Nationwide, Ikea. I was already on rainbow overload when I opened the mail.

An unmarked letter contained a flyer listing Bible verses ( “Love your neighbor” etc.) followed by, “We’re praying for you!” and signed, “Happy Pride!”

The envelope was full of multi-colored glitter. Which I was providentially able to contain and throw right in the trash.

Whatever god these people pray to while denying the true gospel message about homosexuality provokes no fear in me, nor in any of us who understand the truth. We are witnessing cultural destruction under the arc of these rainbow imposters, yet the original is still the Almighty’s magnificent sky symbol, reminding us of both His mercy and power.

He never intended it to be a jarring logo for proud sin, a signpost for child corruption, or the banner for targeting and harassing faithful Christians.

God destroyed the world once and will again at the end of time. How close is that? Sometimes I wonder.

-- Linda Harvey, June 21 WorldNetDaily column

(WND's anti-gay columnists are just not down with Pride Month.)


Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard on The Comedian Defense
Topic: Media Research Center

At the Media Research Center, anti-gay humor is cool because it's humor, but Trump-bashing jokes aren't, because it's Trump.

In a June 17 post, Joseph Chalfant gave Steven Crowder the comedian's pass over his homophobic shots at gay journalist Carlos Maza, while complaining about CNN host Poppy Harlow's treatment of the story:

After the interview concluded, Harlow then turned attention to the videos conservative YouTube comedian Steven Crowder and host of Louder With Crowder, made about Vox journalist Carlos Maza:

Guys, YouTube has taken a lot of heat also for these homophobic videos, specifically ones aimed at this Vox journalist, that are still on, even after the new guidelines. I asked him directly, why is that still there, are you going to take them down? They are in the middle of reviewing their guidelines, again meeting with outside groups and they’re considering it, but they don't know at this point. But I mean, if this is fundamental to their business, they have to make a decision about where that line is between hate and free speech.

Crowder, who is, again, a comedian, made jokes at the expense of Maza. Maza, upset that someone would dare make fun of him, then led an attempt to get Crowder de-platformed, but he only succeeded in getting Crowder’s channel demonetized. The fact that Crowder was telling jokes about Maza seemed to be entirely lost on Harlow.

The very next day, however, Kyle Drennen gave no such pass to late-night comedian Seth Meyers, apparently because Trump is a less acceptable comedy target than the LGBT community:

On Tuesday, liberal Late Night host Seth Meyers appeared on NBC’s Today show, where he was greeted with congratulations from the cast for five years of using his show to promote Democrats and bash Republicans. The morning show crew was impressed with Meyers bringing his left-wing “point of view” to the late night landscape – not that politics was lacking in that arena.

Co-host Craig Melvin particularly praised a regular segment featured by Meyers: “Congrats, by the way....Five year anniversary. That’s a big deal....My favorite segment on the show has been A Closer Look....You do it a few times a week and you take sort of this deep dive into an issue that a lot of comedians might stay away from.”

Meyers touted the series, which amounts to nothing more than to a long list of anti-Trump screeds that he has delivered on his show over the years:

[...]

Night after night, Meyers’ liberal audience does receive the latest Democratic Party talking points and a healthy dose of bashing conservatives.

It seems the fact that Meyers was telling jokes about Trump was entirely lost on Drennen.

So, to sum up: 'Trump-bashing screeds" by a non-conservative comedian are a horrible thing at the MRC, while gay-bashing screeds by a conservative comedian are totally cool.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
CNS Serves Up 'Liberals Pounce' Frame On Trump Endorsing Foreign Campaign Interference
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center likes to complain about what it calls the "conservatives pounce" tactic in the "liberal media" -- framing a story around not by what allegedly controversial remarks a person said but, rather, by how others react to it. But apparently it's not so detestable a tactic that the MRC's "news" division won't use it.

CNSNews.com didn't think it was news that President Trump admitted to ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he would listen to a foreign governmnet that claimed it had dirt on his election opponent -- but it was news that he was criticized by the usual suspects for saying it. The first article on the story, by Susan Jones, carried the headline "Liberal Fury, After Trump Says He Might Take Info on His Opponent From 'Foreigners'" and pushed the "liberals pounced" narrative:

Anti-Trump cable news channels and politicians erupted Wednesday night and Thursday morning, after President Donald Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he just might listen to a foreign government that claimed to have dirt on his opponent.

One House Democrat said it may be time to pass a law requiring political candidates to tell the FBI if they are offered such information from a foreign government.

Then, like a loyal Trump stenographer, Jones suggested -- without evidence to back it up, natch -- that Stephanopoulos had a political motive for asking the question: "In asking Trump those questions, was Stephanopoulos running interference for former Vice President Joe Biden? When Biden emerged as a potential rival to President Trump, various news outlets, including The New York Times, raised questions about Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings with Ukraine."

Jones joined with Melanie Arter to do a follow-up "liberals pouned" story headlined "'Disgraceful!' Schumer and Pelosi Blast Trump for His Comments on Foreign Interference," seemingly bothered by the idea that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "said the Democrats are putting forth legislation that requires 'a duty to report' when someone from a foreign entity offers opposition research on another political campaign."

CNS then switched into kneejerk-Trump-defense mode. An article by Arter touted how "House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday called out the Democrats for giving money to a foreign entity to dig up dirt on President Donald Trump and using that false information to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Americans" -- a reference to the Steele dossier, which McCarthy attacked as containing "false accusations" and "lies" and accusing the Democratic National Committee of having made it up.  But as a real news operation pointed out, the Steele dossier was never presented as anythingbuty raw, unverified intelligence.Further, the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign did bnot give money to a "foreign entity" for the dossier -- it paid American firm Fusion GPS, which in turn paid former British intelligence officier Christopher Steele to gather information.

Arter added:

“If you or one of your colleagues was approached by a foreign power --” a reporter asked.

“You would say like Adam Schiff? … I think what you’re asking right here is a hypothetical, so let’s go and look at what actually did happen. Adam Schiff got a phone call that he willingly thought was a foreign individual, and he took it. Yet, what action did he take after the fact?” McCarthy said.

Arter failed to mention the action that Schiff did, in fact, take: he called the FBI.

Meanwhile, Jones uncritically repeated "indignant tweets" from Trump that pushed back on liberal outrage over his comments to ABC's George Stephanopoulos:

The president also singled out Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), saying they took information from Russian operatives and didn't call the FBI.

"The fact is that the phony Witch Hunt is a giant scam where Democrats and other really bad people, SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN! They even had an “insurance policy” just in case Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats lost their race for the Presidency! This is the biggest & worst political scandal in the history of the United States of America. Sad!"

Jones didn't mention that both Warner and Schiff went to the FBI after those contacts -- something Trump suggested he might not.

Jones then found her way to the "liberals pounced" narrative, complaining that "Democrats and liberal media operatives condemned Trump harshly and personally, which is a daily occurrence." She followed that up with a defense of Trump from a Republican (Mitch McConnell) and a right-wing media operative (Fox News' Laura Ingraham).


Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 73: Body-Slammed At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson rages against ESPN magazine's "Body Issue" featuring naked athletes -- then dances on the magazine's grave. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:34 PM EDT
Monday, July 1, 2019
How Is CNS' Managing Editor Hating Gays Now?
Topic: CNSNews.com

Michael W. Chapman, CNSNews.com's LGBT-hating managing editor, has kept up his agenda, with an extra emphasis on portraying them as filthy, disease-ridden degenerates.

As he has before, Chapman had a bit of a sad in the grim duty of reporting that President Trump doesn't hate gays as much as he does, noting in a June 7 article that Trump "applauded gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans in a recent tweet" and that 'his administration has launched an international campaign to "decriminalize homosexuality' worldwide." Chapman's response to that was spend six paragraphs of his article highlighting statistics that "Gay and bisexual men are the population most affected by HIV," including an entire paragraph on the hazards of anal sex.

Chapman did the same thing in a June 27 article highlighting a poll showing that "the percentage of non-gay Americans aged 18-34, who are considered allies of the LGBT community, fell from 63% in 2016 to 45% in 2018. He devoted the final three paragraphs to once again rehashing LGBT health risks, empahasizing that "anal sex is the highest-risk sexual behavior for HIV transmission."

Chapman went on to cheer a Catholic bishop for ordering his parishioners not to attend any Pride Month-related events, calling them "contrary to Church teachings on faith and morals," as well as another Catholic bishop who defended the other bishop by insisting that "that preaching the truth of the Gospel is not homophobic." Chapman added: "Unlike the unitive and generative nature of heterosexual coitus between a married man and woman, homosexual intercourse is non-unitive and non-generative."

Chapman also jumped aboard the MRC corporate bandwagon and denounced the Cartoon Network for failing to hate gays the way he does and for marking Pride Month. Chapman added another editorial comment: "June is celebrated as "Pride Month" in honor of the Stonewall riot in 1968, when gay partiers fought back against the police during a vice raid on the homosexual bar, the Stonewall Inn, which was then owned by the Mafia." Chapman didn't explain the relevance of pointing out who owned the bar.

And, for the heck of it, he touted one of his favorite anti-gay pastors, E.W. Jackson, denouncing "the fact that some U.S. embassies around the world are defying the order of the president to not fly the gay-rainbow flag next to or below the U.S. flag, an act in itself that is blasphemous, he said, and the equivalent of 'shaking your fist in God's face.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 5:20 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 4:37 PM EDT
WND Columnist Tries To Puff Up Trump's Rally Crowd Numbers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Brent Smith gushed in his June 21 WorldNetDaily column:

Trump kicked off his reelection campaign with an oversized rally in Orlando, Florida, this past Tuesday. The Amway Center Arena, with a capacity of around 20,000, was filled to the rafters.

As various news agencies reported, people started lining up outside the facility up to 40 hours in advance. This type of loyalty is only reserved for major rock stars and once in a lifetime movie events. Certainly not for politicians, and most definitely not for second-termers.

But President Trump has been attracting these kinds of crowds for years now, and it appears his popularity has not waned.

[...]

Those thousands who line up for Trump rallies know exactly why they are there – camping out sometimes in the cold, snow or rain. It doesn’t seem to matter and never seems to dampen their spirits. And most times, double or triple the number of people show up than can be accommodated by the arena or other venue.

Except that's not quite true. As a real news outlet reported, while there were people camping in line outside the arena before Trump's event, the arena easily acommodated them, there were some empty seats in the arena when Trump started speaking, and an overflow area was virtually empty.

Smith then attempted a comparison:

Historically, the only way leftists can even hope to fill a venue of any size, or draw any crowds at all, is to pay them. Soros, Media Matters, public/private sector unions, etc., have all paid for crowds to gather. We’ve also seen where, if they’re not paid, sycophantic leftist virtue signalers are told via Twitter or Facebook to just show up at an event, where they are then given instructions as to what to do and say.

[...]

In response to this, leftists love to point to President Obama as a comparison who, back in 2008, packed every arena he booked. But that’s where the similarity between Trump and him ended. As Rush Limbaugh recently pointed out, in 2012 the leftist media had to go out of their way to prevent the television viewer from seeing what pathetic turnout there was during Obama’s reelection bid.

Smith offered no evidence that "Soros, Media Matters, public/private sector unions, etc." had ever paid for an audience? But you know who did? Donald Trump. His campaign paid actors $50 for three hours of work to act like enthusiastsic Trump supporters at his campaign announcement. And while Obama's 2012 campaign kickoff occurred at a less than full arena, by the end of the campaign he was drawing big crowds. He was also outdrawing Mitt Romney.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Fake News: MRC Falsely Portrays Reason For Anti-Abortion Group's Pinterest Ban
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall does PR duty for an anti-abortion group in a June 11 post:

Censorship of conservative and pro-life content isn’t limited to the main tech platforms. Even Pinterest, the online scrapbooking website, is banning conservative voices.

According to Live Action, Pinterest “permanently suspended” its account June 11 after a series of exposures about bias on the  platform. In an undercover investigation by Project Veritas, an insider  revealed how the site censors conservative content in general. 

Project Veritas posted a video that featured an anonymous whistleblower explaining how the platform knowingly listed the pro-life website among a registry of porn websites blocked by the platform. Live Action, founded by activist Lila Rose, is the largest pro-life website, with more than 3.3 million followers. 

In response to the story, Live Action President and founder Lila Rose wrote that, “Pinterest has targeted Live Action, I believe because our message is so effective at educating millions about the humanity of the preborn child and the injustice of abortion.” She later added “If Planned Parenthood can promote their message on Pinterest, then Live Action should be able to as well.”

Live Action offered no proof that its ban was based on anything Project Veritas supposedly exposed, and Hall apparently asked for none, since he's appparenlty going on nothing except what Live Action has claimed on its website. It appears there is no link between the two.

As an actual news operation reported, Live Action was banned not for conservative content but, rather, for using Pinterest to forward misinformation:

Pinterest decided that the organization violated its misinformation policies, the company told Motherboard in an email.

“We took action on LiveAction.org several months ago for violating our misinformation policy related to conspiracies and health,” the company said. “It was actioned and labeled for misinformation, specifically conspiracies and health misinformation.” 

Pinterest did not elaborate on the specific posts that got Live Action banned, and wouldn't say the types of health misinformation that Live Action was posting. However, the group has previously shared posts claiming that abortion is linked to higher rates of breast cancer and depression on other social media platforms; there is no good science showing either claim is true.

As far as Live Action being labeled among porn websites, Hall ignored that Pinterest explained that the label was a quirk of the company’s internal content moderation tools due to such bans being originally directed at porn, and that the account was never labeled as pornography.

Hall should know better than to take anything issued by Project Veritas as face value. After all, even his boss, Brent Bozell, denounced the organization after one notoriously botched sting, yet it fell for another piece of disinformation from the group anyway.

Hall is doing neither his readers nor his employer any favors when he hides the truth in favor of serving as a stenographer for right-wing interests.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 PM EDT
CNS Joins In MRC's Bashing of Taylor Swift For Expressing A Political Opinion
Topic: CNSNews.com

Another branch of the Media Research Center has gotten in on bashing Taylor Swift for expressing political opinions. CNSNews.com published a June 6 column by Kelsey Bolar of the conservative Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal operation that berated Swift for speaking out in favor of the Equality Act -- the immediately leaped to a speculative talking point that anti-LGBT right-wingers have embraced: the specter of transgender athletes:

“Reports,” she added, “are that the majority of Americans across all parties favor these nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people (liberals at 81%, moderates at 76% and conservatives 55%.)”

It’s difficult to fact-check these statistics because the country singer-turned-pop-sensation didn’t cite her sources. But we do know the results from a more specific poll asking Americans how they feel about transgender individuals participating in sports.

According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey, just 28 percent of American adults support letting biological males participate in girls’ sports—something that the Equality Act could allow to happen.

That’s a stark difference from the numbers Swift cited about the “majority of Americans across all parties” supporting undisclosed “nondiscrimination protections.”

In public policy, the devil is always in the details, and there’s always the risk of causing unintended consequences. It’s easy to say you oppose “discrimination” in the abstract until you realize what those protections will entail.

Bolar didn't mention that Rasmussen polls tend to have a right-leaning bias, making such results dubious at best.

Bolar sneered that "Swift’s misleading form of Instagram activism is nothing new" because "Hollywood elites have been virtue-signaling to us for years" -- as if Bolar herself isn't virtue-signaling from the right by raging against the eternal conservative bogeyman of "Hollywood elites" -- then lectured that her views on equality are incorrect because the rights of conservative Christians would purported be violated:

Taylor, if you support it so much, go on TV and debate it. Answer the tough questions about how the legislation would compel medical professionals to shut down foster care and adoption agencies, drug rehabilitation centers, and homeless centers. Talk to the foster kids who would never be placed with parents because their facilities would be forced to close.

Sit down and have a conversation with high school girls like Selina Soule, the 16-year-old track star from Connecticut, who lost the opportunity to compete in front of college recruiters because biological boys identifying as girls took her spot. Confront the uncomfortable fact that if this bill moves forward, middle-class families like hers could be robbed of scholarship opportunities that will go to biological boys instead.

Would that be equality or justice?

But Bolar admitted in the article she linked to that Soule finished in eighth place, meaning that even if the two transgender athletes had not competed in the race, she would have done no better than sixth. Do college recruiters really care about sixth-place athletes?

Bolar concluded by lecturing some more about how Swift can learn from her because, unlike Swift, she's in her 30s and now knows everything:

In my 20s, I learned that Instagram activism is the easy route—you’re not held accountable, and don’t really have to engage. The hard work begin with answering the difficult questions—the ones most other celebrities pretend don’t exist.

Luckily, Swift doesn’t turn 30 until Dec. 13. There’s still time for her to prove she’s not like the rest of them, and add this all-important life lesson to her list.

Hint to Bolar: You're not "answering the difficult questions" if you're staying in your right-wing bubble and automatically dismissing ideas that conflict with your worldview.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:32 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 30, 2019 11:34 AM EDT
Saturday, June 29, 2019
NewsBusters Blogger Attacks Time For Covering Story -- But Not Fox News
Topic: NewsBusters

A June 11 NewsBusters post by Randy Hall is your usual Media Research Center bias blather:

The dinosaur publication Time magazine, which you may have forgotten still existed (or you only see at the dentist now), still pumps out liberal spin and reporting from a left-leaning perspective. 

The latest example of that trend is an article published in the Sunday, June 9 edition that focused on a small hotel in Michigan offering pregnant women free stays and no-cost transportation from states that have “severe restrictions” on abortion.

[...]

Of course, the article depicted those on the other side as representative of violent haters ready to attack O’Brien.

Hall does acknowledge that the hotel owner has received violent threats, so the "violent haters" stuff is an accurate representation of her situation, whether he admits it or not.

The headline on Hall's item claimed that Time was "promot[ing]" the hotel's offer -- another example of the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy, which falsely assumes that a given news outlet approves of the given news it's reporting on because it doesn't explicitly denounce it.

Curiously, Hall's post is illustrated with a screenshot of ... a Fox News report on the same story. Hall made no mention of the Fox News story in his item, let alone complain that Fox News was, like Time, "promoting" the hotel simply by reporting on its existence.

It's as if the MRC refuses to hold Fox News to the same journalistic standards it demands from media that aren't slavishly right-wing.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 AM EDT
WND's Massie Doubles Down on Divine-Donald Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie, he was hopping aboard the divine-Donald bandwagon by declaring that "God has given us a window of reprieve through President Trump." Massie followed up in his June 17 column by doubling down, declaring that Trump's election represents a "season of Mercy for America" and that "judgment will quickly follow when President Trump leaves office":

I receive no joy in saying what should be obvious to every honest-reasoning American today, and I specifically reference those Americans who claim to be Christians.

I may have spent nearly all of my adult life in the political arena, but that does not negate my being a born-again Christian and ordained minister. I believe President Donald J. Trump’s tenure is a season of mercy for America. I believe his administration is a season for the people of America to repent and turn from their evil ways. It’s a season for the Christian Church to awaken out of its doldrums during which time it has embraced the attributes of wickedness.

Take a look around you, folks; only those who are driven by hatred refuse to say President Trump is doing a matchless job.

The ad hominem attacks directed at George W. Bush and family pale in comparison to those suffered by President Trump. But as a minister and student of the immutable word of God, i.e., the Holy Bible, I can tell you that while God often allows a season of mercy before judgment falls – judgment does fall if the people do not repent and turn from their wicked ways or if they fall back into evil after having turned from it for a period. Think of Nineveh and Jonah. Then think of Nahum.

I believe judgment will quickly follow when President Trump leaves office. That should concern people and especially the so-called Christian Church. No nation in the history of world has survived and enjoyed prosperity while practicing and promoting wickedness in the church and amongst political leaders.

Massie is presumably exempting his own wickedness from judgment , which includes hatred and lies about the Obamas and blacks who aren't as far-right as he is. He concluded with another portrayal of Trump the merciful:

I’m not asking you to believe what I’m saying. I’m telling you the end for the America we’ve enjoyed is closer than people realize and/or are willing to admit. Today God has given us a season of mercy to repent and turn the country back from wickedness; but every day has an end – a night, if you will.

And I personally believe the dusk of that night will come upon us when those of today who are calling evil good and good evil are able to finally elect one of their own.

It's good that Massie's not asking us to believe him, given his history of lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 AM EDT
Friday, June 28, 2019
Media Bias: CNS Spins Away John Dean's Testimony
Topic: CNSNews.com

For a "news" organization that's run by a "media research" group that rages against media bias, CNSNews.com sure publishes a lot of biased news. Its coverage of the John Dean's congressional testimony was another example.

CNS' framing was clear from the start, as Susan Jones' June 4 article on the announcement of Dean's testimony, portraying "the Democrat-led [sic] House Judiciary Committee" using Dean's testimony as an "attempt to move forward with impeachment." Jones also portrayed Dean as a serial complainer because "In March 2006, Dean also recommended the censure of President George W. Bush in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee."

As the testimony date neared, Jones served up more biased previews. She huffed in one article:

The hearing will feature long-ago White House Counsel John Dean, now a staunch anti-Trumper, who helped cover up crimes in the Richard Nixon administration, then became a key witness against Nixon.

John Dean has nothing to do with the case Democrats are trying to build against Trump, but he will serve as a publicity-generator for the pro-impeachment cause.

In the second, Jones went into pro-Trump spin mode, insisting that what Trump did is nothing like Watergate and treating a dubious Trump tweet as the indisuputable truth:

But one glaring area of difference between Nixon and Trump is that Nixon became aware, after the fact, of the Watergate burglary, the underlying crime that he tried to cover up.

The FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump without a crime having been alleged.

As Trump repeatedly has tweeted: "NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. Besides, how can you have Obstruction when not only was there No Collusion (by Trump), but the bad actions were done by the 'other' side? The greatest con-job in the history of American Politics!"

In fact, even conservative Fox News anchor Bret Baier has pointed out that "This was not, as the President says time and time again, no collusion, no obstruction. It was much more nuanced than that."

In CNS' only article regarding Dean's actual testimony, managing editor Michael W. Chapman stepped in to personally attack Dean and cite none of his actual testimony:

During Tuesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller Report, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) criticized witness John Dean, a disbarred lawyer and convicted felon, because he had "no knowledge of a single fact on the Mueller Report" and was only there, as a 1970's Watergate culprit, to function as a "prop" for the Democrats. 

John Dean, 80, was the White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon from July 1970 to April 1973. Dean testified against his colleagues and was given a reduced sentence for obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal. He was also disbarred as a lawyer. He has written several books about Watergate and abuses of executive power.

Rep. Gaetz said, “Here we sit today in this hearing, with the Ghost of Christmas Past [John Dean] because the chairman of the committee has gone to the Speaker of the House [Nancy Pelosi] and sought permission to open an impeachment inquiry. But she has said no, and so instead of opening an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump … we’re here reopening the impeachment hearing inquiry potentially into Richard Nixon -- sort of playing out our own version of That '70s Show."

"What I really regret is you're here as a prop," said Gaetz to Dean. “You are functionally here as a prop because [the Democrats] can’t impeach President Trump because 70% of Democrats want something that 60%  of Americans don’t.”

Chapman concluded by spinning the Mueller report, misleadingly claiming that it "concluded that no Americans and no one in the Trump 2016 campaign colluded with Russians to affect the election. In addition, the report found no evidence that President Trump had obstructed justice."

Jones served up her own follow-up, which framed Dean as among "anti-Trump partisans" who testified at the hearing. While Jones, unlike her boss, did devote a couple paragraphs to what Dean actually said, she gave much more space to Trump and pro-Trump Republicans attacking Dean.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 28, 2019 12:55 AM EDT
Thursday, June 27, 2019
MRC Has Another Anti-Gay Cartoon Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

Gay cartoon freakouts appear to be a trend at the Media Research Center. Jorge Plaza served up his contribution in a June 13 post:

Remember the days when you could plop your kid in front of the TV without worrying about lefty indoctrination? Well, those days are over. Yesterday, My Little Pony will premiere an episode featuring a lesbian couple on Saturday for Discovery Family. This is coupled with a tweet from the Cartoon Network celebrating Pride Month.

On the next episode of My Little Pony, the characters “Aunt Holiday” and “Auntie Lofty” will act as the parents of the school-age pony “Scootaloo.” The Aunt and Auntie pair were confirmed to be a lesbian couple on Twitter by the show’s writer and producer Michael Vogel. Vogel, who is gay, also tweeted that show writers Nicole Dubuc and Josh Haber are doing “what we can to bring more EQuality to EQuestria!! [sic] #PrideMonth”

A depiction of a pony as non-heterosexual is "lefty indoctrination"? That's apparently what that is in MRC world.

But Plaza wasn't done ranting about non-hetero cartoons, taking aim at the Cartoon Network and "Steven Universe":

The extremely popular Cartoon Network sells LGBT-themed merchandise on their website including a pillow case that depicts a cartoon lesbian wedding. The image is a reference to an episode from “Steven Universe” where the female characters Rose Quartz (a pansexual) and Pearl get married and perform a sensual “fusion.”

Steven Universe is one of Cartoon Network’s highest rated shows; it is currently entering its sixth season with a film to be released late this year. Most of the show’s characters are humanoid aliens that have the ability of “fusion” -- where two or more characters with a strong emotional connection combine their bodies to generate a more powerful form.

These fusions are often romantic, and the writers intentionally use them as a metaphor for sex in same-sex and/or polyamorous relationships. Premiered in 2013, the show’s first season revealed that one of the characters, Garnet, is the product of a romantic fusion between two other female characters, Ruby and Sapphire. In another episode, the middle-school aged characters Steven and Connie fuse to create “Stevonnie,” who identifies as gender queer and uses the pronouns “they/them.” The show’s creator Rebecca Sugar is bisexual and speaks openly about the show’s LGBT themes.

Plaza concluded by huffing: "With shows like Steven Universe, it’s no wonder that 59% of Generation Z (those born from the mid-90s to mid-2000s) believe that there are more than two genders with only two-thirds identifying as exclusively heterosexual. If parents are not vigilant, childhood gender dysphoria will only worsen as cartoons teach kids to explore their sexuality.

So Plaza thinks cartoons are making people gay? What's his stance on soy?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Irony: Anti-Vaxxers At WND Fret About Mumps Outbreak At Border
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily fretted in an anonymously written June 14 article: "Thousands of illegal aliens flooding across America’s southern border, part of what President Trump repeatedly has described as a national emergency, have been segregated now because they’ve been exposed to either mumps, chicken pox or both."

Yes, we are supposed to believe that WND -- which has a lengthy record of fearmongering people into not getting vaccinations for diseases like mumps and chicken pox -- is suddenly concerned about the spread of such diseases. Of course, as we saw when it falsely blamed Islam for a measles outbreak in a Somali immigrant community -- WND flip-flops on that policy when it can blame immigrants and migrants for disease outbreaks.

And that's exactly what WND is doing here, further ranting that "There also have been problems with measles and flu among the population of illegal migrants who have broken American laws to enter the nation, and now are being provided services at the expense of U.S. taxpayers."

Then, just as it did a few days earlier, it called up its favorite dubious doc to do even more fearmongering:

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Physicians for Civil Defense issued a statement that while public health officials “are preoccupied” with measles, there are hundreds of the newcomers arriving from the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo, “where thousands have Ebola.”

That potential impact is huge, since, “in the entire U.S., there are about half a dozen hospital beds equipped for safe treatment of Ebola victims,” the group said.

“We were very fortunate to escape a disastrous outbreak here during the epidemic in West Africa. There are two new vaccines that generate antibodies, but we don’t know how protective they would be – if you are one of the few who could get a dose.”

Further, HIV and drug-resistant tuberculosis both are prevalent in Africa.

The statement, from Jane Orient, M.D., said officials and news outlets all should be demanding to know whether entrants from Congo are screened for Ebola, and what precautions are being taken to protect workers.

“Double gloving? Masks and eye protection? Incineration of medical waste? How long are entrants quarantined? The incubation period can be longer than 21 days. What if there is a needle-stick injury? If a case of Ebola is suspected, what is being done to protect other migrants?” her statement continued.

We, of course, know Orient for her association with the far-right Association for American Physicians and Surgeons. Physicians for Civil Defense appears to be just Orient, and its website is just a blog.

But no matter which hat she's wearing, Orient is lying about the existence of an Ebola threat in the U.S. As we documented, any Africans arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo likely left months ago, and as even she concedes, the Ebola incubation period is 21 days, meaning that any Ebola patient will be struck with the disease long before they arrive in the U.S.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EDT
MRC's Political Director Spouts The Company Line
Topic: CNSNews.com

If the Media Research Center is supposed to be a 501(c)3 "research and education organization" that's not supposed to be very involved in politics, why does it have a political director?

Indeed it does, and Christian Robey is that man. And to show he's an MRC company man, he dabbled in the whole "media research" thing -- or, as it plays out that the MRC, kneejerk bashing of the "liberal media" -- in a June 11 CNSNews.com column. He begins by whining in classic MRC style we've heard a million times from his co-workers:

Ever since the Mueller Report was released on April 18th, and as America moves closer to the 2020 presidential election, our country is quickly wrenching itself apart along partisan lines. Disturbingly, the media are enthusiastically throwing gasoline on this rift.

Liberal journalists are not merely playing the role of partisan commentators. It’s bad enough that they are. Could it be as it appears, that some reporters may have actually colluded with entities at various government agencies throughout the ongoing Russia collusion saga?

Indeed the media may be the “enemy of the people.”

He continued by offering up a dubious defense of President Trump:

A State of the Union on CNN with Jake Tapper, where Tapper asked Kellyanne Conway whether President Trump's response to Charlottesville was, as he has said, “perfect.”

Conway forcefully made the case that the President's “very fine people on both sides” comment was clearly in reference to people peacefully opposing the removal of Confederate statues, not to the neo-Nazis. After several back and forths with Conway, Tapper simply wouldn’t drop his criticism of it not being “perfect.” Conway eventually shot back, “It looks like you, and others, looking at 2020, are worried that this guy can't be beaten fairly and squarely.” Obviously, Tapper was employing the racism dog whistle and Kelly Anne was not having any of it.

The problem with such an exchange is not the actual conversation, but the implication. Tapper’s comments were insidious accusations of racism speaking on behalf of the left. By harkening back to Charlottesville, Tapper was drudging up old accusations that the president and his “basket of deplorables” are the worst type of people this nation has to offer – neo-Nazis and racists.

But as an actual news outlet has documented, the Charlottesville rally was organized by a white nationalist and featured neo-Nazis and white supremacists, meaning that even if some people were defending Confederate statues, "this rally was clearly not one for your average supporter of Confederate monuments."

Robey also overgeneralizes by suggesting that the media is painting all Trump supporters as "deplorables." But  even Hillary Clinton, in the speech transcript Robey attached to his article, described only half of Trump supporters as "deplorables ... racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it" whom Trump's campaign "has lifted up."

Robey concluded by repeating the bogus generalization: "When the media regard nearly half the American people with such disdain, and report the news accordingly – and during an already divided time in our history – the end result may well be a house divided against itself, which cannot stand. If and when it all comes down, the media will have played a pivotal role in bringing our American house down." Robey woin't tell you that he and the MRC have the exact same view from the opposite side: They dismiss and despise the half of America they deem non-conservative as "socialists" and "elites" -- and treat them accordingly.

Is that not just as divisive as what Robey claims the media is doing? Will that also "bring our American house down"? Sure -- just don't expect Robey to admit it. He's a company man, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« July 2019 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google