CNS Puts Pro-Trump Spin on Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Syria Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is framing its coverage of President Trump's declared withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria -- thus clearing the way for a Turkish invasion of the region targeting the Kurds, who are U.S. allies -- in its usual pro-Trump fashion, by going on the assumption that Trump is right and downplaying the widespread and bipartisan criticism of his plan.
CNS' first story on the decision was an Oct. 7 piece by Trump fan Susan Jones, who waited until the fifth paragraph to mention what she called "predictable fury from pundits and politicians on liberal cable outlets as well as Fox News," then noted "criticism from both Republicans and Democrats" -- all the while uncritically repeating Trump's tweets defending his decision -- and it was not until the 11th paragraph (six of which were straight Trump quotes) that Jones offered a detailed criticism of Trump's decision.
The next day, Patrick Goodenough highlighted Trump's further defense of his withdrawal plan, but waited until the sixth paragraph to mention that it's "drawing strong criticism from many Democrats and Republicans" and offer no further mention of the nature of that criticism, focusing instead on the issue of repatriating captured ISIS fighters.
Jones, meanwhile, contributed an article touting Republican Sen. Rand Paul's comments on how he "strongly supports the president's move," even though "some Republicans, including Trump allies such as Sen Lindsey Graham, have joined Democrats in sharply criticizing the president's decision to withdraw an unannounced number of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria."
(In between, CNS published a column by Pat Buchanan cheering the "American withdrawal from the forever wars of the Middle East.")
An Oct. 9 article by Goodenough noted criticism of Trump right at the top, for once -- but from Turkish officials critical of "Trump’s threats to destroy the country’s economy if it acts in a way that he views as 'off limits' in Syria." It wasn't until the 21st paragraph of his article that he acknowledged that "Critics, including some senior Republicans, argue that withdrawing could benefit hostile elements like the Assad regime and its allies Iran and Russia, and facilitate a resurgence of ISIS," though he then noted a Department of Defense report linking a drawdown of U.S. troops in the region to a likely ISIS resurgence.
Also on Oct.9, Jones finally wrote the first CNS article putting criticism of Trump's withdrawal in the headline, from former national security adviser Susan Rice. That was joined by an article noting European criticism of the withdrawal.
The next day, however, it was back to the prevailing narrative. An article by Jones gave Secretary of State Mike Pompeo space to defend Trump's decision and to insist that it didn't give a "green light" for Turkey to invade northern Syria. It wasn't until the 11th paragraph that Jones got around to noting that "A number of Republicans have joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump's decision to stand aside for Turkey." And CNS touted Paul's support of Trump's withdrawal plan again, this time in an article by Melanie Arter.
An article by Goodenough the same day was a bit confused; he claimed Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was "breaking with President Trump" by pushing for sanctions against Turkey over the military operation everyone predicted would take place upon announcement of Trump's withdrawal plan, but then quoted Trump saying he thought that was "okay."
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now? Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just loves to descend into anti-LGBT freakouts. Let's look at the latest ones.
Gabriel Hays cheered a study arguing that there isn't a "gay gene" (though several genes do have an influence on sexuality), crowing that it threw "more skepticism on the idea that homosexuals are born that way. Hays then ranted that media outlets wouldn't put his preferred anti-gay spin on the findings: "What lefty rag would ever admit that homosexuality may just be is a lifestyle choice egged on by a increasingly degenerate society?" Of course, the research didn't prove that either.
Brad Wilmouth complained that, after an NFL player came out as bisexual, a CNN commentator was "essentially pining for more high-profile gay athletes to come out of the closet," huffing that "if there's any issue that CNN is more transparently to the left on than gun control, it's gay rights. Wilmouth later groused when another commentator brought up Michael Sam as an NFL player who didn't play after he came out: "They never considered that Sam just wasn't good enough for the NFL."
The mysterious Jay Maxscon was upset that NFL quarterback was branded as anti-gay because he appeared in a video for anti-gay group Focus on the Family, calling that a "smear" and complaining that one writer "incorrectly accuses Focus of the standard Big LGBT lie that conversion therapy relies on physical abuse to bring people out of homosexuality." Maxson then ran to the defense of the anti-gay group: "The Focus website lists referral services that do not engage in shaming, manipulative or shock therapy techniques, including the Restored Hope Network and The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity. Organizations offering this kind of counseling only do so for people who submit that their same-sex attractions are unwanted." In fact, the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity is a rebranding of the virulently anti-gay National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
Rice University's intolerant marching band turned Saturday's halftime performance into a protest against visiting rival Baylor University's biblically based policy on sexuality. Rice's Marching Owl Band and fans displayed anti-Christian bigotry and showed their support for LGBTQ students at Baylor who recently tried and failed to start an LGBTQ club there.
Actually, all that happened was that the Rice band spelled out "PRIDE" on the field while playing "YMCA" as people waved rainbow flags, as a tweaking of Baylor for rejecting the formation of an LGBTQ club on campus. But Maxson stayed in full froth, huffing that the Rice band was "anti-Christian" and "demonstrated intolerance and hypocrisy," while Baylor is simply "calling its students to live biblical lives."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been doing a lot of IMPORTANT work in past week. You know, postponing a bipartisan gun control compromise, risking the credibility of her entire party over a shaky at best impeachment initiative, and hanging with super flamboyant queer TV star Jonathan Van Ness while the Republic is in turmoil.
But she’s San Fran Nan, so kissing the fabulous rings of the Queer Eye squad for Instagram photos probably counts as constituent relations.
Hays also trashed the Eqality Act, declaring: "Too bad the reality is that this bill is about getting normal Americans to bend to the will of bearded crossdressers. Thanks, Nancy. You definitely have got your priorities straight these days." Hays didn't specifically identify any "bearded crossdressers" who would benefit.
Hays kept the gay-bashing alive in a freakout over the "Star Wars" universe adding same-sex couples:
The only surprising thing about Disney putting an alien gay couple in a Star Wars series is that it took this long. Now LGBTQers can finally dry their eyes because the galaxy far far away is incorporating otherworldly sexualities into the mix.
Because according to Disney, kids need to know that even indiscernable, non-human biological entities have same sex relationships too.
So this isn’t only about gay sex, but about inter-sepcies sex too? And to think, If we’re confused, how are the kids going to react to it? Granted you might accuse us of being the kinds of people who would complain that Donkey and Dragon got together in Shrek but that was obviously a joke. The difference here is that people at Indiewire see this as a milestone for representation and that’s disturbing.
Lindsay Kornick similarly lost it over the new "Batwoman" series: "Batwoman, featuring the first lesbian superhero lead on television, is the latest comic-book series adapted by the CW. Unfortunately, following in the footsteps of Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman also is annoyingly preachy and obsessed with social justice. Even worse, it’s not even fun about it."
Dawn Slusher got upset when a 12-year-old boy character, Austin, on the show "The Conners," declared that he was "glad" he's gay: "Could it be possible that Austin might really be confused? Why isn’t that possibility mentioned? Puberty is a confusing time and the rush of hormones can cause you to feel some strange attractions and feelings that don’t necessarily stay. But Hollywood is really pushing the homosexual angle on children lately. Last fall ABC had pre-teens come out as gay on This Is Us and A Million Little Things. How long until they're declaring kids to be pansexual?"
WND's Massie: 'Roots' Was As Bad As Crack For Blacks Topic: WorldNetDaily
Sadly, many blacks have yet to differentiate between keeping it real and keeping it "real stupid." The fumarole through which the asphyxiating stupidity flows most freely is any discussion and/or point of view regarding slavery that doesn't encourage the "Kunta Kinte" version born out of a plagiarized fictional book and television series called "Roots." It can be argued that this mythical drama did as much to harm blacks as crack cocaine has done – because it celebrated the ingesting of a lie and validated the ignorance associated with same.
Anyone with a scintilla of integrity regarding historical accuracy will acknowledge slavery an immoral, painful period of time to both the persons sold on auction blocks and those who purchased them. Well, maybe not the Muslims, because slave trading was a key means of industry for them, but then again, I did draw the distinction of historical accuracy, but I digress.
Most blacks cleave to the idea of slavery as if it just ended a few weeks ago. The outright falsehoods and distortions that are used to keep people ignorant and angry are legion and with good purpose.
The purpose is draconian and Erebusic, and yet it is simplistic in the genius of its application. But, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
The truth is that blacks contributed massively to the betterment of America, but they neither built America nor was America built on their backs. There is a major difference in definition. Indians from British Columbia and other parts of Canada built New York's skyline. The Japanese are responsible for the far-reaching rail lines. Irish and Italians built much of the infrastructure of New York. How much of Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont and New Mexico did blacks actually build?
MRC's Graham Complains About Media 'Stenographers,' Forgets About Stenography At MRC's 'News' Division Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complained in a Sept. 26 post:
It's always amusing when reporters insist that they're not "stenographers to power," but when you look at their interviews with Democrats, they often come across as stenographers -- extremely accomodating, and not at all challenging. Take for example, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut in his interviews on the Ukrainian kerfuffle on Wednesday. None of his three national TV interviews seriously raised the idea that he or other Democratic senators pressed Ukraine in a similar way to President Trump to cooperate with their domestic political goals.
CNN reported earlier that three Senate Democrats pressed in a letter that Ukraine had better cooperate with Robert Mueller's probe in the Ukraine, so as not to disturb the "robust and close" U.S.-Ukraine relationship.
Despite citing a CNN report, Graham did not link to CNN or even to the letter; instead, he linked to a Washington Post column by Trump toady Marc Thiessen ranting about the letter: "So, it’s okay for Democratic senators to encourage Ukraine to investigate Trump, but it’s not okay for the president to allegedly encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden?"
Of course, the 2018 letter's content is different the either Graham or Thiessen portrayed it. The senators point out that while the suspended investigations had links to the Mueller investigation, they were also about corruption in Ukraine -- a key interest in the current Trump impeachment inquiry -- and they expressed concern that the probes were frozen because, according to a New York Times article, they were considered "too politically sensitive and potentially jeopardizing U.S. financial and military aid to Ukraine" and, specifically, "to avoid the ire of President Trump." Also, the investigations concerned former Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort's work in Ukraine, not Trump directly.
Shouldn't Graham and Thiessen be concerned that Trump was apparently using his influence as president to threaten to cut off aid to Ukraine if it didn't stop investigating a political ally? Apparently not.
Also: Graham's mocking reference to reporters and "stenographers to power" is highly ironic, given how his colleagues down the hall at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, are verymuchpro-Trumpstenographers.
Employment statistics are not the only place where CNSNews.com does its pro-Trump rah-rah. Now that the 2020 presidential election is going into full swing, CNS is now publishing "news" article that may as well be Trump campaign press releases.
A Sept. 11 article by Kharen Martinez Murcia declared:
The number of people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as food stamps, has fallen by 6,686,087 since Donald Trump assumed the presidency on Jan. 20, 2017.
In January 2017, there were 42,715,593 people receiving SNAP benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the program. As of June 2019 – latest data available – there were 36,029,506 people receiving SNAP benefits, a decline of 6,686,087 persons.
Then, in a Sept. 19 article, Susan Jones got positively gushy when writing about Trump visiting a border wall construction:
President Donald Trump smiled on Wednesday, as he received a briefing on a section of his long-promised border wall that is now under construction south of San Diego, California.
"I wanted to show you some of the details of the wall," Trump told the reporters covering him. "You can see a pretty good view. This is going to be close to 500 miles by the time we finish. Those are the areas that are most important.”
Trump said the wall will be either 18 feet high or 30 feet high, depending on the land where it is located and how heavily trafficked that area is. In some places, such as where he was standing near Tijuana, there is a double wall -- one on the border, and another one running parallel to it on the U.S. side.
Jones also uncritically repeated acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan sucking up to his boss:
Morgan disputed the "false narrative that this wall is the president's 'vanity project.'"
"I’m here to tell you right now, that's false," Morgan said.
"This president, this administration, what they did was exactly what the president just explained. He reached out to the experts, to the Border Patrol agents that are on the front lines every singles day, risking their lives protecting this country, enforcing the laws that Congress enacted.
“He reached out to those agents to those line agents and asked, what do you need to do your job more effectively to secure and safeguard this country, and those Border Patrol agents said, ‘We need this.’ So this president, thank you, you listened to the agents and you gave them exactly what they asked for,” Morgan added.
Despite the mention of the wall being "new," Jones didn't mention that what little wall has been constructed is a replacement for existing barriers, not barriers in areas that did not have them before.
The closest that Jones got to breaking from press-release mode was the very last paragraph, when she repeated Trump's claim that "three foreign delegations" had come to "study" the new wall then parenthetically added, "he didn't name them."
MRC Sticks To Trump's Script, Blames Bidens For Ukraine Scandal Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center knows who the real wrongdoers are regarding President Trump's phone call to the president of Ukraine insisting that he investigate Hunter Biden for the benefit of Trump's re-election campaign ... and it is Hunter Biden and Joe Biden. The MRC did its bnest in the early days of the Ukraine scandal to follow the Trump White House's marching orders and make it about the Bidens instead of Trump.
Curtis Houck got upset that the mostly right-wing reporters pushing the idea of Biden wrongdoing in Ukraine were chasing a conspiracy theory, complaing that one commentator "relied on — what else — anonymous sources to tell her that there’s nothing to worry about because Biden’s intentions of having the Ukrainian prosecutor axed or have the U.S. withhold aide from the country was “because they felt like he wasn’t doing his job” even though that same prosecutor had been investigating the energy company Hunter worked for." But Houck is pushing a conspiracy theory too. In fact, the Ukrainian prosecutor in question was fired -- at the request of not only then-VP Biden but also the European diplomatic community and reformers inside Ukraine -- because he was not investigating corruption, including at the energy company Hunter worked for.
Tim Graham rushed to the defense of an anti-Biden reporter who got snapped at by Biden for pestering him about the non-scandal: "Shortly after noon on Saturday at the Polk County Steak Fry in Iowa, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked a mild, Brit Hume-esque question to Joe Biden and drew a hostile response, as if Doocy were yelling like Jim Acosta." Graham then huffed that "Doocy wasn't at all like Acosta, and still the other journalists don't show him support," but he failed to acknowledge that Fox News has a pro-Trump, anti-Biden bias. This was followed by Nicholas Fondacaro complaining that other media coverage of the encounter "seemed to come at the behest of former Vice President Joe Biden" about Biden's "directions to the press" -- never mind that the MRC continually issues directions to the press. Like his boss Graham, Fondacaro doesn't address the issue of Fox News' political bias.
Graham returned to whine that CNN's Brian Stelter "only talked about how Biden fans were delighted with the finger-pointing at the Fox journalist. After all the raging about reporters being insulted by powerful leaders, this reporter getting yelled at is a magic moment?" Again, Graham failed to acknowledge Fox News' bias, though he was quick to portray Stelter as biased by serving up "the Liberal Twitter take."
In yet another post, Graham tried for whataboutism when another commentator likened the alleged Biden scandal to birtherism: "Somehow this B-word does not apply to the Russian collusion conspiracies that Adam Schiff pushed, but Robert Mueller never found." Remember, the MRC couldn't be bothered to get worked up about Obama birtherism, not authoritatively denouncing it until it was used against Ted Cruz.
Mark Finkelstein complained that the Biden thing was still not a scandal:
Okay, so Hunter Biden was peddling influence to a Ukrainian company at the rate of $50,000 a month. And the only influence he could possibly have been peddling was that of his father, who at the time was the sitting Vice-President of the United States. But hey, why should that be a problem for Joe Biden?
That was Alisyn Camerota's apparent logic on CNN this morning.
Camerota would never try to claim that it's not Donald Trump's problem that Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians at Trump Tower. That's the level of brilliance she's displaying today.
Perhaps that's because Donald Jr. was more intimately involved with his father's political campaign than Hunter ever was with his father's political career.
Houck returned to huff that NBC's Chuck Todd "emotionally lashed out at Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) as a gaslighter doing harm to American politics for daring to ask questions about the Bidens," putting "SHILLS" in all-caps in the headline and going on to rant: "So for Chuck Todd, the children of Democrats can do important, noble work in countries while their parents set foreign policy, but the First Family could be corrupt. So journalists asking questions during the summer was fine, but now it's not okay. Got it." With all that sneering bile, it appears the Houck was the one who was getting emotional.
The employment numbers for September were relatively disappointing -- only 136,000 jobs created, which was below expectations. You wouldn't know that from reading CNSNews.com, though, which clung to its full-throated pro-Trump rah-rah in Susan Jones' lead story:
The work week is ending with some good news for President Donald Trump, as more records were smashed in Friday's report on September unemployment.
For the 22nd time since Donald Trump took office, the number of employed Americans reached a record high last month, climbing 319,000 from August's record 157,878,000 to 158,269,000. At the same time, the number of unemployed Americans set a Trump-era low at 5,769,000.
Those two strong numbers pushed the nation's unemployment rate to 3.5 percent in September -- down two-tenths of a point from last month, and the lowest rate since December 1969.
President Trump hailed the good news on Twitter, with a twist:
"Breaking News," Trump wrote. "Unemployment Rate, at 3.5%, drops to a 50 YEAR LOW. Wow America, lets impeach your President (even though he did nothing wrong!)."
It wasn't until the sixth paragraph thatJones mentioned the number of jobs created, and she censored the fact that analysts expected more.
The only sidebars this time around were Craig Bannister writing about how "The national seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos fell to a record 3.9% in September – smashing its previous record of 4.2% in August" and Melanie Arter repeating Trump gushing over the numbers. Apparently, CNS writers were too busy spinning away impeachment efforts against Trump to devote its usual coverage to it.
Impeachment Letter Proves MRC Puts Pro-Trump Loyalty Over 'Media Research' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has made its decision: it's putting politics -- and an aggressive pro-Trump agenda -- over facts. Sept. 30 letter to its mailing list begs for money to stop the impeachmentof President Trump -- not because it isn'ty warranted, but because it wouldgive a win to the "leftist media" (typographical enhancements in original):
The leftist media are DESPERATE to unseat President Trump. And, as we all know, sometimes desperation can be dangerous.
The liberal media are the ones leading the charge in this impeachment witch hunt. They are placing our country at risk as they work to unseat a democratically elected president in order to further their own extremist agenda!
The Media Research Center is putting everything we’ve got into stopping the liberal media in their tracks before they drag our country down the rabbit hole of leftist insanity, but your support is critical to our success.
If the liberal media and their congressional cronies win this battle, it will mean bad news for all of us as we approach the 2020 election. Will you consider contributing $75, $50, or even $25 to help fuel the fight against the liberal media’s impeachment crusade?
The situation is URGENT. The liberal media have been trying to oust President Trump since before he even set foot in the White House. Their Russia propaganda failed and now they are determined to take him down with their latest propaganda, regardless of how flimsy their evidence is.
The MRC is the only organization dedicated to taking on the liberal media and exposing and neutralizing their toxic bias. The media are not simply the Left’s megaphone, they are leading the charge against President Trump. And we are the only organization with the experience and skill to knock them off their high horse.
The liberal media think they can just spread their lies and the American people will swallow them. We are here to expose the truth and make sure that they are checked at every turn.
But we need your help to do it!
Please contribute $75, $50, or even $25 to fuel the fight again the liberal media’s impeachment crusade and help us stop them in their tracks!
The bottom of the MRC's letter claims it's a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aimed at improving "media culture" -- but such groups are largely prohibited from engaging in political activity. And this letter isn't about "media culture," it's a political letter about saving a political figure. On its face, it certainly appers to be a violation of its nonprofit status.
Remember this letter the next time the MRC claims it's only about "media research."
WND Promotes Rush Limbaugh's Bogus CrowdStrike Conspiracy Theory Topic: WorldNetDaily
We noted how the Media Research Center not only embraced President Trump's CrowdStrike conspiracy theory that's tangentally related to his infamous phone call to the president of Ukraine, it even referenced right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh's embrace of it. Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily -- which just can't refrain itself from pushing conspiracy theories, no matter how much it damages its credibility -- totally took Rush's bait.
An anonymously written Sept. 25 WND article gushed over Rush's conspiracy, in which he claims that Trump's reference to CrowdStrike in his phone call "should concern the Democrats."The article went on to claim: "CrowdStrike was the company that examined the Democratic National Committee computers during the 2016 presidential race and concluded they were hacked by Russia. Later, DNC emails were released by WikiLeaks. The DNC didn't allow the FBI to examine the computers to verify the claim."
As we also noted, CrowdStrike turned over complete forensic copies of the servers to the FBI, so there was no need for the FBI to examine the physical servers. And as we've previously noted, to insist on making that claim reveals a serious misunderstanding of how servers and investigations work.
But WND couldn't stay away from evenmorediscredited conspiracy theories it once enthusiastically embraced:
Lawyer Ty Clevenger obtained the documents as part of a lawsuit on behalf of businessman Ed Butowsky, who claims columnist Ellen Ratner told him murdered Democratic National Committee worker Seth Rich and his brother provided WikiLeaks the DNC emails before the 2016 election, not Russia.
But the anonymous WND writer managed to get that wrong too. What Butowsky -- who's currently embroiled in a libel lawsuit linked to his promotion of the disproven conspiracy theory that Rich was the person who leaked the DNC emails -- apparently actually did was tweet out a 2016 video in which Ratner (for many years a token liberal columnist at WND) said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told her that he did not obtain the DNC emails from a Russian source but, rather, an "internal source." She said nothing about Rich.
WND failed to mention that the Mueller report detailed how the Russians hacked into DNC accounts to steal the emails. It has also never apologized for nor retracted its bogus Seth Rich stories.
MRC Skips From States' Rights To Abortion -- In A Post About Pollution Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro groused in a Sept. 18 post:
The same networks that banded together to bully pro-life states earlier this year after they passed sweeping legislation to protect the life of unborn children, spent Wednesday evening whining about President Trump threatening to revoke California’s self-prescribed emissions standards in favor of a national standard.
ABC, CBS, and NBC were up in arms following a tweet from the President. “Next, this evening, President Trump and a new feud with California tonight, telling that state it cannot set its own emissions standards, revoking that state's rightnto set its own limits for cars and trucks,” declared ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir.
That network even had the nerve to play a sound bite of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) proclaiming: “Our message to those to claim to support state's rights, don't trample on ours.”
Of course, Fondacaro doesn't mention his own sudden disdain for states' rights -- a bedrock conservative principle -- since that would expose how he (and the MRC) have put loyalty to Trump ahead of any coherent conservative policy advocacy.
Meanwhile, Fondacaro wasn't done ranting about abortion in a post that had nothing to do with it. After noting that a CBS corresponded repeated a "dubious claim" by California officials that the state's stricter emission standards prevented 29,000 premature deaths a year -- a less dubious claim, we would argue, than his completely false assertion that a documented gun-death statistic he didn't like was an "absolute lie" -- he concluded with a whataboutist huff: "Speaking of premature deaths, abortions killed close to an estimated one million unborn children every year. Meanwhile, the networks treated the nationwide proliferation of pro-life legislation as a scourge that was plaguing the country."
NEW ARTICLE: When CNS (Briefly) Stops Pro-Trump Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
When does CNSNews.com deviate from its aggressively pro-Trump agenda? When Trump doesn't hate gays enough, for instance, or when he approves a deficit-laden budget (and even then, it insists on laying part of the blame on Nancy Pelosi). Read more >>
MRC Pushes Bogus Conspiracy Theory About Whistleblower Topic: Media Research Center
We've already caught Media Research Center writer Nicholas Fondacaro telling a lie. Now he's using his MRC perch to spread a right-wing conspiracy theory.
In an Oct. 1 post quibbling about whether the whistleblower who launched what became an impeachment inquiry of President Trump, Fondacaro wrote regarding a form change by the Intelligence Community's Inspector General office:
The Federalist was the first publication to expose how the ICIG recently and secretly edited their whistleblower form to eliminate the need for first-hand information. In a follow-up report out Tuesday, co-founder Sean Davis pointed out that in a recent statement (the same one Vega cited) the ICIG admitted to editing the document.
The Federalist raised serious questions about the timeline of events concerning the edit, when the press was inquiring about the complaint, and when Congress and the DNI were informed about the complaint. They also reported that the ICIG had obfuscated when and which version of the form the whistleblower filled out.
What Fondacaro didn't tell you: The form change is irrelevant. As an actual news outlet reported, the underlying rules regarding whistleblowers -- under which firsthand knowledge is not required -- never changed, the ICIG's office found that the whistleblower's statement was credible,and the whistleblower did indicate firsthand knowledge of some events in the case. The Federalist also suggested the form change was linked to the current whistleblower case, which there is no evidence to support.
Despite the fact that the bogus, conspiratorial nature of the Federalist article had been exposed, Fondacaro repeated the claim in an Oct. 3 item, asserting that an unrelated whistleblower complaint regarding the handling of President Trump's tax returns "came after the Intelligence Community Inspector General admitted to secretly editing their whistleblower guidelines to allow for second-hand and hearsay information," with a link to the Federalist article.Again, Fondacaro refused to tell his readers that the form change is irrelevant because the underlying rules never changed.
By hiding important facts, Fondacaro is effectively spreading a conspiracy theory. His maliciously sloppy and biased writing isn't helping the MRC act as a credible "media research" institution.
WND's Favorite Charlatan Filmmaker Is Back With A 'Trayvon Hoax' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember Joel Gilbert? He's the guy who makes so-called documentaries that get mysteriously reclassifed as "mockumentaries" years after the fact. He's best known -- and beloved by WorldNetDaily -- for an anti-Obama film whose central claim that Obama's mother posed nude for Frank Marshall Davis was discredited so quickly that Gilbert re-edited promotional videos to play dodwn the claim.
Well, Gilbert is back with a new scam, er, film -- and, of course, WND has him. Jack Cashill wrote in his Sept. 16 WND column:
On Monday. Sept. 16, I attended the preview of Joel Gilbert's new documentary, "The Trayvon Hoax," at the National Press Club in Washington.
Having written a book on the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin – "If I Had a Son" – I have been following Gilbert's progress with interest. In fact, I introduced Gilbert to George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin.
Gilbert's presentation should have been news. In the course of his research, he uncovered the most spectacular legal fraud in memory. Not surprisingly, however, the mainstream media chose not to show up for the press conference and screening.
If the media were embarrassed, they had every right to be. An independent filmmaker, Gilbert did the work the major media should have done six years ago. Instead, they drowned the case in relentlessly fake news.
Actually, nobody's embarrassed to have skipped Gilbert's presser -- after all, his reputation as a charlatan precedes him. Cashill didn't mention any of that, of course; that would undermine the idea that Gilbert is someone to be trusted. Instead, he insisted that "Independent journalists like Gilbert are showing us that we of the American samizdat have the power to un-tell the lethal story the media told. ... I use samizdat as shorthand for the alternative conservative media of blogs, public forums, online publications, independent books and films and talk radio."
Anyway, the "Trayvon hoax" the film purportedly depicts involves the identity of the person Martin was texting at the time of his fatal encounter with Zimmerman. As we've noted, Cashill is highly biased, portraying Martin as a thug and Zimmerman as a hero, even as Zimmerman continued to engage in criminal behavior.
Cashill has been acting as Gilbert's PR agent for his film. In his Sept. 25 column, Cashill ranted that this was somehow "the most spectacular legal fraud in memory," adding: "In a just world, Florida media would be swarming all over this story. They are not. I have emailed a short version of the above story to a half-dozen editors and reporters at Florida's leading newspapers and have heard nothing in response." Again, Cashill seems to forget that Gilbert's sleazy reputation precedes him, of which we assume Cashill did not inform those reporters and editors.
Cashill's Oct. 2 column tried hard to come up with a new angle, complaining that Hillary Clinton endorsed Martin's mother in her bid for a county commissioner seat in Florida. He laughably claimed that Gilbert invested "months of painstaking research" into his film, whining that "the major media absolutely refuse to know what Joel Gilbert has proved" and suggestring that media who uncritically promote Gilbert's work could win a Pulitzer Prize.
WND even contributed a "news" article to the promotional effort on Sept. 24, which appears to be little more than a rewritten press release. Neither this "news" article or any of Cashill's columns mentions the history that makes Gilbert singularly untrustworthy.
If WND keeps presenting charlatans like Gilbert as credible, it probably doesn't deserve to live.
MRC Complains Racist Comedian Got Hired At SNL -- Then Complains He Got Fired Topic: Media Research Center
At the Media Research Center, writers must always be on the attack -- even when those attacks contradict previous MRC attacks made just a few days earlier. Gabriel Hays wrote in a Sept. 13 post regarding comedian Shane Gillis:
For a group of entertainment producers who kill to come off as condescendingly woke, Saturday Night Liveshowrunners look super inept for hiring an apparent racist as one of their new cast members. One of the sketch comedy’s new talents has been labeled a racist by CNN journalists for making fun of Chinese people in 2018.SNL is in an even deeper pickle because another new cast member for the upcoming season is actually Chinese.
If only outraged libs could cut you a break because you’ve been so anti-Trump.
Hays suggested that Gillis "just may be fired before he even starts his new job"-- and he was right. So Hays should have been happy, right? Wrong. In a Sept 16 post, Hays downgraded Gillis' offensive comments from "racist" to merely "insensitive," and complained that "SNL" fired him "although Gillis apologized for the insensitive comments." He then downgraded Gillis' offense even further by huffing that "NBC would never risk a politically incorrect liability even if it’s a talented rookie who could use just a bit of forgiveness."
Thus, the narrative was changed. Hays wrote twoposts over the next two days citing comedians who we're pretty sure the MRC has bashed over the years criticize Gillis' firing, in which he further downgraded Gillis' offense to a simple case of "making fun of Chinese people" and invoked the new right-wing obsession of "cancel culture" -- never mind that trying to get people canceled for saying thing it doesn't like has been an MRC cultural staple for 30 years.
NewsBusters' Randy Hall joined the narrative swap with one post also invoking "cancel culture" and another complaining about a claim that Gillis' hiring was an attempt by "SNL" to appeal to conservatives, which made him concede that Gillis had made "racist remarks" -- something Hays hasn't mention since his first post on the subject -- if only to insist that racism isn't conservatism.
Hays returned with an Oct. 1 post wrestling the narrative back to its new track citing Gillis' firing -- not for racism, of course, but for "offend[ing] sensitive millennials" -- among the examples of "woke culture" that allegedly caused director Todd Philllips to abandon "raunchy comedies" to helm the new "Joker" movie.
CNS Covers Trump-Ukraine Scandal With Its Usual Bias Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is treating the scandal over President Trump's phone call to the Ukranian president exactly the way you'd expect: with a heavy pro-Trump bias, at least based on its first week of coverage.
Susan Jones' first article on the whistleblower complaint that led to the controversy served up her usual pro-Trump/anti-media framing, complaining that the report "provides new fodder for determined anti-Trump investigators" and that "liberal media outlets, including the Post, have seized on the report." She also complained that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, head of the House Intelligence committee, is "a dedicated Trump foe." That was followed by moreJonesarticles touting Trump's dismissal of the complaint as "fake news," accacking the whistleblower and mocking Schiff, with no additional editorial commentary.
Jones also knew where to direct the story for maximum pro-Trump sycophancy: at Joe Biden. One article was devoted to uncritically repeating Rudy Guiliani's rants falsely claiming that Biden, as vice president, withheld federal money to Ukraine until an investigator who was looking into dealings in the country involving Biden's son Hunter was fired. (In fact, U.S. and European officials wanted the investigator fired because he wasn't investigating corruption in the country, which Jones didn't tell her readers.)
In a follow-up article, Jones bashed Schiff for "getting ahead of the actual facts" while making no editorial comments when quoting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for pointing out that conversations between world leaders are supposed to be confidential. Later, Jones lamented that the controversy has "has stoked Democrat [sic] cries for impeachment.By contrast, Jones made no judgments against Republicans Devin Nunes and Lindsey Graham in reporting their comments backing Trump and criticizing Biden. She also touted Republicans Jim Jordan (a favorite of CNS' parent, the Media Research Center) and Mark Meadows bashing the controversy, huffing that it originated with "a second-hand whistleblower complaint."
That kind of blatant bias from Jones continued. She whined in a Sept. 24 article:
We demand more documents!
The Democrat [sic] chairmen of three House committees are "demanding that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately begin producing documents the State Department has been withholding in response to a letter the Chairmen sent two weeks ago relating to efforts by the President and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to solicit the help of a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 Presidential Election."
Meanwhile, House Democrats are meeting at 4 p.m. to discuss possible impeachment proceedings against President Trump, this time for something he supposedly said in phone call with the newly elected Ukraine president.
Never mind that Congress does not know details about the complaint filed by an intelligence community whistleblower. And press reports now say the whistleblower's complaint is based on what he heard from someone else.
The same day, Jones uncritically repeated more dubious assertions about the Bidens from Trump, without snarkiness or additional editorial comment, though she repeated the false claim that "Joe Biden in 2016 forced the Ukraine government to fire a prosecutor who was looking into corruption."
On Sept. 25, Jones shockingly did not add snark to twoarticles featuring Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talking about an impeachment inquiry. But then, she also uncritically presented statements from Lindsey Graham and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, even as Sekulow ranted about "former Vice President Joe Biden's quid pro quo with the Ukraine government" (which, in that framing, ignores the facts).