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Friday, April 18, 2014
CNS' Starr Finds A Way To Attack Obamas For Their Tax Return
Topic: CNSNews.com

It seems to be an official CNSNews.com policy -- nothing positive must ever be reported about President Obama and his administration, and any story must lead with the most negative spin possible.

Penny Starr, being a loyal CNS employee, implements the policy perfectly in an April 14 article on Obama's tax returns. Here's how she starts it:

President Barack Obama gave $1,500, or 0.3 percent of his income, to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., according to his 2013 tax return.

The tax return, made public on Friday and filed jointly with first lady Michelle Obama, shows Obama’s income for the year was $503,183. In Schedule A, under “cash contributions,” the $1,500 donation to St. John’s is listed.

It's not until the fourth paragraph that Starr gets around to mentioning that the Obamas donated more than $59,000 to charities last year.

Starr has performed her Obama-bashing duty. Her boss, Terry Jeffrey, must be proud.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
Thursday, April 17, 2014
CNS Promotes Claims of Serial Health Care Misleader
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones devotes an April 15 CNSNews.com article to the musings of Betsy McCaughey:

A leading Obamacare critic sees trouble ahead for people who signed up for health insurance on the new government exchanges.

First, even the insurance companies that issue the plans are worried about "public pushback" from rising insurance premiums, Betsey McCaughey, the former lieutenant governor of New York and author of the book "Beating Obamacare," told Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Monday.

"That's only part of the bad news," she said. "You're also going to see a million people or more default. In other words, they have paid their first premium, but when they discover what it really means to have a $3,000 or $5,000 deductible on their plan, they go to their doctor again and again and have to pay full freight, even though they're paying a premium, they're going to stop paying their premium.

Jones makes no attempt to get reaction to McCaughey's dire views. Because she's in stenography mode, Jones is certainly not going to tell her readers that McCaughey has a lengthy history of misinforming about Obamacare.

Jones is presenting as authoritative the views of someone who has been repeatedly caught distorting and misinforming. That's pretty much the opposite of journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
CNS' Starr Repeats Global Warming Denier Propaganda
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr spent an April 9 CNSNews.com article serving as the willing stenographer for a group of right-wing global warming deniers (not that she'll ever admit that's what they are, of course):

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring chemical compound that benefits plants and thus, the planet and its inhabitants, according to a lengthy  report released Wednesday by the free-market Heartland Institute.
“Carbon dioxide is an aerial fertilizer that provides many beneficial impacts,” said Craig Idso, one of the lead authors of the report, when CNSNews.com asked him to name the most salient finding of the 37 scientists from 12 countries who contributed to it.

“You can look at thousands of studies – real world data studies that have actually been conducted that demonstrate beyond any doubt that higher levels of CO2 are going to increase the productivity of plants,” Idso said.

“They’re real,” Idso said of the benefits of CO2. “They’re not imagined. They’re not projected. They’re real, and they’re occurring now.”

Starr can't be bothered to obtain any reaction to the Heartland Institute's report, issued by its "Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" -- it's an attack on the much more credible United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- so CNS readers will never know that the institute receives funding from ExxonMobil and Koch-connected foundations, or that Idso formerly worked in the coal industry, thus raising more questions about the report's objectivity. Media Matters notes that while the IPCC reviews the current state of scientific knowledge, the NIPCC's references in its Summary for Policymakers include publications that date back to 1904 and few references from the 21st century other than non-peer-reviewed reports from itself and its authors.

Starr also quotes Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast dubiously calling the IPCC report on climate change “largely discredited” by his own NIPCC. But Starr won't tell you that Bast and his institute was claiming as recently as 1998 that "smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects."

These are the folks Starr apparently considers so authoritative she doesn't feel the need to seek out any outside comment about their denalist theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Pushes Dishonest Comparison of Working Women, Food Stamps
Topic: CNSNews.com

Terry Jeffrey writes in an April 14 CNSNews.com article:

People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.

In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau’s report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.

For each woman who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, there was slightly more than 1 other person collecting food stamps.

But as Media Matters details, Jeffrey's comparion is meaningless because many working women fall into both categories:

In fact, because the majority of recipients are working-class Americans with jobs, senior citizens, or children, an increase in SNAP beneficiaries is an extremely unreliable predictor of the number of full-time workers, let alone evidence of a tipping point before a decline in overall employment. A 2013 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the "overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients who can work do so"[.]

[...]

A separate report from the USDA pointed out that in 2012, "75 percent of all SNAP households, containing 87 percent of all participants, included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled nonelderly person. These households received 82 percent of all SNAP benefits."

Jeffrey's article notes that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." As we noted with CNS' dishonest, cherry-picking reporting on unemployment, this sort of coverage may very well be making Dr. Wold spin in his grave.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 PM EDT
Monday, April 14, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Tries to Politicize Longevity Statistics
Topic: CNSNews.com

Leave it to CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey to politicize census statistics.

It's not a surprise to anyone that women as a whole live longer than men, but Jeffrey puts a political spin on it in an April 10 CNS article headlined "Death Discriminates: 81% of Americans 100 or Older Are Women." Jeffrey continues the needless politicization in the article itself:

There is a vast inequality among people who live past their hundredth birthday, according to newly published data from the Census Bureau.

Eighty-one percent of the Americans 100 years old and older during the five-year period covered in the Census Bureau’s report (2007-2011) were women, while only 19 percent were men.

Why is Jeffrey putting this bizarre frame on what are essentially actuarial statistics? It's not like liberals (or anyone else, for that matter) have made this an issue. Maybe it's Jeffrey's idea of a right-wing joke.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT
Sunday, April 13, 2014
CNS' Double Standard On Racial Insults
Topic: CNSNews.com

In an April 10 CNSNews.com blog post, Matt Vespa huffed that "An Illinois State Representative engaged in a shameful game of racial politics" by referring to a biracial politician as a "half." Of course, the only reason Vespa cares about this is that the politician who made the remark is a Democrat and the apparent target is a Republican. Vespa adds that the Democratic politician "has a world-famous Democrat colleague currently living in the White House who, as CNN explains, has a 'white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya.'"

We wonder where Vespa was when conservatives engaged in similarly shameful games of racial politics regarding Barack Obama:

A quick Google search doesn't uncover anything Vespa has said on the subject, let alone deouncing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EDT
Friday, April 11, 2014
CNS' Chapman Shocked To Discover U2's Bono Is A Christian
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last year, WorldNetDaily treated as news something music fans have known for decades -- U2 lead singer Bono is a Christian. Now it's CNSNews.com's turn to discover this. Michael Chapman relays this startling revelation in an April 10 CNS article:

Bono, frontman for the Irish band U2, investor, and philanthropist, said he believes Jesus Christ was divine, that he arose from the dead, and that he made promises to the world that will come true.

Bono, who has an estimated worth of $600 million, also said he prays “to Christ” in order “to know the will of God,” adding that he and his family pray together and sometimes go to church to pray for others who are suffering.

“I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more chance of coming true -- I mean, that’s the thing about prayer,” said Bono in an interview with Ireland’s RTE One last year. “We don't do it in a very lofty way in our family. It’s just a bunch of us on the bed, usually, we’ve a very big bed in our house. We pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures, we pray. It’s not even regular.”

This is apparently such stunning news to Chapman that he has to take this revelation from a year-old interview.

Just wait until Chapman finds out that U2 recorded a version of the 40th Psalm ... 30 years ago.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:10 PM EDT
Thursday, April 10, 2014
NEW ARTICLE: Good News For American Workers Is Bad News For CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey and CNSNews.com don't believe that positive news about dropping unemployment rates and more jobs created should be reported when the president is a Democrat. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
CNS Makes A Fallacious Obamacare Assumption
Topic: CNSNews.com

Melanie Hunter writes in an April 3 CNSNews.com article, headlined "It’s a Loss in Md: 73K Lose Insurance; 60K Enroll on Exchange":

The head of the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange testified Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only 60,000 people have signed up for Obamacare through the state’s exchange - 13,000 less than the number of individuals reported to lose their insurance due to Obamacare.

Hunter's article is based on a fallacious assumption: that there is a direct correlation between the number of people who lost their insurance and the number who signed up through the exchange. Hunter offers no evidence there is.

Further, as USA Today reports, the conservative media's claim that millions "lose their insurance" is itself in dispute. The Obama administration and insurance companies say the final number was lower than 500,000, because insurers automatically enrolled people in new plans or worked to keep their customers.

Instead of reporting that, Hunter highlights a Republican senator who insists on making that direct, fallacious correlation.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EDT
Monday, April 7, 2014
Terry Jeffrey's Transphobic Tirade
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey devotes an entire column to freaking out about the federal government is planning to treat transgender employees with respect:

When an expectant mother visits her doctor for an ultrasound, the doctor invariably asks: Do you want to know the sex of your child?
The Obama administration, however, does not believe an unborn child has a sex — even when a doctor sees indisputable physical evidence.

Obama's Office of Personnel Management has published what it calls "Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Workplace." This document speaks of "sex" as something a person has "assigned" to them only after they make it through the birth canal.

[...]

Then there is the point in the guidance governing restrooms and locker rooms.

"For a transitioning employee, this means that, once he or she has begun living and working full-time in the gender that reflects his or her identity, agencies should allow access to restrooms and (if provided to other employees) locker room facilities consistent with his or her gender identity," say the guidelines.

According to the guidance, access to a restroom or locker room should not be conditioned on anatomy.

Jeffrey doesn't mention the fact that there have been no problems with implementation of transgender-protection laws in the states that have done it.

Jeffrey then opines that "The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has submitted well-reasoned comments on the proposed rule." These are the same folks who issue dubious reports on sexual abuse by church clergy.

But relating facts and showing respect is not the point of Jeffrey's column -- fearmongering is:

The people who now run our federal government not only deny the basic facts of life, they are trying to force the consequences of their denial on the world that all the innocent little boys and girls born today must inhabit tomorrow.

Spoken like a true fearmongerer. But then, Jeffrey's Media Research Center co-workers regularly freak out about transgenders.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Saturday, April 5, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's that time again -- a new month means a new opportunity for CNSNews.com to talk down the latest unemployment numbers, no matter how positive they are.

And they are positive -- 192,000 jobs added. You wouldn't know that by reading CNS' coverage, of course. Instead, CNS serves up these cherry-picked doom-and-gloom numbers:

180,000 More Women Unemployed in March

Only 38.6% of Jobs Added Under Obama Have Gone to Women

27K More Unemployed in March--As Labor Force Participation Ticks Up

None of these articles mentioned the fact that 192,000 jobs were created. After all, it's CNS' editorial policy to never report good economic news when a Democrat is president.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EDT
Monday, March 31, 2014
CNS' Chapman Race-Baits On Apparent Illegal Immigrant's Crime
Topic: CNSNews.com

A March 28 CNSNews.com article by Michael Chapman has a weird tone:

Luis Enrique Marin Noyola, a 20-year-old Hispanic man, was arrested by Winston-Salem police officers and charged with raping a 3-year-old, and a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer has been put in place in the case.

According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, Noyola entered an apartment on Bruce Street in Winston-Salem, N.C., early on Sunday morning, Mar. 9, and raped the 3-year-old and then fled the scene. After further investigation, police arrested Noyola on Mar. 11.

First, why does Chapman put Noyola's ethnicity in the first paragraph? What does that add to the story? Given that the man is in custody, identifying his race is completely irrelevant.

Second, why is CNS even doing this story? It's a local crime story. Even Noyola's status as an apparent illegal immigrant doesn't raise its news value.

It seems that Chapman, CNS' managing editor, is looking to bring an element of race-baiting to his "news" organization, a la WorldNetDaily's Colin Flaherty.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 PM EDT
Saturday, March 29, 2014
CNS' Bannister Now Doing PR For Sean Hannity
Topic: CNSNews.com

A March 27 CNSNews.com blog post by Craig Bannister is basically a press release for Sean Hannity's radio show:

"It's puzzling that Michael Savage would want to brag about his listening audience" given that the "numbers show that Savage is losing the audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity in droves," Eric Stanger, Vice President, Operations and Affiliate Marketing: "The Sean Hannity Show" with Premiere Networks said in a statement provided to MRCTV.

Savage had been boasting of beating Hannity in key markets, prompting the response from Hannity's network. "I stomped him. And, it's gratifying to me because Hannity's never had any competition," Savage told Mediaite.

"In New York on WABC-AM as well as on Dallas on WBAP-AM, in the key demo of A25-54, Savage has lost a whopping 49% of the audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity," Stanger says, citing Nielsen Audio data for the period December 2013 through February 2014.

"Meanwhile, Sean Hannity has more than doubled the total audiences where has started on new stations after leaving Cumulus in New York (+108%), Los Angeles (+172%), and Dallas (+128%)," Stanger said.

The Sean Hannity Show airs on more than 500 radio stations nationwide, with an estimated audience of over 11 million listeners, while the Savage Nation airs on around 200 stations with an estimated audience of less than 3 million, Stanger notes.

Did Hannity pay Bannister for performing this valuable PR service for him? Because he might as well have.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:50 PM EDT
Friday, March 28, 2014
Overkill: CNS' Starr Has A Massive Margaret Sanger Freakout
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's Penny Starr has long been guilty of using her so-called reporting to further her right-wing anti-abortion agenda. She has taken her political activism to absurd lengths this week.

The news that Planned Parenthood was planning to give Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi its Margaret Sanger Award prompted the expected reaction: a March 21 hatchet job headlined "Pelosi to Receive Planned Parenthood Award Honoring Eugenicist." Needless to say, Starr ignores the historical context of Sanger's views -- while eugenics is correctly considered reprehensible today, it was a mainstream view during much of Sanger's lifetime.

But for some reason, one attack on a woman who has been dead nearly 50 years was not enough for Starr. She followed that up with three additional articles cherry-picking Sanger's writings.

In a March 26 article, Starr highlights a claim that Sanger "wrote that large families would be doing what was 'most merciful' if they killed one of their infants." But Starr takes that statement out of context. As Planned Parenthood points out, "Sanger was making an ironic comment — not a prescriptive one — about the horrifying rate of infant mortality among large families of early 20th-century urban America."

Starr flip-flops in another March 26 article, suddenly portraying Sanger as a virtuous woman who opposed abortion, despite her two previous articles implying otherwise.

Starr goes back to implying Sanger supported abortion in a March 27 article, citing a statement calling some children "human weed," further implying the statement was racially motivated. In fact, as Planned Parenthood notes, Sanger never described any ethnic community as "human weeds."

It's this kind of sloppy, hate-motivated reporting -- writing four articles when no more than one was needed -- that's putting CNS on the path to WorldNetDaily-like irrelevance.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EDT
Thursday, March 27, 2014
CNS' Starr Still Pushing Myth That Plan B Causes Abortions
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr writes in a March 25 CNSNews.com article:

In a conference call last week ahead of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on the lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employers provide contraceptives to employees, including abortifacients, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said the owners of the corporations suing the government “wrongly believe that some birth control methods are a form of abortion.”

[...]

However, according to the packaging on Plan B “emergency contraceptive,” the information states: “This product works mainly by preventing ovulation (egg release). It may also prevent fertilization of a released egg (joining of sperm and egg) or attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus (implantation).”

But as we documented the last time Starr claimed this, preventing implantation -- which, despite the package information, has not been documented that Plan B actually does -- does not equal abortion, which is medically defined as taking place after implantation. In fact, most fertilized eggs fail to implant, which means that most women have committed abortions by Starr's definition -- perhaps even Starr herself.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT

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