Another CNS Trump Administration Stenography Factual Fail Topic: CNSNews.com
CNS is socommited to stenography for the Trump administration that it rarely bothers to fact-check President Trump or his officials, even when they say something obviously misleading.
It does so again in a Sept. 21 article by Melanie Arter recounting a speech given by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in which he "blamed the spike in murders in Chicago on the Obama administration’s consent decree, which called for police reforms in response to police harassment and brutality claims." Arter uncritically recounted how "Sessions explained that the consent decree resulted in more violent crime, the victims of which were mostly African-American and Latino. It also required police officers to fill out lengthy paperwork and submit it to the American Civil Liberties Union, a former judge, and a public database for everyone they stopped" and copy-and-pasted rrom his speech:
John’s predecessor as United States Attorney, Zachary Fardon, said in an open letter to the City that the ACLU agreement “[told] cops if you go talk to those kids on the corner, you’re going to have to take 40 minutes to fill out a form, and you’re going to have to give them a receipt with your badge number on it. And he noted that as a result, by January 2016, ‘the city was on fire’ because ‘the rule of law, law enforcement, had been delegitimized.
But Fardon responded in an op-ed that Sessions selectively quoted from his open letter and ignored other reasons than the consent decree that Chicago crime was on the upswing:
Last year, when I resigned as U.S. attorney in Chicago, I issued an open letter in which I cited the ACLU deal as a contributor to the drag on officer stops in 2016. I named other extraordinary events, including the release of the Laquan McDonald video, the firing of CPD’s police chief and the launch of a DOJ civil rights investigation of CPD, all of which occurred in the last six weeks of 2015, as contributors as well.
Last month, in a speech in Palatine, Ill., Sessions quoted from my letter, which he called “honest and important.” He referenced only the ACLU portion of the letter and used that to support his theme that such agreements hamper police and inflame violence.
If Sessions had read the rest of my letter, he would know that my No. 1 recommendation to curb violent crime in Chicago was that we get a broad federal consent decree for CPD — one that goes well beyond addressing “stop and frisk” and guarantees Chicago police officers the training, supervision, equipment and support they need to succeed.
Law enforcement is not the entire solution, but it’s a big part. A consent decree will give our cops support, training and the credibility they need to engage in effective and constitutional policing. A consent decree will give our South and West side citizens greater trust in our officers and institutions, and greater safety in their neighborhoods.
If Sessions spent more time in violence-afflicted neighborhoods, he would know that we still have kids who are growing up more afraid of police than of gangs. When that changes, we mark the beginning of a new Chicago. Sessions is wrong about the CPD consent decree. Those who know and love this great city must hold true.
Arter also uncritically copy-and-pasted from Sessions' speech: "One of the most tragic examples is Baltimore. After the death of Freddie Gray, violence and riots followed. City leadership signed a consent decree with the ACLU. The results were the same as in Chicago." In fact, the Baltimore consent decree did not involve the ACLU, and it was approved two months after Sessions was confirmed as attorney general.
Sessions also insisted that "rape more than tripled" in Baltimore after the consent decree. In fact, while reported rapes increased, they did not triple, and at least some of the increase can be attributed to the FBI changing the definition of rape to be more expansive.
Once again, Arter has published false and misleading information out of either laziness or a desire to suck up to the Trump administration. Not a good look for a "news" operation.
The employment numbers were good in September, so CNSNews.com went into full pro-Trump rah-rah mode, with the lead article by Susan Jones indulging from President Trump's self-aggrandizing boasts:
"Just out: 3.7% Unemployment is the lowest number since 1969!" President Trump tweeted on Friday.
Not since the end of 1969 has the nation's unemployment rate been this low. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 3.7 percent in September.
Last month, the number of employed Americans (155,962,000) remained near the record high of 155,965,000 set in July; and in September, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 270,000 to 5,964,000, a level not seen since 2000.
The unemployment rate for Hispanics, 4.5 percent, tied the record low set in July. For African-Americans, the unemployment rate in September was 6.0 percent, just a tenth of a point above the record low set in May.
And 70,656,000 women age 20+ were counted as employed in September, a record number for this group.
“Since the election, we have created over 4 million new jobs,” President Donald Trump told a rally in Minnesota Thursday night. “We've added nearly half a million new manufacturing jobs...and we have companies pouring into our country.”
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally Topic: CNSNews.com
It's another month of writing about the usual suspects at CNSNews.com, where its favorite sources still get favored stenography even as the Brett Kavanaugh nomination saga took up much of the news space.
CNS Went Biblical To Back Kavanaugh, Smear His Accusers As 'Wicked,' 'Demonic' Topic: CNSNews.com
As if its worse-than-usual media bias wasn't enough to try and make the case for Brett Kavanaugh, CNSNews.com also went the biblical route to defend the judge and smear his accusers and critics.
An Oct. 5 blog post by Craig Bannister resorted to some creative Bible interpretation to portray Kavanaugh as a "just one" and his critics as "wicked":
You don’t have to be religious to see how this Bible passage applies to the treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and to politics, in general.
Wicked people don’t like to be shown up, to have their ill deeds and hypocrisy exposed – so, they lash out at the just, the Book of Wisdom, Chapter 2, explains:
The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: "Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.
Judge Kavanaugh has, indeed, been “beset” during his Senate confirmation proceedings. And, as Wisdom goes on to note, the wicked are also offended that the just one “judges” them:
To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, Because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. He judges us debased;
Their solution: beset the just one with “revilement and torture” in order to test his gentleness and “try his patience”:
Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
Judge Kavanaugh has been threatened, smeared, verbally attacked, subjected to horrific unsubstantiated accusations and called the most vile names, and – when he lost his “patience” and “gentleness,” daring to defend himself – accused of having a temperament unbefitting a Supreme Court justice.
Only God truly knows the hearts and motivations of those who have so grievously beset Judge Kavanaugh. But, the similarities between their treatment of him and the thoughts and deeds described in this Bible chapter are striking.
Bannister didn't explain how he determined that Kavanaugh is "just," despite not knowing his heart and motivation any better than those who have "grievously beset" him. Apparently, merely getting nominated by a Republican president was enough.
A blog post the same day by managing editor Michael W. Chapman called on the wildly pro-Trump pastor Harry Jackson to push the idea that Kavanaugh was being targeted by "demonic forces":
"What’s happening in D.C. is very unusual,” Bishop Jackson said during an Oct. 2 discussion on TCT Today. “It’s the worst dimension of warfare we’ve ever seen and I believe that God has drawn a line in the sand and he wants to restore and renew America. But the spiritual forces that be want to thwart that."
"So, the Kavanaugh hearings have become a circus because darkness has decided—or demonic forces—that they’re going to try to block him from being in office," said the bishop.
“Once he [Kavanaugh] is affirmed and additional judges are affirmed --- I believe that’s one of Trump’s assignments in a way to shift America for good," said Jackson. "Right now, there is a de facto severe limiting and almost a canceling ofRoe v. Wade because the Supreme Court is not going to bring crazy rulings, and that Trump has already changed so many judges that there’s a different kind of judgment that is going forward.”
Chapman went on to tout Jackson's Trump fanboyism, asserting that Jackson said that "the very strong economy under President Trump is helping minorities and women and this is maddening to the forces of evil."
CNS Misquotes Reporter To Justify Trump's Insult Of Her Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has no problem falsely smearing reporters to make President Trump look good. Case in point: an Oct. 1 blog post by Craig Bannister, who writes thusly:
When an ABC reporter told President Donald Trump she was “not thinking,” she was taken aback when he agreed with her.
Monday morning, Trump was touting a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, when he called on ABC’s Cecilia Vega. Vega did not respond, prompting Trump to comment that she was “shocked” that he called on her. When Trump understood Vega to say she wasn’t thinking, Trump agreed, teasing, “I know, you never do.”
Trump: “She’s shocked that I picked her. She’s like in a state of shock.”
Vega: “I’m not thinking, Mr. President.”
Trump: “That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”
Vega: “I’m sorry?”
Trump: “No, go ahead. Go ahead.”
Vega then proceeded to ask, not about trade, but about the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Trump said he wasn’t finished answering questions about trade and that he’d field her question about Kavanaugh afterwards.
But Vega didn't say, "I'm not thinking, Mr President." As an actual news outlet reported, she said, "I'm not. Thank you, Mr. President."There was no justification or pretext for Trump's insult of Vega, and it continues the pattern of Trump's belittling of people, especially women, whom he perceives as his critics.
Bannister even included a video of the exchange, which makes it clear that Vega never said "I'm not thinking." It seems Bannister didn't watch it before posting.
On top of that, Bannister's headline -- "ABC Reporter Shocked When Trump Agrees With Her That She Was ‘Not Thinking,’ Says ‘I Know, You Never Do’" -- is completely false as well. Vega did not say she was shocked, and she did not say she was "not thinking."
Meanwhile, Bannister's post is live and uncorrected, as if CNS approves of publishing false information to serve its favorite president.
CNS' Spero: Not Confirming Kavanaugh Would Dishonor His Parents, Or Something Topic: CNSNews.com
Chuck Schumer, the Democrats, and their spokespeople in the Senate seem to be spooking-out certain Republicans with a threat that if Republicans vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh they will lose the support of women in their constituency.
However, the tens of millions of women who currently have or have previously raised teenage boys, and even teenage girls, will probably be alarmed if a precedent is set in a Senate confirmation vote that would penalize or snuff out the opportunities of a fully grown man who did something foolish while yet a minor or was accused of something that was never verified with any surety.
Parents of boys and girls lovingly sacrifice their life’s energies, time, and money so that their children will have a bright future – economic, social, and familial. And all parents, since they themselves were once young, know of the mistakes teenagers make or the non-mistakes that merely involve rowdiness. What a frightening and demoralizing thing it would be to parents if after thirty years of proper and refined living and accomplishment by their children, a new American convention is established by the Senate that all lifetime achievements can be wiped away by a single instance in their child’s life. A person’s life, their child’s life, can be destroyed by an accusation, especially if it craftily summons-up whatever happens to be the politically correct, avant-garde sin of that given era.
Today’s Democrats play dirty, despicably dirty. In their quest for personal power, riches, and control over all aspects of American civic life, Democrats will equally play dirty tricks against conservative women running for office, bringing up or fabricating events from when they were once teenage girls, charging them from that full basket of the new Seven Sins: racism, intolerance, nationalism, whiteness, Christian Evangelicalism, Islamophobia, and anti-LBTG.
Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed and not become a victim of a coordinated political attack. It is the American way to stand behind a man wrongly accused and not to buckle to a lynch mob, liberal or otherwise. The vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh goes beyond his absolute earned place to be on the U.S. Supreme Court. It goes even beyond the obligation of the Republican Senators to, for once, worry more about the people who elect them than looking over their shoulder to people who will always reject them.
By contrast, CNS had no problem publishing smears of Ford that were intended to harm her reputation.
A Sept. 25 article by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted right-wing attorney Joseph DiGenova's smear (on Fox News, natch) of Ford and her attorney regarding speculation that Ford would not testify before a Senate committee: "She really doesn't want to testify because when she does, she's going to look like the loon that she is. She may very well believe everything she's saying and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believing something that isn't real. But her lawyer is even loonier."
CNS apparently loved DiGenova's smear of Ford so much, he became CNS' favorite smear artist over the past couple weeks. On Oct. 4, Emily Ward touted another DiGenova slam of Ford:"Christine Blasey Ford, I’m sure, I think, believes everything she’s saying,” said diGenova. “But it isn’t true, it didn’t happen, she is delusional, this is a fantasy, there is nothing to corroborate her story." He added: "This woman – this is loony. This whole thing is loony. Look where we are for a nominee for the Supreme Court because the Democrats’ lust for power has made them destroy the confirmation process. Shame on them. And, you know what? They could care less. They don’t have any shame."
Ward didn't comment on the shamelessneess of a right-wing attorney viciously smearing a woman because she stood in the way of a conservative judge's Supreme Court nomination.
CNS also touted DiGenova's insults of other people as well:
CNS' Chapman Defends Kavanaugh's Drunken Past: Obama Did It Too! Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman doesn't even bother to put up a facade of fairness and balance. He has been especially biased in his"news" operation's coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, directing CNS' highly biased look at the women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and personally flaking out over Jeff Flake forcing an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh.
In an Oct. 2 post, Chapman sounds even more like he'd rather be managing WorldNetDaily than CNS by going the Obama derangement route in order to handwave Kavanaugh's heavy drinking as a youth:
While liberals express outrage over the fact that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drank beer -- reportedly sometimes to excess -- in high school and college, they and the leftist media have largely ignored the extensive partying of former President Barack Obama, who has confessed to heavy pot smoking and cocaine use in high school and college.
Given the drinking limits being set retroactively for Kavanaugh by his leftist critics and arguments therefrom that he is not suited for the high court, it is reasonable to conclude that Barack Obama's extensive illegal drug use would preclude him from a seat on the Supreme Court, or on any federal bench.
Chapman misses the salient facts that 1) Obama ran for president, not a judicial nomination, 2) Obama disclosed much of his history in his autobiography, whereas Kavanaugh's drunken past came to light only after Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegation of a drunken Kavanaugh attempting to sexually assault her during their prep-school years, and 3) nobody has ever accused Obama of sexually assaulting women while under the influence, then or now.
Chapman effectively concedes that second point, spending the rest of his post copy-and-pasting out-of-context excerpts from Obama's "Dreams From My Father" and another biography of Obama with all the references to drugs and alcohol painstakingly bolded. He also added a couple images form a college-era photo shoot in which he was shot smoking a cigarette.
Chapman even took a page of the anti-Obama birther handbook and referenced the idea that Obama once used his stepfather's surname of Soetoro. But Chapman misspells it as "Sotero," and it's irrelevant in this context because Obama hasn't used it since age 10 (not that Obama-haters didn't try to claim otherwise by creating a bogus college ID with that surname).
Such lazy, reflexive liberal-bashing in the service of whataboutism to defend a conservative in trouble is an increasing part of what CNS under Chapman has become.
CNS Flakes Out Over Sen. Flake's Push For FBI Kavanaugh Probe Topic: CNSNews.com
When Republican Sen. Jeff Flake successfully stalled the nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh by forcing a weeklong FBI investigation into him, the pro-Kavanaugh forces at CNSNews.com knew what they had to do: attack and mock Flake.
An Oct. 1 blog post by Craig Bannister promoted how right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro called Flake a "sucker" purportedly duped by Democrats into pushing for the investigation and ranted that Flake "collapsed" because "some protesters screamed at him in an elevator. I’m not kidding. At all."
This was followed a half-hour later by a blog post from managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who seized on Flake's statement that he would not have pressed for the investigation if he were running for re-election to engaged in a Heathering campaign to bashhim for failing to be sufficiently right-wing, grumbling that "Flake has been a staunch critic of President Donald Trump and compared him to the Soviet genocidal dictator Joseph Stalin" and adding: "While in Congress, Flake introduced legislation to provide a 'pathway to citizenship' for illegal aliens. He also voted to repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Act. Flake supports abortion in the cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother."
Chapman never explains the context of Flake's Stalin reference: that Trump's use of the term "enemy of the people" to attack media outlets that fail to be pro-Trump stenographers -- you know, like the website Chapman manages -- is an echo of language Stalin used against his enemies. Nor does Chapman dispute its accuracy.
Two hours after this, Chapman decided that he found it amusing that Flake "was born and raised in the small town of Snowflake, Arizona," featuring this trivia under the headline "Sen. Jeff Flake is a Native Born Snowflake." ("Snowflake," of course, is right-wing slang for a liberal who can't handle opposing views, though it appears that Chapman is the real snowflake here for his assault on Flake because the senator doesn't share his dogmatic right-wing ideology.) Chapman againgroused that Flake "once compared Trump to genocidal dictator Joseph Stalin" and repeated a poll claiming "only 18% of Arizonans approved of Sen. Flake's job performance."
Of course, CNS' two minutes hate -- in the form of three Flake-bashing blog posts in a two-and-a-half-hour span -- would seem to prove Flake right ... and put the onus on Chapman to explain why his "news" outlet is so willing to attack whomever Trump deems must be attacked.
CNS' Wildly Biased Coverage of Kavanaugh, Accuser Testimony Topic: CNSNews.com
We knew CNSNews.com's coverage of Senate testimony by Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was going to be biased -- after all, CNS' Media Research Center parent refuses to impose the standards it demands the rest of the media follow to its own "news" operation -- but even we were a bit surprised.
The reports on the opening statements set the tone. Susan Jones' article on Kavanaugh's opening statement carried the headline "Kavanaugh's Opening Statement: 'Last Minute Smears'; 'Grotesque and Obvious Character Assassination'" and played up Kavanaugh's denials. By contrast, Jones' article on Ford's opening statementcarried the soft-to-the-point-of-mocking headline "Kavanaugh's Accuser Says a Remodeling Project Triggered the Assault Discussion With Her Therapist" and obsessed over the remodeling incident.
CNS' coverage of Ford's testimony was similarly dismissive of her claims. Here are the headlines on those articles:
Surprisingly, in the Mark Judge article, Jones offered a rare disclosure that Judge "used to be a writer for CNSNews.com," though she failed to report that Ford's detail about seeing Judge at an area grocery store appears to be corroborated by Judge's book, in which he wrote that he spent part of a summer working at a grocery store.
Surprisingly, CNS did concede in one article -- by the normally biased Susan Jones, of all people -- that Kavanaugh was "defensive" about his youthful drinking and that "some of the weakest moments of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's testimony on Thursday involved his responses to Democrats who pressed him on his drinking and whether he had blackouts or memory lapses as a result."
The MRC would be attacking any media outlet whose Kavanaugh coverage was as biased. But in-house "news" outlets get a pass.
MRC Senior Fellow Can't Stop Lying About Margaret Sanger Topic: CNSNews.com
For a guy who's a "senior fellow" at the Media Research Center, Allen West is utterly uninterested in doing even the most basic research.
In July, we caught West spreading long-discredited lies about Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. In his Sept. 10 column at MRC "new" division CNSNews.com, he repeated those lies and added a couple more:
Then we have the amazing tale of two organizations, comparing the NRA with another organization, Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood was founded by a person that was a white supremacist, a racist, someone who referred to blacks as “weeds” and “undesirables.” Sounds a lot like “deplorables” doesn’t it? And yes, there is a correlation, since the person who referred to some Americans as deplorables is a recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award, the founder of Planned Parenthood.
Again: Sanger was not a "white supremacist" or a "racist." And as we've also documented, Sanger never called blacks "weeds." We've found no evidence that Sanger ever called blacks "undesirables" -- she did refer to "undesirables" in a speech, but it was in reference to the "breeding of defectives and insane" (a reflection of her belief at the time in eugenics) and no racial reference was made.
West also ranted that Sanger was "someone that wanted to exterminate – yes, strong words, but true – the black community." Again, not true.
West then huffed:
The first Roy Innis Memorial Award will go to an American black man, a former soldier, someone who stood up against the tyranny of being unarmed, Otis McDonald of Chicago. Yes, the same Otis McDonald for whom the Second Amendment case,McDonald v. City of Chicago, is named. And who was it that stood with Otis McDonald? It was not Planned Parenthood. It was the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, the National Rifle Association. Hmm, how many blacks have been awarded the Margaret Sanger Award?
How CNS Is Covering Kavanaugh Accusations: Bias By Omission, Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reported on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination in the wake of accusations of sexual misconduct they way you'd expect: with lots of biased stenography and omission of inconvenient facts.
A Sept. 19 article repeated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's lament that the accusastion was made public "right at the end" of the process -- even thoughthere's no hard-and-fast rule regarding how long the process must take -- and that "it's pretty obvious this is all about delaying the process." Jones didn't mention that McConnell was all about delaying the process in 2016 when he stopped President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court from even reaching the hearing process. He even said that "One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, 'Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.' "
CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how Juanita Broaddrick tweeted that if the FBI investigates the allegations Christine Blasey Ford made against Kavanaugh, then it should "investigate my RAPE allegations against Bill Clinton, too." Chapman the recounted the story of how Broaddrick "has long maintained that Bill Clinton, when he was the Arkansas Attorney General, raped her -- a 'forcible, brutal rape' -- in a hotel room in Little Rock, Ark., on April 25, 1978."
But Chapman curiously forgot to report that not only did Broaddrick spend 20 years denying that any such "rape" occured, she made a sworn affidavit to that effect to the Ken Starr independent counsel investigation of Clinton.
Chapman also wrote that "President Bill Clinton apparently has never denied Broaddrick's rape allegation. His attorney, David Kendall, has denied it on Clinton's behalf." But if Clinton's lawyer is denying it on his behalf, that means Clinton is denying it.
(Weirdly, this is the second time in recent years that someone at the Media Research Center, which runs CNS, has tried to argue that the statement from Clinton's lawyer doesn't count as an actual denial because it didn't come from Clinton personally.)
A Sept. 19 article by Melanie Arter reported that "The brother of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, worked for a law firm that hired Fusion GPS, which produced the fake dossier on President Donald Trump." But Arter somehow forgot to report that Ford's brother left that law firm in 2004 -- seven years before Fusion GPS was even founded and several more years before its involvement with the dossier (which, by the way, is not "fake").
In addition to Jones' retro attack on Anita Hill that we've already highlighted as part of the MRC's continued obsessive loathing of the woman, CNS also reprinted Clarence Thomas infamous "high-tech lynching" speech in response to Hill's allegations against him.
In other words, CNS' editorial policy in a nutshell.
CNSNews.com's Susan Jones trumpet the right-wing pro-Trump media's latest narrative in a Sept. 11 article:
“For months, we’ve seen evidence suggesting FBI/DOJ leaked to the media for their own purposes. TODAY, we have a new text,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) tweeted Monday night.
Meadows said the newly released texts from former FBI Agent Peter Strzok to former FBI attorney Lisa Page suggest a “coordinated effort” by FBI and Justice Department officials to leak information potentially harmful to President Donald Trump’s administration.
In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday, Meadows released the following April 2017 text exchanges, saying they would lead a “reasonable person” to question whether the FBI’s goal was to investigate wrongdoing – or to place derogatory information in the media to justify the ongoing Trump-Russia probe.
The accusation centers on a text from Strzok to Page referencing a "media leak strategy." But Meadows' interpretation, which Jones presents at length and effectively without challenge, is a bit on the bogus side.
As a real news outlet, the Washington Post, reported, Strzok's attorney pointed out that the "media leak strategy" reference was to an internal Department of Justice attempt to stop media leaks. the Post continued:
By itself, the text is difficult to interpret. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-FBI Director James B. Comey had vowed to crack down on leaks, and investigating such disclosures if they contained classified information would have been a part of Strzok’s job as a counterintelligence agent. Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, says that is what Strzok was referring to.
“The term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media,” Goelman said in a statement. “The President and his enablers are once again peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to mislead the American People.”
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, released other text messages from the same day, which seem to show Page and Strzok having a broad discussion about the Justice Department’s regulations on media leaks. The lawmakers accused Republicans in Congress of selectively publicizing messages “to fabricate conspiracy theories to protect President Trump.”
Because Jones' assigned job is to protect Trump and attack his perceived enemies, she gave that defense the shortest of shrifts: "Strzok's lawyer said Strzok and Page were discussing a strategy to stop media leaks, a response that drew scoffs from Trump defenders." Jones elaborated no further about what Strzok's lawyer (whom she couldn't even be bothered to name) said, nor did she detaial any of the "scoffs" she claimed took place.
The next day, CNS published a column by the Heritage Foundation Hans von Spakovsky reinforcing Meadows' conspiratorial narrative, with no mention at all of the context those memos appeared in or the rebuttal offered by Strzok's lawyer.
CNS has recently been sending out links on Twitter to its "news" articles with the statement, "Stay informed and on top of the news. Read the latest from CNS News." But if CNS is more interested in pushing right-wing conspiracy theories, it's not keeping its readers "informed."
CNS Cheers Conservative Comedian's Mocking of Kavanaugh Accuser Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com blogger Craig Bannister wrote disdainfully of a Democratic congressman for mocking Republican Sen. Susan Collins' claim that she's receiving threats related to the battle over confirming Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice by claiming she has Secret Service protection as a senator and that she didn't mention that the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school has also received death threats. After the congressman apologized, Bannister typed that up too, adding that the congressman "deleted his offensive tweet."
But a few days earlier, Bannister was cheering those who mock -- when the target is Kavanaugh's accuser. Bannister approvingly writes in a Sept. 17 post:
“You can talk to me,” comedian Terrence K. Williams jokes in a video mocking Christine Blasey Ford’s last-minute allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
In a video posted on social media Monday, the comedian, actor and conservative commentator chides Ford for waiting decades to make her claim, since Kavanaugh has “been a judge for almost half his life:
“Girl, so you gonna wait 30 years to speak up? Huh? And, not only that, y’all were in high school. And, you claim he assaulted you at a high school party, and you just now speaking up now, 30 years later?
“And, I find it quite funny that you speaking up now that he is a Supreme Court nominee. But, this man been a judge almost half his life. Well, he’s been a lawyer, a judge…why you didn’t say nothing 10 years ago, 15 years ago?”
Williams jokes that someone in the anti-Trump media or Democrat Party must have put Ford up to making the accusation and that – if she just tells him who it was – she can trust him to keep it just between them:
“Who paying you? Is it CNN? I won’t tell nobody. Is it the New York Times? Who paying you? Is it Hillary? Obama? I won’t tell nobody. You can talk to me.”
Forgive us if we think that Bannister's outrage over Collins being mocked is more than a tad hypocritical.
CNS' Marching Orders On Catholic Sex Abuse: Blame The Gays! Topic: CNSNews.com
We've detailed how CNSNews.com refused to report for three days on a grand jury report detailing sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania -- and that its first mention was a column by right-wing Catholic activist Bill Donohue of the Catholic League dismissing the report and blaming it all the abuse on gays. That has been the narrative CNS has mostly stuck with since.
CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman used an Aug. 30 article to tout a bishop "prais[ing] the integrity of Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Vigano -- who has called for the resignation of Pope Francis and other bishops for allegedly covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick's reported homosexual abuse of a young boy and seminarians," going on to repeat other conservative Catholic clerics supporting Vigano's accusations. That was followed the next day with Chapman quoting more right-wing Catholic clerics to play up the gay angle:
Commenting on the recent revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, specifically those of predator Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and the cases detailed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, several bishops and lay leaders have blamed a "homosexual subculture" in the hierachy of the Church and called for the removal of the priests, bishops, and cardinals involved in that subculture.
Bishop Robert Morlino, head of the diocese of Madison, Wisc., in an Aug. 18 letter, stressed that the Church must stop excusing sin "in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy" and must express more "hatred" toward sin. "What the Church needs now is more hatred!" he said. "It is an act of love to hate sin and to call others to turn away from sin."
"There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities," said the bishop. "To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin. But to be clear, in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics."
Chapman went on to repeat Donohue's deliberate misreading of the John Jay report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that because most victims were post-pubescent males "homosexuality -- not heterosexuality or pedophilia -- was in play." In fact, as we've reported, the authors of the John Jay report specifically stated that no connection was found between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuseand that one does not have to have a homosexual identity to commit homosexual acts.
Chapman also touted one anti-gay Catholic activist who called for a "complete and thorough removal of all homosexual clergymen from the Church."
An anonymously written Aug. 31 piece took took a bizarre shot at McCarrick, complaining that he "gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 2001, when he was the archbishop of Washington, in which he noted the 'sense of humanity' found in 'all the holy books,' including 'the Koran.'" The anonymous writer (who we're guessing is Chapman) did not dispute McCarrick's claim, nor did he/she explain what it is relevant to anything that's happening now.
Chapman also reported on a Catholic laymen's group withholding a donation to the church over the sexual abuse scandal. And while Chapman couldn't be bothered to report on the Pennsylvania abuse report until Donohue told him how to frame it, he quickly jumped on a appropriately lurid (for his agenda, anyway) report about "two priests performing oral sex in a parked car."
Chapman went into full lecture mode in a Sept. 10 article, declaring "Contrary to the spin by the liberal media, the overwhelming majority of sexual abusers in the Catholic Church are homosexual priests, said Catholic Bishop Marian Eleganti in a recent statement." But Chapman never quotes Eleganti, a bishop in Swizerland, referencing the "liberal media" -- or even referencing the media at all. Nevertheless, Chapman concluded his post by huffing: "That the homosexual subculture in the Catholic Church is the fundamental source of the abuse problems is well documented. Numerous bishops and lay person have commented on this fact but it is a politically incorrect phenomenon that the leftist media and the homosexuals in the Church do not want to discuss."
CNS also gave more space to Donohue in full deflection mode, int he form of a Sept. 12 open letter to state attorneys general thinking of looking into Catholic Church abuses, demanding that "If you want to pursue molesters, you should begin by launching a grand jury probe of the public schools." Of course, Donohue can't point to any systematic, decades-long cover-up of abuse in public schools of the kind that existed in the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, the Catholics at CNS have no problem exploiting their religion to make political attacks. An anonymously written Sept. 17 article groused that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that "she is a 'practicing Catholic' and that Catholics understand the church to be 'the body of Christ.'" After sneering that Pelosi "(contrary to Catholic teaching) supports abortion on demand and same-sex marriage," the anonymous writer effectively concedes that Pelosi got it right by quoting directly from the Catholic Catechism stating that "The Church is the Body of Christ." Not that CNS would ever forthrightly admit that Pelosi is right on a key matter of Catholic faith.