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Tuesday, April 24, 2018
CNS Reporter Lets Trump Get By With Another Misleading Claim
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter was in stenography mode again for a March 29 article:

During a speech in Richfield, Ohio, President Donald Trump said his administration has delivered on its promises, created 3 million jobs and eliminated job-killing regulations.

“We’re keeping our promises, and the results are in: 3 million new jobs since Election Day - 3 million. And if I would have said that to you during the campaign, where we had tremendous support in this great state, state of Ohio, if I would have said, 3 million jobs, they would have said-- the fake news -- he’s exaggerating,” he said.

“Unemployment claims are their lowest level in 45 years - 45 years. African-American unemployment has reached the lowest level ever recorded. Remember? Remember I said, ‘what do you have to lose?’ What do you have to lose? And I’m so happy about that,” Trump said.

Arter doesn't mention that since Trump is counting from Election Day in November 2016, he's taking credit for jobs he didn't have any role in creating, given that Trump didn't assume the presidency until January 2017. Arter also doesn't mention that fewer jobs were created in 2017 than in 2016, the last full year of President Obama's term.

Arter further declined to note that the lower black unemployment rate is simply the continuation of a trend begun under Obama.

But then, putting stenography before actual reporting -- and letting the Trump White House peddle misleading claims without challenge -- is pretty much Arter's job these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:06 PM EDT
Monday, April 23, 2018
CNS' Obama-Bashing Hot Take on Comey
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com apparetly would like to be one of the cool internet kids with their hot takes, so it tries one regarding a TV interview with James Comey in an April 16 article:

Former FBI Director James Comey in an interview broadcast on Sunday night that he “deeply” respects former President Barack Obama “and his higher loyalty to the values I care a lot about” but that current President Donald Trump is “morally unfit” to be president.

When Obama, who Comey believes has a “higher loyalty to the values I care a lot about,” served in the Illinois state legislature, he repeatedly opposed a bill that would have treated babies who survived late-term abortions as “persons” who have the same constitutional rights as any other person.

In addition to being a really dumb hot take, it's highly misleading. As we've documented, Obama has said he opposed those bills because the law would likely have been struck down in the courts for giving legal status to fetuses, a requirement that a second doctor be present at abortions, and their lack of a "neutrality clause" to make sure the bill would not affect current abortion laws, and the bill in question would have required any fetus who survives an abortion who cannot survive outside the womb to receive medical care (the state already requires post-viable fetuses to receive medical care).

The link CNS used to back up the claim is a video made by anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek that similarly misleads about the bill.

Call that a big ol' hot-take fail.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 PM EDT
Saturday, April 21, 2018
CNS Turns Single Question to Pompeo Into Two Articles
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com typically ignores a lot of news, particularly when it doesn't advance its right-wing agenda. Yet when it wants to, it can give a ridiculous amount of focus on a single thing.

And so it goes with a question to Mike Pompeo during his confirmation hearing to be secretary of state, as asked by Sen. Cory Booker, on whether Pompeo thought that gay sex was a "perversion." CNS reporter Patrick Goodenough managed to squeeze two entire articles out of this single question.

The first focused on the question itself. Goodenough admitted that "did not answer directly when asked several times by Booker" about the issue, then explained that the question derived from a speech Pompeo gave at a church in which he quoted a partisan prayer claiming that "We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle." Goodenough touted how the so-called prayer was also read in state egislatures and had been "read out on radio stations and from pulpits across America. He then reproduced the entire "prayer," which also claimed that "We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism" and "We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare."

The second article by Goodenough was a political attack, bashing the Council on American-Islamic Relations for praising Booker over the question by noting a decade-old statement by a lower-level CAIR official criticizing homosexuality (but not explaining that it's really no different that how his boss, Michael W. Chapman, feels about it). He also wrote that "Islamic doctrine frowns on homosexuality" and that "countries where the death penalty for homosexuality is applied or codified in law are all Islamic."

These are literally the only two original articles CNS generated on Pompeo's confirmation hearing -- both focused on a single question.

Goodenough later followed up with an article on CAIR's opposition to Pompeo's nomination, complaining that CAIR "was thrilled when Democrats on the Senate panel grilled Pompeo last week over his views on Islam." He did not similarly note what lines of questioning from Republican members of Congress "thrilled" conservative boosters.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 PM EDT
Thursday, April 19, 2018
CNS Opposes Syria Airstrike -- For A While
Topic: CNSNews.com

As events led up to President Trump ordering an airstrike on Syria over a chemical attack on civilians, CNSNews.com took a weirdly passive-aggressive approach to expressing its opposition to it.

First up was an April 11 column by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey headlined "An Attack Syria Did Not Do." This actually wasn't about the chemical attack --mentioned only obliquely in the final paragraph, in which Jeffrey warns "Look before you shoot" -- but, rather, the 1991 bombing of a passenger jet that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which Syria was originally a suspect until it was determined that Libya did it. Jeffrey lectured in a bit of revisionist history:

In response to the attack on Pan Am 103 — an indisputable act of war against the United States — Congress would have been justified in authorizing the use of force to overthrow the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Instead, the U.S. worked to isolate Gadhafi and encircle him with sanctions.

After the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Gadhafi gave up his weapons of mass destruction programs, paid reparations to the families of Pan Am 103 victims, restored normal relations with the United States and recognized we had a common enemy in al-Qaida.

Then President Obama used military force — not authorized by Congress — to help rebels overthrow Gadhafi.

After Gadhafi fell, the Islamic State established a foothold in Libya.

That's an misleadingly simplistic view of what happened in Libya after 9/11. Gadhafi was trying to end Libya's isolation well before the Iraq war. Further, Libya was already in the midst of a civil war in 2011 by the time NATO, with the support of the U.S. -- not Obama himself, as Jeffrey falsely claims -- led a bombing campaign leading to Gadhafi's overthrow. Despite resuming "normal relations with the United States," Jeffrey also fails to mention that Gadhafi was still a repressive dictator. (Obama has admitted that not planning for the aftermath of Gadhafi's overthrow was the worst mistake of his presidency.)

That was followed with an column that day with a byline from another dead guy -- this time founding father James Madison warning that presidents need congressional approval for foreign military intervention that's not in response to a "sudden attack."

AFter the bombing attack started, CNS quickly published an article credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff" complaining that "President Donald Trump announced tonight that he had ordered the U.S. military to launch what he called “precision strikes” in Syria in coordination with British and French forces—but without authorization of the U.S. Congress."

Then -- as if it suddenly remembered its mission was to be a Trump sycophant and not to question his decision-making -- CNS shifted into its usual rah-rah stenography mode:

None of these articles reference CNS' earlier concern about Trump acting without congressional authorization.

Jeffrey did return to shade-throwing in a more explicit form in his April 18 column, highlighting a 2013 tweet from Trump that "The President must get congressional approval before attacking Syria," adding: "President Trump did not seek and did not get that authority from Congress before he launched a "limited war" on Syria. To quote him, he made a 'big mistake.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 4:43 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
CNS Reporter Uncritically Repeats White House Misinformation
Topic: CNSNews.com

With very rare exceptions, CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter is content to serve as an uncritical stenographer for White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other Trump White House media representatives. That means Arter is on occasion reporting false or misleading information -- and, thus, misleading her readers.

For instance, a March 1 article features a prime bit of regurgitation from Arter:

In an effort to illustrate the “historic obstruction of Senate Democrats,” the White House pointed to acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who is awaiting confirmation by the Senate, as an example of how it affects the safety and security of the American people.

“Earlier this week, I mentioned that we were going to begin regularly highlighting the historic obstruction of Senate Democrats, an issue that threatens the safety and security of the American people,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

“As a reminder, compared to the four previous administrations, this Senate has confirmed the fewest nominees. Half of the president's highly qualified nominees are still waiting on confirmation,” she said.

“Today, we have another example. Two-hundred and seventy-six days ago, Kevin McAleenan was nominated to be commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Kevin's primary responsibility would be to help safeguard American borders, keeping both terrorists and their weapons out of our nation, all while facilitating lawful international trade,” Sanders said.

“Kevin should be preventing terrorists and contraband from entering the nation, yet he is still awaiting Senate confirmation. Senator Schumer should stop putting the safety and security of the American people at risk and immediately confirm him,” she said.

But Sanders -- and, thus, Arter -- omits a critical piece of information. A real news outlet reported that McAleenan had been scheduled for a confirmation hearing last July, but it was "mysteriously postponed" the night before. Why? McAleenan had been accused of having an affair with a subordinate and misappropriating funding. McAleenan was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, and his confirmation process resumed in October. That's at least three months of the total Sanders (and Arter) cited that cannot possibly be blamed on alleged Democratic obstruction.

Arter served up more dutiful (and redundant) stenography in a March 16 article:

White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short complained Friday of Senate Democrats’ obstruction of President Donald Trump’s nominees, saying at this rate, it will take 11 and a half years for his nominees to be given an up-or-down vote.

In the last four administrations combined, the Senate held 17 cloture votes of presidential nominees compared to the 79 cloture vote in the first 14 months of the Trump administration, Short noted.

“At this point, in the past four administrations combined -- the last four administrations -- the Senate had conducted 17 cloture votes combined - cloture vote, in essence, being a filibuster on a nominee. Seventeen cloture votes in the last four administrations combined, at this point,” Short said.

“Today, the Senate has had 79 cloture votes in the first 14 months of our administration. Seventeen, over the last four administrations, versus 79 in the first 14 months of our administration. That is roughly five times the number of the last four administrations combined,” Short said.

But Arter wasn't moved to research Short's claims beyond repeating them, so she ignored what another real news outlet reported -- that a 2013 change in the confirmation process, in which a simple majority is now needed to confirm a nominee instead of 60 votes before, is likely responsible for the growing number of cloture votes:

Cloture motions on nominations aren’t what they used to be, however. Before the use of the “nuclear option” that changed the filibuster thresholds, the moves to limit debate required bipartisan support except during the brief periods where at least 60 senators were members of the majority caucus.

Legislative issues like infrastructure and immigration would require bipartisan deals to be struck before those bills could reach the floor for consideration (especially since the Senate has no appetite for going nuclear on legislative filibusters).

Arter did it again in a March 29 article:

President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at online retail giant Amazon, complaining that they are putting thousands of retailers out of business and pay “little or no” state and local taxes.

“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” Trump tweeted.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked Wednesday whether the president was looking for ways to go after Amazon.

“Look, we have no announcements and no specific policies or actions that we're currently pushing forward or considering taking,” she said.

Arter didn't tell her readers that Trump's tweet is factually wrong. the U.S. Postal Service does lose money, but not because of Amazon, since the USPS is required by law to at least break even on its parcel delivery operations. Amazon also collects sales taxes in all 46 states that have one, even though it's not legally required to do so.

If Arter can't be bothered to fact-check anything the Trump White House says and merely acts as a servile stenographer, what good is she as a reporter?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EDT
Monday, April 16, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Retweeted Fake News
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's never a good look when a leader of an organization that claims to offer "news" is caught promoting fake news.

But that's what CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman has done. After the Parkland massacre, far-right website Squawker published a story claiming that survivor David Hogg is "a confirmed puppet for the Podesta funded Center For Amerian Progress," a post that repeated other false claims about Hogg. Chapman retweeted that story on his personal Twitter account:

The post's author, Alisha Sherron,is very much an alt-right activist. A link to Sherron's Twitter account from the Squawker "about" page shows it's suspended, and an account with Sherron's name at the alt-right chat site Gab describes her this way: "Columnist for Squawker. Proud American. It’s okay to be white."

Chapman sure picked a winner here, didn't he?

Squawker has since edited its story to remove most other false claims, but it's still bizarrely standing by the bogus claim that Hogg works for CAP. Chapman's tweet remains live at this writing.

If a top CNS editor is promoting fake news, why should anyone trust the "news" his website publishes?

(h/t Media Matters)


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EDT
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's that time again -- time for us to do our monthly tally of the stenography work CNSNews.com did for its favorite sources, covering its work in March.

Judicial Watch: 4

Mark Levin: 8

CNS also did an article about a guest on Levin's Fox News show.

Frankin Graham: 1

White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter: 16

Our year-to-date tally so far:

  • Judicial Watch: 19
  • Levin: 25
  • Graham: 9
  • WH press secretary: 43

Quite the stenography tally, epecially for Levin and the White House, for just three months!


Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 PM EDT
Thursday, April 12, 2018
CNS Frowns On GOP Budget Trump Signed
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is normally a reliable pro-Trump lackey, but once in a while, it will throw some shade Trump's way if he strays from the CNS right-wing agenda. Most recently, CNS was upset at the Republican-generated omnibus spending bill that Trump signed.

Susan Jones lamented of the bill that "while there is much in it for Democrats to like, there is much for conservatives to oppose, as Republicans ignore campaign promises to limit spending and grow government instead." Jones also complained that the budget included money for a new tunnel between New Jersey and New York City because it is "the pet project of New York-area Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer," even though Trump campaigned in part on rebuilding America's infrastructure.

CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey huffed that "Members of the House of Representatives had 1,000 minutes—overnight—to read a 2,232-page bill that spends $1.3 trillion." Jeffrey downplayed the fact that it was a Republican-generated bill. In a later article, Jones seemed unhappy that "Trump seemed OK about getting only a fraction of the $25 billion he was promised to build a wall on a southern border."

When Trump tweeted that he might veto the bill, Jones was absolutely giddy, touting the "curve ball to Congress." When Trump did sign out, though, Melanie Arter's article on it sounded disappointed at first, but she soon fell into her usual pro-Trump stenography, allowing him to spin the signing away.

But then Trump did something CNS liked, and things were back to normal.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2018 10:12 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Decade of Lying About Planned Parenthood
Topic: CNSNews.com
So much for fair and balanced reporting: CNSNews.com has spent years falsely implying that federal money to Planned Parenthood pays for abortion as a justification for cutting off that funding -- and baselessly claiming that the money is "fungible." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:26 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

March's job news wasn't all that positive -- only 103,000 jobs created -- so CNSNews.com went into cherry-picking mode to push numbers that reflect better on President Trump.

Susan Jones' main story was headlined not with the overall numbers -- that didn't get mentioned until the 11th paragraph but that a "record number of women" were employed. She couldn't quite spin it away in the article proper, conceding the total number of Americans employed dropped.

Jones also conceded something else: that CNS' obsession with the labor force participation rate under President Obama hasn't paid off under Trump, admitting that "The labor force participation rate has been stuck at or near the 62.7-63.0 percent level for the past four years."

So, CNS had to turn to Trump-fluffing sidebars to stay in rah-rah mode. Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey contributed his usual piece on manufacturing jobs, cheering that "employment in the manufacturing sector has now increased by 281,000 since December 2016, the last month before President Donald Trump took office." Jeffrey also misled by writing, "In January 2009, the month Obama was inaugurated, manufacturing jobs dropped to 12,561,000. The number of manufacturing jobs in the United States did not exceed that number until February of this year, when it hit 12,610,000." It seems Jeffrey once again forgot that there was a major recession during the Obama administration that caused manufacturing jobs to fall far below that number, and that manufacturing jobs have been on an upward trajectory since 2011.

Jeffrey also penned another fluff piece highlighting that the number of federal government jobs has dropped by 21,000 under Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Friday, April 6, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Lectures the Pope on Being Catholic
Topic: CNSNews.com

You'd think that as the managing editor of a "news" operation, CNSNews.com's Michael W. Chapman wouldn't have time to launch attacks on the leader of his faith. You'd be wrong.

Chapman is firmly in the right-wing faction of the Catholic Church, as his approval of Catholics who hate the LGBT community as much as he does. So he's among the folks who think Pope Francis is just too darn liberal. For instance he huffs in a March 23 blog post:

Pope Francis tweeted on Thursday that "to defend the earth and to safeguard water is to protect life," which has led some pro-life leaders to question whether the Pope is broadening the definition of pro-life to include environmental issues, such as protecting "Mother Earth" that, in turn, undermine the principle life issues that stem from abortion and euthanasia.

Chapman went on to lecture the pope:

The "seamless garment" argument of liberal clerics seeks to put issues such as immigration, joblessness, and the environment on the same moral plane as abortion and euthanasia, which is illogical because abortion is the direct killing of another human being for no other reason than that the child is an inconvenience. The same moral position holds for euthanasia: murder is wrong. 

Policies and laws against murder are not the same, morally, as policies on immigration or wetlands. Human life (and the immortal soul) takes precedence.

When the pope was reportedly quoted in an interview with a "longtime atheist friend" as saying there is no hell, Chapman was so apoplectic that his blog post on the issue was the CNS lead story for a time on March 29. "This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul," he ranted.

Several hours later, though, Chapman had to update his post the Vatican's statement that the words attributed to the pope were not directly quoted and should not be considered a "faithful transcription."

Chapman followed up a few days later with quotes from Cardinal Raymond Burke -- a right-wing Catholic who was removed by Pope Francis as the head of the Vatican's high court and moved to a ceremonial position, which may have resulted in some anti-Francis bias and which Chapman doesn't mention --  calling the pope's alleged statements a "profound scandal" and "heretical ideas," then denounced the Vatican's walkback of the statements as not strong enough. This was also made the lead story on the CNS front page on April 6.

Chapman also quoted a nun who said that the pope needs "needs a sassy nun" as a personal assistant who will prevent him from ever speaking with his "athiest friend" again.

And that's how Chapman is spending his time instead of, say, trying to make his "news" operation less biased and more credible to the point that we're no longer moved to put scare quotes around "news" when referring to CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
CNS Edits Out Mnuchin Getting Schooled On Line-Item Veto
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones rather blandly writes in a March 26 CNSNews.com article:

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin echoed Trump's call for a line-item veto in an interview with "Fox News Sunday."

"I think -- I think they should give the president a line item veto," Mnuchin told host Chris Wallace, who responded that it's been ruled unconstitutional.

In a 6-3 decision in 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that the line-item veto Congress gave to President Bill Clinton in 1996 violated the Constitution's Presentment Clause, which says the president may either sign a bill into law, let it become law without his signature, or send it back to Congress with his objections.

The justices ruled, "there is no constitutional authorization for the president to amend or repeal" by eliminating those line items with which he disagrees.

Mnuchin told Chris Wallace, "We don't need to get into a debate in terms of -- there's different ways of doing this.

But Wallace said a lot more to Mnuchin that noting that the line-item veto was ruled unconstitutional. For some reason, Jones felt the need to edit out just how severely Wallace owned Mnuchin on the issue. Here's the full relevant transcript:

MNUCHIN: I think -- I think they should give the president a line item veto.

WALLACE: That's been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, sir.

MNUCHIN: Well, again, Congress could pass a rule, OK, that allows them to do it.

WALLACE: No, no, it would be a constitutional amendment.

MNUCHIN: We don't need to get into a debate in terms of -- there's different ways of doing this.

It's almost as if Jones was trying to hide how badly Mnuchin embarrassed himself, and doing so for the benefit of the Trump White House. But that's kinda Jones' job, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 8:52 AM EDT
Saturday, March 31, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Praises Rejection of Transgender Rights As Victory For 'Moral Sanity And Common Sense'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Does CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman still hate the LGBT community with a passion? You betcha! Chapman grumbled in a Feb. 13 blog post:

In a stunning example of moral sanity and common sense, the Department of Education will now reject any cases dealing with bathroom complaints by transgender students, reported BuzzFeed, and which leftist Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addressed in a tweet with #ProtectTransStudents.

On Monday, BuzzFeed ran a storyheadlined, "The Education Department Says it Will Reject Transgender Bathroom Complaints." 

The story noted that the Trump administration, back in February 2017, rescinded Obama-era rules that said public schools should allow transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice, e.g., a male student who imagines he is female may use the ladies room. Since then, liberals and LGBT activists have demanded that the Trump administration clarify its position on this issue.

On Feb. 8, Education Department spokesman Liz Hill told BuzzFeed that the federal Title IX law "prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity." 

Note Chapman's highly biased language, portraying the right-wing policy change as dripping with "moral sanity and common sense" while dismissing critics of it as "liberals" and "leftists."

Chapman went on to quote his favorite anti-trans doctor, Paul McHugh, claiming that "transgenderism is a 'mental disorder' that can be treated and sex change is 'biologically impossible' because one cannot change one's chromosomes." He didn't mention that McHugh's views have been discredited.

Chapman concludes: "Clearly, the proper response to transgenderism is mental health treatment, not bathroom reassignment." Meanwhile, Chapman's employer (and, quite likely, Chapman himself) thinks the proper response to homosexuality is conversion therapy.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:24 AM EDT
Thursday, March 29, 2018
CNS Gives Anti-Trans Writer (And His New Book) A Platform
Topic: CNSNews.com

As befits a "news" organization with an unrepentant homophobe as managing editor, CNSNews.com gives a lot of space to peple with anti-LGBT views. One of them is Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation.

Anderson is an anti-gay activist who tends to rely on shoddy research and dishonest attacks to back up his work, and he get lots of right-wing press because he presents himself as reasonable, though he really isn't.

Last July, CNS gave Anderson space to rant that, as summarized in the headline, "Biology Isn’t Bigotry: 5 Reasons Why Trans Accommodations Aren’t Compatible with Military Realities." Anderson also promoted "my forthcoming book 'When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.'"

When that book came out earlier this year, CNS gave Anderson a lot more space. A Jan. 22 column touted the work of anti-trans doctor Paul McHugh, despite the fact that his work has been widely discredited. (Of course, that hasn't exactly stopped that homophobic managing editor, Michael W. Chapman, from promoting McHugh either.)

Anderson's Feb. 1 CNS column perfectly illustrates the faux-reasonable attitude he purports to bring to the trans debate:

Properly understanding sex, gender, gender identity, and gender dysphoria will continue to be pressing concerns in 2018.

A proper understanding is a prerequisite for properly forming people in the truth and properly ministering to people in need.

As new gender ideologies are promoted throughout America, their lies will impact not only those who suffer from gender dysphoria, but all children who need to mature in their self-understanding as a boy or girl, man or woman, a potential husband or wife, father or mother.

Anderson then claims that "My book provides a nuanced view of our sexed embodiment, a balanced approach to policy issues involving transgender identity and gender more broadly, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong." Given that he's already dismissed anyone who disagrees with his viewpoint as liars, we doubt there's much actual nuance involved.

Indeed, his Feb. 9 column huffed that "at the heart of the transgender moment are radical ideas about the human person," adding: "A transgender future is not the 'right side of history,' yet activists have convinced the most powerful sectors of our society to acquiesce to their demands. While the claims they make are manifestly false, it will take real work to prevent the spread of these harmful ideas."

Anderson's Feb. 19 column huffed that "Parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter Friday because a judge ruled that she should be allowed to receive therapy, including testosterone therapy, to identify as a boy" -- he declined to comment specifically on the case, meaning he didn't have to discuss the fact that the parents' attitude toward their child was inducing suicidal feelings -- then used that story to go on another anti-transgender rant.

Finally, Anderson's March 9 column denounced sex reassignment surgery, citing McHugh once again and engaging in more faux reasonableness: "Thoughts that disguise or distort reality are misguided—and can cause harm. In 'When Harry Became Sally,' I argue that we need to do a better job of helping people who face these struggles.

Anderson's anti-trans campaign has also gotten the endorsement of the folks who run CNS' parent, the Media Research Center. Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's Feb. 9 column touted Anderson's book for making the right enemies in their eyes: "Anderson's book is dismissed as 'hate speech,' and let's not kid ourselves: The LGBT folks would like to ban a book like this, especially when he discusses that which they wish were silenced.

Graham and Bozell even used the book as an excuse to ignore President Trump's history of immorality: "That's a strong reason for the churchgoing conservatives to look past Trump's 'Access Hollywood' braggadocio and affairs from before he became a politician and vote against the extremism — the evil extremism — that Hillary Clinton endorsed."

Talk about demonizing people you oppose. No wonder CNS and the MRC love Anderson and his book.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
CNS Is A Little Too Cool With Putin's Re-Election
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough plays it weirdly straight in a March 18 article on the Russian elections:

As widely anticipated, Vladimir Putin has won another six-year term as president of Russia, securing his biggest victory yet in this his fourth presidential election campaign.

With 99 percent of ballots from the country’s 97,000 polling stations counted early Monday morning, Putin had won 76.6 percent of the votes, according to the Central Elections Commission (CEC).

His past presidential election victories garnered him 64 percent in 2012, 72 percent in 2004 and 53 percent in 2000.

With calls for a boycott and expectations of voter apathy due to the absence of any credible opposition among the seven challengers to the incumbent, a key factor in this year’s election has been voter turnout.

[...]

TASS reported that larger numbers of Russians abroad voted than had been the case in previous elections. At the Russian Embassy in London, where headlines have been dominated this month by allegations that Russia was behind the attempted murder by nerve agent of a former Russian spy, more than 3,400 votes were cast shortly before polls closed, it said.

The foreign ministry said earlier than almost 400 polling places were set up in 144 countries to offer some 1.8 million Russians living abroad the chance to vote.

[...]

Provisional results give the Communist Party’s Pavel Grudinin 11.8 percent of the votes in second place, ahead of Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the ultra-nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party with 5.7 percent.

The one opponent thought likely to offer Putin any realistic opposition, Alexei Navalny, was disqualified from running by the CEC, as a result of an earlier conviction on fraud charges which he and his supporters viewed as trumped-up.

That's the only reference to Navalny in the article -- which is strange, given that Goodenough in December wrote an article about Navalny's disqualification, and in January wrote an article featuring Republican Sen. Tom Cotton denouncing the jailing of Navalny after a anti-Putin rally, saying that "Every time [Putin] imprisons an opposition leader, it only shows the world just how corrupt and oppressive his regime truly is." So he was a position to add more information about it; instead, he provides only a hint of the rigging that took place to ensure Putin's re-election.

The same day, Goodenough wrote an article that devotes its first four paragraphs to how Putin denied involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian military official and his daughter in London, oddly waiting until the fifth paragraph that "The comments by Putin on the day of a major election victory directly refuted a claim made by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hours earlier" that Russians were involved.

This evenhandedness is at odds with the rest of what passes for CNS' "news" coverage, which is heavy on one-source wonders designed to push a right-wing, pro-Trump narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:30 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 7:31 PM EDT

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