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Thursday, December 18, 2014
CNS Still Thinks Spending Federal Money On Gays Is A Waste
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com used to have a "Waste Watch" section that seemed disproportionately focused on federal spending on LGBT issues. "Waste Watch" is gone, but CNS still thinks spending money on gays is a waste.

And CNS' Melanie Hunter is on it with a pair of articles over the past week:

Both articles ended with Huinter noting that she attempted to ask the respective project leaders for the grants how they were "an effective use of taxpayer funds" -- which clearly indicates that she doesn't think it is, though she never explains why.

Apparently, in CNS' right-wing world, any federal spending on gays is axiomatically a waste.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 PM EST
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
CNS Adds Right-Wing Bias To Another AP Headline
Topic: CNSNews.com

When the Associated Press sent out its Dec. 15 article on Dr. Vivek Murthy's Senate confirmation as surgeon general, it carried the headline "Senate approves Obama pick for surgeon general."

But that headline wasn't partisan enough for CNSNews.com, which changed the headline to read "Senate Approves Young Gun-Control Activist As Surgeon General."

CNS has a long, disturbing habit of adding right-wing bias to otherwise fair and balanced AP articles.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 PM EST
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Falsely Blames Obama for Bush Light Bulb Regulations
Topic: CNSNews.com

For a guy who runs a so-called "news" organization, CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has a serious disdain for facts.

He proves it again in a Dec. 9 CNS article:

For example, the bill prohibits Obama from spending a penny to carry out regulations that would effectively prohibit incandescent light bulbs in the United States.

A statement by the House Approprations Committee says that the bill includes a "provision prohibiting funding for the Administration’s onerous 'light bulb' standard, which prevents incandescent bulbs from being manufactured or sold, despite a continued public desire for these products.”

An "explanatory statement" posted on "Bills to be Considered on the House Floor" says: "The agreement includes a provision regarding prohibiting funds to implement or enforce higher efficiency light bulb standards."

Congress apparently is not worried that Obama will veto the bill and shut down the federal government in order to continue his administration's policy on incandescent light bulbs.

But Obama did not create or sign the policy  that mandated more efficient light bulbs. As the San Jose Mercury News details:

The 60- and 40-watt light bulbs that have been used in America for more than a century are being phased out as of Jan. 1, as part of a federal law banning their production in favor of more energy friendly bulbs like halogen or fluorescent.

Production of the 100- and 75-watt incandescent light bulbs stopped last year.

A lot of people seem to think this is President Obama's fault.

[...]

But unless they're joking, they are mistaken. President George W. Bush actually initiated the ban when he signed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007. 

The Washington Post gave Mitt Romney three Pinnochios for falsely claiming that  the light bulb efficiency standards were Obama's doing.

Also, contrary to Jeffrey's assertion, the new efficiency standards doesn't actually ban incandescent bulbs. As Popular Mechanics details, no particular type of bulb was banned, but standard incandescent bulbs are so inefficient -- converting only 5 to 10 percent of the electricity it consumes into light -- that they will need to be upgraded or replaced by other forms in order to meet the standard.

Jeffrey doesn't explain why he thinks such energy-wasting bulbs should remain in production.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EST
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
CNS Gives Scandal-Tarred Rabbi A Platform
Topic: CNSNews.com

Michael Chapman fawningly writes in a Dec. 8 CNSNews.com article:

Scholar, best selling author, and talk radio host Rabbi Daniel Lapin said the rioting and looting in Ferguson, Mo., over the non-indictment of the police officer who shot Michael Brown were the result of the “dark pathology of liberalism” and, in its “delight in destruction,” echoed the “Kristallnacht in Germany.”

"When the liberal project, when the dark pathology of liberalism -- not so much a doctrine as a sick and twisted pathology -- manages to strip Judeo-Christian belief out of American society, congratulations guys, welcome to Ferguson, you succeeded,” said Rabbi Lapin on the Dec. 3 Glenn Beck Program.

[...]

Daniel Lapin is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi who emigrated to the United States and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1973.  He hosts the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO radio station, and is the author numerous books, including America’s Real War, Buried Treasure: Hidden Wisdom from the Hebrew Language, and Business Secrets From the Bible.

Missing from Chapman's overlong recitation of Lapin's CV: figure in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

Convicted felon Abramoff has reportedly credited Lapin with introducing him to then-House Republican leader Tom DeLay. Abramoff also made use of Lapin's organization, Toward Tradition (on whose board Abramoff also sat), in moving money around to further his lobbying efforts. Toward Tradition also hired the wife of a DeLay aide who later pleaded guilty to conspiring to corrupt public officials; the aide said that his wife was paid in exchange for his official actions. 

Lapin and Abramoff also reportedly discussed creating an award at Toward Tradition that Abramoff could claim he received (Lapin later insisted his end of the discussion was tongue-in-cheek).

Since Chapman doesn't mention Lapin's scandal-tarred record, we also aren't treated to an explanation of why such a man has the moral authority to lecture others.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 PM EST
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Terry Jeffrey's Unprofessional, Uninformed Editorializing
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has always been much more about advancing his right-wing agenda than practicing fair and ethical journalism. He is continuing to obliterate the line between journalism and opinion at CNS.

Jeffrey writes in a Dec. 3 CNS article that conservatives oppose a proposed National Women's History Museum because they "believe it will be tilted toward a feminist, pro-abortion vision of American women--and that it will promote such figures as eugenicist Margaret Sanger and cost-free-contraception health-insurance entitlement advocate Sandra Fluke."

Quite a mouthful there. How long did Jeffrey rearrange the words until he came up with formulation "cost-free-contraception health-insurance entitlement advocate" to dismiss Fluke? Do you get the feeling that Jeffrey was restraining himself from following in Rush Limbaugh's footsteps and calling Fluke a slut and a prostitute?

That's rank editorializing, and it doesn't belong in a "news" article.

Given CNS' longtime censorship of Limbaugh's denigration of Fluke, one may surmise that Jeffrey approves of Limbaugh's words.

Jeffrey goes into full unethical mode in a Dec. 6 article noting President Obama's words about Jesus and the holiday season:

Barack Obama is one of the greatest champions of the legalized killing of unborn babies in the history of the United States. In the Illinois state senate, he went so far as to repeatedly oppose a bill that simply would have defined a newborn child as a “person,” “human being,” “child” and “individual.”

That law would have prevented live-birth abortions--a procedure in which a mother in late term is induced to deliver her child so the child can be left alone, without care, to die.

Even if that were true, Jeffrey's screed has no business being in a "news" article. But Jeffrey's portrayal of Obama's stance on the Illinois bill is disingenuous and misleading.

The bill Jeffrey is referring to is better known as a "born alive infant" law that would have entitled a fetus who survived an abortion to legal protection, even if doctors believe it could not survive. As FactCheck.org notes, Illinois law already provided such protection to infants with a "reasonable likelihood" of likelihood of surviving outside the womb.

Obama has long stated that he opposed the law because versions of it did not include a protective clause stating that it did not affect existing laws on abortion, according to FactCheck.

In other words, the law was designed as a wedge issue by anti-abortion activists. And Jeffrey's citing of it as a way to disingenuously smear Obama proves that intent.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:00 AM EST
Sunday, December 7, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

In November, 321,000 new jobs were created. But that good news is inconvenient to CNSNews.com's anti-Obama agenda, so it won't tell you that.

Instead, as always, CNS cherry-picks random unemployment statistics that make Obama look bad:

17.7% Teen Unemployment in America – Still Above Rate of 6 Years Ago

Labor Force Participation Remains at 36-Year Low

Neither of those articles reported the fact that 321,000 jobs were created in November.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 7, 2014 10:13 PM EST
Thursday, December 4, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Thinks Refinancing Debt Is A Ponzi Scheme
Topic: CNSNews.com

The headline on Terry Jeffrey's Nov. 28 CNSNews.com article reads "Ponzi: Treasury Issues $1T in New Debt in 8 Weeks—To Pay Old Debt." ANd yes, that's exactly what Jeffrey thinks:

The Daily Treasury Statement that was released Wednesday afternoon as Americans were preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving revealed that the U.S. Treasury has been forced to issue $1,040,965,000,000 in new debt since fiscal 2015 started just eight weeks ago in order to raise the money to pay off Treasury securities that were maturing and to cover new deficit spending by the government.

During those eight weeks, Treasury took in $341,591,000,000 in revenues. That was a record for the period between Oct. 1 and Nov. 25. But that record $341,591,000,000 in revenues was not enough to finance ongoing government spending let alone pay off old debt that matured.

[...]

This mode of financing the federal government resembles what the Securities and Exchange Commission calls a Ponzi scheme. “A Ponzi scheme," says the Securities and Exchange Commission, “is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors,” says the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Well, no. Refinancing debt by rolling it into new debt is not a "Ponzi scheme" -- it's a universally accepted way of financing debt for both private businesses and for government, particularly if that old debt is at a higher interest rate than can be today. 

Indeed, the Treasury Department's new debt is financed at a longer term to lock in current low interest rates.

This, by the way, is another piece of CNS' business and economic reporting that's credited as being "funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Even if Wold was a rock-ribbed conservative, it's probably unlikely he would accept such biased and misleading reporting occurring in his memory.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EST
Monday, December 1, 2014
CNS' Jeffrey Can't Stop Obsessively Counting Obama's Words
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's weird obsession with certain words President Obama says (or doesn't say) continues in a Nov. 27 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey:

Leaving aside passages in which he quoted a Chicago pub owner and a letter from a citizen from Georgia, President Barack Obama used the first person singular—including the pronouns “I” and “me” and the adjective “my”—91 times in a speech he delivered in Chicago Tuesday to explain his unilateral action on immigration.

But as often as Obama used “I,” “me” and “my” in Chicago this week, it was no match for the speech he delivered in Austin, Texas, on July 10, when he used the first person singular 199 times.

[...]

Obama’s speech, according to the White House transcript, was approximately 4,200 words and lasted 33 minutes. That means that on average Obama used the first person singular every 46 words—or every 22 seconds.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, in which he presented his understanding of the moral significance of the Civil War, was only 696 words long. In that speech, Lincoln used the first person singular once.

As we noted the last time Jeffrey went on a pedantic word-counting expedition (and irrelevantly compared Obama's words to Lincoln's), one analysis found “Obama has distinguished himself as the lowest I-word user of any of the modern presidents.” Needless to say, Jeffrey doesn't mention that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 1, 2014 1:06 PM EST
Saturday, November 29, 2014
CNS' Holiday News Dump Retracts Catholic Vaccine Conspiracy
Topic: CNSNews.com

Earlier this month, CNS managing editor Michael Chapman played up a claim by Catholics in Kenya that a tetanus vaccine being used in Kenya by the World Health Organization and the UNICEF was laced with a hormone that causes miscarriages and infertility. As a good right-wing Catholic, Chapman made sure to bury WHO's and UNICEF's denial of problems with the vaccine.

Well, never mind.

Chapman performed a holiday weekend news dump by waiting until the day before Thanksgiving to publish an article noting that the Catholic vaccine conspiracy was a fraud:

Tests ordered by the Kenyan Catholic bishops in October to find out if a tetanus vaccine provided by the World Health Organization contained a birth-control hormone -- allegedly used in a “disguised population control program” -- were false positive, and the bishops were “acting in good faith on the evidence presented to them” at the time, said Matercare International in a statement on Nov. 21.

While the tests of the vaccine the Bishops had done at four separate laboratories were marred and showed false positive results for the infertility hormone, Matercare Internaitonal also said “the best solution is for the Kenyan authorities to communicate directly with the WHO in Geneva to offer support and encouragement to expeditiously test samples supervised by both parties in independent, reputable and competent laboratories.”

Chapman does not note whether Catholic officials in Kenya have apologized to WHO and UNICEF for falsely impugning them and their tetanus vaccine, nor did he bother to find out if one was offered.

Instead, Chapman lets someone from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists portray the Catholic bishops in Kenya who forwarded the conspiracy as the victim, blaming WHO and UNICEF for "unnecessary controversy" and declaring that "If WHO or the Kenyan government had treated the Bishops question with the respect due to mutual health care stakeholders, it is doubtful that the Bishops would have resorted to testing which proved to be invalid."

Given that basic medical care isn't exactly in the bailiwick of the Catholic Church, it's difficult to see where the bishops should have been treated as "stakeholders."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 PM EST
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
CNS Editor Whines About 'Pro-Gay Propaganda'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com assistant commentary editor Michael Morris managed to pull himself away from fawning over Mark Levin long enough to spew a little homophobia.

In a Nov. 19 post, Morris complained that ESPN highlighted the first openly gay Division I men’s college basketball player, even though he was his team's "number three, and the game’s number four, scorer of the evening."Morris ranted that ESPN was engaging in "pro-gay propaganda," ranting that he hoped the team's next game "has more to do with the game and each respective teams’ play on the court and less to do with the players’ sexual preferences and an otherwise obvious pro-gay agenda."

The next day, Morris whined about Secretary of State John Kerry marking a "Transgender Day of Remembrance," claiming he makes "two glaring mistakes":

He forgets to mention where “hate and violence against gender non-conforming people” seems to be the greatest. According to a Gallup poll, the United States, while not ranked the highest “good place” for gays, is still relatively high on the list of places that are safe for gays to live, at (70 percent), while nations like Iran and Egypt were “too sensitive [of areas] to [even] ask.”

Secretary of State Kerry’s presser also runs afoul when he says, “That’s why standing with the transgender community is the first step in ensuring they enjoy the same freedoms as everyone else,” because this implies that the transgender community does not already have the same freedoms of others.

Morris is curiously silent about Uganda, where gays do not have the same rights as others. That may be because CNS publishes commentaries by anti-gay activist Matt Barber, who in a recent column claimed fellow anti-gay activist Scott Lively was suffering a "crucifixion" for being held to account for encouraging anti-gay sentiment in the country.

Nevertheless, Morris concludes by ranting about the Obama administration's purported "propagandized attempt to condone, on behalf of the entire U.S. population, the trans community’s lifestyle." Morris is using misleading right-wing phraseology to deny that transgenderism is not innate and merely a "lifestyle" one can easily change.

But fans of Morris' Mark Levin sycophancy shouldn't fear: A Nov. 25 post is dedicated to regurgitating the right-wing radio host's words blaming "the reckless liberal media" and "the lawless administration" for violence in Ferguson, Mo.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 26, 2014 10:11 AM EST
Monday, November 24, 2014
CNS Ignored Benghazi Report, But Highlighted Criticism Of It
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released a report on Friday that debunked many right-wing conspiracy theories about the attack on a diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. CNSNews.com -- despite claiming to be a "news" organization, ignored the report.

CNS did not notice the report until nearly three days later, when a Nov. 24 article by Susan Jones framed it in an attack by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who called the report "full of crap."

CNS was apparently busy covering other issues it deemed more important, like how much golf President Obama played over the weekend. Priorities!


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EST
Sunday, November 23, 2014
CNS' Starr Peddles Oil Industry Propaganda on Keystone Pipeline
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr has long been a reliable propagandist for the fossil fuel industries (which is a major donor to the Media Research Center). She proves it again in a Nov. 17 CNS article in which she shills for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Starr heavily quotes those with a direct financial interest in getting the pipeline built, including longtime buddy the American Petroleum Institute:

The American Petroleum Institute, the trade association that advocates on behalf of the U.S. oil and gas industry, on Monday issued a plea to Obama about the pipeline and its benefits.

“Mr. President, do not outsource the 42,000 American jobs this pipeline represents, to move Canadian and U.S. energy resources from North Dakota and Montana, to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard said in a statement.

“Americans are embracing our domestic energy renaissance but they can’t fully benefit from it unless there is a robust infrastructure system to transport the fuels they demand,” he added.

[...]

TransCanada, the company in charge of the Keystone XL pipeline construction, calls it “the definition of shovel-ready infrastructure project,” and cites the State Department’s own findings. (The department is in control of the project’s destiny because of its “international” element.)

“Almost overnight, Keystone XL could put 9,000 hard-working American men and women directly to work,” TransCanada says on its website. “The U.S. State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement found that the project would support more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide.”

But Starr doesn't report the full context of the State Department's job predictions. PolitiFact points out that the 42,000 jobs that would be "support[ed]" by the pipeline doesn't mean that 42,000 jobs would be created. The vast majority of those jobs are temporary and would last only as long as the pipeline is being constructed, and a number of them already exist. The operation and maintenance of the pipeline after construction will create only about 50 jobs.

Starr goes on to regurgitate more claims from TransCanada:

“Keystone XL Pipeline will have the capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Canada and the continental United States to refineries on the Gulf Coast, where it can displace much of the higher-priced oil those refineries currently import from overseas,” TransCanada says.

“This view is backed up by a December, 2010 U.S. Department of Energy study which states: ‘Increased Canadian oil imports will help reduce U.S. imports of foreign oil from sources outside of North America.’”

But as the Christian Science Monitor reported, Canadian oil exports to the U.S. will increase whether or not Keystone XL is built. And Reuters notes that a significant amount of the crude oil coming through Keystone XL would be exported.

Because Starr is in propaganda mode, she won't report any of those inconvenient facts to her readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 PM EST
Friday, November 21, 2014
CNS Reporter Demands That Activist Be Censored
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center just loves to portray the media as "censoring" a given pet conservative cause, so you'd think they'd oppose any form of censorship. Not so.

In a Nov. 20 tweet, CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr demanded that an activist with whom she disagreed be prohibited from expressing his views: "This anti-Christian man should not be a witness at Congressional hearings. Why should he be given credibility?"

Starr is referring to Michael Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which opposes religious extremism in the military.

Starr is so committed to shutting Weinstein up that she devoted an entire Nov. 20 CNS article to repeating Republican Rep. Randy Forbes' ad hominem attacks on Weinstein simply for showing up to testify at a congressional hearing on religious freedom in the military.

Starr is so determined to bash Weinstein that she never explains why the hearing was held in the first place.

Apparently, at the MRC freedom of speech is granted only when the MRC agrees with that speech.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EST
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
CNS'Hollingsworth Returns To Stenographer Mode
Topic: CNSNews.com

Barbara Hollingsworth's Nov. 14 CNSNews.com article is yet another of her stenography extravaganzas, dutifully regurgitating the "seven reasons why [Americans] should not sign up for Obamacare" offered by the anti-Obamacare group Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom.

Hollingsworth even uncritically forwards CCHF president Twila Brase's tortured argument that health coverage through Obamacare isn't really private coverage even though the policy"says Cigna, or Kaiser or WellPoint."

As is typical for a Hollingsworth stenography piece, she makes no effort to balance her article with the views of someone who opposes the CCHF's anti-Obamacare ideology, even though the article is presented as "news." Thus, you won't hear any criticism of Brase's dangerous central argument, that it's better to have no health insurance than to have Obamacare. As Bloomberg View opined when Brase peddled this argument last year:

That claim is absurd on its face: Even if you believe that exchange-purchased insurance will offer fewer care options than other types of coverage, some insurance is leagues better than none. Forget about the penalty for not carrying insurance; what if that 22-year-old needs medical care? He can pay his doctors directly, Brase responded, or seek charity care.


[...]

So Brase's advice that people who can't afford insurance outside the exchanges simply go without makes perfect sense -- but only if you're rich, you never get sick, or you only get sick during open enrollment. And how about access to preventive care to keep you from getting sick in the first place, you ask? Well, if you're worried about that, you'd better reconsider your commitment to freedom, my friend.

Again, Hollingsworth doesn't care about journalism, she cares about forwarding an ideology. That makes her a failure as a journalist, but an apparent success as a CNS senior editor.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:51 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 6:53 PM EST
Sunday, November 16, 2014
CNS Promotes Catholic Vaccine Conspiracy Theory
Topic: CNSNews.com

Michael W. Chapman spends a Nov. 14 CNSNews.com article lavishing attention on a Catholic-generated conspiracy theory that a tetanus vaccine being used in Kenya "by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is laced with a hormone that causes miscarriages and infertility."

While Chapman does concede that "UNICEF denies that the vaccine is tainted and the WHO says the 'allegations are not backed by the evidence,'"  the bulk of his article isconcerned with presenting the claims made by "the Catholic Bishops of Kenya, along with the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association," as true and WHO and UNICEF as trying to hide something.

Chapman also brings in Donna Harrison, "an OB/GYN and executive director of the American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists," to bolster the Catholics' case. He doesn't mention that Harrison is an anti-birth control activist who peddles the myth that morning-after pills cause abortions.

While Chapman does eventually tell bothh sides of the story, he waits until the 31st paragraph of his article to note WHO's and UNICEF's evidence that the vaccines are not laced with infertility drugs.

Chapman's promotion of this anti-vaccine conspiracy theory is ironic because other branches of CNS' owner, the Media Research Center, have railed against those who promote anti-vaccine conspiracy theories (when they don't involve Gardasil, anyway).

We're aware of CNS' pro-Catholic leanings and reputation for unbalanced reporting, but can't Chapman -- who, remember, is CNS' managing editor -- try to attempt some actual journalism by fairly presenting both sides of the story instead of putting his thumb on the scale in favor of the Catholics, no matter how crazy their conspiracy theory sounds?

Apparently not -- to him, the political narrative is more important than the facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 16, 2014 9:46 PM EST

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