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Thursday, February 21, 2019
CNS Skips A Controversy In Reporting on Trump Judicial Nominee
Topic: took an unusually high -- albeit highly selective -- interest in one Trump judicial nominee's Senate confirmation hearing.

Seemingly suggesting that the nominee wasn't far enough to the right, Melanie Arter wrote in a Feb. 6 article:

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judicial nominee Neomi Rao told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that “there’s an overwhelming scientific consensus that there is climate change” and that “human activity does contribute to climate change.”

When questioned on her personal beliefs about when human life begins, however, she said it would be inappropriate to answer because some cases relating to the issue could come before the court.

But another article the same day, by Emily Ward, seemed to come to Rao's defense by highlighting a religion-related question to her:

On Tuesday, while questioning judicial nominee Neomi Rao, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asked Rao whether she believed gay relationships “are a sin.” This drew criticism from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who pointed out that the Constitution prohibits religious tests of those seeking federal office.

Ward did concede there was a legitimate basis for Booker's question, noting that Rao had previously criticized a Supreme Court ruling that decriminalized same-sex relationships.

Ward followed up with a Feb. 13 article highlighting Republican criticism of questions to judges that "focused on the nominees’ religious beliefs," citing Booker's question to Rao as "only the most recent in a series of incidents in which Democrat senators have questioned nominees on their personal religious beliefs."

Strangely, none of these CNS articles cited a much bigger controversy involving Rao's beliefs: writings in college that seemed to argue that victims of date rape had it coming beause they drank too much. Rao apologized for those writings during the hearing -- something CNS didn't deem to be newsworthy.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
CNS Still Shows Double Standard On Reporting About Politicians' Inflammatory Comments
Topic:'s double standard on reporting about inflammatory comments by politicians has reared its ugly head again.

When Rep. Ihlan Omar made comments critical of Israel that were widely interpreted as  anti-Semitic, CNS pounced with four articles in the 24 hours after the remark was made:

The next day, CNS added an article on President Trump weighing in: "Trump on Rep. Ilhan Omar's Anti-Semitic Comments: 'I Think She Should Resign from Congress.'"

CNS similarly flooded the zone when Rep. Rashida Tlaib -- coincidentally, also a Muslim and a Democrat -- made her own controversial remark, posting multiple articles in a short amount of time and making sure to reference the remark in the headline.

But CNS' tone is much different when a Republican makes a controversial remark. When Republican Rep. Steve King made comments supportive of white nationalism, CNS waited four days to do its first story about it, published only one other article on it, never referenced the nature of the comments in the headline of any article, and gave copious space to King to rebut accusations.

That's what's called media bias. CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, should look into that sometime.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:27 PM EST
Monday, February 18, 2019
CNS Devolves Into Echo Chamber for Trump's Policies

When President Trump says "jump," asks, "how high?" That's the editorial agenda of CNS these days -- bolstering whatever pronouncement Trump makes with sycophantic echoing and random, anecdotal claims.

For instance, when Trump started ranting about claims of human trafficking over the southern border in order to justify building a wall -- which experts on the issue say is wildly overblown -- CNS rushed to bolster it:

  • Melanie Arter wrote a Feb. 4 article featuring an activist who claimed that "human traffickers take advantage of the United States’ open borders to smuggle children into the country and force them to have sex for money."
  • The next day, Arter wrote an article featuring a Border Patrol official claiming "human traffickers are using children to smuggle illegal immigrants across the border as a family unit and recycling the children back across the border to be used again."

When Trump announced that the U.S. would pull out of Syria and prematurely declared ISIS defeated, CNS continued the support mode there it started when Trump first made the announcement:

  • A Jan. 16 article by Susan Jones complained that Trump's announcement "drew an instant backlash," then highlighted that "an undisclosed number of U.S. troops were killed on routine patrol in Syria."
  • On Jan. 21, Patrick Goodenough noted another ISIS-linked bombing in Syria targeting U.S. troops.
  • A Jan. 29 article by Jones pushed Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats' claim that "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will seek to 'avoid conflict' with two of America's allies as he consolidates power in Syria and continues to 're-take territory' from what remains of ISIS." Jones then added a partisan spin by noting, "This is the same dictator that the Obama administration tried to topple."
  • A Feb. 3 video featured Trump declaring that the U.S. needs to get out of "endless wars" like in Syria.
  • On Feb. 5, Jones featured a report claiming that "ISIS is regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria."
  • Dmitri Simes wrote a Feb. 7 article touting Sen. Rand Paul's endorsement of Trump's proclamation.
  • The same day, Goodenough promoted Trump's claim that "he expects the military coalition fighting ISIS to formally declare the end of the terrorist group’s hold on territory in Syria and Iraq as soon as next week."

We've already seen hwo CNS worked to echo Trump's public pronoucements on the government shutdown, even as those views constantly shifted.

Acting as a political echo chamber is not the same thing as journalism.

(Updated to note earlier Syria support.)

Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2019 8:29 PM EST
Sunday, February 17, 2019
CNS' Jeffrey Rehashes Old, Bogus Attack On Obama Over Abortion
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey devoted his Feb. 6 column to rehashing a old attack on Barack Obama: ascribing sinister motive to bills he opposed as an Illinois state senator that would require care of a fetus that was still alive after an abortion. "At that time, Illinois state law did not protect the rights of these abortion-surviving babies," Jeffrey writes, adding that the state senator who introduced the bills "just wanted to protect the constitutional rights of all born babies. Not Obama."

In fact, as we documented when the attack first surfaced during the 2008 presidential campaign, Illinois already had a law requiring medical care for a viable fetus that survived an abortion -- contradicting the source Jeffrey used for his column, anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek that only "comfort care" is permitted.

While Jeffrey cited one single defense Obama made of his opposition to the bill -- that it would give legal status to a previable fetus -- Obama also pointed out that the legislation was really intended to restrict abortion rights and it would likely be struck down by the courts since federal law did not permit it under Roe v. Wade, since it did not include a "neutrality clause" stating that the law would not change anyone's legal status.

The fact that Obama has been out of office for more than two years isn't stopping Jeffrey from falsely attacking him -- though perhaps it should be a sign he should give it up.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EST
Thursday, February 14, 2019
CNS Still Falsely Suggesting Federal Money to Planned Parenthood Pays For Abortion
Topic: has spent more than a decade falsely implying that federal money that goes to Planned Parenthood pays for abortion, and CNS' newest reporter, Emily Ward, isn't about to disturb that record.

So it's no surprise that Ward wrote in a Jan. 21 article:

Planned Parenthood released its 2017-2018 annual report over the weekend, revealing that the organization did 332,757 abortions in the fiscal year that ran from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.

Planned Parenthood also reported that it received $563.8 million in revenue from “government health services reimbursements & grants” for the year ending June 30, 2018.

Ward's juxtaposition suggests the two are linked. They are not: Federal policy prohibits federal money from paying for abortion. 

Ward followed with another attack on Planned Parenthood on Feb. 1, this time over online chatbots offering teens "instant sex and relationship advice." Ward doesn't cite any answers provided that were inaccurate or even offensive, though she did seem disturbed that the chatbot offers "no judgment." Surprisingly, Ward doesn't even contact the usual right-wing suspects to denounce the dissemination of accurate information; instead, she irrelvantly repeats the number of abortions performed at Planned Parenthood clinics (though, surprisingly, not the amount of federal money it has accepted).

Ward appears to have taken Penny Starr's place on CNS' anti-abortion beat, but it's not translating so far into stories on the subject being more fair and balanced.

UPDATE: Ward pushed the false funding meme again -- while also taking an unusual shot at Republicans -- in a Jan. 24 article that complained "Planned Parenthood did more than 2 million abortions while receiving federal funding through appropriations approved by the House of Representatives when the House was controlled by Republicans from the beginning of 2011 through the beginning of 2019." She did not explain that none of those appropriations paid for any of those abortions.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2019 11:45 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Shutdown Shenanigans at CNS
Topic: had to follow Trump's flip-flops on the shutdown to keep parroting the party line, on top of its refusal to fact-check anything Trump says or tweets. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EST
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
CNS Channels WND, Still Pushing CNN-Roger Stone Conspiracy Theory

When Trump confidant and all-around sleazy person Roger Stone got arrested as part of the Robert Mueller probe last month, reporter Susan Jones turned conspiracy-happy by promoting President Trump's never-proven conspiracy theory that CNN cameras were on hand at Stone's house for the arrest because they had been tipped off by Mueller.

Apparenly channeling her inner WorldNetDaily, Jones pushed the conspiracy theory again when acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was asked about it by Republican Rep. Doug Collins during congressional testimony, devoting much of a Feb. 8 article to it. Jones touted how Shitaker said he was "aware -- and deeply concerned -- about CNN being there to cover Stone's arrest" andhelped Collins push the unproven claim that "CNN may have been tipped off."

Of the 11 paragraphs in her article devoted to the conspiracy theory, only one reported the truth, and even then only parenthetically, as if it was unimportant instead of the thing that blows up the other 10 paragraphs:

(CNN insists it was not tipped off about Stone's arrest. CNN said it was just good reporting -- noticing "unusual activity" at the grand jury venue in Washington that prompted a CNN team to wait outside Stone's house on that particular Friday morning.)

We've prevoiusly noted the creeping WND-ization of Media Research Center properties like CNS. Jones' conspiracy-mongering takes it up to a new level.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 PM EST
Monday, February 11, 2019
CNS' Hilariously Biased Coverage of Trump's State of the Union

As if the right-wing bias of was obvious, they made it crystal clear in its coverage of President Trump's State of the Union Address.

CNS published four "news" articles centered on, or completely made up of, quotes from Trump's address:

These were followed by three articles focusing on the facial expressions of Democratic politicians listening to the address -- all centered on CNS' pet issue of abortion:

Additionally, CNS published no article on Stacey Abrams' Democratic rebuttal to Trump's address -- effectively censoring its existence for its readers. It did, however, publish a column by Tom Kilgannon of Freedom Alliance declaring that State of the Union rebuttals should be banned because they're "pointless, petty and uninspired" and "only perpetuates distrust and discord in our political life." Kilgannon claimed he was making a bipartisan demand -- "It matters not whether the respondent is Stacy Abrams or Marco Rubio, the evening belongs to the president" -- but we found no instance of Kilgannon making the same demand while Barack Obama was president.

CNS' Media Research Center would be up in arms if it found bias this blatant at a "liberal" media outlet.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 PM EST
Sunday, February 10, 2019
CNS Stenographer Hides Kudlow's History of Bad Economic Predictions
Topic: reporter Melanie Arter went into pro-Trump stenography mode once more for a Jan. 29 article:

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Monday that the economy is “very strong” despite the government shutdown and that no “permanent damage” was done.

“I still think the economy is very strong. I know there are some disagreements, sut I think, as the numbers shake out, the Commerce Department is reopening, we're going to get a GDP report probably next week, we'll get a jobs report this Friday. So that'll work out,” he said.

“Based on things we've talked about here -- unemployment claims, low; industrial production, strong; business investment, strong; holiday sales, very strong -- I still think we're on a three percent trend line growth rate, and I'm proud of that. I think that the program of lower tax rates, and regulatory rollback, and opening up energy and so forth is working and is continuing to work,” Kudlow said, adding that he thinks the optimists “are going to be right.”

Arter is certainly not going to mention -- and she doesn't -- Kudlow's long history of terrible economic predictions, as we've documented, even though it's newsworthy regarding his veracity as an economic adviser. Yet Arter lets Kudlow attack without challenge the economic reports of the Congressional Budget Office, even though he's frequently wrong in his CBO-bashing. (Though Kudlow has no problem with CBO numbers that align with his political agenda.)

This is what happens when pushing a political agenda becomes more important than reporting the news.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EST
Friday, February 8, 2019
Will CNS Report On Bozell's Tangental Link to Trump-Russia Scandal? Doubtful
Topic: -- as befits a loyal pro-Trump stenographer -- typically doesn't report on negative things about President Trump unless it can be spun to his advantage, which is why much of its reporting on the Trump-Russia investigation is mostly limited to random people insisting that there was no collusion. It's also why the only story CNS has published about Russian operative Maria Butina and her alleged attempt to infiltrate the conservative movement by acting as a gun-rights enthusiast is framed around the idea that the arrest of a former U.S. Marine by Russian authorities was done in retaliation for Butina's arrest.

But there's another tangent to this story that nobody at CNS or its Media Research Center parent want to talk about -- because it involves MRC chief Brent Bozell.

Butina was romantically involved with a conservative political operative, Paul Erickson, who helped ingratiate her with various conservative groups (and who also just got indicted in relation to the Butina case). Despite his conservative bona fides, Erickson was a bit of a scammer, and Bozell got scammed, as a newspaper in Erickson's home state of South Dakota reported:

Erickson, 56, landed in hot water with many of his associates, including L. Brent Bozell, III, a descendant of conservative royalty, over a failed business deal that ended up in court.


In the late 1990s, Erickson set out to use some of the contacts he had developed over the years to raise money for a nursing home and Alzheimer's care company called Compass Care. Investors were sold on the idea of building 24 facilities that would be Christian based.

Although Erickson raised money, the venture went nowhere. By 2003, the same year in which he was telling donors he wanted to raise money to defeat Daschle, creditors began seeking judgments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars against Compass Care, including on the red Ford Mustang Erickson drove.

The creditors included Blue Stem Capital Partners, an investment company founded by former GOP Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby, who ran for governor in 2002.

In 2007, Bozell filed suit against Erickson after losing nearly all of a $200,000 investment into Compass Care. The lawsuit showed how deep Erickson was willing to tap his conservative allies to raise money.

Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Center, a group founded to highlight alleged liberal bias in the media, had an unmatched pedigree within the conservative movement.

His father had been among the post-World War II intellectuals who revived the conservative movement, and his uncle, William F. Buckley, was the founder of National Review, a conservative magazine that for decades represented the zenith in conservative thought.

In his lawsuit, Bozell said he had known Erickson socially for years.

"Defendant Erickson had from time to time represented to plaintiff Bozell that he was an astute businessman and an accomplished investor of his own and other people's money," the lawsuit said.

Erickson, the lawsuit said, promised Bozell that he would double his money. Bozell sued a year and a half after nearly all of his money disappeared.

A court eventually awarded Bozell a judgment of $190,000. Christopher Craig, a lawyer who represented Bozell in the case, said the judgment, which includes interest, was never paid.

Don't look for CNS to report on any aspect of this story anytime soon.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EST
Thursday, February 7, 2019
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic:'s coverage of January's employment numbers brought more pro-Trump rah-rah, since the numbers were good enough. The main story by Susan Jones trumpeted in its headline: "Labor Force Participation at Trump-Era High of 63.2% in January," but further down in the article she concedes that number isn't actually that good:

The 163,229,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 63.2 percent of the 258,239,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population.

The participation rate was 62.9 percent when Trump took office, and it has showed little change since then, as retiring baby boomers offset additions to the nation's workforce.

As we've documented, CNS regularly played up the relatively low labor force participation rate during the Obama administration, but it only rarely told readers it was due to baby boomers retiring.

From there, we get our usual sidebars Terry Jeffrey obsessing about manufacturing jobs and goverment jobs, and Craig Bannister hyping Hispanic employment for the seeming purpose of CNS' Media Research Center parent trying to shame Hispanic TV networks into reporting it. CNS also published another op-ed by Mickey Levy -- which first appeared at the right-wing Manhattan Institute -- touting the good numbers.

This time, though, CNS also threw in an anonymously written article featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responding to the numbers "by issuing a statement attacking congressional Republicans for embracing an attitude that 'disrespects workers.'"

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019 2:31 AM EST
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
CNS Touts Ben Stein Likening Ocasio-Cortez To Hitler
Topic: has gotten its right-wing marching orders to cast newly elected Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- and that's just what it's been doing, lame shots and all. Another one of those lame shots came in an anonymously written Jan. 24 item complaining that Ocasio-Cortez "sent out a Tweet on Wednesday responding to criticism of her views on climate change by quoting from the Bible." The post further complained that "Ocasio-Cortez did not indicate which translation of the Bible she was using or provide links to the passages she cited," then, as an apparent rebuttal, published the entirety of the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis that Ocasio-Cortez referenced (though not the chapter from Leviticus she referenced). The anonymous writer did not explain what, exactly, was being rebutted by doing that.

The same day, however, CNS went from lame to full-on nasty in a post by Craig Bannister touting how Ben Stein likened Ocasio-Cortez to Hitler:

Democrat Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promisng Americans the same thing brutal dictators promised, and those promises are never realized, Ben Stein explained in a Fox News Channel interview this week.

Stein, an economist, lawyer and writer, warned that, when politicians promising to punish success in the name of equality obtain power, their policies invariably have terrifying results:

"We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Miss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promising.

"These promises are old promises, and they invariably lead to bad things. The promise of saying to the people do what you can within the law to make your life better and your family's life better that system works extremely well. Capitalism is a system that allows people to make something of themselves instead of oppressing other people."

In addition to the crass, politically motivated insult -- presented without criticism, by the way -- CNS is engaging in a double standard. It has previously complained when others have likened President Trump to Hitler: Susan Jones feigned outrage that "MSNBC's Joe Scarborough actually compared Trump to Hitler on Tuesday morning, reading a U.S. government psychological profile of Hitler on-air," while managing editor Michael W. Chapman listed a Hitler comparison as among the things that the "liberal media" have called Trump that are "contributing to America's political incivility, even though their diction is far more militant, repulsive, and noxious than anything Trump has said about the press."

Needless to say, Chapman has not lectured Stein about his uncivil, repulsive and noxious attack on Ocasio-Cortez.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EST
Monday, February 4, 2019
CNS Keeps Cheering On Its New Favorite Right-Wing Authoritarian Leader

We've previously noted that Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro is the latest hardline right-wing leader has become infatuated with. That infatuation has grown over the past month as Bolsonaro assumed the presidency in Brazil.

A Jan. 1 article by Patrick Goodenough highlighted Bolsonaro's inauguration and his pledge to free Brazil from "corruption, crime, economic irresponsibility and ideological submission" and to respect its "Judeo-Christian tradition." Goodenough described Bolsonaro's ideology only as "conservative" but did concede that his critics "accuse him of homophobia and misogyny."

On Jan. 7, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how Bolsonaro "suggested it is possible that a U.S. military base could be installed in Brazil dependent up on what happens in the world ... to counter Russian influence in nearby Venezuela, a socialist regime that is collapsing under the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, a Marxist."

Three days later, the homophobic Chapman cheered when Bolsonaro "signed an executive order removing LGBT concerns from the government's human rights ministry, apparently affirming his traditional Christian, pro-family views and his rejection of 'gender-based ideology.'"

All three items also noted that President Trump has tweeted his congratulations to Bolsonaro.

In addition, a Nov. 28 item by Chapman proclaimed that "Brazil's newly appointed foreign minister, Ernesto Frago Araujo, who starts his new job in January under President Jair Bolsonaro, has stated that the climate change issue was invented by 'cultural Marxists' to help push a globalist agenda that is anti-growth and anti-Christian." Chapman also highlighted Araujo's wild anti-gay, anti-socialism rant:

The incoming foreign minister also criticized Brazil's left-wing Workers' Party for promoting a "socialist ideal" while crushing individualism, freedom of thought, and economic freedom.

It is nothing more than totalitarianism, he wrote, because it "criminalizes everything that is good, spontaneous, natural and pure. Criminalizing the family on charges of patriarchal violence. Criminalizing private property. Criminalizing sex and reproduction, saying that any heterosexual act is rape and every baby is a risk to the planet because it will increase carbon emissions."

Socialism is "criminalizing faith in God," he said. "Criminalizing patriotism. Criminalizing biology by prohibiting the statement that a person is born a man or a woman. Criminalizing competition ("sport is a fascist thing," I once heard a leftist colleague). Criminalizing red meat. Criminalizing air conditioning [for climate science reasons]. Criminalizing beauty. Criminalizing all Western thinkers since Anaximander [d. 536 BC]. Criminalizing history and its heroes. Criminalizing Disney movies. Criminalizing love for children and ancestors. Criminalizing oil or any energy efficient and cheap."

Chapman probably thinks this is all true. Fact-checking isn't CNS' strong suit, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2019 3:21 PM EST
Sunday, February 3, 2019
CNS Kept Up Pro-Trump Stenography During Gov't Shutdown
Topic: has never stopped being dedicated to pro-Trump stenography, and that behavior didn't change during the government shutdown.

A Jan. 2 article by Susan Jones uncritically rehashed several Trump tweets, including claims that Obamas have a "ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound" and that the idea of a concrete wall "was NEVER ABANDONED." In fact, as an actual news outlet reported, there is no "ten foot Wall" around the Obamas' house but, rather, chain link fencing and security fencing on top of an existing retaining wall; and Trump has wavered on the kind of wall he wants built.

Meanwhile, Jones was much more opinionated about Democrats she featured. She huffed that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer highlighted "their plan to end what they call the 'Trump shutdown'" (you know who else called the Trump shutdown? Trump himself) and going on to opine: "One of President Trump's harshest critics in the liberal media, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, began Wednesday's "Morning Joe" with a sneer, proving that 2019 is beginning with the same anti-Trump venom that thrived in 2018."

Jones didn't mention that she and the rest of CNS were beginning 2019 with the same pro-Trump stenography that they embraced in 2018.

A Jan. 8 article by Craig Bannister touted how trump sent Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's (whose name Bannister misspells as "Nielson") presentation on "the threat of illegal immigration" arter "Democrat [sic] leaders refused to hear it at the White House," then repeated many of the numbers in it. But as another actual news outlet reported, several of the numbers are misleading or unsubstantiated; for instance, thte claim that "Illegal drugs at the southern border experienced a dramatic spike FY17-FY18" omits the fact that most of those drugs are seized at ports of entry.

The same day, Jones gave a pass to Nielsen (whose name was spelled correctly this time) for refusing to say exactly how many suspected terrorists cross the border because "the exact number is sensitve," then played up her assertion that "I am sure all Americans would agree that even one terrorist reaching our borders is one too many. As a fact-check pointed out, "the terrorist watch list doesn’t mean these are terrorists. It means their names were similar to those of people on the list." The fact-check added: "If any of these people was actually a terrorist, you can bet that we would know by now."

On Jan. 9, Melanie Arter devoted an article to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham slobbering over Trump's Oval Office address, proclaiming it "the most presidential" he has seen Trump. Arter did not permit any dissenting opinion.

In a Jan. 14 article, Bannister highlighted how Trump "described the horrors of women who are bound and gagged by traffickers, crammed into vehicles “three, four, five, six at a time,” and smuggled against their will into the U.S.," adding that "Human traffickers don’t enter through official U.S. checkpoints – they go through unsecured areas on the border that don’t have a wall or steel barrier – Trump said." In fact, as another fact-checker documented:

[H]uman-trafficking experts and advocates for immigrant women have said they are perplexed by this increasingly repeated story in Trump’s repertoire — and are at a loss for where he got his information. It was not from them, they say; in fact, they have no idea what he is talking about.


In interviews with The Washington Post this week, nine aid workers and academics who have worked on the border or have knowledge of trafficking there said the president’s tape anecdote did not mirror what they have seen or heard. A separate story reported in the Toronto Star cited several additional experts who said Trump’s lurid narrative — migrant women bound, gagged and driven across the border — does not align with their known reality.

When Trump offered concessions in the form of temporary extensions of DACA and TPS policies for undocumented immigrants already in the country as an enticement for Democratic negotiation, Arter devoted an article to summarizing the proposal, then publishing the entire speech. Bannister, meanwhile, only vaguely noted Trump's "concessions to Democrats on the issues of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for asylum-seekers." Neither of them told readers that Trump was giving up nothing; as TPM reported, "it was the Trump administration that attempted to terminate DACA in the first place, and the Trump administration that has aggressively sought to end Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for the vast majority of foreign nationals currently living legally in the United States with the designation."

In a Jan. 24 article, Arter quoted only Republicans in attacking Democrats for failing to support a bill that would have allowed the federal government to continue paying federal workers furloughed by the shutdown -- but she didn't explain why Republicans would support paying someone for work that wasn't being done, nor did she clarify that that bill would not have ended the shutdown at all, since the workers would still be forbidden to work.

Another article by Arter the same day was only slightly less biased: Sixteen of its 18 paragraphs were devoted to Republicans attacking Democrats for refusing to negotiate on border security until the shutdown ended.

When Trump did finally cave and permit the reopening of the government while border negotiations continued, CNS didn't want to admit he caved, at least at first. Arter's initial story on Trump announcing the end of the shutdown quoted only Trump, but it waited until the next day (a Saturday) to publish another, anonymously written article highlighting Schumer's speech on the Senate floor before the body voted to reopen the government, conceding in the headline that "Schumer Claims Victory."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2019 5:15 PM EST
Friday, February 1, 2019
CNS Managing Editor Obsesses Over Possible Presidential Candidate's Sex Life

So South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is considering a run for the Democratic nomination for president. But filtered through the homophobic lens of managing editor Michael W. Chapman, the only thing that matters is that Buttigieg is gay.

The headline on Chapman's Jan. 24 article on Buttigieg is headlined "First Openly Gay 'Married' Man Announces 2020 Democratic Presidential Exploratory Committee." The scare quotes around "married" persist in Chapman's head paragraph:

Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., who is openly gay and "married" to another man, announced on Jan. 23 that he has launched a presidential exploratory committee to determine whether he will run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The stuff about Buttigieg being a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, a Rhodes Scholar and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard? Chapman waited until the second paragraph to mention it.

Scare quotes abounded in Chapman's piece: He noted that "On June 16, 2018, Buttigieg 'married' Chasten Glezman at the Cathedral of St. James' Episcopal Church in South Bend, Ind. ," and he included a picture of Buttigieg and his spouse with a caption stating that it showed him "and his 'husband,' Chasten Glezman."

He even suggested that Buttigieg was deceitful by claiming that he "came out of the closet as homosexual in June 2015, a revelation he did not make to South Bend voters back in 2010-11 when he first ran for mayor." Chapman did not explain why this was important.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EST

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