CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman has a thing for publishing hateful far-right commentary on his website, with anti-gay attacks a particular interest. Chapman ramped up the hate with a March 16 post:
Peter LaBarbera, founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, gave a talk on Saturday about the destructive agenda of the LGBT movement and how it manipulates language in particular to disguise its evil intentions and spin them in a positive light -- darkness to light -- which, he added, is truly "satanic."
LaBarbera presented his talk at the Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Expo and Conference in Wausau, Wisc., on March 10. In a discussion about how "Words Lose their Meaning" when adopted and manipulated by the LGBT movement, LaBarbera gave the example, "Come Out of the Closet."
"This is one people don’t think about," he said. "But think about it – come out of the closet. Come out of the dark closet of lies and self-hatred into the light of truth, right? You come out."
"But what is it really? said LaBarbera. "You come in, into darkness. You’re embracing spiritual darkness as a personal identity, as who you are. Then you’re selling it to everyone you know. You’re doing Satan’s work in the name of light.”
For some reason, homosexuality has become the issue for the left,” said LaBarbera. “The issue. It’s satanic.”
Homosexuality is satanic because it is a complete rejection of nature -- the natural design, order of one's body, male or female -- and an attack on the natural world (biology) that was created by God to function in a specific way. The principal entity that rejected God and His creation from the start was Satan, Lucifer. As he said, "I will not serve."
CNS' Jones Obsesses Over Calls to Release Trump's Taxes -- Then Ignores Actual Release Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has been weirdly obsessed lately with media mentions of calls for Donald Trump to release his income taxes.
We noted that on March 2 and March 6, CNS' Susan Jones made a point of bringing up how Sen. Al Franken said that Trump should release his tax returns, even though the subject at hand was some other Trump-related controversy.
In another March 6 article, Jones quoted Sen. Susan Collins noting that any investigation of claims that members of the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia before the election or Trump's still-unsubstantiated claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump campaign headquarters might require a look at Trump's tax returns.
On March 9, Jones devoted yet another article to it, this time based on comments by Nancy Pelosi and framed as Pelosi wanting to rummage through them for something that caused "personal embarrassment to the president." Jones huffed: "Democrats, including Pelosi, say Trump is the only president since Gerald Ford not to release his tax returns. There is no law saying he must do so."
Another March 9 article by Jones touched on it as well, which noted a proposed Democratic amendment to the Republican health care bill "that would allow the [House Ways and Means] committee to review Trump's tax returns in closed session." Again, Jones grumbled that "there is no law requiring Trump to release his tax returns."
Jones still wasn't done. She began a March 13 article this way:
As more and more Democrats angle to see Donald Trump’s tax returns, believing they may contain information that could be used against him, the ranking member of the House intelligence committee took a more measured approach on Sunday.
Jones didn't mention that Trump's abject refusal to release his tax returns like every other major presidential candidate in modern history invites this kind of speculation. As the saying goes, if you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing.
That six articles in 11 days on Democrats wanting to see Trump's taxes. A little obsessive, perhaps?
Here's the capper, though: When MSNBC's Rachel Maddow released a two-page summary of Trump's 2005 tax return on March 14 -- information that was confirmed by the White House -- Jones didn't see that as news, for she did no story on it.
It looks like Jones has once again exposed her bias for all the world to see.
Susan Jones' main article on February's jobless numbers carries the optimistic headline "152,528,000: Record Number of Employed in February; Participation Rate Rises." By contrast, the headlines in the Obama era would tout how many people were not in the workforce, even though many people choose not to work due to being retired or students. Jones actually notes that prominently in her article -- something she usually failed to do under Obama.
We get the usual sidebar from Terry Jeffrey fretting about increasing government jobs and the comparatively lower number of manufacturing jobs -- but true to right-wing form, Jeffrey gives no credit to Obama for the fact that, according to the chart accompanying his article, manufacturing jobs have been on the increase since 2010.
Missing again from CNS' coverage are a couple of old Obama-era favorites: articles on the "real" unemployment rate and the high rate of black unemployment. Those got replaced by an article by Melanie Arter uncritically quoting White House press secretary Sean Spicer asserting that the unemployment numbers "may have been phony in the past but it’s very real now," though he provided no evidence that the methodology for computing the numbers has changed at all.
If one needs an example of CNS' right-wing, pro-Trump bias, we can't think of a clearer one.
Then CNS moved to publishing op-eds actually attacking the Trump plan for being too Obamacare-y. A column by the Heritage Foundation's Edmund Haislmaier complains the Trump plan "fails to correct the features of Obamacare that drove up health insurance costs" and does not include "market-based replacement reforms."
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey then went on the attack in a March 10 column, singling out the Trump plan's proposal to "replace the Obamacare penalty [for not having health insurance coverage] with their own penalty" that gets paid to insurance companies. "Americans who work, support themselves and do not take government subsidies are not the beneficiaries of this Obamacare repeal — or, that is, this Republican 'replacement.'," Jeffrey grumbled. (Jeffrey had also written a "news" article about this provision.)
In other words, CNS is permitting criticism of Trump's health care plan only because it's not right-wing enough.
A Potpourri of Trump Stenography at CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Last week, CNS was in damage control mode over news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had not been completely forthcoming over his contacts with the Russian ambassador. Over the weekend -- as if directed by the Trump White House, as a lot of CNS' coverage appears to be -- CNS pushed right-wing narratives on Sessions:
And amid all this Trump stenography, CNS' Susan Jones found time to write a second article in less than a week maliciously portraying Sen. Al Franken as obsessed with Trump's tax returns (here's the first one), despite the fact that it was not even the primary focus of the remarks Jones reported.
All that Trump stenography is sure keeping CNS busy.
CNS In Full Damage-Control Mode Over Sessions' Russian Contacts Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com started out the week continuing to run interference for the Trump administration over allegations of links between Donald Trump's presidential campaign to Russian meddling that benefited his campaign -- this time, a Feb. 27 article by Susan Jones parroting Republican Rep. and House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes insisting that, in Jones' words, "there is no evidence that any campaign officials -- from either the Trump or the Clinton campaigns -- had any contact with the Russian government or Russian agents before the election." Of course, Jones doesn't mention that Nunes' committee has thus far resisted conducting a formal investigation into the issue, so he really wouldn't actually know that for sure.
Now, CNS is ending the week by running more interference for the Trump administration over Russian linksregarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with Russian officials that he failed to disclose under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing. Let the spin begin:
Note that all of these stories push a pro-Trump spin, and their headlines are so vague they don't contain the word "Russia" and only two mention Sessions. And no article CNS published on the issue includes both Sessions and Russia in the headline.
CNS then pulls its biased game of portraying criticism of Sessions as coming from unreasonable Democrats with a vendetta. An article by Jones on Sen. Al Franken calling for a special prosecutor to look into Trump-Russia connections (whose headline also failed to reference either Sessions or Russia) muddied the issue by throwing in Franken's call for Trump to release his taxes in an apparent attempt to portray Franken as a crazed partisan.
Another article by Jones, on Sen. Chuck Schumer's criticism of Sessions, sought to denigrate his authority on the issue by mockingly stating that "Schumer and other Democrats are furiously demanding that Sessions step aside and let an independent prosecutor look into alleged ties to Russia by Trump associates during the campaign."
That was joined by a blog post by Craig Bannister, who wrote that "After then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed she met with former President Bill Clinton on a plane last June, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) dismissed calls for an independent prosecutor to take over the Hillary Clinton email investigation." Bannister didn't mention that Sessions demanded Lynch's recusal over the issue -- and it was only after Sessions' communications with the Russian ambassador were disclosed did Sessions bother to recuse himself from investigating a campaign for which he served as a surrogate and for whom he must thank for his current job.
Another Bannister post touted how Fox News floated the idea that Sessions was "targeted" by the Russians.
Jones followed up on March 3 by framing any links between Trump and Russia as merely "circumstantial" and "supposition."
Remember, CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, gets a significant amount of its budget from the Mercer family, which heavily supported Trump's election. It seems the Mercers are buying CNS' "news" pro-Trump coverage as well.
CNS Leads Fawning Pro-Trump Post-Speech Armada Topic: CNSNews.com
You know the drill: President Trump does something, CNSNews.com publishesmultiplearticles from its staff stenographers dutifully repeating what he said and portraying it in the most positive possible light.
And so it is with Trump's first speech before Congress on Feb. 28. After the speech, the CNS stenographers were busy uncritically and dutifully transcribing their dear leader's words:
In the latter one, Jones added more of her snide parenthetical asides -- something she would never do in her Trump stenography. After quoting Sen. Chuck Schumer pointing that putting billionaires in the government isn't exactly draining the swamp as Trump promised, Jones sneered: "Highly successful businessmen and women are not considered to be hard-working Americans in the Democrats’ playbook. Democrat references to 'working people' generally encompass lower-income, less educated and sometimes struggling Americans who may need government assistance to make ends meet."
The only critical thing CNS published about Trump's speech was a column by right-wing Catholic activist Bill Donohue complaining that Trump wasn't right-wing enough by not referencing "moral issues." How can Donohue be shocked that a thrice-married adulterer who lies pretty much all the time has little interest in discussing moral issues?
CNS Columnist Attacks Modern Architecture As Un-Christian Topic: CNSNews.com
What is it with right-wingers and architecture? Last year, we noted that CNSNews.com devoted an article to a guy ranting against modern architecture and insisting that only classical forms should be built in Washington, D.C.
Now CNS is at it again in the form of a Feb. 15 column by Eric Metaxas headlined "Modern Architecture Is Not Ideal for the Christian Worldview." While many have complained that some forms of modern architecture are impractical for putting form over function, Metaxas takes it further by forwarding the idea that modern architecture is un-Christian and open floor plans should only be a thing for heathen urbanites:
Modernism was eagerly embraced by urbanites who spent much of their time “in … the café, brasserie and restaurant,” notes Flanders. Many people live this way today, especially in big cities like New York and Tokyo. Some live in apartments that are designed and decorated as though children had never been invented.
But this is not the ideal for Christians, who embrace biblical teachings, not only about the importance of family life, but also of the value of permanent things. Home is—or should be—a place for companionship, for rearing children, and having friends and family over for meals, while the dog begs for scraps under the table. (At least, that’s what sometimes happens in my home.) It should be a cozy and comfortable place for putting our feet up, for reading, perhaps the Bible, and for praying together each evening.
The story of modern architecture is a reminder of how worldview influences every aspect of life. We should keep this in mind if we’re planning to decorate a new home in such a way that our own children will not be comfortable in it.
Instead, they should feel, as Dorothy did, that there’s no place like home.
Perhaps. But classical architecture can be as family-unfriendly as he claims modern architecture is, and modern architecture can befamily-friendly.
It seems Metaxas doesn't know all that much about architecture -- he's simply making a broad-brush attack on people he doesn't like by invoking stereotypes about modern design.
CNS Now Importing Praise For (And Dismissal Of The Ugly Past Of) Mel Gibson Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's love for -- and desire to censor the ugly past of -- Mel Gibson is so strong, it's bringing in articles from other websites to sing Gibson's praises.
Last week, CNS' new "Conservative Roundup" section featured a link to a article at right-wing site The Federalist demanding that Gibson's new movie "Hacksaw Ridge" receive some damn awards already.
Unlike CNS, Federalist writer Titus Techera did briefly mention Gibson's ugly past. The key word here is "briefly"; it merited just a single sentence: "Secondly, Gibson made several awful comments when stopped for drunk driving."
The rest of Techera's article was devoted to slobbering over "Hacksaw Ridge" and insisting that "America’s award institutions actually reward a patriotic movie that shows Christianity in American society as a source of hope and unity, rather than fear and division."
As we've noted, Obama Derangement Syndrome continues to ooze from the Media Research Center despite President Obama's departure from office.
The latest example is from the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, where Michael Morris wrote in a Feb. 17 post:
Unlike former President Barack Obama, who spent valuable time filling out NCAA Tournament brackets with ESPN every year of his presidency, sitting President Donald Trump has “respectfully declined” to fill out a 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket on ESPN.
“We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket,” stated ESPN network. “They have respectfully declined.”
How did Morris become the judge of how Obama purportedly wasted his "valuable time" as president? Morris needs to give up the shade-throwing and join Matt Philbin in getting professional help for their Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Morris didn't mention that Trump was spending his presumably equally "valuable time" as president partying at Mar-a-Lago.
Two-Month-Old Speculation About Trump's Greatness Is Suddenly News At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell once whined about speculation being presented as news, but his own "news" division, CNSNews.com, has no problem doing it.
Yet another example of this is a Feb. 17 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who finds a two-month-old CNN clip suddenly newsworthy because in it, Robert Kennedy Jr. says that Donald Trump "could be the greatest president in history if he wanted to." For video, Chapman includes only the 15-second segment of RFK Jr.'s CNN appearance in which he makes that claim.
Chapman made sure to note that RFK Jr. is a "liberal Democrat" -- but not that he shares with Trump a love of medically unfounded skepticism about vaccines.
If there was any news value in RFK Jr.'s words -- and there isn't; it's nothing but pure talking-head speculation -- Chapman would have reported them when they were originally said. Waiting two months to report them, as Chapman did, feels like a desperation tactic, as if Chapman must publish a daily quota of pro-Trump articles at CNS to make his bosses happy.
That would be worthy of mention for most journalists, but Chapman isn't a journalist -- he's a right-wing propagandist. While he can easily throw RFK Jr. under the bus -- he is a "liberal Democrat," after all -- the idea that his beloved Trump shared his medically unsound views can't be given the light of day at his website.
A few days later, Chapman followed that up with even more slobbering specuation about Trump's potential greatness, this time quoting right-wing sheriff David Clarke claiming that Trump "has the chance to be the Winston Churchill of the 21st century."
Chapman also rather hilariously quoted Clarke saying of Trump: ""And so, he is the president of all people. That doesn't mean all people have to like him, but all people must respect him as the 45th president of the United States." Chapman didn't mention how many times he and CNS have quoted Clarke spewing his disrespect for the 44th president of the United States.
CNS Revels In Trump's Anti-Media Tirades Topic: CNSNews.com
President Trump's Feb. 16 press conference lasted for more than an hour, but all CNSNews.com was interested in reportoing on was Trump's incessant bashing of the media for not being fawning enough of him.
The first two articles CNS published after the presser touted Trump's media bashing:
The CNS writer who most fully reveled in Trump's media hate, though, is blogger Craig Bannister. One blog post highlighted Trump's attack on CNN in which he told reporter Jim Acosta to "ask Jeff Zucker [head of CNN] how he got his job." "Was this a message meant for Acosta only, or was Trump throwing it out there, hoping someone would pick up on it and investigate?" Bannister asked, suggesting that "There’s something shady in the circumstances of Zucker’s hiring."
Another Bannister post celebrated how "Trump accused the media of publishing 'fake news' 17 times – about once every four minutes. But, he also blamed the media’s fake news on their 'hatred' of him on eight different occasions." The headline hammered Bannister's approval home: "Trump: 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' “Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred'."
Creeping WND-ization of The MRC Watch, CNS Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
Twice in December, we caught CNSNews.com apparently stealing story ideas from WorldNetDaily. The creeping WND-ization of CNS and its Media Research Center parent is continuing apace.
In a Feb. 8 article, Leo Hohmann wrote about how "A recently retired U.S. State Department veteran has published a whistleblower letter in the Chicago Tribune fingering the refugee resettlement program as fraught with 'fraud' and “abuses.'" Hohmann made no apparent effort to verify that the letter writer, Mary Doetsch, was who she said she was or that anything she wrote was true; instead, he crows that Doetsch's letter "affirms two-and-a-half years of reporting by WND, which has reported that the 'vetting' of refugees from broken countries such as Somalia, Syria and Sudan often consists largely of a personal interview with the refugee."
The next day, CNS' Andrew Eicher wrote about the same letter. Like Hohmann, Eicher also apparently failed to make an effort to verify Doetsch's identity or claims.
Of course, the possibility exists that CNS stole its idea from Fox News, where Doetsch's letter was reported on the same day Eicher's article came out.
Still, CNS is getting beat to the punch by WND. We don't mean that as a complement.
CNS Spinning for Trump on Flynn Scandal Topic: CNSNews.com
As you'd expect from the "news" operation that defended Donald Trump -- and, thus, Russia and Vladimir Putin -- over allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential election, CNSNews.com is largely following Trump marching orders in the aftermath of Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn over his conversations with Russian officials about sanctions issued by President Obama before he officially joined the Trump administration.
CNS -- unusual for an operation that pays the Associated Press no small amount of money for use of its content but barely promotes it -- actually ran an AP story or two about Flynn's departure on its front page. But most of its original content the day after Flynn left was, as usual, mostly written by chief stenographer Susan Jones and dedicated to spinning for Trump and even saying nice things about Flynn, like these:
CNS's so-called reporting quickly coalesced around the Trump-approved talking point that the real problem wasn't Flynn by that the offense that got him fired was leaked to the media, which feeds nicely into the tired old talking point that the media is out to get Trump:
The least biased article CNS ran was one in which Jones admitted that Republican members of Congress would also like Flynn brought before the House Intelligence Committee.
So: Lots of bias, with the occasional window-dressing of actual journalism to perpetuate the illusion of being an actual news operation. That's pretty much how CNS is run under Terry Jeffrey and Michael W. Chapman.
UPDATE: CNS has added a couple more articles: One by Jones on Republicans calling for an investigation of how intelligence was handled (but not of Flynn's behavior), and another quoting Sean Hannity complaining that the media is trying to "make anything into the next Watergate" in an effort to impeach Trump.
CNS Devotes 3 Articles to Trump Aide, Censors His Lies Topic: CNSNews.com
When it came time to document Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller's Sunday-morning talk-show marathon, CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones knew it was time to get into stenography mode. So she cranked out three articles' worth of stenography:
The first touted how Miller "said President Trump's authority to suspend the entry of aliens into this country is 'beyond question,' both in law and according to the Constitution" and complained that "a district judge, a district judge in Seattle, cannot make immigration law for the United States."
The second promoted Miller saying that ""The crackdown on illegal immigrants is merely the keeping of my campaign promise."
The third featured a back-and-forth between Miller and "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace and waited until the ninth pagaraph to note Miller's assertion that "the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned."
Curiously, Jones made no mention of Miller's appearance on that other Sunday show, ABC's "This Week." Why? It's where Miller told a bunch of demonstrable lies -- most prominently, his utterly unsubstaniated and discredited assertion that "thousands of illegal voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire" to vote -- and Jones isn't being paid to call out a member of the Trump administration as a liar.
Jones can only be bothered to trot out something approaching acutal journalism when it can be used to serve her (and the Media Research Center's) right-wing agenda. That makes her a propagandist, not a reporter.