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Thursday, April 28, 2016
CNS Frames Volunteers' Emotional Support As 'Abortion-Related Care'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Melanie Hunter tries to make it sound as scary and offensive as possible in an April 26 CNSNews.com article:

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) found that members of AmeriCorps, a federally funded service organization, were allowed to provide abortion-related care to pregnant women at three New York City clinics operated by the Institute for Family Health (IFH) between 2013 and 2015.

But what is this "abortion-related care" that Hunter finds so offensive? She doesn't tell us until the fifth paragraph:

According to the report, NACHC [National Association of Community Health Centers, an AmeriCorps grantee] in Bethesda, Md., allowed “a few AmeriCorps members to provide emotional support (doula care) to women during abortion procedures” at three IFH clinics in New York.

Wait ... providing "emotional support" is the offense? Apparently.

Since Hunter doesn't bother to explain what "doula care" is -- all the better to make it sound more sinister, as if AmeriCorps was directly providing abortions -- we had to go elsewhere on the internet. Here's how one abortion doula provider explains what they do:

We provide nonjudgmental, compassionate and empowering support focused solely on nurturing your needs during your experience with pregnancy. Having a Full Spectrum Doula during your experience can alleviate anxiety and help with healthy aftercare. We listen to you and respond compassionately without judgment. We honor your unique needs and feelings throughout your experience. Your well-being is our only concern.

Apparently, the anti-abortion activists at CNS don't want anyone involved in providing "nonjudgmental, compassionate and empowering" support.

But it's not just them; this was apparently a Republican-led provision that AmeriCorps violated, given how Hunter provides ample space for Republican Rep. Diane Black to rant that AmeriCorps "broke trust with the American people" and provided "support of abortion" (even though, again, it provided emotional support for those having one, not for the procedure itself).

But Hunter doesn't explain why volunteer compassion is forbidden when it comes to abortion. Which tells us she's more interested in pushing an agenda than being an actual reporter.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:36 PM EDT
Thursday, April 14, 2016
CNS Unleashes Army of Op-Eds to Defend Right-Wing Think Tank
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com' response to Virgin Islands attorney general Claude Walker subpoenaing the right-wing think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute about its relationship with ExxonMobil, and that company's alleged suppression of evidence that climate change is driven by fossil fuels, was not to do any reporting on it -- surprising, since it claims to be a "news" organization and all.

No, what CNS did is publish a bunch of op-eds defending climate change denialism in general and CEI  in particular. This week alone, CNS has published at least four op-eds.

Hans Bader -- identified only as someone who "practices law in Washington, D.C." -- declared the the subpoena is "raising red flags under the First Amendment" and the investigation of ExxonMobil itself is "a threat to climate science and the First Amendment."

Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation ranted that "a truly outrageous abuse of his authority and a misuse of the law," asserted that "CEI is well-known for its high-quality, objective research on energy and climate issues," went Godwin by calling Walker a part of the "Axis," and declared that " What is happening to ExxonMobil and to the Competitive Enterprise Institute is persecution." Von Spakovsky slobbered over Exxon:

Walker is using a criminal statute designed to go after major drug dealers and mob organizations to go after a company that produces the gasoline and diesel fuel that Americans (and the rest of the world) use in their cars, trucks, boats, lawnmowers, and other equipment of every kind. And ExxonMobil and CEI are being targeted for having taken what these legal barons consider the wrong side of a scientific theory that is being actively debated and questioned.

The fact that ExxonMobil produces a relatively cheap, reliable energy source that helps power our world but is disfavored by Progressives and their political representatives like Walker seems to be what the company is really guilty of.

The Heritage Foundation's Kim Holmes asserted that the subpoena and other actions against Exxon are "blatant attempts to bend the law ... to shut down free and open research. It is but another example of the new illiberal attempt by progressive liberals to use the power of the law to intimidate and coerce those with whom they disagree." Holmes ignores that there's precedent for such action: As Media Matters' Denise Robbins notes, then-Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, demanded that the University of Virginia provide emails and other documents from climate scientist Michael Mann, which were also sought by the American Tradition Institute, whose senior director of litigation, Chris Horner, was also a senior fellow at CEI.

Holmes also claimed that "It is possible that CEI was being targeted by Walker precisely because one of its attorneys, Hans Bader, had criticized New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who was leading the campaign." Funny, Bader did not disclose his relationship with CEI in his CNS op-ed.

CNS, finally, published an op-ed from a disclosed CEI employee. Kent Lassman, CEI's president, ranted:

It is not and cannot become a crime to disagree with a government official. Somewhere along the line, dissent from orthodoxy has transformed from a uniquely American virtue to a crime. This subpoena is a blatant attack on CEI’s First Amendment rights of free speech and association. It threatens the rights of anyone who holds opinions different from those with the power of the federal or state governments behind them.

What other issues are next on the taboo list? If the attorneys general succeed, we can be assured this list will vary from election to election—something for all people of good conscience to dread.

The audacity of this legal action is profound. George Orwell’s dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” described “crimethink” as entertaining thoughts unacceptable to the government. 

And, of course, Lassman tries to spin away climate change:

While global warming could pose challenges, we do not believe it is a planetary emergency. We are deeply concerned that national and global campaigns to tax, regulate, and ban fossil fuels are an expensive exercise in futility. Our policy work rests on the scientifically supported view that affordable, plentiful, and reliable fossil fuels make the world safer and the environment more livable. Further, we hold the humanitarian view that affordable energy should be accessible to those who most need it, especially in developing economies.

[...]

The biggest problem with proposals to address alleged, rapid warming is that there is no realistic implementation plan. Taken out of the context of international meetings and put to the practical tests of real-world economics, they do not work. Coal, oil, and natural gas supply 80 percent of the world's energy. Finding substantial emissions reductions from these three fuels using available technologies, such as wind and solar power, is a very expensive dead end.

As we have seen for hundreds of years, modern societies develop the technologies and resources to address environmental challenges, whatever the cause. Unlike some of our climate-alarmist friends, at CEI we think the record of human ingenuity is pretty strong. Innovation and adaptation can surmount the largest challenges when individuals are provided circumstances to promote human flourishing.

None of these op-eds address the actual reasoning behind the subpoena. As InsideClimate News explained, Exxon had an "emerging understanding of climate change science in the 1970s," but then subsequently worked to "undermine the scientific consensus, in part by financing research organizations including CEI."

Why would CNS do any actual reporting when it can published opinion pieces, two of whom are by interested parties?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 PM EDT
Monday, April 11, 2016
CNS Mocks Report On Climate Change With The Day's (Completely Unrelated) Weather
Topic: CNSNews.com

Climate change deniers tend to believe that any bit of cold weather somehow debunks the reality of climate change. It doesn't, but it's gotten to the point that Fox News only discusses climate change when it's cold.

The fact that weather is not climate isn't going to stop CNSNews.com from suggesting otherwise. For instance, this April 4 article by Barbara Hollingsworth:

The White House published a report Monday warning that “extreme heat can be expected to cause an increase in the number of premature deaths”--the same day the National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories for April snowstorms.

“From children to the elderly, every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change, now and in the future,” said administration's report.

It was released by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and John Holdren, head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the same day the National Weather Service predicted “another round of wintry precipitation” for the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region that could dump up to 10 inches of snow on upstate New York.

Southern New England also remained under a Winter Weather Advisory until 8 pm on Monday with sub-freezing temperatures and up to six inches of snow predicted for some areas.

Another April snowstorm with 60 mph winds slammed into Massachusetts on Sunday, killing two people and downing power lines for tens of thousands of residents.

See what she did there? Juxtaposing a discussion of a heating climate with the day's weather in southern New England, a very tiny area of the earth.

That's ConWeb logic for you.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:39 PM EDT
Sunday, April 10, 2016
CNS Gives Right-Wing Architecture Critic A Platform
Topic: CNSNews.com

Did you know there's a right-wing political movement in architecture? We didn't either until we came across an April 4 CNSNews.com article by Barbara Hollingsworth.

The article stars Justin Shubow of something called the National Civic Art Society ranting over the idea that a government office building in Washington, D.C., is being considered for the National Register of Historic Places because it's among the first such modernist-style buildings in the city. Shubow declares that he "would like to see the building torn down and replaced" because it's "unpleasant and unliked," like apparently all modern architecture is:

Shubow pointed out that a National Register listing “makes it more difficult to make alterations to it and also affects development in the neighborhood.

“So one of the results could be the encouragement of building other Modernist buildings around it, as opposed to beautiful, inspiring classical buildings - the sorts of buildings we all associate with Washington, D.C.,” he said.

That seems like a lot of energy and hate to waste over a government building, which suggests there's something deeper happening.

Indeed, there is. The National Civic Art Society is apparently some sort of right-wing group; two of its leaders are officials with the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (a rather plain rendition of the Goddess of Democracy created by the Tiananmen Square protesters), and only about half have any sort of stated art or architecture background. (Shubow himself is a lawyer by training.) Its advisers include representatives of right-wing think tanks such as the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

The society's main job right now is hating the proposed Eisenhower Memorial for being designed by modernist architect Frank Gehry and not being being part of the "classical tradition" in Washington. Shubow demands that the design competition for the memorial be reopened and that it be dominated by "a classical design, one that comports with the best of our memorial tradition."

The society's "about us" page includees even more ranting against modern architecture. Just as right-wing jurists think the only good Constitution is a dead one, the society believes the only good architectural style is the dead, rigid form that was good enough for Rome, Athens and the Founders:

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson consciously chose the classical style to physically embody the new nation's form of government and political aspirations--architecture they intended to be a model for the entire country. The Founders understood that the classical tradition, harkening back to democratic Athens and republican Rome, is time-honored and timeless. It is unparalleled in its dignity, beauty, and harmony, not to mention its legibility to the common man.

Needless to say, Hollingsworth made no effort whatsoever to seek out the view of any other architect to counter Shubow's anti-modernist rantings, making this yet another unbalanced work from the decidedly unbalanced reporter.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
CNS Reporter Is Sad Poor Blacks Will Get To Live In White Suburbs
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've noted how the Media Research Center has slowly been turning into WND. Now it's creeping into WND-esque race-baiting.

In a March 25 CNSNews.com article, Susan Jones sounds the alarm about a "landmark" settlement in suburban Baltimore that means "low-income housing" (read: black people) will be coming to "affluent" suburbs (read: white people). She grumbles: "The goal is to move low- and very-low-income people out of the city and into the suburbs." As she's wont to do, Jones adds a little editorial snarking to her "news" article:

The county must, within 180 days, introduce (and keep trying to pass) legislation that prohibits housing discrimination based on a person's lawful source of income. This means a landlord can't refuse someone housing if he or she plans to pay the rent with Social Security or other public assistance instead of a paycheck (job!).

As WND did when it tackled the issue of housing inequality in the Baltimore suburbs a few months earlier, Jones ignores the history of racial discrimination in Baltimore and its suburbs that keep blacks in the inner city and out of the suburbs.

While Jones mocks the idea that the Baltimore suburbs must pass a law prohibiting discrimination against the type of income used to pay rent, she doesn't explain why such discrimination is a good thing. And her sneering that people who have housing vouchers don't have "jobs!" -- and, therefore, are lazy bums who aren't even white -- ignores the fact that people who are on disability and cannot work are also eligible to receive housing vouchers.

Jones is simply engaging in lazy reporting that caters to her right-wing (and, we can presume, mostly white) CNS audience.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:28 PM EDT
Sunday, April 3, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

As has been the pattern at CNSNews.com for the past few months, Susan Jones' lead story on March's umployment leads with the labor force participation rate. She fails as usual to mention the relevant fact that the labor force number -- since it includes students and retirees who aren't looking for jobs -- is a unreliable number for discussing unemployment.

Instead of recruiting Michael Chapman to write another article about how the black unemployment rate is double that of whites (which it has always been since statistics began to be kept, and which is referenced in Jones' article), Terry Jeffrey weighs in with an article on new data show "The United States lost 29,000 manufacturing jobs in March while gaining jobs in retail trade, food services and drinking establishments." Jeffrey's implication that this is somehow President Obama's fault is undermined by a chart accompanying his article that shows not only retail jobs eclipsed manufacturing jobs around 2003 -- under a Republican president -- but that manufacturing jobs were at their lowest levels since the 1940s in 2009, and that employment in the manufacturing sector has mostly been on the increase since then.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EDT
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
CNS Promotes Fringe, Foreign Medical Groups' Anti-Gay Attacks
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr writes in a March 16 CNSNews.com article:

The American College of Pediatricians issued a position statement last month entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” which will be followed by a peer-reviewed statement on the subject that’s expected to be released by summer, the college told CNSNews.com.

“The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex,” the statement issued on Feb. 2 stated. “Facts – not ideology – determine reality.”

The statement – written by Dr. Michelle A. Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians and a pediatric endocrinologist, and Dr. Paul McHugh, university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital – cites eight reasons why “gender ideology” instead of treatment based on biological facts is harmful to children.

The presence of non-pediatrictian McHugh in this statement is a huge red flag that this is more of a political statement than a medical one. McHugh --  whose anti-transgender rantings CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman has promoted -- is an old man trading on his former affiliation with Johns Hopkins to create credibility on the right for his out-of-the-medical-mainstream anti-gay beliefs.

Starr waits until the end to quote the mission statement of the American College of Pediatricians, which also reveals it to be a political organization masquerading as a medical one, declaring that "we recognize the basic father-mother family unit, within the context of marriage, to be the optimal setting for childhood development."

But Starr doesn't mention that the group is a bit of a sham. Hemant Mehta writes that the group has maybe a couple hundred members and banks on confusion with the much larger -- and legitimate -- American Academy of Pediatrics.

Needless to say, Starr doesn't bother to talk with any actual peditricians who might offer an opposing view -- because balanced "news" articles are not what she's into writing.

This isn't even the only recent anti-gay attack on CNS invoking a so-called medical organization. A March 18 article by Chapman highlights how "The Indonesian Psychiatric Association (IPA) has officially announced that homosexuals and bisexuals are 'people with psychiatric problems,' and that transgender people have 'mental disorders,' conditions that can be treated."

'Chapman didn't explain why this group's alleged expertise should be trusted, but hetried to boost the group's credibility by claiming "The announcement was reported in several media outlets, including The Jakarta Post, The Guardian, and The Christian Post."

But Chapman made sure not to mention that the Guardian also pointed out that "For almost half a century, the global medical profession’s consensus is that homosexuality is a healthy variation of sexual orientation. The medical community also rejects the idea that transgender people suffer from a mental health disorder."

Chapman also failed to mention that, according to the Guardian, Human Rights Watch "had documented arbitrary arrests, harassment, threats, and violence against LGBT people in Indonesia this year" and that it called on the Indonesian government to "take a leadership position by stating publicly that the rights of all Indonesians need to be respected, including those of LGBT people, and by committing to reforms that protect instead of persecute this marginalised minority."

The fact that CNS must resort to fringe and foreign "medical" groups to find backing for its anti-gay agenda show just how far out of the mainstream it has become.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EDT
Sunday, March 20, 2016
CNS Reporter Tells Only One Side of Flint Hearings
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last week, a House committee hosted two days of testimony on the Flint, Mich., water crisis. CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Hunter wrote four articles about it:

  • An article on the former Flint mayor testifying that "he trusted the guidance he received from then EPA regional administrator Susan Hedman that the high levels of lead in the water in Flint, Mich., were 'limited to very particular cases' of lead service lines and plumbing in individual houses."
  • An article on EPA administrator Gina McCarthy allegedly [sidestep[ping] a question on whether she would have fired a regional administrator for her purported role in the crisis. McCarthy pointed out that the  regional administrator resigned on her own so "that was an issue I didn’t need to face."
  • An article featuring a internal EPA email suggesting that "the federal agency might not want to 'go out on a limb for' the community of Flint, Mich."
  • An article featuring a Republican congressman's call for McCarthy to resign.

How biased is Hunter's reporting? Not only does quote only from Republican members of the committee, she almost completely disappears the fact that among those testifying was Republican Michian Gov. Rick Snyder. Only one of Hunter's four articles even mentions Snyder, a passing reference noting only that Snyder testified.

And because Hunter is interested only in parroting right-wing bashing of the EPA and protecting a Republican governor, her readers don't get the full story -- that Michigan officials under Snyder played a significant role in creating and extending the crisis, and that the EPA's hands were tied to a certain extent. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank summarizes:

Now members of Congress are blaming the EPA for failing to stop the problem — oblivious to the irony that they and their predecessors were the ones who denied the federal government the ability to enforce drinking-water standards in the first place.

It’s a vicious cycle: Washington devolves power to the states. When states screw up, conservatives blame the federal government, worsening the public’s already shaky faith. Having tied the hands of the feds — in this case, the EPA — they use the failure as justification to restrict federal power further, thus giving more control to the states, which caused the problem in the first place.

[...]

Even though the EPA should have acted faster once it learned of Flint’s troubles, there is no dispute that the state was solely responsible for the changes that caused the lead poisoning. 

But you won't find any of that being reported by Hunter -- it's not part of her agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Thursday, March 17, 2016
CNS Reporter's 'News' Article Turns Into Anti-Obama Rant
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones loves to inject opinion into her "news" articles. This time, her "news" is mostly a right-wing anti-Obama rant.

Jones starts off a March 16 CNS article by ostensibly reporting on President Obama's criticism of "vulgar and divisive rhetoric" on the campaign trail, but the last portion of her article is a full-on anti-Obama rant:

The core values of the country we love have changed dramatically under President Obama's watch.

While campaigning for president in April 2008, President Obama alienated many small-town Americans, when he explained their frustrations over job losses and broken political promises this way: "And it's not surprising then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Later that year, in October, Obama told a plumber at a campaign event that he planned to raise taxes on successful Americans "to spread the wealth around."

Throughout his presidency, he has pitted "millionaires and billionaires" against the middle and lower classes, insisting in 2011, "This is not class warfare. It’s math...The money is going to have to come from someplace."

With support only from Democrats, President Obama signed a government health care mandate in 2010, breaking his repeated promises to let people keep the plans they liked. He also offended the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans who opposed Obamacare's birth control/abortifacient mandate.

At the National Prayer Breakfast in 2015, Obama reminded the faithful that just as some people "profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it," so people have "committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." He suggested that the Christians in the audience should exercise "some basic humility...Not being so full of yourself and confident that you are right, and that God speaks only to us and doesn't speak to others."

With a weak and ineffectual Republican Congress standing by, Obama applied his uncompromising attitude to major issues of the day, including homosexual marriage and illegal immigration, leaving Americans angry, divided and feeling powerless to reverse the tide rolling over the border and steamrolling traditional values.

Under the Obama administration, racial tensions were exacerbated to the point where one Democrat running for president was forced to apologize for saying that "all lives matter."

In 2015, the Gallup polling organization declared Obama one of the most polarizing presidents ever.

As we've previously pointed out when Jones has made the accusation, Obama is not "uncompromising"; quite the opposite, in fact (something Jones apparently cares little about). The PolitiFact website has a full seven pages of examples of Obama compromising to achieve his policy goals. And Jones omits the fact that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama.

And Jones conveniently fails to hold her side of the political aisle responsible for the country's political polarization, nor does she mention that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama from the beginning of his administration.

Again: This rant is presented as "news." CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be screaming to high heaven if Jones was an employee of the so-called "liberal media."

But remember, there's no such thing is conservative media bias in the MRC's eyes, so Jones' job is quite safe -- even if no actual journalism organization would employ her.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Heritage Foundation Columnist Published by CNS Invokes Discredited AAPS
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNS picked up a column by the Heritage Foundation's Sarah Torre in which she defends Texas' attempt to regulate abortion out of business by using possibly the worst argument to do that: invoking the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Torre benignly describes the AAPS as a group "whose membership includes thousands of physicians working in a variety of medical specialties," but offers no other description of the grou. In citing an AAPS amicus brief in the case, Torre includes three lengthy quotes, making sure to introduce the group by its full name each time, as if to enhance its credibility as a prominent medical organization.

But the AAPS has no credibility. It's a fringe-right-wing group whose members and officials have advanced medically unsound views such as opposing vaccinations and defending doctors who prescribe thousands of addictive pain pills, as well as dishonest fearmongering about immigrants and Clinton conspiracy theories.

As a fringe-right group, the AAPS has an anti-abortion agenda Torre didn't disclose. In a press release on the Supreme Court taking up the Texas case, the AAPS effectively portrayed all abortion doctors as either current or future Kermit Gosnells, suggested data showing the safety of abortion procedures were somehow doctored, and claimed that critics of the Texas law want "a constitutional right to potentially unsafe abortions."

The fact that Torre cites the AAPS completely discredits her piece. It's disappointing she did no apparent investigation of the group before deciding to build her column around its claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EST
Monday, March 7, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's coverage of the newest unemployment numbers repeated its pattern of the past few months:

  • The lead article, by Susan Jones, emphasized the labor force participation rate while omitting the fact that it's an unreliable economic indicator because most people who aren't in the labor force are retired or students.
  • A sidebar by managing editor Michael W. Chapman once again emphasizes the fact that black unemploymentis "more than double the rate of whites" while omitting the fact that it has historically been so and not a product of President Obama.

This time around, though, there's a bonus in the form of an article by Jones completely devoted to a Republian congressman insisting that the jobs report "seems far better than it actually is." Jones did not seek out a Democratic member of Congress for a balanced view.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
Updated: Monday, March 7, 2016 2:22 PM EST
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
CNS' Hollingsworth Slants Article Toward Those Who Restrict Voting Rights
Topic: CNSNews.com

Barbara Hollingsworth is a terrible, biased reporter, and she proves it again in a Feb. 18 CNSNews.com article.

In the article, Hollingsworth complains that "A group of voting rights activists is up in arms after the executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) told elections officials in three states that they could require residents to provide documented proof of U.S. citizenship when using federal forms to register to vote." She leaves out some important information because it confllicts with her bias.

She writes that "On January 29, EAC executive director Brian Newby sent letters to the chief election officials in the three states approving their requests, stating that they could start requiring proof of U.S. citizenship - such as a birth certificate, naturalization papers, or a passport - on their national mail voter registration forms." One of those states is Kansas. But she omits the fact that Newby is a former crony of Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who been a champion of highly restrictive voting rights, and who benefits directly from Newby's ruling.

Hollingsworth completely ignores the possibility that Newby is the real "activist" here, not the voting-rights people who oppose the decision.

Hollingsworth concludes her article with an attempt to boost the rationale behind Newby's action: "A 2014 study by researchers at Virginia’s Old Dominion and George Mason Universities found that 'some non-citizens participate in U.S. elections, and that this participation has been large enough to change meaningful election outcomes including Electoral College votes, and Congressional elections.'"

But Hollingsworth doesn't mention that the study has severe methodological issues. As the Washington Post details, the study uses data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, which was an opt-in Internet survey, and the research are dubiously assuming that non-citizens, who volunteered to take online surveys administered in English about American politics, are somehow be representative of the entire non-citizen population.

Further, the lead researcher himself admits problems with the data and says more research is needed.Yet that data was good enough fort Hollingsworth since it reinforces her pro-voting-restriction agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EST
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
CNS Serves Up Ridiculous Anti-Hillary Bias As 'News'
Topic: CNSNews.com

The mission statement for CNSNews.com states in part that it tires to "cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission."

And how does it do that? By engaging in a lot of bias by commission.

Take, for example, this Feb. 17 "news" article by Susan Jones on a Hillary Clinton speech:

Repeating the same promises and platitudes that African-Americans have heard for years from the Democrats who claim to represent them, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday went a step further: She mentioned her (white) "privilege"; and she said Democrats need to hold candidates accountable, "not just every two or four years...but every single day."

[...]

She made all the old, familiar promises: expanding pre-school; dismantling the "school-to-prison pipeline"; ending "excessive incarceration"; addressing re-segregation in the nation's schools; making college affordable; ending "gun violence"; ending the "epidemic of African Americans being killed by police or dying in custody"; banning the box on federal job applications; ending income disparities; and creating jobs in America's inner cities.

Again: This is a "news" article from a "news" organization that purports to loathe "bias by commission."

If a reporter for the so-called "liberal media" used a "news" article to dismiss a Republican presidential candidate's speech as nothing but "promises and platitudes," CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be screaming bloody murder. But  the MRC apparently has no problem with such a heavy political slant as long at its own right-wing agenda is being furthered in the process.

If someone from CNS can explain why such egregious bias is not just permitted but encouraged on its pages when it's run by an organization that attacks media bias, feel free to contact me.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:16 PM EST
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
AP Subscriber CNS Criticizes AP Over Cruz Photo, Doesn't Understand How AP Works
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones complains in a Feb. 16 CNSNews.com article:

You have to wonder how long the Associated Press photographer waited for the chance to snap the photograph reprinted here -- the one that shows Republican Ted Cruz standing against the backdrop of a sign that reads "TRUSTED."

Except Cruz is blocking the "T," so the signed reads "RUSTED."

The photograph is one of two that accompanies an AP article about Cruz's experience arguing before the Supreme Court.

[...]

The "RUSTED" photo calls to mind an earlier AP swipe at Cruz.

In June 2015, the Associated Press published two photographs that appeared to show a large gun aimed at Cruz's head. Cruz was at a gun range in Iowa, standing in front of a large poster of a gun, but nevertheless, the image was jarring.

Jones leaves out a couple of important things here.

First, she apparently has no understanding of how the AP works. It's a news cooperative, not a media organization per se.  While the AP has a website on which it publishes stories, its main business is making content -- hundreds of articles and photos per day -- available to its subscribers. And the subscribers have the final say on what gets used: The AP does not force any subscriber to use any article or photo.

Which brings us to Jones' second big omission: CNS is an AP subscriber. As we've noted, CNS parent the Media Research Center has long bashed the AP for purported "liberal bias," but still pays it to use AP content on CNS, presumably because it gives CNS the veneer of a real "news" organization.

If CNS really wanted to send a message to the AP for it purported bias -- Jones' unsupported accusation that the AP is deliberately trying to make Cruz look bad aside -- it would stop paying what is believed to be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month for access to AP's content. But it won't -- for all its hand-biting, CNS and the MRC apparently willing to put up with the occasional example of "liberal bias" in exchange for its assistance in masquerading as a real "news" organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 PM EST
Monday, February 15, 2016
CNS Censors The Truth About Schumer Remarks About Supreme Court Picks
Topic: CNSNews.com

Eric Scheiner rushed to report the big news in a Feb. 14 CNSNews.com article:

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is describing current GOP calls to let the next president make a Supreme Court nomination “obstructionism”, but in 2007 Schumer said, “I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining (Justices John) Roberts and (Samuel) Alito,” and recommended the Senate, “should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society on July 27, 2007.

“With respect to the Supreme Court at least, I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining (John) Roberts and (Samuel) Alito on the court,” Schumer later added.

CNS being a very biased "news" organization, Scheiner left out a couple things. First, he failed to note that Schumer's comments were effectively hypothetical since no further Supreme Court openings occured during the Bush administration.

Second Scheiner failed to mention the Republican response to Schumer's comments. From a July 2007 Politico article:

A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Schumer's comments show "a tremendous disrespect for the Constitution" by suggesting that the Senate not confirm nominees.

"This is the kind of blind obstruction that people have come to expect from Sen. Schumer," Perino said. "He has an alarming habit of attacking people whose character and position make them unwilling or unable to respond. That is the sign of a bully. If the past is any indication, I would bet that we would see a Democratic senatorial fundraising appeal in the next few days."

Somehow, we don't think Scheiner will remind Republicans that its current stance on opposing any and every Obama Supreme Court nomination in the next year was called "blind obstruction" and "disrespect for the Constitution" by Republicans.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:30 PM EST

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