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Friday, October 18, 2019
CNS' Love Affair With Candace Owens Continues
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've reported before on CNSNews.com's love for right-wing activist Candace Owens, to the point that it falsely credits her as the "founder" of the Blexit movement to turn blacks away from the Democratic Party (the actual founder claims that Owens co-opted her movement and has threatened to sue Owens over it) and ignores the controversy of her claim that Hitler would have been OK if he didn't have "dreams outside of Germany."

That love has continued to spread over the past few months, uncritically promoting more of her claims:

Most of these were written by Craig Bannister, who helpfully adds in most of them that "Owens’ Blexit movement is an initiative to introduce conservative values to urban society." Actually, her Blexit website is filled with falsehoods.

Naturally, all this got Owens invited to the White House for a "young Black Leadership Summit" in early October, and CNS reported on that too. First came a post by managing editor Michael W. Chapman echoing CNS' descent into divine-Donald thinking:

During the Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House on Friday, female Ethiopian immigrant Mahalet went to the podium to pray for the nation and especially for President Donald Trump. Mahalet thanked God for "giving us a great leader like Mr. Donald Trump," and asked God to "protect us" and "protect our presuident."

Mahalet was born in Ethiopia. She was abandoned by her parents and eventually adopted at age 11 by a Christian family from the United States. Vidoe [sic] of her prayer was taken by Turning Point USA.

[...]

She continued, "All right. Dear God, I just want to say thank you for giving us this opportunity to be in the White House. Thank you for giving us a great leader like Mr. Donald Trump. And I would like to thank you for waking up our nation."

"God protect us," she prayed.  "God protect our president. He’s going through so much now, so much scrutiny. God, I believe you gave him to us and I know he’s going to accomplish so much more. I know you have more for us. Jesus, I ask you to protect us and walk with us."

A second article by Arter touted Owens' ridiculous claim that "for the first time in decades, we had somebody who was telling us the truth, and he just kept on telling it all around the country, dropping bars. Honestly, Trump might be my favorite rapper right now." The video accompanying Arter's article weirdly superimposed a label on top of the C-SPAN video it used identifying Owens as the "Blexit Founder" -- which, again, she isn't.

Meanwhile, CNS has said nothing about Owens' bizarre tweet last week about Matt Lauer being innocent of sexual assault allegations because the woman he allegedly assaulted continued to have an affair with him (the woman said she was afraid Lauer would ruin her career).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Thursday, October 17, 2019
CNS Plays Up 'Eat The Babies' Rant At AOC Town Hall, Censors Fact That It Was A LaRouche Stunt
Topic: CNSNews.com

Patrick Goodenough dutifully wrote in an Oct. 4 CNSNews.com article:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) faced awkward moments during a town hall meeting on Thursday evening, when a woman stood up and said it was time to “start eating babies” to save the planet from imminent climate-induced doom.

The incident in Corona, New York sparked some heated posts on Twitter later, with President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Ocasio-Cortez herself among those weighing in.

“We’re not going to be here for much long [sic] because of the climate crisis,” the woman began, after standing up uninvited and being handed a microphone.

“We only have a few months left!” she declared. “I love that you support the Green [New] Deal but it’s not ge – getting rid of fossil fuel is not going to solve the problem fast enough.”

The woman, who spoke with a northern European accent and appeared to be deadly earnest, then referred to recent news reports about a Swedish professor having said “we can eat dead people.”

Goodenough went on to tout how President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. referenced the incident to attack Ocasio-Cortez, then highlighted an article abourt "a phenomenon called 'eco-anxiety,' which the writer described as 'a fairly recent psychological disorder afflicting an increasing number of individuals who worry about the environmental crisis.'"

Buty, strangely, Goodenough didn't update his article to report the pertinent the fact that this was a stunt perpetrated by a supporter of Lyndon LaRouche, whose extremist followers once purported to be  Democrats but are now supporters of President Trump. No other CNS article followed up the story with this important information.

Not exactly journalistic fairness, is it?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
CNS' Allen West Misrepresents Facts of Kate Steinle Death To Bash Illegal Immigrants
Topic: CNSNews.com

Allen West ranted in a Sept. 3 CNSNews.com column about the Kate Steinle case:

No one unwittingly picks up a gun and fires the gun accidently at another person. In the military we dealt with instances of “accidental discharges” of a weapon, but normally these occurred when someone was doing a functions check on their weapon or clearing it and not following proper procedures. And if you are a five-time deported illegal immigrant, one would think the last thing you would want to do is pick up and discharge a weapon in public.

[...]

The sad and tragic reality is that even an alleged criminal illegal immigrant is more important in California than the life of an innocent young American woman, Kate Steinle. And ponder this: all the talk from the progressive, socialist left about gun control when an incident suits their narrative. However, I spoke in California about the Second Amendment at Orange County College, and there were students who had never heard of Kate Steinle!

Why were there no national conversations and outrage about this tragic death of Kate Steinle? How could it be that an alleged criminal illegal immigrant was in possession of a firearm, firing it in a public space? And yes, I do find it rather perplexing that in a public space, there was a firearm just laying there wrapped in a t-shirt. After all, aren’t the gun control laws in California quite stringent?

West is misrepresenting the facts of the case. The defense the "criminal illegal immigrant," Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, used in his trial over the death of Steinle was that he found the gun -- which had been stolen a few days earlier from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger -- on the pier and that the gun accidentally went off when he picked it up. He was acquitted of murder and involuntary manslaughter in Steinle's death after prosecutors failed to convince juror's that Garcia Zarate's acts were premeditated. A few days before West's column appeared, a California appeals court reversed Garcia Zarate's conviction on being a felon in possession of a firearm because picking up a gun he found on the ground did not constitute "possession."

West was all about bashing undocumented immigrants in his column, insisting with all the pathos he could muster that "the ideological agenda of the left is more important than the life of a young innocent American woman who died in her Dad’s arms and uttering the heart-breaking words that she did not want to die."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
Sunday, October 13, 2019
CNS Puts Pro-Trump Spin on Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Syria
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is framing its coverage of President Trump's declared withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria -- thus clearing the way for a Turkish invasion of the region targeting the Kurds, who are U.S. allies -- in its usual pro-Trump fashion, by going on the assumption that Trump is right and downplaying the widespread and bipartisan criticism of his plan.

CNS' first story on the decision was an Oct. 7 piece by Trump fan Susan Jones, who waited until the fifth paragraph to mention what she called "predictable fury from pundits and politicians on liberal cable outlets as well as Fox News," then noted "criticism from both Republicans and Democrats" -- all the while uncritically repeating Trump's tweets defending his decision -- and it was not until the 11th paragraph (six of which were straight Trump quotes) that Jones offered a detailed criticism of Trump's decision.

The next day, Patrick Goodenough highlighted Trump's further defense of his withdrawal plan, but waited until the sixth paragraph to mention that it's "drawing strong criticism from many Democrats and Republicans" and offer no further mention of the nature of that criticism, focusing instead on the issue of repatriating captured ISIS fighters.

Jones, meanwhile, contributed an article touting Republican Sen. Rand Paul's comments on how he "strongly supports the president's move," even though "some Republicans, including Trump allies such as Sen Lindsey Graham, have joined Democrats in sharply criticizing the president's decision to withdraw an unannounced number of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria."

(In between, CNS published a column by Pat Buchanan cheering the "American withdrawal from the forever wars of the Middle East.")

An Oct. 9 article by Goodenough noted criticism of Trump right at the top, for once -- but from Turkish officials critical of "Trump’s threats to destroy the country’s economy if it acts in a way that he views as 'off limits' in Syria." It wasn't until the 21st paragraph of his article that he acknowledged that "Critics, including some senior Republicans, argue that withdrawing could benefit hostile elements like the Assad regime and its allies Iran and Russia, and facilitate a resurgence of ISIS," though he then noted a Department of Defense report linking a drawdown of U.S. troops in the region to a likely ISIS resurgence.

Also on Oct.9, Jones finally wrote the first CNS article putting criticism of Trump's withdrawal in the headline, from former national security adviser Susan Rice. That was joined by an article noting European criticism of the withdrawal.

The next day, however, it was back to the prevailing narrative. An article by Jones gave Secretary of State Mike Pompeo space to defend Trump's decision and to insist that it didn't give a "green light" for Turkey to invade northern Syria. It wasn't until the 11th paragraph that Jones got around to noting that "A number of Republicans have joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump's decision to stand aside for Turkey." And CNS touted Paul's support of Trump's withdrawal plan again, this time in an article by Melanie Arter.

An article by Goodenough the same day was a bit confused; he claimed Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was "breaking with President Trump" by pushing for sanctions against Turkey over the military operation everyone predicted would take place upon announcement of Trump's withdrawal plan, but then quoted Trump saying he thought that was "okay."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:11 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:50 AM EDT
Friday, October 11, 2019
CNS Writes Pro-Trump Press Releases
Topic: CNSNews.com

Employment statistics are not the only place where CNSNews.com does its pro-Trump rah-rah. Now that the 2020 presidential election is going into full swing, CNS is now publishing "news" article that may as well be Trump campaign press releases.

A Sept. 11 article by Kharen Martinez Murcia declared:

The number of people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as food stamps, has fallen by 6,686,087 since Donald Trump assumed the presidency on Jan. 20, 2017.

In January 2017, there were 42,715,593 people receiving SNAP benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the program. As of June 2019 – latest data available – there were 36,029,506 people receiving SNAP benefits, a decline of 6,686,087 persons.

Then, in a Sept. 19 article, Susan Jones got positively gushy when writing about Trump visiting a border wall construction:

President Donald Trump smiled on Wednesday, as he received a briefing on a section of his long-promised border wall that is now under construction south of San Diego, California.

"I wanted to show you some of the details of the wall," Trump told the reporters covering him. "You can see a pretty good view. This is going to be close to 500 miles by the time we finish. Those are the areas that are most important.”

Trump said the wall will be either 18 feet high or 30 feet high, depending on the land where it is located and how heavily trafficked that area is. In some places, such as where he was standing near Tijuana, there is a double wall -- one on the border, and another one running parallel to it on the U.S. side.

Jones also uncritically repeated acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan sucking up to his boss:

Morgan disputed the "false narrative that this wall is the president's 'vanity project.'"

"I’m here to tell you right now, that's false," Morgan said.

"This president, this administration, what they did was exactly what the president just explained. He reached out to the experts, to the Border Patrol agents that are on the front lines every singles day, risking their lives protecting this country, enforcing the laws that Congress enacted.

“He reached out to those agents to those line agents and asked, what do you need to do your job more effectively to secure and safeguard this country, and those Border Patrol agents said, ‘We need this.’ So this president, thank you, you listened to the agents and you gave them exactly what they asked for,” Morgan added.

Despite the mention of the wall being "new," Jones didn't mention that what little wall has been constructed is a replacement for existing barriers, not barriers in areas that did not have them before.

The closest that Jones got to breaking from press-release mode was the very last paragraph, when she repeated Trump's claim that "three foreign delegations" had come to "study" the new wall then parenthetically added, "he didn't name them."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2019 9:09 AM EDT
Thursday, October 10, 2019
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

The employment numbers for September were relatively disappointing -- only 136,000 jobs created, which was below expectations. You wouldn't know that from reading CNSNews.com, though, which clung to its full-throated pro-Trump rah-rah in Susan Jones' lead story:

The work week is ending with some good news for President Donald Trump, as more records were smashed in Friday's report on September unemployment.

For the 22nd time since Donald Trump took office, the number of employed Americans reached a record high last month, climbing 319,000 from August's record 157,878,000 to 158,269,000. At the same time, the number of unemployed Americans set a Trump-era low at 5,769,000.

Those two strong numbers pushed the nation's unemployment rate to 3.5 percent in September -- down two-tenths of a point from last month, and the lowest rate since December 1969.

President Trump hailed the good news on Twitter, with a twist:

"Breaking News," Trump wrote. "Unemployment Rate, at 3.5%, drops to a 50 YEAR LOW. Wow America, lets impeach your President (even though he did nothing wrong!)."

It wasn't until the sixth paragraph thatJones mentioned the number of jobs created, and she censored the fact that analysts expected more.

The only sidebars this time around were Craig Bannister writing about how "The national seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos fell to a record 3.9% in September – smashing its previous record of 4.2% in August" and Melanie Arter repeating Trump gushing over the numbers. Apparently, CNS writers were too busy spinning away impeachment efforts against Trump to devote its usual coverage to it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: When CNS (Briefly) Stops Pro-Trump Stenography
Topic: CNSNews.com
When does CNSNews.com deviate from its aggressively pro-Trump agenda? When Trump doesn't hate gays enough, for instance, or when he approves a deficit-laden budget (and even then, it insists on laying part of the blame on Nancy Pelosi). Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Sunday, October 6, 2019
CNS Covers Trump-Ukraine Scandal With Its Usual Bias
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is treating the scandal over President Trump's phone call to the Ukranian president exactly the way you'd expect: with a heavy pro-Trump bias, at least based on its first week of coverage.

Susan Jones' first article on the whistleblower complaint that led to the controversy served up her usual pro-Trump/anti-media framing, complaining that the report "provides new fodder for determined anti-Trump investigators" and that "liberal media outlets, including the Post, have seized on the report." She also complained that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, head of the House Intelligence committee, is "a dedicated  Trump foe." That was followed by more Jones articles touting Trump's dismissal of the complaint as "fake news," accacking the whistleblower and mocking Schiff, with no additional editorial commentary.

Jones also knew where to direct the story for maximum pro-Trump sycophancy: at Joe Biden. One article was devoted to uncritically repeating Rudy Guiliani's rants falsely claiming that Biden, as vice president, withheld federal money to Ukraine until an investigator who was looking into dealings in the country involving Biden's son Hunter was fired. (In fact, U.S. and European officials wanted the investigator fired because he wasn't investigating corruption in the country, which Jones didn't tell her readers.)

In a follow-up article, Jones bashed Schiff for "getting ahead of the actual facts" while making no editorial comments when quoting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for pointing out that conversations between world leaders are supposed to be confidential. Later, Jones lamented that the controversy has "has stoked Democrat [sic] cries for impeachment.By contrast, Jones made no judgments against Republicans Devin Nunes and Lindsey Graham in reporting their comments backing Trump and criticizing Biden. She also touted Republicans Jim Jordan (a favorite of CNS' parent, the Media Research Center) and Mark Meadows bashing the controversy, huffing that it originated with "a second-hand whistleblower complaint."

That kind of blatant bias from Jones continued. She whined in a Sept. 24 article:

We demand more documents!

The Democrat [sic] chairmen of three House committees are "demanding that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately begin producing documents the State Department has been withholding in response to a letter the Chairmen sent two weeks ago relating to efforts by the President and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to solicit the help of a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 Presidential Election."

[...]

Meanwhile, House Democrats are meeting at 4 p.m. to discuss possible impeachment proceedings against President Trump, this time for something he supposedly said in phone call with the newly elected Ukraine president.

Never mind that Congress does not know details about the complaint filed by an intelligence community whistleblower. And press reports now say the whistleblower's complaint is based on what he heard from someone else.

The same day, Jones uncritically repeated more dubious assertions about the Bidens from Trump, without snarkiness or additional editorial comment, though she repeated the false claim that "Joe Biden in 2016 forced the Ukraine government to fire a prosecutor who was looking into corruption."

On Sept. 25, Jones shockingly did not add snark to two articles featuring Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talking about an impeachment inquiry. But then, she also uncritically presented statements from Lindsey Graham and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, even as Sekulow ranted about "former Vice President Joe Biden's quid pro quo with the Ukraine government" (which, in that framing, ignores the facts).

CNS' Melanie Arter, meanwhile, was (as usual) stuck in stenography mode writing stuff with headlines like "Trump to Ukraine: ‘There’s a Lot of Talk About Biden’s Son, That Biden Stopped the Prosecution’."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:11 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2019 8:19 PM EDT
Friday, October 4, 2019
Conflict of Interest: CNS Lets Liberty U Student Write About University's President
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Sept. 11 CNSNews.com article by Kharen Martinez Murcia took the side of Jerry Falwell Jr. following the publication of an expose in Politico on his tenure as president of Liberty University featuring allegations of self-dealing and creating a culture of fear at the school. She touted Falwell complaining that the criticism was an "attempted coup" that is "partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump" while dismissing Falwell's critics as "unnamed sources." Martinez Murcia also repeated Falwell's mendacious defense of a photo of Falwell at a "dance club," an issue because, as she concedes, "Liberty University’s honor code prohibits students from attending dances or consuming alcohol" (though she didn't mention that more photos of Falwell at the club surfaced).

But it's not until the end of the article that we get a parenthetical disclosure: "Kharen Martinez Murcia is a third-year student at Liberty University."

While it's nice and proper that Martinez Murcia's connection to Liberty was disclosed, that connection also means that she shouldn't have done this story at all. It can be easily argued that the article's pro-Falwell bias was because she didn't want to run afoul of him and the alleged culture of fear he's fostering at the school she's attending -- meaning she has a personal interest in writing the article the way she did.

Martinez Murcia is apparently CNS' intern for the fall semester. But if all she's learning is how to write biased articles, it's not really much of a true journalistic experience. It does, unfortunately, prepare her to work at Liberty's student newspaper.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EDT
Thursday, October 3, 2019
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Promoting Dubious Anti-Google Research
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've detailed how the Media Research Center has pushed Google-hating researcher Robert Epstein's dubious claims about Google having an anti-conservative bias. Now its "news" division, CNSNews.com, is doing the same thing.

An Aug. 20 blog post by Craig Bannister was essentially a press release for his boss, Brent Bozell, detailing how he "and other conservative leaders released a letter calling on Google to explain reports and allegations that the search engine is attempting to block conservative sites and exclude voices that don’t fit the liberal narrative." (Bannister didn't disclose that Bozell is his boss.) The letter claimed that "Epstein identified pro-liberal bias in Google search results that helped flip three Orange County, CA, congressional districts in the 2018 midterm elections. Nationwide, Epstein found the results may have influenced 4.6 million undecided voters."

On Sept. 12, a blog post by Michael Morris detailed Epstein's appearance on the Fox News show of its favorite right-wing shouter, Mark Levin:

Speaking on Mark Levin’s FOX News Channel show “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, and self-professed liberal, Dr. Robert Epstein admitted that, in his research, he found a “very dramatic pro-Hillary Clinton bias” in Google search results.

“I can’t say what Google did, but I can tell you what we found,” stated Dr. Robert Epstein. “We found very dramatic pro-Hillary Clinton bias on Google, but not the other search engines, and in all 10 search positions on the first page of search results. That’s quite dramatic.”

Note that Morris followed the right-wing formula for trying to present Epstein as credible by calling him a "self-professed liberal," something his MRC cohorts did as well.Even the headline called him a "Liberal Research Psychologist."

But Levin was apparently not a curious questioner, because he didn't note -- or, at least,  Morris didn't see fit to note -- the questions people have raised about Epstein's research, namely that he appears to be assuming that the mainstream media outlets that typically populate the top of Google search results, which reflects Google's actual bias toward credible sources over fringe blogs and political sites, as "pro-Hillary."

But, hey, the narrative is more important at CNS than reporting actual news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Pushing Bogus Censorship Claims
Topic: CNSNews.com

We caught the Media Research Center serving as the PR agent for anti-abortion activist group Live Action, uncritically repeating its less-than-factual claims about being censored on social media. Its "news" division, CNSNews.com, is letting one of its columnists repeat those same bogus claims.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wrote in a Sept. 13 column:

“If this isn't bias, what is?” Good question – one that Facebook had better be prepared to answer. If they don't, at least four senators are about to make life difficult for more than CEO Mark Zuckerberg. After months insisting there's “no prejudice” against conservatives, Americans aren't buying it. Neither is Congress, and that's bad news for the Big Tech liberals at Twitter, Google, and Pinterest.

Other organizations might think it was a mistake. But the pro-life group Live Action knew better. They'd just been through this in June with another company – only Pinterest had a clever way of suppressing the message. They reclassified the entire organization as a porn site. Facebook, on the other hand, was a lot more open about their agenda. According to National Review, when Lila Rose posted two videos insisting abortion isn't medically necessary, they were labeled “false” and censored.

As we documented, Pinterest never classifed Live Action as a porn site. And like the MRC, Perkins did not offer any evidence to counter the fact-check on Live Action's insistence that abortion isn't medically necessary; he just parrots the right-wing attack line that the fact-check was "biased" because the fact-checkers were allegedly "pro-abortion activists."

Seems like everyone at the MRC is singing from the same choir book.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019 9:02 AM EDT
Sunday, September 29, 2019
CNS Gives Its Favorite Anti-Trans Doctor Another Platform
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loves to promote Paul McHugh's positions on transgender issues because they align with CNS' anti-gay, anti-trans narrative and he has the weight of his association with Johns Hopkins University to lend gravitas (even though conservatives don't care much for highfalutin schools like Johns Hopkins).

The latest attempt to do so is a Sept. 17 blog post by Craig Bannister touting that "Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and former psychiatrist–in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, who has studied transgendered people for 40 years, believes that patients suffering gender dysphoria need psychological care – not gender reassignment treatment."

You can see Bannister's appeal to authority by invoking the Johns Hopkins connection and even by giving him a middle initial. Bannister noted that the McHugh interview was taken from a website called the College Fix, but he didn't disclose the fact that it's a right-wing website (proudly stating on its nameplate that it's dedicated to "right-minded news and comentary," and, yes, the italics on "right" are in the original).

And because the College Fix didn't tell its readers that McHugh's views have been criticized over the years for being outdated, Bannister doesn't either. It's been pointed out that while McHugh argues for "psychological care" for transgenders, neither he nor anyone else has developed"a way to actually talk a transgender person out of their gender dysphoria." And Johns Hopkins has restarted the transgender reassignment surgery program McHugh suspended in 1979.

That tells us he's very out of the mainstream with current medical thinking. But Bannister and the College Fix don't want you to know that -- he serves too important of a political purpose to them.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 AM EDT
Friday, September 27, 2019
CNS Mocks Actress For Speaking Out -- But Touted Ringo's Opinion on Brexit
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister wrote in an Aug. 27 CNSNews.com blog post:

Actress Alison Brie used her public platform as a music video award presenter to lecture her viewing audience on her interpretation of the U.S. Constitution on Monday.

Brie declared enforcement of U.S. immigration law “unconstitutional” as she and her co-presenter conflated illegal and legal immigration, NewsBusters reports:

Who knew that a star of the show GLOW on Netflix was a constitutional scholar? She's not, and yet, actress Alison Brie declared with certainty on the stage of the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards Monday night that what America is doing to immigrants is “unconstitutional and frankly disgusting."

As Brie and singer French Montana presented the award for Best Latin Video, they conflated legal and illegal immigrants. While French Montoya wants to be the "voice" of immigrants, as one himself, and said, "we are the people that make this country," he didn’t mention he legally immigrated. Brie chimed in, “What’s happening to immigrants in this country is unconstitutional and frankly disgusting.”

Her co-presenter then instructed the audience to applaud Brie’s constitutional analysis.

Bannister might have had a point if CNS didn't treat celebrities' political opinions with reverence -- when they conform to CNS' right-wing agenda, that is. We've documented the fawning treatment it affords the views of, say, actor Kevin Sorbo and ex-pretty boy Fabio, and it publishes a politics-heavy weekly column by musician Charlie Daniels.

And CNS' hypocrisy was proven yet again a few days later. A Sept. 10 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman gushed over how "the famous Brit and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr strongly supports Brexit because the people voted for it, he says, and 'it's a great move' to be "in control of your own country.'" There was no mocking or dismissive tone; Chapman treated his opinion quite seriously.

There was also no news value here, since Ringo's statements were made in a 2017 interview -- two years ago.Talk about old (and hypocritical) news.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Thursday, September 26, 2019
CNS Managing Editor Obsesses Over Chicago Violence To Distract From Mass Shootings
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman has occasionally invoked violence in Chicago when it suited his right-wing agenda. For instance, in 2016 he featured spotlight-loving Wisconsin sheriff David Clarke touting how "there have been 455 murders in Chicago so far this year, which is greater than the 270 coalition soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2013." Given how Clarke has since abruptly resigned from his sheriff amid lawsuits and became so toxic and extreme that even the Trump administration wouldn't hire him and Fox News barred him from appearing on the channel, this one hasn't aged too well. Chapman also wrote about Chicago violence a few times in 2017 and 2018, and he hadn't written about it at all for the first seven months of 2019..

But with the El Paso and Dayton massacres in early August -- one of which was clearly influenced by right-wing anti-immigration rhetoric that President Trump -- Chapman found a new reason to invoke Chicago: as a distraction. We've already noted that in an article just a couple days after the massacres, Chapman claimed that "51 people were shot in Chicago and seven of the victims died" the same weekend of the massacres, huffily adding that "the liberal media did not express nationwide outrage over that gun violence and politicians did not blame President Doanld Trump for the violence."

Chapman became mildly obsessed with Chicago violence for the next few weeks:

  • On Aug. 12, he wrote that "shootings in Chicago left 4 people dead and 43 wounded" over the previous weekend.
  • On Aug. 26, he detailed that "Over the weekend, six people were killed and 29 people were wounded by gunfire in Chicago" and that "1,800 people have been shot in Chicago since Jan. 1, 2019,"adding that "For comparison, there were 1,196 people killed in "mass shootings" -- four or more people killed by a lone shooter -- in the United States between Aug. 1, 1966 and August 19, 2019, according to The Washington Post."
  • On Sept. 9, he wrote: "Despite having some of the toughest gun control laws in the country, Chicago experienced another weekend of gun violence with 34 people shot, six of them fatally, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. That's on top of the 44 people shot, nine fatally over the Labor Day weekend, and the 282 Chicagoans killed by guns since the first of the year." He again compared the number to mass killings: "ABC News, using a definition of four (or more)  people killed in a one-day incident, reported on Sept. 3 that at least 116 people had been killed in mass shootings."

Chapman hasn't written about Chicago violence since. Perhaps the massacre story has sufficiently faded that he doesn't feel the need to.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's issues with declining to blame President Trump and Republicans by name continued in a Sept. 9 article complaining that "the federal debt had already increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal 2019 with more than three weeks to go in the fiscal year":

At the close of business on Sept. 28, 2018, the last business day of fiscal 2018, the total federal debt was $21,516,058,183,180.23, according to the Treasury.

At the close of business on Sept. 4, 2019, it was $22,517,297,955,639.18.

At that point, the federal debt had increased by $1,001,239,772,458.95 in fiscal 2019.

As of Sept. 6, 2019, the latest day for which federal debt numbers have been reported by the Treasury, the debt had risen to $22,532,757,499,591.39.

Thus, so far in fiscal 2019, the federal debt has increased $1,016,699,316,311.16.

As usual, the words "Trump" and "Republican" appear nowhere in the article. As usual, he tries to implicitly blame Democrats for the deficit by including his favorite stock photo of Trump and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi together.

Jeffrey followed that with a Sept. 13 article complaining that "The federal government spent a record $4,155,323,000,000 in the first eleven months of fiscal 2019" while it "ran a deficit of $1,067,156,000,000." Again, the words "Trump" and "Republican" are missing, and again, Jeffrey's favorite Trump-Pelosi stock photo is used.

This story has a tag at the end that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Once again, we have to wonder if Wold's memory is best served by such misleading, politically driven economic reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 12:40 AM EDT

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