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Thursday, August 16, 2018
CNS Cheers Ray Lewis' Embrace of Bible, Hides That He Was Once Charged With Murder
Topic: CNSNews.com

Emilie Cochran gushes in an Aug. 6 CNSNews.com article:

In his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis called for putting prayer back in schools and encouraging people to follow God and the Bible.

“For me, my guiding purpose is to carry out God’s destiny for my life,” said Lewis at the Aug. 4 event.  “How do I do that? By not just loving my neighbors as I love myself, but by challenging people to walk with me in teaching our nation how to love each other again.”

“One of the greatest gifts my mom ever gave me was the Bible,” he said.  “The Bible made me who I am today. Ephesians 3:20 says, ‘Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above far beyond all you ever ask, think or imagine, according to the power that’s working within you.’”

Concluding his remarks, Lewis said, “Walk with me out of here today with the mission in your mind, in your heart. Vow to be a leader in your community. Vow to be a ray of light in the world around you. Together there’s nothing we can’t do.”

In response to school shootings in the United States, Lewis also said, “Can we please put prayer back in schools? Please?”

Cochran is curiously silent on Lewis' criminal record. Lewis was charged with two counts of murder in 2000 following a post-Super Bowl party after which members of Lewis' entourage (and Lewis himself, reportedly) got into a fight with members of another group, two of whom were stabbed to death (members of his entourage had purchased knives the previous day). Blood from one of the victims was found in Lewis' limo, Lewis told his limo passengers to keep quiet about what they saw, and the white suit he was wearing that night was never found.

Lewis ultimately agreed to a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to a much lesser charge of obstruction of justice, for which he was sentenced to a mere year of probation, in exchange for testifying against two companions (who were ultimately acquitted). The families of both victims sued Lewis and received undisclosed settlements.

This is all relevant information to readers regarding a man who now talks about love and the Bible. It's a puzzlilng omission from CNS, which by contrast can't stop obsessing about Peter Strzok's sex life, in which nobody was stabbed to death.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
CNS' Double Standard on Preconditions In Meeting With Iran
Topic: CNSNews.com

Melanie Arter cheerfully types in a July 30 CNSNews.com article:

President Donald Trump said Monday that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without pre-conditions, saying that it would be good for the country, Iran, and the world.

During a joint White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Trump was asked what Iran has to do to reduce some of the tensions.

“And you’ve met with the leaders of North Korea and Russia. Are you prepared also -- are you willing to meet with President Rouhani? And under what conditions? And have there been any preliminary discussions about something like that?” the reporter also asked.

“I’ll meet with anybody. I believe in meeting. The prime minister said it better than anybody can say it: Speaking to other people, especially when you’re talking about potentials of war and death and famine and lots of other things -- you meet. There’s nothing wrong with meeting,” Trump said.

[...]

When asked whether there would be preconditions, Trump said, “No preconditions. No. If they want to meet, I’ll meet. Anytime they want. Anytime they want. It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us, and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”

Unmentioned by Arter: CNS attacked President Obama for doing the same thing Trump is doing.

A Novmeber 2014 column by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison praised Hillary Clinton for saying during the 2008 presidential primary that "she was unwilling to deal with Iran’s Mullahs 'without preconditions,'" while Obama "took the unusual, not to say, profoundly unserious, position that he could sweep away thirty years of hostility with a handshake.We need to understand what President Obama’s extended hand meant. We would “re-set” relations with Iran while they still held our embassy compound.

A July 2016 column by the Heritage Founcation's James Phillips similarly complained: "The [Obama] administration’s diplomatic engagement without preconditions has enabled Iran’s dictatorship to have its cake and eat it too. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, but has been rewarded on the nuclear front for what could be temporary and easily reversible concessions.

CNS has published no op-eds criticizing Trump for offering to meet with Iran without preconditions. A July 30 article by Patrick Goodenough on Iran's rejection of Trump's offer did parentically admit: "While campaiging for the White House, Barack Obama also expressed a willingness to hold talks with Iran without preconditions. Shortly after his inauguration he undertook to engage with Iranian leaders who were willing to 'unclench their fist' and it later emerged that secret talks began in Oman in the summer of 2012. Multilateral negotiations led to the conclusion of the JCPOA in 2015."

At least Goodenough understands what contextual reporting is. Arter, meanwhile, is simply content to be a stenographer.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
CNS Appears To Once Again Suggest That Spending Money On LGBT-Related Issues Is A Waste
Topic: CNSNews.com

A few years back, we noticed that CNSNews.com's reporting on supposedly wasteful spending was disproportionately focused on LGBT-related issues -- nor surprising since CNS has an anti-gay agenda and a managing editor who absolutely hates the LGBT community.

Now, CNS appears to be cranking up the wasteful spending outrage machine again -- and the first two items, by Melanie Arter, are LGBT-related.

Arter lamented in a July 27 article: The National Institutes of Health awarded $569,028 in taxpayer funding to the Medical College of Wisconsin to study how the country’s “perceived immigration laws” impact the 'HIV health behavior' of Hispanic immigrants." On Aug. 6 she attacked a similar NIH grant: "The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Lehigh University $431,119 in taxpayer funds for HIV intervention among heroin and crack users along the U.S.-Mexico border."

Arter doesn't reference homosexuality in either article; both do reference drug use. But HIV and homosexuality are effectively synonymous in CNS' eyes, so these articles count toward its anti-gay agenda. Both articles also reference either immigrants or the U.S.-Mexico border, so your typial right-wing anti-immigrant sentiment is touched upon as well.

Nor does Arter give the grantees sufficient time to respond to her attacks; instead, she states that either grantee responded to her "by the time this article was published," though she doesn't say how much time she gave them to respond.

Finally, Arter never explains why this federal spending is so offensive to her. Is it the immigrants? The HIV? The universities that got the grants?

Absent that, there's no reason not to suspect the most base and biased motives for CNS attacking these grants.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:33 PM EDT
Sunday, August 12, 2018
CNS Editor Still Playing the Whataboutism Card To Protect Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

After President Trump's disastrous post-meeting performance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the pro-Trump crew at CNSNews.com had to do a lot of damage control (and more than a little pro-Putin stenography). CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey played the whataboutism card when he complained that gormer CIA director John Brennan, who argued that Trump was acting like a traitor over his performance, "never accused his old boss Barack Obama of 'treasonous' behavior" when Obama told then-leader Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 election. (CNS has since pushed the spiteful idea of Trump pulling Brennan's security clearance.)

Jeffrey wasn't done playing damage control, though. His July 25 column complained that "less-than-reasonable people" were equating Russian interference in the 2016 election to that interference changing the outcome, and they "may not put it in context."

That "context," apparently, is whataboutism in rehashing the right-wing obsession over Hillary Clinton's email server and bringing up yet again FBI agent Peter Strzok's text messages with Lisa Page, with whom, Jeffrey made sure to note, he was having an "extramarital affair" -- something Jeffrey weirdly attributes to a Department of Justice inspector general report. (Strzok's sex life is another CNS obsession.) Jeffrey concluded:

The Russians favored Trump over Clinton.

"Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency," the report said. "We further assess that Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

But did the Russians tamper with the actual vote count? No.

"Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards," said the report. "DHS assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying."

So, to change the outcome of the 2016 election, Putin's Russia would have needed to change the minds of would-be Clinton voters.

The Russia investigation is now two years old — and under the control of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. No charges have been brought against any Trump campaign official for coordinating with Russia.

Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland have proposed legislation to impose sanctions on foreign regimes that try to illegally influence U.S. elections. That is a good idea.

But Congress must also thoroughly investigate how the Comey-McCabe-Strzok-Page FBI handled the Russia investigation.

But the Mueller investigation is not sole about whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and a lack of charges against anyone for collusion (yet, anyway) does not mean it's a failure. We suspect that Jeffrey never objected to the length of Kenneth Starr's independent counsel investigation against President Clinton or deemed it a failure because he was never indicted on anything related to Whitewater.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EDT
Friday, August 10, 2018
CNS' Double Standard on Process, Procedure and Protocol
Topic: CNSNews.com

A July 27 CNSNews.com article highlighted White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley justifing the banning of CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins form a White House event because she asked was deemed an inappropriate question of President Trump at an earlier event. Melanie Arter uncritically qhoted Sanders insisting that it was not "the content of the questions," it was that Collins "refused" to leave the Oval Office until her question was answered, adding "It's about process, procedure, and protocol."

Another article the same day, by Brady Kenyon, had a different take on a similar situation:

A California college student is suing the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated when his school prohibited him from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Kevin Shaw, a student at Pierce College in California says he was stopped from handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution on campus because it was not inside the school’s designated “free speech area.”

In his lawsuit complaint, Shaw alleges that, while he was handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution, he was forced to stop and was then escorted into an office and told to complete a permit application to use the college’s “Free Speech Area.” The free speech area measures 616 square feet and comprises approximately .003% of the total area of Pierce College’s 426-acre campus.

It seems the student, like the CNN correspondent, is accused of violating "process, procedure, and protocol" -- but the student is being championed by CNS as a free-speech hero while Collins is implicitly attacked as a pushy liberal.

Funny how that works.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
CNS' Trump Flip on Reporting GDP Numbers
Topic: CNSNews.com

Employment numbers are not the only thing CNSNews.com goes into full pro-Trump rah-rah mode on. Check out this July 27 article by Susan Jones on a quarterly GDP increase:

President Trump told steelworkers in Illinois Thursday he was expecting a "terrific" Gross Domestic Product number for the second quarter, and he wasn't disappointed:

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the advance estimate released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That's a considerable improvement from the (revised) GDP growth of 2.2 percent in the first quarter and the best showing since 2014.

"GREAT GDP numbers just released," Trump tweeted on Friday morning. "Will be having a news conference soon!"

At the impromptu news conference on Friday morning, Trump hailed the "amazing" 4.1 percent rate.

"We're on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years. And I will say this right now, and I'll say it strongly -- as the trade deals come in one by one, we're going to go a lot higher than these numbers, and these are great numbers.

Of course, as with those employment numbers, CNS' reporting on GDP had a much different tone during the Obama years. Indeed, we could find no contemporaneous CNS article mentioning the best quarterly GDP numbers during the Obama presidency -- 5.1% in the second quarter of 2014 and 4.9% in the third quarter of 2014 -- even though both of those numbers topped the figure Jones gushed about.

Instead, CNS reported almost exclusively on yearly GDP numbers in reference to Obama. For instance, an April 2017 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey pointed out that "In the eight years of 2009 through 2016, when President Barack Obama was in office, real GDP never grew by as much as 2.7 percent"; the month before, Jeffrey declared that "President Barack Obama remains the first president since the Great Depression not to see a single year with at least 3 percent growth in real GDP."

An April 2016 article by Jeffrey did focus on a quarterly GDP number under Obama -- but did even more cherry-picking by finding the one that made Obama look bad, a first quarter number that meant "the United States has started 2016 with a record tenth-straight first quarter in which real GDP grew at an annual rate of less than 3 percent."

This is just another example of how much of a pro-Trump toady CNS has chosen to become.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've noted how CNSNews.com writer Susan Jones loves to crank up the rah-rah for the monthly employment numbers now that Donald Trump is president (compared to her less-than-enthusiastic reception for positive numbers under President Obama). Here's how her lead story on July's numbers kicks off:

Following last month’s strong employment report, the numbers released on Friday were even better in some respects.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says a record 155,965,000 people were employed in July, the 11th record-breaker since President Trump took office 19 months ago.

"Our economy is soaring. Our jobs are booming. Factories are pouring back into our country, they coming from all over the world. We are defending our workers," President Trump told a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

BLS said the economy added 157,000 jobs in July (compared with a revised 248,000 in June).

The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as the number of employed people reached new heights, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6,280,000 in July.

It's not until the last half of her article that Jones  notes a less-than-positive number: Not only did the labor force participation rate -- something CNS was obsessed with during the Obama years -- remain steady, federal officials project that it will continue to decline over the next decade.

After all those years of blaming Obama for the low labor force participation rate while he was president, CNS has found a way to avoid blaming Trump for the same trend.

CNS' coverage includes the usual sidebars about manufacturing jobs and government jobs. There's also the second appearance of an article about the Hispanic unemployment rate, having proven more exploitable by CNS' Media Research Center parent than previous articles about the black unemployment rate. And, indeed, the MRC did just that, as MRC Latino's Garvin Oliver and Ken Oliver touted how "The Trump administration’s winning record on Hispanic unemployment finally received a long overdue nod of recognition from top national Spanish-language media outlets Univision and CNN en Español."

Well, that's why CNS published it -- so the Olivers can harangue others into promoting it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Sunday, August 5, 2018
CNS Echoes White House Attacks on Ex-CIA Director Brennan
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've detailed how the pro-Trump stenographers at CNSNews.com rushed to do damage control for President Trump following the infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki -- which included playing down the suggestion from former CIA director John Brennan that Trump committed "treason" in his obsequiousness to Putin, as well as CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey complaining that "Former CIA Director John Brennan never accused his old boss Barack Obama of 'treasonous' behavior" when Obama told then-leader Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 election. 

Now CNS is doing the Trump White House's bidding in attacking Brennan for making the suggestion.

On July 19, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman quoted Republican Sen. Rand Paul claiming that Brennan "started his illustrious career by voting for the Communist Party." That led to a harangue from Chapman claiming that the Communist Party in the U.S. "was always loyal to the USSR, a totalitarian regime responsible for more than 25 million deaths." But Paul is misleading; as we've noted, Brennan voted for the communist as a protest vote while a college student, not while a CIA employee, and he disclosed the vote during the CIA hiring process.

An article the same day from Gavi Greenspan favorably quoted Republican Rep. John Kennedy trashing Brennan as "lost in a sea of dumb." Greenspan also noted apropos of noting that Brennan voted for a communist but omitted the fact it was a protest vote and done before he joined the CIA.

A July 20 article by Susan Jones quoted Paul again, this time saying it's "alarming" that Brennan still has a security clearance even though he, in Jones' words, "attacks the president on Twitter and now works as an analyst for MSNBC." Jones also included screenshots of Brennan's tweets to show "the general flavor of his recent tweets."

CNS then joined the bandwagon to  get Brennan's security clearance pulled for criticizing Trump. Dutiful Sarah Sanders stenographer Melanie Arter cheerfully highlighted how the White House is considering pulling the security clearances of Brennan and other former intelligence officials because they purportedly "politicized" and "monetized" those clearances, and intern Max Augros was sent out to ask House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer: "Former CIA Director John Brennan has publicly declared the sitting president ‘treasonous.’ Should he be permitted to keep his security clearance?" Another intern, Emilie Cochran, had to write an article quoting Paul Ryan as saying that Trump is "trolling" people by calling for those security clearances to be pulled.

We presume the Trump White House couldn't be prouder of CNS for regurgitating its andi-Brennan talking points so faithfully.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EDT
Friday, August 3, 2018
Bill Donohue Just Can't Stop Making Dishonest Anti-Gay Attacks
Topic: CNSNews.com

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League began his July 23 CNSNews.com column by declaring, "Any honest observer of the priestly sexual abuse scandal knows that the lion's share of the molestation was committed by homosexuals, not pedophiles." Of course, any honest observer also understands that Donohue is not an honest observer. He proves it again in the second paragraph of his column:

The most exhaustive study on this issue was done by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and they concluded that less than five percent of the predators were pedophiles. Indeed, 81 percent of the victims were male, and 78 percent were post-pubescent, meaning that homosexuality—not heterosexuality or pedophilia—was in play.

As we've documented, Donohue has repeatedly blamed homosexuality for the sexual abuse scandals, even though the authors of the John Jay study warned critics not to confuse behavior with orientation because no connection was found between homosexual identity and sexual abuse.

Donohue then complained that a Washington Post article argued that homophobia in the church has kept gay priests from dealing with sexuality issues in a healthy manner. In response, Donohue dragged out the old right-wing trope of blaming the 1960s "sexual revolution" and, more specifrically, the end of "traditionalism" in the church, baselessly asserting that "The sexual abuse of minors was infinitesimal in the 1950s and exploded in the 1970s."He then huffed:

This is not a plea for punishing homosexual priests. It is a plea to abide by the policy adopted by Pope Benedict XVI: men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be welcomed in the seminaries. That stricture has served the Church well since it was adopted in 2005: the decline in new cases of sexual abuse has been dramatic, and is almost non-existent in the United States today.

Two months ago, Pope Francis picked up on this discussion, strongly backing the position of his predecessor. “These tendencies, when they are ‘deeply rooted,’ and the practice of homosexual acts, can compromise the life of the seminary beyond that of the young man himself and his eventual future priesthood.” Well said.

Blaming “homophobia” is a dodge. It is employed as justification for recreating the very milieu that created the problem in the first place. We should never want to return to a time when good heterosexual men left the seminaries because they were surrounded by gay men acting out with impunity.

Donohue blaming homosexuality is also a dodge, especially since he continues to insist on deliberately misreading the John Jay report. He offers no evidence to support his claim that "good heterosexual men left the seminaries because they were surrounded by gay men acting out with impunity."

Donohue is anti-gay, and claiming he's not in favor of "punishing homosexual priests" does nothing to dispel that impression.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Compare and Contrast
Topic: CNSNews.com

Pompeo Reacts to Shrieking Heckler: ‘If There Were Only So Much Freedom of Expression in Iran’

A heckler who interrupted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech on Sunday night in support of the Iranian people got little sympathy from the audience or from her target, who used the disturbance to underline his message about the plight of those living under the regime in Tehran.

Pompeo was speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi, Calif. about the regime’s abuses at home and policies abroad when a woman began shouting slogans to the effect that “the Trump-Pence regime is kidnapping children.”

The audience, who had given Pompeo an enthusiastic reception, immediately broke into loud boos.

Pompeo waited, smiling patiently, as the yelling continued, and as the audience response morphed into chants of “U.S.A., U.S.A. ...”

Then he said, “if there were only so much freedom of expression in Iran,” drawing more cheers before proceeding with his speech.

-- Patrick Goodenough, July 22 CNSNews.com blog post

Responding to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s warning Sunday that a war with Iran would be “the mother of all wars,” President Trump used his Twitter feed for a warning of his own directed at the regime in Tehran.

“To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” the president tweeted.

“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”

-- Patrick Goodenough, July 22 CNS blog post

(The contrast: Goodenough didn't refer to Trump as "shrieking" or "yelling" even though tweeting in all caps is the Twitter equivalent of yelling. Also, the Pompeo post has a note describing it as "corrected" without detailing what, exactly, was corrected.)


Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT
Monday, July 30, 2018
CNS Becomes Putin's Stenographer, Defends Trump After His Disastrous Putin Presser
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've already noted how CNSNews.com uncritically regurgitated a falsehood from President Trump in reporting on his performance during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But that's far from the only pro-Trump stenography service CNS performed in order to spin away Trump's disastrous performance.

CNS led up to the Trump-Putin meeting with an article by Melanie Arter quoting a Republican senator repating the Trump-GOP line that Russian meddling in the 2016 election did not change the outcome, while Susan Jones quoted Rand Paul saying international election medding is no big deal because everybody does it.

Arter also did some pro-Putin stenography, uncritically quoting the Russian leader claiming that he didn't know Trump was in Moscow in 2013, the time frame in which some of the incidents in Steele dossier are alleged to have taken place -- something that is likely not true given that Trump personally invited Putin to the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow, which Trump owned at the time, and that Putin planned to attend but canceled at the last minute. Arter also asserted that the Steele dossier is "discredited," which is also not true.

Arter served up even more pro-Putin stenography in another article uncritically quoting how Putin "offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller and U.S. officials to travel to Russia to witness the questioning of the 12 Russian intelligence officers that were indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week of hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee in an effort to interfere with the 2016 election." Arter also repeated Putin's attack on "Putin critic and CEO of London-based Hermitage Capital Management Bill Browder, saying Browder allegedly contributed $400 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign." Arter didn't mention that Putin's claim about Browder is false.

As the bad reviews for Trump's performance rolled in, it was time for CNS to go into defense mode. An article by Patrick Goodenough complained that "Former Obama administration officials came out firing in response to President Trump’s press conference comments with Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him variously of treasonous behavior, siding with Russia against his own country, “bowing to Putin” and having become a threat to U.S. national interests." Goodenough waited until the 22nd paragraph of his 24-paragraph article to admit that "some leading Republicans did voice concern about the press conference statements." Jones also provided Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer criticizing Trump.

Another article from Goodenough went even more defensive: "President Trump’s press conference remarks in Helsinki are drawing fire from Democrats and Republicans at home, but one thing he did not do publicly was announce any concessions or tempering of administration policies that have arguably been tougher on Russia than those of his predecessors." Arter later reported that Trump "clarifed his comments on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, saying that he agrees with their conclusion," then followed up with another White House clarification on Trump's remarks about whether he believed that Russia is still targeting the U.S.

Meanwhile, Michael W. Chapman called up Republican Rand Paul to accuse Trump's critics of having "Trump Derangement Syndrome," while Gavi Greenspan quoted Republican leader Paul Ryan denying that Trump committed treason in his obsequiousness to Putin and Max Augros quoted another Republican congressman similarly denying it -- both in response to former CIA director John Brennan making the accusation.

Capping all of this off was a column by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey complaining that "Former CIA Director John Brennan never accused his old boss Barack Obama of 'treasonous' behavior" when Obama told then-leader Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 election. Curiously, not only did Jeffrey never argue why such a statement might have been treasonous, Jeffrey never identifies Obama as the president anywhere in his column, though he does reference "President Donald Trump."

Jeffrey was also in cleanup mode as well: "Yes, Trump's statement suggesting he accepted Putin's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election — despite the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community — was wrong. But the next day, Trump admitted as much, saying he misspoke."

The fact that CNS has to do so much cleanup and deflection tells us just how insanely pro-Trump they have become.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2018 7:13 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CNS Dutifully Regurgitates Trump's Bogus Obsession With 'Missing DNC Server'
Topic: CNSNews.com

A July 16 CNSNews.com article by Max Augros is yet another bit of pro-Trump stenography:

When asked about U.S. intelligence claims that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections and whether he would call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to not interfere again, President Donald Trump said he wants to know why the FBI did not seize the Democratic National Committee’s server, which was allegedly hacked by Russian actors, and he wants to know why the FBI has not tracked down Hillary Clinton’s apparently missing 33,000 emails.

“But I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the sever,” said Trump.  “What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they?”

“What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails?” he said. “33,000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.”

If Augros had cared more about journalism than stenography, he would have pointed that, as the headline of this Daily Beast article explained, the purportedly missing server Trump is obsessed with is neither missing nor a server:

The “server” Trump is obsessed with is actually 140 servers, most of them cloud-based, which the DNC was forced to decommission in June 2016 while trying to rid its network of the Russian GRU officers working to help Trump win the election, according to the figures in the DNC’s civil lawsuit against Russia and the Trump campaign. Another 180 desktop and laptop computers were also swapped out as the DNC raced to get the organization back on its feet and free of Putin’s surveillance.

But despite Trump’s repeated feverish claims to the contrary, no machines are actually missing.

It’s true that the FBI doesn’t have the DNC’s computer hardware. Agents didn’t sweep into DNC headquarters, load up all the equipment and leave Democrats standing stunned beside empty desks and dangling cables. There’s a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with a deep state conspiracy to frame Putin.

Trump and his allies are capitalizing on a basic misapprehension of how computer intrusion investigations work. Investigating a virtual crime isn’t a like investigating a murder. The Russians didn’t leave DNA evidence on the server racks and fingerprints on the keyboards. All the evidence of their comings and goings was on the computer hard drives, and in memory, and in the ephemeral network transmissions to and from the GRU’s command-and-control servers.

[...]

Both the DNC and the security firm Crowdstrike, hired to respond to the breach, have said repeatedly over the years that they gave the FBI a copy of all the DNC images back in 2016. The DNC reiterated that Monday in a statement to the Daily Beast.

“The FBI was given images of servers, forensic copies, as well as a host of other forensic information we collected from our systems,” said Adrienne Watson, the DNC’s deputy communications director. “We were in close contact and worked cooperatively with the FBI and were always responsive to their requests. Any suggestion that they were denied access to what they wanted for their investigation is completely incorrect.”

See, that wasn't so hard -- in fact, a simple Google search would have easily uncovered it, had Augros bothered to do so. But, again, pro-Trump stenography trumps even the most basic explanatory journalism at CNS if explaining things makes Trump look bad.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:14 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
CNS, MRC Keep Up Their Love Affair With Tim Tebow
Topic: CNSNews.com

As the baseball season continues, so does the Media Research Center's love for former pro football player and current minor league baseball player Tim Tebow. CNSNews.com writer Michael Morris in particular loves the overtly Christian athlete.

In February, Morris wrote a blog post touting how New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was "making waves with his prediction that Tebow 'will play in the major leagues' at some point." Morris then listed a bunch of Tebow's minor-league stats, leaving the fact that he hit a miserable .226 for the season for second to last.

The MRC's Jay Maxson wrote his own version of Morris' post on July 1, substituting an ESPN host for Alderson in making the Tebow-will-play-in-the-majors prediction. Maxson largely ignored stats but enthused: "Tebow just made the Eastern League all-star team as a member of the New York Mets' Binghamton Rumble Ponies minor league team. After a sluggish start in April and May, Tebow had a sizzling month of June and gained newfound respect."

CNS followed up with a July 13 column by Eric Metaxas lionizing Tebow for his "unabashed Christian witness and pro-life beliefs" and declaring, "Those who think Tebow has returned to pro sports for glamour and glory do not understand Tim Tebow." This is also a bit of a retread, in this case of a 2017 column by Metaxas' "BreakPoint" colleague John Stonestreet, also published by CNS, in which he gushed that "what has long set Tebow apart, of course, is his Christian faith. It’s drawn millions of people to love him."

Well, it has certainly drawn right-wing writers with an agenda to love him, anyway.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:45 AM EDT
Saturday, July 21, 2018
CNS Obsesses Over Strzok's Sex Life
Topic: CNSNews.com

The testimony of FBI agent Peter Strzok was never going to get fair treatment from the pro-Trump stenographers at CNSNews.com. But what started out as a relatively straightforward accounting oi his House committee testimony ended obsessing about his sex life.

CNS' coverage began with an article by Susan Jones that, shockingly, uncritically presented Strzok's defense of his professional actions regardinghis work in the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.This was followed by Melanie Arter taking the lazy way out and simply copying-and-pasting an exchange between Strzok and Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Then it was time for CNS to denigrate Strzok by portraying him as defensive and a weasel about facts.Jones complained in one article that Strzok faced "friendly questioning from a fellow anti-Trumper" under the headline "Strzok: 'I've Done Nothing Wrong. Uh, Let Me Rephrase That'." Another Jones article featured questioning from a committee Republican, but she did not identify him as a "pro-Trumper" offering "hostile questioning" (y'know, just to be fair and balanced). By contrast, Jones cherry-picked a Democratic committee member in order to write dismissively about her statement that Republicans should thank Strzok for not speaking out about pro-Trump Russian influence in the campaign (since FBI agents are not allow to speak publicly about ongoing investigations) because that silence helped Trump get elected.

From there, it was a quick move to the sex obsession. One article carried the headline "Strzok Says FBI Agents Are Permitted to Engage in Some Adulteries" -- pointing out and the other screams "Adulterer Strzok Swears Under Oath He Oversaw ‘Every Espionage Case in the FBI’" -- both of which stated that Strzok "engaged in an adulterous affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page"; the latter also references "this adulterous inside-the-FBI couple."

Tellingly, both of these articles  are credited only to "CNSNews.com staff" -- which tells us that no CNS employee wanted their name to be put on its boss' obsession with Strzok's sex life. 

Funny, we don't recall CNS ever referring to thrice-married adulterer Donald Trump as such in the headline of any article.

UPDATE: This isn't the first time CNS has fixated on Strzok's love life. A June 28 article -- also by "CNSNews.com Staff" -- highlighted FBI director Christopher Wray being asked whether "engaging in adultery was a “significant vulnerability” for an FBI counterintelligence agent, making sure to note that Strzok was having an "extramarital affair" with Page.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018 5:17 PM EDT
Thursday, July 19, 2018
CNS Lets Right-Wing Rabbi Rant Again
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has given loopy right-wing rabbi Aryeh Spero another platform in the form of a July 3 column in which he rants about a "never-ending blitzkrieg from the media to topple President Trump." After getting the name of the Democratic Party wront (using the silly right-wing epithet "Democrat Party"), Spero rushes to the defense of the Trump administration on its treatment of refugees at the border, taking particular offense to said treatment being likened to Nazi treatment of Jews:

The Nazis separated families as part of a first phase of forced labor and murder of Jews, an entire race. We, in contrast, are taking care of these children—probably better than they’re normally taken care of—during the days of necessary investigation. No animus is intended on our part, or on the part of President Trump, AG Sessions, or the Department of Homeland Security. 

Spero then served up a decidedly political interpretation of the Bible:

Some left-wing organizations calling themselves religious, but who are more so socialist, condemned the President for not “welcoming the stranger.” In fact, years back Barack Obama quoted the Scripture “Thou shall not Afflict the Stranger” as justification for shooting down anyone who disagreed with his borders-as-sieve policy and granting a full basket of entitlements to all who come here, even illegally. But welcoming the stranger refers to individuals, not an invasion of millions, certainly not a calculated importation of millions. It’s about treating decently a stranger temporarily in the land; not about making it easy for would-be terrorists, gangs, and criminals to blithely enter; nor is it about forgetting that newcomers can’t come to feed and live off the sweat of others. It is not “affliction” to require standards.

Welcoming the stranger was not intended by the Bible to be a national suicide program. The Bible itself speaks of the blessing of impenetrable borders. Welcoming the stranger is a directive for not being cruel to people, harassing or torturing them, as was the practice in many ancient societies and still practiced today toward “infidels.” Democrats could take a lesson in decency, and stop harassing Republicans.

Note that Spero references Obama but does not acknowledge that he was president. That's because Spero spent years in a state of hysteria pushing his own Obama-hating blitzkrieg at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 8:56 AM EDT

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