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Sunday, June 26, 2016
Last Week's Trump Coverage At CNS Again Ignores The Big News
Topic: CNSNews.com

What was the big Donald Trump news last week? The departure of his longtime campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and the fact that his presidential campaign raised a paltry $3.1 million in May -- when he became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee -- had just $1.3 million in the bank and paid several companies linked to Trump for campaign expenses. This, in part, forced Trump to forgive $50 million in loans he made to his own campaign.

Did you read about any of that on the front page of CNSNews.com? Not really. CNS put Lewandowski on the front page only within the context of an Associated Press article about him being hired by CNN as a commentator.

So what other direct Trump stories were deemed newsworthy enough at CNS to make it to the front page?

  • An AP article on the arrest of a man who claimed he wanted to kill Trump.
  • A stenography article by Susan Jones on Trump's anti-Hillary speech.
  • An AP article on late-night host Seth Meyers' focus on Trump.
  • Another stenography article by Jones on Trump's comments about "the United Kingdom's historic vote to leave the European Union," which somehow neglected to mention that Trump mostly talked about his golf course and other real estate interests in Scotland.
  • An AP article on the engagement ring Trump gavehis second wife Marla Maples going up for auction.
  • Another AP article on Trump walking back his stance on guns in nightclubs, "a stance even the NRA says is untenable."
  • And yet another stenography article by Jones on Trump apologizing to the real Pocohontas over his repeated mocking references of Sen. Elizabeth Warren as Pocohontas.

That's actually more stories that the previous week, but it ignored the big ones.

CNS has a pretty bad track record so far on putting Trump on its front page. You'd think they'd want to put him there more, since he's the presumptive Republican presidential candidate and all. What are they asahmed of?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 12:05 AM EDT
Friday, June 24, 2016
CNS Hides Columnist's Employment By Think Tank When Writing About It
Topic: CNSNews.com

We noted that in April among the armada of op-eds CNSNews.com published criticizing a subpoena against 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 one by Hans Bader, described only as someone who "practices law in Washington, D.C."

A second op-ed by Bader on the subject was published by CNS on June 16. In it, he attacked that "incredibly burdensome subpoena" that was issued to CEI and asserts that the investigation "raises obvious First Amendment issues."

CNS published a third op-ed by Bader on June 22, in which he attacks the subpoena as a "climate-change witch-hunt" and explained that "CEI filed a motion for sanctions against the attorney general who sent us that subpoena, Claude Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands, under the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP law." In the latter two op-eds, Bader is again identified only as someone who "practices law in Washington, D.C."

But he's much more than that: He's a senior attorney at CEI.So of course Bader is going to criticize the subpoena -- that's what he's being paid to do.

In addition to CNS failing to disclose this clear conflict of interest to its readers, Bader himself doesn't explicitly disclose it. Given that the op-eds originated as posts at CEI (here, here and here), he really didn't need to, but he knows that CNS reproduces his posts, as we see from a an April 8 CEI post in which he cited "an earlier commentary at CNS News" that he wrote.

While Bader should have made sure CNS disclosed his CEI employment on his columns, it's ultimately not his job. CNS shouldn't have to be asked to do so, given that disclosure of conflicts of interest is a bedrock principle of journalism.

Earlier this week, the MRC was giddy that it prompted NPR to issue a correction on an item that identified a woman as less political than she actually was. Don't expect CNS to do the same -- the MRC is rarely interested in practicing what it preaches.

What was that Tim Graham, official at CNS parent the Media Research Center, was saying about conservative media outlets making quality, original journalism and are totally not aggregators? Never mind.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:35 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2016 6:51 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
CNS Columnist Wants (Ineffective) DDT To Be Legal Again To Combat Zika
Topic: CNSNews.com

Hans Bader rants in a June 10 CNSNews.com column:

Zika’s spread is being aided by red tape the Obama administration left unchanged, even as it illegally diverted money needed to fight Zika to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

Writing in the New York Post, Jillian Kay Melchior of the Independent Women’s Forum notes that the federal government is thwarting a low-cost solution to Zika: DDT. That life-saving pesticide remains banned by federal regulations, preventing it from being used to kill mosquitos carrying this awful disease:

[...]

For years, the Obama administration has ignored advice like this to allow DDT, disregarding warnings that have grown louder and more frequent as Zika has spread. Indeed, Obama recently gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the former EPA administrator who relied on junk science to ban DDT. In a case of politics overruling science, that administrator “banned DDT after ignoring an EPA administrative law judge’s ruling that there was no evidence indicating that DDT posed any sort of threat to human health or the environment.” He “never attended any of the agency’s hearings on DDT. He didn’t read the hearing transcripts and refused to explain his decision,” notes Steven Milloy at Junk Science.com.

Haber and Melchior are ignoring the fact that, as we've pointed out, most mosquitoes are immune to the effects of DDT due to past overuse, so re-legalizing the chemical to fight Zika would do little good.

Bader goes on to write: "Similarly, Melchior notes that the most famous advocate of banning DDT, Rachel Carson, falsely claimed that use of DDT was threatening the American robin with extinction – in the very same year in which noted ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson wrote that the robin was actually 'the most abundant bird in North America.'" Actually, as we've also pointed out, Carson never called for the banning of DDT or any other pesticide, just a stop to their overuse.

While Time magazine concedes Carson was wrong on the imminent extinction of robins, she was correct on the workings of the food chain that made DDT a threat to robins. DDT was sprayed on elm trees in the 1950s to try and kill a tree disease, but DDT residue remained on the leaves. When the leaves fell in autumn, earthworms ate the leaves, and robins would eat the worms the following spring. Because DDT persists in the environment unusually long after it is sprayed, DDT could build up to toxic levels in robins from eating earthworms. And there are documented cases of robins dying from DDT poisoning -- it's what inspired Carson to write her book.

Oh, and Bader pulled that Carson-robin anecdote from a pro-DDT article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (which also fails to mention that most mosquitoes are DDT-immune), published by the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The journal is notorious for publishing an article falsely claiming that there has been an explosion of leprosy cases in the U.S.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
Monday, June 20, 2016
CNS Touts Mel Gibson's 'Passion' Sequel Work, Silent On Gibson's Anti-Semitism
Topic: CNSNews.com

Mark Judge waxes enthusiastic about Mel Gibson's new film project in a June 10 CNSNews.com blog post:

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Mel Gibson and writer Randall Wallace are working on a sequel to the 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ."

"The evangelical community considers 'The Passion' the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood," Wallace told the Hollywood Reporter, "and they kept telling us they think a sequel would be even bigger."

The Reporter's Paul Bond writes that Wallace, who recently directed and co-wrote 2014's "Heaven is for Real," says he and Gibson "began to get serious about a sequel to The Passion, the most successful independent film of all time, while making Hacksaw Ridge, which Gibson directed and Wallace co-wrote. Hacksaw Ridge opens in November and centers on World War II Army medic Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor."

There is no studio or financial backing lined up for the "Passion" sequel, which is still in the early script stage. "The Passion of the Christ" made $612 million on a $30 million budget.

That's the entirety of Judge's post. Notice something missing? You know, like Gibson's history of ugly anti-Semitism (not to mention an even uglier breakup with his mistress) and the fact that "The Passion of the Christ" has itself been credibly accused of being anti-Semitic?

Needless to say, the Media Research Center has a double standard on not mentioning the unseemly history of entertainers. In January, MRC chief Brent Bozell and his deputy Tim Graham marked David Bowie's death by complaining that the media was ignoring stories of Bowie bedding underage groupies, lamenting that "David Bowie died to universal acclaim, even from a star-struck Vatican newspaper." Bozell and Graham whined about how "the secular news industry in New York and the social justice warriors in Hollywood pour outrage all over the predatory Catholic priests who abused children in this same era of sex and drugs and 'revolution,' the rockers and the filmmakers plowed their way through a polyester playground of high-school groupies exploiting their 'star privilege.'" Never mind that Bozell and Graham have given that very pass to right-wing icon and underage groupie-bedder (and underage groupie-marryer) Ted Nugent.

It looks like Gibson will get a pass on his notorious past from Judge and the rest of the MRC simply because he made a popular religious movie.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Last Week's Trump Coverage At CNS: Nothing But Stenography
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've noted how CNSNews.com, despite presenting itself as a "news" operation, weirdly doesn't think the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is newsworthy enough to appear on its front page.

As if in response to our making that discovery, CNS quickly slapped a couple of Trump stories on the CNS front page early last week:

  • A June 14 article by Susan Jones summarizing a speech Trump gave on immigration and other subjects.
  • Another June 14 article by Jones summarizing a Trump appearance on Fox News.

In other words, no reporting, almost entirely stenography. And we didn't see any other Trump stories on the CNS front page the rest of the week.

The big Trump news last week, of course, was Trump barring Washington Post reporters from covering him for purported bias. That got mentioned in the final few paragraphs of Jones' Trump-Fox articlebut apparently did not warrant any further "news" coverage.

What did make the CNS front page last week? Some more stenography: a report on conservatives whining that there aren't enough conservatives in the college professor ranks. And a blog post on the Benham brothers describing their "Christian response" to the Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub that failed to mention that the Benham brothers are anti-gay to the point that they called gays "destructive," "vile," and controlled by "demonic forces" -- an inconvenient fact CNS loves to whitewash.

So: Perpetuating conservative memes is "news" at CNS, but reporting on its preferred presidential candidate is not. Got it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 19, 2016 10:07 PM EDT
Saturday, June 18, 2016
CNS Ties Muslims To Hatred of Gays, Ignores Christian Gay-Hatred
Topic: CNSNews.com

Following the massacre in a gay nightclub Orlando by a man who allegedly claimed allegiance to ISIS, CNSNews.com was quick to reinforce the idea that only Muslims hate gays:

  • A June 13 article by Susan Jones highlighted Republican Rep. Peter King stating that "I think people don't often realize the hatred that Islamists have toward gays and transgenders."
  • A June 14 article by Patrick Goodenough asserts that "Half of the countries in the world where homosexual behavior is legally prohibited are Islamic states, and in 13 of those countries, the death penalty is codified in shari’a (Islamic law)."

Censored so far at CNS, however, is the fact that Christian pastors have come out in favor of the massacre because gays were killed.

In Sacramento, pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church said "I think that's great" that "50 pedophiles were killed today," adding,  "The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!" He also said of gays: "I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out."

Arizona preacher Steven Anderson said that while he wouldn’t advocate for violence, he said LGBT people should be “executed by a righteous government," adding, "The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they're going to continue to molest children and recruit children into their filthy homosexual lifestyle."  He also said, "At least these dangerous, filthy predators are off the streets. I’m just trying to look on the bright side."

Also censored at CNS is Pat Robertson's bizarre claim that gays have allied with radical Islamists, and that "the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves." Robertson's "The 700 Club" desperately tried to spin this after the fact, insisting that he was "clearly" using killing as a metaphor and that he meant gays and Islamists are "killing themselves politically."

Further, while Goodenough's article was eager to highlight the Islamic-dominated countries where homosexuality is illegal, he makes sure not to note which of those countries are dominated by Christians. He also obscures the fact that some of the countries he claims are "mostly Muslim-majority" are actually Christian-doiminated.

For instance, Goodenough lists Uganda as a "Muslim-majority" country where homosexuality is illegal because it's a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In fact, only 12 percent of the Ugandan population is Muslim, while more than 83 percent is Christian.

Goodenough seems to have missed the controversy over the past few years over Uganda's attempt to criminalize homosexuality with death, inspired in no small part by anti-gay American Christian pastors like Scott Lively. He also apparently missed a July 2015 CNS article by his boss, Michael W. Chapman, approvingly quoting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni proudly stating that homosexual behavior is a “no-go” subject in the country and is "never supported by Ugandans,” and that President Obama should "respect African societies and their values." Chapman also happily quoted saying how much he "personally dislike[s]" gays: "They are disgusting. What sort of people are they? How can you go -- I never knew what they were doing." Chapman also pointed out that Uganda is "overwhelmingly a Christian country."

Oh, and Museveni is a "devout Christian."

But then, CNS is part of the Media Research Center propaganda machine, so such inconvenient facts are not likely to see the light of day there. 


Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 AM EDT
Sunday, June 12, 2016
MRC's 'News' Division Doesn't Think Trump Is News
Topic: CNSNews.com

As a media watchdog, we read CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center's "news" division, every day, and usually a few times a day. And over the past several days, we noticed something peculiar: Despite Donald Trump being the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and despite Trump being the lead political story over those same past several days with his racially motivated attack on a judge presiding over a class-action lawsuit against Trump's scammy university, Trump rarely appeared on the CNS front page.

(Which is doubly strange because the MRC employs as a contributor Jeffrey Lord, who defends Trump's race-baiting attacks on the judge.)

The CNS front page has numerous slots for story promotions: nine at the top of the page and 30 farther down, plus five blog post slots and four commentary slots. Yet Trump has been mentioned more inside the NewsBusters headline promo box on the CNS front page than on CNS proper.

What did make the CNS front page instead of Trump? Lots of stuff. For instance, Lauretta Brown snagged an exclusive interview with YouTube semi-celebrities Diamond and Silk -- who "were speaking Thursday at a 'Women Vote Trump' event at the National Press Club" -- to talk about "about race relations in the United States since President Obama took office." Brown apparently did not ask Diamond and Silk about Trump, despite the facts that being Trump groupies are the duo's claim to fame and they were speaking at a Trump event.

Also making the CNS front page instead of Trump was an article by Barbara Hollingsworth on a panel discussion of the 50th anniversary of the William F. Buckley-hosted show "Firing Line." Getting prominent play here was Hollingsworth's boss, Brent Bozell, who is also Buckley's nephew. Bozell shared this observation, according to Hollingsworth:

“You don’t debate on television any more. You fight,” Bozell pointed out.

“When that happens, two things happen. One is that you no longer have a discussion, you no longer have a serious thought in the political conversation because you don't even develop just one single thought.

"Instead, those of us who go on television today--you know, the Apostles spoke in tongues. We speak in sound bites. And we come up with pithy fractions of a thought. And that’s all you have to do on television today is come up with a pithy fraction of a thought," Bozell said.

Says the guy who reportedly insists on not having anyone who holds political views different from his during his segments -- that's why he and other MRC talking heads tend to appear solo at conservative-friendly places like Fox News. Bozell has no interest whatsoever in debating the issues.

On top of that, Bozell apparently has no interest in presenting news that can't be spun to forward his right-wing agenda. We are guessing that's why no Trump news gets a front-page push at CNS -- there's no good way to spin Trump's racial animus toward a judge. That's just not "the right news, right now," to quote the slogan at the top of the CNS front page.

One Trump-related story did make the CNS front page during this time, however. It's a story by Melanie Hunter that offers nothing but a rote regurgitation of a speech Trump gave at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in which he recited a litany conservative platitudes.

Being a dutiful stenographer instead of an actual reporter, Hunter didn't mention that Trump read his speech from a teleprompter, despite the fact that CNS itself last August highlighted Trump's call for a ban on teleprompters for presidential candidates: "These other guys, they're going around, they make a speech in front of 21 people. Nobody cares, they read the same speech -- deet-deet-deet. They have teleprompters. I say we should outlaw teleprompters for anybody, right? -- for anybody -- for anybody running for president."

That may have been "the right news" for CNS in August, but it clearly fails the "right now" test. As does most of what Trump does these days, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:19 PM EDT
Monday, June 6, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has a legitimately disappointing unemployment report to write about -- only 38,000 jobs created in May -- but the story on it by Susan Jones continued CNS' established pattern of obsessing over the labor force unemployment rate.

Jones waits until the 10th paragraph to actually mention something she usually ignores because it doesn't fit her agenda -- that the labor force participation rate is heavily affected by "retirements among the aging baby boom generation." But then she tries to spin it by sdaying that "the weak job market has caused other Americans to give up job-hunting in favor of staying home or going back to school." However, she provides nothing to back up that interpretation.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Sunday, June 5, 2016
CNS Columnist Takes A Dig At 'Hitlery," For Some Reason
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center is picking up yet another WorldNetDaily trait: columnists who save their really crazy, hateful stuff for other outlets.

Eric Metaxas is a regular columnist for the MRC's "news" outlet CNSNews.com and author of a book on anti-Nazi spy Dietrich Bonhoeffer whose main gig is hosting the radio show "BreakPoint," succeeding the late Watergate felon-turned-Christian Charles Colson. He usually serves up conservative Christian homilies in line with the bias of CNS management.

But last month (h/t Warren Throckmorton), Metaxas tweeted out a little poll:

Yep, in true WND-emulating style, he referred to Hillary Clinton as "Hitlery" and suggests that Trump is somehow not the ideological demagogue making Nazi-esque appeals to nationalism and against foreigners.

Metaxas later claimed the poll was a joke, and also "complex teasing sarcasm humor." He seems not to be aware that there are a surprisingly amount of people -- check the comments section of any right-wing political site -- who use "Hitlery" unironically, not to mention folks like Don Feder, who CNS uncritically promoted last year.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:56 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 5, 2016 8:29 PM EDT
Sunday, May 29, 2016
CNS Dishonestly Perpetuates False Obama 'Apology' Meme
Topic: CNSNews.com

The idea that President Obama regularly apologizes for America while overseas has long been right-wing dogma, despite the fact that it never actually happened. The Media Research Center particularly loves this.

So, leave it to MRC "news" division CNSNews.com to perpetuate the bogus meme with a May 25 article by Patrick Goodenough, under the headline "Obama’s Japan Visit Starts With Apology–Although Not For Hiroshima."

What a fundmentally dishonest headline. CNS and Goodenough surely know that at no point did Obama ever claim he would offer an apology to Japan while visiting the site of the U.S nuclear attack on Hiroshima during his visit to Japan (and he did not). But it's clear that pandiering to right-wingers is more important to CNS than reporting facts -- a disturbing attitude for a self-proclaimed "news" operation.

Goodenough's actual article isn't much better, as he too is eager to amplify a false right-wing meme:

President Obama has said he will not offer an apology when visiting Hiroshima this week, but his trip to Japan began on an awkward note and expressions of regret, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened a press appearance by sternly lecturing him over a murder allegedly perpetrated by a former U.S. Marine on Okinawa.

[...]

In his response Obama briefly addressed the Okinawa case, but reprised his remarks by stressing the importance of a bilateral alliance which he said has “helped to fortify peace and security throughout the region.”

He then said he had expressed to the prime minister his “sincerest condolences and deepest regrets” over the incident – the killing of a 20-year-old Japanese woman on the island.

Obama gave assurances that the U.S. would continue to cooperate with the investigation and ensure justice is done under Japan’s legal system.

Note that nowhere in Goodenough's reporting of Obama's remarks is any mention of the apology the article's headline claims and his own introduction suggests. Condolences and regrets over a crime are not apologies.

Goodenough caps off the article by quoting a writer from the right-wing Heritage Foundation (whose ideology he does not disclose) complaining that "Obama’s trip will appear to affirm the oft-expressed Japanese view of itself as victim due to its unique status as the only country to have suffered an atomic attack." Goodenough made no apparent attempt to seek out an alternative, non-conservative viewpoint.

Goodenough is capable of fair reporting when he wants to be, but in recent months he's taken the lazy way out by being content to put right-wing memes over facts, such as he work on Syrian refugees and anti-U.S. propaganda in Iran.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 PM EDT
Thursday, May 26, 2016
A 'Food Desert' Fail At CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a May 19 CNSNews.com article, Melanie Hunter highlights a comment by first lady Michelle Obama that "some U.S. communities are 'play deserts,' because they don’t have sufficient opportunities for kids to participate in sports and other outdoor activities, compared to wealthy communities." Hunter then adds: "As CNSNews.com previously reported, the Obama administration coined the phrase 'food deserts' to describe an urban area where a significant share of the population lives more than one mile from a grocery store."

Hunter has played into a double fail. First, the CNS article to which she links --  a 2012 article by Penny Starr -- at no point claims that the Obama administration "coined" the "food desert" term.

Second, the phrase does very much predate the Obama administration. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the "food desert" term was first documented in a 1999 report by the Nutrition Task Force Low Income Project Team of the United Kingdom Department of Health. It can also be found in a 2008 essay in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

We know CNS is always in a rush to smear the Obamas any way they can, but Hunter's complete lack of basic research here is embarrassing, even for CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
CNS Can't Quite Admit To Readers That Syrian Muslims Are Fleeing Persecution, Just Like Syrian Christians
Topic: CNSNews.com

For months, CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough has been pushing the misleading meme that the Obama administration is deliberately blocking the admission of Christian refugees from Syria. Goodenough occasionally admits the truth -- that, in his words, Syrian Christian refugees tend not to go through U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee camps, which supplies the number he uses, "due to safety fears, and tend to seek shelter instead with churches, Christian charities or with relatives in surrounding countries."

Goodenough's dishonest reporting has the imprimatur of his boss, CNS editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey, so he too can maliciously suggest the Obama administrtation is blocking Christian refugees.

But Goodenough's reporting is even more dishonest than that -- he also buries the fact that the Muslims that are fleeing Syria for refugee status in the U.S. are fleeing persecution as well.

In his May 10 article -- he does body counts on refugees every couple weeks or so -- Goodenough plays up the fact that of 451 Syrian refugees arriving in the U.S. in the previous month, "426 were Sunni Muslims and one was a Christian."

Several paragraphs later, Goodenough obliquely writes that Syrian refugees are "escaping from the Allawite Assad regime and its Shi’ite backers, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) or other Sunni Islamist groups among the opposition, or more generally from the violence and deprivation. They include Sunnis, Shi’a, Christians, Allawites, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Baha’i, atheists and others."

But that obscures the high number of Sunni Muslims seeking refugee status. A report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has stated that Syria's ruling Assad regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity committed against Sunnis and others, and the BBC reports that "Christian opposition activists have accused the government of stoking sectarian tensions, including by using Alawite-led security forces and Alawite militiamen to target Sunni civilians." While Sunni Muslims make up the majority of Syrians -- and, hence, the majority of refugees -- the government of Bashar al-Assad is Alawite.

Why doesn't Goodenough make that clear? Presumably because he's more interested in portraying Christians as the real victims and is content to lump all Muslims together as a sinister infiltration.

Goodenough waited a few more paragraphs after that to tell the truth that "many Christians who leave Syria do not register with the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, for fear of their safety in U.N. refugee camps." In other words, it's not Obama's fault that more Christians are not going UNHCR, no matter how much Goodenough tries to suggest otherwise.

Goodenough's May 23 body-count article began by intoning: "The Obama administration has admitted 499 Syrian refugees so far this month, with no Christians among them." At no point does he bother to mention the fact that Sunni Muslims (which accounted for 495 of those refugees) are facing persecution, and he again buries the fact that Christian refugees avoid going through UNHCR, which skews his numbers.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
CNS' Right-Wing Bias Illustrated, In Two Stories
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center's "news" operation, likes to pretend it's not biased, what with its mission statement that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." That's never been true, of course.

Now, CNS has helpfully served up exactly how its right-wing bias works in practice through its treatment of two sides of the same story.

In a May 9 article, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey begins respectfully: "In a legal complaint filed against the U.S. Justice Department today, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory asked a U.S. District Court to help his state protect the “bodily privacy rights” of people seeking to use public bathrooms consistent with their biological sex."

Throughout the article, Jeffrey painstakingly quotes and paraphrases McCrory's defense of his state's bathroom law, assertg that the complaint "explained the North Carolina law’s basic operations," as if there are no legal experts in the Justice Department. Jeffrey declared that "The complaint simply seeks that the court declare that the North Carolina governor and secretary of public safety are not violating federal civil rights law or the federal Violence Against Women Act by enforcing a law that requires biological  males to use men’s rooms and biological women to use women’s rooms."

By contrast, Susan Jones' May 10 article is filled with bias and opinion -- you'd never know it's supposed to be a "news" article from reading it -- that sneered at Attorney General Loretta Lynch's defense of the Obama administration's transgender initatives. Jones' opening paragraph is pure opinion:

The U.S. Justice Department is putting the feelings of transgenders -- men who think they are women and women who think they are men -- above the privacy rights of the vast majority of people who don't contest the biological facts of who they actually are.

Jones then ghoes on to lecture Lynch on how she's wrong about transgenders:

But Lynch was referring to people who, in fact, are pretending to be something that -- biologically -- they are not. A man "identifying" as a woman is not a biological woman. And likewise, a woman "identifying" as a man is not a biological man. Until now, that is, when the federal government has determined that biological facts matter less than wishes and feelings.

Jones lectured some more later in her article:

Lynch accused North Carolina and its leaders of creating "state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals, who simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security, a right taken for granted by most of us."

(Much of the outcry over this issue comes from people who are not confused about their gender "as noted at birth," and who also "simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security." Many women, in particular, object to sharing restrooms with men who supposedly "identify" as women.)

Remember, this is supposed to be a "news" article. But that's how CNS rolls -- complete with the lie about how it "fairly presents" the news.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:20 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com performs its usual misleading job on the latest unemployment numbers, with Susan Jones' lead story on April's umployment once again leading with the labor force participation rate. She again fails 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.

Jones also writes a sidebar noting the high unemployment rate for African-Americans without mentioning that it has always been much higher for African-Americans compared with whites.But, again, Jones' numbers for African-Americans and Hispanics are framed in the misleading and meaningless labor participation rate numbers.

This time around, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey contributes an additional politically motivated cherry-picking of numbers with an article on how "The United States has lost approximately 191,000 jobs in the mining industry since September 2014." 

The implication, of course -- though Jeffrey carefully avoids saying it outright -- is that President Obama's environmental policies are solely to blame for this. In fact, the major driver for the current reduction in mining jobs is a slump and decreased prices in the overall energy sector.Even the conservative Washington Examiner admits that "the precipitous drop in oil prices" has driven the current loss in mining jobs.

And Jeffrey also glosses over the fact that the chart accompanying his article shows that mining industry jobs were fewer during most years of the last Republican presidency -- George W. Bush -- than currently under Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
CNS Editor Falsely Suggests Obama Blocking Christian Refugees
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey writes in his April 28 column:

"Today, Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world."

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said that on the Senate floor March 17 after he explained what had happened six months before to a Syrian man and his 12-year-old son.

[...]

Then, on the same day Cotton gave his speech, Kerry met a congressionally imposed deadline by declaring that the Islamic State, which he called "Daesh," was committing genocide against Syrian Christians and other minorities.

Yet, even as they face genocide at the hands of the Islamic State, very few Syrian Christians are being admitted as refugees to the United States.

As Patrick Goodenough has reported in a series of stories for CNSNews.com, their number has not been in proportion to their representation in the Syrian population.

[...]

Cotton has offered the "Religious Persecution Relief Act" to help fix this problem. It would permit up to 10,000 Christians and members of other religious minorities in Syria to be admitted to the United States as refugees each year for the next five years. These refugees could apply through U.S.-backed resettlement centers and would not need to go through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. But they would go through the same security vetting as other refugees from Syria.

The House of Representatives voted unanimously last month to declare that the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry had no choice but to concur.

Will they now find no way to allow Middle Eastern Christians fleeing that genocide to find refuge in our land?

Jeffrey is effectively suggesting that the Obama administration is actively blocking Christian refugees from Syria -- something he offers no evidence for, because he knows (or should know) that it's not true.

As we've documented, Goodenough -- the CNS reporter whose work Jeffrey is citing as the basis for his column -- has inconsistently reported on the nature of the alleged refugee imbalance. Goodenough himself reported that Christian refugees from Syria tend to rely no Christian churches and agencies instead of the United Nations, which the U.S. uses to bring in refugees.Goodenough's latest article on the subject, headlined "220 Syrian Refugees Admitted Over Past 2 Weeks Include 1 Christian," again failed to explain that process.

That makes the number of Christian refugees reported to the government artificially lower -- something Jeffrey doesn't mention.

Jeffrey also suggests that the Syrian Muslims admitted as refugees are not facing religious persecution -- a suggestion Goodenough has also made. Jeffrey further complains: "Since Oct. 1, 2014 (the beginning of fiscal 2015), the United States has admitted 3,312 refugees from Syria. Just 38 were Christians. But 3,147 were Sunnis. That equals about 1.1 percent Christian and 95 percent Sunni. The Syrian population, according to the CIA World Factbook, is 10 percent Christian and 74 percent Sunni."

But neither Jeffrey nor Goodenough, in his most recent article, mention the fact that Sunni Muslims are victims of persection. A report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has stated that Syria's ruling Assad regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity committed against Sunnis and others.

That means Cotton's proposed bill is superfluous -- unless the goal of it is to fearmonger about Muslims and advance the right wing's Christian victim narrative. In which case, Jeffrey and Goodenough are all in, even if it means hiding inconvenient facts to advance it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT

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