CNS Now Importing Praise For (And Dismissal Of The Ugly Past Of) Mel Gibson Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's love for -- and desire to censor the ugly past of -- Mel Gibson is so strong, it's bringing in articles from other websites to sing Gibson's praises.
Last week, CNS' new "Conservative Roundup" section featured a link to a article at right-wing site The Federalist demanding that Gibson's new movie "Hacksaw Ridge" receive some damn awards already.
Unlike CNS, Federalist writer Titus Techera did briefly mention Gibson's ugly past. The key word here is "briefly"; it merited just a single sentence: "Secondly, Gibson made several awful comments when stopped for drunk driving."
The rest of Techera's article was devoted to slobbering over "Hacksaw Ridge" and insisting that "America’s award institutions actually reward a patriotic movie that shows Christianity in American society as a source of hope and unity, rather than fear and division."
As we've noted, Obama Derangement Syndrome continues to ooze from the Media Research Center despite President Obama's departure from office.
The latest example is from the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, where Michael Morris wrote in a Feb. 17 post:
Unlike former President Barack Obama, who spent valuable time filling out NCAA Tournament brackets with ESPN every year of his presidency, sitting President Donald Trump has “respectfully declined” to fill out a 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket on ESPN.
“We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket,” stated ESPN network. “They have respectfully declined.”
How did Morris become the judge of how Obama purportedly wasted his "valuable time" as president? Morris needs to give up the shade-throwing and join Matt Philbin in getting professional help for their Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Morris didn't mention that Trump was spending his presumably equally "valuable time" as president partying at Mar-a-Lago.
Two-Month-Old Speculation About Trump's Greatness Is Suddenly News At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell once whined about speculation being presented as news, but his own "news" division, CNSNews.com, has no problem doing it.
Yet another example of this is a Feb. 17 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who finds a two-month-old CNN clip suddenly newsworthy because in it, Robert Kennedy Jr. says that Donald Trump "could be the greatest president in history if he wanted to." For video, Chapman includes only the 15-second segment of RFK Jr.'s CNN appearance in which he makes that claim.
Chapman made sure to note that RFK Jr. is a "liberal Democrat" -- but not that he shares with Trump a love of medically unfounded skepticism about vaccines.
If there was any news value in RFK Jr.'s words -- and there isn't; it's nothing but pure talking-head speculation -- Chapman would have reported them when they were originally said. Waiting two months to report them, as Chapman did, feels like a desperation tactic, as if Chapman must publish a daily quota of pro-Trump articles at CNS to make his bosses happy.
That would be worthy of mention for most journalists, but Chapman isn't a journalist -- he's a right-wing propagandist. While he can easily throw RFK Jr. under the bus -- he is a "liberal Democrat," after all -- the idea that his beloved Trump shared his medically unsound views can't be given the light of day at his website.
A few days later, Chapman followed that up with even more slobbering specuation about Trump's potential greatness, this time quoting right-wing sheriff David Clarke claiming that Trump "has the chance to be the Winston Churchill of the 21st century."
Chapman also rather hilariously quoted Clarke saying of Trump: ""And so, he is the president of all people. That doesn't mean all people have to like him, but all people must respect him as the 45th president of the United States." Chapman didn't mention how many times he and CNS have quoted Clarke spewing his disrespect for the 44th president of the United States.
CNS Revels In Trump's Anti-Media Tirades Topic: CNSNews.com
President Trump's Feb. 16 press conference lasted for more than an hour, but all CNSNews.com was interested in reportoing on was Trump's incessant bashing of the media for not being fawning enough of him.
The first two articles CNS published after the presser touted Trump's media bashing:
The CNS writer who most fully reveled in Trump's media hate, though, is blogger Craig Bannister. One blog post highlighted Trump's attack on CNN in which he told reporter Jim Acosta to "ask Jeff Zucker [head of CNN] how he got his job." "Was this a message meant for Acosta only, or was Trump throwing it out there, hoping someone would pick up on it and investigate?" Bannister asked, suggesting that "There’s something shady in the circumstances of Zucker’s hiring."
Another Bannister post celebrated how "Trump accused the media of publishing 'fake news' 17 times – about once every four minutes. But, he also blamed the media’s fake news on their 'hatred' of him on eight different occasions." The headline hammered Bannister's approval home: "Trump: 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' “Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred'."
Creeping WND-ization of The MRC Watch, CNS Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
Twice in December, we caught CNSNews.com apparently stealing story ideas from WorldNetDaily. The creeping WND-ization of CNS and its Media Research Center parent is continuing apace.
In a Feb. 8 article, Leo Hohmann wrote about how "A recently retired U.S. State Department veteran has published a whistleblower letter in the Chicago Tribune fingering the refugee resettlement program as fraught with 'fraud' and “abuses.'" Hohmann made no apparent effort to verify that the letter writer, Mary Doetsch, was who she said she was or that anything she wrote was true; instead, he crows that Doetsch's letter "affirms two-and-a-half years of reporting by WND, which has reported that the 'vetting' of refugees from broken countries such as Somalia, Syria and Sudan often consists largely of a personal interview with the refugee."
The next day, CNS' Andrew Eicher wrote about the same letter. Like Hohmann, Eicher also apparently failed to make an effort to verify Doetsch's identity or claims.
Of course, the possibility exists that CNS stole its idea from Fox News, where Doetsch's letter was reported on the same day Eicher's article came out.
Still, CNS is getting beat to the punch by WND. We don't mean that as a complement.
CNS Spinning for Trump on Flynn Scandal Topic: CNSNews.com
As you'd expect from the "news" operation that defended Donald Trump -- and, thus, Russia and Vladimir Putin -- over allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential election, CNSNews.com is largely following Trump marching orders in the aftermath of Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn over his conversations with Russian officials about sanctions issued by President Obama before he officially joined the Trump administration.
CNS -- unusual for an operation that pays the Associated Press no small amount of money for use of its content but barely promotes it -- actually ran an AP story or two about Flynn's departure on its front page. But most of its original content the day after Flynn left was, as usual, mostly written by chief stenographer Susan Jones and dedicated to spinning for Trump and even saying nice things about Flynn, like these:
CNS's so-called reporting quickly coalesced around the Trump-approved talking point that the real problem wasn't Flynn by that the offense that got him fired was leaked to the media, which feeds nicely into the tired old talking point that the media is out to get Trump:
The least biased article CNS ran was one in which Jones admitted that Republican members of Congress would also like Flynn brought before the House Intelligence Committee.
So: Lots of bias, with the occasional window-dressing of actual journalism to perpetuate the illusion of being an actual news operation. That's pretty much how CNS is run under Terry Jeffrey and Michael W. Chapman.
UPDATE: CNS has added a couple more articles: One by Jones on Republicans calling for an investigation of how intelligence was handled (but not of Flynn's behavior), and another quoting Sean Hannity complaining that the media is trying to "make anything into the next Watergate" in an effort to impeach Trump.
CNS Devotes 3 Articles to Trump Aide, Censors His Lies Topic: CNSNews.com
When it came time to document Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller's Sunday-morning talk-show marathon, CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones knew it was time to get into stenography mode. So she cranked out three articles' worth of stenography:
The first touted how Miller "said President Trump's authority to suspend the entry of aliens into this country is 'beyond question,' both in law and according to the Constitution" and complained that "a district judge, a district judge in Seattle, cannot make immigration law for the United States."
The second promoted Miller saying that ""The crackdown on illegal immigrants is merely the keeping of my campaign promise."
The third featured a back-and-forth between Miller and "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace and waited until the ninth pagaraph to note Miller's assertion that "the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned."
Curiously, Jones made no mention of Miller's appearance on that other Sunday show, ABC's "This Week." Why? It's where Miller told a bunch of demonstrable lies -- most prominently, his utterly unsubstaniated and discredited assertion that "thousands of illegal voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire" to vote -- and Jones isn't being paid to call out a member of the Trump administration as a liar.
Jones can only be bothered to trot out something approaching acutal journalism when it can be used to serve her (and the Media Research Center's) right-wing agenda. That makes her a propagandist, not a reporter.
CNS' Jones Suddenly Discovers Original Reporting ... In Order To Attack Warren Topic: CNSNews.com
So CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones is capable of doing more than stenography after all -- when it comes to attacking a Democrat, anyway.
After Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the Senate floor for reading a letter by the late Coretta Scott King critical of attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, Jones fought back in a Feb. 8 article headlined "Warren Falsely Claims That Republicans 'Silenced Mrs. King's Voice on the Senate Floor'." Jones howled that "A liberal advocacy group is already fund-raising off Tuesday's Elizabeth Warren kerfuffle" and insisted that "In fact, Warren read King's very long letter in its entirety, and she had moved on to other complaints when she was finally interrupted by [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and asked to take her seat," further complaining that Warren "read from long-ago letters."
The next day, Jones was still whining, in an article complaining that "a white liberal from the Northeast dragged the name of Sen. Jeff Sessions though the mud, violating Senate rules in the process." But then it was back to Trump stenography mode as she touted how "a black conservative from the South stood on the Senate floor to reflect on 'what occurred last night'" -- Republican Sen. Tim Scott. She further touted how "Sen. Scott spent the rest of his speech explaining the discrimination he faces, not necessarily for being black, but for being conservative. He even read aloud some of the hateful messages that have come into his office because of his support for Sen. Sessions."
Jones quickly followed that up with an article focusing solely on how scott "read some of the tweets he's received, blasting him for supporting Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general" and described those who wrote them as "liberal" without providing any evidence that they actually were. The headline of Jones' article: "Sen. Tim Scott Illustrates How Liberals Show Tolerance."
So Jones could be moved to fact-check a Democrat but not a Republican. That's life at CNS.
CNSNews.com hedged its bets a bets at first on the idea of Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice. As chatter grew about him, it published an op-ed by Larry Pratt of the right-wing Gun Owners of American and birther-adjacent lawyer William J. Olson fearing he might not be sufficiently pro-gun enough.
But when the selection of Gorsuch was officially announced, CNS went into its usual fawning/stenography mode:
CNS' Barbara Hollingsworth also cranked out a one-sided article (the only kind she writes, it seems) headlined "Law Profs: Judge Gorsuch’s Record Puts Him Well Within Nation's Legal Mainstream." Not only does Hollingsworth not identify the ideology of any of those law professors -- though given that she writes for CNS, we can presume all of them are conservative and she would not have bothered to talk to anyone not pushing the Trump administration line on Gorsuch -- one of those offering praise, curiously, is John Yoo, infamous for his work in the Bush administration in providing legal justification for "enhanced interrogation," which many have called torture, so he might not be the best judge of what is in the "legal mainstream."
We'veestablished that CNSNews.com is little more than a stenographer for the Trump administration. It was Trump's obedient servant again this week for President Trump's claim that the media isn't covering reports of terrorist attacks.
Melanie Arter (nee Hunter) led the stenography brigade with her loyal transcription of how Trump said "'the very, very dishonest press' doesn’t want to report on the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorists determined to strike the homeland." CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman followed up with an article copying-and-pasting the "list of 78 terrorist attacks" the Trump White House says were underreported.
CNS won't report, however, what a mess that list is (the typos that CNS faithfully reproduced, wuch as the repeated misspellings of "attack," are the least of it). Actual reporters at the Washington Post point out that many of the attacks listed did not result in fatalities, the list omits non-Western victims, it includes attacks such as the San Bernardino and Orlando nightclub attacks that indisputably not underreported, and appears to list one attack that was a workplace dispute and not terrorism.
Note to CNS: Serving as a stenographer doesn't fulfill your self-proclaimed mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
Creeping WND-ization of The MRC Watch, CNS Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
We've caught CNSNews.com seemingly lifting story ideas from WorldNetDaily twice in the past couple months. Why wouldn't it also lift a couple of its columnists and authors as well?
A Jan. 27 post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touts Jesse Lee Peterson's ridiculous portrayal of Donald Trump as the "white savior" for black America during an appearance on Newsmax TV. That gives us an unusual intersection of three main ConWeb components.
A few days later, CNS republished Peterson's WND column on the subject, -- albeit changing the headline from WND's statement of fact "Trump: White Savior to Black America") to a question ("Is President Trump the White Savior to Black America?") --including the even more ridiculous assertion that black men "believed in God and took care of themselves and their families" until they got civil rights and "Democrats seduced blacks away from God and the Republican Party."
(We noted Peterson's meshing with WND's interest in depicting Trump as a messianic figure.)
Then, in a Feb. 2 post, Chapman nicked another WND favorite, birther pastor Carl Gallups. Chapman didn't mention the birther stuff, of course, despite devoting two paragraphs to Gallups' bio; he was too excited to be quoting Gallups trashing the idea of evolution, which somehow morphs into claiming that immigration to America is a "judgment from God":
Evangelical pastor and best selling author Carl Gallups said the United States has violated so many of God's moral borders in relation to sexuality, family, marriage, gender, and even the teaching of atheistic evolution that it affects our geographical borders, such that enemies enter and chaos erupts in society. This is both spiritual and physical warfare, he added, stressing that the current political attempt to bring law, order, and borders back to the nation -- to right the ship of state -- is facing opposition from the left and its "counterpart in the demonic realm."
“Here’s what I have been saying for years," said Pastor Gallups during a Jan. 30 interview on the Rob Schilling Show (Newsradio WINA). "Look, we have violated the borders of our children’s minds. For 100 years we have told them that they come from monkeys and that there is no God. We have violated the borders of their souls and their spirits."
"We have violated the borders of the womb in America and have destroyed 60 million children," said Gallups. "We have violated the borders of sexuality. We have violated the borders of family. We have violated the borders of marriage. We have violated the borders of gender."
"And now," he said, "as a judgment from God or as discipline from God, our own geographical borders are now being violated."
CNS' Coverage of Unemployment Changes Under Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
We had an inkling that CNSNews.com would not treat unemployment numbers as harshly under President Trump than it did under President Obama. Looks like we've been proven right.
In her main story on January's unemployment numbers, CNS reporter Susan Jones touted job outlook improvements -- something she did only grudgingly under Obama -- and seemed sad that she couldn't credit Trump for it all:
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday released its first look at employment since Donald Trump became president, and although that report does not reflect actual Trump policy changes, it does include the period just before Trump became president and was tweeting about jobs saved.
According to BLS, the labor force participation rate improved in January, increasing two-tenths of a point to 62.9 percent, its best showing in four months.
By contrast to Jones' enthusiasm for Trump "tweeting about jobs saved" -- she insisted that January's report "undoubtedly reflects anticipation of Trump’s policies" -- CNS made every effort to downplayanddiscredit talk of jobs that were saved under Obama's stimulus plan.
Jones also did something she rarely did during the Obama administration: explicitly state that one major reason for the high labor force participation rate she regularly blamed Obama for is the "retirement of baby boomers" and that "Members of the baby-boom generation will continue to retire from the labor force in large numbers."
The only sidebar this time around -- CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman declined to fret about black unemployment or tell us the "real" unemployment number this month as he usually has, and probably never will again during the Trump presidency -- is from editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, who proclaimed that "The United States gained 5,000 jobs in manufacturing in January while losing 10,000 in government."
CNS Writer Again Censors Mel Gibson's Ugly Past Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's resident Mel Gibson fanboy, Mark Judge, has struck again with more fawning praise in a Jan. 24 post:
Variety is reporting that “for the first time in 20 years, Mel Gibson is back in the Oscar fold.”
Gibson’s film “Hacksaw Ridge” has been nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Film Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing.
“Hacksaw Ridge" tells the story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector during World War II. Doss saved 75 people during the Battle of Okinawa and was awarded the Medal of Honor.
This is the first time that Gibson has been nominated since he won the Best Director Oscar for “Braveheart” in 1996. The 2017 Academy Awards will be presented February 26 in Los Angeles.
But as with all of Judge's fanboy works, a crucial and relevant part of Gibson's past is missing. It was even right there in the Variety article he's citing. Let's see what Judge censored:
After his nomination, and eventual win, for Best Director in “Braveheart,” Gibson became embroiled in several scandals, turning many in Hollywood against him. He was arrested in 2006 for a DUI, during which he unleashed a drunken tirade capped with him shouting “f—ing jews” at the police officer. He was later sentenced to three years probation.
Four years later in 2010, he was recorded during a phone call with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva where he suggested if she were “raped by a a bunch of n—–s,” she would be to blame. Gibson was barred from going near Grigorieva or their daughter by a restraining order, and later plead no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge.
At the time of the anti-Semitic rant, he apologized to the Jewish community, though in recent years he has preferred to deflect attention away from his misdeeds with euphemisms such as saying he went through a “rough patch.”
Most people would consider that relevant. But Judge doesn't -- he has chosen to be Gibson's unpaid PR agent, it seems.
'State-Run Media' At CNS Repeat The Trump Line on Immigration Order Topic: CNSNews.com
A couple of weeks ago, the Media Research Center declared NBC to be "state run TV" for airing what it considered an insufficiently hateful profile of President Obama.
But a new administration has taken power, and there are new "state-run" media outlets. One of them is the MRC's own "news" division, CNSNews.com.
CNS' coverage of President Trump's order stopping immigration from seven mostly-Muslim countries was, as usual, extremely Trump-friendly.
First CNS hammered the Trump talking point that it was not a "Muslim ban," as with the Susan Jones article headlined "Priebus and Conway Echo Trump: ‘This Is Not a Muslim Ban’." Jones failed to mention that Rudy Giuliani said that Trump told him he wanted a Muslim ban and that he asked Giuliani to form a commission to show him “the right way to do it legally.”
An article by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey dutifully transcribed White House press secretary Sean Spicer complaining that "some people are misinterpreting President Donald Trump’s executive order on protecting the United States from foreign terrorists seeking to travel here because they have not read the order themselves and are instead basing their understanding of it on 'misguided media reports.'" He didn't mention that the Trump White House has only itself to blame for that since, as CNN reported, administration officials took several hours to publicly release the text of Trump's action, and administration officials themselves were initally confused about what was in it.
Another article by Jeffrey reads like Spicer dictated it directly: "The order does not single out or specify any religion. It does not call for either advantageous or disadvantageous treatment of individuals belonging to any particular religious sect or denomination when the seek U.S. visas or admission as refugees." Jeffrey not only doesn't mention Giuliani's statement, his article is illustrated with a picture showing how "A member of the Islamic State removes the cross from atop a Christian church in Mosul, Iraq, in 2015." That image was also used to promtoe Jeffrey's article on the CNS front page (image above). It seems Jeffrey is trying to send a different message that the one he's writing about.
Jeffrey also wrote a column defending Trump's order, asserting yet again that it does not "mention or single out Muslims, Christians or any religious sect," adding "This could be a Sunni in a Shiite-majority country. Or it could be a Shiite, or, yes, a Christian in a Sunni majority country — like Syria." Jeffrey didn't mention that for well over a year, his reporter Patrick Goodenough has been attacking the Obama administration for letting in more Muslim Syrian refugees in comparison with Christians -- and rarely bothering to tell CNS readers that Muslims who oppose the Assad regime are being persecuted in Syria.
CNS also sided with Trump on the firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates for declining to enforce Trump's order amid questions about its legality. Jones wrote an article headlined "Trump WH Fires Sally Yates, Who 'Betrayed' DOJ 'By Refusing to Enforce a Legal Order'." which was illustrated by a protester holding a "Drain the Swamp" poster, indicating CNS' editorial approval of Yates' firing.
Michael Morris was on Trump-shilling patrol as well with an article about how "A recent Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 57% of likely U.S. voters favor President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees from seven Middle Eastern and African terrorist havens." He waited until the sixth paragraph to mention that the Rasmussen poll was taken before Trump actually issued his order.
Manwhile, CNS was trying to disparage any critic of Trump's order. One article by Jones seemed to mock Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer for crying during his criticism of it, while another Jones article obsessed over microphone problems at a rally led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
CNS also made sure to play stenograph for all praise of, and spin for, Trump and his order:
CNS also played its old game of gotcha with Democratic members of Congress, ambushingthem with the question of whether "the U.S. should prioritize refugee admissions for persecuted religious minorities" as stated in Trump's order.
CNS' Penny Starr, who's been doing the ambushing, got into an argument with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer for calling Trump's order a Muslim ban "even though the executive order does not mention a specific religion":
“It is a religious test,” Hoyer said.
CNSNews.com told Hoyer at the briefing: “It doesn’t say Muslim, Jew, Christian in the actual executive order.”
“The seven nations are all Muslim nations,” Hoyer said. “If it were nonspecific as to religious minorities, it would say anybody that’s religiously persecuted.
“But [the order] says all persecuted religious minorities,” CNSNews.com responded.
“I understand,” Hoyer said. “I do not rationalize that distinction, nor do most people who have – legal scholars who have reviewed it.
“They believe it is, in fact, a religious test, which is unconstitutional, in my opinion under the First Amendment,” Hoyer said.
Starr couldn't be doing this any better if she was on the Trump White House payroll. Is she?
CNS' March for Live Coverage Was As Positive As Its Women's March Coverage Was Negative Topic: CNSNews.com
As we expected, CNSNews.com did not follow the mandate of its boss, Brent Bozell and give the March for Life the same amount and type of coverage it gave the Women's March. Contrary to CNS' sparse and overwhelming negative coverage of the Women's March, CNS' treatment of the March for Life was voluminous and unfailiingly positive, with a lot of pro-Trump bias worked in as well as the political opinion of an entertainer (well, a football player) that CNS says we're not supposed to listen to:
Such one-sided coverage violates (again) CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
Of course, CNS has always been exempt from the media mandates of its boss -- and, as a result, is far more biased than any of the media outlets Bozell and Co. denounce for their purported "liberal bias."