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Thursday, October 1, 2020
CNS Aggressively Defends Trump From His Own Words In Woodward's Book

The Media Research Center's "news" division,, went into an even more aggressive damage-control mode than its parent over Bob Woodward's book exensively quoting President Trump, who gave Woodward 18 hours worth of interviews and admitted he publicly downplayed the threat of coronavirus to the U.S. while knowing it was much more serious.

CNS kicked things off with a denial from Press Seretary Kayleigh McEnany: "WH: Trump Never Lied to the American People About COVID." Melanie Arter, who wrote that article, followed up with one quoting Dr. Anthony Fauci: "Fauci: ‘I Didn't Get Any Sense’ That Trump Was Distorting Anything on COVID-19." Then the serious, lengthy spin came from Susan Jones:

If Americans listened to and/or read what President Trump said about the emerging coronavirus in late January and early February, they knew back then that the virus was contagious, that it had "severe manifestations," and that it was a "serious public health threat," particularly for "older adults and people with underlying health conditions."

Moreover, a look at public statements issued by the World Health Organization in late January also informed the world that "all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of 2019-nCoVinfection."

WHO issued that statement on January 30 -- one day after President Trump announced the formation of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force "to work to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus."

Following yesterday’s release of Trump’s recorded comments to author Bob Woodward, the president's many Democrat/media critics are now literally portraying him as a murderer for allegedly concealing the severity of the emerging coronavirus crisis. ("Donald Trump says he didn't want Americans to panic. No, he just wanted to sit by and watch them die," said MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on this Thursday. See his full screed below)

But a look at the public record tells a different story.

The following is a partial timeline of the many remarks, announcements and proclamations issued by Trump as the coronavirus emerged, as health experts learned more and more about it, and as the economic repercussions of the shutdown took effect.

Needless to say, Jones didn't mention all the times Trump publicly downplayed the virus or said it would magically go away.

This was followed by Arter doing her usual Trump stenography by letting him spin what he said to Woodward and an article from Jones featuring Vice President Mike Pence defending Trump. After that came a potpourri of defenses and attacks:

Jones returned to spin mode in a Sept. 22 article complaining that Joe Biden was still talking about Woodward's book when other things were happening:

Heading into the election, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden wants Americans to stay angry and continue grieving for lives lost to the coronavirus -- around 200,000 according to some estimates.

Biden has made the pandemic a centerpiece of his campaign to portray Trump as callous and incompetent. However, the death of Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the looming fight over her successor now competes with coronavirus as a major concern for the electorate.

Jones linked to her earlier timeline to bolster her claim about "the actions taken early on by President Trump and his administration, before anyone in this country had died." Again, she ignored all the times Trump downplayed the virus.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
CNS Reporter Fact-Checks Biden, Gives Trump, GOP A Pass
Topic: reporter Patrick Goodenough has been quite the Biden fact-cheker of late. A few examples:

But given the opportunity to fact-check President Trump or other Republicans, Goodenough has refused to do so.

Goodenough actually wrote around one falsehood in an effort to avoid having to report on it. In an Aug. 26 article, he wrote on the Republican National Convention speech of Madison Cawthorn, gushing over how the wheelchair-bound Republican congressional candidate ended the speech "by hauling himself out of his wheelchair, standing to recite an adaptation of the pledge of allegiance." Goodenough went on to write that "Earlier in the speech, Cawthorn noted how young some of the great men of American history were at the time they were making an impact, citing George Washington, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln."

That's a dishonestly generous paraphrase of what Cawthorn actually said; he said that "personal favorite" James Madison "was just 25 years old when he signed the Declaration of Independence." In fact, Madison did not sign the Declaration.

In a Sept. 1 article, Goodenbough uncritically repeated Trump's assertion that Black Lives Matter is a "Marxist organization" (it's not). He then responded to Trump's claim that "Money is coming from some very stupid rich people that have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded – which it won’t – they will be thrown to the wolves like you’ve never seen before" with this lame bit of affirmation: "Amid protests that erupted across the nation after a white police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis last May, some of America’s biggest corporations – including Nike, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon – announced donations to Black Lives Matter and other organizations focused on social justice for black communities."

Goodenough provided no evidence that any money from these corporations are funding protests or violence, either directly or indirectly. He also wrote this:

Trump recounted that a person flying “from a certain city” to Washington to attend the Republican National Convention had been on a plane that “was almost completely loaded with – with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear, and this and that.”

He wouldn’t reveal the name of the city the plane came from, saying the matter was “under investigation,” but added that along with a handful of people heading to the RNC, “a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage.”

If Goodenough had bothered to look into it, he might have found that Trump's story sound susiciously familar to a similar (and bogus) claim circulating in right-wing circles in June. Or it could be a right-wing congressman who freaked out about sharing a plane with Black Lives Matter activists flying to Washington, D.C., for the anniversary of the March on Washington.

Goodenough served as a Trump stenographer in a Sept. 17 article touting how "President Trump said Wednesday distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to prioritized recipients could begin as early as next month, but by November or December at 'the latest,' and suggested a speedier rolling-out to the broader population than that suggested earlier in the day by CDC Director Robert Redfield." He made sure not to mention that Trump's promise of a vaccine before the election is widely viewed as a ploy to get votes and to distract from his mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.

We've noted how Goodenough's reporting at CNS has evolved from relatively straight to unambiguously pro-Trump and anti-Democrat.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Sunday, September 27, 2020
CNS Is So Pro-Trump, It Won't Even Bash His Pro-Gay Leanings

How extreme is the pro-Trump bias at Its resident gay-hater can't even be bothered to criticize a Trump endorsement from a gay politician.

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman is virulently anti-LGBT, to the point that until now, his pro-Trump agenda stopped only when Trump didn't hate gays to his satisfaction. But the current CNS policy is publish no negative Trump coverage whatsoever, so when former German ambassador and former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell -- who, when he was appointed to the DNI position earlier this year, CNS made sure (via anonymously written articles) grumbled that he was "a gay man with a same-sex partner" and that he claimed "you can be gay and be a Christian" -- issued a full-throated endorsement of Trump last month, Chapman didn't seem to know what to make of it and, surprisingly, just repeated what Grenell said (presumably through clenched teeth):

In a video distributed by the Log Cabin Republicans, former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell states that Trump is the "most pro-gay president in American history." In a Twitter response to the video, Trump declared, "My great honor!!!"

Grenell, who is gay, served as the U.S. ambassador to Germany (2018-20) and as Acting Director of National Intelligence (2/20/20 - 5/26/20) under President Trump.  The Log Cabin Republicans "is the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies," according to its website.


"I know firsthand that President Trump is the strongest ally that gay Americans have ever had in the White House. Donald Trump is the first president in American history to be pro-gay marriage from his first day in office. ..."

In response to the video in an Aug. 20 re-tweet, President Trump said, "My great honor!!!"

It's telling that Chapman spends about half this article bashing and lecturing Joe Biden -- and not Trump -- over his evolving stance on gay rights. He fleshed out Grenell's statement that "Joe Biden said gay people couldn't receive security clearances because we would be a security risk" by admitting Biden said it in 1973 -- nearly 50 years ago, though it's likely that Trump had that same stance at that time -- then huffed that Biden's views have "evolved" and that he now "supports the LGBT agenda and even officiated at a gay 'wedding' at his home in August 2016," adding that "Biden's support (and votes) for homosexual behavior and so-called gay marriage are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church, of which he is a member."

But a week later, when the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce endorsed Biden, Chapman was back to his usual gay-bashing ways, devoting three paragraphs to complaining that "Biden would mandate that biological males who identify as females would be allowed to compete in real women's sports and use facilities created for real females." And he complained again that "Biden, a pro-LGBT Catholic, officiated a gay 'marriage' at his home in 2016." Chapman did not mention Trump at all in this article, let alone Grenell's endorsement of Trump.

The same day, CNS published an anonymously written article uncritically touting how "President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has posted a background paper arguing that Joe Biden’s record on LGBT issues is 'nothing to be proud of' because Biden, in the past, was often not an aggressive champion of the LBGT cause."

That's the power of CNS' pro-Trump stenography right now.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 27, 2020 11:33 AM EDT
Friday, September 25, 2020
Bill Donohue Can't Get His Sanger-Hating Facts Straight

Bill Donohue began his Aug. 26 column by ranting:

Aside from pro-abortion activists, everyone who has taken a serious look at the writings and speeches of Margaret Sanger admits that she was racist. Indeed, her beliefs were just as racist as those of any Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The evidence is overwhelming. Yet there are those who are still trying to rescue her legacy. Worse, some are in total denial about her racism.

As we've pointed out, while Sanger was very much a eugenicist, there's  little evidence that it was racially driven, or that Sanger was any more racist than the typical person of her day. But Donohue will insist on making that point anyway.

He asserted, as evidence of Sanger's alleged virulent racism, that "Even today, almost 8 in 10 Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods," a claim he sourced from anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson's speech at the Republian National Convention -- a claim that is not true.

Donohue went on to ask his readers to "consider what Sanger said in her book, 'Women, Morality, and Birth Control': 'We don't want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.'"

Not only does that phrase not appear in that book, the word "Negro" appears nowhere in it, period.The phrase actually came from a 1939 letterfrom Sanger to a doctor participating in her project to bring birth control to the black community; as fact-checkers have pointed out, the quote is in reference to encouraging black doctors and ministers to let black women know that Sanger's birth-control campaign targeting blacks was not a Jim Crow-like action.

So: Donohue writes a column based on a flawed premise, and gets facts wrong in trying to bolster that premise. And we're supposed to trust what he says?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Pelosi Goes To A Salon, And CNS Is ON IT

We've documented how loves to pile on when a Democratic politician does something it doesn't like -- but gives Republicans a pass for similar behavior. Well, it piled on again against one of its favorite targets, Nancy Pelosi.

When Pelosi was found to have visited a hair salon in San Francisco in apparent violation of the city's COVID-19 restrictions, CNS cranked out a whopping five bylined articles (by Melanie Arter and Craig Bannister) in two days taking potshots at her over it:

After a break for the long Labor Day holiday weekend, CNS  returned with two more articles, both by Bannister:

Yet CNS wasn't done flogging this story. A Sept. 17 article by Bannister touted how White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sneered that Pelosi thinks the Israel peace agreements President Trump claimed to have a role in were "a distraction from her visits to the hair salon" -- a statement Bannister put in the headline of his piece. And a Sept. 21 column by CNS' favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, ranted that "Pelosi gets her hair done at an indoor salon, violating the same law she says applies to everyone else" while restrictions remain in California on going to church. Apparently Donohue has never heard of the concept that a church is the congregation, not the building.

That's eight "news" articles and an opinion column making a big deal of this. By contrast, according to a search of the CNS archive, it published no news articles on the unflattering book about Trump written by his cousin, Mary Trump, nor about a similarly unflattering book by Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Consider this yet another violaton of CNS' mission statement in which it promised to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Right-Wing Fact-Checker Attacks Other Fact-Checkers

We've identifed Just Facts, run by James Agresti, as a fact-checker with a clear right-wing bias that leads it to bend the truth to fit conservative narratives, despite the Media Research Center's attempt to suggest otherwise and its own dubious insistence that it cares only about "rigorously documented facts about public policy issues." Agresti peddles more misinformation in an Aug. 27 column published at the MRC's "news" division, He writes in attacking other (non-right-wing) fact-checkers for failing "to get even basic facts correct":

In the final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Clinton said that “half of all” illegal immigrants in the U.S. “actually pay federal income tax.”

A Pulitzer Prize-winning fact check organization named PolitiFact looked into Clinton’s claim and reported: “While there is no official figure, experts estimate that about half of all undocumented workers pay federal income taxes, if not more.”

In reality, the polar opposite is true. Data from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the Congressional Budget Office show that roughly half of illegal immigrants file federal tax returns, but virtually none of them pay federal income taxes. Instead, they file these returns to claim refundable child tax credits, which give them cash welfare payments for every child they have.

Are we supposed to believe that PolitiFact doesn’t understand that “paying income taxes” is not the same as “filing tax returns to get welfare?"

Agresti aggressively misses the obvious: If these undocumented workers did not pay those income taxes -- and have been documented doing so by the IRS and other federal offices -- they would not be eligible to get those child tax credits. The fact that these workers got the tax credits does not negate the fact they paid into the system.

Agresti cited a couple other examples of picayune hair-splitting he didn't agree with -- even though he did the exact same thing, then parroted the MRC narrative that fact-checkers are just a bunch of nasty liberals:

So what’s the common thread here? They all mislead in ways that support progressive political agendas. This is not a coincidence. I’ve examined countless fact checks that are rife with deceit, and in nearly every case, it’s the same story: They mangle the truth in ways that advance leftist narratives.

Why would they do this? I can’t read their minds, but this can only boil down to two factors: incompetence and/or dishonesty.

So what's Agresti's excuse for his truth-mangling attack on PolitiFact in an attempt to advance a political narrative -- incompetence or dishonesty?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Sunday, September 20, 2020
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch

With a little help from its summer interns, cranked out the fawning stenography for its favorite right-wing radio host, Mark Levin, during July and August with a whopping 22 articles:

That's a total of 61 articles through the first eight months of 2020, putting CNS back on pace of the previous three years, in which it devoted at least 96 articles to Levin annually.

It's ironic that the "news" division of the Media Research Center, which typically rages against purpoted "media bias," offers up such wildly biased coverage of a favored radio host.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 20, 2020 9:32 PM EDT
Friday, September 18, 2020
Malkin Approvingly Cites Charlatan Filmmaker

Michelle Malkin has been moving steadily to the right-wing, white nationalist fringe as continues to publish her column and promote her stunts. Her Aug. 26 column, published by CNS, was a screed against Black Lives Matter fitting for her white nationalist leanings. She eventually reached back to attack previous cases of black people getting attacked:

The Trayvon Martin hoax, as exposed by investigative documentarian Joel Gilbert, was built on an astonishing key prosecution witness switch-a-roo involving Martin's real girlfriend, Brittany Diamond Eugene (who was on the phone with Martin before he assaulted George Zimmerman) and a ridiculous impostor, Rachael Jeantel, who was barely literate and apparently manipulated into coached testimony by none other than Benjamin Crump.

As we've documented, Gilbert is best known for pushing the flagrantly false smear that Barack Obama's mother posed nude for Frank Marshall Davis, spread another flagrantly false claim about a ring that Obama wears, and who likes to make so-called documentaries that get mysteriously reclassified as "mockumentaries" years after the fact.

Gilbert's partner on the "Trayvon Hoax" film is WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill, who published a book-length hit job on Trayvon Martin and is best known for peddling numerous conspiracy theories that tend to blow up spectacularly (i.e., portraying murderer James Kopp and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph as innocent victims).

There is absolutely no reason to take at face value anything put out by Gilbert and Cashill. The fact that Malkin is doing so tells you just how far around the bend she's gone.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Thursday, September 17, 2020
CNS' Spin On Bannon Arrest: Trump Fired Him!
Topic: managing editor Michael W. Chapman had a certain spin he wanted to push in an Aug. 20 article on the arrest of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon:

Former Counselor to the President Steve Bannon -- who was fired by President Trump in August 2017 -- was charged today, along with three other people, for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through an "online crowdfunding campaign known as 'We Build the Wall' that raised more than $25 million," said the U.S.  Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in a press release.


Bannon served at the White House from Jan. 20, 2017 to Aug. 18, 2017. 

In a statement on Aug. 18, 2017, then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day."

The New York Times reported that same day, "Mr. Trump had recently grown weary of Mr. Bannon, complaining to other advisers that he believed his chief strategist had been leaking information to reporters and was taking too much credit for the president’s successes. The situation had become untenable long before Friday, according to advisers close to Mr. Trump who had been urging the president to remove Mr. Bannon; in turn, people close to Mr. Bannon also were urging him to step down."

While Chapman was eager to disassociate Bannon from Trump, he hid the full extent of their association: Bannon was the CEO of Trump's 2016 presidnetial campaign before advising Trump in the White House. As we documented, CNS appeared to be following the White House's orders in throwing Bannon under the bus in early 2018 after it was reported that he cooperated with a book critical of Trump.

Chapman also failed to tell his reader that the "news" operation he manages promoted the apparently fraudulent wall campaign Bannon worked for. In an May 2019 article, Craig Bannister touted how the organization "has built the country’s first border wall on private land" and "was founded by a veteran and is dependent on private donations to fund its wall construction projects." The veteran is Brian Kolfage, who also faces fraud charges.

And in a July 2019 article, Bannister parroted a call from his boss, the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell, demanding that Facebook "live up to its own standards when it comes to standing up to violent and extremist groups like Antifa." Among the "conservative leaders" Bannister uoted was WorldNetDaily's David Kupelian, who complained that Facebook "shut down two Facebook pages managed by triple-amputee Iraq War vet Brian Kolfage." In fact, Facebook took down Kolfage's pages as part of the removal of hundreds of pages believed to be fake accounts designed to drive traffic to related websites.

Chapman's article was simply more pro-Trump damage control by a "news" organization that's already quite familiar with that kind of work.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
CNS Does Damage Control On Allegations That Trump Disrepects The Troops
Topic: is all too familiar with having to do damage control for President Trump. But that's its job, so it must continue to give up all pretense of being a fair and balanced "news" operation to do so.

So when an Atlantic article accused Trump of disrespecting the troops, the first thing it did is call on Patrick Goodenough to play up Trump's denial and his attacks on the Atlantic for reporting it:

President Trump on Thursday night hit back at an article alleging that he called fallen American soldiers “losers” and “suckers,” saying the magazine’s anonymous sources – if they “really exist” – were “low-lives” and “liars.”

Those behind the article in The Atlantic, he charged, were trying to “influence a presidential election” which, he said, “we’re going to win, and they’re going crazy.”

Speaking at Joint Base Andrews after returning from a campaign event in western Pennsylvania, Trump called the article “a disgrace.”

“And I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more.”

“So I just think it’s a horrible, horrible thing,” Trump said of the article in what he called a “never-Trumper magazine,” adding that a great evening had been turned into “frankly a very sad evening, when I see a statement like that.”

That was followed by an article by Melanie Arter stating how Joe Biden "seized on" the Atlantic report,"which President Donald Trump denies to be true."

The damage control kept coming; Sept. 8 article by Arter bashing the Atlantic's use of anonymous sources , featuring former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saying that those making the allegations shouldn't hide behind anonymity, joined by a second one featuring a governor claiming that Trump has been “extremely respectful” in regard to the military. Both men appeared on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," whose name Arter spelled wrong in both articles.

Arter cranked even more spin from another Sunday show, in an article stating that "VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that President Donald Trump should be judged by his actions, and those actions 'have been beneficial for veterans all across this country in ways that we have not seen since the end of World War II.'"

For good measure, CNS also published a column by a guty from down the hall -- Tim Graham of the Media Research Center -- denouncing the Atlantic as a "hyperpartisan outlet."There was no mention of the fact that CNS and the MRC are even more hyperpartisan outlets, and if the Atlantic shouldn't be trusted because of that, neither should CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Journalistic Malpractice: CNS' Jones Deliberately Gets DNC's Name Wrong

Journalists are supposed to be able to get basic facts straight, such as names. That's apparently not a requirement for being a journalist at Susan Jones is such a biased reporter that she deliberately misspelled the name of the Democratic National Convention across numerous CNS stories.

It is standard Republican and conservative practice to use "Democrat" instead of "Democratic" when referring to the Democratic Party and Democratic politicians. The point is simply to be jerks by corrupting the name. Jones is a conservative partisan masquerading as a "journalist," as demonstratedby her flying in the face of facts by referring to the Democratic National Convention as the "Democrat National Convention" during her week of DNC-related coverage.

And not just in one story -- we counted 13 stories from Jones' DNC coverage in which she deliberately got the name wrong:

If you get a name wrong across 13 articles, that's not a typo -- that's deliberately getting a name wrong. It's also maliciously incompetent reporting.

By contrast, Jones' CNS colleague, Melanie Arter, may be a slavish pro-Trump stenographer, but she got the name right in her DNC-related articles that week.

How does Jones still have a job despite demonstrating such deliberate incompetence? One has to wonder.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 AM EDT
Friday, September 11, 2020
CNS Keeps Obsessing Over Everyone's 'Mental Lapses' (Except Trump's)

Doing its job as a Trump campaign surrogate, has been hammering the dubious claim that Joe Biden is suffering from "cognitive decline" -- a manufactured concern it has expanded to Nancy Pelosi. Since we last checked in late July CNS has continued to highlight misstatements by Biden to bolster that narrative, with articles like:

We're not sure what Susan Jones was trying to push in an Aug. 21 article on Biden's acceptance speech that the Democratic National Convention (which Jones deliberately misnamed the "Democrat National Convention"), headlined "Watch: Biden Raised His Voice, Didn't Smile As Speech Ended," in which she actually complained that "at the end of his speech, delivered live at the Chase Center in Delaware, an unsmiling Biden raised his voice, apparently for emphasis, but he looked almost angry."

CNS is continuing to question Pelosi's mental health too. In an Aug. 27 article, Craig Bannister claimed thate "In the span of about twelve seconds, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared to suffer two mental lapses as she struggled to find words when answering a question at her Thursday press event." And on Sept. 10, Bannister ramped it up:

Eighty-year-old House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) struggled to finish a sentence, and appeared to bang on her podium in an effort to collect her thoughts, during a press conference on Thursday.

Speaker Pelosi seemed to lose her train of thought, until she rapped twice on the podium, while she attempted to make a point about her climate agenda. But, after recalling the name of her climate bill, Pelosi continued to have difficulty speaking, struggling to finish the words, “return” and “better” as she completed her thought:

CNS even dragged another Democrat into its mental-lapse obsession in an anonymously written Aug. 10 article: "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) suffered a mental lapse when appearing on MSNBC on Monday morning saying, as he did so, 'uh, um, uh—I got to remember the words.'"

But when it comes to President Trump's mental lapses, well, that's just a "liberal media" narrative. Jones said as much in an Aug. 5 article on how "Jill Biden spoke for her husband, Democrat [sic] presidential candidate Joe Biden" in a Fox News in which she denied that her husband isn't "competent to be presidentand noted that Joe Biden is only a couple years older than Trump. Jones parenthetically huffed in response:

Liberal activists in the media are now focusing in particular on Trump's mispronunciations ("Yosemite") and twisting his words ("It is what it is") to make it look like he doesn't grasp the severity of the pandemic, for example. The intent is to portray Trump as cognitively impaired.

You mean like what you and your colleagues are doing to Biden, Susan? Heaven forfend!

And in an Aug. 25 article, Jones repeated how Trump boasted how "we're going to end up with 302 great Supreme Court Justices," then had to parenthetically add, "(He meant lower-court judges.)" After all, she's not getting paid to question Trump's "mental decline" the way she and her CNS co-workers obsess over Biden's.

UPDATE: In a Sept. 11 article, Jones made a point of noting that  "Joe Biden would be the oldest person to take the presidential oath -- 78 years old -- if he's elected in November" in writing about how he "tried to laugh off "this idea of, you know, slow Joe." Jones then went in to pro-Trump attack mode:

Concerns about Biden's health focus mainly on his mental acuity, as he has trouble completing thoughts and speaking without notes or prompts.

As for "who's able to move around," until recently, Biden has spent most of his time sheltering inside his Delaware home and giving controlled interviews via video from his basement studio, while President Trump has traveled around the country, taking criticism from Biden and other Democrat/media activists for holding campaign rally after campaign rally amid the pandemic.

Again, Jones was silent about Trump's mental-lapse issues.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 11, 2020 1:11 PM EDT
Thursday, September 10, 2020
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

August's unemployment numbers were decent enough that Susan Jones' lead article did some aggressive gushing -- while, of course, working in how the economy was great before the pandemic:

Here's some encouraging news heading into the Labor Day weekend:  The number of employed Americans increased for a fourth straight month in August, as 3,756,000 more Americans either returned to or joined the labor force, according to the monthly report produced by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

After slipping from a near-record high of 158,759,000 in February -- then tanking in April to 133,403,000 -- the number of employed Americans increased in May to 137,242,000; June (142,182,000); July (143,532,000) and now August (147,288,000 employed).

Likewise, the nation's unemployment rate dropped for a fourth straight month in August, settling at 8.4 percent vs. 10.2 percent in July -- and well below the record shattering 14.7 percent in April, as the pandemic-induced shutdown took full effect. As recently as February, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a 50-year low.

Needless to say, Jones made no mention of the "real unemployment rate" metric it loved pushing when a Democrat was president, and she gave a pass for the labor force participation rate being relatively low that she rarely gave though the reason -- retiring baby boomers -- was the same for it being relatively low under President Obama.

CNS also served up the usual sidebars -- Craig Bannister on Hispanic employment and Terry Jeffrey on manufacturing jobs.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
CNS Still Trying To Spin Coronavirus Numbers

Last month, we caught repoirter Susan Jones trying to downplay the summer surge in coronavirus, much of which occurred in Republican-led states, by comparing the numbers to the very high number of cases in the spring. How has Jones done in the month since our report?

Jones' Aug. 11 body count was a little closer to reality but still labored to spin by including mid-April numbers for comparison:

As expected, the most recent death certificates submitted to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show at least three straight weeks of increased deaths involving the COVID-19 virus.

As previously reported, deaths involving the virus started rising on July 4, following ten straight weeks of decline from the mid-April peak of 17,010.

In fact, contrary to her claim that CNS "previously reported" deaths were rising, her case-count article from the previous week claimed differently carring the headline "CDC: COVID-Involved Deaths Drop 8.29% for Week Ending July 18."

Jones repeated the formula for her Aug. 17 weekly update:

According to the latest death certificates submitted to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, deaths involving COVID-19 increased in all four weeks that ended in July. (Data for August are still too preliminary to be reliable.)

For the week ending July 25, at least 6,357 people died from COVID, a 2.53 percent increase from the 6,200 deaths in the week ending July 18, but 62.64 percent below the peak of 17,020 COVID-involved deaths for the week ending April 18.

At least Jones admitted up top that newer data "are still too preliminary to be reliable," something she buried in previous articles.

For the next week, numbers looked better from her perspective, so it was back to full spin mode:

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 are once again trending down, based on preliminary death certificates submitted to the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the week ending August 1, the NCHS counted 6,356 COVID-involved deaths, a 10.94 percent decline from 7,137 deaths in the prior week and a 62.67 percent decline from the mid-April peak of 17,030 deaths.

This time, she added a plug for her favorite president, something she didn't do in the articles admitting that cases were up:

"We are doing an incredible job on the China virus, but I'm going to talk to about that Thursday night," President Trump said in his speech to the Republican National Convention on Monday. "Will anybody be listening on Thursday?" he joked.

By Aug. 31, Jones was back to fully downplaying things, under the headline "CDC: COVID-Involved Deaths in Mid-August Down 63% From April Peak." This time, she added: "The official COVID-involved death count does not distinguish between COVID-only deaths and deaths where COVID may have exacerbated an otherwise survivable underlying condition."

The spin continued in Jones' Sept. 8 article:

COVID deaths for the week ending August 22 have returned to levels not seen since the end of June.

Based on death certificates submitted to the National Center for Health Statistics -- part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- 3,504 people died of "confirmed or presumed COVID-19," for the week ending August 22.

That is a 36.69 percent decrease from the 5,535 deaths recorded in the prior week, and a 79.43 percent drop from the mid-April peak of 17,039 COVID-involved deaths -- that is, deaths given the ICD-10 code of U07.1.

Jones did other COVID-related spinning in a July 15 article touting lower death counts among younger people:

Medical experts have long noted that the younger you are, the less likely you are to contract COVID-19 or suffer adverse symptoms, and the latest numbers posted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bear that out.

CDC's National Center for Health Statistics now reports a total of 188 COVID-involved deaths among people age 24 and younger -- or 0.154 percent of the total 121,374 COVID deaths reported to CDC from early February through the week ending July 11. The majority of students fall into this 24-and-under age group.

By contrast, a total of 97,459 people age 65 and older have died of COVID as of July 11 -- 80.29 percent of the total COVID-involved deaths.

Jones went on to uncritically promote arguments from President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that this proves schools should reopen fully, while going on to complain that "teachers unions are resisting" -- while censoring the fact that health experts have also advised caution regarding fully opening schools.

Jones further declared in an Aug. 4 article that "The latest CDC data shows that the 26 states led by Republican governors have fewer than half the COVID-involved deaths of the 24 states (and D.C.) led by Democrats." She added: "Of course, states led by Republican governors are not necessarily conservative or "red" states. But of the 30 "red" states that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016, COVID-involved deaths now total 51,631, which is 59.07 percent of the 87,406 COVID deaths in the 20 states and D.C. that voted for Hillary Clinton."

Gotta keep spinning for Trump and Republicans, right? That's what Jones gets paid to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:28 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2020 5:38 PM EDT
Sunday, September 6, 2020
CNS Bizarrely Fixated On Political Opinions Of Bette Midler, Cher

As much as loves to post article after fawning article about Mark Levin, it also engages in hate-posting -- writing about people's opinions of people it despises for the purpose of holding them up for ridicule for its right-wing audience. For reasons so far unexplained, the chief recipient of that is entertainer Bette Midler.

Since February, CNS has posted a whopping 29 articles on Midler opining on things political -- 20 of which have appeared since June:

Lest it wasn't clear that the goal here is to attack Midler's views, an Aug. 26 article by Susan Jones omplained that "leftist celebrity Bette Midler was particiularly vicious" in responding to a speech by Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention.

That's a lot of digital ink to spill on a relatively minor celebrity.

The vast majority of these Midler post are anonymously written, carrying only the byline of " Staff." But a quirk of CNS' search engine shows the content managment system account from which  articles are placed, and the anonymous Midler posts are almost all being posted from the account of editor in chief Terry Jeffrey.

Strangely, Midler isn't the only past-her-prime liberal celebrity CNS has fixated on in recent months Since April, CNS has posted 14 articles on the political opinions of Cher:

Again, most of these pieces are anonymously written but come from Jeffrey's account. His goal here appears more toward straight ridicule by featuring her random capitalization and penchant for substituting numbets for words in the headline, even though those are common across Twitter and social media. And, again, there's no explanation of why CNS cares so much about Cher's political opinions.

That's a bizarre fixation you got there, Mr. Jeffrey.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 PM EDT

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