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Saturday, August 29, 2015
CNS Helps Anti-Discrimination Foes Advance Transgender Bathroom Myth
Topic: CNSNews.com

Reading an Aug. 26 CNSNews.com article by Melanie Hunter on right-wing efforts to repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance in Houston, you'd think it was only about bathrooms:

A group opposed to a proposed ordinance that would allow transgendered people to use any bathroom they consider consistent with their gender identity has launched a radio campaign in Houston, Texas, to defeat the so-called “bathroom ordinance.”

Campaign for Houston, which was organized to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), kicked off its campaign, called No Men in Women’s Bathrooms!, on Monday.

The bathroom ordinance was part of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s effort to extend discrimination protections to the LGBT community through HERO. It specified that “no business open to the public could deny a transgender person entry to the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity,” the Houston Chronicle reported on May 14, 2014.

“Parker’s Bathroom Ordinance would force businesses and public establishments to allow troubled men, or men who want to start trouble, to use women’s public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities. This endangers women and girls and places them in harm’s way,” Campaign for Houston spokesman Jared Woodfill said in a press release.

“There are 8345 registered and convicted sexual predators in Harris County. This just scratches the surface of this dangerous problem. These men could use this ordinance as a legal shield to threaten our mothers, wives and daughters,” Woodfill added.

Funny how Hunter refers to the law as the "so-called 'bathroom ordinance,'" then adopts the terminology herself two paragraphs later.

This being another CNS propaganda effort, Hunter talks only to Woodfill and can't be bothered to contact any supporter of the ordinance. Thus, she deprives her readers of the facts regarding the ordinance -- namely, that the bathroom fearmongering she lets Woodfill engage in is a myth.

There simply is no evidence -- and Hunter certainly never quotes Woodfill offering any -- that similar anti-discrimination ordinances elsewhere have resulted in any increase in male sexual predators exploiting the laws to sneak into women's bathrooms.

Futher, the day before Hunter's article was published, Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg pointed out what Hunter wouldn't: that as Richard Carlbom with the pro-ordinance Houston Unites campaign told the Chronicle: "Nothing in the equal rights ordinance changes the fact that it is -- and always will be -- illegal to enter a restroom to harm or harass other people."

Now, why wouldn't Hunter or Woodfill mention that important fact? Because they're working together to advance propaganda, not to report news. 


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
CNS' Hollingsworth Turns In Another One-Source Wonder
Topic: CNSNews.com

Just as Penny Starr is a propagandist for the anti-abortion industry, fellow CNSNews.com "reporter" Barbara Hollingsworth is a reliable propagandist for climate change deniers, as we've documented. She's at it again in an Aug. 20 article regurgitating the claims of another climate denier:

We have a “moral imperative” to burn carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels because the energy they provide is a “liberator” of humanity, says Dr. John Christy, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

“We are not morally bad people for taking carbon and turning it into the energy that offers life to humanity in a world that would otherwise be brutal,” Christy wrote in a recent oped. "On the contrary, we are good people for doing so."

He also challenged what he says are contradictions in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, in which the pontiff called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

The pope’s encyclical “displays a lack of understanding of how the real world works,” Christy told CNSNews.com. According to microwave data from satellites going back to 1978, which are precise to within .08 of a degree, “very little warming is taking place,” he pointed out.

(Weirdly, Hollingsworth pulls her version of Christy's "recent oped" for an Alabama newspaper out of the Internet Archive, even though it's still live on the newspaper's website.)

This being a Hollingsworth special, she breaks CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" and offers no views in her article other than Christy's and quotes nobody other than Christy.

Thus, Hollingsworth's readers will never learn that Christy's claims about climate change -- many of which she repeats in her article -- have been repeatedly discredited.

But instead of pointing that Christy's claims are disputed at best, Hollingsworth presents them as undisputed truth -- ironic, since the gist of the article is to dispute facts about climate science.

A longtime rallying cry of climate deniers is to "teach the controversy." Hollingsworth doesn't want her readers to know there is one, at least on the denier side -- otherwise, she would have talked to someone to rebut Christy's claims.

Thus, she's acting like deniers claim climate change advocates act. Ironic, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
CNS' Starr Peddles Pastors' Falsehoods, Adds One Of Her Own
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr is a terrible reporter. That's because while that may be her position in the scheme of things in the "news" structure that CNSNews.com uses, she's not really a reporter at all -- she's a propagandist, content to regurgitate whatever right-wing talking points are on the day's agenda at her employer, the Media Research Center.

Second, even as a pretend reporter Starr is terrible -- she doesn't fact-check or even, apparently, review her work once she types it. We've already caught Starr repeatedly misspelling the name of a person she devoted an entire article to. CNS corrected the name after we highlighted the misspelling; it seems CNS doesn't have any in-house copy-editors (or any competent ones, anyway) to catch such incompetence before publication, even though the MRC is a multimillion-dollar organization.

Starr's shoddiness and unwillingness to fact-check comes through again in a series of articles in which she attempts to manufacture another attack on the Smithsonian for displaying art she doesn't personally like.

In an Aug. 7 CNS article, Starr touts how a previously unknown "group of black pastors sent a letter to the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery asking that the bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger be removed from the museum’s 'Struggle for Justice' exhibit, citing her support for eugenics and the targeting of minorities by the nation’s largest abortion provider."

Despite CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story," Starr can't be bothered to do so here. For instance, she fails to explain that the head of this pastors' group, E.W. Jackson, is a notorious homophobe, declaring that gays are “very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally” and asserting that God will punish America for advancing marriage equality.

The irony of a hater like Jackson lecturing us about someone else's purported hate is quite thick, but Starr can't or won't see it.

Starr also makes this claim that she attributes to the pastors: "The letter also states that 70 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods and provides a link to a map documenting this fact."

Actually, that isn't a "fact" at all -- it's a lie. The Guttmacher Institute conducted a census of all known abortion providers in the U.S. in 2011, and found that 60 percent of them were in majority white neighborhoods, and that fewer than one in ten are located in neighborhoods where more than half of the residents are black.

On top of that, what Starr claimed the pastors said about that isn't what they actually said. The pastors' letter attached to Starr's article claims that Planned Parenthood is "locating 70% of its abortion facilities within in [sic] or near black and Latino communities."

We added the italics on "or near" to highlight the fudge factor in this statement. According to the website the pastors use to support this claim, "near" (or "within walking distance" in the website's terminology) is defined as a two-mile radius of the facility, and it seems that more often than not, those black and Latino neighborhoods are on the fringe of that two-mile radius.

Starr can't even get her own propaganda straight. 

Speaking of propaganda, Starr uncritically repeats the pastors' claim that "the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was [Sanger's] brainchild." Starr goes on to repeat a notoriously out-of-context claim by Sanger about the Negro Project, that “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

A Washington Post fact check notes that this passage "is frequently taken out of context to suggest Sanger was seeking to exterminate blacks," and that in fact the project -- which was about birth control, not the attempt to "eliminate black births" the pastors dishonestly claim it is -- sought to recruit black leaders for the effort to allay suspicions blacks might have had about whites like Sanger being involved.

Despite these claims being exaggerated or completely false, Starr repeats them in an Aug. 13 article. And an Aug. 20 article by Starr repeats the dishonest attack on the "Negro Project" again, though not the completely false "70 perent" claim.

Not only is Starr peddling her own false claims, she gives Jackson and the other pastors a pass on the dishonest claims they make; she makes no effort whatsoever to do even the most basic fact-check (or, it seems, checking her own work against the stuff she's cribbing it from).

That's why Starr is a terrible reporter. But her lies make her a passable propagandist, and that's why she will continue to have a job at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:57 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 3:03 PM EDT
Friday, August 21, 2015
Shocker: CNS Acknowledges New Josh Duggar Scandal Exists
Topic: CNSNews.com

Given CNSNews.com's previous friendliness with Josh Duggar and its efforts to bury allegations Duggar as a teenager molested several girls including his sisters, we wondered how, if at all, CNS would cover the news that Duggar's name turned up among the leaked clients of affair-facilitating website AshleyMadison.com. and his subsequent admission of unfaithfulness to his wife and an "addiction" to pornography.

Well, we have our answer: as perfunctorily as possible.

The story did make the front page, but CNS didn't consider it worthy of in-house coverage, despite the fact that it has conducted previous interviews with him. Instead, it simply reproduces an Associated Press article on the scandal and another AP article detailing the statement Duggar issued.

But note in the screenshot above where CNS has categorized the articles: Not at the top of the front page, not in the culture section, but as "entertainment." Apparently, now that the Duggars are scandal-tainted, they are now "entertainment," even though they pre-scandal appeal was based on the right-wing Christian culture they promoted (with help from CNS).

CNS gets a point or two for actually acknowledging the story deserves front-page coverage (we didn't even have to shame them into it this time), but it was slow to the coverage party, and the story is still getting much less promotion than the Duggars' pre-scandal message CNS was all too willing to propangandize.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:39 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 21, 2015 6:52 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
CNS Reporter Again Falsely Claims Obama Won't Compromise
Topic: CNSNews.com

In her Aug. 12 CNSNews.com article noting former White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee's statement that Donald Trump is too "thin-skinned" tobe president, Susan Jones makes sure to include this sneering editorial comment:

President Obama has been described as thin-skinned by people, including former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who have opposed his my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing.

As we noted the last time Jones claimed Obama was not interested in compromise, his record is excatly the opposite -- the PolitiFact website has a full seven pages of examples of Obama compromising to achieve his policy goals. And Jones omits the fact that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama.

The sole evidence Jones offers of Obama being "thin-skinned" is of the Arizona governor, a Republican, saying that on Fox News, so she's hardly an objective source. Jones does serve up other purported examples, but they are responses to criticism, not necessarily actual "thin-skinned" behavior.

By contrast, Jones seems a little thin-skinned herself in an Aug. 12 CNS blog post in which she seemed to be weirdly offended by a pharmacy chain in Sweden -- whose policies have no effect on her whatsoever as an American -- planning to offer adhesive bandages for darker skin. Jones does note that "Adhesive bandages come in many colors and patterns in the United States; those designed for darker skin tones are also available online," though she didn't explicitly say whether that offended her as well.

Apparently, thin-skinnedness is bad only if you're a Democrat.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EDT
Monday, August 10, 2015
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

Is CNSNews.com getting tired of cherry-picking data and misleading readers about unemployment rates? Sort of. 

The only article CNS generated in response to the July unemployment numbers  was an Aug. 7 piece by Susan Jones declaring that "A record 93,770,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month, and the labor force participation rate remained at 62.6 percent, exactly where it was in June -- a 38-year low."

The fact that 215,000 jobs were added in July was reduced to a bullet point at the end of the article.

This is yet another article in CNS' history of cherry-picking unfavorable unemployment numbers and burying or censoring positive ones.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 AM EDT
Thursday, August 6, 2015
CNS Promotes Anti-Gay 'Civil Rights Activist'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr writes in an Aug. 4 CNSNews.com article:

President George W. Bush, rather than President Barack Obama, will be best remembered for a legacy of having helped the African people, a Nigerian civil rights activist and attorney said on Tuesday.

“President Bush will really be remembered as the president who had the most impact on Africa of the last three presidents,” said Emmanuel Obege. “I think they’re no doubt about it.”

[...]

When asked to expand on his contrast of the impact on Africa of the Bush and Obama presidencies, Obege responded that each had very different priorities.

“The point I’m trying to make is President Bush actually did something that was relevant to the crisis that was facing the continent at the time,” he said.

“When you show up and you’re saying to the people of Africa ‘You need to legalize gay marriage’ – I had a lot of Africans say, ‘Well, when our presidents go to America we don’t say to you to legalize polygamy even though we have a lot of polygamy in Africa and we think it’s a great idea, but we don’t come to your country and tell you to do that.’”

Obege referred to Obama’s recent visit to Kenya where he lobbied for homosexual rights.

Holding a four-year-old HIV-positive boy from South Africa, President Bush speaks at the White House on May 30, 2007 about his efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and worldwide. (AP File Photo)
‘And the president of Kenya [Uhuru Kenyatta] said to him, ‘Well, Mr. President, thank you very much for your kind thoughts but this is really not an issue for us,’” Obege said.

“I’ve been asked when I testified in Congress ‘What is happening with the persecution of gays in Nigeria?’ Obege said. “And I said, very frankly, no gay person has been killed in Nigeria but you have thousands of Christians being killed.”

Not only does Starr spell the man's name wrong throughout her article -- it's Emmanuel Ogebe -- she uncritically repeats his falsehood about Obama and gives him a pass on his denial of gay persecution in Africa.

Contrary to Ogebe, Obama never pushed for legalization of gay marriage during his visit to Africa. He did, however, highlight the persecution of gays in Africa and argued that they shouldn't be the victim of discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

Contrary to Ogebe's suggestion that gays are not persecuted in Nigeria, a 2014 Mother Jones article highlights the sad reality for gays in that country:

Around midnight on February 13, a young Nigerian man named Femi* was jolted out of his evening prayer by shouting outside his window. A crowd of some 40 people had gathered around his house. "No more homosexuals in Gishiri!" they yelled, referring to Femi's neighborhood within Nigeria's capital city, Abuja. The mob broke down his door and dragged him outside in his boxers. They beat him and about 13 other gay men that night with broken furniture, machete handles, sticks, and a garden rake, vowing to kill them if they didn't clear out of the neighborhood.

The attack, and other acts of vigilante violence targeting gays and lesbians around the country, was motivated by a new anti-gay law that Nigeria's president signed January 7. The measure, modeled off the one that Uganda enacted in late February, levies harsh prison sentences on anyone who makes a "public show" of a "direct" or "indirect" same-sex relationship or supports an LGBT organization (10 years), and anyone who attempts to enter into a same-sex marriage (14 years), even though this would be virtually impossible in Nigeria. The anti-gay backlash the law has provoked in Nigeria has led not just to violence, but to homelessness, unemployment, harassment, and a steep drop-off in HIV/AIDS treatment.

If  "no gay person has been killed in Nigeria," one -- and probably more -- will be killed soon, and Ogebe apparently doesn't care.

Another gay Nigerian writes of having fled the country because there ceased being opportunities for him there after his homosexuality became known: "I hope I will be able to walk freely in Nigeria one day without the fear of being lynched or jailed."

Further, according to Mother Jones, the ramped-up persecution of gays in Nigeria will likely hamper HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the country because "social scientists have been scared off from taking stock of HIV trends in Nigeria—data that can improve the response to the epidemic—until the government can assure researchers that they will be exempt from punishment under the law."

It's laughable that Ogebe presents himself as a "civil rights activist" when he apparently believes a particular group of people doesn't deserve any. The fact that he was appearing at an event by the Family Research Council -- notorious for its hatred of gays -- is a clue that his "civil rights" credentials shouldn't be taken seriously. It seems that he thinks only Christians deserve full civil rights.

And Starr is just a lazy reporter who can't be bothered to tell both sides of a story, let alone spell the guy's name correctly.

UPDATE: CNS has corrected the misspelling of Ogebe's name in Starr's article. But here's a screenshot of the non-corrected version for posterity:


Posted by Terry K. at 8:44 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 7, 2015 12:59 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
CNS Dishonestly Smears Obama As Lover of China's "Five-Year Plan"
Topic: CNSNews.com

Yes, we know CNSNews.com puts its right-wing, anti-Obama agenda ahead of the facts. But never so egregiously as it did in the headline of an Aug. 1 article (curiously credited to "CNSNews.com Staff," as if nobody wanted to have their name associated with this): "Obama Wants 5-Year Plan: ‘I Guarantee You This Is Not How China’ Handles Its Infrastructure."

We can guarantee you that's not how a real news operation, staffed by actual journalists instead of ideologues, would have handled that headline.

The implication is that Obama is no different than a Red Chinese dictator who wants meaningless "five-year plans" to create the illusion of progress as in the old Soviet era.  In fact, as the speech the article reproduces makes clear, Obama was speaking after signing a three-month extension of the current funding plan for transportation needs in the U.S. Obama said:

Well, I am about to sign a three-month extension of our highway funding.  And that’s a good thing, because if this wasn’t in front of me and ready for signature, we would end up having projects all across the country that would be closing after midnight.

On the other hand, we have now made it a habit where instead of five-year funding plans for transportation, instead of long-term approaches where we can actually strategize on what are the most important infrastructure projects, how are they getting paid for, providing certainties to governors and mayors and states and localities about how they’re going to approach critical infrastructure projects -- roads, bridges, ports, airports -- instead, we operate as if we’re hand-to-mouth three months at a time, which freezes a lot of construction, which makes people uncertain, which leads to businesses not being willing to hire because they don’t have any long-term certainty.  It’s a bad way for the U.S. government to do business.

So what Obama is talking about is a "five-year" funding plan. And these "five-year plans" CNS is sneering at is how the federal government has handled transportation spending for nearly 40 years, including under Republican presidents. The Center for Climate and Energy Solution summarizes:

Since 1978, Congress has reauthorized the federal transportation program as part of a larger multi-year surface transportation law.The HTF funded only highways until 1983, when Congress created the Mass Transit Account, and in later years added bicycle/pedestrian projects, recreational trails, and funding for freight and passenger rail projects. Until 2008, the HTF was funded exclusively from highway- user fees, including fuel and vehicle fees.

The two most recent reauthorization laws are called SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21. SAFETEA-LU was enacted in 2005 and was intended to expire in 2009. While working on a multi-year reauthorization, however, Congress passed short-term extensions of SAFETEA-LU nine times. The current multi-year reauthorization, MAP-21, was enacted in 2012 and is set to expire on October 1, 2014, unless Congress reauthorizes the program.

MAP-21 has been extended twice since October 2014, and what Obama just signed is the third extension that will continue MAP-21 another three months.

And CNS fails to mention that one key reason there isn't a new transportaion plan is because of the Republicans that control the House and Senate. Politico reports:

There are emerging divisions between House and Senate GOP leaders, who now have fewer than six weeks to deal with a vexing highway problem that’s been unsolved for seven years and costs billions just to keep on life support past July 31.

In the House, Republicans have basically given up on finding the tens of billions of dollars they’d need for a long-term fix for the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. Instead, they’re mulling how to pay for the latest punt. But on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Republicans refuse to admit defeat, even though they have yet to come up with the huge sums of money they’d need for a major extension.

Politico also notes that some Republicans are in favor of one of those hated "five-year plan" type things: "Senior lawmakers say they are aiming for a funding bill that covers up to four years, which would cost as much as $60 billion just to extend current highway spending levels."

Oh, and Obama cited the decidedly non-communist Germany as another example of a country that doesn't fund transportation this way. But strangely, that didn't make it into CNS' headline.

But hey, since when does the truth matter if there's a cheap political attack to be made?

By the way, this article was presented as "news," not the dishonest opinion that it is.

Thank you, Michael Chapman, for keeping CNS the hateful right-wing propaganda mill that Brent Bozell apparently hired you to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:40 PM EDT
Thursday, July 30, 2015
CNS' Starr Botches Facts To Do Stenography
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr writes in a July 24 CNSNews.com article:

Conservatives gathered on Capitol Hill on Thursday to lay claim to the issue of reforming the United States criminal system, including ending the minimum mandatory sentencing laws that were passed by the Democrat majority in Congress three decades ago.

Kevin Ring, who was convicted as part of the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal and served 48 months in federal prison, called minimum mandatory sentences “a classic liberal idea.”

“We’re particularly focused on making sure that conservatives understand the mandatory minimums are nothing a conservative should support or defend,” said Ring, who is now the director of strategic initiatives for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). “For some reason, people think this was a conservative law and order idea. That’s not true.

“The worst mandatory minimums we have on the books today – the ones that hit drug offenders, including low-level offenders, were passed by a Democratic Congress in the ‘80s. It’s a classic liberal idea,” he said. “You have to understand that.

Starr made no effort whatsoever to seek out an alternative view or even conduct any basic research on her subject, choosing instead to serve as a stenographer to Ring. Let's look at what she got wrong and/or misreprestations she allowed to stand unchallenged in her article:

1) Ring did not serve 48 months in prison for his role in the Abramoff scandal; he was sentenced to 20 months in prison, of which he served just 15 months.

2) Despite Ring's suggestion that his prison term was dictated by mandatory minimums, it was not. In fact, the Justice Department recommended that he be sentenced to 17 to 22 years in prison.

3) Contrary to Ring's claim, conservatives did support mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the 1980s. Support for the two major anti-drug sentencing bills was unambiguously bipartisan:

4) Starr didn't mention (and didn't note whether Ring did) that both of these supposedly non-conservative bills were signed into law by a conservative president, Ronald Reagan.

Instead of doing basic research, Starr was much more concerned with uncritically peddling the views of Ring and other conservatives that "Conservatives are leading the way on criminal justice reform." And her factual errors discredit herself and her employer in the process.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
Sunday, July 26, 2015
CNS Reporter Too Busy Bashing Obama To Notice Her Nonsensical Argument
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones serves up a particularly clueless bit of reporting in a July 16 CNSNews.com article:

As the number of heroin and cocaine deaths escalate in this country, President Obama is making the case that "non-violent drug offenders" should not serve long prison sentences -- if they serve time at all.

[...]

But as Obama calls for "criminal justice reform" that would send "low-level" drug offenders to drug courts and treatment programs instead of prison, the poison they peddle is taking a bigger and bigger toll on Americans.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug poisoning (overdose) is the number-one cause of injury-related death in the United States, with 43,982 deaths occurring in 2013, a 6 percent increase from 2012.

The number of drug-poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics (prescription pain-killers) was 16,235 in 2013, a 1 percent increase over 2012; overdose deaths involving heroin totaled 8,260 in 2013, a whopping 39 percent increase from 2012; and there were 4,944 cocaine overdoses in 2013, up 12 percent from 2012.  

Jones seems to be too busy suggesting that Obama is soft on crime to beaware of the contradiction she's embracing: that the long prison sentences she seems to be arguing for have not stopped the growth in heroin and cocaine abuse.

Jones does another one of her snarky parenthetical insertions parading as "news":

Nevertheless, Obama told the NAACP that locking up "low-level drug dealers" is robbing the nation of men and women "who could be workers and taxpayers, could be more actively involved in their children's lives, could be role models, could be community leaders, and right now they’re locked up for a non-violent offense."

(Of course, the same could be said of the many thousands of people who die from the heroin and cocaine they buy from "low-level" dealers. Had they lived, many of those people could also be workers and taxpayers, involved in their children's lives, etc.)

Jones tends to sneer at Obama's references to how "low-level" drug dealers and huffed that "many" of the 46 people whose prison sentences Obama commuted were "cocaine or crack dealers." But she downplays the disparity in sentencing laws that led to those "low-level" dealers getting disproportionally harsh sentences.

For instance, a man who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for dealing crack cocaine -- a sentence he wouldn't have received if he were dealing powder cocaine -- had his sentence commuted to 20 years by Obama in 2013. He's now working as a welder, as well as serving as a mentor for juvenile offenders. Apparently, Jones thinks he should have stayed in prison for life.

Jones also downplays Obama's calls for such non-violent drug offenders to be diverted to treatment, since drug addicts often go on to commit crimes to feed their addiction.

But no -- Jones is too committed to her employer's anti-Obama narrative, in which the president is never allowed to look good. The fact that her reporting doesn't make sense outside of that rather desperate hate-Obama narrative is of little consequence.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:41 PM EDT
Friday, July 24, 2015
Charlie Daniels Tells Lies About Margaret Sanger
Topic: CNSNews.com

Charlie Daniels writes in his July 22 CNSNews.com column:

A small quiz:

Who do you think made the following statement about blacks, immigrants and indigents?

"Human weeds … spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”

Who said that they should enlist black ministers to sell black women on the prospect of abortion and the use of contraceptives in what was dubbed “The Negro Project”?

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

[...]

Actually, it was Margaret Sanger, a woman, hailed as a hero in the ranks of feminism, who has coveted awards named after her, is revered by many prominent people in Washington and who founded the nation's largest abortion mill, Planned Parenthood.

Margaret Sanger's views on the controlled birth of children bordered on Nazism, and her views on religion and marital fidelity were akin to hedonism.

She made this statement: “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” And she was a closet advocate of black genocide.

Charlie Daniels is lying.

Planned Parenthood points out that "Sanger never described any ethnic community as an 'inferior race' or as 'human weeds.'" We've caught WorldNetDaily repeating the dubious "human weeds" quote and falsely claiming Sanger was talking about blacks.

While the "spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all" quote comes from Sanger's book "The Pivot of Civilization" -- and is actually a defense of the eugenics ideas she believed in, which were unfortunately popular at the time the book was written, and references to "blacks, immigrants and indigents" appear nowhere near it in the book -- and not the term "human weeds" appears nowhere in the book, making Daniels a further liar for making up a quote.

Meanwhile, FactCheck.org reports that anti-abortion activists like Daniels love to take a certain Sanger quote -- "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population" -- out of context to potray the "Negro Project" as some nefarious "black genocide" operation instead of the birth-control campaign it was. According to the Margaret Sanger Papers Project at New York University, states FactCheck, “No serious scholar and none of the dozens of black leaders who supported Sanger’s work have ever suggested that she tried to reduce the black population or set up black abortion mills, the implication in much of the extremist anti-choice material.”

Daniels' rant on how Sanger's views on birth control "bordered on Nazism" is simply bizarre. So if you take birth control, you're Hitler? Please.

Being a famous entertainer like Daniels certainly grants him a soapbox, but he it doesn't mean he has the right to lie.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
CNS Pretends Only Liberals Are Criticizing Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a July 20 CNSNews.com article headlined "Trump Once Again Dominates News Cycle As Liberals Pounce on His McCain Criticism," Susan Jones writes:

For a candidate knocked by many Democrats and some Republicans as clownish and unserious, Donald Trump once again is generating top headlines on liberal media outlets, blowing out other national concerns.

The latest controversy centers on Trump's comments about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" talked about little else for the first hour on Monday.

Jones seems not to be aware that the main host of "Morning Joe," Joe Scarborough, is not a liberal -- he is a former Republican congressman.

That's just one of many clueless things about Jones' article. She also seems to be unaware that it's not only "liberal media outlets" that have been covering Trump's latest outrage. The fact that Jones is writing about it means right-wing media outlets are covering it too.

Jones appears to be even more clueless about the fact that Trump's comments about McCain have been roundly criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike -- which she would know if she had read the other websites run by her employer, the Media Research Center. (Oh, yeah, she thinks only the "liberal media" is covering Trump.)

One NewsBusters article notes that Trump's comments have received "universal condemnation." Another highlights how Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry "has been one of Trump’s harshest critics." A third points out that "most Republicans condemned Donald Trump."

And a CNS article by Melanie Hunter published the same day as Jones' quotes Republican pollster Frank Luntz as saying that Trump does not appreciate the “significance” of being a prisoner of war. (Trump had bashed McCain's former POW status as a sign he wasn't a war hero.)

Is Jones suddenly working for a "liberal media outlet" now? Nope -- she's just so desperate to crank out a tired attack on the "liberal media" that the facts simply don't matter to her.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
Monday, July 20, 2015
CNS' Climate Denier Fail
Topic: CNSNews.com

Emily Richards writes in a July 13 CNSNews.com article:

A British professor's new model of solar cycles predicts that the Earth could be heading toward a "mini ice age" that would create conditions not seen since 1645 during the "Maunder minimum" - when London’s Thames River froze over.

Solar activity may fall by as much as 60 percent during the 2030s, according to Mathematics Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University in England.

Um, not so much. As Slate points out:

If you look closely at the original press release, the study’s author, Valentina Zharkova, never implied a new ice age is imminent—only that we may see a sharp downturn in the number of sunspots. Yes, the sun is a variable star, but its output is remarkably stable. The amount of energy we receive from the sun just doesn’t change fast enough to cause a rapid-onset ice age in just a few decades.

The root of the problem here may be a poorly worded quote in the press release implying an imminent 60 percent decline in solar activity. Yes, numbers of sunspots can vary by that much or even more on an 11-year cycle, but the sun’s output—the total amount of energy we get—is extremely stable and only changes by about 0.1 percent, even in extreme sunspot cycles like the one Zharkova is predicting.

[...]

But let’s play devil’s advocate: What if Zharkova is right about the decline in solar activity? There’s still no need to worry (or to become complacent about global warming). Even assuming sunspots are in the process of shutting down, as happened during the Maunder minimum and Little Ice Age, it wouldn’t matter much.

An interesting new study published in June showed that a sharp decline in solar activity to record lows could have a relatively large impact on regional climate over a period of decades. But even the return of a Maunder minimum type slowdown in solar activity—an extreme scenario, by any measure—would slow global warming by only about a half-degree in northern Europe. That’s essentially negligible, on a global scale. 

Unsurprisingly, Richards contacts nobody to respond to the study. Also unsurprisingly, CNS published an July 20 op-ed by H. Sterling Burnett, one of the climate deniers at the right-wing Heartland Institute, to reinforce the bogus claim:

Another recent scientific paper projects an imminent cooling without any caveats about it being regional in nature or overwhelmed by human carbon dioxide emissions. A paper published by the Royal Astronomical Society indicates the Sun will likely go silent within 15 years, leading to an extended period of colder temperatures. Lead author of the report Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University has said, when tested against actual data and measurements, the model the researchers developed to test the relationship between fluctuating magnetic waves on the surface of the Sun and their impacts on solar activity and Earth’s climate had an accuracy rating of 97 percent.

With new research emerging nearly daily to indicate Earth is cooling because of decreased solar activity, it certainly seems wise to shift our concern about future climate to how best to respond to colder temperatures and associated climate effects.

Slate notes that climate deniers like Burnett "have a particular fascination with sunspot cycles," but that the correlation between sunspot activity and global temperatures is weak at best.

Slate adds: "In reality, sunspots fluctuate in an 11-year cycle, and the current cycle is the weakest in 100 years—yet 2014 was the planet’s hottest year in recorded history." Betcha Burnett and CNS won't bring that up.

It seems the deniers have failed again by deliberately ignoring information that undermines their case. Burnett is a paid flack, of course, but what's the excuse for CNS, which purports to be a news organization? Oh, yeah, they get paid to do that as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:43 PM EDT
Sunday, July 19, 2015
CNS Censors Fact That Congressman's Outrage Is Hypocritical
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr channels a little manufactured outrage in a July 16 CNSNews.com article:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday it is a “disgrace” that taxpayer dollars go to support Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.

“Overall, about half of Planned Parenthood’s money comes from taxpayers,” Franks told CNSNews.com following a press conference by members of the House Pro-Life Caucus on the alleged sale of organs from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. “And this is an organization that supports the murder of 3,000 children in America every day.

“The fact that we’re funding it is a disgrace that beggars my ability to articulate,” Franks said.

But Starr has omitted one key fact: Franks knew about the dishonestly edited video that prompted his comments weeks ago.

Roll Call reports that Franks is among several members of Congress who were shown the video made by anti-abortion extremists weeks ago, but they said nothing until now. Franks spun wildly when called on it, insisting that “The hope was to have as much information as possible so that the authorities could be notified effectively before the media.”

While the Roll Call article was posted a few hours after Starr's, CNS made no effort to update the article with this important information suggesting that Franks' concern is nothing but politically motivated hypocrisy.

Then again, that kind of politically motivated hypocrisy is what fuels CNS, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
Thursday, July 16, 2015
CNS Goes Into Race-Baiting Mode on Obama
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center's creeping WND-ization continues by picking up WorldNetDaily's obsession with race.

In a July 13 CNS article, Susan Jones complained that President Obama used his weekly media address to promote his faie-housing initiative. She expressed particular concern that white suburbs might become less white, fretting that communities "must spend the [federal fair-housing] money in ways that move inner-city minorities, for example, into subsidized housing in wealthier, whiter suburbs."

Apparently, Jones doesn't think minorties have any place in those "whiter suburbs."

Since CNS has given up reporting actual news and instead has embraced its role as one more propaganda arm of the MRC, Jones engages in some trolling of Obama. After noting Obama's statement that children living just a few blocks apart may "lead incredibly different lives," Jones sneered: "President Obama could have used his own daughters as examples. They attend an elite private school in Washington, in a city where many poor blacks struggle in failing public schools."

Jones might look to her employer as an example of how her fellow conservatives are handling the issue. A couple years back, the MRC moved its headquaters from Alexandria, Va., a town with a 66.8 percent white population and a 22.4 percent black population, to Reston, Va., a town with a 70.1 percent white population and just a 9.7 percent black population.

The move also put the MRC in one of those "wealthier, whiter suburbs" Jones fears will be overrun by poor brown people; the median income of Alexandria is $85,706, while in Reston it's $107,962.

Yeah, we can see why Jones would be freaking out.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:45 PM EDT

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