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Friday, July 10, 2020
CNS Managing Editor Is Mad Dave Chappelle Insulted Fox News Host, Ignores His Message
Topic: CNSNews.com

Comedian Dave Chappelle served up a powerful and, frankly, not terribly comedic performance in "8:46," a medication on the world in the wake of the death of George Floyd. CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman completely ignored Chappelle's message to devote an entire June 12 blog post -- in which he puts "comedian' in scare quotes to describe Chappelle -- to raging that he insulted a prized Fox News host:

In his new Netflix special "8:46," where he talks about the killing of George Floyd, comedian Dave Chappelle takes time to criticize conservative author and TV host Laura Ingraham for daring to mock LeBron James's leftist political views and emphatically labels her a "c**t."

"LeBron James once said something about racism and Laura Ingraham, which I will say publicly anywhere, anytime, is a c**t," said Chapelle. "Tell them I said it."

She "told one of Ohio's greatest residents ever, 'shut up and dribble,'" he added.

[...]

"My friend is the best at something, and this bitch is not the best at anything," he said. "She's a regular ass white bitch with a platform. And I use the word bitch all the time because it's black."

Chapman then went on to attack James for having "criticized pro-democracy comments about Hong Kong by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey," sneering, "There is a huge market for the NBA in Communist China and James apparently does not want to rock the financial boat."Chapman went on to cite criticism of James by "Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong," then laughably equated Ingraham to him: "We'll have to wait and see what Chappelle decides to call Joshua Wong."

It seems as if Chapman only cares about what's happening in China and Hong Kong if it can be used to own the libs.

Oh, and Chapman couldn't be bothered to remark on anything else Chappelle said during his special. It's as if an important CNS agenda item is defending Fox News hosts and not, you know, reporting the news.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 10, 2020 12:30 AM EDT
Thursday, July 9, 2020
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

As a pro-Trump media outlet, CNSNews.com is compelled to make the unemployment numbers as good as possible in service of President Trump. Susan Jones was in full embellishment mode for her lead article on June's unemployment numbers:

As America reopens, the economy is recovering from the devastating employment snapshot recorded in April and May, and while the numbers released today show improvement, they're still far from the many records set under Trump.

According to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed Americans increased by 4,940,000 in June to 142,182,000.

While that's well below the Trump-era record high of 158,803,000 set in December 2019, it is is 30,000 more than the number of Americans counted as employed when Barrack Obama took office amid a recession in January 2009.

The number of unemployed Americans dropped by 3,235,000 last month, and the nation's unemployment rate also dropped to 11.1 percent, down from 13.3 percent in May and the record 14.7 percent in April.

President Trump, at an impromptu Thursday morning news conference, hailed the 4.8 million jobs added in June, calling the "largest monthly jobs gain in the history of our country."

Jones made no mention of the BLS' classification errors that should have made the unemployment rates for April and May even higher than they were.

As usual, CNS served up sidebars on government employment and Hispanic employment. These articles also failed to mention the BLS' classification error affecting the numbers, nor did it tell readers what the "real unemployment rate" was, even though that U-6 rate (18.0 percent) is much higher than it was under the Obama administration, a time when CNS last regularly reported it.

Instead, CNS did an article on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pointing out that Trump needs to demonstrate "real leadership" by working with Democrats to pass a relief bill, which Craig Bannister chose to interpret as Schumer demanding that "Senate Republicans give Democrats what they want" -- blithely ignoring the fact that Americans are in need of further economic relief.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
CNS Managing Editor Tries To Slime Susan Rice As A Commie
Topic: CNSNews.com

So CNSNews.com does care about the origin of phrases when it wants to.

Last month, CNS couldn't be bothered to explain the racist origin ofPresident Trump's warning to protesters that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." But when Susan Rice, former national security adviser and United Nations ambassador under President Obama, said she supported Joe Biden as president because he will "remove Donald Trump and consign him and those who supported him in the Senate to the trash heap of history," managing editor Michael W. Chapman spent a June 19 article explaining what he claimed was the communiist origin of the phrase she used, thereby suggesting that she too was some kind of communist:

The "trash heap of history" or "ash heap of history" is a popular phrase that goes back centuries. However, it was often used by Soviet officials during the Cold War to explain what they would do to the Christian West.

As the late William Safire explained in the New York Times in 1983, "The phrase was popularized by Leon Trotsky, who told the Mensheviks departing from the 1917 Congress of Soviets, ''Go to the place where you belong from now on -- the dustbin of history!' That was the way his phrase, transliterated as musornyi yashchik, was translated in the English edition of Trotsky's autobiography; in reviews of the movie 'Reds,' Trotsky was quoted as saying of the faction opposing the Bolsheviks, 'They are just so much refuse which will be swept into the garbage heap of history.'"

Chapman added: "Rice was notorious for repeatedly telling the American people that the Benghazi, Libya attack in 2012, which killed four Americans, was sparked by an anti-Muslim video." Chapman didn't explain why this was supposedly "notorious," given that's what intelligence officials believed at the time she made that claim.

CNS repeated that latter attack on Rice in a July 7 article by Susan Jones, who uncritically quoted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claiming without evidence that Rice "made up a story about a video and a protest when she knew full well that this was a terror attack. She did so because it was politically convenient to say that."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
How Is CNS' Managing Editor Hating LGBT People Now?
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's been a while since we checked in on how notoriously homophobic CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman is pushing an anti-gay message that is presumably endorsed by his employer, the Media Research Center. Just because there's been a pandemic doesn't mean he's forgotten to do that.

In March, Chapman uncritically touted another notorioius homophobe, E.W. Jackson, ranting that "promoting homosexual behavior is destructive and constitutes a 'violent attack' on the family, especially in the black community" and declaring that "the gay movement is 'the homovirus for the family.'" He also dug up an obscure "Jewish religious judge" in Britain who objected to a new LGBT-centric curriculum in the countryby declaring "Those four letters, LGBT, are an abomination, according to the Torah" and that "One is obliged to give up one's life rather than comply" with the curriculum.

On April 1, Chapman cheered that Idaho approved "legislation that prohibits biological males from competing in female sports, thus barring "transgender women" from real women's sports. He then cheered his favorite right-wing evangelical minister, Franklin Graham, cheering the law. Later that month, Chapman cheered a proposed Hungarian law that "would legally define a person's sex or gender as "sex at birth," meaning later in life a person could not legally change their gender"; he accompanied the story with pictures of a church, authoritarian Hungarian leader Viktor Orban (another CNS favorite) and men in tutus dancing in a parade, which is apparently how Chapman believes all LGBT people act.

In a May 5 post, Chapman complined that "the gay N.Y. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson demanded that the Christian-run Samaritan's Purse field hospital -- treating patients in Central Park -- be shut down because of its natural and biblical views on marriage" -- that is, hating gay people as much as Chapman does. He then did an irrelevant hit job on Johnson: "The New York Times reported in 2018 that Corey Johnson did not finish college, completing only one month at George Mason University. Johnson also had a history of binging on alcohol and cocaine but apparently sobered-up in 2009."

Chapman then did as he is wont to do -- portray anyone who's not a heterosexual Christian as evil -- by promoting a Catholic bishop's assertion that "abortion and gay marriage reflect the spirit of the Anti-Christ. He added that the Anti-Christ not only rejects Jesus Christ, the order of salvation, but also rejects the order of creation, nature itself, the 'order of the two biological sexes,' and the 'absolute prohibition of killing innocent human beings.'" 

On May 15, Chapman grumbled about a new PBS series on LGBTQ life in the South, making sure to quote the right-wing American Family Association to whine that thte show will "push the homosexual agenda" and is "promoting a lifestyle that is unhealthy to both the individual who participates in the unnatural sexual behavior and to society as a whole."

By May 27, Chapman had found a new outlet for his anti-gay rage: a new Pixar short film featuring a gay main character. The short is "promoting the LGBT agenda," he huffed, though he didn't explain exactly what that "agenda" is.

(This was accompanied by an op-ed from WND's favorite gay-basher, Michael Brown, warning that "gay activists have long recognized the importance of influencing children, even if they were doing it with (in their minds) the purest of intentions" and this film is an attempt to "indoctrinate" children.)

Chapman followed that with a meltdown over an upcoming Marvel Studios flim, "Eternals," that includes "an openly gay male superhero and his 'spouse,' who kiss on screen." He enlisted his fellow gay-haters at One Million Moms to warn that the movie will be "pushing the LGBTQ agenda on families."

On June 3, Chapman had one more thing to cheer about:

Unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, President Donald Trump has not officially recognized June as "LGBT Pride Month" by issuing a proclamation about it. Trump did not do this during the first three years of his administration and did not do so this year.

However, Trump did issue proclamations declaring June as National Homeownership Month, as well as National Ocean Month, and Great Outdoors Month. He also proclaimed June as African-American Music Appreciation Month and as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

Chapman also attacked Nickelodeon for "promoting homosexuality" by acknowledging Pride Month, ominously adding, "Nickelodeon, which is owned by ViacomCBS, is a cable channel for children, aimed at kids age 2 to 17." Chapman didn't explain why a children's TV channel acknowledging that LGBT people exist is a bad thing, but he did complain about one Nickelodeonn tweet involving SpongeBob SquarePants, huffing "It is clear from the tweet that SpongeBob is either gay or is an 'ally' of the 'LGBTQ+ community.'" (He didn't explain why he used the scare quotes.)

That's the gay-hater we know and (don't particularly) love.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Sunday, July 5, 2020
CNS Still Promotes Candace Owens, Still Censoring Her Extremism
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com has become enthralled with right-wing activist Candace Owens, promoting her declarations while whitewashing or hiding completely her more extreme claims, even falsely crediting her with creating the so-called "Blexit" movement to encorage Blacks to become Republicans. That enthrallment has continued this year as well -- including her claim that Hitler would have been OK if he didn't have "dreams outside of Germany."

CNS -- mostly blogger Craig Bannister -- has remained a dutiful stenographer for Owens' pronouncements this year as well:

While CNS was touting Owens' right-wing-friendly declarations, it was censoring her controversies:

  • After the death of black jogger Ahmaud Aarbery at the hands of white vigilantes, Owens suggested he had it coming because he was "caught on camera breaking into an unfinished property ... Avid joggers don’t wear khaki shorts & stop to break into homes."
  • Owens ranted that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, was a "dicator" for locking down much of the state to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus.This got her briefly suspended from Twitter (which made CNS' cohorts at the Media Research Center very unhappy).
  • Owens also declared she would not get a possible coronavirus vaccine -- while fearmongering about other vaccines -- and will refuse to wear a mask to help prevent coronavirus spread.
  • She advanced more coronavirus conspiracies, claiming that the death toll from the virus was being inflated for "financiai incentive."

Owens is a liar, conspiracy-monger and grifter, yet CNS continues to give her a platform.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
Friday, July 3, 2020
CNS Returns To the Weekend-Shooting Distraction Again
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com managing editor likes to distract from bad news for conservatives by randomly bringing up the number of weekend shootings in Chicago. With unrest over police brutality in the news, Chapman went for the same distraction but a different city in a June 10 article:

The Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters tweeted on Tuesday that during last week (May 31 - June 6), homicides went up 250% and the number of victims shot increased 56% when compared to the previous week.

"The week of 5/31 to 6/6, homicides went up 250% and victims shot went up 56% compared to the previous week," said the tweet from the LAPD HQ.

"The past 24 hrs has seen 4 shootings, one of those resulting in a homicide," the tweet added. "Detectives are following leads to ID & arrest the suspects -- but we’re also asking for your help."

Chapman made sure to add that "Black Lives Matter, which has participated in many of the protests across the United States over the last two weeks, demands 'a national defunding of the police.'"

Craig Bannister joined the sudden, agenda-driven concern in a June 29 article invoking yet another city: "More than five hundred people have been shot in New York City so far this year, but the city is considering cutting the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) budget by as much as $1 billion."

Bannister apparently didn't consider the idea that the extra billion didn't keep those 500 people from being shot, so perhaps that money could be better used elsewhere.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EDT
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Allen West's Empty Attack on the Great Society
Topic: CNSNews.com

Allen West wrote in his June 15 CNSNews.com column:

The bottom line is simple:  The Great Society – the grand endeavor of the progressive, racist President Lyndon Baines Johnson, has failed. Fifty-five years later, we are witnessing the -- shall I say it --“chickens coming home to roost.”

The Great Society, also known as the infamous War on Poverty was launched as every other government top-down solution is, with great promise and “noble” intention. It was an updated version of Roosevelt’s “chicken in every pot” solution.

What Johnson and his ilk believed was that they could manipulate the outcomes in the lives of individuals and create equality. They embraced the notion that the government could “level the playing field,” and with a plethora of government subsistence programs, all would be well.

In reflection, we should all agree, and stop whistling past the graveyard, that this was a program intended to do one thing -- create economic enslavement, dependency.

The Great Society blunder has resulted in the modern-day 21st century economic plantation in which American inner-cities have absolutely cratered.

Strangely, at no point did West cite any specific program that purportedly created the failure he depicts. In fact, there's a solid argument that Great Society programs like Medicare and Head Start have been quite successful, as well as the fact that they weren't nearly as radical or extreme as West suggests they were.

Nevertheless, West insisted that "It does not take a PhD level study to grasp this," despite his freshman-level error of failing to back up his claims.

That, however, didn't stop WorldNetDaily columnist and ranter Mychal Massie from embracing West's claims in his own June 15 column:

The Great Society Initiatives were harmful to all, but no group was harmed more than blacks. Johnson's not so-veiled government dependency agenda cemented the decline of American civilization, specifically for blacks.

Within the Great Society construct came the abolishment of the nuclear family, accompanied by the reinvention of same to elevate and accommodate sexual sin. This now includes debaucherous sexual deviancy masquerading as a family unit.

The Great Society Initiative construct empowered government to define the needs of the people. Through the late 1960s and early/mid 1970s, women and specifically those who were black and Puerto Rican were rewarded for having children out-of-wedlock. Government provided subsidized housing, food stamps, health care and spending money. All they had to do was continue to have illegitimate children. The caveat was that in order to receive the financial government provisions there couldn't be a man in the house – this included the father of the children. I personally know women who were evicted from their apartment in the Projects because the night watchman caught the father in the apartment.

Like West, Massie fails to identify the specific programs he claims caused this, let along prove they were Great Society initiatives.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
CNS' Jeffrey Absurdly Tries To Blame Pelosi For Federal Deficits
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has ramped up his efforts to blame anyone but President Trump for exploding budget deficits.

Jeffrey served up his usual monthy articles on federal spending on June 10 -- the first on how "The federal government set records for both the amount of money it spent and the deficit it ran in the first eight months of fiscal 2020" and the second on how "The debt of the federal government topped $26 trillion for the first time." As usual, the words "Trump" and "Republicans" appear nowhere in the article even though they signed off on all that debt, and the articles are illustrated by stock photos of President Trump with Nancy Pelosi -- once again trying to saddle Pelosi with blame even though she controls only one-half of one branch of government.

But in his June 24 column, however, Jeffrey ridiculously placed all the blame on Pelosi:

In the 2,000 days that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now served as the leader of a division of the federal government that the Constitution gives authority over all appropriations, the federal debt has increased by a record $9,655,515,485,628.06.

That is more than all the debt the federal government accumulated ($8,670,596,242,973.04) under all of the House speakers who served before Pelosi first took that position on Jan. 4, 2007.

The record $9,655,515,485,628.06 in federal debt amassed during Pelosi's first 2,000 days as speaker works out to an average of $4,827,757,742.81 in added debt per day.

None of her predecessors comes close to that mark. She is, indisputably, this nation's Queen of Debt.

It will mark her place in history.

Jeffrey is deliberately leaving out a lot of context. For instance, Pelosi's six years as House speaker coincided with two financial crises -- the 2009 recession and the coronavirus pandemic -- that required large infusions of emergency federal spending to rejuvenate the econony. 

Jeffrey also forgot to mention that four of Pelosi's six years as speaker were under Republican presidents, meaning that Republicans also signed off on all that spending for which Jeffrey is solely and absurdly blaming Pelosi for.

The word "Trump" doesnt appear, of course. The word "Republican" appears only in the final paragraph, when he huffed, "Americans should hope that when Pelosi leaves the speakership, she is not succeeded by someone who shares her ability to borrow and spend — even when serving with Republican presidents." Jeffrey made sure to ignore the fact that Republicans are an equal or greater partner with Pelosi on the spending Jeffrey claims to abhor and could have objected to it or blocked it -- but chose not to.

In addition to censoring inconvenent history, Jeffrey also got some of his numbers wrong; an editor's note buried at the end of the column states that "The debt numbers from the tenure of former Speaker Dennis Hastert were incorrect as initially reported in this column and have been corrected."

Getting facts straight -- especially when they run counter to his narrative -- is not Jeffrey's strong suit, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Monday, June 29, 2020
CNS Doesn't Like Court Ruling Barring LGBT Job Discrimination
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reacted to the Supreme Court decision finding that gays and transgenders are protected from job discrimination pretty much the way you'd expect, given its largely anti-LGBT history.

Susan Jones started things out with a surprisingly balanced article on the ruling; she excerpted from both the majority and minority opinions on the ruling, though she let her bias slip at the end by stating that "While a homosexual advocacy group called the ruling a "landmark victory for LGBTQ equality," conservative groups disagree" and then quoting only conservative groups opposing the ruling.

From there, it was a descent into the usual bias. Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey devoted an entire article to the losing minority opinion under the headline "Alito and Thomas Smack Gorsuch." Jeffrey followed that with a bizarre column headlined "Will Joe Biden Become Our First Female President?"

Some Americans were hopeful in 2016 that Hillary Clinton would become our first female president. She did not.

But now Joe Biden may do it.

Excuse me, you might ask, isn't Biden a man?

Well, he is for now — under the Biden gender rules. But he need not be next year.

"Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time," Biden tweeted on Jan. 25.

[...]

So, presumably, under Biden's sex identification policy that holds that "every transgender or non-binary person should have the option of changing their gender marker to 'M,' 'F,' or 'X' on government identifications," a biological male who identifies as a woman one year can get government documentation — including a passport — that indicates he is a woman.

The next year, when he identifies as a man again, he can change his documentation to say he is a man.

Six months after that, when he decides he is neither a man nor a woman, he can get government documentation that says he is "X."

If he has only a singular transgender transformation — and is not a non-binary person — all he or she needs to do is change the indication of his or her sex on his or her government documentation once.

This aggressively deliberate misunderstanding of what it means to be transgender led up to Jeffrey's claim that the Supreme Court ruling "just goes to show that Gorsuch and Roberts share Biden's view of what makes a man a woman," adding, "The entire argument here might have been considered a reductio ad absurdum had the original proposition — that a man can become a woman or vice versa — not been absurd in the first place."

The right-wing views opposing the ruling piled up after that:

A "news" article by John Jakubisin featured "Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., president of the pro-family Ruth Institute" hyperbolically attacking the ruling as "erasing womanhood" while relegating a view supporting the ruling by "the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign" to the final two paragraphs of the article.

Hans von Spakovsky and Ryan Anderson -- the latter an anti-LGBT activist CNS has previously promoted -- bashed the ruling as "an act of judicial activism" and an "extreme policy."

Mary Beth Waddell and Peter Sprigg of the right-wing, anti-LGBT Family Research Council, ranted that "Sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination laws are  unjustified in principle, because these characteristics are not inborn, involuntary, immutable, innocuous, or in the U.S. Constitution—unlike race and sex."

CNS' favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, fretted that the ruling might mean an anti-LGBT church or religious organizatoin might have to "employ a teacher who is in a homosexual relationship, or no longer identifies with the sex he or she was assigned at birth." In another column, he attacked the "flawed anthropology upon which the ruling rests" and dismissed homosexuality as a "behavioral attribute."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:01 PM EDT
Sunday, June 28, 2020
CNS Keeps On Publishing -- And Defending -- Increasingly Extremist Malkin
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is continuing to publish and defend right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin even as she moves further to the far-right fringe and embrac s white nationalism and conspiracy theories.

A June 4 article by commentary editor Rob Shimshock complained that "Twitter locked the account of Michelle Malkin on Wednesday, after the conservative author and columnist suggested the use of force on violent criminals.," declaring Malkin's tweet that violent criminals should be shot" to be "not dissimilar from sentiments expressed by some in law enforcement" -- as if that excused her violent intent. Shimshock went on to write:

"Every day, Twitter allows Antifa to doxx and harass journalists and Trump supporters," Malkin told National File. "Every day, Twitter allows BLM agitators to incite escalating violence against cops."

"Twitter makes no moral distinction between armed self-defense against violent criminals and proactive terrorist threats against law enforcement officers doing their jobs," she posted on Telegram.

Shimshock didn't tell readers that National File is a far-right website that promotes conspiracy theories and white nationalist events, or that Telegram is a social-media site dominated by white supremacists.

Meanwhile, Shimshock has let stand without comment Malkin's descent into conspiracy theories and white nationalism. In November, Malkin touted white nationalist Nick Fuentes,  complaining that she "was accused of promoting 'Holocaust denialism' and 'white nationalism' based on brief clips of Fuentes accumulated by anonymous sources culled from 500 of his hours-long shows." CNS didn't think it was news that this and an earlier assertion that she would stand by white nationalists like Fuentes got her removed from the speakers bureau of the decidedly conservative Young America's Foundation.

In a March column published by CNS without further comment, Malkin ranted that "amnesty" of some undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., "on top of uncontrolled mass migration of legal immigrants, aren't just turning California and Virginia and Texas blue. They are turning all of America blue. Every American should be seeing red about it and raising their voice against the coming, unforgivable betrayal of the MAGA doctrine. This isn't making American great again. It's making America disappear."

And in a May 13 screed published by CNS, Malkin promoted Judy Mikovits, a conspiracy theorist whose film "Plandemic" and conspiratorially accused infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci of being a liar. That was also published without further comment from Shimshock or anyone else at CNS.

CNS does itself no favors to being the mainstream conservative outlet it likes to think of itself as -- and, in fact, accentuates its creeping WND-ization -- by continuing to publish Malkin.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:17 PM EDT
Friday, June 26, 2020
Didn't Age Well: CNS Claimed Reports Of Tear Gas At Lafayette Square Were 'Discredited'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Following in the footsteps of its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com tried to tried to peddle the fiction that the Park Police didn't use tear gas to clear protesters out of Lafayette Square so President Trump could do a photo op with a Bible in front of a church.

A June 3 article by Craig Bannister highlighted Nancy Pelosi's claim that police and security were "using clubs to beat people" when, in Bannister's words, "the president walked over to the burned remains of St. John’s Church" off Lafayette Square. Actually, damage from the fire was minor and the church remained almost entirely intact. Bannister then wrote:

And, even if it’s true that White House security didn’t actually use tear gas, as discredited liberal media reports initially claimed, “They had elements of it,” Pelosi said.

Bannister apparently missed his colleague Melanie Arter's report from earlier that day in which she noted that the Park Police "did acknowledge using smoke canisters and pepper balls on the protesters." And while Arter didn't point this out, smoke canisters and pepper balls are the functional equivalent of tear gas.

Meanwhile, an actual news outlet discovered tear gas canisters at the scene, further undermining the Park Police's story. Ultimately, the Park Service tried to walk back the claim.

So, no, those "liberal media reports" have not been "discredited" -- indeed, even Fox News, which Bannister would never describe as part of the "liberal media," pointed out the botched claim and attempted walkback. Bannister's kneejerk use of right-wing anti-media propaganda backfired on him.

Meanwhile, Bannister's article remains live and uncorrected.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Thursday, June 25, 2020
CNS Censors The Extremist Truth About Its Favorite Gun-Toting GOP Candidate
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last November, we noted how CNSNews.com touted a meaningless petition demanding that Nancy Pelosi be impeached for "treason" launched by a Georgia woman named Marjorie Taylor Greene, whom CNS blogger Craig Bannister lovingly described as "a business owner, wife and mother" and whom, it just so happened, "has launched a campaign to become the Republican House candidate for Georgia’s 6th district." Bannister, of course, didn't tell his readers that she was a notorious enough far-right activist to earn her own profile from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Well, Bannister kept writing about her as her primary race drew closer and she pulled a big publicity stunt. He wrote in a June 2 post:

“I have a message for ANTIFA terrorists,” Marjorie Taylor Greene says while holding a semi-automatic rifle in an 18-second video on her Congressional campaign Twitter page.

Greene’s message to domestic terrorists: “Stay the hell out of northwest Georgia. You won’t burn our churches, loot our businesses or destroy our homes”:

“President Trump declared ANTIFA a domestic terrorist organization.

“I have a message for ANTIFA terrorists: stay the hell out of northwest Georgia. You won’t burn our churches, loot our businesses or destroy our homes.

“I’m Marjorie Greene and I approved this message.”

Bannister didn't indicate whether Antifa was ever a threat in northwest Georgia. Instead, he promoted her campaign and once again plugged her anti-Pelosi petition.

Bannister was also pretty giddy in a June 10 post, touting that "Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose video campaign ad featuring her holding a semi-automatic rifle while warning Antifa terrorists to 'Stay the hell out of northwest Georgia' was banned from Facebook, handily garnered the top vote total in Tuesday’s Georgia 14th district GOP primary." Not only does Greene not even live in the district (moving there only after she filed to run there), she didn't even fully win the primary; she's slated for a primary runoff with the second-place finisher in August.

Bannister obscured that fact, but he completely censored Greene's far-right extremism, which was further revealed after the primary. Turns out Greene made a series of racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic videos that she posted on Facebook, and is also an avid believer in fringe QAnon conspiracy theories, which has caused prominent Republicans to withdraw their support of her campaign.

Bannister, meanwhile, hasn't breathed a word of this at CNS. They're not terribly interested in reporting the truth when it's inconvenient to their pro-Trump, pro-Republican agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
CNS Cheers Right-Wing Catholic Bishop's Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theories
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com -- in particular, managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- has a thing for right-wing Catholic activist Carlo Vigano, who likes to attack Pope Francis for not being right-wing enough. Now Vigano -- who, by the way, is Italian, not American -- has decided to inject himself into American politics, and Chapman couldn't be happier. Why? Because Vigano parrots conspiratorial right-wing language, and President Trump endorsed it -- in no small part, presumably, because Vigano painted Trump's critics as Satanists. Chapman gushed in a June 8 article:

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former apostolic nuncio (Vatican ambassador) to the United States, released a public letter to President Donald Trump on Sunday in which he said there is a Biblical battle going on in the United States between "the children of light and the children of darkness," i.e., the followers of Christ vs. the the followers of the "invisible enemy," the Devil.

"And it appears that the children of darkness -- whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days -- have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans," said the archbishop, who resides in Europe.

The archbishop, who called on Pope Francis to resign in 2018 for reportedly covering up the sexual abuse history of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, further said to Trump, "I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons."

"For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship," said Vigano. "Your participation in the March for Life, and more recently your proclamation of the month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, are actions that confirm which side you wish to fight on."

Chapman, however, didn't highlight Vigano's conspiracy theory that "the riots in these days were provoked by those who, seeing that the virus is inevitably fading and that the social alarm of the pandemic is waning, necessarily have had to provoke civil disturbances, because they would be followed by repression which, although legitimate, could be condemned as an unjustified aggression against the population" and that "hidden behind these acts of vandalism and violence there are those who hope to profit from the dissolution of the social order so as to build a world without freedom."

Vigano also pushed another conspiracy theory, that fellow bishops with whom he disagrees -- read: not as far-right as him -- are "subservient to the deep state, to globalism, to aligned thought, to the New World Order which they invoke ever more frequently in the name of a universal brotherhood which has nothing Christian about it, but which evokes the Masonic ideals of those want to dominate the world by driving God out of the courts, out of schools, out of families, and perhaps even out of churches."

Since Chapman reproduced Vigano's entire letter, it's entirely possible that he subscribes to Vigano's conspiracy theories as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 PM EDT
Monday, June 22, 2020
CNS Censored Racist Origin Of Trump's Looting-And-Shooting Tweet
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com just loved it when President Trump tweeted at the height of unrest following the police-custody death of George Floyd, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Patrick Goodenough gushed in a May 29 article:

As a police precinct in Minneapolis went up in flames overnight, President Trump tweeted that he has offered Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz military support, and added a warning: “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The same day, Susan Jones complained that Twitter "masked" Trump's tweet with a message stating that it "violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence." She then touted Trump's executive order attacking social media. Goodenough similarly complained that Twitter "limited the visibility of Trump's tweet."

Melanie Arter noted the tweet in a June 1 article, and in a separate article that day quoted Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (whom she neglected to identify as a Republican) calling the tweet "inflammatory" and "not helpful."

None of these articles, however, mentioned the origin of the phrase: with racist andsegrationist officials during the 1960s. A real news outlet reported:

In 1967, Miami police Chief Walter Headley used the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" during hearings about crime in the Florida city, invoking angry reactions from civil rights leaders, according to a news report at the time.

"He had a long history of bigotry against the black community," said professor Clarence Lusane of Howard University.

[...]

According to Lusane, Headley may have borrowed the phrase from Eugene "Bull" Connor, who had been the notorious public safety commissioner in Birmingham, Ala. Connor was a segregationist who directed the use of police dogs and fire hoses against black demonstrators.

[...]

Segregationist presidential candidate George Wallacealso used the phrase during the 1968 campaign.

CNS later alluded to this in the most weirdly oblique way. A June 8 article by  Arter noted an interview between CBS "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan and Condoleezza Rice, former national  security adviser under President George W. Bush:

Brennan invited Rice to criticize Trump, asking her about his tweet, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

But Rice steered a neutral course:

"The president, obviously, the shooting and looting, he said that he didn't know that historical context. And so I would say, think about the historical context before you say something because it is a deep wound.

"And the presidency is special in that regard. People look to the Oval Office, as we've looked to the Oval Office throughout our history, for -- for messages, for signals. And as I said, the president has used some language that I am really very -- very much admire, like the resilience of the American people. Just be careful about those messages.

But nowhere in her article did Arter explain what that "historical context" was or include any explanation of it from the interview, so its readers may not know there was a controversy over the tweet since it had previously censored the discission.

That's unhelpful reporting and doesn't inform CNS' readers. Then again, misinforming them may be the point.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:42 PM EDT
Friday, June 19, 2020
CNS' Trump-Defending Reporter Goes The Whataboutism Route
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com reporter Patric Goodenough has been slowly shedding his reputation as a decent reporter to become a pro-Trump shill like the rest of the rest of the CNS crew. He did that again in a June 1 article, which started by complaining that "The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding that Twitter suspend President Trump’s 'racist' account, over his recent tweeted warning that looters exploiting protests sparked by the death of George Floyd risk being shot. CAIR based its charge that the warning amounted to a “racist threat of violence” on the fact that Trump used the word 'thugs' to describe those looting, vandalizing and torching businesses." Goodenough then went the whataboutism route:

Five years ago, President Obama used the same word in connection with those looting and destroying businesses in Baltimore, amid protests over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody.

“A handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” were the words Obama used to describe the perpetrators of the violent behavior.

Speaking at the White House on April 28, 2015, a day after the rioting erupted, he said there was “no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday.”

Goodenough did seem to admit he was stretching the point, noting that, unlike Obama's very narrow use of the word, "Trump used the descriptor in reference to ISIS terrorists, Democratic lawmakers, MS-13 gang members, the surviving Boston marathon bomber, and protestors outside his campaign rallies."

Goodenough also undercut his suggestion that criticism of Trump's use of "thug" is politically motivated attack against him by noting that Obama and other Democratic figures faced criticism for using the word.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EDT

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