It's either a slow news week, or CNSNews.com managing editor Michael Chapman was feeling particularly hateful. Those are pretty much the only logical explanations for Chapman's Aug. 20 CNS article, in which he rehashes "a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal" by "Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry," who claims that "transgenderism is a 'mental disorder' that merits treatment, that sex change is 'biologically impossible,' and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder."
Note Chapman's vaguery about McHugh's commentary being "recent." That's because it originally appeared more than two months ago, on June 12.
Since McHugh's op-ed has been sitting around for two months, you'd think that Chapman would have had more than enough time to go beyond stenography and note the fact that some commentators disagree with McHugh's analysis. One of these is from Mari Brighe, who points out that "McHugh has decided to ignore the growing body of neurological and genetic research providing evidence of a biological basis for gender dysphoria" and is "selectively reading the literature to support his own agenda." Brighe also notes that "Missing entirely from McHugh’s analysis is any understanding or even mention of the tremendous discrimination, harassment, violence, and economic stability faced by the transgender community" and then "goes on to attempt to break down transgender individuals into three wide and poorly defined categories- with absolutely zero research or evidence other than his own personal say-so." Brighe concluded by noting that "the opinions of Dr McHugh fly in the face of currently accepted medical practice and the positions of many major medical associations" and "do not represent the views of the mainstream medical establishment, rather they are the erroneous, bigoted beliefs of a scientist who appears far too invested in his own antiquated, disproven theories and his anti-LGBT political position than the current state of medical affairs."
But Chapman can't be bothered to include a fair and balanced view -- he simply summarizes McHugh's op-ed. Which suggest that Chapman's view of transgenders mirrors that of McHugh.
CNS, Where Speculation Is 'News' Topic: CNSNews.com
This is the main substance of an Aug. 14 CNSNews.com article by Brittany M. Hughes:
Reports show thousands of unaccompanied illegal alien minors, some of them identified as obvious gang members by U.S. Border Patrol agents, have been transferred to several of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, including Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York City, Houston and the Washington, D.C. area – cities that all rank among the top strongholds of the Latin American gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.
A 2008 report by the Congressional Research Service lists several major U.S. cities as having some of the heaviest MS-13 presence in the nation. These cities include Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area in Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, Houston, New York City, Baltimore and Nashville.
Since October of last year, more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have flooded across the Southwest U.S. border illegally, with most of them having come from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, all countries with strong ties to MS-13 and various other Latin American gangs and drug operations.
Completely lacking in Hughes' article: any actual evidence that unaccompanied minor gang members are actually being sent to cities with an MS-13 presence.
In other words, this article is nothing but speculation and guessing. That is apparently what passes for "news" at CNS these days.
CNS' Starr Is Still Cranking Out Propaganda For Corporate And Oil Interests Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's Penny Starr has long been a propagandist for fossil-fuel interests, uncritically repeating the claims of industry lobbyists as though they were the gospel (as befits an organization that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from oil interests).
Starr phones it in again in an Aug. 8 article in which she dutifully regurgitates the latest corporate claim:
A study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) on the impact of a proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation shows that it could be the costliest federal rule by reducing the Gross National Product by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040 and adds $2.2 trillion in compliance costs for the same time period.
Starr didn't bother to mention that NAM's official position is opposing EPA regulations, so it's not a surprise that it would commission a study that backs up its claims.
Starr's old friend, the American Petroleum Institute, also makes an appearance:
At an event for reporters on Friday, the American Petroleum Institute introduced a map it has produced showing how the new regulation would harm the economy in states across the country.
API also claims that the nation’s air quality is improving and health benefits from the lower ozone standards are not backed by the science.
As you would expect from such a dutiful stenographer, Starr made no apparent effort to talk to any actual environmentalists about the claims made by NAM and API.
CNS' Starr Unhappy That U.S. Promotes 'Homosexual Rights Agenda' Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr declares in an Aug. 6 CNSNews.com article:
The president, vice president and a former State Department official with the Obama administration took advantage of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit this week in Washington, D.C., as an opportunity to advance the homosexual rights agenda.
And what is this supposed "homosexual rights agenda" the U.S. is trying to advance? Starr identifies nothing beyond "human rights" and "respect." Starr doesn't explain why she considers such an "agenda" to be so distasteful that she feels she must call it out.
Starr, however, makes sure to tell us that "homosexuality is illegal in 38 of the 57 countries on the African continent – or almost 67 percent." She adds, with an apparent tinge of regret:
On Aug. 1, a Ugandan panel of five judges ruled that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act was not valid, because it had been passed by Parliament without a proper quorum. The ruling does not preclude the law from being reconsidered and put in place with the proper quorum requirement.
Starr failed to mention that right-wing American anti-gay activists like Scott Lively are the driving force behind Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act.
CNS Still Pushing Birth Control 'Abortifacient' Myth Topic: CNSNews.com
Brittany Hughes writes in an Aug. 5 CNSNews.com article:
While advocates of religious freedom and the sanctity of life have hailed last month’s Hobby Lobby decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling did not liberate health insurance companies from being required to provide coverage for abortifacient drugs in their plans.
The Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby, which is a Christian family-owned company, could not be required to provide cost-free coverage for two types of IUDs and two abortifacient drugs because the owners believed doing so violated their religious beliefs.
As CNS sofrequentlydoes, it's falsely portraying birth control as abortifacients. In fact, birth control methods that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg are, by medical definition, not abortifacients.
CNS management is aware of this medical fact. In a July 2 column CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey grumbled that the conservative Supreme Court justices who wrote the majority opinion in the Hobby Lobby case pointed out the medical reality that such birth control methods are not abortifacients. He then tried to create his own reality by snarking: "OK, so do not call it an 'abortion.' Just call it a 'killing'."
So, it appears that CNS has chosen to deny reality because it conflicts with its political agenda. So much for journalism.
CNS Promotes Levin Lawsuit, Doesn't Disclose MRC's Business Deal With Him Topic: CNSNews.com
Susan Jones writes in a July 25 CNSNews.com article:
A conservative legal group is asking a federal judge to punish the Environmental Protection Agency for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages requested in August 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Landmark Legal Foundation believes the requested -- but never delivered -- messages to outside groups would have revealed EPA attempts to influence the 2012 presidential election.
"The EPA is a toxic waste dump for lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution,” said Landmark Legal President Mark Levin.
CNS neglects to mention that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has a business relationship with Levin, in which the MRC pays Levin on his radio show and uses Levin's endorsement on its own websites.
Though CNS presents itself as a news operation presumably subject to journalistic codes of ethics, it regularly publishes stories about Levin while failing to disclose that he's a paid spokesman.
CNS' Hollingsworth Dutifully Transcribes More Right-Wing Talking Points Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Hollingsworth has yet another fit of lazy journalism in which she decides to serve as stenographer for a right-wing activist group in a July 22 CNSNews.com article. This time, she uncritically repeats attacks from the Institute for Energy Research that a new report warning of the dangers of climate change "is just another attempt by economic and political elites to impose a carbon tax on Americans."
CNS Claims Global Warming Has Ended Because Of Cool Weather In U.S. Topic: CNSNews.com
Can you spot the major science failure in the headline of Penny Starr's July 21 CNSNews.com article, "Global Warming? U.S. Temps Up 0.1 Degrees above 20th Century Average, 2014 Coolest Since 1993"?
That's right -- suggesting that global warming has been disproved because of a few cool months in the U.S. is utterly dishonest.
Starr herself confuses with her article:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 2014 weather highlights show that from January to June, the temperature in the U.S. has risen by only 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit compared with the average temperature for the 20th century.
NOAA highlights also show that recorded temperatures in the U.S. for the first half of 2014 are the coldest since 1993.
Starr doesn't tell you, however, that globally, last month was the hottest June in 134 years of record-keeping. That would seem to be an important fact to note in an article about climate -- especially since it's in the same NOAA data from which she pulls her U.S. weather data -- but Starr doesn't think so.
What Starr has done is written an article that is technically accurate but so absurdly narrow in focus as to be useless for anything other than political propaganda. Just the way CNS likes it, we presume.
Terry Jeffrey's Immigration Metaphor Misfire Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey writes in his July 16 CNSNews.com column:
Sam, the wealthiest man in his neighborhood, lives in a big beautiful house with a massive backyard punctuated by a large, deep swimming pool.
While Sam is personally not very fond of children — he supports abortion on demand and believes the government should force all employers to offer female workers free sterilizations — he nonetheless lives in a neighborhood that teems with little ones.
The children are particularly attracted to Sam's beautiful pool — and, on those rare occasions when Sam is actually in his backyard, he frequently finds himself shooing these children away.
Worried relatives have repeatedly warned Sam that he ought to build a fence around his yard — or at least around his pool — to guard against the awful possibility that a neighborhood child might otherwise drown.
But Sam does not want a fence. He objects that it would mar the aesthetics of his yard, and that if some kid really wanted to get into the pool he could climb over the fence.
So, should Sam build one? If he went out one morning and found a boy had drowned in his pool, would he have some culpability for that child's unnecessary death?
The answers are yes and yes.
And, although it is not a perfect analogy, Sam's pool is a little like Uncle Sam's territory near our border with Mexico.
There is no doubt people are tempted to enter U.S. property without the permission of the U.S. government. There is also no doubt this can be a dangerous, even deadly, thing to do.
No, Mr. Jeffrey, your analogy isn't perfect -- heck, it's not even remotely analogous. The act of crossing the border isn't deadly, and America is not an "attractive nuisance" like an unfenced pool where something could go wrong simply by being in the presence of it.
Jeffrey goes on to cite the example of a teenager from Guatemala whose body was found in Texas. But the United States didn't kill him; the trip from Guatemala likely played a factor.
If Jeffrey wants a more perfect analogy, he should have that unfenced pool surrounded by miles of barbed wire, thorns and a few land mines thrown in for good measure.
If Jeffrey thinks America is an unfenced pool in need of a double-layer fence with armed border guards, he clearly doesn't understand anything about immigration. But given his previous attempt at analogy, we already knew that.
CNS Parses Diplomatic Deaths Under Bush To Keep Benghazi Alive Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough didn't like Bill Clinton's highlighting how Republican members of Congress failed to criticize deaths of embassy personnel during attacks occurring under the Bush administration the way they are freaking out over Benghazi, and he devoted a June 30 CNSNews.com article to parse how Clinton's criticism is purportedly meaningless:
Unstated by the former president, however, was the fact that those U.S. diplomatic personnel who were killed during the George W. Bush administration died in circumstances other than an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission:
U.S. diplomatic missions around the world did come under attack a number of times during the Bush years, but those attacks killed foreigners, and in some cases American civilians – not serving U.S. diplomatic personnel:
Gotta love how Goodenough insists those deaths under the Bush administraiton don't count because they don't fit the exact circumstances of Benghazi.
Is CNS really this desperate to keep Benghazi alive that it must portray other deaths as insignificant by comparision?
CNS' Jeffrey Is Obsessively Counting Obama's Words Again Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey really did devote an entire July 11 article to this piece of worthless trivia:
Not counting instances when he quoted a letter from a citizen or cited dialogue from a movie, President Barack Obama used the first person singular--including the pronouns "I" and "me" and the adjective "my"--199 times in a speech he delivered Thursday vowing to use unilateral executive action to achieve his policy goals that Congress would not enact through the normal, constitutional legislative process.
Jeffrey is bizarrely upset that Obama's speech does not favorably compare to the Gettysburg address:
The White House presented Obama’s speech, which the president delivered at Austin’s Paramount Theatre, as “Remarks by the President on the Economy.” The remarks, the White House reports, ran 40 minutes, and the full transcript (including annotations for “laughter” and “applause”) is more than 5,500 words.
By contrast, President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettyburg Address was only 272 words--and did not include any form of the first person singular.
In President Obama’s speech, he used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds. At that rate, had Obama spoken for just 15 more minutes, he would have used the first person singular more than 272 times in one speech—exceeding all the words in the Gettysburg Address.
In one 68-word passage--in which he vowed to act unilaterally if Congress did not enact legislation he liked--Obama used the first person singular five more times than the zero times Lincoln used it in his 272 words at Gettysburg.
Jeffrey and CNS have a weird fixation on the words Obama uses -- Jeffrey even devoted a column to Obama's supposedly excessive use of the first person back in 2009. This ignores the fact that one analysis found “Obama has distinguished himself as the lowest I-word user of any of the modern presidents.”
CNS' Jeffrey Touts Pat Buchanan's Whitewashing Of Southern Strategy Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey spends his July 9 column slobbering over Pat Buchanan's new book on his work for the Nixon presidential campaign:
Wherever Nixon's merits and demerits place him among American presidents, Buchanan's first-person chronicle of how Nixon climbed back from a humiliating defeat in the 1962 California gubernatorial election to win the presidency in 1968 is not just a unique and enduring look at one of this nation's most interesting political campaigns but at a decade that changed America forever.
Buchanan's book is a great story told by a great storyteller. Along the way are first-person anecdotes that not only reveal how Buchanan's boss plotted and executed what may indeed have been the greatest comeback in American political history, but also how he prepared himself to use the presidency he won to deal with great international problems, including the Vietnam War and U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and China.
Jeffrey goes on to highlight one piece of Buchanan's work:
Buchanan anchored the right flank of Nixon's immediate staff, and part of his job was to help keep the conservative movement — which had backed Goldwater in 1964 — in Nixon's camp for 1968.
Beyond that was a longer-term political vision. "The crucial elements of the new majority I had in mind," writes Buchanan, "were the solid centrist GOP base that had stood by Nixon in 1960, the rising conservative movement, to which I belonged, the 'northern Catholic ethnics' of German, Irish, Italian, Polish and other East European descent, and the Southern Protestants, who saw themselves as abandoned by a Democratic Party moving leftward."
Jeffrey won't tell you, but Buchanan's plan is better known as the Southern Strategy -- which in large part sought to recruit racist whites unnerved by blacks' voting rights being protected.That was one of several racially divisive strategies Buchanan sought to implement on Nixon's behalf.
But Jeffrey doesn't want you to know that. After all, CNS also published Buchanan's column touting his whitewash.
CNS Still Considers Spending On LGBT Issues To Be A Waste of Money Topic: CNSNews.com
Last year, we documented how CNSNews.com's "Waste Watch" list disproportionately portrayed LGBT-related issues as evidence of wasteful federal spending. It's still doing it.
The latest "Waste Watch" item appears as a July 1 article by Melanie Hunter:
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $357,783 to the Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, Mass., to reduce health disparities in LGBTQ youth of color.
The purpose of the grant is described as “to establish a sustainable community-based participatory research process to reduce health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color.”
According to the grant, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) youth of color abuse alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt suicide “in high rates that are disproportionate to those of both white LGBTQ youth and heterosexual youth of color.”
Hunter didn't explain why she considers improving the health of gay youth to be a waste of money.
The latest employment numbers were very good news, with 288,000 new jobs created and the unemployment rate falling to 6.1 percent. But what's good news for the economy under a Democratic president is bad news for CNSNews.com, so it had a mission: Bury that good news under a pile of cherry-picked numbers.
And CNS did just that with an onslaught of articles:
None of these articles mentioned the fact that 288,000 jobs were created in June.
Additionally, an article by Penny Starr quoted an officials with the right-wing group Generation Opportunity -- described by Starr only as "a Millinneal think tank" with no mention of its ideological slant -- claiming that “My generation needs more jobs." That article, too, failed to mention that 288,000 jobs were created in June.