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Friday, October 24, 2014
CNS' Starr Gives Platform To Homophobic Minister
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr writes in an Oct. 24 CNSNews.com article:

Rev. David Welch, one of five pastors who were subpoenaed by the City of Houston to turn over all sermons and other documents and communications related to homosexuality and gender identity, said Wednesday that the move represents a much broader agenda of the city’s lesbian mayor and other gay rights activists.

“This is the result of our allowing these critical institutions to fall into the hands of those who are of an opposite world view who are intentionally and systematically deconstructing God’s created order,” said Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council.

“The ungodly abuse of power and, frankly, just evil abuse of that … steals the freedom and ultimately the moral framework of the culture and ultimately attacks the minds and hearts of our children,” Welch said during a conference call set up by the Family Research Council to encourage pastors across the country to take part in the “I Stand Sunday” rally on Nov. 2 in Houston in support of the Texas clergy, who are fighting the subpoena and an ordinance passed by the city to allow transgender individuals to use any public restroom.

As we've documented, Welch -- a former WorldNetDaily columnist -- is a rabid homophobe who portrayed the elecion of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian, as a moral failing of the citizenry, criticized pastor Joel Osteen for offering up a prayer at Parker's inauguration, and has likened the existence of gays to a controlled demolition of church buildings. After complaining that one pastor "made no formal endorsement of either side" on an anti-discrimination ordinance, Welch added: "It sounds like his gender identity may be up for question. If that sounds harsh, so be it."

Yet Starr apparently thinks Welch is a reasonable person to interview.

Incidentially, Starr quotes nobody in her article who supports Houston's non-discrimination ordinance, a seeming violation of CNS' mission statement that it "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:21 PM EDT
Thursday, October 23, 2014
CNS Bashes Obama For Doing Too Much -- And Too Little -- About Ebola
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey used his Oct. 22 column to mock President Obama for allegedly overreacting to a suspected case of Ebola:

So here we have the opening scene in this drama of Obama Era health care: An American vomits in a parking lot. Pentagon police close in. Someone alleges this American indicated she had visited West Africa. The parking lot is sealed. Traffic stopped. A Hazmat team arrives. A bus the American had boarded before vomiting is quarantined in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol with a contingent of Marines on board. An ambulance brings the American to one of the nation’s finest hospitals—and she is turned away.

After all, she had vomited near the Pentagon.

[...]

The American who had vomited near the Pentagon did not have Ebola, after all. She did not even need to be tested for it.

But before the government and its health-care system discovered that she did not need to be tested for Ebola, she did need to be approached by a HazMat team, turned away by one of the nation’s top hospitals, and perceived as a reasonable cause for U.S. Marines to be quarantined on Capitol Hill.

[...]

In the Washington suburbs last week, we did not see the government dealing with an isolated case of Ebola. We saw it dealing with an American who did not have Ebola.

If that makes you want to vomit, steer clear of the Pentagon.

Jefrey's mockery might make more sense if the website he runs hadn't played up the Pentagon incident.

Two days earlier, CNS published an article by Brittany Hughes headlined "Obama Repeats: You Can’t Get Ebola on a Bus—Day After Bus Quarantined in D.C.,"in which Obama was mocked for allegedly downplaying the risk of Ebola:

On Saturday--one day after a bus that had departed from the Pentagon was quarantined on Capitol Hill in an Ebola false alarm--President Barack Obama issued a video message to Americans telling them that "you cannot get it [Ebola] from just riding on a plane or a bus."

“Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch. It's not transmitted through the air like the flu," Obama said in his weekly video message. "You cannot get it from just riding on a plane or a bus."

But on Friday, a bus was quarantined on Virginia Avenue, SE, in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C.--in what turned out to be an Ebola false alarm.

Jeffrey can't have it both ways by simultaneously bashing Obama for overreacting and underreacting to Ebola. But since the goal of his logical contradictions is to bash Obama, he will pretend he can anyway.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
CNS Pushes Zombie Lie Of 'Failed' Stimulus
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister writes in an Oct. 20 CNSNews.com blog post:

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest is selling the idea that Rob Klain will make a good Ebola Czar - even without any Ebola expertise - because of his work on the $830 billion failed Stimulus.

[...]

But, at more than $200,000 spent per job created/saved - $2 million per job in some cases - the $830 billion Stimulus was anything but a success.

Bannister's insistence that the stimulus "failed" is at odds with reality. PolitiFact states that such simplistic per-job calculations -- Bannister's backup for his claim of "more than $200,000 spent per job created/saved" is a 2011 CNS article simply dividing the amount spent on the stimulus by the number of jobs created -- are misleading because the stimulus money went toward a range of projects and programs including tax breaks, not just for salaries.

Futher, the Associated Press points out that Bannister's simplistic calculation ignores the value of the work produced -- "Any cost-per-job figure pays not just for the worker, but for material, supplies and that worker's output - a portion of a road paved, patients treated in a health clinic, goods shipped from a factory floor, railroad tracks laid" -- and also counts only jobs created to date, not those created over the life of the stimulus-funded contract.

Bannister's repeating of a discredited right-wing myth proves that promoting zombie lies isn't just the purpose of WorldNetDaily.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 8:59 PM EDT
Thursday, October 16, 2014
NEW ARTICLE: The Unbalanced Barbara Hollingsworth
Topic: CNSNews.com
The CNS senior editor isn't big on reporting both sides of the story or disclosing the right-wing nature of her sources. She also let a Scientology-linked attack on psychiatric drugs stand unchallenged. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EDT
Monday, October 13, 2014
CNS' Starr Doesn't Fact-Check Anti-Abortion Propaganda
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr uncritically writes in an Oct. 10 CNSNews.com article:

Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday that despite his and other congressmens’ efforts to hold Communist China accountable for its one-child, forced abortion policy, President Barack Obama and his administration are not only ignoring the policy but are advancing the “brutal program.”

“I respectfully submit that not only is the Obama administration turning a blind eye to the atrocities being committed under the one-child policy, but it is even contributing financial support--contrary to U.S. law--to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),” Smith said in a keynote address at the event.

“Under Presidents Reagan, Bush and Bush, Mr. Obama, unlike them, has thus far provided $227 million in tax payer funds--grant money--to the UNFPA, an organization that supports, plans, implements, defends--and maybe for international audiences this is most important--whitewashes the Chinese government’s brutal program.”

Smith, who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairs its subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization, was referring to his and other Republicans’ 1984 legislation that became law as a part of a foreign aid bill that prohibits funding organizations  like UNFPA that support China’s one-child and forced abortion policy.

If Starr had bothered to fact-check Smith's statements, she would have found  plenty of doube about his claim that UNFPA supported "forced abortion" in China. As UNFPA itself points out:

The State Department team investigated UNFPA-supported projects in China and submitted a report in May stating, based on what we heard, saw, and read, we find no evidence that UNFPA has knowingly supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in the PRC [People's Republic of China]. Indeed, UNFPA has registered its strong opposition to such practices.

NARAL Pro-Choice America notes that Smith's claim is "misinformation" spread by "anti-choice lawmakers" seeking to deny funding for family-planning programs.

This information is easily found with a simple Google search. Either Starr couldn't be bothered to do that search, or she decided to suppress that information because it conflicted with her and her employer's anti-abortion crusade.

That makes Starr either dumb or dishonest. Either way, she's a lousy reporter.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 PM EDT
Sunday, October 5, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's a new month, and you know what that means: Time for CNSNews.com to bury the good news and cherry-pick any bad news about the latest unemployment numbers.

For September, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent with 248,000 jobs created. By contrast, this is what CNS reported:

Only one of these articles noted the drop in the unemployment rate (and even then not until the sixth paragraph), and none mentioned the fact that 248,000 jobs were added. All three articles were written by Ali Meyer

That first story, by the way, is a lazy rewrite of an article from last month by Meyer, which carried the suspiciously similar headline "Record 92,269,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 36-Year Low." That's a demonstration of how CNS reports an agenda instead of reporting the news.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 5, 2014 10:12 PM EDT
Monday, September 29, 2014
CNS' Hollingsworth Provides An Uncritical Platform For Factually Challenged Climate Denier
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've documented, CNSNews.com's Barbara Hollingsworth is way into serving as a stenographer for right-wing causes but not so much into fact-checking or talking to more than one source for a story. She performs her stenography services once again in a Sept. 24 CNS article:

According to the datasets used last year, October 1st will mark the 18th year of “no significant warming trend in surface average temperature," says Patrick Michaels, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science.
And even if the current 18-year trend were to end, it would still take nearly 25 years for average global temperature figures to reflect the change, said Michaels, who has a Ph.D. in ecological climatology and spent three decades as a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.

Sooner or later, even Al Gore and the numerous scientists, academics and politicians who agree with him that “Earth has a fever” will have to admit that their climate models predicting catastrophic global warming were off by a long shot, said Michaels, who was also a contributing editor to the United Nations’ second Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

“It has to be admitted eventually that too much warming was forecast too fast. That just has to happen. You can’t go on and on and on,” he told CNSNews.com.

“If the surface temperature resumed the warming rate that we observed from, say 1977 through 1998, we would still go close to a quarter of a century without significant net warming because there’s such a long flat period built into the record now. “

Hollingsworth, of course, can't be bothered to seek anyone out who might counter Michaels' assertions, even though he has a history of getting things wrong. But because they are apparently of one mind in being climate change deniers, Hollingsworth gives Michaels the benefit of the doubt and treats his claims as undisputed fact.

Indeed, Michaels' central claim, that there has been no global warming for 18 years, is misleading. As we've documented, Michael's claim relies on cherry-picked data and choosing an arbitrary starting point; meanwhile, the long-term trend demonstrates continued global warming.

Hollingsworth also gullibly swallows Michaels' assertion of Arctic ice: “And if you take a close look at the Arctic data, it appears the decline stopped somewhere around 2005/2006, which means we’ve almost had ten years without any net loss in Arctic ice." In fact, Arctic ice remains near record lows.

Hollingsworth has a history of mindlessly repeating the claims of climate deniers.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
Monday, September 22, 2014
CNS-Mark Levin Lack of Disclosure Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It appears that CNSNews.com remains incapable of being honest with its readers about its relationship with Mark Levin, despite presenting itself as a "news" operation that purports to abide by journalistic standards including disclosure of conflicts of interest.

A Sept. 17 CNS item by Michael Morris plays stenograher to Levin's pearls of wisdom yet again,  detailing how Levin "addressed Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Justice Thurgood Marshall, 'leftists, liberals, and statists' about the issue of race." The next day, a "news" article by Susan Jones transcribed how Levin declared that "We're surrounded by knuckleheads, and the problem is, they're supposed to be protecting the country."

Neither item mentioned the fact that CNS, through its parent the Media Research Center, is in a business arrangement with Levin in which Levin promotes the MRC on his radio show and the MRC touts Levin's endorsement.

On top of that, CNS reporter Penny Starr goes all fangirl on Twitter: "Outstanding routine from Levin tonight on big government! You are awesome!"

CNS should just officially give up the pretense to objectivity and declare that it will fluff conservatives and refuse to treat liberals fairly. That's what Starr, Jones and the rest of the CNS crew are already doing.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:48 PM EDT
Friday, September 12, 2014
CNS Doesn't Disclose Bozell's Link to Catholic League
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Sept. 11 CNSNews.com article by Michael Chapman reports on how "Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said he will not march in the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City." The article is almost exclusive filled with quotes from Donohue; Chapman apparently couldn't be bothered to contact any parade organizers for their response to Donohue.

Another thing Chapman couldn't be bothered to do: Disclose that his boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, is on the Catholic League's board of advisers. The MRC loves to hide Bozell's connections to right-wing Catholic groups.

Remember, Chapman is CNS' managing editor. The fact that such a high-ranking official would write an article that is completely one-sided and lacks fundamental disclosure tells you all you need to know about journalism standards -- or the lack thereof -- at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:42 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
CNS-Mark Levin Logrolling Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

A few weeks back, we detailed how the Media Research Center promotes the pearls of wisdom that drip from Mark Levin's mouth -- and shield him from criticism of the more offensive things that spew from it -- without disclosing that the MRC pays Levin to promote it on his radio show.

The MRC continues to show no interest in doing that basic bit of disclosure -- not even its ostensible news division CNSNews.com, which by pretending to be a journalistic organization is actually obligated to disclose such conflicts of interest.

A Sept. 4 CNS blog post by Michael Morris transcribes Levin's claim that any American who fights with ISIS automatically relinquishes their U.S. citizenship. Morris followed up with a Sept. 9 blog post in which he plays stenographer to a Levin rant about the IRS.

Neither of Morris' posts mention the fact that the MRC and Levin have a business relationship. Some things never change.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 PM EDT
Monday, September 8, 2014
CNS Gives Ben Carson's Obama Falsehood A Pass
Topic: CNSNews.com

When conservative darling Ben Carson dishonestly claimed that President Obama said that America is “not a Judeo-Christian nation,” CNSNews.com managing editor Michael Chapman wasn't going to correct him. In fact, he put the claim in the headline of his Sept. 2 article on Carson's remarks:

Chapman went on to present Carson's claim as fact:

Neurosurgeon and best-selling author Dr. Ben Carson said that although President Barack Obama has claimed America is “not a Judeo-Christian nation,” he is not the one to decide that point, we the people “get to decide that.”

“We as Americans have certain beliefs and cultures that led us to the pinnacle of the world,” said Dr. Carson while speaking at the 8th Annual Defending the American Dream Summit on Friday in Dallas, Texas.

“One of those things is that we are a people of faith,” he said.  “I know the president has said that we are not a Judeo-Christian nation. But guess what? He doesn’t get to decide that, we get to decide that.”

[...]

President Barack Obama has on several occasions stressed his belief that America is not a Judeo-Christian nation.

It's not ubntil the very last paragraph that Chapman hints -- but won't actually say -- that Carson's words were inaccurate and out of context:

Back on April 6, 2009, during a press conference with the president of Turkey, President Obama said, "Although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values. I think modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles.”

Chapman, mind you, is CNS' managing editor. The fact that he privileges a falsehood says a lot about how CNS operates and how little its journalism can be trusted.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
Saturday, September 6, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's a new month, which means it's time once again for CNSNews.com to find ways to avoid reporting good news about the economy.

Instead of reading that 142,000 jobs were created and that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%, here's what CNS wanted to report instead:

None of these articles noted the number of jobs created or the drop in the unemployment rate.

If there's good news about the economy under a Democratic president, you'll never read about it at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
Friday, September 5, 2014
CNS Promotes Scientology-Linked Attack On Psychiatric Drugs
Topic: CNSNews.com

Barbara Hollingsworth devotes a Sept. 4 CNSNews.com article to Dr. Bart Billings, "a retired Army psychologist who has treated thousands of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder," who claims that "there is 'a direct correlation' between the increased use of psychiatric medications to treat PTSD and the high rate of military suicides."

As per usual, Hollingsworth fails to allow anyone to rebut Billings' views. Perhaps she should have. This is how she ends the lengthy article:

Billings was the recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Award by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which has produced a documentary, “The Hidden Agenda,” on the use of use of psychiatric drugs in the military.

Hollingsworth doesn't mention that CCHR was created by the church of Scientology with the goal of attack the field of psychiatry. Despite the name, as Stephen Wiseman points out, it's not a human rights organization at all.

And the CCHR has returned the love, reprinting Hollingsworth's article on its own website.

Ironically, earlier this year CNS' Penny Starr criticized U.S. Health and Human Services and Planned Parenthood officials for holding an event about birth control at the Church of Scientology’s National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.

CNS certainly knows what Scientology is all about. So why is it promoting a Scientology-linked attack on psychiatry?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
Thursday, August 21, 2014
CNS Rehashes 2-Month-Old Anti-Transgender Attack
Topic: CNSNews.com

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:40 PM EDT
Monday, August 18, 2014
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EDT

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