On Sept. 13, Chapman uncritically repeated a rant by anti-gay Rev. E.W. Jackson in which he asserted that the LGBT community "hates Christianity" and that gaywho "brag about their sin" are responsible for "all kinds of disorder and chaos and, yes, natural disasters and so forth."
Chapman then deliberately failed to get Chelsea Manning's name correct in a Sept. 14 article, referring to her as "Bradley 'Chelsea' Manning."Chapman did it again the next day, adding that Manning is "a former U.S. Army soldier who now identifies as a 'woman'."
Most media outlets identify transgender individuals to as they present themselves in public, but Chapman has decided he knows better than those biased, respectful journalists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has now branded hundreds of counties, cities, schools and U.S. military bases as potential catalysts to “unleash more turmoil and bloodshed” – because of their names.
The SPLC website says it has compiled a list of 1,503 place names, monuments and symbols it wants its supporters to demand be eradicated:
“We will never solve our community’s problems if an entire group of citizens is alienated or feels targeted for discrimination,” SPLC says.
But those quoted statements don't appear in the SPLC document to which Bannister links -- they are in a separate document.
And in neither of those documents does the SPLC assert that confederate monuments should be "eradicated," as Bannister claims. The document to which Bannister failed to link has a form letter stating that monuments should be moved to "an appropriate place," adding: "Confederate symbols belong in museums and on private property. In museums, we can learn their full history."
Bannister also asserted that the SPLC listed "The top 10 most hateful states, ranked by SPLC by number of offenses." IN fact, in neither document does the SPLC call these states "hateful."
Bannister is engaging in dishonesty that borders fakery. Ironic, since right-wingers love to attackk the SPLC for falsely labeling right-wing anti-gay groups as "hate groups."
CNS Inadvertently Lets Liberty Counsel Demostrate SPLC's 'Hate Group' Designation Is Correct Topic: CNSNews.com
It likely wasn't CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman's intent, but he gave Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver enough rope to hang himself.
In an Aug. 31 article, Chapman played stenographer to Staver's rant against the Southern Poverty Law Center listing "Christian and conservative organizations" as hate groups "is not unlike how the Nazis treated the Jews." Needless to say -- and we can assume this because Chapman did not transcribe it -- Staver didn't mention the fact that these groups' unambiguously demonstated hatred toward gays is the reason the SPLC gave them the "hate group" designation.
Chapman then touted Staver's own brand of malicious hate:
Earlier, [radio host Jim] Schneider asked about white supremacy and how an estimated 266 black children are killed every day in America by abortion.
Staver said, “Well, talk about white supremacy! That’s exactly what [Planned Parenthood founder] Margaret Sanger was all about. She wanted ultimately to create a super race. She was a social Darwinist, and she wanted to eliminate certain populations, including the black population. That’s why she put her then-contraception, later-abortion clinics into these minority neighborhoods to stop the reproduction of these minority communities, and including the African American community."
In fact, Sanger was not a "white supremacist" and did not seek to eliminate the "black population."
Sanger also ranted:
"One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: 'Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.' When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League."
In fact, a review of Stoddard's book in the Birth Control Review, which Sanger ran for several hears, was critical of it.
Staver also invoked the Ernst Rudin article in the Birth Control Review years after Sanger let the publication, as well as an out-of-context reference to Sanger's speech to a KKK auxiliary.
Staver is spreading malicious lies -- thus demonstrating why groups like his are labeled as hate groups by the SPLC. (And we haven't even gotten around to mentioning Liberty Counsel's suspected role in helping a woman it represented flee the country with her child in order to avoid having to share custody with her former lesbian partner.
As a side note, it's telling about the state of journalism at CNS that Chapman couldn't be bothered to do a fact-check on Staver, despite the numerous falsehoods we found in his rant.
Irony: CNS Relies on Liberal Media to Cover Hurricane Topic: CNSNews.com
As much as the Media Research Center loves to bash the "liberal media," its "news" division, CNSNews.com, has relied on it -- for instance, being a longtime subscriber to the Associated Press, which was discontinued earlier this year for unexplained reasons.
CNS' weekend coverage of Hurricane Irma is another example. Now that CNS can no longer repeat the right-wing talking point about the length of time between "major" hurricanes hitting the U.S., it has to find other ways of covering news (and, no, taking stenography from the Trump administration does not count). A Sept. 10 article promised "Live Coverage of Hurricane Irma."
But the article, credited to "CNSNews.com Staff," states only:
For live coverage of Hurricane Irma, you can go to the websites of:
That's right: This right-wing "news" organization must rely on the normally despised "liberal media" -- WTFS is an ABC affiliate, and the Miami TV station linked to above is owned and operated by CBS -- to cover actual news.
Apparently, the MRC doesn't think the evil "liberal media" isn't that evil after all. But will they ever say so in public?
CNS Attempts A Slightly Less Lame Right-Wing Attack on SPLC Topic: CNSNews.com
An anonymously written Aug. 25 CNSNews.com "news" article highlights how "Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia criticized the Southern Poverty Law Center for falsely labeling the Alliance Defending Freedom as a 'hate group,'" specifically defending anti-gay group Alliance Defending Freedom.
In addition to the usual boilerplate defense of ADF, the anonynous CNS writer surprisingly goes beyond previous ConWebattacks on the SPLC -- though it presents ADF's description of itself as fact instead of opinion -- and actually cites the SPLC document that makes the group's case against ADF:
The Alliance Defending Freedom is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to “advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has labelled the ADF an “anti-LBGT [sic] hate group.”
On its website, the SPLC has posted a timeline of things the ADF has said and done over the years that the SPLC believes has earned it the label “hate group.”
The timeline starts in 2000 with this item: “The ADF helps fund and strategize the filing of a key amicus (friend of the court) briefs on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America in Dale v. Boy Scouts of America, in which a gay assistant Scoutmaster sued the BSA for expelling him because of its ban on gay members and leaders.”
The SPLC’s timeline goes on to state that in 2014: “ADF sends a letter to school districts around the country stating that no school is legally beholden to implement trans-inclusive policies and allow trans students to access bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify. The letter denies the gender identity of such students and claims that such inclusive policies are allowing opposite sex students to access the facilities, which is ‘dangerous.’ ‘It is simply unfathomable that a school district would cave to activist demands that students have access to restroom and locker room facilities dedicated to the opposite sex.’”
Of course, CNS is cherry-picking the more benign examples from SPLC's timeline. No mention of, say, the assertion by former ADF leader Alan Sears that the campaign for gay rights is "a war of propaganda, just as Hitler did so masterfully in Nazi Germany," its pushing of the discredited link between homosexuality and pedophilia, or Sears' saying of gays that "there is no room for compromise with those who would call evil 'good.'"
The anonymous CNS writer went on to cite "a blog posted on the ADF website" that "hit back at the SPLC," but did not mention that the blog post does not refute any of the evidence the SPLC cites against it.
NEW ARTICLE: The Life and Death of A Right-Wing Talking Point Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loved to suggest global warming doesn't exist by highlighting the amount of time between "major" hurricanes hitting the U.S. -- until Hurricane Harvey put an end to that narrative. Read more >>
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Now With Slightly Less Distortion Topic: CNSNews.com
Apparently, even the big Trump flip on unemployment reporting at CNSNews.com -- in which CNS switched from being relentlessly negative under President Obama to relentlessly positive under President Trump despite the jobless numbers trending roughly the same way -- has its limits.
For her main article on August's unemployment numbers, Susan Jones did what she usually did under Obama and has rarely done under Trump -- lead with unpleasant statistics about the relatively low labor force participation rate:
Heading into the Labor Day weekend, the latest jobs report is a disappointment.
Tthe number of Americans over age 16 who are not in the labor force – for whatever reason – remained stubbornly high in August, at 94,785,000. That is partly attributed to the rising number of retirements among Baby Boomers.
Of course, Jones rarely mentioned the Baby Boomer factor in playing guilt-by-assocation in blaming low labor force participation on Obama.
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey contributed his usual article on manufacturing jobs, but he remained on message in dishonestly blaming a decline in them on Obama and crediting Trump's election for an increase:
When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were 12,561,000 people employed in manufacturing in the United States. But in the next month, February 2009, manufacturing employment dropped to 12,380,000. Manufacturing employment would eventually dropped to 11,4530,000 [sic] in February and March of 2010.
Last November, at the time Donald Trump was elected president, there were 12,325,000 employed in manufacturing. That rose to 12,343,000 in December—and since then has climbed to the 12,480,000 it reached in August, an increase of 155,000 since last year’s election and 137,000 so far for this calendar year.
Jeffrey doesn't mention that the country was in the middle of a recession when Obama took office, nor does he explain why Obama doesn't get credit for the increase of nearly 2 million manufacturing jobs between the 2010 low and the election (or afterward, since it's unlikely that any action Trump has taken can be directly attributed to the increase).
Jeffrey also contributed his usual article on the number of government jobs. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman added for only the second time under Trump his regular Obama-era feature on black unemployment vs. white unemployment; Chapman finally concedes that high black unemployment is a longtime trend, though he'll only admit that it's been since 2007 (as we've noted, it's been that way since statistics were first compiled in 1972).
The Late Chuck Colson Is Still Earning Bylines At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Looks like Chuck Colson remains the hardest-working dead guy at CNSNews.com, still earning bylines despite the fact that he died in 2012.
Now, though, Colson is sharing bylines with an actual living person -- John Stonestreet, who now heads the BreakPoint ministry Colson founded. A July 28 CNS column appears to be nothing more than a transcript from a BreakPoint radio show, with Stonestreet doing an introduction followed by a rerun Colson commentary, this one on how archaeology allegedly proves the Bible is true.
CNS took the same lazy transcript approach with a Aug. 25 column, but for a more callous cause -- this time, denying the humanity of transgenders. (Not a surprise, given the anti-LGBT hate of CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman.) Stonestreet touts anti-transgender "renowned psychiatrist" Paul McHugh, formerly of Johns Hopkins University, followed by a clip of Colson intoning a stereotyped, mean-spirited view of transgenders:
You see them at night in big cities: men dressed up as women, complete with makeup, jewelry, and high heels. Despite their best efforts, it’s not a pretty sight. Nor is the sight of men who take a more drastic step: undergoing so-called sex-re-assignment surgery.
As we've documented, McHugh's views on transgenders have been widely discredited -- something Stonestreet doesn't mention. Inastead, there's an snide editor's note: "This commentary first aired on June 5, 2005. Johns Hopkins University has recently, and tragically, resumed sex-reassignment surgeries."
Interesting, in neither of these columns does Stonestreet or CNS explicitly point out that Colson is dead. That would seem to be a necessary, important disclosure, given that the byline suggests otherwise.
CNS Managing Editor Pens A Political Attack, Calls It 'News' Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman huffs in an Aug. 18 "news" article:
When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was Speaker of the House for four years (2007-2010), at least 709,885 black babies were killed by abortion, which is 35.4% of all the abortions during those years, according to the Abortion Surveillance reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In all, that equals 709,885 black abortions -- 35.4% of the total -- during the four years that Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, based upon the areas that reported to the CDC.
There were a total 1,918,419 abortions during those four years.
Blacks make up 13.3% of the U.S. population, according to theCensus Bureau.
In 2015, Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, presented then-Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) with the Margaret Sanger Award. The award is Planned Parenthood's "highest honor" and is named for a woman who believed in breeding better humans through eugenics and even promoted her birth control philosophy to female members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
What is the "news" hook that justifies the existence of this article? None that we're aware of -- the Margaret Sanger Award Pelosi received was two years ago. What direct link does Pelosi have to the number of black women having abortions? None. What relevance does the number of abortions among blacks have to any current debate about abortion, expecially given that no organized campaign led by Planned Parenthood or anyone else exists for force black women to have abortions? None.
In other words, Chapman is simply making a partisan political attack and, yes, presenting it as "news" -- it does appears in the "news" section of CNS.
One side note: As proof of Sanger's speaking to "female members of the Ku Klux Klan," Chapman links to a 2015 CNS column by right-wing historian Paul Kengor in which he's responding to me (though he refused to use my name) after I had called him out for distorting the events surrounding Sanger's talk and for misleading about Sanger in general. Kengor didn't condede his factual failings, of course, but he effectively admits he's exploiting the alleged ambiguity of Sanger's words to present the worst possible interpretation of them as fact in order to smear her as a virulent racist.
CNS Is The Mark Levin's Official Stenographer, Apparently Topic: CNSNews.com
We alreadyknow CNSNews.com is the unofficial stenographer for the Trump administration. But CNS serves also serves as the (apparently) semi-official stenographer for right-wing radio host Mark Levin.
CNS' parent, the Media Reseach Center, has long been in a business relationship with Levin regarding mutual promotion, which is still in force as far as we know. That would certainly explain the frequency at which CNS simply transcribes something Levin said on his radio show.
Indeed, so far in the month of August alone, CNS has a whopping 16 articles of Levin stenography:
In addition, there was a CNS post transcribing a Levin guest host, Ben Shapiro.
No radio host is that newsworthy -- that's more than one stenography session every two days. That frequency tells us the CNS standard on Levin is not newsworthiness at all but, rather, keeping up its end of a business deal. If true, that makes these "articles" advertising, not "news," and they should be identified as such.
Harvey Ends CNS' Years Of Writing About How Long It's Been Since A 'Major Hurricane' Topic: CNSNews.com
Over the past couple years, CNSNews.com has loved to tout how long it's been since a "major hurricane" has made landfall in the U.S. -- making sure to define "major hurricane" as narrowly as possible -- as an (failed) argument agains global warming. Hurricane Harvey, however, has forced CNS to change its arguments -- though not its conclusion, since that's right-wing dogma, since climate denialism is right-wing dogma that can't be disputed.
On Aug. 24, reporter Susan Jones bid a fond farewell to that longtime template: "Thursday, August 24, 2017 marks a record 142 straight months since the last major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States. But that record major-hurricane drought may be coming to an end." She continued CNS' arbitrary designation of "major hurricane" as one being category 3 or higher.
The next day, as Harvey bore down on Texas, Jones seemingly contradicted CNS' previous talking point by pointing out how hurricanes hit Texas seemingly all the time: "A total of 63 hurricanes have made landfall in Texas since record-keeping began in 1851, according to data posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Harvey would be number 64." She also included a list of hurricanes that hit Texas, highlighting how many years it was between hurricanes.
That was followed a couple hours later by another Jones article, in which she flip-flopped again by downplaying how many "major hurricanes" there have been:
Major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 or higher, have made direct landfall in the continental United States in every decade since 1851, except for the present decade. That may change tonight.
Since 1851, when the government started keeping records, 274 hurricanes have made direct landfall in the continental United States (see note below), according to data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Of those 274 direct-landfall hurricanes, only 94, or 34.30 percent, have been "major" storms, defined as Category 3 or higher, with winds at or above 111 miles an hour.
A note at the end of Jones' article demonstrated just how narrowly she was defining things: "The 274 direct-landfall number excludes hurricanes that did not make landfall in the continental U.S. but may have produced hurricane-force winds on land from locations offshore; and it excludes four storms that made landfall in Mexico, producing hurricane-force winds in Texas."
Finally, when Harvey made landfall, Jones wrote a rare weekend article with a final body count, as it were: "Hurricane Harvey roared ashore near Corpus Christie as Category 4 storm late Friday night, breaking a record 4,323-day (142-month, 12-year) major hurricane drought." And, of course, morecaveats about how narrowly she's defining things:
Since 2005, only nine relatively minor hurricanes (Categories 1 or 2 – and yes, they can be damaging) have made direct landfall in the United States.
That does not include the devastating superstorm Sandy, which approached New Jersey as a Category 1 hurricane, but transitioned into a “post-tropical cyclone” just before making landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. in October 2012, according to the National Weather Service.
(As noted above, Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the crowded New York-N.J.-New England area during Obama’s term, but it was not a hurricane when it hit land.)
Jones concluded her article with a little Trump stenography, this time transcribing Trump's Harvey-related tweets.
CNS Reporter Contradicts Herself to Promote Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter does her dutiful Trump stenography in an Aug. 16 article:
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is ending two of his economic councils following an exodus from both in the wake of his comments regarding the violence in Charlottesville.
"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" the president tweeted.
But Arter's next two paragraphs directly contradict the first two:
Executives on Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum agreed to disband as a group, according to a member of the council, so it would have more impact, CNBC reports.
"The thinking was it was important to do as a group," a member told CNBC. "As a panel, not as individuals because it would have more significant impact. It makes a central point that it's not going to go forward. It's done."
Arter never addresses this contradiction. Why? Perhaps because she would have to admit that Trump is lying. This is a pattern at CNS; Arter's fellow reporter Susan Jones similarly buried the fact that Trump's Twitter rants about Amazon not paying taxes are factually incorrect.
Speaking of which: An Aug. 16 CNS article by Jones returned to the issue with a glancing reference to a Trump Amazon-bashing tweet: "In his first tweet this morning, Trump wrote: 'Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!'" This time, however, Jones completely censored the fact that Trump is wrong and that Amazon does, in fact, collect and pay state sales taxes.
CNS is becoming even less the "news" site it claims to be and even more of a Trump protection organization.
CNS Blogger Tries to Spin Away Trump Reneging On Border Wall Topic: CNSNews.com
We already know CNSNews.com blogger Craig Bannister is a terrible media analyst. We now also know he's a rather desperate spinmeister for the Trump administration.
After transcripts of President Trump's conversation with the president of Mexico went public, Bannister used an Aug. 3 CNS post to spin away the negative parts of it:
On Thursday, The Washington Post published purportedly-leaked, classified transcripts of President Donald Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia - but, the worst thing The Post could find to headline its expose’ is that Trump asked Mexico’s president to stop saying he’s against a border wall.
The Post’s top six ‘Highlights” from the Trump-Nieto conservation, according to its “annotated transcripts” are:
“Trump threatens potential tariffs on Mexican goods,”
“Trump vows to help fight the ‘tough hombres’ driving the Mexican drug trade,”
“Trump seems to acknowledge that his threats to make Mexico pay had left him had left him cornered politically,”
Trump asks that they avoid publicly disagreeing over how the wall will be funded
Trump describes the wall as ‘the least important thing we are talking about,’”
Trump tells Peña Nieto to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay for the wall.
Thus, the biggest scoops from The Post’s claimed leaked documents are that an American president:
Threatened to use tariffs,
Wants to fight drug smuggling,
Says it’ll make him look bad if he doesn’t deliver on his promise,
Discourages public opposition,
Says there are more important problems to tackle than building a border wall, and
Discourages public opposition (See above).
Of course, Bannister is ignoring that Trump is effectively admitting that he's reneging on his own campaign promise to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. But Bannister cannot admit that's happening, so he must spin things to trying to falsely turn this into a fake-news nothingburger.
This is the kind of so-called analysis for which the MRC is paying Bannister the big bucks.
CNS Disappears Trump's Originial, Deficient Statement on Charlottesville Topic: CNSNews.com
Melanie Arter dutifully transcribed in an Aug. 14 CNSNews.com article:
In an impromptu speech at the White House on Monday, President Donald Trump specifically called out white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The president said anyone who commits violence in the name of racism are “criminals and thugs,” and specifically named the KKK, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis.
“Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said.
Curiously missing from Arter's article: Any mention of Trump's statement two days earlier in which he failed to specifically call out white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, criticism over which appears to have forced Trump's "impromptu speech" being more specific.
The following day, Arter wrote up Trump's wild remarks about Charlottesville that took stenography to a new level -- she simply presented Trump's remarks as matter-of-fact as possible and made no mention of the controversy over them. Wouldn't want inconvenient facts to get in the way of the stenography, after all.
Arter also asserted that "The president's comments come a day after he specifically condemned the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who took part in demonstrations in Charlottesville." Needless to say, Arter didn't mention Trump's deficient original statement in this article either.
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Managing Editor of Gay-Bashing Topic: CNSNews.com
Michael W. Chapman uses his Media Research Center-provided platform to push the idea that gays and lesbians are literally the spawn of Satan. Read more >>