NewsBusters Blogger Insists Clinton's Link to Epstein Is More Important Than Trump's Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein whines in a Feb. 22 MRC NewsBusters post:
Court documents show that Bill Clinton took at least 26 trips on convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein's notorious "Lolita Express" party plane. There's no indication that Donald Trump ever did. But in a segment on Epstein on her MSNBC show today, Joy Reid managed to refer to President Trump six times, accompanied by extended photo displays of Trump in Epstein's company.
Number of times Reid mentioned Lolita Express frequent flyer Clinton? A New York bagel, of course.
It's almost cute how Finkelstein is pretending that Trump has no links whatsoever to Epstein. As we've documented, Trump has flown at least once on the "Lolita Express," Epstein hung out at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, and one of Epstein's sex trafficking victiitems was recruited while working as a 15-year-old towel girl at Mar-a-Lago. Additionally, the attorney who cut the deal that let Epstein get off with a relative slap on the wrist, Alexander Acosta, is Trump's labor secretary.
(There's also the fact that Trump is currently the president while Clinton has not been for quite some time.)
Additionally, the video montage Finkelstein supplies is a bit on the curious side. Two of the instances are of Reid edited to say only "Donald Trump" without context, which tells us that Finkelstein is trying to hide something. One reference noted the fact that Trump ws a friend of Epstein, another noted the link to Acosta, and a fifth noted Trump's previous praise of Epstein.
This is the first time Finkelstein has tried an Epstein deflection; in 2016, he wanted to talk about Clinton's connection to Epstein instead of former Republican congressman Dennis Hastert's admission to molesting children.
NewsBusters Blogger Tries to Justify Black Guest's Eviction From Hotel Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters blogger Brad Wilmouth complained in a Jan. 1 post that "CNN has devoted a substantial amount of time to hyping the story of a black man who complained about racial discrimination after he was evicted from a DoubleTree hotel in Portland, Oregon. Two employees were fired for the incident." Wilmouth snarked that the security guard who challenged the guest "should have known he was going to be on CNN in heavy rotation....and out of a job," then tried to justify that the man deserved to be evicted from the hotel he was staying at because "became loud" after being challeged about being in the lobby:
Viewers could see why a black man would feel singled out. But you also wonder why, if he wanted privacy, [guest Jermaine] Massey didn't simply go to his room. Other guests appeared to be walking to their rooms, and not "loitering" in the lobby. It's also obvious that taking Massey to his room to get his things would certainly demonstrate he was a guest at the hotel.
In contrast with the other networks, Friday's CBS This Morning did at least inform viewers that, according to the police report, Massey "became loud and started yelling that the hotel was racist."
He also allegedly got angry and slid a hotel Bibleacross the floor while berating the security guard as he packed his items in his room, according to the police report. “While he was getting his belongings he took the Bible from the hotel room and slid it across the carpet toward [security guard Earl] Meyers and told him he needed to read it and learn how to be a human.”
Wilmouth is leaving out certain details that more fully explain the story. According to a news article to which Wilmouth links, Massey had just returned to the hotel following a concert and had stayed in the lobby to return a phone call to his mother when the security guard approached him and demanded that he prove he was staying at the hotel or leave. When Massey couldn't immediately give the guard his room number, the guard had the manager call police. Massey claims he was singled out because he was a black man wearing a hoodie while white guests in the lobby were not similarly questioned.
Rather then demanding that the hotel explain why it singled Massey out in an instance of what looks to all the world like racial profiling, Wilmouth seems to believe the man deserved to be thrown out of the hotel because he objected to being singled out.
MRC's Sports Blogger Goes Into Cognitive Dissonance Mode Again Over Ray Lewis Topic: NewsBusters
Mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger Jay Maxson just loves how former NFL star Ray Lewis is so religious -- so much, in fact, that Maxson conveniently forgets Lewis' involvement in a double murder that he ultimately plea-bargained down to obstruction of justice, and that Lewis has yet to come fully clean about his involvement in the deaths.
Maxson went into cognitive dissonance mode again in a Jan. 3 post complaining that a "lefty" sports blog called Awful Announcing "shamed" Lewis "for his faith." Maxson was mad that Awful Announcing pointed out how Lewis "uses every opportunity to talk about how religious and holier-than-thou he is," specifically claiming that current NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. "has removed God from his life" in relation to a off-the-field incident involving a model and "potential drugs" that did not result in any league sanctions against Beckham.
Maxson also noted another of the blog's slams against Lewis: "Ah, yes, the man known for his guilty plea to obstruction of justice after the murders of two men really should be the life counselor to a man who has never been criminally charged with anything." But Maxson strangely let that pass without comment, declining to address the conflict between his involvement in that crime and his current "holier-than-thou" status.
Maxson doesn't seem to understand it's not necessarily about Lewis being an judgmental religious man now, it's that he has never reconciled that religiosity with his violent past, let alone fully make amends for it. Unless Maxson can address that issue, perhaps he/she should stop whining about people criticizing Lewis for being overly religious.
NewsBusters Blogger Doesn't Know His Political History Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters has apparently dealt with the departure of the disgraced Tom Blumer by bringing back Mark Finkelstein as a contributing editor. Finkelstein has a shaky history of veracity and insults in his previous work for NewsBusters, but you might remember him best as the guy who suggested that then-NBC "Today" co-host Matt Lauer was supporting Palestine by his choice of wearing a checkered scarf.
Finkelstein has apparently been given the MSNBC beat at NewsBusters. A Nov. 25 post on one MSNBC segment featured a guest forwarding a possible Michelle Obama-Oprah Winfrey ticket for the Democrats in 2020, followed by host Joy Reid shooting down the idea because "We know racially-polarized voting is a real thing and people will say they'll vote for Oprah until she is on the ballot." Finkelstein then complained: "So those racist white Americans won't support a black presidential ticket. Reid didn't try to square her view with Barack Obama's two presidential victories, or with the fact that Oprah is wildly popular across a broad swath of Americans, including countless whites."
It seems that Finkelstein has never heard of the Bradley effect, which summarizes the pattern of non-white candidates losing elections despite leading the polls, suggesting that some white voters don't accurately tell pollsters who they will vote for. It's named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, who is believed to have lost a race for California governor due to this.
In other words, Reid is correct, and Obama's election may have been an anomaly from the Bradley effect.
Waters also complained that "McFadden stubbornly kept the focus on liberal outrage, not the Ivy League chemical engineer who had an inventive and successful career building the company." Curiously, Waters did not dispute the accuracy of those claims -- perhaps because the obit lays out in detail the evidence to support them.
Waters failed on another count: He didn't disclose that the Media Research Center, which publishes the blog on which his post appeared, has reportedly received funding from the Castle Rock Foundation, which was backed by Coors money.
Seems like an important conflict of interest to report, yet Waters failed to do so.
MRC Again Claims That Conservatives Are Accurately Labeled In Battle Between Catholic Factions Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center has long had a bee in its bonnet regarding stories about conservatives in which the conservatives are accurately labeled as "conservatives." Matthew Balan -- a former MRC "news analyst" who's now freelancing for the MRC's NewsBusters blog -- pushes this again in an Aug. 30 post:
The Washington Post followed the example of AP and The New York Times with a Thursday article that played up the role of conservative Catholics in a controversy involving a former Vatican diplomat's recent "testimony" against Pope Francis.
Long-time Post religioin reporter Michelle Boorstein narrowed her scope and focused exclusively on the involvement of an "influential...conservative Catholic" media in the issue. Boorstein emphasized that "conservative Catholic media outlets have become power players by conveying the anti-Francis point of view." She also zeroed in on the role of "powerful Italian conservatives" in breaking the story.
The correspondent used the "conservative" term a total of 30 times in her write-up. (For a contrast, see Boorstein on April 5, in which she couldn't find a liberal/leftist label for Vermont ice cream barons Ben & Jerry, or "Black Lives Matters supporter DeRay McKesson," or the socialists at Sojourners magazine.)
First: The Post story about the church is specifically abaout political factions inside the Catholic Church, and it's absurd for Balan to be offended that conservatives are accurately labeled as such. Second: The story referencing Ben and Jerry, Mckesson and Sojourners is in a story about fightinbg racism -- unless Balan is conceding that fighting racism is now solely a "liberal" or "leftist" cause these days.
Balan went on to huff that the Post reporter noted that "the reporting from these conservative 'power players" were akin to "the way in which Breitbart News and Drudge Report have served as media conduits for the brand of conservative American populism led by President Trump." If the Post can easily identify how a 'tight-knit' ideological network can unite to remove a powerful leader, certainly they can understand how conservatives see them and their fellow liberal 'power players' at 'media conduits.'" Of course, Balan's just parroting the anti-media attack from his former employer.
Then -- ironically for a website that fearmongers about George Soros for supporting liberal causes -- Balan complained that the Post story highlighted the role of financier Timothy Busch in conservative Catholic politics and even likening him to the Koch brothers, "controversial siblings involved in right-of-center politics in the U.S."
"Right-of-center"? The word you're looking for is "conservative," Matt.
Two days earlier, Balan complained that "The Associated Press and the New York Timesboth tried to spin a Catholic archbishop's recent exposé about the Church's sex abuse scandal as an ideological attack on Pope Francis from the right." Again, Balan doesn't dispute the ideological battle; he grouses about (arguably accurate) labels.
NEW ARTICLE: Tom Blumer Gets NewsBusted Topic: NewsBusters
The blogger was fired from the Media Research Center-operated NewsBusters after white nationalist links were discovered in his posts. But what about the MRC editors who let those links go through in the first place? Read more >>
NewsBusters Blogger Sees Anti-Conservative Conspiracy in ESPN Dropping Comments Section Topic: NewsBusters
Jay Maxson, the mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger, was in ESPN derangement mode for a July 8 post portraying ESPN discontinuing the comments section of its website as a proof of anti-conservative bias:
Progressives from Berkeley to Bristol would rather shut down a debate than stomach opposition views. Fascists at California and other universities have perfected the strategy of shutting down free speech. No longer willing to endure conservative opposition to its progressive social and political posts, ESPN.com has just joined the club by shutting down its comments section.
Hilariously, Maxson quotes someone predicting his freakout: the Awful Announcing website noted that "To some people, predictably, this move is a sign of something much more sinister: censorship of a free-flowing conversation where people weren’t afraid to call out ESPN on their obviously over-the-top liberal agenda."
Surely Maxson is familiar with website comment sections, and how they're not exactly repositories of well-reasoned thought. One has only to look at NewsBusters' own comments section, which is all about taking mean-spirited potshots and nothing about robust debate. Indeed, as we know from experience, NewsBusters makes sure the latter never happens by working to ban anyone who tries to engage in one -- making Maxson's complaint about ESPN utterly hypocritical.
Further, Maxson never proves his/her thesis, that ESPN shut down comments specifically to squelch conservative opinion. He's simply issuing an uninformed opinion that fits better in a comment section instead of a standalone blog post at a major right-wing website. Of course, given the lax editing at NewsBusters, maybe its placement is not a surprise after all.
White Nationalist Links Cost Blumer His NewsBusters Gig Topic: NewsBusters
Well, that was quick.
Earlier this week, Media Matters discovered that a 2015 NewsBusters post by contributing editor Tom Blumer linked to an article on the white nationalist site American Renaissance stating in part that "my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike." Blumer also linked in a 2017 post to white nationalist site VDARE, benignly suggesting that it is a "center-right" operation.
NewsBusters has since deleted the links and added editor's notes to both posts noting the deletion, adding to one post, "NewsBusters does not associate with known white nationalists." Blumer has not written any new posts since the story broke, despite near-daily contributions before that; he apparently has been fired, as his NewsBusters author bio page now speaks of him in the past tense, calling him a "former contributing editor."
The thing is, Blumer's white-nationalist leanings should not have been a surprise to NewsBusters. Did nobody at the MRC edit his posts and double-check his links? Are they not aware that AmRen and VDARE are white nationalist websites? Blumer's post apparently don't get a lot of editorial scrutiny, given that we've devoted twoarticles to their shaky logic and general cluelessness about how the media works.
NewsBusters should have known, especially since it had to edit a post to tamp down some of Blumer's more racially inflammatory claims.
As we documented, NewsBusters published a 2016 post by Blumer in which he tried to argue that a poll showing Trump supporters are more likely to believe that blacks are more “lazy” than whites, “less intelligent” than whites, more “rude” than whites, more “violent” than whites and more “criminal” than whites somehow doesn't indicate racist beliefs. The original version of the post on Blumer's BizzyBlog site went even further, desperately trying to blame those conditions regarding blacks on liberal meddling, insisting that "Those who have seen the difference in behavior in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole [engage in a particular undesirable behavior] than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so" and that Trump supporters are simply "more willing to recognize those realities."
It's a delicate bit of needle-threading that fails because it still comes off as racist, and NewsBusters should never have published it in the first place -- or, at least, it should have sent up a red flag about the rest of Blumer's content. But given that NewsBusters' editing of Blumer has been on the lax side -- as the direct white-nationalist links show -- he was given a pass that it seems has not been earned.
As of this writing, Blumer hasn't noted his dismissal from NewsBusters on his personal blog, and NewsBusters itself hasn't mentioned it beyond changing his author bio to the past tense. NewsBusters should, however, publicly explain the editorial process that allowed a link to a white nationalist website making explicitly racist statements to get through in the first place, not to mention remaining live for three years.
NewsBusters' Sports Blogger Freaks Out (Again) Over ESPN Mag's Body Issue Topic: NewsBusters
Mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger Jay Maxson generally has two modes of operation: Colin Kaepernick derangement and ESPN derangement. Last year, he engaged in a massive form of the latter by freaking out over ESPN The Magazine's "body issue" featuring naked athletes but carefully shot to avoid showing naughty bits -- despite no record of ever complaining about Sports Illustrated's swimsult issue.
Maxson rectified that with his June 25 rant about this year's "body issue," in which he declares that it's worse than SI's swimsuit issue despite the fact the swimsult models aren't even athletes:
It's a well-known fact that ESPN doesn't always stick to sports. And this week The Worldwide Leader in (Liberal and Naked) Sports will prove again that it doesn't always stick to clothed athletes either. ESPN is unveiling—disrobing is a better word choice—its 10th edition of the Body Issue (online and in its magazine), and 16 current and former athletes will be featured without a stitch of clothing. For the past few days, the network website has been titillating viewers by featuring nude photos from an archive of the past nine years of body issues.
Apparently our sex-drenched culture needs one more media outlet appealing to people's prurient interests. Swimsuits and faux swimsuits painted on models sells magazines and gets clicks forSports Illustrated. ESPN one-downs SI by featuring completely buck naked athletes to raise viewership during the dog days of summer. No privates are visible on these immodest athletes; those are covered by side views and arms and legs, allowing the athletes to run, jump and cavort about with no fabric restraints at all.
He's particularly incensed about pictures of "rainbow athletes," such as two female pro basketball athletes "who are dating," complete with a sneering reference to "the world's most famous Olympic bronze medalist, Adam Rippon." (The MRC hates Adam Rippon.)
Maxson then tried to link the "body issue" to allegations of sexual harassment against ESPN employees, telling ESPN that if one allegation goes to trial, "you might want to downplay the Body Issue." But Maxon offers no proof of a link between the two that exists outside his fevered, nudity-addled brain.
MRC's Double Standard on Pedantry Topic: NewsBusters
In a June 7 MRC NewsBusters post, P.J. Gladnick bashed CNN's Jim Acosta as "a pedant on steroids" for pointing out that President Trump didn't get his facts quite correct when he said to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canadians burned down the White House during the War of 1812. Gladnick was quick to declare that "Trump was right" -- even though he also conceded that Canada was not an independent country at the time and the White House was burned by British-led troops. Still, he felt the need to rail against "over-zealous fact-checkers."
Speaking of pedantic, overzealous fact-checkers, Gladnick appears not to have noticed that his NewsBusters colleague, Tom Blumer, was exactly that a couple days earlier. First, he complained that the Associated Press said the Supreme Court "narrowly" ruled in the case of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex marraige, asserting that, since the vote was 7-2 and not 5-4, "the justification for this characterization is thin"-- even though the ruling applied only in this particular case and refused to address the larger issue of discrimination for religious reasons.
Blumer then went even more pedantic by attacking the AP for describing said narrowness by writing that ""the big issue in the case, whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people," has not been decided:
The AP wants readers to believe, based on its use of "whether," that it's likely that future courts will rule that providers of good and services can never refuse to serve gays and lesbians under any circumstances. The Court has clearly stated that "religious and philosophical objections" represent clear and legitimate exceptions to that otherwise true statement, allaying fears that its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges same-sex marriage ruling might be used to banish any right to exercise those objections, or even express them, out of the public square.
The AP should have written that "the big issue in the case, when (i.e., under what circumstances) a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people on religious and philosophical grounds," remains undecided. It appears that the degree to which those objections can be "limited" is far smaller than state and local so-called "civil-rights" enforcers had assumed.
Blumer apparently won't admit that discrimination on religious and philosophical grounds is still discrimination, and that the AP's wording, while a little too broad for Blumer's taste, is accurate.
So it seems pedantry is perfectly fine at the MRC -- as long as it's done in service to its ideological agenda.
NewsBusters Blogger Oblivious To Fact His Fellow Bloggers Root For NY Times' Demise Topic: NewsBusters
Randy Hall complains in a May 26 NewsBusters post that "wildly liberal" New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said he "will not shed a tear" if the conservataive New York Post goes out of business. Hall added: "It’s always refreshing when liberals join conservatives in having an adversarial relationship with those in the press. Of course, the Democrats often hope their enemies go under while Republicans don’t take such a hostile view of their adversaries."
First: As we've noted, if the Post were subject to the normal laws of supply and demand, the Post would have gone out of business years ago. It has lost money for decades and stays in business only becasuse its owner, Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. (also owner of Fox News) wants a New York newspaper presence.
Second: Hall has apparently not been reading the website that publishes him. The MRC enjoys rooting for media outlets it doesn't like to go out of business. For example, here's how it cheers for the failure of that other NYC paper, the New York Times:
In 2008, Tom Blumer gloated over the low stock price of what he mockingly called "Manhattan's quaint little alternative paper" and insisting that the market thought the paper to be "worse than worthless." Blumer declared that "There's a steep price to pay for insufferable bias, and NYT's shareholders are paying it" and that "The market is telling the company's shareholders that they'd be better off hanging on to the Red Sox and their interest in the headquarters building -- and shuttering or selling off whatever they can of everything else."
In 2009, Blumer further chortled over the New York Times Co.'s suspension of its quarterly dividend, sneering: "Perhaps we have arrived at the point many predicted would come to pass: The 'venerable' New York Times may no longer be the national newspaper of record."
That same year, Stephen Gutowski highlighted a right-wing blogger writing that "it's possible to take some" joy over the Times' financial problems and seemed giddy at the adea that "analysts give [the Times] less than a year to survive."
And Noel Sheppard was even more giddy at the idea of "the end of his paper being one of the leading proponents of socialism in a capitalist democracy. One can dream, right?"
Of course, the Times survived that financial crisis and is now a money-maker, remained influential, and its stock is doing fine -- much to the chagrin of NewsBusters and its Media Research Center parent. Perhaps Hall should be a little more attentive.
While observing World Press Freedom Day on May 3, MSNBC aired an advertisement encouraging viewers to watch not just that liberal channel, but also follow more than 25 other left-leaning sources and newspapers while not mentioning Fox, the most-watched news network on cable TV.
On the print side, it included newspapers as The Guardian, Financial Times, USA Today, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times,Chicago Sun-Times,Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Enquirer, Florida's Sun Sentinel, The Daily Press(Newport News, VA), the Sun (Naperville, Illinois), and the New York Daily News.
Also mentioned were BBC News, the global Inter Press Service and magazines like New York Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic.
The closest the advertisement to conservative outlets were the Wall Street Journal and National Review.
But Hall never proves that any -- let alone all -- of these outlets are "left-leaning." Apparently, he's just parroting the MRC's propganda that any media outlet that's not as far to the right as Fox News is "liberal." And his suggestion that the Wall Street Journal (owned by Fox News' Rupert Murdoch) and National Review are merely close to conservative and not actually conservative is ridiculous.
Hall spends the rest of his post complaining that the MSNBC ad didn't offer Fox News as an option. But he didn't note whether Fox News ran a similar ad to mark World Press Freedom Day -- probably because if it had, it almost certainly wouldn't have told people to watch MSNBC. Does Hall really think otherwise?
MRC's NewsBusters Is Getting Conspiracy-Happy Again Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Resarch Center's newfound love of conspiracy theories continues in a March 31 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer complaining that normal people in the media didn't see the same conspiracy theories he did:
On Thursday, shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would not appoint a second special counsel, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin agreed with the decision, claiming that "as far as I could tell, most of the accusations against the FBI are lunatic conspiracy theories."
That would lead one to question why Toobin didn't complain about having an inspector general and federal prosecutor John Huber look into these matters. The fact is that there is enough evidence of a conspiracy and coverup to justify some form of inquiry — and Toobin, in his heart of hearts, should know that.
After detailing how people in the FBI really are conspiring against Donald Trump and doing things that are totally real and not conspiracy theories at all, Blumer huffed: "Toobin's contention, properly viewed, and regardless of the appropriateness of Sessions' decision not to engage a second special counsel, appears to be part of a real conspiracy — that of the establishment press to keep the truth from the American people."
So the people calling out conspiracy theories are the real conspirators. Got it.
Tom Blumer Hasn't Corrected His NewsBusters Post Yet Topic: NewsBusters
Tom Blumer harrumphed in a March 11 NewsBusters post:
Leftists finally think (erroneously) they have a game-changing incident involving a Border Patrol apprehension of an illegal immigrant.
A week ago, Perla Morales-Luna was arrested in front of her crying daughters in National City, California. Someone videotaped the incident. The video has gone viral. What most early press reports failed to note, or buried deep in their stories, is that the woman refused to be taken peacefully and in private. One unusual exception was a Friday evening Associated Press story.
AP reporter Elliot Spagat clearly decided not to describe Morales-Luna's alleged involvement in human smuggling as, well, human smuggling.
Blumer went on to grouse that "given the alleged crime ... it's hard to imagine that this story will change many minds."
But the facts have overtaken Blumer's superior tone. Actualnews organizations note that Morales-Luna -- who has been in the U.S. for more than 20 years and has no criminal record -- has been released from custody while her case is being processed, and federal officials are not charging her in relation to human smugging.
As has been the case with such things at NewsBusters and its parent, the Media Research Center, Blumer's post has not been updated or corrected, and no other NewsBusters post updates the story.