Under the leadership of editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, CNSNews.com is steadily becoming little more than an anti-Obama propaganda mill.
From launching specious attacks on the president to blaming him for U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan (while not similarly linking much greater U.S. troop deaths in Iraq to President Bush), CNS is abandoning real journalism in favor of partisan attacks mirroring the right-wing agenda of its owner, the Media Research Center.
With that change in editorial focus has come a change in CNS' readership -- it's become more partisan too. And, it appears, more hateful. CNS' bottom-feeding partisanship has brought readers who have no problem saying the most vile, racist, homophobic and misogynistic things in the site's comment threads.
Further, many of these offensive comments remained on the CNS website days after posting, and many are still there. This suggests, at best, that comment moderation is close to nonexistent or, at worst, that CNS wants these people as its prime audience of readers.
For instance, a March 23 CNS article by Susan Jones on President Obama's remark that "if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” Martin, the teenager killed by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida, has brought out the kind of haters that you'd expect to see trolling around websites not operated by a multimillion-dollar nonprofit group. A few choice words from the comment thread:
- "If Obama had a son, he'd steal with secret service protection, just like his daddy..."
- "Really? I though he'd be more like a cross between an Asian Muzzie and Chewbacca."
- "If Obama had a son he'd be wearing a tutu and be as gay as his father."
- "Dont u remember ur married to a woman that is not the prettiest thing on this earth. look up magila gorila and u might have a match."
- "Obama's such a piece of dung! Who gives a rat's ass who Travyon would like like if he was Obama's kid. His own kid Shasa doesn't even look like him or Michelle. Bunch of freaks!"
- "Wrong... If Obama had a son he would look like a monkey."
- "why yes lil' barry hussein, a son spawned by you and your fugly wookie life partner would be a muslim, marxist, half-breed mongrel just like you!"
An April 9 CNS article by Patrick Burke featured Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards describing how she obtained birth control from Planned Parenthood while a college student. That was all the excuse CNS readers needed to hurl denigrating. misogynist insults at Richards, portraying her as a "slut," a "ho bag" and a "baby murdering whore," among many other things:
- "Why are baby murdering whores so lazy they must always plead poverty and demand the productive elements of society subsidize their whoredom?
- "Who the hell in her college would need birth control with her. I personally would use FLIT. (remember)"
- "I am amazed she needed birth control....were they all blind?"
- "I wouldn't think that birth control was necessary. You can't get preggers by giving homeless derelicts blow jobs behind the mission."
- "Interesting how so many unattractive (and downright ugly) women are flocking out of the woodwork to claim someone wanted to have sex with them."
- "She may have been afraid the kid would like that old weather-beaten, gas bag of a mother of hers, or worse still had the morals that either oof the two of them had. Cecile Richards is every bit the skank that her mother was and then some."
Edwin Mora devoted an April 16 CNS article to an appearance by Sandra Fluke at Georgetown University. Mora noted that Fluke "ecame a national figure in February when she testified at a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing put together by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California."
Well, not really -- Fluke became a national figure after Rush Limbaugh spent three days denigrating her as a "slut" and a "prostitute" for talking about birth control in public. But Mora makes no mention whatsoever of Limbaugh in his article.
Mora's readers, however, more than made up for Limbaugh's mysterious disappearance by hurling the same insults at Fluke -- and then some:
- "Rush is right, she is a slut, and when she gets her degree, she'll be a prostitute, like all the other lawyers."
- "Look, you phucking slut, keep your damn legs closed and shut the hell up! YOU WILL NOT GET MY TAX DOLLARS SO YOU CAN GO HAVE SEX WITH HOWEVER MANY PEOPLE YOU WANT!!!"
- "Maybe she should get on her knees, that way she won't need birth control. I'm quite sure has assumed the posistion before."
- "I suggest we spay Ms. Fluke. Would that be enough contraception for her greedy ass?"
- "Santra Flue doesn't need contraception because there's no way any fertile male would have sex with someone that ugly."
- "I take it Fluke is now the defactor spokeswoman for hosebags everywhere."
- "Sandra is mentally ill. As a lesbian she hates half of the human race, men."
- "Sandra Fluck lectures on how to get laid three times daily, with contriception on the taxpayers dime. Georgetown at its finest..."
- "Wow! When I was in school, we had to go to a bar to find a slut. Now, they come to you. Wow! I think she majored in Slut 101. Oh, I see now. She is actually a cougar cruising college campuses."
- "SLUT! Any questions?"
Related articles on ConWebWatch:
A May 1 CNS article
by Matt Cover quoted Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz accusing Republicans of "making sure that we would redefine rape." Cover offered up a deceptive defense of Republican attempts to insert the term "forcible rape" as an exemption in a bill that would ban federal funding for abortions, claiming that "the bill did not change the criminal definition of rape under federal law or any other law whatsoever." In fact
, the term "forcible rape" is not defined in the federal criminal code, and could be read to exclude non-"forcible" instances of rape, such as statutory rape, from cases that would be eligible for federal funding for an abortion.
But that was all CNS readers needed to launch a misogynistic barrage at Wasserman Schultz taht also included attacks on her Jewish religion, calling her a "bitch" and a "Jewish princess," among many other things:
- "This bitch must stay up all night convincing herself that the sh-t she spews out is the truth. NO one in their right mind, except for the lemming libs, could believe this crap."
- "she redefines stupid, ugly, and nasty."
- "Ha!!! The Jewish princess strikes again!!!"
- "What is it with this Dyke...she's always talking about rape! Maybe she has this fetish......EWWWWWWWWW...NASTY!!!"
- "Oh Debbie, are you jealous that you haven't been raped? You know I think you permanently have sex on your mind. You just need a little sexual tic and you will be just fine."
- "debbie, the only way you'd get 'any', is if you took 'forceable advantage' of some unwilling wimpy male."
- "Wassermann: A test to dettect syphilis. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Dimocrat whose brain has been destroyed by syphilis"
- "I doubt Debbie Wacko-woman Schultz has to worry about her own safety. In fact, any rapist who looks at her might just demand the she run away from him!!"
- "A two-sacker to be sure. That is where the man wears a paper bag too just in case hers comes off."
- "Debbie Was-A-Man Schultz, how to say MORN without really saying it..."
- "What's with the pretentious "Wasserman-Shults"? Why not just Shultz or just Wasserman" What...does she want everyone to know she's double Jewish or something?"
- "The one thing wsserman shults doesn't have to worry about is being raped, God how awful!!!!!!!"
Ironically, at the same time that CNS has been condoning this torrent of filth from its own readers on its own website, its MRC leader, Brent Bozell, has been trying to get MSNBC hosts fired for saying allegedly offensive things -- while, of course, offering only the meekest criticism of Rush Limbaugh spending three days denigrating Sandra Fluke. Bozell himself has magnified his hypocrisy by spewing his own vile rhetoric, calling Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."
If the MRC can't keep its own house in order, what moral authority does it have to tell others what to do? Given that these offensive commenters are the kind of readers Jeffrey and Bozell have apparently sought to attract to their website, the answer is: None.