ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

Goodbye, Les Kinsolving

WorldNetDaily's biased, whine-prone White House reporter hangs it up. But don't worry -- we'll still be treated to his homophobic rants in his WND column.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 3/21/2013

Les Kinsolving revealed the news in his March 4 WND column: He has retired from the White House press corps.

That's probably not a surprise -- Kinsolving's so-called coverage of White House briefings had been mostly missing from WND for months, and when there was, it was focused on him whining that he was being ignored by press secretary Jay Carney.

Those non-encounters were usually framed as suggesting that Kinsolving's questions as so tough that Carney was afraid to call on him. In reality, Kinsolving's questions tended to be either wildly biased or weirdly inane.

Les Kinsolving

A June 27 article, for instance, complained that "Press Secretary Jay Carney allowed CBS and Fox News to ask seven questions each, NBC to ask five and CNN and Bloomberg to ask four each, but he did not recognize Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House," which meant that Kinsolving's question about whether the "if the House holds [Attorney General Eric] Holder in contempt, it can send its sergeant-at-arms to arrest him, and hold him until his contempt is purged" wasn't answered.

WND gave the same whining treatment to Kinsolving's proposed questions on a much less important issue in February 2012:

Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, had been prepared to ask two questions, but was not allowed.

He had wanted to ask: “On Sunday, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote that Mormonism has jettisoned ‘a ban on black clergy members that was in place until 1978.’ Question. Does the White House believe this is an accurate report?”

He also wanted to ask, “Does the White House believe that Wikipedia is wrong in reporting that Elijah Able, a black Mormon, received the LDS priesthood in the 19th century, as did his son in 1900 and grandson in 1935.”

That's right: Kinsolving wanted to ask about black Mormons regarding something he read on Wikipedia. Doesn't Kinsolving know that WND hates Wikipedia?

WND -- as is typical in forwarding Kinsolving's whining -- baselessly suggested that Carney knew Kinsolving's questions beforehand and refused to call on him because of that. In the February article, it claimed that Carney "declined to allow a question about issues that could play a role, even if subconsciously, in the 2012 election – that of being black and Mormon." But WND has never offered evidence that failure to call on Carney equals a refusal to discuss a given issue.

A June 4 article highlighted Kinsolving wanting to ask about the possibility of Civil War hero and Union soldier Alonzo Cushing being posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor -- an odd cause for Kinsolving to champion, since he's something of a Confederate sympathizer -- and "what Obama thinks of Cushing’s heroism."

WND is also fond of invoking Kinsolving's status as the second-most-senior reporter in the White House press corps, suggesting that status alone commands some kind of respect. But Kinsolving has not earned the respect he and WND demand, and any contempt they claim Carney has toward Kinsolving is far outweighed by the contempt WND and Kinsolving have for the Obama White House.

Aside from the overall inanity of Kinsolving's questions, WND is so amoral that it spent the past five years publishing lies and smears about Obama and his administration with impunity and violates journalistic ethics on a regular basis.

Kinsolving, meanwhile, has more than demonstrated that he's a right-wing hack who whines every time his biased shenanigans get any pushback. Oh, and he's a raging homophobe to boot.

Kinsolving is also not above trying to exact a little petty revenge for being ignored. In a July 2011 column, Kinsolving made sure to note Carney's salary as he bashed the White House for giving raises, asking: "Have the number – and costs to the taxpayers – of the staffers of the president and the first lady shown either restraint or compassion for the millions of Americans unemployed?"

Whining 'til the end

True to form, he's whining on his way out. In his March 5 column, Kinsolving complained that Carney hadn't called on him since July 26 "despite my being second in seniority to Connie Lawn." He went on to huff that "I have never experienced such oral censorship."

Curiously, Kinsolving never asks why the Obama administration should take questions from a heavily biased "reporter" who works for an organization that is seeking no less than the personal and political destruction of Barack Obama through its embrace of birther conspiracies and dissemination of sleazy rumors.

Then, as if to prove the point, Kinsolving spends the rest of his column repeating right-wing talking points about Obama's allegedly prolifigate spending.

Kinsolving's insistence on invoking his seniority shows us he cares more about status than reporting the truth. His employment by WND demonstrates he doesn't care about the truth at all.

Speaking of truth, it appears that Kinsolving will be staying at his other gigs as a WND columnist, where he does have trouble with the subject. In his Feb. 11 column, Kinsolving claimed that Washington, D.C., has a "shrinking population." In fact, according to the U.S. Census bureau, D.C.'s population has increased by more than 30,000 since 2010 and by around 60,000 since 2000.

A quick Google search would have given Kinsolving the facts, and yet he could not even do that one simple thing.

That means we'll all be treated to more homophobia. In his Jan. 28 WorldNetDaily column, Kinsolving complained that the pastor at President Obama's inauguration "included in his benediction an endorsement of same-sex marriage (as did Mr. Obama) with no such inaugural devotional endorsement of many other alternative sexual orientations."

After reproducing a statement by the presidential inauguration committee about how the Obama administration has a "vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans," Kinsolving sneered: "This inevitably raises the consideration that 'all Americans' include pedophiles, polygamists, polyandrists, urophiliacs and zoophiliacs – among other alternate sexual orientations."

Resume-padding Pulitzer nomination

Even Kinsolving's WND bio carries a bit of dishonesty, highlighting that he has "twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize." But as MSNBC detailed when conservative writer Jonah Goldberg touted a similar claim, that bit of resume padding is utterly meaningless -- all it takes to be nominated for a is filling out an entry form and paying a $50 fee.

These nominations were expanded upon in the fluffy, WND-published Kinsolving bio "Gadfly," authored by his daughter Kathleen. The first was for a religion column he wrote in the late 1960s and was submitted by the newspaper that syndicated it; no specific examples of the nominated commentary are identified in the book.

The second came in 1973 from the newspaper he worked for -- though, ironically, not for the closest thing to real journalism he ever did: Early reporting on the Jim Jones-led People's Temple, a religious cult then based in San Francisco which later relocated to Guyana and years later staged a mass suicide of its members.

Even if one were to take Kinsolving's Pulitzer nominations at face value, this means that he has done nothing Pulitzer-worthy for nearly 40 years.

If Kinsolving ever objected to his employer's utterly biased anti-Obama agenda, he didn't voice it publicly. He seems perfectly happy to take WND's paycheck despite the hate that's behind it.

Kinsolving will not be missed as a White House "reporter," except as someone whose bias made him an object of ridicule. His departure will hopefully make room for a real journalist in the White House briefing room.

Send this page to:

Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-2013 Terry Krepel