Slanties 2018: The Shape of Slant
As the ConWeb contorts itself into pro-Trump state media, it's time once again to honor, as it were, the worst ConWeb reporting and craziest ConWeb opinions of the year.
By Terry Krepel
It's a year that's being capped off the way it deserves: the 15th annual Slantie Awards, ConWebWatch's celebration of bad journalism and even worse sycophancy.
Time to document the atrocities -- er, hand out some hardware.
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The first award is for the most egregious example of bias in "news" coverage. The nominees are:
-- WND's fake news -- For a website that complains so loudly about fake news, WND sure published a lot of it during 2017. A WND columnist even made up quotes to fit her questionable narrative of persecuted white South Africans that to this day have never been corrected or retracted. The worst, though, was a completely bogus claim blaming a measles epidemic among a Somali-American community in Minnesota on Islam when, in fact, anti-vaccine activists WND has previously promoted infiltrated the community. With so much bogus copy on its website, no wonder WND is having trouble staying solvent.
-- MRC's Fox News-shaped blind spot on sexual harassment -- There were a lot of sexual harassment allegations to be outraged about in 2017, and the Media Research Center did its part. But the MRC's outrage level dipped precipitously when those allegations piled up against executives and personalities at the MRC's favorite channel, Fox News. When Fox News chief Roger Ailes died after being ousted from the channel he founded over multiple allegations of sexual harassment, MRC chief Brent Bozell gushed that "The good Roger did for America is immeasurable" and kept silent on that harassment stuff.
-- CNS sells out to Trump: As its reporting staff diminished over 2017 (Penny Starr bolted for Breitbart, but not before adding to her record of shilling for the fossil-fuel industry), CNS had little time for anything but Trump stenography (and some gay-bashing). This was exemplified by writer Susan Jones, who by the end of the year wasn't keeping up even the pretense of objectivity and presenting her full-throated defense of Trump as "news."
And the winner is ... the parade of fake news at WND. It's made even worse by Joseph Farah's refusal to acknowledge the problem -- even as he's begging for cash, he's still insisting he cares about "the Truth with a capital T" -- which tells us that at WND, fake news is a feature and not a bug.
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The next award is the LoBaido Award for the silliest statement made by a writer for a conservative news Web site (named after Anthony LoBaido, who wrote a post-9/11 column for WorldNetDaily that was so unhinged -- he blamed the attacks on America's immorality since "all that is evil in the world can be found in New York" and, for good measure, called Hillary Clinton "openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic" -- that WND eventually pulled it from its site). Here are this year's finalists:
Over the last couple of weeks, we have been hearing much of Barack Obama and his legacy. In other words, we have been hearing about what state he has left America in.
But American already knew this (Leviticus 26:17).
-- Bradlee Dean, Jan. 5 WND column
Its been a long eight years since the first inauguration of now former President Barack Hussein Obama, a man who fooled the masses into being elected as a visionary black man for all people. Instead, over his reign, marked by his racial hatred toward whites and his favoritism toward his Muslim half over Christians and Jews in particular, the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C, felt to me as if it were under “occupation” by hostile “foreign” forces. Indeed, on my many trips here over Obama’s two terms as president I would often remark to my colleagues on the way to court proceedings that it seemed to me the government buildings were taken over by hostile “space aliens.” I simply no longer felt a part of our country’s body politic. While I could not fully put my finger on it, there was something terribly evil lurking under the surface of this, one of the most beautiful cities on earth.
-- Larry Klayman, Jan. 20 WND column
Hillary is the past.
-- Garth Kant, Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily article
Getting killed for being trans is a horrifying thought for any transgender and their allies, however the risk is severely overblown and an already vulnerable population is being needlessly terrified with such worries. While, certainly, there have been people who were killed for being transgender, people are killed for pretty much every reason imaginable. The number of transgender murders is exceptionally low, with only 21 in all of 2015 (with various motives).
-- Karen Townsend, Feb. 2 MRC NewsBusters post
Donald Trump’s first 40 days in the White House rival those of any modern American president for excitement, controversy, accomplishment, work ethic, courage, boldness and real leadership.
-- Joseph Farah, Feb. 28 WND column
In the 14th century, Europe was devastated by the bubonic plague, transmitted across the continent by fleas from infected rats. Back then, Europeans could do nothing to stop it. Today, Europe is being devastated by an immigration plague, transmitted by political correctness infecting free speech, thus banning the questioning of Islam’s motives and, consequently, doing nothing to stop it.
-- James Zumwalt, March 1 WND column
Like all leftists, Penguin and their celebrity authors really do intend to change the world, and they’re being successful. Along those lines, the publishing giant has also announced one million copies of the Obamas’ books will be donated to First Book, a non-profit that “provides educational materials” to children in need.
-- Jim Fletcher, March 3 WND column
I can’t speak to Putin’s character pro or con, but I know he’s a more faithful representative of the will of the Russian people than any of our U.S. presidents from Bush 41 through Obama, and I certainly don’t trust the people who are poisoning Western minds against Putin. If anything, their hostility toward him should enhance his credibility among conservatives.
-- Scott Lively, March 6 WND column
If we are supposed to accept those who believe being gay isn’t a choice, why then are we not allowed to accept those who believe it is? If women in this country are allowed to take the life of their unborn child in the name of “freedom of choice,” why then can’t a gay man or woman have the right to choose conversion therapy without the threat of the government shutting down such programs?
-- Dawn Slusher, March 17 Media Research Center post
People have always embraced wild, wacky fads. While most are harmless, some delve into darkness and morbidity. Today, one of the most destructive fads is transgenderism and make no mistake, it’s a fad.
-- Patrice Lewis, April 28 WND column
And Michelle Obama decided to bully school kids. She thought forcing teenagers to subsist on the same fare enjoyed by Eastern mystics would cure America's obesity problem.
-- Michael Shannon, May 26 Newsmax column
For her part, [Rachel] Maddow proclaims she is a “cheerleader for the American media,"an interesting choice of words since she tries very hard not to appear feminine.
-- Tim Graham, June 14 MRC post
The rainbow is the biblical symbol of the presence and authority of God from the story of Noah’s flood, foundational to all the Abrahamic faiths, reaffirmed to Jews and Christians in Ezekiel 1:28, and to Christians in Revelation 4:3 in the New Testament. Could there be any more audacious statement of defiance of God than to hijack His symbol to represent the worldwide legitimization of sexual deviance He explicitly condemns? Could this be the meaning of the prophecy of the Antichrist in Revelation 6:2: “I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest”?
-- Scott Lively, June 27 WND column
Providing some unintentional comedy, CNN anchor Poppy Harlow on Thursday lectured a conservative Congressman, telling him, “I’m not the left. I’m a journalist.” Collectively, many Americans must have thought: “What’s the difference?”
-- Scott Whitlock, July 14 MRC post
Diversity is not a strength in this country. In fact, it is difficult to find diversity as a strength anywhere. Let’s get real. Diversity is a weakness. Anywhere you find war, anywhere you find conflict, anywhere you find division, you are very likely to find diversity at the root of it. Racial diversity, ethnic diversity, religious diversity, political diversity diversity is a weakness. Homogeneity is a strength. Sameness is a strength. Unity is a strength, and unity comes from similarity, not from diversity. Diversity requires great sacrifice. To have it, we must give up our unity.
-- Lindy Daniel, July 26 WND column
Obama says his birthday is tomorrow, Aug. 4.
-- Joseph Farah, Aug. 2 WorldNetDaily column
Is this the existence you leftist protesters and “indigenous” peoples want? No running water, no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no modern conveniences of any kind? Living hand to mouth? Really?
-- Brent Smith, Aug. 25 WND column
We have the greatest president in the history of America. I thank God for President Donald Trump, “The Great White Hope”!
-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Sept. 24 WND column
The tribalism of “kneelism” sums up the state of the progressive project. Like the Antifa Idiocracy, NFLers are generally not the smartest. Bereft of the faculty of logic or reason, these excitable, histrionic hulks can’t debate or argue effectively. Lacking words or wisdom, the kneelers resort to inappropriate displays and gestures aimed at the self, at self-aggrandizement.
-- Ilana Mercer, Sept. 28 WND column
As a father and a grandfather, it grieves me to convey some breaking news regarding music superstar Taylor Swift. This multi-gifted artist has now decided to advance her career further by disrobing to a nearly nude image in her just released music video, “Ready for It.”
-- Larry Tomczak, Oct. 27 WorldNetDaily column
In building a case against Judge Moore, the Washington Post relied on interviews with three women who claimed to have had dated or been asked for a date by Moore as teenagers when he was in his early 30s, with the full knowledge of their mothers. The worst the Post could come up with is that Moore, while dating the teens, was a gentleman, or in the case of the 14-year-old, stopped the alleged seduction attempt and took her home when asked.
-- Jane Chastain, Nov. 15 WND column
Birtherism, Serwer contended, “is rightly remembered as a racist conspiracy theory, born of an inability to accept the legitimacy of the first black president.” Actually, it was an effort by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 to find a way to delegitimize Obama in the Democrat primaries.
-- Brian McNicoll, Nov. 22 Accuracy in Media column
If there isn’t some divine judgement for those complicit with abortion-on-demand, like the presidential candidate we almost elected one year ago this month, then God will owe Charles Manson an apology. Planned Parenthood has murdered millions of times more humans than Charlie’s “family.”
-- Alex McFarland, Nov. 27 CNSNews.com column
With the example of the passion and crucifixion of the innocent Christ continually refreshed by their observant remembrance of His suffering, I marvel at the ease with which some Christians abandon their trust in those whom they have, by their good fruits, adjudged to be fellow members of the living body of Christ. I’m thinking of Judge Roy Moore, of course. During the solemn observance of Christ’s sacrifice, we who profess to represent his presence in our time remember that he was falsely accused and falsely condemned. Some of the people who did so acted unwittingly, carried away by their zeal. They did not recognize in Christ the authority of God, though God’s command of love was the very reason Jesus Christ was born, the ultimate motive for every word he spoke and every miracle he performed, as well as his patient endurance of every insult, defamation and tribulation inflicted upon him.
-- Alan Keyes, Nov. 30 WND column
At the risk of sounding rude to [Megyn] Kelly, the idea of her living in some kind of oppressive bubble might seem a bit odd, since she makes an estimated $23 million a year to host a morning TV show for NBC. The "maybe my daughter won't have it so rough" sounds a bit out of touch to people making $15 an hour...or the hotel housekeepers also featured in the video.
-- Tim Graham, Dec. 6 MRC post
We should recall that it was Barack Obama who, in 2008, developed a cult of personality that was unprecedented in American history. Reminiscent of the cult that developed around such socialist leaders as Hitler, Fidel Castro, V.I. Lenin, and Mao tse Tung, Obama, in a subtler context made palatable to an American audience, was worshipped by the liberal establishment, by the press, academia, and various cultural institutions.
-- Chuck Morse, Dec. 11 Newsmax column
Just in time to further sexualize (and homosexualize) children, Harper Collins has released Santa's Husband, which "tells the story of a black Santa, his white husband, and their life in the North Pole," states the publisher.
-- Michael W. Chapman, Dec. 20 CNS column
I’m convinced that this president was sent by God to restore and unite our nation. This Christmas season and in the new year, black Americans should thank God for President Trump.
-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Dec. 24 WND column
And the Slantie goes to ... WND's Jesse Lee Peterson for proclaiming Trump to be "The Great White Hope." Peterson is apparently ignorant of the fact that the phrase "great white hope" was coined in the early 20th century by writer Jack London, who wanted a white boxer to defeat Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. In other words, it's a sentiment originally expressed by a white nationalist and an insult to blacks -- which would seem to be counterproductive to the message Peterson thinks he's sending.
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Our final award is the Slantie Award for Career Achievement in Conservative Bias. This goes to a reporter or commentator with a consistent record of biased and slanted reports that fly in the face of time-honored journalistic practice, the truth and/or common sense. And we're giving out two of 'em this year!
Our first honoree is ... Leo Hohmann of WorldNetDaily. Hohmann's hatred of Muslims was virulent even by WND standards. Not only did he blow out of proportion an Idaho incident involving the children of Muslim refugees, he spread falsehoods about yogurt maker Chobani, which has a plant in Idaho and has been known to hire refugees -- so false that his articles had to be corrected, sometimes months after the fact, presumably after a couple of less-then-friendly calls from Chobani's lawyers. WND also published his freakout book, "Stealth Invasion," warning of "civilization jihad."
No instance of a Muslim doing something was too minor for him to freak out about. If a Muslim ran for political office or tried to build a mosque (which he insisted on labeling as "mega-mosques" despite the fact that several of them could fit comfortably inside a typical megachurch), he was on it. And, as noted above, he was so filled with anti-Muslim hate that he tried to blame a measles outbreak in a Muslim community on Islam when, in fact, some of WND's favorite anti-vaxxers had spread their false propaganda there.
Hohmann left WND in early January, presumably because the website's current financial crisis. It certainly couldn't have been Hohmann's hateful bias and malicious factual errors, or he would've been gone long before that.
Our other Career Achievement winner is Penny Starr, formerly of CNS. She initially focused on "cultural issues," which mostly meant she was an anti-abortion activist who bashed Planned Parenthood, but she also tried to manufacture controversy by attacking museum exhibits she didn't like.
Starr left CNS in early 2017 to join Breitbart where, as at CNS, this sort of thing is encouraged.