Slanties 2020: Once Upon A Time In ... Slantie-Land
It's awards season, so it's time to honor, as it were, the worst ConWeb reporting and craziest ConWeb opinions of the year.
By Terry Krepel
While Tarantino is a movie-award regular, it's also awards season here in the form of the 17th annual Slantie Awards, ConWebWatch's celebration of bad journalism and creepy right-wing sycophancy.
Time to document the atrocities -- er, hand out some hardware.
* * *
The first award is for the most egregious example of bias in "news" coverage. The nominees are:
-- MRC vs. Facebook: The Media Research Center has clung to the narrative that social media outlets are singularly discriminating against Facebook, even as the company's attempts to suck up to and make nice with right-wingers -- including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg having a secret off-the-record dinner with MRC chief Brent Bozell -- undercut it.
-- CNS as pro-Trump state media: Even more than in the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency, CNS acted like a full-fledged arm of the Trump White House communications team, serving up a war on Robert Mueller and aggressively pro-Trump takes on the impeachment process.
-- The MRC's Epstein deflections: The Media Research Center struggled to push its narrative that Bill Clinton was singularly linked to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein because it was too busy complaining that Epstein was not only linked to Trump but also to its favorite Trump-supporting, allegedly "liberal" legal talking head, Alan Dershowitz.
-- WND's struggle with the facts: WorldNetDaily's second of deep existential struggle has not made it more factually scrupulous -- weird, since pushing bogus conspiracy theories for years was one big reason it's been struggling financially. Not only is WND still publishing fake news and pushing new conspiracies, it also gave a renewed push to false anti-vaxxer activism.
And the Slantie goes to ... the MRC's failing attacks on Facebook. And the MRC will continue to stick to that narrative, perhaps signaling to Zuckerberg that his attempts at appeasement aren't working.
* * *
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:
His obvious flaws notwithstanding, Trump has been more supportive of Israel, the unborn, marriage and religious liberty than any other president in modern history. And furthermore, He operates under the expressed authority of God.
-- Pat Boone, Dec. 24 WND column
Once upon a time, it was taken as a given that the homosexual like the addict, the serial philanderer or the degenerate gambler was a morally compromised person. It wasn't the sexual deviance so much that offended others; it was the fact that as morally compromised people, homosexuals could not be counted on to operate within the bounds of accepted morality.
-- Erik Rush, Dec. 4 WND column
As for Jesus, when He came into the world, He was quick to forgive all manner of sins, including adultery. And He died to pay for our sins. But He warned that unrepentant adultery would be punished by the fires of hell, something far worse than the death penalty.
-- Michael Brown, Nov. 22 WND column
It’s clear that Chick-fil-A has flipped on what appeared to be rock-solid convictions and abandoned many of the conservatives who have bent over backward to protect it. The saddest aspect is that the chain is selling out the values of at least 35 percent of the population (conservative Americans) to appease the Christian-hating anger of a much smaller 4 percent (LGBT Americans) who, as we’ve seen, will never be satisfied.
-- Gabriel Hays, Nov. 18 Media Research Center post
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 5% of LGBT respondents identify primarily as transgender; as the study states, “this is roughly consistent with other estimates of the proportion of the LGBT population that is transgender. Although there is limited data on the size of the transgender population, it is estimated that 0.3% of all American adults are transgender. This begs the question: of that 0.3% of the population, how many are Hispanics to whom this issue can be of any interest?
-- Kathleen Krumhansl, Oct. 28 MRC post
We should stop wringing our hands and worrying about the fallacious accusations and unmitigated lies that are directed at President Trump night and day. It will do us well to remember that God heard the prayers of We the People and answered said prayers in the form of Donald J. Trump we should stop worrying about what man can do to God's anointed.
-- Mychal Massie, Oct. 14 WND column
Never has the Democratic Party been more obviously the female party than today. One liberal T-shirt reads, "The future is female." Democrats pretend to be for women boasting several female presidential candidates and 89 female congressmen. But President Donald Trump, by being a man, has caused Democrats to expose themselves as white-hating, man-hating, God-hating members of the children of the lie. Weak beta males and females hate the president. Real men and logical women support Trump.
-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Sept. 1 WND column
May the mayor of South Bend experience a personal awakening. And may he learn to bow to the morality and wisdom of the Word rather than twisting it to fit his own experience.
-- Corinne Weaver, Aug. 6 Media Research Center post
I have noticed that no other group of people in the United States truly loves America as a whole like white people do. While growing up on the plantation, and throughout my life, I’ve watched white people proudly honor the country with visible displays of affection and respect. They support freedom, independence, true justice (not fake “social justice”), and adherence to our laws and Constitution like no one else. They work hard, create businesses, jobs and inventions, and right or wrong share these opportunities with others, and selflessly support others’ rights. President Trump is a perfect example of this love.
-- Jesse Lee Peterson, July 7 WND column
But the victims of abortion are not even a thought in Maddow’s brain, the real inhumanity and source for liberal outrage were the 100 women who had to suffer through the “unnecessary” pelvic exams. These poor women and their 100 unborn children were forced to go through an inconvenient exam forced to: “…take off their clothes, let a doctor insert an instrument inside their body because of a policy the state now reversed.”
-- Emma Fantuzzo, June 25 NewsBusters post
It's not misquoting the president to say he called [Meghan] Markle nasty (or her comments nasty). But it was clear from the exchange that he had no ill will toward the duchess at this point.
-- Tim Graham, June 1 MRC post
This unique, world-shaping nation our “sweet land of liberty” faces an existential Satanic threat in the Marxist Uniparty campaign to destroy our president. For His own reasons reminiscent of His picks for the Old Testament judges, God chose this flawed but fearless bare-knuckle fighter, Donald J. Trump, to rescue America from the Clinton/Obama/Bush/Soros/Deep State takedown in 2016 and to grant its people a short reprieve: a limited window of opportunity to rally behind the Constitution and Christianity as they were understood by our Founding Fathers.
-- Scott Lively, May 24 WND column
Maybe [Rep. Ilhan] Omar would have been better off living in squalor as the personal possession of some goat herder with rotten teeth who took baths seasonally. I can say with confidence that America would be better off without her and her kind specifically those being used by terrorist front groups to further the Muslims agenda.
-- Mychal Massie, May 27 WND column
The safe assumption is, on the evening of Jan. 11, 1989, as President Ronald Reagan delivered his farewell address to the American people, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) parents were preoccupied. Nine months later, AOC was born. Sadly, had her parents listened to Reagan that night, they could have gained invaluable insights to share later with their democratic socialist-to-be daughter.
-- James Zumwalt, March 27 WND column
So before you decide to embrace an International Women’s Day celebration or buy the [Girl Scout] cookies, ask yourself, “Will the country be better off with more representatives like the young socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez?”
-- Jane Chastain, March 6 WND column
In all the years before he ran for president, guess what no one called Trump? A racist.
-- Joseph Farah, Jan. 24 WND column
To put it in perspective, over the last 12 months, more than 18,000,000 Americans lost their jobs; in the shutdown, 800,000 federal workers either worked without pay temporarily or they stayed home, and they will get paid when the shutdown ends.
-- Michael W. Chapman, Jan. 4 CNSNews.com article
And the Slantie goes to ... two people: Gabriel Hays and Kathleen Krumhansl of the MRC. They're in sync on the right-wing talking point that the LGBT community shouldn't be represented in the media beyond their representation among the population, and Krumhansl takes it even further by declaring that transgendered people should be banished from Hispanic media because there aren't enough of them for any Hispanic to care about.
* * *
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.
This year's honoree is ... Michael W. Chapman, managing editor at CNSNews.com. CNS was never all that fair and balanced of a "news" operation, but under Chapman it has sunk to new levels of bias and sycophancy. What few legitimate reporters CNS have mostly disappeared under Chapman, leaving behind little more than pro-Trump stenographers. Chapman also made CNS a place for increasingly fringe right-wing opinion as well as a platform for his own vicious homophobia.
We're not going to claim that Chapman ruined CNS, since there really wasn't much to ruin to begin with. But it's definitely a less credible "news" organization under him.