CNSNews.com has long been a prolific stenographer for the right-wing legal organization Judicial Watch -- it cranked out at least 31 articles touting the group in 2017 and 46 articles in 2018. (Not quite Mark Levin stenography territory, though, who got a whopping 135 articles in 2018.) As Donald Trump's actions grew less defensible and drowned out anti-Democratic talking points, the volume dropped over the next few years. But now, with a Democratic president in the White House and right-wing culture-war issues on the ascendence, CNS and managing editor Michael W. Chapman appear to be taking new interest in being servile Judicial Watch stenographers again.
In June 2021, CNS published an article on how Judicial Watch was demanding "the police and medical examiner records in the case of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old woman who was shot dead by a Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol" -- and who has been the focus of right-wing conspiracy theories. Last fall, we noted that CNS has touted Judicial Watch findings about President Biden's travel expenses, though it didn't similarly hype the group's claims about Trump's travel expenses while president. Similarly, in August, CNS made an issue of alleged lack of transparency regarding the people who visit Biden at his Delaware home, quoting Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton in the process -- but didn't mention that Judicial Watch also criticized Trump for keeping his White House visitor logs secret (at the beginning of his administration, anyway).
The new year has brought more CNS attention. A Jan. 26 article by Chapman cheered on Judicial Watch court win:
After the conservative group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit challenging a race-based scholarship program established in the City of Ashville, N.C., the city decided to settle the case by removing the race-restrictive language in the program, and asserting that the scholarship "will give preference to applicants" whose parents have a high school education or less and who represent “first generation” college students.
“Our clients, a group of Asheville residents, including high school students, courageously challenged this blatantly discriminatory and illegal scholarship program in federal court," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement.
"Thankfully, the City of Asheville did the right thing in quickly ending these indefensible race-based scholarship programs," he said.
Pretty much everything in Chapman's article comes straight from a Judicial Watch press release -- a dead giveaway that this is all about stenography.
Chapman touted more Judicial Watch work, this time on behalf of Trump, in a Feb. 1 article:
The government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for communications between then-CIA Director Gina Haspel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley in 2020-21, which reportedly involved the targeting of President Donald Trump.
As reported in Newsweek, in the days after the 2020 presidential election, Haspel apparently told Milley, "We are on the way to a right-wing coup."
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement said, “It ought to be disturbing to all Americans that the head of the CIA and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs were reportedly conspiring against the President of the United States."
Fitton apparently doesn't believe that Trump's unhinged behavior at the time (and, arguably, continuing to this day) regarding his inability to accept thefact that he lost the election fair and square, is much more disturbing.
Chapman served up another right-wing narrati e via Judicial Watch in a Feb. 15 article:
Two non-profit organizations, CatholicVote and Judicial Watch, recently filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) because they failed to provide requested information about their communications with Catholic-affiliated agencies at the border and the agencies' alleged role in the surge of illegal immigrants over the last year.
"The Biden administration has refused to provide copies of communications between Catholic-affiliated charities and organizations at the border," said CatholicVote President Brian Burch in a statement. "Their lack of transparency and obstruction forced us to file these federal lawsuits."
"American Catholics deserve to know the full extent of the U.S. government's role in funding and coordinating with Catholic Church-affiliated agencies at the border, and what role these agencies played in the record surge of illegal immigrants over the past year," said Burch.
Chapman misleadingly identified both Judicial Watch and CatholicVote only as "non-profit organizations," falsely suggesting they're not acting with partisan political intent. In fact, like Judicial Watch, CatholicVote is a right-wing group. Chapman went on to further obscure that fact by copying-and-pasting from the group's website in writing that "CatholicVote's mission, according to its website, is 'to inspire every Catholic in America to live out the truths of our faith in public life.' The organization is 'a national faith-based advocacy organization, organized by faithful Catholic laity in full communion with the teachings of the Church, yet does not claim to speak for any individual bishop or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.'"
Chapman did the same bogus whitewash for Judicial Watch: "According to its website, 'Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. ... Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.'" Never mind, of course, that nearly all of the group's work is done to work for the benefit of Republicans and conservatives.