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Tuesday, April 25, 2023
MRC Kills CNS Website, Merges 'News' Division Into MRCTV

The last time posted original content was on April 20. Here's what that front page looked like:

Since then, nothing. Interestingly, Craig Bannister has continued to post his largely anti-ESG rantings at another MRC site, MRCTV, where his bio oddly lists him as "editor" of CNS (he wasn't -- he was just a blog writer). On the evening of April 24, however, the CNS website went dead with all links disabled.

What happened? No announcement was made at any MRC website -- not even he CNS website -- or even on the CNS Twitter feed as to why a "news" website it had operated for around 25 years had been abruptly taken down without notice, and longtime staffers like Terry Jeffrey, Michael W. Chapman, Susan Jones, Melanie Arter and Patrick Goodenough probably deserved a better fake than to have years of work simply erased from the internet. (And then there's commentary editor Georgiana Constantin-Parke, who joined CNS just six months ago.)

Finally, after some digging, we seem to have found an answer. The MRCTV website now has a CNS page -- though it currently has only six stories ., four of which are by Bannister and the other two by writers from other MRC divisions -- and a notice at the top that read: "Welcome CNSNews readers! Effective immediately, CNSNews is being merged with MRCTV to form a new conservative media platform, designed to deliver news and commentary on all of the top issues of the day."

So CNS is apparently dead as an independent "news" operation -- not that it was ever that independent, of course, given that it was increasingly a slave to the MRC's right-wing narratives. Indeed, over the past few years, CNS was becoming little more than NewsBusters in an inverted-pyramid format. Merging it into MRCTV is an interesting choice, though, given that it's effectively the MRC's hot-takes division whose most popular segment (such as that is) are the video rantings of Brittany Hughes. That is most definitely not a recipe to be treated seriously.

Still, it's odd that the MRC effectively refused to publicize this move if the goal was to maintain a similarly functioning "news" operation to its standalone website; it may be that it has been gutted and CNS will be maintained simply as a brand name on MRCTV for things deemed to be "news" content from other MRC operations. And it may be that, as his bio states, Bannister really is the editor (whatever that means) for this newly gutted CNS, if not its only designated employee.

We'll continue to monitor doings at CNS/MRCTV and decide whether to document them (or whether to document the bias on CNS articles published before the shutdown that we hadn't gotten to yet -- the internet is forever, after all).

Meanwhile, a parallel and possibly related development happened: Chapman appears to have deleted his entire Twitter feed, which he operated for years and used a painting of 15th century Catholic bishop and thelologian John Fisher as the portrait image. The account was active as recently as April 12 and possibly a couple days afterward. Did Chapman wipe out his Twitter feed because he knew CNS was about to be shut down? Inquiring minds want to know.

UPDATE: The domain now redirects to the CNS page at MRCTV.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2023 5:22 PM EDT

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