Michael W. Chapman is in charge of CNS' news operation, and he makes sure the news is extremely biased. Read more >>
Monday, June 29, 2015
Sunday, June 28, 2015
MRC's Bozell & Graham Throw Pope, Cardinal Under The Bus Over Encyclical
Topic: Media Research Center
Pope Francis' encylical on climate change, "Laudato Si," poses a challenge to people like the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, who present themselves as uber-Catholics who try to bully anyone who dares criticize the church.
But the pope's encyclical forwards the horrible (to Bozell and Graham) concept that climate change is manmade and that efforts must be made to counter it. After all, the MRC has long misled its readers about climate change while serving as a shill for fossil fuels (and failing to disclose that it receives donations from the oil and gas industry).
Thus, we have the uncomfortable-looking attempt to split the baby, in which Bozell takes on the encyclical in a June 22 NewsBusters item by ... defending Rush Limbaugh. Because, apparently, Limbaugh ranks above even the pope or his fellow Catholics as someone who warrants defense no matter what stupid thing he says (as the Sandra Fluke episode amply demonstrated).
Bozell was upset that none other than D.C. Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl shot down Limbaugh's attacks on the pope's encyclical as "saying is that every Catholic should vote for the Democrat Party" by noting that even people who don't know what they're talking about can speak their mind. That was apparently too much for Bozell, who is simply shocked that anyone could accuse Limbaugh of not knowing what he's talking about, so he throws a cardinal under the bus and insist that he's the idiot, not Limbaugh:
But as we all know, Bozell is simply the mouthpiece through which Graham's words flow; thus, the subject gets recycled for the syndicated column for which Graham gets co-credit (at last!). They play the Rush-is-right card again but refrain from throwing the cardinal under the bus once more.
Instead, the pope gets the under-the-bus treatment. They sneer at the pope's "numerous unnecessary and annoying genuflections to liberal political ideology," dubiously insist "tere never was scientific consensus" on climate change, laughably claim that the term "climate change" was invented by the left when, in fact, it was popularized by right-wing linguistic guru Frank Luntz.
You can almost hear the bones crunch as the bus backs up for another swipe when Bozell and Graham huff, "Francis is now the poster child for radical environmentalism the world over."
The authors then try to clean up their mess by praising the part of the pope's encyclical "that could be interpreted as endorsements of the social conservative agenda." Then they close by taking another shot at the pope's "confounding incoherence," calling his encyclical "a beautiful tapestry marred by political graffiti."
But aren't Bozell and Graham the ones playing the poltical graffiti game by dismissing the parts of the pope's encyclical they personally don't like? What makes them think they know better than the pope on this subject? And doesn't being a cafeteria Catholic on the encyclical run counter to the orthodox brand of Catholicism they claim to follow?
And they can't deflect from their own fossil-fuel ties by tossing out George Soros or Tom Steyer as bogeymen to counter the pope, as they typically do.
So ultimately, Bozell and Graham's attempt to blunt the message and impact of the pope's encyclical is as confoundingly incoherent as they claim the pope is.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
WND Can't Prove Us Wrong
My blog post on how WorldNetDaily's black-bashing and pro-white-South African content may have inspired Charleston shooter Dylann Roof -- which was updated for the Huffington Post -- got a significant number of likes and pageviews.
Response from WND has been, shall we say, tepid. Colin Flaherty, in an email to readers, merely notes that the Huffington Post says my new book my be responsible for the Charleston murders." Of course, I didn't say that at all; we simply noted that Flaherty and Roof appear to share the same obsession with "black mob violence."
Jack Cashill devoted part of his June 24 WND column to a response of sorts:
Gotta love the subtle threat of a legal action against me and the Huffington Post, even though Cashill identifies nothing false that I wrote. Indeed, Cashill confirms my claim that his book portray Cashill as a thug in training,stating that "Had Zimmerman not shot Martin, it is likely that Martin would be in prison today."
The rest of Cashill's column is dedicated to rather lamely trying to prove that Roof didn't actually write the manifesto attributed to him, dismissing him has nothing more than "a drug-addled, ninth-grade dropout" who was incapable of having the "style, syntax and vocabulary" used in the manifesto and articulating his racist thoughts as well as he did.
Cashill also suggested that the website the manifesto was found on is a fake, designed to "set [Roof] up and/or discredit the political right." He conveniently ignores the fact that the Washington Post article he cites as proof of the "far-left" leanings of the people who discovered also points out that Roof's website "been confirmed by law enforcement as legitimate."
Meanwhile, conspicuous by his silence thus far is WND editor Joseph Farah. If there was a way he could have proven me wrong, he would have done so by now. And even if he couldn't prove me wrong, he would have still tried to publicly denigrate me in his usual thin-skinned manner -- after all, his reaction to my 2008 history of WND (also published at HuffPo) was to call me a "talent-challenged slug." (And, no, he couldn't prove me wrong then, either.)
Then again, Farah may simply be keeping uncharacteristically quiet ito keep from calling attention to it and hoping that the thing will blow over. Near as we can tell, the only reference to Roof's manifesto in a WND "news" article is a June 20 article featuring a few stolen paragraphs from the Daily Mail website.
UPDATE: Cashill targets me more specifically in a June 23 column at American Thinker -- which, ironically, is the same level of right-wing commentary outlet his fellow race-baiter Colin Flaherty can only get published at these days. He again hints that I've libeled him but again can't prove it. He also hurls more names around, calling me a "veteran propagandist" who "forced [his] hand" in commenting on the Charleston shootings.
Cashill claims that my noting the indisputable fact that WND has published writers like Cashill and Flaherty who are so quick to demonize blacks is evidence of my having a "pathology." One might respond that Cashill's record of aggressively defending murderers who kill those he considers a blight on society -- gays, abortion doctors, black teens -- is pathological as well.
Curiously, Cashill repeats the statement in Roof's manifesto about how he was "truly awakened" by the Trayvon Martin death and how "It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right" without reflecting on how close those statements coming from a mass murderer come to his own views. If this does give him pause, Cashill makes sure not to show it.
Cashill also takes my description of Zimmerman as a "habitual criminal" out of context, deliberately ignoring the fact that I was pointing out that Zimmerman now has a longer criminal record that Martin did.
Cashill appears to be so outraged at being called on his track record that he has no intention of reflecting on why that is -- or why a mass murderer is echoing his own views.
Friday, June 26, 2015
MRC Offended By Trump-Roof Photo -- But Found Obama-Satan Photo Hilarious
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has the outrage machine cranked up again.
A June 26 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham touts how "Fox News host Megyn Kelly led with a 'vicious' stunt pulled on Instagram by an official with the Spanish-language network Univision – a network that plans to host a presidential debate next year. Alberto Ciurana, the network’s president of programming and content posted an image of Donald Trump next to Charleston racist mass murderer Dylann Roof." The next day, MRC chief Brent Bozell cranked out a press release declaring that it's "unfathomable" that Univision could be "comparing a candidate for President to a cold-blooded murderer without consequences" and demanded that"Univision must remove Ciurana from his current position immediately and salvage what credibility it has left" and that "If he cannot apologize, and Univision will not discipline, the GOP should cancel its planned presidential debate on that network."
The MRC plays down the fact that nobody at Univision itself had no role in the image; the executive in question posted it to his personal Instagram.
We also remember that the MRC had a much different view on defamatory comparisons when the person being compared is a Democratic president.
IN a March 2013 NewsBusters post, Howard Portnoy thought that comparions of President Obama to the character of Satan as portrayed in a miniseries was absolutely hilarious:
Bozell's buddy, Rush Limbaugh, found it hilarious as well, as WorldNetDaily documented at the time:
Kelly has a bit of employer hypocrisy to deal with as well: Fellow Fox News host Bill O'Reilly devoted a segment to the comparison, and he wasn't terribly outraged at all.
Not a shred of outrage to be found at the MRC at the time. This makes its current outrage over the Trump-Roof picture to be more than a little hypocritical.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
AIM Still Proudly Selling Confederate Flag Stuff
Topic: Accuracy in Media
The Media Research Center may have finally gotten around to deciding the Confederate flag is a bad thing, but its ConWeb media-watchdog compadres at Accuracy in Media are still enthusiastic supporters of the Confederacy.
In a June 23 tweet noting that Amazon has banned sales of the Confederate flag on its website, AIM chairman Don Irvine added, "Check out shopaim.org." The same day, AIM's main Twitter feed declared, "We are selling Confederate Battle Flag Ties at our AIM Store so check it out." Other AIM tweets similarly promoted the AIM Store's Confederate wares.
All are described as being on sale, but the necktie is particularly discounted, from a claimed "retail price" of $12.95 to $1.99.
Is AIM a group of proud Confederates, or is it trying to take advantage of the news cycle to unload some slow-moving merchandise? Maybe Don Irvine will tell us...
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
A Letter to Terry Jeffrey
(ConWebWatch sent the following letter to Terry Jeffrey, CNSNews.com editor-in-chief. We'll let you know if we get a reply.)
Surely you cannot deny that the choice to use this photo with this story was "outrageously provocative." My question to you is: Was it accidental or deliberate? Was that intended to portray President Obama and gays in a negative light -- an argument you ridiculed when the AP invoked it in reaction to criticism of the Cruz photo?
Was the decision not to credit the May 16 article to a specific writer an effort by CNS to shield the writer from criticism for being associated with such an outrageously provocative act?
In permitting such an outrageously provocative act to be posted on your website, are you engaging in a double standard by accusing the AP of doing what your website did?
You state the AP's issuance of the Cruz photo is an "example of liberal media bias," May we assume that CNS' choice of photo to run with the May 16 story is an example of conservative media bias?
Given that the three-year-old photo of the New York City Gay Pride Parade that CNS used for its May 16 article was also issued by the AP, doesn't that undercut your argument that the AP has a liberal bias?
Finally: If the AP is so profoundly biased to a view you (and your employer, the Media Research Center) apparently find abhorrent, why does CNS pay money to the AP to use its news articles and photos?
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
MRC Wants To Blame Today's Democrats for Confederate Flag
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is a little conflicted about how to treat the Confederate flag now that it's become an issue in the wake of the Charleston massacre.
In a June 21 Newsbusters post, Brad Wilmouth fretted that a CNN corresponent "highlighted an incendiary tweet from actor Charles Pierce comparing the Confederate flag to the flag of Nazi Germany." Wilmouth didn't explain why he feels that is an inappropriate comparison.
(Actually, the "incendiary tweet" in question is from actor Wendell Pierce; Wilmouth must be thinking of writer Charles Pierce, whom Wilmouth's boss, Tim Graham, just can't seem to stop selectively quoting.)
The next day, the MRC had finally figured that, yes, the Confederate flag is a bad thing to be associated with -- and, accordingly, tried to hang it around the necks of Democrats. Curtis Houck complained that ABC News "spun the Confederate flag as a problem for the 2016 Republicans. No mention was made of Bill Clinton, the spouse of a 2016 Democratic candidate, and his past honoring of the Confederacy." To back this up, Houck has to go back to a 1987 bill passed by the Arkansas legislature and signed by Clinton as Arkansas governor setting the design of the state flag -- highlighted by the Daily Caller -- in which it's stated that “The blue star above the word 'ARKANSAS' is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.” Yep, signing a bill acknowledging the historical significance of a star on the Arkansas state flag equals Clinton "honoring" the Confederacy as far as Houck is concerned, even though the flag itself does not otherwise emulate the Confederate flag.
Houck engaged in even more desperate spinning of "calls by South Carolina officials to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol’s grounds," huffing that "the major broadcast networks failed to note the full context of the flag’s history in the Palmetto State and how it was a Democratic Governor who first hoisted it above the Capitol dome in 1962." Houck proudly pointed out how Fox News advances the conservatives' agenda of deflection on the issue, touting how Fox anchor bret Baier "felt it was pertinent to provide viewers with some 'important historical context' in that 'the flag was raised over the state capitol by Democrat Fritz Hollings – then Governor' in 1962 before being 'taken off the state capitol by Republican David Beasley after pressure in 1998 and put on the State grounds.'"
Needless to say, Houck doesn't note that Baier's "important historical context" is itself lacking historical context. There's no evidence Hollings himself personally "raised" the flag in 1962. According to Daniel Hollis, a former University of South Carolina history professor who served on a 1961 state commisson to plan the state's observance of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War, the flag was installed atop the state capitol not by order of Hollings but, rather, by a state representative, John May. The flag was only intended to stay atop the capitol for a year, but the resolution authorizing it did not include a removal date, and it stayed there until 1988.
Far from being an uncompromising segregationist, Hollings as governor actually urged his state to accept integration peacefully, which it did: South Carolina lacked much of the overt resistance to integration found in other Southern states.
Aside from the misleading and incomplete history, Houck's atempt to blame Hollings for the Confederate flag -- and, by association, all Democrats today -- dishonestly ignores the recent history of the Democratic Party. As we detailed the last time the MRC feigned ignorance of Southern political history, Southerners started abandoning the Republican Party in the 1960s after it supported integration and other equal-rights laws. The South has always been conservative; the Civil Rights Acts of the era caused those conservatives to shift their allegiance over a generation from Democrats to Republicans.
Monday, June 22, 2015
Michelle Obama Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Barbara Simpson, June 21 WorldNetDaily column
-- Pamela Geller, June 21 WND column
Sunday, June 21, 2015
WND's Mercer Defends The Honor Of Apartheid-Era S. African Flag
WorldNetDaily columnist and South African native Ilana Mercer still pines for apartheid, so of course she would run to the defense of apartheid-era South Africa after it was revealed that Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof wore a South African flag from that era, as well as a flag of colonial-era Rhodesia, on his jacket.
Mercer complains in a June 18 blog post:
Of course, it's not the media making that association -- it's the alleged killer himself.
Mercer added in an update: "US 'news' media have been depicting the Old South African and Rhodesian flags as the equivalent of Nazi insignia. Sean Hannity has just mentioned the display of these flags as a predictor of a disturbed mind, on the verge of an eruption. This is such rubbish. These anchors would think nothing of flying the ANC’s old flag."
On June 21, Mercer followed up by quoting a "corrective comment" by "Dr. Dan Roodt, director of PRAAG, for Afrikaner activism," whosaid:
In neither post does Mercer (or Roodt, for that matter) address the issue of apartheid, the thing Roof was presumably endorsing by wearing the flag in question.
As we've noted, Roodt travels in the same circles as American "white nationalists" like Jared Taylor. Roodt was also a fellow traveler of Eugene Terreblanche, a white supremacist who headed the violent and militant Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) until he was killed by two black farmhands.
It's unclear who the "we" is in Roodt's statement that "We have always abided by the Geneva Conventions," but it's dishonest and meaningless either way. PRAAG is not a government and thus not subject to the Geneva conventions; and the conventions apply to the conduct of war and the treatment of prisoners of war, and apartheid was never a declared war against another country but, rather, an internal action of a government against its own people.
All in all, both Mercer and Roodt sound like right-wingers who are trying to defend the Confederate flag -- for instance, a June 21 NewsBusters post by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth complaining that a CNN reporter cited a tweet "comparing the Confederate flag to the flag of Nazi Germany." But Wilmouth never explained why that is an inappropriate or unfair comparison.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Did WND Inspire Charleston Shooter?
Slate reports on the discovery of an apparent online manifesto by Dylann Roof, accused mastermind of the self-declared racist massacre of nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C., church. On a website that appears to have been created by Roof that also features pictures of him burning an American flag, he describes his path to white supremacy:
Gee, where have we heard before that the death of Trayvon Martin was justified and blacks are nothing but thugs and criminals? Why, WorldNetDaily, of course.
WND columnist Jack Cashill has long been a stalwart defender of Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, and relentless trasher of Martin as nothing but a thug in training, as detailed in his WND-published book on the subject. The fact that Zimmerman has proven to be something of a habitual criminal, getting into more legal scrapes than Martin ever did, hasn't stopped Cashill from defending the guy, portraying Zimmerman as a victim akin to Nelson Mandela and the falsely accused black man in "To Kill A Mockingbird."
Cashill is also something of a defender of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which began as a coalition of anti-integration groups in the South in the 1960s and which still promote a white nationalist agenda. In a July 2011 column, Cashill defended onetime WND birther darling Tim Adams after he appeared at a CofCC convention and spouted his discredited birther nonsense, insisting that the group was merely "paleo-conservative" and insisted that its website did not have the "racist language" critics claimed.
For a source of Roof's concern about "black on White crime," one needs to go no further than WND author Colin Flaherty. The author of the WND-republished book "White Girl Bleed A Lot" is so obsessed by "black mob violence" that he sees it everywhere, even when no blacks (or humans) are involved.
Oddly, WND seems to have dumped Flaherty (right around the time that Google threatened to dump WND from its ad program after objecting to how much the term "black mobs" appears on the website), so Flaherty is stuck self-publishing his new anti-black book, and he has to move even further down the right-wing media chain to find an outlet that will publish him.
That outlet is the American Thinker, which published Flaherty's June 19 piece insisting that despite the Charleston church massacre, the state is still filled with black people who want nothing more than to inflict violence on whites:
That "scintillating best seller" to which Flaherty is referring is his own self-published book.
Roof also invoked South Africa, according to Slate:
Of course, WND has as a weekly columnist South Africa native Ilana Mercer, who still pines for the days of apartheid. It has long promoted the causes of racist Afrikaner white mercenaries in South Africa, in its early years through the narratives of Anthony Lo Baido and, more recently, by letting the likes of Alex Newman whitewash the racism of the Afrikaners it quotes and letting pro-apartheid dead-enders opine on the death of Nelson Mandela.
These are the kind of messages WND has been sending out over the years. It looks like, sadly, they have been received all too well by Dylann Roof.
This wouldn't be the first time WND has apparently inspired a terrorist; the manifesto of Anders Breivik, who killed dozens in a 2009 massacre in Norway, cites WND six times and repeats the same anti-Islam, anti-feminist and anti-multiculturalism themes WND has promoted.
Friday, June 19, 2015
WND Is Sad 'Usual Suspects' (Like The Killer?) Blame Charleston Shootings on Racism
WorldNetDaily huffed in a June 19 email promo: "The usual voices are blaming racism, the Second Amendment and Confederate license plates for the murder of nine black citizens at their Charleston church's Bible study."
We don't know anyone who was blaming "Confederate license plates," though the Confederate flag, a symbol of slavery and racism to many, still flies above the South Carolina state capitol. And "the Second Amendment" is not being blamed so much as insufficient regulation of guns; after all, no court has ever ruled that the Second Amendment is absolute.
But "racism"? WND ignores that racism was being blamed by none other than the alleged shooter himself, Dylann Roof. WND's very own Cheryl Chumley noted that herself:
We don't need "the usual voices" to point out Roof's racist intent -- the shooter has already made that case.Perhaps WND's email writer should read the website he or she is working for before writing those promos.
But what about that "common trait" Roof purportedly shares with other killers? We'll get to that soon...
Thursday, June 18, 2015
CNS' First Reaction to Charleston Shooting: Invoking Al Sharpton
When it came to covering the news of a white man shooting nine unarmed blacks in Charleston, S.C., CNSNews.com knew what it had to do: pander to the racial animosity of its right-wing readership by raising the specter of Al Sharpton.
Thus, CNS' first piece of original coverage of the Charleston shooting is an article by "CNSNews.com staff" posted at 7:54 a.m. on June 18 quoting Sharpton's statement about the alleged shooter: "Obviously he's deranged. Probably a hate crime."
Jones then undermined her own attempt to portray Sharpton as race-baiting over the shooting later in her article, when she noted that "Police described the mass murder as a hate crime." Oops.
This was embarrassing even by CNS' usual standards -- usually, its attempts to pander to its right-wing audience aren't this blatant. CNS seemed to recognize this, as the article didn't last long on its front page.
Strangely, CNS tried to play this same card a couple hours later, with an article by Melanie Hunter noting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is launching a hate crimes investigation into the shooting. While Hunter noted that the shootings occured at "a historic black church," she curiously didn't note that the suspect, Dylann Roof, is white.
Plus, it turns out that Sharpton and Lynch's suspicions were proven correct: Law enforcement officials said the shooter rose during a prayer service, declaring that he was there to kill black people.
The only other bit of what passes for original reportage at CNS on the Charleston shooting is another piece by Hunter, this time quoting a sermon given by one of the victims, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, in April after "Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, had been gunned down by former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager." Hunter didn't mention that Slager was white, or that Scott was running away from Slager at the time he was shot.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
CNS' Sad, Lying Little Pitch For Cash
A new Media Research Center donation page for CNSNews.com begins its sales pitch like this:
So that explains it! CNS exists so that the MRC can get in on some of that sweet, sweet action.
As its Duggar fiasco demonstrates, CNS' brand of journalism is anything but "accurate, balanced, and unfiltered." And Levin says that about CNS because the MRC pays him to say it.
The pitch concludes by declaring that CNS "rely solely on donations from conservatives to help us report the news the liberal media distort, slant, or censor." So CNS can do its own distortions, slants and censorship, of course.
It's a sad little pitch that denies reality -- and actually tells lies -- to make a grab for cash. But that's what the MRC does.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Trump's Candidacy Gets A Newsmax TV Special
The mutual lovefest between Newsmax and Donald Trump goes way back -- it was the lead cheerleader for a Trump presidential candidacy in 2011, and the two attempted to host a Republican presidential debate together. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has no problem with this, saying at one point, "Trump realizes the great potential of Newsmax and has been using it very adroitly. We're well aware he's using it, happy he's using it."
Newsmax has been touting Trump's presidential ambitions again for this election cycle, and Ruddy hung out at Trump's house to watch the Super Bowl. So with Trump actually declaring a presidential run, it's no surprise to see Newsmax give a little extra love. As a June 16 Newsmax article by Todd Beamon explains, Trump's announcement is getting its own special on Newsmax TV:
Correct us if we're wrong, but we don't recall Newsmax TV giving the "special presentation" treatment to any other Republican presidential candidate.
Monday, June 15, 2015
CNS Lets A Birther Write A Column
The Media Research Center's creeping WND-ism continues in an eminently logical direction: CNSNews.com is giving space to a birther.
A June 11 CNS column features Herbert W. Titus and his law partner, William J. Olson, ranting against same-sex marriage and declaring that the Surpreme Court has no right to sit in judgment of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage because Sir William Blackstone said so, or something. CNS' bio for Titus highlights how he "taught Constitutional Law for 26 years, and concluded his academic career as the Founding Dean of Regent Law School."
What CNS doesn't tell you about Herb Titus: He's a birther, and the birthers at WND love him.
In a 2009 WND article, Titus proclaimed that "Obama cannot be a natural-born citizen, even if he’s born in Hawaii," because he did not have two parents who were American citizens and that his "loyalties" lie with his Kenyan-born father. In a 2012 WND article, Titus asserted that natural born citizenship is "God-given" and that the concept "is written into the very nature of the universe of nation-states" and "exists independent of any human power, legislative or otherwise. That is why ‘natural born citizenship’ is not defined in the Constitution."
Never mind that the Constitution makes any mention whatsoever about "loyalties," or that courts over the past century or so have routinely defined the term as applying to anyone born in the U.S. regardless of the parents' citizenship.
By contrast, Titus has been much less vocal about the eligibility status of Ted Cruz, whose political views align much closer to him than Obama's and who is also not eligible to be president under his extremely narrow definition of the term.
Religion Dispatches points out that Titus is an admirer of the late R.J. Rushdoony, the father of the far-right principle of Christian Reconstructionism -- a principle also followed by WND editor Joseph Farah.
This is the guy who CNS has deemed acceptable to write an opinon column for it.
Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!
Accuracy in Media
Capital Research Center
Free Congress Foundation
Media Research Center
The Daily Les
Western Journalism Center
Support Bloggers' Rights!