ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Saturday, July 4, 2015
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch

It's a new month, and you know what that means: Time for Ali Meyer and the rest of the crew to cherry-pick statistics to make the latest unemployment numbers look as bad as possible and ignore positive news. And they do what they're paid to do:

Record 93,626,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Declines to 62.6%

19.8% of U.S. Workforce Was Foreign-Born in June

56,085,000 Women Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Declines to 56.7%

None of these stories mentioned that 223,000 jobs were created. The first story is the only one to note that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent, but not until the sixth paragraph.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:47 PM EDT
Friday, July 3, 2015
How The MRC Defends Trump's Smears of Mexicans
Topic: Media Research Center

From the beginning, the Media Research Center has worked to downplay Donald Trump's smears of Mexican immigrants.

In a June 18 NewsBusters post, Ken Oliver-Mendez spun hard by insisting that Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists "was not unqualifiedly negative, as he also immediately added 'and some, I assume, are good people.'" Oliver-Mendez then touted how "On the campaign trail after his announcement speech, Trump actually upgraded his assessment somewhat."

Oliver-Mendez grumbled that on Spanish-language networks, "Trump’s opening campaign statement effectively morphed from a condemnation of the perceived prevalence of undesirable elements among unauthorized immigrants entering the country to an offensive statement against immigrants in general, particularly Mexican immigrants." Of course, when you are falsely branding Mexican immigrants as mostly criminals and rapists as Trump did, that's an entirely reasonable reaction. 

Also spinning hard is Kevin Gibbons, who uses a June 25 NewsBusters post to keep up the complaint that people were elevating Trump's offensive remarks and ignoring the "positive statements" about Mexico he made:

Trump actually made several positive statements about Mexico and Mexicans, but they have gone largely unheard in the media due to the force of the other, unpleasant remarks he also made.

“Druggies, drug dealers, rapists and killers are coming across the southern border,” Trump tweeted the other day. Even though the object of Trump’s attention knows it’s true, she apparently doesn’t want anyone else to point it out.

Trump’s campaign announcement speech actually applauded Mexico with “They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically.”  Everything was going well on the first date, until he took a personal shot at her family member. Trump later added “Mexico is killing the United States economically because their leaders and negotiators are FAR smarter than ours.”

In response, Univision in particular has fueled a well-known negative stereotype of a Mexican’s reaction to a personal insult.  Instead of “appreciating” that Mexico outperforms the U.S., all of the focus and attention are on the name-calling.

Gibbons goes on to declare that Univision's dumping of the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant was "rash" and "akin to ESPN cancelling their NBA contract because of racist comments made by former Clippers owner Donald Sterling." Well, no; it's more akin to ESPN cancelling their NBA contract because the NBA commissioner made racist comments.

On June 27, Jeffrey Lord laughably asserted that Trump's smears were "accurate," adding: "Trump is surging in the polls on the very basis of his blunt criticisms of the Obama administration’s conduct of foreign affairs and the GOP Establishment’s woeful performance on issues - dealings with Mexico over the southern border and on trade but two of those issues."

Thge MRC also gave a platform to Jorge Bonilla to defend Trump in a June 28 post. Bonilla proclaimed that Trump "laced blunt truths with Trumpian hyperbolic bombast, adding: "Opinion on Trump aside, reasonable people can agree (or disagree) that perhaps not every undocumented immigrant will be a valedictorian or a hard-working incarnation of the American Dream with an immaculate criminal record, or that our seriously deficient immigration model is in dire need of actual reform."

But does Bonilla agree with Trump that most are criminals and rapists? Apparently so.

By this time, however, it was time for a distraction, which the MRC found in a Univision executive's posting a picture to his Instagram page comparing Trump to Chalreston shooter Dylann Roof. The MRC happily promoted Fox News criticism of it, and Tim Graham whined that the media was ignoring the "scabrous" image in its coverage of the Trump-Univision conflict.

Of course, Graham ignores his employer's promotion of a similarly scabrous image comparing President Obama to Satan in which which the MRC blogger giggled, "Spoiler alert: Barack Obama is the one on the right."

MRC chief Brent Bozell dutifully pounded the Trump-roof image, but he failed to mention the anti-Mexican smears by Trump that provoked the image (and, needless to say, his own organization's promotion of an image that's just as "unacceptable" as he claims the Trump-Roof image is).

It's what you'd expect from an organization that finds holding a conservative accountable for his words to be more offensive than insulting an entire race of people.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
Thursday, July 2, 2015
MRC Mad That Historic Court Ruling Is Accurately Described As Historic
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck complains in a June 25 MRC NewsBusters item:

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling in favor of President Obama in the ObamaCare subsidy case, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC were out in full force during their Thursday evening newscasts to cheer the “historic ruling” and labeled Chief Justice John Roberts as a “conservative” after having “saved” ObamaCare “from a devastating blow.”

Houck doesn't explain how describing a historic ruling as historic, or a conservative justice as conservative, constitutes the liberal bias he implies is happening here.

Houck is the latest MRC worker to fulfill the Stephen Colbert principle that reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Gay Marriage Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One has to ask what caused Roberts, as he has done before, to trash his own professed conservative principles, that we are a nation of laws and not men and that no branch of government can be permitted to subvert the Constitution?

Perhaps the answer to this and a number of the chief justice’s other aberrant rulings and statements can be explained by the coercive intelligence practices of the NSA and CIA. These criminally minded agencies, as disclosed by Edward Snowden, have “harvested” the confidential secrets of even Supreme Court justices. According to another whistleblower, Chief Justice Roberts was at the top of the list.

So the big question is this: Did the NSA and/or the CIA, working in concert with their Supreme Leader Obama, blackmail Roberts into submission?
Even the potential for this to happen, given the unconstitutional surveillance of the spy agencies on nearly all Americans, underscores why the nation is again on the verge of revolution. If evil despots have compromised even our Supreme Court, the ultimate protector and “decider” of our rights, then what choice is left to us?

-- Larry Klayman, June 26 WorldNetDaily column

There will be consequences for this decision. Don’t expect everyone to put aside their most deeply held religious convictions and live happily ever after. Don’t expect the cultural anarchists who put this movement in place just a decade ago to stop here. This is the beginning of their revolution, not the endgame.

As a Christian, I also believe we will be hearing from the author of marriage soon.

I don’t know what form that message will come, but it is certain to be heard sooner rather than later.

America’s elite leadership have taken the side of the enemies of God, and He will take notice.

It could come in the form of an economic crash. It could come in more civil and racial strife along the lines of what has been building in recent years. It could come in the form of an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.

I suspect it will something big. I take no comfort in passing along this warning. It’s just the pattern that God uses to bring His people to repentance for their own good.

Read the Bible. It’s unmistakable.

And while you’re reading the Bible, be sure to see what it says about marriage.

-- Joseph Farah, June 26 WND column

The horrific nature of this illegitimate decision cannot be overstated. It makes a mockery of the institution of marriage, something of which God alone has the authority to design and define. It represents a level of judicial activism unmatched since Dred Scott, Buck v. Bell or Roe v. Wade.

Man-woman marriage, as He designed it, is the metaphor God uses for the relationship between Christ and His Church. In addition to mocking marriage, this decision mocks God.

Which is by spiritual design.

Satan is laughing himself silly right now. His demonic minions, both above and below, are popping the bubbly and clinking the champagne flutes.

Evil has triumphed.

For now at least.

But not in the end.

Because God will not be mocked.

And victory is His.

-- Matt Barber, June 26 WND column

Soon, public school textbooks throughout the country will be re-written and re-illustrated to conform to today’s ruling. It matters not that these revisions will contradict the beliefs and convictions of their parents. It will soon become the law of the land.

Many more vulnerable kids will grow up in homes with same-sex parents, obviously lacking either masculine or feminine role models. They are the real victims of the Court’s ruling.

Adults will suffer, too. I believe a barrage of court cases has already been planned against those who hold to politically incorrect views of marriage. Many of us will be dragged into court to be prosecuted or subjected to civil judgments. Some will lose their jobs, while others forfeit their businesses. Some will be persecuted and ridiculed and fined. Some may go to prison as the years unfold. Since same-sex marriage has now been determined to be a universal human right by the highest court in the land, it will trump religious liberty, churches, seminaries, Christian schools, businesses and a host of individual liberties. I also fear that judgment will befall this once great nation.

-- James Dobson, June 26 WND column

Further, the United States now must recognize the validity and legality of what is called “gay marriage” – but which really is a bastardization of the word “marriage” – both in definition and in practice.

Toss the dictionaries – the 1,000-year-plus understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman – the foundation of a family, which provides stability for the birth and raising of children.

The definition has been changed on the whim of five people on the high court influenced by massive and incessant pressure by the homosexual movement.

Now, two men or two women can “marry” – can have children as long as someone donates sperm or an egg or, in some cases, carries the child to term. Who’s mommy? Who’s daddy? Who knows?

God help children.

-- Barbara Simpson, June 28 WND column

God is giving America over to her lusts and pride because, like ancient Israel, she has turned away her heart from Him, though He was like a faithful husband to them both.

America is, indeed, getting justice, but not the way Obama and the moral anarchists think of it. They are getting their just deserts, as are the rest of us who have not been the salt and light needed to hold back judgment.

Judgment isn’t just coming. It is here. This is it. It could get worse, but the Supreme Court ruling on marriage was, in fact, itself a form of divine judgment on America.

Let me risk prosecution for “hate thoughts” by raising what the Bible says about homosexuality, the behavior that opened this spiritual Pandora’s box.

-- Joseph Farah, June 29 WND column

Congress should formally recognize the dignity of opposite-sex married couples and resolve to protect that dignity in our laws. A joint resolution should recite the many reasons why the special union of husband and wife has been honored for “millennia,” as Justice Kennedy admitted.

Only the union of husband and wife was recognized in the foundational texts of Western civilization, including the book of Genesis as well as the classical writers of ancient Greece and Rome. The union of husband and wife was singled out for special recognition in the words of Jesus, as recorded in the gospels of the New Testament.

Only the union of husband and wife is honored in our cultural heritage – depicted in thousands of works of art and chronicled in thousands of works of literature – which have inspired and ennobled people over millennia. Only the union of husband and wife can provide the biological connection that attaches a child to its parents and, through them, to other members of the human family.

The union of husband and wife is the only means of tracing history over generations. Royal dynasties, such as the family that has ruled Great Britain since 1066 – the same family that chartered the North American colonies beginning in 1607 – would have been impossible without it.

Only the union of husband and wife can provide a stable home as a self-supporting economic unit suitable for rearing and educating children. That is why Karl Marx, in his Communist Manifesto of 1848, called for “abolition of the family” as a necessary step toward a revolutionary communist utopia.

-- Phyllis Schlafly, June 29 WND column

Recently, we have seen judicial activism on steroids at the Supreme Court. That is especially true in their hubris-laden decision to set aside “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” and say that same-sex marriage is now the law of the land in all 50 states. Period.

We-a-slim-majority-of-the-Court have spoken. And there it is. To me the big issue boils down to authority. By what authority did a majority do this?

As Chief Justice Roberts himself said, you can celebrate this decision if you want to, but the bottom line is it had nothing to do with the Constitution.

-- Jerry Newcombe, June 30 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
MRC Writer Thinks Musicians Get Paid By The Hour
Topic: Media Research Center

For someone whose job it is to write about business, the Media Research Center's Joseph Rossell doesn't know much about it. Take this opening paragraph from Rossell's June 26 MRC Business & Media Institute item:

Left-wing Apple is huge and popular with the technorati. It became the world’s first company worth $700 billion, and was once rich enough to buy the entire island of Cyprus. But Apple said it can only afford to pay musicians pennies an hour for streaming their music, approximately 27 times less than Chinese factory workers earned making the Apple Watch.

Wow -- so much wrong in one paragraph. We'll skip the fact that Rossell offers no evidence to claim Apple is "left-wing," and we'll take a educated guess that a not-insignificant number of Rossell's MRC employees use Apple products, which undermines his sneering at the company's supposed politics. Instead, we'll move right to his complete ignorance of how musicians are paid for their music.

Rossell's claim that Apple's new music streaming service pays "per hour" is utterly wrong. No streaming service does that. He later concedes that streaming services pay on the basis of how many times a song is streamed, but he clings to the per-hour claim to push his apples-to-rutabagas comparison with the salaries of Chinese workers, insisting that "it was far stingier with musicians than some Apple suppliers were with their Chinese employees."

But musicians do not work for Apple on a salaried or even a contract basis the way a factory worker does for his or her employer, and Apple paying a royalty to musicians for streaming their music is not even remotely the same as someone being paid to work several hours a day at an Apple supplier.

Rossell doesn't seem to understand that, unlike that Apple supplier worker, musicians have multiple streams of revenue. Rossell portrayed musician Pharrell Williams as kind of poor because of the paltry streaming revenues he receives. But as Forbes details, he will make $32 million this year; he makes money from not only his music sales and touring but also from his clothing line and appearances on the TV show "The Voice."

If Rossell is so concerned about the revenue of musicians, he might want to focus his ire on radio stations, which pay nothing to musicians for the songs they play. But then, the National Association of Broadcasters, the lobbying group for radio stations, opposes paying royalties, and the contributions of its PAC appear to skew Republican.

But that would require knowing something about how business works, which, again, Rossell doesn't.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:39 PM EDT
Monday, June 29, 2015
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Barely Managing Editor
Michael W. Chapman is in charge of CNS' news operation, and he makes sure the news is extremely biased. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:38 PM EDT
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:

With all due respect, it is Cardinal Wuerl who doesn't have a clear view of what the other person is saying.

Laudato Si has unleashed an enormous national (and international) discussion. As many theologians have expressed so passionately, this is not -- NOT -- a political document. The essence of this encyclical transcends politics. It is, at its heart, a spiritual message calling on humanity to show greater reverence for nature --  and not as Gaia but as a gift from God. Were the focus there, and there alone, it would be a message that could be embraced by every conservative, and conservatives would be well advised that is is something everyone should.

Sadly, the document trends, needlessly and annoyingly, into the political arena, with ideological pronouncements that will allow the political left to manipulate the conversation.  They'll pounce on them in order to claim the moral high ground alongside the scientific high ground.

Thus Rush is correct.  When next I read that some left-wing political leader is using this encyclical to further his political agenda, it will be my fervent hope that Cardinal Wuerl will respond by telling him that doesn't have all the facts, and doesn't have a clear view of the intention of Laudato Si.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
Saturday, June 27, 2015
WND Can't Prove Us Wrong
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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:

The Martin reference inspired the Huffington Post’s Terry Krepel to publish an article Monday headlined, “Did Right-Wing Media Influence Dylann Roof?”

In the article, Krepel quotes Roof on Martin and then asks the twisted, defamatory question, “Where have we heard before that the death of Trayvon Martin was justified and blacks are nothing but thugs and criminals?”

The answer to the first part of that phrase, Krepel insists, is here on the pages of WND. As to second part of that question – the “nothing but thugs and criminals” part – one has to wonder whether the cash-strapped HuffPo has fired all its editors – and lawyers for that matter.

Yes, two years ago, WND published my book on the George Zimmerman case, “If I Had A Son.” Yes, the WND editors and I believe it is wrong to send an innocent man to prison for 30 years. Krepel slams us for so thinking.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 4, 2015 10:17 PM EDT
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:

The devil, you say. Actually, the devil, they say. Sunday night’s episode of the hit series “The Bible” on the History Channel featured an appearance by Satan, who as, depicted, looked familiar to many viewers. Feel free to judge for yourself. Spoiler alert: Barack Obama is the one on the right.

Bozell's buddy, Rush Limbaugh, found it hilarious as well, as WorldNetDaily documented at the time:

Rush Limbaugh held up a photo of the actor Monday afternoon on his famous “Dittocam” to show viewers that the Satan character was “a dead ringer” for Obama.

“Folks, it is uncanny,” Limbaugh noted, before quipping, “In light of that picture … the question that sprang to everybody’s mind is: if Satan had a son, would he look like the guy [in the White House]?”

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:19 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 26, 2015 5:21 PM EDT
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" 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.

And indeed, the AIM store does have a small selection of Confederate wares: a battle flag of unspecified size, a "desk flag," and a Confederate flag necktie.


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...

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
A Letter to Terry Jeffrey

(ConWebWatch sent the following letter to Terry Jeffrey, editor-in-chief. We'll let you know if we get a reply.)

Dear Mr. Jeffrey:

I read your June 22 CNS column asking whether an "outrageously provocative" photo of Ted Cruz issued by the Associated Press was an "accidental or deliberate" act. That inspired me to discuss a similar question with you as the head of your own news organization.

On May 16, CNS published an article (curiously credited only to " Staff") about how President Obama is "marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia." Accompanying the photo is a three-year-old picture described as being taken from "The New York City Gay Pride Parade" featuring men dressed only in pink shorts.

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?

You state that "There is nothing subtle about these photos" -- just as there is nothing subtle about the photo used with the ultimately declared that "It is not not reasonable to conclude these photos were produced and published by accident." Is it similarly unreasonable to conclude that CNS' choice of photo for the May 16 article is an accident as well?

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?


Terry Krepel
Editor, ConWebWatch

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
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.

If the MRC can't even do the basic research needed to keep itself from looking like an idiot on such issues of simple history, why trust any of its other "media research"? (Hint: You can't.)

(Image: Reuters/PBS)

Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Monday, June 22, 2015
Michelle Obama Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I know, I know. We’re not supposed to criticize Michelle or the girls.

I don’t know where that came from, but it’s about time we’re relieved of the “emperor has no clothes” rule.

And forget that the kids are off limits.

If the parents take the children with them on official travels and include them in virtually every public event, then what they do, look like and wear are fair game for comment.

If I see another picture of Michelle, Sasha and Malia trooping up or down the steps to their plane with their legs hanging out, I think I’m going to throw up.

What’s going on with the short, short skirts?

It’s bad enough when we’re treated to Michelle’s knees, but with the girls – who are growing into lovely young women – their above mid-thigh skirt lengths are ridiculous. Keep in mind, they’re 14 and 16 years old, yet wearing dresses and skirts short enough for a 4-year-old.

I know it’s summer, but their casualness in skirt length is more suitable for a beach, not when they’re representing our country.


Michelle Obama is 51 years old. She’s the wife of the president. She’s traveling as a representative of our government and our country.

Why doesn’t she dress her age and status?

I’m not saying dowdy. I’m suggesting some top-notch designs for a woman of substance – smart, classy, and chic.

Did you see her wardrobe in the current trip? Look at the pictures, look at the designs.

Clearly Michelle Obama is very “high-waisted,” and for some reason, which is beyond me, she insists on emphasizing that.

She wears clothes that have waistlines snuggled just below her breasts. Remember all her outfits with enormously wide belts in front? Those only emphasize the problem and make her look heavier.

-- Barbara Simpson, June 21 WorldNetDaily column

“Girls like you inspire me and impress me every single day,” she said. “When I look out at all these young women, I see myself. In so many ways, your story is my story.”

In saying this, Michelle Obama was implying that both she and the Muslim girls she was addressing faced oppression, discrimination and disadvantage. She was, in other words, advancing the false Muslims-as-victims narrative that Islamic advocacy groups such as the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, work so hard to cultivate in the U.S.

Michelle Obama did not, of course, address the fact that the primary source of the oppression and discrimination that these Muslim girls face and will face in the future is their own families – primarily their fathers and husbands.

The first lady could have called upon these girls to reject the Shariah misogyny that devalues women’s testimony and inheritance rights, reduces women to commodity status via polygamy, sanctions their beating and makes them vulnerable to genital mutilation and honor killing. But she didn’t dare say anything about any of that.


Tell us, Mrs. Obama, about your oppression and disadvantage, from your position emanating from the highest and most powerful office in the free-est country in the world.

Tell us how wronged you were in between your multiple daily wardrobe changes of the most expensive designer clothes in the world. Tell us how awful it was for you to get accepted and attend Princeton University (along with your brother) in your youth and make your own choices to live your life any way you wanted.

Vicious hypocrite.

-- Pamela Geller, June 21 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 PM EDT
Sunday, June 21, 2015
WND's Mercer Defends The Honor Of Apartheid-Era S. African Flag
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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:

Roof is as ignorant as the MM (malfunctioning media) and its accomplices (Southern Poverty Center), who are attempting to further marginalize the South African and Rhodesian white minorities (most of the latter have been purged by black “freedom fighters”) by associating the alleged killer with the once internationally flown flags of these defunct countries.

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:

The Christian and humane principles on which both the old South Africa and Rhodesia were founded, prohibited any form of ethnic massacre. In fact, during Afrikaner history we were mostly the victims of such massacres by either foreigners of other ethnic groups, so we understand the pain and suffering associated with such mass killings.


We have a proud military tradition, associated with our flag. We have always abided by the Geneva Conventions. Unlike our enemies who practiced terror against us and who still attack our own civilians on farms and in our homes, we would never think of attacking civilians, let alone in a church while praying to God.”

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 PM EDT
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Did WND Inspire Charleston Shooter?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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:

The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?

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:

In Charleston, locals know racial violence is far more widespread than that. Only it is far more likely to be black on white.

Greenville, South Carolina talk show Tara Servatius has been talking about the attempted assassination of a white deputy sheriff by a black man less than a month ago. And how it is part of a pattern of black attacks on white cops.

Police shot the man dead in Charleston after a ten-hour standoff. The deputy is recovering from a shot at close range to the back of his head.

“I’m getting a ton of email from police around the country thanking me for talking about that,” said Servatius. “Some had not heard about it.”

That’s because reporters do not think it is a big deal.

Also earlier this month, the Charleston County Sheriff identified four black men as suspects in the killing of a five-year old white girl during a home invasion robbery. Neither did that make it into the war-on-black-people narrative that followed the shooting.

In April, Charleston reeled after the police released the 911 calls documenting the panic and terror created by a mob of 60 black people who rampaged through the streets, robbing people, assaulting neighbors, destroying property, and creating mayhem.

Violent crime in Charleston, like the rest of the country, is a black thing: Black on white violence is wildly out of proportion. The latest killings do not change that. Nor do the efforts of local and national reporters to ignore, deny, condone, excuse, encourage and even lie about it.


A black person is 50 times more likely to assault a white person than the other way around. The black on white rape numbers are even more out of proportion when compared to white on black sexual assault.

Black Twitter did not bother to cloak the black-on-white racial hostility. Thousands of tweets picked up these false narratives -- what people call lies today -- and urged violence against white people. They are as easy to find as they are disturbing to read.

The reality of black on white racial violence and hostility is something that white people live with every day -- and is documented in that scintillating best seller: Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry --The hoax of black victimization and how that is the biggest lie of our generation.

That "scintillating best seller" to which Flaherty is referring is his own self-published book.

Roof also invoked South Africa, according to Slate:

Some people feel as though the South is beyond saving, that we have too many blacks here. To this I say look at history. The South had a higher ratio of blacks when we were holding them as slaves. Look at South Africa, and how such a small minority held the black in apartheid for years and years. Speaking of South Africa, if anyone thinks that think will eventually just change for the better, consider how in South Africa they have affirmative action for the black population that makes up 80 percent of the population.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« July 2015 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google