CNS Dishonestly Smears Obama As Lover of China's "Five-Year Plan" Topic: CNSNews.com
Yes, we know CNSNews.com puts its right-wing, anti-Obama agenda ahead of the facts. But never so egregiously as it did in the headline of an Aug. 1 article (curiously credited to "CNSNews.com Staff," as if nobody wanted to have their name associated with this): "Obama Wants 5-Year Plan: ‘I Guarantee You This Is Not How China’ Handles Its Infrastructure."
We can guarantee you that's not how a real news operation, staffed by actual journalists instead of ideologues, would have handled that headline.
The implication is that Obama is no different than a Red Chinese dictator who wants meaningless "five-year plans" to create the illusion of progress as in the old Soviet era. In fact, as the speech the article reproduces makes clear, Obama was speaking after signing a three-month extension of the current funding plan for transportation needs in the U.S. Obama said:
Well, I am about to sign a three-month extension of our highway funding. And that’s a good thing, because if this wasn’t in front of me and ready for signature, we would end up having projects all across the country that would be closing after midnight.
On the other hand, we have now made it a habit where instead of five-year funding plans for transportation, instead of long-term approaches where we can actually strategize on what are the most important infrastructure projects, how are they getting paid for, providing certainties to governors and mayors and states and localities about how they’re going to approach critical infrastructure projects -- roads, bridges, ports, airports -- instead, we operate as if we’re hand-to-mouth three months at a time, which freezes a lot of construction, which makes people uncertain, which leads to businesses not being willing to hire because they don’t have any long-term certainty. It’s a bad way for the U.S. government to do business.
So what Obama is talking about is a "five-year" funding plan. And these "five-year plans" CNS is sneering at is how the federal government has handled transportation spending for nearly 40 years, including under Republican presidents. The Center for Climate and Energy Solution summarizes:
Since 1978, Congress has reauthorized the federal transportation program as part of a larger multi-year surface transportation law.The HTF funded only highways until 1983, when Congress created the Mass Transit Account, and in later years added bicycle/pedestrian projects, recreational trails, and funding for freight and passenger rail projects. Until 2008, the HTF was funded exclusively from highway- user fees, including fuel and vehicle fees.
The two most recent reauthorization laws are called SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21. SAFETEA-LU was enacted in 2005 and was intended to expire in 2009. While working on a multi-year reauthorization, however, Congress passed short-term extensions of SAFETEA-LU nine times. The current multi-year reauthorization, MAP-21, was enacted in 2012 and is set to expire on October 1, 2014, unless Congress reauthorizes the program.
MAP-21 has been extended twice since October 2014, and what Obama just signed is the third extension that will continue MAP-21 another three months.
And CNS fails to mention that one key reason there isn't a new transportaion plan is because of the Republicans that control the House and Senate. Politico reports:
There are emerging divisions between House and Senate GOP leaders, who now have fewer than six weeks to deal with a vexing highway problem that’s been unsolved for seven years and costs billions just to keep on life support past July 31.
In the House, Republicans have basically given up on finding the tens of billions of dollars they’d need for a long-term fix for the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. Instead, they’re mulling how to pay for the latest punt. But on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Republicans refuse to admit defeat, even though they have yet to come up with the huge sums of money they’d need for a major extension.
Politico also notes that some Republicans are in favor of one of those hated "five-year plan" type things: "Senior lawmakers say they are aiming for a funding bill that covers up to four years, which would cost as much as $60 billion just to extend current highway spending levels."
Oh, and Obama cited the decidedly non-communist Germany as another example of a country that doesn't fund transportation this way. But strangely, that didn't make it into CNS' headline.
But hey, since when does the truth matter if there's a cheap political attack to be made?
By the way, this article was presented as "news," not the dishonest opinion that it is.
Newsmax In Full Trump Promotion Mode Topic: Newsmax
As one might expect given their history together, Newsmax is doing what it can to boost Donald Trump's presidential bid. Here are three of the most obsequious ways it's doing so.
1) The book promo. Newsmax loves giving away books to gin up subscriptions to its magazine, and this time it's using Trump's 2010 book "Time To Get Tough" as its loss leader. The promo copy is positively fawning:
Donald Trump officially put his name in the ring for the 2016 elections, and he touched down like a tornado with his presidential announcement at the Trump Tower in New York.
The well-known entrepreneur and American success story is brazenly taking a stab at real change for our country, with a solid plan to do away with the “losers” who run what was once the most powerful nation in the world.
His announcement speech exposed the flaws of the nation’s leaders and recalled strong elements from his best-selling book, “Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again.”
“Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again” is a pointed reflection on America today. It’s a face-the-facts profile of the damage the Obama administration has done and the concrete solutions needed to stop our decline.
As per usual, the book comes with a three-month "free" subscription to Newsmax magazine and a financial newsletter, which must be canceled before recipients are charged $39.95 for a year's subscription to the magazine and $49.95 for the newsletter.
2) Trump campaign-esque PR. The July 25 Newsmax article is listed as being written by Jim Meyers, but it may have just as well come directly from the Trump campaign's media shop:
Donald Trump has consistently been outpolling all announced Republican presidential candidates despite a barrage of lies in the media about the business mogul.
Here's a look at some of the more prominent untruths the media have reported about Trump:
Meyers has to really finesse the facts to go after some of these "untruths," like this:
The Washington Post reported that Trump said "McCain was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese." But Trump immediately modified his statement by saying, four times, that McCain is a war hero, including: "He is a war hero" and "he is a war hero because he was captured."
But doesn't the fact that Trump "immediately modified" his statement on McCain mean that Trump actually did say McCain wasn't a war hero? You'd think so, but Trump -- er, Meyers feels differently.
3) Kessler's Trump-fluffing. Ronald Kessler -- a Trump-fluffer who did all he could to set the billionaire up for a presidential run in 2012 when he was still a Newsmax employee -- comes back to do some serious sucking-up to the guy in a July 27 article:
The "real Donald Trump" is not the brash, outspoken presidential candidate we're seeing but instead is a sound businessman with smart ideas, says a best-selling author.
During an appearance on Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Prime," Ronald Kessler tells host J.D. Hayworth that if Trump makes it to the general election, he'll know what to do.
"I interviewed his longtime assistant and vice president Norma Foerderer, who went back to when he didn't even have an office," says Kessler, who has written 20 nonfiction books about the Secret Service, CIA, and the FBI."
In a 2006 Kessler article titled "The Real Donald Trump," she revealed, “Donald can be totally outrageous, but outrageous in a wonderful way that gets him coverage. That persona sells his licensed products and his condominiums. You know Donald’s never been shy, and justifiably so, in talking about how wonderful his buildings or his golf clubs are.”
The private Donald Trump, on the other hand, is “the dearest, most thoughtful, most loyal, most caring man,” Foerderer said. That caring side inspires loyalty and is one of his secrets to success.
Kessler is so obsequious to Trump the guy might as well be paying him, if he isn't already.
4) Defending the indefensible. The Trump-fluffing has gotten so bad, Newsmax on Aug. 3 gave its Trump stories its own sycophantic section title, "Donald Trump Stays Strong":
Note the last story in that list, the only one that approaches being negative. It's about Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who had to be fired after offensive writings, including about Al Sharpton's daughter, surfaced. But the story itself, by Courtney Coren, desperately tries to spin things, quoting her boss trying to sweep the controversy under the rug by saying wonderful things about Nunberg:
Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said that "Sam has played a terrific role in connecting the Trump campaign with the major media and grassroots organizations that have been key to Trump's success. I hope the investigation of this matter shows it is much to do about nothing."
That's the sound of a guy who is putting trying to stay in Trump's good graces above providing fair and balanced journalism.
MRC Names Blogging Award After A Terrible Blogger Topic: NewsBusters
Tonight is NewsBusters' 10th anniversary party, complete with party at a swanky downtown Washington, D.C. nightclub:
The celebration will be held at The Hamilton in downtown Washington, D.C., on Monday, August 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.
As part of the festivities, emcee Ann Coulter will announce our first annual Noel Sheppard Media Blogger of the Year Award. In honor of Noel's memory we established this award to go to a media blogger "who best reflects the spirit of Noel Sheppard’s energetic blog postings in pursuit of exposing the news media’s liberal political agenda."
Note that the Media Research Center is celebrating how "energetic" a blogger Sheppard was -- not how accurate he was.
We've been documenting Sheppard's work for NewsBusters since 2007, when we first noted his history of double standards, incomplete reporting, misleading claims and nasty attacks. He was also a factually challenged climate denier, to the point of telling lies about Al Gore to his infamous appearance on a conspiracy-theory TV show hosted by Jesse Ventura in which he delcared that global warming is all about “power and money and control of the population."
When he wasn't issuing corrections for his blog posts -- which was surprisinglyoften -- he was slapping cliched, recycled headlines on 'em. If you wanted to hear how somebody was "smacked down" or "schooled," Sheppard was your guy.
Given that, it's rather fitting that Ann Coulter will be giving out the Noel Sheppard award. She's turned herself into a performance artist who must continually say offensive things in order to stay in the headlines, to the point that she's effectively taking a eugenic approach to immigration (no fatties!), which used to be a bad thing when right-wingers accused Margaret Sanger of it.
The fact that MRC thinks Sheppard 1) deserves an award to be named after him and 2) is being "honored" by having Ann Coulter give it out says volumes about the MRC.
MRC's Bozell & Graham Cherry-Pick To Attack Stewart Topic: Media Research Center
Kicking off what is sure to be a week full of envy and spite at the Media Research Centder as Jon Stewart finishes up his run as host of "The Daily Show," Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devote their July 31 column to raging over Stewart's "secret" meetings with President Obama. In particular, they obsessed over one particular line:
Naturally, on his way out the door at Comedy Central, Stewart tried to turn the whole story into a nasty joke. After playing a series of Fox News clips reporting on the secret meetings, he announced one Obama meeting included Elvis and a space alien and the meeting opened with "the traditional Saul Alinsky prayer" before they "took turns [sexually penetrating] a replica of the Reagan eye socket." But wait, it gets worse. "The real Reagan eye socket is kept in the Smithsonian, and is only f—-ed on Christmas."
This kind of "comedy" mocking Christian, Fox-watching, Reagan admirers is his daily dish.
Actually, Stewart was mocking people and Bozell and Graham, who seem to think that's what actually happened during the Stewart-Obama meeting.
Apparently, Bozell and Graham stopped watching the "Daily Show" segment after that joke, for they missed Stewart explaining what happened in that White House visit and why he went.
Stewart pointed out that he had been mocking Vladimir Putin long before the "secret" meeting with Obama in which he was purportedly instructed to do so, adding:
Let me tell you how this happened. The president asked me to come to Washington, and I did. Because if the president tells you and you don't, who the [expletive] know what would happen?And by the way, to all future presidents: If you ask me to do that, I will do that, because I have no idea how to react to that other than, "What time?"
And here's how the meetings went. Here's what happened: We spent about five to seven minutes with Obama kind of scolding me not to turn young Americans cynical. And then I spent five to seven minutes explaining to him I'm actually skeptically idealistic and smiling like this. And then we spent about 45 minutes arguing about "really, the VA can't befixed any quicker?" of "Healthcare.gov can't come online without crashing my son's Minecraft game?" And then the whole thing basically takes place over some of, truly, the best salmon you have ever had.
Remember my interview with Obama last week? It was that, but with salmon.
Don't expect Bozell and Graham to provide the behind-the-scenes transparency for its "news" operation, CNSNews.com, that it demands (and ultimately received) from Stewart because, well, the MRC does not believe CNS should operate by the same rules it demands the "liberal media" follow.
Stewart also noted he had an actual secret meeting with Fox News chief Roger Ailes. But none of this matters to Bozell and Graham. Stewart committed the unforgiveable offense of making a joke at the sainted Reagan's expense, so he must be destroyed.
Well, that and the fact that Bozell and Co. are insanely jealous of Stewart's free-market success, especially compared to its own attempt at political satire, "NewsBusted," which is so painfully unfunny the even other right-wing websites ignore it.
WND's Morgan Brittany Is Unclear on the Concept Topic: WorldNetDaily
Morgan Brittany seems to be unclear about how American presidential elections work. She concludes her Donald Trump-promoting July 28 WorldNetDaily column with this:
Maybe for a moment Trump has turned the political system on its head – but just be honest: Wouldn’t you love to see him win the nomination, debate Hillary, go on to win the White House and on Inauguration Day politely say to Barack Obama – “YOU’RE FIRED!”?
I would “pay” to see that!
Brittany is apparently unaware that President Obama, being term-limited, cannot run for president again and will be leaving the White House on Inauguration Day no matter who wins the presidency. Thus, he cannot be "fired," not even in a reality-show sense, since his leaving office is preordained.
Someone should also tell Brittany that she does not have to "pay" to watch the presidential inauguration, whoever is being inaugurated (though that could change if Trump is elected). It's easily viewable on TV, and she can even go see it in person if she can get past security and is able to brave winter weather in Washington, D.C. (or, if she buddies up to Trump, have a chance at a better seat).
MRC's Double Standard on Crisis Management Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is tickled to death that Planned Parenthood has hired a crisis management to deal with the onslaught of dishonestly edited videos by anti-abortion activists (and extremists).
Brent Bozell ranted in a July 29 press release that "Planned Parenthood's newly-hired PR firm is encouraging the media blackout." It couldn't possibly be, in Bozell's mind anyway, that the dishonestly edited videos have been proven to push charges that the unedited videos don't support.
Bozell and Tim Graham rant in unision in their column the same day: "Politico reported Planned Parenthood hired the crisis communications team at SKDKnickerbocker, who circulated a memo pressuring reporters and producers from showing any more videos, 'arguing they were obtained under false identification and violated patient privacy.'"
Funny, we don't recall the MRC making a big deal out of Rush Limbaugh hiring a crisis manager-- perhaps because they were a crisis manager for him.
As we documented at the time, the MRC and its employees were fully on board with Limbaugh's 2012 denigration of Sandra Fluke as a "slut" for daring to talk about birth control in public, helpfully adding some denigration of their own -- until they realized Limbaugh's usual absurdity-to-highlight-absurdity wasn't working this time. So Bozell slammed the MRC into crisis-management mode, meekly conceding that Limbaugh "crossed a line" but he apologized so everything's hunky-dory now, but it isn't since the liberal media want to destroy him. Bozell then launched an MRC-run "I Stand With Rush" website to show appreciation for "the massive contribution that he has made to the conservative movement and our nation over the last 25 years." and insisting the controversy really "isn't about what Rush said."
That's not all. In 2014, the MRC touted a Limbaugh-issued report purporting to claim that a grassroots campaign critical of Limbaugh isn't grassroots at all. Graham quoted a Limbaugh press release quoting "Rush Limbaugh Show spokesperson" Brian Glicklich dismissing the critics as "politically motivated out-of-state activists," and Jeffrey Lord praised Limbaugh's "thorough, highly detailed investigation," also quoting Glicklich.
But who is Glicklich, really? He's the crisis manager Limbaugh hired in 2012, when advertisers were abandoning his show in the wake of his Fluke remarks. The fact that Glicklich's Twitter account still lists him as a "spokesperson for Rush Limbaugh" seems to indicate that the crisis is ongoing and still in need of management more than three years after the fact.
Bozell and Graham were silent about Limbaugh's crisis management (and their role in same), but chortle about Planned Parenthood hiring a crisis manager. Hypocrisy, defined.
WND Hides Operation Rescue's Ties to Anti-Abortion Violence Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a July 27 WorldNetDaily article, Leo Hohmann serves as a crisis-management agent for Operation Rescue, touting pushback by Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards that the group -- which is among the anti-abortion activists behind the Center for Medical Progress' dishonestly edited attacks on Planned Parenthood -- is made up of "militant anti-abortion extremists" that is "behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes and in their churches."
Hohmann turns to a less-than-objective group, Live Action, to offer a highly disingenous reponse:
She’s alluding to Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortion doctor who was murdered in church by a man who acted independently. Scott Roeder, who killed Tiller, would call Operation Rescue on the phone (as any member of the public can do), but he was not part of their group. Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, sits on the board of CMP, so the abortion giant is trying to tie CMP to murder.
In fact, Operation Rescue denounced Roeder[.]
Hohmann even trots out Newman himself to claim he's "considering legal action against Richards for her slanderous and libelous accusations." Hohmann curiously fails to mention that his employer published a book by Newman and his Operation Rescue lieutenant, Cheryl Sullenger, hiding a conflict of interest in the issue.
And this is where we can speak on the issue -- and demonstrate how dishonest WND is being beyond the undisclosed conflict of interest.
Last year, WND acted on Newman and Sullenger's behalf by sending us a cease-and-desist letter demanding that we delete a 2014 ConWebWatch post in which we detailed Operation Rescue's links to anti-abortion violence that WND won't admit: The phone number to Sullenger and Operation Rescue was found on a note inside Roeder's car when he was arrested, and Sullenger herself was sentenced to three years in prison in 1988 for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.
We declined WND's request on numerous grounds, among them that it was objecting to alleged behavior WND itself regularly engages in on its own website. We have heard nothing from WND's lawyer since.
Newman's denouncement of Roeder is irrelevant -- it is, in all likelihood, something presented for public consumption as a way to stay in the mainstream anti-abortion movement. After all, Newman has expressed different views privately; Ms. Magazine reported Roederʼs claim that Newman said it “wouldnʼt upset” him if Tiller were murdered, as well as Roeder's claim that he was an active and regular participant in Operation Rescue events with "donation receipts, event T-shirts and a signed copy of Newman’s 2001 book, Their Blood Cries Out, to prove it."
Further, Operation Rescue under Newman and Sullenger issued a news release (h/t Media Matters) defending Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion doctor in Florida in 1994, by denouncing a court decision not to let Hill use as a defense in his trial the ability to call his murder a "justifiable defensive action" -- thereby effectively stating that Newman and Sullenger thought murder of an abortion doctor was justifiable. Newman and Sullenger called Hill's execution for the doctor's murder "nothing less than murder of a political prisoner."
And as Ms. Magazine also noted, Newman and Sullenger moved Operation Rescue's headquarters to Wichita for the sole purpose of targeting Tiller. Thus, it is logical to assume that even if Roeder had no connection to Operation Rescue (which he did no matter how much Newman tries to deny it), the provocation of moving the headquarters and continued aggressive targeting of Tiller helped create an atmosphere that resulted in Tiller's murder by Roeder.
Newman, whether he likes it or not, is indisputably linked to anti-abortion violence -- which would seem to undercut any slander or libel lawsuit he wants to file against Planned Parenthood (or us, for that matter). He should own what he has wrought and stop trying to harrass those who tell the truth into silence.
WND Presents A Year-Old Story As 'News' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 29 WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling touts how "Former President Bill Clinton is cheating on Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and “has a blonde, busty mistress” code named 'Energizer' by Secret Service agents, according to author Ronald Kessler, a former investigative journalist at the Washington Post."
If that story sounds familiar, that's because it is -- it came out a year ago.
That's something Schilling would have known if she read her employer's website. A July 22, 2014, WND article notes Kessler's claim that "Clinton has a mistress nicknamed 'Energizer' by his security staff."
The original version of Schilling's article, available in Google cache, claims that "Kessler published his claims in his new book, 'The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.'" But Kessler's book isn't new; it came out in August 2014, as the link to the Amazon page for the book in her article demonstrates. The current version of the article deletes the word "new"; the article is noted as being "updated" but not that a false claim was corrected.
The paperback version of Kessler's book came out this week, and Schilling apparently mistook Kessler's rehashing of claims to promote that release as something new. Meanwhile, Schilling is too preoccupied with serving as Kessler's PR agent to note that the salacious claims he makes are anonymously sourced and geared to sell books over imparting verifiable information, or that Kessler's previous book on the Secret Service was disputed by actual Secret Service agents.
Schilling has a long record of making false and misleading claims in her WND articles.
CNS' Starr Botches Facts To Do Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr writes in a July 24 CNSNews.com article:
Conservatives gathered on Capitol Hill on Thursday to lay claim to the issue of reforming the United States criminal system, including ending the minimum mandatory sentencing laws that were passed by the Democrat majority in Congress three decades ago.
Kevin Ring, who was convicted as part of the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal and served 48 months in federal prison, called minimum mandatory sentences “a classic liberal idea.”
“We’re particularly focused on making sure that conservatives understand the mandatory minimums are nothing a conservative should support or defend,” said Ring, who is now the director of strategic initiatives for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). “For some reason, people think this was a conservative law and order idea. That’s not true.
“The worst mandatory minimums we have on the books today – the ones that hit drug offenders, including low-level offenders, were passed by a Democratic Congress in the ‘80s. It’s a classic liberal idea,” he said. “You have to understand that.
Starr made no effort whatsoever to seek out an alternative view or even conduct any basic research on her subject, choosing instead to serve as a stenographer to Ring. Let's look at what she got wrong and/or misreprestations she allowed to stand unchallenged in her article:
1) Ring did not serve 48 months in prison for his role in the Abramoff scandal; he was sentenced to 20 months in prison, of which he served just 15 months.
2) Despite Ring's suggestion that his prison term was dictated by mandatory minimums, it was not. In fact, the Justice Department recommended that he be sentenced to 17 to 22 years in prison.
3) Contrary to Ring's claim, conservatives did support mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the 1980s. Support for the two major anti-drug sentencing bills was unambiguously bipartisan:
4) Starr didn't mention (and didn't note whether Ring did) that both of these supposedly non-conservative bills were signed into law by a conservative president, Ronald Reagan.
Instead of doing basic research, Starr was much more concerned with uncritically peddling the views of Ring and other conservatives that "Conservatives are leading the way on criminal justice reform." And her factual errors discredit herself and her employer in the process.
Birthers At WND Blame Obama (!) For Bringing Up Birtherism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Cheryl Chumley actually starts a July 27 WorldNetDaily article this way:
President Obama took time during his Kenya visit to drag out the birth-certificate issue again – just as he did in April and in March – and do some drive-by mocking of those who still question where he was born.
Really? Chumley -- whose employer the day before published a column promoting discredited birther conspiracy theories, and the very same day published an article featuring Sheriff Joe Arpaio responding to criticism o his "refusal to give up" the (discredited) idea "that President Obama’s birth certificate may have been forged," a discussion provoked when Arpaio discussed the issue with WND reporter Aaron Klein earlier this month -- thinks Obama is "drag[ging] out the birth-certificate issue again" simply by making a joke about it?
Chumley goes on to be weirdly offended that "This is the third time in just a few months Obama has brought up the birth-certificate matter at a very public venue." Apparently she hasn't noticed that her employer has been going birther for the past eight years. Except when it comes to evidence that discredits their birther conspiracies -- WND does a good job of shutting up about that.
Indeed, the unbylined article that accompanied Chumley's asserted that "Arpaio's investigative team concluded [the birth certificate] is a forgery" without any mention of the purported anomalies in the PDF of Obama's BC being easily duplicated by scanning the document using a common Xerox office scanner, or that, as former Cold Case Posse member Brian Reilly points out, the state of Hawaii has officially verified the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate, effectively putting the issue to rest once and for all.
Maybe Chumley should spend less time complaining that Obama is "drag[ging] out the birth-certificate issue again" and more time asking why her employer refuses to let it go despite all the evidence discrediting its conspiracy theories.
MRC's Double Standard on Mass Murderers' Motivation Topic: Media Research Center
When Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed several people in Chattanooga, the Media Research Center was upset that the media wouldn't jump to conclusions that Abdulazeez was a jihadi doing the direct bidding of ISIS and/or Al Qaeda, despite the lack of any solid evidence he was actually associated with Muslim extremists.
In a July 21 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer was offended that a news article asked why Abdulazeez committed two attacks on military facilities and if "was he propelled to do so by his own demons or at the direction of someone else," sneering in response:
Gee, those questions aren't too tough.
The answers to those two questions aren't difficult to discern to a high confidence level.
According to ABC News, Abdulazeez "was following a radical American member of al Qaeda online in 2013, as well as pages of writing that showed the young man was suicidal and looking for a way to absolve what he considered were his sins, according to a representative of Abdulazeez's family." So if he wasn't "directed," he at least appears to have been "inspired" to attack "military sites" — a task made easier by prohibitions against soldiers carrying guns in "gun-free zones" at those installations.
But here we are, five days after Abdulazeez's massacre, with far more than enough evidence, yet virtually no one in authorty or in the establishment press wants to point directly at "radical Islam" or "Islamic jihad" as the likely or even possible motivation.
But when a non-Muslim commits a massacre -- like John "Rusty" Houser tried to do in a Louisiana movie theater, killing two before killing himself -- the last thing the MRC wants to talk about is the killer's motivation. Matthew Balan complained in a July 24 NewsBusters post:
On Friday's World News Tonight, ABC's Ryan Owens played up how Lafayette, Louisiana mass shooter John "Rusty" Houser was "politically active – even running for office as an ultra-conservative, anti-tax crusader in Georgia." Owens also spotlighted how "investigators are scouring Houser's postings on known anti-government websites – hoping, perhaps, to find some answers there." [video below]
The correspondent included his political superlative near the end of his report on Houser's background. Moments earlier, Owens outlined the perpetrator's "troubled past" – including his "'extreme erratic behavior'...'various acts of family violence'... [and] 'manic depression and/or bipolar disorder.' He continued by noting that "in 2001, Houser placed a swastika on the outside of the bar he owned, but denied he was a Nazi sympathizer." The journalist then continued with his "ultra-conservative" label of the murderer.
It seems the MRC only wants to hear the truth about mass murderers when they can easily be defined as an "other," not when the killer's views are not as far from their own.
Pictures You Never Thought You'd See Topic: Newsmax
Sure, Christopher Ruddy is trying to present Newsmax as something of a mainstream operation, and his rapproachement with the Clintons was a tad unlikely, but how do you explain this, from Ruddy's Twitter account?
Yes, that's Ruddy at the premiere of the film "Southpaw" posing with (apparently bankrupt) rapper 50 Cent. That may be even more unlikely than buddying up to the Clintons.
Christopher Monckton's Massive Birther Fail Topic: WorldNetDaily
The birther dead-enders are strong -- they're dead (in that they've been utterly discredited), but they don't know it yet. Take, for example, this untethered-from-reality blather from Christopher Monckton's July 26 WorldNetDaily column:
Though the tone was a fine instance of the relentless diplomatic politesse that is a notable hallmark of Kenya’s present president, his remarks were a decisive slap in the face for the bleating Mr. Obama, who traveled from Kenya to Hawaii with his American mother within days of his birth in a village near Mombasa in August 1964.
But don’t rush to find Mr. Obama’s I-94 immigration docket. The National Archives can give you every I-94 card for every person arriving in Hawaii on every single day throughout 1964, except for the week of Mr Obama’s alleged Hawaiian birth. For his alleged birth date and for exactly three days before and exactly three days after it, all of the I-94 records for Hawaii are unaccountably and uniquely missing from the archive.
Monckton doesn't bother to explain it, but an I-94 docket is something the federal government compiled on foreign visitors to America. Since Obama is an American citizen and not a foreigner (along with his mother), there was no need for one to be compiled in his name. Thus, it doesn't matter whether those records for 1964 are missing or not.
Wait, did Monckton say Obama was born in 1964? Strike two: Obama was born in 1961.
Strike three comes later in Monckton's column when he once again insists that Obama's birth certificate was "manifestly forged ... an in-your-face fraud." Monckton seems to have missed where the purported anomalies in the PDf of Obama's BC are easily duplicated by scanning the document using a common Xerox office scanner, or that, as former Cold Case Posse member Brian Reilly points out, the state of Hawaii has officially verified the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate, effectively putting the issue to rest for everyone ... except birther dead-enders like Monckton.
The fact that Monckton's still out in birther la-la-land is reason enough to not believe a word he writes. We don't even need to get into the anti-gay whining that makes up the bulk of his column.
MRC Is Mad Hillary Tried To Correct A False Story Topic: NewsBusters
Clay Waters sure tried to make it sound as sinister as he could in a July 24 MRC NewsBusters post, asserting that "after pushback from the Clinton camp," a New York Times story claiming that inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a "criminal investigation" into Hillary Clinton's handling of "sensitive government information" on a personal email server while secretary of state because a "laughably evasive, indirect accusation." Waters highlighted how "the Hillary team had complained to the Times about the initial Thursday night story, and the paper (surprise) complied."
Waters doesn't explain why it's such a bad thing for the Clinton camp to complain about an inaccurate story and try to have it corrected. And as the following days after Waters' post shows, it was very much inaccurate.
The Times has now corrected its story to state that there was, in fact, no criminal referral, let alone any request for an investigation. A second correction states that what happened was a "security referral," not a criminal referral. Times public editor Margaret Sullivan adds that the referral wasn't even targeted at Clinton specifically, but a general referral into how classified information was handled regarding Clinton's personal server. Sullivan said of the story: "So it was, to put it mildly, a mess."
Yet Waters' post has not been updated to reflect that the Times story's central claim has been retracted, nor has any other MRC article admitted that the story is false. Indeed, another NewsBusters post coming shortly after Waters', a July 24 item by Kyle Drennen, repeats the now-discredited claim that the "Justice Department was considering launching a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal" and that "the Times altered the story after being pressured by the Clinton campaign."
Will Waters, Drennen and the MRC ever tell their readers that the Times story they hyped was false and that Hillary was absolutely correct to push the Times to get it right? Don't count on it.
UPDATE: A July 27 NewsBusters post by Yuri Perez admits that the inspectors general's recommendations "did not lead to a 'criminal referral' as initially reported by the New York Times, but rather to a 'security referral.'" But Waters' and Drennen's posts touting the Times' original article falsely referring to a "criminal investigation" remain uncorrected.
MRC Throws An Intern's Tantrum At Garrison Keillor Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has its moments of immature, unprofessional tantrums, usually coming from the boss himself, Brent Bozell. The MRC is now apparently letting interns throw Bozell-like tantrums, as demonstrated in this July 21 rant by inter Sarah Stites:
Good news, America! You no longer have to pay Garrison Keillor to sneer at you. After his 30-city “America the Beautiful” tour, Prairie Home Companion radio host Garrison Keillor is retiring for good (and good riddance). His tour should have been called “America the Liberal.”
Keillor is a malicious parasite who spent his career soaking up federal funding through NPR while wrapping his off-the-shelf anti-American leftism in a cloying Midwestern folksiness.
So, if you’re not one of Keiller’s 4 million listeners worldwide, count yourself lucky, and enjoy these top five ridiculous quotes from the man himself.
Here's one of those quotes that Stites finds so "ridiculous":
In 2013, the NPR personality tweeted that “According to the Earth Day Network, Earth Day is celebrated – observed in some form by a billion people every year.” Really, Keillor? That’s almost twice the population of North America. But maybe folksy exaggeration is part of the charm of Lake Wobegon denizens.
But if you look at the 2013 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham that Stites cites as evidence, it's declared a "whopper of a claim" and mocked as "New Math." You won't find, however, any evidence debunking the claim. Sorry, but Graham not liking the number (and Earth Day in general) is not evidence that it's wrong.
But who needs actual evidence when there's a screed to be written? Those are the standards at the MRC these days.