MRC-Mark Levin Business Arrangement/Love Affair Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Last month, the Media Research Center was rushing to the defense of right-wing radio host (and friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell) Mark Levin over a mild swipe by a TV host. This month -- presumably brought on at least in part by the fact the MRC and Levin have a business arrangement to promote each other -- it's back to full-fledged drool mode.
Michael Morris devotes an entire Feb. 11 CNSNews.com blog post to telling us how "Westwood One just announced a 'lifetime extension' for 'The Mark Levin Show' hosted by nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin." Morris' only source is the press release issued by Levin and Westwood One, andhe makes sure to include the slobbering declaration that Levin is "one of the most important, popular, and trusted voices in radio."
But given that the MRC pretty much forbids criticism of Levin on his websites and aggressively attacks anyone else to dares to do so, rewriting a press release -- and the complete censorship of the MRC-Levin business arrangement -- was all one could hope for here.
WND Blames 'Obama Economy' For Capitalism At Work Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh declares in a Feb. 10 WorldNetDaily article:
The impact of the “Obama economy,” those ups and downs attributed to the tax-and-spend policies implemented by the president’s administration, is moving further into negative territory with the announcement that dozens of additional retail stores across America are being closed down sooner than planned.
WND had reported only a few days ago on the effective retail apocalypse that was leaving stores closed and, in some places, entire malls shuttered because of the downward spiral of the nation’s economy.
But the examples Unruh cites to back this up have nothing to do with Obama. For instance:
Most recently, CNN reported Sears, which owns the Sears chain as well as the Kmart string of stores, said this week it was accelerating the closing of at least 50 locations that are unprofitable.
The closures had been planned over coming months, but the company, which said it expects fourth quarter revenue of $7.3 billion, down from $8.1 billion a year ago, said it was hurrying those closures because of losses.
Inn fact, Sears has been a dying company for years. One analytics firm highlights how shopper preference for Sears has been plummeting over the past decade -- well before Obama took office -- and even its most loyal customers have ceased going there. And the company seems not to care.
Unruh also features analyst Michael Snyder claiming, "In impoverished urban centers all over the nation, it is not uncommon to find entire malls that have now been completely abandoned." That's true, but again, that has nothing to do with the "Obama economy." The conservative Daily Caller points out that "the mall itself is an inefficient system" and that shopping preferences have shifted to other types of retail, as well as the Internet.
Also, malls as a general rule are not built in "impoverished urban centers," as Snyder claims; they're mostly found in prosperous suburban and exurban areas.
Unruh ultimately concedes some of this, admitting that "online shopping, maxed out credit and other factors were creating a shadow for America’s retail climate." Again, that's not the "Obama economy" at work; that's capitalism.
CNS Oil Industry Stenography Watch Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center gets a significant amount of money from fossil-fuel interests, so its "news" division CNSNews.com is always happy to serve as stenographers for the industry. Here are the latest examples.
A Feb. 8 CNS article by Barbara Hollingsworth uncritically repeats spin from the American Petroleum Institute that President Obama’s proposal to impose a $10 per barrel tax on oil "increases the hostile campaign the administration is waging against the American consumer." Hollingsworth made no attempt to seek out a point of view in response.
CNS' chief oil industry stenographer, Penny Starr, used a Feb. 9 article to tout a claim by ExxonMobil that "in the 2040 market, oil, natural gas, and coal will meet 80% of the world’s energy needs and that carbon emissions should peak by 2030." Starr failed to disclose that ExxonMobil has donated more than $400,000 to her employer over the years.
This stenography -- press releases, really -- is obviously good for the API and ExxonMobil, but it does CNS' readers a grave disservice.
Another Dubious WND Doc Peddles Misinformation About Obamacare Topic: WorldNetDaily
Lee Hieb -- a former official with the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons who has issues with the facts -- claims to "recap the Obamacare reality" in her Feb. 5 WorldNetDaily column:
To the surprise of no thinking person, over the last year costs have skyrocketed. Government spending on Medicare has increased more in 2015 than in the first seven years of President Obama’s terms of office. People who previously had coverage have seen their insurance costs go up two and three and in some places fourfold – while accepting higher deductibles. How could it be otherwise when the government is creating a playing field of insecurity and over-regulation? Medicines have become vastly more expensive. Forteo – a bone-promoting injectable that prevents many expensive osteoporotic fractures – in 2011 cost $700/ month if paying cash. Now it is $2,700/month and for Medicare patients $700/month – so basically it is priced out of the reach of patients in need. My old-time thyroid medicine cash price has gone from $10/month to $90/month as have other drugs that have been cheap for decades. Even the veterinarians are feeling it. My local vet decried the price of sedation for animals rising from $8 a vial to over $40.
Let's break this down and see where Hieb gets it wrong this time:
-- The 2015 numbers for Medicare are not out, but the main reason spending is increasing is because more baby boomers are retiring. But increases in per capita Medicare spending have been much lower between 2010 and 2014 than they were between 2000 and 2010.
-- The main reason "medicines have become vastly more expensive" is because drug companies are increasing their prices arbitrarily, not because of Obamacare. Martin Shkreli, anyone? And Forteo was considered overpriced compared with its benefits as early as 2006, so that concern predates the existence of Obamacare.
-- And we're pretty sure Obamacare isn't responsible for increases in veterinary drugs.
Hieb goes on to blame Obamacare for a number of hospital closings in the past few years, but the answer is more complicated than that. One leading cause is cuts to reimbursement rates to hospitals that treat medicare patients, which began in the 2013 budget sequester and have been upheld in later budget deals between Obama and the Congress, most recently in the deal reached last November.
Also, part of the Obamacare plan was that states would expand Medicare eligibility, but several states -- most of which are controlled by Republicans -- have refused to do that, meaning that hospitals mostly aren't reimbursed for treatment of uninsured patients who might be covered had all states expanded Medicare.
In a follow-up column the next day, Hieb purported to offer "what to do about" all this, but she mostly whined that "Obamacare exists because we have at least one generation of Americans, if not more, who do not understand 'entitlement'" and cheered that "More doctors will continue to opt out of the system and practice for cash." The latter, of course, does nothing for people who can't afford treatment -- the reason Obamacare was created.
Confused Bozell Is Unhappy Trump Voters Got Criticized Topic: Media Research Center
Media Reseatch Center chief Brent Bozell hates Donald Trump. So why is he mad that Trump's voters got mocked?
In a Feb. 10 appearance on Fox Business (where he gets to continue to appear in part because of how he has sucked up to them so well), Bozell complained about a New York Daily News cover after the New Hampshire primary depicting Trump as a column and calling his voters "mindless zombies." But Bozell has somehow decided that the cover was calling all Republican voters "mindless zombies" despite the context being clear, ranting that this was "character assassination."
Bozell then went further, insisting that "These left-wingers are always pontificating about right-wing haters" but "there's no conservative type of newspaper that does this sort of thing and is this hate-filled toward liberals."
WND's Corsi Still Obsessing About Hillary's Supposed Health Issues Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last time, if you'll remember, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi found a couple of doctors -- none of whom has ever examined Hillary Clinton and one of whom lost his license to practice medicine for unilaterally discontinuing life-saving medication for a patient -- to opine on Hillary taking the blood thinner warfarin (brand name: Coumadin). Now Corsi has dug up another doctor to engage in baseless speculation:
Hillary Clinton’s underactive hypothyroid condition complicates the medical treatment she is receiving for her genetic propensity to form blood clots, warns a prominent New York physician.
“Hillary’s hypothyroid condition can lead to hypercoagulability, a tendency toward excessive blood clotting, that makes more complicated the use of the blood-thinning medicines she needs to control what appears to be a possibly genetic tendency of her body to produce blood clots,” Dr. Ronald Hoffman told WND in a telephone interview.
“The medical literature cautions that patients on Armour Thyroid may need to reduce the amount of Coumadin they are taking, and this requires constant blood testing to make sure the mixture of Armour Thyroid and Coumadin are adjusted just right,” Hoffman said.
“Too much Coumadin could result in Hillary experiencing potentially fatal hemorrhaging from even minor injuries, and too little Coumadin could cause her to form a potentially fatal blood clot.”
Again, Hoffman, like Corsi, has never examined Clinton, so anything he has to say is nothing but speculation.
And, again, Corsi doesn't care about Hillary's health -- he's out to destroy her presidential campaign. He's a key component of WND's anti-Hillary jihad, after all. And if raising concerns (based in ignorance) about her health can do that, he has no qualms about it. Remember, Corsi doesn'tcare about the truth, either.
CNS Reporter Still Touting Iran Propaganda to Attack Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
When we wrote a couple weeks ago about how CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough appeared to be promoting Iranian propaganda to further right-wing attacks against President Obama, Goodenough objected, tweeting, "Don't be ridiculous. I report on Iran's propaganda to inform readers about the regime's nature, not to 'make Obama look bad.'"
But he didn't stop doing so.
A Jan. 31 article highlights how "More than two weeks after Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel detained 10 U.S. Navy sailors overnight in the Persian Gulf supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday awarded medals to the men involved."
On Feb. 2, Goodenough wrote that "The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy said Monday that if the U.S. seeks to humiliate Iran, the IRGC would release footage of ten U.S. sailors detained last month that is much more embarrassing than images released earlier."
And the following day, Goodenough touted how "An Iranian state-run television network is highlighting social media postings that mock the U.S. military, juxtaposing images of the Hollywood action character Rambo with one of U.S. Navy sailors kneeling at gunpoint after being apprehended last month by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps."
With the earlier stories, that's a total of five articles Goodenough wrote repeating Iranian propaganda regarding the detention of the sailors.
Which is too bad, because Goodenough is a better reporter than that. We actually praised him some years back for running CNS like a real news organization when he served as interim editor between the death of David Thibault and the hiring of Terry Jeffrey and Michael W. Chapman. Under the latter two, CNS is a bastion of right-wing bias, and it seems clear that Goodenough has to play along.
How ironic -- the Media Research Center purports to hate media bias, but it apparently won't let one of the few people on its staff actually capable of writing unbiased news actually do that.
WND's Dubious Doctor Blames Vaccines For Zika, Wants To Bring Back DDT Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jane Orient's Feb. 8 column is headlined "Zika virus: What should we do about it?" What Orient plans to do about is spin a conspiracy theory that vaccines, not Zika virus, are responsible for the microcephaly epidemic in Brazil:
There is, however, still no definitive proof that microcephaly and associated defects are caused by ZVD. Some interesting facts:
So far, the microcephaly cases are all in Brazil, not in the 35 other countries with ZVD, though an earlier cluster was observed in 2014 in French Polynesia.
As of Feb. 3, only 17 of 404 cases of confirmed microcephaly tested positive for Zika.
Brazil had seen an increase in pertussis in fully vaccinated children, so early in 2015 officials mandated immunizing all pregnant women with DTaP (diphtheria/tetanus/acellular pertussis) vaccine, without awaiting proof of efficacy or safety in the developing baby. Only 32 pregnant women were enrolled in a trial of this vaccine, and no results are posted yet.
A variable number of months after the vaccinations, the number of microcephaly cases increased from essentially zero in October 2015 to 1,200 in November, and continued to climb.
Because of a measles outbreak, there was a major vaccination campaign with MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) in Pernambuco, Brazil, in late 2014. This is a live virus vaccine, and many women likely received it in early pregnancy or shortly before becoming pregnant. Congenital rubella syndrome can cause microcephaly among many other problems, but this was not found in surveillance of American women who inadvertently received MMR around the time of conception.
Except that, well, the science doesn't really support Orient going anti-vaxxer on what's happening in Brazil. As Tara C. Smith points out, the DTaP vaccine is suggested in the 27th to 36th week of pregnancy, too late in pregnancy to have such a severe effect on brain and skull development. She adds:
Biologically, this makes zero sense–and furthermore, why wouldn’t other countries be seeing this spike, if Tdap is truly the cause? Women in the U.S. and other countries also receive this vaccine during pregnancy, but we haven’t seen an increase in microcephaly cases. Furthermore, a recent study has demonstrated yet again that Tdap is very safe during pregnancy.
Further, as a prominent Australian website (owned by Rupert Murdoch, no less) reports:
There is no evidence to support a link between the resurgence of the Zika virus in Brazil and the increase in women having the [Tdap] vaccine, said the president of the Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases, professor Cheryl Jones.
“The bottom line is that [anti vaxxers’] proposed concerns have no scientific basis,” she told news.com.au.
“By coincidence, that move to have more mothers immunised happened just before the Zika virus started turning up. It’s pure coincidence and they’re [anti vaxxers] are jumping on that link,” said Professor [Peter] McIntyre [director of the Australia's National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance].
“That vaccine has been administered to millions of women. There have been a couple of big studies in the US comparing the health of thousands of pregnant women who had the vaccine compared to women who didn’t, and they found there was absolutely no difference in things like stillborns, birth defects, C-sections, premature birth, bleeding ... all the things that can go wrong in a pregnancy.”
Professor McIntyre says the suggestion that Zika virus is caused by the whooping cough vaccine is “absurd”.
“It shows absolutely no knowledge of the science that underlies all this.”
As befitting a not-very-credible doctor, Orient's solution to Zika virus is that old right-wing standard, DDT:
Mosquito-borne diseases, after a time when it was thought that even malaria might be wiped out, began increasing worldwide when the U.S. banned the most effective public health weapon of all time: DDT. If Zika causes rethinking of this disastrous decision, even though other deadly threats like malaria have not, it will save millions of lives – and even help us win the war on bed bugs.
As we've pointed out, most bedbugs and most mosquitoes are immune to DDT because of past overuse, so bringing it back would accomplish little beyond creating more DDT-resistant buggers.
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:47 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:49 AM EST
MRC: It's 'Politics' To Show A Gay Couple In Love Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center continues to be mad that gays are permitted to be gay in public.
In a Feb. 2 NewsBusters post, Katie Yoder notes that "To advertise greeting cards for Valentine’s Day this year, Hallmark released multiple videos of couples sharing their love stories. Among them: a gay and a lesbian couple." But first she asserts: "Hallmark is using politics to sell cards this Valentine’s Day."
Gosh, we thought that showing loving gay couples was a way to, you know, sell more greeting cards. We thought Yoder and the MRC supported the free market in which goods can be sold to anyone.
And wouldn't be more obviously "using politics" if Hallmark refused to acknowledge gay couples as Yoder wants?
Yoder doesn't answer that. Instead she complains that "In 2011, NPR pushed Hallmark to start creating Valentine’s Day cards for the LGBT community," citing a post by the MRC's Tim Graham whining that NPR once did a story on a company that made them that also quoted a Hallmark spokesperson stating that the company was moving in that direction. So it seems Hallmark hardly needed the "push" NPR supposedly gave them.
Kathleen Willey Still Wants You To Buy Her A House Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in 2013, we documented Kathleen Willey's attempt -- with an assist from WorldNetDaily -- to cash in on being a professional victim with Clinton-hating right-wingers by begging for money to pay off her house. WND let her tell a sob story about how "Kathleen Willey has endured untold personal hardship and anguish for telling the truth, for simply telling the truth!" and that "she is fighting through a maze of refinancing pitfalls and money shortfalls to stabilize her life." That crowdfunding campaign raised a paltry $3,930, with only one additional donation at this writing in the past two years, despite the added enticement of WND giving an autographed copy of Willey's factually challenged, WND-published memoir.
With Hillary Clinton running for president, Willey is aiming for a new prominence. And that, of course, means she still wants people to give her money to pay off her house. Time for a new fundraising campaign!
An email sent out last week on WND's mailing list, signed by "Pamela Jensen, C.P.A.," announces a new crowdfunding mortgage campaign:
With her husband having taken his own life, Kathleen Willey has since had to struggle to handle his debts and now faces the foreclosure of her home outside of Richmond. At the same time, she has kept a heavy schedule of newspaper and radio interviews, speaking the truth about the Clintons and exploding the myth that Hilary is an advocate for women.
That is why I need your help today.
Negotiations with Kathleen’s mortgage company are at an impasse. Her mortgage company, Seterus, Inc. Home Loan Servicing, is a financial predator unwilling to come to any reasonable terms that will allow her to keep her home. In 19 short days she will be evicted. Kathleen will lose the place where she has lived with her pets for 20 years.
You and I cannot let that happen. Kathleen Willey has an important role to play in the 2016 election. It’s shameful that Bill and Hillary are worth over $250 million while Kathleen has fallen behind in her mortgage.
Working with other women, we have established the KATHLEEN WILLEY MORTGAGE PAY- OFF TRUST FUND. I intend to raise $100,000 to bring her mortgage current to at least stop the foreclosure of her home and hope to raise $386,000 to pay it off entirely.
A CPA in California administers the fund. This is NOT a political action effort; this is a sincere effort by supportive women to save Kathleen’s home.
Every dime other than the cost of this solicitation will go to save Kathleen Willey’s home. There will be no over-head, no lawyers' fees and no administrative fees. A full audit of the fund will be published on-line when we pay off the mortgage and close the fund.
Pamela Jensen never explains what Willey has been doing for the past 20-plus years that let her mortgage get so far in arrears -- and apparently adding another $20,000 in nonpayments in the past two years. If Willey is not so traumatized that she is able to keep up her "heavy schedule of newspaper and radio interviews," she is untraumatized enough to hold a job. Jensen promies "a full audit of the fund," but she offers no detailed accounting of how Willey got into this situation in the first place.
If she is unable to afford a home on the pricey East Coast, perhaps she should sell it, pay off the note and move someplace where housing is less expensive.
Jensen also makes no mention of the 2013 mortgage payoff, even though it, like her current one, is hosted on GoFundMe.
The grifting is going slightly better this time around; as of this writing, $6,344 has been raised. Not too shabby for playing on the sympathy of gullible right-wingers, but at this rate she's not going to keep her pricey house -- and, thus, avoid taking responsibility for her apparently terrible financial management skills.
Susan Jones' Feb. 5 CNSNews.com article on the monthly unemployment rates reads a lot like her article from last month -- promotion of the labor force participation rate, burying the actual unemployment rate (which dropped) and the number of new jobs created (151,000).
Unlike last month, however, she omitted the explanation of why the labor force participation rate is a poor guide to the nation's economic situation, which CNS' obsession with it clearly wants to suggest otherwise. As we've noted, even the conservative American Enterprise Institute agrees, since most of the people not participiating in the labor force are either retired Baby Boomers or students.
CNS' other unemployment-related article comes from managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who writes yet another article noting that the unemployment rate for blacks is "more than double that" for whites without also mention that it has always been that way.
Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is, as the name suggests, a descendant of Theodore Roosevelt (and is apparently better known as just plain Ted when he's not plying his lineage) and former self-proclaimed "global insider" who used to work with the group that puts on the annual meetings of the world's elite at Davos. He's also apparently given up that sort of thing and joined forces with the anti-elitist WorldNetDaily, which published his new book bashing the whole Davos thing.
Malloch is also a huge Donald Trumpfanboy, and WND is giving him a platform to let his Trump flag fly. His Jan. 28 column was pure fanfiction:
It is not too early, now that he is sweeping the electorate, to ask the not altogether unrealistic question: what exactly would a Trump government do, first? Imagine this creation narrative. In the Beginning …
On the first day the new president – in a year’s time, after his swearing in – would do the three things he promised he would do immediately: end ALL of Obama’s executive orders, stop Obamacare and institute Health Savings Accounts, and cut the head off of the snake called ISIS. In other words, from Day 1 we would have an acting president, again. His concrete plan to defeat, not just contain, the caliphate in Syria would be unleashed in a reign of power coordinated with many other willing partners. It will be called Operation Roaring Lion (borrowed from Hosea 11:10), and its objective will be a quick (one month) end to that plague.
Day 2 would see the complete emasculation of all the costly and nonsensical laws and regulations that impale Americans and their business opportunities. The day would also see a drop in the corporate tax rate to the lowest level in decades. Trump would then stop corporate inversion and bring back over a trillion dollars of American investment from overseas to be invested in new jobs here. Late in the day he would put a shovel in the earth, breaking ground for the new wall on our border with Mexico, to be paid for by a tax on Mexican oil. The wall will be technologically impossible to penetrate. At bedtime he would change America’s broken visa immigration program.
Day 6 will see the end of both the Department of Education and its Common Core, and the curtailment of the EPA. All funding for education will be reallocated to the states. This decentralization and empowerment of people, where they live, will be a continuing theme of Trump’s administration as an act of subsidiarity. Private education will be funded at the same level as public education, and parents will be given the freedom of choice.
The country will be turned around in six days.
On the seventh day, as in the biblical Genesis story, after Trump bans late term abortion and defunds Planned Parenthood, the president and the nation will rest. The president will encourage all Americans, as is our tradition, to give thanks to God, ask for forgiveness, be generous and attend the religious institution (or none) of their choosing. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:3).
Malloch doesn't offer evidence that Trump has an actual platform that would back up these claims or detail how exactly he intends to accomplish them as immediately as Malloch longs them to be done.
Malloch tones it down a bit in his Feb. 5 column, but it's still pretty fanfiction-y:
Trump is a strict constitutionalist and has no expectations to usurp power or to grow the government. To the contrary, he has said he will give more powers and redirect funding to the states and use checks and balances as they were originally conceived. He will limit both his own executive powers and ask Congress and the courts to do the same. In other words, power will be returned “to the people.” This is the kernel of Trump’s populism, and it is as basic as the Boston Tea Party or the shots fired in Lexington by farmer militiamen.
All said, Trump’s government will be smaller, more efficient, more frugal and use management principles and best practices, so as to be more excellent, i.e., we will actually get the services for which our hard-earned tax monies were contributed.
Under Trump, we will see limited government for the first time in 60 years.
Again, Malloch points to no position paper or TV appearance in which Trump actually advocates this or explains how he will go about it.
Cruz Supporters At MRC Give Cruz A Pass On CNN And Ben Carson Topic: Media Research Center
It's no secret that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is a supporter of Ted Cruz (and a hater of Donald Trump), and that attitude is bleeding into his organization as the MRC is working hard to shield Cruz from media criticism.
During the Iowa caucuses, Cruz's campaign spread a false claim that CNN reported Ben Carson had dropped out of the caucuses, encouraging Carson supporters to cast their votes for Cruz instead. While Cruz apologized to Carson, he also insisted that CNN reported that Carson was quitting the campaign -- which CNN did not do.
But don't expect to read about Cruz's blunder at the MRC, though. It has, however, complained that the media reported it, though -- Curtis Houck groused that news outlets reported on Donald Trump "accusing Ted Cruz of “stealing” the Iowa caucuses" through the false Carson claim.
A Feb. 4 post by Scott Whitlock touted how Cruz "school[ed]" an ABC reporter who asked him about it by retorting, "Is it a dirty trick to pass on your news stories?" Whitlock didn't mention that the information Cruz passed on was wrong.
And when Cruz falsely claimed again during the Feb. 6 GOP debate that it was CNN, not his campaign that got the Carson information wrong, the MRC remained silent on the issue, and Bozell didn't even highlight it on his Twitter feed.
By contrast, the MRC has published numberous posts defending Cruz. These include a couple apparently done to hide the controversy over his false statements about CNN's reporting on Carson -- a Feb. 4 post detailing what Geoffrey Dickens calls "the Worst Media Attacks on Ted Cruz (so far)" -- which misleadingly conflates news reporting with statements by opinion commentators -- and a Feb. 6 post by Tim Graham complaining that the Washington Post did an article about what Canadians think of Cruz, given that he was born there.
At one point Graham writes, "Birtherism is a viciously racist mental disorder when used against Barack Obama, but it’s an amusing exercise in needling when it’s used against a conservative." If that's what Graham really thinks about Obama birtherism, that's a change from the MRC's normal policy of letting the president twist in the wind on the issue by refusing to aggressively denounce it (at least until it became an issue for Cruz).
FBI Video Shoots Down WND's Attempt To Build Oregon Shooting Conspiracy Theory Topic: WorldNetDaily
Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall writes that it was smart for the FBI to release video of the arrest of several people involved in the Oregon standoff, which resulted in the death of standoff spokesman LaVoy Finicum -- in which it's pretty clear that Finicum ran a roadblock, tries to make a run for it, and appears to reach for the gun on his waist before he's shot -- because it short-circuited attempts to construct conspiracy theories about what happened.
How true. WorldNetDaily, which was trying to go there before the video was released, has largely abandoned the story.
WND columnist Jeff Knox, in a Jan. 27 column, touted the "very credible" account of a passenger in one of those vehicles of standoff perpetrators authorities stopped and arrested, who insisted that "none of the protesters fired a shot or even touched a gun during the encounter." Knox added that Finicum was "a soft-spoken rancher and father of 11 from Arizona" and that "The death of LaVoy Finicum is a needless tragedy" taking place "in circumstances that some are calling murder," although he conceded that Ammon Bundy should have "negotiated a peaceful end to the situation and sent his supporters home to their families weeks ago." WND also posted audio of the passenger's account -- twice.
On Jan. 28, WND's Cheryl Chumley gave a platform to right-wing radio host (and friend of WND) Michael Savage to rant that Finicum's shooting was a "murder" and that if the feds don't investigate it, the United Nations should. Savage went on to rant that “We’re going to fight this dirty, evil government" as Chumley noted that "The details of Finicum’s death are fuzzy."
The next day, the FBI released the video. WND posted the video -- but the same day posted an article by Chumley somehow blaming the entire Oregon standoff on Hillary Clinton. No, really:
Call it a conspiracy theory – or not. But a curious investigative reporter, Jon Rappoport, posted an interesting angle to the Oregon standoff between protesting ranchers and feds that left one of the former dead, with this headline: “The Clintons: Is the Oregon standoff really about uranium?”
That article was, in fact, a followup to a previous story he wrote that was titled, “The Clintons: How Putin grabbed a fifth of all U.S. uranium.” And in the most recent, he simply looked at the information he presented in the first – how a deal approved under Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium production to Russia – and tied it to the geographical location of a proposed uranium mine in Oregon.
Coincidentally, the mine development was proposed for the same general area of the widely reported standoff between protesters and federal and police forces, Rappoport wrote.
It seems WND had to give up one conspiracy theory and had to try another. And, actually, that one's a bust too: Quartz explains that the issue at hand -- that Hillary Clinton was part of a committee that signed off on a purchased of a Canada-based uranium mining firm, an investor in which donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation, by Russia's atomic energy agency -- isn't really a controversy because that committee, which signs off on foreign investments in the U.S., had eight other members who also had to sign off on it. As FactCheck.org adds, there's no evidence Clinton took any action regarding the sale, and the Washington Post notes that the Clinton Foundation donor had sold his interest in the company before its sale to the Russians.
WND, however, hasn't done much of anything on either conspiracy since, though WND columnist and lying preacher Bradlee Dean screeched that the Clintons were "promising the Hammond ranch and other 'publicly owned lands' to Russians with one-fifth of our uranium ore." Except, you know, they didn't.
CNS Hides 'Duck Dynasty' Guy's Threat Against Gay Marriage Supporters Topic: CNSNews.com
Eric Scheiner writes in a Feb. 2 CNSNews.com blog post:
Phil Robertson of ‘Duck Dynasty’ fame called same sex marriage “wicked” and “sinful” over the weekend.
Robertson addressed the crowd at a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa City on Sunday.
“Don’t you understand when a fella like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion – redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman, c’mon Iowa, it’s nonsense,” Robertson said.
“It is evil. It’s wicked. It’s sinful,” he continued.
Robertson previously caused controversy in 2013 by telling GQ magazine that homosexuality is a sin and immoral.
Scheiner curiously omits what Robertson says next, even though it's in the video attached to his item: "We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them."
If a liberal said "we have to rid the earth" of people he or she disagreed with, CNS (and its Media Research Center parent) would be all over it. But if a conservative like Robertson says it, CNS will give him a pass and even helpfully bury the threat.