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Tuesday, March 22, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: The Semi-Birthers At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writers didn't exactly support Obama birtherism, but they didn't exactly denounce it either. Only when eligibility questions popped up around Ted Cruz did the MRC get passionate on the subject. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 PM EDT
WND Strangely Trying to Shield Michele Bachmann From 'Obama Is The Antichrist' Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WND has renounced birtherism (albeit for politically expedient reasons). What deeply held belief will it renounce next (for politically expedient reasons)?

A March 17 WND article by Bob Unruh gives us the answer:

Multiple headlines on YouTube claim former Rep. Michele Bachmann believes Barack Obama is the Antichrist.

There’s “Michele Bachmann warns Obama will reveal he’s the Antichrist.”

The popular (7,000 views) “Lunatic Bachmann Says Obama Is About To Reveal Himself As Anti-Christ.”

And “Michele Bachmann WARNS The ANTICHRIST Will Take Over UN (OBAMA’S REAL AGENDA).”

However, the former lawmaker from Minnesota told WND, “I did not say President Obama is the Antichrist, nor did I infer that he is.”

Bachmann said she’s asked YouTube to take down the inaccurate statements but has not received a response.


Politicians expect criticism of their positions and statements, but now, as a former politician, Bachmann says she is just trying to get YouTube to halt the outright fabrications.

The claim that she identified Obama as the Antichrist, she said, is beyond the pale.

“I think President Obama has done more to hurt our nation than any other American president in our nation’s history. He changed world history by enabling Iran, the world’s chief sponsor of anti-Israel/anti-American terrorism, to quickly get a nuclear bomb and the means to deliver it to the U.S.,” she said.

“Barack Obama’s legacy is the establishment of lawlessness in the United States. He has deeply damaged both the American and global economies. He has deliberately stoked hatred between people based upon the color of their skin.

“In fact it is difficult to identify any positive legacy he will leave the American people. That being said, I do not believe Obama is the Antichrist,” she told WND.

Unruh doesn't mention that the idea of Obama being the Antichrist was popularized by WND itself. It has promoted columnists Hal Lindsey and Joel Richardson llinking Obama with the Antichrist, as well as a video made by Carl Gallups (then hiding behind his PPSimmons pseudonym) claiming that the Bible actually tells us that Obama is the Antichrist.

Last August, WND gave Gallups a platform to walk things back -- he insists that he really doesn't believe Obama is the Antichrist, only an antichrist, and he again refused to apologize for making the video, calling it "thought-provoking."

Unruh doesn't explain why this particular accusation is now ideological poison at WND -- it's been trying to distance itself from the claim it once enthusiastically promoted for a while now. And he also doesn't explain why the statements Bachmann did make on the subject, while not explicitly claiming Obama is the Antichrist, should not be interpreted as suggesting that.

Unruh huffed that "One would have to make a number of unsupported assumptions to conclude that a statement by host Eric Barger indicated that." But he's fuzzy on the origin of the claim, and he fails to link to the Raw Story article on Bachmann's interview with radio hosts Barger and Jan Markell he blames for helping to forward the story.

In it, Bachmann talks with Barger and Markell about a questionable report claiming that Obama wants to become secretary-general of the United Nations after leaving office. Raw Story continues:

“Obama would only go into an empowered, powerful UN, powerful enough to see the United States come under the UN’s authority,” Bachmann said.


Markell found the reporting credible enough to form the basis of a wild conspiracy theory about Obama becoming “king of the world.”

“The whole idea of Obama being able to extend his presidency, even enhance it and expand it, I don’t think I need to say what I’m thinking because I think a lot of the listeners are thinking the same thing, and we all are too, and as you shake your head you wonder what’s coming next,” Barger added.

The implication, of course, is that Obama is the biblical Antichrist — a suggestion Bachmann herself has made before.

Unruh also quotes Markell vouching for Bachmann's non-Antichrist-ness -- but he apparently failed to ask he why discussion of Obama being "king of the world" should not be interpreted as veiled talk of Obama being the Antichrist.

(And Unruh waits until near the end of his article to obliquely note that Markell co-wrote a WND-published book.)

It seems like Unruh's article is just another effort to rebuild WND's credibility by tamping down its well-earned reputation for Obama-hate and conspiracy theories. And it's done as dishonestly as we've come to expect from WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Monday, March 21, 2016
MRC Mocks Idea That Transgenders For Cruz Is Like 'Jews For Hitler,' Ignores Cruz Hung Out With Pastor Who Wants To Kill Gays
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center got a bit of mileage out of "The View's" Joy Behar declaring that "Transgenders for Cruz is like Jews for Hitler":

Kristine Marsh complained that "The media’s attacks on presidential candidate Ted Cruz have been unprecedented, with comparisons to Nazis, the KKK, even a major newspaper using an image of a gun pointed towards his head."

The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard promoted the clip in his weekly MRC-derived column, featuring this quote from MRC VP of research Brent Baker: "Classic example of excessive hyperbole exposing the prejudice of a media personality. So, since Ted Cruz is not an advocate for the specific rights and new laws transgender activists want imposed, that means he's planning a transgender Holocaust? Besides, I thought it was Trump who is the new Hitler according the media?"

But Marsh, Bedard and Baker all ignore evidence that Behar's statement might not be as hyperbolic as it seems. All they have to do is look at the anti-LGBT sentiments of the people who are supporting Cruz.

Last November, Cruz and other GOP presidential candidates attended a forum hosted by right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson who used said forum to advocate for executing gays. As we noted at the time, the MRC completely ignored Swanson's declaration, and it was not until three months later that Cruz bothered to try and distance himself from Swanson's remarks.

Cruz has aalso accumulated the endorsements of numerous anti-LGBT activists, including Sandy Rios and Linda Harvey.

Perhaps Marsh, Bedard and Baker can explain why an LGBT person would want to vote for someone who hangs out with such folks, at least one of whom has advocated their execution -- and why they shouldn't fear for their lives if Cruz is elected.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EDT
WND's Farah Offended Trump Being Likened To Hitler -- Then Smears MoveOn As Hitler-Like,
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah spends his March 13 column complaining about encouraging protests at donald Trump rallies. He writes:

While Trump’s Republican opponents claim his campaign has invited chaos at his rallies with incendiary speech, they should remember this group used similar tactics against George W. Bush in 2004, also comparing the establishment GOP president with Adolf Hitler in media ads. If Trump’s opponents think would be any less brutish toward their campaigns if they were front-runners, they are hopelessly misguided.

You might recall that WND itself has spent notable time over the years comparing President Obama to Hitler and various Nazis -- heck, it even published an op-ed defending such comparisons. If likening Trump to Hitler is a "brutish" tactic now, it was brutish when WND was giving a platform to people likening Obama to Hitler.

Farah is once again being hypocritical --so much so, he goes on to make the very same "brutish" smear against MoveOn in this very same column. Apparently, being "brutish" is OK in Farah's eyes when it advances your agenda.

Farah then huffs that MoveOn's "thuggish tactics" are being "funded by tens of millions of dollars from Soros and a parade of other Democrat billionaires, including John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and her Tides Foundation." As we've pointed out in 2004, when WND was trying to smear Heinz Kerry because of her donations to the group, the Tides Foundation is not "her" foundation; she donated money to the group earmarked to support specific, non-controversial causes.

But Farah's not done ranting: is the new Ku Klux Klan – simply another age-old terrorist group that historically served as the military wing of the Democratic Party. Blaming Trump for their Gestapo tactics will only further their despicable ends.


These people hate America. They hate cops. They hate the military. They hate free enterprise. They hate liberty. They hate the Constitution.

This is not about Trump.

It’s about winning elections, silencing opposition and using brown-shirt tactics we haven’t seen since Mussolini and Hitler.

There’s no middle ground here. Either you support fascist tactics like this or you oppose them.

But Farah can point to no act of "terrorism" has engaged in -- unless you count organizing anti-Trump protests as "terrorism." Farah claims that " hosted a petition calling on the U.S. government not to designate the jihadist organization Boko Haram as a terrorist group," but MoveOn has pointed out that the petition appeared on its "open petition platform" and gained only about 100 signatures during the two years it was active and ignored until WND friend and far-right former congressman Steve Stockman highlighted it (and worked through his WND buddy Garth Kant to make political hay out of it).

It's richly ironic that Farah is denouncing as "fascist" and "brownshirt" and Mussolini and Hitler-esque the very same tactics his organization has used against Obama for years -- and which have brought him only an utter lack of credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EDT
Sunday, March 20, 2016
CNS Reporter Tells Only One Side of Flint Hearings

Last week, a House committee hosted two days of testimony on the Flint, Mich., water crisis. reporter Melanie Hunter wrote four articles about it:

  • An article on the former Flint mayor testifying that "he trusted the guidance he received from then EPA regional administrator Susan Hedman that the high levels of lead in the water in Flint, Mich., were 'limited to very particular cases' of lead service lines and plumbing in individual houses."
  • An article on EPA administrator Gina McCarthy allegedly [sidestep[ping] a question on whether she would have fired a regional administrator for her purported role in the crisis. McCarthy pointed out that the  regional administrator resigned on her own so "that was an issue I didn’t need to face."
  • An article featuring a internal EPA email suggesting that "the federal agency might not want to 'go out on a limb for' the community of Flint, Mich."
  • An article featuring a Republican congressman's call for McCarthy to resign.

How biased is Hunter's reporting? Not only does quote only from Republican members of the committee, she almost completely disappears the fact that among those testifying was Republican Michian Gov. Rick Snyder. Only one of Hunter's four articles even mentions Snyder, a passing reference noting only that Snyder testified.

And because Hunter is interested only in parroting right-wing bashing of the EPA and protecting a Republican governor, her readers don't get the full story -- that Michigan officials under Snyder played a significant role in creating and extending the crisis, and that the EPA's hands were tied to a certain extent. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank summarizes:

Now members of Congress are blaming the EPA for failing to stop the problem — oblivious to the irony that they and their predecessors were the ones who denied the federal government the ability to enforce drinking-water standards in the first place.

It’s a vicious cycle: Washington devolves power to the states. When states screw up, conservatives blame the federal government, worsening the public’s already shaky faith. Having tied the hands of the feds — in this case, the EPA — they use the failure as justification to restrict federal power further, thus giving more control to the states, which caused the problem in the first place.


Even though the EPA should have acted faster once it learned of Flint’s troubles, there is no dispute that the state was solely responsible for the changes that caused the lead poisoning. 

But you won't find any of that being reported by Hunter -- it's not part of her agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Saturday, March 19, 2016
WND's Trump Fanboy Wants Us To Believe Trump is 'Principled' (Also, Aristotle)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is WorldNetDaily's foremost Donald Trump fanfiction author, and he has continued his fanboy ways.

In a Feb. 10 column, Malloch declared that "Trump is an Aristotelian – perhaps without knowing it." No, really:

What is Trump’s Ethos? In other words, what makes him credible? What is his “street cred,” in the modern vernacular? You need this to establish a first line of communication, and that has to be believable. Trump ‘s credibility is tied to his business acumen and success. It helps that he is universally recognizable as the chairman of the board on a popular TV reality show.

What is Trump’s Logos? He is employing the means of persuasion by using logic, data and facts to get people to understand the situation we are facing as a country in decline and by saying he, as speaker and potential president, has a sense of reasonableness. How is he demonstrating that he knows what he is talking about and that he is in command of the present political and economic reality? He is doing that by stating figures on where we have gone down the wrong path and how that could be righted.

What is Trump’s Pathos? His art of appealing to people’s emotions is working. The emotional bond he deploys is captivating audiences as they feel connected both to him as leader and to his message. He is one of them. He gets their predicament. He is able to make voters see he can do something no one else can. Clearly, he is going to do things differently. He gets things done.

So not quite Aristotlean in the great-thinker way -- just that he's able to give a speech competently. If Malloch thinks Trump uses "data and facts" in his speeches, he obviously hasn't heard Trump speak.

In his Feb. 15 column, Malloch insisted that "Donald Trump’s campaign remarks about Muslims were both taken out of context and decoupled from a necessary, larger framework" and that "Trump is neither anti-Muslim nor against states with majority Muslim populations." Malloch goes on to give Trump much more credit for having a thought-out plan on Muslims than the guy has actually demonstrated:

Trump understands that Islam is one of the three great Abrahamic faiths and that a minority of its adherents have hijacked Islam for violent political ends. Radical Islamic terrorists are destroying their own culture even as they strike out against everything they hate in Western civilization. The truth is Islam needs to undergo the type of reformation experienced by the other two Abrahamic faiths. Millions of Muslims throughout the world realize that the needed reformation must emanate from within Islam itself, such that it cannot be imposed on Islam from the outside.

On Feb. 23, Malloch touted Trump's appeal to the "white working and middle class." He gets credit for managing not to look as nakedly racist as fellow WND columnist and Trump fanboy Kent Bailey did; instead, he frames it as regular people vs. the elites, and that "What the Trump supporters from the WWMC want is simply restoration of the American dream!" Malloch adds: "The WWMC class needs a voice. Trump is the messenger of this voiceless group." He doesn't mention the irony of a guy who has been the epitome of elitism being the "voice" of anti-elitists.

And on March 6, Malloch portrays Trump as a "principled actor" in politics, again ignoring his actual history:

For all three traditional definitions of political politicians – political theorists, principled political actors and unprincipled political actors – the real problem is that Trump believes it is true American can be great again, and he dares to say without any reservation that he has the talent and the means to accomplish that goal, even if he must do so against all odds.

For Trump, to exude confidence not only inspires others to confidence, but becomes a self-fulfilling act. But the truth is that to make America great again, one has to believe that one is a partial expression of that greatness. Trump wants all Americans to be included in that greatness he sees as possible for America, and he dares to extend his reach beyond party, class, race, gender and region.

In this sense Trump has much to share with both Reagan and Lincoln in that all three gentlemen have embraced the highest ideals of our Founding Fathers with the naiveté to believe their destiny was to assist this nation in fulfilling that dream.

In the final analysis, Trump – like Reagan and Lincoln before him – loves America and welcomes the challenge to return this country to the glory our forefathers intended to bequeath to future generations. In the final analysis, Trump can embrace this challenge in this age because he is, after all, an entrepreneur.

A race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will post an unprincipled politician against a principled one – with neither qualifying as political theorists. That much should be clear.

What remains harder for many on the left and on the right to grasp is that understanding Trump is really not all that difficult, not after you realize that Trump might actually achieve what he says he wants to achieve.

Ignoring reality is the stuff of fanfiction, and Malloch has that down cold.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Friday, March 18, 2016
MRC Lets GOP Activist's False Birther Claim Stand
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's history on Obama birtherism is an ambivalent one -- it would alternate tepid endorsements with tepid denials. It's only when Ted Cruz faced birther-style claims that it got aggressive on the subject -- and even then it wouldn't target close personal friends of the MRC for going birther on Cruz.

That particular Trump-induced birther storm has passed ... which apparently has made it OK for the MRC to promote Obama birther attacks again.

Brad Wilmouth uses a March 13 MRC NewsBusters post to promote how a CNN anchor Poppy Harlow was "confused" by how "her guest, Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges, turned the tables by implicating Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign in dabbling in similar mischief against her then-opponent Senator Obama." Wilmouth uncritically repeated Borges' assertion that Obama birtherism was "created by Hillary Clinton in 2008," noting only that Harlow pointed out that "Hillary Clinton never asked for the President's, you know, then-Senator Barack Obama's birth certificate."

In fact, numerous fact-checkers have found no link between Hillary Clinton and birther attacks on Obama.

USA Today: "While it's true that some of her ardent supporters pushed the theory, there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it."

PolitiFact: "It’s an interesting bit of history that the birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats supporting Clinton and opposing Obama. But Trump, and others who have made this claim, neglect to mention that there is no direct tie to Clinton or her 2008 campaign. The story appears to have started with supporters of Clinton, an important distinction."

Washington Post: "This is simply not true. Clinton's campaign, one of the most thoroughly dissected in modern history, never raised questions about the future president's citizenship. The idea that it did is based largely on a series of disconnected actions by supporters of Clinton, mostly in the months between Obama's reaction to the Jeremiah Wright story and the Democratic National Convention. ... the Clinton campaign never pursued the idea that Obama was literally not American, and therefore ineligible for the presidency."

It would have been nice if Wilmouth was honest and told the truth. But telling the truth about Obama is simply not in the MRC's best political interest.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 18, 2016 2:16 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Fires Up The Conspiracies for Supreme Court Nomination
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last week, WorldNetDaily renounced birtherism to support Ted Cruz, so it was in the market for a new conspiracy theory. So it's returning to an old one, thanks to Merrick Garland.

On March 16, President Obama named Garland as his Supreme Court nominee. A short time later, conspiracy-monger extraordinaire Jack Cashill was up with a WND column claiming to tie Garland to not one but two conspiracies, the Oklahoma City bombing and the TWA 800 disaster -- then immediately backtracks on one of them:

Whatever his merits, Garland served as Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick’s “principal deputy” during the two most corrupt years in American political history – the years leading up to Bill Clinton’s reelection in 1996 – and that service alone should kill his candidacy.

Although Garland has no known connection with the TWA 800 investigation, it happened during his watch, and his boss oversaw its unprecedented misdirection.

nevertheless, Csshill insists that "Senators need to ask Garland what he knew about TWA 800 and when he knew it."

After some factually inaccurate ranting about Gorelick and her purported "wall," Cashill finally moves on to more relevant stuff: Garland's serving as chief prosecutor of Oklahoma City bombing perpetrators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. "What someone needs to ask Garland is what happened to John Doe No. 2," Cashill asserts, referring to the idea that a mysterious Middle Eastern man played some unspecified role in the bombing; as we've reported, the FBI said the person thought to have been said swarthy foreigner was "thoroughly investigated" and found to have no connection to the bombing.

But Cashill cites no role, real or imagined, Garland had in this conspiracy; he simply rehashes the never-proven John Doe No. 2 story, then jumps to a completely separate conspiracy: that "Garland was also involved with the Olympic Park bombing" and, apparently, the framing of Richard Jewell for it.

Bu we remember when Cashill was suggesting that the guy who actually committed the bombing, Eric Rudolph, was as innocent as Jewell.That was before Rudolph actually confessed to his crimes. Cashill now concedes that Rudolph is "a crazed anti-abortion activist," but back then he was just a "mystical right-winger" who was merely an anti-abortion protester and illogically tied to the Olympic Park bombing.

(Actually, Rudolph confessed his motive was "to shame the United States for its legalization of abortion" by knocking out Atlanta's power grid and shutting down the Olympics. He also bombed two abortion clinics and a lesbian nightclub.)

This is the guy Cashill was willing to defend in order to attack the Clintons. There's no reason to trust his conspiracy-mongering now.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Thursday, March 17, 2016
The Trump-Flip-Flopping Continues At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is taking its indecisiveness over whether to attack or defend Donald Trump to new contradictory levels.

In a March 14 post, Rich Noyes complains that Trump, not "left-wing protesters who forced the cancellation of a presidential campaign event," is getting the blame for violence at Trump campaign events, according to an "an MRC analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC news coverage" spanning "a whopping 45 segments totalling nearly 85 minutes of airtime."

A mere seven hours later, Curtis Houck -- the MRC's king of the conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" is conspiring to make Trump the GOP nominee so he'll lose to Hillary Clinton in November -- devoted an entire post to complaining that Trump got "a whopping 84 percent of the Republican campaign segments" on the TV networks prior to the most recent Super Tuesday elections. 

While Houck noted that the Trump coverage was largely made up of stories on "the ongoing fears of violence at Trump rallies," he didn't note that, as his MRC colleague wrote seven hours earlier, that coverage was almost uniformly negative -- which you'd think would be a good thing since MRC boss Brent Bozell is an anti-Trump activist.

The MRC needs to decide on what Trump message it wants to send, because being contradictory isn't working.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:26 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:43 PM EDT
CNS Reporter's 'News' Article Turns Into Anti-Obama Rant
Topic: reporter Susan Jones loves to inject opinion into her "news" articles. This time, her "news" is mostly a right-wing anti-Obama rant.

Jones starts off a March 16 CNS article by ostensibly reporting on President Obama's criticism of "vulgar and divisive rhetoric" on the campaign trail, but the last portion of her article is a full-on anti-Obama rant:

The core values of the country we love have changed dramatically under President Obama's watch.

While campaigning for president in April 2008, President Obama alienated many small-town Americans, when he explained their frustrations over job losses and broken political promises this way: "And it's not surprising then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Later that year, in October, Obama told a plumber at a campaign event that he planned to raise taxes on successful Americans "to spread the wealth around."

Throughout his presidency, he has pitted "millionaires and billionaires" against the middle and lower classes, insisting in 2011, "This is not class warfare. It’s math...The money is going to have to come from someplace."

With support only from Democrats, President Obama signed a government health care mandate in 2010, breaking his repeated promises to let people keep the plans they liked. He also offended the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans who opposed Obamacare's birth control/abortifacient mandate.

At the National Prayer Breakfast in 2015, Obama reminded the faithful that just as some people "profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it," so people have "committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." He suggested that the Christians in the audience should exercise "some basic humility...Not being so full of yourself and confident that you are right, and that God speaks only to us and doesn't speak to others."

With a weak and ineffectual Republican Congress standing by, Obama applied his uncompromising attitude to major issues of the day, including homosexual marriage and illegal immigration, leaving Americans angry, divided and feeling powerless to reverse the tide rolling over the border and steamrolling traditional values.

Under the Obama administration, racial tensions were exacerbated to the point where one Democrat running for president was forced to apologize for saying that "all lives matter."

In 2015, the Gallup polling organization declared Obama one of the most polarizing presidents ever.

As we've previously pointed out when Jones has made the accusation, Obama is not "uncompromising"; quite the opposite, in fact (something Jones apparently cares little about). The PolitiFact website has a full seven pages of examples of Obama compromising to achieve his policy goals. And Jones omits the fact that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama.

And Jones conveniently fails to hold her side of the political aisle responsible for the country's political polarization, nor does she mention that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama from the beginning of his administration.

Again: This rant is presented as "news." CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be screaming to high heaven if Jones was an employee of the so-called "liberal media."

But remember, there's no such thing is conservative media bias in the MRC's eyes, so Jones' job is quite safe -- even if no actual journalism organization would employ her.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
MRC's Graham Mad That NPR Brings Back Satire Mag, Doesn't Mention Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham really did devote an entire post to complaining that NPR had on the founders of the now-defunct satire magazine Spy to talk about their longtime targeting of Donald Trump -- Spy invented the term "short-fingered vulgarian" to describe him -- but didn't mention that Spy also targeted Hillary Clinton in the '90s.

But Graham glosses over the reason why Spy was worth a story: Trump is still mad about Spy's decades-old mocking of him, and the story came in the wake of the Republican presidential campaign's descent into the gutter of obliquely discussing the gential size of Trump, to which Spy's "short-fingered vulgarian" reference even more obliquely addresses.

By contrast, Hillary has apparently not complained, then or now, about Spy's mocking of her, making any reference to her in this story superfluous.

And despite the fact that Spy devoted three covers (and, presumably, related editorial content) to Hillary-mocking, Graham still insisted on calling Spy a "lefty satire rag." Gotta keep that "liberal media" meme alive, even if you've totally discredited it.

Graham, of course, made sure to include the Spy covers mocking Hillary. He seemingly dismissed them as "juvenile," adding, "These are not sophisticated covers. They're low-class enough to make a high-school joke giggle." And, it would appear, a high-ranking official at a right-wing media-monitoring organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily Bails on Birthers
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND editor Joseph Farah endorses Ted Cruz while ignoring his eligibility issues -- and to justify the endorsement, Farah abandons the signature issue of WND for the past eight years. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
MRC Does More PR for Right-Wing Filmmaker
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a history of serving as a shill for right-wing filmmaker Phelim McAleer, to the point where it appears McAleer was paying the MRC for the privilege of having it say nice things about him and promote crowdfunding campaign for his new film.

It appears the MRC is at it again. Sam Dorman does some dutiful stenography in a March 7 NewsBusters post, declaring that McAleer "said Facebook censored him after he challenged anti-drilling activists on his documentary’s social media site," purportedly for mocking a man who's suing over fracking -- a subject McAleer produced a dishonest film about in order to promote the practice and attack its critics. Dorman's apparent sole source for his post is McAleer himself; all he cites is a press release issued by McAleer and what "McAleer told MRC Business."

Dorman made no apparent attempt to verify anything McAleer said, nor did he apparently contact Facebook  for a response to McAleer's charge of censorship. Given McAleer's record of hyperbole and questionable grasp of the facts -- he's been called "climate denial's Michael Moore" -- there's no reason his claims should be taken at face value.

Unless McAleer is paying for that service from the MRC, which may very well be the case once again.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EDT
WND's Double Standard on Guilt By Association, Starring David Barton
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined March 11 WorldNetDaily article is an entertaining read -- though not for the reasons WND intended.

The point of it is David Barton, who head a pro-Ted Cruz PAC, defending Cruz against accusations of being too closely aligned with Pentacostal Christians and that his father, Rafael Cruz, is a dominionist, an idea promoted by the Drudge Report. This being Barton, his defense is dishonest and misleading:

David Barton, head of the pro-Cruz PAC “Keep the Promise” and author of “The Jefferson Lies,” defended Cruz, saying video “clips being taken out of context” amounted to an attempt to smear the candidate.

“They are trying to make something out of this,” said Barton. “Unfortunately that’s part of what goes into any campaign, the yellow journalism, the innuendo, the kind of making the noise about, ‘Look how terrible this is.'”

Barton noted it was not clearly shown whether Rafael Cruz was speaking in tongues. Even if he was, Barton suggested it doesn’t matter.

“There are at least 500 million people in the world who are Pentecostal Christians,” said Barton. “Even if he was doing this, this is a major part of the Christian community. It’s being shown in a pejorative way to make it look like something weird and strange. It’s not a big deal because of how large this group of people is.”

Barton never explains the supposedly proper context the clips should be viewed it -- even as he's insisting that even if there was proper context, "it doesn't matter." And he doesn't deny that Rafael Cruz is a dominionist, probably because it's true.

And then there's this line:

Barton condemned any use of “guilt by association” tactics on the Right, by anyone, and was equally critical of similar attacks that might be levied against Trump, Marco Rubio and other candidates.

As Warren Throckmorton points out, Barton didn't have any problem with guilt by association when it came to the critics of his is once-withdrawn, now-returned (and yet still discredited) Thomas Jefferson book.

And of course, as it was denouncing "guilt by association" tactics, WND was not only engaging in them, it was blowing past them by promoting the false allegation that a protester who rushed the stage at a Donald Trump rally is a supporter of ISIS.

If WND can't be consistent with its own logic, it's certainly not going to hold Barton responsible for defending Cruz and his own discredited book.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Monday, March 14, 2016
MRC Uses Levin For Cover To Criticize Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

The business relationship between the Media Research Center and right-wing radio host Mark Levin is apparently so close now that Levin has a hand in the MRC's editorial agenda.

On Feb. 28, Ted Cruz faced tough questioning from host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," who pressed Cruz on factually inaccurate claims he had made. You know MRC chief Brent Bozell is a big fanboy of Cruz; Levin is too, to the point that Levin's fiancee's son works for his campaign.

The MRC is also a big booster of Fox News, to the point that it deliberately excludes Fox from its TV analyses in order to avoid having to hold Fox accountable to the same standards it applies to other TV networks (on, for instance, Trump boosterism). So it would never criticize Wallace so directly for something it would have no problem attacking him for were he employed anywhere but Fox News. 

However, it has no problem attacking Wallace while using Levin as cover. Hence, Randy Hall's March 1 NewsBusters post:

One day after Ted Cruz was a guest on the Fox News Sunday program, conservative radio personality Mark Levin hammered that show's host -- Chris Wallace -- for performing a “hit job” on that Republican presidential candidate after conducting a softball interview with Donald Trump, even though the GOP front-runner has made several of the same mistakes Cruz was accused of making.

Levin began the segment by stating that “Wallace went after Cruz” and is a person he's “never liked” because Wallace is “a chip off the old block,” a son of longtime liberal CBS journalist Mike Wallace, which the radio host stated “is the problem” with his interviews and coverage of the news.

“And no, this isn't journalism or anything of the sort,” Levin stated before airing Wallace's first question to the senator from Texas.


Levin noted that Wallace had conducted two “totally different interviews. That's why I can't watch these Sunday shows.”

“And it's not a coincidence that Rupert Murdoch the other day tweeted out that Trump, Rubio, Kasich and the establishment need to unite to beat the Democrats,” he stated.

“Now who was left out of that?” the host asked. “Cruz … because Cruz is the true outsider, and he's the true conservative.”

Judging from this incident, it appears that Levin has found a downside to the Fox News Channel being “fair and balanced.”

And it appears the MRC has finally found a way to Heather Fox News for insufficient adherence to right-wing orthodoxy without sullying its hands doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT

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