NewsBusters Blogger Rants At The Onion for Mocking Trump Topic: NewsBusters
Jorge Bonilla must be the most humorless person on the planet. His July 11 NewsBusters post is dedicated to how much he hates a satirical article at the Onion headlined "‘I’m A Trump-Era Conservative,’ Says Horrifying Man 25 Years From Now." The Onion, is making "an awful descent into media self-parody" with this "unfunny and unoriginal" piece of "derivative tripe."
Bonilla's post, though, is framed in a larger conspiracy theory: that Univision, which purchased a controlling stake in The Onion earlier this year, is now dictating the website's editorial agenda, which apparently involves a mythical dictate from Univision bigwigs to mock Trump -- as if The Onion hasn't been doing that for years.
He has no proof of this, mind you, but he nevertheless rants that "This awful stab at comedy is nothing less than Univision Digital's attempts to follow the vision of boss Isaac Lee, who infamously characterized opponents of the network's agenda as 'Nazis'."
WND Columnist: Obama Should Tell Blacks About 'The Benefits of Being Black' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Blacks are much more likely than whites to have children out of wedlock, and black males are much more likely to skip out on the mother of their children than males of other races. Over 70 percent of black children are born out of wedlock, which is an express ticket to a life of poverty and a fast track to crime and incarceration.
Obama should say, “It is time for the black community to take charge and declare a war on illegitimacy. It’s also time for the black community to declare war on those individuals, organization and movements that want to capitalize on this violence and blame others for our problems that we create for ourselves.”
While Obama has experienced some of the negative aspects of the “black experience,” he never talks about the benefits of being black.
He should say, “If you are black and do well in school, you are much more likely to get a college scholarship than someone who is white. You are much more likely to get admitted to a college than a white guy with the same grades. You are much more likely to get a government grant to do a study or a loan to start a business than a white guy, and if you start a business, you are much more likely to get a government contract. All things being equal, as a racial minority, you are much more likely to be hired by a business over the guy who is lily white. Companies get credit for hiring a minority, any minority. They get no credit for hiring a white guy. So go out there and work hard in school. Achieve. Stop whining. The sky is the limit! You can even be president of the United States.”
Now that would be leadership, but a leader, sadly, Obama is not.
NewsBusters Blogger Has Never Watched Colbert's Show, Criticizes Him Anyway Topic: NewsBusters
As we'velearned, it's not a requirement that Media Research Center "researchers" actually watch or read the things they criticize.
We see this again in a July 20 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer, who starts off by denouncing Stephen colbert as an "alleged comedian" who's a comedown for the network that hired him, CBS. Blumer is especially upset at the little stunt Colbert pulled at the Republican National Convention:
So on Monday, Colbert, dressed like a dolt, and took to the stage to conduct a mock convention opening.
Colbert's stage crash, which appears to have taken place several hours before scheduled fesitivities began, given that few if any seats in the arena were occupied, received a smattering of cheers from those present.
The video below appears to capture only a portion of Colbert's appearance:
STEPHEN COLBERT: He has formed an alliance with Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Sorry, I blacked out there for a moment.
So it is my honor, to hereby launch and begin the 2016 Republican National Hunger for Power Games!
Look, look. I know I'm not supposed to be up here. Honest. Neither is Donald Trump.
As seen after Colbert was forced offstage, the person taking the video, or someone standing very close, thought that his stunt was hilarious.
Given that those on hand at that point would have primarily been party officials, security personnel, and some members of the media, I wonder (no, not really) who thought Colbert's crassness was funny? Perhaps some of them were even employees of a formerly serious news operation called CBS News.
If Blumer had bothered to have ever actually watched Colbert's show, he would know that Colbert is not merely "dressed like a dolt"; he's dressed as an expy of Caesar Flickerman, an emcee character from "The Hunger Games" movies, a character Colbert has been making use of for months to critique the presidential primary process.
If Blumer had bothered to have ever actually watched Colbert's show, he would know that the name of Colbert's Flickerman segments is called the "Hungry for Power Games" -- not "Hunger for Power Games."
And if Blumer had bothered to have ever actually watched Colbert's show, he would have known that the Flickerman RNC segment he's bashing had run the night before he wrote his post, and he could have linked to the segment itself instead of relying on some random person's cell phone video of an out-of-context part of the segment. Certainly even hard-hearted, media-bashing Blumer might be able to find a chuckle at Colbert yelling at NBC's Chuck Todd, "Have Matt Lauer washed and brought to my tent!" And he wouldn't have botched Colbert's parting dig, where he actually said: "I know I'm not supposed to be up here, but let's be honest, neither is Donald Trump."
But Blumer's not one to let his ignorance get in the way of his Colbert bashing. He chortled that Colbert's show has been "finishing at or barely above third in the 18-49 ratings to both Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel," then sneered: "Though Colbert got some of the attention he craved from Access Hollywood, it's hard to imagine that this will help his show's ratings."
Actually, Colbert did get a nice ratings boost from his live RNC shows, beating both Fallon and Kimmel.
Farah Claims The Financial 'Existential Threat' to WND Is Over Topic: WorldNetDaily
In early June, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that WND faced an "existential threat" and begged for money from his readers. Well, apparently, the threat has passed for now.
At the end of June, Farah sent out another letter to WND's mailing list proclaiming the crisis over and explaining how hard it was to ask for help:
Earlier this month, I wrote a letter that was the toughest thing for me to do.
I knew our enemies would see it, too.
I hated to give them comfort. And, boy, did it ever.
But thanks to the amazing response from WND's most loyal readers, I can assure them that the imminent threat to our very existence and viability as America's most daring and courageous voice for liberty is behind us.
This letter is a lot easier to write, because you answered the bell. We're not completely out of the woods, but you have helped buy us some time, for which I am endlessly grateful.
Actually, we're pretty much the only ones who wrote about WND's financial issues (which we also did at the Huffington Post). Which means he has declared us his enemy. We're flattered.
Note that Farah does not mention how much money was actually raised from his begging effort, which would make it much easier for donors to judge whether WND's financial problems are, in fact, over. Such secrecy is not a good sign when you're begging for money from the public, but it's never a good thing if WND is apparently such a financial pariah that Farah can't find legitimate private investors or other conventional financing to keep it alive and must resort to public begging.
Farah then once again blames WND's woes on Obama:
All that, of course, is on top of the Obama economy, the ravages of which every reader is aware: The entire retail world is in turmoil. Digital advertising is way down. The book publishing world is topsy-turvy. All of these factors profoundly affect WND because they represent many of the ways we support what we do – which is to boldly bring you the unvarnished, not-always-pretty, but accurate and undistorted truth about what's really going on in this chaotic world of ours.
First, retail turmoil, digital advertising issues and a competitive book-publishing industry are not Obama's fault -- that's capitalism at work. (WND loves to blame Obama for capitalism working as intended.) As we've previously noted, online retail has been growing immensely overall, which means the more likely issue is that people don't want to buy what WND has to sell.
Second, Farah's claim that WND reports the "accurate and undistorted truth about what's really going on in this chaotic world of ours" is an undisputed lie. Just a few days ago, Farah told lies in his column. WND's lies are contributing to the chaos, not making things clearer. Again, Farah is weirdly proud of the fact that his website publishes misinformation, and even a press-release mill decided that WND was not “credible” enough to promote.
Farah followed that up with even more falsehoods about how it cares about the truth:
Despite the assault on our nation and world over the last eight years, I, like Donald Trump, still believe America potentially has a great future ahead – with the right kind of leadership and, even more importantly, with a return to God and the principles He set out for liberty and prosperity and blessing.
But for America to get there, it must hear the truth. And that's where WND comes in. Very simply, you cannot have a free country without a free press. It's not possible. Yet as you know, most of America's "big media" serve as little more than a government propaganda ministry. Even much of the "alternative media" are reluctant to cover some of the really consequential stories that – while absolutely vital to the nation – also come with a price tag for the news organization reporting them, in terms of threats, ridicule, boycotts, lawsuits and financial loss.
As I told you in my previous letter, we want to be around when Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017, so we can be part of the national recovery process. And with the help you've already provided, we have more confidence we will be where we need to be.
Well, if WND didn't do things that cry out to be ridiculed -- for instance, employing falsehood-spreader JeromeCorsi, promote a bogus super PAC and refusing to admit its anti-Obama birther crusade was completely discredited -- Farah wouldn't have to fear ridicule.
Needless to say, Farah ends his letter with a plea for more money; he claims that a financiall stronger WND is "a blessing for America's future." Uh, sure.
Farah is blaming pretty much everyone but himself for the imminent failure of WND's business model with no evidence he's made any adjustments to it to compensate for WND's financial condition (except for the apparent elimination of WND's Jerusalem bureau, which died when Aaron Klein jumped ship to Breitbart).
Given that, any money readers send to WND is likely to disappear down a black hole without any accountability, not unlike that super PAC Farah promoted.
Everybody's Getting Their Bhuttos Wrong Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center really, really hates Chris Matthews, even when he's defending Donald Trump. So much so, in fact, they can't quite their facts straight.
The MRC's Curtis Houck devoted a July 21 post to complaining about Matthews saying that "the Republican National Convention (RNC) chanting “lock her up” concerning Hillary Clinton was akin to what one would hear in Buenos Aires, Argentina or Caracas, Venezuela."
This led Matthews to conclude the segment by invoking two Latin American countries and bizarrely and irresponsibly throwing in the assassinated former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (which he falsely asserted was male) as a consequence of such rhetoric:
I've never been to a convention — look, I’ve never been to a convention in Caracas or Buenos Aires, but I’m sure I’ve heard it down there...It is very Latin American. This is wild stuff. My opponent — and too, a lot of countries, they put away the guy who — how about — what is it, Benazir Bhutto? He loses an election, they hang him.
Matthews did get a fact wrong, just not the one Houck thinks he got wrong -- Matthews simply named the wrong Bhutto -- which makes Houck a little wrong too.
Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, is the person Matthews was trying to think of. He was ousted as Pakistan's prime minister in a military coup (not losing an election, as Matthews claimed), then was arrested on trumped-up charges of murdering a political rival. He was found not guilty yet was sentenced to death. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007 while seeking re-election to a third non-consecutive term as prime minister, which means her story wouldn't fit Matthews' analogy, as Houck suggested.
Can everybody just get their facts straight, please?
What Passes For A Fact-Slap At WND, Starring Scott Baio Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh writes in a July 19 WorldNetDaily article, under the headline "Scott Baio slaps MSNBC anchor with facts":
MSNBC host Tamron Hall lashed out at actor Scott Baio at the Republican Convention in Cleveland on Tuesday for what she clearly considers inappropriate social-media messages in the political arena, demanding to know whether they represent the “moral compass” that Baio wants to present.
But the confrontation clearly turned in an unwelcome direction for her when the “Happy Days” star cited President Obama’s “gun” quote.
That was in June of 2008, when Obama said, on the campaign trail, “They’re going to try to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy.’ If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun, because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
Hall immediately denied Obama said that.
“That’s absolutely not true,” she claimed.
Baio had said, “You want me to be sweet and gentle to a man, a president, who says if they bring a knife to an argument, you bring a gun. That’s what President Obama said.”
He was right.
While Unruh repeats what Obama said as taken from a 2008 Politico article, that article conveniently omits the context of the statement. As FactCheck.org points out, the line -- obviously borrowed from the film "The Untouchables" -- was clearly made in the context of warning donors that the general election campaign against McCain could get ugly.
Of course, the whole point of Unruh playing up an eight-year-old, out-of-context quote by Obama is to distract from he delightfully underdescribed as "Baio’s tweet regarding Michelle Obama featured an unflattering image of her, with the reference to what Barack Obama wakes up to." Unsurprisingly, Unruh didn't supply a link to Baio's tweet or embed it in his article so his readers can judge what it really is:
Unruh offers no criticism of Baio's tweet, which we can assume to mean that he and WND approve of its message.
While Unruh couldn't be bothered to place Obama's statement in context, he makes sure to do so with one by Trump:
Hall retaliated with a Donald Trump quote.
“The person that you support, the person that you support – the person you support said, he could take a gun out on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone in the head, and you would still support him. Is that true?”
Baio answered that Trump did say that, but then questioned Hall about Obama’s statement.
Actually, Trump’s comment, during a campaign rally in Iowa on the subject of how loyal were his supporters, was that he could “shoot somebody and not lose any voters.”
Then again, Unruh doesn't want to report facts -- he wants to distract from them. You can't slap facts you're trying to bury. No wonder WND has no credibility.
Perhaps the Media Research Center isn't quite as solidly behind Donald Trump as we thought.
The MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, was in full spin mode on Ted Cruz's poorly received speech at the Republican National Convention, in which he pointedly refused to endorse nominee Donald Trump and was booed off the stage by RNC delegates. CNS' Susan Jones spun that Cruz's "powerful speech" was "well-received until the very end, when it became clear he would not endorse Donald Trump." Jones then went into full stenography mode, summarizing the speech and not mentioning the boos again until the 21st paragraph of her article.
Jones followed up with an article reciting Cruz's defense of his speech -- which curiously omitted any criticism of it by his fellow conservatives -- and uncritically quoted Cruz blaming the media for the controversy over it.
Meanwhile, at the side of the MRC that doesn't pretend to be a "news" organization, they were going after anyone who criticized Cruz's speech -- well, anyone who wasn't a prominent conservative or who regularly appears on Fox News (Charles Krauthammer, for example). Frequent MRC target Chris Matthews got bashed again, with Scott Whitlock insisting that his "unhinged" criticism was "more about his hatred for Cruz and less about righteous indignation in how the Republican treated Donald Trump."
Conservative political analyst Nicolle Wallace (on NBC) "melodramatically ranted" about Cruz, Kyle Drennen declared. And Nicholas Fondacaro even went after a Trump surrogate (on CNN) who "couldn’t seem to control his emotions as he let loose a stream of insults towards Cruz."
This is the same MRC, by the way, that has had no comment whatsoever about CNN's ethically questionable hiring of fired Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, even though such a thing should be in the MRC's bailiwick given that CNN is part of the hated "liberal media."
Remember that MRC chief Brent Bozell endorsed Cruz and denounced Trump during the primary process, and as recently as last month was still working behind the scenes to help plot Cruz's political future. One has to wonder if MRC's Cruz defense was ordered straight from the top as a passive-aggressive needling of Trump -- and whether Cruz's RNC speech itself was at least partly the work of Bozell and his secret Cruz cabal.
What Is WND's Farah Lying About Today? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah has neverbeenterriblyinterested in reporting the truth, which is one reason why he had to beg for money to keep his website, WorldNetDaily, alive. Farah's disdain for facts continues in his July 19 column explaining why blacks should vote Republican.
Lie No. 1:
You’ve heard of the Ku Klux Klan?
It was the military wing of the Democratic Party for 150 years.
The KKK was founded in 1866, meaning that Farah is claiming it's the "military wing of the Democratic Party" right now.
Additionally, the KKK was not a creation of the Democratic Party. According to PolitiFact, "historians generally agree it was founded by a handful of Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tenn. as a social fraternity and it quickly changed into a violent group that terrorized newly empowered black and white Republicans in the South."While many angry Southern whites during the 1860s and 1870s were Democrats and a smaller number of them joined the KKK, that doesn't make the KKK a Democratic creation.
While Farah goes on to rant about the Democratic Party's racist past, PolitiFact popints out that "It should also be noted that the anti-black Democratic Party of the 1860s and 1870s bears no similarity to the party of today."
Lie No. 2:
The worldview of the Democratic Party is still responsible for victimizing blacks and systematically reducing the population of African-Americans in a number of ways – albeit more covertly.
First, the Democrats’ friends in Planned Parenthood target black and minority communities for abortions.
In fact, NPR points out that 60 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are in majority-white neighborhoods, and that the percentage of Planned Parenthood patients who are black is roughly the same as the American populaton as a whole.
Lie No. 3:
In addition, who is it that promotes the doctrinaire teaching of Darwinism in American schools and universities? The Democrats, who insist evolution is not a theory, but a fact. What are the ramifications of that?
It was Darwinism in the 19th century that promoted the notion of superior and inferior races – and justified the genocide that led directly to the Holocaust. (See from “Darwin to Hitler,” “Darwin’s Racists: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” “The Darwin Effect” and “The Dark Side of Charles Darwin.”
Who’s defending Darwinism today? Only one political party – the Democrats.
As we've previously documented, what is now known as social Darwinism -- which, taken to its extreme, became eugenics -- is not Darwinism and actually preceded Darwin.
Farah's wearing out our "liar" image. We may have to build a new one if he keep up his pattern of falsehoods.
MRC Rants About Coverage of Melania's Plagiarism, As Is Their Job Topic: Media Research Center
When the story of plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention broke, it was inevitable that the Media Research Center would complain about the coverage of it.
While the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, tried to bury the plagiarism story, the MRC proper was attacking news coverage of it, using seven MRC employees to call the coverage a "feeding frenzy" and grumble that "In contrast, ABC, CBS, NBC and FNC during these hours collectively provided a mere 1 minute, 48 seconds of coverage to Pat Smith's emotional speech condemning Hillary Clinton's inept handling of Benghazi."
When the story wouldn't go away -- you know, because the Trump campaign couldn't stop denying the obvious plagiarism -- the MRC then went into distraction mode, led by Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella:
It’s been a day and a half since the establishment liberal media sank their jaws into the Melania Trump “plagiarism” story, and they are showing few signs of letting go, with heavy coverage on the broadcast networks’ Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning news shows.
Eight years ago, however, when a similar flap threatened then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the broadcast networks generated much less coverage — just 14 minutes of airtime, or barely one-fourth what they’ve churned out this week.
Complete with chart, of course:
Noyes and Ciandella wrote, "The questions about Melania Trump’s speech are legitimate and deserve coverage, but the networks have blown this all out of proportion." Needless to say, they didn't mention the key differences between the Trump and Obama incidents: Obama's instances of plagiarized passages occurred in a campaign stump speech, not at the party's national convention; the person from whom the passages were lifted, then-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, is a friend of Obama's and had no problem with it, whereas Melania Trump's passages were lifted from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama; and unlike with the Trump incident, the Obama campaign didn't spend a day and a half denying that plagiarism took place.
That denial is the reason the story continued to be covered -- and that dishonesty became the story. It seems that it took CNN's Chris Cuomo calling Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort a liar after yet another denial that any plagiarism took place that the Trump campaign rushed out a statement from a staff speechwriter admitting plagiarism that the story finally was put to rest.
Complaining about something that was supposedly given too much coverage is meaningless if you ignore the real reason why the story dragged on as long as it did, as Noyes and Ciandella do.
WND's Muslim Derangement Syndrome, 'Islamic Zombie Apocalypse' Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
The current edition of WorldNetDaily's barely relevant Whistleblower magazins carries the theme "Killing Jihad," but appears to be your typical right-wing Muslim-hating -- assuming that all Muslims are terrorists -- and Obama-bashing, to judge by the WND article promoting it:
Almost 15 years after the horrendous 9/11 attacks and the ensuing “war on terror,” waged at a cost of thousands of American soldiers’ lives and trillions of dollars, America is losing that war.
Today, Islamic jihad is a bigger problem for Americans than ever. With terror attacks on the homeland coming with increasing frequency and ferocity – the worst massacre since 9/11 occurring recently in Orlando – polls show neutralizing terrorism is at the top of most Americans’ priorities.
Although President Obama and his former secretary of state and chosen successor, Hillary Clinton, live in a state of perpetual denial as to who is our enemy and how to defeat it, most Americans have managed to cut through the politically correct fog and finally see their enemy for what it truly is: an ultra-violent worldwide religious cult totally bent on global conquest.
While Obama pretends the threat doesn’t exist, he ironically created its most virulent and dangerous manifestation – ISIS – by ignoring top military advisers and recklessly pulling all American troops out of Iraq. And he has been fueling ISIS ever since by refusing to attack it with anything resembling a serious strategy.
As ISIS boasts in a recent recruiting video: “[The Islamic State’s] territory is already greater than Britain, eight times the size of Belgium, and 30 times the size of Qatar!” Indeed, the apparent success of ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate is attracting wave upon wave of “radicalized” young converts, male and female, from around the world, including America.
And yet there is hope. Obama’s time is coming to an end (unless Hillary Clinton is elected, which most believe would amount to a third and possibly fourth Obama term). On the other hand, Donald Trump insists that as president he would stop the endless flood of immigrants into the U.S. from terror hotbeds and would lead America’s allies in seriously engaging, militarily and in all other ways, the jihadist enemy and defeating it.
How deranged is this magazine? Here is the actual title of one of the articles:
“The Islamic zombie apocalypse: Understanding how ‘radicalization’ works – and how to prevent it” by David Kupelian
The article is even promoted in the upper left of the cover.
So apparently Muslims are zombies now. We had no idea.
Bozell's Hypocrisy on Demanding A Full Retraction For a Misquote Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Reserarch Center is nothing if not a loyal supporter and protector of Fox News (if only to guarantee that Brent Bozell and his underlings regularly appear on it). It won't even criticize blatantly biased pro-Trump propaganda on the channel even though it's indisputably an example of media bias.
Thus, it's unsurprising that NewsBusters, the MRC's main portal, has been totally silent about the sexual harrassment lawsuit former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has filed against Fox News chief Roger Ailes. And the only time the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has ever mentioned it on its front page is a July 15 Associated Press article on Ailes trying to move the case to arbitration.
So when MRC chief Brent Bozell made appearances on Fox News and Fox Business on July 18, network officials knew he would never talk about the Ailes lawsuit. So what did he talk about instead? How the Washington Post misattributed a statement by Marco Rubio to Fox News (and Fox Business) host Neil Cavuto. And of course, Bozell ramps this up to a full conspiracy-level scandal:
Fox Business Network brought on MRC President Brent Bozell Monday afternoon to talk about how the Washington Post smeared FBN host Neil Cavuto in an article in Sunday’s paper. In a roundup list of conservatives who were wrong about Trump getting the likely nomination, the Post inaccurately attributed a Marco Rubio quote to Neil Cavuto. After host Charles Payne asked Brent Bozell if this was “sloppy reporting,” Bozell responded that it was “absolutely sloppy” and that he thought the paper “owes an apology and a retraction.”
Payne observed that it seemed like the liberal media liked to pit conservatives against each other, with articles like this. Bozell agreed, that "the establishment press" like the New York Times and the Washington Post have always had a “certain disdain” for Fox News and because of that, they get loose with the facts and “gravitate” towards this kind of journalism. “I wonder how many people on the left they would look at in journalism?” Bozell asked. “They don’t. They want to find an opportunity to go after Fox at every chance that they get,” he added.
As usual, Bozell is being utterly hypocritical in his demands. Back in the mid-1990s, the MRC pulled random quotes from a book by then-New York Times editor Howell Raines and claimed that they maliciously disparaged Ronald Reagan. In fact, the MRC cobbled together statements 28 pages apart in Raines' book to make the claim.
When the Daily Howler's Bob Somerby called out the MRC on its egregious error several years later, did Bozell admit the “absolutely sloppy” work and issue "an apology and a retraction"? Of course not -- it simply appended a "clarifiaction" to the false posts and added the tepid statement, "We regret the confusion." No correction, no apology.
Unless Bozell can offer on the MRC's Raines misquotes what he demands the Post do for Cavuto, he needs to shut up about this. Then again, he was able to parlay his faux outrage into two TV appearances, so maybe that's all that matters to him.
WorldNetDaily haslongbeen an opponent of vaccines, a promoter of discredited anti-vaxxer activists and blithe to the danger unvaccinated people pose to the public at large.
WND does this again in a July 15 article by Bob Unruh, who begins by devoting the opening seven paragrpahs to rehashing WND columnist Barry Farber's enthusiastic touting of an anti-vaccine film made by discredited doctor Andrew Wakefield, who ultimately lost his medical license for conducting a fraudulent, unethical study claiming that vaccines cause autism.
This, by the way, has nothing whatsoever to do with the ostensible subject of Unruh's article, which tells you all you need to know about just how anti-vaxxer WND is.
The rest of the article is Unruh rewriting a press release by the right-wing Thomas More Law Center about the case of a Michigan woman who objected to vaccinating her children on religious grounds since some are descended from the cells of aborted fetuses. Neither Unruh nor the Thomas More Law Center make clear whether the woman objects to all vaccines on those grounds or just the few that actually are -- Unruh is in stenography mode and isn't curious about finding out things that weren't in the press release. But if Unruh had bothered to read the complaint the law center filed, it states tha the woman's "personal religious beliefs also oppose all vaccines, even those that are not manufactured from aborted fetal cells, because she believes that the body is God’s temple and injecting it with chemicals that permanently alter the body violates the will of God."
The center of the complaint is about a fact sheet used by Michigan officials to claim that no religion opposes the use of vaccinesand claimed that Pope Benedict said that, according to the law center, "parents who chose not to give vaccines derived from [aborted fetal] cells would be in ‘more proximate cooperation with evil’ than those who gave their children the vaccines in question because of the life-saving nature of vaccines." Unruh responds, dutifully transcribing the Thomas More Law Center:
However, it said Pope Benedict never made such a statement.
“‘Moral Reflections,’ the Vatican document produced on vaccines containing the cells of aborted children by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, also did not contain any condemnation of parents who refuse to vaccinate, especially not the MDHHS characterization of parents who do not vaccinate their children as ‘evil.'”
But neither Unruh nor the law center state what exactly the pope said about vaccines. According to the statement by the pope, "there is a grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines" that did not involve aborted fetal cells "and to make a conscientious objection with regard to those which have moral problems." But he also stated that for those vaccines available only through fetal cell lines, the public good must also be considered:
As regards the vaccines without an alternative, the need to contest so that others may be prepared must be reaffirmed, as should be the lawfulness of using the former in the meantime insomuch as is necessary in order to avoid a serious risk not only for one's own children but also, and perhaps more specifically, for the health conditions of the population as a whole -- especially for pregnant women
The lawfulness of the use of these vaccines should not be misinterpreted as a declaration of the lawfulness of their production, marketing and use, but is to be understood as being a passive material cooperation and, in its mildest and remotest sense, also active, morally justified as an "extrema ratio" due to the necessity to provide for the good of one's children and of the people who come in contact with the children -- pregnant women.
While the pope did counsel against vaccines descended from aborted fetal cells, he did not issue a blanket prohibition against them and he did not forbid the use of vaccines not created using that method. The Thomas More Law Center -- and, thus, Unruh -- is not being completely honest in their defense.
The irony is that WND and the law center are promoting this case while there is a sizable measles outbreak occurring in Arizona, the spread of which is being driven by people who have not been vaccinated. Indeed, measles outbreaks in recent years have been driven by the unvaccinated. Whoops.
CNS Buries Story of Melania Trump's Plagiarism Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com did do some original reporting on the Melania Trump plagiarism controversy, but you wouldn't know it from looking at the CNS front page.
The headline on Susan Jones' story reads "Melania Trump: 'Our Country Is Underperforming'" and it begins with sycophantic slobbering over the speech:
In her well-received speech to the Republican National Convention Monday night, Melania Trump promised that the presidential race "will be hard fought all the way to November. There will be good times and hard times and unexpected turns. It would not be a Trump contest without excitement and drama," she added with a smile.
It's not until the second paragraph that Jones got around to noting that "The drama exploded shortly after Mrs. Trump left the stage, as accusations of plagiarism swirled around two passages in her speech, copied almost word for word from a speech delivered to the Democratic National Convention in 2008 by Michelle Obama."
But after noting that "Those similarities, played side-by-side on televisions across America on Tuesday morning, are noted below," Jones returned to stenography mode, explaining how "the heart of Melania's speech centered on her husband's love of family and country -- and how he will deliver the change that he says the country needs."
That was apparently more important to Jones than the details of Melania's apparent plagiarism, complete with a quote from the Trump campaign that avoided addressing the issue at hand.
Later, an update was added to the top of Jones' article in italics that uncritically transcribed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's nonsensical denial plagiarism took place. But the plagiarism-avoiding headline remains.
Meanwhile, over at CNS parent the Media Research Center, they're trying to dismiss the story entirely by complaining that it's being covered, calling the coverage a "feeding frenzy" and grumbling that "In contrast, ABC, CBS, NBC and FNC during these hours collectively provided a mere 1 minute, 48 seconds of coverage to Pat Smith's emotional speech condemning Hillary Clinton's inept handling of Benghazi." It took seven MRC employees to register that complaint: authors Mike Ciandella and Rich Noyes and five others doing research.
MRC Defends Race-Baiting CNN Commentator Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so completely aboard the Trump train, it appears, that it's starting to reflect his retrograde attitudes.
When race-baiting right-wing CNN commentator Harry Houck actually said that blacks are "prone to criminality," what did the MRC's Brad Wilmouth do in a July 11 post? He defended Houck as being "completely accurate" and blamed fellow CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill for freaking out about it and causing a lack of a civil conversation on the issue:
Monday's New Day on CNN displayed a classic example of how difficult it is to have a conversation with a liberal about racial issues. If you present relevant facts that are completely accurate, you run the risk of being accused of racism, especially if the liberal you're speaking to has a different vision of what your choice of words should have been.
Moments after CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck recited NYPD stats finding that New York City's black population commits crime at a rate much more disproportionate compared to their percentage of the population, he and liberal CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill got into a debate about whether the Ferguson police department was found to be racist based on emails that had been circulated.
After Hill declared, "If Harry stood on national TV and just said that black people are prone to criminality, I wouldn't even respond to that," leading Houck to respond, "Well, they are," as he referred back to the aforementioned crime statistics. The two then got into a heated exchange that went on for almost three minutes.
The problem here is that while Houck's numbers may be "accurate," they are incomplete and lack context. As the Daily Kos' Frank Vyan Walton details, the numbers Houck was citing date from the days of New York's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which overly targeted minorities and was ineffective at deterring crime -- only 6.2 percent of people stopped under stop-and-frisk were ever arrested and only 2 percent were convicted of a crime.
Further, Walton notes, in nearly every category of crime in the NYPD stats, the number of blacks arrested are significantly lower than the number of blacks considered as suspects, which would seem to suggest a certain amount of reflexive racism among the NYPD.
Houck is the kind of person whose attitudes on race the MRC now considers acceptable. That's what happens when you get on board the Trump train.
WND Censors Baton Rouge Shooter's Links to Sovereign Citizen Movement Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily knows how to pander to the fears of its audience: make black men, especially if they've committed horrible crimes, as scary as possible with as many trigger buzzwords as possible, like "Islam."
Here's WND began its initial, unbylined story on the alleged shooter of police officeers in Baton Rouge, La.:
The shooter who gunned down three Baton Rouge law-enforcement officers and injured three more has ties with the Nation of Islam.
Gavin Eugene Long of Kansas City, Missouri apparently coincided his 29th birthday – July 17, 1987 – with his rampage. In his extensive online presence, which included tweets, self-published books, YouTube videos and a website, he said he was once a member of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, but said he had no affiliations with outside groups.
However the Daily Caller reports YouTube videos on Long’s account show that he was a former Nation of Islam member. He also ranted against “crackers” and made references to Alton Sterling, the black man killed by police in Baton Rouge on July 5. Phone numbers on buildings in the video show that it was filmed in Baton Rouge.
Yes, WND would like you to think Long was an Islamic terrorist, even though he really isn't.
Bob Unruh reinforces the meme in a July 18 follow-up article that begins, "The Nation of Islam-linked Gavin Eugene Long, dead after a weekend shootout with Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers in which he allegedly killed three and injured three more, was 'targeting' law enforcement, according to a report today." Unruh also dutifully repeats that Long claimed he had been "a Nation of Islam member."
But WND won't tell you about a more relevant affiliation that's much closer to WND's heart.
The Kansas City Star reported that Long was a member of the sovereign citizen movement, extremists who don't recognize the authority of the federal government. Long had filed sovereign citizen documents in Kansas City -- saying he was with the United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu’ur Nation, Mid-West Washita Tribes, a sovereign group -- and reportedly had a sovereign-related card on him when he died in a police shootout.
WND has long been symathetic to the sovereign citizen movement. In 2009, WND managing editor David Kupelian complained about increased governemnt scrutiny of conservative groups that are "Christian, patriotic, gun-rights, pro-life, sovereignty and so on." He suggested that the Obama administration was trying to provoke sovereign citizens and other right-wingers into committing violence to justify "a massive official crackdown on 'domestic terrorists' and a severe assault on freedom in America."
In 2013, it tried to deny the FBI's assertion that sovereign citizens can be violent, and it also tried to whitewash the tax-related crimes of a creationist pastor who was also a sovereign citizen activist.
WND tried again in 2015 to deny sovereign-citizen violence, distorting a governement report on the sovereign citizen movement to falsely claim that "The Obama administration has named a national security threat it believes is more dangerous than even the Islamic State terrorists beheading, crucifying and burning innocent human beings: Right-wing extremists." WND columnist Pamela Geller screeched that through the report, "Obama and his appointed thugs have made the good guys the enemy." Um, no, Pam, sovereign citizens who murder cops are not "good guys."
So WND is a lot closer to the views of Gavin Long than it wants you to believe. Do Joseph Farah and Co. have the guts (and journalistic integrity) to tell their readers that? (Highly unlikely.)
UPDATE: In a brief, sudden outbreak of journalism, CNSNews.com's Melanie Hunter reported that Long "considered himself a 'sovereign citizen,' part of a group that believes government and law enforcement does not hold any authority, which the FBI considers 'a domestic terrorist movement.'" What say you, WND?