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Thursday, August 18, 2016
CNS Promotes Another Mel Gibson Project While Hiding His Ugly Personal History

In June,'s Mark Judge was waxing enthusiastic at the idea that Mel Gibson is planning a sequel to "The Passion of the Christ." Now, Judge is back again to plug another Gibson project in a July 29 CNS blog post:

Lions Gate has just released a trailer for “Hacksaw Ridge,” the forthcoming film directed by Mel Gibson. It tells the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a conscientious objector who served in World War II by rescuing wounded soldiers. In Okinawa Doss saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.

The film follows Doss from his childhood in Lynchburg, Virginia to the battlefield on Okinawa. According to Time magazine, “His love story with a local nurse (because Hollywood) and his Christian faith (because Mel Gibson) feature prominently.”

"Hacksaw Ridge" opens November 4.

Just as he did in his earlier post, Judge makes no mention of Gibson's ugly personal history, which includes anti-Semitism and verbal abuse of a ex-mistress.

Why bring this up? Because the Media Research Center has a blatant double standard when it comes to mentioning unflattering past activities. Most recently, the MRC's Kristine Marsh complained on Aug. 10 that CNN's Brian Stelter quoted Dan Rather while not mentioning "his botched attempt to create a scandal surrounding then-sitting President George W. Bush as the election loomed a scant few months away."

"Reversing Rather’s reputation seems to be one of the media’s priorities in recent months," Marsh grumbled. But it seems CNS and the MRC are trying to fix Gibson's reputation by uncritically promoting his new film projects.

CNS isn't anone, though: Accuracy in Media's Specer Irvine also plugged the trailer for Gibson's new movie while also omitting any mention of his ugly past.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2016 6:06 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND Loves Its Tax Protesters
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has a long history of taking the side of people who refuse to pay their taxes. Here are a couple recent examples. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:56 PM EDT
CNS In Promo Mode For New 'Ben-Hur' Film
Topic: has moved from being the PR shop for Judicial Watch to movie promotion. Specifically, the upcoming remake of "Ben-Hur."

Now, Newsmax had already been promoting the film (while forgetting that it had been made into movies before the 1959 epic version), while noting that the film's producers "have been screening the movie for influential Christian leaders" to try and counter the negative buzz that had been surrounding the film. 

One of those was the Media Rsearch Center's Brent Bozell, who declared in an Aug. 4 tweet: "I've previewed the remake of Ben-Hur. It is AMAZING. August 19. A definite must-see." He followed that with another tweet saying basically the same thing: "Encouraging everyone I know to check out the remake August 19. I went to a screening last week. Fantastic!"

Apparently, those tweets were the marching orders for the MRC to plug the film. On Aug. 8, the Twitter accounts of CNS, NewsBusters, MRCTV, MRC Culture, the MRC's Business and Media account and the main MRC account all sent out the exact same message: "A must see film! Check out the new Ben Hur movie," accompanied by a link to the film's trailer.

CNS, which parades as the "news" division of the MRC, is takingthe whole promo thing to the next level. An Aug. 15 article by Mark Judge dutifully transcribes the producers' praise of their own film:

This is not you grandfather’s "Ben-Hur."

That’s the message from Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the producers of “Ben-Hur,” a new version of the 1959 film classic. Both movies are based on the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace.

“It was a great movie in ’59,” Burnett told in a recent interview, “and it’s about time to update 55 years later. We reimagined changes from the original film where instead of a movie about revenge this movie is about reconciliation and forgiveness - and it still has a huge chariot race scene and a sea battle scene. So it provides all the values that theatergoers are expecting. In it Judah Ben-Hur encounters Jesus, and those encounters give him the understanding to forgive and teach him how to reconcile rather than seek revenge.”

Judge shills further in an Aug. 17 article, hammering home the film's religious content:

In a recent interview with the Christian Post, Jack Huston, star of the new film “Ben-Hur,” talked about the power of a particular scene in the film. In it, Ben-Hur, a Jew living in Jerusalem in 33 A.D., witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Prior to witnessing Christ, Ben-Hur had been in a years-long bloody feud with his brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), a Roman soldier.

“That was very emotional actually,” Huston told Jeannie Law about the scene. “The actual act is very effective, the crucifixion that is followed by forgiveness, everyone was affected up there on that mountain.”

Needless to say, Judge had no interest in doing factual reporting pointing out the film's continued bad buzz. Variety reports that "The $100 million Biblical epic is battling devastating pre-release tracking that suggests the story of a prince who is betrayed by a Roman nobleman may be one of the year’s most painful flops," with a projected opening weekend take between $10 million and $20 million despite a wide release. Variety also noted how the film is being heavily promoted to faith-based audiences and that the makers "believe that the film and its story of redemption will be able to draw faith-based crowds, who may not be getting polled by tracking services."

The MRC also promoted the flop Benghazi film "13 Hours" and hid how badly the movie tanked.

UPDATE: Looks like the rest of the MRC is in full promotion mode for the film as well. An Aug. 17 item by Katie Yoder is basically an expanded version of Judge's CNS article on how the film's actors were "changed" by the shooting of the crucifixion scene.

Which brings up the question: Is the MRC getting paid for its fawning promotion of the film?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2016 12:18 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Cheryl Chumley Quietly Leaves WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Looks like WorldNetDaily's experiment with employing actual journalists is over.

In 2015, as its credibility lay in tatters, WND hired Cheryl Chumley and Douglas Ernst, who had both previously worked at the Washington Times, which sort of passes for journalistic credentials in the ConWeb. But Ernst left after less than a year to go back to the Times.

And now Chumley has left as well. Her last WND-bylined articles appeared on July 18, and her bio at The Blaze, which publishes some of her op-eds, describes her as "a former news writer with" Chumley did not announce her departure from WND on her Twitter account, and she appears not to have immediately gone to another full-time position (though her name still appears on WND's masthead).

Despite her reporting credentials, Chumley didn't do much original reporting for WND, instead mostly doing rewrites of stories from other news outlets or being interviewed for other WND articles on matters that touch the subject of her WND-published book "The Devil in D.C." She had a bad habit of latching onto right-wing conspiracy theories, like the idea that last summer's Jade Helm military exercise was some sort of secret conspiracy that was tied to the closing of a few Walmart stores in the states where the exercise took place, or that Justice Antonin Scalia died from other than natural causes. Most recently, Chumley was citing a Scientology front group to attack psychiatric drugs, arguing that it was perfectly fine for whites to keep black people from moving into their suburban neighborhoods and using her WND perch to pursue a weird vendetta against conservative reporter Michelle Fields.

So, with these departures, who's left at WND? It currently has only two listed reporters, Jerome Corsi and Garth Kant, as well as several "news editors," some of whom also write bylined articles. And then there's Paul Bremmer, who also writes bylined articles but has the job title of "marketing associate," which makes sense when you realize most of the articles he writes exist to promote WND's authors. WND has yet to replace Aaron Klein, who departed months ago, and the Jerusalem bureau he headed is dormant, if not entirely closed.

This reduction by attrition appears to be a function of WND's financial problems, and no new reporter has been hired since WND editor Joseph Farah declared the immediate "existential threat" to his operation to be over.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 PM EDT
MRC Can't Hide Hatred of Muslim Olympian Getting Media Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

WorldNetDaily's not the only ConWeb outlet that have their issues in recent days with the fact Muslims exist. The Media Research Center has issues as well.

This time, the Muslim in question is Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. In an Aug. 12 post, Alatheia Nielsen and Katie Yoder demonstrate they don't understand how news works:

Winning is a matter of faith for some of Team America at the Rio Olympics. Except journalists only seemed to care about Islamic faith and almost nothing about Judeo-Christian beliefs. So much so that the broadcast networks covered the Islamic faith of one Olympian more than 100 times more than the Judeo-Christian beliefs of five gold-medal winners.

When the U.S. women’s gymnastics landed a gold medal Tuesday evening, the broadcast networks spent 22 minutes, 35 seconds celebrating the win and interviewing the girls. Only 0.6 percent of the coverage mentioned the girls’ faith, even though several of them clearly expressed that God was their inspiration for competing.

In contrast, the networks dedicated 13 minutes, 25 seconds to Muslim fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad simply because she was the first American athlete to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics. The networks began covering her a full three days before the Olympics even began.

Dear Alatheia and Katie: The word "news" is largely composed of the word "new." A Muslim U.S. Olympic athlete is new; Christian and Jewish Olympic athletes are not.

Later, Nielsen and Yoder sorta concede the nature of news, then demonstrate they really don't understand at all:

There’s nothing wrong with the media sharing Ibtihaj’s story. It’s a “first” worth reporting. But when the media spend 13 and a half minutes focusing almost exclusively on one competitor's Muslim faith, and only 8 seconds hinting at the gymnasts’ Judeo-Christian faith, it becomes an offensive discrepancy.

So it's not only biased but "offensive" that a Muslim gets coverage in the media? Sheesh.

The same day, Nielsen and Yoder's bosses, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell rant about Muhammad, particularly offended at comedian W. Kamau Bell's suggestion that she should have carried the American flag  during the opening ceremonies. They declared that she's not a real American because she dared to highlight anti-Muslim discrimination in the U.S.:

If the mission is to find an American who does not support American greatness, Muhammad is an excellent choice. To say she's not a fan of the United States is to put it mildly. Part of her "role model" behavior is denouncing this country. The Daily Beast headlined her claim: "I'm Not Safe In The U.S." She denounced a "climate of anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States" and said she "had someone follow me home from practice and try to report me to police ... right on 28th and 7th in New York City."

That kind of blame-America thinking resonates with the elites.

Graham and Bozell then quote a hit piece on Muhammad by anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller (whom they benignly describe only as a "columnist") and cited a tweetshe made about Black Lives Matter, then huffing, "But the left thinks she was the perfect candidate to proudly bear the American flag at the Olympic parade."

In an Aug. 16 post, the MRC's Matthew Balan whined that CNN's Chris Cuomo "gave Muhammad the kid glove treatment by failing to ask her about her anti-Israel posts on Twitter and her controversial criticism of the 'climate of anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States.'" Balan didnt explain why it's "controversial" to point out an indisputable fact.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:29 PM EDT
WND Columnist Straight-Up Lies About Margaret Sanger
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Far-right writer Devvy Kidd, once a regular WorldNetDaily columnist, pops back up at WND in an Aug. 14 column advising Donald Trump to win black votes from Hillary Clinton by spreading lies about Margaret Sanger. She doesn't think they're lies, of course. Here's what Kidd writes:

But what does Hillary Clinton really think of black Americans?

In 2009, Hillary accepted the Margaret Sanger Award at the Planned Parenthood Honors Gala in Houston, Texas.
In her acceptance speech, Clinton said: “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision. I am really in awe of her, there are a lot of lessons we can learn from her life.”

Sanger’s vision was the work of Satan so much admired by Hillary Clinton:

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

(Margaret Sanger, Dec. 19, 1939, letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble. Original source: Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts. Also described in Linda Gordon’s “Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America.”)

Sanger’s vision so greatly admired by Hillary:

“Birth control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks – those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”

(“Margaret Sanger, Apostle of Birth Control Sees Cause Gaining Here,” New York Times, 1923-04-08, Page XII Ibid.)

Human weeds? Make no mistake about Sanger’s words – she is talking about black Americans.

Margaret Sanger, October 1926 issue of Birth Control Review:

“[Slavs, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are] human weeds … a deadweight of human waste … [Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a] menace to the race. Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need … We must prevent Multiplication of this bad stock.”

“[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children .. [Women must have the right] to live … to love … to be lazy … to be an unmarried mother … to create … to destroy … The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order … The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

(Margaret Sanger, editor, “The Woman Rebel,” Vol. I, No. 1. Reprinted in “Woman and the New Race,” 1922)

That’s the woman Hillary Clinton admires so much.

So much lie, so much fail. Where to begin?

First, the "exterminate the Negro population" quote is taken out of context to falsely portray Sanger as a racist; in fact, the point of getting black ministers to support her contraception campaign was to dispel the notion that she was, since racists actually did want to exterminate the Negro population in part through sterilization, which is not what Sanger was promoting.

Second, Kidd is maliciously lying when she claims that Sanger called blacks "human weeds." As we've pointed out, the term appears nowhere in Sanger's writings. And it should have raised a red flag to Kidd that the these "quotes" of Sanger filled with parentetical insertions and ellipses are made up.Either she was too lazy to fact-check or she decided they served her agenda to the point that fact-checking was not necessary in her eyes.

Here's the full text of "Woman and the New Race," which is easily available online. None of what Kidd attributes to Sanger from that book is located within. The closest thing is the final sentence, which actually reads (with the missing word from Kidd's version italicized): "The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." In context, Sanger was noting the research of the time that in large, poor families later children have a higher risk of death.

And here's the article Sanger wrote for the October 1926 issue of Birth Control Review. None -- absolutely none -- of what Kidd claims Sanger said in this article appears there.

In other words, it seems Kidd simply and lazily copied something off the internet from some right-wing anti-Sanger website and never bothered to fact-check it.

Yet Kidd thinks these lies should be the foundation of Trump's outreach to blacks:

Hundreds of black pastors and ministers support Donald Trump. His campaign needs to put together a one-page flyer and send it off to those pastors and ministers with the truth about Margaret Sanger and Hillary Clinton’s very public support for her.

Trump should ask those members of the clergy to network all across this country to predominately black constituencies with that simple one-page flyer with two questions: Is that the person you want as president of our country? A woman who praises and is inspired by such an evil person as Margaret Sanger?

Then again, Trump has even more disregard for the facts than Kidd, so the appeal is not out of the question.

If Kidd had any integrity, she would retract her column and apologize for spewing such easily debunked lies. But as far as we know, she doesn't.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 12:57 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
MRC's Graham Can't Stop Obsessing Over Anita Hill
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham has a weird obsession with Anita Hill. Nearly a quarter-century after the fact, he's still trying to insist (without evidence, of course) that Hill lied in making her sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas and/or that she made the allegations solely to advance her career.

Graham does so again in an Aug. 10 NewsBusters post complaining that NPR had on Hill to talk about sexual harassment allegations against now-former Fox News chief Roger Ailes (a story the MRC's many tentacles have largely ignored, by the way). Graham shows us where this is going by grumbling, "Hill is treated as a kind of feminist saint, and no one brings up how she came to Bill Clinton’s defense in the adultery-slash-sexual harassment fight before he was impeached in 1998."

Then Graham plays his usual game by adding, "A Thomas fan would laugh as NPR explains that Hill says she was 'ostracized,' which is an odd word for a six-figure book deal and a very secure professor’s job in New England."Again, he offers no proof for his suggestion that Hill was driven by visions of dollar signs.

Graham also complains, "Justice Thomas is always presumed guilty of harassing Hill." And Graham presumes Hill is lying simply because she had the temerity to make her accusation against a sainted conservative -- just like he presumes that every single accuser of a sexual fling against Bill Clinton is telling the indisputable truth because Clinton is a political enemy.

Indeed, Graham for some reason goes back a couple decades to discuss a 1998 New York Times op-ed by Hill pointing out that unwanted sexual harassment is different than the consensual affair between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Graham misrepresented what Hill wrote, falsely framing it as about earlier Clinton flings, which Hill did not discuss:

In a September, 28 1998 op-ed in The New York Times, Hill basically absolved Clinton of charges of sexual harassment made by Paula Jones – charges he later paid out $850,000 to settle – by simply failing to acknowledge the case existed. That's not very feminist. Wasn't Jones far, far less powerful than Gov. Clinton? Wasn't Kathleen Willey far, far less powerful than President Clinton?

Graham then huffed: "Hill offered a feminist fundamentalism: Support abortion rights, and your sexual accusers can be ignored." And if the alleged perpetrator is a prominent conservative like Ailes or Thomas, Graham will indulge in a right-wing fundamentalism by happily ignoring their accusers or dismissing them as money-grubbing liars.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:23 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 6:31 PM EDT
A Muslim Wins An Election, And WND Freaks Out
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The victory of Ilhan Omar in a Minnesota state legislative primary, in a Democratic stronghold that virtually seals her victory in November, got a sloppy, biased, fearmongering treatment from WorldNetDaily.

Let the fearmongering and Muslim-bashing begin, WND reporter Leo Hohmann:

The state that has imported the most Somali Muslims over the past 25 years has reached a historic milestone that may be a harbinger of things to come.

In Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the Minnesota House of Representatives, Ilhan Omar, a hijab-wearing Somali woman, defeated 44-year incumbent Phyllis Kahn and will likely become the first female Muslim legislator in U.S. history in November. The district is made up mostly of college students and immigrants, offering zero chance for her Republican challenger in November.


Omar is the current president of the state Democratic Party’s Feminist Caucus, which would seem to fly in the face of the beliefs of a practicing Muslim. Islam teaches the submission of women under men, and wearing the hijab is but one symbol of that submission. Women are counted as “half” of a man under Shariah law for purposes of inheritance.

Oooh, "harbinger"!

In fact, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Omar built a vast coalition of support beyond East African citizens and tried to connect with many new voters, winning a three-way battle in what emerged as the most wild and unpredictable legislative primary in the state," which means it wasn't just "college students and immigrants" as Hohmann claims.

While Hohmann includes a couple of quotes from Omar he gleaned from other sites -- he couldn't be bothered to actually talk to her in person for his story -- his article is mostly packed with the rantings of anti-Muslim activists and his own anti-Muslim attacks:

But some Minnesota Republicans were not so giddy, especially those who have warned for years that the build-up of Somali enclaves would eventually lead to their political empowerment, which represents a whole new phase of what they believe is a campaign of cultural jihad.

Cultural jihad, also called civilization jihad in Muslim Brotherhood documents, uses America’s liberal immigration laws to infiltrate and take over through peaceful means, a strategy that’s spelled out in the “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” This seized document was entered by the FBI as evidence against the Holy Land Foundation during the largest terror-financing trial ever held on U.S. soil in 2007.

“The Democratic Party rejects the idea of civilization jihad as advanced by the Muslim Brotherhood,” said former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. “Who’s laughing now?”

Hohmann gave free rein to anti-Muslim right-wingers like Debra Anderson to spew their hate: “Their extensive co-opting of American ideas and words overwhelm me. I don’t know where to even begin to counter their lies.” Hohmann permits nobody to respond to the anti-Muslim hate he pushes.

And Hohmann's article is so poorly edited that Phyllis Kahn's last name is misspelled several times in the article and in captions as "Khan."

Is it any surprise that WND lacks credibility?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:14 PM EDT
MRC Blames Media for Building Up Trump, Then Trying to Destroy Him
Topic: Media Research Center

For the Media Research Center, it's always the media's fault. Exactly what the media did, however, changes and is even contradictory -- like how it blames the media for both creating donald Trump's presidential candidate and for trying to destroy it.

The MRC has long whined that "NBC has spent more than a decade building [Trump's] brand as a successful businessman of almost mythic proportion," even after Trump clinched the Republican nomination and the MRC was supposed to be fully supportive of the campaign as a good right-wing outlet should. It was still doing so in an Aug. 3 post by Sam Dorman, who disapproved of NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt disputing the notion that his network was responsible for Trump.

Dorman grumbled that "Starting in 2004, NBC’s Today show acted as a de facto PR outlet for The Donald and gave regular interviews to him and his Apprentice contestants," adding, "NBC imprinted a mythic persona of Trump onto its broadcasts by hyping his business success, and at times, describing him with messianic language."

Three days later, Trump sycophant Jeffrey Lord took to the MRC's NewsBusters blog to whine that the media is reporting on the crazy things his boy Trump says, and insisted that this somehow proves that the media is biased against Trump:

Out and abroad in the land there are millions of Americans who feel intensely that “the media” - fill in an outlet of your choice in print, TV, radio and now the Internet - are out there with the sole object of destroying Donald Trump. That the slightest misstep of Trump’s will be magnified and replayed over and over endlessly - while major events like the clear case of the Obama administration’s payment of $400 million in cash to ransom Iranian hostages are simply downplayed.

On Friday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity on Sean’s radio show that real conservatives have to wake up and understand that 80-90 percent of the media are enemies and that the Left is in such an anti-Trump frenzy that the media has set out to destroy him. As if to confirm Gingrich’s point Hillary Clinton that same day gave a speech to the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists - in which she essentially made a bald appeal for the members of those groups to use their positions in the media to help her defeat Trump. I would add to this that any GOP nominee would have faced this situation, although it is indeed more intense now that Trump is the nominee. 


Donald Trump has never refrained from taking on the media in this campaign. The point now is that millions of his fellow Americans get the problem - and as I saw first hand the other night in a Pennsylvania high school gym, they have his back. They believe with Newt Gingrich that the Left is in such an anti-Trump frenzy that the media has set out to destroy him.

Which says that it won’t just be Hillary and the Obama era that are that the issues in this campaign, but rather the media itself in all its many forms.

Lord forgot to mention, let alone offer thanks for, the fact that according to the right-wing outlet that publishes his column, that very same media is reponsible for Trump being a presidential contender in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Monday, August 15, 2016
WND Does Damage Control For An Anti-Clinton Author
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Art Moore was doing so well, engaging in actual journalism at the Republican National Convention. When he got back, though, he reverted to WND form with July 31 article that played damage control for a Clinton-hating author.

That would be former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne, whose book "Crisis of Character" WND surprisingly did not publish or even carries in its online store; links top the book in Moore's article direct you to Amazon. His claim to fame is that, as Moore states, he was "posted outside the Oval Office door for three years" during the Clinton administration and has some sordid tales to tell.

Unfortunately for Byrne, the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service has denounced the book as eroding the trust between the Secret Service and those it protects, and Politico has reported that critics of the book point out that Byrne, as a low-level agent, could not have firsthand knowledge of some of the things he claims in his book.

Thus, Moore's damage control efforts. Moore mentions the Politico article but refused to provide a link to it so readers can see for themselves. Instead, he gave Byrne a space to respond vaguely to critics: "I’m telling you what I saw personally, what I know is true. ... If it wasn’t true, who would put themselves at this risk and this exposure?"

Byrne also faces the accusation that some of the sordid stories he tells are different from what he testified to before independent counsel Kenneth Starr. When Buzzfeed tried to ask Byrne for an explanation of his changing stories, he hung up on them.

By the time Moore came calling, Byrne had invented an excuse for the discrepancies:

He noted that Clinton supporters went right to the testimony when the book came out and tried to compare it.

“They tried to say that I was saying stuff that I didn’t say in testimony,” Byrne told WND.

“Well, of course I did. I was answering questions to things the investigators were asking. It wasn’t my job to tell them how to do their job.

“They asked me questions about tissues, I answered about tissues.

He explained there were “so many things that happened that I had information about.”

“If they didn’t ask about those things exactly, then I couldn’t talk about it,” he said.

He said the investigation had many rules that “seemed to change by the day,” and he noted that because he was a government employee, he had no attorney-client privilege.

Note that Byrne is once again speaking vaguely about a specific allegation -- in this case, Byrne claims in his book he disposed of a stained towel, something he told Starr he didn't do.That's not a place where narrowly answering a question to prosecutors is a sufficient defense for changing one's story. Then again, Byrne claimed in a radio interview that somehow both stories were true.

Moore, however, didn't address another Byrne discrepancy that he had previously. In a June 20 WND article, Moore touted Byrne's claim to have walked in on a tryst between Bill Clinton and Eleanor Mondale, then an E! Network correspondent. But Buzzfeed noted that Byrne told Starr that he had merely heard rumors about the tryst.

Moore has apparently given up on his brief journalism career and is back to peddling dressed-up falsehoods like a good WND reporter should.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 15, 2016 9:31 PM EDT
CNS Becomes the PR Division of Judicial Watch

One way you know a news organization isn't really into news is its willingness to serve as a platform for the views of an ideological group. has chosen to do that for the right-wing legal group Judicial Watch. An Aug. 10 CNS article by Rachel Hoover is about how "The U.S. Department of Justice gave $342,168,401 in grant money to 10 “sanctuary” states and cities that shield illegal aliens, even violent ones, from deportation by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials, according to a Judicial Watch report."

It's effectively a rewrite of a Judicial Watch blog post issued several days earlier. Nothing appears in Hoover's article that wasn't in the Judicial Watch post, and Hoover makes no apparent attempt to contact anyone to respond to Judicial Watch's accusations, which would seem to be a violation of the edict by her boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, that "The first rule of journalism is that if you don’t have two independent sources, you don’t have a news story." (She's done this before.)

Then, interestingly, just three hours after Hoover's article was published, CNS posted a column by Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton on the very same subject, ranting that "You and I are less safe on the streets these days because President Barack Obama and his Justice Department reward localities that openly break the law." Fitton actually reprints word-for-word much of the earlier blog post -- which, of course, was rewritten by Hoover for a "news" story.

The near-simultaneous timing of Hoover's "news" story and Fitton's column raises some questions. It certainly appears that CNS worked with Judicial Watch to coordinate its editorial content -- a collaboration with an outside organization that is usually frowned upon from an ethical standpoint.

Also curious is that Judicial Watch lists CNS on its list of apparently approved "sources." Granted, numerous other news organizations are also on the list, most of which are right-leaning like CNS, and there may not be any quid pro quo going on, But it's still brings up the seeming appearance of impropriety and the definite appearance of bias, which CNS doesn't admit it engages in, still insisting in its mission statement that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Then, on Aug. 12, CNS' Barbara Hollingsworth devoted an article to Fitton complaining that  Congress won't investigate its politically motivated attacks on the Obama administration. Like Hoover, Hollingsworth doesn't bother to seek comment from anyone else about Fitton's work; indeed, she's so content to serve as a stenographer for Fitton that she devotes fully half her article to "a list of its major court filings" that "Judicial Watch provided CNSNews."

Nope, not a lot of balanced or independent reporting that fairly presents all legitimate sides of a story going on here.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT
WND Asks: 'Is Zika A Sign It's Time, Again, for DDT?' (No, But They'll Never Admit it.)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is just asking, in an anonymously written Aug. 8 article headlined "Is Zika a sign it's time, again, for DDT?" It includes the usual bias: that DDT isn't harmful to humans, that Rachel Carson falsely "convinced the public that DDT represented a threat to bald eagles," that Jane Orient of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons says to bring it back.

What you won't see, however, is the main reason not to bring it back: that, as we've documented, most mosquitoes are immune to DDT's effects due to past overuse and, thus, it wouldn't be effective.

That's one reason the WND reporter may have decided to remain anonymous. Another one: he or she stole a quote she didn't cite. That would be this:

“It’s a difficult question, and it’s a very controversial question,” says Jonathan Chevrier, an assistant professor at McGill University, of how policymakers weigh the use of DDT to protect public health. “What the Zika virus is potentially doing is terrible. But using any pesticide needs to be considered very, very carefully.”

That's actually from a Time magazine article, but the article does not credit Time. That article also notes another reason not to use DDT: The current way it is mostly used -- on the walls of indoor dwellings, mostly in Africa -- may not be effective in other application methods or for the specific type of Zika-carrying mosquito (in addition to the resistence factor).

The anonymous WND article also quotes the Jillian Kay Melchior of the right-wing Independent Women's Forum asserting that DDT is "reasonably safe" and that Rachel Carson peddled "junk science."

But as the Time article also notes: "Research has suggested that DDT has the potential to disrupt the human nervous system in the same way it does to insects. That may mean cancer, infertility and other long-term health effects including developmental problems in young children. DDT remains in the environment where it’s sprayed for years, potentially affecting multiple generations."

So WND wants to bring back a chemical for political reasons, a chemical whose full effects are still not completely known. We're not surprised.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 15, 2016 12:47 AM EDT
Sunday, August 14, 2016
MRC Tries to Raise Money Off Our Blog Post
Topic: Media Research Center

This may be a first for us -- the Media Research Center is using something we wrote to raise money.

On Aug. 12 MRC Action's David Martin sent out a email complaining that "Huffington Post is now attacking the Media Research Center's yet-to-be-released documentary film, which details the disastrous effects of President Obama's War on Coal." The email links to the anonymous NewsBusters post criticizing the Huffington Post version of our post on the MRC's crowdfunding campaign for its upcoming Obama-bashing film on the coal industry. It makes sure to call HuffPo a "well-known leftist news outlet."

Martin largely rehashes that anonymous NewsBusters post, which was so poorly written that it failed to include our name or link to the offending post, dishonestly attributed our view as being the same as that of HuffPo (in fact, we're just one of the hundreds of bloggers who get paid nothing to post there, so we're not even a HuffPo employee), and igores the main points of our post: why an organization that raised $15 million last year can't come up with the $15,000 it's trying to crowdfund on its own, and that the trailer misrepresented President Obama's views on the coal industry and falsyly portraying him as the sole cause of the current collapse in coal-mining jobs (which are still higher than they were under much of the Bush administration).

But why let a lack of facts get in the way of fundraising? Martin proceeds:

Despite not having viewed the documentary, HuffPo believes it "will be on the dishonest side," and is hard at work trying to prevent this important MRC project from happening. We're counting on you to help us ensure that Huffington Post doesn't get its way.

They also claimed that criticizing Obama is "rather pointless," because he is not running for re-election. The point isn't to criticize Obama; it's to shine a light on the impact that reckless policies have on real people's lives!

We can't let these die-hard liberals stop this important project. These people's voices need to be heard. That's why we're asking you, our faithful supporters, to help us fight back against Huffington Post and push on with the production of this important film.

The MRC must raise $15,000 by the end of August in order to continue production of this important short film. We need your help to achieve this goal.

No, Mr. Martin, neither we nor HuffPo (who I don't speak for, let alone dictate its entire editorial agenda, as Martin and the MRC seem to think) are "trying to prevent this important MRC project from happening." At no point did we do anything even so benign as tell anyone not to fund your little crowdfunding effort. We simply told the truth about it.

And if Martin wants to talk about "reckless policies," will the MRC's film mention that fracking has impacted the coal industry by sharply reducing natural gas prices that make gas a better, lower-polluting option than coal? 

If the film turns out to be a reflection of the MRC's attacks on a single critic, it will be a very dishonest one indeed.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2016 10:01 PM EDT
What Is WND's Farah Lying About Today?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's astonishing the extent to which WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah just can't stop lying.

In the midst of an Aug. 9 rant against Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky -- unsubtly headlined "The Clinton crime family -- the 2nd generation" --  Farah huffed: "Marc and Chelsea represent the second generation of royal privilege. They’re in their 30s and own a $10.5 million apartment in New York City. They got married in George Soros’ mansion."

Nope: As Snopes points out, Clinton and Mezvinsky were married "at the Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, New York, an historic property owned by Kathleen Hammer and Arthur Seelbinder."

Farah also uses his column to push lies by proxy, writing:

You might also recall that Hillary Rodham Clinton served on the staff of the [Richard Nixon] House impeachment inquiry, but she was fired for ethical breaches by her boss, the late Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat and general counsel, not to mention a friend of mine in his later years.

As we first documented back in 2008, when Zeifman first surfaced to oppose Hillary's presidential bid, he's on record as saying he didn't have the power to fire Hillary from the impeachment inquiry, which makes anything else he has to say highly dubious. That also includes the fact that fact-checkers have found no evidence Hillary was fired from that inquiry -- she apparently remained on the inquiry panel until Nixon resigned from office.

Zeifman's lack of truthfulness also applies to his claim of being a "lifelong Democrat," which he appears to be trading on solely to get published on right-wing websites as a "Democrat" who bashes other Democrats. Plus, the fact that Farah is declaring that Zeifman is "a friend of mine" is a dead giveaway that he's not a real Democrat, or even a Democrat at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:57 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2016 6:05 PM EDT
Saturday, August 13, 2016
CNS Concedes (Sorta) That Labor Participation Rate Is Meaningless As Unemployment Measure

A few days ago, we published an article detailing how is weirdly obsessed with presenting the labor force participation rate as a meaningful measure of unemployment, regularly refusing to admit the fact that the number covers millions of retirees and students who are not seeking employment and are thus not "unemployed" by any stretch of the imagination.

How conveniently coincidental, then, that the very next day after our article was published, CNS published an article by Susan Jones -- the author of many of those unemployment articles pushing the labor force participation rate -- admitting the rate includes mostly students and retirees who aren't looking for work.

But this being CNS, the article had to be written from an angle that echoes its right-wing agenda (which admitting it's wrong about treating the labor force participation rate as a meaningful measure of unemployment does not do). So Jones seizes on Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner Erica Groshen noting that the country's "safety net" plays a role in the labor force participation rate to highlight numbers of people on food stamps and Social Security disability.

Will Jones admit these facts about the labor force participation rate when she writes future articles obsessing about the number for new unemployment numbers? Or will she just push the "safety net" aspect of it? We shall see.

So even when it's reporting things accurately, CNS must put a right-wing spin on things. That's the very defintion of media bias, and it's sadly hilarious seeing it from the "news" division of a organization that purports to fight such bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 AM EDT

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