WND Is Happy to Portray Trump As The Messiah Topic: WorldNetDaily
When people linked Barack Obama to messianic imagery, WorldNetDaily was outraged. For instance:
Before the 2008 eleciton, WND played up a quote from the hated (by WND) Louis Farrakhan, who said when Obama talks “the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”
In April 2009, Drew Zahn whined that "On his 100th day in office, President Obama will be 'crowned' in messianic imagery at New York City’s Union Square" through an artist's rendering "featuring Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns upon his head."
WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson huffed in a 2012 column: "President Barack Obama is the most divisive man to ever occupy the White House –period! Yet, 95 percent of black Americans worship him as if he’s the messiah. Why?" He added, "Blacks have been looking for a physical messiah and have forgotten that Christ has already come and made a way for them to be free."
WND claimed in 2013 that an available school lesson plan allegedly portrays Obama as a messiah, quoting right-wing activist Kyle Olson as retorting that the lesson plans "are more fitting for an authoritarian regime in which children are taught to deify and praise their dear leader. One can almost envision teachers in Cuba, Venezuela and Iran using similar books and lessons."
Another 2013 article approvingly features Rush Limbaugh noting that millions on the left who still believe Obama is the messiah, lamenting, "They’re wedded to Obama for a host of reasons, ideological loyalty, race, hatred of conservatism. They are going to support anything that denies us any kind of a real or perceived victory."
But now that the target of deity-esque worship is its favorite candidate Donald Trump, WND is totally cool with such messiah comparisons.
In a Sept. 5 WND article, Leo Hohmann highlights how a "Jewish rabbi from New Jersey" is using that imagery to describe Trump, "making clear in the process that he doesn’t see the GOP presidential nominee as the Messiah but rather a messiah." Hohmann uncritically summarizes how Rabbi Mendel Kessin "says the Hebrew numerical value of Donald Trump is the same as that of Moshiach ben David (Messiah son of David). He quickly assures his listeners that Trump is not the long-awaited Messiah of the Jewish people. At the same time, Kessin plainly asserts that Trump has the qualities of a messiah-like figure."
Hohmann called in a couple of WND authors to back up the concept: Joel Richardson says "the rabbi’s view of Western Christianity fits right into the mainstream of Judaism even if his eye-popping views on Trump seem controversial," and Carl Gallups is quoted as saying that "I think the main thrust of Rabbi Kessin’s message is that, somehow, Yahweh might be in the process of using Donald Trump to bring about some much-needed biblical reformation to the United States and, thus, the world."
Hohmann lets Gallups uncriticallyengaged in his usual weasel words to spin his long history of likening Obama to the Antichrist (remember, WND touted Gallups' video rather explicitly making the claim back in 2009 when he was hiding behind the pseudonum PPSIMMONS), claiming that "a number of Christians and even biblical scholars have examined Obama’s journey, candidacy, and eight-year presidential legacy and point out his clearly ‘antichrist’ characteristics without ever believing him to be, or declaring him to be, the actual antichrist."
Hohmann also lets Gallups get a anti-Jewish dig at the rabbi: "I so wish that Rabbi Kessin could see that Yeshua/Jesus is the soon-coming Messiah!"
We've highlighted WND columnists -- such as fanfiction writer Theodore Roosevelt Malloch -- portraying Trump in near-messianic terms, but for sheer idol worship at WND, one needs look no further than Gina Loudon's Sept. 4 column:
I stood in front of my television as Donald Trump was speaking. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing as he addressed the crowd at the Great Faith International Ministries church in Detroit.
My jaw dropped as I realized Donald Trump is the candidate we have been waiting for all these years since Ronald Reagan. It’s funny how God delivers what you need, when you need it, but not always in the package that you were expecting.
Donald Trump is uniquely positioned to fix the problems that plague cities like Detroit.
Had any other Republican attempted to promise factories, schools, wealth and prosperity to that church that day, it would have been seen as an empty promise. Only Trump can actually deliver.
Trump can see value where others cannot. He has proved over and over in his career that he has the ability to take a piece of property and make it beautiful and profitable. He has shown how he can create high-paying jobs in the private sector and make others wealthy along with him.
Also notable is that Trump didn’t dodge the topic of discrimination. He stated, “I fully understand that the African-American community has suffered from discrimination and that there are many wrongs that must still be made right.”
Trump won’t make it right by giving speeches and throwing taxpayer money at the problem. Factories, schools, wealth and prosperity was his pledge, and Trump will do what he says. Trump’s career proves that he follows through.
Watch his speech again and try to envision any other candidate from the GOP primary battle delivering his speech. And don’t forget to watch it again and be inspired.
Loudon didn't call Trump a messiah, but it's clear she was thinking it -- and that WND approves.
At The MRC, The Truth About Trump Is 'Anti-Trump' and 'Propaganda' Topic: Media Research Center
MRC Latino's Edgard Portela is in full froth in a Sept. 7 post, under the headline "Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Trump News on Azteca":
The Obama administration’s expenditure of tens of millions of dollars to spur recent immigrants to become citizens and vote this November isn’t the only evidence that taxpayer funds are possibly being used to favor the election of Hillary Clinton.
In fact, there’s even more direct evidence available by simply taking a look at taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) reporting that is rebroadcast domestically to Spanish-language viewers of Azteca America, the U.S. subsidiary of one of Mexico’s top television networks.
Such was the case during a recent report on the U.S. presidential campaign by VOA correspondent Gonzalo Abarca, who characterized the Republican presidential candidate as “having offended Mexicans, and in addition Latinos, calling them rapists and drug addicts” and also slammed Trump for his “bilious comments trying to erode Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.”
Abarca’s politically-charged report was aired during Azteca America’s principal national evening newscast.
So it's "politically-charged" and "anti-Trump" for a news program to accurately report that Trump has denigrated Mexicans and Latinos and rapists and drug addicts and has said nasty things about Hillary?
Portela goes on to blame "the Obama administration" for repealing the Smith-Mundt Act, which kept VOA and other government-run broadcast outlets targeted at advancing U.S. interests in foreign countries from airing in the U.S. But he doesn't mention that the defense bill in which the repeal was contained had to pass a Republican-controlled Congress, or that the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, the repeal bill that was incorporated into the defense bill, was co-sponsored by a Republican.
Still, Portela huffed that "if VOA material such as this is now, in effect, being used and spread as domestic partisan propaganda, it may very well be high time to reinstate the old prohibition or one like it, to prevent such abuses" -- despite that Portela, despite all his ranting about "propaganda," doesn't dispute the accuracy of the VOA report, let alone that any "abuse" has taken place.
One might think that an athlete like Kaepernick, not long ago fined for calling an opposing player the N-word, would be a tad reluctant to blast America for its alleged racism and oppression. But this is about America’s racism, not his own. The recent Will Smith movie “Concussion” argues that football causes brain damage. As for Kaepernick, it might well be a case of early onset.
Bottom line is Colin Kaepernick’s protest will do more to hurt race relations in America than heal them because they’re not rooted in reality. Millions of minority kids that looked up to him will grow up with a false impression that a cop will kill them, instead of believing that if they work as hard as Kaepernick, they too can be successful.
Hopefully, he’ll be cut and he can go worship Allah out of the spotlight so he won’t damage any more black kids who want to be like him.
Kaepernick is a special sort of treasonist, though, one whose hypocrisy is as boundless as our western frontier. Literally, a poster child for why this country is indisputably the land of opportunity, this spoiled punk still can’t conceal his contempt for a country that has given him everything. Where else in the world could a biracial orphan abandoned by his birth parents be embraced in the loving arms of white adoptive parents, get a top-notch education and enjoy the opportunity to earn millions of dollars because he has a modicum of athletic talent?
But we do, as I say, owe a debt to Kaepernick and others who are unable to secrete their true cause. This country is not perfect, but it has an unbridled capacity to constantly better itself. Through war and natural disasters and financial calamity, through slavery and Jim Crow laws and the passage of the Civil Rights Act, people who believe in what this nation stands for – people of every creed and color – have joined together to overcome our darkest hours. In every instance, people who love this country have loved it enough to make it better.
But that’s not Colin Kaepernick. That’s not any of these America-hating, flag-despising traitors to whom political correctness has given rise and voice.
Kaepernick is empty and unfulfilled because he’s never known the love of his parents – especially his father. No matter how loving and decent his adoptive parents may be, they can never fill this void. I know of well-meaning white parents who adopt black or biracial children, and they provide the best home and education, and in some cases even try to immerse the child in so-called “African-American culture” – thinking this will help get them in touch with their “roots” – but all this does is make the child more insecure.
This is why Kaepernick has gone from a clean-cut Christian when he entered the league to wearing an outsized afro that would make Huey Newton proud.
In the case of the politically and religiously distorted Kaepernick, a man who not coincidentally has seemingly converted to Islam at his girlfriend’s urging and is now a self-styled black Muslim, he has become the poster boy for hatred against police offices of all shades, as well as a bona fide white, Jew and Christian hater in the mold of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
MRC's Crowdfunding Campaign for Anti-Obama Film Fails Topic: Media Research Center
So, remember that Obama-bashing film -- ostensibly about coal miners purportedly harmed by government clean-air policies -- the Media Research Center was trying to raise money to finish through a crowdfunding campaign? That didn't go so well.
The Kickstarter page for the MRC's "Collateral Damage" film states that it raised just $11,228 of the $15,000 being sought, making the campaign a failure.
This despite the MRC lamely attacking our critique of the crowdfunding campaign (so lame the author wouldn't put his/her name on the attack, nor would he/she identify us by name) and then using our critique to raise even more money.
Why did it fail? We'd like to think that the MRC followers figured out that the MRC, which raised $15 million last year, didn't really need the money, or that the premise is flawed because the growth of fracking, and its related reduction in oil and natural gas prices, is as least as big a culprit in the decline of coal as clean-air policies, or that as MRC "news" division CNSNews.com admits, there are currently more mining jobs than there were during much of the presidency of Republican George W. Bush.
But, hey, we can't read minds like the MRC can. So it remains to be seen whether the MRC will make use of the money raised and supplement it with its own (though sometimes a failed crowdfunding campaign doesn't get to use any of it). The next move is yours, MRC.
It's Always the Cold War In Cliff Kincaid's Head Topic: Accuracy in Media
The Cold War ended decades ago, but Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid apepars not to have gotten the memo -- he's as obsessed with finding communists under every rock as any cold warrior. Thus, we have this overly lengthy Sept. 1 AIM piece from Kincaid that starts out thusly:
The lack of coverage in 2008 of the embarrassing facts in Barack Obama’s background, especially his deep personal relationship with a Communist by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, stands as a sensational example of how dishonest the national media can be when they are determined to elect somebody. If Obama’s opponent, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), had been linked to a Nazi or a Klansman, the press would have jumped on the story, with endless follow-ups. But the story of Obama’s Communist mentor was suppressed by a journalist for The Washington Post who had all the essential details and could have broken the story wide open.
We now know why the potential blockbuster story about Obama’s Communist mentor was deliberately ignored by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist David Maraniss. He had personal and political conflicts that prevented him from telling the truth about Obama to the American people. Simply put, his parents were Communists, just like Davis.
Maraniss, in other words, was a red-diaper baby.
The shocking truth can finally be told. His parents, Elliott and Mary Maraniss, along with Davis, were members of the same international conspiracy which had groomed Obama for the presidency, in order to hasten the decline and destruction of the United States.
We're into some serious guilt-by-association territory here. It's a very tangental attack on Obama by going after the author of a book Kincaid didn't like.
And Kincaid is just spouting off by claiming that Maraniss "deliberately ignored" and "suppressed" the story of "Obama’s Communist mentor." He knows no such thing -- he's just ranting and speculating.
And these sorts of weird, tangental attacks are a big reason why few people take AIM seriously as a source for credible media criticism.
WND Has To Beg People to Buy Corsi's Clinton-Bashing Flop Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi's WorldNetDaily-published anti-Clinton book "Partners in Crime," is flopping bigtime -- due in part, we can assume, to Corsi's less than factual trackrecord and the fact that the book is dedicated to a convicted criminal. The book's market failure is arguably one big reason WND is in serious financial trouble, and WND was no doubt counting on it to be a success and pull it of of said hole.
Now WND is trying the next step to goose sales: begging people to buy it, preferably several copies at once. A Sept. 5 article states:
Would you like to see Hillary Clinton go down to a crushing defeat this November?
The Democratic nominee and her ex-president husband have plenty of skeletons in their closet.
And the Clintons created a “vast, criminal conspiracy” when they set up the Clinton Foundation, as revealed by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Jerome Corsi in his newest book “Partners in Crime: The Clintons’ Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit.”
Now you can help get this explosive book in the hands of your friends and family members fast. WND is offering 50 percent discounts to those who order five copies or more for this purpose.
That’s five copies of Jerome Corsi’s “Partners in Crime” for $63.75, plus shipping; 10 copies for $127.50; and 24 copies for $306.00.
“Many others have noted this election is the most important one we’ve faced in a generation,” said Joseph Farah, chief executive officer and founder of WND.com and WND Books. “Jerry Corsi’s ‘Partners in Crime’ is a game-changing book that needs to be read by millions before November.
“I’m hoping and praying that Americans who agree with me about this will do their part to help us get the word out by buying at least a few copies at great discounts and distributing them to their friends and family members who may not realize what the stakes are in this election. What’s at stake is America itself.”
So don’t wait! Order five or more copies of “Partners in Crime” by visiting the WND Superstore.
Corsi's book is being so roundly ignored by pretty much everybody that we had trouble finding trouble finding mention of it on anything besides low-level right-wing blogs (and WND's own incestuous promotion of it). Even liberals who normally critique such things don't care.
Inadvertently proving that Corsi is serving up more of the same-old same-old, WND helpfully published chapter 9 of Corsi's book the same day it begged people to buy it in bulk. There's lots of guilt by association, with Corsi heavily implying that Marc Mezvinsky, husband of Chelsea Clinton, is just as crooked and deceitful as his father, who spent time in prisonon fraud charges. There's lots of anti-elitist snobbery over Chelsea and her husband allegedly visiting a resort that "easily costs more than the average American worker makes in a year."
Corsi also cites as credible sources Roger Stone, the Trump confidante with a sexually charged swinger lifestyle Corsi would denounce as immoral if he wasn't so busy slurping up the unverified sleaze Stone is dishing out, and Ed Klein, who completely lackscredibility and is valuable only has long as he keeps cranking out the Clinton attacks that somehow never have an on-the-record source to back them up.
WND added a note to the book chapter reminding readers that "You can also order 'Partners in Crime: The Clintons’ Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit' in bulk at the WND Superstore, so you can have copies of this hugely important work to hand out to friends still unconvinced 'Crooked Hillary' isn’t right for the White House."
MRC Mocked Matt Lauer Before Candidate Forum, Lauds Him Afterward For Furthering Its Agenda Topic: Media Research Center
Prior to last week's "Commander in Chief Summit," the Media Reseaqrch Center mocked moderator Matt Lauer, with Kyle Drennen asserting that "one wonders if NBC couldn’t find someone with a little more gravitas to host the presidential campaign event" and citing, among other things, how "on three separate occasions Lauer has dressed as a woman for the Today show’s annual Halloween episode."
After the forum, however, the MRC has decided that Lauer is full of gravitas. Why? He devoted a full one-third of his interview with Hillary Clinton to questions about her email server and gave Donald Trump a pass on his falsehoods like claiming to have always been against the Iraq war.
Thus, the MRC has repeatedly run to Lauer's defense over widespread criticism of his handling of the forum.
Curtis Houck touted how Lauer "hammer[ed] home concerns that the American people have about her with the private e-mail servers." He later complained about " near-universal excoriations ... of moderator and Today co-host Matt Lauer by the so-called objective media critics with reviews that the Clinton campaign probably couldn’t have written any better." Nicholas Fondacaro similarly cheered how Lauer "hammered Hillary Clinton repeatedly about her e-mail scandal."
Tim Graham whined that those reporting on critics of Lauer only cited "leftists" and tried to spin Lauer's softballing with Trump: "Let’s assume that’s about Trump claiming he opposed the Iraq war. CNN’s media team didn’t protest that Lauer also let Hillary say she has great respect for classified information and we didn’t lose an American in Libya."
Clay Waters also whined that "Those oh-so-objective journalists at the New York Times went after a fellow journalist, NBC’s Today show host Matt Lauer, for the crime of being unfair to Hillary Clinton and not sufficiently attacking Donald Trump."
With so-called neutral media critics throwing temper tantrums late Wednesday and early Thursday about NBC’s Today co-host Matt Lauer harshly questioning both presidential candidates (including Hillary Clinton) at the Commander in Chief Forum, Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer and Howard Kurtz appeared to have had enough as they fired back at the desperate criticism on America’s Newsroom.
Houck insisted that "there were many Trump supporters not happy with Lauer either so both Hemmer and Kurtz properly noted this fact and that it should instead lead to a conclusion that Lauer did a good job." He didn't mention that neither Hemmer nor Kurtz are "neutral media critics," being employed by Fox News but are simply parroting conservative talking points -- and Hemmer is actually a "news" anchor so he shouldn't be displaying any sort of bias at all (if the MRC ever bothered to apply its standards to any Fox News anchor besides Shepard Smith).
Houck's post, however, is the only post-forum MRC item to mention that the MRC mocked Lauer before the forum.
MRC research director Rich Noyes defended Lauer in an appearance on Fox News: "Well, I think Matt Lauer is getting bashed today not because Matt Lauer did a bad job. He actually has tough questions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He interrupted Donald Trump, but Trump stopped and didn't try to plow through him. He’s under fire from the left today because Hillary Clinton didn't do a good job answering those questions."
Noyes went on to claim that because of the criticism of Lauer, his NBC co-worker Lester Holt, who will be moderating a presidential debate, is "going to try to be very careful with the questions he's asking Hillary Clinton because of the way he's seeing his colleague being treated," adding, "It’s called playing the refs and I think, you know, it's something that Democrats are doing right now because they have a press corps that is sympathetic to the idea of stopping Trump."
Noyes didn't mention that his boss, Brent Bozell, was playing the refs more than a month ago -- before the debate moderator were even named -- was warning of biased moderators and declaring that "I'm watching to see to what degree are you going to have more impartial moderators this time."
Houck returned again to complain once more about criticism of Lauer, harrumphing that "the onslaught against Lauer has served as a reminder to readers and viewers where exactly the media’s priorities lie, no matter who they end up going after (e.g. one of their own)."
What Houck doesn't say: The fact that the MRC is defending Lauer shows where its priorities lie, even if it means contradicting itself.
Graham followed up by dismissing any criticism of Lauer as "Clinton-toady spin" (and insisting that "Lauer interrupted Trump more than he interrupted Mrs. Clinton"), then hilariously whining that Hillary Clinton is fundraising off Lauer's performance the same way Republicans like to fundraise off any perceived media criticism of them.
Graham wrote in another post: "It’s quite clear that if Hillary Clinton had actually won this side-by-side interview, the media elites would not be brutalizing Lauer. " It's even clear that if Lauer hadn't attacked Clinton more than Trump, the MRC would still be passing around that montage of a cross-dressing Lauer -- which is what the MRC really thinks Lauer is about. Funny how quickly that went down the rabbit hole once Lauer served the MRC's agenda.
Wash. Examiner Touts Trump As 'Doer-in-Chief' With DC Hotel Opening Topic: Washington Examiner
We haven't paid attention to the Washington Examiner for a while, since right-wing financier Philip Anschutz turned it from a conservative daily newspaper to a conservative opinion journal more like its sister publication The Weekly Standard. But this was too egregious and ridiculous to ignore.
Paul Bedard, the Examiner's "Washington Secrets" gossip-ish columnist, wrote a Sept. 11 post that is a thinly Donald Trump press release that declares Trump a "doer-in-chief" for his new hotel in Washington, D.C.:
Donald Trump could be in Washington for the Jan. 20 inauguration whether or not he beats Hillary Clinton in November.
That's because his newest Trump International Hotel, inside the historic Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, is expected to be operating at full capacity — and be sold out — for the 58th presidential inauguration.
The massive hotel, already being dubbed a Washington "grand dame," wasn't scheduled to open until August 2018, but on Monday managers plan a "soft launch" nearly two years ahead of schedule, proving his claim that he can get things done well and fast, at least in the world of development. At the end of October, most of the rooms are expected to be finished and the hotel will host a grand opening.
A walk around the Trump International Hotel Washington, between 12th and 13th Streets NW on Pennsylvania Avenue, found workers putting finishing touches on the brightened up exterior, which features awnings stamped with "Starbucks" and "BLT Prime," a steakhouse.
From the street, observers can see into some of the 263 guest rooms and suites fixed up in a $200 million rehab. All appeared to be painted in white and lit with a chandelier. Photos of the rooms on the Trump Hotel website show them decorated in white, gold and navy blue.
In fact, the Washington Business Journal reported February that despite the Trump Organization's insistence that the project is "two years ahead of schedule, "the opening is in line with what Trump has been projecting all along — it was always slated to open in late 2016."
And who's calling the hotel a "grand [sic] dame"? Bedard cites nobody actually doing so. A Sept. 6 Boston Globe article called the building the hotel is in, a historic building originally constructed as a post office, an "architectural grand dame," but that was in the context of asking whether Trump's divisive presidential campaign is hurting business by keeping people from staying at Trump-branded hotels.
Further, Bedard's touting of the hotel's restaurants (of which the second most prestigious is apparently Starbucks) omits the fact that the celebrity chefs behind the two restaurants originally planned for the hotel pulled out after Trump's disparaging remarks about Mexicans. BLT Steak is one replacement, and the space where the second restaurant was to be located will become a conference room instead.
We know the Examiner is an unambiguously conservative publication that purports to be more journalism-y than The Weekly Standard, but such sycophantic cheerleading has to be embarrassing even for Bedard, who already demeans himself by doing a weekly post on whatever "liberal media" outrage Media Research Center wants to push that week, called the "Mainstream Media Scream."
WND Columnist: Entire Country Didn't Go Birther on Obama, Therefore America Isn't Racist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Yes, Ben Kinchlow really does write this in his Sept. 4 WorldNetDaily column:
You have doubtless heard, read or seen the charges, direct or indirect, leveled against Donald Trump by the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media. Any statements attributed to certain candidates or conservative politicians that do not meet the standards applied by the mainstream media or liberal elites are directly or indirectly labeled “racist.”
As someone who lived through the bona fide days of legal, civic segregation and cultural racism here in America, I feel compelled to reiterate a position I have expressed before.
If America were as racist as her mostly internal critics insist, then every politician (including Trump and Clinton) would eagerly seek out the “racist” label. They would all, as one wing of the Democratic Party (once) did, to its sorrow, label themselves “Dixiecrats” and campaign vigorously on a platform of returning to those “thrilling days of yester-year.” If that were the case today, the mainstream media would have been Barack Obama’s worst nightmare and would have disparaged his campaign worse than they regularly demean conservative blacks today (i.e., Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, Justice Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele, Herman Cain). If you think the scrutiny given to George Bush and John McCain, including the challenge to McCain’s birth certificate and eligibility to be president, was fierce, just try and imagine the scrutiny that would have been given to an unknown “negro” who allegedly spent from $800,000 to $1.2 million in legal fees to conceal a hidden past.
Kinchlow's claim stems from charges by birthers that Obama has, as WND asserted, paid at least the amount he cited to "his top eligibility lawyer" following the election. The implication, which Kinchlow took the bait on, is that all of the money was spent to, as Kinchlow redundantly asserted, "conceal a hidden past." (If it's already "hidden," it doesn't need to be "concealed," does it?)
but as we noted at the time, Salon reported that WND doesn't prove its heavily implied assertion that every cent spent on those lawyers -- let alone any of it -- went to fight "eligibility" issues and that much of that money more than likely went to normal legal expenses related to winding down a presidential election campaign.
Also, think about what Kinchlow appears to be saying here. If attacking Obama's eligibility makes one "racist," what does that make the aggressive birthers at WND, the publisher of his column?
MRC Promotes Dubious, Republican-Friendly Review of 2000 Election in Florida Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham used a Sept. 5 post to tout a study of sorts published in the American Conservative and summarized at the right-wing Washington Examiner asserting that thousands of people were discouraged from voting when TV networks mistakenly declared all Florida polls closed during the 2000 president election (in fact, polls in the Florida panhandle were open another hour).
Graham declared that "liberal media inaccuracy and bias" was the cause for the 2000 Florida "frenzy," going on to rant that "the networks didn't want to take the blame. They blamed the Voter News Service, the consortium they formed, which they held responsible for telling them what times the polls closed. How lame is that buck-passing?" He added: "When Congress held hearings in February 2001, the networks were dismissive. Especially Dan Rather, who gave it just 29 seconds buried deep in the newscast."
But Graham engaged in more than a little of his own bias here. First, he identifies study co-author C. Boyden Gray rather blandly as a "former Bush lawyer." That should raise red flags about the study's potential bias, but Graham sees no need to pursue it. In fact, not only was Gray was White House counsel for George H.W. Bush, he served in George W. Bush's administration as ambassador to the European Union and a special envoy for European affairs. Additionally, Gray defended the Supreme Court decision that ultimately made W. president and appeared to endorse a Republican plan to take over the recount process in Florida if Bush wasn't made president.
Second, in his bashing of the "liberal media" over Voter News Service, Graham leaves out the fact that Fox News was also a member of the consortium -- which Gray and co-author Elise Passamani note in their study -- and that it too got the poll closing time wrong. Graham also doesn't mention whether Fox News was as "dismissive" about the hearings as the other members of the consortium.
Third, Graham carefully quotes from Gray's report to hide the fact that, his ranting aside, Voter News Service really was the problem, not the "liberal media." The report states that "The VNS operated as the media's sole source for information ranging from exit polling to poll closing times."
Fourth, Graham apparently never read the full report in the American Conservative, which should have raised another red flag. Gray and Passamani's big claim is that Bush would have received 11,000 more votes from the panhandle counties if it had not been erroneously reported on TV (which, again, includes Fox News) that the polls were closed. Their only evidence for this is an extrapolation of voting data and "sworn, notarized testimony of a pair of poll workers who were on duty as inspectors that day in Precinct Eight, Escambia County" who offer anecdotes about how few voters showed up to their precinct in the final hour. The authors also state, "one can only imagine how many people would have voted in that last, deserted 40 minutes, but for the misinformation dispensed by the network and cable news anchors."
Gray and Passamani must "imagine" this because they cite no testimony of an actual voter who was discouraged from voting due to the erroneous reports. If there were truly 11,000 people discouraged from voting, they shouldn't be that hard to find, right?
Actually, they are -- and they were then. As we noted at the time, WorldNetDaily's Paul Sperry reported that Republicans were hunting for discouraged voters to bolster their lawsuits over the outcome in Florida, but mostly failed:
After a week-long dragnet, Republicans have been able to scare up just a handful of Bush supporters willing to testify that they canceled trips to the polls after the networks gave Florida to Gore 11 minutes before polls closed in the Panhandle’s Central time zone.
And even some of those witnesses are impeachable.
One lives 20 minutes from his polling place in White City, Fla., and probably wouldn’t have been able to make it there in time to vote.
Another isn’t even registered to vote in the county that includes his Pensacola, Fla., neighborhood, WorldNetDaily has learned. The man’s name and number were offered to the media yesterday by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.
An aide to state Rep. Jerry Maygarden, R-Pensacola, told WorldNetDaily last week that several voters called her office claiming to witness people walking away from poll lines after the network announcements.
WorldNetDaily followed up with several of the callers, but none could provide names.
That would seem to be a glaring omission, and it is -- that's a giant hole in Gray and Passamani's study.
But the authors are close enough to endorsing the MRC's anti-media agenda that Graham will endorse it, overlook the holes and gloss over the inconvenient stuff.
WND Sets New Deadline for Holy Land Tour, May Actually Mean It This Time Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we documented, WorldNetDaily is a little desperate for passengers on its upcoming holy land tour. It blew through its first deadline three months ago, blew through a second on a month later, then continued to push the tour without setting a new deadline.
Now, WND has set a new deadline, and given that the tour is set to launch in November, it might actually mean it this time. There's a new sense of urgency in a Sept. 4 WND article:
There will be no more extensions. No more second chances. No more delays. If you miss this opportunity, it’s gone forever.
The absolute final deadline for the WND Israel tour is here. With surging interest and unparalleled registrations, it promises to be the most spectacular pilgrimage in WND’s history. But you have to register by Sept. 10 or you are going to be left behind.
Jonathan Cahn, who will join WND founder Joseph Farah on the tour, urged anyone who is still considering joining this sacred journey to take the plunge.
“There is no experience on Earth like going to the Holy Land,” he promised. “It’s so unparalleled that it literally changes lives. God meets His children there in a special way.”
The article went on to assert without proof that "Attendance is surging and the 2016 WND Israel Tour is all but certain to break every record." If attendance really was "surging," why is WND still soliciting for passengers three months after the original deadline?
This was followed with a Sept. 9 article making one final-sounding push:
There are only hours left to join the 2016 WND Israel tour, being led by “The Book of Mysteries” author Jonathan Cahn.
Because no more registrations can be accepted after Saturday, Sept. 10.
With surging interest and unparalleled registrations, it promises to be the most spectacular pilgrimage in WND’s history. But you have to register by the end of Sept. 10 or you are going to be left behind.
Again, no proof of "surging interest" is offered. We'll see if this really is the "last chance to sign up."
CNS Still Plugging Mel Gibson, Hiding His Ugly Past Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com "blog reporter" Mark Judge must really love Mel Gibson a lot to censor news of his anti-Semitic, woman hating past.
We'vedetailed how Judge makes a habit of promoting Gibson's new and upcoming film projects while remaining silent about Gibson's ugly personal history -- something his Media Research Center co-workers would criticize if it involved someone in the "liberal media." But Gibson made "The Passion of the Christ," so he apparently gets a free pass.
The Christian Post is reporting that Mel Gibson recently addressed rumors that he is making a sequel to his 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ.”
Appearing Sunday as a surprise guest at the Christian gathering SoCal Harvest in Anaheim, California, Gibson was asked by Pastor Greg Laurie about the rumors of a sequel – and that the film would be written by Randall Wallace, who also penned Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic “Braveheart.”
Once again, there's no mention of Gibson's ugly past. But Judge made sure to work in a plug for Gibson's "upcoming film 'Hacksaw Ridge' about Desmond Doss, a pacifist medic in World War II who saved as many as 75 soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa. It releases November 4."
MRC Runs to Trump's Defense on Bondi Donation Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro complains in a Sept. 7 post that NBC "omitted some important details" in reporting on an illegal $25,000 donation by the Trump Foundation to Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, shortly after which Bondi's office decided not to open an investigation of the scammy Trump University.
Those "details," Fondacaro writes, apparently involve uncritically quoting whatever a Bondi spokesperson has to say about it:
Earlier in the day CNN’s Drew Griffin reported on The Lead that, “Since Pam Bondi took office, up until the decision was made, Florida received just one complaint against Trump University.” Griffin quoted a statement from a spokesperson from Florida’s Attorney General, which stated:
It wasn't enough to justify Florida filing suit. Instead, staff, doing due diligence, reviewed the complaints and the New York litigation and made the proper determination that the New York litigation would provide relief to aggrieved consumers nationwide.
“In other words, Floridians could join New York's lawsuit,” Griffin simplified.
Actually, it's Fondacaro leaving out important details. The Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell reports that the Attorney General's Office had received at least 20 complaints about Trump University, and that Bondi previously exhibited no reticence in joining lawsuits filed by other states:
She got involved in the multi-state fight to block Obamacare. She even got involved in a fight with the EPA over water-quality limits … in the Chesapeake Bay. Yes, the one in Virginia, where Bondi sided with organizations like the Fertilizer Institute to oppose a cleanup agreement in a body of water 770 miles away.
It doesn’t take much for Bondi to want to join in a legal fracas many states away -– if the politics are right.
Fondacaro concludes by writing, "Although the timing of the donation is suspect, it does a disservice to the public to withhold information just to be able to hit a presidential candidate." He might want to think about that himself a bit more before hurling accusations at others.
WND Is Lying To You: There's No Mystery About Hillary's 'Mystery Man' Topic: WorldNetDaily
An anonymous WorldNetDaily reporter wrote in a Sept. 6 article:
After Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, a mysterious man seen by her side for many months on the campaign trail suddenly appeared on her plane.
As WND reported, Clinton suffered two coughing fits on Labor Day – one during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio, and a second one during a press conference on her plane.
In the past, the same man has been spotted helping Clinton up stairs and holding what appears to be a Diazepam pen. Some observers have referred to the man as Hillary’s “mysterious handler.”
Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit noted that the man is sometimes dressed like a Secret Service agent, “but his actions prove otherwise.”
At an earlier campaign appearance, the same man was reportedly seen carrying a long object that resembled a Diazepam pen.
And that's all it is -- speculation dressed up as "reporting." The fact that the WND writer won't put his/her name to it is one big clue about the shoddy, dubious nature of this.
Another big clue: This "mystery man" is no mystery at all. A month ago -- a month ago! -- the Washington Post's David Weigel identified the man as Todd Madison, Secret Service assistant special agent in charge.
Further, Snopes pointed out -- also a month ago -- that while the object in Madison's hand that WND claims is a "Diazepam pen" is probably something else, since "a video of the agent using the above-pictured object shows that it is being used like a flashlight and not a Diazepam pen."
In short: The only way WND can treat this story as fact is by ignoring all the established evidence that it's not.
And the fact that the story isn't true didn't keep WND from rehashing the story (the reporter remaining anonymous, natch) two days later:
America wants to know: Who is the “mystery man” attached at Hillary Clinton’s hip while she campaigns for the White House?
He’s been on the stage, in her plane, by her side and following her everywhere she goes.
He touches her frequently, wrapping his arm around her or helping her up stairs, and responds immediately when Clinton has one of her coughing fits.
Some speculate he could be a physician on hand in case Clinton experiences a health emergency, a possibility considering nearly 71 percent of physicians informally surveyed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said concerns about Clinton’s health are “serious” and “could be disqualifying for the position of president of the U.S.”
Ah, yes, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- the far-right-fringe "medical" org headed by medical troll Jane Orient. Given that those likely to respond to an AAPS "informal internet survey" (read: not a scientific poll) are as right-wing as Orient, the survey has no credibility whatsoever (you know, just like WND).
WND tries to perpetuate the nonexistent mystery:
In fact, the man has been apparently tailing the Clintons since at least January of 2013 – more than two years before Hillary announced her run for president. He was reportedly spotted in a vehicle with former President Bill Clinton three years ago, according to London’s Daily Express. A photo caption said the two were leaving the New York Presbyterian Hospital after visiting Hillary, who was receiving treatment for a blood clot in her head that was discovered following a concussion.
As WND reported, after Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, the “mystery man” suddenly appeared on her plane.
Radio host Tammy Bruce made an appearance Wednesday on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” in which she discussed Clinton’s “mystery man.”
“He actually moves other Secret Service agents off the stage,” Bruce noted. “We have not been informed who he is so we have to guess, in some way, who he is. But he seems to be playing a very personal role. He appears when she seems to be in trouble, either with the coughing or with some health issue or … in her own personal reaction to what was a heckler … It’s troubling because you’ve got a man who is also doing something that the Secret Service wouldn’t do. He’s very physical with her. He touches her. He has his arm around her. … It’s a legitimate question. Her health is legitimate.”
Bruce is a Hillary-hater from a while back -- a year ago she was predicting the demise of Hillary's campaign -- so her uninformed speculation should not be taken seriously.
Our anonymous WND reporter waited until the 10th paragraph to mention in passing that "others argue" the item in the man's hand "actually resembles a mini flashlight." It links to an Aug. 22 New York Times article -- yes, from two weeks ago -- but doesn't mention the date or the fact that the Times reporter solved the mystery through "a simple call to the Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor," something WND couldn't be bothered to do.
And our anonymous writer waits until the second-to-last paragraph of the 22-paragraph article -- after numerous inserted videos, photos and grainy Photoshop collages -- to admit that "The Washington Post’s David Weigel identified the 'mystery man' as Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Todd Madison."
WND didn't mention Weigel's article was published a month ago.
Basically, WND is admitting it published an article based on a lie, something it knows is a lie, and that it's trying to con its readers into believing that lie.
No wonder WND is in deep financial trouble. Why would any (remaining) self-respecting reader trust WND after this stunt?