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Thursday, November 3, 2016
MRC Flips, Is Now Mad That Comey's Judgment Is Being Questioned
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center used to hate FBI director James Comey in the wake of his decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her emails:

  • Brent Bozell and Tim Graham asserted that Comey's decision not to prosecute Clinton was "bizarre."
  • Graham complained that the media wasn't sufficiently reporting a poll showing "that a majority of Americans disagreed with the decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over her emailing of classified information."
  • Clay Waters pointed out that "Comey endured condemnation from conservatives for his weak-kneed decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in handling classified documents as Secretary of State."
  • Nicholas Fondacaro touted how Comey faced a hearing "where Congressional Republicans unloaded on him for giving immunity to people they accused of being liars."
  • The MRC published a column by Cal Thomas asserting that "Comey's refusal to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her deliberate mishandling of classified information seems to prove that the Obama administration is little more than an arm of her presidential campaign." It published another column by R. Emmett Tyrrell complaining that "Comey outlined a list of flagrant violations against her and then gave her a pass."

But now that Comey injected himself in the election process by announcing, a week and a half before the election, that the discovery of new emails meant he was reopening the investigation,  the MRC has his back and his shocked -- shocked! -- that anyone would dare criticize him. Commence the whining, Geoffrey Dickens:

Ever since it was announced, on Friday, that the FBI was pursuing new leads into the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server scandal, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have gone into attack mode against James Comey, turning what should be a scandal about Clinton into a smear against the FBI director.

Beginning with the evening (October 28) of the announcement through Monday morning (October 31) MRC analysts reviewed all statements (by reporters, analysts, and partisans) that took a position on Comey and Clinton and found arguments against Comey (88) swamped those against Clinton (31) by a ratio of almost 3 to 1. There were a handful of statements that praised either Comey (10) or Clinton (4)[.]

So we're supposed to take Comey's word without question now after conservatives bashed him for months for failing to hew to the right-wing agenda?

Dickens is merely complaining that the media is covering both sides of the story, and he's ignoring the fact that the story really is about Comey. It's his announcement that's driving the story, not any actual evidence of further Clinton wrongdoing. And there isn't any -- the FBI hadn't even reviewed the emails, let alone obtained the proper legal permission to do so, at the time of Comey's announcement.

In other words, the MRC has flipped again like it has throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. It shows that the MRC has no fixed priniciples other than bashing the media at every possible opportunity, even if it has to twist itself into knots to justify doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:25 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2016 8:26 PM EDT
Hillary Derangement Syndrome, Supersize WND Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Maybe she thinks it makes her look warm – compassionate – human?

Actually, those toothsome grimaces that pass for a Hillary Clinton smile during the presidential debates are filled with messages that are less than kind.

She comes across as condescending, patronizing, self-satisfied, arrogant, disdainful, supercilious, haughty and shameless.

There are other words but not enough space to write them all.

-- Barbara Simpson, Oct. 23 WorldNetDailiy column

Halloween is coming, and there’s nothing spookier than the thought of Hillary Rodham Clinton becoming America’s president.

Red-blooded American males should worry if she becomes Jezebel-in-Chief. Hillary hates you and fears your “toxic masculinity” (the feminist slur for almost any expression of male strength and principle). Her agenda will threaten your livelihood, limit your freedom and faith, endanger your children and misinterpret your motives.

Hillary’s presidency will cast a spell over normal gender expression, the natural family and new human life. Her aura emits decay and rebellion, starting with her hatred of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

-- Linda Harvey, Oct. 25 WND column

We deserve God’s wrath and judgment as a nation for allowing this abortion holocaust to occur on our watch. In my estimation, Mrs. Clinton is a bloodthirsty monster who enthusiastically supports this barbarity. Her Supreme Court appointees will ensure that tens of millions of precious babies like the one in the video are murdered in the same brutal manner.

My conscience tells me that I must vote in such a way that exercising my civic duty will have the strongest net effect against Mrs. Clinton and ensure that she is stopped. She must not be elected president. To not vote – or to vote for a non-starter third party candidate, which is effectively the same thing – while not an actual vote for Mrs. Clinton, still puts this Mengele in a pantsuit one step closer to the White House and the Supreme Court.

-- Matt Barber, Oct. 26 WND column

If it is not a T-shirt that reads “Hillary for Prison,” then it is a yard sign. If it is not a Facebook page, then it is a Twitter account calling for Hillary Clinton’s indictment.

It is headlines in the media, as well. Across America, more people want Hillary Clinton (do not forget about the Bushes and the Obamas) indicted and charged than those who wish her to be put in office. And why wouldn’t America want this? She is a criminal!

-- Bradlee Dean, Oct. 27 WND column

If Hillary Clinton is elected president of the United States in November, you can expect an all-out war by her regime on freedom of religion in America – and particularly on those individuals and institutions that promote a Judeo-Christian worldview with devotion to the God of the Bible and His laws.

That’s what is at stake on the 2016 election – and much more.

-- Joseph Farah, Oct. 27 WND column

So in the coming days, don’t be deceived by potentially kind words from FBI Director Comey toward Hillary, or by the corrupt media. Be strong in what you know, and tell all your sensible friends to vote. What we already know about Hillary should be more than enough to disqualify her from serving a term – at least as president!

-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Oct. 30 WND column

No one can point to what Hillary has ever accomplished in the public sector that has earned her the presidency, and no one can point to what Hillary has ever accomplished in the private sector that has earned her hundreds of millions.

She has hocked the public trust and treasury to get what she wanted: power and money. She is an old dog, and there are no new tricks in store for her.

My prediction is that, in full Hillary style, she will grab her broomstick and race selfishly forward, because that is what she has always done, and that is what she will always do – her supporters, and the American people be damned. This will be a clear test to see if the DNC has the integrity to side with the American people against the power monger it fears most.

-- Gina Loudon, Oct. 30 WND column

But to those Democrats who will vote for Clinton but who are nevertheless able to acknowledge her extraordinary ethical defects, I make the following appeal: Do not believe, let alone claim, that having her as president, if she is elected, will be a good thing for your daughters.

Quite the contrary.

The notion that Hillary Clinton is a role model for young American women is yet another testimony to the moral decline of America – not to mention to the moral state of the American left and the Democratic Party.

-- Dennis Prager, Oct. 31 WND column

The sordid reality of Hillary’s plan is more sweeping indoctrination to firmly plant homosexuality and gender confusion as fully accepted behaviors even among grade school children.

Most American parents will shout a great big “NO” to such institutional child abuse.

This is what a Hillary presidency will spend its time on. There’s an easy solution, however.

Elect a more conservative candidate – Donald Trump.

And then lock Hillary up.

-- Linda Harvey, Nov. 1 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 4:57 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Rigging the Media at the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center laid the foundation for Donald Trump's "rigged media" rants -- but Brent Bozell and Co. won't acknowledge the threats of violence against journalists that toxic rhetoric generate, let alone tell Trump to dial it back before someone gets hurt. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
'WND Democrat' Bob Just Checks In Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've pointed out WorldNetDaily columnist Bob Just as a WND Democrat, someone who claims to be a Dem but spends his time bashing them.

Well, Just has checked in again with his pretend-Dem concern-trolling in an Oct. 27 WND column:

Many brave GOP candidates for House and Senate have stood with Trump through withering fire because they understand the alternative. Too many of us don’t. Too many voters ignore the ominous warning signs – based on the past and current behavior of my party, the Democratic Party – that a two-term HRC presidency may end up looking more like tyranny than democracy.

From there, Just rants against his purported fellow Democrats and "the PC left bureaucracy." Then he insists against all evidence to the contrary that he's really a Democrat:

I have stayed a Democrat all these years because I know we Democrats need to have a real conversation about how our party can recover from its Marxist transformation. This is why I’m launching my Democrats for blog here in this column.

For sure, I’d prefer to have that conversation with PC Democrat leaders “out of power,” and so perhaps willing to listen. Otherwise, I’ll be talking to whoever will listen about the rise of tyranny and the loss of freedom – and how our country can recover by returning to what President Reagan called “tried and time-tested values.”

As Newsweek said all those many years ago, “Where PC reigns, one defies it at one’s peril.” This is the real choice we face. I’ll leave you with my favorite Reagan quote: “God bless America!”

Aside from the fact that the sole apparent content on his "Democrats for America" website is reprints of this WND columns, Just doesn't seem to realize that nobody listens to a fake Democrat.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
MRC, WND Want You To Think Doug Schoen Not Supporting Hillary Means Something
Topic: NewsBusters

Horribly misguided NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer is at it again in an Oct. 31 post:

When the outrageous remarks about women Donald Trump made in 2005 became known just before the second presidential debate, the press compiled exhaustive lists of Republicans far and wide who would no longer support the Republican presidential nominee.

Will the press compile similar lists of those who won't support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in light of new developments during the past several days relating to her use of a private server and private email accounts for government business? Will they even ask anyone the question? It can now be reported that the won't-vote-for-Hillary list — and it certainly has more than one person, even if not yet admitted — has a member whose relationship with the Clintons goes back over two decades: Democrat pollster Doug Schoen.

In the Political Insiders segment of Harris Faulkner's Fox Report Weekend Show on Fox News, Schoen announced that "as of today, I am not a supporter of the Secretary of State for the nation's highest office":


Now we have the beginnings of a list of Democrats who did support Hillary Clinton who can no longer do so. What's more, he's a well-connected longtime friend of the Clintons. Will the press ask other key Democrats, especially those in tight House and Senate races, if they still endorse Mrs. Clinton? If not, why not? Are New Media outlets going to have to do the dirty work and compile a list on their own?

There will be no list because Schoen is so far the only self-proclaimed Democrat of prominence to withdraw support of Clinton, even after a few days of fallout from the remarks.

Additionally, Schoen is not a terribly loyal Democrat, and his ttepid support will barely be missed. He's what's called a Fox News Democrat -- professing to be a Democrat but appearing on conservative outlets (heck, he's a Fox News employee) to bash Democrats and espouse conservative positions.He and fellow Fox News Democrat Pat Caddell were scheduled speakers at right-winger David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend.

By contrast, the list of Republicans who withdrew their support after Trump's vile misogyny became public contains numerous sitting governors and members of Congress, with nary a has-been, disloyal strategist among them.

The meaninglessness of Schoen's abandonment of Hillary didn't keep WorldNetDaily from also pretending it meant something. An anonymously written Oct. 30 article stated that "Schoen’s announcement is a stunning about-face from remarks he made to Sean Hannity during a TV appearance on Fox News just 48 hours earlier," when he predicted a Clinton victory.

Like Blumer, WND ignores the fact that Schoen is on Fox News' payroll because he gives them cover for being "fair and balanced," even though he sounds no different than a conservative Fox News commentator.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 5:52 PM EDT
Roger Stone's Lackey, WND's Jerome Corsi, Comes To His Defense Over Voter Intimidation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi has been Roger Stone's lackey throughout the 2016 election, serving as a willing, unquestioning conduit for whatever anti-Clinton sleaze Stone wants to vomit out into the public.

Still, we find it hard to believe Corsi could keep a straight face as he served up -- without question, like the good lackey he is -- Stone's defense in a Nov. 1 WND article for the voter intimidation campaign he's planning, under the name Stop the Steal, against Democratic lawsuits to stop it:

Stop the Steal. Inc., a non-profit 527 grassroots organization created by Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump, wants to post non-partisan “Vote Protectors” at some 7,000 polling locations in key precincts throughout the nation. The volunteers will be trained to take scientifically based exit polls to help determine whether or not the final totals reported from voting machines reflect the actual vote.


Stone told WND the lawsuit is without merit.

“Precincts are chosen base on one-party rule and past reports of irregularities, not racial make-up, as falsely reported in the alt-left media,” Stone said.

“Since it is our intention to interview voters voluntary after they vote, it is hard to see how voters would find this intimidating,” he insisted. “Our methodology is no different than that used in the network consortium exit polls.”

Stone told WND that Stop the Steal has not coordinated with the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee or the individual Republican state committees.

“We seek only to determine if the election is honestly and fairly conducted and to provide an evidentiary basis for a challenge to the election if that is not the case,” he insisted. “I assume the purpose of this bogus lawsuit is to distract from the voter-fraud the Democrats have traditionally engaged in.”

In fact, as the Huffington Post reported, Stone's "Vote Protectors" organization created an official-looking ID badge for its volunteers to wear, and its volunteers planned to videotape voters and conduct fake "exit polls" -- efforts that election experts say risks intimidating and confusing voters. Stone quickly took the ID badge generator off his website after being questioned about it.

While Corsi let Stone deny he's coordinating with the Trump campaign, the vidence suggests otherwise. The Huffington Post also reported that Stone told far-right radio host Alex Jones that his so-called "exit polls" could be used by the Trump campaign to contest election results to the candidate, and that some Vote Protectors signees do, in fact, plan to indimidate voters.

Corsi then attempts to justify Stone's shady operation by explaining how exit polls work, but he doesn't provide evidence that this is how Stone plans to run his.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:37 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 3:38 PM EDT
MRC Clinton Equivocation Watch, Pre-Election 'Dirty Trick' Edition
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Reserarch Center is seeking to justify the FBI's reopening the Hillary Clinton email case by taking a weird Clinton Eqivocation route: citing an earlier pre-election law enforcement action that may have helped Bill Clinton win the presidency.

NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer lays out the case in an Oct. 29 rant:

FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress indicating that the bureau has "learned of the existence of (Hillary Clinton) emails" which he concluded must be reviewed "to determine whether they contain classified information" has led to all kinds of people declaring the move an "unprecedented" October surprise.

Even some people who should know better have called it the "Mother of All October Surprises." Perhaps it ultimately will be, but as things currently stand, it's not really in the running for current champion.

The press's institutional memory is so weak, and its insistence on burying long-ago inconvenient truths is so strong, that no one I'm aware of has made a comparison to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh's indictment of former Reagan Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on October 30, 1992, and Walsh's obviously calculated decision to include a reference to incumbent President George H.W. Bush in his filing. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who one would expect to remember its brutality and dishonesty, failed to do so in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.


Additionally, though it's early, it also appears that a conscientious federal law enforcement officer reporting to Congress like Comey, having come across what he must believe is likely compelling new evidence, has little choice but to report what he knows as soon as he knows it, regardless of the election calendar.

By contrast, Lawrence Walsh, in his sixth year as Iran-Contra prosecutor, was under no compulsion to indict Cap Weinberger on October 30, 1992.

As it turned out, Walsh also had no basis to issue the indictment. What he appeared to have is an obsession with demonstrating that Bush 41 knew about Iran-Contra when he was Vice President under Ronald Reagan:


The October 30, 1992 indictment of Weinberger was thrown out just 43 days later. The reasons why prove that the indictment was a bogus preelection hit:


A lawyer as experienced as Walsh should have known, and I believe did know, that filing a charge past an established statute of limitations deadline rarely if every succeeds. The judge's reported reference to how the October 30 indictment "improperly broadened the original indictment" is likely more evidence that Walsh filed a Hail Mary indictment to smear the presidential incumbent.

Blumer is simply engaging in malicious speculation about Walsh's purported motives; he can't possibly know that Walsh planned a "bogus preelection hit." And Blumer curiously omits the fact that Bush, on his way out of office, pardoned Weinberger and five other Iran-contra defendants. If Weinberger did nothing wrong, as Blumer wants you to believe, he wouldn'd need a pardon, right?

Blumer also doesn't mention that Walsh was a lifelong Republican, which further dampens the idea of a partisan "dirty trick" motive.

It seems that Blumer is willing to accept Comey's abrupt reopening of the email investigation as a sort of revenge for 1992.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:55 AM EDT
No, WND, The McAuliffe-Hillary 'Scandal' Did Not 'Explode'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Media Research Center wasn't the only ConWeb outlet to pounce on the bogus story of Terry McAuliffe-controlled PAC donating money to a Virginia legislative candidate whose FBI agent husband was later named to lead an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. WorlddNetDaily's Bob Unruh tried riding this story in an Oct. 26 article, with the screaming headline "MCAULIFFE-FBI-HILLARY 'PAYOFF' SCANDAL EXPLODES":

The WikiLeaks revelation that the wife of the FBI official who supervised the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s off-the-books email server got a major campaign cash infusion from one of Clinton’s friends just took a stunning new turn.

The London Daily Mail is reporting Hillary Clinton had raised funds for the political action committee that steered the contributions to the unsuccessful campaign of Democrat Jill McCabe.

McCabe’s husband, Andrew McCabe, was promoted to FBI deputy director and supervised the investigation of Clinton not long after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who through his PAC Common Good VA, contributed a total of $675,000 to Jill McCabe’s long-shot bid for a congressional seat.

The Daily Mail reported Hillary Clinton headlined a major fundraiser for McAuliffe’s PAC shortly before the group steered nearly $500,000 to Jill McCabe.

No, really. That's the "explosion."

Unruh, like the MRC before him, obscures one significant fact: McCabe's husband wasn't assigned to the Hillary email investigation until three months after she lost her election.

Unruh also fails to report the fact that McAuliffe's PAC gave out money to lots of candidates that year, two of whom received more money than McCabe.

Like the MRC, Unruh and WND are assuming that McAuliffe (and Clinton, apparently) knew future events months before they happened. Instead, they're just promoting another crazy Clinton conspiracy theory.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
CNS Rushes Out Op-Eds Defending AT&T-Time Warner Merger

After the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner was announced last week, quickly rushed out a pair of right-wing op-eds, both published Oct. 27, pre-emptively complaining that federal officials might block the merger.

In the first, the Cato Institute's Daniel Mitchell insisted that "monopoly power generally exists only when government intervenes," insisting that the feds shouldn't judge whether the merger raises any antitrust concerns:

In other words, let the merger proceed. It may be a wise business decision. Or it may be a foolish business decision.

But that outcome should be determined by the preferences of consumers in a competitive marketplace.

The heavy foot of government shouldn’t play a role. Especially since, as noted by this cartoon, antitrust laws are so broad and vague that companies can get in legal trouble for charging more than their competitors, less than their competitors, and the same as their competitors.

In the second, the Heritage Foundation's James Gattuso made a similar argument, insisting that "AT&T and Time Warner do not compete with each other" and "despite popular rhetoric to the contrary, there has been no general trend toward mergers in the telecom and media marketplaces."

He goes on to complain that "the knowledge that government may intervene in mergers without regard to their likely competitive effects will prompt wasteful expenditures by special interests opposing particular transactions, causing a further diminution in economic welfare," adding that "by arbitrarily intervening in proposed mergers that are not anti-competitive, government disincentivizes firms from acting boldly to seek out new opportunities to create wealth and enhance the welfare of consumers," and asserting that "Absent a strong showing of likely harm to the competitive process (which does not appear to be the case here), the government has no business interfering in corporate acquisitions."

We don't have an opinion on the merger -- we just found it interesting that CNS would rush out these op-eds making ideological snap judgments on the merger before the full ramifications have even been examined. That's another reminder that CNS is much more about pushing an ideology than reporting news, despite its pose as a "news" organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:13 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Lashes Out Again At NPR Media Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

For some reason, the Media Resarch Center's Tim Graham loves to pick fights with NPR media reporter David Folkenflik. Graham got huffy with Folkenflik again in an Oct. 27 post:

NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik loves to report negative stories about Fox News, over and over again. Since July 6, he’s filed 16 negative reports on Fox News and the sexual-harassment lawsuits, leading to the departure of longtime boss Roger Ailes.

But try to find him mentioning anything about the media sucking up to the Clinton campaign in the Wikileaks emails. He skipped that, just like he skipped Gawker’s trove of suckup emails going to Hillary press aide Phillippe Reines back in February. One might rightly conclude bashing Fox News is a favorite pastime.

Those 16 reports on Fox News and Ailes are, as we've noted, approximately 16 more than the MRC has devoted to it. Fox News is the MRC's favorite news outlet, and Brent Bozell and crew appear there regularly, so they didn't want to jeopardize that by reporting such unpleasant things.

Graham went on to whine: "The least surprising story on Wednesday night’s All Things Considered was Folkenflik enjoying the Tuesday night Fox News fight between Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich. Like the other leftists, Folkenflik took the side of Kelly, scorning Gingrich as a finger-wagging old man who specialized in cheating on his wives losing voters for Trump."

But criticism of Gingrich was not coming solely from "leftists" (and Graham does not prove Folkenflik is one). For instance, Katie Pavlich and Cheri Jacobus -- no "leftists" they -- also criticized Trump.

Stranger than Graham's attempt to pick another bogus fight with Folkenflik is how the MRC promoted it. A post on its NewsBusters Twitter account carried the introduction "GEORGE SOROS GRANT NEWS."

Graham didn't even mention Soros in his post, nor did he engage in a "defund NPR" rant that is usually a staple whenever Graham writes about NPR.

The NewsBusters tweet was apparently a reference to a donation Soros' Open Society Institute made to NPR back in 2010 -- but that was earmarked for NPR's "Impact on Government" project and apparently not to Folkenflik's salary.

But, hey, when has anyone ever accused Graham and the MRC of caring about inconvenient facts?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:39 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 2:47 PM EDT
What Is Joseph Farah Lying About Today?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is an unrepentant liar -- one of the many, many reasons WND is going down the tubes. Farah demonstrates his disregard for the truth again in his Oct. 28 column, which is devoted to ranting about how "Hillary Clinton hates America and Americans." He adds:

However, thanks to the 2016 presidential campaign and WikiLeaks emails, we now know that even Hillary Clinton’s top aides agree that Hillary hates America and Americans – especially “average Americans.”

That deliciously and brutally honest email came from John Podesta, her campaign manager, in a moment of candor to another member of her campaign team. It said: “I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans.”

That is an incredible indictment and one that needs to be in the ears of every everyday American as he or she makes his or her way to the polls Nov. 8.

Actually, it's a lie. As we pointed out when WND first reported this claim, the words are taken out of context. The reference was to the "everyday Americans" slogan that Clinton used when she first launched her presidential campaign; when Podesta says "I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans," he's saying she hates the phrase in relation to her campaign.

But Farah doesn't let the facts get in the way of his Hillary-hating bile:

It’s so important.

Think of it.

Who in their right mind would vote for a president who hates everyday Americans?

What other qualification could possibly overcome such contempt for those she is supposed to serve?

Experience more of Joseph Farah’s no-nonsense truth-telling in his books, audio and video products, featured in the WND Superstore

That’s clearly not the kind of “first” we can afford in 2016 – electing a president who hates not just Republicans, not just conservatives, not just independents, not just Democrats who don’t vote for her, not just Bernie Sanders supporters, but plain, old “everyday Americans,” according to no less an authority than her own campaign manager – with tacit confirmation from her other staff, who understood exactly what he meant.

WND has made no impact whatsoever on the 2016 election -- even Jerome Corsi is resorting to lame mud-slinging since his anti-Hillary book is tanking (No. 21,850 at Amazon at this writing). That must be eating at Farah, since WND is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to get attention, rather like a petulant child (wacky tabloid editor claiming to be Hillary's "fixer," anyone?).

If this keeps up, expect to see another sad plea for money from Farah in the very near future.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Monday, October 31, 2016
CNS Tries to Turn (Lack Of) Hurricanes Into A Political Issue

See if you can detect a theme being pushed by, mostly by reporter Barbara Hollingsworth, over the past year or so:

Hollingsworth has to qualify by not only insisting on it being a "major hurricane" -- that is, category 3 and above -- but that it also has to make U.S. landfall at that strength. The recent Hurricane Matthew doesn't count, she insists in that last article, because "Matthew had weakened to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall near McClellanville, S.C. on October 8th with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph." Nor does thte storm best know as Superstorm Sandy, because "Hurricane Sandy had been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by the time it made landfall in New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012." She does concede those storm caused substantial damage in the U.S., though.

Since CNS is not normally interested in weather, there has to be a right-wing political angle to this. And there is, as Hollingsworth explains in that last article: "Many climate scientists have predicted that anthropogenic global warming caused by an increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere would result in an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes."

What Hollingsworth is much less likely to promote: the "hurricane drought" doesn't really mean anything. As Jason Samenow. the Washington Post Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist, explains:

The major-hurricane metric both leaves out significant storms because of its narrow definition and is misleading as an overall indicator of storm activity.

Climate-change doubters point to the lack of major-hurricane landfalls as evidence that global warming is not affecting the storms. But, in reality, nine of the last 11 Atlantic hurricane seasons have produced more storms than normal. It’s just that those with the strongest winds have remained over the ocean — something researchers have ascribed to dumb luck.

The major-hurricane-landfall drought is an interesting statistic, and that’s about it. It is a fine metric to track and report as a curiosity, but it cannot be used to say anything useful about how hurricanes are affecting society or how their behavior may or may not be changing over time.

Hollingsworth tried to play gotcha with a couple of climate scientists in that last article, but they both did a fact-slap on her:

“You and many other climate scientists have predicted an increase in hurricane activity due to anthropogenic global warming. But with carbon dioxide levels at a record high, why are we now seeing the longest major hurricane drought on record here in the U.S.?” CNSNews asked [MIT atmospheric science professor Kerry] Emanuel.

“One must be aware that the North Atlantic has only 11 percent of the world’s hurricanes, and that we do not expect the global warming signal to be seen in global statistics for several decades,” he replied. “By the time one drills down to major U.S. landfalls, a tiny percentage of total activity, it may be decades to detect a signal.

“As you know, Matthew was a very near miss. That would have ended the drought, but not solved the problem of trying to detect a climate signal in a very tiny subset of global hurricane activity,” Emanuel said.

CNSNews posed the same question to oceanographer and Climate Progress founding editor Joe Romm, who also predicted an increase in hurricane activity due to climate change, and who recently wrote that “Hurricane Matthew is super strong – because of climate change.”

“You have fallen into a mostly semantic trap,” he replied, referring to an article he wrote for ClimateProgress arguing that NOAA’s criteria for defining a major hurricane is flawed.

“The media should be reporting that in a world where storm surge is causing most of the devastation for the most destructive hurricanes, defining a ‘major’ hurricane around its wind speed (at landfall) is archaic at best and wildly misleading at worst,” Romm wrote.

For balance, Hollingsworth called in climate denier and non-scientist (and former CNS reporter) Marc Morano to assert that, in her words, "those who predicted more major hurricane activity due to climate change now want to change the definition of a major hurricane because their predictions have fallen short of reality."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:06 PM EDT
MRC's Study of Media Bias On Trump Is Hypocritical And Narrow
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember when the Media Research Center thought that media coverage wasn't negative enough? We do.

Remember when MRC chief Brent Bozell said it was irrelevant that most of Trump's media coverage was negative? We do.

Which is why the MRC's big report last week complaining about negative media coverage of Trump is a big, hypocritical nothingburger. Add to that the study's extremely narrow focus: a review of only the evening newscasts on NBC, CBS and ABC -- a tiny sliver of "the media. Nevertheless, report author Rich Noyes interchangably uses "the broadcast networks" and "the media," as if they were the same thing:

The results show neither candidate was celebrated by the media (as Obama was in 2008), but network reporters went out of their way to hammer Trump day after day, while Clinton was largely out of their line of fire.

Our analysts found 184 opinionated statements about Hillary Clinton, split between 39 positive statements (21%) vs. 145 negative (79%). Those same broadcasts included more than three times as many opinionated statements about Trump, 91 percent of which (623) were negative vs. just nine percent positive (63).

Noyes also played false equivalence with Trump's extensive record of falsehoods, complining that "Reporters also bluntly called out Trump for lying in his public remarks in a way they never did with Clinton, despite her own robust record of false statements." The MRC has long denied the obvious fact that Trump has told more falsehoods than Clinton, to the point that it attacks fact-checkers to deflect from that.

Further, the MRC's method of coming to its preordained conclusion (does anyone think the MRC would make this public if it wasn't?) seems suspect. Noyes writes:

Our measure of campaign spin was designed to isolate the networks’ own slant, not the back-and-forth of the campaign trail. Thus, our analysts ignored soundbites which merely showcased the traditional party line (Republicans supporting Trump and bashing Clinton, and vice versa), and instead tallied evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story. Such statements may have been presented as quotes from non-partisan talking heads such as experts or voters, quotes from partisans who broke ranks (Republicans attacking Trump or Democrats criticizing Clinton), or opinionated statements from the reporter themselves.

Additionally, we separated personal evaluations of each candidate from statements about their prospects in the campaign horse race (i.e., standings in the polls, chances to win, etc.). 

Evaluating statements as either "positive" or "negtative" seems like a recipe to introduce bias; after all, since the MRC is pulling for Trump, it would be predisposed to mark more statements about Trump as "negative," which may skew its results. Since the MRC never posts the raw data from its "research," there's no way to independently evaluate those statements or the MRC's classification of them.

Most egregiously, Noyes ignores that one reason Trump received more negative coverage is because he has done more things that warrant it, having apparently decided to push the fiction that Trump is merely just another Republican.

Another example of Noyes' bias: he complains that stories about "Donald Trump’s treatment of women" are "alleged" and "unproven," while applies no qualifiers to "Bill Clinton’s past treatment of women, and Hillary Clinton’s role in covering up her husband’s wrongdoing."

In short: It's a biased report produced with biased intent, and all the uncritical coverage of it on Fox News -- whose election coverage the MRC conspicuously refused to study -- doesn't change that one bit.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EDT
Guy Who Exaggerates Brief Association With Obama In College Resurfaces One More Time
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Look who's resurfaced just in time for the 2016 election!

John Drew wrote a Oct. 25 WorldNetDaily column touting the new anti-commie film by right-wing foreigner Trevor Loudon, in which he appears:

I was quite honored to be among those who were selected by Loudon to share their testimony in the film. As he informed me, I am the only one in the nation willing to verify that the young Barack Obama was looking forward to a communist-style, potentially violent revolution. Although my recollections represent only a very tiny part of the puzzle, they have been featured in a number of prominent books including Glenn Beck’s “Liars” (2016), Jack Cashill’s “Deconstructing Obama” (2011), Stanley Kurtz’s “Radical-In-Chief” (2010), Paul Kengor’s “Dupes” (2010) and “The Communist” (2012), and Michael Savages’ “Trickle Up Poverty” (2010).

For my part, I shared my story regarding what it was like to be a young man, committed to Marxist philosophy, who was not so secretly rooting for the victory of the USSR and China at the height of the Cold War. My story, I suppose, would not be in the slightest bit spectacular or interesting except for the fact that the young Barack Obama was among my circle of friends between 1980 and 1981. While he was attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, I got to know him closely enough to identify him as a fervent supporter of a communist-style revolution in the United States. I share this story in the movie. You can read it yourself in the first article I published on this topic in American Thinker.

As we've noted, Drew was not as close to Obama as he has suggested during his soon-to-end career as a right-wing Obama-basher. Contrary to Drew's current claim that Obama was among his "circle of friends" and knew him "closely enough" to see he was a commie, Drew is on record as saying he met Obama only twice, at least one of which was a social occasion, and he had graduated from Occidental before Obama started school there. 

The headline of Drew's piece refers to "my old friend BHO -- Marxist revolutionary." Yes, a guy Drew met only twice is "my old friend." And if you believe that, you'll keep Drew's 15 minutes of right-wing fame going a bit longer.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Sunday, October 30, 2016
MRC Tries The Gore Equivocation, And Fails
Topic: Media Research Center

It seems the Media Research Center's Clinton Equivocation to deflect Donald Trump's sleazy behavior has sprouted a corollary: the Gore Equivocation. Again, it's in service of Trump.

As Trump faced increasing criticism for criticizing the legitimacy of tyhe entire election process by screaming "Rigged!" at every opportunity and refusing to state at the final debate that he would accept the election results, the MRC was eager to change the subject:

  • Nicholas Fondacaro criticized CNN commentator Van Jones' "frustration with Trump’s refusal to say that he would accept the results of the election, but went on to praise Al Gore for dragging the country through months of chaos," going on to huff: "Yet there are liberal [sic] to this day that refuse to accept the results of the 2000 election."
  • Kyle Drennen complained that Tom Brokaw " defended Gore’s refusal to concede to George W. Bush for two months after the 2000 presidential election."
  • Clay Waters huffed: "Democratic candidate Al Gore lost narrowly in Florida, and thus lost the election to George Bush. Yet that didn’t stop Democrats from trying to overturn the results until the Supreme Court ruled in Bush’s favor."
  • Trump-fluffer Jeffrey Lord declared: "While Trump is being criticized for saying he would keep the media and the nation in suspense as to whether he would accept the results of the election, the hard fact is that Al Gore spent two months not accepting the election results."

Fondacaro, Drennen and Lord are falsely overstating the amount of time Gore spent contesting the results of the 2000 eleciton. In fact, it was just 36 days between the Nov. 7 election and Gore's Dec. 12 announcement that he would accept the Supreme Court's ruling suspending recounts in Florida -- just over a month.

All of these MRC writers, however, ignored the fact Gore's challenging an extremely close election and Trump undermining the entire process beforehand are two different things. As New York magazine's Jonathan Chait explains, Gore did not challenged the validity of the process as Trump has, the 2000 recount exposed flaws in the voting process in Florida such as voters falsely disenfranchised because they were wrongly labeled as felons, and Trump's attempted deligitimization of the process is based in wacky right-wing conspiracy theories.

But the MRC is all in for Trump, and it won't correct any falsehoods that interfere with that.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 PM EDT

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