CNS Gets It Wrong In Mocking 'Feminist Glacier' Study Topic: CNSNews.com
Lauretta Brown, as a good CNS reporter, is in full stenography mode for a Republican senator promoting alleged examples of government waste in a Nov. 28 article, singling one particular case out for mocking:
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) released his second “Federal Fumbles” report on Monday, citing 100 examples of the misuse of taxpayer dollars through government spending and regulation.
One example: The National Science Foundation (NSF), the report said, spent $412,930 to fund a study that argued "that scientists should use femnist theories and a feminist point of view to sudy glaciers and the relationship between glaciers and humans."
The NSF has spent the last several years funding a $412,930 study that culminated in a paper entitled “Glaciers, Gender, and Science: A Feminist Glaciology Framework for Global Environmental Change Research.” The report quotes the authors’ belief that “the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to a more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.”
"In other words," the report said, "the authors argue that scientists should use feminist theories and a feminist point of view to study glaciers and the relationship between glaciers and humans. The authors also argue that 'the feminist lens is crucial given the historical marginalization of women, the important of gendera in glacier-related knowledges, and the ways in which the systems of colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy co-instituted genderered science."
Except that's not what really happened at all. As Gawker pointed out, that NSF money went for the entirety of this particular researcher's work on glaciers, only one part of which is the paper Lankford and Brown are mocking.
And because Brown is only interested in right-wing stenography, she makes no effort to go beyond Lankford's biased report and see if he's telling the truth. (He's not.) The magazine Science did what Brown couldn't be bothered to do: talk to the paper's author, who points out that his purpose was to stimulate a conversation about who's doing research on glaciers and posits the idea that viewpoints from women on the subject, and female researchers in particular, are important.
Brown continues her stenography on Lankford's behalf:
Gas Station Tofu
The report documents a 2016 Department of Agriculture regulation that requires stores that accept food stamps to double their selection of “healthy food items,” suggesting “businesses that want to meet the new regulations begin selling items like almond milk, tofu, fresh or frozen catfish, goat’s milk, and shrimp.”
The report notes that 195,000 small gas stations and convenience stores would be impacted by the rule and that “many small gas stations have already stated they would be forced to stop accepting food stamps, thus eliminating an option to buy food for many food stamp recipients in rural areas and inner-city food deserts.”
Lankford -- and, thus, Brown -- obscure the fact that the regulation has not yet been put into effect, meaning that no "misuse" of federal money has taken place (no evidence is provided that studying the effects of the proposed regulationis "misuse"). And sneeringly dismissing the idea as "gas station tofu" ignores the fact that many urban convenience stores don't sell gas and that tofu was only a suggestion, not a mandate.
Finally: Neither Brown nor Lankford disclose how much federal money Lankford spent compiling his mocking, biased report. Taht would seem to be relevant given the whole focus on misusing federal funds.
WND Pushes Trump's Evidence-Free Fearmongering About Illegal Voting Topic: WorldNetDaily
Donald Trump has been pushing the claim that he would have won the popular vote were it not for "the millions of people who voted illegally," and the Trump-fluffers at WorldNetDaily are more than happy to help him push it -- even though WND, like Trump, has no actual evidence to back it up.
Not that Bob Unruh, in his Nov. 29 WND article, doesn't make a valiant effort to portray right-wing speculation as actual evidence. The first person he cites is Catherine Engelbrecht of of the right-wing True the Vote, who had nothing but "promised reliable estimates of the number of illegal-alien voters are on the way."
Next was Hans von Spakovsky of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, who according to Unruh said that "indications of the impact" are there despite "no reliable figures yet on the number of illegal-alien voters."
He was followed by William Gheen of the right-wing Americans for Legal Immigration PAC -- which Unruh benignly and irrelevantly describes only as "non-profit" -- who claimed that Trump "is absolutely correct that large volumes of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential race predominantly for Democrat candidates and illegal immigrants were brought across the borders to reinforce Obama and Hillary Clinton in these elections." No evidence was provided to back up that claim.
Unruh also quoted Gheen as saying, "Obama himself admitted on video to Spanish language audiences comprised of illegal immigrants that illegals would face no scrutiny or hindrances registering to vote and voting, both of which are felonies and deportable offenses." In fact, that's not what he said at all; in comments that right-wingers selectively quoted (including WND), he said that "what is important for Latino citizens is to make your voice heard" and that those citizens voting helps speak for those "who can't legally vote."
Unruh then claimed that "ALIPAC cited sources, including the Pew Trust." He acknowledged that the author of the Pew study being cited "said he discovered no voter fraud," he insisted that thte study "specifically said its research 'underscores the need for registration systems that better maintain voter records, save money and streamline process.'" Which, however, is not the same thing as claiming that millions of people voted illegally, which is what Gheen and ALIPAC are claiming.
Unruh further asserted that "ALIPAC released dozens of pages of documentation showing 46 states have prosecuted or convicted cases of voter fraud, more than 24 million voter registrations are invalid, more than 1.8 million dead voters are still on rolls and more than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state." Which, again, does not back up Gheen's claim that millions of people voted illegally in 2016, especially since the link Unruh provided is of an ALIPAC comment thread that dates back to 2011, which does not necessarily qualify as "documentation."
Then it's back to even more non-documentation. Unruh writes: "Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies said that if one looks at the likely 21 million non-citizens in the United States, based on the 2015 American Community Survey, there is the high probability that a good number voted. After all, a 2 million or so vote advantage for Clinton could consist of votes from only about 10 percent of that population. But he said there’s no evidence available yet that would document an election result based on those votes."
Unruh may not have any actual evidence to back his (and Trump's) claims of illegal voting, but that doesn't mean he can't stick an irrelevant photo of seemingly illegal immigrants as the main image for his article (shown at top). In WND tradition, the image is uncredited, which means it was stolen -- in this case, from the Los Angeles Times. Unruh and WND are suggesting though the use of this image that hordes of swarthy masses are just lining up to vote illegally; in fact, the Times caption states: "Lugging jugs of water, migrants thread their way along footpaths leading to the U.S. border."
In other words, these migrants have other things on their mind -- like basic survival -- and voting is way down their priority list.
MRC Still Won't Be Honest About 'Fake News' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is not done trying to change the subject away from the issue of "fake news" that may have helped Donald Trump get elected president.
A Nov. 28 post by Tim Graham freaks out over a Washington Post article on the group PropOrNot accusing the Russians of planting misleading article boosting Trump and bashing Hillary Clinton that were picked up by many right-wing (and some left-wing) website.Graham cites criticism of PropOrNot from the left-wing sites it named, complaining that the group is biased against Russia and Trump's ties to it and "are promoting bizarre conspiracy theories using overwrought numbers from a source that won’t identify its own authors or funders."
Funny, we don't recall the MRC having a problem with the anonymous basis of the false Fox News pre-election story claiming an indictment of Clinton was imminent that it heavily promoted. Still, Graham ranted that the PropOrNot claim is an "anonymously-sourced conspiracy theory" -- something it has never admitted the Fox News story was.
Mesnwhile, the MRC's Scott Whitlock attempted to redefine fake news in a Nov. 29 post:
ABC’s Nightline, a program that has covered such non-stories as “bootleg butt injections” and “cat poo coffee,” actually complained about “fake news” websites. Co-anchor Juju Chang on Monday huffed that “established media outlets are built on accuracy” as she wondered if scam websites resulted in Hillary Clinton losing.
Nightline journalists are in no position to judge ridiculous stories. This is a program that in 2014 actually did a story on “bootleg butt injections.” In 2015, the show’s reporters covered “cat poo coffee.” The show also looked into “polyamory” and the “trailblazing triad” of threesome fans. Is this news?
On Monday night, Chang complained, “Separating fact from fiction is not easy when mistrust of mainstream media is at an all-time high.” Perhaps one reason for that is because Nightline is promoting ridiculous click bait stories.
No, Scott, fluffy news is not fake news. Fake news is the false Fox News story your employer promoted and has never admitted was false, let alone apologized for it.
WND's Farah, Jonathan Cahn Stage Publicity Stunt at Temple Mount Topic: WorldNetDaily
Now it appears we know why WorldNetDaily was so desperate for people to join the tour to the Holy Land led by WND editor Joseph Farah and his buddy and meal ticket, Jonathan Cahn: They were planning to stage a publicity stunt to get their tour party kicked off Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
A week before Americans gave thanks to God for their blessings in a holiday inspired by Pilgrims who sought religious freedom in the new world, another group of mostly American pilgrims to Jerusalem was ejected from the Temple Mount by Muslim administrative authorities for mentioning that the Jewish Temple rested atop the 40-acre mount until 70 AD when it was destroyed by Rome.
That’s right – 406 Christians were forced off the Temple Mount for acknowledging that a Temple once rested there.
The incident occurred Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, when messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn and I led the group on a tour of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and one of great significance for Christians as well.
When Cahn, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Harbinger,” “The Mystery of the Shemitah” and “The Book of Mysteries,” simply referenced the Temple, his talk was interrupted by a representative of the Islamic Waqf – the clerical force that patrols the site, enforcing dress codes and often prohibiting Bible reading and prayer by Christians and Jews.
Cahn was told it was unacceptable for anyone to discuss the Temple on the Temple Mount. Muslims do not refer to the Temple Mount as such but call the site Haram al-Sharif, or Nobel Sanctuary. They contend the site is famous and holy not because of the Temple, which some of them even dispute ever existed, but because Muhammad claims to have ascended to the site from the Arabian desert in a miraculous Night Journey on the back of a winged horse.
He was just beginning a message on the link between the Temple and the Garden of Eden when the Waqf officials interrupted the talk. They called Cahn to speak to them about 20 yards from the bulk of the group, with me shadowing him.
“They immediately told me I had to stop talking,” Cahn recalled. “We had to leave the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, the group watched, prayed and a few took pictures and video recorded the event. When I countered that we had done nothing wrong, they said I can’t talk about the Temple on the Temple Mount. They said, ‘This is an Islamic holy site. You cannot mention the Temple.'”
The standoff lasted about five minutes until one of the Waqf officials got louder and more agitated. At that point, Cahn agreed to leave. The Waqf officials escorted the group out the gate facing the north. It regrouped near the Pools of Bethesda, where Cahn finished his message and spoke about the nature of the spiritual warfare we had just witnessed.
What Farah and Cahn are calling "spiritual warfare" is actually bad manners on their part -- not to mention a craven, borderline blasphemous stunt.
Farah and Cahn knew that things like Christian and Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount are prohibited at the Temple Mount -- Farah even admits that. But Farah misleads by suggesting the prohibition was demanded by the Waqf; in fact, that's the official position of the Israeli government. Further, it appears Cahn, a messianic rabbi, may have violated his own faith in doing so; the Chief Rabbinate of Israel states that the Torah prohibits Jews from entering the Temple Mount.
All this means that their plan all along was to break rules and create a scene -- all the more spectacular when a large group of tourists are made unwitting pawns in their stunt. Needelss to say, Farah got video of the conflict they provoked, and it's attached to his column.
Farah and Cahn were guests, and as guests you abide by your host's rules. You do not treat them with disrespect and provoke conflict.
The fact that the two planned to break rules and cause a scene while dragging their tour group through the manufactured drama exposes them not as the religious heroes they claim to be -- "To be kicked off the Temple Mount for speaking truth was an honor," Cahn said, adding, "Nothing stops the purposes of God" -- but as self-centered jerks.
MRC Flip-Flops on Jorge Ramos' Credibility Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has had its knives out for Univision's Jorge Ramos for quite some time now, determined to silence him for being critical of Donald Trump. When Trump actually won the election, the MRC gloated.
In a Nov. 14 post, Jorge Bonilla cheered how "Smiling faces grew somber" on Univision's election-night newscast as Trump won, complained that the network "amplified what it perceived to be inflammatory statements" by Trump (now that Trump is the MRC's boy, Bonilla won't concede that anything he was was actually inflammatory)and accused Ramos of having "staged his explusion from a Trump press conference in Iowa." Bonilla ranted:
Now trapped in its own death spiral, Univision's TV news division is quadrupling down on the identity politics that have left a sour taste in viewers' mouths. Rather than examining whether its coverage of the 2016 election turned off viewers and potential voters, Univision decided to push fear as a response to Trump. Ramos' promise to continue asking tough questions rings hollow because there was an astonishing lack of curiosity when it came to Hillary's email scandal.
Univision News' time is better spent in deep self-reflection and evaluation of its own journalistic practices. But it appears that the network has learned nothing.
The next day, Bonilla targeted Ramos further under the headline "Jorge Ramos Lost All His Credibility And Learned Nothing," in which he huffed: "Some time ago, Ramos admitted that he understood the risks to his credibility by taking such open stances. 2016 will be remembered as the year that Jorge Ramos gambled away his credibility. America, however, is about second chances and redemption. Here's hoping that Ramos -as well as the rest of the media- acknowledges the scope and breadth of his failings and strives to hold all sides accountable going forward. This is certainly a much more constructive endeavor than the current lashing-out we've seen so far."
But, suddenly, Bonilla decided that Ramos was filled with credibility. Why? Because he said something Bonilla agrees with.
In a Nov. 28 post, Bonilla praised how Ramos finally got in line with right-0wing talking points on the death of Fidel Castro:
Fairness compels us to memorialize what Al Punto did right...which in this case, was everything. Jorge Ramos broke sharply from the rest of the media by simply calling a dictator a dictator. The tone of the show was proper in that it was somber. Viewers got to see the reality of Fidel Castro through the voices of people whose lives were affected by the tyrant, and were given space to come to their own conclusions.
Oh, please. Bonilla doesn't give a damn about "fairness" -- he cares only about pushing a political view. The fact that Bonilla forgot completely about his attacks on Ramos when he echoed right-wing orthodoxy on Castro shows that all too clearly.
The next time Ramos sasys something Bonilla doesn't like, the knives will be out again. That will have nothing to do with fairness either.
WND Reporter In Full Islamophobia Mode After Ohio State Incident Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Leo Hohmann doesn't like Muslims -- he rushes to brand them as terroristsandcriminals on the pages of WND. This week's incident at Ohio State University, perpetrated by a Somali refugee, has brought that out in him again.
In his first story on the incident, he complains -- as he has done before -- that police are bothering to do a full investigation instead of jumping to the conclusion that because he's a Muslim, he's a terrorist: "The Somali refugee who stabbed Ohio State University students with a butcher knife Monday praised a well-known al-Qaida terrorist on his Facebook page minutes before his attack, yet authorities say they are not ready to assign a motive."
The next day, Hohmann was in full Islamophobia mode, with some lecturing of the media for not hating Muslims as much as he does:
When Abdul Ali Artan tried to run over a crowd of helpless students at Ohio State University, then got out of his car and slashed as many as he could with a butcher knife, media titans CNN, CBS and NBC treated it as an isolated incident.
Law enforcement, from the local level on up to the FBI, said they did not know what could have motivated the young Muslim student to act in such a premeditated, violent way against his fellow students on a chilly Tuesday morning in Columbus.
Artan, an 18-year-old freshman at OSU, had immigrated from his native Somalia through Pakistan, arriving in Columbus at the invitation of the U.S. government, which considered him a “refugee.”
But the media failed to connect any of the dots with a host of similar attacks on U.S. soil, let alone the even larger number of strikingly similar attacks in Europe committed by migrants from Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.
One of the primary responsibilities of any reputable journalist is to not only report the news of the day, but to report it in context. It is only through context that the consumers of the journalistic product can receive a full understanding of the events happening in the world around them. There was none of that going on Tuesday when the news broke of a knife attack on the campus of Ohio State. Not even the most-recent Muslim knife attack, carried out two months earlier by another Somali refugee in St. Cloud, was mentioned in connection with the Ohio story.
Why so little context? Why so little information about the refugee program and its recent failures to screen out bad apples?
Why do mainstream media, along with U.S. law enforcement, provide cover for the U.S. immigration system and the refugee program in particular?
Hohmann calls on "several experts who follow the refugee program" to answer that question, but they're all Islamophobes like him, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer among them.
Hohmann also tried to fearmonger by making "a simple perusal of some very recent history, roughly the previous 17 or 18 months," in which he listed eight certain violent incidents. Then he moves the goalposts, adding, "A little further back, in 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing by the Tsarnaev brothers left three dead and more than 300 injured."
And what is the significance of this? "The one common denominator of all nine attacks is that each was carried out by Muslim immigrants or sons of Muslim immigrants." Yep, Hohmann had to pad out the list by throwing in "sons of Muslim immigrants"-- he couldn't come up with enough actual Muslim immigrants to make the list long enough.
Newsmax Columnist Thinks 'Fake News' Concern Is Attempt To Censor Right-Wingers Topic: Newsmax
It seems like all of the ConWeb wants to have a say about all that fake-news stuff. Newsmax's James Hirsen has his own spin in a Nov. 21 column, insisting that it's really all about censoring conservatives:
After telling the public for over a year that the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States was not going to materialize, the mainstream media have now turned their collective attention toward something they have characterized as “fake news.”
The phrase, however, is a fake itself, and its deliberate use manipulative in nature. The mainstream media are out to cleanse social media of sites that pose obstacles to a uniform way of thinking; that being a left-leaning ideology.
Hirsen doesn't bother to address the specific issue at hand -- fake "news" websites pitching stories designed to boost Trump that got treated by Facebook as actual news. Instead, he plays the victim:
The mere act of defining “fake news” is fraught with its own problems.
Would The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets that published dubious news stories throughout the lengthy election season be included in the group categorized as purveyors of false news stories? Most would agree that, although warranted in many cases, this would be highly unlikely.
It has become more and more apparent that “fake news” is the latest meme being used by left-leaning media in their all-out effort to eliminate competition from the conservative side of the political spectrum.
Establishment media organizations such as New York Magazine have been disseminating rosters of “fake news” sites. Not surprisingly, the lists are full of legitimate conservative outlets.
Of course, not only has Hirsen's employer has engaged in peddling fake news over the years -- for example, we've documented how Newsmax published numerous falsehoods about President Obama's stimulus plan in 2009 -- Hirsen himself has left a trail of fake news in his wake.
He once falsely claimed that the band U2 held a fund-raiser for conservative Republican Rick Santorum; in fact, Santorum was exploiting an already-existing U2 concert for a fund-raiser. And then there's the years he spentwriting Newsmax articles promoting various Mel Gibson film projects and whitewashing his notorious anti-Semitic tirade while failing to disclose that not only is he a friend of Gibson but heads a foundation that bought a tract of land in Pennsylvania for Gibson's father to found a branch of a dissident ultraconservative Catholic sect.Refusing to disclose a serious conflict of interest is a form of fakery as well.
Hirsen concludes by writing that Facebook chief Mark "Zuckerberg also knows, as do most Americans, that social media should be delivered freely to its members in non-curated feeds where members themselves decide what is worthwhile to view and what is not." And Hirsen certainly knows how dishonest it is to present something as factual "news" when it is nothing more than an partisan attack that is may not be accurate, however newsy it looks.
It seems that Hirsen is trying to play the rigvht-wing game of pretending that there's no difference between major media organizations -- the purported "liberal media" -- and partisan content mills that put getting clicks ahead of telling facts. If Hirsen would stop playing the victim, he's understand that conservative websites that publish facts and clearly label their content have nothing to worry about, and that covers Newsmax and Hirsen.
CNS' Starr Keeps On Shilling for the Oil Industry Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr has long been a reliable shill for the fossil-fuel industry, as one would expect from an employee of an organization that gets significant funding from fossil-fuel interests and has an endowed fellowship named after oilman T. Boone Pickens.
She's at it again. Starr writes in a Nov. 22 CNS article:
President Obama’s Interior Department announced last week that no offshore leases for oil and gas development in Alaska will be granted for a five-year period, prompting criticism that the decision could have a detrimental effect on local communities.
Lucas Frances, a spokesperson for the Arctic Energy Center (AEC), called the decision a “body blow” for the communities.
“Today’s announcement is a body blow for the Native communities, businesses, elected officials, military experts and other Alaskans who repeatedly have pleaded with the White House to allow offshore energy development in the Arctic,” he said in statement after the decision was announced on Friday.
“Having been told that local views would take priority, they have now seen that the exact opposite is true and their wishes have been ignored in the name of legacy-building,” he said.
“As a result of this decision, people across Alaska will be looking to the Trump administration to quickly tear up the lease plan and implement an entirely new schedule, which includes the Arctic and helps secure the state’s future.”
Starr makes sure not to disclose that the Arctic Energy Center is not a local grassroots group but, rather, an advocacy group for the oil industry founded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. The center claims that part of its mission is to highlight " long history of exploration and development in the region, and the scientific and technological advancements that allow for safe energy development today." In September, it launched a PR campaign to build support for offshore drilling in the Arctic that was scheduled to include a "six-figure television buy" in the Washingtion, D.C., TV market.
Starr also quoted one of her favorite industry sources, the American Petroleum Institute, criticizing the lease decision as well.
Unusual for her, Starr actually balanced the story with a statement from the environmental group EarthJustice. But she showed her bias again by labeling it as an "activist group" -- a descriptor she did not apply to the Arctic Energy Center though it too is activist (as if a six-figure TV ad buy isn't activist).
WND Columnist Buys Into 'Pizzagate' Hoax, Libels Podesta As Pedophile Topic: WorldNetDaily
The headline of Jesse Lee Peterson's Nov. 27 WorldNetDaily column reads, "Dear America, stop putting up with evil." We've been putting up with Peterson's evil for sometimenow, and he takes it to a new level in this column.
His particular brand of evil this time around is promoting the "Pizzagate" hoax and, then, libeling former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta by suggesting he's a pedophile:
The media and social media establishments are attempting to suppress investigation into “PizzaGate” – alleged pedophilia and Satanism practiced by political insiders and elites. These suspicions were bolstered by WikiLeaks’ “Podesta” emails.
Investigative journalist David Seaman says WikiLeaks has not released a fraudulent email in its 10 years of whistleblowing.
Seaman is leaving Twitter over apparent censorship and bias by CEO Jack Dorsey. Prominent conservative actor James Woods also famously quit Twitter over its attempts to suppress Trump supporters, prominent “alt-right” personalities, conservative opinions and anti-Hillary hashtags.
Seaman urges people to search terms like “Podesta pizza” on WikiLeaks (“cheese pizza” is apparently a commonly known code word for “child pornography”) – sick stuff that makes Anthony Weiner’s disgraceful issues seem almost innocent in comparison.
Remember when everyone was shocked by the cover-up of homosexual Catholic priests having sex with little boys? Early on, many of us did not know what to believe.
Now we have a liberal media quick to cover up for powerful people we all know are corrupt, and who may be affiliated with the sickest cruelties against the most innocent human beings.
We'll say it slowly so Mr. Peterson can understand. There is no "cover up" because there is no story. It was based on a fictional post on Reddit that snowballed into making false claims not only about Podesta but the completely innocent owner of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant.
It is irresponsible for Peterson to spread such false and malicious rumors. Peterson ranted that "If our country is to survive, if we want to restore freedom, We the People must return to eternal vigilance within," but it's obvious he exercised no vigilance, let alone due diligence, in choosing to publish claims he should know to be false. He urged his readers to "fight for good in your own lives" while his hate and lies are apparently exempt.
We're guessing he (and WND) may be hearing from Podesta's lawyer in the near future. Podesta shouldn't have to put up with Peterson's evil, after all, and he has an actionable claim to pursue.
NEW ARTICLE: Faking It At the MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center does everything it can to avoid discussing the problem of "fake news" -- and certainly not how Brent Bozell's attack on purported bias at Facebook helped create it. Read more >>
The Clinton Equivocation Continues At the MRC Topic: Media Research Center
Just because Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election doesn't mean the Media Research Center will give up invoking the Clinton Equivocation -- which, in this election year, has meant the MRC excusing any and every Donald Trump transgression by claiming a Clinton did it first and worse.
In a Nov. 18 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman complained that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow "is raising the issue of Trump possibly hiring his son-in-law Jared Kushner, husband of daughter Ivanka, for a high-profile role in the White House as advisor or special counsel" and pointing out the federal anti-nepotism laws that forbid it. Coleman huffed in response:
One need venture all the way back to the just-completed campaign to see a prominent beneficiary of it -- Trump's Democrat opponent in the general election, Hillary Clinton.
For those too young to have lived through it or old enough but selectively forgetful, Hillary Clinton was appointed by her husband to one of the most high-profile positions in government in 1993, the first year of his administration -- head of the task force that sought to overhaul health care in the U.S.
Her efforts ultimately failed and an enormous backlash took the form of the GOP's historic gains in the 1994 midterms when they won control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
Coleman eventually conceded that a federal appeals court found that the anti-nepotism law did not appear to cover appointments to the White House staff. Oops!
Nevertheless, he asserted that "perhaps the Clintons simply didn't care about federal law when Hillary was appointed head of the health task force (similar indifference to perjury and obstruction of justice would eventually catch up with them). More importantly, their party affiliation shielded them against undue scrutiny from a compliant media. A generation later, it shields them still."
Then, on Nov. 22, Nicholas Fondacaro noted an ABC report on the growing conflicts of interest the Trump presidency has with Trump's business operations, whining that "such concern over conflicts of interest were scant when they covered Hillary Clinton pre-election."
Fondacaro complained that "ABC completely ignored the WikiLeaks e-mail exposing how the king of Morocco donated $12 million to the Clinton Foundation. In exchange for the money, the king expected a private meeting with the former secretary of state. The donation came just before she planned to announce her doomed run for president."
But Fondacaro is censoring the full story. In fact, as Vox explains, Hillary Clintron never personally benefited from that money, and she was not in a position of authority at the time of the donation, and there's no evidence no foreign government received any preferential treatment from the State Department as a direct result of a Clinton Foundation donation.
Fondacaro harrumphed: "It’s amazing how much a network cares about conflicts of interest when the candidate they didn’t want becomes the president-elect." It's even more amazing how much a partisan organization cares about such alleged conflicts of interest -- to the point of distorting the record and hiding inconvenient facts -- when they involve the candidate it didn't support for president.
And once again, the MRC refuses to hold a Trump to the same standards it holds a Clinton.
WND's Unruh Writes Another Unbalanced Story Promoting Right-Wing Legal Action Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh does have a thing for reporting the right-wing side -- and only the right-wing side -- of a legal action. He displays it again in a Nov. 14 article in which he's the willing stenographer for right-wing legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending a woman being sued for refusing to make floral decorations for a gay wedding.
Unruh made it clear which side he's on. He declared that the woman, Barronelle Stutzman, "was penalized by the state for declining to promote a homosexual wedding through her floral artistry." He went on to rant that "The Obama administration has been forcing religious believers to violate their beliefs to accommodate 'nondiscrimination' laws that give special privileges to homosexuals and transgendered persons," but he does not explain how prohibiting discrimination against someone is granting them "special privileges."
Unruh uncritically quotes the ADF asserting that longstanding public accomodation laws created in the civil rights ear "endangers everyone" because there is no free-speech exception.
Unruh can't be bothered to tell the other side of the story in an objective and truthful manner; indeed, he makes no effort to contact anyone who doesn't agree with his right-wing view for a response to the ADF. Thus, we must call on a real news operation -- in this case, the Christian Science Monitor -- to provide the context Unruh and WND won't.
The Monitor explains that a Washington state court pointed out in rulling against Stutzman that "the state judge drew a distinction between a citizen’s freedom to believe, which he said was absolute, and a citizen’s freedom to act in public on those beliefs, which he said can be regulated by the government. In effect, the judge said that belief is personal, but if individuals seek to express those beliefs in action, the antidiscrimination law would trump any claim for a religious exemption."
The Monitor also did what Unruh couldn't be bothered to do, talk to a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a lawsuit against Stutzman:
[ACLU of Washington legal director Emily] Chiang says religion has nothing to do with the lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers and Stutzman.
“The ACLU is not an organization that is hostile to religion or to faith,” she says. “You have your freedom of conscience – that is your personal, private relationship with your faith – but when you decide to open a place of business, other rules apply.”
“Those rules require that you serve everyone who comes through your door, assuming they have the money to pay for it,” she adds.
Chiang says it is irrelevant that Stutzman sold flowers for nine years to Ingersoll knowing he was a gay man. It is also not relevant that the Southern Baptist Church prohibits her personal involvement in a same-sex wedding, she says.
The only relevant conduct, Chiang says, is that Stutzman refused to provide floral services to Ingersoll because he was marrying a man instead of a woman. That, she says, is a form of invidious discrimination.
Having only partial public accommodations would put the law on a slippery slope that could empower a grocery store clerk to refuse to sell milk to someone because of religious objections, Chiang says. “It sounds crazy but I think that’s where the logic takes you.”
Unruh and WND simply ha ve no interest in reporting fairly on issues that, when told in a biased way, advance their right-wing Christian agenda.
WND Still Letting Discredited Author Push Her Kinsey-Bashing Lies Topic: WorldNetDaily
You can't libel the dead, which means Judith Reisman still has a cottage industry dedicated to libeling sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.
A Nov. 21 WorldNetDaily article byBob Unruh touts the "LATEST ON SCIENTIST WHO MAINSTREAMED PEDOPHILIA," which is apparently limited to one of Reisman's anti-Kinsey books being reprinted in French. Otherwise, Reisman and Unruh are still serving up the same old Kinsey slanders. Like this:
Her conclusion is that Kinsey almost assuredly violated children sexually and based his writings on the testimony of criminals who sexually assaulted children.
How else, she wonders, would anyone come up with the data in his infamous Table 34?
There, Kinsey claimed that an 11-month-old child experienced 10 orgasms in one hour, another 11-month-old had 14 in 38 minutes, a 2-year-old child had 11 in 65 minutes, a 4-year-old had 26 in 24 hours. A 10-year-old had 14 in the same time, and a 12-year-old had three in three minutes. Because someone wasn’t sure of those results, the experiment was repeated on the 12-year-old, who then reportedly experienced nine in two hours.
Reisman herself explained: “Kinsey solicited and encouraged pedophiles, at home and abroad, to sexually violate from 317 to 2,035 infants and children for his alleged data on normal ‘child sexuality.’ Many of the crimes against children (oral and anal sodomy, genital intercourse and manual abuse) committed for Kinsey’s research are quantified in his own graphs and charts.”
As we pointed out a decade ago, Reisman's assertions about Table 34 have been discredited, and there is no evidence -- other than in Reisman's fevered imagination -- that Kinsey was a pedophile. The Kinsey Institute further explains that Kinsey did not carry out any experiments on children, nor did he encourage anyone else to.
Needless to say, Unruh did not report on any of this Reisman-discrediting information. He's not getting paid to report the truth, after all.
CNS Columnist Cheers Dissing of SCOTUS Nominee As Revenge For Obama Not Attending Scalia's Funeral Topic: CNSNews.com
In his Nov. 17 CNSNews.com column, Lynn Wardle claims that Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland will not receive a Senate hearing not because of Republican senators making a political power play -- as has been widely admitted -- but because of "the rude, disrespectful behavior of the very person who nominated him for the Supreme Court – President Barack Obama." How so, you ask? Wardle explains:
President Obama disrespected Justice Antonin Scalia and was very rude (discreetly, of course) regarding his sudden death earlier this year. President Obama ignored (i.e., chose not to attend) the funeral for Justice Scalia. He failed to demonstrate the minimal courtesy of just showing up to pay respects to a man who had given decades of his life in service to his nation.
Since Scalia was one of nine justices at the top of the judicial branch of the United States, it was incumbent upon the President to attend Justice Scalia’s funeral as a matter of decent respect for of that co-ordinate branch of our federal government and for the members of the Supreme Court. Yet Obama turned his back on Justice Scalia and simply skipped his funeral.
The funeral for Justice Scalia was held in Washington, D.C., within a stone’s throw of the White House, so travel distance was not a factor in the President’s missing the funeral of Justice Scalia. President Obama simply chose to ignore the funeral of Justice Scalia – a man whose judicial views the President did not like.
However, President Obama claimed the right to nominate someone to replace Justice Scalia and to fill his seat on the Supreme Court. That nominee is Merrick Garland.
Somehow, it seems just and fitting that since President Obama was unwilling to show minimal respect to the passing of Justice Scalia that he be denied the right to have his preferred nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, confirmed to fill that vacancy on the high court. And it appears that that is exactly how this strange scenario is playing out.
The Republicans in the Senate did not steal the Court. Rather, President Obama forfeited his opportunity to reshape the Court. He lost that privilege because of his arrogant disrespect of Justice Scalia and for his remarkable career of public judicial service.
His imperial attitude has cost President Obama good will and has diminished the office of the President of the United States.
In fact, a president declining to attend Scalia's funeral is not unheard of. PolitiFact details that Dwight Eisenhower attended one of two funerals for justices who died while he was in office, while Harry Truman attended one of the three funerals for Supreme Court justices who died during his presidency.
There was no mandate by tradition or anything else that Obama attend Scalia's funeral, and Wardle conveniently fails to mention that Vice President Joe Biden did attend the funeral, let alone explain why that was not sufficient for him.
Revenge, however, is a sufficient motive for Wardle.
Wardle also huffs that "Our outgoing President has long had difficulty dealing respectfully with persons who disagree with him," while failing to comment on how the incoming president has an even bigger superiority complex than Obama has ever been accused of.
The Election's Over, So WND Can Go Birther Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
Now that the election is over, it's apparently safe for WorldNetDaily to be birther again.
A Nov. 24 WND article by Bob Unruh gets back in the ol' bnirther spirit by reporting taht "WND has learned that a news conference has been scheduled for Dec. 15 to make public the final conclusions of the investigation by the Cold Case Posse in Arizona’s Maricopa County under Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was defeated Nov. 8 in his bid for a seventh term."
Actually, the announcement that a press conference was coming had been known for about a week prior to WND's article.
From there, Unruh descended into a rehash of the giant fake-news story that has been WND's birther coverage. He first asserts that "The review was sparked by requests to the sheriff from his constituents, who feared a fraud had been perpetrated on the American people." Actually, it was sleazed into existence when WND's Jerome Corsi used a tea-party group in Maricopa County as cover for Arpaio to create the cold case posse.
Unruh also does what WND has been reluctant to do: identify its good friend Carl Gallups is a birther.
Unruh uncritically repeats the claim that cold case posse leader Mike Zullo's "has indicated the White House computer image of Obama’s birth certificate contains anomalies that are unexplainable unless the document had been fabricated piecemeal by human intervention, rather than being copied from a genuine paper document." in fact, it's been proven that the same "unexplainable" anomalies can be reproduced by using a common office scanner to scan in the certificate.
Unruh also writes that "Zullo has noted that Reed Hayes, a document examiner who has served as expert witness for Seattle law firm Perkins Coie – the firm that flew an attorney to Honolulu to personally deliver two paper copies of the birth certificate to the White House – has concluded in a signed affidavit that the document posted on the White House website is 'entirely fabricated.'" But Zullo has curiously never publicly released Hayes' report, and as we've noted, Hayes is a handwriting expert, and no evidence has been provided that he has any experience examining a computer copy of a document.
Unruh goes on to recite Donald Trump's 2011 pro-birther statements -- which WND assisted him in developing behind the scenes -- but he strangely omits the statement Trump made during the campaign that "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period."
Unruh also adds:
The Constitution requires the president to be a “natural-born citizen” but does not define the term. Scholarly works cited by the Founders defined it as a citizen at birth by virtue of being born in the country to two citizens of the country, or merely the offspring of two citizens of the country. The birth certificate Obama displayed on the White House website declares he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father.
As we knew at the time, that renouncement was cynically motivated, politically driven and, as Unruh's article demonstrates, always intended to be temporary. And, of course, it proves that WND's birther crusade was never about the Constitution and always about Farah's attempt to personally destroy Obama.
WND had to keep quiet about birtherism -- its signature story of the past eight years -- lest it harm Trump's candidacy. Even Corsi absolutely refused to talk about it when Trump admitted Obama was born in the U.S., insisting that "I'm done with the topic until Obama's out of office."
But Trump has been elected, and that means it's safe for WND to be openly birther again -- and keep peddling those discredited birther lies.