Conflict of Interest: Newsmax Doesn't Disclose It Published Horowitz Book It's Promoting Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has been touting the new pro-Trump book by David Horowitz, "Big Agenda":
A Jan. 12 article promotes the book as "the first major book to be released on Trump's presidency (release date January 17), and reveals major components of his "first 100 days" plan and first-term agenda."
A Jan. 18 column by John Gizzi claimed that "Author David Horowitz's new book 'Big Agenda: Trump's Plan to Save America' drew fire from White House Spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday," asserting that the book was "already topping the best-seller lists
A Jan. 19 article highlights how Horowitz's book "released just this week, reveals Trump's 'first 100 days strategy' to roll back Obama's legislative and executive record."
A Jan. 20 article proclaimed Horowitz as "author of the just-released bestseller, 'Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America.'"(If it's just released, how can it already be a "bestseller"?)
That same dubious claim is made in another Jan. 20 article on Horowitz.
A Jan. 27 article regurgitates a Daily Caller review of the book claiming the book explains "how America will change for the better under the leadership of the nation's 45th president."
A Feb. 1 article touts a Newsmax TV special on the book.
Only two of these articles mentioned the book's publisher, Humanix; the Jan. 12 article claimed Humanix "also offered the #1 bestselling book on the 2016 campaign with its 'Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary.'"
None of these articles, however, mention that (as we've documented) Humanix Books is owned by Newsmax.
That's a fairly serious conflict of interest, though one it's done before in promoting "Armageddon," written by disgraced right-wing pundit Dick Morris.
NEW ARTICLE: NewsBusted: The Blumer File, Part 2 Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer is as clueless as ever about how the media works -- which he topped by justifying the racism of Trump supporters. Read more >>
Down the Credibility Spiral: Corsi Moves from WND to Infowars Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi made the announcement on Twitter: He has left WorldNetDaily to join Alex Jones' Inforwars operation, where he hopes to be its White House correspondent, if he can get the credentials. (Apparently, despite what claimed were "12 very good years" at WND, they weren't good enough for Corsi to give Joseph Farah and Co. proper notice of his leaving; he said in a later tweet that "I resigned from WND on Monday & began working w INFOWARS today TUES Jan. 31.")
This new job seems like a perfect fit for Corsi: Having destroyed his crediblity through his biased and inaccurate work for WND, Infowars -- the even less credible and even more conspiracy -obsessed than WND -- is probably only other place that will have him and keep up the charade that he's a real reporter.
WND hired Corsi following the publication of his 2004 hit job on John Kerry, "Unfit for Command" -- before which he was known only for vulgar posts on right-wing message boards -- a book that was unreliable but served its purpose by undermining Kerry's presidential bid.
We've summarized Corsi's WND career here, which includes the following:
He also became a birther and flew to Kenya for some purported investigative reporting, which resulted only with a run-in with authorities there and a handful of documents designed to smear Obama but were obviously fake.
He and Farah fed Donald Trump birther stories behind the scenes. When President Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011, it knocked the legs out from under Corsi's "Where's the Birth Certificate," which came out the following month.
Corsi apparently tried to take revenge on Obama for this by pushing sleazy tales about him and his mother.
Corsi also helped Sheriff Joe Arpaio sleaze into existence the biased and incompetent "Cold Case Posse" to investigate Obama's birth certifidcdate.
Corsi then pushed a claim -- that a ring Obama wears has Arabic writing on it -- that was so ridiculous that even Corsi's fellow birthers felt compelled to discredit it.
Corsi followed his 2012 failure by publishing a book pushing another wild conspiracy theory: that Adolf Hitler didn't commit suicide at the end of World War II but, rather, fled to South America.
By the time the 2016 election rolled around, Corsi was such an irrelevant afterthought that his hit job book on Hillary Clinton tanked.
Corsi also teamed up with fellow sleaze merchant Roger Stone to throw all the mud they could find at Clinton.
Corsi's atrocious journalistic record is one key reason WND was forced to beg for money from readers last year in order to stay afloat -- such is the level of Corsi's (and WND's) credibility.
And now, Corsi has found a new job at an outlet with even less credibility than WND. Well played, Jerry.
CNS' March for Live Coverage Was As Positive As Its Women's March Coverage Was Negative Topic: CNSNews.com
As we expected, CNSNews.com did not follow the mandate of its boss, Brent Bozell and give the March for Life the same amount and type of coverage it gave the Women's March. Contrary to CNS' sparse and overwhelming negative coverage of the Women's March, CNS' treatment of the March for Life was voluminous and unfailiingly positive, with a lot of pro-Trump bias worked in as well as the political opinion of an entertainer (well, a football player) that CNS says we're not supposed to listen to:
Such one-sided coverage violates (again) CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
Of course, CNS has always been exempt from the media mandates of its boss -- and, as a result, is far more biased than any of the media outlets Bozell and Co. denounce for their purported "liberal bias."
It's Opposite Day In Joseph Farah's Column Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah rants in his Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily column:
Well, now many of these red diaper babies are all grown up, and they’re squealing in horror and outrage because maybe Hillary Clinton’s campaign might have been, possibly, hacked by Russians during the run-up to the 2016 election. They exaggerate the unproven breach by making it sound like Moscow hacked voting booths all over the U.S. to turn Hillary votes into Trump votes.
It’s maniacal conspiracy theorizing with no evidence to back it up.
Meanwhile, ask any one of these Russia-bashers if voter fraud had any impact on the 2016 election and they will all say, “Absolutely not! Never happened. It’s a myth. There’s no evidence of voter fraud in the U.S.”
Why? Because voter fraud is actually part of their campaign strategy. They encourage it. They incubate it. They subsidize it. They recruit it. In fact, from their perspective, it’s not even fraud. It’s the right of every non-citizen to vote in America. After all, we’re all citizens of the world. And if those votes overwhelmingly support their candidates and causes, then it must be something God smiles upon.
While there is absolutely no credible, independent evidence to suggest Russia had any impact on the 2016 election, there is overwhelming, conclusive, proof-positive evidence of widespread voting by people who are ineligible to vote. And, thank God, President Trump is ordering an investigation of it.
And, at the end of the day, what’s this Russia-phobia and voter-fraud blindness all about?
It’s about the fact that the so-called progressives cannot accept the outcome of the presidential election. They can’t understand what happened.
You know what's funny? If you replace Farah's references to Russia with references to Barack Obama's birth certificate, he'd be talking about himself for the last eight years -- after all, that remains "maniacal conspiracy theorizing" with "absolutely no credible, independent evidence" to support it.
Farah's huffing that "so-called progressives cannot accept the outcome of the presidential election" is particularly precious because, again, he's talking about himself. He never accepted the outcome of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections; remember, he wrote in a 2014 column: "Obama has never been my president. I have steadfastly refused to acknowledge him as such. He is undeserving of the honorific. To this day, I am unconvinced he is even eligible for office."
In rejecting conspiracy theories and the idea of pretending the president isn't really the president, Farah is not only rejecting the tactics he spent the past eight years promoting, he's ascribing them to his political enemies. That shows what an utterly craven hypocrite Farah is.
Finally, Farah doesn't cite any of that "overwhelming, conclusive, proof-positive evidence of widespread voting by people who are ineligible to vote" he claims exists. Perhaps because WND can'tcite any.
No, MRC, WaPo Didn't Concede That Liberal Media Bias Has 'Documentary Backing' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock declared in a Jan. 27 post that "In an online column about the mainstream media, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple on Friday conceded that claims of liberal media bias have 'documentary backing.'"
No, he didn't.
In his Jan. 27 column, Wemple was actually talking about liberal identification among journalists, not bias:
The characterization of mainstream media newsrooms as left-leaning hives indeed has documentary backing. Some of the research is narrow and entertaining: In 1990, for example, Washington City Paper — then under the leadership of current Politico media critic Jack Shafer — found that Tony Kornheiser, then a sports columnist for The Washington Post, was the only registered Republican among a sampling of 49 top editors, reporters and columnists at the newspaper. And Kornheiser was a RINO. “I don’t think the Republican Party would claim me,” Kornheiser told reporter Christy Wise, adding that he and his wife had registered with different parties so that they could receive mailings from both sides. Upon further reflection, he deemed his party affiliation a “mistake.”
The Pew Research Center in 2004 undertook a nationwide survey of 547 local and national reporters, editors and executives. The result? Thirty-four percent of national press identified as liberal, as opposed to 7 percent conservative (“moderate” was the largest category). Liberal identification among national press types had shot up from 22 percent in 1995.
Liberal identification by journalists does not necessarily equal liberal media bias, no matter how much the MRC is paid to claim otherwise. Liberal journalists working for a mainstream publication are arguably more likely than a conservative journalist working for a conservative media outlet to be fair and balanced (see: the MRC's Trump-fluffing "news" division CNSNews.com), and you will never see the conservatives who demand that mainstream outlets skew right allow liberals to write at conservative outlets (CNS has no liberal columnists).
Wemple quotes the MRC's Tim Graham claiming that young conservative journalists want to work at mainstream outlets but aren't getting interviewed: "They’re there for the interviewing and not just the 20-somethings." But Graham provides no evidence that "mainstream" outlets are refusing to interview conservatives based on identification alone; it's more likely that conservative journalists have shown no interest in being fair and balanced.
That's uniroinically followed by Graham throwing shade at conservative writers who actually did get jobs at the Post:
He cites the trajectory of journalists such as Bob Costa and Jonathan Martin, both of whom once worked for the conservative National Review and are now at The Washington Post and New York Times, respectively. But does that mean they’re both conservatives?
Not necessarily, responds Graham. “Let me be blunt, though,” he continues. “Any reporter who is willing to blog for the National Review without vomiting is at least somebody in whom conservatives vest hope. We are so hungry for a foothold.”
Pat Boone Tells One More Anti-Obama Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pat Boone threw away what little credibility he had from his half-century-old stint as a pop star by becoming a rabid Obama-hater and birther. He got in one more shot on Obama's way out of the presidency.
Boone's Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily column was ostensibly devoted to responding to Rep. John Lewis' claim that he didn't see Donald Trump "as a legitimate president." Boone misquoted Lewis, claiming he said Trump was "an illegitimate president"; while the overall meaning is the same, it's not accurate, and it shows Boone cares nothing about accuracy in his political screeds.
Speaking of which, Boone then descends into full anti-Obama froth:
And, on the subject of “hacking into” or influencing elections: What does John Lewis think about the president, our current president, spending over $300,000 of our taxpayer dollars to send his own social media experts to Israel to make their political expertise on the Internet available to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opponent in the Israeli election! At his behest, these experts hired buses to transport Arabs to the polls to vote against Netanyahu – though the prime minister won anyway. What gives an American president the right to intervene so directly and overtly in another sovereign nation’s election? Is it wrong for Russia but acceptable for our president to do it?
Is such meddling a right – or a high crime? And is it legitimate?
Further, is it legitimate for a president to personally create 33 new regulatory agencies by executive order – without so much as a nod to Congress? And to personally appoint 33 “czars” to head those agencies, reporting only to him and not the legislature? Is it “legitimate” for a president and his then attorney general, who had both sworn to uphold our laws, to openly and publicly state they would not enforce immigration laws they personally objected to?
What makes for “legitimacy,” Mr. Lewis? Words and expressed intentions before assuming the presidency, or actual deeds and misdeeds and betraying the promise to “uphold the Constitution” during eight years as president?
I earnestly hope you’ll pray and think carefully before you continue to foment rebellion and rejection of the duly elected incoming leader of the United States – and ask yourself honestly which of the two men, the current president or the incoming one, should be thought of as “illegitimate”?
As we've documented, the State Department under Obama gave $350,000 in grants to a group to encourage peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. After that grant ended, the group used the infrastructure set up for that campaign to run an anti-Netanyahu drive during the 2015 Israeli presidential election. A Senate investigation found that no grant money was used for the election, and theh group was not prohibited by the grant from later using that infrastructure for the anti-Netanyahu campaign.
And while former Obama campaign workers who later formed a political consulting firm worked with the anti-Netanyahu campaign, there's no evidence that Obama "sent" them there, as Boone claims.
Also, Boone provides no evidence Obama was "betraying the promise" to uphold the Constitution.
Perhaps the most shocking thing about Boone's column, though: He doesn't go birther, despite the golden opportunity to do so amid his challenging Obama's legitimacy.
How Biased Has CNS' Syrian Refugee Reporting Been? We Count The Ways Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough has long distorted the story of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S., obsessing over the number of Muslims admitted compared with the number of Christians while burying or ignoring entirely the relevant fact that -- as he occasionally admits -- the number he reports, which comes from the State Department and is based on data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-based number, isn't accurate because Christian refugees tend to go through churches or Christian charities instead of the U.N. He has even falsely suggested that the U.S. His biased reporting has led CNS to maliciously suggest the Obama administration was blocking Christian refugees from entering the country. Goodenough even has trouble clearly stating that many Muslim refugees (particulary Sunni) are fleeing persecution in Syria just like Christians are.
Now that President Trump has order a ban on all immigration from Syria and other Muslim-dominated countries, it's worth a review of just how biased Goodenough's reporting on the issue has been in the past several months with his refugee counts. We'll divide it up into categories based on what key info was reported or omitted and include the biased headline on each article.
No mention of inaccurate numbers, no mention of Muslim persecution:
Obviously, every single article Goodenough wrote on the subject should have been in the final category, in which both the inaccurate numbers and Muslim persecution are mentioned, yet only two of the 24 articles are.
What every single article does do, however -- as the headlines clearly demonstrate -- is promote the unsubstantiated idea that the Obama administration was deliberately blocking Christian Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. Surely even Goodenough knows that's not true.
Goodenough is capable of doing good reporting, he has not done so here. To the contrary: He has served as a dupe to CNS' anti-Obama agenda.
WND Again Forgets Its Editor Didn't Accept Obama As President Topic: WorldNetDaily
The juxtaposition was too perfect not to screen-shot.
A Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column by dubious historian David Barton cited "4 reasons 'Trump is not my president' claim is foolish." He claimed that those making it were deficient in education on "American history, government, Constitution and truth," and that such a claim "establishes personal opinion as the ultimate measure of right and wrong – that truth is whatever I believe or declare it to be. ... There is no alternate reality. None."
Barton didn't mention the people who spent eight years claiming that Barack Obama was not their president -- one of whom published Barton's column.
WND editor Joseph Farah made his feelings on the subject very clear in a June 2014 column: "Obama has never been my president. I have steadfastly refused to acknowledge him as such. He is undeserving of the honorific. To this day, I am unconvinced he is even eligible for office."
In other words, one could say that Farah was the original #NotMyPresident guy, predating all of the Trump naysayers.
This is not the first time WND has hypocritically complained about people not accepting their elected president.
MRC's Bozell Can't Deal With Media Mentions of Catholic Scandals Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell has a long history of downplaying and deflecting from the history of sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. He does it again in his Jan. 20 column with Tim Graham, in which he complains about what he considers insufficient coverage of a female teacher who had an affair with a 13-year-old student:
One could guess that reverse sexism plays a role: An adult woman abusing a boy seems more acceptable than a grown man molesting a young girl. One could also guess that adding an abortion to the sinister plot made it less interesting to liberal journalists.
These are the same networks that will not stop covering and lecturing about the child sexual abuse — real and alleged and untrue — by Catholic priests, even after the church created new systems to vet not only priests but also even church volunteers who deal with children in parish life.
How about newspapers? The New York Times never loses interest in advocating against the Catholic Church on this issue. But on Alexandria Vera in Houston? Nothing. The Washington Psot, whose editor Marty Baron was painted as a crusading captain of the church-busting team at the Boston Globe in the Oscar-winning movie "Spotlight"? It never made the actual paper but drew two blog posts over the last six months that barely surpassed 1,000 words between them.
Child sexual abuse in secular schools doesn't seem to inspire liberal journalists, which underlines that on this absorbing subject, as on many others, what's "news" depends on perspective, and in the American media, it is both liberal and libertine.
Bozell and Graham ignore the key difference in these cases. The above case he cites -- as well as the Mary Kay Letourneau case -- are isolated, independent cases and are not representative of a larger pattern.
By contrast, the Catholic abuse cases were marked by systematic cover-ups in which diocesean officials tended to move offenders from one parish to another, covered up the abuse and didn't admit the abuse to parishoners until decades after the fact.
In November 2015, Graham railed against the film "Spotlight," which is based on how systematic cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Boston was uncovered by reporters, whining abaout "contrary facts" the film omitted.
By contrast to Bozell and Graham's sensitivity about the mere mention of Catholic sex abuse scandals, the MRC has a weird fixation on Chappaquiddick even though that was more than half a century ago.
CNS -- Which Cares Deeply What (Right-Wing) Entertainers Think -- Now Says We Shouldn't Topic: CNSNews.com
Back in December, CNSNews.com's Mark Judge published a blog post touting how conservative-leaning celebrity Joe Piscopo said that "no one cares what entertainers think" because "This is the time of the people."
But as we've noted before, CNS is utterly hypocritical about this. CNS cares intensely about what entertainers think -- at least as long as they're thinking conservative things Plus, there's irony of CNS having cared enough about whan an entertainer thought to quote him telling us not to care what entertainers think.
Here are some of the entertainers' thoughts CNS cared enough about to devote articles to in the month or so since that Piscopo post (some of which, ironically, were written by Judge):
That's a lot of caring about the thoughts of people who -- according to the website that published them -- we're not supposed to care about. (And, yes, CNS called on a former pro football player to opine on Obamacare.)
And that's not even counting the fact that CNS publishes a regular column of political thoughts by entertainer Charlie Daniels.
MRC Writer Hates 'Pure Genius' For Not Hating LGBT People, Like He Does Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center contributing writer Justin Ashford really, really hates that there are LGBT characters on the CBS show "Pure Genius."
Oh, he liked the show at first -- when it conformed to the MRC's right-wing dogma. The premiere episode centered on a woman with cancer who refused treatment because she was pregnant. Ashford gushed over the "self-sacrificing love [the character] showed for her unborn daughter" and how that "shows just how powerful pro-lifers really are."
But Ashford soon changed his tune. In December, he complained that the show "followed the liberal Hollywood PC script by adding a transgender character" to one episode. He ranted: "The most alarming thing about this is [the transgender character] claimed to identify as a woman at age six – clearly trying to push the envelope of gender identification at such a young age. A six-year old is still learning to read and write. How the heck does one know their “identity” then? And yet this is what liberals are pushing on kids."
Ashford ranted further, "The Human Rights Campaign reports that only 18 states consider transgender a protected class in the workplace, but it’s their goal to run roughshod over religious freedom and commonsense to make it all 50. " He doesn't explain how protecting the rights of transgenders interferes with "religious freedom." He concludes: "Such a shame as this show started with an actual conservative approach. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Hollywood has their own agenda, and they want to ensure we all comply. No thanks."
On Jan. 2, Ashford whined that the latest episode included "a gay ex-prostitute, a lesbian outing and a transgender actor/actress portraying a Christian!" He huffed: "What’s next for Pure Genius? Possibly cancellation. We can only hope the liberal Hollywood LGBT agenda dies with it."
Well, no surprise, CBS’s Pure Genius again reminds us that pushing the LGBT agenda is vital to their concept of entertainment. This time, we see two gay dads with a son.
If this were on TV ten or even five years ago, it would be anything but normal. But hey, these are the times we’re living in. Thanks to Hollywood, the only abnormal folks are those deplorables who still support the traditional family.
That's Ashford and the MRC for you: Anyone who doesn't agree with them, or look like them, is "abnormal" and must be held to scorn and ridicule.
WND Author Says Trump's Not Hitler -- But She Loved Likening Obama to Hitler Topic: WorldNetDaily
Paul Bremmer writes in a Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily article:
From the left come the cries – Donald Trump is the new Hitler! His “America first” slogan has Nazi undertones! He hates Hispanics, Muslims and gays as much as Hitler hated Jews!
But Anita Dittman lived through the Holocaust as a Jewish girl in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, and on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, she has a message for those who think Trump is the American Hitler.
“When they say he is another Hitler, they are crazy,” Dittman told WND in a phone interview. “If he was another Hitler, he’d be shooting people that riot, and they wouldn’t have the freedom to riot. If anybody was against things in Nazi times, they would ship them off to the ovens, as we called the camps. There was no freedom.”
What Bremmer fails to tell his readers: None of those things applied to President Obama either, yet Dittman was not shy about likening Obama to Hitler.
As we documented, WND publicized Dittman's book "Trapped in Hitler's Hell," which it published in 2014, by touting how she thought Obama reminded her of Hitler, claiming that "Liberals’ blind idolization of Obama mirrored Germany’s hypnotic fascination with Hitler" as did "Obama’s empty rhetoric that energized his followers."
Now that's a better description of Trump and his followers than Obama -- witness WND managing editor David Kupelian's blind loyalty to him -- yet she curiously doesn't see the resemblence. Perhaps Dittman is motivated by something else her Hitler-comparison flip-flop.
But since Bremmer is in marketing and not in news, he can't be counted on to tell us.
MRC Takes Madonna Out of Context to Smear Women's March Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has always been hypocritical in demanding that the media follow standards that it refuses to enforce on its own operations. One prime example of that is the use of context: The MRC loves to criticizing others for omitting it but it regularly fails to provide conext when not doing so suits its right-wing agenda.
One key part of the MRC's agenda these days is denigrating last weekend's Women's March on Washington for daring to be critical of President Trump. One way ity's doing that is taking one particular remark Madonna made at the march out of context. You know the one.
Nicholas Fondacaro set the stage in a Jan. 22 post:
If Ashley Judd’s R-rated rant comparing President Donald Trump’s team to the Nazis wasn’t insane enough, loony Madonna admitted to wanting to kill the newly inaugurated president of United States. “Yes, I am angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” she proclaimed to the hundreds of thousands of march attendees in Washington, DC on Saturday. But yet, she started her address declaring, “Welcome to the revolution of love!”
Tellingly, Fondacaro waited until the seventh paragraph to include the full context of that "blowing up the White House" 'comment:
Yes, I am angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W. H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II, “we must love one another or die.”
But Fondacaro immediately followed that by taking Madonna out of context again: "Trump’s inauguration has really taken the radical leftist off their hinges and exposed their violent nature. Between descriptions of Trump as the secessionist South from ABC’s Matthew Dowd, to comparisons to Nazis’ and gas chambers, and now the blowing-up of the White House they have really escalated things very quickly in just two days."
Unsurprisingly, that would be the last time thte MRC would put Madonna's words in their proper, accurate context:
Another post by Fondacaro ripped her out of context again, complaining that the media didn't report "Madonna’s fantasy of 'blowing up the White House.'"
Fondacaro then did it one more time, again concocting "Madonna’s fantasy about 'blowing up the White House.'"
A Jan. 25 MRC post by Geoffrey Dickens on "the worst attacks on President Trump" falsely claimed that "Madonna threatened: 'I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.'"
Rich Noyes took it even farther by claiming about "Madonna seeming to suggest assassination: 'I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.'"
Thomas A. Glessner huffed that "Aging pop singer Madonna showed up as a speaker and stated that she had considered blowing up the White House."
It's much easier for the MRC to lie to its readers and portray Madonna as a mad bomber and wannabe presidential assassin than to tell the truth.
AIM Defends The Truth of 'Alternative Facts' Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media has totally bought into the reality-warping powers of Donald Trump and his administration. So much so, in fact, that AIM's Roger Aronoff devotes a Jan. 25 column to defending the honor of Kellyanne Conway's "alternative facts":
When White House counsel Kellyanne Conway said on NBC News that the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, had presented the press with “alternative facts” about the size of Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd, the press immediately concluded that alternative facts were, in fact, lies. They’ve had a field day with it ever since.
Yet Spicer argued at a January 23 press conference that if the press publishes a correction, it is not necessarily seen as lying. So, too, the press shouldn’t assume the White House is lying if they are proven wrong. However, Spicer maintained that the inauguration viewership—including online viewers and television viewers—was the largest ever.
But alternative facts aren’t necessarily lies, or even false. Sometimes they are misleading, but other times they provide context which illuminates the original lie—often the ones perpetuated by the mainstream media.
“We believe there is an objective truth, and we will hold you to that,” states a letter to President Trump from the press corps authored by Kyle Pope of the Columbia Journalism Review. “When you or your surrogates say or tweet something that is demonstrably wrong, we will say so, repeatedly,” states the letter. “Facts are what we do, and we have no obligation to repeat false assertions…”
We have repeatedly reported about how the media have continued to distribute fake and false news in the service of President Obama, most notably the continued claim that the Iran deal is signed. It is not, and the lack of anything that would make this agreement enforceable explains continued Iranian aggression.
Aronoff then tries to spin the whole inauguration-attendance thing:
As for the inauguration turnout, it is clear that the press is playing a duplicitous game. This New York Times article contains a video that shows vast open white spaces at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. However, our screen captures of CNN’s gigapixel panorama of the event shows those areas filled. I am no expert in this area, but it appears that there were a lot more people at Trump’s inauguration who weren’t in the Times’ photo, so this is guesswork. Brit Hume of Fox News tweeted that the Times’ photo with all of the empty space was “taken early,” and that the “area was considerably fuller by time of speech.”
The problem with Aronoff citing CNN's gigapixel panorama is that it was taken from the front of the crowd and from a low angle that doesn't fully show the crowd -- not from the back and from high up, the angle that enraged Trump. Which means it's Aronoff who's being dupicitous.
Aronoff also tries out a few "alternative facts" of his own:
Accuracy in Media has reported how the media have used unemployment statistics to support the contention that Obama handed off a growing, thriving economy to Trump. The alternative fact here, however, is that millions of Americans are being left behind in our economy. The relevant data is not the rosy unemployment rate so much as our ailing labor participation rate. The only reason the unemployment rate is so low is that millions of people have quit looking for work because so few good jobs were available, and Obamacare’s mandates forced millions of people into part-time jobs. The unemployment number by itself doesn’t mean much, without additional, or alternative, facts that give it context.
But Aronoff conveniently ignores one other contextual "alternate fact" as we've documented when CNSNews.com obsesses over the labor participation rate, many of the people who aren't working are retired people or students who have no interest in finding a job; the rate is further skewed by the retirement of baby boomers. Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute agrees that the labor force participation rate is meaningless as a barometer of unemployment.
Aronoff laughably concludes: "None of this is meant to justify Trump or his appointees saying things that they can’t back up with some credible evidence or sources. Being the president is different than being a candidate or even President-elect. They have to be more careful. But the media’s disposition towards Trump is proving far more adversarial than towards previous administrations." If Aronoff wasn't trying to justify the falsehoods spun by Trump and his crew, he wouldn't have written this column.