AIM's Associated Press Fact-Check Fail Topic: Accuracy in Media
Spencer Irvine wrote in a March 1 Accuracy in Media blog post:
Hindsight is 20/20, but the question looms large: Why did the Associated Press start fact-checking Donald Trump and his cabinet appointees (such as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s recent comment on historical black colleges and universities and school choice) and did not fact check Obama or any of his cabinet secretaries?
We checked the Associated Press’s website and only found Donald Trump and Sarah Palin-related fact checks. When we expanded our search, PolitiFact had a fact check history of Obama’s first Education Secretary Arne Duncan (which is comparable to the AP’s recent fact check of DeVos).
Sounds like the Associated Press is eight years too late, as far as fair and balanced fact checks are concerned.
Another question looms large: How does someone who purports to be a media analyst not know how the Associated Press works?
While the AP is a news organization, it is also a news cooperative that syndicates its content to other news organizations, in part in return for those organizations sharing their content with the AP for redistribution. As such, AP content is as likely, if not more so, to be found at other news operation as the AP itself.
If Irvine had bothered to broaden his horizons, he would have easily found that, yes, the AP has been fact-checking Obama for years -- and he would have found some of that at right-wing websites.
For instance, here's a Daily Caller article touting an AP fact-check of Obama's 2015 State of the Union speech. (The full fact-check can be found at the New York Post.) And here's an AP fact-check of Obama's 2013 State of the Union posted at The Blaze. And here is that 2013 fact-check at Fox News. And the right-wing Washington Times published the AP fact-check of Obama's 2012 and 2014 State of the Union speeches.
WND Pretends Pro-Trump Rallies Are 'Patriotism,' Not Partisan Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is so pro-Trump these days that it's portraying planned pro-Trump rallies as "patriotism" instead of the partisan exercises they are.
An anonymous WND writer first touted the rallies in a Feb. 12 article:
While anti-Trump protests have dominated media coverage of the president’s early weeks in office, his supporters are pushing back with a series of Spirit of America Rallies.
Scheduled for Feb. 27 and March 4, the rallies “are inclusive, non-partisan, and open to anyone supporting President Trump in his efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs to America, put the security of our nation ahead of political correctness, improve our infrastructure, revitalize the inner cities and secure our nation’s borders,” according to rally organizer Debbie Dooley, a national co-founder of the tea-party movement.
But even WND effectively conceded that the " non-partisan" stuff was bogus:
The pro-Trump rallies, Dooley said, are meant to be a peaceful show of force from the “silent majority” that propelled the real-estate billionaire to the White House.
Ralph King, an elector for President Trump from Ohio and the co-founder of Main Street Patriots, said the Spirit of America Rallies “are a continuation of the collective voice of Americans that embrace President Trump’s policies to put the American workers and citizens first once again.”
If the rallies are dedicated solely to supporting Trump, they are not non-partisan, no matter what Dooley claims they are.
WND's Bob Unruh promoted the rallies again in a Feb. 19 article, uncritically repeating Dooley's fiction that they are "non-partisan." But the way Unruh began his article makes the partisan motivation all too clear:
Those citizens “rallies,” actually they’re better described as protests or riots, that have been appearing recently on American streets have demanded constitutional rights for those in America illegally. They demanded that President Donald Trump allow in immigrants from terror-producing countries. They’ve demanded that abortion be paid for by taxpayers.
If they feature an American flag, it’s not exactly treated respectfully.
But are those really the “Spirit of America?”
Many people say no, and that’s why the real “Spirit of America Rallies” are being planned nationwide on Feb. 27 and March 4. With flags a welcome sight and featuring the National Anthem.
They are being organized by, about and for “the same cross section of Americans that propelled President Trump to victory and will reinforce and support the current policies being put in place that will help Make America Great Again!”
In short: Pro-Trump people hold "rallies," while Trump critics start "riots." Nothing partisan there!
A Feb. 22 article again repeats Dooley's "non-partisan" fiction, while making it clear the intent is otherwise:
Since President Donald Trump’s campaign and election, America has repeatedly witnessed vitriolic protests and riots.
In June 2016, leftist agitators in San Jose, California, threw eggs and water balloons at Trump supporters, stealing and burning their “Make America Great Again” hats.
And after Trump’s election victory in November, rioters in Portland, Oregon, smashed windows and pelted police officers with objects.
By Inauguration Day, anti-Trump protesters in Washington, D.C., had lit a limousine ablaze and struck cops with rocks and bottles.
But now there’s a new, peace-loving, Trump-backing crowd in town – make that in nearly 60 towns across America.
It’s a patriotic crowd that describes itself as “the heart and soul of America.”
And this crowd is pushing back with a series of Spirit of America rallies scheduled for Feb. 27 and March 4.
A Feb. 27 article, however, finally dropped the "non-partisan" fiction and admitted it's nothing but a partisan show for Trump:
Americans across the country are rallying in nearly 60 U.S. cities this week in support of President Trump and his efforts to “Make America Great Again.”
Some cities held rallies Monday, the eighth anniversary of the first protest of the tea-party movement in 2009. A larger round of at least 53 rallies is scheduled for Saturday, March 4. (A list of rallies, locations and times is included at the end of this report.)
According to Main Street Patriots, the rallies are intended to “reinforce and support the current policies being put in place that will help Make America Great Again!”
On Saturday, President Trump called for Americans to show their support by holding rallies. He tweeted: “Maybe the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN should have their own rally. It would be the biggest of them all!”
But that served a purpose: to bury the pathetic turnout of last weekend's rallies. The article had to admit thta a mere 250 people showed up in Atlanta, only 100 in suburban New Orleans and pictures of other sparsely attended rallies. It also included a list of rallies planned for this weekend, complete with links to contacts and Facebook pages.
Looks like someone wants these rallies to mean something. And now we know why, as a March 1 WND article reveals:
WND CEO Joseph Farah will be the keynote speaker for the Washington, D.C., version of the Spirit of America rallies this Saturday, March 4.
The event will begin at 12 p.m. at Lafayette Square, 1608 H St NW in Washington, D.C., and it offers a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the most committed activists behind the movement helping elect President Trump, as well as a chance to hear speeches from key leaders who helped plant the intellectual seeds to “Make America Great Again.”
“I’m so honored to be able to share my excitement with like-minded people about the new leadership we have in Washington,” Farah said.
“We’re living in an era of great political opportunity. It’s like anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. We need to be out in the streets and showing others that we believe in these goals – like draining the swamp and making America great again – and that we are going to fight for them every bit as hard as the opposition.”
Despite Farah being one of the most partisan people on the planet , the article regresses to once again repeating Dooley's "non-partisan" fiction.
Also speaking at the event is WND author and Muslim-hater Philip Haney, who gives away the game about the rally's partisan intent -- and WND's far-right bias -- in describing his enthusiasm at hearing Farah speak: "Knowing how hard he has worked at WND.com to help create a climate where a Donald Trump could have a ready-made base to tap into and culminate with his victory this past November must fill Joseph with pride, and I can’t wait to hear him speak this Saturday."
And it wouldn't be a true WND event without someone begging for money, so the article provides a link to a crowdfunding site to raise money to put on the rally.
So, yes, it's totally partisan and political. If WND were an honest "news" organization, it would have stated that clearly from the beginning and not dishonestly framed partisan support for Trump as "patriotism."
CNS Leads Fawning Pro-Trump Post-Speech Armada Topic: CNSNews.com
You know the drill: President Trump does something, CNSNews.com publishesmultiplearticles from its staff stenographers dutifully repeating what he said and portraying it in the most positive possible light.
And so it is with Trump's first speech before Congress on Feb. 28. After the speech, the CNS stenographers were busy uncritically and dutifully transcribing their dear leader's words:
In the latter one, Jones added more of her snide parenthetical asides -- something she would never do in her Trump stenography. After quoting Sen. Chuck Schumer pointing that putting billionaires in the government isn't exactly draining the swamp as Trump promised, Jones sneered: "Highly successful businessmen and women are not considered to be hard-working Americans in the Democrats’ playbook. Democrat references to 'working people' generally encompass lower-income, less educated and sometimes struggling Americans who may need government assistance to make ends meet."
The only critical thing CNS published about Trump's speech was a column by right-wing Catholic activist Bill Donohue complaining that Trump wasn't right-wing enough by not referencing "moral issues." How can Donohue be shocked that a thrice-married adulterer who lies pretty much all the time has little interest in discussing moral issues?
WND Still Peddling Fake News About Arch of Palmyra Reconstruction Topic: WorldNetDaily
One of the odder bits of "fake news" WorldNetDaily has peddled over the past year has been the story of reconstructions of the ancient Arch of Palmyra in various locations. WND has repeatedlyframed the reconstructions as a "harbinger" -- to use fave WND holy guy Jonathan Cahn's favorite word -- of evil returning to the world, since the arch originally led to a temple to the pagan god Ba'al. WND has always censored the full history of the arch -- omitting that the temple also served as a Christian church at one point -- and real reason for the reconstruction: a retort to ISIS, which destroyed the arch and temple during a recent occupation of the Palmyra area.
WND's complete refusal to report the full story and place a distorted focus only on salacious tales of pagan gods and its own version of end-times eschatology makes this fake news.
Well, the reconstruction has popped up again, and WND has returned to its fake-news ways. An anonymous WND writer intoned on Feb. 20:
It was unveiled in London. It was displayed in New York, just steps away from Ground Zero. And now, the harbinger of the pagan god Baal has been used to welcome participants to a summit dedicated to “world government.”
The World Government Summit recently held a meeting in Dubai, bringing together some of the most important leaders in government and business to discuss international problems.
Past attendees of the summits have included former President Barack Obama and former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
But this year, it featured a reconstruction of the Arch of Palmyra, the Roman triumphal arch that once welcomed travelers to the ancient Temple of Baal in the Syrian outpost of the empire.
Baal worship featured rites of child sacrifice and sexual immorality. Some Christians have connected the pagan cult to the practices praised by “liberals” today.
What a cheap political shot -- which seems to be the main goal of this anonymous writer's screed. No actual evidence is provided linking "liberals' to Baal worship.
The anonymous WND writer even catches birther pastor Carl Gallups in full hateful froth:
Pastor Carl Gallups, author of “When the Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies for Our Time,” agreed the arch is a symbol of rebellion against God, and its presence at a meeting dedicated to “world government” is ominous.
“The spirit of Baal, described as sexual perversion, licentiousness, power and wealth, is undoubtedly sweeping the planet,” he warned. “There is a definite spiritual pattern developing before our eyes. There is a connection here that much of the world may be missing. This now world-renowned and traveling symbol of Baal made its debut in London on April 19, 2016, which happened to coincide with Beltane, a major pagan festival for worshiping Baal. From there, the arch was taken to NYC and displayed within short walking distance from Ground Zero. NYC is home to the United Nations and is the second leading economic power-city of the world. The Baal arch exhibit was unveiled in NYC in September 2016. Almost 15 years to the day from the Sept. 11, 2001, Islamic terror attacks on that city – the largest single terror attack in world history. London is also the leading economic capitol of the world.
“And now Baal’s symbol appears in Dubai, the top business gateway between Europe and Africa. Dubai was also ranked by the Brookings Institute in August 2015, as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the world. But, don’t forget, the Dubai appearance was purposely designed to coincide with the opening of the World Government Summit. Nothing spiritual or prophetic there – right?”
Gallups argued the revival of this ancient cult, if only in a subtle form, is yet another sign the world is moving toward the last days.
Even the anonymous writer's boss gets a say:
Yet all of this is ultimately a reflection of the largest story in world history – the battle of the one true God of Israel versus the false gods created by man.
“There are many false gods mentioned by name in the Bible – Ashtoreth, Chemosh, Dagon, Molech, Tammuz,” says Joseph Farah, founder of WND.com and author of the new book, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age.” “But one name comes up more than other, by various spellings, in both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures, and that is Baal or Beelzebub. It’s no accident that in 2017 the World Government Summit and UNESCO and other globalist organizations and gatherings are still celebrating, honoring and paying tribute to this demon, this counterfeit god, this idol. What’s it about? It’s always about rebellion against the One True God.”
As before, this anonymous WND writer fails to detail the post-pagan history of the temple and arch, and censors the fact that the reconstruction has everything to do with preserving history in the face of ISIS radicals who would destroy it and nothing whatsoever to do with rekindling worship of pagan gods.
In other words, WND is sticking to its fake-news story on the arch -- and it makes one wonder if they're censoring the full story because they secretly support ISIS on the arch's destruction.
WND's Farah Proud To Be A Trump Toady Topic: WorldNetDaily
How proud is WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah to be a Trump toady? He devotes his Feb. 23 column to expressing his joy that Trump's anti-media tirades can't possibly be about him:
It might be a strange thing to hear from someone who has spent his entire professional life working in the media, but Donald Trump is right when he says the media are “the enemy of the American people.”
At first, it did sound a little harsh to me.
I know I would almost certainly not say it myself without thinking about it. And I had never really considered that kind of rhetoric before. But, after serious thought and consideration, I have concluded Trump is right again, at least in the way I believe he intended it.
How did he mean it?
I concluded he wasn’t talking about me, my news organization, the kind of work I have done over the last 40-plus years as a reporter, foreign correspondent, running daily newspapers in major markets and founding the very first independent, online news service.
I know that because Trump has only praised my work and my news organization.
So, I should not take his comment personally – as if it were directed at me.
Farah then proceeded to explain what Trump meant:
The vast majority of the media have been lying about Trump and his agenda. You will not find a more hostile environment regarding Trump than in most American newsrooms. They hate him. They detest him. There’s nothing they admire about him. They don’t believe he was really elected president. And they will never stop attacking him – personally, politically, spiritually, you name it. They will even do stories that claim he is mentally unhinged.
They even concoct stories out of whole cloth.
Replace "Trump" with "Obama" in the above words, and you've just described the agenda Farah and his WND pursued for the past eight years. Farah and WND hate Obama. They detest him. They didn't believe Obama was elected president, and they attacked him personally, politically, spiritually, you name it. They even claimed he is mentally unhinged.
And, yes, Farah and WND made up things about Obama.
Farah doesn't explain why he gives himself and his "news" organization a pass for the same behavior he purports to deplore in other media outlets.
CNS Columnist Attacks Modern Architecture As Un-Christian Topic: CNSNews.com
What is it with right-wingers and architecture? Last year, we noted that CNSNews.com devoted an article to a guy ranting against modern architecture and insisting that only classical forms should be built in Washington, D.C.
Now CNS is at it again in the form of a Feb. 15 column by Eric Metaxas headlined "Modern Architecture Is Not Ideal for the Christian Worldview." While many have complained that some forms of modern architecture are impractical for putting form over function, Metaxas takes it further by forwarding the idea that modern architecture is un-Christian and open floor plans should only be a thing for heathen urbanites:
Modernism was eagerly embraced by urbanites who spent much of their time “in … the café, brasserie and restaurant,” notes Flanders. Many people live this way today, especially in big cities like New York and Tokyo. Some live in apartments that are designed and decorated as though children had never been invented.
But this is not the ideal for Christians, who embrace biblical teachings, not only about the importance of family life, but also of the value of permanent things. Home is—or should be—a place for companionship, for rearing children, and having friends and family over for meals, while the dog begs for scraps under the table. (At least, that’s what sometimes happens in my home.) It should be a cozy and comfortable place for putting our feet up, for reading, perhaps the Bible, and for praying together each evening.
The story of modern architecture is a reminder of how worldview influences every aspect of life. We should keep this in mind if we’re planning to decorate a new home in such a way that our own children will not be comfortable in it.
Instead, they should feel, as Dorothy did, that there’s no place like home.
Perhaps. But classical architecture can be as family-unfriendly as he claims modern architecture is, and modern architecture can befamily-friendly.
It seems Metaxas doesn't know all that much about architecture -- he's simply making a broad-brush attack on people he doesn't like by invoking stereotypes about modern design.
WND Does Damage Control for Trump on Sweden Topic: WorldNetDaily
When President Trump made a false, nonsensical comment in a speech about "what’s happening last night in Sweden," WorldNetDaily went into overdrive to try and make Trump's fantasy into reality.
In a Feb. 20 article, Cheryl Chumley complained that Trump even had to clarify his remarks and blamed it all on the media for accurately quoting what he said:
President Donald Trump, responding to an outraged mainstream media system that constantly seeks to undercut his White House, clarified that his comments about the refugee crisis in Sweden came in response to a Fox News report on that country’s surge in violent crime – and were not, as the press seemed to suggest, off-base, discriminatory or flights and fabrications of fancy.
First, Trump’s comments, made during a Saturday rally in Florida: “You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
Now, the clarification – necessary, because the left honed in on the “last night” portion of Trump’s remarks to shrug shoulders and act puzzled, and pretend the president was speaking foolishly.
“My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden,” Trump tweeted, “was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants and Sweden.”
Chumley went on to note that "The story on Fox came by way of an interview on Tucker Carlson’s show with documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz, whose latest work chronicles surging crime rates in Sweden," which he blames on Muslim migrants. She didn't mention that Horowitz's claims are specious; Politico pointed out that there is no crime surge in Sweden.
Chumley also failed to note that the Swedish police officers Horowitz claims to have quoted says their answers were taken out of context, and one of them calls Horowitz a "madman."
The same day -- and just a few days before Trump himself attacked the media for its use of anonymous sources -- WND's Paul Bremmer conveniently comes up with an anonymous Swedish resident -- described as "an American contractor who has been a lawful permanent resident of Sweden for almost a decade" -- to "affirm President Trump’s assertion that a wave of Muslim migrants is devastating the Scandinavian country." Bremmer claims the person "asked to remain anonymous because of concern of government retaliation and the nation’s criminalization of speech."
Bremmer provides no evidence he fact-checked any of his anonymous source's claims, nor does he provide any reason why his source's claims should be taken at face value.
It wouldn't be a story about Muslim migrants at WND without Muslim-hater Leo Hohmann to engage in some grade-A fearmongering, and he contributes in a Feb. 21 article that begins with the question "Is America in danger of becoming the next Sweden after eight years of Barack Obama’s open-borders policies?"
Hohmann then writes that "reached out to several experts on Islam and terrorism" -- read: Muslim-haters like himself, such as Pamela Geller, Clare Lopez and Robert Spencer -- "with one question: Is Sweden a harbinger of future America if it continues with the multicultural globalist vision advocated by former President Barack Obama?"
As is Hohmann's biased style, he can't bothered to talk to anyone who contradicts his Muslim-hating agenda -- or would school him on the facts.
MRC Swings At Teen Vogue, Whiffs Spectacularly Topic: Media Research Center
Teen Vogue has emerged as an unlikely location for coverage of social issues. And since it's doing that -- and failing to toe a right-wing agenda in the process -- the Media Research Center has put the magazine in its crosshairs.
A Feb. 23 MRC post by Katie Yoder carries the headline "‘Teen Vogue’ Has Already Pushed Abortion to Teens 63 Times in 2017." Yoder huffs (boldface hers):
Teen magazines targeting young women are no longer about make-up application, fashion tips or crushes. No, now they’ve found a more lucrative topic: abortion.
Earlier this month, Teen Vogue rightfully came under fire after publishing “What to Get a Friend Post-Abortion.” Conservative media and teenagers alike challenged the story that recommended teens give presents to their friends after having an abortion – from signing up as an abortion clinic escort to gifting an “angry uterus” heating pad. But the story is just one of many. In 2017 alone, Teen Vogue has already promoted abortion to teens more than 60 times.
This year, Teen Vogue has already published at least 63 articles promoting abortion (including showing abortion positively or restrictions on abortion negatively). Ironically, most of them appeared under the obsessed outlet’s “Wellness” section.
So Teen Vogue is not actually "promoting abortion"-- it seems Yoder is counting every non-negative mention of abortion on the website as "promotion."
How absurd does this get? The very first article on Yoder's list is actually about laws protecting transgenders; the only mention of abortion in the entire article is a quote from a judge noting that the legislation in question could "require them to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender transitions and abortions, regardless of their contrary religious beliefs or medical judgment."
That's what Yoder calls a "promotion" of abortion.
This is one of the many reasons the MRC is not, and should not be, taken seriously as a media critic.
WND Singles Out Pastor Who Felt 'Demonic' Activity At Trump Rally (With Made-Up Comments?) Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is usually waytoobusy making messianic references about Donald Trump to note that others may feel differently.
So it was a bit of a surprise to see an anonymously written Feb. 21 WND article about a Florida pastor, Joel Tooley, who felt "demonic" activity that was "palpable" at a Trump rally he and his young dauther atteneded the previous weekend.
But unlike with the pro-Trump pastors and others who see divine intent in Trump's election and actions that WND has published, Tooley's claims were not allowed to stand unchallenged. The anonymous WND writer made sure to note that "Tooley is also an immigration activist" who has worked with "one of the nine agencies that get paid by the federal government to resettle refugees in the United States."
WND also published attacks on Tooley's account that, among other things, call it "BS to the core. Phony and made up" and that Tooley "needs to understand" that the Trump rally was, in fact, a "'deeply religious' experience." WND does not provide the source for thse attacks beyond claiming that they were "comments posted online."
But from where? The Facebook post by Tooley on which WND based its article contains no such comments in the 64 attached to it. We also conducted a quick Google search and could not find the comments independent of reposted versions of the WND article.
Are these comments from some super-secret website WND has access to but nobody else does? Or did WND make up these comments as a way to attack Tooley for committing the offense of being critical of Trump?
We've contacted WND for an answer as to the comments' original source; we'll update if they respond.
MRC, WND Bash Reporter for Not Remembering A Right-Wing Anti-Obama Obsession Topic: Media Research Center
Apparently, right-wingers expect the mainstream media to be well-versed on every simgle one of their hateful obsessions during the Obama years, no matter how minor.
A Feb. 20 Media Research Center post by Curtis Houck was outraged that NBC's Katy Tur -- whom the MRC appears to have helped President Trump attack during the election -- failed to recall a five-year-old anecdote involving Obama:
On Monday, our friend SooperMexican at The Right Scoop caught this embarrassing exchange on MSNBC as Katy Tur admitted to her guest that she was couldn’t recall President Barack Obama being caught on a hot mic in 2012 saying he’d have “more flexibility” to work with Russia after his reelection.
Tur was speaking to Republican Congressman Francis Rooney (Fla.) and pressing him about the Trump administration’s hopes to work better with Russia when Rooney brought up Obama’s remark in South Korea.
While he was incorrect about who Obama was speaking to (Dmitry Medvedev and not Vladimir Putin), Rooney noted: “Well, I think it was Obama that leaned over to Putin and said, I'll have a little more flexibility to give you what you want after the re-election.”
For a brief moment, there was silence before Tur blurted out: “I'm sorry, I don't know what you're referring to, Congressman.”
In another example of the WorldNetDaily-ization of the MRC, WND's Chelsea Schilling joined in the attack on Tur the same day:
NBC reporter and MSNBC host Katy Tur – who accused President Trump’s advisers of having close ties to Russia – appeared to draw a total blank when a Republican congressman pointed out that former President Obama was caught on a hot mic pledging to give the Russian president more “flexibility” after the 2012 election.
“I see a lot of folks within Donald Trump’s administration who have a friendlier view of Russia than maybe past administrations did,” Tur said during an interview with U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla.
Responding to her claim concerning previous administrations, Rooney attempted to remind her about Obama’s famous promise to Russia.
“Well, I think it was Obama that leaned over to Putin and said, ‘I’ll have a little more flexibility to give you what you want after the re-election,'” Rooney said.
After a pause, the 33-year-old host replied, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re referring to, Congressman.”
The moment was so widely reported, then-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney raised the subject during a presidential debate.
But as Mediaite reported -- but neither Houck nor Schilling could be bothered to mention -- Tur later pointed out that she was a local reporter in New York City during the 2012 election and was not covering politics. She also noted that she researched the issue after she got off the air and discussed it in more depth in a later MSNBC appearance. Houck noted the later Tur appearance but complained she "never mentioned that she was caught off guard" earlier in the day.
WND Columnist Omits GOP Gov's Role In Failing To Fix Dam Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barbara Simpson rants in her Feb. 19 WorldNetDaily column:
It really gives you a good feeling when your leader, the guy in charge of the whole shebang, reacts to a near catastrophe that could have killed thousands, displaced millions and cost billions by saying, “Stuff happens.”
He didn’t even show up to take a look at the disaster scene. In fact, he doesn’t plan to.
But that’s Jerry Brown for you, the governor of the state of California. He’s not known as “Governor Moonbeam” for nothing. It was a moniker he got his first go-round as governor for two terms, 1975-1983. That was when he was the state’s 34th governor.
Now he’s the 39th, serving the second of two terms, from 2011 to the present. And now that he’s on his second try at the job, he’s doing his “moonbeam act” again.
Now that the possibility of the Oroville Dam collapsing still exists as I write this, Californians have learned that those hundreds of laws, thousands of people and millions of dollars don’t protect them at all.
And don’t forget that Gov. Brown is in the midst of plans to remove four dams from the Klamath River, one of which, at this point, has already flooded. And the rains are not over.
As for Oroville, it’s cold comfort when it’s revealed that Gov. Brown said he didn’t know anything about a 2005 motion filed with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by three environmental groups that the Oroville Dam, and especially the earthen spillway, was vulnerable to collapse and that in 2008 that same commission said it knew nothing about such concerns.
Alert readers will notice -- since Simpson apparently didn't -- that Brown was not the governor of California at the time the 2005 motion to FERC was filed and the 2008 incident.
Who was? That's right, a Republican: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Indeed, Simpson does not mention Schwarzenegger at all in her column.
There's plenty of blame to go around in the Oroville dam crisis. But Simpson wants to hang it only on the politically convenient ones.
USA Today on Thursday gave liberal actor/activist George Takei a platform to compare Donald Trump’s immigration policies to that of interning the Japanese during World War II. In a column, Takei slammed, “Our president has trumpeted an ‘America First’ policy, vowing to prioritize the well-being of the United States. But ‘America’ doesn’t seem to include the brown-skinned, foreign-sounding or non-Christian people affected by his travel ban, his Mexico border wall or his immigration raids.”
The actor continued, “Keeping America safe means shutting out Middle Eastern refugees and deporting ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers.’ Keeping American jobs means keeping out Mexicans who cross the border to take them.” In 2015, the activist used racist language to mock Clarence Thomas as a “clown in black face.”
Takei compared Trump’s plans to the mass internment of Japanese:
Seventy-five years ago, on Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt launched his own version of “us vs. them,” authorizing the military to designate military zones and exclude any person from those zones as it saw fit. That order, like Trump’s travel ban, was on its face neutral. But it bore a clear intent.
Nearly 120,000 innocent people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated simply because we looked like “them” — the enemy. Two-thirds of us were U.S. citizens. We lost our homes, our jobs and our businesses and were held for years without charge.
The government had put “America First,” and we suffered for it.
USA Today obviously was pleased with the piece as the paper put a preview of it on the top of the front page. It included a picture of the actor and the headline: "George Takei: Immigration Ban Divisive. Trump's 'us vs. them' stance reminds actor of Japanese internment."
Whitlock apparently skipped over the part of Takei's column in which he wrote of his personal experience with internment, for he utterly fails to mention Takei's personal history with the issue:
I remember that day when American soldiers came to our home, carrying rifles with shiny bayonets, and ordered our family out. I was 5 years old. We were put on a train with armed soldiers at both ends of each car, as if we were criminals, and transported to Arkansas.
I remember the barbed wire fence of the internment camp, the tall sentry towers with machine guns pointed down at us. I remember the searchlight that followed me when I made the night runs from our barrack to the latrine. It became routine for me to line up three times a day to eat lousy food in a noisy mess hall. To go with my father to bathe in a mass shower. I could see the barbed wire fence and the sentry tower right outside my schoolhouse window as I recited the words “with liberty and justice for all”— too young to feel the stinging irony in those words.
In other words, Takei knows from where he speaks -- unlike Whitlock, who is simply lashing out at Takei for failing to fall in line with the new right-wing orthodoxy.
CNS Now Importing Praise For (And Dismissal Of The Ugly Past Of) Mel Gibson Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's love for -- and desire to censor the ugly past of -- Mel Gibson is so strong, it's bringing in articles from other websites to sing Gibson's praises.
Last week, CNS' new "Conservative Roundup" section featured a link to a article at right-wing site The Federalist demanding that Gibson's new movie "Hacksaw Ridge" receive some damn awards already.
Unlike CNS, Federalist writer Titus Techera did briefly mention Gibson's ugly past. The key word here is "briefly"; it merited just a single sentence: "Secondly, Gibson made several awful comments when stopped for drunk driving."
The rest of Techera's article was devoted to slobbering over "Hacksaw Ridge" and insisting that "America’s award institutions actually reward a patriotic movie that shows Christianity in American society as a source of hope and unity, rather than fear and division."
Armstrong Williams Doesn't Disclose His Conflict of Interest in Defending Ben Carson Topic: WorldNetDaily
Armstrong Williams wrote a column, published Feb. 14 at Newsmax and Feb. 17 at WorldNetDaily, complaining that Ben Carson hasn't yet been given a Senate vote on his nomination to be President Trump's secretary of housing and urban development. Williams dramatically wrote:
Instead the nominee for secretary of housing and urban development, Dr. Ben Carson, is held hostage to a partisan strategy of gridlock and delay. It’s not as though Carson hasn’t been thoroughly vetted by Senate Democrats. Or that they have expressed substantive reasons to oppose his nomination. Prior to his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee over one month ago, the nominee spent days visiting with committee members from both parties – even though he only needed the votes of the majority – answering questions and demonstrating respect for their important role in confirming presidential nominees. At the hearing, Dr. Carson patiently and thoroughly answered questions from Democrats and Republicans for hours. Not a single Democrat announced opposition, and on Jan. 24 every Democrat on the committee, including leading progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Sherod Brown, voiced their support for Carson through a unanimous voice vote of approval.
Yet the Democratic leadership refuses to follow the lead the key committee and allow an up or down vote by the full Senate.
But Williams failed to disclose one key fact: he's Carson's business manager. According to The Hill, the two reportedly have a "brother-like" relationship, talking on the phone several times a day.
But any mention of Armstrong's link to Carson is buried in the bio for Armstrong on the respective sites. The final sentence of WND's drop-down Armstrong bio states that "Williams is a longtime confidante of Dr. Ben Carson," while the lengthy bio for Williams at Newsmax waits until the sixth paragraph (!) to reference Carson -- but only through noting that Williams is a board member of Carson's scholarship fund.
One shouldn't have to be shunted to a bio page to have this conflict of interest disclosed -- Williams should have done so in his column, and Newsmax and WND should have made sure of that before publishing it. Williams (and WND and Newsmax) shouldn't presume that everyone knows about his relationship with Carson.
Then again, Williams has a problem with playing fast and loose with such things. In 2005, it was revealed that he was paid to promote the Bush adminstration's "No Child Left Behind" policies on his TV and radio programs but failed to disclose the payments to his listeners and viewers.
MRC Develops Shepard Smith Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just hates it when Fox News' Shepard Smith fails to toe the right-wing line like the rest of the other Fox News hosts.
Note the freakout the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro had in a Feb. 16 post, which can only be described as Shepard Smith Derangement Syndrome:
Trump’s tongue lashing of the media had Fox News’ Shepard Smith frothing at the mouth with anger as he accused the President with a dubious smear during his show. “Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia the same day it was happening and we're fools asking the questions,” he shouted with claims no report had ever made.
“No, sir, we're not fools for asking this question and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people,” Smith continued to yell. But no report had ever made the claim that Trump’s campaign staff was on the phone with Russian intelligence “the same day” the hacks were happening.
Un-ironically, Smith chastised the president for spewing “demonstrably, unquestionably, 100 percent, opinion aside, false” statements.
While we don't know the details of the specific accusation Fondacaro claims Smith is making, we do know that, according to Reuters, Michael Flynn, Trump's national security adviser for a few weeks, held five phone calls with Russia's ambassador to Washington on the day President obama retaliated for Moscow's interference in the presidential election. That may be what Smith was referring to.
How ironic that the MRC is demanding nothing but total fidelity to the facts from Smith while it's bashing anyone who demands the same to Trump.
Fondacaro then goes on to serve up more hypocrisy by demanding something conservatives wouldn't grant when it came to investigations into Hillary Clinton's email server -- wait for the FBI to finish their investigation:
True, [Trump and Russia] is an important issue that needs to be answered. But flying off the handle into hyperbole and spouting off lies does little to help the situation, and only serves to exacerbate tensions. The FBI is investigating their communications so there will be an answer to the press’s questions one way or another.
Of course, the MRC wouldn't wait when it promoted the fake news before the election (courtesy of Smith's Fox News co-worker, Bret Baier) that an FBI indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent. The MRC had no problem flying off the handle into hyperbole and spouting off lies back then. And the MRC couldn't stop ranting about how the FBI couldn't be trusted after James Comey's initial decision not to charge Clinton.
But now we're supposed to trust the FBI on Trump and Russia. Funny how the MRC's view of justice is driven not by facts but solely by politics.