MRC's Graham: Still A Terrible Media Critic Topic: Media Research Center
As we've documented, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham is a terrible media critic because his goal is to destroy the media in the name of right-wing orthodoxy. This tendency pops up again in a Feb. 27 post ranting about his apparent nemesis, CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter.
Stelter had as his guest New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, and Graham complained that Stelter "counted that Trump has called the paper "the failing New York Times" in 53 tweets." Graham, by the way, a few days later counted that "Obama referred to himself 119 times" in one speech in a laughable attempt to portray Obama, and not Donald Trump, as the real narcissist.
Most of Graham's post, however, was largely devoted to whining that Stelter didn't go all right-wing on Baquet and complaining that Stelter "set him up to boast that the Times has never been hotter and that President Trump hates them because he has this 'dangerous' tendency to hate newspapers who hold him accountable."
Graham concluded his column with this note: "Earlier on CNN: I told Stelter the Times has 'all the restraint of a pack of flesh-eating zombies.'" One: Graham is proud of spewing this juvenile insult? Two: Graham said this on the same episode of "Reliable Sources" in which the Daily Beast's John Avlon exposed Graham's obsession with promoting the right-wing anti-media narrative over any genuine concern with journalism, and the MRC will never post the full video of that.
Fake News: WND Manufactures Loretta Lynch Quote, Quietly Walks It Back Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily just loves telling lies about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. First, then-WND reporter Aaron Klein falsely claimed Lynch had once represented the Clintons and was Bill Clinton's "'bimbo eruption' fixer" (that was a different Loretta Lynch). Then, WND falsely claimed that Lynch is "tied to terrorists, drug cartels," bizarrely extrapolated from Lynch working to achieve a monetary settlement instead of a criminal prosecution in a bank fraud case as a federal attorney.
Now, in a March 4 article headlined "Loretta Lynch: Need more 'marching, blood, death on streets'," an anonymous WND writer claimed:
The Obama administration’s former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has made an impassioned video plea for more "blood" and "death" on the streets – a video that was later posted on the Facebook page of Senate Democrats as "words of inspiration."
But Lynch did not say the words WND put in quote marks, including "blood" and "death."
As the WND article itself states later on, Lynch said this in the video in question -- in which, again, none of the things WND set off in quote marks earlier are things Lynch said: "It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again."
That's barely an endorsement of marching, and is most certainly not a call for "blood [and] death on [the] streets." In other words, WND is lying again about Lynch.
Somebody at WND apparently noticed that, because the article was later updated to remove the quote marks around "blood" and "death" in the article and "marching, blood, death on streets" in the headline, and the quote marks around the words in the front-page carousel promo have disappeared as well. But the false claim that Lynch made a "plea for more marching, blood and death on the streets" remains. Further, the article fails to indicate that it has been changed from the original; it seems WND forgets that the Wayback Machine exists so we can display the lie-filled original.
If WND were actually "operating under the highest standards of traditional American journalism," as editor Joseph Farah likes to claim, this story would never have seen the light of day, let alone be live for several hours with a completely manufactured quote as its lead claim, and it would have admitted to readers that the quotes were fake and apologized to Lynch for putting false words in her mouth.
UPDATE: Farah repeats the fake news in his March 5 column, claiming that Lynch "just called for 'blood and death' in the streets to stop Trump, much to the approval of Senate Democrats." Note that "blood and death" is in quotes.
MRC Hate-Watches The Oscars Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hasn't quite figured out that hate-watching something does not make for compelling "media criticism." So it continues hate-watching.
Thus, we are treated to the spectcale of Karen Townsend devoting an entire Feb. 27 post to hate-watching the Oscars. She sets the hateful tone right at the beginning:
The 89th Academy Awards, aka The Oscars, was broadcast by ABC live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday night, hosted by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. As with other award shows of late, politics reared its ugly liberal head and showed us exactly why Hollywood is often referred to derisively as "La La Land."
Townsend then goes on to complain about every Trump joke, various "sanctimonious fashion choices" and any other incident that could remotely be interpreted as "liberal." She was particularly incensed about a speech submitted by Asghar Farhadi, an Iranian producer whose film won the Oscar for best foreign-language film:
Really? A man from Iran is lecturing US on dividing the world into us versus our enemies, aggression and war, democracy and human rights? And when was the last time he spoke out about “the inhuman law that bans entry of” Israelis or anyone who has an Israeli stamp in their passport into Iran?
Townsend also complained that "documentary O.J.: Made in America," the Oscar winner for best documentary, "falsely equated O.J. Simpson’s murder victims, Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, with other alleged victims of police violence and racism," adding: "I thought it was the story of a violently deranged black retired athlete who killed his white ex-wife whom he had abused for years and her friend, a waiter who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time delivering glasses that were left at a restaurant."
Townsend sneered at the end: "La La Land might not have won the Oscar for Best Picture, but it remains the liberal fantasy world lefty celebs live in."
Then, the MRC's Matt Philbin -- who has the whole oozing-contempt thing down -- chimes in in a separate post complaining about a Washington Post article aabout whichPhilbin complains: "I can barely get though his write-up without cringing." In other words, Philbin is hate-reading about something he already hate-watched. He's particularly incensed for some reason that Post writer Hank Steuver suggested that a bus full of tourists brought into the Oscars is representative of America:
Uh, Hank, a group of people who paid to be on a Hollywood tour bus aren’t exactly representative of the public at large. After all they, er, paid to be on a Hollywood tour bus. But suppose the most deplorably cranky Trump voter somehow found his way on board (obviously hoping to see where they filmed Matlock). Suddenly put him in the Oscars auditorium with the lights and noise and starlets, what do you expect him to do? Thrust out his chin defiantly and jam his red baseball cap on his head? No. Most people are affable and will play nice as long as you don’t insult them. And the tourists weren’t there long enough even for liberal Hollywood types to insult. The stunt, as fun as it might be, speaks more to tourists being good sports than the irresistible coolness of movie stars.
Philbin went on to huff: "There really are a lot of people out there – sane, healthy people leading meaningful lives – who don’t give a fig about movies they don’t see starring people they’ll never meet. But media types like Stuever keep writing about movies, actors and the Oscars, and insist normal people fall all over themselves to get selfies with the stars."
How ironic that this sentiment appears in an article dedicated to hate-watching a show the author insists real Americans like himself and other MRC employees don't watch.
WND's Peterson Confuses Ranting With 'Truth' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jesse Lee Peterson grumbles in his Feb. 26 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "Angry liberals can't handle truth, shut down my speech":
I spoke to the Southern California Junior State of America, or JSA, winter congress this weekend – to a group of about 860 high-schoolers, supposedly 60 to 70 percent liberal.
I’ve never seen a better-looking group of young people: The boys wore suits and ties, and the girls wore dresses and heels. (Some wore pantsuits.)
My talk followed a liberal California state assemblyman’s speech. I was scheduled for an hour, consisting of a 25- to 45-minute speech followed by Q&A – but I was thrown out before the 25-minute mark.
I started out saying my book, “The Antidote,” proves “racism” does not exist, that it’s a lie made up to divide and conquer through anger. Angry people feel like victims, and all victims are pathetic. (Some loved this message.)
I explained how Barack Obama divided the races like no other time in history, because he’s all about politics, power and wealth – liberals do not care about people.
Obama pitted blacks against whites and police. They’d been set up to hate by their lying false leaders over the decades. Most who run into trouble with police are criminals – thugs like Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin, whose home lives I described.
The high-schoolers burst out in shouting and jeers when I told the truth about the two dead icons of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Well, there's your problem. Peterson is pretending that his right-wing rants are the "truth." What Peterson thinks are "facts" are nothing but ranting screeds. The hostility Peterson felt at this event is more than likely because Peterson refused to admit the validity of anyone's opinions but his own.
Peterson thinks he was the victim of an "insane liberal crowd," but in reality, it's much more likely their collective BS detectors went off at Peterson portraying his right-wing dogma as unassailable fact.
Why Is MRC Suddenly Being Nice to Alan Colmes, Now That He's Dead? Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center had little use for liberal commentator Alan Colmes while he was alive:
NewsBusters' Jack Coleman sneered that he was "formerly the annoying half of Hannity & Colmes on Fox News Channel." Coleman also attacked Colmes for allegedly "bashing those unevolved miscreants known as fellow Americans." Tom Blumer declared him to be a "hardened liberal." Matthew Balan bashed Colmes for defending the Obama administration's "deliberate avoidance of using the term 'radical Islam.'" Jeffrey Meyer took issue with Colmes' MRC critique of the New York Times' coverage of the 2014 CPAC, complaining it was a "cheap shot at NewsBusters." (The MRC did like Colmes, however, when he was defending Rush Limbaugh and his former Fox News sparring partner Sean Hannity.)
All of that hate makes the MRC's abrupt niceness toward Colmes after his death rather peculiar.
A NewsBusters post by Randy Hall posted after Colmes' Feb. 23 death detailed how, along with Hannity, "many other people at FNC expressed their feeling of loss, including such well-known individuals as retired news anchor Brit Hume, former Fox host Megyn Kelly, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, and America's Newsroom co-anchor Bill Hemmer, as well as other conservative leaders."
When a piece at Slate complained that Colmes was Fox News' "original liberal weakling," Blumer suddenly felt compelled to rush to Colmes' defense in a Feb. 27 post, touting Colmes "multi-faceted 45-year professional career" and accused the Slate writer of "dancing on someone else's corpse"-- though, for all the defense, he doesn't refute the writer's basic premise.
Indeed, one could argue that the only reason the MRC is suddenly feeling compelled to defend Colmes now is because he was so useful to conservatives during the "Hannity & Colmes" years as a meek-ish liberal who got regularly steamrolled by a right-wing blowhard.
Not that they will ever admit that in public, of course.
The MRC wasn't always so nice to dead non-conservative media people; the death of ABC anchor Peter Jennings prompted the MRC to push its agenda and tout how its "archive is packed with documentation of liberal bias from Peter Jennings."
UPDATE: CNSNews.com published a blog post detailing right-wing radio host Mark Levin saying nice things about Colmes upon his death. A decade earlier, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard was cheering about how Levin allegedly wiped the floor with Colmes.
CNS In Full Damage-Control Mode Over Sessions' Russian Contacts Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com started out the week continuing to run interference for the Trump administration over allegations of links between Donald Trump's presidential campaign to Russian meddling that benefited his campaign -- this time, a Feb. 27 article by Susan Jones parroting Republican Rep. and House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes insisting that, in Jones' words, "there is no evidence that any campaign officials -- from either the Trump or the Clinton campaigns -- had any contact with the Russian government or Russian agents before the election." Of course, Jones doesn't mention that Nunes' committee has thus far resisted conducting a formal investigation into the issue, so he really wouldn't actually know that for sure.
Now, CNS is ending the week by running more interference for the Trump administration over Russian linksregarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with Russian officials that he failed to disclose under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing. Let the spin begin:
Note that all of these stories push a pro-Trump spin, and their headlines are so vague they don't contain the word "Russia" and only two mention Sessions. And no article CNS published on the issue includes both Sessions and Russia in the headline.
CNS then pulls its biased game of portraying criticism of Sessions as coming from unreasonable Democrats with a vendetta. An article by Jones on Sen. Al Franken calling for a special prosecutor to look into Trump-Russia connections (whose headline also failed to reference either Sessions or Russia) muddied the issue by throwing in Franken's call for Trump to release his taxes in an apparent attempt to portray Franken as a crazed partisan.
Another article by Jones, on Sen. Chuck Schumer's criticism of Sessions, sought to denigrate his authority on the issue by mockingly stating that "Schumer and other Democrats are furiously demanding that Sessions step aside and let an independent prosecutor look into alleged ties to Russia by Trump associates during the campaign."
That was joined by a blog post by Craig Bannister, who wrote that "After then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed she met with former President Bill Clinton on a plane last June, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) dismissed calls for an independent prosecutor to take over the Hillary Clinton email investigation." Bannister didn't mention that Sessions demanded Lynch's recusal over the issue -- and it was only after Sessions' communications with the Russian ambassador were disclosed did Sessions bother to recuse himself from investigating a campaign for which he served as a surrogate and for whom he must thank for his current job.
Another Bannister post touted how Fox News floated the idea that Sessions was "targeted" by the Russians.
Jones followed up on March 3 by framing any links between Trump and Russia as merely "circumstantial" and "supposition."
Remember, CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, gets a significant amount of its budget from the Mercer family, which heavily supported Trump's election. It seems the Mercers are buying CNS' "news" pro-Trump coverage as well.
Two days later, Farah's column after Trump's speech to Congress reads like it came straight from the White House press office, so utterly obsequious is it:
Donald Trump’s first 40 days in the White House rival those of any modern American president for excitement, controversy, accomplishment, work ethic, courage, boldness and real leadership.
Think about that. Is there any question? Is there any doubt?
If he continues like this, there could be a new face on Mount Rushmore in the future.
I’ll also add this, based not only on his speech to the joint session of Congress Tuesday night but on his overall performance in his first 40 days: This is the most overtly “conservative” start to a modern presidency – including the iconic conservative presidency of Ronald Reagan.
Did you ever expect to see a president in your lifetime slash the illegitimate power and the funding of the Environmental Protection Agency? I lost hope long ago on that issue. I thought property rights were dead. Yet, on Tuesday, Trump ordered an end to the rule that permitted the EPA to govern the land use of any so-called “wetland” in the country by pretending they were all “navigable waters.”
Trump did this long after “conservatives” had thrown in the towel on property rights.
Trump may not be the “Great Communicator” Reagan was. But what he lacks in performance skills he more than makes up for in the kind of boldness that puts his political adversaries on the defensive.
While I will not offer a blow-by-blow review of a speech everyone had a chance to see for himself, I continue to be amazed at the president’s feistiness and tenacity. Not only is he always on offense, he still never misses a chance to defend himself as well.
Suffice it to say that none of us has ever seen anyone quite like Donald Trump.
Am I over the moon for Donald Trump? Yes, I am. And I’m not ashamed because he has earned my praise with action, drive, steadiness and determination.
I’ve never seen anything like Donald Trump in my lifetime.
I never thought I would see what I am seeing in Washington today.
All I can add is: “Hallelujah and may God protect the president of the United States.”
Farah needs to get a room. Or a job in the White House press office.
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.