MRC Doesn't Back Up Claim That Judge Is 'Liberal' Topic: Media Research Center
We've noted how the Media Research Center loves hurling labels at suspected liberals without regard to accuracy. We see that again in a March 17 MRC post headlined "ABC Touts Liberal Judge Shooting Down Trump’s Revised Travel Ban."
So what's the evidence that the judge is a "liberal'? Fondacaro provides none.
Are we supposed to assume the judge is "liberal" simply because he ruled against an order by a Republican president? Apparently so, according to Fondacaro's logic.
Fondacaro also claims that the judge's order was "championed by the liberal media" -- but he onl evidence he provides of that is an ABC report that, in fact, is a straightforward accounting of the judge's order.
Fondacaro went on to rant that "the constitutionality of Trump’s executive order is not in question, according to Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz," and that "The question of the constitutionality of the executive order was missing from" the ABC report.
Fondacaro further complained that "There was no mention that the countries selected in the order were observed by the Obama White House for needing additional screening because proper checks are lacking. All of which are very important facts to understanding the entire situation."But as Foreign Policy magazine explains, the immigration restrictions Obama had imposed on there countries was much more narrowly targeted and didn't ban nearly all immigration, as Trump's original order tried to do.
WND Promises Netanyahu Meeting With This Year's Holy Land Tour Topic: WorldNetDaily
Even though last year's WorldNetDaily-led tour of the Holy Land was close enough to being adebacle that WND was begging for sign-ups three months after the original deadline, WND is doing it again -- with an elevated political profile.
In February, WND started promoting this year's tour with the usual stops, and it's also dangling the idea that tour-goers will get "briefings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and new U.S. Ambassador David Friedman among others," adding "You will hear from top Israeli leaders, military brass, see with your own eyes why the Jewish state is so strategically positioned in the hotbed of the Middle East."
But, alas, these visits hasn't actually been worked out yet. As the article later admits:
While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu cannot promise he will be able to address the group in November, all indications are positive that he will make every effort to address the group.
As for David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s designee as the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, WND is closely working with him on a date for meeting the group, even as he winds his way through the hurdles of the confirmation process and his anticipated move this year to the new U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.
“I’m optimistic,” says Farah, “After all, who can turn down Chuck Norris?”
Well, true -- who can turn down Chuck Norris? Except Norris doesn't appear to be actually going on the tour. The article cites a WND column by Norris in which he says, "Bibi and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman have been invited to speak to the tour group, and I hope they do. Check out the educational and inspiring itinerary here."
And, indeed, the WND website for the tour, while it does state that Netanyahu and Friedman had been "invited" to speak to tour-goers, does not list any such political briefings on the itinerary.
Of course, WND is not averse to creating news events on tour. On last year's visit, there was a publicity stunt by Farah and his celebrity rabbi buddy Jonathan Cahn in trying to get their tour party kicked out of the Temple Mount by provoking a fight with the Muslim Waqf administrators who manage the site.
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now? Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to freak out over transgenders -- as well as other LGBT-related things -- and it's having another of its continual fits of doing so.
A March 14 post by Jay Maxson won't identify Texas high school wrestler Mack Beggs as transgender but, rather, as "a girl in Texas who struggles with gender identity," and he laments that "Beggs never got any psychological attention for her gender confusion." He concluded by asserting: "According to Dr. Paul McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, transgenderism is a 'mental disorder' that can be treated, sex change is 'biologically impossible' and the people promoting sexual reassignment surgery are promoting a mental disorder."
We've previously pointed out that McHugh's bigoted views are seen as out of the medical mainstream and ignores the current state of research on transgender issues.
On March 15, Karen Townsend ranted that the TV show "The Fosters" "continues to shove teen abortion and LGBT sex education on America, this time pushing the issues even further when it comes to parental knowledge -- or lack thereof." She added, "Parents are legally entitled to know about their children’s education."
Alex Nitzberg hopped over from Accuracy in Media to the MRC and debuted with a pair of anti-gay attacks on articles published at NBC News' LGBT portal, NBC Out. On March 13, Nitzberg complained of an article noting the vulernability of transgender students: "On that topic, what about the vulnerability and innocence of other students? All students should be protected from abuse, including those who identify as transgender, but their protection does not necessitate the normalization or accommodation of their lifestyle choice."
On March 17, Nitzberg ranted about another NBC Out article on transgender bathroom use:
The most “gender-appropriate” facility for biological boys, regardless of their self-declared gender-identity, is the men’s facility—and for biological girls, the women’s facility represents the most “gender-appropriate” option. The fact that this issue has degenerated into a societal debate illustrates the cultural chasm that has developed as the radical left and the media work to aggressively advance the revolution to redefine gender.
Liberals and the media inaccurately portray the LGBT agenda as a “civil rights” issue. But LGBT identities are behaviors, not immutable, inborn physical characteristics like skin color. In practice, LGBT “non-discrimination laws” would likely penalize social conservatives who fail to comply with the LGBT lobby’s radical demands for societal transformation.
Sarah Stites, meanwhile, huffed that singer Kary Perry was given an award by the Human Rights Campaign, where she "spent ten minutes criticizing her Christian upbringing while championing 'sexual fluidity.' And, predictably, the feminist media loved it." But curiously, Stites omitted the part where Perry said that as a teenager she "prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps" during her "unconscious adolescence," which utterly failed until she met people outside her "bubble."
Stites returned to serve up another freakout over a transgender couple on the wedding-dress show "Say Yes to the Dress." grumbling about "liberal media, fashion and Hollywood’s focused attempt to mainstream transgender and gender fluid content."
And Stites wasn't done, for even people who want no gender at all offend her as well:
Clothing. Makeup. Emojis. And now legal status?
The genderless movement is firing ahead, fast and furious, while those who cleave to traditional views are considered anachronistic at best, and bigoted at worst.
In June 2016, Oregon Judge Amy Hehn granted legal gender “non-binary” status to Portland resident Jamie Shupe. But this month, Hehn went a step further, granting video game designer “Patch” the right to be genderless.
She concluded that post by asking, "Is there anything that will faze the left?" The better question: Is there any instance of non-heteronormative behavior that Stites and the rest of the MRC won't throw a fit about?
If you want to spot a forged painting, ask an art expert.
And if you want to find out what is “fake news,” ask perhaps the top investigative reporter in journalism.
Sharyl Attkisson spotted the fake news trend long before it became a recent catchphrase.
And she doesn’t portray it, as do many in the mainstream media, as some right-wing conspiracy. In fact, Attkisson told WND she often sees the mainstream media as prime culprits when they push suspect stories.
Kant uncritically touted Attkisson's conspiracy theory that the "fake news" controversy is really a "narrative-driven propaganda campaign" with an "agenda to censor the news," and that "The white nationalist narrative was invented on a certain day and time by certain interests."
Kant enthused: "Her observations on fake news were delivered with the force and precision of an expert karate chop, as befitting her rank of fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do." He also proclaimed Attkisson an "ace reporter" and touted her various awards and "her own Sunday morning national TV news program, 'Full Measure,' which focuses on investigative and accountability reporting. The show had it highest ratings ever, last week."
This is all for the sake of publicity, of course. Kant, clearly in need of a good editor, made sure to plug Attkisson's "new book, coming out on May 22, titled 'The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote,' due to be published on May 22, 2017."
Kant's gushing continued in a March 12 article, which again placed "superstar reporter" in the headline and again proclaimed her "perhaps the nation’s top investigative journalist." Kant gives her the space to peddle another conspiracy theory, this time that she was "spied on by the Obama administration while investigating its scandals."
Responding to statements by computer experts that the purported evidence of said spying she had presented was actually just a stuck backspace key, Kant let Attkisson uncritically huff that "It was just a silly attempt by a noted propagandist blog that had no firsthand information to deflect from the surveillance."
Kant got gooey at the end of his article: "Finally, WND said it would be remiss if it did not ask the ace reporter if her experience had given her any insight into President Trump’s accusations that his campaign had been spied on by the Obama administration. However, Attkisson said she has not looked at, or reported, on those allegations."
This is not the first time WND has gone all gooey over Attkisson. We documented how WND "news" articles enthusiastically plugged her "Full Measure" show nearly every week in its first six months on the air -- many of which seemed to closely follow Attkisson's on-air scripts. That raises the possibility that Attkisson paid WND for the publicity, something neither has publicly admitted to, and it raises questions about the credibility of both.
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman has a thing for publishing hateful far-right commentary on his website, with anti-gay attacks a particular interest. Chapman ramped up the hate with a March 16 post:
Peter LaBarbera, founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, gave a talk on Saturday about the destructive agenda of the LGBT movement and how it manipulates language in particular to disguise its evil intentions and spin them in a positive light -- darkness to light -- which, he added, is truly "satanic."
LaBarbera presented his talk at the Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Expo and Conference in Wausau, Wisc., on March 10. In a discussion about how "Words Lose their Meaning" when adopted and manipulated by the LGBT movement, LaBarbera gave the example, "Come Out of the Closet."
"This is one people don’t think about," he said. "But think about it – come out of the closet. Come out of the dark closet of lies and self-hatred into the light of truth, right? You come out."
"But what is it really? said LaBarbera. "You come in, into darkness. You’re embracing spiritual darkness as a personal identity, as who you are. Then you’re selling it to everyone you know. You’re doing Satan’s work in the name of light.”
For some reason, homosexuality has become the issue for the left,” said LaBarbera. “The issue. It’s satanic.”
Homosexuality is satanic because it is a complete rejection of nature -- the natural design, order of one's body, male or female -- and an attack on the natural world (biology) that was created by God to function in a specific way. The principal entity that rejected God and His creation from the start was Satan, Lucifer. As he said, "I will not serve."
MRC Joins Anti-Immigrant Bandwagon, Exploits Alleged Rape Case Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hasn't historically done much in the way of anti-immigrant activism, but apparently that's changing.
Last week, two students at a high school in suburban Washington, D.C., were arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting another student in a school restroom. One of the alleged assailants is an undocumented immigrant, however, and the second is a recent arrival to the U.S. So the MRC decided the story was ripe for a little right-wing political exploitation.
In a March 21 post, the MRC's Curtis Houck cheered that a reporter from the Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C., asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer about the incident, going on to complain: "As far as we can tell, no network or cable news coverage has been given to the rape that occurred last week at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland since it’s an inconvenient story for their liberal narrative."
Or, you know because it's a local story that doesn't merit national coverage. Not that the MRC will allow a little thing like that conflict with its political agenda.
Indeed, the next day, Kristine Marsh had already convicted the defendants without a trial -- and cheered that her favorite news outlet did latch onto the story:
Last Thursday, a young girl attending Rockville High School in Maryland was brutally gang raped in her school’s bathroom by two fellow students, at least one of which was in the country illegally. Jose O. Montano, 17, from El Salvador, and Henry E. Sanchez-Milian, 18, from Guatemala, were charged last week with raping their 14-year-old female classmate in the school’s men’s bathroom. Both had only been in Montgomery County for a few months before they were placed in the school’s 9th grade class. Sanchez-Milian is a confirmed illegal immigrant that is being detained by ICE officials while officials will not comment on Montano’s immigration status, as he is a minor.
Fox News’s Bret Baier was the first reporter to tell the story on national television on his show Monday.
Marsh asserted that the reason why "ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC, don’t want to report" the story is because "it makes their side look bad." Curiously, she doesn't ascribe any political motivation to Fox News' report, even though "it makes the other side look bad" is much more plausible than the mind-reading she imposes on those other outlets.
Later on March 22, Houck complained that "The 'big three' networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC continued their shameful blackout into Wednesday night of the horrifying alleged rape of a teenage girl in a Washington D.C. suburb high school bathroom by two men, including one here in the U.S. illegally. Instead, the pathetic liberal media that’s shown no interest in the Rockville High School case complied with Rolling Stone in giving over 10 minutes of coverage in two days to the fake 2014 claim that a University of Virginia fraternity gang raped a female student."
Houck didn't mention that the networks did not know the story was fake at the time they reported it. He did concede, though, that it "can be a noble cause" to report on sexual assault at college fraternities. But he also touted how Fox News ran another story on the case; while he assailed those media outlets who didn't report the story as "pro-illegal immigrant," he refused to describe Fox news as "anti-illegal immigrant" for embracing it.
Then, the MRC was rewarded for politicizing the story: MRCTV ranter Brittany Hughes made an appearance on "Fox & Friends," where she "lambasted ABC, CBS, and NBC for their callous refusal to cover the alleged heinous rape of a female student in a Washington D.C. suburban high school by two men and one of which is here in the country illegally."
Hughes hit all her talking points -- even ranting that the networks would rather be "slamming President Donald Trump's agenda" -- as the MRC post praised her for doing: "As we often do here at NewsBusters, Hughes astutely pointed to examples of what ABC and CBS gave airtime to instead of another crime allegedly committed by an illegal alien."
It's so funny -- in a sad way -- who the MRC pretends it doesn't have an agenda in accusing others of having an agenda. But then, they're not getting paid to be honest.
WND's Hohmann Still Fearmongering About Proposed Michigan 'Mega-Mosque' Topic: WorldNetDaily
It seems WorldNetDaily's chief Islamophobe, Leo Hohmann, isn't done fearmongering about a proposed mosque in Michigan. He ramps up the victimization arrative in a March 13 article:
The saga of the 21,000-square-foot mega-mosque in Sterling Heights, Michigan, is not over yet.
The mayor and city council voted Feb. 21 to settle a lawsuit by a Shiite Muslim group and allow it to build a mosque in a residential neighborhood populated largely by Chaldean Christian refugees who escaped Islamic persecution in Iraq.
A companion suit against the city by Barack Obama’s Department of Justice alleging the city had denied the mosque a permit based on “anti-Muslim” sentiments in the community was also settled at the Feb. 21 meeting, paving the way for the mosque to start construction.
But the counter-lawsuit filed Monday argues that city officials were actually favoring the Shiite Muslims of neighboring Madison Heights while ignoring the wishes of its own citizens who were overwhelmingly against the mosque.
If built, the American Islamic Community Center, or AICC, will become the third mosque in Sterling Heights.
As we documented, this proposed "mega-mosque" is actually about the size of an Aldi grocery store and about one-tenth the size of a megachurch. And he doesn't mention that there are at least 64 churches in Sterling Heights, so three mosques isn't really that a big of a deal.
Curiously, Hohmann dropped all mention of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal regulation that was invoked in the the fight to get the mosque built -- and a law WND has praised Christians for exploiting, at one point approvingly quoting one right-wing legal group as saying, First Liberty has won multiple cases using RLUIPA. ... We know this law well."
Instead, Hohmann attacked "Obama's DOJ" for getting involved in the case, adding a new smear by claiming that "Obama’s DOJ forced a madrassa on Pittsfield Township, near Ann Arbor." In fact, what was permitted was a school;Hohmann wants to maliciously portray it as a place where potential Islamist terrorists are created, like right-wingers do.
Hohmann also maliciously portrays the Muslim community in Sterling Heights as building the mosque to intimidate a group of Christians that live in the neighborhood where the mosque is to be built, who he claims "escaped Islamic persecution in Iraq." Needless to say, Hohmann can't be bothered to interview anyone in the local Muslim community about that slander.
MRC's Graham: 'You Have No Right To Tell Us What The Truth Is' Topic: Media Research Center
We know that the Media Research Center's Tim Graham is a terrible media critic, but other mainstream media outlets haven't figured that out yet.
The Associated Press got a comment from Graham for a March 6 article regarding aggressive media questioning of Trump surrogates
Many of Trump's supporters are angered by aggressive questioning because they believe the media did not ask similar tough questions of the Obama administration, said Tim Graham of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog.
"You have no right to tell us what the truth is," Graham said.
Actually, telling you what the truth is is pretty much a reporter's job, Tim.
We know what Graham wants: uncritical, fawning coverage of Trump, the kind the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, provides in spades.
(Oh, and Graham iscompletelywrong that the media never offered tough coverage of the Obama administration.)
Graham pops up again in a March 22 Washington Post article on how thte presence of Shepard Smith on Fox News drives people like Graham crazy:
However, Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative Media Research Center, buys the buzz that Smith is ready to bolt: “His aggressive defense of the liberal media suggests he’s looking at Greta Van Susteren and saying, ‘Yeah, I could do that.’ ” Van Susteren left Fox last summer and joined MSNBC.
Added Graham: “To me, it sounds like he’s advertising to other networks. It just seems bizarre for him to be sticking up for CNN and MSNBC. It’s like Jif peanut butter taking an ad sticking up for Skippy.”
But Graham's MRC praised CNN's Jake Tapper for that very same act of reporter defending in 2013, when the phone records of Fox News' James Rosen were seized in an investigation. It also touted that "Even very liberal journalists like Jonathan Alter have lashed out at Obama over the Rosen incident."
Did the MRC think these "liberal" reporters were advertising to Fox News? Probably not -- Graham and Co. just liked that its favorite news channel was being praised.
And that sort of rank double standard is just another reason why Graham is a terrible media critic that the "liberal media" shouldn't be taking seriously just to provide an alternate voice.
Another Fake-News Story Remains Live and Uncorrected At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has a problem with reporting dubious claims that later turn out to be completely false, then leaving the original claim on its website uncorrected.
So we have this anonymously written March 14 article:
Former President Obama used the British to spy on President Trump – both as a presidential candidate and as president-elect – to avoid having American “fingerprints” on the scandal, according to Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano.
He says three intelligence sources have confirmed the bombshell revelations.
Napolitano explained that statues allow the president to surveil anyone in the U.S. without suspicion, probable cause or a warrant, but doing so would leave a trail of evidence.
Instead, he said, Obama deliberately chose to use Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, the British spying agency with “24-7 access to the NSA database.”
He told “Fox & Friends” Tuesday:
Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice… He used GCHQ. What the heck is GCHQ? That’s the initials for the British spying agency. They have 24/7 access to the NSA database. So by simply having two people go to them and say ‘President Obama needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump, conversations involving President-elect Trump,’ [Obama’s] able to get it, and there’s no American fingerprints on this.
Napolitano claimed the GCHQ was approached on behalf of Obama. He said the unnamed man who ordered the surveillance quit his job in January.
“President Obama needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump, conversations involving President-elect Trump, he’s able to get it,” Napolitano said. “What happened to the guy who ordered this? Resigned three days after Donald Trump was inaugurated.”
Yet this utterly false story remains at WND, live and uncorrected. That's an egregious journalistic violation.
What was that WND editor Joseph Farah was saying about WND being staffed with "journalism professionals" with "collectively hundreds of years of experience" that, if true, would have kept them from committing such an egregious journalistic violation? Never mind.
MRC's Heathering of Anti-Trump Conservative Continues Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been regularly targeting conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin (a process we call Heathering), mainly because she didn't sell out her principles and blindly support Donald Trump (unlike the MRC). And the shots have continued:
In a Jan. 14 post, Brad Wilmouth sneered that "allegedly conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin sounded like just one more liberal analyst on top of the other four liberals already on the panel as she could only find negative things to say about Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare, and even fretted over the move to defund Planned Parenthood."
On Jan. 30, Wilmouth complained that Rubin "play[ed] the role of allegedly right-leaning MSNBC guest who mostly offers agreement to the liberal MSNBC host, and spends little time injecting the conservative point of view into the conversation."
On March 8, Wilmouth called her a "supposedly right-leaning" columnist who was "appearing on MSNBC to mostly agree with a liberal host."
The next day, Curtis Houck declared Rubin to be "shameless" for "touting federal bureaucracy as this marvelous institution that they (and not business, the people, and states) have been the impetus behind the country’s prosperity."
And on March 19, Wilmouth once again lamented that Rubin "has recently been a recurring MSNBC guest who has bolstered the network's anti-Republican commentaries" and grumbled that she "declared that she is not a Republican any longer" because of Trump. But he leaves relegated to transcript excerpts her explanation of what that is:
[Trumpism] has destroyed the Republican Party, which was based on a set of principles, frankly, that abhors discrimination, that is -- takes the Declaration seriously: "All men are created equal. All men are endowed with certain rights." Donald Trump and his sidekicks do not believe this. They have turned into this ethno-tribalism. It's contrary to American expressions of history of law from its founding.
He's a buffoon. He's insulting our British allies. He's insulting our German allies. Angela Merkel -- who has an election later this year -- you could see she wasn't too pleased at the press conference yesterday. I think there's going to be reaction against him with their far-right party in Germany as well.
It's telling that the MRC is burying this viewpoint instead of engaging with it. But then, the Mercers aren't giving the MRC millions of dollars a year to do that.
WND Invents 'Miracles' So Trump Can Take Credit For Them Topic: WorldNetDaily
Not only does WorldNetDailiy think Donald Trump is sent from God, it thinks he can perform miracles as well. An anonymous WND writer enthused in a March 10 article:
Is it the federal government’s hiring freeze on non-essential employees?
Or is it a miracle?
The U.S. debt clock is actually spinning backwards since Donald Trump moved into the White House Jan. 20.
On inauguration day, the debt stood at $19.947 trillion. Since then it has reversed by $68 billion, or 0.3 percent, for the first time in at least 10 years.
What happened in the same period after Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009? The debt rose $320 billion in the same period – an increase of 3.1 percent. Overall, the debt nearly doubled in Obama’s eight years, by far the largest increase in any administration in history.
The "miracle" here is that Trump supposedly caused this to happen despite having done nothing that would have caused it. Trump is wrong, of course, as PolitiFact points out:
"Considering that Trump hasn’t enacted any fiscal legislation, it’s a bit of a stretch for him to take credit for any changes in debt levels," Dan Mitchell, a libertarian economist and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told us.
"Debt levels go up and down in the short run based on independent factors such as quarterly tax payments and predetermined expenditure patterns," he said.
Dean Baker, an economist with the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research, said the temporary dip in the debt is triggered by the timing of tax payments and government spending, "both matters that he has not affected one iota."
Added Neil Buchanan, a George Washington University law professor and author of The Debt Ceiling Disasters: "No one who knows anything about budgeting would take a 30-day change to have any meaning at all. There is no credit to take, because it's like noticing that rainfall numbers from one month to the next are not exactly the same or that attendance at baseball games is not a constant number."
Donald Marron, Director of Economic Policy Initiatives at the Urban Institute, speculated that the drop in debt may be because President Barack Obama’s administration left Trump with cash on hand to run the government. So the government's need to borrow hasn't been high recently.
Also, WND has apparently forgotten that Obama took office while the economy was in free fall during a recession, less revenue was coming in, and new government spending was needed to pay unemployment benefits and food stamps.
The anonymous WND writer also touted taht Trump is "already making America great again" as shown by a higher than expected increase in new jobs, even though, again, Trump had implemented no policies that would have caused such an increase.
Yeah, Trump is such a miracle worker that WND has to embellish facts, if not outright lie, to demonstrate those miracles.
MRC's Blumer Pushes Obama Unemployment Stats Conspiracy Theory Topic: NewsBusters
White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to handwave the double standard between Donald Trump's pre-elecction assertions that the government's unemployment numbers were somehow rigged with the Trump administration's embrace of positive numbers in February by declaring, "They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now."
The one person who didn't think that was a ridiculous statement? Media Research Center blogger Tom Blumer. Why? He has a conpsiracy theory for that.
Trump's apparent belief in the jobs numbers as relayed by his press secretary may be defensible, despite his campaign rhetoric.
The AP reporters failed to note that former BLS head Erica Groshen's four-year term expired on January 27, six weeks before yesterday's release.
Groshen's appointment was delayed for 11 months before she was confirmed in January 2013, likely because of Republican senators' and others' concerns over appointing a far-left partisan with "ties to decidedly left-wing political groups" into a technical position with the potential to spin or even alter underlying data.
During Groshen's reign, as the reported unemployment rate dropped from 8.0 percent to 4.8 percent during her term, there was reason to believe that BLS may have changed its criteria for whether a person was in the labor force and began excluding more people who were legitimately looking for work. Doing so in a manner inconsistent with previous practices would artificially reduce the officially reported unemployment rate.
Groshen has been gone for six weeks. With new leadership, it's at least possible that Team Trump has gained confidence in the BLS data, and has had the opportunity to correct any major flaws which the previous director might have allowed into its processes.
Those alleged "ties to decidedly left-wing political groups" Groshen had, according to the Daily Caller article Blumer cites as evidence? She co-authored an article "urging an end to small businesses’ exemption from expensive federal regulations," and her husband donated $20 to "the far-left Working Families Party."
Really, that's it.
Also, Blumer provides no evidence that Groshen ever falsified unemployment data or even, as he suggests, "changed its criteria for whether a person was in the labor force and began excluding more people who were legitimately looking for work." Indeed, Groshen has pointed out that the agency has used the same method for calculating the unemployment rate since 1940.
In fact, there was no reason to believe Groshen would manipulate the unemployment figures, despite Blumer's rant. There is, however, reason to believe that whomever Trump appoints to replace Groshen -- and he hasn't done so yet despite Groshen leaving in January -- might be ordered to do so, given Trump's obsession with appearances and his baseless attacks on jobless stats under Obama.
Apparently, neither Trump nor Blumer can accept the indisputable fact that the economy improved under Obama. So it seems Obama Derangement Syndrome never dies.
NEW ARTICLE: At WND, It's Donald the Divine Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily slandered Barack Obama as the Antichrist, but it's now pushing the idea that hand of God brought Donald Trump's election as president. Read more >>
MRC Blogger's Fake-News Fail on Trump and Russia Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center blogger P.J. Gladnick has been laboring quite hard to pretend there's nothing to see in regard to Donald Trump's links with Russia. For instance, he declared in a March 8 post:
Be very careful Democrats and your mainstream media allies. The fake news story about collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia is a minefield that could destroy your credibility even beyond conservative skeptics who already don't believe you.
On March 9, Gladnick asserted that "the Trump-Russia fake news story is crumbling" and complained that an Associated Press writer talked to a few spy novelists for their take on this "fake news fiction."He added: "Newsflash! If you had been following the real, not fake, news recently, the premise has definitely returned to the far-fetched category. Not one intelligence agency has provided proof of collusion between Trump and Russia. In fact the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, flat out denied it on Sunday."
But as the AP has stated elsewhere, Clapper not signaling any evidence of collusion does not mean that none exists, or that none was discovered after Clapper left office on Jan. 20.
The next day, Gladnick ranted about a Politico report on the subject:
When reading the series of charts containing a weird labyrinth of rather tenuous connections published in the March/April edition of Politico Magazine, it is hard not to channel Inspector Jacques Clouseau trying to connect the unrelated dots to make the case that was always far off the mark. The Politico dots on the series of seven elaborate charts are chock full of oligarchs, both Russian and Ukrainian, a beauty contest, a mixed martial artist, a dossier that no one has seen, a couple of Russian energy giants not to be confused with a regular Russian oil company, and, to top it off, a mystery person. This is the laughable evidence presented by reporter Michael Crowley to desperately give the Trump-Russia fake news story an aura of validity despite no proof.
The only things that seem to be missing from Crowley's charts are Boris Badinov and Natasha.
Gladnick went on to assert that "the only ones to be shaken by the Trump-Russia fake news story are the mainstream media and the Democrats," who are in a "futile search for the Trump-Russia collusion Holy Grail."
Gladnick hasn't written anything in a few days, so we don't know what he thinks about the news that the FBI is officially investigating allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow while Russia was interfering in the presidential election.
WND Managing Editor Complains About Websites (Not His Own) Pushing 'Fake News' Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is rarely more ridiculous than when it's hypocritically ranting about fake news. Take, for instance, Chelsea Schilling's smear-filled screed personally attacking a college professor for putting WND on a list of unreliable fake-news purveyors.
Take also WND managing editor David Kupelian's March 16 article. He begins it by uncritically taking the side of Fox News and Sean Hannity, prlclaiming as "fake news" a CNN report that Hannity pulled a gun on Fox contributor Juan Williams.
Kupelian also takes refuge in his soul-selling to back Donald Trump, refuting the claim in the CNN report by Dylan Byers that Hannity is acting "conspiratorial" by obsessing about a "deep state" of federal officials working to undermine Trump: "Pause-button, please: The last several months of news have comprised a non-stop prosecutorial case demonstrating precisely such efforts by entrenched, anti-Trump federal employees to sabotage the new president, including through naked violations of the Espionage Act."
Kupelian then hopped to another subject:
More from CNN’s Byers: “Earlier this month, Hannity conducted an interview with Monica Crowley, the conservative commentator who would have become Trump’s deputy national security adviser were it not for her rampant plagiarism, which was uncovered by CNN’s KFile. Hannity announced that anyone who had questions about Crowley’s plagiarism – which, again, had been well documented – could ‘go to hell.'”
However, as the respected former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explained in National Review, Crowley’s actual errors were minor and the plagiarism allegations – surfacing just as she was about to become President Trump’s senior director of communications at the National Security Council – were wildly overblown as a means of discrediting her and knocking her out of the Trump administration.
In fact, McCarthy quoted well-respected copyright attorney Lynn Chu, who conducted a careful study of the plagiarism allegations against Crowley, and not only “found CNN’s splashy ‘plagiarism’ accusation to be ill-supported – a heavily exaggerated, political hit job” – but even found that CNN omitted Crowley’s end notes in its reporting so as to make it appear she was failing to credit her sources.
McCarthy's column -- which did concede that Crowley made "missteps" -- is mostly a rehash of Chu's Facebook post defending Crowley, in which Chu curiously states that "I was engaged to conduct a detailed review" of the CNN report on Crowley but fails to state by whom she was "engaged."
But as Business Insider details, CNN did in fact address the footnotes in Crowley's dissertation, saying that she "often failed to include citations or to properly cite sources in sections where she copied their wording verbatim or closely paraphrased it." Politico similarly reported that Crowley "lifted passages from her footnoted texts, occasionally making slight wording changes but rarely using quotation marks. Sometimes she didn't footnote at all." Crowley also sometimes initially cited sources but then failed to do so on subsequent references that appeared to be taken wholesale from or were extremely close to the original text.
Further, the fact remains that the publisher of Crowley's book "What The (Bleep) Just Happened" pulled it from the marketplace amid the plagiarism allegations, and it remains off the market.
Kupelian concludes: "Sounds like it’s CNN, not Hannity, that has the problem with reckless behavior and not only threatening – but hurting – innocent people. But that’s what happens when you’re really, really angry." You mean like WND behaved all through the Obama administration?