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Monday, May 8, 2017
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch

As she has the past few months under the Trump presidency -- in contrast to the continuously negative spin she used during President Obama -- reporter Susan Jones emphasizes the positive news about unemployment statistics. Her May 5 article on April's numbers touted how "The number of employed Americans set a third straight monthly record in April, increasing by 156,000 to 153,156,000; and the nation's unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 4.4 percent."

While Jones did concede in the second paragraph that more people also left the workforce last month, she then huffed: "The numbers are important: People who are employed have Social Security and other payroll taxes deducted from their paychecks, and those taxes help to support many other people who do not work for various reasons and who may receive taxpayer-funded entitlements or benefits.

By contrast, Jones' article on September unemployment numbers(under Obama) led with the number of people not in the workforce -- which, it so happens, was lower than it was in April.

As before, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey added an article about how a few thousand manufacturing jobs were added while also whining that jobs in government were also added.

AWOL again, as has been the case under the Trump administration, are CNS' Obama-era staples on high black unemployment and the "real" unemployment rate.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:50 PM EDT
Fake News At WND, Unvaccinated Muslim Division
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last week, we reported how WorldNetDaily's Leo Hohmann tried to blame a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community in Minnesota on the religion of Islam itself -- despite the fact that the Muslim doctor he cited as proof of this has been promoted by anti-vaxxer outlets WND itself has treated as credible.

Well, it turns out that non-Muslim anti-vaxxer activists -- not Muslims -- are fanning anti-vaccine fear that led to the outbreak.

The Washington Post reports that activists repeatedly invited Andrew Wakefield -- a disbarred doctor whose claims linking vaccines and autism have been thoroughly discredited -- to speak to residents and spread his anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories.

WND has promoted Wakefield's discredited claims as recently as 2016, when columnist Barry Farber touted the anti-vaxxer film made by "distinguished research gastroenterologist" Wakefield and likened vaccine defenders to "the fanatical war-time Japanese defended their Emperor Hirohito." WND's Bob Unruh later repeated Farber's praise for Wakefield in an article defending a woman who opposed vaccinating her children on religious grounds.

The Post also noted that anti-vaxxer ativist Mark Blaxill also spoke to the Somali community in Minnesota. Blaxill's work was approvingly cited in a 2015 column by  Robert Kennedy Jr., who wrote a series of anti-vaccine columns for WND around that time.

In other words, WND's own anti-vaxxer fellow travelers -- not Islam or the Quran -- are responsible for creating this measles outbreak. Hohmann is simply creating fake news by fearmongering about Muslims for something his own side did. 

That's dishonest journalism in the extreme. But does anyone expect anything less from WND?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 8, 2017 11:27 AM EDT
Saturday, May 6, 2017
WND Plays the Scary-Muslim Card on French Election
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is not afraid to play the scary-Muslim card whenever doing so suits its right-wing political agenda (i.e., vaccines).

Thus, we have an anonymously written May 4 WND article on the upcoming French election that portrays the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (whose extremist leanings are never mentioned in the article) as the savior of France against the advancing, filthy Muslim hordes and her centrist opponent, Emmanuel Macron, as a Muslim appeaser on the level of the right's caricature of Barack Obama. The article quotes "American observers," one of whom is the guy who runs the website -- who proclaims that every single critic of Le Pen belong to "the forces of hell" -- the other of whom is a rabid Muslim-hater:

“All the forces of hell are lined up against Marine Le Pen,” said Joseph Farah, WND founder and president and author of “The Restitution of All Things.”. He argued it is a clear choice between electing Le Pen or watching France and eventually all of Europe become Islamic.

One of Le Pen’s most vocal American backers is Paul Nehlen, the populist Republican who challenged Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a primary and the producer and director of the new documentary“Hijrah: Radical Islam’s Global Invasion.” He has endorsed Le Pen and believes if Le Pen does not win, France is in danger of vanishing altogether.

“I’m not sure what it is going to take for the West to wake up,” Nehlen told WND. “France is constantly on high alert and is in continuous danger of a terrorist attack from its own Muslim population. The share of the population that is Muslim is increasing dramatically, and Muslims are more comfortable flexing their political and cultural muscle. And the French authorities seem to not only be OK with this, but crack down brutally on anyone who opposes the dispossession and subjugation of the French people. If this isn’t treason and surrender, I don’t know what is.

“Marine Le Pen is, so far as I can tell, the only figure in the French political mainstream who actually seems to be defending the French, as opposed to deliberately trying to destroy them.”


Nehlen called Macron both weak and hollow, characterizing him as an empty suit dedicated to enforcing a globalist agenda. “Macron seems to have a genuine antipathy both to France and Western civilization in general,” he charged. “He sees his country simply as a market, his culture as nonexistent and his people as obstacles to his agenda which should be replaced as soon as possible. If the French are to continue to exist as a nation, this man cannot be their leader.”

Though, after the victories of Brexit and Donald Trump, few would say they can predict the political future, it still appears all but inevitable Macron will win. If that happens, Nehlen said, French patriots need to resist as vigorously as possible.

“If mass immigration continues, France, and eventually all Europe, becomes Islamic,” he mourned. “If that happens, everything our civilization has created, including our liberties, our prosperity and our culture fade into nothingness. You cannot appease Islam or pretend you don’t know where this is all going. France needs Marine Le Pen right now. And so does the entire West. If she doesn’t win, I hope she and all of her supporters continue the fight.”

While the article's subhead references "immigration laws" in France being "good to use," it's mentioned nowhere in the article. Such is the state of Muslim-hate -- and copy-editing -- at WND these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 AM EDT
Friday, May 5, 2017
No Criticism of Trump's First 100 Days Permitted At CNS

The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham huff in their April 26 column:

The time has come for the media to pull out the artificial measuring stick of 100 days to evaluate President Trump. If they're kind, he'll get an I for "incomplete." But it's more likely they'll use other I words like "inability," "incompetence" or "incoherence." Whatever they say, it won't be kind.

By contrast, no negativity whatsoever toward Trump is to be found at the "news" operation Bozell runs -- and the one Bozell is presumably holding up as a model for the "liberal media" to follow --

A CNS "news" article by Melanie Arter, published the day before Bozell and Graham's column appeared, is in full stenography mode (as usual), uncritically asserting that "President Donald Trump accomplished more in his first 100 days than any other president since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, signing 30 executive orders during the first 100 days, the White House said. Arter goes on to quote White House press secretary Sean Spicer at length -- and nobody else -- over Trump's alleged accomplishments. 

Appearing the same day as Bozell and Graham's column at CNS was a column by Phil Kerpen fawningly headlined "Trump’s First 100 Days: Off to a Great Start," in which Kerpen gushed over how "President Trump has not waited on Congress to move forward, with executive branch efforts to dial back the worst excesses" (funny, conservatives hated unilateral executive action when a Democratic president did it) and that "the pendulum finally is swinging back towards individual freedom."

CNS has not published a commentary offering a negative view of Trump's first 100 days -- just the way Bozell and Graham want it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EDT
WND Disappears Accused Cult Leader's Key Role In Its History
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah offered a hagiographic account of his website's founding in his May 1 column. He strangely doesn't talk about where WND was founded, though he does include a picture of "WND’s original office on a ranch in Selma, Oregon."

That tells us WND is a little ashamed of its original offices -- and who owned them. That would be the Tall Timber Ranch, which is owned and operated by a group called the Foundation of Human Understanding, run by Roy Masters. As we've documented, Masters has been accused of being a cult leader.

Farah's not the only one who's airbrushing history. His lieutenant, David Kupelian, is quoted in a May 3 article as saying that "I had worked together with my friend Joseph Farah on another journalism project in the early 1990s" before joining WND.

That "journalism project" was New Dimensions magazine, published by, yes, Roy Masters. Farah was its editor-in-chief for a time in the early 1990s, after Masters had sold it. Kupelian worked for that magazine for many years, and reconstituted it after joining WND as the magazine now known as Whistleblower.

One more Masters connection has also been disappeared from WND's history. In its early years, WND had a symbiotic relationship with Talk Radio Network, a syndicator of right-wing radio hosts created by (wait for it) Roy Masters and currently run by his sons. TRN was known at the time for hosts such as Michael Savage (still a WND buddy) and Laura Ingraham, but its biggest names have moved on or died, its website hasn't been updated in months, and TRN's main activity these days is suing other radio syndicators on antitrust grounds. WND did write a article on the lawsuit, though.

If WND wants to celebrate its history, it should admit its whole history -- which includes admitting it got a major boost early on from an accused cult leader.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 AM EDT
Thursday, May 4, 2017
MRC's Labeling Study Fail
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Geoffrey Dickens complains in an April 25 post:

With Republicans set to make another run at repealing and replacing ObamaCare this week, look for the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) to blame conservatives, specifically, the House Freedom Caucus for any sort of obstruction to getting a deal done. In 30 days of health care debate coverage (March 7 through April 5), the broadcast networks consistently framed it as a fight between unreasonable conservatives versus more moderate Republicans and Senate Democrats by overwhelmingly applying ideological labels to one side of the argument.

MRC analysts reviewed all 141 stories on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening and morning shows that mentioned the efforts of the House Freedom Caucus and their Senate counterparts during the ObamaCare repeal/replacement debate, and discovered that while congressional conservatives were overwhelmingly given ideological labels, those that opposed them were rarely, if ever, labeled by journalists.


In these stories, MRC analysts documented how network reporters assigned a whopping 223 ideological labels to House and Senate Republicans — either to individual members of Congress, or factions like the House Freedom Caucus within the GOP.

Overwhelmingly, the networks used “conservative” tags to talk about Republicans. Fully 80 percent of these labels (179) talked about “conservatives” or those on the “right;” just 20 percent (44) referred to “moderate” Republicans.

Eleven percent of the labels (20) painted conservatives as extremists: “far right,” “hardline,” “very conservative” or “ultra-conservative.” Such deliberate labeling is designed to stigmatize conservatives, casting them as outside-of-the-mainstream ideologues, as compared to their (usually unlabeled) adversaries.

Democrats were never labeled as “liberal” or “progressive.” Twice Democrats were referred to as “moderate,” both times on CBS.

Dickens fails to mention the reason why ideological factions were identified on the Republican side: That's where the fight over repeal is being fought and there are, in fact, conservative and moderate factions. It's not just the "liberal media" reporting on this -- even right-wing Breitbart (like the MRC, a major benificiary of the Mercer family's largesse) has noted the conservative-moderate split. Democrats are unified against any Affordable Care Act repeal, so there is no ideological split to report on -- and, thus, no need to sort between "moderate" and "liberal" Democrats.

In other words, Dickens' "study" has a fundamentally dishonest basis.

There are other issues as well. Once again, a conservative MRC exmployee is inexplicably upset that conservatives are accurately labeled as "conservative." As far as the "far right" label goes, Dickens fails to identify who exactly was labeled as such, so without more information it's impossible to determine the extent of bias here. But given the MRC's propensity for tossing around the "far left" label for anything and everything it doesn't like, there's likely

And for all his complaining about the conservative House Freedom Caucus as an "obstruction to getting a deal done," Dickens does not explain how they were not.

As with its so-called study of "negative" Trump coverage, this MRC study is too biased, loosely defined and narrowly tailored (again, Fox News does not face scrutiny) to be taken seriously by anyone other than the MRC's fellow right-wing travelers.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT
WND's Embarrassingly Fawning Spicer Puff Piece
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This week is the 20th anniversary of the founding of WorldNetDaily, so Joseph Farah is cranking out a lot of blather about how WND serves as a "check and balance on government power."

But there are no checks and balances on government power in an April 23 WND article by Chelsea Schilling drooling over White House press secretary Sean Spicer:

Americans of all political stripes have a new daytime TV obsession, and their favorite, “wildly entertaining” show stars none other than White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Spicer, known for his scrappy encounters with members of the mainstream media, regularly calls out the press for what he sees as their inaccurate and biased reporting.

 It’s reality TV at its best: Spicer has publicly accused members of the media of being “engaged in deliberately false reporting” and making “irresponsible and reckless” claims.

When an ABC reporter dared to interrupt the press secretary, Spicer quickly shut him down: “It’s not your press briefing. … Please calm down.”

As reporter April Ryan repeatedly cut him off, Spicer unloaded both barrels:  “At some point, report the facts.” He then called her out when she didn’t like his answer: “I’m sorry that disgusts you. You’re shaking your head. … At some point, April, you’re going to have to take ‘no’ for an answer, with respect to whether or not there was collusion [between Russia and Trump].”

In yet another case, Spicer told the Washington Post it “should be ashamed” at how it covered a story he twice called “100 percent false.”

For whatever reason, Americans are digging Spicer’s bold media smackdowns. And Spicer himself has become a bona fide national celebrity – with name recognition above 60 percent nationally, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll.

In fact, some viewers say they’re addicted to the Spicer briefing drama. They simply can’t get enough.

One of those viewers, obviously, is Schilling. It's not until paragraph 54 -- repeat, paragraph 54 -- of her article does she bother to mention any criticism of Spicer for "giv[ing] out misinformation on everything." And that takes up only four paragraphs in her 85-paragraph article. So, not exactly fair and balanced.

Farah should slow his roll on how WND is acting as a "check and balance" on government," since it clearly has no intention of holding Trump to the same standards it held President Obama. Or, apparently, any standards at all. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
MRC Is Incensed That Jorge Ramos Won An Award
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been in an ongoing war against Univision anchor Jorge Ramos -- including trying to get him fired -- for committing the offense of offering critical coverage of Donald Trump. Ramos was just given a Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, which is making the MRC even more angry at him.

Jorge Bonilla unloaded in an April 27 MRC post:

To be clear, Ramos is being honored for going to Iowa and stage-managing his ejection from a Donald Trump press conference, doing all sorts of media about the cataclysmic effects of his stage-managed ejection, and then taking a stridently anti-Trump stance going forward which, subsequently, built a permission structure for the rest of the Acela media to retreat into its bubble and also take a side during the election. This, explicitly, is the basis for Ramos' acclaim throughout elite establishment media and academia...and it's not just USC Annenberg [which gives out the Cronkite awards].

As we've noted, the MRC has never substantiated its claim that Ramos engaged in a publicity stunt, nor would it similarly characterize as a stunt a attempt by conservative reporter Neil Munro to grandstand during a press conference by President Obama.

Bonilla insisted that the award to Ramos honors "ugly, racialist political activism," adding, "That such behavior would be honored as journalism is a telling indication of the profound disconnect that exists between the industry and the American people (Hispanics, too), as well as an indictment of our nation's elite media."

The award to Ramos also warranted an official MRC press release. MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted: "This man doesn’t deserve a prize for political journalism, but for political activism, as one of the worst of the worst. Instead of meeting at the National Press Club to celebrate him, journalists should be meeting to censure him, for being an impostor."

The guy who perpetuated the lie that he wrote his own syndicated column is attacking someone else as an "impostor"? How rich.

MRC Latino director Ken Oliver-Mendez huffed:

Ramos was not seeing reality because, as MRC Latino repeatedly exposed throughout the election and the Wikileaks email dumps of their communications also confirmed, he and his network, from the highest levels on down, were hell-bent on manipulating their viewers in favor of the Democrats, colluding with the Clinton campaign and constantly demonizing Donald Trump.

So Oliver-Mendez is going to citet stolen emails leaked by the Russians to benefit  the MRC's preferred candidate to bash Ramos? Whatever. Oliver-Mendez then echoed his boss:

The record shows Jorge Ramos did nothing in his 2016 political coverage but a historic disservice to the audience to whom he was supposed to provide unaligned and undistorted news. The good news is that more viewers than ever see entirely through him, and the proof came on Election Day, when millions of Hispanics throughout the country roundly rejected his anti-Trump agenda and helped elect Donald Trump to the White House.

Meanwhile, the MRC is much less concerned about providing unaligned and undistorted news through its own "news" operation,

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EDT
WND's Hohmann Still in Freakout Mode Over The Idea of Muslim Politicians
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how anti-Muslim WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann freaks out every time a Muslim politician in the U.S. demonstrates any kind of actual or potential electoral success.

Imagine the freakout Hohmann has over the existence of a political action committee working to get Muslims elected.

In an April 23 WND article, Hohmann writes about Jetpac, a group whose "sole purpose is to organize and train Muslims for elected offices at the local, state and national levels," and its founder, Nadeem Mazen. It's an unusually straight article until Hohmann asserts: "This is exactly how the Muslim Brotherhood envisioned the takeover of America, through non-violent civilizational jihad, experts on the shadowy network tell WND."

And then it's time for Hohmann to start quoting the Muslim-haters:

But the narrative provided by Mazen is mostly propaganda meant for the untrained non-Muslim ear, dutifully passed on as “news” by politically correct media outlets, says Clare Lopez, vice president of research and analysis for the Center for Security Policy and author of “Star Spangled Shariah: The Rise of America’s First Muslim Brotherhood Party.”

Lopez noted Mazen  was a founding member of the CAIR chapter in Massachusetts after serving as the president of the Muslim Student Association at MIT.

CAIR and the MSA are both off-shoots of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned as a terrorist organization in at least half a dozen countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE.

While most Muslim politicians publicly support social justice, environmental justice, free and easy abortions, same-sex marriage and the full pallet of LGBTQ rights, that is merely a means to an end. The ultimate goal is Shariah law for Americans, Lopez said.


“We know that the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood began planning at least a decade ago to seed the U.S. political system with young, up-and-coming, Shariah-adherent, Shariah-promoting stealth jihadist like Ilhan Omar in Minnesota – now it’s happening – they are shrewdly using our own system against us – via Star Spangled Shariah.”

Omar was a previous freakout target of Hohmann, who added: "Omar made headlines Thursday when she was one of only two lawmakers to vote against a bill in the Minnesota State House that would allow life insurance companies to deny death benefits to the families of dead terrorists." Hohmann links to an April 20 article he wrote about Omar's vote, in which he relies on his his usual retinue of Muslim-haters and couldn't be bothered to contact Omar for an explanation.

But Omar later stated on Facebook her reason for voting against the bill was a rushed process and a poorly written bill -- in opther worfds, much less sinister than what Hohmann was trying to intimate in his biased writing.

Similarly, Hohmann couldn't be bothered to contact Mazen for a response to WND's attacks on him.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
CNS Editor Uses Same Budget Argument His MRC Co-Worker Mocked Two Days Earlier

In an April 23 post, the Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro mocked a CBS program that pointed out that funding for agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasating -- which President Trump has proposed to eliminate -- makes up "less than 2/100ths of a percent of the federal budget." Fondacaro added: "This, despite the fact that all together funding for these agencies costs taxpayers close to $1 billion."

Two days later, Terry Jeffrey, the editor in chief of, the MRC's "news" division, made the exact same argument -- at tedious, editorializing length, despite the article being tagged as "news" -- to push for funding for a border wall:

President Donald Trump’s request that Congress include $1.4 billion to fund the beginning of his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border equals approximately 0.035 percent of what the federal government will spend in total this year, according to the latest estimate of fiscal year 2017 federal spending made by the Congressional Budget Office.

It also equals less than the Department of Health and Human Services spends in just twelve hours and less than the Treasury collects in taxes in four hours.


The $1.4 billion Trump wants from Congress in this fiscal year to begin the border wall project equals 0.035 percent of the $3.963 trillion the CBO estimates the federal government will spend this fiscal year.

By comparison, the Department of Health and Human Services alone will spend an estimated $1,108,457,000,000 in fiscal 2017, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. That $1,108,457,000,000 in annual HHS spending equals approximately $126,546,187 for each of the 8,760 hours in the fiscal year.

In other words, HHS will spend approximately $126,536,187 per hour this year—assuming that it spends money 24 hours a day.

That means that HHS spends in about 11 hours an amount equal to the $1.4 billion that President Trump wants this fiscal year for the border wall project.

In half a day—12 hours—HHS spends more than Trump wants for the border wall for the entire year.

The $3,404,000,000,000 that the Treasury will collect in taxes this fiscal year, according to the CBO estimate, equals about $388,584,475 in tax collections per hour.

The $1.4 billion that Trump wants for the border wall project this year equals about 3.6 hours in federal tax collections.

In just 4 hours, the federal government collects more in taxes than President Trump wants to spend for the entire year on the border wall.

Jeffrey doesn't explain why he's making the same argument his MRC co-worker declared to be invalid just two days earlier.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 AM EDT
WND's 'Path to Greatness': Vince Foster, False Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

To mark its 20th year of existence, WorldNetDaily has been running a daily list of stories it claims are a "milestone" in its "path to greatness." We've noted one early entry on this list: pushing the conspiracy theory that Antonin Scalia was murdered. So how has WND been adding to that dubious list during the month of April?

On April 7, WND touted how it pushed conspiracy theories about the deah of Vince Foster:

April 7, 1998: Americans skeptical of the official pronouncement of former Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster’s 1993 death as suicide were given further reason to question how the close associate of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton died when WND reported on an FBI memo containing significant inconsistencies

Further, all the official investigators who might have been the source of the faulty observations pleaded ignorance and refused to accept responsibility.

WND contacted the FBI’s Washington Field Office and a media representative said no information could be provided as to the author of the memo, particularly since she did not possess a copy of it. When asked if she would like a copy faxed to her, she responded, “No, I don’t want to get involved in this.”

A quick check on WND's site search page reveals years of coverage on this still-strange death.

It's only strange if you're complete conspiracy nuts, like WND's employees are.

The next day, WND touted a 2001 article promoting a "Southern heritage group's " effort to petition Congress for a "review of what it said were 'neglected injustices' committed by Union troops and generals in the South during the 1861-65 War Between the States." 

For April 14, WND's "milestone" was the never-substantiated claim from right-wing legal group Judicial Watch that "ISIS is running a camp just a few miles from the Texas border.

For April 15, it was a rehash of a stunt to promote WND managing editor David Kupelian's book "The Marketing of Evil," in which WND teamed with the Alliance Defense Fund (now the Alliance Defending Freedom) to falsely portray a college librarian as perpetrating "sexual harassment" and a victim of "censorship" for recommending Kupelian's book.

And on April 26, the big story was, somehow, right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

If that's what WND considers to its "path to greatness," it continues to be a pretty sad excuse for a "news" operation.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 AM EDT
Monday, May 1, 2017
The Month In CNS Obsessing Over Calls to Release Trump's Tax Returns

In addition to her extensive collection of Trump stenography, reporter Susan Jones has obsessed over calls for President Trump to release his tax returns. That obsession has continued through the month of April.

On April 6, Jones complained that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Trump, as president, doesn't have a right to privacy regarding his tax returns. Jones huffed: Democrats believe they’ll find information damaging or embarrassing to the president in his tax returns. They have sought to delegitimize him, at the very least, since he was elected. Some Democrats have even raised the prospect of impeachment."

In response to Rep. Richard Neal pointing out that presidents releasing their tax returns is "custom and practice" and "settled tradition," Jones parenthetically huffed: "For the record, it is also 'custom and practice' to confirm qualified candidates for the Supreme Court, but Democrats in the Senate are now bucking that 'settled tradition.'"Funny, we don't recall Jones making that point last year when undeniably qualified candidate Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court.

The next day, Jones did another article about how Sen. Ron Wyden asked IRS commissioner John Koskinen about Trump's tax returns, grumbling, "Every year around this time, the Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on the tax filing season. But this is the first time a committee member has asked the IRS commissioner about a president’s tax returns."

On April 18, Jones tried to play gotcha with a Democratic congressman:

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I) has co-sponsored a bill that would require U.S. presidents and vice presidents to release their tax returns, and now Whitehouse has agreed to do what he’s demanding of others -- for the very first time.

The Providence Journal, quoting a spokeswoman for Whitehouse, said the senator and his wife “have in the past kept their personal tax return private to protect the privacy of their children,” who are now 23 and 27.


Many congressional Democrats and other anti-Trump Americans – looking for conflicts of interest or other potentially damaging information -- have demanded that President Trump release his tax returns, which he has so far refused to do.

Jones' boss, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman, even got in on the fun in an April 19 article quoting his favorite gay-hating, Muslim-hating right-wing pastor:

Commenting on the liberal media's demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said, "No Way!" and added that it would become "a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want."

"Should President Donald J. Trump release his tax returns?" asked rev. Graham in an April 19 post on Facebook. "A lot of liberals keep demanding it."

"The President hasn’t asked for my advice, but I would say—No way!" remarked Rev. Graham.

"Even if these were published, the average American -- or the average politician, including Senator Chuck Schumer, for that matter -- wouldn’t be able to understand them," said Graham. "President Trump is a billionaire with multiple businesses in multiple states, using our very complicated and corrupt tax code that Congress is responsible for writing—that should be scrapped."

"It would just be another huge distraction, and a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want," said Rev. Graham.

"We don’t need distractions," he said. "We need to let President Trump focus on what America elected him to do."

"We need to get on with the business of solving the problems facing our nation," he said. "Forget the tax returns! We need a simple tax code that all Americans can understand."

Did Graham ever say that President Obama need to be protected from "distractions" about his personal life? Nope -- Graham pushed birther conspiracies. Of course, Chapmann won't tell you that.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 AM EDT
Anti-Vaccine WND Blames Measles Outbreak On Muslims, Because Of Course It Would
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Two years ago, the vaccine conspiracy theorists at WorldNetDaily refused to blame a measles outbreak on anti-vaxxers like itself but, rather, on President Obama and immigrants. It's happening again.

Leo Hohmann writes in an April 28 WND article, under the clickbait headline "Quran blamed in new U.S. disease outbreak":

An outbreak of measles is sweeping through a community of Somali refugees in Minnesota and the growing number of cases may be starting to test the limits of the Hennepin County healthcare system.

According to reports from the health commissioner’s office, there are now 30 cases of children in Hennepin County who have been diagnosed with measles, and 28 of them are Somali children who have not been vaccinated. All of the cases involve children 5 years of age and younger.


Measles were declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, But Minnesota and other states see sporadic cases, typically linked to international travel and the influx of Third World refugees and asylum seekers.

At no point in his article does Hohmann specifically make the headline's claim that the Quran says not to vaccinate people. He does, however quote an anti-Muslim activist suggesting something similar:

Dr. Andrew Bostom, M.D., an academic internist specializing in general internal medicine who has also authored several books about the history of Islam, said Muslim communities often prove difficult to convince that vaccinations are appropriate for their children.

“The case against vaccinations is first an Islamic one,” he said, citing a 2011 article by Dr. Majid Katme, spokesman for the Islamic Medical Association in the United Kingdom.

“We are giving our innocent children haram [forbidden] substances and harmful chemicals that destroy their natural immune systems, causing disease, suffering and death,” Dr. Katme wrote.

But as blogger Richard Bartholomew points out, Hohmann is conflating Somali Americans with Somali refugees. He also notes WND's anti-vaccine attacks, adding:

Further, in 2007 WND‘s tie-in print publication Whistleblower ran a special issue on “Scary Medicine: Exposing The Dark Side of Vaccines”. Contributors included one Dr Sherri Tenpenny, who is on the board of directors of the “International Medical Council on Vaccination”. The council has a website, which includes among its resources… the very screed by Majid Katme quoted by Hohmann and Bostom!

Oops. Is WND renouncing its previous anti-vaccine activism? Or is it only doing so when it can blame someone other than anti-vaxxers for outbreaks? Given WND's history of fundamental dishonesty and Hohmann's obsessive hatred for Muslims, it's likely the latter.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Sunday, April 30, 2017
MRC's Hatred of Anita Hill Continues
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent the past quarter-century hating Anita Hill for exposing Clarence Thomas' issues with female co-workers, and it't not going to stop now.

In an April 20 post, Kyle Drennen complained that NBC used the Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment scandal to "resurrect the unsubstantiated 1991 smear campaign against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Astonishingly, the numerous sexual harassment claims against former President Bill Clinton were never mentioned."

The same day, the MRC's Scott Whitlock similarly whined:

In the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox News,  USA Today on Thursday decided to highlight a woman who endured sexual harassment from someone powerful and is now the “torchbearer in the decades-long fight against sexual harassment.” Unsurprisingly, that woman is not Paula Jones or one of the women who stood up to Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment. It’s Anita Hill and her efforts to take down Clarence Thomas. 

USA Today writer Jessica Guynn praised, “Though some dismissed her testimony against Thomas as a partisan attack, for many Hill is a torchbearer in the decades-long fight against sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace.”


Nowhere in the April 20th article did the journalist point out that Hill’s outrage at sexual misconduct is rather selective. On September 28, 1998, she came to the defense of then-President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Hill wrote an op-ed for the New York Times that decried the “moral fundamentalism” of those who would demand she hold the Democrat accountable. 

Funny how Whitlock doesn't describe Paula Jones, et al, as having the goal of trying to "take down" Clinton.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:43 PM EDT
Newsmax's Hirsen Blames Venezuela Crisis On ... Hollywood?
Topic: Newsmax

The headline of James Hirsen's April 24 Newsmax column reads, "Hollywood Inflames Crisis in Venezuela." Huh?

Hirsen rehashes the key right-wing trope about the situation in Venezuela these days -- namely, that it's a direct result of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, being socialists. In fact, it has more to do with authoritarian behavior by Chavez and Maduro combined with mismanagement of both the country's oil industry and its economy as a whole.

And somehow "Hollywood" is responsible for that? Hirsen sort of backs off the headline's blanket indictment, instead targeting just a few people he doesn't like:

This is a country that is now being devoured by chaos. Looking back, though, liberal celebrities such as Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte, Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Oliver Stone, and Naomi Campbell supported Chavez while he ransacked the country, and/or they oftentimes lent their influence to assist his chosen replacement Maduro.

Some of the Hollywood glitterati actually traveled to Venezuela multiple times to aid Chavez’s socialist oppression. Penn acted as a surrogate for Chavez during the dictator’s campaigns. Moore praised the despot for redistributing oil company profits. And Campbell gave kudos to Chavez, even referring to him as a "rebel angel."


The Hollywood left continued its support for handpicked socialist successor Maduro, who doubled down on Chavez’s failing policies. Penn explicitly endorsed the new dictator Maduro, and Foxx appeared at a staged media event for Chavez’s replacement.

The Chavez-Maduro fans in Hollywood have been unusually quiet as news from Venezuela becomes increasingly grim.

It is time for the far-left in Hollywood to speak out against an ideology built on the greed and egos of power hungry elites, one fueled by the envy and resentment manipulatively induced in the poor and disenfranchised.

Notice that Hirsen uses "liberals," the "left" and the "far-left" interchangeably. Words mean things, but Hirsen doesn't seem to think so. Who, exactly, does Hirsen want to speak out?

It's also worth noting that Hirsen's sudden concern about "the greed and egos of power hungry elites" seem to have went AWOL when Donald Trump was running for president. Hirsen has repeatedly defended Trump in his column.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT

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