NewsBusters Co-Creator Now Writing At Liberal Website Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Sheffield, along with brother Greg, created the NewsBusters blog for the Media Research Center in 2005. Before that, the Sheffields had run a blog attacking Dan Rather, which led to the MRC job.
Sheffield left the MRC in 2014 to work on other projects, which include a media strategy consulting firm. But one other project is unlikely to be mentioned -- or, if so,c ertainly not in a positive way -- when MRC employees are talking about him these days.
Sheffield is currently writing about media, politics and technology for the liberal-leaning site Salon, which Sheffield's former compatriots at NewsBusters like to dismiss with intended epithets as "far-far-left" and "uber-liberal." What's more, some of his articles are calling out the behavior of his fellow conservatives.
In April, for example, Sheffield reported on the network of sock-puppet blogs controlled by former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, which were used to attack Fox News critics, and that this Fox News black-ops group helped subsidized the work of pro-Fox News blogger Mark Koldys and his Johnny Dollar's Place blog.
He's also written about the financial woes of iHeartMedia, the radio station owner that syndicates the shows of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity; the protest by torch-wielding alt-right folks opposing the removal of Confederate monuments; how the never-Trump rantings of Louise Mensch, former editor of the right-wing, Murdoch-owned blog Heat Street, may just be an act to trap gullible liberals; and the creeping moderation at generally liberal-leaning MSNBC, which has added conservative commentators and former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren.
You'll never be reading about any of this at any MRC website. And for all we know, that may be why he left. We've noted a previous attempt to sneak in (albeit perhaps not intentionally) a little truth at NewsBusters, in a 2013 post implicitly conceding -- by begging conservative billionaires to invest in media outlets -- that conservative newspapers need deep-pocketed, ideologically driven sugar daddies to stay afloat. This was proven further last year when the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shut down its print edition to become an online-only publication following the death of conservative benefactor Richard Mellon Scaife, who had sunk $300 million into the paper's operation.
So, congratulations to Sheffield for discovering balanced journalism. It's too bad he had to leave the MRC to do it -- for both him and the MRC.
MRC Pretends Trump's (And Its Own) Rhetoric Didn't Play Role In GOP Pol's Attack on Reporter Topic: Media Research Center
While the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham were providing wink-and-a-nod approval to Montana Republican candidate Greg Gianforte's assault of reporter Ben Jacobs, their MRC minions were assigned a different task: trying to shout down the idea that Gianforte's assault wasn't part of increased hostility toward reporters cheered on by President Trump -- and fomented in part by the MRC.
Curtis Houck -- clearly not knowing what his bosses were doing -- prefaced his May 24 post by saying that "Importantly, any assault of anyone (reporter or non-reporter) isn’t okay. This should be common sense" before laying into "supposedly right-leaning blogger" and frequent Heatheringtarget Jennifer Rubin for speaking the inconvenient truth that Gianforte's assault is the end result of Trump's (and, by extension, the MRC's) anti-media rhetoric since "the fish rots from the head":
So, Jennifer, let’s talk about your fish analogy. If you don’t want to blame the President for all this, here’s two examples of things you’ve said that haven’t exactly been helpful to creating a healthy discourse. On December 11, 2016, you referred to people selected for Trump’s cabinet as not just “billionaires” and “generals” but “ignoramuses” as well. How classy!
On March 9, you insinuated the President should be blamed for future U.S. terror attacks if his budget shrinks the size of the federal government. How responsible!
To broaden it out to The Washington Post, their cartoonist depicted Ted Cruz’s daughters in December 2015 as toy monkeys with Cruz holding an organ grinder.
If “[t]he fish rots from the head,” how’s Donald Trump the sole person responsible, Jennifer?
That's what's called distracting from the issue. Making his way back to the subject at hand, Houck huffed further (after another disclaimer that he doesn't approve of Gianforte's behavior):
However, solely blaming one flawed human being’s actions on someone else (President Trump) is a bridge too far. Further, the instant drive to connect everything to the President is tiresome.
Same goes for suggesting that the media bias movement was to blame here. The crusade against liberal media bias has been going on for decades. Heck, the Media Research Center is marking its 30th anniversary in 2017.
So, this idea that, suddenly, criticism of the media has become anti-American, uncalled for, or violent is exactly what the left wants people to believe. Turns out, one can be against assaulting reporters and for fighting liberal media bias. Who would have thought!
Houck followed up with another attack post, this one at CNN's Dylan Byers for explicting citing "anti-media rhetoric" leading to Gianforte's behavior:
Let’s not stick to the person who’s alleged to have lost their cool and attacked a reporter. No, let’s attack people (like the ones on this site) that have pushed the issue of media bias for decades (without violence).
In the world of folks like Dylan Byers, they’re firmly opposed to President Trump and anyone who stands in their way. Instead of looking at the incivility being promulgated by CNN, NPR, or The Washington Post, it’s sites like this one that are supposedly the problem for suggesting the media are not the angels they paint themselves to be.
Nevermind the reality that NewsBusters has been around for 12 years and not promoting violence (with parent organization Media Research Center being around for 30 years), but this space is here to argue it’s quite easy to be against physical assault and believe the media have a liberal bias.
Except, you know, we have the example of the MRC attacking NBC's Katy Tur for not being a Trump sycophant, closely followed by Trump doing the same thing to Tur in person at his campaign rallies -- resulting in the Secret Service having to walk Tur to her car to protect her from Trump fans ginned up on hate.
Kristine Marsh, meanwhile, cheered CNN conservative Ben Ferguson's attempt to distract from the issue at hand by irrelevantly talking about Anthony Weiner.
Scott Whitlock sneered at NBC's Andrea Mitchell for bringing it up, bizarrely arguing that Trump couldn't possibly be responsible because he's out of the country:
Guilt by association. That’s what Andrea Mitchell believes. Despite the fact that Donald Trump is on another continent, the Andrea Mitchell Reports anchor thinks that the assault against a journalist by a Montana congressional candidate is an “extension” of the President. Talking about Greg Gianforte’s attack on Guardianreporter Ben Jacobs, the MSNBC host connected, “There is so much hostility, frankly, to the press, a lot of it generated by the Donald Trump rallies.”
Kyle Drennen highlighted former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh offering a strange it-was-only-words defense -- "Trump has called out the media, he's never body-slammed the media" -- then dismissed any attempt to link Trump to violent attacks on journalists as a "left-wing line of attack."
MRC VP Dan Gainor was also on spin patrol in a Fox Business apperance, harrumphing: "The American media are so thin-skinned, so narcissistic, that any criticism, any attack, becomes this great metaphor for everything going on in the world."
It's almost as if the MRC has forgotten that it promoted conservatives who directly linked rhetoric from President Obama to later violent acts:
A 2014 post by Jack Coleman highlighted Rush Limbaugh claiming that Obama's remarks regarding racially charaged incidents in Ferguson, Mo., as "inane ramblings that were designed subtly to feed the rage."
The MRC published a 2014 column by Rush's brother, David Limbaugh, asserting that Obama "has fanned the flames of racial tension in this country " and is "fomenting further distrust between the black community and law enforcement."
Tom Blumer touted a poorly written Associated Press headline on unrest in Baltimore, "Obama pledges help to riot," as containing "more truth than the wire service and the headline's actual creators will ever admit."
A May 2015 column by Jeffrey Lord lamented that "There is no way in the world that the liberal media - the Times in this case - will contribute to the bonfire by blaming Obama or Clinton much less the liberalism that has run Baltimore lo these several decades."
Blumer returned to cheer how Bill O'Reilly blamed "leftists, up to and including President Obama" in part for "the violent records and actions" of Black Lives Matter.
The MRC would rather you not point out its hypocrisy.
Former President Barack Hussein Obama, a not-too-closet of a Muslim, apparently respects Shariah law more than America’s legal system. Proof positive: For years Freedom Watch and I have been attempting, through court-licensed process servers, to serve the former chief law enforcement officer with five civil complaints, which sue him not only in his past official capacity but also personally for violating American law.
Yes, one Barack Hussein Obama is alive and well in America, feasting off the fat cats who are happy to line his pockets to support his lifestyle as one of the “rich and famous.” But despite his benefiting handsomely as a former president, he continues to despise not just our legal system, but We the People. Prancing around like a Muslim deity, cashing in on his destructive presidency and his continuing efforts to pervert and trash the vision of our Founding Fathers, he runs from the law and does not even have the decency to allow for service of process on duly filed civil complaints.
Well, I have news for you, Obama, you can run but you cannot hide from me. I will find you and hold you accountable under the rule of law in the courts.
And, our Judeo-Christian God, not allah, I continue to believe will someday also mete out “divine justice” for your continuing sins and crimes you have committed – along with your collaborators like Black Lives Matter, Farrakhan, Sharpton, Soros and Hillary Clinton – against the American people.
Ex-President Barack Obama let fly an interesting old cliché, asserting that every nation gets the government it deserves. Is that really true?
Did the Germans in the last century really deserve a government that left their nation – arguably the most advanced in Europe – in physical as well as moral ruin? And did our country and its peasant settlers really deserve this marvelous republic – truly a wonder of the political world?
Continuing pursuit of this flitting butterfly, did we really deserve eight years of Obama? I could answer, “Yes, because we wanted to seize the occasion to tell ourselves and the world that institutionalized racism had been conquered in America, and that was a stupid irrelevant liberal genuflection that was utterly uncalled-for, and serving eight years under Obama was getting off easy.” I could just as well answer, “No, we didn’t deserve the cruel and unusual punishment inflicted by eight years of Obama because we wanted to tell ourselves and the world that institutionalized racism had been conquered in America after centuries of slavery and segregation, and electing Obama twice was a noble deed, and survival, albeit battered and with prominent bruises, was our reward.”
Richard Nixon was de facto impeached because he had a private party break into and bug (wiretap) an office in the Watergate building. Barack Obama turned the United States’ foreign security apparatus against those running for election against himself and in 2016 against the Democrat waiting for her presidential coronation. Is this why insiders thought it was impossible for Hillary to lose?
Who’s more deserving of impeachment? (And yes, he can still be impeached, which opens him to further prosecution in the court system for specific crimes, and that would include whatever punishments were appropriate for his crimes.)
MRC's Graham Still Afraid To Talk About Why There's An Ad Boycott Against Hannity Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is continuing its selectively factual attack on insurance company USAA for dropping its ads from Sean Hannity's Fox News show.
First, Tim Graham compained that a USAA ad appeared on "wild-eyed MSNBC" about a month ago, which he insists contradicts USAA's stated explanation that its Hannity ads were dropped because it doesn't advertise on opinion shows. Two hours later, Graham wrote another post about another USAA ad on MSNBC two months ago.
How many people does the MRC have scouring MSNBC archives looking for random USAA ads? A lot, we're guessing. So far, all that searching has found exactly three over the past two-plus months (here's the third), which one can argue is within ad-booking error.
Needless to say, none of Graham's posts about USAA mention the salient reason why there is an ad boycott against Hannity: his embrace of discredited, malicious conspiracy theories about the death of Seth Rich.
If Graham keeps up his selectively factual attack, the MRC will continue to lose credibility, and the Trump defense campaign will self-destruct.
MRC Gets Even More Hypocritical About Anonymous Sources Topic: Media Research Center
Remember last week, when the Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell wrote a column denouncing anonymous sources being used against President Trump despite the MRC's record of promoting anonymously sourced stories that attacked Hillary Clinton?
Turns out they were being even more hypocritial than we thought.
The day before Graham and Bozell's column appeared, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, published an article by Patrick Goodenough that began thusly, with the important part in bold:
The Trump administration’s significant expansion of a Reagan-era policy that prohibits federal funding for organizations that promote or perform abortions abroad will not affect the amount of funding the U.S. provides for life-saving health programs or the continuation of those programs, administration officials said Monday.
Some of the programs, however, will be carried out by different partners if existing ones are unwilling to comply with the new regulations.
Three senior administration officials explained on background how Trump’s newly unveiled expanded version of the “Mexico City policy” will work.
That's right -- the MRC published an article based on anonymous sources the day before Graham and Bozell denounced news outlets using anonymous sources.
Of course, government officials speaking on background is common, and the Trump administration clearly has nothing to fear from CNS in the way of negative or even mildly challenging reporting. But Graham and Bozell made no exception for background anonymity.
So Graham and Bozell are total hypocrites. We're not surprised.
-- Jack Cashill -- who never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like -- gloms onto Seth Rich in his May 24 column. And, of course, he references his previous conspiratorial obsessions: "There are precedents for this curious media indifference. The death of White House counsel Vince Foster in 1993 comes quickly to mind. So, too, does the death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown during the presidential campaign of 1996."
-- Pizzagate promoter Liz Crokin gets the call from WND one more time for an article on how a self-proclaimed "investigator" is spreading his conspiracy theories about Rich. In fact, the "investigator" is Jack Burkman, who Crokin later admits is a "Republican lobbyist" (also, a bit of a homophobe) who has falsely passed himself off to Infowars as the Rich family's attorney. Crokin curiously didn't bother to ask Burkman who was paying him to pursue his investigation.
-- Alison Powe complained that a Republican congressman who tried to bring up the conspiracy theories on CNN was shut down by the other guests. Powe mentioned one "private investigator" who made claims about the case, she didn't identify him byname -- perhaps because that was Rod Wheeler, who has retracted all the headline-generating claims he made about Rich's death.
-- Joseph Farah's May 25 column pretends no claim it has reported about Rich's death has ever been retracted; instead, he's desperate to keep the conspiracy alive. He huffs that "the DNC seems to be attempting to guide the police investigation from even considering the possibility that Rich’s murder could have anything to do with his work. That’s a huge red flag and borders on obstruction of justice considering the total political control Democrats wields over the city." He continues:
Is it possible Seth Rich could have been involved in leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks, as even Julian Assange has broadly hinted? Could it be that Rich, and possibly others at the DNC, risked their lives as whistleblowers to reveal scandal within the DNC – only to see their heroic work attributed to Russia for political reasons?
I’m not certain. But I am curious. And I can’t understand why others would attempt to thwart an open and honest murder investigation by narrowing the parameters of the probe. What would be their motivation?
Does that make sense?
That’s my case for a truly independent counsel investigation. This shouldn’t take a year to conduct. After all, it’s a murder case. The focus should be on who was responsible – like any other murder case. Who had the motive, means and opportunity? And all the evidence should be examined without regard to where the investigation leads.
Reminder: Farah doesn't understand why Trump's apparent collusion with Russia during the election is a big deal, so his news judgment is not exactly what one would consider, um, functional.
MRC Denounces Hannity Ad Boycott, Won't Say Why There's A Boycott Topic: Media Research Center
As Fox News' Sean Hannity has descended into crazy, discredited conspiracy theories about Seth Rich, the Media Research Center has suddenly decided to come to his defense.
A May 25 MRC post intoned, "Liberals, both inside the media and on the outside, are attempting to take down Fox News host Sean Hannity," followed by a statement from MRC chief Brent Bozell:
The attack on Sean Hannity is a part of the liberal strategy to re-establish their monopoly over television news. They want only one voice on the air: their own. All others must be silenced.
We now see elements of corporate America joining in the liberal cause and advancing the liberal strategy. These corporations are not serving the interests of their customers. Sponsoring a free, meaningful dialogue based on mutual respect reflects what happens among consumers in everyday life. When corporations withdraw from that debate, it does not serve the interests of their country, it merely makes them servants of the politically correct.
It is especially disappointing that an upstanding company like USAA would so easily succumb to the pressure of left-wing extremists. For decades, Sean Hannity has been a fierce supporter of the military at every turn. And this is how you treat him?
A few hours later, Bozell returned with another statement, this one attacking insurance company USAA for pulling its ads off Hannity's show:
“USAA is dishonest and their spokesmen are terrible liars. First they pander to the far-left by announcing they were pulling advertising from Sean Hannity's TV show, and when there is an uproar against them, they state on Twitter that they don't advertise on 'opinion shows.' That is dishonest. They advertised on MSNBC Hardball just last night. We have several other examples of USAA advertising on left-wing shows that would clearly violate their stated 'policy.'
“USAA's customers -- so many of them veterans who have no greater champion than Sean Hannity -- have every right to be outraged. USAA owes them specifically, and the public at large an explanation. This duplicity is obnoxious and shameful.”
Notice that there's one thing curiously missing from both of Bozell's statements, as well as theirreproductions at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com: the reason why there is an ad boycott in the first place.
Pulling ads off a show that's become synonymous for peddling false and malicious conspiracy theories is not "pandering" to the "far-left" (there's that increasingly meaningless name-calling again!) -- it's common sense.
Bozell's rants ignore on seriously inconvenient fact: Hannity, not anyone on the "far-left," is the only one responsible for this. He's the one making himself toxic by pushing these Seth Rich conspiracy theories.
The MRC itself has thus far refused to traffic in any wild claim about Rich, which is commendable -- and which makes it all the more puzzling that it has decided to defend Hannity for doing so.
Until Bozell can acknowledge the simple fact that Hannity brought this upon himself, there's no reason to take his organization's decision to protect Hannity seriously.
UPDATE: The MRC published another post, by Tim Graham, complaining about USAA pulling its ads from Hannity's show. Again, no mention is made of why there is an ongoing ad boycott.
MRC Bigwigs Seem To Endorse GOP Politician's Assualt on Reporter Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck wrote of the incident in which Idaho Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs: "Importantly, any assault of anyone (reporter or non-reporter) isn’t okay. This should be common sense. That being said, the deranged reactions to the incident must be denounced too."
Yes, that is important. Some of those deranged reactions, however, are coming from Houck's higher-ups at the MRC -- in which they seem to think the assault is quite OK -- and Houck most certainly will not be called upon to denounce those.
MRC chief Brent Bozell tweeted: "Jacobs is an obnoxious, dishonest first class jerk. I'm not surprised he got smacked."
Bozell didn't mention that he has something of a past with Jacobs. In 2013, Jacobs -- then a reporter for the Daily Beast -- reported on the MRC's legally questionable purchase of a house inPennsylvania from MRC vice president David Martin. Jacobs was also among the reporters who highlighted the revelation that Bozell didn't write his own syndicated columns.
The MRC's Tim Graham -- the guy who actually writes Bozell's columns and belatedly got a co-author credit after the revelation surfaced -- huffed in his own tweet: "Let's ask why on Earth a House candidate in Montana should have to answer questions from a reporter for a BRITISH newspaper????"
Funny, we remember when Graham was more than happy to tout reporting from British newspapers on happenings in America. Also, the Guardian has operations in the U.S., and Jacobs is an American.
To his credit, Graham did tepidly concede in a later tweet that "It is wrong, and well, unusual, to apparently hurt a reporter's elbow over a CBO score." Then he whined: "But HOW is this a half-hour story on MSNBC???" As if Fox News wouldn't have done the same thing -- and the MRC wouldn't have gone wall-to-wall on it -- had Gianforte been a Democrat.
Indeed, as of this writing, CNSNews.com, the MRC's "news" division, has done just a single story on it that was quickly relegated to a below-the-fold headline.
How WND Distracts From Trump Scandals: Rehashing Old Attacks on Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Like CNSNews.com, WorldNetDaily didn't really want to cover last week's burgeoning scandal over President Trump's firing of FBI chief James Comey.But rather than CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's dredging up a months-old story about Osama bin Laden, WND tried to play the Obama Equivocation card.
That's an update of the Clinton Equivocation, in which the ConWeb handwaves any offense by a conservative politician in by claiming that a Clinton did it first and worse.
“Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance.
The anonymous WND writer went on to state that "WND has assembled the following list of 25 egregious scandals and violations committed under President Obama’s administration – and few ever sparked widespread calls for the nation’s 44th president to be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors."
The list includes old right-wing crusades like Benghazi and Fast and Furious, which have been thoroughly investigated with no evidence of impeachable behavior by Obama found. But it also includes the thoroughly discredited birther crap.
Then we get to the thoroughly dumb reasons WND wants to impeach Obama. It cites a nontroversy about Obama appointing "more than 30 unelected “czars” to positions in federal agencies while the Constitution requires that such appointments be vetted by Congress"; in fact, several were subject to congressional approval and several more had counterparts in the Bush administration and we don't recall WND complaining about that.
And, finally, a bizarre complaint that Obama had radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, killed in a drone strike in Yemen, whining that "the Obama administration failed to provide due process to the U.S. citizens targeted for the use of deadly force." Yeah, we'd like to see WND draw up impeachment papers on that.
All this at WND to avoid discussing Trump scandals.
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now? Lesbian Mommy Blogger Edition Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center -- which regularlyfreaksout at anything insufficiently heterosexual in the media -- has now turned its LGBT freakout attention to a mommy blogger. Sarah Stites begins her May 16 post this way:
On Sunday, famous Christian “mommy blogger” Glennon Doyle Melton — catapulted to fame through her writings on the messiness of marriage and motherhood — tied the knot with a woman. Although the union received considerable press coverage, few prominent outlets noted the effect this controversial decision would make on Melton’s three children.
Stites goes on to lament how Melton went from being "a mother of three, a New York Times bestseller and a coveted speaker with a following of millions" to divorcing her husband following his infidelity and -- gasp! -- meeting and then marrying Olympic soccer player Abby Wambach. Stites whined about how selfish Melton is purportedly being andfor allegedly threatening her children's "stability":
As Melton professes to be a Christian, her elevation of personal fulfillment over her children’s stability is worrisome and unbiblical. And with a following of millions, it has the potential to lead many astray.
But most prominent media outlets focused on the new marriage, proffering few, if any, concerns about the children.
But wouldn't Melton's children have even more instability seeing their mother caught in a loveless marriage to a philandering husband? Stites appears to be too busy passing judgment on Melton for ceasing her heterosexual lifestyle to have considered that.
Twitter Suspends WND Over Seth Rich Tweet; WND Still Won't Admit Story Is Bogus Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily still doesn't get it. It continues to peddle discredited Seth Rich conspiracies even after getting busted for doing so.
Bob Unruh spends a May 24 article complaining that Twitter suspended WND's account for 12 hours over its tweeting of another dubious Seth Rich story. But Unruh's story is loaded with dubious claims and outright falsehoods:
Unruh falsely claims that private investiagtor Rod Wheeler was "hired by the Rich family." He wasn't.
Unruh wrote that "Wheeler said in several interviews last week that a federal investigator has elaborate details of Rich’s connection to WikiLeaks and is a credible source." In fact, Wheeler has since admitted he never talked to that "federal investigator," and that he has no firsthandknowledge of any link between Rich and WikiLeaks.
The tweet that prompted Twitter's suspension was of a WND article by Alicia Powwe and Pizzagate promoter Liz Crokin about Wheeler's claim that "Donna Brazile is the high-ranking DNC representative who allegedly called police and the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich and demanded to know why a private investigator was “snooping” into Rich’s death." Given that Wheeler has retracted pretty much everything he has said about the Rich case so far, there's no reason whatsoever to treat him as credible now -- something Powe and Crokin don't tell their readers.
WND's tweet included the hashtag #SethRichCoverUp, which is probably the thing that set off Twitter's policing mechanism.
Because WND can't ever tell a straight news story, Unruh feels the need to take shots at Twitter co-founder Evan Williams for apologizing if Twitter made Donald Trump's presidency possible. Unruh provides no evidence whatsoever that Williams had anything to do with WND's suspension, despite hinting at it.
Through all the whining, though, Unruh admits: "A WND company official confirmed the tweet was deleted per the company’s instructions." Remember, WND does back down when it's directly threatened; it heavily toned down its race-baiting after Google threatened to pull ad revenue over that.
Through all of this, however, at no point does Unruh concede that the Seth Rich conspiracies it has been heavily promoting for the past week have been repeatedly discredited.
That's needlessly dogged devotion to a story they know is false.
MRC's Bozell & Graham Slut-Shame Monica Lewinsky to Protect Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
It used to be that conservatives thought that Monica Lewinsky was the at least somewhat innocent victim of the predatory sexual desires of Bill Clinton in their notorious Oval Office affair. Now that Lewinsky is speaking for herself these days, that's gone out the window.
Lewinsky wrote a piece for the New York Times lamenting how the late Roger Ailes and Fox News exploited the affair and peddled salacious rumors, creating an atmosphere where "truth and fiction mixed at random in the service of higher ratings." She cited one Fox News poll that asked if she was a "young tramp looking for thrills."
Well, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham of the Media Research Center -- both regularguests on Fox News -- are here to answer that poll question in the affirmative, and to further slut-shame Lewinsky for expressing her opinion.
In their May 24 column, Bozell and Graham rush to denigrate Lewinsky for speaking out, actually calling her a "complete slut":
In her latest incarnation, Lewinsky is a victim of cyberbullying. She claims that's what she suffered at the hands of Clinton's critics. Is it cyberbullying to state she behaved like a complete slut, besmirching the honor of the Oval Office in the process?
Lewinsky complained that Fox took a poll in the first weeks of the intern scandal asking whether she was a "young tramp looking for thrills." That's blunt. But what other words does one use for an intern who Starr reported flashed her thong underwear at the married president of the United States at their first meeting and later performed oral sex for him? "Overachiever"?
Five days after his death, Monica Lewinsky accused Ailes of exploiting a "personal and national tragedy" for profit. She is a pathetic creature and the perfect foil for The New York Times.
In case the slut-shaming intent wasn't clear enough, the MRC's NewsBusters Twitter feed promoted Bozell and Graham's column by calling Lewinsky "a bit nutty, a bit slutty" -- an echo of David Brock's 1990s attack on Anita Hill over her sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas.
The MRC has continually attacked Hill over the past 25 years for daring to criticize a beloved conservative, and it appears it will do the same to Lewinsky for the very same reason.
WND Desperately Tries to Justify Its Seth Rich Obsession Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's sickobsession with portraying the death of Seth Rich as a Clinton/Russia/whomever conspiracy is yielding diminishing returns as the conspiracy theories get discredited, but WND continues to remain oblivious to the facts.
WND editor Joseph Farah endorsed the conspiracy-mongering in his May 22 column raging at the Washington Post for pointing out that conspiracy theories about Rich's death are no different than right-wing conspiracy theoriesa about the death of Vince Foster -- which, of course, Farah and WND have been promulgating for decades. after huffing that the Post takedown was "textbook crap,"adding: "Apparently, the gullible reporters and editors at the Post believe politicians are incapable of evil deeds – especially Democratic politicians. And anyone who pokes around at stories about such the murder of Seth Rich is a 'conspiracy theorist.'"
Funny how a guy who insists that "politicians are incapable of evil deeds" has no interest in pursuing the story of Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials, which mose people might consider a liiiiiittle bit evil.
Farah laughably calls himself an "independent journalist" -- not true; he has always been motivated by his right-wing agenda, which is anything but independent -- and scorned criticism of WND and other right-wing outlets that "reported on a private investigator’s revelations about what he found when he was hired to look into the murder after a year of zero progress by the Keystone Kops of Washington, D.C." Farah didn't mention that said "private investigator," Rod Wheeler, retracted most of his claims.
Farah also complained about the lack of "standards" in the "so-called 'mainstream media,'" but didn't mention his own lack of standards in continuing to cling to discredited claims.
Speaking of lack of standards, WND once again called on discredited Pizzagate conspiracy-monger Liz Crokin, who paired up with WND writer Alicia Powe to claim that "Former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile is the high-ranking DNC representative who allegedly called police and the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich and demanded to know why a private investigator was 'snooping' into Rich’s death." Their source? The discredited investigator himself, Rod Wheeler. Needless to say, Crokin and Powe don't tell their readers that Wheeler has retracted most of his earlier claims about Rich.
Crokin and Powe also tout a claim tha Rich was a WikiLeaks sourceby Kim Dotcom, whom they describe as "the hacker described as an 'entrepreneur, innovator, gamer, artist, Internet freedom fighter & father of 5.'" They don't mention that Dotcom is a fugitive from justice, facing racketeering and money-laundering charges for operating and hiding in New Zealand to avoid extradition to the U.S.
On May 23, Powe followed up by speculating that the Rich family's spokesman, Brad Bauman, is being paid by the Democratic National Committee, where Rich was working when he was killed in an apparent botched robbery.It's an absurd fixation, since Powe and WND have refused to tell its readers who's paying discredited investigator Wheeler.
Powe hinted at it by mentioning Ed Butowsky as "a Texas businessman who hired a private eye to look into Rich’s murder" -- but refused to actually state that Wheeler was the "private eye" Butowsky hired.
WND also posted an anonymously written article with one of its usual tropes: a "big list" of conspiracy mongers who also question the circumstances of Rich's death. Strangely, in the midst of this article is where WND decides to dump all the negative stuff it's been avoiding all this time, including the "bombshell retraction" by Fox News of its Rich story and an admission for the first time that Wheeler has backtracked on his original claims about Rich.
But because this is an info dump rather than actual reporter, WND can't be bothered to separate fact from fiction -- there's no explanation of what WND is continuing to cling to and what information, if any, it considers discredited because Wheeler backtracked.
Of course, WND has never cared about the truth. Fact and fiction carries no real distinction to Joseph Farah and Co. It didn't when WND was pushing birther conspiracies, and it certainly doesn't in the rapidly collapsing Seth Rich story.
CNS Does Months-Old Story On Bin Laden To Avoid Covering Trump Scandals Topic: CNSNews.com
Last week, when news was breaking that President Trump reportedly asked then-FBI director James Comey to end the agency's investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the pro-Trumpstenographers knew they couldn't devote space to a story that makes their hero look bad.
So what did CNS report instead? A months-old story about Osama bin Laden.
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey did the honors himself with a May 17 article:
Among the materials that U.S. forces retrieved from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was a document (labeled “Letter providing direction”) in which the author, who speaks as if he is bin Laden himself, advised those he was directing to seek a deal with “any American TV station” to run a videotape he planned to produce in the fall of 2004.
But he specifically nominated CBS as his own candidate for broadcasting the tape.
In the end, al Qaida did release a videotape of bin Laden that was broadcast on Oct. 29, 2004—by Al Jazeera, not CBS.
Jeffrey went on to note that the letter was released Jan. 19 -- which means Jeffrey is a good four months late to writing about it.
On the other hand, it gave Jeffrey plenty of time to crank out a 34-paragraph article on the subject. Though one would think Jeffrey had more important news to cover that day than this one.
But that's what Jeffrey has to do to avoid honest coverage of the growing Trump scandals.
WND Cranks Up the Islamophobia Topic: WorldNetDaily
There's so much Islamophobia going on at WorlddNetDaily that it's difficult to capture it all. Here's a couple recent egregious examples.
In a May 13 article, Paul Bremmer gives WND reporter and Msulim-hater extraordinaire Leo Hohmann free rein to fully express his hatred -- under the unsubtle headline "America's death coming by a thousand visas" -- as related on an obscure radio show, complete with shadowy illustration of apparently armed people who may or may not actually be Muslims:
Islam makes its presence in America felt in many ways. Sometimes it happens through violence. Far more often it happens when Muslim immigrants arrive and plant their own institutions and customs on American soil. And some Muslims come with the specific purpose of spreading Islam.
There are now roughly 3,200 mosques in America, nearly three times as many as there were in 2000. And these are not just any mosques, according to Leo Hohmann, a WND news editor who has reported extensively on Islam and immigration.
“A lot of these mosques that we have in this country are more radical than what you would find even in the Middle East: 85 percent of the imams in this country are foreign-born, getting their education from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, or another major university in Saudi Arabia,” Hohmann said during a recent appearance on “Caravan to Midnight” with John B. Wells.
Hohmann, who authored the book Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and the Resettlement Jihad, said many of these imams come to the U.S. on R-1 visas, which are for ministers and other religious workers.
“These are the worst of the worst,” he declared. “These are the people that really are serious about spreading Islam, and they’re using our visa system and the ignorant, naïve American kafir to come in here and spread it.”
To Hohmann, rampant immigration without assimilation qualifies as an invasion. He wonders when Americans will finally stand up and resist the invasion.
“At what point do we become willing to defend our way of life and our culture against this other competing system that we’ve invited in?” he asked. “These people are here at the invitation of the U.S. government. It’s legal immigration. But at what point do we say these folks really don’t value what we value?”
Hohmann believes it’s important to not only resist Islamic culture, but to preserve America’s Christian culture, which he thinks is the best bulwark against Islam.
“In my opinion, societies are going to have some sort of religion, and if it’s atheism and hatred for Christianity, then you’re just opening the door for Islam, and that’s what we saw happen in Europe,” he cautioned.
Also, Hohmann does make it clear he hates all of Islam, not just the radical parts, what with his ranting about how to "preserve America’s Christian culture." He later complains: "We have to expect to be called names. ... We can’t be afraid of name-calling. They will call you these vicious names because that’s really all they have. They don’t want to debate the facts." This from a guy who has demonstrated he doesn't want to debate the facts about Islam.
And we don't call Hohmann names; we accurately describe what he is.
A May 22 article by Greg Corombos featured an interview -- under the even more unsubtle headline "Muslims invade U.S. 'in the name of Allah'" -- with anti-Muslim activist Paul Nehlen, who's currently making the right-wing rounds promoting his Muslim-hating film "Hirjah," which has made him a WND darling. Nehlen's film attacks resettlement of Muslim refugees in the U.S.
In the interview, Nehlen rants that agencies that resettle refugees "have very Christian-sounding names, but the reality is they are being co-opted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. ... They are working on behalf of the United Nations, which is clearly working at odds to the United States."
Nehlen, like Hohmann, is making the argument that Christianity must be protected from those filthy Muslim hordes, as Corombos writes:
Defenders of refugee resettlement and general Muslim migration contend the vast majority of Muslims are looking for a peaceful opportunity to pursue physical and financial security for their families. However, Nehlen said polling shows more than 50 percent of Muslims in the U.S. want to see Shariah law trump the Constitution as the final legal authority in the U.S..
“We are seeing Islamist Muslims who are reading directly from their documents and doing what is prescribed in their documents. It is inarguable,” Nehlen said. “You cannot argue that this religion is being perverted. It is not being perverted. It is being practiced in a fundamental way to spread Shariah around the world.”
And he said giving ground at the margins is a surefire way to lose the fight.
“There is no reason that a country should give up its culture, its heroes, its holidays, its traditions in order to make way for a new culture, new traditions, new holidays, new heroes,” Nehlen said. “That’s not what a nation-state is all about. I for one will not stand by and watch it happen."
Corombos' article is similarly illustrated by a shadowy image of people disembarking from a raft that WND clearly wants us to believe are among said filthy Muslim hordes, even though no Muslims enter the U.S. by boat from the Middle East and Africa.