ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Thursday, January 11, 2018
NewsBusters Blogger Pretends Trump Isn't Riding Coattails of Obama's Economy
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer, in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post, is very upset that a Politico article would point out the obvious and note that the good economic numbers President Trump is taking credit for are a continuation of the grtowing economy under President Obama:

So Trump supposedly inherited reasonably strong or tolerable growth, job creation, wages, and stock market performance. That's all so wrong it's very hard for me to keep from laughing.

Let's also be clear, because the Politico pair aggressively tried to muddy the waters with meaningless comparisons to Obama's first year: What matters is what kind of momentum and accumulated damage Obama bequeathed to his successor. It's clear that Trump got an unprecedented amount of the latter, principally a mountainous national debt, massive over-regulation, and the monstrosity known as Obamacare, and very little of the former, which will be discussed in the rest of this post.

Start with growth. Our 44th president's economy turned in average annualized growth of 1.5 percent during his administration's final six quarters:

Exactly how is the growth of above 3 percent seen in the second and third quarters of this year "squarely built" on six quarters of growth which averaged barely half of that? The obvious answer is that it isn't. (Who "owns" the first quarter of 2017 is subject to debate, but if one thinks it belongs to Obama, then the seven-quarter average rounds down to 1.5 percent.)

We also should not forget that several economists were trying to manage expectations for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's continuation of Obama's high-regulation, slow-growth economy by claiming that the best level of growth the U.S. economy could achieve would be 2 percent from here on out.

Now let's look at job creation. The Politico pair overlooked two important things.

The first is that there has been a decided change in the mix of full-time and part-time jobs added this year compared to 2016 — and it has been towards full-time employment:

The clear shift towards full-time employment is an indication of greater business confidence in the Trump administration after it inherited a business environment sorely lacking it.

The second is that the government may be understating this year's level of job creation. That's because ADP's private-sector jobs estimate shows 2.296 million jobs added during the first 11 months of the year, which is 422,000 more than the 1.874 million reported by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics. If ADP is right — and it may very well be, because its methodology appears to give it a better chance of detecting job creation at startup and emerging companies on a timely basis than BLS — the difference of roughly 38,000 jobs per month would bring Trump's monthly average per the Establishment Survey of employer payrolls to 212,000, well above the 2016 average of 187,000.

As to wages, increases in average hourly pay haven't improved, but thanks to the heavier concentration of full-time jobs, the average work week has nudged up a bit, leading to a larger increase in average weekly pay during the past 12 months than that seen during calendar 2016:

To be clear, this year's performance in this area hasn't been satisfactory, but it's an improvement, especially compared to the 2.3 percent compound growth in weekly earnings seen during the last six years of the Obama administration.


Thus, it's obvious that Donald Trump inherited no meaningful "legacy" of economic momentum from Barack Obama. Though Politico reporters White and Cook, and others in the establishment press, will no doubt continue brazenly pretending otherwise, no one should be fooled.

For all of Blumer's bluster, at no point does he name any specific economic policy detail Trump has implemented that he can directly attribute to the improved 2017 numbers. That tells us Blumer just can't admit that it really is Obama's economic momentum for which Trump is taking credit.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 PM EST
WND Whitewashes Far-Right Extremism of German Anti-Muslim Activist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer states in a Jan. 2 article:

Freedom of speech has been effectively abolished online in Germany, as the country has begun enforcing strict censorship laws designed to prohibit the expression of “hate” online.

The Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) mandates all social networking platforms with more than 2 million members must investigate and delete “illegal” content within one day of a complaint being received.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram are among the sites which fall under the purview of the new law.

The fine for failing to delete illegal content can be as high as 50 million euros.

Deputy leader Beatrix von Storch of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party, which opposes the surging Islamization of the country under the government of Angela Merkel, has been called the first victim of the new law.

On New Year’s Eve, von Storch criticized Cologne police for expressing holiday wishes in Arabic, claiming they were trying to appease “barbarians.”

In fact, von Storch did a lot more than that; she called them "barbarian, Muslim, gang-raping hordes of men." In other words, clearly hate speech.

Also, the AfD party of which von Storch is a member goes far beyond WND's benign description of opposing "the surging Islamization of the country." It's a far-right party that borders on Naziism, to the point that it's calling for the term "volkisch" -- which the Nazis used to describe members of the German race -- to be rehabilitated, while another AfD leader called Berlin's Holocaust memorial a "monument of shame." It has also been found that hateful posts by AfD on Facebook are directly linked to violent attacks on immigrant groups in Germany.

As for von Storch, she has previously advocated shooting undocumented immigrants crossing the German border.

This whitewashing of extremists is arguably one reason WND is in severe financial trouble.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:49 PM EST
CNS Gives Operation Rescue (But Not The SPLC) A Pass On Violence Linked To It
Topic: managing editor Michael W. Chapman devoted a Jan. 3 article to telling us how "One of the leading pro-life organizations in the United States, Operation Rescue, has named President Donald Trump its person of the year and awarded him its 2017 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award." Chapman later writes, "Operation Rescue was founded in 1986 and is based in Wichita, Kansas. It counts as one of its greatest successes the reduction of the number of abortionists in San Diego County."

Chapman, needless to say, was never going to mention Operation Rescue's link to anti-abortion violence. As we've documented, Scott Roeder, murderer of abortion doctor George Tiller, had a sticky note with the phone number for Operation Rescue's Cheryl Sullenger in his car at the time he was arrested, and Roeder has claimed that Operation Rescue chief Troy Newman once told him that it “wouldnʼt upset” him if Tiller were murdered. Further, Sullenger was sentenced to three years in prison in 1988 for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.

CNS has not been so reticient to repeat tangental links to violence when they involve non-conservative groups. An August 2017 article referencing the Southern Poverty Law Center took care to extensively note this:

In 2013, left-wing domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins attempted to commit mass murder at the [Family Research Council's] headquarters and arrived in the building’s lobby with a bag full of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-a sandwiches, which he intended to place on the people he killed.

A security guard was shot by Corkins, but managed to apprehend him before law enforcement arrived.

When the FBI asked Corkins how he had heard about the organization, he told them the SPLC had labeled the group an “anti-gay” organization on their website’s “hate map.”

If CNS is blaming the SPLC for the FRC shooting -- despite the fact that, unlike with Roeder and Operation Rescue, Corkins never had any contact with any SPLC employee and merely looked at its website -- there's no reason it shouldn't also hang Tiller's murder on Operation Rescue. Fair's fair, right?

Well, it would be if CNS wasn't so outrageously biased.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EST
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Divine Donald Watch, Jesse Lee Peterson Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In this country and the world in 2017, God gave us a great gift in President Donald Trump. He defeats his enemies with pure love and truth. He’s not intimidated by the dominant culture of political correctness, the hate-filled attacks directed against older, straight, white Christian men of power. Trump does not cater to corrupt liberal blacks, feminist women or radical “LGBT” propagandists who wish to weaken the country. He faces opposition on every side, but he maintains his winning spirit and overcomes evil with good.


Not everyone realizes what we have in the president. The dirty women who participated in the disgusting “Women’s March” promoting abortion and everything else evil, they’re gearing up to do it again. The so-called “#MeToo movement,” mostly an attack on masculinity apparently meant to take down the president, is wearing on the people’s nerves and patience.


President Trump, supported by football fans, military veterans and everyone who loves America, shamed NFL leadership into quelling the blatant disrespect by Colin Kaepernick and other shameless and brainwashed kneeling black thugs who turned their backs on the country and shamefully misled children to do the same.

-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Dec. 31 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EST
MRC's Double Standard on Salacious Books of Questionable Accuracy About The White House
Topic: Media Research Center

Unsurprisingly, the Media Research Center has gone ballistic over Michael Wolff's sensational book on the Trump White House, particularly focused on trying to discredit the book:

  • Tim Graham highlighted a claim that Wolff made up quotes in the book.
  • Scott Whitlock got angry when one TV host said that "Even if not all of it is true, the spirit of the book is," harrumphing, "And how much untruth is too much for the journalist?"
  • Kyle Drennen dismissed Wolff's book as "salacious and unverified."
  • Nicholas Fondacaro served up the requisite irrelevant, extremely narrowly defined coverage comparison, grousing that  TV network news "found more interest in Wolff’s palace intrigue that the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom." (The MRC has already praised the Trump toadies at "Fox & Friends" for catering to Trump's agenda by hyping the Iran protests.)
  • Drennen also highlighted a TV host he claimed "questioned [Wolff's] credibility," asserting that "Wolff has a long history of getting facts wrong or even making things up."
  • Fondacaro also complained about an ABC segment in which "Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos led a largely liberal panel in fawning over the book even as he speculated that only ‘50 percent’ of the book was actually true."
  • MRC chief Brent Bozell groused that the media was, in the words of an anonymous MRC public-relations writer, "totally ignoring the books’s blatant falsehoods."
  • Chris Reeves asserted that the book commits "basic factual errors."
  • Drennen once again proclaimed the book to be "unsubstantiated," adding "When even harsh Trump critics like Colbert are unwilling to accept Wolff’s book as fact, perhaps it’s time for it to be labeled as fiction."
  • Curtis Houck insisted that the book is "error-laden."

But when a right-wing author penned about about a Democratic president it knew had factual issues, the MRC demanded media coverage of it.

In May 2012, the MRC published a NewsBusters post by Jill Stanek outlining factual errors in Edward Klein's book "The Amateur," that was heavily reliant on anonymous sources to bash the Obama White House. Stanek wrote that Klein's depiction of Obama's vote on an anti-abortion law when he was a Illinois state senator "was wrong on just about every point," adding that "I’ve been reading his book and find it quite interesting but wonder how much of it is accurate, if this was any indication."

But six days later, NewsBusters' Randy Hall demanded that the media cover Klein's book anyway:

Democratic political operatives have been furious in their denunciations of author Ed Klein and his new book The Amateur, a biography of President Obama which relies heavily (although not entirely) on anonymous sources to paint a highly unflattering picture of its subject.

That is to be expected but surely Klein’s tales might make for good television. Supposedly, journalists care primarily about a good story more than anything else. And Klein’s book certainly has them, including secret feuds between First Lady Michelle Obama and TV billionaire Oprah Winfrey as well as tales of former president Bill Clinton privately bashing Barack Obama as an “amateur.” Unfortunately for Klein, however, he is being almost totally ignored by the elite media.


Given that we don’t know who Klein’s sources were on some of his more sensational accusations, it’s tough to vouch for his credibility. On the other hand, given their previous love of repeating anonymous allegations against Republicans, the TV networks and other elite American media ought to at the very least examine and report on Klein’s allegations against President Obama. That, or stop reporting on such charges altogether.

Except that Klein destroyed his credibility a long time ago, to the extent that even top conservatives disregard his work. If nothing else, Wolff has a better track record for accuracy.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EST
WND Faces Another 'Existential Threat,' Begs For Money Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In June 2016, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah claimed that WND was "in a sizable hole" and facing an "existential threat," and he begged for money from readers. He insisted that WND readers "wanted to hear the truth," but didn't address the fact that they weren't getting it from WND.

A year and a half later, Farah is at it again, using his Jan. 8 column to assert that WND is facing another "existential threat":

There are no millionaires or billionaires supporting WND, as is the case with other top-tier alternative media organizations. We at WND have always earned our own way. The good side of that arrangement is, we’ve never been beholden to anyone other than the Good Lord.

However, these are exceedingly rough times in the news business. And right now, it pains me to tell you that many loyal WND staffers are working without salary to pull us through a crisis, an existential threat that could bring to an end the nation’s oldest independent online news-gathering company.

I’m asking you to help us in this time of need. It’s not easy to make a plea like this to you, our faithful readers, and I do so in all humility.

I’ll lay it out for you straight. We need to raise a minimum of $100,000 before Jan. 30.

I can’t go into all the details of the problems we are facing – some are global (like the major drop in ad revenues for news websites) and some are specific to WND – but I will mention one thing you probably didn’t know.

The deck is stacked against the independent media, and not just due to attacks and boycotts by the cultural elite, and lawsuits intended to silence us (like the one against us by the Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR). It’s also more hidden things like the powerful, left-leaning Google-Facebook media complex actively and shamelessly writing algorithms with the intent of minimizing access to WND, with its pro-American, pro-Constitution, pro-biblical worldview the progressive elite find so offensive.

I’m asking for the help of those who recognize the unique role WND plays in reaching the God-fearing American audience that, like us, supports limited government, national sovereignty and the traditional Judeo-Christian values that made America truly great.

Donald Trump can’t fight this monster alone. He needs strong voices like WND’s to help him accomplish his genuinely pro-American agenda and, at the same time, “drain the swamp.” WND played a critical role in the 2016 election, and we are facing a critical election in 2018.

Please, help us to weather this storm by giving as much as you can to support us in this critical hour.

In other words: becoming a pro-Trump state-media outlet and continuing to publish fake news hasn't worked out so well for WND.

WND has sold out to Trump -- and, thus, veered away from actual journalism -- to such an extent that it created a website to thank Trump for all he has supposedly done for the country. That's something state-conbtrolled media does, not the work of an "independent online news-gathering company."

Perhaps Farah thought that being all pro-Trump all the time would draw more eyeballs and, thus, revenue -- and, perhaps, draw in one of those "millionaires or billionaires" supporting other right-wing media sites to be his moneybags. He thought wrong -- a business model that failed.

The other big problem for WND is that it has continued to fail to live up to the journalistic ideal Farah claims WND operates on. Since the last "existential threat" WND faced a year and a half ago, we have compiled five articles about WND publishing false, fake and misleading news.That's a horrible track record -- and given that Farah has done nothing to address this, perhaps reason enough that WND should die.

On top of that, WND's book division has published one author who has highly exaggerated his biography and another who is spouting white nationalist and anti-Semitic rhetoric -- serious credibility issues WND has yet to address publicly. That's also not a sign that WND deserves to live.

Perhaps instead of begging for money (again), Farah should fix the things that are wrong with WND instead of pretending his current business model isn't fatally flawed.

Instead, the begging continues. A Jan. 9 email signed by Farah sent to WND's mailing list claims that "We brought in around $20,000 in donations since yesterday, which means that after less than 24 hours, we're already 20 percent of the way to our goal of a minimum of $100,000 by Jan. 30!" The email goes on to declare that WND is "beholden to no single person – or agenda," then two paragraphs later details the agenda it's beholden to:

Speaking of "the swamp," you probably agree with me that the presidency of Donald Trump – which spared all of us the agony of a return to the White House of the Clinton crime family – offers America a chance to reverse the terrible damage done to our country during the eight years of Barack Obama and his radical left government. But Trump cannot "make America great again" all by himself. Strong, influential, trusted media voices like WND are absolutely essential. 

But WND is not trusted; as we wrote five years ago when its birther-centric anti-Obama jihad proved to be an utter failure, nobody believes WND. Farah has done absolutely nothing to change that -- and this, rather than any claims of falling ad revenue or "malicious lawsuits," is the real reason why WND is facing an "existential threat" for the second time in less than two years.

Farah needs to prove to people that WND deserves to live. He hasn't really done that.

UPDATE: Farah's Jan. 10 email declares WND is "HALFWAY THERE!" to its fundraising goal, complete with a "It's A Wonderful Life" reference. Farah also declares that he and his wife "had a mission -- to seek the Truth with a capital T." As noted above, that's a lie.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 2:33 PM EST
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Year-End Rah-Rah Edition
Topic:'s coverage of December's unemployment numbers was a blitz of pro-Trump rah-rah -- the complete opposite of CNS' coverage of the December 2016 numbers.

Trump fangirl Susan Jones cheered in her main story:

On November 20, President Trump tweeted: "Under President Trump unemployment rate will drop below 4%. Analysts predict economic boom for 2018!"

On Friday, the nation's unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent for the third straight month, and the number of employed people increased by 103,000 to 154,021,000, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Since December 2016, 1,788,000 people have been added to the nation's employment roster, and the number of employed people has set six records since February, most recently in September.

The article is illustrated with a picture of a Trump "Make America Great Again" hat, just to hammerh ome the point that Jones is doing Trump's bidding here.

By contrast, as we've documented, Jones' main article on the December 2016 unemployment rate led with the number of people not in the labor force, didn't mention the December unemployment rate until the seventh paragraph and waited until the 13th paragraph to concede that 14.8 million people found jobs during Obama's presidency.

Speaking of which, Jones failed to mention that those 1.7 million jobs created in 2017 was the lowest one-year total since 2011.

CNS then churned out a raft of Trump-fluffing sidebars:

By contrast, CNS sidebars related to the December 2016 unemployment rate  referenced high black unemployment (despite the fact it has always been higher than white unemployment), the decline in manufacturing jobs (which have been declining for 30 years) and the purportedly "real" unemplyment rate (a metric CNS has curiously not referenced during Trump's presidency).

CNS primed this pro-Trump barrage with a Dec. 18 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheering how "the unemployment rate for black Americans is the lowest it has been since the year 2000, 17 years ago." Needless to say, Chapman doesn't mention that this is simply the continuation of a trend that began under President Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EST
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily and reporter Leo Hohmann have made false and malicious attacks against yogurt maker Chobani over its hiring of refugees -- claims that quietly and mysteriously get altered or deleted, sometimes months after the fact. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:59 PM EST
MRC: Why Can't Everyone Cover News Like 'Fox & Friends'?
Topic: Media Research Center

We know which morning TV show ex-Media Research Center researcher and current NewsBusters blogger Brad Wilmouth likes to watch:

Monday morning's newscasts made a stark illustration of how much importance FNC places in the issue of human rights in Iran in contrast with the broadcast networks and CNN as Fox and Friends managed to spend five times as much time on the anti-government protests as ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN all combined that morning.

CNN's New Day -- which was mostly pre-recorded due to the holiday but included live portions -- gave viewers three briefs which only totaled one and a half minutes, and barely scratched the surface of the weekend's events that turned deadly for about a dozen protesters.


NBC's Today show on Monday did not mention the Iran protests at all, and none of the briefs from CNN, ABC, or CBS on Monday morning gave any indication that Iranian government forces have a history of cracking down violently on protesters.

By contrast, Fox and Friends devoted four segments to Iran on Monday, totaling about 14 and a half minutes. Liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz, conservative activist John Bolton, and conservative commentator Michelle Malkin all appeared as guests and discussed Iran.

Dershowitz notably praised President Donald Trump's handling of Iran in contrast with President Barack Obama, and suggested Trump deserves credit for inspiring protests against the Iranian government. Malkin complained that the media have blamed the protests on economic issues like unemployment rather than the authoritarian nature of the government.

Wilmouth omits a couple things. First, he doesn't mention that "Fox & Friends" basically plays to an audience of one: President Trump. It reports what he wants to hear -- usually flattering things about him and his administration -- and he tweets about what he sees. "Fox & Friends" knew that focusing on the Iran protests would be good for the president's agenda, so that's what it did.

Second, while Wilmouth mentions "liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz" in an apparent attempt to show that "Fox & Friends" is trying to live up to its "fair and balanced" logo -- never mind that even other MRC writers concede that the show "presents a friendly viewpoint toward the Trump administration" -- is as pro-Trump as anyone else who appears on the show, making him the newest Fox News Democrat.

By demanding that the media act more like "Fox & Friends," Wilmouth is demanding that the media be pro-Trump toadies. You know, just like the MRC's "news" division,

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EST
Monday, January 8, 2018
WND's Massie Goes On Gay-Hating Tirade
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After starting his Jan 1 WorldNetDailiy column by declaring that "without a constant source of replacement homosexuals, homosexual numbers would dwindle to near nonexistence," Mychal Massie quickly shifts into a full-frothing anti-gay tirade:

California has become the first state in history to mandate that elementary schools use the most abnormal, debaucherous and sexually deviant homosexual textbooks. And they have done it by fiat. Not only is it now “the law” that the public schools must use textbooks that incorporate sexual perversion in elementary schools, but they have given parents no choices for opting out. (See: “California Parents Barred From Opting Kids Out of Mandatory LGBT-Inclusive Textbooks,”, Dec. 26, 2017.)

First of all, parents do have an “opt-out.” It is called “private Christian schools and/or homeschooling,” and parents who are concerned about the health of their children’s education should avail themselves of one or both.

I contend, and nothing dissuades me, that the real reasons sexual deviants are forcing their deviance upon children in kindergarten through fifth grade is because the sexual deviancy they practice is not normal and neither is it genetic. Ergo, they must continually find ways to replenish their kind. If they do not desensitize young children to the abnormality and ungodliness of this perversion by the time untainted children are adults, they will reject personal participation in this practice.

Because Massie is too busy hating gays to adequately explain what exactly he's ranting about, here it is: California has approved LGBT-inclusive textbooks for state schools.

Massie then has a conniption about the idea that PResident James Buchanan might have been gay (despite the fact that there's plenty to back up the theory):

The author explains his reasoning for asserting President Buchanan was a homosexual as: “Buchanan … never married. He had a very good friend who was living with him. He may have been [homosexual]. On the other hand, at that time, being [homosexual] was seen as something evil and wrong.” Following this publisher’s rationale, if a person lived with a dog and never married, he would be into bestiality.

When this sewage of invented history is examined, what one sees is an amalgam of lies intended to sway public opinion, decrease criticism and present the illusion of normalcy to that which is not.

The author quote Massie is using is apparently taken from the right-wing website Truth Revolt, which got it from an unnamed source. In the original, the author used the word "gay"; for some reason, Massie has banned that word from his column and clunkily replaced both instances with "[homosexual]." He did that elsewhere in his column as well with another quote from the author.

Massie declares that all of this is proof that gays want your children because something called the "Homosexual Manifesto" said so:

It is part of the homosexual agenda’s goal. The following is an excerpt from part one of the “homosexual manifesto” (first published in Gay Community News, Feb. 15-21, 1987, and also placed into the Congressional Record. Author: Michael Swift):

  • “Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable and de rigueur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles.”
  • “We will sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms … youth groups. … Your sons … will be recast in our image.”

In fact, the "manifesto" is satire that gay-bashers like Massie have insisted for years is real. The apparent pen name "Michael Swift" ought to have been a clue; the "manifesto" was inspired by Jonathan Swift's satirical "A Modest Proposal."

But then, Massie is particularly prone to believing (and promoting) whacked-out conspiracy theories about people he hates.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 PM EST
MRC Revels In Personal Problems of People It Hates
Topic: Media Research Center

The professionalism of the Media Research Center has been on a downward slide for a while. It slides even lower in a couple of NewsBusters post that take unseemly glee in the personal problems of a couple longtime targets.

Corinne Weaver is obsessed with playing politics as she cheers the resignation of the president of ESPN for substance-abuse issues:

The scandal-plagued sports network ESPN is suffering another blow -- the resignation of its left-wing president.

John Skipper, described in The Washington Post as a “gangly, Southern hippie,” announced his decision to resign as president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks on Monday, December 18. He cited a “substance addiction” as the main reason for his resignation. In his statement, he wrote: “I have come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care down.”

Named president of ESPN in 2012, Skipper helped to usher in the dark ages of ESPN, with significant drops in ratings and subscribers. At least partial credit goes to the increasingly partisan approaches made by ESPN’s bloggers and journalists, as well as the network’s own decisions. Some of these include the decision to give Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2015, letting an employee go for being conservative, and allowing one of its radio hosts, Tony Kornheiser, question whether or not the Tea Party movement was similar to ISIS.  

P.J. Gladnick was similarly schadenfreude-filled in a post headlined "Net Neutrality Obsessed Reporter Arrested for Drunken Rampage, recounting how "On the same day that net neutrality was repealed, a net neutrality obsessed reporter for the New York Daily News was arrested for going on a drunken rampage at a hospital." He snarkily added: "So did [Aaron] Showalter's despair over the repeal of net neutrality drive him to drink? One thing is certain, he's obsessed with the issue."

Neither Weaver nor Gladnick express any concern  for thehealth and well-being of Skipper or Showalter as they deal with personal issues -- so much for compassionate conservativism. Instead, it's cheering their downfall.

Then again, this is an organization that tried to capitalize on the death of Peter Jennings by touting how its archives were "packed with documentation of liberal bias" from him, so classlessness on such issues isn't exactly new.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EST
WND Columnist Baselessly Claims There's A Secret List of Clinton Assault Victims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Doug Wead likes to pose as a nonpartisan presidential biographer but he has clear right-leaning biases, as exeplified by his bashing of Presisdent Obama and his love for Ron and Rand Paul. He also cranked out an insta-book last February, "Game of Thorns," bashing Hillary clinton's campaign and praising "how Donald Trump's message and brand transcended the traps laid by his enemies. How, against all odds, he won the presidency. And here are the details of his plan to make American [sic] great again."

Thus, as a good conserative, he's prone to Clinton Derangement Syndrome. That seems to explain his Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily column, in which he brings up something that you'd think would have been brought up before now given all the dirt-digging right-wingers did in Arkansas during the 1990s:

As of this moment, there is a “Me Too” Bill and Hillary Clinton list of women. It is very possible that some of the names are kept under lock and key at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am not talking about the women of the 1990s – Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky. In fact, this list is comprised of women of the 1980s.

The only one we have heard about is Juanita Broaddrick, who claimed that Bill Clinton had raped her.

This list has never been made public. But the facts surrounding the list are part of the public record and have been talked about under oath.


According to one account – reported in “Game of Thorns” – state troopers, who testified under oath, said that there were hundreds of women procured for Bill Clinton. The sex was both consensual and non-consensual.

According to published accounts, women on this list were brought into the Rose Law Firm, one by one. They were confronted by a team of attorneys and were apparently told to immediately report anyone trying to get information from them.

According to one published account, Hillary Clinton was actually present at one of these meetings.


That old, 1987 list is now a ticking time bomb with the names of women who have never felt safe to come forward. They have never gone public.

And no wonder. The women who surfaced in the 1990s were subjected to harassment, ridicule and IRS audits; the windows were blown out of their cars with shotguns; their pets went missing; they were followed; the Clinton campaign reportedly hired private detectives to destroy their reputations; and many were fired from their jobs.

In the wake of recent scandals involving abuse of women, many public figures are now saying that they should have come forward to defend the victims of Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Well, now they have a second chance.

There's a strong smell of BS emanating from Wead's claim. He cites no actual sources at all beyond vaguely described mentions on the "public record" and "published accounts." (And, no, we're not going to buy Wead's book to see if he substantiates anything there.) Wead's treating the Arkansas state troopers who purportedly procured "hundreds" of women for Clinton also beggars belief, since those very same state troopers backed off those claims when placed under oath.

The video accompanying Wead's column is another clue he's more interested in self-promotion than telling the truth. It's a reading of the column, but with a new introduction; he starts ominiously  by declaring that "what you are about to hear has never been reported on television or written about it in print." Because it's so untrue that even diehard Clinton-haters ignored it?

Wead then suggested that "you may try to come back to this video and find it has been taken down by our new American censors. Or it will just be ignored by a hypocritical society that picks and chooses who gets justice and who must live in fear and anonymity."

Or, you know, dismissed as substance-free ranting by a Clinton-hating dead-ender who just can't let go of an old obsession.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EST
Sunday, January 7, 2018
CNS Managing Editor's Pro-Trump Stenography Turns Mendacious

We've documented how is following the right-wing media playbook in trying to discredit the Robert Mueller investigation into President Trump's links to Russia and related issues. There's another article to add to the list: a Dec. 26 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman lovingly documenting a Fox Business TV appearance by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan. The level of mendaciousness Chapman exhibits in this article is surprising for someone who runs a purported "news" organization.

Chapman kicks things off by referencing "the salacious and false dossier about Donald Trump, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee." In fact, several parts of the dossier have been verified and corroborated. Nevertheless, Chapman uncritically quoted Jordan dismissing the dossier as "a bunch of lies. ... It's a bunch of National Enquirer garbage and fake news in this thing."

Chapman then writes: "It has been reported that former Trump campaign officials Carter Page and Paul Manafort were spied on in 2016 by U.S. intelligence agencies after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) granted warrants to do so." But the links Chapman uses to back up those claims show that monitoring of Page and Manafort had begun before their affiliation with the Trump campaign.

Chapman then writes:

On Dec. 23 it was reported that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will resign in March or April 2018, which is when his full pension and benefits would kick in. McCabe's wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, received a little more than $700,000 in payments from two Democratic PACs in 2015, one headed by Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe. (Jill McCabe, a left-wing Democrat, ran for a state senate seat that year.)

In early 2016, Andrew McCabe helped to oversee the Hillary Clinton email investigation, a scandal for which she was exonerated by then-FBI Director James Comey in July 2016. (McCabe did not recuse himself from the Clinton case until one week before the 2016 presidential election.)

As we've previously documented, there's a timeline issue that shoots down Chapman's conspiracy theory: The donation from McAuliffe's PAC to Jill McCabe's campaign were made several months before Andrew McCabe was named to the Hillary email investigation, and Andrew McCabe wasn't assigned to the investigation until three months after Jill McCabe lost her election. This makes it highly unlikely, if not impossible, there was a quid pro quo.

Also, Chapman doesn't back up his assertion that Jill McCabe was a "left-wing" Democrat, unless he's operating on a knee-jerk assumption that all Democrats are "left-wing."

This is lazy partisan stenography on Chapman's part, proving yet again that CNS under Chapman and Terry Jeffrey care next to nothing about journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 PM EST
Dubious WND Doc Defends The Right to Take Worthless Supplements (And Goes Anti-Vaxxer)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A few days after WorldNetDaily promoted a book it was paid to publish about a couple busted for making health claims they couldn't back up about the supplements they sold (and, also, tax evasion), it published a Dec. 22 column by dubious doc Lee Hieb -- affiliated with the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- defending unproven health supplements by spinning conspiracy theories.

Hieb defends homeopathic medicine as just like eating food:

They state specifically they are concerned about remedies that “may not deliver any benefit and have the potential to cause harm.” Think about that for a moment. That describes nearly any new discovery. That describes drinking cranberry juice for bladder infections. That describes Metchnikoff’s probiotics. That describes taking Vitamin D in excess of the paltry useless dose the Institute of Medicine has – in their beneficence – granted us. Anything has the potential to cause harm – water drunk in excess can cause harm. Polar bear liver eaten in excess can cause harm. Oysters may cause harm. And of course, “may not deliver any benefit” can apply to anything. Eating a lollypop may not deliver any benefit, but it shouldn’t be illegal.

Of course, drinking water is not like taking supplements taht make unproven health claims.

Hieb then complains: "Many papers have been written about the failure of 'Statin' drugs to prevent cardiac death or all-cause mortality. But this cash cow of the drug industry will never be questioned by the FDA." The primary purpose of statins is to lower cholesterol, and there are studies that show statins can lower the risk of death after a cardiac event, as well as all-cause mortality.

Then, Hieb starts spouting, among other things, anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories:

So, what is this really all about? Not our safety. If they really cared about our safety, they wouldn’t indemnify pharmaceutical industries against any lawsuit from vaccine injury. They would demand more than 10-day follow-up for vaccine drug tests. They wouldn’t shut down the little manufactures of certain useful drugs.

This is about crony capitalism. The FDA/CDC/Big Pharma are all the same people. The biggest money in advertising and in politics today is from the pharmaceutical industry. They spread that money to local politicians who turn around and vote for mandatory vaccines. (As a business person wouldn’t you love to have government force people to buy your product?) They spread the money to the media, who consequently never bring up uncomfortable questions about questionable products. (Fox News may debate sensitive subjects like gay marriage and climate change, but have you ever once heard them discuss vaccine injury?)

Pharma giants have successfully convinced legislators and many other intelligent people through clever tag lines and memes that all vaccines are always safe in all people all the time. How else can you justify mandating school vaccines in all children without any exemptions (California)? They have convinced Medicare to officially recommend that doctors keep cholesterol at lower and lower levels, requiring more and more Statin drugs. And as is true with government in general, recommendations next become requirements. For some problems, government reimburses doctors less if they do not use Big Pharma drugs to keep patients within certain bureaucratic ranges. For example, doctors lose money if they have too many diabetics “out of control” (and control is determined by someone at Medicare). Sadly, as this regulation was instituted, diabetic deaths increased by following the guidelines. But Big Pharma made more money.

Pharma would love to take away your ability to treat yourself. Increasing zinc intake might help decrease cancer – so let’s outlaw zinc supplements. Let’s kick in the doors and arrest the makers of Coenzyme Q10 even though we can find no safety problem. (The FDA actually did this, and, funny thing, several years later CoQ10 was reported to be beneficial in preventing heart deaths.) Let’s regulate Vitamin D because getting your D levels above 55 may decrease many kinds of cancer, and that would mean maybe less cancer drugs – which are a big revenue stream.

Finally, Hieb defends the right to take worthless supplements:

I’m not here to tout any particular over-the-counter remedy, but who gave the FDA total ability to limit what we can take into our bodies, while virtually forcing us to be given what they prescribe? It’s none of their business whether a “homeopathic remedy” is worthless. That’s an issue of commerce and truth in advertising. I, for one, want the freedom to research and decide for myself what supplements to take, even if my supplements ultimately do me no good. (Many do a great deal of good as Big Pharma knows only too well.) I want to eat all the salt I want. Remember when the official word was “salt is bad for your blood pressure and your heart”? Well, new research has shown more heart-related deaths by people eating less salt than those eating more. I don’t drink colas, but it is none of the government’s business what I choose to eat or drink. And trust me: No government bureau has ever been on the cutting edge of science.

This type of fearmongering is the cutting edge of "science" at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:01 PM EST
MRC's Graham Whines That Trump Is Being Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains in a Dec. 22 post (bolding his):

The least surprising thing about PolitiFact’s 2017 "Lie of the Year" is that it’s uttered by Donald Trump. Their biggest lie was “Russian election interference is a ‘made-up story.’” We’ll get to whether PolitiFact is quoting Trump in context in a minute.

But first, a quick study of that 2017 “Truth-O-Meter” reveals that once again, PolitiFact showed far more aggression in evaluating Trump’s statements than any prominent Democrat. The “independent fact checkers” singled out Trump for 140 evaluations, and 95 of them (68 percent) were Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire. Just 19 (13.5 percent) were Half True, and 26 (18.5 percent) were Mostly True or True.

Now compare that 140 evaluations to the leading Democrats: Sen. Bernie Sanders (10 verdicts), Sen. Charles Schumer (eight) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (seven). Between them, they were evaluated as True or Mostly True on 11 occasions, False or Mostly False on nine occasions, and Half True on five.

Barack Obama in 2017 drew two Mostly Trues and one half True. Elizabeth Warren? One Mostly True. Kamala Harris? One Mostly True and one True.

Graham seems to have missed the relevant fact that Trump is president and all these other people are not. He also does not back up his suggestion that there should be balance in evaluation of statements by Trump and by Democrats -- perhaps because he knows that Trump is a singularly mendacious man.

While Graham whines that PolitiFact evaluated 140 Trump statements, that's a drop in the bucket; the Washington Post found that Trump made at least 1,950 false or misleading statements last year. So PolitiFact's evaluation proportion ratio seems to reflect real life.

Still, Graham whines: "In other words, PolitiFact ends up looking like the rest of the 'independent' liberal media. Republicans are hounded as routine liars, while the Democrats are much more likely to be handed the Mostly True." This is just more of the MRC's war on fact-checking because those fact-checkers expose Trump's lies for what they are.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« January 2018 »
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google