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Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Tom Blumer Hasn't Corrected His NewsBusters Post Yet
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer harrumphed in a March 11 NewsBusters post:

Leftists finally think (erroneously) they have a game-changing incident involving a Border Patrol apprehension of an illegal immigrant.

A week ago, Perla Morales-Luna was arrested in front of her crying daughters in National City, California. Someone videotaped the incident. The video has gone viral. What most early press reports failed to note, or buried deep in their stories, is that the woman refused to be taken peacefully and in private. One unusual exception was a Friday evening Associated Press story.


AP reporter Elliot Spagat clearly decided not to describe Morales-Luna's alleged involvement in human smuggling as, well, human smuggling.

Blumer went on to grouse that "given the alleged crime ... it's hard to imagine that this story will change many minds."

But the facts have overtaken Blumer's superior tone. Actual news organizations note that Morales-Luna -- who has been in the U.S. for more than 20 years and has no criminal record -- has been released from custody while her case is being processed, and federal officials are not charging her in relation to human smugging.

As has been the case with such things at NewsBusters and its parent, the Media Research Center, Blumer's post has not been updated or corrected, and no other NewsBusters post updates the story.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:48 PM EDT
WND Forgets It Used To Promote Paul Ryan's GOP Opponent
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily really wants to get rid of Paul Ryan.

A March 26 WND article touted a "hot rumor" -- unsubstantiated, of course -- taht Ryan "could resign his position as speaker of the U.S. House by the end of May," adding that "Rep. Ryan still hasn’t revealed whether he intends to seek re-election this year. And rumors of a resignation have been swirling for many months."

Then, an April 2 article by Chelsea Schilling tried to ratchet uiip the pressure:

Could this be the end of the road for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.?

While recent rumors on Capitol Hill suggest Ryan is seriously considering resigning his post, the top Democrat seeking his seat is seriously raking in the dough.

In fact, Wisconsin Democrat challenger Randy Bryce is pulling in more cash than any challenger to Ryan in the last two decades.

Bryce’s campaign says it raised $2.1 million at the end of the last fundraising quarter. That makes $4.75 million in total donations. Bryce also has $2.3 million in cash on hand.

Schilling went on to repeat the earlier article's claim that "rumors of a Ryan resignation have been spreading for many months."

Unmentioned in both articles, however, is the Republican primary opponent for Ryan that WND promoted for several months last year. Yes, that would be Paul Nehlen, whose book WND also published last year.

As Nehlen turned more explicitly anti-Semitic and white nationalist, WND stopped promoting him, and it eventually pulled Nehlen's book from its online store and scrubbed it from the WND Books website. But even as Nehlen has so radioactive that even white nationalists are turning on him, WND still has not made a public statement about the state of its relationship with Nehlen.

Meanwhile, Amazon is still selling new copies of Nehlen's book, which tells us that WND apparently has not formally withdrawn it from the market.

That's a notable conflict of interest WND didn't disclose, though it's one WND keeps trying to flush down the memory hole.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:15 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

March's job news wasn't all that positive -- only 103,000 jobs created -- so went into cherry-picking mode to push numbers that reflect better on President Trump.

Susan Jones' main story was headlined not with the overall numbers -- that didn't get mentioned until the 11th paragraph but that a "record number of women" were employed. She couldn't quite spin it away in the article proper, conceding the total number of Americans employed dropped.

Jones also conceded something else: that CNS' obsession with the labor force participation rate under President Obama hasn't paid off under Trump, admitting that "The labor force participation rate has been stuck at or near the 62.7-63.0 percent level for the past four years."

So, CNS had to turn to Trump-fluffing sidebars to stay in rah-rah mode. Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey contributed his usual piece on manufacturing jobs, cheering that "employment in the manufacturing sector has now increased by 281,000 since December 2016, the last month before President Donald Trump took office." Jeffrey also misled by writing, "In January 2009, the month Obama was inaugurated, manufacturing jobs dropped to 12,561,000. The number of manufacturing jobs in the United States did not exceed that number until February of this year, when it hit 12,610,000." It seems Jeffrey once again forgot that there was a major recession during the Obama administration that caused manufacturing jobs to fall far below that number, and that manufacturing jobs have been on an upward trajectory since 2011.

Jeffrey also penned another fluff piece highlighting that the number of federal government jobs has dropped by 21,000 under Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Monday, April 9, 2018
Logrolling In Our Time: Chuck Norris and Joseph Farah
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chuck Norris devoted his March 25 WorldNetDaily column to "a review of an excellent, inspiring and insightful book by Joseph Farah, CEO and editor-in-chief of WND, titled, 'The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,' to be released in fall 2018," in which Farah "literally goes through all 39 books of the Old Testament Scriptures (the same combined 24 books of the Tanakh), and reveals Jesus’ Gospel of the Kingdom in each one." Norris concluded his column by gushing of the book: "I wholeheartedly recommend it to every person who either venerates the Bible as the Word of God or is simply curious to expound its original intent and often lost meanings."

Farah returned the favor in a column the next day about the column "my buddy Chuck Norris" wrote about his book. And he engaged in some self-promotional gushing of his own:

There’s just one problem: The book will not be out for nearly six months.

But it is, without doubt, of all the many books I have written and collaborated on, the most exciting to me. It’s all I want to talk about, yet, I dare not. Why? Because it’s not for release until September.


Anyone who actually knows me, speaks to me for more than five minutes or even anyone who has run into me in the last six or eight months knows that this book is my obsession.

I’m not going to tell you any more about than that, except to say, “The title explains it all.”

Have you ever heard anyone make that claim before? Is it really possible that the Gospel can be found in every book of the Old Testament – all 39? That’s what I wanted to know when I set out to research it. While researching “Restitution,” I was overwhelmed with how much Gospel I found in the Hebrew Scriptures. I wondered out loud to people if it could be true that it was in every book. So I started searching the difficult books, the ones that seemed most unlikely to contain the Gospel message. And when I found it in those, I knew I had something.

Farah then added this:

In fact, to add even more confusion to my literary repertoire, if that is possible, I’m also currently working on a new, updated and expanded edition of “Restitution.” And here’s more information you don’t need or want. I am simultaneously working on a book to follow-up “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament.”

So, let me simplify all this for you: There’s only one book I am still currently promoting, “The Restitution of All Things.” It’s got a lot of life in it. It’s unique in the marketplace. And look what it led to! All I want to write about now is the Word, the Holy Scriptures, what the Holy Spirit is showing me as I study them.

Could it be that one reason WND has been skirting the edge of extinction is because its editor and majority owner was too busy writing books instead of devoting the necessary time to keep his business afloat and reputable insterad of allowing it to circle the financial drain amid a morass of fake news?

Farah closed out his column with a final gush: "And, did I forget to say a hearty thank you to my buddy Chuck Norris for the glowing praise? Many, many thanks and blessings to you, to Gena and to your great pastor, Todd." That's presumably a reference to Tood DuBord, the pastor who reportedly ghostwrites Norris' column (and has a bad habit of plagiarism).

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 PM EDT
MRC Falsely Denies That NRA Exploited Rapper
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth writes in a March 25 post:

On Sunday's AM Joy, host Joy Reid and her panel were again hating on the NRA, this time smearing the pro-gun group with a conspiracy theory that it recently had black rapper Killer Mike -- who notably supported Bernie Sanders for President -- as a guest for the purpose of scaring members to become afraid of blacks and therefore to buy more guns.

Frequent guest Michelle Bernard -- who has been an MSNBC contributor and a columnist for Roll Call -- pushed the theory, inspiring agreement from Reid.

Nearing the end of the show shortly before 12:00 p.m. Eastern, Reid played a clip of Killer Mike on NRA TV. Reid then came on and chided the rapper for associating himself with the NRA, and also repeated the myth that the NRA did not react to the shooting death of black motorist and concealed carry holder Philando Castille after he was pulled over by a Minneapolis police officer.

Just one thing blowing a hole in Wilmouth's post: Killer Mike himself agrees that the NRA exploited him. From a actual news outlet:

In a roughly seven-minute video, Killer Mike spoke with NRATV host Colion Noir about black gun ownership and what it means to be an “ally” to African Americans. He suggested at one point that he wouldn’t let his children participate in last week’s school walkout protests because his family owned guns. Killer Mike said: “I told my kids on the school walkout, ‘I love you — if you walk out the school, walk out my house.’ That simple. We are a gun-owning family.”

On Saturday, as the march was getting underway, NRATV promoted the segment on its social media accounts, introducing Killer Mike as someone who “knows how guns can solve the problems society faces.”

Now, after a wave of criticism on social media, the rapper is apologizing for the clip, saying he had no idea it would be used to attack the marchers.

“I did an interview about black gun ownership in this era. That interview was used a week later by NRATV to disparage a very noble campaign that I actually support,” the rapper, whose real name is Michael Render, said in videos posted to Twitter on Sunday night.

He said the segment shouldn’t have been presented “in contrast” to the demonstration, which was organized by students around the country, including survivors of the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“I’m sorry, guys. I’m sorry that an interview I did about a minority, black people in this country, and gun rights, was used as a weapon against you guys,” continued Killer Mike, who is half of the rap duo Run the Jewels. “To the young people that worked tirelessly to organize, I’m sorry adults chose to do this, I’m sorry NRATV did that, I’m sorry that adults on the left and the right are choosing to use me as a lightning rod.”

In a series of tweets responding to critics, he also sought to clarify his remarks about not letting his kids participate in the walkout. It was a joke, he said — he wouldn’t let his son go because he was failing math class.

Needless to say, Wilmouth hasn't updated his post to reflect the facts and that what he claimed was a "conspiracy theory" was given credibility by the interviewee himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EDT
Likening People to Hitler Suddenly OK Again At WND (When It's Not Trump, Anyway)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've documented, WorldNetDaily had no problem with likening people to Hitler -- especially President Obama. Then people started likening Donald Trump to Hitler, and WND got offended.

But now, people have shifted back to going Godwin on people who aren't Trump, and WND is totally cool with that, not seeing the offense in it at all and complaining when others find it offensive.

See how Bob Unruh dismisses the insult of a Parkland shooting survivor in a March 27 article:

Hitler’s rants, once instilling fear, have become a source of humor in today’s world. Overdubs of his shrieks have been used to make fun of Obamacare, Sen. Ted Cruz and more.

But YouTube believes that one such parody, using Hitler’s voice and the image of anti-gun activist and student David Hogg at last weekend’s anti-gun rally in Washington, could be a problem.

On its site, it has posted the warning, “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”

People must click “I understand and wish to proceed” to view it.

Liberty Headlines explains the parody was posted by “MAGA3D,” who converted the footage of Hogg’s speech in D.C. “into a black-and-white grainy imagery, with the sound of a 1930s-era film projector in the background, and the impassioned speech of the German fuhrer roughly matching up to Hogg’s lip movements.”

The report noted “much harsher and edgier content is all over YouTube without such warnings.”

So if a non-conservative is likened to Hitler, it's a "parody" and a joke. But if someone likens Trump to Hilter, it's offensive.  Got it.

That Liberty Headlines website, by the way, is not a real news website -- it's a clickbait aggregator with most of its articles attributted to "Editor" and "Admin." A few articles have actual names attached to them; it appears they work elsewhere and are falsely portrayed as Liberty Headlines employees.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EDT
Sunday, April 8, 2018
MRC Still Viciously Embraces Needless Hyperbole
Topic: Media Research Center

A couple months back, we highlighted how ridiculous the Media Research Center's rhetoric has gone off the deep end with overly enthusiastic violent metaphors. It hasn't really stopped.

A March 13 post by Bill D'Agostino carries thge overwrought headline "'Are You a Goner?': Craig Melvin Viciously Interrogates Republican Congressman Ryan Costello." D'Agostino didn't identify any actual viciousness in the post itself; instead he complained that MSNBC host Melvin "bombarded his guest with a salvo of loaded questions and boilerplate DNC talking points. His only earnest question – which was to ask whether Costello planned to campaign with President Trump – came at the tail end of the conversation."

Apparently, Melvin's pointing out that the rapid ratte of high-profile departures from the Trump White House was a fact instead of the "narrative" Costello claimed it was was a "vicious" thing to do, according to D'Agostino; instead, he reframed Costello's words as referring to White House chaos as a "narrative" -- even though it's also a fact.

Referring to something as "vicious" should involve actual viciousness instead of merely a challenging line of inquiry. But that's not really clickbait, is it?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:57 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Misleads on NRA's Lobbying Efforts
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Dorstewitz is eager to defend the National Rifle Association from the March for Our Lives in his March 26 Newsmax column:

Although no one can doubt the sincerity of their passion and resolve, their rage is misdirected. The NRA isn’t at fault for Parkland or any other shooting. Blaming the NRA for a firearm death is akin to blaming the AAA for auto accidents.

Although the NRA is primarily engaged in firearm safety and education, it also has a lobbying arm — the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). But it’s not nearly as powerful as gun control advocates would have you believe.

The NRA-ILA doesn’t appear on’s list of top 20 lobbying firms. Nor does hunting and shooting sports appear on the organization’s list of top 20 sectors. How about gun control? Nope, not a top 20 issue. Finally, guns and arms is absent from the organization’s list of top 20 industries.

Dorstewitz is misleading about how the NRA spends money on influence. PolitiFact serves up the actual numbers:

The NRA’s biggest chunk of spending on politics came from "outside spending," consisting largely of " independent expenditures" — efforts "expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate." Often these take the form of campaign ads, but they are carried out without coordinating with the candidates they are supporting.

This type of spending vastly outpaces what the NRA spent on giving to candidates directly. The NRA spent $144.3 million on outside spending, such as independent expenditures, during that period.

In addition, the NRA since 1998 has reported spending a cumulative $45.9 million on federal lobbying, both for its in-house operations and the outside consultants it has retained.

If you add it all up -- candidate and party contributions, independent expenditures, and lobbying -- the NRA has spent $203.2 million on political activities since 1998.

So, yeah, it's pretty powerful.

Dorstewitz concluded his column by making another misleading claim:

The NRA receives nothing in federal funding and is responsible for zero deaths.

Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, received more than $500 million in funding from the 2018 Omnibus bill, and destroys more than 300,000 human lives per year.

As we've repeatedly pointed out, federal money to Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortion, as Dorstewitz suggests, because it is forbidden by law.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT
Saturday, April 7, 2018
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

What LGBT stuff has the Media Research Center been freaking out about lately? Let's take a look-see!

Tim Graham was offended that "leftist drag queen Taylor Mac" was the subject of a news story simply because he was awarded a MacArthur "genius grant," which Graham portrays as evidence of how Taylor Mac is "so indulged by the left." Graham also declared that the story on Taylor mac was "a typical LGBT story" because it included "wacky demands about pronouns."

Ryan Foley keeps up the MRC's hatred of Olympic skater Adam Rippon, insisting that Rippon's "claim to fame" is his "criticism of the Vice President" (but apparently not that he is, you know, an Olympic-caliber skater) and that a recent TV appearance was "a public service announcement for the LGBTQ movement." Foley then served up an oddly capitalized lecture to Rippon on his claim that LGBT people lack a voice because of anti-gay politicans like Pence: "Perhaps Rippon fails to realize that the LGBTQ movement has captured the support of nearly all of the country’s major institutions, including the media, Academia, Hollywood, and the Courts."

Alex Nizberg, meanwhile, is mad that there is a gay person on TV (let alone more than one):

Set for a March 18 premiere, CBS’s new and upcoming show Instinct confirms yet again the media’s unflagging promotion of the LGBT agenda. The program will feature a “gay lead character” according to a January 6th AP article. 

Alan Cumming, the actor playing the lead part, lambasted Donald Trump: “His crime procedural ‘Instinct’ arrives at a time when Cumming said ‘the president is actively condoning, by his silence, violence and persecution against the LBGT community.’”

The Goldeneye and X-Men 2 “saluted CBS for committing to a series with a married gay couple,” according to the piece. “In real life Cumming, 52, has described himself as bisexual and has a husband, Grant Shaffer. But he was also once married to a woman.”

Last year on an episode of CBS’s Madam Secretary, one of the characters said that he was bisexual. Also last year, CBSN released Gender - The Space Between.

Lindsay Kornick complains that "Madam Secretary" engages in "more liberal pandering" by focusing on "a new character's sexuality":

The March 18 episode “Refuge” involves the administration discovering a raid and the illegal arrest of members of an LGBTQ nightclub in Abhkazia. Although homosexuality is legal in the country, the leader is apparently approving of the harsh treatment, claiming boldly that there are “no gays” in his nation. With this harsh human rights violation, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) attempts to plan a way to provide refuge for the LGBTQ citizens at the behest of her new advisor Kat Sandoval (Sara Ramirez).

Why is Kat so personally involved in this scenario? Because, like the actress who plays her, she is boldly “bisexual and queer” and even raising a child with no discernable pronouns. In this highly promoted episode, she even explains her lifestyle to Chief of Staff Jay (Sebastian Arcelus) as they plan to help the refugees.


The only problem is that this isn’t simply teaching. It’s lecturing and indoctrinating. Even the actress seems to admit that the scene is mostly about telling a majority-heterosexual population that they’re wrong for not knowing the politically correct sexuality terms of the day. We’re wrong for assuming that a woman is a woman, and we constantly need re-education from the liberal elites. That is the only lesson I gained from this very special episode of Madam Secretary.

Karen Townsend was relieved to discover that Stewie didn't actually come out as gay on "Family Guy": "So, despite the description by some in the press that this is a coming-out episode for Stewie, it really wasn’t. Also, remember that Stewie is in pre-school and drawn as a toddler. Sexualizing him at all is perverse." Townsend does know that this is a cartoon, right?

And Dawn Slusher was upset that an episode of "Rise" "featured a Catholic student who appears to be secretly gay, an effeminate priest who supports said student and his desire to take part in a controversial school play over the objections of his parents because he 'can appreciate its message of the perils of living in a repressed society,' and a female student who just started transitioning wanting to change in the boys’ dressing room."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 AM EDT
WND Desperately Tries, Fails To Manufacture A Clinton 'Scandal'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written March 27 WorldNetDaily article carries the lurid headline "Bill, Hillary Clinton tied to sex-slaves 'cult." The lead paragraph tries to amp that up:

It’s a bizarre and twisted tale of brainwashed sex “slaves” who were branded with a leader’s initials on their private parts – and top executives of the secretive group in upstate New York reportedly pumped thousands of dollars into Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

But this Clinton "scandal" is a dud. It's not until the article's 14th paragraph that the anonymous writer finally gets around to explaining the connection between the Clintons and the "secretive group" known as NXIVM:

In October 2007, then-New York Post writer Charles Hurt reported that leaders of the Albany group gave thousands to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. And Salzman, the woman whose home was reportedly raided by the FBI, is reportedly a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.

That's it -- something that happened a decade ago, well before any "sex slave" accusations were ever made against the group (Hurt makes no mention of it in his article). Hurt offered no proof that the donations were offered with  the intent of something in return, or that the donations are in any way linked to becoming a member of the Clinton Global Initiative; both Hurt and WND note that Clinton pointed out that she had more than 100,000 donors to her campaign.

WND also obscures one key exculatpory piece of Hurt's story, one that Hurt thought was important enough to put in his lead paragraph and explain later on: that Arkansas in 1992 -- when Bill Clintion was still governor, charged the leader of NXIUM, Keith Raniere, with running a pyramid scheme, which resulted in fines against Raniere's then-company and, in Hurt's words, being "run out of Arkansas."

WND includes this crucial information only a screenshot of Hurt's article but not in the article text itself.

It's sad that WND remains so desperate to hate the Clintons that it tried to manufacture such a lame "scandal." No wonder nobody believes WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 10:53 PM EDT
Friday, April 6, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Lectures the Pope on Being Catholic

You'd think that as the managing editor of a "news" operation,'s Michael W. Chapman wouldn't have time to launch attacks on the leader of his faith. You'd be wrong.

Chapman is firmly in the right-wing faction of the Catholic Church, as his approval of Catholics who hate the LGBT community as much as he does. So he's among the folks who think Pope Francis is just too darn liberal. For instance he huffs in a March 23 blog post:

Pope Francis tweeted on Thursday that "to defend the earth and to safeguard water is to protect life," which has led some pro-life leaders to question whether the Pope is broadening the definition of pro-life to include environmental issues, such as protecting "Mother Earth" that, in turn, undermine the principle life issues that stem from abortion and euthanasia.

Chapman went on to lecture the pope:

The "seamless garment" argument of liberal clerics seeks to put issues such as immigration, joblessness, and the environment on the same moral plane as abortion and euthanasia, which is illogical because abortion is the direct killing of another human being for no other reason than that the child is an inconvenience. The same moral position holds for euthanasia: murder is wrong. 

Policies and laws against murder are not the same, morally, as policies on immigration or wetlands. Human life (and the immortal soul) takes precedence.

When the pope was reportedly quoted in an interview with a "longtime atheist friend" as saying there is no hell, Chapman was so apoplectic that his blog post on the issue was the CNS lead story for a time on March 29. "This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul," he ranted.

Several hours later, though, Chapman had to update his post the Vatican's statement that the words attributed to the pope were not directly quoted and should not be considered a "faithful transcription."

Chapman followed up a few days later with quotes from Cardinal Raymond Burke -- a right-wing Catholic who was removed by Pope Francis as the head of the Vatican's high court and moved to a ceremonial position, which may have resulted in some anti-Francis bias and which Chapman doesn't mention --  calling the pope's alleged statements a "profound scandal" and "heretical ideas," then denounced the Vatican's walkback of the statements as not strong enough. This was also made the lead story on the CNS front page on April 6.

Chapman also quoted a nun who said that the pope needs "needs a sassy nun" as a personal assistant who will prevent him from ever speaking with his "athiest friend" again.

And that's how Chapman is spending his time instead of, say, trying to make his "news" operation less biased and more credible to the point that we're no longer moved to put scare quotes around "news" when referring to CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EDT
WND Doesn't Mention It Promoted Same Seth Rich Rumor Other Outlets Are Being Sued Over
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous reporter wrote the March 27 WorldNetDaily article as drily as possible:

The brother of murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich is suing the Washington Times and others, claiming the defendants spread false claims about him – including unfounded allegations that he helped his brother leak DNC documents to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election.

Aaron Rich, brother of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. It accuses Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, America First Media, activist and talk-show host Matt Couch and the Washington Times of acting “with reckless disregard for the truth.”

WND even downplayed some of its earlier reporting: "Private investigators have claimed there is evidence Rich was the source WikiLeaks used to obtain thousands of Democratic National Committee emails released on the eve of the party’s presidential nominating convention last July, but they haven’t provided verifiable proof of those claims.

What the article doesn't mention, though, is that WND pushed the very same rumors about Aaron Rich it now calls "unfounded."

In a Aug. 2, 2017, article, then-WND reporter Alicia Powe promoted the alleged "bombshell claim" by "Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh" that evidence purportedly backing up the idea that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Powe also reported a claim by Rod Wheeler -- the private investigator right-wing financier Ed Butowsky tried to foist upon Rich's parents and whose claims WND has treated credibly in its exploitation of Rich's death -- that "he suspects Seth’s brother, Aaron Rich, helped the DNC staffer leak the emails. Wheeler alleged the Rich family refused to hire him unless he agreed to ignore Rich’s emails, computers and potential WikiLeaks associations." Powe added that "Wheeler says Aaron blocked him from investigating any connections Seth might have made to WikiLeaks."

That's a big factual omission on WND's part. It's also a sign that WND has learned nothing from its most recent financial crisis and is intent on continuing the same factually challenged conspiracy-mongering that led it there.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
Thursday, April 5, 2018
MRC Parrots Trump Talking Point As 'Real Reason' McCabe Was Fired
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro serves as a fine Trump administration apparatchik in a March 18 post:

In the wake of the former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s firing from the FBI for misleading Inspector General investigators, the liberal media were rife with misinformation of their own. During the Sunday morning news programs, NBC’s Chuck Todd misled their viewers on why McCabe was fired and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos lied about the messages sent by pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents investigating her and President Trump.

According to Todd’s warped retelling of Friday’s firing, and the events leading up to it, President Trump and conservative media were to blame for McCabe getting canned by Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

What I would say is this, I think the fact that how the President made the McCabe firing happen, I mean, it is an extraordinary -- if you go back 18 months, the systemic campaign against McCabe to delegitimize him to raise questions about him, to a deputy FBI director that nobody had ever heard of and the president using his bully pulpit to do that.

Of course, the real reason McCabe was fired was that he leaked information about an investigation to the press he wasn’t supposed to and then lied to investigators about it.

Of course, Fondacaro doesn't actuallyknow the "real reason" McCabe was fired -- he's merely repeating the stated reason as forwarded by the Trump administrationn.

In fact, the report on McCabe by the Justice Department's inspector general has never been released -- only parts damaging to McCabe have leaked out. McCabe has since denied that he lied to investigators, and it's unclear whether he actually "wasn't supposed to" release information.

But never mind any of that -- or the fact that McCabe had, in fact, been the victim of a months-long right-wing delegitimization campaign. Fondacaro and his MRC colleagues have a Trump talking point to push:

  • Tom Blumer complained that "two Associated Press dispatches and an NBC news story wouldn't directly admit that his dismissal was largely based on a finding that he lied to internal investigators."
  • P.J. Gladnick huffed that historian Douglas Brinkley "acted as if the firing was strictly political and unjustified. However, as we shall later hear from reknowned [sic] legal scholar Jonathan Turley, the firing was not only justified but probably mandatory."
  • Kyle Drennen declared that some TV shows were "completely ignoring the fact that Bureau’s own Office of Professional Responsibility recommended the dismissal."
  • Bill D'Agostino grumbled that "the usual suspects on MSNBC’s Morning Joe had memory-holed McCabe’s alleged transgressions for which the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility had recommended his firing in the first place.
  • Drennen returned to complain that the media had a "desire to find a nefarious motivation behind the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe" -- as if that was difficult to find -- and, like Fondacaro, insisted that the inspector general's investigation was the "real reason."

Hopefully the Trump White House is paying the MRC well for all this water-carrying they're doing.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EDT
WND -- Which Feared Obama Would Be President For Life -- Mocks Streisand For Calling Trump An Authoritarian
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written March 19 WorldNetDaily article claims:

It’s a conspiracy!

Actress Barbra Streisand is accusing Donald Trump of wanting to be “president for life” – just like his rumored pal in Russia, Vladimir Putin.

“@realDonaldTrump wants to be president for life just like #Putin,” Streisand tweeted Monday in response to a New York Times article headlined “Trump assails Mueller, drawing rebukes from Republicans.” 

She added: “He only surrounds himself with sycophants, just like every authoritarian in history.”

Streisand has a history of tweeting bizarre political statements.

If Streisand's tweet is a "bizarre political statement," then WND is just as bizarre.

WND columnist Morgan Brittany used a 2015 column to argue that racial unrest in Baltimore is part of President Obama's grand plan to institute martial law and cancel the 2016 election, claiming that if a verdict in a trial of Baltimore police officers "is not what they want, perhaps Obama will have to institute martial law to preserve order, form a national police force and postpone the 2016 elections."

In another 2015 column, WND editor speculated that Obama might not leave office because of his purported contempt for the law (all the free vacations he gets), adding: "Again, do I think Obama will leave office in January 2017? Yes I do. But, with a track record like this – and, actually much worse – should we simply take it for granted?"

WND writers are the last people who should be mocking others for holding presidential conspiracy theories.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:27 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2018 8:39 PM EDT
CNS Echoes WND, Pushes Idea God Wanted Trump To Be President
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The creeping WND-ization of the Media Research Center continues with a March 28 blog post by managing editor Michael W. Chapman:

The vice president of the Family Research Council, Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin (ret.), a former leader of Delta Force and commander of Army Special Forces, said the endless attacks by the left on President Donald Trump are "diabolical" and that the left is in "disarray" because they do not understand that "God's imprint" is evident in the election of Trump in 2016. 

“They are coming up with these absolutely absurd, off-the-wall things trying to justify and rationalize why they lost this election to a guy like Donald Trump," said Boykin on the Mar. 27 edition of The Jim Bakker Show.

"What they don’t understand is that there is God’s imprint on this thing," he said.  "There is God’s imprint and they can’t deal with that because they can’t talk about God. But we can. God’s imprint was on this.”

We've documented how WorldNetDaily has promoted the idea that Trump's election was divinely inspired. And like WND, Chapman and Boykin refuse to entertain the notion that if Trump was indeed sent by God, he was sent as a warning instead of the blessing they seem to believe it is.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2018 3:09 PM EDT

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