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Sunday, May 20, 2018
MRC's Double Standard on TV Hosts' Alleged Conflicts of Interest
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center likes to take potshots at NBC "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd's wife works as a Democratic communications strategist and once donated to Tim Kaine, at the time the governor of Virginia. The MRC recently brought it up again in an attempt to deflect from Fox News' Sean Hannity defending Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on TV without disclosing he's a Cohen client.

Clay Waters complained that the New York Times "shamelessly quoted NBC News political director and Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, excoriating Fox News’ ethical standards, without mentioning Todd’s own lack of disclosure." Jeffrey Lord also highlighted Todd's "conflict" as scrutiny into Hannity intensified.

But the MRC was much more defensive when it came to a Todd-like conflict involving another Fox News host.

A 2009 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard hyped how "Greta Van Susteren is clearly sick and tired of people accusing her of advising Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin." But he never bothered to explain the source of the accusation, as outlined by the Politico article to which he linked: Van Susteren's husband, John Coale, was among Palin's political advisers; the Washington Post further described Coale as among the "protecters of the Palin brand." The Huffington Post noted that "Van Susteren has enjoyed unparalleled access to Palin and her family, conducting several interviews from Alaska — most recently with new mom Bristol Palin," though Van Susteren insisted her husband's link to Palin was not responsible for that.

Two months later, Sheppard complained that "Politico on Saturday accused Greta Van Susteren of being Todd Palin's 'host AND handler' at a pre-White House Correspondents' dinner brunch, and the Fox News host is none too pleased. Sheppard gave Van Susteren space to point out that Palin was a guest of hers at a "social brunch" and intervened when another reporter tried to interview him by pointing out the brunch was off the record. Sounds more than a little like a handler's job, doesn't it?

The capper? In 2010 and 2011, Sheppard touted Palin appearances on Van Susteren's show without mentioning her familial links to Palin. And in 2013, NewsBusters' Randy Hall devoted a post to Van Susteren gushing over Palin's return to Fox News after a yearlong absence -- without any mention whatsoever that her husband served as a Palin adviser or that Van Susteren herself played media handler for Palin's husband.

It appears that, as far as the MRC is concerned, these sorts of conflicts of interests are conflicts at all when you work for a conservative "news" organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Gushes All Over Melania Trump
Topic: Newsmax

If Doug Wead was ever an objective reporter on the presidency, he stopped being so some time ago, what with his pro-Trump insta-book after the 2016 election and his bizarre conspiracy theory that there's a secret list of Bill Clinton's sexual assault victims.

Wead's pro-Trump sycophancy reaches new heights in a May 8 Newsmax tribute to Melania Trump about which the term "embarrassingly fawning" fails to do it justice:

We may be witnessing the unfolding story of one of America’s greatest first ladies, Melania Trump. And on this upcoming Mother’s Day, May 13, an example of a dedicated mother who puts her child ahead of other justifiably demanding, distractions.

Melania has been first lady for almost two years now. She continues to quietly and gracefully move through her public duties as wife of the president. While political storms rage all around her, she keeps her head held high, with poise, beauty, and a humble grace.

Her dignified performance is made all the more powerful when contrasted by a shrill and hysterical, corporate media, still angry that their chosen candidate lost the 2016 presidential election. Every negative thing her husband says and does is amplified while his remarkable economic and foreign policy record is ignored.


In history, Slovenians won their revenge by quietly succeeding, not through violent domination of their opponents.

This seems to be the first lady’s style. She maintains a dignity that makes her all the more mysterious when her critics rage. Sometimes she wins just by being still. And in some cases she is succeeding through her fashion sense, which is stunning, no easy thing.

So today, the media is in a frenzy about borrowed words from an old FTC document, as if it were sacred script that cannot be re-used. Tomorrow it will be something else.

Meanwhile, Melania, our beautiful, graceful first lady, whose life will one day cover entire bookshelves in libraries, can knock around the private quarters of the White House today, with a T-Shirt emblazoned with her wonderful new slogan for America’s youth, words that represent New York City meets Ljubljana — "Be best."

Apparently, Wead thinks he's "being best" when he slides into full Trump-fluffing mode.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Saturday, May 19, 2018
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center keeps freaking out about LGBT stuff, so we have no choice but to document those freakouts.

Gabriel Hays complains that Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is using his publication to push an "LGBT agenda" by its publishing a story about how communities in the hunt for Bezos-run Amazon's second headquarters should show consideration of the "rights for and acceptance of gay and transgender people." Hays doesn't explain how treating all people the same is an "agenda."

Dawn Slusher is unhappy about gay and transgender storylines in the "ultra-liberal" TV show "Rise," lamenting that "Catholic student Simon (Ted Sutherland) appears to finally give in to his feelings for his male castmate in the school’s controversial play." Slusher later whined: "Too bad we can't see all the tears from conservative viewers, if there are any watching. This will, God willing, get canceled."

Slusher continued her hate-watching of "Rise," huffing that a later episode "heavily implied that Catholic father Robert, who opposes the controversial school play and his son's role as a gay character, is really just “afraid” of the play because Robert is secretly gay himself."

Jay Maxson attacks a writer who calls for more openly gay pro athletes, complaining that the writer is "really psyched about two homosexual college football players" and thus believes that "the sexual confusion of high school and college athletes is encouraging."

Hays showed up once again to bash actor Jim Parsons:

Jim Parsons, the nerdy face of CBS’ Big Bang Theory desperately wants Hollywood to ratchet up the gay propaganda, and demands that audiences digest every bit of LGBT representation thrown their way. Even though it seems like every media production these days has that token gay or sexually ambiguous character -- far more than real-life representation -- we need to see way more, damn it!

When Parsons said he wanted to be "sick of too many gay rom-coms," Hays sneered, "We beat you to that, Jim."

Maxson adds a freakout over a news outlet merely covering something LGBT-related -- in this case, Yahoo News reporting on an LGBT summit hosted by the Minnesota Vikings. Maxson raged at former Vikings player Chris Kluwe for hosting the event, snidely dismissing him as a "has-been former punter" and "a nobody punter for the Vikes until he gained notoriety for his same-sex marriage activism," then ranted that the Vikings are "kissing up to Kluwe and his LGBTQ friends."

Finally, Slusher returns one more time to gleefully dance on the grave of "Rise" following its cancellation. She rehashed all the plot points she hate-watched, then concluded by sneering, "I, for one, have a big smile on my face knowing this liberal garbage is over for good, never to 'rise' again." Apparently, hate is more important than professional writing when you hate-watch something for the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 AM EDT
WND's Cashill Defends George Zimmerman -- Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

So far this year, WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has come to the defense of a convicted felon who falsely claimed he had sex with Barack Obama, a credibly accused terrorism suspect (who has since been convicted of plotting to bomb an apartment complex housing Somali refugees) and the Missouri governor accused of trying to blackmail his mistress. Why wouldn't he run to the defense of George Zimmerman once again?

You might remember that Cashill wrote a WND-published book trying to portray Zimmerman as a civil-rights martyr and the teenager he killed, Trayvon Martin, as a scary black thug. Now Zimmerman has gotten himself in trouble again -- this time for stalking, threatening and harassing a private investigator working on a documentary about Martin. Cue Cashill to initiate the whitewash treatment, which he does in his May 9 WND column.

But first, Cashill rehashes the narrative he's so invested in: Martin was "an aspiring MMA fighter" who "was high at the time he attacked Zimmerman," while Zimmerman was, yes, "a civil rights activist."

Cashill then uncritically served up Zimmerman's defense for his stalking and threats:  He was a victim of "entrapment," the investigator had contacted relatives using "a variety of subterfuges to circumvent security," andZimmerman "decided to turn the tables on Warren and harass him back."

Needless to say, Cashill and Zimmerman offer no proof of any of this.

Maybe Cashill should spend less time defending the indefensible and more time trying to figure out why nobody takes him seriously.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EDT
Friday, May 18, 2018
NewsBusters Blogger Whines That MSNBC Won't Promote Fox News
Topic: NewsBusters

Randy Hall whines in a May 9 NewsBusters post:

While observing World Press Freedom Day on May 3, MSNBC aired an advertisement encouraging viewers to watch not just that liberal channel, but also follow more than 25 other left-leaning sources and newspapers while not mentioning Fox, the most-watched news network on cable TV.


On the print side, it included newspapers as The GuardianFinancial Times, USA Today, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Enquirer, Florida's Sun Sentinel, The Daily Press (Newport News, VA), the Sun (Naperville, Illinois), and the New York Daily News.

Also mentioned were BBC News, the global Inter Press Service and magazines like New York Magazine, The New Yorker,  and The Atlantic.

The closest the advertisement to conservative outlets were the Wall Street Journal and National Review.

But Hall never proves that any -- let alone all -- of these outlets are "left-leaning." Apparently, he's just parroting the MRC's propganda that any media outlet that's not as far to the right as Fox News is "liberal." And his suggestion that the Wall Street Journal (owned by Fox News' Rupert Murdoch) and National Review are merely close to conservative and not actually conservative is ridiculous.

Hall spends the rest of his post complaining that the MSNBC ad didn't offer Fox News as an option. But he didn't note whether Fox News ran a similar ad to mark World Press Freedom Day -- probably because if it had, it almost certainly wouldn't have told people to watch MSNBC. Does Hall really think otherwise?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EDT
WND Promotes Dinesh D'Souza's Fake News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer does a fine job of stenography in a May 7 article:

Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza is calling revelations that comedian Rosie O’Donnell made repeated, “oversized” donations to Democrats – using five addresses and four different names –”an egregious violation.”

In 2014, D’Souza was fined $30,000 and forced to serve five years probation and eight months in a confinement center after he gave $20,000 to Wendy Long’s run for the U.S. Senate. In a tweet Monday, D’Souza suggested there’s a double standard in how his case was handled in comparison to O’Donnell’s.

He tweeted: “Justice isn’t merely about whether you broke the law – it is also about whether others similarly situated receive the same penalty #Rosie.”

A New York Post investigation revealed Saturday that O’Donnell made large donations that exceeded legal limits to at least five Democratic Party candidates.


But D’Souza said the facts indicate O’Donnell knew she was breaking the law.

“It seems clear, from what we know, that Rosie broke the law and she broke the law five times,” D’Souza told Fox News.

“What makes it particularly sneaky on her part is that she used four different names and five different addresses,” he said. “It seems clear that she knew what she was doing and she tried to cover her tracks.”

D’Souza continued, “You exceed the campaign finance limit, and the law is the law whether you actually know it or not.”

In fact, D'Souza was pushing fake news -- so much so that other conservative outlets came to O'Donnell's defense. Becket Adams of the conservative Washington Examiner points out that O'Donnell's donations were effectively made under the same name, adding:

If her aim was to avoid detection, having her occupation (“comic”) and employer (“Showtime”) included on the receipts seems like an odd choice. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that her name is on every single filing (how do you think the Post and the Washington Examiner found them?). Lastly, it’s probably worth mentioning that it is common for the recipient of a campaign donation to fill out the necessary FEC forms.

Put more plainly, it's more likely that O’Donnell was careless rather than nefarious. She's also probably in the clear, especially considering that excessive contributions are routine, non-felonious issue for the FEC. They are so routine, in fact, that there’s a page on the agency’s website dedicated to this specific issue.

Adams then reminds us of what, exactly, D'Souza did and why he's full of crap:

Now, let’s compare all of this to D’Souza, who is playing the victim angle hard this week.

D’Souza pleaded guilty in May 2014 to using straw donors to funnel an estimated $20,000 to a New York Senate candidate. He enlisted the aid of two acquaintances, a friend and a woman with whom he was romantically involved, to carry out the illegal donations. D’Souza promised that he would reimburse them later. This is all illegal, which is why he was sentenced to serve eight months in “community confinement.”


There’s a significant difference between over-contributing, which is a routine matter, and using straw donors, the latter of which is a felony. D’Souza is guilty of the latter. There’s no real comparison between his $20,000 felony and O’Donnell giving a combined $5,400 in over-the-limit contributions to five candidates. D’Souza used personal acquaintances as donor mules, and now he’s playing the victim. 

No thank you.

WND could have easily fact-checked D'Souza; it chose not to. Thus, WND is once again publishing fake news -- one of the things that contribued to its near-death experience earlier this year, even if Joseph Farah won't admit it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EDT
CNS Doesn't Mention Oliver North's Iran-Contra Scandal

If you were a news outlet writing a story on someone, wouldn't you mention the thing for which that person is most famous?

If you were a real news outlet, yes. But we're taking about here, which is in thrall to right-wing ideology and associated activist groups like the National Rifle Association.

Thus, the May 7 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman on Oliver North being named NRA president describes him as a "decorated veteran, best selling author, and former National Security Council member" and gushing quotes from NRA official Wayne LaPierre -- but no mention whatsoever of the one thingthat catapulted him to fame -- his involvement in the Iran-contra scandal.

Chapman shoved down the memory hole the fact that North is only technically not a convicted felon, with his convictions on destroying documents, obstructing Congress and taking a bribe dismissed only because of having been granted immunity for his congressional testimony.

A follow-up story by Susan Jones the next day touted a North appearance on "Fox & Friends" (of course) in which he said various pro-NRA things. Jones similarly failed to mention North's role in the Iran-contra scandal.

Again, this is CNS, where it's all about the ideology, not about the journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT
Thursday, May 17, 2018
WND's Fake Democrat Laments the Decline of 'Real Men'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've identified WorldNetDaily columnist Bob Just as a "WND Democrat" who claims to be a member of the Democratic Party yet does nothing but bash the party he supposedly belongs to. He does a little bit more of that in his May 2 column.

Headlined "Guns and guts: Why effete media fear real men," Just seems to be trying to latch onto the big damn manly trend WND columnists have been pushing recently. He throws in meaningless and gratuitious shots at "the leftists who control my party" and "my increasingly un-American Democratic Party." But it's mostly about complaining that boys aren't taught to be men -- well, Just's idea of a man, though he looks a little effete himself:

Sadly, teaching masculinity to boys is increasingly rare – unless you are on the football team. Most all-male schools like the one I attended (founded in 1709) are a thing of the past. Yet, they once provided a great service by showing boys “what it means to be a man.”

And don’t think the old code of “women and children first” is relegated to the days of the Titanic. That ethic will never leave us. Who of us would have accepted the James Cameron 1997 “Titanic” if he showed Leonardo DiCaprio allowing Kate Winslet to drown so his character might live on to tell their love story?

But does this means that women who accept the sacrifice of men are cowards or wimps? Of course not! It means they respect men. You can be sure the women of the real Titanic would have gladly also drowned if it meant protecting their children.

This is “the code” – the traditional understanding of duty and responsibility. It’s as deeply connected to the gun issue and our freedom as it is to our personhood. And it will always be such in America if this nation is to survive. Effete cultures have no future.

He goes on to bizarrely complain that boys were hiding along with the girls as the Columbine killers were shooting at them: "Didn’t anyone teach those boys what it means to be a man? Didn’t anyone teach them to take responsibility in a moment like that?" He doesn't mention that any boy who did that would likely have been murdered too.

Would a real man prtend to be a member of a political party that stands for everything he despises? Yet that's what Just is doing.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 PM EDT
The Worst Hot Take Ever on Michelle Wolf, Courtesy of the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Needless to say, the Media Research Center was incensed by Michelle Wolf's comedy routine at the White House Press Association Dinner, cranking out post after outraged post about it. But it was even more incensed at the the idea forwarded by some commentators that Wolf's provocative language was no different than that of President Trump -- which led to a ridiculous hot take that didn't even make it to the MRC.

The MRC works with conservative, Trump-fluffing Washington Examiner writer Paul Bedard to produce a weekly "Mainstream Media Scream" that gives Bedard a way to fill space and a way for the MRC to promote its latest "liberal media" outrage. For the one about Wolf, Bedard highlighted those likening Wolf's language to Trump, then quoted the MRC's Brent Baker retorting: "When has Trump ever disparaged someone’s physical appearance in front of them? Wolf displayed a new low for public discourse, yet after three years of decrying Trump’s caustic comments, these journalists rationalize bad behavior by their profession’s chosen dinner entertainer by reflexively lashing out at Trump instead of holding accountable those who chose Wolf. That illustrates so well why Trump supporters have such disdain for journalists."

Yes, Baker is actually suggesting that Trump is better than Wolf because he doesn't insult people to their faces (that we know of, anyway, though Kirstjen Nielsen might beg to differ).

When you're resorting to that level of sycophancy and whataboutism to try to make Trump look good, you know the MRC are made Trump men.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:00 PM EDT
Farah Marks WND's Anniversary With More 'Digital Cartel' Conspiracy-Mongering
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah marked the 21st anniversary of WorldNetDaily with a downbeat column that engaged in his usual conspiracy-mongering:

Last Friday marked the 21st anniversary of WND – the original, pioneering, independent online news-gathering source, the first one created for the new digital world.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention it then, the answer is simple.

I was so busy trying to ensure that we would have a 22nd anniversary next May 4, that I forgot.

That’s how rough it has been recently for WND and the rest of the independent online media that have followed our lead over the decades.

Despite the many articles I have written about this in recent months and the fine work Tucker Carlson and a few others have done explaining the existential threat we face from an increasing hostile internet infrastructure, few seem to understand the gravity of the situation.

Yet, I’m convinced it’s not just the independent media targeted for extinction by this cabal composed of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and a handful of other monopolistic mega-corporations.

The other bigger targets include free speech itself and Donald Trump.

I do not believe I exaggerate.

Knowing what we know about Farah, we believe he does.

Farah has continually denied that the conspiracy-laden, misleading (if not outright false) so-called journalism he has published played a major role to WND's near-death experience earlier this year. Inastead, he rants about the "digital cartel" of Google and Facebook purportedly suppressing WND because it's conservative (and not because it's low-quality, fake news-laden content). The fact that WND is doing a gimmicky cryptocurrency giveaway in return for donations does not help matters.

Farah's claim that he's been working to save WND is also a bit dubious, since he was apparently distracted from its survival earlier by writing a book that he's now begging for money to publish and making a deal with a small ministry to solicit tax-deductible donations.

Farah self-righteously (and laughably) portrays himself as part of the "independent media" that needs to survive in the face of the "digital cartel." But Farah has never demonstrated that WND deserves to live, and he doesn't do so here.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Newsmax Gives Bolling The Image Rehab Treatment
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how Newsmax took a step toward trying to rehabilitate Eric Bolling with a fluffy profile that focused on his son's tragic death via drug overdose and omitted the inconvenient fact that Bolling was fired as a Fox News host over allegations of sexual harassment. Well, it looks like Newsmax is giving Bolling the patented rehab treatment with more interviews on Newsmax TV:

  • An April 10 article detailed Bolling's opinion on the possibility of President Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. It curiously described Bolling only as an "author," despite the fact that he wasn't plugging a book and his last book (of the two we's written) came out a year ago.
  • An April 25 article -- which also described Bolling as an "author" -- highlighted Bolling's stance on medical marijuana (pro, despite his son's opioid-related death).
  • A May 11 article described Bolling as a "commentator" and featured him commenting on President Trump and North Korea.

Going back a little farther in the archive, a March 22 article called Bolling a "former Fox News commentator," while a March 2 Newsmax article called Bolling a "former Fox News anchor." Neither of these articles mentioned how Bolling earned that status.

It appears the last reference at Newsmax to Bolling's disgraceful departure from Fox News is a Feb. 20 article calling Bolling a "Conservative political commentator and former Fox News host" but adding that "Bolling had exited Fox News after allegations surfaced that he had harassed colleagues."

UPDATE: In other image-rehab news, Bill O'Reilly is apparently in talks to have a nightly show on Newsmax TV.  Newsmax has been courting O'Reilly for months.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 10:00 PM EDT
Bash-Public-Schools Week at CNS
Topic: had a spasm of public school-bashing at the start of the month.

A chart-filled May 1 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey played up a claim that "Sixty-five percent of the eighth graders in American public schools in 2017 were not proficient in reading and 67 percent were not proficient in mathematics." That was followed a few hours later by an article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touting how "A fifth-grade teacher who has worked in the San Diego Unified School District for 21 years was recently charged with distribution of child pornography, including videos involving a toodler girl with an adult male and another video involving a seven-year-old girl engaged in rough sex with an adult male."

The next day, Jeffrey wrote a column bashing public schools -- and touting Catholic schools -- further based on those numbers: First: Public schools are doing a bad job teaching their students these two basic subjects. Second: Catholic schools are doing a better job."

Jeffrey then complains that public schools don't incocxtrinate their students in "Catholic values," then demands that parents be given school vouchers:

Then there is the second contest in which the Catholic schools beat the public schools: Teaching values.

Public schools generally teach secular left-wing values — that, in some instances, cannot be reconciled with the laws of nature and nature's God, whom the Founders invoked when they created this republic.

Catholic schools teach Catholic values, which are wholly consistent with the natural law, which must ultimately form the foundation of every American law.


But many parents who sent their children to public schools also got a bad deal — because their child got a bad education.

States should take every penny they now spend on the public schools and give it to parents in the form of a voucher that carries just one requirement: Educate your child where you see fit.

Jeffrey doesn't explain how destroying public schools  helps anyone other than right-wing ideologues like himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 70: Denial of Reality Attack, Trump Propaganda Division
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth doggedly defends President Trump over a muddled message regarding whether he supported the death penalty for the later-exonerated Central Park Five. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:40 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
WND Can't Stop Hyping Right-Wing Legal Group's Non-Story
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily keeps trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, as this May 7 article by Bob Unruh shows:

It’s been confirmed now – there WAS election interference.

By the Barack Obama administration.

The American Center for Law and Justice has revealed it has uncovered documents showing the Obama State Department even misled Congress about U.S. tax money being used to try to manipulate the results of an election in Israel, America’s strongest ally in the Middle East.

The organization confirmed that through its Freedom of Information Act case involving the U.S. State Department’s support for OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine, it obtained revealing details.

“While the United States regularly issues grants to international organizations that provide services such as humanitarian relief, educational opportunities, and even opportunities and activities aimed at encouraging democratic voter participation, it turns out the OneVoice organizations went well beyond such measures and actively campaigned against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2015 elections – using resources established and developed with grant funds from the Obama State Department,” the ACLJ has reported.

And, the ACLJ found, “one of the senior advisers to OneVoice Palestine was none other than the son of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority – something the Obama Administration clearly knew (since these documents were in its possession).”

As we pointed out the last time WND hyped the right-wing ACLJ's dubious claims about this non-scandal, it's been public record since 2003 that Abbas' son was an adviser to OneVoice -- as were Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum, including Netanyahu's Likud party. 

And the ACLJ's hyperventilating and heavy implication about this non-scandal doesn't change the fact that the money paid to OneVoice by the State Department paid for a separate project, a Senate subcommittee found that OneVoice fully complied with the terms of the original grant, no grant money was used in the election, and the State Department placed no limitations on the post-grant use of infrastructure the grant paid for.

As expected, Unruh quotes only the ACLJ and can't be bothered to contact OneVoice or anyone else involved in this non-story for a reaction.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:13 PM EDT
CNS Promotes Bogus Attack on Calif. Bill Banning Conversion Therapy
Topic: managing editor Michael W. Chapman is no stranger to the CNS culture of stenography. Thus, he kicks off an April 27 article -- headlined "Liberty Counsel: CA Bill Against Gay Conversion Could Ban Christian Books, Speech" -- with some dedicated stenography:

The California House recently passed legislation (AB 2943) that says "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual" is a fraudulaent business practice, and if it passes in the Senate and becomes law, it could result in certain books, speakers, and conferences being banned, including the Bible, said Mat Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel. 

The bill "is so broad that it bans books, printed materials and advertisements that provide information that a person facing unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion can change," said Staver. "[It] is a dramatic infringement on First Amendment rights and is a classic viewpoint discrimination. It declares certain kinds of speech as consumer fraud."

Interestingly, Chapman actually includes alternative views that shoot down Liberty Counsel's alarmism; several paragraphs later, he quotes the head of the group Save California as saying that it is "not likely" that the bill would ban the Bible. Yet the fact that the article contains differing views is not reflected in the headline.

Chapman never bothers to seek out the sponsor of the bill, Evan Low, who has specifically stated that the bill does not ban book sales, let alone that of the Bible.

Interestingly, while Chapman labels a California assemblyman who supports the bill as a "liberal Democrat" and the Human Rights Campaign, which also supports the bill, as "a pro-homosexuality advocacy group," he does not provide any ideological labels for Liberty Counsel and Save California -- both of which are right-wing anti-LGBT groups.

Chapman did go on to try and rebut the HRC:

The HRC also claimed that there is no "credible evidence" that conversion therapy can help a person turn away from same-sex attraction. However, some doctors have shown how homosexuality can be prevented and explained how reparative therapy can repair people.

Chapman provides as an example of "some doctors" a link to the biography of Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist and a founder of the notoriously anti-gay group NARTH who championed conversion therapy. And the link on "reparative therapy" goes to a YouTube video of a 1974 TV appearance by fellow anti-gay psychiatrist and NARTH co-founder Charles Socarides, whose son is gay. Chapman doesn't seem to understand that critical thinking about homosexuality has evolved over the past 40 years.

And that's the closest Chapman ever comes to providing any evidence to back up the view of himself and his right-wing anti-gay buddies that conversion therapy works.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT

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