CNS' Trump Flip on Reporting GDP Numbers Topic: CNSNews.com
Employment numbers are not the only thing CNSNews.com goes into full pro-Trump rah-rah mode on. Check out this July 27 article by Susan Jones on a quarterly GDP increase:
President Trump told steelworkers in Illinois Thursday he was expecting a "terrific" Gross Domestic Product number for the second quarter, and he wasn't disappointed:
Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the advance estimate released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
That's a considerable improvement from the (revised) GDP growth of 2.2 percent in the first quarter and the best showing since 2014.
"GREAT GDP numbers just released," Trump tweeted on Friday morning. "Will be having a news conference soon!"
At the impromptu news conference on Friday morning, Trump hailed the "amazing" 4.1 percent rate.
"We're on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years. And I will say this right now, and I'll say it strongly -- as the trade deals come in one by one, we're going to go a lot higher than these numbers, and these are great numbers.
Of course, as with those employment numbers, CNS' reporting on GDP had a much different tone during the Obama years. Indeed, we could find no contemporaneous CNS article mentioning the best quarterly GDP numbers during the Obama presidency -- 5.1% in the second quarter of 2014 and 4.9% in the third quarter of 2014 -- even though both of those numbers topped the figure Jones gushed about.
Instead, CNS reported almost exclusively on yearly GDP numbers in reference to Obama. For instance, an April 2017 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey pointed out that "In the eight years of 2009 through 2016, when President Barack Obama was in office, real GDP never grew by as much as 2.7 percent"; the month before, Jeffrey declared that "President Barack Obama remains the first president since the Great Depression not to see a single year with at least 3 percent growth in real GDP."
An April 2016 article by Jeffrey did focus on a quarterly GDP number under Obama -- but did even more cherry-picking by finding the one that made Obama look bad, a first quarter number that meant "the United States has started 2016 with a record tenth-straight first quarter in which real GDP grew at an annual rate of less than 3 percent."
This is just another example of how much of a pro-Trump toady CNS has chosen to become.
At least 22 women have been killed, and hundreds more have ended up with ectopic pregnancies or have required blood transfusions and hospitalization due to an abortion pill fast-tracked by the Bill Clinton administration.
The results of the Clinton administration’s promotion of Mifeprex, also known as RU-486, were uncovered by Washington watchdog Judicial Watch, which had warned of possible negative impacts from the drug.
“Back in 2006 Judicial Watch published a special report based on thousands of pages of FDA and National Archives documents showing the Clinton administration’s aggressive drive to thrust the abortion pill to the market in the United States despite warnings of its hazards,” the organization said this Tuesday.
“Judicial Watch uncovered that the abortion pill was fast-tracked under the ‘Accelerated Approval of New Drugs for Serious or Life-threatening Illnesses,’ a measure that was adopted for use in rare cases to encourage the manufacture and importation of drugs designed to treat life-threatening diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
“Over the years physicians have warned of Mifeprex’s dangers and some have called for banning it. In a piece published by a mainstream newspaper more than a decade ago, an obstetrician warns that Mifeprex is deadly and explains that it obtained government approval because five standard procedural and scientific requirements to prove safety and effectiveness were circumvented to get it onto the market quickly.”
Because Unruh is content to merely rewrite a press release -- and because that's exactly what WND is paying him to do -- he won't bother to do any fact-checking, which would reveal that Judicial Watch's central claim is false.
While the FDA admits that 22 reported deaths have been "associated" with Mifeprex, it doesn't mean that the drug caused those deaths. It further explains that the deaths cannot be directly blamed on Mifeprex because of other confounding factors:
It is not uncommon for the FDA to receive reports of serious adverse events for prescription drugs after they are approved. The FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in women who took Mifeprex. As of December 31, 2017, there were reports of 22 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal. The adverse events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of concurrent use of other drugs, other medical or surgical treatments, co-existing medical conditions, and information gaps about patient health status and clinical management of the patient. A summary report of adverse events that reflects data through December 31, 2017 is here. The FDA has reviewed this information and did not identify any new safety signals. The FDA intends to update this summary report on an annual basis or as appropriate.
As with all approved drugs, when the FDA receives new information regarding adverse events, the agency reviews the new information and, as appropriate, takes necessary action, including providing updates to doctors and their patients so that they have information on how to use the drug safely.
In fact, Mifeprex is considered a safe drug -- even safer than Viagra, which we presume Judicial Watch is not interested in investigating or finding out how many deaths it has caused.
In other words, Judicial Watch is either delibertely misleading about Mifeprex or is utterly ignorant about how federal reporting of adverse effects works. And WND is letting it get away with pushing false and misleading information.
Bozell Doubles Down on MRC's Defense of Infowars Topic: Media Research Center
We've already noted how the Media Research Center is running to the defense of conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and his Infowars operation, ludicrously insisting that it's no different than CNN while hiding details about the extreme, offensive content Infowars traffics in. The news that several social media networks have removed Infowars content has sent the MRC into defense mode for Jones once again.
MRC chief Brent Bozell issued a statement that claims in part: "I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets." Bozell doesn't mention the kind of content that got Infowars kicked off those social networks, like insisting that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.
The item containing Bozell's statement tries to link the removal of Infowars content to the MRC's longstanding assertions that social networks are conducting "censorship" of conservative content -- claims that are dubious at best. But if Jones is not a "conservative," as Bozell claims, why is it so worried about his content being removed?
Bozell went on to complain: "Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous." But the MRC's own "news" division,CNSNews.com, censors content all the time -- it has no liberal columnists, and it refuses to tell its readers when President Trump and his White House officials are making false or misleading statements.
An Aug. 7 MRC post by Corinne Weaver was slightly more honest than her boss about the content that got Infowars removed from those social media sites -- she admits that "Jones has said many offensive and bizarre things not in keeping with conservative beliefs" and admitted that Jones was "claiming that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax." But she started her post by claiming that removing "extremist content" was part of a "war against freedom of speech."
Interestingly, none of these MRC writers who have come to Infowars' defense mentioned the fact that YouTube, Spotify, Facebook and other social networks are private businesses that have policies governing the use of their websites and that they are perfectly within their rights to remove whatever content they deem as a violation of those policies. You'd think that, as pro-business conservatives, the MRC would defend the social networks' right to run their businesses as they see fit.
WND Does PR For D'Souza's New Film Topic: WorldNetDaily
Longtime WorldNetDaily employee Art Moore -- one of the few remaining during WND's current round of near-death experiences -- is one of the few WND writers who puts a byline on his work. That may not be a good thing, given some of the things he has affixed his byline to: doing stenography for a pro-Trump pastor, writing puff pieces on Republican congressman Devin Nunes (whose book WND just happened to publish), and blaming Obama for a bridge collapse. Moore is occasionally capable of actual journalism on occasion when he's allowed, but that's not what Joseph Farah is paying him to do.
Moore's current fixation, though, is right-wing filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, and his latest pro-Trump, anti-liberal film. Indeed, Moore and D'Souza seem to have a special relationship of some kind.
Moore was touting D'Souza a year ago, uncritically parroting his claim that "hackers" locked D'Souza out of his Facebook page -- a claim that just so happened to coincide with the release of his previous book, "The Big Lie."Moore talked to D'Souza, his publicist and the person who manages D'Souza's Facebook page -- but he gave no indication that he ever contacted Facebook for a response.
When D'Souza's new film, "Death of a Nation," was set for release, Moore was eager to play his PR agent:
In a July 22 article, Moore highlighted how, "in an interview with WND," D'Souza explained away one of the film's ludicrous likening of President Trump to Abraham Lincoln.
On July 31, Moore let D'Souza discuss another of the flim's goofy claims, that white nationalists are left-wing. The next day, Moore posted a clip "provided to WND" from the film of D'Souza's interview with white nationalist Richard Spencer to allegedly prove that claim.
And on Aug. 5, Moore gave D'Souza a platform to rant against the critics of his film, taken from "an interview Sunday with WND."
What you won't find in any of Moore's articles: any effort by him to talk to a D'Souza critic or anyone else who disputes the premises his film forwards. He allows D'Souza to cast his critics as straw men to easily knock down -- for example, Princeton historian Kevin Kruse, who has debunked Twitter D'Souza's assertion that the Republican and Democratic parties did not switch positions on civil rights during the 1960s and also blew up D'Souza's claim that liberal historians are conspiring against him.
That means Moore is writing press releases, not "news" articles.
All this fluffing from Moore is followed by an anonymously written Aug. 6 article trying to spin how badly D'Souza's film did at the box office on its opening weekend -- a paltry $2.3 million on 1,105 screens -- by insisting that "there are still three months to the election." The article also baselessly suggests that a previous D'Souza film attacking Hillary Clinton cost her the 2016 election.
It's also a sign of the times -- as well as the current dire financial situation of WND -- that editor Joseph Farah lent his endorsement to the film: "If Americans see this movie, there is little question they will learn some very uncomfortable facts about the Democratic Party that they will not learn from what we euphemistically call ‘the mainstream media. ... This is a very hard-hitting documentary that exposes the dark underbelly of secrets the Democratic party has carefully guarded for generations. Could it make a difference in 2018? Only if millions see it. And they should. I can tell you they will be glad they did."
Some of Moore's "news" articles contain links to WND's online store, where one can "see D'Souza's works." and that's basically what this is all about: WND desperately trying to monetize D'Souza without regard to facts, and D'Souza enjoying all the free, fluffy publicity.
Or maybe D'Souza is paying for this. WND does need the money, after all.
We've noted how CNSNews.com writer Susan Jones loves to crank up the rah-rah for the monthly employment numbers now that Donald Trump is president (compared to her less-than-enthusiastic reception for positive numbers under President Obama). Here's how her lead story on July's numbers kicks off:
Following last month’s strong employment report, the numbers released on Friday were even better in some respects.
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says a record 155,965,000 people were employed in July, the 11th record-breaker since President Trump took office 19 months ago.
"Our economy is soaring. Our jobs are booming. Factories are pouring back into our country, they coming from all over the world. We are defending our workers," President Trump told a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday.
BLS said the economy added 157,000 jobs in July (compared with a revised 248,000 in June).
The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as the number of employed people reached new heights, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6,280,000 in July.
It's not until the last half of her article that Jones notes a less-than-positive number: Not only did the labor force participation rate -- something CNS was obsessed with during the Obama years -- remain steady, federal officials project that it will continue to decline over the next decade.
After all those years of blaming Obama for the low labor force participation rate while he was president, CNS has found a way to avoid blaming Trump for the same trend.
CNS' coverage includes the usual sidebars about manufacturing jobs and government jobs. There's also the second appearance of an article about the Hispanic unemployment rate, having proven more exploitable by CNS' Media Research Center parent than previous articles about the black unemployment rate. And, indeed, the MRC did just that, as MRC Latino's Garvin Oliver and Ken Oliver touted how "The Trump administration’s winning record on Hispanic unemployment finally received a long overdue nod of recognition from top national Spanish-language media outlets Univision and CNN en Español."
Well, that's why CNS published it -- so the Olivers can harangue others into promoting it.
WND Columnists Go Into Anti-Trans Freakout Mode Topic: WorldNetDaily
A couple of WorldNetDaily columnists have been in transgender freakout mode lately.
Michael Brown starts his July 20 column with his usual faux sympathy for transgenders, then descends quicker than usual into his usual anti-trans ranting:
I earnestly hope and pray that every child and adult struggling with gender identity issues will find wholeness, peace and happiness from the inside out. I earnestly hope and pray that we will live to see the day when every person who feels trapped inside the wrong body will find internal resolution without hormones and radical surgery. At the same time, I wholeheartedly oppose the transgender revolution and predict that, ultimately, it will fail. Here’s why.
Brown went on to huff that the "transgender revolution" is "irrational," "oppressive," "unhealthy," "extreme," "dangerous," "unnatural," and an "attack on children."He concludes woith even more faux sympathy:
For decades now, billions of dollars have been invested to discover a cure for cancer. Chemotherapy is not sufficient. Radiation treatment only goes so far. Other “cures” fall short of the mark.
In the same spirit, let us continue to pursue better treatments for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Surely there is a better way than hormone blockers for children, double mastectomies and sex-change surgery for older teens, and hormones for life.
Let’s work toward this while firmly resisting the transgender revolution. We owe it to our kids and grandkids.
A July 24 WND column by Jerry Newcombe demonstrated his limited understanding of transgenders: "There are people who suffer with gender dysphoria – where they feel like a boy trapped in a girl’s body or vice versa. Our hearts go out to them. However, the Scriptures say that God has made human beings in His image. Male and female, He has made us. There are only two sexes. Only two genders."
Newcombe then called on the usual right-wing anti-trans forces: author Ryan Anderson and Walt Heyer, a man who lived as transgender for several years until deciding that "real change came through the help of a loving church and some loving Christian people" and becoming an anti-trans activist.
Newcombe didn't mention that Heyer admits he was misdiagnosed or that his views aren't rooted in medical expertise.
MRC Loves It When CNN's Acosta Is Heckled At Trump Rallies Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's war on CNN's Jim Acosta is so nasty that it cheers whenever Trump supporters heckle him when he covers rallies hosted by President Trump.
In a June 25 post, for instance, Curtis Houck sneered that Acosta was a "carnival barker" and happily noted "quite the crowd behind him during a live shot with chants of 'go home, Jim' and 'fake news Jim,' while one attendee moved from side to side with a 'CNN Sucks' sign" -- and, yes, Houck carefully put all of those insults in boldface type for maximum impact every time he referenced them in his post. Houck further sneered that later in the segment, Acosta spoke "in a tone which suggested he fancied himself the most honest, righteous man in America."
In a July 31 post on another heckling, Houck once again called Acosta a "carnival barker," this time adding "showboater" to his list of derogatory names, and put the insults in boldface. He then further attacked the "self-centered liberal journalist" for responding to the crowd's heckling
Houck later added an Acosta-bashing update: "Acosta returned for another live shot in The Situation Room’s 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour and, even though the rally had started and thus crowds were no longer heckling him, the pompous CNNer again acknowledged their chants from earlier in trying to make viewers feel bad for him."
Of course, Houck's obsessive hatred for Acosta -- and. as the leader of the MRC's war on Acosta, his need to criticize every single thing Acosta does -- might be generating a little sympathy for the reporter as well.
Farah's Book Update: Less Begging for Money, More Conspiracy-Mongering Topic: WorldNetDaily
As the print publication date nears for WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah's religious book -- for which Farah and WND have spent months begging for money to finance a massive initial print run without demonstrating a need for one or explaining why it can't get a loan to finance such a print run if the demand is genuinely there -- WND is backing off the begging aspect, albeit without saying anything about whether it met its $400,000 fundraising goal.
It has, however, fallen back on the old WND trope of manufacturing conspiracies against the book.
In July, it got some mileage out of what it portray as a "top 500 reviewer" at Amazon seeing his reviews deleted "weeks" after he posted a "5-star rave" of Farah's book. Needless to say, Farah rushed to find a conspiracy here by ranting about the "Internet Cartel":
“There’s something very strange happening at Amazon,” said Farah. “I do not believe this is some innocent misunderstanding or glitch. There’s a pattern developing here, and I believe it is associated with Amazon’s partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a stridently anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Farah, leftist extremist organization that not only provides content guidance to Amazon, but also to Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – in other words, the entire Internet Cartel that is imposing its own cultural, spiritual and political worldview on online communications. This is just the latest example of many.”
WND then went on to reproduce, "at WND's request," the lengthy "5-star rave" about Farah's book, in which he exclaims that "Joseph Farah’s exploration of the Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament is a tour de force in Yahweh’s 'good news', His redemptive plan for mankind." WND then included a conspiratorial plea for money: "Support 'The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament' before it is aborted and sabotaged by the increasingly hostile and anti-Christian Internet Cartel." That's an ironic claim for a book whose digital edition WND touted as being available "exclusively on Amazon Kindle."
Amazon ultimately reinstated the reviewer, but it apparently wouldn't repost the review of Farah's book -- which, of course, WND portrayed as a punishment of Farah.
This episode was followed by a July 22 column from Farah complaining that the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., won't stock his book despite it being, "as some others had suggested, a 'breakthrough Bible book,' in that it systematically searched out the Good News message of redemption and restoration that I had found so prevalent in many of the books, but also in all 39 of the Hebrew Scriptures." Farah is being disingenous here; the URL "breakthroughbiblebook.com" -- a domain owned by WND -- redirects to the page selling the book at WND's online store. In other words, it's not "some others" calling his book a "breakthrough Bible book"; it's the author and the website he runs.
Farah wrote that he eventually discovered that the museum rejected his book because its mission did not involve evangelism or apologetics. Needless to say, Farah complained:
How, I wondered, could you adequately and thoroughly create and maintain the massive institution that is the Bible Museum without the evangelistic nature of the Bible itself, which is God’s inspired Word to His people?
There was some specific verbiage in the rejection letter that also struck me: “The books that we carry tend to be more on the historical and factual side of the spectrum.”
My book is just that. It’s just the facts – using almost entirely the Bible and what it actually says in the text itself. In that sense, it is as historical and factual as a book can be.
Yes, I am disappointed that my book will not be available at the Museum of the Bible.
More importantly, though, I’m disappointed in the reason.
Of course, any assertion by Farah that he's interested in "just the facts" is suspect, given WND's history of publishing fake news. The folks at the museum probably know that history as well -- and the author's background may be another reason Farah's book is not getting the traction he thinks it deserves.
CNS Echoes White House Attacks on Ex-CIA Director Brennan Topic: CNSNews.com
We've detailed how the pro-Trump stenographers at CNSNews.com rushed to do damage control for President Trump following the infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki -- which included playing down the suggestion from former CIA director John Brennan that Trump committed "treason" in his obsequiousness to Putin, as well as CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey complaining that "Former CIA Director John Brennan never accused his old boss Barack Obama of 'treasonous' behavior" when Obama told then-leader Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 election.
Now CNS is doing the Trump White House's bidding in attacking Brennan for making the suggestion.
On July 19, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman quoted Republican Sen. Rand Paul claiming that Brennan "started his illustrious career by voting for the Communist Party." That led to a harangue from Chapman claiming that the Communist Party in the U.S. "was always loyal to the USSR, a totalitarian regime responsible for more than 25 million deaths." But Paul is misleading; as we've noted, Brennan voted for the communist as a protest vote while a college student, not while a CIA employee, and he disclosed the vote during the CIA hiring process.
An article the same day from Gavi Greenspan favorably quoted Republican Rep. John Kennedy trashing Brennan as "lost in a sea of dumb." Greenspan also noted apropos of noting that Brennan voted for a communist but omitted the fact it was a protest vote and done before he joined the CIA.
A July 20 article by Susan Jones quoted Paul again, this time saying it's "alarming" that Brennan still has a security clearance even though he, in Jones' words, "attacks the president on Twitter and now works as an analyst for MSNBC." Jones also included screenshots of Brennan's tweets to show "the general flavor of his recent tweets."
CNS then joined the bandwagon to get Brennan's security clearance pulled for criticizing Trump. Dutiful Sarah Sanders stenographer Melanie Arter cheerfully highlighted how the White House is considering pulling the security clearances of Brennan and other former intelligence officials because they purportedly "politicized" and "monetized" those clearances, and intern Max Augros was sent out to ask House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer: "Former CIA Director John Brennan has publicly declared the sitting president ‘treasonous.’ Should he be permitted to keep his security clearance?" Another intern, Emilie Cochran, had to write an article quoting Paul Ryan as saying that Trump is "trolling" people by calling for those security clearances to be pulled.
We presume the Trump White House couldn't be prouder of CNS for regurgitating its andi-Brennan talking points so faithfully.
MRC Makes Excuses for Trump -- Then Denies That's What It's Doing Topic: Media Research Center
Peter Sifre began a July 18 Media Research Center post by a surprising admission by a pro-Trump organization: "Let’s face it: Trump had a rough press conference in Helsinki on Monday." Sifre then immediately kicked into spin mode, insisting that "this does not excuse hyperbolic responses on the part of the media" and touting how "On Monday’s edition of Hannity, radio star Mark Levin appeared to offer some historical context."
Sifre should have mentioned the MRC's cross-promotional business relationship with Levin somewhere in his post by way of disclosing a relevant conflict of interest, but he didn't.
After noting allegations that Trump, among other things, committed treason in the Putin presser in Helsinki -- which presumably come from individual commentators, which Levin and Sifre are falsely conflating as being made by the entire "liberal media" -- Sfire touted how Levin "then proceeded to give a history lesson of past foreign policy blunders with the Soviet Union" and "later criticized the Obama Administration for its action, or lack thereof regarding Russian aggression and expansion."
As long as we're going to take the whataboutism route, it's worth noting the times that the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, provided a willing platform for hyperbolic "treason" attacks on President Obama and others during the Obama years:
It published a 2015 column by right-wing activist J. Matt Barber claimed Obama committed treason with a prisoner exchange to release captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, declaring that "Just a few short decades ago this anti-American Marxist would not only have been accused of treason, he would have been tried for it."
A 2016 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheered how Republican Rep. Trent Franks said that Obama's criticism of Israel for establishing settlements in disputed East Jerusalem will "send Barack Obama's name down the corridor of history as an overt traitor to the state of Israel." Franks didn't explain how someone can be a "traitor" to another country where that person has never resided.
A 2012 article uncritically promoted "A new petition posted on the 'We the People' page of the White House website" that "calls for trying Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) in federal court for treason" for proposing a law to stop the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
A 2010 column by Alan Caruba declared that the Obama ad,ministration's plan for a cap-and-trade carbon credit plan was "treason."
And just a few days ago, MRC senior fellow Allen West was upset that the media did "not ramble on about treason" regarding Obama's 2012 hot-mic comment to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more "flexibility" after the election -- ironic since a 2012 article quoted Rep. Darrell Issa effectively doing just that, stating that "I judge that in fact he’s going to sell out our national defense after the election."
Hyperbolic claims of treason are not limited to the Obama years, though: A February article by Chapman highlighted how a partisan memo by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes on the FBI's use of FISA warrants "showed 'clear and convincing evidence of treason' and that he is sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeking 'prosecution' against the FBI's James Comey and Andrew McCabe and the DOJ's Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein."
At the end of all this, Sifre declares: "None of this is a reason to make excuses for Trump’s blunders during the press conference in Helsinki. However, Levin correctly pointed out the media’s double standard when it comes to insufficient response to Russian encroachment when a Democrat is in power."
In fact, whataboutism is very much a form of excuse-making. If Trump hadn't screwed up so badly in Helsinki, there would be no need for Levin to come to Fox News to spin things -- and for Sifre to write it up with such detail. The MRC is pro-Trump state media, after all, and it must do such things on behalf of its leader.
Irony Abounds In WND Managing Editor's Defense of Trump, His Employer Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his monthly-or-so plea for money, WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian serves up some unintentional irony:
We are living in amazing but unsettling times. Millions of Americans – while more grateful than ever that they “dodged a bullet” in 2016 by electing Donald Trump and avoiding the sheer horror of a Hillary Clinton presidency – are increasingly appalled at the ongoing campaign to undo the results and promise of that election.
We are bombarded daily with increasingly bizarre and surreal news reports. Like the outrageously biased Mueller investigation into Trump’s non-existent “Russia collusion.” Like embarrassingly deranged Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters constantly claiming President Trump is mentally incompetent and must be impeached. Like the Washington “swamp” – which includes treacherous, self-serving, never-Trump establishment Republicans – working daily to undermine America’s duly elected president as he tirelessly keeps his promises to revive America’s economy, stop the tidal wave of illegal immigration, protect America from terrorists, and successfully pursue the Reagan policy of “peace through strength” in North Korea, Iran and other potential nuclear powder kegs around the world.
“The swamp” is using all the forces at its disposal to discredit and block every good, sensible, job-saving, freedom-saving and life-saving policy the Trump administration tries to implement.
Kupelian seems to have forgotten (as it often does) that he and WND did to President Obama what he claims others are doing to Trump. Bizarre and surreal "news" reports? Check. Embarrassingly deranged people declaring Obama is mentally incompetent and must be impeached? Check and check. Working daily to undermine America’s duly elected president? You betcha.
Kupelian's irony continues:
As a veteran journalist, I can say unequivocally that today’s “mainstream” news establishment is more unprofessional, unprincipled, unhinged, biased, lazy, dishonest, corrupt – and, in some cases, flat-out insane – than at any time during my 35 years as a newsman.
Indeed, as I wrote in “The Marketing of Evil,”in today’s America “no institution is more complicit in making evil appear good and good appear evil” than the news media.
But, really, what could be more unprofessional, biased, lazy, dishonest, corrupt -- and, in some cases, flat-out insane -- and the tideoffakenews and Islamophobia WND has unleashed upon us? It's also worth noting that WND has yet to publicly renounce its relationship with Paul Nehlen, the far-right Wisconsin congressional candidate who became toxic when he went hard on anti-Semitism and white nationalism.
Kupelian then declared that "one thing that is critically needed is a genuinely truth-oriented, pro-American alternative media to counteract the treacherous performance of the elite “mainstream” press," then laughably claimed that "for 21 years WND has been at the forefront of this movement, having in large measure launched the 'real news' revolution as the first independent online news-gathering company."
What Kupelian insists is WND "fighting the good fight" is, in reality, nothing more than partisan hack-job propaganda. It seems he's drunk too much of the conspiratorial Kool-Aid to understand the difference.
Like his boss, Joseph Farah, Kupelian will never admit that WND's years of said hackish propaganda -- not any grand conspiracy by Google and Facebook, whose bias is toward factual journalism, not the fake, biased news WND loves -- is why WND is circling the drain -- again -- and why these two leaders must continually beg readers for money.
Bill Donohue Just Can't Stop Making Dishonest Anti-Gay Attacks Topic: CNSNews.com
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League began his July 23 CNSNews.com column by declaring, "Any honest observer of the priestly sexual abuse scandal knows that the lion's share of the molestation was committed by homosexuals, not pedophiles." Of course, any honest observer also understands that Donohue is not an honest observer. He proves it again in the second paragraph of his column:
The most exhaustive study on this issue was done by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and they concluded that less than five percent of the predators were pedophiles. Indeed, 81 percent of the victims were male, and 78 percent were post-pubescent, meaning that homosexuality—not heterosexuality or pedophilia—was in play.
As we've documented, Donohue has repeatedly blamed homosexuality for the sexual abuse scandals, even though the authors of the John Jay study warned critics not to confuse behavior with orientation because no connection was found between homosexual identity and sexual abuse.
Donohue then complained that a Washington Post article argued that homophobia in the church has kept gay priests from dealing with sexuality issues in a healthy manner. In response, Donohue dragged out the old right-wing trope of blaming the 1960s "sexual revolution" and, more specifrically, the end of "traditionalism" in the church, baselessly asserting that "The sexual abuse of minors was infinitesimal in the 1950s and exploded in the 1970s."He then huffed:
This is not a plea for punishing homosexual priests. It is a plea to abide by the policy adopted by Pope Benedict XVI: men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be welcomed in the seminaries. That stricture has served the Church well since it was adopted in 2005: the decline in new cases of sexual abuse has been dramatic, and is almost non-existent in the United States today.
Two months ago, Pope Francis picked up on this discussion, strongly backing the position of his predecessor. “These tendencies, when they are ‘deeply rooted,’ and the practice of homosexual acts, can compromise the life of the seminary beyond that of the young man himself and his eventual future priesthood.” Well said.
Blaming “homophobia” is a dodge. It is employed as justification for recreating the very milieu that created the problem in the first place. We should never want to return to a time when good heterosexual men left the seminaries because they were surrounded by gay men acting out with impunity.
Donohue blaming homosexuality is also a dodge, especially since he continues to insist on deliberately misreading the John Jay report. He offers no evidence to support his claim that "good heterosexual men left the seminaries because they were surrounded by gay men acting out with impunity."
Donohue is anti-gay, and claiming he's not in favor of "punishing homosexual priests" does nothing to dispel that impression.
MRC's Double Standard on Purple Heart Satire Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kristine Marsh huffed in a July 13 post:
All three networks came to the Democrats’ defense Friday morning after the heated Congressional hearing Thursday where lawmakers questioned anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok about his biased role involved in the Clinton and Russia investigations. ABC, NBC and CBS didn’t hide their contempt for Republicans questioning Strzok, while they touted Democrats, ironically, as the ones were trying to uphold justice. Not only that, while they highlighted one Republican’s over-the-top line of questioning, they flatly ignored Democrats who also went over the line, absurdly calling for Strzok to get a “Purple Heart.”
What else was inappropriate that CBS didn’t have time for? Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen telling Strzok that he deserved a “Purple Heart” for having to endure these questions. That also happened during the hearing:
"Mr. Strzok, I don't know where to start. If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would. You deserve one,” he gushed to Strzok, before going on to complain Republicans were simply trying to distract from the Mueller investigation.
That distinguished honor is of course awarded to those who are injured or killed in the line of duty. A far cry from one FBI agent having to answer a few tough questions.
This newfound concern over a military medal -- under a headline calling the idea of giving one to a civilian for facing hostile congressional questioning "offensive" -- is much different from the MRC's reaction to a different mocking use of it. In a August 2004 item, the MRC defended attendees at the Republican National Convention wearing bandages featuring a purple-shaped heart, justifying it because they were "meant to make light of John Kerry earning purple hearts in Vietnam for superficial wounds," and cheering how Newt Gingrich found them "funny."
The MRC's Rich Noyes complained that anti-Kerry forces who participated in the partisan, dubious Jerome Corsi book "Unfit for Command" weren't being covered to their satisfaction, complaining that a controversy over the Purple Hearts Kerry was awarded for his service in Vietnam was a "one-day story, even though the records Kerry released failed to include the paperwork supporting the Purple Heart award."
It's so weird that the MRC wasn't bothered by partisan attacks on one man's Purple Hearts that dismiss them as meaningless, while defending their honor when it's politically expedient.
WND Launches Yet Another Campaign To Beg Readers For Money; Farah Still Won't Admit His Fake-News Problem Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's a new month -- which means, as it turns out, that WND needs more money ... again.
WND editor Joseph Farah began his July 29 column by declaring: "You’ve been reading the headlines about the war Google, Facebook and the rest of the Internet Cartel have been waging against conservatives, Christians and independent media like WND. Of course, I have been telling you about this since January of this year – candidly, openly, no holds barred, no sugar-coating."
In fact, Farah has been decidedly less than candid in his previous begging-for-money efforts, being obtuse about exactly what its financial situation is and where all the money readers are giving him is going. Surprisingly, though, Farah is being a little more candid, giving us actual numbers at last to illustrate WND's financial situation:
We’ve seen our revenues plunge from $10 million in 2016, to $6 million in 2017, to what is expected to be about $4 million in 2018, if we’re lucky. This is a direct result of years of discrimination, bias, hatred, mischaracterizations, skewed algorithms designed to favor leftist, anti-God media and worldviews, which all of these corporations share.
Unfortunately, Farah is continuing to ignore the fact that WND's own highly biased and too-frequently-false content is a key factor in WND's continuing downward spiral (unless "bias" and "hatred" is referring to WND's own editorial policies). His insistence on blaming others for his situation -- plus apparently taking his eye off WND's financial ball to write a book -- isn't really distracting from the elephant in the room.
The deflection continues later in his column, whining that "Those who stand up for God, righteousness, basic morality, liberty, family, free enterprise, smaller government, borders, national sovereignty, the Constitution and the will of the people are called 'haters,' 'Nazis,' 'fascists,' 'racists' and worse" -- conveniently ignoring that his website called Obama many of those same things (and worse).
After once again making the bogus declaration that WND is part of the "independent media," Farah got down to the nitty-gritty: WND needs "a minimum of $100,000 in August to make ends meet," plus by Farah's aforementioned book, which apparently "is an important part of WND’s recovery, rebirth and revitalization plan for later this year."
Perhaps if Farah was even more candid and described that "recovery, rebirth and revitalization plan," WND might raise even more money.
But apparently he's holding that back. Farah's column the next day once again touted "the future revitalization of WND later this year, once again framed the failure of WND as the death of the First Amendment, once again failed to discuss WND's problematic content as a factor in its death spiral and even more laughably portrayed WND as among "the few remaining journalistic voices of fairness and balance." Really, Joe: has WND ever been the first media outlet anyone thinks of when the words "fairness" and "balance" come to mind?
Farah did offer a little more information about how its crowdfuinding effort went earlier this year, saying it raised "about $300,000" in the first three months of 2018 -- but he didn't itemize where that money went.
Farah's July 31 column was more of the same deflection and name-calling: conspiratorial ranting about the "Internet Cartel" conspiring against WND and the "the fascistic thuggery of the left-wing zealots in control of communications," calling the Southern Poverty Law Center "terrorists" for documenting right-wing hate (including at WND), and ignoring the fact that conspiratorial ranting helped get WND to this point.
In his Aug. 1 column, Farah complained about WND's "revenues collapsing thanks to the Internet Cartel’s vicious anti-Donald Trump predilection, then mixed a little more candidness with even more conspiracy-mongering:
We’re operating on the edge. But we weren’t through 2016. Our revenues were quite predictable from 2010 through 2016 – pretty much always around $10 million or greater. But no one got rich at WND – not me, not other shareholders, not other employees. Instead, if we grew, we plowed those resources into more content, more reporting, better reporting, better books and more of them – movies too.
It all came crashing down so quickly after the 2016 election there can be no other explanation as to its cause. The Internet Cartel was going to make WND and other independent media pay for the election of Donald Trump.
Farah still insists on refusing to recognize the truth: If the "Internet Cartel" is punishing WND for anything, it's for publishing fake news. And he doesn't even seem to believe that purveyors of fake news should be punished.
Until and unless Farah can address WND's lengthy history of problematic content, WND has not earned the right to continue existing. All the begging for money Farah does will never counteract that basic fact.
Pompeo Reacts to Shrieking Heckler: ‘If There Were Only So Much Freedom of Expression in Iran’
A heckler who interrupted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech on Sunday night in support of the Iranian people got little sympathy from the audience or from her target, who used the disturbance to underline his message about the plight of those living under the regime in Tehran.
Pompeo was speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi, Calif. about the regime’s abuses at home and policies abroad when a woman began shouting slogans to the effect that “the Trump-Pence regime is kidnapping children.”
The audience, who had given Pompeo an enthusiastic reception, immediately broke into loud boos.
Pompeo waited, smiling patiently, as the yelling continued, and as the audience response morphed into chants of “U.S.A., U.S.A. ...”
Then he said, “if there were only so much freedom of expression in Iran,” drawing more cheers before proceeding with his speech.
-- Patrick Goodenough, July 22 CNSNews.com blog post
Responding to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s warning Sunday that a war with Iran would be “the mother of all wars,” President Trump used his Twitter feed for a warning of his own directed at the regime in Tehran.
“To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” the president tweeted.
“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
(The contrast: Goodenough didn't refer to Trump as "shrieking" or "yelling" even though tweeting in all caps is the Twitter equivalent of yelling. Also, the Pompeo post has a note describing it as "corrected" without detailing what, exactly, was corrected.)