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Monday, September 17, 2018
Newsmax Plugs Kerik Novel (Which It Published)
Topic: Newsmax

Bill Hoffman gushes in a Sept. 4 Newsmax article:

Bernard Kerik has lived an extraordinary life by any standard. Abandoned at age 2 by his alcoholic mother, he dropped out of high school, became a military policeman and martial arts specialist, then rose through law enforcement from patrolman to become a highly-decorated undercover narcotics officer in New York and then the city’s top cop before it was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

Drawing on these incredible experiences, the 63-year-old former commissioner has just penned an explosive new thriller, "The Grave Above the Grave."

"I’ve spent 30 years in policing and security, 10 of which was in the Middle East, and people constantly ask me what are my fears, and whether I believe we could suffer another 9/11 attack," Kerik tells Newsmax. "Writing this book gave me the opportunity to educate people in a fictional way what rolls around in my head daily."

In "The Grave Above the Grave," published this month by Humanix Books, Kerik tells the story of NYPD Commissioner Rick Raymond who, while battling a cop killer with Islamic terror ties, uncovers a plot to launch another devastating attack on the city. As he races against the clock, Raymond also must juggle the pressures of a grandstanding mayor, a disreputable reporter and a secret love — who just happens to be the district attorney.

What Hoffman doesn't mention: Humanix Books is a division of Newsmax -- which makes his article an in-house promotion, not "news."

Hoffman dismissed Kerik's criminal record in a single paragraph as nothing more than book fodder: "Kerik has had his share of scandals, including a stint in federal prison for tax fraud. That became the basis for his 2015 nonfiction best-seller, 'From Jailer to Jailed.'" Then he quickly returned to the business of plugging Kerik's new book and touting his pro-Trump, right-wing views, which presumably would help sell his book to Newsmax's core audience.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
CNS' Really Dumb Football Attendance Comparison
Topic: blogger Craig Millward wrote in a Sept. 10 post:

The number of fans who attended games featuring NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams this weekend was nearly 4 times the number attending NFL games.

The total number of attending FBS college games, according to attendance numbers published by ESPN, was 3,513,235. The total number attending NFL games was 931,721.

That means there were 3.77 times as many fans--in the stands--personally watching FBS college games this weekend than there were fans in the stands watching NFL games.

FBS college football teams played 78 games this past weekend while NFL teams played 14--with two NFL games remaining to be played on Monday night (the New York Jets vs. the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams vs. the Oakland Raiders).

Overall, there are 130 NCAA FBS teams, while there are only 32 NFL teams.

Note that Millward's post discredits itself as he goes along, as the absurdity of comparing the raw attendance numbers of a  small group of NFL teams and a much larger group of college football teams makes itself manifest.

Of course more people attend college football bames than NFL games -- there are more teams. Millward also avoids doing the logical statistical thing and offering an average attendance figure, since it would prove him even more wrong. For the record:

  • 931,721 divided by 14 NFL games = average attendance of 66,651 per NFL game.
  • 3,513,235 divided by 78 FBS games = averange attendance of 45,041 per FBS

In other words, NFL teams are attracting more fans per game than FBS teams are -- blowing an even larger hole in the point Millward is trying to make about the NFL's purportedly declining popularity.

These numbers also fail to take into account the facts that NFL teams are largely confined to large cities while college football teams are in many more areas of the country, or that some people who attended a college football game may have also attended an NFL game.

We can call Millward's post dumb even by CNS standards.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:14 PM EDT
Speaking of Mass Hysteria...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's promotion for its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine has the theme of "Mass Hysteria," and it's promoted thusly:

Americans are living through an era of mass hysteria, in which Democrat politicians, entertainment celebrities and media pundits daily compare the president of the United States to Adolf Hitler and his supporters to Nazis, fascists and white supremacists.


After all, if Donald Trump actually were another Hitler, virtually no form of “resistance” would be morally off-limits in the heroic quest to save the world from another Holocaust. Indeed, all-out resistance would become a moral imperative.

Thus it is that Americans daily witness the surreal spectacles of leftwing mobs in action – of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump aide Steven Miller and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen all being harassed by frenzied, screaming mobs while trying to eat dinner in various Washington, D.C.-area restaurants (in Sanders’ case, actually being ejected from the premises). Florida’s pro-Trump Attorney General Pam Bondi is similarly abused and chased out of a Tampa movie theater (ironically there to see the new Mr. Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”). All the while, Rep. Maxine Waters hysterically urges angry Trump-haters to ambush the president’s staffers everywhere, Obama CIA chief John Brennan accuses Trump of treason, Rep. Steve Cohen calls for a military coup to oust the president, antifa members openly brag to video journalists that they would “murder” the president if he showed up at their rally, actor Peter Fonda tweets “We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles,” MSNBC contributor Jill Wine-Banks compares the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin to Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kristallnacht, while another MSNBC pundit, Donny Deutsch, thunders on-air that every single Trump voter in America is – quote – a “Nazi.”

This is textbook mass hysteria, approaching that which led to the Salem witch trials.

In reality, Hitler murdered 11 million people, while Trump has murdered none, so obviously Trump is not Hitler.

This is all projection, of course. President Obama never murdered a single person, let alon 11 million people, but that didn't keep WND from spending eight years likening Obama to Hitler, and it certainly never worried about the "mass hysteria" it might cause in doing so.

And as far as accusing Trump of treason goes, WND did that on a regular basis. For example:

  • In a 2012 WND column, headlined "Impeach Obama for treason," Tom Tancredo demanded that "Congress must consider removing Barack Obama for giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies – and that is treason against the United States."
  • WND columnist Larry Klayman ranted in another 2012 column: "Our so-called president must not only be quickly removed from office by all legal means, but he must also be prosecuted for treason. If the Justice Department or a military tribunal won’t act, then the “citizen’s grand jury,” which the Supreme Court has acknowledged exists in principle in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, must now be taken out of the legal closet to indict Obama for these treasonous acts."
  • In 2013, WND columnist Erik Rush argued that Obama was guilty of treason, adding that "In most countries, including the United States of America, there remain provisions for the execution of those convicted of treason."
  • In 2015, Matt Barber wrote of Obama: "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."

WND managing editor David Kupelian repeated much of this in an Aug. 30 column, including the part about how Donny Deutsch said "that every single Trump voter in America is – quote – a 'Nazi.'" (That's not quite what he said.) But Kupelian seems to have forgotten how he denigrated people who voted for Trump. Here's his description of them following the 2012 election:

As a nation – and I’m speaking now of the voting majority, not all of us, obviously – we have squandered the priceless inheritance of our forefathers. We have wandered off into a far country and wasted our substance on immorality and profligate spending. We mock the faith of our fathers. We ignore the Constitution they bequeathed to us. We spit on the moral code they gave us, on which America and Western Civilization were founded. Our wealth – once the natural reward of the mighty engines of industry and innovation that thrive in a free country – is largely an illusion today, based on debt.


Remember, America’s problem is not Barack Obama. Our problem is that half of our population, after watching a lying, supremely demagogic president methodically unravel America for four excruciating years, could see fit to elect him a second time. Our problem is that millions of us think it’s perfectly fine to rip apart innocent children before they’re born, and to steal from those who work hard and “redistribute” their goods to others. Our problem is that millions of us think it’s wonderful and proper for men to marry men and women to marry women and to persecute those who rightly point out that this is both immoral and mad.

Our problem is that millions of us – and more to the point, virtually the entirety of government, academia, popular culture and “mainstream media” – embrace the most absurd, preposterous and destructive lies as though they were great and enlightened truths.

Millions of people living in American today are, quite literally, madly in love with lies, deception and selfishness.

Kupelian does manage to avoid calling Obama voters Nazis, but he certainly goes up to that line by finding almost every other derogatory term in the thesaurus.

Once again, WND is complaining that other people are doing to Trump what it did to Obama. The hypocrisy is staggering.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 AM EDT
Sunday, September 16, 2018
MRC's Maxson Doesn't Know What A Buyout Means
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of his ESPN derangement, mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson has long despised ESPN commentator Jemele Hill for tweeting that President Trump is a "white supremacist." For example, Maxson raged when Hill received an award from a group of black journalists that she didn't deserve it after a year of "failure, suspension and demotion."

So when Hill announced she was leaving ESPN, Maxson couldn't be happier. Maxson raranted in an Aug. 27 MRC post that Hill is a "bombastic race-baiter" who "talked, tweeted and finally bought her way out of ESPN."

"Bought her way out of ESPN"? Actually, according to the Sports Illustrated article (Maxson falsely states it's from the Sporting News, making this the second error in his/her piece) from which Maxson quotes, Hill's departure from ESPN "includes a buyout" of her contract. Typically, that means ESPN paid Hill an agreed-upon amount to be released from her contract -- not that, as Maxson appears to assume, Hill paid ESPN for the contract release. Indeed, ESPN reportedly paid Hill $6 million.

Maxson is not the sharpest knife in the MRC drawer. Last year, he/she tried to insult Caitlyn Jenner but couldn't figure out what "nee" means.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:42 PM EDT
CNS Joins MRC's Bid To Make Jordan House Speaker

We've highlighted how is heavily promoting the idea of conservative Republican Jim Jordan as House speaker (or minority leader should the Democrats retake control of the House). Now it's clear that it's an effort backed by the entire Media Research Center, which runs CNS.

A Sept. 12 CNS article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touts how "Recent surveys by five conservative grassroots organizations show that their members overwhelmingly support Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, as the next Speaker of the House should the Republican Party retain its majority in the November midterm elections." Two of those polls are MRC-linked groups: MRC Action, the political action divsion of the MRC that Chapman describes as "the grassroots army of the Media Research Center," and ForAmerica, whose chairman is MRC chief Brent Bozell and which is run by Bozell's son David. (The article did disclose most of this.)

That's not the only Jordan-fluffing CNS has been doing of late:

  • An Aug. 29 article by Susan Jones portrays Jordan in Trump-fanboy mode (and Jones once again in Trump fangirl mode), touting how Trump has had "an amazing year and a half."
  • A Sept. 13 article by Emily Ward details a Facebook Live conversation between Bozell and Jordan, in which Jordan signs onto the MRC's narrative of "conservative censorship" by social-media companies.

None of these articles, by the way, mentioned allegations that Jordan knew about sexual abuse of athletes by a team doctor but did nothing about it. They clearly don't want to hurt Jordan's chances by reporting facts.

Speaking of which, the MRC itself ran to Jordan's defense over the accusations. An Aug. 10 item by Alec Sears complained that some media outlets didn't report that one Jordan accuser "recanted" his accusations. Sears himself didn't report that Jordan's allies have reportedly been running a pressure campaign to get his accusers to recant.

And in an Aug. 17 item, Kyle Drennen took offense to reporting on an ad by a Democratic  political action committee that "compared Republican Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan to disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who helped cover up child sexual abuse for years." Drennen didn't rebut the claims but instead played whataboutism, whining that the reporting lacked "acknowledgment of the numerous scandals Democrats have been embroiled in over the past two decades."

While ForAmerica operates under different nonprofit tax codes that allow them to engage in more political activity (501(c)4, specifically), it's unclear whether MRC Action is under a different tax status than the 501(c)3 status of the rest of the MRC, which restricts political activity -- and defending Jordan and promoting his efforts to be House speaker, as CNS and the main MRC are doing, are nothing if not political.

The MRC ought to make sure that Bozell's political ambitions aren't jeopardizing its tax status.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EDT
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Newsmax Doesn't Disclose It Published Corsi's Book
Topic: Newsmax

When right-wing conspiracy theorist and former worldNetDaily writer got subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury looking into Russian election interference, Newsmax was quick to exploit it:

Jerome Corsi, author and investigative writer, has been served papers to appear before the Mueller grand jury in Washington this Friday to answer questions about his longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, according to a report in The New York Times.

Corsi is the author of “Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump,” a New York Times bestselling book that has been harshly criticial of the probe of special counsel Robert Mueller.

“He fully intends to comply with the subpoena,” Corsi’s lawyer David Gray told the Times, adding that his client anticipated “it has to do with his communications with Roger Stone.”

A mainstay on talk radio and TV shows, including Newsmax TV, Corsi has claimed Mueller has overreached his legal authority. Corsi has stated that President Trump’s recent tweet that a “criminal deep state” is seeking to end his presidency emanated from evidence and charges he makes in his new book.

Despite touting his appearances on its TV channel, Newsmax failed to disclose that it published Corsi's book through its Humanix Books division. That lack of disclosure came as Newsmax used the article to promote the book. One promotion stated: "Corsi’s “Killing the Deep State” was published last February and has been the #1 bestselling conservative critique of the Mueller investigation. [Editor’s Note: Get Jerome Corsi’s “Killing the Deep State” at bookstores everywhere or get the FREE Offer – Go Here Now." That's your usual Newsmax loss-leader offer, in which it basically gives away the book and a free, short subscription to Newsmax's magazine in the hopes that people will like the magazine or forget to cancel it before the free offer ends to keep from automatically being charged $39.95 for a full year's subscription.

Newsmax also failed to mention that  since early 2017, Corsi has been employed by fellow conspiracy-monger Alex Jones at Infowars, where he served as its White House correspondent. According to the New York Times, which broke the news of Corsi's subpoena, he apparently no longer works there.

The article also gushed: "Corsi’s book has sparked serious interest among Trump’s most loyal supporters. And TV host Bill O’Reilly has stated that the left “hates” Corsi’s book because of its strong defense of President Trump." In fact, the book is full of Corsi's usual conspiratorial claptrap that has been his stock in trade for years.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 AM EDT
WND Just Can't Quit Fake News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves publishing fake news, and its current financial problems haven't stopped it from doing so.

An Aug. 28 WND article by Art Moore is a rewrite of an anonymously sourced Daily Caller report that "the private email server through which Hillary Clinton transmitted classified information as secretary of state was hacked by a Chinese-owned company."

Just one problem: it appears not to be true. The FBI pushed back on the cloaim, saying that it had found no evidence that Clinton's servers had been compromised.

Nevertheless, Joe Kovacs wrote an article the next day touting right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh's repeating of the report and "wondering where the denials are from the former U.S. secretary of state and former President Obama." It's not until the 14th paragraph of his article that Kovacs got around to noting that "The FBI, meanwhile, told NBC News Wednesday the bureau 'has not found any evidence the (Clinton) servers were compromised.'" Then he returned to quoting Limbaugh some more.

Yes, Kovacs led with the bogus story and buried the debunking. WND has apparently not learned its lesson about its dubious content driving it down the tubes (again); instead, Kovacs and Moore demonstrate once again why nobody believes WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Friday, September 14, 2018
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

In reporting on the August employment numbers, goes beyond pro-Trump rah-rah mode in promoting the figures that make President Trump look good to openly admitting that it's promoting President Trump and the Republicans' re-election agenda. Susan Jones does the dirty work in the main article hyping the best numbers and burying the bad ones:

The midterm election is about "safety and jobs," President Trump told a campaign rally in Montana Thursday night. He said the economy is "booming like never before," and on Friday, the unemployment report brought the president more good news: the unemployment rate for African Americans, 6.3 percent, is the second lowest on record (it was 5.9 percent in May);  and job-growth remains strong.

For Hispanics, the unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a point from last month's record low of 4.5 percent. And the overall unemployment rate remained at a low 3.9 percent.

The number of jobs added -- 201,000 -- exceeded analysts' expectations. (After revisions, job gains have averaged 185,000 for each of the last three months.)

After three straight record-setting months, the number of employed Americans dropped by 423,000 in August, to 155,542,000 from last month's all-time high of 155,965,000. This number has set 11 records since Donald Trump took office.

Black unemployment usually gets its own sidebar rather than leading the main story. That's an indication of the cherry-picking CNS and Jones had to do to make sure the numbers didn't undermine the GOP re-election message.

Jones' story is currently topped with a correction that walks back CNS' overenthusiasm for all things Trump: "The original headline said that the African-American unemployment rate in August was the lowest ever; in fact, 6.3% is the second lowest rate on record for African-Americans."

In a sign that the numbers were not to the liking of CNS (and, thus, Trump), the only other article it did on the numbers is the usual piece by Terry Jeffrey on manufacturing jobs -- in which he had to admit that they had "decreased by 3,000 in August—after twelve straight months of manufacturing job increases."

So, sad trombone at CNS because it couldn't completely hide how its hero didn't make the numbers he needs to make CNS a successful pro-Trump propaganda operation.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2018 2:58 PM EDT
WND Columnist Tries To Make Case for Confederate Statues As 'Art'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Marisa Martin -- the nom de wingnut of artist April Kiessling -- spent her Aug. 29 WorldNetDaily column trying to defend to defend the idea of Confederate statues as art, likening activists tearing down the "Silen Sam" statue at the University of North Carolina to Roman conquerers destroying things that reminded them of the conquered:

Sam was a monument to Civil War veterans from UNC, most of whom served in the Confederacy, a body many would like to forget now. That may be understandable, although it is unalterable history. It’s also an awfully long time to carry a 158-year grudge. Other than pettiness, the real problem is insisting on erasing knowledge of the Confederacy – or anything else – from our collective unconscious.

Is this ever a good thing? Maybe it is when my team does it and not yours, or if we are the conquerors or they were the oppressors. Some type of damnatio memoriae (erasing memory of the cursed) is latent in most of us. It’s ancient, tribal, almost instinctual, and present to some extent in every tribe and nation.

Here’s proof, straight from history books and current memory:

Romans razed anything and anyone who posed a threat to military or political conquest. They first created the term damnatio memoriae, issuing official orders to erase images, names, tombs and records of the no-longer-appreciated. Mongols gutted Bagdad of its treasures until it was nothing but sand. Then there were Vandals, Vikings, Goths, Ottomans and many more.

Martin did at least concede why folks are upset enough to tear down Confederate statues:

But Silent Sam is a symbol of the Confederacy and a tortuous, evil time. It recalls division, slavery, racism and death. Complicating everything is a stream of valor and high-mindedness over it all. Men from both armies were often brave, patriotic, zealous, cultured, religious and even chivalrous. There are at least 1700 or more symbols to the Confederacy in America, and 110 have been removed already. Will obliterating all memory of the past make the core issues better or heal us of the past?

Both UNC and the Daughters of the Confederacy (sponsors) claimed to have no intention to promote racism or ill-feeling at the time. Sculptor John A. Wilson was a Canadian. By contrast, local industrialist Julian Carr, who was a Confederate veteran, gave a nasty, racially charged address at its dedication. Silent Sam’s forging may have been based in a certain amount of resentment over the War and destruction to the South, even racism. Who really knows?

"Who really knows"? Actually, a lot of people do. We can infer a lot from the fact that the statue was erected in 1913, at the height of Jim Crow, as this Forbes article details:

"Silent Sam and other Confederate monuments erected during Jim Crow represent white Southerners’ efforts -- and specifically efforts by white Southern women in groups such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy -- to revise Civil War history," UNC history graduate student and Silent Sam sit-in member Jennifer Standish tells me. Nearly 50 years after the end of the Civil War, dozens of Confederate statues were erected around the U.S., but particularly in the South.

"A number of historians have shown that powerful white Southerners were creating a revisionist narrative of the Confederacy as a protector of states' rights, Southern homes, and white Southern women in this period," Standish points out. These new narratives ignored slavery as the cause of the war, and contributed instead to the "Jim Crow regime, which was responsible for the disenfranchisement and murder of black Southerners," she explains.

UNC Classics Professor Jim O'Hara has also been active in understanding the history of Silent Sam and in petitioning the University administration to remove the statue. He tells me that, while Julian Carr's racist speech is well known at this point, "less well known is what the United Daughters of the Confederacy were doing in 1913." Specifically, in the same year that Silent Sam was dedicated, the UDC "unanimously endorsed and promoted for use in schools a history of the KKK that praised the heroic work they did to preserve white supremacy. So putting up these statues was unambiguously part of the white supremacist movement of the Jim Crow era." Standish concurs, further noting that "these woman had racial and class privilege that allowed them - through the Silent Sam statue - to shape how all people enter and experience UNC's campus."

Forbes also points out that blacks were forbidden from attending UNC until 1955.

Meanwhile, Martin's column includes a promotion for her new ebook:

Read about the odious history and current aggression of gay militants, as well as how to defend yourself from them, in Marisa Martin’s eBook, “Bitter Rainbows: Pederasts, Politics, and Hate Speech” on Amazon. Print version coming soon.

Portraying all gays as actual or potential "pedaraists" is in line with someone who freaked out over an Archie Comics storyline in which Archie died taking a bullet intended for his gay best friend. No wonder "Martin" tries to hide behind a fake name.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Thursday, September 13, 2018
MRC Again Claims That Conservatives Are Accurately Labeled In Battle Between Catholic Factions
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center has long had a bee in its bonnet regarding stories about conservatives in which the conservatives are accurately labeled as "conservatives." Matthew Balan -- a former MRC "news analyst" who's now freelancing for the MRC's NewsBusters blog -- pushes this again in an Aug. 30 post:

The Washington Post followed the example of AP and The New York Times with a Thursday article that played up the role of conservative Catholics in a controversy involving a former Vatican diplomat's recent "testimony" against Pope Francis.

Long-time Post religioin reporter Michelle Boorstein narrowed her scope and focused exclusively on the involvement of an "influential...conservative Catholic" media in the issue. Boorstein emphasized that "conservative Catholic media outlets have become power players by conveying the anti-Francis point of view." She also zeroed in on the role of "powerful Italian conservatives" in breaking the story.

The correspondent used the "conservative" term a total of 30 times in her write-up. (For a contrast, see Boorstein on April 5, in which she couldn't find a liberal/leftist label for Vermont ice cream barons Ben & Jerry, or "Black Lives Matters supporter DeRay McKesson," or the socialists at Sojourners magazine.)

First: The Post story about the church is specifically abaout political factions inside the Catholic Church, and it's absurd for Balan to be offended that conservatives are accurately labeled as such. Second: The story referencing Ben and Jerry, Mckesson and Sojourners is in a story about fightinbg racism -- unless Balan is conceding that fighting racism is now solely a "liberal" or "leftist" cause these days.

Balan  went on to huff that the Post reporter noted that "the reporting from these conservative 'power players" were akin to "the way in which Breitbart News and Drudge Report have served as media conduits for the brand of conservative American populism led by President Trump." If the Post can easily identify how a 'tight-knit' ideological network can unite to remove a powerful leader, certainly they can understand how conservatives see them and their fellow liberal 'power players' at 'media conduits.'" Of course, Balan's just parroting the anti-media attack from his former employer.

Then -- ironically for a website that fearmongers about George Soros for supporting liberal causes -- Balan complained that the Post story highlighted the role of financier Timothy Busch in conservative Catholic politics and even likening him to the Koch brothers, "controversial siblings involved in right-of-center politics in the U.S."

"Right-of-center"? The word you're looking for is "conservative," Matt.

Two days earlier, Balan complained that "The Associated Press and the New York Timesboth tried to spin a Catholic archbishop's recent exposé about the Church's sex abuse scandal as an ideological attack on Pope Francis from the right." Again, Balan doesn't dispute the ideological battle; he grouses about (arguably accurate) labels.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2018 8:49 PM EDT
Will WND Columnist Ask The Publisher Of His Column To 'Own Up To Fake News'?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown's Aug. 29 WorldNetDailiy column is basically a rant against the "mainstream media" for being too critical of President Trump, insisting that "It’s not just an undisciplined president getting unruly crowds upset about 'fake news.' It’s that your anti-Trump animus is often so loud it drowns out the report you are giving, especially in the context of TV news." As his column is headlined "My appeal to MSM: Own up to fake news," Brown ends with that demand: "It’s just that our nation is so terribly divided today that the last thing we need is fake news. Please help put a stop to it."

Brown does inject some of his faux reasonableness, conceding that "1) I believe there is bias on the right as well as on the left; 2) I believe that the great majority of you take your profession quite seriously and are trying to report accurately; 3) I don’t agree with all of the president’s rhetoric and I regret some of the charges he has brought against you; and 4) I believe the president himself is often the author of inaccurate information." He also admits that "there’s always been some degree of personal bias in the news. And again, I believe the right-wing media are guilty of this as well."

But Brown never insists that the right-wing media "own up to fake news" -- that message is reserved solely for the "mainstream media." Why? Brown depends on the right-wing media to promote his message.

Which is why you will never hear Brown demand that WND -- the publisher of his column -- "own up" to its legacy of publishing fake news.  Brown knows what side his bread is buttered on, and he will never be so gauche as to jeopardize his exposure on a key media outlet by telling the truth and holding it to the same standards he holds the "mainstream media."

In other words, Brown is no different that WND itself, which refuses to acknowledge that its shoddy conspiracy theories and fake news are a key reason why it's circling the drain (again).

Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
CNS Manages To Make McCain's Death All About Hillary (And Vodka)

We can assume that didn't like John McCain any more than its Media Research Center parent did. We can probably assume that's why CNS felt the need to make McCain's death all about ... Hillary Clinton.

An Aug. 27 CNS blog post by Susan Jones carries the ludicrous headline "Hillary Clinton Hopes to Toast McCain with Vodka Shots (A Russian Drink!)." And, yes, Jones is very much obsessed with the Russian vodka thing:

After sharing fond memories of the late Sen. John McCain on Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary was asked by Chuck Todd, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," if she plans to raise a glass to her departed friend and colleague.

"Secretary Clinton, I'm going to leave it there," Todd said at the end of their telephone conversation. "I thank you. I assume you and Lindsey Graham are going to have some vodka shots, and toast the senator," Todd said.

"Well, (laughing) I don't know," Clinton replied. "I hope -- I hope that will happen at some point in the future," Mrs. Clinton said.

"I think the Irishman in John McCain would love for you to celebrate that way," Todd told Clinton -- even though vodka is a Russian drink and McCain was no friend of the Russian government.

Jones seems not to be aware that the best-selling vodka brand in the U.S., Smirnoff, is made in the U.S. despite a Russian heritage. Or that a popular craft vodka is also American-made.

Jones does concede that "McCain and Clinton had previously bonded over vodka," but then takes a shot at McCain: "As for McCain, his Irish ancestry gave him license to tell Irish jokes on the campaign trail, most notably in 2008, when he opened a town hall in Scranton, Pa., with a joke about the drunken Irish O'Reilly twins that fell sort of flat. You can google the actual joke, which hasn't improved with time."

Earlier, Jones wrote a separate "news" article starting with another dig at the deceased: "Sen. John McCain's death was topic A on the Sunday talk shows where the senator was so often a guest." (The MRC hated McCain for appearing a lot on the Sunday shows.) Shse then complained that "Clinton took a dig at conservatives as she praised McCain's bipartisanship," then grumbed that Todd ended his interview with Clinton "with a reference to alcohol" -- the talk about toasting McCain with a vodka that Jones turned into that weird blog post reference above.

Jones also complained -- in another echo of her MRC employer -- that "In July 2017, when he returned to the Senate after having surgery for the cancer that eventually would kill him, McCain made a plea for bipartisanship by taking aim at (conservative) talk-show hosts." Jones didn't rebut McCain's claim that these "bombastic loudmouths" are bad for the country because "our incapacity is their lievelihood."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
WND Now Enticing Donors With Free Gun Training
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Toward the end of August, Joseph Farah's pitches to save WorldNetDaily from oblivion (again) became ever more dire, suggesting he wasn't going to raise the $100,000 he claimed he needed by the end of the month. But as September arrived, WND was still here, and Farah stopped acting so desperate. That tells us he was doing just fine on fundraising and was lowballing the numbers in order to scare up cash. Of course, Farah has been utterly non-transparent about how much money he's bringing in, so there's no way of knowing for sure. That lack of transparency ought to be a red flag for donors.

Meanwhile, Farah apparently has enough money to fly to Las Vegas from his base in suburban Washington, D.C., where he has a new promotion (since the bitcoin giveaway apparently didn't go over so well), described in his Aug. 31 column:

I’m sitting here with my longtime friend, Ignatius Piazza, founder and director of the amazing, world-class, 550-acre firearms training resort near Las Vegas, Nevada, with an offer you won’t believe.

We were discussing my campaign to save the independent, alternative media – not to mention freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion – from the “Speech Code Cartel,” otherwise known as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, et al.

Piazza was impressed with the way WND visitors and subscribers came through with financial and prayer support for us in the month of August. He not only knows firearms instruction and has built the most fabulous facility out here in the desert, but he also knows his stuff when it comes to marketing.

He said, “Joseph, you need to thank your audience – all of them. You need to give them something of real value as an expression of gratitude.”

“What do you have in mind?” I asked.

“How about offering them a free four-day defensive handgun course at Front Sight – one they can attend any time in the future or even transfer to anyone they like?” he asked.

After letting that sink in, I asked, “How do we do that?”

Much to my shock, he explained all you have to do is go to this special website he would set up exclusively for this WND offer to reserve your place, pay the nominal but mandatory $50 criminal background-check fee for participants, and you’ll be admitted – free – to the incredible four-day defensive handgun course and, almost certainly, will have the time of your life.


I believe everyone needs to know how to defend himself or herself. Like Ignatius, I believe the Second Amendment is America’s guardian of liberty. The best way to defend it is by using it. And that means owning firearms and knowing how to use them.

But all I ask is that you let him tell the story – because no one is more persuasive that Ignatius Piazza of Front Sight.

Take it from me, this is not just some gun range in the desert. It’s like the Disneyland of shooting. See for yourself.

Maybe you’ll be so happy with this incredible offer that you might want to thank me and by sending us another contribution to keep us fighting for liberty and privacy against the “Speech Code Cartel” of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Apple.

Piazza's Front Sight is an elaborate training facility in rural Nevada featuring "24 outdoor ranges designed for pistol, rifle, and shotgun training; eight simulators, including “shoot houses” that mimic dwelling places; gunsmith facilities; an armory" and more. Given that a four-day course at Front Sight can cost as much as $2,000, giving it away for free to WND readers is quite the deal.

Piazza, though, is an interesting character. A former chiropractor who apparently found his calling in running Front Sight, Piazza has appeared on the show of conspiracy freak Alex Jones (where he also has been a sponsor) and apparently has ties to Scientology.

In other words, he seems like the kind of guy Farah would hang around with. Will it actually help WND? hard to say, since Farah won't tell us what's going on with his finances.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:32 PM EDT
The MRC Loved McCain, Except When He Got in Its Way -- And Doesn't Particularly Love Him Now That He's Dead
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was never going to miss John McCain upon his death. It has long despised McCain for being a frequent guest on Sunday morning news shows; for instance, Tim Graham ranted in 2013 about how those shows consider him a "dream guest" because he's a "squishy" Republican and has "done 60 Sunday shows just since 2010." Jeffrey Lord similarly huffed that "McCain has every reason to prefer the mainstream media to conservative media precisely because conservative media is more than willing and capable of holding him -- and other Republican ObamaCare supporters -- to task for their bold and deliberate hypocrisy."

The MRC particularly hated him for his decisive vote last year to stop a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, and even having an incurable brain tumor didn't stop the hate. As one MRC writer put it (in boldface, no less), "Having an illness, no matter how serious, precludes neither the President nor the public from judging Senator McCain’s political acumen on its merits."

It clearly grated on the collective nerves of the MRC that McCain was lionized upon his death. But it had to publish something about it, so it focused on reliving the one time it consistently defended him: the 2008 presidential election, when it's contractually obligated to defend the Republican candidate no matter what -- and then only to defend the honor of McCain's vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Curtis Houck complained that Vox tweeted that "[y]ou can draw a straight line from John McCain to Donald Trump — through Sarah Palin" and freaked out over Vox misattributing Palin's hockey-mom joke to the wrong speech, then cheered how Vox was "ripped on Twitter" over the claims (meanwhile, the MRC's falsehood that Time Warner Cable was still a part of Time Warner at the time of its merger deal with AT&T remains live and uncorrected, and the MRC still hasn't told us which editors allowed the white nationalist hyperlinks in Tom Blumer's NewsBusters posts to stand).

Kyle Drennen huffed that "Amid glowing tributes to the life and career of Arizona Senator John McCain on Monday, MSNBC took time to use the Republican lawmaker’s passing to trash his 2008 vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin, labeling McCain’s selection of the then-Alaska governor as his 'biggest political mistake.'" Brad Wilmouth similarly whined that "several personalities on both CNN and MSNBC have lamented his selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee in 2008 as a 'mistake'."

You know who else that picking Palin was a mistake? John McCain. Drennen didn't mention that; Wilmouth did note it, though it didn't keep him from insisting on framing his piece as blaming folks on TV for calling it a mistake.

Scott Whitlock rehashed negative 2008 coverage of McCain's campaign as a counter to positive coverage of him after his death, claiming that "journalists weren’t so fond of McCain when he dared to stand in the way of Barack Obama." But can't both be true, that McCain was ultimately a decent person and that he ran a terrible campaign in 2008?

The MRC also worked Trump into it. Tim Graham complained that " published a glowing eulogy video of McCain above a typical expression of disgust at President Trump's failure to behave like a traditional politician and say glowing things about someone you didn't like one bit (and who banned the president from his funeral)." Houck, meanwhile, whined about CNN's alleged "obsession with tying McCain tributes to President Donald Trump, the latter’s attacks on the former, and how McCain was the anti-Trump."

The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens also wrote an unironic piece titled "Media Loved McCain EXCEPT When He Got in Their Way." He failed to point out that this more accurately describes his employer.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 3:21 PM EDT
WND Columnist Again Misrepresents Genocide Watch on South Africa
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time WorldNetDaily columnist Barbara Simpson wrote about South Africa, we caught her making up quotes from anti-genocide activist Gregory Stanton to claim there is a "genocide" of white farmers. A year later, Simpson is still being dishonest regarding Stanton and South Africa.

In her Sept. 2 WND column on the subject, Simpson declares, "Genocide Watch has concluded, 'There is a coordinated campaign of genocide being conducted against white farmers." As with her fake quotes from Stanton, who runs Genocide Watch, Simpson doesn't provide a link to back up the claim.

And as before, we checked into it -- and that quote is fake too. It's apparently taken from a 2013 article at the right-wing FrontPageMag in which what Simpson is claiming is a direct quote of Stanton is actually a paraphrase of what he found in a 2012 investigation (italics added):

In July of 2012, Dr. Gregory Stanton, head of the nonprofit group Genocide Watch, conducted a fact-finding mission in South Africa. He concluded that there is a coordinated campaign of genocide being conducted against white farmers, known as Boers. “The farm murders, we have become convinced, are not accidental,” Stanton contended. "It was very clear that the massacres were not common crimes," he added -- especially because of the absolute barbarity used against the victims. "We don’t know exactly who is planning them yet, but what we are calling for is an international investigation,” he added.

In addition to making up a (another) quote from Stanton, Simpson also censored the fact that Stanton's view on thte situation in South Africa has changed since 2012. Stanton wrote a 2015 article specifically stating in the headline that "'white genocide' is not underway in South Africa."

Further, farm murders and attacksd in South Africa have been on an overall downward trend since their peak in 2002.

The rest of Simpson's was not dissimilar from other WND columnists with a thing for South Africa in the wake of President Trump tweeting about the situation there -- to the point that she cited fellow columnist Ilana Mercer ranting that "White men, women and children are being butchered like animals, their bodies often displayed like trophies by their proud black assassins" -- and lamented that the U.S. isn't accepting white South African farmers as refugees, ultimately declaring, "I only pray we do something to help before there is a widespread bloodbath."

But as we've noted, there already is a bloodbath going on there -- the  black murder rate in South Africa is much higher than for whites. Apparently, that's not an interesting enough cause for Simpson to be concerned with.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 AM EDT

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