CNS Managing Editor Does The Fact-Checking His Reporter Wouldn't Topic: CNSNews.com
Melanie Arter was in her usual stenography mood in a Dec. 11 article on President Trump pontificating about the border wall:
The president also cited statistics on illegal border crossings in areas where the wall has been built.
“If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up. El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Arizona, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped – illegal traffic – 95 to 96 percent,” he said.
“I mean, when I say dropped. The only reason we even have any percentage where people got through is because they walk and go around areas that aren’t built. It dropped virtually 100 percent in the areas where the wall is, so it’s very effective,” Trump said.
The president pointed to Israel as an example of how effective a wall is in securing the country.
“If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel – 99.9 percent effective. And our wall will be every bit as good as that if not better. So we have done a lot of work on the wall. A lot of wall is built. A lot of people don’t know that. A lot of wall is renovated,” he said.
“We have walls that were in very bad condition that are now in A-1 tip top shape, and frankly, some wall has been reinforced by our military. Our military’s done a fantastic job, so the wall will get built, but we may not--- we may not have an agreement today. We probably won’t, but we have an agreement on other things that are really good,” the president said.
Except, you know, none of that it true. As an actual news outlet has documented, no segment of the border wall Trump wants to build has been built.
A day later, though, Arter's boss, managing editor Michael W. Chapman, seems to be implicitly calling out Arter's failure to fact-check by doing a fact-check of his own, invoking far-right provocateur Ann Coulter and, ironically, the actual news outlet that had done its own fact-checking, the Washington Post:
Despite the claims of President Donald Trump, who may be referencing some new border fencingand renovation thereof, "not 1 inch" of his border wall has been built, said conservative author Ann Coulter, who also wondered if Trump's supporters realize this fact.
"Even a Washington Post reporter knows that not 1 inch of Trump's wall has been built," tweeted Coulter on Dec. 11.
"Does Trump think his supporters are dumber than a WaPo reporter?" she asked.
Some new fencing -- not a wall -- has been erected in Calexico, Calif. But this area to fence was identified by the Border Patrol in 2009 and the material is "bollard fencing," which is hollow steel beams spaced several inches apart, reported The Post.
Numerous prototypes of the wall have been built. But none of the $1.57 billion allocated last spring for "border protection" may be used for those prototypes. "The closest thing to a wall," explained The Post, is 25 miles of levee fencing in the Rio Grande Valley.
"As far as we can tell, from review of local news articles, only 33 miles of new barrier — fencing on top of an existing levee in Hidalgo County, Tex. and a fence in Starr County, Tex. — would be funded under the 2018 bill," reported The Post. "The rest of the money appears to be for replacing existing fencing or barriers — with fencing." (Emphasis added.)
Even if one accepts the view that Chapman was trying to lobby Trump instead of show his own reporter, it's still a mystery why Chapman didn't make Arter do this fact-check in the first place when she wrote about Trump's original, erroneous assertion.
WND Tries To Help Savage Save His Shrinking Radio Career Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily sounds the dubious alarm in an anonymously written Dec. 18 article:
Talk-radio host Michael Savage’s long-time nationally syndicated show is about to go dark in major markets, including New York City, despite high ratings, according to his lawyer.
Daniel Horowitz told the Washington Times’ Cheryl Chumley it’s because of political distaste for Savage’s fiercely independent streak.
“Michael’s voice, unlike [his conservative competitors] has always been very independent,” Horowitz said. “Savage is completely a wild card, right? And that’s what they’re trying to kill. It’s all about corporate control. Taking him off the air is not a business decision.”
It's not until the sixth paragraph of the article that the real apparent reason for the kerfuffle: Savage is moving "to a new format, with one hour of radio alongside one hour of podcast."
WND, of course, saw fit to talk only to Savage and Horowitz, not bothering to check with any of those radio stations to see how much Savage's new format is driving their programming decisions. After all, it's highly unusual for a radio host to cut down to one hour from two or three hours and still expect to keep the time slot he once had for the longer show.
The fact that Savage and Horowitz never address the format change tells us that's the real issue. If Savage is truly the ratings powerhouse he and his lawyer insist he is, he should have no trouble finding another station in those markets, so there really isn't a problem.
Ah, but there is a problem: If Savage actually could find another station in those markets -- and there are literally dozens of radio stations in the New York City market where he currently airs on WABC -- he wouldn't be complaining so loudly about losing WABC as an outlet, and Horowitz would be negotiating with WABC and those stations in other markets, along side Savage's syndicator, Westwood One, instead of taking this battle public.
In other words, this is a show of weakness on Savage's part, and WND -- longtime buddies of Savage -- will never call him out on it.
MRC Still Failing On Attacking Soros, ProPublica Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long nbeen trying to dismiss ProPublica as a biased outlet funded by the evil George Soros (even though Soros foundations provide only a tiny fraction of ProPublica's funding). The MRC's Julia Seymour attempts to salvage the attack in a Dec. 13 post, complaining that "The Washington Post defended liberal billionaire George Soros and his funding of left-wing journalism outlet ProPublica."
Seymour highlighted how Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin "blasted the local Louisville Courier-Journal as a biased left-wing paper which just won one of ProPublica’s 2019 local investigative fellowships. He warned the bias would only worsen with ProPublica footing the bills and cited liberal donors (including Soros) to the non-profit group." But she didn't mention that Bevin has a personal grudge against the Courier-Journal, in part for having exposed how he gave a massive raise to a friend he hired as a state official.
Seymour also complained that Bevin's attack on Soros' funding of ProPublica could be seen as anti-Semitic, insisting that "Attacking critics of Soros as anti-Semitic even when there is no basis for the claim, is the new media tactic to defend the liberal billionaire from scrutiny about where his money goes."
Seymour then ranted: "Investigative journalism non-profit ProPublica is a left-wing operation, operating on funding from many liberal foundations including The Sandler Foundation, Park Foundation and Open Society Foundations just to name a few." In fact, ProPublica takes a nonpartisan approach to its investigation; for instance, a recent article on state governors who block constituents on social media looked at Democrats and Republicans alike. But Seymour doesn't want to admit that.
You spend $20,000 annually on tuition for your child to ensure he receives a top education. You choose a private school to escape the indoctrination and political correctness the public schools foist on students. Now, you’re sure, things are great.
Then your expensive private school pushes the exact kind of agenda you thought you were avoiding. You weren’t told about it in advance. Worse, because it’s a private school, state legal protections don’t apply. Your child cannot opt out.
Parents whose children attend Phoenix Country Day School in Arizona recently discovered that the middle school has been grooming their children with curriculum promoting a transgender and gay agenda.
What is Alexander freaking out about? A "gendebread" poster in the school:
The “Genderbread” curriculum teaches that gender is different from biological sex. There are not two genders, male and female, but rather an endless array of genders. The possibilities include genderqueer, non-binary, pangender, androgyne, neutrois, gender-variant, AG, cyborg, two-spirit, glitterbutch, genderfluid, trigender, stud. It even includes agender and genderless.
The genderbread character is prominently featured in a large bulletin board display in the halls at the middle school. Children as young as 10 years old – the school includes fifth graders – walk by it every day.
Clearly, the curriculum is not meant for 10-year-old children. The bulletin board has been up for a year at the middle school, but parents only recently found out about it. Many of the parents were horrified, and expressed their disapproval with the curriculum. But the school refused to acknowledge their concerns.
Then suddenly, within the past couple of weeks, the bulletin board disappeared. Parents were not notified. They have no idea whether or not the curriculum has been permanently removed. They do not know how much of it is being taught to their children within the classroom.
Alexander concluded by complaining: "The school did not respond to my questions." Perhaps because they know Alexander is a fringe-right conspiracy theorist who's trying to portray a corrupt congressman as an innocent victim who was framed by the mysterious "Deep State."
Loopy rabbi Aryeh Spero channeled his inner Kent Bailey in a Dec. 12 CNSNews.com column ranting at Nancy Pelosi for claiming that President Trump's insistence on a border wall is a misguided show of manhood:
In my view, President Trump exemplifies precisely what manhood is all about. It is about protecting the people you are responsible to protect, be they your wife and children, family, or, in the case of the President, the people of the United States.
In the world of Nancy Pelosi and other liberals, manhood has been defined down as doing that which sends feel-good virtue-signaling and makes the person appear sweet and compassionate. But that is not manhood, rather self-righteousness and throwing off responsibility under false platitudes. We had enough of that with Barack Obama.
Mrs. Pelosi talked about her being “the mom in the room” and, later, about “tinkling.” This country is not served well by her definitions of manhood, nor of motherhood, and certainly is above her base references to “tinkling.” We don’t need her to rain on our parade.
As if Spero isn't doing his own version of virtue-signaling by defending Trump's manhood so vociferously.
Strangely, one person who has yet to react to Pelosi's crack about Trump's manhood is Bailey himself, a WorldNetDailiy columnist who has previously praised Trump as an alpha-male "warrior king" in the "tall, blond, Nordic" tradition.
Another WND Columnist Has A Lingering Fit of Obama Derangement Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's columnists continuetoexhibit Obama Derangement Syndrome nearly two years after President Obama has left office. The latest victim is Larry Tomczak, who devoted an entire Dec. 17 column to listing "10 reasons why Obama was the worst president -- ever."
Tomczak insists that "I wade in with an objective assessment based on facts, not feelings or infatuation" -- then follows that with the feeling-based assertion, unsupported by facts, that "Multitudes maintain Barack Obama was not just the worst president in two generations, but the worst in the nation’s entire history." Tomczak's first bullet point complains that Obvama did not impose Chrstianity on America:
Launching what he called his “fundamental transformation of America,” Obama presented himself as an authentic Christian, yet his life revealed a counterfeit convert, bringing reproach to the cause of Christ worldwide. Jesus taught seven distinguishing marks of a genuine Christian, and the former president failed here dramatically. Jesus also said, “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17).
Examining the beliefs, policies and character of Barack Obama reveals a compromising, deceived man not living according to biblical teachings in numerous consequential areas. He led millions to follow his wayward ways and, like all of us, will one day give an account to God.
Tomczak fails to understand that the president of the United States is president for all, not just Christians. (More on those "distinguishing marks" later.)
As befits a gay-hating writer, two of Tomczak's reasons for declaring Obama the worst involving him not hating the LGBT community the way Tomczak does, by enorsing gay marriage and having "celebrated the homosexual lifestyle by affirming people 'coming out'."
The rest of Tomczak's reasons are basically a regurgitation of longtime conservative anti-Obama talking points: Obamacare, increased federal debt, and "repeated uncalled-for, insensitive remarks regarding police officers." He also declared that Obama "is responsible for the carnage and destruction" in Iraq because he didn't leave a residual force there to combat ISIS; in fact, Obama tried but failed to reach an agreement with Iraqi leaders to leave some U.S. troops there, and ISIS flourished not because of the withdrawal but because Syria collapsed into civil war. (So much for Tomczak basing his Obama-bashing on facts.)
Tomczak ends his column with one final rant: "Here’s the deal: In spite of a fawning liberal media and “progressives” committed to Obama’s socialist and secularist “fundamental transformation” of America, millions of patriotic Americans have recognized the astronomical consequences of Obama’s leadership from a Christian perspective. Loving God, our families and this great nation, we’ve consecrated ourselves to pray for our current political leaders and ask God to continue intervening, as He obviously has, extending mercy on America."
The following week, Tomczak followed up with a column headlined "Your 10 Christimas gifts from President Trump." It's basically more regurgitation of conservative talking points with a concluding bit of sucking up: "Here’s the deal: Despite his sins and failures along with his flawed personality, Donald Trump has worked tirelessly amidst a tsunami of unbelievable demonic opposition to bring respect back to our nation and, yes, make America great again. Be thankful for the gifts he presents to you from his two years in office, and pray for him every day for protection, wisdom, stamina and God’s grace to be upon him mightily at this critical time of history."
(Tomczak also demonstrates his less-than-fact-based approach here too; it was Clark Clifford who called Ronald Reagan an "amiable dunce," not "Clark Gifford" as Tomczak claims.)
Whsat you won't see from Tomczak is any analysis on how Trump lives up to those "seven distinguishing marks of a genuine Christian." That's actually from a 2013 column he wrote for Charisma News which was yet another Obama-bashing vehicle, framed as insisting that Obama can't possibly be a real Christian because he doesn't fit into Tomczak's narrow, right-wing view of Christianity. Among those items: "a denial of self"; "a life spent following Christ"; "a ferfent love for all who belong to Christ"; and "a forsaking of all to follow Him."None of which, of course, could conceivably describe Trump.
Tomczak will never apply his standards of Christianity to Trump the way he does Obama because he knows Obama is a better Christian than Trump ever was or will be. Like manyother ConWeb evangelicals, Tomczak is willing to suspend his own moral standards and judgment and give Trump 's history of immorality a pass because he's delivering the right-wing goods.
CNS Flip-Flops With Trump, Now Joins Him In Blaming Shutdown on Dems Topic: CNSNews.com
Last week, CNSNews.com had to reframe its government shutdown narrative away from the usual blame-the-Democrats storyline after President Trump announced he would accept blame for it. Now that Trump has flip-flopped to blame Democrats, CNS has flip-flopped as well.
Melanie Arter was in full stenography mode as she wrote in a Dec. 21 article: "As the Senate considers funding legislation that includes money for border security, President Donald Trump said Friday that if Democrats don’t vote to fund a border wall, it will be considered a Democrat shutdown." Arter failed to mention that Trump said just a few days earlier that he would accept responsibility for a shutdown.
Still in stenography mode, Arter also wrote:
The president said former President Ronald Reagan tried unsuccessfully to get funding for a border wall years ago.
“Ronald Reagan tried many years ago. Got a note from a member of his family. Many years ago tried to get a wall, and he fought for a long time during his entire term. He was never able to get a wall, and I consider him to be a great president. He knew what he was doing,” Trump said.
But as an actual news organization pointed out, that's not true at all. Reagan is on record as saying, "Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit. And then while they’re working and earning here, they pay taxes here. And when they want to go back they can go back."
Because of Arter's refusal to fact-check the president, CNS has once again published fake news.
A Dec,. 21 article by Susan Jones complained in its headline that "Schumer Cries, 'Trump Shutdown!'" -- even though that's what Trump himself was basically saying.
After the government did shut down, an anonymously written Dec. 22 CNS article knew where to assign blame per Trump's instructions, made clear with the headline "Schumer-Led Democrats Shutdown [sic] 25% of Government to Block Border Wall Funding." The article uncritically quoted Trump saying we should "call it a Democrat shutdown" -- again failing to mention that Trump was saying the opposite just a few days earlier -- and declare: "Senate Democrats are able to block the wall—and shutdown the as-yet-unfunded part of the federal government—because there are only 51 Republicans in the Senate. In order to invoke cloture and end debate on a piece of legislation, the Senate needs 60 votes out of its 100 members rather than a simple majority."
Even the alarmist headline take on "25% of government" being shut down is a flip-flop as well; CNS was previously downplaying any shutdown as minimal when Trump was willing to accept blame.
How will CNS continue to report shutdown developments? However the Trump White House wants it to.
An anonymously written Dec. 13 WorldNetDaily article begins this way:
As Democrats continue to resist President Trump’s insistence on $5 billion in funding for a border wall – posing the threat of a government shutdown – a Republican congressman asserted that more than 10 terrorists and 40 criminals try to enter the United States every day across the southern border.
Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said in an interview Thursday with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “the border is all about national security.”
Asked by host Willie Geist the source of his figures, Marshall cited the Department of Homeland Security.
WND did not fact-check this claim -- but it should have, because it's not accurate.
As an actual news outlet reported, 10 people a day are stopped from entering the country because they are on a terrorist watch list, not necessarily because they are terorrists -- even conservatives have complained about rampant inaccuracies on the list. Further, that number covers all points of entry to the nation, including international airports, seaports and land crossings, not just the southern border.
By contrast, the headline promoting the article in WND's front-page carousel manages to be accurate because it's vaguely written.
Read more here: https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article223062350.html#storylink=cpy
Anita Hill Redux: MRC Can't Stop Bashing Christine Blasey Ford Topic: Media Research Center
It looks like the Media Research Center's war on Christine Blasey Ford for making sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh is being set up to be as long-lasting as its waragainstAnita Hill for making similar allegations against Clarence Thomas.
The MRC's Matt Philbin spends a Dec. 12 post ranting about Ford making an introduction video for Rachel Denhollander, the gymnast who was first to accuse Larry Nasser of sexually assaulting hundreds of other young gymnasts, for a Sports Illustrated award, with a sub-rant about how liberal Sports Illustrated is:
The honor is well deserved. So why cheapen it with politics? And including Christine Blasey Ford is political. Her videotaped introduction wasn’t itself noteworthy. But linking her to Denhollander and Nasser’s other victims is.
Ford’s turn in the spotlight in September, a last-minute play to stop the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, lacked just about everything the case against Nasser had; you know: details, witnesses, credibility.
SI is a reliable progressive organ, and including Ford helps foster the myth that she was a credible, self-sacrificing victim of Kavanaugh and Republicans and male-dominated yada yada yada. Denhollander and other women who suffered abuse from Larry Nasser and eventually made him pay deserve thanks and respect. They don’t deserve Christine Blasey Ford.
Given that Ford has continued to receive death threats after her testimony against Kavanaugh, has had to move several times and has had to hire private security to protect her family -- something Philbin conveniently doesn't mention -- it seems that Ford has sacrificed a lot.
Perhaps Philbin is OK with the continued threats against her. It's part of the MRC playbook, after all.
CNS Touts Heisman Winner's Love of God -- Then Attacks Reporter Who Exposed His Homophobic Tweets Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loves to give space to athletes who offer praise to God for their accomplishments (though it was less than happy about the coach who praised God after his team beat Notre Dame). So it was no surprise to see Michael Morris' Dec. 10 blog post on Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray:
Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray became the 84th Heisman Memorial Trophy winner on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, an award that is presented annually by the Heisman Trophy Trust to college football’s most outstanding player. During his acceptance speech on ESPN, Murray acknowledged that “there’s a Higher Power looking down on me; He enables me to do all things.”
“Man, this is crazy,” Kyler Murray stated, beginning his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech. “I’ve worked my whole life to fulfill my goals, but at the same time, I know there’s a higher power looking down on me; he enables me to do all things. And for that, I’m grateful for the many blessings God has blessed me with.”
The day before, however, USA Today reported that Murray had made several homophobic tweets when he was a teenager, which resurfaced after he won the Heisman.
So, a few hours later, Morris dashed off another post that noted the controversy -- then took a swipe at Scott Gleeson, the USA Today reporter who first highlighted the tweets. Morris copied-and-pasted what Gleeson wrote about himself on his USA Today profile page, seemingly todocument the part in which he wrote, "My enterprise and human interest work on the LGBT movement in sports made me an APSE award finalist in 2016 and a USBWA award winner in 2017," and perhaps his "embarassing addiction to boyband music."
That seems entirely unnecessary. But that seems to be CNS' style these days.
MRC Laments TV Show No Longer 'Conservative' Because It Made A Trump Joke Topic: Media Research Center
Amelia Hamilton begins her Dec. 10 Media Research Center post by lamenting: "The Ranch is back on Netflix with the second half of season six and, while we used to be able to count on them to represent conservatives in the 'flyover' states, they just couldn't resist getting in a dig at President Trump this time around."
Hamilton vouched for show's alleged conservative bona fides: "The Ranch centers around the Bennett family, trying to make a go of a family ranching business in Colorado. In previous seasons, along with comments peppered in about a love of Reagan and dislike of CNN, they've given the conservative prospective on oil and gas drilling, how protesters forget the real-life consequences of their actions, and everything in between." Indeed, Hamilton has previouslytouted the show doing those very things.
But, Hamilton sighs, the show has been failing to exploit every possible opportunity to bash liberals:
In the meantime, they've added a new character in his place. Rather than the idiot/slacker character we had in Rooster, they've given us Luke (Dax Shepard), a veteran with PTSD and a disillusionment with military life. While they do manage to convey somewhat the mess that is the VA system, they never take the natural opportunity for Beau to make one of his classic comments about how this would apply to government-run, single-payer healthcare in general. That's a fairly big omission, and it was obvious.
There were still the usual cracks about Reagan (for), lazy Democrats (against), and CNN (fake news), but this season was significantly less in touch with its audience. One of the running themes of the show was a love of Cracker Barrel, something that a lot of middle Americans can relate to. This year, Beau's girlfriend Joanne (Kathy Baker) is fired after years of waiting tables there because a cute millennial named Sunshine comes along. Are we in middle America going to accept this slight on the character of Cracker Barrel? I think not.
Finally, Hamilton gets to her real area of concern: A joke in which one character says to another, "You could be president. I mean, you gotta fuck a couple porn stars, but we'll get you there." She then huffed: "How hard do you suppose they tried to fit that joke in somewhere- anywhere- in this latest release? It was just shoehorned in there, like they wrote the dialogue around trying to make a ham-fisted joke."
Hamilton concluded by complaining that that show much "get their act back together ... because they're set to lose a whole lot of viewers if they stay on this road. Don't build a show to speak to a particular audience and then insult that audience."
Just one Trump joke on a show, and the MRC thinks it might as well be having Jane Fonda on.
WND's Farah Questions Apostles' Creed, Now That Trump Refused To Recite It Topic: WorldNetDaily
Apparently, not reciting the Apostles' Creed is now the cool thing for WorldNetDaily's Trump acolytes to do since the president refused to do so during George H.W. Bush's funeral. Columnist Michael Brown served up a dismissive "ask me if I care" regarding Trump's non-recitation; now WND editor Joseph Farah is similarly weighing in.
Farah's Dec. 13 column outlined what he thinks are the problems with the creed, which has been around in one for or another for, oh, a couple thousand years:
The Gospel of John opens stating that Jesus is the maker all things, including heaven and earth. The creed says the Father. Since they are One, it may not be a contradiction. But, just saying …
Did Jesus actually descend into hell? Where do we find this in Scripture? We don’t – so many modern versions of the creed have changed the affirmation to “descended to the dead.” But is this unchallengeable on the basis of Scripture? There are certainly other interpretations of 1 Peter 3:18-20 than the idea that Jesus “descended into hell” or “descended to the dead.” Should this be a doctrine all believers must accept?
How about the holy Catholic Church? That has fallen out of many versions over the years, sometimes just dropping the capital C in Catholic to a lower case.
The Communion of Saints raises questions of clarity. For Catholics, this suggests prayers to and with the dead are acceptable. But this contradicts strong biblical prohibitions against necromancy.
Farah then huffed:
I’m not suggesting to you that these were matters being considered by Trump during Bush’s memorial service. Maybe he didn’t have his reading glasses on. Should anyone publicly read a liturgical document simply for the purposes of public show? Did any of these investigators think about asking the president or a member of his communications team why he didn’t recite the creed? Would a lip synch have made them happy?
Well, Farah has been pretty happy so far with Trump's religious lip-syncing given that Trump has displayed zero evidence he believes any of the stuff he's spouting to suck up to evangelicals like Farah.
I’m with Michael Brown on the whole sordid issue. It doesn’t bother me one bit that President Trump didn’t recite the Apostles’ Creed. Nor would it bother me if any other Christian or non-Christian, evangelical or non-evangelical, president or non-president, recited it.
Would it matter to any of Trump’s critics if any other human being on the planet demurred from reading it? You and I both know the answer. So, what are we really talking about here?
We're talking about how evangelicals sold out moral standards they would have applied (and did apply) to Democratic presidents because they have a Republican president who sucks up to them. What are you talking about, Joe?
MRC Can't Quite Square Its Anti-Facebook Narrative With Facebook's Attacks on Soros Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is still pretending that Facebook's attempts to attack George Soros by siccing a right-wing opposition research firm after him in order to discredit critics of the company doesn't undercut its long-running narrative that Facebook is hostile to conservatives.
A Dec. 6 piece by Alexander Hall touted how Facebook's board of directors found the oppo-research operation to be "entirely appropriate." Hall echoed earlier MRC complaints that New York Times reports about right-wing influence on Facebook were something of a hit job, emphasizing that the Times is "liberal":
Until recently, conservatives have viewed Facebook as the enforcer of the censorius left, which isn’t wrong. But after recent revelations from liberal New York Times investigative pieces, the left has openly criticized Facebook for enabling conservatives.
The Times broke the story about Facebook looking into Soros and hiring a firm to research him in mid-November. Later stories indicated Sandberg’s role in that research following Soros’ condemnation of Facebook (and Google) as a “menace” at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January 2018. Facebook hired Definers Public Affairs to provide some research, but the firm’s connection to the GOP riled the left. The agency specializes in providing opposition research for political campaigns.
That's the closest Hall gets to broching the subject of the MRC's narrative being undermined.
Hall is even more conflicted in a Dec. 13 post, railing against "biased liberal fact-checkers" leaving Facebook over the Soros attacks:
When Facebook first hired fact checkers to combat “fake news” on its platform, conservatives around the world were right to be concerned. But in light of recent revelations that Facebook funded anti-Soros research, biased liberal fact-checkers themselves are calling it quits.
According to The Guardian, “Journalists working as fact-checkers for Facebook have pushed to end a controversial media partnership with the social network, saying the company has ignored their concerns and failed to use their expertise to combat misinformation.”
Liberal billionaire George Soros publicly condemned the platform at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January 2018, as a “menace” to society for failing to account for the “consequences of their actions.” Facebook then paid for opposition research to investigate Soros and his connections. When the Times revealed this in a hit piece, liberals around the media started to condemn Facebook for engaging in what they considered to be a “hateful conspiracy theory.”
Fact checkers, like former Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski, claim that their work for Facebook was mere “crisis campaign PR” in order to make the company look good.
Hall offers no evidence that Snopes or any of the other fact-checkers Facebook hired are "biased liberals" or, as he later claims "extremely biased."
Corinne Weaver fretted in a Dec. 18 post about how The number of Facebook’s enemies on the left is growing" and was concerned that "A coalition of 31 left-wing groups, including the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center and at least 10 groups that have received funding from liberal billionaire George Soros, wrote" to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and asked for his resignation over censorship issues and permitting "bigotry and hatred towards vulnerable communities and civil rights organizations."
Isn't that the same argument the MRC has been making? Of course, unlike anyone on the left until very recently, MRC chief Brent Bozell got to chat with Zuckerberg over alleged bias against conservatives, and it and other conservative activists have harassed Facebook to the extent that it capitulated to its conservative-bias narrative.
But Weaver doesn't mention any of that. Instead, she continued to lament the "left-wing groups" going after Facebook.
A day later, Bozell was outraged that Facebook would even talk to liberals about bias and ranted that the company should care only about conservative gripes:
So Facebook has met with radical left-wing so-called “civil rights” organizations and is bending over backward to make changes they want. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg even declared that the “audit is deeply important to me, and it’s one of my top priorities for 2019.”
This is amazing. Mainstream conservative organizations, supported by ten times as many people as these radicals — which is to say, tens of millions of existing or potential Facebook customers — have been demanding the same seat at the table and have been given lip service and nothing more. In fact, in response conservatives are being systematically censored.
For Facebook to continue this nonsense about being impartial and unbiased, and just a "marketplace of information" is offensive.For once and for all, Facebook: Put up or shut up.
Anything less from Facebook when it responds to criticism about anti-conservative bias will be completely unacceptable.
Conservatives expect equal treatment, equal access and equal participation in an effort by Facebook to moderate content, oversee appeals and build new products. Anything less will never be accepted or tolerated by us.
Bozell was silent about Facebook's previous capitulation to the demands from himself and other conservative activists. He also didn't mention how Facebook echoed another right-wing narrative by doing oppo research on Soros -- which his employees have heartily endorsed -- and how that undercuts his narrative of Facebook as a liberal monolith.
Bozell also doesn't eplain why, if Facebook is such a hostile environment for conservatives, the MRC doesn't just quit Facebook and organize its fellow conservatives to bring their prestige to another social media platform. But then, as we'veseen when the MRC complained about the deplatforming for extremist content of other social-media alternataives it refused to support, it's easier for Bozell and Co. to complain about Facebook on Facebook, even though the MRC has never faced any content-censorship issues with Facebook -- again, undercutting Bozell's censorship narrative.
WND Finds A New Anti-Vaxxer Narrative to Embrace Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has longbeenanti-vaccine (unless, of course, it can falsely blame disease outbreaks due to lack of vaccination on Muslims). It's found that anti-vaxxer mojo again in an anonymously written Dec. 6 article:
Controversy over vaccines has been ongoing for years, with critics pointing to many injuries and deaths.
In 2013, government watchdog Judicial Watch sued the federal government to obtain data related to injuries caused by a popular HPV vaccine the government has recommended for girls and boys as young as 11 despite thousands of cases of seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short-term memory loss, Guillain-Barré syndrome and even death.
Now, a Las Vegas man is suffering severe complications from a flu shot.
KSNV reported that within a day and a half of getting the shot, Shane Morgan lost his vision and the ability to walk.
This is an actual case, but WND obfuscates about how low the actual danger is. It states only that "medical experts say one can get GBS by getting the flu" without mentioning the actual numbers -- which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is just one to two cases per one million doses of the vaccine.
WND then jumps straight into conspiracy mode:
The giants of the medical industry and their government supporters insist that vaccines are necessary, and that only a tiny fraction of a percentage develop complications. But WND columnist Barry Farber is one of many voices citing evidence of a vaccine connection to autism.
Citing the new movie “Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe,” he said it’s “incontrovertible” that in the 1950s autism was almost unknown.
“There was a clinic in California with maybe half-a-dozen cases. Then along came one case of autism for every ten thousand children who’d undergone the MMR vaccine. Then came one such case out of every 250. The latest figure is one out of 50!”
Farber said “the proud defenders of Big Pharma and the CDC still refuse to yield a centimeter.”
“And that’s what interests so many of us non-doctors and non-scientists. There’s the pungent fragrance of ‘body-panic’ as more and more anguished parents and alarmed Americans ask what’s going on here,” he said.
“The CDC’s cooking of the books has befouled the air thousands of kitchens away. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, distinguished research gastroenterologist, had his license revoked for the high crime of suggesting the MMR vaccine needed more study! CDC internal whistleblower Dr. William Thompson has more and more frightened onlookers hopeful that truth will prevail. The MMR loyalists, however, defend it like the fanatical war-time Japanese defended their Emperor Hirohito. The cause of this skyrocketing surge in autism, Big Pharma and the CDC assure us, ‘cannot be vaccinations, must not be vaccinations, will not be vaccinations!'”
As we reported when Farber's column first appeared, Wakefield -- who made the "Vaxxed" film -- is a discredited doctor whose so-called research linking vaccines to autism was retracted and renounced by the medical journal that published it and who lost his license to practice medicine because he behaved unethically in conducting experiments.
WND goes on to continue to fearmonger about the HPV vaccine, bizarrely complaining that "The government also went out of its way to praise HPV vaccines for purportedly lowering the number of reported cases." Which, you know, is exactly what vaccines are supposed to do. Indeed, the introduction of HPV vaccines have lowered cervical cancer rates.
CNS Reframes Government Shutdown To Bolster Trump's Changing Rhetoric Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com, like a good, loyal conservative media outlet, was gearing up to blame a possible government shutdown centered around issues of border security on Democrats. A Dec. 11 blog post by Craig Millward, for instance, uncritically quotes Republican Rep. Steve Scalise -- appearing on Mark Levin's radio show, natch -- declaring that "if Chuck Schumer wants to shut down the government because he doesn’t want to secure America’s border, that’s a fight that he’s going to lose."
But that same day, President Trump destroyed that narrative by declaring he would take responsibility for any shutdown, as CNS' Melanie Arter wrote: "President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to shut down the federal government if he doesn’t get border security during a White House meeting with incoming House Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)."
So CNS was force to rejigger its narrative to keep it from being overtaken by events. That seems to be how we got this Dec. 14 article by Emily Ward declaring that a government shutdown is not a big deal:
Seventy-five percent of the federal government is already funded through all of fiscal year 2019, according to the House Committee on Appropriations. That means a total government shutdown cannot happen.
While many news outlets are flashing ominous headlines warning of a “looming government shutdown,” the reality is that only some of the smaller departments would be affected in the event of a partial shutdown. The two biggest departments, Defense and HHS, are already funded.
Of the potentially affected agencies, only nonessential government personnel would be unable to come to work – such as research scientists. Essential personnel, or government employees whose work is necessary to ensure the safety and security of Americans, would still do their jobs.
As if to complete the synergystic circle, a Dec. 18 blog post by Ward touted how Levin "quoted from a news story on CNSNews.com" on his radio show about how "75 percent of the government is already funded, as reported by CNSNews.com." Ward didn't disclose that she wrote the story that Levin was referencing.
CNS' two major editorial mandates are to support Trump whatever he does and to promote Levin like he was paying it to do so (well over 100 articles so far this year). In this story, it's doing both.