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Thursday, January 3, 2019
MRC Can't Disprove Studies on Conservative Media and Russian Influence, So It Insults Them
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver rants in a Dec. 17 post:

A new study has claimed Russia’s online interference tried to aid the conservative movement and Donald Trump. There’s a big problem with that assessment. It comes from a left-wing operation that previously classified more than 11 different conservative outlets as “junk news.” And two of those authors were also involved in this report.

The study was released by the Oxford University Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika. It argued that fake accounts, ads, and tweets “all clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party -- and specifically Donald Trump”[.]

At no point in her post, however, does Weaver counter or contradict any of the conclusions the study reached. (Aren't you employed by an organization that purports to do "media research," Corinne?) And her evidence that the research groups conducting the study are "left-wing" is not much more substantive.

Weaver claimed that one researcher "has posted that he is against the Second Amendment" -- but the evidence she provides is a link to a single Twitter post in which the researcher states, "guns easily available in the US, so violent death rate is high in the US." Weaver does not explain how she read the researcher's mind to determine that guns lead to gun violence equals being "against the Second Amendment."

Weaver went on to write this about the researchers' previous study:

The Oxford University Computational Propaganda Project had attacked several conservative outlets as “junk news” in previous studies. Those targeted outlets include Drudge Report, NewsBusters, CNSNews, MRCTV, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, Free Beacon, LifeNews, National Review, the Federalist, and the Red State. (Three of those are operated by the Media Research Center, which runs NewsBusters.)

The study on “junk news” drew on “a list of sources that consistently publish political news and information that is extremist, sensationalist, conspiratorial, masked commentary, fake news, and other forms of junk news.”

But Weaver doesn't counter the results of that study either. Even in a MRC post she wrote last February, in which she attacked it by huffing, "Liberal media will go a long way to portray conservatives as liars -- all the way to England," she does not disupte its results.It seems that Weaver is more angry that her employer was called out.

Ad hominem insults aren't "media research," though Weaver apparently thinks they are. Which tells you all you need to know about the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EST
WND Attacks News That Was True When It Was Reported As 'Fake News'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joe Kovacs writes in a Dec. 26 WorldNetDaily article:

President Trump has become well-known for blasting the “fake news” media as the “enemy of the people.”

Now, the commander in chief has yet another piece of ammunition to back up his claim.

Both NBC News and Newsweek ran stories claiming Trump was the first president in many years not to visit U.S. troops during the Christmas holiday period.

NBC’s headline read: “Trump becomes first president since 2002 not to visit troops at Christmastime.”

Newsweek blared: “Trump is first president in 15 years to not visit troops during Christmas period.”

But President Trump did, in fact, leave the White House on Christmas night to make a surprise visit on Wednesday, Dec. 26, to U.S. troops in Iraq.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sander tweeted: “President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas.”

The mistake by NBC and Newsweek did not go unnoticed.

But those stories weren't "fake news" or mistakes -- they were true at the time they were reported, since they were posted several hours before Trump's trip to Iraq was made public.

Kovacs waits until later in his article to admit that both NBC and Newsweek updated their articles to note Trump's trip to Iraq -- but then writes that "Many commenters on social media have been flaying both NBC and Newsweek for their errors." Again, the stories weren't wrong when originally published.

In portraying accurate early reports of Trump not visiting troops as "fake news," Kovacs himself has created fake news. That's what helped drive WND to the brink of extinction last year. It seems Kovacs has not learned anything from the experience.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EST
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
CNS Shores Up Trump on Syria Withdrawal

When President Trump announced he planned to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, did what it does: trying to reframe the near-universal criticism of the move in order to provide support for it.

A Dec. 20 article by Patrick Goodenough did acknowledge "blistering reaction from some senior Republican lawmakers," but he used only five paragraphs near the end of his of his 27-paragraph article to detail that criticism, and his article is given the one-sided headline "Invoking Fallen Soldiers, Trump Says it’s Time For US Troops in Syria ‘to Come Home’."

That was followed shortly thereafter by an article from Susan Jones repeating claims from an anonymous senior administration official defending Trump's decision. She uncritically relayed the idea that President Obama's withdrawal of troops from Iraq "led to the re-emergence of Sunni radicals (ISIS), forcing a U.S.-led coalition to return to Iraq to fight"; in fact, after U.S. troops left Iraq following failure to reach agreement with the Iraqi government, the Iraqi military became complacent and corrupt, rendering them incapable of succeeding against ISIS.

Jones returned a few hours later with an article that began: "As a general rule of thumb, if Trump's for it, the liberals are against it, and so it is with the president's just-announced U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. But this time, a chorus of angry Republicans are joining the liberal naysayers." Even though the article was heavy on criticism, its headline was pro-Trump: "Trump Asks: 'Does the USA Want to Be the Policeman of the Middle East?'"

Jones then took Republican Sen. Rand Paul's support of the withdrawal-- which she had referenced in an earlier article -- and expanded it into an article of its own.

Then, an anonymously written Dec. 24 article proclaimed that "The Lead Inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, said in his latest report, released Nov. 5, that the Islamic State had lost all of the territory it had once held in Iraq and 99 percent of the territory it once held in Syria." The fact that the report also said that "ISIS continued to move underground and solidify as an insurgency in Iraq and Syria" and "kept some of its bureaucratic structures in place and continued to raise funds" didn't get highlighted, remaining buried in a copied-and-pasted section of the report.

Finally, a Dec. 25 article by Goodenough did admit some reality by acknowledging that a U.S.-led coalition was continuing airstrikes  against ISIS is both Syria and Iraq, under the realist headline "After Trump’s Syria Decision US-Led Coalition Continues Airstrikes, Says ISIS ‘Presents a Very Real Threat’."

That took much longer than it should have -- if CNS wasn't more interested in advancing Trump's political agenda than reporting the news.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EST
WND Columnist Offers Fawning Prayer to Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown occasionally agonizes over the immorality of President Trump, but he has ultimately decided he doesn't care because Trump as long as Trump keeps delivering the right-wing goods. Brown's Dec. 19 column starts with a goopy tribute to Trump's alleged toughness:

Whether you love President Trump or loathe him, if you call yourself a Christian, this appeal is for you. All of us, regardless of our background or voting preference, are called to pray for those in authority (see 1 Timothy 2:1-4). Now is the perfect time to pray.

We all know that the president is a very strong man, whether you call him stubborn or courageous, bullheaded or brave. Either way, he is as tough as they come.

How many others could take on the media the way he does, day and night?

Again, this is true regardless of whose side you’re on, regardless of whether you think it’s fake news or true news. Either way, the man is bombarded virtually 24/7.

Some of us get discouraged when one person unfriends us on Facebook or a stranger posts an unkind word about us on Instagram. How would we handle the kind of pressure Trump is under?

How many others could stand up to constant attacks the way he does, only to fight back with more intensity the next time around?

How many others could face down powerful world leaders on a regular basis like Trump? (To say it again, this holds true whether or not you like his style, his approach, his message, or his goals. I’m just speaking of his toughness.)

The man is a fighter like few others, and if anyone has a forehead of steel, it is Donald Trump, for better or for worse.

Brown then cites a "prophetic word" from an "evangelical friend" that "Trump would enter the White House as a non-praying man but would become a praying man in the White House." He then issues a call to prayer for Trump, speculkating without evidence that Trump is a Christian and regularly prays:

So, how should we pray for the president? We can certainly pray that God will not let anything happen to him until he finishes his course, however long that course is. We could pray that for any president in office, asking the Lord for His best plan for their presidency.

But along with that, we can pray that God would give the president a heart to seek Him, a heart to lean on Him, a heart to pray.

He may be doing this already (I certainly hope so). He may be on his knees this very moment with a Christian friend or counselor or Cabinet member.

But at times like this, times that can crush and destroy us, we need to learn to take refuge in the Lord, and we do that best through prayer.

Since President Trump considers himself to be a Christian and since he certainly appreciates people praying for him, let’s pray this simple prayer. (I would welcome it for myself and have only the most positive, supportive intentions in posting this.). Let’s pray these words: “God, we pray that you would make Donald Trump a praying man!”

We don't recall Brown offering such a fawning prayer for the safety and work or President Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
MRC's Graham & Bozell Still Can't Admit Roger Ailes Perpetrated Sexual Harassment
Topic: Media Research Center

Observe the thought pattern the Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell use in their Dec. 14 column regarding new films in development by beloved (by Graham and Bozell) Fox News founder Roger Ailes:

Talk-radio host and friend Chris Plante recently made an excellent point about Hollywood. As horrible new revelations of sexual misbehavior surface about former Les Moonves, it's highly unlikely anyone's going to make a movie about him, or about Matt Lauer, or Charlie Rose and so on. But there are two fictional projects (and a new documentary) supposedly based on the late Fox News boss Roger Ailes.

Early pictures have emerged of actress Nicole Kidman dressed up to look like former Fox News morning host Gretchen Carlson, who played a major role in exposing a culture of sexual harassment of women at Fox. For her part, Carlson isn't a fan of the pictures or the movie, tweeting: "This looks nothing like me and the script I've seen makes other people out to be heroes unjustifiably. Hard to see your own story faked. Unfortunately — proves Trump's claim of #FakeNews."

Carlson can't really complain about Kidman's resemblance when Ailes is being played by ... John Lithgow, who looks absolutely nothing like him.

Hollywood often makes "fake news" when it comes to political movies.

In quick succession over four paragraphs, Graham and Bozell 1) play the equivocation card regarding allegations of sexual misconduct by raising that of others in order to downplay that of Ailes; 2) mock casting choices in one planned Ailes film project; and 3) play the "fake news" card to suggest that  there was never a culture of sexual harassment that Ailes perpetrated at Fox News.

The two weren't done mocking; they dismiss Russell Crowe, will is set to star as Ailes in a separate production, as "a good actor who can't stop gaining weight and whose box-office appeal must be plummeting." (No admissiion that the whole weight thing makes him look more like Ailes than Lithgow, though.)

But nowhere in this column -- which also includes diversions into whining about how Hollywood treatment of conservative politicians and how a right-wing polemic about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell got ignored by pretty much everyone except anti-abortion activists (and the MRC) -- do Graham and Bozell explicitly admit that there was a culture of sexual harassment at Fox News and that Ailes presided over it.

That's in line with the MRC's lack of outrage over Ailes for doing things it has castigated others in the "liberal media" for doing. As we've documented, the MRC downplayed the accusations against Ailes when forced to admit they existed,and Bozell gushed upon Ailes' death that "The good Roger did for America is immeasurable" without mentioning whether sexual harassment fell under that.

Graham and Bozell whines about fictionalized versions of Ailes' life being filmed, but they're perpetrating their own fiction in refusing to admit he did nothing wrong.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 PM EST
WND's Farah and 'Contempt Prior to Examination'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah continues to complain about others allegedly engaging in deplorable journalistic behavior he himself has engaged in in his Dec. 26 column, which is based around the quote "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination." Farah went on to whine:

In 2016, Donald Trump ran for president. After defeating more than 17 Republican candidates in primaries, he ran against Hillary Clinton. The media and the “smart money” gave little chance for victory to Trump. Nevertheless, he won – fair and square.

But the dominant institutions, including what we have come to know as the “Deep State,” refused to accept the verdict of the American electoral process. The intelligence community, including rogue elements of the FBI, CIA and NSA, began making allegations the election had been compromised through a conspiracy between Donald Trump and a foreign power.

Investigations were ordered of a spurious memo concocted and paid for by the Clinton campaign and leaked to the media without verification. Despite these investigations, over the last two years, no credible evidence has yet been found to link Trump to this alleged “Russian collusion.”

That’s the way I and perhaps half of America see it. The other half, which never liked the winner of the election, still believe that with enough time and resources, proof will be found that their “self-evident” conspiracy theory is true, has always been true and will always be true.

To ensure that is the case, however, influential dissenters in this narrative need to be dealt with. They need to be purged from polite company by any means necessary – defamation of character, boycott of advertisers, biased algorithms in search engines and social media, attacks on credibility, harassment and threats of violence.

I suggest that this is not how free societies can long endure.

Yet, here we are after two years – no end in sight. Visceral hatred of Donald Trump, his manner and his ideas are tearing America apart, destroying our social fabric, rendering justice and self-government impossible.

Of course, both sides are strident in their perceptions, conclusions and beliefs. Yet what should concern us most about this crisis is not just the war against Trump, but the violence it does to our highest ideals – free speech, free press, free expression and the future of free elections.

By the way, this is not the only example of how and why the principle of “contempt prior to examination” is important to understand for Americans. Remember, I played the Trump card as an example. But consider the entire quote in context.

What are the consequences of the principle?

  • It’s a proof against all argument.
  • It cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance.

No matter what you might believe about Donald Trump, is it inarguably true that “contempt prior to examination” is foolishness, error, absurdity, craziness?

Needless to say, Farah will never admit that this thing he's now railing against is the very thing he and his website practiced during the Obama years.

Farah never accepted that Barack Obama won the presidency fair and square. He thought that with enough etime and resources, all his "self-evident" conspiracy theories about Obama -- most prominently, birtherism -- would come true. They didn't, but Farah thinks they have always been true and will always be true.

Farah doesn't -- or refuses to -- understand that his visceral hatred of Obama is no different than the "visceral hatred" of Trump. He wanted the same outcome: "destroying our social fabric, rendering justice and self-government impossible."

If Farah thinks “contempt prior to examination” is an important principle to understand for Americans, he should show it by admitting it's his and WND's guiding principle -- and that the "foolishness, error, absurdity, craziness" behind it, causing WND's complete loss of credibility, is why Farah has spent the past year trying to keep WND from going out of business.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 AM EST
Monday, December 31, 2018
MRC Can't Leave Its Soros Obsession Out of Year-End Post
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates George Soros so much, it managed to turn a year-end post on business news that the media "spun" or censored" into a partial anti-Soros rant. Cue Julia A. Seymour:

George Soros used to be the best-kept secret in the news media. Journalists trained to “follow the money” wouldn’t find the millions he gave lefty causes with map and a compass.

Now, however, they’ve decided the left’s top backer is someone to be celebrated with flattering profiles. The media defended Soros against critics and attacked those who pointed out where his money goes. Financial Timeseven named Soros “ Person of the Year” on Dec. 19, for the “values he represents.” FT called him the “standard bearer for liberal democracy.”

The New York Times ran at least 11 news reports and 7 columns or editorials attacking Facebook after learning that the company commissioned research about Soros. Soros had called for regulations on the company, yet the Times found this act controversial and worthy of condemnation.

Soros jumped into the limelight this year, granting interviews and saying, “Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong” from Trump’s election, to Brexit and other geopolitics.

He commited to “redouble” his efforts — which already total roughly $900 million per year in donations to groups around the world and spent at least $15 million helping the left in the 2018 midterm elections.

Soros definitely can afford his own PR operation, but why pay for something he can get for free.

The MRC has been struggling to square Facebook's attacks on Soros with its own insistence that Facebook censors conservatives -- something that Facebook's hiring of an oppo-research firm to go after Soros would seem to undercut.

Seymour also complained that media outlets called out newly appointed Trump economic adviser and former TV personality Larry Kudlow for failing to anticipate the 2008 financial crisis, which sheinsisted is "a cheap shot since Wharton Business School says many bankers, regulators, the Fed, politicians, journalists and economists did that too." Actually, Kudlow has been wrong about a lot of things, the recession being just one, in which he flamboyantly declared in December 2007 that the economcy would continue to roar ahead and those prediting a housing bubble were "bubbleheads."

Yes, Wharton did note that a lot of people didn't predict the recession, but the also noted that unlike Kudlow, "many economists did spot the housing bubble, they failed to fully understand the implications. Seymour is just making excuses to shield Kudlow from his history of bad decsions.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:43 PM EST
WND Columnist Clings to Debunked Conspiracy Theory That Flynn Was Entrapped
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Andy Schlafly intoned in his Dec. 18 WorldNetDaily column:

Life in the Deep State took another dark turn on Tuesday, at the sentencing of Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn that did not happen. Instead, he was asked if he had committed treason, which is something not even the partisan Mueller prosecutors ever considered charging him with.

This story would be suitable for “Alice in Wonderland” if it did not involve an injustice inflicted on an honorable man who risked his life for our nation. Rather than being able to celebrate Christmas by putting this travesty behind him, Lt. Gen. Flynn is left wondering how his lifelong patriotism was called into question.

In a word, “entrapment” and an unconstitutional independent prosecutor are how the injustice against Flynn continues. He was ambushed by an interview that never should have occurred, misled into not having counsel present, and then left helpless against Mueller’s $50 million wrecking machine.

A mere four days after the inauguration of President Trump, then-FBI Director James Comey sent senior agents to ambush Lt. Gen. Flynn with a surprise interview. Comey admits that this was not ordinary procedure and that proper protocol is to arrange such interviews through attorneys.


The FBI already knew the answers to the questions it asked of Lt. Gen. Flynn during his fateful interview in January 2017, due to its secret wiretaps of his conversations. But entrapment may have been the goal of the Deep State, the term for the entrenched intelligentsia in D.C. that continued to oppose President Trump after his election by the American people.

Schlafly apparently didn't watch the same hearing as the rest of us. Flynn testified that he had, in fact, not been a victim of entrapment and that he knew lying to the FBI was illegal (as most sentient beings ought to). And as special counsel Robert Mueller has pointed out, "Nothing about the way the interview was arranged or conducted caused the defendant to make false statements to the FBI."

The fact that Flynn himself admitted in court that he was not entrapped should have put an end to the right-wing talking point. But the truth doesn't always prevail over a good conspiracy theory, and Schlafly ought to know better.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EST
Sunday, December 30, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Says It's 'Stalin-Lke' For Facebook to Block Anti-Muslim Rant By Israeli Leader's Son
Topic: managing editor Michael W. Chapman was in fine ranting form in a Dec. 17 CNS blog post:

In another example of its disregard for free speech and practice of Stalin-like censorship, Facebook temporarily banned Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for posting a comment about the lack of radical Islamist attacks in Japan and that, if given a choice, he would prefer that "all Muslims leave" Israel and not "all Jews" in order to attain peace.

After Yair Netanyahu, 27, was blocked by Facebook for 24 hours, he took to Twitter where he described Facebook as a "dictatorship of thought," reported the Daily Mail.

So not permitting a platform to a hateful point of view is "Stalin-like" in Chapman's view? One could say it's similarly Stalin-like for the website Chapman runs to act as such an obsessive pro-Trump shill that it won't even tell readers when President Trump or his surrogates are lying to the American people. Or that it is Stalin-like for CNS to run only conservative opinion pieces, never liberal.

According to a quick Google search, this is the first article CNS has done on Yair Netanyahu. One could also say it's "Stalin-like censorship" for CNS to have never reported on the surfacing of a tape earlier this year of Yair bragging about getting prostitutes and how his father "arranged $20 billion" for a political ally in a natural gas development deal.

Indeed, we could find no article at CNS regarding the numerous corrpution probes being faced by Benjamin Netanyahu, including one in which Israeli police recommended that he be brought up on bribery and corruption charges.

So who's really the media outlet practicing "Stalin-like censorship," Mr. Chapman?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EST
Friday, December 28, 2018
MRC Hides Facts To Dismiss 'Murphy Brown' As A 'Toxic Ratings Bomb'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is hate-watching the "Murphy Brown" revival, and the headline of a Dec. 18 post by Scott Whitlock declared the show a "Toxic Ratings Bomb." Whitlock ranted that "Week after week, the far-left Murphy Brown revival continues to plummet in the ratings for CBS," adding: "According to the Hollywood Reporter, 'Murphy Brown hit a season low in adults 18-49 in ratings,' managing a paltry 0.7 ratings in the 18-49 demo."

But Whitlock is omitting relevant information from that Hollywood Reporter article that add context to those numbers. The winner in "Murphy Brown'" timeslot was an NFL game that blew away all competition with a 12.4 rating. The article noted that "Murphy Brown's" CBS lead-in, "Mom," got a 1.2 rating and that other CBS shows like "The Big Bang Theory" were in reruns, then looked at the broadcast competition:

The CW's Supernatural (0.4) and Legacies (0.3) each came down a tenth week to week but are in line with their season averages.

Superstore hit a season-low 0.7 for NBC, while an earlier showing of I Feel Bad was steady at 0.4. A rerun of A Saturday Night Live Christmas took up the rest of the evening.

The Great American Baking Show drew a 0.6 for ABC, off a bit from its premiere last week, after a 0.7 for holiday special Disney Prep & Landing.

Fox easily led the night among adults 18-49 with a 3.4 rating, pending updates for its live NFL broadcast. CBS took second with a 0.8, followed by ABC, 0.6; NBC, 0.5; and The CW, 0.4.

In other words, it appears that "Murphy Brown" was the second-highest-rated show in that overall timeshot that wasn't football or a rerun -- which would seem to make it far from the "toxic ratings bomb" Whitlock insists it is.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2018 2:08 PM EST
WND's Kupelian Not Learning The Right Lesson From His Heart Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like his boss Joseph Farah -- who repeatedly fails to see a connection between  WorldNetDaily's history of promoting conspiracies and fake news and its current life on the edge of extinction -- WND managing editor David Kupelian seems not to be learning the correct lessons from his adversities.

Kupelian's Dec. 18 column tells the story of his heart attack two years ago. He does ask the right questions one might expect from a self-proclaimed religious person: "Any halfway introspective person who experiences a heart attack or stroke (which occurs in the U.S. every 21 seconds) will tell you it’s a big wake-up call: 'Why did this happen?' And if you’re a spiritually minded soul, the question is even more pointed and urgent: 'God, what are You trying to tell me?'" He then edges closer:, claiming that one thing God was telling me was that I could no longer safely continue to operate – especially at my age, in my late 60s – on the energy of stress, ego, ambition, obligation, fear of failure and sheer will power. I needed to live from the alternate fuel of grace – all the time." Then he serves up this:

Mind you, I’ve been a Christian for many years, since I was in my early 20s, when I first asked Christ to come into my life, and I’ve lived a clean, moral life ever since. But something important was missing.

I believe God has been intending to fill in that missing something in me. By allowing me to suffer a heart attack, He humbled me, softened my heart, helped me to forgive people who had hurt me, clarified my mind and freed me from many deceptions.

Actually, that's just Kupelian's ego talking. A person who truly "lived a clean, moral life" would not be working for WND, which has been positively amoral in promoting conspiracy theories and fake news intended not to tell the truth but to destroy perceived political enemies.

If Kupelian is truly "freed" from the "many deceptions" he has promoted over the years, he would apologize to Barack Obama for promoting bogus birther conspiracies (not to mention his massive case of Obama Derangement Syndrome), and he would be seeking forgiveness from Seth Rich's family for touting utterly discredited claims regarding his murder.  Yet he has done neither, which makes us wonder just how "clarified" Kupelian's mind has become post-coronary.

Indeed, Kupelian seems obiviously to the idea that perhaps the message God was sending to him via heart attack is that he needs to seek contrition and forgiveness from all the people he used WND to attempt to destroy through distortions, hate and outright lies over the past two decades, and that the "deceptions" he published at WND were his creation.

Instead, he remains clueless to the last, concluding "In the end, I’d just say that somehow God had compassion on this foolish child and stopped him once again, using his powerful, unsearchable methods to stir up my soul and pull me a little closer to Him. Thank You, God."

If Kupelian is going to insist on maintaining that utter lack of genuine self-reflection about his life and career, perhaps God can goose him along with another "message."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 AM EST
Thursday, December 27, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Does The Fact-Checking His Reporter Wouldn't

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:04 PM EST
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:17 AM EST
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
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.

So, count this as another MRC fail.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:45 PM EST
WND Columnist Has A 'Genderbread' Freakout
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the wake of folks on Fox News debating the proper gender of gingerbread figures, Rachel Alexander writes ominously in her Dec. 20 WorldNetDaily column:

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."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST

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