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Wednesday, March 6, 2019
MRC Lionizes Lara Logan, Censors The Story She Botched (Again)
Topic: Media Research Center

When former CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan went on someone's right-wing podcast to declare her conservative bona fides and lash out at the "liberal media," the Media Research Center went into full squee mode.

"CBS's Lara Logan Goes NUCLEAR on ‘Horsesh**’ ‘Propagandist’ Press," screamed the headline on Scott Whitlock's Feb. 18 post, in which he gleefully recounted how Logan "unleashed a blistering, uncensored attack on the extreme liberal bias polluting America's news outlets" and "Logan fully agreed with the idea that the press was hard-left." Whitlock also touted how Logan swallowed MRC orthodoxy that Fox News' right-wing bias doesn't matter:

Regarding the idea that Fox News balances out the liberal press, Logan shot back: “There’s one Fox. And there’s many, many, many more organizations on the left.” She added, “But the problem is the weight of all of these organizations on one side of the political spectrum. When you turn on your computer or you walk past the TV or you see a newspaper headline in the grocery store, if they are all saying the same thing, the weight of that convinces you that it’s true. You don’t question it because everyone is saying it.” 

Two days later, Nicholas Fondacaro was similarly gleeful while writing up Logan's appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News show as she lashed out at "the liberal media folks now targeting her and her career." Fondacaro even credulously insisted that "Hannity wasn’t sure of Logan’s personal politics and told her as much." (Pro tip for Fondacaro: If Logan is on Hannity's show and Hannity isn't viciously attacking her, she's a fellow right-winger.)

Strangely, neither Whitlock nor Fondacaro mention what is likely the key reason Logan is so bitter: That "liberal media" she now so thoroughly despises exposed the bogus "60 Minutes" story she spearheaded.

In 2013, Logan did a story on a security contractor hiding behind a pseudonym who had written a book claiming that he had witnessed the attack on U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. After thet story aired, other journalists discovered that the contractor was nowhere near the Benghazi facility at the time of the attack and that a told a different account to the FBI.On top of that failure of reporting, Logan also failed to disclose that the contractor's book was being published by a company also owned by CBS.

But as we documented, even though the MRC despises CBS as a member of the so-called "liberal media," it entirely ignored the controversy. Though it touted Logan's original segment -- the original post remains live and uncorrected -- it never told readers the story was found to be false.

The thing is, as the Washington Post's Erik Wemple notes (but the MRC doesn't), Logan did address her botched Benghazi story in her podcast interview, lashing out at Media Matters (disclosure: we used to work there) for having purportedly "targeted" her because her story was considered an attack on Hillary Clinton. Media Matters responded by pointing out that it was Logan's badly flawed story, not Logan herself, that was the target, adding that "major broadcast networks don’t often retract stories, launch internal investigations, and force correspondents to take leaves of absence just because Media Matters criticizes their reports."

This is what happens when you stuff things down a memory hole, like the MRC did with Logan's botched story.  Logan's trying to play the victime by engaging in revisionist history, and the MRC now looks dumb by helping her do so in contradiction of the facts.

P.S. By the way, the MRC managed to get burned by Logan again. Whitlock's original post touted her as a current CBS employee, because that's apparently what she represented herself as in the podcast interview; the article and headline had to be revised to reflect that Logan, in fact, left CBS months ago -- ironically having to credit one of the MRC's greatest enemies, CNN's Brian Stelter.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 8:46 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Financial Non-Accountability at CNS
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey loved to attack President Obama and Democrats for rising federal deficits. Now that President Trump and Republicans are in charge, though, Jeffrey's much less interested in assigning blame. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EST
WND Forms Nonprofit Division To Fund Its Reporting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We called it!

Nearly a year ago, we pondered whether Joseph Farah would try to save WorldNetDaily by following the example of the Daily Caller by offloading reporters to a separate but related nonprofit organization that would essentially give WND its work for free. And it turns out that's what he's going to do.

At the end of his Feb. 24 column -- yet another screed blaming Google and Facebook for WND's financial woes instead of WND's history of fake news and conspiracy theories -- Farah quietly announced the creatoin of the "WND News Center," calling it a place to ame "a tax-deductible donation to support the cause of independent investigative journalism," adding, "We need to raise at least $1 million this year to survive."

The ad copy at the donation portal, which Farah introduced in a later column, sounds more than a bit like WND is trying to emulate the Daily Caller News Foundation:

Would you like to help WND’s style of independent, credible and fearless journalism?

Now more than ever, your financial support is absolutely necessary for us to continue the vital task of shining a bright and honest journalistic light on today's world, including the lawless political and cultural forces that daily threaten Americans' happiness, well-being and security. In an age when journalistic truth is increasingly rare, WND is dedicated to making sense out of the chaotic and dangerous era we are living through. Many important stories never see the light of day -- until WND breaks the story.

And now, thanks to the WND News Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, your contributions to support this kind of journalism are tax-deductible.


Very simply, times have changed: If you like WND, your contribution is essential to our success -- indeed our very existence.

If every one of our millions of WND readers donated just $3 per month, we would not only be on a sound financial footing, but we'd be able to dramatically expand our reporting!

The donation page offers an mail address for donations, which appears to be an accountant's office in Hawthorne, Nevada -- odd since WND has no offices in the state. Farah's column lists a Washington, D.C., address for mailed donations.

The ad copy, though, might be getting WND in trouble by so explicitly tying the nonprofit to WND itself. The Daily Caller setup is in a bit of a gray area -- while the Daily Caller publishes everything its News Foundation generates, that copy is also available to others for free (WND has previously published News Foundation articles), and it's been criticized as a bit of a scam to offload expenses from the Caller itself and then not have to pay taxes on the money raised.

Plus, there's the question of financing. Farah is asking for $1 million, though it's not clear if he means for the main WND operation or the News Center. The Daily Caller News Foundation raised $3 million in 2015 alone, though it's not clear who the donors are (though the usual conservative suspects like the Koch Brothers and Donors Trust have given small donations in the past).

Has WND moved too far to the right-wing fringe -- and embraced fake news and conspiracy theories for too long -- to hurt funding for its nonprofit division? Time will tell.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Context Matters to Tim Graham After All
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham loves to complain that fact-checkers care a little too much about context for their ratings. This time around, he's claiming a fact-checker didn't use context at all.

In a Feb. 20 post, Graham groused about how PolitiFact went after Rush Limnbaugh for saying that "I know young people, Chris [Wallace], who really think that by the time they're 65, the country, the world is not going to be habitable because of climate change, which is another hoax! There's no evidence for it." Graham made sure to point out the, yes, context explaining that "Limbaugh's quoted remarkswere preceded by talk about how millennials are mis-educated" and adding: "Earth to PolitiFact: this is NOT the kind of disastrous warming that moves the political needle, and it's not really what Limbaugh was talking about. He's talking about using climate panic to push dramatic government intervention like the 'Green New Deal.'"

Graham also took offense to PolitiFact responding to Limbaugh's portraying climate change as a hoax by citing a climate scientist stating that "The Earth is now hotter than it's ever been," huffing, "That's not technically true, since the record of measuring global temperatures goes back to 1880." Of course, humans have been recording the weather for hundreds of years before that, and earlier climate patterns can be determined through paleoclimatology, but Graham doesn't quite want to admit that.

Finally, Graham complains that PolitiFact has fact-checked too many things Limbaugh has gotten false, which "suggest an emotional investment in dragging down America's most popular radio host as a fact-mangler." Graham doesn't explain why that's not the case.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 PM EST
CNS Managing Editor Refuses to Fact-Check Trump

It seems that's lonstanding refusal to fact-check the Trump administration comes straight from the top. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman uncritically writes in a Feb. 15 article:

During his Rose Garden talk today about declaring a national emergency to deal with the crisis at the southern border, President Donald Trump discussed the scourge of drug dealers and quoted Communist Chinese President Xi Jinping who had told him that China uses the death penalty against narcotics dealers and that ends the problem. 

Trump prefaced these remarks by noting that China had agreed to put the deadly drug fentanyl (synthetic opioid) on its list of illegal products. 

In his speech, Trump said, "Their criminal list, a drug dealer gets a thing called the death penalty. Our criminal list, a drug dealer gets a thing called 'how about a fine?' And when I asked President Xi, I said do you have a drug problem? ‘No, no, no.’"

"I said you have 1.4 billion people, what do you mean you have no drug problem?" asked Trump.

"‘No, we don't have a drug problem,'" he quoted Xi as saying.  "I said why? ‘Death penalty. We give death penalty to people that sell drugs, end of problem.’"

That's simply not true. China does, in fact, have a drug problem in both manufacture and use. Indeed, an actual news outlet found that the number of drug users in China is on the increase, and that the death penalty for dealers has not served as much of a deterrent, if it is at all (never mind the fact that punishing drug crimes with execution violates international law).

Asa a result of Chapman's refusal to fact-check Trump, CNS has published more misinformation. Apparently, he's proud to do so.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:08 PM EST
Gay Derangement Syndrome, WND Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The door is now wide open in many public schools for corrupting teachers to enter and poison the minds and bodies of impressionable children.

Most teachers try to do what’s right, but with so-called “non-discrimination” school policies in place, sexually immoral adults or pro-abortion/”LGBTQ” activists cannot be barred from classroom access to children.

And now in New Jersey, it’s easier than ever, since “gay” indoctrination just became a state requirement. Beginning in the 2020 school year, New Jersey schools must teach that homosexuality and gender confusion are wonderful and normal behaviors with a legacy of brave heroes.

This will be, of course, a bald-faced lie.


In many schools parents are prevented from knowing about a son or daughter’s experimental gender “fluidity.” Schools are becoming allies with sin and corruption, often keeping parents in the dark about life-threatening behavior.

As these new laws roll out, students are conned and put at-risk by a phony, positive spin on homosexuality and gender rebellion. It’s completely undeserved and conceals the truth about the spread of disease, the anti-Christian hostility and the cultural damage done by this movement.

When it comes to “LGBTQ” behavior, our kids should be given warnings – not endorsement.

-- Linda Harvey, Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily column

President Trump has put his conservative base in a terrible situation by allowing openly homosexual U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to lead a campaign to “decriminalize homosexuality” around the world. This gut-punch of a news story is being spun as a response to Iran’s recent execution of a homosexual man. While I believe I speak for most conservatives in saying I do not condone that execution, or capital punishment for any sexual crimes anywhere, I believe the Iran incident is simply a pretext for perpetuating the “All-In” Obama doctrine on LGBT issues by the U.S. State Department, and I think President Trump has been persuaded to cooperate on the false argument that doing so will mitigate leftist hatred of his administration here at home.

I have some bad news for President Trump: LGBTs and their surrogates in media, academia and government are IMPLACABLE. He will get no credit from the left, but will instead empower a small army of Trojan Horse “conservatives” among his base who are really progressive change-agents in disguise.

Reasonable tolerance and sympathy for people who suffer from same-sex attraction disorder is warranted – as is protecting them from violence – but sanitizing homosexuality and transgenderism as if they were morally, psychologically and behaviorally equivalent to sexual and gender normalcy is PC-driven lunacy. Indeed, that ideology is a central cause of the mental illness called progressivism. We must not allow that sophistry to overwhelm objective, self-evident, foundational truths in our conservative ranks, or we will become as confused and irrational as the left. It is already spreading like a cancer.


If I had President Trump’s ear, I would offer the following advice:

First, neutralize Richard Grenell on all LGBT issues and remove him as the leader of this campaign. Let Grenell focus on issues unrelated to his personal dysfunction and bring in a true conservative with no personal stake in LGBT issues. Show the world that you don’t have to be a homosexual or support the LGBT agenda to oppose violence against homosexuals and that the goal of opposing violence stands completely apart from the idea of normalizing alternative sexual lifestyles.

Second, very publicly, change the focus of the campaign from “decriminalizing homosexuality” to ending violence against homosexuals. At the same time, affirm that regulating sexual conduct in the interest of public health and morality is a valid exercise of government.

-- Scott Lively, Feb. 20 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 AM EST
Monday, March 4, 2019
MRC Double Standard on Jounralists Being Friendly to Politicians
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham grumbled in a Feb. 17 post:

Twitter continues to provide unmissable examples of media adoration of Democrats. Female reporters from CBS, CNN, and NBC gushily tweeted on Saturday about picking out an "amazing" jacket for Kamala Harris on the campaign trail. Does anyone think this happened for Michelle Bachman in 2011? Carly Fiorina in 2015? The professional excuse was Harris was touring small businesses in South Carolina. But the fashionistas were purring over a "great," "awesome," "amazing" coat they were "forcing" on the candidate.

Graham then tried to downplay the fact that conservative reporters have similarly palled around with Republian candidates by finding a distinction that doesn't appear to have a real difference:

But there's a difference between "I went skeet shooting with Lindsey Graham" and "I'm a TV reporter and I helped Kamala Harris pick out clothes that will make her look good on TV." If a reporter is helping a male candidate pick out "amazing" suits or dress shirts or neckties, that's a better comparison.

The MRC wasn't done with this, of course. The next day, Scott Whitlock fired back at MSNBC commentators who  criticized the right-wing overreaction to the incident: "Apparently, it’s beyond the comprehension of MSNBC journalists that there is something wrong with reporters helping a 2020 Democratic candidate pick out clothing."

By contrast, we could find no criticism -- or any mention at all, for that matter -- from anyone at the MRC  regarding the 2012 incident in which "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace presented then-Republican Rep. Paul Ryan with a birthday cake. Wallace is considered well-regarded even by mainstream journalists; the Washington Post's Erik Wemple, for example, said Wallace "is a consistent voice of reason and deep preparation on the morning shows. He asks good, relevant questions, never fails to press his guests when they worm around, and proceeds with an appropriate level of decorum."

Apparently, the MRC didn't think it was out of Wallace's "decorum" zone -- or any issue at all -- to be seen giving Fox News' then-favorite Republican politician a birthday cake.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
WND Doesn't Want To Talk About Would-Be Terrorist Inspired By Manifesto That Cites WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The only news story WorldNetDaily has published regarding Christopher Paul Hasson -- the Coast Guard officer who was planning a large-scale terrorist attack, with a focus on murdering journlists and Democratic politicians -- is a Feb. 20 piece after his arrest that went into few details about his apparent motivation beyond noting a previous contact with a "known American neo-Nazi leader." But there's a lot more going on that WND is not terribly interested in you knowing about.

The Washington Post reported that among the items discovered when police searched Hasson's house was a copy of the 1,500-page manifesto written by Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011. The Post adds:

The inspiration that [Hasson] drew from Breivik, 40, illuminates the global exchange of extremist ideas binding apparently lone-wolf actors who portray themselves as martyrs for “Western civilization,” under siege, they claim, by immigrants and elite opinion makers espousing multiculturalism. The European allegedly emulated by the American extremist had quoted generously from American figures such as Robert Spencer, director of the Jihad Watch website, and had modeled his act on the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, whose main perpetrator, executed in 2001, is now a hero to some on the far-right fringes. The recycling of fearmongering shows how a nationalist, anti-immigrant vision has become international, often with fatal consequences.

The far-right Norwegian terrorist was on a political mission — one that he hoped others would embrace. 

As we've documented, Breivik's manifesto cites WND six times, mostly for articles fearmongering about Muslims but also a 2002 column by editor Joseph Farah asserting that "The Bible couldn’t be clearer on the right – even the duty – we have as believers to self-defense." The disdain Hasson has for liberals, jourmalists and Muslims is regularly reflected on the pages of WND. That suggest Hasson was likely a WND reader as well.

WND's agenda keeps appearing on the fringes of violent acts; we've also documented how the pro-white views of killer Dylann Roof have been promoted by WND. If Farah is concerned about that, he has yet to publicly express it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EST
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2019 9:06 AM EST
Sunday, March 3, 2019
How Is CNS' Managing Editor Hating Gays Now?
Topic:'s notoriously gay-hating managing editor, Michael W. Chapman, knows how to keep up his gay-hating game.

In a Feb. 12 post, Chapman whines that a Disney Channel show is shoving gayness down people's throats:

In a recent episode of Disney's popular Andi Mack show, which targets elementary and middle school kids, the homosexual character "Cyrus Goodman" finally comes out of the closet and states on-screen, "I'm gay." His friend "Jonah Beck" then replies, "Yeah? Okay, cool."

This is the first time that a Disney character has said the words, "I'm gay," according to the Washington Blade. The Disney program is designed, in part, to teach young children that homosexuality is normal and must be accepted.

On Feb. 18, Chapman complained that "Disney Paris will officially host for the first time a "Magical Pride" parade that caters to homosexuals," further huffing that Disney "was once a pro-family company" but now is "introducing more homosexual content into its movies and programs."

On Feb. 28, Chapman found a new corporate target for his anti-gay animus, grousing that "Multinational retail giant Walmart is now promoting homosexuality with a Facebook ad that follows two gay men -- 'Pat' and 'Andy' -- on a blind date shopping at a Walmart store. The video ad is entitled 'Love is in the Aisle: A Dating Show at Walmart.'" Chapman then called on his fellow gay-haters at the right-wing American Family Association to complain that the commercial "normalizes homosexual relationships," which are a "dangerous lifestyle," and that "There is no doubt in our mind that Sam Walton is turning over in his grave." Chapman also touted tht AFA's petition to demand that Walmart remove the ad.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:20 PM EST
Saturday, March 2, 2019
MRC's Fondacaro Goes Into Unprofessional Rage At Wash. Post
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro enthusiastically wrote in a Feb. 19 post:

With a promise that “this is only the beginning,” Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry, the lawyers for Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann, filed a lengthy $250 million lawsuit against The Washington Post for defamation on Tuesday regarding their alleged targeted smears of the teen. The document itself was a scathing takedown of the paper they described as abusing “the profession of journalism” while racing to be “the first and loudest media bully.”

Fondacaro then added: "The work put into the document indicated how seriously they’re going to pursue the case."

Well, not necessarily. For example, Larry Klayman similarly asks for exhorbitant amounts from the people he sues and uses his lawsuits to make political statements that come before legal reasoning, and nobody takes him seriously. 

Indeed, Sandmann's lawyers are pushing their luck by issuing such an overwrought lawsuit. The Above the Law blog points out that what the lawsuit claims is defamation of  Sandmann isn't necessarily so, and that there's another agenda going on:

But winning a defamation lawsuit isn’t really the game we’re playing here. Instead, we’re fighting a new front in the culture wars, the front Trump has opened up against “the media.” Trump wants the media to be nice to him. Alleged sexual harassers like Clarence Thomas want to be able to punish the media for amplifying claims against them. MAGA wants their wild conspiracy theories and counter-factual views given equal time in mainstream sources.

This is a broad war, the Sandmann lawsuit is just another cannon ball. This lawsuit is not going to kill the Washington Post, and I doubt that is even the goal. The point is to chill other media from challenging the right-wing. Most mainstream reporters don’t even know their rights. Most publications smaller than the Washington Post can’t afford to defend their rights. If enough of the media lives in fear of any teen in a MAGA hat, then this lawsuit was a success even if (when) it gets thrown out of court on a rail.

The Wonkette blog adds: "Generally speaking, a plaintiff would have to prove that a newspaper printed defamatory information that it knew was false. Sandmann's suit chooses to meet this evidentiary burden with wacky conspiracy theories direct from QAnon. This isn't a lawsuit. It's a paranoid manifesto."

And civil rights attorney Ron Kuby notes: "It’s more like one of these old fashioned cases filed on page 1 and dismissed on page 34. ... If you report two sides of an encounter, you know that one side is ultimately going to be proven incorrect. That doesn’t mean you’re open for defamation claims."

Still, the lawsuit did apparently get one intended result: the Post issued an editor's note clarifying and updating its original coverage. But this wasn't enough for Fondacaro, who apparently hates the Post as much as his MRC colleague Curtis Houck hates Jim Acosta -- that is, to the point of being incapable of writing about it without descending into paroxysms of rage. Fondacaro spat in a tweet on the editor's note: "Nick Sandmann deserves every penny he’s suing this rag of a paper for."

That's not really professional behavior, Nick.

Speaking of Houck, his piece on the Post editor's note was similarly dripping with hate and condescension, chortling that the note "was so hilariously rich with irony that it’s painful" and putting "SAD Trombone!" in the headline.

All this unprofessional behavior does not encourage anyone to take the MRC seriously.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 AM EST
Farah's Double Standard on Presidential Investigations
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah complains in his Feb. 13 column, quoting former Trump attorney John Dowd:

Dowd called the investigation “a terrible waste of time.”


Is that all there is?

“I know exactly what [Mueller] has,” Dowd said. “I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is. There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time.”


I shouldn’t be disappointed or surprised, and I’m really not. This is indeed what I believed was the case all along. In fact, I suspect this investigation took so long only to ensure the guilty parties would never see justice. And unless our new attorney general re-litigates the entire issue, the special counsel investigation may end with a whimper.

Of course, that’s not really an end at all.

And that may be just what Democrats who control the House of Representatives need to keep the conspiracy theorizing and witch hunt going for another two years – right into the 2020 election.

Dowd called Mueller’s probe “one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen.”

I agree. To put it mildly, this was not Watergate.

Remember that Farah lives in his own little right-wing world where Trump can do no wrong. And we certainly do not recall Farah ever complaining about the length of the investigation into President Clinton headed at its peak by Ken Starr -- which, by the way, lasted pretty much the entire length of his two-term presidency, and was originally about Whitewater, which then spread into other areas after nobody could find anything on him there.

If anything, Farah seems to think the Starr investigation should have gone on forever, or at least until he found something bigger to pin on him than lying about sex. Farah has ranted that "Kenneth Starr has been Bill Clinton’s political savior — time after time compromising his own investigation through ineptitude, the hiring of attorneys and investigators politically loyal to the president, and a systematic refusal to seriously probe the most egregious administration scandals." Farah has also whined that Starr hired Brett Kavanaugh to cover up the alleged truth about the death of Vince Foster, that it was murder.

Farah's whining continued:

This investigation punished people mostly for “crimes” that were not committed until the investigation caused them, prompted them, induced them. They weren’t really crimes at all in most cases. They were differences of interpretation. They were senior moments. They were mistakes caused by fatigue and relentless badgering. They were “process crimes.”

Actually, no. Lying under oath is a crime whether or not it was part of a "process," and many of the alleged crimes for which Mueller has issued indictments were committed before his investigation started, meaning that Farah is lying when he claims Mueller "caused them, prompted them, induced them."

Farah concluded by huffing: "Is that all you got, Robert Mueller? If that’s all you got, then just stop dancing." Of course, Farah wanted Starr to keep dancing until he could manufacture something.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EST
Friday, March 1, 2019
CNS Backtracks on Calling Trump Out On The Economy, Deficit
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has not been shy about blaming Democrats in general and President Obama in particular for federal budget deficits. Republicans? Much more shy, though even he can't ignore reality, finally admitting that the federal debt has climbed under President Trump and a Republican Congress.

Jeffrey backtracked a bit in a Feb. 13 article in which he touted how The federal government collected a record $1,665,484,000,000 in individual income taxes in calendar year 2018," the first full year after Trump's tax cuts went into effect. But he waited until the fifth paragraph to admit that the deficit grew by $1.4 million (though it was mentioned in the headline) and the eighth paragraph to note that "Corporation income tax collections declined significantly from calendar year 2017 to calendar year 2018" by more than 32 percent, or $95 billion.

Jeffrey followed that up by lamenting in a Feb. 20 article that "The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the federal government will not only fail to balance its budget in any year over the next eleven years (fiscal 2019 through 2029), but that during those eleven years it will increase the federal debt held by the public by $13 trillion." Jeffrey did not mention Trump or the Republican Congress that helped to run up that projected deficit or set the baseline upon which the CBO's projection is based.

Jeffrey then served up a Feb. 28 lament that "The United States has gone a record 13 straight years without 3-percent growth in real Gross Domestic Product." This comes around six months after CNS was touting a big quarterly GDP increase under Trump (and despite the fact that CNS never touted even larger quarterly GDP increases under Obama). 

Jeffrey made no mention of Trump or Republicans in his article, though in 2017 he was quick to point out that "Obama remains the first president since the Great Depression not to see a single year with at least 3 percent growth in real GDP." Instead, Jeffrey includes a picture of congressional leaders at some social function.

In other words, Jeffrey is unable to say out loud that his hero Trump isn't doing any better on the economy than the hated Obama.That has to be a blow considering how much he and the rest of his CNS crew have puffed up Trump's economic record.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EST
MRC Frets Over TV Channel's Anti-Vaccine Past, Forgets Its Own
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock grumbled in a Feb. 14 post:

ABC is worried that Hollywood celebrities have been promoting anti-science, anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Yet, the network seemed to forget that it employed one, Jenny McCarthy, as a host. Not only that, but ABC prompted actress McCarthy to spout her uninformed vaccine views. 


The blame for the spread of false information on vaccines is broad and wide. It certainly includes uninformed celebrities. But ABC is also culpable for repeatedly touting the people with those views. 

You know who else is culpable for touting anti-vaccine rhetoric? Whitlock's employer.

As we've documented, the MRC spent several years fretting about anti-HPV vaccines like Gardasil that have since been proven to prevent infections that can lead to cervical cancer. Not only did MRC writers fearmonger about allegedly "dangerous" side effects, it feared that the vaccine would promote promiscuity; Mark Finkelstein, for instance, effectively endorsed one right-wing columnist who wrote that the vaccine was "telling prepubescent girls that it’s just fine for them to have all the sex they want, ’cuz now they’ll be vaccinated! And isn’t it against the law to have sex with children?"Further, the MRC's "news" division,, considered it a waste of federal money to use it to find ways to boost anti-HPV vaccination rates.

The MRC has yet to retract or apologize for all this bogus scaremongering -- which means Whitlock is being quite hypocritical in attacking ABC over the same thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EST
Thursday, February 28, 2019
CNS Touts Anti-AOC Billboard, Doesn't Disclose It's Funded By Same Folks Who Fund CNS

Craig Bannister gleefully writes in a Feb. 20 blog post:

On Wednesday, a billboard in New York’s Times Square criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for having opposed Amazon’s plans, which Amazon has now cancelled, to open a headquarters in the city, began a one-week run.

The billboard highlights the cost to New York of Amazon’s decision not to open a headquarters there, Job Creators Network, the ad’s sponsor explains in its press release:

“Today, the Job Creators Network is putting up a billboard in Times Square calling out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the role she played in the recent termination of Amazon’s HQ2 that was planned to be constructed in Queens. The pullout of Amazon—because of anti-business politicians, notably Ocasio-Cortez—is a major blow to the New York economy. The retreat will not only cost the area $12 billion in economic activity, but 25,000 new jobs that would have paid an average salary of $150,000.”

The billboard, located on 42nd Street near 8th Avenue, is headlined “AMAZON PULLOUT, Thanks For Nothing AOC” and ends with the hashtag, #SocialismTakesCapitalismCreates.

In a tweet, conservative commentator Laura Ingraham thanked Job Creators Network for the billboard and posted a picture of it.

But Bannister is curiously silent on a conflict of interest he should have disclosed.  As Ocasio-Cortez noted in a tweet responding to the billboard (and Mediaite further detailed), the Job Creators Network is funded by the Mercer family, which has their money all over right-wing politics.

And CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, is heavily funded by the Mercers as well -- as we documented, the Mercers are the single largest MRC donor, providing one-fourth of its annual budget, and a member of the family, Rebekah Mercer, sits on the MRC's board of directors.

An honest writer would have disclosed that. Bannister has not proven that he is one.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:52 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2019 7:53 PM EST
WND Baselessly Suggests Criticism Of 'Jewish Diplomat' Was Anti-Semitic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It was just a few weeks ago that the Media Research Center was complaining that attacks on liberal Jew George Soros were considered by some to be anti-Semitic. Now, the MRC's ConWeb comrades at WorldNetDaily are doing what they condemned, though with somebody else.

Art Moore writes in a Feb. 14 WND article:

Just two days after condemnation from her own party leaders prompted a half-hearted apology for anti-Semitic tweets, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., took a personal swipe at a Jewish diplomat in a hearing Wednesday of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Omar opened her questioning of Elliott Abrams, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s special envoy on Venezuela, by attacking his credibility.

Moore also made sure to put "Jewish diplomat" in the headline of his article. Never mind, of course, that  Moore offers no evidence that Omar referenced Abrams' ethnicity or religion during her questioning of Abrams.WND is simply trying to capitalize on right-wing hatred of Omar for her previous criticism of lobbying for Israel, which was considered anti-Semitic (and, as it so happens, was the reason the MRC got so mad about criticism of Soros being called anti-Semitic).

Moore then called in conservative scholar Ronald Radosh to defend Abrams against Omar's accusations regarding his work as a diplomat during the 1980s:

Omar charged Abrams with lying to the Senate in 1982 by denying that a massacre took place in El Mozote, El Salvador when a U.S.-trained Salvadoran military battalion went into the town to attack communist guerrillas.

But Radosh, a former Marxist, points out that while other officials denied the massacre, Abrams called it an “incident that is at least being significantly misused, at the very best, by the guerrillas.” It wasn’t until 1992 that forensic evidence confirmed the massacre had occurred.

But as Vox points out, there were contemporaneous reports that what happened in El Mozote, and that the Reagan administration knew or should have known that before certifying that El Salvador's human rights record was improving.

Moore also enlisted Radosh's help in whitewashing Abrams' conviction for withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra affair, for which he was later pardoned: "One of Abram’s chief human-rights critics, Aryeh Neier, later changed his mind, Radosh pointed out. Neier wrote in the left-wing Dissent magazine that the facts 'suggest a political prosecution rather than the fair administration of justice.'" Moore ends with touting Radosh's opinion that "Omar be removed from her seat in the Foreign Affairs Committee."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EST

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