CNS' Highly Biased Coverage of Cohen Testimony Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's coverage of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress was like a lot of its political coverage: highly biased.
CNS kicked things off with an article by Susan Jones touting Trump tweets trashing Cohen. It's not until the ninth paragraph that Jones gets around to noting that Cohen said in his written testimony that "Trump is a racist, a conman, and a cheat." That was joined by an anonymously written preview article taken from Cohen's advance written testimony that focused on he "says that he has lied but he is not a liar" -- and completely omitted Cohen's scathing criticism of Trump in that very same testimony. (A separate anonymous article addressed that; no reason was provided as to why they could not appear in the same article.) And it wasn't until Cohen's testimony before Congress actually started -- a full four hours after her first article posted -- that Jones got around to more fully summarizing Cohen's criticism of Trump in his written testimony, and it's framed as it usually is by Jones declaring that Cohen offered no "direct evidence" of collusion. (Jones wrout another article the next day highlighting Trump's tweeting that Cohen lied about everything except the "no collusion" part.)
CNS curiously cited no questioning of Cohen by Democratic representatives -- that would have been too fair and balanced -- but it did a full three stories on Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, among the CNS and the Media Rrsearch Center's favorite congressmen, haranguing Cohen:
Melanie Arter transcribed Jordan's rant against Cohen, calling him a "fraudster, cheat, convicted felon, and in two months a federal inmate."
Craig Bannister highlighted Jordan's complaint that "CNN obtained Cohen's statement and exhibits before the committee did."
Dimitri Simes gushed over how Jordan "pressed the former lawyer to President Donald Trump over his filing of five fraudulent tax returns and his failure to pay $1.4 million in taxes."
Jones also featured Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx badgering Cohen about whether he intends to "profit from his crimes through movie and book deals."
None of these articles addressed any of the claims Cohen made about Trump. Again, that would have been too fair and balanced.
The one bit of non-Cohen-related fireworks at the hearing -- Republican Rep. Mark Meadows trotting out a black Trump administration official to somehow counter Cohen's claim that Trump is racist, and Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib's calling out Meadows on the tokenism of that gesture -- got subdued coverage that managed to be about Tlaib and not Meadows.
Arter touted Meadow's stunt, and his insistence that "Lynne Patton, who served as vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation," somehow countered Cohen's point that there are no black executives in the Trump Organization (which is the name of Trump's business operations). An article the next day by Patrick Goodenough attacked Tlaib for having "'liked' a tweet that essentially described Meadows as an example of 'white privilege and white fragility.'" Goodenough did eventually offer an unusually even-handed recount of the dispute. Later that day, Bannister huffed that new CNS target Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez honored Tlaib's "bravery" in criticizing Meadows "for daring to allow an African-American colleague testify that President Donald Trump is not a racist."
(Actually, the woman, Lynne Patton, did not testify; she simply stood next to Meadows.)
Bannister then gave Patton her own article, citing a Fox News appearance (of course) in which she went on a self-aggrandizing, Trump-fluffing rant that Tlaib was taking "the word of a self-confessed perjurer and criminally convicted white man over a black female who is highly educated, rose up through the ranks of one of the most competitive companies in real estate, spoke before 25 million people at the Republican National Convention, and now works in one of the most historic administrations in history."
Bannister didn't mention that Patton is so dedicated to emulating Trump that she's trying to get a spot on a reality TV show.
The MRC Is STILL Promoting 'Gosnell' Film Bomb Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center loved to help right-wing filmmaker Phelim McAleer raise money for and promote his fictionalized film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (but nowhere near as enthusiastic about discussing what McAleer was providing to the MRC in consideration for all aht publicity). It tanked at the box office, making only $3.6 million, but production costs were mostly funded by (MRC-promoted) crowdfunding so McAleer's personal financial hit was likely negligible.
But the promotion never stops, which brings us to a Feb. 22 column by McAleer that the MRC published on its NewsBusters website. In it, McAleer simply rehashes the victim narrative he pushed to get his film made: Hollywood, the tech industry and the media conspired to keep the film from getting made and shown to hide the reality of abortion.
(No mention of the fact that, as one reviewer noted, Gosnell was able to exist as a rogue doctor in part because of laws promoted by anti-abortion activists that made using reputable clinics difficult, as well as because of anti-abortion protesters who are dedicated to scaring off potential patients -- in other words, "Kermit Gosnell was exactly what women resort to when abortion becomes too hard to obtain.")
McAleer declared at the end: "People are tired of being fed the left's lines. The Americans who funded Gosnell through Indiegogo, saw it in the theater and bought it on DVD are fighting back."(As if McAleer is not feeding people lines through his polemic film.) And that led to an editor's note: "Gosnell - The Trial of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer is available on VOD and Dvd."
That's right -- McAleer's column is basically a commercial for the release of his film on video. Did McAleer pay the MRC for that as well as part of their previous promotion deal, or did the MRC give him the space for free?
CNS' Donohue Still Gay-Bashing Over Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Topic: CNSNews.com
When right-wing, anti-gay Catholic Bill Donohue declares he's going to assess "gay priests' role" in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal -- as he does in his Feb. 21 CNSNews.com column -- you can be assured that it will not be a fair and balanced assessment. Indeed, he asserts at the very start that "every effort to downplay the role of gays is being made."
Donohue does, surprisingly, offer the illusion that he's not being as anti-gay as he usually is, though said in an unusually passive voice for him:
Let it be said emphatically that it is morally wrong to blame all gay priests or to bully someone who is gay, be he a priest or a plumber. It is also wrong to call on all gay priests to resign: such a sweeping recommendation is patently unfair to those gay priests who have never violated anyone.
However, it is not helpful to the cause of eradicating the problem of sexual abuse in the priesthood to dismiss a conversation about the obvious. We can begin by talking honestly about who the victims are.
Then, for the first time that we've seen, Donohue acknowledges that the researchers in the John Jay report commissioned by Catholic bishopshave pointed out that at least some of the abuse committed by priests were crimes of opportunity not necessarily driven by sexual orientation -- then goes on to blame gays anyway:
The John Jay researchers try to protect homosexuals by saying that not all the men who had sex with adolescent males consider themselves to be homosexuals. But self-identification is not dispositive. If the gay priests thought they were giraffes, would the scholars conclude that the problem is bestiality?
It was the John Jay researchers who first floated the "opportunity" thesis that Cardinal Cupich picked up on. This idea is flawed. Predator priests hit on boys not because they were denied access to girls, but because they preferred males. More important, there is something patently unfair, as well as inaccurate, about this line of thinking.
It suggests that many priests are inclined to have sex with minors—and will choose the sex which offers them the greatest opportunity. There is no evidence to support this unjust indictment. Also, girl altar servers date back to 1983, after Canon law was changed. They became even more common in 1994 when Pope John Paul II ruled that girls can be altar servers.
If the "opportunity" thesis had any truth to it, we should have seen, over the past few decades, a spike in altar girls being sexually abused by priests, but this has not happened. Indeed, 80 percent of the victims are still male and postpubescent.
Donohue offers no evidence to substantiate his argument.
Donohue then rants about the "homosexual subculture in the Church," which ultimately tells us that, despite his semi-conciliatory wording earlier in his column, blaming gays for everything remains Job 1 for Donohue.
MRC Thinks NPR, BBC Is No Different From Russian Propaganda Outlets Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Corrine Weaver bizarrely writes in a Feb. 21 post:
Facebook is willing to take down pages funded by Russia. Now it’s facing the question about what to do about other state-funded media outlets like Al Jazeera, BBC and even NPR?
Facebook suspended three pages on February 15 , including the popular video site Ruptly. All three allegedly failed to disclose that they were backed by RT, which is funded by the Russian government. CNN reported that Facebook would restore the pages if they made public the organization they were affiliated with. While the pages did not include this information initially, they were not required to at the time.
But Ruptly isn’t the only foreign-backed media outlet on the platform. Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar, the BBC by the UK and NPR, PBS and VOA are all funded by the United States, to name just a few.
The BBC is funded by the United Kingdom, which has a special fund from Parliament.
Even in the United States, NPR is funded by two different government bureaucracies. Will Facebook start asking these news outlets to disclose their affiliations with state actors publicly?
Weaver apparently doesn't understand the difference between state propaganda outlets that try to hide their true identities and state-funded media outlets that offer straight news. As the CNN article to which Weaver links, the Ruptly-controlled outlets -- which operate under the corporate name Maffick Media, based in Germany -- were effectively propaganda targeting American millennials:
Like RT, Maffick's videos are generally critical of U.S. foreign policy and the mainstream American media, while largely avoiding criticism of the Russian government. Much of its content, like much of RT's in the US, fits comfortably within fairly mainstream American politics, especially on the left.
A typical tactic of Russian information operations in the US over the past few years has been to try to exploit existing divisions and tensions in the country. When covering and broadcasting in the US, RT has typically not injected some new line of criticism about the country into the discourse; instead it has reflected criticism of the US and the US government's actions at home and abroad that already existed — and that some people argue deserves more attention from the mainstream media.
Business Insider adds of Maffick's channels: "Those channels publish videos critical of US and NATO foreign policy, American waste habits, and news issues like Russia being barred from the 2018 Winter Olympics. While the videos do not overtly criticize the US and applaud Russia, they often play on tensions in the US."
Of course, VOA is effectively a pro-U.S. propaganda outlet -- but it hasn't claimed to be anything else. Al Jazeera has taken stabs at trying to be a straight news outlet but is not trusted as such.
But thinking that the BBC and NPR and PBS are no different than Russian propaganda outlets and should also be removed from Facebook? Weaver needs to lay off the MRC Kool-Aid for a while.
WND's Massie Goes There, Portrays Kamala Harris As A Literal Whore Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie despises Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, and he felt the need to dedicate his Feb. 25 WorldNetDaily column to smearking them in the most vile and personal terms, including calling them whores -- Warren figuratively but Harris literally:
Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are both Democrats, and they’re both examples of the lowest forms of amoral humanity. Ergo, it should come as no surprise that, realizing they haven’t a snowball’s chance at the equator of coming close to winning their respective Democratic presidential bids, they’ve resorted to what their kind commonly ascent. They find a subject they can exploit and fan the flames of same. They know they will never get the party nomination, but they hope to position themselves favorably for a cabinet post.
Black people do not need or deserve reparations; they need common sense, they need to embrace modernity, and they need to embrace morality. Pursuant to same, Harris and Warren are among the greatest examples of those with an absence of said qualities.
Specifically, Harris engaged in what many call the oldest profession in the world by taking up with California’s Willie Brown during his tenure in elective office. One could sarcastically ask if she learned the art of selling herself as a way to get ahead or if it came naturally as a politician. Whether or not Harris used the assets she so readily shared with Brown with other powerful individuals in the California and Sacramento political and campaign establishment is open to conjecture.
What is not open to conjecture is that Brown at the time of his sexual exploits with Harris was and still is married to his wife, Blanche Vitero. It is also a known fact that passing around “candy” is commonplace in the hidden echelons of politics. It is therefore fair to ask, who else Harris slept with to get what she wanted?
I find it interesting that in a day and time when liberal feminists, as if there were any other kind, boast of being strong independent women, Harris and Warren found it easier to get ahead by whoredom and lies. But, I digress.
Digressing so much, in fact, that Massie doesn't mention that Brown had long been separated from his wife, though not divorced, when he was involved with Harris. And as we've come to expect from Massie, his sleazy assertion that Harris slept her way to the top is not true.
Bizarrely, Massie apparently finds more virtue in a man on his third marriage who paid hush money to a porn star:
We have a lion in the White House who has accomplished great things in a mere two years, in the face of the most extreme political obstruction ever witnessed. Let Harris and Warren answer why We the People of America would want to entrust America back to Democrats, much less to Democrats who are proven liars without a thread of morality.
Massie has had nothing to say about Trump's affairs while still married.
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.
NEW ARTICLE: Financial Non-Accountability at CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com 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 >>
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'soffice 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.
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.
CNS Managing Editor Refuses to Fact-Check Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
It seems that CNSNews.com's lonstandingrefusal 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How Is CNS' Managing Editor Hating Gays Now? Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's notoriouslygay-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 popularAndi 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.
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.