Flip-Flop: MRC Trashed Clintons After Probes Cleared Them, Attacks Anyone Who Does The Same To Trump Topic: Media Research Center
As Trump loyalists, the Media Research Center was eager to portray Attorney General William Barr's brief summary of the Mueller report as the final word on Trump's complete exoneration -- and not, you know, the actual report, which the MRC has yet to see -- and portray anyone who doesn't accept the Barr summary as delusional partisans who won't accept reality. Typical is the March 27 column by MRC bigwigs Brent Bozell and Tim Graham:
The psychedelic balloon of liberal hope in Robert Mueller is no more. It started to leak helium months ago, and some liberals worried that his final conclusions might be ... "disappointing."
They wanted the special counsel to deliver the goods, the evidence of collusion. This would not make Donald Trump an ordinary run-of -the-mill felon. This would make him complicit in an effort to subvert the federal government. Donald Trump would be a traitor.
What a pound full of sick puppies.
To wish this against your own president is its own form of anti-Americanism, if one contemplates the ensuing constitutional upheaval at home and the truly frightening international scenarios abroad. Russia, China, Iran and North Korea would run wild, as would every dangerous terror movement across the globe.
A patriotic liberal would set aside personal and political hostilities and celebrate the vindication of his president. We're not seeing this because the loudest of President Trump's detractors — especially in the press — are radicals, not liberals, and they're quite willing to endure existential chaos if that's the price for Trump's removal.
Needless to say, Bozell, Graham and Co. acted exactly the same way they now deride when the various invesigations into President Clinton and his wife uncovered nothing more damning against them than Bill Clinton lying about sex.
Indeed, for years after Clinton left office, the MRC -- and Graham in particular -- got mad any time someone pointed out the inconvenient fact of the Clintons not getting charged with anything, insisting that that didn't mean they weren't guilty.
Clearly, Robert Ray’s (and Kenneth Starr’s) office investigated the FBI files matter and brought no criminal charges. But as usual, the Clintons always suggest that if they’re not indicted, then they have "done nothing wrong." They would say that even if they were indicted.
I’d say Ray’s text dismissing culpability in the FBI files matter seems to go beyond the legal questions to suggesting that there was somehow no scandal or wrongdoing anywhere in the chain of acquisition and archiving of Republican FBI files by the Clinton team. But then consider that this same Robert Ray also concluded that Hillary Clinton provided "factually false" testimony in the Travel Office case – even though he declined to prosecute it as "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Graham even got mad at us for pointing this out. in a 2008 post, Graham got indignant after we pointed out that he and Bozell, in their anti-Hillary book "Whitewash," ignored the context in which the independent counsel decided not to charge Hillary in response to the firings in the White House travel office by finding that while she made false claims (a key charge against her from Bozell and Graham), it was determined she had not deliberately lied:
In his article, Krepel is playing the same old Not a Crook card to exonerate his heroine. We said Ray found her testimony to be factually false. He notes that Ray declined to prosecute, citing "insufficient evidence." The Clintons and their Arkansas toadies like Krepel athletically raise the bar, implying that the Clintons didn’t lie unless they were indicted for it. But our goal in the book was not to establish that she should have been indicted. It was the simple fact that she lied when she claimed to be uninvolved in the Travel Office firings.
As we note in the book, Hillary’s lawyers baldly claimed to the General Accounting Office: "Mrs. Clinton does not know the origin of the decision to remove the White House travel office employees...She had no role in the decision to terminate the employees." That's not how Robert Ray saw it.
Our book isn’t claiming Hillary should be behind bars. Our book is claiming that the media cannot be relied upon to investigate the Clintons with any vigor, especially the television networks. See our very next sentence after we quote the Ray report: "Why didn’t any reporter unearth anything about Hillary’s direct involvement in the Travelgate scandal on his or her own? Why did the public have to wait more than two years to learn this critically important aspect of the story?"
Graham then served up the conspiracy theory that Robert Ray, the final independent counsel who succeeded Ken Starr, declined not to charge the Clintons with anything because he wanted to run for Senate in 2002 and "the Clintons and their media friends would punish him severely for any indictment."
Claims like that belie Graham's assertion that he's not arguing that "Hillary should be behind bars" -- it's obvious he thinks she shoud be, regardless of what the independent counsel ruled. Now he's going to attack anyone who dares to point out that not only does the Barr summary not completely exonerate Trump, the Mueller report hasn't even released yet so we can judge for ourselves.
Another MRC Employee Is Tired Of Hearing About Mosque Massacre Topic: CNSNews.com
Matt Philbin is not the only Media Research Center employee tired of hearing about dead Muslims and would rather change the subject to dead Christians. MRC "senior fellow" Allen West complains in his March 25 CNSNews.com column:
We were heavily inundated with the story of the tragic mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 50 people dead. There is no excuse for this action, and it should be wholeheartedly condemned by all, without any reservation. The fact that anyone would enter a place of worship and murder the congregants is unconscionable, and reprehensible. When anyone across the world is targeted because of their religious faith, we should all stand in unison and ensure that behavior, that deranged mentality, is severely punished. Now, I will critically disagree with the immediate reaction of the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, who issued a decree banning all semi-automatic firearms. I find that quite interesting, especially since the individual who chased down the mosque attacker did so with a semi-automatic handgun. In the end, it seems that a tragedy was leveraged for a politicized agenda, and there have already been some in America championing the same course of action, enabled by a complicit media.
However, at the same time, there was another mass shooting of people of a certain religious group that has been rather dismissed by major media outlets.
As Philbin did, West then rehashes a report on Christians allegedly being killed in Nigeria. It seems that West is not the only one trying to leverage a tragedy for a political agenda.
West then descends into his usual tired liberal-bashing with rehashed slurs of Margaret Sanger:
I find it seriously hypocritical that the progressive, socialist left has an issue with statues of Civil War Confederate Generals, and yet do not complain about an organization called Planned Parenthood that was founded by a white supremacist, racist, who spoke at Ku Klux Klan rallies, Margaret Sanger. Why is there no outrage about the fact that her vision, which entailed murdering the “weeds” and “undesirables,” black babies, has come to fruition? After all, this organization, Planned Parenthood, founded by a white supremacist, has over 70 percent of its clinics and service locations in minority communities, according to LifeNews.com. And since Roe v. Wade, over 17 million black babies have been murdered in the womb, a true definition of genocide, that is hardly reported.
But what do we hear about from some on the left? Yes, we need to give blacks reparations. Who cares about reparations when the left’s policies of killing born and unborn babies is destroying the future of the black community? This is exactly the vision of Margaret Sanger.
As we pointed out the last time West endeavored to libel the dead, Sanger was not a virulent racist, nor did she ever refer to black people as "weeds." And the very link West supplies to support his claim that Planned Parenthood "has over 70 percent of its clinics and service locations in minority communities" discredits it: the linked article actually states that "79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American and/or Hispanic/Latino communities" -- a big difference from what West claimed. And as we've previously documented, the anti-abortion group study the article is referencing defined "walking distance" as a two-mile radius -- a very long walk for a lot of people.
It's just like an MRC "senior fellow" to be so committed to spreading lies and misinformation.
MRC's Houck Still In Throes of Acosta Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
It seems there's no end in sight for Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck's ongoingtirade of Acosta Derangement Syndrome.
In a March 18 post, Houck sneered that Acosta was an "armchair psychologist" for raising the question -- "manufactured storyline," according to Houck -- of President Trump's mental fitness after a weekend-long Twitter bender. Houck concluded with a larger anti-CNN screed, whining about "narratives" that are "manufactured to fit what CNN wants to spoonfeed to its liberal audience and poor souls at airports and doctor’s offices, which is one of fear and division." As if Houck isn't in the business of narrative manufacturing himself.
One of those narratives, of course, is that Acosta is a lying, unstable grandstander, and Houck manufactured that further the next day in a post headlined "MELTDOWN!" in which he asserted that Acosta offered "another lengthy diatribe and meltdown to the delight of his colleagues." How so? By pointing out that the right-wing Daily Caller served up a "softball" to the president. Houck ran to the defense of the Daily Caller reporter, gloating about he purportedly "dropped the hammer" on Acosta by claiming that "Rather than tell the President what was happening on a particular issue, I asked him to tell me." Houck exclaimed: "What an idea!"
If the president had been liberal and Acosta was the one to ask a similar question, Houck would undoubtedly be the first to accuse Acosta of asking a "softball" question.
Houck was further triggered when Acosta accurately pointed out that it's ridiculous for conservatives to claim they're being discriminated against on social media since they have such a massive presence there, led by Trump himself:
For regular or even infrequent readers of NewsBusters, alarm bells should be going off for just how idiotic of a statement this was by Acosta. The easy answer to is to go check out any of the work by our colleagues at MRC TechWatch or the Free Speech Alliance, but here’s a few specific examples of online censorship:
None of those examples, however, mentioned how social media platforms like Facebook have routinely sucked up to conservatives in response to their every lilttle complaint, which would seem to undermine Houck's narrative. Indeed, the MRC maintains a presence on those platforms to this very day, and no presence whatsoever on alternative platforms --perhaps because it knows that for all its attempts to rebrand them as promoting "free speech," they're little more than a outlet for racism and far-right conspiracy theories.
Houck handed the Acosta Derangement baton to Ryan Foley for a March 29 post complaining that Acosta asked a "leading question" of the governor of Puerto Rico regarding Trump. Instead of yet another Houck-esque rage-fueled rant, Foley merely complained that Acosta "asked an extremely weak follow-up question."
At least someone at the MRC understands that it doesn't look professional to act like an Acosta-hating rage-bot.
WND's Massie Glad Muslims Got A Taste Of Their Own Medicine With Mosque Massacre Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie joins fellow WorldNetDaily columnist Jesse Lee Peterson in issuing bad takes on the New Zealand mosque massacre with his March 18 column, arguing that Muslims got a taste of their own medicine with the massacre:
Muslims around the world are saddened, fearful and outraged. And they should be. No people deserve to be slaughtered as those worshipers were. As an American I can empathize with their loss and their feelings of disbelief. I can relate to their fearful questions regarding what motivated Tarrant to commit such a grievous act.
I can empathize, because as an American I’ve experienced the same feelings and voiced the same questions, which brings me to my point. No real Christian should wish evil upon people for the atrocities they commit against us. Ergo, I am not rejoicing when I make the following point.
It’s my prayer that good comes from this horrific evil, because it causes Muslims around the world to realize how I and other Americans felt:
In 1993, when Muslims bombed the World Trade Center, leaving six Americans dead and 1,000 injured.
In 1995, when Muslims murdered five U.S. military personnel in a Saudi Arabia bombing.
In 1996, when Muslims bombed King Aziz Air Force Base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, leaving 23 Americans dead and 300 injured.
In the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, that left 19 dead and 500 injured.
In 1998, when Muslims murdered 224 and left 4,000 wounded and injured in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa.
In 2000, when Muslim suicide bombers attacked the USS Cole, which left 17 American sailors dead and 39 injured.
On Sept. 11, 2001, when Muslims murdered 2,996 innocent Americans and injured over 6,000 others – Americans who were guilty only of going to work that day.
On Sept. 11, 2012, when Muslims murdered Tyrone Woods, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith in Benghazi.
Massie is almost certainly lying when he says he is "not rejoicing" when he wrote this. He relilshes any opportunity to spew hate at anyone he despises, particularly Muslims. But he wasn't done lecturing:
This is a time for Muslims worldwide to reflect upon how Americans felt watching newsreels and seeing still photographs of Muslims beheading Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, James Foley and Steven Sotloff. And how Americans felt seeing these same Muslims playing catch with the severed heads of those just mentioned.
This would be a golden moment for Muslims to think about how Americans felt after the San Bernardino, California, murders of co-workers by a Muslim couple. They should think about how Americans felt after the Muslim terrorism at the Boston Marathon and the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 Americans dead and 53 wounded. They should think about the suffering of family members of the Fort Hood murders by a Muslim serving in our military.
Now would be a good time for Muslims worldwide to reflect upon the loss of life, pain and suffering in the aftermath of their unprovoked attacks in Paris, Malaysia, the Philippines, Africa, the U.K. and the rest of the world.
I’m not trying to rub salt in an open wound, nor am I being insensitive. I’m saying this is a perfect time for Muslims worldwide to come together and reflect upon the global loss of innocent life caused by killers in allegiance to their religion.
If that were to happen, good would come from evil. But they will not do that. Their leadership will spin tales of woe and prescribed acts of violence against them. They will expect and insist that the world not just mourn their loss, but reinforce and establish protocols to protect and legitimize Muslims’ murderous rampages.
Completely absent from Massie's column, of course, is any mention of how white people show feel about a fellow white person perpetrating such a massacre. That would have been a better demostration of how he was not "rubbing slt in an open wound" than this column.
Massie concluded by playing whataboutism: "What happened to the people in that mosque in Christchurch is unjustifiable in every quantifiable definition of the word. But so is what Muslims have been doing around the world for centuries, including their murderous religious rampages against the global humanity of today." Somehow, we're just not feeling that Massie really thinks the massacre was "unjustifiable."
MRC Keeps Working As PR Shop for Covington Kid's Lawyers Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented the Media Research Center's unseemly role as the PR agent for the lawyers who when full Klayman and filed a $250 political manifesto-cum-defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post on behalf of Covington kid Nick Sandmann. The MRC's anti-media bloodlust has continued.
A March 4 post by Curtis Houck -- headlined "Sandmann lawyers SLAM WashPost" -- followed in the footsteps of colleague Nicholas Fondacaro's unprofessional rage and gloated how Sandmann's lawyers "ran The Washington Post through the wood chipper," uncritically parroting how "The 445-word statement didn’t mince words, slamming The Post as having led 'a mainstream and social media mob of bullies' against Sandmann." Ironically, Houck's employer leads mobs against the media, but that's apparently OK.
Houck kept up the violent imagery in a March 12 post headlined "Sandmann Lawyers Hammer CNN as ‘Facts Last’ Network ‘Bullying’ a Minor to Defend Phillips" (the URL indicates that Houck's original verb was "vaporizes"). In it, he touts an appearance by the lawyers on Fox News (of course) in which they announced a similar lawsuit against CNN. As Fondacaro failed to do with the Post lawsuit, Houck doesn't point out that the lawsuit is more of a political document than a legal one; as a more responsible, less media-hating outlet reported, the lawsuits are effectively pro-Trump political statements and not serious claims of defamation.
Instead, Houck gushed that "The lawsuit didn’t waste time in starting to build a case against CNN," touted "eight other sections" in it and uncritically repeated the "damages" claim that Sandmann "is forced to live his life in a constant state of concern over his safety and the safety of his family." You mean like how journalists are forced to live as a result of President Trump calling the media the "enemy of the people," something the MRC thinks are "self-centered" for pointing out?
The MRC then got mad that CNN didn't report that it was being sued. A March 20 post by Bill D'Agostino complained the channel hadn't reported it;he served up the lawyers' talking points that CNN engaged in "accusatory coverage" of Sandmannand was "pushing false narratives about the video," when whined: "Considering CNN hosts found ample time to lecture others about hastily jumping to conclusions, their current refusal to so much as acknowledge this lawsuit against them is conspicuous."
Two days later, D'Agostino acknowledged that CNN's website did publish an article, then still complained that "CNN still has not given the lawsuit any televised airtime." D'Agostino did note CNN's statement that it "reported on a newsworthy event and public discussion about it, taking care to report on additional facts as they developed and to share the perspectives of eyewitnesses and other participants and stakeholders as they came forward," though it seemingly contradicts his earlier attack.
WND Attacks WaPo For Devastating Story -- But Doesn't Refute It Topic: WorldNetDaily
It took two days, but WorldNetDaily has finally responded to the devastating Washington Post story on WND's history of mismanaged finances and other shenanigans on the road to its current circling-the-drain position. Being WND, of course, there's no actual response to the story's claims.
Managing editor David Kupelian began his April 4 article by playing the victim through invoking editor Joseph Farah's stroke:
Just five days after WND went public with the news that its founder, editor and CEO, veteran journalist Joseph Farah had suffered a devastating stroke, the Washington Post has published a lengthy article attacking Farah, his wife Elizabeth, and WND, America’s first online journalism organization.
The story, sensationally headlined “Inside the spectacular fall of the granddaddy of right-wing conspiracy sites,” cites mostly unnamed former employees and others. The Post also mysteriously managed to get a hold of the contents of WND’s private email server, referencing and picking apart numerous internal emails going as far back as 12 years.
Kupelian didn't mention that the Post article noted that WND went public with Farah's health situation two hours after a reporter called it for reaction to the allegations -- seemingly so Kupelian could play the victim once the story was published.
After admitting that the Post story accused Farah and his wife (to which he obliquely referred to as "the company founders"), Kupelian made it clear he wasn'tgoing to actually respond to anything in the article, immediately going defensive and insisting none of the bad behavior reported was "remotely illegal":
Evidently the Post considers it shocking and newsworthy that over its 22-year history, a small, influential though undercapitalized company in a highly competitive business, rocked regularly by seismic changes – the dot-com crash, the Google-Facebook-Amazon disruption of the internet and so on – might experience its share of failures, difficulties and embarrassments.
Nowhere in the Post’s article is anything remotely illegal alleged. More to the point, nor does the Post acknowledge the important and highly regarded reporting generated day in and day out, year after year, by WND’s journalists – most of whom, remarkably, have been with WND for virtually all of its two decades of existence.
Most interestingly, nowhere in his massive 2,700-word article does Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia ever get down to what has actually caused the precipitous drop in annual revenue at WND over the last couple of years, which has led to the company’s current struggles.
He then blamed Amazon, "whose founder, CEO and president Jeff Bezos is the owner of the Washington Post," for decreased revenue at WND's online store. (And, no, Kupelian won't admit that WND's history of fake news and conspiracy theories played a key role in creating its current financial situation.)
Kupelian followed that by outright declaring he would not bother to "refute every allegation and innuendo in this one-sided, unsympathetic portrayal of a vastly smaller but influential news competitor" -- though it begs the question of why he won't. It seems that if something was actually false or misleading, that would be the first thing he would address as a way to cast doubt on the article's credibility. Instead, he spends several paragraphs attacking the Post for reporting on Trump scandals -- at one point complaining about "no fewer than five different Post writers explicitly comparing Trump to the Nazi monster who murdered 11 million people," forgetting how many times WND writers likened President Obama to Hitler and other assorted Nazis.
Kupelian once again deferred comment, once again invoking Farah's stroke:
Although Joseph Farah is the only person situated to respond to many of the Post’s allegations, the paper chose to publish its takedown article right after Farah suffered a major stroke rendering him totally unable to defend himself, his wife and his news organization.
I don’t know why the Post chose to do such a thing. But I’ll close by simply saying for the record, as WND’s vice president and managing editor for 20 years, that I have nothing but the highest respect and love for this amazing news organization, for its founders Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, and for the dedicated journalists who work here.
But Joseph Farah is not "the only person situated to respond" but conveniently out of commission. As co-founder of WND -- who also holds the title of chief operating officer, which we can probably assume imparts knowledge about the company's finances -- Elizabeth Farah is certainly capable of responding, especially since one of the claims in the Post article is that Ellizabeth Farah used company money for personal expenses. Kupelian himself, also a longtime employee in charge of editorial operations who almost certainly knows things about how the company has been managed, can certainly respond as well.
The fact that Kupelian resorts to distraction and attacks instead of responding to any specific claim in the Post article tells us that he knows the Post article is factually accurate. The sad little line at the end begging readers for money doesn't change that.
CNS Obsesses Over Cost of Mueller Probe Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loyally transcribed seemingly every time President Trump or one of his surrogates insisted the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia, so when Attorney General William Barr released a brief summary of Robert Mueller's special counsel lreport into such matters that appeared to have actually found no collusion, CNS couldn't want to trumpet that results.
A brief, anonymously written article carried the headline "Mueller Report: ‘Investigation Did Not Establish That Trump Campaign Conspired or Coordinated With Russian Government’." Susan Jones served some misleading football-spiking from the president himself: "Trump: 'Total EXONERATION'; 'It's a Shame That Our Country Had to Go Through This'." (In fact, as an actual news outlet reported but Jones didn't, Trump was not exonerated on the obstruction question.) Melanie Arter chimed in with more Trump stenography.
Then Jones decided to obsess over the cost of the Mueller investigation in a March 25 piece headlined "Mueller Probe: 22 Months, 19 Lawyers, 40 FBI, 2,800 Subpoenas, 500 Search Warrants, 500 Witnesses." As the URL indicates, it originally carried the editorializing headline "You Paid For 22 Months, 19 Lawyers, 40 FBI, 2,800 Subpoenas, 500 Search Warrants, 500 Witnesses..."
In it, Jones huffs:
According to Barr, in the course of his 22-month probe, Mueller "employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
Still unknown: How much did all of that cost us, the taxpayers?
President Trump tweeted in November 2018 that the "Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt" had wasted "more than $40,000,000," but the final tally has not been released.
The Office of Special Counsel has posted its direct expenditures through September 30, 2018, as follows:
That's a total of $9,394,300, by the reckoning of Mueller's office, with 6 months unaccounted for.
Judicial Watch in December sued the U.S. Department of Justice for records of costs incurred by the security detail for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Jones is, of course, suggesting that Mueller's probe was a waste of taxpayer money since it apparently didn't implicate Trump or his campaign in collusion.
We do not recall CNS or any other conservative media outlet being similarly upset over the $70 million cost of various investigations of President Clinton, including the Whitewater investigation that devolved into a probe of the president's sex life, even though they failed at finding anything more serious aghainst the president than lying about sex.
UPDATE: Jones didn't mention that the Mueller investigation could actually break even or turn a profit -- or at least recoup much of its cost -- given that it has resultedthe seizure of more than $28 million in assets from defendants including Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.
Double Standard: MRC's Graham Uses Whataboutism To Justify Fox News Burying Stormy Daniels Scoop Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham spent his March 17 post in meltdown over the revelation that Reuters "sat on" a claim that Beto O'Rourke "belonged to an influential hacking group calling itself Cult of the Dead Cow" until after the 2018 Texas Senate election (which he lost). Graham was so triggered by this, in fact, that he couldn't be bothered to describe anything that made this hacker group "notorious" or mention the relevant fact that this membership occured when O'Rourke was a teenager, or explain the relevance of this membership has on anything involving O'Rourke today other than that he's running for president.
Graham did, however, get even more triggered when someone mentioned a more serious story that just happened to be sat upon before a crucial election by Graham's favorite media outlet:
CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter devoted a segment on his Sunday show to Fox News deciding not to air news of porn star Stormy Daniels right before the 2016 election. A lawyer for an angry ex-Fox News employee tried to claim it was some sort of campaign finance violation that Fox withheld whatever anti-Trump scoop it may have had.
Earth to Lawyer: Liberal media outlets sit on stories all the time, calculating the political advantages or disadvantages. Ask any Bill Clinton accuser.
The same Stelter ignored Reuters on his "reliably" liberal show and on Twitter disdained any outrage: “Reporters who are writing books sometimes hold back certain info till their book comes out. That’s what the reporter says happened in this case. Book deal situations are definitely complicated. The Fox/Stormy situation didn't involve a book. What's your proposal -- no books?”
Yes, Graham is going the whataboutism route to justify Fox News hiding the Stormy Daniels story before the election.
As we documented, whataboutism was pretty much the MRC's entire response to the New Yorker article examining Fox News in which that and other unflattering details were revealed. Kyle Drennen, for example, tried to deflect from the allegation by denouncing it as among "anonymous claims" in the piece and huffing over an MSNBC segment on the claim that "NBC would certainly know about sitting on damaging accusations against a president. In 1999, the network delayed airing an interview with Bill Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick until after impeachment of the Democratic president had passed."
Wash. Post Exposes WND's Financial Meltdown, Shenanigans Topic: WorldNetDaily
A new Washington Post article provides new details about the dire financial situation at WorldNetDaily, and it's even worse than we thought.
WND has been notoriously opaque about its finances, including lack of transparency about the money editor Joseph Farah claims it raised and where it was spent. The Post reports that not only have employees and contractors not received money they are owed, authors of books published by WND haven't been paid royalties they are due -- indeed, WND has for years been behind on payments to employees and vendors, to the point that Farah effectively bragged about that as being standard WND business practice. On top of that, it appears that WND's finances have gone to support a swanky office in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and Farah's nearby house, and Farah's wife, Elizabeth, is accused of buying personal items on a company credit card. Ex-WND employees and board members have questioned its finances, the Post reported, and WND refused to let them see even basic accounting statements.
WND was not even living up to promises it made to writers to paid to have their books published by WND. We've detailed the story of Patricia Fiejo, whose story and book WND promoted but did not disclose to readers it was paid by Fiejo (to the tune of nearly $10,000) to promote it; Fiejo told the Post that WND failed to deliver on promises it would provide audio versions of her book.
The Post repeated statements for a Farah-penned book taht WND got started on "a 250-acre ranch in a stretch of rural southern Oregon known as 'the imaginary state of Jefferson.' ... They invited staffers to move there with them and called their ranch, with its cabins converted into offices, 'the compound.' The Farahs lived across the road in a log cabin." But as we've pointed out, that ranch was owned by a group called the Foundation of Human Understanding, which some have accused of being a cult. It was run by Roy Masters, an evangelist and radio host. WND managing editor David Kupelian used to run a magazine operated by Masters' FHU, and that served as the template for WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine.
The Post also highlighted Farah's embrace last year of a bitcoin derivative as a way to save WND. We documented just how shady that deal was. And it has not been a moneymaker for any of its holders so far: We never saw that particular cryptocurrency valued very high at all; as of this writing, it's trading at about 14 cents.
Perhaps most interesting, is how WND first responded to a Post reporter who contacted it seeking a response to all these allegations:
Reached by phone last week, Farah’s wife, Elizabeth — the site’s co-founder with her husband — declined to discuss the accusations in detail, but added that “the angst of a former employee does not impress me as to the legitimacy of complaints.”“It’s a he-said, she-said,” Elizabeth Farah said.
Less than two hours after she was contacted by The Washington Post, WND posted a story saying Joseph Farah had recently suffered a serious, previously undisclosed stroke.
It's probably telling of the how solid the Post story is that WND has yet to publish a response to it as of this writing on its website.
Things are undeniably a mess at WND, and now it's clear they have been for years. But if Farah is out of commission with a severe health issue, that bodes even worse for WND's future. Seeing this sort of mismanagement laid bare doesn't bode well for attracting any investors to it or even its tax-deductible nonprofit WND News Center, which has the goal of financing WND's reporting. The force-of-nature Farah juggled things (and stiffed his employees and authors) to keep the thing afloat, and no other WND bigwig seems likely to step into that role.
A few months back, WND managing editor David Kupelian wrote the story of his heart attack a couple years earlier, in which he seemed to learn the wrong lessons God was purportedly imparting to him by allowing him to suffer one -- he did not apologize to, and seek forgiveness from, all the people whom WND has smeared and libeled over the years. If one believes Farah's stroke is a message from God as well, it may be that the message He is sending is that WND doesn't deserve to live.
Newsmax Hides That It Published Horowitz Book It's Promoting Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is heavily promoting the new book by right-winger David Horowitz:
A March 17 article by Jason Devaney touted how Horowitz's book accuses " the 'anti-religious, anti-American left' of conducting an ongoing effort to erase God from American society dating back six decades."
A March 18 article by Bill Hoffmann gushed: "A New York Times bestselling author is warning that Christians are in real danger of persecution — in America. And this warning comes from a surprising source, a prominent secular Jew."
A March 23 article by Devaney promoted a Horowitz interview, in which he "compared Democrats to Satan ... saying they have the same "arrogance" as the serpent did in the Garden of Eden.
A March 30 article by Hoffmann further gushed: "Glenn Beck is praising David Horowitz’s new book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christianity in America. David was just on Glenn’s national radio show this week, and the top-rated host told his audience that “this is a very critical book” and warned Americans of the growing attacks on Christians.
What none of these articles mention: Horowitz's book is published by Newsmax -- specifically, Humanix Books, Newsmax's book division. That explains why Hoffmann took the time to boldface every instance of the book title in his Beck article.
This undisclosed conflict of interest hurts Newsmax's efforts to be taken seriously as a news organization.
WND Hoaxsters Devote Magazine To Hoaxes (Not Their Own, Of Course) Topic: WorldNetDaily
The current issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistoleblower magazine is themed "AGE OF THE HOAX: How the progressive left creates, promotes and celebrates fake crimes." It apparently argues that Jussie Smollett's alleged hate-crime hoax isn't "any different from what today’s hard-left Democratic Party does every day from morning until night." WND managing editor David Kupelian went on to complain that "we are expected to embrace their favorite hoaxes – ‘the world will end in 12 years’ – as existential threats, while obviously real crises – like the radically intensifying invasion across our southern border – they mock as ‘hoaxes’ and ‘manufactured crises.'"
Ironic, since WND was the perpetrator of two of the biggest political hoaxes in recent years: the Obama birther hoax and and the Seth Rich hoax. WND has never apologized for the lies it spread about Obama, nor about the fact that it knew or should have known that its Seth Rich conspiracy theory was bogus even as it continued to spread it. WND bigwigs like Kupelian and Joseph Farah demanded that we embrace these hoaxes that, if they actually cared about truth and honesty, they knew were false.
But we know they don't. And that brings us to another bit of irony: One of the contributors to this particular issue of Whistleblower is Dinesh D'Souza, wdho is best known these days for spreading false claims about history, then getting repeatedly dunked on by actual historians like Kevin Kruse who actually know what they're talking about.
Refusal to address that gaping hole in WND's logic doesn't help to rebuild its long-lost credibility, which is a big reason WND is in perpetual financial trouble.
MRC Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
If there's a Media Research Center trigger-warning relationship to rival Curtis Houck and Jim Acosta, it's they mysterious Jay Maxson and Colin Kaepernick. Let's review just how much Maxson has been triggered by Kaepernick over the past couple months, shall we?
On Feb. 3, Maxson huffed that Kaepernick got a mention at Super Bowl-related activities: "The most controversial football player in the world hasn’t played in the NFL in two years, but Colin Kaepernick was figuratively 'at"' the Super Bowl." He ranted further by calling Kaepernick "the social media-sniping hater of cops, former National Anthem kneeler, lover of communist Cuba and American freedom-denier."
When a newspaper columnist asked that an NFL team sign Kaepernick, Maxson justified blackballing him by declaring that "no owner has an obligation to employ any athlete who has crossed a line of incivility" (even as NFL teams continue to employ players accused of domestic violence), declaring that "The cop-hating, anti-American, Cuba-loving Kaepernick would be a detriment to the reputation of the NFL or any of its teams." Maxson didn't explain exactly what was "incivil" about kneeling during the National Anthem.
When Kaepernick and another player who protested during the National Anthem settled their collusion grievance against the NFL, Maxson was unsurprisingly disappointed, whining that "Media sentiment has overwhelming [sic] favored the social justice warriors and accused the NFL of blackballing them." Maxson was also unhappy that Kaepernick was seen as the winner, getting mad at a sportswriter who was "suggesting the two players who infuriated Americans for kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner may have had a case." At no point does Maxson offer any evidence that NFL was the winner. Maxson finally found a right-wing sportswriter who hates Kaepernick as much as he does, touting how he attacked Kaepernick "for essentially spoiling the pro football experience for so many Americans."
On March 13, Maxson got huffy at the idea that Kaepernick was expressing free speech through his protest, insisting that anyone who agreed with that was "incorrectly assuming employees at private companies have free speech rights."
In a March 19 post, Maxson was angry that Kaepernick wasn't being seen as hateful, but, rather, "the fans who disagreed with his disgusting behavior during the 2016 season when he first sat, then knelt during the pre-game playing of the national anthem." When a sportswriter suggested that allowing Kaepernick to play would give haters their due because it would give them a legitimate excuse to hate him if he fails to deliver Hall of Fame numbers, Maxson huffed: With Kaepernick's compliant media cheerleaders, it's never a matter of disrespecting veterans and the flag, hurting the NFL's business (remember all the NFL's negatives from the 2017 season when the rebellion Kaepernick started torched TV and favorability ratings?). Precious few among the media care about those negatives!" Maxson also insisted that Kaepernick hadn't been punished enough for expressing his opinion:
It would provide an opening for Kaepernick all right. He would be playing again without being held accountable for his protests, which turned many a long-time fan away from the NFL. No apology. No mea culpa. Most likely more radical, Black Lives Matter-type activism, though.
Maxson concluded by huffing: "Just put Kaepernick back in an NFL lineup and watch the media gush over him while more fans write off the NFL." It would give Maxson more opportunities to be triggered by the mere presence of Kaepernick as well -- not that Maxson was going to concede that.
Peterson's first instinct after the New Zealand mosque massacre in his March 17 WorldNetDaily column was to defend President Trump from a mention in the shooter's manifesto:
In a manifesto posted online, the New Zealand shooter reportedly expressed support for Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity,” but he strongly disapproved of Trump as a policy maker and leader. Yet the liberal media picked the one line that mentions Trump and are using it to push a false narrative, while omitting extensive quotes which show that the shooter is not a conservative, not a Trump supporter, not a Christian, and not a capitalist. In fact, he has far more in common with the likes of Obama and Clinton than with Trump.
Well, not exactly: On the one issue that counts -- hatred of Muslims -- the shooter's rhetoric echoes that of the website that publishes Peterson's column.
Peterson then plays the white-nationalist card, among other of his greatest hits:
If you are white – especially a conservative Christian straight male – leftists will call you everything but a child of God to silence you. There is no such thing as “racism,” “sexism,” “islamophobia-ism,” or “deadbeatdad-ism.” These are labels created by the children of the lie to intimidate and control. We can’t adopt their language. Stop using their words, and drop your resentment (anger) so words and name-calling will cease to control you.
Our battle is spiritual: right vs. wrong, good vs. evil. President Trump understands this better than any president or public figure that I have seen in my lifetime.
The media and the Democrats are relentless in their efforts to destroy Trump and enslave us by taking away our freedoms. The children of the lie serve their father the devil, and it’s their nature to lie and destroy good. Christians must understand this and be bold in speech and action in defense of freedom and support for this president.
That's getting a bit stale -- as is the whole idea of a black right-winger thinking he can get away with saying things that would be racist if he were white.
MRC Touts Bogus Proposed Cost for Green New Deal Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center will happily scare you by promoting someone's proposed astronomical cost for the New Green Deal:
"How much would a Green New Deal cost? That’s the $93 trillion question some media outlets won’t ask."-- Julia A. Seymour, Feb. 28
"[Meghan] McCain jumped in to grill the 2020 Democrat more specifically on what his party’s Green Deal actually costs and requires of average Americans. ... 'It would cost $93 trillion or to every person in this room, $600,000 for each of your households.'" -- Kristine March, March 4
"Colbert’s opening segment took a spin on Kermit the Frog’s legendary musical performance of “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” with a new version called, 'It’s Not Easy Being The Green New Deal.' The song features the legendary puppet defending Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s wingnut, multi-trillion dollar, socialist pipe dream." -- Gabriel Hays, March 13
"The price of the Green New deal is estimated to cost in the “tens of trillions.” Shouldn’t that be a discussion point?" -- Scott Whitlock, March 16
"The plan could cost $93 trillion, according to estimates from the American Action Forum run by former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin." -- Seymour, March 19
Just one problem with that $93 trillion that the MRC is touting: it's a bogus number.
As Media Matters documents, the American Action Forum -- the organization that orginiated the figure -- is funded by fossil-fuel interests, who stand to lose under the Green New Deal and have a vested interest in denigrating it. And Politico notes that even AAF leader Holtz-Eakin, whom Seymour portrays as an authoritative figure and thus a reason the number should be believed as credible, admits the number is bogus because any precision in that great of a number is "illusory." Further, much of that number is "based on assumptions about universal health care and jobs programs rather than the costs of transitioning to carbon-free electricity and transportation," Politico writes. Further, even if one insists the number has value, it's contrasted by a a United Nations estimate that even a modest rise in global temperatures could have a global cost of as much as $69 trillion from.
If the MRC was honest with its readers, it would inform them that the Green New Deal cost it's been touting has no basis in reality. But we know it has no interest in correcting the record after it spreads fake news.
Yes, CNS Is Still Obsessed With Tim Tebow Topic: CNSNews.com
Among the fans of pro football player-turned-minor league baseball player Tim Tebow at the Media Research Center, CNSNews.com commentary editor Michael Morris is positivelyobsessed with him, mainly due to his ostentatiously Christian faith and not the fact that he's, you know, a failed NFL player who changed sports and can't quite break into the majors there.
Thus, Morris penned a March 5 CNS post gushing over Tebow's first hit in spring training:
During a Spring Training game against the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow recorded his first hit of Spring Training 2019.
Tebow, “who hit a dribbler to the pitcher his first time up,” took the first pitch of his second at-bat to the outfield, hitting a single off of Red Sox pitcher #91 Mike Shawaryn. Shawaryn was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 5th round in 2016.
Mets #15 Tim Tebow has had nine at-bats so far in Spring Training 2019, according to the MLB website, and he currently has an average of .222 and an OPS of .522. On his career during Spring Training, Tebow has had 54 at-bats with an average of .130 and an OPS of .319.
That's right -- a baseball player who got his first spring training hit in his ninth at-bat was news, according to Morris.
That's not the only sports-related thing Morris thinks CNS readers -- who aren't there for sports -- need to know. He actually devoted a March 18 post to non-sports guy Kevin Sorbo -- an actor whose political opinions CNS thinks are newsworthy despite its long history of denigrating entertainers who express political opinions -- going even further afield from his area of expertise by complaining that ESPN's "SportsCenter" didn't rank a golfer's hole-in-one high enough.