CNS Can't Stop Obsessing Over Afghan Body Counts Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has long been obsessed with pinning U.S. casualties in Afghanistan while not doing the same for U.S. casualties in Iraq under President Bush.
This bias happens again in an Oct. 29 CNS article by Ali Meyer informing us that "CNSNews.com's database on casualties shows that 418 Marines have given their lives in the conflict and that 92% of those casualties, 385 deaths, have occurred since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009."
Meyer doesn't mention how many Marine casualties in Iraq occurred under Bush -- indeed, the words "Iraq" and "Bush" appear nowhere in her article.
CNS has never explained why its "database on casualties" omits Iraq, even though they are part of the same conflict.
NewsBusters Upset That Pundit Would Question Florida Gov.'s Morality, Forgets About Welfare Fraud Topic: NewsBusters
In an Oct. 28 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein is shocked -- shocked! -- that anyone would suggest that Florida Gov. Rick Scott is anything but morally upright:
If on national TV you pass along from a "friend" an extremely damning charge about someone's morality, do you have an obligation to identify that "friend" or provide some sort of substantiation for the charge? Nicolle Wallace apparently doesn't think so.
On today's Morning Joe, speaking of Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, Wallace blithely passed along the charge from an unnamed "friend" from Tallahassee that "these are two guys who are the least tethered to any sort of moral compass that have ever run against each other."
Wallace provided nothing in support of the harsh assessment. But she made it in the context of a discussion of a new ad by Scott attacking Crist for taking big campaign contributions from strip club owners. At the center of the ad was a clip from a TV interview in which Crist said he would not return the contributions.
Actually, evidence of Scott's apparent moral turpitude is easy to find, if Finkelstein had bothered to look. Scott was the head of a for-profit hospital corporation when it was fined $1.7 billion for welfare fraud.
It's been called "the largest ripoff of taxpayers in the history of Medicare and Medicaid." Not by any liberal -- by right-wing outlet Newsmax, before it flushed any suggestion of corruption by Scott down the memory hole.
The welfare fraud committed under Scott's watch is common enough knowledge that it's not necessary for Wallace to outline it. Finkelstein, it seems, would rather feign ignorance.
CNS' Starr Misinforms, Thinks Non-Discrimination Law Is Only About Restrooms Topic: CNSNews.com
As befits a highly biased reporter who would lose her job if the Media Research Center applied the Bernard Goldberg standard =of publicly firing biased reporters it wants the "liberal media" to follow, CNSNews.com's Penny Starr sees only one side of non-discrimination ordinances: the side that opposes them.
That means she's going to describe such laws to make them look bad and creepy. Indeed, in an Oct. 23 CNS article in which she features the homophobic rantings of former WorldNetDaily columnist and Houston pastor Dave Welch, she describes the non-discrimination law only as "allow[ing] transgender individuals to use any public restroom."
As we noted when WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh did the same thing, that's a framing promulgated by opponents of such non-discrimination ordinances. In reality, the ordinance merely prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and says nothing about restrooms.
In repeating such a deliberately misleading interpretation of the non-discrimination ordinance, Starr ignores the overwhelming evidence that there have been no sexual assaults or any other crimes in connection with this accommodation to gender identity.
But Starr is committed to this particular piece of disinformation. In an Oct. 28 CNS article featuring pastor Bill Owens -- a homophobe like Welch -- Starr again describes the Houston non-discrimination law as "a city ordinance that allows transgender people to use any public restroom."
As long as Starr feels secure in her job, she will continue to misinform her readers.
UPDATE: Starr's Oct. 29 CNS article also claimed the non-discrimination ordinance was about "allow[ing] transgender people to use any public bathroom regardless of gender."
Why Should Anyone Care What Tony LoBianco Thinks About Opera? Topic: CNSNews.com
An Oct. 29 CNSNews.com article by Lauretta Brown is devoted to recounting an interview CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey conducted with actor Tony Lo Bianco about the controversial opera "The Death of Klinghoffer."
Lo Bianco has no demonstrated expertise about opera or Middle Eastern issues, so it's unclear why Jeffrey chose to interview him at length about this. Jeffrey never explains why Lo Bianco's opinion is so important.
Lo Bianco also gave no indication that he has ever viewed the opera in question, so he probably doesn't know what he's talking about.
Jeffrey, on the other hand, did admit he has never seen the opera, which didn't keep him from misrepresenting its contents, asserting that the opera is "glorifying" the Palestinian terrorists' killing of Klinghoffer, or from complaining that he can't comprehend how a work of art can allow a bad guy to justify his motives.
In fact, motivation is a driving force of literature and theatrical works, including opera, and villains can have motives just as protagonists do. And experts who, unlike Jeffrey and LoBianco, have actually seen the opera agree that it does not romanticize terror. To claim that giving voice to a villain's motives equals a creator's approval of those motives is just another form of the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy.
The MRC has devoted a lot of time recently to bashing this opera that they have never -- and will never -- see for themselves.
WND's Dumbest Columns Of The Week, Starring Matt Barber and Mychal Massie Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is so chock full of extreme opinion that it it takes a special kind of insanity to stand out from that deranged pack. But over the past week, two WND columnists managed to reach that level of facepalming WTF-ness.
Now this: It has come to light that, under the Obama administration, the U.S. government has been subsidizing, to the tune of billions, another sect of militant extremists who, likewise, are, with an equally religious zeal, torturing, dismembering and beheading children en masse. The only material difference is that, according to officials within the U.S. government, and as per formal U.S. policy, this second batch of terrorist monsters are somehow considered to be “freedom fighters.”
Multiple reports have come in proving conclusively that these fundamentalist fanatics are coaxing families away from relative safety with beguiling talk of freedom and a better life, and then abruptly turning on them like the godless sociopaths they are. It’s almost too horrific to describe, but I think I must.
These “freedom fighters” are then callously torturing to death terrified children in the very presence of their parents. Reams of evidence reveal, for example, that these barbarians are, in many instances, brutally sawing off the arms and legs of innocent children as they writhe in excruciating pain, only to finish them off with an unceremonious beheading.
Whereas ISIS, the fundamentalist Muslims in Iraq, behead children and, in so doing, consider themselves freedom fighters for Allah, America’s fundamentalist allies behead children and, in so doing, consider themselves freedom fighters for Aphrodite.
While the former don black masks, wave black flags and, even as I write, are driving their caravans to Baghdad, the latter don medical scrubs, wave the banner of “reproductive freedom” and, even as I write, are driving their Mercedes’ to your local Planned Parenthood.
Not to be outdone in the ridiculous-hyperbole department, Mychal Massie -- a black man who's racist against his fellow blacks -- declared that blacks are worse off now than at any time in U.S. history. No, really:
At the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 87 percent of black homes were married, two-parent homes, and 40 percent of blacks were business owners. But 50 years after the signing of the Civil Rights Act, 49 years after the introduction of the Great Society initiatives and 46 years after the introduction of race-based affirmative action, blacks disproportionately represent practically every undesirable category.
Unlike before bigoted neo-Leninist liberals convinced blacks that they couldn’t make it without their help, blacks today have the highest percentage of out-of-wedlock births and the highest percentage of abortions. They have the highest percentage of single-parent homes and the highest percentage of children being raised by a family member other than their biological parents. Blacks comprise the highest percentage of incarcerants, the highest percentage of high school dropouts, the highest percentage of college dropouts, the highest percentage living in poverty and the highest percentage of unemployed.
Before neo-Leninist liberals decided to punish all of white America for the evil white Democrats had perpetrated, blacks took pride in positive accomplishment and the pursuit of modernity. Today, the majority of blacks have more disdain for modernity than an agoraphobic has for a sold-out football stadium.
In the final analysis, blacks are worse off today, morally and spiritually, than at any other time in their history in America. Over the past 50 years, as other Americans have progressed, blacks as an aggregate have regressed in a horrific way.
Apparently, Massie is unfamiliar with that whole slavery thing. Or does he think that slavery is better than freedom?
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily Keeps The Lie Alive Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND made up a quote from Houston's mayor that the city's new non-discrimination ordinance was all about her. It's so invested in the blatant falsehood that even Joseph Farah is repeating it. Read more >>
Will CNS Publicly Fire Its Biased Reporters? Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen enthusiastically highlights a statement by conservative pundit Bernard Goldberg stating that the only way to stop media bias is to "not only get fired, you get publicly fired, and the management let's everybody know why you got fired."
Unmentioned by Drennen: The MRC operates a "news" division, CNSNews.com, that employs highly biased reporters like Penny Starr and Barbara Hollingsworth. If the MRC really believed in Goldberg's advice, it would immediately fire Starr and Hollingsworth and explain that their egregious bias is why they were fired.
Will that happen in real life? Don't count on it -- the MRC wants the media to do what it says, not what it does.
MRC Gives Discredited AAPS A Forum To Fearmonger About Ebola Topic: Media Research Center
WorldNetDaily is not the only ConWeb outlet that's relying on the Ebola fearmongering of the discredited fringe medical group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The Media Research Center is giving them free, uncritical publicity as well.
In an Oct. 17 video, the MRC's Dan Joseph interviewed AAPS president Jane Orient, whom he declares is an "Ebola expert" without any explanation. Joseph let Orient suggest that actual medical experts are lying to the American public about how contagious Ebola is. Joseph also gave Orient a forum to rant about Obamacare.
Joseph also let Orient claim that Ebola can be spread by immigrants "crossed over our Southern border" -- which is utterly false fearmongering -- and that terrorists and sociologists think Ebola is a great tool for reducing the Earth's population: "There's been so much talk about how wonderful it would be to have something like Ebola to wipe out 90 percent of the population. There are people who think the Earth is greatly overpopulated and people who would like to destroy Americans and they don't mind blowing themselves up with a suicide vest."Joseph mildly challeged Orient on this, to which Orient responded, "We don't know it's happening, but on the other hand, we don't know that it isn't."
Joseph provided no forum for anyone to respond to Orient.
In an Oct. 27 CNSNews.com blog post, Monica Sanchez touted an "exclusive interview" with Orient, whom she also baselessly describes as an "Ebola expert." In it, Orient proclaims her support for a mandatory 21-day quarantine of anyone possibly exposed to Ebola, saying that some "exposed health care workers, along with other people, have shown that they can't be trusted to stay home voluntarily." Like Joseph, Sanchez offered no rebuttal to Orient's views.
AAPS peddles numerous fringe views, like opposition to mandatory vaccination and falsely blaming illegal immigrants for a spike in leprosy cases. It also published a column claiming that Barack Obama was using "using the techniques of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), a covert form of hypnosis" to get people to vote for him for president.
Yet the MRC think the head of the organization that promulgates such fringe views is crediblly posing as an "Ebola expert." Go figure.
Birther Corsi Wants You To Trust Him On Ebola Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi is the face of the birther conspiracy theory. He peddled it on behalf of his employer, WorldNetDaily, he got himself appointed to a highly biased "investigation" that had no intention of finding the truth about President Obama's "eligibility," and he has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the existence of all the evidence that discredits his conspiracy theory.
Now, Corsi wants you to believe he's an expert on Ebola.
The URL corsionebola.com takes you to a website promoting a "continuously updated e-book" by Corsi, "Ebola: Battling the Crisis." The site is hosted at something called 48 Bricks, which "leverages social networks to help spread the word about your campaign; driving qualified and measurable leads."
With its endorsement of Scott, Newsmax is not acting as a media outlet -- with its monetary interests in Florida politics, it's trying to buy influence. It has a vested interest in doing so; Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy's name was floated as a possible Senate candidate for 2012.
Two of the best ways to keep political ambitions alive is to support the party you like and support its candidates. Through Newsmax, Ruddy is doing both.
WND Pushes Discredited Ballot-Box-Stuffing Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
An unbylined Oct. 22 WorldNetDaily article hyperbolically states:
The chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee in Arizona says he used to wonder about whether ballot-box stuffing and other voting offenses actually happened, but no longer.
“America used to be a nation of laws where one person had one vote,” he said in a report in the Arizona Daily Independent. “I’m sad to say not anymore.”
His comments came after he reported witnessing a man stuffing hundreds of ballots in a ballot box during the Aug. 26 primary election in Arizona.
LaFaro said the man was “a vulgar, disrespectful, violent thug that has no respect for our laws.”
“I would have followed him to the parking lot to take down his tag number but I feared for my life,” he said.
“I believe it’s inconceivable, unacceptable and should be illegal for groups to collect hundreds, if not thousands, of voter’s ballots and return them to the elections offices or poling locations,” said LaFaro.
In fact, that's not what happened at all, and WND's source appears to be lying.
As the Phoenix New Times explains, a group called Citizens for a Better Arizona was dropping off early voters' ballots , a practice it has conducted for several years and which is perfectly legal.
As is usual for WND, it couldn't be bothered to investigate the story -- it just repeats LaFaro's false accusations and treat them as fact, then go on to fearmonger about vote fraud (which, again, was not happening here).
As is also usual for WND, its false story stands uncorrected.
NewsBusters: Cyberbullying Of Model Not That Bad Because She's A Model Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd declares in an Oct. 28 NewsBusters post that he's not that terribly bothered by the cyberbullying of Chrissy Teigen over an "anti-gun" tweet because, well, she's a model -- well, a "public figure" -- and kinda has it coming to her:
While ad hominem attacks, hateful comments, and threats of violence are unacceptable and worthy of condemnation, it seems a bit melodramatic to argue that Ms. Teigen, a very public figure, is a victim of cyberbullying. Teigen simply held forth on Twitter to make a political comment and got pushback for it. That is the nature of political discourse in social media, and far different from some anonymous kid in a high school somewhere in America being persistently and mercilessly harassed and bullied online by classmates.
So he knows how acceptable ad hominem attacks, hateful comments, and threats of violence are without having to leave his place of employment. Indeed, his employer considers such attacks to be "media excellence," so maybe he's not the best judge of who deserves to be bullied.
Curiously, Shepherd was silent about the content of her supposedly "anti-gun" tweet, which simply stated, "active shooting in Canada, or as we call it in america, wednesday."
Shepherd concludes by huffing: "Of course, if this is the standard MSNBC wishes to have, we eagerly await its complaints of cyberbullying the next time a conservative celebrity receives wave after wave of social media vitriol for expressing an opinion that is anathema to the Left." Somehow, Meanwhile, a non-conservative who ran afoul of the right's PC police deserves what they have coming to them.
An Oct. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh carries the urgently worded headline "Stone-throwing Muslims bloody Christians in MICHIGAN."
It's not until you start reading Unruh's article that the fraudulent nature of the headline quickly becomes clear: The incident in question happened two years ago, and the story is about a proceeding in a lawsuit related to the incident.
That's not to say Unruh isn't dishonest in the article -- this is Bob Unruh, after all. As usual, he reports only one side of the story, heavy on criticism of the "rock-throwing Muslim mob," and curiously disappears all information on why the Muslims might have been throwing rocks at them in the first place.
As we've previously documented when WND last failed to tell the truth about this incident, the "Christian" group was headed by inflammatory street preacher Ruben Israel, who was carrying a severed pig's head because, he told police, Muslims are “petrified” of pigs and so it “keeps them at bay.” The supposedly Christian group was also shouting at the Muslims that they are going to hell and their religion is a lie.
Unruh's article includes a heavily edited video of the incident that conveniently omits Ruben Israel's pig's head and other provocative behavior of the so-called Christians.
The lawsuit pushes the views of the lawyers for the "Christians," the right-wing American Freedom Law Center, claiming that law enforcement personnel "stood by" while the incident occurred. But as one blogger who observed unedited video of the entire incident points out, police intervened several times and that Muslims tried to calm the incident.
Unruh also uncritically forwards the Law Center's claims that this is a First Amendment issue. Not only doesn't Unruh mention that members of Israel's group were shouting things like "You’re a disgusting Muslim. You’re on your way to the devil’s hand" and "You're a wicked Muslim," we weren't aware that a severed pig's head was a form of speech. Perhaps the Law Counter would like to explain how that can be.
MRC's Bozell, Graham Bash Opera They've Never Seen Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their Oct. 24 column about the New York Metropolitan Opera's production of "The Death of Klinghoffer":
So why would the most prestigious opera company in America promote this terrorist-sympathizing production? As always is the case in instances such as this, the left pleads artistic license. In The New York Times, drama critic Anthony Tommasini proclaimed: "Of all the arts, opera can use the subliminal power of music to explore motivations, including seething hatreds. This opera tries to explore what drove these Palestinians to take that ship and murder its most vulnerable passenger."
Tommasini declared further, "To try to understand why someone does something or to appreciate the fact that evildoers do not see themselves as evildoers is not the same as glorification or promotion of that evil." He called it "a searching, spiritual and humane work."
After this artistic monstrosity, could a searching, spiritual, and humane exploration of the "seething hatreds" of Adolf Hitler be not too far behind?
No, because when it comes to the performing arts in America's cultural capital, there's a remarkable bias and selectivity among the tastemakers.
Surely there were people who despised Kennedy with every fiber in their beings in 1962 but no one's going to finance an opera sympathetically exploring the motivations of Lee Harvey Oswald. Let's face it: There were those who wanted Martin Luther King dead.
Would anyone ever countenance a performance at the Met — or anywhere else — that might be described as a "searching, spiritual and humane work" studying the motives of James Earl Ray? So why do we need a tasteless work of "art" that allows a Palestinian terrorist project the murder of an innocent American Jew as anything other than what it is — evil?
Like their Media Research Center employee Tianna DiMartino, who unleashed a similar tirade last month against the opera, they provide no evidence that they've seen the work they're attacking.
And as we've previously pointed out, critics who -- unlike Bozell, Graham and DiMartino -- have actually seen the opera note that "The Death of Klinghoffer" does not romanticize terror; rather, it "attempts to counterpoise toterror’s deadly glamour the life-afﬁrming virtues of the ordinary, of the decent man, of small things."
But Bozell and Graham offer no evidence they've seen any opera, let alone the one they're bashing, so all they can be counted on for is mindless, ignorant bashing.
Speaking of which, DiMartino served up more of the same in an Oct. 23 follow-up MRC article. While devoting the vast majority of her article to critics of the opera, DiMartino acknowledged the critique of a Jewish rabbi who, unlike her, saw the opera and noted that it “certainly reflects the horror and criminality of the terrorists. It also reveals, through the terrorists' anti-Jewish canards, that anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism.”
But then she rants because the opera does not explicitly condemn the Palestinians' violence: "And yet the writer John Adams, the Librettist, Peter Gelb and Liberal critics alike all praise the show for it’s non-bias. For the human element of both sides and the rationale for all involved."
And again, DiMartino shows she's so ignorant that she can't even get the names of the opera's creators straight. John Adams wrote the music, while Alice Goodman is the librettist. Gelb is the Metropolitan Opera's general manager and was not involved in the creation of the opera.
Her ignorance notwithstanding, DiMartino concludes by whining: "Moral cowardice dressed up as sophistication is a luxury afforded by the left’s grip on entertainment and the arts. In the real world, in which real terrorists murder wheelchair-bound seniors and fly passenger jets into sky scrapers, we don’t have that luxury." It seems that DiMartino has decided she doesn't have the luxury to know anything about the opera she's bashing.
WND's Farah Perpetuates His Reporter's Lie About Houston Mayor Topic: WorldNetDaily
We wondered if WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah would ever hold his reporter Bob Unruh for spreading the blatant lie that Houston Mayor Annise Parker said that the city's non-discrimination ordinance is "all about me."
Turns out that Farah is helping Unruh spread the lie.
In an attempt to hyperbolically claim that a discovery request by the city in a lawsuit filed by right-wing activists over that non-discrimination law somehow means Christianity is being criminalized, FArah writes in his Oct. 26 column:
Today, Kahnh [Hyunh] is a U.S. citizen and Christian pastor whose sermons and communications about homosexuality are being subpoenaed by the lesbian mayor of Houston under the city’s “non-discrimination” law Mayor Annise Parker says was all about her.
Farah is lying, as he does so often. Parker actually said that "the debate is about me," pointing out that opponents of the law are personally attacking her over it -- as demonstrated by the made-up quote Farah and Unruh are promoting.
The fact that the leader of a so-called news organization would actively promote a lie is just one more reason nobody believes WND.