Pope Francis is charging the “media” with the sin of disinformation, saying that giving people “half” the facts leaves them unable to make accurate judgments.
A report on Monday from writer Thomas Williams said the pope was speaking to the managers and staffers at Catholic television station TV 2000 inside Vatican City.
He named the “sins of the media” and explained, “Of these three sins – disinformation, slander and defamation – slander seems to be the most insidious. But in communication, the most insidious is disinformation.”
He said “disinformation” is providing “half of the facts, and this leads to not being able to make an accurate judgment on reality.”
WND could have taken this opportunity to confess and repent for its own sins of disinformation. WND employs reporters like Bob Unruh who do nothing but report only half the facts, and Chelsea Schilling, who has a bad habit of reporting total falsehoods. Heck, even WND editor Joseph Farah seems rather proud of the fact that his website publishes misinformation and is himself a documented liar.
Instead, WND turns the article into a sales pitch for a WND-published book by a Soviet defector that was apparently selling so poorly that WND currently is trying to unload it for $4.95.
The lovefest between CNSNews.com and right-wng radio host Mark Levin continues apace.
A Dec. 4 article by Ali Meyer actually treated as "news" Levin's answer to a question she asked about so-called "amnesty." Resident fanboy Michael Morris chimed in with a Dec. 16 blog post transcribing one Levin rant, and followed up the same day with a post quoting a guest on Levin's show.
Needless to say, none of these items mentioned the fact that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, is in a business relationship with Levin. The latest manifestation of that relationship is a promotional ad in which Levin is quoted as saying, "I read CNSNews every day and so should you."
It seems that Levin's enough of an egomaniac to tell people to read a website that writes flattering things about him -- and which is paying him to say nice things about it right back.
WND's Rush Falsely Claims Obama Released ISIS Leader Topic: WorldNetDaily
Erik Rush's Obama derangement is so strong, he doesn't really care about facts. Rush writes in his Dec.17 WorldNetDaily column:
To date, Obama has authorized the importation of tens of thousands of “refugees” from Islamic nations into this country. I would reiterate that the Australian chocolate-shop hostage taker, Man Haron Monis, was admitted to Australia under refugee status. In addition to the multitudes that we know of who have arrived from Syria, Somalia, Libya and other nations, charter pilots speaking under condition of anonymity have testified concerning planeloads of individuals from these nations bypassing Customs at major U.S. airports and being quietly bussed off to parts unknown.
Does no one find it odd that the world has had no peace as regards Islamic terrorism since Barack Obama came to town? Shortly after taking office, Obama sent operatives to Egypt (including former weather Underground associate Bill Ayers). Within 18 months, the Arab Spring swept Muslim nations, giving rise to the Muslim Brotherhood ascendency in Egypt and destabilizing other Muslim nations in the region. Then came Obama’s Libyan adventure. That nation is now essentially a vast training camp for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups; through it, weapons have flowed to Nigeria’s Boko Haram. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the virulent and barbaric ISIS group, was released by Obama in 2009.
Actually, as PolitiFact details, the Department of Defense states that the man now known as Baghdadi was released in 2004. The evidence that Baghdadi was still in custody in 2009 appears to be the recollection of an Army colonel who said Baghdadi’s "face is very familiar." PolitiFact adds:
Even if the colonel is right, Baghdadi was not set free; he was handed over to the Iraqis who released him some time later. But more important, the legal contract between the United States and Iraq that guaranteed that the United States would give up custody of virtually every detainee was signed during the Bush administration. It would have required an extraordinary effort to have held on to Baghdadi and there is no evidence that he was on anyone’s radar screen, assuming that he was in custody at all in 2009.
The U.S.-Iraq agreement drove the release of thousands of detainees in 2009, but Obama had nothing to do with that.
This is what happens when people like Rush let their hate trump the truth -- they look foolish for repeating falsehoods.
Newsmax's Ruddy Laments 'Persecution' Of Christie As His Website Champions Persecution of Hillary Topic: Newsmax
Christopher Ruddy complains in a Dec. 17 Newsmax column:
The ongoing probes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his associates over the so-called Bridge-gate matter boil down to another example of political prosecutions that border on political persecutions.
The case involving the George Washington Bridge occurred in January, nearly a year ago, and should be open and shut by now.
Christie was recently cleared in a report by a New Jersey legislative committee of any prior knowledge of the plan to impede traffic onto the bridge by closing access lanes.
No one thinks or believes he ordered the closing of any bridge lanes. So why the worry?
It is clear that some of his aides may have acted out of political considerations in their decision to close the lanes. If that is the case, their actions were stupid, but not criminal.
Yet in a strange way, the Left's attempt to persecute Christie could actually help his GOP standing because it is so obviously motivated by their worry he actually might be the GOP nominee.
Hence, the Democrats want to keep pushing Bridge-gate as far as they can and for as long as they can. Perhaps they have finally gone a bridge too far and should finally “shut up,” as the New Jersey governor might put it.
Ruddy might have a point if Newsmax wasn't pushing another political persecution elsewhere on its pages the very same day. From a Dec. 17 unbylined Newsmax article:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the next Congress, said the incoming committee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
According to The Hill, the committee intends to investigate the issue of embassy security in the coming congressional session, and the Utah Republican said that Clinton's record in managing it as secretary of state will be examined.
He said Clinton, "changed the way we do embassy security and how we build the infrastructure there and she created a mess. It's a disaster!" The Hill reported.
Asked if Clinton could be called before the committee as a witness, Chaffetz said, "I'm not going to rule that out."
The article did not mention the fact that, as ABC News reported, "Multiple independent, bipartisan and GOP-led inquiries have faulted the State Department for inadequate security in Benghazi, leading to four demotions," or that the State Department has implemented recommendations regarding embassy security made by an independent review board.
the fact that Chaffetz seems intent on dragging Clinton before yet another congressional committee even though she left the secretary of state post nearly a year ago suggest that he's acting on behalf of Republicans fearful that she may be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016 and simply wants to keep pushing anything Benghazi-related as far as he can.
Ruddy doesn't explain why he apparently has no problem with cheerleading a political persecution of Hillary Clinton.
WND Plays With Numbers To Pretend Anti-Boehner Campaign Is Successful Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah's money-making operation to remove John Boehner from the House speaker position is going ridiculously well, if you believe WorldNetDaily's propaganda:
A pile of letters as tall as an 11-story building has been prepared for delivery to GOP House members when they convene in January, urging them to remove Speaker John Boehner from leadership, just as a retiring congresswoman is calling on her former colleagues to “draw the line” with President Obama.
Only three days after the launch of the “Don’t be Yellow: Dump Boehner Now Campaign,” more than 350,000 letters have been ordered.
At about two inches per 500-page ream, that’s a pile almost 117 feet tall – all to get the attention of GOP members who have it within their power to pick new leadership for the House and Senate for the next two years.
WND's playing up of the total number of letters obscures the actual amount of people taking part. Divide 350,000 letters by the 246 Republican House members who will receive them, and you get approximately 1,422 people who have paid WND $29.95 for the privilege of sending those letters.
Add up those numbers, and WND has seen more than $42,000 in gross revenue from this operation. It will not cost WND anywhere near that much to print and send those letters, resulting in a healthy profit for WND.
WND is sending those letters in bulk to the House Republicans, which saves money. A typical box of paper holds 10 reams, or 10,000 pages. At this point, House Republicans will receive only about three reams worth of letters -- less than half a box.
WND's manipulation of numbers lets Farah pretend he's a political player, and let someone else pay for his activism in the process.
CNS Still Thinks Spending Federal Money On Gays Is A Waste Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com used to have a "Waste Watch" section that seemed disproportionately focused on federal spending on LGBT issues. "Waste Watch" is gone, but CNS still thinks spending money on gays is a waste.
And CNS' Melanie Hunter is on it with a pair of articles over the past week:
Both articles ended with Huinter noting that she attempted to ask the respective project leaders for the grants how they were "an effective use of taxpayer funds" -- which clearly indicates that she doesn't think it is, though she never explains why.
Apparently, in CNS' right-wing world, any federal spending on gays is axiomatically a waste.
WND Promotes Anti-Gay Billboard, Won't Tell Readers It's Bogus (And The Model Is Gay) Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 15 WorldNetDaily article by Jack Minor promotes the "nobody is born gay" billboard paid for by the group Parents and Friends of ex-Gays (PFOX). Minor does a fine job of pushing the group's (andWND's) anti-gay agenda, declaring that "The proposition that sexual orientation is changeable destroys the reason for that minority and protected status, as it becomes nothing more than a lifestyle choice then."
As is usual for WND, Minor can't be bothered to talk to any critic of the billboard (he stole a quote from a critic from someone else's news story). He does, however, make sure to talk to a former PFOX official who asserts that "There is zero evidence that a person is born a homosexual."
Minor failed to do something else as well: acknowledge the fact that the billboard itself portrays a false image.
The billboard purports to depict identical twins, one who is gay and one who isn't. In fact, the images are stock photos of the same person, a model who -- wait for it -- is gay.
The model, Kyle Roux, denounced the use of his image in an anti-gay campaign: "It just seems there’s no place in today’s world for an organization that is promoting this as a deviant or distasteful lifestyle because I’ve lived my life openly gay and happy."
News of PFOX's bogus billboard broke two days before Minor's article was published, but Minor makes no mention of it even though his article is about said billboard. Such hiding of inconvenient facts is just another reason why nobody believes WND.
MRC's Graham Declares Walker 'Molotov' Gaffe To Be 'Tiny' Topic: Media Research Center
When it was revealed that Republican Wisconsin Go. Scott Walker had wished "Molotov" instead of "mazel tov" to a Jewish constituent, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham knew he had to spring into damage-control mode to tamp the controversy.
Thus, Graham wrote a Dec. 14 NewsBusters post whining that " the liberal media will reliably leap on any tiny gaffe that liberals can locate." Graham also quoted a writer for the right-wing Watchdog.org (whose ideology Graham failed to identify) saying basically the same thing.
By contrast, the MRC worked hard to get another tiny gaffe some media traction.
During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama said at one point that he had visited 57 states. Since then, the gaffe has been referenced dozens of times at NewsBusters alone, many of thosecomplaining that the "liberal media" didn't report it, which obviously means the media was protecting Obama.
It seems that Graham has a double standard on gaffes. After all, it's unlikely that any MRC outlet would have reported on Walker's gaffe for any other reason than to dismiss it.
WND's Kinsolving Makes Dumb Argument About Ban On Gays Donating Blood Topic: WorldNetDaily
Les Kinsolving keeps up his rampant homophobia, and also demonstrates once again he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, in his Dec. 15 WorldNetDaily column:
A Health and Human Services advisory panel has recommended that the current policy on Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men – which bans men as blood donors if they have had sex with a man since 1977 – be changed.
This panel recommends that this be changed to 12 months after the last sexual encounter. That simply raises what is a life-and-death question: Since when has AIDS been found to last only 12 months?
Actually, the point of the 12-month deferral period is to allow sufficient time for HIV to develop in a possibly infected person.
Can Kinsolving really be that ignorant? Apparently so.
NEW ARTICLE: Bob Unruh's Parade of Lies and Misinformation Topic: WorldNetDaily
By WND editor Joseph Farah's own standards, he must fire his news editor for his plethora of dishonest reporting. But Unruh remains on the job. Read more >>
Sharyl Attkisson Reciprocates The MRC's Love Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been showing the love to former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson for her anti-Obama reporting and general move to the right (which the MRC denies). Now Attkisson is showing some love right back.
A Dec. 13 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock highlights an interview Attkisson conducted with Rush Limbaugh's newsletter (her latest connection to right-wingers, which is more evidence of Attkisson's rightward shift, yet unremarked upon by Whitlock):
Regarding the selection of liberal vs. conservative watchdogs as sources, Attkisson noted, "In fact, I've never heard reporters treat the conservative media watchdogs as if they're providing neutral information that should be paid attention to. Only the liberal side."
Neither Whitlock nor Attkisson will admit it, but that's likely because conservative media watchdogs like the MRC have proven themselves incapable of providing neutral information. As we'vedocumented, the MRC's so-called "research" is so skewed and narrowly tailored to produce only results that reinforce its "liberal media" narrative that it simply can't be trusted.
By comparison, Media Matters (the liberal media watchdog to which Attkisson is surely referring) committed the offense of discrediting her shoddy reporting. Despite attacking Media Matters as partisan and inaccurate, Attkisson has never disproven the factual nature of what Media Matters has written about Attkisson's work.
Of course, Whitlock doesn't mention any of that either, chossing instead to rehash Attkisson's dubious claim of her computers being hacked.
For example, the bill prohibits Obama from spending a penny to carry out regulations that would effectively prohibit incandescent light bulbs in the United States.
A statement by the House Approprations Committee says that the bill includes a "provision prohibiting funding for the Administration’s onerous 'light bulb' standard, which prevents incandescent bulbs from being manufactured or sold, despite a continued public desire for these products.”
An "explanatory statement" posted on "Bills to be Considered on the House Floor" says: "The agreement includes a provision regarding prohibiting funds to implement or enforce higher efficiency light bulb standards."
Congress apparently is not worried that Obama will veto the bill and shut down the federal government in order to continue his administration's policy on incandescent light bulbs.
But Obama did not create or sign the policy that mandated more efficient light bulbs. As the San Jose Mercury News details:
The 60- and 40-watt light bulbs that have been used in America for more than a century are being phased out as of Jan. 1, as part of a federal law banning their production in favor of more energy friendly bulbs like halogen or fluorescent.
Production of the 100- and 75-watt incandescent light bulbs stopped last year.
A lot of people seem to think this is President Obama's fault.
But unless they're joking, they are mistaken. President George W. Bush actually initiated the ban when he signed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007.
The Washington Post gave Mitt Romney three Pinnochios for falsely claiming that the light bulb efficiency standards were Obama's doing.
Also, contrary to Jeffrey's assertion, the new efficiency standards doesn't actually ban incandescent bulbs. As Popular Mechanics details, no particular type of bulb was banned, but standard incandescent bulbs are so inefficient -- converting only 5 to 10 percent of the electricity it consumes into light -- that they will need to be upgraded or replaced by other forms in order to meet the standard.
Jeffrey doesn't explain why he thinks such energy-wasting bulbs should remain in production.
WND's Farah's Plan To Stop Boehner: Send Me Money! Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wants to oust John Boehner as House speaker, and he wants you to send him money in a futile effort to do it.
In his Dec. 15 column, Farah touts the "hundreds of emails demanding to know how to dump the one I call 'Barack Obama’s No. 1 enabler.'" The column then becomes a sales pitch:
Of course, the only way to effectuate the unseating of Boehner is to convince the majority of House Republicans that it is not only the right thing to do, but also in their own best interests. I really believe we can do that.
The only problem we’ve had in the past is the direct communication between the people and the lawmakers.
Yes, they have phones, but the lines get jammed, and there really is no methodology for calculating the calls that come in, the ones that go unanswered and translating them into numbers every member can appreciate and evaluate.
Yes, there are fax machines, but there are limitations there, too. They run out of paper. The faxes end up in the garbage. The speaker himself has the power to prohibit any collation, meaningful reports and tabulation. And, most importantly, no members ever see what the avalanche of paper looks like during the entirety of the campaign.
Yes, there is mail, but there are more problems than you know with it. All mail needs to go through a screening process outside the Capitol. It causes long delays. And how difficult is it to send a letter to all 246 Republican members of the House? How expensive and time-consuming would that be?
My plan doesn’t involve any of those traditional lobbying methods. It’s been tried before with amazing results. It reaches all those who need to get it in hard copy form with guaranteed delivery to their individual offices, personalized to them and by the sender. It’s cheap, effective and sends a powerful message that cannot be ignored. It’s even been tested.
One such campaign by WND resulted in 9.5 million letters delivered to members of Congress – the historic “pink slip” campaign.
The message all members receive in the letters is succinct, persuasive, professional, civil. And they are delivered by Federal Express, if you can believe it, for maximum impact.
AND WHEN YOU SEND ONE, YOU SEND IT TO EVERY REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF THE HOUSE – INCLUDING JOHN BOEHNER!
That’s 246 different letters, with different names and addresses and different destinations all for the one price of $29.95 – and they’re sent by Fed Ex! Try to top that. It’s just not something individuals could ever do.
For WND’s part, we do all the heavy lifting. We buy the paper. We print the letters. We pay for delivery. We measure results. We gather and chronicle responses and feedback from members. We work the media. We organize the press conferences. We spearhead the campaign on your behalf.
Your only obligation is participating by paying a nominal amount that covers our mailing and handling expenses.
Just compare the price and time commitment of an individual participating in this campaign versus a do-it-yourself effort or one of the old-fashioned fax or phone campaigns. There’s simply no comparison in price, time commitment and, most importantly, effectiveness.
As we've documented, WND has made some serious coin from its readers off previous letter campaigns, and there is no evidence that they work. Even Farah won't claim that; he claims only that "this approach prompts members to talk about the boxes of letters that are coming into their offices each day" -- again, something that doesn't translate into anything productive, let alone achieving the goal of the campaign.
Once again, Farah is turning politics into yet another opportunity to fleece his readers. How cynical and money-grubbing can he be?
MRC's Graham Shocked That Movie Reviewers Reviewed A Film They've Seen Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham has been in the right-wing media outrage business for so long, it seems he's incapable of recognizing fair journalism for what it is instead of through his jaundiced partisan lens.
In a Dec. 13 NewsBusters post, Graham expresses surprise that "liberal papers" the Washington Post and the New York Times would pan the new film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" by criticizing the decision to have God portrayed by a "terrifying" child. His headline: "Even Liberal Papers Pan Bratty Pre-Teen God In New Moses Movie 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'"
Graham seems to forget that genuine movie reviewers employed by legitimate news outlets generally try to review films based on their merits, not according to their rigid personal belief system.
We saw the latter at work earlier this year when the MRC's Katie Yoder attacked the film "Obvious Child" fior being a romantic comedy centered around abortion -- a film Yoder proudly proclaimed she never watched before trashing it.
Apparently, Graham favors Yoder's approach and would rather people write about films based on what they read on the Internet about them and spare themselves the effort of actually seeing it before offering an opinion.
Indeed, Graham provided no evidence that he has seen "Exodus." Are we surprised? Nope.