When the unemployment rate has dropped under the Obama administration, CNSNews.com is loath to put that in the headline, choosing instead to cherry-pick other numbers in an attempt to hide good news about the economy. But if that rate ticks back up, by golly, CNS is on the spot with the details.
None of Meyer's articles mentionthe fact that 280,000 jobs were created in May. Can't give Obama any credit for something positive, y'know.
And Meyer's mildly xenophobic article on foreign-born workers is rather laughably illustrated with this image of migrant farm workers:
As if they were the only image Meyer and her CNS could think of when discussing "foreign-born workers." She ignores the foreign nationals who work in high-tech industries under special visas, for instance. They clearly don't fit into CNS' stereotype.
If I see that creepy Vanity Fair cover of Bruce Jenner come across my Facebook feed just one more time, I’m going to gouge out my eyeballs and bleach the sockets.
Ladies, please, if you ever again struggle with body image, just know that those stupid chick magazines you thumb through every day while nibbling arugula and baby carrots like some bulimic bunny, can, through the simple magic of $200,000 in plastic surgery and enough airbrushing to power a windmill farm, make a 65-year-old mentally ill man look, sort of, like a 35-year-old country club ninny. Brucie baby ain’t got nothin’ on you, sweetheart, I promise. It’s all fake as the rubber grapes on grandma’s centerpiece. You are you, he is he, and the cover models on your silly mags don’t look a stitch like that.
WND's Gina Loudon Pushes Misinformation About Transdenders Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gina Loudon may have a doctorate in psychology, but not only does she have her own mental issues, she's incredibly dishonest.
Just look at how Loudon startsout her June 4 WorldNetDaily article on "the dark, untold story of transgenderism":
Unfortunately, the tragedy of sexual-reassignment surgery has a sordid history.
The heinous idea began with well-known sexual-perversion advocate Alfred Kinsey. Contending that people are “sexual from birth,” he used experiments on babies during World War II. His legacy stands largely unchallenged today by the American Medical Association, despite his advocacy of bestiality, pedophilia, sadomasochism and incest.
“Kinsey has given the sexual revolutionists their license to sexually pervert our culture,” said Judith Reisman, author of “Kinsey, Crimes and Consequences” and director of the Liberty School for Child Protection.
Loudon doesn't mention that Reisman is a documented liar about Kinsey. The Kinsey Institute points out that Kinsey never conducted sexual experiments on children.
Loudon clearly doesn't care about the truth if she is treating Reisman with any kind of credibility. But that's not all. She goes on to quote Paul McHugh's anti-transgender claims despite the fact that, as we've noted, he has numerous critics who note that he ignores current research on gender dysphoria:
In a Wall Street Journal commentary, McHugh calls a sex change “biologically impossible.”
He cites a 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden that followed 324 people for up to 30 years who had sex-reassignment surgery. The study showed that about 10 years after the surgery, transgendered people began to have increased mental difficulties. As they progressed through life, their suicide mortality rose almost 20 times above the comparable nontransgender population. McHugh points to the data as evidence that the high suicide rate trumps the typical surgery prescription propagated by many as the answer to gender confusion.
McHugh points his finger at the “everything is normal” movement for allowing, even advocating, for this tragedy exacted on the transgendered population, now cluttered with casualties of the sexual revolution.
Such claims ignore research into why transgenders have such a high suicide rate. Sociologist Jay Irwin (a transgendered man) explains:
The transgender population does have a staggering suicide rate. More than 40 percent of the participants in a recent national survey reported attempting suicide, compared with 2 percent of the general population.
But consider why that is, Irwin says. In the same survey, nearly half also reported being assaulted in school. Many drop out because of harassment. Half of the respondents reported losing a job because of their gender identity. If all that isn’t isolating enough, ponder this: Six out of every 10 Americans who regard themselves as transgender men or women report that they haven’t told anyone in their immediate family.
Here’s the rub: When studies look at transgender Americans who are accepted by their families, friends and communities, “the negative mental health outcomes decrease dramatically,” Irwin says. Depression and suicide, way down. Employment and income level, way up.
Loudon is simply too concerned about forwarding a right-wing, anti-LGBT agenda to care about telling the truth -- or about doing anything that would actually do anything about transgender issues she'd rather exploit for her political purposes.
MRC's Double Standard on Speeding Ticket Coverage Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham did a lot of sneering at the New York Times's story about the speeding tickets Marco Rubio and his wife racked up.
"Is this supposed to punish the Rubios when Hillary Clinton hasn’t driven a car during this entire 18-year period?" Graham huffed in a June 5 NewsBusters post.
Graham followed that up later in the day by suggesting that the story had "Democratic oppo fingerprints" on it, highlighting the #RubioCrimeScoop Twitter hashtag that "describe[d] tiny offenses – stealing a bank pen, failing to return a library book – in the same vein as the Times gumshoes."
The funny thing? The MRC used to think speeding tickets warranted national media coverage.
In a June 2001 MRC CyberAlert, Brent Baker howled that "speeding and reckless driving citations issued to Albert Gore III for going 97 mph in a 55 mph zone", which happened the weekend before the 2000 Democratic convention that nominated his father as the Democratic presidential candidate, demanded media coverage. That was intended as a form of punishment of the kind Graham claimed the Times was doing to Rubio -- Baker's goal was to distract from the foibles of President George W. Bush's twin daughters, who were busted twice in a month for underage drinking and using a false ID to obtain alcohol.
Baker did concede that Gore III was 17 at the time and, thus, a minor, while the Bush twins were 19. He didn't note that Gore's father was merely a candidate while the Bushes' father was the sitting president, and the children of sitting presidents are by definition newsworthy, especially when they break the law -- or that one reason the Bushes got busted was because of a law their father passed while Texas governor that aimed to get tough on underage drinking.
(As we noted at the time, the ConWeb did a lot of excuse-making to distract attention from the Bushes, of which the Gore speeding ticket was but one.)
Graham himself demanded media coverage of Gore's speeding ticket in a November 2000 pre-election column written for National Review. He was trying to punish and distract as well, this time from news of George W. Bush's mid-1970s drunk-driving conviction. Graham admits Gore III "is not supposed to be a public figure," but then demands that he be made one: "But is it fair to spike the unfavorable news angles — especially when a presidential nominee's child breaks the law — and then celebrate the child, or more precisely, celebrate the parenting of the child, on a different day?"
As far as spiking unfavorable news angles go, Graham might want to have a chat with the folks at CNSNews.com, down the hall at MRC headquarters, which has done everything it can to censor and bury the Josh Duggar molestation scandal.
Graham even demanded that the media get tough on then-tennage Chelsea Clinton despite the lack of any evidence she had ever done anything to warrant it: "Chelsea Clinton has never had a brush with the law, but how can the public judge what a 'princess' she is when the media have placed her in a plastic bubble?"
Also: If the Times' story was supposedly Democratic "oppo research," we should then assume that the MRC's desperate attempts to maker Gore III's speeding ticket a national issue was its attempt to serve as oppo research for Republicans. Doesn't that cross the line of what the MRC is permitted to do under its nonprofit tax designation? Graham might want to think twice before making such an allegation.
Duggar Story Miraculously Returns to CNS Front Page Topic: CNSNews.com
It seems that CNSNews.com has realized that the Josh Duggar molestation story is news after all. Or maybe they just got tired of us pointing out that its attempts to censor and bury the Duggar story disqualify it as a news operation.
A day after CNS perfunctorily summarized the Duggar family's Fox News interview on the scandal -- in which it treated the Duggars' statements as indisputable fact and ignored their misleading statements and self-proclaimed victimhood over the molestation report going public -- then pulled the story off its front page as soon as it could, the story on the Duggars' "sins" (not crime) mysteriously reappeared on the CNS front page in the culture section:
The front-page section summaries appear to reproduce the top five headlines on its culture page. As we noted, CNS originally made sure the Duggar story wouldn't make the front-page summary by burying it below stories that were much older. Sometime on June 5 -- a day after CNS originally buried the story -- the Duggar story got promoted to the fifth slot, thus making it appear on the front page.
But also notice what the lead story is in the entertainment section -- an Associated Press article on Fox News' ratings for the Duggar interview. So, apparently, touting the ratings coup for CNS' friends at Fox News for the interview is bigger news than the content of the interview itself.
Well, it takes baby steps for CNS to make its way back to the pretense of being a real news organization.
CNS Managing Editor Lazily Recycles His Anti-Transgender Hate Topic: CNSNews.com
When we read CNSNews.com managing editor Michael Chapman's June 2 article rehashing a right-wing psychiatrist's claim that "transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment," we thought it looked a little familiar. Turns out we were right.
Last August, we caught Chapman devoting an article to "a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal" by "Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry," even though the article had been published a full two months earlier and had ceased being news, if it ever was (except by CNS standards, anyway). We noted that Chapman made no effort to mention the many mental health professionals who disagree with McHugh's claims.
Then we clicked on the link we provided for that August article -- and discovered it pulls up the June 2 article. All Chapman did is slap a new date on his discredited 10-month-old piece to pretend that it's relevant with the coming out of Caitlyn Jenner.
We already know Chapman is lazy enough to consider serving as stenographer for right-wing evangelist Franklin Graham a legitimate journalistic endeavor. But Chapman, it appears, is such a lazy journalist that he must recycle his hate and can't be bothered to lift a finger to do any reporting to update to current events.
And this man is the managing editor of a "news" organization?
CNS Actually Reports On Duggars -- Then Quickly Buries It Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is only grudgingly reporting on the Josh Duggar molestation scandal, as if it wouldn't be happening if the "news" part of CNS' name wasn't instilling guilt in its editors. It first censored the story, then reported on it only when it became too big to ignore -- and even then it was dismissed in a blog post, not treated as actual news.
The Duggar family's interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly was also too big to ignore, so CNS couldn't get away with censoring it. Thus, we have a June 4 article -- unbylined, credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff," as if no CNS employee wanted to be on record reporting facts about that Duggars that conflicted with their right-wing Christian image -- that dutifully summed up the interview. The article was still an advocacy piece for the Duggars, playing down the actual offenses of Josh Duggar and playing up the family's self-proclaimed victimhood at the release of the police report on his offenses.
Those offenses are only referenced once in the first 12 paragraphs of the article, eupemistically described as him having "inappropriately touched" his sisters and "groped a babysitter." The article declared that "the Duggars detailed the problem they faced 12 years ago -- a son who three times came to them and confessed to molestation; what they did about it -- eventually sending him out of the home for Christian-based counseling and later to talk with a policeman; and what they now see as the bigger scandal -- the illegal May 21 release of their son's juvenile police record to a tabloid." The article further insisted that "The Duggars explained the facts of the case."
CNS was certainly not about to live up to its mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" and acknowledge criticism of the Duggars. Thus,you won't read at CNS how some of the Duggars' answers to Kelly are at odds with the established facts in the case. And you certainly won't see CNS point out the obvious conflict between Jim Bob Duggar's claim that "We had nothing to hide" and his complaint about the juvenile record of Josh Duggar's offenses being release.
Another sign CNS wants to bury this story: While it appeared on the CNS front page this morning, all trace of it was off the front page by mid-afternoon. And even on the CNS "culture" section page, it's buried under much older stories, such as a May 27 article detailing the latest attempt to portray any LGBT-related federal spending as a waste.
Apparently, news is "news" at CNS only if it advances the right-wing agenda of its parent, the Media Research Center. Otherwise, it will get short shrift.
Perhaps it's time for CNS to admit that it's not in the news business but, rather, in the propaganda business.
Did WND's Farah Really March With Martin Luther King? Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah had another one of his thin-skinned reactions to criticism last week, devoting his May 27 column to misinterpreting Republican activist Bruce Bennett's contention that readers of right-wing "news" organizations like WND are engaging in "self-censorship" to claim that Bennett said WND was brainwashing its readers.
In the midst of his self-righteous, self-aggrandizing defense, Farah declared that he was "the guy who actually marched with Martin Luther King Jr." Thanks to an alert ConWebWatch reader, we know that Farah has made this claim before: here, here and here, for instance.
But Farah, to our knowledge, has never written about the details of this march with King. Even his 2007 book "Stop the Presses!" about his journey in journalism appears to be silent about it.
This begs the question: When did Farah actually march with King? It's an interesting question, given that, if the birth date on his Wikipedia page is correct, Farah was only 14 years old when King was assassinated.
Unless Farah was an unusually precocious and race-conscious tween, that likely means any occasion Farah would have had to march with King was somehow facilitated by his parents. That hardly plays with the image he has constructed for himself as a radical left-winger in his youth.
Farah in known to embellish his self-proclaimed left-wing past. He evolved one claim to have been a bodyguard for Jane Fonda and once invited to meet Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn to proclaiming that he was "literally working shoulder to shoulder with the likes of revolutionary terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and whacked out traitors Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda."
We've emailed Farah to ask for the details of his march with King. We'll let you know if he responds.
P.S. The Farah "liar" image -- which we never thought we'd get so much use out of when we first created it -- is provisional, placed on this post based on his extensivetrack record of falsehoods. If Farah adequately answers the question about his claimed march with King, we'll remove it (from this post, anyway).
UPDATE: To be perfectly accurate, King died three months before Farah's 14th birthday, so Farah would have been no more than 13 years of age in any march he and King allegedly participated in.
The New York Times classless liberal columnist Paul Krugman has a reputation for exploiting tragedy for partisan gain, and did so again in a Sunday afternoon blog post about former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is accused of using hush money to cover up sexual misconduct with a former student.
Waters is not lamenting the aformentioned "tragedy" for Hastert's victims -- he's lamenting it for Hastert. How dare Krugman write about a Republican congressman's alleged crimes?
By the way, the word "crime" appears nowhere in Waters' post in relation to Hastert's alleged actions. But he knows it's somehow a "tragedy" -- but, apparently, not a crime -- for Hastert for such behavior to be revealed.
MRC Falsely Suggests Sex Ed Is Airing On PBS Kids Topic: Media Research Center
The headline on the Media Research Center front page screams "Taxpayer-Funded PBS Pushes Teaching Sex-Ed to 4-Year-Olds," accompanied by an image of the logo for the PBS Kids channel:
It's a lie.
Nowhere in the May 29 article by Katie Yoder does it claim that PBS Kids is running sex education -- or that sex ed directed at 4-year-olds is happening anywhere on PBS. Instead, Yoder complains that on PBS' "NewsHour" website -- again, not a kid-friendly place -- there's an article that "held up the Netherlands as an example for the United States in “sexuality education” – for those as young as 4-years-old to learn 'honest conversations about love and relationships.'"
Yoder selectively quotes from the article claiming that it talks about "sex ed classes … for 4-year olds" -but waits until the next paragraph to concede that the article states that "You’ll never hear an explicit reference to sex in a kindergarten class."
Yoder doesn't even raise any specific objections to the "sexuality eduction" lessons being taught to 4-year-olds, which include "able to properly name body parts including genitals. They also learn about different types of families, what it means to be a good friend, and that a baby grows in a mother’s womb." She has simply gone into a right-wing freakout over the words "sexuality education" and "4-year-olds" being in close proximity.
Yoder does declare that Dutch parents have "totally abdicated their responsibility to the state" by letting schools teach them how to talk to their kids about sex. She doesn't explain, however, why empowering parents with knowledge is a bad thing.
WND Author Thinks Teachers Are Criminals Topic: WorldNetDaily
We last caught Alex Newman using a WorldNetDaily article to whitewash the racism of the white right-wing South African extremists in lamenting "increasingly marginalized European-descent South Africans." Now the writer for the New American, the website of the far-right John Birch Society, is on board as a full-fledged WND author, and his ideas are just as extreme as one would expect from his pedigree.
Newman is co-author, along with longtime WND columnist Samuel Blumenfeld of the new WND-published book "Crimes of the Educators." And yes, he really does think teachers are criminals on the level of Hitler and Pol Pot -- an comprarison absurd on its face and should alone be enough to disqualify their book from serious consideration. But WND believes in the Big Lie technique --
complete with an elaborate conspiracy theory to supposedly prove it, as illustrated by the book's promotional copy:
Utopian dictators like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Mao are criminals – genocidal psychopaths who have killed more human beings in the last hundred years than any other ideologues in history. They don't limit their murder to individuals, but to entire nations.
In the United States another form of utopians, the "progressives," have tried to destroy traditional America by strategically dumbing down her people. America's future is being crippled on purpose in order to fundamentally transform the nation, its values and its system of government. Laid out a century ago by progressive luminary John Dewey, the fruits of his schemes are plain to see today. Dewey got rid of the traditional intensive phonics method of instruction and imposed a "look-say," "sight" or "whole-word" method that forces children to read English as if it were Chinese. The method is widely used in today's public schools, which is a major reason there are so many failing public schools that cannot teach children the basics. This can only be considered a blatant form of child abuse.
The whole-word method of teaching children to read – introduced by John Dewey and colleagues in the early 20th century and which permeates Common Core – is a significant cause of dyslexia among students.
There is evidence that the whole-language approch does not work with students who have dyslexia, but Newman and Blumenfeld are claiming that the mere act of teaching whole-language causes dyslexia.No eveidence is mentioned, either in the blurb or in a May 25 WND article making the same claim, that backs up this assertion.
Newman and Blumenfeld ignore one key problem with phonics: There are so many English words that violate the standard sound-symbol rules that at least some memorization of words -- the "whole language" approach they despise -- is necessary to be fully literate.
As befits Newman's extremism, the May 25 WND article documents Newsman's appearance on conspiracy-monger Alex Jones' radio show to promote his book, where he spews more slanders of teachers:
When you put all of this together, says Newman, it’s not only horrifying, but it’s a crime against the American people.
“This is a gigantic criminal enterprise masquerading as a government school system, and it’s deliberately dumbing down the children,” Newman declared.
Newman hopes “Crimes of the Educators” will help destroy the globalists’ scheme by alerting people to what’s going on.
“If this information were more widely known, the entire edifice would collapse because all of it rests on a dumbed-down public that can’t read well, that can’t do math,” Newman said.
From what the author has seen lately, he thinks the globalists are accelerating their plans because they are nervous.
“They know that they’ve got to get this all done as quickly as possible because people are waking up right and left by the millions, and once we reach a critical mass of people who are awake, this whole thing is going to come crashing down,” Newman declared. “They’re going to end up in prison, and that’s serious stuff.”
The article also states that the authors "decry public schools for destroying children’s religious beliefs by teaching evolution and secular humanist doctrines. The authors note that lack of religion is a hallmark of totalitarian societies." Talk about your base demonization.
While Newman and Blumenfeld's book is laughable and paranoiac on its face -- complete with references to "socialist utopians" who want to create "a global government, a global society, a single world religion" -- that's WND's stock in trade. It's never corrected or apologized for any of its birther falsehoods, so look for it to promote the hell out of this book, no matter how discredited it becomes.
More proof that most modern “comics” are anything but comical come in the form of their newest Islamic promotional efforts. Marvel Comics presents Kamala Khan, a 16 year-old superhero from a New Jersey, Pakistani family. Not a Pakistani Christian family, because few of them have either survived or been allowed to immigrate here.
“Kamala Khan is just an ordinary girl from Jersey City,” Marvel announces, “until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts.” To be authentic, the poor girl wouldn’t have her genitals intact and couldn’t leave her house at night without a few male sidekicks ordering her about. But what’s a little reality compared to covering for misogyny and terrorism in Islam?
Kamala is the brainchild of Islamic-American convert Gwendolyn Willow Wilson and other Islamic staff. A successful journalist and writer of graphic novels for teens, she lived in Egypt for years. She even interviewed the grand mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa. None of this is proof Wilson is a terror supporter; yet the entire Marvel enterprise reeks of entertainment to camouflage genocide, using trivialization, distancing and distraction … with great illustrations, of course.
Supposedly Kamala was born to counter “Islamophobia” in the middle of the Islamic terror war against us. Superman and the old fellows actually supported American GIs, even showing up on the battlefields. Somehow Marvel forgot to create Germanic übermenschen in capes and lederhosen to prevent outbreaks of Naziphobia. What were they thinking?
Gifted but tragically liberal artists team up to fight against women and minorities of the Middle East in many contemporary initiatives and publications, like this one. A classical Stalinist disinformation campaign, anything relevant is minimalized or labeled opposite to reality, where they do everything but tap dance around neon signs blazing “nothing is happening here … you’re imagining everything … especially if you’re in a displacement camp or cage.”
Annihilated Christians in Syria apparently aren’t worth the ink to print comic books now. Female victims in Islam are also invisible. Serious issues are identificational “struggles” of teenage Muslim immigrants. Marvel Comics has just volunteered to be another outpost in an Islamic war campaign at this point. Deflecting controversy and discussion is the entire raison d’être of Ms. “ad hoc” Marvel.
Old Archie struggled with competition and other teen angst, but he wasn’t representing a group of killers while he did it. It would be encouraging if Marvel’s Islamic “superhero” struggled against honor killings, threats, misogyny, beatings, child marriage and genital mutilation.
Large wings of Western artists feel Muslims deserve extra kudos, although they’ve nearly annihilated Christians from several nations. If this continues (and few around here seem eager to stop them), it may happen in our burgs. You can bet your last copy of the Constitution that Kamala Khan won’t be showing up in her little red tights and shamefully exhibited face to save American women and assure our rights. Western hussies.
Marvel’s artists are as skilled as ever, but how they can sleep at night – if they have an inkling what is happening in the Mid-East – is a mystery.
WND's Loudon Is Clueless About Non-Christians Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gina Loudon starts her May 25 WorldNetDaily column by trying to bury the Duggar sexual molestation scandal:
After the recent revelations about “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar and his past transgressions as a child, non-Christians across America are pointing their fingers and saying, “See! I told you the Duggars aren’t perfect!”
Of course they aren’t! No Christian is perfect. That is precisely why people become Christians!
If the Duggars were perfect, or believed they were perfect, they would not need a savior, and, therefore, would not be Christians.
The left has set up a straw man.
First, nowhere in her column does Loudon identify what Josh Duggar's "past transgressions as a child" were -- namely, molesting numerous underage girls, several of them his own sisters. Doing so would presumably blunt the impact of Loudon defending the family as not "perfect."
Second, the point is not that the Duggars claimed to be "perfect"; they portrayed their lifestyle as an antidote to the type of behavior that were, in fact, happening within their own family. So it's more about hypocrisy than failing to act perfectly.
You think that even Loudon would agree that sexual molestation is a behavior that ranges far beyond "imperfect" -- but then, Loudon spent a disturbing amount of time and column space rationallizing (and trying to capitalize on) her own teenage daughter's relationship with a 57-year-old man. (The above image of Loudon and her daughter accompanied that column.)
And speaking of straw men, Loudon tries to set up her own:
There is a convenience in being non-Christian. They get to point out the stumbles of every Christian without having to live according to a moral code. As long as you don’t call yourself a Christian, you can engage in any immoral behavior seemingly without consequence.
Loudon falsely assumes that if you are not a Christian, you cannot possibly act in a moral fashion. Jews, Muslims and Buddhists are just a few of the many non-Christian religions that have a moral code, and even many people who do not follow an organized religion behave in ways that follow a moral code. The system of law can also be said to be a moral code.
The fact that Loudon can speak only euphemistically about Josh Duggar's disturbing behavior, coupled with her attempt to defend the family and throw their critics under the bus -- she even attacks Christians who are criticizing them, declaring that they "are handing ammo to the secular left" -- tells us that she has some, shall we say, issues. But we already knew that.
CNS Misleads About Michelle Obama Commencement Speech Topic: CNSNews.com
A May 26 CNSNews.com article was dedicated to selectively quoting from Michelle Obama's commencement speech at Oberlin College to ratchet up the outrage factor among CNS's readers. And judging from the hate and racism in the article's comment thread, she has succeeded with that.
Jones claimed that Obama "equated conservative opposition with 'noise,' 'clamor' and 'polarization,' and she urged students to "rise above it.'" But in the actual excerpts of the speech Jones included, Obama did not specifically do what Jones claimed. Here's the excerpt with the apparently offending words highlighted:
"You might find yourself a little dismayed by the clamor outside these walls -- the name-calling, the negative ads, the the folks yelling at each other on TV. After being surrounded by people who are so dedicated to serving others and making the world a better place, you might feel a little discouraged by the polarization and gridlock that too often characterize our politics and civic life.
"And in the face of all of that clamor, you might have an overwhelming instinct to just run the other way as fast as you can. You might be tempted to just recreate what you had here at Oberlin -– to find a community of like-minded folks and work with them on causes you care about, and just tune out all of the noise. And that’s completely understandable. In fact, I sometimes have that instinct myself -- run! (Laughter.)
"But today, graduates, I want to urge you to do just the opposite. Today, I want to suggest that if you truly wish to carry on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice, then you need to run to, and not away from, the noise. Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find. Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens –- the places where minds are changed, lives transformed, where our great American story unfolds."
So, no, Obama did not equate conservatives to "noise," "clamor" and "polarization" as Jones claimed -- indeed, Obama does not even use the word "conservative" anywhere near those terms.
But Jones wasn't done misleading. After quoting Obama urging the students to "persuade" and "compromise" in order to "move the country foward," she sneered: "Interestingly Mrs. Obama's husband is not a compromiser, starting his second term with a 'go-it-alone,' I-have-a pen-and-a-phone attitude."
Funny, the PolitiFact website has a full seven pages of examples of Obama compromising to achieve his policy goals. And Jones omits the fact that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama.
MRC's Graham Would Rather Put Words In A Columnist's Mouth Than Talk About The Duggars Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center doesn't want to talk about the sexual abuse allegations against Josh Duggar -- witness MRC "news" division CNSNews.com burying its only mention of it as a blog.
And the MRC's Tim Graham is so desperate to not talk about that his post on the subject is actually about pretty much everything but.
In his May 26 NewsBusters post, Graham extremely narrowly focuses on a coule of supposedly offending lines in a Washington Post column on the subject by Alexandra Petri. But after a first-paragraph mention that Josh Duggar "was guilty of sexually abusing other children at age 15" -- not nothing that his victims included his own sisters -- the offense is never brought up again, and the Duggars themselves are mentioned only twice more in passing.
The vast majority of Graham's "open letter" to the Post is dedicated to raging at Petri for noting that the Duggar scandal "is a reminder of how badly the cult of purity lets victims down.” It involves putting a lot of words in Petri's mouth -- apparently, what Petri actually wrote wasn't worth getting upset over. She is "obviously bad at hiding her glee" over thte Duggar scandal, Graham declares without evidence, adding -- also without evidence -- that she "doesn’t believe in sin."
Graham also declares that he can read "between the lines" of what Petri wrote to determine what she actually meant to say: "Religious people have an unhealthy attitude toward sex, and are against educating children about sex. That's wrong." How convenient for Graham to put those straw-man words in Petri's mouth to attack her for them and knock them down as "wrong."
Graham does concede that Petri "is right to suggest that it is wrong to assert that someone who’s lost their virginity is immediately and permanently like a cup of spit or a dirty used bicycle – especially for pure, faithful children who’ve become the victim of sexual abuse." But he leaves out the critical context that this is the message the Duggars themselves publicly spread -- and, again, the fact that among Josh Duggar's victims were his own sisters.
This, by the way, is the only mention of Duggar's victims -- odd for an official of an organization that can't mention Ted Kennedy without bringing up Chappaquiddick or Bill Clinton without bringing up his sexual scandals. If Graham is trying to tamp down discussion of the Duggar scandal, he's also tamping down the fact that there were underage victims of a sexual assault.
Graham then attacks "feminists and libertines" -- and he clearly believes Petri is among them through all of the words he put in her mouth -- who purportedly "have an unhealthy attitude toward sexual commitment, and are against educating children about preserving yourself for a committed relationship. Libertines insist virginity is impossible, unless you’re an indoctrinated robot...like they think of the Duggars."
By the time he attacks things Petri wrote a year ago that have nothing whatsoever to do with the Duggars but everything to do with smearing someone he doesn't agree with, it's clear how desperately Graham is to change the subject -- so much so that he's dragged his own family into it by professing that his wife "has never been a campsite or a used bicycle." Um, yay?
(Again, that metaphor was espoused by the Duggars, not Petri. Graham might want to keep that in mind.)
And then Graham goes to some really weird territory: "Post columnists could call me a loser or a nerd or something worse, but I know I have never exploited another human being like a blow-up doll or sought a quick thrill without an 'emotional stranglehold.'"
Remember: None of this has anything to do with what's happening with the Duggars -- and that's the way Graham wants it.
Graham rather deliberately misses the entire point of Petri's column, which he's careful not to mention:
When all sexuality is a sin, when even holding hands is off limits, there isn’t a clear line between permissible, healthy forms of exploration and acts that are impermissible to anyone, not just the particularly devout. This gospel of shame and purity has the potential to be incredibly harmful because it does away with important lines. (Studies not only suggest that abstinence-only approaches to sex education do nothing to decrease the incidence of sexual behaviors, but also that they can make them riskier and that they deprive kids of the vocabulary they need to discuss when bad things happen.)
Graham even bizarrely complains that Petri quoted someone who he claimed believed "Duggar committed a crime, and definitely not a sin." That raises a question: Does Graham believe Duggar committed a crime? If so, shouldn't he be upset that the incident was not handled as a crime, instead being treated as a "sin" the family decided could be remedied through their own devices and not through, say, professional counseling for both the perpetrator and his victims?
All of Graham's histrionics are in service of distracting theMRC's right-wing audience from the Duggar scandal and the fact that Petri dared to write about it -- nothing else. The fact that his post is only the second original reference to appear on any MRC website (after the CNS blog post) is ample proof of that. But Rush Limbaugh's latest utterance, by golly, is considered "news" at CNS.
It's hard to criticize the media when you know they're right. Graham knows that the media is generally doing a good job on the Duggar story, and he also knows that the MRC can't defend the Duggars too vociferously lest it appear to condone Josh Duggar's behavior. Hence, this effort at misdirection to drown out the Duggar scandal by putting words in the mouth of a columnist he dislikes so he can bash her for -- well, anything, really, to change the subject.
The MRC ought to be above such dishonest tactics. Apparently, it's not.