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Friday, May 6, 2016
WND Reporter Pens Anti-Transgender Screed -- And Covers LGBT Issues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of the most basic priniciples of journalism is that there's a wall between reporting and opinion -- reporters are not supposed to express a biased opinion on an issue, and if they do, they shouldn't be covering that issue as a reporter.

But WorldNetDaily breaks so many other journalistic rules, why wouldn't it break this one too?

WND reporter Cheryl Chumley -- who was hired in part because she has a pedigree in reporting (or, at least, what passes for it at the right-wing Washington Times) -- loves to express her opinion so much she has to do it at other websites. Since we pointed that out, more of her opinion pieces have started to appear at the place that employs her. She drops a massive anti-transgender screed in a May 1 WND column:

If wickedness could be bottled, it would be labeled transgender movement.

Nothing else showcases the turn of America from God, and the resulting biblically based judgments that befall nations that forget their Creator, than the current transgender fight, political response and cultural demise.


Think America’s entered a phase of topsy-turvy beliefs, where what used to be right is now wrong – what used to be immoral is now moral? And those who dare say otherwise are now the intolerant, divisive or downright evil ones?

Cheryl Chumley’s latest book takes on the Washington behemoth head-on. Don’t miss her guidebook for turning back the disastrous effects of bipartisan Big Government: “The Devil in D.C.: Winning Back the Country from the Beast in Washington”

Well, that’s what happens when a nation that professes to walk in God’s path – that professes a government based on “self-evident” principles with rights “endowed by their Creator,” as in America’s road map of the Declaration of Independence – but doesn’t actually walk that way. A mocked God turns His back, washes His hands of the people and lets them pursue their own lusts and stubborn desires, and then watches as those same stubborn lusts and desires prove to become snares for the people.

Voila. A Target store policy allowing men to enter women’s bathrooms and dressing rooms is born.

A federal Department of Education memo explaining that schools ought to regard transgender students by their gender of choice, not birth, becomes national policy.

A girl who thinks she’s a boy and sues her school board for discrimination because they barred her from the male bathrooms wins a circuit court’s OK.

The list goes on – and likely will continue to go on, and on, because America is in the throes of what biblical passages would suggest is a period of God’s judgment, when right becomes wrong, and evil is good and common sense is blocked, and His response is to just kind of sit back and let the chaos unfold.
Don’t buy into that? Well, look at our current pattern of common sense. Boys are boys, except when they’re girls, it seems.

Girls are girls, except when they’re feeling a bit on the masculine side.

And the snare – the confusion of the public, the floundering of our justice system, the vicious rhetoric that’s being hurled, the corruption of youth, the bullying of schools, to name a few – has been made all the worse when it’s considered how very simplistic the issue itself is: Birth sex is pretty much indisputable.

What a great time to be a Satanist in America.

But remember that Chumley's main hat at WND is that of reporter, and she also covers LGBT issues. Some recent headlines from Chumley's articles:

It's also worth noting that Chumley's opinion pieces are not separated from her "news" pieces in her WND archive.

Given that conservatives regularly accuse reporters for the "mainstream media" of being incapable of being of reporting objective news because of their purportedly "liberal" personal opinions, turnabout is fair paly and we should also assume Chumley's abject hatred of transgenders, as expressed in her column, means she should be forbidden from covering LGBT issues as a supposedly fair and balanced reporter.

But, again, WND has never cared that much about fairness or even facts. So Chumley's LGBT-hate will be rewarded, since it aligns well with WND's own editorial agenda, and at WND editorial and opinion lacks any meaningful line between them.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EDT
Thursday, May 5, 2016
MRC Attacks Media For Accurately Reporting Cruz's Dire Prospects in Indiana Primary
Topic: Media Research Center

Apparently, it's "biased" for the media to report pre-election polling if those polls reflect bad on a candidate the head of the Media Research Center has endorsed. That's what we glean from Kristine Marsh's May 2 MRC NewsBusters item:

The evening news broadcasts set the negative tone for Ted Cruz Monday night, all virtually predicting that Cruz would lose to Trump in Indiana and his chances at the nomination were slim to none.

The path to the nomination “appears to have run out for Ted Cruz” Scott Pelley intoned on CBS Evening News. “After being crushed” by Trump in the most recent primary, Scott Pelley stated, Cruz was “likely looking at another loss” tomorrow. CBS all but declared Trump the winner of Indiana as correspondent Major Garrett noted the “frantic pace” at which Cruz was campaigning in Indiana, claiming it matched the Senator’s “sense of anxiety” about his “standing in the polls” which show an impending “Cruz-crushing sweep” in Trump’s favor.

Which is, of course, exactly what happened. Marsh has yet to write a follow-up piece admitting the networks were correct in reporting pre-election polling that turned out to be accurate.

Nicholas Fondacaro continued the bash-the-truth tone in a post complaining that "With the Indiana primary a day away the liberal media is franticly pushing the narrative that Ted Cruz is going to lose and Donald Trump is destined to be the nominee." He singles out Bloomberg TV's "With All Due Respect":

Co-host of the show John Heilemann declared Indiana was the end of line for Cruz, “this was the last stand for the Never Trump movement.”

[Republican operative Nicolle] Wallace claimed that her experience in being a part of failed campaigns gave her unique insight to recognizing Cruz’s was failing, “I have been inside a campaign in their final days. And I think there are things you know and things you say, and I get the distinct impression watching Ted Cruz there.” Wallace claimed the election outcome was so obvious everyone including Cruz knows what’s coming, “I think he knows exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

Heilemann threw the spin into overdrive by claiming Cruz could drop out of the race Tuesday night. “If it’s a shellacking tomorrow, if Trump wins by 15 points as the NBC/Marist/Wall Street Journal poll suggests, or more,” Heilemann heavily speculated, “It's not outside the realm of possibility that Cruz will quit, I think. Not outside the realm of possibility.” When a candidate like Cruz is saying that Trump is the same as Hillary Clinton it’s are to argue that he’s going to just surrender. 

Which, again, is exactly what happened. Like Marsh, Fondacaro has yet to apologize.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:11 PM EDT
Shocker: WND Actually Pushes Claim Linking Cruz's Father To JFK Assassination
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily did all it could to avoid covering Ted Cruz's eligibility issues despite the fact that by WND's own needlessly narrow birther standards, he's more ineligible to be president than Barack Obama. WND editor Joseph Farah being a Cruz supporter probably helped influence that.

It seems, however, that one Cruz conspiracy was just too good for WND to not cover.

Unsurprisingly, it's conspiracy theorist extraordinaire (and Trump supporter) Jerome Corsi who does the honors, devoting a May 3 WND article to the allegation posted at the National Enquirer and repeated by Donald Trump that Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz -- whose book "A Time For Action" was published by WND earlier this year -- was once pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald and may have played a role in John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Corsi gives the source of the accusation, Wayne Madsen, a platform to uncritically push the conspiracy theory. Buried way far down in his article is his note that "Some bloggers .. have critiqued Madsen’s research."

Corsi and WND can't criticize Madsen's conspiracy since they've promoted him before -- WND has touted various (Obama) birther and anti-vaxxer claims he's made, and he was a key source for Corsi's attempt to smear Obama as gay.

WND did inject a little counterpoint in Corsi's article by way of trying to promote Rafael Cruz's book. One in-article link reads, "Is he really Elvis? Did he know Lee Harvey Oswald? Find out who the real Rafael Cruz is in his 2016 autobiography, 'A Time for Action.'"

And the same day, WND also published a rebuttal of sorts to Corsi: a chapter of Cruz's book that describes "Rafael’s account of his time in revolutionary Cuba before he immigrated to America," introduced with PR boilerplate seemingly designed to change the subject:

It is a story about one man finding true freedom that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. It is the story of this great nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and how and why it has fallen from grace. It is a wake-up call to the faithful across the land to step up to the challenge of entering the public arena and taking on the forces at work to destroy the guiding principles that made this country great.

He teaches religious people must saddle up. They must vote and volunteer and campaign. They must get in the political game. The followers of Christ are, in His words, “the light of the world.”

While Corsi's article links to this book chapter, the book chapter does not link to Corsi's article.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
CNS Editor Falsely Suggests Obama Blocking Christian Refugees
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey writes in his April 28 column:

"Today, Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world."

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said that on the Senate floor March 17 after he explained what had happened six months before to a Syrian man and his 12-year-old son.


Then, on the same day Cotton gave his speech, Kerry met a congressionally imposed deadline by declaring that the Islamic State, which he called "Daesh," was committing genocide against Syrian Christians and other minorities.

Yet, even as they face genocide at the hands of the Islamic State, very few Syrian Christians are being admitted as refugees to the United States.

As Patrick Goodenough has reported in a series of stories for, their number has not been in proportion to their representation in the Syrian population.


Cotton has offered the "Religious Persecution Relief Act" to help fix this problem. It would permit up to 10,000 Christians and members of other religious minorities in Syria to be admitted to the United States as refugees each year for the next five years. These refugees could apply through U.S.-backed resettlement centers and would not need to go through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. But they would go through the same security vetting as other refugees from Syria.

The House of Representatives voted unanimously last month to declare that the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry had no choice but to concur.

Will they now find no way to allow Middle Eastern Christians fleeing that genocide to find refuge in our land?

Jeffrey is effectively suggesting that the Obama administration is actively blocking Christian refugees from Syria -- something he offers no evidence for, because he knows (or should know) that it's not true.

As we've documented, Goodenough -- the CNS reporter whose work Jeffrey is citing as the basis for his column -- has inconsistently reported on the nature of the alleged refugee imbalance. Goodenough himself reported that Christian refugees from Syria tend to rely no Christian churches and agencies instead of the United Nations, which the U.S. uses to bring in refugees.Goodenough's latest article on the subject, headlined "220 Syrian Refugees Admitted Over Past 2 Weeks Include 1 Christian," again failed to explain that process.

That makes the number of Christian refugees reported to the government artificially lower -- something Jeffrey doesn't mention.

Jeffrey also suggests that the Syrian Muslims admitted as refugees are not facing religious persecution -- a suggestion Goodenough has also made. Jeffrey further complains: "Since Oct. 1, 2014 (the beginning of fiscal 2015), the United States has admitted 3,312 refugees from Syria. Just 38 were Christians. But 3,147 were Sunnis. That equals about 1.1 percent Christian and 95 percent Sunni. The Syrian population, according to the CIA World Factbook, is 10 percent Christian and 74 percent Sunni."

But neither Jeffrey nor Goodenough, in his most recent article, mention the fact that Sunni Muslims are victims of persection. A report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has stated that Syria's ruling Assad regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity committed against Sunnis and others.

That means Cotton's proposed bill is superfluous -- unless the goal of it is to fearmonger about Muslims and advance the right wing's Christian victim narrative. In which case, Jeffrey and Goodenough are all in, even if it means hiding inconvenient facts to advance it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT
WND Fearmongers And Misleads About Ex-Felons Voting in Virginia
Topic: WorldNetDaily

So Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order restoring voting rights to felons who have served and completed their sentences. Cue WorldNetDaily freaking out over it and misleading about it.

An April 25 WND "news" article by Cheryl Chumley -- with the unsubtle headline "Felons for Hillary!" -- kicked off the freakout over "Virginia’s just-announced open door to 206,000 felons to vote in the looming presidential election," adding that these people "includ[e] those who served time for violent crimes, like rape and murder." But Chumley waited until the final paragraph of her 20-paragraph article to mention that the order applies only to felons "who completed his or her sentence and all other requirements."

This was followed by an April 27 article by Bob Unruh, which approvingly quoted the right-wing National Review slamming McAuliffe as "“a lawless governor in a party of felons" and suggested that Trump donating money to McAuliffe's campaign -- albeit in a 2009 campaign that McAuliffe did not win; he wasn't elected to the post until 2013, something Unruh doesn't make clear -- is somehow responsible for him issuing the "executive order that will allow hundreds of thousands of convicted felons, including murderers." Unruh waited until the 10th paragraph to mention (by block-quoting National Review) that the order applies only to felons "who have completed their sentences and whatever probation or parole conditions were attached to them."

Joseph Farah ranted in his April 29 column:

In Virginia, Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the national Democratic Party, the chairman of Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, restored the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons, including murderers, rapists and other violent criminals – just in time for the 2016 election. The records of these criminals are effectively expunged, meaning they can serve on juries and if asked on job applications whether they were ever convicted of a felony they can legally say no.

At no point did he mention the important fact that sentences must be completed before voting rights are restored.

Farah spent most of his column whining that "voter suppression" doesn't actually exists but is "really a scare term employed [by Democrats and liberals] to make vote fraud easier, so that the impact of eligible, registered voters is diminished." Farah not only cited no evidence of the "vote fraud" that is being eliminated by the right-wing push for voter ID laws and similar efforts, he apparently missed the news that came out the day before his column was published in which conservative Heritage Foundation head Jim DeMint admits that voter ID laws help elect “more conservative candidates.”

Then, Phyllis Schlafly takes time from the power struggle at her Eagle Forum to rant about the subject in her May 2 WND column:

We do not want convicted murderers and rapists sitting on juries in criminal trials, and we do not want convicted felons to be picking the next leaders of our nation. Elections are for law-abiding citizens to pick law-abiding leaders, not for criminals to elect fellow criminals.

Rather than admit that the ex-felons will have completed prison sentences and probation before their voting rights are restored, Schlafly instead nit-picks that "Gov. McAuliffe also extended voting rights to felons convicted of violent crimes who have not fully paid restitution to their victims for the injuries they caused."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
MRC -- Which Claims Negative Media Coverage of Trump Is Irrelevant -- Now Complains It Isn't Negative Enough
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of its conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" (which apparently includes Fox News) is covering Donald Trump excessively because it wants him to be the Republican presidential nominee so he'll lose to Hillary Clinton in November, Media Research Center writers have claimed the fact that much of Trump's media coverage is negative is irrelevant. It has also complained at one point that Trump coverage was too negative.

Now, the MRC is complaining that coverage of Trump isn't negative enough.

Nicholas Fondacaro trumbled in an April 26 post that NBC failed to report "major news" that " the New York attorney general announced that the class action lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of fraud, for his failed Trump University."Fondacaro added that "oddly, neither Univision nor Telemundo reported about Trump going to trial on fraud charges. Both are networks that love to bash Trump whenever they get the chance."

This was followed by an April 28 post by Scott Whitlock complains that "All three broadcast networks, thus far, have ignored a shocking moment on Wednesday night when Donald Trump touted his endorsement by convicted rapist Mike Tyson."

We're confused. If the already-negative tone of Trump's media coverage is irrelevant, why does it matter if even more negative news about him is covered?

It seems that the liberal Trump-loving media (which, again, includes Fox News) can do nothing right in the MRC's eyes, even when they're doing what the MRC supposedly wants them to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EDT
WND Wrongly Portrays Court-Martialed Marine As Victim of Anti-Christian Persecution
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Greg Corombos writes in an April 27 WorldNetDaily article:

Five military judges heard oral arguments Wednesday in the appeal of a U.S. Marine punished through a court-martial for refusing to remove Bible verses from her workstation, and a retired general says the case could determine whether there really is religious freedom in the U.S. military.

Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling lost her original court case, as the court ruled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act did not apply to the the type of religious expression she was displaying and did not protect her from punishment for refusing to remove the verses.

A decision is expected this summer.

Corombos interviews retired Army lieutenant general William “Jerry” Boykin, who reinforces the idea that Sterling was punished for being a Christian and that members of the military are not required to "sacrifice your First Amendment right to the freedom of religion."

Just one problem: That's not what happened to Sterling.

As Chris Rodda details at the Huffington Post, the Bible-verse infraction was the least of the offenses that led to Sterling's court-martial:

The charges against Sterling resulted from several separate, unrelated incidents over the course of five months. These incidents included failing to go to her appointed place of duty, disrespecting a commissioned officer, and disobeying direct orders from her superiors to wear the proper uniform. These incidents had nothing to do with religion or religious freedom.

The most serious of the charges that Sterling was found guilty of were her failing to go to her appointed place of duty, and her disrespecting of a commissioned officer in relation to that incident. Sterling was assigned the duty of giving out passes to family members visiting Marines who had just returned from a deployment. This duty was to be for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. Sterling claimed that she couldn’t perform this duty because she was on medication for migraines that made her drowsy, but, as the court-martial found, there was no reason that this medication would have interfered with Sterling performing this duty if she took it at night as prescribed. But, as Sterling admitted, she was not planning to take her medication as prescribed on that Sunday. She was planning to take it earlier. Her reason? She was going to church and the loud choir at the church service might bring on a migraine. Seriously, that was her excuse — that she planned to take her medication not as prescribed. Needless to say, this excuse didn’t work. The disrespecting of a commissioned officer occurred a few days before the Sunday on which Sterling was assigned to be on duty giving out the passes. Sterling refused to take the passes from the major who was trying to give them to her, an incident witnessed by a first sergeant who, when asked at the court-martial to describe Sterling’s behavior towards the major, said it was “the most disrespectful thing [he] had witnessed from a Marine of junior rank” to a commissioned officer in his over eighteen years of service.

The right-wing Liberty Institute glommed onto Sterling's case, Rodda writes, and the appeal of Sterling's punishment it's leading makes no mention whatsoever of the other, more serious infractions that led to the punishment: "Even without the charges resulting from Sterling’s refusal to remove her signs, she would certainly still have been court-martialed and found guilty of these other charges. And, by failing to appeal the other convictions to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Sterling’s 'counsel' has waived any legal arguments or defenses she may have had regarding her other convictions, making those convictions now final."

Rodda also notes that Boykin is among nine retired military officials who filed an amicus brief in support of Sterling -- something Corombos doesn't mention in his article. As with the Liberty Institute appeal, the generals failed to mention the other charges for which Sterling was punished.

But actually helping Sterling is not the point -- exploiting her to advance the right-wing narrative of Christian persecution is, and WND has eagerly played along.

A May 2015 WND article by Cheryl Chumley reported on the case pushed the persecution narrative, and lying preacher and WND columnist Bradlee Dean ranted how "Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling was court-martialed for refusing to take down a paraphrased Bible verse on her computer," calling it evidence of "the attacks toward America’s Christian heritage." Needless to say, neither mentioned the other charges Sterling faced.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Monday, May 2, 2016
WND Suggests Hillary Murdered Vince Foster
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily hates Hillary Clinton, so it's no surprise that it would jump on her comment that "I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak."

Chelsea Schilling does the honors in an April 29 WND article. After noting that  "WND has reported extensively on Bill Clinton’s sexual exploits through the years and how the couple even threatened women to stay silent about alleged sexual assaults at the hands of her husband," Schilling adds: "At any rate, the former president appears to have fared better than another man in Hillary’s life who apparently went off the reservation – former deputy White House counsel Vince Foster."

Yes, Schilling is suggesting that Hillary murdered Foster, or at least had him murdered.

Schilling's evidence for this is WND's article last year about "Hillary's 22 biggest scandals ever," which quotes the unreliable Ed Klein to claim that  Hillary engaged in purported skullduggery after Foster's suicide -- but which doesn't go so far to claim Hillary killed Foster, as Schilling suggests.

As we noted at the time, WND is simply trying to revive fake "scandals" to attack Hillary.

Lead WND Hillary-hater Joseph Farah can't help but pile on, of course, so he devotes his May 1 column to further abuse, bizarrely calling the "off the reservation" remark a "thoughtless, careless, anti-indigenous people slur" and declares himself to be offended because he's "one-quarter Micmac of the Algonquin tribe."

We're not aware that Farah has claimed to have Native American heritage before. He does have a habit of conjuring up personal information as the situation demands. He has repeatedly claimed to have marched with Martin Luther King when he was younger, though he would have been no more than 13 years of age had he done so and though the claim conflicts with his oft-repeated insistence he was also a left-wing radical when he was younger.

He then lists all the reasons he despises Hillary with the heated passion of a thousand suns, up to and including "she smells bad." 

That's not the kind of statement inclined to inspire any sense of credibility for WND's current anti-Hillary jihad. Then again, neither is a WND reporter suggesting that Hillary murdered Vince Foster.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 AM EDT
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Newsmax Maintains Silence on Kessler Being A Former Employee
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how Ronald Kessler's recent appearances on Newsmax TV omit the fact that Kessler was Newsmax's chief Washington correspondent from 2006 to 2012. That streak is continuing.

In an April 15 Newsmax TV interview, in which Clinton-hater Kessler insists that Hillary Clinton will be indicted over her mail server, host Steve Malzberg does not mention that Kessler used to work at Newsmax. And the accompanying article describes Kessler as a "veteran journalist" and "a former Washington Post reporter and author of "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents," published by Crown Forum" -- but not as a former Newsmax correspondent.

There's also another level of nondisclosure going on here. Crown Forum, the imprint that published Kessler's book, began life as Prima Forum, a joint venture with ...  Newsmax.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:32 AM EDT
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Did Sharyl Attkisson Pay WND To Write Fawning Stories About Her New Show?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Since Sharyl Attkinson's Sinclair-syndicated show "Full Measure" first aired last October, WorldNetDaily has run a series of unbylined "news" articles that are effectively promotions for it. Each article summarizes a segment from the show -- something WND has done for most of the "Full Measure" shows since it started in October 2015.

A search of WND's archive shows that the articles have appeared on Oct. 18, Oct. 25, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, Nov. 22, Nov. 29, Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 17, Feb. 7, Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 13, and March 20

Only two of these show summaries, from Nov. 8 and Dec. 6, carried bylines, from Douglas Ernst and Leo Hohmann respectively.

The article actually appears to closely follow the show's script, nearly word-for-word. The March 20 article is one example. Here's the script of the beginning of the segment about Donald Trump:

Pundits have talked themselves sideways looking for a label to hang on the Donald since he entered the race last summer.

Billionaire, reality show star, but one that some never imagined is Republican Nominee.

With a major win last week and three more states up this week, Trump has had success beyond all predictions, except perhaps his own.

How could the experts have been so wrong?

Scott Thuman reports it's the media coverage that's looked more like a reality show.

And here's how the WND article interpreted it:

Pundits have talked themselves sideways looking for a label to hang on “The Donald” since he entered the race last summer: billionaire, reality-show star. But one that some never imagined is “Republican nominee.” With a major win last week and three more states up this week, Trump has had success beyond all predictions – except, perhaps, his own.

How could the experts have been so wrong? Full Measure correspondent Scott Thuman reports it’s the media coverage that is looking more like a reality show.

That looks too close to be mere coincidence -- either some anonymous WND staffer is a serious Attkinson fanboy/fangirl, or "Full Measure" has a deal with WND to promote the show as "news."

Oddly, the most recent show summary-slash-"news" story WND did on the show was March 20, which would roughly coincide with the show's six-month anniversary. That seems to suggest some sort of six-moth promotion deal between the show and WND, or it could be an odd coincidence.

It appears that either WND had a contract -- paid or otherwise -- with Attkisson and "Full Measure" to manufacture "news" articles on it, or WND is so obsessed with the show that it felt Attkisson deserved free promotion. The former, if true, raises question's about Attkisson's journalistic credibility, but neither possibility does anything to boost WND's cratering credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EDT
Friday, April 29, 2016
NewsBusters Blogger Diverts Discussion Of Hastert to Bill Clinton
Topic: NewsBusters

Leave it to the Media Research Center to steer a conversation about now-admitted child molester Dennis Hastert away from him and to MRC nemesis Bill Clinton.

Mark Finkelstein writes in an April 27 NewsBusters post:

As far-left MSNBC hosts go--an admittedly low bar--I'll admit to having found Chris Hayes a relatively fair and decent proponent of his misguided policies. But he did two things tonight that made me lose respect for him. First, he literally laughed in the face of Rick Tyler, calling "preposterous" his depiction of Donald Trump as a "northeastern liberal progressive."  This despite Trump's record of donating to . . . northeastern liberal progressives and describing himself, among other things, as "very pro-choice." Would Hayes ever be so rude to a liberal guest?

Even worse when it comes to hypocrisy, it is hard to top Hayes' skeptical suggestion about Denny Hastert's pattern of sexual abuse of boys: "good Lord Almighty do I wonder whether that just stopped when he left the precints of Yorkville high school?" Come back and reclaim your integrity, Chris, when you wonder the same about Bill Clinton. Did his abuse stop when he left "the precincts" of the White House? Orgy Island, anyone?

"Orgy Island," by the way, is a reference to Jeffrey Epstein, a political donor who is alleged to have a private island where sexual crimes were committed. Clinton reportedly flew on Epstein's plane, but there's no evidence thus far that Clinton took part in any inappropriate behavior.

Epstein has a relationship with Donald Trump too, but Finkelstein didn't mention that. Nor did he mention that occasional friend of the MRC Alan Dershowitz also has a relationship with Epstein -- heck, NewsBusters has ignored that completely.

Finkelstein is taking the ol' Clinton Equivocation to new levels by trying to deflect from the offenses of a prominent Republican child molester.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
WND Marks 19th Anniversary By Highlighting Some Of Its Bogus Stories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 24 WorldNetDaily article touted how WND is about to turn 19 with the usual self-aggrandizment. It then went a step further and highlighted "some of the most important and consequential stories WND has published over the years." But maybe it shouldn't have highlighted these particular ones, because they demonstrate what a shoddy, biased "news" organization WND is. Let's go through them, shall we?

“10 years later, Terri Schiavo’s death still hurts.” WND began reporting on the famous Terri Schiavo case way back in 2002 – long before almost any other national news organizations – exposing the many troubling, scandalous and possibly criminal aspects of the case that to this day rarely surface in news reports. Schiavo abruptly collapsed in her home, eventually being moved to a care center, and died only after her estranged husband requested, and a judge ordered, that care center workers stop providing her with any food or water, literally starving and dehydrating her to death, even though her parents desperately wanted to take her home and care for her themselves.

In fact, WND's coverage of the Schiavo case was highly biased and selectively reported, so much so that an article it claimed whas "the whole Terri Schiavo story" was actually interested only in telling the side of Schiavo's parents, who were trying to save her life, and maligning Schiavo's husband by suggesting he was trying to kill Terri. A book on the case written by then-WND reporter Diana Lynne was similarly biased.

“Ramos, Compean freed from prison.” WND was on the forefront of reporting the case of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were prosecuted and imprisoned for non-fatally shooting a fleeing Mexican drug smuggler who was carrying 750 pounds of marijuana into the United States. Characterizing Ramos and Compean’s incarceration as a “political prosecution,” Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, called for a congressional investigation into alleged prosecutorial misconduct by El Paso U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton under the direction of Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Poe also called for an investigation into the alleged role of the Mexican government in demanding that Ramos and Compean be prosecuted. When the two law enforcement officers were finally freed, Ramos’s family credited WND, saying, “Your reporting had a lot to do with the decision today by President Bush to commute the sentences.”

In fact, WND buried the other side of this story -- Ramos and Compean covered up their involvement by picking up their shell casings and failing to file an incident report, as well as the fact that pursuing fleeing suspects violates Border Patrol policy.

“Loretta Lynch lets HSBC skate despite Iran transactions.” WND has long reported on the scandals involving the HSBC bank, including when Loretta Lynch, as U.S. attorney and a nominee to become attorney general, decided not to prosecute HSBC for money-laundering for terrorists and drug cartels. Thousands of instances in which HSBC violated U.S. law prohibiting transactions with Iran were documented in a July 17, 2012, staff report by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations titled “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case Study.” And many of the dirty details regarding HSBC’s operations came from WND’s reporting.

Actually, while HSBC did not go through a full courtroom criminal prosecution, HSBC did agree to pay a $1.9 billion fine in the case -- a record fine at the time -- which is hardly letting them skate. WND went even farther, falsely and maliciously claiming that Lynch was "tied to terrorists [and] drug cartels" because she obtained a monetary settlement in the case.

“DOJ: No comment on why cops killed Miriam Carey.” The still-ongoing Miriam Carey story centers on why police in Washington, D.C., shot and killed a mom who apparently made a wrong turn into a White House access point, then tried to back out and leave. The list of remaining issues is extensive and includes such questions as why she was shot in the back, where the officers’ statements are, what happened to the video from nearby cameras – and more.

Actually, WND has done little on this story beyond filing a couple FOIA requests and leaping to conclusions the available evidence doesn't support, and it's a story WND is pursuing apparently for the sole purpose of continuing its largely failed war against President Obama -- all of which is probably why the story didn't win the Pulitzer Prize WND editor Joseph Farah was counting on to restore WND's credibility.

“Hamas terrorists endorse Obama. As WND exclusively reported, the terror organization Hamas endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 when WND Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein interviewed Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, about the upcoming U.S. election. “We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections,” Yousuf told WND. “I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. … I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance,” Yousuf said, speaking from Gaza. The controversial endorsement became a featured meme of GOP presidential challenger Sen. John McCain, although Hamas later claimed it was neutral on the U.S. election.

Klein has a habit of manipulating his reporting to suit his agenda, which in this case was pro-Israel and anti-Obama. After all these years, Klein has never explained what behind-the-scenes dealmaking went on to secure the interview (because Klein is anti-Hamas as well, and there's no good reason a Hamas representative would chat with a Hamas-basher), whether Yousuf's endorsement of Obama a condition of his interview, what if anything Yousuf get in return for furthering Klein's political agenda of if Yousuf was even aware he was being duped into furthering Klein's political agenda.

“Ayers ‘confesses’ he wrote Obama’s ‘Dreams.'” When Bill Ayers, the unrepentant Weather Underground bomber, self-identified “communist” and Chicago colleague of Barack Obama, mockingly admitted, “Yes, I wrote ‘Dreams from My Father,'” many wondered whether he was serious. But not WND columnist Jack Cashill, whose exhaustive published research has documented that Ayers, an accomplished author in his own right, unquestionably played a significant role in the writing of Obama’s celebrated autobiography, “Dreams from My Father.” Best-selling author Christopher Andersen, in “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of a Marriage,” later acknowledged the groundbreaking work of Cashill, who has written more than two-dozen columns since June 2008, making the case that Ayers – dismissed by Obama during the campaign as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” – at the very least, shaped and refined “Dreams” with his exceptional writing skill and radical ideas.

WND is touting getting punked by Ayers as "important and consequential"? In fact, Andersen walked back the claim in a CNN interview, stating that "I definitely do not say [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book," and actual language experts have debunked Cashill's purported evidence that Ayers wrote Obama's book.

“The tragic story of Jesse Dirkhising.” WND reported extensively on the tragic death of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising, for which two homosexual men were convicted. The facts suggest strongly that the boy had been used as a sex toy as the two men tortured him to death. But Dirkhising’s horrific demise was largely ignored by the national media, which chose to focus instead on the killing of Matthew Shepherd – an adult homosexual brutally murdered in Wyoming. Dirkhising suffocated to death during the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 1999, after being bound, drugged, gagged and brutally sodomized by Davis Don Carpenter, then 38, and Joshua Macabe Brown, then 22, at the men’s apartment in Rogers, Arkansas.

In fact, the Dirkhising and Shepard cases were quite different, which resulted in different media attention. Shepard's death has been classified as a hate crime which, generally speaking, tends to get attention from the mainstream media, while Dirkhising's death has been classified as a sex crime, which rarely gets national media attention.  Further, Shepard's death raised larger issues that Dirkhising's death didn't.

Further, as obsessed as WND and other ConWeb outlets were with Dirkhising's death -- since it could be exploited in a way that advanced their anti-gay agenda -- they largely ignored the trial of one of the men arrested for his death.

“The giant, gaping hole in Sandy Hook reporting.” WND is one of few major news organizations to comprehensively cover the vastly under-reported dangers of psychiatric medications, especially antidepressants with their “black box” suicidality warning labels. In 2013, a few weeks after the Sandy Hook mass shooting, WND documented the jarring correlation between such mega-crimes and psychiatric drug use, showing that most school shooters in recent years have either been taking, or just coming off of, antidepressants or other mood-altering drugs. Many followups came later, including publication of a “Big list of drug-induced killers.”

WND rushed to blame psychiatric drugs Adam Lanza may have been taking almost immediately after the Sandy Hook massacre -- a time when no evidence had been forwarded that he had been taking any. In fact, it has since been revealed that Lanza's mother resisted the recommendation of medical experts that Adam be placed on medication, and a toxicology report found no drugs or alcohol in Lanza's system at the time he committed the massacre. That would seem to be a giant, gaping hole in WND's reporting.

But never mind all that -- or the fact that WND apparently no longer considers its years-long Obama birther crusade to be "important and consequential," judging by its absence from this list -- Farah has some more self-aggrandizment to do:

“WND reporters and editors all came from traditional news media experience,” he explains. “They didn’t just start blogging one day. For instance, before I started WND, I ran daily newspapers in major markets, I worked as an investigative reporter, I served as a foreign correspondent, I covered entertainment, I did time on the copy desk, I worked as a senior-level news executive at the age of 26. Pardon my boastfulness here, but there is no one in the New Media or old who has a resume like that. And I’m hardly alone among my colleagues at WND. They all have remarkable professional backgrounds in newspapers or newsmagazines or wire services or TV news or radio news. That’s the common denominator among our team and the mark of distinction that sets WND apart from others in ‘independent news’ operations.”

With experience comes standards, Farah explains.

Oh, please. Actually, this "experience" has only made WND more biased and unfair, and Farah is strangely proud of the fact that WND publishes misinformation.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 29, 2016 8:50 AM EDT
Thursday, April 28, 2016
CNS Frames Volunteers' Emotional Support As 'Abortion-Related Care'

Melanie Hunter tries to make it sound as scary and offensive as possible in an April 26 article:

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) found that members of AmeriCorps, a federally funded service organization, were allowed to provide abortion-related care to pregnant women at three New York City clinics operated by the Institute for Family Health (IFH) between 2013 and 2015.

But what is this "abortion-related care" that Hunter finds so offensive? She doesn't tell us until the fifth paragraph:

According to the report, NACHC [National Association of Community Health Centers, an AmeriCorps grantee] in Bethesda, Md., allowed “a few AmeriCorps members to provide emotional support (doula care) to women during abortion procedures” at three IFH clinics in New York.

Wait ... providing "emotional support" is the offense? Apparently.

Since Hunter doesn't bother to explain what "doula care" is -- all the better to make it sound more sinister, as if AmeriCorps was directly providing abortions -- we had to go elsewhere on the internet. Here's how one abortion doula provider explains what they do:

We provide nonjudgmental, compassionate and empowering support focused solely on nurturing your needs during your experience with pregnancy. Having a Full Spectrum Doula during your experience can alleviate anxiety and help with healthy aftercare. We listen to you and respond compassionately without judgment. We honor your unique needs and feelings throughout your experience. Your well-being is our only concern.

Apparently, the anti-abortion activists at CNS don't want anyone involved in providing "nonjudgmental, compassionate and empowering" support.

But it's not just them; this was apparently a Republican-led provision that AmeriCorps violated, given how Hunter provides ample space for Republican Rep. Diane Black to rant that AmeriCorps "broke trust with the American people" and provided "support of abortion" (even though, again, it provided emotional support for those having one, not for the procedure itself).

But Hunter doesn't explain why volunteer compassion is forbidden when it comes to abortion. Which tells us she's more interested in pushing an agenda than being an actual reporter.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:36 PM EDT
WND's Malloch Actually Claims His Trump Fanboy Crusade Is 'Moderate and Reasoned'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Donald Trump fanboy Theodore Roosevelt Malloch recently went to Canada's Regent College to give a speech, and was aghast that some students criticized said Trump fanboyism. As Malloch described it in his April 21 WorldNetDaily column, "I was treated rudely, disregarded and accused of hate."

Fair enough. But then Malloch asserted that he had endeavored to "write the editorials supporting Trump from a moderate and reasoned perspective." He added: "The idea that my editorials on Trump might be fairly argued and moderately written appears to be antithetical to the far-left Bernie socialists, including former weathermen and now the overtly aggressive Black Lives Matter radicals who populate today’s protest marches, mixed together with anarchists from the Occupy movements, as well as those being paid by wealthy socialist forces like Soros to disrupt free speech and cause harm to the very fabric of civility."

OK, stop right there. Malloch is claiming his Trump fanboyism is "moderate and reasoned" and "fairly argued." This is the same guy who:

  • Fantasized that Trump's first six days would parallel that of God's first days of creation.
  • Likened Trump to Aristotle (albeit in that they guy can competently give a speech).
  • Went vaguely racist in touting Trump's appeal to the "white working and middle class."
  • Insisted that Trump is a "principled actor" in politics, again ignoring his actual history of unprincipled politics.

Malloch went on to sneer at the name of the college's newspaper, noting that it is "named “&c,” whatever that means." Well, it's an alternate rendering of "et cetera," something you'd think a guy with a doctorate and enough pretentiousness to insist on being called by his entire full name, two of which belong to another man to whom he's (as far as we can tell) not related by blood, would know.

Malloch then takes potshots at the entire country in apparent revenge for being treated rudely there:

Trump supporters agree America is not a sovereign nation as long as the southern border with Mexico is left open and largely unguarded.

This is why in the United States we have 12 million illegal immigrants and more on the way, not to mention a drug war.

Would Canada allow such a travesty?


Trump may better be portrayed as a gladiator in the arena who will fight for the common person, who will defend freedom, who will build and rebuild American infrastructure and who will in his own theme: Make America Great Again.

Is this unappealing to Canadians and others who for decades have depended on American largesse, on our military shield, on our nuclear deterrence, on our charity, on our economic engine of growth?

Malloch also serves up some of that so-called "moderate and reasoned" Trump fanboyism. He states that "Trump has made it clear he intends to defend the national interest to bring jobs back by negotiating better trade deals," then adds: "Isn’t that what Americans expect of a leader? Is it authoritarian or hateful to suggest and enforce real policies, or is it the responsibility of a leader who truly wants to serve his people? In the great tradition of Western civilization, the notion of a servant leader, expressed in Christ, is a model to follow and uphold not decry."

Yep, Malloch really is suggesting the thrice-married Trump is Christ-like.

Malloch concluded by whining about "students who appear to hate Trump as much as they hate the idea of a traditionally moral Christian America dedicated, as our Founding Fathers understood, to Christian morals that supported profitable business founded with an understanding of spiritual capital."

Yeah, that massive logical leap was totally moderate and reasoned.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2016 12:32 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
MRC Whines That Curt Schilling Was Fired, Won't Show The Post That Got Him Fired
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has done a lot of whining over ESPN's firing of Curt Schilling:

  • Coward-hiding-behind-a-fake-name "Bruce Bookter" complained that Schilling was fired because he "posted a picture of a transgender person, and made a comment regarding the effort to let transgender men use women’s restrooms."
  • Matthew Balan wrote that Schilling was fired after "Tweeting out a controversial image" that another writer (who Balan makes sure to tell us "moonlights as a cross-dressing musician in a rock band") said "many deemed transphobic."
  • "Bookter" wrote again that Schilling's firing was what "so many members of the liberal sports media openly, and privately, rooted for" but mentioned the image only in quoting another article.
  • Kyle Drennen asserted that Schilling was fired because he "objected on social media to liberal demands that transgender people be allowed to use whichever bathroom they choose." He mentioned the image only in quoting others.
  • Clay Waters declared that Schilling was fired "after sharing a post on his Facebook account against allowing transgenders to choose which bathroom they use, accompanied by a crude photo of a large man in unflattering drag."

Yet for the centrality of the image in Schilling's firing none of these MRC wreiters reposted the offending image. Is that perhaps these writers know the image does not help Schilling's -- and right-wing anti-trans activists' -- cause?

For the record, here it is:

One derives from Schilling's posting that he clearly thinks this image is an accurate depiction of transgenders, which makes us think that he also believes a pickaninny is an accurate depiction of black people.

The only place at the MRC the image appears is in an April 20 NewsBusters post by Dylan Gwinn, though he posts it only in block-quoting a USA Today post that was more offensive to him because it noted that transgenders have a higher suicide rate and Schilling's offensive post probably isn't helping things.

Gwinn ranted that it's "not funny at all" that the writer implies a link "between Schilling’s conservative views and transgender suicide, and besides, "middle-aged white males --by far-- the group most likely to commit suicide." He then downplays the suicide risk:

Seriously, though, people commit suicide for all kinds of reasons. Like, depression, drug abuse, mental illness, poverty, dysfunctional upbringings. All things that apply to transgendered people. And all things that many of them suffered from way, way before they ever knew what a Curt Schilling or a conservative ever was.

Conservatism doesn’t kill. Being forced to watch I Am Cait every week kills. (Violently clears throat.)

Dylan, honey, nobody's forcing you to hate-watch shows you don't want to watch. You have -- and have always had -- the choice to walk away. Apparently, that MRC cash must be good for you to put yourself through such torture, eh?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:03 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 10:40 PM EDT

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