ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Sunday, May 8, 2016
MRC's Double Standard on Criticizing A Film The Critic Hasn't Seen
Topic: Media Research Center

Craig Bannister complains in a May 3 MRCTV blog post:

When critics trash a film, they’ve usually actually seen it – but, not ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel. So, the filmmaker of movie debunking climate hysteria is challenging Kimmel to attend a private screening.

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host used seven minutes of his Monday show to mock a climate skeptic’s film he obviously hadn’t seen – since he repeats the very alarmist talking points the film debunks.

Kimmel bashed “Climate Hustle,” a climate skeptic film that aired in 400 theaters nationwide Monday, by making misleading, unsupportable, and inaccurate claims, and personally attacking Gov. Sarah Palin for supporting the film.

Funny, the MRC used to have no trouble with people trashing movies they've never seen. Heck, it paid people to do it.

As we documented back in 2014, the MRC's Katie Yoder bashed the film "Obvious Child" for being an "abortion comedy" in a piece that appeared a full five days before the film's release -- meaning that she could not possibly have seen the film before her trashing. After getting called out on that, Yoder actually defends her ignorance, complainiong that people who have actually watched the movie -- unlike her -- are expressing positive opinions about it.

Finally, a couple weeks later, Yoder further defended her ignorance, claiming that criticism of her for bashing a movie she's never seen is "bogus" because the movie's plot point about "the destruction of innocent human life" is "something nearly impossible to contextualize and utterly repulsive as a romantic comedy plot device. But later in the column, she admitted to finally sitting through the film with a completely closed mind, declaring that "I’m only more determined to continue my 'bashing.'"

But Yoder -- who treated viewing the film as a chore to mollify critics instead of the open-minded fact-finding mission a real writer would have done -- is really upset that the film won't demonize a character who has an abortion, as Yoder and her MRC colleagues strive to do in real life.

Why is the MRC allowed to attack something they've never seen while Jimmy Kimmel isn't? Bannister doesn't explain.

Bannister also got a comment from "Climate Hustle" producer Marc Morano on being bashed signt unseen -- something the MRC's Yoder couldn't be bothered to do with the producers of "Obvious Child" -- without disclosing that Morano used to work for the MRC or that MRC boss Brent Bozell hosted a biased discussion of the film after last week's theater showing of the film.

Bannister also failed to mention the fact that critics of the flim were barred by Morano and his CFACT organization from even being allowed to attend previous screenings of it. That be one reason why people are resorting to criticizing it without seeing it -- because they've been prohibited from doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 PM EDT
AIM's 'Accuracy in Media' Fail
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a May 5 Accuracy in Media blog post headlined "Obama Believes the Flint Water Crisis is a Shared Responsibility," Spencer Irvine tries to snark by adding: "At least he didn’t pivot and blast Republicans, when the EPA was at fault for the current water crisis."

But the link Irvine provides as evidence that "the EPA was a fault" for the Flint water crisis says no such thing. In fact, the Washington Examiner article doesn't even mention the EPA; rather, it explicitly states that "A report done by the state indicated state environmental officials are at fault for the crisis."

So much for "accuracy in media" from the third generation of Irvines to be involved in the AIM family business.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:51 PM EDT
Saturday, May 7, 2016
WND's Klayman Peddles Bundy Falsehoods, Lies About Why He's Not Allowed to Represent Them
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Klayman is going all in on Cliven Bundy and his crew in an April 24 WorldNetDaily column:

More than two years ago, the nation was spellbound as the family of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and other cowboys who supported the patriarch’s God-given right to defend his land at Bunkerville, Nevada, stood down a tyrannical Obama administration bent on seizing the Bundy homestead.

The false excuse used by Obama’s Bureau of Land Management, or BLM: The federal government, rather than the state of Nevada, owned the land that the Bundy family’s cattle grazed on, that the Bundys thus owed grazing fees to the federal government, and, incredibly, that this ranching was killing a so-called endangered species tortoise.

Actually, the idea that the state, and not the federal government, owns federal land in Nevada was struck down in 1996. Klayman also misstates the relationship to the conflict: the BLM was working to create protected areas for the tortoise (which is considered "threatened," one notch below endangered) in rural areas of Clark County, Nevada, where Bundy's ranch is, in exchange for permitting development in other areas of the county, where Las Vegas is.

Klayman then serves up a fanciful and libelous screed lionizing the 2014 bundy standoff:

To effect this takeover, the BLM and other Obama and [Harry] Reid government agents raided the Bundy’s ranch at gunpoint, sending sharpshooters and marksmen, brutalizing Bundy family members with assault, beating and injuring them, and threatening even to kill them if they did not forfeit the land upon which their livelihood depended. Reminiscent of the tyranny that King George III foisted upon the American colonies, the Obama-Reid government “gestapo” simply came and pillaged, even killing scores of the Bundys’ cattle, including a number of bulls that are necessary to grow the herd, burying them secretly in a mass grave as Hitler had done with Jews.

Not to be “bullied” (pun intended), armed but peaceful cowboy militias on horseback, authorized by the Second Amendment to the Constitution, stood down the Obama-Reid government goons, and the cowards were forced to flee. This citizens’ defensive insurrection was so remarkable that Fox News and other cable channels in particular covered what at the time appeared to be the first modern-day use of the Second Amendment to defeat government tyranny. Our Founding Fathers, and particularly George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, would have been proud. This was exactly why they had created in the Constitution the God-given right to bear arms and to commission militias to defend the people against the dastardly likes of King George III – now embodied in our modern-day Muslim-American King Barack Hussein Obama and his slimy “court jester,” Harry Reid.

Of course, Klayman gets his facts wrong here  amid all the libel. Six cattle died in the BLM roundup of Bundy's illegally grazing herd, not "scores."

Needless to say, all this slavering over the Bundy's lawlessness is making Klayman want to represent them in court. But he can't, thanks to Judge Gloria Navarro. As per usual, like a petulant child, Klayman insults the judge -- something he always does when he doesn't get his way -- for not letting him run roughshod over the proceedings:

To defend Cliven, and thus the family, I was asked, along with my local Las Vegas legal partner in the defense, Joel Hansen, to step in. Not surprisingly, Judge Navarro, knowing of my reputation for fearlessly taking on the likes of Harry Reid and Obama, and tyrannical government in general, denied my application to enter the case an out of state attorney “pro hac vice.” This denial, which is legally unjustified, will be challenged, as Joel cannot because of lack of manpower and financial resources defend Cliven alone without my participation. Navarro has a conflict of interest and has shown extreme unethical bias and prejudice fostered by her patrons, Reid and Obama. We are confident that she will now be removed legally from the case as the presiding judge and that a new judge or the appellate court will grant my application to appear.

Klayman is not telling the truth about why he's being blocked from representing Bundy. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:

In a three-page order, Gloria Navarro questioned Klayman’s candidness with her about the outcome of professional disciplinary proceedings against him in Washington, D.C.

She said his disclosure in court papers that no disciplinary action has been taken and the proceedings were likely to be resolved in his favor was “misleading and incomplete.”

Klayman can reapply to represent Bundy if he submits documents related to those proceedings, as well as disciplinary proceedings against him in Florida and clashes he had years ago with two federal judges who banned him from their courtrooms, Navarro said.


His troubles with the Washington bar stemmed from three separate alleged conflicts of interest in litigation involving Judicial Watch after he left the organization as its legal counsel, according to court documents.

Klayman agreed to a public censure in the disciplinary case in June 2014, but Navarro said he did not give her a copy of the “petition for negotiated discipline” and an accompanying affidavit he signed.

“These documents were not provided by counsel, and they are admissions of three separate incidents of stipulated misconduct that were not clearly disclosed in Klayman’s petition,” Navarro wrote.

In other words, it's Klayman's own history of being a terrible lawyer, and not that mean ol' judge he's slandering, that's keeping him from representing Bundy. You'd think that Klayman's history of disciplinary action would be a red flag for Bundy, but apparently not, as least as long as Klayman continues to butter them up:

What happened to Cliven and his family can happen to you, particularly given the likes of Harry Reid, Barack Obama and judges like Navarro. As of now, Cliven and his sons are in prison, and the women in the family are valiantly having to tend to the ranch under great emotional distress, financial pressure and hardship, much like Abigail Adams when Founding Father John Adams was away during the first Revolutionary War. They are all true patriots!

Misusing land that doesn't belong to him without properly paying for said misuse makes Bundy a "patriot"? Only in Klayman's fevered, failed-lawyer mind.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 AM EDT
Friday, May 6, 2016
Again! MRC Touts Cruz Regurgitating MRC's Trump-Media Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is very much invested in its conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" is deliberately colluding to make Donald Trump the Republican nominee so he'll be beaten by Hillary in November. So every time Ted Cruz regurgitates said conspiracy theory, the MRC is more than happy to amplify it -- something it has done twice so far.

And the MRC does it again. Nicholas Fondacaro does the honors in a May 1 post:

Sparks flew Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press when Senator Ted Cruz called out the liberal media for their pro-Donald Trump coverage and their biased executives. “The media created this Trump phenomenon and then they don't hold him accountable,” said the Senator during a very long heated interview with the host Chuck Todd. An exchange where Todd was visible agitated by what the senator from Texas was saying about his profession.


Todd wanted to talk about the numbers. So talk about the numbers Cruz did. “Well, actually, with all due respect the media has given $2 billion of free advertising to Donald,” stated Cruz. The claim by Cruz can be backed up by a number of Media Research Center studies. In January the MRC found that very little of coverage of Trump was about his very liberal past. An MRC study from February found that Trump was receiving three times the coverage his next two rivals were receiving. The trend sky rocketed in April when the “big three” networks bathed Trump in five times more coverage than his rivals, yet another MRC study found.


“The media created this Trump phenomenon and then they don't hold him accountable,” Cruz continued, “Now, I'm sure the media planned to do so if he's the nominee in general election. Suddenly you'll hear every day about Donald Trump's tax returns.”

Many on the right speculate that is what the liberal media has planned for Trump. Citing how the media played nice with John McCain in ‘08 and Mitt Romney in ’12, but then took the gloves off after the Republican National Convention. Although Todd may not like it, Cruz is right to point out that the media does have a bias for Trump. He drives up their ratings and they think Hillary can beat him. What’s not to like about him for the media? 

Needless to say, neither Cruz nor Fondacaro bfrought up the fact that Fox News -- definitely not part of the "liberal media" -- has been the biggest Trump booster of them all. Wouldn't want to ruin a perfectly good conspiracy theory, after all.

Cruz, however, did criticize Fox News' obsession with Trump a couple days later, declaring that "Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes at Fox News have turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network, 24/7." But you won't find that clip anywhere at the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:01 PM EDT
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

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« May 2016 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google