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Thursday, May 26, 2016
NewsBusters' Jeffrey Lord Flunks School on Cause of 2008
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro channels the ghost of Noel Sheppard in a May 25 post headlined "Jeffrey Lord Schools Former Philly Mayor on Origin of Housing Collapse":

NewsBusters contributor Jeffrey Lord laid out the facts about the origin of the housing market collapse of 2008, on CNN’s America’s Choice 2016 primary coverage Tuesday night. “You've got people out there saying that the Clinton housing policy helped cause the housing crisis in the first place,” Lord stated, after being asked if it was smart for Hillary Clinton to attack Donald Trump for his comments about the bubble poping. Former Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter had a bone to pick with Lord over his facts.

Nutter wanted to blame the collapse, not on bad government policy, but solely on Republican President George W. Bush:


Lord shot back, “It was set in motion in the 1990s.” Nutter couldn’t seem to keep up with Lord’s line of reasoning. He instead chose to argue that the right was going to try to blame “every bad thing” on Hillary.

“Their policy was to force the government to give mortgages to people who couldn't afford to pay them back and it caused the economy to collapse,” Lord continued, not letting up. “That was 20 years ago,” Nutter responded again, “At that time, George Bush was president of the United States of America when this was all going on.” Lord shot back yet again by reiterating that the policy that forced the banks to give loans to people was signed by then President Bill Clinton.

We wouldn't want to go to any school where Lord is teaching, because it's simply not true that Clinton administration policies were the sole cause of the financial crisis, as he is apparently claiming.

It's unclear which particular Clinton policies Lord is blaming, but  two have been targeted by other right-wing critics eager to shift blame away from Republicans: the 1995 Community Reinvestment Act, and the 1995 National Homeownership Strategy initiative.

Regarding the former, the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank points out that the 1995 CRA "came more than a decade before most of the financial crisis seeds were sown," adding: "There have been no substantive changes to CRA regulations since the mid-1990s to cause a major change in LMI lending trends, yet the subprime crisis is rooted mainly in mortgages extended between 2004 and 2007. That implies other factors caused the more recent boom in subprime lending and deterioration of lending standards."

The latter, it could be argued, may have been a contributing factor, though -- as with the CRA -- its major effects were seen well before the financial crisis occured. The Richmond Fed states that the strategy was part of a series of policies  that "may have conveyed ongoing government support of the housing market and reduced the propensity of lenders, markets, and regulators to question loosened lending standards and investment in housing."

It's absurd to blame a single policy adjustment 20 years ago for a financial crisis -- the economy's too complex for that, and there's plenty of blame to go around (which Lord definitely doesn't want to admit). Indeed, Time magazine lists 25 people who could share blame for the financial crisis. Clinton is on there, but so is President George W. Bush along with several bankers and subprime mortgage lenders.

Is the "school" Lord is running here affiliated with Corinthian Colleges or something? Count us out.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 PM EDT
A 'Food Desert' Fail At CNS

In a May 19 article, Melanie Hunter highlights a comment by first lady Michelle Obama that "some U.S. communities are 'play deserts,' because they don’t have sufficient opportunities for kids to participate in sports and other outdoor activities, compared to wealthy communities." Hunter then adds: "As previously reported, the Obama administration coined the phrase 'food deserts' to describe an urban area where a significant share of the population lives more than one mile from a grocery store."

Hunter has played into a double fail. First, the CNS article to which she links --  a 2012 article by Penny Starr -- at no point claims that the Obama administration "coined" the "food desert" term.

Second, the phrase does very much predate the Obama administration. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the "food desert" term was first documented in a 1999 report by the Nutrition Task Force Low Income Project Team of the United Kingdom Department of Health. It can also be found in a 2008 essay in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

We know CNS is always in a rush to smear the Obamas any way they can, but Hunter's complete lack of basic research here is embarrassing, even for CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Journalistic Crimes of the WND Author
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Alex Newman smears teachers as criminals in his WorldNetDaily-published book. He's also written "news" articles for WND filled with falsehoods and deceptions. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
MRC Again Complains Historic Event Described As 'Historic'
Topic: Media Research Center

One key component of the Media Research Center's "media research" is to insist that it's "liberal bias" not to despise something the way it does, which manifests itself in whining that a historic event is described as "historic."

The MRC's Matthew Balan does the honors this time in a May 13 post, under the headline "NBC Hypes 'Historic' Obama Admin. Move on Transgender Students":

The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday devoted full reports to the Obama administration's controversial letter to every public school district in the nation directing them to allow transgender students to use bathroom and locker rooms according to their chosen sexual identity. However, NBC Nightly News's segment on the issue touted the "Obama administration's historic new directive to the nation's public schools," and revisited a Massachusetts girl who now lives as a boy. Kate Snow touted how the child's mother says the federal government's move is "protection for him at school — and validation that his rights matter." [video below]

Substitute anchor Thomas Roberts (who has a record of acting as a left-wing LGBT activist) teased Snow's report by hyping that "the Obama administration sends a sweeping message to schools across the country: let transgender kids use the bathroom of their choice, or else." Just before using the "historic" term about the controversy, Roberts underlined that "pushback is coming fast and furious" against the policy move.

Yes, once again the MRC is mad that something historic was described as "historic." "Media criticism," folks!

Posted by Terry K. at 4:53 PM EDT
Trump and Kathleen Willey: The WND Connection
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Donald Trump has been running his presidential campaign as if it was being directed by the conspiracy-mongers and Clinton-haters at WorldNetDaily -- even when WND wasn't willing to follow Trump into certain places, such as going birther on Ted Cruz.

And Trump's latest moves seem to have come from the WND playbook -- and possibly a closer relationship.

WND's Bob Unruh dutifully promoted Trump's latest ad, which "features the voice of Juanita Broaddrick charging Clinton bit her lip and raped her in 1978." Unruh also touts how "Broaddrick described in a WND exclusive sit-down interview in her Arkansas home how the alleged 1978 sexual assault has deeply and permanently scarred her life." Unruh added that the interview was conducted by Candice Jackson, "previously authored the acclaimed book 'Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine.'" That book was published by World Ahead Publishing, which WND purchased in 2008 after earlier forming a "strategic alliance" with it. (World Ahead is now the name of WND Books' self-publishing division.)

It's as if Trump worked with WND behind the scenes to promote Broaddrick. This wouldn't be the first time the two have partnered; in 2011, WND editor Joseph Farah and reporter Jerome Corsi coached Trump on his birther outbursts -- something WND hid from its readers -- and Farah gushed that "I am eternally grateful to him for standing up boldly and demanding to see Barack Obama's birth certificate," adding that Trump is "doing God's work here."

So grateful was Farah, apparently, that WND named Trump its "Man of the Year" for 2015.

But the Trump-WND link apperars to go even deeper, particularly with the stable of alleged Clinton sexual assault victims WND has cultivated. Media Matters has highlighted a February clip by longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone stated that "Trump is himself a contributor" to a fund to pay off Kathleen Willey's mortgage.

We've documented how WND promoted the Willey mortgage payoff in 2013,  and how Willey supporters rented (or got gratis) the WND mailing list to plug the payoff scheme again in February -- around the time Stone made his statement about Trump giving money to Willey. It still isn't working, by the way; as of this writing, the campaign has raised a paltry $7,119 of the $100,000 interim goal and the $386,000 final goal. WND also published Willey's book trying to cash in on claiming to be a victim of the Clintons.

WND is a buddy of Stone as well, heavily promoting his new, sleazy anti-Clinton book (which, needless to say, is available in the WND online store) while hiding his strange sex life and the bizarre and creepy sexual fantasies his co-author, Robert Morrow, has about Hillary Clinton. WND has also promoted Stone's RAPE PAC (yes, Stone is that kind of sleaze), of which Willey is national spokesperson.

The Trump campaign, for its part, issued a statement saying of the allegation, "there's no truth to that." But that Fox News article is unclear on exactly what is being denied; Fox News' John Roberts suggested in a tweet that the campaign was specifically denying that Trump donated to the crowdfunding campaign, which seems obvious given the paltry sum it has raised. That doesn't mean that Trump didn't give Willey money off the crowdfunding books, of course, and it doesn't seem that it has been asked of the Trump campaign.

Curiously, though, WND has not addressed the Stone claim at all on its website, even though it involves some of WND's favorite people and causes. That's not necessarily proof WND had a role in all of this (we'd ask them ourselves, but they've ignored our emails for years and WND, Farah and Jerome Corsi have all blocked us from following them on Twitter), but it sure looks suspicious, and it's not out of the realm of possibility given WND's record of behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 8:48 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
CNS Can't Quite Admit To Readers That Syrian Muslims Are Fleeing Persecution, Just Like Syrian Christians

For months, reporter Patrick Goodenough has been pushing the misleading meme that the Obama administration is deliberately blocking the admission of Christian refugees from Syria. Goodenough occasionally admits the truth -- that, in his words, Syrian Christian refugees tend not to go through U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee camps, which supplies the number he uses, "due to safety fears, and tend to seek shelter instead with churches, Christian charities or with relatives in surrounding countries."

Goodenough's dishonest reporting has the imprimatur of his boss, CNS editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey, so he too can maliciously suggest the Obama administrtation is blocking Christian refugees.

But Goodenough's reporting is even more dishonest than that -- he also buries the fact that the Muslims that are fleeing Syria for refugee status in the U.S. are fleeing persecution as well.

In his May 10 article -- he does body counts on refugees every couple weeks or so -- Goodenough plays up the fact that of 451 Syrian refugees arriving in the U.S. in the previous month, "426 were Sunni Muslims and one was a Christian."

Several paragraphs later, Goodenough obliquely writes that Syrian refugees are "escaping from the Allawite Assad regime and its Shi’ite backers, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) or other Sunni Islamist groups among the opposition, or more generally from the violence and deprivation. They include Sunnis, Shi’a, Christians, Allawites, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Baha’i, atheists and others."

But that obscures the high number of Sunni Muslims seeking refugee status. 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, and the BBC reports that "Christian opposition activists have accused the government of stoking sectarian tensions, including by using Alawite-led security forces and Alawite militiamen to target Sunni civilians." While Sunni Muslims make up the majority of Syrians -- and, hence, the majority of refugees -- the government of Bashar al-Assad is Alawite.

Why doesn't Goodenough make that clear? Presumably because he's more interested in portraying Christians as the real victims and is content to lump all Muslims together as a sinister infiltration.

Goodenough waited a few more paragraphs after that to tell the truth that "many Christians who leave Syria do not register with the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, for fear of their safety in U.N. refugee camps." In other words, it's not Obama's fault that more Christians are not going UNHCR, no matter how much Goodenough tries to suggest otherwise.

Goodenough's May 23 body-count article began by intoning: "The Obama administration has admitted 499 Syrian refugees so far this month, with no Christians among them." At no point does he bother to mention the fact that Sunni Muslims (which accounted for 495 of those refugees) are facing persecution, and he again buries the fact that Christian refugees avoid going through UNHCR, which skews his numbers.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT
WND Touts Attkisson's Fluff Questions to Trump, Ignores Trump Rape Accusation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There was a bit of a lull in WorldNetDaily doing fawning, uncritical stories about segments on Sharyl Attkisson's right-leaning Sinclair-syndicated show "Full Measure." but if there was a promotional agreement between Attkisson and WND that somehow lapsed, it's back in force, and WND is back in full suck-up mode.

An unbylined May 22 article echoed the sneering attitude toward non-binary pronouns in a segment on "the new names associated with gender options," which meshes nicely with WND's transgender-hating agenda.

That episode of "Full Measure" somehow waqrranted a second article, which touted how "Sharyl Attkisson of Full Measure had the opportunity to sit down with Donald Trump and ask some questions he had never been asked before – including some from viewers.

Those hoping Attkisson would have asked Trump something substantial -- say, about the rape accusation hovering over him -- would quickly be dissuaded of that with the laundry list of lame questions she softballed his way, like "When was the last time you fired a gun?" and "Best TV show of all time – besides ‘Apprentice’?"

The rape accusation hasn't shown up anywhere else on WND that we've seen. Apparently, it's going to try and disappear that the way it tried with the Ted Cruz birther accusations.

Is Attkisson proud she shares her political and cultural agenda with the most discredited "news" organization in America? Apparently so.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Monday, May 23, 2016
MRC Latino Dishonestly Defends The Koch Brothers In Fact-Free Rant
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 25 NewsBusters post, MRC Latino's Daniel Garza rants that a segment on the TV channel Fusion on "the dirty business of campaign contributions" was "a fabrication of totally biased political propaganda." In addition to failing to identify a single "fabrication" in the segment, let alone offer a direct one of even one word from it -- he didn't even bother to embed a video of the segment in his item -- Garza responded with his own fabrication of totally biased political propaganda.'

That would be the ol' reflexive defense of the Koch brothers:

The reality is that the Koch Brothers don’t even rank in the top 50 when it comes to political donors in the United States. Moreover, Republican candidate Ted Cruz has made fighting political cronyism a pillar of his campaign, but you would never know it by viewing the fast-talking, morally narcissistic host of the video.

Garza's source for this is a 2014 article by the conservative Washington Examiner, based on data from But as others have noted, that list counts only direct contributions to parties and candidates and excludes money given to "politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers." And in 2012, one-fourth of the $274 million given to dark-money groups came from the Koch brothers.

As the New Republic's Jonathan Cohn pointed out, unregulated, indirect financing of conservative political organizations is the main way the Kochs influence politics.

There are basically no facts here, just Garza ranting about "George Soros and the millions and millions he and his network of allies put into politics" and "Hillary Clinton getting paid ridiculous and scandalous amounts of money to give speeches for big banks." That's "media reserach" at the MRC, folks.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
MRC Repeatedly Tries To Shield Reagan From Criticism Over 1980 'States' Rights' Speech
Topic: Media Research Center

In a May 10 post, the Media Resarch Center's Brad Wilmouth got offended at Katrina vanden Heuvel's statement that "Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site for where three civil rights workers were killed by white supremacists":

But Reagan's appearance at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi -- which was in August 1980 and therefore not even near the beginning of his campaign -- took place a few miles away from the city of Philadelphia, Mississippi, at a fair that was known for attracting a large number of the state's residents. Even the murders themselves did not actually take place in Philadelphia, making it a leap for liberals to try to connect the two events.

If that defense sounds kind of familiar, it should. Wilmouth issued the same defense of Reagan nearly word-for-word on March 3 (when Michael Eric Dyson brought the subject up) and March 7 (when Bill Maher referenced it).

And if it sounds like Wilmouth is being suspiciously specific in his defense, he is.

Yes, Reagan's speech was not at the beginning of his overall presidential campaign, but it did take place a couple weeks after that year's Republican National Convention, meaning it was one of his first speeches of the general election campaign.

Wilmouth's attempt to evade the symbolism of Philadelphia, Miss., by claiming not only that the fair isn't actually in city limits but that the murder of the civil rights activists also didn't take place inside city limits is laughable. It's highly unlikely that Reagan didn't know the history, or that his reference in the speech to "states' rights" -- which is what the controversy over the speech is ultimately about, though Wilmouth curiously doesn't mention it -- was not a dog-whistle reference that white Southerners would not understand.

Joseph Crespino wrote at History News Network that "Reagan knew that southern Republicans were making racial appeals to win over conservative southern Democrats," adding that "it’s no slur to hold Reagan accountable for the choice that he made. Neither is it mere partisanship to try to think seriously about the complex ways that white racism has shaped modern conservative politics."

David Greenberg added at Slate:

Building on the efforts of Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon before him, as well as of a generation of Southern Republican leaders, Reagan succeeded in altering the terms of political debate when it came to race. Stripping away the crude bigotry that had cost the white South the rest of nation's sympathy in the 1950s and 1960s, he and other conservative political leaders fashioned an ideology in which racial politics were implicit, and yet still powerful. 

Wilmouth's writing on Reagan needs to be a little less reflexive (and a lot less copy-and-paste-y) and a little more tied to reality.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
WND Rushes To Paper Over How Broaddrick Is Discredited
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of the components to WorldNetDaily's anti-Hillary jihad is to dredge up stories of Bill Clinton's sexual peccaddlloes (even though Bill isn't the one who's running for president). Key to that is being a conduit for Juanita Broaddrick, who claims Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her 30 years ago.

When the media pointed out that Broaddrick is discredited because she famously changed her story after 15-plus years of claiming she wasn't sexually assaulted, WND had to go into damage control mode. Cue a May 19 WND article by Bob Unruh, which called up Candice Jackson -- who wrote a WND-linked book uncritically telling the stories of woman who claimed to have been sexually involved with Bill Clinton -- to run to Broaddrick's defense:

On Thursday, Jackson was specific: “‘Not credible’ was never a label anyone was able to throw at Juanita – not even Clinton loyalists like George Stephanopolous. ‘Discredited’ has NEVER been used against Juanita before, and it is an outrageous lie. Journalists confirmed details such as Juanita’s attendance at the nursing home event in Little Rock and the location of the hotel where she met with Clinton. Friends at the time confirmed that she told them about the assault right after it occurred. The only thing that has ever been used against Juanita is the fact that she did sign an affidavit denying she’d experienced unwanted sexual advances from Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, in an effort to keep her name out of the Paula Jones lawsuit.

“She admitted to Ken Starr in 1998 that she’d lied in that affidavit (that rape had in fact occurred), and she has told the same consistent version of events ever since. That affidavit existed in 1999 when Juanita first told her story to the WSJ and then on NBC’s ‘Dateline’ with Lisa Myers. That affidavit simply didn’t hold up against the overwhelming evidence of the truth of her story of rape.”

The apparent fact that Broaddrick "has told the same consistent version of events" since flip-flopping in 1998 ignores the fact that she presumably told a consistent version of events before 1998. In other words, story consistency is not necessarily a indicator of truth.

Also, the day before, WND published an lengthy article by Jackson of her interview with Broaddrick that curiously didn't mention that she flip-flopped. Instead, Jackson baselessly asserts that what allegedly happened to Broaddrick "are historical events that haven’t changed for three decades."

But despite WND acknowledging the core of Broaddrick's credibility issues in Unruh's story, it quickly returned to ignoring this crucial fact. An unbylined May 21 WND article attacked the media for calling Broaddrick's story discredited, but doesn't admit that she flip-flopped her story.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2016 8:52 AM EDT
Sunday, May 22, 2016
MRC's Bozell Rushes to Exploit Facebook 'Bias' Controversy
Topic: Media Research Center

In a column last week, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell called the New York Times "shameless" for looking into Donald Trump's behavior with women (something the Ted Cruz-supporting Bozell and the MRC could have done when it mattered, but chose not to).

At the same time, Bozell was being unambiguously shameless in exploiting allegations of bias at Facebook in its "trending news" feed (a relatlvely tiny part of Facebook) for his own -- and, thus, the MRC's -- right-wing political agenda.

Bozell made sure to insert himself into the meeting between Facebook and conservatives, being self-aggrandizing in the process as he proclaimed his attendance there:

I look forward to sitting down with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook because, as I’ll explain to them, no one knows more about liberal bias in the media than we do. We have been documenting and exposing it for almost 30 years. Facebook has a serious problem. Trust is everything and now conservatives don’t trust them. My hope is that today’s meeting will begin to put concerns to rest.

After the meeting, Bozell made sure to keep pressing conservatives' anti-media meme, even as he kinda conceded that Facebook isn't as evil as he has suggested:

I think this was a very productive first meeting. I think Facebook understands there is a problem. And I think that from the very top, there is a genuine desire to resolve it. There were good exchanges and overall, it was cordial. We’ll see how the investigation turns out. There has been a serious issue of trust within the conservative movement about this issue, but everyone in that room, on both sides, wants to see it restored.

But Bozell resorted to self-aggrandization in an appearance on Fox Business:

I explained from our standpoint between the Media Research Center and for America, my other organization we have some 19 million Facebook fans. You know, I think we're biggest out there and we’ve never had a problem, but there’s too much smoke to dismiss the lack of a there is a problem within Facebook[.]

Bozell also mocked Breitbart News for declining to take part in the Facebook meeting despite being invited, saying their attitude was kind of defeatist and angry and thoroughly unproductive," not to mention "silly."

But another attendee at the Facebook meeting, Glenn Beck, had a different view of the meeting, painting it as a attempt by conservatives to shake down Facebook:

I sat there looking around and heard things like:

1) Facebook has a very liberal workforce. Has Facebook considered diversity in their hiring practice? The country is 2% Mormon. Maybe Facebook’s company should better reflect that reality.

2) Maybe Facebook should consider a six-month training program to help their biased and liberal workforce understand and respect conservative opinions and values.

3) We need to see strong and specific steps to right this wrong.
It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges.

I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ …

What happened to us? When did we become them?


The overall tenor, to me, felt like the Salem Witch Trial: ‘Facebook, you must admit that you are screwing us, because if not, it proves you are screwing us.’

Slate's Will Oremus adds:

Beck gets some important things right here. For the conservative politicians and talking heads who fanned this firestorm, it was never about “evidence.” (It rarely is.) It was about seizing an opportunity to stoke resentment and mistrust of the media. That resentment and mistrust is crucial to causes like convincing people that climate change is a hoax or that Donald Trump is qualified for the presidency.

That the controversy is largely the product of cynical conservative grandstanding is not Beck’s only insight. He also recognizes that it is very much in Facebook’s own business interests to appeal to conservatives every bit as much as liberals, and he sees that Facebook is smart enough to recognize that, too.


But the biggest thing Beck gets right, at least partly, is that bias is human and natural, and that the key is not to deny one’s biases but to acknowledge them. 

Yes, Beck is a loon most of the time, but the fact that the MRC hasn't acknowledged his point of view on the Facebook meeting, and downplayed the fact he was even there, suggests he may be on to something. But the fervor with which the Federalist's publisher (who got that job despite his history of plagiarism) Ben Domenech went after Beck and conservative writer Erick Erickson for expressing this viewpoint ("Beck and Erickson can go to their rooms to play their hit song 'Alone in My Principles' and leave the media criticism fray to those of us who believe it is important and valuable, and have the spine to do it") also suggests an element of truth about the cynical, agenda-pushing exploitation of right-wing "media criticism" that Bozell and the MRC don't want to see getting out into the wider media.

UPDATE: Bozell continue to play up the controversy in an appearance on The Blaze TV, likening it to another right-wing conspiracy, the so-called IRS scandal: "For anyone to suggest that Facebook has a policy against conservatives, it's just simply unfounded. It's silly. The IRS didn't have a policy against conservatives. There were people within the IRS who had a policy against conservatives."

Oddly, there was no mention of Beck during the segment, even though he operates the The Blaze and Bozell brought up his affirmative-action plan to bring conservatives into Facebook that Beck was denouncing.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:42 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2016 7:38 PM EDT
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Transgender Derangement Syndrome, Supersize WND Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Instances of cross-dressing men invading women’s privacy illustrates how such obscene conduct threatens the survival instincts of girls and women – normal, real men know this and will protect women and girls at all cost. At this time, the rates of rape of college girls and women in “higher” education is shocking! It is just such mean-spirited men who eventually run major businesses, sports groups, banks, become entertainers and politicians, and demand that females receive all male sociopaths who “feel” they are women. Really?!

Ivy League professorial elites charged that their reputations are damaged by wrongheaded claims of a campus “rape culture.” This resulted in a Title IX federal discrimination complaint. Title IX was designed to protect women and girls from discrimination due to their sex. Now, however, Title IX is used as a sledgehammer by government bullies to enforce aggression against girls and women, forcing females to abandon safety for the benefit of aberrant transgender guys.

-- Judith Reisman, April 26 WorldNetDaily column

At issue seems to be the idea that there is a biological basis for transgender identity. Thus, the refrain becomes, “It’s normal, because of SCIENCE!”

The problem here is that there is a biological basis for a great many things. If science identifies a specific gene, or a specific neurological basis, for being homosexual, for being a child molester, for being left-handed, for being Republican, for whatever, this doesn’t mean all behaviors we can thus identify are equally worthy of social sanction. There are two genders. These are male and female, XY and XX. Being able to identify, biologically, why some people feel the urge to be what they are not does not make this less a mental or psychological disorder. Yet in our reluctance to call these things what they are – deviant, weird, or simply mistakes of biology – we now seek to normalize and mainstream anything, real or imagined, that might make a single person feel better about him-, her-, or itself.

In the process, we’ve relegated to the status of ignorant bigots all those who grew up believing that there was such a thing as “normal.” Regardless of what your social media contacts say, it’s the burden of the weirdos to conduct themselves with a little consideration when traveling among the squares. Believing that isn’t hate. It’s just common sense.

-- Phil Elmore, April 27 WND column

Lately, the news has been replete with how the civil rights of transgendered people are being trod upon by narrow-minded state governments and the bigoted straight majority. In a truly perverse turn of events, even the term “transgendered” has become nebulous; it is no longer employed to reference pre-operative transsexuals, but people who have chosen to represent as the opposite of their biological gender. The term “transvestite” doesn’t fit the bill, either; these are people who claim to literally identify as the opposite gender – at least at present.

While this liberally lubricated political football (again, no pun intended) defies logical interpretation and has given rise to truly bizarre and inane grandstanding on the part of everyone from chain stores to rock stars, it is nothing compared to what is next coming down the pike: legitimizing and then ultimately decriminalizing pedophilia, or child molestation.

-- Erik Rush, April 27 WND column

Just think: Target has declared war on gender.

Last year, Target announced that it was doing away with boys’ toys and girls’ toys.


Now Target has gone even further, imposing the struggles of less than 1 percent of the population on the rights of the other 99 percent.

To add insult to injury, a Target rep on Facebook suggested that those who had a problem with this could use the handicapped bathroom!

So, rather than telling the less than 1 percent who struggle with their gender identity to use the handicapped bathroom, Target is telling them to use the larger, mens’ and ladies’ bathrooms, while telling the 99 percent to use the single handicapped facility.

This is just plain insanity.

-- Michael Brown, April 27 WND column

President Obama’s done lost his mind. He’s just flushed the civil rights of men and women, boys and girls, to pee in peace and shower without having naked, sexually confused or sexually predatory members of the opposite sex ogling them, or intentionally exposing their genitalia for a cheap thrill.

-- Matt Barber, May 13 WND column

You might expect me to be very upset about Barack Obama’s mandate on public schools across the country to accommodate sexually confused students and, presumably, non-students alike, from using the restroom of their choice, regardless of their biologically defined sex.

After all, I opposed such ideas when they were first proposed in California and some Maryland school districts years ago.

But I actually want to thank Obama for doing a service to the nation – perhaps his first since entering White House.

I’m thankful because I believe this action will awaken millions of American parents to rethink their decision to place their children in public schools.

-- Joseph Farah, May 13 WND column

What we’re witnessing is total lawlessness and a meltdown of civil society. The safety and protection provided by our laws are unraveling right before our eyes. So it’s important to know why, and it’s vital we see hope in the midst of it all.

First, we have to realize the issue has nothing to do with transgender people. These are folks for whom Christ died and loves dearly. They are humans, precious in God’s site and created for His purposes. They need the truth spoken in love so they can find hope and healing in the arms of Jesus.

Rather, this has everything to do with the revolution – the radical sexual revolution bent on removing God’s moral boundaries, redefining God’s moral values and reshaping a new godless America. The transgender community just happens to be the easiest group to exploit for the political ground needed to make the revolution happen.

-- Jason and David Benham, May 15 WND column

The so-called “rights” of transgendered people – of which statistics show represent barely 0.3 percent of the total population – are now deemed to be more important than the rights of the majority.

There’s a whole variety of problems with this latest so-called equality that’s being foisted on us – “us” meaning mainstream – read that normal – people, who through centuries have recognized there are two sexes, male and female, and that there is a difference between little boys and girls and adult men and women.

-- Barbara Simpson, May 15 WND column

America must say NO to the gender manipulation of minors. Both physicians and parents need to be held civilly and possibly criminally liable for taking vulnerable children down these roads.

Gender-troubled youth themselves are victims, yet not of conventional male/female sex distinctions, but of adults who enable them to embrace the demonic delusion of being the opposite sex.

It’s mental illness, and some of the top experts in the field are not afraid to say so. It’s also deep spiritual oppression.

But if we let Obama and Loretta Lynch get away with this abuse of power – which is worthy of impeachment – it will enshrine deviance as a new civil right and subject those who disagree to an unprecedented wave of judicial and legal persecution.

-- Linda Harvey, May 17 WND column

In the meantime, the press and other media dutifully advance the idea that a boy who thinks he’s a girl represents normalcy. News pieces celebrate this aspect of societal malaise, showcasing “proud trans teens” and the deluded adults who feed their neurosis. These reports seldom draw any causality whatsoever, stemming from such things as having been raised in notoriously liberal enclaves, highly dysfunctional families of origin, or having one parent (usually the father) who is conspicuously absent. Lighthearted television dramas and comedies about everything from doctors to private detectives invariably find ways to gratuitously interject the importance of gay and transgender rights and “global gender parity” into nearly every episode.

It’s brainwashing, plain and simple – and it is manifestly evil.

-- Erik Rush, May 18 WND column

It’s good that dozens of members of Congress have penned and signed a letter to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, pressing for explanation about President Obama’s carrot-stick demand for schools to open all bathrooms to both sexes, else face loss of federal funding.

Among their requests for clarity: Address what happens to teachers, administrators and others who don’t comply and explain whether feds will also “accommodate rights of conscience and privacy in an individual’s or institution’s non-compliance,” the letter states.

But their letter doesn’t cut to the chase of all that’s wrong with the transgender madness sweeping America right now – and that’s the subtle drive to destroy the traditional family.

-- Cheryl Chumley, May 20 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
Friday, May 20, 2016
MRC Wants To Hide The Fact That Broaddrick Has Discredited Herself
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is on a Donald Trump lovefest because he played the "rape" card on Bill Clinton (and, by extension, Hillary). But for the MRC to keep embvracing Trump's strategy, it must ignore that the person who claims to have been raped by Clinton, Juanita Broaddrick, spent 15 years claiming the opposite and even filing a sworn legal affidvait asserting nothing happened between her Clinton. And the MRC is continuing to ignore or downplay it. 

A May 19 post by Kyle Drennen is upset that NBC's Andrea Mitchell for saying that therape allegations against Clinton are "discredited." He did not mention Broaddrick's affidavit claiming Clinton made no "unwelcome sexual advances" toward her, but he did engage in another act of desperation: quoting WorldNetDaily. He links to a WND article by anti-Clinton author Candice E. Jackson, who interviewed Broaddrick about Mitchell (as well as how "Broaddrick’s life – like that of so many others – has been deeply and permanently scarred by her alleged unwanted sexual encounter with Bill Clinton"). Jackson also conveniently omits any mention of Broaddrick's affidavit.

That was followed up with a post by Nicholas Fondacaro, who whined that an ABC reporter who pointed out the fact the accusations are "decades-old and discredited" was "misleading the audience." He then uncritically quoted Broaddrick's current story about Clinton as a "refresher on one of the incidents." He also quoted a newscaster noting the "factual discrepancies" in the accusations against Clinton but didn't mention the affidavit.

Kristine Marsh noted that on "The View," "Paula Faris and Whoopi Goldberg also went back and forth a few times about Broaddrick’s credibility. Goldberg insisted that Broaddrick had changed her story 'multiple times' while Faris argued it was only 'once.' Sunny Hostin jumped in to defend Goldberg, saying that people were going to question Broaddrick’s 'credibility' because her story has 'been disproven' after she recanted it in an affidavit."

But rather than discuss the credibility issue further, Marsh quickly changed the subject: "The View panel ignored the fact that Juanita Broaddrick wasn’t the only woman who made accusations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton. They also did not bring up how Hillary Clinton has been accused of trying to cover up and silence these women over the years and that is one of the reasons why her husband’s infidelities and alleged crimes against women are important to this election cycle."

Whether the MRC acknowledges it or not, Broaddrick has credibility issues. Continuing to parade her out for the sake of scoring anti-Clinton and pro-Trump points is a questionable game -- especially since, as Fondacaro conceded, Trump himself was once accused of rape by his ex-wife Ivana.

UPDATE: Drennen cites WND again in a May 20 post quoting Broaddrick bashing Mitchell for calling her claims "discredited." But Drennen again fails to explain exactly why Broaddrick is considered discredited. 

Posted by Terry K. at 2:52 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 21, 2016 10:04 AM EDT
WND's Facebook Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It was inevitable that WorldNetDaily would try to insert itself into the controversy over alleged bias at Facebook. And that it does, in the most ham-fisted, dishonest way.

An unbylined May 15 WND article is headlined "Facebook bias: It's baked into the algorithms." It claims: "A four-month WND study of Facebook traffic and engagement patterns of prominent alternative news sites with a more 'conservative' perspective confirms recent charges that the social-media giant actually ignores its own rules and guidelines at the expense of these online enterprises."

No, WND didn't actually study the issue for four months; what it actually did was "compiled a sample-size of four months of data" on engagement "using data provided by Facebook itself to page managers ( in its insights tab, and tracked several news sites through the Pages to Watch feature since the start of 2016." It claims that the data it compiled shows "how engagement for those news sites had seen significant drops in engagement, seemingly supporting accusations by former Facebook employees of internal newsfeed tampering."

Except that it doesn't. The place on Facebook where bias was alleged was the "trending topics" section, not the posts made by news organizations themselves, which is apparently what WND counted -- in other words, it's an apples-and-oranges comparison. WND also provides no evidence that the decline in engagement it documented has anything to do with "algorithms" or anything else at Facebook. Additionally, WND failed to compare the date with engagement rates from liberal news sites, which you'd think would a mopre apt comparison than its fellow right-wing sites. And it apparently failed to account for whether any of the websites it monitored ran marketing campaigns on Facebook to promote their content -- after all, promoted copy to people outside their followers would seemingly skew engagement rates.

Further, WND apparently posted data only for the first and last day of its comparison; the bars represent "the end of January" and "May 9, 2016," and doesn't display any of the data in between that might better demonstrate the persistent decline in engagement it claims took place.

If anything, WND's data proves how terrible its engagement on Facebook is, especially compared to those other right-wing sites. According to the data, is through the roof, displaying 100% engagement in January and 60% engagement in May. By contrast, WND was a 38.47% in January and 23.89% in May. WND can take a little solace in the apparent fact that The Blaze, the Daily Caller and the Washington Examiner had even lower engagement rates in May.

WND's data dive proves nothing, since it's so incomplete and irrelevant to the issue at hand. And it completely ignores the fact that WND's utter lack of credibility -- which this shoddy data only perpetuates -- may very well be a major factor in the lack of Facebook engagement it laments.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Thursday, May 19, 2016
MRC Flip-Flops, Now Fully Defending Trump Against Media Attacks It Refused To Do When It Mattered
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, the Media Research Center whined that the "liberal media" did a critical story on Donald Trump the anti-Trump MRC's own "news" division,, could have done months ago when Trump was not yet the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but did not.

Now, the MRC is in full Trump-defending mode. Yes, MRC chief Brent Bozell  once declared that Trump does not "walk with" conservatives, but he's clearly putting party loyalty ahead of whatever conservative priniciples he has. 

The MRC is also contradicting its longtime refusal to come to Trump's defense when he complained about media bias (though that was mostly because he was complaining about Fox News, which the MRC is afraid to criticize lest it lose access to its highest-profile media outlet). But bashing the "liberal media" comes before principle at the MRC.

So, we have the MRC's Clay Waters whining that the New York Times documented Trump's long history of sexist behavior toward women. He made sure to highlight that these "unflattering" stories, "many of them 20 years old," took "five Times reporters" to cover.

Remember it was just a few weeks ago that the MRC was simultaneously claiming that the overall negative tone of the media's Trump coverage was irrelevant but also not negative enough.

Waters then immediately launched into the ol' Clinton Equivocation:

The Trump behavior described by the various women is immature and boorish. But did former president Bill Clinton’s sexual history or his multiple sex (and worse) scandals get this sort of front-page over-the-fold analysis? Hardly. In fact, during the 1992 campaign, the Times referred to blockbuster rape allegations made against Clinton by former Arkansas nursing home administrator Juanita Broaddrick as typical “toxic waste” and did everything it could over the years to avoid covering the story.


Yet when Juanita Broaddrick's allegation of sexual assault by Bill Clinton finally emerged publicly in 1999 in the Wall Street Journal, the Times sniffed that her claim had obvious problems and defended its failure to cover them, blaming nationwide "scandal fatigue" and lamenting that "smaller outlets on the Internet and cable television" were "overwhelming the slower and more sober judgments of mainstream news organizations" in having the gall to publish a sex candal involving a Democrat president (this less than a year past wall-to-wall coverage of Anita Hill's claims against Clarence Thomas).

The Times did its best first to ignore, then discredit the story, calling the Wall Street Journal editorial page "one of the nation's most conservative and a strident critic of Mr. Clinton." Times reporters Felicity Barringer and David Firestone in February 1999 explained why their paper passed on Broaddrick’s rape allegations in 1992, when coverage could have swung the election.

But it's in the excerpt of that Times defense that the truth -- which Waters doesn't otherwise acknowledge -- comes out: Broaddrick was denying in 1992 there was any attack, and later made that denial under oath. She later flip-flopped. Which means Broaddrick is a liar -- she was either lying then or is lying now.

Nicholas Fondacaro followed up by attacking ABC for reporting on the Times story, in a post headlined "ABC Takes NYT's Bait: Network Reports on Trump Hit Piece." Does that mean the MRC is taking Trump's bait by rushing to his defense?

Fondacaro then latched onto how one of the Times' interviewees, Rowanne Brewer Lane, "has spoken out about her words being twisted by the paper." But the Washington Post's Callum Borchers points out that Brewer Lane is falsely claiming that the Times said Trump "paraded" her in a swimsuit she was asked by Trump to change into; that word appears nowhere in the Times article. Borchers adds:

Many people would surely view Trump's behavior that night 26 years ago as inappropriate — or at the very least, rather forward. He chatted up a model for 20 minutes, invited her to put on the spare bikini he just happened to have lying around and then — while still technically married — introduced her to other guests as a "stunning Trump girl," as if she were somehow Trump's. It's not much of a stretch to call this sequence of events a "debasing face-to-face encounter," as the Times did.


Even if Brewer Lane's grievances did necessitate a correction, they wouldn't invalidate the premise of an entire 5,000-word story based on interviews with more than 50 women.

But now that the MRC is on Trump's side, that's exactly what it wants its followers to believe. And it comes straight from the top.

In their May 18 column, Bozell and Tim Graham summarize all of this, ranting about both how the Times dismissed Broaddrick (while, like Waters, ignoring that she's a documented liar) and how Brewer Lane's criticism of the story meansthe entire story "quickly blew up in [the Times'] faces." They huffily conclude:

It's safe to say that Trump is no one's idea of Mr. Manners. His rudeness toward women was summarized by Fox's Megyn Kelly at the first GOP debate. And the way Trump treated her afterward underlined it. But The New York Times now has no right whatsoever to pass judgment on presidential candidates and their treatment of women.

Oh, please. Bozell and the rest of the flip-flopping MRC have no right whatsoever to pass judgment on the "liberal media" for doing the job the right-wing media wouldn't in vetting Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EDT

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