The MRC's Jeffrey Lord Problem Topic: Media Research Center
Since April 2014, the American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord has been a contributing writer to the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog, which has resulted in a lotofnonsenseandmisinformation being contributed to NewsBusters.
Now Lord's nonsense has gotten dangerous, in the form of defending the indefensible -- Donald Trump's race-baiting attacks on a judge presiding over a class-action lawsuit against the shady Trump University. A few days ago, Lord actually spent 20 minutes on CNN defending it -- laughably insisting that Trump was calling out racism, not engaging in it, by attacking Judge Gonzalo Curiel's ethnicity -- as both liberal and conservative co-panelists and even host Anderson Cooper repeatedly beat down his Trump-defending arguments. Commentators from across the political spectrum mocked and denounced Lord's absurdist defense of Trump.
Lord actually previewed this defense of Trump in his June 4 NewsBusters column, in which he asserted without evidence that Curiel was "injecting ethnicity into the legal profession" because he belongs to a group for Latino lawyers. "Is it any wonder that Donald Trump suspects that his political opinions on illegal immigration are influencing Judge Curiel - a judge who quite voluntarily belongs to a group devoted not to promoting San Diego lawyers but San Diego lawyers based on their heritage?" he deciared. (By the way, that legal group Lord is attacking is merely "a pretty typical professional group that promotes diversity and Latino empowerment in the legal community" and "a conventional professional organization.")
Despite the fact that Lord's CNN debacle and the aggressive Trump sycophancy that drives it should cause a re-evaluation of his status as a NewsBusters contributor, the MRC has been silent aboutit, to the point that the existence of the CNN segment has never been ackowledged on its websites.
Lord's column usually appears on weekends, so we'll keep an eye out for whether he gets to contribute another one.
WND's Jesse Lee Peterson: Think Of The Poor, Persecuted White People! Topic: WorldNetDaily
Despite being a black man, WorldNetDailiy columnist Jesse Lee Peterson is pro-white to the point of occasionally sounding like a white supremacist. He continues to be concerned about the plight of the white man in his June 5 WND column:
Since the ’60s, whites have been blamed for all the ills afflicting black Americans. White blame and guilt has been taught in universities, promoted by the media and is reinforced by the government. Whites are still blamed for slavery and are constantly accused of benefiting from “white privilege” at the expense of minorities.
Unlike Jim Crow Democrats, white Republicans stood with blacks for equality and justice long before Lyndon B. Johnson and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republicans weren’t guilty of discrimination, so they didn’t coddle or handicap blacks.
Over the last 50 years, feminists, LGBT groups, pro-illegal immigrant groups and Muslims have abused civil rights laws and are exploiting white liberals’ guilt for their selfish agenda. Unqualified radical minorities and liberal women have gotten into positions of power, and white males and traditional American values are under assault.
Peterson seems to have missed the past 50 years or so, when the (mostly Southern) Democrats who didn't support to the civil rights laws of the 1960s eventually became Republicans. He also seems to have missed the fact that whites controlled all major levers of power in the United States prior to the mid-1960s.
Barack Obama’s mother hated her own race; he hates whites and America. That’s why he’s allowing illegal immigrants and refugees to come into this country in droves.
If white Americans don’t take a stand, we’ll lose the country. Soon there won’t be enough whites to stop the chaos.
Peterson's column is called "Anti-Trump violence is anti-white hate." No, we're pretty sure it's limited to hating Trump. Not that it excuses the violence, but it's fascinating the extent to which Peterson will go to echo the Trump agenda.
Against History: MRC Objects To Another Historic Event Being Called Historic Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long had a weird obsession with complaining that the media labels historic events as "historic" if said events don't benefit the MRC's right-wing agenda.
Which brings us to Hillary Clinton clinching the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, the first time a woman has done so for a major political party.
Cue the MRC whining:
Scott Whitlock grumbled: "With Hillary Clinton on the verge of officially becoming the Democratic nominee for president, outlets such as the Washington Post and U.S. News are not holding back. “It’s Hillary; it’s History” and “For a generation of women pushing against the limits, a singular triumph” are two examples." He further whined that these media outlets "never once mentioned scandals such as her e-mail server or Benghazi."
Kyle Drennen followed with more complaining about how the media "basked in the 'history'" of Clinton's accomplishment, making sure to put "history" in scare quotes, as if he was trying to deny it didn't actually happen.
Curtis Houck went into full rant mode, screeching that MSNBC "brought on none other than NBC News special correspondent and former California First Lady Maria Shriver to demand the American people 'pause...to think about how this is historic and unprecedented' for Hillary Clinton to become the first female presumptive presidential nominee" and made "this gushing decree for the American people to follow when Clinton declares victory" and "reiterated how imperative it is that we bow down to Clinton."
Houck was too busy frothing to notice that Shriver did not actually "demand" anything; she used the word "hope," not "demand."
Houck followed up by continuing to mistake reporting facts for being a cheerleader, asserting that "While the sun still had to fully set, CNN wasn’t shy in being completely over the moon for Hillary Clinton as they dubbed her the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and first woman to hold the title as 'a watershed moment of the 2016 presidential race and in the history of American politics.'"
Nicholas Fondacaro joined the party, complaining that ABC's "Nightline" noting that she was "making history" meant it was "an absolute Hillary Clinton lovefest."
MRC's Latino division joined the sneering with a post claiming that Univision and Telemundo "focused on the fact that Clinton is the first major party woman nominee for President, but missed another historical first: the first time a major party nominee is also under an FBI criminal investigation as she tries to win the White House."
The whining culminated with a post by Tim Graham finally conceding that Hillary getting the nomination was, in fact, historic -- then complaining that the media largely ignored in 2012 that Mitt Romney was the first Mormon to get a major party presidential nomination:
The TV networks are heavily promoting the word “historic” in Hillary Clinton’s presumptive-nominee status – and “historic” is correct. This surely is a first. But in all of that hype, Clinton critics pick up a heavy whiff of suggestion – “but to make it truly historic, you have to elect her.”’
“Historic” can be a factual adjective, but in the hands of the networks, it often carries a highly positive ring, often attached to liberal victories. By contrast, consider the historic nature of Mitt Romney’s nomination in 2012.
So how did the TV network news programs cover this “historic milestone”? Most didn’t. In a Nexis search for “Romney” and “historic” from Sunday, May 27 through Sunday, June 3, there was no mention of this fact on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS or the (searchable) transcripts of MSNBC and Fox News.
CNN was the TV exception, noting the distinction at least five times on May 29 and 30.
Graham avoids mentioning the obvious: Only 2 percent of the U.S. population is Mormon, while roughly 50 percent are women.
Also, Graham might want to send out a memo to his MRC underlings to stop whining about historic events being accurately described as such if they want to be taken seriously as "media analysts."
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 64: 'Black-ish' And White At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center assigns white writers to pass (almost entirely negative) judgment on a TV show about black culture. Read more >>
WND's Corsi Tries To Justify Trump's Racist Attack on Judge Topic: WorldNetDaily
One reason WorldNetDaily is in financial trouble is the highly biased and typically false "reporting" of Jerome Corsi. He's in the tank for Donald Trump these days, trying to justify Trump's racially charged attack on the judge who's presiding over a class-action lawsuit against Trump University -- which las largely been a fail, what with him catching the law firm representing the plaintiffs doing something his employer has done (having a co-founder who's a convicted felon).
Corsi's fail continues in a June 6 WND article, which begins thusly:
The federal judge presiding over the Trump University class action lawsuit is a member of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, a group that while not a branch of the National Council of La Raza, has ties to the controversial organization, which translates literally “The Race.”
Actually, no, "La raza" does not "translate literally" to "the race." As the an Diego La Raza Lawyers Association explains:
While it is true that one meaning of “raza” in Spanish is indeed “race,” in Spanish, as in English and any other language, words can and do have multiple meanings. As noted in several online dictionaries, “La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.”
Translating our name as “the race” is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity, not a race. As anyone who has ever met a Dominican American, Mexican American, or Spanish American can attest, Hispanics can be and are members of any and all races.
Mistranslating “La Raza” to mean “the race” implies that it is a term meant to exclude others. In fact, the full term coined by Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Hispanic people. This is an inclusive concept, meaning that Hispanics share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.
But telling the truth is not what Corsi is interested in here; playing guilt by association is. Even though Corsi admits that the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association is not associated with the National Council of La Raza, Corsi is going to pretend it is anyway.
While critics of Trump have argued that the San Diego La Raza Lawyers’ association is not affiliated with the National Council of La Raza, consider the following:
The San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association is a member of the La Raza Lawyers of California, affiliated with the Chicano/Latino Bar Association of California.
On the website of the La Raza Lawyers Association of California, at the bottom of the “Links & Affiliates Page,” the National Council of La Raza is listed.
The website of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association is joint-listed as San Diego’s Latino/Latina Bar Association.
On the “endorsements” page, the combined website lists the National Council of La Raza as part of the “community,” along with the Hispanic National Bar Association,, a group that emerged with a changed name from the originally formed La Raza National Lawyers Association and the La Raza National Bar Association tracing its origin back to 1971.
Further, while the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and the National Council of La Raza are legally separate incorporated entities, the two groups appear to have an affiliation that traces back to the emergence of MEChA, the Moviemento Estudiantil Chicanos de Atzlán.
MEChA is a 1960s radical separatist student movement in California that espoused the mythical Aztec idea of a “nation of Aztlán,” comprising much of the southwestern United States, including California.
Much of thet rest of Corsi's article is dedicated to attacking the National council of La Raza -- whcih Corsi has already admitted has no direct links to the lawyers group, no matter how much he tries to play guilt buy association.
Corsi pushes his dishonesty even further with a June 7 article:
The federal judge in the Trump University case, Gonzalo P. Curiel, is a lifetime member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, a La Raza-affiliated group that declared economic war on Donald Trump in a national campaign launched on the group’s website one year ago.
A headline posted July 2, 2015, on the HNBA website announced “The Hispanic National Bar Association Rejects Trump’s Racist Association.”
Corsi doesn't concede that maybe the group has a pretty well accepted point that Trump is being racist in attacking the judge as "Mexican" or in his earlier smearing of Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and criminals. But then, he doesn't acknowledge in either article that Trump has ever said such a thing.
In the earlier article, Corsi wrote only that the judge, Gonzalo Curiel, "has been criticized by Donald Trump as a 'hater' appointed by President Obama who should be recused from the case" and doesn't mention Trump's racial attacks. Corsi didn't mention any of the Trump insults -- the entire reason this has drawn media attention -- in the second article.
Perhaps if WND would just fire Corsi and hire a reporter who doesn't resort to lazy bias and even lazier reporting -- or spend an unusual amount of time and editorial space looking for ways to justify a racist attack by a presidential candidate -- it might be a more financially solvent "news" organization.
Hold the Anti-Media Righteous Indignation, Mr. Bozell Topic: Media Research Center
Who would have thought that even Media Research Center head Brent Bozell -- who endorsed Ted Cruz during the Republican presidential primaries and dismissed Donald Trump because he doesn't "walk with" dogmatic movement conseratives like himself -- would come around to defend Trump? Well he has, as demonstrated in a smug little anti-media rant he issued on June 2:
Donald Trump held a press conference on Tuesday to address (and insult) news reporters trying to locate the proceeds for a January fundraising event for veterans Trump held -- during a Republican debate on Fox News he refused to attend. The press called the insults a "tirade."
The media were right to ask questions about Trump's distribution of funds to veterans groups. But hold the righteous indignation, folks. This is a press corps that has absolutely refused to hold Obama accountable for anything (think: IRS, VA , Solyndra, Fast and Furious and so many other scandals) while also refusing to investigate any clouds swirling around Hillary Clinton (think: Benghazi, Clinton Foundation, email scandals, etc.).
Indeed, it's a courtesy reserved for both Clintons, going back to the very beginning of their national careers (think: Whitewater, Filegate, Troopergate, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and the rape of Juanita Broaddrick, to name but a few unsolved mysteries because no one in the press wanted to investigate them).
Every single one of these scandals is more important than the disposition of funds from a fundraiser, and it must be noted that Trump did account for the millions he raised and contributed. When the media begin to ask serious questions of Hillary Clinton, then and only then will they have the right to pass judgment on Donald Trump.
Apparently, Bozell wants to silence the "righteous indignation" of others so he can dispense his own.
If "the media were right to ask questions about Trump's distribution of funds to veterans groups," why didn't any right-wing media outlet -- like, say, Bozell's own CNSNews.com -- do it? And why did his MRC completely ignore the controversy? The only reference to it we could find on NewsBusters was Melissa Mullins whining that during his media-bashing tirade, someone asked Trump about the gorilla killed at a zoo to save a boy who had gotten into the enclosure.
Bozell finds a way to defend Trump by claiming that "Trump did account for the millions he raised and contributed," which completely ignroes the fact that he did not make good on most of his promised donations until the media started asking him questions about it.
As far as calling the so-called Clinton scandals "unsolved mysteries" goes, where has Bozell been for the past 20 years? All of them are quite solved -- just read the Starr Report on Clinton's alleged affairs, and independent prosecutor Robert Ray's reports on Whitewater and Filegate. Bozell has also apparently forgotten that the titular Arkansas state troopers in "Troopergate" wouldn't repeat their lurid accusations against Clinton under oath.
As for the laundry list Bozell recites of purported scandals involving Hillary Clinton and Obama, we again bring up the fact that Bozell operates something he calls a "news" outlet -- meaning that he is in the media business. If Bozell thinks these stories are somehow underreported, why doesn't he march down the hall at MRC headquarters and tell and CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey and managing Editor Michael W. Chapman to report on them? Why doesn't he use some of that multimillion-dollar budget the MRC has to hire a stable of actual reporters -- instead of the stenographerscurrentlyemployed as "reporters" at CNS -- and unleash them on Obama and Hillary?
We don't know. Perhaps Bozell has decided that it's easier and more profitable to complain about "the media" than to do something about it, and that CNS functions better as disseminator of right-wing propaganda packaged as "journalism" than as a generator of actual reporting.
Until you can offer something other than playing to the chori of right-wing funders and put your money (well, your donors' money) where your mouth is, Mr. Bozell, please spare us your righteous indignation.
Newsmax TV Squabbles With Dish Network Over Carriage Topic: Newsmax
The recurring battle between TV channels and the cable and satellite companies that carry them has now hit Newsmax.
A June 6 Newsmax article says that Dish Network has dropped Newsmax TV, and Newsmax is responding by askingviewers to "to call DISH and let them know you want Newsmax TV back!"
The article adds its own version of backstory:
We are disappointed by DISH Network's decision to stop carrying Newsmax TV.
By doing so, DISH has closed down an important and independent news voice.
It is unfortunate DISH would make such a move during this critical election period.
Newsmax is one of the most respected online news sources in the nation, reaching approximately 50 million online viewers monthly, according to comScore.
We have been an important source of news about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and much more.
In less than two years, Newsmax TV has become a popular cable news channel – drawing close to 5 million monthly viewers, up from fewer than 500,000 when we launched.
In the past DISH has been forced to remove channels that charge excessive fees that must be passed on to their customers.
We applaud DISH for standing up for their customers – but it is important to remember that Newsmax TV does not charge DISH!
In fact, we financially benefit them and their customers so there are NO pass-along costs!
Actually, that's not quite the full truth. As TVPredictions.com reports, DirecTV continues to carry Newsmax TV, as well as "several small cable and telco TV providers." Plus, it's available streaming online, so the channel hasn't been "closed down" at all.
Further, TV Predictions notes, the real issue seems to be about money. Newsmax pays both Dish and DirecTV to carry Newsmax TV, and "Newsmax has yet to issue a comment on the dispute, but it would appear that Dish is either asking the channel for more money, or Newsmax is seeking carriage now without having to pay any fee."
There may also be the issue of channel placement, given Newsmax's digression into the subject in its article:
When DISH launched Newsmax TV, we were placed among a suite of shopping channels, unrelated to our news content.
Due to this unfair and inappropriate placement, DISH has made it difficult for their subscribers to find Newsmax TV.
Newsmax TV continues to be available on DirecTV 349, Verizon FiOS115, and more than 40 cable systems around the nation — all of which put Newsmax TV in their news channel lineups.
It might help if Newsmax publicly explained exactly why Dish dropped Newsmax and under what terms it would return.
Also of note, Newsmax illustrated its article with this picture:
The fellow on the left is Dick Morris, who just signed on as a political correspondent with the National Enquirer. (Apparently, all the post-2012 image rehab Newsmax did for Morris, following a slew of aggressively wrong predictions about the 2012 election, has gone for naught ... or has it?) The Washingtonian hilariously noted how Morris claimed he was impressed with the Enquirer's "willingness to tell the truth" ... "But when asked what that 'truth' is, Morris said he wanted out of the interview and ended the call."
You'd think having a top Newsmax analyst also be associated with a dubious tabloid would not exactly make Dish Network terribly eager to keep the channel. Perhaps Newsmax should explain that one too.
WND's Farah Claims 'Astounding' Response to Plea For Money, Doesn't Provide Evidence Topic: WorldNetDaily
It took him five days, but WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah finally published his email letter pleading for money amid an "existential threat" at WND proper, making it his June 6 column. It's a duplicate of the email version, but with the following note at the top: "Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to 400,000 WND email subscribers last week. An astounding number of them answered the call for help."
Which brings up another reason WND is failing: its lack of transparency.
This is a meaningless statement. How many is "an astounding number"? What is the financial amount of the "help" they provided? We can probably assume that the "help" offered was actuyally not that "astounding" because Farah published the letter on the WND website.
WND is privately owned, so it doesn't have to disclose its financials. But the fact that it begs for money as much as it does -- heck, it has an option at its online store to just give it money directly -- would seem to confer some sort of obligation on WND to tell people where that money goes.
As we've noted, WND has been seeking donations to fund this year's anti-Hillary jihad -- er, the "Hillary Clinton Investigative Justice Project" -- which it claims will be used to "hire legal talent, private investigators and pay expenses for continued investigative reporting efforts." At no point does it promise a public accounting of how that money is used, just "regular insider updates on the progress of the campaign."
WND has long hid its inner workings from public scrutiny. Farah famously shut down a press conference rather than answer our question about whether an affidavit filed in its birther crusade was proffered by WND-affiliated lawyers, and its birther-related petitions contained no apparentverification that the signatories were who they said they were, leaving it open to fraud in the form of fake names and multiple signings.
And the terms of WND's settlement with a Tennessee car dealer over charges of defamation -- in which WND admitted that he was not a drug dealer and criminal as it claimed in a series of articles in 2000 attacking Al Gore -- remains confidential, no doubt because WND wants to keep the presumably large amount of money it had to pay out a secret.
WND operates as something of a black box. Farah is asking us to take on faith that WND's in bad shape in order to get people to give him money, but he provides no numbers to back him up, nor will he say exactly how much money he needs to stay solvent.
Farah's complete lack of disclosure should be a red flag for anyone considering sending him money.
CNSNews.com has a legitimately disappointing unemployment report to write about -- only 38,000 jobs created in May -- but the story on it by Susan Jones continued CNS' established pattern of obsessing over the labor force unemployment rate.
Jones waits until the 10th paragraph to actually mention something she usually ignores because it doesn't fit her agenda -- that the labor force participation rate is heavily affected by "retirements among the aging baby boom generation." But then she tries to spin it by sdaying that "the weak job market has caused other Americans to give up job-hunting in favor of staying home or going back to school." However, she provides nothing to back up that interpretation.
WND's Corsi Tries To Discredit Trump U. Lawsuit By Claming Link to Convicted Felon (Like WND Has) Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi is spinning extra hard to divert attention from the Trump University fraud lawsuit by bringing up irrelevant issues (which, of course, means we could make the assumption that this means the lawsuit has merit). He has brought up that the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the case have paid for speeches from the Clintons (which occurred before Trump announced his presidential campaign) and that Bill Clinton took money from a for-profit university company (but provides no evidence that Clinton's image was used to entice students to enroll or had the school named after him, as is the case with Trump University).
And then there's this attempt from Corsi, in a June 2 article:
The law firm suing Trump University was founded by a wealthy San Diego lawyer with close ties to the Clintons who served a two-year sentence in federal prison for his role in a kickback scheme to mobilize plaintiffs for class-action lawsuits.
William Lerach, best known for winning more than $7 billion in legal settlements of a class action suit he brought against Enron, was found guilty in 2007 of a kickback scheme in which he his firm used intermediaries to pay clients with large stock portfolios a percentage of the law firm’s $11.3 million profits for agreeing to be plaintiffs in 225 class action and shareholder lawsuits, spanning the period 1979 to 2005.
Hey, Jerome, you know who else has a company co-founder who's a convicted felon?
That would be WND.
Robert Beale was an early investor in WND, as well as one likely reason his son (Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day) got a longtime columnist gig there. He's currently a convicted felon currently in prison for tax evasion. He failed to show up for his trial, going on the lam for more than a year. He then was charged with conspiring to stop his trial by arresting the judge on bogus sovereign citizen-style charges (which kinda looked like kidnapping). He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion, plus another four years for conspiring against the judge.
MRC Gives Another Pass to Pro-Trump Propaganda At Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has always had the marching order to never criticize Fox News (unless Mark Levin is, then just quote Levin). With Donald Trump's ascent to Republican presidential nominee, he's off limits now as well. So Fox News' pro-Trump bias will continue to go unremarked upon at the MRC, no matter how ridiculous.
Megyn Kelly's May 17 hour-long interview with Trump turned out to be a bust, filled with softball questions and promotions for Kelly's upcoming book. The reaction from the MRC? Silence, though the day of the interview, it touted Kelly declaring that the New York Times should be "shamed" into covering "Bill Clinton’s problems with women."
Greta Van Sustseren's May 26 Fox News special on Trump and his familiy was so fawning and obsequious that many conservatives mocked its ridiculous tone. The Michelle Malkin-founded Twitchy said of it: "It essentially is 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,' but with just a tiny dash of political hardball thrown into the mix for spice."
At the MRC? Zero, zip, nada. No mention at all.
Yet, in between all that, the MRC did find space for anonymous coward "Bruce Bookter" to be outraged that an ESPN-affiliated website used a picture of Obama in the header of its Twitter page. No, really.
CNS Columnist Takes A Dig At 'Hitlery," For Some Reason Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center is picking up yet another WorldNetDaily trait: columnists who save their really crazy, hateful stuff for other outlets.
Eric Metaxas is a regular columnist for the MRC's "news" outlet CNSNews.com and author of a book on anti-Nazi spy Dietrich Bonhoeffer whose main gig is hosting the radio show "BreakPoint," succeeding the late Watergate felon-turned-Christian Charles Colson. He usually serves up conservative Christian homilies in line with the bias of CNS management.
Yep, in true WND-emulating style, he referred to Hillary Clinton as "Hitlery" and suggests that Trump is somehow not the ideological demagogue making Nazi-esque appeals to nationalism and against foreigners.
Metaxas later claimed the poll was a joke, and also "complex teasing sarcasm humor." He seems not to be aware that there are a surprisingly amount of people -- check the comments section of any right-wing political site -- who use "Hitlery" unironically, not to mention folks like Don Feder, who CNS uncritically promoted last year.
The headline of a June 3 WND article by Leo Hohmann reads, "Amnesty International defends pimps and traffickers." He writes:
The human rights organization Amnesty International is drawing fire from other human rights activists for a new document it released favoring the “full decriminalization” of prostitution.
Amnesty, in the document, “calls for the decriminalization of sex work based on evidence that criminalization makes sex workers less safe, by preventing them from securing police protection and by providing impunity to abusers.”
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, or NCOSE, immediately denounced the policy as one that “ignores the brutal experiences of prostituted persons and empowers pimps, sex buyers, and sex traffickers.”
While Hohmann's article does include a link to the statement, which states "Read Amnesty’s entire document calling for full decriminalization of prostitution," it's clear that neither Hohmann nor anyone else at WND actually read it, because the document explicitly condemns exploitation and trafficking.
The document states that "Exploitation within commercial sex takes different forms and can encompass a wide range of actions extending from labour violations (for example relating to health and safety regulation), up to and including very serious forms of exploitation involving servitude-like practices and forced labour. States have a range of obligations to protect individuals, including those involved in sex work, from exploitation and abuse. Amnesty International considers that there is greater scope for sex workers to benefit from labour-based protections from exploitation where sex work is not treated as a criminal activity."
In other words, according to Amnesty International, if sex work is decriminalized, pimps would not be able to thrive. The document goes on to ask that "States must ensure that sex workers can access adequate legal protection from the range of other forms of exploitation that do not constitute human trafficking."
The document also specifically condemns human trafficking and insists that it be prosecuted:
Human trafficking amounts to a grave human rights abuse and states have an obligation under international human rights and international criminal law to ensure that it is recognized as a criminal offence. Amnesty International supports the criminalization of human trafficking and calls on states to guarantee effective legal protections against it. States must investigate, prosecute and bring traffickers to justice and guarantee victims access to justice and reparation, including with all necessary levels of support. Trafficking victims should not be criminalized.
Sex work (which must be between adults and consensual in order to be considered sex work) is distinct from human trafficking. The conflation of human trafficking with sex work can result in broad and over-reaching initiatives that seek to eradicate all commercial sex as a means to end trafficking. Such approaches work in practice to violate sex workers’ human rights, and in general can make sex workers and people who have been trafficked more vulnerable to violence and harm. Additionally, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that such approaches are successful in addressing trafficking (in terms of preventing, identifying and protecting victims and supporting prosecution of perpetrators).
So WND is blatantly lying by claiming that "Amnesty International defends pimps and traffickers."
While Hohmann claims to quote "human rights activists" criticizing Amnesty International's statement, they are nothing of the sort. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is an anti-pornography group formerly known as Morality in Media that's much better known for protesting things like Sports Illustrated swimsult issue covers and seemingly blaming mass shootings on gay rights.
The other "human rights activist" Hohmann quotes is Judith Reismann, the anti-Kinsey obsessive with her own history of playing fast and loose with the facts. So, no, these are not "human rights activists" by any normal definition of the term -- they are right-wing activists with a specific agenda.
Oh, and those first two paragraphs contain the only direct quotes from the Amnesty International statement in Hohmann's article. The rest of the article presents Reisman and NCOSE's Dawn Hawkins providing their interpretations of the statement as accurate. Needless to say, Hohmann couldn't be moved to contact Amnesty International to get its reaction to these right-wing attacks.
Hohmann and WND build on a blatant falsehood with dishonest agenda-driven reporting that blatantly misrepresents what Amnesty International actually stated and makes no effort to address the issue fairly. That's why nobody believes WND -- and why fewer people even bother to read it anymore.
MRC Defends Trump's Intimidation of Judge Topic: Media Research Center
Yes, it really was just a month ago that the Media Research Center was complaining that media coverage of Donald trump wasn't negative enough. Now the MRC is looking for ways to excuse and defend Trump's sleaziest tactics.
In a June 2 post, Nicholas Fondacaro complains that Trump is being held accountable for attempting to intimidate a judge, Gonzalo Curiel, that is presiding over a fraud case involving his Trump University. Slandering a judge is perfectly OK, Fondacaro argues, because President Obama did it first:
Interesting, because President Barack Obama did just that in 2010 when he angrily rebuked the Supreme Court for their decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The President’s heavy handed criticism came during a fiery State of the Union speech where he claimed the Justices, in a 5-4 decision, “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.” This was the State of the Union where Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito famously mouthed the words “not true” to the President.
Except the two situations are not alike at all. Obama did not criticize the Citizens United decision until after it was made -- not while the case was still in the legal system, as is the case with Trump -- and he did not personally attack any of the judges involved, whereas Trump is specifically and personally attacking the judge in the Trump University case.
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham, meanwhile, takes a side step from bashing CNN's Jeffrey Toobin to defend Trump's attacks on Curiel, totally buying into Trump's argument that because Curiel has a Mexican background, he is obviously biased against Trump:
This same Jeffrey “Not a Big Deal” Toobin was freaking out to Anderson Cooper on Thursday night that Trump would say Latino judge Gonzalo Curiel has a conflict of interest in his Trump University case because he belongs to (and was honored by) the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, which advocates against racial profiling and for “undocumented” immigrants and has a political action committee.
Toobin proclaimed this was just a "social organization," somehow nonpolitical. "It is not a conflict of interest. Donald Trump can say what he wants, but what he is saying about the judge is completely wrong under all of the current rules of ethics."
By contrast, the MRC was upset in 2000 at calls that then-Florida Secreatary of State Katherine Harris, a co-chairman of George W. Bush's presidential campaign in florida, should recuse herself from supervising election activities involving the extremely close vote between Bush and Al Gore, and MRC chief was mad that anyone would dare question Harris' integrity.