WorldNetDaily loves Association of American Physicians and Surgeons president Jane Orient because of their shared agenda of right-wing politics and medical misinformation. Read more >>
Thursday, June 23, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Chief Medical Misinformer
WorldNetDaily loves Association of American Physicians and Surgeons president Jane Orient because of their shared agenda of right-wing politics and medical misinformation. Read more >>
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
NewsBusters Loves Trump's Wash. Post Crackdown Too
As one would expect, the apparent mandate from the top that the Media Research Center cheer Donald Trump petulantly revoking the Washington Post's press credentials has trickled down to the MRC rank-and-file. Tom Blumer, a loyal NewsBusters misinformer, is totally on the Trump media shutdown train, using the same argument his bosses used:
Of course, Trump has refused to clarify his statement -- Trump himself said that "I’ll let people figure that out for themselves" -- so, by definition, no interpretation of what he said can be wrong, let alone libelous, which makes Trump's snit fit against the Post even more petulant. Even Blumer admits he's guessing at what he thinks Trump "indicate[d]" -- not what he definitively said.
But Blumer is too busy cheering on Trump to debate such a fine point. After asserting the Post was being "dishonorable, dishonest and inaccurate" on Trump's remarks -- again, despite the fact that Trump himself won't clarify them -- he rants:
How little self-respect does Blumer have to back a candidate who clearly can't handle reporting that doesn't make him look good?
MRC's Graham Mad That Anderson Cooper Pointed Out Florida AG's Hypocrisy on Gays
Topic: Media Research Center
CNN's Anderson Cooper did a tough interview last week with Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on gay-related issues following the Orlando massacre, and the Media Research Center's Tim Graham didn't like that one bit. In a June 16 post, Graham was even upset that Cooper defended the interview:
But while Graham is accusing Cooper of being "dishonest" -- he puts it right in the headline ofhispost -- he's also being dishonest in his reflexive Cooper-bashing and Bondi-defending.
For instance, in a transcript of Cooper defending the interview, Graham boldfaced a section in which Cooper states that Bondi "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayer money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry. Now, good people can and do disagree on that issue" -- then failed to boldface a section immediately following, where cooper states that "Ms. Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors for the very right allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones, that's a right that wouldn't exist if Ms. Bondi had had her way," which arguably better encapsulates the point Cooper was trying to make.
But Graham then leaps to a statement Cooper made after that -- "I think it is fair to ask about that. There is an irony" -- which set off another rant:
There’s an “irony” in sympathizing with gay people when they’ve just been shot dead. Apparently, Cooper thinks the un-ironic homophobe should express delight? The most dishonest thing Cooper said above is "everyone has a right to their opinion" and " good people can disagree," which he clearly does not believe. Otherwise, he wouldn't be protesting that Bondi never tweeted out support for Gay Pride Month. Apparently, everyone must tweet their support for Gay Pride Month, or they shouldn't express regrets after a mass shooting.
Graham also gave Bondi a pass on her dishonest complaints about the interview -- that the interview was edited, which was impossible since it was shown live (it was apparently edited for rebroadcasts and the web which Graham baselessly accused Cooper of having a personal hand in doing), and that she was booked to appear on CNN only to talk about post-violence insurance scams. Graham didn't boldface that in the Cooper transcript, highlighting instead Cooper's statement that instead of touching on other subjects Bondi suggested talking about, he asked her about actions that "seemed contradictory to her record in dealing with gays and lesbians in the state."
Now, if Bondi was a Democrat and Cooper worked for Fox News and conducted a similarly challenging interview on a subject near and dear to conservative hearts, Graham would be lauding him as tough and fearless and wouldn't be smearing him as biased. In short, he'd be getting the Megyn Kelly treatment.
But because Bondi is Republican and Cooper is gay -- LGBT folks are a particular berzerk button for Graham -- Bondi must be defended and Cooper must be attacked. Graham gets paid good money to do that.
WND Scrubs Article to Fix False Claims, Complains About Having To Do It
Leo Hohmann's June 21 WND article has an oddly defensive tone:
What Hohmann doesn't tell you: This is not the original article he wrote on the alleged incident.
Talking Points Memo reports that WND is one of the right-wing websites that "reported that a group of Syrian refugees sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl at knife-point. Some versions of the story claimed that the attackers’ fathers cheered the assault and that city officials intentionally covered up the true version of events."
The URL of Hohmann's article gives us the original headline -- "Muslim migrant boys accused of assaulting Idaho girl, 5" -- and an earlier version of that article has been reposted at this website, but it appears to not be an original version as it includes later details that rebut original claims.
Nowhere do Hohmann and WND disclose that the article has been so extensively rewritten that it has a completely different headline. WND even has the capability to indicate updates in a story's dateline, but it has not done so here.
Hohmann's complaining that media outlets interested in reporting facts highlighted "a few details that were erroneously reported by bloggers" while "ignoring or downplaying the broader truth of the story" is rather rich, given that those "few details" promoted by Hohmann (who's apparently a "blogger" now) and others were key facts that were completely wrong.
Hohamnn also complained about those fact-based news organizations pointing out that the original, false story was “pushed by local anti-refugee activists.” and by “conspiracy and anti-Muslim websites.” Hohmann -- who desperately wants to make sure that we know that "an attack did occur and it was perpetrated by Muslim migrants" -- failed to identify identify himself and WND as among the “conspiracy and anti-Muslim websites" who pushed the false story.
Hohmann then quotes one of those "anti-refugee activists," Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch, whom he identifies only as someone "who has been following the refugee program for the past nine years." The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that Corcoran's anti-refugee activism is praised by white nationalist organizations across the country like American Renaissance, the Council of Conservative Citizens and VDARE, and she has even touted AmRen's "good commentary.
So Hohmann quietly scrubs his story to remove false claims without telling readers what changed, whines about the news organizations that waited to get the story right before reporting it, and presents extremists as mere concerned citizens. No wonder WND has no credibility and is in deep financial trouble.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
CNS Columnist Wants (Ineffective) DDT To Be Legal Again To Combat Zika
Hans Bader rants in a June 10 CNSNews.com column:
Haber and Melchior are ignoring the fact that, as we've pointed out, most mosquitoes are immune to the effects of DDT due to past overuse, so re-legalizing the chemical to fight Zika would do little good.
Bader goes on to write: "Similarly, Melchior notes that the most famous advocate of banning DDT, Rachel Carson, falsely claimed that use of DDT was threatening the American robin with extinction – in the very same year in which noted ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson wrote that the robin was actually 'the most abundant bird in North America.'" Actually, as we've also pointed out, Carson never called for the banning of DDT or any other pesticide, just a stop to their overuse.
While Time magazine concedes Carson was wrong on the imminent extinction of robins, she was correct on the workings of the food chain that made DDT a threat to robins. DDT was sprayed on elm trees in the 1950s to try and kill a tree disease, but DDT residue remained on the leaves. When the leaves fell in autumn, earthworms ate the leaves, and robins would eat the worms the following spring. Because DDT persists in the environment unusually long after it is sprayed, DDT could build up to toxic levels in robins from eating earthworms. And there are documented cases of robins dying from DDT poisoning -- it's what inspired Carson to write her book.
Oh, and Bader pulled that Carson-robin anecdote from a pro-DDT article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (which also fails to mention that most mosquitoes are DDT-immune), published by the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The journal is notorious for publishing an article falsely claiming that there has been an explosion of leprosy cases in the U.S.
MRC Approves of Trump's Petulant War on the Washington Post
Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their June 15 column:
No, Messrs. Bozell and Graham, the Post did not "invent a story." Trump has adamantly refuised to explain what he meant by his Obama-bashing remarks -- Trump himself said that "I’ll let people figure that out for themselves" -- so, by definition, no interpretation of what he said can be "invented," even the Post's headline claim that Trump was suggesting Obama was involved with the Orlando massacre, which even Bozell and Graham admit is a "believeable" interpretation.
In case there was any doubt about whether the formerly Trump-hating Bozell is now fully aboard the Trump train, he and Graham enthuse: "Many imagine Trump as a wonderful breath of fresh air, refusing to indulge the arrogant elites in the press."
In other words, the MRC couldn't be happier that Trump pulled the Post's media credentials.
Graham came to an even bolder defense of Trump the next day by attacking NPR media critic David Folkenflik for accurately pointing out that, in Graham's words, "Donald Trump as a crybaby who can't handle rude press coverage." Graham doesn't bother todispute the accuracy of Folkenflik's assessmesnt; instead, he complains about how Folkenflik addressed Trump on the subject of pulling the Post's credentials: "Well, look, boo-hoo! This is the job, man! You know, you're going to run for president. You have to face scrutiny. You've got to take the lumps."
Graham goes on to justify Trump's action against the Post by citing examples of "the remarkable hostility the paper has shown Trump, which are mostly limited to a few op-eds and a couple in house editorials noting that Trump's plan to remove all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. would be "a forced movement on a scale not attempted since Stalin or perhaps Pol Pot." Graham didn't cite an example of what would be a more favorable comparison.
Graham then displayed his own Trump-like petulance by posting screenshots of his Twitter fight with Folkenflik. In it, Folkenflik pointed out Trump's anti-media attacks wuch as having proposed loosening libel laws, threatening to sic anti-trust lawyers on Post Jeffrey Bezos, mocking a disabled reporter and "point[ing] out reporters for denigration at rallies."
Graham responded by obsessing about Hillary and painting Trump as the victim of the media: "Folkenflik failed -- like many other liberals -- to balance the ledger by noting Hillary Clinton's hostility to the press, even though she has much less to complain about than Trump."
This, by the way, from the "media research" outfit that was complaining just a couple months ago that the media's coverage of Trump wasn't negative enough. Times change when you board the Trump train.
WND, CNS Repeat Unverified Claim That Scientist Proves God Exists
Bob Unruh is very enthusiastic in a June 11 WorldNetDaily article:
Well, not exactly. As religion blogger Richard Bartholomew explains:
Further, this blogger suggests that a Spanish-language website found the story to be a hoax.
WND is not the only ConWeb outlet to fall for this very fuzzy, unverified story. A June 17 article by Barbara Hollingsworth repeats the purported claim by Kaku without acknowledging its dubious language-spanning provenance.
Despite the fact that Kaku teaches at the City College of New York and, presumably, not that difficult to get a hold of to verify the story, neither Unruh nor Hollingsworth demonstrated any evidence that they bothered to do so.
Monday, June 20, 2016
MRC Denies Military Heritage of AR-15 Rifle
Topic: Media Research Center
Following the Orlando massacre, the Media Research Center immediately and predictably turned into agents for the gun lobby, insisting that only Islam, not gun control, was the issue that needed to be addressed. Also predictably, the MRC has peddled some dishonest propaganda in the process.
In a June 13 post, Nicholas Fondacaro complained that some in the media were calling the AR-15 rifle, which shooter Omar Makeem was originally believed to have used in committing the massacre, was "built for the military" and is a "weapon of war." FOndacaro insisted that the AR-15 "it’s not a 'weapon of war.' The AR-15 was designed to replicate the look of military weapons, a benefit being their ergonomic design. If a buyer wanted, they could purchase a weapon made of wood with same capabilities as an AR, but look nothing like it."
Maggie McKneely used the same argument in a June 14 post, asserting that "assault weapons, such as the oft-demonized AR-15, are not weapons of war. They are designed to look like military weapons due to their ergonomic design, but lack the automatic capabilities. The only difference between the AR-15 that the media loves to hate and a common ranch shotgun is how they look."
But as the Washington Post explains, the AR-15 "is a civilian variant of the military’s M-16 series of rifles and carbines." The Post points out that the AR-15 has a long history with the military:
While one may quibble over how closely a civilian AR-15 resembles a military model, it's undeniable that the rifle has a military heritage, and it's dishonest for the MRC to deny it.
McKneely, meanwhile, tried to pile on, chortling at how "recent reports show that the Orlando shooter didn’t even use an AR-15 rifle." Turns out that's true -- the weapon used was a Sig Sauer MCX rifle, a different family of products from the AR-15. But as the Post also notes, the MCX was "originally designed for U.S. Special Operations forces," meaning that it too has a military heritage.
And, thus, the MRC's attempt to play interference on behalf of the gun lobby ends in complete failure.
CNS Touts Mel Gibson's 'Passion' Sequel Work, Silent On Gibson's Anti-Semitism
Mark Judge waxes enthusiastic about Mel Gibson's new film project in a June 10 CNSNews.com blog post:
That's the entirety of Judge's post. Notice something missing? You know, like Gibson's history of ugly anti-Semitism (not to mention an even uglier breakup with his mistress) and the fact that "The Passion of the Christ" has itself been credibly accused of being anti-Semitic?
Needless to say, the Media Research Center has a double standard on not mentioning the unseemly history of entertainers. In January, MRC chief Brent Bozell and his deputy Tim Graham marked David Bowie's death by complaining that the media was ignoring stories of Bowie bedding underage groupies, lamenting that "David Bowie died to universal acclaim, even from a star-struck Vatican newspaper." Bozell and Graham whined about how "the secular news industry in New York and the social justice warriors in Hollywood pour outrage all over the predatory Catholic priests who abused children in this same era of sex and drugs and 'revolution,' the rockers and the filmmakers plowed their way through a polyester playground of high-school groupies exploiting their 'star privilege.'" Never mind that Bozell and Graham have given that very pass to right-wing icon and underage groupie-bedder (and underage groupie-marryer) Ted Nugent.
It looks like Gibson will get a pass on his notorious past from Judge and the rest of the MRC simply because he made a popular religious movie.
How WND's Anti-Gay Activists Handled the Orlando Massacre
The most prominent of WorldNetDaily's unsurprisingly large stable of anti-gay activists had to walk a fine line following the Orlando massacre: expressing sympathy for the mostly gay victims without appearing to contradict the longtime revulsion for gays that has sustained their careers.
Carl Gallups -- who has declared that homosexuality is "one of the most dangerous sexual lifestyles on the planet" and said parents should remove their children from public schools that offer "gay history classes," as well as asserting that the United States "is inviting end of days judgment upon itself" as it "celebrates, promotes, and legalizes homosexual marriage" -- was first up. In an unbylined June 14 article, Gallups strenuously tried to decouple the harsh anti-gay rhetoric of right-wing Christians like himself from any act of violence against gays:
Wel, actually, if you are calling gays "dangerous" and are trying to censor attempts to tell their history, as Gallups is, you are, in fact, opposing the dignity and equality of gays.
(Gallups has also promoted the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre is a hoax, which makes one wonder if he'll go truther on the Orlando massacre eventually.)
Next up was notorious gay-hater Scott Lively, who has helped to craft anti-gay laws in other countries and is believed to be an inspiration for a proposed law in Uganda that would have punished homosexuality by death. Inhis June 17 column he insists that despite the facgt tyhat he loathes gays, he would have tried to stop them from being massacred, really:
True to form, Lively kept up his purportedly nonviolent gay-hating: "These same schoolchildren that are being brainwashed with pro-Islam propaganda are also the subject of culture-wide radical LGBT social experimentation, turning our boys into girls, and girls into lesbians, just when the nation needs a return to a more masculine Christianity and the patriarchal family structure. That must end!"
Professional gay-basher Matt Barber -- whose website BarbWire published a column this past week blaming gays for provoking the Orlando massacre and demanding that they go back into the closet -- managed to avoid expressing any genuine sympathy at all to the massacre victims in his June 17 column, so busy was he trying to play the game that Muslims, not Christians, are the real gay-haters:
And so, to those in the “LGBT”-identified community, Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, the New York Times and other progressives who have smeared, and continue to smear, Christian Americans in the blood of 49 souls who died at the hands of ISIS in Orlando, know this: We don’t hate you. We grieve with you and are praying for you in this shared time of national tragedy.
Because you know not what you do.Linda Harvey -- who we last saw defending destructive conversion therapy to force gay people straight -- served up a little perfuctory sympathy but making sure not to let any such positive feelings stand in the way of her latest bit of gay-bashing in her June 14 column:
My condolences go out to the injured, to those who lost family and loved ones. The hearts of many mothers are breaking today.
Michael Brown -- who has equated being transgender to being a sexual predator and wrote a book-length anti-gay rant called "A Queer Thing Happened to America," but is also effectively alone in the anti-gay Christian right in publicly criticizing Christian extremists like Theodore Shoebat who do explicitly avocate killing gays for being gay -- tries to have it both ways in his June 15 WND column pretentiously titled "A Christian message to LGBT Americans," acknowledging his anti-gay rhetoric but also insisting it doesn't drive followers to violence:
Brown's response then becomes completely schizophrenic, telling gays to ignore people like him of use Jesus' name to spread hatred of gays and just somehow come to Jesus anyway:
Brown doesn't actually answer the question he asks, but it's all too clear: Yes, Brown wants gays to stop being gay.
Finally: All of these anti-gay activists had an opportunity in their WND columns to denounce Christians like Roger Jimenez, who cheered the Orlando massacre. None did so.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Last Week's Trump Coverage At CNS: Nothing But Stenography
We've noted how CNSNews.com, despite presenting itself as a "news" operation, weirdly doesn't think the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is newsworthy enough to appear on its front page.
As if in response to our making that discovery, CNS quickly slapped a couple of Trump stories on the CNS front page early last week:
In other words, no reporting, almost entirely stenography. And we didn't see any other Trump stories on the CNS front page the rest of the week.
The big Trump news last week, of course, was Trump barring Washington Post reporters from covering him for purported bias. That got mentioned in the final few paragraphs of Jones' Trump-Fox articlebut apparently did not warrant any further "news" coverage.
What did make the CNS front page last week? Some more stenography: a report on conservatives whining that there aren't enough conservatives in the college professor ranks. And a blog post on the Benham brothers describing their "Christian response" to the Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub that failed to mention that the Benham brothers are anti-gay to the point that they called gays "destructive," "vile," and controlled by "demonic forces" -- an inconvenient fact CNS loves to whitewash.
So: Perpetuating conservative memes is "news" at CNS, but reporting on its preferred presidential candidate is not. Got it.
MRC Decries Media 'Bias' on Assisted Suicide -- While Its Own 'News' Outlet Is Biased Too
Topic: Media Research Center
In a June 9 post, the Media Research Center's Matthew Balan complains about an NBC report on a new assisted-suicide law in California, asserting that the reporter "showed a clear slant towards proponents of the legislation by playing four soundbites from supporters, versus only two from opponents."
The slant Balan would presumably prefer can be found in an article the same day from the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com. In it, reporter Melanie Hunter quoted two proponents and one popponent of the law, but she made her bias clear. While a statement from one proponent of the law got only two paragraphs and the other proponent got just one paragraph, Hunter devoted a lengthy five paragraphs to a statement from the American College of Physicians opposing the law.
This means, spacewise, opponents got more space in Hunter's article than proponents.
Apparently, the MRC wants people to do what it says and not what it does.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
CNS Ties Muslims To Hatred of Gays, Ignores Christian Gay-Hatred
Following the massacre in a gay nightclub Orlando by a man who allegedly claimed allegiance to ISIS, CNSNews.com was quick to reinforce the idea that only Muslims hate gays:
Censored so far at CNS, however, is the fact that Christian pastors have come out in favor of the massacre because gays were killed.
In Sacramento, pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church said "I think that's great" that "50 pedophiles were killed today," adding, "The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!" He also said of gays: "I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out."
Arizona preacher Steven Anderson said that while he wouldn’t advocate for violence, he said LGBT people should be “executed by a righteous government," adding, "The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they're going to continue to molest children and recruit children into their filthy homosexual lifestyle." He also said, "At least these dangerous, filthy predators are off the streets. I’m just trying to look on the bright side."
Also censored at CNS is Pat Robertson's bizarre claim that gays have allied with radical Islamists, and that "the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves." Robertson's "The 700 Club" desperately tried to spin this after the fact, insisting that he was "clearly" using killing as a metaphor and that he meant gays and Islamists are "killing themselves politically."
Further, while Goodenough's article was eager to highlight the Islamic-dominated countries where homosexuality is illegal, he makes sure not to note which of those countries are dominated by Christians. He also obscures the fact that some of the countries he claims are "mostly Muslim-majority" are actually Christian-doiminated.
For instance, Goodenough lists Uganda as a "Muslim-majority" country where homosexuality is illegal because it's a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In fact, only 12 percent of the Ugandan population is Muslim, while more than 83 percent is Christian.
Goodenough seems to have missed the controversy over the past few years over Uganda's attempt to criminalize homosexuality with death, inspired in no small part by anti-gay American Christian pastors like Scott Lively. He also apparently missed a July 2015 CNS article by his boss, Michael W. Chapman, approvingly quoting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni proudly stating that homosexual behavior is a “no-go” subject in the country and is "never supported by Ugandans,” and that President Obama should "respect African societies and their values." Chapman also happily quoted saying how much he "personally dislike[s]" gays: "They are disgusting. What sort of people are they? How can you go -- I never knew what they were doing." Chapman also pointed out that Uganda is "overwhelmingly a Christian country."
Oh, and Museveni is a "devout Christian."
But then, CNS is part of the Media Research Center propaganda machine, so such inconvenient facts are not likely to see the light of day there.
Friday, June 17, 2016
WND Suddenly Notices Israeli Corruption, For Some Reason
As we've noted, highly biased reporting is just one reason WorldNetDaily is in a deep financial hole. Another example appears in a May 29 article, a brief unbylined piece on how "Israeli media are reporting a police investigation has recommended indicting the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over misuse of state funds and inflated household spending." The last paragraph reads: "The Netanyahus, especially Sara, have long faced scrutiny over spending."
That would be news to WND readers, because we could find no instance in which it has ever reported on the subject.
WND has long been protective of Netanyahu, especially when Aaron Klein was a reporter there and served as WND's Jerusalem bureau chief (a bureau that seems to no longer exist since Klein left WND for Breitbart late last year). In the 2006 Israeli elections, Klein effectively served as a PR agent for Netanyahu by repeatedly attacking his opponent, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and failing to do similar scrutiny -- or any scrutiny at all, really -- of Netanyahu.
And in 2006, Klein and WND all but ignored a rape scandal involving Israeli President Moshe Katsav -- a member of Netanyahu's Likud party -- despite years of obsessing over sex scandals involving non-conservatives like Bill Clinton.
It's peculiar that WND would report this story at all, given its long history of ignoring it -- thus exposing its bias. But WND is not capable of providing fair and balanced coverage, and its readers know it. No wonder they're apparently fleeing in droves.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
WND's Loudon Redefines 'Immigrant' To Assert U.S. Wasn't Built By Them
Gina Loudon tries her hand at redefining language in her June 12 WorldNetDaily column:
Loudon conveniently can't quite admit that many of these "pioneers and settlers" came to the U.S. from other countries -- the very defnition of an immigrant.
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