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Friday, June 24, 2016
WND's Double Standard on Women in Politics
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Cheryl Chumley writes in a June 15 WorldNetDaily article:

A fundamentalist Muslim imam who hosted an online seminary course attended by Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen – but who denied ties to the “gay” nightclub murderer – told Greta Van Susteren during a Fox News interview that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be president because according to his faith’s prophet, her anger during her monthly menstruation cycle would make her a poor leader.

“As a Muslim, I object to Hillary Clinton,” said Abu Taubah, who’s also gone by the name of Marcus Dwayne Robertson, a former U.S. Marine who’s worked as a bodyguard for Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “Blind Sheik,” Breitbart reported. The “Blind Sheik” was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center attack.

The ‘Stop Hillary’ campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: ‘Clinton for prosecution, not president’

He expanded on his views of women in leadership roles, saying the idea wasn’t compatible with his religious beliefs.

“I don’t believe women should be the president of a nation. … [Our prophet] taught us that whenever a woman is in charge, is going to be problems,” he said. “What if she’s on her menses and it’s time to go to war, she going to press the button cause she’s angry? I like Bernie [Sanders].”

Chumley seems to have forgotten that for 11 years her employer had as a columnist Vox Day, who doesn't believe women should vote because "Far too many women are fascists at heart" and there's an "obvious connection between the female franchise and the West's continental drift into socialism."

Is that really any less silly than what some random "fundamentalist Muslim imam" has to say? Don't expect Chumley to admit it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EDT
Thursday, June 23, 2016
MRC Decries The Negative Trump Coverage It Once Demanded
Topic: Media Research Center

How times change at the Media Research Center when Donald Trump is involved.

In February, the MRC was grumbling that the broadcast TV networks had done only one story on the Trump University scam since Trump's presidential campaign started. Mike Ciandella portrayed it as a legitimate story because of its "ongoing nature."

As recently as the end of April, the MRC was complaining that media coverage of Trump wasn't negative enough -- despite also claiming that the negative tone of Trump's media coverage was irrelevant. The MRC's Curtis Houck further complained that one network "failed to report on the major news" that a class-action lawsuit against Trump University would be going to trial. Houck added: "The lawsuit going to trail [sic] could mean bad news for Trump, especially when he has claimed he could have settled it whenever he wanted. Will this latest development sway voters one way or the other? We’ll have to wait and see."

But then Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination -- and the MRC climbed about the Trump train and started complaining about the negative media coverage they previously demanded. For instance, Samantha Cohen hissed in a June 10 post, in boldface no less: "We also have a mainstream media who is talking about Trump University. Every. Single. Day."

Now, the flip is complete with an MRC study complaining about all the negative Trump coverage it once demanded or deemed irrelevant. Writes Rich Noyes in a June 20 MRC article:

Voters who have relied on the network evening newscasts for information about the 2016 presidential candidates saw four times more airtime devoted to controversies involving presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump than to the scandals surrounding his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

And among those negative Trump stories is Trump University -- which the MRC specifically demanded more coverage of in February. 

As usual, the MRC's study is unusually narrow, focusing only on network evening newscats and completely ignoring cable news.

Curiously, Noyes always refers to issues regarding Trump as "controversies,"  while regularly referring to Clinton's issues as "scandals." Not once does Noyes refer to a Trump controversy as a "scandal," though you'd think the scammy Trump University would be one.

"The networks have left no stone unturned in their vetting of Trump," Noyes whined -- which is exactly what the MRC wanted the media to do. It has no right to complain now, especially when the MRC has its own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, that could have vetted Trump during the primary process but chose not to.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 9:02 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Chief Medical Misinformer
Topic: WorldNetDaily
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 >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
NewsBusters Loves Trump's Wash. Post Crackdown Too
Topic: NewsBusters

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:

Trump took special umbrage to the following headline at Jenna Johnson's coverage of Trump's reactions to the terrorist massacre in Orlando: "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting." The Post, claiming it did so before Trump made his move, is now carrying this revised headline: "Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting." The trouble is, Johnson's content, which deliberately injected scurrilous meaning which was not present into Trump's comments, still contains the contention made in the earlier headline.

What Trump said indicates that he is as mystified and outraged as millions of other Americans are as to why President Barack Obama won't identify Orlando mass murderer Omar Mateen's specifically stated Islamic radical motivations — and why Obama and his party insist on treating a terrorist massacre as an excuse for pushing more gun control measures which would not have prevented the carnage.

[...]

It is therefore beyond dispute that Johnson wrote that Trump "seemed to" say that Obama was "involved" in Omar Mateen's massacre of 49 people.

It's quite a stretch to believe that any reasonable person could interpret Trump's remarks as Johnson did by using the word "complicit." As such, what she wrote would, to use her weasel words, "seem to" be libel ("defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures"). Whether it's actionable in the legal system is a separate matter.

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:

One could argue that Donald Trump has in certain instances been too quick to take credentials away from other news outlets. It's impossible to argue that this is one of them. Anyone with an ounce of self-respect wouldn't allow unfettered access to a bunch of people who want their readers to believe that you think President Obama was complicit in a terrorist massacre.

How little self-respect does Blumer have to back a candidate who clearly can't handle reporting that doesn't make him look good?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:18 PM EDT
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:

On Wednesday night, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper spent almost 14 minutes defending himself against Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s complaints about how he “grilled” her (a word CNN even used) about being an anti-gay politician in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Cooper lamely claimed he was “respectful” before, during and after the interview and denied he was showing anger....and in the denial showed all the same disrespect and anger (and disingenousness) he brought to the original interview.

[...]

Bondi clearly (and wrongly) expected this was going to be a Moment of National Unity interview where everyone could express horror and sympathy as they stood in front of a hospital housing the wounded. Instead, the gay anchorman decided it was time to get angry about the gay agenda, and imply she had never acknowledged the humanity of gays before. But hey, that’s not “anger,” because Cooper didn’t raise his voice. It was just Cooper doing his job “to hold people accountable.” 

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EDT
WND Scrubs Article to Fix False Claims, Complains About Having To Do It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leo Hohmann's June 21 WND article has an oddly defensive tone:

A 5-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by two boys at an apartment complex in Twin Falls, Idaho — while a third boy filmed the attack — and some local residents are charging the police and city officials with covering up the fact that the boys are from Muslim immigrant families from Sudan and Iraq.

Although not yet confirmed, the alleged perpetrators — migrant boys ages 14, 10 and 7 — appear to be from refugee families.

At least three local newspapers have tried to discredit the reports of the assault, focusing instead on a few details that were erroneously reported by bloggers while ignoring or downplaying the broader truth of the story — that Muslim migrants stripped down and humiliated a vulnerable little girl.

If not for the alert action of an 89-year-old grandmother, who witnessed “something funny” going on in the community’s laundry room and immediately put a stop to it, the assault may have taken an even worse turn.

Snopes also posted an article debunking the initial false reports about the boys being “Syrian” Muslims but failed to point out that they were indeed Sudanese and Iraqi Muslims.

[...]

Earlier reports that multiple “Syrian” refugees had gang-raped the girl “at knife-point” were inaccurate, however.

“There was no gang rape, there was no Syrian involvement, there were no Syrian refugees involved, there was no knife used, there was no inactivity by the police,” Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs told the Spokesman Review, a local newspaper. “I’m looking at the Drudge Report headline: ‘Syrian Refugees Rape Little Girl at Knifepoint in Idaho’ – all false.”

But an attack did occur and it was perpetrated by Muslim migrants.

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.

UPDATE: Wonkette notes that WND deleted its original story on the alleged incident, which was apparently stolen from Alex Jones' conspiracy website Infowars.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016 2:29 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
CNS Columnist Wants (Ineffective) DDT To Be Legal Again To Combat Zika
Topic: CNSNews.com

Hans Bader rants in a June 10 CNSNews.com column:

Zika’s spread is being aided by red tape the Obama administration left unchanged, even as it illegally diverted money needed to fight Zika to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

Writing in the New York Post, Jillian Kay Melchior of the Independent Women’s Forum notes that the federal government is thwarting a low-cost solution to Zika: DDT. That life-saving pesticide remains banned by federal regulations, preventing it from being used to kill mosquitos carrying this awful disease:

[...]

For years, the Obama administration has ignored advice like this to allow DDT, disregarding warnings that have grown louder and more frequent as Zika has spread. Indeed, Obama recently gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the former EPA administrator who relied on junk science to ban DDT. In a case of politics overruling science, that administrator “banned DDT after ignoring an EPA administrative law judge’s ruling that there was no evidence indicating that DDT posed any sort of threat to human health or the environment.” He “never attended any of the agency’s hearings on DDT. He didn’t read the hearing transcripts and refused to explain his decision,” notes Steven Milloy at Junk Science.com.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
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:

The Washington Post defined the old term "high dudgeon" when Donald Trump took away its press credentials for being "phony and dishonest."

The paper triggered Trump's act with a loaded headline: "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting." This could be believable, since Trump bizarrely suggested Sen. Ted Cruz's father was connected to the JFK assassination.

But this time, the Post invented a story.

Trump had told Fox News, "we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he's got something else in mind." He again blasted Obama for refusing to use the words "radical Islamic terrorism," suggesting he might have a dangerous softness toward radical Islam.

To our pro-Obama press that was a nasty slur. But aren't these the same journalists who constantly suggested that President George W. Bush's war on terrorism wasn't tough or smart and only aided the terrorist cause?

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
WND, CNS Repeat Unverified Claim That Scientist Proves God Exists
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh is very enthusiastic in a June 11 WorldNetDaily article:

A video in which a renowned scientist explains that the “music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace … is the mind of God” remains in super viral status years after it first was posted online.

And the scientist, Michio Kaku, who, among other roles, is a well-known commentator for Fox News, has affirmed his theory with a new statement at the Geophilosophical Association of Anthropological and Cultural Studies.

[...]

At the AGEAC site, which disavows affiliation with any particular religion and “rather encourages the study of all faiths and religions of the whole world because it recognizes in all of them the sincere search for truth,” he said “primitive semi-radius tachyons” reveal that people live in a “matrix.”

He explained tachyons are theoretical particles that allow everything free from the influences of surrounding matter.

“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence,” he said on the site. “Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”

Well, not exactly. As religion blogger Richard Bartholomew explains:

I see some difficulties here. First, how does one conduct “tests” on a “hypothetical” particle, and what kind of “tests” were they? Surely Kaku, as a theoretician, spends his days working on mathematics rather than conducting experiments? And what exactly are “primitive semi-radius tachyons”? Googling the phrase brings up other accounts of what Kaku is supposed to have said, but nothing else. Maybe they’re related to “sodomized electrons“?

[...]

However, the AGEAC article is itself derivative – the earliest reference I can find to the story was published in May 2011, on a Brazilian website called Pbagora, under the headline “Cientista garante ter encontrado prova que Deus existe”. This version includes the detail that his tests had used technology devised “in 2005” (thus discounting the possibility that “tests” might have been a garbled understanding of “hypothetical calculations”). Pbagora cites as its source Scientific American, although no link is given and there doesn’t seem to be any article published by Scientific American that fits the bill.

[...]

If the quote is genuine, then, it has travelled from English into Portuguese, then into Spanish, and then back again into English. However, it looks to me more likely that the Portuguese version was either fabricated or is so garbled that it bears no relation to anything Kaku actually said.

But even if the quote is genuine, what would it signify? I’m not a scientist, and like most people I can only comprehend science through popular works – but I know enough to understand that a scientist’s grand assertion is not proof of anything. We’re told nothing about his reasoning, his data, or – crucially – what his peers have to say on the subject. These silly articles are simply meant to assure us that a Very Intelligent Person has a very good reason to believe in God, even if we can’t follow the details.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
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:

The AR-15’s combination of portability, relatively light weight (about 8 to 9 pounds loaded) and customization options make it attractive for both close- and medium- to long-range engagements and the preferred weapon used to kill the enemies of the United States. The military variants are customized and used by every branch of the military for myriad missions, including clearing oil rigs and patrolling the large expanses of Afghanistan.

Although the AR-15 has been standard issue for American service members for decades, the weapon’s ascension to a nationwide staple is a bit of a mystery. Conceived by a company started in a Hollywood garage and solicited by an unlikely trio made up of an aeronautical engineer, an arms salesman and a Marine, the AR-15, (AR standing for ArmaLite Rifle) was born in the late 1950s and came of age during the Vietnam War as an answer to Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK-47.

Chronicled extensively in New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers’s book “The GUN,” the AR-15, and eventually the M-16, was introduced as a replacement for the U.S. military’s M-14, a long large-caliber rifle based on an older World War II design. A small number of AR-15s were first bought by the Air Force in 1962 after a bit of salesmanship by Colt Firearms executives (Colt bought ArmaLite in 1959), that involved a pair of exploding watermelons and a general who disliked the M-14. With the Air Force’s initial purchase, the AR-15 entered the U.S. military’s arms procurement pipeline.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
CNS Touts Mel Gibson's 'Passion' Sequel Work, Silent On Gibson's Anti-Semitism
Topic: CNSNews.com

Mark Judge waxes enthusiastic about Mel Gibson's new film project in a June 10 CNSNews.com blog post:

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Mel Gibson and writer Randall Wallace are working on a sequel to the 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ."

"The evangelical community considers 'The Passion' the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood," Wallace told the Hollywood Reporter, "and they kept telling us they think a sequel would be even bigger."

The Reporter's Paul Bond writes that Wallace, who recently directed and co-wrote 2014's "Heaven is for Real," says he and Gibson "began to get serious about a sequel to The Passion, the most successful independent film of all time, while making Hacksaw Ridge, which Gibson directed and Wallace co-wrote. Hacksaw Ridge opens in November and centers on World War II Army medic Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor."

There is no studio or financial backing lined up for the "Passion" sequel, which is still in the early script stage. "The Passion of the Christ" made $612 million on a $30 million budget.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
How WND's Anti-Gay Activists Handled the Orlando Massacre
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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:

“I am not a hater of people, and I don’t think other Christians are as well,” he said. “Speaking for myself, I have dedicated 40 years of my adult life to serving and ministering to the deep needs of people, of all races, sexual preferences and religious preferences.

“My general platform of operation has always been to do my best to speak the truth in love, even if the truth of a matter is a tough truth to deal with. This is the biblical model. And, it is the biblical mandate for God’s people. It is ‘what Jesus would do’ (and did, in fact, demonstrate).”

[...]

Gallups condemned the suggestion opposing what he called “the unbiblical and radical gay agenda” means opposing the dignity and equality of homosexuals.

“My place, and the place of all Christians witnessing their faith, is to lovingly tell them the truth of God’s Word and to hold out the offer of new life, new beginnings, and spiritual and emotional healing – in Jesus Christ,” the pastor said. “I would venture to guess that hardly a soul reading this post does not have a dear friend, co-worker, family member, or loved one that is not ‘gay.’ We don’t ‘wish’ for their punishment. To even think that way conjures up images of ISIS pushing gays off the top of buildings.

“I grieve. I grieve because their families and friends are suffering horribly. I grieve for our nation – because we are under attack – spiritually and physically.”

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:

I have received some hate mail to the effect that my biblical stance against homosexuality is somehow responsible for “gay” Muslim Omar Mateen’s campaign of slaughter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It’s absurd on its face, but it affords me the opportunity to tell you this: If I had been present and armed when Mateen opened fire, I would have shot and if necessary killed him to protect the people in that bar, including the homosexuals. Not because I have in any way changed my mind about homosexuality – the Bible is crystal clear that it is an abomination before God that He (not me) will judge – but because the Bible also tells me to “rescue those being led to slaughter” (Proverbs 24:10-12).

While in Christ I may choose to turn the other cheek regarding an offense against ME, I have no right to stand idly by when someone attacks YOU right in front of me. I have a biblical duty to defend anyone, regardless of their sexual proclivities, from murder if it is within my power to do so. I stand firmly against the sin of homosexuality and against the sin of violence toward homosexuals.

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:

One thing and one thing alone is responsible for the deaths of 49 club-going revelers – precious souls, each – last Sunday in Orlando. It is the global menace of Islam: a despotic socio-political system based on the incoherent and pseudo-religious ravings of a warring tyrant who, as even the Quran concedes, was a murderous anti-Semite and anti-Christian misogynist and pedophile, hell-bent on world domination (Islamic caliphate).

In reality, Christ and his followers deeply love the LGBT-identified community enough to tell them the truth about a sin-centric lifestyle that leads to emotional, spiritual and, with rampant AIDS, syphilis and other STDs increasingly endemic to the lifestyle, even physical death. We pray that each and every person who identifies as “LGBT” might come to repentance and salvation through Christ Jesus, who is the only Way to eternal Life.

By contrast, Allah the deceiver and his followers kill homosexuals, not out of hate, though it is hateful, but out of “compassion.” They actually believe they’re being compassionate by killing “gays” because the Quran and the imam’s tell them so. (Mateen most likely targeted his fellow “gays” in an attempt to garner absolution from Allah for sodomy).

[...]

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.

We also love you.

And we forgive you.
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.

All that being said, America needs to speak out against the damage the homosexual “pride” attitude brings to America. And I am saying, speak – not shoot, not physically attack. We can act through lawful means and through the power of persuasion, freedoms that we still have, praise God.

Proud homosexual rebellion is taking many people’s lives to the edge of eternal danger but, unfortunately, people who call themselves Christians are now jumping in front of this parade with a twisted version of the gospel, one that poses a great threat: becoming comfortable with God-offending sins.

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:

In your eyes, people like me are hateful bigots, not recognizing the validity of your marriages, not recognizing the depth of your relationships, not recognizing the beauty of your families.

And when we say that homosexual practice is sinful in God’s sight, you feel that we are branding you as inferior human beings, virtually damning you to hell for who you are and for who you perceive yourselves to be from the womb.

Some of you have called us CINOs (Christians In Name Only), reminding us that Paul taught that love does no harm to its neighbor (see Romans 13:10) and claiming that we are doing you to irreparable harm and damage when we tell you that God has a better way, that it’s wrong for you to engage in same-sex relationships, and that, with God’s help, it can be possible to change from gay to straight.

Many of you hear those words as anything but loving, to put it mildly.

[...]

In reality, if people truly listened to my message (or that of my colleagues), it would never dawn on them for a split second to attack you or try to harm you, and as I’ve said many times publicly, if someone tried to do you harm and I was present, they would have to get by me.

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:

You might say in response, “Brown, you just don’t get it. Your words hurt us deeply, and your political stances do violence to us. You’re no better than a mass murderer.”

I say to you in response, “Then forget about me or other Christian leaders, and in your moment of intense pain and anger, look to Jesus.”

[...]

You ask, “But are you telling me that I’m supposed to be stop being gay? Is that your message?”

My message is that we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy and transformation, and you can pray what all of us prayed: “God, I confess to you that I’m a sinner in need of forgiveness, and I cry out to you to forgive me and give me a brand new life.”

Then put your entire life into his hands – your past, present and future; your hopes, dreams and pains; your sexuality and your desires – and say, “Jesus, I want you to be the Lord of my life, I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead, and wherever you lead, I will follow you.”

Call out to him today from the depths of your heart, and he will hear your cry.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Last Week's Trump Coverage At CNS: Nothing But Stenography
Topic: CNSNews.com

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:

  • A June 14 article by Susan Jones summarizing a speech Trump gave on immigration and other subjects.
  • Another June 14 article by Jones summarizing a Trump appearance on Fox News.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 19, 2016 10:07 PM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 19, 2016 6:11 PM EDT
Saturday, June 18, 2016
CNS Ties Muslims To Hatred of Gays, Ignores Christian Gay-Hatred
Topic: CNSNews.com

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:

  • A June 13 article by Susan Jones highlighted Republican Rep. Peter King stating that "I think people don't often realize the hatred that Islamists have toward gays and transgenders."
  • A June 14 article by Patrick Goodenough asserts that "Half of the countries in the world where homosexual behavior is legally prohibited are Islamic states, and in 13 of those countries, the death penalty is codified in shari’a (Islamic law)."

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. 


Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 AM EDT

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