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Monday, September 12, 2016
It's Always the Cold War In Cliff Kincaid's Head
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The Cold War ended decades ago, but Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid apepars not to have gotten the memo -- he's as obsessed with finding communists under every rock as any cold warrior. Thus, we have this overly lengthy Sept. 1 AIM piece from Kincaid that starts out thusly:

The lack of coverage in 2008 of the embarrassing facts in Barack Obama’s background, especially his deep personal relationship with a Communist by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, stands as a sensational example of how dishonest the national media can be when they are determined to elect somebody. If Obama’s opponent, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), had been linked to a Nazi or a Klansman, the press would have jumped on the story, with endless follow-ups. But the story of Obama’s Communist mentor was suppressed by a journalist for The Washington Post who had all the essential details and could have broken the story wide open.

We now know why the potential blockbuster story about Obama’s Communist mentor was deliberately ignored by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist David Maraniss. He had personal and political conflicts that prevented him from telling the truth about Obama to the American people. Simply put, his parents were Communists, just like Davis.

Maraniss, in other words, was a red-diaper baby.

The shocking truth can finally be told. His parents, Elliott and Mary Maraniss, along with Davis, were members of the same international conspiracy which had groomed Obama for the presidency, in order to hasten the decline and destruction of the United States.

We're into some serious guilt-by-association territory here. It's a very tangental attack on Obama by going after the author of a book Kincaid didn't like.

And Kincaid is just spouting off by claiming that Maraniss "deliberately ignored"  and "suppressed" the story of "Obama’s Communist mentor." He knows no such thing -- he's just ranting and speculating.

And these sorts of weird, tangental attacks are a big reason why few people take AIM seriously as a source for credible media criticism.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EDT
WND Has To Beg People to Buy Corsi's Clinton-Bashing Flop
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi's WorldNetDaily-published anti-Clinton book "Partners in Crime," is flopping bigtime -- due in part, we can assume, to Corsi's less than factual track record and the fact that the book is dedicated to a convicted criminal. The book's market failure is arguably one big reason WND is in serious financial trouble, and WND was no doubt counting on it to be a success and pull it of of said hole.

Now WND is trying the next step to goose sales: begging people to buy it, preferably several copies at once. A Sept. 5 article states:

Would you like to see Hillary Clinton go down to a crushing defeat this November?

The Democratic nominee and her ex-president husband have plenty of skeletons in their closet.

And the Clintons created a “vast, criminal conspiracy” when they set up the Clinton Foundation, as revealed by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Jerome Corsi in his newest book “Partners in Crime: The Clintons’ Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit.”

Now you can help get this explosive book in the hands of your friends and family members fast. WND is offering 50 percent discounts to those who order five copies or more for this purpose.

That’s five copies of Jerome Corsi’s “Partners in Crime” for $63.75, plus shipping; 10 copies for $127.50; and 24 copies for $306.00.

“Many others have noted this election is the most important one we’ve faced in a generation,” said Joseph Farah, chief executive officer and founder of and WND Books. “Jerry Corsi’s ‘Partners in Crime’ is a game-changing book that needs to be read by millions before November.

“I’m hoping and praying that Americans who agree with me about this will do their part to help us get the word out by buying at least a few copies at great discounts and distributing them to their friends and family members who may not realize what the stakes are in this election. What’s at stake is America itself.”

So don’t wait! Order five or more copies of “Partners in Crime” by visiting the WND Superstore.

Corsi's book is being so roundly ignored by pretty much everybody that we had trouble finding trouble finding mention of it on anything besides low-level right-wing blogs (and WND's own incestuous promotion of it). Even liberals who normally critique such things don't care.

Inadvertently proving that Corsi is serving up more of the same-old same-old, WND helpfully published chapter 9 of Corsi's book the same day it begged people to buy it in bulk. There's lots of guilt by association, with Corsi heavily implying that Marc Mezvinsky, husband of Chelsea Clinton, is just as crooked and deceitful as his father, who spent time in prisonon fraud charges. There's lots of anti-elitist snobbery over Chelsea and her husband allegedly visiting a resort that "easily costs more than the average American worker makes in a year."

Corsi also cites as credible sources Roger Stone, the Trump confidante with a sexually charged swinger lifestyle Corsi would denounce as immoral if he wasn't so busy slurping up the unverified sleaze Stone is dishing out, and Ed Klein, who completely lacks credibility and is valuable only has long as he keeps cranking out the Clinton attacks that somehow never have an on-the-record source to back them up.

WND added a note to the book chapter reminding readers that "You can also order 'Partners in Crime: The Clintons’ Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit' in bulk at the WND Superstore, so you can have copies of this hugely important work to hand out to friends still unconvinced 'Crooked Hillary' isn’t right for the White House."

Sad, isn't it?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Sunday, September 11, 2016
MRC Mocked Matt Lauer Before Candidate Forum, Lauds Him Afterward For Furthering Its Agenda
Topic: Media Research Center

Prior to last week's "Commander in Chief Summit," the Media Reseaqrch Center mocked moderator Matt Lauer, with Kyle Drennen asserting that "one wonders if NBC couldn’t find someone with a little more gravitas to host the presidential campaign event" and citing, among other things, how "on three separate occasions Lauer has dressed as a woman for the Today show’s annual Halloween episode."

After the forum, however, the MRC has decided that Lauer is full of gravitas. Why?  He devoted a full one-third of his interview with Hillary Clinton to questions about her email server and gave Donald Trump a pass on his falsehoods like claiming to have always been against the Iraq war.

Thus, the MRC has repeatedly run to Lauer's defense over widespread criticism of his handling of the forum.

Curtis Houck touted how Lauer "hammer[ed] home concerns that the American people have about her with the private e-mail servers." He later complained about " near-universal excoriations ... of moderator and Today co-host Matt Lauer by the so-called objective media critics with reviews that the Clinton campaign probably couldn’t have written any better." Nicholas Fondacaro similarly cheered how Lauer "hammered Hillary Clinton repeatedly about her e-mail scandal."

Tim Graham whined that those reporting on critics of Lauer only cited "leftists" and tried to spin Lauer's softballing with Trump: "Let’s assume that’s about Trump claiming he opposed the Iraq war. CNN’s media team didn’t protest that Lauer also let Hillary say she has great respect for classified information and we didn’t lose an American in Libya."

Clay Waters also whined that "Those oh-so-objective journalists at the New York Times went after a fellow journalist, NBC’s Today show host Matt Lauer, for the crime of being unfair to Hillary Clinton and not sufficiently attacking Donald Trump."

Houck returned to claim:

With so-called neutral media critics throwing temper tantrums late Wednesday and early Thursday about NBC’s Today co-host Matt Lauer harshly questioning both presidential  candidates (including Hillary Clinton) at the Commander in Chief Forum, Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer and Howard Kurtz appeared to have had enough as they fired back at the desperate criticism on America’s Newsroom. 

Houck insisted that "there were many Trump supporters not happy with Lauer either so both Hemmer and Kurtz properly noted this fact and that it should instead lead to a conclusion that Lauer did a good job." He didn't mention that neither Hemmer nor Kurtz are "neutral media critics," being employed by Fox News but are simply parroting conservative talking points -- and Hemmer is actually a "news" anchor so he shouldn't be displaying any sort of bias at all (if the MRC ever bothered to apply its standards to any Fox News anchor besides Shepard Smith).

Houck's post, however, is the only post-forum MRC item to mention that the MRC mocked Lauer before the forum.

MRC research director Rich Noyes defended Lauer in an appearance on Fox News: "Well, I think Matt Lauer is getting bashed today not because Matt Lauer did a bad job. He actually has tough questions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He interrupted Donald Trump, but Trump stopped and didn't try to plow through him. He’s under fire from the left today because Hillary Clinton didn't do a good job answering those questions."

Noyes went on to claim that because of the criticism of Lauer, his NBC co-worker Lester Holt, who will be moderating a presidential debate, is "going to try to be very careful with the questions he's asking Hillary Clinton because of the way he's seeing his colleague being treated," adding, "It’s called playing the refs and I think, you know, it's something that Democrats are doing right now because they have a press corps that is sympathetic to the idea of stopping Trump."

Noyes didn't mention that his boss, Brent Bozell, was playing the refs more than a month ago -- before the debate moderator were even named -- was warning of biased moderators and declaring that "I'm watching to see to what degree are you going to have more impartial moderators this time."

Houck returned again to complain once more about criticism of Lauer, harrumphing that "the onslaught against Lauer has served as a reminder to readers and viewers where exactly the media’s priorities lie, no matter who they end up going after (e.g. one of their own)."

What Houck doesn't say: The fact that the MRC is defending Lauer shows where its priorities lie, even if it means contradicting itself.

Graham followed up by dismissing any criticism of Lauer as "Clinton-toady spin" (and insisting that "Lauer interrupted Trump more than he interrupted Mrs. Clinton"), then hilariously whining that Hillary Clinton is fundraising off Lauer's performance the same way Republicans like to fundraise off any perceived media criticism of them.

Graham wrote in another post: "It’s quite clear that if Hillary Clinton had actually won this side-by-side interview, the media elites would not be brutalizing Lauer. " It's even clear that if Lauer hadn't attacked Clinton more than Trump, the MRC would still be passing around that montage of a cross-dressing Lauer -- which is what the MRC really thinks Lauer is about. Funny how quickly that went down the rabbit hole once Lauer served the MRC's agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 PM EDT
Wash. Examiner Touts Trump As 'Doer-in-Chief' With DC Hotel Opening
Topic: Washington Examiner

We haven't paid attention to the Washington Examiner for a while, since right-wing financier Philip Anschutz turned it from a conservative daily newspaper to a conservative opinion journal more like its sister publication The Weekly Standard. But this was too egregious and ridiculous to ignore.

Paul Bedard, the Examiner's "Washington Secrets" gossip-ish columnist, wrote a Sept. 11 post that is a thinly Donald Trump press release that declares Trump a "doer-in-chief" for his new hotel in Washington, D.C.:

Donald Trump could be in Washington for the Jan. 20 inauguration whether or not he beats Hillary Clinton in November.

That's because his newest Trump International Hotel, inside the historic Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, is expected to be operating at full capacity — and be sold out — for the 58th presidential inauguration.
The massive hotel, already being dubbed a Washington "grand dame," wasn't scheduled to open until August 2018, but on Monday managers plan a "soft launch" nearly two years ahead of schedule, proving his claim that he can get things done well and fast, at least in the world of development. At the end of October, most of the rooms are expected to be finished and the hotel will host a grand opening.


A walk around the Trump International Hotel Washington, between 12th and 13th Streets NW on Pennsylvania Avenue, found workers putting finishing touches on the brightened up exterior, which features awnings stamped with "Starbucks" and "BLT Prime," a steakhouse.

From the street, observers can see into some of the 263 guest rooms and suites fixed up in a $200 million rehab. All appeared to be painted in white and lit with a chandelier. Photos of the rooms on the Trump Hotel website show them decorated in white, gold and navy blue.

In fact, the Washington Business Journal reported February that despite the Trump Organization's insistence that the project is "two years ahead of schedule, "the opening is in line with what Trump has been projecting all along — it was always slated to open in late 2016."

And who's calling the hotel a "grand [sic] dame"? Bedard cites nobody actually doing so. A Sept. 6 Boston Globe article called the building the hotel is in, a historic building originally constructed as a post office, an "architectural grand dame," but that was in the context of asking whether Trump's divisive presidential campaign is hurting business by keeping people from staying at Trump-branded hotels.

Further, Bedard's touting of the hotel's restaurants (of which the second most prestigious is apparently Starbucks) omits the fact that the celebrity chefs behind the two restaurants originally planned for the hotel pulled out after Trump's disparaging remarks about Mexicans. BLT Steak is one replacement, and the space where the second restaurant was to be located will become a conference room instead.

We know the Examiner is an unambiguously conservative publication that purports to be more journalism-y than The Weekly Standard, but such sycophantic cheerleading has to be embarrassing even for Bedard, who already demeans himself by doing a weekly post on whatever "liberal media" outrage Media Research Center wants to push that week, called the "Mainstream Media Scream."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:13 PM EDT
WND Columnist: Entire Country Didn't Go Birther on Obama, Therefore America Isn't Racist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Yes, Ben Kinchlow really does write this in his Sept. 4 WorldNetDaily column:

You have doubtless heard, read or seen the charges, direct or indirect, leveled against Donald Trump by the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media. Any statements attributed to certain candidates or conservative politicians that do not meet the standards applied by the mainstream media or liberal elites are directly or indirectly labeled “racist.”

As someone who lived through the bona fide days of legal, civic segregation and cultural racism here in America, I feel compelled to reiterate a position I have expressed before.

If America were as racist as her mostly internal critics insist, then every politician (including Trump and Clinton) would eagerly seek out the “racist” label. They would all, as one wing of the Democratic Party (once) did, to its sorrow, label themselves “Dixiecrats” and campaign vigorously on a platform of returning to those “thrilling days of yester-year.” If that were the case today, the mainstream media would have been Barack Obama’s worst nightmare and would have disparaged his campaign worse than they regularly demean conservative blacks today (i.e., Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, Justice Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele, Herman Cain). If you think the scrutiny given to George Bush and John McCain, including the challenge to McCain’s birth certificate and eligibility to be president, was fierce, just try and imagine the scrutiny that would have been given to an unknown “negro” who allegedly spent from $800,000 to $1.2 million in legal fees to conceal a hidden past.

Kinchlow's claim stems from charges by birthers that Obama has, as WND asserted, paid at least the amount he cited to "his top eligibility lawyer" following the election. The implication, which Kinchlow took the bait on, is that all of the money was spent to, as Kinchlow redundantly asserted, "conceal a hidden past." (If it's already "hidden," it doesn't need to be "concealed," does it?)

but as we noted at the time, Salon reported that WND doesn't prove its heavily implied assertion that every cent spent on those lawyers -- let alone any of it -- went to fight "eligibility" issues and that much of that money more than likely went to normal legal expenses related to winding down a presidential election campaign.

Also, think about what Kinchlow appears to be saying here. If attacking Obama's eligibility makes one "racist," what does that make the aggressive birthers at WND, the publisher of his column?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 11, 2016 2:51 PM EDT
Saturday, September 10, 2016
MRC Promotes Dubious, Republican-Friendly Review of 2000 Election in Florida
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham used a Sept. 5 post to tout a study of sorts published in the American Conservative and summarized at the right-wing Washington Examiner asserting that thousands of people were discouraged from voting when TV networks mistakenly declared all Florida polls closed during the 2000 president election (in fact, polls in the Florida panhandle were open another hour).

Graham declared that "liberal media inaccuracy and bias" was the cause for the 2000 Florida "frenzy," going on to rant that "the networks didn't want to take the blame. They blamed the Voter News Service, the consortium they formed, which they held responsible for telling them what times the polls closed. How lame is that buck-passing?" He added: "When Congress held hearings in February 2001, the networks were dismissive. Especially Dan Rather, who gave it just 29 seconds buried deep in the newscast."

But Graham engaged in more than a little of his own bias here. First, he identifies study co-author C. Boyden Gray rather blandly as a "former Bush lawyer." That should raise red flags about the study's potential bias, but Graham sees no need to pursue it. In fact, not only was Gray was White House counsel for George H.W. Bush, he served in George W. Bush's administration as ambassador to the European Union and a special envoy for European affairs. Additionally, Gray defended the Supreme Court decision that ultimately made W. president and appeared to endorse a Republican plan to take over the recount process in Florida if Bush wasn't made president.

Second, in his bashing of the "liberal media" over Voter News Service, Graham leaves out the fact that Fox News was also a member of the consortium -- which Gray and co-author Elise Passamani note in their study -- and that it too got the poll closing time wrong. Graham also doesn't mention whether Fox News was as "dismissive" about the hearings as the other members of the consortium.

Third, Graham carefully quotes from Gray's report to hide the fact that, his ranting aside, Voter News Service really was the problem, not the "liberal media." The report states that "The VNS operated as the media's sole source for information ranging from exit polling to poll closing times."

Fourth, Graham apparently never read the full report in the American Conservative, which should have raised another red flag. Gray and Passamani's big claim is that Bush would have received 11,000 more votes from the panhandle counties if it had not been erroneously reported on TV (which, again, includes Fox News) that the polls were closed. Their only evidence for this is an extrapolation of voting data and "sworn, notarized testimony of a pair of poll workers who were on duty as inspectors that day in Precinct Eight, Escambia County" who offer anecdotes about how few voters showed up to their precinct in the final hour. The authors also state, "one can only imagine how many people would have voted in that last, deserted 40 minutes, but for the misinformation dispensed by the network and cable news anchors."

Gray and Passamani must "imagine" this because they cite no testimony of an actual voter who was discouraged from voting due to the erroneous reports. If there were truly 11,000 people discouraged from voting, they shouldn't be that hard to find, right?

Actually, they are -- and they were then. As we noted at the time, WorldNetDaily's Paul Sperry reported that Republicans were hunting for discouraged voters to bolster their lawsuits over the outcome in Florida, but mostly failed:

After a week-long dragnet, Republicans have been able to scare up just a handful of Bush supporters willing to testify that they canceled trips to the polls after the networks gave Florida to Gore 11 minutes before polls closed in the Panhandle’s Central time zone.

And even some of those witnesses are impeachable.

One lives 20 minutes from his polling place in White City, Fla., and probably wouldn’t have been able to make it there in time to vote.

Another isn’t even registered to vote in the county that includes his Pensacola, Fla., neighborhood, WorldNetDaily has learned. The man’s name and number were offered to the media yesterday by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.


An aide to state Rep. Jerry Maygarden, R-Pensacola, told WorldNetDaily last week that several voters called her office claiming to witness people walking away from poll lines after the network announcements.

WorldNetDaily followed up with several of the callers, but none could provide names.

That would seem to be a glaring omission, and it is -- that's a giant hole in Gray and Passamani's study.

But the authors are close enough to endorsing the MRC's anti-media agenda that Graham will endorse it, overlook the holes and gloss over the inconvenient stuff.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 AM EDT
WND Sets New Deadline for Holy Land Tour, May Actually Mean It This Time
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we documented, WorldNetDaily is a little desperate for passengers on its upcoming holy land tour. It blew through its first deadline three months ago, blew through a second on a month later, then continued to push the tour without setting a new deadline.

Now, WND has set a new deadline, and given that the tour is set to launch in November, it might actually mean it this time. There's a new sense of urgency in a Sept. 4 WND article:

There will be no more extensions. No more second chances. No more delays. If you miss this opportunity, it’s gone forever.

The absolute final deadline for the WND Israel tour is here. With surging interest and unparalleled registrations, it promises to be the most spectacular pilgrimage in WND’s history. But you have to register by Sept. 10 or you are going to be left behind.

Jonathan Cahn, who will join WND founder Joseph Farah on the tour, urged anyone who is still considering joining this sacred journey to take the plunge.

“There is no experience on Earth like going to the Holy Land,” he promised. “It’s so unparalleled that it literally changes lives. God meets His children there in a special way.”

The article went on to assert without proof that "Attendance is surging and the 2016 WND Israel Tour is all but certain to break every record." If attendance really was "surging," why is WND still soliciting for passengers three months after the original deadline?

This was followed with a Sept. 9 article making one final-sounding push:

There are only hours left to join the 2016 WND Israel tour, being led by “The Book of Mysteries” author Jonathan Cahn.

Because no more registrations can be accepted after Saturday, Sept. 10.

With surging interest and unparalleled registrations, it promises to be the most spectacular pilgrimage in WND’s history. But you have to register by the end of Sept. 10 or you are going to be left behind.

Again, no proof of "surging interest" is offered. We'll see if this really is the "last chance to sign up."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Friday, September 9, 2016
CNS Still Plugging Mel Gibson, Hiding His Ugly Past
Topic: "blog reporter" Mark Judge must really love Mel Gibson a lot to censor news of his anti-Semitic, woman hating past.

We've detailed how Judge makes a habit of promoting Gibson's new and upcoming film projects while remaining silent about Gibson's ugly personal history -- something his Media Research Center co-workers would criticize if it involved someone in the "liberal media." But Gibson made "The Passion of the Christ," so he apparently gets a free pass.

Judge strikes again in an Aug. 31 post:

The Christian Post is reporting that Mel Gibson recently addressed rumors that he is making a sequel to his 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ.”

Appearing Sunday as a surprise guest at the Christian gathering SoCal Harvest in Anaheim, California, Gibson was asked by Pastor Greg Laurie about the rumors of a sequel – and that the film would be written by Randall Wallace, who also penned Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic “Braveheart.”

Once again, there's no mention of Gibson's ugly past.  But Judge made sure to work in a plug for Gibson's "upcoming film 'Hacksaw Ridge' about Desmond Doss, a pacifist medic in World War II who saved as many as 75 soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa. It releases November 4."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 9, 2016 3:48 PM EDT
MRC Runs to Trump's Defense on Bondi Donation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro complains in a Sept. 7 post that NBC "omitted some important details" in reporting on an illegal $25,000 donation by the Trump Foundation to Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, shortly after which Bondi's office decided not to open an investigation of the scammy Trump University.

Those "details," Fondacaro writes, apparently involve uncritically quoting whatever a Bondi spokesperson has to say about it:

Earlier in the day CNN’s Drew Griffin reported on The Lead that, “Since Pam Bondi took office, up until the decision was made, Florida received just one complaint against Trump University.” Griffin quoted a statement from a spokesperson from Florida’s Attorney General, which stated:

It wasn't enough to justify Florida filing suit. Instead, staff, doing due diligence, reviewed the complaints and the New York litigation and made the proper determination that the New York litigation would provide relief to aggrieved consumers nationwide.

“In other words, Floridians could join New York's lawsuit,” Griffin simplified.

Actually, it's Fondacaro leaving out important details. The Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell reports that the Attorney General's Office had received at least 20 complaints about Trump University, and that Bondi previously exhibited no reticence in joining lawsuits filed by other states:

She got involved in the multi-state fight to block Obamacare. She even got involved in a fight with the EPA over water-quality limits … in the Chesapeake Bay. Yes, the one in Virginia, where Bondi sided with organizations like the Fertilizer Institute to oppose a cleanup agreement in a body of water 770 miles away.

It doesn’t take much for Bondi to want to join in a legal fracas many states away -– if the politics are right.

Fondacaro concludes by writing, "Although the timing of the donation is suspect, it does a disservice to the public to withhold information just to be able to hit a presidential candidate." He might want to think about that himself a bit more before hurling accusations at others.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
WND Is Lying To You: There's No Mystery About Hillary's 'Mystery Man'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily reporter wrote in a Sept. 6 article:

After Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, a mysterious man seen by her side for many months on the campaign trail suddenly appeared on her plane.

As WND reported, Clinton suffered two coughing fits on Labor Day – one during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio, and a second one during a press conference on her plane.

In the past, the same man has been spotted helping Clinton up stairs and holding what appears to be a Diazepam pen. Some observers have referred to the man as Hillary’s “mysterious handler.”


Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit noted that the man is sometimes dressed like a Secret Service agent, “but his actions prove otherwise.”


At an earlier campaign appearance, the same man was reportedly seen carrying a long object that resembled a Diazepam pen.

Yes, this anonymous WND reporter is citing the Dumbest Man on the Internet to back up its speculation.

And that's all it is -- speculation dressed up as "reporting." The fact that the WND writer won't put his/her name to it is one big clue about the shoddy, dubious nature of this.

Another big clue: This "mystery man" is no mystery at all. A month ago -- a month ago! -- the Washington Post's David Weigel identified the man as Todd Madison, Secret Service assistant special agent in charge.

Further, Snopes pointed out -- also a month ago -- that while the object in Madison's hand that WND claims is a "Diazepam pen" is probably something else, since "a video of the agent using the above-pictured object shows that it is being used like a flashlight and not a Diazepam pen."

In short: The only way WND can treat this story as fact is by ignoring all the established evidence that it's not.

And the fact that the story isn't true didn't keep WND from rehashing the story (the reporter remaining anonymous, natch) two days later:

America wants to know: Who is the “mystery man” attached at Hillary Clinton’s hip while she campaigns for the White House?

He’s been on the stage, in her plane, by her side and following her everywhere she goes.

He touches her frequently, wrapping his arm around her or helping her up stairs, and responds immediately when Clinton has one of her coughing fits.

Some speculate he could be a physician on hand in case Clinton experiences a health emergency, a possibility considering nearly 71 percent of physicians informally surveyed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said concerns about Clinton’s health are “serious” and “could be disqualifying for the position of president of the U.S.”

Ah, yes, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- the far-right-fringe "medical" org headed by medical troll Jane Orient. Given that those likely to respond to an AAPS "informal internet survey" (read: not a scientific poll) are as right-wing as Orient, the survey has no credibility whatsoever (you know, just like WND).

WND tries to perpetuate the nonexistent mystery:

In fact, the man has been apparently tailing the Clintons since at least January of 2013 – more than two years before Hillary announced her run for president. He was reportedly spotted in a vehicle with former President Bill Clinton three years ago, according to London’s Daily Express. A photo caption said the two were leaving the New York Presbyterian Hospital after visiting Hillary, who was receiving treatment for a blood clot in her head that was discovered following a concussion.


As WND reported, after Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, the “mystery man” suddenly appeared on her plane.


Radio host Tammy Bruce made an appearance Wednesday on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” in which she discussed Clinton’s “mystery man.”

“He actually moves other Secret Service agents off the stage,” Bruce noted. “We have not been informed who he is so we have to guess, in some way, who he is. But he seems to be playing a very personal role. He appears when she seems to be in trouble, either with the coughing or with some health issue or … in her own personal reaction to what was a heckler … It’s troubling because you’ve got a man who is also doing something that the Secret Service wouldn’t do. He’s very physical with her. He touches her. He has his arm around her. … It’s a legitimate question. Her health is legitimate.”

Bruce is a Hillary-hater from a while back -- a year ago she was predicting the demise of Hillary's campaign -- so her uninformed speculation should not be taken seriously.

Our anonymous WND reporter waited until the 10th paragraph to mention in passing that "others argue" the item in the man's hand "actually resembles a mini flashlight." It links to an Aug. 22 New York Times article -- yes, from two weeks ago -- but doesn't mention the date or the fact that the Times reporter solved the mystery through "a simple call to the Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor," something WND couldn't be bothered to do.

And our anonymous writer waits until the second-to-last paragraph of the 22-paragraph article -- after  numerous inserted videos, photos and grainy Photoshop collages -- to admit that "The Washington Post’s David Weigel identified the 'mystery man' as Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Todd Madison."

WND didn't mention Weigel's article was published a month ago.

Basically, WND is admitting it published an article based on a lie, something it knows is a lie, and that it's trying to con its readers into believing that lie.

No wonder WND is in deep financial trouble. Why would any (remaining) self-respecting reader trust WND after this stunt?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Thursday, September 8, 2016
NewsBusters Blogger's Logic: Lena Dunham Is Ugly, Kaepernick Sucks As QB
Topic: NewsBusters

As befits a guy whose main gig is as a lower-tier sports radio host, NewsBusters blogger Dylan Gwinn is quick to insult anything and anyone he doesn't agree with and engage in childish name-calling, rather than try to bring any sort of worthwhile discussion to the debate.

On Sept. 3, Gwinn felt the need to weigh in on  an encounter between actress Lena Dunham and football player Odell Beckham Jr., particularly zeroing in onone writer's citing one possible reason Beckham rejected Dunham as "Perhaps (as the eternal rumors have it) he’s gay." Gwinn didn't menntion that the writer linked to a post on those "eternal rumors" as support for the claim about Beckham. Instead, in an apparently bid to appeal to the woman-hating alt-right, he lauches into a screed about how ugly Dunham is:

First of all, if this story is true, it doesn’t sound like Beckham had a problem “knowing what to make of” a woman who didn’t sexually interest him. He took a good look and got on his phone. Which is precisely what you do when confronted by an unattractive woman.

Secondly, if Dunham wore a tux and a bow tie, then there’s an excellent chance that Beckham thought Dunham as the gay one. Thus, eliminating any interest he might have had in her.

And last, but certainly not least, why would he have any interest in her? Lena Dunham is in no way sexually appealing. When trying to ascertain whether or not a man is interested in a woman, it is imperative to use an attractive woman.

Yet, this is precisely the point. Dunham knows she’s not attractive, and her leftist sycophants know she’s not attractive. Which is why she continuously gets naked and throws herself at men. She’s trying to make a feminist point about the superficial nature of men, accepted sexual norms, and female objectification.

Instead, she just ends up sexually stalking the beautiful people of the world. With her boyishly boyish looks. Much like Pat from Saturday Night Live. Except naked, and not funny.

Then, on Sept. 5, Gwinn resumed hurling personal insults at Colin Kaepernick over his national anthem protest, dismissing his concerns as "some Mulligan Stew of America-loathing, unpatriotic fervor."

Gwinn then sneered of the quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl game that "Of course, Citizen Kaepernick’s activity will be spent primarily on the sidelines this year, as opposed to the football field."

Apparently mindless insults play as well for right-wing bloggers as they do for lower-tier sports radio guys.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 8, 2016 12:24 PM EDT
WND Returns to Its Race-Baiting Ways
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily was heavily into the alt-right-esque race-baiting thing for a while, spreading WND author Colin Flaherty's fearmongering obsession with "black mob violence" (even when no actual black people could be blamed). After Google threatened to cut off the ad revenue from the spaces it manages on WND's website, WND backed off, did its own pre-emptive ad-blocking so as not to jeopardize the ad revenue, and learned how to be a little more subtle about its race-baiting.

Perhaps unhappy that the alt-right is stealing its race-baiting thunder -- and perhaps even more unhappy that nobody considers WND to be "alt-right" so its name doesn't come up in discussions of the issue -- WND has apparently decided to be a little more blatant again.

The headline on an unbylined Aug. 30 WND article shouts "Elderly woman beaten, set on fire in black-on-white attack."

While the anonymously written article itself doesn't mention the race of the suspects or the victim, the article includes pictures of the (white) victim and mugshots of the (black) suspects to hammer the point home. The article also includes a plug for Flaherty's latest book, which wasn't published by WND and isn't available through WND's online store (the link is to Amazon).

This was preceded by an Aug. 14 article by Joe Kovacs warning that "Crowds of 'Black Lives Matter' rioters chanted 'black power' as they targeted white individuals for violence in Milwaukee late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, according to video posted online in the aftermath of a police shooting." Kovacs provided no evidence that the rioters had any formal link with Black Lives Matter.

But who needs facts when there's some race-baiting to be done, right, WND?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Shocker: MRC Finds Bias At Fox News! (Actually, Just Shep Smith Reporting Facts.)
Topic: Media Research Center

Fox News normally gets a pass from the bias-hunters at the Media Research Center because Fox's bias -- right-wing -- is something the MRC can get behind. (Also, it doesn't want to jeopardize Brent Bozell's appearance schedule on Fox News and Fox Business.) But there's one Fox host the MRC keeps an eye on for committing the offense of being the only one at the channel who won't play the right-wing-bias game and, thus, is considered a "liberal": Shepard Smith. To the MRC, it's the Stephen Colbert principle: Smith's truth-telling has a well-known liberal bias.

In an Aug. 25 post, P.J. Gladnick ranted:

Fox News' Shepard Smith strayed from the Fox News script today while interviewing Wall Street Journal reporter James Grimaldi following Hillary Clinton's Reno, Nevada speech. Actually that's putting it mildly. Smith crashed through the barrier of at least putting up the appearance of neutrality and broke into the realm of flat out bias of the worst sort by charging Donald Trump with racism. If you think I am exaggerating, watch the following video of the exchange for yourself and you be the judge.

Actually, Smith asked a guest if Trump "trades in racism" -- which he indisputably does. Gladnick will never admit it, of course, so he concludes by ranting, "And there you have it. A television news anchor flat out accusing Trump of racism. Sorry, Shep, but you owe a huge apology to your audience for your extreme unprofessionalism. Why? Because you trade in bias."

Curtis Houck followed in an Aug. 31 post complaining that Smith, in reporting that North Carolina's voter ID law was overturned, "showed his disdain for a simple means to preserve the electoral process that’s already under attack from hackers."

What did Smith say? "North Carolina put in one of those you-have-to-show-an-ID rules which, so often in Republican states, are designed to keep some minorities from coming out and being able to vote and they’ve tried to reach the number of voting days. The U.S. Court says that will not happen. Those rules will not go into effect in North Carolina this cycle."

Houck responded:

Longtime NewsBusters readers would recall how such asinine assertions about voter I.D. laws drove former managing editor and current Washington Times writer Ken Shepherd up a wall (see here, here, and here) as MSNBC pundits and writers bloviated about it being a coordinated “voter suppression” campaign against particularly African-Americans despite the lengths some states would go for forms of acceptable identification and allowing provisional balloting in the interim.

In fact, what happened in North Carolina is exactly what Smith reported -- North Carolina's voter ID law was found by a federal court to discourage minorities from voting.

The Washington Post reported that the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that North Carolina lawmakers requested data on racial differences in voting behaviors in the state and then used that data to enact laws specifically designed to discourage minority voting. It prohibited the types of photo IDs African-Americans commonly use from being a valid voter ID, it reduced the number of early-voting days typically used by African-Americans and, in what judges called a "smoking gun," did away with Sunday voting after arguing in court that "counties with Sunday voting in 2014 were disproportionately black" and "disproportionately Democratic."

Smith reported facts that the MRC didn't like, so he gets the "liberal bias" tag. That's going to become a meaningless attack if the MRC keeps abusing it like this.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Snapping of David Kupelian's Mind
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's managing editor had to completely abandon his sense of morality to endorse Donald Trump for president, and he's now trying to scare his fellow right-wing evangelicals into doing the same. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell Farts In Colin Kaepernick's General Direction
Topic: Media Research Center

The issue of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem as a protest for how minorities are treated in the U.S. has nothing whatsoever to do with the Media Research Center's self-proclaimed mission of rooting out "liberal media bias." But the MRC knows a hot-button right-wing issue when it sees one, and its writers wasted no time in ignoring the point of Kaepernick's protest and instead hurling personal attacks at him and denouncing him as "anti-American."

You had to know MRC chief Brent Bozell wanted in on some of this sweet insult-hurling action. So he ran to Fox Business to spew: "I think this man is a disgraceful ingrate. I spit on him for what he has been saying."

Bozell left unspoken his taunt that he farts in Kaepernick's general direction and thinks his mother was a hamster.

Bozell cranked up the taunts in his and Tim Graham's Sept. 2 column in which they also attack anyone who dares to point out that Kaepernick is well within his first Amendment rights to engage in his protest:

Like so many leftists, this disgraceful ingrate is nowhere to be found when there are a thousand times more "bodies in the street" as casualties of drug dealers or gang-bangers. Almost 500 people have been killed this year in Chicago, Illinois, alone. Seventy-nine police officers have been killed in the line of duty this year. It's unclear if this means a thing to Kaepernick.

But what's even more disturbing is how so many Americans feel the need to express respect for his right to speak freely. On ABC, Sen. Tim Kaine lectured, saying, "You got to respect people's ability to act according to their conscience." No, you don't have to respect that. Nor should you, Sen. Kaine.

How dare this man dishonor all the men and women who gave their lives for that flag? How many men and women pine to throw a football, but are missing hands? Or want to run on the field, but are missing legs?

To many on the left, denouncing America and its flag is a precious right, even an act of courage, when they should not just object, but call that protester an ungrateful jerk. 


Since his team is from San Francisco, it's not surprising that it issued a mealy-mouthed statement. The anthem is a "special part" of the pre-game ceremony, the 49ers said, but "we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem." Blah, blah, cowardly blah.

We think the definition of "cowardly" applies much more to Bozell, who is too afraid to appear on TV with anyone who might disagree with him (hence the vast majority of his appearances being limited to the narrow world of Fox News and right-wing media) yet demands that the MRC's current target of rage, Jorge Ramos, engage in a debate with him, something he knows will never happen -- which is why he issued the dare in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT

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