CNSNews.com, Sept. 9:
CNS, three hours earlier on Sept. 9:
CNS, Sept. 12:
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
At The MRC, The Truth About Trump Is 'Anti-Trump' and 'Propaganda'
Topic: Media Research Center
MRC Latino's Edgard Portela is in full froth in a Sept. 7 post, under the headline "Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Trump News on Azteca":
So it's "politically-charged" and "anti-Trump" for a news program to accurately report that Trump has denigrated Mexicans and Latinos and rapists and drug addicts and has said nasty things about Hillary?
Portela goes on to blame "the Obama administration" for repealing the Smith-Mundt Act, which kept VOA and other government-run broadcast outlets targeted at advancing U.S. interests in foreign countries from airing in the U.S. But he doesn't mention that the defense bill in which the repeal was contained had to pass a Republican-controlled Congress, or that the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, the repeal bill that was incorporated into the defense bill, was co-sponsored by a Republican.
Still, Portela huffed that "if VOA material such as this is now, in effect, being used and spread as domestic partisan propaganda, it may very well be high time to reinstate the old prohibition or one like it, to prevent such abuses" -- despite that Portela, despite all his ranting about "propaganda," doesn't dispute the accuracy of the VOA report, let alone that any "abuse" has taken place.
Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Joseph Farah, Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily column
-- Larry Elder, Aug. 31 WND column
-- Carl Jackson, Sept. 2 WND column
-- Jeff Roorda, Sept. 4 WND column
-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Sept. 4 WND column
-- Larry Klayman, Sept. 9 WND column
(WND has also promoted never-verified rumors that Kaepernick is a Muslim.)
Monday, September 12, 2016
MRC's Crowdfunding Campaign for Anti-Obama Film Fails
Topic: Media Research Center
So, remember that Obama-bashing film -- ostensibly about coal miners purportedly harmed by government clean-air policies -- the Media Research Center was trying to raise money to finish through a crowdfunding campaign? That didn't go so well.
The Kickstarter page for the MRC's "Collateral Damage" film states that it raised just $11,228 of the $15,000 being sought, making the campaign a failure.
This despite the MRC lamely attacking our critique of the crowdfunding campaign (so lame the author wouldn't put his/her name on the attack, nor would he/she identify us by name) and then using our critique to raise even more money.
Why did it fail? We'd like to think that the MRC followers figured out that the MRC, which raised $15 million last year, didn't really need the money, or that the premise is flawed because the growth of fracking, and its related reduction in oil and natural gas prices, is as least as big a culprit in the decline of coal as clean-air policies, or that as MRC "news" division CNSNews.com admits, there are currently more mining jobs than there were during much of the presidency of Republican George W. Bush.
But, hey, we can't read minds like the MRC can. So it remains to be seen whether the MRC will make use of the money raised and supplement it with its own (though sometimes a failed crowdfunding campaign doesn't get to use any of it). The next move is yours, MRC.
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:
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.
WND Has To Beg People to Buy Corsi's Clinton-Bashing Flop
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:
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?
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:
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.
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.:
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."
WND Columnist: Entire Country Didn't Go Birther on Obama, Therefore America Isn't Racist
Yes, Ben Kinchlow really does write this in his Sept. 4 WorldNetDaily column:
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?
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:
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.
WND Sets New Deadline for Holy Land Tour, May Actually Mean It This Time
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:
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:
Again, no proof of "surging interest" is offered. We'll see if this really is the "last chance to sign up."
Friday, September 9, 2016
CNS Still Plugging Mel Gibson, Hiding His Ugly Past
CNSNews.com "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:
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."
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:
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:
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.
WND Is Lying To You: There's No Mystery About Hillary's 'Mystery Man'
An anonymous WorldNetDaily reporter wrote in a Sept. 6 article:
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:
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:
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?
Thursday, September 8, 2016
NewsBusters Blogger's Logic: Lena Dunham Is Ugly, Kaepernick Sucks As QB
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:
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.
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