Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center gives Donald Trump a pass on his increasingly sleazy behavior by insisting that a Clinton did it first and worse. Read more >>
Thursday, October 20, 2016
MRC's Graham Smears MRC Critic As Drunk
Topic: Media Research Center
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham spent an Oct. 17 post lashing out at conservative activist John Ziegler for pointing out at Mediaite that Donald Trump's claim of media bias is the desperate defense of a terrible candidate, obscuring what he considers genuine media bias, and that the MRC is simply trying to cash in by latching on to it because it "fundraises off of bad media coverage and wouldn’t exist if the problem ever really got solved." Mostly, Graham portrays Ziegler as drunk for saying it by making "Breathalyzer" references. Commence the whining, Tim:
But it's undeniable that the MRC's embrace of Trump's media bias claims has been selective, depending on the target. As we've documented, the MRC wouldn't touch Trump's accusations of media bias in 2015 -- but then, they were targeted at Fox News, where Brent Bozell has a weekly slot on "Hannity" and he and other MRC employeees make regular appearances. It's only when Trump started targeting the so-called "liberal media" -- coincindentially, the MRC's main target -- in the wake of bad news about his vile misogyny that the MRC bothered to echo them.
Also remember the MRC's big flip-flop: It was originally bashing the "liberal media" for being too soft on Trump.
But Graham is too busy smearing Ziegler as an alcoholic to address the substance of his criticism, that Trump didn't push the "crooked media" line until women stepped forward with tales of his boorish behavior, and "Trump’s complaints are not based in truth, but in desperation. He is saying whatever might sound good at the moment to his base of fanatical future subscribers to whatever media venture he will create after he loses."Graham certainly knows this as well. But as long as he's saying the right words about a "crooked media," Graham won't bother to acknowledge that Trump's just playing to the base to save his political skin and not making an intellectual argument.
That appears to be because Graham knows he's right about the MRC being opportunistic. If the MRC was sincerely interested in media, wouldn't it have taken all bias complaints by Trump seriously? After all, accusing Fox News of media bias wouldn't rake in the donations that accusations against its pretedermined targets generate.
To see that just requires applied logic, not a chemically altered state. The fact that Graham can't, or won't, see the difference between the two tells you all you need to know about the MRC.
WND's Corsi Hurling Mud At Hillary, To Nobody's Surprise
WorldNetDaily has been desperately trying to distract its readers from bad news about Donald Trump and his woman problems by trying to sling as much mud at Hillary Clinton as it can. You know, business as usual.
WND is flinging so much mud, in fact, that we don't have the time to rebut it all beyond pointing out that it should be assumed that WND has no credibility and because of that, nobody takes their so-called reporting seriously.
It is important, however, to document the atrocities to show the continuation of WND's downward spiral. We've already noted WND's false reporting on Hillary's "everyday Americans" remark (which, despite being utterly false, is still live at WND) and its pushing of the discredited story of Bill Clinton's purportedly illegitimate son.
Let's take a quick look at the mud Clinton-hater Jerome Corsi is flinging these days.
Corsi has been really desperately trying to insist that Hillary, not Trump, is the one with all the questionable ties to Russia. So much so, in fact, that he has written four articles on the subject. In the first article, he tries to whitewash one of the Trump campaign's most damning connections -- that former campaign manager Paul Manafort received millions as a lobbyist for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine by insisting that "opponents have failed to document he ever received $12.7 million in approximately 22 previously undisclosed cash payments from Yanukovych’s pro-Russian party as supposedly documented by ''black ledger' entries revealed by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau."
The "Bill Clinton's illegitmate son" story is his as well -- he's working with charlatan filmmaker Joel Gilbert despite the fact that Gilbert burned him badly on the Obama ring thing. He has a new story up announcing that said "illegitimate son," Danney Williams, will file a paternity suit against Bill Clinton. Corsi is continuing to deny that a 1999 DNA test was meaningful.
Corsi is censoring the obviously political motivations behind Williams, who is almost surely being exploited by pro-Trump forces like Gilbert. The statement announcing the paternity suit is hosted at the website for Citizens for Trump, which claims to be a "grassroots" group with the goal to "assist the Trump for President campaign in both winning the nomination for the GOP, and the general election in November of 2016."
Corsi also promoted the appearance of Malik Obama, President Obama's half-brother, at Wednesday's debate as a guest of Trump. Gilbert has his sleazy hand in this as well. Meanwhile, Right Wing Watch has documented how WND, led by Corsi, flipped from bashing Malik Obama as a filthy Muslim to joining Gilbert in exploiting him.
On top of all this transparently hackish anti-Clinton work, there's the fact that Corsi's anti-Hillary book is tanking so badly (it's currently No. 11,812 at Amazon, an abysmal ranking for a current-events book pegged to the presidential election) that WND is resorting to begging readers to buy it in bulk, and it's clear this election year is a bust for Corsi.
UPDATE: We forgot to note that Corsi has been maintaining another bit of Clinton-hating slime: recruiting poliitically driven doctors who have never examined Hillary Clinton to make various alarming armchair diagnoses of Hillary Clinton, such as Parkinson's disease. Corsi published two more articles just this week.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
MRC Mad That 'Family Guy' Quoted Trump Verbatim
Topic: Media Research Center
The TV show "Family Guy" worked the infamous tape of Donald Trump making vile misogynistic remarks into the most recent episode of the show, and the Media Research Center's Erik Soderstrom was not pleased, and works in a rather lame Clinton Equivocation as well:
Poor Erik. Not only does he have to admit that his preferred candidate for president is so raunchy he can't post a video of him saying said raunchy things at the MRC, he can only muster the defense that the video was "embarrassing" and that "Trump has already apologized for his remarks."
Of course, another reason why Soderstrom won't post the video is that "Family Guy" zings Trump rather harshly. The show mocks Trump's defense that it was merely "locker room talk"; that gets referenced, to which Peter Griffin replies, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s not ‘locker room talk.’ I meant like ‘good play,’ ‘good pass,’ like that kinda thing.” Peter also pitches the idea for Twitter as a place where "crazy people can bash ladies and minorities at 3 a.m."
So Soderstrom is left with defending Trump by blaming the MRC's perpetual go-to, the "liberal media." Sad, really.
Chuck Colson Is Still The Hardest-Working Dead Guy At CNS
Chuck Colson has penned another op-ed for CNSNews.com, an Oct. 10 piece about how "Christians – Not the Enlightenment – Invented Modern Science."
As we've noted -- and CNS hasn't -- Colson died in 2012. The bio for Colson states once again that "Chuck Colson founded BreakPoint in 1991, a daily radio broadcast that provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print," but not that Colson is dead.
An "Editor's Note" states that "On this Columbus Day, we present a classic BreakPoint commentary by Chuck Colson on Columbus and the rise of science," but that note comes straight from Breakpoint, not CNS.
Would it kill CNS to go beyond cutting-and-pasting from Breakpoint and explain to its readers why it's giving a byline to a dead guy? Apparently so.
MRC Ludicrously Claims Lack of Endorsements For Trump Means Media Is 'Rigged'
Topic: Media Research Center
Geoffrey Dickens does an admirable job of trying to play dumb in an Oct. 18 post, in which he pretends not to know why major newspapers that have endorsed Republicans in the past aren't endorsing Donald Trump for president.
His post is laughably headline "Rigged? Trump Doesn’t Have a Single Major Newspaper Endorsement." No, it's not "rigged," as Dickens should very well know, however much he'd like that to be the case in order to promote the MRC's anti-media agenda. Newspapers' editorial pages are separate from their news pages, and an endorsement generally does not influence news coverage.
Dickens complains that even papers who endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 are endorsing Hillary clinton this year. He then huffs: "And while some of those papers have made the argument that Trump is not a reliable conservative, that doesn’t mean they have to go all the way in endorsing the liberal candidate," further complaining htat "some of the papers that switched from Romney to Clinton have attempted to justify their selection by claiming Clinton is 'bipartisan,' 'pragmatic,' and a 'centrist.'"
Dickens then excerpts from those endorsements of Clinton -- but he never excerpts those papers' explanations of why they didn't endorse Trump. Why? Because it would show that being a "reliable conservative" is the least of those papers' worries about Trump.
For instance, Dickens highlighted the Arizona Republic's noting that "Hillary Clinton has long been a centrist," but not what it said about Trump. For instance:
Dickens was also curiously silent about threats of death and violence sent to the Republic after the Clinton endorsement, nor did he mention that Clinton was the first Democrat ever endorsed for president by the Republic -- a clear sign that its concerns about Trump transcend ideology.
Dickens also highlighted that the Dallas Morning News claimed that Clinton achieved "common ground with some of Congress’ most conservative lawmakers" as a senator. But he didn't note what the paper said about Trump:
The News hasn't endorsed a Democrat for president since 1944. Dickens didn't mention that either.
Dickens also failed to mention how some of these papers also noted that right-wing criticism of Clinton has become ridiculous. The Dallas Morning News wrote that Clinton's shortcomings "pale in comparison to the litany of evils some opponents accuse her of. Treason? Murder? Her being cleared of crimes by investigation after investigation has no effect on these political hyenas; they refuse to see anything but conspiracies and cover-ups." The Republic stated of Clinton: "She has withstood decades of scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians. The vehemence of some of the anti-Clinton attacks strains credulity."
Of course, doing that wouid not only highlight the feeling among the public that the Clinton-haters at the MRC have overplayed their hand, it would also dispel the notion there's a monolithic "liberal media" that's driven by ideology to attack anything Republican and conservative.
But since Dickens is a loyal MRC employee, deviating from the agenda is not his job -- pushing the meme, however dishonest, is.
Months After It Would Have Mattered, WND Weighs In On Cruz's Eligibility
Months ago, back when Ted Cruz was still running for president, WorldNetDaily couldn't run fast enough from questions about Cruz's eligibility to be president despite the fact that, by WND's own definition, Cruz was even more ineligible than it claimed President Obama was.
Nnow, all of a sudden -- months after Cruz stopped running for president and his eligibility is off the table for at least the next four years -- WND is expressing an opinion about Cruz's eligibility.
As does a lot of things at WND right now, it comes in the context of the stolen WikiLeaks emails. In an Oct. 16 article, an anonymous WND writer speculates about a proposed Democratic plan during the primary to declare that it would not challenge Cruz's eligibility:
Astute birther scholars will notice that this anonymous WND writer repeats an irrelevant claim and also moves the birther goalposts.
The statement that "there were legal questions raised" because of the age of Obama's mother at the time of his birth is true -- but it leaves out the fact that this clause only applies if the child was born outside the United States. Since Obama was born in Hawaii, and WND has not proven otherwise, it doesn't matter how old his mother is -- Obama is a citizen.
WND's current insistence that Cruz is a citizen because his mother "had long been established as an American citizen" is a change in position from the one it has long promoted: that both parents must be citizens in order to confer citizenship on the child.
Of course, WND doesn't explain the reason it wouldn't address Cruz's eligibility at that time: because Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi and crew knew that if they defended Cruz -- since, again, he was even more ineligible than Obama since, unlike Obama, he was born outside the U.S. -- they would also have to prove Obama was eligible as well. That refusal simply proved that WND's obsession with Obama's eligibility was never about the Constitution and always about trying to personally destroy Obama.
So, it apparently took six-plus months for WND to figure out a defense of Cruz's eligibility that managed to also keep Obama's eligibilitiy in question -- and it's still dishonest. That's just another reason nobody believes WND.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
ConWeb Embraces Dishonest Report on Political Donations By 'Journalists'
Topic: The ConWeb
The Center for Public Integrity has issued a report claiming to detail how "journalists" have donated to HIllary Clinton's campaign far more than to Donald Trump's. Needless to say, the ConWeb jumped right on it.
At the Media Research Center, Tim Graham touted how "the liberal Center for Public Integrity" issued the study.(No, Tim, an organization that funded a fraudulent hit job on Al Gore and was once run by the editor of the right-wing Washington Times is not "liberal.")
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh highlighted the finding that "journalists so far in this election season have given 27 times as much money to Hillary Clinton as to Donald Trump." Accuracy in Media's Don Irvine similarly promoted the findings, "as if we needed any further evidence that the liberal media are in the tank for Hillary Clinton." And Jason Devaney of Newsmax states that the report claims "people working in the media — which includes journalists, reporters, news editors, and TV news anchors — are opening their wallets for the former first lady."
But if you read the report closely -- which the ConWeb has no interest in doing -- it's obvious that CPI is using an overly broad definition of "journalist."
For instance, all four ConWeb reports highlighted that former ABC anchor Carole Simpson has donated $2,800 to Clinton. What CPI and the ConWeb don't make clear: Simpson left ABC in 2006 and currently works as a college professor. Insisting that Simpson continue to be held to the standards of a job she has not held for a decade -- and CPI offers no evidence that Simpson made any political donations while employed as a journalist -- is simply dishonest.
CPI also touts the donations to Clinton by talk show host Larry King, highlighted as well by AIM, Newsmax and the MRC. But has anybody ever considered King to be a "journalist"? No. More dishonesty.
In fact, the first example of an actual working journalist is the New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum. But she's a TV critic and rarely covers news or politics. But most of the working journalists in hard news that CPI cites as making political donations are employed by small local papers, not large media organizations, which generally prohibit reporters from making poltiical donations.
But because this dishonesty plays into the hands of the right-wing narrative about the evil "liberal media," the ConWeb will stick with the clickbait headline and ignore the dubious contents.
MRC Blames GOP Office Firebombing on Bill Maher
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center isn't interested in waiting for the facts to come in before assigning blame for the firebombing of a county Republican office in North Carolina. It's the age of Trump, after all, and the MRC no longer believes in facts.
The MRC's Kyle Drennen has a culprit all lined up. In an Oct. 17 post, he complains that NBC's "Today" show were discussing whether Donald Trump's "dark tone" set the stage for election violence. We'll let Drennen rant from here:
So, it's apparently Bill Maher's fault that the GOP office got firebombed. Got it.
What, you say? That's specious logic, you say? Well, we're just using the the MRC's own logic patterns. The day before, the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that CNN's Brian Stelter "was concluding Donald Trump’s 'over heated the rhetoric' [sic] was what caused the attack." This despite the fact that Fondacaro also quouted Stelter as saying, "We have no idea who has done this. We don’t know if it’s a Republican, a Democrat, a movement. No idea."
Fondacaro then went on to say, "But according to a report by The Hill, two hours before Stelter was on air, authorities found the graffiti labeling local Republicans as Nazis. That’s not really a term Republicans like to call each other oddly enough, it’s usually a term flung by the left."
So, apparently, it all comes back to Bill Maher.
WND's Farah Suggests Anti-Muslim Bombing Plot Is A False Flag
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has a conspiracy theory he'd like to share with you. From his Oct. 16 column:
Nope, you're crazy paranoid, Joe. You've been listening to the likes of Alex Jones and Michael Savage rant about false-flag conspiracies that you've now apparently decided to get in on that action and concoct one of your own.
You can't admit that some -- let alone the vast majority -- of Muslims in America are peaceful and not deserving of the condemnation and lazy Islamophobia your website heaps upon them.
And you most definitely can't admit the possibility that WND's anti-Muslim may very well have played a role in inspiring these men to plot to blow up Muslims in the middle of Kansas. (You've done this before.)
So, you hide behind tinfoil hats and false flags and pretend you're being the reasonable one.
And you wonder why nobody believes you or WND.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Newsmax Puts Pro-Trump Spin On Poll Showing Him Behind
Here's how the Washington Post described its latest poll:
And here's how Newsmax spun that poll in a unbylined article:
And here's now Newsmax promoted that article on its front page: "WashPost Poll: Trump Essentially Tied With Clinton." No, really:
That's some amazing pro-Trump spin on the part of Newsmax. The Post article on the poll states that it has 4-point margin of error, but that's not "well within its margin of error" as the Newsmax article describes -- that's on the fringe of it. And it certainly doesn't equal "essentially tied."
MRC Writer Flip-Flops on Hitler Comparisons
Topic: Media Research Center
In an Oct. 4 post, the Media Research Center's Sarah Stites complained: "More than 15 public figures have stooped to comparing Donald Trump to history’s most infamous Nazi dictator – but at what cost? Perhaps we're seeing where that kind of hate takes the nation." Stites went on to complain that "such illegitimate parallels cheapen the Holocaust" and cited writers who warned of "rhetorical desensitization."
This denunciation of Trump-Hitler comparisons is interesting, because just 10 days later, an MRC post appeared with the headline "Who Said It: Margaret Sanger or Adolf Hitler?" It states: "100 years ago, as a result of the tireless efforts of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood opened its doors for the first time. Although Sanger is memorialized by many women as a paragon of the feminist movement, she actually condoned eugenics, racism and state regimented family planning." The following interactive slideshow does indeed mesh Sanger quotes with Hitler quotes to equate the two, though none of the quotes prove that Sanger endorsed racism, as the post suggests it does. (The MRC has a long history of spreading lies about Sanger, perhaps comfortable in the idea that the dead can't be libeled.)
The author of this post? Sarah Stites -- who was denouncing Trump-Hitler comparisons just 10 eays earlier. Nowhere in this post does she fret over cheapening the Holocaust or rhetorical desensitization.
Stites has not explained her flip-flop on Hitler comparisons.
Bizarre: Black WND Columnist Endorses White Nationalists' Anti-Black Race-Baiting
Jesse Lee Peterson is more concerned about white people than ever. He begins his Oct. 9 WorldNetDaily column by warning: "Warning to whites: Avoid black people. Your life may be at risk. Whites are under attack like no other time in history. It’s about to get worse."
The proximate cause this time is the new film "The Birth of a Nation," about the Nat Turner slave rebellion. Peterson likens the film to the original, century-old and very racist "Birth of a Nation" film, which sparked a resurgence in the Ku Klux Klan, calling both "hate-inspired propaganda."
If it's not bizarre enough that Peterson is attacking his fellow African-Americans, he adds this:
Yep, he wrote that.
Mac Donald is an author attached to the right-wing Manhattan Institute who has attacked the Black Lives Matter movement as a campaign based on lies and, like Flaherty, paints blacks as violence-prone criminals and effectively deserving of being shot by police.
Taylor, of course, is head of the unabashedly white nationalist American Renaissance. He's an unabashed racist; the Southern Poverty Law Center quotes him as saying, "Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears." It appears Peterson is totally down with this kind of "research" from Taylor.
Peterson interviewed Taylor in 2005 (available on the AmRen website). His pushback on Taylor's advocacy of racial separation is tepid at best, and he and he concurs with Taylor's view of black liberal activists like Jesse Jackson and that black activists "hate white folks." So it's probably not a surprise that he's moved so far right that he's apparently signing on to Taylor's white nationalist aggenda.
Yes, Peterson has a long record of invoking his black conservative privilege by saying things that would be considered racist were he not a black conservative. But to actually make common cause with white nationalists and white race-baiters in peddling harmful stereotypes about blacks? That's just bizarre.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
MRC Rants About Purported Media-Clinton Collusion, Ignore Actual Trump-Media Collusion
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center continued its conspiratorial ways by blaming the media for reporting unflattering news about Donald Trump in the Oct. 14 column by MRC Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, which asserts the conspiracy is real:
Bozell and Graham also claimed that Trump had "half-joked" that he'd throw Clinton in jail if elected president, whining that "the media bigwigs ranted and wailed that Trump sounded like Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler or a garden-variety tin-pot dictator." But Trump's repeated insistence Clinton should be jailed puts the lie to any claim of a "joke" and shows just how in the tank Bozell and Graham are for Trump.
Another sign of their in-the-tankness: In constructing this purported campaign-media conspiracy, the MRC is deliberately ignoring another one.
In August, Steve Bannon, the leader of Breitbart News, became the CEO of Trump's campaign. Repeat: The head of a media organization went directly from that to becoming the head of a political campaign -- something we are pretty sure never happened with any mainstream media organization. That is, in the flesh, the media-campaign collusion conspiracy that the MRC only imagines is happening in the "liberal media."
But has the MRC complained about it? Nope!
When Bannon's appointment to the Trump campaign was first announced, the MRC complained that Breitbart News was being maligned for its occasional anti-Semitic tendencies and how its incendiary content was accurately labeled as such.It said nothing at the time about the obvious media-campaign collusion.
Nor has it since. In fact, it's whitewashing Bannon's media connection completely. An Oct. 12 post by Graham complains that a Washington Post columnist "unloaded a Two Minutes Hate column on Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon," and he doesn't even acknolwedge Bannon is also the head of a media outlet.
Of course, pointing out right-wing media-campaign collusion, even when it's in plain sight, doesn't serve the MRC's -- or Trump's -- agenda. Feeding Trump's anti-media conspriacy, however, does.
Larry Klayman Reminds Us That He Can't Take Criticism
Larry Klayman is a buffoon, a terrible lawyer and an ambulance-chasing hate peddler who likes to file nuiscance lawsuits to take revenge on his critics. He can't even tell the truth about himself, and when he's confronted with a situation in which he must -- i.e., when his ex-wife accused him of "inappropriate behavior" with his children -- he pleads the Fifth Amendment.
Here's an example of thte latter, from Klayman's Oct. 8 WorldNetDaily column, in which he complains about the indignities he suffered while filing nuisance lawsuits in the 1990s against Bill and Hillary Clinton, whom he calls "the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics":
You will not be surprised to learn that this story happened completely differently from the way Klayman portrays it. David Segal did not write a "biweekly column" about Klayman for the Post; he wrote a column called "Washington Hearsay" in which he occasionally included a "Klayman Chronicles" section (it's unclear whether that section appeared on a biweekly schedle, as Klayman claims).
The purportedly "false and misleading information" Klayman claims Segal wrote about him is apparently a reference to a 1999 column in which Segal highlighted how aggressive Klayman's Judicial Watch minions were in badgering bookers to try and get Klayman on TV. According to a former employee, writes Segal, "Klayman demanded that his public relations person call a handful of talk show producers every single day, rain or shine, regardless of the day's news":
Unsurprisingly, Klayman sued Segal over this, claiming that he had been defamed because Segal "falsely caused [him] to appear so bent on publicity for himself that he is insensitive to the murder of innocent children." The case went to trial and Klayman lost, with the trial judge noting that "Mr. Klayman does not dispute that he considers his activities to warrant significant media attention."
Klayman appealed and he lost there too. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals stated that "the challenged material, in context, demonstrates that the article's message centered on Mr. Klayman's drive for publicity" and that the statements "could perhaps be viewed as unpleasant and offensive from Mr. Klayman's perspective, but such perceived unpleasantness and offensiveness are not sufficient to sustain an allegation that material is reasonably capable of defamatory meaning." The appeals court concluded: "Rather, when read in context, a reasonable person of ordinary intelligence would understand the words to convey the message that a school shooting tragedy should not interfere with an employee's scheduling of television talk show appearances to enable Judicial Watch to explain its public interest endeavors, even if scheduling appearances required pitching the public relations strategy to a major event of the day, such as the Tiananmen Square event."
Klayman spends the remainder of his column denouncing the release of the Donld Trump tape in which he discusses his vile misogyny (though he concedes Trump made "disgusting, lewd comments"), ranting that "I would bet the ranch that David Kendall, Williams & Connelly and their private investigators – either the old ones or a whole new crop of sleaze balls – were behind this." No evidence has ever surfaced that they are.
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