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Tuesday, November 8, 2016
MRC Notes Trump Backers Threatening Journalists, Doesn't Denounce It
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center set the stage for Donald Trump's attacks on the media, but won't talk about the threats of violence against journalists from Trump supporters. Now the MRC has finally acknowleged it -- albeit in a rather lame manner.

The MRC's Kyle Drennen writes in a Nov. 3 post:

Appearing on Thursday’s NBC Late Night With Seth Meyers, aired early Friday morning, ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos worried about Donald Trump making the liberal media an “enemy” in the presidential campaign, confessing that “it's hard to walk down the street right now” and warning that reporters need “security.”

Host Seth Meyers observed: “...tensions are very high in this election on both it safe to say that you receive criticisms from both sides in your day to day?” Stephanopoulos complained: “It's hard to walk down the street right now....I have this one woman in my neighborhood....Every time I walk down the street she keys in on me, walks right up to my face and whispers, ‘Disgusting’....Then a few days later, does the same thing....walks right up into my face, ‘Bastard.’”

Meyers sympathized: “You know, there was a lot of talk about how the press covered Trump. But now, there's a lot of talk about how Trump is sort of framing the press as a villain.” Stephanopoulos agreed: “The enemy, absolutely.” Meyers fretted: “And so, for those of you in journalism right now, like, have you ever seen an attack like this?” 

Stephanopoulos voiced concern for the safety of his colleagues: “No, I mean, he's singling people out from the crowd. And his – you know, I don't really go out into the rallies so much – but our reporters actually have to have security at his rallies because everybody gets so riled up and he riles them up as well.”

And that's pretty much it. Drennen not only can't be bothered to denounce such threats, he's actgually suggesting that it's "liberal media bias" for even mention that it's happening -- as if Stephanopoulos deserves to be harrassed by random people for doing his job.

We're guessing that the MRC will completely ignore the T-shirt of a man at a Trump rally that stated "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required."

(We've previously noted that the MRC's NewsBusters, as well as WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, used to run ads from the company that sold that T-shirt.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 PM EST
Derangement: WND's Kupelian Insists Hillary Is Too Evil for Voters To Comprehend
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian long ago totally abandoned any sense of morality he claimed to have in order to endorse Donald Trump, and to justify doing that, he has had to hurl all the bile he can muster at Hillary Clinton.

Last week, Kupelian guest-hosted WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson's radio show, and he totally went off the Hillary Derangement deep end, actually claiming that the Clintons are, in the words of the headline of the Nov. 7 WND article summarizing his rant, "too evil for voters to comprehend":

Could it be, Kupelian wondered aloud, that Bill and Hillary Clinton are so sociopathic that the average American can’t even comprehend their dark motivations, since they don’t harbor such impulses or feelings within themselves?

“I don’t think people get criminality,” said Kupelian, an award-winning journalist and best-selling author of several books on evil, including “The Marketing of Evil,” “How Evil Works” and, most recently, “The Snapping of the American Mind.”

Most voters, explained Kupelian, size up candidates according to their politics and worldview. “We are so used to thinking about liberal/conservative, big government/small government, you’re against gay rights/you’re for gay rights or gay marriage, and so forth. We get that – and then we vote accordingly.”

But truly sociopathic or criminal thinking is foreign and opaque to the average voter’s thinking, he said.


“Bill Clinton is a certified sexual predator,” Kupelian added. “He has a credible allegation of rape. Don’t talk to me about Donald Trump kissing somebody. We’re talking about forcible rape. Rape used to be a capital offense. People were put to death for forcible rape. And then we have Hillary Clinton that covers up and abuses the victims further.”

Saying the Clintons should be in prison “a dozen times over” for their crimes, Kupelian summarizes his theory: “The Clintons are so dark – they are in the grip of such dark forces and the kinds of thoughts and feelings that most people don’t even have at their darkest times, their most angry times – that we give them a pass because we can’t – we don’t see it inside ourselves, so we can’t project it out when we see it in them,” the author explained. “So… we believe the crap: ‘Oh, well, she’s always been for women and children.’ It’s unbelievable.”

This is the hateful pep talk Kupelian has to constantly tell himself in order to justify his support for the amoral Trump. It's what he has to tell himself in order to justify his current existence as managing editor of a failing media outlet that cares only about hatred of "the other" -- as its vicious, dishonest jihad against President Obama vividly illustrates -- and not the Christian values it claims to espouse ... and certainly not reporting the truth.

And rather than trying to save his failing media outlet by, you know, stopping the lies and hate, Kupelian is doubling down on things that made WND the journalistic laughing stock it is. At this rate, a sense of morality won't be the only thing he will be without.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EST
Monday, November 7, 2016
NewsBusters' Blumer Angry That People Noticed The Anti-Semitic Undertones in Trump Ad
Topic: NewsBusters

Angry Tom Blumer is angry that people are seeing anti-Semitic undertones in Donald Trump's final campaign ad. Blumer angrily writes at NewsBusters:

CNN's presentation would have viewers believe that the ad actually names the three people involved, and that it shows the three of them together in a single frame. It does neither.

Soros and Yellen appear in separate consecutive half-second clips at about the 22-second mark. Blankfein appears at the 1:14 mark, again very briefly. In all three cases, if you blink, chances are you'll miss them.

The anti-Semitism claim is rubbish.

The problem with [George] Soros isn't that he's Jewish; it's that he and his organizations lavishly fund groups which are working against the best interests of representative governments and everyday people throughout the world.

The problem with [Janet] Yellen and the Fed is that they have artificially propped up the U.S. economy with little in the way of genuine recovery to show for it, while encouraging the rest of the world to follow their failed policies.

The problem with Goldman Sachs is its close relationship with the power players in the Obama administration — a relationship so close that Obama's opponents have justifiably nicknamed him President Goldman Sachs. The administration's relationship with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms likely explains why no executive has been criminally prosecuted or convicted — including execs at the the government's own Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — as a result of the subprime mortgage and general mortgage-lending meltdowns of 2007-2008.

None of this has a flippin' thing to do with Soros, Yellen and [Lloyd] Blankfein being Jewish. And of course, many others who are part of the global establishment pictured throughout Trump's ad are not Jewish.

It takes a special kind of paranoia to count heads like far-left columnists have done, to find just three, and to scream "anti-Semitism." It's incredibly irresponsible for Jake Tapper to give Al Franken an open mic to make the charge without anyone from the Trump campaign to call him out for how ridiculous his claim is.

You know who doesn't think the anti-Semitism claim is "rubbish"? The Anti-Defamation League. "Whether intentional or not, the images and rhetoric in this ad touch on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages' This needs to stop," said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

You know who else doesn't think the anti-Semitism claim is rubbish? Actual anti-Semites. Media Matters documented how white-nationalist Trump supporters love the ad, with one site pointing out how ity “highlights the evil Jews Janet Yellen, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros as being behind the corrupt global establishment destroying America.”

In other words, it's not being noticed only in the "far-left fever swamps" as Blumer claims it is.

Blumer has apparently forgotten that the Trump campaign has been playing with these anti-Semitic undertones for a while; remember the image of a Star of David over a pile of money (lifted from a racist website) that Trump's cammpaign tweeted out?

Trump's supporters are so down with this stuff that they feel comfortable chanting "Jew-S-A!" at a reporter covering a Trump rally.

It takes a special kind of selective ignorance for Blumer to dismiss the claim out of hand because the claim was made only by "far-left columnists" (in fact, the ADL had tweeted out its criticism of the ad hours before Blumer's post was published).

Is Blumer really so ignorant as to pretend there is no history of the Trump campaign's history of toying with such imagery? Apparently so.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EST
WND Petulantly Swaps Colors On Election Map, Because Dems Should Be Red
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh is the mouthpiece for this bit of WorldNetDaily petulance in a Nov. 5 article:

Call it the electoral map color counter-coup.

There once was a day when Democrats were red and Republicans were blue.

WND thinks that was apt, and, beginning today, it will be reflected in the 2016 electoral map at the oldest independent online news source.

That, of course, is exactly the opposite of what the rest of the media do in lockstep – from television stations to networks to the printed pages and even the bloggers.

But WND is resisting the change to what the New York Times called the “international tradition” and will have the Republican states on election night 2016 represented in blue, and the left, liberal or progressives – the Democrats – in red.

WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah has written about the issue several times, including during the 2012 election.

The fact that media outlets are using blue to represent leftists, he said, “Illustrates how the Democrats have their way with the media – every time.”


WND’s Joseph Farah wrote, outlining the problem, “Folks like me, old enough to remember when red states meant Democrat and blue states meant Republican, probably still get confused from time to time about the terminology.”

He ascribed the abrupt reversal, as reported by the Washington Post, to “the late Tim Russert, a respected television interviewer, but one who worked formerly for Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick, Moynihan of New York.”

“The former system made more sense and was deliberately changed by media partisans who didn’t like to suggest Democrats should be associated with the color red.”


So for 2016, as with 2008 and 2012, WND “will stand apart and refuse to use the ‘red-state-blue-state’ paradigm in news coverage because it will not be a part of the obvious manipulation behind it,” he confirmed.

“Words mean things. Symbols, too, have meaning. Why is it that I get confused about what someone means when they say, for instance, ‘California is a blue state and Texas is red.’ I get confused because it makes no sense! I don’t think I’m alone. I would propose to you that most people my age or older feel the same way. We all know California is red and Texas is blue. That makes sense.”

You'd think Farah would have gibber things to worry about -- like, say, the fact that his website has no credibility -- than the colors on an election map. And its not a "color counter-coup," it's a color choice driven by petulance.

And Farah wonders why WND is going down the tubes.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:39 PM EST
MRC: Media 'Smears' GOP Senate Candidates (By Reporting On Them Accurately)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro complains in a Nov. 3 post:

With the Republican controlled Senate hanging in the balance this election cycle, NBC turned up the heat against GOP candidates in tight races on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News. One of the largest influences the Senate would have for the new president is the confirmation of Supreme Court justices. “There are many races currently polling within the margin of error,” announced Anchor Lester Holt as his colleague Hallie Jackson tried to tip the scales in favor of Democrats. 

Jackson noted that candidates on both sides are trying to tie their opponent to the top of their party’s ticket. She noted this as she touted Senator Roy Blount’s opponent, “That's the argument Senator Roy Blount is making in Missouri. In the fight of his political life against a Democrat whose gun assembly ad went viral.”

From there, Jackson flaunted controversies plaguing some Republican candidates. “In North Carolina, Senator Richard Burr had to apologize after seeming to joke Hillary Clinton should be shot,” she reported, “Senator Mark Kirk forced to say he's sorry for those racially charged remarks [against Tammy Duckworth].”


What Jackson failed to mention was any controversy or negative news plaguing any of the Democratic candidates. Even though she touted McGInty in Pennsylvania, Jackson failed to mention (like CBS did) how McGinty was a long time lobbyist in Washington, DC. And according to a recent WikiLeaks e-mail dump, McGinty may have violated state law by asking Clinton campaign chair John Podesta if she should run for Senate.

So it's a "smear" to accurately point out the truly terrible things Republican Senate candidates have done, like suggesting Clinton should be shot or making racially charged remarks about one's opponent? Fondacaro doesn't explain how a Democratic candidate being a Washington lobbyist or sending an email asking for career advice (seems a bit harsh for that to be a violation of state law, doncha think?) are "offenses" equal to what the Republicans did.

Fondacaro also complained that "NBC continued to blackout how a law firm in Boston, Massachusetts allegedly funneled $1.6 million to Democratic Senate candidates illegally. Included in the list of candidates money was funneled to was McGinty, Hassan, Duckworth, and Jason Kandor. Those are the same Democrats Jackson was glorifying during her report." But Fondacaro provides no evidence that the candidates were involved in soliciting those contributions, let alone that they knew the contribuions were potentially illegal (the issue behind the controversy over the donations, which were allegedly made through an illegal straw-donor scheme).

The MRC is apparently getting a wee bit oversensitive on the "liberal bias" thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Jerome Corsi Hits Rock Bottom
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Not only did the WorldNetDaily writer's anti-Clinton book flop, he had to abandon his pet issue of birtherism to save Donald Trump's campaign and he aligned himself with the sleaziest political operative in the country, Roger Stone. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EST
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Where's the MRC's 'Every Hour' Post Admitting Fox News' Anti-Hillary Story Is Wrong?
Topic: Media Research Center

When Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell ranted about the alleged lack of coverage of a Fox News report claiming that an FBI indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent, he said, "We will report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour from here on out."

Apparently, the fact that Fox News itself has effectively retracted the story is not a sufficiently important development for the MRC devote one of those "every hours" to report on.

We've documented how Bozell and the MRC have complained that the story wasn't receiving the media coverage it wanted the story to get -- and was continuing to demand that coverage even as the story fell apart. Fox News anchor Bret Baier, who first reported the story, now admits no  indictment of clinton was forthcoming and walked back his claim that it was all but certain -- a "99 percent accuracy" -- that Clinton's private server had been hacked, admitting that "there are still no digital fingerprints of a breach."

And the MRC is still complaining the story isn't getting covered.

A Nov. 4 post by Scott Whitlock skipped around any mention of Fox News or the story being retracted, asserting the story from an unidentified outlet contained "the bombshell news that the FBI is conducting an active investigation into the Clinton Foundation." Then he grumped that other outlets accurately pointed out that the reports were "inaccurate" and "unsubstantiated."

A post the same day by Curtis Houck touted the Fox News "bombshell FBI report about the Clinton Foundation" while complaining about "the rush to gang up on Fox News and Special Report host Bret Baier over his FBI story."But he waits until theninth paragraph of his item to note in passing, by quoting Brian Stelter noting that Baier "walked it back."

Doesn't the fact that Baier walked back the story deserve to be a bit higher up than the ninth paragraph? Houck apparently doesn't think so. Shouldn't that, in fact, be the subject of its own post, complete with the MRC apologizing to the media outlets and reporters it trashed for failing to promote the story to its desired high level?

Despite Bozell's declaration that the MRC would publish updates on the story "every hour," Houck's post is the last MRC item to properly identify the story as a product of Fox News. That's more than two days ago.

Once again, we see that pushing its right-wing agenda is more important to the MRC than telling people the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 6, 2016 10:53 PM EST
WND Tries Late, Discredited Hit Job on Huma Abedin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chelsea Schilling tries her best dramatic voice in a Nov. 1 WorldNetDaily article:

For nearly 20 years, Hillary Clinton has had an extremely close working relationship with a young beauty who was raised in Saudi Arabia.

Hillary’s ties to Huma Abedin go so deep, it’s been said that the vice chairwoman of Hillary’s campaign is one of few people who knows where the proverbial Clinton “bodies are buried.”

In fact, Abedin, whom Hillary once called her “second daughter,” had direct access to classified national security information stored on Hillary’s unsecured email server. Abedin had served as Hillary’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department. And it’s been widely predicted that Abedin would serve as chief of staff if Hillary wins her race for the White House.

But who is this woman, and why is she privy to some of America’s deepest national security secrets?

The hacktivist group Anonymous released a stunning video laying out the scandalous details of Abedin’s background on Oct. 24. In just one week, the video has gone viral with 1.6 million views. The same video was previously posted on YouTube on Sept. 11 under another username.

The video details many of the stunning revelations WND has reported for years – including eye-opening details of Abedin’s ties to terrorists and funders of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

As with a lot of things written by Schilling, there's not a lot of truth here. Snopes explains by debunking her claimed source of the video:

Neither the video nor its content was new, however, nor were they created by the hacktivist group Anonymous. The video was originally posted on 11 September 2016 to a YouTube channel called "Leaked Uploads." It, in turn, closely follows the text of an article posted approximately 10 days before that in a subreddit populated by Donald Trump supporters. Both the text and video appear to have been created by the same individual, a user who goes by the handle "Invadepro."

Indeed, claiming the video was made by Anonymous simply doesn't pass the smell test at first whiff; the the loosely affiliated group is known for hacking websites, not making slick videos filled with faux research.

Snopes goes on to debunk the video's main claims that Schilling repeats uncritically as "the hair-raising details of Abedin’s past," invoking such purportedly stellar sources as Jerome Corsi and Walid Shoebat. At no point does Schilling indicate she made any attempt whatsoever to fact-check the contents of the video before writing her WND article about it.

Snopes also points out:

[B]efore she could serve as Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff at the State Department, Abedin underwent a security clearance requiring, among other things, vetting of her personal and professional history to establish her loyalty to the United States and "freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion." While we would not argue that the clearance process is infallible, nor that information could not subsequently come to light that might change the assessment, we think it likely that the investigators charged with the task have better research tools available to them than does the average Internet user.

There are lots of reasons nobody believes WND, and promoting a smear video filled with falsehoods and distortions without fact-checking it or even confirming its claimed source is just one of them.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:19 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch

For October's unemployment numbers, resorted to its usual tricks of distortion. Its main story, by Susan Jones, once again plays up the labor force participation rate, even though it's not a meaningful measure of employment, and obscures the fact that most people who do not have a job are retired baby boomers and students who aren't looking for one. Michael W. Chapman contributes the usual sidebar touting the high black unemployment rate without mentioning the fact that black unemployment has historically been double that of whites.

Chapman repeated a twist this month he first introduced in September: an article claiming a "real unemployment rate." Unlike in September, when Chapman asserted that a misleading number provided by Gallup was the "real" one, Chapman this time declares the U-6 rate to be the "real" rate.

In fact, it's not an unemployment rate at all because it counts people who are employed -- as Chapman himself notes, the U-6 rate includes "marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons."

While the U-6 rate may offer a more nuanced picture of the employment situation, it's not an "unemployment rate" as Chapman insists.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 PM EDT
AIM's Kincaid Unhappy Danney Williams's Exploitation Was Pointed Out
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It's abundantly clear that Danney Williams, who claims to be Bill Clinton's illegitimate so, is being exploited by discredited charlatan Joel Gilbert as a tool for political payback. But Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid -- who also wants some political payback against the Clintons -- won't accept that interpretation, even when it's laid out right in front of him.

In his Nov. 2 column, Kincaid rages against the Washington Post's Dana Milbank for pointing out the obvious, then twisting it into a charge of racism:

In a column with strong racist overtones, Milbank depicted Williams as a puppet for conservative filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who is white, and who introduced Williams and the other speakers. Milbank insisted that Williams had been “hauled” to the event by Gilbert and was given a speech to read. He was “looking to Gilbert for instruction” on what to say, Milbank wrote.

While he read a prepared statement about getting the Lewinsky dress, he spoke from the heart and in deep emotional terms throughout the news conference about how he has sought for many years to get Clinton to acknowledge paternity. Williams said he was prepared to file a paternity suit against Clinton if he does not get the DNA from the dress.


Milbank, who scampered out of the press conference as awareness grew about his real agenda, insisted in his column that he had not made fun of Williams. But his column was full of statements and suggestions that the young man from Arkansas was unable to articulate his own case and had to rely on a white man to guide him.

First, Milbank mentioned Williams' race only twice -- once while quoting Williams -- and did not mention Gilbert's race at all. Second, Kincaid can't possibly know that Williams "spoke from the heart." He was reading words Gilbert obviously put in front of him because Gilbert has seemingly promised him some unspecified something for allowing Gilbert to exploit him this way.

Kincaid then bizarrely claims that "One of Milbank’s more obnoxious lies was the claim that Gilbert had once done a film about a 'labor activist' by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, who was Obama’s mentor in Hawaii during his growing-up years." It's indisputable that Gilbert made the film; he's just mad that Milbank didn't call Davis "a veteran member of the Communist Party—with a 600-page FBI file—who dabbled in pornography and pedophilia." 

But he curiously didn't mention the point of Gilbert's film: to claim that Davis is Barack Obama's real father. And he certainly didn't mention the film has been utterly discredited.

Kincaid, however, was so happy to help with Gilbert's exploitation charade that he took a picture with Williams:

By the end of his column, all Kincaid had left is mocking Milbank's beard and whining that Milbank is "the comedic sidekick who expects to be taken seriously while the audience laughs at him" and "his routine is getting tiresome and old." That's actually a more apt description of himself than Milbank, yet AIM chief Don Irvine still sees fit to give Kincaid a steady paycheck.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:32 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, November 20, 2016 11:37 AM EST
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Stenography: CNS Transcribes Melania Trump's Anti-Cyberbullying Speech, Ignores Her Husband's Cyberbullying

As we've noted, much of CNS' election coverage of Donald Trump's campaign has mostly consisted of dutifully transcribing whatever he says in speeches and on TV -- as if CNS was a direct arm of the Trump campaign. That fawning so-called reportage gets applied to his wife as well.

Melanie Hunter is the dutiful transcriber in this Nov. 3 article:

In her first solo appearance on the campaign trail, Melania Trump told supporters at a rally in Berwyn, Pa., that if her husband is elected president, her focus as first lady will be on cyberbullying.

“As adults, many of us are able to handle mean words, even lies. Children and teenagers can be fragile. They’re hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence. This makes their life hard and can force them to hide and retreat,” Mrs. Trump said.

“As we know, now social media is a centerpiece of our lives. It can be a useful tool for connection and communication. It can ease isolation that so many feel in the modern world. Technology has changed our universe, but like anything that is powerful, it can have a bad side. We have seen this already,” she said.

“Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers. It is never okay when a 12-year-old boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground, and it is absolutely unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet,” Mrs. Trump added.

“We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other. We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media. It will one of the main focuses of my work if I’m privileged enough to become your first lady,” she said.

“We need to teach our youth American values – kindness, honesty, respect, compassion, charity, understanding, corporation. I do worry about all of our children,” Mrs. Trump said.

Hunter apparently thought it would be too gauche (not to mention possibly jeopardizing her paycheck) to mention, as real news organizations have, that Melania's husband is the country's cyberbully in chief, known for his meanness and roughness on social media and for mocking, bullying and attacking his enemies, real and imagined.

CNS, of course, is not a real news organization -- it's merely the Media Research Center's right-wing agenda in inverted-pyramid form.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
WND Won't Tell Its Readers About Actual Conservative Candidate Evan McMullin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There's a conservative presidential candidate out there who wants to rebuild the military, supports homeschooling and the Second Amendment, wants to repeal Obamacare, and opposes abortion: Evan McMullin.

But WorldNetDaily doesn't want you to know about him.

A search of WND's archive reveals that it has never done an original news article on McMullin's independent campaign. It has run just four articles purloined from other news operations that reference him.

The only WND-original articles that mention McMullin are an Oct. 6 column by Bradlee Dean that includes him in a laundry list of candidates and two columns by Burt Prelutsky.

On Aug. 22, Prelutsky huffed that McMullin "some dodo" who is "pretending to run as an independent," adding that "anyone entering the race because he hates or fears Donald Trump, knowing he himself has no chance of being elected, is clearly out to help Hillary Clinton get across the finish line." He went on to rant: "Mr. McMullin claims he’s an independent at this point, but in his opening statement declared that Trump is 'inhuman and doesn’t care about anyone but himself.' One is left to conclude that McMullin believes, against all existing evidence, that Mrs. Clinton is in fact human and does care about someone other than herself."

In an Oct. 24 column, Prelutsky mocked McMullin's Mormon faith:

I understand that Mormons would have a soft spot in their hearts for a fellow Mormon, but someone should remind them that they’re not electing a church elder. No matter how regularly Mr. McMullin tithes, he is not going to be the person deciding what America does about ISIS, open borders, sanctuary cities, EPA regulations and whether we continue to allow Mexico and Vladimir Putin to push us around.

A Republican vote for Mr. McMullin, no matter how nice a guy he may be, is a vote for Hillary Clinton.

That's it. That's the complete extent of original WND coverage of McMullin.

Why? It's not as if WND is opposed to third-party or independent presidential campaigns. For instance, WND thought enough of far-right candidate Howard Phillips, who ran in 1992, 1996 and 2000, to promote him through its now-defunct speakers bureau, it published a fawning profile of Phillips for his 2000 bid, and WND editor Joseph Farah put Phillips on a list of the candidates whose support of "the U.S. Constitution, the principles of self-government, freedom,
truth, justice and the American way" he likes.

It appears the reason is that WND made its deal with the devil to back Donald Trump -- managing editor David Kupelian embarrassingly sold his soul to back Trump, even though McMullin is a much closer fit in terms of personal morality to Kupelian's self-proclaimed far-right-Christian views -- and will not let a less immoral candidate get in the way of that.

Further, backing third-party candidates doesn't bring in the money it might have in the past. And with WND circling the financial drain, Farah and Co. may be strategically clinging to Trump as a lifeline to a hopefully better monetary fortune.

WND's financial near-bankruptcy is a reflection of its moral bankruptcy. It put crass monetary and political calculations ahead of the principles it claimed to hold -- and that may ultimately accelerate the speed of WND's drain-circling. Readers can spot a craven phony, after all, and WND has unambiguously demonstrated it is one with its near-total blackout on McMullin.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 AM EDT
Friday, November 4, 2016
MRC Demands Media Cover Discredited Story Because It Makes Hillary Look Bad
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loved the big story Fox News dropped on Nov. 2. As the MRC's Kyle Drennen recounts: "On Wednesday evening, Fox News Special Report anchor Bret Baier led off his show with explosive breaking news revealing an extensive ongoing FBI investigation into the corruption scandals swirling around Hillary Clinton, with bureau agents looking into everything from newly discovered e-mails to pay for play allegations against the Clinton Foundation."

Media observers were quick to point out the flaws in Baier's story -- the main one being that it's be based on accounts from two anonymous sources who claim to have knowledge of the investigation, not necessarily actual FBI sources.

But that didn't stop the MRC from complaining that the story wasn't getting traction outside the usual right-wing haunts. Drennen went on to huff, "Despite the bombshell coming just days before election day, the broadcast networks have yet to touch the story." He also complained that "While the networks were unwilling to report on the Democratic nominee being embroiled in a criminal investigation, back in 2000, the same media were eager to hype a decades-old DWI charge against then-Republican nominee George W. Bush as a November surprise designed to damage the candidate," apparently not understanding the difference between a documented police record a an anonymously sourced article by a parisan media outlet.

Then, the next morning, Baier walked back the central claim of his story -- that an indictment was "likely" over the Clinton Foundation allegations -- calling that statement "inartful" because "that's not the process." The MRC continued pushing the story anyway. Curtis Houck complained that "MSNBC acknowledged the story but repeatedly chided Fox News perpetuating a story using 'anonymous sources' that’s not 'corroborated or substantiated.'"

Meanwhile, other news outlets did their own investigating, and they came to a much different conclusion: NBC's Pete Williams reported that "this idea that there are indictments near or something like that, I am told is just not true,"  and CNN similarly pointed out that "there is no evidence ​that any ​of the Fox ​stuff is true. That there is nothing close to an indictment."

Still, the MRC kept pushing the story. Houck was offended that NBC did its own reporting on the story, then touted GOP operative Matt Schlapp dutifully sticking to the increasingly dubious Fox News talking points, at one point telling an MSNBC host, "Your reporting is not accurate." Needless to say, Schlapp's quote was the headline of Houck's post.

Then, right on cue, the MRC bigwigs injected themselves into the story. MRCchief Brent Bozell issued a press release ranting about the "media cover-up" of the increasingly dubious Fox News story and asserting that "No one in the so-called ‘news’ media can deny this without lying through his/her teeth." Tim Graham ran to fight-wing-friendly Fox Business, sister network of Fox News, to complain that other news outlets are accurately reporting that the Fox News story has "no substantiation whatsoever." (he also veered off topic and into right-wing fantasyland by saying, "Well, we could certainly argue that the Watergate story itself was left-wing partisanship in action.")

The MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro, meanwhile, was still complaining about a lack of media coverage of the increasingly shaky story, asserting that "A solid 24 hours after Fox News reported the massive bombshell that the FBI was pursuing a criminal investigation into the Clinton Foundation, the liberal “Big Three” networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were scrambling to defend Clinton Thursday evening." NBC's reporting that there is no imminent indictment as Fox News claimed is merely an attempt to "downplay" the Fox story, Fondacaro claimed.

Bozell and Graham then teamed up for a column declaring that "The network blackout so far on this FBI probe is beyond the pale."  They did not mention the unsubstantiated nature of the allegation, the growing body of reporting contradicting it, or that Baier actually walked back the key allegation.

After their column appeared, however, Baier effectively retracted his story, admitting that "just wasn't inartful, it was a mistake" to report that an indictment was forthcoming, "and for that I'm sorry." He also walked back his claim that it was all but certain -- a "99 percent accuracy" -- that Clinton's private server had been hacked, admitting that "there are still no digital fingerprints of a breach."

The MRC, however, still wants to believe Baier did not correct the story, again complaining about accurate reporting: "On Friday morning, the rush to gang up on Fox News and Special Report host Bret Baier over his FBI story was full speed ahead with CNN repeatedly harping on Baier’s 'completely false' bombshell being 'a prime example of the echo chamber at work' spreading 'lies' to hurt Hillary Clinton."Houck did not acknowledge the validity of the reporting by other media outlets on this story, and he did not mention Baier's retraction at all.

Bozell said in his rant, "We will report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour from here on out." But the MRC has yet to report on Baier's retraction, which one would think is an important development -- or explain why it's continuing to push a bogus story.

Then again, we all know the answer to that: Because the story hurts Hillary, and the MRC is in the tank for Trump.

UPDATE: The MRC has sent out an email touting how "Fox News’ Bret Baier exposed the startling new revelations regarding the FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation on Wednesday night" telling readers to call the presidents of non-Fox networks to "let them know, in no uncertain terms, that the American people demand an end to this pro-Hillary blackout of major new developments regarding ongoing FBI investigations." The email didn't mention that the story has been retracted.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, November 4, 2016 3:52 PM EDT
CNS Reporters Spend More Time Touting Trump Than Reporting His Scandals

The Media Research Center's "news" division,, claims as its mission to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." But if that story is bad news about the Republican presidential nominee, there are few legitimate sides worth reporting.

ConWebWatch went into the CNS archives to examine the output of its three main news reporters, Susan Jones, Melanie Hunter and Patrick Goodenough. We looked at stories they wrote between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1 in which the main subject as indicated by headline was in three categories: the Wikileaks controversy in which emails were stolen from the Hillary clinton campaign; stories  about any controversy related to Donald Trump; and stories that uncritically quote Trump or his running mate, Mike Pence. 

Here's what we found:

Susan Jones

  • WikiLeaks: 10
  • Trump controversy: 0
  • Uncritically quoting Trump/Pence remarks: 10

Melanie Hunter

  • Wikileaks: 1
  • Trump controversy: 1
  • Uncritically quoting Trump/Pence remarks: 9

Patrick Goodenough

  • Wikileaks: 4
  • Trump controversy: 1
  • Uncritically quoting Trump/Pence remarks: 1

Between them, these three reporters wrote only two stories in which the main focus was on Trump-related controversies: an Oct. 13 article by Hunter on women accusing Trump of touching them inappropriately (and even then, all Hunter does is uncritically repeating Trump's blanket denial) and an Oct. 31 article by Goodenough accusing the FBI of whithholding evidence of Trump's alleged ties between Trump and Russia (a balanced article that surprisingly examines the depths of Russian links to Trump).

That's two stories in an entire month in which there was no shortage of Trump controversies to report on, what with further accusations of sexual harassment, questions about how Trump's foundation raises and spends its money and his extensive record of falsehoods.

By contrast, these same three reporters churned out 15 stories regarding a Hillary Clinton controversy and a whopping 20 articles that uncritically quote the words of Trump or Pence.

While CNS is a subscriber to the Associated Press and publishes many AP stories on its website, including those about Trump controversies, very few of those stories make it to the CNS front page, which tends to prioritize the work of its own writers. Of course, the AP has published Wikileaks stories as well, but that doesn't keep CNS from redundantly writing their own versions.

If the Media Research Center is serious about combatting bias in the media, it should start within the halls of its own headquarters.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EDT
MRC's CNN Gotcha Was Kind Of A Fail
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck thought he had the goods on CNN in an Oct. 31 post:

On Sunday night, Justin Baragona at Mediaite caught CNN red-handed nine days before the election in the highly unprofessional act of fabricating claims that Donald Trump told a Colorado rally that they should vote repeatedly on Election Day.

With time ticking away and the original story retweeted from @CNNPolitics over 900 times, Mediaite successfully shamed them into only a measly correction and deleting the original tweet with the false headline over two hours later.

But a couple hours later, Houck himself was forced to do a correction of his own, in a note that now resides at the top of his post:

Upon reviewing CNN’s on-air coverage of Trump’s Colorado rally at the center of these false claims, the network actually aired live the entirety of Trump’s comments on Sunday about voting in the Centennial State.

Somehow, the CNN Politics team still published the butchered and erroneous Trump quote. I’ve provided video below of Trump’s full comments that CNN’s reporters didn’t appear initially interested in following. The headline has also been changed to include the acknowledgement that this blog has been updated. 

In other words, it was accurate on the air but apparently not in a story on the CNN website, and when that was pointed out, CNN corrected it. That seems to be exactly what one should do in that situation, and CNN did it. Granted, that throws a wrench in Houck's attempt to elevate this to fit the MRC's "rigged media" agenda it shares with Trump, but even major news organizations get things wrong in the rush to get a story posted, and there's not necessarily a huge conspiracy behind it -- in fact, there almost always isn't.

When a media outlet continues to push a false story even after it has been proven false -- as, say, the MRC-operated did when it falsely claimed Democratic strategist Paul Begala said that Republicans are trying to kill him and his family, then adamantly refused to correct the falsehood -- then you can cry conspiracy.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 PM EDT

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