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Thursday, December 1, 2016
MRC Flip-Flops on Jorge Ramos' Credibility
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had its knives out for Univision's Jorge Ramos for quite some time now, determined to silence him for being critical of Donald Trump. When Trump actually won the election, the MRC gloated.

In a Nov. 14 post, Jorge Bonilla cheered how "Smiling faces grew somber" on Univision's election-night newscast as Trump won, complained that the network "amplified what it perceived to be inflammatory statements" by Trump (now that Trump is the MRC's boy, Bonilla won't concede that anything he was was actually inflammatory)and accused Ramos of having "staged his explusion from a Trump press conference in Iowa." Bonilla ranted:

Now trapped in its own death spiral, Univision's TV news division is quadrupling down on the identity politics that have left a sour taste in viewers' mouths. Rather than examining whether its coverage of the 2016 election turned off viewers and potential voters, Univision decided to push fear as a response to Trump. Ramos' promise to continue asking tough questions rings hollow because there was an astonishing lack of curiosity when it came to Hillary's email scandal.

Univision News' time is better spent in deep self-reflection and evaluation of its own journalistic practices. But it appears that the network has learned nothing.

This from an organization whose own "news" division served as Trump's stenographer and offered critical coverage only of Hillary Clinton.

The next day, Bonilla targeted Ramos further under the headline "Jorge Ramos Lost All His Credibility And Learned Nothing," in which he huffed:
"Some time ago, Ramos admitted that he understood the risks to his credibility by taking such open stances. 2016 will be remembered as the year that Jorge Ramos gambled away his credibility. America, however, is about second chances and redemption. Here's hoping that Ramos -as well as the rest of the media- acknowledges the scope and breadth of his failings and strives to hold all sides accountable going forward. This is certainly a much more constructive endeavor than the current lashing-out we've seen so far."

But, suddenly, Bonilla decided that Ramos was filled with credibility. Why? Because he said something Bonilla agrees with.

In a Nov. 28 post, Bonilla praised how Ramos finally got in line with right-0wing talking points on the death of Fidel Castro:

Fairness compels us to memorialize what Al Punto did right...which in this case, was everything. Jorge Ramos broke sharply from the rest of the media by simply calling a dictator a dictator. The tone of the show was proper in that it was somber. Viewers got to see the reality of Fidel Castro through the voices of people whose lives were affected by the tyrant, and were given space to come to their own conclusions.

Oh, please. Bonilla doesn't give a damn about "fairness" -- he cares only about pushing a political view. The fact that Bonilla forgot completely about his attacks on Ramos when he echoed right-wing orthodoxy on Castro shows that all too clearly.

The next time Ramos sasys something Bonilla doesn't like, the knives will be out again. That will have nothing to do with fairness either.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
WND Reporter In Full Islamophobia Mode After Ohio State Incident
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Leo Hohmann doesn't like Muslims -- he rushes to brand them as terrorists and criminals on the pages of WND. This week's incident at Ohio State University, perpetrated by a Somali refugee, has brought that out in him again.

In his first story on the incident, he complains -- as he has done before -- that police are bothering to do a full investigation instead of jumping to the conclusion that because he's a Muslim, he's a terrorist: "The Somali refugee who stabbed Ohio State University students with a butcher knife Monday praised a well-known al-Qaida terrorist on his Facebook page minutes before his attack, yet authorities say they are not ready to assign a motive."

The next day, Hohmann was in full Islamophobia mode, with some lecturing of the media for not hating Muslims as much as he does:

When Abdul Ali Artan tried to run over a crowd of helpless students at Ohio State University, then got out of his car and slashed as many as he could with a butcher knife, media titans CNN, CBS and NBC treated it as an isolated incident.

Law enforcement, from the local level on up to the FBI, said they did not know what could have motivated the young Muslim student to act in such a premeditated, violent way against his fellow students on a chilly Tuesday morning in Columbus.

Artan, an 18-year-old freshman at OSU, had immigrated from his native Somalia through Pakistan, arriving in Columbus at the invitation of the U.S. government, which considered him a “refugee.”

But the media failed to connect any of the dots with a host of similar attacks on U.S. soil, let alone the even larger number of strikingly similar attacks in Europe committed by migrants from Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.


One of the primary responsibilities of any reputable journalist is to not only report the news of the day, but to report it in context. It is only through context that the consumers of the journalistic product can receive a full understanding of the events happening in the world around them. There was none of that going on Tuesday when the news broke of a knife attack on the campus of Ohio State. Not even the most-recent Muslim knife attack, carried out two months earlier by another Somali refugee in St. Cloud, was mentioned in connection with the Ohio story.

Why so little context? Why so little information about the refugee program and its recent failures to screen out bad apples?

Why do mainstream media, along with U.S. law enforcement, provide cover for the U.S. immigration system and the refugee program in particular?

Hohmann calls on "several experts who follow the refugee program" to answer that question, but they're all Islamophobes like him, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer among them.

Hohmann also tried to fearmonger by making "a simple perusal of some very recent history, roughly the previous 17 or 18 months," in which he listed eight certain violent incidents. Then he moves the goalposts, adding, "A little further back, in 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing by the Tsarnaev brothers left three dead and more than 300 injured."

And what is the significance of this? "The one common denominator of all nine attacks is that each was carried out by Muslim immigrants or sons of Muslim immigrants." Yep, Hohmann had to pad out the list by throwing in "sons of Muslim immigrants"-- he couldn't come up with enough actual Muslim immigrants to make the list long enough.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Newsmax Columnist Thinks 'Fake News' Concern Is Attempt To Censor Right-Wingers
Topic: Newsmax

It seems like all of the ConWeb wants to have a say about all that fake-news stuff. Newsmax's James Hirsen has his own spin in a Nov. 21 column, insisting that it's really all about censoring conservatives:

After telling the public for over a year that the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States was not going to materialize, the mainstream media have now turned their collective attention toward something they have characterized as “fake news.”

The phrase, however, is a fake itself, and its deliberate use manipulative in nature. The mainstream media are out to cleanse social media of sites that pose obstacles to a uniform way of thinking; that being a left-leaning ideology.

Hirsen doesn't bother to address the specific issue at hand -- fake "news" websites pitching stories designed to boost Trump that got treated by Facebook as actual news. Instead, he plays the victim:

The mere act of defining “fake news” is fraught with its own problems.

Would The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets that published dubious news stories throughout the lengthy election season be included in the group categorized as purveyors of false news stories? Most would agree that, although warranted in many cases, this would be highly unlikely.

It has become more and more apparent that “fake news” is the latest meme being used by left-leaning media in their all-out effort to eliminate competition from the conservative side of the political spectrum.

Establishment media organizations such as New York Magazine have been disseminating rosters of “fake news” sites. Not surprisingly, the lists are full of legitimate conservative outlets.

Of course, not only has Hirsen's employer has engaged in peddling fake news over the years -- for example, we've documented how Newsmax published numerous falsehoods about President Obama's stimulus plan in 2009 -- Hirsen himself has left a trail of fake news in his wake.

He once falsely claimed that the band U2 held a fund-raiser for conservative Republican Rick Santorum; in fact, Santorum was exploiting an already-existing U2 concert for a fund-raiser. And then there's the years he spent writing Newsmax articles promoting  various Mel Gibson film projects and whitewashing his notorious anti-Semitic tirade while failing to disclose that not only is he a friend of Gibson but heads a foundation that bought a tract of land in Pennsylvania for Gibson's father to found a branch of a dissident ultraconservative Catholic sect.Refusing to disclose a serious conflict of interest is a form of fakery as well.

Hirsen concludes by writing that Facebook chief Mark "Zuckerberg also knows, as do most Americans, that social media should be delivered freely to its members in non-curated feeds where members themselves decide what is worthwhile to view and what is not." And Hirsen certainly knows how dishonest it is to present something as factual "news" when it is nothing more than an partisan attack that is may not be accurate, however newsy it looks.

It seems that Hirsen is trying to play the rigvht-wing game of pretending that there's no difference between major media organizations -- the purported "liberal media" -- and partisan content mills that put getting clicks ahead of telling facts. If Hirsen would stop playing the victim, he's understand that conservative websites that publish facts and clearly label their content have nothing to worry about, and that covers Newsmax and Hirsen.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:32 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 25, 2016 11:37 AM EST
CNS' Starr Keeps On Shilling for the Oil Industry
Topic: reporter Penny Starr has long been a reliable shill for the fossil-fuel industry, as one would expect from an employee of an organization that gets significant funding from fossil-fuel interests and has an endowed fellowship named after oilman T. Boone Pickens.

She's at it again. Starr writes in a Nov. 22 CNS article:

President Obama’s Interior Department announced last week that no offshore leases for oil and gas development in Alaska will be granted for a five-year period, prompting criticism that the decision could have a detrimental effect on local communities.

Lucas Frances, a spokesperson for the Arctic Energy Center (AEC), called the decision a “body blow” for the communities.

“Today’s announcement is a body blow for the Native communities, businesses, elected officials, military experts and other Alaskans who repeatedly have pleaded with the White House to allow offshore energy development in the Arctic,” he said in statement after the decision was announced on Friday.

“Having been told that local views would take priority, they have now seen that the exact opposite is true and their wishes have been ignored in the name of legacy-building,” he said.

“As a result of this decision, people across Alaska will be looking to the Trump administration to quickly tear up the lease plan and implement an entirely new schedule, which includes the Arctic and helps secure the state’s future.”

Starr makes sure not to disclose that the Arctic Energy Center is not a local grassroots group but, rather, an advocacy group for the oil industry founded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. The center claims that part of its mission is to highlight " long history of exploration and development in the region, and the scientific and technological advancements that allow for safe energy development today." In September, it launched a PR campaign to build support for offshore drilling in the Arctic that was scheduled to include a "six-figure television buy" in the Washingtion, D.C., TV market.

Starr also quoted one of her favorite industry sources, the American Petroleum Institute, criticizing the lease decision as well.

Unusual for her, Starr actually balanced the story with a statement from the environmental group EarthJustice. But she showed her bias again by labeling it as an "activist group" -- a descriptor she did not apply to the Arctic Energy Center though it too is activist (as if a six-figure TV ad buy isn't activist).

Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EST
WND Columnist Buys Into 'Pizzagate' Hoax, Libels Podesta As Pedophile
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline of Jesse Lee Peterson's Nov. 27 WorldNetDaily column reads, "Dear America, stop putting up with evil." We've been putting up with Peterson's evil for some time now, and he takes it to a new level in this column.

His particular brand of evil this time around is promoting the "Pizzagate" hoax and, then, libeling former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta by suggesting he's a pedophile:

The media and social media establishments are attempting to suppress investigation into “PizzaGate” – alleged pedophilia and Satanism practiced by political insiders and elites. These suspicions were bolstered by WikiLeaks’ “Podesta” emails.

Investigative journalist David Seaman says WikiLeaks has not released a fraudulent email in its 10 years of whistleblowing.

Seaman is leaving Twitter over apparent censorship and bias by CEO Jack Dorsey. Prominent conservative actor James Woods also famously quit Twitter over its attempts to suppress Trump supporters, prominent “alt-right” personalities, conservative opinions and anti-Hillary hashtags.

Seaman urges people to search terms like “Podesta pizza” on WikiLeaks (“cheese pizza” is apparently a commonly known code word for “child pornography”) – sick stuff that makes Anthony Weiner’s disgraceful issues seem almost innocent in comparison.

Remember when everyone was shocked by the cover-up of homosexual Catholic priests having sex with little boys? Early on, many of us did not know what to believe.

Now we have a liberal media quick to cover up for powerful people we all know are corrupt, and who may be affiliated with the sickest cruelties against the most innocent human beings.

We'll say it slowly so Mr. Peterson can understand. There is no "cover up" because there is no story. It was based on a fictional post on Reddit that snowballed into making false claims not only about Podesta but the completely innocent owner of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant.

It is irresponsible for Peterson to spread such false and malicious rumors. Peterson ranted that "If our country is to survive, if we want to restore freedom, We the People must return to eternal vigilance within," but it's obvious he exercised no vigilance, let alone due diligence, in choosing to publish claims he should know to be false. He urged his readers to "fight for good in your own lives" while his hate and lies are apparently exempt.

We're guessing he (and WND) may be hearing from Podesta's lawyer in the near future. Podesta shouldn't have to put up with Peterson's evil, after all, and he has an actionable claim to pursue.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: Faking It At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center does everything it can to avoid discussing the problem of "fake news" -- and certainly not how Brent Bozell's attack on purported bias at Facebook helped create it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EST
The Clinton Equivocation Continues At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Just because Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election doesn't mean the Media Research Center will give up invoking the Clinton Equivocation -- which, in this election year, has meant the MRC excusing any and every Donald Trump transgression by claiming a Clinton did it first and worse.

In a Nov. 18 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman complained that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow "is raising the issue of Trump possibly hiring his son-in-law Jared Kushner, husband of daughter Ivanka, for a high-profile role in the White House as advisor or special counsel" and pointing out the federal anti-nepotism laws that forbid it. Coleman huffed in response:

One need venture all the way back to the just-completed campaign to see a prominent beneficiary of it -- Trump's Democrat opponent in the general election, Hillary Clinton.

For those too young to have lived through it or old enough but selectively forgetful, Hillary Clinton was appointed by her husband to one of the most high-profile positions in government in 1993, the first year of his administration -- head of the task force that sought to overhaul health care in the U.S.

Her efforts ultimately failed and an enormous backlash took the form of the GOP's historic gains in the 1994 midterms when they won control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

Coleman eventually conceded that a federal appeals court found that the anti-nepotism law did not appear to cover appointments to the White House staff. Oops!

Nevertheless, he asserted that "perhaps the Clintons simply didn't care about federal law when Hillary was appointed head of the health task force (similar indifference to perjury and obstruction of justice would eventually catch up with them). More importantly, their party affiliation shielded them against undue scrutiny from a compliant media. A generation later, it shields them still."

Then, on Nov. 22, Nicholas Fondacaro noted an ABC report on the growing conflicts of interest the Trump presidency has with Trump's business operations, whining that "such concern over conflicts of interest were scant when they covered Hillary Clinton pre-election."

Fondacaro complained that "ABC completely ignored the WikiLeaks e-mail exposing how the king of Morocco donated $12 million to the Clinton Foundation. In exchange for the money, the king expected a private meeting with the former secretary of state. The donation came just before she planned to announce her doomed run for president."

But Fondacaro is censoring the full story. In fact, as Vox explains, Hillary Clintron never personally benefited from that money, and she was not in a position of authority at the time of the donation, and there's no evidence no foreign government received any preferential treatment from the State Department as a direct result of a Clinton Foundation donation.

Fondacaro harrumphed: "It’s amazing how much a network cares about conflicts of interest when the candidate they didn’t want becomes the president-elect." It's even more amazing how much a partisan organization cares about such alleged conflicts of interest -- to the point of distorting the record and hiding inconvenient facts -- when they involve the candidate it didn't support for president.

And once again, the MRC refuses to hold a Trump to the same standards it holds a Clinton.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:11 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 5:12 PM EST
WND's Unruh Writes Another Unbalanced Story Promoting Right-Wing Legal Action
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh does have a thing for reporting the right-wing side -- and only the right-wing side -- of a legal action. He displays it again in a Nov. 14 article in which he's the willing stenographer for right-wing legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending a woman being sued for refusing to make floral decorations for a gay wedding.

Unruh made it clear which side he's on. He declared that the woman, Barronelle Stutzman, "was penalized by the state for declining to promote a homosexual wedding through her floral artistry." He went on to rant that "The Obama administration has been forcing religious believers to violate their beliefs to accommodate 'nondiscrimination' laws that give special privileges to homosexuals and transgendered persons," but he does not explain how prohibiting discrimination against someone is granting them "special privileges."

Unruh uncritically quotes the ADF asserting that longstanding public accomodation laws created in the civil rights ear "endangers everyone" because there is no free-speech exception.

Unruh can't be bothered to tell the other side of the story in an objective and truthful manner; indeed, he makes no effort to contact anyone who doesn't agree with his right-wing view for a response to the ADF. Thus, we must call on a real news operation -- in this case, the Christian Science Monitor -- to provide the context Unruh and WND won't.

The Monitor explains that a Washington state court pointed out in rulling against Stutzman that "the state judge drew a distinction between a citizen’s freedom to believe, which he said was absolute, and a citizen’s freedom to act in public on those beliefs, which he said can be regulated by the government. In effect, the judge said that belief is personal, but if individuals seek to express those beliefs in action, the antidiscrimination law would trump any claim for a religious exemption."

The Monitor also did what Unruh couldn't be bothered to do, talk to a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a lawsuit against Stutzman:

[ACLU of Washington legal director Emily] Chiang says religion has nothing to do with the lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers and Stutzman.

“The ACLU is not an organization that is hostile to religion or to faith,” she says. “You have your freedom of conscience – that is your personal, private relationship with your faith – but when you decide to open a place of business, other rules apply.”

“Those rules require that you serve everyone who comes through your door, assuming they have the money to pay for it,” she adds.

Chiang says it is irrelevant that Stutzman sold flowers for nine years to Ingersoll knowing he was a gay man. It is also not relevant that the Southern Baptist Church prohibits her personal involvement in a same-sex wedding, she says.

The only relevant conduct, Chiang says, is that Stutzman refused to provide floral services to Ingersoll because he was marrying a man instead of a woman. That, she says, is a form of invidious discrimination.


Having only partial public accommodations would put the law on a slippery slope that could empower a grocery store clerk to refuse to sell milk to someone because of religious objections, Chiang says. “It sounds crazy but I think that’s where the logic takes you.”

Unruh and WND simply ha ve no interest in reporting fairly on issues that, when told in a biased way, advance their right-wing Christian agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
Monday, November 28, 2016
WND Still Letting Discredited Author Push Her Kinsey-Bashing Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You can't libel the dead, which means Judith Reisman still has a cottage industry dedicated to libeling sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.

A Nov. 21 WorldNetDaily article byBob Unruh touts the "LATEST ON SCIENTIST WHO MAINSTREAMED PEDOPHILIA," which is apparently limited to one of Reisman's anti-Kinsey books being reprinted in French. Otherwise, Reisman and Unruh are still serving up the same old Kinsey slanders. Like this:

Her conclusion is that Kinsey almost assuredly violated children sexually and based his writings on the testimony of criminals who sexually assaulted children.

How else, she wonders, would anyone come up with the data in his infamous Table 34?

There, Kinsey claimed that an 11-month-old child experienced 10 orgasms in one hour, another 11-month-old had 14 in 38 minutes, a 2-year-old child had 11 in 65 minutes, a 4-year-old had 26 in 24 hours. A 10-year-old had 14 in the same time, and a 12-year-old had three in three minutes. Because someone wasn’t sure of those results, the experiment was repeated on the 12-year-old, who then reportedly experienced nine in two hours.


Reisman herself explained: “Kinsey solicited and encouraged pedophiles, at home and abroad, to sexually violate from 317 to 2,035 infants and children for his alleged data on normal ‘child sexuality.’ Many of the crimes against children (oral and anal sodomy, genital intercourse and manual abuse) committed for Kinsey’s research are quantified in his own graphs and charts.”

As we pointed out a decade ago, Reisman's assertions about Table 34 have been discredited, and there is no evidence -- other than in Reisman's fevered imagination -- that Kinsey was a pedophile. The Kinsey Institute further explains that Kinsey did not carry out any experiments on children, nor did he encourage anyone else to.

Needless to say, Unruh did not report on any of this Reisman-discrediting information. He's not getting paid to report the truth, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 28, 2016 5:43 PM EST
CNS Columnist Cheers Dissing of SCOTUS Nominee As Revenge For Obama Not Attending Scalia's Funeral

In his Nov. 17 column, Lynn Wardle claims that Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland will not receive a Senate hearing not because of Republican senators making a political power play -- as has been widely admitted -- but because of "the rude, disrespectful behavior of the very person who nominated him for the Supreme Court – President Barack Obama." How so, you ask? Wardle explains:

President Obama disrespected Justice Antonin Scalia and was very rude (discreetly, of course) regarding his sudden death earlier this year.  President Obama ignored (i.e., chose not to attend) the funeral for Justice Scalia. He failed to demonstrate the minimal courtesy of just showing up to pay respects to a man who had given decades of his life in service to his nation.

Since Scalia was one of nine justices at the top of the judicial branch of the United States, it was incumbent upon the President to attend Justice Scalia’s funeral as a matter of decent respect for of that co-ordinate branch of our federal government and for the members of the Supreme Court.  Yet Obama turned his back on Justice Scalia and simply skipped his funeral.

The funeral for Justice Scalia was held in Washington, D.C., within a stone’s throw of the White House, so travel distance was not a factor in the President’s missing the funeral of Justice Scalia.  President Obama simply chose to ignore the funeral of Justice Scalia – a man whose judicial views the President did not like.

However, President Obama claimed the right to nominate someone to replace Justice Scalia and to fill his seat on the Supreme Court.  That nominee is Merrick Garland.

Somehow, it seems just and fitting that since President Obama was unwilling to show minimal respect to the passing of Justice Scalia that he be denied the right to have his preferred nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, confirmed to fill that vacancy on the high court. And it appears that that is exactly how this strange scenario is playing out. 


The Republicans in the Senate did not steal the Court.  Rather, President Obama forfeited his opportunity to reshape the Court.  He lost that privilege because of his arrogant disrespect of Justice Scalia and for his remarkable career of public judicial service.

His imperial attitude has cost President Obama good will and has diminished the office of the President of the United States. 

In fact, a president declining to attend Scalia's funeral is not unheard of. PolitiFact details that Dwight Eisenhower attended one of two funerals for justices who died while he was in office, while Harry Truman attended one of the three funerals for Supreme Court justices who died during his presidency.

There was no mandate by tradition or anything else that Obama attend Scalia's funeral, and Wardle conveniently fails to mention that Vice President Joe Biden did attend the funeral, let alone explain why that was not sufficient for him.

Revenge, however, is a sufficient motive for Wardle.

Wardle also huffs that "Our outgoing President has long had difficulty dealing respectfully with persons who disagree with him," while failing to comment on how the incoming president has an even bigger superiority complex than Obama has ever been accused of.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EST
The Election's Over, So WND Can Go Birther Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Now that the election is over, it's apparently safe for WorldNetDaily to be birther again.

A Nov. 24 WND article by Bob Unruh gets back in the ol' bnirther spirit by reporting taht "WND has learned that a news conference has been scheduled for Dec. 15 to make public the final conclusions of the investigation by the Cold Case Posse in Arizona’s Maricopa County under Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was defeated Nov. 8 in his bid for a seventh term."

Actually, the announcement that a press conference was coming had been known for about a week prior to WND's article.

From there, Unruh descended into a rehash of the giant fake-news story that has been WND's birther coverage. He first asserts that "The review was sparked by requests to the sheriff from his constituents, who feared a fraud had been perpetrated on the American people." Actually, it was sleazed into existence when WND's Jerome Corsi used a tea-party group in Maricopa County as cover for Arpaio to create the cold case posse.

Unruh also does what WND has been reluctant to do: identify its good friend Carl Gallups is a birther.

Unruh uncritically repeats the claim that cold case posse leader Mike Zullo's "has indicated the White House computer image of Obama’s birth certificate contains anomalies that are unexplainable unless the document had been fabricated piecemeal by human intervention, rather than being copied from a genuine paper document." in fact, it's been proven that the same "unexplainable" anomalies can be reproduced by using a common office scanner to scan in the certificate.

Unruh also writes that "Zullo has noted that Reed Hayes, a document examiner who has served as expert witness for Seattle law firm Perkins Coie – the firm that flew an attorney to Honolulu to personally deliver two paper copies of the birth certificate to the White House – has concluded in a signed affidavit that the document posted on the White House website is 'entirely fabricated.'" But Zullo has curiously never publicly released Hayes' report, and as we've noted, Hayes is a handwriting expert, and no evidence has been provided that he has any experience examining a computer copy of a document.

Unruh goes on to recite Donald Trump's 2011 pro-birther statements -- which WND assisted him in developing behind the scenes -- but he strangely omits the statement Trump made during the campaign that "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period."

Unruh also adds:

The Constitution requires the president to be a “natural-born citizen” but does not define the term. Scholarly works cited by the Founders defined it as a citizen at birth by virtue of being born in the country to two citizens of the country, or merely the offspring of two citizens of the country. The birth certificate Obama displayed on the White House website declares he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father.

This narrow definition of "natural born citizen" was one that WND tried to pretend didn't exist when it came to Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president, to the point that WND effectively renounced birtherism rather than apply those same standards to Cruz.

As we knew at the time, that renouncement was cynically motivated, politically driven and, as Unruh's article demonstrates, always intended to be temporary. And, of course, it proves that WND's birther crusade was never about the Constitution and always about Farah's attempt to personally destroy Obama.

WND had to keep quiet about birtherism -- its signature story of the past eight years -- lest it harm Trump's candidacy. Even Corsi absolutely refused to talk about it when Trump admitted Obama was born in the U.S., insisting that "I'm done with the topic until Obama's out of office."

But Trump has been elected, and that means it's safe for WND to be openly birther again -- and keep peddling those discredited birther lies.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Sunday, November 27, 2016
More Trump Stenography at CNS
Topic: spent much of its original pre-election coverage about Donald Trump simply transcribing what he said -- effecting acting as a campaign PR shop -- instead of providing any sort of balanced or analytical coverage of his campaign. That's been continuing since Trump's win, and it's still going on.

Here's the latest Trump stenography from CNS, as well as other uncritical endorsement of Trump's agenda:

Meanwhile, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman is vouching for the Muslim-hating credentials of Michael Flynn, picked by Trump to be his national security adviser (Chapman is quoting all of this approvingly, not as criticism of Flynn):

Trump stenography  may not be any actual journalists' definition of journalism, but CNS doesn't seem to mind as long as it's clickbait-y enough to get them those sweet Drudge Report links.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 8:46 PM EST
Thin-Skinned Farah Denies WND Is 'Fake News'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We know all about Joseph Farah's notoriously thin skin, and we knew he could not stay silent about a college professor who put WND on her list of fake-news outlets, and that Chelsea Schilling's WND article mocking the "leftist" professor with publishing the most unflattering photos possible of her would not be sufficient punishment for such criticism.

Thus, Farah's Nov. 24 WND column, in which he ranted that the professor who made the list, Melissa Zimdars, "had never actually worked in the media – only researched it and taught it." Then, as he is wont to do, he drops his pants and engages in a manhood-measuring contest by devoting a very long paragraph to reciting his resume, though much of what he recited took place before he started WND. He then huffed: "Between Ms. Zimdars and me, who do you think is in a better position to determine real news from 'fake news'?"

Actually, one does not need to have worked in journalism to be able to determine real news from fake, and one can argue that the extensive journalism experience Farah prides himself on having has only made him experienced in presenting fake news as real.

Farah then serves up his own, um, interesting definition of fake news:

Let me make my position on “fake news” clear. It does exist. It is most evident in the revolving door between politics and the media – a phenomenon that doesn’t bother the establishment media or establishment politics one little bit.

One thing you will note about my bio and the resumes of other news professionals at is the absence of any interest in partisan politics or the desire to be part of government.

That’s the nexus of where most “fake news” actually starts. When political activists can move seamlessly from election campaigns to directing newsrooms and back again, the line between news and political agitprop is blurred to the point of journalistic prostitution.

Farah seems to not be aware of journalistic prostitute (and WND employee) Jerome Corsi, who teamed up with Trump adviser Roger Stone to use the pages of WND to push sleazy rumors about Hillary Clinton. Indeed, Farah surely knows there has never been any line between news and political agitprop at his website -- all its political "news" is designed to promote the Republican or conservative and denigrate the Democrat or liberal.

Farah also seems to have missed that revolving door happening between news and government happening not only with the Trump campaign -- which hired the head of Breitbart News to run the campaign -- but within his own website, in which political prostitute Jerome Corsi touted how "WND author and Oxford professor Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is being referred to the Trump transition team as a candidate for either ambassador to the United Nations or to the United Kingdom," acording to "sources close to the vice-president-elect, Mike Pence."

And as usual -- despite the evidence that WND does, in fact, traffic in fake news -- Farah manages to portray himself as the victim rather than the perpetrator:

I do, however, thank Ms. Zimdars and the major media that touted her “list,” however misguided and wrong-headed it was. Why? Because there really is such a phenomenon as “fake news.”

It’s found in scandalously phony reports like the one published by Ms. Zimdars and broadcast nationally by outlets thrilled by the condemnation of their anti-establishment competition. (To her credit, following WND’s report on Ms. Zimdars’ effort, she pulled it from her own website, though it circulates forever on, ironically, “fake news sites.”)

It’s found in websites without names and addresses associated with it that I strongly suspect are fronts for those who seek to undermine enterprises like (One notoriously exploitive example is called WorldNewsDaily, which intentionally and shamelessly seeks confusion with the oldest, enduring similarly named site you are reading now.)

Needless to say, given how litigious WND is, it can easily sue that "notorioiusly exploitative website" out of existence (or at least into changing its name and look). Yet, strangely, it apparently hasn't.

Farah concludes by stating how to "put an end to" fake news: "In one word – discernment." Remember, people like Clark Jones have already discerned that WND is a provider of fake news, and he knows better than pretty much anyone.

UPDATE: Farah's insistence that he and everyone else at WND have an "absence of any interest in partisan politics" is further belied by the fact that, according to The Intercept, a pro-Trump super PAC paid WND $2,000 for "online voter contact." That probably consists of the super PAC renting WND's mailing list, but it's definitely interest in partisan politics.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:54 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 27, 2016 11:05 PM EST
Saturday, November 26, 2016
MRC's Gainor Redefines Fake News To Attack 'Liberal Media'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had trouble dealing with the issue of fake news getting Donald Trump elected president -- in particular, its own enthusiastic promotion of a false Fox News story about Hillary Clinton's purportedly imminent indictment.

Now, it appears the MRC has simply decided to redefine the term as something only the "liberal media" does.

Loyal MRC apparatchik Dan Gainor made a Nov. 21 appearance on Fox Business -- where, like sister network Fox News, MRC talking heads are all but assured their anti-media views will never be subject to question -- in which he was called on to rant about an incomplete quote of Reince Priebus that NBC tweeted out (yes, this outrage is centered on a tweet). Asked if the Trump administration would establish a registry for Mulsims, Priebus responded, “Look, I’m not going to rule out anything, but I wouldn’t, we’re not going to have a registry based on a religion.” Gainor and Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis were incensed that NBC tweeted out only the first part of Priebus' statement, even though it actually negates the latter half of it.

Gainor ranted in response: "Of course it's something to get upset about. This is the same network that gave us Brian Williams and fake news. The media are all upset about fake news and they’re giving us fake news!"

No, Dan, Williams did not report "fake news" -- he embellished his personal association with certain news events. Not fully quoting Priebus to the MRC's satisfaction, even though his statement was self-contradicting, is also not fake news.

Fake news is what Facebook allowed to appear from shady websites that cared more about making money and creating clickbait than telling the truth -- a situation that came about in no small part because Facebook was afraid of Gainor's boss, Brent Bozell, accusing it of liberal bias (again). It's the MRC promoting that fake Fox News story, then refusing to clearly tell its readers the story was fake.

As long as Gainor and the rest of the MRC desperately try to obfuscate and redefine and change the subject, there will never be a serious discussion of fake news in which the MRC takes part.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
WND Columnist Hypocritically (and Dishonestly) Laments Arpaio's Defeat
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson's Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily column is one large sad for the defeat of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio lost his re-election bid. But she does this in a very hypocritical way.

Simpson touted how Arpaio "was successful in money raising – some $12 million – much from out of state"-- then complained about out-of-state money being used to defeat him: "But his campaign was hurt by the money clout of George Soros who spent $2 million to defeat Joe. In addition, there was $500,000 from Laura and John Arnold, Texas billionaires and $250,000 from Steve Jobs’ widow."

Simpson went on to complain that "the government, up to and including the White House, targeted him for legal issues," and that anti-Arpaio ads meant that "Arizonians were drowning in anti-Arpaio bilge. It makes you wonder what they were afraid of."

Meanwhile, Simpson mocked another candidate targeted by the government for legal issues and the subject of much anti-candidate advertising: "Reportedly, Hillary Clinton herself has been having some crying jags about losing. After all, she believed she was destined to be president."

Simpson also potrayed Arpaio's defeat as being solely about his immigration stance: "The reality was – and is – Joe Arpaio is a law-and-order man. When people cross the border illegally, they have broken the law, and he saw it as his responsibility to enforce the law." She also complained that the opposition "painted Joe Arpaio as a foe of immigration, Latinos and anyone not white."

In fact, Arpaio not only was accused of using racial profiling, he was charged a month before the election with contempt of court for continuing to racially profile despite a court order not to.  Simpson dismissed it as "an order that essentially says he has to ignore enforcing the law," which is not true -- Arpaio would not be in this trouble if he simply stopped using racial profiling.

But there were other scandals in which Arpaio and his office were involved , putting the lie to Simpson's claim that Arpaio is "a good man" who was "being railroaded."Among them:

  • Arpaio's office failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases, including dozens of allegations of child molestation, over a three-year period.
  • Arpaio had the editors of a local newspaper arrested for reporting that Arpaio had subpoenaed the paper in a lengthy dispute stemming from it publishing Arpaio's home address while reporting on his real estate holdings. The editors were later awarded $3.75 million after suing for false arrest.
  • Arpaio launched a secret investigation of the judge presiding over the racial profiling case, as well as his wife, based on a statement the wife was purportedly overheard making at a restaurant.

There's a lengthy Wikipedia page dedicated to Arpaio's scandals.

That wasn't the only instance in which Simpson departed from reality. She wrote of the legal costs in defending Arpaio's actions as sheriff: "Over the years, the costs to the people to defend him grew to over $30 milliion and questions started to be raised." In fact, Arpaio's office has racked more than $142 million in legal fees since he first was elected to the job.

Simpson also whined: "One of the most ludicrous comments I saw after the election was from the Associated Press, which said Arpaio’s defeat shows 'Arizona voters care little about immigration.' Tell that to Arizonians whose lives have been disrupted and ruined by the criminal activities of illegal aliens in the state. I know. I’ve talked with many of them."

Simpson took that quote out of context. In fact, the AP article added context that she deliberately omitted: "Exit polls showed that only about 1 in 10 voters named immigration as the most important issue, and three-quarters said they supported a path to legal status for immigrants."

Nope, Arpaio is not a "good man." And Simpson is not an honest writer.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EST

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