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Tuesday, December 13, 2016
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 65: WND's Politician-Nazi Double Standard
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily spent years likening President Obama to various Nazis, yet it's now somehow appalled that some would make the same comparison with Donald Trump. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EST
Monday, December 12, 2016
CNS Promotes Right-Wing Lies About U.N. Pact
Topic:'s Melanie Hunter certainly put out a clickbait-y headline for her Dec. 8 article: "UN Rejects Sex Education Program That Called for Teaching 4-Year-Olds to Masturbate." She writes:

The United Nations last week rejected a controversial sex education program by Europeans and the World Health Organization (WHO) in its draft resolution for the General Assembly’s “Rights of the Child” resolution, the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) reported on Dec. 1.

The programming, which “first found its way into a UN resolution in 2012 within the Economic and Social Council,” called for teaching children under age four about “early childhood masturbation” and promoting “acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism throughout primary school.”

Hunter's proof for this clickbait-y claim claim is a C-FAM article that she has essentially rewrote, which asserts that "European and World Health Organization standards for comprehensive sexuality education prescribe teaching children under 4 years old about 'early childhood masturbation."

If Hunter had bothered to fact-check C-FAM's claims -- she quotes only C-FAM in her article, meaning that once again she's serving as a stenographer instead of a reporter, and she doesn't disclose that it's a far-right group that best known for being vehemently anti-gay -- she would know that it's lying about the clickbait-y thing.

C-FAM is apparently referring to a report by WHO and the Federal Centre for Health Education in Germany noting that "early childhood masturbation" is a behavior young children engage in and that "extensive observational research" shows this is among the behaviors that is "regarded as normal." A "matrix" chart later in the document lists it as something educators can "give information about," defined as "facts from the field of sexuality education in a balanced, comprehensive, age-appropriate way." At no point does it state that 4-year-olds should be taught masturbation.

WHO further issued a Q-and-A clarifying the issue:

This information is addressed to professionals (e.g. teachers, including kindergarten teachers), who need to be informed about the variety of normal phenomena in the psychosexual development of children including, in fact, early childhood masturbation and “doctor” games. Without such knowledge, there is a risk that professionals will react in inappropriate ways, possibly harming the child and/or hindering his/her future healthy development. The Standards therefore inform professionals about how to deal with these phenomena in a high-quality sexuality education programme in a developmentally appropriate way.

C-FAM is a highly biased organization, and Hunter and CNS should not be uncritically reporting its claims as undisputed truth -- especially when a little basic fact-checking proves the group wrong. But then, CNS is not paying Hunter to fact-check the claims of right-wing groups.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EST
MRC's Bozell Still Trying to Deflect Fake-News Controversy
Topic: Media Research Center

You'd think an organization that purports to care about issues in the media would want to have a substantive debate about fake news. But as the Media Research Center continues to prove, it doesn't.

As before, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham's Dec. 7 column on the subject is all about trying to change the subject. They began by declaring: "Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is under enormous pressure from the left to crack down on the "fake news" circulating on the social-media giant. He is well-advised to run as far as he can from the News Police."

They don't mention that Bozell himself was part of the right-wing News Police that victimized Zuckerberg and Facebook earlier in the year  over alleged bias in Facebook's trending-news feed. So cowed was Facebook by this that it allegedly did nothing to stop the torrent of pro-Trump, anti-Hillary fake news that swamped the website lest it run afoul of Bozell's News Police again.

Bozell and Graham then proclaimed that the problem of fake news is 1) no big deal and 2) a creation of the left:

Make no mistake about it: Fake news does exist. Everyone is used to false click-bait, like the recent "Megyn Kelly leaving Fox?" story floating around the internet, which claims she's leaving to promote some blah-blah-blah skin care product. Then there are the offshore fake news factories churning out "shocking" reports about Pope Francis backing Donald Trump.

Are these annoyances? Yes. Are they threats to Western civilization? Hardly.

The left saw an opening with talk of fake news and pounced.


Are the red flags for fake news only going to target stories that upset liberals? The leftist group Media Matters for America is claiming it will de-emphasize its Fox News obsession to focus instead on websites like Breitbart and the "alt-right" platforms in an effort to be that "trusted third party" to help run Facebook's algorithms.

Do you think they would ever call out leftist fake news outlets like, oh, themselves?

Bozell and Graham provide no evidence that any Media Matters ever produced is "fake news." (Disclosure: We used to work there.) But the MRC has participated in a few fake-news stories: its promotion of the fake Fox News story just before the election that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent, its dishonest misquoting from a book by former New York Times editor Howell Raines that stood uncorrected for nine years, and the deliberate misquoting of Democratic strategist Paul Begala at the MRC's "news" division,

Yet somehow it's the fault of "the left" that the MRC perpetuated fake news.

Bozell and Graham also assert: "The networks have labored mightily to avoid videotapes demonstrating Planned Parenthood allegedly sold dead baby parts to fetal-tissue researchers. The left said those taped admissions are somehow faked, even after all the footage, which shows no such thing, was made available." In fact, it's been repeatedly proven that the edited versions of the video make claims the full videos (which were always released after the edited versions) don't support. Even David Daleiden, who produced the videos, admitted to deceptive edits.

What does it say that "the networks" downplayed deceptively edited videos while the MRC treats them as indisputable gospel? That the MRC will embrace fake news that furthers its right-wing agenda.

But that truth is a little too real for Bozell and Graham to admit to its readers.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EST
Fake News: WND Walks Back Claim of 'Migrant' Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been trying to change the subject whenever it gets associated with spreading "fake news" (even though it indisputably has).

But WND has been caught spreading fake news again.

A Dec. 7 WND article by Joe Kovacs carried the headline "Video: ‘Migrant’ kicks young woman down flight of stairs." It began: "Video emerged Wednesday of a young woman in a German subway station being kicked down a flight of stairs, in what some are calling an unprovoked attack by a 'migrant gang.'"

But sometime after its posting and Dec. 10, Moore's article got scrubbed, to the point that Kovacs' byline was removed from it. The headline was changed to "Video: Man kicks young woman down flight of stairs" -- with "man" replacing "migrant" -- and the lead paragraph adds that the alleged perpetrator is "unidentified."

A later paragraph originally stated that "It has not been reported if police have any suspects," but that also was rewritten to add that "it cannot be confirmed at this point if the perpetrator is actually a migrant." The original is below, followed by the updated version:

Curiously, though WND has the capability of noting updates in its articles (in red type after the posting date), at no point does this acknowledge this article has been updated to remove what WND decided after the fact was false, fake information -- let alone explain to readers why.

This isn't the first time Kovacs has gotten things wrong. In 2011, for instance, he wrote that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan's name came up "at least nine times on [Supreme Court] dockets involving Obama eligibility issues" stemming from her connection as Obama's former solicitor general; in fact, none of those docket items has anything to do with "eligibility issues." That article required some heavy scrubbing as well.

WND recently claimed to be "the real mainstream when it comes to where Americans go to get the real news." (Funny, reporting "the real news" is also what Kovacs said he joined WND to do.) If WND has to heavily correct a story days after the fact, then hide from its readers the fact that those corrections were made -- and if Kovacs has continued employment at WND despite a history of serious, embarrassing errors -- it's not really real, is it?

(h/t Richard Bartholomew)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 12, 2016 8:29 AM EST
Sunday, December 11, 2016
MRC Plays the Deceptive-Editing Game
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth complains in a Dec. 1 post that "CNN's Alisyn Camerota brought up a clip of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn discussing radical Islam in which it appeared that he was claiming Islam in general is a 'cancer.'"

In fact, Camerota is portraying the clip accurately. In a larger clip of the statement in question, Flynn doesn't apply the narrower "radical Islam" Wilmouth is suggesting, Flynn is clearly stating that "Islam is a political ideology" and goes on to liken Islam -- not "radical Islam" -- to cancer.

Looking at a even larger part of the Flynn speech from which that statement was taken, he does not appear to differentiate between "radical Islam" and Islam as a whole -- he even suggests that Muslims getting involved in local government in the U.S. is a directive from Muslim extremists.

Flynn also falsely claimed in his speech that Democrats in Florida "voted yes to allow Sharia law to be used in the state of Florida judicial system," adding, "Do these people not understand what Sharia law is, what it does to these beautiful women? ... You're a piece of property." In fact, the Florida law simply codified existing policy in allowing foreign law to govern certain family cases only if it does not contradict U.S. law, and it does not specifically mention Sharia law at all.

Does that sound like someone who makes a meaningful difference between "radical Islam" and Islam as a whole? Wilmouth seems to think differently.

Then, Wilmouth flip-flops by defending taking President' Obama's words out of context:

Ironically, moments after using an edited clip of Flynn, the CNN host was seen reading and appearing to agree with complaints -- which seem to have come from an article at Mediaite -- that Fox Business Network edited some of President Barack Obama's words from an interview in which the President -- even with the words in place -- left an impression with many that he was encouraging illegal immigrants to vote, in spite of it being illegal for non-citizens to do so.

Why is it OK to misrepresent Obama's words, according to Wilmouth? Because Obama didn't make his words clear enough for Wilmouth not to exploit the ambiguity, apparently:

The Mediaite article Camerota was reading from argued that it was obvious that Obama was not encouraging illegals to vote because of the part of his answer when he stated that "when you vote, you are a citizen yourself." But this statement is not the same as stating that if one is a non-citizen, it is illegal to vote, since, if someone were unfamiliar with American law, they could misunderstand and believe voting can be a way of becoming a citizen.

His response could certainly have been misinterpreted as meaning that non-citizens like "Dreamers" and the "undocumented" could vote because they were a major part of the question asked, which should have elicited an upfront reaction in the negative that those groups should not be voting.

So Wilmouth and his fellow conservatives seem to feel free to misrepresent Obama's words because he didn't give an answer worded in exactly the way they wanted him to -- ignoring the full answer from Obama, in which he also  said that "what is important for Latino citizens is to make your voice heard" and that those citizens voting helps speak for those "who can't legally vote."

The MRC has always felt justified in taking Obama's words out of context if doing so fits its political agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 PM EST
WND Keeps Up the Imeachment Hypocrisy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joe Kovacs writes in a Nov. 28 WorldNetDaily article:

Donald Trump has not even been inaugurated into office yet, but radio host Rush Limbaugh is predicting a concerted effort by Democrats to impeach him from the presidency.

“I don’t have any doubt that there’s going to be a Democrat effort to impeach Trump,” Limbaugh said on his national broadcast Monday.

And even without any high crimes or misdemeanors committed by the president-elect, Limbaugh said opponents of the Republican will choose another route to push for his ouster.

“I think at the very least, the Democrats are gonna put voter fraud on their list of particulars for impeaching Trump,” he explained.

“They’re already beginning now to establish the evidentiary chain, and one of the elements of this is going to be that he’s illegitimate, that he really didn’t win.”

Oh, the hypocrisy. First, as we've noted, Hillary Clinton wasn't even running for president when WND started agitating for her impeachment. On top of that, WND's Jerome Corsi was touting just a couple days before the November election how "If Hillary Clinton wins the election Tuesday, a prominent Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee says there will be an immediate move to impeach her before she can even be sworn into office Jan. 20."

Second, among the many accusations WND forwarded in his laughable, falsehood-ridden "Case for Impeachment" of Obama was his purported illegitimacy, insisting that "Obama has yet to show anyone a legal, long-form birth certificate demonstrating he was born in the United States" and had only shown "a semi-legal document called a 'Certification of Live Birth' that is not accepted by most courts as legal" (false: it is an acceptable legal document) and that "Obama's legal team has spent close to $2 million fighting numerous eligibility lawsuits rather than simply producing the legal long-form birth certificate and ending the controversy" (false: even WND has never proven that all of the money, paid to a law firm representing Obama's campaign, went toward "eligibility" issues).

If WND didn't have double standards, it wouldn't have any standards at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST
Saturday, December 10, 2016
CNS' Starr Misdirects on Pipeline Controversy
Topic: reporter Penny Starr has been a reliable shill for the oil industry for years, so it's not a surprise what side she's taking on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

In September, for example, Starr gave a platform to the business lobby -- specifically, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now --  criticizing President Obama's decision to halt the building of the pipeline. Much of her article was devoted to critics of the decision, while just a single paragraph was given to quoting from a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is central to the controversy.

In a Dec. 5 article, though, Starr went on an odd tangent of misdirection:

Native Americans and other activists vow to continue their protest over the final stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline under the Lake Oahe near Standing Rock, N.D., but at another reservation in the state, Native Americans are happy about the prosperity that pipelines have brought to their community.

“One hundred fifty miles up the Missouri River from Standing Rock, pipelines and pumpjacks are plenty on the Fort Berthold reservation,” an article posted on the Inside Energy website on Nov. 23 said.

“More than 4,000 miles of pipe carrying oil, natural gas and wastewater criss-cross the reservation in the heart of the Bakken oil patch,” the article said, noting that Fort Berthold is home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes — known as MHA Nation.

But Starr omits the fact that the situation with the Dakota Access pipeline and the Standing Rock reservation is completely different from that of the Fort Berthold reservation. The pipeline as proposed does not cross the Standing Rock reservation as currently constituted; it does, however, cross tribal land the Standing Rock Sioux claim was promised to them in an 1851 treaty but instead provided to white settlers, land the tribe claims contains ancient burial mounds and other historial artifacts. The tribe also asserts that federal officials made little effort to consult the tribe about the pipeline's route.

When Starr did bother to devote significant space to the tribe's side of the pipeline controversy, it was in order to paint it as extremist. A Nov. 23 article cited "a director at a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C." who claimed that "white privilege and white supremacy" led to the creation of the pipeline "and compared it to building a pipeline under Arlington Cemetery and across the Potomac River."

So, yeah, more biased reporting from Starr designed to present only one side -- the side she's getting paid to report favorably about -- as reasonable.

(Photo via EcoWatch)

Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 AM EST
Desperate Self-Promotion at WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been spending the year begging for money to stay afloat while also exaggerating its traffic counts to create the illusion of a fully functioning business. It does more of the latter in a Nov. 27 article:

The establishment media are lashing out in the aftermath of the stunning 2016 presidential-election result, which it almost unanimously had discounted as impossible, demanding sanctions against so-called “fake news” websites.

But the hysteria may have more to do with fear of competition than with the pursuit of truth, as independent news organizations such as WND are soaring in both traffic and reader engagement. And the growth of WND is continuing even after the election.

According to Alexa, WND is now the 187th most popular site of all websites in the United States and in the top 1,500 group of all websites globally.

Actually, WND hasn't been maintaining its election-driven traffic boost. While it may have been ranked No. 187 at the time of the article, it's currently ranked No. 259 and falling.

WND immediately uses that ranking to play the victim:

Despite, or perhaps because of, this growth, WND, along with sites such as Breitbart, Red State and the Daily Wire have been smeared as “fake news” sites since the election, even though the definition seems to have more to do with ideology than accuracy.

Google and Facebook have also said they will be targeting revenue sources for so-called “fake news” sites.

The brief moment of self-criticism the establishment media engaged in after the election has ended, as outlets such as the Times now demand Facebook and other social networking titans essentially shut down competitors.

The move is coupled with a campaign to label independent journalism as “hate speech,” an accusation leveled at Breitbart and also WND.

Well, not so much: WND's history of publishing fake news -- its anti-Obama birther crusade is just one example -- is unambiguous.

And it wouldn't be WND if there wasn't a massive dose of self-aggrandizement to go along with this desperate self-promotion:

“WND has always – for 20 years – risen to the top of the charts for political coverage during presidential election years,” said Joseph Farah, founder, editor and chief executive officer of the pioneering alternative news site. “But this year the growth trend continues after the election. This is something we’ve never seen before. Perhaps Americans are finally getting the message: What we euphemistically call the ‘mainstream media’ is the real purveyor of ‘fake news.’ If you want to the truth, the real story, you’ve got to look for alternative sources of news. And WND, from the beginning, has been the place of refuge for real journalists with experience and values and professional standards.”

This time, it really is different. Almost 70 percent of voters believe the news media is not “honest and truthful” and almost 80 percent say it is “biased.”

With the establishment media’s credibility destroyed, Americans are turning to WND, a trusted source that has been around almost since the beginning of the Internet. Now, the facts show WND is the real mainstream when it comes to where Americans go to get the real news.

The real fake news, maybe...

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Friday, December 9, 2016
CNS Laughably Portrays Obama As 'Dictatorial Tyrant'

It's pure opinion -- and a ridiculous, unsupported one at that -- but portrayed it as news. Penny Starr wrote in a Dec. 2 CNS "news" article:

Conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell said on Friday that Barack Obama has acted more like a dictator than a president, and that President-elect Donald Trump should make it a priority to “restore the rule of law.”

“We have been living under a dictatorial tyrant for the last eight years,” Mitchell said at the Conservative Women’s Network event, co-hosted by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

“And one of the most important things that Donald Trump can do as president is to restore the rule of law,” Mitchell said.


“As an attorney I’m going to tell you that the most important thing that Donald Trump can do … and that is to restore the rule of law in America,” said Mitchell, who has represented the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Rifle Association and many Republican members of the U.S. Congress.

“America is a nation of laws, not of men,” Mitchell said. “But what we’ve seen in the last eight years is a president with a cell phone and a pen who has made law as though he were an emperor and a complicit liberal media that has found that completely acceptable.”

Mitchell said if Trump were to govern with a cell phone and a pen his critics would accuse him of acting as a dictator. But it is Obama, Mitchell said, who has conducted the office of the presidency in that manner.

“We have been living under a dictatorial tyrant for the last eight years,” Mitchell said. “And one of the most important things that Donald Trump can do as president is to restore the rule of law.”

Starr cites -- and Mitchell apparently didn't provide -- any example of Obama governing like a "dictatorial tyrant." The "cell phone and a pen" is a reference to Obama's decision to use executive orders and work with outside groups in the face of the Republican Congress' unwillingness to work with him on legislation. Both actions are legal and constitutional -- in other words, the complete opposite of a "dictatorial tyrant."

But Starr was once again in stenography mode, and she treated Mitchell's words as undisputed and unimpeachable. If Starr were a real reporter, she  would have interviewed others at the conservative event she attended to gauge reaction to Mitchell's ludicrous statement -- but she couldn't be bothered.

But then, stenography to attack Democrats and in the service of Republicans is how CNS rolls these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EST
WND's Farah Can't Prove Illegal Votes for Hillary Either
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last week, we caught WorldNetDaily trying to fearmonger about the specter of illegal voting in the presidential election -- but couldn't come up with any evidence to back it up, only a lot of speculation by right-wingers.

Now, WND editor Joseph Farah takes a whack at it in his Dec. 5 column:

Donald Trump tweeted a week ago that he won the popular vote on Election Day “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

Of course, the media went ballistic over this comment.

Even the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in reporting his comment in a news story had this to say: “There has been no evidence of the widespread voter fraud that would have had to taken place to give Clinton millions of illegitimate votes.”

But is Trump’s statement likely true?

We may never know, but I suspect he’s right.


Personally, I would be shocked to learn that there weren’t at least 2 million votes cast for Hillary Clinton that were invalid.

In other words, he can't prove anything either.

Farah goes on to do a lot of ranting about the need for voter ID laws, asserting that "If we’re ever going to have a free and fair election again in this country, we need all states requiring proper ID." In fact, the kind of in-person voter fraud voter ID laws would ostensibly prevent is incredibly rare.

Finally, Farah declares that his utter lack of evidence is irrelevant, but the perception of illegal voting (never mind that it's a false one) does: "Even if there is any doubt about the extent of such illegal voting, it must be stopped cold to preserve constitutional integrity."

Fake news, anyone?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
MRC Complains Media Is Accurately Reporting About Ben Carson
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline of Media Reserarch Center writer Sam Dorman's Dec. 5 post reads, "Media Predictably Mock Trump’s HUD Secretary Pick Ben Carson." He goes on to huff: "After Donald Trump chose former presidential candidate Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), journalists ridiculed the choice, mocked Carson’s beliefs and labeled him a 'scammer.'"

But Dorman's doing a lot of dishonest things here. First, he's conflating opinion writers with "journalists" -- most of the people he cites are opinion writers, not reporters.The closest he gets is Michael Powell of the New York Times, but he's a sports columnist, which means he's still allowed to voice an opinion.

Second, he actually lumps together "media figures from lefty Think Progress, Huffington Post, NBC News and others" as if they were interchangeable. And, again, all of them are opinion writers or commentators who get paid to offer an opinion.

Third, much of the criticism Dorman cites is fact-based. Does Dorman really think it's "liberal bias" to point out that Carson has no professional experience in housing or urban development.

Dorman also complained that New York magazine's Jonathan Chait called Carson a "world-class scammer," but didn't mention that Chait offered proof of that in the article to which he links in the Twitter post Dorman cites. That would be an article in The Atlantic noting how Carson's presidential campaign spent massive amounts of money paying marketing firms to raise money, suggesting that Carson was more interested in building a personal brand and a donor base than actually running for president.

Finally, Dorman doesn't actually dispute any of this -- he's only complaining that it's being talked about. Apparently Dorman has absorbed the part of MRC researcher school that teaches anything that appears in the media you don't like -- even if it's true or said by someone paid to offer opinions -- is "liberal bias."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Thursday, December 8, 2016
WND: Only Christians Should Benefit From Religious-Discrimination Laws
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh tells the sob story in a Nov. 24 WorldNetDaily article:

The situation didn’t seem that alarming. A Christian school needed to move to more economic, and yet bigger, facilities.

As such schools usually are, the Livingston Christian School in Genoa Township, Michigan, was on a tight budget, but it located a facility available at the nearby Brighton Church of the Nazarene, and made plans for the move.

The local planning commission approved the plan, the community supported it, and even experts summoned by the township endorsed the strategy.

Then the town council rejected the application, a decision that prompted a court case that now is pending before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The brief there, submitted by First Liberty, warns that the rejection is a violation of federal law because it threatens the very existence of the religious outreach.

This being a Bob Unruh article, it goes without saying he's not telling the full story. Indeed, as real news outlets have reported, the town's rejection of the special use permit has been upheld in lower courts because, despite its current claims, the school had an option to use another location and has acted upon it.

But Unruh also plays up how the religious school's attorneys, First Liberty, are suing the township under a federal law:

“The government is refusing to allow a Christian school to move into a building on church property or, for that matter, anywhere else in town,” Hiram Sasser, deputy chief counsel for First Liberty Institute, said. “That’s wrong. Federal law expressly prohibits the government using zoning laws to keep religious institutions out of their town.”


At the initial court hearing stage, a judge said the school’s religious liberty had not been “substantially burdened” by the town’s decision, so First Liberty advanced the fight to the appellate level, arguing that under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the township was essentially terminating the school’s ability to operate as a religious ministry.

The U.S. Department of Justice says that law is to “protect individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and landmarking laws.”

“First Liberty has won multiple cases using RLUIPA,” said Sasser. “We know this law well. In fact, we won a landmark case, Opulent Life Church v. Holly Springs, in the 5th Federal Circuit Court when a town used zoning regulations against a religious institution. We lost at the district court, but won at the federal appeals court. We hope for the same outcome in this important case.”

Just a month earlier, however, WND was denouncing the RLUIPA. Why? It was being invoked for the benefit of non-Christians.

In an Oct. 2 article, WND Muslim-basher Leo Hohmann complained that a different township in Michigan agreed to pay $1.7 million to a Muslim group after blocking its planned construction of a school. Hohmann is much more negative about use of RLUIPA than Unruh is:

The tentative settlement agreed to by Pittsfield Township would be one of the largest cash payouts ever by a U.S. municipality to a mosque. The deal could send shock waves throughout the nation among communities fighting to keep large mosques and madrasas out of residential areas.


The Pittsfield case, by the sheer amount of the payout, could have a chilling effect on any city or town considering a mosque location or expansion, say legal experts. Many such legal battles are in process, including a major one in nearby Sterling Heights, Michigan, reported recently by WND.

“It’s not surprising,” said Karen Lugo, a constitutional law attorney with expertise in the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal statute under which the Michigan Muslims claimed discrimination.


Pittsfield Township, a community just outside of Ann Arbor, denied the construction permit saying the project would be incompatible with the surrounding residential zoning and would cause undue traffic and congestion.

But the owner of the property, a Shariah-compliant Ann Arbor mosque backed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, filed suit against Pittsfield Township in 2012.

The U.S. Justice Department joined the case last year on the side of the mosque, claiming Pittsfield was violating RLUIPA, a law passed by Congress in 2000 that prohibits local governments from imposing zoning regulations that “substantially burden” religious rights “unless there is a compelling government interest.”


The percentage of federal RLUIPA investigations involving mosques or Islamic schools has risen from 15 percent in the 2000 to August 2010 period to 38 percent during the September 2010 to present period, according to a DOJ report posted on July 27.

The Pittsfield Township settlement, while one of the largest ever won by a mosque against a municipality in America, is not the only large settlement in recent years. Some have included not only cash but free land, Lugo said.

It's the very same law. While WND trashes it when being used on behalf of Muslims, it cheerleads the law's use on behalf of Christians. Muslims' religious rights should always be burdened, in WND's view, while those of Christians should never be.

There's no other difference.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:25 PM EST
Another Anti-Gay Freakout At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Karen Townsend is one of the people the Media Research Center has recruiting for the apparent sole purpose of getting mad when hate-watching TV shows. She's particularly offended by content that isn't anti-gay: She was appalled when Smithers came out of the closest on "The Simpsons," whined about a supposedly unnecessary transgender character on "Dead of Summer" and definitely didn't like that Chelsea Handler did an episode of her Netflix show that "was an ode to all things "queer."

Now, Townsend is appalled that Dougie, a character on the show "Life in Pieces," has apparently realized she's gay. Townsend grimly reports that Dougie "asked a straight couple how to be a lesbian" -- apparently not finding the inherent humor in that -- was outraged that another female character "confesses that she has never kissed another woman, either, and her husband would be cool with it if she did" and that, yes, she and Dougie kissed. 

Townsend concluded: "There is something slimy about encouraging a woman to enter into a lesbian lifestyle when she is obviously clueless about her own sexuality. Justifying straight women kissing other women while saying it isn’t really cheating on their husbands is just not something I remember hearing as a part of traditional marriage vows."

Apparently, Dougie is not allowed to figure out how to be less clueless about her sexuality, despite physical contact being one key way of doing that. Oh, and Townsend has decided being gay is not a sexuality but a "lifestyle." Got it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EST
WND's Farah Uses Fake News to Redirect Anger Over Fake News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is still trying to distract from the fact that WND has been a major purveyor of fake news over the years. Now he's tossing out actual fake news in order to do it.

Farah whines in a Dec. 3 article:

This was the headline in a Politico story Friday: “Trump inherits Obama boom.”

Written by Ben White, the publication’s chief economic reporter, not I must point out, Barack Obama’s chief speech writer, the fake news story was apparently designed to persuade Americans that we are living in what he characterizes as “a fairly robust economy with the lowest jobless rate in nearly a decade, record home and stock prices and a healthy growth rate.”

For this reason, White states: “Trump instead will take office with an economy at near full employment and wages and spending rising. The economy is in such strong shape that the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates again later this month to try and cool things off.”

In other words, Trump simply fooled Americans into believing their economy was underperforming and that the government wasn’t insolvent to the tune of $20 trillion – more than the annual gross domestic product.

It’s a shockingly one-sided piece of trashy propaganda that ignores one stunning FACT after another – for instance, that there are nearly 100 million adult Americans NOT WORKING out of a total of civilian adult, non-institutional population of 253 million. When Obama took office, the number of adults not working was 80 million, meaning the number has jumped by 25 percent! Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been growing at the shockingly low annual rate of between 1 and 2 percent throughout the Obama presidency.

As we've pointed out when obsesses over the labor force participation rate, a significant percentage of those "nearly 100 million adult Americans NOT WORKING" (it's actually 95 million, but who's counting?) are students and retirees, and the main reason that number is increasing is that baby boomers are retiring. Also, as even CNS concedes (when it's not trying to obscure the good news), there have never been more Americans employed than right now.

Farah also rants that the unemployment numbers are "cooked" and "literally only count those collecting unemployment checks." Farah is lying: The unemployment numbers are computed the way they always have been, and "those collecting unemployment checks" is not the only emplpoyment-related data the government issues.

Farah also complained about a New York Times article noting that white nationalists see Russia's Vladimir Putin as an example: "And who are these extremists the New York Times quotes prominently? A collection of racists, Klansmen and know-nothing wannabees, neo-Nazis and other deplorables – the kind of people you might not expect the 'mainstream media' to provide with a serious platform." Among those Farah complains the Times quoted in its article is Jared Taylor of the white nationalist group American Renaissance.

You know who else has given Taylor credibility on this issue: WND. In October, WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson spoke admirably of Taylor's work: "If you don’t already know about rampant black-on-white crime (rape, robbery, murder and atrocious assaults), check the research of Colin Flaherty, Heather Mac Donald and Jared Taylor."

(Flaherty, of course, is a race-baiter to whom Farah's WND has given a prominent platform.)

Farah goes on to complain that "The Times also buys into the unfounded, groundless conspiracy-mongering of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama about Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election." Farah doesn't back up his claim that Russian involvement in the eleciton is unfounded and groundless -- unsurprising, given that there's plenty of evidence showing otherwise.

While Farah complained that Richard Spencer was also among the white nationalists quoted by the Times, he immediately defends Spencer later in his article:

It all started with a segment on CNN’s The Lead which quoted prominent white nationalist figure Richard Spencer as wondering if Jews were actually people. CNN host Jim Sciutto said, “of Jews Spencer said, ‘one wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.'”

“That is an alt-right leader, Richard Spencer, talking about Jews,” Sciutto added. CNN then had a panel with RealClearPolitics’ Rebecca Berg and The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser with the chyron “ALT-RIGHT FOUNDER QUESTIONS IF JEWS ARE PEOPLE.”

Except, Spencer did not make those remarks about Jews. He made them about political consultants on television.

Farah is actually mostly correct here (Snopes says Spencer was "questioning the humanity and intelligence of members of the 'mainstream media,' not specifically that of Jews" in the specific remark CNN cited, but noted that in the same speech Spencer also referred to "Lügenpresse," a term "commonly used in Nazi-era German propaganda to describe non-party-friendly (e.g., Jewish, Communist, and foreign) news sources"), but he omits the fact that Sciutto and CNN host Jake Tapper, on whose show the segment took place, both denounced and apologized for the chyron after they learned about it.

If only Farah and WND would have, say, offered Clark Jones such a quick apology for publishing fake news about him rather than fighting him in court for six years before abruptly settling his defamation suit against WND.

Yep, Farah complaining about fake news is pure chutzpah.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
CNS Just Can't Stop Censoring Mel Gibson's Ugly Past
Topic: -- in particular, blogger Mark Judge -- has been heavily hyping Mel Gibson's latest film projects over the past several months while being very careful not to mention his ugly personal history of anti-Semitism and viciousness toward an ex-girlfriend.

Judge did so again in an Oct. 24 post, this time touting how Gibson "recently talked about the sequel to his blockbuster 2004 film 'The Passion of the Christ.'" Again, Judge made sure to keep mum about Gibson's ugly past.

He's not the only CNS writer in the Gibson-fluffing business. A Nov. 28 column by Eric Metaxas gives a glowing review to Gibson's new film "Hacksaw Ridge," declaring it "an amazing, powerful film about one man who was willing to give his life, but whose conscience and deeply held religious beliefs would not allow him to take the lives of others." Like Judge, he too fails to discuss Gibson's past.

Which is strange, given that "Hacksaw Ridge" is seen as something of a "comeback" film for Gibson after all that ugliness. And it turns out that's still a pretty touchy subject -- he was asked about it several times in doing press for his film, and he really doesn't want to talk about, complaining at one point that "for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair."

Like it or not, Gibson's ugly past is part of his history, and it's part of the story of his new film and future projects. CNS should stop censoring mention of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:08 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 6:28 PM EST

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