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 >>
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 65: WND's Politician-Nazi Double Standard
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 >>
Monday, December 12, 2016
CNS Promotes Right-Wing Lies About U.N. Pact
CNSNews.com'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:
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:
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.
MRC's Bozell Still Trying to Deflect Fake-News Controversy
Topic: Media Research Center
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:
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, CNSNews.com.
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.
Fake News: WND Walks Back Claim of 'Migrant' Attack
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)
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:
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.
WND Keeps Up the Imeachment Hypocrisy
Joe Kovacs writes in a Nov. 28 WorldNetDaily article:
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.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
CNS' Starr Misdirects on Pipeline Controversy
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:
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)
Desperate Self-Promotion at WND
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:
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:
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:
The real fake news, maybe...
Friday, December 9, 2016
CNS Laughably Portrays Obama As 'Dictatorial Tyrant'
It's pure opinion -- and a ridiculous, unsupported one at that -- but CNSNews.com portrayed it as news. Penny Starr wrote in a Dec. 2 CNS "news" article:
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.
WND's Farah Can't Prove Illegal Votes for Hillary Either
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:
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?
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."
Thursday, December 8, 2016
WND: Only Christians Should Benefit From Religious-Discrimination Laws
Bob Unruh tells the sob story in a Nov. 24 WorldNetDaily article:
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:
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:
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.
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.
WND's Farah Uses Fake News to Redirect Anger Over Fake News
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:
As we've pointed out when CNSNews.com 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."
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:
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.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
CNS Just Can't Stop Censoring Mel Gibson's Ugly Past
CNSNews.com -- 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.
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