MRC Defends False Fox News Attack on Food Stamps Topic: Media Research Center
The headline of Nicholas Fondacaro's Dec. 29 Media Research Center post complains, "MSNBC Analyst Smears Conservatives as Racist for Caring About Food Stamp Fraud." He complains further:
MSNBC’s Ari Melber was up in arms Wednesday night, as he filled in on The Rachel Maddow Show, at Fox News for daring to report that food stamp fraud was up to roughly $70 million in 2016. But the outrage at Fox gave way to outrage at the white working class for falling for the racist “dog whistle” of caring about said fraud. “Why is this all coming up again now,” he inquired to his radical leftist guest Joan Walsh from The Nation.
“Well, why now is because we have Fox News, which is awaiting a President Donald Trump by rerunning their greatest hits,” she declared, “I mean, Fox has done this before. They did it under Obama. They chased this idea of food stamp fraud.” Walsh completely wrote off the facts and pretending like the fraud was not happening, while smearing everyone who brought it up as racist:
Ironically, the whole discussion was started when Melber claimed that Fox News had lied about the $70 million in food stamp fraud. Melber claimed that MSNBC called the Agriculture Department and were told they didn’t know the origin of the number. He cited the radical leftist website Mother Jones as a “fact checker” who found “There's zero evidence that fraud is at an all-time high.”
But according to a Washington Post piece criticizing the Fox News report, the number is not an issue but arguing it requires the end of the program is.
Actually, according to an update of that Washington Post article, the number is, in fact, an issue. The Post's Erik Wemple reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, was seeking a correction from Fox News because the $70 million number seems to have been plucked out of nowhere.
And as Wemple also points out -- but Fondacaro doesn't admit because it destroys his attack on Mother Jones as a "radical leftist website" who can't be trusted -- food stamp fraud is not at a record. The latest numbers available show fraud is around 1 percent of the program, down from 4 percent in the 1990s.
The USDA got its correction: Fox News has admitted the $70 million number is incorrect and that "nationally food stamp trafficking is on the decline." Will Fondacaro do the same by admitting by defending Fox News, he's defending a false claim?
WND's Loudon Credits Trump for Saving Christmas Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Gina Loudon has been more than a DonaldTrumpfangirl -- she has seen him in near-messianic terms, once declaring that "Donald Trump is the candidate we have been waiting for all these years since Ronald Reagan."
Trump's election victory has sent Loudon into new heights of idol worship, even as she spends part of her Dec. 25 column denying that she does such a thing. Witness Loudon discrediting her own defense of herself:
I detest sycophants. I don’t even like fans. I don’t worship people. I love my children and my husband, but I don’t idolize any of them. I have never been star-struck meeting a Hollywood A-lister or even Charles Krauthammer or Phil Robertson!
I am ethnically Jewish, so traditions are sacred to me. I serve a living Savior, Jesus Christ, and I celebrate His birthday every day, and especially at Christmas time. I don’t care if it’s the “right day.” I got over legalism a long time ago, too.
All of that is why I hesitate to say what I want to say in this column: Thank you for restoring Christmas, President-elect Donald Trump.
I was shocked by his humility in person, and his thoughtful answer to my questions. But more than that, I was shocked that he stayed much longer than any other candidate to mingle with press and people. He didn’t limit his rope line to the elite media, like the rest did. He stayed until the last blogger got his question in, and until the last small-town radio reporter had his mic touched unknowingly by the breath of a future president.
It was in that moment that I had what was tantamount to a vision, as best I can describe it. I realized that any of the other primary candidates, no matter how much I liked them, would need to sell their souls to accrue the money it would take for the establishment elite to “let” them have it. As the wife of a former senator from Missouri, I knew the deviousness of the establishment all too well. Trump’s independent wealth could, well, Trump that.
Then I thought of the guttural honesty Trump seemed unable to avoid. How refreshing I found him to be, even when he made me bristle. Honesty was something I thought was lost on American politics forevermore. But he was saying what many were thinking, and even though his political neophytism was glaring, he seemed to be learning at breakneck pace. As a university teacher and a homeschool mom of five, I recognize a “teachable spirit,” and I saw it in Mr. Trump.
Loudon concludes by suggesting that Trump really is the Messiah:
This Christmas, there are a few Trump Tower shopping bags under our tree, and a special spring in our step as we celebrate a God so infinitely capable of moving His hand if we will only humble ourselves, and pray, and seek His face (II Chronicles 7:14).
That is our plan this Christmas. It has never felt so good to say Merry Christmas, because I believe now that the overreaching government won’t take it from us and replace it with something agnostic or satanic.
Thank you, Mr. Trump, and the Trump family and staff, and to all of you who sacrificed to elect this president to restore our hope this year. Thank you to my family and friends, who fought and waited and waited and fought. And thank you most of all to the One and Only True God, who uses the weak to confound the wise, and the flawed to reprove those who believe they are blameless.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 26-29).
“For unto us is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior who is Christ the LORD!” (Isaiah 9:6). Amen.
Merry Christmas, in every way!
This is the level of Trump-fluffing we have to look forward to from WND and its writers over the next four years.
Move over, transgenders. There’s a new kid in town.
Huffington Post reported that Billions will make “TV history” for featuring the first gender non-conforming star in a mainstream show. Showtime, Billions host network, has a history of pushing boundaries with its leading characters. Season seven of Shameless included a major character who was transgender, played by a transgender actor.
Billions new star is the next politically correct step for the network. Asia Kate Dillon, from Orange Is the New Black and Master of None, has been cast as Taylor, the new intern at the hedge fund run by billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod. In addition to, and probably more importantly than, her prowess at navigating the financial world, Taylor identifies as gender non-conforming.
From Law & Order, Chicago Med, Star, and others, the networks have been following the Hollywood agenda and making transgender characters an ordinary occurrence onscreen. If normalizing non-gender characters are the subsequent item on the to-do list, one can only wonder who (or what) will be next.
McKneely does not explain why transgenders and the gender non-conforming must be denounced in the media as abnormal.
The transgender child on the cover of National Geographic resulted in predictable outrage from Melissa Mullins:
Transgender, cisgender, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or whatever name you want to call it, this “fluidity” seems to be the trending topic covered in the media these days – and although it may appear an unlikely outlet for such a topic, National Geographic is the latest to jump on the bandwagon by featuring a nine year old transgender girl by the name of Avery Jackson on the cover of its upcoming issue. If you are unaware of the aforementioned names, no worries – the upcoming issue comes complete with a glossary of more than 20 terms redefining gender.
Mullins went on to huff that despite national Geographic being absorbed into Rupert Murdoch's empire, "the magazine can still be a progressive darling….even as its claims to respect 'science' go up in smoke in the pursuit of political correctness, declaring gender is a 'spectrum.'" Mullins doesn't explain how "science" doesn't show that gender is not a spectrum.
The Washington Post easily proves it's a secular liberal newspaper at Christmas time. On Friday, the Post promoted a "dragapella" quartet mocking Christmas (and the incoming administration) in two different sections of the paper, in the Style section and in the Weekend tabloid. In Style, theatre critic Celia Wren hailed the Kinsey Sicks and their show "Oy Vey in a Manger!" at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.
Yes, it seems Graham really had nothing better to do on Christmas than complain about this.
Sarah Stites was upset that a story about a transgender boy who's being prohibited from joining the Boy Scouts is getting media attention, whining, "The fact that Boy Scout membership is limited to males has not always been newsworthy. However, in the current media landscape, such a 'controversial' claim garnered three minutes of network airtime and copious online news coverage."
Stites further fretted that the Boy Scouts of America may "buckle from the pressure of media and activist groups." She's also worried that Scouts for Equality, which "was partially responsible for pushing BSA to lift its national bans on gay scouts and leaders in 2015," is weighing in on this issue and will "force" BSA to make a decision on the issue.
And Graham and Brent Bozell ranted about non-straight people in the media in their Dec. 31 "cultural winners and losers" column:
Winner: Transgender propaganda products. The Danish Girl, a fictionalized account of the first man to undergo a sex change operation, led to an Oscar for Alicia Vikander, who played the man’s supportive wife. The Amazon web show Transparent was showered with TV awards again. ABC’s Modern Family made “history” by featuring an eight-year-old girl (“transgender boy”) to raise our awareness of “gender fluidity.”
Leave it to LGBT-haters like Graham and Bozell to insist that portraying transgender people as actual humans and not freaks is "propaganda."
More Fake News: WND Misleads About Obama's Executive Orders Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh rants in a Dec. 20 WorldNetDaily article:
Barack Obama, who once threatened, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone” to impose executive orders, is telling his soon-to-be successor Donald Trump that he really shouldn’t be using executive orders that much.
In fact, in an interview with NPR, he went on and on about it.
Fox News described Obama, who repeatedly has turned to the executive pen to impose major changes across America, such as a rule requiring that building owners allow men to use women’s restrooms when they say they are women, and more, as “pen-happy.”
What Unruh curiously fails to do: tell readers exactly how many executive orders Obama has issued and how that stacks up with previous presidents, despite ambiguously stating far down in his article that "statistics reveal that Obama has not issued significantly more executive orders that other recent presidents."
Turns out that's false. As of December 20, Obama has issued 266 executive orders. By contrast, George W. Bush issued 291 executive orders. If Obama's numbers stay steady, Obama will have issued the fewest executive orders of any president who served two full terms since the 19th century and slowest pace of executive order issuance since William McKinley.
The only concrete number Unruh bothers to serve up is an irrelevant claim that "Over the years, Republican presidents have issued 7,122 executive orders, and Democrat presidents 8,337." But that number is skewed by the fact that one president, Franklin Roosevelt, issued 3,721 executive orders durng his presidency, which spanned a little thing called World War II.
(If we wanted to play the same game WND is by selectively counting votes for Hillary Clinton to paper over the fact she got more votes than Donald Trump did, we could point out that if you don't count FDR, Democratic presidents issued only 4,616 executive orders, far less than Republicans.)
In other words, the entire premise of Unruh's article lacks a foothold in reality. But what else do you expect from a top fake-news provider?
CNS censored the fact that a poll it touted feating results friendly to anti-abortion activists was condicted by an anti-abortion group and a right-wing polling firm run by Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
CNS censored a statement by President Obama on persecuted Christmas because it contracted its partian agenda of attacking Obama for purportedly not caring enough about Christians.
CNS attacked Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's criticism of Senate Republicans obstructing President Obama's final Supreme Court pick but censored the fact that Schumer's suggestion of a similar obstruction to a potential Bush pick, but censored the fact that Schumer was speaking hypothetically and that Repubicans attacked Schumer's suggestion just as Shumer criticized Republicans' obstruction.
CNS touted a Republican congressman's denouncing of the purported findings in the Center for Medical Progress' misleadingly edited attack videos on Planned Parenthood, but censored the fact that the congressman knew about the videos weeks before he spoke out about them.
CNS censored the Josh Duggar sex scandal when it first broke, later covering the scandal involving the right-wing-friendly family only when the story became too big to ignore.
CNS censored flaws in a study attacking immigrants to the U.S, then censored arguably racist statements by one of the study's co-authors.
CNS touted the Benghazi movie "13 Hours," but censored the fact that the film tanked at the box office.
Too bad CNS isn't so sick of censored news that it can be moved to do anything about its own.
No, WND, Obama Never Called Erdogan His 'Best Friend' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Leo Hohmann writes in a Dec. 17 WorldNetDaily article -- headlined "Obama mum after 'best friend' tosses U.S. pastor in prison" -- that "An American pastor in Turkey has been imprisoned on trumped-up charges and is, according to Christian human-rights advocates, in 'grave danger' of becoming a casualty of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s brutal crackdown on religious minorities and dissidents in the wake of a failed coup five months ago." Hohmann adds: "Although President Obama has repeatedly named Turkish President Erdogan as one of his 'best friends' among international leaders, he has yet to make a single public statement demanding [pastor Andrew] Brunson’s release."
Note that "best friends" is in quote marks, as if Obama directly said the words. But we could find no evidence that he has.
The closest we found was a January 2012 Foreign Policy article headlined "Obama names his world leader best buddies!" which cites a Time interview with Obama in which it is claimed Obama named "his international BFFs." But in the interview itself, Obama talks of "the friendships and the bonds of trust that I’ve been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy," and lists Erdogan among those leaders.
Also note that this was in 2012, well before a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that resulted in a harsh crackdown by Erdogan on perceived opponents. The U.S. has so far refused to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based religious leader whom Erdogan blames for inspiring the coup. And the Obama administration has lifted arms prohibitions that reportedly would allow the U.S. to arm Kurdish rebels in Syria, which Erdogan opposes.
So Hohmann is repeating a falsehood that, even if it was true at the time it was suggested, is apparently no longer operative. It makes one wonder about the accuracy of his upcoming WND-published anti-Muslim book.
Hohmann is not the first WND writer to let his hatred of Obama get ahead of the facts, and he probably won't be the last.
MRC's Jeffrey Lord Pretends Limbaugh Isn't Hurting Talk Radio Topic: Media Research Center
Jeffrey Lord's Dec. 24 Media Research Center column is dedicated to fluffing Rush Limbaugh and his alleged infulence. He quotes extensively from a press release announcing that Limbaugh's syndicator, Premiere Neworks, had extended a "multi-million dollar deal" contract to continue appearing on several stations owned by Cumulus Media:
It goes on with tributes to Rush, well deserved I should add. Realizing this is only a portion of the stations that air Rush’s show (he is on over 600 stations), this moment of Rush’s resigning is exactly a good moment to reflect on the fact that only a few years ago his critics and the critics of talk radio in general were cheering - because, they insisted, talk radio was dying.
Actually, it has been dying, and Limbaugh is a prime factor in that -- not that Lord will tell about it, of course.
Indeed, Lord is very careful to ignore and write around the key event that made people question talk radio's future: Limbaugh's three-day tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke. As Politico reported earlier this year, the huge backlash to Limbaugh's hate like advertiser boycotts -- so harsh the MRC started a desperate "I Stand With Rush" campaign to try and save him -- resulted in a 38 percent loss in revenue to the talk radio industry.
When Limbaugh re-upped with Premiere in August 2016 -- succeeding an eight-year contract that paid him $50 million a year plus a $100 million signing bonus -- Premiere never disclosed how much it will be paying him, which tells you that it's much less than he was getting paid.
Limbaugh's ratings plunged so deeply that stations inmajormarkets dropped him, forcing Premiere's parent company, iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel), to put his show on typically less powerful and desirable stations owned by iHeartMedia itself in order to claim it still had clearance in those major cities.
The fact that these other major-market stations carrying Limbaugh are owned by Cumulus -- which is to say, not stations owned by iHeartMedia, therefore depriving the company of revenue it could otherwise be keeping within the company -- also tells us that Limbaugh is making nowhere near what he had been udner his new contract.
One of those Cumulus stations, WLS-AM in Chicago, illustrates this new reality. There were reports in 2015 that WLS was considering dropping Limbaugh's show because the station couldn't sell ads for it. Chicago media writer Robert Feder made it clear that WLS keeping Limbaugh's show was a corporate mandate, not a local decision. And as of September -- and despite Cumulus' and Premiere's spin that Limbaugh's ratings are up -- WLS-AM doesn't register among the top 20 highest-rated Chicago radio stations in either total listeners or the key 25-54 demographic.
Nevertheless, Lord still insisted that "the critics of these talk hosts and talk radio in general gotten it wrong repeatedly." It's easy to pretend that others have gotten things wrong when you ignore inconvenient facts.
WND Spins Election Results To Bury Trump's Vote Loss Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember after the 2000 election, when the ConWeb (for example, then-Newsmax columnist Neal Boortz) found different ways of viewing the election -- voting by county, voting by square miles, etc. -- to obscure the inconvenient fact that Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush did? (And which quickly devolved into fake-news territory that Newsmax also treated as fact?)
Well, it's happening again, this time at WorldNetDaily, with a similar goal: to obscure the inconvenient fact that Hillary Clinton got more votes than Donald Trump.
A Dec. 17 WND item copies-and-pastes an article from the right-wing Investor's Business Daily saying that Donald Trump won if you ignore the most populous state in the country:
As we noted in this space earlier, while Clinton's overall margin looks large and impressive, it is due to Clinton's huge margin of victory in one state — California — where she got a whopping 4.3 million more votes than Trump.
California is the only state, in fact, where Clinton's margin of victory was bigger than President Obama's in 2012 — 61.5% vs. Obama's 60%.
But California is the exception that proves the true genius of the Electoral College — which was designed to prevent regional candidates from dominating national elections.
WND followed up with a Dec. 25 article by Bob Unruh dragging out the ol' county vote, asserting that "Trump won 30 out of 50 states, and 2,623 counties, to Clinton’s 20 states or 489 counties."
Unruh went on to declare that "The 2016 results really reveal that America has become two different nations: far left metropolitan and urban areas and much more conservative regions of small cities, towns and rural areas." He added a map of the county-by-county vote -- putting Trump's counties in blue, per the petulant dictate of WND editor Joseph Farah -- because "The impact is never so strong as in a visual image."
Unstated by Unruh: Counties don't vote for president, people do.
MRC's Graham Hypocritically Attacks Media Citing 'Anonymous Government Sources' Topic: Media Research Center
The other day, we noted that the Media Reearch Center's Tim Graham huffed that "Donald Trump correctly felt NBC reporter Katy Tur was hostile to him on the campaign trail." While we looked at how the MRC appears to have helped Trump target Tur -- which resulted in threats to Tur's safety -- there's more to the story.
What launched Graham's complaint was Tur pointing out how the intelligence community agrees that Russian hackers meddled in the U.S. presidential election with the apparent goal of getting Trump elected. That set off Graham, going once again into self-righteous media-bashing mode:
This is how the liberal media try to inflate their own authority and credibility. They use anonymous government sources and then insist that when you attack their ginned-up hit jobs, you’re undermining the government. What would it look like if the anonymous sources were publicly named, and the public could judge their political or career motives? The “intelligence community” could be Obama’s CIA director John Brennan, as many suspect, a Democrat appointee spinning for the Democrats right before the Electoral College votes. That’s why the anonymity can be a very secretive and dishonest tactic.
Funny, we don't recall Graham or anyone else at the MRC demanding that Fox News reveal the anonymous government sources behind its pre-election claim that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent -- heck, rather than denouncing this "very secretive and dishonest tactic," the MRC was demanding that the media report the story. And when Fox's Bret Baier had to walk back his claim -- thus, making it fake news a few days before the election -- Graham and the MRC could not be bothered to issue a prominent correction, let alone apologize to its readers for promoting a fake story.
Graham can't have possibly forgotten that just two months ago his employer was promoting fake news based on the "nonymous government sources" he now derides. He has simply tried to flush it down the memory hole and is hoping MRC readers don't realize he's a massive hypocrite.
WND Admits Man Who Pushed Woman Down Stairs Wasn't Muslim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember earlier this month when WorldNetDaily's Joe Kovacs effectively asserted that the perpetrator in a German incident in which a woman was pushed down a flight of stairs was a Muslim "migrant" -- then had to walk it back (to the point that Kovacs' byline disappeared from the article) in the face of the utter lack of evidence to support that claim without issuing a correction?
Well, Kovacs has written an update that put the definitive never-mind on his original reporting:
An arrest has been made in the high-profile case of a man who kicked a woman down a flight of subway stairs in Berlin, Germany – an attack that horrified the world when video of the incident went viral.
Svetoslav Stoykov, 27, of Varna, Bulgaria, was taken into custody at a bus station upon his return to Berlin from France, where authorities think he went to hide with relatives in coastal town of Nice.
According to the Guardian, Stoykov is a married father of three children, and has a criminal record for robbery, theft and hooliganism in his native Bulgaria. He was reportedly working in a restaurant and on a building site in Berlin.
In other words, not a Muslim.
Kovacs wrote in his final paragraph: "As WND reported, the release of the video initially sparked a firestorm on social media, as some were blaming the attack on a migrant as a result of Germany’s policy of welcoming migrants, many of whom are Muslim." Kovacs failed to tell his readers that among the people blaming Muslim "migrants" was himself.
Again, no correction for Kovacs' earlier, false reporting was issued.
CNS Reduces George Michael's Life To Arrest, 'Video Showing Two Cops Kissing' Topic: CNSNews.com
After singer George Michael's death, the Associated Press sent out an article with a feature-oriented angle under the headline "Pop superstar George Michael dies of heart failure at 53." It began by noting how Michael turned his embarassing 1998 arrest for lewd behavior in a public toilet into an artistic statement through the video for the song "Outside" and how its "memorable image of the two uniformed policemen kissing in the video -- both funny and outrageous at the time -- helped Michael come out as a proud gay man."
CNSNews.com ran that AP article as well, but as it has many times before, it decided the original article wasn't biased enough. CNS' new headline for the article: "After Arrest for Lewd Conduct in Public Toilet, George Michael Made Video Showing Two Cops Kissing."
No, really. CNS really did reduce the career of a man who sold 100 million albums and was a worldwide superstar to an arrest and a video for one of his less popular songs.
And CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has the temerity to complain about the alleged bias of other media outlets?
An anonymously written Dec. 27 WND article claiming that "the Obama administration gave Iran secret exemptions, allowing the terror-sponsoring state to stockpile uranium in larger amounts than the limits imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal" is illustrated with a picture of President Obama apparently posing with Iran President Hassan Rouhani.
WND uses the image again in the front-page carousel tease for the article:
But as Right Wing Watch reports, Obama has never met Rouhani. The photo is a fake -- the image lifts a photo of Obama, who has never met Rouhani, meeting with former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The orange in India's flag behind them has been replaced by the green from Iran's flag.
Right Wing Watch adds that FactCheck.org has caught others using the image. Maybe if WND didn't dismiss all fact-checkers as liberal shills, it would have caught this before publishing it and embarassing itself -- and damaging its credibility -- even further.
UPDATE: WND has replaced the image with a stock photo of Obama. It didn't tell readers that the image was changed, let alone why.
MRC Complains Media Isn't Thanking Trump Enough for Stock Highs Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Sam Dorman complains in a Dec. 19 post:
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average neared the 20,000 mark for the first time in history, the index set 16 closing-day record highs since Donald Trump’s election.
Even some liberal media outlets have drawn a direct connection between the soaring stock market and Trump’s election, going so far as to label it a “Trump stock market rally.” But the broadcast networks often ignored any connection.
In just over a month’s time, ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows aired fewer stories combined than the number of records. The evening shows reported the market records in just 11 stories between Election Day and Dec. 13, despite huge investment gains. Forty-five percent of those stories ignored Trump in their market reports (5 of 11).
Meanwhile, the Dow industrial average has more than doubled under President Obama, and we don't recall anyone at the MRC crediting Obama for it even once.
WND Regurgitates Lurid Hit Job on Fact-Checker Snopes Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 24 WorldNetDaily article is largely a rehash of a Daily Mail hit job on the fact-checker website Snopes, making sure to play up claims that "One of Snopes’ leading fact-checkers is a former sex-and-fetish blogger who described her routine as smoking pot and posting to Snopes.com, and the company now is embroiled in a legal dispute between its former married founders that includes accusations the CEO used company money for prostitutes."
This is another attempt to discredit those with whom Facebook is working to ferret out fake news on its website. WND is a major source of fake news, and needless to say, WND doesn't mention that Snopes has busted it for its falsehoods afewtimes. Further, at no point does WND prove Snopes got anything wrong in its fact-checks, despite its whining that it "has been criticized by conservatives for a left-leaning bias."
WND is also silent about the Daily Mail's motivations for its hit job, and its reputation is much different that WND's biased description of it. Richard Bartholomew points out that Snopes " enjoys a reputation for truthfulness and accuracy because it has earned it. Nowhere does Snopes demand that we simply trust the site’s judgement – instead, it provides judicious quotes from relevant sources, which anyone can then check for themselves."
As the Guardian notes, the Daily Mail "has come under Snopes’ microscope enough times to be called in July 'Britain’s highly unreliable Daily Mail' by a Snopes writer who just happens to be named in the Mail story." Rather than having a debate about Facebook's fact-checker policy, the Guardian adds, "the Mail has attempted to cast doubt on the notion of fact checking. In the battle between those who profit from playing fast and loose with the truth and those trying to fix the fake news problem, the Mail has made it clear in which camp it sits."
WND is lazily engaging in a second-hand hit job on not only a political enemy -- yes, to WND anyone who tells facts inconvenient to WND's right-wing agenda is an enemy, just like we are -- but a critic who knows all about WND's shoddy reporting record.
Did The MRC Prime Trump's Attack On NBC Reporter? Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 16 post, the Media Reearch Center's Tim Graham huffed that "Donald Trump correctly felt NBC reporter Katy Tur was hostile to him on the campaign trail." Graham doesn't mention how the MRC played a big role in ginning up the idea of that purported hostility.
At a Nov. 2 rally, Donald Trump singled out Tur, complaining about the purportedly "dishonest" media before shouting at Tur: "There's something happening. They're not reporting it. Katy -- you're not reporting it, Katy. But there's something happening, Katy. There's something happening, Katy." Tur respondedafterwards by pointing out that while attacking reporters is part of Trump's "schtick" on the campaign trail, and his complaints about how the media covers the rallies is false, "it does make the crowd very angry and it does concern a lot of folks about the safety of journalists."
this wasn't the frist time: Tur wrote that after Trump targeted her in a December 2015 rally, the Secret Service hed to walk her to her car for her protection.
Did Trump get advice for choosing Tur as a target from the MRC? Let's look at the evidence.
In an Oct. 24 Media Research Center item, Nicholas Fondacaro complained that "The 'Big Three' networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) put their undying loyalty to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on full display Monday evening, as they completely blacked out two news stories with explosive consequences for the campaign," in contrast to the reporting of pro-Trump Fox News. He sneered: "NBC Nightly News led with Clinton fangirl Andrea Mitchell talking about how comfortable Clinton is with her lead, then pivoting to Katy Tur who mocked the GOP candidate." Curiously, Fondacaro provided no evidence whatsoever of the "mocking" he claimed Tur did.
That seemed to be a catalyst for Trump's Nov. 2 attack on Tur, but the MRC has long bashed her for not being a right-wing shill throughout the 2016 campaign:
In a September 2015 post, Ken Shepherd huffed that Tur "trashed Values Voters Summit attendees as the 'far right' of the GOP" (though Shepherd doesn't prove otherwise), but he cheered when she "was interrupted by an attendee who told her to quiet down."
In December 2015, Curtis Houck asserted that Tur "hyped that the crowd at the Trump rally on Monday 'was anything but merry and bright' as reporters like her were 'booed and cheered' by the 'riled up and angry' crowd."
On March 11, Houck was upset that "Tur took to MSNBC to air a multitude of concerns about the growing number of violent incidents at Trump rallies to go along with Tuesday’s alleged bruising of Breitbart’s Michelle Fields by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski."
On March 30, Kristine Marsh complained that Tur "slammed" Mike Huckabee as a "hardline anti-abortion rights conservative," declaring that "anti-abortion" a "biased" term (even though it's a more accurate term since all "pro-life" activists are, in fact, opposed to abortion).
In May, Mark Finkelstein grumbled that Tur suggested that it's "veiled sexism" to suggest that Hillary Clinton lacked the stamina to be president, arguing that it wasn't sexist because Trump said the same thing about Jeb Bush.
Marsh cheered in July when Trump "shushed" Tur for "continuing to press her question after he briefly answered it then shifted the focus to Hillary Clinton," justifying Trump's rudeness by delcaring that "Trump is universally brusque to reporters regardless of gender."
Sam Dorman complained on Aug. 9 that when Tur reported on Trump's sketchy tax plan as revealed in a speech, she "framed it as an attempt to appease disgruntled republicans."
On Sept. 26 Kyle Drennen was angry that Tur pointed out that Trump was trying to "game this system" by pre-emptively bashing media debate coverage"; according to Drennen's interpretation, Tur "denounced Donald Trump’s campaign team for demanding fair treatment from the press ahead of the upcoming debate."
A Oct. 2 post by Nicholas Fondacaro complained that Tur "seemed outraged that being able to write off net-losses on taxes was legal."
The MRC -- as its agenda dictates -- had a definite interest in painting Tur as hostile to Republicans in general and Trump in particular, even though much of the criticism was because Tur accurately reported events in a way that didn't advance the agenda of Trump and Republicans. It wasn't necessarily "correct" -- it was a politically motivated campaign.
The MRC was determined to paint Tur as "hostile" to Trump simply because she was not a Trump sycohpant. And it appears they made Trump know that Tur was not a sycophant, which encouraged him to single her out with anger on the campaign trail.