NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Film Promotion Division Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center and its CNS "news" division don't just bash films they don't like, they relentlessly plug the ones they do like -- read: conform to the MRC's right-wing agenda -- then censors their failure at the box office. Read more >>
Slantie Award Namesake Returns to WND To Say More Odd Things Topic: WorldNetDaily
It was just last week that we unveiled our annual Slantie Awards, which includes the LoBaido Award for whacked-out commentary. And guess who has suddenly resurfaced at WorldNetDaily? The man himself.
Yes, Anthony LoBaido -- the adventurer of sorts who once trained with white pro-apartheid mercenaries in South Africa -- is back. (We last wrote about him in 2014, when he was making odd musings about the Oakland Raiders.) He's such an oddball fringey guy that the only claim of subtstance in his WND bio is that he "has published 373 articles on WND from 53 countries around the world." That's it, apparently; hanging out with violent racist mercenaries didn't make the resume cut.
Which explains why he's back at WND with a Jan. 15 column, headlined "Trump and the Coming Gaming Boom." Newver mind, of course, that the gambling industry has been booming just fine without Donald Trump as president.
Turns out LoBaido is mostly talking about online gambling, largely illegal in the U.S. He goes on to pump up Trump's role as a "casino mogul":
Casino speculation is rife in the Silver State. What does the future hold for the casino and gambling world in 2017 and beyond? Questions abound. For example, what really went on behind the scenes when the U.S. gaming bills dating back to 2006 made online casinos illegal virtually overnight? Who pulled the strings, and what are the chances of the strings becoming untangled when the U.S. president-elect is a casino mogul himself?
Looking around the United States, we see California has its casinos – some related in a direct or tangential way to Native American Indians. Nevada has Reno and Las Vegas, cities that are what they are. Missouri – let’s say the space between St. Louis and Alton, Illinois – has its niche of riverboat gambling, amongst other places to engage in games of chance. Atlantic City is the Las Vegas of the East Coast. The shadowy area in this grand spectacle is the slice of gambling that’s carried out over the Internet.
Remember Trump’s Taj Mahal? It’s likely that the same man who became synonymous with gaming in the 1980s and 1990s might well see gambling (including online gambling) as being good for the bottom line in various states of the union. He’s not likely to be offended by the proposition. Having watched alcohol ravage his brother, Trump himself does not drink. Yet he does not eschew gaming. As such, that’s likely to have an influence upon his legislative bent.
LoBaido hasn't been paying attention, has he? Trump is no longer a "casino mogul" -- it's now just a tiny part of his business empire. As far as Atlantic City being "the Las Vegas of the East Coast" goes, LoBaido apparently missed how casinos there have been closing over the past few years ... the most recent being the Trump Taj Mahal, which filed for bankruptcy a whopping four times since its 1990 opening before finally closing for good. All Trump-linked casinos in Atlantic City have now closed.
Meanwhile, online gambling is already legal in New Jersey, where Atlantic City is located. But Trump's nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, says he wants to review the U.S. Justice Department ruling that made online gambling in New Jersey (as well as Nevada and Delaware) possible, which he opposed at the time.
LoBaido's column is shockingly ignorant, even by WND standards. And that's saying something, considering that WND is apparenly the only place left that will publish him.
MRC Tries to Downplay GOP Effort to Gut Ethics Panel Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Reserach Center did its best to spin away congressional Republicans' attempt in the new Congress to gut an independent House ethics panel.
Kyle Drennen downplayed the whole thing, insisting that Republicans had merely "dared to make bureaucratic changes" to the panel, and he was more upset that the media reported on it. Then he tried to change the subject: "While the media were eager to hype fears that Republicans would not be held accountable for corruption, the press repeatedly looked the other way when elected Democrats were embroiled in scandal in recent years. A 2014 Media Research Center study listed numerous examples of Democratic corruption swept under the rug by the networks."
Nicholas Fondacaro not only repeated Drennan's Democrat-blaming distraction, he took the media to task for reporting that even Donald Trump thought gutting the ethics panel was a bad idea:
The liberal Big Three networks finally found a use for President-elect Donald Trump, and it’s to smear Republican members of Congress. The same networks who blacked-out unethical Democrats were up in arms Tuesday after the House GOP attempted to reform the Office of Congressional Ethics, but after it’s retraction they credited the president-elect. “The best-laid plans of Republicans armed with a head of steam and an ambitious to-do list went off the rails this opening day of the new Congress after a tweet from Donald Trump,” announced Anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News.
Fondacaro also complained that media reports made an "insinuation that the GOP’s actions were to allow themselves to act unethically." But he doesn't explain what he thinks is the correct way to interpret the GOP attempt to gut thte ethics office.
After the House GOP reversed its attempt to gut the ethics office, Drennen returned to complain that "all three network morning shows delighted in the GOP reversing course on the issue and satisfyingly proclaimed that the minor controversy had tarnished the first day of the 115th Congress."
Note that Drennen downgraded the controversy even further, from "bureaucratic changes" to a "minor controversy."
An anonymously written Jan. 11 WND article states:
Kim Clement was known as the “singing prophet” before he died Nov. 23, just 15 days after Donald Trump shocked many by winning the presidency.
But if recordings of Clement’s predictions are accurate accounts of what he reportedly said in appearances in 2007, he wouldn’t have been surprised.
Audio recordings of “prophecies” reportedly delivered by Clement nine years ago, long before anyone was taking Trump seriously as a presidential candidate, not only predict his successful bid for the White House, they also say he is God’s choice – and will become known as a “prayerful president.”
“Trump shall become a trumpet, says the Lord,” the South African Clement bellowed in a recording reportedly made April 4, 2007, in Redding, California.
“Trump shall become a trumpet. I will raise up the Trump to become a trumpet. I will raise up the Trump to become a trumpet and Bill Gates to open up the gate of a financial realm for the church, says the Lord.
But as religion blogger Richard Bartholomew points out, the full context of Clement's tapes are that he was prophesying that Rudy Giuliani would be president, presumably in 2008, when his presidential campaign notoriously crashed and burned. Trump and Microsoft's Bill Gates, meanwhile, would become evangelists. Bartholomew adds:
I suspect Trump and Gates were named because Clement was fascinated by powerful businessmen, and Trump and Gates are perhaps the most famous examples in the USA. Further, he appears to have believed that their very names are puns that reveal God’s purposes. Clement went on to make many predictions about the future in the years that followed (often expressed in a vague and obscuranist way), but Trump does not appear to have been a figure of particular interest.
So, yeah, not so much. Even the anonymous WND writer admits the tapes of Clement have "clearly" been edited.
Another anonymously written WND article, on Jan. 15, digs up "a prominent Israeli mystic spiritual leader" to vouch for Trump's divinely ordained mission:
President-elect Donald Trump is getting some encouragement on the eve of his swearing in this week from a prominent Israeli mystic spiritual leader who says, “When Trump takes office, he will receive help directly from heaven that will enable him overcome these obstacles, and bring peace to the world.”
Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, who has a dedicated following in Israel, made several other stunning predictions.
“The media will discover that outgoing President Barack Obama is a traitor,” he told Kikar HaShabbat, a Hebrew-language news service for Orthodox Jews. “Obama, like an injured beast, helped Hillary Clinton whose sole intention was to continue his agenda.”
The rabbi said that while outgoing President Barack Obama will attempt to thwart Trump, it won’t work.
“Before he leaves, Obama wants to destroy everyone and everything Trump loves, so that when Trump does take power, it will be difficult for him to cope with everything that Obama ruined,” Ben Artzi predicted. “This is Obama’s revenge on Trump.”
WND doesn't mention that Ben Artzi also once predicted in 2012 that more storms like Superstorm Sandy would hit the U.S. if it didn't help Israel. That hasn't exactly happened despite the rabbi's hatred of Obama.
MRC Throws Shade At Megyn Kelly for Leaving Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
Megyn Kelly is leaving the Fox News for NBC -- and that means she's now a target of the Media Research Center.
You might recall that the MRC wouldn't defend Kelly in the face of Donald Trump's sexist attacks on her after her tough questioning of him during Republican presidential debates, yet neither would it criticize her or take Trump's bait about Fox News being biased -- Brent Bozell and Co. were more interested in preserving its seat at the Fox News table (read: TV appearances). It even gave a platform to Kelly to claim against all evidence that Fox News is "fair and balanced."
But now that Kelly has left the protection of Fox News employment, the MRC is letting her know she's on the hit list.
The MRC's first reaction to Kelly's new job was a post by Tim Graham already writing her off as a liberal:
How much will Kelly have to shift to the middle or even the left to fit in at NBC News? The last nightly host to leave Fox was Paula Zahn, and she quickly became a liberal cog at CNN like every other host. A similar right-to-left pattern happened with former Fox & Friends hosts Kiran Chetry and Alisyn Camerota.
Graham doesn't consider the possibility that Kelly was forced to shift to the right to work at Fox News and might simply become an actual fair-and-balanced anchor.
On Twitter, meanwhile, Graham sneered: "I first started thinking 'Yeah, Megyn Kelly's de-Foxifying' at the NY Times Book Review interview on her book choices on November 13."
In a Jan. 6 post, Graham got mad that a NPR host pointed out Kelly's long history of offensive out of touch comments about minorities," like her insistence that Santa Claus is white, declaring it to be "Fox-hating leftist commentary." He then described the Twitter argument he had with NPR media critic David Folkenflik (as he is wont to do), this time over Folkenflik's claim that Kelly is "desperately hoping to get away from ideology" by going to NBC and engaging in soft-focus interviews like "the model of Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, a Charlie Rose at CBS."
Kyle Drennen then complained that NBC's "Today" show "welcomed Kelly with an online article recalling her six 'finest moments' during her tenure at FNC. Strangely, those moments focus exclusively on Kelly taking on Republicans – not a single instance was featured of her going after liberal guests," further huffing that none of them included "Kelly’s routine hammering of the press over its blatant liberal bias throughout the 2016 campaign."
Geoffrey Dickens, meanwhile, lamented that Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple "reminded his readers of FNC’s controversies," including Trump's sexism toward Kelly, reminding us again that protecting Fox News is Job 1 at the MRC.
At MRCTV, Craig Bannister groused that "NBC has earned a reputation for journalistic bias and baloney that might be hard for even Kelly to overcome."
The hardest shot came in a Jan. 5 CNSNews.com column by Leesa K. Donner, an ex-journalist who now writes for the far-right American Thinker, headlined "It’s All About Me: The Cult of Megyn Kelly." While denying that her column was "a hit piece on Ms. Kelly," it reads like one anyway; she declares that "Ms. Kelly’s stardom as a “journalist” is emblematic of a serious problem within the broadcast journalism industry that has metastasized into an Ebola-style plague across the airwaves," that of broadcast journalism becoming "a vehicle for self-discovery" and "a sick cult of personality." Donner concludes:
So, perhaps an Oprah slot on daytime TV across from the soap operas is precisely where Ms. Kelly belongs. Any which way you look at it, the mainstream broadcast news industry should reflect upon this little sideshow with Kelly and learn that when you feed the hungry monster of ego, sometimes you find you can get eaten by the very monster you have created.
You can be assured that CNS would not have publichsed the column had Kelly decided to stay at Fox News. But she's out of that bubble, which means she's now fair game for the boys at the MRC.
Pro-Trump WND Predictably Attacks John Lewis Topic: WorldNetDaily
It went without saying that the rabidly pro-Trump worldNetDaily would lash out against Rep. John Lewis' questioning of Donald Trump's legitimacy as president.
An anonymously written Jan. 15 WND article complained that "that kind of rhetoric is in keeping with a highly partisan record of accusing all Republican presidential candidates of racism as well as calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush," adding:
His reason Trump isn’t a legitimate president-elect, according to Lewis, is because the Russians helped elect him. To date, not a single shred of evidence to suggest Russian hacking had any impact on the outcome of the election. Indeed, as Democrats are fond of pointing out, Clinton won the popular election. She merely failed to win the prerequisite number of electoral votes of the states.
Lewis’ comments are not only conspiratorial and divisive, they also question the legitimacy of the nation’s electoral process and the integrity of the vote.
This is yet another example of WND sucking up to Russia in order to protect Trump -- and WND offers no evidence that Russian meddling did not have an effect. WND also had no problem questioning the legitimacy of the nation’s electoral process and the integrity of the vote by promoting evidence-free fearmongering about vote fraud that couldn't be blamed on Trump.
The anonymous WND writer went on to rehash "other famous but forgotten slurs from Lewis in recent years," complaining that Lewis has "been friendly to socialist and communist causes throughout his career," and even huffing that "Lewis’ prepared remarks had to be toned down" for the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.
WND put a lot of work into attacking Lewis. Why is the writer so afraid to put his name to it?
Not afraid to attack Lewis under their own names, meanwhile, are WND's resident angry black right-wingers, Jesse Lee Peterson and Mychal Massie.
In his tradition of saying things that would be racist were he a white man, Peterson, Peterson ranted that "Lewis has used his participation in the civil-rights movement as a shield against criticism for his race baiting and poor record for years. It’s about time someone called him out on it. He is a bitter man fighting a false illusion of 'racism' that only exists in his mind. The hate, blame and victimhood that Lewis is projecting are antithetical to Dr. King’s dream."
Peterson added: "Trump is telling the truth about John Lewis. Lewis’ metropolitan Atlanta district covers predominantly black communities. The FBI’s latest crime report ranks Atlanta as No. 14 for violent crime in the nation!" Actually, PolitiFact rated Trump's claim to be "mostly false," because crime is declining in the district and while it has "higher unemployment and poverty rates than the national average, it still has a thriving economic hub in Atlanta and higher educational attainment."
That Lewis was beaten by police during the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965 does not make him a hero today. Nor do I view his experiences during the civil rights movement of the 1960s as kryptonite to be used against those like President-elect Donald Trump who rightly reminded Lewis that he should show a modicum of true leadership pursuant to the voters of Georgia.
Lewis must believe in forgiveness. How else could he be a member of the party responsible for creating the KKK, responsible for Jim Crow, which produced Nathan Bedford Forest, and supported Bull Conner? He supports the political party that had a 124-year history of opposing rights for blacks, beginning with its inception. Democrats even opposed a black pastor giving an invocation in Congress.
Massie seems to have missed the part where (mostly Southern) Democrats who refused to go along with supporting civil rights became Republicans.
Massie also complained that Lewis "cozied up to the likes of the late Grand Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in an attempt to deny civil rights specifically for blacks," again forgetting inconvenient history --namely, that Byrd long ago renounced his segregationist ties.
But Massie wasn't done ranting about Lewis:
Lewis insulted We the People, and he should apologize to us. Lewis insulted the Constitution of the United States for providing a vehicle that allowed the will of We the People to be exercised.
His petulant arrogance is worthy of scorn. We didn’t need his approval to vote for the person of our choice. Russia might have hacked the Democratic Party, a fact that has not been categorically proven, but Russia didn’t cast any ballots for Trump. As has been said by others: Russia, if anything, simply did what the mainstream media refused to do.
So the "mainstream media" should've stolen DNC emails?
By contrast, Gina Loudon's Jan. 15 column is a voice of reason by WND standards, acknowledging that "Rep. Lewis is a face of the new Democratic Party, which sees arguments for “states’ rights” as reminders of the 'dark past' when states routinely denied their citizens basic human rights."
But then, Loudon twists Lewis' words to bizarrely argue that California has "the distinction for the greatest disparity between rich and poor because the masses crave the plantation economy of the Old South" and assert that "Our fellow countrymen in California, Washington, Oregon and other 'blue states' toil under the tyranny in the resurgence of the Old Democratic Party, one-party control and the new feudalism." She goes on to complain that "The New Democrats built the new plantation on taxpayer money funneled through unions and by eroding election integrity" and declare that "we must also be dedicated to the fundamental rights of people suffering behind the blue state walls."
CNS' Starr Just Can't Stop Shilling for the Oil Industry Topic: CNSNews.com
Part of Penny Starr's job as a CNSNews.com reporter is to be a reliableshill for the oil industry, which has provided funding over the years to CNS parent the Media Research Center. Starr once again proves she knows which side her bread's buttered on with a Jan. 9 CNS article filled with unquestioning stenography:
Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said last week that opening up offshore production of oil and natural gas could create more than 800,000 U.S. jobs and provide some $200 billion in revenue to the federal Treasury.
In his keynote speech last week in Washington, D.C., Gerard referenced these and other statistics in the trade association’s annual State of American Energy report, including a call to revise or repeal regulations that have been put in place by the Obama administration, which he said have stifled the production of the abundant domestic oil and gas resources.
“We must examine the regulatory onslaught of the last few years that has proposed or imposed some 145 new regulations on the oil and gas industry and other executive actions on our industry and instead work to implement smart energy regulations that are focused on the consumer, that help to grow our domestic economy, protect our workers and continue to improve the environment,” Gerard said.
“It is our view that regulations that do not align with those basic and commonsense goals should be reexamined, revised or removed to make way for smarter and forward-looking energy policies,” he said.
Starr quotes nobody else in her article, which means she's presenting Gerard's claims as undisputed fact. That's not reporting -- that's lazy stenography. Then again, she seems quite aware she's not getting paid to do reporting.
WND Author Helps WND's Hohmann Hate Muslims Some More Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Jan. 9 WorldNetDaily article, Leo Hohmann gets a little assistance with his Muslim-hating.
The ostensible purpose of Hohmann's article is to report on a "fatwa" by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America -- it's actually a statement of "Principles and Roadmap" following Donald Trump's election.Hohmann spends the rest of the article selectively quoting from the statement and speculating on the most malicious interpretation he can of the words.
Hohmann's partner in crime here is Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security employee and anti-Muslim activist (and WND author) whose claim to fame is asserting that Obama administration officials ordered the alteration or deletion of documents to remove references to jihad or the Muslim Brotherhood. The seeming irrelevance fo Haney's claim -- despite how much WND has been promoting him in recent months -- was demonstrated by DHS secretary Jeh Johnson, who responded to Haney's allegation by pointing out that "when I was at the Department of Defense giving the legal signoff on a lot of drone strikes, I didn’t particularly care whether the baseball card said Islamic extremist or violent extremist."
And Haney heartily obliges with malicious speculation on the AMJA statement, even equating the group to Osama bin Laden:
The AMJA never had to issue such a declaration under President Obama because he gave the Muslim community everything they wanted, Haney said. Now, they are expecting to meet resistance and they are preparing the troops.
While they don’t come right out and say it, the language of the directive will be understood by Muslims to mean that violent jihad could be within the realm of what is expected of them in the fight against the Trump-led fitnah or “oppression,” Haney said.
The threat is made with the following statement:
“There is no blame upon a country if it does what is needed to protect its interests and security as long as it does not transgress or oppress by denying or violating rights.”
Of course under Islamic law, where Muslims are able to rule, the government tramples all over people’s “rights,” especially those of Christians, Jews and other religious minorities. But in a Western democracy where Muslims are the minority, it helps further the cause of Islam to play the victim and claim to be “oppressed.”
“Osama Bin Laden was always talking about oppression,” Haney said. “These are capital offenses in Islam,” he added, as long as it is non-Muslims who are doing the oppressing. Otherwise it is expected that Muslims should oppress and subjugate non-Muslims where Muslims have the upper hand in a Muslim-majority society.
The fatwa authors then re-emphasizing that Muslims must double down and support civil rights organizations, which signals that the Muslim community plans to step up its filing of lawsuits against governments and businesses that do not continue the Obama-era policies of affording special rights and privileges to Muslims and mosques that practice Shariah.
Without naming them, the call for donations is clearly directed at lining the coffers of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, which is an offshoot of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, identified as a co-conspirator in funding Hamas terrorists in the Holy Land Foundation trial of 2007.
“That last line, where it says, ‘But the worst of all are those who seek to destroy such organizations’ is very revealing,” Haney said. “That is directed at those who go around trying to get CAIR out of our police departments, out of the FBI and out of our military. This could include Congress itself if they designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. This is the worst kind of fitnah, and what is the fate of those people? Jihad.”
The last admonition in the fatwa is perhaps the most chilling.
“No one knows the unseen except Allah. It is possible that an individual hates something while Allah has placed a lot of good for him in it. We must prepare for any possibility while hoping for the best outcomes.”
This comes directly from the Quran.
“The thing you hate you may have to do,” Haney says. “Devout Muslims know when they hear that phrase what it means. So it’s written in shorthand for those who know what it means.”
Note how Hohmann and Haney couch their hate in speculative statements like "without naming them" and how a statement is purportedly "understood" or meant to be a "signal." They're totally reading things into the statement, and they provide no evidence they have the expertise to do so in a fair and honest manner.
Neeless to say, Hohmann and Haney omit the parts of the statement that conflict with their malicious interpretation of it, like this endorsement of American principles:
America, even given its excesses, is still one of the best nations when it comes to protecting human rights and the sanctity of humanity. It is a must upon us that we not overgeneralize or spread fear. Our dealings with the current events must be wise and objective.
Or this denouncing of extremists who misuse Islam:
Both Muslims and non-Muslims bring harm to Islam and Muslims. Muslims do so via ignorance, taking knowledge from the unqualified, blind zealotry, extremism or by betraying Allah, His Messenger and the believers. The non-Muslims harm Islam and Muslims via enmity and hatred, which is also built upon ignorance and intolerance. You should eagerly learn your faith and its regulations. You should fortify your knowledge and understanding via learning from the well-grounded, pious scholars. Then you should be a Muslim whose deeds, above and beyond his speech, are truthful and sincere. You should be an excellent ambassador for your faith. Representing Islam well and displaying its realities is of great importance during these times.
But fair and balanced reporting on Muslims is not what Hohmann does -- thus once again disproving his boss David Kupelian's demonstrably false claim that WND "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards."
MRC Writer Pushes 'Fungible' Canard About Planned Parenthood Funding Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been asserting a common -- and dubious -- argument against federal funding for Planned Parenthood to get around the inconvenient (for conservatives) fact that federal funding for Planned Parenthood is prohibited from paying for abortions and there's no evidence Planned Parenthood has broken that prohibition.
Katie Yoder asserts in a Jan. 6 post that "government money is fungible, which means Planned Parenthood could offset costs with public funds to free up other resources for abortion." Yoder repeated her assertion again in a Jan. 10 post, saying that "while the Hyde Amendment stipulates that federal funding, with a few exceptions, cannot be used for abortion, government funds are fungible. This means Planned Parenthood could offset costs with public funds to free up other resources for abortion."
As proof of this claim, Yoder links back to a post she and Sarah Stites wrote in October in which they made this claim:
Although the Hyde Amendment stipulates that this money cannot be used for abortion (with a few exceptions), government funds are fungible. This means Planned Parenthood could offset costs with public funds to free up other resources for abortion. As an analogy, which Stites and Yoder illustrate, imagine giving your teen $20 to use specifically for gas. Although he can’t buy beer with that $20, he can now use his own $20 to purchase alcohol since the gas was covered by you.
First, that argument is ridiculous on its face, since because a teenager is not legally permitted to buy beer -- the drinking age is 21.
Second, Yoder and Stites are wrong about the entire fungibility issue. As Slate explains:
Republicans who tout the "money is fungible" line want you to imagine that Planned Parenthood draws on one big pot of government money for all its services. But since medical services are billed and funded individually, that's not actually how this works. For instance, if subsidies that discount contraception disappear, the price of contraception goes up, but the price of abortion will stay the same.
We know this because recent experience shows it. A few years ago, the price of some birth control pills at Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics suddenly skyrocketed, because drug companies jacked up the price they charged non-profits for the pills. Faced with growing expenses to provide contraception, clinics charged more for contraception, often seeing costs soar to two or three times what they were before. But during this same time, the price for an abortion stayed the same. That is because, despite the endless repetition of "money is fungible," it is not. You cannot cut off subsidies and discounts for contraception in hopes that will drive up the price of abortion. It might make abortion more common, because women will have a harder time obtaining contraception, but it won't make it any pricier.
This argument makes some sense, but it also has dangerous implications. If you accept this premise, there’s almost no limit to what we could consider “government funding” or “government support.” Would a federal employee, whose salary is paid by the government, be violating the Hyde Amendment if she spends some of that money to obtain an abortion? Would she be using “government funds” to “keep the lights on” at Planned Parenthood if she donates to the organization?
And what about other government programs that have funding restrictions? Should we ban Safeway from accepting food stamps as long as it sells wine — because food stamps aren’t allowed to pay for wine, but accepting food stamps gives Safeway extra revenue and helps it “keep the lights on” to sell wine to other customers?
But fungibility is too entrenched of an argument for people like Yoder to simply abandon it. So expect her and others to keep pushing this highly dubious claim.
WND Pretends It's Not the 'Fake News Media' It's Criticizing Topic: WorldNetDaily
The latest issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine is called "Meet the Fake News Media," with the subtitle "Feigning objectivity, they traffic in disinformation, conspiracy and fabrication."
That's an uncannily apt description of WND itself -- disinformation, conspiracy and fabrication are pretty much all Joseph Farah and Co. live for. Heck, WND kept putting out fake news even as it was railing against it.
WND doesn't want to talk about that, of course. Most of the articles in the magazine have already appeared at WND, including its unprofessional smear of a professor who put WND on a list of fake-news sites.
The article promoting the issue laughably claims that WND "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards." You can ask Clark Jones, for one, about the truth of that claim. WND managing editor David Kupelian repeats the claim in the lead essay for the magazine, which WND published on Jan. 12.
We ask Kupelian: Would a news organization that "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards" be caught making major changes after publication to not one, not two, but three articles in the past month or so to walk back false or unverified claims? And reprinted another fake-news article the previous month?
Would a news organization that "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards" be conducting a publicity stunt at the Temple Mount?
Would a news organization that "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards" be censoring all evidence that contradicts its Obama birther conspiracies (and also refuse to apply those same birther standards to Ted Cruz)?
Instead, Kupelian self-aggrandizingly posits another reason: "Here’s why: WND’s worldview is pro-American, pro-Constitution, pro-Judeo-Christian, pro-capitalism and pro-morality. Obviously, then, it must be condemned as hateful and delusional by the left, which seems perpetually at war with America’s cultural, legal and moral foundations."
The only straight-news article out of the bunch was a Jan. 11 piece by Susan Jones saying that secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson called for an "open and frank dialogue with Russia regarding its ambitions." Jones didn't, however, mention the controversy over Trump's (and Tillerson's) links with Russia that make such a "open and frank dialogue" necessary.
Beyond that, however, the selection of subjects on which CNS did hearing articles on other appointees made its bias clear.
For the hearing for HUD secretary-designate Ben Carson, CNS did an approving article on Carson saying he would "absolutely not play favorites for anyone," but also an article on Carson defending HUD's rental assistance program. Given that CNS has previously criticized rental assistance programs -- especially when it means poor people of color could live in more affluent, white-dominated suburbs -- that article was meant as a warning shot.
While CNS wrote in a mocking tone about how "Newly elected Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, repeatedly pressed Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday for assurances that he will not discriminate against homosexuals and Muslims if he is confirmed as CIA director," it also wrote with a more disapproving tone over secretary of state-designate James Mattis not being opposed to gays in the military or women in combat. CNS, like the rest of the MRC, is rabidly anti-gay.
And while CNS had touted Republican Sen. Marco Rubio saying flattering things about Sessions, it censored Rubio's tough questioning of Tillerson, since doing so didn't advance Tillerson's, or Trump's, prospects or CNS' right-wing agenda.
MRC Asks: 'Can Speculation Be Defined as News?' It Is At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell began thair Jan. 4 column this way:
At the dawn of 2017, let us offer a philosophical question for the news media. If the scourge of the new year is "fake news," should we not concede that it's not news to speculate about what will happen after a news event? The problem is, without speculation about the future — whether immediate or distant — cable news channels and radio news outlets would surely enter a crisis about how to fill 24 hours a day, and newspapers would struggle to fill their pages.
True. But if Graham and Bozell are really concerned about speculation being presented as news, the "news" division of the MRC, CNSNews.com, would be prohibited in engaging in it.
For example, just two days after Graham and Bozell's column appeared, CNS published a "news" article by Patrick Goodenough declaring, "Gohmert: Promoting a ‘Two-State Solution’ Could Bring God’s Judgment." In it, Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert is quoting as saying that expressing support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians means one is "advocating what Joel 3 say will bring judgment down upon our nation for trying to partition Israel."
So, is biblical speculation exempted from Graham and Bozell's anti-speculation wrath? We're confused.
No, WND, Problems At Macy's Can't Be Tied to Trump Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed WorldNetDaily's fundamental misunderstanding of how business works, which may be a reason for its current financial situation, wihch is dire enough that WND editor Joseph Farah begged for money from his readers. One of those misunderstandings was its insistence on blaming problems at Macy's on its decision to stop Donald Trump's clothing collection.
Joe Kovacs does that yet again in a Jan. 4 WND article:
In the battle of Macy’s vs. Donald Trump, it appears the clear loser continues to be Macy’s.
On Wednesday, the retailer announced disappointing holiday sales, prompting its stock to drop more than 9 percent.
The company also released the locations of 68 of the 100 stores it plans to close, with more than 10,000 jobs reportedly being eliminated.
CNBC reported: ” As part of Wednesday’s announcement Macy’s said it will eliminate layers of management to cut costs and make more agile decisions. It also will work to reduce other non-payroll costs. As a result of these steps, the company estimates its work force will be cut by 6,200. Another 3,900 workers will be displaced by the store closures and some of these employers could be reassigned.”
As WND reported, Trump upended American politics in 2015 when he declared he was a candidate for president.
Macy’s promptly declared it was cutting ties and dumping Trump’s clothing line because of “disparaging” remarks about Mexicans.
The onetime reality-TV star is now the president-elect of the United States, just two weeks away from being sworn into office.
Meanwhile, Macy’s stock price has plummeted.
By contrast, actual reporters for genuine news outlets -- like CNBC, who Kovacs selectively cites -- Macy's is trimming its brick-and-mortar locations while building up its online business and off-price and specialty brands. No mention of Trump at all.
WND's Farah Touts Group of Extremist Israeli Rabbis Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his Jan. 10 WorldNetDaily column:
Many pundits and political leaders have repudiated the United Nations Security Council resolution denying Israel has any claims to Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem or any other lands captured in the 1967 war – 50 years ago this June.
But perhaps the best scolding I’ve seen the U.N. body get came from Israel’s nascent Sanhedrin, a group of judges attempting to reconstruct a Jewish ruling authority not existing in Jerusalem for more nearly 2,000 years.
About Resolution 2334, passed unanimously with an abstention from Barack Obama’s administration, which conspired in crafting it, bringing it to a vote and defending it after passage, the Sanhedrin had this to say, with which I entirely concur: “All the land of Israel belongs exclusively to the Nation of Israel, and not to an invented nation with no legal or historic claim to the land. Pursuing this baseless claim weakens those who support it and strengthens the violence and evil that is growing in the world.”
Here I am, an Arab-American Christian, in total agreement with Israel’s Sanhedrin, which not only sees this issue the way clear-thinking people on earth do, but understand the way it is viewed by the Creator-God, who sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning.
Note Farah's somewhat be nign description of the Sanhedrin as just "a group of judges attempting to reconstruct a Jewish ruling authority not existing in Jerusalem for more nearly 2,000 years." In fact, it's a very far-right group.
We noted a few years back when then-WND reporter Aaron Klein was touting them that the Sanhedrin has links to the Meir Kahane movement banned in Israel for its incitement to violence. That link seems to be continuing with the Sanhedrin's desire to appoint Baruch Kahane, who may be Meir Kahane's son -- Kahane did have a son named Baruch, but we have het to confirm that -- as the high priest of the Sanhedrin in an attempt to fulfill prophecy that a new Jewish temple will rise on the Temple Mount, where an Islamic mosque currently resides. In 2015, the Sanhedrin encouraged West Bank settlers to attack security forces who came to evacuate an outpost there.
A Jerusalem Post article reports that the Sanhedrin supports the application of Torah law in place of the secular law of the State of Israel, and in February 2010 ruled that “it is obligatory for every Jew to exclude himself from the secular Israeli judicial system in every matter.”
Wait -- an attempt to have religious law supercede secular law? Doesn't Farah and WND normally rail against that sort of thing when it's called Sharia law instead of Torah law?
Again, Farah says he's "in total agreement" with the Sanhedrin, which must also include this narrow instance of religious law supremacy.
CNSNews.com's cheerleading for the nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general is almost embarassing in its utter bias -- the kind that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be screming bloody murder about if a "liberal media" outlet acted like this.
CNS churned a whopping eight articles on Jan. 10, the first day of Sessions' confirmation hearing, designed solely to lionize him and promote his right-wing bona fides:
All but two of these articles focus either on statements by Sessions solely or answers to questions from Republican senators.
CNS mostly ignored the second day of the hearing on Jan. 11, refusing to devote an article to testimony critical of Sessions from Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and John Lewis. Instead, an article portrays as whining the complaint from another Democratic senator complaining that Booker's and Lewis' testimony was pushed to the end of the day.
This was joined by an article in which CNS reporter Penny Starr goes the ambush route in trying to get a Democratic senator to agree with her that Sessions is "a man of high character" and "a kind and decent man who has worked relentlessly for desegregation and justice."
Starr followed up with an article the next day touting how African-Americans testifying at the hearing "praised the senator as a man who has helped people regardless of their race." She didn't mention the testimony of African-Americans Booker and Lewis.
CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman contributed an article citing a 2016 speech in which Sessions attacked Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as having a "post-modern, relativistic, secular mindset" that is "directly contrary to the founding of our republic."
The cherry on the top of this bias is CNS editor Terry Jeffrey's column -- tonally similar to his website's biased "news" reporting -- in which he touts Sessions' hard anti-abortion stance and declares that "Sessions' views on abortion and same-sex marriage are right" and anyone who disagrees with him is "wrong."
That bias is reflected throughout CNS' Sessions articles -- which, again, if it involved a news outlet other than one the MRC didn't own, the MRC would be all over it.
UPDATE: We forgot one -- a Jan. 11 article by Melanie Hunter touting U.S. Commission on Civil Rights member Peter Kirsanow -- whom Hunter doesn't identify as a conservative -- fawningly declaring that "Sessions’ approach to civil rights is consistent, is legally sound, intellectually honest, and has an appreciation and understanding of the historical bases for civil rights laws."