WND Still Serving As Operation Rescue's PR Spinmeisters Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've writtenbefore about how Operation Rescue has enlisted WorldNetDaily to whitewash its connection to anti-abortion violence -- specifically, the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, and how litigious it is about trying to enforce that whitewash. (Disclosure: We've received a cease-and-desist letter from them through WND, since it published a book, "Abortion Free," by president Troy Newman and assistant Cheryl Sullenger, over an earlier post we wrote on them. We explained that we reported on the group in a fair and balanced way and that we did nothing that WND itself hasn't done; we never heard from them again.)
Now, Operation Rescue is back at it again, with WND's help. A Jan. 10 article by Bob Unruh tells us the group is outraged that U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal described Operation Rescue "as a group that advocates execution of abortion providers," and uncritically serves up the group's defense (repeated in a Jan. 29 article by Unruh describing how Operation Rescue president Troy Newman and his lawyer "visited Blumenthal’s office to deliver" a letter "seeking a retraction and apology"):
Operation Rescue also was previously attacked by Terri Butler of the Australian parliament by using out-of-context statements from a book about the Old Testament’s practices for dealing with the death of an innocent person.
“In that book, which was a theological study of the biblical doctrine of bloodguilt, Newman and Sullenger discuss the Old Testament principle that required those who commit murder should be sentenced to death by a court of justice. They surmised that if indeed abortion is murder, then it would be acceptable, based on the Old Testament teachings, for governments to treat it as it does any other murder with those convicted through a court of law subject to the same punishments other murderers would face, including capital punishment.”
But the explanation notes Butler refused to mention “later chapters in that now out of print book referenced the New Testament concept that mercy is preferable to judgment, and that repentance and restoration is available through Jesus Christ to all men who seek it.”
“There is a distinct difference between saying that the Bible gives the authority to governments to execute justice, as we explained in the book, and advocating that individuals commit murder of abortion providers, as Ms. Butler erroneously has accused Mr. Newman of doing,” Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger wrote in a letter Australian officials at the time.
In fact, in the book in question -- "Their Blood Cries Out," a title Unruh curiously fails to provide to his readers -- Newman is indeed advocating for the execution of abortion providers. As we've previously noted, Newman's claiming that abortion doctors should go through the legal system before being executed is still advocacy for execution, no matter how much he tries to deny it; what he actually writes in "Their Blood Cries Out" does not differentiate between abortion doctors doing their job legally and those who aren't. Thus, Blumenthal's statement that Operation Rescue "advocates execution of abortion providers" is factually accurate.
Further, Operation Rescue's dismissal of Newman's words by claiming the book is "out of print" is belied by the fact that the book is available for purchase through the Operation Rescue website (a screenshot of which is above). So Newman clearly has not renounced the book and its contents, contrary to what he and his lawyers are suggesting.
(Neither has Sullenger; her co-authorship of "Their Blood Cries Out" is touted in her WND Books bio and repeated in WNDarticles promoting "Abortion Free.")
Unruh, in both articles, also uncritically repeats Operation Rescue's denial of involvement in the murder of Tiller: "All accusations, implications, or inferences that there was any involvement by Operation Rescue in the death of George Tiller is completely false. Operation Rescue and its staff were not involved in any way. Operation Rescue explicitly denounces violence in any form as a means of ending abortion."
But as we've documented, Operation Rescue had contact with Tiller's murderer, Scott Roeder: not only did he have Sullenger's phone number on a note in his car when he was arrested, Roeder has claimed that Newman said it 'wouldnʼt upset' him if Tiller were murdered, as well as Roeder's claim that he was an active and regular participant in Operation Rescue events with "donation receipts, event T-shirts and a signed copy of Newman’s 2001 book, Their Blood Cries Out, to prove it." Further, given that Newman and Sullenger moved Operation Rescue's headquarters to Wichita for the specific purpose of targeting Tiller, it is logical to assume that even if Roeder had no connection to Operation Rescue (which he did no matter how much Newman has tried to deny it), the provocation of moving the headquarters and continued aggressive targeting of Tiller helped create an atmosphere that resulted in Tiller's murder by Roeder, whether or not Newman and Sullenger actually intended that outcome.
Further undermining the claim that "Operation Rescue explicitly denounces violence in any form as a means of ending abortion" is a newsrelease (h/t Media Matters) Operation Rescue under Newman and Sullenger issued a defending Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion doctor in Florida in 1994, by denouncing a court decision not to let Hill use as a defense in his trial the ability to call his murder a "justifiable defensive action" -- thereby effectively suggesting that the murder of an abortion doctor was justifiable. Newman and Sullenger called Hill's execution for the doctor's murder "nothing less than murder of a political prisoner." (Operation Rescue has since claimed that this seemingly self-evident interpretation is a "gross distortion," insisting that "Newman deplored the fact that Hill had murdered two people, but felt the need to express disappointment that the court refused to allow Hill to use the defense of his choosing, especially since conviction meant facing the possible death penalty.")
Operation Rescue must feel lucky to have such a pliant "news" organization like WND doing its PR work -- and being litigious -- for them.
MRC Digs Up A Zombie Lie to Defend Trump Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen, in a Jan. 30 post, predictably parroted the Trump administration in the matter of acting attorney general Sally Yates, pronouncing her "insubordinate" and touting how President Trump "lawfully fir[ed]" her "after she refused to do her job and enforce his executive order on immigration." But Drennen also dredges up a zombie lie in the process:
The media double standard on Justice Department staffing changes has been well-documented by the Media Research Center. In 2007, the networks hounded then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for firing eight U.S. attorneys and replacing them with appointees selected by the Bush administration, treating the common practice as if it were a scandal. However, in 1993, the press didn’t bat at eye at then-President Clinton firing 93 U.S. attorneys to make room for his political appointees.
As we documented way back in 2007 when the MRC first pushed this claim, what Clinton did -- calling for the resignations of U.S. attorneys is traditional at the start of every new administration -- was much different from what Gonzales did, which took place well into President George W. Bush's second term, and were appointed by Bush in the first place, amid speculation the attorneys were too tough on Republicans and not tough enough on Democrats, as well as newly passed legislation that allowed U.S. attorneys to be replaced on an interim basis without Senate or district court approval.
If the MRC is dredging up old Bush talking points to defend Trump, it will be a long next few years.
Muslim-Hating WND Reporter Blames Abortion For Muslims in U.S. Topic: WorldNetDaily
If abortion wasn't legal, we wouldn't have to deal with Muslims in the U.S.
That really is the premise of Muslim-hating WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann's latest attack. He explains it in an anonymously written Jan. 30 WND article:
Leo Hohmann, a veteran WND reporter who authored the new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and the Resettlement Jihad,” says he believes immigration from Muslim countries might not be such a big concern today if not for the prevalence of abortion in the U.S. since 1973.
“In ‘Stealth Invasion,’ I lay bare a sinister globalist strategy that has been going on for decades, playing us, the people, for fools,” Hohmann said.
“The global elites, using our public education system, pop culture and other modes of indoctrination, encourage people in Western democracies to have smaller and smaller families. We’re told rigorous family planning and abortion on demand are good for our country. The incessant promotion by these elites of sterile same-sex marriages is part and parcel of the same agenda. We are missing approximately 58 million people in America as a result of abortions alone. The fertility rate is down to 1.9 children per woman in the U.S. – that’s less than replacement.”
Having created the problem of population decline, the same global elites then turn around and offer a solution, according to Hohmann.
“Because we listened to them and had smaller families, they say we need to open our borders and expand our immigration numbers,” the author explained. “We must become more ‘inclusive’ and ‘diverse,’ to use the words of the globalists, because we don’t have enough worker bees to sustain economic growth. We must ‘fill in the gaps’ with refugees, illegals and temporary work permits! In short, we must be more ‘welcoming’ to the Third World. Once in the country, these migrants have much larger families than Europeans, Americans or Canadians.
“If these ‘missing’ Americans aren’t ‘replaced’ with migrants, our companies won’t have enough of a labor force to fill their needs and our aging work force won’t have enough worker bees to support their Social Security during retirement, we are told by folks like Jeb Bush and John Kasich.”
Considering that Islam is by far the world’s fastest-growing religion, self-induced reductions in native-born Western populations could prove fatal.
“Abortion, same-sex marriages and other values of the post-Christian Europe are now coming back to haunt,” Hohmann warned. “Will America continue to proceed blindly down the same suicidal path?”
This is just a version of the "demographic winter" argument pushed by white nationalists, reframed to emphasize the Christian vs. Muslim aspect. The goal is the same: to scare white people about brown people outbreeding them.
Creeping WND-ization of The MRC Watch, CNS Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
We've caught CNSNews.com seemingly lifting story ideas from WorldNetDaily twice in the past couple months. Why wouldn't it also lift a couple of its columnists and authors as well?
A Jan. 27 post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touts Jesse Lee Peterson's ridiculous portrayal of Donald Trump as the "white savior" for black America during an appearance on Newsmax TV. That gives us an unusual intersection of three main ConWeb components.
A few days later, CNS republished Peterson's WND column on the subject, -- albeit changing the headline from WND's statement of fact "Trump: White Savior to Black America") to a question ("Is President Trump the White Savior to Black America?") --including the even more ridiculous assertion that black men "believed in God and took care of themselves and their families" until they got civil rights and "Democrats seduced blacks away from God and the Republican Party."
(We noted Peterson's meshing with WND's interest in depicting Trump as a messianic figure.)
Then, in a Feb. 2 post, Chapman nicked another WND favorite, birther pastor Carl Gallups. Chapman didn't mention the birther stuff, of course, despite devoting two paragraphs to Gallups' bio; he was too excited to be quoting Gallups trashing the idea of evolution, which somehow morphs into claiming that immigration to America is a "judgment from God":
Evangelical pastor and best selling author Carl Gallups said the United States has violated so many of God's moral borders in relation to sexuality, family, marriage, gender, and even the teaching of atheistic evolution that it affects our geographical borders, such that enemies enter and chaos erupts in society. This is both spiritual and physical warfare, he added, stressing that the current political attempt to bring law, order, and borders back to the nation -- to right the ship of state -- is facing opposition from the left and its "counterpart in the demonic realm."
“Here’s what I have been saying for years," said Pastor Gallups during a Jan. 30 interview on the Rob Schilling Show (Newsradio WINA). "Look, we have violated the borders of our children’s minds. For 100 years we have told them that they come from monkeys and that there is no God. We have violated the borders of their souls and their spirits."
"We have violated the borders of the womb in America and have destroyed 60 million children," said Gallups. "We have violated the borders of sexuality. We have violated the borders of family. We have violated the borders of marriage. We have violated the borders of gender."
"And now," he said, "as a judgment from God or as discipline from God, our own geographical borders are now being violated."
NEW ARTICLE: Russia's New ConWeb Comrades, Part 1 Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily rushed to defend Donald Trump -- and, thus, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin -- over increasingly proven allegations that the Russians meddled in the U.S. presidential election. Read more >>
CNS' Coverage of Unemployment Changes Under Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
We had an inkling that CNSNews.com would not treat unemployment numbers as harshly under President Trump than it did under President Obama. Looks like we've been proven right.
In her main story on January's unemployment numbers, CNS reporter Susan Jones touted job outlook improvements -- something she did only grudgingly under Obama -- and seemed sad that she couldn't credit Trump for it all:
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday released its first look at employment since Donald Trump became president, and although that report does not reflect actual Trump policy changes, it does include the period just before Trump became president and was tweeting about jobs saved.
According to BLS, the labor force participation rate improved in January, increasing two-tenths of a point to 62.9 percent, its best showing in four months.
By contrast to Jones' enthusiasm for Trump "tweeting about jobs saved" -- she insisted that January's report "undoubtedly reflects anticipation of Trump’s policies" -- CNS made every effort to downplayanddiscredit talk of jobs that were saved under Obama's stimulus plan.
Jones also did something she rarely did during the Obama administration: explicitly state that one major reason for the high labor force participation rate she regularly blamed Obama for is the "retirement of baby boomers" and that "Members of the baby-boom generation will continue to retire from the labor force in large numbers."
The only sidebar this time around -- CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman declined to fret about black unemployment or tell us the "real" unemployment number this month as he usually has, and probably never will again during the Trump presidency -- is from editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, who proclaimed that "The United States gained 5,000 jobs in manufacturing in January while losing 10,000 in government."
WND's Farah Blames Sin for Climate Change Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Hoseph Farah has a new book out, "The Restitution of All Things" -- published by WND, natch, which means this is effectively a vanity project -- which claims to provide "a clear picture of what the coming kingdom of God will be like." Iin his Jan. 31 column, Farah offers an, er, creative interpretation of climate change apparently taken from his book:
I used to be a “denier,” as those who sacrifice their reasoning ability at the altar of Big Government power label skeptics of man-made, catastrophic climate change.
If you asked me, do you believe in it? I would have said no.
But the deeper I get into the study the Scriptures, I have to admit, my opinion has changed. I do believe man’s behavior on the Earth can have catastrophic consequences – and, indeed, has in the past.
However, before the climate-change lobby begins celebrating a convert to the cause, let me say unequivocally that my acceptance of past, current and future changes in the climate – including those with potentially catastrophic results – has nothing whatsoever to do with an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the activity of mankind.
Instead, I have concluded that previous climate catastrophes have been the result of another activity of man – the commission of sin.
While Al Gore and the carbon-phobes have no evidence to support their dire predictions of imminent doom other than computer modeling, those who take my position actually have more than 6,000 years of biblical and historical patterns along with the inerrant Word of God.
So maybe it’s time for a new bumper sticker – “SIN, NOT CARBON, CAUSES CLIMATE CHANGE.”
Blame Adam and Eve for this, Farah says:
We know the Garden of Eden was the perfect climate for mankind because Adam and Eve didn’t even need clothes. There’s really nowhere on the planet today where you would be comfortable 365 days a year without any duds whatsoever – and that’s putting aside the shame factor. Even in Hawaii you have fluctuating temperatures that would make nudists uncomfortable from time to time.
When Adam and Eve committed the first sin by eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good an Evil, everything changed – including the climate.
Farah also interprets the flood of Noah-and-his-ark fame as producing climate change: "People didn’t live as long as the generations before Noah. Perhaps the oxygen content of the atmosphere was reduced." He even called the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah an "environmental disaster." He concludes that "God did not forsake intervening in the climate when sin ran amok."
Clearly, science is not a big interest for Farah.
We have to wonder: Does Farah view being reduced to beg for money from his readers last year to keep WND afloat as a sign from God that perhaps he was not on the right path with with his falsehood-laden war against Obama?
MRC's Graham Is Still Serving Up Terrible Media Criticism Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham made an appearance on C-SPAN on Jan. 29, undoubtedly happy that the channel played the Fox News game and didn't have anyone else on with him (like, say, John Avlon). Graham repeated his usual right-wing anti-media talking points, reminding us that he cares nothing about the media and everything about partisan attacks. And he reminded us why he's a terrible media critic.
Responding to a caller who called New York City a police state, Graham responded:
I would say to you that the news media is very hyperbolic right now about fact-checking. And the same newspapers that hire a fact-checker, like the Washington Post, will have a big article in the Sunday paper about how [Trump] compares to the dictators of literature. The caller suggests that New York City was a police state, all right? If we asked PolitiFact to evaluate whether New York City is a police state -- but they won't do that. When you look at PolitiFact since -- their evaulations of utterances by politicians from election day to inauguration day, they didn't evaluate Barack Obama once from -- during the entire Trump transition. That shows you that their fact-checking is -- they check who they want to check. And they make hyperbolic statements all the time about Trump being a dicator and a loon and all that, and they say, "we're the fact-checkers." Nobody trusts hyperbolic fact-checkers.
While it may be true that PolitiFact evaluated no statement by Obama since the election, Graham provides no reason why that should have been the case or even offered an example of Obama saying something -- anything -- that needed to be fact-checked. He's also rather deliberately confusing news and opinion; he never admits that any supposed Washington Post article on how Trump "compares to the dictators of literature" is an opinion piece, while the fact-checkers work on the news side. The people writing opinion pieces critical of Trump at the Post are not the same people doing fact-checking, and Graham knows it -- it just plays into his right-wing agenda to pretend there's no separation.
This is merely an extension of the MRC's war on fact-checkers -- and, thus, facts -- which it fought all through the presidential campaign to cover up for the fact that Trump lies about pretty much everything all the time.
Graham also gets in a rant against public radio, ridiculously asserting that NPR is "every bit as biased as Rush Limbaugh ... every bit as biased as Mark Levin," then complains that conservative tax dollars pay for NPR, which "routinely attacks conservatives." Again, Graham offers no factual evidence to back up his claim that federal tax money directly pays for purported NPR bias.
Shocker: WND's Unruh Tells Both Sides of the Story, Sorta Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily reporter Bob Unruh is best known for reporting only one side of the story -- the one that mirrors his (and WND's) right-wing views. In November, for example, we caught Unruh slavishly spinning a right-wing legal group's view of events in the case of a transgender teen who is considered to be emancipated from his mother. Unruh didn't report that the mother (whom the right-wing legal group, the Thomas More Society, is representing) had made no effort to contact the teen, who had been living apart from her for many months, nor did he mention that among the targets of her lawsuit to fight the teen's emancipation (which Unruh had handwaved as "others") is her own child.
Unruh wrote a Jan. 28 update on the case, and it seems itmight finally be getting the message about what balanced reporting is. He acknowledges that the woman, Anmarie Calgaro, is in fact suing her own "minor son," and he even more surprisingly acknowledges the teen's side of the story:
The London Daily Mail reported the minor son’s lurid claims that his mother and stepfather engaged in drug activity and abused him.
But the paper also said Calgaro described herself as a loving mother, even though the son, E.J.K., had been living on his own for two years.
The son claimed his mother and stepfather “became mentally and physically abusive.”
Well, that's a start. Unruh has yet to report that, as we noted, Minnesota common law allows for the emancipation of minor children without a defined legal process, state law does provide for minors to make their own medical decisions. Nor has he mention criticism that the Thomas More Society may be using this lawsuit as a stealth attack on state abortion law because the statute that allows minors to make their own medical decisions is echoed in the state's parental notification law regarding abortion.
Unruh also insists on identifying the teen as a male, even though he is transitioning to female and the Associated Press -- considered the authoritative source on media grammar and style -- states that media outlets should use the gender identity preferred by the person or as shown by the way the individual lives publicly.
It's clear Unruh still has a ways to go to be considered a real journalist employable by anyone other than WND.
MRC's Bozell & Graham Do Ad For Anti-Abortion Activist Disguised As Op-Ed Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell and Tim Graham's Jan. 25 column give a prominent plug to Phelim McAleer's " new book titled 'Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer.'" They don't mention that the plug is part of a longtime PR campaign for McAleer's anti-Gosnell work that McAleer may or may not be paying Bozell's Media Research Center to do.
Much the column, though, is dedicated to re-litigating the Gosnell case, with Bozell and Graham expliciting portray the rogue abortion doctor as exactly the same as every other abortion practitoner: "This monster chose to kill. He is the face of the abortion doctor. His story peels back the onion on this ghastly practice."
Bozell and Graham also pushed the right-wing line that the "national media" ignored the story, actually claiming at one point: "In the last two years, the big three networks devoted more than 75 minutes to the rape allegations against Bill Cosby. He killed no one."
But the two ignored that even right-wing media ignored the Gosnell story for a while too. The right-leaning New York Post hypocritically bashed media for ignoring Gosnell's trial despite the fact that the Post itself couldn't be bothered to cover it. Bozell and Graham are apparently giving the Post a pass for that, just like it stayed silent about the Post running nude pictures of Melania Trump. As a friendly media outlet that's a sister to its beloved Fox News, the Post gets protection from the MRC.
And as Mother Jones' Kevin Drum showed, right-wing media in general couldn't be bothered to cover the trial -- devoting much less time to the trial itself than to manufactured outrage that other media outlets weren't covering it -- right-wingers' concern over Gosnell is more about working the refs and exploiting the issue for their anti-abortion crusade than it is about, say, justice for Gosnell's victims.
(Surprisingly, Bozell and Graham aren't being totally hypocritical here; its "news" division, CNSNews.com, didsendsomeone to cover Gosnell's trial.)
That's the tone Bozell and Graham take here. They rant that "The national media were barely curious" about Gosnell and "When Dr. Gosnell went to trial in 2013, again the national media couldn't be budged to cover the outrage." They do grudgingly concede, however, that NPR covered the Gosnell story as early as 2010.
The thing to remember about Bozell and Graham's column, though, is that it's in (paid?) service to Phelim McAleer. It's an advertisement presented as an op-ed. The fact that they refuse to come clear on that undercuts any integrity they claim to have.
WND Keeps Lying About Margaret Sanger Topic: WorldNetDaily
One of the ConWeb'sfavoritepastimes is to spread lies about Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger as a way to attack the organization.
In his Jan. 30 WorldNetDaily column, Mychal Massie asserted that Sanger was "rabidly racist," adding:
Sanger wrote: “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” (“Woman, Morality, and Birth Control,” New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.)
Then in a 1939 letter, Sanger reaffirmed to another white racist, eugenicist, Dr. Clarence Gamble: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” To be fair, abortionists argue that’s what she said but that’s not what she meant. However, Sanger’s Negro Project, which she established in Harlem because of the great number of blacks living there, proves otherwise.
Rita Dunaway similarly wrote in her Jan. 30 WND column:
The organization that is today Planned Parenthood gave birth to its deadly “Negro Project” in the 1930s, hoping to stunt the growth of black families. No wonder that today, a whopping 79 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located within a 2-mile radius of a neighborhood that is primarily black or Hispanic.
A lot of things wrong here. Massie's first quote of Sanger is not from "Woman, Morality, and Birth Control" but from the same letter to Gamble he cites in the following paragraph.
Both Massie and Dunaway are falsely smearing Sanger's "Negro Project." As a Washington Post fact check explains, the "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population" passage "is frequently taken out of context to suggest Sanger was seeking to exterminate blacks," and that in fact the Negro Project -- which was about birth control, not the attempt to "stunt the growth of black families" Dunaway dishonestly claims it is -- sought to recruit black leaders for the effort to allay suspicions blacks might have had about whites like Sanger being involved.
Further, contrary to Dunaway's claim, the Guttmacher Institute found that 60 percent of them are located in majority white neighborhoods, and that fewer than one in ten are located in neighborhoods where more than half of the residents are black.
And no, Mr. Massie, Sanger was not "rabidly racist"; fact-checkers have pointed out that while Sanger likely held paternalistic attitudes toward blacks that were unfortunately common during her lifetime, there's no evidence she was an avowed racist or that she coerced black women into using birth control.
Remember, WND editor Joseph Farah is weirdly proud that his website publishes misinformation.
CNS Writer Again Censors Mel Gibson's Ugly Past Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's resident Mel Gibson fanboy, Mark Judge, has struck again with more fawning praise in a Jan. 24 post:
Variety is reporting that “for the first time in 20 years, Mel Gibson is back in the Oscar fold.”
Gibson’s film “Hacksaw Ridge” has been nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Film Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing.
“Hacksaw Ridge" tells the story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector during World War II. Doss saved 75 people during the Battle of Okinawa and was awarded the Medal of Honor.
This is the first time that Gibson has been nominated since he won the Best Director Oscar for “Braveheart” in 1996. The 2017 Academy Awards will be presented February 26 in Los Angeles.
But as with all of Judge's fanboy works, a crucial and relevant part of Gibson's past is missing. It was even right there in the Variety article he's citing. Let's see what Judge censored:
After his nomination, and eventual win, for Best Director in “Braveheart,” Gibson became embroiled in several scandals, turning many in Hollywood against him. He was arrested in 2006 for a DUI, during which he unleashed a drunken tirade capped with him shouting “f—ing jews” at the police officer. He was later sentenced to three years probation.
Four years later in 2010, he was recorded during a phone call with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva where he suggested if she were “raped by a a bunch of n—–s,” she would be to blame. Gibson was barred from going near Grigorieva or their daughter by a restraining order, and later plead no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge.
At the time of the anti-Semitic rant, he apologized to the Jewish community, though in recent years he has preferred to deflect attention away from his misdeeds with euphemisms such as saying he went through a “rough patch.”
Most people would consider that relevant. But Judge doesn't -- he has chosen to be Gibson's unpaid PR agent, it seems.
MRC Analyst Joins 'State-Run Media' Defending Trump Immigration Order Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center "news analyst" Nicholas Fondacaro has been on quite the tear this week in helping his employer serve as the "state-run media" of the Trump administration, pushing back on criticism of Trump's immigration orders just like his co-workers at MRC "news" division CNSNews.com.
In a Jan. 29 post, Fondacaro complained that ABC "sought out" Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of a soldier killed in the Iraq War, for comment on the order. No, really: The headline of his post is literally "ABC’s Wright 'Sought Out' Khizr Khan to Slam Trump on Ban."
Fondacaro does know that seeking people out for comment on something is pretty much how journalism works, doesn't he? Perhaps not.
On Jan. 31, Fondacaro was outraged MSNBC's Chris Matthews pointed out that Trump's effective ban on Muslim immigration and refugees to the U.S. could feed Muslim resentment and terrorist recruitment. Fondacaro huffed in response:
Their claims that a travel ban would be the catalyst for a major boon for terrorist recruitment is (to borrow a term from a former Obama administration official) “stone cold crazy.” They asserted that the ban gave ‘great credence” to the idea of a war between east and west. But do you know what’s a gives, even more, credence to that idea? Actually dropping bombs, like the over 26,000 former President Barack Obama dropped in 2016 alone.
Of course, we are at war with terrorist organizations throughout the region, so those strikes are to be expected. But to act as though Trump’s three-month stay on travel was what the terrorists needed as a proof of war is ludicrous. They could just exploit the accidental US airstrike on a hospital in Afghanistan for their recruitment.
But as ABC's Brian Ross reported, members of ISIS are already using Trump's words as proof the U.S. is at war with the entire Muslim world -- a key recruitment tool for ISIS. The Washington Post added that extremist groups are indeed using Trump's order as validation of their claim that the U.S. is at war with Islam and that Trump was fulfilling the predictions of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American born al-Qaeda leader and preacher who famously said that the 'West would eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.'"
So Matthews is not off base, as Fondacaro claims.
In another Jan. 31 post, Fondacaro complained that "liberals around the country continued to rage over President Donald Trump’s not-a-travel-ban ban." But as we noted when CNS tried to push that Trump administration talking point, it's undermined by Rudy Giuliani saying that Trump told him he wanted a Muslim ban and that he asked Giuliani to form a commission to show him “the right way to do it legally.”And it has since been further undermined by Trump himself tweeting, "Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want."
WND Tries To Help Birther Martyr Whose Life It Helped Destroy Topic: WorldNetDaily
Just because Jerome Corsi is leaving WorldNetDaily doesn't it has stopped being birther. In fact, WND has a new birther-related crusade going.
Jack Cashill launched it in his Jan. 25 column: a petition campaign to get President Trump to reinstate birther ex-military officer Terrence Lakin. Cashill -- who just so happened to have co-written a book with Lakin spinning his side of the story -- claims:
“Court-martialed, imprisoned, expelled from the Army and denied pay, pension and benefits,” declares the petition accurately, “Terry was merely following his officer’s oath and constitutional duty.”
For the record, Lakin spent five months in prison at Fort Leavenworth before his release in May of 2011. Lakin’s crime – his real crime, that is – was to challenge Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president.
Wrong. Lakin's real crime was his refusal to follow an order to deploy to Afghanistan, as well as his stupidity for becoming a birther martyr in the first place.
Lakin has only himself to blame for ruining his life and throwing away his military career and pension -- with a big assist from WND for pushing the birther conspiracies he swallowed. He seemed to finally figure it out near the end of his court-martial, when he conceded that perhaps his own court martial was the wrong venue to push birther conspiracy theories and that maybe he should follow orders. That didn't save him, though; he was convicted and sentenced to six months at Leavenworth.
But since Lakin couldn't save himself, he has enlisted Cashill to polish the martyr act again. Cashill dramatically writes about Lakin's "ultimate humiliation, a seemingly endless perp walk, a shuffle really, through a concourse filled with flags and patriotic bunting and the happy sight of returning soldiers." He declared that "Lakin manfully survived the ordeal and emerged a stronger person for it. That he gave up $2 million in benefits and left his lovely family behind for prison should have further endeared him to our generally weepy progressive friends, but, of course, it did no such thing."
Cashill also complained that Lakin couldn't get a medical license in Kansas upon his release from Leavenworth: "The Kansas Board [of Healing Arts] may have indulged outlaw abortionist George Tiller for 30 years, but this timid crew was unnerved by the thought of this veteran flight surgeon practicing medicine in this doctor-short state, impeccable record notwithstanding."
Of course, Cashill is lying about that too. The Kansas board rejected Lakin's application for a license because his "refusal to deploy to Afghanistan to provide medical services in support of Operation Enduring Freedom due to his own personal beliefs represents a disregard for his professional duties and undermines the integrity of the medical profession.Of even more significance, [Lakin's] action's potentially jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the military troops for which [Lakin] was employed to provide medical care."
Naturally, this was all newsworthy enough for WND to do a "news" article on Lakin (it is safe to be birther in public again not that Trump is president, after all). A Jan. 29 article by Jack Minor sympathetically fleshes things out -- the fact that Minor devotes the second paragraph of his article to all the medals and ribbons Lakin received in the military tells you how hagiographic this article is -- and repeats a lot of the distortions and falsehoods Cashill did.
Minor adds an "exclusive interview" with Lakin, who's now working in Colorado, and it's clear he's in martyr mode; he baselessly claims his application for a Kansas medical license was rejected over Obamacare, since "The former governor was the HHS secretary and many of the board members were supporters of Obamacare so they took it out on me." Minor also writes that Lakin claim "there was an attempt by Obama supporters and others on the left to destroy him by stripping him of his medical license."
Minor also quotes Lakin's brother who also baselessly accused the Kansas board of "serious corruption." He also repeats WND's standard line that Obama merely "released what he claimed was his long form birth certificate" (italics ours) which "the only official law enforcement investigation, done on the orders of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, found to be fraudulent. Like the rest of WND, Minor didn't admit that Arpaio's investigation was incompetent and driven by hatred for Obama.
Because WND never reported how its birther conspiracies have been completely discredited, its readers have been deluded into thinking there's merit to the story. One of those readers, presumably, was Lakin. So we can assume that WND played a key role in deluding Lakin into throwing away his military career for a conspiracy theory at a time when WND needed a martyr for its cause.
Which makes its new campaign to try and fix Lakin's life -- which it played a major role in screwing up -- not just ironic but pathetic as well. If WND was truly sorry for ruining Lakin's life, it would simply pay him the $2 million in benefits he threw away.
P.S. As of this writing, Lakin's petition has a paltry 537 signatures.
MRC Blogger: Transgenders Getting Murdered Is No Biggie Topic: Media Research Center
Karen Townsend's Feb. 2 MRC NewsBusters post is yet another complaint that gays are on TV -- or in her words, how the TV show "The Fosters" has "continued with its deliberate promotion of liberal Hollywood’s aggressive LGBT agenda through the use of young people.
Townsend took particular offense to a transgender character on the show saying that "People literally get killed for being trans," because she thinks it's really nothing for anyone, trans people included, to worry about:
Getting killed for being trans is a horrifying thought for any transgender and their allies, however the risk is severely overblown and an already vulnerable population is being needlessly terrified with such worries. While, certainly, there have been people who were killed for being transgender, people are killed for pretty much every reason imaginable. The number of transgender murders is exceptionally low, with only 21 in all of 2015 (with various motives). A recent study claimed that there are 1.4 million transgender people in the United States, so that's a murder rate of 1 per every 66,667 trans people. Compare that to the national murder rate in 2015: 15,696 total murders in a country of 320 million people equates to 1 per every 20,387 Americans.
Interesting that Townend things transgenders being murdered is only an issue for transgenders "and their allies." Also interesting how Townsend feels the need to minimize the issue of violence against transgenders which, despite Townsend's claims, is very much on the increase, as is the rate of transgender suicide.
But there aren't that many of them so it's OK, right, Karen?
This is pretty much what we've come to expect from the anti-gay Media Research Center.