USA Today on Thursday gave liberal actor/activist George Takei a platform to compare Donald Trump’s immigration policies to that of interning the Japanese during World War II. In a column, Takei slammed, “Our president has trumpeted an ‘America First’ policy, vowing to prioritize the well-being of the United States. But ‘America’ doesn’t seem to include the brown-skinned, foreign-sounding or non-Christian people affected by his travel ban, his Mexico border wall or his immigration raids.”
The actor continued, “Keeping America safe means shutting out Middle Eastern refugees and deporting ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers.’ Keeping American jobs means keeping out Mexicans who cross the border to take them.” In 2015, the activist used racist language to mock Clarence Thomas as a “clown in black face.”
Takei compared Trump’s plans to the mass internment of Japanese:
Seventy-five years ago, on Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt launched his own version of “us vs. them,” authorizing the military to designate military zones and exclude any person from those zones as it saw fit. That order, like Trump’s travel ban, was on its face neutral. But it bore a clear intent.
Nearly 120,000 innocent people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated simply because we looked like “them” — the enemy. Two-thirds of us were U.S. citizens. We lost our homes, our jobs and our businesses and were held for years without charge.
The government had put “America First,” and we suffered for it.
USA Today obviously was pleased with the piece as the paper put a preview of it on the top of the front page. It included a picture of the actor and the headline: "George Takei: Immigration Ban Divisive. Trump's 'us vs. them' stance reminds actor of Japanese internment."
Whitlock apparently skipped over the part of Takei's column in which he wrote of his personal experience with internment, for he utterly fails to mention Takei's personal history with the issue:
I remember that day when American soldiers came to our home, carrying rifles with shiny bayonets, and ordered our family out. I was 5 years old. We were put on a train with armed soldiers at both ends of each car, as if we were criminals, and transported to Arkansas.
I remember the barbed wire fence of the internment camp, the tall sentry towers with machine guns pointed down at us. I remember the searchlight that followed me when I made the night runs from our barrack to the latrine. It became routine for me to line up three times a day to eat lousy food in a noisy mess hall. To go with my father to bathe in a mass shower. I could see the barbed wire fence and the sentry tower right outside my schoolhouse window as I recited the words “with liberty and justice for all”— too young to feel the stinging irony in those words.
In other words, Takei knows from where he speaks -- unlike Whitlock, who is simply lashing out at Takei for failing to fall in line with the new right-wing orthodoxy.
CNS Now Importing Praise For (And Dismissal Of The Ugly Past Of) Mel Gibson Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's love for -- and desire to censor the ugly past of -- Mel Gibson is so strong, it's bringing in articles from other websites to sing Gibson's praises.
Last week, CNS' new "Conservative Roundup" section featured a link to a article at right-wing site The Federalist demanding that Gibson's new movie "Hacksaw Ridge" receive some damn awards already.
Unlike CNS, Federalist writer Titus Techera did briefly mention Gibson's ugly past. The key word here is "briefly"; it merited just a single sentence: "Secondly, Gibson made several awful comments when stopped for drunk driving."
The rest of Techera's article was devoted to slobbering over "Hacksaw Ridge" and insisting that "America’s award institutions actually reward a patriotic movie that shows Christianity in American society as a source of hope and unity, rather than fear and division."
Armstrong Williams Doesn't Disclose His Conflict of Interest in Defending Ben Carson Topic: WorldNetDaily
Armstrong Williams wrote a column, published Feb. 14 at Newsmax and Feb. 17 at WorldNetDaily, complaining that Ben Carson hasn't yet been given a Senate vote on his nomination to be President Trump's secretary of housing and urban development. Williams dramatically wrote:
Instead the nominee for secretary of housing and urban development, Dr. Ben Carson, is held hostage to a partisan strategy of gridlock and delay. It’s not as though Carson hasn’t been thoroughly vetted by Senate Democrats. Or that they have expressed substantive reasons to oppose his nomination. Prior to his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee over one month ago, the nominee spent days visiting with committee members from both parties – even though he only needed the votes of the majority – answering questions and demonstrating respect for their important role in confirming presidential nominees. At the hearing, Dr. Carson patiently and thoroughly answered questions from Democrats and Republicans for hours. Not a single Democrat announced opposition, and on Jan. 24 every Democrat on the committee, including leading progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Sherod Brown, voiced their support for Carson through a unanimous voice vote of approval.
Yet the Democratic leadership refuses to follow the lead the key committee and allow an up or down vote by the full Senate.
But Williams failed to disclose one key fact: he's Carson's business manager. According to The Hill, the two reportedly have a "brother-like" relationship, talking on the phone several times a day.
But any mention of Armstrong's link to Carson is buried in the bio for Armstrong on the respective sites. The final sentence of WND's drop-down Armstrong bio states that "Williams is a longtime confidante of Dr. Ben Carson," while the lengthy bio for Williams at Newsmax waits until the sixth paragraph (!) to reference Carson -- but only through noting that Williams is a board member of Carson's scholarship fund.
One shouldn't have to be shunted to a bio page to have this conflict of interest disclosed -- Williams should have done so in his column, and Newsmax and WND should have made sure of that before publishing it. Williams (and WND and Newsmax) shouldn't presume that everyone knows about his relationship with Carson.
Then again, Williams has a problem with playing fast and loose with such things. In 2005, it was revealed that he was paid to promote the Bush adminstration's "No Child Left Behind" policies on his TV and radio programs but failed to disclose the payments to his listeners and viewers.
MRC Develops Shepard Smith Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just hates it when Fox News' Shepard Smith fails to toe the right-wing line like the rest of the other Fox News hosts.
Note the freakout the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro had in a Feb. 16 post, which can only be described as Shepard Smith Derangement Syndrome:
Trump’s tongue lashing of the media had Fox News’ Shepard Smith frothing at the mouth with anger as he accused the President with a dubious smear during his show. “Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia the same day it was happening and we're fools asking the questions,” he shouted with claims no report had ever made.
“No, sir, we're not fools for asking this question and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people,” Smith continued to yell. But no report had ever made the claim that Trump’s campaign staff was on the phone with Russian intelligence “the same day” the hacks were happening.
Un-ironically, Smith chastised the president for spewing “demonstrably, unquestionably, 100 percent, opinion aside, false” statements.
While we don't know the details of the specific accusation Fondacaro claims Smith is making, we do know that, according to Reuters, Michael Flynn, Trump's national security adviser for a few weeks, held five phone calls with Russia's ambassador to Washington on the day President obama retaliated for Moscow's interference in the presidential election. That may be what Smith was referring to.
How ironic that the MRC is demanding nothing but total fidelity to the facts from Smith while it's bashing anyone who demands the same to Trump.
Fondacaro then goes on to serve up more hypocrisy by demanding something conservatives wouldn't grant when it came to investigations into Hillary Clinton's email server -- wait for the FBI to finish their investigation:
True, [Trump and Russia] is an important issue that needs to be answered. But flying off the handle into hyperbole and spouting off lies does little to help the situation, and only serves to exacerbate tensions. The FBI is investigating their communications so there will be an answer to the press’s questions one way or another.
Of course, the MRC wouldn't wait when it promoted the fake news before the election (courtesy of Smith's Fox News co-worker, Bret Baier) that an FBI indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent. The MRC had no problem flying off the handle into hyperbole and spouting off lies back then. And the MRC couldn't stop ranting about how the FBI couldn't be trusted after James Comey's initial decision not to charge Clinton.
But now we're supposed to trust the FBI on Trump and Russia. Funny how the MRC's view of justice is driven not by facts but solely by politics.
As we've noted, Obama Derangement Syndrome continues to ooze from the Media Research Center despite President Obama's departure from office.
The latest example is from the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, where Michael Morris wrote in a Feb. 17 post:
Unlike former President Barack Obama, who spent valuable time filling out NCAA Tournament brackets with ESPN every year of his presidency, sitting President Donald Trump has “respectfully declined” to fill out a 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket on ESPN.
“We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket,” stated ESPN network. “They have respectfully declined.”
How did Morris become the judge of how Obama purportedly wasted his "valuable time" as president? Morris needs to give up the shade-throwing and join Matt Philbin in getting professional help for their Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Morris didn't mention that Trump was spending his presumably equally "valuable time" as president partying at Mar-a-Lago.
WND's Jihad Against Keith Ellison Continues Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has been regularly smearing Rep. Keith Ellison as a secret Muslim tool or something since his name came up as a possible Democratic National Committee chairman. How have those smears been going?
He was put into office by dedicated communists. He supported the dissolution of the United States to create an ethnostate only for blacks. He’s been the biggest defender of the Muslim Brotherhood in Congress.
And, now, he’s poised to take over one of America’s two major political parties.
He’s Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. And he’s one of “The Enemies Within” profiled in Trevor Loudon’s explosive new documentary of that name.
That would be the same anti-communist foreigner Trevor Loudon who's beloved by far-right fringers like Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid.
The anonymous WND writer also called upon WND author and Muslim-hater Philip Haney to fearmonger that "it is indisputable Ellison is closely aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, its front groups and its ideological goals." It's left unstated exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood even is, let alone what its purported "ideological goals" are.
WND anonymously rehashed its attacks in a Feb. 16 article, insisting that "a great deal of evidence indicates Ellison an operative for the Muslim Brotherhood." The anonymous writer also quoted WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson -- who has no known expertise on either Islam or Democratic politics to furthe smear Ellison: "Ellison is a dangerous individual. He is not an acceptable candidate to be chair of the DNC. He is so far out of the mainstream that he shouldn’t be in Congress and should be charged and prosecuted for sedition."
This anonymous writer even called upon WND's favorite race-baiter, Colin Flaherty -- who's been scarce around these parts since Google threatened to pull its advertising from WND due to his obsession with "black mob violence" -- to make a race-related smear against Ellison:
“If black people want to support Ellison because he is the major black candidate, well, I suppose it is their privilege to support someone whose only claim to fame is that he hates America,” he said. “This guy is a disaster on every level. His prominence is a clarion call for people who reject racial preferences, big government and promotion of Islam. The fact that large numbers of people find him an acceptable candidate is just about as alarming as anything we can point to today.”
While Flaherty regards David Duke as a marginal figure and his endorsement of no importance, he does see similarities between Duke and Ellison.
“If someone wanted to make a moral equivalence between Duke and Ellison, that would be a great idea,” he said. “An obvious idea. Which makes it all the stranger that so few people draw the parallel.”
That's how desperate WND is to hurl any and every smear at Ellison. That, and the fact that WND's reporter won't put his or her name on the smears -- contradicting editor Joseph Farah's claim that "WND reports openly and honestly, listing publicly who’s who."
Two-Month-Old Speculation About Trump's Greatness Is Suddenly News At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell once whined about speculation being presented as news, but his own "news" division, CNSNews.com, has no problem doing it.
Yet another example of this is a Feb. 17 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who finds a two-month-old CNN clip suddenly newsworthy because in it, Robert Kennedy Jr. says that Donald Trump "could be the greatest president in history if he wanted to." For video, Chapman includes only the 15-second segment of RFK Jr.'s CNN appearance in which he makes that claim.
Chapman made sure to note that RFK Jr. is a "liberal Democrat" -- but not that he shares with Trump a love of medically unfounded skepticism about vaccines.
If there was any news value in RFK Jr.'s words -- and there isn't; it's nothing but pure talking-head speculation -- Chapman would have reported them when they were originally said. Waiting two months to report them, as Chapman did, feels like a desperation tactic, as if Chapman must publish a daily quota of pro-Trump articles at CNS to make his bosses happy.
That would be worthy of mention for most journalists, but Chapman isn't a journalist -- he's a right-wing propagandist. While he can easily throw RFK Jr. under the bus -- he is a "liberal Democrat," after all -- the idea that his beloved Trump shared his medically unsound views can't be given the light of day at his website.
A few days later, Chapman followed that up with even more slobbering specuation about Trump's potential greatness, this time quoting right-wing sheriff David Clarke claiming that Trump "has the chance to be the Winston Churchill of the 21st century."
Chapman also rather hilariously quoted Clarke saying of Trump: ""And so, he is the president of all people. That doesn't mean all people have to like him, but all people must respect him as the 45th president of the United States." Chapman didn't mention how many times he and CNS have quoted Clarke spewing his disrespect for the 44th president of the United States.
NEW ARTICLE -- WND's Bashful Birthers, Part 2: Bashful No More Topic: WorldNetDaily
Donald Trump's election made it OK for WorldNetDaily to be loud-and-proud birthers again -- and to help Joe Arpaio peddle more findings from his incompetent "cold case posse." Read more >>
Thing is, one of the "jabs" really wasn't one -- even Houck and Whitlock conceded it was just "eyebrow-raising." That would be the exchange between Trump and reporter April Ryan, in which Trump asked the black reporter if she would set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Houck and Whitlock had no futher comment beyond irrelevantly and baselessly claiming that Ryan is a "liberal reporter."
Despite widespread criticism of Trump over the exchange for his apparent racial insensitivity, the MRC said nothing further about it. Given that the MRC is devoted to reflexively supporting Trump, that's not exactly eyebrow-raising.
At the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, it was a different story. Entertainer Charlie Daniels weighed in with his own alternative-facts explanation of what happened in a Feb. 17 column:
Reporter April Ryan asked the president if he intended to include the Black Congressional Caucus in his plans to help the inner cities. He replied that he'd been trying to set up a meeting with Elijah Cummings and that Cummings wouldn't meet with him for political reasons, whereupon he said in tongue-in-cheek fashion "Would you like to set up a meeting?" It was an obvious facetious remark meaning, "I've tried, do you want to give it a shot?"
Daniels can't actually know any of that, of course; he's just spinning for Trump to clean up after him the way the rest of the MRC is.
WND Columnist Pretends He's Not Bashing Transgenders Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown tries to portray himself has a reasonable person among the anti-gay right -- but he does tend to relapse. For instance, Brown writes in his Feb. 15 column about transgenders:
I’m aware, of course, that there are people who struggle deeply with gender identity issues, people who find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to which bathroom or locker room to use, people who are doing their best to fit in and ignore the people looking at them as if they were some kind of freak.
As I’ve said many times before, I do not minimize their struggles, and I long to see them find true and lasting wholeness.
Yet Brown is all too willing to trade in transgender stereotypes -- that transgenders are nothing but cross-dressing boys wanting to perv on girls in the bathroom -- to pander to his right-wing audience. This what he writes immediately before the above sympathetic words:
Let’s say that 16-year-old John identifies as a girl but is heterosexual, and he wants to play on the girls’ sports team and share their bathrooms, locker rooms and shower stalls (a “right” for which the Obama administration fought vigorously). That means that John, who perhaps wants to be called Jane, will still be attracted to girls – the very ones he’ll be playing with and undressing with and showering with.
This doesn’t mean he’s a sexual predator. It just means that he’s a male teenager, naturally attracted to females, which is one reason why he’s supposed to use the boys’ bathroom, locker room and shower stalls.
Yet to say this is to be transphobic and insensitive.
Similarly, let’s say that 30-year-old Charlie, who identifies as Charlene but remains a biological, heterosexual male, wants to change in the ladies’ locker room at the YMCA. This means that Charlie will be checking out the ladies there, since he’s heterosexual, and if the women complain to management that they feel uncomfortable, they will be branded troublemakers.
And most of Brown's column is focused on a transgender convicted of murder in the United Kingdom; he's irked that the media refers to the criminal by her gender identity rather than her male biology and makes a big deal out of how the prisoner had to be "moved from a female prison for allegedly having sex with the female inmates."
He huffs at the beginning of his column, "Welcome to the world of transanity"; he concludes, "This societal madness must stop. There must surely be a better way."
Does this sound like someone who's not minimizing transgender struggles? Doesn't it sound instead like someone who has no problem exploiting those struggles for the salacious and hateful purview of his right-wing WND audience?
MRC Transgender Freakout Watch, Laverne Cox Edition Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is ratherprone to transgenderfreakouts, and it's having another one, induced by transgender actor Laverne Cox getting a starring role as a transgender lawyer in the new TV series "Doubt," thanks to Alexa Moutevelis Coombs' Feb. 16 post.
After quoting Cox's character saying, "I’m a woman, but I used to be a man," Coombs huffed, "Sorry, but there is no 'used to be.' As much as you change your outside appearance, you can't change your chromosomes." Coombs then quoted two of the most transphobic doctors around to back her up.
The first, Joseph Berger, is so extreme that even the highly anti-LGBT National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality distanced itself from his views. The other, Paul McHugh, has been thoroughly discredited, as we've noted. The fact that Coombs repeats their lengthy titles -- Berger is "a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada," McHugh is "former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry" -- is a sad attempt to play the authority card.
But Coombs wasn't done whining. She went on to complain that "To further force this down our throats, they are also planning some transgender sex scenes between Cox and a man<' to which she shrieked: "Sorry, but I am in NO WAY interested in the 'nitty gritty' of what goes on between a man and a transgender woman!"
Coombs concluded by grousing that "There is no DOUBT that this show will be a liberal social justice warrior's dream, and a nightmare for the rest of us."
Attacking TV shows that don't conform to the MRC's narrow right-wing agenda is what MRC writers like Coombs are getting paid to do.
WND Publishes Another Piece of Fake News Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's oddly defensive war over "fake news" is continuing -- the latest is a Feb. 19 article by Chelsea Schilling attacking fact-checking organizations for either calling out WND or failing to be a right-wing group.
One name not on WND's list: ConWebWatch. That's because we back up our work ... and Joseph Farah and Co. know that we can cite chapter and verse of the fake news WND has published.
And -- oh, hey, look, another chapter!
On Feb. 13, WND copied-and-pasted an article from the right-wing Gatestone Institute (which pushes the idea of "civilization jihad" embraced by Muslim-hating WND reporter Leo Hohmann) claiming that "German authorities are investigating reports that dozens of Arab men sexually assaulted female patrons at bars and restaurants in downtown Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve 2016" in which "mobs of migrants harassed women in a 'rape game.'"
Just one problem: It didn't happen.
The Washington Post reports that German police found that the allegations were fabricated and possibly driven by anti-immigrant sentiment, and those making the allegations may now face charges.
This story was debunked pretty quickly -- a solid week ago -- yet WND's article remains live and uncorrected as of this writing, and we could find no separate WND article admitting the accusations were bogus. Even the Gatestone Institute article that WND copied-and-pasted has been completely scrubbed of any reference to the alleged incident and is now a lengthy screed about "Germany's Migrant Rape Crisis."
Again, WND's completely discredited article is still live and uncorrected. In case WND does exhibit a trace of journalistic integrity, here's a copy of it:
UPDATE: WND columnist Caleb Stephen picked up on the bogus story as well in his Feb. 15 column, asserting that "On New Year’s Eve last year, dozens of Muslim men sexually assaulted female patrons at bars and restaurants in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. His column also remains uncorrected.
Newsmax's Ruddy Chillin' With Trump -- And Michael Savage Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has longbeen a buddy of Donald Trump -- close enough to the president that they hang out together at Mar-a-Lago. Over the weekend, we got treated to how thte lovefest is continuing, courtesy of right-wing radio host Michael Savage:
Ruddy's on the left; Savage is second from right.
Savage is the paranoid conspiracy theorist who laughably claimed, among many other things, that President Obama was engaging in "genocide" against white people.
If Ruddy is trying to create more credibility for his website, being pictured with Savage is not the way to do it. Nor is spending so much time hanging with Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been a favorite at WorldNetDaily for his ability to piss off liberals. In July, for instance, then-WND writer Jerome Corsi devoted a lengthy article to Yiannopoulos in the wake of his permanant ban from Twitter, dutifully transcribing his thoughts on the election, "his antipathy for Clinton, the reasons he supports Trump and his vision for the future as Millennials emerge to reshape politics over the next few decades."
Corsi gave Yiannopoulos ample space to promote himself, declaring that "Milo made clear to WND he had given considerable thought to constructing his political persona," claiming that he "preferred to emulate what he understood was Madonna’s approach to her career" -- "Madonna is not the best at anything, but she is above average with everything" -- rather than "the star who is the best at what they do, better than anybody else on the planet. And they tend to be very damaged people, like Amy Winehouse, or whatever. They crash and burn very early. They have transcendent gifts, but with their genius goes the madness." Corsi added that "Milo made clear he is preparing for a long and successful career."
WND, however, tried to soft-pedal this news as much as possible. A Feb. 20 article by Cheryl Chumley on the Yiannopoulos video -- apparently back at WND as a freelancer -- was headlined "Media paint Milo as defender of pedophilia" (which got demoted to the subhead after her story was updated to reflect events). But the Yiannopoulos story was not driven by "the media" -- the video was first touted on the Twitter account called the Reagan Batallion in reaction to his CPAC invite, not "the media" outside the conservative bubble. Even Chumley herself doesn't blame "the media" in her article -- the only non-conservative media figure she cites is CNN's Jake Tapper -- instead citing a "social-media backlash" against Yiannopoulos.
But Chumley did couch her words, claiming the video showed Yiannopoulos "supposedly defending pedophilia" and reprinted his "full Facebook rebuttal to all the fury." She also embedded the "videos critics say show Milo Yiannopoulos 'defending pedophilia'" (note the scare quotes around "defending pedophilia," like WND insists on putting around "gay").
WND would not have treated as well a liberal accused of the same offense.
CNS Revels In Trump's Anti-Media Tirades Topic: CNSNews.com
President Trump's Feb. 16 press conference lasted for more than an hour, but all CNSNews.com was interested in reportoing on was Trump's incessant bashing of the media for not being fawning enough of him.
The first two articles CNS published after the presser touted Trump's media bashing:
The CNS writer who most fully reveled in Trump's media hate, though, is blogger Craig Bannister. One blog post highlighted Trump's attack on CNN in which he told reporter Jim Acosta to "ask Jeff Zucker [head of CNN] how he got his job." "Was this a message meant for Acosta only, or was Trump throwing it out there, hoping someone would pick up on it and investigate?" Bannister asked, suggesting that "There’s something shady in the circumstances of Zucker’s hiring."
Another Bannister post celebrated how "Trump accused the media of publishing 'fake news' 17 times – about once every four minutes. But, he also blamed the media’s fake news on their 'hatred' of him on eight different occasions." The headline hammered Bannister's approval home: "Trump: 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' “Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred,' 'Hatred'."