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Saturday, April 15, 2017
MRC Heathers More Anti-Trump Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

It's not just Jennifer Rubin: It seems that any conservative who dares to be critical of Donald Trump has earned the opportunity to be Heathered by the Media Research Center.

One of those is Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes. Years ago, the MRC came to Sykes' defense after another radio host made a nasty remark about the death of Sykes' mother in a house fire. Back when the MRC was anti-Trump in early 2016, it noted that Sykes conducted a tough interview with Trump.

But the MRC flip-flopped and boarded the Trump train, while Sykes didn't. Cue the Heathering.

In a Feb. 8 post, Curtis Houck called Sykes a "former conservative host" and complained that he appeared on MSNBC "to lambaste conservative media (like the one you’re reading) for being why no one trusts mainstream media in the age of Trump and alternative facts" and launched "an exclusive attack on conservatives for supposedly enabling President Trump to offer misstatements without consequences." Houck also complained that Sykes wrote a piece on the subject for the New York Times, which "sent liberals swooning."

Houck doesn't refute anything Sykes wrote or said; instead, he whines that Sykes had purportedly "fail[ed] to realize that he’s joined an echo-chamber in which Manhattan elites sit around reading The New York Times and The New Yorker while watching The Daily Show," then lamely blamed the "mainstream media" for starting all of this: "If Sykes wants to blame conservatives for simply pointing out the faults of the mainstream media, perhaps he should instead emphasize that legacy media should think twice before concocting untrue narratives or going forward with stories without sufficient fact-checking."

Houck offered some backhanded praise for Sykes in a March 29 post, claiming that in another appearance on MSNBC he "took time away from being the token right-of-center guest who agrees with his liberal colleagues on everything to push back on these praises for Obama’s environment moves in the last eight years."

On April 5, Brad Wilmouth grumbled that Sykes "took aim at President Trump" over his actions in Syria.

Wilmouth further trashed Sykes in an April 9 post, calling him "an alleged conservative guest for the purpose of having him bolster the views of the liberal host rather than provide a contrarian point of view." This time, though, it was over Sykes' telling the truth about Milwaukee County sheriff and right-wing darling David Clarke, whom Sykes said was using his uniform as a prop to push his political ambitions while being AWOL from his day job.

Another conservative who has gotten the Heathering treatment from the MRC is libertarian P.J. O'Rourke, who earned the scorn of Nicholas Fondacaro in a March 15 post by nothing that Trump is "a giant toddler and there's nothing going around inside his head except, you know, when do I get to suck my thumb next?" Fondacaro complained that the "toddler" insult is "nothing original" and "low hanging fruit," and huffed: "It’s difficult to determine what’s worse: their raging disdain for the President of the United States or their utter lack of creatively [sic] in their jokes."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
WND's Hohmann Freaks Out Over Another Muslim Politician
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last year, chief WorldNetDaily Muslim-hater Leo Hohmann went into freakout mode over a Muslim politician clinching a seat in the Minnesota legislature.

It's a new year, there's a new Muslim politician, and it's time for Hohmann to freak out again:

The Democratic Party may have found its next Barack Obama.

His name is Dr. Abdul el-Sayed, he’s a 32-year-old medical doctor and he recently launched his campaign for governor of Michigan, the election for which is in November 2018. If he wins he would be America’s first Muslim governor.

He speaks articulately, without an accent, inserts humor into his speeches at seemingly just the right moments, and he has the full backing of America’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood-linked network of Islamic organizations.


Sayed is highly educated, a Rhodes scholar who attended Oxford University in 2009 and became a practicing epidemiologist.


Sayed is the recipient of several research awards, including being named one of the Carnegie Council’s Policy Innovators. He created and taught the Mailman School’s first-ever course on systems science and population health. He co-edited a textbook on the topic published in 2017 by Oxford University Press entitled “Systems Science and Population Health.”

So Hohmann is upset that al-Sayed "speaks articulately, without an accent"? Shades of what conservatives liked to mock Joe Biden for saying about Barack Obama.

And because Hohmann is having trouble thinking of things to criticize al-Sayed about -- he simply can't knock the fact that el-Sayed is a fully assimilated second-generation immigrant -- he has to play the Muslim card and mention the dark specter of a purported link to the Muslim Brotherhood (a link he does not substantiate, by the way).

He also has to rely on a fellow anti-Muslim activist in Michigan, Dick Manasseri, who helps him toss out unsubstantiated attacks on el-Sayed: "Any Republican would be afraid to confront him on his Muslim Brotherhood connections or his views on Shariah. ... He is a devout Shariah-compliant guy, and I would predict that he will be endorsed by the Catholic Church, which is very powerful in Michigan."

And, of course, all this proclaiming el-Sayed to be the next Obama indirectly perpetuates another right-wing conspiracy theory: that Obama is a secret Muslim. Nice dog whistle there, Leo.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Friday, April 14, 2017
MRC Bashes Anita Hill Yet Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's obsessive hatred for Anita Hill pops up yet again in an April 7 post by Scott Whitlock, in which he attacks the Washington Post for publishing an op-ed by Hill on the Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment scandal. Whitlock huffed that Hill is a "partisan" who "accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment and excused Bill Clinton’s actions."

Whitlock refers only obliquely to O'Reilly's scandal, keeping O'Reilly's name a full paragraph away from the words "sexual harassment."Instead, he nurses his employer's grudge, whining that "Hill’s outrage at sexual misconduct is rather selective. On September 28, 1998, she came to the defense of Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal." He then quoted his boss, Tim Graham ranting that Hill "comically pretended not to know that Lewinsky came up in a sexual harassment case brought by Paula Jones."

But Graham and Whitlock seem to have forgotten that Clinton was not being impeached over the Jones case but, rather, over his affair with Lewinsky.

Whitlock concluded by grumbling: "To recap Hill’s contention: Accusations against conservatives and Republicans warrant swift actions. Accusations against liberal Democrat Bill Clinton are no big deal. It’s no wonder why the Post turned to her for an op-ed on O’Reilly." Of course, the situation Whitlock reductively describes is the complete opposite for his employer -- which is why you've read virtually nothing about the O'Reilly scandal at the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
WND Touts Fake Historian's Attack on 'Fake History'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer states in an April 6 article:

These days, everyone knows about “fake news” and the false narratives pushed by the liberal media. But what about “fake history” pushed by the liberal public school system?

For example, certain lies are endlessly repeated about Thomas Jefferson, perhaps this country’s most mysterious Founding Father.

Among the most infamous is the claim he fathered children with his slave Sally Hemings, a charge that has never been proven.

Nonetheless, on the March 7 edition of “The CBS Evening News,” Chip Reed declared Jefferson’s affair with Hemings was “widely accepted by historians.”

Fortunately, there’s now an alternative for parents who want their children to learn the truth about American history. David Barton, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Jefferson Lies” and the founder of WallBuilders, has created “A Republic, If You Can Keep It.”

“A Republic, If You Can Keep It” is a full curriculum about government for use by homeschooling parents or anyone in public or private schools.

In fact, most historians -- and the keepers of Jefferson's Monticello estate -- do believe Jefferson fathered children with Hemings. So CBS was engaged in accurate reporting, not "fake history,"  when it made that statement.

WND makes sure to not point out the irony that Barton -- who wrote a book on Jefferson that included numerous inaccuracies to the extent that its original publisher pulled it from the market, though WND kept selling it -- is presenting himself as the only true source on Jefferson.

(Interestingly, Barton's statement about Jefferson and Hemings has been downgraded from a February article in which he called it a "lie"; now, apparently, it has merely "never been proven."

The only reference to that is a mid-article promo for Barton's "The Jefferson Lies," which WND re-published last year while spending more time attacking Barton's critics than actually doing much fixing of its inaccuracies. The promo dramatically states, "Read the book which a fanatic media offensive pulled from publication – now available once again only from WND."

WND also complained that "Right Wing Watch, a website sponsored by the left-wing group People for the American Way, dismissed Barton as a 'Religious Right pseudo-historian' with a 'God-filled government curriculum.'" But WND doesn't rebut the claim, instead letting Barton blather on about how "Historical ignorance in America is rampant."

And historical ignorance is exactly what people will be getting if they listen to Barton. Just this week, blogger Chris Rodda caught Barton doctoring a Jefferson quote and misrepresenting its meaning.

WND is also silent about another dubious Barton claim, that he possesses an earned doctorate. In fact, one doctorate we know he has is honorary, and another doctorate he claims to have is apparently from a diploma mill.

This is the guy WND says is going to correct all that "fake history"? He has to clean up his own first.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 14, 2017 12:30 AM EDT
Thursday, April 13, 2017
CNS Editor Discloses (One) Conflict of Interest In Pushing Malkin's Crusade
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey devoted an April 6 blog post to rehashing a crusade his website and and its Media Research Center parent have been pushing recently:

CRTV’s “Michelle Malkin Investigates” and ABC’s “20/20” have both produced reports on the criminal investigation and conviction of former Oklahoma City Policeman Daniel Holtzclaw. But Malkin’s report brought to light some facts and questions that “20/20” did not.

Creators Syndicate Chairman Rick Newcombe, having viewed both reports, wrote a column that published on March 27, pointing to the serious questions Malkin’s report raised.

Surprisingly, Jeffrey did include a bit of disclosure at the end of his post: "Disclosure: Creators Syndicate publishes Terence P. Jeffrey’s column."

That's the least of the disclosures Jeffrey should have made, and not just because we (and you) weren't aware until now that Creators syndicated Jeffrey's column. As we pointed out, Creators also syndicates the column ostensibly written by his boss, Brent Bozell, and Newcombe rushed to Bozell's defense when the truth slipped out that Bozell's column was actually written by his lieutenant, Tim Graham. Malkin's weekly column is also published twice by the MRC, at CNS and at NewsBusters

In other words: It still looks a bit like some kind of quid pro quo is going on here, and Jeffrey and Bozell should fully disclose their business relationship with Malkin and Creators before writing about this story any further.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
Another WND Columnist Peddles Lies About Planned Parenthood, Sanger
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the long, long tradition of WorldNetDaily writers spreading lies about Planned Parenthood and founder Margaret Sanger, Carl Jackson made his own contribution in his April 7 WND column:

Abortion is inherently racist. Many of you already know that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and creator of the Negro Project (a program designed to sterilize unknowing black women), hoped to rid the earth of those she deemed “undesirables.” It’s no wonder that 78 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are in the ‘hood, according to Black

As Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler points out, Sanger's Negro Project was about educating black women about birth control, not forcing sterilization on them. And while Sanger was a eugenicist -- a popular ideology during much of her lifetime -- there's no evidence she was especially racist or thought that blacks were "undesirables" simply because of their race.

We've previously discredited Jackson's assertion that "78 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are in the ‘hood"; actually, a majority of them are located in white neighborhoods.

And WND complains about being labeled as "fake news" while it continues to publish such falsehoods?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 PM EDT
MRC: Don't Blame Ailes for Fox News' Culture of Sexual Harassment
Topic: NewsBusters

Matt Norcross -- who fancies himself to be the "Carolina Culture Warrior" -- has a new post at the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog attacking the idea of CBS-owned Showtime making a miniseries about Roger Ailes' final days as head of Fox News.

Norcross complains that the series "will draw on reporting from far-left New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who had several major scoops related to the sexual harassment scandal that led to Ailes’ ouster last summer." At no point does Norcross support his assertion that Sherman is "far-left" (another example of the MRC indiscriminately tossing around the descriptor) beyond him reporting on Fox News, and even then he offers no evidence Sherman has ever gotten anything wrong.

Norcross then grumbles:

One of the reasons you know this is going to be a hit-piece on the only news organization that – unlike CBS – reports stories that Middle America cares about, such as political corruption, illegal immigration, and terrorism threats from radical Islamists. Another reason is because one of the writers and executive producers is Tom McCarthy, the director of the anti-Catholic film Spotlight.

Norcross' assertion that only Fox News covers  "political corruption, illegal immigration, and terrorism threats from radical Islamists" is stunningly ignorant, especially given that just a few days earlier on his own blog, he apologized for writing posts that were "over the top, and ... generalized a group of people" and said he would have to clean up his act in writing for the MRC.

Also, "Spotlight" was not "anti-Catholic" -- if it's anti-anything, it's anti-child abuse and anti-covering up said abuse. (The MRC whined about the film's mere existence.) It's "anti-Catholic" only in the sense that it was Catholic Church officials who were doing the covering up.

After noting that former Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson had lodged harrassment complaints against ailes, Norcross wrote: "To be fair to Carlson and Kelly, their cases against Mr. Ailes are chilling. No woman deserves to be treated like they say they were in the work place. With that said, Ailes was one person. And what he did should not be painted on the network as a whole."

Norcross hasn't been watching Fox News very closely, has he? Fox News was Ailes' brainchild, and it brought us innovations like female hosts in short skirts, the "leg cam" and, yes, a culture that clearly condoned sexual harassment. Ailes created all of this, so it's nonsensical to separate him from it and dismiss his behavior as the work of a mere employee.

You know who else blames Ailes for all this? Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz, who explicitly states Fox News is trying to "change the culture" post-Ailes.

Norcross curiously doesn't mention Bill O'Reilly's history of paying millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment claims, even though that's very much in the news right now and something that was obviously condoned under Ailes.

Norcorss added: "Before she signed off from her job to join NBC, Kelly actually thanked the network, and even said that her colleagues were like a second family to her, especially the Murdochs – the controlling family of parent company 21st Century Fox." As if that somehow made Ailes' alleged harassment of her all better.

Norcross then ranted:

CBS, Showtime, Tom McCarthy, and others are still furious that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. As a result, they are taking it out on the majority of the American public they are supposed to cater towards, and especially the only major news organization that had the courage to cover it all without favor or prejudice.

Hollywood has now proven itself as doing anything it can to destroy the conservative movement in the United States, including the one news network that treats it without prejudice.

Norcross forgets that if Fox News didn't have this extensively documented culture of sleaze and harassment, there would be no miniseries to make.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
WND's Kinchlow Still Smearing People on Welfare
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last month, we caught WorldNetDaily columnist Ben Kinchlow repeating a bogus right-wing meme to smear people on welfare as lazy. He does something similar again in his April 2 column:

I saw a statistic last week about the black community, and it gave me a moment’s pause. At first, I was shocked. But after consideration, I realized it was a natural reaction to something. What was it?

Well, I’ll give you some information and then ask the question again. Let’s see if you come up with the same answer I did.

Suppose you are a young man, about 19 years old, and an old gentleman comes up to you and says: “I’m your rich relative. I have more money than you can count, and I will pay you for every baby you can make by as many different women as you can.”

“Really?!” You ask. “What’s the catch?”

He replies: “No catch. All you have to do is make the babies, and I will support them until they are 18 years of age. My only requirement is that you never live with any of the mothers, and you never contribute a dime of support to any of your children. In fact, if you try and take responsibility, I won’t help you. But, as long as you don’t lift a finger to help your child, I will feed them, clothe them, house them and give them full health care until they are 18.”

You ask, “How many times can I do that?”

“As often as you want,” he says.

You ask, “How many women?”

“As many as you can,” he responds. “Furthermore, I will give you so much cash assistance, food assistance, medical assistance and housing assistance that you actually will not be able to afford to take an entry-level job and continue to receive your benefits. If for some reason the mothers – your girlfriends – don’t qualify for assistance, or if you, or they, become addicted to drugs and alcohol, I would declare you disabled and give you a check every month to enable your addiction and help you pay for your drugs. However, if you try to get a job or any other additional help, I’ll cut off all your assistance. Now, tell me: How many babies can you make?”

Now you might be thinking: “That’s just plain ridiculous, Ben! No one would make a stupid offer like that!”

Really? Well, these policies are precisely the impetus of financial rewards for teenage pregnancies, illegitimacy and broken families.

The truth of the matter is, those promises are made to thousands of young men and women every day in this country. The rich relative is Uncle Sam, and the promise is welfare. The results of these policies are a dramatic rise in teenage pregnancies, the illegitimacy rate and single-parent families, never mind the startling breakdown of the classic American family.

We haven't been able to figure out yet where chain email he lifted this from but no, Ben, that's not how welfare works. The father can be held accountable for child support -- indeed, they're legally obligated to do so. And as even Time magazine points out: "There are fewer pariahs more deeply loathed by society at large than the deadbeat dad, the fully-grown man, who, having had his fun, abandons his responsibilities."

Kinchlow goes on to blame Great Society-era programs of "agenda of welfare state programs that also included Medicare and the Department of Housing and Urban Development" for all of this.

Kinchlow has a very cynical view of his fellow blacks. That does serve his political agenda, though.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EDT
The Clinton Derangement Never Stops At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Even though the election ended several months ago, the Media Research Center has a lingering case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Scott Whitlock whined in an April 5 MRC post:

What a difference a day makes. CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King on Wednesday grilled Ivanka Trump on being “complicit” in her father’s administration, one that many are “very afraid” of. This contrasts to the fawning interview with another first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, on Tuesday. For that, fan girl King gushed over the younger Clinton’s political prospects: “Are you running? Are you running? Are you running?”


The interview, nearly 15 minutes over three segments, gave King time to hammer that question over and over: “Can you give us an example of something you disagree with [your dad] on and that you think by speaking up to him it made him change his position or soften his position?”

Citing those mysterious “critics” again, King pushed the Trump administration as scary: “There are critics who are very worried and very afraid. Who are concerned about the direction that country is going in. And what do you say to those people?”

In contrast, Chelsea Clinton on Tuesday endured no such grilling. Her mom’s private e-mail server never came up. The Clinton Foundation and its sketchy donor base never came up. Instead, Charlie Rose breathlessly wondered, “The question everybody wants to know, how is your mother?” He added, “Do you think [your mom] will run for public office again?” 

The difference, of course, is that Ivanka is serving as a key adviser to her father, the president; Chelsea served no such role for her mother and was not expected to had Hillary won the presidency.

Whitlock's bosses, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, expanded this fit of Clinton derangement into an entire column:

King channeled all the liberal outrage that Trump should be like a younger version of Hillary Clinton inside the White House, stopping everything that liberals don't like. She cited anonymous "critics" — i.e., the people she'd just spoken with down the hall at the water cooler — bemoaning her failure to foil the conservatives.


Now compare: The day before CBS launched into Trump, it offered a typically fawning interview to Chelsea Clinton. No one has ever asked Chelsea Dearest whether she was "complicit" in her father's sexual offenses, or "complicit" in her family's corrupt foundation, even though she's a vice chair. Put the emphasis on "vice."

Instead, America witnessed all the mandatory mewling over her wonderfulness. Will she run for president? King couldn't curb her enthusiasm. She said: "Is there anybody else in the Clinton household thinking about running? And by anybody, I mean you. You could take your book on the road while you're campaigning with 'Get Informed, Get Inspired, Get Going.' I feel like deja vu with your mom all over again. Are you running? Are you running? Are you running?"

Earth to CBS: The country just said no to a Clinton dynasty.

If "the country just said no to a Clinton dynasty,"w hy is the MRC insisting on obsessing about them still?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:59 PM EDT
WND Finds A Limit To Its Trump-Fluffing With Syria Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Media Research Center wasn't the only Trump-fluffing ConWeb outlet to find a limit for their love for Donald Trump in his missile attack on a Syrian military base in retaliation for the poison gas attack on civilians.

WND first gave a space for far-right radio host Michael Savage to go into freakout mode:

“Do you want war with Russia, all of you idiots, all of you fools who are pounding the war drums?” Savage said Thursday afternoon.

Calling himself a “conservative peacenik,” he said Democrats “have been poking the Russian bear since Trump won the election.”

“The constant accusations of them fixing our election is not making them friendly towards us in the least. And why are they doing it? Because Trump said he could work with them?”

But Savage said it “doesn’t stop there.”

“People in Trump’s own sphere are turning him towards the beating war drums,” he told his listeners. “Dems and the establishment GOP both handcuffed loyal Trump advisers like (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions, and now (House Intelligence Committee Chairman) Devin Nunes, to take themselves out of any investigations on the Russia conspiracy. Steve Bannon, a close adviser, is asked to step down from his NSC (National Security Council) role.

“Trump’s War” is available — autographed by Michael Savage — at the WND Superstore!

“Who got to you, Mr. President? Who is whispering in your ear and could have made you make this dramatic of a change towards Russia in just three days?” he asked.

WND editor Joseph Farah followed up with a column declaring: "I strongly disagree with President Trump’s decision to attack Syria. For starters, I don’t see any proof that Syrian President Bashar Assad was responsible for the sarin gas weapons detonation that prompted it." Farah is totally accepting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's claim that "denied it was his intent to kill civilians. Instead, he claims a bombing run to destroy a depot of ISIS sarin agents was the plan" at face value, adding, "Could it be true that the dispersion of the sarin agent was a mistake? Why not at least investigate the claim? The Trump administration says it has compelling video to make the case. Why not release it publicly?"

WND columnist Craige McMillan followed up by suggesting that the NSA is lying to Trump by blaming Assad for the gas attack because "The Deep State pledges allegiance only to itself. Nothing would please its allies more than to embroil America in another war."

WND also documented columnist Pat Buchanan lamenting (to Michael Savage, natch) that Trump "reacted emotionally, ineffectively and also unconstitutionally."

WND even did an unusually balanced article on the conflict among Trump's supporters. Which means WND can write balanced journalism if it actually cares to do so. Most of the time, however, it doesn't.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 8:50 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
MRC Splits on Trump Missile Attack on Syria
Topic: Media Research Center

We seem to have found the one thing where right-wing dissent on Trump is apparently permissible: President Trump's missile attack on Syria in retaliation for its gas attack on civilians.

The main part of the Media Research Center was in full rah-rah mode, offering implicit justification for Trump's actions:

  • Nicholas Fondacaro declared Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to be a "war criminal" and  howled that the " dictator ... killed dozens and wounded hundreds more in a chemical weapon attack on his own people. Fondacaro also called Assad a "butcher."
  • Curtis Houck called the gas attack "one of the worst atrocities this generation has ever seen " and mocked the idea that Trump's missile atack was a distraction from the growing controversy over links between Trump aides and Russia.
  • Scott Whitlock huffed that Assad "brutally massacred over 70 of his own people" in the midst of mocking ABC's BarbaraWalters for having said nice things about Assad nearly a decade ago, when he was not involved in a brutal civil war.
  • Kristine Marsh insisted it was "absurd" for "The View" co-host Joy Behar to claim that if Presidenet Obama had done the same thing, Republicans would have tried to impeach him.

But the tone was much different at the MRC's "news" division, It reposted to its front page a 2014 item on James Madison noting that the president should use military force without prior authorization from Congress only "to repel sudden attacks" (yes, Madison gets a byline, continuing CNS' absurd insistence on giving bylines to dead people) and a 2013 column by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey asserting that the president had no constitutional authority to launch military action in Syria when that president was Obama.

CNS also posted an April 10 column by the Cato Institute's Daniel Mitchell arguing that the U.S. shouldn't get involved in Syria and an April 11 column by Pat Buchanan making a similar anti-war argument.

So CNS is capable of being consistent on something after all, unlike, say, reporting on unemployment numbers.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EDT
WND's Farah Tires of Dealing With Fake News, Doesn't Commit to Stop Publishing It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldnetDaily editor Joseph Farah -- unironically, near as we can tell -- writes this in his March 31 column:

Do you know why people love “fake news”?

Do you know why so many “fake news” sites carry it?

Do you know why “fake news” goes viral in the form of emails spread all over the planet with a click of the “send” button?

Let me count the reasons:

  • It’s easier to make stuff up than report factually.
  • It gets clicks that turn into revenue for enterprising lazy sites.
  • Despite being untrue, it is fun, entertaining and often makes people feel good.

Yes, it’s frustrating for people like me who struggle to support actual news sites. It’s confusing, too, because when someone sends me one of these inviting “stories,” I usually wind up wasting at least a precious minute or two of my day determining its falsehood.

As with his previous rants about "fake news" and "conveniently forgetful news," Farah may just as well be writing about his own operation.

WND's reputation for publishing fake news is legion. In the past month alone, we've seen WND uncritically tout Andrew Napolitano's discredited conspiracy theory that British intelligence wiretapped Donald Trump's campaign at the behest of President Obama, and WND columnist Barbara Simpson either taking wildly out of context or completely fabricating quotes by Genocide Watch's Gregory Stanton to promote fears about a "genocide" of whites in South Africa. Both the "news" article and Simpson's column remain live and uncorrected at WND's website.

If Farah is tired of dealing with fake news, maybe he shouldn't publish so much of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:41 PM EDT
Who Is The MRC Gratuitiously Labeling 'Far-Left' Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center blogger Tom Blumer complains in a March 26 post:

Sadly, U.S. readers need to understand, and I daresay most don't, that reporters in Europe, including those for U.S.-based news outlets, routinely tag anyone who supports any form of border control — or, for that matter, advocates freer markets, or is prolife, or holds virtually any center-right view, i.e., what most people in the U.S. would consider "moderate" or "mainstream" — as "far-right." Meanwhile, the use of the term "far-left" is extraordinarily rare.

Blumer doesn't read his own website, does he?

As we've documented, the MRC is a leader in the gratuitous usage of "far-left," applying it to things that clearly are not (like the sports blog Deadspin). This fascination has continued in the past month since our previous compilation (with helpful added bolding):

  • Curtis Houck called MSNBC host Chris Matthews a "far-left pundit."
  • Houck also called Planned Parenthood a "far-left group."
  • Blumer himself ranted that Erica Groshen, head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics during the Obama administraiton, was a "far-left partisan." (In fact, the evidence to support Blumer's claim about Groshen is laughably scant.)
  • Brad Wilmouth declared Joy Reid to be a "far-left MSNBC host."
  • Blumer returned to complain about "far-left institutions of what used to be higher learning."
  • Houck claimed that David Cay Johnston is a "far-left journalist."
  • Blumer ranted that "decided to turn itself into a de facto online far-left, anti-Trump, political action platform."
  • James Powers called Les Leopold a "far left economic activist."
  • Wilmouth proclaimed Bill Maher to be a "far-left comedian."
  • Matt Norcross declared that Joshua Safran, creator and showrunner for the ABC show "Quantico,"  is a "far-left man."
  • Jay Maxson insisted that ESPN is "aligned with the Far Left."
  • Houck complained about the New York Times' alleged "Far-Left, Snarky Headlines Editorializing Against Trump."
  • Houck called Michelle Barnard a "far-left panelist."
  • MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted about the "far-left" media who are purportedly plotting to completely destroy Donald Trump’s administration.
  • Houck called Mother Jones a "far-left rag."
  • Wilmouth called Jeremy Scahill a "far-left journalist."
  • Houck called Phyllis Bennis a "far-left loon."
  • Norcross called Gabriel Sherman a "far-left New York magazine writer."

As we noted on our previous list, some of these people and things may legitimately be described as "far left," but most cannot be; they only look "far left" to people who are far on the right, like MRC employees and bloggers.

Blumer's rant over labeling was set off by Reuters calling France's Marine Le Pen a "far-right leader." Oddly, Blumer didn't dispute the labeling of Le Pen beyond his rant -- perhaps because there's plenty of evidence to back up the label.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:46 AM EDT
Monday, April 10, 2017
WND Still Pushing Dubious Fears About 'Genocide' of Whites in South Africa
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Alex Newman -- who likes to whitewash apartheid and the militancy of some white South Africans claiming to be victims -- is at it again.

In an effective rehash of a February article he wrote for WorldNetDaily, Newman in an April 1 WND article again tosses around the word "genocide" to describe the plight of white farmers in South Africa, even invoking Genocide Watch's Gregory Stantonto push the idea. But as our contact with Stanton made clear, while there are concerns about what is happening in the country, the situation for whites in South Africa is nowhere near genocide level, and the crime rate is much higher for South African blacks.

Newman's point is further hammered home with the headline "Murder rate for these white farmers 20 times international average"; Newman cites Pieter Groenewald, leader of the Afrikaaner-linked Freedom Front Plus party, as framing the murder of white farmers as "a staggering 133 per 100,000" compared with the "international average murder rate" of 7 per 100,000. Neither Newman nor Groenewald offer any evidence that backs up that dubiously cherry-picked statistic.

While South Africa does have a crime problem, it affects blacks much more than whites, who are still far less likely to be murdered than a black person.

Newman goes on to complain about "systematic efforts to discriminate against and destroy the minority community" in South Africa -- the "minority community" in question being whites. We suspect Newman is not terribly concerned about any non-white "minority communities" anywhere.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch

As she did last month, reporter Susan Jones' lead story on the new unemployment numbers touts the record number of people in the workforce. By contrast, Jones' unemployment reports under a Democratic president focused on how many people were not in the workforce.

Another thing Jones is doing under Trump that she largely failed to do under President Obama: explain why the workforce participation rate is so low. 

This is all to cover up the fact that only 98,000 jobs were created in March, which she didn't get around to mentioning until the fourth paragraph of her article and which even she had to concede was a disappointing number.

Jones also grumbled that "The Democrat Party [sic] is giving Donald Trump no credit for the good news in Friday’s jobs report," sneering that "The DNC is offended that Trump, a successful job-creator himself, has taken credit for tens of thousands of jobs saved or created on his watch." Jones doesn't mention that Trump played no role in creating most of those jobs.

The only sidebar, again, is CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey touting the creation of more manufacturing jobs while bemoaning that more government jobs were created as well. Unike his articles in the Obama era, though, the number of government jobs didn't make the headline.

AWOL again is CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman, whose job during the Obama era was to tell us the "real" unemployment rate and highlight the number of unemployed blacks.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:17 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 10, 2017 3:42 PM EDT

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