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Tuesday, April 25, 2017
CNS Now Shilling for the Pizza Industry

The fossil-fuel industry is not the only conservative-leaning business lobby for which will serve as a loyal stenographer. Craig Bannister writes in an April 17 CNS blog post:

Food chains like pizza retailers are warning that an Obamacare regulation set to kick in on May 5 will overwhelm customers, raise prices and bankrupt businesses.

A costly and burdensome 400-page regulation in the Affordable Care Act (Section 4205) is set to go into effect on May 5 requiring any “restaurant” with 20 or more locations to post in-store menu boards with separate nutrition information for every food item and combination served.

Bannister regurgitates talking points from industry lobbying groups the American Pizza Community, "which represents pizza companies like Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Dominos," and the Food Marketing Institute, "whose members operate 37,000 supermarkets." Bannister helpfully and editorializes -- something the "mainstream media" Bannister loves to criticize would never do -- by putting in underlined bold type key PR phrases "locally-produced products will be dropped" and "estimates the first-year cost of compliance at more than $1 billion."

Bannister fails to report, however, that the rules have been in the works for years, takeout-oriented chains like Domino's don't have to post calorie counts in-store, temporary items are exempt from disclosure, and other restaurant chains already comply with the standards.

Further, Bannister misstates the compliance costs. He uncritically repeats the FMI's claim that "the first-year cost of compliance at more than $1 billion"; in fact, as Media Matters notes, the Food and Drug Administration found that the $1 billion cost would actually be spread out over a 20-year period.

Bannister quotes nobody in support of the calorie disclosure rules, so slavishly is his devotion to being a stenographer to food industry interests.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 1:54 AM EDT
Monday, April 24, 2017
WND's Klayman Remains A Birther Dead-Ender
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Obama derangement refuses to die at WorldNetDaily. Larry Klayman spends his April 19 WND column reminding us that he's a birther dead-ender:

For over the last eight years, during President Barack Obama’s tenure, he steadfastly refused to release the original of his birth certificate when repeatedly questioned by many about his status as a “natural born citizen,” the constitutional criterion to be eligible to run for and be sworn in as president – and when he finally posted a “scanned version” a few years ago on the White House website, many forensic experts found it to be fraudulent.

As just one example, notwithstanding forensic analysis by other experts, my client Dennis Montgomery, a “computer wizard” and NSA/CIA whistleblower (see, found that the one posted by Obama’s White House was not genuine.

To this day, Obama has never released an original of his alleged Hawaiian birth certificate for further analysis. Leftist claims that this so-called “birther issue” is simply the result of “alt right racists,” of which President Trump, according to them, is a charter member (having early on questioned Obama’s place of birth), is empty and itself reverse racist rhetoric. The bottom line: The issue of the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate and status as a “natural born citizen,” ironically first raised by 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, was and remains, at least for the history books, a legitimate and unanswered issue, no matter how the left has played the race card by spinning it as a conspiracy by white racists.

Note that Klayman moved the goalposts to claim Obama never released "the original of his birth certificate." Of course, Obama released two birth certificates, but no evidence would have been good enough for die-hard birthers like Klayman. Hhis claim that "many forensic experts found it to be fraudulent" goes to a December WND article about the incompetent investigation by Joe Arpaio and his "cold case posse" chief Mike Zullo.

As far as Klayman's client, the "'computer wizard' and NSA/CIA whistleblower" (and alleged fraudster, but Klayman won't tell you that) Dennis Montgomery, goes, actual news outlets reported that Montgomery's birth certificate probe did not turn up "anything of value."

But Klayman is not done with his conspiracy theories:

Second, also during the 2008 presidential election period and throughout the eight years of his presidency, Obama refused to release medical records about his health. What could be more important for the American people to know than whether or not their commander in chief, the leader of the nation and the free world, is healthy and able to do his constitutional duty to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, and the American people as a whole?

Actually, reports:

During the 2008 campaign, Obama released summary medical information from his personal physician, who pronounced him to be in “excellent health” with routine test results for such things as cholesterol all within normal levels. (McCain, who is a cancer survivor and was 71 at the time, let reporters see his records for three hours to show he was cancer-free.)

Since taking office, Obama has followed the practice of earlier presidents. He released results of his first “periodic” physical exam on Feb. 28, 2010. Results of his second “periodic” exam were released Oct. 31, 2011. His physician described him as being “in excellent health and ‘fit for duty.'”

This appears to be much more than Donald Trump has released -- to date, just a one-page summary -- but Klayman won't tell you that either.

Klayman also reminds us that his continued Obama conspiracy-mongering is in service to distract us from the fact that Trump has refused to release his tax returns:

Whatever the reason for the president’s refusal, it is likely based on his real and documented perception that the leftist media would use his tax returns to continue to lie and divert attention from affairs of state and his Making America Great Again.


So when you turn on cable news and see these leftists continuing to riot – hopefully you will not find yourself in the middle of one – remember that this is not because they are genuinely concerned about the release of President Trump’s tax returns, no more than they were about Obama’s failure to disclose his original birth certificate or medical records. Instead, they have and will continue to look for any bogus pretext to destabilize the Trump presidency and to discredit conservatives, people of faith, libertarians and others who voted for and continue to support his quest to restore the 1776 vision of our Founding Fathers: freedom and not tyrannical socialism!

Needless to say (though Klayman won't), the whole point of the birther conspiracy was never about the Constitution and was always about trying to delegitimize and destabilize the Obama presidency.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:09 PM EDT
Hypocrisy At The MRC Over O'Reilly's Sexual Harassment
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell begin their April 21 column this way:

Fox News took Bill O'Reilly off the air after a heavy campaign to fire him led by CNN's media unit and The New York Times. If all the charges of sexual harassment are true, his case is indefensible. That said, it's time for his media critics to stand down. They are guilty of rank hypocrisy.

Hold it right there. Two guys who couldn't be bothered to say anything publicly about the accusations against O'Reilly until Fox News had safely fired him -- and after Graham had appeared on the final episode of O'Reilly's old show, renamed "The Factor" after O'Reilly's official departure, where even then he couldn't be moved to say a word about O'Reilly -- are accusing others of hypocrisy? It's as if Bozell and Graham care more about ensuring they continue to appear on Fox News in the future than speaking truth to power.

Graham and Bozell go on to play the Clinton Equivocation card, complaining about a Times editorial that "noted that Hillary Clinton had told a New Hampshire town hall questioner a month earlier that Juanita Broaddrick's tale of rape was not to be believed." Well, that's not exactly what happened; the Times editorial did note that Clinton responded to a question about whether Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones should also be believed -- but added that "Mrs. Clinton’s response was odd, and unhelpful."

The two also fail to mention that there's a good reason why Broaddrick's accusation has believability issues: she spent nearly two decades denying that any rape had taken place.

Graham and Bozell huffed that the Times editorial was in service of bashing Trump as "sexist and beyond the pale" for bringing up old Clinton stuff -- but then, they went even harder on the Clinton Equivocation when tales of sexual harassment against Trump began to surface late in the 2016 campaign. Bozell whined that "you did not get as much coverage of Juanita Broaddrick as you got on Donald Trump in 48 hours."

That's hypocrisy.

Speaking of which, Graham and Bozell weren't done with their hypocritical ranting:

On April 2, 2017, the Times published a 3,148-word front-page article lamenting "O'Reilly Thrives as Settlements Add Up." Reporters Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt declared that their investigation found five women who received payouts from either O'Reilly or Fox "in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million."

As they noted, the lion's share of that total came in a $9 million settlement from 2004. That was 13 years ago, but it didn't qualify as a "tired subject" or some "ancient scandal."

CNN relentlessly pushed for O'Reilly's dismissal, calling up advertisers and pressuring them to take commercials off their competition. Bashing O'Reilly dominated their Sunday show "Reliable Sources" for weeks and their "news" programming after their victory.

But two days after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998, CNN aired a town hall meeting titled "Investigating the President: Media Madness?"


Back then, it was "media madness" to investigate whether then-President Bill Clinton might be assaulting women in the workplace — the Oval Office. There was zero concern about a "culture of abuse" inside the White House. For good measure, CNN moved on to specials attacking special prosecutor Ken Starr for prudishly investigating where CNN and the rest of the press never wanted to go.


Women deserve a workplace where men don't harass them for sex. But that's not what these sanctimonious liberal journalists care about. It just doesn't matter how brutal the alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick was. What matters is that Bill O'Reilly had to go.

Bill Clinton is laughing.

Probably because he, like the rest of us, can see through the sanctimonious load of horsepuckey Graham and Bozell are serving up here.

Bozell and Graham have no problem with sexual harassment if a conservative or a Republican does it, and they cannot criticize a conservative's harassment on its own. They rant at length about Clinton's sex life at the slightest provocation, but they offer only a token one-word criticism about the terrible behavior of O'Reilly and Trump -- then rant about Clinton some more. Their outrage is driven by partisan politics, not by any sense of morality they claim to hold, which is why they give O'Reilly and Trump a pass. They're more mad that the media exposed O'Reilly's bad behavior than by the behavior itself.

And that is the biggest hypocrisy of all.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EDT
Dubious WND Doc Goes Godwin on Obamacare
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Dubious WorldNetDaily doc Lee Hieb goes there in her April 14 column, stretching really hard to play the Nazi card on Obamacare:

But all this has lead me to ask: Apart from atrocity experimentation on inmates, what was the Nazi health program?

For an in depth review there is no better source than “National Health Care: Medicine in Germany 1918-1945” by Marc Micozzi, M.D., written for the November 1993 Freeman magazine. Socialized medicine was inaugurated by Otto Von Bismarck to keep the German populace from voting for an even more socialist government. After World War I, the German government’s health-care system purposely discouraged private practice, for the express purpose of instituting universal coverage and standardization. Prevention of disease was emphasized over the treatment of disease, and doctors made a significant philosophic shift – from working solely for and in the interest of their patients, to working for the government and the collective good. Although they may not have realized the significance of this at the time, this shift was necessary for what followed under the Nazis. As Dr. Micozzi puts it, “Politicized medicine is not a sufficient cause of the mass extermination of human beings, but is seems to be a necessary cause.”

In the Weimar Republic, preventive medicine was successful in improving the overall health of the “volk.” But, as economic troubles began, predictably, the state-run health system was gutted until it provided little care, but lots of regulation. Efficiency and cost containment became the order of the day. When given a choice of treating the young producers or the non-productive elderly, imbeciles and disabled children, the government (using expert panels) chose care for the most productive.

Hieb is apparently referring to this article. She skips the part where Micozzi wrote that the Weimar health reforms "resulted in clearly improved public health," and that it was the Great Depression in the early 1930s that caused Weimar health care to go awry as well as pave the way for the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. But because Weimar-era health care dabbled in eugenics, this is somehow directly linked to the Nazi takeover, under which things went to lengths presumably never envisioned by Weimar officials -- never mind that that socialized medicine was introduced under Bismarck a full 50 years earlier.

Hieb then tries to pretend she's not going Godwln here by insisting, "No one is saying that Obama is Hitler ... but Obamacare is right out of the Weimar Republic." Hieb doesn't seem to understand the difference between the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany.

That's just ignorance. She also asserted that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger "believed in racial purification through abortion, segregation and forced sterilization" -- something for which there is little evidence (she was anti-abortion, was not particularly racist and the idea that the "feeble-minded" should be sterilized was a widespread belief of her era).

Hieb then wrote that "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg echoed Margaret Sanger when she said, 'Frankly, I thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations we don’t want too many of.' (Italics mine, scary words hers.)" That statement is taken out of context; in fact, Ginsburg was attributing that sentiment to others, not herself.

Hieb also claims that "In the Netherlands today, the No. 1 cause of death of children under 10 years old is euthanasia by a physician." She cites no evidence to back up this claim, a surprising one given that euthanasia is not permitted there for children under 12.She may be referring to claims that hundreds of babies are killed each year in the country, which have not been substantiated.

Hieb finally offers a closing rant:

Government medicine is evil. It makes citizens into dependent children, and it turns once-honorable doctors into tools of the state. Just ask yourself this: When you are in your sick bed, whom do you trust at your bedside – a private physician you have hired or a doctor sent from the government?

If the government doctor understands history (i.e., the difference between the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany) and prefers telling the truth to peddling malicious, politically motivated lies, then yes, we'd take the government doc.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Sunday, April 23, 2017
CNS Reporter Jones' Trump Stenography, By The Numbers

We've repeatedly highlighted reporter Susan Jones' eagerness to serve as a stenographer for the Trump campaign and, later, his administration. Here's another number to back that up.

One of the laziest things a reporter can do is write a single-source story that simply repeats what someone said. If all you're doing is writing down what one person said and making that the entirety of your story, it's stenography, not reporting.

ConWebWatch examined all 281 articles Jones wrote during the first three months of Trump's presidency, from Jan. 20 through April 20. We counted the number of her articles that quoted only President Trump, a member of his administration or the military, versus the number of articles that quoted only a Democratic member of Congress.

By our count, Jones wrote a whopping 64 articles in which Trump or a member of the administration was the sole source, versus just 20 in which a Democratic member of Congress was the sole source (since Democrats do not control the executive branch or the military).

Further, while Jones focused her Trump articles on a wide variety of figures, a majority of the Democratic articles quoted just two people, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. That appears to be because Pelosi and Schumer are CNS' designated Democratic punching bags; for example, one of these articles serves as a way to mock Pelosi for tripping Jones' obsession with people who want Trump to release his tax returns like every other modern-era presidential candidate.

Jones has long been a biased reporter, but putting a number to it demonstrates the extent of her bias. It also demonstrates that CNS cannot be taken seriously as a news outlet.

Methodology: Count included articles based on interviews that paraphrased statements from the questioner or quoted the questioner without naming him or her, but excluded articles that quote the questioner by name.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:38 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 23, 2017 6:57 PM EDT
WND Reporter: Don't Trust Media on Trump, Trust Pro-Trump Partisans!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily reporter is nothing if not a loyal Trump partisan -- see how hard he has worked to spin away all those Trump-Russia links.

In an April 18 WND article, Kant complains that "the major media" has pointed out President Trump's distinct lack of accomplishments in his first 100 days, and he's eager to spin for his idol.

Kant first quotes Trump himself touting his achievements. That was followed by conservative author Michael Walsh, who conveniently wrote a New York Post column touting Trump's achievements; Kant further quotes Walsh complaining about the "Democrat-Media Complex."

Then, purporting to offer "a seasoned politician’s perspective on the president’s performance so far," Kant called on another Trump partisan, former Rep. Michele Bachmann. Kant simply copies-and-pastes Bachmann's "sweeping analysis" of Trump into his article, in which she enthuses that "President Trump has shown a steady hand and unflinching commitment to advance his promises."

The headline of Kant's article, by the way, is "Media vs. reality on Trump's first 100 days."

So, according to Kant, we're not supposed to trust "the major media" in its assessments of Trump but we are supposed to trust people whose goal is present Trump in the most positive light possible, regardless of the facts. Got it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 23, 2017 2:05 PM EDT
Saturday, April 22, 2017
CNS Says Goodbye to O'Reilly By Touting His Legacy, Downplaying Harassment Charges

At, the only original coverage of the departure of Bill O'Reilly from Fox News over mounting claims of sexual harassment had little to do with that -- it was about his legacy.

An April 20 article by Susan Jones is headlined "CNN Anchor: ‘Many Think That If There Was No Bill O’Reilly, There Would Be No President Donald Trump’," and leads by insisting that some of the harassment claims against O'Reilly were "very old and legally settled," followed by a statement from O'Reilly that 'It is tremendously disheartening we part ways due to unfounded claims. That is the reality many of us in the public eye must live with today."

The rest of the article touts O'Reilly's political legacy, paraticularly regarding Donald Trump. Jones doesn't mention that Trump has been accused of sexual harassment and even worse behavior toward women.

Jones sneered that CNN's Brian Stelter "covered the O’Reilly controversy diligently" -- unlike her and the rest of CNN, but Jones didn't mention that. She concluded her article quoting O'Reilly's lawyer complaining about "character assassination" and and ranting about alleged "evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons."

Of course, Jones knows a thing or two about engaging in character assassination for political and financial reasons.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EDT
WND's Peterson Suggests Trump Is Being Guided By God
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Trump-deifiers at WorldNetDaily have struck again. Jesse Lee Peterson writes in an April 16 column headlined "Trump's magic is not from human power":

Most people do not understand the magic working through President Donald Trump.

He controls and confounds the media (“the opposition party”) – and they don’t know they’re being controlled! They endlessly attack him and insinuate suspicions of collusion with “Russia.” Trump tweeted that Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower, and for weeks they shouted, “There’s no proof!” But as proof comes out, they remain in denial.


As Christians, we are supposed to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We are to be “cunning as serpents and innocent as doves.” President Trump appears to be a living example of this.


Jesus Christ came and died so that we might return to the Father. As Christians, we are to overcome the world, not be overcome by the world. Trump seems to be overcoming the world – overcoming evil with good. Too many Christians today are lost in intellectualism and emotionalism, pontificating, complaining and fighting in the wrong way as their character and families slide into hell. Yet the mind of God is spiritual and present, with no fear, doubt or confusion. It produces strong action.

Peterson still has a raging case of Obama Derangement Syndrome, however, and he takes even more potshotshere, calling President Obama a "girly man" who is among the "children of Satan" and repeated the false right-wing claim that he went on an "apology tour" while president.

He also laughably claimed that unlike "how nasty Obama acted when challenged," "you don’t see that spirit with Trump when things don’t go his way" and that Trump "maintains a good attitude." Has Peterson never heard Trump speak or read his Twitter account?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Friday, April 21, 2017
MRC's War on the Truth Continues, Starring Tom Blumer's Failure
Topic: NewsBusters

While Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell was defending the lies of Donald Trump and reflexively bashing the "liberal media" by ranting that "This is not a press that has any interest in objective truth," his organization was once again attacking the idea of objective truth.

NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer -- who has a lengthy record of not understanding how the media works despite being a self-proclaimed media critic -- is the latest batter up in bashing fact-checkers for, you know, checking facts.

An April 13 post by Blumer begins:

Posts over the next several days will show that certain left-leaning websites and existing left-leaning news organizations have figured out that they can employ the technique of "fact-checking," perhaps once nobly intended, as a handy device to advance a left-supporting, right-bashing agenda.

Further, these "fact checkers" have taken advantage of their platforms to select and evaluate politicians' and pundits' claims in a decidedly unfair and unbalanced manner. Finally, thanks to the willing cooperation of the world's dominant search engine and the leader in social media, "fact checkers" are transitioning into roles which could ultimately position them as de facto news censors.

Blumer then proclaims right-wing reporter Sharyl Attkisson the official arbiter of all things ideological in journalism by touting her spectrum chart of media outlets, which is done pretty much the way you'd expect from a right-winger. For instance, UPI is somehow listed as "centrist" despite the fact that it's owned by the highly biased (and Moonie-owned) Washington Times. And curiously missing is Attkisson's own employer, Sinclair Broadcast Group, which has a decidedly conservative bias.

Needless to say, Blumer heartily approves: "Readers can and certainly will quibble over how far to the right and left of center certain outlets are. But with the exception of Reuters, which has no business being placed in the center, the chart generally places these entities on the correct side of center." He then whined that "Almost all of the major sites holding themselves out as 'fact-checkers' lean decisively left."

Blumer further touted Attkisson as being "formerly of CBS News until her superiors decided she was actually doing her job in covering the Obama administration's various scandals." His link to support the claim was to a National Review article that uncritically peddled her assertion that her computer was hacked, which actual computer experts diagnosed as just her backspace key getting stuck. Blumer also didn't mention that Attkisson likes to peddle anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

The next day, Blumer tried again, this time complaining that fact-checkers "overwhelmingly select facts presented by Republican and conservative politicians and pundits, while ignoring similar howlers generated by the left." Blumer highlighted a claim from the blog Powerline (whose right-wing bias Blumer curiously failed to identify despite being quick to label every outlet he doesn't agree with as "liberal" or "left") that most of thte last 25 fact-checks the Associated Press conducted were of claims made by Trump and his administration.

Perhaps Blumer hasn't noticed that Trump is president and, thus, dominates the media.

Blumer then ranted:

The AP is not an isolated example. Readers going to the first few pages compiling recent "fact checks" by Politifact will see a clear tendency to go after Republicans and conservatives combined with a stubborn reluctance to give them the benefit of the doubt.

A comparison which looks at the number of times the Politifact has evaluated the statements of certain well-known politicians demonstrates how obvious the lack of balance is:

Scott Walker, Republican Governor of Wisconsin: 175
Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senator from New York: 9
Rick Scott, Republican Governor of Florida: 148
Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York: 12

The three governors listed above have been in power since the 2010 elections, and Schumer's national profile, which has never been low, thanks to his attention-seeking nature, rose at roughly the same time.

What Blumer didn't mention: Thge reason why there are so many PolitiFact items on Walker and Scott is because PolitiFact has newspaper affiliates in Wisconsin and Florida that wrote those posts -- as should have been obvious by the "PolitiFact Wisconsin" and "PolitiFact Florida" tags on them. By contrast, PolitiFact set up an affiliate in New York, the Buffalo News, only in March 2016 and that hasn't resulted in may posts yet; most of the posts on Schumer and Cuomo were written have the "PolitiFact National" tag.

Apparently oblivious to this fact, Blumer continued to rant: "To believe that Politifact doesn't have a selection bias, one has to defend the absurd notion that Walker and Scott have consistently made controversial or questionable statements or claims worthy of evaluation at a rate 15 times greater than Schumer and Cuomo (323 for Walker and Scott combined compared to 21 for the two New Yorkers)."

How does someone so incapable of understanding how the media works -- or doing basic research before ranting -- continue to be an MRC blogger? Apparently, assuming his readers are dumb is a big part of that.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT
WND's Hohmann Still Fearmongering About Idaho Assault Case Involving Muslims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Lead WorldNetDaily Muslim-hater Leo Hohmann has been obsessing over one of his favorite obsessions, the case in Idaho in which "three refugee boys" assaulted a 5-year-old girl in an Idaho town.

In an April 5 article, Hohmann huffs that "In the same week that three refugee boys pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl in Twin Falls, Idaho, the mayor and council floated the idea of passing a resolution declaring Twin Falls a “welcoming city” for illegals and refugees.

The subhead for Hohmann's article states, "WND, Breitbart vindicated in case that brought accusations of fake news." In fact, as we pointed out, Hohmann and WND did publish fake news about the case when it first broke. Apparently, the fact that the boys pleaded guilty to charges in the case equals "vindication" for Hohmann's Muslim-bashing.

In a further attempt to exploit the case, Hohmann includes the name and picture of the 5-year-old victim. How cynical and irresponsible.

On April 11, Hohmann was ready to milk the case again, complaining:

One week after three refugee boys from Sudan and Iraq pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl in Twin Falls, Idaho, the city council has voted unanimously to lay out the welcome mat for more refugees.

The council voted 7-0 to direct the city staff to draft a resolution declaring Twin Falls a “welcoming city” after hearing a pitch from local Boy Scout Troop 4, which is sponsored by the Mormon Church. 

Hohmann also accused one supporter of refugees, Mark Crandall, as having "provided the council with false statistics in his letter about the number of refugees being sent to the U.S. in fiscal 2017," but he only one he cited was that "the Trump administration recently announced it will allow 62,500 refugees entry into the U.S. this year, not 50,000 as Crandall stated." Not exactly a smoking gun there. Hohmann also uncritically quoted one anti-refugee activist viciously smearing refugee supporters, who are linked with the local Mormon church: "Isn’t that what communists do, use the children? The propaganda machines work best if you start with children."

Hohmann got the story back to his pet issue eventually: "WND previously reported that the girl’s family has endured nearly 10 months of public shaming and downplaying of the crime by powerful elites who support continued refugee resettlement in Idaho and nationwide."

Isn't that about the same amount of time Hohmann has been spending trying to desperately smear all Muslim refugees -- and, really, all Muslims, period -- as sexual predators just like the youths were arrested in this case, as well as downplaying the inaccurate reporting he and his employer produced about this case?

Hohmann once again includes a picture of the victim but curious omits her name despite having revealed it the week before. Both articles include pleas to "Donate to the family’s GoFundMe account to help with mounting medical and legal expenses," which is simply more evidence Hohmann has no interest in reporting in a fair and balanced manner.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 21, 2017 1:23 AM EDT
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Why The MRC's New Study of 'Negative' Trump Coverage Is Bogus
Topic: Media Research Center

Last month, the Media Research Center put out a so-called study claiming that the "liberal media" (read: just the evening news on CBS, NBC and ABC) was overwhelmingly negative toward President Trump.

Well, Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella have apparently updated that study, and its predictable results (the MRC wouldn't be touting if it didn't conform to its agenda) making the right-wing rounds once again:

As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party.

Unusual for an MRC study, the MRC prominently touts what it claims to be a methodology for its study:

Methodology: Our measure of spin was designed to isolate the networks’ own slant, not the back-and-forth of partisan politics. Thus, our analysts ignored soundbites which merely showcased the traditional party line (Republicans supporting Trump, Democrats criticizing him), and instead tallied evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story, such as statements from experts presented as non-partisan, voters, or opinionated statements from the networks’ own reporters.

Using these criteria, MRC analysts tallied 1,687 evaluative statements about the Trump administration, of which 1,501 (89%) were negative vs. a mere 186 (11%) which were positive.

This prominently stated methodology, however, can't hide the fact that it's not a valid one. "negative" and "positive" are subjective values, and thus, difficult to quantify for the purposes of objective research. Given, for example,  the MRC's propensity to label anything and everything as "far left," its sense of value judgment in research probably shouldn't be trusted.

The study also fails to account for negative news reported objectively in its methodology. That means a negative story about Trump is classified as "negative" even if it was reported accurately and without bias. There's also no comprehensive list of evaluated statements, so less subjective observers can evaluate their work.

Finally, the MRC offers no baseline from which to judge the relative purported "liberal bias" of the networks. The MRC would never subject the Trump-fluffers at Fox News to such a study -- in addition to not wanting to jeopardize future appearances on Fox News and Fox Business by MRC talking heads, the fact is that even conservative-leaning researcher Robert Lichter admits Fox News' coverage of Trump has skewed negative.

Indeed, MRC chief Brent Bozell has already appeared on Fox Business to promote the study, where he ludicrously ranted that "This is not a press that has any interest in objective truth." So the guy whose organization effectively denied the existence of objective truth in order to protect Trump from his continual stream of lies is now passing judgment on the media for refusing to be as sycophantic toward Trump as he demands them to be?

Trump and the MRC really are in this together, given the fact that both have benefited from the largesse of right-wing philanthropist Robert Mercer and his family (Mercer's daughter Rebekah is on the MRC board of directors).

Bozell and the MRC are in working-the-refs mode here -- they simply don't want any negative coverage of their boy Trump.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:31 PM EDT
WND Still Mocking Transgenders With Photo It Stole From AP
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily loves to smear transgenders by illustrating photos about them with a picture of the hairy legs of a man wearing a dress and heels (from a 2012 "hairy legs on heels" race, meaning the person in the photo is not transgender) that it stole from the Associated Press.

WND just can't get enough of that photo, apparently. It recycled the photo again for an April 13 article headlined "Boys with vaginas cause wild confusion in U.S. emergency rooms":

The anonymously written article rants about "the confusion that comes with gender surprises" in medical care, which WND then extends into "confusion in the world of athletic sports."

It's a lame and gutless article -- and about the speed of WND these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EDT
CNS Lends Its Stenography Skills to Judicial Watch

The Trump administration is not the only group for which serves as a committed and loyal stenographer. Right-wing legal group Judicial Watch also benefits from CNS' stenography services to the point where CNS is effectively Judicial WAtch's PR shop.

In the past few months, CNS has churned out these press releases -- er, "news" articles for Judicial Watch's benefit:

All of these articles quote only Judicial Watch officials or things taken from Judicial Watch press releases. No attempt is made to obtain reaction to Judicial Watch's actions.

As if that wasn't enough -- and it apparently wasn't -- CNS also gave Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton his own column in which the tone is little different from the "news" articles about most of the same things. Fitton has written these for CNS since the beginning of the year:

Fitton hardly needs to write columns for CNS, since its "news" articles are pretty much the same thing.

Of course, such stenography work will eventually dry up for CNS because Judicial Watch has little interest in holding the Trump administration accountable in the same way it went after the Obama administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
WND's Farah Still Sucking Up to Steve Bannon
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how WorldNetDaily and editor Joseph Farah is trying to glom onto Breitbart in its ascendancy as a state-run media outlet due to Steve Bannon being a top aide to President Trump, in what seems to be an attempt to bask a little in Breitbart's reflected glory. It hasn't really stopped.

WND suddenly remembered that its online store offered a pro-Reagan documentary Bannon made, so it started plugging that while playing up how it was "directed by top Trump adviser Steve Bannon." Farah wrote a companion promotional column that did some serious sucking up:

I’m here to say some nice words about Steven Bannon – to offset some of the hysteria raging across America and fueled by the Big Media.

If you want to know Steve Bannon’s heart, watch some of those “weaponized” documentaries. I will recommend one in particular. It goes back a few years. When I saw it in 2004, it was the first time I heard Steve Bannon’s name. Instantly, I knew we were kindred spirits. And, you know what, it stands up as well today as the day it was released.

The movie is called “In the Face of Evil: Reagan’s War in Word and Deed.” It’s the best documentary on Reagan I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen on any topic. And I know something about making documentaries, having produced a few.


The obvious question the viewer was left with was: What would Reagan do about the new face of evil? Bannon saw what was around the corner, when few others did. His movie was prophetic. That’s what makes it a must-see – especially for a generation that may have missed it 13 years ago.

I bet you’ll stand up and applaud when you see the end. I bet you’ll ask yourself, “How did he see that coming?”

That’s why I am so grateful that Donald Trump saw fit to select Steve Bannon as his special adviser and strategist – even allowing him to sit in on National Security Council meetings.

Then, on April 16, Farah penned a column detailing 10 reasons "why Trump’s worst enemies are now targeting Bannon" that's also "a list of reasons why Trump to stick with him and listen closely and carefully to his wise counsel":

1) Because Bannon is as committed to accomplishing the Trump agenda laid out during the 2016 campaign every bit as much as Trump himself. (Can anyone honestly say that about everyone advising the president today?)
2) Because Bannon, as the chief executive officer of the Trump campaign, helped accomplish something that few in the media thought possible – beat Hillary Clinton. (No, he didn’t win the election single-handedly, and I’ve never heard him suggest that. Donald Trump’s name was on the ballot, and he won the election. But Bannon’s campaign won, and John Podesta’s didn’t.)
3) Because Bannon is a proven political strategist, and that’s what it takes to change the political culture in Washington and get things done. (The job of political strategy doesn’t end when governance begins.)
4) Because if Bannon falls, the sharks will just circle some other effective, committed Trump aides in hopes of taking them down one at a time.
5) Because Bannon doesn’t care about being loved by his ardent adversaries, only about defeating them.
6) Because Bannon, perhaps second only to Trump himself, has a genuine connection with the president’s base of support who elected him.
7) Because it’s good for Trump to have someone around who the media hate more than him.
8) Because Trump should have some close advisers who are not family members.
9) Because Bannon is not a “yes man” and will never just tell Trump what he wants to hear.
10) Because Bannon is as disdainful of the Big Media as I am, having declared war on them as chief executive officer of, long before Trump did in the 2016 campaign, but, I might add, not before me.

Farah sycophantically concluded: "If I were Donald Trump, I would never give my enemies the satisfaction of allowing the one guy whom they hate so much to get away."

Is Farah trying to give Bannon and Breitbart a reason to buy out WND so Farah can finally cash in? That's one possible explanation for Farah's suck-up campaign, though we can see no advantage Breitbart would gain by doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 PM EDT
MRC Won't Tell Readers How Reporter Who Exposed Trump Won His Pulitzer
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck rants in an April 12 post:

Speaking to a packed audience at Washington’s The Newseum, Washington Post reporter and new Pulitzer Prize winner David Fahrenthold proclaimed that the Trump era has yielded “a time of extraordinary power for the media in Washington and that — I mean that, power.”


With some laughter, Fahrenthold got serious as he touted the media’s “extraordinary power” that miraculously appeared starting on November 9. He fretted about Trump supporters who would be speaking later at the event, noting that they “have called us fake news or the enemy of the people.”

“We actually — the truth is we live in a time when the folks in power — the folks with power in Washington often lack the cohesion, the ability, the organization to shape the narrative about themselves. Usually, one of the dynamics we deal with in Washington is that a presidential administration sort of acting as a unit to shape the way the public sees them,” he added.

Translation? The media now has the power to destroy you if you stand in their way or don’t fit their narrative. With journalism largely on a hiatus the last four years, the profession has found new energy since their pals in the Democratic Party lost the chance to stay in the White House.

Curiously, Houck never mentions how Fahrenthold won his Pulitzer: for exposing Donald Trump's failure to follow up on his charitable giving promises until those broken promises were reported, as well as the self-dealing of his family charity. It's as if Houck is a little jealous of the attention.

That's a bit of misplaced pettiness, given that even the MRC found little to criticize in Fahrenthold's reporting on Trump. When mentioned at all, it was usually only in passing, according to a search of the NewsBusters archive. If the MRC couldn't find anything to attack Fahrenthold on, his reporting must have been especially solid.

Also, Houck's interpretation of Fahrenthold's remarks as claiming that "the media now has the power to destroy you if you stand in their way or don’t fit their narrative" is rather rich, given how the MRC uses its power to try and destroy all liberals they despise and even any conservative who fails to toe right-wing or pro-Trump orthodoxy.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT

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