ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Friday, May 12, 2017
MRC Defends Pushing Now-Retracted Immigrant Rape Claim: Hey, It Could've Been True!
Topic: Media Research Center

In March, the Media Research Center hopped on the right-wing anti-immigrant bandwagon in order to exploit allegations that a 14-year-old girl at a Rockville, Md., high school was sexually assaulted by two students who were undocumented immigrants. The MRC's Brittany Hughes even scored a Fox News appearance where she "lambasted ABC, CBS, and NBC for their callous refusal to cover the alleged heinous rape of a female student in a Washington D.C. suburban high school by two men and one of which is here in the country illegally."

But earlier this month, prosecutors decided to drop rape charges against the two students, citing a lack of corroboration and numerous inconsistencies.  Prosecutors are, however, pursuing child pornography charges against the two, apparently stemming from images the girl shared with them.

So, does the MRC feel a little sheepish about having promoted a story that was retracted? Not at all.

Curtis Houck was in full distraction mode, complaining that "After remaining silent on the alleged March rape of a teenage girl and illegal immigrant in a D.C. suburb, journalists from ABC and CBS demanded the White House on Friday apologize, 'retract' their comments on the case, and admit they 'unfairly jump[ed] to conclusions' now that prosecutors have dropped the rape charges against the two teenage boys." Houck further whined: "Again, this is coming from the same outlet that, like their fellow cohorts, sought to speculate on what happened with the Trayvon Martin, the Duke lacrosse team, and Michael Brown cases before the facts came to light."

Nicholas Fondacaro was further offended that CNN's Brian Stelter called out Fox News for not promoting the dismissal of charges as obsessively as their original filing:

Stelter never addressed the child pornography charges. He instead railed against [Fox News anchor Chris] Wallace for not talking about why it became an international news story. "The answer is his network. Too much of the coverage of this story omitted the conservative media's role in making it a national story,” he said with a clear disdain for conservative media. There was still no explanation about why the Rockville case shouldn’t be a national story.

"Bill O'Reilly there was outraged at the rest of the news media wasn't shouting like he was. But maybe NBC and ABC and CBS were right to be cautious," he said. But at the time of the original story, there was little evidence that the charges wouldn’t stick, yet the Big Three Network often fail to cover crimes by illegal immigrants.

Of course, the idea that "there was little evidence that the charges wouldn’t stick" applies to stories like the Duke lacrosse case as well -- remember, much of that came from the district attorney, Mike Nifong, until it was discovered he was behaving unethically, and the case was rooted in lacrosse team members hiring a stripper -- but the MRC would never admit that because it runs counter to the MRC's anti-media narrative. Indeed, just last year the MRC's Clay Waters ranted that the Duke lacrosse case was a "racially charged rape hoax" perpetuated by the media -- something the MRC would never call the Rockville case, even though the description arguably also applies.

Jorge Bonilla tried mightily to spin the dismissal of the charges, insisting that it was "due to a quirk in Maryland's rape statute." Huh? Since when is lack of solid evidence, as stated by the prosecutors, a legal "quirk"?

Bonilla went on to lament that in coverage of the case on Univision, "The actual facts of the case took a back seat to the optics of whether 'conservative media' and Trump now look bad for having pointed out the immigration status of these youths." He then cheered, in boldface, that the remaining child pornography charges are "a very serious charge that leads to certain deportation."

Brittany Hughes -- who got her shot on Fox News to exploit the now-retracted story -- has yet to retract her attack on "liberal" media outlets for not covering it to her satisfaction.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017 8:56 AM EDT
Thursday, May 11, 2017
We Somehow Fail To Make WND's Enemies List
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As part of its 20th anniversary self-aggrandization, a May 2 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh lists "the Top 10 'enemies' that have attacked WND over its truth-telling." But most of it is legitimate criticism of WND spun to portray it as unfair.

For instance, Think Progress is on the list for pointing out in 2012 that WND's traffic numbers depend heavily on its conspiracy-laden and birther-centric stories being linked at the Drudge Report . Unruh doesn't dispute any of this, so it's unclear why it's even being highlighted.

There was also this item:

Then there was the “fake news,” before it became popular, that Joseph Farah was removed from the guest list of the sixth Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast that took place on Jan. 21, 2013.

The report simply was false.

Media Matters even featured a quote from Merrie Turner, the organizer of the independent Inaugural Prayer Breakfast, that said that his original inclusion was a mistake.

Actually, WND's own reporter touted that Farah would be a "distinguished guest" at the breakfast before Media Matters contacted breakfast organizers to question why such a rabid Obama-hater would be permitted to take part. The organizers then flip-flopped and re-invited Farah. And after all the rigamorole, Farah didn't even bother to show up. There was confusion to be sure, but there was no "fake news." (That's WND's department.)

One organization, however, is missing from WND's list: ConWebWatch.

Perhaps that's because WND couldn't come up with a strawman about our work that it could easily knock down. In the 17 years of ConWebWatch's existence, the only attack on us WND could muster was a 2008 column in which Farah tried to lamely smear me as a "talent-challenged slug" -- and even then he didn't dispute anything we wrote about WND. And it hasn't happened since.

It's standard propaganda procedure to portray unfounded or poorly reasoned criticism as representative of all criticism. WND doesn't want to bring us up because they know we're right.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 PM EDT
No, MRC Blogger, 'Leftists' Did Not 'Confirm' Protesters Are Paid
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Research Center blogger P.J. Gladnick declares in an April 27 NewsBusters post:

Have you noticed how the mainstream media has recently mocked the notion that leftwing protesters are being paid?  The idea is ridiculous they claim and only Trump and his supporters are making that silly charge. Well, guess what? A pair of leftwingers have confirmed in the April 26 Washington Post that protesters are indeed paid.

Except, well, that didn't happen at all.

At no point in the Post column Gladnick is referencing do authors Leo Gertner and Moshe Marvit state that anti-Trump protesters are being paid. They do argue that even if some protesters were paid, doing so would not necessarily delegitimize the movement for which the protests are taking place.

Gertner and Marvit noted the example of Rosa Parks, who had been involved in the civil rights movement for years and was trained in resistance tactics prior to her refusal to give up a bus seat to a white person, asking whether Parks' protest would be "worth less" if she was thought of as a paid protester. Gladnick curiously omits that example from the excerpt of the column he includes in his post (which, again, never backs up Gladnick's claim that protesters are paid).

Gladnick includes in his post an alleged screenshot of a Craigslist ad seeking paid protesters. Fox News wrote about it last November but, crucially, apparently never verified the legitimacy of the ads -- it only notes that groups allegedly linked to the ads "have not returned phone calls seeking comment" -- or if anyone was ever, in fact, paid for protesting.

You'd think that given how purportedly rampant pay-for-protest is, Gladnick would be able to easily find someone who got paid instead of having to extrapolate conjecture from an op-ed and pretend that it's definitive proof.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Complains Obama Biographer Didn't Interview Obama Conspiracists Like Him
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The new Obama biography by David Garrow, "Rising Star," has a non-fan of sorts in WorldNetDaily columnist and anti-Clinton obsessive Jack Cashill, who complains in his May 3 WND column that Garrow didn't talk to Obama-haters and conspiracists like himself:

Garrow allegedly interviewed a thousand or so people for the book. When I suggested to friend Susan Daniels last week that “Rising Star,” out May 9, has potential, she asked, “Did Garrow interview you?”

No, come to think of it, he did not. I asked Susan if Garrow interviewed her. He should have. A licensed private investigator, it was Susan who discovered that Obama was passing through life with a Connecticut social security number.

No, Garrow had not talked to Susan either, despite the fact that she had taken her case against Obama’s use of that number to court in her native Ohio.

That got me to wondering just who Garrow did talk to. I contacted Joel Gilbert, producer of the widely seen documentary, “Dreams from My Real Father.”

“Not me or anyone I know or interviewed in Obamaworld. Not Malik or Keith etc.,” Gilbert replied.

Malik would be Obama’s half-brother and the best man at his wedding, Malik Obama. Keith Kakugawa was Obama’s best friend in high school. He appears frequently in “Dreams” as “Ray.”

Gilbert added, “We know he interviewed Barry, which is a red flag! Claim sounds like BS.”

I reached out to Charles Johnson, founder of and a deep Obama researcher. Johnson is also the possessor of an early draft of “Dreams.” Said Johnson of Garrow’s claimed thousand interviews, “I think he is lying.”

“He never contacted me,” said Jerry Corsi who led the quest to secure Obama’s birth certificate at WND and in a best-selling book.

Given that Garrow has reportedly discussed Obama’s alleged bisexuality, I thought for sure he would have interviewed Larry Sinclair.

In June 2008, Sinclair held a press conference at the august National Press Club in Washington to discuss what he claimed were his drug-fuel sexual assignations with Obama in Chicago.

The media called the conference a “circus act” and refused to follow up. To be sure, they did not review his book, “Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder.” For all his eccentricities, Sinclair tells a convincing tale.

I reached out to Sinclair through Facebook. “I just don’t know any David Garrow,” he told me, “nor have I given any interviews in last couple of years as I have been restoring a neglected community.”

Cashill conveniently fails to mention that both Sinclair and Gilbert have been completely discredited. Obama's purported "Connecticut Social Security number" is not even taken seriously by other birthers, and Daniels perhaps should be charged with publicly releasing Obama's Social Security number without his permission, thus exposing him to identity fraud. Corsi is a discredited Obama-hater, and nobody takes Charles Johnson seriously.

Cashill did finally find one person in his coterie of conspiracists who talked to the author: John Drew, who spent the Obama years overstating his decades-ago connection to a college-age Obama in order to paint him as an unrepentant Marxist.

Cashill did offer a quote from Drew that puts him firmly in the conspiracist camp: "Darrow [sic] also dismissed the ‘conspiracy theories’ that Obama was a Marxist, Muslim or gay. Although I use the broadest definitions, I see Obama as all three. I’m not even sure I made the final cut of the book at this point."

Why would Garrow have done so, if he wanted to be taken seriously as an author?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
MRC Is Unhinged About Smearing Critics As 'Unhinged'
Topic: Media Research Center

As with "far left," there's another word the Media Research Center loves to overuse to the point of meaninglessness in attacking and dismissing its critics: "unhinged."

Here's an incomplete list of people and things the MRC has called "unhinged" during the first four months of 2017:

As with "far left," some people and things may actually be "unhinged" -- we will concur on Alex Jones -- but most of them aren't. The MRC is trying to delegitimize any criticism it doesn't agree with, mostly regarding Trump, by depicting it as fringe whatever its actual merits.

The funny thing: In the midst of all this smearing of anyone who dares issue a criticism of Trump as "unhinged," the MRC itself was complaining when anyone else used the word. In February, it huffed that some in the media "breathlessly hurled one sensational adjective after another" to describe Trump's strange February press conference, one of which was -- wait for it -- "unhinged." Trump syocphant Jeffrey Lord then grumbled in a Feb. 18 MRC column that "Words like 'unhinged' [were] a particular favorite to describe the event."

If the MRC is just going to engage in increasingly meaningless name-calling, why listen to anything it has to say?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EDT
Farah Still Pushing Lies And Myths About WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah is no stranger to pushing mythology about his WorldNetDaily website, and WND's 20th anniversary gives him a chance to do it again. Farah writes in his April 30 column:

Back when we launched, was the No. 1 most visited website in the world. I vowed we would overtake them some day. I assumed that meant supplanting it as No. 1. While we eclipsed it in traffic more than 15 years ago, WND never became No. 1.

As we pointed out the last time he claimed this, is no longer a news website -- that part of it is now -- and is now focused on supporting shows on MSNBC.

Farah then engages in his usual blather about WND is dedicated to being a "guardian of liberty and another check and balance on government power," adding: "I took that seriously 20 years ago. And I saw most of the establishment press did not. In fact, I saw a cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship developing between the corporate press and state power. I vowed WND would never fall prey or be seduced by that temptation."

That vow, of course, only applies to Democratic-led administrations -- Republicans administrations got, and continue to get, a free pass from WND. If Farah is serious about his pledge (and there's no evidence he is), he might want to have a chat with his reporter Chelsea Schilling, who just published a gushy, sycophantic profile of White House press secretary Sean Spicer that practically screams "cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship."

Farah concluded by stating: "People are recognizing that they are being systematically lied to –- not just by powerful forces in government but by those who are supposed to be their watchdogs in the press." They're actually more in danger of being systematically lied to by Farah and WND, but he won't tell you that.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 2:18 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
MRC Declares Petulant War on Bill Nye
Topic: Media Research Center

Bill Nye is promoting science, and the Media Research Center is not only not happy, it's being petulant about it.

In an April 25 post, Aly Nielsen rather lamely tried to denigrate Nye's scientific expertise, complaining that a TV reporter "declared 'scientists take to the streets to raise awareness,' over a clip of former stand-up comedian Bill Nye carrying a sign. That’s misleading, since Nye is an engineer, not a scientist. He originally became 'The Science Guy' from his comedy routine."

Dan Gainor similarly whined in an April 27 post:

The alt-left claims to be all sciency. They want you to believe Bill Nye is The Science Guy, not because he is. But because they say so. Hell, he’s a former stand-up comedian. He’s the perfect metaphor for a Hollywood scientist -- all facade with nothing behind it.

That pedantic hair-splitting is rich, given how the MRC loves to refer to anti-abortion activist Alveda King as "Dr. Alveda King" even though her doctorate is honorary.

An April 27 post by Julia Seymour attacked new TV show by "the Boeing-engineer turned ’90s children’s TV host" for being "heavy on entertainment, light on science and filled with liberal propaganda." She further complained about an episode of the show focusing on the sexual spectrum that purportedly "preached gender fluidity as “forward thinking.” She was particularly incensed about an animated short on the show that "was designed to bash religious proponents of conversion therapy for homosexuality, include multiple innuendoes and concluded with an actual ice cream orgy (all the flavors partying, in one bowl)."

On May 2, Tom Blumer repeated a pedantic right-wing meme by highlighting that a re-released 1996 episode of "Bill Nye the Science Guy" removed a segment on sex and chromosomes that allegedly didn't allow for transgenderism. Blumer lamented the disappearance of "this inconvenient, truth-containing segment."

This is the best the MRC has to bash Nye with? If so, that would seem to back up the scientific soundness of Nye's work.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 PM EDT
WND Aghast That Fox News' Women Are Covering Their Legs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chelsea Schilling is upset in her May 2 WorldNetDaily article:

It’s no secret that Fox News has some of the most attractive female hosts in the business, and many fans have become accustomed to seeing beautiful, leggy women deliver the daily news.

In fact, Google searches of almost every woman on Fox News reveal scores of images of the lady-hosts boldly baring their long legs.

But now – in the wake of the recent ousters of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly following multiple sexual harassment accusations – the online rumor mill is running wild with speculation.

Why? In recent weeks, some of the Fox News bombshells, namely hosts Jenna Lee, Sandra Smith, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Ainsley Earhardt, have ditched their usual short skirts and were spotted wearing … pants!

Yes, pants.

Schilling does go through the history of bare-legged females on Fox and noted that until the recent spate of sexual harassment scandals involving Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, short skirts were effectively mandatory for Fox women.

But it seems of a piece that WND couldn't decide whether to be aghast at the allegations against O'Reilly but is somehow scandalized by this.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EDT
Monday, May 8, 2017
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch

As she has the past few months under the Trump presidency -- in contrast to the continuously negative spin she used during President Obama -- reporter Susan Jones emphasizes the positive news about unemployment statistics. Her May 5 article on April's numbers touted how "The number of employed Americans set a third straight monthly record in April, increasing by 156,000 to 153,156,000; and the nation's unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 4.4 percent."

While Jones did concede in the second paragraph that more people also left the workforce last month, she then huffed: "The numbers are important: People who are employed have Social Security and other payroll taxes deducted from their paychecks, and those taxes help to support many other people who do not work for various reasons and who may receive taxpayer-funded entitlements or benefits.

By contrast, Jones' article on September unemployment numbers(under Obama) led with the number of people not in the workforce -- which, it so happens, was lower than it was in April.

As before, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey added an article about how a few thousand manufacturing jobs were added while also whining that jobs in government were also added.

AWOL again, as has been the case under the Trump administration, are CNS' Obama-era staples on high black unemployment and the "real" unemployment rate.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:50 PM EDT
Fake News At WND, Unvaccinated Muslim Division
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last week, we reported how WorldNetDaily's Leo Hohmann tried to blame a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community in Minnesota on the religion of Islam itself -- despite the fact that the Muslim doctor he cited as proof of this has been promoted by anti-vaxxer outlets WND itself has treated as credible.

Well, it turns out that non-Muslim anti-vaxxer activists -- not Muslims -- are fanning anti-vaccine fear that led to the outbreak.

The Washington Post reports that activists repeatedly invited Andrew Wakefield -- a disbarred doctor whose claims linking vaccines and autism have been thoroughly discredited -- to speak to residents and spread his anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories.

WND has promoted Wakefield's discredited claims as recently as 2016, when columnist Barry Farber touted the anti-vaxxer film made by "distinguished research gastroenterologist" Wakefield and likened vaccine defenders to "the fanatical war-time Japanese defended their Emperor Hirohito." WND's Bob Unruh later repeated Farber's praise for Wakefield in an article defending a woman who opposed vaccinating her children on religious grounds.

The Post also noted that anti-vaxxer ativist Mark Blaxill also spoke to the Somali community in Minnesota. Blaxill's work was approvingly cited in a 2015 column by  Robert Kennedy Jr., who wrote a series of anti-vaccine columns for WND around that time.

In other words, WND's own anti-vaxxer fellow travelers -- not Islam or the Quran -- are responsible for creating this measles outbreak. Hohmann is simply creating fake news by fearmongering about Muslims for something his own side did. 

That's dishonest journalism in the extreme. But does anyone expect anything less from WND?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 8, 2017 11:27 AM EDT
Saturday, May 6, 2017
WND Plays the Scary-Muslim Card on French Election
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is not afraid to play the scary-Muslim card whenever doing so suits its right-wing political agenda (i.e., vaccines).

Thus, we have an anonymously written May 4 WND article on the upcoming French election that portrays the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (whose extremist leanings are never mentioned in the article) as the savior of France against the advancing, filthy Muslim hordes and her centrist opponent, Emmanuel Macron, as a Muslim appeaser on the level of the right's caricature of Barack Obama. The article quotes "American observers," one of whom is the guy who runs the website -- who proclaims that every single critic of Le Pen belong to "the forces of hell" -- the other of whom is a rabid Muslim-hater:

“All the forces of hell are lined up against Marine Le Pen,” said Joseph Farah, WND founder and president and author of “The Restitution of All Things.”. He argued it is a clear choice between electing Le Pen or watching France and eventually all of Europe become Islamic.

One of Le Pen’s most vocal American backers is Paul Nehlen, the populist Republican who challenged Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a primary and the producer and director of the new documentary“Hijrah: Radical Islam’s Global Invasion.” He has endorsed Le Pen and believes if Le Pen does not win, France is in danger of vanishing altogether.

“I’m not sure what it is going to take for the West to wake up,” Nehlen told WND. “France is constantly on high alert and is in continuous danger of a terrorist attack from its own Muslim population. The share of the population that is Muslim is increasing dramatically, and Muslims are more comfortable flexing their political and cultural muscle. And the French authorities seem to not only be OK with this, but crack down brutally on anyone who opposes the dispossession and subjugation of the French people. If this isn’t treason and surrender, I don’t know what is.

“Marine Le Pen is, so far as I can tell, the only figure in the French political mainstream who actually seems to be defending the French, as opposed to deliberately trying to destroy them.”


Nehlen called Macron both weak and hollow, characterizing him as an empty suit dedicated to enforcing a globalist agenda. “Macron seems to have a genuine antipathy both to France and Western civilization in general,” he charged. “He sees his country simply as a market, his culture as nonexistent and his people as obstacles to his agenda which should be replaced as soon as possible. If the French are to continue to exist as a nation, this man cannot be their leader.”

Though, after the victories of Brexit and Donald Trump, few would say they can predict the political future, it still appears all but inevitable Macron will win. If that happens, Nehlen said, French patriots need to resist as vigorously as possible.

“If mass immigration continues, France, and eventually all Europe, becomes Islamic,” he mourned. “If that happens, everything our civilization has created, including our liberties, our prosperity and our culture fade into nothingness. You cannot appease Islam or pretend you don’t know where this is all going. France needs Marine Le Pen right now. And so does the entire West. If she doesn’t win, I hope she and all of her supporters continue the fight.”

While the article's subhead references "immigration laws" in France being "good to use," it's mentioned nowhere in the article. Such is the state of Muslim-hate -- and copy-editing -- at WND these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 AM EDT
Friday, May 5, 2017
No Criticism of Trump's First 100 Days Permitted At CNS

The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham huff in their April 26 column:

The time has come for the media to pull out the artificial measuring stick of 100 days to evaluate President Trump. If they're kind, he'll get an I for "incomplete." But it's more likely they'll use other I words like "inability," "incompetence" or "incoherence." Whatever they say, it won't be kind.

By contrast, no negativity whatsoever toward Trump is to be found at the "news" operation Bozell runs -- and the one Bozell is presumably holding up as a model for the "liberal media" to follow --

A CNS "news" article by Melanie Arter, published the day before Bozell and Graham's column appeared, is in full stenography mode (as usual), uncritically asserting that "President Donald Trump accomplished more in his first 100 days than any other president since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, signing 30 executive orders during the first 100 days, the White House said. Arter goes on to quote White House press secretary Sean Spicer at length -- and nobody else -- over Trump's alleged accomplishments. 

Appearing the same day as Bozell and Graham's column at CNS was a column by Phil Kerpen fawningly headlined "Trump’s First 100 Days: Off to a Great Start," in which Kerpen gushed over how "President Trump has not waited on Congress to move forward, with executive branch efforts to dial back the worst excesses" (funny, conservatives hated unilateral executive action when a Democratic president did it) and that "the pendulum finally is swinging back towards individual freedom."

CNS has not published a commentary offering a negative view of Trump's first 100 days -- just the way Bozell and Graham want it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EDT
WND Disappears Accused Cult Leader's Key Role In Its History
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah offered a hagiographic account of his website's founding in his May 1 column. He strangely doesn't talk about where WND was founded, though he does include a picture of "WND’s original office on a ranch in Selma, Oregon."

That tells us WND is a little ashamed of its original offices -- and who owned them. That would be the Tall Timber Ranch, which is owned and operated by a group called the Foundation of Human Understanding, run by Roy Masters. As we've documented, Masters has been accused of being a cult leader.

Farah's not the only one who's airbrushing history. His lieutenant, David Kupelian, is quoted in a May 3 article as saying that "I had worked together with my friend Joseph Farah on another journalism project in the early 1990s" before joining WND.

That "journalism project" was New Dimensions magazine, published by, yes, Roy Masters. Farah was its editor-in-chief for a time in the early 1990s, after Masters had sold it. Kupelian worked for that magazine for many years, and reconstituted it after joining WND as the magazine now known as Whistleblower.

One more Masters connection has also been disappeared from WND's history. In its early years, WND had a symbiotic relationship with Talk Radio Network, a syndicator of right-wing radio hosts created by (wait for it) Roy Masters and currently run by his sons. TRN was known at the time for hosts such as Michael Savage (still a WND buddy) and Laura Ingraham, but its biggest names have moved on or died, its website hasn't been updated in months, and TRN's main activity these days is suing other radio syndicators on antitrust grounds. WND did write a article on the lawsuit, though.

If WND wants to celebrate its history, it should admit its whole history -- which includes admitting it got a major boost early on from an accused cult leader.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 AM EDT
Thursday, May 4, 2017
MRC's Labeling Study Fail
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Geoffrey Dickens complains in an April 25 post:

With Republicans set to make another run at repealing and replacing ObamaCare this week, look for the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) to blame conservatives, specifically, the House Freedom Caucus for any sort of obstruction to getting a deal done. In 30 days of health care debate coverage (March 7 through April 5), the broadcast networks consistently framed it as a fight between unreasonable conservatives versus more moderate Republicans and Senate Democrats by overwhelmingly applying ideological labels to one side of the argument.

MRC analysts reviewed all 141 stories on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening and morning shows that mentioned the efforts of the House Freedom Caucus and their Senate counterparts during the ObamaCare repeal/replacement debate, and discovered that while congressional conservatives were overwhelmingly given ideological labels, those that opposed them were rarely, if ever, labeled by journalists.


In these stories, MRC analysts documented how network reporters assigned a whopping 223 ideological labels to House and Senate Republicans — either to individual members of Congress, or factions like the House Freedom Caucus within the GOP.

Overwhelmingly, the networks used “conservative” tags to talk about Republicans. Fully 80 percent of these labels (179) talked about “conservatives” or those on the “right;” just 20 percent (44) referred to “moderate” Republicans.

Eleven percent of the labels (20) painted conservatives as extremists: “far right,” “hardline,” “very conservative” or “ultra-conservative.” Such deliberate labeling is designed to stigmatize conservatives, casting them as outside-of-the-mainstream ideologues, as compared to their (usually unlabeled) adversaries.

Democrats were never labeled as “liberal” or “progressive.” Twice Democrats were referred to as “moderate,” both times on CBS.

Dickens fails to mention the reason why ideological factions were identified on the Republican side: That's where the fight over repeal is being fought and there are, in fact, conservative and moderate factions. It's not just the "liberal media" reporting on this -- even right-wing Breitbart (like the MRC, a major benificiary of the Mercer family's largesse) has noted the conservative-moderate split. Democrats are unified against any Affordable Care Act repeal, so there is no ideological split to report on -- and, thus, no need to sort between "moderate" and "liberal" Democrats.

In other words, Dickens' "study" has a fundamentally dishonest basis.

There are other issues as well. Once again, a conservative MRC exmployee is inexplicably upset that conservatives are accurately labeled as "conservative." As far as the "far right" label goes, Dickens fails to identify who exactly was labeled as such, so without more information it's impossible to determine the extent of bias here. But given the MRC's propensity for tossing around the "far left" label for anything and everything it doesn't like, there's likely

And for all his complaining about the conservative House Freedom Caucus as an "obstruction to getting a deal done," Dickens does not explain how they were not.

As with its so-called study of "negative" Trump coverage, this MRC study is too biased, loosely defined and narrowly tailored (again, Fox News does not face scrutiny) to be taken seriously by anyone other than the MRC's fellow right-wing travelers.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT
WND's Embarrassingly Fawning Spicer Puff Piece
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This week is the 20th anniversary of the founding of WorldNetDaily, so Joseph Farah is cranking out a lot of blather about how WND serves as a "check and balance on government power."

But there are no checks and balances on government power in an April 23 WND article by Chelsea Schilling drooling over White House press secretary Sean Spicer:

Americans of all political stripes have a new daytime TV obsession, and their favorite, “wildly entertaining” show stars none other than White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Spicer, known for his scrappy encounters with members of the mainstream media, regularly calls out the press for what he sees as their inaccurate and biased reporting.

 It’s reality TV at its best: Spicer has publicly accused members of the media of being “engaged in deliberately false reporting” and making “irresponsible and reckless” claims.

When an ABC reporter dared to interrupt the press secretary, Spicer quickly shut him down: “It’s not your press briefing. … Please calm down.”

As reporter April Ryan repeatedly cut him off, Spicer unloaded both barrels:  “At some point, report the facts.” He then called her out when she didn’t like his answer: “I’m sorry that disgusts you. You’re shaking your head. … At some point, April, you’re going to have to take ‘no’ for an answer, with respect to whether or not there was collusion [between Russia and Trump].”

In yet another case, Spicer told the Washington Post it “should be ashamed” at how it covered a story he twice called “100 percent false.”

For whatever reason, Americans are digging Spicer’s bold media smackdowns. And Spicer himself has become a bona fide national celebrity – with name recognition above 60 percent nationally, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll.

In fact, some viewers say they’re addicted to the Spicer briefing drama. They simply can’t get enough.

One of those viewers, obviously, is Schilling. It's not until paragraph 54 -- repeat, paragraph 54 -- of her article does she bother to mention any criticism of Spicer for "giv[ing] out misinformation on everything." And that takes up only four paragraphs in her 85-paragraph article. So, not exactly fair and balanced.

Farah should slow his roll on how WND is acting as a "check and balance" on government," since it clearly has no intention of holding Trump to the same standards it held President Obama. Or, apparently, any standards at all. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« May 2017 »
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google