WorldNetDaily continues to rail against fake news at the same time it continues to create fake news (while, again, denying that it does so). Read more >>
Monday, May 22, 2017
Sunday, May 21, 2017
MRC Attacks Anyone Who Tells The Full Truth About Roger Ailes
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell made his love for Roger Ailes clear upon his death:
That would be the tone sw=et by the MRC, which attacked anyone who inconveniently told the full truth about Ailes.
Kristine Marsh ranted that "Journalists from every major media outlet couldn’t contain their disgust for the man, Fox News, and the right" -- Gizmodo and the writer's room at the "Late Show With Stephen Colbert" are "major media outlets"? -- though in reality most were pointing out Ailes' less-than-savory attitude toward women and the sexual harassment allegations that forced him out at Fox News.
Kyle Drennen wrote that NBC "rightfully pointed out the controversy surrounding Ailes’ firing from Fox News over sexual harassment allegations" -- never mind that Drennen's co-workers don't believe it was rightful for anyone else to bring it up -- but then bashed "left-wing anti-Fox crusader" Gabriel Sherman for pointing out that Ailes "ruled Fox News with an iron fist" and that "he kind of died alone." Drennen doesn't dispute the accuracy of any of Sherman's remarks, only that he said them.
Scott Whitlock complained that a couple of people on MSNBC decided to "spike the ratings football" and "made sure to underline Fox’s struggling" following Ailes' departure and grumbled that Andrea Michell pointed out -- we again assume correctly, because Whitlock does not challege the accuracy of it -- that Ailes' "downfall was because of personal failures and the fact there was such a culture of illegality."
When NBC quoted "Ailes-hater" Sherman saying that Ailes' legacy is "transforming American politics into a contact sport where there’s no rules and anything goes, Nicholas Fondacaro huffed in response:
Of course, Foncacaro didn't mention that America had generally considered itself past such things. He's just making excuses for the unsavory side of Ailes.
Who goes on rants about "hippies" anymore? Most people got over that around, oh, the 1970s. Talk about out of touch.
Whitlock returned to complained that CBS invited on NPR media critic David Folkenflik (to whom Graham regularly loses Twitter fights) for pointing out that Ailes' Fox News encouraged an "emphasis on opinion rather than reporting," sneering, "As though liberal journalists on ABC, CBS and NBC haven’t been doing that for decades?"
Clay Waters howled that the New York Times was "graceless" and "classless" by accurately discussing Ailes' legacy. Perhaps Waters has forgotten the classless treatment of ABC's Peter Jennings, who used his death to tout how its archives were "packed with documentation of liberal bias" from him.
Waters also declared: "National Review<'s Jonah Goldberg offered a more (to use Ailes’ words) 'fair and balanced' accounting of Ailes' legacy." And by "fair and balanced" Waters apparently means that Goldberg devotes barely half a sentence to Ailes' sexual harassment scandal.
Also serving up the kind of "fair and balanced" Ailes obit is Trump sycophant Jeffrey Lord, whose May 20 MRC column handwaves Ailes' sexual harassment by playing dumb and also playing the Clinton Equivocation:
Lord made no mention of the MRC's double standard on such matters, which insisted that it was "liberal bias" to even bring up the subject of Ailes' harassment and ludicrously pretended Ailes had nothing at all to do with Fox News' culture of sexual harassment.
WND Still Won't Admit Seth Rich Story Is Fake News
Last week, WorldNetDaily went all in on promoting discredited conspiracy theories about the 2016 death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Now, it's in a bit of a cleanup made, though it still won't admit the story is bogus.
On May 16, WND reporter Alicia Powe touted how "private investigator" Rod Wheeler complained that the DNC allegedly contacted Washington, D.C. police regarding his investigation into Rich's death, which he portrayed as being related to the obtaining of DNC emails by WikiLeaks, suggesting that Rich himself made the emails available to WikiLeaks prior to his death.
Two days later, after Wheeler's claims were discredited -- he has no evidence Rich ever contacted WikiLeaks and that he has never seen Rich's computer, let alone any emails he might have sent, and he has never talked to the "federal investigator" he cited as evidence for his claims -- Powe decided to do a little narrative-massaging. This time around, Powe leads with Rich family representative Brad Bauman, whose name Powe misspells early on and whom she makes sure to identify as a "professional Democratic crisis public-relations consultant, denying Wheeler's claims.
Powe insisted that "Wheeler has emphasized in interviews with WND and Fox New [sic] that he is not a spokesman for the Rich family," despite the fact that at least one WND article specificially portrayed Wheeler as a family spokesman and Powe's own earlier article definitely hinted that Wheeler was working on the family's behalf while failing to explicitly state he is not a family spokesman.
Powe also failed in both articles to mention who actually is paying Wheeler: Texas money manager and regular Fox News guest Ed Butowsky.Powe also doesn't tell readers that the original story Wheeler (and, thus, WND) peddled has been discredited.
WND followed that up with a May 21 article by Liz Crokin -- a right-wing columnist who has pushed the Pizzagate fake-news conspiracy -- claiming to have talked to a manager (anonymous, of course) of a bar where Rich "was last spotted hours before he was shot and killed last summer" irrelevantly complaining that police never talked to any bar employee regarding Rich's death.
Crokin also claimed that Wheeler was "hired to independently investigate Rich's murder" while omitting the crucial information that the Rich family did not hire him.
Is it coincidence that WND fully embraced Seth Rich conspiracy theories as Donald Trump's presidency free-falls into turmoil? We don't put it past 'em.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
MRC Heathering Watch, Nicolle Wallace Edition
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has found another insufficiently right-wing Republican to do some Heathering on.
Geoffrey Dickens unloads in a May 9 MRC post:
Dickens then provided a lengthy list of "examples, from the MRC’s archives, of Wallace’s most RINO-worthy performances."
We hope Dickens feels better after getting all that nastiness out of his system.
WND Tries to Link Holy Land Tour to Trump
To promote its latest Holy Land tour, WorldNetDaily has been dangling the possibility that tourgoers will get briefings from Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Now it's trying to add a little reflected glory, such as it is, from our president to lure people and their money.
The latest tour promo starts, under the headline "Trump's headed to Israel. Are you?":
The tour itself is not until November -- more than five months after Trump's visit.
The promo once again dangles briefings from Netanyahu and Friedman, but in ambiguous language that makes it unclear whether they have actually confirmed their appearances for the tour. The tour's website still lists them only as "invited speakers."
Friday, May 19, 2017
MRC Serves Up Surprising (And, Of Course, Hypocritical) Praise of Lena Dunham
Topic: Media Research Center
Here's a shocker: The Media Research Center, which is normally eager to attack actress Lena Dunham -- it absolutely hated her TV show "Girls" -- suddenly has something nice to say about her. Sarah Stites writes in a May 15 post:
Needless to say, the MRC's sudden praise for Dunham is totally hypocritical, for it has mocked her looks. In a September NewsBusters post, Dylan Gwinn insulted her "boyishly boyish looks" -- "Much like Pat from Saturday Night Live" -- and effectively called her a slut as well:
Stites went on to note that Dunham's "tweets make the point that feminists can be quite hypocritical," complete with examples. But she offered up no examples of conservatives engaging in the same behavior -- like her former MRC co-blogger. And that's rather hypocritical as well.
CNS Treats Us To The Political Thoughts of ... Fabio
A few months ago, we noted how CNSNews.com loves to complain about nobody cares what celebrities have to say about political issues -- despite its record of touting celebrities who spout political views that align with CNS' right-wing agenda.
The absurd pinnacle of this is CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman devoting an entire May 8 blog post to the political musings of ... Fabio:
Chapman offered no reason Fabio's opinions should be taken seriously, beyond his bashing of a politician conservatives like Chapman reflexively hate.
A Church Becomes A Mosque, And WND's Hohmann Freaks Out
Hohmann's claim that the church was "taken over" by the mosque implies implies an involuntary and possibly forceful action; in fact, as Hohmann finally gets around to conceding in the 17th paragraph of his article, "The mosque purchased the former church building on four acres for $230,000."
Unusual for Hohmann, he actually interviewed the person he's attacking, in this case Rev. Jim Melnyk, an Episcopal minister who took part in the interfaith conversion ceremony. Apparently the interview involved no small amount of Hohmann lecturing Melnyk about the evils of Islam, as this article snippet suggests:
Hohmann also called on a fellow Muslim-hater who ranted that Melnyk "should be severely reprimanded by his bishop, if not defrocked and excommunicated for deceiving his flock and denying Christ in such a blatant manner." Of course, Hohmann didn't give Melnyk a chance to respond to that personal attack.
Hohmann also did his own ranting in the midst of his freakout over the church-turned-mosque:
Remember, Hohmann is fearmongering about immigration of Muslims to the U.S. as "civilization jihad."
Thursday, May 18, 2017
MRC Still Stands Athwart (Obama) History, Yelling 'Stop!'
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center, it seems, can't stop raging that historic things that occured in the Obama years were called "historic" by the media.
The MRC's Mike Ciandella rants in a May 5 post (boldface in original):
All this just to avoid admitting that the Affordable Care Act was, in fact, historic (and to pretend that the current attempt to gut it somehow is)? Sheesh.
WND Goes All In On Discredited Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories
This little statistic tells you all about WorldNetDaily's news priorities: In the past day or two, WND published exactly one original article on the claims that President Trump shared classified information with the Russians and that Trump told ousted FBI director James Comey to end his investigation of onetime Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Bob Unruh desperately spun the former claim as a "report based on a leak from an unnamed source" and the latter as "purportedly based on a memo supposedly seen by two unidentified agents."
By contrast, WND cranked out six articles on developments regarding the 2016 death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.
First up was Chelsea Schilling asserting that Rich "was communicating with WikiLeaks before his death, according to the family’s private investigator," and had purportedly sent "44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments" to WikiLeaks.
Except that Rod Wheeler, the man Schilling described as "the family’s private investigator," well, isn't -- he was hired by and paid for by money manager and frequent Fox News guest Ed Butowsky, and the family has dissociated itself from Wheeler's claims. Schilling later edited her article to vaguely concede that Wheeler "was hired by a third party to investigate for the Rich family," but curiously did not identify his funder.
That was followed by a usual WND trope: an article by Garth Kant complaining that nobody else is covering the story, in this case "potentially explosive" allegations from private investigator Rod Wheeler that Rich purportedly "emailed 44,053 DNC emails to WikiLeaks" before his death in an apparent botched robbery attempt. That "could throw a wrench into the narrative that Russia hacked the Democratic Party’s emails during the 2016 presidential election in order to influence the presidential election," Kant breathlessly speculated.
Then came a similar complaint from Leo Hohmann that "The story that many conservative media considered a 'bombshell' Tuesday didn’t even register as a blip on the screens of CNN, ABC and CBS."
Bob Unruh then weighed in with an article claiming to recount the history of the case, adding that Rich's murder "took place the same month emails released by WikiLeaks on the eve of the Democratic National Convention revealed the Democratic National Committee was manipulating the party’s primary to ensure Hillary Clinton defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for the party’s presidential nomination." He too falsely claimed that Wheeler was "hired by the Rich family."
Unruh followed that with a profile of Rich that also recounted the conspiratorial allegations.
Then WND fully goes there in an anonymously written article declaring that "Seth Rich’s death shares some eerie similarities with many mysterious deaths of individuals linked to former President Bill Clinton and twice failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton." That's right -- it's time for WND's umpteenth rehasing of the completely discredited Clinton Body Count (and a minor rewrite of an article WND first published shortly after Rich's death).
While WND was going all in on the Rich story, however, that story was falling apart. Wheeler lacks credibility as an investigator -- we flagged him in 2007 pushing the claim (which WND enthusiastically repeated) that there were "lesbian gangs" in Washington, D.C., who used guns painted pink. Wheeler had to walk back that claim, and he's walking back his claims about Rich as well.
Wheeler is also admitting that he has no evidence Rich ever contacted WikiLeaks and that he has never seen Rich's computer, let alone any emails he might have sent. Wheeler also admitted he never talked to the "federal investigator" he cited as evidence for his claims.
Needless to say, WND can't be bothered to do a story on that.
Another Bogus MRC Coverage Study, This Time Bashing CNN For Covering The News
Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC tried to portray CNN as "Completely Obsessed With Donald Trump -- And Not In A Good Way," and the result was a May 16 item complaining that, um, CNN was covering the news. Rich Noyes writes:
Remember, the MRC thinks there should be no negative coverage of Trump whatsoever, so these results are a lilttle skewed. While Noyes did concede there were "neutral" commetators on CNN -- which somehow didn't make it into the accompanying chart, all the better to push the "anti-Trump" storyline -- he does not account for neutral commentators who said negative things about Trump. Heck, he doesn't even acknowledge that Trump's firing of Comey is something that many neutral people might be critical of.
As usual, Noyes refuses to provide the full details of his research, like how he determined that CNN had 96 Trump-haters on in a single day. And while Noyes whines that Trump's firing of Comey was "a three-day-old story" at the time of his study, he doesn't explain why it's a story that should not be discussed for a third day. A president firing his FBI director under suspicious circumstances is a newsworthy story, and were Trump a Democrat, the MRC would agree.
Like the MRC's other bogus studies, this isn't "research" at all -- it's a political document. If the MRC actually cared about conducting legitimate research, we would have seen a study sometime during the previous eight years titled "Fox News Is Completely Obsessed With Barack Obama -- And Not In A Good Way."
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
WND Cheers Spicer's Stonewalling
Remember when WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah pushed the myth on WND's 20th anniversary that his website is a "check and balance on government power," complaining about thet "cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship developing between the corporate press and state power" and vowing that "WND would never fall prey or be seduced by that temptation"? That, of course, was stated just a few days after WND's Chelsea Schilling penned a gushy, sycophantic profile of White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
The sycophancy continues in a May 12 article, in which Garth Kant actually cheers Spicer's pathetic stonewalling on the issue of whether President Trump has "tapes" of his conversations with ousted FBI director James Comey, which the president himself suggested he did. Kant just loved how Spicer "would find a way to burst that bubble and deflate all those high expectations with just a few choice words:
We doubt that Kant and his boss, Farah, would be quite so praiseworthy of the White House press secretary if he had performed a similar feat of stonewalling for a Democratic president.
Your cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship between a media outlet and state power in one story, folks.
MRC's Double Standard on TV Show Cancellations
Topic: Media Research Center
Writing about the ABC show "The Real O'Neals" -- a show the Media Research Center has despised since its inception for its link to gay activist and sex columnist Dan Savage and for find humor in Catholicism -- in a May 12 post, the MRC's Matt Philbin rants:
But ABC just canceled the show, so Philbin was quick to credit divine intervention, stating in his headline that "God is good" and concluding his post by declaring, "Thanks be to God."
Also getting the cancellation ax from ABC in the past few days is "Last Man Standing," a sitcom the MRC loved to quote for the snide comments about liberals made by the character played by star Tim Allen. Even though it waslikely cancelled by the very same ABC execs who canceled "The Real O'Neals," the MRC had a much different reaction: namely, conspiracy theories.
MRCTV's Nick Kangadis touted how Allen played a "politically right-leaning character" and speculated that the cancallation "might’ve been Hollywood pushing back at Allen for outing them about their clear and consistent bias to the Left" and huffed that "people in Hollywood ... love money, even if it’s conservative money. They just don’t like conservative messages making that money for them."
Matt Norcross went into full conspiracy mode in a NewsBusters post:
The MRC, meanwhile, clearly doesn't regret its blatant double standard.
WND Gives Fake-News Reporter A Platform To Smear Huma Abedin
Last August, reporter Paul Sperry published at the New York Post a report falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin once edited a "radical Muslim publication that opposed women's rights and blamed the US for 9/11." In fact, the "radical Muslim publication" is a standard academic journal, and Abedin didn't do much actual work for it. (Nevertheless, the Media Research Center demanded coverage of the fake story.)
WorldNetDaily -- Sperry's former employer -- apparently like the fake news they saw, and decided they wanted more.
In an April 26 WND article, Sperry played guilt-by-association by claiming that "the U.S. Justice Department has been actively prosecuting two other Abedin family members – for conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud." Sperry provides no evidence of a direct link between Abedin and the relatives.
On May 2, Sperry tried to push the conspiracy further by getting the right-wing ambulance-chasers at Judicial Watch involved -- presumably on Sperry's request. Again, he offers no evidence of any direct connection between Abedin and the alleged wrongdoing of her extended family members.
The beautiful thing is that we don't need to fact-check this. We can just use Sperry's abysmal track record on reporting on Abedin -- as well as the fact that apparently even the New York Post wouldn't touch this after getting burned by Sperry before and had to descend down the credibility spiral before finding a willing outlet in WND -- to presume he's not telling the full truth and that his reporting can't be trusted.
If WND is so adamant about denouncing fake news, why does it keep publishing people who have a track record generating fake news?
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
'Left-Wing, Liberal And Progressive'?
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media's Spencer Irvine goes on this little mini-rant in a May 5 post:
Isn't "left-wing," "liberal" or "progressive" sufficient on their own to describe CAP? Aren't the words basically synonymous? How can CAP possibly be all three at the same time? Irvine never explains.
And, actually, identifying CAP as "progressive" is sufficient. Irvine also ignores his own advice; in one recent post, he fails to identify the right-wing ideology of Judicial Watch, stating only that it's "the organization that helped expose the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal." And another post by Irvine identified the Heritage Foundation only as a "conservative think tank" despite its links to the Trump administration.
Irvine should do what he demands of others.
Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!
Accuracy in Media
Capital Research Center
Free Congress Foundation
Media Research Center
The Daily Les
Western Journalism Center
Support Bloggers' Rights!