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Wednesday, May 24, 2017
MRC's Bozell & Graham Slut-Shame Monica Lewinsky to Protect Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

It used to be that conservatives thought that Monica Lewinsky was the at least somewhat innocent victim of the predatory sexual desires of Bill Clinton in their notorious Oval Office affair. Now that Lewinsky is speaking for herself these days, that's gone out the window.

Lewinsky wrote a piece for the New York Times lamenting how the late Roger Ailes and Fox News exploited the affair and peddled salacious rumors, creating an atmosphere where "truth and fiction mixed at random in the service of higher ratings." She cited one Fox News poll that asked if she was a "young tramp looking for thrills."

Well, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham of the Media Research Center -- both regular guests on Fox News -- are here to answer that poll question in the affirmative, and to further slut-shame Lewinsky for expressing her opinion.

In their May 24 column, Bozell and Graham rush to denigrate Lewinsky for speaking out, actually calling her a "complete slut":

In her latest incarnation, Lewinsky is a victim of cyberbullying. She claims that's what she suffered at the hands of Clinton's critics. Is it cyberbullying to state she behaved like a complete slut, besmirching the honor of the Oval Office in the process?

[...]

Lewinsky complained that Fox took a poll in the first weeks of the intern scandal asking whether she was a "young tramp looking for thrills." That's blunt. But what other words does one use for an intern who Starr reported flashed her thong underwear at the married president of the United States at their first meeting and later performed oral sex for him? "Overachiever"?

Five days after his death, Monica Lewinsky accused Ailes of exploiting a "personal and national tragedy" for profit. She is a pathetic creature and the perfect foil for The New York Times.

In case the slut-shaming intent wasn't clear enough, the MRC's NewsBusters Twitter feed promoted Bozell and Graham's column by calling Lewinsky "a bit nutty, a bit slutty" --  an echo of David Brock's 1990s attack on Anita Hill over her sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas.

The MRC has continually attacked Hill over the past 25 years for daring to criticize a beloved conservative, and it appears it will do the same to Lewinsky for the very same reason.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:34 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:34 PM EDT
WND Desperately Tries to Justify Its Seth Rich Obsession
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's sick obsession with portraying the death of Seth Rich as a Clinton/Russia/whomever conspiracy is  yielding diminishing returns as the conspiracy theories get discredited, but WND continues to remain oblivious to the facts.

WND editor Joseph Farah endorsed the conspiracy-mongering in his May 22 column raging at the Washington Post for pointing out that conspiracy theories about Rich's death are no different than right-wing conspiracy theoriesa about the death of Vince Foster -- which, of course, Farah and WND have been promulgating for decades. after huffing that the Post takedown was "textbook crap,"adding: "Apparently, the gullible reporters and editors at the Post believe politicians are incapable of evil deeds – especially Democratic politicians. And anyone who pokes around at stories about such the murder of Seth Rich is a 'conspiracy theorist.'"

Funny how a guy who insists that "politicians are incapable of evil deeds" has no interest in pursuing the story of Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials, which mose people might consider a liiiiiittle bit evil.

Farah laughably calls himself an "independent journalist" -- not true; he has always been motivated by his right-wing agenda, which is anything but independent -- and scorned criticism of WND and other right-wing outlets that "reported on a private investigator’s revelations about what he found when he was hired to look into the murder after a year of zero progress by the Keystone Kops of Washington, D.C." Farah didn't mention that said "private investigator," Rod Wheeler, retracted most of his claims.

Farah also complained about the lack of "standards" in the "so-called 'mainstream media,'" but didn't mention his own lack of standards in continuing to cling to discredited claims.

Speaking of lack of standards, WND once again called on discredited Pizzagate conspiracy-monger Liz Crokin, who paired up with WND writer Alicia Powe to claim that "Former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile is the high-ranking DNC representative who allegedly called police and the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich and demanded to know why a private investigator was 'snooping' into Rich’s death." Their source? The discredited investigator himself, Rod Wheeler. Needless to say, Crokin and Powe don't tell their readers that Wheeler has retracted most of his earlier claims about Rich.

Crokin and Powe also tout a claim tha Rich was a WikiLeaks sourceby Kim Dotcom, whom they describe as "the hacker described as an 'entrepreneur, innovator, gamer, artist, Internet freedom fighter & father of 5.'" They don't mention that Dotcom is a fugitive from justice, facing racketeering and money-laundering charges for operating and hiding in New Zealand to avoid extradition to the U.S.

On May 23, Powe followed up by speculating that the Rich family's spokesman, Brad Bauman, is being paid by the Democratic National Committee, where Rich was working when he was killed in an apparent botched robbery.It's an absurd fixation, since Powe and WND have refused to tell its readers who's paying discredited investigator Wheeler.

Powe hinted at it by mentioning Ed Butowsky as "a Texas businessman who hired a private eye to look into Rich’s murder" -- but refused to actually state that Wheeler was the "private eye" Butowsky hired.

WND also posted an anonymously written article with one of its usual tropes: a "big list" of conspiracy mongers who also question the circumstances of Rich's death. Strangely, in the midst of this article is where WND decides to dump all the negative stuff it's been avoiding all this time, including the "bombshell retraction" by Fox News of its Rich story and an admission for the first time that Wheeler has backtracked on his original claims about Rich.

But because this is an info dump rather than actual reporter, WND can't be bothered to separate fact from fiction -- there's no explanation of what WND is continuing to cling to and what information, if any, it considers discredited because Wheeler backtracked.

Of course, WND has never cared about the truth. Fact and fiction carries no real distinction to Joseph Farah and Co. It didn't when WND was pushing birther conspiracies, and it certainly doesn't in the rapidly collapsing Seth Rich story.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 12:37 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
CNS Does Months-Old Story On Bin Laden To Avoid Covering Trump Scandals
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last week, when news was breaking that President Trump reportedly asked then-FBI director James Comey to end the agency's investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the pro-Trump stenographers knew they couldn't devote space to a story that makes their hero look bad.

So what did CNS report instead? A months-old story about Osama bin Laden.

CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey did the honors himself with a May 17 article:

Among the materials that U.S. forces retrieved from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was a document (labeled “Letter providing direction”) in which the author, who speaks as if he is bin Laden himself, advised those he was directing to seek a deal with “any American TV station” to run a videotape he planned to produce in the fall of 2004.

But he specifically nominated CBS as his own candidate for broadcasting the tape.

In the end, al Qaida did release a videotape of bin Laden that was broadcast on Oct. 29, 2004—by Al Jazeera, not CBS.

Jeffrey went on to note that the letter was released Jan. 19 -- which means Jeffrey is a good four months late to writing about it. 

On the other hand, it gave Jeffrey plenty of time to crank out a 34-paragraph article on the subject. Though one would think Jeffrey had more important news to cover that day than this one.

But that's what Jeffrey has to do to avoid honest coverage of the growing Trump scandals.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, January 28, 2018 3:01 PM EST
WND Cranks Up the Islamophobia
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There's so much Islamophobia going on at WorlddNetDaily that it's difficult to capture it all. Here's a couple recent egregious examples.

In a May 13 article, Paul Bremmer gives WND reporter and Msulim-hater extraordinaire Leo Hohmann free rein to fully express his hatred -- under the unsubtle headline "America's death coming by a thousand visas" -- as related on an obscure radio show, complete with shadowy illustration of apparently armed people who may or may not actually be Muslims:

Islam makes its presence in America felt in many ways. Sometimes it happens through violence. Far more often it happens when Muslim immigrants arrive and plant their own institutions and customs on American soil. And some Muslims come with the specific purpose of spreading Islam.

There are now roughly 3,200 mosques in America, nearly three times as many as there were in 2000. And these are not just any mosques, according to Leo Hohmann, a WND news editor who has reported extensively on Islam and immigration.

“A lot of these mosques that we have in this country are more radical than what you would find even in the Middle East: 85 percent of the imams in this country are foreign-born, getting their education from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, or another major university in Saudi Arabia,” Hohmann said during a recent appearance on “Caravan to Midnight” with John B. Wells.

Hohmann, who authored the book Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and the Resettlement Jihad, said many of these imams come to the U.S. on R-1 visas, which are for ministers and other religious workers.

“These are the worst of the worst,” he declared. “These are the people that really are serious about spreading Islam, and they’re using our visa system and the ignorant, naïve American kafir to come in here and spread it.”

[...]

To Hohmann, rampant immigration without assimilation qualifies as an invasion. He wonders when Americans will finally stand up and resist the invasion.

“At what point do we become willing to defend our way of life and our culture against this other competing system that we’ve invited in?” he asked. “These people are here at the invitation of the U.S. government. It’s legal immigration. But at what point do we say these folks really don’t value what we value?”

Hohmann believes it’s important to not only resist Islamic culture, but to preserve America’s Christian culture, which he thinks is the best bulwark against Islam.

“In my opinion, societies are going to have some sort of religion, and if it’s atheism and hatred for Christianity, then you’re just opening the door for Islam, and that’s what we saw happen in Europe,” he cautioned.

Hohmann doesn't mention that there are more than 300,000 Protestant churches in America alone, and thousands more Catholic parishes, so those 3,200 mosques are a drop in the bucket by comparison.

Also, Hohmann does make it clear he hates all of Islam, not just the radical parts, what with his ranting about how to "preserve America’s Christian culture." He later complains: "We have to expect to be called names. ... We can’t be afraid of name-calling. They will call you these vicious names because that’s really all they have. They don’t want to debate the facts." This from a guy who has demonstrated he doesn't want to debate the facts about Islam.

And we don't call Hohmann names; we accurately describe what he is.

A May 22 article by Greg Corombos featured an interview -- under the even more unsubtle headline "Muslims invade U.S. 'in the name of Allah'" -- with anti-Muslim activist Paul Nehlen, who's currently making the right-wing rounds promoting his Muslim-hating film "Hirjah," which has made him a WND darling. Nehlen's film attacks resettlement of Muslim refugees in the U.S.

In the interview, Nehlen rants that agencies that resettle refugees "have very Christian-sounding names, but the reality is they are being co-opted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. ... They are working on behalf of the United Nations, which is clearly working at odds to the United States."

Nehlen, like Hohmann, is making the argument that Christianity must be protected from those filthy Muslim hordes, as Corombos writes:

Defenders of refugee resettlement and general Muslim migration contend the vast majority of Muslims are looking for a peaceful opportunity to pursue physical and financial security for their families. However, Nehlen said polling shows more than 50 percent of Muslims in the U.S. want to see Shariah law trump the Constitution as the final legal authority in the U.S..

“We are seeing Islamist Muslims who are reading directly from their documents and doing what is prescribed in their documents. It is inarguable,” Nehlen said. “You cannot argue that this religion is being perverted. It is not being perverted. It is being practiced in a fundamental way to spread Shariah around the world.”

And he said giving ground at the margins is a surefire way to lose the fight.

“There is no reason that a country should give up its culture, its heroes, its holidays, its traditions in order to make way for a new culture, new traditions, new holidays, new heroes,” Nehlen said. “That’s not what a nation-state is all about. I for one will not stand by and watch it happen."

Corombos' article is similarly illustrated by a shadowy image of people disembarking from a raft that WND clearly wants us to believe are among said filthy Muslim hordes, even though no Muslims enter the U.S. by boat from the Middle East and Africa.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:56 PM EDT
MRC Pushes False Attack on Obama
Topic: Media Research Center

In a May 5 Media Research Center post complaining that former President Obama said something about the French elections, Kristine Marsh wrote:

This isn’t the first time Obama has interfered in another country’s election, to media silence or lack of critique. In 2015, the Obama Administration tried to defeat Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu in his country’s election, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars that included taxpayer money, into left-wing campaigns in Israel fighting against Netanyahu’s re-election.

As we've pointed out, that's not what happened. While the State Department under Obama funded a group that aimed to support peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, U.S. funding stopped well before the Israeli election, there was no prohibition against using resources paid for with the funding on any other project the group undertook -- one of which was an anti-Netanyahu campaign during the 2015 election -- no grant money went toward the campaign, and no evidence has been provided that the Obama administration funded the group for the express purpose of permitting later use of the resources in a political campaign.

Even the article from The Hill that Marsh cites as evidence of her claim never claims that the Obama administration's goal in awarding the grant was to campaign against Netanyahu.

Most people would call what Marsh is trying to do here fake news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Monday, May 22, 2017
WND Is Sad Confederate Monuments Are Being Taken Down
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a May 13 article, an anonymous WorldNetDaily writer is upset that Confederate statues are being taken down in New Orleans:

Under cover of darkness and with construction crews wearing masks, they drove Old Dixie down in New Orleans.

A statue of Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis was removed from its podium early Thursday morning, one of four Confederate memorials Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu has vowed to banish from the city in the name of “diversity, inclusion and tolerance” in the crime-ridden Louisiana city.

Though the removal of the statue was greeted with a cheer, The Lost Cause was not without its supporters, many of whom waved Confederate battle flags and called for the mayor to be imprisoned.

The anonymous writer then calls on dubious historian David Barton, who calimed that "the Democrats cheering the statues being taken down would be shocked if they knew the history of their own party":

“The city plans to pull down four statues, those of Jefferson Davis, PGT Beauregard, the Crescent City White League and Robert E. Lee,” he noted. “I hope they tell the folks in New Orleans that all of these monuments honor Democrats, and that the Confederacy was led solely by Southern leaders of the Democrat Party. In a Democrat city like New Orleans, I can’t understand why Democrat leaders want old venerated Democrat heroes taken down!”

Not only does Barton fail to get the name of the Democratic Party correct -- which tells us he's been listening to too much Rush Limbaugh -- he apparently fails to realize that the Democratic Party of 150 years ago is not the Democratic Party of today, which tells us he cares nothing about actual history.

He's followed by Scott Greer, author of the WND-published book with the vaguely race-baiting title "No Campus for White Men," who goes for ridiculous generaliztion and absurd extrapolation:

“It’s an attempt to wipe out any pride Southerners should have in their heritage,” said Greer. “It’s the same kind of process we see on college campuses, where anything white people did in the past tends to be demonized. The left is driven by a desire to interpret all of history through the eyes of 21st century progressive dogma. In their eyes, everything about the American past is bad and shameful and must be driven into the dirt.”

[...]

“Soon we’ll have to take down Susan B. Anthony statues because even though she fought for women’s suffrage, she was openly pro-life; and, in today’s women’s movement, no one can be a true woman unless she supports Planned Parenthood and abortion. And of course Harriet Tubman statues will be taken down, for even though she was a leading conductor on the Underground Railroad bringing slaves to freedom, she was also a huge advocate for the right to keep and bear arms. For modern civil rights advocates, guns are anathema, and no true civil rights advocate can be for guns!

“We no longer look at heroes as people or as complex individuals; rather we now judge them solely by one issue, whatever that issue happens to be at the time. We are creating a culture where we believe we have a right not to be offended or even have our misconceptions challenged; and we’re willing to use coercion to keep ‘me’ from being offended, even if that offends ‘you.’ What offends us now is so routinely redefined that probably no statue now will survive more than a generation before it becomes offensive to someone who will demand its removal.”

Actually, the opposite is true: Society has moved toward judging heroes as real people and not one-dimensional caricatures. While Lee and Beauregard were undoubtedly complex individuals, their statues did not honor that complexity; they honored their roles in a war in which they were on the side of perpetuating slavery -- a one-dimensional caricature.

Greer doesn't explain why Southerners should have "pride" in a "heritage" that is based on losing a war and perpetuating racial discrimination, something it can be argued that the Confederate statues were celebrating and something the Battle of Liberty Place monument -- marking an 1874 insurrection in which the Crescent City White League attacked a racially mixed New Orleans police force and actually carrying an inscription stating that following the insurrection, the 1876 election "recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state" -- most definitely did.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 10:13 PM EDT
MRC's Totally Hypocritical Attack on Anonymous Sources
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell denounced anonymous sourcing in their May 17 column:

In the current hothouse environment, with liberal media that define Trump as the antonym of democracy, the public should be wary of anonymous sources. This is especially true today. Newspapers that crusaded against Trump in their pages — both news sections and editorial pages — simply cannot be trusted. Theirs is not the pursuit of truth; it's the hunt for Donald J. Trump's scalp.

Earth to the Post: Your new motto is "Democracy Dies in Darkness," but anonymous sourcing is darkness. Every source who hides behind a wall as he tries to ruin other people's careers is a self-serving coward with a personal or political axe to grind. Without knowing an identity, the public has no way of telling anything. It's idiotic for the press to demand transparency in government at the exact same time it rewards government officials who refuse to be transparent themselves.

Journalists pat themselves on the back that they would never be "stenographers to power," but they're worse than that now. In their zeal to destroy Trump, they've become stenographers to anonymous power.

Graham repeated his (and Bozell's) complaint in an appearance on Fox News, where he grumbled about "news media about Trump that has been driven by anonymous sources trying to destroy this president."

Needless to say, Graham and Bozell are being totally hypocritical. When anonymous sources were being used to attack people other than Trump, the MRC has been more than happy to promote their claims.

Shortly before the election, Fox News reported -- based on anonymous sources -- that an indictment of Hillary Clinton was likely over her emails. The MRC not only didn't question Fox's use of anonymous sources, it demanded that other media outlets report the story, even as it was falling apart.

Fox News ultimately retracted the story, conceding that its claims were never verified. The MRC never told its readers about that.

So, Messrs. Graham and Bozell, spare us your selective, hypocritical, politically motivated concern over anonymous sources -- nobody's buying it. We know you'll love them again when they are being used to report a claim about a non-conservative political figure.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Faking It At WND, Part 2
Topic: WorldNetDaily
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 >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
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:

I knew Roger for over 30 years and from the start I was in awe of his talent. The Left would command a monopoly control of the so-called "news" media but for the Fox News Channel, and FNC would not exist but for him. The good Roger did for America is immeasurable. May he rest in peace.

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:

Sherman doesn’t seem to be a student of history because American politics has been a rough and tumble endeavor almost since its creation. There have instances of fistfights and canings in the U.S. Senate dating back to the 1800s. That’s not to mention the vile (for time period) things they would say about each other on the campaign trail and in political cartoons.

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.

Tim Graham went unhinged (to coin a phrase) on Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi's takedown of Ailes, managing to invoke "hippies" not once but twice:

One of the first delusional traits of leftists is to imagine there the media environment wasn’t “hyper-divisive” before Fox News began. They maintained the pretense that everyone loved a unanimously liberal news media, but that was obviously not the case. It would be smarted to say the “hyper-divisive media environment” started with the hippies in the Sixties, the ones who turned on their parents as atrocious war-mongering squares.

[...]

In this Taibbi fantasy, Rolling Stone was never a political fiefdom for hippie leftists and drug-crazed Hunter Thompson fanatics, which later aged into a sort of baby-boomer Tiger Beat for Clinton and Gore, Kerry and Obama (combined with Taibbi slashing the Republicans as monsters like Ailes). Instead, all political fear and loathing came from Fox[.]

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:

I have no idea what went on with the tales of Ailes and sexual harassment.  I do know that when President Bill Clinton had women pouring out of the woodwork to accuse him of, among other things, dropping his pants to a state employee (Paula Jones) and telling her to “kiss it”, an allegation of rape (Juanita Broaddrick) and groping in the Oval Office (Kathleen Willey) liberals dismissed all of this as “only about sex” - instructing the rest of us to get a life and grow up. And for double-standards such as that Roger Ailes built Fox News.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 PM EDT
WND Still Won't Admit Seth Rich Story Is Fake News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:59 PM EDT
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:

After a lengthy career as an NBC/MSNBC analyst spent trashing conservatives and admiring Democrats, so-called Republican Nicolle Wallace is finally being rewarded with her own show. Wallace’s show Deadline: White House will debut on Tuesday, and she fits the bill of an “MSNBC Republican” to a T.

The former McCain-Palin campaign senior advisor didn’t even vote for the candidates she worked for. And she has displayed that kind of disloyalty as a TV talking head. In her stints as a co-host on ABC’s The View and NBC political analyst, the former George W. Bush White House communications director has attacked Republicans from the “despised” Ted Cruz and “moronic” James Inhofe to the “un-American” Donald Trump, but offered kind words for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Going back to 2014, she gushed that she was a “huge fan” of the idea of a Hillary Clinton candidacy and dismissed the idea of her husband’s scandalous past hurting her because “to know Bill is to love Bill.” However, in 2015 she essentially called Sarah Palin “mentally ill.” And during the 2016 campaign she accused Trump’s supporters of having “sinister sentiments.”

Most recently, Wallace labeled Trump’s immigration polices as “un-American,” and was stumped by Trump voters who refused to take her bait to criticize the new president.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 PM EDT
WND Tries to Link Holy Land Tour to Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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?":

President Trump plans to be in Israel May 23 to help the Jewish state celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem June 7 during the Six Day War of 1967.

Israel is looking forward to the arrival, with Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely saying: “Since Trump entered the White House, we feel that we have a true friend there. When he arrives, we will happily welcome him.”

Are you a true friend of Israel? Have you shown it by visiting?

Maybe it’s time, because this is a big year for the Jewish state.

Not only is Israel observing the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, it’s also the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that set in motion the chain of events that led to revived statehood after nearly 1,900 years. It’s also the 70th year since the United Nations vote to re-create the nation.

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."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
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:

Although Lena Dunham is no fan of Kellyanne Conway, she’s not here for digs at the presidential counselor’s appearance.

In a series of tweets posted Sunday morning, the liberal writer/producer expressed the view that commenting on women’s looks doesn’t advance the conversation.

“Insulting another woman’s appearance, even one you ideologically disdain, isn’t moving the needle forward,” she noted. “Seems crazy to have to explain…”

“…I’m no saint but I don’t, for example, get sassy about Kellyanne Conway’s looks,” Dunham continued. “It muddies the waters and prevents real discourse.”

“Or are we all just pretending to want real discourse?” she concluded.

It’s an important question to ask. And Dunham, a noted critic of body-shaming and appearance-based discrimination, should be commended for extending her defense to a conservative with whom she disagrees.

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:

Lena Dunham is in no way sexually appealing. When trying to ascertain whether or not a man is interested in a woman, it is imperative to use an attractive woman.

Yet, this is precisely the point. Dunham knows she’s not attractive, and her leftist sycophants know she’s not attractive. Which is why she continuously gets naked and throws herself at men.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EDT
CNS Treats Us To The Political Thoughts of ... Fabio
Topic: CNSNews.com

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:

Commenting on California Gov. Jerry Brown's support for Proposition 57, which supposedly will safely reduce that state's "non-violent felons" prison population, actor and model Fabio Lanzoni (popularly known as Fabio) said, "California is a mess" and Gov. Brown (D) "took the side of the criminal," sold people "on lies," and "turned his back" on the police.

[...]

On Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fabio, who became a U.S. citizen in 2016, said, "California is a mess. You know, it's like coming from Europe -- I already saw this movie before. So, you know, instead to take the sides of the law enforcement, Governor Jerry Brown took the side of the criminal."

"And, you know, he's a champion of proposition 57," said Fabio. "He went on TV and talked about how he's going to release some, you know, non-violent criminals because California has no money. It costs about $100 million to keep these people in jail."

"So, the only problem, he lied to people," said the actor/model. "He sold people on lies, he told the people this criminal -- the guy got arrested for a bag of marijuana, no big deal. No, actually, you know, there is much more to the story."

Chapman offered no reason Fabio's opinions should be taken seriously, beyond his bashing of a politician conservatives like Chapman reflexively hate.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 PM EDT
A Church Becomes A Mosque, And WND's Hohmann Freaks Out
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Muslim-hater Leo Hohmann is aghast in a May 15 WorldNetDaily article:

A former church has been taken over and converted to a mosque in a rural North Carolina county, and a group of Christian pastors took part in the conversion ceremony in an effort to “show mutual respect” for their Muslim neighbors.

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:

Melnyk said Christianity and Islam “share common origins and scriptures” and that he felt it was the right thing to do to participate in the mosque opening as a show of respect for Islam, a fellow monotheistic faith.

“Christians, Jews and Muslims are all people of the book, and we all claim what the Hebrew Scriptures call the Abrahamic faith,” Melnyk told WND. “We call it the Old Testament, and Muslims also claim the Bible.”

Islam teaches the Bible was corrupted by Jews and Christians and that the Quran was the final, perfected revelation of Allah as given by the Angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. Melnyk said he is aware of these teachings.

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:

Turning over a former church to be made into a mosque is, historically and theologically, seen by Muslims as proof that their religion is superior to Christianity and, in fact, as part of their destiny as adherents of Islam, Furnish said.

The Middle East is full of churches and synagogues turned into Islamic sites, such as the Umayyad in Damascus, the Ibn Tulun in Cairo and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. In Hebron and on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Muslim conquerors built their sites atop the Jewish ones.

Likewise, in post-Christina [sic] Europe, hundreds of churches and synagogues have been converted to mosques in recent years. But the phenomenon is only just beginning in the U.S.

Remember, Hohmann is fearmongering about immigration of Muslims to the U.S. as "civilization jihad."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT

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