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Thursday, September 14, 2017
There's Plenty Wrong With The MRC's Latest So-Called Study
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been getting some great right-wing press for its latest so-called study. For example, conservative media reporter Joe Concha gushed in an appearance on Fox News, "I get they're conservative, but no one challenges their data."

Wrong, Joe. We've always challenged the MRC's data, and we'll do so once again here.

The MRC's new "study" by Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella arrived under the headline "The Liberal Media’s Summer of Pummeling Trump." And therein lies the MRC's first deception. The "study" does not examine the entire media, or even the entire "liberal media" -- it looks only at the evening newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS. That's a very tiny sliver of the media, a half-hour on three channels. Throughout their report, Noyes and Ciandella repeatedly conflate this sliver with all of "TV."

Noyes and Ciandella then offered what they claimed was a "methodology":

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

Using these criteria, MRC analysts tallied 1,567 evaluative statements about the Trump administration in June, July and August, of which 1,422 (91%) were negative vs. a mere 145 (9%) which were positive. Since Trump took office on January 20, there have been 4,144 such evaluative statements, of which 3,712 (90%) were negative, vs. 432 (10%) which were positive.

First: "Spin" is not something that can be measured objectively -- it's an entirely subjective value. Similarly, "positive" and "negative" are subjective as well. Given the MRC's inherent bias against those very evening newscasts, it's predisposed to find negative evaluations, making its results even more biased and making that 91% number highly suspicious.

Second: The "evaluative statements" were only only positive or negative? There were no neutral evaluations? It's unlikely that all of the statements were so binary.

Third: Noyes and Ciandella make no evaluation of whether the Trump actions that were evaluated deserved the negative responses they claim to have documented, despite claiming that "All Presidents deserve critical news coverage from time to time." Instead, they assert without evidence that Trump is as "highly controversial" as President Obama was, but "Obama’s policies matched the liberal media’s preferences, while Trump’s agenda clearly clashes with the establishment media’s world view."

Fourth: Noyes and Ciandella don't provide a list of the "evaluative statements" they tallied, which makes this something of a black-box exercise. Perhaps they don't want people to know just how subjective their judgments are.

While Concha doesn't appear to think so, there's plenty to challenge about the MRC's data -- and it demonstrates that this study does not display scientific rigor and is too biased to be taken seriously as anything other than red meat for right-wing activists. You know, like most MRC "studies."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:53 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
WND's Ignorant 'School Is Child Abuse' Smear
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A pair of recent WorldNetDaily columns took on variations of an overused right-wing theme: that public schools are terrible to the point of "child abuse."

Anti-Kinsey obsessive Judith Reisman remains as obsessed as ever in an Aug. 31 column in which she, as near as we can tell, wants sex-education teachers arrested for distributing obscene material to children, claiming that such materials constitute "child sex abuse." Her evidence of this allegedly "obsecne" material is ... a 40-year-old pamphlet she does not prove was ever distributed in any classroom. She also bizarrely claims the sex-ed book "It's Perfectly Normal" has been "grooming child predators of every stripe."

Then, in a Sept. 4 column headlined "Sending kids to public schools is child abuse," Mychal Massie huffed that "The public school system has become a taxpayer-funded brothel where teachers have sexual relations with students and children are inculcated with deviant sexual depravity. It is our duty as Christians to provide avenues of rescue for children and families from the zeitgeist of sexual perversion extolled in public schools."

Massie then declared his preference for children to undergo forced indoctrination into Christianity:

I argued that as Christians, the summum bonum is to reach people for Christ and to manage well the resources God placed in our charge. I argued that we should advocate and then facilitate the coordination of resources to financially support private Christian schools. I contended that it was pointless to throw good money after bad in spending massive amounts of money in court battles regarding such issues as whether a grade-school child can give thanks for his food in the school cafeteria and to wage legal fights over whether children can wear a T-shirt to public school that says “Jesus Loves You.”

I argued that those sums of money could be used to bring children out of public schools and into a Christian education environment. I said that we could make it a nationwide effort and use it to evangelize. I spoke of how to implement the equitable funding of same and what it would mean for advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. As a coda to this point, I add that there were no paupers at this event. The attendees were in the top tax brackets. There was real money and real old money.

Massie doesn't explain how the forced indoctrination he advocates is any better than those public-school methods he despises.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EDT
Yes, The MRC Is Anti-Media
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Aug. 29 post, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck denounces the whole minor imbroglio over Melania Trump wearing stilettoes on her way to a presidential trip to visit victims of Hurricane Harvey. Houck insisted that this was "why people hate the media" and that the number of media outlets that reported the story "showed that many in the national and political media have no foresight for what actually matters." Then he added:

Liberal media defenders can claim that such criticism is delegitimizing the news media and that’s not what NewsBusters is dedicated to be doing. Rather, we’re simply bringing to light stories like these in which the media have done themselves a disservice to the public. 

Wrong. The MRC's goal is exactly to delegitimize the news media -- or, more to the point, any media that doesn't mindlessly promote right-wing talking points. That's why there is a Fox News-shaped blind spot in its media coverage (plus, it doesn't want to alienate the main TV outlet for its talking heads).

If the MRC really cared about "stories like these in which the media have done themselves a disservice to the public," where was its outrage when the right-wing media went crazy because President Obama put dijon mustard on his hamburger? Or when he mentioned arugula? Nowhere that we could find.

And if the MRC wasn't trying to delegitimize the media, it wouldn't be such a slavish acolyte to Donald Trump's even more hateful anti-media rhetoric.

Yes, Curtis, the MRC's job is to delegitimize any media that fails to advance a right-wing agenda. Until it can find it within itself to hold all media to account, let's not pretend otherwise.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:27 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Joseph Farah, The Right-Wing Zelig
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Did the WorldNetDaily editor really march with Martin Luther King, pal around with radicals as a youth and dream up the "Left Behind" books first? That's what he'll tell you. Is it true? Who knows? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
MRC Tries To Make 'MSNBC Conservative' A Thing
Topic: Media Research Center

Back in 2012 or so, the Media Research Center tried to float the idea of the "MSNBC conservative" -- an attempt to bash conservatives (in this case, the target was Joe Scarborough) who failed to be conservative enough for the MRC that was really just another form of Heathering.

Now, it looks like the MRC is trying to make "MSNBC conservative" happen again.

Brad Wilmouth tries to define the term in the midst of tagging someone as one in an Aug. 1 post:

The caricature of an MSNBC conservative is a commentator with a right-leaning background who -- when appearing as a panel member on the liberal news network -- either agrees with the liberal guests or fails to rebut liberal analysis while offering little actual right-leaning analysis to the discussion. Washington Post columnist and regular MSNBC guest Jennifer Rubin may have gone beyond caricature on Monday's Hardball as she actually seemed to enjoy reporting that "social conservatives" are "dying off."

In an Aug. 22 post, the person getting the "MSNBC conservative" tag from Scott Whitlock is P.J. O'Rourke, for mocking President Trump -- as if Trump had ever exhibited conservative tendencies before the 2016 election. (Remember, MRC chief Brent Bozell declared that Trump didn't "walk with" conservatives like him until a little Mercer money apparently changed his mind and he turned the MRC into a total Trump tool.)

Wilmouth took another shot at Rubin in a Sept. 4 post, calling her not only an "MSNBC conservative" but also "allegedly right-leaning."

This attempt at nomenclature comes with no acknowledgement whatsoever of its inspiration: the "Fox News Democrat," who actually lives up to the description Wilmouth ascribes to people like Rubin, who merely holds the same views on Trump Bozell did until mid-2016. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EDT
WND's Hohmann Doesn't Want To Be Cured of His Hatred of Muslims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 30 WorldNetDaily article by Leo Hohmann starts off by detailing how "A group of researchers from Germany and the United States claims to have found at least a partial cure for xenophobia, a much heralded accomplishment in the wake of a historic migrant crisis that has swept more than 1.7 million Muslim refugees from the Middle East and Africa into Europe’s cities and led to fissures in social cohesion that some predict have sewn the seeds of civil war."

But seeing as how we're talking about an inveterate Muslim-hater here, Hohmann doesn't take long before he calls on his fellow Muslim-hating friends to reject in the nastiest possible terms this opportunity to be cured of their disease, portraying this instead as Nazi-esque brainwashing (because, you know, Germans):

The study was not well received among conservatives in the United States, whether inside or outside the medical community.

Dr. Andrew Bostom said the study amounted to junk science and “should never have received IRB approval.”

An institutional review board (IRB), also known as an independent ethics committee, ethical review board or research ethics board, is a type of committee used in research that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research.

“Leave it to the Germans, the first thing that came to mind when I read this news was the medical experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele and his ‘work’ at concentration camps like Auschwitz to create a ‘better’ society comprised of people he deemed to be quality people,” said Ann Corcoran, who blogs at Refugee Resettlement Watch and is critical of United Nations-backed resettlements in U.S. cities.

“It is creepy,” she said. “Will the Germans demand their citizens get their daily dose of oxytocin?”

James Simpson, a journalist who has also written extensively about the dark side of refugee resettlement, was taken aback by the study.

“This reveals a deeply entrenched official agenda to push refugee resettlement at all costs and thoroughly discredit any and all opposition to it,” Simpson told WND. “It reinforces my belief that official Germany is carrying out the Russian plan to take over Western Europe using the refugee crisis to create chaos. Chancellor Angela Merkel is the Russians’ agent-in-place – a member of the East German Communist Party before coming to the West who inserted herself into West German politics by pretending to be a pro-West moderate leader.”

Simpson reminded WND of the old Soviet KGB methods of controlling the Russian population. Under the Communist Party, “refusniks” who failed to submit to the party’s dictates were considered one of two types of people – they were either jailed as prisoners of conscience or institutionalized as mental patients.

Hohmann even called in his boss, WND managing editor David Kupelian, to rant about how "“The left politicized the science of psychiatry, and the top levels of the social sciences are all dominated by the far left, whether it be the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, or whatever; they are all dominated by the left, and that’s why they came out and de-pathologized gender identity disorder in 2013. They did it despite there being a 41 percent suicide rate, cutting off healthy body parts, etc.”

Hohmann talked to no actual expert in psychiatry for his highly biased and hostile article.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
Did Mercer Money Make MRC Bury Bannon's Catholic-Bashing?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserarch Center is usually quick to pounce on any real or perceived slight of Catholics made in the media. After all, the MRC's leaders, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, are Catholic, and Bozell is a member of the advisory board of Bill Donohue's right-wing Catholic League.

But when that anti-Catholic slight comes from a trusted adviser to a Republican president, the MRC decided to look the other way.

In an excerpt from a "60 Minutes" interview released before its airing, recently departed Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon -- who claims to be a Catholic -- said that the Catholic Church has been "terrible" on the subject of undocumented immigrants, adding: "You know why? Because unable to really to come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches. That's -- it's obvious on the face of it. ... They have an economic interest. They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration."

Now, that's the kind of anti-Catholic insult that normally gets people like Bozell and Graham in a froth. But the MRC did everything it could to distract from it.

In a Sept. 7 post, Scott Whitlock didn't criticize Bannon's Catholic-bashing -- the remark was noted only in the transcript and written around in the body of the item, in which Whitlock stated only that "Bannon shot back that the 'Catholic Church has been terrible about this' issue"  --  but instead attacked Bannon's interviewer, Charlie Rose, for questioning if Bannon was being a "good Catholic" since even influential Cardinal Dolan opposes the Trump administration's stance in trying to end DACA. Whitlock huffed: "Apparently, the CBS position is that a 'good Catholic' supports the liberal agenda and conservative Catholic positions are to be ignored or dismissed." He didn't mention that it could be argued that CBS and Cardinal Dolan are on the same side.

A Sept. 8 post by Kristine Marsh  bashed late-night comedians for mocking Bannon, but she would concede only that "Bannon admitted he disagreed with the Catholic Church’s stance on DACA" and not offer a direct, full quote of Bannon's remarks. Rather, she actually complained that Stephen Colbert "bashed Bannon for implying the church had ulterior motives for wanting to help 'strangers who desperately need help'" -- the same thing the MRC would be bashing Bannon for if he wasn't a key Trump adviser.

A Sept. 11 post by Nicholas Fondacaro complains that Rose "lectured and berated Bannon about America and his worldview." Fondacaro is careful to edit out Bannon's Catholic-bashing from the transcript, replacing it with ellipses:

ROSE: Can I remind you, a good Catholic, that Cardinal Dolan is opposed to what's happened with DACA. Cardinal Dolan!

BANNON: The Catholic Church has been terrible about this.


BANNON: The bishops have been terrible about this.


ROSE: Boy, that's a tough thing to say about your church.


ROSE: You will not be attacking Donald Trump?

Meanwhile, over at the MRC's "news" division, no stories were published about Bannon's remarks. CNS did, however find the time and space to highlight two other alleged Catholic slights, plus a column by David Limbaugh attacking one of those slights.

The Catholic League's Donohue even wrote an article critical of Bannon -- but neither the MRC nor CNS published it despite both having no problem giving space to Donohue in the past.

Why did the MRC give Bannon a pass? One possible, if not likely, explanation: Mercer money. We've already noted how Mercer family interests are the single largest donor to the MRC; likewise, Bannon is heavily tied to the Mercer empire, which began when Bannon worked for the Mercer-owned data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica and continues through Mercer's part-ownership of the Bannon-headed

As with their stance on Donald Trump, Bozell and the MRC have proven they're not afraid to flip-flop and put money ahead of previously declared principles.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Monday, September 11, 2017
David Kupelian's Delusions
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian devoted an entire Aug. 27 column to ranting about how liberals are literally insane and delusional because they don't believe the same things he does. We're not making that up; the headline on the column is "Why so many leftists are genuinely delusional."

The column begins with a definition: "Delusion: a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact."

So, let's talk about delusions -- specifically the ones Kupelian loves to perpetuate as a top official of WND.

WND's eight-year war on President Obama (the first four we summarized here) was always an exercise in delusion -- so delusional, in fact, that Kupelian, his boss Joseph Farah, and writers like Jerome Corsi destroyed what little credibility WND had -- so much so that Farah tried to rebrand his far-right-fringe WND as "the largest Christian website in the world" (it's not). So utterly beclowned was WND that Farah was reduced to begging for money from readers in mid-2016 to keep his operation afloat.

It took mass delusion on the part of Kupelian and Co. to continue to run their website into the ground in the face of that cratering credibility. It took even more delusion for them to double down on the strategy.

For some reason, WND ramped up the amount of fake news on its website, even as it inveighed against the "fake news" of others.It also decided that spewing hatred of Muslims was a sound business strategy. Its fealty for Donald Trump has been embarrassing, to the point that it portrays him as being divinely guided (as compared to maliciously comparing Obama to Nazis and even the Antichrist).

Meanwhile, Kupelian is living his own personal delusion. Obama sent him into paroxysms of delusion, and he happily jettisoned his self-proclaimed sense of Christian morality to back a thrice-married adulterer for president.

Kupelian writes at one point in his column:

Hate – rage, resentment, extreme bitterness – quite literally opens up your mind to delusion and whatever dark spirit serves up that delusion. There’s a reason the word “mad” means both angry and insane. If you’re very angry, your mind will attract thoughts and feelings from an exceedingly dark realm.

Hate, all by itself, is a form of madness.

Kupelian has just described the motivation of WND's editorial agenda, as well as his personal mindset, during the Obama years. He, of course, remains so caught up in those delusions -- he actually asserts that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be "sheer horror" -- that he is unable to recognize this.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017 10:08 PM EDT
MRC Rushes to Limbaugh's Defense (Again)
Topic: Media Research Center

Is there anything Rush Limbaugh can do that the Media Research Center won't defend? It seems not.

The headline of a Sept. 7 MRC  item by Tim Graham declares: "Al Roker Uncorks False Charge That Rush Limbaugh Said Irma Was 'Fake,' Not 'Dangerous'." Actually, it's Graham who's making the false charge: The Roker tweets Graham includes in his post makes it clear that he was saying that Limbaugh was downplaying warnings about Hurricane Irma, not that the entire hurricane was "fake." Nevertheless, Graham goes on to rant:

Neither of these tweets stand up to an actual reading of the Tuesday Limbaugh transcript. Read it. Nowhere did Limbaugh say Hurricane Irma was "fake" or "not a dangerous storm." He never told anyone to "ignore" the forecasts. No one should expect the liberals at PolitiFact/PunditFact to award Roker with a big "FALSE" on the "Truth-o-Meter." But he deserves one. 

Actually, as the Washington Post's Callum Borchers summarizes:

Limbaugh, a fellow Trump booster, didn't say the deep state causesstorms, but he did say “you have people in all of these government areas who believe man is causing climate change, and they’re hellbent on proving it, they’re hellbent on demonstrating it, they’re hellbent on persuading people of it.”

Limbaugh didn't say the deep state directs storms toward major cities, but he did say “hurricanes are always forecast to hit major population centers because, after all, major population centers is where the major damage will take place and where we can demonstrate that these things are getting bigger and they’re getting more frequent and they’re getting worse — all because of climate change.

Thus we have two of the president's biggest promoters in the media [Limbaugh and Alex Jones] telling people that news about a storm — or perhaps even the storm itself — is fake. There could be serious consequences to Trump's ceaseless effort to lower trust in institutions such as the government and the press — consequences that the president and his team might not have fully considered.

But tell that to Graham, who was too far into full Limbaugh defense mode -- with an added healthy dose of mindless media-bashing -- to be concerned by the facts:

As for the "profit" part, Limbaugh also drew media ire for suggesting the local media and local advertisers profit from driving panic about an incoming storm: "the TV stations begin reporting this and the panic begins to increase. And then people end up going to various stores to stock up on water and whatever they might need for home repairs and batteries and all this that they’re advised to get, and a vicious circle is created. You have these various retail outlets who spend a lot of advertising dollars with the local media."

Limbaugh told listeners that you can't find any bottled water in his Palm Beach area, days before an accurate storm track. He talked about his experience of living in Florida since 1997 and he wasn't just talking about Irma, or Harvey, but about both the storm forecasts that are real, and those that turned out to be overhyped, because the hurricane track moved or the storm weakened.

But the media always take offense when someone says they profit from tragedy. Broadcasting before a hurricane or a snowstorm is a public service....and it naturally causes a big ratings increase. It naturally also causes a run on the stores for supplies. All of that is true. It's just....insensitive to suggest anyone consciously benefits from tragedy -- or the fear of tragedy. As the old Don Henley song "Dirty Laundry" implied, the media thrive daily on the worst news...because it's much more interesting than planes landing safely on time. 

The Left certainly accused the major media of putting profit ahead of stopping the election of President Trump. Was that a bizarre conspiracy theory, that the media's dramatic and heavy coverage of Trump meant profit came ahead of public service?

Of course, Graham and the MRC repeatedly complained that the media wasn't publishing enough bad news about Democrats, real or fake. (Graham and the MRC never did apologize or correct the record after enthusiastically promoting Fox News' fake-news story before the election taht Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent.)

Meanwhile, Limbaugh didn't have the courage of his own words to ride out the hurricane whose threat he downplayed; he evacuated from Florida before Irma hit.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
WND's 'Sanhedrin' Freakout -- And Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leo Hohmann complains in an Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily article:

The state of Israel’s religious establishment is taking its persecution of Messianic Jewish believers in Jesus to a new level.

A rabbinic court, or Sanhedrin, has ruled that a Jew who believes in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah is no longer considered a Jew for purposes of marriage in Israel. This makes it impossible for two Messianic Jews to get married inside the country.

“An Israeli couple who are Messianic Jews cannot marry in a traditional Jewish religious ceremony in Israel because they are considered converts to Christianity, a rabbinical court ruled on Tuesday,” according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

It was the first time a rabbinical court has ruled on the issue of the status of Jews who believe in Jesus as Son of God, after a Messianic couple requested they be married in Israel according to Jewish law or "halacha."

But Hohmann gets one key fact wrong. As religious blogger Richard Bartholomew explains, the Israeli rabbinical court that made this ruling is not a "Sanhedrin" -- a Sanhedrin handles criminal matters, and this is a civil matter -- and does not use that word to describe itself. Bartholomew adds: "Hohman (or an editor) perhaps chose the word 'Sanhedrin' because of its Biblical connotations – reflecting a Christian Zionist tendency to conflate modern and ancient Israel, and in the context of rabbinical hostility to Messianic Jews perhaps also recalling the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin as described in the New Testament."

Despite this wrong terminology, WND perpetuated it. Editor Joseph Farah ranted in a Sept. 1 column:

Everyone knows I love Israel.

I lead some of the largest tour groups from America every year.

I spend about 5 percent of my time there.

I have been there six times in the last five years, usually for at least two weeks.

But when Israel makes a mistake, I’m the first to admit it. And the Israeli Sanhedrin, or rabbinic court, made one this week – just as it did nearly 2,000 years ago when it condemned the one and only legitimate candidate for the Jewish Messiah.

But if Farah is the Israelophile he claims he is, wouldn't he know that the rabbinical court is not a Sanhedrin?

Apparently not. In a Sept. 5 column, Farah documents his email exchange with the webmaster for "the nascent Sanhedrin." But this is not the Sanhedrin that made the ruling; we we've noted, this is a group of extremist rabbis with links to the banned, violence-tolerating Kahane movement and an intent to replace secular law with Torah law.

Farah cheered the group's existence earlier this year when it bashed the United Nations, going so far as to declare himself "in total agreement with Israel’s Sanhedrin, which not only sees this issue the way clear-thinking people on earth do, but understand the way it is viewed by the Creator-God, who sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning."

(The Sanhedrin webmaster, however, did get Farah to back off his suggestion that today's nascent Sanhedrin was the same one that condemned Jesus to death. And he curiously didn't disabuse Farah of his incorrect notion that the rabbinical court that issued the ruling is not the Sanhedrin.)

Why isn't Farah in "total agreement" with the Sanhedrin, or whatever, now? Preobably because WND columnist Michael Brown is a "messianic Jewish scholar" -- WND's original article and Farah's first column on the subject quote him -- and apparent WND buddy Zev Porat is a messianic rabbi in with a ministry in Israel seeking to convert Jews into believing Jesus is the Messiah. Also, WND's favorite terrible lawyer, Larry Klayman, also claims to be a messianic Jew.

Hohmann gave Porat a platform to rant about the "Sanhedrin" in a Sept. 6 WND article, in which he "issued a direct challenge to the regathered Sanhedrin, or rabbic council."In true WND tradition, Hohmann could not be bothered to contact a member of the issuing council to offer its views its decision -- or explain to him why they're not the Sanhedrin.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Irony: CNS Relies on Liberal Media to Cover Hurricane

As much as the Media Research Center loves to bash the "liberal media," its "news" division,, has relied on it -- for instance, being a longtime subscriber to the Associated Press, which was discontinued earlier this year for unexplained reasons.

CNS' weekend coverage of Hurricane Irma is another example. Now that CNS can no longer repeat the right-wing talking point about the length of time between "major" hurricanes hitting the U.S., it has to find other ways of covering news (and, no, taking stenography from the Trump administration does not count). A Sept. 10 article promised "Live Coverage of Hurricane Irma."



But the article, credited to " Staff," states only:

For live coverage of Hurricane Irma, you can go to the websites of:

WFTS Tampa Bay, Fla.

CBSMiami, Miami, Fla.

That's right: This right-wing "news" organization must rely on the normally despised "liberal media" -- WTFS is an ABC affiliate, and the Miami TV station linked to above is owned and operated by CBS -- to cover actual news.

Apparently, the MRC doesn't think the evil "liberal media" isn't that evil after all. But will they ever say so in public?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:24 PM EDT
WND's Crowdfunding For Film Project Is A Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's attempt to crowdfund its campaign to push Seth Rich conspiracy theories has been a dismal failure, raising a paltry $4,358 (as of this writing) of its $100,000 goal. Which makes it strange that WND is trying the crowdfunding route again.

This time, it's for WND's film division to make a movie of Anna Dittman's WND-published memoir "Trapped in Hitler's Hell." Dittman, you might remember, earned WND's love by smearing President Obama as purportedly exhibiting Nazi-esque tendencies -- something she strangely denied applied to Donald Trump.

One article touting the campaign states: "It’s a timely story that offers plenty of lessons for us in our present age. All the critical issues young Anita faced in the 1930s and ’40s are resurfacing today. Fake news is being pushed, just like Nazi propaganda in the days of old." Needless to say, the article doesn't mention how much of that fake news is coming from WND.

WND is seeking $120,000, none of which would actually go toward making the film; instead, it wouid cover "legal expenses, business operations, marketing plans and materials (promo reels, websites, posters and press kits) as well as pre-production budgeting, scheduling and location scouting." WNDS adds: "After this preliminary work is done, the film can be pitched to investors who will be able to supply the money necessary to begin production and filming."

The GoFundMe page for the project states: 'The math is simple. If 2% of our WND audience of 6-8 million monthly visitors each donates $10 (that's less than two cappuccinos, or lattes, or mochas from Starbucks), we'll reach our film investor package goal of $120,000." That argument would seem to be less than persuasive, given that the typical WND reader likely doesn't frequent Starbucks and that WND despises the latte purveyor. For instance, columnist Rita Dunaway urged WND readers to boycott Starbucks over its support for Planned Parenthood, and WND cheered another boycott attempt over Starbucks' failure to hate gays like right-wingers do.

Another WND promo tried to steal a little glory from a much more successful film than anything WND has ever produced, pushing the idea that this film project would be just like the film "Dunkirk":

In the hit movie “Dunkirk,” British soldiers are trapped between the English Channel and the impending onslaught of the German army.

At stake is the capture or slaughter of 400,000 soldiers, the end of the British empire, and the conquest of Europe by Hitler’s Third Reich. All of this is a certainty unless a miracle happens.

In the same way, the true story of Holocaust survivor, Anita Dittman, involves an equally miraculous rescue. Her story is told in the book “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell: A Young Jewish Girl Discovers the Messiah’s Faithfulness in the Midst of the Holocaust.”


This is the powerful story that WND Films is endeavoring to make. And we need your help to tell it. Just like “Dunkirk” is reminding a generation that freedom is not free … it costs everything. Anita’s story will help restore belief in God’s providence … and that He alone has paid true freedom’s cost.

Actually, if you don't have a $100 million budget and Christopher Nolan as director, you're probalbly not going to end up with another "Dunkirk."

And it's pretty clear that won't be happening anytime soon. WND's GoFundMe campaign has raised just $5,273 as of this writing a full month into the campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:33 PM EDT
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Newsmax Helps Gorka Overcompensate
Topic: Newsmax

We've noted how Accuracy in Media likes to help former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka overcompensate by insisting on calling him "Dr. Sebastian Gorka," despite the fact that he's not a medical doctor (giving only medical doctors the "Dr." honorific is standard journalistic style) and his academic credentials (his doctorate is from a Hungarian school) have been question.

Now Newsmax is helping Gorka overcompensate as well.

During an appearance by Gorka on the Aug. 31 edition of Newsmax TV's "The Joe Pags Show," host Joe Paglliarulo repeatedly privileges Gorka with the "Dr." moniker. This is mostly repeated on the Sept. 4 edition of Newsmax TV's "America Talks Live," in which host Miranda Khan similarly gives Gorka the "Dr." moniker, though on-screen text more correctly identifies him as "Sebastian Gorka, PhD."

Newsmax also referred to "Dr." Gorka in articles on April 4 and Aug. 31 -- interestingly, both are about the right-wing Jewish group Zionist Organization of America running to Gorka's defense.

Newsmax also continues to privilege anti-abortion activist Alveda King with the "Dr." honorific, but this case is even more egregious because King's doctorate is honorary, not earned.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EDT
Fake News: WND Repeats Bogus Voter Fraud Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore writes in a Sept. 7 WorldNetDaily article:

The discovery that more than 6,000 people used out-of-state driver’s licenses to vote in New Hampshire last November bolsters Donald Trump’s claim he lost the state because thousands of Massachusetts residents came in to vote.

Trump claimed in February that out-of-state voters tipped the New Hampshire election, both against him and incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. The Boston Globe at the time dismissed his allegation as “groundless.”

But the vast majority of the 6,000 voters have neither obtained an in-state license nor registered a motor vehicle since the November vote, according to an inquiry by Republican Speaker of the New Hampshire House Shawn Jasper, the Washington Times reported.

Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in New Hampshire by 2,736 votes while Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan defeated Ayotte by 1,017 votes.

The records from the Department of State, which oversees elections, and the Department of Safety show 6,540 people voted using out-of-state licenses. But as of Aug. 30, only 1014, about 15 percent, had been issued New Hampshire driver’s licenses.

Of the remaining 5,526, only 3.3 percent had registered a motor vehicle in New Hampshire.

But as actual news outlets have pointed out after Kris Kobach, head of the White House's voter fraud commision, repeated the claim, there's no there there. There are these things called college students -- Dartmouth, for instance, is located in New Hampshire -- that have out-of-state driver's licenses and no need to get one in the state, or who don't have driver's licenses at all. New Hampshire does not require voters to have in-state driver's licenses.

Further, as the Washington Times article (which Moore curious fails to link to) points out,  the numbers being presented are raw and have not been analyzed to see if college students make up most of them.

In other words, this is fake news, something WND is sadly proficient at.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 AM EDT
Friday, September 8, 2017
CNS Attempts A Slightly Less Lame Right-Wing Attack on SPLC

An anonymously written Aug. 25 "news" article highlights how "Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia criticized the Southern Poverty Law Center for falsely labeling the Alliance Defending Freedom as a 'hate group,'" specifically defending anti-gay group Alliance Defending Freedom.

In addition to the usual boilerplate defense of ADF, the anonynous CNS writer surprisingly goes beyond previous ConWeb attacks on the SPLC -- though it presents ADF's description of itself as fact instead of opinion -- and actually cites the SPLC document that makes the group's case against ADF:

The Alliance Defending Freedom is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to “advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has labelled the ADF an “anti-LBGT [sic] hate group.”

On its website, the SPLC has posted a timeline of things the ADF has said and done over the years that the SPLC believes has earned it the label “hate group.”

The timeline starts in 2000 with this item: “The ADF helps fund and strategize the filing of a key amicus (friend of the court) briefs on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America in Dale v. Boy Scouts of America, in which a gay assistant Scoutmaster sued the BSA for expelling him because of its ban on gay members and leaders.”

The SPLC’s timeline goes on to state that in 2014: “ADF sends a letter to school districts around the country stating that no school is legally beholden to implement trans-inclusive policies and allow trans students to access bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify. The letter denies the gender identity of such students and claims that such inclusive policies are allowing opposite sex students to access the facilities, which is ‘dangerous.’ ‘It is simply unfathomable that a school district would cave to activist demands that students have access to restroom and locker room facilities dedicated to the opposite sex.’”

Of course, CNS is cherry-picking the more benign examples from SPLC's timeline. No mention of, say, the assertion by former ADF leader Alan Sears that the campaign for gay rights is "a war of propaganda, just as Hitler did so masterfully in Nazi Germany," its pushing of the discredited link between homosexuality and pedophilia, or Sears' saying of gays that "there is no room for compromise with those who would call evil 'good.'"

The anonymous CNS writer went on to cite "a blog posted on the ADF website" that "hit back at the SPLC," but did not mention that the blog post does not refute any of the evidence the SPLC cites against it.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:15 PM EDT

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