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Friday, October 6, 2017
WND Can't Let Go of Seth Rich Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, it seems, is not done trying to exploit the death of Seth Rich for its own political purposes.

A Sept. 25 article by Alicia Powe -- who is becoming to Seth Rich conspiracy theories at WND what Jerome Corsi was to birtherism -- touted how "lobbyist and lawyer Jack Burkman has launched a new nationwide TV campaign pleading for the public’s help" to solve the case.

Somehow, the fact that Burkman's video plea is subtitled in Russian -- proof that Burkman is a right-wing troll instead of a someone genuinely interested in helping out -- escaped Powe's attention.

Powe went on to whine: "Rich’s story has been largely ignored by establishment media. Those who have called attention to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the murder have been branded 'conspiracy theorists,' including Fox News host Sean Hannity." Powe doesn't deny that proponents of conspiracy theories are conspiracy theorists.

Powe followed that with an Oct. 4 article on the exploits of "Texas attorney Ty Clevenger" -- who, according to his blog, appears to be lilttle more than a gadfly Clinton-hater -- in trying to obtain federal records on Rich's death (despite the fact that it is a local crime that the feds wouldn't usually touch).Powe portrays Clevenger as just a concerned citizen and not at all another right-wing troll:

Clevenger said the effort to hide information about the Rich investigation prompted him to cull information from the government about the mysterious murder.

“I don’t really have a strong opinion about exactly what happened to Rich, but it just seemed there was so much of an effort to conceal information – that alone made me suspicious,” he told WND on Wednesday. “I’m a former reporter, a former cop – deputy sheriff in Texas – and currently a lawyer. Any time somebody hides information, that makes me suspicious.

“I understand in an investigative murder there is evidence that, for strategic reasons, you want to keep under wraps,” he continued. “But in this case, there’s just a lot of questions that could be answered – a coroner’s report, basic information. The rigid official narrative, that it was a robbery and that’s that – no further discussion – that’s suspicious.”

It's not until later in the article that Powe mentions Clevenger's Clinton-hate obsession, noting that he has been "aiming to get Clinton and her personal attorneys disbarred for their handling of her official emails during her time as secretary of state." But then, WND wouldn't have much to report if it refused to talk to obsessed haters.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EDT
Thursday, October 5, 2017
CNS Squeezes Three Articles Out Of A Single Trump Speech

How much is slavishly devoted to Donald Trump? It somehow managed to get three entire articles out of his relatively short speech following the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

In the first article, posted at 11:14 a.m. on Oct. 2, Melanie Arter summarized the speech and hit all the salient points from it. Fro some reason, though, that was insufficient.

Fourteen minutes later, at 11:28, Susan Jones wrote her own story under the editorializing headline "Trump Invokes God, Prayer, Unity and Love," and reproduced Trump's speech in its entirety -- despite it being sufficiently summed up in Arter's article.

Somehow, that still wasn't enough praise for Trump and his rote speech. At 11:43, an anonymous writer under the name of " Staff" penned an article about how Trump "thanked the Las Vegas police and other first responders for making courageous efforts to stop the shooter and save the lives of the wounded."

Three articles on a five-minute speech, by at least two different writers (it's entirely possible that either Jones or Arter wrote this and didn't want to have a second byline about a single short speech). Is such redundant pro-Trump stenography really the best use of the time of CNS' reporters?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:20 AM EDT
WND's Las Vegas Coverage Heads Straight For Conspiracy Territory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As is its M.O., WorldNetDaily's coverage of the Las Vegas mass shooting headed to conspiracy territory fairly quickly.

Leo Hohmann penned an article headlined "Shooter in Vegas massacre was a longtime federal agent." But he's overstating the case, given that it involved Stephen Paddock being a mail carrier, an IRS agent and an auditor for the Defense Department over a 10-year span ending in the mid-1980s. That's likely why the headline on Hohmann's article later changed "federal agent" to "fed." (Who knew mail carriers were "federal agents"?)

Nevertheless, Hohmann insisted this was a significant development: "With his institutional knowledge of how the federal bureaucracy works, Paddock was anything but the typical mass shooter. He would have been able to cover his tracks in the planning stages of his attack." Again, Paddock's federal employment was 30 years ago, making it unlikely that his "institutional knowledge" would still apply today.

Hohmann devoted another article to trying to build the credibility of ISIS' claim of responsibilty for the Las Vegas shooting, despite the fact that nobody actually investigating the shooting currently believes this to be so.

Alicia Powe, meanwhile, rushed to spin away any responsibility for the shooting on the arsenal of guns Paddock had accumulated: "Over the last 20 years, the perpetrators of nearly all the deadliest mass shooting in the United States have shared one of two traits: Besides killing innocents with firearms, they either were Muslims or were using mind-altering psychiatric drugs."

Powe then found a story that conveniently fit her narrative:

Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock, who killed at least 58 people on Sunday, was taking a psychiatric drug that can promote aggressive behavior.

Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets on June 21 and purchased the drug at a Walgreens store in Reno the same day it was prescribed, according to records from the Nevada Prescription Program obtained Tuesday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler prescribed Paddock diazepam, more commonly known as Valium, and instructed Paddock to take one pill a day.

Powe conspiratorially added: "But the truth about mass shootings and psychiatric drugs is being swept under the rug by the media. Corporate media outlets face a major conflict of interests by exposing big pharma corruption."

Look for more conspiracies from WND as the investigation continues.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 5, 2017 1:17 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Fail: MRC's NFL Boycott Goes Nowhere
Topic: Media Research Center

All last week, the Media Research Center and its various divisions had been promoting the boycott of last Sunday's NFL games, as demanded by MRC chief Brent Bozell:

Protesting the National Anthem not only distracts from the sport that pays these players millions but, more importantly, disrespects the men and women of the military who risk their lives to allow them that opportunity. This is a spectacle designed to score political points, and the public is sick and tired of it. People tune in to football to enjoy themselves, not to have to subject themselves to attacks on our flag because spoiled players don't like the politics of our president. The public needs to have its voice heard. This Sunday, October 1st, I ask football fans to support our flag and turn off the NFL. One week without football to support our flag. We should not continue to give attention to players who refuse to show respect for our great nation.

But the MRC has been silent this week on how Bozell's boycott went, and it can't be because the Las Vegas mass shooting pushed it out of the news. Tell us what happened, actual news outlet:

The kneeling-related boycott of the NFL hasn’t fully materialized.

Fox’s NFL coverage netted a 12.6 rating and 26 share, a 14% increase over its Week 4 coverage a year ago. The network broadcast one game nationally on Sunday and the ratings were about 20% better than CBS’ singleheader coverage in Week 4 of 2016.

Fox had the top-rated NFL broadcast of the weekend and its best singleheader telecast since 2015, the network announced on Monday.

About a third of the country saw the Los Angeles Rams’ 35-30 upset of Dallas Cowboys with the rest of the country seeing regional coverage, including the Carolina Panthers’ victory over the New England Patriots.

Excluding Week 1, where both viewership and the ability to gather ratings were impacted by Hurricane Irma, Fox reported its ratings had increased 1% over a year ago.

CBS saw a ratings decline due to Fox's stronger games, and NBC's Sunday night game heald steady compared to last year. ESPN's Monday night game saw a big drop from last year, but that appears to be the result of a lackluster matchup involving a small-market team.

It seems nobody listened to Bozell demanding that we #TurnOffNFL -- they turned Bozell off instead.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 AM EDT
Fake News: WND Repeats Woman's False Claim of Being Targeted By SPLC
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh did a fine job of stenography in a Sept. 29 article:

The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council, Ben Carson, Liberty Counsel and other family organizations as “haters” simply because they don’t subscribe to the organization’s pro-homosexual and pro-abortion agenda. They were embarrassed by the Carson designation and later withdrew it.

But now the SPLC has slammed a new target: Hannah Scherlacher, the program coordinator and a contributor for the Leadership Institute’s

For, believe it or not, talking about socialism.

“I am calling on SPLC to remove me from this list and stop engaging in the game of identity fear politics,” she said in a statement released Friday by Liberty Counsel.

“I urge all Americans who have been bullied, silenced, and pushed into a corner by radical groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to push back too.”

She reports on left-wing abuse and bias on America’s colleges campuses.

“It’s an understatement to say that I was dumbfounded as to how I ended up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s LGBTQ hate-list – I have never said or done anything to indicate hate for the LGBTQ community. When I called to inquire, SPLC informed me that I am guilty because I did a radio interview with Family Research Council Radio (FRC). The segment was about socialism, but because FRC holds traditional family values, I was labeled an LGBT-hater just for being a guest on the show. No LGBT topics even came-up,” she said.

Except that's not what happened at all. As Right Wing Watch explains:

Scherlacher’s claims are entirely untrue, as she has not been been placed on the SPLC’s list of anti-LGBT hate groups but was merely once mentioned in passing in one of its “Anti-LGBT Roundup of Events and Activities” posts.

The SPLC has designated the Family Research Council as an anti-LGBT hate group and as part of its coverage of FRC’s work, the SPLC simply noted who had appeared on FRC’s radio program in previous weeks[.]


What’s more, at the very top of the post, the SPLC noted that the people, like Scherlacher, who were mentioned in the post but not designated with an asterisk were not themselves on their list of anti-LGBT hate groups.

That one listing is the only mention of Scherlacher on the SPLC’s website, rendering her complaint that she was unjustifiably placed on “the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) LGBTQ hate-list” and “labeled an LGBT-hater” laughably untrue.

In other words, WND has published more fake news. Why are we not surprised?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
MRC Apparatchik Dan Gainor Parrots Trump on Russia Probe
Topic: Media Research Center

How deep in Donald Trump's pocket is the Media Research Center? MRC VP and right-wing apparatchik Dan Gainor went on the MRC's favorite outlet, Fox Business, to parrot the Trump line that the investigation of links between Trump and Russia is nothing but a witch hunt:

MRC VP for Business and Culture Dan Gainor appeared on Fox Business Network to discuss “fake news” that is spread on Facebook and media bias against President Donald Trump.

Intelligence Report anchor Trish Regan said on Sept. 22, the social media site announced cooperation with congressional investigators “to increase transparency after the company found more than more than 3,000 political ads apparently linked to Russian accounts over the past two years.”

On Twitter, Trump called it a continuation of the “Russian hoax” and noted the “totally biased and dishonest media coverage” in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

Regan reminded viewers that journalists have attacked Trump viciously and pointed out that all kinds of fake news appears on Facebook.

“I don’t like fake news, you don’t like fake news, but the reality is on Facebook there is all kinds of fake news about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or some, you know, lose weight quick product ...” Regan said to Gainor before asking, “Why is the Donald Trump, sort of, Russians buying his election thing being singled out when I guarantee ya there was stuff on the other side too?”

Gainor replied, “Well, it’s because they have to push the Russia narrative. Donald Trump’s tweet is right. Yes, they are continuing to push the Russian witch hunt. They want to make it seem like Russia is the reason Donald Trump won. It’s not. Donald Trump’s the reason why Donald Trump won. Hillary is the reason why Donald Trump won. And the American people are the reason.”

 Spoken like a true Trump apparatchik. That's what the MRC is paying him for.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:53 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 11:34 AM EDT
Logrolling In Our Time, WND Award Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 30 WorldNetDaily article dutifully gushes:

WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah is set to receive the first-ever M. Stanton Evans Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Journalism award at the 2018 Western Conservative Conference.

Farah will receive the award at a dinner gala to be held during the two-day conference, which is scheduled for March 23-24, 2018, at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

“I’m thrilled for the honor,” said Farah, who founded both the Western Journalism Center and “It looks like I will be in distinguished company for this event. It’s so meaningful when colleagues appreciate your work over a lifetime.”

Farah has previously been honored with awards for integrity in journalism, newspaper design, headline writing and religion coverage – all by different news organizations. He has received other major awards from groups such as Proclaiming Justice to the Nations and the Zionist Organization of America.

“The Western Conservative Conference bills itself as “The premier gathering of conservatives in the western United States.”

The article is mum, however, on the last time this conference was planned, in 2016. Farah was to get an award then too -- the "Hero of Freedom Award" from the Western Journalism Center, which, again, he founded, which makes this an exercise in logrolling from the guy who how runs his group, Floyd Brown.The Evans award is also sponsored by the WJC, making this a second attempt at logrolling.

But as we documented, that conference never happened; it was canceled due to an unspecified "unfortunate medical issue." Of course, it's unlikely that a conference could be so fragile as to force its cancellation due to a single person getting sick, which tells us the likely real reason was lack of interested attendees.

And while this new article carries the headline "Farah to be honored with Trumps," that's by no means the actual case as of now and more than likely will never happen; Donald and Melania Trump are listed only as among the "big names" who have been "invited" to the conference. The fact that it's more of a wish list than any reality-based endeavor extends to the remainer of the "invited" list, which also includes "White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, former White House adviser Steve Bannon, actor Jon Voight, director Clint Eastwood, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Sheriff David Clarke, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham."

But, hey, if you're going to plan a right-wing conference that might not even happen if track record is any indication, why not dream big and invite people who are even less likely to show up?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EDT
Monday, October 2, 2017
WND's Attempt To Crowdsource A Film Is Still A Failure
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A few weeks back, we detailed WorldNetDaily's attempt to crowdsource pre-production (not actual production) on a film about Anita Dittman, a survivor of Nazi-era Germany who's a WND-published author and smearer of President Obama as a Nazi -- and how bad the campaign is failing.

WND's not giving up, though, and it continues to have extremely high, if not entirely unrealistic, hopes of getting this film made. Here's the current push:

WND Films must bring Anita’s story to A-list actors, top distributors, marketing executives and technicians to create a powerful package for investors. This film investor package will cost about $120,000. Your donation will pay for 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.

Investors want this packaging work done before they’ll invest the millions it will take to make the movie.

According to Escobar: “Investors want to know we’ve done our homework. That we’re committed to quality, and that others believe in this project. That includes you.”

WND Films poses these challenges:

  • Do you want the assurance that you’re doing your part in reclaiming our culture?
  • That your donation is providing wholesome, edifying and uplifting entertainment that will speak to generations for years to come?
  • That you’re making a difference for history?

The math is simple. If 2 percent of the WND audience of 6-8 million monthly visitors each donates $10 (that’s less than two cappuccinos, lattes or mochas from Starbucks), WND Films can reach the film investor package goal of $120,000.

Well, smearing politicians she doesn't like as Nazis (while insisting that Donald Trump doesn't have those tendencies) is hardly uplifting behavior on Dittman's part. And the Starbucks appeal continues to fall flat because the average WND reader is unlikely to be a Starbucks conoisseur.

Indeed, the entire campaign is still falling flat. As of this writing, the GoFundMe page for the would-be film has raised just $7,860 of its $120,000 goal after two months.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EDT
CNS Censors HHS Secretary's Plane Scandal Until Just Before He Resigned
Topic: has more than proven itself to be a lackey for the Trump administration -- and that includes refusing to report on Trump scandals until they can either be spun away or no longer ignored.

On Sept. 19 Politico reported that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price had spent tens of thousands of dollars on private charter flights instead of traveling on regular commercial flights like his predecessors. But a search of CNS' archive of Washington news showed that it failed to cover the story at the time, or in the following days.

In fact the first story on Price that CNS ran was a Sept. 29 article by Melanie Arter -- dated at 4:40 p.m. Eastern time -- that was another Trump stenography piece, quoting him saying that he didn't like the "optics" of Price's use of private charter planes and that he would be "announcing something in the very near future" regarding Price.

Arter followed up 51 minutes later with an article announcing Price's resignation. Buried in the article is CNS' first admission of a related scandal regarding other Trump cabinet members "using private planes on the taxpayer's dime."

How convenient that CNS couldn't find anything newsworthy about a Republican cabinet secretary wasting taxpayers' money on private flights until just before he was forced to resign over it. That's what's called bias by omission -- something CNS' mission statement purports to be oppased to.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EDT
WND: Spending Money on LGBTs Is A Waste
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A few years back, we documented how believed that federal money going to pay for research on LGBT Americans was a waste of money. It looks like WorldNetDaily has decided to feel that bigoted sentiment as well.

Alicia Powe grumbles in a Sept. 26 WND article:

Despite President Trump’s reversal of Obama-era policies on transgenderism, his administration still is spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on transgenderism research, the government watchdog Judicial Watch warns.


Yet, the Trump administration is allocating hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to research how “non-conforming” transgender people cope with the stress of being “minorities,” according to a U.S. government grant announcement.

The federal government is providing $200,000 to the National Institutes of Health to examine children and adults who are transitioning from one gender to the other.


Judicial Watch investigater Irene Garcia asserts that the Trump administration is spending just as wastefully as his Democratic predecessor.

“This just seems to be government overreach. This is the kind of thing we saw a lot of under the Obama administration, and of course many were hopeful would stop under Trump. Clearly it isn’t. This is $200,000 allocated to this. And the wording in the grant speaks for itself,” Garcia told WND Tuesday.

“Government programs with this much money and very little oversight – there’s going to be waste, there’s going to be fraud and Judicial Watch tries to expose that,” she said.

Powe uncritically repeated assertions by Judicial Watch's Garcia that the money will be wasted because it involves transgenders, as well as her ignorant views of what being transgender is:

The language used in the grant is ambiguous, Garcia explained, making the funding allocated to the research likely to be abused and frivolously spent.

“If you look at the way the grant announcement is written, it’s difficult to kind of justify it. It talks about individuals who ‘may’ transition. It identifies them as individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex on their original birth certificate or whose gender expression varies significantly,” she said.

“What if I said, I don’t want to be a woman anymore, I want to be a rock? Are we going to allocate taxpayer dollars to research women born as women on their birth certificates, but identify as a rock? Where do we draw the line?

“The government could spend the money on something more productive, and we will see, because we are going to follow through and see what this research leads to – what these $200,000 of these taxpayers’ money is going to buy us. That means usually more money is coming,” she said. “We’ll monitor this."

Garcis does not name any instance in which a person suddenly decided he or she wanted to be a rock.

As usual with such WND stories, Powe can't be bothered to report the other side. At no point does she indicate she  talked to anyone at the NIH for their views on the grant. Powe's goal here was to help Judicial Watch ignorantly bash transgenders for no real purpose other than historical right-wing animus toward them.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EDT
Sunday, October 1, 2017
MRC Tries To Promote Itself By Attacking NFL Players
Topic: Media Research Center

Over the past week, the Media Research Center glommed onto the controversy over pro football players kneeling during the National Anthem, despite the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with its claimed mission. Which tells us that for the MRC, it's all about publicity and blind support for Donald Trump and not about principle or even patriotism. A pop-up to prmote the protest doubled as a way to harvest email addresses for the MRC's political action arm.

The MRC network of websites generated numerous posts on the subject, which it incessantly retweeted to push the player-bashing meme in service of MRC chief Brent Bozell's attempt to stage a fan boycott of NFL boycott this weekend. Bozell made sure to twist intent so it was all about his beloved president and not about the issue that Colin Kaepernick voiced last year: "People tune in to football to enjoy themselves, not to have to subject themselves to attacks on our flag because spoiled players don't like the politics of our president."

It was throwing every attack and smear at the players that it could think of.

At the top of the smear-hurling list, of course, was the mysterious Jay Maxson, who already has a massive case of Kaepernick Deragement Syndrome. In one post, Maxson denied that the players have a point with their protest in calling attention to police brutality and justice for blacks, whining (boldface his):

Left-stream media and some of the NFL protesters insist that they are not dishonoring veterans or the national anthem, but if it's not about the national anthem or the sacrifices made by veterans, then why do these protests during the national anthem? Many a good man died in war zones just to keep our flag flying.

Because the players have made a point of saying not only does the protest has nothing to do with veterans, the kneeling is meant to show respect, as a former NFL player and military veteran told Colin Kaepernick to do.

Maxson whined further when a sportswriter pointed out the lack of mention of police brutality that sparked the protsts in the firstplace: "Speaking as a sports fan and a patriot, these outrageous pre-game displays are also too long on this word: disrespectful. And too short on this word: honor. No stadium PA announcer says, 'Please kneel to dishonor America.' They say, 'Please stand to honor America.' That's how it should be."

Curtis Houck, however, took a slightly different tack by surprisingly suggesting that Trump went a bit too far in demanding that players who knelt be fired, coming in the midst of a Heathering rant against "Never Trump diehard" Bret Stephens (whom Houck won't concede is a conservative): "What’s so absurd about Stephens’s arguments is that he assumes those against the players are onboard with the President calling for their firing. A slogan seen on Twitter (particularly by Ben Shapiro) has been that those against the protests 'oppose, but tolerate' them."

But tolerance has hardly been a hallmark of the MRC's anti-NFL campaign -- as illustrated by a blog post by Michael W. Chapman touting self-hating black man Jesse Lee Peterson calling the protesters "evil."

That was joined by a Chapman post in which he touted how "actor, director, musician, and 7th-level Aikido black belt master Steven Seagal" opposed the protests. But then, Chapman undercut Seagal's credibility by noting that "Seagal also said that people who think Russia 'fixed' the 2016 presidential election are being fed 'astronomical propaganda' to create a 'diversion."

And, for some reason, the MRC called in the Catholic League's Bill Donohue to weigh in on the issue, even though football has even less to do with the Catholic League's mission than it does the MRC's.

So the MRC tried to make hay by trying to profit on an issue by making it even more partisan. Nobody's surprised by the sheer opportunism.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 2, 2017 12:07 AM EDT
Newsmax Has A Serial Stalker As A Columnist
Topic: Newsmax

For much of this year, Newsmax has been publishing columns by conservative writer Rachel Marsden. Her bio does a fine job of polishing her credentials, including a claim that she "served as director of a key think tank during the lead-up to the Iraq war." Actually, it appears, she was simply director of development -- a title that typically has to do with fundraising and member recruitiment rather than involvement in policy -- for the now-defunct Free Congress Foundation.

Her bio also states that she is a "former Fox News co-host and contributor," but doesn't mention she was escorted out of the building in the process of becoming a former co-host.

So she's overstating her credentials. But there's one thing she's definitely keeping quiet about: being something of a seral stalker.

The Jester's Court blog has the full rundown (as does Salon); it involves falsely accusing a swim coach of rape and harassment as a college student (turns out she was stalking him), an actual criminal conviction on harassment charges, and a brief affair with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales that ended with her making public their sexually oriented chats. The anonymous Jester's Court writer also tells of a stalker-y attempt by Marsden to seduce him in an apparent attempt to expose his identity.

Having Marsden as a columnist -- even if she is syndicated by an otherwise reputable company -- does not help Newsmax's current campaign of respectability.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 AM EDT
Saturday, September 30, 2017
MRC Spins Trump's Attack on Central Park Five
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has slowly turned itself into a public relations arm of the Trump administration. Check out this Sept. 17 post by Brad Wilmouth in total pro-Trump spin mode:

Since Donald Trump began his run for President in June 2015, parts of the dominant liberal media have repeatedly parroted the incorrect claim that, in 1989, Trump ran a newspaper ad in which he urged the execution of a group of young black and Hispanic teens who ended up eventually being proven "innocent" in spite of confessing to the infamous rape and beating of a Central Park jogger that year.

In fact, the ad in question did not specify that the Central Park Five should be executed as it came at a time when the death penalty was illegal in New York. There had been a push for the state legislature to enact a new law to reinstate capital punishment which would require overriding the veto of then-Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo -- who had vetoed a death penalty bill a month before the attack.

The defendants could not have been sentenced to capital punishment since it was not an option at the time of the crime.

Additionally, when Trump was asked about the ad in May 1989 on Larry King Live, CNN claims he stated that he only supported the death penalty for adults -- which would have excluded the Central Park Five because they were all between the ages of 14 and 16.

Note how Wilmouth parses Trump's ad to focus on how it "did not specify that the Central Park Five should be executed." In fact, the ad does reference the Central Park attack, the ran just a few months after it occurred, and the headline on it blared, "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!" It seems pretty clear who Trump was talking about, even if he did not do so to the specificity that Wilmouth demands.

Wilmouth also argued that the Central Park Five deserved prison because, even if they weren't guilty of the attack they were sentenced, they must have been guilty of something:

In the film, The Central Park Five, as far-left film maker Ken Burns pushed a sympathetic view of the five teens, the documentary actually admitted that their defense attorneys had considered arguing that they could not have committed the attack on the jogger because they were busy "beating up other people" at the time. Their defense attorneys presumably had conceded that they were part of a group of dozens of teens who attacked as many as eight different random people in the park on the same night, including one man who received a skull fracture.

Also of note, as some have pushed the angle that, because the Central Park jogger was a white woman while the defendants were minorities, Trump was motivated by racism -- but what has been overlooked is that he also came to the defense of a black woman in Brooklyn who was raped and thrown from a four-story building a couple of weeks after the Central Park attack, and right after the death penalty ads ran in May of that year.


As for the issue of the Central Park Five being "exonerated" or proven "innocent," with some accounts even asserting that they were "acquitted," such claims are an overstatement given that, after another man -- convicted serial rapist Matias Reyes -- in 2002 confessed to attacking the jogger in 1989 and claimed that he did it alone, there was never another trial to determine their guilt. After DNA testing linked Reyes to the crime, the city's prosecution chose to vacate the convictions for all five.

Since there really is a phenomenon that people sometimes confess to offenses they did not commit, it would seem feasible either that the Central Park Five were pressured into confessing to a crime they did not commit, or that Reyes  -- who apparently had nothing to lose by confessing -- falsely claimed that he was the only assailant who took part in the attack.

It is possible that a jury would have found them not guilty if they had had the benefit of Reyes's testimony at the time, but, as they had already served their sentences, they were not tried again, and the sentences were simply vacated.

While Wilmouth does acknowledge that New York City paid a "generous settlement" to the Central Park Five -- which non-biased observers would argue is equivalent to the exoneration Wilmouth denies exists -- he complains that it was a "political decision" by Mayour Bill Di Blasio made "against the advice of the city's attorneys." But the newspaper link Wilmouth supplies as evidence of this also points out that the settlement averted a trial over the case by the Central Park Five defendants in which they were seeking $111 million.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
NFL Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

And then there is of course the elephant in the room – the newly discovered voice of the players – the refrain of social justice.

It started with a single player, corrupted by his radical social justice warrior girlfriend, who decided to sit in protest of our national anthem. Since then it has grown into some dopey “awareness” movement, where players sit, kneel, or raise their fist in the air, a la the 1960s black power movement, during the pre-game anthem.

And as all things of the left, it wasn’t about to end there. Social justice warriors must continue to push the envelope of normalcy and reason until it becomes ridiculous. Well, we’re there.


As a (soon not to be) die-hard NFL fan, I watch the game because I love football. Do what you want off the field. I couldn’t care less. Just leave your racial politics and division in the tunnel. In other words, while you’re in uniform, shut up and play.

-- Brent Smith, Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily column

Trump is pro-America, not a racial demagogue.

The Big Media appears unable or unwilling to distinguish the difference.

The NFL is committing suicide by allowing its games to be turned into political events. Few care about the political opinions of the sports stars. The public watches to see them perform feats of athletic prowess. That’s how the players get paid – and paid well.

Not one media commentary has made this point: Don’t squash the hand that feeds you by kneeling down on it during the national anthem.

It’s just that simple. It’s not about race. It’s about holding up the greatest country on Earth with a couple minutes of respect – no matter what color you are.

And that’s why I had to write this simple refutation today. I didn’t watch any NFL games today. Instead, I watched baseball games where players – black, white and Hispanic – all stood reverentially and with dignity during the national anthem.

Trump is not the one dividing America over racial lines. Those who attack America – and the president – as racist are.

Trump never mentioned race. The media did. The players have.

-- Joseph Farah, Sept. 24 WND column

Apparently, the question, “Who started it?” means nothing to the journalists, politicians and NFL players, coaches and owners who call the president “divisive.”

So, before discussing Trump’s reaction, our fellow Americans on the left need to answer some pretty simple questions: Has the behavior of those athletes been divisive? Is kneeling while tens of thousands of people are standing divisive? Is publicly showing contempt for the American flag for which innumerable Americans risked their lives, were terribly injured, or died divisive?

-- Dennis Prager, Sept. 25 WND column

But football has more problems than players and owners who hate our country. It is a dying sport. In my judgment, it was once the most American of all our sports, emblematic of our motto: E Pluribus Unum. You have a group of people of diverse talents joined by merit, not race or privilege, united as a team for one goal. It epitomized the toughness, diversity, ingenuity, fortitude and togetherness that made our country great. Alas, the limp-wristed liberals are ruining it.

What is happening in football is happening to sports in general and is a reflection of how wimpy we are as a people.


I have heard all the medical stuff and understand. But the bottom line is wimpiness. If we don’t turn it around sooner or later, anti-wimps, who are not as comfortable as we are, will eat our lunch. I have never met a more dedicated sports fan than myself, but for the first time I switched channels when I saw millionaires disrespecting our country. (Tragically, many of these anti-patriots are blacks egged on by liberal Democrats who enslaved their ancestors and sponsored Jim Crow and segregation.)

-- Patrick Brady, Sept. 25 WND column

Have you ever considered just how much of the national anthem protests occurring around the National Football League (NFL) come from millennial guilt, which I contend is a byproduct of white guilt? NFL players aren’t kneeling because they’re being oppressed; they’re kneeling because they aren’t. They’ve been spoiled. They have it so good in America, they had to invent their own set of injustices to fight so their lives would feel meaningful. I blame the media and many of their college professors for these players’ sense of entitlement.


The fact that so many blacks are in the NFL in the first place is proof positive that the great American experiment has worked despite their skin color and our nation’s history concerning slavery and civil rights. White Democrats that run the media and our institutions of higher learning have done blacks a huge disservice by promulgating the lie that America is inherently racist, while ignoring the progress that has been made due to an adherence to our Constitution. NFL players who choose to kneel during our national anthem lack historical perspective. 

They feel guilty that they have it so good in America, so they had to invent their generation’s own set of grievances. Yelling “racism” even it doesn’t exist is easy – cop shootings in America is the perfect example. Let me be clear: I’m not saying there aren’t racist or crooked cops, but the number is miniscule. More “unarmed” whites are killed by cops than blacks. However, you wouldn’t know this by listening to the evening news. Reporting whites killed by cops isn’t an interesting headline because whites tend not to riot and destroy their own cities. There’s no ratings bump there! Sad, but true.

-- Carl Jackson, Sept. 25 WND column

Behind the scenes, the NFL had already been pandering to the radical left for years. Entirely dependent on the liberal media for profits, the NFL cares more about maintaining its massive revenues than it does about American values.

-- Andy Schlafly, Sept. 26 WND column

What is the mark of a real man?

First of all, a real man is grateful – to God, family and country.

Are we seeing appreciation among major sports figures right now? No, too many of these beneficiaries of American opportunity have decided their country is not worthy of respect or gratitude.

In heated campus discussions these days about “toxic masculinity,” we should first look at Exhibit A – these spoiled little boys playing major league sports.

No respect for our flag and anthem? Feel free to immigrate to another country. Trump rightly rebukes these selfish athletes. Representing the father figures many of them never had, he’s telling them to go to their rooms until they can act better.

-- Linda Harvey, Sept. 26 WND column

True, the number of “bodies in the streets” was climbing in the year proceeding Kaepernick’s delusional protest. Three thousand more Americans were murdered in 2016 than in 2014, but it was not the police or the Trump supporters who had caused the spike in black homicides.

If there was any one person responsible for that spike, it was the same person most responsible for the slow-motion homicide of the NFL – sports fan Barack Obama.

-- Jack Cashill, Sept. 27 WND column

So, now we are seeing many on the periphery of this issue who, in their ignorance, are “taking a knee” in solidarity with the NFL’s Kaepernick. They believe that they are protesting racism in the abstract (and who could object to that, right?) rather than playing into the hands of organized radical groups dedicated to fomenting racial tension and neutralizing the effectiveness of law enforcement. Here, it does bear mentioning that this strategy truly came into its own during the administration of Barack Obama, our first post-racial president, who dedicatedly empowered such groups through his rhetoric and policies.

-- Erik Rush, Sept. 27 WND column

You guys are just entertainers and not performing surgery on me, sending my child to war or affecting my income. You don’t raise my taxes, run my schools or regulate my life. You are entertainers, only! Your skill level, dedication and hard work has elevated you to the heights of your industry. But that industry is merely for “Entertainment Purposes Only!”

I don’t care if you see a “right” to give your opinion. I don’t have to speculate on your oppression. I just have to decide if I am entertained by you when I turn on the show. If I am entertained enough, I will keep my eyeballs on your program. Your advertisers will get to show me their products, and you will get more endorsements.

-- Mason Weaver, Sept. 28 WND column

The tribalism of “kneelism” sums up the state of the progressive project. Like the Antifa Idiocracy, NFLers are generally not the smartest. Bereft of the faculty of logic or reason, these excitable, histrionic hulks can’t debate or argue effectively. Lacking words or wisdom, the kneelers resort to inappropriate displays and gestures aimed at the self, at self-aggrandizement.

Kneeling is the ultimate selfie, beamed to the country and blasted by the president himself.

In more ways than one, “taking the knee” is like taking a pee. It’s a waste. It speaks to the inward-looking, ego-driven, vain posturing of the left and its perpetually seething, predatory racial coalition. They’re bent on extracting something from innocent, ordinary Americans who owe them nothing.

-- Ilana Mercer, Sept. 28 WND column

So, here’s my simple proposal. Please hear me out before saying yes or no.

From here on, make it a rule that everyone on the team stands for the national anthem. You’re sending a message to America that you respect the flag and the sacrifices made for it. You are not being anti-American.

That will regain many fans you have lost, that will put the focus back on football, and that will take the pressure off. No big decisions to make. No questions that will divide the teams. Just a focus on playing the game you love.

But that’s just step one (and, to be candid, I don’t think people who support you will think you are selling out or compromising).

Next, you choose a few players to represent you, and you ask respectfully to meet with the president. He will see you standing for the anthem, and that will speak to him: “Mr. President, we’re as patriotic as you are, and we want to make America great. Can we have an hour of your time?”

I actually believe he’ll meet with you. That’s when you can tell him about all the things you do for your communities. (He’s a good PR person. He’ll let the whole world know about it.)

And that’s when you can raise your concerns about unequal justice and when you can tell him some of his comments stung you personally, as if they were even racial attacks. (I don’t believe they were, but I know some of you felt the sting.)

-- Michael Brown, Sept. 29 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
Friday, September 29, 2017
MRC's Double Standard on Entertainers Opining on Public Policy
Topic: Media Research Center

How ironic: At the same time the Media Research Center was mocking the idea that an entertainer could speak authoritatively on health care policy, it was insisting that another entertainer could speak authoritatively on the Constitution.

Corinne Weaver huffs in a Sept. 21 MRC post:

It’s a sad world we live in where talking about the Constitution is considered inappropriate for children. But for actress Janine Turner (Northern Exposure), these are the accusations she faced from parents of the students she teaches about the Constitution. A former board member, who is a current member of the #Resistance, pushed the school who hosted Turner to apologize for inviting her.

The founder of Constituting America, a nonprofit organization meant to “educate Americans about the Constitution and the rights and liberties it provides and protects,” has given 230 speeches to over 20,000 people about the Constitution. Turner was invited to speak at Eubanks Intermediary School in Texas on September 12. After her presentation to the students, parents and teachers shamed her as presenting “political statements” that were not “appropriate.”


She also was not promoting a “hidden agenda;” instead, she stated, “The Truth Act and the corresponding research paper are bi-partisan, never pointing a finger at one party over the other.” But because the words “abortion” and “sexual trafficking” are found in the paper, a former member of the school board went out of his way to target both Turner and her daughter on social media, an action that “horrified” Turner, rightfully so.

But Turner does, in fact, have an agenda -- and it's one the MRC has heartily supported in the past. In 2010, it touted how Turner is a "conservative actress" who was "inspired by the TEA Party movement" to start her organization. The MRC's "news" division,, promoted Turner saying that the Affordable Care Act was "not based on what a true Republic represents or what our Founding Fathers would have liked."

As part of spinning her current kerfuffle, CNS also published an op-ed by Turner in which she dubiously insisted that "Our main focus has been to consistently present the Constitution as a non-partisan document and to never discuss politics, political agendas or political parties" and that she has "no hidden agenda."

CNS has so far refused to give Jimmy Kimmel space to write an op-ed to explain his views.

The mere fact that the MRC has tried to blow up this kerfuffle into a full-blown controversy is evidence that Turner has an agenda. But it will never admit it -- conservatives don't have agendas by mere dint of being conservatives, but everyone who doesn't agree with Turner or the MRC is a filthy liberal who's trying to ram their agenda down the throats of America.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 PM EDT

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