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Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Newsmax Columnist: Won't Somebody Think of the Poor Rich Widow Who Has to Sell Her Picassos!
Topic: Newsmax

Ira Stoll tries for a bit of pathos in his Oct. 2 Newsmax column:

The most illuminating recent article about the tax reform debate didn’t appear on the front page of any newspaper. It wasn’t in the business section, or on the editorial page.

It was an interview that appeared on an inside page of The New York Times arts section with Ellen Stern.

Stern isn’t an academic economist or a politician or a tax policy expert at some Washington, D.C. think tank. She’s a widow. Her husband, Jerome, died in March.

Beginning on Nov. 14 and continuing through March 2018 in nine separate events, Sotheby’s is scheduled to auction off the collection of art Jerome and Ellen Stern assembled over 30 years.

The Times reporter on the story, Robin Pogrebin, covers arts, not the Senate Finance Committee or the House Ways and Means Committee or the Treasury Department. She sensitively captured the emotions involved, "Losing her husband, Jerome, in March was devastating for Ellen Stern. And preparing to part with much of their extensive art collection this fall is its own kind of grief."

Ellen Stern described having to sell the art as "like you’re stripped naked."

So why would Stern part with the paintings and sculptures that she told the Times she loved almost like children?

The Times posed the question directly, "Why are you selling it?" Stern answered equally directly, "Because of taxes."

Of all the many cruelties of our current tax system, one of most cruel is that it takes grieving widows and forces them to part with possessions accumulated over a lifetime.

Well, no. A multimillionaire woman who's parting with artwork but still has a sizable estate is nowhere near the same thing as a typical widow. Stoll seems to admit he's not generating much sympathy even as he downplays how rich she is, but he gamely presses on:

You may say that in a country of poverty-stricken hurricane victims and high-school dropout opioid addicts, Ellen Stern having to sell her Picassos in order to pay the tax bill on her 10 bedroom, 10 bathroom Westhampton estate doesn’t exactly rank high on the list of outrages. It isn’t a problem that affects a lot of people. Up to $5 million a person in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars is exempt from federal taxes, though some states, including New York, levy their own estate taxes. The people it does affect are asset-rich.

But the more you think about it, the more you realize that essentially all taxes — not just the estate tax — are just some kind of variation of the IRS forcing Ellen Stern to sell her art.


How much wasteful or counterproductive spending in Washington could be cut if before each time some politician approved a spending measure, he or she had to consider whether funding it was really worth making some widow sell a beloved artwork, or forcing similar painful trade-offs on millions of middle-class American families? Call it the Ellen Stern test.

Nope, Ira, you're still losing us. That 16-acre estate in the Hamptons, where the Sterns kept their art in its own large, private gallery, is on the market for $23 million, and she apparently plans to keep her Upper West Side apartment, which we can safely assume is also valued in the millions. One single piece out of the art collection -- a sculpture not by Picasso -- is expected to sell for $6 million to $8 million, and the collection as a whole is valued at $20 million and is so big it will take 10 separate auctions to dispose of. The Sterns have so much money, they gave a six-figure sum to a New York art museum to have bathrooms named after them.

Stern is not desperate, however much she complains she's selling the art to pay taxes and however much Stoll tries to suggest otherwise -- she's an elderly woman who's downsizing an expansive estate after the death of her wealthy venture-capitalist husband (Stoll never mentions his occupation). Her plight is not that of the "ordinary, middle-income taxpayers" to which Stoll tries to liken her since, as he implicitly admits, Stern's estate is far beyond the $5 million minimum to trigger the estate tax.

Consider Stoll's column a failure of misdirected sympathy.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 10:34 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
MRC Mad That Media Accurately Describes Pence's NFL Stunt As A Stunt
Topic: Media Research Center

It seems pretty obvious that Vice President Mike Pence's decision to walk out of an Indianapolis Colts NFL game because some players were kneeling during the national anthem was a stunt -- and a very expensive one at that. But accurately reporting the stunt-like nature of Pence's walkout earns you the ire of the Media Research Center.

Jay Maxson complained that "CNN's Brian Stelter accused Pence of planning his actions ahead of time," despite the fact that it was pretty obvious he did. Brad Wilmouth followed up by huffing about TV networks calling it it a stunt that "It did not seem to occur to either network that, when several of the '49ers players sparked the move by kneeling during the National Anthem, this display could also be called a 'stunt.'" Given that kneeling is something of a regular thing among some NFL football players, it could hardly be described as a "stunt" at this point. Nevertheless, Wilmouth goes on to grouse:

It did not seem to occur to either ABC or NBC that Pence, being a native of Indiana, perhaps has a tradition of attending games in his home state, and did not wish to merely give up on going because of the possibility of provocative actions by some players before they had actually occurred.

The fact that Wilmouth stuck a "perhaps" in there means he doesn't actually know whether Pence normally goes to football games in Indiana, and he's just grasping at straws to defend him.

Kyle Drennen complained that networks newscasts "touted left-wing 'critics' deriding the move as a 'PR stunt.'" He doesn't deny it, but he does try to deflect: "The protests against the National Anthem by NFL players were not 'impromptu' either, in fact, those demonstrations have been highly orchestrated in many cases. That never seemed to bother journalists before."

Oh, the lengths some people will go to defend a politician...

Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 PM EDT
WND's Farah Offers His Usual Load of Hooey To A Reporter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah began his Oct. 2 column in his usual tone, mocking the feminist website Jezebel by invoking the biblical Jezebel with "her penchant for child sacrifice, the elevation of pagan gods and the way she lured King Ahab into spiritual corruption and murder." However, he then devoted the rest of his column to the answers he gave to questions about WND from a Jezebel writer.

Unfortunately, Farah served up the same self-aggrandizing hooey he has for years. First up:

First question: “What was the impetus behind founding WorldNetDaily? Was it conceived of as a right-wing site, or an answer to more liberal-leaning sites?”

Answer: “After 20 years doing everything one could possibly do in ‘mainstream journalism,’ as you might call it, I started the first independent online news service, WorldNetDaily, 20 years ago. The purpose was to do what I had been doing for the previous 20 years – journalism that provided a career that permitted me to rise to the top of my industry and get opportunities to run daily newspapers in major markets (IN CALIFORNIA!) I have never thought of myself or described myself as ‘right-wing’ or even ‘conservative.’ (Neither has WND ever self-described with those terms.) The idea for WND was to return to what had once been the “central role of a free press,” serving as a watchdog on government and other powerful institutions. It was also to be reflective of a Judeo-Christian worldview. Nothing has changed in 20 years except the drift of the culture away from those very ‘mainstream’ principles.”

Just because neither Farah nor WND "self-describe" as conservative or right-wing doesn't mean they aren't. Farah was a right-wing activist editor at the Sacramento Union in the early 1990s, later forming the right-wing Western Journalism Center, which under his leadership mostly attacked President Clinton. WND was formed in 1997 as an offshoot of the WJC, and its real original purpose -- not Farah's bogus declared mission -- was to attack the Clinton administration.

Next question:

Second question: “What do you make of the accusation that the site publishes ‘conspiracy theories,’ like suggesting Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States? Do you want to respond to some of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s criticisms of your work?”

Answer: “WND has been accused of publishing ‘conspiracy theories,’ but, in all cases, I’ve noticed those accusations fall into two categories – a) WND is accused of promoting conspiracies by simply asking questions and pursuing answers (Obama’s failure to demonstrate constitutional eligibility, for instance. Obama and Michelle are the ones who stated, not suggested, he was not born in the U.S., not me); and b) the publishing of opinions by some of our columnists and commentary contributors (‘soy makes you gay,’ for instance); One thing you have to understand about WND is that it, among all publications I know about, publishes the broadest spectrum of opinion from left to right. No one seems to notice this.”

Farah is, of course, lying when he says WND was "simply asking questions and pursuing answers" about birther conspiracies. A presentation to an Arizona tea-party group by birther WND reporter Jerome Corsi set in motion Joe Arpaio's laughably incompetent investigation of the issue -- something that presentation was apparently intended to do -- and WND worked behind the scenes to manufacture pro-birther affidavits and feed birther conspiracies to Donald Trump. If WND really was interesting in "pursuing answers," it wouldn't have utterly ignored the repeated debunkings of birther conspiracies.

As for Farah's "broadest spectrum" of columnsts, only two of WND's regularly appearing three dozen or so columnists (Ellen Ratner and Bill Press) are genuinely liberal; the rest are various shades of conservative, right-wing and conservative Christian. Not much of a spectrum.


Third question: “What’s your feeling about the new discussion around ‘fake news’? Does this seem like a new phenomenon to you? Have you been aware of the rise of hyper-partisan news sites, as well as sites that publish explicitly false news?”

Answer: “Hyper-partisan news is a great American tradition. It began when America had competing newspapers in most markets. It exploded when the Internet came along and lowered the bar to entry into the media world. I deplore fake news, which is a real phenomenon in what you would call ‘mainstream’ sources like CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as it is in the new media. It’s sad because it detracts from media that diligently stick to the old rules of journalism on sourcing, seeking out countervailing viewpoints, etc.”

How funny -- WND has a long history of refusing to seek out countervailing viewpoints and writing "news" articles only from its right-wing point of view. And how can Farah possibly deplore fake news when he publishes so much of it?

Farah concluded with his knee-slapper response to allegations that "President Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government": "A conspiracy theory with no evidence to support it." Yes, he really said that, despite the fact there's far more evidence of Russian interference in the election than there ever was of Obama being born anywhere but the U.S. If Trump was a Democrat, WND would be all over this story -- but Farah is a diehard Trump supporter, so the president gets a pass.

We can only express grudging amazement that Farah continues to tell such lies in public with a straight face.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 AM EDT
Monday, October 9, 2017
CNS Misleads on Bump Stocks and Obama Administration

As much as the Media Research Center loves to complain about the "liberal media" trying to allegedly "politicize" the Las Vegas mass shooting by talking about gun regulations, its "news" division is no less guilty of it. A prime example is an Oct. 4 article by Susan Jones, written after it was revealed that several of the weapons the Las Vegas shooter used had a "bump stock" that allows semi-automatic weapons to emulate the ation of a fully automatic weapon:

On June 7, 2010 -- about a year and a half into the Barack Obama administration -- the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued an opinion letter, giving the go-ahead to an after-market accessory that allows the user to “bump fire” a semi-automatic rifle.

A company called Slide Fire had earlier sent its patented replacement shoulder stock to ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch, asking for an evaluation of the device.

The ATF, in reply, wrote: “Your letter advises that the stock (referenced in this reply as a ‘bump stock’) is intended to assist persons whose hands have limited mobility to ‘bump fire’ an AR-15 type rifle.”

But that's not the whole story. As PolitiFact details, the ATF didn't so much approve the sale of the device as determine that it couldn't be regulated under current law. While two bump-stock devices have been determined to be legal by the ATF in the past decade, two other similar devices were effectively banned. And Think Progress notes that the manufacturer may have misled the ATF by claiming it was only intended for use by disabled veterans.

So, Jones reported only half the story in order to score a political point against Obama (and couldn't bring herself to say "President Obama"). That's what CNS does.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 PM EDT
WND Columnist Complains Aabout Lying Media, Forgets Who He Writes for
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craige McMillan huffs in his Sept. 29 WorldNetDaily column:

Fake news is lying. The reporters and editors generating it may not even recognize that. Why? Because they have spent so much time lying to themselves, they believe their lies are true. In their minds the policies implemented over the past eight years, built on the previous 60 years, were almost ready to start working! We have to try just a little harder! Do more for the cause. Change the outcome of the election. Do whatever it takes. Use the intelligence agencies against the opposition. Buy off the world’s madmen with “peaceful” nuclear programs, so they won’t build bombs. Integrate criminal illegals so they will be changed by a better life. Run up crushing debt and make the rich pay for it. 

The problem with the mainlying media is that they believe their own lies. They can’t change because they see no need to. They have lied to themselves for so long that to them, fake news is the real truth, and if it didn’t happen that way, well it should have. “Make it so” versus “beam me up, Scotty!”

Has McMillan forgotten who publishes his column? WND is among the leading fake-news purveyors in America, which we've proven again and again and again. WND's obviously believe their own lies; otherwise, they wouldn't be forwarding them.

Why doesn't McMillan hold the publisher of his column to the same standards as the rest of the media? Because he wants to continue being published, of course. He doesn't have the conviction of his own beliefs to speak truth to power.

Nevertheless, he continues with his selective lecturing:

Lying is a sickness that first infects and destroys the liar’s own soul. From there, the cancer branches outward, infecting those closest to the liar, those who work around the liar, and finally the public at large, which in the case of media types creates a large pool of emotionally disabled individuals.

Lying is a spiritual sickness. It starts at the beginning, when we first tell ourselves there is no Creator to whom we are responsible for our lives. Left untreated, the condition is eternally fatal. Only the Bride can effect the cure. Only she has the power. But is she ready?

Would McMillan ever confront Joseph Farah about the spiritual sickness embodied by the lies his website publishes? Doubtful -- not if he wants to continue to have a column at WND, anyway.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 AM EDT
Sunday, October 8, 2017
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

After taking a couple months to actually acknowledge some bad news in jobless numbers under President Trump, CNSNews is back in pro-Trump rah-rah mode for September's unemployment figures. The head cheerleader, of course, is Susan Jones:

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are long gone, and despite dire predictions, they did not dampen the September jobs report in most key areas.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday said the labor force participation rate of 63.1 percent reached a high for the year in September, up two-tenths of a point from August.

The number of employed Americans reached 154,345,000 in September, setting a sixth record since January. As the number of employed Americans reached an all-time high, the number of unemployed Americans in September -- 6,801,000 -- hasn't been this low since May 2007.

The already low unemployment rate dropped another two-tenths of a point to 4.2 percent last month. That is the lowest since early 2001.

BLS noted that the recent hurricanes had "no discernible effect on the national unemployment rate."

The number of Americans not in the labor force declined a bit in September to 94,417,000. The record, set in the final full month of the Obama presidency, stands at 95,102,000 Americans not in the labor force.

It's not until the seventh paragraph that Jones gets around to mention the real news: that 33,000 jobs were lost in September, largely due to the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Jones didn't mention, though, that this is the first time in 83 months that there wasn't a net creation of jobs.

The only other article this time around is yet another piece by Terry Jeffrey on his obsession with comparing manufacturing jobs with government jobs.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Saturday, October 7, 2017
LGBT Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last night at 9 p.m. a dear friend and grandmother called and begged me to write a commentary on the movie “Battle of the Sexes,” starring Oscar-winning Emma Stone, who captivates the attention of girls in today’s pop culture.How many blissfully ignorant parents will OK their precious daughters viewing this PG-13 film, thinking it’s the entertaining and uplifting story about women’s tennis icon Billie Jean King taking on a fading men’s tennis champ? Yet this is not a “Rocky” feel good flick about an underdog winning the prize but rather a full-on assault on biblical morality, promoting an adulterous lesbian feminist who in the end becomes a “legend” for advancing the LGBTQ agenda.

Will you grant me permission to be blunt? This film is a politically correct, pro-homosexual, pro-seduction, pro-feminist, pro-secularist “romantic” love story about lesbian lust and “lovemaking.” It even depicts a shattered marriage positively as the closing credits hail Ms. King’s LGBTQ achievements and a man letting his lesbian ex-wife and her lesbian partner become his children’s godparents!

In real life, the almost 74-year-old Billie Jean, said she was once “totally in love with Larry” (not me but her husband!), then indulged in an adulterous relationship with a lady (later calling it a “mistake”), stayed married, subsequently got a divorce, then started another lesbian relationship with a tennis partner while conveniently labeling her parents “homophobic.”

The sensual and salacious content of “Battle of the Sexes” celebrating the destructive homosexual lifestyle is another Hollywood attempt to legitimize sexual behavior that Scripture warns is “unnatural, shameful, dishonorable and immoral” (Romans 1:26-32).


Shame on 28-year-old Emma Stone (who went to an all-girls Catholic high school) for starring in such a propagandist film promoting the LGBTQ worldview. Time called her one of today’s 100 Most Influential People, and People magazine said she’s one of the 100 Most Beautiful Women. Why cheapen your image with this tawdry role and adversely influence millions of impressionable young girls?

-- Larry Tomczak, Oct. 2 WorldNetDaily column

The problem with many people caught up in the chosen lifestyle of homosexuality and the contrived sexual orientations that have become attached to same is that they feel entitled to demand their chosen lifestyles be forcibly accepted.

The important detail those referenced above ignore is that using dictatorial coercion to supplant the God consciousness of rational human beings has always been met with resistance.

Which brings me to my first point: At what point will those who elect to practice such lifestyles realize that the overwhelming majority of Americans will never permit their children to be converted into variant forms of homosexuals? The more they fight to gain control over our children the more resistance they will encounter.


There are only so many acceptable explanations of why it has become necessary (thanks to Obama) to teach K-5th grade about homosexuality. Those reasons are to desensitize impressionable young minds to the errancy of sexual perversion, to deconstruct the traditional family and to adhere to an image not created by God. (And I hasten to add that I object to teaching same in any grade.)

Homosexuality isn’t a new behavior, but its variant forms, as is the case with all aberrant behavior, is becoming more extreme. Those graduating before 1980, ask yourself how many so-called trangenders were there in your classes? How many classmates can you truthfully say have become homosexuals since graduation? I suspect you will be hard-pressed to need all of the fingers on one hand. I personally have two fingers left over when I access my sphere of association.

-- Mychal Massie, Oct. 2 WND column

More and more schools send the message that non-homosexual students must become “allies” and condone these behaviors among peers and teachers – i.e., “support” those tragically drawn to conduct called an abomination in Scripture. Kids who memorize Bible passages on Sunday morning are told on Monday at school to cheer on their peers who dive intentionally into sin.

It’s exactly the opposite of the will of God. Approval of sin is itself a sin, and we need to make sure our kids understand the gravity of such affirmation, as they are tempted to be “tolerant” because schools, media and some self-declared believers hold this up as the new moral low ground.

And where does this leave students who are mistakenly identifying as “gay” or “transgendered”? These kids desperately need to have rebels in their midst, those brave enough to defy the prevailing narrative. Minus this truth, these troubled kids accept that they were probably born this way.

It’s another of Satan’s lies, and as we know, the enemy loves to destroy children.

-- Linda Harvey Oct. 3 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 PM EDT
Friday, October 6, 2017
MRC Wants Jimmy Kimmel to Shut Up, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center

If you thought the Media Research Center was angry when Jimmy Kimmel spoke out against that mess of a Republican health care plan, it was in full-on rage mode when Kimmel reacted to the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

As he did last time, the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro went on an unprofessional, random-boldface-laden tirade that was even more mean-spirited and personally insulting than the last:

The liberal media’s favorite late night shill and self-described pizza eating expert, Jimmy Kimmel used his show the day after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada to push for gun control while smearing Congressional Republicans for helping to cause the bloodshed. “They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country because it’s so crazy,” the emotional Kimmel exclaimed to his audience.

I’ve been reading comments from people who say this is terrible but there’s nothing we can do about it. But I disagree with that intensely because, of course, there is something we can do about it. There are a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t,” he began.

SPOILER ALERT: Everything he claimed would have stopped the attack either wouldn’t have or was just him lying.

According to Fondacaro, Kimmel was "emotional," "ranting," told "lies," lives in a "warped reality," and "hadn’t done any actual research outside of ingesting and regurgitating Democratic Party talking points," ultimately whining that "There’s no doubt that the liberal media will hold Kimmel up as the darling sensible voice for tumultuous times." Well, there was certainly nothing sensible coming out of Fondacaro's mean-spirited mouth.

That was followed by Kristine Marsh bashing media praise of Kimmel's "emotional monologue," which was really a "political plea" that was "reciting the liberal media's gun control script," praising her colleague Fondacaro for "debunking the skewed facts and outright lies the comedic host helped spread to millions of Americans who may not know any better."Marsh concluded with a tirade of her own: "With the help of the media promoting his propagandizing on their own daytime news shows, it’s no wonder the entertainer is now treated as a policy expert rather than what he actually is, a comedian who is aiding the left-wing media's mission to mislead viewers on this difficult subject."

Neither Fondacaro nor Marsh mentioned the reason Kimmel had justification for being a little emotional: He's a native of Las Vegas.

Then, Curtis Houck dedicated a lengthy post to summarizing how "conservative star and podcast host Ben Shapiro obliterating [sic] the ABC late-night host on Tuesday for an 'abhorrent,' 'gross,' and 'nasty' gun control ranttouting confiscation and mauling those against his views as monstrous" (boldface his).

And because they never miss an opportunity to sneer at a TV personality who strays from their right-wing orthodoxy, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell huffed that Kimmel's monologue "might as well have been brought to you by speechwriters from the office of Senator Charles Schumer." Again, no mention of Kimmel's personal stake.

Graham then went solo to spew more hate at Kimmel, screeching at CNN's Bill Carter for calling Kimmel a reluctant everyman spokesman, highlighting his "estimated net worth: $35 million" and security detail and whining that "Having your own late-night show on ABC and using it for liberal sermons defines the Hollywood elite."

Marsh returned to cheer a right-wing artist's immature (or, according to her, "provocative") mocking of Kimmel for being emotional about the shootings and mockingly renaming his show the "Jimmy Kimmel Estrogen Hour" -- no mention, of course, of Kimmel's personal stake. Marsh lashed out not at the juvenile smear -- apparently, Marsh believes that real men don't get upset at the slaughter of dozens of people at a concert -- but at Kimmel for responding to it and making a "virtue-signaling" statement.

If all the MRC has to offer against its ideological enemies is gratuitous and immature insults, what good is all that Mercer money?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:26 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:39 AM EST
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

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