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Wednesday, November 8, 2017
WND's Farah Blames NYC Attack on America 'Meddling' In Israeli Politics
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah devoted his Oct. 30 WorldNetDaily column to whining that "It looks like Jared Kushner has persuaded his father-in-law to continue the pattern of U.S. meddling in Israeli governance – even in housing policy in the Jewish state’s capital." He added:

I hope and pray I’m wrong about this, but, from past experience, such interference by the U.S. in Israeli policies usually spells trouble for America. I know it sounds crazy to some. But it’s true. With the natural and unnatural disasters the U.S. has experienced this year – from hurricanes to devastating wildfires to the largest mass shooting attack in America’s history – this action by Washington is not a good idea, not for Israel and not for the U.S.

There are consequences for messing with Israel – heavenly consequences.

So, when the truck attack on New York City happened the same day his column appeared, Farah was all too eager to lay claim to having predicted it in his column the very next day:

I’m here in the Holy City watching in sadness, but not shock, at the latest terror attack in New York City.

Twenty-four hours after I wrote a blistering column warning of consequences in America for interfering in Israeli policy-making in Jerusalem, New York City was hit with another terror attack.

Eight people are dead and about a dozen wounded after a Muslim man ran over pedestrians with a truck before slamming into a school bus and yelling, “Allahu Akbar,” a phrase that has become ubiquitous with terror attacks the world over.

I’m not a prophet.

I’m just someone who observes the news and patterns within the news.

And you would have to be in denial not to notice bad things happen in America and to America when Israel’s No. 1 ally in the world – and one of its few – meddles in the internal affairs of the Jewish state.


I know what I will be accused of for suggesting the terror attack in New York could be related in some way to America’s position on Israel.

Some will say I’m superstitious. Some will say I’m a conspiracy theorist. Some will say I am a religious zealot.

I don’t care. I’m going to say it anyway. It’s not just because I love Israel. It’s because I love America – and I don’t want my country to be hurt like it was Monday, or worse.

That Farah is a conspiracy theorist is beyond dispute. And Farah's religious views bump up against far-right Christian Reconstructionism, so zealotry is not an inaccurate accusation either. But, really, what Farah is an opportunist; he knows how to take advantage of events to push his right-wing agenda, which is exactly what he's doing here.

It didn't matter whether the New York terrorist attack, or something similar, took place the day after his original claim, or a month, or a year -- Farah would take credit for having predicted it because it advances his agenda. That's really all that matters to him. If the NYC attack hadn't happened, he'd be claiming the Texas church massacre as evidence of his prediction coming true.

Farah is a huckster at heart, and he has no problem tying his religious views to his hucksterism. His faith may be at least partially genuine, but he's cynically exploiting it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EST
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
MRC Pushes Conspiracy Theory About CNN Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, the conservative Daily Caller did a hit piece on CNN reporter Evan Perez, rummaging through his Facebook account to claim "close ties" between him and former colleagues at a previous reporting gig at the Wall Street Journal who went on to found Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm responsible for the infamous Trump dossier. The article is filled with speculaton; no attempt was apparently made to verify the alleged relationship with Perez and his former colleagues, let alone obtain permission from Perez to root through his Facebook account and steal photos from it.

The Media Research Center, which normally likes to portray itself as above such conspiracy theories, ran with this one. Tim Graham eagerly quoted large chunks of the Daily Caller piece in an Oct. 28 post highlighting how Perez was "socializing with his Fusion pals."

Tom Blumer took it a step further in an Oct. 31 post, claiming that the speculative Daily Caller report "would seem to explain why CNN has been particularly hostile towards the Trump administration and even more incomplete than usual in its reporting since Tuesday evening's revelations that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the infamous Trump-Russia dossier."

Blumer expanded the conspiracy to cover all of CNN for accurately reporting that the Trump administration was trying to distract from its own Russia connection by obsessing over Democratic connections to the dossier and a Russian uranium deal that only peripherally involved Hillary Clinton. (As dutiful Trump stenographers, the MRC has been obsessing about them as well.) Blumer petulantly rants to dubiously claim that Trump isn't acting out of petulant anger at a political opponent:

Hillary Clinton, since she lost the general election in November and currently holds no political office of any kind, is no longer Trump's political opponent.  She is only a critic, with no more or less standing than Michael Moore or Lena Dunham. The same goes for former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, and (certainly in the Uranium One matter) James Comey. Investigating their activities and actions when they were in office or had the opportunity to influence those who were in office is therefore not a conflict of interest. If there is strong reason to believe that any of these now-private citizens committed crimes while they did hold political office, it's the government's duty to investigate and, if there is sufficient evidence, to prosecute. Otherwise, we're supposed to believe that anyone who has held a political office and then becomes a private citizen has a permanent get-out-of-jail card, regardless of what they did when they (ahem) "served."

Blumer went on to call Perez "obviously conflicted" based on the speculative Daily Caller story.

Graham and Brent Bozell rehashed the Daily Caller claims in their Oct. 31 column, huffing: "CNN’s anti-Trump stories have hidden all this behind a wall of 'anonymous sources.' This is one dreadfully serious reason why the American people don’t trust “investigative reporting.” In reality, it turns out it looks like a series of chummy hand-offs, funded by Trump opponents."

Graham and Bozell didn't direct the same level of anger against the right-wing outlet that originally paid Fusion GPS for their oppo work on Trump, benignly noting in a claimed attempt to be "fair and balanced":

To be fair and balanced on this ethical front, the conservative Washington Free Beacon website also retained Fusion GPS for research – for a few months before the Clinton campaign and the DNC – and the Daily Caller reported that they also reported on Fusion GPS without acknowledging a relationship. 

Of course, if Graham, Bozell and the MRC really was trying to be "fair and balanced," they would have told their readers about the Free Beacon's involvement wigh Fusion GPS much sooner than this.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:21 PM EST
Fake News: WND Pushes Unsubstantiated Claims By Discredited Writer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As if its shoddy record of generating fake news wasn't enough, WorldNetDaily is bringing in fake news from outside. Like this Oct. 30 article carrying the byline of Ed Klein:

Despite a couple of appearances on behalf of Democratic candidates, Barack Obama has adamantly refused to heed the pleas of his party to lead the “resistance” against Donald Trump and instead spends much of his time at his home just blocks from the White House playing video games, chatting on the phone with celebrity pals, smoking marijuana and popping cannabis-infused gummy bears.

This startling description of Obama’s post-presidential life is based on interviews with a close Obama family friend who has been a sleepover guest at the Obama home in the Kalorama section of Washington, D.C., and who has smoked pot with the former president.

“Barack sees himself as sort of a hipster ex-president, a cool guy,” said the friend who was interviewed for my new book, “All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump.” “He wants to go back in terms of fashion and style to his pot-smoking days as a member of the Choom Gang at the Punahou School in Hawaii.”

In his 1995 memoir “Dreams From My Father,” Obama wrote about smoking pot “in a white classmate’s sparkling new van,” “in the dorm room of some brother” and “on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids.”

Now, according to the family friend, the former president “smokes weed once or twice a week. He stopped while he was president, because he knew it impaired his judgment, but he feels he can get away with it now. It’s legal in D.C., so why not?

Klein does not name his purported "close Obama family friend" -- let alone explain why any Obama associate would ever talk to him -- nor does he give any indication he has bothered to corroborate the claim.

That's because this is Ed Klein we're talking about here: a right-wing fabulist known for making up stuff about Hillary Clinton and rarely, if ever, naming his sources. Even Klein's fellow conservatives question his credibility, which explains why he had to go to WND -- which has no credibility to speak of -- to promote his new book.

The bio at the end of Klein's article describes him as "the former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine," but thatwas 30 years ago, and he left after it was revealed an article published during his tenure was fabricated. Sense a pattern here?

If WND was ever genuinely interested in addressing its credibility issues, hooking up with Ed Klein is not the way to go about it.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:03 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Mercer Money Motivates the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has received millions from the Mercers, and Brent Bozell and his organization are acting accordingly on behalf of the Mercers' interests -- such as Donald Trump and Breitbart. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 AM EST
Monday, November 6, 2017
Taylor Swift Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As a father and a grandfather, it grieves me to convey some breaking news regarding music superstar Taylor Swift. This multi-gifted artist has now decided to advance her career further by disrobing to a nearly nude image in her just released music video, “Ready for It.”

This sweet young starlet who’s been a role model and inspiration to millions of youth portrays a sci-fi cyborg prancing around in a state of seeming undress. I viewed the “shock” presentation one time in order to raise awareness and caution moms, dads, and youth leaders.


How we dress is addressed by God so we can look attractive without inviting lustful looks, which can cause others to stumble. Many Christians are not deliberately dressing immodestly but rather drift into alluring clothes out of ignorance or a desire for acceptance. Modest attire starts in the heart, not the hemline, with a sincere desire to glorify God, not a legalistic dress code to inhibit man.

1. Romans 12:1-2 directs us, “Do not be conformed to this world” but “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship.” We should look sharp, not seductive. We can dress cool without appearing cheap.

2. We should never wear clothing that draws lustful looks, causing others to “stumble” into sin (Matthew 18:6) or commit adultery in their heart by fantasizing after viewing us dressed provocatively (Matthew 5:28).

3. Modesty is a positive principle emphasizing inner beauty and character over outward vanity and sensuality. “I want women to dress with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly …” (1 Timothy 2:9). This applies equally to men who can fall prey to sexy speedos, low-rise pants and extra-tight T-shirts.

4. We are “called to liberty. Only do not use liberty to give an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). In other words, we have the privilege to defer to rather than defraud the opposite sex through immodesty. “Defraud” is arousing sexual desires in another person that cannot be righteously satisfied (1 Thessalonians 4:6).

5. The Bible tells us to steer clear of all sensuality (1 Peter 2:11), which is basically planned appeal to the physical senses for personal gratification.

6. When there is a question concerning an article of clothing, length of skirt, level of neckline, size of shorts, sheerness of a fabric, or tightness of leggings, etc. follow the following:

  • Doubt – do without (Romans 14:13).
  • “Flee youthful lusts”(2 Timothy 2:22).
  • “Honor your father and mother”(Ephesians 6:2-3).

7. Determine to be countercultural, radical, charitable and courageous in holding biblical convictions, living life to the hilt for the glory of God! “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. … my son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path” (Prorverbs 1:10; 15).

While we pray for Taylor Swift and other prominent, pop-culture personalities, may these guidelines help us in this time, considered the “undressing of America.” We must not allow ourselves to become desensitized to God’s liberating and beautiful message of modesty today.

-- Larry Tomczak, Oct. 27 WorldNetDaily column

(Isn't Tomczak effectively advocating that women wear burqas? After all, a religious edict to prevent women from drawing lustful looks from men is the main reason they exist.)

Posted by Terry K. at 7:23 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: ran into another one of those situations where the latest month of Trump-era unemployment news was too bad to spin away in yet another fit of pro-Trump stenography.

The main story by Susan Jones led with the good news, but also gave prominent play to the bad, mainly because it directly impacted its longtime obsession, the labor force participation rate:

The economy added 261,000 jobs in October – the most since President Trump took office -- and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a point to 4.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

But a record number of Americans – 95,385,000 – were not in the labor force in October, and the critical labor force participation rate dropped four-tenths of a point to 62.7 percent, a disappointing show, as 76,500 Americans left the civilian labor force..

The previous "not in the labor force" record of 95,102,000 was set in December 2016, the final full month of the Barack Obama presidency.

That story was CNS' lead story when posted early on Nov. 3, but it didn't stay that way for long -- can't havenegative news on Trump leading a pro-Trump "news" site, can we? So that was quickly supplanted as the lead by its sidebar -- the usual story by Terry Jeffrey on manufacturing jobs -- which had the necessary pro-Trump spin.Taht story remained the lead for the remainder of Nov. 3.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:00 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 6, 2017 3:06 PM EST
WND Gives Terrible Researcher A Platform to Rant About Soros
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Alicia Powe dutifully transcribes in an Oct. 31 WorldNetDaily article:

An investigative journalist who has researched radical advocacy organizations and their sources of funding says the prominent left-wing billionaire known to subsidize such acivitism, George Soros, thinks he’s a god.

The assertion come from Matthew Vadum, the senior vice president of the think tank Capital Research Center, whose book “Subversion Inc.” shows how the political activist group ACORN was run by “foot soldiers in a long-running war on America’s free political institutions.”

He was speaking Tuesday at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the site of the first Sovereign Nations Conference, which features “Understanding the Causes of Things” as its theme this year.

The Marxist billionaire is a megalomaniac who believes he is a god, Vadum charged.

“Somehow Soros began to think that he was a god because he had all this money that he earned from hedge funds – he made a billion dollars overnight in one transaction. He’s on record saying he began thinking of himself as a god. Initially, this troubled him, but then eventually he got used to and became fine with the idea.

“But he views himself as a kind of deity, which is interesting in that he is an atheist,” Vadum said.

Ah, Matthew Vadum, the dickish, thin-skinned, factually challenged right-wing so-called researcher we've encountered (and bested) in the past. So he's still hanging around the fringes of conservatism and peddling his poorly sourced, sensationalized "research" for gullible fellow travelers.

Powe appears to be one of them. She simply plays stenographer for Vadum, uncritically repeating his hyped-up claims without bothering to do any fact-checking. Vadum's claim that Soros thinks of himself as a god -- also peddled by fake-news operations --  appears to be taken from an out-of-context reference in a London newspaper, which of course Vadum twists to fit his malicious portrait of Soros.

WND knows a little about peddling fake news itself, so it's no surprise that it would give the factually challenged Vadum a platform.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Sunday, November 5, 2017
MRC's Biased Obsession With Clinton and Uranium
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a new obsession: the purported Hillary Clinton uranium scandal.

Since Oct. 17, when it touted "new revelations in the scandal surrounding Russia’s obtaining control of American uranium and its payments to The Clinton Foundation," the MRC has referenced it in approximately 60 posts, most of them screeching that the "liberal media" won't cover the story. Crappy, biased, narrowly focused study on coverage that yet again somehow omits Fox News? Check. Brent Bozell ranting about the lack of coverage outside his right-wing bubble? Check and check.

Needless to say, the MRC didn't mention that the lead writer of that article, John Solomon, is a right-wing journalist who once headed the Washington Times who is currently the head of the right-wing, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned website Circa.

The MRC also won't tell you that the supposed scoop here -- that the Russian nuclear industry was trying to spread bribe money in America, and donated money to the Clinton Foundation, around the time that government officials were approving a deal for Russian interests to take over an American company that is responsible for 20 percent of the uranium mined in the U.S. while Hillary Clinton was still secretary of state -- isn't much of a scoop.

As the Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out, Solomon's story is filled with "preposterous conspiracy-mongering" and mostly rehashes claims first made public years ago, which basically amount to the Justice Department not sufficiently publicizing its conviction of one of the figures in the Russian bribery.

The Post has also pointed out other inconvenient truths that  the MRC has ignored: for instance, that the Russian company in control of 20 percent of the U.S. uranium supply cannot for the most part export that uranium without a federal permit, which it doesn't have, and that the U.S. generates only a tiny fraction of the world's uranium supply, of which 20 percent is even more miniscule.

Further, despite all the right-wing innuendo, there's still no evidence that Clinton played any role whatsoever in forwarding the deal past federal officials (the State Department was one of nine federal agencies that had to sign off on it), let alone the establishment of a quid pro quo in which Clinton acted in direct response to Clinton Foundation donations.

Of course, whenever it's pointed out that there's no there there, the MRC goes into freakout mode, insisting that anyone highlight that particular inconvenient fact is, as Kristine Marsh put it an Oct. 27 item, "defending Hillary Clinton." And the MRC went a-Heathering against conservative Jennifer Rubin for pointing out that President Trump -- and, thus, the MRC -- were pushing the Clinton-uranium thing as a distraction from his own Russia troubles; Brad Wilmouth sneered that Rubin is "allegedly right-leaning," as if one must sign onto everything Trump does and every single attack on Democrats no matter no specious to be a true conservative.

Ans, really, that's the line on the sand the MRC has drawn here -- all attacks on Democrats in general and the Clintons in particular are valid regardless of their accuracy, and Trump must be defended at all costs. That's the MRC's agenda these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 5, 2017 11:08 PM EST
We Called It! Newsmax In The Market for O'Reilly
Topic: Newsmax

We were right.

Nast week, we noted that fluffy Newsmax coverage of disgraced ex-Fox News host Bill O'Reilly indicted that it was in the market  to obtain O'Reilly's services for its little-watched, little-carried TV channel. Now, with the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group has officially pulled out of the market for O'Reilly after it was revealed he had paid $32 million to settle one case of sexual harassment, Newsmax is officially in.

Politico reported that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has confirmed he's courting O'Reilly, adding that, according to Ruddy, "Newsmax has already established a relationship with O’Reilly, letting him use its podcast studios for several hours each week in New York since his dismissal from Fox News as an informal favor."

Politico notes that the sexual harassment allegations against O'Reilly are an issue, "though they do not appear to be enough to keep Newsmax from pursuing a deal." It also notes that Newsmax "posted an article about one of the former Fox host’s accusers being arrested in 2015 for making a false crime report."

Politico adds that an O'Reilly presence on Newsmax TV could be used as leverage to grow his TV channel and the company in general:

Newsmax is also exploring financing options to grow the network, and it’s potentially looking at going public, according to a person familiar with the network’s thinking. That type of expanded platform could prove enticing to O’Reilly—and adding a high-profile name like his could conceivably juice the company’s valuation.

Meanwhile, there's still evidence of the O'Reilly connection on Newsmax's website. The other day, as the above screenshot shows, a Newsmax story featuring O'Reilly opining on President Trump's tax plan was paired the front page with an ad by O'Reilly to get readers to subscribe to his own website.

If O'Reilly does end up at Newsmax, this is how it will happen.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:45 AM EDT
Saturday, November 4, 2017
NYC Attack Sparks WND's Muslim Derangement (Again)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The recent attack in New York City in which a man struck and killed several people with a rented truck sent WorldNetDaily into its usual paroxysms of Muslim Derangement Syndrome.

WND's initial article on the incident, by Leo Hohmann, made sure to inform us that the alleged perpetrator, Sayfullo Saipov, is "a Muslim immigrant from Uzbekistan," with HOhmann elaborating, "Translated into English the name Sayfullo means 'Sword of Allah' and Habibullaevic [mis middle name] means 'Lover of Allah.'"

Hohmann also threw his usual fit that authorities are actually investigating the attack and not immediately declaring the case closed because Sayfullo had a Muslim-y name:

But the attacker’s religion compounded by his recent immigration and his shouting of the infamous Islamic war cry was not enough for the FBI, the mayor of New York, CNN and most of the establishment media to determine this was an Islamic terror attack.

The attack took place at 3:05 p.m. and the FBI immediately made statements that the motive is not known, then Mayor Bill De Blasio took the podium about 5:20 p.m. and was able to confirm that the attack was indeed an act of terrorism. What kind of terrorism, however, was not discussed.

There was no mention of Islam or what might have motivated the attacker. Fox News focused on the attacker’s likely status as a “lone wolf” and whether he could have been “self radicalized” as opposed to having learned to attack infidels in a mosque or by reading the Muslim texts.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference that the attack was targeting New York because it is a “symbol of freedom and democracy,” describing the suspect as a likely “lone wolf.” He added, “That also makes us a target from those people who oppose those concepts… We go forward together, and we go forward stronger than ever. We’re not going to let them win.”

Again, no mention from the governor of Islam or the Islamic texts that have inspired devout Muslims throughout history to carry out jihad.

And as usual, Hohmann interviews only his fellow Muslim-haters -- like Pamela Geller, Philip Haney and Mark Christian-- to discuss the incident.

That was followed the next day by an article by Art Moore futzing over the purported "correct" definition of Allahu akbar":

As the horrific news broke Tuesday that the driver of a Home Depot rental truck in New York City had mowed over pedestrians and bike riders, “terrorism” naturally came to the minds of most Americans.

When reports began circulating that witnesses heard the perpetrator yell “Allahu akbar,” even law enforcement officials typically reluctant to apply the terrorism label to such incidents acknowledged they were looking at something more than a tragic accident.

“Allahu akbar” is an Arabic phrase that has become significant in this post-9/11 era, yet in the aftermath of the attack Tuesday in which eight people were killed and a dozen injured, official after official and news outlet after news outlet mistranslated it, insisting it means “God is great.”

An accurate translation – and even Google Translate affirms it – is “Allah is the greatest” or, literally, “Allah is greater,” as in the god Allah is greater than all other gods.

Given that the question at had is about language, you'd think Moore would interview a linguist or an Arabic language expert. Nope -- the only people he talks to are anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer and a representative of the anti-Muslim Middle East Media Research Institute.

Which tells us that Moore has no intention of honestly answering the question but, rather, just wants to engage in more politically motivated Muslim-bashing.

UPDATE: WND marketing guy Paul Bremmer gave Hohmann -- who apparently has taken off his "reporter" hate, not that there's any real difference between "news" and opinion at WND -- to rant further about how much hates Muslims while also plugging his anti-Muslim book:

This was the very type of attack WND news editor Leo Hohmann warned about in his book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and the Resettlement Jihad,” which was published in January. The “stealth invasion” to which he refers is the immigration of Muslims to America for the purpose of planting their ideology on American soil and eventually subverting the country.

“Once these young Muslim men arrive on our soil as immigrants, it is too late,” Hohmann said. “The damage has already been done. If they weren’t already ‘radical’ when they arrived, the odds are not in our favor that they will remain peaceful. Not when we have our cities loaded up with radical mosques, not when we have the Muslim Brotherhood doing business as CAIR ready to defend their ‘civil rights’ to practice a faith that calls for a smorgasbord of anti-American activity, including adherence to a foreign system of law that sanctions honor violence against women, female genital mutilation, violence against gays, polygamy, child marriage and a sense of supremacy over all other religious faiths.”

Hohmann pointed out the 9/11 attacks had many of the same overtones as Saipov’s truck attack: young Muslims migrated to the U.S., attended radical mosques, and used American freedom and resources to methodically plan a deadly attack on New York, the largest and most iconic American city. He said 9/11 should have caused America to reexamine its commitment to diversity and “diversity visas,” but sadly our politicians did not get the wake-up call.


“I would argue that our American system of freedom of religion under the First Amendment is tailor-made for Islamic civilizational jihad – which aims to take over by upsetting the demographic apple cart and waging lawfare in the courts,” Hohmann declared. “Because once the Muslim migrant arrives, he is a protected minority whose views, no matter how aberrant we may find them, are considered part of his religion. Hands off. Of all the countries on earth that should be concerned about Islamic immigration, it should be America.”

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, November 4, 2017 11:46 PM EDT
Friday, November 3, 2017
CNS Blogger Forgets His Employer Flip-Flopped on Assange

Craig Bannister tried to claim the moral high ground in an Oct. 27 blog post:

After The Daily Beast reported that the head of a data analytics firm that worked for the Trump campaign had approached Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange, liberal media pounced on the opportunity to condemn the connection. But, media haven’t always been so critical of Assange and Wikileaks.


But, times have change – especially at The Times, which had previously framed pro-Wikileaks hackers as defenders of “freedom” and Assange a champion of “truth.”


And, on another episode of “Today,” the show promoted Assange as one of “short list of finalists to be named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” in which Time's Managing Editor Richard Stengel declared that Assange “absolutely” had a shot at winning because he had “an enormous year” of “changing the perception of secrecy.”

Time changes, indeed. We remember when Bannister's colleagues at CNS used to despise Assange and Wikileaks before he was linked to Trump and hacked DNC emails.

In a December 2010 column, Bannister's boss, Brent Bozell, denounced Assange as "the notorious radical mastermind of 'WikiLeaks,'" and declared that "Americans the world over could die because of these intelligence betrayals" caused by Assange.

A December 2010 CNS column by Rich Galen called Assange "the creep behind, and the face of, Wikileaks" and huffed that "He has decided that he, among the 6.7 billion humans on the Earth, is solely qualified to decide what should be held secret and what should be made public." He concluded that "It is not for Julian Assange to decide, not just that the system is flawed, but that he has the right to put thousands of people at risk of physical harm because he doesn't like it."

Galen further asserted in a 2012 column:

Wikileaker-in-chief, Julian Assange, is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London asking for asylum so he can't be extradited to the U.S. for leaking all those classified documents a couple of years ago.

At about the same time a Syrian Air Force pilot flew a MIG-21 to a Jordanian air base asking for, and being granted, asylum,

If Julian Assange can pilot a MIG-21 to Ecuador, I say let him stay.

If not, hang him.

Now that Assange is linked to helping Trump and attacking Democrats, Bannister certainly doesn't want to follow Galen's advice now.

See, Craig? Two can play that game -- that's how lame your gotcha attempt is.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, November 3, 2017 2:47 PM EDT
WND Rehashes Old Story In Latest Attack on Evangelical College
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chelsea Schilling ramped up the drama for an Oct. 15 WorldNetDaily article:

Imagine you’re a university administrator who has served an evangelical Christian college for two decades.

Your career is flourishing and your dedication apparent as you faithfully serve the university and climb the administration ranks.

One day, the university says you’re being considered for a prestigious position: vice president of student development. You’re delighted. After all, it’s the culmination of 20 years of hard work.

But there’s a catch. A few of them, in fact.

First, you have to enroll in a doctoral program. Check.

Next, you must endure a year-long review process to prove you’re the right fit for the position. Check.

Finally, for the sake of “diversity” at the evangelical Christian university, the powers that be have made it clear you must promote and hire only minorities – preferably women – and disregard better-qualified candidates because they’re white men.

Wait a minute!

I can’t discriminate against any highly qualified candidate based on their gender and the color of their skin, you say.

It’s not right. It’s not Christian. And it’s not even legal.

After you repeatedly decline to promote and hire less-qualified candidates for the sake of “diversity,” you learn the coveted VP position has been given to a black man in admissions who has: never worked in student development, has no training or experience in the field and never even applied for the slot. In fact, he thought he was actually being fired when the university president offered the job to him in a surprise meeting.

Oh, and you’ll lose your office, your current position, your assistant. It’s likely the end of any meaningful employment at the university you’ve served faithfully for nearly half your life.

This leads into a very lengthy summary of a lawsuit filed against Biola University, described by Schilling as "one of the most conservative, evangelical, four-year, liberal arts schools in the nation," by former employee Daniel Parshall, who claims he was passed over for a top position at the school because he was a white male.

Interestingly, nobody involved in the case would talk to Schilling about it -- nobody at Biola and not even Parshall's lawyer. Which means that Schilling's article is almost entirely derived from Parshall's lawsuit and, thus, is devoted to telling only his side of the story.

And it's not until the final paragraph that Schilling admits that Parshall's lawsuit was filed in November 2016 -- that is, nearly a year before Schilling's article appeared. In other words, this is very old news.

This seems to be the latest in a series of attacks by WND on Biola for allegedly failing to be as right-wing Christian as WND wants them to be:

  • In 2012, WND highlighted the existence of an "underground" pro-gay group at the college (though that same year columnist "Marisa Martin" touted Biola as "an exciting, cutting edge, contemporary art school").
  • In 2013, it republished an article about alleged mistreatment of a Biola student who displayed extremely graphic abortion photos at the college.
  • In 2016, WND's Leo Hohmann was outraged that a speaker at Biola "urged students to accept the views of Black Lives Matter and consider themselves as having benefited from white privilege while looking to the Palestinians for inspiration in how to get along with one’s adversaries," declaring the message "so antithetical to the conservative mission statement of Biola University that some critics are calling out the university for sponsoring a 'Bernie Sanders-like' message of humanistic socialism."
  • WND editor Joseph Farah cited the speaker as an example of "the fall of Christian education in America." He further criticized the school's president for writing a poem about diversity, huffing, "One thing you won’t hear in the poem is 'Christ crucified.'"

WND has never been interested in having any sort of discussion with people or institutions it hates -- it only knows how to attack and not let them respond in a fair manner.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Thursday, November 2, 2017
MRC Promotes Fox News Sock-Puppet Blog
Topic: Media Research Center

The link at the bottom of the "Editor's Picks" collection of outside stories at the Media Research Center's NewsBusters website right now is an item from "Sydney Bloom, The Cable Game."

The MRC won't tell you this, but The Cable Game is a sock-puppet blog run by Fox News.

Gabriel Sherman reported in his book "The Loudest Voice in the Room" that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes created The Cable Game as a way to respond to his critics and those of Fox News. Conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton was enlisted to ghost-write the blog, and it seems "Sydney Bloom" is the nom de plume under which Pinkerton is writing the blog (which, yes, is still ongoing despite Ailes' death).

In a 2015 post, "Bloom" mocked the idea that the blog was being directed by Ailes and Pinkerton, but offered no proof to refute the claim or any evidence that "Syndey Bloom" is a real, live boy (or girl). "Bloom" offers only a Gravatar link as a contact, which is not proof of anything.

The MRC's aversion to anonymous sources when used by the "liberal media" shows itself to be especially hypocritical with this link to a blog that not only is written under a fake name, the fake name in question is operating under the direction of Fox News. The MRC not only does not know who writes The Cable Game, it does not care as long as it continues to serve up media-bashing that conforms to its right-wing anti-media agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2017 9:47 PM EDT
Persistent Obama (And Bush) Derangement Syndrome, Erik Rush Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chief among conservatives’ complaints about [George W.] Bush’s speech last week was that the former president did not once in eight years see fit to speak out against the serial treason, unconstitutional governance and autocracy of the Obama administration, yet he felt compelled to join the former jihadi-in-chief in condemning Trump. This, coupled with Bush’s refusal to defend his own administration against the onslaught of leftist calumnies leveled against it while he was in office, speaks to the dirty little secret of which so many Americans became aware over the last few years, and which motivated them to elect a president who was a true outsider.

-- Erik Rush, Oct. 25 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 4:18 PM EDT
MRC Slow to Mention Harassment Allegations Against Trump Defender Mark Halperin
Topic: Media Research Center

On Oct. 30, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck wrote an unusally straightforward post about how "NBC News finally terminated the contract of political analyst Mark Halperin five days after allegations surfaced thanks to CNN’s Oliver Darcy that Halperin had been alleged to have engaged in disturbing sexual misconduct while serving as ABC News political director."

Curiously, this was the first post about the accusations against Halperin posted at NewsBusters, the MRC's main content site (another MRC site, MRCTV, did note the Halperin story when it first broke). You'd think that with Halperin's ties to the dreaded MSM in the form of his work with NBC and a previous position at ABC, the MRC would be much more eager to join the dogpile, instead of waiting five days. This is the type of thing that brings a lot of harrumphing from Brent Bozell.

The headline on Houck's post called the claims against Halperin "sickening" -- but they apparently weren't so sickening that he was moved to write about them when the story broke.

So why the low-key treatment of Halperin? Perhaps because he was a defender of Donald Trump when allegations of harassment and misogyny appeared about him prior to the 2016 presidential election, as well as of other conservative perpetrators. As the Washington Post reported:

Mark Halperin, co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics at the time of the article's publication, said the allegations against Trump were not terribly serious.

“If that's the best they got on these issues and Donald Trump, Donald Trump should be celebrating that story,” Halperin said on MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” where he now appears regularly as a senior political analyst for NBC News. “There's some troubling things in the piece, but there's nothing illegal, there's nothing even kind of, like, beyond boorish or politically incorrect, which is built into the Donald Trump brand. So, if that's the best they have in this score, Donald Trump can celebrate this story, politically.”


At other times, Halperin has seemed to take a gentler tone toward prominent men accused of sexual harassment. In July 2016, he landed the first interview with Trump after Fox News cut ties with its longtime chairman, Roger Ailes.

“What do you think about what happened to your friend, Roger Ailes?” Halperin asked on his Showtime program, “The Circus.” Trump's response — “I think it's so sad; he's such a great guy” — was widely covered at the time, but Halperin's framing of the situation is also notable, in retrospect. He presented Ailes's fall as something that “happened to” him, as opposed to something Ailes brought on himself by mistreating women.

When Trump defended Bill O'Reilly against sexual harassment allegations in April, Halperin characterized the president's move as strategically unwise, without passing judgment on the substance of the claims against O'Reilly.

“Doing what he did yesterday, in commenting on Bill O'Reilly — to reporters, in the Oval Office, right before his statement on Syria — is not normal for a president,” Halperin said on “Morning Joe.” “It creates a huge distraction, gets tons of coverage. And yesterday should have been about projecting strength, as he did, on Syria. But it's pure Trump and classic Trump for him to then also be willing to address Bill O'Reilly. There's no reason for him to address it. None.”

Missing in Halperin's take was some acknowledgment that O'Reilly's alleged behavior is unacceptable — and that Trump, if he was going to speak up, ought to have said so.

There are other, non-sexual-harassment examples of Halperin serving as a defender of, and apologist for, Trump in the media. So it's no surprise that the MRC was in no hurry to throw him under the bad-guy bus.

Meanwhile, it was much more Johnny-on-the-spot about other recent sexual harassment accusations.

It quickly pounded on the claims against actor Kevin Spacey with a post just one day after accusations against him were first reported; Corinne Weaver revealed why by making sure to note that "Spacey is an outspoken lefty, consistently slamming the GOP and supporting Democratic candidates."

Similarly, Tim Graham swiftly and gleefully recounted how NPR senior vice president for news Michael Oreskes lost his job over harassment claims. Graham invoked an old obsession in the process, chortling that "This could be seen as a boomerang for NPR, which took so much pride in pushing the unsubstantiated sex-harassment charges of Anita Hill against black conservative Clarence Thomas in 1991 when it looked like he would be comfortably confirmed to the Supreme Court."

But shouldn't Graham be as disbelieving of Oreskes' accusers as he remains of Hill, given that they also apparently lack substantiation? He doesn't explain the double standard. Instead, he hypocritically trashed another Oreskes accuser for failing to speak out sooner:

Jill Abramson, a prominent Times reporter in the Hill-Thomas hearings who also wrote a book on the matter called Strange Justice,  which has been a liberal soap-opera TV movie (twice), didn't act against Oreskes at the Times! Abramson might have been looking out for her own ambition, and she became Executive Editor. So much for feminist advocacy[.]

Graham further complained about New York Times coverage of the issue: "The front of the Business Day section was headlined 'Protecting the Disgraced,' with pictures of Bill O'Reilly, Mark Halperin, and Harvey Weinstein." But protecting the disgraced is exactly what the MRC is doing with its delayed coverage of Halperin and Graham and Bozell's far greater outrage that O'Reilly's harassment was divulged over the fact that it happened in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2017 8:57 AM EDT

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