MRC Revels In Personal Problems of People It Hates Topic: Media Research Center
The professionalism of the Media Research Center has been on a downward slide for a while. It slides even lower in a couple of NewsBusters post that take unseemly glee in the personal problems of a couple longtime targets.
Corinne Weaver is obsessed with playing politics as she cheers the resignation of the president of ESPN for substance-abuse issues:
The scandal-plagued sports network ESPN is suffering another blow -- the resignation of its left-wing president.
John Skipper, described in The Washington Post as a “gangly, Southern hippie,” announced his decision to resign as president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks on Monday, December 18. He cited a “substance addiction” as the main reason for his resignation. In his statement, he wrote: “I have come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care down.”
Named president of ESPN in 2012, Skipper helped to usher in the dark ages of ESPN, with significant drops in ratings and subscribers. At least partial credit goes to the increasingly partisan approaches made by ESPN’s bloggers and journalists, as well as the network’s own decisions. Some of these include the decision to give Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2015, letting an employee go for being conservative, and allowing one of its radio hosts, Tony Kornheiser, question whether or not the Tea Party movement was similar to ISIS.
P.J. Gladnick was similarly schadenfreude-filled in a post headlined "Net Neutrality Obsessed Reporter Arrested for Drunken Rampage, recounting how "On the same day that net neutrality was repealed, a net neutrality obsessed reporter for the New York Daily News was arrested for going on a drunken rampage at a hospital." He snarkily added: "So did [Aaron] Showalter's despair over the repeal of net neutrality drive him to drink? One thing is certain, he's obsessed with the issue."
Neither Weaver nor Gladnick express any concern for thehealth and well-being of Skipper or Showalter as they deal with personal issues -- so much for compassionate conservativism. Instead, it's cheering their downfall.
Then again, this is an organization that tried to capitalize on the death of Peter Jennings by touting how its archives were "packed with documentation of liberal bias" from him, so classlessness on such issues isn't exactly new.
WND Columnist Baselessly Claims There's A Secret List of Clinton Assault Victims Topic: WorldNetDaily
Doug Wead likes to pose as a nonpartisan presidential biographer but he has clear right-leaning biases, as exeplified by his bashing of Presisdent Obama and his love for Ron and Rand Paul. He also cranked out an insta-book last February, "Game of Thorns," bashing Hillary clinton's campaign and praising "how Donald Trump's message and brand transcended the traps laid by his enemies. How, against all odds, he won the presidency. And here are the details of his plan to make American [sic] great again."
Thus, as a good conserative, he's prone to Clinton Derangement Syndrome. That seems to explain his Dec. 19 WorldNetDaily column, in which he brings up something that you'd think would have been brought up before now given all the dirt-digging right-wingers did in Arkansas during the 1990s:
As of this moment, there is a “Me Too” Bill and Hillary Clinton list of women. It is very possible that some of the names are kept under lock and key at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am not talking about the women of the 1990s – Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky. In fact, this list is comprised of women of the 1980s.
The only one we have heard about is Juanita Broaddrick, who claimed that Bill Clinton had raped her.
This list has never been made public. But the facts surrounding the list are part of the public record and have been talked about under oath.
According to one account – reported in “Game of Thorns” – state troopers, who testified under oath, said that there were hundreds of women procured for Bill Clinton. The sex was both consensual and non-consensual.
According to published accounts, women on this list were brought into the Rose Law Firm, one by one. They were confronted by a team of attorneys and were apparently told to immediately report anyone trying to get information from them.
According to one published account, Hillary Clinton was actually present at one of these meetings.
That old, 1987 list is now a ticking time bomb with the names of women who have never felt safe to come forward. They have never gone public.
And no wonder. The women who surfaced in the 1990s were subjected to harassment, ridicule and IRS audits; the windows were blown out of their cars with shotguns; their pets went missing; they were followed; the Clinton campaign reportedly hired private detectives to destroy their reputations; and many were fired from their jobs.
In the wake of recent scandals involving abuse of women, many public figures are now saying that they should have come forward to defend the victims of Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
Well, now they have a second chance.
There's a strong smell of BS emanating from Wead's claim. He cites no actual sources at all beyond vaguely described mentions on the "public record" and "published accounts." (And, no, we're not going to buy Wead's book to see if he substantiates anything there.) Wead's treating the Arkansas state troopers who purportedly procured "hundreds" of women for Clinton also beggars belief, since those very same state troopers backed off those claims when placed under oath.
The video accompanying Wead's column is another clue he's more interested in self-promotion than telling the truth. It's a reading of the column, but with a new introduction; he starts ominiously by declaring that "what you are about to hear has never been reported on television or written about it in print." Because it's so untrue that even diehard Clinton-haters ignored it?
Wead then suggested that "you may try to come back to this video and find it has been taken down by our new American censors. Or it will just be ignored by a hypocritical society that picks and chooses who gets justice and who must live in fear and anonymity."
Or, you know, dismissed as substance-free ranting by a Clinton-hating dead-ender who just can't let go of an old obsession.
We've documented how CNSNews.com is following the right-wing media playbook in trying to discredit the Robert Mueller investigation into President Trump's links to Russia and related issues. There's another article to add to the list: a Dec. 26 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman lovingly documenting a Fox Business TV appearance by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan. The level of mendaciousness Chapman exhibits in this article is surprising for someone who runs a purported "news" organization.
Chapman kicks things off by referencing "the salacious and false dossier about Donald Trump, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee." In fact, several parts of the dossier have been verified and corroborated. Nevertheless, Chapman uncritically quoted Jordan dismissing the dossier as "a bunch of lies. ... It's a bunch of National Enquirer garbage and fake news in this thing."
Chapman then writes: "It has been reported that former Trump campaign officials Carter Page and Paul Manafort were spied on in 2016 by U.S. intelligence agencies after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) granted warrants to do so." But the links Chapman uses to back up those claims show that monitoring of Page and Manafort had begun before their affiliation with the Trump campaign.
Chapman then writes:
On Dec. 23 it was reported that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will resign in March or April 2018, which is when his full pension and benefits would kick in. McCabe's wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, received a little more than $700,000 in payments from two Democratic PACs in 2015, one headed by Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe. (Jill McCabe, a left-wing Democrat, ran for a state senate seat that year.)
In early 2016, Andrew McCabe helped to oversee the Hillary Clinton email investigation, a scandal for which she was exonerated by then-FBI Director James Comey in July 2016. (McCabe did not recuse himself from the Clinton case until one week before the 2016 presidential election.)
As we've previously documented, there's a timeline issue that shoots down Chapman's conspiracy theory: The donation from McAuliffe's PAC to Jill McCabe's campaign were made several months before Andrew McCabe was named to the Hillary email investigation, and Andrew McCabe wasn't assigned to the investigation until three months after Jill McCabe lost her election. This makes it highly unlikely, if not impossible, there was a quid pro quo.
Also, Chapman doesn't back up his assertion that Jill McCabe was a "left-wing" Democrat, unless he's operating on a knee-jerk assumption that all Democrats are "left-wing."
This is lazy partisan stenography on Chapman's part, proving yet again that CNS under Chapman and Terry Jeffrey care next to nothing about journalism.
Dubious WND Doc Defends The Right to Take Worthless Supplements (And Goes Anti-Vaxxer) Topic: WorldNetDaily
A few days after WorldNetDaily promoted a book it was paid to publish about a couple busted for making health claims they couldn't back up about the supplements they sold (and, also, tax evasion), it published a Dec. 22 column by dubious doc Lee Hieb -- affiliated with the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- defending unproven health supplements by spinning conspiracy theories.
Hieb defends homeopathic medicine as just like eating food:
They state specifically they are concerned about remedies that “may not deliver any benefit and have the potential to cause harm.” Think about that for a moment. That describes nearly any new discovery. That describes drinking cranberry juice for bladder infections. That describes Metchnikoff’s probiotics. That describes taking Vitamin D in excess of the paltry useless dose the Institute of Medicine has – in their beneficence – granted us. Anything has the potential to cause harm – water drunk in excess can cause harm. Polar bear liver eaten in excess can cause harm. Oysters may cause harm. And of course, “may not deliver any benefit” can apply to anything. Eating a lollypop may not deliver any benefit, but it shouldn’t be illegal.
Of course, drinking water is not like taking supplements taht make unproven health claims.
Hieb then complains: "Many papers have been written about the failure of 'Statin' drugs to prevent cardiac death or all-cause mortality. But this cash cow of the drug industry will never be questioned by the FDA." The primary purpose of statins is to lower cholesterol, and there are studies that show statins can lower the risk of death after a cardiac event, as well as all-cause mortality.
Then, Hieb starts spouting, among other things, anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories:
So, what is this really all about? Not our safety. If they really cared about our safety, they wouldn’t indemnify pharmaceutical industries against any lawsuit from vaccine injury. They would demand more than 10-day follow-up for vaccine drug tests. They wouldn’t shut down the little manufactures of certain useful drugs.
This is about crony capitalism. The FDA/CDC/Big Pharma are all the same people. The biggest money in advertising and in politics today is from the pharmaceutical industry. They spread that money to local politicians who turn around and vote for mandatory vaccines. (As a business person wouldn’t you love to have government force people to buy your product?) They spread the money to the media, who consequently never bring up uncomfortable questions about questionable products. (Fox News may debate sensitive subjects like gay marriage and climate change, but have you ever once heard them discuss vaccine injury?)
Pharma giants have successfully convinced legislators and many other intelligent people through clever tag lines and memes that all vaccines are always safe in all people all the time. How else can you justify mandating school vaccines in all children without any exemptions (California)? They have convinced Medicare to officially recommend that doctors keep cholesterol at lower and lower levels, requiring more and more Statin drugs. And as is true with government in general, recommendations next become requirements. For some problems, government reimburses doctors less if they do not use Big Pharma drugs to keep patients within certain bureaucratic ranges. For example, doctors lose money if they have too many diabetics “out of control” (and control is determined by someone at Medicare). Sadly, as this regulation was instituted, diabetic deaths increased by following the guidelines. But Big Pharma made more money.
Pharma would love to take away your ability to treat yourself. Increasing zinc intake might help decrease cancer – so let’s outlaw zinc supplements. Let’s kick in the doors and arrest the makers of Coenzyme Q10 even though we can find no safety problem. (The FDA actually did this, and, funny thing, several years later CoQ10 was reported to be beneficial in preventing heart deaths.) Let’s regulate Vitamin D because getting your D levels above 55 may decrease many kinds of cancer, and that would mean maybe less cancer drugs – which are a big revenue stream.
Finally, Hieb defends the right to take worthless supplements:
I’m not here to tout any particular over-the-counter remedy, but who gave the FDA total ability to limit what we can take into our bodies, while virtually forcing us to be given what they prescribe? It’s none of their business whether a “homeopathic remedy” is worthless. That’s an issue of commerce and truth in advertising. I, for one, want the freedom to research and decide for myself what supplements to take, even if my supplements ultimately do me no good. (Many do a great deal of good as Big Pharma knows only too well.) I want to eat all the salt I want. Remember when the official word was “salt is bad for your blood pressure and your heart”? Well, new research has shown more heart-related deaths by people eating less salt than those eating more. I don’t drink colas, but it is none of the government’s business what I choose to eat or drink. And trust me: No government bureau has ever been on the cutting edge of science.
This type of fearmongering is the cutting edge of "science" at WND.
MRC's Graham Whines That Trump Is Being Fact-Checked Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains in a Dec. 22 post (bolding his):
The least surprising thing about PolitiFact’s 2017 "Lie of the Year" is that it’s uttered by Donald Trump. Their biggest lie was “Russian election interference is a ‘made-up story.’” We’ll get to whether PolitiFact is quoting Trump in context in a minute.
But first, a quick study of that 2017 “Truth-O-Meter” reveals that once again, PolitiFact showed far more aggression in evaluating Trump’s statements than any prominent Democrat. The “independent fact checkers” singled out Trump for 140 evaluations, and 95 of them (68 percent) were Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire. Just 19 (13.5 percent) were Half True, and 26 (18.5 percent) were Mostly True or True.
Now compare that 140 evaluations to the leading Democrats: Sen. Bernie Sanders (10 verdicts), Sen. Charles Schumer (eight) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (seven). Between them, they were evaluated as True or Mostly True on 11 occasions, False or Mostly False on nine occasions, and Half True on five.
Barack Obama in 2017 drew two Mostly Trues and one half True. Elizabeth Warren? One Mostly True. Kamala Harris? One Mostly True and one True.
Graham seems to have missed the relevant fact that Trump is president and all these other people are not. He also does not back up his suggestion that there should be balance in evaluation of statements by Trump and by Democrats -- perhaps because he knows that Trump is a singularly mendacious man.
While Graham whines that PolitiFact evaluated 140 Trump statements, that's a drop in the bucket; the Washington Post found that Trump made at least 1,950 false or misleading statements last year. So PolitiFact's evaluation proportion ratio seems to reflect real life.
Still, Graham whines: "In other words, PolitiFact ends up looking like the rest of the 'independent' liberal media. Republicans are hounded as routine liars, while the Democrats are much more likely to be handed the Mostly True." This is just more of the MRC's war on fact-checking because those fact-checkers expose Trump's lies for what they are.
WND Columnist Defends the Honor of Artificial Sweeteners Topic: WorldNetDaily
David Lightsey writes in a Dec. 21 WorldNetDaily column:
We are all aware of the feud between President Trump and CNN, based on the network’s bad habit of producing fake news. We can now add another ridiculous angle to CNN’s efforts to disparage the president: his dietary habits. This past week the media ran stories regarding President Trump’s interest in Diet Coke, but it was CNN that appeared to be the most infatuated with it. According to the Washington Free Beacon, CNN ran seven different segments about President Trump’s taste for Diet Coke, but due to space limitations, I will cover just one of the CNN reports.
On Monday Dec. 11, 2017, Susan Scutti of CNN published her take on the purported 12 cans of Diet Coke President Trump may or may not be drinking daily. Her article “A 12 Diet Coke-a-day habit like Trump’s is worth changing,” stated under the story highlights, “drinking artificially sweetened beverages is associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia,” and “diet soda may increase risk of type 2 diabetes.” I have already covered this issue here in WND, so I will not address the same issues again. Both points are blatantly false, as explained in the prior piece. For those of you who are more visual learners, you can watch a four-minute clip from The American Chemical Society’s Reaction Science video series regarding the safety of aspartame.
My interest in the CNN piece has nothing to do with what the president drinks, because as productive as he has been since he has been in office, I really don’t care. If the Diet Coke is what keeps his motor running and staying at least one step ahead of the ignorance of the left, so be it. He is certainly far more productive than anyone at CNN. My interest in the CNN piece was related to its relentless misinformation.
Lightsey -- who claims to be "a food and nutrition science adviser with the National Council Against Health Fraud as well as Quackwatch, combating nutrition and health misinformation on a national level" -- is really serious about this. He really did address this issue in an Aug. 27 column, which was mostly about nit-picking a study that suggested a link between diet soda and stroke that its lead author admitted was a hypothesis and filled with caveats that require more study. Lightsey also admits more than a little bias; his column starts by noting his love of wild cherry diet Dr. Pepper and concludes, "Enjoy your diet soda. I sure do."
Lightsey's Dec. 21 column does more nit-picking of studies, lashing out at CNN for noting more studies suggesting a link and arguing that the limitations of the various studies being cited completely disprove any claims they make. Lightsey concludes: "CNN continues to illustrate how poorly informed and agenda-driven they are, which is the basis of much of the network’s fake and junk-science news."
CNS Follows Right-Wing Playbook In Attacking Trump-Russia Investigation Topic: CNSNews.com
We've previously noted the Media Research Center's huffiness when it's pointed out how its bretheren in the right-wing media ahve launched a full-scale attack on Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign as well as related issues. One likely reason it was huffy was that the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com -- like the good pro-Trump stenographers they are -- was a part of the right-wing attack on Mueller.
Here are some of the articles CNS published over the past couple months attacking the investigation, the FBI and related issues such as the notorious Trump dossier:
Jesse Lee Peterson is oblivious to a lot of things -- for instance, the racism in the term "great white hope." He forgets something else in the midst of this rant in his Dec. 24 WorldNetDaily column:
Incomes from 2009 to 2014 fell more for blacks than any other racial or ethnic group.
The following are some more unfortunate statistics about the decline of blacks under Obama cited by Deroy Murdock in National Review:
During Obama’s tenure, the percentage of black Americans struggling below the poverty line advanced, according to the Census Bureau data, from 25.8 in 2009 to 26.2 in 2014 – up 1.6 percent.
Real median income among black households during those years, according to the Census Bureau, sank from $35,954 to $35,398 – down 1.5 percent.
The seasonally adjusted labor-force-participation rate for black Americans across the board slipped from 63.2 percent to 61.7 percent – down 2.4 percent.
The number of black food-stamp participants exploded across that time frame from 7,393,000 to 11,699,000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports – up 58.2 percent.
Also, from Obama’s swearing in through the fourth quarter of 2015, the percentage of black Americans who own homes plunged from 46.1 percent to 41.9 percent, according to the Census – down 9.1 percent.
Donald Trump has done more for black Americans in one year than Obama did in eight years!
Since the 2016 election, the black unemployment rate has fallen by a full percentage point in the last year, black labor-force participation is up, and the number of black Americans with a job has risen by 600,000 from last year. Black wages and incomes are also up.
Missing from this rant: any mention of the inconvenient fact that there was a recession that had to be dug out of for the majority of Obama's presidency. That seems important -- but not to Peterson.
Peterson also fails to name any one thing Trump has actually done to create those conditions for blacks during his presidency -- which tells us that Peterson is giving Trump credit for policies that began under Obama.
Peterson contiunes his weird self-hatred for blacks by huffing, "Blacks are the one group Democrats can count on to support them no matter what. Look at the Alabama special Senate election where 96 percent of black voters blindly followed Democrat talking points and voted for liberal Democrat Doug Jones." It's a "Democrat talking point" to expect people not to vote for guys who like to perv on teens?
Peterson concludes by whitesplaining Trump to blacks, while also playing the divine-Donald card:
Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and other selfish Democrats only care about themselves; therefore, they keep lying and misleading blacks to keep them angry, blind and stuck on the Democrats’ plantation. They keep blacks in a perpetual state of anger with false allegations of “racism” (which doesn’t exist) to convince them that Donald Trump hates them and that Democrats are their saviors. It’s an evil and calculated agenda used to promote their selfish political desire for power and wealth.
I’m convinced that this president was sent by God to restore and unite our nation. This Christmas season and in the new year, black Americans should thank God for President Trump.
The only person we see who's perpetually angry here is Peterson.
MRC Tries to Defend Fox News As A News Outlet Topic: Media Research Center
We've shown that the Media Research Center has a Fox News-shaped blind spot when it comes to things it does that it criticizes other media outlets for doing. When it comes to Fox News' reputation as a right-wing opinion machine that's light on the news part, the MRC will rush to the defense of the channel that serves as the premier media outlet for its talking heads.
So when CNN's Brian Stelter questioned whether Fox News is actually news, the MRC's Alex Xenos was quick to retort in a Dec. 19 post, insisting that Fox News really does news, except for the stuff that's not, and that CNN is the real problem here:
Everybody understands that Fox & Friends presents a friendly viewpoint toward the Trump administration. Meanwhile, CNN still acts as if they are the arbiter of news as they fret over the President’s Diet Coke consumption and how he's a bully for taking an extra scoop of ice cream.
The point is that it's CNN's hypocrisy here that's troubling (not to mention that Fox News does excellent journalistic work and covers stories that the major broadcast networks refuse to even consider).
Sean Hannity is not a journalist. He is a pundit and admits to being one. Fox & Friends has had their reputation of being a right-of-center news program for years while Special Report will never be confused with Hardball or The Ingraham Angle. To Stelter's credit, he admitted as much regarding Shepard Smith and Special Report host Bret Baier. Using the former two examples to blugeon Fox News as an illegitimate news source is dishonest.
Actually, Hannity has claimed to be a journalist when it suits him to do so. And if "CNN's hypocrisy" is really the issue here, why is Xenos devoting so much time to defending Fox News' purported journalistic bona fides and dismissing its obvious right-wing bias as something "everybody understands" and, thus, something that doesn't need to be discussed?
Author Pays WND To Publish Her Book, Run 'News' Article, Hide The Full Story About Her Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 17 WorldNetDaily article introduces the sob story:
The mission of the health non-profit Daniel Chapter One was simple. Using biblical principles, Jim and Patricia Feijo created a series of products enthusiastically endorsed by customers who claimed it soothed their ailments.
Yet that was enough for the Food and Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service to launch an aggressive raid, complete with screaming and drawn guns, to shut down the ministry.
On March 31, 2015, the United States government closed the 30-year ministry of Daniel Chapter One, claiming it might violate a governmental order – without any customer complaints or any evidence of harm.
The consequences could be dire. As Jim Feijo noted, the rationale behind the government’s action could open practically every American to the charge of “practicing medicine” for sharing or utilizing folk remedies, with fines and punishments to follow.
Now, Patricia Feijo is sharing her story in the new book “Called To Stand,” from World Ahead Press.
“The government attacked us almost 30 years after we had been in business with our ministry,” Patricia Feijo said in astonishment. “No consumer ever complained; people were happy, thousands of people were being healed from all kinds of illness.”
However, Feijo noted some of the people helped by Daniel Chapter One credited the products with assisting their recovery from cancer.
“That was the thing that really got us,” she mourned.
Daniel Chapter One posted testimonies from some of its satisfied customers in the customers’ own words, accompanied by a disclaimer. This opened them up to an attack by the federal government, which was cracking down on natural health treatments.
What was behind the attack? Nothing less than the Trilateral Commission itself, in the form of the Trilateral Cooperation Charter, which aimed to harmonize America’s food and drug regulations with Canada and Mexico.
This unleashed a legal nightmare in which the Feijos were accused of claiming they possessed cancer cures, which they denied. At the same time, they were unwilling to deny the testimonies of their customers.
“They charged us with false and misleading advertisement really in order to shut us down,” Patricia Feijo said. “That was the whole agenda from the beginning. I believe we were threatening because our products were effective, because nobody was complaining, nobody had been hurt, not in 30 years.”
There are a few things missing here, starting with the fact that World Ahead Press is the self-publishing division of WND, which the article doesn't disclose. Since it's effectively a self-published book -- which means Feijo is paying WND "as little as $4999" to edit, produce, distribute and market her book, and this "news" article is apparently bought and paid for as part of that deal -- there's no attempt made at fact-checking or fairness.
We covered this story when WND first reported on it years ago, and there's a whole other side that Feijo and WND won't tell you: Daniel ChapterOne consistently refused to substantiate the curative claims it made about its products with scientific evidence, and it refused to stop making those unsubstantiated claims by insisting they were testimonials by users of its products, not medical claims by the company. The feds also pointed out that the Feijos claimed to have taken a vow of poverty, but are using the proceeds of Daniel Chapter One "to buy things like two Cadillacs, two homes, restaurant meals, tennis memberships, country clubs, pool and gardening services, cigars, carries around a Gold American Express card." Oh, and Jim Feijo stopped paying his taxes sometime in the mid-1990s, and the person who did the paperwork for incorporating Daniel Chapter One was later prosecuted by the IRS for tax evasion.
That would seem to explain why the Feijos can afford to pay WND to publish and market this book.
Ultimately, in 2015 Jim Feijo pleaded guilty to fraudulent marketing and tax evasion -- he falsely portrayed his employees to the IRS as independent contractors, paid his employees with checks made out to cash, and he failed to pay withholding taxes. Feijo was sentenced to a six-month prison sentence and six months of home confinement, was ordered to pay more than $218,000 in restitution, and people who bought their products were eligible for partial refunds.
We suspect that didn't make into Patrica Feijo's book, since it certainly didn't make it into the WND article -- Feijo certainly isn't paying WND to tell the full truth about her. That's just one more bit of dishonesty in a paid media hit fraudulently presented by WND as "news."
NEW ARTICLE: Susan Jones' Year of Trump Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
The CNSNews.com reporter is so dedicated to making President Trump look good that she's penning pro-Trump opinion pieces that are presented as "news." Read more >>
WND Won't Give Obama Credit For Role In Defeating ISIS Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh writes like a good Trump sycophant in a Dec. 18 WorldNetDaily article:
President Trump has won a war for the United States – the acknowledged defeat of ISIS – and the response from the media has been mostly crickets.
“This is one of the best stories of the young Trump administration. While many of the battles were fought under Obama, Trump pursued the enemy relentlessly. He delegated decision-making to commanders in the field, they fought within the laws of war, and they prevailed. Trump promised to defeat ISIS, and he has delivered a tremendous victory,” writes National Review columnist David French.
So why isn’t this in the headlines?
Because, explains New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, while there are several contributing factors, the success “does not fit into the narrative of Trumpian disaster in which our journalistic entities are all invested.”
A more likely possibility that Unruh -- who quotes only right-wing analysts as desperate as he is to credit Trump for this -- doesn't explore: Trump simply followed in Obama's footsteps in finishing what he began.
When Trump's purportedly "secret plan" to defeat ISIS was revealed last May, analystsnoted that it basically followed and continued Obama's plan. And the Pentagon has credited Obama's plan for training Iraqi soldiers with ISIS' defeat in Mosul.And as CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen pointed out, the majority of ISIS fighters killed in the conflict died under the Obama presidency.
After all the biased pro-Trump rah-rah was done, Unruh shifted to promotional mode:
For ending the war, and other accomplishments, WND now offers the Thank Trump Card Campaign. Some 17,000 already have gone online to send him a thank you, an effort that already has been praised by both Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.
For a continuously updated list of reasons to be thankful for President Trump, check out WND’s BIG LIST of Trump accomplishments.
Unruh is sounding a bit desperate here, which doesn't get any less so with a final paragraph giving out WND's email address for "media representatives who would like to interview WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah about the campaign."
A Dec. 19 post by Curtis Houck carries the hyperbolic headline "Grab Your Popcorn: Katy Tur Gets Annihilated by Dave Brat in Tax Policy Debate."But there's little actual annihilation going on; Brat simply disagrees with her. Houck is condescending to Tur throughout his post, ranting about her purported "smug factor" and mocking her status as a "MSNBC host extraordinaire" who's supposedly an idiot because she "grew up in a family of journalists." Perhaps Houck needs to be reminded that petty personal attacks on someoneyou don't like are not "media research."
Just as condescending and spiteful was Houck's MSNBC colleague Chris Reeves, whose Dec. 27 post ridiculously called Tur an "uber-liberal partisan" (what is an "uber-liberal"? Reeves never defines the term) and ranted that she was "fomenting political tribalism by promoting rank partisan propaganda" and is "a repeat offender when it comes to pure, unadulterated liberal lunacy."
One purported example of this, according to Reeves, is that Tur recently, and accurately, pointed out that President Trump has not held a full solo press conference since February. This, needless to say, sent the MRC into spin mode. Tim Graham retorted, "Trump has held a series of press conferences this year, but most of them have come with foreign leaders, and only two American reporters and two foreign reporters are allowed to ask a question. That’s a fraction of a press conference, perhaps, but it’s wrong to say he 'hasn’t had a press conference.'" Reeves joined in: "In reality, Trump’s last press conference was on October 16th, and the President regularly answers press questions in informal sessions on the White House lawn. This hardly constitutes a “laughable” fear of the press, as Tur characterized it." But that presser was an impromptu one, held in the White House Rose Garden with Sen. Mitch McConnell -- again, not the formal, planned press conference Tur was talking about.
Again: Personal attacks do not qualify as "media research" -- except, apparently, at the MRC.
WND's Favorite Ex-Soviet Bloc Spymaster Peddles The Disinformation He Claims To Despise Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ion Mihai Pacepa is the former Soviet Bloc spymaster-turned-Trump fanboy, as we documented. But as questions have grown about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election for the apparent benefit of Donald Trump, Pacepa remained curiouslysilent.
Pacepa has finally broken his silence in the form of a Dec. 20 WND column headlined "The real Russian collusion." And as you'd expect from a guy who wrote a (WND-published) book called "Disinformation," Pacepa's column contains a lot of, um, disinformation. His first false claim came early:
Out of 1,331 daily newspapers in our still-capitalist nation, only two – the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Florida Times-Union – unconditionally endorsed the capitalist candidate Donald Trump during the election campaign, and little seems to have changed since then.
In fact, most newspapers no longer endorse political candidates. Of those that did during the 2016 election, 19 endorsed Trump while 240 endorsed Clinton.
Nevertheless, Pacepa rants that "the media are disinforming America" -- a paragraph before he falsely claims that Katharine Weymouth was the publisher of the Washington Post in 1990. Weymouth was the publisher of the Post from 2008 to 2014; Pacepa may have been thinking of her grandmother Katharine Graham, but she was publisher from 1969 to 1979 and chairman of the board of the Washington Post Co. after that.Her son, Donald Graham, was the actual Post publisher in 1990.
Having made two major factual errors already, it's hard to take Pacepa seriously when he cheers Donald Trump as a "capitalist entrepeneur" and calls Barack Obama "the first undercover Marxist to become president of the United States" who engaged in a "ruinous flirtation with the alien god of Kremlinist autocracy" -- then uniroinically complains that "Ridiculing the U.S. president is an anti-American dezinformtsyia tool smuggled into the U.S. by the KGB community" and whines that "During the age of Obama, the KGB-style vilification of American political leaders became a standard journalistic tactic in the U.S. as well."
Pacepa then declares: "Now I am joining the efforts of WND (whose founder and editor was also a Marxist when he was young, and whose managing editor edited “Disinformation,” the book I co-authored with professor Ronald Rychlak) to persuade our media to stop colluding with Russia and with undercover Marxism, and to become American again."
Pacepa concludes: "But national unity is difficult if not impossible when the press, that near-sacred institution on which we rely for digging up and communicating vital truth, instead becomes the chief purveyors of lies and half-truths – in a word, of disinformation." Perhaps, but he will never demand that the publisher of his book and columns adhere to that standard of truth-telling.
CNS Stenography By the Numbers: Mark Levin and Franklin Graham Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
If CNSNews.com has been known for anything in 2017, it was servile stenography. Mostly that was of the Trump administration, but it also covers the various rantings of CNS' favorite commentators. Two of those commentators who regularly get CNS love are right-wing radio host Mark Levin -- with whom CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has had (and may still have) a cross-promotion deal -- and increasingly right-wing pastor Franklin Graham, whose anti-gay and anti-Obama rants WND managing editor Michael W. Chapman has given much love (and stenographic promotion) in the past.
We've looked through the CNS archives, and here's a tally by month of the articles CNS devoted to Levin and Graham in 2017.
Feb: 6 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
March: 6 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
May: 7 (plus 2 on Levin guest)
June: 14 (plus 2 on Levin guest)
Sept. 7 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
Nov: 8 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
Total: 102 (plus 8 on Levin guests)
Feb: 6 (plus one on Anne Graham Lotz, Franklin's sister)
The pace for Graham is a little slower in the past -- we've noted that Chapman devoted 46 articles to Graham's rantings in one previous six-month period -- but it's still a lot for someone who's known mostly for hating gays and loving President Trump.
CNS' promotion for Levin, meanwhile, didn't stop with serving as a transcription service. It promoted Levin's "new best-seller" book in a July interview with CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, and a November post by Michael Morris was basically a lightly rewritten press release on Levin's new show on Fox News -- so lightly rewritten that Morris simply copied-and-pasted the last three paragraphs of the press release to fill out his article.
The fact that CNS has outsourced such a singificant part of its content to right-wing ideologues is a big indicator of how much of a non-factor it's becoming.