Add Art and Art History To The Things NewsBusters' Blumer Doesn't Understand Topic: NewsBusters
We've documented how WorldNetDaily and the Media Research Center went into a calculated freakout of a couple of paintings of women holding severed heads done by Kehinde Wiley, painter of the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama, refusing to acknowledge their context as reinterpretations of classic Renaissance-era art themes.
Now, NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer feels the need to share his ignorant take on the situation:
MRCTV's Brittany M. Hughes reported Monday that Kehinde Wiley, Barack Obama's official portrait artist, previously created two paintings of black women holding white women's severed heads, making him the art world's equivalent of Donald Trump severed-head comedienne Kathy Griffin. Additionally, Wiley, described in New York Magazine as "possibly the wealthiest painter of his generation," outsources much of "his" painting to China to "cut costs." Establishment press coverage has virtually ignored these components of Wiley's background, but their descriptions of Obama's involvement in selecting him reveal his almost certain awareness of the artist's full portfolio.
Revelations that a foreign country-outsourcing portrait artist for a white president had created paintings showing severed heads of blacks would dominate the news cycle for days.
And if Wiley was the portrait artist for a white president, Blumer would be praising his outsourcing as a prime example of capitalism in action.
Blumer already doesn't understand how the media works, so it's no surprise he doesn't understand art or art history either.
Irony: Objectivity-Challenged CNS Reporter Accuses TV Host of Lacking Objectivity Topic: CNSNews.com
CNS reporter Susan Jones hufffed in a Feb. 20 "news" article:
Quivering with indignation, CNN's Alisyn Camerota "moderated" an on-air debate Tuesday morning between two Republicans with differing views on gun control.
But to Camerota, there is only one righteous side, and she defended it with all the passion of an activist.
The students have announced a "March for Our Lives" protest in Washington next month; they have a website up and running; and they are taking buses to the Florida state capitol today to discuss their agenda with lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott. They say their anti-NRA ("baby murderers") campaign is not political, except that it is.
Camerota went to Parkland in the aftermath of the horrific shooting, where CNN and many other media outlets gave the understandably grieving students plenty of air time. They are now famous. Listen to her not-so-fair and balanced presentation on Tuesday:
How ironic that one of the most biased reporters by even right-wing standards -- Jones' pro-Trump stenography is getting ridiculous -- is huffing about someone else's purported bias.
Plus, there's also the fact that Jones' article is being presented as "news" instead of opinion -- as well as the fact that the original headline read, "Wow. Listen to This CNN Anchor Drop All Pretense of Being Objective, Right Before Your Very Eyes..." The headline was later changed to "CNN Anchor Drops All Pretense of Being Objective on Gun Control," despite the fact that Jones couldn't even bother to transcribe what exactly was not "objective" about what Camerota said.
It's clear that being an fair and objective reporter is not a condition of Jones' employment at CNS.
WND Finally Deletes Paul Nehlen's Book -- But Still Won't Talk About It Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily still can'tquite bring itself to publicly disassociate from anti-Semitic white nationalist Paul Nehlen, whose book "Wage thte Battle" WND published last year. But it's ever-so-slowly taken another step in disappearing him from its website.
Sometime in the past week -- perhaps moved by Nehlen tweeting an image of Prince Harry fiancee Meghan Markle's face photoshopped onto Cheddar Man, an early Briton recently revealed to be dark-skinned, and the Wisconsin Republican Party subsequently dissociating itself from him and Twitter indefinitely suspending him -- WND Books removed the page for "Wage the Battle" and Nehlen's author bio from its website; both URLs now return 404 errors.
WND has yet to announce whether it is formally withdrawing Nehlen's book from the market -- or make any other statement about the state of its relationship with Nehlen. Indeed, new copies of both the paper and e-book editions are still available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so it still appears to be available.
That's a problem. WND is indisputably tied to Nehlen; until last September, it enthusiastically touted Nehlen's campaign for the Wisconsin House seat currently held by Paul Ryan. About the time WND stopped promoting him, Nehlen was spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric and immersing himself in the alt-right movement. Those views were not that far from what WND has advocated, so it's unclear how WND came to view him as a pariah.
Because WND has no public statement on Nehlen, we don't know why WND was first attracted to him enough to publish his book, why it stopped promoting him in September, or why it's taken so long to back away from him. Our emails to WND asking for comment have gone unanswered.
WND has not handled this well, and certainly not with any sort of moral clarity. That may be another reason why it does not deserve to live.
Bozell and His MRC Are Drinking the Trump Kool-Aid Topic: Media Research Center
In a Feb. 2 post, the Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained that NBC's Chuck Todd 'dismiss[ed] President Trump’s supporters as members of a cult," referrinf to them as being in "his Kool-Aid orbit."
Drennen isn't about to admit that the MRC is a bona fide member of the Trump cult.
The previous day, MRC chief Brent Bozell sounded like a full-fledged cult devotee as he rhapsodized over Trump's State of the Union speedh:
Well, I think that the State of the Union was single best night of President Trump's career. Now I say this because he didn’t hit a home run, he hit three home runs simultaneously. The first home run, an extraordinary speech. He did what Donald Trump should have been doing for a year. He got off this silly narcissism and went Ronald Reagan. Talking about we, we, we, over a 100 times in juxtaposition to Barack Obama, who could only talk about himself. Bill Clinton who could only talk about himself. It was a warm, unifying, positive speech extolling great American values and the public loved it, home run number one. Home run number two, the public then saw the Democrats, sitting on their thumbs, clearly nervous, clearly disoriented, clearly not knowing what to do because they were not expecting this knowing that cameras were on them, but they could not move and they looked — they were exposed for what they were. That was home run number two. Home run number three, it became the media reaction to this.
Do you know who else was cheering watching it? The American people watching it. They were feeling very good. You showed it with your numbers. They were feeling very good about this. They were liking the commander in chief, they were liking the executive in the White House. They like the fact that he was talking to them and he was using first person plural. He was making a joint American thing. Look how many times he talked about America and then the best line of them all, saying we are dreamers too. It was beautiful.
An email sent by the MRC after the speech demonstrated even more cult-like dedication to Dear Leader (bolding in original):
Last night we watched the 2018 State of the Union Address and this morning we reviewed the liberal media’s reaction to it. And we are left with one question, “Were we watching the same speech as ABC and CNN?”
The 2018 State of the Union address was a hit, by any standard. President Trump presented a strong and united vision for America. He was alternately tough and compassionate (his tribute to the police officer who adopted the baby of a heroin addict left some in tears). He spoke directly to the American people, and to those in the balcony — highlighting the very best qualities in them.
The liberal media’s coverage of the State of the Union was ridiculous and shows just how out of touch they are with the American people.
It’s time to take action today. Take a few minutes to email ABC and CNN to let them know that they should have accurately reported the State of the Union and that their blatant bias is unacceptable.
The Kool-Aid is clearly on tap at MRC headquarters.
AIM Pushes Discredited Informant In Discredited Clinton Scandal Topic: Accuracy in Media
An anonymous Accuracy in Media writer claims in a Feb. 9 post:
A former undercover FBI agent told Congress that the Obama administration glanced over the evidence he was building against the Uranium One deal, which involved the Hillary Clinton-led State Department approving the sale of uranium to Ukraine and pro-Russian companies.
The informant told Congress that he built contacts with Russian officials, who expected that a lobbying firm would apply a portion of their lobbying payment to “provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.”
Why? So the Obama administration and the Clinton State Department would approve the Uranium One deal.
The media has since attacked the controversy about the Uranium One story as an example of a right-wing conspiracy theory.
Townhall, Newsweek and Fox Newscovered the story, but this new story about the informant’s testimony was ignored by the Washington Post and other major media outlets, according to our Google search of the topic.
Perhaps that's because the informant lacks credibility. According to a letter by Reps. Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff, the Justice Department considers the informant, William Campbell, to be unreliable because he has made inconsistent statements and has apparently lied to the FBI. The informant also never provided any allegation or evidence of illegal or corrupt behavior on the part of the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation or in reference to the Uranium One deal.
And, really, the whole idea of a "scandal" involving the Uranium One deal has been discredited.
CNS Reporter Attacks Trump Sexual Harassment Accuser Topic: CNSNews.com
Just how much of a pro-Trump stenographer is CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones? She's attacking a woman who has accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment as a possible liar and definite publicity hound.
President Trump, in one of his Tuesday morning tweets, expressed irritation with the continuing media coverage of Rachel Crooks, a woman who's made repeated media appearances to complain that Trump made improper advances when she approached him years ago in the lobby of Trump Tower.
The Washington Post ran a front-page story on Crooks on Tuesday with the title: "Trump accuser keeps telling her story, hoping someone will finally listen." (Apparently no one has taken Crooks seriously because she's made so much out of so little so long ago.)
Crooks has "made so much out of so little so long ago"? We're willing to wager that neither Jones nor any other Media Research Center employee ever said that about, say, Paula Jones.
Jones is not done with the sneering, disrespectful attitude:
As the Post tells it: "It was just a dreadful kiss, or at least that's what she kept trying to tell herself to quiet the confusion that had grown out of that moment, turning into shame, hardening into anxiety, an insecurity until nearly a decade later when she first started to read about other women whose accusations sounded so much like her own."
The article goes on and on, portraying Crooks as a woman who suffers from an anxiety made all the worse by the publicity she has sought and the hateful responses she has received.
As for Crooks' oft-repeated lament, the newspaper says she "has to keep asking herself: Will it ever make a difference?"
Crooks and more than a dozen other Trump accusers want Congress to investigate Trump's alleged sexual misconduct.
Oh, and let's not forget this tidbit: Crooks is now running for a seat in the Ohio Legislature.
Jones' highly biased article is headlined "Enough: Trump Fires Back at Female Accuser, 'A Woman I Don't Know'." It's not clear whether the "enough" is a reaction from Trump or from Jones herself.
Jones' huffy dismissal of Crooks is right in line with how her MRC colleagues treat women who accuse conservatives of sexual misconduct. Whether it's Trump, Roy Moore, ClarenceThomas or any givenFox News personality, all conservatives must be defended no matter what, apparently.
This may be the first time we've seen this at WorldNetDaily: a "news" article that's sponsored content actually labeled as such.
A Feb. 17 item presented in "news" format -- which appeared in the front-page carousel that day -- is an ad for something called TruthFinder, which claims that it "lets you review anyone’s driving records" and "can also tell you if someone’s been arrested! It can also uncover personal details, contact information, relatives, and hidden assets." What'sunusual about this is the disclosure: The kicker headline states that it's "sponsored content," and the subhead reads, "Sponsored by TruthFinder."
This is a rarity. WND has published dozens of "news" articles over the years that were thinly disguised promotions for the authors WND's book division has published. And a December article promoted a book published by WND's self-publishing division, World Ahead Press, in which the author pays WND to print and market the book -- meaning that this article was sponsored content as well.
It's a sign of how bad WND's financial condition is that it agreed to do this.
MRC Gins Up Outrage Against 'The View' Host For Criticizing VP Pence Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's latest manufactured outrage involves "The View" co-hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin, who commented that if Vice President Mike Pence is hearing the voice of Jesus talking to him, he might be suffering from a mental illness.
The first MRC post on the comment was innocuous by MRC standards. But MRC chief Brent Bozell smelled an opportunity for publicity, so he worked up some outrage and fired off a letter to ABC ranting that "These characterizations of the Vice President’s faith are insulting not just to him, but to all Christians," adding that "the slurs against the Vice President’s faith insult millions of Christians and are unacceptable. If there are no on-air apologies after this deplorable episode, Christians will tune out ABC programming across the board. And we will do our best to encourage it."
A few days later, Behar addressed the issue on "The View," pointing out that she was making a joke. Now, by the MRC's own standards, this should have been acceptable to Bozell & Co. -- after all, when Hank Williams Jr. appeared on Fox News to liken President Obama to a Nazi, the MRC not only chose not to be offended, it played off the insult as a "bad joke."
Needless to say, the MRC declared Behar's response to be insufficient; its post on the matter huffed, "What a lame response."
So now, the MRC is taking its manufactured outrage up a notch. First, it sicced its followers on ABC by encouraging them to call the network to parrot the MRC's outrage. It claims at least 25,000 phone calls have been made, but it doesn't explain how it could know that number or how the accuracy of the number was verified.
The Media Research Center on Wednesday announced a campaign to hold ABC's advertisers accountable for the anti-Christian bigotry spewed on The View. We are encouraging our grassroots army to call The View’s sponsors and let them know how upset you are about a show that smears Christians as “dangerous” and “mentally ill.”
Go to http://stopattackingchristians.com/ and let top sponsors, such as Clorox, Gerber, Oreo and Home Advisor, know what you think of Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin’s comments.
Yes, the MRC bought a special domain name for its manufactured outrage.
NEW ARTICLE: Does WND Deserve to Live? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is begging for money to keep WorldNetDaily alive, but he's refusing to address the elephant in the room: the fake news and shoddy reporting that played a major role in bringing WND to the brink. Read more >>
CNS' Reaction to Fla. Shooting: Blaming Abortion, Bashing Students Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com responded to last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school the way you'd expect from a right-wing website: blaming anything but guns for the massacre, then attacking the school-age survivors for speaking out.
CNS first reposted a 2012 commentary by Craig Bannister effectively blaming abortion for mass shootings:
The problem of mass violence in the U.S. is more a reflection of contempt for the sanctity of human life than of a love for gun ownership.
In a society that reveres human life, gun ownership isn't a chronic problem. People who genuinely believe in the sanctity of human life won't take another life - by gun or any other means - unless it is absolutely necessary.
Not so in a society that views human life as subjective and revocable.
In a society that condones, funds, and promotes abortion and excuses euthanasia, human life is cheap. When a woman has a right to kill an unwanted child growing inside her simply because it suits her to do so, life is robbed of its value.
Thus, when it comes to preventing mass violence, the answer is respect for life and self-control - not gun control.
When students at the school began to show up in the media demanding action against gun violence, highly biased CNS reporter Susan Jones went into attack mode. Jones sneered in one "news" article that the students were ignorant publicity hogs:
The FBI failed to investigate warnings about the Florida school shooter, but never mind that. And the National Rifle Association has no control over school shootings, but never mind that, either.
Two newly minted gun control activists from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are defending the FBI, while demanding that NRA "child murderers" dismantle and disband. And they have declined an invitation to discuss their concerns with President Donald Trump, whom they call "disgusting."
Both Hogg and Gonzalez said they have been invited to a listening session to share their concerns with President Trump, but neither of them are going. They're blowing off Trump for CNN's Jake Tapper, who is hosting what they called a previously scheduled town hall on CNN.
Jones doubled down on her attack in a second article trying to defend the National Rifle Association:
Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez told CNN on Monday morning that she wants the NRA to "disband, dismantle...don't you dare come back here." She said gun control is the students' main focus. Fellow student David Hogg said politicians have to stop taking money from those NRA "child murderers." The students made it clear that the upcoming "March For Our Lives" is a direct attack on the NRA. But, they insist, this is not political.
She made sure to insert a piece of boilerplate pro-NRA puffery:
The National Rifle Association supports the legal possession and use of firearms and protects' Americans' right to self-defense. It also donates to politicians who endorse the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The "blood on its hands" line is straight out of the liberal, anti-gun, anti-NRA playbook, and by making the NRA the bogeyman, as it so often is, the students politicized the debate that supposedly "isn't a red and blue thing."
Again: Jones is writing what are supposed to be "news" articles. Instead, she's injecting the kind of bias CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, normally objects to.
WND Managing Editor Tries To Blame Antidepressants for Fla. School Shooting Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian rehashes an old theme in a Feb. 15 column:
Here we go again. A horrific mass shooting occurs. Everyone is in shock and grief. Democrats blame guns and Republicans. Pundits urge the public, “If you see something, say something.” And everyone asks, “Why?”
As information about the perpetrator emerges, a relative confides to a newspaper that the “troubled youth” who committed the mass murder was on psychiatric medications – you know, those powerful, little understood, mind-altering drugs with fearsome side effects including “suicidal ideation” and even “homicidal ideation.”
Yet the predictable response from the press is always the same – not only a total lack of curiosity, but disdain for any who ask the question, as though connecting psychiatric meds to mass shootings is pursuing a “conspiracy theory.”
Here’s a good way to tell whether or not something is a conspiracy theory: If it’s true, it’s not a conspiracy theory.
In the case of Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old Florida mass-shooter, his mother’s sister, Barbara Kumbatovich, told the Miami Herald that she believed Cruz was on medication to deal with his emotional fragility.
Fact: A disturbing number of perpetrators of school shootings and similar mass murders in our modern era were either on – or just recently coming off of – psychiatric medications.
One example he cites of this is "Andrea Yates, in one of the most heartrending crimes in modern history, drowned all five of her children – aged 7 years down to 6 months – in a bathtub. Insisting inner voices commanded her to kill her children, she had become increasingly psychotic over the course of several years." Kupelian adds that "Yates had been taking the antidepressant Effexor."
Blaming antidepressants for mass shootings -- never mind his ignorance of fact that corellation does not necessarily equal causation -- is something Kupelian has been doing for years. Strangely, the perpetrators he lists as examples appear to all be white; if you're a Muslim mass killer, Islam is to blame, apparently.
But as we pointed out back in 2010, Kupelian's inclusion of Yates on that list leaves out one important piece of information: At the time of the deaths, Yates and her husband were in thrall to a fundamentalist Christian street preacher who convinced the Yateses to sell their possessions and live in a bus the preacher had sold them.
But dismissing inconvenient facts is what Kupelian does -- and that's one reason why WND is currently fighting for its life.
MRC Attacks Olympic Skater For Being Gay, Criticizing VP Pence Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center doesn't like Olympic skater Adam Rippon for two specific reasons: 1) he's gay, and 2) he has criticized Vice President Mike Pence for what can reasonably be interpreted as his endorsement of the discredited practice of gay conversion therapy.
In a Jan. 17 post, Jay Maxson whined that USA Today did an article on Rippon, "a gay figure skater who's angry that Vice-president Mike Pence will lead Team USA in the opening ceremonies.Maxson even tried to defend the discredited practice: "Forty-one states permit conversion therapy for people struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction, but [USA Today reporter Christine] Brennan tried to portray the VP as a pariah for supporting their choice."
On Feb. 8, Gabriel Hays hufffed about the Rippon-Pence contretemps: "More controversy has erupted between Mike Pence and another openly gay U.S. athlete at this winter’s Olympic games, all in the name of tolerance and homosexual acceptance. It’s one small step for gays, and one giant, exasperated 'Oh, shut up!' for the rest of normal America." Hays is not telling Pence to shut up, by the way; he uncritically repeated an overly forceful denial from Pence's press secretary that Pence ever supported conversion therapy.
On Feb. 11, Brad Wilmouth was offended that "The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg likened a Rippon-Pence meeting to "asking a Jewish person to sit down and understand where the Nazi is coming from."
The next day, Kristine Marsh grumbled that through the mere act of interviewing Rippon, "ABC anchor Amy Robach tried to bring left-wing activism into her coverage of the Winter Olympic Games."
Maxon returned to attack Rippon some more in a Feb. 13 post, complaining that one writer "chastised the Vice President for the controversy over homosexual figure skater Adam Rippon, who is using the media to advocate against conversion therapy. It's a favorite target of the LGBT pressure groups and their compliant media. Rippon and his media friends, including Phillips and a group of writers at USA "LGBT" Today, are portraying Pence as the champion of this therapy, which nine liberal states have outlawed."
Maxson whined some more the next day that "LGBT athletes and supportive media have used the Olympic stage to advocate against conversion therapy through attacks on Vice-president Pence as well," adding:
Somehow in the era of Trump and Pence the United States is fielding its most diverse Winter Olympic squad ever. Pre-dating these Olympic Games, it's been a steady media drumbeat on race and gender. Anyone perceived to oppose LGBT policy positions is taken down by LGBT groups and the left-stream media. Fear of them has largely eliminated public opposition. Tolerance is no longer enough, and now [Washington Post columnist Jerry] Brewer demands we celebrate homosexuality[.]
And the news that Rippon had (briefly) signed on with NBC Sports to help cover the Olympics sent Matt Philbin in an apoplectic anti-gay fit:
NBC Winter Olympics coverage may be tanking in the ratings, and taking fire for sloppy broadcasting, but the Peacock is reluctant to let go of the Gayest Games Ever™. The network just announced it has hired Adam Rippon to as a correspondent for the remainder of the Olympics. He will “work for the network on a variety of platforms, including television, digital and social media.”
Rippon’s a gold medal-winning Olympic figure skater, but that’s not really his allure for NBC. The network is just hoping he’ll say something sassy or spidery and generate some buzz for an event that feels as though it’s been going on for about five months. Rippon is gay, outspoken and (best of all!) spiteful toward Vice President Mike Pence.
You might have thought NBC had maxed out it’s gay skating coverage quotient, as the Mean Girls act of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir is the toast of enlightened media critics everywhere. But Rippon’s star dust is just too magical to pass up. The media can’t decide whether he’s a “Perfect Millennial Ambassador for US Figure Skating” or just a simple “Gay Rights Ambassador.” And really, why choose?
NBC and the rest of the media are embarrassing themselves with this swoon, and once again proving that satire is dead. As for Rippon, he’ll get every last bit of hype out of this moment. After all, it’s what Brian Boitano would do.
And hating gays for existing is pretty much what the MRC does.
The idea of Oprah Winfrey running for president rose and failed like a cheap Fourth of July rocket. The hysterical Hollywood elites, along with the mainstream press, have been eager to find a suitable replacement for Trump. They seem to believe that the national turn toward Trump was because of a “messaging” problem on their part. These folks make their living through persuasiveness and their ability to moderate your behavior. They think your choice of sneakers, cars, vacations and movies are all due to their power to influence your personal choices. They believe this so much that they try to use it politically, socially as well as spiritually.
So here comes Trump, a white, self-made billionaire businessman and entertainer who ran for president and won. They believe he won due to his notoriety, name recognition and the ability to persuade voters to his way of thinking. So in looking for a candidate to beat him, Oprah is perfect. She is a black, female, self-described as a self-made billionaire – who was also abused by men when she was younger.
The Rasmussen poll had Winfrey supported by 48 percent of likely voters over President Trump’s 38 percent. Gee, imagine how far that will fall when voters actually get to know her politically. All we know of Oprah is the skillfully crafted image she presents. We do not know her political stance on the issues or her constitutional understanding.
We do know that she’s very pro-woman – from her films like “The Color Purple” where all the men were weak or ruthless, to her investment of $40 million for a school for girls in Africa. With her vision of Africa, only the little girls will have a quality education; the boys will be working in the fields. What kind of relationship would that create between men and women? With the women educated and better-employed, it would have the same results of the old South, when girls left the farm for college and the boys stayed home to keep the farm going. The next generation of black Southern female nurses, teachers and secretaries had a difficult time relating to the uneducated farmhand. This gave fuel to disrespect between the two and helped break up black families. Oprah attempting to help only African girls with school will have the same effect.
CNS Somehow Avoids Actually Saying Russians Interfered In Election On Trump's Behalf Topic: CNSNews.com
After last week's indictment of 13 Russians for interfering in the 2016 presidential election, mostly for the benefit of donald Trump and aagainst Hillary Clinton, CNS published three aricles about it -- all of which manage to avoid stating in the headline the salient fact that Russians interfered in the election to benefit Trump.
This is the standard M.O. for CNS -- avoiding reporting of the actual news in favor of cherry-picked information favorable to conservatives (and, in this case, the Trump administration) that it can blow up and get links from the likes of the Drudge Report.
That also means there's no highlighing of minor information that makes Trump and conservatives look bad -- like the fact that the indictment also revealed that the Russian trolls heavily promoted baseless right-wing fears of voter fraud in the election.
Farah's Thin-Skinned Response To Report on WND's Imminent Demise Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week, Salon published an article about the apparently impending demise of WorldNetDaily, in which we are quoted pointing out that one major factor in WND's current financial situation is that its content -- heavy on conspiracy theories and fake news -- is simply not trusted.
Well, WND editor Joseph Farah took notice. And, being the thin-skinned fellow that he is, he didn't take it well. So much so, in fact, that he devoted two days' worth of fundraising pleas to the Salon article.
It didn’t take long for the leftist fake-news media sharks to smell WND’s blood in the water because of our pitches for financial help to our subscribers.
Salon.com, one of the worst of the bunch, made the case that WND is suffering the consequences of publishing "fake news." To make the case, they went back to 2015 to find a sensational headline as the major illustration in their story – and then lied in the caption about what the story said.
The WND article in question involved what a "concerned woman" called a "strange image" in a video of an appearance by President Obama in Kenya, which the woman described as a "demon"; the Salon article described the article as "promoting the idea that then-president Barack Obama might be demon-possessed. Farah has sort of a point in that the article doesn't exlplicitly state that Obama is demon-possessed. But a link between Obama and malevolent figures is clearly the impression WND wants to leave its readers, as the article's introduction makes clear:
He’s the U.S. president who has had flies land on his face numerous times, prompting some to call him “Lord of the flies.”
And he has been buzzed by bees.
And has had rodents running across his presidential podium while addressing reporters.
His face has even been compared to the character of Satan the devil in “The Bible” TV miniseries.
And now, a mysterious flash during Barack Obama’s visit to his ancestral homeland of Kenya last month has some people wondering once again about the president’s ties to strange phenomena.
Farah then flip-flopped and conceded that the Salon article "did make a point that has more than a grain of truth," about the Obama years being more lucrative for WND than the Trump presidency thus far. Farah decided this was the readers' fault: "Some of the WND audience, to a certain extent I suspect, thinks all the nation’s problems are being solved. So, who needs WND? What those folks are missing is that WND is needed more than ever for the Trump agenda to be realized."
Later on Feb. 15, Farah devoted his column to attacking not the Salon article but Salon itself, for having benefactors who keep it afloat:
If I had a rich dad who subsidized WND to the tune of millions of dollars a year, even more than all of my company’s annual revenues, I would not be begging for money from WND’s subscribers. That’s what allows Salon to sling mud at WND and other independent media year after year, decade after decade.
According to Wikipedia, which is also known for not being charitable or truthful toward WND, “Salon has been unprofitable through its entire history.”
WND isn’t owned by billionaires. It’s not even owned by multi-millionaires. It’s mostly owned by my wife and me who have invested everything we have in the company – and what we didn’t have we loaned. WND has never lost millions of dollars. It can’t afford to. When revenues dry up, we cut. Sometimes we beg. But we keep slaying dragons no matter what.
Farah conveniently omits the fact that WND did have a millionaire benefactor early in its existence: Robert Beale, who later got busted for tax evasion, then failed to show up for his trial and went on the lam for 14 months, then made things even worse for himself by threatening a judge. Beale is also whom we presumably have to thank for longtime WND columnist Vox Day, the pseudonym of Beale's son Theodore.
Despite bashing Salon as "a real propagator of real fake news" and describing the article as "lies," Farah never once identifies anything that's a lie or fake in the article. Perhaps that's because Farah would then have to address WND's own legacy of fake news -- which, again, we contend is a major factor in WND's current death spiral.
Farah then tries to spin turning WND into a Trump fanboy site as a reason it deserves to exist:
I will also admit, WND has not been adversarial toward Trump, like most every other media outlet. So why is traffic down slightly? I suspect it’s because many Republicans and conservatives think Trump’s got everything under control.
Maybe they don’t realize the president is one Democrat-dominated midterm election away from impeachment.
And that is why WND should be an especially important voice in 2018.
Farah headlined this column "Why WND is more successful than Salon." He doesn't explain how circling the drain and begging for money from readers equates to "success."
Farah then sent on his column as the daily fundraising email on Feb. 16, but with an even less accurate headline: "We expose fake news, we don't manufacture it."
Oh, yesyoudo. And if you, Mr. Farah, are afraid to address the issue in an honest manner, WND probably doesn't deserve to live.
Also of note: As of Feb. 17, WND is only slightly more than halfway to the $200,000 it claims it needs by March 1. That deadline could be a close one.