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Tuesday, March 27, 2018
MRC Treats Mark Levin Like A God At NewsBusters Too
Topic: Media Research Center is not the only part of the Media Research Center empire that treats right-wing radio host Mark Levin like a god whose words demand slavish transcription for hungry readers. CNS has devoted 17 articles dutifully transcribing Levin in the first two months of 2018 alone.

Levin swooned at the Media Research Center's ridiculous awards gala last fall that "I rely on" the MRC and leader Brent Bozell. (He didn't mention that the two have had, and may still have, a cross-promotion deal.) That's enough for the MRC to do some bonus stenography on his behalf at NewsBusters that's beyond what it already does at CNS:

  • No less than Tim Graham did the honors in a March 9 post transcribing how Levin "grew angry at how the 'Praetorian guard media' are protecting the Obama team from the emerging story of how they unmasked Trump campaign officials -- as well as Blackwater founder Erik Prince, he charged -- and leaked word of their meetings with Russians to their media buddies."
  • Randy Hall was on stenography duty in a March 15 post stating that "During an interview you would not see on CNN or MSNBC, radio host Mark Levin slammed Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (Calif.) while the conservative activist was a guest on Wednesday evening’s edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity." The reason that interview would not happen on CNN or MSNBC, of course, is that Levin does not want to appear on a media outlet that would not fawn over every word he says.

The MRC also goes into full-on defense mode for Levin, even when the target is orbsure or irrelevant. In a March 10 post, Graham ranted about a newspaper in Israel calling Levin "controversial" and a "shock jock," huffing that "Other countries have the same liberal bias as America does." (Actually, the Times of Israel is independent, but to Graham and the MRC, any media outlet that does not blindly repeat right-wing orthodoxy is "liberal.")

Graham also huffed that "There was nothing in this article that would explain how Levin is not a 'shock jock' like Howard Stern." Apparently, Levin sneering about Jon Stewart that "I don't trust Jews who changes their names" was not a shocking statement to Graham even though obsessing over Jews who change their names is a pastime Levin shares with the neo-Nazis at Stormfront.

And then, returning to lackey mode, Graham quotes Levin's rant about the "shock jock" label, including the pithy retort "If I had a bird, I wouldn't even want to use your paper at the bottom of my birdcage...I wouldn't want to poison the bird." In fact, the Times of Israel is an online-only publication, so that would be impossible to do. Not that Graham would ever deign to fact-check his idol, of course.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Monday, March 26, 2018
WND Forgets Its History of Pushing Rothschild Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer states in a March 19 article:

A Democratic lawmaker is under fire after he promoted a conspiracy theory claiming Jewish financiers manipulate the climate and are to blame for the weather.

Trayvon White, a Washington, D.C., councilman who represents Ward 8, published a video to his Facebook page Friday as snow began to fall in the nation’s capital.

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man,” White can be heard saying in the video as he drives west on interstate 695. “Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation. And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’

“And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

White was referencing the Rothschild family, a European banking dynasty, and a conspiracy theory that claims the family and other Jews secretly control global events.

WND not gets White's first name wrong -- it's Trayon, not Trayvon -- it also conveniently forgets how it too has pushed Rothschild-linked conspiracy theories over the years.

  • A 2002 column by Joan Veon rants about monetary power: "The paper trail established by the banking houses of the Rothschilds, Kuhns, Loebs, etc. are Jewish while their half brothers, al-Qaida and the Muslim states, under which 75 percent of the world’s oil is found, use an untraceable system."
  • A 2004 article by Ron Strom attacking a resolution asking that the prinicples of feng shui be included in the California building code noted that "The text of the legislation says several designers and companies have used feng shui principles, including Citibank, N.M. Rothschild, Shell and Sime Darby."
  • Devvy Kidd ranted in a 2005 column: "You cannot buy or own stock in the privately owned Federal Reserve. That privilege is reserved for the money interests, i.e., the Rockefellers, Rothschilds and other global elites."
  • A 2007 article whose byline appears to have disappeared along the way states: "The hottest selling book in China right now is called “Currency Wars,” which makes the case that the U.S. Federal Reserve is a puppet of the Rothschilds banking dynasty and it has persuaded some top officials Beijing should resist America’s demands to appreciate its own undervalued currency, the yuan." The article doesn't dispute that claim.
  • Hal Lindsey wrote in a 2008 column: "Though just who the private owners of the Federal Reserve are is a closely guarded secret, it has been widely accepted that Goldman, Sachs, along with such names as Rothschild, Warburg Lehman, Kuhn, Loeb and Seif are private owners.
  • In a 2013 column, WND editor Joseph Farah cited a quote by Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty -- “Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes the laws" -- to go on a conspiratorial rant: "Who controls the money supply in America today? The big bankers. Congress long ago abdicated its authority. It’s time to elect a Congress that will take it back, or America will cease to be a nation under the rule of law and governed by the will of the people."
  • Kidd returned in a 2013 column to rant some more:

Unraveling all the organizations that yank the strings of American politics can be daunting. In 2005, I penned two important pieces for WND: “The treasonous Council on Foreign Relations” and “The treasonous Trilateral Commission.” Nothing has changed. Those two organizations are not some harmless think tanks. If you go to the CFR’s history page, nuggets of the truth are right there for everyone to see. Elihu Root headed the original CFR. The Rothschilds and Wall Street were instrumental in financing the Bolshevik Revolution. Root was the bag man to deliver $20 million to the Bolsheviks who were founded by mass murderer Vladimir Lenin and Alexander Bogdanov.

Additionally, the WND online store sells the book "Brotherhood of Darkness" by Stanley Monteith, which claims to be about "secret societies, how they have directed the course of civilization and how they influence your life today." In it, Monteith writes that "Those who believe that Jewish banks are responsible for our problems cite Benjamin Disraeli's book ["Coningsby"] and claim that he exposed the Jewish Banking Conspiracy. Then they point to the Rothschilds, Kuhn, Loeb and Co., the Warburgs, the Lazard Bank, Lehman Brothers, and Goldman Sachs to justify their contention that Jewish bankers control the world." Monteith then adds that "those arguments are convincing," though he went on to note that non-Jewish bankers played a major role in the banking industry and that "Jewish banks played an important part in financing industrial development in Europe, but they never controlled the financial institutions of the world."Monteith also claims that Disraeli and Rothschild promoted the Jewish banking conspiracy to obscure the real banking conspiracy, in which the Masons control everything.

It's rather cute how WND is now pretending it's never been a conspiracy theory-laden website.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EDT
Finally! CNS' Jones Speaks Stormy Daniels' Name
Topic: reporter Susan Jones has finally decided that She Who Must Not Be Named has a name after all.

After writing a story about the burgeoning Stormy Daniels scandal involving President Trump that somehow avoided using Daniels' name (while also dismissing the entire story as a "liberal media" narrative), Jones has finally decided that Daniels has a name after all -- while also continuing to try and pigeonhole the story as nothing but a liberal media narrative.

In a March 13 article, Jones dismisses MSNBC's Joe Scarborough as a "Trump hater" for bringing up the story:

To Trump haters, anything the president does lately is done with one goal in mind: to knock the Stormy Daniels story out of the headlines.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Tuesday morning questioned why Republicans on the House intelligence committee abruptly announced on Monday that their investigation into Russian interference has all but ended, with no evidence of collusion found on the part of either the Trump campaign or the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Jones then added her pithy summary of the scandal:

Stormy Daniels is a porn star who says she was paid $130,000 by one of Trump's attorneys to keep quiet about an affair she claims to have had with him in 2006. Trump was married to Melania at the time.

Trump has denied the affair, and Daniels did too, for a while – but then Daniels changed her mind and now insists it really did happen.

She launched a strip club tour in January on the anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration.

Daniels is now suing to void a nondisclosure agreement she reportedly signed before the 2016 election. Her lawyer has told various cable outlets she's not doing this for the money...

You know who else denied a sexual incident with a politican and then "changed her mind and now insists it really did happen"? Juanita Broaddrick. But you'll never see Jones report it that way.

In a March 16 item -- presented as a blog post even though its partisan tone is no different from the above "news" article -- Jones huffed: "Making the rounds of liberal cable channels Friday morning, Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti said he was not there to hype an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with the porn star -- even as he hyped the upcoming interview." She huffed even further that "Rarely has a porn star been accorded such credibility."

Jones ended the article by complaining:

Trump's womanizing hardly comes as a shock to the American people, so the question for people on both sides of the Trump divide is whether and how any of this matters to anyone, anyway -- except as a means of further undermining Trump's presidency.

Starting 14 months ago, the politics of personal destruction has become a daily spectator sport in Washington, with liberal media outlets leading the charge.

Jones has a conveniently short memory if she thinks the "politics of personal destruction" began only 14 months ago. Bill Clinton's womanizing didn't come as a shock to Americans either, despite CNS parent the Media Research Center's pearl-clutching over it in the 1990s. Using Jones' argument, this means that the MRC was never motived by any sense of morality but as a means of trying to undermine his presidency -- which would seem to be a violation of its nonprofit tax status.

In a March 26 article, written after Daniels' interview on "60 Minutes," Jones makes sure to identify Daniels as an "aging porn star," then huffed that she "assured America she's not in it for the money -- then talked about all the "job offers" she's getting by going public with her claims about Donald Trump." And in a companion article, Jones complained that Daniels' attorney, Michael Avanetti, was trying to "discredit Donald Trump" by trying to get a deposition from Trump regarding Daniels -- as if Trump hasn't already discredited himself long before now.

We already know Jones is a slavish pro-Trump loyalist, but she's just embarassing herself her with her aggressive defense of Trump over something she'd be in attack mode over if Trump were not a Republican.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:55 PM EDT
WND Tries To Save Itself With ... Bitcoin?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When Joseph Farah said that WorldNetDaily had been saved through reader donations and that he was "working with a non-profit foundation through which we can more efficiently produce the kind of content that makes WND unique," we figured he was hooking up with the likes of the Farah-founded Western Journalism Center and doing something like the Daily Caller does in having its reporters actually employed by a nonprofit while the ostensibly for-profit WND benefits from all their work.

Farah hasn't revealed anything, but he is taking another direction in the funding front: investing in cryptocurrency.

WND announced in a March 14 article that donors to WND would be given bitcoin -- not actual bitcoin, mind you, the one that hit a bubble late last year and is still trading for thousands of dollars each, but something called AML Bitcoin, which clains to have "patented anti-theft and anti-hacking technology," whatever that means. Farah does his best to try and sell it by baselessly suggesting that AML Bitcoin will appreciate in value just like actual bitcoin:

“While no one has an ability to predict digital-currency prices, which seem to soar daily, it is very likely that the AML Bitcoin, the world’s only patent-pending digital currency with anti-terrorism and anti-theft features, will be worth more in a week, a month, a year from now than it is today,” said Farah. “Original bitcoin was worth 8 cents 10 years ago – today it is valued at almost $10,000!”

Farah just wants to be clear that WND is not selling these Bitcoin tokens.

“We are offering them to donors as a premium for their donations to WND, to ensure that we can continue to do our bold work and carry out our mission – bringing you the truth without fear of favor. It’s a gift – a way of saying thank-you, no strings attached.”

For a $100 donation to WND, contributors will receive 10 AML Bitcoin tokens. How much is that worth? The introductory price is expected to be $1.25 each, but the value is unlimited, depending on the demand of the marketplace. Sale prices fluctuate with some Bitcoin products exceeding thousands of dollars per unit. For a $250 donation to WND, contributors will get 25 AML Bitcoin tokens. For a $500 donation, they get 50 AML Bitcoins – and so on.

“Because we are so grateful for the donations we received from our subscribers in January and February, we just want to give back,” said Farah. “Remember, we are in the battle of our lives to preserve the free press in a hostile environment controlled by a new class of Cyber Overlords who would like to bring about our extinction and the demise of all independent media.”

Wait, AML Bitcoin hasn't actually been introduced yet? That means Farah is giving away something that doesn't actually exist. It's something that's purely speculative at this point.

Farah has not explain exactly what kind of deal he made with the purveyors of the thus-far-nonexistent AML Bitcoin, the NAC Foundation,  to get his grubby littlehands on enough AML Bitcoin IOUs to give away to donors. But AML Bitcoin is running a serious hype machine to promote its actual release -- and, thus, hopefully build up the coin's value. It all feels like a pump-and-dump penny stock.

Now, cryptocurrency is a very complicated business for investors, and there are more than 1,000 types of cryptocurrencies, of which AML Bitcoin is but one. And Farah has given no indication that he knows what he's doing in signing on to this giveaway to donors other than being a hype man for the issuers. This should raise plenty of red flags.

In a March 24 email letter, Farah seems to admit he's desperate enough to try this:

Is that what you’re thinking – that my offer is just too good to be true?

It almost is too good to be true. When I thought of this idea, it occurred to me that people might not believe it. After all, who in their right mind is giving away cybercurrency these days?

But trust me, it makes sense.

Here’s the way it works. I’ve invested in cybercurrency at an opening price – let’s just say $1. I could hold on to that stash and watch the money accumulate over time. But I don’t have time. I need to invest in WND and in saving the independent media in 2018, to enable us to do everything possible to fight the Deep State and save the country from making a grave political mistake it will regret. I need financial resources now – or there is no tomorrow.

So, I’m hoping we can both win: You send me $100 today and I’ll send you 10 AML Bitcoin tokens. I get the money I need today, and, if I’m right, you’ll do very well holding on to that cybercurrency, based on past experience.

In other words, it's a total gamble.

Farah is so devoted to being a hype man for AML Bitcoin that's he peddling one of their lies. In a March 23 email letter, Farah writes about "AML Bitcoin’s swaggering attitude that got the company’s big commercial debut on the Super Bowl banned by politically correct NBC and the NFL."

But as Buzzfeed details, the claim that AML Bitcoin's ad was "banned" is bogus because the company never actually bought any Super Bowl airtime and NBC never reviews content unless money actually changes hands.But AML Bitcoin got lots of publicity off the hoax, so that was apparently considered a success.

Buzzfeed also details other ways AML Bitcoin is putting hype before ethical business practices:

"The problem is that the company has the word 'bitcoin' in it, and it has nothing to do with bitcoin," Brito said, adding that AML Bitcoin's marketing plays off the misconception that bitcoin is unsafe and illegal, which it is not. "It's not good for bitcoin, which is a very serious, very legitimate, open-source project. And if Jack Abramoff is involved, it's not good."


AML Bitcoin's ICO lasts for another nine days, and it could stand to raise millions of dollars if people believe their advertising and claims to create a "borderless, secure, identity based digital currency." If you believe AML Bitcoin can do it, you can buy the company's tokens in bitcoin, the supposedly dangerous cryptocurrency that it's trying to displace.

WND, it so happens, published a book by Abramoff, so that may be the connection between the two companies. Still, it's not a good sign.

This whole venture reeks of desperation and scamminess. Buyer beware.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Sunday, March 25, 2018
MRC's Houck Pretends He Doesn't Want To Destroy The 'Liberal Media'
Topic: Media Research Center

Following a March 18 appearance by conservative Ben Shapiro on the CNN's "Reliable Sources," hosted by Brian Stelter, Media Research Center employee and NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck tweeted, "We need MORE debates like the one @benshapiro and @brianstelter had today. It's important to show that many conservatives care about our media discourse and dispatch with the notion that we all want to see the liberal media fatally crushed." He later added that "there is a misnomer that this is the end game for the conservative movement when it comes to media accountability and liberal bias."

But it's not a misnomer: The MRC really does want to see the liberal media fatally crushed. We don't need to look any farther than how NewsBusters -- again, the MRC-operated website for which Houck is the managing editor -- treated the Stelter-Shapiro debate.

"Wrecked: Ben Shapiro Destroys Stelter for Denying Media’s Liberal Bias" screamed the headline on the post by Houck's colleague Nicholas Fondacaro, who ranted:

In a bit of must-see TV, conservative icon and Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources this Sunday to debate host Brian Stelter on the topic of the media’s liberal bias. As expected, Shapiro wiped the floor with Stelter as he called out CNN for blatantly pushing a gun control agenda and not being objective.

Does that sound like someone who cares only about accountability and not obsessed with fatally crushing the "liberal media"?

Fondacaro filled his post with highly biased language, claiming Stelter was "ridiculous" and "snide" and used an "obvious falsehood," while Shapiro was portrayed as someone who responded with a "light-hearted chuckle" and who "scolded" Stelter for saying something he didn't like. Again, not the attitude of someone who is seeking anything other than destruction of media that doesn't align with right-wing orthodoxy.

As NewsBusters managing editor, Houck presumably could have stopped that ridiculous headline or toned down Fondacaro's overheated rhetoric. He didn't.

Meanwhile, Houck himself showed his true destruction-mode colors in a March 22 post lashing out at CNN chief Jeff Zucker for (accurately) calling Fox News a "propaganda machine" and "state-run TV."

First, there's Houck's headline claim that Zucker is a "puppet-master" -- an image steeped in anti-Semitic stereotypes, as we pointed out when the MRC used it to attack George Soros. Houck tried to fabricate a context for the slur toward the end of his piece by claiming that a New York Times profile of Zucker "exposed" him as "a puppet-master choreographing big interviews and feeding questions in the ears of Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper." One could argue Roger Ailes did the same thing at Fox News, but it's highly doubtful Houck or anyone else at the MRC would ever describe him as as "puppet-master."Plus, the label implies that Cooper and Tapper are incapable of thinking for themselves -- another biased assumption on Houck's part.

Houck goes on to rant about "the chest-thumping, self-sanctimonious CNN" huffing: "Whether it’s CNN’s porn obsession, Jim Acosta at a White House press briefing, their fake news story about WikiLeaks, or Jake Tapper’s 1984-style town hall on gun control, CNN’s recent track record has been a complete and under embarrassment. And that doesn’t even touch their ratings."

Again, not the language of someone who's interested in a serious conversation about media discourse. Houck should stop pretending he believes otherwise.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 25, 2018 2:54 PM EDT
HIllary Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Clinton sadly continues to reject the reality of why she was trounced by President Trump, which is the same reason she was beaten by Obama – that voters, and specifically the women she maligned, neither liked nor trusted her.

Her indignation may seem selective to the casual observer, but I argue that it is the accumulative effect of her life, which can be termed a “Greek tragedy” – only in her rendition, she is the protagonist instead of a man, as in the original plays.

I would like to think an argument can be made that Clinton actually had the ability to make positive contributions to America. But she chose instead to not just embrace but to showcase all of the most deplorable qualities of a fallen person.

Her personal failing began before she married Bill Clinton, but it was as his wife that she was reduced to a shrill, bitter, unlikeable human being. And, I believe that it is the mental and emotional anguish of her years as his wife, her loss to the likes of Obama and then her crushing defeat by Donald Trump that has reduced her to what she is today.

I think that while her husband embarrassed her and publicly reduced her to a pathetic caricature of womanhood, her sense of entitlement overpowered her sense of dignity. I believe she felt that her vindication for the inhumane public humiliation she suffered at the hands of Bill Clinton would forgotten by her ascension to the presidency. She would be the first woman president, and all of the historical trappings that would accompany her occupying that position would erase the years of shame she had endured. I also believe that is why she so viciously attacked the women her husband had beaten, raped and molested. She wasn’t defending him as much as she was fighting to protect what she viewed as her right of ascension.

What she viewed as her right of entitlement suffered a huge setback when a nobody from Chicago, whose chief claim to fame was that no one from any of the schools he supposedly attended could remember him, defeated her.

But it was Donald J. Trump who put an end to her political aspirations and reduced her to a sad and pathetic historical footnote of what could have been. And it is the realization that for all of her underhandedness, lies and Erebusic machinations, she will forever be viewed as a failure that haunts her. I believe it forces her to continue to invent reasons for losing and to cruelly disparage those she blames for her personal failure. For her not to do so, would mean she would have to acknowledge to herself and the public that she is singularly responsible for her failed life.

-- Mychal Massie, March 19 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:19 AM EDT
Saturday, March 24, 2018
CNS Still Can't Stop Perpetuating False Planned Parenthood Funding Myth

If there's one thing loves to do, it's falsely suggest or outright claim that federal money to Planned Parenthood pays for abortion.

It goes the false-suggestion-by-juxtaposition in a March 12 column by Monica Burke of the anti-abortion Heritage Foundation, who complained that "A recent government report has revealed that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, received over $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds from 2013 to 2015" and huffing that "there is still much more to be done to prevent public funds from being tied up with abortion on demand."

In fact, federal money to Planned Parenthood, by law, does not pay for abortion; Title X funding given to Planned Parenthood pays for other services for women.Thus, the money is not, in fact, "tied up with abortion on demand."

CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman made the false juxtaposition more explicit in a March 22 blog post (needless boldface in original):

The latest annual report of Planned Parenthood, for 2016-17, shows that it performed 321,384 abortions in its fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016.

The abortion provider also received $543.7 million in government money for the funding year that ended June 30, 2017. The first five months of that year was during the Trump administration.

Planned Parenthood receives in excess of $500 million from the federal government each year. In 2015-16, it received $554.6 million; in 2014-15, it received $553.7 million; in 2013-14, $528.4 million; and in 2012-13, $540.6 million.

During those same years, Planned Parenthood performed the following number of abortions:

2015-16: 328,348

2014-15: 323,999

2013-14: 327, 653

2012-13: 327,166

Chapman added: "If one were cynical, one might conclude that the establishment GOP -- not the conservatives -- has absolutely no intention of ever defunding Planned Parenthood. " One doesn't have to be cynical, however, to see that Chapman places right-wing propaganda before reporting the truth -- an odd position for someone who's supposedly running a "news" operation. As if the graphic photo of a "baby killed by saline abortion," taken from anti-abortion group Priests for Life, in his wasn't already an indicator of Chapman's preference for propaganda.

UPDATE: CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey regurgitated the bogus juxtapostion in his March 21 column:

This month, the Government Accountability Office presented Congress with a report that said Planned Parenthood affiliates spent $288,880,000 in federal funds in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and received $1,212,780,000 in Medicaid reimbursements. Planned Parenthood affiliates also received $2,420,000 in reimbursements from Medicare and $390,000 from the Children's Health Insurance Program.

That is a total of $1,504,470,000.

During that same three-year span, according to its annual reports, Planned Parenthood did 980,000 abortions.

Jeffrey, like the others, failed to tell his readers that none of that money pays for abortion, yet he attacked Republicans as "moral cowards" for not trying to eliminate federal funding to Planned Parenthood. But isn't is also a form of moral cowardice to hide facts from readers in order to push a political argument?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 25, 2018 11:11 AM EDT
WND Columnist: Trump Accuser Is A 'Super-Whore'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Chastain was moved to do some politically motivated lashing out in her March 14 WorldNetDaily column:

Did the president have a brief affair with a porn star in 2006? I’m sure no one would be surprised to discover that he did. Will “60 Minutes” run an interview with Stormy Daniels? If so, what can it possibly tell us that we don’t already know? Daniels is a whore who sees herself as a “star” and wants to publicize her experience with Trump to polish that star and increase her income.

No, she doesn’t turn tricks for money. The definition of a whore is someone who engages in sex for money. Daniels has explicit sex in front of the cameras for money. That makes her a super-whore. Furthermore, she directs others who do the same, not exactly a candidate for sainthood.

If we stoop to watching that interview, if and when it airs, we are guilty of voyeurism. What does that make “60 Minutes”? Little more than entertainment appealing to our most basic prurient interests.

Chastain then made lame excuses for Trump's immoral behavior, then gives him a pass because he's doing such a bang-up job as president:

We knew that Donald Trump was no choir boy when we elected him. When it came time to cast our ballot for president, it came down to a simple choice: Do we elect a man who is often coarse, impulsive and had not learned – nor did he care to learn – the art of polished, political doublespeak, or do we elect a woman who was often just as coarse in private but had her sins covered up by those around her and an adoring, obsequious media? Furthermore, Trump’s sins were committed as a private citizen. Hillary’s sins were committed while she and her husband held political office. In short, Trump cheated on his wives. Hillary cheated on her country.

Like many Americans, I was not pleased with the choice we faced. Surely in this great country of ours, there are many honorable men and women capable of leading our nation who haven’t committed such grave sins, but none survived in this strange political climate.


I fully expected Mr. Trump to go back on his promises, once elected, and simply use his office to fuel his enormous ego. To be sure, he still has a problem controlling that ego, but in every other way, I have been pleasantly surprised, in fact, amazed. For all his faults and rough edges, Trump has done more to rein in the behemoth out-of-control bureaucracy and drain the political swamp than any other president in my lifetime, even angering members of his own party when necessary.

It’s as if somewhere along the campaign trail, Trump truly grasped the enormity of the task of giving the people of this country a fighting chance against the career politicians of both political parties who have been selling us down the river for far too long.

I am not ashamed to admit I was wrong about Trump, and I am willing to give him credit for those accomplishments that are too numerous to mention here. I can only pray that others will do the same. Do I agree with everything he’s done? No, and that is always the case with anyone in elected office. Yes, I still wish he would use Twitter less and choose his words more carefully, but we don’t have a perfect man in the White House, nor will there ever be.

Has Chastain ever described any of Bill Clinton's accusers as "super-whores" in it for the money? We doubt it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:03 PM EDT
Friday, March 23, 2018
MRC Still Thinks Hate-Watching TV Shows Is Charming (It's Not)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a thing for hate-watching TV shows for the sole apparent purpose of trashing them for not repeating right-wing propaganda. Here's a couple more recent examples.

The headline for Alexa Moutevelis Coombs' "review" of Alec Baldwin's new talk show tells us that fairness and balance are not on her agenda: "Alec Baldwin's New Talk Show A Bloated, Self-Aggrandizing Snooze-fest - Just Like Him." Her "review" isnothing but one long hatefest:

How appropriate, a bloated Hollywood liberal’s show was delayed by a bloated liberal Hollywood awards show.

I don’t know who got the bright idea to air a “sneak peek” of ABC’s newest late night talk show Sundays with Alec Baldwin on Oscar night, but with the live Academy Awards running 50 minutes late, plus local news, the show didn’t start on the East Coast until about 12:30am. This was doubly was unfortunate for Baldwin – the few people still up watching TV at that hour were quickly put to sleep by his snooze-fest.

The Hollywood Reporter said the program is meant to model his podcast, and it shows. It’s a simple set with two club chairs facing each other with small tables for coffee mugs. The poor quality is especially apparent when juxtaposed with his first guest Jerry Seinfeld’s talk show. Seinfeld has a popular online show called “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” while all that Alec Baldwin and ABC can put together is a cheap knock-off “celebrities sitting in chairs talking about Baldwin.” Why not just stick to the podcast?

Maybe Coombs should stick to watching shows that reinforce her right-wing ideology instead of pretending she's an objective media critic.

Only slightly less hateful was Lindsay Kornick's hot take on a cartoon:

I have to give some credit to Showtime’s Our Cartoon President. It’s the one show that would probably be more obnoxious to watch than the Oscars tonight. That being said, we still have to deal with yet another insufferable take on our current administration from the people who still think “bigly” is funny. This latest escapade involves worshipping at the altar of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau…and the Oscars.


That’s pretty much the story for the next twenty minutes. Unless you’re fascinated by gags about how much cooler Justin Trudeau is than Donald Trump and his family, be prepared to want to slam your head against a wall. We hear every insufferable virtue of Trudeau, from his cute dimples to his six-pack abs to his sultry singing voice (strangely enough hardly anything on his failing policies). He’s just that much better, you guys. 


Just like no one outside the Trump-deluded bubble would find this show funny, no one outside the liberal social circle finds Justin Trudeau cool or even interesting. Most recently, he actually embarrassed his country in a visit to India, they most certainly didn’t find him a “kind, intelligent soul.” It just goes to show that the only thing worse than a leftist’s overwhelming hatred is their sycophantic fawning.

How does that compare to the overwhelming hatred of right-wingers? Kornick is a little too close to the situation to weigh in objectively.

Hate-watching a show and then spewing said hate all over a blog isn't as charming as the MRC seems to think it is./

Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EDT
Should Seth Rich's Parents Sue WND Too?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Surprisingly, WorldNetDaily did an article on how Seth Rich's parents are suing Fox News for cynically exploiting their son's death and turning it into a "political football" and promoting conspiracy theories about it. Less surprisingly, WND used the opportunity to rehash some of its favorite conspiracy theories about Rich.

The language has been temperred a bit, though; WND has been reduced to saying that "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared to suggest that Rich was one of his sources" and that "Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh appeared to have dropped a bombshell in audio" (emphasis added).

As we've documented, WND's coverage of Rich has been nothing but cynical exploitation, so driven by its hatred of Hillary Clinton that it placed Rich on the so-called "Clinton Body Count"-- suggesting that the Clintons themselves played a role in Rich's death. It was so eager to smear with this story that it even enlisted notorious conspiracy-monger Liz Crokin -- who believes Pizzagate is real -- to write some of them.

So why isn't the Rich family suing WND? Mainly, it seems, because it mostly didn't try to ensnare Rich's parents in the conspiracy theories. The Riches are also suing Ed Butowsky, a right-wing financier who worked with Fox News in getting that story published and also foisted Rod Wheeler upon the Riches as a private investigator. (Plus, there's also the fact that WND is barely existing as it is and doesn't have much money to pay out in damages.)

Still, WND did try to co-opt the Rich family on its GoFundMe page to raise money to fund "investigative reporting resources" into finding Rich's killer but putting a blurb from Rich's brother, implying that the Riches had endorsed WND's efforts. By the way, the campaign has been up nine months now, and it still hasn't crossed the $5,000 threshold.

The threat of being called to account for its irresponsible reporting hasn't quite stopped WND from covering things related to Seth Rich, however. It has an article up about a bizarre incident in which conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman -- whose work in exploiting Rich's death WND has promoted -- was "shot at and run over by the former U.S. Marine he hired to help him get to the bottom of the case." Needless to say, WND didn't frame this as a clash between two conspiratorial losers fighting over a never-proven conspiracy theory, nor did it report, as an actual news outlet did, that police have not verified Burkman's account.

At this rate, WND may just earn that lawsuit after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 AM EDT
Thursday, March 22, 2018
CNS' Jones Can't Be Bothered To Fact-Check Paul Ryan

Susan Jones shows off her stenography skills yet again in a May 14 article:

With the congressional race in western Pennsylvania still too close to call, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) nevertheless predicted the outcome on Wednesday:

"I think the candidate that's going to win this race is the candidate that ran as a pro-life, pro-gun, anti-Nancy Pelosi conservative," Ryan told a news conference. "That's the candidate that's going to win this race."

Both Conor Lamb, the Democrat, and Rick Saccone, the Republican, ran as conservatives to fill the seat vacated by a Republican who quit amid a scandal."

This is something that you're not going to see repeated," Ryan said, "because they didn't have a primary." Ryan noted that Democrats, in this special election, were able to pick a candidate who could run as a conservative."

You will have primaries in all these other races, and the primaries bring them to the left. So I just don't think that this is something that you'll see a repeat of."

Jones couldn't be bothered to fact-check what Ryan said -- too bad, because what Ryan said isn't true at all. As an actual news outlet reported:

Lamb did not run as a Trump supporter. He ran against the tax cuts, not for them. His abortion stance was a lot like that of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) — while personally opposing abortion, he was against new restrictions on the procedure, a position that inspired a Family Research Council ad comparing him to Kim Jong Un.

But Jones isn't about facts -- she's all about stenography.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Attacks Study Showing Antidepressants Work
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For years, WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian has been saging a Scientology-esque battle against antidepressants, in part by citing anecdotal evidence of people who commit mass murder having taken them (but never offering any proof of a direct relationship between the two). He has insisted that all these "troubled souls" are actually in need of "the light of God to come into them and shine on their conflicts and untangle their mess."

His latest attempt is a March 11 column attacking a large-scale meta-analysis of research concluding that antidepressants do, in fact, work. First, he downplays the results and portrays them as bought and paid for nby the pharmeceutical industry:

To all appearances, the Oxford University study is indeed impressive – a broad meta-analysis of 522 randomized controlled trials spanning almost four decades and involving 21 different antidepressants. Its 18 authors represent not only Oxford’s psychiatric community, but also one or two experts each from France, Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. – plus seven from Japan. (Why seven? Consider that while antidepressant use has risen dramatically throughout the developed world, Japan lags far behind, even though depression has been called Japan’s “greatest public health issue” and suicide is sky high there.)

But beyond all the press hoopla, what does the new Oxford study actually conclude? Drum roll.

In the researchers’ own words, their study confirms: “All antidepressants were more efficacious than placebo in adults with major depressive disorder.”

That’s it. The much-heralded study simply purports to finally demonstrate that antidepressant drugs – which pharmaceutical companies, marketing firms, primetime TV commercials and the entire medical-psychiatric-mental health establishment have successfully coaxed literally tens of millions of people to depend on – actually work somewhat better than placebos, which is to say, better than nothing. Of the 21 antidepressants included in the massive data review, some were found to work just marginally better and some considerably better than sugar pills.

Kupelian glosses over the fact that, according to the article to which he links regarding Japan's low use of antidepressants, the key reason for that low use is societal stigma against seeking help for depression.

Kupelian rants about how "The establishment media, notoriously lazy and reflexively pro-drug (who knows if that’s because pharmaceutical companies are huge sponsors of news?) rarely ask the right questions" and raises the issue of side effects -- which is an issue to some extent but it ignores the larger fact that newer classes of antidepressants have much less severe side effects than previous generation, which is one key reason behind their growing use.

Then, Kupelian dredges up an alarmist doctor he presents as "internationally respected psychiatrist, psycho-pharmacologist and author of 20 books, including 'Pharmageddon.'" In fact, he's an alarmist who thinks every drug approved after 1990 has potential late side effects. But alarmism is what Kupelian wants, and Healy delivers by falsely trashing the Oxford study:

Based in the U.K., Healy didn’t hold back when I asked him for his most candid assessment of the Oxford study. In fact, he pretty much ripped it to shreds.

“This paper is junk,” he began, saying it “is based on ghostwritten papers with no access to the data.”

“No one,” he said, “not the regulators such as MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Britain’s version of the Food and Drug Administration] or FDA, have had access. Few if any of the notional authors of the papers will have had access, and none of them can let me or any independent experts have access.”

Healy is lying. In fact, the Oxford study's supplementary appendix lists all 522 studies used in the meta-analysis, many of which have listed authors.

Healy and Kupelian then cite how one pharmaceutical company was fined for "promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses," which does not disprove the effectiveness of antidepressants used as intended.

Finally, Kupelian brought up the case of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes: "Healy was brought in by the defense as an expert witness in the case. Although ultimately not called to testify during the trial, Healy later told the BBC that – having interviewed Holmes in prison and carefully reviewed his mental history and the specific antidepressant and dosage he was taking at the time: 'These killings would never have happened had it not been for the medication James Holmes had been prescribed.'"

The real reason Healy didn't take the stand is probably that his testimony would have been picked apart because he has presented him as clearly biased against antidepressants to the point that he will mislead about them, in addition to it not being scientific proof of a correlation equaling causation.

But telling the full truth is not what Kupelian is interested in.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EDT
MRC Tags Stormy Daniels Items As 'Pornography'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been absolutely obsessed with the alleged obsession of non-Fox News outlets covering the Stormy Daniels scandal. Here are some of the stories it's cranked out:

Funny thing No. 1: The MRC's Curtis Houck did concede at one point that "The Stormy Daniels lawsuit is certainly a big story; it’s worth finding out what the President knew and when in specific regards to the settlement and hush money organized by Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen." Yet he and the MRC show absolutely no interest in, you know, finding that out; all it's done is whine that the story's being covered at all. AS we've already noted, the MRC "news" division has trouble even saying Daniels' name, then dismissed the entire scandal as nothing but a liberal media narrative.

Funny thing No. 2: Strangely, the MRC has tagged several of its items about Daniels under the "Pornography" category.

Now, Daniels may be a porn star, but that's not why she's in the news -- it's because she claims to have had an affair with the president of the United States, a claim made credible because of the aformentioned settlement and hush money. The MRC thought it was a huge story when President Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and and other alleged peccadilloes with women.

The best example of the MRC's blase attitude toward a sex scandal involving one of its own comes from Tim Graham, in the midst of whining about Daniels' mastery of Twitter:

It's possible that Daniels is telling the truth about having sex with Donald Trump in 2006. It's obvious to everyone that Trump has cheated on wives before. His affair with Marla Maples was New York tabloid fodder, spread to a national audience. If a voter would prefer a president who doesn't have a troubled marriage, they couldn't have voted for Hillary Clinton, either.

Still, the charge of a presidential candidate paying an accuser to keep quiet is an obvious news story. That doesn't mean you have to praise the accuser as a master Tweeter.

Graham would never have said this about any of Clinton's accusers, even the one who flip-flopped on her story and, thus, has less credibility than a porn star.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
WND Still Begging For Money To Make Film of WND-Published Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Since last July, WorldNetDaily has been trying to crowdfund preproduction costs (not actual production costs, mind you) of a film based on Anita Dittman's WND-published book "Trapped in Hitler's Hell." It's even invoked the film "Dunkirk" as something its film could be, conveniently ignoring the fact that, unlike "Dunkirk," WND has no prospect of landing a $100 million budget and/or Christopher Nolan as director.

In the eight months since the crowdfunding drive first began, WND has raised just over $16,000 -- a small fraction of what it claims it needs. But it's still at it, and a new pitch showed up earlier this month, invoking yet another film:

How long does it take to get a movie made? It depends on the story, often the budget. It also requires patience. For a big budget biographical film about heroic figures, it can sometimes take decades. The most recent example is the film “Unbroken” about the life of World War II hero, Louie Zamperini. Universal Pictures bought the book rights in January 2011 to augment the film rights to Zamperini’s life story, which it had already acquired at the end of the 1950s.

WND Films is looking to fast-track this process as it undertakes to make the movie version of “TRAPPED,” based on the book “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell” by Anita Dittman and Jan Markell. “TRAPPED” is the true story of teen-ager Anita Dittman’s harrowing journey of survival during the Holocaust. Anita escaped twice from Nazi prison camps as she fought to reunite with her mother who was sent to a death camp hundreds of miles away.


The team is endeavoring to make “TRAPPED” as an independent film as much as possible. The main reason for this is to preserve the critical faith elements of Anita’s story.

The movie “Unbroken” was mentioned as an example of big budget biographical film. That movie was financed and released by Universal Pictures in 2014. If you saw the movie, you would remember that it revolved around Zamperini’s life as an Olympian representing the U.S. at the Berlin Olympics. It also centered on Zamperini as an army officer who survived a crash landing of his bomber, along with a handful of others. They drifted in a raft for 47 days before a Japanese vessel picked them up only to send to a series of prison camps. The rest of the movie is how Zamperini endured the deprivations and extreme physical torture meted out personally against him by a sadistic camp commander.

What you didn’t see was Zamperini’s fight against alcoholism and PTSD, and most significantly his conversion to Christ after attending Billy Graham evangelistic crusade.

The team behind “TRAPPED” does not want God’s work in Anita’s life ignored or set aside as was done for “Unbroken.” That’s why it wants “TRAPPED” to remain an “independently” financed film. That’s why it is seeking donors and investors to support the movie financially.

That's because the film of "Unbroken" focused on Zamperini's wartine experience, not events that happened years later. Besides, another faith-based filmmaker is already making a film telling the rest of Zamperini's story.

The article also doesn't mention that Dittman once likened President Obama to Hitler, while also denying that Donald Trump exhibited Nazi-esque tendencies despite the obvious narcissism and cult of personality he's cultivating.

The article then quotes WND Films vice president George Escobar repeating an earlier claim that the film needs to be made because "All the critical issues young Anita faced in the 1930s and ’40s are resurfacing today," citing as an example "Fake news being perpetrated like Nazi propaganda, undermining our freedoms."

Um, Escobar does know who he works for, doesn't he?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 PM EDT
CNS Whitewashes Right-Wing Hungarian Leader As Just A 'Populist"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a right-wing autocrat, in a country with no genuinely free press, who's currently promoting conspiracy theories about George Soros as part of his re-election bid (which is mostly assured anyway due to the fractured nature of the opposition). But at Orban is just a misunderstood populist.

Patrick Goodenough wrote in a Feb. 27 CNS article:

Hungary’s foreign minister called Monday for U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to be removed from his post, after the U.N. official singled out Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for sharp criticism.

During opening remarks at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zeid cited Orbán as an example of “xenophobes and racists in Europe.”

He was the only leader mentioned by name by the high commissioner in his hard-hitting remarks to the HRC as it opened a month-long session.

Goodenough made sure to mention that Orban is a "democratically-elected prime minister" running a "populist government," then tried to explain things away:

The context of the quote cited by Zeid was a Feb. 8 speech in which Orbán argued that a diverse community is not necessarily preferable to a homogeneous one.

“The simple fact that something is colorful and varied in character does not make it more valuable than something which is not,” he said.

“And it is very important for us to use this as a firm footing: we must not allow the ground to be cut away from under our feet in moral or ethical debates, because we must defend Hungary as it is now,” Orbán said.

“We must state that we do not want to be diverse and do not want to be mixed: we do not want our own color, traditions and national culture to be mixed with those of others. We do not want this.”

Doesn't exactly dispel the idea that Orban is a racist and xenophob, does it?

Goodenough's companion article features another Hungarian official sounding more than a little xenophobic:

Hungary’s populist government ramped up a dispute with international institutions on Monday, accusing U.N. officials of promoting migration as a right, at the expense of “the right to a safe and secure life, where we live.”

“It is not a human right to pick a country where one would like to live,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, adding that the crossing of borders must comply with international and national regulations.


“It is not a human right to pick a country where one would like to live. Crossing borders can only happen according to international regulations, and staying in another country can happen only in the case of respecting the national regulations.”

“It’s time to get rid of hypocrisy and political correctness,” he concluded. “We have to offer solutions to help enhance the security of all our member-states, because the number one human right is that we all have the right to a safe and secure life, where we live.”

In addition to one again claiming that Orban is a "populist," Goodenough suggested he was following in the footsteps of President Trump, adding that "The Trump administration formally withdrew from" the U.N. migration negotiations Hungary is railing against, "also citing sovereignty concerns."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 9:03 PM EDT

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