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Friday, August 10, 2018
CNS' Double Standard on Process, Procedure and Protocol

A July 27 article highlighted White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley justifing the banning of CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins form a White House event because she asked was deemed an inappropriate question of President Trump at an earlier event. Melanie Arter uncritically qhoted Sanders insisting that it was not "the content of the questions," it was that Collins "refused" to leave the Oval Office until her question was answered, adding "It's about process, procedure, and protocol."

Another article the same day, by Brady Kenyon, had a different take on a similar situation:

A California college student is suing the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated when his school prohibited him from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Kevin Shaw, a student at Pierce College in California says he was stopped from handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution on campus because it was not inside the school’s designated “free speech area.”

In his lawsuit complaint, Shaw alleges that, while he was handing out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution, he was forced to stop and was then escorted into an office and told to complete a permit application to use the college’s “Free Speech Area.” The free speech area measures 616 square feet and comprises approximately .003% of the total area of Pierce College’s 426-acre campus.

It seems the student, like the CNN correspondent, is accused of violating "process, procedure, and protocol" -- but the student is being championed by CNS as a free-speech hero while Collins is implicitly attacked as a pushy liberal.

Funny how that works.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 PM EDT
WND Silent on Its Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory Getting Debunked
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems that WorldNetDaily is finally getting tired of exploiting the death of Seth Rich to feed its own conspiratorial fantasies.

Last month, we noted that while WND promoted an upcoming press conference by fellow expoliter Jack Burkman purporting to have found a witness to Rich's death, it wouldn't report on what a joke the presser turned out to be. A few days later, the arrest of 12 Russian intelligence officers apparently put a key conspiracy theory about Rich to bed -- that he leaked a bunch of Democratic National Committee (his employer) emails to WikiLeaks -- because the officers were indicted in part on charges of hacking the DNC, Hillary Clinton's campaignand the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Rich's purported tie to the leaked DNC emails was something WND heavily promoted. But no WND article has yet to admit that its pet conspiracy theory has been debunked -- and WND apparently no longer wants to talk about it.

An anonymously written Aug. 2 WND article on the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Rich's parents over a false story about Rich published on the Fox News website did some minor rehashing of the case based on earlier WND articles -- that nobody at the bar that was "the last known location where Rich was seen before his murder" had been questioned by police, and that local officials "refused to reveal what hospital admitted and treated Rich before a physician pronounced him dead" and "refused to release Rich’s autopsy report" (darn those medical privacy laws!) -- but was silent on the email leak conspiracy it has spent much of the past year promoting.

Since WND is loath to correct a false claim on its website unless someone threatens to sue, and since Rich is dead and therefore can't be libeled, this is probably the closest we'll get to WND tacitly admitting its key Rich conspiracy theory is bogus.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 AM EDT
Thursday, August 9, 2018
MRC: It's 'Self-Centered' for Journalists To Be Concerned About Their Safety
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so intent on refusing to acknowledge the humanity of journalists that it mocks and belittles them every time they express concerns about their safety in an era in which the president of the United States denounces them as the "enemy of the people" -- even as it fretted about a Fox News reporter who said she didn't feel safe at a protest outside the Supreme Court.

And it's particularly aggrieved when CNN employees are concerned about their safety. When, for instance, CNN anchor Don Lemon took to the air in January to point out actual death threats called into the network and blamed the anti-media environment encouraged by President Trump (and, truth be told, by the MRC), Randy Hall denounced Lemon for engaging in "a pathetic act of self-sanctimonious behavior," then retorted to political analyst Brian Karem after making a similar observation: "Wait, so Brian, would that mean that you'd agree that James Hodgkinson was inspired by Rachel Maddow and Bernie Sanders to try and murder Republican congressmen in June at a Virginia baseball field?"

Of course, if Hall could show any evidence that Maddow or Sanders ever called Scalise an "enemy of the people," let alone criticized him personally in any form, he might have a point.

The MRC's Curtis Houck (pictured) -- who's currently leading the MRC's war on Jim Acosta and gets a tingle up his leg every time Acosta is heckled while covering a Trump rally -- demonstrated his callousness toward the humanity of journalists who don't work for Fox News in an Aug. 1 post about a discussion between NBC's Katy Tur -- whose concerns about safety at Trump rallies the MRC has dismissed in the past -- and director Rob Reiner about the current hostile environment for journalists in the Trump era. Here's how Houck utterly mocked their concerns in the first paragraph of his post, headlined "Self-Centered Lefties: Katy Tur, Rob Reiner Showcase Why People Hate Hollywood, the Media:

In roughly eight minutes Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC Live host Katy Tur and far-left liberal actor Rob Reiner were able to showcase why the embarrassingly smug behavior of Hollywood and the liberal media has continued to lose them supporters despite their deranged attempts to play the victim card.

That's right: According to Houck, it's apparently "self-centered" and playing "the victim card" for a journalist to be concerned about one's safety. (So, um, Curt, what exactly is a "far-left liberal"? Is that oppose to a far-right liberal?)

Houck sneered that Tur was hosting a "pity party" for journalists -- even though crowds at pro-Trump rallies she covered turned so hostile against her that she needed Secret Service protection to leave arenas -- and complained that she showed a "video of CNN’s Jim Acosta being heckled at a Tuesday night Trump rally" (which, again, Houck is totally down with).In Houck's warped right-wing view, Tur "ranted" and "howed how out of touch she is with the American populace when she seemed exasperated at the notion that, three years after Trump began his candidacy, droves of people still believe that “the media” and Hollywood don’t “represent regular people.” And an MRC postreferencing Reiner wouldn't be complete without derisively calling him "Meathead," demonstrating Houck's inability to separate the actor from a role he hasn't played in 40 years.

Houck probably thinks his callous, name-calling attack is just more of the "sober, substantive appraisals" of media he claims the MRC provides. The fact that he made that claim with a straight face shows us that he doesn't know how wrong he is.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 12, 2018 2:38 PM EDT
WND Columnist Mansplains Why 'Bad Boys Love Pro-Choice Women'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Carl Jackson's July 16 WorldNetDaily column starts off in a rather dumb, hateful fashion:

Radical feminists are sadly mistaken if they think pro-choice men have some deep philosophical understanding of their “reproductive rights,” otherwise known as abortion. They don’t. I contend that if the left would spend less time demonizing males and paid more attention to understanding them, they’d realize most men would say just about anything to “date a girl.” Yes, we’re that shallow.

Ironically, left-wing feminists are partially to blame for the shortage of real men we see in society today. They’ve helped turn men into boys and shamed little boys into rejecting their natural masculine attributes – consider their systematic deconstruction of the organization formerly known as Boy Scouts of America. As a result, many of our boys have grown up learning what to say to tickle a woman’s ear, rather than knowing what to do to become a lifelong partner who complements her differences. In effect, feminists have some blame in producing the very chauvinist pigs they claim to despise. Sadly, they’ve created a social environment in the U.S. where the Harvey Weinstein’s of the world can thrive, and the Billy Graham’s of the world are shunned.

How does demonizing women counter the alleged demonizing of men Jackson is decrying? He doesn't explain. Given that he apparently doesn't understand that "reproductive rights" extend far past abortion, that's not surprising.

Jackson then goes on to mansplain why "bad boys love pro-choice women," which basically boils down to pro-choice women being sluts:

The 3 reasons bad boys love pro-choice women are as follows:

  1. They don’t have to grow up. We’ve all seen the 45-year-old wannabe Drake and Justin Bieber bachelors driving their fancy cars with their “Save the Tatas” bumper stickers, dressing like they’re 20 years old, with their garages stuffed with toys and posters of rock bands from the ’80s. They date multiple women and talk about their body parts like teenagers because they’re too paranoid to grow up and commit to one woman. The average person can’t stand to be around them for more than five seconds because they’re too conceited and believe they have all the answers to the world’s problems. Why? Because this kind of “man” never been challenged by a mature woman that forces him to think through his positions and rip down the Tears for Fears posters.
  2. They don’t have to take responsibility for their actions. Be honest, guys. Pro-choice women give you an excuse to avoid responsibility. Even if you’re serious about a woman but not quite ready to have a kid with her, you can always play the pro-choice card. That way you can pretend like you’re supporting a “woman’s right to choose” when she kills your baby. You get the benefit of the doubt of being some feminist hero in tune with today’s modern woman – a cultural intellectual – when the truth is you’re a fraud that just dodged a bullet.
  3. They can use pro-choice women for guilt-free sex, and they’re glad feminists don’t get it. All things being equal, it’s important to remember that men and women are built differently. Feminists think they can use men, when in fact they’re being used. Any male at any given time is capable of having multiple sexual partners without ever feeling any connection whatsoever, and pro-choice women have greenlighted this behavior! Furthermore, both unborn babies and naive women are victimized by men who have been trained that women are only good for one thing. The men walk away relieved and happy they’ve gotten the sex they wanted with no strings attached, and ultimately with a deeper disrespect and disregard for women. The women walk away physically and emotionally scarred. Sometimes they’re unaware of these scars for years. Who’s getting the better deal?

Radical feminists who are pro-choice aren’t helping their sisterhood of peers; they’re ensuring they’ll be used and abused for years to come.

Yeah, no, that's not the way "guilt-free sex" works. One can have a committed relationship while keeping mindful of "reproductive rights." It's not the responsibility of women to make men mature -- the guys have to bring something to the table as well to make a relationship work.

Also: Today's men have "Tears for Fears posters" in their bedrooms? From what decade is Jackson writing us?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
CNS' Trump Flip on Reporting GDP Numbers

Employment numbers are not the only thing goes into full pro-Trump rah-rah mode on. Check out this July 27 article by Susan Jones on a quarterly GDP increase:

President Trump told steelworkers in Illinois Thursday he was expecting a "terrific" Gross Domestic Product number for the second quarter, and he wasn't disappointed:

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the advance estimate released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That's a considerable improvement from the (revised) GDP growth of 2.2 percent in the first quarter and the best showing since 2014.

"GREAT GDP numbers just released," Trump tweeted on Friday morning. "Will be having a news conference soon!"

At the impromptu news conference on Friday morning, Trump hailed the "amazing" 4.1 percent rate.

"We're on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years. And I will say this right now, and I'll say it strongly -- as the trade deals come in one by one, we're going to go a lot higher than these numbers, and these are great numbers.

Of course, as with those employment numbers, CNS' reporting on GDP had a much different tone during the Obama years. Indeed, we could find no contemporaneous CNS article mentioning the best quarterly GDP numbers during the Obama presidency -- 5.1% in the second quarter of 2014 and 4.9% in the third quarter of 2014 -- even though both of those numbers topped the figure Jones gushed about.

Instead, CNS reported almost exclusively on yearly GDP numbers in reference to Obama. For instance, an April 2017 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey pointed out that "In the eight years of 2009 through 2016, when President Barack Obama was in office, real GDP never grew by as much as 2.7 percent"; the month before, Jeffrey declared that "President Barack Obama remains the first president since the Great Depression not to see a single year with at least 3 percent growth in real GDP."

An April 2016 article by Jeffrey did focus on a quarterly GDP number under Obama -- but did even more cherry-picking by finding the one that made Obama look bad, a first quarter number that meant "the United States has started 2016 with a record tenth-straight first quarter in which real GDP grew at an annual rate of less than 3 percent."

This is just another example of how much of a pro-Trump toady CNS has chosen to become.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
WND Lets Judicial Watch Mislead About Abortion Pill Risks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh basically rewrites a Judicial Watch press release in an Aug. 1 article:

At least 22 women have been killed, and hundreds more have ended up with ectopic pregnancies or have required blood transfusions and hospitalization due to an abortion pill fast-tracked by the Bill Clinton administration.

The results of the Clinton administration’s promotion of Mifeprex, also known as RU-486, were uncovered by Washington watchdog Judicial Watch, which had warned of possible negative impacts from the drug.

“Back in 2006 Judicial Watch published a special report based on thousands of pages of FDA and National Archives documents showing the Clinton administration’s aggressive drive to thrust the abortion pill to the market in the United States despite warnings of its hazards,” the organization said this Tuesday.

“Judicial Watch uncovered that the abortion pill was fast-tracked under the ‘Accelerated Approval of New Drugs for Serious or Life-threatening Illnesses,’ a measure that was adopted for use in rare cases to encourage the manufacture and importation of drugs designed to treat life-threatening diseases such as cancer or heart disease.

“Over the years physicians have warned of Mifeprex’s dangers and some have called for banning it. In a piece published by a mainstream newspaper more than a decade ago, an obstetrician warns that Mifeprex is deadly and explains that it obtained government approval because five standard procedural and scientific requirements to prove safety and effectiveness were circumvented to get it onto the market quickly.”

Because Unruh is content to merely rewrite a press release -- and because that's exactly what WND is paying him to do -- he won't bother to do any fact-checking, which would reveal that Judicial Watch's central claim is false.

While the FDA admits that 22 reported deaths have been "associated" with Mifeprex, it doesn't mean that the drug caused those deaths. It further explains that the deaths cannot be directly blamed on Mifeprex because of other confounding factors:

It is not uncommon for the FDA to receive reports of serious adverse events for prescription drugs after they are approved. The FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in women who took Mifeprex. As of December 31, 2017, there were reports of 22 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal. The adverse events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of concurrent use of other drugs, other medical or surgical treatments, co-existing medical conditions, and information gaps about patient health status and clinical management of the patient. A summary report of adverse events that reflects data through December 31, 2017 is here. The FDA has reviewed this information and did not identify any new safety signals. The FDA intends to update this summary report on an annual basis or as appropriate.

As with all approved drugs, when the FDA receives new information regarding adverse events, the agency reviews the new information and, as appropriate, takes necessary action, including providing updates to doctors and their patients so that they have information on how to use the drug safely.

In fact, Mifeprex is considered a safe drug -- even safer than Viagra, which we presume Judicial Watch is not interested in investigating or finding out how many deaths it has caused.

In other words, Judicial Watch is either delibertely misleading about Mifeprex or is utterly ignorant about how federal reporting of adverse effects works. And WND is letting it get away with pushing false and misleading information.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 1:27 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Bozell Doubles Down on MRC's Defense of Infowars
Topic: Media Research Center

We've already noted how the Media Research Center is running to the defense of conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and his Infowars operation, ludicrously insisting that it's no different than CNN while hiding details about the extreme, offensive content Infowars traffics in. The news that several social media networks have removed Infowars content has sent the MRC into defense mode for Jones once again.

MRC chief Brent Bozell issued a statement that claims in part: "I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets." Bozell doesn't mention the kind of content that got Infowars kicked off those social networks, like insisting that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

The item containing Bozell's statement tries to link the removal of Infowars content to the MRC's longstanding assertions that social networks are conducting "censorship" of conservative content -- claims that are dubious at best. But if Jones is not a "conservative," as Bozell claims, why is it so worried about his content being removed?

Bozell went on to complain: "Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous." But the MRC's own "news" division,, censors content all the time -- it has no liberal columnists, and it refuses to tell its readers when President Trump and his White House officials are making false or misleading statements.

An Aug. 7 MRC post by Corinne Weaver was slightly more honest than her boss about the content that got Infowars removed from those social media sites -- she admits that "Jones has said many offensive and bizarre things not in keeping with conservative beliefs" and admitted that Jones was "claiming that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax." But she started her post by claiming that removing "extremist content" was part of a "war against freedom of speech."

Interestingly, none of these MRC writers who have come to Infowars' defense mentioned the fact that YouTube, Spotify,  Facebook and other social networks are private businesses that have policies governing the use of their websites and that they are perfectly within their rights to remove whatever content they deem as a violation of those policies. You'd think that, as pro-business conservatives, the MRC would defend the social networks' right to run their businesses as they see fit.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EDT
WND Does PR For D'Souza's New Film
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Longtime WorldNetDaily employee Art Moore -- one of the few remaining during WND's current round of near-death experiences -- is one of the few WND writers who puts a byline on his work. That may not be a good thing, given some of the things he has affixed his byline to: doing stenography for a pro-Trump pastor, writing puff pieces on Republican congressman Devin Nunes (whose book WND just happened to publish), and blaming Obama for a bridge collapse. Moore is occasionally capable of actual journalism on occasion when he's allowed, but that's not what Joseph Farah is paying him to do.

Moore's current fixation, though, is right-wing filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, and his latest pro-Trump, anti-liberal film. Indeed, Moore and D'Souza seem to have a special relationship of some kind.

Moore was touting D'Souza a year ago, uncritically parroting his claim that "hackers" locked D'Souza out of his Facebook page -- a claim that just so happened to coincide with the release of his previous book, "The Big Lie."Moore talked to D'Souza, his publicist and the person who manages D'Souza's Facebook page -- but he gave no indication that he ever contacted Facebook for a response.

When D'Souza's new film, "Death of a Nation," was set for release, Moore was eager to play his PR agent:

  • In a July 22 article, Moore highlighted how, "in an interview with WND," D'Souza explained away one of the film's ludicrous likening of President Trump to Abraham Lincoln.
  • On July 31, Moore let D'Souza discuss another of the flim's goofy claims, that white nationalists are left-wing. The next day, Moore posted a clip "provided to WND" from the film of D'Souza's interview with white nationalist Richard Spencer to allegedly prove that claim.
  • And on Aug. 5, Moore gave D'Souza a platform to rant against the critics of his film, taken from "an interview Sunday with WND."

What you won't find in any of Moore's articles: any effort by him to talk to a D'Souza critic or anyone else who disputes the premises his film forwards. He allows D'Souza to cast his critics as straw men to easily knock down -- for example, Princeton historian Kevin Kruse, who has debunked Twitter D'Souza's assertion that the Republican and Democratic parties did not switch positions on civil rights during the 1960s and also blew up D'Souza's claim that liberal historians are conspiring against him.

That means Moore is writing press releases, not "news" articles.

All this fluffing from Moore is followed by an anonymously written Aug. 6 article trying to spin how badly D'Souza's film did at the box office on its opening weekend -- a paltry $2.3 million on 1,105 screens -- by insisting that "there are still three months to the election." The article also baselessly suggests that a previous D'Souza film attacking Hillary Clinton cost her the 2016 election.

It's also a sign of the times -- as well as the current dire financial situation of WND -- that editor Joseph Farah lent his endorsement to the film: "If Americans see this movie, there is little question they will learn some very uncomfortable facts about the Democratic Party that they will not learn from what we euphemistically call ‘the mainstream media. ... This is a very hard-hitting documentary that exposes the dark underbelly of secrets the Democratic party has carefully guarded for generations. Could it make a difference in 2018? Only if millions see it. And they should. I can tell you they will be glad they did."

Some of Moore's "news" articles contain links to WND's online store, where one can "see D'Souza's works." and that's basically what this is all about: WND desperately trying to monetize D'Souza without regard to facts, and D'Souza enjoying all the free, fluffy publicity.

Or maybe D'Souza is paying for this. WND does need the money, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

We've noted how writer Susan Jones loves to crank up the rah-rah for the monthly employment numbers now that Donald Trump is president (compared to her less-than-enthusiastic reception for positive numbers under President Obama). Here's how her lead story on July's numbers kicks off:

Following last month’s strong employment report, the numbers released on Friday were even better in some respects.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says a record 155,965,000 people were employed in July, the 11th record-breaker since President Trump took office 19 months ago.

"Our economy is soaring. Our jobs are booming. Factories are pouring back into our country, they coming from all over the world. We are defending our workers," President Trump told a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

BLS said the economy added 157,000 jobs in July (compared with a revised 248,000 in June).

The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as the number of employed people reached new heights, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6,280,000 in July.

It's not until the last half of her article that Jones  notes a less-than-positive number: Not only did the labor force participation rate -- something CNS was obsessed with during the Obama years -- remain steady, federal officials project that it will continue to decline over the next decade.

After all those years of blaming Obama for the low labor force participation rate while he was president, CNS has found a way to avoid blaming Trump for the same trend.

CNS' coverage includes the usual sidebars about manufacturing jobs and government jobs. There's also the second appearance of an article about the Hispanic unemployment rate, having proven more exploitable by CNS' Media Research Center parent than previous articles about the black unemployment rate. And, indeed, the MRC did just that, as MRC Latino's Garvin Oliver and Ken Oliver touted how "The Trump administration’s winning record on Hispanic unemployment finally received a long overdue nod of recognition from top national Spanish-language media outlets Univision and CNN en Español."

Well, that's why CNS published it -- so the Olivers can harangue others into promoting it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Monday, August 6, 2018
WND Columnists Go Into Anti-Trans Freakout Mode
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A couple of WorldNetDaily columnists have been in transgender freakout mode lately.

Michael Brown starts his July 20 column with his usual faux sympathy for transgenders, then descends quicker than usual into his usual anti-trans ranting:

I earnestly hope and pray that every child and adult struggling with gender identity issues will find wholeness, peace and happiness from the inside out. I earnestly hope and pray that we will live to see the day when every person who feels trapped inside the wrong body will find internal resolution without hormones and radical surgery. At the same time, I wholeheartedly oppose the transgender revolution and predict that, ultimately, it will fail. Here’s why.

Brown went on to huff that the "transgender revolution" is "irrational," "oppressive," "unhealthy," "extreme," "dangerous," "unnatural," and an "attack on children."He concludes woith even more faux sympathy:

For decades now, billions of dollars have been invested to discover a cure for cancer. Chemotherapy is not sufficient. Radiation treatment only goes so far. Other “cures” fall short of the mark.

In the same spirit, let us continue to pursue better treatments for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Surely there is a better way than hormone blockers for children, double mastectomies and sex-change surgery for older teens, and hormones for life.

Let’s work toward this while firmly resisting the transgender revolution. We owe it to our kids and grandkids.

A July 24 WND column by Jerry Newcombe demonstrated his limited understanding of transgenders: "There are people who suffer with gender dysphoria – where they feel like a boy trapped in a girl’s body or vice versa. Our hearts go out to them. However, the Scriptures say that God has made human beings in His image. Male and female, He has made us. There are only two sexes. Only two genders."

Newcombe then called on the usual right-wing anti-trans forces: author Ryan Anderson and Walt Heyer, a man who lived as transgender for several years until deciding that "real change came through the help of a loving church and some loving Christian people" and becoming an anti-trans activist.

Newcombe didn't mention that Heyer admits he was misdiagnosed or that his views aren't rooted in medical expertise.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EDT
MRC Loves It When CNN's Acosta Is Heckled At Trump Rallies
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's war on CNN's Jim Acosta is so nasty that it cheers whenever Trump supporters heckle him when he covers rallies hosted by President Trump.

In a June 25 post, for instance, Curtis Houck sneered that Acosta was a "carnival barker" and happily noted "quite the crowd behind him during a live shot with chants of 'go home, Jim' and 'fake news Jim,' while one attendee moved from side to side with a 'CNN Sucks' sign" -- and, yes, Houck carefully put all of those insults in boldface type for maximum impact every time he referenced them in his post. Houck further sneered that later in the segment, Acosta spoke "in a tone which suggested he fancied himself the most honest, righteous man in America."

In a July 31 post on another heckling, Houck once again called Acosta a "carnival barker," this time adding "showboater" to his list of derogatory names, and put the insults in boldface. He then further attacked the "self-centered liberal journalist" for responding to the crowd's heckling

Houck later added an Acosta-bashing update: "Acosta returned for another live shot in The Situation Room’s 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour and, even though the rally had started and thus crowds were no longer heckling him, the pompous CNNer again acknowledged their chants from earlier in trying to make viewers feel bad for him."

Of course, Houck's obsessive hatred for Acosta -- and. as the leader of the MRC's war on Acosta, his need to criticize every single thing Acosta does --  might be generating a little sympathy for the reporter as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EDT
Farah's Book Update: Less Begging for Money, More Conspiracy-Mongering
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As the print publication date nears for WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah's religious book -- for which Farah and WND have spent months begging for money to finance a massive initial print run without demonstrating a need for one or explaining why it can't get a loan to finance such a print run if the demand is genuinely there -- WND is backing off the begging aspect, albeit without saying anything about whether it met its $400,000 fundraising goal.

It has, however, fallen back on the old WND trope of manufacturing conspiracies against the book.

In July, it got some mileage out of what it portray as a "top 500 reviewer" at Amazon seeing his reviews deleted "weeks" after he posted a "5-star rave" of Farah's book. Needless to say, Farah rushed to find a conspiracy here by ranting about the "Internet Cartel":

“There’s something very strange happening at Amazon,” said Farah. “I do not believe this is some innocent misunderstanding or glitch. There’s a pattern developing here, and I believe it is associated with Amazon’s partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a stridently anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Farah, leftist extremist organization that not only provides content guidance to Amazon, but also to Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – in other words, the entire Internet Cartel that is imposing its own cultural, spiritual and political worldview on online communications. This is just the latest example of many.”

WND then went on to reproduce, "at WND's request," the lengthy "5-star rave" about Farah's book, in which he exclaims that "Joseph Farah’s exploration of the Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament is a tour de force in Yahweh’s 'good news', His redemptive plan for mankind." WND then included a conspiratorial plea for money: "Support 'The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament' before it is aborted and sabotaged by the increasingly hostile and anti-Christian Internet Cartel." That's an ironic claim for a book whose digital edition WND touted as being available "exclusively on Amazon Kindle."

Amazon ultimately reinstated the reviewer, but it apparently wouldn't repost the review of Farah's book -- which, of course, WND portrayed as a punishment of Farah.

This episode was followed by a July 22 column from Farah complaining that the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., won't stock his book despite it being, "as some others had suggested, a 'breakthrough Bible book,' in that it systematically searched out the Good News message of redemption and restoration that I had found so prevalent in many of the books, but also in all 39 of the Hebrew Scriptures." Farah is being disingenous here; the URL "" -- a domain owned by WND -- redirects to the page selling the book at WND's online store. In other words, it's not "some others" calling his book a "breakthrough Bible book"; it's the author and the website he runs.

Farah wrote that he eventually discovered that the museum rejected his book because its mission did not involve evangelism or apologetics. Needless to say, Farah complained:

How, I wondered, could you adequately and thoroughly create and maintain the massive institution that is the Bible Museum without the evangelistic nature of the Bible itself, which is God’s inspired Word to His people?

There was some specific verbiage in the rejection letter that also struck me: “The books that we carry tend to be more on the historical and factual side of the spectrum.”

My book is just that. It’s just the facts – using almost entirely the Bible and what it actually says in the text itself. In that sense, it is as historical and factual as a book can be.

Yes, I am disappointed that my book will not be available at the Museum of the Bible.

More importantly, though, I’m disappointed in the reason.

Of course, any assertion by Farah that he's interested in "just the facts" is suspect, given WND's history of publishing fake news. The folks at the museum probably know that history as well -- and the author's background may be another reason Farah's book is not getting the traction he thinks it deserves.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Sunday, August 5, 2018
CNS Echoes White House Attacks on Ex-CIA Director Brennan

We've detailed how the pro-Trump stenographers at rushed to do damage control for President Trump following the infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki -- which included playing down the suggestion from former CIA director John Brennan that Trump committed "treason" in his obsequiousness to Putin, as well as CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey complaining that "Former CIA Director John Brennan never accused his old boss Barack Obama of 'treasonous' behavior" when Obama told then-leader Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 election. 

Now CNS is doing the Trump White House's bidding in attacking Brennan for making the suggestion.

On July 19, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman quoted Republican Sen. Rand Paul claiming that Brennan "started his illustrious career by voting for the Communist Party." That led to a harangue from Chapman claiming that the Communist Party in the U.S. "was always loyal to the USSR, a totalitarian regime responsible for more than 25 million deaths." But Paul is misleading; as we've noted, Brennan voted for the communist as a protest vote while a college student, not while a CIA employee, and he disclosed the vote during the CIA hiring process.

An article the same day from Gavi Greenspan favorably quoted Republican Rep. John Kennedy trashing Brennan as "lost in a sea of dumb." Greenspan also noted apropos of noting that Brennan voted for a communist but omitted the fact it was a protest vote and done before he joined the CIA.

A July 20 article by Susan Jones quoted Paul again, this time saying it's "alarming" that Brennan still has a security clearance even though he, in Jones' words, "attacks the president on Twitter and now works as an analyst for MSNBC." Jones also included screenshots of Brennan's tweets to show "the general flavor of his recent tweets."

CNS then joined the bandwagon to  get Brennan's security clearance pulled for criticizing Trump. Dutiful Sarah Sanders stenographer Melanie Arter cheerfully highlighted how the White House is considering pulling the security clearances of Brennan and other former intelligence officials because they purportedly "politicized" and "monetized" those clearances, and intern Max Augros was sent out to ask House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer: "Former CIA Director John Brennan has publicly declared the sitting president ‘treasonous.’ Should he be permitted to keep his security clearance?" Another intern, Emilie Cochran, had to write an article quoting Paul Ryan as saying that Trump is "trolling" people by calling for those security clearances to be pulled.

We presume the Trump White House couldn't be prouder of CNS for regurgitating its andi-Brennan talking points so faithfully.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EDT
MRC Makes Excuses for Trump -- Then Denies That's What It's Doing
Topic: Media Research Center

Peter Sifre began a July 18 Media Research Center post by a surprising admission by a pro-Trump organization: "Let’s face it: Trump had a rough press conference in Helsinki on Monday." Sifre then immediately kicked into spin mode, insisting that "this does not excuse hyperbolic responses on the part of the media" and touting how "On Monday’s edition of Hannity, radio star Mark Levin appeared to offer some historical context."

Sifre should have mentioned the MRC's cross-promotional business relationship with Levin somewhere in his post by way of disclosing a relevant conflict of interest, but he didn't.

After noting allegations that Trump, among other things, committed treason in the Putin presser in Helsinki -- which presumably come from individual commentators, which Levin and Sifre are falsely conflating as being made by the entire "liberal media" -- Sfire touted how Levin "then proceeded to give a history lesson of past foreign policy blunders with the Soviet Union" and "later criticized the Obama Administration for its action, or lack thereof regarding Russian aggression and expansion."

As long as we're going to take the whataboutism route, it's worth noting the times that the MRC's "news" division,, provided a willing platform for hyperbolic "treason" attacks on President Obama and others during the Obama years:

  • It published a 2015 column by right-wing activist J. Matt Barber claimed Obama committed treason with a prisoner exchange to release captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, declaring that "Just a few short decades ago this anti-American Marxist would not only have been accused of treason, he would have been tried for it."
  • A 2016 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheered how Republican Rep. Trent Franks said that Obama's criticism of Israel for establishing settlements in disputed East Jerusalem will "send Barack Obama's name down the corridor of history as an overt traitor to the state of Israel." Franks didn't explain how someone can be a "traitor" to another country where that person has never resided.
  • A 2012 article uncritically promoted "A new petition posted on the 'We the People' page of the White House website" that "calls for trying Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) in federal court for treason" for proposing a law to stop the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • A 2010 column by Alan Caruba declared that the Obama ad,ministration's plan for a cap-and-trade carbon credit plan was "treason."
  • And just a few days ago, MRC senior fellow Allen West was upset that the media did "not ramble on about treason" regarding Obama's 2012 hot-mic comment to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more "flexibility" after the election -- ironic since a 2012 article quoted Rep. Darrell Issa effectively doing just that, stating that "I judge that in fact he’s going to sell out our national defense after the election."

Hyperbolic claims of treason are not limited to the Obama years, though: A February article by Chapman highlighted how a partisan memo by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes on the FBI's use of FISA warrants "showed 'clear and convincing evidence of treason' and that he is sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeking 'prosecution' against the FBI's James Comey and Andrew McCabe and the DOJ's Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein."

At the end of all this, Sifre declares: "None of this is a reason to make excuses for Trump’s blunders during the press conference in Helsinki. However, Levin correctly pointed out the media’s double standard when it comes to insufficient response to Russian encroachment when a Democrat is in power."

In fact, whataboutism is very much a form of excuse-making. If Trump hadn't screwed up so badly in Helsinki, there would be no need for Levin to come to Fox News to spin things -- and for Sifre to write it up with such detail. The MRC is pro-Trump state media, after all, and it must do such things on behalf of its leader.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EDT
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Irony Abounds In WND Managing Editor's Defense of Trump, His Employer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his monthly-or-so plea for money, WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian serves up some unintentional irony:

We are living in amazing but unsettling times. Millions of Americans – while more grateful than ever that they “dodged a bullet” in 2016 by electing Donald Trump and avoiding the sheer horror of a Hillary Clinton presidency – are increasingly appalled at the ongoing campaign to undo the results and promise of that election.

We are bombarded daily with increasingly bizarre and surreal news reports. Like the outrageously biased Mueller investigation into Trump’s non-existent “Russia collusion.” Like embarrassingly deranged Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters constantly claiming President Trump is mentally incompetent and must be impeached. Like the Washington “swamp” – which includes treacherous, self-serving, never-Trump establishment Republicans – working daily to undermine America’s duly elected president as he tirelessly keeps his promises to revive America’s economy, stop the tidal wave of illegal immigration, protect America from terrorists, and successfully pursue the Reagan policy of “peace through strength” in North Korea, Iran and other potential nuclear powder kegs around the world.

“The swamp” is using all the forces at its disposal to discredit and block every good, sensible, job-saving, freedom-saving and life-saving policy the Trump administration tries to implement.

Kupelian seems to have forgotten (as it often does) that he and WND did to President Obama what he claims others are doing to Trump. Bizarre and surreal "news" reports? Check. Embarrassingly deranged people declaring Obama is mentally incompetent and must be impeached? Check and check. Working daily to undermine America’s duly elected president? You betcha.

Kupelian's irony continues:

As a veteran journalist, I can say unequivocally that today’s “mainstream” news establishment is more unprofessional, unprincipled, unhinged, biased, lazy, dishonest, corrupt – and, in some cases, flat-out insane – than at any time during my 35 years as a newsman.

Indeed, as I wrote in “The Marketing of Evil,” in today’s America “no institution is more complicit in making evil appear good and good appear evil” than the news media.

But, really, what could be more unprofessional, biased, lazy, dishonest, corrupt -- and, in some cases, flat-out insane -- and the tide of fake news and Islamophobia WND has unleashed upon us? It's also worth noting that WND has yet to publicly renounce its relationship with Paul Nehlen, the far-right Wisconsin congressional candidate who became toxic when he went hard on anti-Semitism and white nationalism.

Kupelian then declared that "one thing that is critically needed is a genuinely truth-oriented, pro-American alternative media to counteract the treacherous performance of the elite “mainstream” press," then laughably claimed that "for 21 years WND has been at the forefront of this movement, having in large measure launched the 'real news' revolution as the first independent online news-gathering company."

So sucking up to Trump is "real news" now? WND's eight-year Obama birther obsession is "real news"?

What Kupelian insists is WND "fighting the good fight" is, in reality, nothing more than partisan hack-job propaganda. It seems he's drunk too much of the conspiratorial Kool-Aid to understand the difference.

Like his boss, Joseph Farah, Kupelian will never admit that WND's years of said hackish propaganda -- not any grand conspiracy by Google and Facebook, whose bias is toward factual journalism, not the fake, biased news WND loves -- is why WND is circling the drain -- again -- and why these two leaders must continually beg readers for money.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT

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