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Wednesday, August 22, 2018
CNS Yet Again Puts Pro-Trump Stenography Before Fact-Checking
Topic:'s Jonathan Mizrahi lets more false Trump White House stenography go unchallenged in an Aug. 1 article:

In a press briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that, “while we certainly support freedom of the press, we also support freedom of speech, and we think that those things go hand in hand.”

On Tuesday night, CNN reporter Jim Acosta was heckled by Trump supporters at the president’s rally in Tampa Bay, Fla., chanting things such as “fake news” and “CNN sucks.”

“When it comes to the media, the president does think that the media holds a responsibility,” Sanders said in response to a question about the treatment of Acosta. “We fully support a free press, but there also comes a high level of responsibility with that.”

Sanders continued to explain that the media has reported classified information that has been harmful to the United States on numerous occasions, citing an instance when it was reported that the United States was able to listen to Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone in the late 90’s, reporting that ultimately caused the loss of valuable intelligence.

In fact, as the Washington Post explained, the claim that the U.S. was monitoring bin Laden's satellite phone had been reported in the media as early as 1996 -- well before a 1998 Washington Times article that Sanders and others have blamed as the "leak" that purportedly stopped bin Laden's use of his satellite phone -- meaning the information was already in the public domain. Needless to say, (Sanders did not mention that the "the media" she's attacking over this supposed leak is a right-leaning newspaper.) It's more likely that bin Laden stopped using the phone as a reaction to a 1998 U.S. cruise missile attack on his traning camps.

Meanwhile, over at the Washington Times, highly biased pro-Trump writer Ronald Kessler offered his own spin, blaming a Washington Post story that ran four days before the Times story did and citing anonymous "CIA officials" as supporting the claim that the article caused bin Laden to stop using his satellite phone. Kessler didn't specifically contradict any of the claims the Post made, instead insisting that Sanders' claim was "accurate."

This is just the latest example of CNS putting pro-Trump stenography before basic journalistic functions like fact-checking.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 8:56 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
WND Columnist Gets History Wrong In Lamenting Death of Russian Tsar
Topic: Media Research Center

Kent Bailey, head of the He-Man Trump Lovers Club, spins a little history in his Aug. 3 WorldNetDaily column:

On a July night in 1918, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their five children were brutally murdered by Bolshevik assassins at the direct order of Vladimir Lenin or at least with his complicity. Those who agreed to accompany the tsar and his family into imprisonment were also killed. All were shot, bayoneted and clubbed to death and the bodies taken to the Koptyoki forest where they were stripped and mutilated. The bodies were first thrown down a mine shaft, but later hastily buried in unmarked graves in several locations.

By virtue of both accident and search over the years, most of the bodies have been found. On July 18, 1998, the bodies of the tsar, his wife and all but two children were laid to rest amid great pomp and ceremony in St. Petersburg. Bodies of son Alexei and daughter Marie were never found.

Now, this is a very telling beginning to the communist revolution in Russia and a harbinger of things to come. A group of barely human and hate-consumed thugs burst into the Alexander Palace and brutally murdered one of the most beautiful and most photographed families in history. This was not just a political assassination where the goal is simply to eliminate enemies; it was a bloody celebration of the great and all-consuming sin of envy. This is what Marxism is all about – first envy, then hate, then protest, and then destroy and replace with communism.

That's a highly simplistic view of  those events -- starting with the claim that "barely human" communists "burst into the Alexander Palace and brutally murdered" the tsar and his family. As the Wikipedia page to which Bailey links points out, Tsar Nicholas and his family were held under protective custody at Alexander Palace starting in March 1917 after Nicholas' abdication -- following the first revolution in Russia, the February Revolution, which was not communist-directed. The October Revolution later that year was led by Lenin; the Romanovs were not executed until July 1918.

Bailey's suggestion that the Romanovs deserved to live because they were "one of the most beautiful and most photographed families in history" ignores that numerous events led to that revolution that were generally blamed on tsarist leadership -- military failures, governmental corruption, failure to respond to popular demand for modernization and mismanagement of the economy.

That's a much more historically accurate of the causes of the Russian Revolution than "envy," and it helps to explain why the Bolsheviks executed the Romanovs with such viciousness better than Baily's kneejerk blaming of it on the purported nature of communism.

Bailey does sort of get that right later in his column, admitting that "Tsar Nicholas was hated because he was a spoiled elitist, a dictator coming from a family of dictators, an oppressor of the poor, and he did little to combat the cultural backwardness of Russia in comparison to Europe and America. And, yes, there was the envy factor." But he then turns that into gushing praise for his favorite president, citing none other than far-right activist Wayne Allyn Root, last seen here hypocritically fretting about "white genocide" in South Africa:

But none of these factors hold true for Donald Trump – except for envy of his monumental business success, his unadulterated masculinity and, I think, of his “beautiful” family as well. Townhall writer Wayne Allyn Root wryly says that “everyone hates Trump,” but just look at what he has accomplished in his first two years. The economy is humming like never before with a 4.1 percent growth in GDP; his poll numbers are steadily increasing; major diplomatic inroads have been made with both Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin; and, as Root says, Trump is on his way to a Nobel Peace Prize.

But Bailey concludes his column by getting it wrong again: "As with Tsar Nicholas, Trump’s great sin was to stand in the way of 'progress' as defined by the leftist elite, and for that he and his family have been given the 'death penalty' in the hearts, minds and souls of the Marxist masses."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EDT
MRC Attacks 'Social Justice Warrior' NFL Hall of Fame Inductee, Gives Suspected Murderer Inductee A Pass
Topic: Media Research Center

Jay Maxson, the mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger, spent an Aug. 5 post complaining about Randy Moss' induction speech at the NFL Hall of Fame. Maxson huffed that "just another high-profile forum for political statements, like the Oscars, the Grammys, the ESPYs and other programs used by leftists to promote their controversial views," singling out Moss for wearing "a tie bearing the names of a dozen black men and women killed in altercations with police or citizens. Call it the opening shot of protest for the 2018 NFL season."

Maxson went on to whine: "Media also seem to have amnesia about the pattern of disrespectful behavior that made Moss a controversial figure throughout his football career. In 2002, he bumped a female traffic control agent for half a block, until she fell down, with his SUV. Moss, who had marijuana in his vehicle, was arrested on suspicion of a felony assault charge. Since he's now officially a social justice warrior, none of that needs attention from the media though.

By contrast, Maxson wrote, "Legendary Baltimore linebacker and new Hal [sic] of Famer Ray Lewis took a more positive approach as he invoked the late Dr. Martin Luther King and extolled the audience to look at what unites us, as opposed to the divisive protests marring NFL games (and Hall of Fame ceremonies)." Maxson added an excerpt from Lewis' speech: "Are you living every day to make this world better? Think what we can do if we work together as a country ... teaching our nation to love each other again."

Maxson seems to have amnesia about Lewis' pattern disrespectful behavior that made Moss a controversial figure throughout his football career -- specifically, as we noted when MRC "news" division exhibited a similar amnesia, the fact that Lewis was charged with murderin the deaths of two people allegedly stabbed to death by Lewis and/or members of his entourage following a Super Bowl party in 2000. Lewis managed to plea bargain down to a charge of mere obstruction of justice, and he paid undisclosed sums to the families of the deceased.

But Lewis is all about family and love now, so Maxson and the MRC aren't so gauche as to bring up his criminal record from a time when he was less loving -- and Moss becomes the bad guy for bringing up uncomfortable subjects.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EDT
Monday, August 20, 2018
Newsmax Writers Rant About 'White Genocide' in South Africa, Ignore Black Genocide There
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Savage asserted in an Aug. 2 column:

There is a genocide going on in South Africa as its leaders are set to change their constitution to legally steal white farmers’ lands and throw them out of the country.


Unfortunately, the African people have not learned from history and they're repeating this travesty because they're kicking the whites off the land in South Africa. Behind this movement is a prominent and close associate of none other than the great Nelson Mandela, the god of gods to the liberal class.

Murders are increasing as they're slaughtering men, women, children, and infants in front of the mothers and mothers in front of infants. These criminals are raping the women in front of their fathers on the farms.

Now of course, you haven't heard any of this from CNN or MSNBC. Not even Fox News will run it, but I'll bring it to light because this is a genocide occurring in front of our eyes.

Wayne Allyn Root followed up in an Aug. 9 column by demonstrating just how afflicted by Obama Derangement Syndrome he remains. After a recitation of the fraudulent assertion that "over 90 percent of President Trump’s coverage by the U.S. mainstream media is negative" and short detour to rant about how "Obama's IRS tried to destroy my life," Root huffed:

This time it’s blatant discrimination, racism, and hate crimes by the black majority. This time it’s legal for blacks to steal the land of whites. This time it’s blacks murdering whites with impunity.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ruling ANC (African National Congress) have made it legal to forcibly take land from white farmers and property owners. That was the first step.

Now comes the next radical step. The president and his Congress are changing the Constitution to allow the South African government to forcibly take any white person’s land, this time without any compensation. Pure theft. Because of the color of their skin, white families are left in poverty. Left homeless. Left without a livelihood.

Worse, the president and several of his political allies have threatened to murder white property owners who refuse to hand over their property. They actually said they have no plans at the moment for a “genocide.” The inference being that if white farmers and property owners put up a fight, the next step will be a genocide.

An emboldened citizenry is already taking matters into its own hands. A UK newspaper reports one white farmer is murdered every five days in South Africa. Hundreds of white land owners have been killed or badly injured in mob attacks since 2016.

Yet the world says nothing. The media says nothing. Politicians say nothing. Hollywood celebrities say nothing. There are no protests, or calls for boycotts. Hard to believe.

Enter Obama. The former U.S. President recently accepted a speech in South Africa. He undoubtedly collected a fortune for that speech. That's called "blood money." Obama was paid with money tainted by racism, theft, and murder. How badly does an ex-president need money? Why would he accept this money?

Worse, he didn’t use that platform to say a word about the new apartheid.

Worse yet, he stood on that stage next to the president of South Africa, lending him credibility.

Then, worst of all, he praised the president who presides over a country stealing white owned land, murdering whites and threatening genocide.


Obama praises the president of a nation murdering and robbing white people because of their race. No one says a word.

What Obama did in South Africa should the biggest news in America. The fact that you never even heard about it, tells you everything about the fraud, deceit and fake news of the mainstream media.

Let's unpack this. Yes, South Africa is seizing farmland from white farmers, but they point to the fact that white farmers own or control between 23 percent and 73 percent of farmland in the country, depending on how you count it, compared to 1.2 percent for black farmers. Is that seizure a problem? Yes, especially since it's being done without what white farmers claim is adequate compensation.

Contrary to Root's wild assertions, Ramaphosa is seen as a moderate who is trying to slow down the rush by more radical political forces pushing accelerated land seizures without compensation.

From here, Savage and Root let their Obama derangement and sympathy for one particular race get the better of them. While Root baselessly speculates that Obama was paid a hefty sum of "blood money" for his speech, we could find nothing indicating what, if anything, he was paid.

Further, the whole "white genocide" appears to be severely overplayed. South Africa's largest commercial farmers union says there were only 47 white farmers murdered in the past year (an Afrikaner lobbying group claims 84). But as long as we're throwing around the "genocide" claim, that word appears to apply much more aptly to the black popuation in South Africa, as Australia's ABC reports:

No-one claims that there were more than 100 farm murders in 2017, a year in which the South African police recorded more than 19,000 murders in the country as a whole. Most of those victims, of course, are black.

According to Gareth Newham, head of Justice and Violence Prevention at the internationally-respected Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, there has been a 40 per cent increase in all kinds of armed attacks since 2012 — hold-ups of armoured security vans, home and business invasions, street muggings.

"We have a real problem with violence," Newham says.

"And so for us, sitting in South Africa looking at these 19,000 murders — suddenly there's international attention on the murders of white farmers, it just seems completely disproportionate.

"There is evidence that attacks on white farmers in South Africa are largely driven by criminal intent, greed."

Strange that neither Savage nor Root mention the fact that murders of blacks in South Africa are a much greater problem than that of white farmers.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Still Flips for Trump on Employment Data
The contrast between's relentlessly negative reporting on unemployment numbers under President Obama and its relentlessly rah-rah reporting on them under Trump becomes more glaring than ever. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
WND Columnist Is Sad Tax Cheats Can't Flee The Country
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in with Lowell Ponte,he was in permanent meltdown mode over Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in particular. He seems to have gotten better -- only now he's a columnist for WorldNetDaily and co-author of a book with former WND columnist and onetime dubious WND advertiser and business partner Craig R. Smith.

Ponte's July 29 WND column is a weird lament that tax cheats have trouble fleeing the country -- and, thus, their tax debts -- because the IRS can revoke their passports:

A new wall against emigrants has just been erected on America’s borders, but few citizens are aware of this invisible barrier.

This is not the wall President Donald Trump promised. This new wall does nothing to keep illegal aliens out. It also does nothing to prevent invading illegals from collecting social benefits virtually from the moment they arrive – thereby picking the pockets of American taxpayers.

This new wall is a barrier not to immigrants but to emigrants, designed to stop wealthy targeted taxpaying citizens from departing the United States.

President Barack Obama authorized the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the passport of any taxpayer whom the IRS arbitrarily deems to have “seriously delinquent tax debt.”

In our analysis of 19 little-noticed government traps designed to loot American citizens, Craig R. Smith and I in our book “Money, Morality & The Machine” warn the IRS now has the power to capriciously shut off anyone’s passport at the push of a computer button.

Citizens targeted “would not be permitted to leave the United States,” we write. “These citizens would be required to pay the demanded tax and penalties to exit, or live out their lives without leaving the United States under a kind of nationwide house arrest.”

This is not President Trump’s Great American Wall to stop invaders. It is more like the Berlin Wall that the East German government erected to prevent its serf taxpayers from escaping Communism.

It also resembles Communist Cuba, which claims that its citizens are free to leave … IF they reimburse what the Marxist government has paid for their healthcare, housing, food, education and more.


The IRS has just announced it is about to revoke the passports of 362,000 U.S. citizens it claims owe $50,000 or more in back taxes and penalties. Millions more could soon be denied freedom to travel outside the U.S. over much smaller purported tax debts.

This IRS power, opines ZeroHedge, “shows that you’re not even really a citizen. You’re just renting your citizenship from the government. And when they believe (in their sole discretion) that you owe them income tax, they’ll take it away from you.”

The IRS can now, in effect, confiscate your right to leave the U.S. by claiming you owe taxes. You are guilty unless you can meet the burden of proving your innocence.

Silicon Valley billionaires bought ranches in New Zealand, assuming they could escape there if our society broke down. Did they know President Obama gave the IRS the power to shake them down by instantly turning off their passports and then demanding a huge “exit fee”?

Ponte never explains why tax cheats shouldn't just pay off that "seriously delinquent tax debt" before they leave the country, nor does he prove that the IRS' process is applied "capriciously" or "arbitrarily."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Sunday, August 19, 2018
LeBron Derangement At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is mad that LeBron James won't shut up and dribble.

Following James' interview with CNN's Don Lemon, in which he said he would never meed with President Trump because of his expressed views on racial issues, the MRC's Alex Sears declared that "James has been ridiculed for his political hot takes" and lamented that "he refused to harbor the idea that a sit down with the president would be a good thing. For someone who considers themselves knowledgeable enough to comment on politics, he sure doesn’t see the benefit in reaching across the aisle."

Then, Scott Whitlock was upset that another media outlet reported what James said, framing it as the outlet having "touted James' attacks on Trump."

Krstine Marsh ranted further about the Lemon-James interview, complaining that "Lemon kept provoking the athlete to attack Trump, from his border policy to his comments on the NFL anthem protests," then huffed that in a later CNN panel discussion, "Lemon and his panelists then raged against the right for claiming that journalists or any public figure had to be “one-dimensional” and not comment on anything unrelated to their field of work." Yet that's exactly what the MRC is doing here.

Because pro athletes who espouse anything other than conservative politics is an exploitable issue, MRC officials Tim Grahm and Brent Bozell weighed in, attacking James for refusing to meet with Trump: "Pro athletes are free to make that choice, and they feel they should be immune from criticism for making it. Oh, to be coddled like that." Funny, Graham feels that way about anything Trump does.

Graham and Bozell then took a dip into Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome:

[A]thletes can often be divisive – and have recently relished that role – whether they demonstrate a lack of sportsmanship, or get on the wrong side of the law, or they feel they need to use their fame to score political points that offend so many.

Why must the Left always try to create the often false impression that conservatives divide, and they unite? The national anthem, for example, is a time when conservatives call for unity. The kneelers are the original dividers.

When Trump attacked both Lemon and James in a tweet, specifically attacking Lemon's intelligence -- which brought claims of Trump repeated denigrating the intelligence of blacks -- the MRC went into defense mode: Nicholas Fondacaro declared "attacks on intelligence were something Trump preferred to use on African-Americans, it was actually something he has used on a lot of people," and he attacked in a later post the "false assertion that the President reserved insults of intelligence to African-Americans."

Even the reason for James' media tour -- his funding of a school for underprivileged students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio --  couldn't escape criticism, though you'd think such a philanthropic effort might be worth a little praise. Jay Maxson sneered that "James said his funding of the school comes with political strings attached. He endorsed Clinton two years ago and he shilled for ObamaCare; wonder how he leans?" sarcastically adding, "These young children should do well in political science class." He then attacked the media for placing the school James funded "on a pedestal before the first report cards have been issued. Time and longitudinal studies will demonstrate the efficacy of this approach to education."

That sure didn't stop Maxson from attacking James for opening his school, though.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally

There was one clear winner of's propaganda efforts in July. See if you can spot it as we review CNS' stenography efforts on behalf of its favorite sources.

Judiclal Watch: 2

Mark Levin: 17

Franklin Graham: 3

White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter:7

Our year-to-date tally so far:

  • Judicial Watch: 39
  • Mark Levin: 75
  • Franklin Graham: 20
  • WH press secretary: 74

It was a hot month for Levin, who has pushed ahead of Arter's White House stenography for the year.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:58 PM EDT
Saturday, August 18, 2018
WND Complains About 'Knockoff' Film Hyping 'Last Pope'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily whines in an anonymously written Aug. 12 article:

The History Channel is airing a documentary tonight with the same title – “The Last Pope?” – and premise as WND Films release from 2013.

“It’s a shock to us,” said Joseph Farah, co-producer of the 2013 documentary that focuses on Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” which emerged in the late 1500s and made predictions about future popes, predicting the last one would be the 112th.

“We just found out about this knockoff. It’s the same title – the same premise. Our documentary was the first to take an objective and balanced look that includes the official Vatican position and opinions and insights from a wide variety of Catholic and non-Catholic experts who studied the mystery.”

Pope Francis is the 112th. According to Malachy, the last pope would serve until the return of Jesus.

The WND Films project was shot on location in Rome, Geneva, Belfast and the U.S. to study the venerated Irish prophet known as St. Malachy.

Here’s what the History Channel says about its movie: “Nine hundred years ago, a Catholic Saint named Malachy was struck with a prophetic series of visions that predicted the identity of each future pope. This ancient prophecy, buried within the Vatican for centuries, suggests that Pope Francis, the latest in the holy line which stretches back nearly 2,000 years, may be destined to be the last pope. It’s a warning of cataclysmic proportions, and one that experts believe is remarkably reinforced by some of the most famous writings and miraculous visions in all of Christianity, which may point to an imminent end to the papacy, a shattering of the Church as we know it, or worse, the apocalyptic end of days.”

“It sounds a little more sensational than our movie – possibly more exploitative,” says Farah. “Gee, I wonder what took them so long?”

More sensational and exploitative than WND? The hell you say!Yeah, claiming that the current pope may be the final one is not a sensational claim at all.

Well, the trailer for the film at the WND online store doesn't exactly scream "sensational" -- it's  mostly alternating shots of B-roll footage of street scenes in Rome and Belfast and people being interviewed in church sanctuaries, which speaks more to low-budget production values than to an artistic choice not to sensationalize something.

And then there are the people WND features in its film. One of them is Tom Horn, who has a history of dubious claims (all promoted by WND, of course); he bought into the Mayan prophecy that the world would end in 2012, and he also wrote a crazy-sounding book called "Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project L.U.C.I.F.E.R. and the Vatican’s Astonishing Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior."

Also popping up in the trailer is Jerome Corsi, who's not sensational at all and has since been tweeting conspiracy theories like "Socialist POPE FRANCIS VATICAN &LGBT gay drug-sex orgy OUTRAGE" -- nope, nothing sensational about that. WND promoted its film in a 2013 article by Corsi purporting to speak for "many Catholics" who are "wondering if the Catholic Church will survive" Pope Francis' papacy. Corsi also wrote an article about "the pope's Bildergerger guru," so we can't possibly imagine he'd be saying anything sensational in WND's film.

Finally, WND's pope film is apparently so well regarded that the only promotional blurb it could come up with for its online store is from ... Farah himself. And it's a pretty bland one as far as blurbs go: "Strong sales of books on the papal prophecies of St. Malachy suggest a strong fascination with the topic. This documentary is the first to take an objective and balanced view that includes the official Vatican position and opinions and insights from a wide variety of both Catholic and non-Catholic experts."

Despite not having seen either of these films, we'll trust the History Channel's treatment over WND's.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:00 AM EDT
Friday, August 17, 2018
FLASHBACK: When The MRC Loved Secret Taping
Topic: Media Research Center

Secret or deceptive taping is suddenly an issue at the Media Research Center.

Callista Ring complained that Sacha Baron Cohen's new show was all about "ridiculing conservatives" in taped encounters as part of a "fake, absurd program" done in character, most of which "mock conservatives through humiliation, the cheapest form of humor." Lindsay Kornick threw more shade at the show, huffing over its "appalling targeting of conservative figures disguised as entertainment. Of course, the result is not entertaining in the slightest which explains why hardly anybody watches it."

And when Omarosa Manigault Newman began promoting her book detailing her time working in the Trump White House, the MRC's Curtis Houck denounced her as making "salacious, unverified claims." When she revealed tapes of conversations she had with administration officials, Kyle Drennen whined that the media was giving too much time to them despite Omarosa's "major credibility problems."

The MRC then swiftly moved into whataboutism mode. Tim Graham and Brent Bozell tried to distract from Omarosa's tapes by reliving NBC "suppressed" Juanita Broaddrick's accusation that Bill Clinton raped her "until the threat of removing their darling President Clinton from office had passed" (though Graham and Bozell suppress the fact that -- speaking of credibility problems -- Broaddrick had spent nearly two decades claiming he didn't). Then, the ultimate whataboutism: A post by Geoffrey Dickens headlined "FLASHBACK: When The Media Despised Secret Taping," in which he complained that "the networks" hyped Omarosa's "negative takes" and played "audio from her surreptitious tapes," when "In 1998 when Linda Tripp recorded her conversations with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky about her trysts with Clinton, the former Pentagon employee was savaged as a 'treacherous' 'back-stabbing' 'betrayer' by journalists at TV and print outlets."

As long as we're going to play the whataboutism game, let's look back at a time when the MRC loved secret tapes.

In 2015, when the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress secretly taped Planned Parenthood officials, then edited those tapes out of context to make claims about things that, for the most part, didn't actually happen, the MRC first nitpicked coverage, complaining that fetuses were accurately described as fetuses instead of the conservatively correct term of "unborn children" and that CMP leader David Daleiden was accurately described as an "extremist" (as if secretly taping people as part of a calculated political attack isn't extreme). The MRC also turned a blind eye to how the CMP selectively edited its secretly recorded tapes, arguing that it was OK because CMP ultimately released unedited versions of its tapes (which came some time after the edited versions and more often than not showed the activities CMP attacked didn't happen as described in the edited versions). Of course, the MRC preferred the term "undercover video" instead of "secretly recorded" and never saw fit to question the credibility of Daleiden and the CMP.

Like everything else the MRC does, this is predicated solely on whatever advances whatever right-wing agenda it's currently trying to push.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT
WND's Chastain Wants Us To Forgive Trump's Sexual Sins
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jane Chastain has a large blind spot when it comes to the sexual foibles of conservative politicians. She gave Roy Moore a pass for perving on teenage girls, trying to slut-shame one of his accusers and insisting that Moore had led a "moral life"; she also dismissed the credible claim that Trump paid off Stormy Daniels after an affair by calling her a "super-whore" and declaring that "We knew that Donald Trump was no choir boy when we elected him."

Chastain tries to do more excuse-making for Trump in her Aug. 1 column while also bringing up allegations of sexual misconduct by CBS chief Les Moonves. She noted that Moonves had received some statements of support, and that Trump deserves the same pass:

Isn’t it a shame that our current president, who has done so much to turn this country around, while taking no salary for his work as the nation’s chief executive, isn’t given the same consideration? After all, the charges against him are at least a decade or more old and don’t involve the workplace.

Men like Moonves, post-Clinton, probably will not survive. Some shouldn’t. However, to allow Moonves to be forgiven would, indeed, be viewed as a double standard for those who hate Trump so much that they now believe any past sexual sins should disqualify him from holding the highest office in the land. They want Trump impeached so badly many seem willing to believe any charge, no matter how spurious, how ludicrous or how old, just to justify their claim against the president’s legitimacy.

Trump, like Moonves, is from another era, where men often measured their manhood against their ability to seduce women. Even if they had no intention of doing anything improper, they were often guilty of bragging about this ability to other men. Some of these men actually viewed making suggestive remarks or flirting as a way to give a woman a compliment. I’ve encountered my share. Smart women either changed jobs, ignored these clumsy advances or found a way to let a man know this was not acceptable while letting him keep his dignity.

However, none of the women who claim Trump had affairs with them or one-night stands or gave them unwanted attention were his employees as was the case with Moonves. In fact, many sought his attention.

Trump is well-known for promoting women in his industry, like Louise Sunshine who rose to executive vice president of the Trump organization. Sunshine worked for Trump for 15 years and has admitted that he often chided her about her appearance. However, she wasn’t offended. She said, “It was a reminder that I wasn’t perfect. … It was just his way.”

They and the others who were promoted by Trump defend him to the hilt and forgave him for his imperfections. Isn’t it time the rest of the country took a deep breath and did the same?

Chastain also called out Bill Clinton's "sexual involvement with an intern, no less, in the hallowed Oval Office." She said nothing about forgiving his imperfections.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Thursday, August 16, 2018
CNS Cheers Ray Lewis' Embrace of Bible, Hides That He Was Once Charged With Murder

Emilie Cochran gushes in an Aug. 6 article:

In his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis called for putting prayer back in schools and encouraging people to follow God and the Bible.

“For me, my guiding purpose is to carry out God’s destiny for my life,” said Lewis at the Aug. 4 event.  “How do I do that? By not just loving my neighbors as I love myself, but by challenging people to walk with me in teaching our nation how to love each other again.”

“One of the greatest gifts my mom ever gave me was the Bible,” he said.  “The Bible made me who I am today. Ephesians 3:20 says, ‘Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above far beyond all you ever ask, think or imagine, according to the power that’s working within you.’”

Concluding his remarks, Lewis said, “Walk with me out of here today with the mission in your mind, in your heart. Vow to be a leader in your community. Vow to be a ray of light in the world around you. Together there’s nothing we can’t do.”

In response to school shootings in the United States, Lewis also said, “Can we please put prayer back in schools? Please?”

Cochran is curiously silent on Lewis' criminal record. Lewis was charged with two counts of murder in 2000 following a post-Super Bowl party after which members of Lewis' entourage (and Lewis himself, reportedly) got into a fight with members of another group, two of whom were stabbed to death (members of his entourage had purchased knives the previous day). Blood from one of the victims was found in Lewis' limo, Lewis told his limo passengers to keep quiet about what they saw, and the white suit he was wearing that night was never found.

Lewis ultimately agreed to a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to a much lesser charge of obstruction of justice, for which he was sentenced to a mere year of probation, in exchange for testifying against two companions (who were ultimately acquitted). The families of both victims sued Lewis and received undisclosed settlements.

This is all relevant information to readers regarding a man who now talks about love and the Bible. It's a puzzlilng omission from CNS, which by contrast can't stop obsessing about Peter Strzok's sex life, in which nobody was stabbed to death.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EDT
WND Columnist Rants About 'Fake News,' Forgets WND Published His Column
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily column by John A. Wemhoff -- who describes himself as "a former international banker" who "closely follows current events" -- is an open letter to the New York Times in response to its meeting with President Trump. What follows is our usual right-wing anti-media claptrap.

One bit of claptrap he repeats is that "The Media Research Center found media coverage during the first 18 months of the Trump presidency was 92 percent negative" -- an utterly fraudulent claim. The claptrap continues:

When President Trump decries “Fake News” and calls the mainstream media “the enemy of the people,” he is stating the truth. The media’s disingenuous umbrage is reminiscent of those who called President Harry Truman “Give-’em-Hell Harry” for his plain-spokenness. Truman famously replied, “I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them, and they say it’s Hell.”

President Trump is not being “divisive” in his comments. It is you, Mr. Sulzberger, and your fellow travelers in the mainstream media, who – to apply your own words – are “undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and … eroding … our country’s … free speech and a free press.” Trump is just calling you out.

You speculate that President Trump’s comments are “contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.” Where is your outrage, Mr. Sulzberger, about the blood spilled in the 538 actual attacks on Trump supporters (including the near-fatal shooting of a U.S. congressmen) since the election?

Ironically, Wemhoff's column appeared the day before a caller to C-SPAN threatened to shoot CNN hosts Brian Stelter and Don Lemon.

Also ironically, Wemhoff failed to notice that his column is published at WND, which is notorious for publishing fake news. We suspect he will not bring that particular subject up in a future column.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard on TV Hosts' Alleged Conflicts of Interest, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center

In May, we noted how the Media Research Center obsesses over how NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd's wife works as a Democratic strategist -- while it defended Greta Van Susteren when she frequently had Sarah Palin as a guest on her Fox News show without disclosing that her husband worked as an adviser to Palin.

The double standard continues: Tim Graham huffed in an Aug. 2 post about how "Mrs. Todd has donated $13,250 to federal candidates so far in this election cycle, all of them Democrats," denouncing this as an "ongoing conflict of interest in political coverage" for Todd.

Let's look at another relevant comparison. Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has long been a right-wing activist and was particularly active during the anti-Obama Tea Party years. That's a potential conflict of interest that much more serious than Todd's, since issues of justice are at stake instead of journalism (not that anyone at the MRC has uncovered an instance in which any candidate linked to Todd's wife got favorable treatment on TV from Todd).

Needless to say, the MRC rushed to defend the Thomases.

In a 2010 post, Matthew Balan touted how CNN's Jeffrey Toobin "defended Mrs. Thomas' grassroots conservative work , while Graham complained that "Media outlets from CNN to NPR to the Washington Post have picked up on the Los Angeles Times story suggesting there could be conflicts of interest for Virginia Thomas to start her group Liberty Central while she's married to Justice Clarence Thomas," an article Balan also reference.

When then-MSNBC host Keith Olbermann called for Thomas to resign from the Supreme Court of the conflict, Noel Sheppard sarcastically claimed, "isn't it marvelous how a cable news anchor shows such disrespect to the wife of a Supreme Court justice?" (Though it's about the same level that Graham shows for Todd's wife.) Sheppard then huffed that "despite Olbermann's blathering, the only potential conflict here would be if the Supreme Court heard a case involving a donor to Liberty Central. At that point, there are procedures in place to deal with it."

Later in 2010, Kyle Drennen groused that "questions about Thomas's political involvement" were being raised again following reports that Ginni Thomas called Anita Hill (whom the MRC can't stop hating a quarter-century on) demanding an apology, and that "implied that since Virginia Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas her conservative activism in a conflict of interest." And in 2011, Graham lamented that it was revealed that Clarence Thomas never reported his wife's income from right-wing activist groups on financial disclosure forms and that he had to go back many years and revised the forms, and lamented evenmore that then-Rep. Anthony Weiner insisted that Clarence Thomas "should recuse himself on the constitutionality of ObamaCare" if and when that came to the Supreme Court because of that.

Lest anyone accuse the MRC of not knowing what side its bread is buttered on, MRC chief Brent Bozell sat down for a 2012 interview with Ginni Thomas -- by this time working for the right-wing Daily Caller -- "to discuss a wide variety of issues ranging from media bias to the future of the conservative movement." The MRC version of it does not indicate whether discussions of conflicts of interest took place, but since this was a friendly interview with a friendly media outlet, we're guessing it didn't.

Lately, Ginni Thomas has been spreading fake news on social media. Needless to say, the MRC doesn't want to talk about that, let alone what that might mean for her husband.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Caught Sending Article to Kobach Before Publication
Topic: Newsmax

For a journalist, letting a source see your story before it's published is a tricky issue. While it can be acceptable to double-check a quote with a source, letting that source see the entire article beforehand is generally frowned upon.

So it's worth noting that ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman -- while looking into recently released documents from the failed voter fraud commission convened by President Trump then disbanded when many states refused to cooperate with it over its apparent bias -- found an email from commission head Kris Kobach showing that Newsmax correspondent John Gizzi had sent an article he wrote to him that was, according to Huseman, "asking for his thoughts." That story ultimately appeared at Newsmax in July 2017.

Gizzi responded that because he doesn't record his interviews, "it is a good policy to run quotes past subject & thus avoid 'corrections' & 'retractions' from subbject [sic] later." But as Huseman pointed out: "You didn't just run the quotes. You sent the entire article to Kobach for approval. That's not normal.

Gizzi then admitted that he sent his entire article to "election law experts" Jay O'Callaghan and Hans von Spakovsky. O'Callaghan is with the conservative Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research, and von Spakovsky is with the conservative Heritage Foundation and was a member of the voter fraud commission. Huseman responded: "Thanks for this clarification. It's interesting that Hans didn't turn that email over to the commission."

In that article, Gizzi highlighted that "Andrew Spieles, a James Madison University student, pled guilty to charges he submitted 18 fraudulent voter registrations last year. Spieles, who worked for the Democratic Party-affiliated organization Harrisonburg Votes, was sentenced to up to 120 days in prison." But as the fact-checkers at Snopes report, Gizzi apparently got his information about Spieles' alleged partisanship from the Department of Justice; it could find "no website, Twitter account or Facebook page currently listed" under the "Harrisonburg Votes" name, and Virginia voters are not registered by party affiliation.

Gizzi cited the Spieles story in an attempt to undercut the only non-conservative he quotes in his story, then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. He doesn't try to contradict any of the claims he quotes from Kobach and von Spakovsky.

Still, submitting the entire article to Kobach is not a good look, especially given how unlikely it is that Gizzi would report uncritically on him. After all, Newsmax is a pro-Trump website whose CEO considers himself a close personal friend of the president.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 PM EDT

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