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Saturday, October 13, 2018
WND Censors Retraction of Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On Sept. 30, the Washington Times published a retraction of a column by James Lyons which claimed that Aaron Rich, the brother of Seth Rich -- the murdered Democratic national Committee staffer about whom WorldNetDaily has pushed conspiracy theories for two years -- helped Seth download DNC emails and provide them to Wikileaks. "The Washington Times understands that law enforcement officials have interviewed Mr. Rich and that he has cooperated with their investigation. The Washington Times did not intend to imply that Mr. Rich has obstructed justice in any way, and The Washington Times retracts and disavows any such implication," the retraction further states.

Despite spending a good part of the past two years obsessed with Seth Rich conspiracies, WND has not reported on the retraction.That's a bit dicey on its part, because WND has highlighted Lyon's bogus claim.

A March 3 article cribbed from an item at the fake-news operation Zero Hedge about Lyons' column, though neither WND nor Zero Hedge repeated Lyons' claim about Aaron Rich. In a March 27 article on Aaron Rich's lawsuit against the Washington Times,  it noted: "Aaron’s lawsuit also cites a Washington Times opinion article dated March 1, 2018, and written by James A. Lyons. The commentary piece stated, 'Interestingly, it is well known in the intelligence circles that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron Rich, downloaded the DNC emails and was [sic] paid by Wikileaks for that information.' The Times piece does not clarify which intelligence sources believe the Rich brothers took the emails and what evidence they have showing WikiLeaks paid for the documents." That article went on to rehash other Rich conspiracies.

You'd think that since it was so into the Rich story, WND would want to report the entire story. But just as it censored evidence that its years-long Obama birther crusade was increasingly discredited, WND will also censor the collapse of the Seth Rich conspiracy theories.

In other words, WND was only interested in both stories until it could no longer exploit them for its right-wing political agenda, and is now dropping them as if it knew they weren't true all along -- meaning that it never really cared about journalism at all but, rather, only about exploiting a story wheter or not it is actually trut. Not a good look for a website perpetually trying to save itself from extinction and insisting that it's "credible" and "fearless."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 AM EDT
Friday, October 12, 2018
CNS Went Biblical To Back Kavanaugh, Smear His Accusers As 'Wicked,' 'Demonic'

As if its worse-than-usual media bias wasn't enough to try and make the case for Brett Kavanaugh, also went the biblical route to defend the judge and smear his accusers and critics.

An Oct. 5 blog post by Craig Bannister resorted to some creative Bible interpretation to portray Kavanaugh as a "just one" and his critics as "wicked":

You don’t have to be religious to see how this Bible passage applies to the treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and to politics, in general.

Wicked people don’t like to be shown up, to have their ill deeds and hypocrisy exposed – so, they lash out at the just, the Book of Wisdom, Chapter 2, explains:

The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.

Judge Kavanaugh has, indeed, been “beset” during his Senate confirmation proceedings. And, as Wisdom goes on to note, the wicked are also offended that the just one “judges” them:

To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;

Their solution: beset the just one with “revilement and torture” in order to test his gentleness and “try his patience”:

Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him."

Judge Kavanaugh has been threatened, smeared, verbally attacked, subjected to horrific unsubstantiated accusations and called the most vile names, and – when he lost his “patience” and “gentleness,” daring to defend himself – accused of having a temperament unbefitting a Supreme Court justice.

Only God truly knows the hearts and motivations of those who have so grievously beset Judge Kavanaugh. But, the similarities between their treatment of him and the thoughts and deeds described in this Bible chapter are striking.

Bannister didn't explain how he determined that Kavanaugh is "just," despite not knowing his heart and motivation any better than those who have "grievously beset" him. Apparently, merely getting nominated by a Republican president was enough.

A blog post the same day by managing editor Michael W. Chapman called on the wildly pro-Trump pastor Harry Jackson to push the idea that Kavanaugh was being targeted by "demonic forces":

"What’s happening in D.C. is very unusual,” Bishop Jackson said during an Oct. 2 discussion on TCT Today. “It’s the worst dimension of warfare we’ve ever seen and I believe that God has drawn a line in the sand and he wants to restore and renew America. But the spiritual forces that be want to thwart that."

"So, the Kavanaugh hearings have become a circus because darkness has decided—or demonic forces—that they’re going to try to block him from being in office," said the bishop.

“Once he [Kavanaugh] is affirmed and additional judges are affirmed --- I believe that’s one of Trump’s assignments in a way to shift America for good," said Jackson. "Right now, there is a de facto severe limiting and almost a canceling of Roe v. Wade because the Supreme Court is not going to bring crazy rulings, and that Trump has already changed so many judges that there’s a different kind of judgment that is going forward.”

Chapman went on to tout Jackson's Trump fanboyism, asserting that Jackson said that "the very strong economy under President Trump is helping minorities and women and this is maddening to the forces of evil."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2018 2:25 PM EDT
WND's Lewis Tries To Justify Her Nasty Mocking of Kavanaugh's Accusers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Patrice Lewis, she was viciously mocking the women who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misdeeds in his youth. This time around, she's trying to defend doing so:

Last week I wrote a scathing satirical column focusing on the collected accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. To say I got emails in response would be a huge understatement. Critics did everything from question my Christian beliefs to express hope our two daughters would be raped so I would feel more sympathy for sexual assault victims.

Here’s the thing: If Kavanaugh’s accusers did suffer sexual assault during their lives, I believe Kavanaugh wasn’t the perpetrator. I believe they’re accusing the wrong man … and they’re doing it on purpose.


Now we’re finding out all sorts of interesting things about Kavanaugh’s accusers. How Ford lied when she said she never coached anyone on how to take a polygraph test. How her “second front door” was installed for business, not trauma. How Swetnick confessed a predilection for group sex to one of her lovers.

Do these sound like honest and trustworthy women? Or do they sound like vindictive [w]itches out to “get” a decent, conservative man to further the feminist agenda? If this were a trial, the case would be thrown out of court in a heartbeat. But since was merely a hearing with no legal repercussion for the accusers, anything was fair game.

Needless to say, Lewis offers no proof that the women are lying about Kavanaugh "on purpose."

Then, in an attempt to justify "my hostility toward Kavanaugh's accusers," she recounted a case in which a relative was falsely accused of indecent exposure. She then ranted:

When I look at Kavanaugh, I see my cousin. I see a good man facing down unprovable allegations from decades before. I see berserk frothing-at-the-mouth feminists clawing him into the ground to fulfill their “women first” victimhood agenda, despite the lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. In the insane defense of women’s feelings, they’re spitting on the feelings of unjustly accused men and their families.

They’re also forgetting something else: The presumption of innocence, which is the bedrock of our legal system.


Critics are wrong when they accuse me of not being sympathetic to women who have been sexually assaulted. On the contrary, I have the deepest sympathy for women who are truly victims.

It’s for this reason I don’t want to see the claims of genuine victims diluted by the actions of contemptible women who accuse without evidence, and who happily ruin the lives of good men because they are bad women.

“Rape is a devastating crime,” wrote columnist Michelle Malkin. “So is lying about it.”

Victims tell how the raw emotions can still come flooding back, even decades later. They’re right. As I wrote this column and remembered what happened to my cousin, the raw choking hatred did indeed come flooding back, a bitter and vile loathing for the woman who accused an innocent man at random.

You can never forget an assault – and that includes a false one.

But in her previous "scathing satirical column," Lewis wrote: "Bill Clinton is a saint who would never mistreat a woman. Juanita Broaddrick was a liar. Oh wait, didn’t I just say women can’t lie? Um, forget I said that. We’ll just forget Broaddrick exists. Don’t believe her." She apparently believes Broaddrick, despite a similar lack of corroborating evidence. Why does she believe Broaddrick and not Christine Blasey Ford? Is it because of the political views of the accused?

And as we pointed out, Broaddrick is a liar -- she spent 20 years telling one story about Clinton's alleged rape of her, then spent the next 20 years telling a completely different story. Shouldn't Lewis be troubled by a story that changed so drastically as she is by Ford's lack of corroboration?

We look forward to her future column trying to explain away her apparent double standard.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Thursday, October 11, 2018
MRC Follows McAleer's Script To Promote His 'Gosnell' Movie
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how for years, the Media Research Center has been the willing -- and, apparently, secretly paid -- servant of Phelim McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney to promote the crowdfunding for, and making of, their film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell that's designed to advance a right-wing anti-abortion agenda. The movie is finally set for release on Oct. 12, and the MRC has been ramping up the publicity for it -- again, it seems, as McAleer's direction.

When conservative Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis received "leaked" emails from "Gosnell" executive producer John Sullivan of his negotiations with National Public Radio over wording in proposed advertising sponsorships in promoting the movie -- read: Sullivan eagerly gave him the emails -- both the MRC and its "news" division eagerly regurgitated the tiny controversy. Never mind that the emails themselves were the point of Sullivan's stunt; it's unlikely that Suliivan ever intended to actually advertise on NPR, and he likely intended to create this email chain for the express purpose of "leaking" it to a friendly outlet who would used them to 1) promote the film and 2) portray the media as biased against his little film. 

When actor Dean Cain, who stars in the film, was doing publicity for it, that got rapt MRC coverage as well. A Sept. 24 MRC item by Brad Wilmouth dutifully transcribed Cain's recounting of "the challenges he faced in producing and advertising the film" as well as how he "called out the double standard employed by liberals on issues of sexual assault." Wilmouth even regurgitated the McAleer-Sullivan PR line about how "We couldn't even buy ad time on NPR because we called him an 'abortion doctor.'"

The next day, Katie Yoder -- the MRC's most enthusiastic PR agent for McAleer -- spun for Cain and his film once more:

Actor Dean Cain calls himself “pro-choice,” but that didn’t stop him starring in an upcoming film revealing the horror story of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Cain stars as Detective James “Woody” Wood in Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer, which opens in as many as 750 theaters October 12. MRC Culture interviewed Cain Sept. 21 at Family Research Council’s 2018 Values Voter Summit. He called Gosnell’s crimes “absolutely ghastly” and guessed that the media’s silence surrounding Gosnell was because “abortion’s a bad word.”

Yoder even credulously promoted Cain's blatantly false insistence that "We’re not taking sides in this film" or "trying to preach to anybody" but just "telling the story."

We know that's false because of McAleer's history as a right-wing polemicist (he previously made a film that engaged in the right-wing practice of bashing the idea of global warming) and by the simple fact of the MRC's heavy promotion of the film. If McAleer was, in fact, not taking sides, would the MRC be working so hard to promote his film?

And don't forget that McAleer was sued for defamation a judge involved in the Gosnell trial after McAleer portrayed him in his related book on the case as part of "Philadelphia's liberal corrupt government." The MRC ever-so-briefly noted the existence of the lawsuit and that it was settled out of court, paving the way for release of the film, but Yoder and crew expressed no curiosity whatsoever about the terms of the settlement. Of course, that's negative news that would eat into the precious PR space. that McAleer is apparently paying the MRC to engage in.

CNS also did an interview with Cain in which he advanced the same bogus claim that "we don't preach in the film." It also publishesd a column by Michelle Malkin hyperbolically declaring the film "the most important movie in America right now."

Even the MRC's video-centric site MRCTV got into the promotional with an interview Nick Kangadis did with McAleer. Kangadis gushed over the film:

The actors in the film do an excellent job of bringing the script to life, as the viewer also learns so much about the case that they most likely didn’t know beforehand.

'Gosnell' should be a major eye-opener for anyone that watches it, whether the viewer is pro-life or pro-choice. It’s a very well-done film that grabs a hold of you in the first 10 minutes and doesn’t let go.

As with Yoder, it's almost as if he was being paid to say that.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:20 PM EDT
Satanic Panic: WND Freaks Out Over 'Sabrina' Reboot
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WND is apparently seeing Satan everywhere these days. The latest freakout comes in the form of an anonymously written Sept. 30 article:

Chilling indeed!

Back after a hiatus of 15 years, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” is now the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” – leaving nothing to the imagination in a show targeted for teen girls.

It’s dark, Satanic, with plenty of blood and gore, maggots and Baphomet – just in case parents didn’t have enough to worry about.

For those too young to remember. “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” was a 90s sitcom featuring a talking cat and dumb jokes emphasized by a laugh track.

No more. Netflix decided to reboot the show from one emphasizing laughs to horror. Judging from the trailers, gone are the laughs, in is the terror – not exactly what one would expect from Archie Comics.

The story line?

“As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. Sabrina Spellman must reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while fighting the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.”

Somehow the central character is still in high school after all this time, but, of course, the target audience won’t remember anyway.

There’s little question teens will be widely exposed to the world of occultic, demonic “entertainment.”

WND provided no attribution beyond a link to Netflix's page about the show to back up its claims -- not even its usual retinue of Satanic panic-mongers. Thus, it completely misses the fact that the series is based on a comic book that is a darker take on the Sabrina universe, much as the TV series "Riverdale" is a darker take on the Archie universe from which Sabrina sprung.

(You might remember that pseudonymous WND columnist "Marisa Martin" had a serious freakout over a newer Archie story in which Archie died taking a bullet for his gay friend.)

It's also weird that WND seemingly has no problem with the original '90s "Sabrina" sitcom because it had "a talking cat and dumb jokes emphasized by a laugh track," even though it's about basically the same character that leads "Chilling Adventures" -- you know, a witch. Apparently, witchcraft is cool with WND as long as it has a laugh track.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:37 PM EDT
CNS Misquotes Reporter To Justify Trump's Insult Of Her
Topic: has no problem falsely smearing reporters to make President Trump look good. Case in point: an Oct. 1 blog post by Craig Bannister, who writes thusly:

When an ABC reporter told President Donald Trump she was “not thinking,” she was taken aback when he agreed with her.

Monday morning, Trump was touting a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, when he called on ABC’s Cecilia Vega. Vega did not respond, prompting Trump to comment that she was “shocked” that he called on her. When Trump understood Vega to say she wasn’t thinking, Trump agreed, teasing, “I know, you never do.”

Trump: “She’s shocked that I picked her. She’s like in a state of shock.”

Vega: “I’m not thinking, Mr. President.”

Trump: “That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”

Vega: “I’m sorry?”

Trump: “No, go ahead. Go ahead.”

Vega then proceeded to ask, not about trade, but about the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Trump said he wasn’t finished answering questions about trade and that he’d field her question about Kavanaugh afterwards.

But Vega didn't say, "I'm not thinking, Mr President." As an actual news outlet reported, she said, "I'm not. Thank you, Mr. President."There was no justification or pretext for Trump's insult of Vega, and it continues the pattern of Trump's belittling of people, especially women, whom he perceives as his critics.

Bannister even included a video of the exchange, which makes it clear that Vega never said "I'm not thinking." It seems Bannister didn't watch it before posting.

On top of that, Bannister's headline -- "ABC Reporter Shocked When Trump Agrees With Her That She Was ‘Not Thinking,’ Says ‘I Know, You Never Do’" -- is completely false as well. Vega did not say she was shocked, and she did not say she was "not thinking."

Meanwhile, Bannister's post is live and uncorrected, as if CNS approves of publishing false information to serve its favorite president.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
WND Praises Trump For Aid in Yemen Humanitarian Crisis (Which Trump Helped To Create)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Oct. 2 WorldNetDaily article goes back to the well of the right-wing Gatestone Institute -- from which it got a fake-news piece last year about mosques in France that is still live and uncorrected on the WND website even though Gatestone deleted its source material -- but this time to attempt to lionize Presdient Trump's purported humanitarian leanings:

The left’s perception of President Trump is that he spends his days promoting unqualified candidates to federal courts, snubbing America’s allies by abandoning longstanding trade agreements and reversing what he can of Barack Obama’s agenda.

The truth includes far more, as the Gatestone Institute’s Ahmed Charai points out.

Charai, a Moroccan publisher on the board of directors of the Atlantic Council and several other organizations, and is an advisory member for the Gatestone Institute, explains that what’s being called the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” by United Nations World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley, has been noticed by President Trump.

But few others.

Charai says Beasley “is not exaggerating” how bad the crisis is in the Arab Gulf country of Yemen.


“Meanwhile, the Trump administration, has quietly stepped up to the challenge. The U.S. has sent more than $854 million in aid since the start of fiscal year 2017. Through USAID and the State Department’s Bureau for Population Refugees and Migration, the U.S. has supplied food, medicine, vaccinations, emergency obstetric services, blankets, pots and pans for displaced families. Water-treatment filters and chemicals have been shipped in to shrink the spread of disease, such as cholera and hepatitis,” the report said.

“In the early 2000s, the world was moved by the sight of starvation, war, and disease in Darfur. Campuses held demonstrations, and network cameras trekked to the Sahara to record the civilized world’s efforts to prevent genocide. This time, however, the colleges and networks do not seem to notice,” Charai wrote.

“It is welcome that President Donald J. Trump has.”

WND describes the issue in Yemen only as a "civil war." Charai is slightly more descriptive, admtting that part of the issue in the civil war is "air strikes from Saudi and United Arab Emirates warplanes," though he also blames "Houthi rebels as Al-Qaeda terrorists" for committing "atrocities against civilians."

But the Trump administration is helping to cause the humanitarian crisis Charai and WND laud Trump for responding to, in the form of providing support to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. As Foreign Policy reports, the majority of civilian casualties in Yemen in August were from airstrikes by the U.S.-Saudi coalition using U.S.-made munitions, including a busload of children. The U.S.-Saudi bombing is also making the humanitarian crisis worse by targeting critical civilian infrastructure.

Meanwhile, as Washington Post writer Ishaan Tharoor points out, the Trump adminstration has shown little interest in engaging in diplomacy to end the Yemen conflict -- which all but guarantees the humanitarian crisis will continue.

But those are inconvenient facts to Charai and WND. Trump must be praised and lionized, no matter how much such praise diverges from reality.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 6:25 PM EDT
MRC Serves Up Bogus, Shoddy 'Research' On Kavanaugh Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

It is a day, so it must be time for another bit of bogus Media Research Center "research," courtesy of an Oct. 5 post by Bill D'Agostino and Rich Noyes:

During the past three weeks, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has received a deluge of news coverage accusing him of vile crimes, including attempted rape and even organizing gang rapes. Though these charges did not originate with the news media, the lack of satisfactory corroborating evidence should have caused ethical reporters to refrain from gratuitously repeating allegations that painted Kavanaugh in a monstrous light.

The media have shown no such restraint. Take CNN as a case in point. MRC analysts reviewed all of the network’s Kavanaugh coverage during an 18-day period from September 16 through October 3 and found CNN’s on-air anchors, reporters and contributors associated Kavanaugh with the word “rape” 191 times, or more than ten times per day. Note that this does not include the many other instances in which the word was used by guests, or by participants at live or replayed news events (such as the hearing on September 27). This count also excluded milder synonyms, such as “sexual assault.”


Hour after hour, the likes of Alisyn Camerota (New Day), Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360), and Don Lemon (CNN Tonight) performed laborious readings of Ford’s opening statement on their shows. These were supplemented with clips of Ford reading the statement herself, as well as a videotape in which CNN International correspondent Sarah Sidner summarized the document.

The following passage in particular was given considerable airtime: “I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming.”

In other words, the MRC is complaining that Ford's words were accurately quoted -- that CNN is guilty of reporting.

As usual, the MRC provides none of the raw data in the form of the quotes in full context. The fact that it won't do that shows that it knows it's attacking CNN for correctly quoting Ford.

So it must distract with a good ol' Clinton Equivocation:

Nearly 20 years ago, Juanita Broaddrick accused then-President Bill Clinton of raping her while he was the Attorney General of Arkansas — reportedly leaving her with a bloody lip and the words, “You’d better put some ice on that.” In the 18 days which followed Broaddrick’s story appearing in the Wall Street Journal (February 19, 1999), a Nexis search found CNN’s on-air personalities (also excluding guests) only talked about Clinton as an alleged “rapist” 34 times, and then mostly on talk shows like CNN & Company (12 times) and Larry King Live (9 times). That’s less than one-fifth the rate at which CNN today have tarred Brett Kavanaugh with the same devastating label.

The caution with which CNN approached Broaddrick’s claims back then makes their handling of the Kavanaugh controversy appear all the more punishing.

First: Note the different search databases used: the MRC's own database for the Kavanaugh clips, Nexis for the Broaddrick clips. They're not equivalent, largely because it's unclear that CNN was transcribing its entire broadcast day for Nexis in 1999; some networks made only prime-time or branded shows available, meaning that it's likely CNN's run-of-the-mill news coverage that was not part of a branded program was never submitted to Nexis -- and, thus, making the MRC's data not necessarily an accurate reflection of what was actually broadcast on CNN.

So: we have another selectively edited piece of "media research" that ignores context to hide the fact that reporting is accurate, complete with an unreliable apples-to-oranges comparison to previous coverage and another refusal to make the raw data public.

This is the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Tries -- And Fails -- To Make A 'To Kill A Mockingbird' Allusion to Kavanaugh
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill tries for a literary allusion over the Brett Kavanaugh saga in his Oct. 3 column:

The plot of the classic 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” hinges on one key fact: Attorney Atticus Finch, the man liberals have historically seem as the avatar of their best selves, did not believe “survivor” Mayella Ewell.

Under pressure from her father and the society around her, Ewell had accused black handyman Tom Robinson of sexual assault. Finch believed she was lying and heroically defended Robinson in a court of law.

“The state has not produced one iota of evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place,” said Finch at the trial. “It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses – witnesses whose testimony has not only been called into serious question during cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant.”

“I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State,” Finch continued. “But my pity does not extend to her putting a man’s life at stake.”

In perhaps the movie version’s most dramatic scene, Finch stood on the jailhouse steps, shotgun in hand, to ward off a mob of would be lynchers.

Today, mindlessly chanting “we believe survivors,” leftist crowds around the country have abandoned the Atticus Finch model for the thrill of joining a lynch mob.

Slate's Jamelle Bouie explains why applying "To Kill A Mockingbird" to Kavanaugh is a big, dumb mistake:

By necessarily casting Brett Kavanaugh in the role of the unfairly and unjustly accused Tom Robinson, however, the comparison falls apart. Kavanaugh is unpopular, but he does not belong to a disfavored group. He is not disadvantaged by class or burdened with the weight of caste. He has lived a life of wealth and privilege, moving in and between elite spaces with little apparent friction. For five years he worked with the president of the United States. For 12 years he’s been one of the most powerful judges in the country. Robinson did not have the power to call defenders other than his court-appointed attorney; Kavanaugh is backed by nearly half of the Senate as well as a sitting American president, who has attacked his nominee’s accuser with the full force of the bully pulpit. Atticus Finch risked everything defending Tom Robinson; Kavanaugh’s defenders risk nothing. Robinson, a stand-in for the thousands murdered under Jim Crow, was fighting for his life. If Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed—if enough Republicans decide he’s too damaged to sit on the Supreme Court—he’ll return to his life of power and privilege as a federal appeals court judge.


The accusers in To Kill a Mockingbird, like those in the actual Jim Crow South, weren’t concerned with sexual violence as much as they held a libidinal desire to harm and kill black people. In real-life Depression-era Alabama, nine black Americans were lynched between 1929 and 1939; two of the victims were accused of “rape.”

That charade of justice stands in stark contrast to the #MeToo movement, a sincere effort to uncover sexual abuse, build solidarity for survivors, and hold abusers accountable. The process of allegations, investigations, and—when appropriate—criminal action is on the opposite side of the lynch mob, which tortured, mutilated, and murdered on the basis of whispers and rumors. The testimony of Christine Blasey Ford—measured, meticulous, and forthright, with no proven falsehoods—is a far cry from the breathless accusations used to justify anti-black terrorism, as is her unheeded call for a full investigation of her allegations.

To make the analogy to Atticus Finch in the context of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is to ignore the real pain and real suffering of actual people killed after knowingly false accusations, while obliterating vast worlds of history and context. It’s not just a bad argument. It’s an immoral one, made for cheap partisan thrills. And conservatives who make it have revealed their politics of aggrieved privilege, where the presumably “real” victims of society are those asked to account for any potential misdeeds before ascending to ever-higher planes of power.

Cashill loves his Atticus Finch analogies, though. In a 2015 column, he attacked those who criticized George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin: "Has no one told them they have become the mob outside Atticus’ courthouse demanding the head of the mockingbird?" Remember, Cashill thinks Zimmerman is a saint even as he continues to prove Cashill wrong.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
CNS' Spero: Not Confirming Kavanaugh Would Dishonor His Parents, Or Something

Chuck Schumer, the Democrats, and their spokespeople in the Senate seem to be spooking-out certain Republicans with a threat that if Republicans vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh they will lose the support of women in their constituency. 

However, the tens of millions of women who currently have or have previously raised teenage boys, and even teenage girls, will probably be alarmed if a precedent is set in a Senate confirmation vote that would penalize or snuff out the opportunities of a fully grown man who did something foolish while yet a minor or was accused of something that was never verified with any surety.

Parents of boys and girls lovingly sacrifice their life’s energies, time, and money so that their children will have a bright future – economic, social, and familial. And all parents, since they themselves were once young, know of the mistakes teenagers make or the non-mistakes that merely involve rowdiness.  What a frightening and demoralizing thing it would be to parents if after thirty years of proper and refined living and accomplishment by their children, a new American convention is established by the Senate that all lifetime achievements can be wiped away by a single instance in their child’s life. A person’s life, their child’s life, can be destroyed by an accusation, especially if it craftily summons-up whatever happens to be the politically correct, avant-garde sin of that given era.

Today’s Democrats play dirty, despicably dirty.  In their quest for personal power, riches, and control over all aspects of American civic life, Democrats will equally play dirty tricks against conservative women running for office, bringing up or fabricating events from when they were once teenage girls, charging them from that full basket of the new Seven Sins:  racism, intolerance, nationalism, whiteness, Christian Evangelicalism, Islamophobia, and anti-LBTG.


Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed and not become a victim of a coordinated political attack.  It is the American way to stand behind a man wrongly accused and not to buckle to a lynch mob, liberal or otherwise. The vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh goes beyond his absolute earned place to be on the U.S. Supreme Court. It goes even beyond the obligation of the Republican Senators to, for once, worry more about the people who elect them than looking over their shoulder to people who will always reject them.

-- Aryeh Spero, Sept. 27 column

Posted by Terry K. at 6:23 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Tries To Play the Emmitt Till Card on Kavanaugh Accusations
Topic: Newsmax

As a black American, I have a particular sensitivity to the importance of the concept of the presumption of innocence and due process of law.

Few Millennials and modern journalists know of the famous Emmett Till murder case in Mississippi in the 1950’s. It was one of the first major national civil rights murder cases.

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old black boy visiting Mississippi from Chicago. He was beaten beyond recognition, shot, tied with barbed wire, and thrown into Mississippi’s Tallahatchie River.


Because of an accusation — a mere accusation — that he flirted with a white woman.

Till was only one of the more well known of the many thousands of blacks in the old American South who were tortured, castrated, burned alive, or lynched based only on an accusation of flirtation or sexual assault — they were presumed guilty.

There was no presumption of innocence and no requirement of due process!

With this despicable history as backdrop, it is more than disgusting to see Democrats in the United States Senate trample the basic principle of presumption of innocence and apply the old South standard of presumption of guilt once applied to blacks to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

For Kavanaugh, just as was the case for black males in the old South, there is no presumption of innocence and no requirement of due process by his enemies.

Yesterday, blacks’ enemies were Democrat segregationists and their shock troops in the Klu Klux Klan.

Today, Kavanaugh’s enemies denying him due process and presumption of innocence are progressive and liberal white Democrats and their friends on the left — who disrupted confirmation hearings — and forced Senator Ted Cruz and his wife from a Washington, D.C., restaurant.


Are there no Democrats in the United States Senate with a sense of decency unwilling to sit by while their colleagues attempt to destroy a man’s career, life, and family?

Apparently not.

-- Clarence McKee, Sept. 27 Newsmax column

(McKee overlooks the inconvenient fact that both Kavanaugh's and Christine Blasey Ford's side got a hearing, Kavanaugh did not get lynched, and racism was not involved. Oh, and the Ku Klux Klan was never the "shock troops" of the Democratic Party, which had no military arm then or now.)

Posted by Terry K. at 4:06 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Ray Lewis Hypocrisy
Topic: Media Research Center
When the former NFL star started spouting conservative-friendly platitudes about God and family, the Media Research Center and its "news" division CNS stopped reminding readers about Lewis' involvement in a double-murder case. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT
Monday, October 8, 2018
WND Insists Broaddrick 'Credibly Accused' Clinton Of Rape Despite Lack of Evidence
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Juanita Broaddrick has apparently decided to live out the rest of her life being a professional victim. An anonymously written Sept. 28 WorldNetDaily article touts her trying to grab a piece of publicity in the midst of the Brett kavanaugh saga:

Juanita Broaddrick, who credibly has accused President Bill Clinton of raping her when he was Arkansas attorney, accused Democrats, as they were set to hear Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser Thursday, of employing a “double standard.”

Speaking to media outside the Senate building where the hearing was set to take place, Broaddrick said Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 at a high school party is “no comparison” to what happened to her.

Broaddrick said Ford had no evidence while she had “the who, what, when, where and how and had five people that I told, not even counting the woman who found me 30 minutes after the rape with a swollen busted lip, torn clothes and in a state of shock.”


At her Thursday news conference in Washington, she said she has “20 times more evidence for my rape by Bill Clinton than Dr. Ford has against Kavanaugh.”

Yes, Broaddrick held a press conference. Not the mark of someone who's trying to act credible.

Actually, not so much. Vox reminds us that, according to Joe Conason and Gene Lyons' book on the  right-wing war against President Clinton, the FBI investigated Broaddrick's allegation and found it to be inconclusive. Even Lisa Myers, the then-NBC correspondent who interviewed Broaddrick in 1999, admited that even Broaddrick conceds that aside from her, there are no witnesses and as far as we know, no one saw Clinton enter or leave Broaddrick’s room, or even the hotel, and that two of the people she claimed to have contemporaneously told about the alleged rape reportedly had a grudge against Clinton for commuting the death sentence of their father's killer while he was Arkansas governor.

WND also quoted Broaddrick complaining that Democrats in 1999 "refused to read my deposition to the independent counsel." WND failed to report that Broaddrick also told a different story to independent counsel Ken Starr in the form of a sworn affidavit denying that anything happened.

This doesn't prove that Broaddrick is any more or less credible than Ford. But Broaddrick's eagerness to play the victim for partisan purposes -- even to the point of dismissing another woman's allegation of sexual assault because it was made against a conservative and not someone named Clinton -- does nothing to enhance whatever credibility she may have and arguably diminishes it.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:35 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2018 6:37 PM EDT
CNS Just Loves Right-Wing Attorney's Smears of Ford As 'Loon,' Delusional'
Topic: devoted no small amount of editorial space to fretting about the harm to Brett Kavanaugh's reputation over the accusation of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford. For example:

By contrast, CNS had no problem publishing smears of Ford that were intended to harm her reputation.

A Sept. 25 article by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted right-wing attorney Joseph DiGenova's smear (on Fox News, natch) of Ford and her attorney regarding speculation that Ford would not testify before a Senate committee: "She really doesn't want to testify because when she does, she's going to look like the loon that she is. She may very well believe everything she's saying and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believing something that isn't real. But her lawyer is even loonier."

CNS apparently loved DiGenova's smear of Ford so much, he became CNS' favorite smear artist over the past couple weeks. On Oct. 4, Emily Ward touted another DiGenova slam of Ford:"Christine Blasey Ford, I’m sure, I think, believes everything she’s saying,” said diGenova. “But it isn’t true, it didn’t happen, she is delusional, this is a fantasy, there is nothing to corroborate her story." He added: "This woman – this is loony. This whole thing is loony. Look where we are for a nominee for the Supreme Court because the Democrats’ lust for power has made them destroy the confirmation process. Shame on them. And, you know what? They could care less. They don’t have any shame."

Ward didn't comment on the shamelessneess of a right-wing attorney viciously smearing a woman because she stood in the way of a conservative judge's Supreme Court nomination.

CNS also touted DiGenova's insults of other people as well:

CNS is not [publishing DiGenova's insults because it disapproves of them. Quite the opposite: It loves his nasty smears.

So much for CNS' mission statement that it's for people "who put a higher premium on balance than spin."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT
WND Columnist Tries To Defend Trump Over Puerto Rico Death Toll
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Sept. 14 WorldNetDaily column, Brent Smith tries his best to defend President Trump over his insistence that the claim that nearly 3,000 people were killed in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria and its aftermath that came about by "magic":

The study was conducted from September, 2017, the month of the storm, all the way through February of the following year (2018).

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I read that some “3,000 people were killed by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico,” I don’t expect a death that occurred almost six months later to count as one of the “storm” deaths. No reasonable person would.

In fact, according to Puerto Rico’s own records, the total deaths directly caused by the storm were 64. “The official government estimate of 64 deaths from the hurricane is low primarily because the conventions used for causal attribution only allowed for classification of deaths attributable directly to the storm, e.g., those caused by structural collapse, flying debris, floods and drownings,” the report notes.

Well duh! Isn’t that what “killed by Hurricane Maria” is supposed to mean? Evidently not, but every person who reads that kind of headline will come to the same wildly incorrect conclusion.

The vast majority of deaths were mainly due to the island’s already crumbling infrastructure and pitiful disaster preparedness in a place run by leftists for decades. That and the study also included deaths that occurred during the migration of Puerto Rican residents to states like Florida even months later.


And because of this “study,” done almost entirely by computer models on the campus of GW University and where “researchers” never once ventured to Puerto Rico, history will reflect the 3,000 number – not the 64. This will make it No. 2 among the U.S. hurricanes that have taken the most lives. No. 1 is still Galveston, Texas, in 1900, which claimed 8,000 lives.

I am not belittling any of the deaths from Hurricane Maria. But whether this study by GW was politically motivated or not, it certainly has given ample ammunition to the likes of CNN, MSNBC, et al., to further their assaults on the president.

In fact, the George Washington University study Smith (and Trump) attacked was not politically motivated; it's a statistical analysis calculating the bnumber of "excess" deaths in Puerto Rico after the hurricane. That study was commissioned by the Puerto Rican government, and it accept the study's funding that 2,975 people died as a result of Maria.

Further, while Puerto Rico was facing crumbling infrastructure before Maria hit, there seems to be plenty of blame to go around, and Smith offers no proof that it was "leftist" government officials who were solely responsible.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT

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