The Catholic guys who run CNSNews.com are so uber-right-wing Catholic that they have the temerity to believe they can lecture Pope Francis about Catholicism. Read more >>
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
WND Columnists Double Down On Fearmongering About Filthy Immigrants (With Bonus Discredited Research)
As if responding to our post pointing her fearmongering about disease-ridden immigrants, dubous right-wing doctor Jane Orient doubled down in her Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily column, in which she actually suggests that migrants are spreading disease deliberately:
Orient accused doctors and others who call out her fearmongering of being in "denial," then rants about the migrant caravan approaching the U.S. from Central America:
Or, you know, a little less fearmongering from people who don't assumse that all foreigners are "tattooed MS-13 gang members, rapists, jihadists, human traffickers and other criminals intent on harming Americans."
(Also, the entire point of vaccinating children is to build up enough herd immunity to contain or even stop spread of a disease. But Orient and the fringe-right organization she runs, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, generally opposes mandatory vaccination efforts.)
Not to be outdone in the fearmongering-about-filthy-foreigners department, Ilana Mercer used her Dec. 12 WND column to complain that nobody appears to be interested in finding a"Patient Zero" in the current outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis. She added her own attack on the caravan: "In any event, along for the ride with the thousands of migrants poised to pour into the U.S. from Central America is a healthy array of microbes: measles, Chagas disease, hepatitis and much more. Diversity, baby."
Mercer then wrote:
First in the liberty community to decry the health hazards from the unfettered flow of migrants across the 1,940-mile-long border with Mexico was dazzling Randian scholar and patriot, Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D., Esq.
Yes, Mercer is referencing the very same paper -- published, as it so happens, under the journal editorship of one Jane Orient -- that has been discredited for falsely asserting that cases of leprosy in the U.S. have exploded because of immigration. As far as we know, Orient and the JAPS have yet to issue a correction despite the claim being debunked years ago, and the PDF of the paper to which Mercer links is similarly uncorrected.
Compounding fearmongering with bad research does not help the whole earmongering-about-filthy-foreigners thing.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
At The MRC, Kevin Hart's Anti-Gay 'Thought Crimes' vs. Mika's 'Disgusting' Anti-Gay Remark
Topic: Media Research Center
When comedian Kevin Hart lost his job as host of next year's Oscars when old homophobic jokes and Twitter posts resurfaced -- one of which called a critic a "FAT FAG" -- the Media Research Center's Jacob Comello was outraged ... for Hart, ranting that Hart had committed a "thought crime" in the eyes of liberal Hollywood allegedly eager to destroy his career:
Note that Comello wasn't outraged at all by Hart's homophobic content at all -- apparently because gays are no longer sufficiently discriminated against for him to be concerned about -- but only that he was being held accountable for it.\
By contrast, when a perceived enemy of the MRC makes an anti-gay remark, that person gets attacked as not just hateful but mentally deranged to boot. Scott Whitlock huffed in a Dec. 12 post:
When Brzezinski apologized for the remark a couple days later, the MRC did what Comello complained about in his Hart post: deemed that her apology was insufficient. Mark Finkelstein complained:
Weird how the MRC thinks anti-gay slurs are "disgusting" when someone on MSNBC says them but somehow noble enough to elevated to a "thought crime" when Kevin Hart says them.
Junk-News Purveyor Farah Complains About Junk News
Oh, the irony. WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah starts off his Dec. 6 column by declaring that "I like to think God created me to do journalism." He goes on to complain:
Ironic because WND has been one of the biggest purveyors of junk news (birtherism, Seth Rich) and fake news (a shockingly, depressingly large amount) on the Internet that also tries to masquerade as a real "news" organization.
Farah's irony continues:
See above for the fake and junk news WND published that apparently made Farah's life "meaningful." And isn't WND pretty darn close to being here today, gone tomorrow?
Farah concludees his column by outlining his definition of "a true believer when it comes to journalism," which includes: "It’s someone who personifies fairness, fearlessness, credibility, independence and indomitability of spirit," adding, "It’s not just individuals who believe in those things. It’s also institutions that believe."
Farah and WND arguably meet some of that. But the key part there is credibility -- and Farah and WND squandered that a long time ago.
NewsBusters Blogger Doesn't Know His Political History
NewsBusters has apparently dealt with the departure of the disgraced Tom Blumer by bringing back Mark Finkelstein as a contributing editor. Finkelstein has a shaky history of veracity and insults in his previous work for NewsBusters, but you might remember him best as the guy who suggested that then-NBC "Today" co-host Matt Lauer was supporting Palestine by his choice of wearing a checkered scarf.
Finkelstein has apparently been given the MSNBC beat at NewsBusters. A Nov. 25 post on one MSNBC segment featured a guest forwarding a possible Michelle Obama-Oprah Winfrey ticket for the Democrats in 2020, followed by host Joy Reid shooting down the idea because "We know racially-polarized voting is a real thing and people will say they'll vote for Oprah until she is on the ballot." Finkelstein then complained: "So those racist white Americans won't support a black presidential ticket. Reid didn't try to square her view with Barack Obama's two presidential victories, or with the fact that Oprah is wildly popular across a broad swath of Americans, including countless whites."
It seems that Finkelstein has never heard of the Bradley effect, which summarizes the pattern of non-white candidates losing elections despite leading the polls, suggesting that some white voters don't accurately tell pollsters who they will vote for. It's named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, who is believed to have lost a race for California governor due to this.
In other words, Reid is correct, and Obama's election may have been an anomaly from the Bradley effect.
So ... welcome back, Mark!
Monday, December 17, 2018
WND Cheers Efforts To Build Third Temple, Start the End Times
We've caught WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah blowing off the idea that President Trump wanting to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem plays a role in fulfilling evangelical end-times prophecy -- even as WND has promoted the next step in end-times prophecy, the building of a third temple on the Temple Mount that is currently occupied by a mosque (where Farah and Jonathan Cahn staged a publicity stunt a couple years back).
Well, WND hasn't stopped promoting efforts to build the Third Temple, though it's downplaying the end-times angle.
An anonymously written Dec. 1 article touted how "The newly re-created Sanhedrin in Israel is planning a ceremony to consecrate a stone altar prepared for use in the Third Temple, and it has released a declaration intended to be an invitation for other nations to participate in the Temple 'and to receive its blessings.'"
As we documented when the Sanhedrin issued a Trump medallion for the purpose of funding Third Temple activities, they are a group of far-right rabbis with no political influence but eager to establish religious influence whom WND has promoted in the past.
An article the next day enthusiastically declared in its headline that it was just "7 days until dedication of Third Temple altar." The article gushed further:
WND also much mnore benignly describes the Sanhedrin:
WND even noted the Sanhedrin's political intent by referencing the group's goal "to replace the United Nations" with "a universal organization that will return to the Bible, re-educate the world." A Sanhedrin rabbi is then quoted laughably adding, "This is not a religious initiative," given that the Sanhedrin in the past has advocated placing religious law above secular law in Israel.
WND not only didn't mention the whole end-times aspect of establishing the Third Temple, it weirdly left abandoned the story after that. Instead, a Dec. 8 article touted "a plan to create a golden crown for the Messiah’s arrival in Jerusalem," promoted by "Rabbi Yosef Berger, of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion."Berger is quoting claiming that creating the crown "will hasten the arrival of the King."
As it so happens, Berger has declared that he thinks Trump will build the Third Temple, thus making the way for the Messiah for who he's making that crown.
Somehow it all comes around to Trump at WND. Imagine that.
CNS Touts Levin-Beck Media Merger, Censors Controversies Surrounding Its Hosts
When Mark Levin's CRTV merged with Glenn Beck's The Blaze earlier this month, CNSNews.com -- as befits a "news" outlet so convinced (or has been paid to be convinced) that Levin can do no wrong that it has run well over 100 fawning stories on Levin so far in 2018 -- gave the merger its usual gushy treatment.
Craig Bannister proclaimed in a Dec. 3 article: "The new Blaze Media company debuted Monday, consolidating the draw of popular conservative pundits Mark Levin and Glenn Beck under one multiplatform entity with a combined monthly reach of 165 million." Bannister also included a list of the "popular pundits" who would appear on the merged channel. At the top fo the list was Michelle Malkin, who would announce the next day she was departing the channel.
Also on the list was Eric Bolling, who had joined then-CRTV after leaving Fox News following allegations he sexually harassed his colleagues there. (And, no, neither CNS nor its Media Research Center parent has ever reported on the allegations against Bolling.)
Conspicuously missing from that list, however, was longtime CRTV host Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, whose propensity for violence and white nationalist leanings have earned them classification by the FBI as an extremist group. As we've documented, CNS and the MRC has also censored any controversy regarding McInnes and the Proud Boys.
The next day, Emily Ward wrote the standard fawning CNS piece featuring Levin on his radio show spinning the merger as "not about personalities; it's about liberty." No mention of the controversies surrounding McInnes and Bolling, of course.
A few days after that, though, Blaze Media fired McInnes and his YouTube account was disabled. Curiously, CNS didn't find that, or Malkin's departure, to be news worth reporting despite its reporting on the merger.
Now That Kavanaugh's On SCOTUS, WND's Farah Is Suddenly Criticizing Him Again
The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, he was complaining about the possibility of Brett Kavanaugh being nominated as a Supreme Court justice -- until he actually was; Farah then went silent on him through the controversial nomination process.
Now that Kavanaugh is safely ensconced on the Supreme Court, Farah is suddenly able to criticize him again.
In a Dec. 10 column hyperbolically headlined "The Kavanaugh betrayal!", Farah rants that Kavanaugh siding with the majority -- "the high court's leftists" in Farah's description -- in refusing to hear a case focusing on "Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood," it means that "Brett Kavanaugh is a fraud. He should never have been President Trump’s first choice. He’s a weakling. He buckled to the extreme left to salvage his own reputation."
Farah then rehashed his conspiracy theory about Kenneth Starr, for whom Kavanaugh worked investigating President Clinton in the '90s, as "either the most incompetent prosecutor in the history of the country or complicit in the cover-up of those crimes. I lean toward the latter judgment."
Farah also wrote of Kavanaugh: "I had a bad feeling about this guy – ever since his role in the Vincent Foster cover-up and his tutelage by former independent counsel Kenneth Starr." Farah didn't explain why he didn't vocalize any of this "bad feeling" during Kavanaugh's nomination process.
Two days later, Farah was back to rant some more about Kavanaugh and Starr:
Again, Farah didn't explain why he didn't speak up during the nomination process.
Farah went on to complain that "Starr appointed Brett Kavanaugh to oversee the [Vioncent] Foster investigation. Kavanaugh, with Starr’s approval, covered it up by firing the young prosecutor who raised too many questions."
What Farah is ultimately complaining about, though, is that Kavanaugh refused to put politics -- specifically, Farah's politics -- before facts or reason. In Farah's mind, Bill and/or Hillary Clinton was ipso facto guilty of causing the death of Vincent Foster, if for no other reason than because Farah hates the Clintons with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Similarly, Farah believes that abortion should be made illegal and doesn't care how that's achieved. He thinks that the ideal Supreme Court justice should put right-wing poiitics first and then build a legal rationale for them.
By complaining that Kavanaugh not only wouldn't adhere to right-wing orthodoxy on abortion but also that he apparently accepted the judgment of pretty much every legitimate investigator that Foster committed suicide, Farah is inadvertently bolstering the case that, contrary to many liberals' expectations, Kavanaugh might actually be a decent and thoughtful (albeit still conservative-leaning) justice.
Probably not what Farah was intending to do.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Fake News: MRC Promotes Never-Proven Claim About Protest At Tucker Carlson's House
Topic: Media Research Center
As one would imagine, the Media Research Center rushed to Fox News host Tucker Carlson's defense following a protest at his house by antifa activists. The MRC uncritically painted the protesters in the most negative terms. For instance, Nicholas Fondacaro declared that "a mob of Antifa protestors descended on his Washington, D.C. area home to threaten him and his family with violence," further attacking the protesters as "radical leftists," and Kyle Drennen highlighted the "mob of left-wing Antifa activists surrounding the home of Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson and terrorizing his family."
The MRC also uncritically promoted claims about the amount of damage the protesters allegedly caused. Curtis Houck asserted that the protest resulted in the "front door being busted and vandalism on his car, house, and driveway." His proof was a tweet by noted plagiarist Benny Johnson, who linked to an article at the Carlson-run Daily Caller, which described the "vandalism" as "signs left on the vehicles parked in the driveway as well as a sign left on the front door of the home." The only apparent actual vandalism was the anarchy symbol spray-painted on the driveway.
Fondacaro returned in another post -- again referencing the "radical leftist mob" who committed an "assault on Carlson's home" -- to uncritically repeat a claim from Fox News’ media reporter Howard Kurtz that "the radical mob 'pushed against his front door until it cracked.'" Similarly, Corinne Weaver claimed that the protesters "smashed [Carlson's] oak door."
But no proof has ever been offered that the door on Carlson's house was damaged in any way.
Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple actually went to Carlson's house after the attack and found that the front door "appeared to be in working condition," and that a person he talked to at the house offered no evidence of damage. A week later, Wemple pointed out again that the door "seemed sturdy and fully intact. A woman who answered a knock looked it up and down and appeared to conclude it was in fine shape," and the police report on the incident mentioned no damage to the front door. Carlson has ignored repeated requests to corroborate the damage he claims was made to the door, Wemple says.
Meanwhile, Alan Pyke, writing at Think Progress, was at the protest and observed what happened: "One of the protesters knocked firmly on Carlson’s front door three times then trotted back down the steps to join the rest of the group in the street. This person did not throw their body against the door, as Carlson has claimed to newspapers."
Pyke also observed: "Right-wing media have characterized Wednesday’s group of fewer than 15 activists shadowed by four legal observers as a violent mob. In reality, a small group knocked on Carlson’s door, shook a tambourine, and chanted slogans aimed at his chosen career hyping hateful speech aimed at racial minorities and political opponents, then left."
Despite all of this, the MRC continued to hyperbolically overstate the protest. A Nov. 12 post by Corinne Weaver claimed that protesters "attacked Tucker Carlson’s house," and the next day Weaver asserted the protest was carried out by a "violent antifa group."
It seems that by uncritically repeating Carlson's apparently embellished claims about what happened at the protest, the MRC has published fake news. But since that fake news helps the MRC's right-wing agenda, don't look for an apology or correction anytime soon -- just like it has failed to do in the past.
(Photo of Carlson's door via Washington Post)
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally
How many times did CNSNews.com do stenography for its favorite sources in November? Let's find out!
Judicial Watch: 1
Franklin Graham: 1
Mark Levin: 13
White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter: none, largely due to the fact that the White House held only one press briefing in November.
Another good month for Levin! He must be paying the MRC well for all this "free" coverage.
Saturday, December 15, 2018
MRC Upset That Trump Was Unfavorably (Though Not Inaccurately) Described At Bush Funeral
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so fawningly pro-Trump that it sees any criticism of him as "liberal bias." And when media commentators couldn't help but notice the difference in overall demeanor between President Trump and President George H.W. Bush at the latter's funeral, the MRC fumed.
In a Dec. 6 post hyperbolically headlined "Washington Post Rips Trump a New One Three Times at Bush Funeral," Tim Graham complains in a fit of whataboutism:
Graham went on to huff that a Post story on the funeral, in which all other living ex-presidents appeared alongside Trump, "described others in the front row...by how Trump had insulted them," grousing: "Notice the Post could have done this 'reporting' both ways....listing the insults Barack and Michelle Obama offered about Trump, the insults Bill and Hillary Clinton lobbed against Trump, and then the insults Jimmy Carter threw at Trump. But the problem is the Post deeply enjoyed anything they said."
The MRC whining continued:
P.J. Gladnick claimed: "It was a funeral for former President George H.W. Bush but all the [MSNBC] show's panel could focus on Wednesday aftenroon was Trump, Trump, Trump. Any mention of the recently deceased was only in relation to President Donald Trump." He added: "Just a reminder again to everyone that Trump was sitting there not saying anything yet his mere presence at the funeral inspired this laughable outbreak of TDS among the panelists."
Nicholas Fondacaro asserted: "They just couldn’t help themselves. During their Wednesday evening reports on the deeply touching and emotional funeral service for the late President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral, broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC had to get in their digs against President Trump for his behavior (or lack thereof). One even touted how Trump managed to keep his mouth shut about Bush all week."
Clay Waters insisted that a New York Times article's "focus was on attacking one of the attendants: President Trump, through biased interpretation of body language and some light mind-reading."
Mark Finkelstein shot back at a commentator who argued that giving credit to Trump for not screwing up anything during the Bush funeral is "a very low bar": "God rest the soul of George H.W. Bush. But God forbid that President Trump should receive credit for according H.W. all possible honors and conducting himself with grace during the funeral service."
None of these MRC posts, by the way, dispute the accuracy of the observations made, just the fact that they were made at all.
WND's Latest Deal: Ancient Coins
WorldNetDaily still has to beg for money. The cryptocurrency thing isn't quite working out, at least in the short term (at last check, the AML Bitcoin WND is giving away to those who donate is hovering around 12 cents). The publishing of WND editor Joseph Farah's new Bible book is not going well. How else can WND entice a little support from its readers?
How about some ancient coins? A Dec. 11 article tries to set the selling mood:
Long story short: Farah bought a bunch of thse coins -- mites, "the kind of coins the poor widow in Mark 12:41-44 deposited in the treasury of the synagogue" -- allegedly dating from 135 B.C. to 29 A.D., "so she could make them available as Christmas and Hanukkah gifts in the WND Superstore."
The coins are available in various settings from as low as $49.99 to as much as $300; each comes with "a certificate of authenticity signed by the distinguished Israeli antiquities dealer Lenny Wolfe, and are individually wrapped in a velvet pouch and gift box."
But it seems at the setting is more valuable than the coin itself; highly worn coins aren't worth very much -- $6 by one estimate -- even if they are authentically a couple millennia old. WND presumably got these coins at a price good enough to make money through reselling them.
But remember that WND remains on shaky ground financially and is doing what it can to stay alive, and this is just one more effort toward that end.
Friday, December 14, 2018
CNS' Loopy Rabbi Goes Even More Pro-Trump Than Usual
Spero offers no actual evidence that Trump's pro-Israel sympathies are "genuine" or anything else other than a cynical political calculation to attact right-wing Jews and Christians to support him.
Spsero goes on to complain: "By now it is obvious that liberal Jewish groups will always come up with some reason to criticize Mr. Trump’s actions no matter how sincere and good he may be." And by now it is obvious that Spero will not pass judgment on the immoral acts of Trump's personal life as long as he toes the right-wing line and adheres to Spero's political agenda -- which is anything but sincere on Spero's part.
WND Ignores Trump, Dershowitz Role In Pedophile Scandal -- But Hypes Clinton
An anonymously written Dec. 4 WorldNetDaily article tried to be as salacious as possible:
Note that despite all the salacious implication, WND provides no evidence whatsoever that Clinton ever sexually abused anyone. And completely censored in the article is the connection between Epstein and Donald Trump.
Politico reports that Epstein "was a regular for several years at Mar-a-Lago. Testimony in a prior court case indicated that Trump flew at least once on one of the planes Epstein owned and Trump’s phone numbers were in Epstein’s personal phone directory." One of Epstein's victims, a 15-year-old girl, was recruited by Epstein while working as a towel girl at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club.
Also implicated in the Epstein case is lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Not only does he serve as Epstein's attorney, one of the girls Epstein enticed into his operation -- as it happens ,the same one who was recruited from Mar-a-Lago -- claims to have sex with Dershowitz several times. Dershowitz has long denied the allegation.
While Dershowitz has generally been considered to be a liberal, his defense of Trump made him a WND favorite. It has, among other things, posted numerous videos from Israeli channel ILTV of a segment called "One on One with Alan Dershowitz," touted Dershowitz's claim about the criminalization of political differences and his lament that "The attacks on President Trump by onetime personal lawyer Michael Cohen are hurting America."
Meanwhile, the same day, WND editor Joseph Farah wrote a column demanding that Alexander Acosta -- who was the federal prosecutor that helped work out a deal that let Epstein serve only 13 months in prison -- resign his current position as Trump's labor secretary and most definitely shouldn't be considered as a candidate for attorney general. Farah didn't mention Epstein's connection to Trump and Dershowitz, though surprisingly, he didn't throw in a gratuitous Clinton reference.
That's an unusual show of restraint for Farah, who hates Clinton so much he's still clinging to Vincent Foster conspiracy theories.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
MRC Censors Just How 'Far-Right' (And Islamophobic) Activist Banned From Twitter Is
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver spent a Nov. 26 post detailing how "Twitter's war on conservative thought" claimed a couple so-called victims. The first was right-wing radio host and failed congressional candidate Jesse Kelly, who was removed for unclear reasons but was actually reinstated the day after Weaver's post.
The second was "far-right journalist Laura Loomer," whom Weaver writes "was erased from the platform on November 21 for criticizing Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)." Weaver added: "Loomer was booted off the platform on Wednesday for accusing Muslim Rep. Omar of being anti-Jewish, supporting Sharia law, and being pro-female genital mutilation. She was told that by doing so, she had “promoted violence against, threatened, or harassed other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” Almost immediately after her Twitter ban, Loomer was given a 30-day Facebook suspension."
While Weaver earned a little credit for admitting that Loomer is "far-right," she failed to inform readers just how far right-- and Islamophobic -- she is. Loomer was banned rom using Uber and Lyft after she ranted that "Someone needs to create a non Islamic form of @uber or @lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver" and complaining she couldn't find a "non Muslim cab."
A couple days after her banning, Loomer handcuffed herself to the door of Twitter's corporate offices in New York while wearing a yellow star of David as if getting kicked off Twitter for spewing hate was the same as getting Holocausted. (Quick, someone call Rabbi Spero!)
Loomer is clearly not a person who anyone should take seriously. But Weaver wants you to think she is in order to keep up the MRC's anti-social media narrative.
Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!
Accuracy in Media
Capital Research Center
Free Congress Foundation
Media Research Center
The Daily Les
Western Journalism Center
Support Bloggers' Rights!