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Friday, January 11, 2019
WND Touts 'Neo-Nazi Lawyer's' Frivolous Lawsuit Against SPLC
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline on the anonymously written Jan. 3 WorldNetDaily article sure sounds ominous: "SPLC sued for targeting, destroying lawyer's career." The lead paragraph goes even further: "The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which recently paid out millions of dollars to a target of its 'anti-hate' campaigns, has been sued by a lawyer who claims SPLC paid for stolen documents in an attempt to get him fired and destroy his future work prospects."

After that big beginning, things get strategically vague. There's a lot of ranting about "stolen documents" regarding the lawyer in question, Glen K. Allen. It's not until the eighth paragraph that WND gets somewhat close to identifying the issue at hand:

PJMedia reported Allen previously had purchased books published by the National Alliance and made donations to the group, but “he firmly disavowed the National Alliance.”

The report said he defended the group’s legal rights because “consistently with our American traditions of free expression, freedom of association, and the rule of law, is entitled to legal representation, like other unpopular groups, and should be encouraged to seek it.”

But he denied he is racist and pointed out he’s done considerable work for individuals and groups involving all races.


SPLC also accused him of being a “neo-Nazi lawyer” and insinuating that the lawyer’s work for the city of Baltimore was racist.

At no point in the article doees WND explain what the National Alliance is, or exactly why Allen is denying he's racist or the whole "neo-Nazi lawyer" thing (the rest of the article is mostly a rehash of right-wing attacks on the SPLC). As the SPLC details, the National Alliance is an aggressively neo-Nazi group whose founder wrote a book called "The Turner Diaries," which inspired Timothy McVeigh to blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City.

The lengthy PJ Media article does a somewhat better job than WND of tying all this together (albeit remaining one-sided and unbalanced). In short: An accountant for the National Alliance gave the group's records to the SPLC, which included the fact that Allen was a dues-paying member of the National Alliance for years, donated at least an additional $500 to the group and purchased a Holocaust denial DVD and entry to a Holocaust denial conference held by the group, and that at one point he was identified as the group's lawyer. Allen contends that the membership information is stolen property and his association with the group should have remained confidential, and that the revelation of the link has effectively ended his career as a lawyer. Allen also insists that his association with the National Alliance was a "mistake" and denies he's a racist, though PJ Media never presses him on his Holocaust denial beliefs; instead, it whitewashed (as it were) his record by touting how Allen has done work for black youths and tried to volunteer "for a pro bono project to help Holocaust victims obtain compensation."

But PJ Media got strategically vague as well. Of Allen's association with the American Eagle Party, it wrote that the SPLC "also slammed the American Eagle Party as racist, which the lawsuit denounces as a 'fraudulent characterization.'" In fact, the SPLC describes the American Eagle Party as "an offshoot of the racist American Freedom Party" that embraced conspiracy theories but was also "promoted heavily on Stormfront."

So. basically, Allen is not denying his neo-Nazi leanings -- despite his protestations that he's not a racist and that his "present outlook... is a mixture of Ron Paul Libertarianism, First Amendment advocacy and civil debate," his apparently still current American Eagle Party ties appear to belie that -- but, rather, he's mad that they were made public and he can't get a job as a lawyer as a result. Of course, if you're a neo-Nazi and a lawyer, "neo-Nazi lawyer" is not an inaccurate descriptor.

In most cases, the truth is an absolute defense. Allen doesn't seem to understand that, and WND cares only about using Allen's lawsuit to launch a dubious attack on tthe SPLC.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 11, 2019 9:24 AM EST
Thursday, January 10, 2019
MRC Roots Through Reporter's Instagram Account To Attack Him As 'Socialist'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham was in fine whining mood in a Dec. 23 post, ranting that a Washington Post profile on Adam McKay, director of the new movie about Dick Cheney, "Vice," was somehow another example of the paper publishing "the most embarrassing laudatory dreck supporting its favorite socialist elites," because McKay considers himself a democratic socialist.

But it wasn't enough for Graham to attack a newspaper or a person it featured. He then went needlessly personal attacked the article's author, Jeff Weiss. Graham declared that "Weiss is such a socialist he posted a happy picture of himself posed with statues of his heroes Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels at the Marx-Engels forum in Berlin, created under the East German communist regime."

Graham apparently spent no small amount of time rooting through Weiss' personal Instragram accounty until he found the photo. Graham provided no other evidence that Weiss is a "socialist" -- indeed, Weiss' Instragram feed shows him to be a music obsessive rather than a political ideologue -- and seems to have discounted the possibility that Weiss was merely a tourist who posed ironically with the statues.

This is how terrible a media critic Graham is -- he has to smear a journalist based on a single Instagram photo in order to own the Washington Post.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EST
CNS Managing Editor: Furloughed Gov't Workers 'Essentially On Vacation'
Topic: has closely following President Trump's rhetoric in playing down the effects of the government shutdown. Now, managing editor Michael W. Chapman is directly attacking the furloughed workers themselves.

Chapman's Jan. 4 blog post first complains that the furloughed workers have jobs to return to, unlike regular folks who get fired or laid off (emphasis in original):

The partial government shutdown, now in its 14th day, affects an estimated 800,000 federal workers, nearly all of whom will receive their back-pay when the shutdown ends. In the private sector, however, more than 1.5 million Americans are laid off or fired every month and most of them do not get to return to their jobs. 

Simply, nearly twice as many private sector workers lose their jobs every month compared to the federal workers who are temporarily inconvenienced for a few weeks during the shutdown.

Of course, virtually none of those who were fired or laid off were being used as pawns in a political argument, but Chapman isn't going to mention that inconvenient fact.

Chapman then attacks the furloughed workers -- who, again, are not being allowed to work and earn a paycheck through no fault of their own -- as lazy people who are "essentially on vacation" (with a bonus potshot at Sen. Chuck Schumer for defending federal workers):

To put it in perspective, over the last 12 months, more than 18,000,000 Americans lost their jobs; in the shutdown, 800,000 federal workers either worked without pay temporarily or they stayed home, and they will get paid when the shutdown ends. 

Yet the liberals, big government hangers-on, and the leftist media complain because a National Forest worker is essentially on vacation. They rarely ever complain about private sector layoffs. They claim that it's part of the nature of capitalism.  But when government employees have to stay home, the sky is falling, according to liberals.

Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said today that "food safety inspectors ... are working without pay ... American farmers can't get loans from the USDA" and "our National Parks are suffering."

Welcome to tightening your belt, Sen. Schumer, regular Americans do it every single day. 

(Schumer, incidentally, has worked in government on the taxpayers' dime since he was 25 years old -- 43 years now.)

To drive home the whole "vacation" thing, Chapman includes a stock photo of a beach, despite offering no evidence that any furloughed government worker is vacationing at a beach this very moment.

Chapman sure is judgmental about how others make their money for a guy sponging off wingnut welfare -- that is, other people's money.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2019 6:17 PM EST
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
WND Cranks Up The Anti-Vaxxer Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted WorldNetDaily's recent return to pushing anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories following a brief attempt at falsely blaming Muslims for hating vaccines. The conspiracy continues in an anonymously written Dec. 30 article that rehashes the old trope about vaccines causing autism:

A video in which two parents tearfully tell the story of their tragedy – triplets all becoming autistic within hours of getting a vaccination at the age of nine months – is getting a second life.

And it’s at least partly due to the continuing controversy over the alleged link between vaccinations of infants and autism – an issue put in the news just days ago by a newly elected congressman.

It was Tennessee U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green who explained at a town-hall event that he thinks vaccines may cause autism.

That would be contrary to what the federal Centers for Disease Control have claimed.

Green, a medical doctor, questioned data from the CDC and other institutions that purport to disprove the vaccine link.

“Let me say this about autism,” Green said. “I have committed to people in my community, up in Montgomery County, to stand on the CDC’s desk and get the real data on vaccines. Because there is some concern that the rise in autism is the result of the preservatives that are in our vaccines.

“As a physician, I can make that argument and I can look at it academically and make the argument against the CDC, if they really want to engage me on it,” Green said.

Jane Orient, M.D., former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, says the real problems are a lack of adequate research and the medical industry’s apparent effort to conceal any link between vaccines and autism.

“We just really don’t know [the causes] and we’re not doing the research” that is needed, she told WND.

The video of the triplets allegedly becoming autistic is hosted on a video platform called Brighteon; it has an Infowars channel, which tells you all you need to know about the kind of content that exists there. WND couldn't be bothered to find any independent verification of the claims -- then again, we could find none ourselves.

Meanwhile, supposed medical doctor Orient, as befits her longtime association with the anti-vaxxer AAPS, is being irresponsible and borderline fraudulent by claiming no research is being done on the alleged link. Plenty of research has been done to disprove the link, and the one piece of research claiming such a link has been refuted and retracted.

Rather than offering any actual scientific proof, WND lets Orient rant about "thousands of case studies" and "the medical industry's shot agenda." Giving space to such factually deficient rants without the same space devoted to debunking it belies WND's claim to be "credible" (as does much of WND's existence, but that's beside the point).

Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 PM EST
MRC Mocks Coverage of 'World's Most Racist Haircut'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserach Center's Bill D'Agostino devoted a Dec. 27 post to bashing "liberal media outlets" for reporting on a incident in which a (black) New Jersey high school wrestler getting a ringside haircut of his dreadlocks on orders of a (white) referee. He sneers that this was "the world's most racist haircut," then tries to pretend there's no issue here:

There’s just one problem: such occurrences are fairly commonplace in high school wrestling.

Wrestling is a heavily regulated sport, and participants are subject to very specific standards of decorum and dress. Before matches, the athletes are checked for skin lesions and have their hair and nails inspected to ensure that they are the proper length – that is, very short. 

The NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) 2019 rules interpretation booklet says the following about “non-abrasive” braided hair: “If the hair in its natural state is longer than allowed by rule, then it must be contained in a legal hair cover. (4-2-1)

For unknown reasons, the referee determined that the young wrestler's hair covering was not legal. Liberal reporters then concluded with alarming certainty that that determination was not only unjust, but also motivated by grotesque racial bias.


Yet for all the outrage it caused, the video of the incident itself is remarkably tame. A coach talks excitedly as the teenager has his hair trimmed by an athletic trainer, and another wrestler walks by to give his teammate an encouraging pre-match high five. Notably absent from the video is any hint of outrage or discomfort on the faces of those observing the scene.

Not only does D'Agostino provide evidence that ringside haircuts are "fairly commonplace," he also omits a couple of inconvenient facts in recounting his version of the story. Notably, the lawyer for the boy's family stated that the boy had wrestled the week before without any incident. Referees are also expected to report any possible rules violations before thte start of the meet, but the referee arrived late and missed the weigh-in period when such things would be addressed.

Instead, D'Agostino mockingly noted that one reporter "shrewdly observed that the teenager had been given no such trouble for his hair during matches earlier in the season. That's certainly a strike against the referee in question – unless, of course, the student’s hair had grown since then, as hair sometimes does."

D'Agostino did concede that "the same referee previously was accused of using a racial slur at a social gathering [in] 2016," so that's something.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:37 PM EST
Fake News: WND Pushes False Claim Obama Favored Muslim Candidate in Nigeria
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Dec. 29 WorldNetDaily article states:

The former president of Nigeria, a Christian, is charging in his new book that President Obama was involved in “facilitating” the persecution of Christians by prodding voters there to adopt a Muslim-led government.

The Muslim, Muhammadu Buhari, was, in fact, elected, and he is being blamed for allowing “the persecution of Christians,” reports Breaking Israel News.

Goodluck Jonathan was Nigeria’s president from 2010-2015, and writes in his new book, “My Transition Hours,” that, “On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote … In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes. Those who understood subliminal language deciphered that he was prodding the electorate to vote for the [Muslim-led] opposition to form a new government.”

Since WND can't be bothered to tell the other side of the story, its readers won't know that Jonathan's claim is false.

Obama's video did not advocate for one candidate over another; he asked "all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place" in the election process, and he urged "all Nigerians from all religions, all ethnic groups and all regions to come together and keep Nigeria one."

Further, Russell Brooks, an officer at the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria, pointed out that Jonathan mischaracterized what the Obama administration for Nigeria, that the 2015 elections were, in fact, free and fair, and that the U.S. supports the democratic process, not a particular candidate.

WND, in its current decimated state, made the mistake of relying the right-wing Breaking Israel News for its claim, specifically a highly biased article by anti-Muslim Raymond Ibrahim ranting about a "genocide" of Christians in Nigeria and that Buhari is "facilitating jihad." While one Christian group declined to endorse Buhari for re-election later this year, another Christian group has endorsed him.

WND also uncritically repeated Ibrahim's claim that nomadic Fulani Muslims are killing Christian farmers in the country in the name of jihad; in fact, the Fulani themselves insist the conflict is about cattle, and one imam helped to save the lives of Christians in the conflict.

WND still hasn't learned that publishing bogus claims doesn't help fix its credibility issues.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EST
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

It's pro-Trump rah-rah time again with December's employment numbers at Susan Jones gushed in her lead story:

Amid concerns about trade with China and rollercoaster stock markets, the final employment report of 2018 counts as good news.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday the economy added an impressivve 312,000 jobs in December, which was a month of strong retail sales; and the nation's unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a point to 3.9 percent, which is still an 18-year low.

The number of employed Americans has now set a 14th record under Trump:

When Trump became president in January 2017, 152,076,000 Americans were employed. Last month, that number grew to a record 156,945,000, a gain of 4,869,000 in two years.

By contrast, when writing about December 2016 employment numbers under President Obama, Jones obsessed over the labor force participation rate, waiting until the seventh paragraph to report that the number of employed Americans had reached a new high.

CNS editor in chief Terry jeffrey not only served up his usual sidebar about manufacturing jobs under Trump, he wrote a second one proclaiming that "The U.S. economy added 284,000 manufacturing jobs in 2018, according to the employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is the largest increase in manufacturing jobs in the United States in 21 years."

We also got a sidebar from Craig Bannister touting how "The national seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. labor force hit itslowest level on record in December of 2018." CNS' Media Research Center quickly exploited that in an anonymously written MRC Latino piece complaining that Spanish-language networks weren't reporting this.

Additionally, CNS published a column by Mickey Levy gushing over the "exceptional" employment numbers and how "labor market performance surpassed expectations in 2018."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:18 PM EST
WND Columnist Hopes Shutdown Will Stall Democratic Investigations of Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Right-wing lawyer Andy Schlafly is indifferent to the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers whose lives have been disrupted by the government shutdown. Indeed, Schlafly uses his Jan. 1 column to cheer on the shutdown for a selfish, partisan reason: it might keep Democrats from investigating the Trump administration. No, really:

The shutdown disarms the Democrats of their most powerful weapon against Trump: investigations by the House of Representatives, soon to be controlled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With committee majorities starting in 2019, Democrats could serve subpoenas on anyone they choose, from Trump’s children to his biggest supporters.

Pelosi is lawyering-up with attorneys who want to impeach the president. Fourteen of the nation’s most aggressive and partisan lawyers are already working for Robert Mueller, but there is no shortage of liberal hacks anxious to take on the assignment of trying to bring down a conservative president.

The House Democrats plan to launch many investigations and hold numerous committee hearings against conservatives other than Trump. If someone turns on the lights, heats the buildings, pays the congressional staff and serves the subpoenas, that is.

The shutdown postpones some of these bad things from happening. Liberals are not interested in working for free in a cold building, and investigations go nowhere if subpoenas cannot be enforced.

As Trump enjoys a rock-solid base of support, he is probably asking himself why he would want to fund Pelosi and the House Democrats to harass him, his family and his supporters. The spectacle of Pelosi not having funds to accomplish her political mischief should be appealing to the president and all conservatives.

There has already been enough wasteful distraction caused by the funding of Robert Mueller and his search for non-existent crimes. The shutdown prevents a multiplication of that in the House.

Only for a partisan like Schlafly would holding the Trump administration accountable be a "bad thing."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EST
Double Standard: MRC Whines Trump Being Called A 'Draft Dodger,' But Had No Problem Calling Clinton One
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Gabriel Hays complains in a Dec. 27 post:

Hateful and petty celebs claimed that Trump was “shamed into visiting the troops,” that somehow Trump’s appearance in Iraq displayed his “cowardice, lies, and stupidity;” and that either way, he’s still a “crook” and a “draft dodger.” And yet we are expected to believe that Hollywood embodies some sort of class?

Actor/Director Rob Reiner put out another predictable Twitter post about how Trump was just “shamed” into doing the visit. Reiner tweeted, “He lies about the bone spurs. Trashes war heroes and gold star parents. Refuses to honor the fallen because it’s raining. Is shamed into visiting the troops. Then lies to them about getting a raise & reveals location of Navy Seals. The Cowardice, Lies, Stupidity are epic.”


Cher also got in on the action with a barely intelligible tweet. It had to do with some “correlation” between Trump’s visit and the behavior “stock market” or something. Either way, Cher blasted Donald as a “psychotic liar, crook, draft dodger.” Well, the Trump hate was loud and clear.

So if you're "hateful and petty" for pointing out that Trump was a draft dodger -- Hays conveniently leaves out the important context of a news report the day before claiming that a doctor diagnosed Trump with bone spurs as a favor to the Trump family in order to keep him out of the draft during the Vietnam War -- what does that make Hays' employer, which has made hay (pun intended) out of sliming Bill Clinton as a "draft dodger"?

For instance, a July 2015 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman carried the headline "Maddow Cites Bill Clinton's 'Student Deferments' (Translation: Draft Dodging) as '92 Campaign Issue," in which he complained that "Clinton's student deferments were not an issue that nearly derailed his first presidential campaign -- it was his evasion of the draft." And on Dec. 13, the MRC published a column by R. Emmett Tyrell declaring Clinton to be "a proven draft dodger." And MRC chief Brent Bozell has previously ranted about "Clinton's draft-dodging past."

Hays never disputes the "draft dodger" charge against Trump, by the way -- he only complains that it was voiced. That seems to show he's just as hateful and petty as the celebs he's projecting upon.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Monday, January 7, 2019
Newsmax Touts Kudlow's Economic Predictions, Censors How His Old Ones Failed
Topic: Newsmax

David Patten enthusiastically writes in a Jan. 4 Newsmax article:

Larry Kudlow, director of President Trump’s National Economic Council, told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Friday that the economy’s addition of a whopping 312,000 jobs last month means “we’re in a boom” and there is no recession on the horizon.

“There’s way too much pessimism out there, probably because of the stock market correction,” Kudlow told Newsmax. “But sometimes stocks depart from the economy.”

He added: “We’re hitting on all cylinders. The Trump plan is working: Low tax rates for large and small businesses and individuals, the biggest regulatory rollback in decades, and sponsorship of American energy dominance.

“This is working. It has led to great confidence, particularly among small business owners.”

Patten, however, doesn't detail Kudlow's record on predicting non-recessions -- or anything, really:

“Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient U.S. economy continues moving ahead,” Kudlow wrote on Dec. 7, 2007, in National Review, predicting that gloomy forecasters would “wind up with egg on their faces.” Kudlow, who previously derided as “bubbleheads” those who warned about a housing bubble, now wrote that “very positive” news in housing should “cushion” falling home sales and prices.

“There’s no recession coming. The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen,” wrote Kudlow. “ . . . The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come. Yes, it’s still the greatest story never told.”


When the economy didn’t rebound and housing continued its collapse, Kudlow pronounced, in a CNBC column on July 24, 2008, that he saw in the data “an awful lot of very good new news, which appear to be pointing to a bottom in the housing problem; in fact, maybe the tiniest beginnings of a recovery.” Stocks lost nearly half their value in the coming months.

Patten seems to have let his "exclusive interview" excitement overrule the idea of reporting the full story.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:22 PM EST
CNS Doesn't Correct WH Press Secretary's False Claim About Flynn
Topic: reporter Melanie Arter is a loyal stenographer to the Trump White House, dutifully transcribing without bothering with extraneous things like fact-checking. She was at it again in a Dec. 18 article, in which she uncritically relayed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claiming that "the FBI 'broke standard protocol in the way that they came in an ambushed' former national security adviser Michael Flynn despite Flynn telling a federal judge Tuesday he knew it was illegal to lie to the FBI."

Later in the article, Arter embraced Sander's rhetoric in referencing "the day that the FBI ambushed Flynn."

In fact, as actual news organizations have pointed out, Flynn's own lawyers have stated that Flyn was not entrapped or "ambushed" in the FBI interview.

Regarding Sanders' claim that the FBI "broke standard protocol" in interviewing Flynn they way it did by contacting him directly instead of going through hthe White House counsel' office, which happened "because James Comey told us that" -- Arter let that bogus claim stand without correction as well. As another actual news organization reported, Comey never said it was a break in protocol or even required to go through the White House first, and that if any failure to use proper channels occured, it was by the White House, not the FBI.

Arter also uncritically repeated Sanders' assertion that "the FBI broke standard protocol in the way that they came in and ambushed General Flynn, and in the way that they questioned him, and in the way that they encouraged him not to have White House Counsel's Office present" -- neither of which Comey ever claimed happened.

Uncritically repeating demonstrable falsehoods doesn't enhance CNS' credibility as a news organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EST
WND's Farah Freaks Out On A Fact-Checker
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has long had a thin skin when it comes to criticism of himself or WND. (That's why he pretends we don't exist.) Farah extends that thinskinned petulance to a person who's merely trying to fact-check him in his Dec. 21 column.

Farah rants: "Some new self-appointed media gatekeeper arises from the know-it-all fever swamp of snowflake self-righteousness to judge my life’s work unworthy." Here, he'stargeting his rage at Kendrick McDonald of NewsGuard, a new organization that aims to provide a clearinghouse on the reliability on news operations. Farah played his usual manhood-measuring card, whinign that McDonald's "career as a professional factchecker has spanned two years," adding that "Before he was born, I was running daily newspapers in major metro markets, teaching journalism at UCLA and winning awards for reporting and editing in urban areas in 'progressive' California."

Farah then reproduced the questions that McDonald asked him. It's cldear that McDonald is simply asking basic questions about WND, like whether it has a corrections policy (the answer to that is no, unless the person or organization who was wronged threatens to sue -- hello, Chobani).

McDonald also asked Farah questions about specific stories WND has covered. It appears McDonald has been reading ConWebWatch, for he asked about the conspiracy theories it has promoted about Barack Obama's birth certificate, Seth Rich and Steve Stockman. He also notes Erik Rush's unhinged column positing that right-wing MAGAbomber Cesar Sayoc was some kind of secret "leftist operative." McDonald also included something we haven't written about:

In your Nov. 12 column, “Where did all these voters come from?” you state as fact that Democrats voted illegally in the 2018 midterm elections, which is the cause of high voter turnout statistics. You cite as evidence a video from Project Veritas. However, the Travis County Deputy Clerk has stated that there has been no evidence of illegal voting at that polling station or any others in Travis County. No other authorities have reported any evidence of voter fraud in the 2018 midterm election.

Before the list, Farah said that "I’d like you to consider what you see daily at MSNBC, the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast – not to mention the wall-to-wall conspiracy theorizing at CNN." After it, he made it extremely clear that anyone who questions WND's shaky editorial choices is beneath him:

I’m done engaging. I’m done suffering fools. I’m done persuading. I’m done defending myself against partisan hacks. And, yes, I’m done counting two things:
  • all the reasons I don’t believe Obama’s phony birth certificate; and
  • how many dead people the Clintons stumbled over.
Let’s just say “too many.”

As we have seen recently, Farah is aggressively refusing to learn the lessons of the past year and failing to see his own flaws even as he lashes out against the same flaws in others.He has made it clear that he blames everyone else but himself for WND's current life on the edge of extinction, even though his embrace of the above cbogus onspiracy theories are a key reason why nobody believes WND.

Self-reflection is clearly not something Farah is interested in -- he's so hostile to the idea that anyone who tries to get him to do it is a "fool" and a "partisan hack." (Farah, by the way, offered no evidence that McDonald and NewsGuard are "partisan hacks" beyond their asking him questions.) He doesn't seem to understand that asking for conspiracy theories to be justified with solid evidence is not the line of reasoning from a "partisan hack" -- it's what journalists do. 

Farah has apparently become so ossified in his conspiracy theories that he will brook no dissent from them. That means he has stopped being a journalist -- and, thus, there's even less of a reason to believe what WND reports.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EST
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Alyssa Milano Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center really, really hates actress Alyssa Milano for committing the offense of not being a right-winger. How else to explain the sneering, condescending, unprofessional tone of Gabriel Hays' Dec. 13 post under the humor-deficient headline "The Horror: Alyssa Milano to Peddle Lefty Books to Kids":

Unfortunately, actress Alyssa Milano is back in the news again … again, and this time her activism seems to have taken on a new more insidious form. Parents be warned, the #metoo champion and physical embodiment of Brett Kavanaugh hatred has just signed a deal for a new line of children’s books that promote a healthy dose of progressive activism.

On Thursday, Entertainment Weekly reportedv that “Milano has signed a major book deal with Scholastic to a series entitled Hope, with the first volume slated for an October 1, 2019 release.” The book, which is illustrated by Eric S. Keyes, follows the adventures of young female protagonist Hope, who “seeks to create social change in her community.”

Calling her new series “empowering” (Gosh we get it, already,) Milano stated that it’s important for the sake of kids discovering that their “voice matters.” “I’m so excited about my new character, Hope Roberts,” she said. “She believes in dreaming big. She’s brave and strong and confident in her abilities — but she’s also a girl just trying to survive middle school.”

Hope’s here to help youngsters understand that they can be all they can be, like top of their class, captain of the JV cheer squad, and still have time to go down to the Supreme Court for their annual exercise in liberal group scream therapy.

Hays goes on to rant that "it doesn’t seem that any sensible parent would want to open their kids up to lefty programming, especially from somebody who embodies the worst hysterics of the #metoo movement." Such juvenile hot takes may the the MRC clicks, but it doesn't help with the all-important quest of being seen as a serious media critic.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 6, 2019 9:39 PM EST
CNS Publishes Columnist's Advice to Trump on How To Obstruct Legal Probes

It's not often you see a media outlet giving a platform to tell someone how to obstruct a criminal investigation, but does exactly that by publishing a Dec. 18 column by right-wing lawyer Mark Fitzgibbons.

Fitzgibbons is having a fit over incoming New York Attorney General Letitia Bell's intent to investigate President Trump's business interests, declaring her a "Democrat [sic] political activist" who is "out to destroy Donald Trump and anyone qround him." He complains that "New York law gives its Attorney General broad powers to conduct arbitrary investigations, broader even than those of the federal government. These powers are open to abuse by politically driven zealots, and are dangerous." But he then adds: "The good news is that they are also ripe for constitutional challenges." Fitzgibbons then outlines the strategies he thinks Trump shoulduse to obstruct any Bell-led investigation, no matter how legitimate:

There nevertheless is leverage Trump can bring against James, and expose the lawlessness and unconstitutionality about what she has threatened. The following include observations from my recent continuing legal education paper and presentation, “Civil Investigative Demands: Fourth Amendment Enigmas and Strategies to Respond,” and are not to be construed as legal advice.

First, Mr. Trump needs to treat Ms. James as a legal existential threat. He should assemble a “dream team” of lawyers, ones who do not have regular business before the New York Attorney General so they are not tempted to compromise Trump’s interests. Trump should put on this team what I call warrior lawyers. Warriors have the mentality that he or she might get hurt, but assuredly their opponent will get hurt. Trump’s legal team needs to send a strong signal that there will be a tremendous downside for Ms. James.

Trump’s team should make a constitutional challenge against the Attorney General’s arbitrary power to search. For this Trump should hire Professor Philip Hamburger, whose scholarship on the constitutional problems with the administrative state is not only unmatched, but positions him as among the best lawyers who grasp the true danger of the judgeless searches James will employ.


There are other legal tactics Trump may use. One is that his legal team and all the lawyers for his business empire, family, and associates enter into what are called “common interest agreements.” These agreements allow the lawyers to share information while being protected by the legal privilege of confidentiality.

When responding to James’ judgeless, arbitrary search writs, Trump’s team should smother James with objections. And even when complying with the civil investigative demands, Trump’s team should preserve trade secret and constitutional objections.

Since civil investigative demand enforcement proceedings almost always preclude discovery, Trump should use Freedom of Information Act requests to expose patterns of lawbreaking within James’ office. State attorneys general have a history of failing to respect FOIA laws. Acting lawlessly like that plays to one of Trump’s strengths, which is to name names and humiliate government lawbreakers. Especially with elected state attorneys general, showing they have exposure of a pattern of violating the law can be a hot potato.

That's a lot of legal advice for something that is supposedly "not to be construed as legal advice."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 6, 2019 6:04 PM EST
Saturday, January 5, 2019
MRC Columnist: If You Criticize Fox News' Hate, You Criticize A 'Free Press'
Topic: Media Research Center

Jeffrey Lord writes in his Dec. 22 Media Research Center column:

Remember this? This statement issued by Fox News when CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta was in the middle of his battle with the Trump administration to regain his White House pass, which was revoked? Thus barring Acosta - although not CNN - from doing his job of covering the White House. The statement, with bold print supplied, read: 

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

Which is to say, when Fox’s competitor in cable news was seen as having its basic free press rights threatened, Fox stood up for its rival, CNN. Fox stood up for a free press.

Talk about a one-way highway.

Now the free press rights of Fox are on the line. Specifically the latest anti-free press target of far-Left special interest groups who have made it their business to shut down a free press is Fox host Tucker Carlson.  As with previous anti-free press jihads against other Fox hosts - Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs and others (not to mention conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and others) - CNN turns a blind eye to the free press rights of Fox.

First, the situations are not remotely analogous -- access to covering the White House is not the same thing as being held accountable for on-air content. What would have been analogous was a situation in which the Obama State Department sought phone records related to then-Fox News correspondent James Rosen in a leak investigation. As even the MRC conceded, CNN denounced the action.

What Lord is ranting about is the current targeting of Carlson over his anti-immigrant crusade. He complains that Carlson's words are being "deceptively edited" and that he's a victim of, yes, that "anti-free press lynch mob." He then whines that insurance company Pacific Life pulled its ads from Carlson's show, citing six donations to Democrats in the current election cycle to prove that the company's PAC has given "beaucoup bucks" to "the Open Border crowd," allegedly demonstrating that this show it's being "completely dishonest on what it is doing in removing its ads from the Fox show."

Actually, it's Lord who is being completely dishonest here. In fact, according to Open Secrets, Pacific Life's PAC donated to more than 130 House and Senate candidates during the 2018 election cycle -- and 62 percent of the money went to Republicans. Lord has hidden the Republican-leaning bias of Pacific Life to push a false argument.

Finally, Lord  seems not to understand how the First Amendment works. Yes, there is freedom of the press, but there is no shielding from the consequences of the words said. Carlson is simply being held accountable for his words, and targeting advertisers who sponsnor those words is just one part of that. Funny, we don't recall Lord objecting when the organization that publishes his column attacked CNN host Reza Aslan for saying something it didn't like.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EST

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