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Friday, March 15, 2019
MRC Hides Attorney's Experience to Dismiss Him As A Mere TV Personality
Topic: Media Research Center

In March 2018, the Media Research Center complained that some in the media were "haughtily dismissed" the idea of President Trump naming Larry Kudlow as an economic adviser, "discarding" him "as simply a 'TV personality' who encourages the President’s 'TV feedback loop."and ignoring the fact that Kudlow worked in the Reagan administration (not mentioning that allegedly relevant experience was 30 years ago, and he was a TV personality for much longer than he was a Reagan employee). It also dismissed concerns about Kudlow's long record of bad economic predictions by playing whataboutism and complaining about Paul Krugman.

Now, the MRC is giving someone else the Kudlow treatment it purportedly hated. Bill D'Agostino grumbled in a March 6 post:

Former MSNBC contributor Daniel Goldman, who was recently hired as director of investigations for the House Intelligence Committee, has quite a track record of spewing anti-Trump Democratic talking points on cable television. Over the past few months alone, Goldman has used his television platform to tell viewers “that the President has committed a felony in order to obtain the office of the presidency,” and that the very act of opposing President Trump puts him on “the right side of history.” 

Interestingly, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace made no mention of Goldman’s professional relationship with her network when she announced the appointment on Tuesday’s Deadline: White House. CNN’s first report about the development that same evening also skipped this latest turn of the revolving door between the Democratic Party and establishment news media. 

Goldman once claimed during an interview on Fox News that he was “not at all partisan.” However, MRC analysts examined Goldman’s appearances on cable news to evaluate that claim and discovered he has spent the past year using his media platform to lobby for the idea that the President is decidedly guilty.

D'Agostino is so determined to dismiss Goldman as nothing but a partisan TV personality that he didn't mention Goldman's direct experience working 10 years as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, where he specialized in prosecuting Russian organized crime networks -- which, again, is much longer than Kudlow worked for Reagan. Instead, D'Agostino obliquely referred to Goldman's "legal bona fides" while never mentioning what they are or explain how they're directly applicable to his new job.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 AM EDT
Thursday, March 14, 2019
CNS Dips A Toe In The Anti-Vaxxer Pool

We've documented how has been drifting toward WorldNetDaily territory, in both editorial bias and embrace of conspiracy theories. CNS is now trying on another WND conspiracy theory: anti-vaccine activism.

CNS published a March 6 column by right-winger Michelle Malkin in which she ranted about how "Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley have locked their sights on the next targets of a frightening free speech-squelching purge: independent citizens who dare to raise questions online about the safety and efficacy of vaccines," blaming "pharmaceutical big business" for being behind "politicians and government bureaucrats [who] are now hell-bent on deplatforming any and all dissenters who challenge mandatory vaccine regimens."

Malkin, though, doesn't quite have the conviction of her beliefs, conceding: "I'm vaccinated. My children are up to date. There's no dispute that vaccines have saved untold lives" -- which sort of undercuts the whole point of ranting against vaccines. She also admits there's "junk science on the 'anti-vaccine' side," but also complains that the film "Vaxxed" -- made by the defrocked doctor who pushed the discredited claim that vaccines cause autism -- was pulled from some streaming outlets.

Malkin then tries to play gotcha:

As for efficacy, consider this new data: A recent whooping cough outbreak at the private Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles last week resulted in 30 students contracting the illness, all of whom were vaccinated. Of 18 unvaccinated students, none caught the disease. Will pointing this out on my Facebook and Twitter accounts bring down the Silicon Valley ban hammer?

Malkin is pretending not to know that it's common knowledge that the whooping cough vaccine, part of the Tdap vaccine series, loses efficacy over time and requires a booster shot at age 11 or 12. The fact that none of the unvaccinated students didn't get whooping cough can likely be chalked up to coincidence rather than any magical non-vaccination power.

The next day, managing editor Michael W. Chapman gave Republican Rep. Rand Paul a platform to rant against mandating vaccinations without presenting an opposing view. But Chapman also let Paul undercut his own argument: "I'm not here to say don't vaccinate your kids. ... I vaccinated myself. I vaccinated my kids."

Chapman also let Paul huff that ""Despite the government admitting to and paying $4 billion for vaccine injuries, no informed consent is used or required when you vaccinate your child. This may be the only medical procedure in today's medical world where an informed consent is not required." Chapman didn't report the actual numbers of people involved: According to the federal government, that $4 billion involves just 6,430 cases judged to meet standards for compensation, out of the millions upon millions of people who have been vaccinated during that time. The government adds:

According to the CDC, from 2006 to 2017 over 3.4 billion doses of covered vaccines were distributed in the U.S. For petitions filed in this time period, 6,197 petitions were adjudicated by the Court, and of those 4,250 were compensated. This means for every 1 million doses of vaccine that were distributed, 1 individual was compensated.

Sounds like vaccines are quite safe. But Chapman couldn't be bothered to tell the full story.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 AM EDT
WND Columnist Peddles Myth Behind Anti-Abortion Movie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The ConWeb is quite happy about the upcoming anti-abortion film "Unplanned," which claims to tell the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who became an anti-abortion zealot. Among the ConWeb folks enthused about the film is WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown, who warned in his Feb. 25 column: "Expect character assassination of those involved in the movie (not to mention of Johnson herself)." Brown then repeated some blogger's retelling of Johnson's story:

She “worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, until 2009 when she left the organization after assisting in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old unborn baby. Johnson was Planned Parenthood’s youngest director of a clinic in the nation.

“She helped over 22,000 women have abortions during her time at the clinic. Planned Parenthood named Johnson as the employee of the year in 2008. She worked at the abortion provider for eight years before leaving the group. Johnson also had a medication abortion before she became pro-life.”

So, seeing the reality of what abortion did to a child in the womb changed the heart of this zealous Planned Parenthood employee. And now, the movie “Unplanned” is positioned to change the hearts of millions of potential viewers.

Just one thing: that creation myth isn't quite true. As an actual news outlet reported, Planned Parenthood stated that there were no ultrasound-guided abortions on the day that Johnson claims, Johnson did not assist on any abortion that day, and the only abortion patient that day who comes closest to the person described in Johnson's story was too early in her pregnancy to require the use of ultrasound. (Johnson stands by her version of the story and suggested Planned Parenthood doctored records to make her look bad.)

Brown then complained that it was "outrageous" that the film got an R rating due to its graphic abortion footage. But he didn't criticize the filmmakers for refusing to make the needed edits to make the film more accessible or question why making the procedure look as gory as possible was the only possible artistic decision.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Acosta Derangement Syndrome Watch, MRC Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is not satisfied with merely criticizing CNN's Jim Acosta (though it absolutely loves doing that); the MRC feels it must dunk on Acosta at every opportunity, and doubly so if he gets something not quite right.

For chief MRC Acosta-hater Curtis Houck, it wasn't enough for him to try and correct Acosta for something he thinks the reporter got wrong. He went into full insult mode in a Feb. 28 post, ranting that "carnival barker" Acosta "appeared in need of a safe space following President Trump’s Hanoi press conference" because he noted that Trump gave relatively little attention to American reporters. Houck went on to huff:

Now, here’s the facts. Along with New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger, here were at least six members of the White House press corps from American outlets that were called on: Major Garrett (CBS), Jonathan Karl (ABC), David Nakamura (The Washington Post), Ayesha Rascoe (NPR), John Roberts (Fox News), and Margaret Talev (Bloomberg). 

To quote CNN’s snarky motto: Facts First!

But Houck did not provide the total number of journalists Trump called on at the press conference, meaning he offers no context as to whether or not six American journalists is or is not a sufficient number relevant to the number of foreign journalists -- and, to Acosta's point, the number of foreign journalists working for state-run outlets in authoritarian countries like Russia and China -- that were called on.

Nevertheless, by the next day, the MRC's Tim Graham declared that Acosta's not-quite-proven-wrong statement was a "flat-out lie" --  apparently, Graham can read Acosta's mind now -- citing Houck's post to claim "Acosta was 'Pants on Fire' when he complained the White House press corps was ignored" (which was not what Acosta said). Graham went on to cheer right-wing Fox News host Laura Ingraham for taking shots at Acosta.

Houck, by the way, wasn't done insulting Acosta. The same day as the above rant, he unleashed another one complaining about "another long-winded, gloat-filled diatribe against the President" from Acosta and that "Acosta couldn’t help but make a juvenile slap toward the President." Well, Houck knows all about making juvenile slaps, doesn't he?

Houck expressed his Acosta derangement once more in a March 11 post (under the leaden snark of a "Dear Diary" headline):

After what must have been an insanely painful 42 days for the White House press corps, Monday afternoon featured a White House press briefing and, needless to say, carnival barker, CNN chief White House correspondent, and infamous newsman Jim Acosta made sure to make this briefing count.

Acosta used his allotted two minutes as best he could, tussling with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders over the Democratic Party’s issues with Jewish people and the President’s rhetoric as a source of what ills America.


Afterward, on CNN Newsroom, Acosta uncorked another long-winded, uninterrupted lecture about his dismay for what comes out of the White House. 

It's telling that Houck is more concerned that Houck is allowed to say anything at a White House press conference than the fact that the Trump administration went 42 days without holding one.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 AM EDT
Pro-White WND Columnist Frets Over 'Anti-White Politics'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As befits a writer who pines a little too hard for the days of apartheid, WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer is worried about the hardships white people face. She worries again in her Feb. 28 column:

Every time a manifestly racist, anti-white event goes down, which is frequently, conservative media call it “identity politics.” “The left is playing identity politics.”

Whatever is convulsing the country, it’s not identity politics. For, blacks are not being pitted against Hispanics. Hispanics are not being sicced on Asians, and Ameri-Indians aren’t being urged to attack the groups just mentioned. Rather, they’re all piling on honky. Hence, anti-white politics or animus.

The ire of the multicultural multitudes is directed exclusively at whites and their putative privilege. Anti-whitism is becoming endemic and systemic.

Mercer then complained about the Jussie Smollett hoax, grumbling: "'Trump supporters' is indeed a proxy for 'white persons.' The conflation of 'white' and 'Trump supporter' was made, for one, by an anti-white, anti-Trump, professional agitator." She added: "Some conservatives remarked that the Smollett affair occurred against the backdrop of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Is TDS not a proxy for the white-hot hatred of whites?"

Mercer then ranted about, as near as we can tell, lessons on multiculturalism in schools: "As if public education were not sufficiently corrupt, 'educators' now contract out to an educational black op. These tax-paid mercenaries come to schools as social levelers to put your kids through an indoctrination boot camp. However, it’s not egalitarianism the schools are increasingly teaching, but anti-whitism."

This is apparently based on an article at FrontPageMag by Matthew Vadum (remember him?) about a lawsuit by parents objecting to a curriculum created a group called Just Communities Central Coast and used in a California school district. Just Communities has said the curriculum examples cited in the lawsuit are altered or taken out of context, which seems like a relevant thing to mention.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2019 12:17 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

When President Obama was in office,'s editorial mission was to spin employment numbers by focusing on irrelevant metrics like labor force participation rate while downplaying how millions of jobs were created, with the goal of making Obama look as bad as possible. Under President Trump, it's the opposite: CNS gushes over Trump no matter how dubious the employment news.

So it is with February's employment numbers. Only 20,000 jobs were created, which is a dismal number. Susan Jones' main story did acknowledge that in her opening paragraph, then spins it away:

The economy added a meager 20,000 jobs in February, well below the 180,000 that analysts were expecting, and among the lowest job-creation numbers of the Trump administration.

But the number of employed Americans grew by 255,000 in February to a record 156,949,000, the 18th record-breaker of the Trump era.

The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent from last month's 4.0 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the labor force participation rate stayed at last month's 63.2 percent, also a Trump-era high.

Needless to say, CNS didn't put that bad job-creation number in the headline, though it would have unquestionably done so if the president was a Democrat. Instead, the headline blared: "156,949,000: Number of Employed Americans Sets 18th Record of Trump Era."

CNS also served up its full complement of sidebars: Terry Jeffrey touting higher manufacturing jobs (though only a mere 4,000 were created) and lower government jobs (though tere was no drop at the federal level), and Craig Bannister highlighting lower Hispanic unemployment (since Hispanics are more politically exploitable for conservatives than blacks).

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 AM EDT
WND's Farah Can't Stop Gushing Over Trump's Every Word
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah's continued gushing over President Trump is approaching cult-like proportions. Farah spent his Feb. 22 column slobbering over Trump's speech attacking socialism:

Do you know how long it’s been since an American president gave a sweeping, inspirational talk on the oppressive death cult of socialism?

I know for sure it hasn’t been delivered since 1989, when Ronald Reagan left office.


I heard hope. I heard clarity. I heard courage. And I heard chants of USA! USA! USAI

I heard a new day was coming for Venezuela – and I believe it.

heard “socialism is dying, and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn” … and I believe it.

I heard Trump say: “We are profoundly grateful to every dissident, every exile, every political prisoner and everyone who bears witness to the horrors of socialism and communism, and who has bravely spoken out against them.” And I embrace that.

I heard Trump explain just what tyrannical socialism does every time it takes power – “nationalized private industries … took over private businesses … engaged in massive wealth confiscation, shut down free markets, suppressed free speech … set up a relentless propaganda machine, rigged elections, used the government to persecute their political opponents and destroyed the impartial rule of law.” And I said Amen! Preach it, brother!


I heard enthusiasm and unity and optimism and confidence.

Why haven’t I heard words like that from an American president since 1989?

And then I hear people ask: “Why don’t the young people understand what socialism is really about – death, suffering, oppression, tyranny?”

Maybe they’re simply expressing that they have heard for too long from their college professors and their national “leaders.”

Thank God for Trump!

Speaking of God, Farah's column four days later pushed the idea (as WND has before) that Trump's election was divinely ordained:

A Fox News poll taken just before the second anniversary of President Donald Trump’s January 2017 inauguration showed 25 percent of Americans polled believe God wanted Trump elected.

I know I did.

I know I did some serious praying in 2016.

But I’m not really sure it’s even the right question.

If God had wanted Trump elected, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be so. But God is the sovereign ruler of the universe, the Creator, the One without whom all material things would cease to exist. Nothing happens in the world that God doesn’t at least allow to happen.


I think many people believe there was something supernatural about the 2016 election because “the world” said it could never happen. All the experts were wrong. How could that be?

It’s times like that you can expect God to act. When it happens, it doesn’t mean we’re entering Eden again. It’s doesn’t mean the Kingdom of God is here. It doesn’t mean Jesus is about to return.

There is only one time you will get to choose the Perfect Leader. That’s when you decide who will be the Lord of your life – and you choose Jesus-Yeshua, the Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords.

As WND has before, Farah fails to entertain the possibility that God ordained Trump as a warning instead of a deliverance.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Monday, March 11, 2019
NewsBusters Blogger Insists Clinton's Link to Epstein Is More Important Than Trump's
Topic: NewsBusters

Mark Finkelstein whines in a Feb. 22 MRC NewsBusters post:

Court documents show that Bill Clinton took at least 26 trips on convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein's notorious "Lolita Express" party plane. There's no indication that Donald Trump ever did. But in a segment on Epstein on her MSNBC show today, Joy Reid managed to refer to President Trump six times, accompanied by extended photo displays of Trump in Epstein's company.

Number of times Reid mentioned Lolita Express frequent flyer Clinton? A New York bagel, of course.

It's almost cute how Finkelstein is pretending that Trump has no links whatsoever to Epstein. As we've documented, Trump has flown at least once on the "Lolita Express," Epstein hung out at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, and one of Epstein's sex trafficking victiitems was recruited while working as a 15-year-old towel girl at Mar-a-Lago. Additionally, the attorney who cut the deal that let Epstein get off with a relative slap on the wrist, Alexander Acosta, is Trump's labor secretary.

(There's also the fact that Trump is currently the president while Clinton has not been for quite some time.)

Additionally, the video montage Finkelstein supplies is a bit on the curious side. Two of the instances are of Reid edited to say only "Donald Trump" without context, which tells us that Finkelstein is trying to hide something. One reference noted the fact that Trump  ws a friend of Epstein, another noted the link to Acosta, and a fifth noted Trump's previous praise of Epstein.

This is the first time Finkelstein has tried an Epstein deflection; in 2016, he wanted to talk about Clinton's connection to Epstein instead of former Republican congressman Dennis Hastert's admission to molesting children.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EDT
WND Teams With Fringe Medical Group To Push Anti-Vaccine Fearmongering
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When the current measles outbreak began, WorldNetDaily didn't have much to say; it copy-and-pasted articles stolen from elsewhere about one apology for an outbreak and calls to reduce exemptions from vaccinations. But WND is a longtime anti-vaxxer, and those tendencies have been rekindling in recent months, so it couldn't stop conspiracy-mongering for long.

First up was dubious doc Jane Orient, who writes in a Feb. 28 WND column:

Every time there is a measles outbreak somewhere there is an outcry to restrict vaccine exemptions, to protect the public – and, just coincidentally, vaccine manufacturers.

Measles is extremely contagious, and with today’s air travel, a patient incubating measles but not yet sick can arrive any time and cough virus particles all over Disneyland. Most patients recover fully, with robust lifelong immunity. But some get serious complications or die. Measles is two to four times worse than in pre-vaccination days because it affects more adults and infants. Mothers with only waning vaccine-induced immunity cannot give their babies the antibodies that once protected infants of naturally immunized mothers during their most vulnerable period.

That link goes to an abstract of an article in a medical journal that doesn't quite say what she thinks it says. The full article states that the fact that diseases are more severe in the unvaccinated "might be a potent tool to motivate hesitant parents to vaccinate their children," but that clinicians "do not engage parents in extensive discussions about many clinical services, including vaccination."

Instead, Orient complained that outbreaks cause people to dismiss anti-vaxxers like her: 

Worries are attributed to “antivax quacks,” and the omniscient Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is reportedly going to protect the public by suppressing information he judges to be “not credible.” Public health people prevented the screening of the 2016 movie “Vaxxed: from Coverup to Catastrophe” in Phoenix. The film shows children with devastating neurologic damage and parents telling how their once-normal child changed dramatically just after getting a vaccine. But these are mere anecdotes; there is “overwhelming evidence” of safety, the experts assure us.

"Vaxxed" is the film made by Andrew Wakefield, a now-defrocked doctor who wrote an infamous study claming a link between vaccines and autism that has since been discredited.

Orient then dismisses the threat, assuring us that "measles probably can't be eradicated" and that "the last measles death in the U.S. occured in 2015."

That was followed by a March 6 article touting how the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- the fringe-right organization that Orient heads -- fearmongering about the alleged "government-imposed risks" from manating that children be vaccinated.

We're guessing that WND is not going to report to its readers that an unvaccinated boy almost died of tetanus and racked up an $800,000 hospital bill trying to stay alive.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EDT
Sunday, March 10, 2019
MRC Suddenly Loves Jorge Ramos After His Detention In Venezuela
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how the Media Research Center's MRC Latino division seems to have been formed just to attack Hispanic journalist Jorge Ramos -- to the point of demanding that he resign. But now Ramos has played into the MRC's right-wing agenda, and suddenly its criticism of him has subsided.

Last month, Ramos' news crew was detained overnight in Venezuela by the government of Nicolas Maduro -- whom the MRC wants to make sure you know is a socialist, and that socialism alone is responsible for Venezuela's current state of collapse (though that's not actually true) -- and Ramos has denounced his detention as a act of repression and a violation of international law.

So, of course, the MRC's first reaction to this was to ... defend President Trump?

Yep. An anonymously written Feb. 26 piece, credited only to "MRC Latino Staff" and carrying the headline "Venezuela Is Not Iowa," touted how Ramos feeling  actual repression means that Trump's kicking ramos out of a news conference is utterly benign by comparison:

Maduro literally held Ramos and crew; and seized their equipment while inflicting psychological torture on the Univision News crew - all for the sin of asking uncomfortable questions. To suggest that this is somehow similar to Trump’s ejection of Ramos of the press conference forvbreaking protocol and heckling, only to bring him back minutes later and take his questions, minimizes the gravity of what actually happened in Caracas and threatens to erode whatever goodwill Ramos rightly deserves for having endured such an outrageous act of journalistic repression.

The only proper takeaway from this incident is that these actions are the last gasps of a dying regime that struggles to hold power by any means necessary against the will of a people that yearn to be free after two decades of misery, starvation, and death. Anything else is just noise and nonsense.

(Of course, as we noted, the MRC had no problem when the reporter engaing in heckling and breaking protocol is a conservative and the president is named Obama.)

The same day, Curtis Houck touted an appearance by Ramos on Sean Hannity's Fox News show "to discuss his brief detainment in Venezuela by the murderous Nicolas Maduro regime." In a similar Trump-protecting moment, Houck particularly gushed over "perhaps the most profound thing he said ... which was the fact that, despite his dislike of President Donald Trump, assaults on press freedoms like what took place in Venezuela don’t happen in America."

The minute Ramos says anything even remotely critical of Trump again, though, look for the MRC to once again demand his head on a platter.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
CNS Tries to Link Defrocked Cardinal To Democrats, Censors His Link To GOP

Religion is politics at -- and it proved that yet again by trying to tie a Catholic cardinal defrocked over sexual abuse of children to Democratic politicians.

An anonymously written Feb. 25 article worked hard to do just that:

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked by the Catholic Church on Jan. 11 for abusing minors and the Sacrament of Confession, presided over the Aug. 29, 2009 burial service for Sen. Ted Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.

The burial, which took place at sunset, was televised and preserved on video by CSPAN. McCarrick, at the time, was the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C.

The video shows Vice President Joe Biden chatting amiably with McCarrick before the burial.

The anonymous writer also made sure to rehash an old Kennedy scandal: "On the night of July 18, 1969, after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island along with 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne (who had been a staffer on Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign), Kennedy drove off a bridge into a channel of water. Kopechne drowned."

(But we thought the MRC hated when the media brought up unfortunate stories about dead people's pasts.)

The next day, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey tried to hang McCarrick around the neck of another Democratic politician:

On Jan. 6, 2009, the day that Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) was re-elected to serve as speaker of the House for the 111th Congress, then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said the opening prayer for the House of Representatives and Pelosi said he had honored the House by doing so.

She then called all the children in the chamber that day to join her at the podium as she took the oath of office and said: “I want to thank the children for joining me at the podium so that, as we called the House to order earlier today, it will be clear that the House will be called to order for all of America’s children."

At the opening of that day’s session, McCarrick, who was then the archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., was introduced at the podium at the front of the chamber to say the traditional prayer. This was the first meeting of the 111th Congress, which had been elected in November 2008, with majorities in both chambers going to the Democrats. In that same election, Barack Obama was elected president.

But CNS doesn't want to tell you that McCarrick was very much a bipartisan cardinal. The Washington Post reported that McCarrick curried favor on both sides of the political aisle -- reading at a memorial service for Ronald Reagan and earning praise from President George W. Bush -- and that he "basked in the glow of being a crossover figure who presented himself as the righteous person whom politicians sought when they faced their own theological questions of right and wrong." The Post also points out -- where CNS failed to -- that nobody knew about McCarrick's proclivities.

But then, nobody reads CNS for fairness and balance in reporting.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EST
Saturday, March 9, 2019
MRC Thinks Twitter Conspired To Bury Jussie Smollett Story With John Wayne Interview
Topic: Media Research Center

The tech monitors at the Media Research Center are unfortunately prone to such things as pretending that social media platforms that promote hate and white supremacism are merely engaging in "free speech" and portraying fringe activists as mainstream conservatives. Now they're going the conspiracy-theory route.

In a Feb. 19 post, Alexander Hall appears to be blaming Twitter itself for allegedly redirecting attention from the Jussie Smollett story to a resurfaced interview that John Wayne did with Playboy in 1971, under the headline "Twitter Diverts Attention from Smollett to Old John Wayne Interview":

Squirrel, Pilgrim!

Things aren’t going so well at the moment in the culture wars? You went all in on a hate crime that turned out to be a hoax? Your dignified Indian elder Marine veteran wasn’t much of a veteran and the Covington kids did nothing to him? How about the minstrel show in the Virginia Capital?

Take heart, progressives. You can dig up an American icon and knock him down cost-free and with no risk he’ll defend himself!

Jussie Smollett’s story may have been fiction, but John Wayne was real and he was conservative. Therefore, he can be vilified. It doesn’t matter that the Duke rode off into the sunset in 1979 -- why not pour a bit of your perpetual outrage in the Wayback Machine and head over to Twitter for some gasping about....a 48 year old interview with the star.

Desperate for something to distract from Smollett, lefties found a new target: John Wayne. Specifically a 1971 interview Wayne did with Playboy.

The only evidence Hall offers of Twitter's alleged corporate hand in creating the distraction was a notation that a tweet -- made by a "non-verified user," Hall wants us to know -- about the interview that had already been gaining attention "was elevated two days after it began as a trending Twitter Moment."

Curiously, Hall failed to note anywhere in his post exactly why the Wayne interview was getting so much attention -- he does not quote from it at all. Fortunately for us, an actual news outlet was on the case:

In the 1971 interview, Wayne railed against “perverted films,” giving the interviewer, Richard Warren Lewis, two examples when asked: “Easy Rider” and “Midnight Cowboy.”

The actor described the characters in the latter film with a homophobic slur, then went on to extol the virtues of sexual intercourse between men and women.

“I believe in white supremacy,” he said, and spoke harshly about African Americans, saying, “We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks.”

“I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people,” he said.

But to Hall, this wasn't newsworthy; he was mad that accurately quoting Wayne was designed to "disparage this American icon."

Meanwhile, a few days later, Hall's MRC co-worker Curtis Houck was complaining that the media wasn't reporting enough on "any of the scandals surrounding the three Democrats who sit atop Virginia's government," two of which involved racially charged blackface incidents, despite there being nothing to report on. Depends on whose arguably racist views are being focused on, apparently.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 AM EST
WND Joins MRC In Praising Lara Logan, Censoring The Story She Botched
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just as the Media Research Center did, WorldNetDaily went all in on gushing over Lara Logan's love of right-wingers and disdain for the "liberal media." Joe Kovacs writes in a Feb. 18 article:

A longtime reporter for CBS News best known for her work on the network’s “60 Minutes” program is now publicly admitting that most journalists at major media companies are “absurdly left-leaning” when it comes to politics.

Lara Logan, a foreign correspondent for CBS, agreed with that assessment as she spoke from her own home on the the Mike Drop podcast, hosted by retired Navy SEAL Mike Ritland.

It was Ritland who first said American media were “absurdly left-leaning” and that Democrat biases were a “huge f—ing problem” and “disaster for this country,” reported Breitbart News.

“I agree with that. That’s true,” responded Logan, who said it was a phenomenon not solely limited to America.

And just as the MRC did, Kovacs failed to mention the apparent source of Logan's bitterness: A 2013 "60 Minutes" story in which she interviewed a pseudonymous man who claimed to have witness the Benghazi attack. But after the story aired, other journalists discovered that the contractor was nowhere near the Benghazi facility at the time of the attack and that he told a different account to the FBI. On top of that failure of reporting, Logan also failed to disclose that the contractor's book was being published by a company also owned by CBS. All of this required retractions and sent Logan on a forced leave of absence.

Then again, as we documented at the time, WND's treatment of the story didn't leave it covered in glory. Then-reporter Aaron Klein rushed to defend the man, prematurely declaring that the "attempt to discredit" him had "backfired." After the man was definitively found to be discredited, Klein flip-flopped and insisted he should never have been trusted to begin with (which, of course, doesn't explain why Klein defended him in the first place).

Since this was all just a bit of lazy media-bashing (on Kovacs' part as well, since he missed the part where Logan left CBS months before her interview), WND editor Joseph Farah wanted in on that action. In his Feb. 21 column, he gushed that Logan "is one of the most accomplished and courageous people in journalism" and played up her claim that she was committing "professional suicide" by going on a media-bashing attack:

As a former member of the so-called “mainstream” media, I know what she means. There’s no going back. There’s no absolution, no mercy, no grace, no two sides to every story anymore. Once you point out the obvious – that your colleagues are all in the tank for one very narrow political worldview – whatever you accomplished in your previous professional life is forgotten. You are a pariah.

Needless to say, Farah didn't mention that the real reason Logan is a "pariah" is that she committed professional suicide years earlier by botching a major story.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EST
Friday, March 8, 2019
CNS' Highly Biased Coverage of Cohen Testimony
Topic:'s coverage of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress was like a lot of  its political coverage: highly biased.

CNS kicked things off with an article by Susan Jones touting Trump tweets trashing Cohen. It's not until the ninth paragraph that Jones gets around to noting that Cohen said in his written testimony that "Trump is a racist, a conman, and a cheat." That was joined by an anonymously written preview article taken from Cohen's advance written testimony that focused on he "says that he has lied but he is not a liar" -- and completely omitted Cohen's scathing criticism of Trump in that very same testimony. (A separate anonymous article addressed that; no reason was provided as to why they could not appear in the same article.) And it wasn't until Cohen's testimony before Congress actually started -- a full four hours after her first article posted -- that Jones got around to more fully summarizing Cohen's criticism of Trump in his written testimony, and it's framed as it usually is by Jones declaring that Cohen offered no "direct evidence" of collusion. (Jones wrout another article the next day highlighting Trump's tweeting that Cohen lied about everything except the "no collusion" part.)

CNS curiously cited no questioning of Cohen by Democratic representatives -- that would have been too fair and balanced -- but it did a full three stories on Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, among the CNS and the Media Rrsearch Center's favorite congressmen, haranguing Cohen:

  • Melanie Arter transcribed Jordan's rant against Cohen, calling him a "fraudster, cheat, convicted felon, and in two months a federal inmate."
  • Craig Bannister highlighted Jordan's complaint that "CNN obtained Cohen's statement and exhibits before the committee did."
  • Dimitri Simes gushed over how Jordan "pressed the former lawyer to President Donald Trump over his filing of five fraudulent tax returns and his failure to pay $1.4 million in taxes."

Jones also featured Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx badgering Cohen about whether he intends to "profit from his crimes through movie and book deals."

None of these articles addressed any of the claims Cohen made about Trump. Again, that would have been too fair and balanced.

The one bit of non-Cohen-related fireworks at the hearing -- Republican Rep. Mark Meadows trotting out a black Trump administration official to somehow counter Cohen's claim that Trump is racist, and Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib's calling out Meadows on the tokenism of that gesture -- got subdued coverage that managed to be about Tlaib and not Meadows.

Arter touted Meadow's stunt, and his insistence that "Lynne Patton, who served as vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation," somehow countered Cohen's point that there are no black executives in the Trump Organization (which is the name of Trump's business operations). An article the next day by Patrick Goodenough attacked Tlaib for having "'liked' a tweet that essentially described Meadows as an example of 'white privilege and white fragility.'" Goodenough did eventually offer an unusually even-handed recount of the dispute. Later that day, Bannister huffed that new CNS target Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez honored Tlaib's "bravery" in criticizing Meadows "for daring to allow an African-American colleague testify that President Donald Trump is not a racist."

(Actually, the woman, Lynne Patton, did not testify; she simply stood next to Meadows.)

Bannister then gave Patton her own article, citing a Fox News appearance (of course) in which she went on a self-aggrandizing, Trump-fluffing rant that Tlaib was taking "the word of a self-confessed perjurer and criminally convicted white man over a black female who is highly educated, rose up through the ranks of one of the most competitive companies in real estate, spoke before 25 million people at the Republican National Convention, and now works in one of the most historic administrations in history."

Bannister didn't mention that Patton is so dedicated to emulating Trump that she's trying to get a spot on a reality TV show.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 8, 2019 2:01 PM EST
The MRC Is STILL Promoting 'Gosnell' Film Bomb
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center loved to help right-wing filmmaker Phelim McAleer raise money for and promote his fictionalized film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (but nowhere near as enthusiastic about discussing what McAleer was providing to the MRC in consideration for all aht publicity). It tanked at the box office, making only $3.6 million, but production costs were mostly funded by (MRC-promoted) crowdfunding so McAleer's personal financial hit was likely negligible.

But the promotion never stops, which brings us to a Feb. 22 column by McAleer that the MRC published on its NewsBusters website. In it, McAleer simply rehashes the victim narrative he pushed to get his film made: Hollywood, the tech industry and the media conspired to keep the film from getting made and shown to hide the reality of abortion.

(No mention of the fact that, as one reviewer noted, Gosnell was able to exist as a rogue doctor in part because of laws promoted by anti-abortion activists that made using reputable clinics difficult, as well as because of anti-abortion protesters who are dedicated to scaring off potential patients -- in other words, "Kermit Gosnell was exactly what women resort to when abortion becomes too hard to obtain.")

McAleer declared at the end: "People are tired of being fed the left's lines. The Americans who funded Gosnell through Indiegogo, saw it in the theater and bought it on DVD are fighting back."(As if McAleer is not feeding people lines through his polemic film.) And that led to an editor's note: "Gosnell - The Trial of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer is available on VOD and Dvd."

That's right -- McAleer's column is basically a commercial for the release of his film on video. Did McAleer pay the MRC for that as well as part of their previous promotion deal, or did the MRC give him the space for free?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST

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