Yet Another MRC Study Fail Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is already known for its shoddy "studies" of the media, which are designed to advance its right-wing anti-media agenda at the expense of objective research. Here's another example, in which Bill D'Agostino writes in a March 11 post:
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer has spent the past week using his evening show The Situation Room as a platform for Democratic lawmakers to plug their numerous investigations of President Trump. Blitzer, a veteran reporter and host on the network, is not a name that immediately springs to mind when one thinks of biased or outlandish statements from CNN journalists. However, the many interviews he has conducted with politicians on the Hill — a staple of his show — tell a story of bias through careful and deliberate framing of facts.
MRC analysts looked at the 10 interviews Blitzer conducted with lawmakers (all Democrats) on his show during the week spanning Monday, March 3 to Friday, March 8. Throughout those ten interviews, the CNN host asked only three questions (3%) that suggested the numerous House investigations into the President might be partisan or politically motivated. The remaining 86 investigation-related questions (97%) either accepted at face value the importance of these inquiries, or else pressed Democrats to go even further in their oversight role.
Blitzer framed his paltry three challenges to Democrats as party-line criticism coming from Republicans (“as Republican are alleging…”, “Republicans say…”). In each case he asked no follow-up questions regardless of what answer he received.
The point of this "study" is to complain that Blitzer isn't advancing the MRC's agenda by automatically assuming that Democratic investigations into Trump are partisan witch hunts. As usual, the MRC does not share the entire list of 86 questions, though it does cite a select few it claims proves its point. But D'Agostino is such a rabid Democrat and CNN hater -- as one must be to get a job at the MRC -- that even neutral and objective questions from Blitzer are offensive to him.
The point is that D'Agostino and the MRC don't want objectivity and neutrality in their media -- they want it to be as biased as their own "news" division, CNSNews.com.
We suspected something was amiss when Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily column went into reruns for the past couple weeks without explanation -- the first time we can recall that happening. Whatever else one can say about Farah, we know he was proud of writing six original columns a week.
WND managing editor David Kupelian revealed the full story in a March 28 letter to readers -- that Farah has suffered a "serious stroke":
Recently, adversity hit hard when our company’s founder and CEO, Joseph Farah, suffered a serious stroke. After spending several days in the hospital undergoing extensive testing and evaluation, he is now home, resting comfortably and recovering.
Although no one can say with certainty how long he will be away from WND, what I can say with certainty is that Joseph and his family are extremely appreciative of your prayers, as are all of us at WND.
Joseph’s medical crisis, in addition to being a difficult trial for the Farah family, is likewise tough for those of us staffing the news organization he founded and has led for 22 years. I’ve known Joseph Farah for three decades, and for 20 years have worked closely with this pioneering journalist as a colleague, good friend and fellow Christian. I know him as a man of enormous talents, integrity and genuine faith.
Farah's stroke comes at a very bad time for WND as it continues to battle financial problems. Kupelian wrote that Farah's health issues shouldn't affect operations: "With God’s help we are not going anywhere except forward." Then Kupelian couldn't help getting political:
We’re all living through a period of unprecedented turmoil, wherein one political party has somehow become totally disconnected from reality – promoting insane, catastrophic “solutions” to nonexistent crises while denying obviously real crises and slandering or censoring all who disagree with them. I can honestly say, having personally spent more than 35 years in the news media, I’ve never seen a greater need than right now for genuinely truth-oriented, pro-Constitution, pro-Judeo-Christian journalism. That’s the niche WND has striven mightily to fill since its founding back in 1997 as America’s first online news organization. And with the Good Lord’s help, that vital work will continue.
MRC Still Bashing CNN's Parkland Town Hall, Still Won't Apologize For Pushing Hoax About It Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro spent a March 19 post being triggered by the fact that a CNN town hall after the Parkland school shooting received an award:
You probably remember CNN’s town hall to promote gun control and gun grabbing in Parkland, Florida last year. It’s hard to forget such a disgraceful display of exploitation, naked partisanship, and vile hatred. Oh, and let’s not overlook the fact that host Jake Tapper was the ring leader enabling the circus.
On Tuesday, the Norman Lear Center bestowed their Walter Cronkite Award“ for excellence in television political journalism” on CNN and Tapper for their efforts:
CNN Parkland Town Hall, a two-hour special, aired only seven days after 17 students and teachers were murdered by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In this “compelling and powerful” forum, moderator Jake Tapper deftly gave generous space to speak to gun control advocates, politicians, Parkland students, parents and a representative from the NRA. The program helped “advance the national conversation on gun control and violence,” the jury said.
“Advance the national conversation?” That’s code for: advancing the liberal agenda (gun control in this case) under the facade of legitimate reporting.
What Fondacaro didn't do, however, is express any remorse -- let alone apologize -- for the MRC's key role in spreading an anti-CNN hoax involving that town hall.
As we documented, Fondacaro gave major play to the claims of Colton Haab, a shooting survivor, that CNN tried to script his questions for the town hall. Even when CNN released the email exchange between it and Haab, which proved that Haab and his family doctored the record to fraudulently support the "scripted" narrative, Fondacaro continued to insist CNN was the one who was lying and couldn't be bothered to tell the full truth to MRC readers -- even after Haab's father admitted he doctored things and even when others who promoted the false narrative did correct the record. Further, Fondacaro's original posts are unaltered and still promote the hoax.
Fondacaro promoted a hoax about the CNN town hall, still refuses to tell the truth about it -- and yet he's still raging that it wasn't fair to his right-wing agenda. If that's not a classic definition of cognitive dissonance, we don't know what is. And he degrades any credibility the MRC might have when it demands that false claims be corrected.
WND Obama Derangement Syndrome, Malik Obama Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's lingering obsession with smearing President Obama and his wife with any desperate thing they can scrounge from right-wing sewers is beyond pathetic at this point. An anonymously written March 18 article states:
Malik Obama, a half-brother to Barack Obama, has been known to throw verbal bombs.
He’s at it again.
This time he’s wondering about Michelle Obama, Barack’s wife.
Malik Obama, who once posted an image purporting to show a Kenyan birth certificate for his brother, asked “Is Michelle Michael?”
The American Mirror blog said it recalled a “conspiracy theory” that the former first lady is a man.
Needless to say, WND offers no proof to back up this conspiracy theory -- nor does it mention that Malik Obama apparently has a personal grudge against Barack and Michelle. As we've noted, Malik has previously teamed up with (or agreed to be exploited by) anti-Obama liar and charlatan filmmaker Joel Gilbert and "the world's worst journalist" Charles Johnson in an attempt to smear the former president. So Malik is more than just a bomb-thrower -- he's so filled with hate that he can't be trusted.
(Or he could just be trolling right-wing outlets like WND and the American Mirror because he knows they'll publish any Obama-bashing dreck he spews out.)
The fact that WND is also relying on the far-right American Mirror -- an untrustworthy source -- is another red flag as to just how desperate it is to smear. The article also noted the American Mirror's claim that "In 2017, Malik Obama tweeted an image of what appears to be Barack’s birth certificate. Except it’s not from Hawaii, but rather Kenya," but it didn't tell readers that the certificate was so obviously a fraud that eveb WND itself said so at the time (though it portrayed it as authentic when it first surfaced in 2009).
WND still doesn't seem to understand that its obsessive hatred of Obama destroyed what little trustworthiness it could claim, and pushing fake news and conspiracy theories -- many about Obama -- is one big reason why nobody believes WND and it remains close to going out of business.
Do As We Say, Not As We Do: MRC's Standards For 'Liberal Media' Don't Apply To Its Own 'News' Division Topic: CNSNews.com
A while back, we noted how the Media Research Center complained that the media hyped President Trump misspeaking when ignoring what he had to say about "important topics" -- never mind that the MRC had no problem obsessing over President Obama when he misspoke and ignored his overall message. Well, the hypocrisy is even deeper than that: The MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has similarly focused attention on the missteps of Democratic politicians.
In a March 7 post, Craig Bannister gleefully wrote:
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) struggled to find the right words on Wednesday, when she tried to reassure supporters that she’ll soon begin efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.
Tlaib gathered with fellow protesters outside of the office of House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), where she blanked out while trying to remember how impeachment works:
“Later on this month, I will be joining folks and advocates across the country to file the impeachment, um, ah, um, oh, my God, what is the expression?
“The resolution – I’m sorry, I’m not in the Michigan legislature, ah, impeachment resolution to start the impeachment proceedings.”
CNS then did this twice to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. An anonymously written March 15 article stated:
At her weekly press briefing on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) mistakenly suggested that a reporter who was asking her a question had already asked her a question at that press briefing.
In fact, the reporter had not—although he said he had asked her two questions the week before.
CNS has apparently since deleted this article (though it still resides in Google Cache as of this writing.)
Another snide attack on Pelosi the same day, this time by Bannister, is still live:
House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) twice misnamed Democrats’ “Green New Deal” at her Thursday press briefing, despite being told the climate change proposal’s correct name by the reporter questioning her.
Pelosi was asked to respond to Republicans “talking about the Green New Deal.” Pelosi appeared to struggle to recall the name of the proposal – first calling it “the Green Deal,” then the “New Green Deal,” before continuing with her reaction to Republicans’ criticism of the New Green Deal, without correctly titling the proposal[.]
It doesn't help the MRC's credibility when it can't be bothered to hold its own "news" division to the same standards it demands "liberal media" outlets adhere to.
AIM Writer Denounces Armchair Mental Health Judgments, Though AIM Has Published Many Topic: Accuracy in Media
Carrie Sheffield complained in a March 18 Accuracy in Media item:
CNN allowed George Conway, the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, to accuse President Trump of mental illness, with the network refusing to acknowledge that George Conway is not a mental health professional. Even as liberal outlets like CNN claim to be pro-science, its coverage of George Conway’s tweets failed to provide any credible scientific analysis of the explosive claims.
“His condition is getting worse,” George Conway tweeted Sunday, also attaching screen captures of the medical definitions of narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
First: CNN didn't "allow" Conway to make that claim -- it simply reported on him making them. Second: Sheffield might want to check her employer's archive, since it contains numerous examples of AIM writers -- none of whom, as far as we know, are mental health professionals -- making the same exact claim about president Obama.
Spencer Irvine, son of AIM president Don Irvine, wrote twoposts counting the number of times Obama allegedly referred to himself in speeches, both of which ended with the statement "Narcissist, much?"
A 2016 column by James Zumwalt -- now a WorldNetDaily columnist -- declared that "bama is a grandiose narcissist" who is "self-absorbed with an overwhelming sense of superiority." Zumwalt echoed Conway by linking to an article describing narcissistic personalities.
A 2015 column by Lawrence Sellin asserted that "Obama behaves like a dictator not just because he is a narcissist, but because his political beliefs are, at their core, authoritarian."
It pays to check the archives in order not to come off as a hypocrite.
Whataboutism-ists At The MRC Accuse Others of Whataboutism Topic: Media Research Center
One standard rhetorical tactic the Media Research Center loves to engage in is whataboutism -- defecting from an allegation against an ally by claiming an opponent is doing the exact same thing. Its response to the devastating New Yorker story on Fox News is a goodexample of how this works.
So it's a bit funny to see the MRC accuse others of whataboutism. For some reason, it did this a lot regarding people taking about Msulim Rep. Ilhan Omar's statements critical of Israel.
Alex Christy complained that MSNBC guest Sam Stein noted that "many liberal Jews have many of the same problems with Benjamin Netanyahu that Omar does" then "moved to the real story: anti-Muslim behavior. 'This is not whataboutism, although it's going to come across that way, but there is and has to be a better understanding of the degree to which anti-Muslim behavior isn't just rhetorical, but it permeates our politics in ways people don't totally appreciate,' Stein declared." Christy added: "Perhaps, it sounds like whataboutism, because it is."
Curtis Houck similarly huffed that "Kirsten Powers became stricken with an embarrassing case of whataboutism" by "blasting President Trump and suggesting that criticism of Omar has been Islamophobic and sexist."
In another post, Houck didn't use the word but described whataboutism in practice by claiming that CNN's Erin Burnett "and two panelists spent over 10 minutes trying to muddy the waters on anti-Semitism, downplaying Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s long history of anti-Semitic comments because the President’s Charlottesville comments and white supremacists are the ones worth denouncing (instead of both)." Houck then asserted that Burnett "smugly went after Trump as a raging hypocrite, implying he’s okay with anti-Semitism" -- even though Burnett provided examples of such that Houck didn't dispute.
As we've noted, Houck has previously tried to handwave Trump's anti-Semitic tendenciees by arguing that Trump "didn't know what he was doing" when he tweeted an image showing Hillary on a pile of cash with a Star of David shape reading, "Most corrupt candidate ever!"
NEW ARTICLE: Trump's Biggest ConWeb Fanboy Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah positively drools with admiration over every word that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth -- and even follows the nonreligious Trump's religious lead on not reciting a prayer. Read more >>
MRC Tired Of Hearing About Mosque Massacre, Demands Coverage of Dead Christians Instead Topic: Media Research Center
A mere four days after the mosque masscare in New Zealand, MRC Culture managing editor Matt Philbin had had enough. He was clearly tired of hearing about murdered Muslilms, and he wanted in on some of that massacre coverage action for his own religion.
That seems to explain the whataboutism in Philbin's March 19 piece demanding alleged atrocites commited by "Islamists" against Christians in Africa:
People in and out of media are having a useful discussion these days: Since it’s clear terrorists like the animals in Christchurch want recognition, what is the appropriate way to cover their outrages? How much information should be available about the murderers and their intentions?
When it comes to more routine outrages that happen across the Third World, the question for the media is simpler: Should we cover it at all? Most often, the answer is no. Certainly not if the perpetrators are Muslim and the victims Christian. But really, no combination of aggressor/aggrieved is of much interest to the media because, for all their one-worldly pretensions, they don’t much care about violence outside developed Western nations. ABC, CBS and NBC have all ignored the extreme violence against African Christians occurring in the last month.
Varying reports say that anywhere from 120 to 280 Christians have been slaughtered by Islamist militias in Nigeria since Feb. 9.
Philbin then slipped into MRC conspiracy mode, complaining that the media had insufficiently covered "violence against Christians in majority Muslim countries" and whining that "Islamist violence hasn’t disappeared, the networks have only gotten worse at covering it.
Philbin's point is all too obvious: Dead Christians are inherently more newsworthy than dead Muslims, and even more so when Muslims can be blamed for it.
WND Obsesses Over Muslim Congresswoman For Being Muslim Topic: WorldNetDaily
Rep. Ilhan Omar was alway going to be hated by WorldNetDaily for being a Muslim -- indeed, WND has been hating her since 2016, when she won state legislative race in Minnesota and Leo Hohmann ranted she was the face of "cultural jihad." But Omar's criticism of Jewish interests in politics, which came off as anti-Semitic, made that WND target on her back even bigger.
One of the things WND has decided to obsess about regarding Omar is the idea that she might have married her brother, a conspiracy theory to which WND has devoted no small amount of space:
Terrible lawyer Larry Klayman claimed in his Feb. 22 column that he is trying to get Omar deported because, among other reasons, "She has apparently, at a minimum, by way of marrying her brother so that he could ultimately become an American citizen, committed immigration fraud, for which, if demonstrably proven, she could be denaturalized as an American citizen herself and be deported back to Somalia or Kenya, from which she hails." He then laughably claims he has no "enmity aginst Ilhan Omar."
A March 7 article on Klayman's petition to deport Omar uncritically repeated his unsupported claim that Omar "married her own brother in a sham marriage constituting immigration fraud."
A March 14 article rehashes the claim as made by right-wing media outlets, though it does concede that "Omar vehemently denies the claim" and that any actual evidence presented so far is "circumstantial."
On March 22, WND touted that "U.S. and British officials have been informed that the man to whom Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was married for eight years is her brother, according to a reporter who has investigated the claim." But even that reporter apparently -- from one of the above right-wing otuets -- isn't sure, admitting is work is being "vetted by lawyers." He did whine, however, that "Most of what I have published has been ignored" -- perhaps because he has offered nothing but "circumstantial" conspiracy theories?
Meanwhile, WND hasn't neglected good ol' Muslim-bashing in its attacks on Omar. James Zumwalt upped the hate in his March 13 column, claiming that Omar has gone through purportedly standard Muslim "indoctrination" to hate Jews:
Up until age 10, Omar enjoyed a pretty good life in Somalia – a Marxist-Leninist socialist state under the brutal dictator, Mohammad Siad Barre. Her family reaped rewards for supporting Barre and was only forced to flee in 1991 when he fell from power. Ironically, after her family supported an inhuman Somali dictator, Omar denies President Trump’s humanity.
Strangely, the congressional representative from Minnesota, born in a Muslim country unaffected by any ill effects of Jewish influence, somehow immigrated to the U.S. with a severe case of anti-Semitism. Concerned Democrats, although we will not see it happen simply because they are not, should research how this really occurred.
Omar’s anti-Semitism was not the result of any personal anti-Muslim experience suffered at the hands of Jews; it resulted from Islamic indoctrination demanding, like the Holocaust, their elimination. Anti-Semitism, taught to 70 generations of Muslims since Islam’s founding, continues with Omar’s. It is part of her Muslim DNA.
Pelosi needs to attend Friday prayers at a mosque. She would be hard-pressed to find one not promoting anti-Semitism. How many times have we heard imams in the U.S., confronted over making anti-Semitic statements, only to placate their critics of the moment?
Such indoctrination makes Omar’s defense by Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, rationalizing she be given leeway due to her Somalia upbringing, absurd. As a Jew, Schakowsky knows Omar’s anti-Semitism is an unabating hatred.
A March 14 column by Carole Hornsby Haynes attacked Omar and another Muslim in Congress, Rashida Tlaib, as un-American simply for being Muslim:
Did these two Muslims lie about upholding the Constitution? Can one be a devout Muslim and uphold the U.S. Constitution? Muslims are required to live under Shariah, which is deemed divine law and which does not permit them to live under any other legal system. Devout Muslims believe that the U.S. Constitution is just human law and is, therefore, inferior to the divine law of Shariah. How can a devout Muslim recite the Pledge of Allegiance – “one nation under God ” – when a Muslim is a citizen of international Islam required to live under Allah?
Either these women are ignorant of the implication of their pledges, or they are purposely lying. However, this action of lying or dissimulation – taqiyah – is not only condoned, but recommended to Muslims in the Quran. Therefore, a Muslim can and will lie without any compunction, if it is necessary to protect or further Islam.
Haynes concluded by ranting that Omar's political success "most certainly embolden more Muslims to seek political office. Beware, Americans. We may be closer to a Shariah state than we realize.
UPDATE: WND columnist Mychal Massie joined in the hatefest as well, declaring that Omar and Tlaib "make the Obama woman and Hillary Clinton look like playful characters from 'Sesame Street,'" adding, "Never in the history of America have elected representatives been so openly anti-America. They prove that Muslims have infiltrated our country with one goal in mind, and that is to conquer America from within." He further ranted:
It doesn’t matter if most Muslims are peace-loving. It matters that more than 300 million are committed to jihad and are satanically immutable.
America cannot afford to ignore the question of what happens as more and more Muslims like Omar and Tlaib get elected to every strata of government? What happens as more and more Muslims like Omar and Tlaib obtain powerful industry positions and are appointed to federal agencies and our courts? What happens as more Muslims like Omar and Tlaib become the heads of major universities and colleges? These questions must be examined.
Omar and Tlaib are proof that America has allowed this evil to metastasize, and if we’re to survive as a nation, we must exercise our right to vote to ensure these types aren’t elected. We must also exercise our constitutional right to have Omar and Tlaib removed from office.
CNSNews.com's favorite loopy right-wing Trump-fluffing rabbi, Aryeh Spero, is at it again -- and, of course, CNS was there to promote his latest stunt. Alex Madajian writes in a March 15 article:
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, along with numerous Christians and Jews, gathered at the Capitol Hill office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday to protest the apparent growing anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party and specifically the anti-Semitism of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Rabbi Spero is the leader of the National Conference of Jewish Affairs, which, the rabbi explained in an email to CNSNews.com, “speaks for the conservative and non-left leaning segments of American Jewry” and believes that “politically and socially conservative positions more accurately reflect the authentic view of historic Judaism, and is thus good for the Jewish people and good for America as well.”
At the protest, Rabbi Spero said that House Speaker Pelosi “failed us -- she had the chance to condemn [Rep.] Omar. She didn’t. She had a chance to condemn, stand alone by itself, anti-semitism. She didn’t. She failed us.”
Madajian served up his own softball question to Spero: "What would you say was [Rep. Omar’s] most egregious example of those anti-Semitic remarks?" Surprisingly, he did acknowledge there was another side to the story, noting that there were "half-a-dozen counter-protesters from Code Pink, though he claimed the group "supports Palestine over Israel."
Newsmax's Gizzi Joins ConWeb Lovefest for Hungarian Right-Winger Topic: Newsmax
CNSNews.com and WorldNetDaily are not the only ConWeb outlets enamored by Viktor Orban's right-wing authoritarian government in Hungary. Newsmax's John Gizzi joins the parade with a March 15 article gushing over the country's "robust — and revolutionary — pro-family agenda" with a softball interview with Katalin Novak, Orban's minister of familiy and youth. How gushy? The picture accompanying Gizzi's article is of him interviewing Novak in an opulent-looking room.
Gizzi uncritically repeated "uplifting statistics" about Hungary's policies, which center around giving tax breaks to Hungarian natives to have children: "since 2010, the number of marriages is up 43 percent, divorces have decreased 20 percent, and the number of abortions has decreased 25 percent." Hungary has a very high divorce rate, and it's not actually clear that Orban's policies are having any effect on that.
Gizzi also played down the anti-immigration stance Orban has pushed and which lies at the heart of the "pro-family" policy. He noted Swedish official Annika Strandhall's criticism of the policy as "reek[ing] of the 1930s" but let Novak spin it by claiming "it’s not about what she’s saying but protecting our position" when, in fact, Orban has explicitly stated that Hungary is doing this instead of permitting immigration. (Even the white nationalist website VDARE has touted Orban's policy).
Last November, Gizzi did a similar softball piece on Republican Rep. Steve King that downplayed his white nationalist sympathies.
MRC Defends Its 'Thomas the Tank Engine' Freakout Topic: Media Research Center
Remember the Media Research Center's freakout last year over the idea that the children's show "Thomas the Tank Engine" wanted to expand its audience by introducing trains from various cultural backgrounds? Well, the MRC still thinks that was a very smart take.
In a March 13 MRC post, Clay Waters complains that the New York Times attacked the National Rifle Association's TV operation for, among other things, having an even bigger freakout over "Thomas" by "portraying the show’s talking trains in Ku Klux Klan hoods." But Times writer Danny Hakim was ignoring relevant context, Waters huffed:
Hakim left out the context, which Newsbusters provided at the time. The show was being pressured by the social justice left into adding female characters and “friends” from other countries. Slate's Jessica Roake called the show Thomas the Imperialist Tank Engine and branded the series "sinister,” while New Yorker decried its "repressive, authoritarian soul." But hysterical overreaction over a kids’ show is acceptable from fellow liberal journalists. It’s only when the right takes part does it suddenly become worrisome[.]
Both of those articles were cited in the NewsBusters piece by Melissa Mullins. But the Slate piece dates from 2011, and the New Yorker ran in 2017. Two pieces over six years doen not a "pressure campaign" make, and neither Mullins nor Waters prove that they had any direct effect on the show's adjustments.
On the other hand, Waters does seem to be doing, however stealthily, what very few at the MRC have the guts to admit "hysterical overreaction" on the part of the NRA. Is he applying that to Mullins as well?
Waters took other potshots at the Times article as well, dismissively claiming that "Hakim rounded up anything he could toss at the gun-rights group" by reporting the highly relevant fact that NRA board members are questioning the multimillions the group paid to the ad firm that runs the NRA's TV operation, and he also played whataboutism by arguing that the channel's increasingly extremist content was no differnt in tone from "left-wing outlets."
WND Silent On How New Zealand Mosque Shooter Echoes WND's Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's first story on the perpetrator of the New Zealand mosque massacre frames him as being "obessed with neo-Nazi ideology" and waits until the 11th paragraph to note that the in the shooter's manifesto, "The alleged shooter explains he 'disliked' Muslims and called them 'invaders.'"
Of course, one does not have to believe one to believe the other. While WND stays away from neo-Nazi ideology, its archives are rife with references to Muslims as"invaders":
A 2013 review by Jim Fletcher of a book claiming a "stealth agenda by the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate our government and wider culture" is headlined "Muslim invaders already 'in the house.'"
A 2015 article by anti-Muslim reporter Leo Hohmann rants that "Austrians are arming themselves at record rates in an effort to defend their households against feared attacks from Muslim invaders.
Another 2015 article approvingly quoted anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller portraying Muslim migration into Europe as "clearly an invasion."
A 2015 column by Geller is headlined "Muslim 'refugee' invasion of Europe" and rants about "immigration jihad."
Another 2015 article by Hohmann complained about the number of green cards to "migrants from Muslim-majority countries" and citing this "Islamic 'invasion,' as some are calling it."
A 2016 article is headlined "Rise of patriotic populists challenges Muslim invasion."
A 2017 column by James Zumwalt cited a Belgian politician who called Muslim immigration "a 'Trojan Horse'-style invasion of Europe that, for the West, will prove to be 'the end of civilization.'"
A 2017 interview of Paul Nehlen (remember him?) and his film "Hiijrah: Radical Islam's global Invasion" under the headline "Muslims invade U.S. 'in the name of Allah'."
A 2017 column by Mason Weaver is headlined "Muslim invasion – and the crazy Europeans who invited them" and said of Muslims: "Did the Europeans really expect peace and prosperity from a culture that has not contributed anything to civilization except piracy, invasion, beheading and death?" Weaver later sneered: "So I will grab a bowl of popcorn and watch the reality show called the 'Muslim Invasion of Europe' and the crazy Europeans who invited them. Your children will be murdered, your freedoms will be controlled, your women will be assaulted and your culture will be destroyed."
That's not the only connection to the shooter that WND is hiding. Another article cited the shooter's manifesto to potray him as a "socialist" and "eco-fascist" -- ignoring the fact that the shooter also sought inspiration from the manifesto of Anders Breivik, who massacred 77 people in Norway in 2011 -- and whose manifesto references WND six times. (WND's first story mentioned the Breivik inspiration but not its connection to his manifesto.)
As we'vedocumented, the rhetoric of right-wing massacre perpetrators tends to echo hateful rhetoric published by WND. And it looks like WND is once again putting its head in the sand and refusing to take responsibility.
MRC Still Spinning Away Devastating Article On Fox News Topic: Media Research Center
We've detailed how the Media Research Center has been trying to deflect from Jane Mayer's devastating New Yorker article about Fox News and its uncomfortably close ties to the Trump administration by whining that it was written in the first place (not by challenging any of the reporting) and by playing whataboutism by claiming Fox is not different than "liberal media" who allegedly courted Democratic presidents. That spin never really stopped.
Curtis Houck was upset (note the "Ugh" in his headline) that the Democratic National Committee cited the story -- particularly its allegation that then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes fed questions to Trump prior to a candidate debate on the channel -- as a reason to deny Fox hosting any Democratic presidential candidate debate.Houck ranted that the story was a "rabidly anti-Fox hit job" and complained that CNN's Brian Stelter accurately opointed out that Fox News has regularly "dehumanized" Democrats. Houck complained that "chose not to offer a real defense for any of the straight-news anchors like Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum, Chris Wallace, or even Shepherd Smith" -- despite the fact that the MRC regularlyattacksSmith for not being a rifght-wing, pro-Trump shill -- then went into whataboutism mode: "Earth to Brian: Have you seen your own show and what you say about conservatives and Republicans who aren’t bleeding-heart anti-Trumpers or CNN supporters?"
Tim Graham followed by highlighting a Politico piece critical of the DNC's decision, headlined "If You're Afraid of Shep Smith, You Probably Shouldn't Be President." But Graham showed how much he disregards the "news" side of Fox News by including in his item an unflattering photo of Smith primping before he goes on camera. Graham then went into whataboutism mode:
It's entirely understandable that politicians and political parties would want to protect their brands from a hostile journalistic interrogation. It's their right. That's why GOP voters have wanted to prevent partisan hacks like George Stephanopoulos or Brian Williams from moderating their debates. But liberals never seem to admit that Republicans have a tremendous competitive disadvantage here. They have two handfuls of hostile liberal networks that they cannot seriously avoid, while Democrats can easily avoid the outlying "media arm" of the GOP.
If Graham had bothered to demonstrate how those other networks behave exactly like Fox News under a Democratic president, he might have a point.
Randy Hall then highlighted a column by former Fox News talking head Erick Erickson in deflection mode, insisting that people are critical of Fox beause their ratings are good and downplaying the channel's obvious bias.
The MRC then touted the channel's own danage-control actions (while not identifying them as such). Nicholas Fondacaro featured Fox host Tucker Carlson's "scathing takedown of CNN for justifying the Democratic National Committee’s ban on allowing Fox News to host a Democratic debate,"then joining conservative-leaning media critic Joe Concha in a fit of whataboutism on how "CNN wasn’t the most trustworthy when it came to holding debates" claiming that thisshowed "why [Carlson's] colleagues were the bigger people." Fondacaro highlighted how Carlson said "We defend speech, even when it's unpopular, even when the person speaking has attacked us personally" -- a claim that was to be disproven just a few days later when Carslon attacked Media Matters for uncovering Carlson's vile rants on a shock jock's radio show several years ago. (Ironically, Fondacaro cheered Carlson's "unloading" and declared Media Matters to be a "a radical left-wing political organization." Does that mean we can call the MRC a "radical right-wing political organization"?)
Ryan Foley wrote up more damage control in a form of an interview between two Fox News employee, Bret Baier and Howard Kurtz, in which they plugged the channel's news division (of which they are ostensibly a part) and complained that the New Yorker article "a 'fig leaf' that the Democratic National Committee used as an excuse to prevent Fox News from hosting a debate." Foley -- and, we presume, Baier and Kurtz, since it doesn't appear in either of the clips Foley includes in his post -- failed to mention that reports that Ailes leaked debate questions to Trump, which were a key reason why the DNC dropped Fox as a debate host.
Foley also approvingly quoted Baier claiming that other media outlets suffer from"Fox Derangement Syndrome" -- as if the MRC itself wasn't a majorcarrierandvictim of CNN Derangement Syndrome.
Again, by the way, no MRC writer has ever disputed the accuracy of anything in the New Yorker article.