MRC Keeps Working As PR Shop for Covington Kid's Lawyers Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented the Media Research Center's unseemly role as the PR agent for the lawyers who when full Klayman and filed a $250 political manifesto-cum-defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post on behalf of Covington kid Nick Sandmann. The MRC's anti-media bloodlust has continued.
A March 4 post by Curtis Houck -- headlined "Sandmann lawyers SLAM WashPost" -- followed in the footsteps of colleague Nicholas Fondacaro's unprofessional rage and gloated how Sandmann's lawyers "ran The Washington Post through the wood chipper," uncritically parroting how "The 445-word statement didn’t mince words, slamming The Post as having led 'a mainstream and social media mob of bullies' against Sandmann." Ironically, Houck's employer leads mobs against the media, but that's apparently OK.
Houck kept up the violent imagery in a March 12 post headlined "Sandmann Lawyers Hammer CNN as ‘Facts Last’ Network ‘Bullying’ a Minor to Defend Phillips" (the URL indicates that Houck's original verb was "vaporizes"). In it, he touts an appearance by the lawyers on Fox News (of course) in which they announced a similar lawsuit against CNN. As Fondacaro failed to do with the Post lawsuit, Houck doesn't point out that the lawsuit is more of a political document than a legal one; as a more responsible, less media-hating outlet reported, the lawsuits are effectively pro-Trump political statements and not serious claims of defamation.
Instead, Houck gushed that "The lawsuit didn’t waste time in starting to build a case against CNN," touted "eight other sections" in it and uncritically repeated the "damages" claim that Sandmann "is forced to live his life in a constant state of concern over his safety and the safety of his family." You mean like how journalists are forced to live as a result of President Trump calling the media the "enemy of the people," something the MRC thinks are "self-centered" for pointing out?
The MRC then got mad that CNN didn't report that it was being sued. A March 20 post by Bill D'Agostino complained the channel hadn't reported it;he served up the lawyers' talking points that CNN engaged in "accusatory coverage" of Sandmannand was "pushing false narratives about the video," when whined: "Considering CNN hosts found ample time to lecture others about hastily jumping to conclusions, their current refusal to so much as acknowledge this lawsuit against them is conspicuous."
Two days later, D'Agostino acknowledged that CNN's website did publish an article, then still complained that "CNN still has not given the lawsuit any televised airtime." D'Agostino did note CNN's statement that it "reported on a newsworthy event and public discussion about it, taking care to report on additional facts as they developed and to share the perspectives of eyewitnesses and other participants and stakeholders as they came forward," though it seemingly contradicts his earlier attack.
WND Attacks WaPo For Devastating Story -- But Doesn't Refute It Topic: WorldNetDaily
It took two days, but WorldNetDaily has finally responded to the devastating Washington Post story on WND's history of mismanaged finances and other shenanigans on the road to its current circling-the-drain position. Being WND, of course, there's no actual response to the story's claims.
Managing editor David Kupelian began his April 4 article by playing the victim through invoking editor Joseph Farah's stroke:
Just five days after WND went public with the news that its founder, editor and CEO, veteran journalist Joseph Farah had suffered a devastating stroke, the Washington Post has published a lengthy article attacking Farah, his wife Elizabeth, and WND, America’s first online journalism organization.
The story, sensationally headlined “Inside the spectacular fall of the granddaddy of right-wing conspiracy sites,” cites mostly unnamed former employees and others. The Post also mysteriously managed to get a hold of the contents of WND’s private email server, referencing and picking apart numerous internal emails going as far back as 12 years.
Kupelian didn't mention that the Post article noted that WND went public with Farah's health situation two hours after a reporter called it for reaction to the allegations -- seemingly so Kupelian could play the victim once the story was published.
After admitting that the Post story accused Farah and his wife (to which he obliquely referred to as "the company founders"), Kupelian made it clear he wasn'tgoing to actually respond to anything in the article, immediately going defensive and insisting none of the bad behavior reported was "remotely illegal":
Evidently the Post considers it shocking and newsworthy that over its 22-year history, a small, influential though undercapitalized company in a highly competitive business, rocked regularly by seismic changes – the dot-com crash, the Google-Facebook-Amazon disruption of the internet and so on – might experience its share of failures, difficulties and embarrassments.
Nowhere in the Post’s article is anything remotely illegal alleged. More to the point, nor does the Post acknowledge the important and highly regarded reporting generated day in and day out, year after year, by WND’s journalists – most of whom, remarkably, have been with WND for virtually all of its two decades of existence.
Most interestingly, nowhere in his massive 2,700-word article does Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia ever get down to what has actually caused the precipitous drop in annual revenue at WND over the last couple of years, which has led to the company’s current struggles.
He then blamed Amazon, "whose founder, CEO and president Jeff Bezos is the owner of the Washington Post," for decreased revenue at WND's online store. (And, no, Kupelian won't admit that WND's history of fake news and conspiracy theories played a key role in creating its current financial situation.)
Kupelian followed that by outright declaring he would not bother to "refute every allegation and innuendo in this one-sided, unsympathetic portrayal of a vastly smaller but influential news competitor" -- though it begs the question of why he won't. It seems that if something was actually false or misleading, that would be the first thing he would address as a way to cast doubt on the article's credibility. Instead, he spends several paragraphs attacking the Post for reporting on Trump scandals -- at one point complaining about "no fewer than five different Post writers explicitly comparing Trump to the Nazi monster who murdered 11 million people," forgetting how many times WND writers likened President Obama to Hitler and other assorted Nazis.
Kupelian once again deferred comment, once again invoking Farah's stroke:
Although Joseph Farah is the only person situated to respond to many of the Post’s allegations, the paper chose to publish its takedown article right after Farah suffered a major stroke rendering him totally unable to defend himself, his wife and his news organization.
I don’t know why the Post chose to do such a thing. But I’ll close by simply saying for the record, as WND’s vice president and managing editor for 20 years, that I have nothing but the highest respect and love for this amazing news organization, for its founders Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, and for the dedicated journalists who work here.
But Joseph Farah is not "the only person situated to respond" but conveniently out of commission. As co-founder of WND -- who also holds the title of chief operating officer, which we can probably assume imparts knowledge about the company's finances -- Elizabeth Farah is certainly capable of responding, especially since one of the claims in the Post article is that Ellizabeth Farah used company money for personal expenses. Kupelian himself, also a longtime employee in charge of editorial operations who almost certainly knows things about how the company has been managed, can certainly respond as well.
The fact that Kupelian resorts to distraction and attacks instead of responding to any specific claim in the Post article tells us that he knows the Post article is factually accurate. The sad little line at the end begging readers for money doesn't change that.
CNS Obsesses Over Cost of Mueller Probe Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loyally transcribed seemingly every time President Trump or one of his surrogates insisted the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia, so when Attorney General William Barr released a brief summary of Robert Mueller's special counsel lreport into such matters that appeared to have actually found no collusion, CNS couldn't want to trumpet that results.
A brief, anonymously written article carried the headline "Mueller Report: ‘Investigation Did Not Establish That Trump Campaign Conspired or Coordinated With Russian Government’." Susan Jones served some misleading football-spiking from the president himself: "Trump: 'Total EXONERATION'; 'It's a Shame That Our Country Had to Go Through This'." (In fact, as an actual news outlet reported but Jones didn't, Trump was not exonerated on the obstruction question.) Melanie Arter chimed in with more Trump stenography.
Then Jones decided to obsess over the cost of the Mueller investigation in a March 25 piece headlined "Mueller Probe: 22 Months, 19 Lawyers, 40 FBI, 2,800 Subpoenas, 500 Search Warrants, 500 Witnesses." As the URL indicates, it originally carried the editorializing headline "You Paid For 22 Months, 19 Lawyers, 40 FBI, 2,800 Subpoenas, 500 Search Warrants, 500 Witnesses..."
In it, Jones huffs:
According to Barr, in the course of his 22-month probe, Mueller "employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
Still unknown: How much did all of that cost us, the taxpayers?
President Trump tweeted in November 2018 that the "Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt" had wasted "more than $40,000,000," but the final tally has not been released.
The Office of Special Counsel has posted its direct expenditures through September 30, 2018, as follows:
That's a total of $9,394,300, by the reckoning of Mueller's office, with 6 months unaccounted for.
Judicial Watch in December sued the U.S. Department of Justice for records of costs incurred by the security detail for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Jones is, of course, suggesting that Mueller's probe was a waste of taxpayer money since it apparently didn't implicate Trump or his campaign in collusion.
We do not recall CNS or any other conservative media outlet being similarly upset over the $70 million cost of various investigations of President Clinton, including the Whitewater investigation that devolved into a probe of the president's sex life, even though they failed at finding anything more serious aghainst the president than lying about sex.
UPDATE: Jones didn't mention that the Mueller investigation could actually break even or turn a profit -- or at least recoup much of its cost -- given that it has resultedthe seizure of more than $28 million in assets from defendants including Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.
Double Standard: MRC's Graham Uses Whataboutism To Justify Fox News Burying Stormy Daniels Scoop Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham spent his March 17 post in meltdown over the revelation that Reuters "sat on" a claim that Beto O'Rourke "belonged to an influential hacking group calling itself Cult of the Dead Cow" until after the 2018 Texas Senate election (which he lost). Graham was so triggered by this, in fact, that he couldn't be bothered to describe anything that made this hacker group "notorious" or mention the relevant fact that this membership occured when O'Rourke was a teenager, or explain the relevance of this membership has on anything involving O'Rourke today other than that he's running for president.
Graham did, however, get even more triggered when someone mentioned a more serious story that just happened to be sat upon before a crucial election by Graham's favorite media outlet:
CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter devoted a segment on his Sunday show to Fox News deciding not to air news of porn star Stormy Daniels right before the 2016 election. A lawyer for an angry ex-Fox News employee tried to claim it was some sort of campaign finance violation that Fox withheld whatever anti-Trump scoop it may have had.
Earth to Lawyer: Liberal media outlets sit on stories all the time, calculating the political advantages or disadvantages. Ask any Bill Clinton accuser.
The same Stelter ignored Reuters on his "reliably" liberal show and on Twitter disdained any outrage: “Reporters who are writing books sometimes hold back certain info till their book comes out. That’s what the reporter says happened in this case. Book deal situations are definitely complicated. The Fox/Stormy situation didn't involve a book. What's your proposal -- no books?”
Yes, Graham is going the whataboutism route to justify Fox News hiding the Stormy Daniels story before the election.
As we documented, whataboutism was pretty much the MRC's entire response to the New Yorker article examining Fox News in which that and other unflattering details were revealed. Kyle Drennen, for example, tried to deflect from the allegation by denouncing it as among "anonymous claims" in the piece and huffing over an MSNBC segment on the claim that "NBC would certainly know about sitting on damaging accusations against a president. In 1999, the network delayed airing an interview with Bill Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick until after impeachment of the Democratic president had passed."
Wash. Post Exposes WND's Financial Meltdown, Shenanigans Topic: WorldNetDaily
A new Washington Post article provides new details about the dire financial situation at WorldNetDaily, and it's even worse than we thought.
WND has been notoriously opaque about its finances, including lack of transparency about the money editor Joseph Farah claims it raised and where it was spent. The Post reports that not only have employees and contractors not received money they are owed, authors of books published by WND haven't been paid royalties they are due -- indeed, WND has for years been behind on payments to employees and vendors, to the point that Farah effectively bragged about that as being standard WND business practice. On top of that, it appears that WND's finances have gone to support a swanky office in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and Farah's nearby house, and Farah's wife, Elizabeth, is accused of buying personal items on a company credit card. Ex-WND employees and board members have questioned its finances, the Post reported, and WND refused to let them see even basic accounting statements.
WND was not even living up to promises it made to writers to paid to have their books published by WND. We've detailed the story of Patricia Fiejo, whose story and book WND promoted but did not disclose to readers it was paid by Fiejo (to the tune of nearly $10,000) to promote it; Fiejo told the Post that WND failed to deliver on promises it would provide audio versions of her book.
The Post repeated statements for a Farah-penned book taht WND got started on "a 250-acre ranch in a stretch of rural southern Oregon known as 'the imaginary state of Jefferson.' ... They invited staffers to move there with them and called their ranch, with its cabins converted into offices, 'the compound.' The Farahs lived across the road in a log cabin." But as we've pointed out, that ranch was owned by a group called the Foundation of Human Understanding, which some have accused of being a cult. It was run by Roy Masters, an evangelist and radio host. WND managing editor David Kupelian used to run a magazine operated by Masters' FHU, and that served as the template for WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine.
The Post also highlighted Farah's embrace last year of a bitcoin derivative as a way to save WND. We documented just how shady that deal was. And it has not been a moneymaker for any of its holders so far: We never saw that particular cryptocurrency valued very high at all; as of this writing, it's trading at about 14 cents.
Perhaps most interesting, is how WND first responded to a Post reporter who contacted it seeking a response to all these allegations:
Reached by phone last week, Farah’s wife, Elizabeth — the site’s co-founder with her husband — declined to discuss the accusations in detail, but added that “the angst of a former employee does not impress me as to the legitimacy of complaints.”“It’s a he-said, she-said,” Elizabeth Farah said.
Less than two hours after she was contacted by The Washington Post, WND posted a story saying Joseph Farah had recently suffered a serious, previously undisclosed stroke.
It's probably telling of the how solid the Post story is that WND has yet to publish a response to it as of this writing on its website.
Things are undeniably a mess at WND, and now it's clear they have been for years. But if Farah is out of commission with a severe health issue, that bodes even worse for WND's future. Seeing this sort of mismanagement laid bare doesn't bode well for attracting any investors to it or even its tax-deductible nonprofit WND News Center, which has the goal of financing WND's reporting. The force-of-nature Farah juggled things (and stiffed his employees and authors) to keep the thing afloat, and no other WND bigwig seems likely to step into that role.
A few months back, WND managing editor David Kupelian wrote the story of his heart attack a couple years earlier, in which he seemed to learn the wrong lessons God was purportedly imparting to him by allowing him to suffer one -- he did not apologize to, and seek forgiveness from, all the people whom WND has smeared and libeled over the years. If one believes Farah's stroke is a message from God as well, it may be that the message He is sending is that WND doesn't deserve to live.
Newsmax Hides That It Published Horowitz Book It's Promoting Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is heavily promoting the new book by right-winger David Horowitz:
A March 17 article by Jason Devaney touted how Horowitz's book accuses " the 'anti-religious, anti-American left' of conducting an ongoing effort to erase God from American society dating back six decades."
A March 18 article by Bill Hoffmann gushed: "A New York Times bestselling author is warning that Christians are in real danger of persecution — in America. And this warning comes from a surprising source, a prominent secular Jew."
A March 23 article by Devaney promoted a Horowitz interview, in which he "compared Democrats to Satan ... saying they have the same "arrogance" as the serpent did in the Garden of Eden.
A March 30 article by Hoffmann further gushed: "Glenn Beck is praising David Horowitz’s new book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christianity in America. David was just on Glenn’s national radio show this week, and the top-rated host told his audience that “this is a very critical book” and warned Americans of the growing attacks on Christians.
What none of these articles mention: Horowitz's book is published by Newsmax -- specifically, Humanix Books, Newsmax's book division. That explains why Hoffmann took the time to boldface every instance of the book title in his Beck article.
This undisclosed conflict of interest hurts Newsmax's efforts to be taken seriously as a news organization.
WND Hoaxsters Devote Magazine To Hoaxes (Not Their Own, Of Course) Topic: WorldNetDaily
The current issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistoleblower magazine is themed "AGE OF THE HOAX: How the progressive left creates, promotes and celebrates fake crimes." It apparently argues that Jussie Smollett's alleged hate-crime hoax isn't "any different from what today’s hard-left Democratic Party does every day from morning until night." WND managing editor David Kupelian went on to complain that "we are expected to embrace their favorite hoaxes – ‘the world will end in 12 years’ – as existential threats, while obviously real crises – like the radically intensifying invasion across our southern border – they mock as ‘hoaxes’ and ‘manufactured crises.'"
Ironic, since WND was the perpetrator of two of the biggest political hoaxes in recent years: the Obama birther hoax and and the Seth Rich hoax. WND has never apologized for the lies it spread about Obama, nor about the fact that it knew or should have known that its Seth Rich conspiracy theory was bogus even as it continued to spread it. WND bigwigs like Kupelian and Joseph Farah demanded that we embrace these hoaxes that, if they actually cared about truth and honesty, they knew were false.
But we know they don't. And that brings us to another bit of irony: One of the contributors to this particular issue of Whistleblower is Dinesh D'Souza, wdho is best known these days for spreading false claims about history, then getting repeatedly dunked on by actual historians like Kevin Kruse who actually know what they're talking about.
Refusal to address that gaping hole in WND's logic doesn't help to rebuild its long-lost credibility, which is a big reason WND is in perpetual financial trouble.
MRC Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
If there's a Media Research Center trigger-warning relationship to rival Curtis Houck and Jim Acosta, it's they mysterious Jay Maxson and Colin Kaepernick. Let's review just how much Maxson has been triggered by Kaepernick over the past couple months, shall we?
On Feb. 3, Maxson huffed that Kaepernick got a mention at Super Bowl-related activities: "The most controversial football player in the world hasn’t played in the NFL in two years, but Colin Kaepernick was figuratively 'at"' the Super Bowl." He ranted further by calling Kaepernick "the social media-sniping hater of cops, former National Anthem kneeler, lover of communist Cuba and American freedom-denier."
When a newspaper columnist asked that an NFL team sign Kaepernick, Maxson justified blackballing him by declaring that "no owner has an obligation to employ any athlete who has crossed a line of incivility" (even as NFL teams continue to employ players accused of domestic violence), declaring that "The cop-hating, anti-American, Cuba-loving Kaepernick would be a detriment to the reputation of the NFL or any of its teams." Maxson didn't explain exactly what was "incivil" about kneeling during the National Anthem.
When Kaepernick and another player who protested during the National Anthem settled their collusion grievance against the NFL, Maxson was unsurprisingly disappointed, whining that "Media sentiment has overwhelming [sic] favored the social justice warriors and accused the NFL of blackballing them." Maxson was also unhappy that Kaepernick was seen as the winner, getting mad at a sportswriter who was "suggesting the two players who infuriated Americans for kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner may have had a case." At no point does Maxson offer any evidence that NFL was the winner. Maxson finally found a right-wing sportswriter who hates Kaepernick as much as he does, touting how he attacked Kaepernick "for essentially spoiling the pro football experience for so many Americans."
On March 13, Maxson got huffy at the idea that Kaepernick was expressing free speech through his protest, insisting that anyone who agreed with that was "incorrectly assuming employees at private companies have free speech rights."
In a March 19 post, Maxson was angry that Kaepernick wasn't being seen as hateful, but, rather, "the fans who disagreed with his disgusting behavior during the 2016 season when he first sat, then knelt during the pre-game playing of the national anthem." When a sportswriter suggested that allowing Kaepernick to play would give haters their due because it would give them a legitimate excuse to hate him if he fails to deliver Hall of Fame numbers, Maxson huffed: With Kaepernick's compliant media cheerleaders, it's never a matter of disrespecting veterans and the flag, hurting the NFL's business (remember all the NFL's negatives from the 2017 season when the rebellion Kaepernick started torched TV and favorability ratings?). Precious few among the media care about those negatives!" Maxson also insisted that Kaepernick hadn't been punished enough for expressing his opinion:
It would provide an opening for Kaepernick all right. He would be playing again without being held accountable for his protests, which turned many a long-time fan away from the NFL. No apology. No mea culpa. Most likely more radical, Black Lives Matter-type activism, though.
Maxson concluded by huffing: "Just put Kaepernick back in an NFL lineup and watch the media gush over him while more fans write off the NFL." It would give Maxson more opportunities to be triggered by the mere presence of Kaepernick as well -- not that Maxson was going to concede that.
Peterson's first instinct after the New Zealand mosque massacre in his March 17 WorldNetDaily column was to defend President Trump from a mention in the shooter's manifesto:
In a manifesto posted online, the New Zealand shooter reportedly expressed support for Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity,” but he strongly disapproved of Trump as a policy maker and leader. Yet the liberal media picked the one line that mentions Trump and are using it to push a false narrative, while omitting extensive quotes which show that the shooter is not a conservative, not a Trump supporter, not a Christian, and not a capitalist. In fact, he has far more in common with the likes of Obama and Clinton than with Trump.
Well, not exactly: On the one issue that counts -- hatred of Muslims -- the shooter's rhetoric echoes that of the website that publishes Peterson's column.
Peterson then plays the white-nationalist card, among other of his greatest hits:
If you are white – especially a conservative Christian straight male – leftists will call you everything but a child of God to silence you. There is no such thing as “racism,” “sexism,” “islamophobia-ism,” or “deadbeatdad-ism.” These are labels created by the children of the lie to intimidate and control. We can’t adopt their language. Stop using their words, and drop your resentment (anger) so words and name-calling will cease to control you.
Our battle is spiritual: right vs. wrong, good vs. evil. President Trump understands this better than any president or public figure that I have seen in my lifetime.
The media and the Democrats are relentless in their efforts to destroy Trump and enslave us by taking away our freedoms. The children of the lie serve their father the devil, and it’s their nature to lie and destroy good. Christians must understand this and be bold in speech and action in defense of freedom and support for this president.
That's getting a bit stale -- as is the whole idea of a black right-winger thinking he can get away with saying things that would be racist if he were white.
MRC Touts Bogus Proposed Cost for Green New Deal Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center will happily scare you by promoting someone's proposed astronomical cost for the New Green Deal:
"How much would a Green New Deal cost? That’s the $93 trillion question some media outlets won’t ask."-- Julia A. Seymour, Feb. 28
"[Meghan] McCain jumped in to grill the 2020 Democrat more specifically on what his party’s Green Deal actually costs and requires of average Americans. ... 'It would cost $93 trillion or to every person in this room, $600,000 for each of your households.'" -- Kristine March, March 4
"Colbert’s opening segment took a spin on Kermit the Frog’s legendary musical performance of “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” with a new version called, 'It’s Not Easy Being The Green New Deal.' The song features the legendary puppet defending Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s wingnut, multi-trillion dollar, socialist pipe dream." -- Gabriel Hays, March 13
"The price of the Green New deal is estimated to cost in the “tens of trillions.” Shouldn’t that be a discussion point?" -- Scott Whitlock, March 16
"The plan could cost $93 trillion, according to estimates from the American Action Forum run by former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin." -- Seymour, March 19
Just one problem with that $93 trillion that the MRC is touting: it's a bogus number.
As Media Matters documents, the American Action Forum -- the organization that orginiated the figure -- is funded by fossil-fuel interests, who stand to lose under the Green New Deal and have a vested interest in denigrating it. And Politico notes that even AAF leader Holtz-Eakin, whom Seymour portrays as an authoritative figure and thus a reason the number should be believed as credible, admits the number is bogus because any precision in that great of a number is "illusory." Further, much of that number is "based on assumptions about universal health care and jobs programs rather than the costs of transitioning to carbon-free electricity and transportation," Politico writes. Further, even if one insists the number has value, it's contrasted by a a United Nations estimate that even a modest rise in global temperatures could have a global cost of as much as $69 trillion from.
If the MRC was honest with its readers, it would inform them that the Green New Deal cost it's been touting has no basis in reality. But we know it has no interest in correcting the record after it spreads fake news.
Yes, CNS Is Still Obsessed With Tim Tebow Topic: CNSNews.com
Among the fans of pro football player-turned-minor league baseball player Tim Tebow at the Media Research Center, CNSNews.com commentary editor Michael Morris is positivelyobsessed with him, mainly due to his ostentatiously Christian faith and not the fact that he's, you know, a failed NFL player who changed sports and can't quite break into the majors there.
Thus, Morris penned a March 5 CNS post gushing over Tebow's first hit in spring training:
During a Spring Training game against the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow recorded his first hit of Spring Training 2019.
Tebow, “who hit a dribbler to the pitcher his first time up,” took the first pitch of his second at-bat to the outfield, hitting a single off of Red Sox pitcher #91 Mike Shawaryn. Shawaryn was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 5th round in 2016.
Mets #15 Tim Tebow has had nine at-bats so far in Spring Training 2019, according to the MLB website, and he currently has an average of .222 and an OPS of .522. On his career during Spring Training, Tebow has had 54 at-bats with an average of .130 and an OPS of .319.
That's right -- a baseball player who got his first spring training hit in his ninth at-bat was news, according to Morris.
That's not the only sports-related thing Morris thinks CNS readers -- who aren't there for sports -- need to know. He actually devoted a March 18 post to non-sports guy Kevin Sorbo -- an actor whose political opinions CNS thinks are newsworthy despite its long history of denigrating entertainers who express political opinions -- going even further afield from his area of expertise by complaining that ESPN's "SportsCenter" didn't rank a golfer's hole-in-one high enough.
MRC Buries Steyer's Jewish Heritage To Justify Attacks On Him Topic: Media Research Center
We've noted how the Media Research Center is offended that conservative criticism of liberals of Jewish heritage who support liberal causes with their money -- specifically, from Mouse Minority Kevin McCarthy -- might be considered anti-Semitic, and has sought to reassure conservatives that George Soros is a Jew you're allowed to hate without the threat of religious stigma.
Well, they're still going on about that. In its continuing attempt to brand Rep. Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite for criticizing Israel, a March 11 post by Alex Christy wades into this again. He complained of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough:
Scarborough went into his usual list of purported anti-Semitic controversies involving Republicans. He again falsely accused Kevin McCarthy of warning about "Jew money" in the lead up to 2018 in attacks on George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Michael Bloomberg and went after Rep. Jim Jordan for replacing the 'S' in Steyer with a dollar sign, something "he's never done with a gentile." Tom Steyer is an Episcopalian.
Christy is not telling the whole truth about Steyer's religious heritage. While he is currently a practicing Episcopalian, according to Wikipedia, Steyer's father is Jewish, and Steyer's marriage waspresided over by a rabbi as well as an Episcopalian minister.
Is Christy saying that Steyer isn't a real Jew because he's only half-Jewish? That's a strange argument from a conservative organizaion that considers criticism of Ivanka Trump to be anti-Semitic because she married a Jew.
WND Dog-Whistles The Idea That The Clintons Killed Another Person Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joe Kovacs' March 19 article on the death by suicide of former Obama and Clinton economic adviser Alan Krueger plays it surprisingly straight, sticking to the fact about his life. But that wasn't the point of the article: It was a dog whistle to WND's readers that it was OK to speculate whether the Clintons played a role in Krueger's death. After all, WND remains one of the biggestpromoters of the discredited "Clinton Body Count."
And speculate they did: the article attracted 145 comments, many of them advancing the bogus "Clinton Body Count" conspiracy theory.
In case Kovacs' article was too subtle, the point was made clear with the front-page promotional headline: "Top Obama-Clinton adviser 'commits suicide.'"
Note the scare quotes around "commits suicide." WND can't claim it's a direct quote from a source in Kovacs' article because it doesn't exist. Kovacs wrote that Krueger "committed suicide" (without the scare quotes), and he quotes a family statement that Krueger "took his own life."
Wasn't WND managing editor insisting just the other day in Joseph Farah's stead that WND is a "truth-oriented" website? Yeah, not so much.
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.