WND Advances Conspiracy Theory That Notre Dame Fire Was Terrorist Act Topic: WorldNetDaily
After the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, WorldNetDaily was happy to mock YouTube for an "algorithm designed to combat fake news and conspiracy theories [that] equated the Paris catastrophe with the 9/11 New York City terror attacks," adding that "there is no indication that the devastating fire at the iconic Notre Dame is related to terrorism."
But even though there remains no indication of a terrorism link to the Notre Dame fire, WND has embraced the idea that there might be, likely committed by Muslims.
An April 15 article regurgitated a right-wing blogger who counted "the names of Facebook users who responded to a video of the fire with a laughing emoji. The names included Yusuf Mohammedzai, Mohamed Hiadi, Mohamed Bensalem and Abdelhakim Noui Oua."
An anonymously written April 16 WND article stepped in that direction by highlighting "the surge of attacks on Christian symbols in Europe." While it did concede that "French authorities believe the blaze that destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral was accidental," it also highlighted that "ISIS followers online called the Notre Dame fire “retribution and punishment” from Allah.
Another April 16 article complained, as the Media Research Center did, that Fox News anchor Shepard Smith shut down a guest who tried to link the Notre Dame fire to other attacks on European churches, then rehashed Rush L:imbaugh's conspiracy theory that it was "head-in-the-sand denial" not to raise the specter of a link.
WND columnist Barbara Simpson went fully into conspiracy territory in her April 21 column:
The big question then, is the same big question now: How did the fire start? While there has been a wild attempt by worldwide media to show the pictures of the inferno and the damage caused, there is a concerted effort to avoid making any conclusions as to HOW the fire started – or, perhaps, WHO started it.
It’s not too far-fetched to say that media and authorities are in the midst of a total avoidance of possibly accusing any person(s) or groups as being responsible for the conflagration.
The truth is, a building the size and age and cared-for as Notre Dame does not “just” burn down – not especially with the heat, speed and totality of the flames.
The allegation is the wood roof was just so flammable that even a simple spark would set it all off. Nonsense. The 850-year-old roof was built with whole trees, many more than a 100 years old when they were cut. It would take more than a spark to set them ablaze with the speed and destructiveness of that fire.
What is left of the structure is so fragile at this point, that NO authorities have been allowed inside for inspections … yet there are media reports that a “short circuit” set off the blaze. The contractors who were doing the remodeling say that is not possible, yet the media persist and officials support them even though NO investigators have done any inspections.
Speaking of the media persisting, they’re also avoiding – with every bit of their ability – to even consider that perhaps anti-Catholic feeling was responsible for the fire.
The big “no-no” is to even suggest there might be Muslim involvement in the Notre Dame fire. This, despite reports in Islamic media, that Muslims are cheering the destruction.
She was followed by Oliver Melnick, who basically argued that it would be irresponsible not to speculate:
We might never really know the source of the Notre Dame fire, but the situation is such in France and much of Western Europe that at least it makes it possible for one to speculate and leave the door open for a terrorist attack. The soil is fertile to allow more hatred to grow and choke Christianity and Western civilization. As a matter of fact, ISIS, which didn’t claim responsibility for the fire, threatened to start another one to finish the job. They were not involved, but they were quick to rejoice and post photos of the burning structure on social media, with the caption: “It’s time to say goodbye to your oratory polytheism.”
Notre Dame’s fire didn’t have to be a terrorist attack to draw the attention of those who promote Christianity and Western values. There is a track record of the destruction of Christianity in Europe that has existed for a while now. Lovers of freedom and democracy ought to be really concerned.
And that's how WND keeps its reputation of being conspiracy-mongers.
CNS Editor Still Has Trouble Blaming Trump for Rising Federal Deficits Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey loves to fret about rising deficits and national debt, but is much more reluctant to pin the current situation on President Trump Republicans than he was about blaming Democrats when the president was named Obama. That reluctance hasn't really stopped, despite the occasional dose of reality.
A March 26 article by Jeffrey fretted: "The federal government spent $1,822,712,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2019, the most it has spent in the first five months of any fiscal year since 2009, which was the fiscal year that outgoing President George W. Bush signed a $700-billion law to bailout the banking industry and incoming President Barack Obama signed a $787-billion law to stimulate an economy then in recession." Even though that spending occurred under Trump, Jeffrey never blames him or his fellow Republicans -- indeed, rather than a picture of Trump, his article is illustrated with a shot of Obama and Bush.
And Trump is mentioned only in passing, in the second-to-last paragraph of the 25-paragraph article, when Jeffrey paraphrases a government official who justified lower corporate tax revenue -- one key reason why deficit spending is up -- by stating that "the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Trump in December 2017 was understood to be frontloaded in that corporations early on would take advantage of the new expensing rules to build their businesses."
Jeffrey similarly stated in an April 10 article that "The federal government spent $2,198,468,000,000 in the first six months of fiscal 2019 (October through March), which is the most it has spent in the first six months of any fiscal year in the last decade, according to the Monthly Treasury Statements." This time, however, Jeffrey doesn't mention Trump at all, despite this massive deficit spending happening under his watch. The accompanying picture, meanwhile, is not of Trump but a stock photo of Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and two other unidentified politicians. Jeffrey did not explain why the photo includes people who weren't directly responsible for the situation he's complaining about.
The tagline at the end of both of Jeffrey's articles reads: "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." If Jeffrey is making dishonest points with his funded reporting, it would seem that that gift money is being wasted.
Newsmax Touts Trump's Not-Yet-Existent Donation to Notre Dame Topic: Newsmax
John Gizzi proclaims in an April 17 Newsmax article:
President Donald Trump is soon expected to make a personal contribution to the rebuilding of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Two White House sources told Newsmax on Wednesday afternoon the president "was seriously considering" sending his own money to repair the storied Cathedral that sustained a major fire two days ago.
The same sources said the president had a long conversation Wednesday morning with Pope Francis and assured him there would be American assistance in its rebuilding. So far, French citizens have pledged what in U.S. currency would be more than $750,000 to refurbish the famed cathedral.
Since becoming President in 2017, Trump has declined the President's annual salary of $400,000 and donated it to various charities, including government entities.
The headline on Gizzi's article reads "Trump Will Make Personal Donation to Notre Dame" -- which is inaccurate because at no point does Gizzi claim that the donation will actually happen. While he claims Trump "is soon expected" to make a donation, his anonymous sources said only Trump "was seriously considering" it.
Gizzi, meanwhile, didn't tell his readers about Trump's highly dubious record on charitable giving. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that of a list of 4,844 alleged charitable donations by Trump provided to the media during the 2016 presidential campaign, precisely none of them involved Trump's own money -- they were made by Trump's charitable foundation to which Trump himself donated relatively littie of his own money, many of them were free rounds of golf at Trump-owned courses, and the largest "donations" were land conservation easements.
Gizzi's story reads like a "beat sweetener" -- a flattering story written with the goal of getting a methphorical foot in the door for future access to the Trump White House.
MRC Complains About 'Mud' (a.k.a. Accurate Reporting) In Media On Moore, Cain Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Julia A. Seymour spends an April 9 post complaining that The media have outdone themselves slinging mud" at President Trump's Federal Reserve Board of Governors nominees Herman Cain and Stephen Moore. Seymour first defended Moore,huffing that media reports focused on Moore's ugly divorce:
Moore holds a masters degree in economics, yet a USA Today editorial compared Moore to a 1980s soap opera doctor who hawked cough syrup in commercials. But the ugliest attacks of all were about “personal baggage” surrounding Moore’s divorce. The divorce details dominated many stories including roughly two-thirds of the words of a lengthy CNBC story, even though it had nothing to do with Moore’s suitability for the Federal Reserve.
But as the USA Today editorial pointed out, Federal Reserve governors "typically have Ph.D.s in economics and years of experience as bank regulators. Or they are high-level business executives, preferably in finance, with real world experience in how companies are affected by Fed policy" -- none of which applies to Moore, who was an editorial writer before joining the right-wing PAC Club for Growth. Seymour's portrayal of Moore's divorce as irrelevant to his qualifiactions leaves out details of his vindictiveness toward his ex-wife, refusing to pay alimony and child support untiil a contempt ruling and threat of arrest forced him to -- by which time the tab had surpassed $300,000. There's also an outstanding $75,000 tax lien against Moore. His own personal money management issues don't inspire confidence he can help manage the country's monetary policy.
Seymour then defended Cain, first touting how he was "a successful businessman who turned around struggling Burger Kings before transforming Godfather’s Pizza from 'financial ruin' to profitability: -- never mind that was decades ago -- then deflected the years of sexual harrassment allegations against him, huffing that "all but one were anonymous and unspecified."
As we documented, the MRC was a fierce defender of Cain during his 2012 presidential campaign -- MRC dhief Brent Bozell is a close friend -- and similarly fought to dismiss those harrassment accusations, even though Cain has never disputed the fact that the National Restaurant Association reached monetary settlements with two women who filed complaints against Cain when he headed the group in the 1990s. The MRC's Dan Gainor and Matt Philbin, meanwhile, smearred Cain's accusers as gold-diggers seeking abook deal.
(In fact, the named accuser made no money from her claims. As far as we know, Gainor and Philbin have never apologized for never false, malicious attacks.)
Seymour did attempt a minor conflict-of-interest disclosure that Cain "served on the Business and Media Institute advisory board as its national chairman (Business and Media Institute is the former name of MRC Business)," but omitted that he is a personal friend of Bozell, or that the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, publishes Moore's weekly column.
Cain ultimately withdrew from consideration for the Federal Reserve post, offering the ridiculous, face-saving excuse that the job didn't pay enough. Last we checked, Seymour has had nothing to say about that.
Jesse Lee Peterson's All-Purpose Tirade Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jesse Lee Peterson crams most of his usual hobbyhorses in the first three paragraphs of his April 7 WowrldNetDaily column:
America is a Christian nation, but that fact has been under attack by the children of the lie. The left has pushed immorality to the point we have so-called “same-sex marriage” and “transgender” nonsense trampling the rights of Christians. “People of color” and “women” join the attack on freedom of speech and our rights to self-defense. Good people are accused of “hate speech,” punished for telling the truth in public – or even in private!
Christians, men and especially white people are under attack. Christians are forced to bake “gay cakes” for homosexuals pretending to get “married.” Men are falsely accused of “sexual harassment,” “sexual assault” or of being “child molesters” – and they’re not allowed to say the women are lying! Children are abused by women, even killed in the womb, and the man can’t do anything to protect his children. White people are called “racist” just for loving their country, for telling the truth about “people of color,” or for standing up for white people.
A decade ago, the fallen messiah Barack Obama claimed America is “no longer a Christian nation.” He pushed homosexuality and transgender madness, and took up for Muslims at every opportunity. He was the first “feminist” president, and loved abortion.
After all that ping-ponging around on his hate playbook, -- at one point channeling his inner white supremacist by delcaring that "The straight, white, conservative, Christian man of power built this country" -- Peterson eventually settles on hating gays, particularly those in politics:
The city of Chicago recently elected a black lesbian for mayor. She’s pretending she will end the corruption in the city. But she herself is morally corrupt – she has no values. She’ll go after the Christians, white people and men, and only further destroy the city.
There are homosexuals who are stuck in that lifestyle but know it’s wrong. But this new mayor-elect, Lori Lightfoot, is promoting wrong as right. Similarly, Pete Buttigieg, a homosexual millennial mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is trying to run for president. The corrupt liberal media love him for being shamelessly homosexual. The former mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, is a lesbian with a pretend “wife.” Females on the Supreme Court and in Congress have conducted so-called same-sex “weddings.”
In Ireland, they have a homosexual prime minister who brought his gay “partner” to America for an official event with Vice President Mike Pence. This man, Leo Varadkar, gave a slap in the face to Christians, speaking against “discrimination.” The radical homosexuals are allowed to discriminate against Christians, but not the other way around. There is no freedom.
Peterson seems to have forgotten the inconvenient fact that Christians have discriminated against "homosexuals" for centuries with impunity.
MRC Mad Fox News' Smith Shut Down Fact-Free Speculation About Notre Dame Fire Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center hatesShepardSmith for being the only person at Fox News who reports straight news and doesn't veer off into the right-wing bias that pollutes the rest of the channel. In an April 15 post, the MRC's Scott Whitlock actually got mad at Smith for shutting down a guest's speculation that the fire at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral was set by Christian-haters:
Fox anchor Shepard Smith on Monday melted down when a French guest attempted to explain the ongoing attacks, violence and vandalism against French churches. Talking about the fire engulfing Notre Dame, where the cause is unknown, guest Philippe Karsenty began, “For the past years, we've had churches desecrated each and every week all over France.”
Just seconds after his guest was introduced, Smith immediately jumped in and reprimanded, “Sir, sir, sir, we're not going to speculate of the cause of something that we don't know! If you have observations or you know something, we would love to hear it.” After Karsenty attempted to respond, Smith shut down the whole interview: “No, sir. We’re not doing that here. Not now. Not on my watch! Philippe Karsenty, it’s very good of you to be here.”
Twenty minutes later, Smith came back to concede the point about violence against French Christians, allowing, “There have been a number of attacks on Catholic churches in the Paris area. But those two things [the Notre Dame fire and past incidents], we are not connecting at this moment.”
Whitlock then lectured that incidents of church vandalism in France "doesn’t mean, in any way, that’s what is happening in Paris. And people shouldn’t recklessly speculate. But neither should Smith decide a guest is unlistenable simply because he tries to inform an American audience about what's going on in France."
But the guest was trying to baselessly link two things that, as further investigation is showing, are not connected at all. In short, Whitlock is mad for not giving space to a conspiracy theory -- hardly responsible "media research."
CNS Paints Extremist Christian Minister As Merely 'Controversial' Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough wrote in a March 21 CNSNews.com article:
As New Zealanders marked the one-week anniversary of the worst mass shooting in the country’s history, the state-owned radio and television network broadcast live the Islamic call to prayer, and people were encouraged to wear a headscarf as a “show of solidarity” with the Muslim community.
Both elements of the day’s commemorations stoked controversy.
But Goodenough's evidence of "controversy" is dubious at best.
Regarding the headscarf, Goodenough wrote that "many in New Zealand and around the world questioned the appropriateness of promoting the Muslim head covering at a time when, for example, Iranian women are being punished for protesting the mandatory wearing of the hijab." He cited only three people questioning that, two of which were anonymous people on Facebook and a "feminist discussion group."
Regarding airing the call to prayer, Goodenough wrote:
Brian Tamaki, the sometimes-controversial pastor of a non-denominational Destiny Church in New Zealand, pushed back.
On Twitter, he accused Ardern of abusing her position by allowing the shahada to be broadcast across the nation, saying the move was offensive to all “true” Christians.
Goodenough's link on "sometimes-controversial" showed Tamaki blaming earthquakes on gays sinners, and murderers -- a view that is not merely controversial, it's downright fringe.
Goodenough did admit that "Tamaki came in for some criticism" and made later statements offering lip service for "respect and love to our Muslim brothers and sisters."
Goodenough offers no evidence that those critical of these gestures of respect toward Muslims are in the mainstream or majority in New Zealand.
MRC's Double Standard On 'Smut' Fiction By Politicians Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Gabriel Hays was in full moral-outrage mode in an April 4 post:
Stacey Abrams has a knack for fiction. These days, her skill manifests mostly in her refusal to admit she lost the Georgia governor’s race fair and square. But once upon a time, her creative outlet was authoring smutty books.
We know this only because during Wednesday night’s The Late Show, Stephen Colbert decided to poke some mild fun at Abrams by reading “steamy” excerpts from the politician’serotic fiction. A decade ago, writing under the pseudonym “Selena Montgomery,” Abrams chronicled the desires and carnal fulfillments of lonely, white-collar housewives with a penchant for sexually aggressive lawyers.
Colbert surprised Abrams by producing excerpts from one her novels, Reckless. Embarrassed (as she should be,) Abrams said “Oh Dear God,” and asked, “Can I leave now?” But Colbert pushed forward, chiding her by saying, “If you’re going to write a romance novel, make it a bodice-ripper.”
Abrams was embarrassed, yes, but it was all among friends. Not like when Newt Gingrich writes erotic scenes in historical fiction and sends the left into a pearl-clutching faint.
Double standards aside, it’s all just gross and the political celebrity thing is getting out of hand.
About those double standards, Gabe...
There wlasn't a "pearl-cluching faint" regarding Gingrich's scenes in a 1994 book. The New York Times article Hays links to in an attempt to prove his argument takes more of a bemused stance at the mere idea of a conservative policy wonk writing historical science fiction novels with erotic scenes.
Indeed, sex scenes written by conservatives get a blase response from the MRC. A 2006 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard reference only in passing Lynne Cheney's 1981 novel "Sisters" that includes what has been called an "explicit stemy lesbian" scene.
Hays should explain why Abrams wrote "smut" and Gingrich and Cheney didn't.
The Seth Rich Conspiracy Is Completely Dead. When Will WND Apologize? Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Seth Rich conspiracy theory was never true, and now the Mueller report has confirmed it.
The Daily Beast has detailed a finding from the report that WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange apparently knew from the beginning that the leaked Democratic National Committee emails that WikiLeaks released came from Russian hackers and not from Rich, a DNC staffer killed in what authorities call a botched robbery, but he publicly perpetuated the Rich conspiracy to obscure their sourcing. As it turns out, WikiLeaks didn't receive the DNC emails until four days after Rich's death.
It was a hoax all along -- and WorldNetDaily happily promoted it.
WND was< quick to embrace the conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered over the emails. The slow disintegration of the Rich conspiracy theory on other fronts hasn't moved WND to correct the record, nor has the revelation that Jerome Corsi, while still a WND employee in 2016, apparently knew that the emails came from Russian hackers and not Rich.
With that revelation, Corsi and WND now arguably face legal liability for pushing a story they knew or should have known was false from the get-go. Now that the Mueller report has completely blown the story out of the water, WND faces a reckoning as well.
However, we are talking about WND here, whose name is not exactly synonymous with journalistic integrity. a Google search shows that the last WND article to mention Rich was in July 2018, when it touted a "bombshell" claim by sleazy opportunist Jack Burkman that he had identified an alleged witness to Rich's death. But the Burkman press conference in which purported to reveal his witness -- who didn't appear and spoke only through a speakerphone -- was such a disaster that even WND didn't report on it, not even to report the disaster.
It behooves WND to be honest for once in its existence and follow the advice of Seth's brother Aaron: "I hope that the people who pushed, fueled, spread, ran headlines, articles, interviews, talk and opinion shows, or in any way used my family's tragedy to advance their political agendas -- despite our pleas that what they were saying was not based on any facts -- will take responsibility for the unimaginable pain they have caused us."
But will it do so before it gets sued? Or will WND go out of business before it tells its readers the truth?
MRC Sports Blogger Repeatedly Triggered By 50-Year-Old Protest Topic: NewsBusters
Colin Kaepernick is not the only athlete about whom mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger Jay Maxson goes into regular freak-out mode over. He (or she) is also triggered by something that happened 50 years ago: the raised-fist salute by medal-winning U.S. sprinters on the podium at the 1968 Olympics.
Last October, Maxson fumed when Kaepernick and the sprinters were mentioned in the same breath, dropping the term "social justice warriors" for both of them, which is apparently the most serious thing Maxson can think of to call them:
As the 50th anniversary of the protest-marred 1968 Olympic Games nears, the New York Daily News' Carron J. Phillips and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are glorifying Colin Kaepernick, as well as the two disgraced sprinters who staged a black power salute during the national anthem in Mexico City. The International Olympic Committee stripped Tommie Smith and John Carlos of their medals and expelled them from the Olympic Village. A 1968 headline in the Evening News declared, "Games are Rocked by Black Power." Media reporting has shifted 180 degrees since then, as many reporters sympathize with radical social justice warriors.
In the decades since then, the sprinters have been turned into heroes by the Left. There's a statue honoring them in California. President Barack Obama celebrated them in the White House. They are the subjects of documentaries and invited, as heroes, to speak on college campuses.
October 16 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympic Games protest by U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Their black power salute on the medal stand at Mexico City angered many Americans and divided the media. But today, the united American media celebrates them as royalty. Media treat another athlete disliked by many, Colin Kaepernick, as the successor to Smith and Carlos as a social justice icon.
Today one is hard pressed to find any opposition to Kaepernick and other SJW protesters. When he started protesting during the national anthem in 2016, he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
In February, Maxson was still ranting, complete with another SJW reference:
Former U.S. Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos shocked with black power salutes at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City. They were sent home in disgrace then, but now that the media has a love affair with social justice warriors like Colin Kaepernick, Smith and Carlos are treated like heroes and adorned with honors by the progressive, social justice crowd. The Golden State Warriors saluted Smith during a game Wednesday, and visiting San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich predicted that Kaepernick, too, will become greatly admired.
But, hey, it's 2019 and social justice warriors are cool now! No apology, no mea culpa are required in the Left's world of low standards. So then, in the far-, far-out world that is the Bay Area, Smith received a jersey from the Warriors in recognition of Black History Month.
For many Americans, social justice warriors in sports uniforms have disrespected America and turned them away from sports. The Nation's Dave Zirinhas made a slobbering career of apologizing for and glorifying these malcontents. He's written books on 1968 Olympic protester John Carlos and radical NFL player Michael Bennett. He staunchly defends Colin Kaepernick and others who politicize sports, too. Zirin is the "parallel universe," and this week he bitterly complains that Carlos and fellow '68 Olympic protester Tommie Smith are being disrespected by their alma mater, San Jose State University.
Fifty years ago, Smith and Carlos were America's top sprinters. In the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City they won two of the three medals in the 200-meter dash. On the victory stand, during the playing of the Star Spangled banner, they looked down at the ground and raised their gloved hands to the air in protest to racism. Those in the stadium and watching around the world were stunned. The International Olympic Committee booted them out of the Olympic Village and sent them home in disgrace.
America's disgrace became a "noble" cause for far Left writer Zirin and San Jose State U. He wrote the book, The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World. San Jose State built statues to the two malcontent sprinters, but Zirin claims the two SJWs are now being treated horribly by the university.
Maxson noted Zirin quoting someone saying that San Jose State University removing the track where Carlos trained and replacing it with a parking lot was "another sad day for the Spartans," Maxson huffed: "A sad day for the Spartans and a sadder reminder for Americans offended by the acts of Smith and Carlos."
You know, if Maxson keeps getting so triggered by events that happened 50 years ago, maybe he's the one in a parallel universe.
CNS Can't Stop Obsessing Over Peter Strzok's Sex Life Topic: CNSNews.com
Despite calling itself a "news" organization, CNSNews.com is very selective about the news it reports -- espeically if it makes President Trump look bad. We've noted that CNS never reported on Paul Manfort's conviction on fraud charges or Michael Cohen's plea deal with prosecutors. Since then, CNS failed to do any story on Manfort being sentenced in March to 7 1/2 years in prison on those fraud charges, and it offered highly biased coverage of Cohen's testimony before Congress, featuring only Republicans' hostile questions to him and censoring any questiong from Democratic members of Congress.
By contrast, CNS can't stop obsessing about the sex life of a minor player in the Mueller investigation, former FBI agent Peter Strzok. When Strzok testified before Congress last summer, CNS writers took every available opportunity to brand Strzok as an adulterer because he was having an affair with another FBI agent while he was investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
CNS returned to that well-trod territory yet again in an April 4 article by Susan Jones:
The man once responsible for all FBI counterintelligence investigations, including the Clinton email and Trump-Russia probes, told Congress in a closed-door session last June that the FBI has no policy forbidding agents from having adulterous affairs.
"There is no FBI policy that prohibits somebody from having an affair," FBI Assistant Director E.W. "Bill" Priestap told House Judiciary and Oversight Committee investigators on June 5, 2018. "There's no FBI policy that says you can't have an affair, and if you do, you're going to be punished."
A transcript of Priestap's remarks was released this week.
The subject of extramarital affairs arose several times in Priestap's interview, in connection with Priestap’s deputy, Peter Strzok, who was having an extramarital affair with FBI attorney Lisa Page. Strzok and Page were part of the Clinton email investigation and immediately afterward, the Trump-Russia investigation, both of which Priestap was overseeing.
Jones did not report on what the FBI thinks about a president of the United States who pays hush money to porn stars to cover up their adulterous activity.
MRC Goes On An AOC-Bashing Spree Topic: Media Research Center
CNSNews.com isn't the only Media Research Center outlet dedicated to attacking Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The MRC itself is targeting her as well, alternating over the past few weeks between complaining that she's getting media attention and attempting to justify right-wing media attention on her as legitimate.
Scott Whitlock complained about a "gushing cover story" on Ocasio-Cortez in Time, whining that the writer "cheered" and "hyped" her but "found no time to mention the cow farting and airplane elimination section that was initially part of the Green New Deal." Whitlock referenced cow flatulence two other times in his item, showing his goal is to make AOC look ridiculous and not to fairly report on her.
Kristine Marsh groused that during a "nauseating" appearance on "Late Night With Seth Myers," Ocasio Cortez was allowed to "freely tear into her conservative critics: and that Myers "invited the Democrat to take a swipe at both Fox News and her Republican colleagues for believing in 'conspiracy theories' surrounding her." Marsh then tried to reframe one lame right-wing attack as legitimate: "She shared a story of how a Republican asked her if she had been paid ten million dollars by Netflix. The pair laughed at the audacity of the question, but Cortez didn’t clarify that Netflix had in fact paid ten million dollars to air a documentary about Ocasio-Cortez, so the story wasn’t made up out of thin air." But it's still false, isn't it, Kristine?
Curtis Houck tried to deflect from the idea that he and his fellow conservatives are obsessed with AOC and that it's really liberals who are obsessed, as demonstrated by the Time article:
Whether you’re media types like Brian Stelter or outlets such as Vanity Fair, it’s Fox News and right-of-center news outlets that have an obsession with socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). But segments like one on Thursday’s Last Word and cover stories like the latest issue of Time by lefty writer Charlotte Alter (and daughter of longtime liberal journalist Jonathan Alter) prove otherwise.
Christian Toto (shouldn't he be reviewing movies or something?) went ballistic on AOC, whining that people won't make fun of her to his satisfaction:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the greatest gift to political satirists since a certain Apprentice star hit the scene.
The Democratic Socialist is a gaffe machine, spewing lies and distortions on social media and via interviews. She uses the word “like” more often than Papa Smurf says “Smurf.” That’s not even getting to her signature policy achievement, the Green New Deal.
If comedians ever tire of Trump jokes involving orange skin, huuuuge promises or small hands, she’s the next comedy revolution.
Only the vast majority of comics won’t lay a glove on her. Which brings us to Stephen Colbert.
Toto then served up the usual right-wing complaint that colbert "mock[ed] conservative talkers for attacking the Congresswoman. It’s giggle-snort stuff, except the talkers are simply repeating what she said."
Brad Wilmouth got huffy in defending right-wing attacks on AOC as completely deserved:
On Saturday's CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera, CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson claimed that the reason freshman New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is so often attacked by conservatives is because she is "incredibly charismatic," "a young Latina," and "incredibly eloquent."
The CNN reporter named everything except the actual reason -- her self-identified "socialist" views were so popular with her party's base that she defeated an entrenched Democratic incumbent.
And terrible media critic Tim Graham was in full whine mode while pretending to be "fact-checking the fact-chekers," weirdly complaining that a "recent rash of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defense items" on fact-checking site Snopes means "it's a liberal clickbait site." Graham smugly concluded: "We have rated these Snopes 'fact checks' as Half Baked."
Graham also took offense to another thing Snopes did that had nothing to do with fact-checking: "It's quite funny, after all this, that on April 14 in a news section, Snopes posted an AP story headlined 'Study: Fox News Is Obsessed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.' As if liberal outlets are not!" The article repeated a claim from liberal watchdog group Media Matters that Ocasio-Cortez "was mentioned 3,181 times on Fox News Channel and its sister Fox Business Network during the six-week period of Feb. 25 to April 7, or just under 76 times a day." Needless to say, Graham offered no evidence that any "liberal outlet" provided anywhere near the same amount of attention to AOC.
WND Columnists Cheer Fox Host's Hatred of Omar Topic: WorldNetDaily
When Fox News host Jeanine Pirro was suspended by Fox News for a few weeks for making inflammatory remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar -- accusing her of placing Shariah law before the Constiution because she's Muslim -- WorldNetDaily columnists were bummed because they completely agreed with Pirro's attacks.
Carole Hornsby Haynes argued that Pirro was right because all Muslims are liars:
Lying or dissimulation – taqiyah – is not only condoned, but recommended to Muslims in the Quran. A Muslim can and will lie without compunction if it is necessary to protect or further Islam.
Yet Pirro was correct in her opening statement that Omar submits to Shariah. Adherence to Islamic law can be visibly seen both in a Muslim’s dress and prayers (how they pray), as well as their comments and actions in life. Pirro was only stating a truth: that Muslim women are required to wear hijabs because Shariah requires it. Pirro also correctly indicated that Omar’s adherence to Shariah means that she cannot uphold the Constitution. Shariah is deemed divine law and does not permit Muslims to live under any other legal system, including the U.S. Constitution, which Muslims deem man-made law.
The Muslim Brotherhood has made it clear that its mission is to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and impose Shariah. The pattern of Islam is to use the courts, schools, art museums, political offices and other major institutions including outreach to churches, to infiltrate, gradually introduce Shariah and then finally take over a nation.
Progress toward attaining that goal will only increase as the numbers of Muslims in America increases.
Mychal Massie was even more enthusiastic in his praise for Pirro's attack, if not her trying to keep her job afterward, and his hate of Omar:
Not only am I not applauding Judge Jeanine Pirro’s return to the Fox News lineup; I think her return sends a message of “I’ll take the money and distance myself from the truth.” I tweeted the same thing a few days ago, and now I’m going to elaborate.
I was hoping someone would step up and say what I’m about to say. But, apparently no one is going to risk the wrath of media bigwigs for speaking the truth.
Pirro spoke the God’s honest truth when she addressed Ilhan Omar, the petulant Muslim Democrat hater of Israel and anti-American supporter of terrorist groups.
I would have pointed out that the foul little hate-filled bigamist who reportedly married her own brother is a blight on America. I would have demanded to know what part of the hate screeds Omar delivers standing in the United States Congress represents the people in Minnesota.
Ahhh, but there is the rub, isn’t it? Omar represents the part of Minnesota that has been taken over by Muslims. So, she is representing her constituents when she rails against Israel. How soon she and her kind forget that if she/they were back where they came from, they would be walking around with flies on them, eating dogs and being stoned for being a tramp – unless marrying your brother is considered honorable in Somalia.
(The idea that Omar married her brother is a never-proven right-wing conspiracy theory.)
Massie then took out his thesaurus to claim that "Omar, CAIR and all like them are rancid stenotopic calumniators whose sole purpose is to spread the satanic cult of Islam and overrun America."
Finally, Massie complained that because Pirro issued a half-hearted apology, she's been compromised:
It makes me grimace to say it, but we must now treat everything Pirro says on Fox News as suspect. Her integrity has been compromised for money. She will continue to seem her straight-shooter self, but I assure you she will be loath to speak the unadulterated truth going forward.
Everything she says moving forward will be said with the question in mind – whether or not she will be suspended or publicly reprimanded if she speaks the truth.
How Is CNS Hating The LGBT Community Now? Topic: CNSNews.com
You don't have to be a presidential candidate for CNSNews.com to abhor you for not being heterosexual.
A March 29 article by Alex Madajian complained that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel ordered adoption agencies in the state not to cite religious beliefs in discriminating against "homosexual adopters." In addition to putting identifying Nessel as "Michaigan's Lesbian AG" in the headline, Madajian thought the following was important enough to devote the second paragraph of his article to highlighting: "Attorney General Nessel is a lesbian 'married' to her girlfriend, Alanna Maguire, and they have two children."
Madajian continued to be appalled that religious groups can't discriminate against people not like them: "If you are a Christian or Muslim group that believes children have a natural right to a mother and a father, you must nonetheless allow children to be placed into gay households, if that situation should arise." He then repeated attacks on Nessel as an "ideological extremist" showing "contempt for the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom" -- but provides no explanation of why prospective LGBT parents must be discriminated against solely for being LGBT.
Then, on April 5, CNS' gay-hating managing editor, Michael W. Chapman, commiserated with a fellow gay-basher over what the headline described as "Chicago's Lesbian Mayor":
Protestant minister E.W. Jackson, a Marine, Harvard Law School graduate, and president of S.T.A.N.D., criticized Chicago's newly elected openly gay mayor, Lori Lightfoot, for trying to disguise homosexual behavior as "love" -- a "satanic, demonic twisting of language" -- and for using taxpayer money to perpetrate her "filth."
Jackson added that God does care if people are engaging in same-sex behavior and "if God calls it an abomination, it’s an abomination.”
“They’re not talking about love, that’s not what they’re talking about," he said. "They’re talking about who you have sex with. And, really, specifically, they’re saying it doesn’t matter if you have sex with someone of the same gender. The euphemism is just disgusting."
"It really is," he continued, "because this is a satanic, demonic twisting of language to say exactly the opposite of what you mean. … They’re not talking about love. They’re talking about having sex with people of the same gender."
While Chapman was eager to pump up Jackson's military and educaiton credentials in an attempt to give his homophobia some unearned gravitas, he has yet to ackowledge that Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg -- whom CNS won't let us forget is gay -- is a military veteran and a Rhodes Scholar.
Additionally, Chapman showed that he hates gays even more than Muslims with a March 29 article touting how "mostly Muslim parents" objected to "homosexual propaganda" allegedly being taught at a British school, though it had " pledged to stop indoctrinating their elementary students with a pro-LGBT curricula." Chapman made sure to highlight a cultural behavior he seems to approve of: "Islam strongly disapproves of homosexual behavior and it is illegal and punishable by death in some Muslim countries, such as Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Nigeria."
MRC on Trump Cheating At Golf: Everybody Does It! Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so in the tank for President Trump that it felt compelled to spend a post downplaying the fact that Trump cheats at golf.
The MRC writer with that grim duty is Alex Christy, who began his April 2 post grousing that MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program "missed April Fool's Day by a day" by having on respected sportswriter Rick Reilly, who found so much about Trump's cheating at golf that he wrote an entire book about it. Christy then went into full spin/sycophancy mode:
Reilly could not imagine why anyone would cheat or bend the truth to some extent on the links. He called a story of Trump hitting his ball into the water multiple times on the same hole, only to say he was putting for four. For Reilly, this sort of lie explains Trump. He recalled a conversation he had with Arnold Palmer who told him that he always played a round of golf with a would-be business partner, '"Because in four hours you can't hide who you are. So, if he cheats on the course, he'll cheat in business. If he's honest and fun, he'll be honest and fun in business."'
Certainly golf is a game of etiquette and players are trusted to be honest and apply the rules themselves, especially for those who play competitively or take their game seriously. For others who just want to have a good time, the use of the foot wedge or turning a six into a four is not a scandal.
However, according to Reilly, Trump is the kind of golfer who takes his game seriously and accused him of lying about his club championships. Co-host Joe Scarborough piled on the Golfer-in-Chief, also accusing him of lying about his scores. Reilly then charged that Trump selectively selected his best rounds to lower his handicap.
Has Trump been completely truthful about his golf game? Probably not. But it is not a national scandal that golfers fudge their handicap or take creative liberties with the USGA rule book.
Christy's shoulder-shrugging over Trump's cheating at golf is a continuation of the MRC's double standard on presidential golf, in which it defends Trump's golf-playing (honestly or otherwise) while it regularly attacked President Obama for allegedly playing too much golf.For instance, in 2012 the MRC thought it was a "startling observation" that Obama played 105 rounds of golf in his first term, only one of which was with a Republican, though Trump has played nearly as many in just the first two years of his presidency (and had criticized the amount of golf Obama played) and whined that it was reported that Obama had played his 300th round of golf as president (and keeps score and doesn't cheat and doesn't take mulligans).
Indeed, the MRC has resorted to whataboutism on the subject. For instance: