ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Monday, June 3, 2019
WND's Cashill Sees Secret Message In Choice For Trump Rally Site
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill's favorite conspiracies is the one surrounding the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. Despite the conclusion of an extensive investigation that the likely cause was a short circuit that caused a fuel tank to explode, Cashill has clung to the idea that it was shot down by a missile.

Cashill got to rehash that conspiracy theory yet again in his May 22 column, with the added hook of a new conspiracy theory: that the choice of location for a rally by President Trump sent a secret message to conspiacy-mongers like him:

On Monday, President Donald Trump held a rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.

Not many people have heard of Montoursville, a pleasant little town of fewer than 5,000 people. But those who have include the CIA analysts, FBI honchos and Clinton White House operatives who orchestrated the cover-up of the TWA 800 crash.

On July 17, 1996, the ill-fated 747 was shot down off the coast of Long Island, almost surely by accident, killing all 230 people on board.

Among the dead were 16 French-club students from Montoursville High School and five of their chaperones. I have been to Montoursville and spoken with people who lost their children. They are still waiting for answers.

Many people are waiting for answers, including the hundreds of TWA veterans with whom I have spoken, most recently at a heavily attended LAX event led by retired TWA Capt. Al Francis.

The TWA vets lost 53 of their colleagues on board that plane. If there is one among them who buys the government line that a rogue spark blew up the center fuel tank, I have not met him or her.

A question I have heard often, and I suspect Capt. Francis has too, is whether President Trump can or will reopen the investigation, there being no riper example of deep state treachery than the TWA 800 investigation.

I am not optimistic, but Monday’s rally gave me a glimmer of hope. In the special congressional election held the following day, Republican Fred Keller did not need the president’s help: he won by a greater than 2-to-1 margin.

Presuming that the election inspired the trip, the obvious site of the rally should have been the nearby and much larger Williamsport, the county seat and celebrated home of the Little League World Series.

Indeed, there are many towns in Pennsylvania’s 12th district larger than Montoursville. But the president chose Montoursville.

Cashill then served up a lengthy list of bullet points of "what Trump’s people need to know" about the crash of TWA 800. He rehashed that, plus another discredited claim: that Clinton Justice Department official Jamie Gorelick created the "wall" that kept law enforcement and intelligence agencies from sharing information, which became an issue after 9/11. As we documented at the time, when Gorelick later became a member of the commission looking into the 9/11 attacks, that "wall" was erected in the late 1970s, and the George W. Bush administration's Justice Department reaffirmed it shortly before 9/11, well after Gorelick left government service.

Cashill ominously concluded: "Those responsible for the cover-up had to sleep just a wee bit uneasily Monday night. They know what 'Montoursville' means. Here’s hoping the president does too." Meanwhile, Cashill -- who a few months ago lost his wingnut-welfare job at the Sentinel, a "news" operation run by a right-wing think tank in Kansas -- sleeps the sleep of the aggressively unashamed.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Sunday, June 2, 2019
MRC Still Defending Right-Wing Hate-Mongerers As 'Non-Violent' Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center has stood by hate-spewing anti-Muslim writer Laura Loomer by painting her as a free-speech hero as gets deplatformed for her hate -- it can't admit she's anything more than a "controversial Jewish activist." The MRC has continued to promote her stunts as newsworthy and downplay her hate and extremism.

A May 2 article by Alexander Hall complained that PayPal as "deplatformed non-violent conservative activists like Laura Loomer. A May 7 post by Hall promoted how Loomer, ihn protest of her banning by Facebook, "showed up to Facebook’s lobby on May 3, skewering the company for showing solidarity for everybody but Jewish and Christian people." Hall benignly described Loomer only as a "recently deplatformed activist," silent once again on her well-documented-elsewhere hate; instead, he huffed that "Facebook, like many other big tech companies, is famous for a left-wing political monoculture."

Hall used a May 14 post to give free publicity to a film about "five people who have been shut down and silenced on social media," including Loomer, whom he described only as a "Jewish-American activist/performance artist." Hall tried to whitewash other hatemongers featured in the film as well. Tommy Robinson is described only as a "British activist" when, in fact, he's the leader of the far-right anti-Muslim English Defence League; Gavin McInnes is described only as a "former CRTV host" when he's also the founder of the violent, misogynist Proud Boys (and, thus, a former employee of MRC buddy Mark Levin, though he was fired only after Levin's CRTV merged with Glenn Beck's The Blaze).

Hall didn't mention that one of the makers fo the film, George Llewelyn-John, is a colleague of Robinson's, and another, Caolyn Robertson, is Robinson's former cameraman and best known for a video rant following an incident in London in which six pedestrians were killed by a Muslim in a car, where Robertson asserted that "if you import a culture, you get a culture." In other words, this film is nowhere near as objective as Hall suggests it is.

A May 17 post by Corinne Weaver noted Loomer was only among the "individuals" banned by Facebook with no mention of why she was banned. On May 21, Hall had another benign description for Loomer -- "Jewish American activist" -- and complained that she and Infowars conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson were among "controversial but ultimately non-violent YouTubers" who have been "purged."

Gabriel Hays contributed to the whitewashing in a May 23 post, complining that a vulgar song by a French rapper nobody's ever heard of remains on YouTube "while internet personalities like Laura Loomer and Paul Joseph Watson have been removed for 'far less violent content.'"

Hall again touted that dubious film in a May 24 post, and how it features "interviews multiple conservatives who have been targeted by Big Tech purges such as Laura Loomer and Tommy Robinson."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:03 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 2, 2019 8:23 PM EDT
CNS Managing Editor Continues His LGBT-Bashing Ways
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's continued hostility toward the LGBT community is led, as always, by managing editor Michael W. Chapman.

In a May 7 article, he reports on Bud Light partnering with GLAAD in offering a rainbow aluminum bottle that, in Chapman's words, is "devoted to promoting and celebrating the agenda of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders." He then complains that "GLAAD has spent years trying to obscure the fact that in the United States HIV/AIDS is a disease that has largely affected the gay population" and illustrates his article with pictures of stock photos of outrageously dressed people in gay pride parades, as if they are representative of the entire LGBT community.

On May 14, Chapman highlighted how "Twitter recently locked the account of esteemed sexual psychologist Ray Blanchard, Ph.D.--apparently for posting that "transsexualism" and "gender dysphoria are types of mental disorder"--and then unlocked his account and apologized." Chapman then engaged in a rare bit of so-called reporting:

Following Dr. Blanchard's ordeal, CNSNews.com contacted Twitter's communications department by email and tweet on two occasions. CNSNews.com cited Dr. Blanchard's post and asked, "Given that Twitter states it 'made an error' in this case, is it permissible to post -- without having one's account locked -- on Twitter that, 'Transsexualism and milder forms of gender dysphoria are types of mental disorder'?"

Nicholas Pacilio with the Twitter press office responded on May 14, "We would decline to comment further beyond the May 11 and 12 communications [of Blanchard] you've cited. Thank you." 

Twitter apparently is unwilling to state whether people can post the scientifically held view that transsexualism and gender dysphoria are types of "mental disorder."

This reminds us of the time that CNS obsessed over ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok's sex life to the point that it rewrote an article so it could pester the FBI about whether the agency had a policy against employees committing adultery.

On May 16, Chapman harrumphed: "Reverend Franklin Graham denounced a recent episode of the PBS cartoon 'Arthur,' which showed two male characters getting married and Arthur and other characters applauding this blatant promotion of male sodomy." Neither Chapman nor Graham explained where "male sodomy" was mentioned anywhere in the episode.

Chapman spent a May 22 article complaining that "the percentage of Americans who think same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, just like real marriage between a man and a woman, has more than doubled from 27% in 1996 to 63% in 2019.  In addition, the percentage of Americans who believe gay relations are morally acceptable has increased from 40% in 2001 to 63% in 2019. In roughly two decades, Americans' support for homosexual behavior and so-called gay marriage has dramatically increased."

Chapman then huffed: "Sodomitical 'marriages"'were legalized by the Supreme Court in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision," then misquoted the poll; it referenced "gay and lesbian relations"while Chapman insisted on calling it "sodomitical relations."

Chapman dedicated a May 30 article to the latest rantings of notoriously homophobic minister E.W. Jackson that "gay couples cannot be parents in the real sense because they do not procreate, by definition as homosexuals, and can only 'manufacture' children for 'their own entertainment' through scientific manipulations."

Chapman also came to the defense of Israel Folau, a soccer player who lost his job after he tweeted anti-gay sentiments, which Chapman spun as merely "expressing his Christian beliefs." Chapman cheered Folau's anti-gay rantings a year ago.

By contrast, Chapman seemed to have a sad in a scare quote-laden May 20 article that President Trump doesn't care that Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg "is gay and 'married' and that he appears on stage with his 'husband.'" Chapman also thinks we need to know that Buttigieg "met his 'husband,' Chasten Glezman Buttigieg, on the dating app Hinge."

It's CNS' apparent editorial policy that it must constantly remind you that Buttigieg is gay.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 2, 2019 2:21 PM EDT
Saturday, June 1, 2019
The MRC Hate-Watches 'Supergirl' For Trans Character, Pro-Journalism Storyline
Topic: Media Research Center

Lindsay Kornick has been stuck with the Media Research Center assignment of hate-watching the CW show "Supergirl." And as is her job, she found a lot to late.

At the top of that list is the fact that the show has a transgender character named Nia. We've already noted that Kornick ranted about it in February, insisting that "most children who go through gender dysphoria eventually outgrow it by the time they become adults." and that "transitioning Nia at a young age is probably the opposite of affirming her authentic self."

She wasn't done ranting, though. In an April 29 post, Kornick complained:

Let’s face it, CW’s Supergirl has always been preachy. But there’s preachy, and then there’s obnoxiously, sycophantically preachy. The superhero series flies towards the latter in yet another episode >proclaiming how being trans is being "strong" and "authentic" nowadays.

[...]

In the meantime, our transgender hero Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) has stepped up to protect the city as the superhero Dreamer - and, yes, that is what they’re calling her with a straight face. Despite not having the mantle for long, she’s apparently doing a decent job against crime. However, that doesn’t stop all of the xenophobic attacks. The super friends then decide to come up with another idea to combat hate.

Supergirl, using her alter ego as reporter Kara Danvers, gives a public interview with “Dreamer” to promote a positive image of human and alien unity. After all, Nia is the product of a human father and an alien mother as well as a trans woman. That last detail really has nothing to do with the alien crisis, but the show just can’t help but remind us in this pandering speech.

[...]

The other characters predictably hail her words as brave and inspiring instead of the preachy and cringey mess they really are. They act like we’ve never heard these words before in the media or even on th>The Children of Liberty then come to arrest Dreamer for “an illegal seditious broadcast,” only to be stopped by CatCo Media editor James Olsen (Mechad Brooks). In full social justice warrior fashion, he defends the broadcast saying, “All I see are journalists exercising their right to freedom of speech and doing their duty to uphold freedom of press.” Strangely, I doubt that these characters would say the same thing about people discussing how men cannot be women. Or how landing on Earth shouldn’t automatically make you an American citizen. Then it would probably be considered a hate crime.

Supergirl continues to be one of the more hypocritical shows on the air, but now it’s definitely one of the more obnoxious shows as well. If we never get another episode waxing about sharing "our authentic selves," it’ll be too soon.

Meanwhile, nobody's stopping Kornick from being as preachy as she wants to be. But that's the only reason she hate-watches "Supergirl": She's also mad that ity says nice things about journalism that deviate from the MRC's anti-media narrative.

Kornick huffed in a March 10 post that the show gave "unmitigated praise towards journalism," which is apparently forbidden at the MRC. She lectured: "It’s so annoying that Supergirl acts like its storyline and journalism are apparently single-handedly stopping bigotry. The only bigotry I see is assuming everyone on the opposite side are angry, hateful jerks. Maybe Supergirl isn’t above this, but most of America should be."

And in a May 19 post, Kornick whined that the show's season finale was "honoring the real heroes of the show: journalists." She complains that Lex Luthor "is literally winning because of fake news and a stupid public" and was stopped only because Supergirl's alter ego "writes an expose on Luthor, detailing evidence that he committed treason, along with the President, to orchestrate his heroism. The article is so successful it leads to the Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment. It’s truly a liberal dream come true."

And since only liberals like journalists, gaying good things about journalists is clearly an evil liberal plot:

I’m honestly surprised anyone can brag how “the fourth estate saved the day” with a straight face anymore, but that’s how delusional this show has become over the last four years. It somehow imagines a world where noble journalists can take out evil presidents and single-handedly stop all political tension. In the meantime, it never seems to discuss journalists causing harmful tension or spreading fake news or genuinely not saving the day. Maybe that’s why they call it science “fiction.”

Kornick's link on "spreading fake news" was to a NewsBusters post about one of the Covington kids suing CNN even though CNN eventually corrected the story. It did not link to any MRC post that heavily promoted a false Fox News story during the 2016 election that Hillary Clinton faced imminent indictment. The MRC never corrected the record, let alone apologized.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 AM EDT
WND Columnist Angry That Children Will Be Taught That LGBT People Exist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The rabidly anti-LGBT Michael Brown rants in his May 20 WorldNetDaily column:

As followers of Jesus, we are called to submit to the laws of the land and to honor those in authority. The New Testament is very clear on this (see especially Romans 13:1-7). It is also very clear that there are exceptions to this rule, namely, when the authorities require us to disobey the Lord (see Acts 5:40-42). In that case, with respect, we say, “We must obey God rather than man” (see Acts 4:18-20; 5:29; to be perfectly clear, I’m speaking of non-violent resistance to the law.)

That time has come for parents in California.

In good conscience, they must say NO to the school authorities and YES to the Lord. It’s time to declare to the schools of California, “Quit using our children as pawns in the culture wars! Quit sexualizing our kids!”

I’m speaking about the radical new sex-ed curriculum being imposed on all students in the public schools, K-12, without exception, and without the option of parents removing their children from objectionable classes.

We’re talking about kindergarteners – little children just 5-6 years-old – being indoctrinated with transgender talking points. Indeed, “a book for kindergarten through third grade teaches kids that they can be a boy, girl, neither, gender queer or gender fluid and that adults might not understand their gender identity.”

Parents, say NO to your impressionable little ones being exposed to trash like this. How dare the school bring such confusion to your precious children.

We’re talking about introducing boys as young as 9 to slang words for sexual organs. Yes, “A book for fourth, fifth and sixth-grade boys discusses slang words for genitals and explains masturbation and sexual fantasies.”

Parents, say NO to turning your little, pre-pubescent boys into sex-savvy, worldy-wise street-talkers.

We’re talking about promoting outright perversion to your high-school kids. To be specific, “A book for high school students introduces sex acts for all sexual orientations and introduces the concepts of bondage, body fluid, blood play, fisting and other sexual behaviors once considered to be acts of debauchery.”

Parents, you must say that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Brown clearly thinks that the education about the LGBT community  -- when they're permitted to be referred to at all in school -- must only be about demonization and immorality. Brown then hammers that point home:

Really now, who appointed the school system to be the moral conscience of your family? Who appointed teachers to enter your homes on behalf LGBT activists and sexual anarchists? How can you tolerate an invasion like this?

[...]

But, one way or another, I urge every Christian parent in California to refuse to allow your children to be polluted by an immoral educational system, whatever it takes. (Again, I am speaking here only of peaceful means, not violent means, God forbid.)

Apparently, we're supposed to be comforted that Brown's extreme rhetoric doesn't involve calling for violence against LGBT people.

Then, in his May 24 WND column, Brown complained that his hateful rhetoric was called out:

Last week, I encouraged Christian parents in California who had children in public schools to defy the law and pull their kids from the state’s extreme sex-ed curriculum. How did the Friendly Atheist’s resident Episcopalian blogger respond?

According to Sarahbeth Caplin, I want these parents to teach “their kids that transgender people don’t exist.” (Yes, she actually wrote this.)

In sum, “This is just faith-based, hate-fueled fear-mongering. It’s the only subject in which Michael Brown is an expert.”

What a sad commentary on the nature of liberal illogic. And what a misrepresentation of the facts.

[...]

My article says absolutely nothing about the existence or non-existence of people who identify as transgender.

Instead, it protests the idea that kindergarten children should be told that perhaps they’re actually boys in girls’ bodies (or the reverse, or some other option).

Brown doesn't admit that he has always hated transgender people, and mocks any non-denigrating discussion about them as "transanity."

The headline of Brown's column complains that liberals "misrepresent & demonize" him, but he has always misrepresented and demonized LGBT people.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Friday, May 31, 2019
CNS Eager To Highlight that Colo. Shooting Suspect Is Transgender -- But Censored Another Shooter's Christian Link
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's "news" articles on the mass shooting at a synagogue in Poway, Calif., in early May, killing one, were all centered on President Trump:

  • Susan Jones gushed: "At a Sunday afternoon news conference, an emotional Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein thanked President Donald Trump for his words of "comfort and consolation" following the shooting on Saturday at a synagogue near San Diego."
  • Melanie Arter wrote up how Trump condemned the shooting at the National Prayer Breakfst -- and touted how Trump boasted that "he’s most proud of repealing the Johnson Amendment, a provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates," though it's completely irrelevant to the shooting.
  • Arter returned to push the divine-Donald narrative by highlighting Goldstein's claim at the National Prayer Breakfast that "the president was the first person to begin healing him following the shooting last week at the synagogue that claimed the life of one of his parishioners and injured three others."

None of these stories reference the shooter by name or his alleged motivation -- or that he wrote a manifesto spouting right-wing Christian theology alongside his anti-Semitism (which upset a writer at CNS' owner, the Media Research Center when a reporter pointed that out).

By contrast, CNS did only one article on a mid-May school shooting in Colorado, in which one died -- and that article focused on one of the alleged shooters because he was transgender. Jones wrote in great detail about that alleged shooter's gender identity:

The two suspects, 18-year-old Devon Erickson and 16-year-old Alec (née Maya Elizabeth) McKinney, have been in jail since they were arrested on May 7 inside the school they both attended.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock told a news conference last week that when the suspects were taken into custody, officers believed they were both young men.

"It wasn't until we got to this office, where we were able to determine that one of the suspects was a female," Spurlock said. "You have to understand that this individual was a young person. This individual is a small, young person and the identity wasn't definitive, obviously -- obvious to us when they were taken into custody."

Press reports since the shooting have said that McKinney was transgender and transitioning from female to male, a situation the school would have had to accept under the prevailing nondiscrimination policy.

According to the Douglas County School District Code of Conduct for 2018-2019: "The Board of Education is committed to the policy that no otherwise qualified student shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any District program or activity on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or ancestry. For purposes of this policy: 'Sexual orientation' means a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender status."

Clearly, Jones is trying to imply that the alleged shooter's trangender status played a role in motivating him -- which is of a piece with CNS' overall hatred of the LGBT community. Of course, she and the rest of CNS didn't want you to know the motivation of the Poway synagogue shooter even though he wrote a manifesto -- the idea that Christianity could inspire violence is an idea that must be suppressed.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Mocks Complaints About WH Press Pass Purge
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's utter disdain for journalists and journalism is legendary. We see that again in a May 10 MRC post by Tim Graham mocking the Washington Post's Dana Milbank for being among the dozens of journalists whose permanent White House press passes were effectively revoked in favor of a system that requires renewals every six months. Graham began with the sneering headline "Democracy DIES in Darkness! WashPost's Dana Milbank Offered Lesser Press Pass!" and descended from there:

It might surprise you that Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has a White House press pass. Six other Post correspondents have them. But since his was revoked.....DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS. He wrote about it in a column appropriately titled "The White House revoked my press pass. It’s not just me — it’s curtailing access for all journalists."

Milbank announces up front that he's a had a "hard pass" for 21 years. I can tell you this from my two years in the White House press corps. Milbank's almost never there for the briefing. That's why no one can remember him lobbing smirky self-satisfied questions at Sarah Sanders. But of course, he says "I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic." 

Insert laugh track. As if everyone else there (including the six Post reporters who still have passes) are wearing MAGA hats.

Of course, a White House press corps full of MAGA hat-wearing scribes engaged in dutiful stenography of Dear Leader -- you know, kinda like the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com -- is exactly what Graham would like to see.

Being a loyal Trumpist, Graham proclaimed that the White House restrictions for a permanent press pass -- being at the White House 90 of the previous 180 days, which most reporters can't fulfill even without factoring in that the Trump White House has effectively discontinued standard press briefings,  giving reporters even less of a reason to be there -- to be "not an unreasonable place to start."

Graham is also giving too much credit to his "two years in the White House press corps" to ground his experience. First of all, that was nearly 20 years ago, when Graham briefly left the MRC to work for the religious publication World. Second, he didn't say if his time then met the new, restrictive standard.

Needless to say, if the Obama White House had done this, Graham would be screaming bloody murder about how Obama was restricting press access. But because it's the Trump White House, it's "not unreasonable."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Thursday, May 30, 2019
AIM Writer Defends Trump's Tariffs As A Good Thing
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Brian McNicoll has shown himself to be little more than a Trump shill, defending and promoting him at every opportunity. he did so again in a May 16 column, trying to defend President Trump's trade war with China as a good thing that has "benefits" for the U.S.

"It has become common practice among the mainstream media every time news erupts in the current tariff war with China to produce stories about the negative impact of the moves but ignore the positives," McNicoll wrote in a May 16 column about an Associated Press story pointing out that American soybean farmers are being hurt by Chinese tariffs launched in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. McNicoll then wrote: "But are the tariffs really the problem in farm country? To some extent yes, which is why Trump is pushing for a cash bailout for some farmers." Then it was time for pro-Trump spin mode:

What [AP reporter David] Pitt or others rarely point out is what the U.S. gets from these trade negotiations. For one example, the U.S. just raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese retaliated with $60 billion in tariffs on US goods. We simply have much more to place tariffs on that they do.

But tariffs are not "trade negotiations," as McNicoll seems to think. And pretending that farmers won't be hurt by tariffs -- and if they are, that farm subsidies will make it all better -- isn't helping.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 PM EDT
CNS Labors to Smear Tlaib By Misrepresenting Comments
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com does like to attack Rep. Rashida Tlaib -- to the point that it misrepresents her words and takes them out of context to make them look bad. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman leaned that way in a May 13 article:

Commenting on Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) remarks that the Holocaust gives her a "kind of calming feeling" because it was her ancestors, Palestinians, "who lost their land," their "livelihood," and "their human dignity" to "create a safe haven for Jews" in Israel, President Donald Trump tweeted that Tlaib "obviously has a tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people." 

Chapman did later put Tlaib's comments in context -- then repeated right-wingers taking them out of context and accusing her of being anti-Semitic, falsely claiming that Tlaib said that the Holocaust gives her a "calming feeling."

Still, CNS went on to embrace the out-of-context narrative. Craig Bannister fully went there in a May 13 article by claiming that "House Majority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are calling on President Donald Trump and Republicans to apologize to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for criticizing her comment that she gets 'a calming feeling' from thinking about the Holocaust."

Bannister followed up the next day by taking her out of context again: "Appearing on NBC’s Late Night on Monday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) suggested she may have to “talk like a fourth grader” in order to get through to “the racist idiots” who were offended by her comment that thinking of the Holocaust gives her 'a calming feeling.'"

Chapman returned to be slilghtly less bad in another post: "House Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) remarks that the Holocaust produces a 'calming feeling' in her because some of her Palestinian ancestors 'lost their lives' to 'create a safe haven for Jews' in Israel are deceitful, said the world-renowned Rabbi Shmuley Boteach." Chapman didn't mention that Boteach is a self-promoting, Trump-loving rabbi who is apparently only somewhat less obnoxious than CNS' favorite Trump-loving rabbi, Aryeh Spero.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
MRC Dismissed 'Decades Old' Trump Tax News -- But Did a Post On Even Older Chappaquiddick
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Ryan Foley did his best to downplay as old news the significance of the New York Times' report on how Donald Trump lost massive amounts of money in the 1980s and 1990s -- and even proof that Trump is a total success now -- devoting a May 9 post to bashing CNN's Don Lemon for bringing it up.

If Lemon had bothered to do his homework, he would have found out that this Earth-shattering news has been out in the open for a long time. The New York tabloids heavily covered Trump’s financial woes and Trump himself admitted on the pilot episode of The Apprentice that “it wasn’t always so easy. About 13 years ago, I was seriously in trouble. I was billions of dollars in debt.” 

In spite of his past difficulties, even The New York Times had to admit that President Trump turned his financial situation around. So, Lemon’s premise that President Trump was lying about his success is just not true.

CNN’s obsession with President Trump’s decades old tax returns continued on Wednesday night. 

Nicholas Fondacaro pushed the same narrative a few days later: "After The New York Times published their story last week about President Trump losing $1 billion in the 80s and 90s, did you feel like you already knew about that? So did everyone else, because Trump’s financial problems during that time were well documented." He praised Fox News ranter Greg Gutfeld for "suggesting the paper just discovered the popularity of the movie Home Alone and the singer Vanilla Ice." Gutfeld then "turned to call out the liberal media writ large for all reading off the same 'script' and being 'sheep,'" Fondacaro declared.

First: We just doucmented how the MRC sheepishly reads from the same script as the rest of the right-wing media in pushing the dubious narrative that the internet discriminates against conservatives, so Fondacaro might want to slow his roll on that.

Second: These complaints about covering old news might have some validity if the MRC hadn't just devoted itself to covering even older news.

The day before Foley's post, the MRC's Alexis Moutevelis Coombs wrote about a 50-year-old story: "Almost 10 years after the death of Democrat Senator Edward 'Ted' Kennedy of Massachusetts, and 50 years after the death of Mary Jo Kopechne  -- and almost two years after a major Hollywood film on the incident -- the media are starting to finally reveal the truth about what happened at Chappaquiddick."

As Foley's post did, Coombs' item had a current hook -- an ABC docuseries episode on the incident -- Coombs didn't frame it as a "decades old" story despite it being decades older than the Trump tax story.

Then again, the MRC is so weirdly obsessed with Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick that it can't even bring itself to admit it has repeatedly -- and, we can say at this point, deliberately -- misinterpreted a writer's statement about Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne as praise rather than the criticism it was intended as.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:42 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
CNS Reporter Obsessed With Bashing 'Liberal Media' In Supposed 'News' Articles
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones is one of CNSNews.com's Trump stenographers, but she likes to add her own commentary to her "news" reports. She's particularly vocal in sniping at the "liberal media" attacking Trump, something she does on a regular basis -- presumably in an attempt to further the anti-media narrative of CNS' owner, the Media Research Center. In 2019 alone, we've found several examples of this.

On Jan. 8, Jones wrote: "The concern about potential terrorists crossing into the United States from Mexico is nothing new, although Democrats and liberal media outlets were downplaying the Trump administration's concern ahead of Trump's planned address to the nation Tuesday night."

Jones wrote on Jan. 15: "As expected, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) stripped Rep. Steve King, one of the most conservative Members of Congress, from his committee assignments on Monday for "defending racism," as one liberal media outlet described it." Jones further complained that "other Republicans in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), denounced King’s 'racism,' and liberal media outlets piled on."

In a Jan. 25 article advancing the conspiracy theory that special counsel Robert Mueller tipped off CNN to the arrest of Roger Stone -- part of CNS' creeping WorldNetDaily-ization -- Jones complained: "But some suspect that Mueller's office or someone in the FBI or even the grand jury tipped off CNN, a liberal media outlet that Trump has blasted as "fake news."

Jones huffed in an April 19 article: "Various liberal media outlets have seized on the President's "I'm f****d" remark to make it appear that he knew he had something to hide. A full reading of the paragraph suggests otherwise."

Jones sniped on May 3: "Attorney General William Barr has promised to look into 'spying' on the Trump campaign, a topic that is rarely mentioned in the liberal media, until now, apparently, when Barr and the Justice Department inspector general are looking into it."

Jones proclaimed in a May 7 article: "President Donald Trump is enjoying some of the highest poll numbers of his presidency – 46 percent in a new Gallup poll -- despite the constant liberal media attacks and the continuing congressional investigations."

Another example is a May 8 article, complaining that a New York Times report on how Trump's businesses lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the 1980s and 1990s "allowed liberal media outlets to mock Trump as a bad businessman, a con artist, and a huckster who bluffed his way into the White House the same way he built a (supposedly) illusory real estate empire." (Jones also uncfritically repeated Trump'stweeted claim that the Times story is a "highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!" but doesn't point out that Trump provided no evidence to back up the claim.)

There are also numerous examples from earlier in Jones' CNS tenure, most of which are in defense of Trump:

  • As liberal media brand Trump as a "racist" for wanting to keep illegal aliens out of the country, it appears that some on the left are growing more worried that Trump's main campaign issue is resonating with voters. -- Nov. 1, 2018
  • As the caravans move north, liberal media outlets continue to bash Trump for using what they call scare tactics ahead of the election. -- Oct. 31, 2018
  • Liberal media outlets said Trump has no proof [that "criminals and Middle Eastern terrorists are in refugee caravans] and is therefore lying about dangerous people heading north. -- Oct. 23, 2018
  • Meanwhile, liberal media outlets are full of the "lose-lose" scenario for committee Republicans -- all white men -- faced with an alleged sexual assault victim in the "#MeToo" era, just weeks before the midterm election. -- Sept. 19, 2018
  • The president complained that liberal media outlets didn't give him enough credit for Friday's "incredible" employment numbers: -- Aug. 6, 2018
  • Pushing back against the liberal media on Thursday, President Donald Trump declared them to be "the real enemy of the people." -- July 19, 2018
  • Giving liberal media outlets just what they were waiting for, President Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr racial/insult controversy shortly before noon on Wednesday, tweeting: -- May 30, 2018
  • President Trump is once again venting his outrage over reports in liberal newspapers that the Trump-Russia probe began secretly in 2016 when the FBI sent an informant/informants to make contact with low-level Trump campaign advisers. -- May 23, 2018
  • Making the rounds of liberal cable channels Friday morning, Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti said he was not there to hype an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with the porn star -- even as he hyped the upcoming interview. -- March 16, 2018
  • Great fury and indignation from liberal media outlets on this Friday, not over another (brief) government shutdown and a bill that will produce escalating deficits and debt, but over the White House hiring -- and now firing -- a high-ranking official whose two ex-wives accuse him of domestic abuse. -- Feb. 9, 2018
  • President Trump on Thursday tweeted about record highs in the stock market and the Republican tax reform bill -- two subjects that liberal media outlets are not focusing on. -- Nov. 30, 2017
  • Instead, as CNSNews.com reported, liberal cable outlets spent much of their time on Thursday questioning Trump's mental state and his fitness for office in light of the North Korean nuclear threat. -- Nov. 30, 2017
  • The comments also drew a scathing response on liberal cable stations, to which Trump later replied by tweet: "The Fake News is going all out in order to demean and denigrate! Such hatred!" -- Oct. 12, 2017
  • For more than a week, liberal media outlets and Trump's many critics have blasted him for appearing to equate white supremacists and neo-Nazis with anti-racist protesters, some of whom are also violent, the president said last Tuesday.-- Aug. 22, 2017
  • Piers Morgan, formerly employed by CNN and now editor-at-large for The Daily Mail, says President Donald Trump has good reason to distrust liberal media outlets such as CNN and the New York Times, which are "utterly determined to bring the Trump presidency crashing down." -- Feb. 7, 2017

Jones' obsession with callling out "liberal media" predates the Trump era; she huffed in a 2013 article that "Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, has become a favorite of liberal media outlets for his harsh criticism of his own party."

By contrast, we can recall no example of Jones admitting that CNS is a "conservative media outlet."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EDT
MRC Misrepresents Study To Push Right-Wing Victimization Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver complains in a May 13 post:

Google’s methods of curating news involves infusing a heavy dose of liberal ideology. That’s not just the opinion of conservatives, it’s the opinion of a top journalism publication.

A study done by the Columbia Journalism Review, released on May 10, stated that out of the top 20 search results in Google’s “Top Stories,” the search engine relied on CNN more than any other news site. Furthermore, the top 20 news sites that made it to Google’s “Top Stories” had only one outlet that didn’t lean left, Fox News.

Aside from Fox News, Google didn’t feature prominently any other news site that doesn’t lean left. “Our data shows that 62.4 percent of article impressions were from sources rated by that research as left-leaning, whereas 11.3 percent were from sources rated as right-leaning,” explained CJR. That’s more than a 5-to-1 ratio.

Weaver's shallow reading of the study is designed to support the MRC's dubious insistence that Google and social media discriminate against conservatives. But the truth is a bit different than that narrative.

As one of the researchers explained, the ideological labels on news sources were borrowed from another study published in Science magazine, and they "don’t measure the slant of the media outlet per se, but rather reflect the self-reported political affiliation of Facebook users sharing content from those sources."

Weaver's claim that CNN and every other news outlet on CJR's list that isn't Fox News peddles "a heavy dose of liberal ideology" is ridiculous on its face, not to mention lazy, kneejerk right-wing ideology. She would never concede that there's such a thing as straight reporting, let alone that Fox News peddles "conservative ideology" -- heck, she never even straight-out admitted that Fox News is a "right-leaning" outlet.

Nevertheless, Weaver claimed this was bias because "on TV, vastly more people watch Fox News over CNN" -- apparently not understanding the difference between TV and online content. She further huffed that "CJR came to the laughable conclusion that “simply more news was produced on the left” than the right." She omitted the fact that CJR backed up that latter assertion, citing the GDELT database of news articles, where there are "2.2 times as many articles from left-leaning sources as right-leaning sources."

The fact that Weaver's claims are little more than an attempt to perpetuate a narrative is underscored by how how other ConWeb outlets pushed the exact same talking point. A WorldNetDaily article on the study carries the misleading headline "Google's 'Top Stories' shows obvious left-wing bias, audit reveals."

UPDATE: The narrative continued at Fox News, where the MRC's Dan Gainor -- who, weirdly, does not get published at the MRC's main content sites despite being an executive there -- ranted that the study demonstrated "how Google News is biased wildly toward liberal outlets." Gainor even repeated some of the same talking points as Weaver; for instance, he similarly didn't understdand the difference between TV and online: "CNN tallied 10.9 percent of the total. Fox mustered 3 percent, finishing far below its cable news competitor. You know, the outlet that Fox News regularly trounces in the ratings."

And the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, which published a May 14 column by Jeff Charles claiming that the study proves that Google "favors progressive sites" and that "it is likely that the company will become more brazen in its campaign to magnify progressive views while minimizing conservative ideas."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:41 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:22 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Down the Conspiracy Drain
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Even as leader Joseph Farah is incapacitated by a stroke and its corporate mismanagement is made public, WorldNetDaily still insists on promoting conspiracy theories even though doing so is one of the things that is driving it out of business. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
AIM Tries To Dismiss Prosecutors' Letter As Having 'Far-Left' Motivation
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Brian McNicoll huffs in a May 14 Accuracy in Media post: "Protect Democracy, a far-left activist group, found more than 450 former federal prosecutors and political types to sign a letter that said they would have charged President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice based on actions described in the Mueller report." But McNicoll provides no evidence that Protect Democracy is a "far-left" group.

Protect Democracy states that its mission is "to prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government. We do this by holding the President and the Executive Branch accountable to the laws and longstanding practices that have protected our democracy through both Democratic and Republican administrations." It was founded by "a group of former White House and Administration lawyers and experienced constitutional litigators, all with a deep understanding of how the federal government works." We're not seeing the "far-left" connotation that McNicoll does.

McNicoll also tries to dismiss the signatories as"anti-Trump," also without evidence (unless you assume, as McNicoll apparently does, that taking a legal stance that does not favor Trump equals being "anti-Trump"). The Washington Post article to which McNicoll links notes the bipartisan nature of the signatories:

Among the high-profile signers are Bill Weld, a former U.S. attorney and Justice Department official in the Reagan administration who is running against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination; Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration; John S. Martin, a former U.S. attorney and federal judge appointed to his posts by Republican presidents; Paul Rosenzweig, who served as senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr; and Jeffrey Harris, who worked as the principal assistant to Rudolph W. Giuliani when he was at the Justice Department in the Reagan administration.

McNicoll also claimed "political types" signed the petition; in fact, the statement says the signatories "served under both Republican and Democratic administrations at different levels of the federal system: as line attorneys, supervisors, special prosecutors, United States Attorneys, and senior officials at the Department of Justice."

It seems McNicoll is so blinded by his love for all things Trump that he assumes the worst motivation of anyone who dares to criticize him.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:30 PM EDT
MRC Defends Meghan McCain From Seth Meyers, Censors Her Husband's Homophobic Attack
Topic: Media Research Center

We've seen how the Media Research Center will do damage control for conservative figures by hiding inconvenient facts.

Kristine Marsh touted in a May 8 post that "The View co-host Meghan McCain had a tense exchange with Late Night host Seth Meyers Tuesday night, after the liberal host repeatedly berated McCain for criticizing Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar. As Meyers couldn’t get McCain to admit she had said anything wrong, she turned the tables on the host by calling out his liberal bias. She was joined the same day by the MRC's Dan Gainor writing at Fox News (weirdly, he's not allowed to post much of anything at the websites run by his employer), who gushed that McCain "deserves an award as the conservative most willing to fight with Hollywood liberals on their home turf" and complaining that "Meyers has a history of taking the left’s side of almost every debate."

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell weighed in as well, whining that McCain was "getting thrown under the bus" for saying "conservative things on television," claiming that Meyers was "shaming" her for criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar.

But none of these MRC writers mentioned what happened after the interview, even though it's very much a part of the story. McCain's husband, Ben Domenech -- the noted plagiarist who is now publisher of the right-wing opinion operation The Federalist -- went into a homophobic rage on Twitter, calling Meyers a n"untalented piece of shit who only has his job because he regularly gargled Lorne Michaels’ balls," as well as "an awful person" and a "monumental asshole" and "proof that white men get ahead despite their obvious lack of talent ... a perfect definition of a cuck."

Called out on his rant, Domenech tepidly ofered a non-apology apology, claiming that "I'm sorry to anyone I offended."

The MRC's silence is doubly ironic because Graham and Bozell attacked Meyers for asking people to be careful about their language with a fit of whataboutism: "Does Meyers really think he and his fellow late-night lecturers are careful about their language? Stephen Colbert calling Trump Russian President Vladimir Putin's 'c—k holster'? Samantha Bee calling the president's daughter a 'feckless c—t'? Is that 'careful'?"

If the MRC gang could find nothing wrong with Domenech's vulgar rant, they're utterly hypocritical in taking it out on Meyers and other late-night hosts.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 5:48 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« June 2019 »
S M T W T F S
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google