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Tuesday, June 25, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: At CNS, It's Buttigieg-Bashing Time
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com, a "news" organization filled with gay-bashers, is unsurprisingly eager to repeatedly remind you that Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is gay. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:13 PM EDT
Monday, June 24, 2019
NewsBusters Blogger Concerned About Notorious Prison ... When A Trump Associate Was Set To Go There
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center, it seems, is concerned about prison conditions only when it's feared a prominent Trump supporter might end up in one.

Mark Finkelstein spent a June 10 NewsBusters post ranting at MSNBC's Joe Scarborough for being cheerful about the possibility that convicted felon Paul Manafort, onetime Trump presidential campaign manager, might be sent to a New York City prison whose reputation precedes it:

The liberal media feigns horror over "lock her up" refrains. But when it comes to a Trump associate actually being locked up in a notoriously awful jail, well, that's a cause for mirth and hilarity.

And thus it was that on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough joked about Paul Manfort being confined at Rikers Island, which has been described as a "hellhole," as here, here, and  "the most notorious jail in America."

[...]

At the end of the segment, there was more ribbing by the panel of Lemire's clothes. Meacham facetiously spoke of "the Paul Manafort Collection."  Responded Scarborough: "available at Rikers Island."  The panel found that amusing, with laughter all around.

A regular laugh riot, that Joe. Wonder if he's ever visited Rikers? Keep this one in mind next time you hear Scarborough or another member of the liberal media expressing righteous indignation about "lock her up."

It will not surprise you to learn that the MRC is not been concerned about conditions at Rikers Island before now. In 2014, Tim Graham cheered conservative actress Stacey Dash's retort to Kanye West's likening of paparazzi to rape that "maybe he needs to spend some time on Rikers Island. Go to Rikers for a little while and then he'll know what rape is." And in 2018, Randy Hall denounced the "progressive" leanings of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, expressed in part by his criticism of New York City's plans to take 10 years to build new jails to replace Rikers.

Manafort, though, escaped his Rikers fate after Trump's Department of Justice curiously and unusually intervened and had him placed at a less notorious NYC facility. Finkelstein has yet to provide a follow-up about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:58 PM EDT
WND's Peterson Falsely Claims He Doesn't Spread Hate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jesse Lee Peterson spent his June 9 WorldNetDaily column complaining about alleged censorship and demonitization of himself and fellow "conservative and independent voices." He claimed that "YouTube demonetized my channel minutes after taking down two of my videos condemning anti-Jewish hatred by Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and fringe white extremists who hate Jews." Given that Peterson has spewed nothing but hate at Omar -- in one Facebook video headlined "How Did White America Allow a Muslim into Congress?" Peterson called Omar an "evil, nasty refugee ... from another country" who only "pretend[s] that they like America in order to get into your government" -- we'll accept YouTube's judgment.

Among those other Peterson listed  as "conservative and independent voices" like him who are allegedly censored and demonetized by YouTube were Stefan Molyneux and Gavin McInnes -- the former a white supremacist and the latter the founder of the thuggist misogynistic hate group the Proud Boys (which Peterson thinks is just a "fraternity"). Peterson then claimed:

My channel and many others demonetized by YouTube do not spread hate. Every day on my daily radio broadcast (streamed live on YouTube) I tell people to stop blaming and hating others. I repudiate all hatred, blame, and victimhood. In fact, I wrote an entire book on how to overcome it. I rebuke callers on my radio show who harbor hatred toward Jews, whites, blacks or any other group. I encourage them to drop their anger and forgive so they can go free.

Wrong. Peterson is very much filled with hate he loves to spread, with the main targets including women, President Obama, gays and blacks who aren't as far right as he is.

Peterson concluded his column with more gay-bashing, including the declaration that "We all know YouTube’s latest adpocalypse is an attempt to silence the truth and purge conservatives in order to appease far-left LGBT activists."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Sunday, June 23, 2019
MRC's Graham, Bozell Push False (But Trump-Approved) Mueller Report Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

It's never a good sign when the first column you write following the publication of your new book contains a demonstrable falsehood. But the Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell do just that in their June 5 column, a day after their media-bashing book "Unmasked" dropped:

Color us surprised. The nightly news obsession over nonexistent Trump-Russia collusion isn't abating. It's actually growing! They cannot be shamed. They cannot be shaken by inconvenient facts. It's been established there was no collusion, no obstruction, no high crime that's impeachable, and so what? The media are hammering this collusion theme more than ever.

Color us surprised too -- that Graham and Bozell are sticking to the much-less-than-true pro-Trump narrative that the Mueller report found "no collusion, no obstruction, no high crime that's impeachable."

As the Mueller report pointed out, collusion is not a specific crime but conspiracy is, and Mueller himself said that "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so" -- which he did not, and which arguably opens a path to an impeachment inquiry. Even one of the MRC's friends at Fox News, Bret Baier, agreed by saying that "This was not, as the President says time and time again, no collusion, no obstruction. It was much more nuanced than that." Funny that Graham and Bozell made no note of that, even as they go on to falsely claim that "Mueller cleared Trump completely on the charge of collusion while stating there was not enough evidence to indict him on obstruction of justice."

As we've noted, Graham took a different viewpoint when the investigation target had a different last name and political affiliation, insisting that a lack of evidence to indict Hillary Clinton for perjury in the White House travel office probe of the 1990s didn't mean she was "cleared completely" and did nothing wrong, though "the Clintons always suggest that if they’re not indicted, then they have 'done nothing wrong.'"

But our dynamic right-wing duo have a narrative to advance. They accuse the media of "irrational behavior" in reporting on Mueller's nuance and whining, "What a waste of our time, this incessant speculation of doom from the press, repeated thousands of times ad nauseam."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 PM EDT
CNS' Bannister Can't Be Bothered to Fact-Check Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com just loves to uncritically repeat whatever President Trump has to say regardless of whether it's true -- and it's certainly not going to strain itself bothering to fact-check the president for the benefit of its reading audience. This happened again in a June 5 post by Craig Bannister:

Asked if he believes in climate change, President Donald Trump told “Good Morning Britain” Host Piers Morgan that he believes in weather change.

“Do you personally believe in climate change?” Morgan asked Trump in an interview Tuesday during Trump’s visit to the U.K.

“I believe that there is a change in weather. And, I think it changes both ways,” Trump responded, reminding Morgan that climate activists used to make the specific claim that the planet was warming. But, now, they invoke the broader term, “extreme weather,” which includes all types of weather events, such as tornados and hurricanes:

But as an actual fact-checker (not Bannister) pointed out, Trump's words ranged between unclear and completely wrong:

If Trump is referring to a change in weather over many decades, then he’s describing climate. If not, he’s simply stating that weather — which is inherently variable — changes. That would be correct, but it also isn’t saying much. And it’s not commenting on climate change. Either way, his response is potentially misleading, and touches on a common failure to understand the difference between climate and weather.

[...]

Trump also contends that the terminology surrounding climate change has purposely shifted over the years, starting first as “global warming,” morphing into “climate change” and finally becoming “extreme weather.” This misrepresents the history of the terms.  

As we explained in 2016, when Ted Cruz made the same argument about “climate change” and “global warming,” the two terms both go back decades in the scientific literature, and technically refer to slightly different concepts, although they are often used interchangeably.

Global warming, according to NASA, specifically means the warming of the Earth over the last century or so, because of the burning of fossil fuels.

Climate change is a broader concept, in that it includes higher temperatures as a result of global warming, but also other changes that result from that warming, such as sea level rise, shifting precipitation patterns and yes, some extreme weather.

[...]

Extreme weather has become a more commonly talked-about feature or example of climate change, but it is not used by scientists in place of “climate change” or “global warming.” In 2014, for example, the National Climate Assessment stated, “Changes in extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves and droughts, are the primary way that most people experience climate change.”

“Extreme weather” on its own simply means highly unusual weather. Extreme weather can include heat waves, drought, heavy downpours, floods or other storms. Not all types of extreme weather have been linked to climate change, and it’s difficult to say any particular event was affected by climate change.

Nevertheless, scientists have made progress in what’s called attribution science, and are increasingly more confident about linking individual storms or events to climate change. In these cases, scientists are not saying that climate change caused the event, but that climate change made conditions more likely or more severe.

That wasn't that hard to do -- it just required someone interested in reporting the truth, which you'd think someone employed by a "news" organization would want to to. Bannister apparently isn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:31 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 23, 2019 8:23 PM EDT
Saturday, June 22, 2019
MRC Finds A Way to Hate Gayle King
Topic: Media Research Center

Who couldn't possibly like the eminently likeable "CBS Ths Morning" co-host Gayle King? The Media Research Center, apparently.

Scott Whitlock spent a June 11 post complaining that the Washington Post did a "gushing, 3,000 profile [sic] of King, huffing that "The gushing language used in the piece was so adulatory that it might have been out of place in a press release." Whitlock further complained that the article did not "identify King as a Democratic donor. Instead, readers are simply told about how loyal the host is to her 'public friends,'"whining: "King isn’t just friends with the Obamas, she vacationed with them. But there’s no reason she can’t still be objective, right? Just because she’s donated thousands of dollars to Democrats?"

Whitlock then declared that "King’s world view is so far left that she doesn’t even realize she’s out of touch with half the country.

Two days later, Whitlock was incensed that the Post article was highlighted on the show:

CBS This Morning co-hosts on Wednesday read aloud the glowing praise Washington Post and quoted the gushing praise about the “soothing voice of reason.” King listened along as Dokoupil cheered, “I thought I might talk about a little article I found today.” 

Not exactly showcasing his colleague’s modesty, he told viewers: “Not only does she have a Washington Post cover but a Hollywood Reporter cover. You’re our cover girl this morning. And a choice quote from the Washington Post article which I think sums you up well here.”

As before, Whitlock groused that the Post article "never mentioned that King was a Democratic donor" and that "King also vacationed with the Obamas and openly lobbied the very liberal Oprah Winfrey (her good friend) to run for President. Apparently, CBS doesn’t have a problem with any of this."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:47 AM EDT
Pride Month Derangement Syndrome At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's LGBT Pride Month, and the homophobes at worldNetDaily hasn't taken it very well.

Michael Brown began his June 10 column denying that he's a homophobe, then insists the reasons he opposes Pride Month have nothing alt all to do with "hatred or fear":

First, I do not accept the categories of LGBT as fixed and definite categories, worthy of special recognition.

Put another way, why should there be a special month to celebrate people based on their sexual desires and romantic attractions? Or based on their gender identity perceptions?

The very fact that we’ve gone from G (as in gay) to LG, to LGB, to LGBT, to LGBTQ, to LGBTQI to LGBTQIP (and beyond) indicates that these are hardly fixed categories.

Or, to zero in on the letter B, why should I celebrate someone who is attracted to both males and females? Why should I put them in a special category (like Hispanic or Asian or black)?

If the person happens to be a courageous firefighter, I’ll celebrate him for that. If the person happens to be a cancer survivor with an amazing story, I’ll celebrate her for that.

They are fellow human beings, and if they deserve honor or commendation, I’ll gladly give that to them. But I won’t celebrate their bisexuality. Why should I?

And that leads to my second point.

If I’m convinced that homosexual practice is contrary to God’s design, why should I celebrate it?

If I personally know people whose same-sex attractions were the result of childhood sexual abuse and rape, why should I celebrate those attractions?

[...]

Third, and finally, I do not celebrate LGBT pride because there is an agenda attached to it.

In other words, this is not just a matter of me appreciating LGBT people as people, or recognizing their accomplishments for the sake of their accomplishments.

Instead, to celebrate LGBT pride is to recognize and embrace a larger cultural agenda.

[...]

Again, from the LGBT viewpoint, LGBT pride is all about coming out of the closet. It’s about saying, “We’re just as good and as gifted and as normal as anyone else, and rather than being ashamed of our LGBT identity, we are proud of it. The days of being mistreated are over. That’s what LGBT pride is all about!”

Again, I understand these sentiments, and if it was a matter of caring for people as people, I’d march side by side with them.

But it’s not just that. It’s about creating new categories and foisting them on the society. It’s about celebrating something that should not be celebrated. It’s about a larger agenda.

For those reasons, I do not celebrate gay pride, even though it makes me a hateful bigot in the eyes of many LGBT people and their allies.

Of course, if you can't recognize the humanity of the LGBT community, think they merely have "gender identity perceptions" and are driven only by an malicious "agenda," you're very much a hateful bigot.

Mychal Massie similarly used his June 10 column to insist that "I do not hate homosexuals, transgenders, transsexuals, or whatever they choose to self-identify as next. But I hate without apology the act of homosexuality and all such sexual perversion." Needless to say, what followed was a massive tirade of hatred against homosexuals:

Homosexuality is not an ethnicity nor is it a species; it’s a deviant lust of the flesh. The practice of homosexuality is unnatural, amoral and destructive to the spirit, soul, mind, psyche and the personal health of those who choose to become involved in same.

It’s men lusting in their souls to sodomize other men and women who lust after other women for sexual defilement.

As with all things of Satan, sin always metastasizes into more extreme behavior. Thus we witness homosexuality metamorphosing into the mutilation and butchering of bodies in the foolish belief the person will become another gender.

Despite fallacious statistics promoted as fact, the percentage of homosexuals and lesbians have not exploded in number. It’s the number of people accepting perversion as natural and normal that has exploded, which is a massive indictment of the church.

[...]

As I said, I don’t hate the individuals taken in this sinful deviancy. I love them enough to pray for them and to be there to share Christ with them. But I will never be there to condone and or appease their chosen lifestyle.

[...]

Families must decide to stand in obedience to the word of God or surrender to the devil. Satan is a deceiver. He’s the evil imitator of God – thus the reason homosexuality is being advanced as love between two people. It is not love; it is lust and the wicked deceitfulness of the heart.

Those promoting and practicing sexual sin will not escape the judgment of God for leading children into sinful lifestyles, nor will they escape judgment for blaspheming God’s promise to never destroy the earth by flood again, turning the rainbow into a symbol of rabid debauchery.

Erik Rush followed by approvingly citing a CNSNews.com article by homophobe Michael W. Chapman citing right-wing "Latina Mama" Ana Samuel attacking Pete Buttigieg, lamenting that "It is a sad commentary that with the “normalization” of homosexuality in the public square, even many conservative Americans have either accepted the notion that the attendant ideology (as Samuel put it) is not harmful to society at large, or they just don’t press the point anymore." Rush continued:

The danger of a guy like Pete Buttigieg (and the difference between him and his “husband” versus a homosexual couple living quietly in their community) is that Buttigieg is a socialist activist promoting the LGBTQ agenda. As such, he already knows that his ideology is dangerous – at least in the eyes of those who hold traditional values. 

Do not doubt that the LGBTQ agenda has as much to do with the civil rights of LGBTQ people as the agenda of reparations for blacks has to do with the long-term well-being of black Americans – this being none at all.

Like Dr. Ana Samuel, we need to start making the distinction between people in minority groups and the socialist power structure that exploits them – and fast. Following this, we need to act accordingly. If you oppose the preteen drag queen festival being proposed at your child’s public school, you know that this is not the same thing as being in favor of shipping homosexuals off to concentration camps.

Which doesn't negate the fact that Rush, in all likelihood, would like to ship gays off to concentration camps if he thought he could get away with it.

Finally, Jack Cashill turned in a bizarre column about how "A leftist Rip Van Winkle, waking after just 30 years, would be flabbergasted to see his comrades slicing and dicing a vice president of the United States for his administration’s decision not to fly rainbow flags over U.S. embassies" and how this is leading to 'men claiming to be women are competing against women in women’s sports."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 23, 2019 10:22 PM EDT
Friday, June 21, 2019
MRC's Graham Goes the TV Tropes Route To Bash Molly Ivins
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham is such a terrible media critic that he's now invoking TV Tropes.

In a June 7 post, Graham complained that the Washington Post is sponsoring a screening of a film about "radical-left columnist" Molly Ivins at a local film festival. Needless to say, Graham offered no evidence Ivins was "radical-left"; instead, he complained about the satirical barbs she sent the way of conservatives of her time. Which brought us to this statement:

The trailer hailing her as the cliched voice of the voiceless also features Ivins mocking Newt Gingrich as the "draft-dodging, dope-smoking deadbeat dad who divorced his dying wife." That's infected with some fake news, as the Post's own Paul Farhi noted in 2011: "[Jackie] Battley wasn’t dying at the time of the hospital visit; she is alive today."

On TV Tropes, this is called "I Take Offense to That Last One!" In other words, Graham is apparently conceding the accuracy of the whole "draft-dodging, dope-smoking deadbeat dad" part of Ivins' quip.

But the last item is also not as false as Graham would have you believe. According to the Farhi article he's referencing, Battley did say that Gingrich did insist on discussing divorce in the hospital, where she was recovering from a surgery to remove a benign tumor -- the third surgery in a treatment for uterine cancer -- reportedly to sign off on a list of items related to the divorce. While not actually dying, she was seriously ill.

But Graham doesn't want you to think that Gingrich is that terrible of a person, apparently. Or that Ivins, by being mostly factual, wasn't so "radical-left" person as he wants you to think she is.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT
CNS Still Censoring Trump Officials' Crimes to Focus On Minor Crimes By Federal Employees
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has a peculiar idea of "news." We've documented how CNS did no straight reporting on legitimate stories such as Trump associate Paul Manafort being convicted and sentenced on fraud charges, and it still has yet to report anything about the burgeoning scandals at the National Rifle Association despite having NRA board member Allen West as a columnist and senior fellow for its parent, the Media Research Center.

So what does CNS consider to be news? Relatively minor crimes committed by federal employees.

A May 16 blog post by Craig Bannister focused on how "A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attorney habitually shoplifted, admitted to the crimes, but was never prosecuted, a Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General’s report published Monday finds." And an anonymously written June 6 article claimed that "An unnamed Department of Justice attorney stored and transmitted 'sexually explicit images' on a DOJ-issued laptop and cellphone, according to an investigative summary released today by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice."

CNS similarly obsessed last year over the minor crimes of federal employees while ignoring much more serious offenses allegedly committed by Trump administration officials.

These incidents would not warrant the kind of coverage CNS give them if they were to appear in a local newspaper. It seems that CNS is simply trying to denigrate federal workers because it can -- though it has to censor other crimes in order to do it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 AM EDT
Thursday, June 20, 2019
MRC Vaguely Admits Acosta Has A Point, Still Can't Stop Hating Him Anyway
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro began a June 9 post with a relatively nuanced -- by MRC standards -- take on the media: "The liberal media are certainly not “the enemy of the people”, as President Trump often suggests, but they do operate as though they’re part of an opposition party in how viciously they cover him."

But then Fondacaro's Acosta Derangement Syndrome kicked in, and his post into yet another hatefest. He ranted that "showboater" Jim Acosta conducted a "vomit-inducing interview" with CNN's Brian Stelter to promote his new book, "Enemy of the People." He deliberately misinterpreted Acosta's statement that he wished his media colleagues challenged Trump's "enemy of the people" slur -- something even Fondacaro admits is a slur -- by claiming that Acosta had really "said he regretted how the media wasn’t more hostile against the President." Fondacaro then sneered: "At no point did Acosta say he regretted being a showboater and grandstander in the White House briefing room (or elsewhere)."

Then, again ignoring what he wrote in the very first sentence of his post, Fondacaro declared the title of Acosta's book to be "silliness" and huffed that "Acosta fell back onto the disgusting assertion that Trump had created an environment that could get journalists killed" -- even though he quoted Acosta saying that he gets death threatsand pointing out that someone mailed a pipe bomb to CNN headquarters.

We've documented how the MRC is shockingly callous about the safety of journalists who aren't kneejerk Trump shills, attacking them as self-centered to be so concerned.

If an MRC writer can't even last one sentence before descending into hate and childish insults, what good is it as a purveyor of "media research"?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EDT
CNS Slightly Deviates From Pro-Trump Agenda, Attacks Trump-Nominated Judicial Candidate
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is so dedicated to pro-Trump stenography that it's news when it even implicitly criticizes President Trump -- for instance, managing editor Michael W. Chapman has a sad whenever Trump fails to hate the LGBT community as much has he does. This happened again when CNS turned on a lawyer nominated by Trump for a federal judgeship for a statement it deemed to be anti-Catholic (remember, Chapman and other CNS staffers consider themselves to be more Catholic than the pope).

An anonymously written May 31 article complained:

President Donald Trump has nominated to a federal judgeship a lawyer who argued in court against a Catholic farmer who would not allow same-sex weddings to take place on his farm because same-sex marriage violates his Catholic beliefs.

Michael S. Bogren, the lawyer in question, represented the City of East Lansing, Mich., against the farmer, Steve Tennes.

In a document presented in court, Bogren equated a Catholic refusing to allow a same-sex wedding on his farm to a KKK member refusing to allow an interracial wedding.

The article went on to complain that "Bogren finally said that he did stand by his comparison," even though it also included a transcript of questioning from a Republican senator in which Bogren pointed out that "I represent clients, not causes. This is not ideological."

But CNS decided otherwise, and using its new crop of summer interns, sent them out to pester three Republican senators and a Democratic one on whether they thought Bogren should withdraw his nomination because he "equated a Catholic family declining to host same-sex weddings on their farm to a KKK member engaging in racial discrimination."

CNS ultimately got its wish. Chapman happily wrote on June 11 that Bogren "withdrew his nomination to be a judge for the Western District of Michigan today." Chapman included a screenshot of the announcement made by Bogren's cousin, Margot Cleveland, which noted that the withdrawal was "a Pyrrhic victory at best." Chapman was silent on that, instead rehashing right-wing criticism of Bogren. 

In fact, Cleveland pointed out that Bogren "made clear" that "his words were not his personal views, but his legal advocacy," adding:

I have seen people I respect calling Mike an anti-Catholic bigot. And that is shameful. You might disagree with his decision to represent a client, or the arguments made, but unjustly slandering a good man, is something we should never do in the defense of religious liberty. Judgeship or none, is of no matter; but reputation is. As I was asking my son to pray for Mike this weekend, and he asked why, I simplified the situation, and in his innocence he asked, "Why doesn't he tell people he likes Catholics?" Life isn't that simple-you can't repair a man's reputation tarnished by soundbites with a simple statement of the truth.

CNS couldn't be bothered to report the full story, so played a lead role in that slander.

UPDATE: CNS also followed up in a June 13 article by Mark Jennings, which misleadingly reduced the debate to claiming that "Bogren had compared Catholicism to KKK racism." Jennings didn't explain how active discrimination against a same-sex couple is a core tenet of Catholicism.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 21, 2019 2:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Drag Queen Story Hour Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Newsmax

No child should be forced to confront radical ideas and controversial social movements before they are able to use the potty by themselves. We are talking about children who are settling in at the library to hear about Peppa Pig and Horton hearing a Who. This is a time when the little ones should be held in their mothers’ laps, sipping chocolate milk or juice from their sippy cups as they become mesmerized by the magic of carefully chosen words.

This is not a time when some man in spandex, tulle, and glitter should be confusing them with the sight of a dude with an Adam’s Apple and well-developed biceps touching up his makeup and hitching up his brassiere.

There is a concerted effort afoot to normalize the whole idea of gender fluidity.

[...]

Bill Lorraine, a physician and resident of Haverford Township, said he became very concerned when he first heard of Drag Queen Story Hour.

“Gender dysphoria is a serious psychological condition. It is not genetically determined, but rather is influenced by environmental factors,” Lorraine said. “Therefore exposing young children to something like drag queen story hour can predispose them to the development of gender dysphoria and the many negative consequences that go with it.”

[...]

Reading the web page of Drag Queen Story Hour, it is clear that this whole program is designed to normalize gender fluidity and make “drag queens” just one of many accepted expressions of our “identity.” To me, that is nothing more than adults trying to shove their agendas down the throats of little kids.

-- Christine Flowers, June 10 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT
MRC Still Trying To Parse Trump's 'Nasty' Attack on Markle
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember when the Media Research Center's Tim Graham embarrassed himself trying to parse President Trump's "nasty" remark about Meghan Markle? He wasn't the only one.

In a June 7 NewsBusters post, Clay Waters complained that the New York Times "upped the significance of the silly spat into a battle over ultimate truth" by pointing out that Trump flipped between confirming and denying what he said about Markle. Waters made sure to add his own defensive silliness: "Reading the full exchange makes one think Trump meant to say she had been “nasty” to him, not necessarily a nasty person."

Waters then took on the Times' suggestion that Trump was acting in an Orwellian manner through the hoary tradfition of the Clinton Equivocation:

By contrast, Bill Clinton’s infamous definition of the word “is” before a grand jury (“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” was a genuine Orwellian-style moment during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Yet it was apparently (according to nytimes.com) never referred to as Orwellian in a news story (acerbic columnist Maureen Dowd did make the link in a column titled “The Wizard of Is”).

Waters wasn't the only MRC writer to take offense at Orwell references to Trump denying what he clearly said. Joseph Chalfant retorted in a June 3 post after CNN's Jeffrey Toobin dropped an Orwell comparison:

When Trump denied that he called Markle nasty, Toobin stated that the U.S. was now in a “1984-like scenario.” 1984, the classical work by dystopian author George Orwell, describes a totalitarian nation that regularly utilizes slogans such as “Ignorance is Strength” and “Freedom is Slavery.” Even attempting to connect these two administrations is ludicrous. It's a hard reach to equate a scenario in which a president denies an offhanded comment about a figurehead of another nation to one in which an entire government’s role is oppresses its citizens.

And Nicholas Fondacaro referenced Toobin's claim before huffing: "Last time this author checked, Trump wasn’t locking people up for talking about his “nasty” comment and sending them to be re-educated."

 


Posted by Terry K. at 7:47 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 7:51 PM EDT
WND Still Going The Conspiracy-Theory Route to Defend Corrupt Ex-Congresman
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is still clinging to its conspiracy theory that corrupt ex-congressman (and longtime WND buddy) Steve Stockman was railroaded by the "Deep State" on 23 charges of financial fraud and other related charges that, in the words of defender Rachel Alexander, "almost anyone" could face. (Of course, most people are actually committing mail fraud and money laundering on the scale Stockman was accused of doing).

As we noted, Alexander launched another defense of Stockman in a May 29 column, again insisting he was targeted by "corrupt, left-leaning prosecutors in the Department of Justice" and begging President Trump and Attorney General William Barr to "thoroughly clean out the DOJ from top to bottom."Alexander's column was one long excuse-maker, summed up by the assertion that "Stockman complied with very complex, technical laws – but prosecutors chose to interpret those laws differently to confuse the jury."

This was followed by an anonymously written June 9 article that touted "A new friend-of-the-court brief, filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where his conviction is being challenged, explains that using the precedents the government set during its prosecution of Stockman will make it easy to attack people if they are engaged in 'ideological, political, or even religious education, discourse, advocacy, and missions.'" The article added:

The new brief, prepared by American Target Advertising, was joined by former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, L. Brent Bozell III of the Media Research Center, Floyd Brown of American Fight Back, former U.S. Office of Personnel Management chief Donald Devine, historian William Federer, Dolin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots Action, Colby May of the American Center for Law & Justice, U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, R-Ohio, Rick Scarborough of Rick Scarborough Ministries and Richard Viguerie of American Target Advertising.

Note the appearance of Bozell as a signatory -- he normally doesn't hang out with this particular group of mostly far-right activists, endeavoring as he does to present himself as the face of respectable conservatism.

There's also other odd names that signed onto the brief. Joining Rick Scarborough as a clergy signatory is Chuck Baldwin, although both are involved in right-wing politics. Also signing on to the brief is someone named Arthur D. Ally; he operates the Timothy Plan, which offers "biblically responsible investing" designed to "ensure that no money is invested in companies that are supportive of ideals that are contrary to our Biblical moral imperative."

The fact that a few right-wing bigwigs signed onto an amicus brief doesn't mean this is any less of a conspiracy theory.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:06 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
MRC Still In Damage Control Over Trump And The Central Park Five
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just can't seem to give up pushing a factually flawed story about Donald Trump and the Central Park Five. Karen Townsend takes a stab at it in a June 3 post, motivated by a scene in the miniseries about the case, "When They See Us":

Shortly after the Central Park attack, private citizen and real estate developer Donald Trump becomes a part of the story when he pays $85,000 for full-page ads in the city’s newspapers advocating for the return of the death penalty. The mother of one of the boys arrested for the rape sees a television interview with Trump as he says, “You better believe I hate the people that took this girl and raped her brutally.”

When another one of the mothers of the Central Park Five boys is asked by a reporter what she thinks of Donald Trump calling for the death penalty for her son, she is shocked and bursts into tears while a spokesman dismisses Trump as "a real estate hustler."

Later, at home, the mother and a friend have a drink together with the television on in the background. The two women hear Donald Trump tell a reporter that he would like the opportunity to be "a well-educated black" because he thinks they "do have an actual advantage today.”

"They need to keep that bigot off tv, is what they need to do," the mother angrily responds. "That devil wants to kill my son," she says later.

A bit of levity is added for the viewer when the friend tells her not to worry about Trump’s remarks because “his 15 minutes [are] almost up.”

It is false to claim that Trump called for the boys to be killed. For one thing, he was calling for bringing back the death penalty in the state of New York in general. He said in an interview with Larry King at the timethat he supported the death penalty only "if the woman died" and if perpetrator was "at a certain age. If they're minors, they should be treated very strongly." All of the boys were minors at the time and would not have been subject to the death penalty if it were reinstated, anyway.

Don't forget, in 1989, New York City was experiencing an extremely high crime rate, and residents were losing patience with city efforts to get it under control. The subject of the death penalty was a popular topic of conversation at the time so it wasn’t particularly unusual that Trump weighed in with his opinion.

As we pointed out the last time the MRC did this, Trump's newspaper ad did reference the Central Park attack, the ran just a few months after it occurred, and the headline on it blared, "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!" It seems pretty clear who Trump was talking about, even if he didn't explicitly state it. Further, according to a CNN article on Trump's appearance on Larry King, "Trump told King his newspaper ads were not 'pre-judging' the five teens, but rather advocating for their execution if they were to be found guilty."

To repeat: Even though he admitted that the death penalty doesn't apply to minors, Trump appeared to calling for it anyway and only later clarified he didn't want it to apply to minors. It's a muddled message, something Trump is prone to -- muddled enough that the MRC should know better than to continue to make these kneejerk defenses of Trump over this.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 23, 2019 7:43 PM EDT

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