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Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Newsmax Hands Dershowitz Even More Space To Defend Himself
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has an odd habit of giving Trump-friendly lawyer Alan Dershowitz space to defend himself (and offering its own defense of him) regarding links to convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, for whom he served as a defense lawyer. That hasn't stopped.

In his first Newsmax column since January, Dershowitz spent a July 12 column complaining that "The View" co-host Meghan McCain said he shouldn't be allowed to appear on  TV until the Epstein sex-related allegations against him are resolved. Needless to say, Dershowitz spun this comment into a complaint that he was being "censored" and going into full victim mode: "Imagine what America would be like if McCain’s rule became the norm. Every accused person would be presumed guilty and shut down. Our traditional presumption of innocence would be reversed and a presumption of guilt would be substituted. That is the norm in today’s China, Iran, Venezuela, and other totalitarian nations that do not operate under the rule of law."

Dershowitz penned a July 17 column that was essentially a prebuttal to a longform piece the New Yorker was doing on him, insisting without evidence that editor David Remnick commissioned the "hit piece against me for the explicit purpose of silencing my defense of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the State of Israel." As he has before, he vehemently denied allegations that he had sex with an underage girl in Epstein's orbit.

Of course, he didn't mention his admission the previous week that he did indeed receive a massage at Epstein's mansion (though he insisted he was massaged by an adult woman and he kept his underwear on).

After the New Yorker article came out -- which included revelations such as his advocacy for reducing the age of consent and his history of discrediting any sexual assault accuser that passed in front of him -- Dershowitz cranked out another lengthy defense in the form of a letter to the New Yorker that Newsmax published on July 26, once again denouncing the "hit piece" as an attempt "to silence my voice on issues – Trump, Netanyahu and Israel – on which we disagree." He didn't address the age-of-consent stuff.

Dershowitz concluded his column with this appeal: "Finally, a word to my readers: if you read The New Yorker article, please compare it to this letter and see what they included and excluded. Please also ask yourselves how you and your family would feel if you were falsely accused with no evidence of horrible crimes of which you were entirely innocent.

Newsmax also gave Dershowitz space on its TV channel. In a July 18 appearance, Dershowitz repeated an attack on the lawyer representing the woman accusing him as "a genuinely evil man" who "has a very questionable sexual history himself, while ""I have never done anything wrong sexually. During the relevant period of time, I had sex with one woman: my wife."

On July 29, Dershowitz was given a nearly 6-minute-long segment on Newsmax TV to repeat his attacks on the New Yorker piece, whining: "If they falsely accuse me and I never met them, I'm the victim now, they're not the victims. I'm going to continue to call them liars and perjurers. That's the truth. It's not victim shaming. It's criminal shaming. They are criminals. They belong in jail."

In between his two New Yorker-related pieces getting published on Newsmax, Dershowitz appeared on Newsmax TV in an 18-minute segment discussing Robert Mueller's congressional testimony, in which he served up a reliably pro-Trump talking point that "a "radical Democrat" winning the White House could go after Trump like a "banana republic." (Nerver mind that Trump indicated he would act in the exact same way against Hillary Clinton.) Dershowitz was never asked about his connections to Epstein during this segment.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 10:54 PM EDT
Rapinoe Derangement Syndrome At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center took a vacation from freaking out about journalists on TV (Jim Acosta, Norah O'Donnell) to go into freakout mode over an athlete: soccer star Megan Rapinoe. And who better to lead said freakouts than the MRC's very own mysterious, gay-hating sports blogger, Jay Maxson.

Maxson was already on the attack back in May, well before the World Cup started, complaining that Rapinoe was the first out lesbian to pose in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and then sneering: "The folks at ESPN can say big deal. Rapinoe posed naked with WNBA star Sue Bird in our Body Issue last year." (Maxson has irrational hatred for the Body Issue.)

Maxson became unhinged a few days later, saying that Rapinoe's declaration that her World Cupplay would serve as an F-you to the Trump administration meant that she "is taking the SJW baton from Colin Kaepernick and giving President Donald Trump an ongoing middle finger," going on to call her "a far-left activist and Hillary Clinton supporter." (Maxson irrationally hates Kaepernick too.) After the U.S. team's 13-0 crushing of Thailand in thefirst round of the Women's World Cup, Maxson raged that Rapinoe "refused to honor America during the pre-game national anthem" as "the only American player without her hand over her heart, eyes focused on the flag and singing the Star Spangled Banner," huffing that "Rapinoe's defiance drew little media disapproval." Maxson then aimed his/her attacks against anyone who defended Rapinoe (while making sure his readers know she's a "lesbian," or, more specifically, "the undisputed lesbian queen and social justice warrior of pro women's soccer" while accusing one writer of offering a "defense of Rapinoe's sexual orientation").

Maxson then went into conspiracy mode over World Cup coverage:

Over the weekend, USA Today's coverage of the U.S. women's national soccer team's play in the World Cup in France could have easily been thought of as a well-coordinated attack on President Donald Trump. Saturday's online edition carried three politically charged stories on the soccer team — one-fourth of the day's "Top Stories" list — paying little attention to the team's actual play on the field.

Maxson also huffed that Rapinoe has been expressing "defiance" by "waging an anti-Trump campaign for several weeks and who stands silently without her hand over her heart during the pre-match national anthem."

Maxson also ranted that Rapinoe "is being hailed as the new version of the symbol she detests" by likeniner her to the American flag. Maxson offered no evidence that Rapinoe's failure to offer the meaningless salutes to the flag that he/she demands equates to "detesting" it.

The rant baton then got passed to Matt Philbin, who immediately denounced Rapinoe as an "angry, outspoken lesbian" and was apoplectic that a writer called her "her generation’s Muhammad Ali" and praised her self-expression, huffing that "the self-expression fetishists weren't so thrilled when a devoutly Christian prospect for the World Cup team didn't want to wear a rainbow 'Pride' jersey." (Hating gays -- as said soccer player Jaelene Hinkle does, with MRC approval -- is the only acceptable form of self-expression as far as the MRC is concerned.)

Maxson returned to go on an anti-gay tear with a bonus sneer at a "trans" writer:

SBNation trans writer Kim McCauley waved off all objectivity in her first sentence, admitting she's "an unabashed fan" of the World Cup champion U.S. women's soccer team. Her post, "Why the USWNT's open queerness matters", confirms what's been obvious throughout the duration of the World Cup, by the team and its media friends: the U.S. team is a bastion for queer hope and a vehicle for LGBT+ pride.

Maxson was further put out that previously "American lesbian soccer stars kept their sexual orientation secret to retain endorsement opportunities" but "Now, with the media's encouragement, they flaunt it for all it's worth."

Maxson then whined again at USA Today for being "obsessed beyond obsession with this team and its gay rights and anti-Trump crusades," further huffing that "Media are positively enamored with the outrageous Rapinoe, a wild-eyed supporter of Colin Kaepernick." Maxson also complained that adding Hinkle could have added diversity to the team, but "tolerant-lite team, at the urging of tolerant-lite LGBT fans and media, had a fit over the mere thought of allowing someone like her to occupy a position on the team." Maxson didn't mention that the team has several team players who consider themselves Christian and, unlike Hinkle, are not afraid to associate with people slightly different from them.

Gabriel Hays followed by complaining that Rapinoe "slammed President Donald Trump ... blasting his 'Make America Great Again' slogan as a message that’s 'excluding people'" (though he didn't factually dispute her claim). He also groused that Rapinoe would reject any invitation from  Trump to visit the White House, it "doesn’t mean that Rapinoe isn’t interested in taking a victory lap around D.C. The U.S. women’s captain has accepted invites to visit Democratic lawmakers at the Capitol, agreeing to visit Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic senator Chuck Schumer."

That was followed by Scott Whitlock making a lame media attack, complaining that after Rapinoe "dropped the F-bomb during a championship parade in New York City," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell "praised the 'eloquence' of the soccer star." Kyle Drennen then bashed MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for conducting a "predictably fawning" interview with Rapinoe, further sneering, "Move over Colin Kaepernick, the liberal media have found their new champion."

Indeed, any media praise of Rapinoe set the MRC into throes of anger. Curtis Houck contributed a sneer of his own: "Despite the fact that the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended on Sunday, the liberal media’s infatuation with not so much the U.S. Women’s National Team’s play on the pitch but their wokeness off it has continued." The MRC's chief Acosta Derangement Syndrome sufferer then groused that praise for Rapinoe standing up to Trump were somehow "great reminders that TDS was real and idolatry was a sin!" Tim Graham joined the fun by complaining that "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd "gushed like a geyser" over guest Rapinoe.

Maxson then wrested back his MRC-provided soapbox to tout a right-wing writer calling Rapinoe "a foul-mouthed stage hog" whose "all-about-me diva pose" should have been reined in (something no MRC employee has ever said about Donald Trump), and that her team's achievement in winning the world Cup means nothing because"It was the Women's World Cup!'

Posted by Terry K. at 3:17 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2019 2:48 PM EDT
WND Repeats False Claim About Census Question
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily still can't quite get facts correct, even though needing to do so is not just essential for a "news" operation but doubly so for one that's been desperately trying to stay alive.

A July 6 article is a repost of an item from the notoriously less-than-factual right-wing website Gateway Pundit  that copy-and pastes the original headline: "2000 U.S. Census asked citizenship question: Obama deleted it in 2010 — Trump wants it back in 2020." In fact, the claim that Obama "deleted" the citizenship question from the census in 2010 isn't true.

As an actual news outlet documented, the last time the census asked about citizenship of all Americans was in 1950, not 2000 as WND and the Gateway Pundit claim. The 2000 long-form census questionnaire did contain a citizenship question, but only one-sixth of Americans received that form. But in 2005, the Census Bureau started collecting citizenship and other information yearly in the form of the American Community Survey; this means that "not only did Obama not remove the question from the census, over the past 10 years it has been asked more frequently than it was before his two terms in office."

WND has shown no interest in correcting the record -- which tells us that it still probably doesn't deserve to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 1:27 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
MRC Lies About Chris Hayes' Criticism of Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center usually just limns the truth to justify attacks on non-conservative journalists and media figures. It does outright lie on occasion, however, and it did so in a July 19 post by intern Emma Fantuzzo.

"MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: Trump Supporters Must Be ‘Confronted and Destroyed’" was the headline on Fantuzzo's post, and she claimed that Hayes was "denouncing all Republicans and Trump supporters, and calling for a revolution of sorts against the Trump administration. She went on to write:

According to Hayes, the conservative movement has been hiding some maniacal plan and it had nothing to do with their ideology: “They realize that no one actually cared about deficits or small government. That was never the fuel that fired the engine of Republican politics. It was always roiling rage against them that was on full display in the ‘Send her back’ chants last night.” For a movement that prides itself on being thinkers and valuing common sense over being guided by feelings, Hayes sentiments seem unlikely.

Nevertheless, Hayes continued to insist on the eminent danger posed by millions of peaceful Americans and implored: “It must be peacefully, nonviolently, politically destroyed with love, compassion and determination, but utterly confronted and destroyed. That is the only way to break the coalition apart.”

The existence of the word "it" instead of "they" before the "peacefully, nonviolently, politically destroyed" is abig clue to the fact that Hayes was not talking about individual Trump supporters. Indeed, the full quote from Hayes, which exists in the video clip that accompanies Fantuzzo's post, exposes that he was talking about the Trump-driven conservative ideology, as epitomized by the "send her back" chants at the Trump rally, and he's clearly referring to "that sentiment" rather than individual supporters (emphasis added):

Without that rage and that passion, that enthusiasm and fire in that room, this entire project falls apart. That sentiment at the core of the coalition cannot be pried loose and it cannot be negotiated with and it cannot be appeased. It must be peacefully, nonviolently, politically destroyed with love, compassion and determination, but utterly confronted and destroyed. That is the only way to break the coalition apart.

When Ryan Saavedra of the right-wing Daily Wire tweeted out the MRC's headline, Hayes called them out: "I said very clearly that Trumpism, the ideology must be destroyed. That the bigotry must be confronted and destroyed. Not his supporters. The headline is wrong. There's no way you will agree with the monologue but that's a garbage mischaracterization."

The fact that the false headline is still live on Fantuzzo's piece nearly two weeks later tells us how much the MRC really cares about truth and accuracy.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Democrats Face Bias At CNS
Whether it's skewed headlines or "news" articles that editorialize, is not terribly interested in offering fair and balanced coverage to Democratic politicians. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 AM EDT
Monday, July 29, 2019
Norah O'Donnell Derangement Syndrome At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

We knew the Media Research Center suffered from Acosta Derangement Syndrome, but we weren't aware that O'Donnell Derangement Syndrome was a thing until Norah O'Donnell debuted as the new anchor for the CBS Evening News.

On the day of her debut, Geoffrey Dickens ranted about she purportedly decided to act "liberal" in order to get the job: 

Norah O’Donnell has risen through the ranks of TV jobs from MSNBC correspondent to CBS This Morning co-host. On Monday she begins her stint in the CBS Evening News anchor chair previously occupied by the likes of Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Katie Couric. And much like those liberal bias legends before her, O’Donnell realized one of the best ways to climb the ladder was to lean left in her reporting and hosting duties.

Dickens then provided examples of O'Donnell allegedly "adoring Democrats and liberals and attacking Republicans and conservatives, one of which was described as "Slapping a Republican for Failing to Follow Liberal Playbook." Of course, Dickens is slapping a journalist for failing to follow the conservative playbook.

So theMRC minions were clearly looking for something -- anything -- to be offended by in O'Donnell's debut so it could fill out its narrative against her. And boy, were they.

Under a sneering "We TOLD You So" headline, Curtis Houck declared that Dickens' post "struck gold" because "the debut episode of O’Donnell’s CBS Evening News made it apparent that the newscast will return to being virulently anti-Trump, waging war against the President after his 'racist' 'tweets.'" But all Houck could actually identify was O'Donnell letting the targets of Trump's tweets (why did Houck put scare quotes around "tweets"?) to respond.

Houck also found O'Donnell guilty of reporting the news in an order he didn't like: More odiously, O’Donnell sandwiched between coverage of Trump’s tweets and more pro-illegal immigration coverage a news brief about the latest life sentence for the white supremacist convicted in the Charlottesville murder of Heather Heyer, as if to link him to Trump and the GOP."

Houck ended his post with more deranged sneering, responding to O'Donnell's closing declaration that journalism should fight against "ignorance, intolerance, and indifference" with unironic smugness: "Look out, Scott Pelley. Because you might have some competition at CBS in the smug department." Houck simply linked to the MRC archive on Pelley and identified nothing whatsoever from him that could be described as "smug."

Houck ranted even more after the next day's program:

After Monday’s debut of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell established that it would be an unquestionable home for liberal bias, night two cemented that as O’Donnell and her team provided more liberal bias, whether it be the President’s “racist tweets,” letting a Democratic donor interview “The Squad,” or blaming an upcoming heat wave to climate change.

O’Donnell teased their coverage from the Kennedy Space Center on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's launch before stating that “we’re going to begin with that breaking news here on Earth” about the House “resolution to condemn” Trump’s “racist tweets” even though it wasn’t a full-blown censure.

(Houck put "racist tweets" in scare quotes because it's the right-wing narrative never to admit that Trump's tweets were racist.)

Houck then expressed faux concern for the "great journalism" at CBS purportedly being hurt by letting Gayle King interview people:

Showing how not only biased but ethically challenged some at CBS are (thus hurting many there who do great journalism), the newscast then aired an except ofn CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King’s “exclusive” interview with Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

For some reason, the higher-ups thought letting a Democratic donor, Corey Booker friend, and Obama family friend in King would work. Based on the released excerpt, King lived up to her partisan streak by lobbing softballs[.]

Houck also put words in O'Donnell's mouth claiming that she "blamed" a heat wave on climate change -- followed by a quote in which she accurately said that it's something "scientists link to climate change." He then lectured: "Now, this writer doesn’t have a degree in climatology or meteorology, but climate looks at matters over periods of time while the weather concerns things happening in now or near future. Sure, one can discuss climate change, but a singular weather pattern being emblematic isn’t ideal." Houck seems to have forgotten that his employer loves to portray the existence of cold weather as evidence that global warming isn't real.

The following day, Houck snarkily claimed that O'Donnell served up "a rare reprieve with substantive, snark-free coverage of the illegal immigration crisis at the border (compared to what we usually see) and another example of how, even in the liberal media, broken clocks can occasionally be right.

In antoher post, Houck cheered that O'Donnell reported on the "legal victory" for Trump in the form of the closing of an investigation into Trump's hush-money payments to a porn star, but offered up more snark by climing that the program "offered a tinge of disappointment there were no new charges."

The outrage baton was then handed to Scott Whitlock, who attacked O'Donnell's appearance on Stephen Colbert's late-night CBS, huffing that O'Donnell's declaration that journalism is what "makes democracies work" was an example of she "continued to announce just how pleased she is with herself and fellow journalists." He linked to Dickens' post again as evidence that O'Donnell "has a long history of liberal bias."

Houck concluded O'Donnell's debut week with more ranting that her show "has showcased a CNN-like penchant for liberal bias and punditry masquerading as reporting." He didn't explain why CBS is forbidden from doing that while his employer's own "news" division does so with impunity.

Houck then groused that the program had done a "covert" interview with "someone with far-left, hate-Trump mindset already predisposed to oppose him." Meanwhile, Houck and  his MRC colleagues have firmly established themselves as people with far-right, hate-O'Donnell mindsets who were already predisposed to oppose her.

Which, of course, makes this kind of prefabricated, agenda-driven and outrage-obsessed "media research" difficult to take seriously.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:13 PM EDT
WND's Massie Joins Peterson In Blacks Sounding Like White Supremacists
Topic: WorldNetDaily

These days, Jesse Lee Peterson is totally crushing Mychal Massie in the WorldNetDaily right-wing black columnist manufactured racism department. As someone who has followed in Peterson's footsteps in sounding like a white supremacist while invoking black-conservative privilege to escape consequences, he knew he had to up his outrage game. Thus, he uses his July 15 column to drop the N-word with impunity to accuse pretty much everyone whose politics he disagrees with of being one, playing off deceased Sen. Robert Byrd's reference to "white niggers":

At the time, I along with many of my colleagues believed Byrd was referencing “poor white trash” in general, and Bill Clinton specifically, and I still believe that today. That said, I’m going to omit Clinton from this conversation, because he’s low-hanging fruit. 

But, when it comes to the “white niggers” the Democratic elder statesman referenced – I’ll get to the black ones later – I’m certain the senator would have agreed that USWNT soccer player Megan Rapinoe personifies the definition of “white nigger/trash.”

Snopes, the left-wing online fact-checker site, can dance around the truth as per their custom, but Rapinoe, the mean-spirited nasty lesbian, stepped on the American flag while it lay on the ground on foreign soil, after the American team won the Women’s World Cup of soccer in Lyon, France. And it did not bother her one bit.

Rapinoe is the loathsome pustule the media have promoted as the face of America. But then, the media fit my late mother and grandmother’s definition of commonality, so it’s not surprising they would gravitate to the lowest common denominator, i.e., poor “white trash.”

Rapinoe refused to honor the American flag before the start of the women’s match, played in France, six days after the world had gathered in commemoration of the World War II D-Day battle that saw thousands of Americans give their lives, so that decades later a spiteful, hate-filled, bitter lesbian who owes everything she has to America could disgrace herself and her team with such rancid insolence.

I will not reference Hillary Clinton as a “white-trash nigger” in this piece, because she, like Bill, is low-hanging fruit. But, I think Joy Behar of “The View” aptly fits the definition, as does Samantha Bee the host of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.” I’m sure the late Democratic statesman Byrd would have agreed that Cher and Rosie O’Donnell fit the definition as well. When it comes to raw filth and commonality, few surpass these women.

During the interview I referenced, Byrd did not mention “black nigger/trash” – but I will. And I will begin with Rep. Ilhan Omar, the socialist Muslim Democrat (whatever ill-bred concoction that is) from Minnesota. Channeling Byrd, what on earth else can Omar be called, when she “allegedly” married her own brother to perpetrate immigration fraud?

Massie concluded by offering a faux lament:

As I said, nothing in my life prepared me for the somber realization that I would one day agree with the late Robert Byrd, who was admired and loved by those of his party many of whom are alive today.

As long as I’m agreeing with the “Champion figure of the Democratic Party,” he could not have been more correct when he said: “My old mom told me, ‘Robert, you can’t go to heaven if you hate anybody.'”

Massie clearly won't be going to heaven anytime soon, given how filled with hate his column is.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Sunday, July 28, 2019
MRC Bashes Critic For Criticizing Comedian's Unfunny Transgender Jokes
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how the Media Research Center berlieves that the LGBT community is a preferred target for comedy, as exemplified by its defense of Steven Crowder's homophobic attacks on gay journalist Carlos Maza as being OK because it comes from a "comedian." Now the MRC has defended more bad LGBT-mocking humor.

In a July 11 post, Clay Waters bashed New York Times critic Jason Zinoman for criticizing comedian Dave Chappelle for maikng "lukewarm jokes" about transgenders, claiming that Chappelle committed the offense of "telling jokes about people that Zinoman doesn’t think he should be telling jokes about." Waters chortled later in thepost that "Zinoman was getting his own 'comedy roast' on Twitter for being such a censorious scold and advising comedian Chappelle what he can and cannot joke about."

Needless to say, the MRC loves to tell people who they can and cannot joke about. Indeed, the very next day, MRC leaders Tim Graham and Brent Bozell attacked a cartoon for making jokes about President Trump:

CBS-owned Showtime has created a Trump-blasting animated series called "Our Cartoon President," reminiscent of that George W. Bush-bashing "Lil' Bush" series that Comedy Central made while Bush was in office. Can you imagine Showtime having aired a president-mocking cartoon while Bill Clinton or Barack Obama were in office? How about one about President Hillary? They wouldn't dare.

Showtime thinks it's funny to claim that conservatives say they are "oppressed" and need a "safe space." The network says its "cutting-edge comedy presents the truish adventures of Trump ... and his family."

"Truish." That word gives you a clue. It's like the truth. The executive producer is CBS late-night star Stephen Colbert, so the "truish" part is fascinating.


"Truthiness" perfectly defines this nasty cartoon, made by a nasty man who announced on national television that this president's mouth is a holster for Russian President Vladimir Putin's penis. He presents Trump and conservatives as the worst kind of loathsome idiots, because that's the truth he wants to exist. It's "his truth," as the left so illogically tries to explain these things. It's just another dose of ongoing therapy for liberals who feel oppressed because Trump is president.

Of course, Waters never explained why jokes about transgenders are inherently and perpetually funny and immune from criticism.

Waters would never dare to call his bosses out for complaining that "Our Cartoon President" was "telling jokes about people that" Graham and Bozell don’t "think he should be telling jokes about," though they're acting exactly the same as the Times critic he attacks. We assume he values his paycheck too much.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:16 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 28, 2019 9:17 PM EDT
CNS Buries Trump-Epstein Story, Pushes More Minor Crime From Federal Employees
Topic: has an odd habit of ignoring legitimate news that makes President Trump look bad in favor of playing up minor crimes by low-level federal employees.

We see that again with the Jeffrey Epstein story. In contrast to its parent Media Research Center's efforts to deflect the Epstein scandal by trying to turn the story from Trump's connections with Epstein to Bill Clinton's connections with him (despite the fact that Clinton hasn't held public office in nearly two decades while Trump is the current president), CNS largely ignored it. The only mention of it in an original CNS article following Epstein's arrest on sex-trafficking charges was a July 9 piece by Melanie Arter repeating Trump's claim that "he’ll be looking 'very carefully' at the role that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta played in a 2007 immunity deal for billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

As befit her usual stenography mode, Arter uncritically repeated Trump's insistence that he "was not a fan of" Epstein, but failed to report that Trump said in 2002 that Epstein is a "teriffic guy" and even complemented the man's taste in younger women. When a video surfaced of Trump and Epstein together at a 1992 party -- further disproving Trump's claim never to be an Epstein "fan" -- CNS refused report on it. Nor did it report on Acosta's eventual resignation as labor secretary in the wake of criticism over the plea deal.

The next day, however, an anonymous CNS writer found something that was allegedly more newsworthy: more minor crime by a federal employee!

A National Park Service Facility Manager used a government charge card to buy approximately $2,297 in merchandise that he then pawned, according to a summary of the case released by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of the Interior.

The government employee was sentenced to one day in jail.

Yep, this was more important to report for CNS than sex-trafficking allegations against a onetime friend of the president.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 28, 2019 2:57 PM EDT
Saturday, July 27, 2019
MRC Leader Graham's War on Fact-Checkers Grinds Dishonestly Forward
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center -- mostly in the person of Tim Graham -- has long waged war on media fact-checkers for purported bias (though really just for pointing out that conservatives in general, and President Trump in particular, lie on a depressingly regular basis). Let's take a quick look at how that war has ranged from the nitpicky to the dishonest in recent months.

In January, Graham once more denounced the very act of Trump being fact-checked, complaining about fact-checkers' "one-sided aggression toward Trump" -- seemingly oblivious to the idea that perhaps the president of the United States should be held to a higher factual standard than the "liberal Senators" he thinks should be fact-checked a lot more. Of course, nobody's stopping Graham and the MRC from setting up their own fact-checking operation; it seems complaining makes for a more exploitable narrative than actually doing something about it.

In April, Graham complained that Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler hasn't denounced Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for claiming that Vice President Mike Pence supported anti-gay conversion therapy -- only to admit that "Buttigieg hasn't expressly attacked him for it." He then complained that Kessler said that "Pence could certainly settle this conundrum if he has rejected such therapies in his own words, rather than through a spokesman. Then there would no longer be any question," adding that "It's especially weird for Kessler to diss [Pence spokesperson Alyssa] Farah like this. ... Those aides are good enough for him to make a ruling (or avoid a ruling)."

That might be a good argument had the MRC not done the same exact thing. In 2016, disgraced NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer insisted that Bill Clinton's denial that he raped Juanita Braoddrick isn't real because the denial came from spokesmen and not directly from Clinton's mouth.

In May, Graham tried to justify Trump's statement at a rally abpout laws protecting the right to abortion that "The baby is born and you wrap the baby beautifully and you talk to the mother about the possible execution of the baby" was somehow true because the statement was "borrowing from what Gov. Northam said in an awkward radio interview about how a baby 'unsuccessfully' aborted would be treated." But Northam's spokesperson pointed out later that the governor misspoke and was not endorsing infanticide but, ratrher, "the tragic and extremely rare case in which a woman with a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities went into labor." Shouldn't Graham have given Northam the benefit of the doubt here because of the spokesman's statement, just like he demanded Pence's spokesperson be treated as the real thing?

In a June post, Graham stuck the right-wing narrative while grousing that a fact-checker pointed out that there's "little evidence" to support Trump's claim that the real Russian collusion was done by Democrats and not with the Trump campaign, further whining that "he won't explicitly acknowledge the Russian cooperation in the Steele dossier, where an ex-British spy dug up salacious dirt on Trump from Russian sources. He only mentioned it to deny it had any importance (and forget the fact of the FISA warrants spawned by it)." But as others have pointed out, the Steele dossier was not the basis for the FISA warrant to invesitgate onetime Trump campaign official Carter Page.

Graham joined (read:ghostwrote) with his boss, Brent Bozell for a July 2 column complaoining that Democratic presidential candidates aren't fact-checked as much as they demand:

PolitiFact actually boasted on Twitter during the debate: "We've been fact-checking @ewarren since 2014. She has never received a rating lower than Half True." How is that possible? Easy. For one, PolitiFact has never issued a Truth-O-Meter ruling on Warren's claim of being part Cherokee Indian.

Perhaps because there's no evidence that Warren ever deliberately lied about her heritage -- she was simply repeating family stories about it that were ultimately found not to be true. Graham and Bozell presented no evidence whatsoever of deliberate deception.

That kind of partisan pettiness permeates the column; at one point they grouse that "Our favorite whopper of the night was when Julian Castro asserted that a 'trans female' should have a right to an abortion, when a 'trans female' is someone who is born male, born without a uterus." As leaders of a partisan political operation that sneers at transgenders, they would say this.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 AM EDT
WND's Peterson Goes Full White Supremacist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A couple weeks back, we noted that WorldNetDaily columnist Jesse Lee Peterson had cranked up his white supremacist schtick by gushing over how "white men founded and built America, the greatest country on earth" and declaring that "If we lose whites as a majority, we lose America."

Well, Peterson found a bigger crank. Behold his July 21 WND column:

This month of July is my second annual celebration of White History Month. America is great thanks to white people. But it’s so overrun with blind white-hating people that we now have a Muslim woman with a head rag in Congress! Rep. Ilhan Omar, D.-Minn., is an evil, America-hating, Christian-hating “social justice warrior.” But she falsely claims, “I probably love this country more than anyone that is naturally born.” Her kind of “love” is the same emotional, egotistical spirit as angry single black mothers who raise thugs and defend them when they commit crimes.

I’ve been saying for years that if anyone does not love this country, they can leave! If you hate white people, and you believe in so-called “racism,” even though whites let you into this country, go back to Africa or wherever you came from! Same with the white communist antifa members who hate American freedom – get out of my country!

President Trump rightly said the same thing in a few tweets last Sunday. He suggested that these “progressive” Democrat Congresswomen “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” He’s right. But they won’t, because they’re hypocrites – including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. Not only will they not fix their own communities, they want to mess up ours! They only offer abortion, immoral socialism, false victimhood and hatred of white people, men and Christians.


There’s nothing more important than rebuilding men. There are no men in the Democrat Party – only weak beta males. Women run the Democrat Party, which is anti-American and of Satan. We saw what happened when men disappeared from black homes. The black community worships “mama” while they kill one another. Now other races, including whites, follow in blacks’ footsteps of self-destruction, by following women. Whites have turned to weakness and surrender, thinking the people of color will love them. That’s not the way.

Watch and learn from this president, who makes evil unwelcome again.

Again: Peterson sounds no different from David Duke, Jared Tayulor or any garden-variety white supremacist. But sounding like a white supremacist is something WND wants in his columnists -- espeically since he can invoke his black-conservative privilege and face no consequences in his shrinking right-wing bubble.

Normal, polite society doesn't accept this kind of talk from white people. Why should Peterson get away with it?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 27, 2019 12:27 AM EDT
Friday, July 26, 2019
MRC Does Damage Control For Border Patrol
Topic: Media Research Center

After ProPublica broke a story about a secret Facebook group for former Border Patrol agents filled with racist and sexist comments and jokes about dead migrants, the Media Research Center did something that had nothing whatsoever to do with "media research" -- it rushed to the Border Patrol's defense by throwing out what might be generously described as alternative facts.

In a July 5 post, Corinne Weaver asserted that "Facebook’s past policies may have implicated innocent users in some controversial activities" -- even though she admitted that ProPublica double-checked names in the group against that of known Border Patrol agents. She continued:

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that before December 2018, users could be added to a group without agreeing to be added. They would receive an invitation to the group, but the invite automatically added the user. Now, the new policy makes users “accept invitations” before they are added to a group. 

The border patrol group is 3 years old, according to ProPublica. For two years, some members of the group could have been added without realizing it. Only brand-new group members are guaranteed to have joined voluntarily.

In addition, many members in the group might have missed some or all of those posts. If a member of a group does not interact with a group for a certain period of time, the latest posts float down to the bottom of the newsfeed. So very active members of the group would have been able to see most of the posts, while less active members would not have seen as much. 

Just because someone was a member of a group does not mean they were active members who commented, posted, or even saw all of the content.

Weaver is simply making excuses. The facts remain that this Facebook group does exist, and these agents did belong to it -- even Border Patrol chief Carla Provost was forced to admit she belonged to it (though she denied being an active member).

It's highly unlikely that Weaver or anyone else at the MRC would give the same benefit of the doubt to anyone who belonged to a Facebook group that published offensive content that could be considered liberal-leaning -- recall its incessant whining about the "Journolist" listserv because non-conservative journalists were involved (and its complete silence about Groundswell, the secret listserv for conservative journalists and activists, not even to discuss whether any MRC employee took part in it).

Weaver's defense of the Border Patrol is nothing but political damage control that's little more than just another MRC double standard.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
Jones' CNS 'News' Article Is A Pro-Trump Editorial

We've already caught reporter Susan Jones trying to create a bogus narrative that Joe Biden doesn't really want to be president. The same day that article was published, though, she wrote another one that, while labeled "news," was in truth little more than a pro-Trump editorial.

Jones began by noting a July 4 speech by Biden in which he said that Trump "is incapable of celebrating what makes America great because I don't think he gets it." Then the editorializing began with Jones writing:

Hours later, under rainy skies on the Mall, President Trump did indeed celebrate what makes America great.

In his nonpartisan speech, Trump hailed some of the patriots and inventors who made this country what it is. He told stories of military bravery and heroism, pausing for flyovers from each branch of the military, including a roaring B-2 bomber.


Trump told the cheering crowd, "Americans love our freedom, and no one will ever take it away from us."

After a long excerpt from Trump's speech, Jones editorialized against Biden, claiming he "recited the familiar Democrat litany of various injustices heaped on the middle class and the working class." She concluded by whining; "And so it went, as Americans in Iowa listened to what's wrong with Trump's America -- and Americans on the Mall listened to Trump tell them what's so right."

But if Trump was all about telling people "what's so right" with Trump's America, his speech wasn't exactly as "nonpartisan" as Jones claims, was it? Further, at no point did Jones refute any of the claims Biden made -- she simply mocked them as a "Democrat [sic] litany."

Jones has already proven herself to be a loyal Trump stenographer. But such blatant bias on her part belies CNS' mission statement to "put a higher premium on balance than spin."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Thursday, July 25, 2019
MRC Goes Into Full Deflection Mode on Trump-Epstein Ties
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center and its NewsBusters division (looking at you, Mark Finkelstein) have a problem acknowledging that Donald Trump has a connection to accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which typically manifests itself in labored attempts to complain that Bill Clinton had dealings with Epstein too (ignoring the inconvenient fact that Trump is the current president while Clinton hasn't been president for nearly 20 years now). With Epstein's latest arrest on charges of sex trafficking and with exposure of Trump labor secretary Alexander Acosta's role in working out a sweet plea deal for Epstein when he was a federal prosecutor, the MRC was compelled to deflect and defend anew.

A July 8 post by Kristine Marsh set the page, huffing that one ABC news show failed to report on "Epstein’s highly controversial connection to former President Bill Clinton" or that Epstein was "a major Democrat [sic] donor," referencing a Fox News report (of course) claiming that "Clinton was a frequent flier on Epstein’s private jet full of underage girls." Marsh further complained that other news reports "tried to connect Epstein to Trump" and one of those reports "didn’t mention that after Epstein had been convicted of assaulting an underage girl, Trump had barred him from Mar-a-Lago." Marsh didn't address the issue of why Trump allowed Epstein into Mar-a-Lago in the first place.

Scott Whitlock followed up the next day:

ABC finally broke its silence, finally mentioning Bill Clinton’s connection to registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a man now accused of new charges of sex trafficking. But the combined mentions on Monday night and Tuesday morning only amounted to 38 seconds. In comparison, the total amount of Epstein coverage since Sunday has been 21 minutes and 3 seconds. 

Whitlock failed to acknowledge Trump's links to Epstein, though he did reference the Acosta controversy.

Marsh got all huffy again in another deflection-filled post, complaining that "The View" co-host Joy Behar "tried desperately to connect the longtime Democrat donor to President Trump" though "Epstein was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and President Bill Clinton reportedly took over two dozen trips with the sexual predator on his private jet nicknamed the 'Lolita Express'."

Ryan Foley, meanwhile, simply engaged in stenography, touting how Fox News' Sean Hannity was "scorching the media’s attempt to make President Trump such an outsized force in coverage of the Jeffrey Epstein case," making sure to repeat the talking point that Trump "banned him from Mar-a-Lago years ago."

Emma Fantuzzo groused that MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell and guest Tim O’Brien made over-the-top claims and speculations into the relationship between recently indicted Jeffery Epstein and President Donald Trump," further complaining that a "17-year-old quote" from Trump calling Epstein a "terrific guy" and complementing his taste in younger women "was supposedly evidence that Epstein still stands in the President’s good graces, despite accounts that Trump banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago years ago for inappropriate behavior." She added, per the MRC's narrative: "Incredibly, the only mention of Bill Clinton was in his defense, citing the statement written by Clinton that he hadn’t known about Epstein’s crimes."

Alex Christy complained about "insistence on Wednesday's Deadline: White House comparing President Trump to alleged serial child sex abuser and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein," while Gabriel Hays gave a big "YAWN" to "lefty" John Lithgow "read[ing] an excerpt from his poetry on Trump’s relationship with now-resigned Department of Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta, a man Lithgow believes covered for sex trafficker, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein," sneering "Clearly Lithgow wants us to know he’s a Renaissance man … Please clap?"

Bill D'Agostino whined:

On Sunday, CNN’s Brian Stelter and Phil Mattingly warped the recent sentencing of child abuser and Democratic mega-donor Jeffrey Epstein into a story about (who else?) Donald Trump. Following the resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta — who had come under scrutiny for a shockingly favorable plea deal he had previously granted Epstein as a federal prosecutor — both Stelter and Mattingly brandished Acosta’s resignation as the latest example of instability and high turnover within the White House.


Given how heavily news networks like CNN have focused on Acosta and the Trump administration throughout this scandal, it’s worth asking how much of the media’s renewed interest in Epstein was driven by a desire to paint the saga as the latest black mark on the President’s record.

So in denial is the MRC over Trump and Epstein that when a video surfaced of the two together at a 1992 party, Gregory Price insisted there was no news value whatsoever:

If there is one thing that is sure to end the presidency of Donald Trump, it is a video of him at a party in 1992 surrounded by NFL cheerleaders and having a conversation with Jeffrey Epstein long before anyone knew he was guilty of sex trafficking. On Wednesday, NBC News went through its archives to find a segment from Faith Daniels’ NBC talk show that captured Trump at one of his Mar-a-Lago parties (something common in the ‘80s and ‘90s). 

MSNBC’s Morning Joe and NBC’s Today each dedicated at least 10 minute segments to an extraordinary achievement in investigative journalism: Trump was active in the wealthy New York/Florida party scene during his career as a real-estate mogul. This is neither new information, nor relevant to Epstein’s case because many millionaires were friends with him at the time.


If NBC was serious about actually doing hard-hitting journalism about the Epstein case, they would focus less on videos of parties from 1992 and more on President Bill Clinton’s sketchy relationship with Epstein. Not only did Clinton lie about the number of times he flew on Epstein’s private jet according to flight logs, but investigative journalists also found that Clinton was on his plane at the same time as underage girls.  

In another attempt to go after President Trump, NBC once again falls flat on its face.

But if the current president's link to a convicted pedophile is not newsworthy, why is a long-former president's link somehow totally newsworthy? Unsurprisingly, Price never explained the difference.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:29 PM EDT
CNS Pushes Idea That Biden Doesn't Really Want To Be President

Add Joe Biden to the list of Democratic politicians has covered in a bizarre or mocking way. Susan Jones writes in a July 5 article:

Former Vice President Joe Biden, now making a third run for his party's presidential nomination, seemed to raise the possibility that he may not make it this time, either.

In a Fourth of July speech in Iowa, Biden told the crowd, "If Donald Trump has eight years in the White House, he's going to forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. And we can't let that happen, period," Biden said to applause.

"Whether or not I'm your nominee, and I hope I will be your nominee, I'm going to work like the devil, whoever the nominee is if it's not me, to see to it that doesn't happen..."

This is under the meaningless teaser headline "Biden: 'Whether or Not I'm Your Nominee...'"

Of course, Jones is simply apply her own right-wing bias to Biden's words. Biden is simply saying that the goal of the Democrats is to oust President Trump in 2020, and he's realistic enough to note that while he may or may not be that person, keeping eyes on the prize is the important thing.

But in Jones' biased eyes, acknowledging reality gets twisted into a suggestion he's not really serious about running for president or is expecting to lose.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT

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