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Monday, December 16, 2019
MRC Protects Barron Trump -- But Gave A Pass To Right-Wing Insults Of Children of Democratic Presidents
Topic: Media Research Center

When legal scholar and Trump impeachment hearing witness Pamela Karlan made a mild pun on the name of President Trump's son Barron -- that "while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron" -- the Media Research Center was apoplectic:

  • Curtis Houck dismissed Karlan as a "far-left Stanford University Professor," attacked her "clear example of incivility," claimed her apology was "half-hearted" and huffed: "Sure, some have made the case that this was a play on words, but it nonetheless invoked a minor who has nothing to do with this impeachment charade."
  • Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that Karlan was "lashing out" in her "attack" on Barron Trump and dismissed her "so-called 'apology.'" Fondacaro repeated his claim that she "lashed out" in another post.
  • Scott Whitlock declared that Karlan issued an "ugly" and "out-of-the-blue" shot at Barron, further complaining that "CBS completely skipped the nasty remark. ABC insinuated it was witty, calling the comment a “quip.” 
  • Kristine Marsh attacked Karlan's "smug, rage-filled performance" at the hearing, insisting that she was "making an ugly joke at Barron Trump's expense," further calling it "ugly" and a "cheap shot."
  • Clay Waters huffed that Karlan "bizarrely named Trump’s 13-year-old son Barron to make some unrelated point," touting how it "inflamed Republicans."

But when it came to much more nastier insults against the minor children of Democratic presidents, the MRC had much less to say.

When Rush Limbaugh used his 1990s TV show to liken Chelsea Clinton to the White House dog, the MRC apparently said little at the time (that we can find, anyway), but MRC NewsBusters blogger Noel Sheppard used posts in 2009 and 2011 to engage in some serious revisionism by claiming Limbaugh insulted Chelsea by accident. Which ignores one important point: Limbaugh's TV show, to out knowledge did not air live -- it was taped earlier in the day and syndicated to stations for broadcast, usually in a late-night slot. If it was an accident, Limbaugh could have simply redone the segment. He didn't do that. Which makes Sheppard's revisionism utterly disingenuous.

To cite a more recent example: In 2011, then-radio host (and current Fox News hot) Laura Ingraham attacked the looks of a daughter of President Obama by sneering that she "apparently is not living in a food desert." We found no reference to the remark in the archives of NewsBusters, let alone any criticism of the nasty personal remark.

And the MRC has the audacity to get bent so out of shape over a mild pun about Barron Trump's name that didn't attack him personally? How hypocritical.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
WND's Cashill Desperately Promotes George Zimmerman's Klayman-Fueled Lawsuit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Conspiracy-obsessed columnist Jack Cashill has been leading the charge at WorldNetDaily regarding a new film by similarly conspiracy-obsessed charlatan Joel Gilbert about the death of Trayvon Martin, in which he pushes yet another conspiracy theory. Interestingly, the latest escalation in this story has been banished from WND's "news" pages and confined to the opinion section.

Thus, the announcement that Zimmerman and his terrible lawyer, the equally conspiratorial Larry Klayman was filing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against various people based on Gilbert's film first surfaced at WND in Cashill's Dec. 4 column:

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Klayman filed suit on behalf of Zimmerman in the Circuit Court of Florida's 10th Judicial Circuit. Zimmerman is bringing this action against Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton, his father, Tracy Martin, the family attorney, Benjamin Crump, the real phone witness, Brittany Diamond Eugene, and the fraudulent stand-in, Rachel Jeantel.

Also named in the suit are the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the State of Florida, former state attorneys Bernie de la Rionda, John Guy and Angela Corey, and HarperCollins, the publisher of Crump's defamatory new book, "Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People."

The state attorneys and the FDLE are being sued for malicious prosecution and abuse of process. All the defendants save for HarperCollins are being sued for civil conspiracy. Crump and HarperCollins meanwhile are being sued for defamation.

Cashill declared at the end: "On Thursday, Dec. 5, at noon, Klayman, Gilbert and Zimmerman will hold a joint press conference at the Coral Gables Art Cinema with a showing of "The Trayvon Hoax" to follow. The media will have to work especially hard to ignore the power of this story as it unfolds." Actually, it's not that hard at all, given that the two people driving this story -- Gilbert and Klayman -- are unreliable conspiracy theorists.

Klayman devoted his own Dec. 6 WND column to a work titled "We are all George Zimmerman now." We all murdered a black teenager? We seemed to have missed when we did that.Klayman is self-serving as usual: "As I told the media this week, the filing of George’s complaint, based on newly discovered evidence of witness fraud that could have wrongfully convicted him, is not only to obtain justice for my client. It's for all those, including African Americans, who have fallen victim to a legal system rife with injustice."

Meanwhile, while the lawsuit did draw some media coverage, reality intervened when the theater pulled the plug on the screening once it realized who was renting it and the security risk he brought.

Cue another Cashill column complaining that "The left has responded to the suit in unabashedly Stalinist fashion: Shut down dissent and, if that doesn't work, slander the dissenters." He baselessly claimed that "the left" forced the cancellation of the screening and huffed of one talk show's description of the principals: "Gilbert was a 'nonsense conspiracy theorist,' Zimmerman 'a sick desperate man addicted to the spotlight,' and Klayman 'a raging lunatic.'" All of that is pretty much true, of course, but Cashill will never admit it -- after all, he helped Gilbert with his project.

Still, he insisted, "The Zimmerman case represents a dark turn in leftist history. Progressives now seem comfortable with declaring the conspicuously innocent 'guilty.'" Never mind the fact that a court of law found Zimmerman not guilty of murder.

Cashill won't talking about Gilbert's filmmaking charlatanism and Klayman's legal bullying, nor will he mention that Zimmerman himself is a troubled man. If Cashill can't explain why we shouldn't judge all of these people -- including himself -- by their track records, he will forever be stuck ranting at a rapidly dying website.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2019 1:07 AM EST
Sunday, December 15, 2019
MRC Still Won't Talk About Conservative Revenge Porn In Katie Hill Scandal
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center was so in favor of forcing out Democratic Rep. Katie Hill for ethical violations involving an affair with a member of her staff that it effectively approved the revenge-porn aspect of the scandal, in which conservative websites RedState and the Daily Mail published nude photos of Hill. It's now moved on to actively denying the revenge-porn angle.

Nicholas Fondacaro complained in a Nov. 25 item:

On Sunday’s no-so “Reliable Sources,” CNN host Brian Stelter helped to defend disgraced former Congresswoman Katie Hill by lying about why she had to resign from office at the end of last month.

“Well, former California Congresswoman Katie Hill is remaining very visible and she’s speaking out against what she calls right-wing media smears. Hill resigned at the end of October after admitting she had an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer before coming into office,” he claimed.

It was just another excuse for him to attack “right-wing media.” “The story came to light after a Conservative blog called RedState release intimate photos of Hill with an unnamed female campaign staffer and made other allegations against her. Then, The Daily Mail piled on with other photos as well,” he whined.

He intentionally omitted a key fact from his crash course summary of the events. One of the “other allegations made against her” was that she was sleeping with one of her congressional staffers, which was against House ethics rules.

Beyond his quoting of Stelter, Fondacaro refused to address the revenge-porn aspect further.

Scott Whitlock did much the same thing in a Dec. 9 post:

Good Morning America on Monday spun Katie Hill, a California Democrat who resigned in the wake of a bizarre sex scandal, as a victim of bullying. The story by reporter Linsey Davis never mentioned her political affiliation and tried to mislead viewers into believing Hill was smeared. 

Hill resigned after nude pictures of her appeared online, some with what appeared to feature a World War II Nazi-era tattoo. She admitted to an affair with a campaign staffer, but denied a relationship with a congressional staffer. Yet, Davis left out the first part, portaying Hill as the victim: “The one-time rising political star says she contemplated suicide after nude photos of her surfaced online along with allegations she had an improper relationship with a congressional staffer, which she denies.”

Whitlock didn't address how, exactly, those nude photos of Hill "appeared online" -- because they were published by conservative websites. Whitlock actively tried to hide that fact; his link on the words "World War II Nazi-era tattoo" (because that was even more scandalous than the nude photos for the selective prudes at the MRC) went to celebrity gossip site Uproxx -- which, in turn, cited the Daily Mail.

If the MRC refuses to discuss the conservative-fueled revenge porn aspect of the Hill scandal out of fear of violating organization standards against criticizing fellow conservatives and/or needing a way to own the libs, having an honest conservation about it is impossible.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com writer Susan Jones' lead article on November's unemployment numbers includes the usual pro-Trump rah-rah over jobs created and how "158,593,000 Americans were working in November, the 24th record of Trump's presidency," as well as devoting half of the article to rehashing employment numbers from 2018. It also includes this statement:

Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,404,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 63.2 percent.

The labor force participation rate has never been higher than 67.3 percent, a level achieved in the early months of 2000. The Trump-era high was set last month at 63.3 percent. Economists say retiring baby boomers account for some of the decline since the turn of the century.

As we've documented, when President Obama was in office, CNS obsessed over the relatively low labor force participation rate -- because it could use the number to misleadingly attack the economy under Obama as sluggish -- and rarely explained to readers that the rate was driven down in part because of retiring baby boomers.

CNS also served up the usual sidebars on Hispanic employment and manufacturing jobs. Craig Bannister also did what appears to be a new monthly feature of featuring the response by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating that the numbers offer "little solace to the farmers and hard-working families who are struggling to stay above water with the costs of living rising and uncertainty surging" even though, in Bannister's pro-Trump view, "the number of Americans employed set a new record high for the sixth straight month and the unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 PM EST
Saturday, December 14, 2019
MRC Latino Has A Transgender Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's obsession with transgenders -- its dismay that they appear in the media at all and its glee when they are mocked and denigrated -- has spilled over to MRC Latino, the operation that looks at Hispanic media.

An Oct. 28 post by Kathleen Krumhansl denounced Univision for the offense of doing a story on a medical clinic that caters to transgenders because there are too few transgenders to deserve news coverage:

In their scramble to help secure votes for the Democrats and fulfill their leftist policy vision, Univision News continues to expand its “Latino Agenda”. The network is now openly advocating for the political platforms of leftist Democratic presidential hopefuls, and pushing for issues and policies that are completely out of tune with the reality of the Latino population to which they cater. 

[...]

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 5% of LGBT respondents identify primarily as transgender; as the study states, “this is roughly consistent with other estimates of the proportion of the LGBT population that is transgender. Although there is limited data on the size of the transgender population, it is estimated that 0.3% of all American adults are transgender. This begs the question: of that 0.3% of the population, how many are Hispanics to whom this issue can be of any interest? 

[...]

From their excitement about the non-existent word “Latinx”, to this recent example of the network ́s liberal rhetoric, there is no doubt about the political motivations of the nation's leading Spanish-speaking news network, and they have nothing to do with the audience they represent.

We're sorry that Krumhansl thinks so little of transgenders that she thinks their existence in media must be eradicated.

MRC Latino director Jorge Bonilla had a similar freakout in a Dec. 2 post:

It is known that immigration advocacy is the cornerstone of Univision’s “Agenda Latina,” the first issue among many others for which the network advocates. Transgenderism is also one such issue, and the network is not above inserting its agenda into its coverage by any means necessary.

Watch below as Univision’s English-language broadcast, UNews, used National Adoption Month as a means with which to highlight a transgender teen:

[...]

As the report mentions, “Ariella” is still in foster care. Present tense, which means that “Ariella” is still a CHILD. How does this particular showcasing help “Ariella” overcome what appears to be a long, painful history of trauma?

Given the network’s extensive history with Planned Parenthood, both in partnerships and favorable coverage, it reasonable to infer that Univision doesn’t actually care about adoption. The very odd mention of National Adoption Month here is merely a fig leaf with which to justify its shameful exploitation of a vulnerable teen. 

None of that matters, and nothing else matters to Univision, a liberal PAC with a broadcast license, except its agenda- even if it means aiding and abetting the exploitation of an abused and vulnerable child. Indeed, a new cynical low.

Looks like Bonilla won't be opening up his judgmental heart to this child anytime soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 AM EST
WND's Massie Has Another Michelle Obama Meltdown
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie has always irrationally hated Michelle Obama, whom he has spread lies about and whom he disturbingly loved to call "Buttzilla." He manages to refrain from doing that in his Nov. 25 column, but he finds other ways to be insulting and condescending.

Massie began his column by huffing, "For a person who despises white people, it certainly bothers the Obama woman that according to her so few of them want to be around her." The insults just kept on coming:

  • "bitter harridan"
  • "obnoxious woman"
  • "the Obama woman" (which he largely uses instead of her first name, which he uses only once outside of the headline)
  • "frighteningly unattractive, envious and mean-spirited"
  • "disgustingly unflattering and ill-mannered"
  • "She is unlikable because she is vengeful and self-absorbed"

Envious? Mean-spirited? Unlikable? Vengeful? Self-absorbed? Are we sure Massie's not talking about himself?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EST
Friday, December 13, 2019
MRC Can't Deal With Impeachment Witness Demanding Fox News Apologize For Smearing Him
Topic: Media Research Center

We've highlighted how the Media Research Center couldn't deal with Fox News hosts and guests being criticized for falsely smearing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as conducting "espionage" for Ukraine because he testified in the Trump impeachment hearings. Now it can't deal with the fact that he's demanding Fox News apologize for the lie.

The MC's Kristine Marsh complained in a Nov. 22 post:

The Democrats’ star witness Tuesday for President Trump’s impeachment hearing has threatened legal action if Fox News does not retract an opinion segment that was critical of him from a few weeks ago.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman sent a letter through his lawyer to the news network demanding a "retraction or correction" for an October 28 segment on Laura Ingraham's show. His lawyers charged FNC was “liable for punitive damages” for “false and defamatory allegations it published about LTC Vindman, knowing they were false.” The letter also called out Donald Trump Jr. and FNC host Tucker Carlson for “inflammatory” statements.

The letter was focused on that Oct. 28 show where FNC host Laura Ingraham and guest John Yoo criticized Vindman.

Marsh failed to mention the fact that Ingraham and Yoo falsely accused Vindman of espionage. Also, while she repeated a Fox News statement that Yoo "has subsequently done interviews to clarify what he meant," she didn't link to any of them. (While Yoo did walk back his false attack, he apparently didn't do so on Fox News, and Ingraham apparently hasn't walked back asything.)

Marsh then played the conservative victim card: "But the media didn’t share this same perspective when President Trump threatened legal action against other cable news networks like CNN, which network called a 'desperate PR stunt' that doesn’t 'merit a response.'" Perhaps because it was a desperate PR stunt and was seen more as an attempt by a powerful government official to silence a critic.

Marsh concluded by ranting: "The media as a whole have used the 'freedom of the press' as a cover for their biased and frequently false reporting about the President." She offered no substantiation for her claim that reporting on Trump is "frequently false."

This wouldn't be the MRC if it wasn't being hypocritical about things, and sure enough, a few days later,  Randy Hall was cheering the type of lawsuit Vindman was threatening befause a conservative was filing it:

There are times when it seems that obviously liberal outlets in the “mainstream media” get away with producing “fake news” without facing any consequences for their poor reporting.

That situation may change after Thanksgiving, when California Republican Devin Nunes -- one of the press’s favorite targets during the “impeachment inquiry” held recently in the U.S. House of Representatives -- fights back in federal court against “demonstrably false” articles that have appeared on CNN and the Daily Beast website.

According to an article Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough, the items accused Nunes “of meeting with a former Ukraine prosecutor in a hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.”

[...]

He also stressed that “it is not OK to work with someone who has been indicted on serious federal crimes to build a media narrative and dirty up a member of Congress” with “demonstrably false and scandalous stories.”

By contrast, the MRC thinks it's perfectly fine to "dirty up" a member of the military when he won't support the MRC's political agenda.

Unfortunately for Nunes, news broke that phone records show he did, infact, spend time on the phone with Rudy Giuliani's indicted Ukranian buddy Lev Parnas -- something for which he has offered not-very-convincing explanations. The MRC has largely ignored that unflattering piece of evidence, aside from a Jeffrey Lord column ranting that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was engaging in "abuse of power" in releasing those phone records.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
CNS Is Sad Chick-fil-A Stopped Hating Gays As Much As CNS Does
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com used to love fast-food chain Chick-fil-A -- mainly because it hated gays as much as CNS does. It was just earlier this year that it gave Hans Bader column space to claim that the chain was facing a "First Amendment violation" because it was barred from opening a branch in an airport because of the company's support of groups like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army who in Bader's words "support and defend marriage as defined by the natural law and Christianity -- one man and one woman for life." And just a couple months ago that managing editor Michael W. Chapman was cheering how "continues to experience tremendous sales and growth despite opposition and boycotts from LGBT activists" over the company's financial support for groups that oppose "gay marraige" (scare quotes are his), adding that "Despite the protests from the homosexual left, Chick-fil-A is doing well.

But a month after Chapman touted Chick-fil-A's gay-hate, the company pulled back on its gay-hating, restructuring its charitable donation strategy to focus on specific causes such as hunger, homelessness and educationand no longer giving to other groups including FCA and the Salvation Army.

As you might imagine, CNS is very sad about this. A Nov. 20 article by Chapman misconstrued the policy to claim that Chick-fil-A made a "corporate decision to stop donating to groups that support marriage between one man and one woman and quoting right-winger Mike Huckabee accusing the chain of having "made a "very big, big mistake" in thinking it could appease the left and LGBTQ activists," going on to quote right-wing activist Tony Perkins ranting that the chain "helped legitimize the Left's labeling of these groups." Chapman also lazily copy-and-pasted Bader's description of FCA and the Salvation Army.

CNS also published a torrent of commentary attacking Chick-fil-A for the change in his funding strategy and justifying the gay-hate:

  • Daniel Davis declared that "many loyal Chick-fil-A supporters feel betrayed, and they’re letting Chick-fil-A know" and the change in strategy "tells [LGBT activists] they can win, if they just bully Christian organizations for long enough."
  • John Horvat II huffed that the change in donation strategy "shocked many conservatives" and that "With Chick-fil-A’s fateful decision, it became clear that even those who do not sympathize with the LGBTQ+ agenda are expected to bow to pressure and fear."
  • The Heritage Foundation's Kay Coles James insisted that "Christians do not hate gay people; our faith teaches us to love everyone" -- even as she criticized Chick-fil-A for "caving to the bullying of a minority of radical activists" and "bullies who will never be satisfied with compromise." (The Heritage Foundation knows a thing or two about not being satisfied with compromise.)
  • JP Duffy complained that the company "cut off future donations to the Salvation Army and sent a check to the Covenant House, a group that has hosted a local Drag Queen Story Hour and celebrates LGBTQ pride." He wants the company to go back to hating gays: "I would say follow the example of three of the most courageous biblical figures — Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s image and as a result were thrown into a fiery furnace where God protected them from any harm. Their reverence for God was so strong that it overwhelmed fear. By following their example, you will be better equipped with the courage to glorify God in all you do."

Chapman wasn't done grousing, though, writing in a Nov. 27 article: "The number three fast-food chain in the United States, Chick-fil-A, which prides itself on being founded on biblical principles, donated $2,500 to the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC maintains a "hate map" on its website and its listing of the Family Research Council (FRC) as an"anti-LGBT" hate group was cited by domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins in his FBI interview after he shot-up the FRC in August 2012." Actually, it turns out that the donation was made by a volunteer for the company's charitable foundation, not by the foundation itself; Chapman has not corrected his article.

Chapman was still sad that Chick-fil-A stopped hating gays as much as he does, lamenting that "Chick-fil-A has made donations to the pro-abortion group The Pace Center for Girls; the pro-LGBTQ YWCA; the pro-LGBT child welfare service Chris 180; and the left-wing New Leaders Council."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EST
Thursday, December 12, 2019
MRC Tries To Prop Up GOP's Ukraine Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Just like its "news" division CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center proper has been pushing pro-Trump talking points on the Ukraine scandal and impeachment hearings. So dedicated to those talking points is the MRC, in fact, that it's even pushing the conspiracy theory pushed by Trump and other Republicans that Ukraine meddled as much, if not more, in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as Russia did.

Nicholas Fondacaro lectured in a Nov. 21 item:

But it wasn’t an “unfounded” “conspiracy theory” as they would like you to believe. According to then-Politico  reporters David Stern and Ken Vogel, “Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.” 

[...]

Their reporting also found that Ukraine’s influence did have consequences. “The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race,” they wrote, “helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.”

But as we've pointed out, Ukranian officials' anti-Trump efforts were mostly limited to going after his campaign manager, Paul Manafort -- who later went to prison for bank and tax fraud regarding the millions of dollars he was paid for his work in Ukraine -- and an op-ed. There was none of the systematic disruption approved by the central government that Russia engaged in, and it's a lie to suggest otherwise.

Alex Christy huffed in a Nov. 25 post that "just because CrowdStrike is a conspiracy theory and that Russia did interfere, does not also mean Ukraine didn't," adding: "Second, it is simply not true that Republicans deny Russian interference in 2016 as all the congressional reports on the topic that came out in the aftermath of 2016 would have had to come out of Republican-controlled committees." But Republicans are falsely conflating what Ukraine did -- which was mostly limited to blogs and op-eds -- with the systematic meddling conducted by Russia.

(The admission that CrowdStrike is a conspiracy theory is a slight change of MRC policy; it has previously largely pretended that Trump wasn't pushing a conspiracy theory by referencing the idea CrowdStrike was stashing a hacked DNC server in Ukraine.)

And when Republican Rep. John Kennedy pushed the conspiracy theory on "Meet the Press," the MRC rushed to prop his claims up.

Curtis Houck followed up with a Dec. 2 post complaining that "CNN sided with Todd that Kennedy’s a puppet for Vladimir Putin pushing “conspiracy theories” (which are true) about Ukraine and the 2016 election."

Houck also complained that "Borger invoked the tiresome piece of fake news about '17 intelligence agencies' having the same conclusion about Russia and 2016, which was ironic since she had just bemoaned that we’re debating 'when is a fact a fact.'" He linked back to a 2018 MRC post on how "the liberal media screwed on Trump-Russia in 2017" to claim that "only three agencies (FBI, CIA and NSA) had reviewed the intelligence, which was then issued by a fourth, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence." But as an actual fact-checker pointed out, the Office of the DNI speaks on behalf of those 17 intelligence agencies, and none of those agencies has expressed disagreement with the conclusion.

Tim Graham huffed that "Sen. Kennedy acknowledged Russians were meddling, but just added Ukrainians were meddling, too. Todd repeatedly insisted that Kennedy was like a Russian agent for adding these inconvenient truths to the narrative." Graham refused to admit the inconvenient fact that nothing Ukraine did was on the scale of Russian meddling.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2019 7:40 PM EST
CNS Is Still Publishing -- And Promoting -- Increasingly Extremist Michelle Malkin
Topic: CNSNews.com

In August, we noted that CNSNews.com published Michelle Malkin's dishonest defense of the white nationalist group VDARE, while its sister site NewsBusters did not. Interestingly, NewsBusters skipped a few other Malkin columns after that before stopping completely; the last one at NewsBusters appeared on Oct. 30.

Meanwhile, CNS is sticking with the increasingly extremist Malkin -- well, mostly. It declined to publish her Nov. 27 column in which she went full anti-vaxxer by ranting about "government-coerced immunization" regarding mandates for children to get immunized against human papillomavirus, dismissing it as "usually harmless" despite the fact that it's a leading cause of cervical cancer and obsessing over isolated cases of adverse side effects to falsely smear it as unsafe.

CNS apparently embraces Malkin's increasing vicious anti-immigrant rhetoric, such as her Dec. 5 column huffing that the U.S. is being "fundamentally and permanently transformed into United Nations refugee camps full of welfare dependents and tax burdens."

Shockingly,  CNS remains so infatuated with the extremist Malkin that it touted an award she received. A Dec. 6 article by Craig Millward gushed:

Upon receiving an “Impact Award” from United in Purpose on Wednesday, Dec. 4, syndicated columnist and best selling author Michelle Malkin said, “I am an extremist when it comes to telling the truth.”

Malkin was one of 10 conservative leaders to receive an “Impact Award” in a ceremony held at Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

[...]

“Because we all share a common zeal, an extreme zeal -- I embrace that word – yes, I am an extremist when it comes to telling the truth,” said Malkin. “And I know that each of the honorees here has been able to effectively use their powers of communication to do good and make an impact.”

Millward didn't mention that Malkin is also an extremist when it comes to white nationalism and anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories.

CNS should explain why it's continuing to align itself with such an extremist, even though its sister publication has stopped doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
AIM Obsesses Over Alleged Bias At Obscure Media Outlet
Topic: Accuracy in Media

For some reason, Accuracy in Media has been targeting NowThis News, an obscure media outlet, doing several posts on its alleged bias over the past couple months alone. And, as ever, it has trouble with the whole media-watchdogging thing.

In a Nov. 21 post, Spencer Irvine -- grandson of AIM founder Reed Irvine and son of current AIM publisher Don Irvine -- asserted that calling abortions "safe and legal," which NowThis did in an article, "can be interpreted as a partisan stance," never mind that it can also be interpreted as an objectively true statement. He then lectured: "News media should not endorse, implicitly or explicitly, political views, stances, or opinions. NowThis News took a blatant political stance and yet portrayed itself as a neutral and trustworthy news source." Never mind that NowThis hasn't exactly hidden the fact that it's a progressive-leaning outlet.

We don't recall AIM complaining that any conservative media outlet "took a blatant political stance" on an issue, or that Fox News  falsely "portrayed itself as a neutral and trustworthy news source" with its "fair and balanced" slogan.

Irvine attacked NowThis again in a Dec. 2 post attacking the outlet for calling out President Trump's falsehood that 14 million jobs have been created during his presidency. Irvine not only tried to spin the numbers but also the fact that Trump lies a lot:

It is common knowledge that Trump tends to embellish the facts in public speeches, but NowThis News criticized Trump for the embellishment. It also included a tweet from a Vox journalist who called Trump’s remarks “absurd,” despite that Vox Media is far from a neutral source of news and analysis. 

NowThis compared Trump’s job creation numbers to Obama’s and claimed that the Trump-led economy “created fewer than 6 million jobs since Trump has taken office.” The article claimed that this was “less than what Obama created when he was in office,” and cited a Forbes article to support that claim. However, the link that NowThis News used was a broken link and the information in the Forbes article cannot be verified.

Upon further investigation, a different Forbes article pointed out that Obama created one million more jobs than Trump has at this point in the presidency, which is a significant difference. However, both Forbes and NowThis News did not take into account consumer confidence and how the U.S. economy got back on track after Trump’s election.

Irvine complained once more in a Dec. 5 post about an allegedly biased NowThis article on the impeachment hearings: "The lack of ideological balance, in addition to the partisanship and favoritism toward Democratic lawmakers and their witnesses in this recap article, illustrated NowThis News’s political bias and how it should tell its readers that it is a partisan news source, not an unbiased one." Again, Irvine did not hold conservative media outlets similarly accountable for their lack of balance.

Carrie Sheffield did the NowThis-bashing -- and Trump-defending -- honors in a Dec. 11 post:

NowThis News’ impeachment coverage omitted key facts about diplomats’ testimony on Capitol Hill, leaving false anti-Trump impressions for its readers.

“Trump and many in the GOP have called the inquiry a ‘sham’ despite the testimony of multiple career diplomats that Trump offered a quid pro quo to the president of Ukraine to investigate unfounded claims against Biden,” wrote NowThis’ Christina Cocca.

Cocca failed to mention that House Democrats based their calls for impeachment on assumptions, presumptions, and speculation from witnesses who had no interaction with the President. None of the diplomatic witnesses during the impeachment hearings had any firsthand knowledge or evidence of wrongdoing by the President.

Most of their witnesses never spoke with Trump or weren’t even involved in the events at hand. Only two people actually asked the president about this – Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Sen. Ron Johnson, and the President told both of them he was not seeking any quid pro quo.

If only AIM cared this much about the accuracy of conservative media.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EST
MRC Won't Admit NY Times-Basher Is A Biased Conservative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Aiden Jackson devoted an entire Dec. 2 post to how "former New York Times contributor and current New York Post reporter, Michael Goodwin" went on Fox News to talke about a Fox News-published op-ed complaining that the Times "has cemented itself as the CNN of the newspaper world with a leftist trajectory and near total loss of journalistic integrity" and that "the old-guard reporting standards at The New York Times are almost non-existent in the era of President Trump." Jackson went on to tout how "Goodwin then used a sledgehammer on the Timesto label them as a completely leftist publication through and through."

What Jackson doesn't tell you: Goodwin is a right-winger through and through. He did allude to it, stating that "As a disclaimer, it should be noted that Goodwin has served as a reporter with the Post for many years and currently writes opinion pieces for Fox News." But at no point does Jackson place an ideological label on Goodwin; instead, he played up Goodwin being a former Times employee to suggest that his Times-bashing is not partisan, despite the fact that he hasn't worked for the Times for a good couple decades and has been linked with right-wing outlets like Fox News and the Post since then.

Funny how the MRC has conniptions about how conservatives are labeled but won't use proper labeling when it doesn't serve its interests and narrative to do so.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EST
WND Columnists Bash Buttigieg For Being Gay
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Tomczak spent his Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily column attacking Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for being gay. He complained that "multitudes in the media are giddy about his ascendancy but are downplaying the issue of his homosexuality and gay "husband" for political reasons," while "millions are being desensitized to acceptance of homosexuality through multiplying gay characters in entertainment, pervasive gay pride events and children propagandized in schools." Never mind that Tomczak's gay-hating rants are also a form of propaganda.

Tomczak also attacked Buttigieg's Christian faith: "Whether it's Mr. Buttigieg or simply people we know, a person claiming to be an authentic Christian and a practicing homosexual is, according to Scripture, a counterfeit convert." He then listed "10 biblical reasons true Christians are not practicing homosexuals," in which two of the reasons involve it beinga "contradiction of biblical teaching," another declaring that homosexuality "cannot be justified" and the final one insisting that "Homosexual behavior can definitely be changed in anyone humbling themselves and repenting, as evidenced by multitudes throughout the world who testify to their freedom in Jesus Christ."

Actually, trying to pray the gay away generally doesn't work.

Nevertheless, he further tries to convert Buttigieg: "Here's the deal: Whether a high-profile figure like Pete Buttigieg or an ordinary person, God offers hope, forgiveness and freedom to everyone who repents and believes the transformative and liberating message of the gospel."

Fellow WND columnist Michael Brown similarly attacked Buttigieg for being gay and Christian:

It would be one thing if Mayor Pete Buttigieg was a non-religious man, taking swipes at the Bible as an out and proud, secular, gay man. It's another thing when he claims to be a follower of Jesus. The hypocrisy, let alone the butchering of the Bible, is all the more glaring.

Brown admitted Buttigieg has a point when he criticizes evangelicals who treat Trump has a savior figure, -- something Brown himself is guilty of -- then ranted: "Yet Buttigieg has absolutely no right to respond to a question about perceived Christian hypocrisy when he is a living example of Christian hypocrisy. He professes to be a committed Christian, yet he practices what the Torah calls 'detestable' and the New Testament calls 'contrary to nature.' Worse still, he celebrates this publicly. And how can he possibly discuss 'the question of what ethical content at all Christianity even has,' when he overthrows Christian ethics based on his sexual desires and romantic attractions?"

Brown then attacked Buttigieg for claiming to be a good Christian despite committing the "fundamental error" of being gay:

As for Jesus, when He came into the world, He was quick to forgive all manner of sins, including adultery. And He died to pay for our sins. But He warned that unrepentant adultery would be punished by the fires of hell, something far worse than the death penalty.

May the mayor of South Bend experience a personal awakening. And may he learn to bow to the morality and wisdom of the Word rather than twisting it to fit his own experience.

Funny how both Tomczak and Brown demand that Buttigieg bow to their religious will rather than letting him be a Christian in the way he believes is best.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:37 AM EST
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
MRC's Most Dishonest 'Study' Yet
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is known for its highly biased "studies" of media coverage. It may have outdone itself with its latest one. Bill D'Agostino huffed in a Nov. 25 post:

Broadcast networks NBC, CBS, and ABC have donated 75 hours of free air time to Democrats’ impeachment hearings, despite notably poor (and consistently shrinking) ratings. Yet during President Clinton’s impeachment, these same networks could not be bothered to carry more than a few hours of independent counsel Ken Starr’s one-day presentation of the evidence against Clinton on November 19, 1998.

NBC’s live coverage during the hearings amounted to a whopping 92 percent (1,653 minutes, or 27.5 hours) of the total 30 hours of testimony. CBS ran special coverage for 84 percent of the hearings (1,517 minutes, or 25 hours), while ABC broadcast 75 percent (1,358 minutes, or 22.5 hours). These numbers reflect the coverage on network-affiliated stations in the Washington, D.C. area.

By contrast back in November of 1998, NBC aired a paltry 26 percent (194 minutes) of Starr’s 12.5 hours of testimony on Capitol Hill. CBS covered 42 percent of the hearing (314 minutes), while ABC broadcast 36 percent (272 minutes).

Over the past two weeks, broadcast networks bumped hours of regularly scheduled programming for hearings featuring 12 hitherto unheard of witnesses, many of whom had never even spoken to President Trump. Yet these networks were reluctant to cover Starr’s testimony back in 1998, even though that hearing relied on a single well-known witness with intimate knowledge of all the evidence being presented.

That's right -- the MRC is dishonestly comparing several days of Trump impeachment hearing coverage to a single day of testimony by the chief anti-Clinton antagonist.

Note that D'Agostino also invoked the MRC narrative of dismissing the hearings because of their allegedly low ratings; he reinforced the narrative by claiming that "the hearings these past two weeks have had consistently poor viewership, and the number of Americans tuning each day has been shrinking." In fact, the hearings attracted millions of viewers when counting all outlets that aired them, and NBC -- whose coverage D'Agostino attacked for drawing "even fewer eyes ... than an average Days of Our Lives episode" -- actually drew more viewers than Fox News in the coveted demographic of viewers age 25 to 54. Nevertheless, he insisted: "It would appear President Trump's election has rendered broadcast networks incapable of understanding what interests their own audiences.

D'Agostino also unironically complained about the Clinton hearings being described as having low ratings, to the point that individual affiliates broke away for their own local programming.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 9:32 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS On Impeachment: Cleanup Mode
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is so pro-Trump that it not only tried to spin away the worst aspects of President Trump's Ukraine entanglement, it tried to retcon the most incriminating statements about it made by the president and his surrogates. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 AM EST

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