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Sunday, December 22, 2019
Again! CNS Recycles GOP Talking Points Just Days Apart
Topic: CNSNews.com

Remember that time CNSNews.com devoted two articles days apart to repeating the exact same Republican talking points from the vey same person? Well, they did it again.

In a Dec. 12 article under the headline "Sen. Lindsey Graham: ‘I Don’t Need Any Witnesses at All – I Am Ready to Go’," Melanie Arter wrote:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Thursday that he’s eager to get the Senate impeachment trial under way, and he doesn’t need any witnesses to do it.

“What I would imagine would happen, what I would like to see happen for this thing to get over as soon as possible. I don't want to give it any legitimacy, because it’s a crock. I trusted Mueller to look at all things trump and Russia. He did for two years and took no action,” Graham said in an interview with “America’s Newsroom.”

Then, on Dec. 16, under the headline Sen. Graham: 'I Don't Need Any Witnesses'," Susan Jones wrote:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says it's best for the country to make quick work of the Senate impeachment trial.

"I am -- clearly made up my mind. I'm not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations and the process. So I don't need any witnesses. The president can make a request to call witnesses. They can make a request or call Mike Pence and Pompeo and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.

"I am ready to vote on the underlying articles. I don't really need to hear a lot of witnesses."

So dedicated is CNS to pushing the Republicans' pro-Trump, anti-impeachment narrative that it devoted two articles four days apart to repeating the exact same talking point.

That's not how a news organization -- that's how a propaganda operation works.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EST
Saturday, December 21, 2019
What Transgender Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's freakouts about transgenders are so frequent they have their own tag at NewsBusters. How have they been freaking out about them lately? (Besides the MRC Latino transgender freakout and the endorsement of mean-spirited "South Park" mockery, that is.)

Gabriel Hays spewed hate at a video game that includes a playable transgender character: "And really, in a video game world filled with Star Wars and World War II shooters, who can’t appreciate verisimilitude in the thrill-a-minute world of the sexually confused? ... No, there’s no agenda here, just a special interest group with a rainbow axe to grind in whatever industry will let it in."

Lindsay Kornick complained that the show "Empire" "somehow managed to also squeeze in a transgender storyline to boot. I guess there’s always room for a little more liberal pandering." She further complained: "The only shocking part of this is how totally unoriginal this whole routine has become. We’ve already seen the story of the transgender character wanting to “live her truth” against haters, transphobes, and medical science. We’ve already heard all the constant assertions that this is “beautiful” and somehow natural despite only affecting a tiny percent of the population."

Clay Waters declared that a New York Times story about eroding transgender rights "is the latest overheated, un-journalistic genuflection to the aggressive side of the transgender movement, while conveniently conflating “gender identity” with post-surgery transgender people." Waters then pushed the right-wing talking point that transgenders don't deserve media coverage because there are so few of them: "If transgenders are less than 1% of the population (true), why does the Times cover them so obsessively?"

Gabriel Hays claimed one transgender woman -- or, in his mean-spirited interpratation, an "indignant biological male" who is "particularly obnoxious" -- had a "vendetta against biology"  because a gynecologist refused to examine her and "complained that, since she identifies as a woman, people have to treat her like one, even medical doctors who are intimately aware that this type of rationalization is insane," asserting that "vast majority" of gynecologists "probably didn’t sign on to play make-believe with the mentally ill.Hays declared that this person "is not to be trusted considering her penchant for playing the victim and passion for accusing incredulous bystanders of discrimination." But isn't playing the victim and accusing others of discrimination what conservative like to do as well?

Hays melted down in another post:

Disney and Marvel are marching lockstep with trans propaganda in its most nefarious form: its advocacy for transgender children. Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+ showcased the story of one little trans girl as "she" fights to live “as herself,” or rather, mask over the reality of her being born as a boy with pink tennis shoes, long hair, and giving speeches at pride marches.

[...]

“Mighty Rebekah,” as this Hero Project episode was titled, follows “a transgender girl from New Jersey who transitioned at the age of eight,” as she tells viewers about fighting for her trans rights while her mother beams with pride. Of course, Disney and Marvel showcase this as a celebration of mother and child fighting for simple childhood expression, but as we all know, for many a happy mother and her trans child, there’s probably a weeping father who lost custody and is begging for the opportunity to show his son that throwing a football isn’t as toxic as mommy says it is.

Elise Ehrhard groused that the writers for the reboot of the series "The L Word" "are trying to keep up with the woke crowd by hiring real female-to-male trans actors for supporting roles and portraying them in line with transgender public relations," then attacked one transgender actor in the show for being insufficiently grateful to her Chinese-refugee parents: "A mother secretly saved her baby girl from the cruelty of the Chinese government only to have that little girl one day reject her own femaleness because of radical trans ideology." What ideology is making Ehrhard say such ridiculous and hateful things?

Hays returned to highlight how "Harry Potter" series author J.K. Rowling "angered radical LGBTQ folks on social media for tweeting a defense of a person fired for believing that there are only two genders. adding: "Yes, the left has completely sold out to this lunacy and the fact that someone as previously woke as Rowling is getting heat for this speaks volumes."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EST
Erik Rush's Anti-LGBT Meltdown
Topic: WorldNetDaily

First off: There's no such thing as a transgendered person. We might as well rip that Band-Aid off right now. If someone self-identifies as a gender other than his or her biological one, there is something wrong with that person. Excepting the miniscule number of individuals who are born with some form of genetic abnormality or physiological deformity, those who claim to be transgender suffer from deep emotional and/or psychological dysfunction – period.

Second: Homosexuality, itself, is not normal. Nor is homosexuality a lifestyle choice such as most people understand lifestyle choices. Like transgenderism, homosexuality represents fundamental emotional and psychological dysfunction and should be treated as such.

[...]

Once upon a time, it was taken as a given that the homosexual – like the addict, the serial philanderer or the degenerate gambler – was a morally compromised person. It wasn't the sexual deviance so much that offended others; it was the fact that as morally compromised people, homosexuals could not be counted on to operate within the bounds of accepted morality.

We now live in an environment in which even many conservatives have surrendered to key elements of LGBTQ orthodoxy, starting with the notion that "there's nothing wrong with being gay."

Well, if one follows the line of reasoning offered here, there definitely is.

[...]

So, do I contend that those in the LGBTQ camp are evil people who should be disenfranchised or persecuted? No more than I think that the addict, the serial philanderer or the degenerate gambler should be disenfranchised or persecuted. These are people who suffer from deep emotional and psychological maladies, and who should be offered emotional and psychological aid in the event that they become willing to receive it.

As far as accepting, normalizing and mainstreaming such behavior goes, I'll close with this: Considered in light of the above, allowing the LGBTQ lobby to drive the civil rights narrative in this area – which is precisely what we've been doing for the last 40 years – is nothing short of patent insanity.

-- Erik Rush, Dec. 4 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:37 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 22, 2019 10:43 PM EST
Friday, December 20, 2019
MRC Can't Stop Complaining About Ex-Fox News Anchor For Not Being A Good Right-Winger
Topic: Media Research Center

Shepard Smith left Fox News a while ago, but the Media Research Center still can't stop ranting about him ruining the right-wing Fox News experience for them. Shep-hater extraordinaire Tim Graham huffed in a Nov. 22 post:

Liberal media outlets were thrilled at Shepard Smith's first public remarks since abruptly leaving Fox News last month. Smith hosted a dinner of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and proclaimed he was donating a half million dollars to the group. Michael Grynbaum at The New York Times reported he called "for a steadfast defense of independent journalism, while offering a few subtle barbs at President Trump’s treatment of the press."

Subtle? “Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” Smith said. “Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that.”

[...]

Smith did not mention Fox News in his remarks, and Fox News reporters were present (Fox helps fund the group). It's odd anyone would think it's odd to perceive journalists as "activists for some cause." CPJ surely despises Trump. We noted last year that CPJ slashed Trump in a blog post headlined "In response to Trump's fake news awards, CPJ announces Press Oppressors awards."

They wrote: “Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump's announcement via Twitter about his planned ‘fake news’ awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.”

This underlines why Smith would be so warmly honored, and donate some major cash.

Needless to say, Graham offers nothing but guilt by association to back up his claim of a link between the CPJ's earlier remarks and Smith's donation. He also makes no effort to rebut Smith's fairly standard defense of journalism -- perhaps because he's such a rabid right-wing partisan that he wouldn't know a genuine journalist if one shook his hand.

The next day, Jeffrey Lord -- another right-wing partisan unfamiliar with objective journalism -- whined further about Smith's speech:

Hmmm. What was missing at the CPJ dinner? And for that matter, what is missing on the CPJ web site? And what did Shepherd Smith not say?

What was missing is any sense of irony that all this business about protecting journalists never once mentions the attacks by left-wing groups that are designed to intimidate and silence conservative media. To remove them from the air.

In fact, take a look at that Times story again and this particular quote about Shep Smith: “But he became increasingly disillusioned in recent months about the gap between the network’s prime-time commentary and the reporting produced by its newsroom.”

Say what? Effectively —  without a hint of irony —  the story says that Shep Smith was so put off by the opinion journalists of Fox’s prime time schedule that he quit rather than share the same network with Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. 

So much for supporting a free press.

Lord, meanwhile, would shut down any and every media outlet who is insufficiently laudatory of President Trump and the conservative agenda, if he had his way.

Lord concluded by huffing: "What we have is yet another gathering of journalists, this time led by Shep Smith, selectively - very selectively - supporting a free press. In Shep’s case, he apparently couldn’t abide the thought of Tucker Carlson’s free press rights and so, according to the Times, he left. Shocking? Not." Nor is it shocking that Lord and Graham are bashing Smith for failing to be a right-winger like them.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EST
Why Didn't CNS Writer Tell Readers She Had Answered Lindsey Graham's Question The Day Before?
Topic: CNSNews.com

When you're dedicated to mindlessly and uncritically repeating pro-Trump Republican talking points like CNSNews.com is, you forget that sometimes you've already answered some of the questions you've been dutifully writing down, and you forget to tell your readers that.

Susan Jones wrote in a Dec. 11 article about Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham ranting that the Horowitz report exposed a "massive criminal conspiracy" (though not that the report also found that political bias didn't motivate the FBI into investigating Russian connections to the Donald Trump presidential campaign). She went on to write:

Graham also raised the issue of defensive briefings – in other words, the FBI warning people, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), that one of her employees had ties to a foreign government.

"From the time they opened up Crossfire Hurricane until this debacle was over, they never made any effort to brief Donald Trump about suspected problems within his campaign," Graham said. "Why didn't they tell Trump? We'll figure that out later. But I think it's a question that needs to be asked."

Jones didn't tell her readers that she answered Graham's question in an article just the day before. Under the helpful headline "IG Explains Why FBI Didn't Warn Trump Campaign About Suspected Russian Interference," Jones wrote:

Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he wants to know why Donald Trump wasn't told about the FBI's concerns that individuals associated with his campaign were coordinating, wittingly or unwittingly, with the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

[...]

The inspector general's report addresses the question of "defensive briefings," as they are called.

Former Counterintelligence Division Assistant Director E.W. "Bill" Priestap, the FBI official who approved the launch of Crossfire Hurricane, told the IG that "he considered whether the FBI should conduct defensive briefings for the Trump campaign but ultimately decided that providing such briefings created the risk that 'if someone on the campaign was engaged with the Russians, he/she would very likely change his/her tactics and/or otherwise seek to cover-up his/her activities, thereby preventing us from finding the truth.'

"On the other hand," Priestap said, "if no one on the Trump campaign was working with the Russians, an investigation could prove that. Because the possibility existed that someone on the Trump campaign could have taken the Russians up on their offer, I thought it wise to open an investigation to look into the situation."

[...]

The IG report notes that President Barack Obama did suggest that the FBI give Trump a defensive briefing:

"According to McCabe's notes of what he had been told by (FBI Director James) Comey, President Obama stated that the FBI should think about doing 'defensive briefs.' The notes do not provide any further details about what Obama said regarding defensive briefings, and McCabe told us he did not recall that any further details were provided to him. However, McCabe said he surmised from his notes that the briefings under discussion were to be given to the Trump campaign."

Jones could have told her readers this in her Dec. 11 article; after all, the information was fresh in her mind, given that she had provided a detailed explaination of it the day before. Instead, she chose not to because furthering a Republican narrative of raising suspicions about any investigation into Trump -- never mind that the facts are much less sinistser -- was more important than her journalistic duty to tell readers the truth.

Lazy stenography is the worst kind of journalism, and CNS is becoming an increasingly egregious offender.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EST
Thursday, December 19, 2019
The MRC's Drag Queen Freakouts
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's loathing of drag queens is so intense that even WorldNetDaily loves to rehash its lies about them. We've noted how the MRC got triggered over a drag queen in the audience at a congressional impeachment hearing, but that's far from the only freakout its writers have had lately.

On Nov. 12, Matt Philbin had a drag-queen meltdown:

Are you comfortable with mentally disturbed men hanging around the kids section of the local library? How do you stand on dudes with 5 o’clock shadow dressed in lingerie reading to five-year-olds? If you’re a Spokane, Washington resident, you better be okay with it, or you’re a “religious extremist,” and just may find yourself sold in effigy at a slave auction to benefit America’s largest abortion mill.

A group called “Spokane United Against Religious Extremism,” doesn’t take kindly to people speaking out against the new sacrosanct civic ritual known as Drag Queen Story Hour. In a drag bar fundraising event to benefit Planned Parenthood, “drag queen performers ... mocked pro-life activists and local Christian pastors by auctioning off cardboard cutouts of their faces, mimicking a slave-style auction,” according to CBN.

If you so filled with hate that think that drag queens can only be seen as "mentally disturbed men" and "dudes with 5 o’clock shadow dressed in lingerie,"and you think CBN is a reliable, objective source of news, then perhaps you expect a little mockery to come your way.

In their Nov. 30 column, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell sneered at the American Music Awards, where "Kesha brought along the rapper Big Freedia, a deep-voiced gay male who dresses like a drag queen and uses she/her pronouns."

In a Dec. 11 post, Julie Mitchell ranted at the mere idea of drag queens doing a Christmas song:

When Christmastime comes around, many people find themselves reminiscing on traditional songs, like “We Three Queens,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is Nudes.” Well, maybe not many people … probably just ridiculous wackos who want to pervert Christmas, all of its traditions, and tear it from its roots in Christianity -- like the left and the LGBTQ+ movement promoting woke, drag queen remakes of holiday classics!

In the spirit of woke Christmas, Billboard recommends tarted up versions of holiday classics -- featuring drag queens. Chris Malone writes, “Drag queens may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Christmas, but make no mistake: just because they own Halloween doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the best parts of the holiday season, too.”

Yes, drag queens are one of the best parts of the holiday season … if you really dislike the traditional holiday season.

[...]

Perhaps the most striking thing about these holiday remakes is that drag queens solely and selfishly promote themselves, the exact opposite of what Christmas is about: celebrating the birth of Jesus and being grateful for loved ones. Praising men who twerk in wigs and dresses is wildly contrary to Christmas and its traditions. 

So is ranting about people who don't celebrate Christmas the way you demand that they should, but Mitchell won't talk about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:35 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2019 5:36 PM EST
CNS' Anti-Gay, Pro-Catholic Message Fail
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor and nasty gay-basher Michael W. Chapman wrote in a Dec. 4 post:

Commenting on a video that shows how pro-LGBT propaganda is being taught on a popular YouTube-based series for kids,  U.S. Bishop Joseph Strickland, who oversees the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Texas, tweeted that this so-called education is "evil" and constitutes "CHILD ABUSE." 

"We must STOP THIS INSANITY!!" said the bishop.

The video is from an episode of "Sex Ed School" on the Shaftesbury Kids' YouTube channel, which is run by Shaftesbury in Toronto, Canada.

The right-wing Catholic message of Chapman's post, however, by CNS' decision to post the same day a column by its favorite right-wing Catholic, Bill Donohue, discounting actual child abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy:

Church-suing lawyers are celebrating the holidays with a boatload of new cases, all in the name of justice. In reality, more injustice than justice will be rendered. The steeple-chasers are jumping on the bandwagon effect of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that was issued last year.

A comprehensive news story by the Associated Press details how 15 states have enacted legislation to suspend the statute of limitations to allow the pursuit of old cases of sexual abuse. Why is this unjust? Here are seven good reasons, beginning with Pennsylvania.

[...]

Injustice #3 is the wave of lawsuits that are engulfing the Church across the nation; it is estimated that more than 5,000 new cases will be pursued, costing the Church more than $4 billion.

[...]

The suspension of the statute of limitations is injustice #4. This is a fundamental 5th Amendment right of due process, one that organizations that are as disparate as the Catholic League and the ACLU can agree on. How can a defendant have his rights protected in cases that extend back decades? Were there any witnesses in the first place? If there were, are they still alive? How accurate is their recall? Moreover, there is a really good chance that the accused priest is dead.

[...]

This is a scam. There will be lots of money exchanged—the lawyers will cream a third of the loot right off the top—but little in the way of justice will be achieved. By any measure, this is not a defensible outcome.

If more-Catholic-than-thou folks like Chapman and Donohue were actually interested in doing right by those victimized by Catholic priests, church officials ranting that a video is "child abuse" wouldn't look so ridiculous.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2019 12:38 AM EST
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
MRC's Double Standard On Politician Health Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kristine Marsh complained in a Nov. 27 post:

Tuesday night at a rally, President Trump blasted the media for spreading rumors about his health, specifically that he may have had a heart attack recently. CNN host Brian Stelter shot back at the President on Twitter, claiming he was “lying” and the media never did that. Perhaps Stelter should see a doctor for memory problems because he did this very thing just 3 days ago.

At a rally Trump railed against the media for suggesting he’d had a “massive, unbelievable heart attack.” Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter took to Twitter to deny this accusation before sneering at the President’s “strange lie:”

[...]

However the media DID run conspiracy theories about the President’s health recently, gossipping he may have had a heart attack, without any proof or reason to. Brian Stelter himself did two segments on this very topic!

[...]

Compared to in 2016 when Stelter warned the media, "Do Not Give Oxygen To "Conspiracy Theories" That Hillary Clinton Is "Secretly Ill," despite her strange medical episode being caught on tape. On CNN, Stelter blamed attention on Clinton's health as sexist.

Marsh is mildly misquoting what Trump said. He did not say the media "suggested" he had a heart attack; he said the media reported it -- not the same thing. And Marsh is totally lying that some in the media (not the entire media, as she claimed) had no "reason to" speculate about Trump's health after a surprise visit to Walter Reed Medical Center; given Trump's lengthy record of lying to the American people, there's no reason to take anything that comes out of his White House at face value, and speculation is a given.

Marsh also hides a double standard: The MRC justified -- and added to -- speculation about Hillary Clinton's health in 2016. The link she provided to prove that Stelter said speculation about her health was sexist went to a Curtis Houck post that also pushed the conspiracy theory that her having "admitted to not remembering a whole host of important details in her July 2 FBI interview about her e-mail scandal" was a legitimate reason to speculate about her health, and thar refusal to speculate was, according to Houck, "the latest and most despicable example of the media covering for a liberal."

As we also documented at the time, MRC blogger Jeffrey Lord declared that a long-ago book claiming that Hillary had trouble keeping up with her energetic husband, Bill Clinton, in the early days of his presidency was somehow evidence that she "would have even more stamina problems a full 23 years later" and, thus, justified speculation about her health.

So, yeah, the MRC is once again being hypocritical. So what else is new?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EST
WND's Kupelian Touts Bogus Letter Denying Climate Change
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Kupelian's article for the current issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine -- with the theme of the Green New Deal being "the Democratic Party's ultimate coup d'etat -- is a lot of ranting and getting things wrong about climate change.

He tries to discredit the idea of climate science by citing views about the climate from the 19th century, as if education and knowledge about the subject hasn't changed over the past 125 years. Then he touts non-experts as experts; at one point he devotes several paragraphs to how "Village News Publisher Julie Reeder explained" how "the earth, ironically, is getting greener every day." But Reeder has no apparent background in environmental science; she runs a small-town newspaper in California.

Kupelian then highlighted: 

Indeed, in late September, more than 500 scientists and professionals in climate and related fields signed a letter to the United Nations saying "There is no climate emergency."

"Climate science," their declaration reads, "should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation."

The scientists added: "There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and bats, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests."

Since there is no "climate emergency," they conclude, "there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050."

But that letter is meaningless. As actual experts point out, few of the signatories are professionals in biology, ecology, or environmental science, and the claims cited in it ranges from being cherry-picked to misleading to just plain wrong.

But telling the truth is not on Kupelian's agenda -- propping up a right-wing narrative is. And a key part of that is attacking the bogeyman that is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal she's championing with a big ol' WND-style conspiracy theory:

But wait.

What if the Green New Deal is not about remedying the supposed catastrophic effects of climate change? What if it's all just a ploy, a Trojan horse designed to bring about a full-scale socialist revolution in America?

It turns out, that's exactly what Ocasio-Cortez' own former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti – widely acknowledged as the brains behind the socialist New York congresswoman – revealed during a recent media interview: The real purpose of the Green New Deal is to turn America socialist.

In a story reported by the Washington Post, Chakrabarti stunningly admitted: "The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn't originally a climate thing at all. Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?" asked Chakrabarti. "Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing."

We are beholding one of the greatest hoaxes in world history.

Make no mistake. It may be tempting to dismiss Ocasio-Cortez, whose arrogance is exceeded only by her ignorance. But just beyond this colorful public character with the bright red lipstick is the entire elite globalist left, which for decades has been dreaming and scheming about implementing their precious socialist new world order.

And they think now is finally their time.

But first, they have to get rid of the great disrupter of their plans: President Donald J. Trump.

Spoken like a guy who's worked at WND for a couple decades.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: The Trump-MRC Narrative on Impeachment
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's idea of "media research" on President Trump's Ukraine scandal and impeachment investigation is to slavishly repeat pro-Trump talking points. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EST
CNS' Coverage Of 4 Impeachment Legal Experts Ignored 3 Of Them
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey spent his Dec. 11 column complaining that Democrats aren't interested in finding the whole truth about "what Trump was trying to do with the Ukraine":

If the House Democrats were intent on getting firsthand testimony of what Trump was trying to do with the Ukraine, they would pursue testimony from White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton and Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

But they are not.

Professor Jonathan Turley of The George Washington University Law School last week presented the House Judiciary Committee with a powerful argument against impeachment.

He does not support Trump but thinks what the House is doing is wrong.

"First, this is a case without a clear criminal act and would be the first such case in history if the House proceeds without further evidence," he said in written testimony.

"As I have stressed, it is possible to establish a case for impeachment based on a non-criminal allegation of abuse of power," Turley testified. "The problem is that this is an exceptionally narrow impeachment resting on the thinnest possible evidentiary record."

"In the current case, the record is facially insufficient," Turley said. "The problem is not simply that the record does not contain direct evidence of the president stating a quid pro quo, as Chairman Schiff suggested. The problem is that the House has not bothered to subpoena the key witnesses who would have such direct knowledge. This alone sets a dangerous precedent."

Strange that Jeffrey cites only Turley here -- or maybe not so much. In covering the Dec. 4 hearing in which legal experts testified about the issues involving impeachment, CNS complaetely ignored the testimony of the three experts chosen by Democrats. It did, hjwever, devote two articles to the arguments of Turley, the expert chosen by Republicans:

Not only did CNS ignore the testimony of the Democrats' chosen witnesses, CNS' Susan Jones tried to baselessly cast aspersions on their qualifications. In one article, Jones dismissed them as "three liberal witnesses, billed as constitutional and legal experts." By contrast, Turley was repeatedly and uncritically described with full credentials as a "George Washington University Law School professor" who, as Jones highlighted in another article, was "not a Trump supporter."

The only article CNS did about the hearing that featured a Democrat in the headline had nothing to do with the hearing's content at all or anything said at it by a Democrat or one of the Democrats' witnesses; the piece by Melanie Arter featured how "Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) took to the House floor Wednesday to complain that 'not one person of color' is represented among the constitutional scholars testifying at the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry hearing."

The fact that Jeffrey's column quoted only the one expert who supports his preconceived notions about impeachment of a Republican president is further proof he's falling down in his duty as a self-proclaimed journalist to report the truth.

With such biased, incomplete reporting, it appears that Jeffrey and CNS are the folks who, as Jeffrey's headline stated, "don't want to know the truth." And they falsely present themselves as journalistswho claim to be interested in the truth -- remember, CNS' mission statement claims that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story," and once again it couldn't be bothered to do so here.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 9:01 AM EST
Monday, December 16, 2019
Image Rehab: Newsmax Tries To Insert Dershowitz Into Impeachment Debate
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is so dedicated to the rehabilitation of Alan Dershowitz's image in the wake of his links to Jeffrey Epstein that it's trying to insert him as a forgotten legal expert -- not to mention an aggressively pro-Trump voice -- in the Trump impeachment debate.

Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy complained in a Dec. 5 column:

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony all day Wednesday from four legal scholars who were called to explain to the members what acts would be considered impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution.

Three were called by Democratic committee members and just one, Prof. Jonathan Turley, was called by Republicans.

But noticeably missing was arguably the most famous constitutional lawyer and acclaimed civil libertarian in the nation: Alan Dershowitz.

In 1967, he became the youngest full professor in the history of Harvard Law School and has made waves, big ones, ever since.

Like Dershowitz, all four testifying were politically liberal to far-left Democrats, who did not vote for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Why was Dershowitz not invited then?

The simple answer is House Democrats do not like his views.

Ruddy did not mention the fact that Dershowitz is a former lawyer for notorious teen sex trafficker Epstein, or that he has been accused of having sex with one of Epstein's trafficking victims.

Newsmax also published a Dec. 11 article by Solange Reyner stating that "Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., thinks President Donald Trump should add Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz to his impeachment defense team." Reyner also failed to mention Dershowitz's ties to Epstein.

In between, Dershowitz was given a platform to complain about being excluded due to his Epstein links in a Dec. 8 article by Eric Mack:

Accusations emanating from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal railroaded civil liberties legal expert Alan Dershowitz from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment.

"Just because there is an accusation out there, the decision was made not to use me,"  Dershowitz, who testified against former President Bill Clinton's impeachment before Congress, told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y. "Also, because the Republicans are only given one witness. If they had been given two witnesses, probably I would've been used along with Turley. Jonathan Turley did a good job."

Weirdly, Mack did not detail what exactly those "accusations emanating from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal" were that have kept him from being involved.

Newsmax has also been publishing columns by Dershowitz himself. In a Nov. 15 column, he groused that "the 92nd Street Y would not allow me to speak this year because I had been accused of having sex with a woman associated with Jeffrey Epstein, who I represented 13 years ago," accusing the facility of "McCarthyism" in doing so.

In his Dec. 4 column, Dershowitz again attacked his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, who has also accused Prince Andrew of sexual improprieties, complaining that a BBC interview of the prince "does not focus on the credibility of his accuser — a woman with a long history of making up provably false stories about prominent men." He even attacked her claim to have been underage while involved with Epstein, claiming that "her own employment records prove that she was well over 17, which is the age of consent in most jurisdictions where she said she had sex."

The next day, Dershowitz offered up his impeachment goods, in which he sounds more like a pro-Trump partisan than a legal scholar in bashing the legal experts House Democrats selected to testify:"The three Democratic experts would place congress over the constitution. They would effectively “amend” the words of the Constitution to make them mean what these experts believe would be “better” criteria for impeachment. But the Constitution cannot be amended through stretched academic interpretation. ... All presidents are accused by the opposing party of abusing the office, and many have. The remedy for such perceived abuse is not impeachment. It is election."

Newsmax has touted Dershowitz's pro-Trump, anti-impeachment arguments in other articles as well.

That, it seems, is the real reason Ruddy and Newsmax are working so hard to rehab Dershowitz.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2019 10:49 PM EST
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

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