ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Thursday, November 19, 2020
Fake News: CNS Illustrates Article With Fraudulent Image
Topic: CNSNews.com

Lucy Collins kept up the CNSNews.com intern tradition of pestering politicians with gotcha questions in a Nov. 12 article -- in this case, Nancy Pelosi:

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked the speaker, “In 2000, Democrat Al Gore was allowed to press his legal challenge against George W. Bush for 37 days, do you think the same type of patience should be afforded to President Trump in his legal challenges?”

Pelosi said, “In 2000, the delayed ascertainment caused many difficulties, the Bush Administration was outspoken about what was happening in the country. And, as [Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)] said, this is a completely different situation, we are talking about one state.”

Gore had challenged to [sic] vote count in Florida and the case was eventually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

That's an overly simplistic distillation of what happened in 2000, but that's not the issue here. The issue is what appears after that statement: an image of a Washington Times front page proclaiming, "PRESIDENT GORE," described as a screenshot from YouTube. Here's a screenshot of the fake image as it appears in the article:

Just one problem: That image is a fake, and it's unclear where the image originated. As the newspaper itself tweeted, "Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a 'President Gore' headline."

It's been nearly a week, and CNS has let that image stand uncorrected and without context. That's not how "news" organizations -- which CNS claims to be -- establish credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2020 1:43 PM EST
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
MRC Promotes Parler, Censors Financial Backer's Tie To The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted the Media Research Center's recent enthusiasm (as well as its "news" division, CNSNews.com) for right-wing Twitter alternative Parler, even as it descends into a conspiracy hub. Turns out there's a reason for that -- one it has yet to tell its readers.

It was revealed this week that conservative financier Rebekah Mercer is a key investor in Parler -- so much so that she's considered a co-founder. If that name sounds familiar, it should: As we documented, not only is Mercer's family donated millions of dollars to the MRC over the years, making it one of its largest benefactors, Rebekah Mercer sits on the MRC's board of directors.

But the MRC has never revealed that conflict of interest to its readers, even as its promotion of Parler has ramped up around election time:

  • On Nov. 2, Joseph Vaquez gushed over how Parler CEO John Matze "warned Americans on CNBC about Big Tech’s Orwellian censorship against President Donald Trump that will continue right into election night.
  • Vazquez fawned over Matze and Parler again in a Nov. 11 post: "A conservative exodus to Parler from liberal Big Tech platforms has taken place since the chaotic election. The rising social media platform had skyrocketed to become the top app on the App Store."
  • The same day, Kayla Sargent cheered how Parler "hasn’t yet bowed to pressure from the left," adding, "With the rampant censorship on Facebook and Twitter, many conservatives have turned to the Parler platform."
  • On Nov 13, P.J. Gladnick mockingly wrote of "Parler's great sin of acting as a platform, and not a publisher, which engages in neither censorship nor placing warning or advisory labels on posts.
  • In complaining in a Nov. 17 post about a CNN reporter that platforms like Parler spread misinformation and hate, Alexander Hall even admitted that "Rebekah Mercer, daughter of conservative mega donor Robert Mercer, is among the company’s financial investors" -- but censored the fact that Mercer is also on the MRC's board.
  • On Nov. 18, Heather Moon argued that "Parler is not as dangerous as experts .... make it out to be, but she too censored the Mercer connection.

This lack of disclosure further affects what little credibility the MRC has.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 PM EST
AIM Morphs Into Project Veritas With Hidden-Camera Stunt
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's president, Adam Guillette, came to the organization from the discredited Project Veritas. So perhaps it was inevitable that he would bring some of his former employer's stunts to AIM.

Before the election, it went after Democratic Iowa Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield. In the video, Guilllette ranted about how Black Lives Matter is a "radical, violent organization," then touted how AIM secretly taped Greenfield's husband stating that his wife supports BLM, as well as Greenfield herself. Guillette did not explain how his secret taping was legal, or why he was so desperate to pull this stunt that he had to go to Iowa to do it.

Guillette proclaimed himself to be "morally outraged when politicians say one thing to one group of people and another thing to another group of people," though we doubt he will ever do this same thing to a Republican politician despitethe fact that many of them are also two-faced. Guillette then promised more of this shady behavior: "Accuracy in Media hidden-camera investigators exposing lying, two-faced politicians. Accuracy in Media will also be exposing exposing lying, two-faced journalists."

So can we also expect AIM to self-destruct with bogus attacks the way Project Veritas has this election season?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EST
WND Unsuprisingly Drags Soros Into Its Election Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It wouldn't be a full conspiracy for WorldNetDaily over election results if it couldn't drag George Soros into it. Doing the honors here is "Frank Wright, Ph.D." of D. James Kennedy Ministries, and he brought in another old friend:

Richard Poe, co-author with David Horowitz of "The Shadow Party," a probing look at George Soros' far-reaching influence, says the left-wing billionaire is staging a revolution.

"George Soros is trying to steal the election," Poe told D. James Kennedy Ministries, which produced the new, nationally aired documentary, "Radical Billionaire: George Soros and the Scheme to Remake America." Poe claims Soros "has a whole crack team of experts, the top experts in the world. … And they are absolutely trying to steal this election."

There's no question that Soros is determined to remove President Donald Trump. He assured elites at Davos in 2018 that Trump is a "purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner." $70 million, at last report, into Democratic coffers to help evict Trump from the White House.

And Soros is no amateur at regime change. He has an established record of driving leaders from power. Horowitz and Poe assert that "Soros' Open Society Foundations have facilitated coups and rebellions in many countries, always ostensibly in the interests of 'democratization.'

[...]

The risk is very real, Richard Poe told D. James Kennedy Ministries:

"They think this is their moment. George Soros and his colleagues who have broken many countries around the world … are now instituting a revolution here in the United States. And they believe that it can work this time. This is their big moment to overthrow our lawful government, to destroy our culture, to destroy our customs, to destroy our Constitution, to destroy our people, to destroy everything that is important in our lives."

So what to do? Pray diligently for God's mercy. And stand with elected leaders and police who face Soros-inspired efforts to "mobilize civil society" to oust President Trump.

You might remember Poe as a purveyor of conspiracy theories about not just Soros but Hillary Clinton, perpetuating discredited claims (in a WND-published book) that the Clintons had their political opponents murdered. We had no idea he was still around, let alone still pushing those hoary old conspiracies.

Perhaps instead of praying diligently for God's mercy, Wright should be praying for more competent and less discredited henchmen to help him push his conspiracy theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EST
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
MRC Pretends Pro-Trump 'Herd Immunity' On Coronavirus Is Scientifically Sound
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just hates when the media invoke actual science to criticize President Trump's actions on coronavirus. Mark Finkelstein got all huffy in an Oct. 14 post:

CNN seems happiest when it can accuse the president of not merely being reckless with the coronavirus response, but being guilty of "mass murder."

The president has tweeted in favor of more reopening of states. Yahoo News reported White House aides cited something called the Great Barrington Declaration, which states "The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity." Yahoo cautioned that "It is unclear how far Trump and his administration will go to push states to adopt a herd immunity approach to the virus."

But on Wednesday morning's New Day, they brought on former Harvard professor Dr. William Haseltine to drop rhetorical bombs. What provoked the prof was the possibility the prez might be adopting some form of "herd immunity" approach to the pandemic. It's something that the president's science adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, has been suggesting.

According to Haseltine, adopting the herd immunity approach would cost nothing short of two to six million American deaths . . . every year!

Of course, that ignores the realistic prospect that by June or so, an effective vaccine will be widely available. It also flies in the face of the New York Times report that "Experts are saying, with genuine confidence, that the pandemic in the United States will be over far sooner than they expected, possibly by the middle of next year. "

In that light, the prof's prediction of 2-6 million American deaths every year seems wildly pessimistic. But the left will never overlook an opportunity to cast President Trump in the worst possible light.

Note that Finkelstein doesn't actually try to defend the idea of herd immunity on coronavirus -- perhaps because the vast majority of virus experts don't think it's a good idea, given that it will require more people to die before a vaccine becomes widely available, as well as the fact that, since COVID-19 is such a new virus, nobody knows for sure what the herd immunity threshold is for it.

Finkelstein also didn't mention that the Great Barrington Declaration has numerous fake-name signatories, or that  one of the declaration's co-authors has since walked back his support for herd immunity.

Duncan Schroeder similarly whined in an Oct. 23 post:

On Wednesday afternoon’s CNN Newsroom, host Brianna Keilar collaborated with medical analyst and former Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen to attack one of the liberal media's most hated targets in White House adviser Scott Atlas and discredit herd immunity. Wen lied by claiming that herd immunity “goes against the consensus of entire medical, scientific and public health community” and Keilar proclaimed that “it’s not a public health strategy.”

[...]

Wen flat out lied about the “consensus” about herd immunity. Atlas himself is an esteemed scientist for one so his opinion certainly bares some weight. Furthermore, the strategy is supported by esteemed Harvard professor of medicine Martin Kulldorff as well as other medical experts from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford. Furthermore, the strategy was proven as effective in Sweden, as cases and deaths have dropped dramatically there. In fact, by September, Sweden averaged one COVD death per day.

The MRC has previously defended Atlas, and while he might be an "esteemed scientist,"his specialty is in neuroradiology, not epidemiology or other viral studies that would be relevant in combating coronavirus, and the university where he was based, Stanford, has distanced itself from his views, calling them "inconsistent with the university's approach in response to the pandemic."

Further, Schroeder appears to have spoken too soon about Sweden's alleged success with herd immunity, as new cases have exploded over the past month to the point that the country is aggressively restricting public gatherings to slow the spread.

Schroeder then took a gratuitous shot at Wen because of her former Planned Parenthood leadership -- something else the MRC is weirdly obsessed with, despite the fact she had the job for less than a year. When Wen said that "to hear the President say that he wouldn't do things differently when there are over 220,000 Americans who have died, I mean, that's shocking, it's unbelievable," he sneered in response: "A rather ironic statement coming from a former president of Planned Parenthood. Is she as concerned about the hundreds of thousands of babies that Planned Parenthood murders every year?

Schroeder implored us in his headline to "listen to the science." But it's clear he only "listens to the science" when it supports his pro-Trump bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Cashill's Cornucopia of Obama Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has a new book out in which he apparently rehashes every single Obama-related conspiracy theory, no matter how discredited. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
CNS Pushes Dubious Election Irregularities To Boost Trump Agenda
Topic: CNSNews.com

We noted how CNSNews.com's Craig Bannister referenced a discredited case in which it was alleged that ballots in Maricopa County, Ariz. (which Bannister wrongly claimed was in Florida) were rejected because votes were marked with a Sharpie pen. But CNS also devoted a full article to this nonsense.

Pro-Trump stenographer Melanie Arter devoted a Nov. 6 article to rehashing right-wing claims in the case:

A lawsuit in Arizona claims 80 percent of voters at a polling location in Maricopa County, Ariz., had their ballots rejected because of a Sharpie issue.

[...]

Election law attorney Christian Adams, who serves as president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation and once served as general counsel and former DOJ voting section attorney under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, is representing the plaintiffs in the case.

“This is a case to get somebody's right to vote vindicated. Mrs. Aguilera attempted to vote, and she watched this happen. She watched her ballot rejected because of the Sharpie. I know a lot of people want to try to debunk the Sharpie issue. These are sworn affidavits. People say there's no evidence of this, Maria. These are affidavits of an election official,” Adams told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo” on Friday.

Arter was so busy transcribing the Fox Business segment that she censored the fact there's  another side to this story. As an actual news outlet reported:

Rumors began to spread on social media Wednesday that voters in the battleground state of Arizona who used Sharpie pens on their ballots wouldn't have their votes counted. That confusion prompted state officials, election monitors and a top Trump administration official to push back on "#SharpieGate" rumors.

"Don't promote disinfo! Stop spreading #SharpieGate claims," tweeted Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs on Thursday morning, reminding people that election jurisdictions allow voters to mark ballots with a variety of writing instruments, including Sharpies.

Maricopa County officials said poll workers were trained to require voters to use Sharpies at voting sites because the ink doesn't smudge as ballots are counted. An informational video was posted in a Maricopa County Elections Department tweet that said, "New offset columns on the ballots means bleed through won't impact your vote!"

So, yes, Sharpies are actually encouraged for voting in Arizaona. But Arter isn't going to tell you this -- despite the fact that this debunking was published the day before her own article was published -- because she has a pro-Trump narrative to push. And neither Arter nor anyone else at CNS has bothered to update the story.

That's not the only election-related issue Arter misled about to Trump's benefit. A Nov. 5 article featured how "Election officials are forcing poll watchers to stand 30 feet away to observe ballot counting in Philadelphia, citing concerns about the coronavirus, Corey Lewandowski, senior advisor to the Trump campaign, told Fox Business on Wednesday." Arter was too busy quoting Lewandowski to make it clear that Democratic poll watchers were no closer.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EST
Monday, November 16, 2020
MRC Still Aggressively Ignoring Evidence Facebook Isn't Biased Against Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

The evidence that Facebook isn't really biased against conservatives keeps piling up:

  • The top-performing posts are consistently from right-wing sources, which bolster the contention that right-wingers engage with audiences on a more visceral level on Facebook than liberal operations. In fact, right-wing Facebook pages earned more total interactions, despite making up a minority of posts.
  • There is no statistical evidence showing anti-conservative bias at Facebook, though  the company won't release the data to definitively prove it.
  • Facebook reportedly manipulated its news feed algorithm to increase exposure for right-wing websites and reduce it for liberal operations in an apparent attempt to quash accusations of anti-conservative bias.
  • Facebook reportedly exempted Persident Trump's family and allies from its misinformation rules to avoid accusations of anti-conservative bias.

So the ref-working is working. Of course, the Media Research Center has not told its readers about any of this research -- after all, it has a victim narrative to maintain. And as these reports became public, the MRC continued falsely painting Facebook as the conservative-hating bad guy. We've already documented how the MRC cried "censorship" when Facebook enforced its rules against spreading misinformation on Trump's campaign and right-wing radio host Mark Levin, as well as the false claim that Facebook makes 90 percent of its political donations to Democrats (actually, those are the employees, who are free to give to whomever they want). But there's much more.

An Oct. 12 post by Alexander Hall and Alec Schemmel played the whataboutism card, complaining that "Facebook has repeatedly censored or banned groups on the right while allowing reportedly violent Antifa factions and left-wing militia organizations." This, of course, brought an "open letter" from their boss, Brent Bozell, to Congress huffing that "If Facebook bans pages and groups on their platform promoting conspiracy theories like QAnon, it ought to do the same with those perpetrating violence like Antifa."

On Oct. 23, Hall cheered the idea of the Federal Trade Commission "mulling over an all-out offensive against Facebook" filing an antitrust lawsuit,suggesting a conspiracy of some kind by asserting that "conservatives who wish to wrangle with Big Tech have reportedly faced opposition both from Democrats and fellow Republicans."

The same day, Kayla Sargent launched another attack on Facebook's newly created oversight board,  complaining that 'the board is primarily comprised of leftists" -- the MRC's evidence of which is that one board member is a Muslim and another made a pun on Barron Trump's name during a congressional hearing -- and spreading the lie that "the suppression of conservative speech on the platform may not change at all, and could even get worse."

An Oct. 26 post by Joseph Vazquez tried to manufacture a conspiracy:

If the liberal media’s relative silence towards Facebook and Google’s Orwellian behavior this electoral cycle seemed deafening, perhaps it's because many outlets have received big loads of cash from them.

[...]

The extent of both Big Tech companies’ influence over journalism in America doesn’t stop there. Facebook also “gains influence over the press (while also scoring public relations points) by financing fact-checking initiatives.” For example, in 2019, Facebook was the “largest source of revenue” for the left-wing Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, Washington Monthly said. In addition, Google also “finances fact-checking organizations (many of the same ones as Facebook), but is even vaguer than Facebook about the amount it gives and to whom.”

The same day, Hall complained that "Facebook is reserving the right to reduce the spread of controversial posts and rig users’ news feeds for what it considers to be the greater good,: but he offered no evidence that these rules would specifically target conservatives.

On Oct. 28, Schemmel highlighted how "CEO’s from Twitter and Facebook struggled to provide one example of a liberal being censored on their respective platforms during a Senate hearing about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act" while uncritically repeating the talking point that "Republican lawmakers have argued that social media companies disproportionately target conservative viewpoints while giving a free pass to liberal ones."

Sargent launched another attack on the oversight board on Nov. 4, stating that "The Facebook Oversight Board’s most radical member,Tawakkol Karman, who lives in Yemen, tweeted today praising the possibility of Trump’s defeat." That would be the Muslim member the MRc has previously lashed out at.

Hall went back to the whataboutism card on Nov. 6, grousing that "Facebook has shut down an activist group with pro-Trump ties concerned about voter fraud while still allowing reportedly violent Antifa groups to remain." He downplayed the threats of violence on the group's page that prompted Facebook to shut it down by letting page organizers deny it. The same day, Sargent got mad that Facebook was "censoring what they deem to be election misinformation," but she made no case for the unrestricted distibution of false information.

And Hall lashed out at Facebook for flagging an MRC video as misinformation:

Facebook’s fact-checkers have tried to discredit MRCTV’s reporting about the most critical election of our lifetime.

The NewsBusters Facebook account posted a video on Thursday by MRCTV Managing Editor Brittany Hughes. In the video, Hughes slammed the lack of transparency during the 2020 election process. The text of the post itself asked: “Why aren't Americans allowed to talk about serious, legitimate questions regarding the 2020 election? Because Big Tech doesn't want you to.” Facebook fact-checkers predictably flagged the post with a massive label: “Partly False Information,” and claimed: “The same information was checked in another post by independent fact-checkers.”

The label linked to a fact-check claiming: “Biden Did NOT Suddenly Go Up 138K Votes In Michigan, With No Change To Trump” by none other than the notoriously left-wing Lead Stories.

Hughes responded that the fact-check was irrelevant because MRCTV’s video agreed with the fact-check’s statement: “What looked like a suspicious, one-sided jump was actually just an input error.” 

Hall didn't mention that Marsh also falsely ranted that the election results "stinks worse than a Seattle fish market, and anyone with two eyes and a brain stem can see it."

Oh, and as we've documented, Lead Stories is not, in fact, "notoriously left-wing"; indeed, both he and Marsh appear to concede that Lead Stories' fact-check on the Michigan votes is correct. Hall also reprinted the part of Hughes' script in which she pushes the conspiracy bny claiming the vote numers "were quickly added to Biden’s vote tally and any question over their legitimacy was immediately censored on Twitter" before admitting "the whole thing was a 'typo.'" The fact that Hughes put "typo" in scare quotes in her script tells us she wasn't all that happy that the facts trumped her conspiracy theory -- and that Facebook was correct to flag her video.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 16, 2020 9:28 PM EST
Huh? Newsmax Columnist Wants Child-Sex-Trafficking Suspect Released On Bail
Topic: Newsmax

Yes, Jonna Spilbor spends an entire Oct. 27 Newsmax column demanding that Ghislaine Maxwell -- alleged co-conspirator with convicted child sex trafficking criminal Jeffrey Epstein -- be released on bail, complaining that she's being held under "unusually restrictive, if not punitive, conditions":

As a lawyer who has analyzed, written extensively about, and provided commentary on a national scale for many a high-profile case — including those with serious sex crime components (Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, the Duke Lacrosse case, Bill Cosby and most recently, and Harvey Weinstein) this harsher-than-most handling of Maxwell’s case immediately struck me as beyond odd.

In an era where we witness routinely a veritable parade of high-profile defendants marching into their arraignments with lawyers on their arms after breakfast, and marching out with GPS monitors on their ankles before lunch, why is Ms. Maxwell not being afforded the same constitutional deference as so many her other famous predecessors?

It's a more than fair question.

Her treatment in the legal arena thus far has been anything but equitable.

Perhaps the most glaring anomaly in this case, is the judge’s decision to lock Maxwell up, pre-trial, with no opportunity for pre-trial release, as if her guilt is a foregone conclusion.

A dangerous proposition for anyone who appreciates the presumption of innocence.

I know I do. You should too.

Spilbor handwaved the idea that Maxwell should be seen as a flight risk by declaring, "A person who’s on society’s outrage meter can’t go to a local diner without being detected. Besides, we have the technology to tether defendants inside any jurisdiction." Except that the vast majority of Americans couldn't pick Maxwell out of a lineup, and she would be unlikely to be out and about anyway.

Spilbor then tried to make the case that Maxwell could very well be innocent while also playing the blame-the-victim card by complaining that some accusers have allegedly "procured very visible opportunities" to tell their stories:

In a case where the central allegations are nearly three decades old and supported, if at all, by the untested credibility of the accusers themselves, denying Maxwell any meaningful pre-trial opportunity to push back against these accusations and the motivations behind them — which will necessarily include, like it or not, questioning the veracity of those who have provided evidence to be used against her — represents a complete deprivation of due process.

Add to that, the fact that numerous women — possibly including one or more of the anonymous accusers in the criminal case, although your guess is as good as Maxwell’s —have procured very visible opportunities with Netflix, and other media outlets, to publicly tell their stories, while prosecutors simultaneously implore the judge to keep the accusers’ identities under wraps, renders the decisions made from the bench thus far not merely detrimental, but absurd.

[...]

We must keep in mind an arrest marks the beginning, not the end in the judicial process.

Ghislaine Maxwell is not guilty. Not yet, anyway.

And have we considered, maybe not ever?

While defendants do indeed have rights in America, perhaps going to the mat for someone who -- regardless of what her guilt is ultimately ajudicated to be -- has had clear and close contacts with a convicted child sex trafficker is perhaps not the smart thing for Spilbor to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EST
WND's Cashill Still Rehashing Old Obama Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've noted, Jack Cashill rehashes old anti-Obama conspiracies in his new book, which in turn serves as fodder for his WorldNetDaily column. He has continued to milk the book for column ideas.

On Oct. 7, Cashill obssessed over Obama's 1981 trip to Pakistan. Despite offering no evidence whatsoever that Obama did anything scandalous or evil while there, he portrayed the trip as secret and shameful, finding conspiratorial significance in the fact that Obama's passport was breached in 2008 by an employee of a company headed at the time by John Brennan, then an Obama adviser and later CIA director. Cashill didn't mention that the employee also apparently also breached the passport of Obama's opponent, John McCain. From there, Cashill tried to apply the right wing's Clinton Death List narrative to Obama, suggesting that he murdered anyone who tried to look further into the trip:

In his 2016 book, "Deception," Timmerman further reported that five days after the passport story broke in March 2008, Washington, D.C., police arrested, on a marijuana charge, a man with the unusual name "Leiutenant [sic] Quarles Harris Jr."

In addition to the marijuana, police found eight State Department passport applications on Harris when they busted him. According to his charging document, "Harris admitted he obtained the Passport information from a co-conspirator who works for the U.S. Department of State."

After he agreed to cooperate in the State Department investigation, the D.C. police released Harris on his own recognizance. Less than a month later, D.C. police found Harris shot dead in the front seat of his locked car, the shots having penetrated the windshield.

[...]

Granted, all the allegations I cite about Brennan are unproven. In 2013, reporter Michael Hastings, then with BuzzFeed, set out to confirm them with an exposé on Brennan, by then the head of the CIA. Hastings did not get to finish the job.

Early in the morning of June 18, 2013, Hastings sent an email to his editor: "the Feds are interviewing my 'close friends and associates.' Perhaps if the authorities arrive 'BuzzFeed GQ,' er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues."

Several hours later, Hastings was burned beyond recognition in a fiery car crash in a Los Angeles neighborhood. As they say, dead men tell no tales.

In fact, Hastings' family members say he was behaving erratically and acting paranoid before his death.

In his Oct. 15 column, Cashill huffed:

OK, the cat is out of the bag. Obama knew. According to information released recently by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe, Obama's CIA Director John Brennan's own handwritten notes indicate that he briefed Obama in July 2016 about the real provenance of the Steele dossier.

In Brennan's words, the briefing dealt with the "alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services."

Instead of investigating Clinton's dirty tricks, Obama and his henchmen, Brennan most notably, pretended that the claim of Russian interference was valid. Hillary's involvement was one secret they did not leak.

Actually, that information has been discredited as Russian disinformation.

In a pre-election Oct. 28 column, Cashill added a couple shots at Joe Biden:

A few weeks ago, while out promoting my new book, "Unmasking Obama," a fellow asked the ultimate question about Barack Obama: puppet or puppeteer?

After watching Obama slouch his way toward Election Day, drawing crowds smaller than those of even Melania Trump, I am convinced the answer is "puppet."

In his prime, Obama generated dramatically more enthusiasm than does the corrupt and senile Joe Biden. That said, the obvious puppet Biden will likely get more votes than Obama did despite the fact that the strings can be seen from the cheap seats.

This has to depress Obama. Watching the puppeteers from the sidelines, Obama has to fear that he will be discarded after this election as casually as Buzz Lightyear was in "Toy Story 3."

Obama liked to think he was his own man. He wasn't. Like Biden in 2020, if not as conspicuously, Obama served his masters as a front man for the long march of global progressivism through America's institutions.

One has to wonder whose puppet Cashill is to spend so much time and energy pushing discredied conspiracy theories.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EST
Sunday, November 15, 2020
CNN Derangement Syndrome: MRC's Philbin Invents Claims About A Reporter's Motivation
Topic: Media Research Center

One manifstation of the Media Research Center's CNN Derangement Syndrome is to assume that every single story CNN airs or publishes has some secret "liberal bias" that must be called out. Hence, we have Matt Philbin's manufactured distress that CNN's website published an article marking the 100th anniversary of a notorious racist massacre in Florida in which the Ku Klux Klan murdered dozens of black people in a Florida community, then burned down the community:

Fancy the surprise of CNN.com’s Harmeet Kaur when she flipped the page on her 365 Reasons to Hate America desk calendar and discovered that Nov. 2 is the 100th anniversary of the Ocoee, Florida race riots. That’s editorial gold in a “news” organization that runs on race baiting, resentment and lefty smugness. And with the election tomorrow, Kaur must have felt like she’d hit the lottery.

And lest you think the glee wasn’t general at CNN, check out the headline someone came up with: “On this day 100 years ago, a White mob unleashed the deadliest Election Day violence in US history.”

Needless to say, Philbin offers no evidence that such a calendar even exists, let alone that Kaur owns a copy -- whcih means he's spreading lies.Philbin then made up more stuff by inventing a motivation for Kaur to have done the story in the first place:

We know CNN wants to remind us that America is bad, and white Americans are the worst. We know CNN would like us to think whites are always scheming to keep black people from voting, and we know that CNN likes to imagine whites are always just a disputed election away from mass lynchings and arson. We know CNN has an interest in keeping us divided, and wants our collective guilt to be top of mind when we enter the voting booth.

The reality a century on from the Occoee massacre is the political violence major cities are preparing for will come, if it does, at the hands of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The political left are now the intimidators, ready to burn it all down if the election doesn’t turn out their way. But that doesn’t have a place in CNN’s narrative.

Whatever CNN’s motivations, there's a good and productive reason for marking the 100th anniversary of Occoee: to marvel at how far we’ve come. This was the real, crushing institutional racism and race hatred of Jim Crow. It should remind us of the heroism of the Civil Rights movement, undercut the pretensions of multi-millionaire athletes grumbling and musicians grumbling about “systemic racism.”

Philbin is effectively saying that any racism today desercves a pass because it's not as bad as it was in the Jim Crow South -- and, anyway, Antifa. Way to play whataboutism there, Matt.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EST
CNS Melts Down Over Pope Declining To Hate Gay People
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's uber-Catholic editors hate gay people, and it also hates Pope Francis for failing to be a right-wing pope like Benedict XVI. So when Pope Francis effectively endorsed civil unions for gays because "they’re children of God and have a right to a family," CNS went into a highly predictable meltdown mode with its usual arrogance of lecturing the pope about Catholicism.

Patrick Goodenough wrote that the pope's pronouncement "shock waves around the Catholic world," followed by reminders of how much the pope and all Catholics are apparently supposed to hate gay people:

Catholics on both sides of the divide over the sanctity of marriage and same-sex rights acknowledged that the pontiff’s comments do not constitute a change in church teaching on homosexuality. The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares unequivocally that homosexual acts are “contrary to natural law,” noting that the Bible “presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity.”

A June 2003 from the Vatican’s Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – signed by the cardinal who would become Pope Benedict XVI less than two years later – states that, “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

And in a 2010 letter the pope himself, the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, called the push to legalize same-sex marriage in Argentina "a 'move' of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God."

This was followed by an article from managing editor Michael W. Chapman denouncing the pope's "heretical remarks" and featuring how his favorite right-wing evangelical, Franklin Graham, "rebuked the pontiff's blasphemy." Chapman waited until the eighth paragraph to remind readers that Graham is a Protestant, not a Catholic. He also rehashed a Catholic document declaring that any legal recognition of same-sex relationships "would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity."

CNS then devoted an anonymously written article to rehashing how "The Roman Catholic Church says that homosexual acts 'are contrary to natural law' and 'under no circumstances can they be approved' ... says paragraph 2357 of the Catholic Catechism as posted online by the Vatican." This was followed by another anonymous article recounting that "Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, authored a pastoral letter on the care of homosexual persons that was distributed to the bishops of the Catholic Church in 1986 that noted that St. Paul had listed 'those who behave in a homosexual fashion among those who shall not enter the kingdom of God.'" Strangely, no mention was made of the pope's pronouncement in either of these articles, which would have provided the context for their existence.

Finally, Chapman trotted out one of CNS' favorite right-wing Catholics, Raymond Burke, to declare that "no Catholic is bound to support the recent statements by Pope Francis in support of gay civil unions and gay families. Catholics are instead obligated to oppose such abominations, said Burke, because they are contrary to Church teaching and they are the private opinions of Francis as a man, not as the Supreme Pontiff."

CNS also gave a column to another right-wing Catholic, Rev. Michael Orsi, to assert that "Francis’ remark about civil unions didn’t rise to the status of an infallible pronouncement. They didn’t even come close. In fact, they hold no theological weight at all." Orsi went on to huff that the pope's statements "are questionable and highly problematic. They seem to give approval to sinful behavior. They create the false impression that the Church now says homosexual relationships are acceptable, even equivalent to the love between a man and a woman" and that "his words actually undermine marriage." He concluded that "Pope Francis might want to be a bit more prudent in sharing his private thoughts."

Outside of Goodenough's original article that quoted some supporters of the pope's statement, CNS declined to give non-right-wing Catholics a voice in discussing this issue.

UPDATE: CNS also published a column by John Horvat II declaring that "God is offended" by the pope's statement because "no pastor can express approval for an intrinsically evil sexual relationship that will drag its participants to Hell unless they repent," and that "the faithful have the right and duty to resist his errors." 


Posted by Terry K. at 3:59 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 12:31 AM EST
Saturday, November 14, 2020
MRC's Graham Can't Stop Tilting At Fact-Checking Windmills
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham's incessant whining that fact-checkers expose the torrent of falsehoods from President Trump only end up demonstrating his own bias and denial of reality. He demonstrates that again in a Nov. 2 post about a CNN article on "Facebook fact-checkers and how Trump voters just don't trust them," which he claims "just means they're noticing that 'facts' have a liberal bias, according to the slippery rules of the 'independent fact checkers.'"

Graham then feigned offense that the article quoted a fact-checker stating that "there is more misinformation posted from right-wing sources than by the left":

The "math" from PolitiFact has been extremely slanted against Trump over September and October. Trump's True-to-False ratio was a staggering 52 to 1. They weren't even trying to locate anything Trump said that was True. There was one "Mostly True," on October 1.

By contrast, Biden's True-to-False ratio was 9 to 16 (or 17 to 16, if you're generous with the "Half True" ratings.) Notice Biden only has 33 ratings, while Trump has 56.

[...]

The "Pants on Fire" ratio in these last two months was 10 to 1 Trump. 

As always, Graham fails to make any logical case to support his attack: He doesn't prove that Biden lies as much as Trump, nor does he document that any fact-check of Trump used any of those "biased" facts he claims exists. That means he, once again, demanding false balance from fact-checkers.

Graham concluded by whining that the CNN article featured "one of eight CNN veterans doing "fact checks" for Lead Stories. We found they tilted four to one against the conservative side." As we pointed out when it first attacked Lead Stories, the MRC similarly offered no proof that Lead Stories was pursuing an anti-conservative agenda or that its purported imbalance of fact-checks didn't reflect reality or weren't accurate in and of themselves.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EST
WND's Election Conspiracy-Mongering, Part 2
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented the election conspiracy-mongering from WorldNetDaily columnist in the days immediately following the presidential election. Because President Trump hasn't stopped forwarding increasingly specious claims of election fraud, WND's columnists haven't either. Let's see what they ranted about, shall we?

Anyone who factually believes Joe Biden won this election is a moron, a fool or both. Common sense dictates no other options. Not even Democrats and/or people in the Biden campaign believe he actually won. The Biden camp enjoined with the Democrats and media are cheering that for the moment it appears the cheating has worked.

The socialist ideologues and anarchists are beside themselves with glee, but what happens if the truth prevails, i.e., there was massive voter fraud and corrupt counting practices on a level that's beyond quantifying based upon the scale of the cheating? How will the cheaters feel if they're exposed and justice finally prevails? What if at long last those responsible for the political fraud that stripped honest Americans of their right to participate in non-rigged elections end up in handcuffs, ankle chains and federal prison jumpsuits, in prison vans going into federal courts?

[...]

This said and being true, the one thing I know that both groups fail to calculate in their formulas is that God is on His throne, and if God wants Donald J. Trump to have four more years as president, there's nothing anyone can do to prevent it.

-- Mychal Massie, Nov. 9 WND column

This brings me to the matter of Democrat-controlled states "legalizing" universal ballot mail-outs, and post-Election Day acceptance of ballots. I am firmly convinced that the main purpose of this change was to increase the number of "unclaimed" ballots available to be "harvested" by the Democratic voter fraud machines in the swing states.

Obviously, this is a "conspiracy theory" in the truest sense of the word, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. I (along with millions of my fellow constitutionalists) am in fact alleging conspiracy.

[...]

Without SCOTUS intervention for Trump, Harris, Biden and Pelosi would continue in the same direction set by Obama and Clinton as fast as possible – and no one in the GOP but Trump has the backbone to stop them.

-- Scott Lively, Nov. 9 WND column

Any hope of Trump retaining the Oval Office rests on irrefutable proof of voting fraud. Keeping in mind we live in an era where first impression news stories have proven inaccurate, some Trump confidants are saying evidence of massive voter fraud is being assembled, arrests of several players in the voting scam will follow and the proof will be damning. Allegedly, this evidence involves fraudulent use of ballots identified as part of a sting operation. The Trump administration supposedly had all legal ballots secretly imprinted with invisible watermarks in unbreakable code. A scan so far of 14 million ballots in five states reflect an 80% failure rate – all Biden votes.

The 16th century English playwright William Shakespeare coined the phrase, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," connoting massive political corruption in that kingdom. Who would have thought more than four centuries later the stench of corruption would plague America as well?

-- James Zumwalt, Nov. 9 WND column

The reality is this is such an incredible amount of fraud it would be impossible to list it all in one column. Third World level election fraud? Yes. It's a repeat of the Kenyan presidential elections in 2007 and 2017. In 2007, the anti-corruption candidate Raila Odinga was winning on election night. In the middle of the night, the power went out around the country. A few hours later, incumbent Mwai Kibaki had taken the lead. A U.S. exit poll found that Odinga had really won by 6%. In 2017, Odinga ran again. Due to hacking of the voting machines, incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was announced the winner. Odinga appealed to the Supreme Court, which ordered a new election due to the hacking. But without enough guarantees to stop the election fraud, Odinga gave up and dropped out of the race.

There is so much fraud here – concentrated in the swing states. Voting machine irregularities that coincidentally tipped the vote to Biden. Dead people voting. Almost as many people over 90 registered to vote this year than that age group did in all of 2008-2019 combined. A Pennsylvania mailman who said he was ordered to collect late ballots, and four postal workers who said they were told to change the date on ballots. Election workers counting ballots without verifying signatures. Videos of election officials filling out ballots. More people voting than registered voters in some areas. Wide discrepancies between Trump and down ticket votes; former Justice Department prosecutor Sidney Powell said about swing states, "We've identified 450,000 ballots that miraculously ONLY have a vote for Joe Biden." Biden underperformed in big cities in blue states compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016, yet he had record turnout in big cities in swing states.

-- Rachel Alexander, Nov. 9 WND column

President Trump should reject the liberal clamor to concede an election that was evidently stolen by hundreds of thousands of fake ballots in seven battleground states. Ballots from voters who never requested them, along with ballots not completely filled out and personally returned with signatures that were both witnessed and verified, have turned this election into an unverifiable farce.

[...]

Trump should not concede to the calculated corruption by those who pulled every trick imaginable to stuff the ballot box and change the outcome of the in-person voting. The hundreds of thousands of mailed-in ballots that supposedly went 80-100% for Biden were no better than fake news.

The Biden-Harris campaign, with consummate arrogance, is trying to begin the so-called transition before this election has even been determined. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters today, "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

-- Andy Schlafly, Nov. 10 WND column

We all knew the aftermath of the 2020 general election was going to be chaotic. Democrats designed it that way. New ways to vote, Election Day extended out for months in some places, counting of late ballots and patchworks of different enforcement of voting rules has turned the straightforward process of casting a ballot into a chaotic storm of confusion ripe for fraud. So much so that businesses boarded up their storefronts in preparation for post-election rioting that never materialized. At least not yet.

[...]

As the 2020 election results are litigated, look for Democrats to create chaos in the legal process. Lincoln Project this week tweeted the names, addresses and pictures of individual attorneys on President Trump's legal team for liberals to harass or terrorize. Another Twitter user claims to have a client list of the law firms representing the Trump campaign and openly discussed ideas for mass harassment to force them to pressure the firms to quit work on the case. Democrats also may demand one or more Supreme Court justices recuse themselves from election cases, claiming a conflict of interest, bias or some other reason to manipulate the court into a perceived Democratic advantage. Democrats are also likely to file their own lawsuits in one or more states if a recount, audit or court ruling results in President Trump winning that state. More created chaos.

-- Sean Harshey, Nov. 11 WND column

Lying is the language Big Media and Big Tech have been speaking almost exclusively since Trump became president: deliberate falsehoods, misrepresentations, distractions, diversions, suppression of dissent, amplification of false witnesses, accusations that truth-tellers are guilty of exactly the crimes they themselves are committing and multi-faceted, multi-dimensional coordination of this campaign within a vast network of co-conspirators. We are literally witnessing corruption of biblical proportions.

[...]

BUT there is true "justice that arrives like a thunderbolt" on its way in the American culture war. And it's about to strike!

Just this morning, former CIA intelligence analyst and strong Trump supporter Larry C. Johnson published a highly persuasive article suggesting that Attorney General Bill Barr is about to bring the hammer down on the crooks behind the election fraud. Conservatives have grown increasingly frustrated with Barr over the past months for what they perceive as a reluctance to take action on the obvious "alleged" criminal conduct of the anti-Trump conspirators. I agree, it would have been helpful politically for indictments to have come down on numerous individuals involved in the now-exposed conspiracy to defraud the FISA court and to sabotage the Trump administration – but that may be the exact reason why they haven't happened … yet.

-- Scott Lively, Nov. 12 WND column

If Trump's challenges prove successful, if he flips some combination of the contested states so as to win the election, the master manipulators behind the scenes will have convinced millions of Americans that the legal challenges were abuse of process, that such a result will be illegitimate, that the presidency has been stolen. Trump's first term will look like a honeymoon compared with what he will/would be facing after two, three, four weeks of Biden voters celebrating what they were told was Biden's victory, what they have been told for months would be Biden's victory.

Propaganda.

And that brings us to other, more ominous aspects of the media manipulation. It's implausible that anyone high up in the Democratic Party or the major media planned last summer's riots in reaction to the death of George Floyd; antifa's ongoing violence in Portland and other cities; or the "occupation" of Seattle. But the Democratic mayors of these cities didn't stop them either. The threat inherent in the confluence of these events is clear: Accept the results of the election as we have announced them – or face the wrath of the mobs we have whipped into a fervor

-- Laura Hollis, Nov. 12 WND column

Joe Biden "was able to steal" the election. This leftist praise came Wednesday from Chiara de Blasio, the 25-year-old radical daughter of ultra-leftist Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Biden's attempted theft of the United States government has not relied on clever or artful scheming. It has been a criminally crude gangster snatch-and-grab strong-arm robbery enabled by corrupt election officials and partisan news media willing to cover up wrongdoing by their Democratic ideological comrades.

The left-leaning media declare that Republicans have "no evidence" that large-scale cheating enabled Biden to win key states. The media never mention that certified Republican voting and vote-count watchers were illegally blocked by Democrats in key states from witnessing close-up the counting of many hundreds of thousands of votes.

[...]

Republican state legislatures should conduct fair and thorough audits of computerized voting systems, including source code, and by-hand audits of every vote. Do not surrender our democratic republic forever to criminals.

-- Lowell Ponte, Nov. 12 WND column

 


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EST
Friday, November 13, 2020
MRC's Double Standard On Plantation References
Topic: Media Research Center

Finishing off the week before Election Day, NBC on Friday evening stoked racial fears and invoked violence against African Americans from the distant past as the NBC Nightly News likened Republican leaders to plantation owners who stopped blacks from voting in the 1870s.

In a piece featuring veteran civil rights activist Reverend James Lawson, after reporter Cynthia McFadden recalled complaints about voting rules enacted by Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Reverend Lawson reacted:"It's absolute suppression, regression. It follows the plantation owners of the 1870s who used bullets and guns to stop the voting. He's using the technique of voting to stop the voting."

-- Brad Wilmouth, Oct. 31 Media Research Center item

Black conservative Candace Owens has a brand-new book out titled Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation. That is published by Threshold Editions, a division of Simon and Schuster. Does anyone think CBS will lavish attention on this book as they did for Woodward, a Simon and Schuster author?

-- Tim Graham, Sept. 16 column

Listen, black-ish writers, it wasn’t the color of Obama’s skin that conservatives didn’t like. It was his politics. And trying to claim otherwise is an insult to every black conservative (you know, the ones you love to demonize for refusing to be part of the Democrat plantation, even if they're an intelligent and renowned pediatric brain surgeon), including new black conservatives in the “Walk Away” and “Blexit” movements who recognize how much Trump has done for their communities, and how little the left has ever done for them.

-- Dawn Slusher, Aug. 11 MRC item

There you have it. Tiger Woods needs to be reigned in and herded back to the progressive SJW plantation. The media says so.

-- Jay Maxson, June 2 MRC item

But it must be said here that there is an obvious reason why [Meghan] McCain is a target at The Times. Her self description as a “hyper, hyper conservative” is a serious no-no in the world of the Leftist State Media. The all too obvious truth is that in the world of identity politics, the Left views women —  and blacks, Latinos and in today’s world, gays —  as property of the liberal plantation. To stray —  much less to leave the plantation entirely —  and the masters and mistresses of left-wing ideology will come after you for certain.

-- Jeffrey Lord, Jan. 18 MRC column

[Joe] Scarborough adopts the patronizing view that people will vote their skin color instead of their interests; that voters of color will docilely remain on the Democrat plantation.

-- Mark Finkelstein, Dec. 12, 2019, MRC post


Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« November 2020 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google