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Thursday, September 2, 2021
CNS Attacks Pelosi For Pushing Commission To Probe Capitol Riot

In a sequel of sorts to promoting right-wing attacks on Nancy Pelosi trying to pin blame on her for the (Trump-driven) Capitol riot, felt the need to promote right-wing attacks on Pelosi over the commission investigating the Jan. 6 riot.

An anonymously written June 30 article on Pelosi's announcement she would form the commission was relatively benign, though it dishonestly added, "The House had previously passed legislation to create a special independent commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, but the bill did not get through the Senate." In fact, the independent commission was blocked by Senate Republicans, forcing Pelosi to take this route.

The next day, Melanie Arter gave space for House minority leader Kevin McCarthy to complain that Pelosi named Republican Rep. Liz Cheney to the commission and to rant that Pelosi has "played politics with this."  Arter didn't mention that Republicans played politics by blocking an indepdendent commission.

Also on July 1, Craig Bannister complained that Pelosi "blamed the attack on attitudes of white supremacy, anti-Semitism and islamophobia," which he tried to counter: "However, the comments from the FBI and DHS cited by both Pelosi and her legislation do not actually claim the January 6 attack on the Capitol was the result of these bigoted attitudes."

When Pelosi called out McCarthy's tactics, Bannister devoted a July 7 article to complaining about it:

Citing left-wing media reports attacking Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Wednesday, accusing Rep. McCarthy of being pro-extremist and conspiracy theory and anti-truth.

“In Kevin McCarthy’s House Republican Conference, defending the truth is the worst crime a Member can commit,” Pelosi says in a post titled “McCarthy’s GOP: Leaving No White Nationalist/Extremist Behind” on the House Speaker’s website.

Quoting stories from CNN, The New York Times and a local Arizona paper, Pelosi criticizes McCarthy for discouraging fellow Republicans from serving on Democrat Pelosi’s commission seeking to blame Republicans for the January 6 attack on the Capitol, allowing Republicans to visit the border with “a conservative YouTuber” who “has not been charged for unlawful entry at the US Capitol on January 6” and allowing fellow Republicans to associate with people deemed by left-wing media as far-right extremists:

Yes, Bannister really thinks that CNN and the New York Times are "left-wing" outfits. That highly skewed take is an indication of just how right-wing Bannister and CNS are.

Bannister returned on July 21 to cite a highly biased Rasmussen poll claiming that "More U.S. voters support the launch of a Congressional probe of the violent 2020 protests than support the Democrat-backed House committee created to investigate the January 6, 2021 invasion of the U.S. Capitol."

They next day, Bannister devoted an article to Republican Rep. Jim Jordan attacking the commission because Pelosi wouldn't let him be on it, but he didn't mention that Jordan has a history of spreading disinformation about the 2020 presidential election -- the kind that helped incite the Capitol riot. With that record, he doesn't appear that he would have been an honest broker on the comission.

On July 26, Bannister brought back McCarthy to whine about Pelosi rejecting his picks of two disruptive pro-Trump Republicans for the commission (including Jordan), which caused McCarthy to take his ball and go home and huff that the commission "will not conduct a credible investigation." Bannister made no mention, of course, of how Republicans have endeavored to make sure the investigation would not be "credible."

The same day, Susan Jones huffed that Pelosi "has named a second anti-Trump Republican" to the committee, Adam Kinzinger, but she devoted more space to a Republican congressman attacking the committee, then editorialized with Republican talking points in what is supposed to be a "news" article:

Speaker Pelosi’s rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her pre-conceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation.

The Speaker has structured this select committee to satisfy her political objectives. She had months to work with Republicans on a reasonable and fair approach to get answers on the events and security failures surrounding January 6.

Instead, she has played politics. Lost in much of the news coverage is the fact that the Senate has already conducted bipartisan investigations that should serve as a roadmap for the House.

Speaker Pelosi’s departure from this serious-minded approach has destroyed the select committee’s credibility. The U.S. Capitol and the men and women who protect it suffered a massive leadership failure. We must make sure that never happens again and that is what Republicans will be focused on.

Jones didn't mention that Republicans have a political objective to achieve by obstructing the committee and trying to delegitimize it -- a effort Jones and CNS are helping Republicans to carry out.

Another anonymously written article that day noted that Pelosi appointed Kinzinger,to the commission, but was apparently more bothered by the fact that Pelosi alao said that "insurrectionists attempted to overthrow the government" on Jan. 6.

Jones pushed Republican talking points again on July 27 in writing about how "a group of Republicans blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for excluding from her select committee two Republicans who would have asked questions she prefers to avoid." Again, she failed to mention that Republicans are playing politics in trying to delegitimize the committee.

No attempt was made to fact-check anything McCarthy or Jordan said the way they tried to fact-check Pelosi. And, of course, no CNS writer, anonynmous or otherwise, admitted their employer's mission of a multi-pronged war on Pelosi.

UPDATE: In a July 28 article, Jones touted how Jordan said he couldn't be bothered to see the entirety of testimony from Capitol Police officers who survived the riot -- he just saw "bits and pieces" of it, further demonstrating he woiuld have been an inattentive member of the committee -- then groused that "the Democrats want to keep talking about January 6, because what the heck else are they going to talk about?" Jones also wrote that "Jordan noted that President Trump on January 6 told his supporters to march to the Capitol 'peacefully and patriotically.'" But Trump also told his followers to "fight like hell" and used the word "fight" in some form 20 times during his speech, while Rudy Giuliani used his speech before the riot to call for "trial by combat."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2021 10:36 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
CNS Highlights Infrastructure Earmarks in Democratic Districts -- Not GOP Ones
Topic: cranked out a quartet of anonymously written hit pieces on July 29. The first:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $6,550,000 earmark aimed at stopping people from committing suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, which is in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district.

The second:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $7,200,000 earmark for building one block of a road in an industrial area of San Francisco that sits within Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district.

The third:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $2,400,000 earmark for that is called a “Community Beautification Project” in Glendale, Calif., which sits in Rep. Adam Schiff’s congressional district.

The fourth:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $2,400,000 earmark for that is called the “Riverside Drive Pedestrian Mall” in New York, New York.

The money was request by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D.-Calif.) in whose Manhattan-based district the money would be spent.

Note that all four of these articles target projects in districts led by Democratic memnberts of Congress, with two of them specifically focused on Nancy Pelosi (part of its multi-pronged war on her apparently). None of these four articles, however, point out that the "member designated project authorizations" in the infrastructure bill that CNS is rather lamely attacking here are also available to Republican members of Congress, and they did indeed take advantage of these earmarks.

For instance,  one of the earmarks for Alaska -- which has a single House member, Republican Don Young -- is $5.6 million for phase 2 of the Seldon Road Extension in Wasilla (you might remember Wasilla as being Sarah Palin's hometown). Young issued a press release touting that the money for that projec tand two others in the state are in the bill, adding:

"I am encouraged that following my advocacy for the return of Congressionally directed spending, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is including funding for three separate Alaskan projects as part of the INVEST in America Act," said Congressman Don Young. "For too long, my colleagues and I have been unable to directly request funding for specific projects in our districts. This decade-long ban on 'earmarks' served only to shift Congress' rightful power to appropriate money to the Executive Branch, while denying needed funds to local entities. This Congress, through the Member Directed Projects program, we have begun to take incremental steps toward fully restoring the Article I powers of Congress. The projects approved by the Committee are important ones, and I am grateful for the chance to directly advocate on behalf of these endeavors and the communities they will support.

Yet CNS did not highlight this project or criticize Young for enthusiastically endorsing the idea of earmarks. Why? Because Young is a Republican, and CNS' editorial policy is to avoid criticize Republicans. That's why CNS will never call out President Trump and Senate Republicans for running up deficits during Trump's presidency though editor Terry Jeffrey and crew like to present themselves as deficit hawks -- and no problem attacking Democrats for deficits run up under their watch.

It's hypocritical, biased reporting -- and it's exactly what we've come to expect from CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 12:22 AM EDT
Monday, August 30, 2021
CNS Digs Up Old House Prayer For Another Obtuse Attack on Pelosi

We've noted's recent penchant for repeaeting months-old -- or even years-old -- stories and treating them as news.This happened again in an anonymously written Aug. 5 article that rehashes something that happened nearly two years ago:

When the U.S. House of Representatives opened its meeting on Nov. 8, 2019, the clerk read a statement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) that she was appointing Rep. Jamie Raskin (D.-Md.) to sit in that day as speaker pro tempore.

Raskin then introduced guest chaplain, Pastor Deamon Scapin, to say the opening prayer.

“God of Heaven, let truth reign,” Scapin said near the beginning of his prayer.

“Bind the lying spirit of Satan and remove corruption, falsehood, and bias,” he ultimately said.

As with a previous article that repeated a months-old floor speech, no explanation is offered for why the article is appearing now, 20 months after the prayer being reported on was first made, or what, if anything, the anonymous writer found objectionble. Prayers to open legislative sessions are pretty much a daily occurrence and are typically not newsworthy in and of themselves. There may be a clue in the headline, however, which specifically refers to "Pelosi's House" even though Pelosi herself was not even there at the time.

CNS' multi-pronged war against Pelosi -- which include attacks on her religion for purportedly being insufficiently Catholic -- has gone into some weirdly obtuse places, such as an article a few weeks earlier which strangely obsessed over her saying "Oh, my God." This appears to be yet another one of those.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 30, 2021 4:30 PM EDT
Sunday, August 29, 2021
CNS' Hot Pestering Intern Summer: The Final Round

CNS' summer of interns pestering members of Congress with leading gotcha questions came to an end with a classic -- if by "classic" one means a deceptively simple question designed to let conservatives virtue-signal for answering "no" and make liberals look bad for answering "yes." The question: “The debt of the federal government is $28.4 trillion. Is that too much?”with some getting the follow-up: “Is there any federal program or agency that you would eliminate to reduce the federal spending?”

Perhaps reflective of thet nature of the questions, CNS' list of victims this time is much more Republican-skewed this time around:

Most of the articles added conservative-friendly boilerplate that sounds like it was actually written by CNS editor Terry Jeffrey:

Over the last 39 years, the debt has ballooned, from $1.1 trillion to $28.4 trillion. The federal debt did not surpass $1 trillion until fiscal 1982. That fiscal year, according to the Treasury, the debt started at $997,855,000,000 and ended at $1,142,034,000,000.

In the 1994 Contract With America, conservative Republicans called for eliminating the Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Education, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In the federal government, in addition to the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, there are 15 departments, such as Defense, HHS, Commerce, and Education. Also, there are approximately 453 agencies.

According to The Hill, “The federal government employs nearly 9.1 million workers, comprising nearly 6 percent of total employment in the United States. The figure includes nearly 2.1 million federal employees, 4.1 million contract employees, 1.2 million grant employees, 1.3 million active duty military personnel, and more than 500,000 postal service employees.”

Jeffrey, of course, is a massive hypocrite on this issues, fulminating about deficit spending when it happens under Democrats but refusing to call out Republicans responsible for deficit spending on their watch≥

So what have the interns actually learned this summer? Not much, really. They got resume-friendly clips of them interacting with famous (for D.C.) people, but it's not hard to yell a question at a politician when he or she is walking past you, or to pretend you're a reporter who's "just asking questions" when those questions are designed to be politically loaded and to advance one particular ideological point of view. In short: they may have learned some stuff, but much of it doesn't necessarily involve journalism?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 29, 2021 11:31 AM EDT
Friday, August 27, 2021
CNS Gives COVID Misinformer Another Platform

In April, writer Melanie Arter gave Dr. Marty Makary a platform to downplay the severity of the coronavirus epidemic, touting how there were more tuberculosis cases than COVID cases and repeated his claim that "the U.S. would reach herd immunity by April." Both claims ended up being wildly wrong -- we're now seeing record COVID cases due to the Delta variant, which demonstrated that the "herd immunity" Makary predicted didn't happen in April and is certainly not happening now.

Nevertheless, Arter brought  Makary back to misinform further on COVID in an Aug. 5 article:

People who are unvaccinated and not immune to COVID-19 have been demonized, “and it’s unfounded,” according to Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, because “those who are unvaccinated pose no risk to the vaccinated beyond that of a common cold.

Makary said he’s concerned that there may be another year of virtual learning in schools, “because Delta is projected to peak in late August and early September.”

“As schools are starting to open up you'll see the incline that will be interpreted as the beginning of a larger wave, but this is not a stock price. This is the number of cases. It only captures the cases reported, not home cases, and it doesn't recognize it's in a younger population and hospitalizations are disproportionately much lower,” he told Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday.

“I wish we would change the lexicon and stop talking about the vaccinated and unvaccinated and just talk about the immune and non-immune. There’s been this demonization of those who are not immune, not vaccinated, and it’s unfounded. Those who are unvaccinated pose no risk to the vaccinated beyond that of a common cold,” Makary said.

He said the Delta variant spread quicker, “but there’s no evidence that it’s more virulent and dangerous in kids.”

Well, Makary was wrong about that too -- the Delta variant is sending more children to the hospital than the original outbreak did. It has also turned out that the COVID vaccines are not as effective against the Delta variant than they were against the original strain, so the unvaccinated do pose a higher risk to the vaccinated than Makary claimed -- and, of course, COVID and the common cold are two very different things.

Makary is also missating the issue, which is really about the risk careless unvaccinated people pose to other unvaccinated people, like children. The Delta variant surge is primarily one of the unvaccinated, with the vast majority of the infections occurring with them. People who can be vaccinated but refuse to do so do, in fact, deserve some level of demonization.

Note that Makary made those stdatements on Fox News. He is very much a Fox favorite to a near-hackish extent. A few days ago, he wrote a commentary for the Fox News website accusing the Biden administrration of using COVID to distract from the situation in Afghanistan. In o ther words, he's the kind of "expert" Fox News -- and, thus, CNS -- absolutely loves.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Thursday, August 26, 2021
CNS' Jeffrey Still Quick To Blame Biden -- And Give Trump A Pass -- For Deficit Spending

We've documented how editor and supposed deficit hawk Terry Jeffrey had no interest in blaming Donald Trump or a Republican-controllwed Senate for growing deficits through 2020, but now that a Democrat holds the presidency, he's way too happy about highlighting deficits being added under their watch. He complained in a July 13 article:

The federal government set new records for taxing and spending through the first nine months of fiscal 2021 (October through June), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Federal taxes hit a record $3,056,078,000,000 while federal spending climbed to a record $5,294,027,000,000.

The resulting deficit of $2,237,949,000,000 was the second highest ever for the first nine months of the year, falling below the $2,892,260,760,000 deficit (in constant June 2021 dollars) that the federal government ran in the first nine months of fiscal 2020.

There was no metion of Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate that played a key role in racking up deficits from 2017 to 2020, or of the pandemic that has required such expenditures.But Jeffrey made sure to illustrate his article with a file photo of President Biden and Nancy Pelosi.

Jeffrey used his July 15 column to complain about how much money the federal government has been spending per capita over the past century, serving up snapshots of each decade. For the 2000 budget, Jeffrey was loath to credit Bill Clinton, who was president at the time, for a reduction in per capita spending, so he made sure to also that "Republicans controlled both houses of Congress." For his summary of spending in 2020, Jeffrey acknowledged Trump but refused to explicitly blame him, instead making the pandemic the villain -- and then, of course, explicitly blame Biden and Pelosi for additional deficit spending:

In 2020, when Donald Trump was president and the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the federal government, according to the OMB, spent $6,550,396,000,000 (or $6,837,699,370,000 in June 2021 dollars). That equaled $19,762.89 in unadjusted dollars and $20,629.70 in constant June 2021 dollars for each of the 331,449,281 in the United States, according to the Census Bureau.

It can be argued that the particularly large increase in per capita federal spending from 2010 to 2020 is a one-time anomaly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, in fiscal 2019, federal spending was $4,446,956,000,000 (or $4,705,658,450,000 in constant June 2021 dollars), which worked out to $14,336.05 for each of the 328,239,523 people the Census Bureau estimated were in the United States that year.

But the $14,336.05 in real per capita federal spending in fiscal 2019 is still more than 18 times larger than the $779.58 per capita spending of 1920.

The latest Congressional Budget Office analysis of the economic outlook estimated that, "if current laws governing taxes and spending remained unchanged," federal spending would hit $7,415,000,000,000 in fiscal 2030.

Given that the Census Bureau estimates the national population will be 355,101,000 in that year, per capita federal spending would then hit $20,881.38 — without COVID-19 or any new spending programs from President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Jeffrey's Aug. 11 article on the latest federal spending numbers followed July's pattern:

The federal government set a new record for the amount of taxes it collected through the first ten months of fiscal 2021 (October through July), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Total federal tax receipts were $3,318,078,000,000 for the period.


Federal spending in the first ten months of this fiscal year was the second highest it has ever been (in constant July 2021 dollars).

However, this year’s October-through-July spending of $5,858,078,000,000 was not only the second highest in the nation’s history, it was $1,892,368,690,000 higher—or 47.7 percent higher—than the then-record $3,965,709,310,000 (in constant July 2021 dollars) that the federal government spent in the first ten months of fiscal 2019, which was the last full fiscal year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Again, as usual, no mention of Trump or Republicans, and Jeffrey as found a different file photo of Biden and Pelosi to illustrate it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
CNS Lets Texas AG's Dubious Claims About Voter Fraud Stand Uncorrected

Craig Bannister wrote in a July 12 article:

Despite Democrats’ claims that voter fraud isn’t a concern, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says that the over 500 voter fraud cases pending in his state is evidence that voter fraud is, indeed, a serious problem.

In order to counter the false narrative promoted by Democrats through the media, Republicans need to “keep talking about the truth, which is there is real voter fraud,” AG Paxton said Monday in an interview with Fox & Friends First Host Todd Piro.

“We have more voter fraud cases that we have ever had. That’s just a fact,” Paxton said, noting that his office has more than 500 voter fraud cases waiting to go to trial and over 300 investigations currently underway. The election-reform legislation that Democrats are blocking is crucial to ensuring that citizens have confidence that election results are accurate and true, Paxton said.

As it turns out -- but Bannister won't tell you -- Paxton's numbers on voter fraud aren't quite true. As an actual news outlet reported a month before Paxton told his spiel, the Texas Attorney General's office did report 534 cases of voter fraud kn which people were charged -- but they date back to 2004. By contrast, nearly 94 million votes were cast in Texas elections since 2004, making the 534 cases of voter fraud an infintesimal issue. While there were also 510 cases being investigated at the time of the report, only one involved the 2020 election.

Because Paxton's narrative meshes tightly with CNS' right-wing mission, Bannister has no incentive to fact-check Paxton to see if he's telling the truth. After all, he's being paid to be a stenographer, not a reporter.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
At CNS, Old News Is New 'News'
Topic:, which calls itself a "news" organziation, has had a penchant for old news lately. An anonymously written July 15 article, for example, felt the need to rehash a congressional speech from last October:

Rep. David Cicilline (D.-R.I.)--who was one of the managers in the first impeachment of President Donald Trump--took to the House floor on Oct. 2, 2020 to express his support for a congressional resolution condemning the conspiracy-mongering group QAnon and debunking, among other things, the notion that Trump was “fighting a secret war against a Satanic, child-molesting network of politicians.”

Why did CNS suddenly report on a nine-month-old speech? We don't know -- nether Cicilline nor QAnon were in the news at the time that we're aware of. And it's not like CNS had much to do with QAnon, usually only complaining when then-President Trump was asked about it or when a certain female Democratic congresswoman talked about it.

The other trip back in time actually had something of a purpose: to give CNS something resembling original content related to the Olympics. It was highly tailored, though, focused solely on the Catholicism of Olympic star swimmer Katie Ledecky. It first reposted a 2016 article by Mark Judge in which Ledecky talked about how she "prays before she races."

(You might remember Judge as the employee who quietly disappeared from the MRC after his name came up as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's prep-school buddy who wrote a memoir of those days that appeared to feature a thinly veiled and very drunk Kavanaugh. In its write-ups over the Kavanaugh controversy, the MRC never admitted that Judge was an MRC employee.)

This was followed by an anonymously written Aug. 2 article that rehashed a 2016 interview with Ledecky talking about "the beauty of Catholicism."

If CNS has to dig up old stories to present as "news," what good does it do as a "news" operation?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Monday, August 23, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Holy War on Joe Biden
The uber-Catholics who run are all too eager to slam President Biden as insufficiently Catholic for supporting abortion rights in America. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 PM EDT
Sunday, August 22, 2021
CNS' Hot Pestering Intern Summer, Round 7

The next round of CNS' interns pestering members of Congress with gotcha questions designed to forward right-wing narratives focused on the infrastructure bill, asking them: "Will you read all 2,702 pages of the infrastructure bill before voting on it?" Some senators got this follow-up question: "And do you believe any of your colleagues will read all pages before voting?" But this approach may not have  worked out for CNS narrative-wise as much as it would have liked.

The first victim was Republican Ted Cruz, who responded by ranting, "Nope, I’m going to vote no, and I don’t need to read 2,700 pages to know why I’m going to vote no."CNS may have thought that this showed Cruz as being opposed to more spending -- the intern framed it as Cruz having "expressed his concern over how the bills would affect the current and future state of the nation’s economy" -- but it instead showed him to be a kneejerk right-winger who has no interest in reaching common ground to help Americans and will oppose anything Democrats propose simply because Democrats proposed it.

As usual, there were numerous other senatorial targets, most of whom pointed out that they have staff members who read those bills:

The question is disingenuous because lengthy bills have always been a part of legislating on the federal level, members of Congress are busy enough that they can't possibly read every single piece of legislation that goes through Congress, and they have staffs to do the reading and related research that they don't have time to do. CNS knows all this -- but the narrative is more important than the truth, which is why the interns were sent out to badger senators with it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 22, 2021 3:42 PM EDT
Friday, August 20, 2021
CNS Can't Stop Lazily Attacking Rob Reiner As 'Meathead'

Like its Media Research Center parent, loves to lazily dismiss any political opinions expressed by director Rob Reiner by associating him with Mike Stivic -- who was nicknamed "Meathead" by bigoted lead character Archie Bunker -- the role he played on "All In The Family" 50 years ago and hasn't played since 1978. It hasn't stopped doing so over the past year, even though Reiner has done many more things in the ensuing 40-plus years.

An August 2020 article by Craig Bannister put "Meathead" in the headline and described Reiner as a "producer and left-wing activist" who "starred as a character nicknamed “Meathead” in the iconic sitcom 'All in the Family.'" In an October 2020 article, Bannister described Reiner as a "political activist and Filmmaker" but surprisingly did not mention his "All In The Family" role.

An anonymously written Jan. 18 article, complaining that Reiner called Donald Trump a "lifetime criminal," described Reiner as having "played Archie Bunker’s son-in-law (“Meathead”) on “All in the Family” and went on to become a Hollywood movie director" and illustrated it with a black-and-white still shot of Reiner and Carroll O'Connor, who played Archie Bunker, in a scene from "All In The Family" -- then irrelevantly added that "Reiner explained in a 2012 interview with the Huffington Post that he does not practice a religion." The anonymous writer didn't mention that Trump doesn't practice a religion either.

A Jan. 28 article by Bannister called Reiner a "liberal Filmmaker" (though he didn't explain why he capitalized "filmmaker") but didn't mention "Meathead" as he complained that Trump's second impeachment trial was a choice between democracy and racism. Bannister repeated the "liberal Filmmaker" tag in a Feb. 1 post unhappy that Reiner said that Trump "committed the single worst Crime against Democracy in our Nation’s history."

An anonymously written Feb. 22 post about Reiner's comments on the death of Rush Limbaugh, however, returned "Meathead" to the headline and described Reiner as "the actor who played Archie Bunker’s son-in-law Meathead on 'All in the Family,'" but illustrated the article with a file photo of Reiner with Hillary Clinton.

In an April 14 article complaining that Reiner called Republicans "secessionists" who "stand for nothing but White Nationalism." Bannister described him as a "liberal activist and Hollywood producer." But an anonymously written July 21 article calling Trump a "criminal sociopath" returned to describing Reiner as having "played the son-in-law of Archie Bunker on 'All in the Family'"and was illustrated with another "All in the Family" file photo.

It appears CNS is still having issues separating an actor from a role he hasn't played in more than 40 years.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Thursday, August 19, 2021
CNS Mildly Fearmongers Over Door-To-Door Vaccines
Topic:'s coverage of the Biden administration's efforts to offer COVID vaccines door-to-door didn't reach the fearmongering heights of WorldNetDaily, but it had its moments of unfairness and a twinge of fear. Susan Jones set the mildly ominous tone in a July 8 article:

Two days ago, President Joe Biden announced that his administration's vaccination push may come right to your front door:

“Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftimes door-to-door, literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus,” the president said.

The door-to-door plan is getting pushback from some Americans, who see door-knocking as intrusive and none of the government's business. Oh yes it is our business, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told CNN on Thursday morning[.]

Later that day, Melanie Arter surprisingly gave White House press secretary Jen Psaki to shoot down right-wing fearmongering by pointing out that "the people who are going door-to-door to encourage people to get vaccinated are not federal government employees, but are community volunteers and clergy members" and that "the federal government does not have a database showing who has been vaccinated and who has not, and it has no plans to do so in the future." The next day, Arter gave even more uncritical space to Psaki, this time to shoot down fearmongering South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, who was ranting about "government vaccination teams showing up unannounced or unrequested at the door of ‘targeted’ homeowners or on their property":

When asked Friday to respond to McMaster and explain what is being done in the vaccination outreach, Psaki said, “Let me first say that the failure to provide accurate public health information, including the efficacy of vaccines and the accessibility of them to people across the country, including the people of South Carolina, is literally killing people, so maybe they should consider that.


>“It’s something that’s been going on since April, and it’s something where we’ve seen an impact in states where there are lower vaccination rates, so it is something that we will continue to work with local groups to do, and it’s a disservice to the country and to the people who may lose their lives, who may lose family members to provide inaccurate disinformation at a moment when we’re still fighting a pandemic,” Psaki added.

CNS then turned its attention to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, whose state had seen low vaccination rates and an increasing COVID caseload. Two articles showed who was serious about health and who just wanted to fearmonger: Jones' article hyped Hutchinson blaming the government for "conservative" skepticism over vaccines, while Arter's article focused on Hutchinson claiming that the state already has "community organizations and churches going into people’s homes to make sure that those who are 'bedridden' have access to the vaccine."

CNS, however, couldn't stay away from McMaster's fearmongering -- despite already having given Psaki a chance to respond to it -- so a July 12 article by Julia Johnson hyped it again. Johnson waited until the 10th paragraph of her article to mention Psaki's criticism, then followed it up with McMaster's partisan response.

This was followed up with a July 14 column by Tony Perkins, who was in fiull fearmongering mode:

Most people were shocked when the president wanted to go door-to-door with his vaccine campaign -- but that's only the half of it. According to a Pentagon spokesman, the White House is also planning to go barracks to barracks -- requiring the men and women of our voluntary military to involuntarily surrender their freedom and take an unproven shot some of them don't want.

Actually, miilitary members are already mandated to have numerous vaccines. And Perkins' insistence that the COVID vaccine is "unproven" clashes with a rant later in his column, in which he whined about "2020's Democrats, who spent months sowing doubts about the shots, just because they were created while Donald Trump was president. At one point, Biden openly questioned whether a vaccine approved by Trump's agencies would be safe. They are the ones who stoked fears and undermined the scientific progress. Now, suddenly, they want to flip a switch, undo that damage, and blame all of the hesitancy on conservatives. You can't have it both ways. It was their politicking that put people's lives at risk. And now, their heavy-handedness threatens to do the same -- to our freedoms."

Perkins can't have it both ways either. The vaccine can't have been perfectly fine when Trump was promising it as a re-election ploy but suddenly "unproven" when the political party in the White House switched.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 19, 2021 1:29 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
What Does This Article Even Mean?

An anonymously written July 16 article states:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) held a press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday to celebrate the first payments of the Biden Child Tax Credit and twice during that press conference, according to the transcript Pelosi published of the event, she declared: “Oh, my God.”

“The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever--and as of July 15th, most families are automatically receiving monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without having to take any action,”explained a statement on the White House website.

At the event, Pelosi mentioned the Paycheck Protection Program and Rep. Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.) efforts in promoting it.


Pelosi also said “Oh, my God” in response to a question a reporter asked her about the spike in drug overdose deaths over the past year.

We're having trouble figuring out why this article exists. Is it an attack on Pelosi? If so, it's a bizarre one. "Oh, my God" is a common enough expression that it shouldn't be particularly offensive to anyone, even the uber-Catholics who run CNS and have deemed Pelosi insufficiently Catholic because she's not anti-abortion.

But some anonymous someone at CNS was apparently so offended by Pelosi's use of this common expression that he or she even made screenshots of the transcript of Pelosi's presser with the words "Oh, my God" highlighted. Yet that person was not so offended that he or she couldn't be bothered to explain to readers exactly why. It's lashing out for no good or obvious reason -- which may serve as a demonstration of how much CNS hates Pelosi than of any actual news value.

Consider this a very strange entry in CNS' multi-pronged war against Pelosi.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

As with the previous month, July's employment numbers were too good for to attack. That meant Susan Jones had to really struggle to find a negative spin to embrace:

Amid the recent emergence and rapid spread of the delta variant in the United States, and with expanded unemployment benefits and monthly child tax credits (stimulus) payments flowing to millions of Americans, the Labor Department on Friday nevertheless issued an encouraging report on the U.S. employment situation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says nonfarm payroll employment rose by a strong 943,000 in July, following increases of +938,000 (revised) in June and +614,000 (revised) in May. (Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal were expecting nonfarm payroll to increase by 845,000 jobs in July.)

The unemployment rate declined by half a percentage point to 5.4 percent from 5.9 percent last month. That is the best showing since the 4.4 percent unemployment rate in March 2020, just as COVID began causing massive economic dislocation.

Still, Jones did bring in a right-wing activist to at least allude to negativity:

Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of the Job Creators Network, a small business advocacy group, noted on Friday that job growth is following vaccination growth.

"Even in the midst of a vaccine-induced recovery, only 10 percent of small businesses say they’ve fully recovered from the pandemic, according to the latest JCN Foundation Monthly Monitor Poll of small businesses, and that's only a 1 percent increase from the previous month.

"Even these gains are in danger," Ortiz warned, as blue state governors and mayors impose new mandates...on small businesses that are already experiencing staffing shortages."

The only sidebar this time was the usual complaint by editor Terry Jeffrey that governments added jobs, as if they don't count as real jobs or that the people who hold them don't do real work.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Monday, August 16, 2021
CNS Thinks Cuomo's Daughter's Sex Life Is Your Business
Topic: is weirdly concerned with the sex lives of children of liberal politicians. Back in 2018, it made a big deal out of the daughter of Sen. Chuck Schumer -- whom CNS has repeatedly bashed for his support for LGBT issues -- "entering into a lesbian marriage," and later did an article on how Schumer was with "my daughter Alison and her new wife" when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

In that tradition, we have a July 7 article by Elizabeth Nieshalla:

Twenty-three-year-old Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, daughter of Kerry Kennedy and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (divorced in 2005), has labeled herself as “demisexual” but has also said that “trying to label ourselves only limits us.”

In an Instagram Live conversation with author and speaker Donato Tramuto, Michaela said,“When I was in elementary school, I feared that I was lesbian. When I was in middle school, I came out to my family and close friends as bisexual. When I was in high school, I discovered pansexuality and thought, ‘That’s the flag for me.’”

She added, “I’ve recently learned more about demisexuality and have believed that that identity resonates with me most.”

The term “demisexual,” according to the PFLAG National Glossary of Terms, is: “Used to describe an individual who experiences sexual attraction only after forming an emotional connection.”

Um, so? What business is it of CNS to do a story on this person's sex life? It has nothing to do with her father, who has his own issues. Being the daughter of a politician doesn't make her newsworthy in and of itself. There's no news value in Cuomo's sex life. There's no reason for this article to exist other than to feed into a right-wing anti-LGBT agenda that CNS is obligated to push as an ideological entity.

We would ask if CNS should bea better "news" organization than that, but we know it's not.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EDT

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