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Thursday, September 21, 2023
CNS Pushes Bogus Idea That Trump Cares About 'Election Integrity'
Topic: is nothing more than a right-wing blog these days, though we still pop in on occasion to see how Craig Bannister -- the only remaining employee from when CNS tried to be a "news" organization -- is peddling right-wing narratives. He did just that in an Aug. 24 post under the wildly dishonest headline "GOP Debate Moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum Fail to Question Election Integrity - Trump Did, and Got Arrested":

The first Republican presidential primary debate, hosted Wednesday by Fox News Channel and moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, failed to address the issue of election integrity. But, former President Donald Trump says he'll "proudly be arrested" for doing so.

Conservative voters, pundits and politicians expressed disappointment and disenfranchisement over the omission of the topic, including former Arizona governor candidate Kari Lake, who questioned how election issues can be resolved without discussing election integrity.

Lake’s sentiments reflect those of many voters. A recent poll conducted by the Honest Elections Project, revealed that a significant majority of U.S. voters - including Black and Hispanic voters - support measures such as voter ID requirements and limitations on mail-in voting.

A poll by the Honest Elections Project found that nine in ten (88%) of U.S. voters - including Black and Hispanic voters - support measures to improve election integrity, such as voter ID requirements and limitations on mail-in voting.

The poll also highlighted the prevailing preference for in-person voting over mailed-in ballots, with three-fourths of voters stating their preference for the former. Furthermore, there was overwhelming opposition (89%) to the idea of noncitizens voting in U.S. elections, underscoring the significance of election integrity as a pressing concern. Likewise, 72% said they oppose lowering the voting age to 16.

Key to Bannister's narrative is not explaining anything he's writing about. "Election integrity" is nothing more than a euphemistic term to describe right-wing efforts to reduce the number of registered voters out ot the belief that doing so gives Republicans a better chance at winning elections. Bannister failed to mention that Lake, like Donald Trump, refuses to admit that she lost her race for Arizona governor and is making up tales of election fraud to justify her failure to acknowledge reality. He also failed to disclose that the Honest Elections Project is a right-wing group dedicated to suppressing voter registration, and it promoted a fringe theory that state legislatures have absolute power to control elections that can't be infriged upon by state constitutions or even courts.All the poll results Bannister cited are tailored to support the organization's objectives,including raging against voting by mail.

Bannister then portrayed Trump as a victim and promoted his ranting abouty "election integrity":

In stark contrast to the debate's oversight, former President Donald Trump made a bold statement on his social media platform Truth Social. Trump declared himself to be the foremost advocate for election integrity and pledged his willingness to be arrested for standing up for this cause:


Trump will turn himself in at the Fulton County Georgia on Thursday, after District Attorney Fani Willis indicted him, claiming that he tried to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

In her zeal to convict him, Willis leveled a variety of charges with dubious and fanciful relevance to election interference.

Bannister failed to tell readers that none of Trump's claims of election fraud have held up upon scrutiny. And his claim that the charges against Trump have  "dubious and fanciful relevance to election interference" cited a Fox News report noting the RICO-centered charges, which simply illustrate that there was a broader conspiracy to interfere with the election results.

This is the kind of thing the Media Research Center blew up CNS to end up with.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:20 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2023 6:26 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
The Media Research Center fully turned its back on journalism by quietly blowing up its "news" operation (and firing several longtime employees) to turn into a right-wing blog not bound by journalistic standards. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
Monday, August 14, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Double Standard On Violations
It was a big deal at when Democrats were accused of violating the Logan Act or the Hatch Act -- but when Republicans were accused of violating the the laws, it downplayed them and even questioned their constitutionality. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, RIP

Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue reported the death of Rabbi Aryeh Spero in his June 26 column published at Newsmax:

Rabbi Aryeh Spero passed away on June 25.

I knew him for decades and consider him to be one of the most brilliant and brave men I have ever known.

Kind and thoughtful, he was a stalwart in the conservative movement.

He was also a good friend of Catholics.

Aryeh was often called "America’s rabbi."

Probably not by actual Jewish people, though. We remember Spero as an occasional columnist for the now-defunct who, as Donohue touted, put right-wing politics before his religious calling (though Donohue probably meant it as a complement) by slobbering over Donald Trump and spreading lies about Barack Obama. We also caught him being hypocritical about Holocaust comparisons, framing right-wing talking points into "prayers" and portraying George Soros as a Jew right-wingers are allowed to hate.

Donohue went on to gush further over Spero's political activism:

As an Orthodox rabbi, Aryeh took great umbrage when a gay rabbi who claimed to be Orthodox held a same-sex ceremony in 2011.

Aryeh was one of 100 distinguished Orthodox rabbis to register his objections.

Ever the activist, in 2019 Aryeh led a sit-in at Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office.

He did so in response to Pelosi’s warm embrace of anti-Jewish Democrats, Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

Donohue concluded: "A man like Aryeh doesn’t come around too often. It was my pleasure to have known him." Donohue certainly likes people to exploit their faith as a politcial cudgel.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Craig Bannister Reprises Old, Dishonest Writing From News Operation In Blog Version Of CNS

Because the Media Research Center got a pot of money some years ago "in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold" -- a longtime MRC funder whose family members have served on the MRC's board of trustees -- to use for reporting on business and economics, the right-wing blog that currently passes for is apparently stuck writing posts about that, albeit with the usual CNS mandate to downplay good economic news when it happens under a Democratic president. A July 7 post by Craig Bannister picked up the cherry-picking-bad-news strategy used by CNS writer Susan Jones, who lost her job when the MRC blew up CNS:

Led by continued growth in government, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 point to 3.6% in June – though, non-farm employment and wages recorded lackluster gains – according to seasonally-adjusted data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Compared to May, employment in the non-farm sector was up 209,000 jobs last month – falling far short of the monthly average increases for both the first six months (278,000) of this year and full-year 2022 (399,000).

Employment in government increased by 60,000 in June, as employment continued to trend up in state (+27,000) and local government (+32,000). Overall, government has added an average of 63,000 jobs per month thus far in 2023 – more than twice the average of 23,000 per month in 2022.

Faltering market conditions reduced more American workers to part-time status in June, as the number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons increased by 452,000 to 4.2 million, partially reflecting an increase in the number of persons whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions.

It wasn't a group of bullet points after the eighth paragraph of his post that Bannister got around to mentioning that more Americans were working.

A July 12 post by Bannister seemed disappointed that inflation is easing, if the headline is any indication: Despite Cost of Shelter, Inflation Eases Compared to Year-Ago, when 9.1% Increase Was Highest in More than 40 Years."

Bannister reprised another dishonest reporting trick in a July 21 post:

States with Republican governors dominate the lists of both the states with the lowest, and record-lowest, unemployment rates, according to statistics for June 2023 released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Out of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates last month, eight boast Republican governors, as Maryland (#5) and Maine (#8) were the only Democrat-led [sic] states to make the cut:

As we've noted when CNS did this previously, most of those Republican-led states tend to be sparsely populated compared to other states.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Thursday, August 3, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Nitpicky War on Kamala Harris
Just as it did to President Biden, took the vice president's words out of context to make her look ridiculous, obsessed over the words she said -- and even lied about a claim she made. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EDT
Monday, July 31, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: Another Priest Who Thinks He's A Right-Wing Pundit
Topic: gave space to Catholic priest Jerry Pokorsky to spout right-wing opinions, while also continuing to do the same for another priest, Michael Orsi. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Monday, July 17, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Biased Reporting Tricks
Prior to its shutdown, manufactured a lot of "news" by cherry-picking data and taking it out of context to make liberals look bad and its fellow conservatives look good. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EDT
Thursday, July 6, 2023
CNS Continues Selective Reporting On Hatch Act Violations

We've documented how loved to make a big deal over alleged Hatch Act violations -- but only when they involved people in  Democratic administrations. That biased tradition is continuing to CNS' current deprecated right-wing blog. Intern Emma Campbell wrote in a June 13 post:

A government watchdog agency determined this month that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act by repeatedly saying “mega MAGA Republicans” in a press conference leading up to the 2022 midterms. 

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), in a letter shared with NBC News, said that Jean-Pierre’s word choice when referring to Republican candidates while acting in her official capacity violated the Hatch Act — a federal law that sets limits on federal employees to prevent them from influencing or interfering with elections. 

“Because Ms. Jean-Pierre made the statements while acting in her official capacity, she violated the Hatch Act prohibition against her using her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election,” Ana Galindo-Marrone, leader of the Office of Special Counsel’s Hatch Act Unit, wrote in a letter June 7. 

The letter continued on to say that the OSC wouldn’t pursue any disciplinary actions against Jean-Pierre aside from a warning letter. Part of the reasoning, Galindo-Marrone wrote, was that the White House legal team “did not at the time believe Ms. Jean-Pierre’s remarks were prohibited,” and that it was “unclear” if Jean-Pierre knew that the phrasing “MAGA Republicans” was not allowed.

Campbell failed to mention that numerous Trump administration officials, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, were found to have violated the Hatch Act when in office, which would have been important to put such alleged violations in perspective.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Flips For Elon Musk, Part 2
Topic: stuck close to the Musk-fluffing agenda of its Media Research Center parent in serving as the billionaire's PR agent, with only its shutdown interfering with that mission. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
Thursday, June 29, 2023
CNS Blogger Pouts That 'Comer Caves'

Craig Bannister wrote a very pouty June 8 blog post under the even poutier headline "Comer Caves, Allowing Media/Dems to Lie About Contents of FBI Records Alleging Biden Bribery Scheme":

On Monday, House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer (R-KY) warned that, if he doesn’t take possession of the FBI document alleging a bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden, media and Democrats will deny his reports and label them crazy conspiracy theories.

On Wednesday, Comer canceled Thursday’s scheduled contempt of Congress vote against FBI Director Christopher Wray, who continues to refuse to turn over the document containing the “highly-credible,” long-time FBI source’s allegations.

But, on Monday, Rep. Comer told reporters that he wouldn’t cancel the contempt of Congress vote, unless he had the document “in hand,” because that was the only way he could get the media and Democrats to admit what it reveals.

“Mr. Chair, why do you need the document in hand?” one reporter asked Comer, questioning the need to “move forward with contempt when the FBI says they are cooperating in good faith.”

Without the physical document to show to the public, media will continue to parrot the Biden Administration’s “conspiracy theory” claims and dismiss the source as unverified, Comer explained:

Bannister wants us to believe that Comer is operating in good faith -- which seems unlikely given that he has released no documentation of his numerous claims about the Biden family. He's also making claims based on a document he doesn't even have poseesion of, which makes those claims -- including his assertion that the source is "highly-credible" -- even more dubious. It can be argued that given the lack of evidence behind his claims, Comer is the one who's peddling crazy conspiracy theories.

If Comer can't back up what he says, he shouldn't be sayhing anything at all -- and Bannister shouldn't treat him as anything other than a partisan actor with an agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
CNS Blog Attacks Biden Over Litigation Started Under Bush

A May 26 post at the deprecated blog at MRCTV carried the headline "Farmers Cheer SCOTUS WOTUS Decision Returning Property Rights to Landowners from Biden’s Clutches." Craig Bannister wrote:

The nation’s farmers are cheering Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that American citizens, not the Biden Administration, have the right to manage the water on their property.

In 2014, the Obama Administration concocted and issued the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, greatly expanding the federal government’s claim to control of water in the U.S. - including on private property - under the guise of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiative. The rule was repealed by President Donald Trump, but reinstated last year by President Joe Biden.

In Thursday’s Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency decision, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that the EPA can’t prohibit Idaho residents Michael and Chantell Sackett from building a home on their property near a wetland.

In fact, the case has nothing to do with either Biden or Obama. The Sacketts' litigation began in 2008 -- when George W. Bush was president, meaning that the litigation predates the WOTUS rule Bannister is complaining about.

As to expected from a biased writer like Bannister, he quoted only conservative-leaning groups cheering the ruling, such as the Farm  Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Associated Builders and Contractors. Bannister added that "ABC’s statement calls on the Biden Administration to “refrain from regulatory overreach that harms taxpayers and job creators” -- even though, again, the litigation had nothing whatsoever to do with the Biden administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Monday, June 26, 2023
NEW ARTICLE: The Nepotism Behind CNS' Promotion of Ted Cruz
Did devote so much space to articles touting Ted Cruz because the daughter of its editor worked for Cruz? Plus: CNS gave promotional space to GOP Rep. Jim Jordan and Judicial Watch, while its hyping of Mark Levin declined. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Saturday, June 24, 2023
MRC Blew Up CNS To Turn It Into A Right-Wing Blog

When the Media Research Center abruptly shut down in April, it declared that CNS was being merged into its MRCTV hot-take website "to form a new conservative media platform, designed to deliver news and commentary on all of the top issues of the day." Well, that hasn't happened. MRCTV is still all about right-wing hot takes,; witness Brittany Hughes whining that buring a pride flag is onsidered a hate crime. CNS, however, is nothing but a blog -- to which the domain now redirects -- featuring the biased rantings of Craig Bannister, the only CNS staffer apparently still with the MRC.

Interestingly, Bannister is pulling the same biased reporting tricks that a fully staffed CNS did -- apparently as a condition of funding it has received. A May 5 post fulfilled Susan Jones' old job of repoprting on the April's employment stats -- an unusually positive report without Jones' usual bias -- carries the tagline "The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." That article was joined, however, by another claiming that "The number of jobs created in each month of 2023 has been revised down in subsequent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, making the current month’s growth look better in comparison.." A June 2 Bannister post on May's unemployment numbers was back to the usual biased shenanigans, under the headline "Unemployment Rate Rose in May as Number of Employed Fell for First Time in 6 Months." Apparently, the Wold money mandates talking down positive economic news when a Democrat is president.

Bannister repeated one of CNS' biased reporting tricks -- cherry-picking statistics to make Democrats look bad -- in a May 4 post headlined "CEO Survey Ranks Texas #1 State for Business, California #50 - 9 of 10 Worst Have Dem Governors." That article also carried the Wold-money tagline.

Bannister did more cherry-picking -- this time to make a certain former Repubican president look good -- in a May 10 post:

In April, consumer prices for all items increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.4% from March and were 4.9% higher than they were a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Wednesday.

While the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase of 4.9% for the 12 months ending in April was the smallest year-over-year rise since the period ending April 2021, inflation thus far during the Biden Administration is still more than three times higher than it was under his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Bannister made no mention of the fact there was was a global pandemic that messed with the economy, and he censored the fact that inflation in the U.S. is lower than in most other major countries.

Bannister also continued his anti-ESG obsession:

The CNS blog is also continuing to be a whore to its parent, just as the "news" operation was. Bannister touted his boss in a June 12 post:

“Another Joe Biden middle finger to America,” Media Research Center (MRC) Founder and President Brent Bozell reacted Monday, retweeting a post by Pres. Biden declaring America an LGBTQ nation - and displaying a “Pride” flag - at the White House.

“Today, the People's House – your house – sends a clear message to the country and to the world. America is a nation of pride,” Biden tweeted, along with the flag photo looking out from the White House at the crowd at Saturday’s Pride celebration on the South Lawn.

As we documented, the MRC killed CNS just two months before its 25th anniversary terminating several longtime employees from an operation that used up 13 percent of thte MRC's budget -- and notoby cared (aside from us), not even the MRC, which refused to publicly acknowledge its shutdown despite being so close to a significant anniversary. It's also notable that deprecating an entire"news" operation to a one-person blog didn't significantly change the tone of what came out under the CNS nameplate. If nobody cared about CNS as a "news" operation, why does the MRC apprently believe people will care now that it's been reduced to an opinion blog on a different website that's dedicated to right-wing hot takes?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 29, 2023 2:07 AM EDT
Sunday, June 18, 2023
CNS's Shots At VP Harris Continued Until Its Shutdown

We've documented how nitpicked and misled about Vice President Kamala Harris the way it did about President Biden, and that negative coverage of her continued until CNS was shut down in April. A March 7 article by Melanie Arter carried to misleading clickbait headline "VP Harris: ‘Why Are Conservatives Bad, Mommy?’"

During a conversation on climate on Monday in Colorado, Vice President Kamala Harris said that as a child, she mistook conservationists with conservatives, which she thought were “bad.”

The vice president was asked how her life shaped her work on climate and the environment.


<“In fact, I’m going to share with you a very simple story, which is that I went home one day, and I said, “Well, what’s — why are conservatives bad, Mommy?” Because I thought we were supposed to conserve things. I couldn’t reconcile it. Now I can,” she said, laughing.

Susan Jones devoted a March 16 article to complaining about a TV interview Harris did:

In a lengthy interview with the "Late Show's" Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris called it "inhumane" for states to pass pro-life laws; she touted U.S. boldness and leadership on climate change; she called Joe Biden a "true partner" and an "extraordinary leader"; and at the very end of the interview, she explained why she loves the United States.

An anonymously written article the next day grumbled that Harris didn't hate a gay foreign official:

Leo Varadkar, the gay Taoiseach—or prime minister—of Ireland, celebrated St. Patrick Day's with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris by attending a breakfast convened at the Vice President’s official residence in Washington, D.C.

Harris concluded her introduction of Varadkar by toasting him and his partner, Matthew Barrett. “I will now raise a glass to toast the Taoiseach, Mr. Barrett, and all of you on St. Patrick’s Day,” she said. “Cheers.”

The anonymous writer reminded us that "St. Patrick, who was born in Scotland in 387, was commissioned by Pope Celestine I in the fifth century to focus on converting the people of Ireland to the Catholic faith" -- as you'd expect from the more-Catholic-than-the pope folks who ran CNS -- then gratutiously called Varadkar a "gay Taoiseach" again, as you expect from a "news" organization run by a deeply homophobic managing editor.

Another anonymously written article, on April 7, grumbled about Harris' support for abortion rights:

Vice President Kamala Harris this Holy Week put out a statement criticizing pro-life elected officials for seeking to “undermine and attack reproductive freedom."

In doing so, Harris pointed to Tuesday’s election in Wisconsin, where voters elected a pro-abortion judge to the state’s Supreme Court.

CNS' final attack on Harris came on April 18, when Jones began an article this way:

At a march for reproductive rights in Los Angeles on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris (who uses the pronouns she/her) blasted the U.S. Supreme Court for taking away a "constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of America."

That's a reference to a previous CNS attack on Harris for announcing her pronouns at an even for people with disabilities where she was asked to do so.

Jones went on to complain about other statements by Harris, framing one by using "transgenders" as a noun:

She defended the right to abortion and "the rights of women" specifically. She also mentioned "the ability of people to be themselves and be proud of who they are," an apparent reference to transgenders.

Harris touted her world travels, saying every time she goes to a new country, "I'll meet with women to talk with them about how they’re doing. Because I fundamentally believe that you can gauge the strength of a democracy based on the strength of women in that democracy.

"So, when they dare attack the rights of women, understand, for all of you who are watching, who walk around wearing those lapel pins, requiring that people look at you with some level of respect: When you attack the rights of women in America, you are attacking America. All of this is at stake."

Some Americans view transgenderism as an attack on women's rights, particularly when biological men, with their innate physiological advantages, participate in biological women's sports.

After Harris referenced "the next generation of the people who will help lead and fight in this movement for freedom and liberty based on our love of our country," Jones sneered, "For the record, Harris included herself in 'the next generation' of leaders."

Two days later, CNS was shut down.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:54 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 19, 2023 6:11 PM EDT

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