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Tuesday, June 22, 2021
CNS Can't Stop Promoting Extremist GOP Rep (And Hiding Her Extremism)
Topic: CNSNews.com

The last time we checked, CNSNews.com was happily promoting far-right Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert's goofy pronouncements without telling readers that her origin story is a lie. Meanwhile, CNS has decided that enough time has passed after the full exposure (despite CNS' best efforts to hide it) of even more extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's wacky conspiracy theories that she could be promoted again, so Boebert continues to get the fawning CNS treatment.

Craig Bannister touted a mean so-called joke from Boebert in a May 18 article:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) says Americans should “Get ready for new videos of Joe Biden sniffing people to start surfacing again” – and that she’s got a plan to ensure she doesn't become one of them.

“Now that the mask mandate has been lifted for vaccinated people, get ready for new videos of Joe Biden sniffing people to start surfacing again,” Boebert tweeted on Tuesday.

Her solution: “I’m going to continue to social distance from him.”

On May 21, Melanie Arter promoted whining from Boebert and other Republicans about mask requirements on the House floor:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and fellow House Republicans are fed up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) rule that all House members must wear a mask on the House floor whether they are vaccinated or not.

As CNSNews.com reported, Pelosi said Thursday that she will be guided by the attending physician, who says lawmakers and staff must continue to wear masks in meetings and on the House floor. This despite CDC guidance saying that they can forgo masks indoors.

[...]

“Everyone is just hearing about them, because we are finally ripping them off saying, ‘To heck with this. Nancy Pelosi kiss my mask.’ So there were many of us who actually stood and said, ‘We're done with these games. You don't know more than the CDC, and if you do maybe that means COVID is more dangerous in the House of Representatives chambers than it is in the hall right outside,’ because there we don't have to wear a mask and there is no fine,” she said.

Arter didn't mention that Boebert is apparently refusing to geta COVID vaccine, which would help Pelosi want to lift mask mandates in the House.

Bannister returned on June 8 to promote a Boebert stunt:

Since Border Czar Kamala Harris won’t visit the U.S. southern border to see the crisis unfolding, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) took a cardboard cut-out of the vice president there at told her to “Stand here and look at what you’ve done.”

“I traveled down to McAllen, Texas to the Rio Grande Valley sector to see what’s up at our southern border,” Rep. Boebert says in a video posted to her Twitter page.

Netierh Boebert nor Bannister explained why Harris must be forced to visit the border when they would likely denounce even that move as well.

Meanwhile, CNS has yet to tell its readers that Boebert has just bought into a conspiracy theory that the Clintons caused the death of a reporter -- or any of the other extremist conspiracy theories she has latched onto, like QAnon. One might call that biased and dishonest reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Monday, June 21, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Highly Selective Crime News Coverage
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com only sporadically expresses concern about crime in Chicago and other big cities -- typically, when reporting on it advances CNS' right-wing editorial agenda. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT
Sunday, June 20, 2021
CNS Gets Bored -- Again -- With Crime In Chicago
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've noted, CNSNews.com once again renewed its sporadic interest in crime in Chicago in April, presumably in an attempt to blame President Biden -- and despite touting President Trumo's alleged success with a crime-reducing program in the city. That politifally motivated interest continued for a while longer. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman made an odd comparison in a May 18 article:

Since the violence erupted in Israel on May 10, a reported 232 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed, a total of 242 victims. These people were killed primarily by airstrikes (bombing) and rocket attacks. It's essentially a war zone there.

For comparison, since Jan. 1 through May 10, at least 210 people have been killed in Chicago, most of them by gun violence. The majority of the victims are young black men, according to the Chicago Tribune.

[...]

In the year 2020, there were 774 murders in Chicago. Also, there were 3,237 shootings (which was up from 2,120 in 2019), reported The Sun-Times. (Emphasis added.) 

For comparison, 27 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in 2020, according to Al Jazeera, and three Israelis were killed reportedly by Palestinians.

CNS went to an anonymous article credted only to "CNSNews.com Staff Writer" (but put into the system by Chapman, according to the CNS archive) for a May 24 article:

At least 55 people were shot, 12 fatally, over the weekend in Chicago, according to the local media in the Windy City. One of the fatalities was a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head.

Nearly all of the shootings occurred in neighborhoods in the South and West sides of the city, areas that were identified by the city "last fall as 'priority community areas' where police and other resources were to be boosted," reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

And ... that was it. CNS has not devoted another article exclusively to Chicago crime since then. There were references in a couple other articles, though. A May 25 article by Melanie Arter hyped Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asking White House press secretary Jen Psaki about "the spike in violent crime in the past year" and seemingly upset at Paski pointing out that the spike began under the Trump administration. And a June 10 article touted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham hounding Attorney General Merrick Garland over increases in violent crime (though, of course, no equal space was provided for questioning of Garland by Democratic senators).

It's quite clear that CNS cares about crime in Chicago and other big citiees only when doing so helps its right-wing political agenda. Isn't that the kind of thing that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, loves to attack the "liberal media" for doing?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 20, 2021 11:01 PM EDT
Friday, June 18, 2021
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Good-News-Is-No-News Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last month, CNSNews.com had a field day with April's lower-than-expected job growth numbers, happily hyping the low numbers and falsely blaming generous unemployment benefits for it. When May's numbers came up not only much better than April's but also much closer to expectations, CNS really didn't want to talk much about it. Susan Jones' story about it was about as straightforward as CNS gets, while also sniping that the numbers still didn't reach some estimates and still aren't as good as they were under President Trump:

Following a disappointing employment report in April, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday produced an improving picture as the nation continues to emerge from its COVID slump.

The economy added 559,000 jobs last month, below Bloomberg's median estimate of +661,000, but easily beating the lackluster 266,000 added in April (the April number fell far short of estimates as high as 1 million).

The unemployment rate, after rising a tenth of a point last month to 6.1 percent, dropped three-tenths of a point to 5.8 percent; and the number of employed Americans increased for the 13th consecutive month.

In May, 151,620,000 Americans were working, 7,115,000 fewer than the record 158,735,000 employed in December 2019 when Donald Trump was president. As COVID crashed the economy, the number of employed Americans fell to 133,370,000 in April 2020, a number not seen since 1999.

Interestingly, that was the only story CNS did. For someunexplained reason, no sidebars on government employment or Hispanic employment -- regular CNS staples until now -- never appeared. Perhaps CNS decided the numbers were so good that it didn't want to draw additional attention to them; after all, that would run counter to its aggressively anti-Biden editorial agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Fake News: CNS Tries To Manaufacture Political Motivation For Mask Guidance Change
Topic: CNSNews.com

Because its right-wing ideology makes it assume nefarious motives with everything the Biden administration does -- something it never did during the Trump administration -- CNSNews.com tried to manufacture a fake narrative about the Biden administration's abrupt reversal on mask policies last month, insisting that it was an attempt to distract from otherwise negative news in the country.

Susan Jones explicitly stated it in a May 14 article:

Joe Biden called Thursday a "great day" for fully vaccinated Americans who no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. The unvaccinated must still wear a mask, under the sudden new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Not only did Thursday's announcement distract from the multiple crises facing the White House (war in the Middle East, a gasoline supply disruption, rising inflation, a falling stock market, an overwhelmed southern border where babies are dropped alone in the desert) -- it also serves as incentive to boost vaccinations.

Jones offered no evidence to support her little conspiracy theory, which was even more explicitly pushed in the article's original headline, as revealed by the article's URL and another website that reposted it: "Poof! Suddenly, On a Mostly Bad-News Day, CDC Lifts Mask Mandate for the Vaccinated (Incentive to Get Shots, Says Fauci)." The headline was changed to the much more bland (and factually accurate) hed "CDC Lifts Mask Mandate for the Vaccinated; Fauci Says It May be an Incentive for People to Get Shots."

Melanie Arter pushed the unsubstantiated narrative later that day, though she did give Press Secretary Jen Psaki space to explain to hostile Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that wasn't the case:

The White House denied on Friday that politics was behind the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to update its guidance on mask-wearing indoors for political reasons.

Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki what the big medical or scientific breakthrough was for the CDC to update its guidance on Thursday.

“I know that Dr. Walensky did an extensive number of interviews yesterday to answer exactly that question, but as we’ve talked in here quite a bit about, the CDC – not just Dr. Walensky, but her entire team of health and medical experts - are constantly reviewing the data to ensure that they can provide accurate and up-to-date guidance to the American people, so based on three factors as she talked about yesterday,” Psaki said.

“Vaccines work in the real world. We’ve seen a lot of studies done on that, including internally in the federal government. Vaccines stand up to the variants, which at various times has been a concern about the need to continue to mask even as you—after you’re vaccinated, and vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus. That’s how they came to the decision, and that’s what she conveyed yesterday when she announced the decision,” the press secretary said.

As an actual news operation reported, the the abruupt change set off "antagonists" of Biden -- like, you know, CNS -- and reported that their conspiracy theory wasn't true:

The abrupt timing of Walensky’s decision also smacked of politics to Biden’s antagonists, who noted that the president benefited from the announcement during a difficult week when many Americans queued up in gas lines, tensions in Israel flared and markets roiled amid inflation fears.

The White House vigorously denied any interference in the decision. Instead, administration officials said, part of the communications stumble arose from the White House’s hands-off policy toward the CDC as it seeks to restore public trust in the agency after it faced unprecedented political interference under the Trump administration.

“As they have done throughout the Biden administration, the CDC operates and makes decisions based on the science and data, free from political influence,” White House spokesman Chris Meagher said in a statement. “That is what they did in this case and that is what we believe they should continue to do.”

This account of the administration’s surprise mask reversal is based on interviews with more than 15 senior administration officials, outside advisers and health experts, some of whom requested anonymity to candidly discuss internal policy deliberations.

Needless to say, CNS hasn't told the actual truth about the policy change to its readers, nor has it admitted its conspiracy theory was false.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2021 1:09 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
CNS Parrots MRC Parent In Gloating Over Lower-Than-Expected Employment Growth
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's coverage of the April employment numbers didn't end with its skewed reporting on the numbers themselves. Like its Media Research Center parent, CNS pounced on the lower-than-expected job growth figures to push right-wing narratives about too-generous unemployment insurance supposedly discouraging people from getting jobs. A May 7 article by Melanie Arter highlighted how "Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday that the extra unemployment compensation funds were not a factor that made a difference in last month’s jobs numbers." Taht was followed by Craig Bannister gloating over how "liberal media" predictions of robust job growth didn't come to pass:

Confident that the Biden Administration’s policies would produce a robust jobs report for April, liberal media ran headlines and stories promising job growth numbers that proved to exceed reality by more than seven hundred thousand, and as much as 1.7 million.

As CNSNews.com reported, Friday’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report reveals that the unemployment rate increased slightly in April as the ranks of the unemployed grew by 102,000, with the month’s job growth failing to reach even half that of recent months:

Bannister then linked back to an even gloatier NewsBusters post on the same subject.

A May 10 article by Susan Jones, meanwhile, again highlighted "the disappointing April jobs report" and noted that Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said "there is 'anecdotal evidence' but 'nothing in the data' to suggest that higher unemployment benefits, passed by Congress as part of COVID relief, are hurting the job market."

CNS also offered plenty of opinion on the subject:

  • A May 12 column by Tony Perkins complained that "The Democrats' COVID welfare -- a mix of generous unemployment benefits and stimulus checks -- is turning the country's workforce into a bunch of highly-paid couch potatoes" (never mind that both stimulus checks and higher unemployment benefits began under President Trump).
  • Pat Buchanan huffed in his May 14 column: "Workers might reasonably ask: Why go back to work when we can take the summer off, with full unemployment, plus $300 a week?"
  • David Limbaugh whined: "You don't increase productivity and jobs by injecting play money into the economy and continuing to pay unemployment benefits that disincentivize people from returning to work, a reality he cynically denies."
  • Stephen Moore complained: "President Joe Biden made the laughable observation that he saw "no measurable evidence" that the super generous unemployment program is a deterrent to working. He needs to get out more."

Acutally, numerous studies have shown that unemployment benefits do not keep people from seeking work. But CNS never reported that perspective to its readers -- the right-wing narrative comes before the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
CNS Devotes 2 Articles In A Month To Attacking The Same Pro-LGBT Army Ad
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com has a habit of devoting multiple articles to pushing the exact same talking point. It's done that again -- but to push its anti-LGBT agenda.

An anonymously written May 12 article stated:

In a new, animated recruitment ad, the U.S. Army presents the story of "Emma," a real soldier (Emma Malonelord), who was raised by lesbians, enjoyed a "fairly typical childhood," saw her two moms get married,  and decided to join the Army to experience her "own adventures, my own challenge."

It is a recruitment ad with a pro-homosexual theme. It presents lesbian behavior, "gay marriage," and gay parenting as normal and patriotic.

The anonymous author -- a search of CNS' archive suggests it may have been written by the gay-athing managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- offered no evidence that those thins are not "normal and patriotic."

CNS was apparently so outraged by this ad (and eventually had received a crop of summer interns) that it published another anonymously written attack on this exact same ad on June 10:

The U.S. Army has produced an animated recruiting ad that depicts a same-sex marriage between two women and tells the story of how the daughter of this pair joined the Army.

The ad is part of a series of ads the Army is calling “The Calling.” On the GoArmy.com website, the Army says of these ads: “See how five young Americans made the most important decision of their lives, for reasons as diverse as they are.”

The ad featuring the animated same-sex wedding is about and narrated by Cpl. Emma Malonelord, who works as an “air defense enhanced early warning system operator.”

On its webpage about the ad, the Army says: “Raised by two supportive mothers, Emma felt lucky to have such powerful role models in her life. Inspired by their courage and conviction, she was determined to face challenges of her own and shatter stereotypes along the way.”

The latter article is less obviously judgmental, but it also doesn't explain why it obviously finds the ad offensive -- or why it exists at all, given that CNS had covered this exact same territory a month earlier. Did somebody forget about that earlier article? The CNS archive suggests that it may have been written by editor Terry Jeffrey, who's less overtly anti-LGBT than Chapman. The headline, however, complains that the ad "promotes lesbianism and same-sex marraige," so the anti-LGBT message still came through.

Still, it appears that someone at CNS felt so strongly that this ad must be denounced that two articles were devoted to bashing it. That's not "news" -- that's ideology-driven activism.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Monday, June 14, 2021
CNS Gives Discredited D'Souza A Platform
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister gives Dinesh D'Souza a plug in a May 4 CNSNews.com article:

Identity socialism has taken hold of America by dividing people based on identity groups and creating new classes of heroes and villains, conservative Author and Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza explains in a PragerU video.

In his video titled “What Is Socialism?” D’Souza says that identity socialism promotes division by defining who is “in” and who is “out” in American society:

[...]

Identity socialism has employed a long-term strategy to perpetuate itself, D'Souza says. By turning radical students into radical professors who teach its ideology to impressionable students, Identity Marxism could permeate American society to the point that “Even big business, the hated capitalist class itself, would succumb”:

Bannister offered no balanced, opposing view to D'Souza -- which means he failed to tell readers that D'Souza has a well-documented history of being wrong on so many things, to the point that historian Kevin Kruse effectively has an unpaid part-time job debunking D'Souza's numerous falsehoods. Because he's hiding the truth about D'Souza, Bannister also doesn't explore how it reflects on PragerU to give a fabulist like D'Souza prominence as one of its so-called educators.

Bannister is acting as a PR person for D'Souza and PragerU -- not a journalist. That's not a good look for an organizaiton that insists on calling itself "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EDT
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Rabbi Spero's Hypocrisy On Holocaust Comparisons
Topic: CNSNews.com

Loopy right-wing rabbi Aryeh Spero ranted in an April 9 CNSNews.com column:

One would expect the commemoration of something as tragic and sacred as the Holocaust to be done in a respectful manner and not be manipulated for political goals. Such was not the case this week with Nancy Pelosi’s statement sent out on Holocaust Remembrance Day, known in Israel as Yom Ha’Shoah<. Instead, she exploited the murder of six million Jews by Hitler and his regime, using it to create a manifesto of Democrat false talking points and the demonization of millions of Americans associated with conservatism and who voted for President Trump. It was sacrilege and shameful.

The first principle regarding the Holocaust is as follows: It was a unique, once-in-history, genocidal plan to exterminate an entire race of people, Jews, across the globe simply because of who they were at birth. Unlike conventional warfare where antagonists may wish to eliminate those they are fighting, Hitler planned the systematic murder of those not only at war with him but those beyond the confines of the battle lines, searching for Jews worldwide even though they were not in the way of his territorial ambitions. They were murdered not for what they did or their conduct, but for simply being born into a people. While he did kill others during the war, the grand plan of Final Solution was specific to eradicating the Jewish people, no other group, from the face of the earth, leaving no trace of their ever having existed.

[...]

How dare she!! Invoking the Holocaust and the hate of Jews by Hitler when describing the Jan.6 protest in D.C. is blatantly dishonest, disrespectful of those murdered by Hitler, and propaganda at its worst. This is low even for Nancy Pelosi, the godmother of today’s political viciousness, a Deep State game plan of lies which politicizes everything, crushing the soul of those things noble for political gain, slashing and burning so as to achieve one-party rule.

But when extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene last month ludicrously compared mask mandates to the Holocaust, Spero was silent. We could find no outrage from Spero over Greene committing "sacrilege" by likening a trivial event to the Holocaust, at CNS or anywhere else.

Note that Spero referred to the Jan. 6 insurrection only as a "protest." He went on to falsely insist that "virtually all" of the insurrectionists merely "slowly walked through the Capitol." He also served up a revionist take on the "Charlottesville lie" lie:

Pelosi talks of “Charlottesville,” the oft used Democrat talking point condemning President Trump for “siding with Nazi protesters." This is one of the great lies in American history, reminiscent of Goebbels, who taught: ”If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." President Trump immediately condemned the neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, but he rightfully argued that in the streets that day were other groups, not neo-Nazis, with valid concern over the toppling of statues of heroes to many in the South. President Trump was correct, and courageous and honest, in differentiating between neo-Nazis (white supremacists) and those feeling warmth and devotion to their history below the Mason-Dixon Line. Loving your native history does not automatically make one a “white supremacist."

In fact, a protest against removal of Confederate statues that Trump praised was organized by a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr.

That's not the only bit of loopiness Spero has served up lately. In his April 27 column, he offered up a prayer to "help us stop those deliberately confusing children as to their natural God-given gender and forcefully pushing them to explore and even affirm sexual practices that are anathema to the innocence of childhood, that most precious and sacred phase of their life," adding, "Do not allow the so-called “woke” to teach our children to despise themselves."

Spero served up a similar prayer in a May 14 commentary that is supposedly about "Israel under attack":

But Lord, you have forewarned us in Scripture that “the wages of sin are sin” and that one sin begets another sin. Let us ponder this. It is inevitable that a side and outlook whose so-called “values” disregard the life of the unborn is indifferent to the holiness embodied in traditional marriage, often mocks biblical Christian observances, pushes to confuse our children regarding their God-given gender,  demonizes people born white, labels patriotic nationalism as something “extreme” and our country’s “greatest threat," that is ashamed of America’s founding principles and heroes, and labels its Caucasian citizens as systemically racist would necessarily, also, pressure Israel, question its sovereignty over Jerusalem, and cozy-up to Iran, and financially support Palestinian Arab terrorism. Yes, it is inevitable and predictable.

The socialists proudly call this “intersectionality,” linking all these vices into one, unified outlook. We, however, know it for what it really is: a repudiation of the biblical Judeo-Christian outlook. It is simpatico with evil and a rejection of that which is wholesome and noble. In the timeless, never-ending battle of Godliness vs. that which is Demonic, intersectionality has chosen the Dark Side.

In short: Spero is just as loopy and as right-wing as ever.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 13, 2021 3:59 PM EDT
Friday, June 11, 2021
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Criticizing Trump's Continued Facebook Suspension
Topic: CNSNews.com

Since CNSNews.com is more and more just the Media Research Center's agenda in inverted-pyramid format, CNS followed in its parent's footsteps and attacked Facebook's decision to keep Donald Trump suspended from the platform in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In CNS' first story on the continued suspension, Susan Jones curiously waited until the sixth paragraph to mention exactly why Trump was suspended: for offering "praise or support of people engaged in violence" and "creat[ing] an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible." That was followed by Craig Bannister supplying a bit of whoredom for his boss, uncritically quoting MRC chief Brent Bozell huffing that the suspension means Facebook "gets its first opportunity to interfere with the 2024 election.” Bannister waited until the fifth paragraph to mention why Trump was suspended.

Melanie Arter went into her usual stenography mode, uncritically quoting former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows decrying the continued suspension as "a sad day for America" during a Fox News interview. Neither Arter nor, apparently, Meadows mentioned the reason why Trump was suspended.

Bannister returned to tout Trump's rant against his continued suspension. This time, Bannisteromitted any mention of the reason why Trump was suspended;' instead, he promoted Trump's then-new blog "to voice his opinions regarding important, national issues."

Arter followed up with a compliation of how "Conservative groups condemned Facebook Oversight Board’s decision Wednesday to continue to block former President Donald Trump’s Facebook page and Instagram account as “un-American” and an “obscene” abuse of power, pointing out that if it treated liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) the same way, people would be outraged." Arter did not mention the reason why Trump was suspended, but the uncritically quoted Jenny Beth Martin ranting that Facebook's "claim that President Trump’s rhetoric contains ‘a serious risk of violence’ is laughable."

That was followed by another article from Arter:

Social media platforms “have a responsibility related to the health and safety of all Americans to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation and misinformation especially related to COVID-19, vaccinations and elections,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday in reaction to Facebook’s Oversight Board’s decision to continue to the suspension of former President Donald Trump’s Facebook page and Instagram account.

As CNSNews.com reported, the board decided “it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension” on Trump’s account.

Again, Arter failed to mention why Trump was suspended, even though it's the central issue.

On May 6, CNS published a commentary by Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James attacking Facebook's decision to suspend Trump as "the wrong one, and one that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, should be concerned about." She did not mention the incitement of violence that got Trump suspended in the first place.

The same day, Arter touted a Fox Business interview in which host Maria Bartiromo played whataboutism with  Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell after calling for social media regulation to try and stop bullying and misinformation.

On May 7, Bannister promoted a (biased) Rasmussen poll in which "voters were asked about Facebook’s editorial decision to permanently ban Republican and Former President Donald Trump from its platform." Bannister offered no evidence that Rasmussen told readers that Trump was suspended for inciting and endorsing violence -- which, again, is central to the issue of his suspension.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Thursday, June 10, 2021
CNS Gets On Board With Anti-Cheney Narrative -- But Wasn't Quite Sold On Her Replacement
Topic: CNSNews.com

Despite its Media Research Center parent's insistence that it wasn't news, CNSNews.com did, in fact, cover the story of Liz Cheney getting kicked out of House Repuiblican leadership for criticizing Donald Trump.

On May 7, Craig Bannister touted how "The union representing the nation’s border agents is endorsing Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as chairwoman of the House Republican conference." Bannister didn't epxlain why CNS suddenly thinks it's OK for a labor union to speak out on partisan political issues, given its heavy anti-union record.

In a May 10 article, Susan Jones pushed criticism of Cheney from another GOP congressman and tried to make the case against her:

Cheney, the highest ranking woman in Republican leadership, does oppose the Biden agenda. But she disagrees with Banks and other Republicans on the future of the post-Trump Republican Party.

She infuriated her fellow Republicans when she voted to impeach Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Since then, she has called Trump's claim that the election was stolen a "big lie."

Cheney has made it clear she does not and will not have anything to do with Donald Trump, and unlike Banks and other Republican leaders, she rejects Trump’s influence on her party.

Jones did note that the congressman, Jim Banks, had to backpedal a bit from Trump's "Big Lie" about the election being stolen from him: "As for Cheney’s 'big lie' criticism of Trump, Banks on Sunday said, 'I've never said that the election was stolen. I've said I have very serious concerns with -- with how the election was conducted in last November because of COVID rules that loosened voter identification laws.'"

In a May 12 article, however, Jones was fully on board with the approved right-wing narrative and mad that the Cheney story drew attention from "activist media" (as if CNS is not "activist media"):

House Republicans say good riddance to Cheney, who voted in February to impeach Donald Trump, whom she accused of trying to steal the election and inciting insurrection. Many House Democrats used Cheney's own words to support their case for impeaching Trump a second time.

Meanwhile, the leftist, activist media is portraying Cheney as a hero, even a martyr to the anti-Trump crusade that still fills the airwaves and cable channels. For weeks, Democrats and the leftist media have showered Cheney with praise, using her to further split and weaken the Republican Party. 

Cheney, defiant, delivered a not-so-subtle message to House Republicans leaders last month, when she was seen fist-bumping President Joe Biden on his way into the chamber to deliver a speech to a sparsely attended joint session of Congress.

In another article that day, Jones served up even more right-wing talking points:

As Congressional Democrats seek to consolidate their power by attempting to federalize elections, make D.C. a state, pack the Supreme Court and end the filibuster -- moves that would squelch Republicans for years to come -- it was surprising to hear a defense of the two-party system coming from liberal pundits on MSNBC this Wednesday morning.

The conversation revolved around the anticipated ouster of House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, whom Democrats and media activists are hailing as a hero, a woman of true integrity, for her outspoken anti-Trump stance.

Jones also boosted the anti-Cheney narrative in a third article, quoting Republican Rep. Jim Jordan saying that "You can't have the Republican Conference chair reciting Democrat talking points, especially when gas prices are up 50 percent, there's a crisis on the border, and Democrats are trying to federalize election law and pack the United States Supreme Court."

Bannister, meanwhile, returned to uncritically repeat Trump's insults of Cheney as "a bitter, horrible human being." And an anonymously written article complained that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement calling Cheney "a leader of great courage, patriotism and integrity. ... those values are unwelcome in the Republican party."

While CNS ultimately fully embraced the dump-Cheney narrative, it wasn't thrilled at first about her replacement, Elise Stefanik. An anonymously written May 10 article noted that Stefanik "boasted on 'CBS This Morning' in 2018 that she was among the 10 percent of House members who were most bipartisan in their voting." And managing editor Michael W. Chapman grumbled in a May 14 article:

Although Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) from the GOP's No. 3 leadership post and replace her with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the ratings of Congress members by the American Conservative Union (ACU) show that Stefanik held a 44% rating.

In addition, the ACU ratings show several GOP women in the House hold far higher conservative ratings than both Stefanik and Cheney.

The ACU ratings, which are made by the organization's Center for Legislative Accountability, were started in 1971 and are considered the "gold standard" in showing how closely a lawmaker adheres to conservative principles. 

An anonymous article that day portrayed Stefanik as a flip-flopper: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R.-N.Y.), who was elected on Friday to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R.-Wyo.) as the chair of the House Republican Conference, voted for the pro-transgender Equality Act when it came up for a vote in 2019. ... When it came up for another vote this February, she voted against it."

But CNS seemed to finally approve of Stefanik by May 17, when an article by Melanie Arter featured her attacking Cheney as "looking backwards" when Republicans must look forward and perpetually attack President Biden and his supposedly "radical agenda."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2021 3:42 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
CNS Columnist Eulogizes Dishonest Anti-Kinsey Obsessive Judith Reisman
Topic: CNSNews.com

Hannah Harrison, a writer for the right-wing American Family Association wrote a column published May 6 at CNSNews.com eulogizing activist Judith Reisman, who she claimed "fought against the left's darkness." Harrison particularly praised Reisman's attacks on sex researcher Alfred Kinsey:

Mrs. Reisman passed away in April, but she is a victor for so many reasons. She’s mainly remembered for her work against her number one foe, Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey was a “sexologist,” and his career was focused on studying sexual behavior in both men and women.

Kinsey’s goal was quite simple: Focus on sex and praise everything that comes with it. In 1948, Kinsey’s study, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male," spread like wildfire. Time magazine compared its selling to that of "Gone with the Wind." His goal was to glorify, praise, and normalize sex in every possible facet. However, his methods of research were unsettling to Mrs. Reisman, and she exposed him. 

In her 1990s book, "Kinsey, Sex, and Fraud," Reisman exposed Kinsey for his greatest crime: the sexual abuse of young children. After his book had been released, Reisman discovered that sexual abuse was inflicted on 317 boys as young as two months and up to 15 years old as part of his testing methodology which was included in his research. 

Two. Months. Old.

In 1948, sexologists were reportedly raping babies in the name of “science.” Can you imagine how much worse things are getting in today’s world? On digital screens everywhere, there is sex. Why? Because it sells, and people buy.

Actually, Reisman never proved any of that. As we documented, Reisman's assertions that Kinsey conducted sexual experiments on infants has been discredited by other researchers and the Kinsey Institite, which stated that Kinsey obtained his data from interviews, not direct experimentation. the data on the 317 young children, it turns out, came from a single pedophile who kept notes and was not paid.

Harrison also wrote: "She discovered the effects of 'erototoxins' otherwise known as the chemicals that flood the brain when pornography is viewed. Her studies proved that these toxins could rewire one’s brain and cause many negative issues related to sex and relationships." In fact, there's no evidence that "erototoxins" exist, much less that porography affects the brain in a uniquely harmful fashion.

Harrison didn't mention that Reisman has also blamed Jews for promoting abortion and likened homosexuals to Nazis. And in 2019 we caught Reisman using bogus statistics taken from a QAnon message board to tout President Trump as more aggressive on human trafficking than President Obama was. 

But facts apparently aren't important to Harrison. The only thing that matters is that Reisman peddled a narrative she approves of.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:15 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
CNS Not Sure How To Handle Jenner's Political Campaign
Topic: CNSNews.com

When Bruce Jenner transitioned to Caitlyn Jenner, the transphobic CNSNews.com didn't take it well. That continued: Bill Donohue declared in a Septmeber 2019 column: "Bruce Jenner may call himself Caitlyn Jenner, have his genitals changed, and dress like a woman, but he cannot change his chromosomal makeup: he still carries a Y chromosome (as well as an X). In other words, he is a man." And a March 2020 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman included a picture of "Bruce Jenner, now imitating a transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner."

Now, Jenner has not only declared she's running for California governor in the upcoming recall election but also running as a Republican and expressing conservative views in the process, and CNS doesn't quite know how to deal with it.

Craig Bannister was only mildly snarky in an April 23 article on her candidacy -- clunkily headlined "Republican Transgender Olympic Gold Medalist Caitlyn Jenner Announces Run to Unseat Calif. Gov. Newsom" -- stating that "Caitlyn Jenner, who won a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics as a biological male named Bruce, has filed paperwork to run as a Republican to replace Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom." Bannister got a little huffier in an April 29 article: "As a biological male, Jenner won the 1976 Olympic gold medal in the decathlon for the U.S., but now “identifies” as a female and has entered the race as a Republican vying for California’s governorship."

In a May 3 article, Chapman was almost giddy that Jenner was spouting right-wing (and CNS) narratives on transgender athletes, yet still amde sure to take a shot at Jenner's own identity:

Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender "female" who used to be Bruce Jenner -- an Olympic Gold Medal decathlon winner and one of the most famous athletes in the world -- said that he opposes "biological boys" who are transgender females competing in girls' sports in school because "it just isn't fair."

On Saturday, a TMZ reporter caught up with Caitlyn Jenner in a parking lot and asked, "Hi Caitlyn, there's legislation in various states to ban biological boys, who are trans, from playing in girls' sports in school.  What's your opinion on that?"

Jenner said, "This is a question of fairness. That's why I oppose biological boys, who are trans, competing in girls' sports in school."

"It just isn't fair," said Jenner. "And we have to protect girls' sports in our schools."

On May 6, Susan Jones surprisingly properly gendered Jenner in quoting her talking about "her struggle with gender dysphoria, her decision to live as a female, and her conversations with her pastor and God that changed how she’s living her life." Another article that day by Chapman repeated his sneering at Jenner's sexual identity while embracing her political stances:

The transgender "woman" Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner, is running for governor of California as a Republican in a runoff election later this year. In a Wednesday interview with conservative Sean Hannity, Jenner said he supports limited government, low taxes, the border wall, the police, and ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

"I am all for the wall," said Jenner. "I would secure the wall. We can't have a state -- we can't have a country without a secure wall."

And in a May 26 article, Jones didn't even make Jenner's transgender status  an issue, not mentioning it until the eighth paragraph; instead, Jones highlighted how Jenner said "you can't have a healthy America with a sick California."

CNS, it seems, may not have quite figured out how to handle a transgender woman who is also a solid conservative.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 1:03 AM EDT
Monday, June 7, 2021
CNS Returns To Promoting Extremist GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com loved to promote Marjorie Taylor Greene before and after her election as a House member from Georgia without telling readers about her extreme far-right views -- admitting them only when they got too much attention to ignore. After that, CNS decided Greene was too toxic to promote and laid off her for a while. Now, it appears CNS has decided that enough time has passed, so it's touting Greene again -- and to whitewashing the controversies surrounding her.

Susan Jones began a May 6 CNS article by claiming: "Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the outspoken, conservative Trump supporter from Georgia, is a pariah among lawmakers for those and other reasons." Greene's anti-Semitism, homophobia and QAnon endorsement is actually much more offensive than her support of Trump, but Jones wants to keep that fact buried under "other reasons."

Much of the rest of Jones' article is copy-and-paste from a Fox News interview in which she "returned the favor" to her critics in Congress, complaing that Congress "is a system that is severely failing the American people and the American people have no idea how bad it is" and agreeing with host Tucker Carlson that most of her congressional colleagues are "losers." Jones also summarized that "Greene said Congress should be 'accountable' to all Americans, regardless of their party."

Of course, Jones has no interest in hold Greene accountable for her actions, even as her extreme actions -- the most recent of which include stalking Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and  ludicrously comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust -- have drawn even more bipartisan criticism. She won't tell you about any of that, either.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 PM EDT
Sunday, June 6, 2021
Word Police: CNS Attacks Biden For Omitting A Word From A Proclamation
Topic: CNSNews.com

No slight is too minor an excuse for CNSNews.com to launch partisan attacks on President Biden. In a return to the way it covered President Obama, CNS previously played word police by complaining that Biden's Easter message didn't mention Jesus. IN a May 7 article, Patrick Goodenough ramped up the word-police activism:

As American presidents have done for more than three decades, President Joe Biden this week proclaimed the first Thursday in May a “National Day of Prayer,” but unlike his predecessors’ proclamations, his included no reference to God, the Almighty, Providence, or any similar term.

Only in the formal closing paragraph of the proclamation does the formula “in the year of our Lord” – customary in presidential proclamations – appear preceding the year of issue.

[...]

Previous presidents’ National Day of Prayer proclamations have varied widely in tone and substance, and have frequently included religiously-inclusive language (such as “no matter our faith or beliefs,” “each according to our own faith and tradition,” or “gathering in churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and homes”).

But at the same time there have been plentiful references to “God,” including such titles as “Creator,” “Maker,” “the Almighty,” and even “our loving Father.”

Some have unapologetically included verses from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, or such well-known Judeo-Christian phrases as “all things are possible with God” (Trump 2020), “a just and loving God” (Clinton 2000), or “our rock and our salvation” (Bush 1990).

Pronouns referring to God have usually been capitalized, a show of reverence used by some when referring to the deity in the Abrahamic faiths.

Later that day, managing editor Michael W. Chapman trotted out his favorite right-wing evangelical to attack Biden:

Commenting on President Joe Biden's decision to not include the word "God," or any reference to God, in his National Day of Prayer Proclamation, Rev. Franklin Graham said Biden was the first president to omit the word "God," and warned the Democratic president, "Omitting God is a dangerous thing."

"Why would President Biden omit God?" wrote Graham in a May 6 post on Facebook.

CNS then puiblished commentaries by right-wing Catholics similarly playing word police and wildly speculating on why that certain word was missing. First up was dishonest Catholic activist Bill Donohue, who proclaimed: "It is no secret that the Democratic Party is home to secularists. Those who have no religious affiliation, as well as agnostics and atheists, have laid anchor in the Party, many of whom are openly hostile to religion and people of faith. It is not a leap to conclude that this mentality colored Biden's prepared remarks." He further huffed that participants in the National Day of Prayer "are expected to pay tribute to God, which is why what President Biden did was inexplicable at best and objectionable at worst."

This was followed by a May 12 commentary by Rev. Michael Orsi:

This presidential “prayer” was reflective of a great deficiency that besets our time. The influence of faith in our national life (and in individual lives) has surely been reduced. Many people these days claim to be “spiritual” but not “religious.” This leaves them asking a fundamental question: Is there a God who gave us life and to whom we are responsible?

The implications of this question are far-reaching, because the underlying assumption of our political system — as made clear in the nation’s founding documents — is that our rights and freedoms come from God, not government.

What does it say that the president of the United States makes no recognition of God during an event that has always highlighted the importance of appealing to that God?

What does it say that CNS is blurring the church-state line by engaging Catholic priests and activists to issue partisan political attacks?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 6, 2021 8:25 PM EDT

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