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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
CNS Touts Rand Paul's Medical Credentials, Censor His Lack Of Medical Expertise On COVID
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loves Republican Sen. Rand Paul, and it especially loves to hype his medical credentials whenever he speaks out on coronavirus-related issues or other medical-adjacent issues:

  • Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a medical doctor who was infected with COVID, recovered, and is now vaccinated against the virus, advised people to stop listening to "government scolds" about the pandemic, and said once you are vaccinated, to "trash your mask and live free again." -- Michael W. Chapman, March 10
  • During the hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a medical doctor, questioned [Rachel] Levine about his [sic] left-wing views on sex-change surgery for minors, an issue that would be protected from discrimination under the Equality Act. -- "A. Kim", March 16
  • “Sorry Dr. Fauci and other fearmongers,” physician and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) says, touting newly-released findings of a study on the effectiveness of vaccines and naturally-acquired immunity against COVID-19 variants. -- Craig Bannister, March 22
  • There are much worse viruses than COVID-19 – and the Chinese scientists Dr. Anthony Fauci says he trusts are working on them using U.S. taxpayer money, medical doctor Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warns. -- Craig Bannister, June 7
  • Paul, a medical doctor, said the risks of contracting COVID are "wildly different" for different people: -- Susan Jones, July 21
  • “There’s no science behind” the government forcing people with natural immunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Thursday. -- Elizabeth Nieshalla, July 30
  • As for new mask mandates, Sen. Paul, a medical doctor, said, “If you look objectively at mask mandates ... there’s no correlation between a mask mandate and a reduction in terms of the disease. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The more mandates we got, the more of the disease we got." -- Michael W. Chapman, Aug. 5
  • Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a physician and sitting U.S. senator, is slamming YouTube for removing two videos from his YouTube page, then suspending his ability to upload videos for seven days. -- Susan Jones, Aug. 11

Just one problem: Paul has no training in viruses or epidemiology, He's an opthamologist -- an eye doctor. His experience as a doctor is not directly relevant to anything COVID-related. None of the above articles mention what Paul's medical specialtiy is -- or that it doesn't really bring anything to discussions of COVID or transgender surgery.

That's dishonest reporting -- but hiding the truth about Paul serves CNS' editorial agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Monday, September 20, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Hot Pestering Intern Summer
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com put its summer interns to work by having them ask biased gotcha questions to members of Congress. Not exactly journalism, but they'll get a few nice clips out of it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
Sunday, September 19, 2021
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

Despite a fresh crop of summer interns to perform the work that full-time employees apparently not longer want to do, CNSNews.com remained at a lo level of Mark Levin stenography in July and August. Here's what CNS published for that period:

That's eight articles, making for a total of just 37 Levin stenography articles so far in 2021, well off its usual pace in which Levin would benefit from more than 100 articles annually.

Still, Levin got plenty of exposure at CNS during that time, because it was part of the promotional machine run by its parent, the Media Research Center, hyping Levin's new book, "American Marxism." Like other MRC websites, CNS made an interview Levin did with MRC chief Brent Bozell its lead story for the weekend of July 9-11, and published numerous other items touting Levin's book:

  • A July 8 link to an American Spectator review of the book, gushily headlined "Mark Levin’s American Marxism: A Much-Needed Home Run."
  • A July 12 article by Ashilanna Kreiner plugged Levin plugging his own book on his Fox News TV show.
  • A July 14 article by Craig Bannister gushed that "Former President Donald Trump is praising Constitutional Scholar and Author Mark Levin’s new book, 'American Marxism,' for pulling the veil off the Marxist ideology being deceptively peddled in the U.S. - not just by Democrats and the Biden Administration - but by schools, media, corporations and entertainment." Bannister didn't mention, however, that Trump's plug was largely a copy-and-paste of the publisher's promotional copy as he is wont to do).
  • MRC executive Tim Graham's July 16 column whining that CNN's Brian Stelter criticized the book.
  • David Limbaugh's July 16 endorsement of the book, under the headline "American Marxism, a Counterrevolution."
CNS also published an Aug. 3 article by Bannister touting that "Mark Levin’s new book, 'American Marxism,' has topped the New York Times bestseller list in each of its first two weeks since publication, giving the conservative commentator and constitutional scholar his seventh #1 bestseller.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 19, 2021 11:51 AM EDT
Friday, September 17, 2021
CNS' Jeffrey Tries To Blame Pelosi For Idea Of Universal Pre-K
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey spent his Aug. 11 column ranting against the idea of federally funded universal pre-K for 3- and 4-years olds, under the ridiculous headline "Who Should Teach Your Toddler: You or Pelosi?" Because he actually believes Nancy Pelosi will be personally involved in making sure pre-K will teach toddlers to be liberal, or something:

"Universal pre-K. I love that because it's children learning, parents earning," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at an April 29 press conference.

That was the day after President Joe Biden had presented Congress with his euphemistically titled "American Families Plan," which calls "for free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds."

Pelosi's professed "love" for having parents leave their preschool children in government custody has not diminished since then.

At a press conference last week, she once again spoke about "universal pre-K, which I love."

[...]

The question here is fundamental: Who should care for and nurture a 36-month-old child? Should it be the government? Or should it be the child's parents?

That's one of the odder manifestations of CNS' multi-pronged war against Pelosi.

Jeffrey then goes on to complain about the cost of universal pre-K -- making sure to use the full zero-filled numbers even though that violates journalistic style standards -- and about the number of children born to unmarried mothers:

The problem now is not that too many American preschool children are being cared for at home by one of their biological parents — in a traditional family. The problem is that too few get to have that experience.

Now, Biden and Pelosi want to further decrease the number of preschool children who get to spend their days with a parent and increase the number who spend their days in government institutions where government employees oversee what they do and what they learn.

This is what Pelosi "loves" and Biden has targeted with potentially massive federal expenditures.

But Jeffrey offered no policy changes that would encourage parents to stay home with their children, given that one of the concepts behind universal pre-K is to keep parents from having to work so much to pay for child care for their children. Instead, he speculated how "Biden and Pelosi" will inculcate purportedly liberal values into pre-K children:

So, what values will Biden and Pelosi want the government to instill in three- and four-year olds when those children are spending their days in government institutions that Biden and Pelosi want taxpayers to fund?

Will they teach them to respect life? Biden and Pelosi both claim there is a right to kill an unborn child, and want to use federal tax dollars to pay for the killing of unborn children.

Will Biden and Pelosi's pre-K schools treat boys as boys and girls as girls? Both Biden and Pelosi support the Equality Act, which would instruct schools that "an individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual's gender identity."

Will Biden's and Pelosi's pre-K schools introduce American children to this nation's great traditions of self-reliance and individual liberty and the traditional moral values that make self-reliance and individual liberty possible?

The core purpose of putting all three-year-olds in government-run institutions is to make them dependent on government.

Members of Congress who believe in the traditional family — and the American tradition of liberty — should make sure that this element of the Biden budget is never made American law.

Has Jeffrey ever been around a 3-year-old? Does he really that anyone, let alone "Biden and Pelosi," can force any ideology on them? And how does Jeffrey -- as thte ideal pre-K teacher he seeks -- plan to ram "elf-reliance and individual liberty and the traditional moral values that make self-reliance and individual liberty possible" down the throats of toddlers?

Again, Jeffrey referenced "the traditional family" as his ideal while heaping scorn on unmarried women. And, again, he offered nothing to achieve his ideal.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Thursday, September 16, 2021
CNS Echoes MRC's Meltdown Over (Allegedly) Cross-Dressing Muppet
Topic: CNSNews.com

Following in the footsteps of its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com similarly melted down over the idea of a supposedly male Muppet wearing a dress.

Craig Bannister gave right-wing activist Candace Owens a platform to rant about it in an Aug. 2 article:

Conservative commentator Candace Owens says she’s in disbelief that even the “Muppet Babies” childrens’ cartoon is preaching transgender ideology to kids.

“This is sick and PERVERTED,” Owens tweeted on Sunday, embedding a video clip of recent episode of the cartoon, in which the character Gonzo turns into a cross-dressing “Gonzorella.” “You all expected me to look a certain way. I didn’t want you to be upset with me,” Gonzorella says following the transformation and revelation.

Everyone should be disturbed by the cartoon’s predatory effort to inflict gender dysphoria on children, Owens writes:

“I can’t believe I’m tweeting this but.. they are pushing the trans agenda on children via muppet babies. This is sick and PERVERTED. Everyone should be disturbed by predatory cartoons meant to usher children into gender dysphoria.

“Bring back manly muppets, anyone?”

Owens apparently provided no evidence of how she knows Gonzo is a "manly" Muppet who should remain that way. Bannister, meanwhile, was silent about how Owens got dragged in social media for her bizarre, hateful comment, where it was also pointed out that Gonzo has worn dresses for decades.

Meanwhile, LGBT-hating Bill Donohue got an entire Aug. 5 column to rant about it and invent a conspiracy theory:

Why would Disney, the alleged family-friendly entertainment giant, want to encourage kids to reject their sex? And why aren't the media covering this story?

The Muppet character, Gonzo, has "transitioned" to a girl, Gonzorella. That is why he is wearing a dress to the "royal ball." He does more than wear a dress—he instructs Miss Piggy and Summer that "doing things a little different can be fun." 

The message to children is: a boy can be a girl, and vice versa. Making this choice, they are told, is not something abnormal, it's just "a little different." Moreover, it can be "fun" to reject your sex and pretend that you belong to the opposite sex.

This needs to be called out for what it is: child abuse. Anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about what sex transitioning entails—the physical and psychological problems that boys and girls experience are multiple—knows how pernicious this process is. Seven in ten of those who transition are girls wanting to be boys, and the extent of their suffering is well documented. 

So why is it that, aside from some gay and conservative news sources, this story is being ignored by the most influential newspapers, as well as the broadcast and cable news networks? Is it their insouciance that is driving their passivity? Or cowardice?

Donohue weirdly concluded: "This is not about treating everyone with respect—that is not the issue—it is about shielding our children from those who want to sexually engineer them." But Donohue has never respected LGBTQ people, so it clearly is an issue with him. He just doesn't what to be called out on it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Vacation Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com did not serve up a summary of federal employment numbers for August because Susan Jones -- the biased CNS reporter in charge of that monthly duty -- was off that week. (You'd think that a "news" organization would have someone else write that story, given how it's "news" and all, and how it is a predictable staple of CNS coverage.) Instead, the only article was the usual sidebar from editor Terry Jeffrey on government jobs, complaining that "The federal government added 3,000 civilian employees in August."

Instead, Craig Bannister stepped into the breach with an article accusing Nancy Pelosi of spinning the "disappointing" numbers to push federal spending:

“Today’s job report is further evidence of the need to Build Back Better for our economy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday, reacting to August’s steep drop in job growth from its year-long trend reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

As the BLS reported in its monthly Employment Situation Summary, August’s 235,000 job growth was less than half the average monthly job gain recorded so far this year, coming in at just  235,000. To-date in 2021, the U.S. economy has added an average of 586,000 per month:

Bannister didn't mention that the lower numbers were driven by the Delta variant harming restaurant and hospitality jobs.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
CNS Repeats Harassment Claims Against Cuomo -- But Belittled Or Hid Those Made Against Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com dedicated three articles to specific allegations made by women accusing former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, all of which were anonymously written:

  • The first repeated a claim that "Cuomo 'grabbed the butt' of a state employee."
  • The second repeated a claim that "Cuomo 'grabbed' the breast of one of his female assistants.
  • The third, published Aug. 9 but mysteriously deleted without explanation sometime later -- CNS seems to have forgotten that the internet is forever -- recounted how former Cuomo executive assistant Brittany Commisso recounted "two instances when she alleges Cuomo sexually harassed her at the New York state governor’s mansion."

By contrast, when Stormy Daniels revealed that Donald Trump paid her hush money to keep quiet about their extramarital affair, CNS at first treated her as She Who Must Not Be Named, then moved to belittling her for revealing the affair and hush money, and finally decided to give Trump a pass because "Trump's womanizing hardly comes as a shock to the American people" and merely talking about it advances "the politics of personal destruction."

Around the same time, an Aug. 5 article by Susan Jones stated:

Given the mostly softball questions normally tossed to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, this one was surprising:

"A lot of men in politics have been accused of sexual harassment, a reporter told Psaki on Wednesday:

"President Biden was accused by female Secret Service agents of skinny dipping in front of them, offending them, according to former Washington Post reporter Ronald Kessler, who's an author as well. His former Senate aide Tara Reade accused him of sexual assault. The Washington Post and the New York Times published multiple accounts of women who objected to the way President Biden touched them.

"Should there be an independent investigation of allegations into the President as there was into Governor Cuomo?"

Jones complained that "Psaki gave a non-response response."

Actually the question was not surprising at all, given that the questioner was Steven Nelson of the New York Post, a notoriously right-wing, anti-Biden newspaper. And we recall how much CNS heavily hyped Reade's accusations, parroting its Media Research Center parent -- while it effectively censored news of E. Jean Carroll's accusation that Trump sexually assaulted her.

In other words: Only women who make sexually related accusations against a liberal are considered news at CNS. If a woman makes similar accusations against a consevative, she is belittled and denigrated, at least when she's not being completely ignored.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 12:56 PM EDT
Monday, September 13, 2021
CNS Commentary Editor Rants Against Grad School
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com commentary editor Rob Shimshock's Aug. 20 column is headlined "Smashing the Grad School Shibboleth," and in the process, he perpetuates a shibboleth of his own:

If education is preparation to make it in the world, why is it that in 1940, almost 95 percent of Americans were prepared by age 18, whereas in 2017, only 66 percent could say the same, with a third of the country choosing to spend at least four extra years of valuable youth having their wallets plundered to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by a viciously partisan apparatus which incubates in impressionable minds far-left mantras that then spread far and wide to Congress, Hollywood, the media, Silicon Valley, etc.?

“Modern professions require that much more schooling” is an arrogant answer. Alexander Hamilton served as a brilliant lawyer despite having never stepped foot in a law school. Harvard started the world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in 1908; are we to believe that multiple millennias’ worth of 22 to 24-year-old entrepreneurs, merchants, and the like missed out on some special “secret sauce” that could only be imparted by someone with a “professor” before his name?

It’s time to face the facts. Academia is postponing the age by which Americans are deemed ready to begin giving back to the world and accumulate wealth, all the while saddling them with the huge financial negative of student debt and perhaps even larger moral negative of anti-Christian and anti-white bias.

[...]

Holding both a bachelor's degree and graduate degree will become the norm and, soon enough, these two will be accompanied by yet another special hundred-thousand-dollar piece of paper, this one requiring you to withstand left-wing agitprop until age 26 or later. 

There will come a day when schools, banks, media outlets, and other parties with a vested interest in seeing debt soar will hype PhDs or Super Graduate Degrees equally as pricey, time-consuming, and rife with indoctrination as the new baseline gateway to the upper echelons of American society.

Shimshock may have a point on the cost of grad school, but the idea that colleges exist only to indoctrinate students to be "far-left," anti-Christian and anti-white" is a long-held right-wing talking point that has no real basis in reality. Actual educators know that it's difficult to get a student's mind to open up at all.

As far as indoctrination goes, Shimshock appears to be both victim and perpetrator. It's clear that he was fed that right-wing nonsense about colleges churning out brainwashed liberals ... even as he touts his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia in his bio. But the CNS commentary section he manages carries only right-wing and libertarian writers -- there nary a liberal columnist in sight. Isn't he engaging in the kind of indoctrination he purports to despise? What is Shimshock so afraid of that he won't let a liberal opinion sully his commentary section?

Seems like Shimshock may need to head back to college ... to take a remedial course or two in journalistic fairness and balance.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 PM EDT
Sunday, September 12, 2021
CNS Repeatedly Promotes Anti-Vaxxer's Months-Old Anti-Mask Screed
Topic: CNSNews.com

Back in March, CNSNews.com published a commentary by Jim Meehan -- a anti-vaxxer, QAnon-supporting doctor in Oklahoma with no professional experience in epidemiology (he's an ophthamologist by trade) -- promoting that untrue claim that healthy people should not wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus and the utterly false claim that "Surgical and cloth masks do nothing to prevent viral transmission." We detailed Meehan's conspiratorial, medically unsound views at the time and wondered why CNS went full WND in giving Meehan a platform.

Months later, CNS is still promoting Meehan's medically unsound column on Twitter. Multiple times a week, CNS' Twitter account has promoted Meehan's false claims. For instance, here are the days CNS has done so over the past month or so:

Reminder: Meehan's commentary was published in March, and it has been utterly discredited. It's hihgly unusual for any Twitter user to promote an old article without a news hook -- particularly one that claims to be a "news" organization. And it's an especially bad look for a "news" organization seeking credibility, since this appears to prove that CNS isn't really about reporting "news" at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 12, 2021 12:18 PM EDT
Friday, September 10, 2021
CNS' Double Standard On Back-Turning
Topic: CNSNews.com

When track athlete Gwen Berry turned away from the American flag during a medal ceremony at an Olympic trial competition, CNSNews.com was quick to attack:

  • Melanie Arter surprisingly did offer Berry's side of the story, but also complained that White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended "the right of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest."
  • CNS published a column by Ben Shapiro ranting that "Berry just saw an opportunity to maximize her profile," going on to huff that "America currently rewards an entitled sense of grievance."
  • An article by Craig Bannister repeated a claim by Caitlyn Jenner calling Berry's protest "disgusting" and "kind of her last hurrah." In keeping with CNS' hatred of transgender people and its confusion about how to handle Jenner now that she's outed herself as a right-wing Republican, Bannister also made sure to add that Jenner is "a transgender 'female' who used to be Bruce Jenner."

But when police officers showed a similar lack of respect by an instance of back-turning, CNS was all for it. From an Aug. 10 article by Bannister:

Chicago police officers turned their backs on Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot Saturday evening after two of their fellow officers were shot, one fatally – and Lightfoot deserved it, the president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police said Monday.

As ABC 7 Chicago reports, the two officers were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where “hundreds of officers gathered after 10 p.m. to stand guard and pray”:

[...]

“For the two-and-half years that she has been mayor, she has vilified the police,” John Catanzara, president of Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police, told Fox News on Monday, noting that Lightfoot ignored being told she was not welcome at the hospital where the officer was in Intensive Care:

“The men and women of this police department have no respect for this mayor, and it was as palpable as you could possibly imagine outside that hospital at the University of Chicago two nights ago.

“The mayor was told: Do not come up to the seventh floor of that hospital and speak to the family or the officer who was still injured, fighting for his life, Officer Yanez.

“But, yet, the mayor still thought she knew best and went up there, against the advice of the family. And, the officer’s father gave her a piece of his mind and the officers up there all turned their back to the mayor - and rightly so.”

No lecture from Bannister or anyone else at CNS about how a city leader deserves some sort of respect or how police were deciding they knew better than city officials on how to handle the situation.

Seems that the same form of protest should be treated the same. Not at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Thursday, September 9, 2021
CNS Trying To Downplay COVID Deaths In Children
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've documented, CNSNews.com's editorial agenda regarding its coverage of coronavirus is, in part, to downplay the number of children that have been killed by it, presumably as a component of the right-wing campaign to open schools for in-person learning and fight mask mandates. We saw it already with a question CNS' summer interns ambushed members of Congress with regarding whether schools should be able to mandate that students be vaccinated (even though no vaccine has been approved for children under 12). But it's been done other ways as well.

Susan Jones -- who was CNS' leader in 2020 in downplaying COVID deaths to try and make President Trump look good -- was serving up a different kind of downplaying in a July 20 article:

Since the start of the pandemic 18 months ago, in January 2020, a total of 335 children ages 17 and under have died of COVID-19, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In that same 18-month time period, a total of 49,725 children ages 0-17 have died from all causes. So COVID deaths account for 0.673 percent of all deaths among children under 17, based on death certificates submitted so far to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Jumping to the next age group, 18-29, 2,446 have died of COVID-19, or 2.607 percent of the total 93,796 deaths for this age group since January 2020.

[...]

Although children under 17 -- and people under 29 -- are less likely to die from COVID than older people are, the CDC and the Biden administration are pushing hard for everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated.

Taht last paragraph, we assume, is there to make it clar that Jones is making a political argument, not a medicine-based one.

Jones repeated her claims in another article that day complaining that experts are advising masks in schools:

"As the director of the CDC, it is my priority to get our children back to school for safe, in-person learning," Rochelle Walensky told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday.

That includes COVID vaccination for everyone 12 and older; and it requires "layered prevention strategies," which means face masks for all.

(The American Academy of Pediatrics also is recommending< "a layered approach to make school safe for all students, teachers and staff...That includes a recommendation that everyone older than age 2 wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.)

The CDC and the rest of the Biden administration are pressing hard for the vaccination of everyone 12 and older. Studies are now underway on vaccinations in children as young as two.

Jones waited until late in the article that the Delta variant of COVID is surging and causing hospitalizations and deaths, even among children.

Craig Bannister devoted a July 28 article to Donald Trump ranting, "We won’t go back. We won’t mask our children," while saying nothing about Trump's abysmal record on fighting COVID during his presidency, and waiting until the end of the article to note an actual medical expert stating that the Delta variant "prompted CDC's updated masking guidance for fully vaccinated people, including school kids."

On Aug. 2, Jones railed at another medical expert: "Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on Sunday that mask-wearing for schoolchildren may be 'inconvenient,' but it makes good 'common sense.'"And on Aug. 5, Jones had a body-count update:

As of Wednesday, August 4, a total 349 children ages 0-17 have died of COVID since the pandemic began in January 2020, based on death certificates submitted so far to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

In that same time period, CDC counts a total of 606,389 COVID-involved deaths in the United States. So children account for 0.057 percent of all COVID-involved deaths, or those coded toICD–10 code U07.1.

CDC does not disclose what, if any, underlying conditions those 349 children may have had.

Since January 2020, the CDC has recorded 51,892 deaths from all causes in children 0-17, which means the 349 COVID-involved deaths equals 0.67 percent of the deaths in children from all causes.

Jones did not highlight the fact that 14 children had died of COVID the previous month. And she waited until the eighth paragraph to mention that cases and deaths are rising overall, while still complaining that "Amid the Biden administration's intensive push to vaccinate reluctant Americans, we hear a lot about the transmissibility of the delta variant."

Jones tried to play statistics gotcha with Anthony Fauci in an Aug. 13 article:

At a news conference on Thursday, a reporter asked Dr. Anthony Fauci if the delta variant is more virulent in children.

"There's no doubt that there are more children getting infected," Fauci responded, without giving any numbers:

[...]

But it's not yet clear if more children in the hospital will lead to a spike in children dying.

According to the most recent (August 11) data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 354 children ages 0-17 have died of "COVID-involved" illness in the United States since the start of the pandemic in January 2020. This is based on death certificates submitted so far to CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Jones then effectively conceded CNS' spotty reporting while also repeating statistics show deaths among children have gone up as the Delta variant has spread:

CNSNews.com periodically tracks the number of children ages 17 and under whose death certificates list COVID.

On March 24, 2021, that number was 238; On July 20, the number had increased to 335; on July 28, the number was 340; August 4, the number was 349; and one week later, as noted above, the number had increased by 5 to 354.

Although the number of children dying because of or with COVID is likely to increase, children continue to be a very small percentage of all COVID-involved deaths.

The 354 children 0-17 who died of or with COVID as of August 11 represent 0.0579 percent of the 610,425 total COVID deaths in this country (based on CDC's most recent death certificate data).

Jones was on the warpath again the following week. On Aug. 16, she grumbled that Collins "made the case for children wearing masks in school, a CDC recommendation based on 'more than a dozen publications showing that evidence'" -- then three days later, again downplayed COVID risk to children:

Most reported cases of COVID-19 in children under the age of 18 are asymptomatic or mild.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hospitalization rates for children, while far lower than that for adults, are increasing in school-age children, ages 5-17.

Some of these children are at risk for severe COVID, CDC says, particularly those with underlying medical conditions.

She waited until the final paragraph to note CDC research showing that "SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs more easily in high schools than in elementary schools, and outbreaks have been associated with high school extracurricular activities. Vaccination of adolescents is expected to reduce the risk for COVID-19 in these settings."

In yet another body-count article on Aug. 19, Jones pushed a talking point about comorbidities:

The CDC told CNSNews.com that the National Center for Health Statistics does not track health conditions that may have contributed to the deaths of children in that specific 0-17 age group, although it does track co-morbidities in the broader 0-24 age group, based on information from death certificates.

In the 0-24 age group, which mixes adults with school-age children, the most prevalent co-morbidities listed on death certificates are respiratory illnesses, influenza/pneumonia, obesity, diseases of the circulatory system, and sepsis.

It's a right-wing talking point to downplay the number of COVID deaths by raising the question of comorbidities, even though COVID unquestionably contributed to their deaths. Meanwhile, Jones is discounting the deaths of those children because there apparently aren't enough of them for her to care about.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Priest At CNS Issues Right-Wing Lecture Against Welfare
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's not often you get a right-wing lecture against welfare from a Catholic priest, but that's what Rev. Michael Orsi served up in a Aug. 9 CNSNews.com column headlined "Quit Misinterpreting Jesus: Free Food Isn’t Free."

Orsi began by recounting Jesus' miracle of the loaves and fishes, then deciding that Jesus leaving the scene rather than letting the crowd crown him king had a political intent: "Was this the Lord’s way of showing He didn’t want people to become dependent on government?" Unlikely, and Orsi knows it, going on to add: "Forgive me for letting my political predilections carry me away. Sometimes I just can’t help myself."

Of course, interpretation of Scripture should have nothing whatsoever to do with the reader's political predilections, but that didn't stop Orsi from sounding more like he was reciting Republican talking points instead of being a helpful interpreter. He decided to interpret Genesis as saying "We need to work, to develop ourselves, physically and intellectually, to gain a sense of virtue," then sounded even more like a Republican by rehashing how bad the Soviet Union was. Then came the lecture against welfare and even meaningful pandemic assistance from the government:

Now, to be sure, the lockdown hit plenty of people, and it hit them hard. Jobs were lost, businesses closed. And of course, there are those who would be incapable of supporting themselves, regardless of the pandemic. We have assistance programs for good reasons.

But there are plenty of other people who are perfectly capable of working — and who could readily find work at the many companies currently recruiting desperately — but who have gotten used to being taken care of by “Uncle Joe” in the White House.

Businesses all over the country are reporting unfilled positions. But people are responding to the perverse incentive to lay back on the stimulus checks. And so jobs go begging.

This has consequences. As it’s often been said, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” When you do nothing good, you’re likely to do something bad.

And so we’re seeing an increase in drug overdoses. People are dying as a direct result of these government checks and the excessive, unhealthy leisure that money has brought. With no meaningful way to spend their time, no sense that their survival and the welfare of their families depend on them, people are destroying themselves.

Nothing is free. There’s always a price to pay.

Government handouts are not a blessing. At best, they are a temporary expedient to address a short-term emergency need. But as an ongoing way to operate a society, they don’t work. And the proof of that has been seen everywhere. They’ve failed in Russia, in Cuba, in Venezuela. And the signs of failure are appearing here as well.

Meanwhile, in reality, Americans aren't lazy, and they have used the  expanded unemployment benefits to hold out for better jobs with better pay. Orsi seems to think that Americans must accept whatever job is open, regardless of the pay, the danger (and exposure to coronavirus is very much a danger) or their suitability to the position.

Orsi further lectured that welfare is a failure "because they encourage us to act in that less-than-human way. And so we become less than human." He said nothing about the responsibility of employers to provide a safe, welcoming environment with pay that is commensurate with the risk involved.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: Nyet To Biden, Da To Putin
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com hates President Biden so much, it's actually siding with Russia's Vladimir Putin against him. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 AM EDT
Sunday, September 5, 2021
CNS Deflects Trump From Blame Over His Deal With The Taliban
Topic: CNSNews.com

As the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan led to the unexpectedly quick takeover of the country, CNSNews.com knew what it had to do, besides blaming President Biden: absolve and deflect President Trump from blame for his role, given that he negotiated the peace and withdrawal deal with the Taliban that Biden was carrying out.

In an Aug. 13 article, Patrick Goodeneough -- who has been CNS' leader in defending Trump after his departure from office --  touted a Trump statement in which heclaimed that “I personally had discussions with top Taliban leaders whereby they understood what they are doing now would not have been acceptable,” then tried to defend Trump's Taliban deal:

In fact, the U.S.-Taliban agreement did make the withdrawal of U.S. forces by May 1 contingent on the Taliban meeting certain obligations: It declared as “interconnected” and “interrelated” the timeline for the troop withdrawal on one hand, and on the other a Taliban commitment to “prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies.”

The agreement did also call for a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” but to be negotiated and agreed upon in “intra-Afghan” talks. Those talks have yet to produce an agreement.

On Aug. 15, Goodenough highlighted how "Chuck Todd pointed out that Biden has walked away from other decisions he inherited from the Trump administration that he considered 'bad,'" then hyped a right-wing activist dragging Barack Obama and Benghazi into the argument:

Pushing back at the blame-Trump talking points, Heritage Foundation vice president for foreign and defense policy studies James Jay Carafano said Biden “can make all the excuses and spin all the narratives he wants, but a narrative can’t stop a bullet.”

“The situation did not collapse until he withdrew troops – and it is impossible not to conclude this happened because of what he decided.”

Carafano placed the decision in the broader context of the “Obama-Biden foreign policy,” recalling the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011 – and resulting rise of ISIS – and a response to the Libya crisis which, he said, included “the spiraling decline in the security situation until our diplomatic facilities in Benghazi were smoking ruins.”

Susan Jones did more of her usual editorializing in an Aug. 16 "news" article:

From the moment he took office on January 20, President Joe Biden began signing a flurry of executive orders to undo or reverse many of the policies instituted by President Trump.

But Biden did not scrap Trump's plan to withdraw all remaining troops from Afghanistan. And in a statement on Saturday, Biden -- who has not been seen since his departure for Camp David on Friday -- blamed Trump for the mess he "inherited."

Jones then uncritically repeated Trump and then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defending the peace deal with the Taliban and excluding the Afghan government from taking part.

Later that day, Jones complained that Republicans Ben Sasse and Liz Cheney criticized Trump's role in setting up the situation in Afghanistan, and that Cheney reminded people that Trump had at one time invited the Taliban to meet with him at Camp David.

Craig Bannister complained on Aug. 17:

In a speech on Monday, President Joe Biden blamed his predecessor, Donald Trump, and the Afghan people, for his administration’s botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover of the country’s capital by Taliban forces.

As a candidate, however, Biden repeatedly promised that, if elected, he would “take responsibility” and not blame others.

In fact, Biden said in the speech that "I stand squarely behind my decision," adding that "Nor will I shrink from my share of responsibility for where we are today and how we must move forward from here. I am President of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me." Meaning that he did, in fact, take responsibility for how the withdrawal played out, which does not preclude him for pointing out that Trump felt the need to negotiate with the Taliban.

Two days later, Bannister was back defending Trump's Taliban deal:

The Taliban committed to honor five conditions stipulated in the agreement it signed with the United States on February 29, 2020 regarding the planned U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

As the Associated Press reported at the time, in the deal struck by President Donald Trump’s State Department, the Taliban promised to oppose terrorist threats to the U.S. and thwart efforts by terrorist groups seeking to establish a safe have in Afghanistan, while the U.S. agreed to withdraw its troops by May of 2021:

Bannister later touted how "On Tuesday, Trump said that President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan will go down as one of the most disastrous evacuations in world history." His article was weirdly illustrated with a file photo of Trump awkwardly hugging a flag.

On Aug. 23, Melanie Arter served up more uncritical defense of Trump's Taliban deal from a former Trump official:

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley equated negotiating with the Taliban to negotiating with the devil, but “you have to negotiate with the devil from a point of strength,” and the United States has no leverage with the Taliban right now, she told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

[...]

“Well, I think let's be clear, President Trump very much wanted to see soldiers come out of Afghanistan, so it's not about soldiers coming out. It's not what you do. It's how you do it. He would never have pulled our soldiers out without making sure Americans and all of our equipment and our weaponry was out beforehand,” Haley said.

“He would never have allowed the Taliban to take over Afghanistan without conditions. So anyone that wants to say this was already set in motion, it's not what was going to happen. It was how it happened, and this happened in the most embarrassing, humiliating way that has-- really angers soldiers like my husband and all those that-- that sacrificed,” she said.

Arter followed up on Aug. 26 with an article claiming that Biden "said Thursday that he bears responsibility for what “happened of late” in the Afghanistan withdrawal, but he blamed former President Donald Trump for making a deal with the Taliban in the first place to withdraw U.S. forces from the region by May 1," repeating an exchange Biden had with biased Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.

In a Sept. 1 article, Bannister uncritically repeated claims by retired general and Fox News talking head Jack Keane that "Biden not only misrepresented former Pres. Trump’s conditions-based deal with the Taliban, but also 'blew off those conditions, just like he blew off the military advice and intelligence advice,' in order to set an arbitrary withdrawal deadline of August 31."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 5, 2021 9:07 PM EDT
Friday, September 3, 2021
CNS' Jeffrey Defends The Right To Misinform People
Topic: CNSNews.com

Unsurprisingly, CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has embraced the mantra of his Media Research Center parent that misinformation is a squishy term that means nothing and is entirely subjective. Then again, he is the head of what purports to be a "news" organization, so deffending the right to misinform people is not a good look.

In his July 21 column, Jeffrey did some hand-wringing over the Biden administration apparently working with Facebook to address misinformation and false claims on the platform regarding coronavirus and vaccines. He tried to portray White House press secretary Jen Psaki as making dark accusastions about who is spreading that misinformation:

"There's about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms," Psaki said. "All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms, including ones that Facebook owns."

Psaki did not name these 12 people.

Actually, that list of 12 people is not a secret -- it was released in May by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

Jeffrey then defended misinformation as speech, as if all speech has merit and should be treated the same:

Obviously, a person can make a true statement about a particular subject or a false one. They can also make a statement that presents a reasonable hypothesis based on facts, or that presents an unreasonable hypothesis based on the same facts.

Or they can make an unreasonable hypothesis based on no facts or on blatant falsehoods.

But whatever the merits or demerits of a person's thoughts and conclusions, when they express those thoughts and conclusions, they are invariably engaging in speech.

But the headline of Jeffrey's column is "What Type of Speech Will Biden Ask Facebook to Suppress Next?" so his point is that nothing should be suppressed. He's lying, because that's what he does for a living.As the head of "news" organization, he picks and chooses what gets covered and what doesn't -- and, thus, has the power to suppress speech he doesn't agree with or doesn't advance his and his employer's partisan political narratives. And Jeffrey is suppressing facts, not misinformation.

Jeffrey concluded by taking his argument to the absurd by shoehorning abortion into it:

Now, put this in the context of a subject other than COVID-19 where human lives are also at risk.

In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood said that in fiscal year 2019, its affiliates did 354,871 "abortion procedures."

In a 2012 vice presidential debate with former Rep. Paul Ryan, as this column has noted before, Biden presented a scientific fact as if it were a religious position.

"Life begins at conception," Biden said. "That's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life."

On its Facebook page, by contrast, Planned Parenthood presents abortion as a form of "health care" provided by "heroes."

"Abortion is an essential part of health care," Planned Parenthood said on Facebook on July 17.

"Abortion providers are heroes," it said in a March 11 posting.

Does Biden — who said life begins at conception — believe it is misinformation to call the deliberate taking of a human life "health care" and those who do that taking "heroes"?

Does he believe Facebook needs to take action "against harmful posts" that promote the taking of unborn lives?

Does Jeffrey really think that trying to fight misinformation about COVID vaccines is the same thing as political arguments about abortion? Of couise, we know what information Jeffrey would suppress: anything that makes the argument that abortion is a human right or that shows the extremism of some anti-abortion activists. And because you will never find a balanced discussion of abortion at CNS, he has clearly already done that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 3, 2021 1:12 AM EDT

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