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Friday, January 15, 2021
CNS' Capitol Riot Coverage: Briefly Shocked Into Balance
Topic: CNSNews.com

Yesterday, we looked at how CNSNews.com fed into President Trump's bogus narrative that the election was stolen in the days before the Jan. 6 armed riot at the Capitol. Now, let's examine CNS' coverage of the riot and its aftermath.

Like its colleagues at the Media Research Center, CNS was briefly shocked into balance by the right-wing-driven riot. An early, anonymously written article on the riot was mostly straight, and an article by Melanie Arter quoted a Republican congressman denouncing it.Another Arter article noted that "Hours before protesters marched to the U.S. Capitol and stormed the U.S. Capitol building, President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., mocked Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters who looted and rioted in nationwide protests last year, comparing Trump supporters to them at the Save America Rally in Washington, D.C. This was followed by an article highlighting that "a pipe bomb was found outside the headquarters of the Republican National Committee," burying that "A suspicious package was also discovered at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee."

After that, Susan Jones penned articles on both Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell denouncing the riot, followed by an article on Fox News' Tucker Carlson denouncing the riot while also seeming to justify it: "As long as people sincerely believe they can change things by voting, they stay calm." There was no mention of Trump's false claims of election fraud that instigated it.

But then, Craig Bannister echoed the MRC's bogus narrative that Trump was nothing but a man of peace on Twitter, under the headline "Twitter Pulls Trump Video Calling for Peace, Telling Capitol Protesters to ‘Go Home’," even citing those bogus claims in his item.

CNS then did a surprising number of items denouncing the riots and its aftermath and identifying Trump's key role in them:

Arter served up more stenography, uncritically repeating White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's denouncing of the riot and Trump's later denouncing of the riot and empty pledge of "a smooth, orderly and seamless transition" without comment or any mention of Trump's key role in instigating the insurrection.

But CNS also delivered some of the nitpicky things they're known for (while not explicitly defending Trump or the riots). Rob Shimshock complained that some random former "Jeopardy!" champion refused to mourn the death of Ashli Babbitt, a protester who was killed in the riot. Shimshock sympathetically described her as a "14-year veteran of the Air Force" but failed to note that she was also a QAnon conspiracy theorist.

An article by Jones on former Republican Colin Powell denouncing the riots and the police response to it framed it as "a 'bash Trump' interview with CNN," further complaining that Powell was "invited by CNN's Wolf Blitzer to view the Capitol police response through a racial lens" and parenthetically adding, "Notably, President-elect Joe Biden is among the Democrats -- many in the media -- insisting that the Capitol police response would have been more violent if the mob storming the Capitol had been mostly black." Jones repetitively hammered home that point again later in the article: "Host Wolf Blitzer brought up the race card, as Biden and many liberals have done as well."

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman grumbled that comedian Kathy Griffin issued "a tweet re-posting her infamous 2017 photo in which she posed while holding up an image of the president’s 'severed head.'" And Bannister returned to tout how "A video montage posted Thursday shows MSNBC and CNN hosts and guests excusing, denying and defending leftwing violence in 2020."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EST
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Before Capitol Riot, CNS Pushed Trump's False Election Fraud Claims
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com led into the Jan. 6 Electoral College vote the way it had in the weeks previously: uncritically promoting President Trump's bogus claims of election fraud. First, it put a pro-Trump frame in an anonymously written article on his call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger trying to coerce the official to overturn the election in that state that "'based on what' Trump had 'heard'—ballots from November’s presidential election were being shredded in Georgia. Another article, by Susan Jones, carried the uncritical headline "Trump Claims at Georgia Rally of 2016 and 2020 Elections: 'I Won Both of Them'."

The following days featured stories like:

Craig Bannister even trotted out right-wing actor Jon Voight to rant, "We all know how this election was false. We all know. But, is anyone standing up for the truths? Is anyone?"

As expected from such a pro-Trump outlet, none of the articles admitted the fact that no solid, credible evidence exists of massive fraud on the level that might overturn election results. But, surprisingly, CNS did a couple articles to offer a modicum of perceived balance:

On Jan. 6, CNS put an unambiguous pro-Trump tilt o the Electoral College proceedings:

And on the morning of Jan. 6, Melanie Arter served as stenographer for Trump's speech of incitement at the rally outside the Capitol:

President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed that the 2020 presidential election was “pure theft,” alleging that voter fraud changed the election results to favor Joe Biden.

Speaking at the Save America rally in Washington, D.C. ,Trump called on supporters to get their elected Republican officials to fight, “and if they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight.”

“You primary them. We are going to let you know who they are. I can already tell you frankly, but this year, using the pretext of the China virus and the scam of mail-in ballots, Democrats attempted the most brazen and outrageous election theft, and there has never been anything like this. It’s a pure theft in American history.  Everybody knows it,” he said.

“That election, our election was over at 10:00 in the evening. We are leading Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia by hundreds of thousands of votes, and then late in the evening or early in the morning, boom. These explosions of bullshit, and all of a sudden it started to happen,” the president said.

[...]

The president called out the mainstream media, saying they have become “the enemy of the people.”

“We don't have a free and fair press. Our media is not free. It’s not fair. It suppresses thought. It suppresses speech, and it’s become the enemy of the people. It’s become the enemy of the people. It's the biggest problem we have in this country. No third world countries would even attempt to do what we caught them doing, and you’ll hear about that in just a few minutes,” he said.

[...]

“Now, it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy, and after this, we are going to walk down, and I will be there with you. We are going to walk down. We’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, walk down to the capital, and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness,” the president added.

“You have to show strength, and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been unlawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country.  Our country has been under siege for a long time,” he said.

No mention, of course, of the fact that none of Trump's election fraud claims have been proven.

And then the riots began.

How did CNS cover them? We'll examine that in an upcoming post.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 14, 2021 12:24 AM EST
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
CNS Still Pushing Only Polls That Make Trump Look Good
Topic: CNSNews.com

Throughout the Trump presidency, CNSNews.com has focused on reporting only on polls that make Trump look good and his critics and opponents look bad. That's continuing to happen after the election as well. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman gushed in a Dec. 29 article:

In Gallup's 2020 poll on the most admired man, President Donald J. Trump came out on top. For most admired woman, Michelle Obama placed first and first lady Melania Trump placed third.

In the survey, Gallup asked, "What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?"

In response, 18% of Americans named Trump, the highest percentage. In second place was Barack Obama with 15%.

Chapman did eventually concede that Gallup also noted "The incumbent president is usually top of mind when Gallup asks Americans to name, without prompting, which man living anywhere in the world they admire most." 

Craig Bannister went the Biden-bashing route in a Jan. 7 article citing CNS' favorite pro-Trump pollster, Rasmussen:

Far more Americans expect crime to increase, rather than decline, with former Vice President Joe Biden as president, and a strong majority oppose defunding the police, a new national survey of American adults by Rasmussen Reports finds.

[...]

Differences among parties are stark, with only 20% of Democrats expecting crime to rise, compared to 69% of Republicans and 39% of “other” political affiliations who fear crime will increase.

By race, 44% of Whites, 28% of Blacks and 41% of other races expect crime to get worse with a Biden administration. Forty-six percent (46%) of both married adults and those with children at home predict an increase in crime.

While the poll was taken before last week's right-wing riot at the Capitol, Bannister's article was posted afterwards, so it looks highly ironic that crime appears to be increasing under Trump (which Bannister didn't note).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EST
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch, With Extra Confusion Over Coronavirus Relief
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey served up his usual complaint in a Dec. 10 article:

The federal government spent a record $886,587,000,000 in the first two months of fiscal 2021 (October and November), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

At the same time, the federal government ran a deficit of $429,337,000,000, which is the second highest deficit the federal government has ever run in the first two months of a fiscal year.

The largest deficit the federal government has ever run in the first two months of a fiscal year came in fiscal 2009, when it ran a deficit of $491, 943,980,000 (in constant November 2020 dollars).

Also usual: Jeffrey did not note that this happened under a Republican president and a Republican-led Senate -- the words "Trump" and "Republican" are nowhere to be found -- and his article is illustrated by a picture of Trump with Nancy Pelosi, falsely implying Democrats hold equal blame for this.

But Jeffrey was officially silent as that same Republican president and a Republican Senate presided over the passage of a coronavirus relief bill and a related bill to keep the government funded. There were two anonymously written articles singling out obscure provisions, but it's unclear whether CNS backs or opposes them since they both reflect certain conservative principles:

  • The first notes that the bill "includes a passage on page 997 that sets aside $35 million to provide grants to groups that provide 'cation in…voluntarily refraining from non-marital sexual activity.'"
  • The second states that it "includes a passage on pages 415 and 416 that provides $250 million of 'enhanced border security' in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt Tunisia and Oman."

That was followed by a article by Craig Bannister noting that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham offered a "defense of the $10 million allocated to Pakistani 'gender programs.'"

Then, when Trump attacked the spending bill and called for  even higher coronavirus relief payments to Americans, CNS played it straight. In a Dec. 23 article, Susan Jones uncritrically repeated Trump's framing of the bill having "plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it"; this was followed by an article from Bannister noting that "Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar says Congress should send President Donald Trump what he wants: a COVID-19 stimulus bill that contains nothing but direct $2,000 payments to the American people." There was also some stock whining from Rand Paul about all the spending in a Dec. 22 article by Jones, who proclaimed Paul as being "true to his fiscal conservatism."

While CNS published no article on Trump's eventual signing of the bills as passed by Congress, managing editor Michael W. Chapman uased a Dec. 28 article to highlight a report on government waste featuring "the creation of a $6.9 million 'smart toilet,' which operates with three cameras, one of which can identify a user's 'analprint.'"

CNS tried to return to form in a Jan. 6 article by Jones headlined "Biden: 'Free, Free, Free': Vaccinations, 'COVID Treatment,' $2,000 Checks..." But Jones failed to inform her readers that Trump not only supports the $2,000 stimulus payments as noted above, he also supports free COVID vaccinations and free COVID treatment.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:26 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2021 7:52 PM EST
Friday, January 8, 2021
CNS Tries To Co-Opt The Beatles For Their Anti-Trans Agenda
Topic: CNSNews.com

How much does CNSNews.com hate transgender people? It tried to co-opt the Beatles for its agenda.

Pretending this was something entirely new and not a rehash of a 50-year-old song, an anonymously written Dec. 29 CNS article carried the headline "Paul McCartney Tells Man ‘Who Thought She Was a Woman’ to ‘Get Back’ and ‘Go Home’":

The Beatles song “Get Back,” which was written by Paul McCartney and first released in April 1969, talks about a man who thought she was a woman and tells her to “get back” and “go home.”

A promotional video for an upcoming documentary film on The Beatles by Peter Jackson—entitled “The Beatles: Get Back” —was posted recently on YouTube. It shows The Beatles playing “Get Back” in a studio and Paul McCartney singing the lyrics.

In the second verse, McCarney says:

“Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman

But she was another man.

All the girls around her said she’s got it coming

But she gets it while she can.

Get back, get back

Get back to where you once belonged.

Get back, get back

Get back to where you once belonged.

Get back Loretta, go home.

Your mother’s waiting for you.”

That's it. That's what CNS thinks is "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 AM EST
Thursday, January 7, 2021
CNS -- Which Calls Alveda King 'Dr.' -- Is Mad That Jill Biden Uses 'Dr.'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com columnist Hans Bader did a lot of whining over Jill Biden using the "Dr." honorific despite having a PH.D. and not a medical degree. First came his Dec. 14 column:

I am a lawyer with a "Juris Doctor" degree from Harvard Law School. But calling myself "Doctor" would be misleading, because I don't practice medicine. Indeed, it would be insufferably pompous. As law professor Eugene Volokh notes, lawyers don't call themselves "doctor," even though the word "doctor" is in their degree.

Jill Biden has an Ed.D degree that required even less study than becoming a lawyer, and no original research -- indeed, it required less research than I conducted while at Harvard Law School.

Yet, Biden calls herself "Dr." And liberal media -- the same liberal media that ridiculed conservatives with doctorates for calling themselves "Dr." The conservative White House official Sebastian Gorka was  mocked for calling himself "Dr." by TV host Samantha Bee, and the Washington Post questioned Gorka's doing so, because, it said, "mainstream news outlets generally refuse to attribute the 'Dr.' prefix to anyone who is not a medical doctor."

[...]

Calling Biden "Dr." makes even less sense than calling a lawyer like me "Dr." That's because Biden's "Ed.D" degree required less study (3-4 years part-time study) than a law degree (which requires three full years of study), according to one of the nation's leading law professors, Eugene Volokh. Biden's studies also did not require the equivalent of a dissertation, which is typically required for a doctorate.

So Biden's claim to be called "Dr." is far weaker than that of people like Sebastian Gorka, who completed a dissertation to get their PhD. (Remember, the media mocked the conservative Gorka for calling himself "Doctor Gorka").

You know who else had no problem calling Gorka "Dr."? CNS. A July 2017 article graced him with the honorific. An October 2017 CNS article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, meanwhile, referenced not only "Dr. Sebastian Gorka" but also "Dr. Alveda King."

You remember her, right? CNS has literally spent years gracing King with "Dr." even though her doctorate is honorary.

Meanwhile, Bader wasn't don't making personal attacks on Biden. His Dec. 17 column attacked her doctoral dissertation, insisting without evidence that "its quality was so poor that people would likely have raised questions about its adequacy, if her husband hadn't been a powerful politician in Delaware, whose state university gave her the degree." He rehashed his earlier whining about Biden's purported lack of rigor:

People assume that because Mrs. Biden received a doctorate, her paper must have been a "dissertation." But it wasn't; in reality, it was a mere "executive position paper." As law professor Eugene Volokh notes, the University of Delaware did not require Mrs. Biden's paper to conduct any original research, as is required for a dissertation. Her degree was also not like a Ph.D, because it required less coursework than is needed to get even a lesser professional degree like a J.D.

Lawyers like me need three years of full-time study to get a J.D; Mrs. Biden's degree only required part-time study for 3-4 years.

So her degree wasn't the equivalent of a Ph.D, a medical degree, or even a professional degree, in terms of its rigor.

Bader made sure not to mention that, unlike with Biden, there are questions about the legitimacy of Gorka's doctorate, earned from an obscure Hungarian university, which is much more of a polemic than actual researcch and which the doctoral referees team (one of whom co-wrote a book with Gorka, so he may have been a bit bias) to have merely rubber-stamped instead of offering any sort of detailed evaluation.

That's the sort of thing CNS is doing these days -- bashing anything Biden because it can.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EST
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Attacking Warnock
Topic: CNSNews.com

Following in the footsteps of its Media Research Center parent, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, also went on the attack against Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock.

CNS managing editor and Franklin Graham fanboy Michael W. Chapman repeated Graham's attack on Warnock over abortion, declaring that he "champions the killing of babies in the safety of a mother’s womb through abortion." In a Dec. 7 article, Patrick Goodenough returned to the issue, highlighting how "the contrast in their views on abortion was on full display" in TV appearances by Warnock and his Republican opponent,Kelly Loeffler -- but, unusually, he did fact-check Loeffler by noting that she falsely claimed that Warnock invoked the Bible when defending a woman's right to choose (but, in more typical CNS style, this wasn't the headline claim). Two days later, though, Craig Bannister hyped right-wing activist Alveda King's claim that "I wish Rev. Warnock would read the Bible for real" on the subject of abortion.

A Dec. 16 article by Goodenough featured right-wing attacks on Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democrat running for Georgia's other Senate seat, claiming that "ceding Republican control of the Senate would pave the way for an agenda of creeping socialism, Supreme Court packing, and attacks on religious freedom." On Dec. 21, Goodenough took offense to Warnock's claim thatAmerica was not only fighting COVID-19 but systemic racism, which he called "COVID-1619." Goodenough ramped up the prudishness over rappers supporting Warnock and Ossoff in a Dec. 28 article:

An Atlanta rapper whose sexually-explicit lyrics leave nothing to the imagination campaigned on behalf of Georgia Democratic Senate hopefuls Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock on Monday, urging voters to “paint Georgia blue” and “get both of those Senate seats.”

Performing at a campaign drive-in concert in the parking lot of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., BRS Kash changed the title of his song, “Throat Baby” to “Vote Baby,” and adapted some of the other lyrics.

“I love the way you walk, love the way you talk, Let a young n**** come play in your throat,” became “I love the way you walk, love the way you talk, let’s all go walk to the polls.”

After performing, BRS Kash said, “Hey if you wanna make a change, early election has already started. I need everybody to go vote by January 5. We need to paint Georgia blue, we need to get both of those Senate seats. So I need everybody to go vote for Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock.”

The lyrics of “Throat Baby” are too graphic to reproduce here, but include offensive terms for women and blacks, along with explicit references to sexual activity, genitalia, and bodily fluids.

Chapman returned on Dec. 30 for more fanboying over Graham, regurgitating his claim that "the soul of the nation is at stake" in the Georgia runoff election.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST
Sunday, January 3, 2021
CNS Columnist: Blacks, Hispanics Don't Deserve Early Access to COVID-19 Vaccine
Topic: CNSNews.com

Hans Bader complained in a Dec. 10 CNSNews.com column:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is going to give priority to black and Hispanic veterans over white and Asian veterans when administering the vaccine for COVID-19. This racial preference is unconstitutional.

The VA is doing this because it thinks blacks and Hispanics are at greater risk. But these minorities are not inherently at greater risk of contracting the virus. There is nothing special about their genes that puts them in danger. It is just that their jobs, neighborhoods, and backgrounds tend to put them in more frequent contact with people who already carry COVID-19. So it is those characteristics -- not race -- that the VA can legally consider in handing out the vaccine to veterans. As the Supreme Court explained in Bartlett v. Strickland (2009), the government is supposed to use race only as a "last resort." That's true even when it has a better reason for using race than the VA has -- like addressing a history of past governmental discrimination against a minority group.

Yes, Bader is really arguing that. But at no point does he offer evidence that blacks and Hispanics are "not inherently at greater risk of contracting the virus" despite the fact that it's indisputably true that Blacks and Hispanics have risk factors that lead to them catching and dying from COVID-19.

Bader went into denial on this point, dismissing it all as societal, saying it's effectively their fault that they're more exposed to catching it:

But generally speaking, the fact that a group has been disproportionately affected is not a reason for giving the group a racial preference, even if the disproportionate impact is from a government policy -- rather than, as is the case for most black and Hispanic people who have contracted COVID, from societal factors that put them into more frequent contact with COVID carriers.

The Supreme Court has ruled that "societal discrimination" against a minority group is not a valid reason for giving priority to members of that group. (See Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989)). So even if black and Hispanic people experience discrimination that shunts them into lower-paying jobs with increased risk of catching the coronavirus, that wouldn't be reason enough for the VA to give them a racial preference.

[...]

So the fact that "some groups of people have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19" is not a reason to give such groups priority in access to the vaccine, based on their race.

The VA may argue that it is OK to consider veterans' race because it is only doing so as one of several factors, such as age and existing health problems. But giving a racial preference is presumptively unconstitutional, even when race is just one of many factors being used by a government agency and there are special reasons for it to prize racial diversity.

Curiously, Bader doesn't offer a plan to reduce the way Blacks and Hispanics are "disproportionately affected" by coronavirus, despite his framing as merely a societal problem; he simply rants that they don't deserve to cut the line in front of him. Not exactly the smartest hill for him to choose to die on.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:18 PM EST
Friday, January 1, 2021
CNS Heathers Fox's Wallace Over "President-Elect" Term, Mask-Wearing
Topic: CNSNews.com

Fox News host Chris Wallace has been a target of Heathering by the Media Research Center over the past year for lacking total obsequience to President Trump. Now the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has gotten in on it. Patrick Goodenough complained in a Dec. 6 article:

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace took issue with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during an interview Sunday for referring to “Vice President Joe Biden,” making the point three times that he should use the term “president-elect.”

Wallace also took the opportunity to criticize President Trump for an early lack of enthusiasm about mask wearing.

“If President Trump had worn a mask then and urged everyone to wear a mask then, back in April, the way Joe Biden is right now, wouldn’t we be in much better shape?” he asked.

Goodenough was quick to make an excuse for the latter -- "The World Health Organization (WHO) itself advised against mass mask wearing until June" -- but after complaining that Wallace "chided" Azar "for the third time" over the "president-elect" statement, he seemed to suggest Wallace wasn't totally wrong on the historyof the term:

Biden is the projected president-elect until the U.S. Congress on January 6 formally counts the electoral votes cast by the electoral college on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December – Dec. 14 in 2020.

The term “president-elect” has traditionally been used, informally, much earlier in the process. Trump changed his Twitter bio to “president elect” on November 9, 2016 – a day after the election – after media projected his electoral college victory.

Biden changed the beginning portion of his Twitter bio from “Senator, Vice President, 2020 candidate for President of the United States” to “President-elect” on November 7, on the day when CNN, followed by other outlets, projected that he would win Pennsylvania, and with it the presidency. Compared to the significant legal disputes in 2020, there were relatively minor disputes and recall counts in 2016.

Goodenough then went after Wallace for allegedly misleading about mask-wearing after he aired clips noting Trump's early callousness toward the practice, going on to nit-pick: "The two clips aired by Wallace gave the misleading impression that CDC Director Robert Redfield had announced the new mask wearing advice on April 3, with Trump then reacting to it. In fact, it was Trump who made the announcement, at a briefing of the White House coronavirus taskforce. The comment from Redfield in the clip played by Wallace, came an hour and two minutes later."

Goodenough then defended Trump's failure to wear a mask by citing evolving WHO guidance:

While critics stress the need to “follow the science” on mask wearing, the WHO itself advised against the general practice until June, arguing that it would encourage a false sense of security and deprive health staff treating COVID-19 patients of badly needed personal protective equipment.

Medical advice around the world on dealing with the novel coronavirus was evolving over time, as experts learned more about how the respiratory pathogen spread. Trump and his supporters are frequently accused of politicizing mask wearing; in fairness, people on both sides have done so.

[...]

Only on June 5 did WHO start advising – “in light of evolving evidence” – that people should be encouraged to wear masks “where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.”

And even then, the global health agency noted, “At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.”

At the end of his article, Goodenough linked to an October article which he nit-picked Biden for saying he was wearing masks "from March on" when experts and "the science" advised it, huffing that "In fact public health authorities in the U.S. only issued guidance recommending mask wearing in public on April 3, and the World Health Organization (WHO) held off on doing so until early June" and following that with a lengthy "timeline of the evolving public health advice on mask wearing."

Goodenough has policed the accuracy of Biden's statements much more closely than he has Trump's.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 1, 2021 10:47 AM EST
Thursday, December 31, 2020
CNS Attacks Buttigieg After Biden Nominates Him As Transportation Secretary
Topic: CNSNews.com

When Pete Buttigieg ran for president earlier this year, CNSNews.com regularly attacked him with an emphasis on gay-bashing. Now that President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Buttigieg as his transportation secretary, CNS went on the attack again -- and, again, with a side of gay-bashing.

CNS bizarrely felt the need to flood the zone regarding Buttigieg's nomination, with a whopping five articles in two days:

The first, anonymously written article first quoted Nancy Pelosi calling the nomination historic, then making sure to add, "Buttigieg, a homosexual, is married to Chasten Buttigieg." The article is irrelevantly illustrated by picture of Buttigieg kissing Chasten.

The second, by Susan Jones, made a point of noting that Buttigieg has "no particular credentials in the transportation industry" and portrayed Buttigieg stating that "I proposed to my husband Chasten in an airport terminal" as his claim to transportation expertise. The article also included a picture of Buttigieg and his spouse, which it at least somewhat germane to the article's content.

The third, also by Jones, dismissed Biden's call for a "railroad revolution" during his Buttigieg announcementas a "back-to-the-future comment" and once again claimed that Buttigieg "didn't have any solid transportation credentials to highlight."

The fourth, by Craig Bannister, omitted Buttigieg's first name while scaremongering that "The man apparent President-Elect Joe Biden wants to head up the Department of Transportation has repeatedly called for a tax on carbon, which would result in an increase in the cost of gasoline at the fuel pump. And, carbon is just one of the things Buttigieg has said he wants to tax."

The fifth, by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, combines his usual gay-bashing with implicit criticism of a liberal Catholic priest who praised Buttigieg's nomination:

Although former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a practicing homosexual "married" to another man, influential Catholic priest Rev. James Martin, SJ, praised him and congratulated President-elect Joe Biden for picking the "openly gay" Buttigieg to be the next Secretary of Transportation. 

[...]

Engaging in homosexual practices and being in a same-sex "marriage" are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Promoting or supporting such actions are also contrary to church teachings.

As reported by LifeSiteNews, Fr. Martin "suggested in November that religious liberty claims by Catholic adoption agencies who refused to place children with homosexual couples was 'a cover for homophobia.'"

The article isillustrated with a shot of a Time magazine cover featuring Buttigieg with his spouse.

Four days later, on Dec. 21, Jones did an article about a Fox News appearance by Buttigieg, making sure to assert once again that "as a former mayor, Buttigieg has no particular experience in transportation or infrastructure."

CNS wasn't done going after Buttigieg after the initial announcement, though. An anonmously written Dec. 29 article was devoted to noting that "sent out a tweet on December 26, wishing people a 'joyful and meaningful Kwanzaa,'" for the sole apparent purpose of using a picture of Buttigieg hugging his spouse. The anonymous writer did not elaborate on the purpose of using that irrelevant picture with this article.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EST
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
CNS Editor's Tortured Analogy To Attack Forgiving College Tuition
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey began his Dec. 9 column in a weird way that still conforms to his right-wing politics:

Jim and Jill were born a little more than a year apart to the same unmarried mother in Southern California.

Jim was adopted by a working-class family in the San Fernando Valley, where the father made his living as an auto mechanic and the mother as a maid.

Jill was adopted by an upper-middle-class family in Pasadena, where the father was a lawyer and the mother stayed home.

Yes, the "unmarried mother" gave her children up for adoption. This is the last we hear of the birth mother from Jeffrey, so we don't know if he has any other humiliation or punishment for her for giving birth to children outside of marriage.

To briefly summarize where he's going with this: Jim grew up and followed his adoptive father as an auto mechanic, while Jill was a good enough student to get admitted to Harvard but not good enough to earn a scholarship, but went anyway even though she could have saved money by going to a state school. She took out student loans for that and law school, while Jim was just scraping by.

We're now to the point of the story where Jeffrey intones, "Then Joe Biden was elected president." And this turns into a rant against reducing student loan debt. And here's where Jeffrey's tortured analogy goes south:

So, federal student loans caused money to flow as follows: Jim worked as an auto mechanic and, along with millions of other hardworking non-college-educated Americans, paid federal taxes. The federal government took some of that money and sent it to Harvard and other colleges in the form of student loans. The government attributed these loans to people like Jill — the sister Jim did not know — as payment for their tuition.

The first winner in this exchange: Harvard.

The second winner: Jill, who got a Harvard degree — albeit while running up $24,000 in debt.

[...]

Can a college graduate — whose median household income is $51,456 more than a high school graduate's — afford to pay off $24,000 (or even $50,000) in student loans?

Or should an auto mechanic pay taxes — and interest on an increased federal debt — so Joe Biden can forgive a Harvard graduate's student loans?

But Jeffrey offers no evidence that forgiving student debt would increase the taxes of his hypothetical auto mechanic. In fact, it has no immediate effect on the national debt, and would merely add on to the debt down the road.

This also shows us where CNS' coverage of federal deficit issues will be going for the next four years. After four years of refusing to blame Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate for running up the deficit (or, when they were blamed, putting equal blame on Democrats even though that's not how that works), Jeffrey and CNS will resume blaming Democrats by name, the way they did when Barack Obama was president.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EST
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: Financial Non-Accountability At CNS, Part 2
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey spent the rest of 2019 the way he spent the previous months: complaining about the federal deficit while laboring to avoid putting blame on the Republican president and Senate that were largely responsible for it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 PM EST
Sunday, December 27, 2020
CNS Touts Another Minor Arab Normalization Deal With Israel
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough is very much a pro-Trump and pro-Israel reporter, as evidence by his gushing over minor Arab countries making peace deals with Israel before the election. Goodenough kept that up after the election as well.

Goodenough grumbled in a Nov. 13 article: "The world may be grappling with a once-in-a-century pandemic, but World Health Organization member-states dedicated four hours of its annual gathering in Geneva on Thursday to discuss and condemn Israel, accusing it of violating the health rights of Palestinians in the disputed territories and Syrians in the Golan Heights." By contrast, you'll never hear Goodenough say, "The world may be grappling with a once-in-a-century pandemic, but a 'news' operation sent its interns to pester members of Congress about transgender students in locker rooms."

On Nov. 18, Goodenough declared it a "parting blow" when the Obama administration "chose not to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution" condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory shortly before Obama left office, then touted how "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was expected on Thursday to became the first top U.S. diplomat to visit Jewish communities on disputed territory." Goodenough went on to frame the issue in right-wing talking points, writing that "Many Israelis view those areas, known for millennia as Judea (more than 800 references in the Bible) and Samaria (more than 110 references), as the Jewish nation’s historical and biblical 'heartland.'"

In a Dec. 1 article, Goodenough defended the honor of Jared Kushner for allegedly negotiating all those minor peace deals:

As President Trump’s administration winds towards a close, critics took to MSNBC airwaves on Monday to tear into White House senior advisor Jared Kushner for traveling to the Middle East, characterizing the president’s 39-year-old son-in-law as an abject failure and a “ridiculous” figure, and expressing relief that “serious, competent, intelligent people” will be returning to the executive branch soon.

In the space of less than three months Kushner, tasked to tackle a problem that has vexed U.S. administrations for more than half a century, helped to deliver three Israeli-Arab normalization agreements, with the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan.

He attributed the achievements to the administration’s rejection of “the failed conventional thinking of the past” – the dogma stating that the resolution of the Palestinian problem is the prerequisite for any progress in Middle East peacemaking.

[...]

Before the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan agreed to normalize ties with Israel in the summer and fall of 2020, only two other Arab nations had taken similar steps since the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948 – Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

And when Morocco signed a normalization pact with Israel -- with the help of the U.S. recognizing Morocco's sovereignty over a disputed African territory -- Goodenough was on hand to gush once more:

President Trump on Thursday announced a fourth Arab-Israeli normalization agreement in as many months, as Morocco agreed to recognize the Jewish state. In return he issued a proclamation recognizing Morocco’s longstanding claim to sovereignty over a sparsely-populated disputed territory in north-western Africa – an attempt to break a decades-long stalemate.

“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today!” the president tweeted. “Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”

According to the White House, Morocco and Israel will restore diplomatic relations and expand economic and cultural cooperation, launch direct flights and grant overflight rights, and immediately reopen liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv, followed “in the near future” by embassies.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. has agreed for the first time to back Morocco’s claims in the Western Sahara.

The dealmaking is characteristic of the Trump administration’s norm-breaking approach to the region: Sideline for now the Palestinian issue, and encourage Arab and Muslim states to normalize relations with Israel, offering concessions from the U.S. as an incentive.

It wasn't until the 21st paragraph of his article that Goodenough got around to admitting that "Morocco’s human rights record in Western Sahara has been widely condemned. The territory is the seventh lowest-scoring country or territory in Freedom House’s annual assessment of civil liberties and political freedoms, just one place above North Korea." He then let Kushner simply handwave the issue by declaring that "Obviously, we don’t share the same values with all these countries" and that "we obviously respect the sovereignty of different places."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:48 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 27, 2020 4:50 PM EST
Friday, December 25, 2020
CNS Gotcha-Question Time, Abortion Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com already forced its interns this fall to pester members of Congress with an anti-transgender gotcha question. But it also tried to squeeze in one more gotcha question before the holidays. TYhe first victim was Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy in a Dec. 8 article:

Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who said he is “pro-choice” on abortion, also said that President-elect Joe Biden (D) “might be right” in his view that “life begins at conception.”

On several occasions, Biden has said that “life begins at conception” but he would not interfere with doctors who abort human lives in the womb.

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Senator Murphy, “Do you agree with Joe Biden that life begins at conception?”

Sen. Murphy said, “I’m pro-choice, I think it should be up to, you know, every woman and every individual to make that choice on their own.”

CNS News then asked, “Well, but Joe Biden’s stated position is that life begins at conception.”

Murphy then replied, “Okay, I mean I don’t know. He might be right.”

Two days later, the CNS intern went after another Democratic senator:

When asked whether she agreed with Joe Biden’s position that “life begins at conception,” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, “I’m not going to answer the question.”

Biden has said in several interviews that he believes “life begins at conception,” and even expressed this view in the Oct. 11, 2012 vice presidential debate.

At the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 8, CNS News asked Senator Feinstein, “Do you agree with Joe Biden that life begins at conception?”

Feinstein initially said, “Oh, my god, I can’t believe you,” and her aide interjected, “That’s not an escalator question!”

She then said, “I’m not going to answer the question.”

“I don’t think it is necessary for what I do or part of it,” the senator added.

CNS News then said that Biden has “stated that he’s in favor of repealing the Hyde Amendment and using federal funds to pay for abortion services.”

Feinstein then replied, “Well, let me try and find out what’s going on.”

Of course, getting members of Congress, especially Democratic ones, perturbed by gotcha questions is pretty much the point of this exercise -- it's all about the clicks. After all, one CNS intern who made Nancy Pelosi mad managed to parlay it into a job at Fox News.

These were apparently the only two victims, though. It seems the interns ran out of time or the members of Congress have gotten better at avoiding reporters acting in bad faith.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EST
Updated: Friday, December 25, 2020 12:35 AM EST
Thursday, December 24, 2020
CNS Does Stenography For White House Press Secretary
Topic: CNSNews.com

Melanie Arter wrote in a Nov. 30 CNSNews.com article:

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany accused the Washington Post of pushing “blinding” propaganda by reporting that former Vice President Joe Biden has selected an “all-female senior White House press team.”

McEnany pointed out that the Trump administration already has an all-female senior communications staff.

McEnany tweeted Monday “President @realDonaldTrump already has an ALL FEMALE Senior White House Press Team.

So does @VP

So does @Flotus

So does @SecondLady

The completely DISCREDITED @washingtonpost once again reveals their blinding propagandist Fake News proclivities”

As we pointed out when CNS' corporate bretheren at the Media Research Center similarly uncritically repeated this narrative, McEnany is wrong -- two press secretaries in Trump's office are actually men. Indeed, as the hated Washington Post noted, this is all a picayune argument over the definition of a "senior" comms job, which obscures the fact that three comms jobs currently held by men under Trump will be held by women under Biden.

That's not the only worship of McEnany CNS has done. On Dec. 1, Arter was in full stenography mode in uncritically repeating another McEnany claim, that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats have been trying to undermine the U.S. election system for years by allowing illegals on the voting rolls and fighting against signature matching." She also repeated McEnany's bogus complaint about Biden getting credit for an all-female comms team.

In a Dec. 3 post, Craig Bannister gushed that McEnany used a White House press briefing for "subjecting" attending reporters "to a video montage of prominent Democrats violating the very COVID-19 restrictions they’ve imposed on others."

On Dec. 8, Arter uncritically repeated how "McEnany is disputing reports that the Trump administration turned down a chance to buy additional coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer beyond the 100 million doses that was contracted and now has to wait until the summer to get more." In fact, Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and current Pfizer board member, confirmed that the Trump administration turned down an offer from Pfizer last summer to obtain an additional 100 million doses of its vaccine.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 24, 2020 12:33 AM EST

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