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Sunday, April 11, 2021
CNS Effectively Censors Gaetz Scandal
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loved to quote Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, because he's so eminently quotable in pushing right-wing talking points. Some examples over the past year:

That last article appeared on March 25, a few days before it was revealed that the Department of Justice is investigating whether Gaetz had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old giril and whether it constituted sex trafficking.CNS was initially quick to defend Gaetz, with a March 31 article by Susan Jones that uncritically recounted Gaetz defending himself in an appearance on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show:

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), an outspoken conservative and a supporter of President Donald Trump, says he's being smeared by The New York Times and extorted by a former Justice Department official over what he calls a false allegation of sex trafficking.

"It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie," Gaetz told Fox News's Tucker Carlson Tuesday night:

But Jones buried the odd exchange in which Gaetz brought up a dinner he attended with Carlson and "a friend of mine, you'll remember her, and she was actually threatened by the F.B.I., told that if she wouldn't cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay-for-play scheme, that she could face trouble."

And that's the last time Gaetz has been mentioned in a CNS article. That means CNS readers don't know that the DOJ official has denied Gaetz's extortion claims, about reports that Gaetz showed photos of nude women he claims to have slept with, or that the House Ethics Committed has launched an investigation into Gaetz.

It appears that if it's bad news about a conservative, it's not news at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:01 PM EDT
Friday, April 9, 2021
CNS Loved Trump's 'Covfefe' -- But Bashes Omar's 'Obvious Grammar Mistake'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Call it a tale of two typos.

Back in May 2017, CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones got quite the charge out of Donald Trump's "covfefe" tweet. "With six words – only five that make sense – President Donald Trump’s midnight tweet took the Internet by storm early Wednesday morning, even though no one is sure what he meant," she wrote, adding: "Before the tweet was removed, Twitter users had fun with 'covfefe,' some joking it's Russian for “I resign”; and others suggesting it may be the nuclear code."

But on March 15, an anonymous CNS writer felt the need to devote an entire article to highlighting a typo in a tweet by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar:

Rep. Ilhan Omar made an obvious mistake in basic English grammar in a tweet she sent out on Monday afternoon.

She used the noun “abolition,” when she should have used the verb “abolish.”

Shortly after she sent the tweet with the grammatical error, Omar tweeted out a correction—apparently lamenting that Twitter did not allow her to correct her mistaken tweet.

The anonymous CNS reporter then felt the need to mock Omar's education, which it didn't do to Trump:

Omar earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from North Dakota State University. In a question-and-answer sheet posted on the North Dakota State University website, Omar was asked: “How did NDSU prepare you?” She responded: “NDSU provided an open and tolerant learning environment in which I was able to form my own independent and informed opinions with the help of a great faculty, student body and curriculum.”

CNS has previously given disproportionately negative attention to Omar before, hyping controversial remarks she made while downplaying similarly controversial remarks by a Republican congressman. It even put an inflammatory, negative headline on an article that was surprisingly fair to Omar.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Thursday, April 8, 2021
CNS Somehow Gets 5 Stories Out Of Biden Tripping On Stairs
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's part of CNSNews.com's editorial agenda to spread the narrative that President Biden is going senile. So when Biden tripped on the stairway to Air Force One, CNS was ON IT, somehow cranking out five stories' worth of related content, four of which appeared on March 19, the day of the incident.

An anonymous CNS employee -- why is that employee withholding their byline for this apparently important story? -- breathless reported in the lead story:

President Joe Biden fell three times while trying to board Air Force One this morning to fly to Atlanta to speak about the horrible murders that took place there this week.

Video footage shows Biden leaving Marine One and walking a short distance across the tarmac to the stairs leading up to Air Force One.

As he tries to climb those stairs, he falls three times.

After the third fall, he manages to keep his feet and climb the remainder of the stairs into the airplane.

Biden will turn 79 on November 20.

Emphasizing Biden's age is another way CNS tries to feed into the right-wing Biden-is-senile narrative.

This wasw followed by another anonymously written story highlightig that "A video posted on YouTube by the Reagan Library, shows then-President Ronald Reagan walking down the stairs from Air Force One—while not holding the railing—and then walking back up the stairs, while occasionally not holding the railing, and responding to reporters yelling questions at him. The video was made on Aug. 10, 1982 when Reagan was 71 years old." This anonymous writer also complained that "When Reagan was running for President at 69 years of age, the New York Times repeatedly reported on assertions that he was 'too old' for the job."

A third anonymously written story went back to the senility angle:

When President Joe Biden gave his nationally televised address on Thursday announcing that on Friday his administration would achieve his goal of delivering 100 million COVID-19 vaccination shots in his first 100 days in office, he called Vice President Kamala Harris “President Harris.”

The next day, Biden would trip three times while climbing the stairs of Air Force One.

the anonymous writer did not explain how these tywo events are connected.

The fourth story that day did, surprisingly, carry a byline, that of Craig Bannister. He's apparently proud enough of his attempt to dunk on Biden to put his name on it, unlike his fellow CNS employee[s]:

On Friday, President Joe Biden made headlines and viral video by falling three times while trying to climb stairs boarding Air Force One. But, last September, Candidate Biden mocked the way President Donald Trump navigated stairs.

Visiting West Point for a commencement ceremony last September, Biden claimed to be more agile and vigorous than Trump. "Look at how he steps and look at how I step,” Biden urged.

[...]

On Friday, however, it was Biden who stumbled, multiple times, as he tried to run up the stairs. As CNSNews.com reported, video footage shows Biden leaving Marine One and walking a short distance across the tarmac to the stairs leading up to Air Force One. As he tries to climb those stairs, he falls three times.

Bannister concluded: "Biden will turn 79 years old on November 20."

Bannister returned on March 23 to uncritically help Donald Trump try to dunk on Biden:

Former President Donald Trump said he expected President Joe Biden to take the type of tumble he did last Friday on stairs boarding Air Force One.

“I expected it,” Trump said in an interview Monday with Newsmax TV, when he was asked if he was shocked when Biden fell three times on the stairs while boarding the plane:

[...]

Trump recalled how media attacked him last year, when he carefully and slowly descended an icy ramp at West Point. “The last thing I wanted was to take a tumble, like Biden did,” Trump said, noting that the “lamestream media” virtually ignored the news when Biden actually did fall:

Given that Trump traversed that ramp in June, the claim that it was icy doesn't hold water (or ice). The ramp, despite Trump's claims to the contrary, was not particularly steep.

By contrast, a search of the CNS archive reveals that it devoted exactly zero articles about Trump's awkward walk down the ramp at West Point or his even more awkward attempt to drink water there. It did get a passing mention in an article four days after the incident that quoted Nancy Pelosi referencing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2021 1:33 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
CNS Continues To Hide Pro-Trump Columnist's Links As Trump Adviser
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com has allowed Ken Blackwell to advocate on behalf of President Trump while rarely disclosing that he was an official Trump surrogate and adviser to his re-electrion campaign. Trump may be gone, but Blackwell is still defending him -- and CNS is still not disclosing his ties to Trump.

In a Feb. 8 column, Blackwell attacked "Democrat Sen. [sic] Pat Leahy" for presiding over Trump's second impeachment trial, declaring that "Leahy’s usurpation of [Chief Justice John] Roberts’ role in the second impeachment trial of Trump highlights how this whole affair is unconstitutional." The end-of-column bio described him as "a Distinguished Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission."

In a column the next day, headlined "Election Integrity: The Case For Trump's Acquittal," Blackwell did actually admit he was a Trump adviser, if only because he was complaining that Trump didn't take his advice not to use the term "law and order" because it turned off black voters and "suburban white voters" and hoping Trump takes his advice on how to argue that the presiential election may have been stolen from Trump by focusing on "massive irregularities" and not "wide-eyed conspiracy theories."

Blackwell spent his March 16 column huffing that the New York Times was using "its hatred of all things Trump" to fight against Republican-led "election integrity" efforts:

In the wake of a presidential election marred by widespread lawlessness that produced unprecedented levels of public distrust, the Times struggles to conceive of efforts to rectify the problem as anything other than acts of obeisance to Donald Trump. In the minds of most leftists, it seems, the term “election integrity” — when used by Republicans — is merely code for “voter suppression.” Bad faith on the part of GOP legislators is simply assumed.

In reality, conservative voters and lawmakers have many legitimate reasons to question the security of our electoral process after watching leftist officials participate in an extra-legal public-private partnership with Big Tech billionaires and progressive activists that involved casually disregarding duly-enacted laws that had been put in place for the express purpose of ensuring free and fair elections.

CNS returned to not mentioning Blackwell's Trump ties, with the end-of-column bio stating only that he "is a senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council" and "former Secretary of State of Ohio."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:55 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
CNS Gives Space To Conspiracy Theorist Doc To Attack Masks
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com gave Dr. Jim Meehan space for a column on March 10 (bolding in original):

A response to people who use the classic fallacious argument, “Well, if masks don’t work, then why do surgeons wear them?”

I’m a surgeon who has performed more than 10,000 surgical procedures wearing a surgical mask. However, that fact alone doesn’t really qualify me as an expert on the matter. More importantly, I am a former editor of a medical journal.

I know how to read the medical literature, distinguish good science from bad, and fact from fiction. Believe me, the medical literature is filled with bad fiction masquerading as medical science. It is very easy to be deceived by bad science.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve read hundreds of studies on the science of medical masks. Based on extensive review and analysis, there is no question in my mind that healthy people should not be wearing surgical or cloth masks. Nor should we be recommending universal masking of all members of the population. That recommendation is not supported by the highest level of scientific evidence.

CNS describes Meehan as "a physician, entrepreneur, and accomplished leader who provides novel science and solutions that conform to honest, open, transparent, and patient-centered principles." It also noted that Meehan's column "originally appeared on Principia Scientific International."

CNS is not going to tell you that Principia Scientific International is filled with conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. And it's definitely not going to tell you that this description also fits Meehan himself, as a report on a hearing he testified at in his native Oklahoma details:

Meehan is a licensed medical doctor who operates in Tulsa. His Oklahoma Medical Board profile lists his specialties as general preventive medicine, nutrition and addiction medicine. He  often preaches against vaccines on and wearing face masks on Twitter.

In his Twitter bio, Meehan lists hashtags for “Medical Freedom,” a popular tag for the anti-vaccine movement, and for QAnon, a far-right fringe conspiracy that believes a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles runs a child sex-trafficking ring across the world that also schemes against President Donald Trump. Some members of QAnon believe Trump is secretly sending them coded messages on various websites to update them. 

In 2019, the FBI described QAnon as a domestic terror threat.

At one point in the hearing, Meehan said that an overabundance of skin pigment prevents the sun from killing the coronavirus inside the bodies of people of color and they should take more  vitamins to keep from getting sick. There is no scientific evidence for that claim.

Further, a judge ruled that Meehan was not qualifed to speak as an "expert witness" in a Connecticut lawsuit fighting agaist a mask mandage because he lacks specific expertise and holds anti-science views, adding that "while Meehan is an expert ophthalmologist, he was not credible to testify on the subject at hand since he has not done any work related to COVID-19."

So CNS published an eye doctor who has no expertise  in treating coronavirus to opine on wearing masks. The creeping WND-ization of CNS continues.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 12:19 AM EDT
Monday, April 5, 2021
CNS' Attacks on Garland's AG Nomination Were Lame
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center had a hard time finding ways to attack Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland the way it has done to other Biden Cabinet nominees. It didn't go after him at all when he was first nominated, and its articles cherry-picking responses to questions during his confirmation hearing were lame at best.

A Feb. 22 article by Susan Jones appeared to compalin that Garland said he would prioritize the prosecution of "white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 -- a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government." Jones complained the next day that Garland said, in response to questions from mostly Republican senators, that he didn't have an opinion on the Second Amendment -- despite the fact that, because it is his job to enforce the law and not make law, he's not supposed to have an opinion on it. Another article by Jones merely summarized his views on "racism, disparate justice, and implicit bias."

It wasn't until March 4 that CNS came up with a plausible line of attack. Terry Jeffrey's column bashed Garland for, while serving as a judge, allowed a 17-year-old "illegal alien" arrested at the Mexican border to receive an abortion. "So, what was Garland thinking, if anything, when a pregnant alien teenager — caught trying to illegally enter the United States — came before his court, seeking his blessing to terminate her child?" Jeffrey huffed -- even though he repeatedly denied the humanity of the teen by repeatedly referring to her as an "alien."

And it wasn't until two days after Garland was confirmed by the full Senate on March 10 that CNS published an article by Emma Riley recounting how conservatives opposed Garland in a letter. "The letter cited Garland’s ambiguity over the law on whether attacking a federal court house at night or during the day constitutes 'domestic terrorism'; his unwillingness to condemn remarks that 'black people are genetically superior to white people'; and his unwillingness to denounce the comment that 'any pro-life advocate is unfit for office,'" Riley wrote -- again, ignoring the fact that the attorney general is not supposed to have an opinion on such things.

The fact that even the highly biased "journalists" at CNS couldn't findmuch to attack Garland tells us that he likely won't be as bad as they think.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EDT
Sunday, April 4, 2021
In January, CNS Set The Stage For Attacking Biden on Immigration
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com, like other right-wing media outlets, has been getting a lot of Biden-bashing mileage out of issues with immigrants at the Mexican border. But CNS primed readers to blame Biden for increased numbers of immigrants trying to cross the border even before he became president.

Back on Jan. 12, Melanie Arter touted how "President Donald [Trump] warned Tuesday that caravans of illegal immigrants are forming on the southern border, in anticipation of Joe Biden’s presidency and what’s in it for them, but the Trump administration is able to stop it."More examples from January:

  • On Jan. 18, Arter wrote that "Former acting ICE Director Tom Homan told Fox Business’s 'Mornings with Maria Bartiromo' on Monday that the prediction he made six months ago is coming true that if Joe Biden won the presidency, there will be a surge in illegal immigration like you’ve never seen."
  • A Jan. 19 article by Susan Jones featured a file photo of "A caravan of would-be illegal immigrants" from ovember 2018.
  • A separate article by Jones the same day declared: "Illegal immigration is accelerating once again, as thousands of Central Americans are heading to the U.S., taking President-elect Joe Biden at his word that he will halt deportations in his first 100 days, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told the Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday."
  • On Jan. 20, Jones noted that Antony Blinken, at his confirmation hearing for secretary of state,  saying that undocumented immigrants shouldn't come, which would seem to undermine CNS' later claim that Biden encouraged them to come.
  • On Jan. 22, Jones gave space to a Fox News appearance by the head of the union for Border Patrol employees, claiming that "There is absolutely reason to be concerned" about security at the Southwest border.
  • The same day, an anonymous CNS writer complained that "When President Joe Biden arrived at the White House after being inaugurated on Wednesday, he signed an executive orderhalting the construction of an 'impassable physical barrier' at the U.S.-Mexico border."
  • Another Jan. 22 article, this one by the mysterious "A. Kim," groused that Biden's executive orders on immigration represent "a sweeping change that reflects a return to Obama-era policy," further complaining that "illegal aliens" are "now officially termed 'non-citizens.'" "Kim" also claimed that Republicans opposed Biden's "plans for amnesty," even though no policy change was identified as such.
  • On Jan. 25, Jones let Chad Wolf, onetime acting Homeland Security secretary under Trump, fearmonger about Biden's policy changes, claiming that the are "going to cause an immigration and border security crisis on our Southwest Border."

In short: CNS was always going to attack Biden on immigration no matter what is happening now. It telegraphed that nearly three months ago.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:43 PM EDT
Friday, April 2, 2021
CNS Complains Rand Paul's Nasty Questioning Of Transgender Nominee Got Called Out
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com attacked Rachel Levine upon her nomination as assistant HHS secretary because she is the first transgender person to nominated to a top Cabinet post. So when Republican Sen. Rand Paul harshly questioned her during her nomination hearing, CNS' Susan Jones cheered it:

Unafraid to address the transgender issue staring lawmakers in the face, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday asked Dr. Rachel Levine (nee Richard) if she believes "minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one's sex."

Levine, President Biden's nominee for assistant secretary of health, now lives as a woman.

Twice, Levine gave Sen. Paul the same rehearsed, non-answer to his question:

Actually, Paul was merely unafraid to lecture and push anti-trans talking points, and Jones transcribed every word of his harangue of Levine.Jones apparently decided that Paul's attack was too good to fact-check; had she bothered to do so, she would have learned that, contrary to Paul's assertions, current medical guidelines in the U.S. do not recommend transition-related surgeries for minors.

But when Paul got called out for his harangue, Jones pouted in an article the next day:

It is now offensive and inappropriate in the U.S. Congress for a lawmaker to question a transgender physician about her views on minor children making the decision to change their sex through hormone use and surgery.

At her confirmation hearing on Thursday, Dr. Rachel Levine, born Richard, twice refused to say whether she thinks minors are capable of making such a "life-changing decision," as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) put it. (See below)

Later in the hearing, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, criticized Paul for his line of questioning:

"It is really critical to me that our nominees be treated with respect and that our questions focus on their qualifications and the work ahead of us rather than ideological and harmful misrepresentations, like those we heard from Senator Paul earlier," Murray said.

"And I will focus on that as chair of this committee. So thank you again for your response," she told Dr. Levine. "And with that, I will turn it over to Senator Murphy."

CNS rehashed Paul's hostile questioning of Levine in a March 16 article by the mysterious "A. Kim" featuring conservatives attacking the Equality Act (and deliberately misgenders Levine):

On Feb. 25, a Senate confirmation hearing was held for Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender “woman” (biological male) nominated by President Biden to be assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. During the hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a medical doctor, questioned Levine about his left-wing views on sex-change surgery for minors, an issue that would be protected from discrimination under the Equality Act.

“Dr. Levine, you have supported both allowing minors to be given hormone blockers to prevent them from going through puberty, as well as surgical destruction of a minor's genitalia,” said Paul.  “Like surgical mutilation, hormonal interruption of puberty can permanently alter and prevent secondary sexual characteristics. The American College of Pediatricians reports that 80% to 95% of pre-pubertal children with gender dysphoria will experience resolution by late adolescence if not exposed to medical intervention and social affirmation.”

“Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?” said Paul. Levine did not answer the question but said “transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field.”

Bill Donohue took a swipe at Levine in his March 29 column, justifying Paul's hostile questioning and also misgendering Levine: "Given his status, both physical and professional, it is important to know what his position on sex transitioning is."

When Levine was confirmed by the full Senate for her new job on March 24, however, CNS couldn't be bothered to do a story on it. Apparently, good news about a transgender person isn't news at all at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Thursday, April 1, 2021
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS Unemployment Reporting: The Pandemic Flip-Out, Part 2
Topic: CNSNews.com
In the last half of 2020, CNSNews.com continued to try and put a pro-Trump spin on U.S. unemployment numbers ... until it decided not to. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com kicked off 2021 the same way it conducted itself in previous years: giving copious (unpaid?) promotion to the Media Research Center's favorite right-wing radio host, Mark Levin. Here's what CNS published to boost Levin in the first tw0 months of 2021:

That's 14 articles to kick off 2021, and it gets CNS back on pace to do around 100 Levin articles this year. It had achieved that level from 2017 to 2019 but fell off the pace a bit last year with only 86 Levin articles.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EDT
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
CNS Keeps Up Right-Wing Attacks On HHS Nominee Becerra
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Feb. 20 CNSNews.com article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how right-wing activists "launched a $2 million-plus campaign to expose how President Joe Biden's call for "unity" in the country is questionable given the radical left background of some of his executive branch nominees, who are pushing extreme agendas that mirror the desires of the dark money donors who put Biden in office." It seems CNS may have gotten some of that money, because it joined in the attacks on one of the group's targets, Health and Human Services nominee Xavier Becerra.

We've already documented how CNS bashed Becerra upon his nomination, and it kept up those attacks as his confirmation hearing approached.

A Feb. 5 commentary by Bill Donohue -- who had previously ranted that Becerra is ""an enemy of the Catholic Church" -- listed "16 reasons why Becerra should not be confirmed," one of which was that "he brought charges against pro-life activists who went undercover to film Planned Parenthood officials trafficking in aborted baby parts. He brought felony charges against them." In fact, a jury ruled in 2019 that Daleiden should pay Planned Parenthood $870,000 in punitive damages for his attempt to try and destroy the organization under false pretenses.

Donobhue also claimed that "Few Attorneys General in the United States fought more ferociously to deny the Little Sisters of the Poor their religious rights than Becerra." In fact, Becerra initiated no legal action against the religious order; Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and the Little Sisters of the Poor later filed to intervene and chose to become a party to the suit.

Donohue repeated his bogus attacks on Becerra in a Feb. 24 column, huffing that "Becerra is no victim of anti-Catholicism. In fact, he is a master sponsor of it." The same day, editor Terry Jeffrey highlighted hostile Republican questions to Becerra during his confirmation hearing:

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, who President Joe Biden has nominated to be the secretary of Health and Human Services, dodged a question at his confirmation hearing today about whether he believed an unborn child who is targeted for a late-term abortion should be given anesthesia to minimize the pain the child will suffer.

[...]

Rather than give a yes-or-no, Becerra gave a long-winded answer that talked around the question.

In a Feb. 26 article, Emma Riley touted how "63 pro-life leaders urged the lawmakers to reject Becerra, stating he is “an enemy to every pro-life policy and law, and has demonstrated complete disregard for the religious and moral convictions of those opposed to the brutal act of abortion.” Similarly, a March 11 article by Quinn Weimer highlighted how "some conservative leaders told CNS News why they oppose Becerra. Pro-life leader Lila Rose, in particular, stressed that, “Becerra is a pro-abortion activist and friend of the abortion industry, with no medical background.” Weimer didn't mention that most HHS secretaries have had no medical background; like Becerra, their background is in government.

CNS acknowledged Becerra's confirmation only in a March 18 article by Melanie Arter that began with an attack on on him by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, "saying he is 'woefully unqualified to lead that department,' because he has no medical or science experience or in logistics, having 'never so much as distributed French fries at a McDonald’s.'" Arter didn't mention that the HHS secretary under Trump, Alex Azar, also has no medical or science degree (though he was the former head of drugmaker Eli Lilly).

Riley returned with some conservative sore-loser complaining the next day, repeating how "pro-life leaders denounced the vote, stating that the confirmation is a 'blow to all Americans who value religious liberty and the sanctity of life.'" There was no mention of the $2 million campaign right-wing activists ran against Becerra, let alone that it could only be described as a failure.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Monday, March 29, 2021
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS Unemployment Reporting: The Pandemic Flip-Out, Part 1
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's reporting on employment numbers has been aggressively pro-Trump, but even it couldn't hide reality when the coronavirus pandemic caused rates to skyrocket. Plus: CNS' double standard on reporting the "real unemployment rate." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Sunday, March 28, 2021
CNS' New Anti-Trans Narrative: Describe Trans Women As 'Biological Males'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Is CNSNews.com bucking for a social media ban it can exploit?

On Feb. 3, CNS published a column by its favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, raging that Twitter temproarilty blocked the account of right-wing Catholic "news" outlet Catholic World Report because reporter Matt Hadro (a former staffer at CNS' parent, the Media Research Center) referred to transgender Biden HHS nominee Rachel Levine as ""biological man identifying as a transgender woman." Apparently taking inspiration from that -- and furthering its hateful transgender freakout -- CNS has used "biological male" phrasing in many of its transgender-related articles, when it didn't before:

  • A transgender "woman" is, in reality, a biological male (XY chromosomes), and does not have a real vagina or a uterus. -- Emmy Riley, Feb. 11
  • Transgender "female" (biological male) soccer player Mara Gomez. -- Michael W. Chapman, Feb. 22
  • Transgender "female" soccer player Maria Gomez, who is a biological male. ... Transgender "female" cyclist Rachel McKinnon, a biological male. ... Transgender "female" Rachel Levine, a biological male and President Biden's nominee for Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, testifies before her confirmation hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2021.-- Michael W. Chapman, Feb. 26 (as with the previous item, all these accompany file photos obtained from Getty Images, who we're willing to wager didn't describe them as "biological males" in the captions they supplied)
  • Nadler made the remark in response to a speech that Rep. Greg Steube (R.-Fla.) had delivered in opposition to the Equality Act, which would force schools to let biological males play on girls’ sports teams and use girls’ locker rooms, restrooms and dressing rooms.-- "CNSNews.com Staff," March 1
  • In a speech opposing the Equality Act, which would force public schools to allow transgender “women” (biological males) to play on real girls’ sports teams and use their bathrooms and showers, House Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) said that claiming a gender that does not match one’s natural anatomy is “gender confusion” and a “clear rejection of God’s good design.” ... Rachel McKinnon, a transgender female (biological male) cyclist. -- Michael W. Chapman, March 4
  • Miss. Governor Plans to Sign Bill to Protect Women’s Sports From Transgender ‘Females’ (Biological Males) ... The Mississippi House voted (81-28) on March 3 to ban transgender “females” (biological males) from competing in real women’s sports in the state’s public schools and universities.-- Quinn Weimer, March 5 (who also added a photo of "U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas, a real, biologically female athlete")
  • Rachel Levine, a transgender "female" (biological male) nominated by President Joe Biden to be assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. ... Actress Elliot Page, a transgender "male" (biological female). ... Nats Getty, right, the great-granddaughter of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, is a transgender "male" who had her breasts removed to appear more like a man.-- Michael W. Chapman, March 8
  • To combat President Joe Biden's executive order mandating that schools permit transgender "women" (biological males) to play on girls' sports teams and use their bathrooms and showers, House Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) introduced a bill to "protect women and girls" from the Democrats' "radical gender ideology." --= Michael W. Chapman, March 9 (who repeats the phraseology in captions for pictures of Levine and McKinnon)
  • On Feb. 25, a Senate confirmation hearing was held for Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender “woman” (biological male) nominated by President Biden to be assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. -- "A. Kim," March 16
  • Their testimony explained why competing against biological males (transgender “females”) is unfair and likely will destroy women’s sports. ... In practice this would mean, among other things, that transgender “females” (biological males) would be allowed to play on girls’ sports teams and use their bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. ... Transgender "female" (biological male) athletes transgender Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller. -- Emma Riley, March 19
  • Although South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem, who promotes herself as a firebrand conservative, strongly implied she would sign legislation barring transgender "females" (biological males) from participating in real girls' sports -- and using their bathrooms, locker rooms and showers -- she delayed last week, did not sign the bill, and now wants changes that would essentially gut the legislation, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). ... The ADF currently represents three high school girls in a lawsuit against rules that allow transgender females (biological males) to compete in girls' sports. -- Michael W. Chapman, March 22
  • As many other state legislatures are doing, GOP lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly introduced legislation this week to protect girls' sports by prohibiting transgender "females" (biological males) from playing on girls' teams.-- Michael W. Chapman, March 24
  • S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem's (R) office now claims that conservative criticism of her veto of a bill to protect girls' sports from transgender "females" (biological males) is "uninformed cancel culture" from the right. In response, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) said that exposing bad decisions and "criticizing Gov. Noem for caving to woke corporations is not cancel culture. It’s accountability." -- Michael W. Chapman, March 25 (whcih also included a photo of "Real girls playing field hockey")
  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed legislation into law on Mar. 25 that prohibits transgender "females" (biological males) from joining real girls' sports teams at the high school and collegiate level. -- Michael W. Chapman, March 26 (he repeated the "Real girls playing field hockey" photo but somehow shlipped in failing to identify McKinnon as a "(biological male)")

So far, it appears social media hasn't taken CNS' bait, depriving it of an opportunity to play victim to boost its right-wing anti-trans cred.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2021 12:29 PM EDT
Friday, March 26, 2021
CNS Took 2-Month Break Between COVID Death Count Updates
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com -- mostly reporter Susan Jones -- spent much of 2020 laboing to put a pro-Trump spin on coronavirus case and death numbers. But as deaths surged after the November election that Trump lost, CNS' interest in doing them dwindled to the point that it hadn't done one since December. But when COVID deaths in the U.S. passed the 500,000 mark, CNS grudgingly marked the occasion.

An anonymously writen Feb. 22 article noted that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) issued a statement on Monday expressing her sorrow for the reported 500,000 lives that have been lost in this country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic." Even then, the anonymous writer nitpicked the count by highlighting that "TheJohns Hopkins University website on Monday was reporting that the total number of U.S. deaths as a result of COVID-19 was 499,186."

CNS piublished this with the deliberately vague headline "Nancy Pelosi: ‘Every Life Lost is a Profound Tragedy’" -- which hid the actual context of the article -- and illustrated it with a file photo of Pelosi holding a baby, an apparent potshot at Pelosi's support for abortion rights, a partian political statement that was also irrelevant to the article's subject matter.

Jones returned to action on her abandoned beat in an article the next day, which she began by highlighting an even lower number:

Since January 2020, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has kept weekly counts of "COVID-involved" deaths in the United States, based on death certificates that are submitted on a lagging basis to CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

As of Feb. 22, CDC's official COVID death toll was 467,585. CDC also counts 3,715,704 "deaths from all causes" since January 2020.

Jones then seemed to be complaining taht she had to do this article at all, claiming that marking the death toll was making it"politicized" before ultimately explaining while the CDC number is so low:

So the 467,585 COVID-involved deaths are 12.58 percent of total deaths from all causes. (CDC defines COVID-involved deaths as those with "confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD–10 code U07.1.")

Almost every death, from whatever cause, brings pain and sorrow. But COVID deaths have been politicized to the point where they get special mention and attention, as they did Monday night when President Joe Biden and his wife marked a moment of silence for those killed by the virus.

Biden was marking the occasion of at least 500,000 U.S. deaths attributed to COVID. (The CDC count lags other tallies, based on when death certificates are received.)

Jones forgot to mention that she spent the past year politicizing COVID death numbers, downplaying summer and fall surges by comparing them to the initial surge last spring -- or that a CNS article the previous day dishonestly politicized a statement by Pelosi.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Thursday, March 25, 2021
CNS Dishonestly Floods The Zone On Dr. Seuss
Topic: CNSNews.com

When Dr. Seuss became a news item, mostly for the Seuss estate deciding to pull a few of his many books out of print due to their racist imagery that didn't age well in the decades since they were first drawn, CNSNews.com did its best to flood the zone. Craig Bannister started things in an article that got a separate but related story wrong:

The educational arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has bullied a Virginia school district into cancelling any mention of beloved children’s book Author Dr. Seuss on a pro-reading day established by National Education Association (NEA) to honor his birthday.

Every year since 1998, schools have celebrated “Read Across America Days” on Seuss’ birthday, March 2. But, the Loudon County, Virginia school system will snub Seuss this year, bowing to the demands of SPLC’s “Learning for Justice” activists, the Daily Wire reports[.]

In fact, as we've noted, Read Across America has de-emphasized Dr. Seuss and played up more diverse children's literature after the Seuss estate's contract with the National Education Association, which runs Read Across America, ended in 2019 -- which is the story the school district has told. The district also pointed out in response to bogus right-wing media stories like the one that Bannister relied on that Dr. Seuss has not been "canceled," only de-emphasized.

A March 2 article by Emma Riley on the Seuss estate's decision to no longer publish those offensive books was surprisingly balanced, though she repeated the false claim that the school district "made the decision to shun Read Across America Day after a push from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning For Justice Activists."

Riley also wrote: "In his Proclamation on Read Across America Day, President Biden made no mention of Dr. Seuss. Former President Bill Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and former President Donald Trump all paid tribute to Dr. Seuss in their Read Across America proclamations." She failed to mention the fact that the reason Biden didn't reference Dr. Seuss is because the Seuss estate is no longer contractually linked to Read Across America.

Riley also transcribed a Tucker Carlson rant  complaining that "They're banning Dr. Seuss not because he was a racist, but precisely because he wasn’t." She did not fact-check to point that the vast majority of Dr. Seuss' work remains in print and, thus, is not being "canceled."

Bannister returned to disingenuously complain further:

While today’s Cancel Culture is denouncing Dr. Seuss, alleging his work contains racist content, both then-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have celebrated Seuss’ beloved children’s books and encouraged young Americans to learn the lessons they teach.

On Monday, CNSNews.com reported that six of Seuss' books have been discontinued due to complaints by those who suddenly find the books offensive.

But, at a White House gathering in 2015, Pres. Obama, an African-American, said that “pretty much all the stuff you need to know” about how to treat others can be learned from Dr. Seuss, Fox News reports:

No, Craig, people didn't "suddenly find the books offensive"; they were always offensive, and if Bannister had bothered to actually read the Riley article he linked to about rthe Seuss estate discontinuing publication of the books, he would have known why. And the Obamas' praise for Dr. Seuss for the majority of his work doesn't change the fact that those books do, in fact, contain racist imagery.

This sort of dishonest "news" content is why CNS appears to have little credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT

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