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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Like MRC Parent, CNS Rooted For Biden To Release Oil From Reserve -- Then Scoffed When He Did
Topic: CNSNews.com

Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com pushed the idea that President Biden should release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower gas prices -- then dismissed its impact when he did. Let's look at how CNS pushed the idea:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the plan on Tuesday when asked about whether the president will tap the Strategic Oil Reserve if gas prices reach a certain price.

“On the economy, I don’t know if you saw The New York Times this morning about the cost of Thanksgiving could be some of the highest that we’ve seen in a long time. Obviously, you heard the president talk about gas prices at that CNN town hall. Would there be a price that gas would have to get that the president would say, okay, now’s the time to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?” a reporter asked.

-- Melanie Arter, Oct. 26

The president has not yet said whether he will tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, although "he's certainly looking at that," Granholm said. She said it depends on the price forecast due out in a few days.

-- Susan Jones, Nov. 8

The White House on Tuesday said that it is “closely and directly monitoring” gas prices after a group of 11 Democrats sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to explore options like banning crude oil exports and tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices at the pump.

-- Melanie Arter, Nov. 9

Berman asked if Raimondo were still governor of Rhode Island would she be asking President Biden to open up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

-- Melanie Arter, Nov. 10

When Biden made the decision to release oil from the SPR, CNS quickly went into attack mode. We already noted how CNS published numerous false claims by Donald Trump about the SPR that went unchallenged, and how reporter Susan Jones scoffed that it "may lower fuel prices just a little for a short time."

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman similarly dismissed in a Nov. 23 article:

President Joe Biden's decision to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices is "less than three days of U.S. oil consumption," and will have "no meaningful impact on gas prices," said Steve Milloy, a former Trump EPA transition member and the founder of JunkScience.com.

[...]

In a Nov. 23 tweet, Milloy wrote, "Joe Biden is going to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That is less than three days of US oil consumption (18 million barrels/day during the pandemic year of 2020). The release will have no meaningful impact on gas prices. Ridiculous."

Chapman censored the fact that the SPR release was coordinated with releases from other countries to have a greater impact on prices.

The next day, Jones returned to dismiss the SPR release anew as "an attempt to temporarily reduce gasoline prices by a few pennies," then mocked Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm for not answering a question about how much oil the U.S. uses daily to her satisfaction.

Taht sort of lockstep movement between CNS and the MRC appears to show that the "news" organization has no editorial independence from its parent -- and is little more than a right-wing propaganda rag.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 10:43 AM EST
Monday, January 17, 2022
CNS Finds Another Anti-Vaxxer Catholic Priest
Topic: CNSNews.com

Michael P. Orsi isn't the only Catholic priest with right-wing anti-vaxxer leanings to which CNSNews.com has given a platform. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in a Nov. 30 article:

In his sermon on Sunday, Nov. 21, the day when the Catholic Church celebrates Jesus Christ as king of Heaven and Earth, Rev. Ed Meeks, apparently in reference to COVID vaccination mandates, said "no earthly king or president or public health official ... gets to dictate what we must put into our bodies."

If you seriously believe that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, given to you by God, then "no earthly king or president or public health official or billionaire technocrat gets to dictate what we must put into our bodies – into these temples of the Holy Spirit," said Rev. Meeks. "Because that’s between us and God."

Is Meeks saying that getting vaccinated against COVID is a violation of the idea that one's body is a "temple of the Holy Spirit" and, thus, disrespects God? That's a harmful thing for a Catholic priest to say. Even though he's not exolicitly portraying himself as an anti-vaxxer, he's leaning hard into it -- which would seem to violate Pope Francis' dictate that getting the COVID vaccine is a "moral obligation." The pope is Meeks' ultimate boss.

Chapman did not explain why Meeks is differing so drastically from the teachings of the head of his church -- or even tell readers that Meeks was, in fact, doing so. Indeed, the only times that CNS has referenced the pope's statement is in two articles around Easter complaining that President Biden had endorsed the statement.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:34 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 17, 2022 6:40 PM EST
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Pre-Omicron, CNS (Mostly) Kept Downplaying COVID Threat
Topic: CNSNews.com

Before the rise of the Omicron variant, CNSNews.com -- as it likes to do -- labored to downplay the COVID pandemic ... with one exception.

An Oct. 11 commentary by Ryan McMaken of the libertarian Mises Institute insisted that the COVID pandemic is nowhere near as severe as the 1918 influenza outbreak, and those who claim otherwise are wannabe tyrants trying to "justify unprecedented increases in state power and violations of human rights": "And to what end? Apparently, to rob people of their livelihoods if they refuse to receive a vaccine. It’s to attempt to make pariahs of anyone who makes health decisions of which the regime does not approve. It’s to continue to justify 2020’s ineffectual lockdowns. It’s to justify government spending at levels unprecedented in peacetime. It’s to deny that natural immunity provides meaningful resistance to the disease."

Susan Jones -- who had spent much of 2020 massaging COVID death numbers to make President Trump look good -- returned to the number-massinging business in an Oct. 26 article, presumably to deny the need for children to get vaccinated:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was meeting on Tuesday to consider authorizing Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old.

As part of the daylong presentation, Fiona Havers, a member of the CDC's COVID-19 Response Team, gave an overview of COVID-19 in children ages 5–11, noting that children are at least as likely as adults to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but they are far less likely to die:

Jones pushed that claim again in an Oct. 20 article:

As soon as federal health authorities approve the Pfizer vaccine for young children -- a decision that hasn't been made yet -- the White House is ready to get shots in arms, President Biden's COVID team announced on Wednesday.

As of October 13, CDC counts 513 COVID-involved deaths among children 0-17 since the pandemic started. That's 0.071 percent of the total 712,930 people who have died of COVID complications since January 2020.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration made it clear this morning that the push is on to vaccinate young children:

Jones went on to complain that in a Biden administration news conference on the subject, "No one asked about myocarditis, a rare heart inflammation that has occurred "especially in male adolescents and young adults" after the mRNA COVID vaccination."

There was one place that CNS felt free to fearmonger about COVID: when "illegal aliens" have it. We've already documented how CNS has spread the false fear that undocumented immigrants coming across the southern border; that attitude continued ina Sept. 10 article by Melanie Arter complaining that "White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki couldn’t explain Friday why the Biden administration is mandating COVID vaccinations for people who work but not for migrants crossing the southern border." An Oct. 13 article by Arter uncritically quoted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham ranting that "illegal immigrants are getting preferential treatment, because people traveling into the U.S. from other countries must be vaccinated and have a negative COVID test, unless they cross the southern border."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EST
Friday, January 14, 2022
CNS Embraces Convoluted Fantasy To Return Trump To White House
Topic: CNSNews.com

Remember the convoluted fantasy promulgated by Steve Bannon and WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah that Donald Trump could be named House speaker if Republicans take the House in the 2022 elections, then a Republican-controlled Congress impeaches President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (for reasons yet to be identified), thus forcing them out of office (never mind that no impeached president has ever been successfully removed from office) and, thus, elevating Trump back to the presidency? Well, it seems that CNSNews.com has now bought into it. Craig Bannister wrote in a Dec. 10 CNS article:

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz says he’d like Donald Trump to be the next Speaker of the House and analysis by NBC News says there’s nothing prohibiting the former president, or anyone else, from serving in the position.

On Tuesday, a reporter asked Rep. Gaetz if he wants Trump to be elected Speaker, if Republicans win back control of the House.

Grinning ear to ear, Gaetz didn’t just say that he likes the idea, he added that he’s even discussed it with Trump himself. But, when pressed for further details, Gaetz simply smiled and said the content of the conservation is privileged information:

[...]

The congressman liked the exchange so much, he tweeted out video of it, along with the hashtag “#SpeakerTrump.”

Gaetz appeared to be heartily enjoying the opportunity to strike fear in the hearts of liberals, as The Western Journal explains:

“Unlikely as this all is, the question of Trump becoming speaker has gained enough steam for a reporter to ask Gaetz about it during a news conference. This may indicate that even the slightest inkling of a Trump resurgence is causing the left to panic.”

“As speaker, Trump would have the authority to bring impeachment articles against Biden and/or Vice President Kamala Harris,” the Journal reports.

Of course, it's less about the idea of a "Trump resurgence" and more about how far Republicans would go to abuse the Democratic process to return Trump into office, knowing that he could not return in any legitimate way -- and how in thrall they remain to a man who incited a riot at the Capitol based on lies about the election. Bannister will never admit any of that, of course -- he's in thrall to Trump as well and desperate enough to want this goofy fever dream to work.

Bannister was also gracious enough to Gaetz to not mention the fact that he's under investigation over his skeevy sex life, which reportedly includes having sex with a minor.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EST
Updated: Friday, January 14, 2022 1:09 AM EST
Thursday, January 13, 2022
CNS Deflects From Boebert's Latest Insult By Playing Whataboutism
Topic: CNSNews.com

We noted how CNSNews.com continued to protect extremist Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert's latest outrageous act -- depicting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar as a suicide bomber -- by playing whataboutism and making it about Omar. That's not the only way CNS labored to minimize Boebert's insult.

A few days earlier, on Nov. 30, CNS' Susan Jones -- author of the above-noted whataboutism piece -- focused an article not on Boebert but on Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell commenting on it:

"I'm really concerned about what we're watching and witnessing happening in this country," Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, told CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday morning.

She was asked for her reaction to the insult lobbed by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert at Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar -- an insult for which Boebert later apologized (but not to Omar’s satisfaction).

Jones curiously didn't repeat what Boebert's insult was; she merely linked to an article at another website. Isn't CNS supposed to a news organization that reports things rather than offer links elsewhere to them? It seems, however, that Jones wanted her own hatred to take center stage here. She took a needless potshot at CNN host Brianna Keilar, who was interviewing Dingell (and whose name Jones spelled wrong):

"I wish more people were reading Gandhi, Congresswoman," responded CNN anchor Briana Keillar -- an ironic statement, given Keillar's often contentious interviews with and snide comments about anyone who doesn't share her leftist world view.

A Dec. 9 article by Melanie Arter rather lazily played whataboutism by serving as stenographer to Republcan Rep. Steve Scalise. First, though, she offered the first full account at CNS of what Boebert said:

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Wednesday that he’s never seen a Democrat apologize for something that they’ve said, yet they go after Republicans for saying something offensive.

“So the other night on the House floor was not my first jihad squad moment," Boebert told a crowd in November. "I was getting into an elevator with one of my staffers, and he and I were leaving the Capitol, we're going back to my office and we get in the elevator and I see a Capitol Police officer running hurriedly to the elevator. I see fret all over his face. And he's reaching. The door is shutting. I can't open it.

"What's happening? I look to my left and there she is, Ilhan Omar, and I said, 'Well she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine,'" Boebert continued. "So we only had one floor to go and I say, do I say it or do I not? And I look over and I say, 'Look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.' Don't worry, it's just her staffers on Twitter that talk for her. She's not tough in person."

Boebert apologized for her remarks on Nov. 26 on Twitter:

"I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction,” she tweeted.

Note that Boebert's apology wasn't to Omar but to "anyone in the Muslim community I offended." That's not a satisfactory apology, no matter what Jones thinks. Then, it was onto Scalise's whataboutism:

At a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday, Scalise was asked whether he believes Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) Islamaphobic remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) were wrong.

“First of all, if you look at what Lauren Boebert said, she came back and apologized, and I do think this gets lost too often, because we’ve had members of both sides that have said things that we disagree with. I don’t know if I’ve seen a time where a Democrat’s apologized for their statement,” Scalise said.

“Lauren apologized for what she said, and the fact that on the Democrat’s side they want to only go after Republicans, they don’t even ask their own members to apologize for things that were said let alone go after their members,” the congressman said.

“They want it to be a one-sided thing, and I think that hypocrisy is showing, so let them call out what they see wrong as we do, but when a member apologizes, I think you ought to respect and appreciate that, and ultimately, call for a higher standard, but it starts with the members themselves acknowledging if they said something that they shouldn’t have to come and apologize for it and then move on,” he said.

Then, linking to Jones's whataboutism piece, Arter added: "As CNSNews.com previously reported, Omar herself was forced to apologize for anti-Semitic remarks she made on social media."

CNS has long given a pass to Boebert's exremist behavior.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 AM EST
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
CNS Again Embraces Gabbard As A Not-Very-Democratic Democrat
Topic: CNSNews.com

In the 2020 presidential election cycle, CNSNews.com embraced (along with its Media Research Center parent) Tulsi Gabbard as a Democratic presidential candidate because wasn't a real democrat -- she loved Donald Trump and hated Hilary Clinton (but don't mention her unusual closeness with Russia). Well, Gabbard is acting like the MRC's version of a Fox News Democrat again, and CNS is happy to be her stenographer.

Craig Bannister gushed over Gabbard in a Nov. 4 article:

Tulsi Gabbard, who campaigned against Joe Biden to become the Democrat Party’s 2020 presidential candidate, cheered Republican Glenn Youngkin’s upset win in Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial election.

Gabbard, a veteran and former Hawaii Democrat congresswoman, did not run for election in 2020. She is currently serving as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

In a Wednesday Twitter post, Gabbard described Youngkin’s defeat of Virginia’s incumbent Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe as a win for all Americans:

CNS loved Gabbard's tweet so much, it made its fall intern Megan Williams write a story about it a week later, under nearly the exact same headline as Bannister's article:

Former Democratic House Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) called Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia gubernatorial loss a “win for all Americans.”

“McAuliffe’s loss is a victory for all Americans. Why? Because it was a resounding rejection of efforts to divide us by race, the stripping of parental rights, and arrogant, deaf leaders. This benefits us all,” Gabbard tweeted on Nov. 3.

The rest of Williams' article detailed a Gabbard appearance on Fox News a few days later, which sound journalism dictates should have been the lead, not her week=old tweet. But CNS loves to devote multiple articles to pushing the exact same talking points.

Bannister returned on Nov. 29 to devote another article to Gabbard sounding like a Repuiblican:

Americans are struggling to buy the things they need, due to rampant inflation, and Democrats’ multi-trillion “Build Back Better” (BBB) bill will push costs even higher, Former Democrat Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says.

What’s more, the bill would fund “87,000 more IRS agents harassing regular folks,” Gabbard warned Monday in a tweet introducing a video of her analysis:

[...]

While Americans are struggling to make ends meet, they’re also frustrated that Democrats in Washington are ignoring their needs and, instead, are pushing a spending bill that would make products even more expensive, Gabbard says in her video:

To emphasize the point that Gabbard sounds like a Republican, Bannister linked to Republican talking points on Build Back Better. That sort of gives away the game, no?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EST
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
CNS Hints At Conspiracy Around Naming Of Omicron Variant
Topic: CNSNews.com

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah wasn't the only ConWeb denizen who went conspiratorial over the naming of the omicron variant of COVID. CNSNews.com's Patrick Goodenough didn't explicitly push the conspiracy theory in his Nov. 28 article, but he sure tried to hint at it:

From the moment the World Health Organization last May announced its decision to name new variants of the virus causing COVID-19 after letters of the Greek alphabet, it was only a matter of time until the sequence reached the letter spelled “Xi.” But when it did, the U.N. agency balked.

On Friday the WHO announced it was using the name “omicron” for the newly-identified variant first reported by South African health authorities two days earlier, after a WHO technical advisory group recommended that it be designated a “variant of concern” and governments rushed to issue bans on travelers from southern Africa.

Explaining the naming decision, the WHO said, “Xi was not used because it is a common surname and WHO best practices for naming new diseases (developed in conjunction with FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] and OIE [Organization for Animal Health] back in 2015) suggest avoiding ‘causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.’”

Xi (pronounced “kzai”) is the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet. Xi (usually pronounced “shee”) is a surname in China, although not among the 20 most common Chinese surnames (which range from Wang in first place, used by more than 101 million people, and Luo in 20th place, used by some 14 million people.)

Xi is also the rendering in English of the surname of the Chinese president. The WHO has fended off accusations since early last year that it has gone out of its way to avoid upsetting the leadership of the country where the coronavirus first emerged in late 2019.

[...]

Contrary to some reporting and social media discussion, this is the first time the WHO has skipped letters when naming variants in this pandemic. Although they were much lower profile than the widespread delta variant, other “variants of concern” or “variants of interest,” subsequently downgraded to “variants being monitored<,” were named for intervening letters lambda, gamma, kappa etc.

Goodenough went on to grouse:

Critics had earlier pointed to a perceived double standard, noting that while references to China and Wuhan were deemed to be offensive and even “racist,” media and other sources had commonly referred to strains first detected in other countries as the “U.K.” or “South African” or “Indian” variant.

But the only critic Goodenough cited was a months-old tweet from Ari Fleischer, a right-wing political activist who is anything but objective. He didn't mention the comments on that post where people insisting on calling COVID-19 the "China virus" or "Wu-flu" or "kung flu" did, in fact, have derogatory or even racist intent, something that can't really be said for the other country references. (Never mind the fact that COVID is not the flu.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EST
Monday, January 10, 2022
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch, Lack-Thereof Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com closed out its already lackluster year of Mark Levin stenography with a surprising whimper. Here's what CNS did in the final two months of 2021:

That's it -- just four articles, making for a total of just 52 articles for 2021, less than half of the average for previous years. That last article appeared on Nov. 12 -- and none have appeared since, meaning that CNS has gonenearly two months as of this writing without a piece of Levin stenography.

What happened? Did Levin's check to the MRC not clear? CNS didn't even publish the softball intervew Levin did with Media Research Center (and CNS) chief Brent Bozell to promote his new book, which did appear over at the MRC's NewsBusters site. CNS' fall intern -- who did many of the Levin stenography posts over the past few months -- was on the job until early December, meaning that her absence doesn't explain the lack of Levin posts. That Nov. post was considered a "news" article and written by "news" reporter Susan Jones.

And because CNS only does Levin stenography, there was no mention of the fact that Levin pre-emptively -- and falsely -- declared that Democrat Terry McAuliffe was trying to steal the election for VIrginia governor. After all, CNS will never hold Levin accountable for anything.

What will 2022 bring on the Levin stenography front? Will Levin send some cash CNS' way to goose that promotional engine into life again? We shall see.

UPDATE: Someone must have been reading our minds -- while we were writing this post, a Levin stenography item appeared at CNS. Thus endeth the longest time we can remember CNS devoid of Levin stenography.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 10, 2022 5:12 PM EST
Sunday, January 9, 2022
CNS' Right-Wing Priest Spreads More Anti-Vaxxer Attitudes, Won't Admit Trump Isn't King
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com columnist Michael P. Orsi insists on acting like a right-wing activist instead of the Catholic priest he's supposed to be. That attitude continued in his Oct. 27 column, which began by complaining about a statue of Thomas Jefferson being removed from New York's City Hall, then quickly advanced to bizarrely likening vaccine mandates to abortion:

There’s an unfortunate tendency to judge the acts and standards of previous generations from the perspective of our own time. But on what basis do we assume that our current standards qualify us to call out previous wrongs?

Ours is a time when abortion is accepted, indeed advocated and encouraged. The proposed 2,500-page, so-called “infrastructure” bill even requires that abortions be paid for by public funds.

In addition, just now we face the prospect of vaccine mandates that would force us to inject unproven chemical formulations into our bodies against our will.

Do such situations not reflect a kind of slaveholding mentality?

All of this is part of the darkness that’s befallen our time, a darkness that includes a strong element of deception.

Vaccine mandates are like slavery too? Wow.

Orsi's anti-vaxxer attitudes continued in his Nov. 9 column: "What we’ve always assumed to be basic rights have been seriously eroded. The issue of vaccine mandates is only the most visible area in which the assault on personal autonomy is taking place. At any time we could be called upon to defend ourselves, our families, or our beliefs." Orsi then whined about the alleged moral dilemma of patronizing "LGBT-friendly" restaurants:

In our socially-networked age, when your every move is observed and can be posted online, did he wish people to question why he would frequent restaurants known as LGBT-friendly? More importantly, what right did his employer have to insist he patronize establishments that make it a point to publicly endorse sexual identities and behaviors to which he objects?

This was a serious intrusion upon his personal reputation and sense of morality.

This, unsurprisingly, turned into yet another attack on the idea of a bisexual Superman:

One small, recent incident got my dander up. Our local newspaper gave significant play to a national release about what some people probably consider an issue of great “progressive” importance: DC Comics has introduced a new story line that has the son of Clark Kent (AKA Superman) coming out as bisexual.

Displaying a rainbow banner with the declaration “DC Pride,” the new comic book series has 17-year-old Jon Kent in a “relationship” with a young (male) reporter. The two have determined to carry on a fight for global social justice.

I realize that, by current pop-culture standards, a bisexual Superman is nothing special. Indeed, the idea is as stupid as requiring that insurance clients be entertained at LGBT-friendly restaurants.

But the moral assumption by which such a concept is given national publicity shows how far we’ve moved beyond Christian virtue. Besides that, it’s an assault on the children who will read about such tripe and then buy the comic books.

Will the Church raise objections? Will individual believers write in to their local news outlets that ran this story? Is there anything we feel compelled, as a community, to say about such harmful nonsense?

Orsi spread more anti-vaxxerism in his Nov. 22 column:

All this is of a piece with the mandates being imposed on hospitals, doctors, and health workers over vaccination. Institutions that had provided services for two years during the pandemic are now being threatened with loss of Medicare payments if they don’t force their critical personnel to accept inoculation with substances whose effectiveness is highly questionable, and whose dangers are becoming increasingly obvious. Personal religious exemptions are being curtailed.

This assault on individual autonomy is a moral wrong. It’s an attack on religious freedom. And that is the truth.

Orsi also went on a rant against HHS secretary Xavier Becerra because he "had argued before the United States Court of Appeals that the Little Sisters of the Poor should be required to provide birth control-related insurance coverage to its lay employees under the Affordable Care Act." As we've noted, Becerra didn't sue the Little Sisters of the Poor; the order filed to intervene in a lawsuit Becerra had filed against the Trump administration over contraceptive coverage.

Orsi concluded his column by huffing, "Jesus is the king — not Joe Biden, not Xavier Becerra — and there is no truth but the Lord." Note that Orsi refused to concede that Donald Trump is not the king, an omission in line with his right-wing activism.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EST
Friday, January 7, 2022
CNS Plays Whataboutism To Attack Omar
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has long hated Rep. Ilhan Omar for being 1) a liberal and 2) a Muslim. Susan Jones went the whataboutism rolute to attack Omar in a Dec. 6 article:

CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday gave Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar a platform to condemn the "hateful, bigoted comments" made about her by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. But Tapper never mentioned the "hateful, bigoted comments" for which Omar was forced to apologize in February 2019.

"So, I want to obviously start with those comments, Boebert comparing you to a terrorist suicide bomber," Tapper told Omar in an exclusive interview on "State of the Union." "What is it like to hear that kind of blatant bigotry, blatant Islamophobia coming from a fellow elected member of the House of Representatives?"

[...]

Tapper steered the interview in a direction that allowed Omar to describe the House Republican leader as "a liar and a coward" and to paint all Republicans as Islamaphobes:

"This is who they are," Omar said. "And we have to be able to stand up to them. And we have to push them to reckon with the fact that their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry."

Jones then recited a litany of "anti-Semitic remarks" by Omar, most of which was merely critical of Israel and not actually anti-Semitic. Jones went on to lament that Tapper doesn't hate Omar like she does:

But none of that was mentioned by Tapper on Sunday, who helpfully asked Omar, "What do you think Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders should do, if anything, about this" (Boebert insult)?

"I think it's important for us to say, this kind of language, this kind of hate cannot be condoned by the House of Representatives," Omar said. "And we should punish and sanction Boebert by stripping her of her committees, by rebuking her language, by doing everything that we can to send a clear and decisive message to the American public that, if the Republicans are not going to be adults and condone -- condemn this, that we are going to do that."

Tapper played a hateful voicemail left for Omar, threatening her life.

Omar said she receives such threats all the time: "And we know that the kind of man who leaves that voice-mail for a member of Congress is not going to spare a young Muslim girl when he sees her taking the bus or walking home from school or when he runs into her at the grocery store.

Jones didn't criticize Boebert for maliciously likening Omar to a terrorist, let alone mention any of her other far-right comments -- as expected, since CNS is a major promoter of Boebert's extremist behavior -- nor did she expess any regret that Omar regularly receives death threats.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EST
Thursday, January 6, 2022
CNS' Donohue Serves Up More Bad Takes
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've noted right-wing Catholic activist and CNSNews.com columnist Bill Donohue's dishonest campaign to blame homosexuality for Catholic priest sexual abuse of children (most of whom, he insists, were post-pubescent and purportedly weren't technically "children"), but that's not the only bad take he has served up lately.

Dononue attacked HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in his Nov. 19 column for purportedly "trampling on religious liberty," adding: "In his capacity as California Attorney General, he sued the Little Sisters of the Poor for resisting the HHS mandate of the Obama Administration; it tried to force the nuns to provide for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans." In fact, as we've documented, Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and then the Little Sisters of the Poor filed to intervene and eventually became a party to the suit. In other words, Becerra didn't initiate legal action against the order, despite Donohu'ss dishonest suggestion.

In his Nov. 23 column, Donohue tried to claim Thanksgiving as a Catholic holiday because Squanto spent some time with monks in England (after he had been, um, kidnapped and sold into slavery):

Then there are the Catholic roots to Thanksgiving that Jensen and his ilk do not want to discuss. Author and host Eric Metaxas has done the best work on this subject, recalling the travails and triumphs of Squanto, a brave Patuxent Indian boy. 

In 1608, when Squanto was 12 years old, he was kidnapped by English colonists and was taken to Spain as a slave. Fortunately for him, some monks bought him. They cared for him, taught him their language, and introduced him to Christianity. The monks knew the young Indian Catholic boy wanted to go back to America so they sent him to live with a London merchant, John Slanie, and his family. He learned English well, and after spending five years with the family, he boarded a ship to America. 

Squanto arrived in Plymouth, Mass., which is where he grew up. He was stunned by what he found: everyone he knew was dead. Contrary to what left-wing liars say, they were not bludgeoned to death—they died of smallpox. According to Metaxas, the Pilgrims "basically adopted him." Lucky for them, he spoke English and was able to help them.

[...]

Meanwhile, let's all partake in "self-indulgent family feasting" on Thanksgiving and thank the Lord for our Catholic-rooted national holiday. 

The fact that Donohue is citing a children's picture book by Metaxas as an authoritative source on the life of Squanto shows all one needs to know about Donohue's own research skills (that, and the fact that Metaxas has been exposed by historians for his shoddy biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Donohue also conveniently overlooks the fact that -- as numerous Twitter users roasted Donohue for -- the Puritans were fanatically anti-Catholic, which would seem to negate any Catholic claim to Thanksgiving that Donohue is trying to make.

Donohue served up another bad take in a Dec. 3 column:

He just won't leave Catholics and Jews alone. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is now telling Catholic and Jewish school employees that they must be at least partially vaccinated by Dec. 20. In Catholic schools, 88 percent of school employees are already vaccinated, making absurd the mandatory measure.

[...]

De Blasio's vaccination mandate on yeshivas and parochial schools is being done, he says, to treat religious and public school employees the same. This, however, ignores our nation's long history, grounded in the First Amendment, of extending religious exemptions from government edicts on a wide range of issues. To conflate public and religious institutions is constitutional nonsense.

This is just the updated version of the bad take CNS and editor Terry Jeffrey pursued at the beginning of the COVID pandemic -- that religious institutions are exempt from public health mandates. That's not true, of course; religious gatherings are not exempt from COVID spread simply because they are not religious. Similarly, Donohue offers no evidence of any faith-based objections to COVID vaccines. Instead, he ranted about purported "government overreach." And he went on to push a conspiracy theory about de Blasio:

There is something else going on here that is troubling. De Blasio's mandated vaccination for religious school employees begins Dec. 20. The last day of school in Catholic schools in the New York Archdiocese, before the Christmas break, is Dec. 23. De Blasio's last day in office is Dec. 31. 

This is a ploy. De Blasio is intentionally leaving his successor, Eric Adams, with a lot of baggage. The mess he has created, on many fronts, will take months, if not years, for Adams to rectify. This is his parting shot. It is aimed not simply at Catholics and Jews, but at Adams and his new administration.

Donohue provided no evidence whatsoever that de Blasio has any specific animosity toward religious institutions or, again, that requiring religious schools employees to be faccinated is an attack on religion instead of a promotion of public health.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EST
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
CNS Gave Trump Lies A Pass, But Bashes Biden's 'Exaggerations'
Topic: CNSNews.com

The day before CNSNews.com was presenting falsehoods from Donald Trump as unimpeachable fact, it was bashing President Biden for making exaggerations." Craig Bannister wrote in a Nov. 22 article:

President Joe Biden has added one more exaggeration to his growing list of embellishments.

Last Tuesday, Pres. Biden claimed that he “had a house burn down with my wife in it” and, then, that “a significant portion of it” burned.

But, the local fire company chief told the Associated Press (AP) at the time that “the flames did not spread beyond the kitchen.”

Bannister went on to quote from a Fox News article noting "Biden’s past dubious claims."

This is a pattern with CNS, which has consistently refused to hold Trump to this same level of factual scrutiny -- even though he has been caught making exponentially more falsehoods -- while continually nitpicking at Biden.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:44 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 11:47 PM EST
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
CNS Editor's Double Standard On Deficit Spending Continues
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor and supposed deficit hawk Terry Jeffrey had no interest in blaming Donald Trump or a Republican-controlled Senate for growing deficits through 2020, but he's quick to heap blame on Democrats now that they're in control of the White House. That pattern did not change in the final four months of 2021. Jeffrey declared in a Sept. 13 article:

The federal government collected a record $3,586,456,000,000 in total taxes through first eleven months of fiscal 2021 (September through August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

The federal government also collected a record $1,829,589,000,000 in individual income taxes in the September-through-August period.

Jeffrey made no mention of how the spending continued a pattern of higher pandemic-related deficit spending established by the Trump administration in 2020. He did, however, include a stock photo of Nancy Pelosi and the back of (maybe) President Biden's head, and he also bizarrely suggested that the country wasn't spending enough money on defense and too much money on helping American citizens:

On the spending side, the federal government spent the most money through the Department of Health and Human Services, which has $1,340,131,000,000 in expenditures in September through August.

The Social Security Administration placed second, spending $1,092,771,000,000.

The Department of Defense—Military Programs spent $653,852,000,000 or less than half of the $1,340,131,000,000 spent by HHS.

Jeffrey repeated much of that, with updated numbers, in an Oct. 25 fiscal-year-end article:

The federal government collected a record $4,045,979,000,000 in taxes in fiscal 2021, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for September, which is the final month of the federal fiscal year.

Federal spending also hit a nominal high of $6,818,158,000,000 in fiscal 2021, up from the $6,551,872,000,000 that the federal government spent in fiscal 2020. However, when the $6,551,872,000,000 the federal government spent last year is adjusted for inflation from September 2020 dollars into September 2021 dollars it equals $6,905,040,760,000—thus, exceeding this fiscal year’s total of $6,818,158,000,000.

[...]

The Department of Health and Human Services spent $1,466,673,000,000 in fiscal 2021. The Social Security Administration spent $1,192,453,000,000. The Department of Defense spent $717,585,000,000.

Jeffrey didn't mention that Trump was preseident for the first 2 1/2 months of fiscal 2021. Nevertheless, he included a stock photo of Biden, Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The complaint was regurgitated in Jeffrey's Nov. 10 article:

The federal government, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement, collected a record $283,927,000,000 in total taxes in October, which was the first month of fiscal 2022.

Federal spending hit $448,983,000,000 in October, which was the second highest ever for the first month of a fiscal year. The federal government set its record spending in the first month of the fiscal year last October, when the it spent $554,232,780,000 (in constant October 2021 dollars).

[...]

The biggest expenditure by the Treasury in October was for the Department of Health and Human Services, which accounted for $120,507,000,000 in spending.

The second biggest expenditure was for the Social Security Administration, which accounted for $101,055,000,000 in spending.

The third biggest expenditure was for the Department of Defense-Military Programs, which accounted for $65,482,000,000 in spending.

This time, the stock photo was of Biden, Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

It was lather, rinse, repeat for Jeffrey's Dec. 10 article:

The federal government collected a record $565,135,000,000 in total taxes through the first two months of fiscal 2022 (October and November), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

The federal government also collected a record $282,094,000,000 in individual income taxes in the first two months of this fiscal year.

While collecting its record $565,135,000,000 in total taxes in the first two months of this fiscal year, the federal government spent $921,526,000,000—resulting in a deficit of $356,390,000,000 in the first two months of the fiscal year.

[...]

The Department of Health and Human Services spent more money--$254,706,000,000—in the first two months of fiscal 2022 than any other federal department or agency. It was followed by the Social Security Administration, which spent $201,487,000,000. The Defense Department-Military Programs placed third with $126,299,000,000 in spending in the October-through-November period.

This month's stock photo featured Biden and Pelosi.

Each of these articles notes at the end that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Is Wold rolling in his grave seeing hismoney paying for such lazy, rote reporting?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2022 12:44 AM EST
Monday, January 3, 2022
CNS Combines Transgender Freakout, Biden-Bashing In A Single Article
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com likes to have meltdowns over the idea that other people don't hate transgender people as much as they do, particularly Democratic government officials iike President Biden and Nancy Pelosi. Thus, we have a Nov. 22 "news" article by notorioiusly biased reporter Susan Jones that began by taking a shot at President Biden:

In a statement issued under his name, President Joe Biden on Saturday called transgender people "some of the bravest Americans I know."

He said 46 of them were killed "in horrifying acts of violence" so far this year, making this the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans.

And in a separate statement on Saturday, the "Biden-Harris Administration" mourned those 46 transgender Americans "who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence and hate."

We don't recall CNS ever making distinctions about "statements issued under his name" when Donald Trump was in office. Jones then found a way to take a shot at Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband by sneering at his title:

On Saturday, the White House and Doug Emhoff, the "second gentleman" who is married to Vice President Kamala Harris, hosted a first-of-its-kind vigil at the White House "to honor the lives of transgender and gender diverse people killed this year, and countless transgender and gender diverse people who face brutal violence, harassment, and discrimination in the United States and around the world."

According to the administration's statement, "The Second Gentleman lit 46 candles representing the transgender and gender diverse killed this year in the United States, and a 47th candle for those who have lost their lives to violence around the world." (The White House apparently did not release video of the event, although Emhoff tweeted a photo.)

Jones then complained that "=The White House also released a report from the "Interagency Working Group on Safety, Opportunity, and Inclusion for Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals," highlighting 45 key, early actions the administration has taken," going to list a few then giving up, parenthetically throwing in the towel: "(It's a long list. You can read the entire thing here.)" Never mind that it's Jones' job to be a reporter and not pass the buck to her readers.

Finally, Jones complained:

This second White House statement uses the word "crisis" four times, as in:

"Ending the HIV crisis among transgender and gender diverse communities," "Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered (transgender) Indigenous People," "support services to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered (transgender) Indigenous People," and addressing "the crisis of anti-transgender stigma and violence..."

Never mind, of course, that copious use of the word "crisis" can be found in numerous CNS articles and columns.

Jones has previously editorialized about the Biden administration's refusing to hate transgender people as much as she clearly does.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EST
Sunday, January 2, 2022
CNS Lets Trump Spread More Falsehoods Unchecked
Topic: CNSNews.com

Biased CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones began a Nov. 23 article by bashing President Biden's decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, scoffing that it "may lower fuel prices just a little for a short time." Then she served as a stenographer for Donald Trump:

But former President Donald Trump, who returned the Petroleum Reserve to full capacity, issued a statement condemning the move:

"For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low," Trump said:

Trump is lying -- the SPR was not "low or virtually empty"; in fact, it was more than 80 percent full at the the time Trump authorized filling it further. The SPR holds a maximum of 727 million barrels of oil, and Trump's authorization was for 77 million barrels. At the time, oil prices had cratered due to the pandemic, so it didn't exactly require an act of political courage on Trump's part to do that, despite his suggestion otherwise. Even then, it took months to obtain the oil for the SPR, in part because oil producers opted to cut production rather than feed a market in which oil prices had actually gone negative due to plummeting demand.

Jones went on to uncritically quote Trump:

Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else. Now I understand that Joe Biden will be announcing an “attack” on the newly brimming Strategic Oil Reserves so that he could get the close to record-setting high oil prices artificially lowered.

We were energy independent one year ago, now we are at the mercy of OPEC, gasoline is selling for $7 in parts of California, going up all over the Country, and they are taking oil from our Strategic Reserves. Is this any way to run a Country?

Jones didn't mention that Trump signed a bill in 2018 that mandated the sale of 100 million barrels of oil from the SPR by 2027 to fund the government -- which runs counterfactually to his claim that the SPR whould be reserved only for "serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else."

This is just another example of CNS giving Trump a pass for repeating falsehoods, even as it nitpicks President Biden for any possible misstatement.

UPDATE: Oh, and Trump's reference to  gas "selling for $7 in parts of California"? That appears to be referring only to a single station in one California town that can get away with gouging consumers because it's the only station in the immediate area. The average price of gas in the state is around $4 a gallon.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 12:17 AM EST

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