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Thursday, January 28, 2021
CNS Attacked Biden's HHS Secretary Nominee
Topic: CNSNews.com

Pete Buttigieg wasn't the only Biden administration cabinet nominee CNSNews.com lashed out at upon the announcement of their nomination.

When California attorney general Xavier Becerra was nominated to be secretary of Health and Human Services, managing editor Michael W. Chapman cobbled together an article on how his fellow right-wingers "strongly denounced" the nomination, "noting his long pro-abortion record, anti-free speech actions, and opposition to religious liberty." He quoted Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser declaring that "Becerra is aggressively pro-abortion and a foe of free speech. As attorney general of California, he continued what his predecessor Kamala Harris started by persecuting citizen journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s role in baby parts trafficking."

That would be a reference to David Daleiden, an anti-abortion activist who secretly and illegally taped people at abortion industry conferences while falsely presenting themselves as workers for a fake company interested in buying fetal body parts. No crimes were found, and 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. In December, the judge in the case order Daleiden and his associates to pay Planned Parenthood $13.6 million in legal fees.

Chapman also wrote:

Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with the Catholic Association, said, "President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of Xavier Becerra to run HHS is a gross insult to Catholics. Becerra spent years tormenting the Little Sisters of the Poor in court, trying to force them to pay for things like abortion pills against their consciences. He also led efforts to force pro-life pregnancy resource centers to advertise for abortion."

Actually, it appears McGuire is lying a bit here. What actually happened was that 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 became a party to the suit. In other words, if there was any "tormenting," the Little Sisters chose to have it happen.

Nevertheless, Chapman went on to uncritically quote another Catholic organizaiton claiming that Becerra "has targeted the Little Sisters of the Poor."

From there, CNS lobbed attack op-eds at Becerra:

  • Dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue ranted that "Becerra's record is positively obscene."
  • Tim Graham of CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center, complained that "Becerra has zero medical expertise" and grumbled that he successfully prosecuted Daleiden: "California's Justice Department entered Daleiden's home and seized computers, digital storage devices and identification documents. A jury ordered Daleiden to pay $2.3 million in damages to Planned Parenthood for exposing its heinous trafficking."
  • Another column by Donohue raged that Becerra is a Catholic but is actually "an enemy of the Catholic Church," adding that "Biden himself is at war with these Church teachings."

CNS editor Terry Jeffrey devoted his Jan. 6 column to bashing Becerra, citing a case where California attempted to make "crisis pregnancy centers" had to inform clients that they could go elsewhere to get an abortion if they decided they ultimately wanted one. Jeffrey didn't mention that these "pro-life pregnancy centers" have a long history of coercing women into not having abortions, which was the basis for the proposed law. He concluded by huffing that "Xavier Becerra — if confirmed — will lead a Biden HHS that is focused on advancing the killing of unborn babies and funding that killing with federal tax dollars."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 28, 2021 12:52 AM EST
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
CNS Keeps Trying To Mainstream QAnon GOP Rep.
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is a huge fan of far-right Republican Rep.Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia -- so much so, in fact, that it keeps censoring for its readers just how far-right she is, and her support for the fringe QAnon conspiracy theory. CNS has continued to promote Greene:

  • A Dec. 16 article by Craig Bannister touted how Greene "says America is suffering from “a spiritual blinding” in which truth is denied and untruths are accepted as truths," adding that she "bills herself on Twitter as 'Christian, Wife, Mom, Small Business Owner, Proud American, 100% Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Trump.'" He didn't mention that Greene accepts the untruth of QAnon as truth.
  • On Dec. 23, Bannister gushed that Greene took "a shot at the foreign pork in the COVID-19 stimulus relief bill," calling it "the biggest F you to the American people."
  • Bannister served up more gushing in a Jan. 4 article a proposal to use gender-neutral language: "Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) desire to deny it, there are only two genders, new Congresswoman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said Monday, announcing that she will vote against Pelosi’s proposed rules change."

Susan Jones served up a more full-throated defense of Greene in a Jan. 13 article:

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) told CNN on Wednesday that newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is among the "handful" of lawmakers who are "morally bankrupt," "depraved," and "dangerous."

Crow said House Democrats are looking at ways to "stop" Greene: "And whether this is an expulsion proceeding, a censure, you know, we can't let this stand," Crow said.

Crow was reacting to a tweet posted Monday night by Greene, a Trump supporter, who predicted that the latest impeachment effort would fail:

"President Trump will remain in office," Green tweeted overnight. "This Hail Mary attempt to remove him from the White House is an attack on every American who voted for him. Democrats must be held accountable for the political violence inspired by their rhetoric."

Twitter labeled the tweet, saying "Election officials have certified Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. Presidential election."

In addition to censoring Greene's admiration for QAnon, Jones also omitted other relevant information for context, whereas Politico did not:

After Congress resumed its certification proceedings following the attack, Greene was one of the 147 congressional Republicans who still objected to the election results. She also drew criticism last week after video footage showed her, along with a handful of other House Republicans, refusing to wear a mask while sheltering with other lawmakers amid the violence. At least three House Democrats have since tested positive for Covid-19.

Greene, a freshman congresswoman elected last November, has previously endorsed elements of the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory and made Islamophobic comments. She has won praise from Trump, who has called her a “future Republican star.”

The next day, Jones cheered that "Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said on Wednesday she plan to file articles of impeachment against Democrat Joe Biden the day after he is sworn in as president," adding that "Greene is among President Trump’s strongest congressional supporters, and at least one Democrat has mentioned 'expulsion' as a way to 'stop' her." Again, Jones forgot to mention that Greene is a right-wing extremist who is an adherent to the QAnon conspiracy theory. (She also forgot to mention any cause Greene has for impeaching Biden.

We don't see how mainstreaming an conspiracy theory-obsessed extremist -- as CNS is trying to do with Greene -- is going to end well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 5:58 PM EST
Monday, January 25, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: Spinning COVID At CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com spent much of 2020 trying its best to put a pro-Trump spin on coronavirus case and death numbers by attempting to downplay new surges of the virus. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:42 PM EST
Sunday, January 24, 2021
CNS Gives Up On Reporting COVID Death Numbers
Topic: CNSNews.com

One of CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones' main jobs over the past year has been to try and spin coronavirua infection and death rates in an apparent attempt to make President Trump look good by comparing more reent numbers to the original surge last March and April. But as the pandemic rose to new heights, Jones couldn't do that. So the spin in her Dec. 17 article was that, yes, more people are dying, but they're mostly old people so it's not that bad:

In the past week, Wednesday to Wednesday, another 14,527 people, at least, died of coronavirus in this country, according to the most recent data posted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the table shows, the vast majority of those COVID-involved deaths -- 13,816 -- were in people age 55 or older, according to death certificates filed with CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

From the very beginning of the pandemic, medical experts warned that the elderly and infirm were particularly vulnerable to the virus, and that continues to be the case.

Jones went on to condede that "the COVID death toll has been rising sharply since early October" andthat "the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to "act now" to slow the spread" as winter sets in and holiday gathering occur. Trtump's name did not appear at all.

But that, apparently, was all the honesty about coronavirus that CNS could handle, because that was the last of these type of articles that Jones has written. While Jones did take some time off around the holidays, she has been on the job since Jan. 13, and COVID number are apparently no longer her concern.

Perhaps the change in presidents will bring a new concern over the numbers -- after all, she can now spin them to blame Biden.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EST
Friday, January 22, 2021
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Shocked Into Reality Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

Another thing that appears to have gotten shocked into balance at CNSNews.com after the Trump-instigated Jan. 6 Capitol riot is its coverage of the unemployment numbers for the last full month of Donald Trump's presidency, which were released two days after the riot. Susan Jones served up the opposite of her usual pro-Trump rah-rah in her main article, which carried the unusually truthful (for CNS) headline "Final Employment Report of Trump Presidency Is Worse Than When He Started":

The final, lackluster jobs/employment report of Donald Trump's presidency shows the lingering effects of the year-long and continuing COVID pandemic.

The numbers released Friday by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics are not as good as they have been under Donald Trump, nor are they better than they were when he took office in January 2017.

 [...]

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December -- no job gains. According to BLS, the decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in coronavirus cases and efforts to contain the pandemic.

The only sidebar this time was the usual one by editor Terry Jeffrey cheering that "The number of people employed by government in the United States dropped from 22,679,000 in December 2019 to 21,401,000 in December 2020, a decline of 1,278,000." While Jeffrey typically cheers declines in government employment, the accompanying chart shows what Jeffrey couldn't quite say out loud: that the decrease was driven by the pandemic.

A surprisingly downbeat end for coverage that for much of the past four years was filled with so much  Trump sycophancy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST
Thursday, January 21, 2021
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Rushing To Parler's Defense
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last summer, CNSNews.com joined its Media Research Center parent in doing damage control for Parler, the right-wing Twitter alternative, as it came under scrutiny for the right-wing extremists making a home there. But both MRC operations were hiding a major conflict of interest: Both the MRC and Parler share a major financial backer in Rebekah Mercer, who also sits on the MRC's board of directors.

But when Parler's extremist users got new scrutiny after the Capitol riot, CNS once again followed its MRC parent in rushing to Parler's defense -- and shared the exact same failure to disclose a serious conflict of interest (not to mention how Parler was slowly being taken over by pornorgraphy, something the conservative MRC typically opposes).

In a Jan. 8 article, CNS commentary editor Rob Shimshock got an "exclusive" interview with Parler's CEO, which he introduced with this highly biased framing: "John Matze, CEO of Parler, the free speech-oriented Twitter alternative, responded Friday to the report that Apple might kick his app off its app store if it did not censor users." Neither Shimshock nor Matze mentioned the fact that the "free speech" in question was planning for the riot and explicit threats of violence against others. Shimshock did let Matze unironically claim that Parler has "rules against violence," though.

Two days later, when it was announced that Parler's web host, Amazon Web Services, was kicking Parler off for the abovementioned riot planning and violent threats, Craig Bannister served up Parler's defense, complete woth the dishonest framing of it as a "free-speech platform": "'This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place. We were too successful too fast,' John Matze, CEO of the free-speech social media platform Parler said in a statement late Saturday announcing that Amazon will be shutting all its servers."

On Jan. 11, Bannister gave right-winger Dan Bongino space to rant that Parler getting shut down meant that the U.S. was at "stage two" of a "totaliatarian" takeover. Bannister noted that Bongino "has invested" in Parler -- but not that his paycheck is funded in part by the same woman who also funds Parler.

For a Jan, 12 article, managing editor Michael W. Chapman called up the right-wing current favorite legal expert, "Jonathan Turley, a professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, constitutional scholar, and columnist," to denounce the shutdown of Parler because "Parler is based on the original concept of the Internet as an open forum for free speech." Chapman made sure to call Parler "an alternative free speech platform" and claim that "The tech giants want Parler to comply with their restrictions and apply the censorship policies that they want," but he censored any mention of the exact type of "free speech" -- violence and hate -- that got Parler in trouble in the first place.

Meanwhile, CNS' favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, was given a column to rant:

The censoring of Parler by Amazon, Google, and Apple is the most serious assault on freedom of speech we have ever seen by private companies in American history. Instead of addressing those who are responsible for abusing their free speech rights, e.g. those who are clearly fomenting violence, Big Tech is now seeking to censor conservative voices in general. 

For justification, they are following the lead of pundits and activists who are blaming President Trump and his supporters for the violence that took place last week in Washington, D.C. The argument is more than absurd—it is pernicious.

Hans Bader -- last seen having a hypocritical meltdown over Jill Biden's use of the "Dr." title -- contributed a column blaming actions against Parler and other social media on "leftist officials' whims." Neither columnist mentioned the exact content that got Parler banned, and CNS didn't disclose its financial link to Parler.

Tony Perkins of the right-wing Family Research Council went the whataboutism route:

The Tech giants used the claim that Parler allowed its platform to be used to advocate and coordinate violence at the capitol last week. If there was ever a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it. Homeland Security was forced to weigh-in this past summer in a letter to the social media giants saying the popular platforms appeared to play a role in facilitating "burglary, arson, aggravated assault, rioting, looting, and defacing public property."

Are Twitter and Facebook responsible for the burning of Portland or the siege of Seattle?

Then why are they holding Parler to a different standard?

We could not find that any Mercer foundation money went to Perkins' FRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EST
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
CNS Reverts To Trump Defense Mode For Second Impeachment
Topic: CNSNews.com

As talk heated up of impeaching President Trump again, CNSNews.com reverted to its old Trump-protecting stance of the first impeachment.

Susan Jones wrote in a Jan. 4 article that "With 16 days left in the Trump presidency, the talk on MSNBC on Monday morning turned to impeaching President Donald Trump once again, this time over his phone call with Georgia election officials," complaining that the call was "apparently taped without Trump's knowledge by a person not identified" and that "the left-wing media went ballistic" over the call.

But after the Capitol riot spurred by Trump's riling up his supporters with bogus election fraud conspiracy theories, CNS at first started out started by echoing its earlier impeachment-call article with an anonymously written piece under the headline "Pelosi Calls for Trump to be Removed or Impeached—13 Days from the End of His Term." Then it fell into the same state of shocked balance that followed its coverage of the riot itself, with a Jan. 11 article by Melanie Arter surprisingly citing a prominent Republican senator admitting that Trump committed impeachable offenses. That was followed by an article by the ususally highly biased managing editor Michael W. Chapman offering a straight recounting the article of impeachment filed in the house. Then followed a fleet of articles by commenators denouncing any possible impeachment:

Thiswas joined by a column from Pat Buchanan -- whose 1996 presidential campaign CNS editor Terry Jeffrey was manager of -- histrionically calling impeachment an attempt by "the establishment" at a "last opportunity to stomp him and his movement to death.

Once impeachment proceedings started, it was back to form by heavily focusing on defenses of Trump, whataboutism and attacks on the impeachment itself:

By contrast to these six articles supporting Trump, only one CNS article -- "Rules Committee Chairman: 'I Saw Evil, Mr. Speaker'" -- was offered in support of impeachment. Afterwards, an anonymously written article reiterated claims in support of impeachment.

CNS also gave space to attacks on Republican Rep. Liz Cheney for voting for impeachment. A Jan. 13 article by Chapman highlighted how Republican Rep. Jim Jordan planned to force her out as chair of the House Republican Conference, and the next day he touted how "the Wyoming Republican Party sent her a message on Wednesday, stating that she had 'aligned herself with leftists,' was helping Democrats to 'smear the entire conservative movement,' and had 'denied President Trump due process'" by voting for impeachment.

Jones then helped Trump with a little cleanup work afterwards:

President Donald Trump, speaking to the nation Wednesday evening through a video posted on the White House Twitter site, "unequivocally" condemned the "troubling events of the past week."

He said "no true supporter" of his would engage in such vandalism and violence, and he said there should be no repeats:

[...]

The video appeared shortly after the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump for the second time -- this time for allegedly inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol.

But Trump did not comment on impeachment.

Even Jones seemed a bit exhausted at having to do this.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 9:59 PM EST
Sunday, January 17, 2021
CNS Uncritically Promotes Hawley's Exaggerated Claim Of His Family Being 'Threatened'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones sure tried to make it sound sinister in a Jan. 5 article:

In a tweet late Monday night, Sen. Josh  Hawley (R-Mo.) said his family was threatened by "Antifa scumbags" while he was out of town:

Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel. They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence.

Hawley has made headlines in recent weeks after announcing he will object to the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6.

The threats aimed at him follow the graffiti vandalism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Louisville, Kentucky home and an apparently coordinated graffiti attack at the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this past weekend.

But  if Jones had bothered to look further ihnto the story before writing about it, she would have learned that Hawley's claim of his family being "threatened" was exaggerated. As an actual media outlet reported:

Vienna police said they did not see anyone pounding on the Hawleys’ or their neighbors’ doors, did not hear any threats and did not see any vandalism other than chalk on the sidewalk. And as of Tuesday afternoon, they had not received a formal complaint from the Hawleys, Officer Juan Vazquez said. Vazquez told the Associated Press that when police arrived, they found that the “people were peaceful.”

[...]

Demonstrators with ShutDownDC, which organized the protest, also told The Washington Post that they did not engage in vandalism or even knock on Hawley’s door. shared by the group shows protesters writing in chalk on the sidewalk, chanting through a megaphone and at one point leaving a copy of the Constitution on Hawley’s doorstep.

“This was not threatening behavior,” said Patrick Young, a ShutDownDC organizer. “This is people engaging in democracy and engaging in civil discourse. … This was a pretty tame and peaceful visit to his house.”

The group’s video shows several officers asking protesters to quiet down, but then standing by as the crowd continued with its demonstration.

Meanwhile, PolitiFact summarized:

Hawley said protesters at his Virginia home "screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open (his) door."

This conflicts with police accounts of the event and a video showing the full demonstration. The demonstration was disruptive, but the full video shows it was not as violent as he made it sound.

We rate this claim Mostly False.

Jones has not seen fit to correct the record in this or any subsequent article, meaning that a highly misleading claim remains live on the CNS website. Is that the way a media outlet builds credibility?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EST
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: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:47 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

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