CNS' Multi-Pronged War on Nancy Pelosi
CNSNews.com has always hated the House speaker, of course, but with Democrats now in power in Washington, its attacks against her have escalated.
By Terry Krepel
As to be expected from a "news" outlet dripping with right-wing bias, CNSNews.com is fundamentally unfair to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It has gone on for a while, but it escalated after President Biden took office -- just as its war on Biden has escalated.
Let's take a look at how CNS has attacked Pelosi over the past couple years.
The speech-rip war
CNSNews.com may develop selective amnesia when it comes to reporting relevant details about its fellow conservatives, but when a Democrat or liberal does something it can exploit for its fellow travelers, CNS is ON IT.
Patrick Goodenough wrote disdainfully of Pelosi ripping up her copy of then-President Trump's State of the Union address in 2020:
As President Trump completed his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slowly and deliberately tore in half what appeared to be her copy of the speech, before tossing the bits of paper onto the desk.
Goodenough encapsulated CNS' right-wing bias by quoting three politicians commenting on Pelosi's act -- two of whom were Republicans but only one of whom (Rep. Liz Cheney) was identified as such; the other, Dalia al-Aqidi, was identified only as running to unseat Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar -- and, as it turned out, whom Goodenough did a fawning profile of the previous month.
CNS followed up with more biased reporting in the form of attacks on Pelosi for her act:
That's a total of eight articles focused on a couple seconds of Pelosi ripping up a speech -- six of which were devoted exclusively to attacking Pelosi. Good thing CNS doesn't have to live up to the standards of fairness and objectivity its parent, the Media Research Center, demands from other media outlets.
The frail-and-senile war
As it has for Joe Biden, CNS has worked to try and portray Pelosi as going senile or becoming physically frail.
An anonymously written May 2020 article stated:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) at her press briefing on Thursday forgot the name of Rep. Rodney Davis (R.-Ill.), who is the ranking member of the House Administration Committee.
Some poor CNS employee put in a lot of time transcribing this video and didn't get credit for it.
One CNS writer not afraid to put his name on his bias is Craig Bannister, who declared in a June 2020 article:
House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared to experience a ten-second mental lapse Thursday during an on-camera press conference.
That was followed a few days later by another anonymously written article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) on Monday took a knee in the U.S. Capitol for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd and others who “were abused by police brutality.”
Later that month, Bannister threw to its favorite right-wing radio host, Mark Levin, for another article accusing Pelosi of senility:
On Friday, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (C-Calif.) appeared to forget what President Donald Trump and Republicans did that prompted her to accuse them of being complicit in the “murder” of Minnesotan George Floyd.
Bannister made sure to build his biased narrative by adding that "On June 4, Pelosi suffered an even longer on-camera mental lapse, CNSNews.com reported at the time."
In December, an anonymously written article pushed that narrative again. Under the headline "80-Year-Old Nancy Pelosi: ‘I Plan to Receive the Vaccine in the Next Few Days’," the anonymous writer stated that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is 80 years old, announced today that she plans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine “in the next few days.” The article reproduced Pelosi's statement about receiving the vaccine, in which her age was not mentioned.
The anti-LGBT war
CNS' weird anti-Pelosi obsessions continued with devoting articles -- most of them anonymously written -- to seemingly every single statement she has made that could be seen as non-hateful to the LGBT community:
CNS is apparently so desperate for Pelosi-LGBT content that it has pulled its old trick of doing multiple articles on the exact same thing. On June 28, an anonymous CNS writer complained, under the headline "Pelosi: ‘Vulnerable Transgender Children Are Being Targeted by a Disturbing Wave of Hateful Legislation’":
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) put out a statement on Saturday to mark the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell vs. Hodges decisionwhich declared there was a constitutional right to same-sex marriageand used the moment to draw attention to the state laws that are now being passed to deal with issues rising from transgenderism.
Then, on July 1 -- under the exact same headline -- came another anonymous critique of the exact same Pelosi statement, albeit slightly reworded from the earlier attack:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said in a statement marking the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell vs. Hodgeswhich declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right--that state legislatures have recently passed a “wave of hateful legislation” relating to “transgender children.”
Are there no editors at CNS? Are they that lazy and unaware of what they publish? Or do they simply hate Pelosi, and transgender people, that much?
The gotcha war
Another part of CNS' multi-pronged war on Pelosi involves finding ways to bash the people she says nice things about -- even if they're otherwise decent people. In an anonymously written June 25 article -- apparently nobody wanted to put their byline on this political hit job -- attacked a leader who at the time was a U.S. ally, under the headline "Pelosi Hugs, Praises Afghan President Whose Government Criminalizes Same-Sex Activity and Imprisons Gays":
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) hugged and praised Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose government in 2018, according to Human Rights Watch, “adopted a new penal code that explicitly criminalizes same-sex relations" and whose nation's security forces, according to the State Department, engaged in “violence…against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.”
CNS doesn't actually care about LGBTQ people -- heck, given how homophobic its editors are, particularly managing editor Michael W. Chapman, they probably approve of these laws. The only purpose here is to play gotcha with Pelosi for honoring a U.S. ally whose country's policies don't align with her Democratic Party.
In a July 9 article, an anonymous CNS writer lashed out at a prominent civil rights hero under the headline "Pelosi Praises the ‘Beautiful and Saintly Life’ of Congressman Who Had 100% Pro-Abortion Record":
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) on Thursday praised what she described as the “beautiful and saintly life” of Rep. John Lewis (D.-Ga.) who had a 100 percent pro-abortion voting record as scored by NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Another anonymous CNS writer rehashed the gotcha on Lewis in a July 19 article headlined "Pelosi’s Title for Man Who Voted to Keep Late-Term Abortions Legal: “The Conscience of the Congress’":
House Speaker Nancy (D.-Calif.) spoke at the Christening Ceremony for the USNS John Lewis --a Navy vessel named after a late Democratic congressman from Georgia who had a 100-percent pro-abortion voting record--and declared that Rep. John Lewis was “the Conscience of the Congress.”
The article did note Lewis' record on civil rights, but CNS is so myopic and so obsessed with abortion -- not to mention so desperate to bash Pelosi in this guilt-by-association gotcha -- that it means nothing to them:
As a member of Congress, Lewis voting record earned a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
We don't recall CNS ever treating a Republican president or congressional leader this way. That's because it believes destroying Pelosi is more important than honest reporting.
The for-no-reason-attack war
Sometimes, CNS will attack Pelosi for the most innocuous things, for for no apparent reason at all. An anonymous article in March had the teasing clickbait headline "Cuomo Kissed Pelosi and..." But the article's reality was much more boring, reeking of said anonymous CNS employee being forced to scour the internet for pictures of Pelosi with then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose sexual harassment scandal had just been revealed:
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has appeared in some videos and photographs kissing and/or hugging Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California.
No explanation was given as to why the article exists, such as Pelosi having defended Cuomo at some point. The article didn't even mention that Cuomo was under fire for allegedly sexual harassing (for which, by the way, Pelosi has criticized him, something the article also didn't mention).
That same month, CNS also got mad that Pelosi marked Ramadan with a message stating that "Our vibrant, diverse Muslim communities are essential to the American fabric." No explanation was offered as to why CNS apparently found that statement so offensive.
CNS even finds ways to take shots at Pelosi when reporting on inoccuous things that even the highly partisan CNS can't disagree with. For example, a March 8 article featured Pelosi's statement in support of International Women's Day under the headline "Pelosi: ‘We Choose to Challenge Those Who Commit Violence and Abuse Against Women’" -- but illustrated it with an old photo of Pelosi with former President Bill Clinton (who, for the record, has never been credibly accused of abusing or otherwise committing violence against women).
Another anonymous article in March used Pelosi to take a shot at Biden, noting that Pelosi "lauded President Joe Biden as an exemplary father while introducing his virtual appearance at a House Democratic caucus meeting on March 3but forgot to mention Biden’s son, Hunter Biden."
And then there's this strange (and, of course, anonymously written) July 16 article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) held a press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday to celebrate the first payments of the Biden Child Tax Credit and twice during that press conference, according to the transcript Pelosi published of the event, she declared: “Oh, my God.”
Why does this article even exist? Is it an attack on Pelosi? If so, it's a bizarre one. "Oh, my God" is a common enough expression that it shouldn't be particularly offensive to anyone, even the uber-Catholics who run CNS and have deemed Pelosi insufficiently Catholic because she's not anti-abortion.
But some anonymous someone at CNS was apparently so offended by Pelosi's use of this common expression that he or she even made screenshots of the transcript of Pelosi's presser with the words "Oh, my God" highlighted and inserted them into the article. Yet that person was not so offended that he or she couldn't be bothered to explain to readers exactly why. It's lashing out for no good or obvious reason -- which may serve as a demonstration of how much CNS hates Pelosi than of any actual news value.
Consider this a very strange entry in CNS' multi-pronged war against Pelosi.