Christian Broadcasting Network

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  • Conservative Outlets Stick With Huckster Doc Scott Brown Abandoned

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    While Fox News contributor and former Sen. Scott Brown ended his financial relationship with the conservative website Newsmax after the company sent his email list controversial solicitations, National Review and the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) tell Media Matters they will continue to let Newsmax send dubious ads to their own email lists.

    Newsmax previously used both outlets' email lists to send advertisements plugging the same questionable doctor that caused Brown to sever relations with the company this week.

    Brown cut ties with Newsmax on February 5, hours after the media began reporting on a missive the company had sent his political email list trumpeting the Alzheimer's disease cures of Dr. Russell Blaylock. In the email, Blaylock linked fluoridated water and flu vaccines to Alzheimer's and excessive exercise to Parkinson's disease.

    In recent years, several prominent conservative outlets and personalities have sent Newsmax-sponsored emails to their followers pushing Blaylock's questionable medicine. In addition to Brown, National Review, and CBN, similar email ads have been sent through Newsmax from Dick Morris, Mike Huckabee, and Herman Cain. Newsmax frequently advertises for dubious health and financial products.  

    When asked about the questionable claims made in Blaylock's ads and the decision of Sen. Brown to terminate his relationship, National Review Publisher Jack Fowler told Media Matters he had no plans to end his magazine's Newsmax agreements.

    "We have a relationship with Newsmax and that's all I'm going to say," Fowler said in an interview Thursday. "I can't speak for what Scott Brown does or doesn't do. I don't know who he has had a relationship with or whatever, but we have a relationship with Newsmax and that's it."

    Asked if he had concerns given the questionable elements of Blaylock's claims, Fowler said, "Have a good day."

    Chris Roslan, a spokesman for Christian Broadcasting Network, also defended the Newsmax/Blaylock email ads, describing Blaylock as a "qualified medical professional" and stating that "it is not uncommon for medical professionals to have differing points of view on medical conditions and their treatments." But he also pointed out that CBN includes a disclaimer in each email that states CBN does not endorse the products.

    Roslan's statement:

    CBN attempts to vet all potential advertisers based on multiple criteria including pending legal complaints or conflicts, general business practices and also to make certain that there is no offensive material. CBN also evaluates potential advertisers and products based on their compatibility with the online environment we strive to create and the shared common faith values with our website users. 

    Regarding Dr. Blaylock, he is a retired neurosurgeon and an author with a very large following. As an M.D. he is certainly qualified to weigh in on the tragic disease of Alzheimer's. 

    As it is not uncommon for medical professionals to have differing points of view on medical conditions and their treatments - case in point: the use of vitamin supplements ­­- CBN does not, and will not, attempt to validate medical opinions from qualified medical professionals in determining whether an advertisement is appropriate. 

    CBN includes a disclaimer in every sponsored email stating that the content is a paid advertisement and that it is not an endorsement by CBN. We feel our viewers can determine for themselves whether the content is valuable or not. We have not received a single complaint about this advertisement. 

    Dick Morris and Mike Huckabee did not respond to inquiries from Media Matters, while a spokesman for Herman Cain declined comment via email.

  • Republicans And Right-Wing Media Championed Discredited 60 Minutes Benghazi Report


    Republican and conservative media figures lauded a report from CBS' 60 Minutes on the September 2012 Benghazi attacks, using it to advance their attacks on the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton. But that report has since come under fire following the revelation that the piece's key Benghazi "eyewitness" had previously claimed he was nowhere near the compound on the night of the attack.

  • Fox Nation Touts Fake Story About Transgender Student Harassing Girls In School Bathroom

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

    Fox Nation promoted a story claiming that a transgender student was "harassing" female students in the school bathroom, citing wildly inaccurate reporting from a conservative Christian news site that has been debunked by the school's superintendent.

    On October 14, Fox Nation touted an article by the Daily Mail which stated that a transgender student in at Colorado's Florence High School was "harassing female students in the girls room." According to the report:

    A male student at Florence (CO) High School who claims to be transgendered has caused controversy by harassing female students in the girls room, but will not face any discipline - this despite vocal protests from the girls' parents.

    The Daily Mail article has since been taken down, but the original post relied on the reporting of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which initially broke the story.

    According the school's superintendent, however, CBN's story is based on the complaint of a parent opposed to allowing transgender students to use appropriate bathroom facilities - not on any actual reported incidents of harassment. In an interview with The Transadvocate, Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti stated:

    VENDETTI: Nothing has actually been verified with us. This is one parent basically bringing their viewpoint about this situation to the media because they weren't getting the responses that they hoped they would get from the district, from parents of students at the high school, or from the board and myself. So I think it's just an attempt to elevate the situation to a point where maybe some more attention can be drawn to that in the hope of having a different outcome. But to our knowledge and based on our investigation, none of those things have actually happened. We do have a transgender student at the high school and she has been using the women's restroom. There has not been a situation.

    Vendetti's comments aren't surprising - fears about harassment or misbehavior in schools where transgender students are allowed to use appropriate school facilities have proven to be overblown

    But right-wing commentators, and especially Fox News personalities, have been desperate to promote the myth that equal treatment for transgender students will increase rates of sexual abuse in schools, even going so far as to cite their own alleged desires to harass women in restrooms. Citing a completely fabricated example of harassment as proof that their transphobic fears are justified is par for the course.  

  • Hating On The Welfare State While Pushing Taxpayer-Funded Vacations

    Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    A not insignificant portion of movement conservatism involves pundits and activists scamming credulous readers/viewers/donors out of their money. RedState's Erick Erickson hawks transparently fraudulent "Instant Millionaire" schemes to his email list subscribers. Dick Morris raised funds for a super PAC which then turned around and funneled money right back to Dick Morris. Talk radio is saturated with ads for gold Krugerrands, survival seeds, food insurance, and other poor investments that conservative talkers are paid handsomely to endorse.

    The unchallenged king of right-wing swindling, however, is Newsmax. The conservative magazine is constantly spamming its subscribers with messages promoting "miracle drugs," warnings from quack doctors hyping unproven therapies for dangerous medical conditions, and investment tips gleaned from the New Testament. A recent promotion from Newsmax, also blasted out by the conservative Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), shows that the commitment to squeezing cash from gullible followers trumps even basic conservative ideology. The two anti-welfare-state media outlets are pushing their audience to take advantage of a "weird trick" to go on taxpayer-funded vacations and "add $1000 to monthly Social Security checks."

    This "weird trick" comes courtesy of "The Franklin Prosperity Report," a monthly newsletter operated by Newsmax that is supposedly based on the "investment methods" of Benjamin Franklin. According to The Franklin Prosperity Report, loyal Newsmax readers who loathe socialism and have no tolerance for the welfare state can nonetheless partake of "up to $20,500 of the trillions in money, services, and other goodies that Uncle Sam may have ALREADY allocated for your family for 2013."

    Seriously, Newsmax wants you to know that you can game the system and go on foreign vacations on the taxpayer dime, even if you can otherwise afford it:

    Many people mistakenly believe that you have to be destitute to receive government money and giveaways. However, the truth is that a larger percentage of rich people than poor people are eligible for government money -- such as 100% fully paid "cultural exchange" trips to other countries.

  • Christian Broadcasting Network Duped By CFL-Poisoned Foot Hoax

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    The Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club irresponsibly aired a photo that it said "allegedly shows what happened to a man after he stepped onto a broken CFL and his foot became infected with mercury poisoning." But the photos, which have circulated online, are believed to be a hoax because the damage they show is unlikely to have come from the small amount of mercury present in energy-efficient compact florescent lamps (CFLs).

    The November 27 edition of Pat Robertson's The 700 Club aired graphic images of a foot that was "allegedly" injured from stepping on a broken CFL:

    The images originally came from e-mails highlighting what appeared to be a flyer from Caterpillar equipment dealer WesTrac, but that Australian company said that it did not create the document. The images were later circulated in a Salisbury, MD, fire department newsletter, but according to the website Snopes -- which specializes in exposing online hoaxes - fire department officials later stated that they believe they were duped by an "Internet-falsehood":

    Although attempts were made to verify the validity of the information, initial Internet searches provided no compelling evidence to dispute the information. We now believe that the information we used as the basis for our April 2012 Newsletter was an Internet-falsehood which started circulating numerous years ago and had an ulterior motive and purpose.

  • Conservative Media Predictably Butcher Study Of Cosmic Rays

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Fox and other conservative media claim that CERN's study of cosmic rays "concluded that it's the sun, not human activity," causing global warming. In fact, at this point the research "actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate," according to the lead author, and it certainly doesn't refute human-induced global warming.

  • Conservative Media Somehow Declare Trump "The Winner" Of Birther Controversy


    After President Obama released the long-form version of his birth certificate, members of the conservative media declared Donald Trump the "winner" for having pushed birther theories so intently. However, these conservative media figures ignored the fact that the long-form birth certificate made Trump's previous claims that Obama's birth certificate "was missing" and that Obama might not even "have a birth certificate" look completely ridiculous.