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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
WND Falsely Claims Researcher Revised Coronavirus Death Estimate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore wrote in a March 26 WorldNetDaily article:

The lead author of a dire coronavirus study cited by the White House, Downing Street and other governments in their decisions to urge or impose unprecendented lockdowns and "social distancing" has drastically revised the estimated death toll of the pandemic in the U.K.

The study by Imperial College of London published March 16 estimated that 2.2 million Americans and 500,000 Britons could die.

Now, lead author Neil Ferguson has testified to a parliamentary committee that the U.K. death toll is unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower, reported the website New Scientist.

And more than half that number would have died anyway by the end of the year, because of their age and underlying illnesses, he told the panel on Wednesday.

The massive revision has significant implications for how governments are handling the pandemic.

But that's not true. As an actual news organization reported, Ferguson's high death estimate was based on no government action against coronavirus and still stands; the new estimate is based on restrictions in the U.K. that have now expanded into a full lockdown of the country. Ferguson himself explained it on Twitter.

Thing is, Moore knows that. But he led with the false revision claim and waited until the 13th paragraph to note Ferguson's tweets and claim that he was issuing a "clarification." But Moore then quoted a right-wing blogger to assert that "no one in the U.S. or the U.K. was advocating at the time that no measures be taken to control the spread of the virus."

WND is well into its third year of financial crisis, and it still hasn't apparently learned its less on about publishing misleading and fake news.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
MRC Flails In Defending Fox News Against Charges It Pushed Coronavirus Misinfomation
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Feb. 27 post, NewsBusters blogger Randy Hall gushed over how "Primetime was a great time for Fox News in February, when the channel drew its highest ratings ever and attracted an average of 3.5 million viewers during the second month of 2020.... the 44th consecutive month the FNC has been the most-watched channel in all of basic cable and a 218-month streak as the most-watched cable news network."

Since then, the Media Research Center has steadfastly defended Fox News against charges that the channel has put out misinformation on the coronavirus in service of its pro-Trump agenda -- not by refuting the charges, mind you, since they're basically true, but by playing a lot of whataboutism. Typical of that approach was Kyle Drennen's March 13 post: "MSNBC was eager to exploit the coronavirus to bash cable competitor Fox News, accusing the rival network of spreading “misinformation” about the disease and even endangering the lives of its viewers. The discussion took place on the same show that labeled the virus President Trump’s “Chernobyl” on Thursday.

A March 17 post by Curtis Houck engaged in more juvernile name-calling:

Between Monday night and early Tuesday morning, CNN political commentator Joe Lockhart and MSNBC/NBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner rhetorically molded and mounted on their heads matching tin-foil hats, insisting that the Fox News Channel and President Donald Trump should face “criminal” and “serious liability” for misinforming the public on the deadly nature of the coronavirus. In the latter’s case, he compared the President to murderers in Washington D.C. he threw in prison.

As a reminder, Lockhart was a Clinton White House Press Secretary while Kirschner was a longtime federal prosecutor and Army JAG officer. And now both offer takes that belong on a liberal equivalent of InfoWars. My how the mighty fall.

Houck added: "Someone alert Lockhart to what the likes of primetime host Tucker Carlson and straight-news reporters like Bret Baier, Shannon Bream, Bill Hemmer, Ed Henry, and Martha MacCallum. He probably views them all the same as the equivalent of news anchors on TASS, but you can’t fix ignorance." But Houck made no effort to reverse that alleged ignorance by citing any actual examples of their work.

Scott Whitlock complained on March 19:

Socialist MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday night kicked off his prime time show by snarling that competitor Fox News is “endangering your life” with Coronavirus “lies.” The Last Word host, who has himself politicized the virus, insisted that “Fox now takes the pandemic seriously.” But “the sudden switch to taking the pandemic seriously at Fox proves that Fox was lying about it deliberately for weeks and weeks when they were lying in the way they believed Donald Trump wanted them to lie.”

Whitlock didn't counter the claim, nor did he explain why he felt the need to label O'Donnell a "socialist" in a post that had nothing to do with the subject.

The next day, Whitlock served up more whataboutism at another MSNBC host:

Brian Williams is angry at “freaky” Fox News, deriding the network for thinking we’re all “stupid.” The MSNBC late night host, a man who lost his NBC job for lying, on Thursday night attacked Fox for not being honest in its past coverage of the Coronavirus. Talking to Michael Steele, Williams ranted, “The other attempt to tell us what we ourselves saw and heard or did not see and hear really has, at its core assumption, that we must be stupid.”

After playing six words from the March 9 Hannity, in which Sean Hannity used the phrase “bludgeon Trump with this new hoax,” Williams marveled at “the speed with which the entire [Fox] crowd turned around just days ago.” The ex-Nightly News anchor, who falsely claimed his helicopter was shot down over Iraq,  added, “And awoke with new seriousness, Fox coverage changed along with the President's verbiage. It was freaky to watch.”

As before, Whitlock failed to explain what bringing up Williams' long-ago sins -- twice! -- had anything to do with anything now beyong gratuitous piling on. He did, however, attempt a weak defense by pointing out that Hannity said other things on that show that didn't downplay the virus. Which, of course, doesn't exactly refute the fact that he did.

But in a March 27 column, Tim Graham effectively admitted that Fox News pushed misinformation, which he reframed as not buying into alleged hype about the virus from the "liberal media":

The liberal pack is prosecuting Fox for supposedly shoving Americans off a coronavirus cliff with “misinformation.” Then they equate “misinformation” with the argument that the pandemic gave the liberal media a new rationale to cripple President Trump politically.

That’s not “misinformation.“ It’s rock-solid, bank-on-it information.

Yes, it’s factually true that the president and the conservative media were suspicious of all the Worst Case Scenarios and expressed skepticism about the threat. Many of us were initially reluctant to be dragged into a massive government intervention. Then Italy happened.

Of course, that worst-case scenario basicaly came true. Don't expect an apology for that.

Graham and the rest of the MRC will never explicitly admit that Fox News did misinform -- that would require actual research, after all, and we know the MRC would never do anything in-depth on Fox News.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
CNS Hides An Important Fact In Reporting On Rand Paul's Coronavirus
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has long been fans of Sen. Rand Paul over the years -- for instance, we've noted its insistence on quoting Paul on things like Syria, about which he's not necessarily known to have expertise, and we caught CNS writing around criticism of Paul to highlight his (bogus) defense of President Trump during the impeachment saga.

So when Paul announced he has tested positive for coronavirus, CNS served up sympathetic coverage -- with a certain peculiar angle. An anonymously written March 22 article made sure you know that Paul as "asymptomatic," putting it in the headline and twice in the brief article.

The next day, another anonymously written article made that claim again in stating that Paul, "who—although asymptomatic--has tested positive for the coronavirus, put out a statement this afternoon explaining that he had taken the test because he is at higher risk of complications from the disease because his lung was damaged a few years ago when he was attacked by a neighbor." It went on to quote Paul (twice) saying he was asymptomatic.

There's just one problem with that emphasis, though: A person can spread the coronavirus while asymptomatic, and it's entirely possible that Paul did just that before his diagnosis, since he failed to self-quarantine while waiting for test results to come back. Paul was defensive about it, insisting that he "did not meet the criteria for quarantine," then lectured, "Instead of hounding people who got tested and then quarantined themselves, perhaps we need to broaden the testing and quit the finger-wagging."

CNS didn't mention any of that stuff, of course; the latter article simply repeated his insistence that he didn't meet the quarantine criteria.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:53 AM EDT
Monday, March 30, 2020
AIM President Puts Fake News In Rant Against Fake News
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It's never a good look when your rant against "fake news" contains fake news. But Accuracy in Media (ironic!) president Adam Guillette pulled off that feat in his March 17 column:

The mainstream media is desperate to turn the coronavirus scare into President Donald Trump’s Hurricane Katrina. What does that mean? It means they’re motivated to overhype this story simply so they can pile as much pressure as possible onto the president.

As just one example, CNN is calling the outbreak a “pandemic”.  Neither the World Health Organization nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined COVID-19 as a pandemic, but why should facts stand in the way of a media narrative?

In fact, WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 -- six days before Guillette's column was posted. It's not clear that the CDC even issues such a declaration.

Guillette went on to defend President Trump against criticism of his reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, declaring that "Trump is the head bureaucrat, not the head of medicine. Would you expect him to be toiling away in the West Wing in desperate search of a cure?"

For all of his ranting over "fake news," Guillette didn't actually cite any examples; even if he had, it's a certainty that Fox News' downplaying of the threat wouldn't have been mentioned. Still, he was eager to try and politicize the situation: "If we’re lucky, fake news will kill demand for nationalized health care. These bureaucratic bozos can’t get testing kits into the hands of doctors; they can’t manage a supply chain of face masks and Lysol. Would you really trust them if your loved one had cancer?"


Posted by Terry K. at 7:53 PM EDT
MRC Attacks Abortion During Coronavirus -- But Defended Man Who Advocated Letting Elderly Die
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's already strident rhetoric against abortion has only gotten more so as the coronavirus pandemic spread. In addition to obsessing over whether a public health expert was identified as a former Planned Parenthood official despite that being irrelevant to the issue, the MRC has freaked out over the following:

  • Alexa Moutevelis melted down over an Abortion Provider Appreciation Day earlier this month, denying the humanity of abortion doctors as she called them "monsters" who have "more in common with supervillain Thanos."
  • Moutevelis returned to attack family planning proponents as the "Death Lobby" that wants to make abortion to be considered an essential medical service during the pandemic (of course, in Moutevelis' highly biased and hataeful take, they're "making sure they can keep killing preborn babies in a timely manner"). She further complained; "There is a genuine disconnect between doctors trying to save the weak and vulnerable elderly that coronavirus seems to target most in one room while killing the weak and vulnerable in the womb that abortion targets in another," adding, "At a time when there’s death and destruction all around us, let’s do everything we can to save lives instead of take them."
  • In another post, Moutevelis slandered abortion rights proponents as "blood-thirsty" and "monstrous" for complaining about provisions in the stimulus bill, huffing that "at a time when our country is shut down to protect the weak and vulnerable members of our society, some want to keep open the abortion clinics that kill the weakest and most vulnerable of all humans, the unborn, asessential businesses."
  • And Gabriel Hays mocked the idea that abortion clinics should be allowed to stay open: "Ah, yes, killing kids is as essential as the ER doctor saving lives. This is just a dark Orwellian leftist game. The notion that someone wanting an abortion (A CHOICE) is an equal emergency to someone’s imminent death from coronavirus or a heart attack is not convincing."

But when someone actually advocated letting the sick and elderly die from coronavirus as an expeditious way to save the economy,  the MRC ran to his defense.

In a March 26 post, Curtis Houck complained that a man who advocated letting the elderly and infirm die during the pandemic since they are "not productive" and are "generally expensive to maintain" had a Washington Post article done about him. At no point does Houck express offense at the man's views, despite his employer's pro-life; he merely calls the "harsh and unpopular." The greater offense, according to Houck, is that aPost reporer called the man's elderly parents for their views on the subject:

If The Washington Post and senior editor Marc Fisher want Americans to stop calling the press “the enemy of the people,” a place to start would be not publishing stories like Fisher’s March 25 item trying to tear down a man who, as of Wednesday night, had less than 400 Twitter followers.

The thought crime committed by La Mesa, California lawyer Scott McMillan? Offering a harsh and unpopular take about the coronavirus and senior citizens.

In response, Fisher penned a 1,786-word piece entitled “He urged saving the economy over protecting those who are ‘not productive’ from the coronavirus. Then he faced America’s wrath.”

On Twitter, most of the brutal but well-deserved scorn came with Fisher tweeting how he not only wrote about McMillian, but he called his parents:

[...]

So, a few points. One, anyone surprised by Twitter’s vitriol must either not have an account or be living under a rock. Two, perhaps forcing McMillan to relive the past few days isn’t the best for his well-being. And three, why did Fisher decide to further bring attention to this poor soul’s life again?

Yep -- according to Houck, the "poor soul" and victim here is the man getting criticized for expressing an unpopular opinion -- despite it being one that he and the MRC should be opposed to as supposed "pro-life" activists. And Houck's concern that theperson's life was being "ruined" for expressing said opinion rings hollow considering that he very much wants to ruin the life of the Post reporter for the supposedly "unpopular" action of calling the guy out. Some targets are much more acceptable than others, it seems.

It's doubly hypocritical given that the MRC has come out against the view the tweet expressed elsewhere -- albeit only when media figures accused conservatives of supporting it.  A March 23 post by Scott Whitlock complained that "the hard left in the media" like MSNBC's Chris Hayes are accusing President Trump and conservatives of being "ready to kill a 'million' senior citizens as a way of saving the economy from the coronavirus" (while making sure to note that Hayes is "a staunch supporter of abortion"), while a March 26 post by Whitlock accusing MSNBC's Joe Scarborough of claiming conservatives support "the mass death of the elderly population" to presreve "Boeing's corporate earnings."

So is it cool to let the elderly die, or nah? The MRC should perhaps get on the same page on that.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Bad Coronavirus Takes: Prisoners Make Great Guinea Pigs!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's still early, but we may already have a winner in our nascent Bad Coronavirus Takes sweepstakes. In a March 25 WorldNetDaily column, lawyers Richard Kibbey and David Lamos not only advocate using prisoners as guinea pigs for prospective coronavirus treatments, they cite World War II Japan and the Nuremberg Trials not as cautionary tales but as guidelines for what you can get away with:

As the clock ticks, the number of new COVID-19 infections rise. While promising theories are emerging over potential vaccines and drug treatments, the stark reality is that without large-scale human experimentation of those new medications, the public will remain at risk. State and federal prisoners may hold the key to finding a cure for this pandemic.

[...]

To be sure prisoner volunteers would have to give informed consent of potential health risks and side effects before they are included in a test group. Current federal rules governing prisoner use for scientific experimentation allows it so long as the testing exposes the prisoner to "minimal risk" of harm. That regulation can easily be waived or modified by Congress or the Bureau of Prisons in the case of emergencies, which COVID-19 would seem to present.

Historically, the testing of prisoners to find cures for disease is not new. Gen. Douglas McArthur, the supreme commander for Allied Powers in Japan, readily accepted for the benefit of the United States the scientific results achieved by the Japanese in their human testing on conquered people during World War II. The ethics and legality of human testing of prisoners was also the basis for the Nuremberg Code, which set out guidelines for medical research experimentation on prisoners. Chief among those guidelines is informed consent and that the risks be justified by the anticipated benefits.

It is anticipated that prisoners would readily volunteer to be included in testing in return for a reduction in, or commutation of, their sentences of imprisonment. Commutation can be fast-tracked by state governors or the White House.

There would be no shortage of prisoner applicants for testing. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, in 2019 the United States had nearly 2.3 million citizens incarcerated in state and federal prisons. In those prisons are inmates who possess medical and nursing degrees – perfect candidates to assist in the experiments and testing. Dr. Samuel Mudd, convicted and imprisoned for aiding John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of President Lincoln, received a presidential pardon for his medical assistance in stemming the outbreak of yellow fever plague in his prison.

Yep, they went there. Even by WND standards, that a pretty callous column.

We'll start working on the award to give them.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Sunday, March 29, 2020
MRC Silent On Management Turmoil At Its Media Partner
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center brags that "Since late January of 2012, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard has once a week featured a 'Mainstream Media Scream' selection in his 'Washington Secrets' column." That gives the Examiner protection from criticism by the MRC -- it touted stories from the Examiner that used anonymous sources despite regularly attacking other media outlets for their reliance on anonymous sources, it gave a pass to an Examiner writer who posted a nasty tweet about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and it's certainly never going to critique Bedard himself for being a pro-Trump shill.

So -- just as it did with similar turmoil at Fox News --  the MRC has chosen to remain silent about management turmoil at the Examiner, driven by complaints of sexual harassment and abusive behavior.

Last month, Toby Harnden was forced out of his job as Examiner managing editor after being accused of mistreating staffers and making sexist and homophobic comments about employees, documented through email and recorded conversations. Ironically, they were documented by an editor who had been fired the week before for sending a lewd video to colleagues. That editor also exposed some winghut welfare at the website, including one editor who gets a salary plus a $40,000 "sweetener" from a conservative nonprofit and another editor who is not terribly productive.

Then, earlier this month, another top editor quit the Examiner, citing how Examiner leadership enabled Harnden's abusive behavior, specifically citing current Examiner editor in chief Hugo Gurdon for doing nothing about it, and failing to conduct a promised internal investigation after Harnden's departure. The editor also cited a graphic purporting to identify "rape victims" at the top of a "privilege pyramid."

The Examiner also apparently stopped doing stories on Fox News that could be considered negative in an effort to get the network to reverse a ban on Examiner writers appearing on it.

This is whom the MRC is partnering on content with. No wonder they won't say a word about it.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EDT
CNS On Coronavirus: Blame China!
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's coverage of the coronavirus has largely reflected the talking points on it from the Trump White House. so when Trump focused on blaming China for the virus, CNS did too:

A March 17 article by Melanie Arter touted a Republican congressman "demanding reparations from China for putting the United States through the adverse health effects and financial fallout from coronavirus."

The same day, a blog post by Craig Bannister promoted a poll by the Trump-friendly Rasmussen in which "One in four U.S. likely voters say that it should be considered an act of war, if China goes through with its threat to restrict U.S. access to critical drugsduring the coronavirus outbreak."

Arter internalized the Trump-mandated "Chinese virus" description in a March 18 article in which she uncritically repeated Trump's false statement that "I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously."

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman gleefully repeated this bit of propaganda from dear leader: "After a reporter asked President Trump why he refers to the coronavirus as the 'Chinese Virus,' adding that this seems 'racist,' Trump replied, 'Because it comes from China.'" 

Patrick Goodenough highlighted how "a senior State Department official on Wednesday evening contrasted China’s response to how U.S. authorities dealt with the H1N1 'swine flu' outbreak 11 years ago," complete with a "partial timeline" of events.

Chapman added an item similar to his earlier one: "On Wednesday, CNN's chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju asked Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) if it was okay for President Trump to refer to the coronavirus as a 'Chinese virus,' to which Graham said yes because 'it came from China.'"

Later on March 19, Chapman complained that "the liberal media continue to scold President Trump for calling the coronavirus the "Chinese Virus," and that one reporter "took the issue a little further by reporting that it is "a bat virus" and "not a China virus." He then lectured:

In the fall of 2014 there were several cases of Ebola diagnosed in the United States. One of the patients, a Liberian national visiting the United States, died from the illness. According to the CDC, "Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, the virus has been infecting people from time to time, leading to outbreaks in several African countries."

Despite its origin in Africa and its designation as the Ebola virus, the liberal media did not criticize then-President Barack Obama or his administration for using that label: Ebola virus.

Chapman did not note that if Trump was actually following that nomenclature, he'd be calling it the "Wuhan virus," not the "Chinese virus,"nor did he ask why Obama and other officials didn't blame the entire country where the Ebola virus originated by calling the "Democratic Republic of Congo virus."

CNS' commentary side also reinforced the talking point: A column by Steven Mosher was headlined "Remember that the Coronavirus Was 'Made In China'," followed by Ben Shaprio's similarly headlined column "For the Last Time, Coronavirus Is the 'Chinese Virus'." CNS contributed to the rah-rah by touting a poll showing that "55% of Americans approve of the way President Donald Trump is handling the response to the coronavirus pandemic."

Meanwhile, biased pro-Trump coverage continued elsewhere. A March 18 item by Jones using the coronavius crisis to promote her political agenda is headlined "Democrats Use Coronavirus Crisis to Push Their Political Agenda." Arter did her duty by uncritically repeating treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin declaring that "the United States is “still the greatest place to invest” despite the current stock market crash amid the coronavirus pandemic."

Speaking of pushing a political agenda -- as well as serving up a unlabeled press release from his employer -- Bannister touted how "the Media Research Center released an open letter to President Donald Trump on behalf of 39 leaders in the conservative movement demanding "a more formal investigation to uncover the truth"behind the origins of the coronavirus that came from Wuhan, China and specifically the actions of the Chinese government."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 29, 2020 8:16 PM EDT
Saturday, March 28, 2020
MRC Pretends Selectively Editing Videos Isn't Manipulation
Topic: Media Research Center

Most people understand that selectively editing videos to take them out of their intended context is a form of manipulation. The Media Research Center thinks differently -- at least when the video editors are conservatives and the video's target is a Democratic presidential candidate -- and is laboring hard to split hairs in order to prove it.

We've already noted that MRC tech blogger Alexander Hall is upset that Facebook pointed out that a misleadlingly edited edit of Joe Biden tweeted out by Trump was, in fact, misleadingly edited and had flagged it as such.In a March 9 post criticizing Twitter for similarly pointing out the video's misleading nature, Hall's case for claiming the video isn't misleading comes from... the Trump operative who originally posted it:

An embarrassing clip of Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden stammering during a speech has been spun by liberal media as “manipulated media.”

Former Vice President Biden was caught on video seemingly endorsing President Donald Trump for re-election. Liberal media outlets condemned the video as deceptively edited misinformation in order to cover for the Democratic primary frontrunner. Twitter followed up by labeling the video as “manipulated media.” When reached out to for comment, Twitter staff replied that “this Tweet was labeled based on our Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy.”

The clip, posted on March 7 by White House social media director Dan Scavino, showed Biden stammering: “Because we can not get re-elect, we can not win this re-election. Excuse me, we can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

Trump retweeted Scavino's proclamation that “The video was NOT manipulated,” and has also retweeted other variations of the video in question.

It's laughable that Hall is treating Scavino as an objective observer of what is and is not video manipulation, given that he has a personal and professional vested interest in the outcome. Also note that Hall is again focused on Biden allegedly "stammering" in the video being the non-manipulated part, not the deceptyive edit.

Hall then played whataboutism:

Donald Trump, Jr. retweeted multiple conservative commentators who were calling out Twitter for allowing a Biden campaign video which itself appears to be deceptively edited in that it claimed that Trump was calling the coronavirus a hoax. A Politico article featuring this same claim was fact-checked on Facebook, at the behest of the Daily Caller, a move which outraged members of the liberal media. Former ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Judd Legum questioned, “The bigger question is why Facebook allows The Daily Caller to make judgments about Politico's reporting.”

Hall then invoked a tweet from right-wing writer Ryan Saavedra -- who also has a ideological interest in the debate -- attempting to parse between "selectively edited" and "manipulated" to make the same whataboutism point.

One cannot escape the feeling that Hall is trying to redefine words to protect the Trump campaign and advance a political agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:23 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 29, 2020 5:44 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Writes A Book For Teen Boys That Sounds Strangely Familiar
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill is a bit full of himself -- so committed to the idea that he's right about everything that he can't be bothered to admit that a large number of his pet conspiracy theories have, shall we say, not held up, let alone apologize to his readers for getting things so wrong.

Cashill has a new book out, which he's portraying as a book for young men. He began his March 4 WorldNetDaily column with a rant about what he thinks is the current state of YA literature:

The betrayal begins with the books teachers assign in high school and college. These books are routinely effete, feminist, anti-Christian, socialistic and often gay.

Collectively, they do better a job of teaching a young male to be a metrosexual than to be an a man.

I do not exaggerate the problem facing young men in school. To see what educators would like our young people to read, I chose an article titled "20 Contemporary Books for Your High School Reading List" from a random Google search.

Here are some samples. In "Bless Me, Ultima," described as "a classic piece of Chicano literature," the protagonist learns a new kind of spirituality from a faith healer.

"The Hate U Give" tackles "themes of racism, police brutality, and societal injustice."

[...]

The one worthy book, Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," may be the single bleakest book I have ever read. Even by post-apocalyptic standards, it is a total downer. The movie version makes "The Walking Dead" look like "Hello, Dolly."

Given the books young people are assigned, It should not surprise that girls are an incredible 10 times more likely than boys to pick up a book and read it on their own.

By contrast, Cashill claims that preparing to write his new book, "I harkened back to the books I was assigned to read in high school. I still remember them: 'Call of the Wild,' 'Red Badge of Courage,' 'Annapurna,' 'Kon-Tiki,' 'Mutiny on the Bounty,' 'Men Against the Sea,' 'Huckleberry Finn' and 'Lord of the Flies.' These books not only captured our attention and held it, but they also helped us boys envision our lives as men. We saw how courage, perseverance and self-reliance worked in the real world and why they remain essential virtues."

Cashill found a co-writer and claims they wrote "an action adventure novel that young men – men of any age – would actually want to read":

The result is "The Hunt." In the book we tell the story of a recently widowed Army veteran who takes his adolescent sons on a character-building elk hunt to Colorado only to discover they are the ones being hunted.

The hunters are leftist anarchists in league with Muslim terrorists hell-bent on shooting the president's plane out of the sky. The incorrectness of the bad guys assures that no public high school anywhere will put the book on its reading list.

"Leftist anarchists in league with Muslim terrorists" as the villain? Sounds exactly like the kind of book Cashill would write. But wait ... that premise -- and that title -- sound familiar.  Is Cashill trying to confuse people by suggesting his book inspired a certain controversial, recently released film with the same basic plot? Wouldn't put it past him.

Cashill didn't remark on this amazing coincidence, of course --  that would be too obvious (not to mention making the inevitable copyright infringement lawsuit happen a bit sooner than he's planning). Instead, he cited a couple anonymous glowing reviews, then exhorts his reader to "talk to your school board" about adding it to their school curriculum.

We suspect that no school board would want any book with such a blatant partisan agenda, almost assuredly filled with stiffly drawn heroes and cardboard villains,to be inflicted on their students.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, March 28, 2020 12:36 AM EDT
Friday, March 27, 2020
What Is MRC's Mysterious Sports Blogger Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson is as mysterious as ever (since he/she has no social media presence outside the MRC, we don't even know if that's his/her real name or even his/her gender, since "Jay" can work both as masculine and feminine). So what has he/she been freaking about lately?

Any and every media mention of Colin Kaepernick triggers him/her, so there's a post ranting about Kaepernick writing his memoir, prompting Maxson to declare that the book will "serve up the same garbage that turned off 32 NFL teams and alienated countless sports fans across America," adding, "The audio version could be particularly revealing if the tone of Kaepernick's voice reflects his hatred for country."

In Maxson's view, the only political opinion an athlete is allowed to speak publicly is a conservative one in general and support of President Trump in particular, so the 1980 Olympics hockey team gets praise for appearing on stage with Trump, and washed-up NFL quarterback turned washed-up minor-league baseball player Tim Tebow gets fawned over for "saying he'd rather be known for saving babies from abortion than as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback."

Following in the MRC tradition of jealously hating any journalist whocommits the offense of winning an award for their journalism, Maxson attacked USA Today writer for winning an award,huffing that "To win the Red Smith Award for sports writing is tantamount to having one's left-wing credentials enshrined by the Associated Press" (though he named no other examples of this happening). Maxson complained that "Brennan helped perpetuate the LGBT narrative" of pointing out that conservatives like Maxson hate gays in sports, which seems pretty accurate to us.

And, yes, Maxson does hate gays, as he/she reminded us in another rant:

Even though he's a member of the conservative Mormon Church, Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young is very San Francisco. Young just bucked his LDS church and his alma mater, Brigham Young University, by tweeting support for LGBTQ students at the school where people are protesting the church's opposition to same-sex relationships.

This is no new revelation for Young (seen during his 2005 Hall of Fame induction in photo), a descendant of Brigham Young himself, but nevertheless much in tune with Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco social values.

[...]

The brother of Young's wife Barbara is homosexual, and they have been opposed to marriage as the union of one man and one woman for several years. In 2008, California voters affirmed that ideal by passing Prop 8. Despite the LDS position on marriage and sexuality, the Youngs posted a sign in their yard in opposition to that ballot proposition.

Maxson offers no evidence that Young is "opposed to marriage as the union of one man and one woman"; he does appear to support the expansion of marriage rights and benefits to same-sex couples.

Similarly, Maxson freaked out that retired NBA star Dwayne Wade brought his transgender child to an awards ceremony for an "LGBT pressure group," sneering, "Rather than address their child's gender confusion, father and step-mother have both chosen to become folk heroes to the LGBT agenda by celebrating a child's confusion."

Maxson was quick to adapt his/her schtick to the coronavirius era, complaining that the NBA's Utah Jazz was criticized for having the entire team and many team employees were tested for the virus when they were in Oklahoma City for a later-canceled game, at a time when few regular people could easily obtain tests.Macson whined: "Oklahoma should get credit for doing some things right though. It's not exactly the epicenter of the pandemic, and when out-of-staters brought the virus into the heartland state, Oklahoma jumped on that group and started testing. Sounds like pretty good strategy ... that just got in the way of the agenda of a writer for a progressive blog."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 27, 2020 6:51 PM EDT
CNS Lets A Bunch Of Trump Falsehoods Stand Uncorrected
Topic: CNSNews.com

As a loyal pro-Trump stenographer, CNSNews.com loves to repeat falsehoods from President Trump without bothering to fact-check or correct them. He's been talking a lot during the coronavirus pandemic, and CNS remains happy to just scribble down whetever he says without telling readers it's false.

Susan Jones transcribed in a March 18 article:

"I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the 'borders' from China - against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!"

President Trump issued that tweet shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday, after listening to negative coverage from the morning news shows.

But as an actual news outlet pointed out, Trump has a history of comments showing he did not, in fact, take it verious seriously:

In late January, when a CNBC reporter asked if there were “worries about a pandemic” spreading from China, where it was first reported in December, he replied, “No, not at all. We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

While speaking about the first cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S. at a White House news conference on Feb. 26, he claimed that "pretty soon" there could only be one or two people affected.

“We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people,” Trump said. “And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.”

The next day, at a White House meeting, he said, "It's going to disappear. One day -- it's like a miracle - it will disappear." He has suggested, without firm scientific evidence, that warmer weather would stop the spread.

In a March 19 article, Melanie Arter uncritically repeated:

President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration was prepared to deal with the pandemic of the coronavirus, but he wasn’t prepared to deal with the media.

The president complained that the press, and specifically NBC News, called him “racist” for banning foreign nationals traveling from China from entering the United States.

But Trump did not offer a specific example of anyone at NBC calling him "racist" over that decision -- and, thus, neither did Arter. YOu'd think an example could be easily found if that actually happened.

The same day, Arter served up more stenography:

President Donald Trump announced “exciting progress” Thursday in finding therapy drugs to fight the coronavirus.

Not only has a drug that’s used to fight malaria and treat arthritis shown promise in fighting COVID-19, but the administration is looking at drugs used overseas to treat the virus.

[...]

The president pointed to chloriquine, a drug that has been shown to be effective in treating arthritis and malaria, as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

[...]

["]They've been trying for many decades to get this approved. It sounds simple, but it's not, because there is liability involved in lots of other things. I was able to get it approved, working with Congress. Right to try. This is beyond right to try. What we are talking about today is beyond right to try.["]

Arter didn't tell her readers that chloroquine has, in fact, not been approved to treat coronavirus.

Arter returned on March 24 for another false claim from Trump:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had a chance to order 16,000 ventilators five years ago for a discount, but he opted for death panels and lotteries instead, President Donald Trump said Tuesday. 

During his press conference on Tuesday, Cuomo complained that the federal government only sent 400 ventilators, when they needed 30,000.

[...]

Trump was referring to an op-edby former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey published March 19, 2020 by the New York Post:

In fact, McCaughey -- a longtime misinformer on the subject of health care -- appears to have misread a state report on pandemic preparedness, falsely interpreting a worst-case scenario that might require thousands of ventilators as a "chance" to buy them; the report does not even make a ruling on the optimal number of ventilators the state should have stockpiled. The "death panels" reference is to recommended procedures in the report regarding triage.

If CNS is going to be nothing more than a Trump stenography website, it should stop calling itself "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Bad Coronavirus Takes: CNS' Jeffrey Cares Only About Christians
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey begins his March 25 column this way:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order on Monday that is aimed at stopping the new coronavirus — and, in the process, makes it a criminal offense to hold a church service attended by more than 10 people.

Yes, his order makes it a crime for more than 10 people to gather in a church.

That's misleading -- as Jeffrey concedes in the next few paragraphs, in which he admits that what was criminalized was all gatherings of more than 10 people, not just church services.

Yet Jeffrey spends the rest of his column falsely pretending that only church services were targeted. So much so, in fact, that he pestered Northam's press secretary demanding "a simple yes or no" to whether church services fall under the ban, even though it's obvious they are. ANd he wasn't done ranting:

Virginians now live in a state where holding a church service attended by 11 people has been unilaterally declared a crime by the governor.

The same executive order that creates this church-attending crime also declares that Virginia's state-owned liquor stores are "essential retail businesses" that "may remain open during their normal business hours."

How can a person walk into a liquor store, exchange a glass bottle of whiskey and money with a clerk and keep his social distance? Could 11 people in a church — praying the rosary together — stay further apart physically than the buyers and sellers at a Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control store?

[...]

What would St. Thomas More think of a government that made it a crime to gather and pray in church?

What would the framers of the First Amendment think?

What future "emergencies" will inspire future governors to act on Northam's precedent?

Jeffrey is so obsessed with pushing his right-wing agenda that he only cares how he and his fellow Christians are impacted and doesn't seem that interested in how anyone else is, and he apparently believes that he and his friends should be exempted from the rules that apply to everyone else because they're Christian.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:39 PM EDT
MRC Attacks CNN For Not Noting Coronavirus Expert's Irrelevant Link To Planned Parenthood
Topic: Media Research Center

Count on the Media Research Center to cling to its agenda in the midst of a national emergency. Curtis Houck ranted in a March 16 post (needless bolding in original):

It’s well-established that CNN has refused to act as a serious news organization. So, it came as no surprise when a Media Research Center study found that CNN featured Dr. Leana Wen 16 times from March 2 to 16 for a total of 73 minutes and 29 seconds to discuss the coronavirus. However, there were zero seconds verbally acknowledging her past as Planned Parenthood’s former president.

Instead, CNN has labeled her as either a former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, emergency room physician, or Visiting Professor of Health Policy & Management at the George Washington University. (Updated chart forthcoming)

only 10 seconds of the total featured chyrons noting how, less than a year ago, she was leading the nation’s leading aborter provider.

At no point, however, did Houck explain why it was important for Wen to be labeled as the former head of Planned Parenthood. She was on CNN to talk about coronavirus, not family planning or pro-choice activism, so her Planned Parenthood experience was irrelevant to the issue. Fuyrther, she was only head of Planned Parenthood for less than a year before being ousted last July, so there wasn't much of that experience to bring to the table.

It appears Houck was invoking the MRC's ancient hatred of Planned Parenthood and anything that smacks of being supportive of abortion. He was also trying to figure out a way to dunk on CNN and serve up a whataboutism deflection for criticism of Fox News, as the end of his post indicates:

For CNN’s near-daily assault on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, CNN has refused to keep its own house in order. 

Whether it’s refusing to disclose guests as former Obama officials, firing off snarky statements, or making sophomoric facial expressions, perhaps they should worry about doing “the small stuff” right first.

Actually, CNN did get the small stuff right by not inserting something that was utterly irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Houck already hates CNN's Jim Acosta, and that hatred appears to have spread to CNN as a whole, so he's looking for any excuse to go on the attack, no matter how irrelevant.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The Talking Point Two-Step
Topic: CNSNews.com
While the Media Research Center mocks the argument that funding for public broadcasting shouldn't be cut because it's an infinitesimal amount of the federal budget, the head of its "news" division demands funding for the border wall for the exact same reason. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:57 PM EDT

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