MRC's Fondacaro Goes Into Unprofessional Rage At Wash. Post Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro enthusiastically wrote in a Feb. 19 post:
With a promise that “this is only the beginning,” Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry, the lawyers for Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann, filed a lengthy $250 million lawsuit against The Washington Post for defamation on Tuesday regarding their alleged targeted smears of the teen. The document itself was a scathing takedown of the paper they described as abusing “the profession of journalism” while racing to be “the first and loudest media bully.”
Fondacaro then added: "The work put into the document indicated how seriously they’re going to pursue the case."
Well, not necessarily. For example, Larry Klayman similarly asks for exhorbitant amounts from the people he sues and uses his lawsuits to make political statements that come before legal reasoning, and nobody takes him seriously.
Indeed, Sandmann's lawyers are pushing their luck by issuing such an overwrought lawsuit. The Above the Law blog points out that what the lawsuit claims is defamation of Sandmann isn't necessarily so, and that there's another agenda going on:
But winning a defamation lawsuit isn’t really the game we’re playing here. Instead, we’re fighting a new front in the culture wars, the front Trump has opened up against “the media.” Trump wants the media to be nice to him. Alleged sexual harassers like Clarence Thomas want to be able to punish the media for amplifying claims against them. MAGA wants their wild conspiracy theories and counter-factual views given equal time in mainstream sources.
This is a broad war, the Sandmann lawsuit is just another cannon ball. This lawsuit is not going to kill the Washington Post, and I doubt that is even the goal. The point is to chill other media from challenging the right-wing. Most mainstream reporters don’t even know their rights. Most publications smaller than the Washington Post can’t afford to defend their rights. If enough of the media lives in fear of any teen in a MAGA hat, then this lawsuit was a success even if (when) it gets thrown out of court on a rail.
The Wonkette blog adds: "Generally speaking, a plaintiff would have to prove that a newspaper printed defamatory information that it knew was false. Sandmann's suit chooses to meet this evidentiary burden with wacky conspiracy theories direct from QAnon. This isn't a lawsuit. It's a paranoid manifesto."
And civil rights attorney Ron Kuby notes: "It’s more like one of these old fashioned cases filed on page 1 and dismissed on page 34. ... If you report two sides of an encounter, you know that one side is ultimately going to be proven incorrect. That doesn’t mean you’re open for defamation claims."
Still, the lawsuit did apparently get one intended result: the Post issued an editor's note clarifying and updating its original coverage. But this wasn't enough for Fondacaro, who apparently hates the Post as much as his MRC colleague Curtis Houck hates Jim Acosta -- that is, to the point of being incapable of writing about it without descending into paroxysms of rage. Fondacaro spat in a tweet on the editor's note: "Nick Sandmann deserves every penny he’s suing this rag of a paper for."
That's not really professional behavior, Nick.
Speaking of Houck, his piece on the Post editor's note was similarly dripping with hate and condescension, chortling that the note "was so hilariously rich with irony that it’s painful" and putting "SAD Trombone!" in the headline.
All this unprofessional behavior does not encourage anyone to take the MRC seriously.
Farah's Double Standard on Presidential Investigations Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah complains in his Feb. 13 column, quoting former Trump attorney John Dowd:
Dowd called the investigation “a terrible waste of time.”
Is that all there is?
“I know exactly what [Mueller] has,” Dowd said. “I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is. There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time.”
I shouldn’t be disappointed or surprised, and I’m really not. This is indeed what I believed was the case all along. In fact, I suspect this investigation took so long only to ensure the guilty parties would never see justice. And unless our new attorney general re-litigates the entire issue, the special counsel investigation may end with a whimper.
Of course, that’s not really an end at all.
And that may be just what Democrats who control the House of Representatives need to keep the conspiracy theorizing and witch hunt going for another two years – right into the 2020 election.
Dowd called Mueller’s probe “one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen.”
I agree. To put it mildly, this was not Watergate.
Remember that Farah lives in his own little right-wing world where Trump can donowrong. And we certainly do not recall Farah ever complaining about the length of the investigation into President Clinton headed at its peak by Ken Starr -- which, by the way, lasted pretty much the entire length of his two-term presidency, and was originally about Whitewater, which then spread into other areas after nobody could find anything on him there.
If anything, Farah seems to think the Starr investigation should have gone on forever, or at least until he found something bigger to pin on him than lying about sex. Farah has ranted that "Kenneth Starr has been Bill Clinton’s political savior — time after time compromising his own investigation through ineptitude, the hiring of attorneys and investigators politically loyal to the president, and a systematic refusal to seriously probe the most egregious administration scandals." Farah has also whined that Starr hired Brett Kavanaugh to cover up the alleged truth about the death of Vince Foster, that it was murder.
Farah's whining continued:
This investigation punished people mostly for “crimes” that were not committed until the investigation caused them, prompted them, induced them. They weren’t really crimes at all in most cases. They were differences of interpretation. They were senior moments. They were mistakes caused by fatigue and relentless badgering. They were “process crimes.”
Actually, no. Lying under oath is a crime whether or not it was part of a "process," and many of the alleged crimes for which Mueller has issued indictments were committed before his investigation started, meaning that Farah is lying when he claims Mueller "caused them, prompted them, induced them."
Farah concluded by huffing: "Is that all you got, Robert Mueller? If that’s all you got, then just stop dancing." Of course, Farah wanted Starr to keep dancing until he could manufacture something.
CNS Backtracks on Calling Trump Out On The Economy, Deficit Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has not been shy about blaming Democrats in general and President Obama in particular for federal budget deficits. Republicans? Much more shy, though even he can't ignore reality, finally admitting that the federal debt has climbed under President Trump and a Republican Congress.
Jeffrey backtracked a bit in a Feb. 13 article in which he touted how The federal government collected a record $1,665,484,000,000 in individual income taxes in calendar year 2018," the first full year after Trump's tax cuts went into effect. But he waited until the fifth paragraph to admit that the deficit grew by $1.4 million (though it was mentioned in the headline) and the eighth paragraph to note that "Corporation income tax collections declined significantly from calendar year 2017 to calendar year 2018" by more than 32 percent, or $95 billion.
Jeffrey followed that up by lamenting in a Feb. 20 article that "The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the federal government will not only fail to balance its budget in any year over the next eleven years (fiscal 2019 through 2029), but that during those eleven years it will increase the federal debt held by the public by $13 trillion." Jeffrey did not mention Trump or the Republican Congress that helped to run up that projected deficit or set the baseline upon which the CBO's projection is based.
Jeffrey then served up a Feb. 28 lament that "The United States has gone a record 13 straight years without 3-percent growth in real Gross Domestic Product." This comes around six months after CNS was touting a big quarterly GDP increase under Trump (and despite the fact that CNS never touted even larger quarterly GDP increases under Obama).
Jeffrey made no mention of Trump or Republicans in his article, though in 2017 he was quick to point out that "Obama remains the first president since the Great Depression not to see a single year with at least 3 percent growth in real GDP." Instead, Jeffrey includes a picture of congressional leaders at some social function.
In other words, Jeffrey is unable to say out loud that his hero Trump isn't doing any better on the economy than the hated Obama.That has to be a blow considering how much he and the rest of his CNS crew have puffed up Trump's economic record.
MRC Frets Over TV Channel's Anti-Vaccine Past, Forgets Its Own Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock grumbled in a Feb. 14 post:
ABC is worried that Hollywood celebrities have been promoting anti-science, anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Yet, the network seemed to forget that it employed one, Jenny McCarthy, as a host. Not only that, but ABC prompted actress McCarthy to spout her uninformed vaccine views.
The blame for the spread of false information on vaccines is broad and wide. It certainly includes uninformed celebrities. But ABC is also culpable for repeatedly touting the people with those views.
You know who else is culpable for touting anti-vaccine rhetoric? Whitlock's employer.
As we've documented, the MRC spent several years fretting about anti-HPV vaccines like Gardasil that have since been proven to prevent infections that can lead to cervical cancer. Not only did MRC writers fearmonger about allegedly "dangerous" side effects, it feared that the vaccine would promote promiscuity; Mark Finkelstein, for instance, effectively endorsed one right-wing columnist who wrote that the vaccine was "telling prepubescent girls that it’s just fine for them to have all the sex they want, ’cuz now they’ll be vaccinated! And isn’t it against the law to have sex with children?"Further, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, considered it a waste of federal money to use it to find ways to boost anti-HPV vaccination rates.
The MRC has yet to retract or apologize for all this bogus scaremongering -- which means Whitlock is being quite hypocritical in attacking ABC over the same thing.
CNS Touts Anti-AOC Billboard, Doesn't Disclose It's Funded By Same Folks Who Fund CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Craig Bannister gleefully writes in a Feb. 20 CNSNews.com blog post:
On Wednesday, a billboard in New York’s Times Square criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for having opposed Amazon’s plans, which Amazon has now cancelled, to open a headquarters in the city, began a one-week run.
The billboard highlights the cost to New York of Amazon’s decision not to open a headquarters there, Job Creators Network, the ad’s sponsor explains in its press release:
“Today, the Job Creators Network is putting up a billboard in Times Square calling out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the role she played in the recent termination of Amazon’s HQ2 that was planned to be constructed in Queens. The pullout of Amazon—because of anti-business politicians, notably Ocasio-Cortez—is a major blow to the New York economy. The retreat will not only cost the area $12 billion in economic activity, but 25,000 new jobs that would have paid an average salary of $150,000.”
The billboard, located on 42nd Street near 8th Avenue, is headlined “AMAZON PULLOUT, Thanks For Nothing AOC” and ends with the hashtag, #SocialismTakesCapitalismCreates.
In a tweet, conservative commentator Laura Ingraham thanked Job Creators Network for the billboard and posted a picture of it.
But Bannister is curiously silent on a conflict of interest he should have disclosed. As Ocasio-Cortez noted in a tweet responding to the billboard (and Mediaite further detailed), the Job Creators Network is funded by the Mercer family, which has their money all over right-wing politics.
And CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, is heavily funded by the Mercers as well -- as we documented, the Mercers are the single largest MRC donor, providing one-fourth of its annual budget, and a member of the family, Rebekah Mercer, sits on the MRC's board of directors.
An honest writer would have disclosed that. Bannister has not proven that he is one.
WND Baselessly Suggests Criticism Of 'Jewish Diplomat' Was Anti-Semitic Topic: WorldNetDaily
It was just a few weeks ago that the Media Research Center was complaining that attacks on liberal Jew George Soros were considered by some to be anti-Semitic. Now, the MRC's ConWeb comrades at WorldNetDaily are doing what they condemned, though with somebody else.
Just two days after condemnation from her own party leaders prompted a half-hearted apology for anti-Semitic tweets, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., took a personal swipe at a Jewish diplomat in a hearing Wednesday of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Omar opened her questioning of Elliott Abrams, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s special envoy on Venezuela, by attacking his credibility.
Moore also made sure to put "Jewish diplomat" in the headline of his article. Never mind, of course, that Moore offers no evidence that Omar referenced Abrams' ethnicity or religion during her questioning of Abrams.WND is simply trying to capitalize on right-wing hatred of Omar for her previous criticism of lobbying for Israel, which was considered anti-Semitic (and, as it so happens, was the reason the MRC got so mad about criticism of Soros being called anti-Semitic).
Moore then called in conservative scholar Ronald Radosh to defend Abrams against Omar's accusations regarding his work as a diplomat during the 1980s:
Omar charged Abrams with lying to the Senate in 1982 by denying that a massacre took place in El Mozote, El Salvador when a U.S.-trained Salvadoran military battalion went into the town to attack communist guerrillas.
But Radosh, a former Marxist, points out that while other officials denied the massacre, Abrams called it an “incident that is at least being significantly misused, at the very best, by the guerrillas.” It wasn’t until 1992 that forensic evidence confirmed the massacre had occurred.
But as Vox points out, there were contemporaneous reports that what happened in El Mozote, and that the Reagan administration knew or should have known that before certifying that El Salvador's human rights record was improving.
Moore also enlisted Radosh's help in whitewashing Abrams' conviction for withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra affair, for which he was later pardoned: "One of Abram’s chief human-rights critics, Aryeh Neier, later changed his mind, Radosh pointed out. Neier wrote in the left-wing Dissent magazine that the facts 'suggest a political prosecution rather than the fair administration of justice.'" Moore ends with touting Radosh's opinion that "Omar be removed from her seat in the Foreign Affairs Committee."
MRC Complains Media Doesn't Cover Trump The Way Its 'News' Division Does Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Alexis Moutevelis Coombs complains in a Feb. 8 post:
President Trump spoke about important topics to our country like abortion, adoption and religious liberty at the National Prayer Breakfast, but his critics instead focused on a word slipup to bash and mock him on Thursday.
Delivering his speech, President Trump said, “Since the founding of our nation, many of our greatest strides—from gaining our independence to abolition of civil rights to extending the vote for women—have been led by people of faith.”
The White House transcript indicates that the president should have said “to” instead of “of,” in an unfortunate mistake.
Liberals and their allies in the media quickly pounced, seizing the opportunity to make their headlines about Trump misspeaking, while ignoring or burying the rest of his speech, with Yahoo! News trumpeting, “Trump credits people of faith for 'abolition of civil rights' at National Prayer Breakfast” and USA Today crowing, “President Trump's gaffe touts 'abolition of civil rights' at National Prayer Breakfast.”
Of course, all this trolling allowed them to ignore or bury Trump’s important words on abortion: "Children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God. Every life is sacred and every soul is a precious gift from heaven, as the Lord says."
Coombs is, of course, being hypocritical -- the MRC had no problem with hammering on President Obama when he misspoke, and it had no problem focusing on certain remarks it didn't like during Obama's appearances at the Naitonal Prayer Breakfast while ignoring his overall message on "important topics." But Coombs is also dictating coverage here by telling media outlets what she and the MRC want to have covered.
Of course, the MRC has a whole "news" operation to conform to those expectations. And CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter did, in fact, write an article on Trump's speech to Coombs' specifications:
In a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, President Donald Trump said that the U.S. must “build a culture that cherishes that dignity and sanctity of innocent human life.”
“As part of our commitment to building a just and loving society, we must build a culture that cherishes the dignity and sanctity of innocent human life. All children born and unborn are made in the holy image of God. Every life is sacred, and every soul is a precious gift from heaven. As the Lord says, in Jeremiah, ‘Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart,’” Trump said.
He also pledged to protect the “country’s long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption.”
Newsmax Columnist Lionizes Late Navy Admiral, Ignores His Right-Wing Conspracy-Mongering Topic: Newsmax
We missed that retired Navy Adm. James Lyons died in December. But Newsmax columnist Joseph Schmitz served up a gushing tribute in a Feb. 16 piece:
"We the People" need now more than ever a few more "Swamp Foxes" like the late great Admiral James Aloysius "Ace" Lyons: a 21st Century Francis Marion.
Francis Marion served during the American Revolutionary War. According to The Society of the Cincinnati, "the nation's oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army," past presidents general of which include George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, Marion fought "during the defense of Charleston in 1776 and rose to the rank of colonel in the Second South Carolina Regiment. After the fall of Charleston in 1780, Marion was appointed brigadier general of State Troops and launched an effective campaign of harassment against British detachments around the state. His cunning and success in eluding capture in the coastal lowlands earned him the grudging admiration of his opponents and an enduring place in South Carolina lore as the 'Swamp Fox'."
As a modern-day Swamp Fox, Admiral Ace Lyons continued to serve after his retirement from naval service in 1987 by taking on the same swamp that President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 to drain — the administrative state run amuck.
The ongoing abuses of power by inhabitants of the current "swamp" in Washington, D.C. wouldn’t happen any more if more American patriots would follow the lead of the late great Admiral Ace Lyons, an extraordinarily courageous modern-day Swamp Fox.
May God rest the soul of Admiral James Aloysius "Ace" Lyons, a role model for any patriotic American willing to take on the administrative state run amuck, in or out of uniform.
Schmitz is not going to tell his readers what Lyons was best known for in his later years: pushing conspiracy theories. We caught a few of them: his membership on Accuracy in Media's "Citizens Commission on Benghazi" kangaroo court, hisembrace of conspiracy theories about Benghazi, his speaking at Larry Klayman's anti-Obama rally.
And Schmitz is certainly not going to mention one of Lyons' final acts: a March 2018 column published in the Washington Times falsely claiming that Seth Rich's brother helped him download Democratic National Committee emails that were then given to WikiLeaks. That got the Washington Times sued by Rich's family, resulting in a settlement that included retracting Lyons' column.
We're not sure that allegedly meritorious military service balances out causing someone to get sued because of your own malicious screw-up. But Schmitz isn't going to talk about that at all.
NEW ARTICLE: The Creeping WND-ization of CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center's "news" division has gone from echoing WorldNetDaily's editorial decisions (and columnists) to beating WND to the punch on conspiracy theories. Read more >>
WND Columnists Fret Over Poor, Persecuted White Teens Topic: WorldNetDaily
Poor child, so full of hope and faith. With his big blue eyes and rosy cheeks, Nick Sandmann imagined he was safe, so long as he did the right thing. But then Sandmann discovered he was hated for something he couldn’t right: the color of his skin. And while formative figures around him will hide this fact – for his sake, let us hope young Mr. Sandmann remains hip to it.
And it’s not that Sandmann was guilty of the Orwellian “facecrime” – “wearing an improper expression on your face” in the Planned Society. Toxic liberalism, socialism, cultural Marxism, Trump Derangement Syndrome: None of these provides a complete explanation for the venom unleashed on the Covington kid.
Reducing what these lads endured to “the culture wars” conservative talking points is criminal when the pathology, racism, is plain to see and so very dangerous, if denied.
Failing to pinpoint the white-hot hatred of whites percolating throughout America is to endanger these children, to leave them helpless in the face of unadulterated, dangerous, near-institutionalized hatred.
Beautifully spoken and highly intelligent, the Nick Sandmanns of America are of a culture and color that dare not speak its name.
Their culture, when practiced, is polite to a fault and passive. They exude Christian piety, which had been willfully mischaracterized as smugness by the aggressive, well-oiled, “multicultural noise machine” that monopolizes discourse.
The media reactions following Covington Catholic High incident in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, is an excellent example of the same failed progressive narrative in America. The Covington scandal may be one of the worst demonstrations of racism against whites in the U.S. in a long time. The mainstream media automatically judged that “the white, heterosexual, Christian boys, wearing MAGA hats” were to blame, and did not even bother to check the facts. According to the liberal narrative, the white skin color was all the evidence needed to attack.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, one of the leading political economists in the USA and a former editor of the Wall Street Journal, recently pointed out in a Herland Report TV Show that identity politics, which the liberals so passionately embrace, has appointed the new exploiter group to be the “white heterosexual males.” This group is completely defenseless and not protected by any quotas, prohibitions against hate speech or hate crimes. You can say anything about a white heterosexual male, Roberts states, but you can’t say the slightest thing about blacks, homosexuals, Hispanics or women. The whole notion of class conflict has been replaced by gender, race and sexual preference conflict.
MRC Demands Coverage of Dubious Poll on Hispanic Support for Trump Topic: Media Research Center
MRC Latino's Ken Oliver rants in a Jan. 22 post: "Once again showing systemic anti-Trump bias, the principal national evening newscasts of the six leading Spanish-language television networks in the United States all pointedly declined to report on President Donald Trump’s soaring job approval ratings among Hispanic-Americans."
But that NBC/PBS/Marist poll finding -- putting Hispanic support for Trump at 50 percent -- is questionable at best and very much an outlier; as the Washington Post explains, other polls show Trump's support among Hispanics much lower. Further, only 153 Hispanics were polled, and that particular result has a margin of error of 9.9 percent -- exceptionally wide for a poll, making the result not statistically significant.
Oliver tried to spin the wide margin of error into suggesting that Trump is even more popular among Hispanics, insisting that "the 19-point pro-Trump surge in the Hispanic results" is "substantial even given the 10% margin of error within the subset."
This was followed two days later with a column by Miguel I. Prado gushing over this dubious poll result and declaring that Trump's "approval rating could go on to surpass even this marker by addressing the border crisis at its source. This would be a disruptive, transformational development for all of Latin America."
Olliver then noted in a Feb. 1 post that a couple of the Spanish-language networks noted the poll number -- and also complained that they reported how dubious it is:
The Univision report further attempts to undercut the significance of Trump’s Hispanic boost by pointing out that the 50% level of support registered among Latinos has a 10% margin of error, but the 19% increase far exceeds the margin of error, which means Trump’s actual Hispanic support could be as high as 60% or as low as 40%, which would still be notably higher than the 39% approval rating registered among the U.S. population as a whole.
Way to spin away that ridiculously high margin of error, Ken.
WND Story Relies On Unreliable Sources Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 14 WorldNetDaily article breathlessly declares:
The claim that Russian intelligence officials hacked emails from the DNC server that were later published by Wikileaks is a core tenet of the belief that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.
But more than three years later, no forensic evidence has been produced to back the claim. And now an investigation by two cyber-security and intelligence experts has concluded the hard evidence indicates the files were not breached via the internet but downloaded onto a portable storage device.
The conclusion by William Binney, a former intelligence official with the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Larry Johnson was reported exclusively by the Gateway Pundit blog.
WND's first problem is that it's citing anything from Gateway Pundit, publisher of all manner of false, misleading and inflammatory dreck. Its second problem is that the co-author of the study is linked to one of the biggest political hoaxes in recent years.
As we noted the last time someone in the ConWeb cited him, Larry Johnson spent years pushing the hoax that somewhere out there, a recording exists of Michelle Obama talking about race and railing against "whitey." When no recording continually failed to surface, Johnson never really apologized for pushing it; despite claiming that "I take full responsibility for my role in putting out that story," he declared that "it did not originate with me" and that he was a victim, "an unwitting tool" in a "dirty trick" perpetrated by Media Matters leader David Brock. (Disclosure: I used to work for Media Matters.)
So, WND is giving us a double dose of untrustworthy sources. That's not the way to build up credibility that will pull it out of its continuing financial crisis.
CNS Pushes 'No Collusion' Narrative Again Topic: CNSNews.com
As part of its editorial agenda to do President Trump's bidding, CNSNews.com hasregularlypushed assertions by Trump and his supporters that there was no collusion between Trump's presidential election campaign and Russian interests and/or attacking Robert Mueller's investigation into same. The latest round comes through Senate Republicans insisting that their investigation found no collusion.
Chapman conveniently omitted the fact that NBC also quoted Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee who pointed out that "no direct evidence" does not mean "no evidence," adding that "Trump and his associates had more than 100 contacts with Russians before the January 2017 presidential inauguration." NBC also points out where Chapman didn't that a Republican-controlled investigation of a Republican president could be considered by many to be partisan and incomplete.
Instead, CNS' Susan Jones touted the next day how "In an early morning tweet on Wednesday, President Trump pointed to the Senate intelligence committee: "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA!" he wrote in all-caps." Jones did, surprisingly, note Democratic criticism of the GOP conclusion.
On Feb. 14, however, CNS' Michael Morris gave space to Mark Levin fill-in host Dan Bongino declaring that "[t]he Russian collusion fairytale is finally, fully, completely collapsing." This was followed by Jones giving a Feb. 18 platform to Rush Limbaugh to rant that "People such as Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein 'took it upon themselves to overthrow the election results of 2016,' while ignoring the 'real collusion' between the Clinton campaign and the Russians."
This attempt to downplay any link between Trump and Russia comes straight from the top. A Jan. 30 column by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey portraying Russian election interference as no big deal: "Which is a greater threat to the United States? A shipment of heroin smuggled across the Mexican border that ends up in your hometown? Or a series of Facebook posts made by a Russian operative in St. Petersburg that show up on your Facebook feed?" Jeffrey then huffed:
Yes, our government should work to stop foreign governments from hacking into U.S. computer systems and stealing data, or tampering with vote-counting systems.
But how many Americans died last year from reading a Russian Facebook post or tweet?
The top national security issue facing the federal government today has nothing to do with deceptive political speech on social media. It has everything to do with our southern border.
Build the wall.
As long as the Russians support the same candidate Jeffrey does, it must not be a problem, right?
AIM Spins Polls To Make Trump Look Better Than He Is Topic: Accuracy in Media
Carrie Sheffield writes in a Feb. 14 Accuracy in Media post:
The mainstream media hit President Trump for urging Democrats in Congress not to engage in partisan investigations against his administration, yet their coverage ignores findings from a Gallup poll released yesterday and taken in the wake of the government shutdown showed that the president’s job approval is more than 20 percent higher than the public’s approval of Congress.
But puffing up Trump's popularity rating by comparing it to that of Congress is irrelevant. Gallup's own polling shows that Congress rates perpetually low -- generally fluctuating between 10 and 20 percent since 2012. Further, President Obama's second-term approval average, covering the first few years of that congressional polling, was 46.7 percent -- meaning that he too scored "more than 20 percent higher than the public’s approval of Congress."
We suspect AIM would never have made such a claim about Obama's popularity.
Sheffield went even further in the poll-spinning route, claiming that Trump's numbers were up -- in this case, at 44 percent in the first poll after the shutdown ended -- because "Gallup found that Americans credited the president with ending the shutdown" while also claiming that only "the mainstream media blamed Trump for the shutdown." But Sheffield ignored another Gallup poll finding that 50 percent of Americans believed that Democratic leaders in Congress acted more responsibly during the shutdown, while ly 39 percent believed Trump did.
MRC Still Helping Far-Right Activist Play The Victim Topic: Media Research Center
Last November, the Media Research Center was crying that far-right activist Laura Loomer became the victim of "Twitter's war on conservative thought," laughably calling her a "journalist" and hiding just how far-right and hateful and Islamophobic she is.
Well, the MRC isn't done trying to turn an extremist into a martyr. A Feb. 6 post by Alexander Hall complains that Loomer was banned from PayPal, including a quote from her that she was banned "for no reason whatsoever." Hall, to his credit, didn't call Loomer the "journalist" that she is not, and admitted she is a "right-wing provocateur" and "an activist and performance artist." Hall uncritically repeated the platforms from which Loomer has been removed and let her whine without challenge that "the left" is targeting her.
But as before, Hall doesn't want to give his readers the details of Loomer's extreme behavior. For instance, Hall let Loomer complain she's been banned from Uber and Lyft -- but didn't explain that it's because she went on an Islamophobic rant complaining that the ride-sharing services employ Muslim drivers. And handcuffing yourself to the door to Twitter's headquarters is a desperate cry for attention, not "performance art."
Nevertheless, Hall felt the need to lecture: "The question here is where the legal distinction lies between core values and political ideology. There is a difference between saying one cannot bake a gay wedding cake for religious reasons, but can offer other items versus denying all of one’s services because you don’t like a person’s political ideology." But Hall presents no evidence Loomer has been de-platformed for "political ideology" alone. Indeed, the evidence shows -- if Hall had bothered to present it to the MRC's readers -- that Loomer engages in hateful, extremist and discriminatory behavior.
But Loomer's de-platforming fulfills the MRC's narrative of purported persecution of conservatives on social media, so Hall will continue to give her martyrdom she doesn't deserve.