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Tuesday, October 22, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC vs. Google
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is going after the search-engine giant with some less-than-convincing weapons: "whistleblowers" with far-right sympathies and a Google-hating researcher using dubious data. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:45 PM EDT
Cleanup Mode: CNS Tries To Fix Trump Claim On China And The Bidens
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com writer Melanie Arter served up another one of her Trump stenography specials in an Oct. 3 article:

China and Ukraine should investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters prior to heading to Florida, the president was asked what he hoped Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would do about the Bidens after his phone call with Ukraine.

“Well, I would think if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the Bidens. It's a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens, because how does a company that's newly formed, and all these companies – and by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump said.

This invitation by Trump to a foreign government to investigate a political opponent didn't go over well, especially since the impeachment inquiry is centered on his attempt to get a different foreign government to investigate the same political opponent. So, a couple days later, CNS went into cleanup mode by suggesting  that Trump was merely joking (though Arter didn't indicate he was doing so).

Thus, in a Oct. 7 article, Arter quoted a chief Trump defending trying to retcon and spin away Trump's remarks:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” on Sunday that he doesn’t think President Donald Trump was serious about China investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

When asked whether he thinks it’s appropriate for Trump to ask China and Ukraine to investigate Biden, Jordan said, “George, you really think he was serious about thinking that China’s going to investigate the Biden family?”

“He said it right there in public,” Stephanopolous said.

Jordan said Trump has been tougher on China than any other president, and the president wants to make sure China quits stealing America’s intellectual property and starts abiding by international trade norms.

Jordan said he wished there was the same outrage from the media when the DNC hired a foreigner who worked with the Russians to dig up dirt on the Trump.

The same day, Arter penned a different article by a different Trump defender pushing the same just-kidding talking point:

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he doubts that President Donald Trump was serious when he called on China last week to investigate the Bidens.

“I doubt if the China comment was serious to tell you the truth,” Blunt said, adding that he hadn’t talked to Trump about his comments and doesn’t know what the president was thinking, “but I do know he loves to bait the press.”

Blunt said he baits the press “almost every day” to see what they will talk about.

Two days later, on Oct. 9, Arter eventually wrote about Biden's response to Trump's demand. Unlike with her original bit of Trump stenography, she allowed another side of the story to be told in the form of Trump tweeting in response to Biden.

It wasn't until a nearly week later, on Oct. 14 -- 11 days after the original story broke -- that Arter got around to quoting a Republicanb who disagreed with Trump's call for China to investigate the Bidens:

Asked whether it is appropriate for President Donald Trump to say that China should investigate the Bidens, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “Of course not.”

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Cruz said, “Of course, not. Elections in the U.S. should be by Americans, and it's not the business of foreign countries, any foreign countries, to be interfering in our elections.”

[...]

“Listen, foreign countries should stay out of American elections. That's true for Russia. That's true for Ukraine. That's true for China. That's true for all of them. It should be the American people deciding elections. I don't know what Rudy's been saying. I do know, though, that we should decide our elections. It should be the American people making those decisions,” Cruz said.

That's life as a pro-Trump stenographer at CNS. And even then, she wasn't so dedicated to the job that she could be moved to figure out how to spell George Stephanopoulos' name correctly.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:53 AM EDT
Monday, October 21, 2019
Newsmax Co-Hosts Democratic Debate In Iowa
Topic: Newsmax

Back in 2011, Newsmax tried to host a Republican presidential debate that would have been moderated by ... Donald Trump (whom Newsmax had been building up as a possible presidential candidate). Even with a former CNN executive producing the debate and a motley group of conservatives endorsing it (Steve King, anyone?), doubts about whether Trump would keep his word to endorse the Republican nominee and not run as a third-party candidate kept candidates away (only two committed to taking part) and the debate was canceled.

Now, Newsmax is putting together something a little smaller in scale: a town hall in Iowa this week for Democratic presidential candidates co-sponsored by a libera-leaning Hispanic group.

An Oct. 18 Newsmax by Bill Hoffman article proclaimed:

On Thursday, October 24th, Newsmax TV and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) will co-host a two-hour Presidential Town Hall meeting featuring top Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nomination.

The LULAC-Newsmax Town Hall will include candidates Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro. The program will air live from the Des Moines Events Center in Iowa.

The Town Hall will begin at 8 p.m. ET, and Newsmax will air a pre-Town Hall starting at 7 p.m. ET. The program will open with a message from Domingo Garcia, LULAC’s national president. The co-moderators for the Town Hall will be Newsmax TV’s John Bachman and Spectrum News 1’s Annette Garcia.

This Presidential Town Hall will focus on issues of importance to all Americans and the impact policies will have for Hispanic voters in Iowa and across the nation.

The event is expected to draw more than 800 people, and will be attended by more than 500 eligible and registered Latino voters from the Des Moines area. Iowa is the home to an estimated 73,000 Latino voters.

Because none of the questions directed to the candidates are known in advance, the Presidential Town Hall promises to be lively and unpredictable, and a potential game-changer in the Democrats’ quest for their nominee.

Hoffman also did a follow-up interview with LULAC president Domingo Garcia playing up how the town hall "will show Americans that the Latino vote is truly up for grabs."

The stakes are a bit lower this time -- it's earlier in the primary process than its 2011 attempt, and it has a partner different enough from Newsmax to at least plausibly claim some bipartisan motive. (Fun fact: LULAC's Iowa chapter called for King's resignation over his "many years of hateful, divisive and racist statements.") Still, only four candidates, all of whom (with the possible exception of Sanders) are considered lower-tier, have signed on.And Newsmax TV is not exactly a broadcasting powerhouse, though perhaps a better choice than its 2011 broadcast partner, the sparsely watched ION Television.

But low stakes come with low expectations, and this might just be the best way for Newsmax to learn how to do one of these things.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2019 9:20 PM EDT
MRC Gives Shepard Smith A Less-Than-Fond Farewell From Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so far to the right that it thinks anyone who continually spout right-wing, pro-Trump propaganda is a "liberal." Which is why, despite treating Fox News with kid globes, it has long despised news anchor Shepard Smith for actually living up to the fair-and-balanced slogan the channel had for years. An Aug. 29 post by Mark Finkelstein, reacting badly to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough saying "In Shep We Trust," summed up the prevailing anti-Shep attitude at the MRC: "On everything from downplaying the problems associated with illegal immigration, to defending the Clintons against charges of profiteering, to suggesting President Trump bore responsibility for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Smith reliably toes the liberal line."

Suffice it to say that when Smith abruptly announced he was leaving Fox News, the MRC was all too happy to help the channel shove him out the door. It didn't start that way at first; Curtis Houck's Oct. 11 post announcing Smith's departure  was largely straightforward and free of snark, though he did insist that Smith was "a straight news anchor with a penchant to lean leftward that ingratiated him with the anti-Fox crowd and liberal media elites." But the bashing began soon afterward -- a Twitter thread later that day rehashed the MRC's hatred of Smith, snarling: "'Straight news'? 'Just the facts'? Don't buy that myth."

The MRC's chief Smith-hater, Tim Graham, could only sputter whataboutisms in responding to people who lamented Smith's departure. He ranted in an Oct. 12 post:

NPR's longtime loathing of Fox News approached Maximum Shamelessness on Friday night when NPR anchor Ari Shapiro suggested that Shepard Smith abruptly leaving Fox looked like "a purge based on purity." As if NPR has a pile of conservatives on staff for balance? 

[...]

The notion that Shep Smith didn't take a side is just as ridiculous as The New York Times when it used the motto "without fear or favor."

Graham's Smith-bashing (and deflectionary whataboutism) got even more unhined in an Oct. 18 post:

The Drudge Report is passing along an article by Gerry Smith at Bloomberg hitting the predictable and hyperbolic note that somehow, Chris Wallace is the only remaining example of "news" at Fox News after Shepard Smith suddenly resigned. The headline carried a Big Gulp of hyperbole: "Meet the New Face of the Trump Resistance at Fox News."

Pointed questions to this administration don't equal #Resistance. This is the same Wallace that thought CNN's White House Resister Jim Acosta "embarrassed himself" by yelling at the president about a caravan of illegal immigrants. 

Smith's experts all lined up with the CNN mantra that Fox can't handle the "truth" and "realism" is defined as insisting Trump is coming mentally unglued.

Then again -- given that the MRC has never objected to it -- Graham probably thinks that Wallace was being fair and balanced whwen he gave Republican politician Paul Ryan a birthday cake in 2012.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EDT
WND Adds Gay-Hater Scott Lively As Weekly Columnist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Professional gay-hater Scott Lively has long been a friend of similarly gay-hating WorldNetDaily, touting his discredited book "The Pink Swastika" and backing him in a lawsuit over his anti-gay activities in Uganda. WND has published columns by Lively for years, but not until recently did it make him a regular weekly columnist.

Lively declared at the start of his Aug. 5 column: "This is the first of a weekly column I will write for WND after several years of publishing occasional articles here. I consider WND to be the bravest and most biblically grounded conservative news and opinion source on the internet, and it is an honor to become a regular contributor."

The resdt of his column was Lively's usual anti-LGBT claptrap, ranting against "the LGBT threat of personal destruction to those who oppose them." Of course, Lively advocates the personal destruction of those who oppose him; he supported a proposed law in Uganda that would criminalize homosexuality (but denies he supported a death-penalty clause that was ultimately dropped).

Lively served up more of the same in later columns:

On Aug. 12, he touted how the Bible listed homosexuality among "capital crimes," hastily adding: "This is NOT to endorse or promote capital punishment of homosexuals under the letter of today's secular laws, even though the implicit moral principles of God's law-above-the-law remain constant and binding." Still, he huffed that "homosexuals have accurately been called "deviants" from time immemorial, and why authentic Christianity never condones or accommodates homosexuality or any of the sexual sins God condemns."

On Aug. 19, he lamented that "we've passed the point of no return in the collapse of Judeo-Christian civilization," adding: "Our 'Donald Trump reprieve' may continue into a second term, but even so, the most central aspects of the eventual Antichrist government per Revelation 11:7-8 – homosexuality and polytheism – continue to advance globally under his reign." He also announced he had moved to Memphis to own a Bible college.

On Aug. 26, he argued that "societal acceptance of homosexual perversion" was a "greater sin" than abortion and that "as much as I still believe Donald Trump is God's man in the White House – like a warts-and-all Old Testament-style figure from the book of Judges – he is deliberately facilitating, not opposing, the LGBT agenda within his MAGA plan."

On Sept. 9, he huffed about "iconic former Christian strongholds that have been conquered by the LGBTs" and described Pete Buttigieg's husband as "Buttigieg's sodomy partner in a false 'marriage.'"

On Sept. 23, he insisted that real Christians must discriminate against the LGBT community and that idea of homophobia (which he clearly suffers from) is merely an example of "the left's abuse of language."

On Oct. 7, he called transgenderism "self-evident mental illness"  anbd promotes a book he wrote that "offers my Bible-based analysis of the centrality of the LGBT movement and agenda in the last days and incorporates all major references to homosexuality from Genesis to Revelation. I assert that so-called 'gay theology' is the heresy of the last days warned about by the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 2 and that the consistent warning of Scripture is that widespread social acceptance of extreme sexual perversion (most especially homosexuality) is always a harbinger of the wrath of God."

So: more of the same from Lively.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Sunday, October 20, 2019
MRC's Double Standard On Anonymous Whistleblowers, Part 2: The Oppo-Research Link
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've documented, the Media Research Center loves to complain about anonymous sources in the media -- unless those anonymous sources are making claims that advance the MRC's conservative agenda. This hypocrisy continues over the whistleblower who exposed President Trump's quid-pro-quo phone call with the president of Ukraine, whom the MRC has attacked for remaining anonymous (even though the whistleblower's claims have largely been corroborated).

In an Oct. 9 post, Geoffrey Dickens gushed over a claim from the Washington Examiner's Byron York that the whitleblower had a "significant tie to one of the Democratic presidential candidates, complaining that "So far ABC and CBS have spiked the story, even with President Donald Trump tweeting about it on Tuesday evening." But Dickens didn't tell his readers that York's sources for this claim are themselves anonymous; he cites three anonymous people "with knowledge of what was said" by the intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, over the situation, with no on-the-record confirmation.

Of course, fear of being called out on double standards wasn't going to stop the MRC from running with this story. Kristine Marsh got excited when "CBS was the only network to concede that their own reporting corroborated the President's claims" -- though she didn't note whether CBS had on-the-record confirmation of the claim. (Funny how "liberal media" outlets like CBS suddenly become credible when they report something the MRC thinks helps its right-wing agenda.) Marsh also didn't mention the fact that York's sources are anonymous.

Kyle Drennen touted how "as reported by Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the whistleblower having a “political bias” and “professional relationship with one of the 2020 candidates” was something revealed by Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson during recent congressional testimony," complaining that the whistleblower's "attorney denied the connection, but didn’t offer any actual evidence to 'refute' the charge."

When another Washington Examiner article reported that the Joe Biden was the candidate the whistleblower had a relationship with, the MRC pounced on that too, with Curtis Houck turning in the standard MRC "the liberal media won't report this right-wing claim so they're obviously biased" article. Scott Whitlock whined on Oct. 14 that "The fact that the CIA whistleblower had a “professional tie” to Joe Biden still hasn’t garnered any interest on the network morning and evening newscasts. Three and a half days after it was first reported by The Washington Examiner, ABC, CBS and NBC yawned at the story."

But, again, that claim is anonymously sourced; the Examiner article cites only "intelligence officers and former White House officials"  -- specifically, a "retired CIA officer," "an experienced CIA official" and a "former Trump administration official." Neither Houck nor Whitlock told their reader that the Examiner's claims are anonymously sourced.

The MRC will never admit that the Examiner is a conservative outlet and, thus, effectively an opposition-research arm of the Republican Party (like the MRC is). Remember, the MRC has a deal with Examiner columnist Paul Bedard to do a promotion of an MRC item every week as the "Mainstream Media Scream."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2019 6:45 PM EDT
CNS Still Putting Pro-Trump Spin On Syria Withdrawal
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com put a pro-Trump spin on the first week of coverage over President Trump's decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria, thus exposing Kurds in the region to attack from Turkey (which is exactly what happened). That spin continued largely unabated in the second week of coverage.

An Oct. 14 article by Patrick Goodenough noted that Trump's withdrawal was a "widely-criticized decision, but devoted his article entirely to Trump defending his decision and not mentioning what, exactly, those who opposed the decision were criticizing. That was joined by a Goodenough article highlighting further U.S. troop withdrawals "in the face of Turkey's military onslaught," not mentioning that the withdrawals are what's prompting the military onslaught in the first place; it's not until the 22nd paragraph that Goodenough mentions one key reason Trump's decision was criticized, that it could allow ISIS to reconstitute itself. An article by James Carstensen highlighted European Union criticism of Turkey's invasion, but made almost no mention of the U.S. withdrawal that facilitated it.

Meanwhile, Melanie Arter served up a third article featuring Republican Sen. Rand Paul's support of Trump's withdrawal, and Susan Jones played whataboutism in an article highlighting Democratic criticism of Trump's "precision airstrikes" in Syria in response to the country's "gassing of civiliians" while criticizing Trump's withdrawal, not noting the significant differences between the two situations.

On Oct. 15, Goodenough highlighted U.S. sanctions on Turkey "in a bid to pressure its Islamist government to change direction on policies seen as inimical to U.S. interests." It's not until the 21st paragraph that he notes Trump's withdrawal "has drawn flak from critics who argue it amounts to abandoning those Kurdish allies, risks strengthening the hands of Russia and Iran in Syria, and could result in a resurgence of ISIS."

An Oct. 16 article by Arter uncritically repeated another Trump defense of his withdrawal. Goodenough, meanwhile, served up pro-Trump spin on a letter Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under the sycophantic headline: "Trump Urged Erdogan Not to be ‘a Tough Guy’ and ‘a Fool.’ Erdogan Ignored Him and Went Ahead"; Goodenough made no mention of the fact that Trump's letter has been almost universally panned as unprofessional and disrespectful and, thus, utterly ineffective as a tool of diplomacy (Erdogan himself threw the letter away).

The next day, Goodenough repeated a claim from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Trump could adjust his withdrawal decision, claiming that "My experience with the president is that he makes decisions and then absorbs data and facts, evaluates situations"; no mention of why Trump doesn't absorb data and facts before making a decision. Arter did more Trump stenography in another article, repeating claims from White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley's claims that the media is lying about the withdrawal giving Turkey a green light to attack Syria.

Surprisingly, CNS also published an Oct. 17 op-ed from Hans Bader criticizing the withdrawal, highlighting that the Turkish invasion in the face of the U.S. withdrawal has resulted in the deaths of "hundreds of people" and that "the Kurds relied on the Trump administration’s claims to their detriment," adding: "Our shameful treatment of the Kurds is one of many examples of American politicians being unreliable in their dealings with foreign peoples. That discourages people in foreign lands from helping and cooperating with the United States." But Bader also made sure to play whataboutism, referencing what he called "the Obama administration’s even more disastrous military intervention in Libya," which is what got his op-ed published at CNS.

Seemingly to offset that, CNS also published two more columns by Pat Buchanan cheering the withdrawal. 

Meanwhile, the pro-Trump spin continued: Arter touted how Vice President Mike Pence announced that "the United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria, and Turkey will allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone" -- no mention, of course, of the fact that the decision effectively lets Turkey get away with its invasion -- though a follow-up by Goodenough points out that the cease-fire "applies only to one relatively small section of the strip of Syrian territory that Ankara wants as a buffer zone" and quotes a Turkish official admitting that the country got what it wanted under it.

Arter did, however, add a late-Friday article featuring Republican Sen. Mitt Romney's criticism of Trump over the withdrawal.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2019 9:07 PM EDT
Saturday, October 19, 2019
MRC Complains Its 'Right-Wing Media Machine' Is Called Out, Offers Only Whataboutism In Response
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell huff in their Oct. 2 column:

CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy is warning the public about a "right-wing media machine" that has demonstrated "zero willingness to abide by any traditional rules of engagement." That shameless "machine" opposing President Trump's impeachment and removal is, of course, composed of Fox News, talk radio, conservative websites and an "army of trolls" on the internet.

We're all shameless manure spreaders in the eyes of CNN (and its shrinking band of die-hard fans). "The next few months will test the power of this right-wing media machine," Darcy says. "To succeed, it will not only have to suspend reality for its audience, but also feed the millions who watch, listen, and read a counter-narrative to fill actuality's void." Trump's survival depends on this reality-denying machine, Darcy insists: "If Trump sees support on Fox or talk radio erode, it would help shift the tide and give Republicans wiggle room to turn on him."

Darcy, who graduated from college in 2011, is perhaps young enough to have no idea what the left-wing media machine — especially CNN — did to protect and defend Clinton, his lying in court under oath, his lying to the public about his affair with "that woman, Miss Lewinsky" and his attempts to instruct others to lie on his behalf. At a recent panel discussion in New York, Darcy's colleague Brian Stelter yelled that Clinton "was crushed by the media," just "destroyed by the press corps!"

Wolf Blitzer should really take these youngsters out to lunch and tell them how CNN fiercely smeared Clinton's opponents and denounced itself for having reported anything about Clinton's scandalous behavior.

At no point do Graham and Bozell actually address what Darcy said, let alone rebut the claim of a "right-wing media machine" or admit he's a major part of it. Indeed, their MRC has been engaging in machine tactics by aggressively defending Trump in the face of an impeachment inquiry, even embracing conspiracy theories in the process. It's also so eager to make money off defending Trump that it's boldly proclaiming that the facts don't matter.

Instead, they play whataboutism, cherry-picking anecdotes about what the claim the media allegedly did in 1998 during President Clinton's impeachment. One typically lame retort: "Clinton wasn't indecent; the media were. In the Trump era, CNN insists this president is a morally unfit tyrant and the media are the heroic enforcers of fact, oozing integrity in every article and interview."

Graham and Bozell then unironically write: "It's easy to portray your opponent as operating a nefarious 'media machine.' It's easy to say your opponent is 'weaponizing' information or specializes in 'disinformation.'" Instead, that statement leads to a rant that "nobody should put up with the leftist media's duplicity."

But Bozell and Graham never explain why anyone should have to put up with theirs.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 AM EDT
WND's Massie: Jimmy Carter 'Isn't Half The Man President Trump Is'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jimmy Carter was, is and, just like Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren, always will be a liar. And what's more, Carter is a ruthless bigoted racist who hides behind austere images of being a "good ol' boy from 'jo-jah.'"

In my syndicated op-ed titled "Nero in the White House," I wrote: "Three significant historical events have been eclipsed by Obama," the first of which is that Jimmy Carter will no longer be looked upon as the worst president in American history (Sept. 26, 2011).

Well, apparently Carter wants the title back as worst president in American history. He thinks attacking President Trump is the means to have people refresh their memories of his abysmal presidency.

[...]

The American people rejected a second Carter term, favoring instead Ronald Reagan in a landslide. So it's ironic to see Democratic campaign fundraising literature promoting Carter saying: "It would be a disaster to have four more years of Trump." (Democrat campaign fundraising letter; 9/23/2019)

Carter is a pernicious liar and morally opprobrious, but as long as he attacks President Trump he is treated with journalistic amnesia by the vicars of agitprop who worship at the feet of Ba'al.

[...]

Carter isn't half the man President Trump is, and Carter and his bigoted Democratic Party members combined haven't done for America in their history what President Trump has done in three years.

Carter should kiss the feet of Obama for getting him off the hook as the worst president in history. And the Maranatha Baptist Church should be questioned how they can defend having a person like Carter teaching Sunday School. Is the church taking Carter's money and closing its eyes to what he represents?

President Trump has not lied to the public about what he was before God opened his eyes to the evil of abortion and the destruction of family. President Trump, despite being attacked and undermined by Democrats and Republicans alike, continues by the grace of God to "Make America Great Again."

-- Mychal Massie, Oct. 7 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EDT
Friday, October 18, 2019
MRC Joins Right-Wing Revenge Mob Against Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

Revenge is rarely justified and never pretty, as we've seen when the Media Research Center does it. That doesn't keep them from engaging in that ugliness again, of course.

The story begins with a Iowa man, Carson King, whose sign pleading for more beer money via his Venmo account appeared on ESPN's college football show and he got thousands of dollars in contributions, which he ended up donating to the local children's hospital; additional donations pushed that amount to over $1 million. A Des Moines Register reporter looked into his background and found some offensive tweets he had issued during high school, which prompted a pre-article apology from King.

But the right-wing media is always in search of a new victim, and King fit the bill -- and any old villain will do in that victim's defense. And who does nonsensical attacks on the media better than the MRC? Curtis Houck signed up for this mission, and he had his vitriol thesaurus ready to roll for a sept. 25 post:

Illustrating the putrid state of the liberal media and their gleeful embrace of the “cancel culture,” the Gannett-owned Des Moines Register and reporter Aaron Calvin decided late Tuesday to impugn the character of Iowa State-fan-turned-cancer fundraiser Carson King using tweets from when the 24-year-old Iowan was 16.

Their reason? It was just “a routine background check” and done for “the public good.”

King took the high road, insisting that the newspaper “has been nothing but kind in all of their coverage, and I appreciate the reporter pointing out the post to me.” However, it doesn’t change the fact that a major media organization decided to engage in character assassination of someone who, if it weren’t for his act of kindness, would be a private citizen.

But Houck's fellow right-wing mobsters -- which he innocuously credited as "our friends and other accounts across Twitter " -- dug into the reporter's tweeting history and found offensive tweets there, and the revenge plot was set into motion:

So to be clear, dumb tweets from someone raising money for children with cancer is a horrendous offense. But racist, ugly tweets from the journalist assigned to scrutinizing this person like an elected official? Supposedly, it’s more of an imperative to destroy the former.

Perhaps folks should keep all this mind before deciding to do something undeniably good or risk having the news media try to destroy them.

At no point does Houck challege the accuray of the reporter's work; he's simply mad that it was reported at all.

But Houck and his right-wing mob got its scalp; the reporter was fired. But that wasn't enough for Houck -- he wanted more blood, more revenge. He screeched the next day in a headline with "WIMPS" in all-caps:

With a stench of arrogance that can only emanate from the news media, Des Moines Register executive editor Carol Hunter published a Thursday night column expressing no apologies for their campaign to ruin viral sensation Carson King “because readers depend on us to tell a complete story” and, as per her past statement, was done for “the public good.”

Hunter also revealed reporter Aaron Calvin was “no longer with the Register” after his ghoulish hatchet job against the cancer fundraiser over tweets King sent in high school, but the damage was done. As if they had let Jay Rosen or Brian Stelter pen this, she demonstrated a holier-than-thou proclamation from on high to us peons below that the paper will do better. Yeah right.

[...]

And in true Oliver Darcy or Stelter fashion, Hunter lashed out at those criticizing them: “We hadn’t yet published anything about his tweets when some people on social media began accusing the Register of doing King wrong and ruining a potential opportunity to continue raising millions of dollars to help sick children.”

On her first point (“Doing background work”), Hunter lectured readers like kindergarteners: “Some of you wonder why journalists think it’s necessary to look into someone’s past. It’s essential because readers depend on us to tell a complete story.”

Funny, because Houck has been an enthusiastic mob member with even ghreater arrogance, all too happy to destroy a reporter's career not because he reported anything wrong or false, but because he reported something Houck didn't like. Houck is the one being holier than thou by decreeing -- along with his mob -- who can never be critically reported upon and how pure the reporters must be who report on them.

The MRC doesn't care about journalism -- it cares only about working the refs (in this case, the media) to advance its political agenda. This sort of revenge campaign is working the refs in its most extreme form.

Houck is too indoctrinated in the MRC's anti-media philosophy to understand -- or care -- that he's damaging people; after all, damaging people who get in the way of his employer's agenda is what he's been trained to do.

Revenge is not "media research." But Houck thinks differently.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
CNS' Love Affair With Candace Owens Continues
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've reported before on CNSNews.com's love for right-wing activist Candace Owens, to the point that it falsely credits her as the "founder" of the Blexit movement to turn blacks away from the Democratic Party (the actual founder claims that Owens co-opted her movement and has threatened to sue Owens over it) and ignores the controversy of her claim that Hitler would have been OK if he didn't have "dreams outside of Germany."

That love has continued to spread over the past few months, uncritically promoting more of her claims:

Most of these were written by Craig Bannister, who helpfully adds in most of them that "Owens’ Blexit movement is an initiative to introduce conservative values to urban society." Actually, her Blexit website is filled with falsehoods.

Naturally, all this got Owens invited to the White House for a "young Black Leadership Summit" in early October, and CNS reported on that too. First came a post by managing editor Michael W. Chapman echoing CNS' descent into divine-Donald thinking:

During the Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House on Friday, female Ethiopian immigrant Mahalet went to the podium to pray for the nation and especially for President Donald Trump. Mahalet thanked God for "giving us a great leader like Mr. Donald Trump," and asked God to "protect us" and "protect our presuident."

Mahalet was born in Ethiopia. She was abandoned by her parents and eventually adopted at age 11 by a Christian family from the United States. Vidoe [sic] of her prayer was taken by Turning Point USA.

[...]

She continued, "All right. Dear God, I just want to say thank you for giving us this opportunity to be in the White House. Thank you for giving us a great leader like Mr. Donald Trump. And I would like to thank you for waking up our nation."

"God protect us," she prayed.  "God protect our president. He’s going through so much now, so much scrutiny. God, I believe you gave him to us and I know he’s going to accomplish so much more. I know you have more for us. Jesus, I ask you to protect us and walk with us."

A second article by Arter touted Owens' ridiculous claim that "for the first time in decades, we had somebody who was telling us the truth, and he just kept on telling it all around the country, dropping bars. Honestly, Trump might be my favorite rapper right now." The video accompanying Arter's article weirdly superimposed a label on top of the C-SPAN video it used identifying Owens as the "Blexit Founder" -- which, again, she isn't.

Meanwhile, CNS has said nothing about Owens' bizarre tweet last week about Matt Lauer being innocent of sexual assault allegations because the woman he allegedly assaulted continued to have an affair with him (the woman said she was afraid Lauer would ruin her career).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Thursday, October 17, 2019
The MRC's Idea Of A 'Legitimate Journalist'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock wrote in a Sept. 26 post (bolding in original):

Joe Biden took another slap at the press on Wednesday night, falsely stating that “no legitimate journalist” gives any credibility to claims that, as vice president, he improperly  intervened on behalf of son Hunter Biden. After Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel wondered about the “gossip element” of the Ukraine story, Biden responded with an unprompted attack on unnamed reporters: “Look, you know, when you step back from it, this is not about me and my family. There's not one single solitary legitimate journalist in the world given any credibility to this.” 

He added, “They've debunked all of what he had to say for the past —  since Giuliani started this a while ago.” Of course, Kimmel let this go and didn’t challenge the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

In fact, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon has written about Biden’s efforts on behalf of his son. Writing in The Hill, Solomon explained: 

As I have reported, the pressure began at least as early as January 2016, when the Obama White House unexpectedly invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington to discuss fighting corruption in the country.

The meeting, promised as training, turned out to be more of a pretext for the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine’s prosecutors to drop an investigation into the Burisma Holdings gas company that employed Hunter Biden and to look for new evidence in a then-dormant criminal case against eventual Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a GOP lobbyist.

In a separate story from April, Solomon detailed: 

At the time, Burisma [Holdings] allegedly was paying then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter as both a board member and a consultant. More than $3 million flowed from Ukraine to an American firm tied to Hunter Biden in 2014-15, bank records show.

According to [political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington Andrii] Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine’s chief prosecutor in March 2016. 

Of course, Kimmel didn’t mention any of this or challenge Biden’s attacks on the press.

And, of course, Whitlock didn't mention that John Solomon isn't exactly a "legitimate journalist." He's a right-wing shill who's working for the benefit of Trump, and his Ukraine narrative is factually flawed -- fake news, one might say. In fact, Solomon worked with Trump atorney Rudy Giuliani -- who leaked to Solomon a dossier regarding his dirty-tricks work in Ukraine -- to publicize this story (factual flaws and all) with the goal of hurting Biden presidential campaign and boost Trump's re-election. Solomon's shoddy reporting has paid off in a sweet new contributor spot at Fox News.

But Whitlock and thte MRC aren't interested in looking into Solomon's veracity -- at least, as long as he tells them what they want to hear.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
CNS Plays Up 'Eat The Babies' Rant At AOC Town Hall, Censors Fact That It Was A LaRouche Stunt
Topic: CNSNews.com

Patrick Goodenough dutifully wrote in an Oct. 4 CNSNews.com article:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) faced awkward moments during a town hall meeting on Thursday evening, when a woman stood up and said it was time to “start eating babies” to save the planet from imminent climate-induced doom.

The incident in Corona, New York sparked some heated posts on Twitter later, with President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Ocasio-Cortez herself among those weighing in.

“We’re not going to be here for much long [sic] because of the climate crisis,” the woman began, after standing up uninvited and being handed a microphone.

“We only have a few months left!” she declared. “I love that you support the Green [New] Deal but it’s not ge – getting rid of fossil fuel is not going to solve the problem fast enough.”

The woman, who spoke with a northern European accent and appeared to be deadly earnest, then referred to recent news reports about a Swedish professor having said “we can eat dead people.”

Goodenough went on to tout how President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. referenced the incident to attack Ocasio-Cortez, then highlighted an article abourt "a phenomenon called 'eco-anxiety,' which the writer described as 'a fairly recent psychological disorder afflicting an increasing number of individuals who worry about the environmental crisis.'"

Buty, strangely, Goodenough didn't update his article to report the pertinent the fact that this was a stunt perpetrated by a supporter of Lyndon LaRouche, whose extremist followers once purported to be  Democrats but are now supporters of President Trump. No other CNS article followed up the story with this important information.

Not exactly journalistic fairness, is it?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Tim Graham's Double Standard on Softball Interviews
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Sept. 26 post, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham ranted about Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy's "day of softballs," in a series of TV interviews, claiming that the interviewers "often come across as stenographers -- extremely accomodating, and not at all challenging." three days later, Graham was promoting a softball interview his favorite TV channel conducted with his favorite right-wing radio host. Graham began his Sept. 29 post this way:

Fox & Friends invited author and national talk-show host Mark Levin on Sunday to discuss the budding effort by House Democrats to impeach President Trump. Levin ripped the media repeatedly, and protested the idea that the Democrats are going to try and remove the president from office by using an anonymous "whistleblower" who didn't even have first-hand access to the events that are allegedly impeachable.

Graham somehow didn't mention that Levin also has a show on Fox News, which means this was never going to be a contentious interview -- it would serve as a platform for Levin to push his anti-media narrative at a friendly venue.

"Fox & Friends" co-host Ed Henry even gamely allowed himself to be a (mild) punching bag for the good of advancing Levin's narrative -- which, of course, is not the way Graham presented it, stating only that "Levin told Ed Henry, 'You know, Ed, I've been watching you and a lot of reporters, and you haven't once asked for the identity of the so-called whistleblower. Why is that?'" Grahamcontinued to portray Henry as a non-conservative (and this, suspect) interviewer: "Henry pressed on Levin with the usual morally intimidating question: 'Are you okay with a president asking his counterpart -- this is a simple yes or no -- to dig up dirt on former vice president Joe Biden and his son?' Many reporters using this line of questioning find nothing unseemly about President Obama and his government trying to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016. They don't talk about it."

But "President Obama and his government" did not spy on Trump's campaign -- it was gathering information on Trump campaign officials who had contacts with Russian operatives.

Graham didn't note that Levin didn't bother to answer Henry's question, instead uncritically quoting Levin changing the subject by saying that Trump "wouldn't have to reaise the issue" of the Bidens if the media "would do your damn job."

So irt appears Graham loves softball interviews after all -- when his ideological buddies are on the receiving end, anyway.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EDT
WND Columnist: Trump Deserves A Nobel Prize!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Simply by pulling U.S. forces out of Syria, the work to end the North Korean crisis and the efforts to end the Kashmir crisis, President Donald Trump is a far more worthy Nobel Peace Prize winner than Barack Obama ever was. He received the Nobel in the midst of escalating the war in Afghanistan, days after taking office. It was a scandal and a strong signal that the Norwegian Nobel Committee is politically rigged. Obama had done nothing to fulfill the Alfred Nobel requirements for the Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has become notorious for almost solely giving the prize to the liberal U.S. media favorites, disregarding the will of Alfred Nobel.

[...]

I assert that Donald Trump is by far the most worthy candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019. President Trump was a notable peacemaker in the North Korea crisis, which implied nuclear threats, and succeeded in averting an escalation; his repeated effort to halt the Syria war and now pullout has led to avoiding an all-out world war. His work to end the relentless neocon aggression on Russia is highly admirable as we now are all post Russia-gate, which turned out to be a hoax. Or an attempted coup, as director Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch asserted in a "Herland Report" TV show.

But will Trump get the prize in the current climate where the Norwegian Committee, with leaders that hardly speak English, with members lacking broad international experience, stuck in their ignorant Oslo bubble where the only respected view to have is the progressive, extreme leftist one? I say this as a Norwegian with long experience in participating in its media: The Norwegian press is completely and utterly submerged in outdated left-wing propaganda to a degree that reminds us more of the Soviet Union than anything else. They are so controlled and blind to reality that they don't even understand it themselves.

Totally sold to the narrative of the owners of CNN and New York Times, the Committee has the past years reduced itself to no more than an extended wing of the endless war-wishing, American neocon movement. It is a shocking scandal. The Prize goes to 15-year-olds from Bangladesh or the forests of Congo rather than to world leaders who have averted world wars.

-- Hanne Nabintu Herland, Oct. 9 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT

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