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Saturday, November 2, 2019
MRC's Double Standard on Repeating Talking Points
Topic: Media Research Center

Bill D'Aogstino intoned in an Oct. 17 post:

Television journalists these days sound so similar to Democrats on impeachment that it's nearly impossible to tell them apart. Weeks before the impeachment inquiry was even announced, talking heads were passing off Democratic talking points as objective information about the President's alleged wrongdoing.

What follows is a compilation video of some of the liberal media's greatest minds spouting DNC talking points. These journalists have not had their words taken out of context while attempting to summarize the Democrats’ position. Whether or not they they were intentionally regurgitating the words of Democrats, they did so without attributing their words to anyone.

First: There's a rich irony in the MRC accusing the media of following Democratic talking points, given how much in lockstep the MRC is in following Trump White House talking points on the Ukraine scandal. Indeed, the very act of accusing the media of following Democratic talking points is itself a Trump White House talking point that D'Agostino is eagerly parroting.

Second: D'Agostino is misleading here by claiming that all these TV statements were made by "journalists"; in fact, many of the people in his video were acting as analysts or commentators, not journalists. Carl Bernstein, for instance, hasn't been involved in day-to-day reporting for years.

Third: D'Agostino's claim that "These journalists have not had their words taken out of context while attempting to summarize the Democrats’ position" is an obvious lie. How can a two-second clip of a "journalist" -- some of which are simply sentence fragments -- be anything other than out of context? D'Agostino can't be bothered to supply the sources of his clips so we can judge for ourselves how much in context they are.

But honesty and context are not what D'Agostino and the MRC are trying to engage in. They want clicks from their fellow right-wingers, and they want to defend the president by pushing his talking points.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 AM EDT
Friday, November 1, 2019
MRC Sports Blogger Suddenly Wants Sports Folks To Talk About Non-Sports Stuff
Topic: Media Research Center

Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson loves to whine about sports figures opining about things other than sports, as his/her Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome makes all too clear, but that's always been a dishonest complaint -- Maxson is only opposed to non-sports opinions are aren't conservative. He has no problem with, for example, a former NFL player making a video for right-wing PragerU arguing against reparations, something conservatives also argue against.

Maxson's double standard popped up again in the controversy over the NBA and China, with Maxson suddenly on the side of sports figures who want to say non-sports things -- that is, when it comes to support anti-China protests in Hong Kong. In an Oct. 9 post, Maxson trashed ESPN -- whom he/she regularly attacks for the crime of not sticking to sports -- by claiming "its television commentators treat the controversy with kid gloves," adding that "ESPN has a working agreement with Tencent, a large Chinese internet company that covers the NBA, and may not want to anger its partners."

Two days later, Maxson criticized the "woke coach" for the NBA's Golden State Warriors for refusing to comment about the NBA-China situation while he "ridiculed President Trump and condemned America for abuses and gun violence. A couple days after that, Maxson touted how a newspaper columnist "took the NBA apart for acquiescing to China's iron-fisted tyrants."

Similarly, Maxson cheered an attack on LeBron James over a not-very-good statement regarding China, then trashed someone who defended him.

The NBA and some players didn't exactly handle the China situation well. But Maxson merely showed his same old double standard.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
CNS Still Loves DiGenova's Insult Comedy -- But Censors His Involvement In Ukraine Scandal
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how enamored CNSNews.com has become with the insult-comedy stylings of right-wing lawyer Joe DiGenova. He's contributed a couple more to the ouvere over the past few months, lovingly documented by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman:

What you're not going read about from Chapman or anyone else at CNS, however, is the involvement of DiGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, in the Ukraine scandal for which President Trump is being scrutinized (and which Chapman uncritically let DiGenova bizarrely denounce as "regicide").

In late September, Fox News -- on which DiGenova and Toensing are frequent guests -- reported that the pair were working with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in an off-the-books operation to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, with the apparent knowledge of Trump. (They deny that Trump knew about it.)

A few days later, it was revealed that DiGenova and Toensing are representing Dmitry Firtash, a Ukranian oligarch fighting extradition to the U.S. on bribery charges. It was later discovered that Firtash has paid the pair around $1 million for their defense, while he was also helping Giuliani dig up Biden dirt.

It has since turned out that another of DiGenova and Toensing's clients is John Solomon, who has been writing pro-Trump stories spinning away the Ukraine scandal for The Hill (which he recently left). DiGenova has apparently been leaking information from Firtash to Solomon for publication.

You'd think all this intrigue would be worthy of news, and it is -- or it would be if you're not a pro-Trump outlet like CNS and looking to curry favor with the president.

CNS is very much sticking to the Trump White House's preferred narrative on the Ukraine scandal, and telling readers the full truth about DiGenova does not align with that narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Thursday, October 31, 2019
AIM Hires Ex-Project Veritas Staffer As New President
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An Oct. 18 Accuracy in Media post proclaimed:

It has been an incredible 50 years for Accuracy in Media. Founded in 1969 by the legendary Reed Irvine, we have successfully educated millions of Americans about radical bias in the mainstream media.

However, fake news is proliferating more than ever, and not just among traditional media outlets. Social media titans like Facebook and Twitter have become the most popular places to consume news — but they are openly blocking freedom-oriented viewpoints from being shared. For that reason, our organization is making a change of direction, and we are thrilled to announce a change of personnel.

We have hired Adam Guillette, the new president of Accuracy in Media. Adam previously served as a vice president for James O’Keefe and Project Veritas. In that capacity, he helped grow their budget from $5.5 million to more than $11 million in just two years, while also enabling Project Veritas to expose CNN, Google, Facebook and Twitter. Prior to that Adam launched the Florida chapter of Americans for Prosperity; defeating over $320 million in tax increases.

This is not too much of a surprise, given that AIM has promoted and defended Project Veritas' questionable antics for years-- even defending O'Keefe's biggest screw-ups.

A 2010 post by the pseudonymous "Jonah Knox" (who also wrote anti-Obama screeds for AIM) tried to whitewash a notorious incident in which O'Keefe planned to lure a female CNN correspondent onto a boat filled with sex toys and film his attempted seduction of her. Knox at first dismissed it by claiming that "O'Keefe never actually did anything," adding that "There are legitimate questions one could ask O’Keefe about what he may have intended to do. But these are all questions about what did not occur." Knox then justified it anyway because CNN was working on a program about young conservative activists and "CNN clearly has a left-wing agenda that has no place for conservative ideas or conservatives themselves—other than when they can use conservatives to push the leftist narrative of right-wing 'hate'"; he then attacked conservatives for backing away from O'Keefe over the incident and insisting that "James O’Keefe deserved our support in the face of the CNN assault against him."

So, yeah, Guillette will likely fit in well at AIM.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 PM EDT
MRC Embraces Russian-Linked Gabbard To Bash Media, Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

Conservatives hae long loved Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard for being useful to their agenda. And moving in lockstep with its "news" division CNSNews.com, the MRC proper is boosting her because she's attacking conservative-friendly targets.

In an Oct. 5 post, Curtis Houck cheered when Gabbard "took a giant whack at the liberal media during Tuesday night’s 2020 Democratic debate, taking issue with debate partners CNN and The New York Times as being overly hostile due to her foreign policy views." It wasn't until a few paragraphs later taht Houck conceded that those outlets might have a point, admitting that "much has been written about Gabbard’s closeness to despicable Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, her skepticism about Assad’s culpability in chemical weapons attacks, and acknowledging how Russian bots and Russian media have praised her." But apparently that's all good in Houck's eyes because "she knocked the two far-left media companies running the debate."

It goes to show how utterly skewed Houck's political lens is -- warped from years at the MRC -- that he considers CNN and the Times to be "far-left."

Yet when Hillary Clinton pointed out that Gabbard is "the favorite of the Russians" and may be groomed by them to become a third-party presidential candidate next year -- you know, basically what Houck conceded to be true about her -- the MRC ran to Gabbard's defense, or at least used the accusation to have a collective fit of Hillary Derangement Syndrome.

Nicholas Fondacaro went into full-blown derangement meltdown mode, declaring that "any rational person who listened to Hillary Clinton’s recent suggestion that Congresswoman and combat veteran Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) was a Russian plant in the 2020 election understood it to be the ramblings of a person unglued," calling them "baseless smears" (didn't he read Houck's post?) and bizarrely insisting that the media didn't report on the claims to his satisfaction "possibly to keep such an accusation as a viable smear against President Trump."

P.J. Gladnick didn't dispute Clinton's claim, but he did baselessly speculate it was made "because Hillary needs yet another excuse why she lost due to the Russians." Mark Finkelstein, meanwhile, tried to play down Gabbard's Russian ties, complaining that an MSNBC segment identified only three Russian sympathizers who have donated to Gabbard's campaign: "an NYU professor; someone who has actually been arrested by Russian authorities; and [an RT employee using the alias] Goofy Grapes."

Kristine Marsh echoed Fondacaro's Clinton derangement:

The media’s happily taking their marching orders from Hillary Clinton again, since she’s thrust herself into the spotlight in recent weeks, even parroting her shocking claim that 2020 Democrat candidate Tulsi Gabbard is a “Russian asset.” The View hosts similarly were shameless in their praise over Clinton’s “deep knowledge” and accuracy, even claiming she had been “exonerated” and “was right about almost everything.”

Meanwhile, Houck forgot he substantiated how "Russian bots and Russian media have praised her" just a few days earlier and pretended Hillary said a terrible thing as an excuse for the usual lame MRC media-bashing:

Appearing twice in as many days on CNN, The Hill’s Rising co-host and former MSNBC host Krystal Ball attempted to breakthrough the CNN machine and their establishment crowd by calling out Hillary Clinton for referring to 2020 Democrat, Congresswoman, combat veteran, and Hawaii Army National Guard Major Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian asset.

Further, Ball attempted to make the argument that if droves of people were repeatedly accused of being Russian assets or ideas or campaigns were deemed Russian-backed, then nothing is. Unfortunately, CNN’s Zuckerbots weren’t interested in this point of view.

The MRC also published a column by Cal Thomas accusing Hillary of having "offered no evidence to support her allegations" and defending Gabbard as someone "who joined the military shortly after 9/11" and who "fired back in the take-no-prisoner style of President Trump," then baselessly whining that "It appears Clinton cannot get over her 2016 election defeat and so she blames everyone but herself."

This is what happens when mindless bashing of the media and the Clintons comes before intellectual or ideological consistency.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:18 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Working the Refs: Debate Division
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center follows the same template for every Democratic presidential debate: Attack the moderator's purported "liberal bias" beforehand, then pick out questions afterwards to try and prove that the so-called analysis was correct. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EDT
CNS Reporter's Copy-And-Paste Defense of Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

President Trump's most aggressive defender at CNSNews.com is reporter Susan Jones. Over the past month or so, Jones' idea of defending Trump over the Ukraine scandal has been adding chunks of the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to various CNS articles.

A Sept. 27 article by Jones complained that Rep. Adam Schiff, "with a straight face and no hint of a smile," was being criticized for "attributing words to President Trump that Trump never said." by serving up a parody version of the phone call. Jones responded by stating that "Here is what Trump said, according a memorandum summarizing the call," followed by several paragraphs of transcript" while helpfully inserting editorial comments like "Note that the 'favor' involves the origin of the Trump-Russia investigation" and "Note that Zelensky brings up Giuliani."

Jones also uncritically passed along Trump's transcript reference to Crowdstrike without mentioning that he's pushing a conspiracy theory.

In an Oct. 1 article ostensibly about Democrats seeking censure of President Clinton instead of impeachment, Jones again complained that Schiff was "misrepresenting what Trump said -- making Trump’s words sound sinister -- in Schiff’s opening statement at last week’s committee hearing," then added that approximate section of phone call transcript, again inserting a "note that Zelensky brought up Giuliani’s name and referred to 'all the investigations.'"

On Oct. 2, Jones groused that "Democrats, including their liberal media amplifiers, are making much of Mike Pompeo's reluctance to say whether he was listening to President Trump's July 25 phone call to Ukraine President Zelensky, copying and pasting the same selection of transcript from the previous day.

Jones took a break from wholesale transcript insertion for a while, then returned with an Oct. 30 article lamenting that the impeachable offenses Trump is alleged to have committed are so far vaguely defined (as permitted in the Constitution). Jones retorted with a summary of her usual Trump defense:

In his phone call with the newly elected Ukraine president on July 25, President Trump asked Zelensky to "do us a favor" that involved Ukraine's role in the Trump-Russia investigation. The "favor" had nothing to do with Joe Biden or his son Hunter.

Later in the conversation -- after Zelensky mentioned Rudy Giuliani and assured Trump that "all investigations will be openly and candidly" -- Trump said:

... followed by three paragraphs of cut-and-paste transcript.

Jones did punt on the transcript-pasting in an Oct. 29 article, linking to the White House website's version of the transcript and stating only that "The summary of Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky can be read here in its entirety." Shelater wrote up in normal journalistic style "the part of the phone call that sent Democrats into impeachment overdrive," then editorialized (in bad journalistic style): "The 'swamp' that Trump supposedly drained is now rising up against him, with the full support of Democrats and the liberal media."

(Weirdly, in none of these articles does Jones use Zelensky's first name -- too difficult to spell, apparently.)

But Jones' reliance on the White House-released transcript of the phone call may prove to be folly. On top of the transcript not being a fully accurate one -- it's based on "notes and recollections" of staffers who listened to the call -- one of the persons who actually listened to the call, National Security Council staffer Alexander Vindman, testified that he tried but failed to make the transcript more accurate by adding Trump's reference to the name of the company Joe Biden's son had worked for.

Jones wasn't the only CNS writer to rely on the transcript; a Sept. 25 article by Melanie Arter on the release of the transcript included lengthy copy-and-paste sections.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
CNS Falls In Love With Barr's Pro-Religion Speech
Topic: CNSNews.com

How much did CNSNews.com love Attorney General William Barr's speech at Notre Dame in mid-October that cheered religion and attacked secularism? It devoted three "news" side articles and two columns to it.

As it usually does with things it likes, CNS split claims up over several articles, presumably to increase clickability. The first was an anonymous written piece touting how Barr said that the framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that a "free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people." The article repeated that phrase four times -- three times in the body and once more in a transcript -- as well as in the headline.

Craig Bannister then contributed a couple blog posts excerpting other parts of Barr's speech: the first attacking "secular religion" that is supposedly "an inverse of Christian morality," and the second going further on the attack against "militant secularism" purportedly inflicting "organized destruction" on American society by attacking religion and "traditional values."

CNS then called in its favorite dishonest right-wing Catholic, Bill Donohue, to gush all over Barr's speech, proclaiming it "an historically accurate and sociologically sound presentation" that made "astute" points. He conlcuded: "Bill Barr gave a courageous and much-needed statement on the current state of religious liberty. It sounded like it was taken right out of the Catholic League playbook."

This lovefest was capped by a column from CNS' editor in chief, Terry Jeffrey (which seems to have disappeared from the CNS website, possibly lost in the site's redesign; here's the syndicated version at Townhall). Jeffrey loves his football metaphors, and he fully indulged in themhere:

Many Americans know Notre Dame as the place where Knute Rockne once coached the football team and George Gipp -- played by Ronald Reagan in the movie -- was his legendary halfback.

It should now also be noted as the place where Attorney General William P. Barr delivered one of the most important speeches any Cabinet official has given in recent times.

Imagine your team is backed up on its own 1-yard line. On first down, the quarterback hands the ball off to the fullback in a play cautiously designed to put another few yards between the line of scrimmage and the goal line.

The fullback smashes through a defensive tackle, runs over a linebacker, straight-arms a safety straight into the ground and ends up running 99 yards for a touchdown.

Humbly, he does not even spike the ball.

Bill Barr was that fullback last Friday while speaking at Notre Dame Law School.

Of course, Jeffrey and the rest of the CNS crew have been more than happy to spike the ball in Barr's stead (and, yes, the line "free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people" made its sixth appearance at CNS in Jeffrey's column). Indeed, Jeffrey wasn't done with his secondhand football-spiking (or other football metaphors). He cheered Barr's criticism of schools teaching about gender identity that refuse to let children out out, interpreting his words this way: "In other words, if you cannot afford to liberate your child from the government school, you must allow that government agency to teach your child that a boy can become a girl."

At no point in any of these CNSarticles was any criticism of Barr permitted, meaning that it was a completely one-sided presentation. Yet Jeffrey concluded his column by declaring: "Score: Barr 7, secularists 0." It's easy to declare victory when you don't allow the other side a chance to take the field.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
MRC Working-The-Refs Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

We've been documenting the Media Research Center's narrative for attacking Democratic presidential debates: a pre-debate attack on the moderators, followed by post-debate posts making evidence-free claims about how supposedly biased the moderator's questions were. That was pretty much the pattern for October's debate.

The morning of the Oct. 15 debate, Geoffrey Dickens trotted out the required attack item on CNN's Anderson Cooper, serving up what he claimed was "a collection of Cooper’s liberalism at CNN" out of the MRC archives, "from trashing the 'treasonous' Trump to hailing Hillary Clinton as the 'Queen of Compromise.'" Dickens did attempt a backhanded complement: "While Cooper has in the past shown the capacity to ask tough debate questions, a look through the MRC archives suggests it’s more likely that if the AC360 host does ask any challenging questions, they’ll be from the left."

One of the things Dickens deemed to be "liberal" about Cooper was the accurate observation that former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn't a fan of telling the truth. Dickens offered no evidence that Cooper was wrong.

Exactly 12 hours later, after the debate, Scott Whitlock took up the attack baton, ranting that Cooper "made sure to exonerate the Bidens, telling Joe Biden that your son has been “falsely accused” and there’s “no evidence” of any wrongdoing when it comes to Ukraine." Whitlock offered no evidence that Cooper was wrong.

A few days earlier, though, the MRC changed its focus on a CNN-hosted LGBQ town hall by adhering to its anti-gay roots and mocking the mere existence of it. Curtis Houck sneered:

After thinking that having a seven-hour-long town hall about climate change was a great idea, CNN returned Thursday night with a four-and-a-half hour town hall partnering with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) about LGBTQ issues. 

Rampant protests calling attention to black trans women, Chris Cuomo joking about preferred pronouns, and flat-out abuse with transgender elementary-age children were just a few of the things that transpired.

In listing what he called "the craziest questions" from the forum, Houck added: "The following round-up does not include the absolutely ludicrous meltdown by transgender woman Blossom Brown during Beto O’Rourke’s portion." No, that was deemed worthy of its own post by Nicholas Fondacaro, who put "Raging Black Trans Woman" in his headline and worked to keep up the mockery: "The already bonkers LGBT town hall went wild Thursday night when a black trans woman named Blossom C. Brown rushed a questioner from the audience, stole the mic, accused CNN of erasing black trans women, demanded people 'Google' her, and almost climbed on stage."

We get the feeling that Fondacaro would have mocked the woman just as savagely even if she wasn't "raging."

By contrast, the MRC published nothing about an Oct, 24 town hall on Hispanic issues -- perhaps because it was put on by conservative outlet Newsmax.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:10 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 8:07 PM EDT
WND's Massie: Trump Is 'God's Anointed' (No, Really)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie has traveled on the divine-Donald bandwagon before, in a July column asserting that "I believe God has given us a window of reprieve through President Trump." He takes that up to 11 (as he's wont to do for a lot tings) in an Oct. 14 column declaring that Trump is no less than "God's anointed":

Never in my nearly 50 years involved in the politic arena have I witnessed such a groundswell of support from so many voters of every persuasion and economic strata. Despite what you might hear from never-Trump groups such as ALIPAC and anti-Trump persons Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney, Karl Rove et al., along with the Trotskyites who man the bureaus of agitprop that are mislabeled journalism, President Trump enjoys an unflappable base of support that is growing exponentially.

For many years I have had people tell me that they are praying for our country. They've told me that they are praying and asking the God to save our country and/or to heal our country.

Well, my friends, it certainly appears to me that President Trump is God's answer to our prayers. He is God's man for such a time as this. That's something we who are Christians need to give serious consideration to.

There is only one reason the devil is leading such relentless attacks and falsehoods against President Trump. It's because his (presumably) two terms in office are nothing if not a spiritual battle on a much higher plain of good vs. evil than you and I see.

If I view President Trump as God's Jehu of the Old Testament, why would I be surprised that the darkest forces of hell have launched wave after wave of attack against him since the first hour that he announced his candidacy for president?

Why would I be surprised that despite the relentless satanic attacks against him, President Trump continues to succeed in the advancement of his agenda? He continues to keep his campaign promises to We the People, and the attacks that would have destroyed any other man seem to just make him stronger.

As a Christian minister, I say that is possible only because he is the anointed of God for this moment.

[...]

If President Trump were truly the evil person the ruling political oligarch and their minions label him, they would not be fighting against him with such manic hebephrenia.

We should stop wringing our hands and worrying about the fallacious accusations and unmitigated lies that are directed at President Trump night and day. It will do us well to remember that God heard the prayers of We the People and answered said prayers in the form of Donald J. Trump – we should stop worrying about what man can do to God's anointed.

What we should do is strengthen our resolve to not just vote President Trump back into office in 2020, but resolve to encourage others to vote for vote for him and resolve to see his enemies put out of office.

(It seems Massie used "hebephrenia" because he couldn't work in his favorite thesaurus word, "Erebusic.")


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Monday, October 28, 2019
NewsBusters Blogger Touts Trump's 'Refreshing' Letter to Erdogan, Mad That Others Don't Feel The Same
Topic: NewsBusters

CNSNews.com isn't the only Media Research Center division looking to put a positive spin President Trump's withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, which effectively gave Turkey a green light to invade the region and attack Kurdish fighters who had helped the U.S. fight ISIS in Syria.

Mark Finkelstein served up this bit of spin in an Oct. 17 NewsBusters post:

New Day co-hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota on Thursday took turns reading out loud a letter that President Trump recently sent to Turkish President Recep Erdogan. The letter contained blunt language in which Trump urged Erdogan not to be a "tough guy" or a "fool."  

Berman then turned to Jim Acosta, CNN's White House correspondent, and Trump antagonist extraordinaire, and sneeringly said: "We have this letter with this language that isn't exactly at Ph.D. level."

Acosta took Berman's insult a step further, interrupting to say, "nothing unusual here." Agreed Berman, "Nothing unusual."

Question: Does CNN really care about the letter's language? Or is it just looking for any opportunity to mock President Trump, and by extension his supporters, who are likely to find his unvarnished approach refreshing?

As we've pointed out, 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). Further, Finkelsteain seems to be unaware that the intent of diplomacy is to do what needs to be done in the appropriate language and tone to achieve the desired objective -- not play to your political supporters back home. Finkelstein also failed to acknowledge that Trump's "refreshing" and "unvarnished approach" was a complete failure here.

But then, he's one of those supporters back home who cares more about Trump playing the part of a tough guy than his actual achievements.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2019 9:48 PM EDT
CNS Suddenly Loves Dem Tulsi Gabbard Now That She Supports Trump, Hates Hillary
Topic: CNSNews.com

It wasn't that long ago that CNSNews.com treated Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard with the same right-wing disdain it has applied to all Democratic presidential candidates. For instance, Craig Bannister highlighted how Gabbard "boasted that she has forsaken the values instilled in her by her parents," while Michael Morris gave a platform to its favorite right-wing radio host, Mark Levin, to bash her as a "clown," "crackpot" and "moron" whose "propaganda on behalf of Syria & Iran is disgraceful."

But supporting President Trump is Job 1 at CNS like it is at the rest of the Media Research Center, followed closely behind by Clinton derangement, and when Gabbard started sounded more like Trump -- then got into a spat with Hillary Clinton -- she was suddenly treated as a sane and credible candidate.

A Sept. 26 blog post by Bannister promoted Gabbard's opposition to Democratic impeachment efforts against Trump, adding that "Gabbard then cautioned that impeachment may well backfire on Democrats."

When Gabbard echoed Trump's call to remove U.S. troops from Syria during a debate, an Oct. 16 article by Melanie Arter touted how Gabbard claimed "The New York Times and CNN smeared" her for wanting to end "regime change war" -- never mind that only a month earlier CNS was letting Levin declare her support for Syria as "disgraceful."

Shortly thereafter, Hillary Clinton suggested that the Russians were grooming Gabbard to make a third-party presidential run, CNS rushed to Gabbard's defense. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted Gabbard's response that Clinton is the "queen of warmongers" and the "personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long." This was followed by an item by Susan Jones about another Democratic presidential candidate being asked about Gabbard.

Chapman returned to boost Gabbard's "new video response to Hillary Clinton's charge that she is being groomed by the Russians to be a third-party candidate," in which she ranted that if you "stand up against Hillary" and the "war machine," they will try to "destroy you."

The same day, Chapman complained that "On the very day Democratic presidential contender Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said that The New York Times and CNN were smearing veterans like herself because she opposes the "regime change" war in Syria, CNN analyst Bakari Sellers told a panel of CNN reporters "there is no question that Tulsi Gabbard ... is a puppet for the Russian government." He added, "Clinton, like CNN and Bakari Sellers, presented no evidence to support her claim," then weirdly moved to suggest Clinton is discredited because of the Mueller report:

From late 2016 and through 2017, 2018, and part of 2019, Hillary Clinton and most of the liberal media either claimed or strongly suggested that President Donald Trump had colluded with Russia to win the presidential election.

The report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

That's just Chapman repeating  the CNS/MRC pro-Trump corporate line.

Finally, Melanie Arter served up her usual stenography work by uncritically passing along President Trump's mocking that Clinton "is accusing everyone of being a Russian asset, but her recent accusation against Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) probably helped the congresswoman like it ended up helping the Trump administration."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 12:19 AM EST
Sunday, October 27, 2019
MRC's Double Standard On Promoting Stories That Turn Out To Be Fake
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Sept. 29 item, the Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth complained that "several shows on CNN, CBS, and NBC took the time to highlight a bullying case in which three white boys allegedly held down a black classmate and forcibly cut her long hair after a history of taunting her," expressing particular ire that "several shows made a point of noting that Vice President Mike Pence's wife, Karen, teaches at the same school." the next day, Wilmouth rushed to tout a major development in the story:

As previously documented by NewsBusters, a number of shows on the major networks late last week ran with reports of a racist bullying incident at Springfield, Virginia's Immanuel Christian School that, by late Monday morning, was revealed to be a hoax. The family of 12-year-old Amari Allen admitted that their daughter made up her story, accusing three white classmates of forcibly cutting her long hair.

When the story first came out, the flagship morning and evening shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC combined with CNN and MSNBC for nine minutes and 53 seconds engaging in a frenzy, pushing Allen's fable as a slamdunk fact as yet another incident of how supposedly racist America is and continues to be in the Trump era.

What Wilmouth won't tell you: We've caught the MRC numerous times promoting stories that later turn out not to be true, and only rarely does the MRC update the story or issue corrections for its readers. There's the 2016 false story that Hillary Clinton was to be imminently indicted, about which which MRC chief Brent Bozell vowed to "report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour" (though none of those hours were devoted to telling readers the story was bogus); there was the MRC's embrace of the claim by a Parkland massacre survivor that CNN was scripting questions for him at a televised forum (CNN released emails with the student and his family proving the claim wrong which the MRC never acknowledged); and there was the hying of the death of a Border Patrol agent purportedly at the hands of illegal border-crossers (actually, he died in an accidental fall).

When the MRC gets around to correcting the record on its own bogus stories, we'll take it seriously when it demands the same from others.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:37 PM EDT
Saturday, October 26, 2019
WND Loves MRC's Drag Queen-Bashing Rant
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Media Research Center writer Elise Erhard went on a drag queen-bashing tirade in an Oct. 9 post, in response to a health insurance company commercial that was "uplifting" until it showed "a drag queen reading and dancing for laughing children":

For decades, the left has successfully promoted the increased sexualization of children by portraying opponents as somehow mean or intolerant. In this latest volley, those who see problems with a sexualized man dressed as a woman reading to children are once again criticized as just disliking people who are different or "too much." A drag queen reading to children is the same as an elderly woman who dresses her best or a male healthcare worker showing a softer side, in a new commercial by health insurance provider Kaiser Permanente.

[...]

With the help of the American Library Association, drag queen story hours have been invading local communities, often against the communities' wishes. Children at these story hours have been exposed to convicted pedophiles, taught twerking, and placed in sexually suggestive positions with drag queens for photo-ops. One drag queen who participated in a story hour even admitted in front of his local city council that it was a form of “grooming.”

This is corporate advertising once again soft-pedaling a radical left-wing sexual agenda by integrating it into what seem to be benign, everyday advertisements. Kaiser Permanente has a long history of contributing to liberal causes, like GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, and National Urban League.

To all those parents and taxpayers who are fighting this latest insidious form of child sexualization, Kaiser Permanente literally says, “Too bad.” Apparently, the health insurance company thinks sexually grooming children is just another way for adults to “thrive.”

Erhard's "grooming" claim falsely suggests that drag queens are preparing children to be sexually exploited. In fact, that comment is taken out of context; the man who performs as a drag queen said at a Louisiana city council meeting in 2018 that he's "not there to push any kind of agenda":

I was told at the library council meeting last night that I am pushing the trans agenda, I am pushing an overly sexualized agenda, and that is furthest from the truth. I am just as talented as a singer or a dancer or anyone that has aspecial talent. It's just mine is dressing as a woman and entertaining a crowd.

Now, everywhere you can go, you can see that people can change their views for certain audiences. Just as much as someone can be an actor for an rated-R movie and they can go around and be in a G-rated movie, I can entertain adults in a club but also entertain a group of students and young children. I'm able to do that because I'm an adult and I know how to filter myself.

And I just think that it is implorable [sic] some of the opinions I've seen and some of the looks I've received here tonight. The eyes people give you whenever they think that you are the one that's in support of this event is truly disgusting. And I am not here to obviously change anyone's views about me, but I'm here to let you know that this event is something that's going to be very beautiful and for the children and people who support it are going to realize that this is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation not to see the way that they just did.

And just because I said that, you heard the little ploor [sic] of people behind me. It's disgusting. We're trying to teach people to be tolerable, to be patient, to be loving. And the fact of the matter is that I'm standing right here and there's probably 50 people behind me looking at me with daggers probably wishing I would probably die in a car wreck whenever I leave here. It's truly implorable [sic].

And that is what we're trying to do with drag queen story time. We're trying to raise people to be loving and caring individuals, and I really hope that this event is going to do that for not only just the children at this event but children in the future.

So, quite a bit different. The Daily Wire article to which Erhard links also takes the "grooming" comment out of context.

Meanwhile, the content-desperate folks at WorldNetDaily loved Erhard's drag qeen-bashing so much, the MRC item served as a basis for its own article, right down to adapting her "sexualized man dressed as a woman" phrase to the headline and repeating the out-of-context "grooming" line.

If these kinds of articles are so homophobic that WND thinks this highly of them, the MRC might have a problem. It already has one in echoing WND the other way.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 27, 2019 4:45 PM EDT
Friday, October 25, 2019
MRC's Graham Serves Up More Right-Wing Ranting Passed Off As 'Media Research'
Topic: Media Research Center

Why is the Media Research Center's Tim Graham a terrible media critic? Here's another reason. This is Graham in an Oct. 6 post (bolding in original):

Why would Republican appear on the "mainstream" Sunday shows? You could wonder after Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was disgusted by moderator Chuck Todd's "very biased opening" segment on Meet the Press, and Todd openly fought with him and wouldn't let him finish a point as Johnson tried to tell him what he should ask John Brennan later in the show. Brennan received gooey sympathy. 

Todd moaned and groaned and then said “I have no idea why Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here. I have no idea why we’re going here." When Johnson said this is why people hate the media, "This is not about the media! Senator Johnson, please!!” As in "please stop criticizing the heroic press."

Johnson began: "your setup piece was --you know, typically, very unbiased [sarcasm]....Before I started answering all the detailed questions, let me just talk about why I'm pretty sympathetic with what President Trump has gone through. You know, I'm 64 years old. I have never in my lifetime seen a president, after being elected, not having some measure of well wishes from his opponents. I've never seen a president’s administration be sabotaged from the day after election. I -- I've never seen -- no-- no measure of honeymoon whatsoever."

And then he started talking about FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page texting about how they keep Trump from being elected. The networks have barely touched Strzok and Page. 

Todd unleashed the Fox News dig, and angrily insisted "Can we please answer the question that I asked you instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you're not criticizing him." Johnson said "I'm trying to lay the groundwork...of your very biased opening."

Todd also said "I understand that a way to avoid answering a question is to attack us in the press. I'm well aware of that...And that doesn't work." Johnson said "You set this thing up totally biased. I could never really get into the full narrative. "

[...]

Then Todd turned to liberal Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, who's used to softball interviews. Murphy was allowed to uncork long 180-word answers without Todd interjecting. Then Todd complained to Murphy, like they were teammates: "We have a major problem here. I mean, the-- the comfort level that the senator had to character assassinate the show and us-- in this-- in this bizarre, personal way I think shows you where we're headed. What do we do?"

So what went wrong here?

1) Graham never proves Johnson's assertion that Todd's opening was "biased" because he never quotes the opening.

2) Heputs words in Todd's mouth by claiming he really meant to say "please stop criticizing the heroic press." Can Graham read Todd's mind? Is there an ESP division at the MRC?

3) Graham praises Johnson for "talking about FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page texting about how they keep Trump from being elected," but he didn't mention that, as others have pointed out, it had nothing to do with Todd's question: "Again, what Todd is asking here is for Johnson to further explain his own quote about 'wincing' at the suggestion that military aid might be linked to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's willingness to investigate Joe Biden. This isn't some sort of "gotcha" question. Johnson said it! And recently!"

4) Graham engages in more purported mind-reading by claiming without evidence that Todd's "we" was in reference to "teammates" Murphy and himself. Apparently, Graham has never heard of the "editorial we" or any other common use of the word.

Of course, Graham is not being paid to be a good media critic -- just one continually on the attack.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:49 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2019 2:49 PM EDT

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