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Saturday, January 11, 2020
MRC Researcher Pretends He Can Read Don Lemon's Mind
Topic: Media Research Center

We know that Media Research Center "news analyst" Nicholas Fondacaro is a liar. He also pretends he can read minds as well. Fondacaro huffed in a Jan. 1 post:

Shortly after the United States started to ring in 2020 on Wednesday (and after more than a few drinks), CNN Tonight host Don Lemon announced he had a major New Year’s resolution for the upcoming election year that he wanted people to know about: “lean in harder” and “fight.” Essentially, he was vowing to be more biased in his reporting.

In fact, Lemon said nothing about being more "biased." He stated that "I'm going to lean in harder. I'm sick of the craziness. So, you thought I was -- I went hard in 2019. Watch 2020, baby. There's more to come. I'm a soldier. I'm ready to fight." Fondacaro is putting words in Lemon's mouth and pretending to read his mind.

Fondacaro went on to impart knowledge he can't possibly know when he later intoned: "Anyone who watches Lemon's nightly show knows there's only one side he fights for: the left." He linked to the NewsBusters topic page on Lemon, which cites only 11 examples of Lemon purportedly fighting for "the left" in the final three months of 2019.

If Lemon was really the incessant fighter on "the left" that Fondacaro insists he is, shouldn't the MRC have way more examples of it? And shouldn't Fondacaro care more about what Lemon actually instead of what he imagines Lemon said?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:43 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 12, 2020 7:09 PM EST
Your Thesaurus-Enhanced Mychal Massie Rant of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Anyone having seen "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" should instantly recognize Nancy Pelosi and her Erebusic cabal as the Klingon lawyer and contingent arguing that they demand justice: read, retribution for the destruction they brought upon themselves as a result of their unprovoked attacks and murders – including their murder of Kirk's son as they set about to steal the Genesis device. I'll be polite and not mention that the Klingon lawyer was easier on the eyes than Pelosi and her evil brood of calumniators.

The parallels between the aforementioned movie and the Pelosi Democrats are inescapable. They are guilty of grave misconduct and corruption and yet they insist upon President Trump being punished for nothing. They no longer even pretend to be innocent of prison-worthy crimes. It's just as the Klingon lawyer told Sarek, Spock's father, when he enumerated their criminal wrongdoings and asked if they denied same: "We deny nothing."

[...]

Intellectually honest people, even if they did not vote for President Trump, must admit the Democrats have perpetrated a sham and charade upon the American people. They're the ones who are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, not President Trump.

Obama was the very definition of corruption, and yet these pernicious marplots were silent. "Fast and Furious," Obama's illegal gunrunning operation, was enough to impeach and remove him from office.

[...]

Add to the aforementioned, the ophidian darling of the left, Hillary Clinton's weapons smuggling operation that led to the murder of Tyrone Woods, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty in Benghazi. But, what the heck? As Clinton said: "What difference does it make now?"

And Nancy Pelosi, the poster child for tardive dyskinesia between facial contortions, repeatedly babbles that President Trump is not above the law.

-- Mychal Massie, Dec. 23 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:37 AM EST
Friday, January 10, 2020
CNS Suddenly Interested In The Opinions of Buttigieg's Husband
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's pattern of gay-obsessed and biased coverage of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has not really abated all that much. For instance, a Dec. 26 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman on criminal justice reform included for no apparent reason the irrelevant statement that "Pete Buttigieg, 37, is openly gay and is 'married' to Chasten Glezman, 30, a high school teacher. The two men met on the dating app Hinge." This is the second time that Chapman has irrelevantly referenced that Buttigieg and his husband met on a dating app.

Curiously, though, CNS has become suddenly interested in the views of Chasten Buttigieg over the past couple weeks through anonymously written articles:

  • Dec. 27: "Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, currently refers to himself as the 'First Gent of South Bend' on Twitter and refers to himself as the 'First Gentleman' when he discusses what he will do if husband Pete becomes president of the United States."
  • Jan. 2: "When John Dickerson visited South Bend, Ind., to interview Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, for the April 21 edition of 'CBS Sunday Morning,' he asked Chasten when Pete first mentioned the possibility of running for president. Chasten said it happened 'when we were getting ready for bed and I was folding some laundry.'"
  • Jan. 3: "In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Chasten Buttigieg, husband of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg explained why he became a school teacher. 'There’s just something magical about working with kids and getting them to believe in themselves,' Chasten Buttigieg said in response to a question from host John Dickerson.

CNS served up other weirdness in an anonymously written Jan. 8 article, which covered something Buttigieg said on a talk show... four months earlier. The only apparent news hook in the article is a note that Buttigieg is tied for first place in Iowa caucus polling.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EST
MRC Goes On Attack Against Evangelical Magazine's Criticism of Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center cannot tolerate any criticism of President Trump, even -- especially -- if it comes from a Christian viewpoint. So when Christianity Today editor Mark Galli wrote an editorial advocating President Trump's impeachment, the MRC made sure to go into freakout mode.

Aiden Jackson kicked off the freakout with a Dec. 20 post asserting that Christianity Today was "notorious for opposing Trump" -- but she could cite only one other piece from the magazine, which ran more than three years ago.Still, she insisted that "Readers of 'Christianity Today' would most likely find its inclusion of another anti- Trump op ed about as surprising as a Trump hit piece featured on ABC, which is to say not very."

Tim Graham followed by taking offense to Galli discussing the editorial on NPR, in which he likened evangelicals' relationship with Trump to a wife who puts up with a "verbally abusive spouse" because he's a good provider otherwise but then escalates to physical abuse.Graham couldn't be bothered to make a defense of Trump, instead huffing "If the evangelical is willing to insult Trump in the most viciously personal way imaginable, he is welcome to the taxpayer-subsidized airwaves.

Mark Finkelstein complained that MSNBC would "exploit for maximum political gain" the Christianity Today editorial by pointing out not inaccurately that right-wing evangelicals "would sell Jesus out if they thought they could get something from it." Like Graham, Finkelstein attacked the messenger: "It's always amazing to marvel at the chutzpah of Reverend Sharpton calling out someone else for exploiting their religious bona fides or race-baiting, or being a shameless con man. Holy Tawana Brawley!"

Graham and Brent Bozell groused that "The left has lunged to promote an editorial by Christianity Today magazine that insists Trump must be removed from office" before declaring the "the cultural winners and losers of 2019."

Finally, Jeffrey Lord whined that Galli's editorial "sounded no different than the average anti-Trump/Never-Trump blasts that routinely come from the outlets of the decidedly non-religious Leftist State Media," then ranted about "Christian elites" and how a "left-wing" editor at the rival Christian Post resigned after that publication ran an editorial defending Trump. Lord offered no evidence that this editor is "left-wing" other than his resignation.

Lord, like the rest of the MRC writers, offered no point-by-point rebuttal of Galli's editorial; instead, he declared that it was a "massive backfire" because such "rabid anti-Trumpism will prove to be one of the Trump campaigns biggest assets."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:35 AM EST
Thursday, January 9, 2020
CNS Defends Trump Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister
Topic: CNSNews.com

Patrick Goodenough -- who is probably the closest thing to a real reporter CNSNews.com has these days -- was curiously quick to rush to President Trump's defense over a meeting last month with the Russian foreign minister, effectively writing a post for CNS parent the Media Research Center instead of an actual "news" article:

As an MSNBC host and on-air analyst pondered what President Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov could have been talking about in their Oval Office meeting on Tuesday, the analyst – a former State Department official – wanted to know why a president was meeting with a foreign minister at all.

“Why is a head of state meeting with the Russian foreign minister?” former Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel wondered. “Vladimir Putin doesn’t meet with Mike Pompeo when he comes to Moscow. So it’s very curious and very strange.”

Later in the show – Lawrence O’Donnell’s “The Last Word” – Stengel said the Russians “love having Trump meeting with the foreign minister. He’s not even opening the door to Putin, he’s – foreign minister.”

“And, and surely Trump doesn’t understand that – that status imbalance that he’s engaging in?” suggested O’Donnell.

“Apparently,” Stengel added.

In fact, President Obama met with Lavrov, also in the Oval Office, on May 7, 2009 – two months after his administration declared a “reset” on relations with Moscow – and again on July 13, 2011.

And, despite Stengel’s assertion that Russian President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t meet with” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Moscow, Putin has held meetings with not only Pompeo but every secretary of state since Madeleine Albright – most of them at the Kremlin. 

But Goodenough curiously omitted the context of this meeting -- and he omitted the context of Stengel's comments. As the full "Last Word" segment shows, Stengel also said of the Lavrov meeting:

By the way, if you were writing the screenplay version of the Trump presidency and you said on the day that President Trump was indicted by the House on impeachment charges, on the day that the Inspector General released a report that saying the Russia investigation is fine, that he was meeting with the Russian foreign minister, you'd say, that's just too unlikely, it couldn't possibly happen. And the fact is he has no NSC, nobody to say, "Sir, I don't think it's such a good idea for you to meet with the foreign minister."

Goodenough can't possibly say that about the circumstances surrounding those other meetings.

Goodenough also complained that O'Donnell and Stengel doubted that Trump brought up Russian election meddling with Lavrov, despite the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserting that was the case and Lavrov quasi-denying the subject came up.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Defections In The Gay-Bashing Ranks
Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb used to be able to count on Chick-fil-A and the Hallmark Channel to be indifferent, if not hostile, to LGBT rights and issues. Now they can't, and they're a little sad about it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
MRC Writer Recycles His Dance On The Newseum's Grave
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates the Newseum because it doesn't believe in journalism -- it only wants news with a right-wing bias, as demonstrated by its "news" divbision, CNSNews.com. Tim Graham's factually deficient meltdown in taking a clearly hyperbolic claim literally about a movie screening at the Newseum shows just how radioactive actual journalists (and, thus, the Newseum) is to the MRC denizens.

Therefore, the MRC couldn't have been happier at the idea of the Newseum shutting down. When it was first announced last January, Scott Whitlock couldn't resist dancing on the Newseum's grave 11 months early, ranting that it was a "self-indulgent journalistic shrine" and complaining it didn't uncritically promote conservative journalism and right-wing talk radio."

Upon the Newseum's actual closing at the end of 2019, Whitlock recycled his museum-bashing in a Dec. 26 post, once again calling it "self-indulgent" in his headline and rehashed his earlier criticism that "the Newseum downplayed bias and derided the 'advocacy journalism' of conservative talk radio."

Of course, Whitlock thinks all journalism should have the exact same bias as Rush Limbuagh and Mark Levin and that their views should never be questioned (witness how the MRC rushed to whitewash Rush's misogynist smear of Sandra Fluke). He and the MRC won't be happy until that happens.

No wonder a museum that celebrated the opposite enraged the MRC so much.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EST
Pat Boone Goes The Divine-Donald Route On Ukraine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pat Boone's Dec. 24 WorldNetDaily column stated off complaining about Christianity Today editor Mark Galli's editorial advocating President Trump's impeachment, asserting that it was "so uncalled for, so unexpected from a publication whose sole purpose is to report what's happening in the Christian community at large – not to offer advice about totally political issues." Boone continued:

Abortion, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, prostitution, rampant pornography even on movie and TV screens – these are moral blights on our society Galli's magazine should address, because Christians can agree they are obvious spiritual threats to families, our children and America's future.

But to publicly jump into the middle of a far from settled controversy involving unproven charges against a duly elected president is terribly out of line for any "magazine," let alone one known as a Christian news service.

We would remind readers that Boone frequently made unproven charges against a duly elected president -- when that president was named Obama.

Boone then handwaved the key charges against Trump in the Ukraine scandal that led to his impeachment, declaring that there was "no harm done" and "that was that." Boone even purported to read the president's mind: "Trump was concerned about possibly facing Biden in the 2020 election – he would have eagerly embraced that unlikely possibility. Trump was understandably curious, not "digging for dirt," as has been repeatedly been charged."

This, by the way, from a man who thought that Obama should have been impeached because he allegedly faked his birth certificate. (It wasn't a fake.)

Then, Boone felt the need to lecture the editor of a Christian publication about Christianity:

So now I want to remind editor Galli, my Christian brother, of some very relevant biblical facts.

Jesus "hung out" with a lot of unsavory characters. The religious leaders, the Jewish hierarchy, were very critical of Him sitting and eating and even drinking with tax collectors and known publicans and sinners. Jesus answered that He had come specifically for people like them, rather than for supposed "good" people who didn't think they needed saving.

The same type of leaders criticized Jesus for accepting expensive fragrant oils from a known prostitute, whispering, "If He really knew what this woman is, He wouldn't have anything to do with her," and Jesus rebuked them for their hypocrisy and ignorance, commending the woman for preparing him for His coming death.

He noticed despised tax collector Zacchaeus up in the tree, and called him by name to come down and take Him to his house for dinner (resulting in the despised man's own salvation). He repeatedly surprised and scandalized the religious authorities by doing things they didn't approve, and were more openly criticized by Jesus than even the woman taken in adultery and about to be stoned, by law!

But Galli didn't criticize Trump for associating with "unsavory characters" -- he pointed out that Trump is an unsavory character who acted in a "profoundly immoral" manner.

Boone wasn't done lecturing, though, going into full divine-Donald mode:

So, brother Mark, you know the Bible; is Trump appointed by God?

Yes, we the people elected him, as we did Obama and Bush, Nixon and Clinton. But once we elected them, God authorized them to give us either what we need … or what we deserve. And as we continue to pray for them – as He orders us to do – God works through them and their decisions to show us both what we are, as individuals and a nation, and what we need to do to become more what He wants us to be.

Trump came to this office promising to "drain the swamp" of entrenched self-serving politicians and agencies, and amazingly, he's been doing that. You can certainly say that Jesus came to "drain the swamp" of hypocritical, self-righteous but ineffectual religious traditions – and HE did that.

His obvious flaws notwithstanding, Trump has been more supportive of Israel, the unborn, marriage and religious liberty than any other president in modern history. And furthermore, He operates under the expressed authority of God.

So, let him that is without sin cast the first stone.

In fact, Galli pointed out that the "grossly immoral character" of Trump "damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people" -- and that the magazine made the same call when Bill Clinton faced impeachment. We suspect that Boone wasn't similarly upset about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EST
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
MRC Insists Soros' Survival In Nazi-Controlled Hungary Is 'Source of Great Controversy'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a weird obsession with George Soros, regularly freaking out over the money he gives to causes it doesn't like (and occasionally using anti-Semitic imagery in the process). It has even argued that it's not anti-Semitic to hate Soros. It's still trying to deny Soros his Jewish heritage.

Joseph Vazquez complained in a Nov. 14 post: "Accuse liberal billionaire George Soros of impropriety and you could be accused of anti-Semitism and be de-platformed. At least that’s what the Open Society Foundations is allegedly saying should happen to lawyer and Fox News guest Joe diGenova." DiGenova had ranted without evidence that Soros somehow "controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department." Vazquez gave diGenova a pass on that, complaining instead of the call to remove diGenova from Fox News (which seems to have happened, though that's more likely because of his involvement in President Trump's Ukraine scandal.)

In a Dec. 26 post, Brad Wilmouth groused that a CNN anchor had accused Rudy Giuliani of "anti-Semitism and hatred" through his bizarre insistence that he is more Jewish than Soros. Wilmouth responded by insisting that Soros' tale of survival in Nazi-controlled Hungary is a "source of great controversy":

Philip Bump of The Washington Post argued "that bizarre comment that he's more Jewish than Soros. He makes that after having said that the former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, was under the control of Soros. So it is not only that he is, you know, assuming that he isn't enough Jewish, and not only that he's supporting these conspiracy theories broadly about Soros -- but he is spreading conspiracy theories very specifically about the person at the center of the impeachment without any evidence."

Coates and Bump did not clarify that what Soros did as a teenager to avoid persecution -- he posed as a Christian and even accompanied an official as he did inventory on a seized Jewish estate -- is a source of great controversy. Soros even stated in a CBS interview that he did not feel any guilt over what happened.

Actually, it's only a "source of great controversy" for Soros-haters like the MRC. Even the National Review article to which Wilmouth linked to prove this is somehow a "controversy" doesn't explain what's controversial about a teenager doing what he needed to do to survive the Nazi regime (in this case, posing as a Christian and helping a relative inventory Jewish property that had already been seized by the Nazis).

This is not the first time the MRC has done this; when Roseanne Barr falsely claimed that his survival tactic meant that that Soros was  collaborating with the Nazis, the MRC merely dismissed her claim as an "anti-Soros tweet" without bothering to debunk it.

Wilmouth then went on to invoke right-winger (and Jew, he's quick to point out) Dennis Prager insisting that "Criticism of Soros is rarely a lie, and its intent is rarely to create anti-Semitism." 

So how did the MRC go from  the claim being "anti-Soros" to a legitimate" source of great controversy"? Perhaps Wilmouth can explain. But then, explaining the facts would get in the way of the MRC's anti-Soros agenda.

Vazquez returned with a Jan. 7 post freaking out that "Godfather of the left" Soros (which, of course, sounds a bit anti-Semitic too, though the MRC did an entire report attacking Soros' philanthropy with that as the title) being named philanthropist of the year by an organization, ranting that Soros is "bankrolling leftist causes" and "currently supporting Big Government causes in the U.S. such as gun-control and a wealth-tax." Vazquez then went on an evidence-free attack of the Soros-founded Central European University as having a "radical left-wing history" dedicated to teaching "Soros’ own personal, bizarre leftist philosophy on “open society.”

Vazquez concluded with one final slam of Soros as having an "egotistical vision." But are the Mercers who fund the MRC any less egotistical? Vazquez didn't say.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 5:09 PM EST
CNS Now Offers Same-Day Service On Recycling GOP Talking Points
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com is so dedicated to advancing pro-Trump, pro-Republican talking points that it dedicates multiple articles to pushing the exact same talking points. While there's usually a few days between those articles parroting each other, it recently beat that by running both articles on the same day.

Susan Jones wrote in a Dec. 23 article headlined "Sen. Graham: 'I Want to Know How Far Up the Chain' the Trump-Russia Investigation Went":

"The Horowitz report is the first step in a long journey regarding FISA abuse," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told "Sunday Morning Futures."

[...]

Yes, there's two questions I want to ask these people. When you signed the warrant application, how much time did you spend trying to figure out if it was actually true? And how far up the chain did this go?

Did President Obama know about the counterintelligence surveillance of the Trump campaign? Did Vice President Biden know? How much information was provided to Susan Rice? I want to know how far up the chain the investigation went. I want to know why so many people could sign a warrant application so flawed.

"Up the chain" was clearly the Republican talking point of the day, and CNS apparently received marching orders to hammer it. Literally just 18 minutes later, Jones wrote another article headlined "Sen. Cruz on FBI Abuse: 'How High Up the Chain Did This Go?'"

"One of the worst legacies of the Obama administration is the corruption of law enforcement and the intelligence community," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Sunday Morning Futures."

He was talking about the Justice Department inspector-general report, which detailed 17 serious misrepresentations the FBI and the Justice Department made to the FISA court to get a warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

[...]

And, by the way, the big unanswered question is, how high up the chain did this go? We know that the deputy director of the FBI, McCabe, was read in and authorized this. We know the director of the FBI, James Comey, was read in and authorized this.

CNS even promoted the articles next to each other onits front page, as the screenshot shows, as if getting "up the chain" in the minds of its readers was the only (mandated?) goal.

Same-day service on recycled GOP talking points appears to be about all that CNS is good for these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 12:28 AM EST
Monday, January 6, 2020
The MRC's Own 'News' Operation Fails Bozell's Test Of News Operations
Topic: Media Research Center

During a Dec. 13 Fox Business appearance (apparently he couldn't get on Fox News proper), Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell huffed:

Look at CNN's audience. It’s collapsed. It's a worldwide network and it can't get 750,000 people in the United States of America. Its credibility has collapsed. The networks have collapsed. And it should collapse. If they are not going to report the news, if they are not going to investigate any story, if they are not going to tell the truth, I hope it does collapse.

The "news" he is demanding that CNN report, mind you, is not about the Ukraine shenanigans that got President Trump impeached -- it's Hunter Biden's deal with Burisma. He went on to rant that "no one thinking clearly or honestly is going to deny that the only reason Burisma got this guy on the payroll at $50,000 a month is because his last name was Biden. And everyone knows that." Never mind that the same question can also be posed about his own son, David, who's running the MRC-linked activist group For America. would he be there if his dad wasn't in charge of the entire operation?

There's another bit of hypocrisy going on here: Bozell's claim that if CNN is going to investigate any story, if they are not going to tell the truth, I hope it does collapse." If Bozell is so concerned about news organizations that don't investigate stories and don't report the truth, all he has to do is look down the hall at MRC headquarters at the "news" organization he runs, CNSNews.com.

CNS regularly publishes fake news, mostly in the form of uncritically repeating false and misleading statements by Trump and his allies. And what little investigative reporting CNS did has largely disappeared, replaced by sycophantic pro-Trump stenography.

By Bozell's own definition, CNS deserves to collapse. He'll never admit that, of course.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:24 PM EST
Fake News: WND Promotes Bogus Story About Purported Trump-Hat Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just because WorldNetDaily is being slowly subsumed into the Western Journal doesn't mean it has given up on publishing fake news -- after all, the Western Journal has a history of doing just that as well. Now it's pushing fake news with the assistance of the Western Journal.

On Dec. 14, WND stole a post from fake-news generator Gateway Pundit:

A 14-year-old student in Hamilton County, Florida, was hospitalized after being brutally attacked by multiple classmates on the schoolbus for wearing a Trump hat to school.

The family of the student, who has not been publicly identified, has now hired a lawyer and released a video of the attack.

Earlier in the day, the student also had milk poured over his head.

As it turned out, that basically wasn't true. The school district where the alleged incident took place stated that not only was there "no evidence" the student was wearing his Trump hat at the time of the assault, but that "The incident began with a verbal altercation between two students that escalated when additional students became involved." Meanwhile, the local sheriff's office added that there was no evidence of a hate crime in the assault, though several juveniles were charged with battery as a result of the alleged incident.

Further, as Media Matters reported, the Twitter account on which news of the alleged assault first surfaced has also promoted far-right QAnon conspiracy theories, and it changed its story about the incident -- first claiming that "8 black kids" assaulted the boy, later changing it to "two girst and 3 boys."

But WND wasn't about to let the fact that the claim isn't true get in the way of a good story. The next day, it published an article by Jared Harris of the Western Journal pooh-poohing the evidence proving the story wrong and clinging to the conspiracy:

Despite appalling video evidence, officials say the brutal pummeling of a young pro-Trump boy does not meet the criteria for a hate crime.

The savage beating spread like wildfire earlier this week as conservatives and even liberals were shocked by the ferocity of it. The clip can be seen here.

While the mother claims the brutality was over her son's support of President Donald Trump, officials have only given those behind the attack a virtual slap on the wrist with misdemeanor charges.

"An investigation has been conducted," the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook, "and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has filed charges on five juveniles for First Degree misdemeanor battery.

[...]

Hamilton County School District Superintendent Rex Mitchell released a statement on the attack Friday, seemingly dismissing it as an "altercation between students," instead of labeling it what it appeared to be on the video -- a group ganging up on a single boy at the back of a school bus.

According to Mitchell, the school district's investigation found no evidence that the boy's pro-Trump hat caused the ruthless attack.

"The incident began with a verbal altercation between two students that escalated when additional students became involved," Mitchell wrote.

"In addition to the video that was posted online which was recorded by a student, the school district reviewed the bus video which depicted, not only the altercation, but all events prior to the altercation and its conclusion."

[...]

Since the video seems to begin halfway through the fight, there's no way to tell how the conflict started or what it was over. The date of the new video is unclear, making it hard to determine when it happened in relation to the original clip.

Harris did not report the fact that  the school district found no evidence the Trump hat played a role in the assault, nor did he report that the first account of the alleged assault was false or that it came from a QAnon-linked Twitter account.

WND doesn't seem to understand that simply finding a different source for the fake news it publishes doesn't address its credibility problems.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Sunday, January 5, 2020
MRC Lionizes YouTube Videomaker PewDiePie, Is Silent On His History of Offensive Content
Topic: Media Research Center

For some reason, the Media Research Center is enamored with YouTube videomaker PewDiePie -- we've already highlighted how it's trying to portray him as a champion of politically incorrect humor while hiding his history of far-right sympathies. Now it's trying to portray him as a "free speech" advocate of some kind. Alexander Hall wrote in a Dec. 16 post:

YouTube’s Vice President and Global Head of Trust & Safety Matt Halprin released a blog on Wednesday, Dec. 11, titled “An update to our harassment policy.” Halprin proclaimed in the blog that YouTube would be taking a harder stance on “malicious insults,” “veiled threats” via simulated violence and “hate speech.” Content creators ranging from gamers like PewDiePie to conservatives like Steven Crowder across the political spectrum saw this vague and slippery update as potentially damning for the platform’s future.

Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie on YouTube, hosts one of the largest channels on the platform. He blasted YouTube’s harassment policy update in a recent video, stating, "The thing I've learned about YouTube's policies is that it doesn't matter what they say. What matters is how they enforce it."

Content creators have warned about a potential flaw in the new harassment policy update, suggesting that old content that has already been posted and allowed to remain by the social media platform in accordance with previous YouTube policies may now be retroactively removed.

“Why retroactively take down videos?” PewDiePie asked. “If you’re gonna make a new policy change, then go from there. Don't go back in old videos to say, ‘Actually, this one, this one bad!’ What does that fix?”

In portraying PewDiePie only as a "gamer," Hall didn't mention any of the guy's content he might have to worry about getting removed -- he has, after all, put up content described as racist, insensitive and anti-Semitic and got a shout-out from the perpetrator of the New Zealand mosque massacre. Hall also failed to mention that Crowder is best known for his rampant homophobia (which the MRC has defended) than being any sort of "conservative."

In a Dec. 30 post, Hall lionized PewDiePie as a "YouTube influencer" and "a leading content creator on YouTube for years" and touted how he "questioned the future of the entire platform and its relationship with its creators. Again, Hall failed to mention the offensive subjects of that content; instead he made sure to hype how PewDiePie is "the only solo creator to pass the 100 million subscriber mark" and presents his view as authoritative and not at all trollish: "As a leading creator he has watched a widening gulf between YouTube’s corporate leadership and its community of grassroots creators who made it a thriving platform in the first place."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EST
CNS Managing Editor Still Doing Copy-And-Paste Defense of Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've detailed how CNSNews.com has leaned on Republican copy-and-paste defenses of President Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman took another stab at it in a Dec. 17 article:

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) challenged the skewed reporting of CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, calling out his misrepresentation of President Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine and noting that what Tapper "said is completely untrue." Paul later added, "you guys are not being honest with the facts here."

CNN's Tapper has made it abundantly clear that he believes the Democrats' version of the July 25 phone call, often asserting that Trump was calling on the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for foreign aid. Tapper calls this interpretation "a fact."

However, as Sen. Paul explained, it is not a fact. If you read the transcript in context, Trump first asked about alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election and then asked about alleged corruption involving Hunter Biden, who was put on the board of a Ukrainian gas company in 2014, the Burisma Group, which paid him a reported $50,000 a month for five years (until April 2019), totaling at least $3 million. 

Focusing on corruption from 2016, Hunter Biden -- who has a long history of drug abuse -- and Joe Biden's demand (in late 2015) that a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating corruption be fired before loan guarantees to Ukraine were okayed is not an unreasonable interpretation of the phone call.

[...]

During the July 25, 2019 telephone call, President Trump alluded to corruption in Ukraine, possible interference with the computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and possible corruption involving Hunter Biden and perhaps Joe Biden.

This was followed by a copy-and-past transcript of the Tapper-Paul exchange with selective bits from Paul bolded, a selective excerpt from the Trump-Zelensky phone call (like his reporter Susan Jones, Chapman apparently thinks Zelensky's first name is too difficult to spell to be included in his article) and a transcript of Biden's statement that he got the Ukranian prosecutor fired.

Despite Chapman's protestations, it is increasingly clear that Trump intended to link U.S. aid to Ukraine to an announced investigation of Hunter Biden (whose purported "long history of drug abuse" is irrelevant to this scandal). It's since been revealed that Trump ordered military aid to Ukraine to be put on hold less than two hours after his phone call with Zelensky, and newly released emails show that the order to block aid to Ukraine came directly from Trump.

Further, Chapman's claim that Joe Biden demanded the firing of a "Ukrainian prosecutor investigating corruption" is false; the prosecutor was fired because he was not investigating corruption, and the international community joined Biden in this demand.

So not only has Chapman's article not aged well as his boilerplate defense of Trump crumbles, it contains a blatantly false statement as well. Not a good look for a "news" operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EST
Saturday, January 4, 2020
MRC Intern Melts Down Over Colbert Song Parody
Topic: Media Research Center

For as much as the Media Research Center loves to mock those who fact-check right-wing satire sites like the Babylon Bee (though, as those fact-checkers point out, right-wingers have a bad habit of treating Babylon Bee items as fact), it can't stop freaking out about jokes.

As an adjunct to the MRC's defense of conservative journalist James Rosen after Nancy Pelosi once again called him out for who he is, Aiden Jackson had a freakout over something comedian Stephen Colbert did, under the headline "Colbert PRAISES Nancy Pelosi in Bizarre Video":

Everyone should find a person that looks at them the way Stephen Colbert looks at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. On Thursday’s Late Show, Colbert did everything short of throwing rose petals at Pelosi’s feet as he opened his show with a fawning video tribute to his idol.

Hardly inexperienced in the practice of creating nauseating segments to appease his ultra-left audience, the music video salute to Pelosi may take the cake for worst of the worst. If you thought the “impeachment tree” was egregious…proceed to look at the clip below with caution.

The song begins with a snippet of CNN’s Jim Sciutto alerting his audience of Pelosi’s decision to move forward with impeachment: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing to the country and to the world that Articles of Impeachment against President Trump will proceed.” In an effort to create the image of a ‘strong woman,' a soundbite from Pelosi’s press conference then cuts in as she says, “Don't mess with me.”

To a wildly applauding audience, the video proceeded to cast Pelosi as a heroic woman who has been tasked with saving the country from peril (something that Colbert clearly believes to be the case):

Since Jackson is an MRC intern and, therefore, apparently a young person, she apparently missed the fact that Colbert's video is not particularly "bizarre" but, in fact, was a song parody of the kind he does regularly -- in this case, of Jim Croce's 1972 hit "You Don't Mess Around With Jim." Apparently, nobody else at the MRC apprised her of this fact (or were similarly ignorant about '70s music), which might have saved her from embarrassment over this meltdown.

Otherwise, Jackson is showing herself to be a student of the Curtis Houck School of Needlessly Vicious Partisan Hyperbole, declaring Colbert's humor to be "nauseating" and his audience "ultra-left."

Makes fact-checks of the Babylon Bee look rather tame in comparison, don't you think?

A couple weeks later, after the House voted for Trump's impeachment, the humorless Jackson lashed out at Colbert again, complaining that he "did not conceal his elation for President Trump’s impending impeachment in any way. His exuberance was uncontainable; so much so that the show began with a “merry impeachment” jingle sung by Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler characters." Jackson closed by declaring: "The impeachment of a duly elected President of the United States should be handled with grave importance and the utmost seriousness. Colbert’s excitement is telling of his disregard for the Constitution he purports to be protecting."

Making jokes about Trump is now a violation of the Constitution? When did that happen?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 4, 2020 11:23 AM EST

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