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Tuesday, January 14, 2020
How The MRC Learned To Love Ricky Gervais
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center used to hate Ricky Gervais. In 2011, Brent Bozell (well, Tim Graham) complained that the comedian "mercilessly insulted nearly everyone in Hollywood" in a Golden Globes hosting stint, adding, "Gervais wasn’t doing winking 'just kidding' jokes akin to Don Rickles that night. They weren’t even jokes. They were insults and they were brutal. ... The vaunted return of Gervais is just another living landmark of how the entertainment industry has put civility through the shredder and embraced mean-spiritedness with gusto." That hate continued:

  • In 2012, Matt Hadro was upset that Gervais "slammed certain fundamentalist Christians who warn their children that they will go to hell if they become gay" by calling that "child abuse." That same year, Noel Sheppard huffed that Gervais and Jimmy Fallon "actually spent two minutes joking about pedophiles."
  • In 2014, Graham blasted Gervais for being among the "liberal media elite" praising Stephen Colbert for his role as an aggressively clueless conservative in his Comedy Central show.
  • In 2016, Alexa Moutevelis attacked Gervais for his "shockingly vulgar monologue" as host of that year's Golden Globes, adding, "Hope you kids weren't watching with you."
  • In 2017, Corinne Weaver sneered that "Ricky Gervais has decided to join the roundtable of comedians that tries to say something relevant about the current US government" by observing that the "Hollywood liberal elite" is not the "real enemy" of America, no matter what President Trump and the MRC say.

But the MRC's opinion of Gervais beghan changing once his comedy targets became more acceptable to conservatives -- specifically, transgendered people.

When Gervais made retrograde jokes about Caitlyn Jenner in 2018, Clay Waters rushed to his defense, arguing that "Gervais was reasonably pointing out that the entire world knew Caitlyn Jenner for decades as Olympic winner Bruce Jenner" and denounced the New York Times for calling him out of step with the times. A few weeks later, Christian Toto lamented, "Ricky Gervais was beloved by the media right up until the release of his new Netflix special Humanity. Now, he’s 'transphobic' and worse.

In July, Gabriel Hays similarly found Gervais' trasphobic humor acceptable:

British comedian Ricky Gervais has been called “transphobic” over defending women refusing to wax transwomen in Canada because they are uncomfortable dealing with their clients’ very male genitalia. Gervais defended the spa workers saying that it’s “real feminism” for women to choose who to wax or not, but internet users aren’t having it.

Hays then declared that Gervais' joke showed he was "demonstrating himself as a celebrity that isn’t completely devoid of common sense (a real showbiz unicorn, these days).

In November, Hays upgraded the MRC's view of Gervais from "vulgar" and "brutal " to merely a "politically incorrect mischief makert" because he once again, yes, made more transgender jokes, proudly crowing, "Despite the left’s best efforts, cancel culture has not yet ousted Ricky Gervais." He didn't mention that his employer had been trying to work cancel culture against Gervais for years.

The 180 was complete when Gervais once again hosted the Golden Globes. Rather than see his attacks on the Hollywood crowd as "brutal" and "merciless," the MRC couldn't get enough of his insults. Karen Townsend gushed in a Jan. 5 post:

Kicking off Sunday's 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC, comedian and host Ricky Gervais, pulled no punches as he is known to do. He even voiced an opinion that must have had half of the viewing audience cheering. He told the stars and the others nominated for awards that if they should win, not to make a political speech because they know nothing about the real world.

Gervais assured all of them that though they think they are woke, they work for companies owned by some nefarious people.

Elise Ehrhard linked to Townsend's post to praise "more courageous comedy writers such as Ricky Gervais who are truly willing to attack powers that be," as compared to "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane, who "should ditch the tired scenes mocking Catholic clergy, which come at no cost to him."

Scott Whitlock served up more gushing in the midst of his stock MRC complaint that the "liberal media" won't sufficiently cover something that advances the right-wing agenda," cheering that "Gervais delivered a blistering, brutal attack on liberal Hollywood, Sunday night, bringing up awkward topics like covering up for Harvey Weinstein"

Hays name-checked Gervais' transphobic humor (which, again, he completely approves of, being more than a little transphobic himself) in his praise for the Golden Globes rant:

The U.K. comedian ribbed the wealthy movie-making elite with jokes about how out-of-touch and corrupt many of them are, and how they are “in no position to lecture the public on anything.” Normal people watching found it hilarious and right on the money, however Hollywood apologists in the media wept for the sake of the celebrities.

Gervais’ fifth time hosting awards promised to be a controversial outing, considering controversial is Gervais’ usual shtick, and he had spent a chunk of 2019 combating the woke twitter crowd who called him “transphobic.” Many were hoping for him to pushback while speaking in the belly of the progressive PC beast.

Stunned viewers got more than they bargained for when Gervais’ opening speech blistered the glamorous attendees. He made jokes about their relationships with powerful sex offenders Harvey Weistein and Jeffrey Epstein and went the full nine in torching their political credibility.

Hays added: "Hollywood’s full of hypocrites, and it might do better for everyone if they’re told to their faces. Lefty media needs to get out of the way!"

Bozell and Graham completely ignored their criticism of Gervais' attacks on Hollywood in 2011 in cranking up their effusive praise for the new, conservatively correct Gervais, touting how he "set social media on fire after he mocked arrogant Hollywood in his opening monologue as host of the Golden Globe Awards. ... It was too accurate to be funny. It stung."The two didn't explainhow Gervais moved from hurling "insults and they were brutal" to being "too accurate to be funny."

Toto, the first at the MRC to praise Gervais' transphobia, unsurprisingly loved the new rant as well: "Gervais landed a haymaker against Woke Hollywood. He reminded viewers that many stars live lives disconnected from the struggles of their blue-collar fans. Hollywood celebrities aren’t well versed in political science, technology or bio-engineering. Yet they demand we listen to their views as if they’ve studied these topics for years, if not 'decades.'" Toto went on to praise how "Gervais’ scorched earth monologue" was "more than a simple series of jokes."

Amazing how far hating transgender people gets you in the right-wing media these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EST
CNS, MRC Team Up to Promote And Defend Tulsi Gabbard, For Some Reason
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've previously highlighted CNSNews.com's sudden love for Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, giving her opinions a platform now that she's attacking other Democrats and offering support to President Trump. That bizarre show of support has continued.

After the November Democratic debate, CNS granted Gabbard two articles by Melanie Arter despite her polling in the low single digits. In the first, Arter touted how Gabbard "criticized South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg for comments he made about sending troops to Mexico to fight drug cartels, saying his comment speaks to the “inexperience” he has in national security and foreign policy"; in the second, Arter featured Gabbard's attack on Kamala Harris and accusing her of "trafficking 'in lies and smears and innuendos' after Harris took Gabbard to task for criticizing the Democratic Party."

Then, in a Dec. 20 article, Arter highlighed Gabbard's defense of "her decision to vote 'present' during the House’s impeachment vote, saying she does not believe 'in good consciences' she could vote 'either yes or no,'" adding that "fhe congresswoman said Democrats have also not been impartial."

Allen West gushed over Gabbard in his Dec. 9 CNS column:

Then something happened on the road to [Kamala Harris] being christened. Her name was Tulsi Gabbard. Congresswoman Gabbard of Hawaii got to be on stage with Kamala Harris for the second Democrat debate and destroyed Senator Harris. And yes, it was a sin for which the left, the Democrat party, has not forgiven the now-described agent of Russia.

And how interesting, Gabbard is also a woman of color, US Army veteran, and articulate, but she was not the identity politic chosen one. What Tulsi Gabbard did was to expose the flaws and weaknesses of Kamala Harris, deficiencies she never overcame.

Meanwhile, CNS' parent, the Media Research Center -- which also promoted Gabbard as an excuse to indulge in a little Hillary Derangement Syndrome -- also continued to run to her defense:

In a Nov. 6 post, Kristine Marsh wrote that "The View" co-host Joy Behar "attacked Rep. Tulsi Gabbard when she came on the show Wednesday for daring to appear on 'state TV' Fox News, but Gabbard pushed back against Behar’s nasty attacks," adding that she "slammed the notion that she worked for Russia as 'offensive' and 'outrageous'" -- even though a month earlier Marsh's MRC colleague Curtis Houck had pointed out how "Russian bots and Russian media have praised her."

Speaking of which, Randy Hall lamented in a Nov. 12 post that "when Hillary suggested Tulsi Gabbard was a Russian asset, PolitiFact wouldn't rule it was 'False.'" 

On Nov. 21, Houck complained that "failed McCain/Palin campaign head Steve Schmidt" had "trashed her as 'just awful,' 'dishonest,' 'spectacularly bad,' and 'made a legitimate run” at “Prince Andrew, Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes' for being this week’s worst person ever." Two days later, Tim Graham perked up over a blog post claiming that some critics loved Hillary Clinton wearing white pantsuits, but that Gabbard wearing one looked like a "cult leader."

In a Dec. 8 post, P.J. Gladnick huffed that one writer urged "the all white qualifying Democrat candidates to boycott the next debate unless the "candidates of color" are allowed on the stage even if it means including the one candidate he doesn't like who has actually displayed some diversity of thought by criticizing Hillary Clinton, namely Tulsi Gabbard who unlike either Booker or Castro is now just one poll away from qualifying for the debate."

And on Dec. 26, Graham cheered that CNN's Chris Cillizza put Hillary Clinton on his "naughty list" for criticizing Gabbard, but then attacked him for  criticizing Hillary for harming Democratic Party unity: "CNN seems very concerned about damage to the Democratic Party, even from within. Democrat 'party building' is on their wish list."

Yet the MRC -- and its "news" division -- doesn't mind that Gabbard might be harming party unity with her attacks on fellow Democrats. Funny how that works.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 12:38 AM EST
Monday, January 13, 2020
Newsmax Lamely Attacks Christianity Today Over Editorial Critical of Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has been a loyal Trump-supporting outlet, so it has unsurprisingly joined others in the ConWeb in attacking Christianity Today editor Mark Galli's editorial advocating President Trump's impeachment.

A Dec. 20 article by David Patten tried to make the case that Christianity Today is a liberal publication though it was founded by Billy Graham, insisting that "A survey of the magazine’s Twitter posts suggest its opposition to Trump is hardly new" -- but he cited only four posts over a six-month span that offered criticism of Trump -- hardly evidence of aggressive "opposition." Patten went on to tout how "Responses from the Christian right are unwavering in their criticism of CT and their support for Trump," putting their names in boldface, though none of their criticisms addressed Galli's point that Trump has behaved in a "profoundly immoral" manner and has a "blackened moral record."

James Hirsen similarly failed to examine Galli's arguments with any kind of seriousness in his Dec. 23 column and instead labored to portray Galli and his publication as a liberal tool:

Galli penned a column that appeared to be written with the goal in mind of putting grins on the faces of leftists and garnering gobs of attention from the Trump-hating faction of the media.

Whether the above stated goal was mapped out or not, the end result was the same. The magazine’s image took a hit, the president was unfairly maligned, and the liberal media ate it all up.

[...]

When they found out that an ostensible spokesperson for evangelical Christians essentially used Democratic Party talking points to go after the president, the left-leaning media were filled with delight. Galli was predictably offered numerous media spots.

Guesting on NPR’s "Morning Edition" turned out to be a perfect venue in which to double down on his attacks on the president while letting loose with some additional jabs that seemed tailor-made for a CNN audition.

Galli, of course, repeated his call to negate the choice of America’s voters, but this time came up with other justifications, claiming that the president is in "psychological and moral confusion."

As propagandists are prone to do, Galli used highly manipulative and corrosive language that is designed to plant negative seeds and is deliberately crafted to poison the minds of potential voters. He compared the president to a physically abusive husband and then left the notion there to lie.

During his appearance, Galli denied that his publication is left-leaning. But the truth is, he and his magazine don’t even come close to being objective.

Of course, neither is Hirsen -- he's clearly too much of a pro-Trump propagandist to admit that his idol can do no wrong, hence his partisan attack on a publication he can't even prove is partisan (and, no, James, supporting immigration reform is not the hallmark of a partisan publication). He even sneered that the publication should change its name to "Un-Christianity Today." even as he failed to identify anything un-Christian about anything Galli wrote.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
MRC's Graham Embraces Conspiracy Theory Over Impeachment Witness
Topic: Media Research Center

On Dec. 16, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck claimed that "CNN’s existence can be boiled down to gaslighting Americans by deeming most everything President Trump and those not in the Resistance utter as conspiracy theories" and bashed a CNN host for having "entertained a wild conspiracy theory about not holding a Senate impeachment trial."

A couple weeks later, Houck's boss was entertaining his own conspiracy theory.

Tim Graham used a Jan. 2 post to boost conspiracy-mongering by the Washington Examiner's Eddie Scarry -- last seen around here getting a pass from the MRC for a tweet mocking the way a Democratic congresswoman dresses -- attacking the Washington Post over reporting that President Trump "falsely" accused National Security Council staffer and impeachment hearing witness Alex Vindman of plotting with the whistleblower who reported the subsdtance of Trump's "I need a favor" conversation with the Ukrainian president.Graham copy-and-pasted Scarry saying, "Vindman testified that he didn't know who the whistleblower is, but we shouldn't necessarily believe that — especially not after the televised hearing," citing how a line of Republican questioning to Vindman was blocked out of fear of outing the whistleblower, prompting Scarry to deduce (despite lacking any corroborating evidence) that Vindman talked to the whistleblower. Graham added:

Maybe the Post is speaking Clintonese on this one. Vindman spoke with the whistleblower -- he told him all his concerns -- but didn't plot with the whistleblower to "undermine" Trump.

Just as the Post would deny it's plotting to undermine Trump. Journalists are just safeguarding democracy. 

Scarry asked "why would the Washington Post feel such confidence that Vindman really wasn't interested in undermining the president?" That also raises the question: How much does the Post know directly from Vindman and the "whistleblower" that they've hidden through anonymous sourcing? 

Anonymous sourcing makes it harder to prove anyone's plotting to undermine anyone. That's why the media love to exploit it.

Again, there's no actual evidence that Vindman talked to, let alone plotted with, the whistleblower -- Scarry and Graham are merely speculating based on conjecture. As Media Matters summarized: "It’s possible Vindman talked to the whistleblower without being aware that they went on to file a complaint, or that Vindman provided the readout to someone who passed it along further. He might have an idea of who the whistleblower is but lack certainty."

Apparently, conspiracy theories are OK only when conservatives can make use of them.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EST
WND Sources Anti-Trans Story To A White Nationalist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Dec. 30 WorldNetDaily article begins:

A new report documents how a transsexual in Colorado and a partner shot nine students at their school, then later claimed the victims deserved it for their "transphobia."

In Maine, a transgender defended the murder of two parents because they failed to "accept" the the "transition."

And in Maryland, a transgender who also was a mass shooter killed three before using the gun for suicide.

Such violence isn't unusual, according to a report by the website National Justice.

The site said "individuals identifying as transgender are not only less likely to be victims of murder than biological women (and far less than men), their small population is well represented among murderers, serial killers and pedophiles."

So, what is this National Justice website WND is citing? Let's begin by looking at the source article itself,  which carries the byline of one Eric Striker. Look at Striker's archive at National Justice reveals articles with headlines such as "Jewish Brilliance: Synthetic Like Zirconia" (in which he highlights "Jewish underachievement" and complains that "We are convinced that Jews are our masters only because celebrating the group-achievements of far more accomplished Europeans is forbidden by the establishment") and "Zionist Money Already Corrupting the 2020 Elections" (in which he highlights that "8 out of 10" of the top political donors "are Jews").

There's also an article about a "dissident lawyer" named Augustus Invictus "who is accused of kidnapping his wife and children" and "suffering" in prison where he was put in solitary confinement and "denied his special religious diet." Invictus is a white supremacist with a history of violent incidents and abusive relationships who is a Holocaust denier and opposes allowing women to vote, and his "special religious diet" apparently involves a pagan faith that uses animal sacrifice.

Another article identifies Striker as the "editor-in-chief" of National Justice, fighting against a complaint from the web-security firm Cloudflare stating that the "abusive behavior" contained on the website violates its terms of service. Striker whined in response: "This publication is far more ethical in its practices than much of the mainstream media. This is nothing more than a good old fashioned press crackdown!"

Yes, Eric Striker is a white nationalist -- and it's not even his real name. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified Striker as the pseudonym of Joseph Jordan, a prolific alt-right writer who has also been published by the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer, where he was "blaming Jewish people for everything from Sports Illustrated swimsuit models not being thin enough for his taste to his belief that heavy metal music was becoming too politicized." He also appears to be of Hispanic descent.

This is who WND considers to be a credible source -- which tells us that its white nationalism problem remains an ongoing one.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Sunday, January 12, 2020
MRC Pushes Bogus Trump Movie-Edit Story
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters blogger P.J. Gladnick complained in a Jan. 1 post:

One sign of Trump Derangement Syndrome is loathing any viewing of pre-politician Donald Trump popping up in old TV or movies. Every cameo could have been used to build Trump's celebrity, so they are all dreadful sins. This became apparent again when it was discovered CBC in Canada cut out the brief Donald Trump cameo scene in their broadcast of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Stick it to the Bad Orange Man of Baja Canada.

If the CBC thought that such a childish edit of that movie would go unnoticed, they were horribly wrong. The backlash was swift and strong as we shall see, starting with this December 25 report on their antics in ComicBook.Com,"Donald Trump's Cameo in Home Alone 2 Cut From Canadian Television Broadcast."

But this doesn't tell the whole story, since to do so would undermine the premise of Gladnick's post. As the CBC and others have pointed out,  the cut was made, along with eight minutes of other edits for make room for commercials, in 2014 -- two years before Trump became president and one year before he even announced his candidacy.

So, apparently, editing for time and commercials is suddenly "childish" in Gladnick's world.

Gladnick eventually admits this, but then -- apparently decided that inventing a conspiracy theory was more important than telling the truth -- unilaterally proclaimed that this was a "lame" excuse that was "almost as funny as the movie," adding:

The problem for the CBC is that they will now be reminded constantly about their little hit and run deletion of that scene on social media. 

Imagine how much work today's television networks will have editing all the Trump cameos out of their reruns. ... Good luck, Trump haters.

Gladnick offers no evidence that any media outlet is editing, or has even attempted to edit, Trump out of movies or TV shows.

But then, who is Gladnick to let the truth get in the way of a good, nonexistent conspiracy theory?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:31 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 12, 2020 6:32 PM EST
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

The last time we checked in, CNSNews.com was on pace for a third straight year of more than 100 artices uncritally repeating alleged pearls of wisdom from Mark Levin, his guests or his guest hosts. But the throttling back in October, when CNS published only three Levin items, continued for the rest of the year.

Surpisingly, CNS published only five Levin stenography items in the last two months of 2019:

That makes for a total of 96 Levin stenography items in 2019. While still a lot -- that's a pace of one article every 3.8 days --  it's down from the 2017 total of 105 and 2018's total of 135. Further, there was a one-month gap between the Nov. 18 "coup" item and the Dec. 18 "SCOTUS pick" item -- perhaps the longest period of time between Levin posts since CNS started transcribing him in earnest.

CNS, meanwhile, didn't stop promoting Levin otherwise. A Nov. 5 post by Craig Bannister touted how "Mark Levin’s Fox News Channel program, which dominated Sunday night cable news despite its 10 p.m. air time, has been rewarded with a new time slot," further gushing that "In addition to being an iconic conservative commentator, Levin is also a nationally-syndicated radio host, Constitutional scholar, and author." This was followed by an item by Melanie Arter -- since deleted without explanation -- that carried the headline "Mark Levin’s ‘Life, Liberty & Levin’ #1 Rated Show on Sunday."

Will CNS mend its Levin-promoting ways to get that number back into triple digits for 2020? We shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 12, 2020 1:39 PM EST
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

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