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Saturday, January 18, 2020
Brent Bozell, Terrible Tweeter
Topic: Media Research Center

We know that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is generally a terrible person -- after all, he had his syndicated column ghost-written for him for years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bozell is also bad at tweeting, writing things that his MRC writers would mock if he wasn't their boss.

In the midst of the impeachment hearings in November, Bozell responded to the testimony of Gordon Sondland, President Trump's ambassador to the European Union, Bozell harrumphed: "Listen to Sondland and you'll understand why America elected Donald Trump president to get rid of people like Sondland."

Many people informed Bozell that not only did Trump had appoint Sondland to his ambassadorship, Sondand was a Republican bundler who donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee, swampy behavior that presumably helped him get that ambassadorship. The tweet eventually got so badly ratioed that Bozell deleted it.

A month later, Bozell did some legal blue-skying in asking the immortal question, "Is 'obstruction of justice' a bad thing?"

Bozell did not seem to understand that the self-evident answer to that question is "yes." After enough people told him so, ee similarly made that tweet disappear as well.

If Bozell serves up those kinds of pearls of wisdom when left to his own devices, perhaps it was a good thing that Tim Graham ghost-wrote all those columns of his.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 PM EST
Mychal Massie's Islamophobic (And Factually Deficient Anti-Clinton) Meltdown
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie kicked off his Jan. 6 WorldNetDaily column with a big Muslim-hating rant:

Sirhan Sirhan is the Palestinian Muslim who murdered Democrat senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles. We watched in horror as the footage was replayed. That was June 1968. At that time Muslims couldn't claim American injustice as their "lie du jour."

Let's dispense with the damnable lies that Muslims are a peaceful, loving people. Those who by accident display said characteristics are the exception, not the norm. Islam is a murderous cancer on the fabric of humanity, adherents of which have committed acts of barbarous terrorism since Ishmael.

[...]

It's easy to understand why anti-Semitic parasitoids like Ilhan Omar, AOC and Rashida Tlaib are upset that Qassem Soleimani was blown to Jahannam, the Islamic hell – even though that's where his kind belong and where he should have been sent many years ago.

When we hear Omar, AOC, Tlaib and the domestic terrorist group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), we understand they're mourning the extermination of parasitosis like Soleimani, because he's the equivalent of family to them.

Massie then launched an attack in President Clinton: "In factuality, the blood of the Americans who were murdered Sept. 11, 2001, is on the head and hands of Clinton. He was offered bin Laden on a silver platter, but he refused Sudanese President Bashir's offer to arrest, detain and hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States."

As we noted as early as 2007 -- and also when Massie made this same clain in 2014 -- no less than the 9/11 Commission found no "reliable evidence" that Sudanese officials offered bin Laden to the U.S.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 AM EST
Friday, January 17, 2020
MRC Touts How A Film It Hated Tanked -- And Censored How A Film It Loved Tanked Even Harder

Like an ideologically driven Roger Ebert, the Media Research Center loves to attack movies that clash with its right-wing agenda, even mocking them if they fall short in box office receipts. It also promotes the heck out of movies that conform to its ideology, then censors the fact that they tanked at the box office. It's done a little bit of both lately.

The MRC beat up on the film "Bombshell," about the sexual harassment scandal at the Roger Ailes-led Fox News. For instance, right-wing movie critic Christian Toto contributed a post with the clickbait headline "What ‘Bombshell’ Stars REALLY Think of Fox News, Conservatives," and Tim Graham and Brent Bozell complained that this movie exists and not a "ripped-from-the-headlines TV dramatization of Harvey Weinstein's predations (Graham went solo in a post complaining about this "anti-Fox News film").

The capper on this was a Jan. 3 post by Randy Hall gloating that "Bombshell" has been "a flop at the box office, dropping from 6th place to 9th during its second weekend in wide release," even though "the film stars such well-known actresses as Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, who portray former anchors Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, as well as Margot Robbie, whose role is as producer Kayla Pospisil, a 'composite character' based on several FNC employees." He highlighted the film's "two-week take as almost $16 million while costing $33 million to produce."

Hall went on to cite The Hill's conservative media critic Joe Concha, who argued that the film tanked because nobody wanted to watch a film about a "polarizing" media outlet made by an equally polarizing Hollywood. But he failed what Concha also said about a different film that was tanking even harder:

"Bombshell’s" poor showing comes as another media-themed movie is also struggling, in the form of "Richard Jewell." This Clint Eastwood film tells the story of the FBI and the media bungling the investigation into the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing in Atlanta and turning an innocent security guard, Jewell, into a prime suspect based on no evidence.

Box office since its December 13 release date: $16 million. Budget: $45 million

You might recall that the MRC loved "Richard Jewell," to the point that it effectively approved of Eastwood's false smearing of a real-life reporter by suggesting she slept with a source for story tips.

In his post, Hall linked to Box Office Mojo's box office take list for the final weekend of the year, but didn't mention that "Bombshell" grossed more money than "Richard Jewell" despite being on 1,000 fewer screens. And as of this writing, "Bombshell" has grossed more money than "Richard Jewell" despite never having as wide a release ("Bombshell" appeared on a maximum of 1,721 screens; "Richard Jewell" opened on 2,502 screens). Also, "Richard Jewell's" average daily per-screen take never topped $780, while "Bombshell" exceeded an average $1,000 take per screen on eight days.

"Bombshell" has been indisputably more popular than "Richard Jewell" -- by you'll never hear the MRC tell you that fact.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EST
CNS Spoils Its Sympathy For Catholic Abuse Victims By Publishing Another Bill Donohue Column
Topic: CNSNews.com

Around the time we caught CNSNews.com with clashing messages on the Catholic Church -- managing editor Michael W. Chapman repeating a bishop's claim that sex education is "CHILD ABUSE" vs. Bill Donohue's dismissing the severity of actual child abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy -- it suddenly got serious about the issue of sexual abuse in the church.

Chapman wrote in a Dec. 18 article about how "at least seven victims of clergy sexual abuse have filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court alleging that the Vatican and the Pope knew about many priests who were abusing young people but covered it up, shuffling the abusive priests around and ignoring the victims," adding: "Instances of bishops and pastors keeping silent about clerical sex abusers, not warning families or parishes, and constantly assigning (and reassigning) the abusers to youth ministries and youth sports programs are well-documented in the research of Dr. Leon Podles, author of Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church."

The next day, CNS published an op-ed by Janet Patterson, described in an editor's note as a Catholic woman "whose son Eric Patterson (1970-1999) reportedly was sexually abused multiple times by Rev. Robert K. Larson. Larson spent 5 years in jail for sexually abusing altar boys and died in 2014 at the age of 84; Eric Patterson died at age 29 after shooting himself in the head." Patterson wrote: "Let your diocese know how you feel about the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Be willing to support survivors in their difficult task of recovery. Hold diocesan church officials accountable for allowing perpetrators to continue molesting in parish after parish, excusing these actions by saying they received 'poor medical advice.'"

On Dec. 27, Chapman wrote about a report finding that "Since the 2018 release of a grand jury report on Catholic clergy sexual abuse, the dioceses of Pennsylvania have paid $84 million to 564 victims." He quoted Podles claiming that "unless American priests are uniquely sinful, there were something like 35,000 to 100,000 abusive priests worldwide with anywhere from 100,000 to 2,000,000 victims."

But CNS undid all that public service by publishing another column by Donohue attacking those trying to hold the Catholic Church accountable over the abuse. He complained that an article noted "pedophile priests," retorting: "Wrong. Most of the abusers were homosexuals. This is indisputable." Actually, as we've documented, the people who actually investigated the abuse found this quite disputable, and Donohue is being dishonest again.

Donohue then targeted the victims themselves:

The second error is saying that "victims and their families" were "intimidated or shamed into silence," which is why they signed confidentiality agreements. No doubt some were. But many insisted on confidentiality. Saul never mentions this. Nor does he mention the fact that unlike Hollywood molesters, the Church has had a ban on such agreements for many years.

Donohue concluded with his usual complaint:

Like many practicing Catholics, I contribute to my parish, as well as to my diocese. When my diocese is hit with a lawsuit for past cases of abuse—most of the molesting priests are either dead or out of ministry—I want justice done. That means reasonable compensation for victims. It does not mean breaking the bank.

Therefore, any legal tactic that the diocese can use to limit its liability, is entirely justified. Not to do so would be to punish those who are  counting on diocesan funding today (many of whom are sick, disabled, or poor) so that lawyers can skim a third of the cash right off the top for old cases of abuse.

As usual, it is the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church alone, that is under the microscope of reporters. We know why.

Because the Catholic Church alone had a systematic, widespread campaign of protecting abusers?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 AM EST
Thursday, January 16, 2020
MRC -- Who Hates The 'Deep State' And Trump Criticism From Military Man --- Now Demands We Trust Civil Servants, Military Officers-
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Jan. 4 post, the Media Research Center's Alex Christy took offense to commentary from Ayman Mohyeldin on MSNBC following the Trump-ordered killing of top Iranian military official Qasem Soleimani, first for noting that while Soleimani led anti-U.S. attacks, he also led attacks against ISIS, then for pointing out that the Trump administration lacks the credibilty to have its explanation of the circumstances behind what led up to Soleimani's killing to be taken at face value:

He followed up that the United States under President Trump cannot be trusted, "They obviously haven’t provided that evidence. It is interesting to see and important to emphasize that it is hard to believe the American government on something like this without them and especially this Administration without them put forward, some clear evidence."

So much for trusting civil servants and uniformed military officers.

Funny, the MRC has spent the past few months insisting we can't trust civil servants and uniformed military officers when the testify against Trump over impeachment.

The MRC has repeatedly attacked the "deep state" -- that is, career civil servants -- foir purportedly undermining Trump. To name just a few recent examples:

  • Curtis Houck complained that political analyst David Gregory "bragged about the power of the Deep State" in curbing Trump's excesses.
  • Kristine Marsh touted "America’s distrust of the media and the deep state."
  • Clay Waters groused that "the New York Times has now embraced the bureaucratic Deep State against the president."He also attacked another Times writer for having "bragged about the Deep State’s effectiveness while talking about his book Deep State on NBC’s Today, hailing bureaucrats undermining the Trump administration as noble public servants 'protecting the Constitution.'"
  • Ryan Foley huffed that panelists on Bill Maher's TV show "s[p]ent much of the conversation defending the 'deep state.' According to Maher, the phrase 'deep state' really means 'people with resumes who know something.'"
  • Houck also grumbled that the "Trump-hating CNN" had on "Deep State liar James Clapper to downplay the U.S. special forces raid that led to the death of ISIS leader of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi."
  • Jeffrey Lord praised Rush Limbaugh for having "frequently discussed the idea that today’s elite colleges are a breeding ground for leftism and the Deep State."

And the MRC certainly had no respect for uniformed military officer Alexander Vindman when he testified about what he knew about Trump's actions toward Ukraine:

  • Nicholas Fondacaro mocked a CNN commenter for having "ripped Republicans for daring to attack Vindman. Why? Well, it’s because he was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq."
  • Fondacaro also complained: "As if he was the hero they needed to vanquish their nemesis, the liberal media fell in love with the public impeachment testimony of White House Ukraine adviser Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman," attacking one outlet for describing Vindman as "a decorated combat veteran wearing a chest full of service medals and a Purple Heart."
  • Houck defended "the legitimate ability of Donald Trump, Jr. to offer firm disagreements with the impeachment process and witness Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman," grumbling that the media thinks "daring to suggest the press aren’t doing their jobs or Vindman isn’t perfect must mean you’re unpatriotic, want them to receive death threats, or automatically view them as subhuman. Or something like that."
  • Tim Graham served up a right-wing conspiracy theory that Vindman was secretly working with the whistleblower who first noted problems with Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president.

Apparently, the MRC only wants us to trust civil servants and military officers when they put Trump's interests before that of the country.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EST
CNS Remains Happy Refugee Numbers Are Low, Most of Them Are Christians
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com was long distressed that more Muslim refugees than Christian ones were supposedly being allowed in the U.S. under President Obama (though that really wasn't the case), only to express joy that President Trump was letting in even more Christians, at least until he stopped admitting any refugees at all some months.

That trend continued in a Dec. 2 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough, in which he highlighted how the paltry 1,488 refugees allowed in November, "were the lowest for the month since 2001, when in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks on America just four refugees were resettled in the U.S.," and that most of them were Christians:

A total of 1,143 of the refugees admitted in November (77 percent) self-identified as Christians, with larger contingents including 254 Christians (no denomination specified) from Burma, 153 Pentecostalists from DRC, 102 Seventh-Day Adventists from DRC, 74 Catholics from DRC, and 62 Baptists from Moldova.

Two hundred and ninety-nine of the November arrivals (20 percent) were Muslims, including 55 Shi’ites from Afghanistan, and 32 Sunnis from Syria.

Other refugees included 13 Buddhists from Burma, five Yazidis from Iraq, one Hindu from Sri Lanka, and one Zoroastrian from Iran. Twenty-one refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, El Salvador and Guatemala, self-identified as having “no religion.”

That's a weirdly obsessive breakdown unless you know that Goodenough has freaked out about Muslim refugees for years.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EST
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Graham Pretends MRC Is Above Promoting Fake News, Has 'No Interest' In Alex Jones
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham spent a Dec. 29 post complaining that NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd identified the chain of disinformation among right-wing websites, to which he responds with such talking points as "Journalists like Todd decry we can't agree on "shared facts," but so there are so many facts they can't stand to discuss -- take the Horowitz IG report -- that it's a one day story after three years of pushing Russian collusion."

After Todd identified disinformation as "an ecosystem problem, at least on the right," in which operations such as InfoWars and Gateway Pundit play a prominent role, Graham huffed in response: "There should be a devotion to facts and honesty in conservative media. Sites like ours have no interest in crackpot sites like InfoWars."

It's clear that Graham doesn't read the site for which he serves as executive editor.

From repeating bogus, anonymously sourced claims and refusing to correct them to  putting words in people's mouths to outright lying to its readers, it's clear that Graham is not imposing any "devotion to facts and honesty" at NewsBusters and the MRC.

Further, the MRC very much has an interest in sites like InfoWars -- at least when they can be invoked as examples of how social media operations are supposedly censoring conservative speech. To cite a few examples from the past year or so:

  • Corinne Weaver complained about Apple's ban of "noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones" while purportedly refusing to "censor content that doesn’t fall in line with leftist groupthink."
  • In another post, she noted that "conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was permanently banned" as an example of "conservative, pro-Trump or anti-establishment figures on Twitter being punished for expressing their views, many of them well-known in their fields."
  • Alexander Hall promoted a documentary made by a colleague of far-right British Muslim-hater Tommy Robinson that "explore[s] five people who have been shut down and silenced on social media," including Jones. Hall uncritically quoted Jones describing himself as "patient zero of the deplatforming epidemic."
  • Hall also uncritically touted a podcast host who was unhappy about "the deplatforming of Alex Jones" as a sign that "the far left is censoring and smearing centrists and the right on social media."
  • Weaver groused that CNN, "the outlet that successfully campaigned for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to be banned from almost all major social media platforms seemed to urge for more action from Twitter." She linked to a 2018 post she wrote lamenting the ban.
  • Weaver also worked up a conspiracy theory about Facebook's ban on threats that she decided excluded those on the site's "dangerous individuals" list, which includes Jones: "Theoretically, users could post content threatening to kill these individuals, and nothing would be done by the company."
  • Hall basically dared Dave Rubin, operator of a new social media site, not to ban "someone as controversial as Alex Jones and the InfoWars brand" despite being "personally offensive, but legal."

Does this sound like an organizaion that has "no interest" in Jones and InfoWars? Perhaps Graham should explain.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:27 PM EST
WND's Cashill Tries To Whitewash Klayman's Legal Troubles
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Klayman is such a terrible lawyer -- and such a good friend of WorldNetDaily -- that WND columnist Jack Cashill has to do some serious conspiracy-building to distract from Klayman's latest legal problems.

Cashill devoted most of his Jan. 1 column to attacking a member of the District of Columbia Bar Board of Professional Responsibility, which "made a recommendation that Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman be suspended, a recommendation now under appeal, from the practice of law in the district for 33 months." None of it, of course, is relevant to the reasons that Klayman was facing discipline before the D.C Bar, which Cashill only briefly mentions: "The case itself has little to do with politics. It involves Klayman's pro-bono defense of a female Persian broadcaster at Voice of America. When she did not get the result she wanted, she turned on Klayman."

And as brief as that reference is, it manages to get the facts wrong. As the Washington Post more accurately summarized the story regarding his representation of a former VOA employee named Elham Sataki:

According to charges initiated by the bar’s disciplinary counsel in July 2017, Sataki alleged that Klayman induced her to move to Los Angeles, abandon her job in Washington and rely on him for housing and living expenses.

When she refused to enter a romantic relationship, he allegedly increased his compensation demands and exploited her “precarious financial position and his position as her attorney,” the report stated.

Despite her desire to pursue her case “simply and quietly,” Klayman, allegedly for his own political agenda, named unnecessary and high-profile defendants including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and attacked the judge hearing Sataki’s case as politically biased, the report stated.

Klayman allegedly refused to withdraw from her case after Sataki fired him, then published several articles about it without her knowledge or consent in WorldNetDaily, a right-wing news aggregator site.

The report cited excerpts of communications from Klayman to his client after she rejected him, such as a text from April 23, 2010, in which he stated, “When someone u deeply care for tells u stuff like, ‘you’ll never be my Boyfriend . . . how would u feel?’ ”

In a letter later that year to a third party, Klayman wrote, “I do truly love Ellie. . . . But I do not want to hurt her and my own emotions have rendered me non-functional even as a lawyer,” according to the report.

Sataki told investigators, in a statement quoted in the report, “It was a vicious cycle and never ending and it felt like I was in an abusive relationship instead of a client/attorney relationship."

Klayman even wrote to Sataki's therapist proclaiming his love for her and other stalker-ish behavior.

Cashill is not going to tell you any of this, of course, because  the truth gets in the way of his victim-creating and conspiracy-mongering. Just like he won't tell you that Joel Gilbert is a liar and a charlatan while he's promoting Gilbert's latest cenematic atrocity.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EST
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

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