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Sunday, June 7, 2020
The MRC's Weeklong, Trump-Friendly Antifa Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

Antifa is a convenient bogeyman for right-wing activists because they're scary-sounding and can be used to play guilt-by-association with liberals. The specter of Antifa popped up again in the wake of the police-caused death of George Floyd, and right-wingers were more than happy to fearmonger about them again, especially since President Trump declared he would declare Antifa a domestic terrorist group (despite it being amorphous, unorganized and leaderless). Among them were the loyal pro-Trump lackeys at the Media Research Center.

Between May 31 and June 5 -- during the height of the Floyd protests -- the MRC referenced Antifa in 21 separate posts, usually as a way to attack anyone who expressed sympathy for the protesters.

Under a headline blaring "Friends of Antifa," Nicholas Fondacaro -- who is an obsessive Antifa-hater -- complained that people on NBC "scoffed at claims from the White House and the Department of Justice that Antifa was partially to blame for violent rioting across the county, corrupting protests demanding justice for George Floyd" by accurately pointing out that no evidence was offered to back up the claim. Fondacaro insisted that "journalists on the ground at the riots have extensively documented Antifa’s involvement in the current violence," citing right-wing writer Andy Ngo. He didn't mention that Ngo may have been collaborating with the right-wing protesters that were clashing with Antifa protesters who he claimed attacked him during a 2017 protest, after which the MRC tried to turn him into a cause celebre.

Kristine Marsh attacked the idea that the Floyd protests have been "mostly peaceful," huffing that "The networks went out of their way to protect violent left wing mobs like Antifa rioting and looting." She later claimed that NBC's Andrea Mitchell "defended Antifa" and "claimed without evidence, that it was actually the "right wing" at these demonstrations to blame for the violence," despite linking to a Vice article reporting that right-wing extremists were, in fact, taking part in the protests; she merely dismissed them as a "fringe militia group."

(Meanwhile, in real life, an actual news outlet reported that most people arrested in the initial wave of Floyd protests in Minneapolis were local residents unaffiliated with any radical group -- undermining the right-wing narrative that Antifa-linked "outside agitators" were to blame -- and some had even proclaimed their support for Trump.)

CNN-deranged Curtis Houck insisted that CNN host Chris Cuomo -- whom he immaturely and unprofessionally insists on referring to as "Fredo" -- was "an outspoken Antifa supporter," linking to rants by Fondacaro, and claiming that Cuomo was "offering implicit endorsements for the rioting." Fondacaro also engaged in the juvenile name-calling of Cuomo and claimed he "emphatically argued that protests were under no obligation to be peaceful."

Tim Graham got mad at PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor -- a favorite MRC target of late -- "dismissed Trump's focus on violence caused by Antifa and urged him that 'in reality,' he should be focused on 'overwhelmingly peaceful people' at the protests," cheering that she "drew a vigorous Twitter rebuttal from conservatives."

Geoffrey Dickens served up some more of that useless "media research" the MRC is known for, claiming that "President Donald Trump’s decision to label Antifa a domestic terrorist group – after he blamed them for vandalism and violence in the George Floyd protests – comes after three years of liberal journalists either ignoring or downplaying the far left organization’s history of violence."

Alex Christy huffed:

While some have tried to pretend that Antifa is not that bad-- after all, it's short for anti-fascist," so how bad can they really be?-- others have asserted without any evidence that it's actually white supremacists posing as Antifa that is responsible for the violence across the country. On Tuesday's& CNN Newsroom, hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto claimed to have found the evidence needed: a lone tweet from a since banned Twitter account.

Christy didn't mention that this same tweet was actually cited by one of its favorite right-wing journalists, Lara Logan, as evidence that Antifa was involved. Nor did he mention all the other evidence that right-wingers are trying to foment violence at the protests.

MRC chief Brent Bozell even worked Antifa into his latest politics-driven attack on Facebook, alleging that Facebook employees "haven’t made the same demands about truly repugnant and violent groups like Antifa, which have been allowed to proliferate on social media platforms without consequence" as they have in wanting Trump's Facebook posts regulated.

Finally, Marsh returned to accuse the Washington Post of publishing "Antifa propaganda" because an op-ed columnist argued that "being an anarchist means dreaming of a kinder, more equitable society.”

The MRC is not enlightening anyone here -- they're just pushing a narrative to serve their boss, Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 7, 2020 6:04 PM EDT
CNS Tries To Manufacture Outrage Over Biden Remark
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is looking for any excuse to attack Joe Biden because he's running against its preferred candidate, President Trump, and Biden's statement on a radio show that if black voters "have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, you ain’t black" was a good as any. CNS wasn't going to offer the likelihood that Biden was joking by taking his entire interview with radio host Charlamagne tha God into context, even though it regularly gives Trump an out by giving him a pass on offensive comments he later deems to be "sarcastic."

Melanie Arter's inital story on Biden's comments editorialized by trying to portray them as part of a pattern with Democratic presidential candidates:

Incidentally, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also appeared on “The Breakfast Club” during her presidential run, where she made her infamous line about carrying hot sauce in her purse - a comment that was seen by some as pandering to blacks because it paralleled singer Beyonce’s “I got hot sauce in my bag swag” lyric from the song “Formation.”

Arter failed to mention that Clinton's love of hot sauce and spicy peppers has been documented for decades.

CNS did an anonymously written sidebar to this also taken from the same interview maliciously headlined "Joe Biden: ‘I Know a Lot of Weed Smokers’."

From there, it was the usual "news" articles on conservative figures -- Republican Sen. Tim Scott and BET co-founder Robert Johnson -- denouncing Biden. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman made sure to tell us that Johnson "is Black."

CNS then ran an op-ed by black conservative activist Ken Blackwell that was filled with manufactured outrage (and typos):

Shut up. Don’t think. Do as your [sic] told. See you in four years. That’s what Joe Biden essentially projected to America’s black community Friday morning.

"If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Biden said on the popular New York City-based "Breakfast Club" radio show.

Biden’s remarks sent shock waves across social media and in the political press, but it shouldn’t have shocked anyone. Joe Biden and the Democrat Party [sic] have long sowed racial division and promoted identity politics in order to maintain power and control.

His condescending remark is indicative of the Democrat Party’s [sic] overall attitude towards blacks and minority groups—Shut up and listen. We decide what you think and how you vote.

[...]

Joe Biden and the Democrat Party [sic] will continue to talk down to the black community and lie about President Trump’s record in an effort to sow division and hate, while President Trump is laser focused on criminal justice reform, rebuilding our economy, and safely re-opening America so that all Americans can continue to pursue greater economic opportunities for themselves and their families.

CNS tried to hide Blackwell's partisan intent, describing him only as "the former Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission," not telling readers his current job is with the right-wing Family Research Council.

CNS even published a column by Pat Buchanan -- for whom CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey worked when he ran for president -- complaining that "Biden was saying that no self-respecting black American would vote for Trump over him this November. Indeed, any such individual would have been labeled in the 1960s with the slur Uncle Tom." Because Jeffrey and Buchanan are such close buds, CNS isn't going to tell its readers that Buchanan has his own issues with race.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EDT
Saturday, June 6, 2020
MRC Gets Mad When Other Media Critics Use MRC Tactics
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center viciously smears journalists it despises all the time -- remember how it cheered those "CNN sucks!" chants from Trump rally attendees -- but God forbid that anyone should treat the MRC's favorite pro-Trump journalists with anything even remotely approaching that sort of hate.

Thus, we have Tim Graham devoting a May 16 post to fretting that CBS correspondent Catherine Herridge -- who used to work at Fox News -- was being criticized for advancing a pro-Trump narrative in the case of Michael Flynn:

Can Fox News reporters ever truly succeed at liberal networks? Or is the Foxophobia so strong within the "mainstream" media that they are always suspicious? Some reporters succeed -- Major Garrett's still at CBS after a Fox News stint. But the guns are out for Catherine Herridge and her reporting on the Justice Department and the Michael Flynn case.

[...]

The Beasties offered this summary on Twitter: "Democrats on Capitol Hill have grown particularly irked by Catherine Herridge's work, believing she’s become a de facto clearing house for conservative conspiracy theorists who want to give their material the veneer of mainstream objectivity."

CBS, the "veneer of mainstream objectivity." That's hilarious.

Graham then made an unfortunate comparison: "But it's not hard to imagine that Herridge is finding herself to be the new version of Sharyl Attkisson, where many stories are sidelined to the internet because they're too upsetting for liberals to grant the 'imprimatur of neutrality.'"

Attkisson was beloved by the MRC a few years back for her anti-Obama reporting -- so much so that Graham and Co. overlooked her record of shoddy reporting and endorsement of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories and earned a dubious endorsement of her work from WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah. Attkisson's relationship with WND grew so suspicious that we had to wonder if she was paying WND to do fawning "news" articles about her then-new TV produced by the right-wing TV station owner Sinclair.

The MRC has been aggressively defending Fox News lately, and that apparently goes for former Fox News employees who take that attitude and bias into the mainstream media. Though Graham noted that CBS has another Fox refugee on its staff in Major Garrett, the MRC has never really defended him the way it's doing for Herridge, though it did highlight a time in 2018 when Garrett portrayed President Obama's criticism of Fox News during his presidency as equivalent to Trump's attacks on the entire "liberal media."

If Graham thinks Herridge is the new Sharyl Attkisson, that doesn't exactly bode well for Herridge -- and demonstrates once again that the MRC cares only about forwarding its bias and nothing about advancing the news media, and it absolutely hates when other use MRC tactics against its friends.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 6, 2020 11:09 AM EDT
Mychal Massie Meltdown Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's hard to find a lower species of life form today than Democrats holding political office. However, backstabbing, duplicitous Republicans will challenge the most reprobate Democrat any day of the week – and twice on Sunday when they're pretending to be the pious – for the title of "America's most undesirable."

Democratic politicians are pernicious liars and godless mercenaries of Satan, but Republicans are no less pernicious and godless, in addition to being nauseatingly craven.

[...]

Why is the Mitch McConnell-led Senate allowing Clinton, Biden and Obama not to be held criminally accountable?

What kind of investigation is Attorney General Bill Barr running/overseeing when he comes out yet again, well ahead of the completed investigations taking place on his watch as AG, and tells We the People he doesn't expect the Russian probe will lead to criminal investigation of either Obama or Biden?

[...]

Republicans have perfected the art of greasing the tracks for Democrats to go unpunished in the face of incontrovertible evidence against them. Why is Obama allowed to strut around like a sissified-banty rooster, as he stutters and stammers his way through the fomenting of discord based upon skin color?

What plausible excuses can be offered for not holding Hillary Clinton criminally accountable in the murder of Tyrone Woods, Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith in Benghazi? Why did Obama get away without even a slap on the wrist for his refusal to save the brave four men who were murdered in Benghazi?

[...]

Patriotic Americans have waited since President Reagan for a president who loved America and revered the American people. President Trump is fighting for us, and he's indeed worked mightily to "Make America Great Again." It has been and continues to be Republicans who are backstabbing him and betraying us.

Senate Republicans are a contentious lot of blueblood elitists, and the Kevin McCarthy House Republicans are little more than country-club types genteelly feeding off We the People. 

We voted for President Trump because we believed in him. It's time to start slashing the political throats of feckless RINO backstabbers who refuse to uphold the rule of law.

-- Mychal Massie, May 18  WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Friday, June 5, 2020
MRC Tries, Fails To Bash Another Fact-Checker As 'Liberal'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's mission to falsely identify fact-checkers who aren't explicitly right-wing as "liberal" as a weay of defending President Trump's history of lies is continuing.

In a May 15 post, Alexander Hall huffed that "Liberal website ratings firm NewsGuard has expanded its partnership with Microsoft in order to spread “news literacy.”You mighr remember NewsGuard from that time WorldNetDail's Joseph Farah had a meltdown when a NewsGuard tried to ask him basic questions about WND's notoriously unreliable "news" operation.

Hall offered no actual evidence that NewsGuard is "liberal"; instead he complainws that co-CEO Steven Brill "has reportedly given four times more money to Democrats than to Republicans and added:

NewsGuard has a history of political partisanship. It has slimed figures like Rush Limbaugh and mischaracterized a post on Limbaugh's Facebook page. NewsGuard highlighted “a link to Limbaugh’s site with false claims that the coronavirus was created in a lab as a bioweapon and that it is similar to the common cold.” NewsGuard was neither accurate about what he actually said, nor even the date of the post.

Let's take a look at that accusation, made in an April 21 post by Corinne Weaver, in which she wrote:

A new report from liberal Microsoft partner NewsGuard, “ Tracking Facebook’s COVID-19 Misinformation ‘Super-spreaders,’” went after large Facebook pages that “repeat, share, and amplify these myths” about COVID-19. The second example on the list was Rush Limbaugh’s Facebook page, which had shared “a link to Limbaugh’s site with false claims that the coronavirus was created in a lab as a bioweapon and that it is similar to the common cold.”

That’s not what the page said at all. NewsGuard wasn’t even accurate about the date of the post. NewsGuard claimed the posting happened on Feb. 24, but linked to Limbaugh’s Facebook post, published on Feb. 29, 2020. That Limbaugh item stated, “I think dealing with the Chinese, there are any number of things that are possible.” The link led to a transcript of Limbaugh’s February 26 episode, when a caller asked on his show if COVID-19 was meant to be a response to the United States’ economic sanctions. Limbaugh’s response began with, “I don’t know.”

Both Weaver and NewsGuard are confusing here. Because NewsGuard is focusing on misinformation on Facebook, its initial focus is on Limbaugh's Facebook post, which was made on Feb. 29 and links to a transcript from Limbaugh's Feb. 24 show. NewsGuard has appended a correction (which Weaver has not acknowledged) fixing the date issues.

Weaver, however, is misleading about which Limbaugh said. The question to which she refers that Limbaugh answered with an "I don't know" occurs toward the end of a lengthy rant in which Limbaugh did,in fact, declare that he was "dead right" that "The coronavirus is the common cold, folks." and that "It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized."

Even the Feb. 26 transcript that was apparently originally linked by NewsGuard is more problematic that  Weaver will admit. Limbaugh falsely claimed that "This is the 19th coronavirus" (the number represents 2019, the year it was discovered), again claimed Coronavirus is a respiratory virus like flu, like the common cold. I’m not wrong about this," and did very much argue that the virus was released by China in retaliation.

Weaver tried to make her own specious allegation that NewsGuard is "liberal," largely through guilt by association, citing not only Brill's alleged political donations but also money donated to it by Poynter and the Knight Foundation, which she dismissed as a "liberal journalism institute" and a "liberal foundation for journalism," respectively. Her proof that Poynter is "liberal" is that it identified the MRC as biased.

That's extremely thin gruel to make such accusations. But the MRC will keep making that gruel because a narrative must be maintained.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EDT
CNS' Chapman Suddenly Finds Chicago Shootings Newsworthy Again
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've documented, one of the things CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman invokes whenever there is bad news that needs to be distracted from is highlighting weekend shootings in Chicago. So, as the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States was approaching 100,000 toward the end of May, Chapman decided -- for the first time since October -- to devote an article about shootings in Chicago, even managing to work in a coronavirus angle:

In Chicago, at least 49 people were shot (10 fatally) over the Memorial Day weekend, according to ABC 7 Chicago. It was the worst Memorial Day weekend shooting since 2015. 

"The violence throughout the city on Memorial Day weekend was nothing short of alarming,” said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday.

[...]

In addition to the weekend violence, ABC News reported that although the coronavirus "has kept so many people home and temporarily shuttered businesses, homicides in Chicago are on the rise this year. According to police crime statistics posted online, between Jan. 1 and May 24, the city had 200 homicides, compared with 176 during the same period last year. The number of shooting incidents climbed from 679 to 826."

Chapman didn't explain why he only occasionally considers shootings in Chicago to be newsworthy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Thursday, June 4, 2020
MRC Parrots No-Tear-Gas Lie
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center proves itself to be more of a Trump lackey every day. A June 3 post by Brad Wilmouth claimed that CNN commentators "spread misinformation and freaked out over the dispersal of rioters in Lafayette square before President Donald Trump's speech on the riots across the country," asserting that "the group incorrectly claimed that the protesters were all peaceful and that tear gas was used against them." He added:

Introducing the segment at 6:16 a.m. Eastern, co-host John Berman stated that "we all saw attacks on peaceful protesters" who were "tear gassed so that President Trump could take a picture in front of a church."

After liberal political commentator Bakari Sellers cracked that "George Wallace is probably looking up at him with a smile," Camerota also claimed that "peaceful protesters" were "fired on with tear gas" so that "President and his attorney general and Ivanka in her heels and big designer bag could cross the street, and the President could try to figure out how to hold a Bible."

But Park Police have denied that the dispersal was done because of the President's speech or that tear gas was used, noting that the decision was made because some protesters turned violent and were hurling objects at police.

To support this, Wilmouth linked to an MRCTV post by Brittany Hughes, whosimilarly complained that "Multiple news outlets from local outlets to national news platforms ran with reports that the smoke plumes from the police were tear gas, and that the protesters were peaceful" and touted how the Park Police were "disputing the narrative."

But as actual news outlets reported, the Park Police stated that they used smoke canisters and pepper balls -- which, it turns out, are the functional equivalent of tear gas, since pepper balls are designed to be a chemical irritant. Meanwhile, another actual news outlet discovered tear gas canisters at the scene, further undermining the Park Police's story.

As of this writing, Wilmouth has not corrected his post.

UPDATE: The Park Police is now admitting that tear gas was used, but is still denying that it was the ones that used it. Wilmouth's post still hasn't been corrected.

(Photo: reporter's Twitter account)


Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 5, 2020 2:09 PM EDT
Jack Cashill's Image Rehab of Steve King Didn't Work
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King lost his re-election bid earlier this week, his constituents having grown weary of his history of racist remarks. Not even Jack Cashill's desperate attempt at image rehab couldn't stop it.

In his May 13 WorldNetDaily column, Cashill proclaimed King to be "a solid, nine-term conservative whose immigration policies helped shape President Trump's own" as well as "an unabashed conservative and an unapologetic defender of Western civilization." That racist stuff? Either lies or misunderstandings.

Taking aim at a Republican Jewish Coalition attack on King he insisted was "shockingly mendacious and spectacularly self-destructive," Cashill took issue with the RJC's claim that King supports "an ideology that says Jews, and other minority groups are inferior," insisting that "King has long been a champion of Israel and has argued publicly in favor of assimilation and interracial marriage."

Cashill then gets the RJC's name wrong about midway through his column, calling the the "Republican Jewish Committee." He then complained about a New York Times interview with King and attacked reporter Trip Gabriel, all while framing King's casual racism as no big deal:

Gabriel's language was predictably loaded. Trump "demonized immigrants," he wrote, conflating "demonized" with "described."

The president made "demeaning" remarks, inspired "fear" and used "misleading" statistics.

King's behavior was even worse. He used "racist language" in the past, "promoted neo-Nazis" on Twitter and was denounced by one anonymous "Republican leader" as a "white supremacist."

Gabriel's link about racist language led to a Salon article detailing comments King made using the common metaphor "pick of the litter" to describe how America should choose the most productive immigrants seeking to come here regardless of race.

The leftist Salon editors subverted his obviously positive intent and headlined the article, "Rep. Steve King: Immigrants are like dogs." This was all standard media stuff.

Gabriel, a former Styles section editor, made King's life hell with one sentence allegedly said by King but unrecorded by either King or Gabriel.

Gabriel set up the quote with a fairly accurate observation that King supported "immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is 'the culture of America' based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe."

Gabriel quoted King on the phrase, "the culture of America," but not on the phrase, "whites from Europe." King never talked in terms of race when he talked about culture. Gabriel slipped the "whites" reference in on his own.

The next sentence attributed to King proved to be the killer: "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive."

Cashill gave King's language-parsing defense a pass -- "If he had meant to lump all three of those phrases together he would have said 'those words' not 'that language'" -- then huffed, "Besides, no one has ever sat in a class talking about the merits of white nationalism or white supremacism. Gabriel knew what King meant."

Cashill is a bit obsessed with race issues -- a few days before this, he was trying to run his Trayvon Martin playbook on Ahmaud Arbery -- and his views are not in the mainstream.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EDT
CNS Reporter Parses Words To Defend Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

Patrick Goodenough had a reputation as the closest thing to a real reporter left at CNSNews.com. But his work of late has been veering slowly toward the pro-Trump agitprop that dominates much of CNS' original content. Goodenough served up this aggressive defense of Trump in a May 15 article:

President Trump was derided on Twitter Thursday for saying that the high number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States was related to the significant increase in testing. But the data suggest that he is right.

[...]

In saying, “If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases,” Trump clearly meant that if testing was not being carried out, then many cases would be going unconfirmed and unreported – not that they would not exist.

By the same token, in saying, “When you test, you have a case,” he self-evidently did not mean that the testing causes the case.

[...]

Jennifer Mercieca, who teaches in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, tweeted

(Trump did not say that the test causes the case.)

Goodenough cranked out another word-parsing pro-Trump defense on May 20:

A leading medical journal on Tuesday took issue with President Trump for citing its research in a letter to the World Health Organization – but evidently misinterpreted what Trump had written.

In his letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, Trump called for major reforms, failing which the organization would lose U.S. funding permanently, he warned, and the U.S. could even withdraw altogether.

Outlining his concerns about WHO’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, Trump wrote that WHO “consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal.”

The Lancet in a statement Tuesday called Trump’s comment “factually incorrect,” and added that it had “published no report in December, 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China.”

Trump did not, however, say the relevant reports in The Lancet had been published in December.

In referring to December, he was clearly speaking about the month during which the coronavirus was spreading in Wuhan – according to credible reports, including those published in The Lancet.

But Goodenough suddenly wasn't interested in word-parsing or context in a June 1 article, since the goal was to play guilt-by-association with former President Obama:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding that Twitter suspend President Trump’s “racist” account, over his recent tweeted warning that looters exploiting protests sparked by the death of George Floyd risk being shot.

CAIR based its charge that the warning amounted to a “racist threat of violence” on the fact that Trump used the word “thugs” to describe those looting, vandalizing and torching businesses.

“Thugs,” explained CAIR, is “a race-coded word that bigoted politicians use to negatively describe African-American protestors.”

[...]

Five years ago, President Obama used the same word in connection with those looting and destroying businesses in Baltimore, amid protests over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody.

“A handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” were the words Obama used to describe the perpetrators of the violent behavior.

[...]

Trump, who just weeks later [in 2015] would formal announce his presidential run, scoffed at the criticism around the use of the word.

“They now say using the word ‘thug’ is, like so many other words, not politically correct (even though Obama uses it),” he tweeted. “It is racist. BULL!”

For some reason, Goodenough declined to clarify that, unlike Trump, Obama did not use the word "thug" on Twitter.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
AIM Chief Fails In Attacking Newspapers As 'Hard Left,' Unworthy of Bailout
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media is attempting to regain what little relevance it had and maybe create some buzz by railing against the idea of treating the media like every other business in America that is eligible for coronavirus relief money. Of course, AIM simply wants the non-conservative media to die any way it can. The latest step in this is a May 22 op-ed by AIM president Adam Guillette pubished by the Washington Examiner.

Since Guillette, like most right-wing media critics, has never worked a day in the media he attacks -- he came to AIM from the discredited right-wing provocateurs at Project Veritas -- he doesn't understand how the media busienss works; he's too caught up in his biases. He began by ranting:

If Lenin said that capitalists “will sell us the rope we use to hang them,” newspapers are saying that conservatives will fund the ink they use to smear them.

Bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress have now signed on for a proposed media bailout. This isn’t a bailout for smaller newspapers and television stations. Those businesses were already eligible for the Payroll Protection Program, and many of them took advantage of it — in a big way. 

The Seattle Times took $9.9 million tax dollars, and the Tampa Bay Times bagged $8.5 million. Two of the most hard-left newspapers in America didn’t even hesitate before grabbing their Trump Bucks.

Needless to say, Guillette offers no evidence that either of those newspapers is "hard left" -- he simply assumes so because they don't have a right-wing bias.

Guillette then attacked the newspaper chain McClatchy for filing for bankruptcy. He continued to whine:

For years, conservatives bemoaned how far left their local newspapers shifted. Little by little, the editorial boards of nearly every local newspaper were taken over by progressives. Then the editorializing started spreading to each article. In response to their complaints, conservatives were always told, “It’s a private company, they can do what they want!” 

But now we’ve learned that alienating a large portion of your marketplace isn’t a winning business strategy. Why, then, should customers be forced to pay for a product they’ve already rejected?

Of course, the newspapers claim their bias isn’t the problem. They blame the internet. Countless business models have been upended by the internet; should we bail out each of them? Should we have bailed out stone tablet makers after the invention of the printing press?

If Guillette is going to complain that newspapers' purported liberal bias are not a "winning business strategy" then he must also admit that explicitly conservative newspapers were never a "winning business strategy." As we've documented, newspapers like the Washington Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and New York Post have always been failures in the market and kept alive only because they were owned by deep-pocketed right-wing owners -- even in the pre-internet years when mainstream newspaper reliably turned profits. Even the publication where Guillette's op-ed appears, the Washington Examiner, is the remnant of a daily newspaper that failed after a new owner, Philip Anschutz, infused it with right-wing bias.

In order to be an effective critic, one must understand what he is criticizing. Guillette clearly doesn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EDT
SHOCK: MRC Writers Stop Hating CNN For A Few Seconds
Topic: Media Research Center

The Twitter feeds of Media Research Center writer Nicholas Fondcaro and NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck are typically filled with hate and bile toward the MRC's usual targets, but particularly CNN -- they are paid well for their hate and bile after all. But they committed a minor sin in the eyes of their employer: they expressed sympathy toward CNN over the weekend when correspondent Omar Jimenez was arrested for no reason by Minnesota State Police while covering the unrest in Minneapolis following the police-custody death of George Floyd.

Houck wrote: "This is infuriating and stupid. What a horrible look for the Minnesota State Police. Absolutely inexcusable. It's pretty clear they weren't protesters. Everyone knows how blunt, possibly harsh, and maybe nasty I've been to CNN. But arresting Omar Jimenez or anyone reporting? No." Fondacaro similarly wrote: "Unbelievable! I’m not a fan of CNN but this is BS and wrong! The crew was respectfully asking police where they wanted them to move so they could stay out of the way of Minnesota State Police, and they get arrested."

None of this supposed concern made it to the pages of NewsBusters, one sign that this expression of sympathy was either utterly phony or a mistake for which they had to answer to their MRC overlords. Antoher sign: Fondacaro and Houck were soon bashing CNN as usual.

A few hours later, Fondacaro was viciously mocking CNN anchor Brian Stelter as "Pennywise" and a "clown," ranting that the channel is trying to "warp reality," and bizarrely blaming CNN for a Fox News reporter getting heckled (even though, as we've documented, he and his MRC coworkers spent years egging on people to yell "CNN sucks!" at CNN correspondents).

Houck, meanwhile, went into abusive-spouse mode a few hours later by blaming CNN itself and the media in general for losing his sympathy for the CNN reporters getting arrested:

See, this is how the media so often throw good will, which was absolutely there this morning b/c it was awful.

Perhaps the biggest lie about the news media is that their insistence that they don't like being a part of the story. They love it and relish it, especially CNN.

It's probably closer to the truth to point out that Houck has no good will whatsoever toward CNN and any sympathy was always going to be fleeting (if not entirely manufactured).

The MRC lets Houck's and Fondacaro's increasingly irrational anti-CNN rage go unabated, it's spilling over into actual MRC posts, and it seems everyone's totally cool with that.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- WND's Coronavirus Conspiracies: The Dubious Docs
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's stable of fringe physicians -- plus a couple new ones -- serve up the usual questionable advice (about hydroxychloroquine) and fearmongering (about a possible vaccine). Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
MRC Still Treating Lara Logan Like A Real Journalist -- But She Repeated Antifa Hoaxes
Topic: Media Research Center

Since she re-emerged last year as a conservative darling, the Media Research Center has been trying to make Lara Logan a thing again, largely by ignoring the thing that made her not a thing in the first place: the "60 Minutes" story in which she promoted the story of a purported witness to the Benghazi attack who was later discovered to have been lying about the whole thing. The MRC tried to portray Logan as a credible journalist again in a June 2 post by Kristine Marsh:

The media has not only been downplaying and ignoring the violence caused by Antifa for years, they’ve also been increasingly defending them from scrutiny. On Fox and Friends this morning, journalist Lara Logan went after The New York Times for doing exactly that, after President Trump announced he would designate the violent left-wing anarchist group as a terrorist organization.

Host Steve Doocy began the interview by asking Logan to respond to many in the media’s charge that Antifa couldn’t be labeled as terrorists since there was “no central leader” and they were well spread out. Logan argued this was the media aiding Antifa’s “propaganda” by criticizing a move that would “dry up” the group’s funding, citing celebrities contributing bail money.

She called out the New York Times specifically for “dismissing” what everyone can plainly see about the organized group’s nefarious role in this past week’s protests:

[...]

Logan went on to read from an Antifa document which lists their ten ultimate “goals” to achieve; essentially, to completely destroy American society by dismantling every system of order: “Liberation begins where America dies. So that is what this is about,” she summarized.

But the "Antifa document" she was reading from was a list of "points of action" from a group called the Revoluationary Abolitionist Movement, which she also posted on her Twitter account. But Logan did not explain in her Fox News appearance how this particular group is a part of Antifa or otherwise represents Antifa, or even that it has any constituency of any size.

But as Marsh posted this item presenting Logan as credible, Logan was getting destroyed on Twitter for posting two things she claimed were Antifa-related but turned out to be hoaxes. 

As Media Matters' Parker Malloy summarized, Logan posted a document claiming to prove that Antifa "have infiltrated LE (Law Enforcement)" and which detailed "communication channels, secrecy levels, codes and PROFESSIONAL AGITATORS." In fact, as Snopes documented, this document first surfaced in 2015, well before the police-custody death of George Floyd, and we can safely assume it's a hoax because "an organization that secretly organized and masterminded protests, then produced and distributed confidential documents outlining such illegal activities as their use of tax authorities and accounting firms in order to conceal their funding of those protests, would be so foolish as to emblazon the incriminating evidence with their name and logo."

Logan also retweeted a Twitter post from someone claiming to be "ANTIFA America," stating, "Tonight's the night, comrades. Tonight we say 'F--- The City' and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours ." But as NBC reported, that account, which has since been shut down, was linked to white nationalist group Identity Evropa.

Touting a reporter who tends to get suckered by hoaxes is not the best way for the MRC to prove the credibility of the right-wing media.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EDT
CNS Censors Stock Scandal Involving GOP Senators
Topic: CNSNews.com

In April, it was revealed that Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold off much of his stock holdings -- up to $1.7 million worth -- in mid-February, a couple weeks before the stock market crashed due to the coronavirus shutdown. At the same time, he was expressing public optimism about how the country would handle coronavirus while making much more dire assessments in private. Federal investigators have since seized Burr's cell phone on the same day he stepped down as intelligence committee chairman due to the investigation.

CNSNews.com has reported none of this -- perhaps because Burr is a Republican who has been Trump-friendly on occasion. In February 2019, managing editor Michael W. Chapman repeated Burr's proclamation that based on all the facts available, there is no evidence of "collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia" which Chapman echoed in another article that month. CNS did, however, publish a May 2019 column by David Limbaugh huffing it was "nauseating that RINO Sen. Richard Burr, as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is doing the bidding of vindictive Democrats in issuing a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr."

CNS even reported on Burr after the scandal broke, yet still stayed silent. In an anonymously written April 22 article -- a week after the scandal was first reported -- highlighted how Burr "put out a statement" agreeing with an intelligence community assessment that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election -- albeit buried in the ninth paragraph of an article that began with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi invoking the report to wonder what Vladimir Putin has on President Trump.

CNS performed the same see-no-evil service for another Republican senator caught up in the same scandal. Sen. Kelly Loeffler sold nearly $20 million in stock in the weeks before the coronavirus pandemic broke and is also under investigation. Yet in an April 17 article, Melanie Arter touted how Loeffler, "who serves on the bipartisan task force to reopen the economy, told Fox News on Friday that she’s concerned that China might be holding up test kits." Arter did not mention Loeffler's stock controversy.

If it's bad news about Republicans, it appears that CNS will not live up to its billing as a "news" organization and report facts; it will censor that news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 1:45 AM EDT
Monday, June 1, 2020
Newsmax Columnist Clings To Conspiracy Theory Of Coronavirus As Chinese Bioweapon
Topic: Newsmax

The idea that coronavirus is a Chinese-made bioweapon is one that has been long discredited. Still, it's one that some conspiracy theorists cling to. One of them is Clare Lopez, a right-wing activist whom we saw last among other biased right-wingers (and discredited fraud Wayne Simmons) on Accuracy in Media's "Citizens' Commission on Benghazi." for some reason, Newsmax gave Lopez a May 11 column to pursue her new conspiracy theory.

Lopez ranted that "With CCP ["Commuinist Chinese Party"] propaganda efforts in full overdrive, it is important that USG [could be "U.S. government," but Lopez never explains the acronym] leadership speak openly and clearly about Beijing's advanced Biological Weapons Program (BWP). This particular coronavirus may have escaped a CCP lab accidentally, but its creation was anything but unintentional." She went on to quote speculation that a biology lab in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus first appeared, "is linked to China's covert bio-weapons program," then concluded with more speculation and conspiracy theorizing:

To put this in perspective, it is important to understand how Xi Jinping and the CCP's top leadership think. They are steeped in thousands of years of Chinese history and warfare. Sun Tzu's 500 B.C "Art of War" is studied alongside the 1999 "Unrestricted Warfare." Let's conclude here with the secret speech of Chi Haotian, who was China's Defense Minister from 1993 to 2003 and also Vice Chairman of the CCP's Central Military Commission. In this chilling speech, translated into English in 2005, Gen. Chi openly referred to the CCP's intention to militarily defeat, occupy, and colonize the U.S. And what of 330 million Americans? The CCP will be "using special means to 'clean up' America", i.e., "new bio-weapons."

No, thanks, we'll just stick with actual, authoritataive sources who aren't so much into baseless, discredited speculation.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:21 PM EDT

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