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Saturday, June 20, 2020
MRC Goes A-Heathering Against Conserative Trump Critic, Fox News Host
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent years Heathering itsd fellow conservatives who step out of line by failing to rigidly toe the conservative line. These days, though, Trumpism must be enforced, and the MRC will tolerate no dissent, even from those whose conservative credentials are impeccable (and Fox News hosts).

So when "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace and conservative guest Jonah Goldberg criticized White House press secretary Kayleigh McEneny's unprofessional behavior in attacking journalists who dare to question the actions of the Trump administration, Nicholas Fondacaro went into full Heathering mode:

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace invited a panel to bash White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany because she dared to stand up to the opposition press. Between Wallace taking it personally and the Never-Trump editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, Jonah Goldberg attacking her, it was like watching CNN.

Wallace’s chief complaint was that McEnany had taken the White House pool to task for ignoring and downplaying the revelations in the corrupt investigation of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and how the Russian collusion narrative was unraveling.

“I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well [for her],” Wallace bristled as he addressed Goldberg.

[...]

Wallace also repeatedly threw around how he used to be a White House correspondent back in the day with ridiculously biased Sam Donaldson. That being the case, Wallace should acknowledge the fact that every press secretary has acted as a spokesperson for the respective administration they work for.

Now, the argument can be made that McEnany's comments can be a little hot, but the hyperbolic rhetoric from Goldberg and Wallace was uncalled for.

Fondacaro -- who is a Trump true believer, incapable of considering that he or his administration is capable of doing anything wrong -- repeated his employer's old blame-the-media schtick: "But back in reality, the liberal media were the ones who had turned nearly every press briefing into 'gladiatorial arenas' since day one of the Trump presidency. One just needed to look at how CNN’s Jim Acosta, Playboy’s Brian Karem, and the plethora of other so-called 'journalists' who used the briefings to make themselves the news story."

This fit of Heathering is just another example of how the MRC has become an arm of Trump's re-election campaign.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:24 AM EDT
WND Tries To Spin Away Film About Roe v. Wade Plaintiff
Topic: Media Research Center

Like the Media Research Center and CNSNews.com, WorldNetDaily didn't take news of the new documentary film on Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" plaintiff of the Roe v. Wade case that ultimately made abortion legal, very well since she states that she became an anti-abortion activist because she was paid to do so.

WND went into damage control quickly, with an anonymously written May 20 article (before the film was released) rehashing a Daily Caller item claiming that "people who spent years working with her scoffed at the idea." It featured Troy Newman of Operation Rescue -- which, if you'll recall recall, helped inspire Scott Roeder to murder an abortion doctor in Kansas -- pulling the old trick of attacking the filmmaker as having "no credibility because of his previous work, including titles 'Born in the Wrong Body,' 'Transgender Kids' and 'Sex robots.'"

The next day, WND served up another article, this time highlighting anti-abortion activists "demanding the filmmakers provide proof of their claim." Again, this was before anyone had seen the full film, and the proof they were demanding would have been in that film. In neither of these articles does WND bother to contact the filmmaker so that he could respond to the criticms.

However, WND largely ignored "AKA Jane Roe" after this, even though the film had finally become available. The only reference to it we could find was a May 26 column by Jerry Newcombe, who begins with the usual attempt to discredit: "It should be noted she was paid to appear in the FX documentary. Nick Sweeney, the documentary producer, has made movies about sex robots and girls becoming 'boys.'" Newcombe offered no evidence she was "paid to appear" in the film; Sweeney says he gave her a "modest licensing fee" to use family photos and video). Newcombe then called in Operation Rescue's Cheryl Sullenger -- who was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting to blow up an abortion clinic in the 1980s -- to handwave McCorvey's more damaging claims:

On my radio show, Sullenger added that the claim McCorvey received money from the pro-life movement proves nothing. Receiving honoraria for speaking engagements is a common practice, no matter one's politics.

Furthermore, Norma claims in the FX documentary that they (pro-lifers/the evangelicals/the Catholics) told her what to say. That can sound worse than it was. Sullenger noted that Norma had little education and was not a polished public speaker. Thus, in various venues in which she spoke, speechwriters crafted the copy she read. That type of thing happens all the time, again, no matter one's politics.

Newcombe included by declaring that what McCorvey said doesn't really matter and that the anti-abortion narrative is more important:

Only God knows the heart. Norma McCorvey was a fiery, unpredictable woman with rough edges. But regardless of who was telling the truth between the Norma of 1995 and the Norma of 2016 (in that one interview), the realities of abortion, legalized in her court case, do not change. Abortion unjustly takes an innocent human life and does incredible damage to the mother. That's not a matter of changing opinions or the passage of time. That's a fact.

That's what one must do to stay on message when another, more compelling message runs counter to it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Friday, June 19, 2020
NewsBusters Defends Fox' Baier As Impartial. Forgets His Anti-Hillary Fake News
Topic: NewsBusters

Randy Hall devoted a June 1 NewsBusters post to complaining about a purported "hit job" on Fox News anchor Bret Baier in the Hollywood Reporter arguing that he's not as impartial as right-wingers like to claim he is. Enlisting fellow right-winger Caleb Hull on defense, Hall was particularly unhappy that the article cited "more than a dozen cable news insiders and industry observers" to support its claim, huffing: "Cable news insiders? And because they're anonymous, we don't know if they're from CNN or MSNBC, or disgruntled ex-Fox employees."

Hall then exhibited the Media Research Center's hypocrisy on anonymous sources by further complaining that the supposed "hit job" cited as an example of Baier's bias a claim that the coronavirus originated in a labe in Wuhan, China, that was sourced only by "classified and open-source documents and evidence" that the network did not "directly view" -- in other words, effectively anonymous documents.

But neither Hall nor the Hollywood Reporter cited a more egregious example of Baier's bias: a report before the 2016 presidential election that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent -- another anonymous sourced piece that Baier had to retract. If you'll recall, the MRC enthusiastically promoted Baier's bogus story -- so much so that MRC chief Brent Bozell declared that "We will report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour from here on out" -- and never told its readers it was retracted.

If we know anything about the MRC, is that it's so far to the right that its judgment about the political leanings of others is so utterly skewed as to be unreliable. So if Hall is insisting that Baier plays it straight, that really means his conservative bias is quite pronounced.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EDT
CNS' Trump-Defending Reporter Goes The Whataboutism Route
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com reporter Patric Goodenough has been slowly shedding his reputation as a decent reporter to become a pro-Trump shill like the rest of the rest of the CNS crew. He did that again in a June 1 article, which started by complaining that "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." Goodenough then went the whataboutism route:

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.

Speaking at the White House on April 28, 2015, a day after the rioting erupted, he said there was “no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday.”

Goodenough did seem to admit he was stretching the point, noting that, unlike Obama's very narrow use of the word, "Trump used the descriptor in reference to ISIS terrorists, Democratic lawmakers, MS-13 gang members, the surviving Boston marathon bomber, and protestors outside his campaign rallies."

Goodenough also undercut his suggestion that criticism of Trump's use of "thug" is politically motivated attack against him by noting that Obama and other Democratic figures faced criticism for using the word.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EDT
Thursday, June 18, 2020
MRC Censors Fact That Cop Killer Is A Right-Wing Extremist
Topic: Media Research Center

In a June 11 item, the Media Research Center's Bill D'Agostino complained that "ABC, CBS and NBC have churned out a massive amount of coverage for protests during the past two weeks (1,042 minutes on their morning and evening news programs), but these same networks have spent almost no airtime letting viewers know about the injuries and death inflicted on police officers during these two weeks of social unrest." He cited two incidents in particular:

On the night of May 29, federal law enforcement officer Dave Patrick Underwood was killed in a drive-by shooting while providing security at a U.S. courthouse in Oakland. The incident was labeled “an act of domestic terrorism” by Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. Underwood’s death received just 10 seconds of airtime from NBC; the incident received 14 seconds from CBS and 19 seconds from ABC. 

[...]

Another police killing -- the June 6 ambush and murder of a sheriff's deputy in Santa Cruz, California -- was not immediately linked to the protests and social unrest, but it also received miniscule coverage: 2 minutes, 14 seconds on ABC; 50 seconds on CBS; and 46 seconds on NBC.

The MRC has yet to tell you, however, that the man arrested in both killings is a right-wing extremist.

Steven Carrillo, an Air Force sergeant who is apparently affiliated with the far-right Boogaloo movement -- which seeks to ignite a second civil war in the U.S. -- was arrested on June 11, the same day as D'Agostino's post, for the Santa Cruz ambush, then was charged five days later with the killing of the Oakland officer.

The MRC has invoked both incidents to suggest that left-wing Antifa activists are responsible for these officers' deaths:

A June 3 post by Kristine Marsh claimed Underwood's death was an example of  how "The media also largely ignored when another black man was killed last week during the riots.

A June 4 item by D'Agostino invoked Underwood's death in a similar "study" on law enforcement deaths that were "glossed over or were ignored outright by the broadcast networks."

In his June 6 column, Jeffrey Lord referenced "the murder of Dave Patrick Underwood, a black federal security officer in Oakland" as an example of the "looting and burning."

Nicholas Fondacaro complained in a June 7 post that "ABC chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz appeared on Good Morning America claimed Trump wanted to bring 'combat troops' to bear against peaceful protesters. But while ABC was mischaracterizing Trump’s use of active-duty military, they completely ignored the ambush of sheriff’s deputies in Santa Cruz, California, where one was murdered and two more injured.

Fondacaro used the Santa Cruz incident to attack Raddatz in another post the same day: "But even though a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy was killed and two others were injured in an ambush the previous night, Raddatz indignantly declared: 'There have not been too many examples in the last few days.'"

The MRC should tell its readers the full story about the incidents it cites -- you know, what it demands from the media outlets it criticizes.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 PM EDT
CNS Also Unhappy About McCorvey Film That Makes Anti-Abortion Movement Look Bad
Topic: CNSNews.com

Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com has problems with the new documentary on Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" in the Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion -- namely, her claim that she flipped to being an anti-abortion activist because she was paid to do so.

A May 21 column by Alveda King (also published at Newsmax), which came out before the film was released, rehashed anti-abortion talking points and added a little self-promotion to attack the film and perpetuate the anti-abortion movement's narrative on McCorvey:

Shameful fake news would have us believe that Norma McCorvey was a mercenary. Nothing could be further from the truth. For those of us who knew and loved Norma, we know that at the end, Norma loved God, and Norma loved life. 

Never believe fake news. Fake news baited and switched on Norma just before her death. According to Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, Norma wrote to him saying that she’d been booked for an interview for AKA Jane Roe. Norma was so excited; they promised to let her tell her story and told her they would pay her for it. From my personal perspective, they interviewed Norma and took her words out of context.

Norma McCorvey’s conversion to Christianity in 1995 led her to become one of the most devoted pro-life advocates of our times. Her pro-life testimony is truly a gift of love. 

As a Christian evangelist, and executive director of the upcoming film – Roe v. Wade – I am praying and thanking God for the pro-life legacy of my friend Norma McCorvey.  God bless America and God bless the pro-life legacy of Norma McCorvey; she gave her all for God. She gave her love for life.

The next day, CNS published a column by Penny Nance of the right-wing, anti-abortion Concerned Women for America. Nance also apparently hadn't seen the film, choosing instead to attack director Nick Sweeney because his "body of work informs his agenda." but she too was more interested in perpetuating the anti-abortion agenda that the film undermines:

But the abortion deception demands more and more lies in order to keep its house of cards alive. From their standpoint, the public must never discover that pro-life is pro-woman. And with this new documentary, the web of lies and deception continues.

Thankfully, the majority of Americans are not falling for this. They are waking up to the many abortion lies, like those the Sweeney documentary alleges, that keep Roe alive and are now rejecting these lies. Are Americans to believe the 1970s McCorvey? The 2005 McCorvey? Or the 2017 deathbed McCorvey? Regardless of what she said in her 2017 deathbed confession, we in the Christian conservative movement loved and welcomed her and thank her for her courage to bring to light the deception of Roe v. Wade.

Finally, CNS published a June 1 column by someone who may have actually seen the film, Rev. Shenan Boquet of anti-abortion group Human Life International.He served up the usual attack on the film's director, snarking that Sweeney's "other film credits include such illuminating films as The Sex Robots are Coming and Transgender Kids Camp" -- telling us how little he thinks of transgender kids -- but he did concede that McCorvey's claim could "deliver a major blow to the pro-life cause."

Which, of course, is why he devoted a lot of space to downplay and undermine it. As far as the money, Boquet huffed: "McCorvey worked for& two and a half decades  in the pro-life movement. Like any spokesperson for any cause, she was paid for her speeches and other work. Viewed as a lump sum, the total dollar amount seems shocking; considered as payment for many years of work, it’s a non-event."

He then declared that "perhaps the best reason to question the film’s narrative is the testimony of the many pro-life leaders who spend endless hours with her, considered her a close friend, and who were in regular contact with her up to – and, indeed, on – the day she died," adding that "various pro-life leaders, many of whom spent countless hours with McCorvey, and with whom she even lived at various times, have reminisced fondly about the woman they knew. And regardless of any complexities of her feelings captured in the documentary, they strenuously dispute the notion that her pro-life conversion or activism was just an 'act.'"

Boquet finally declared that "In AKA Jane Roe, Sweeny [sic] tried to paint a sordid tale of a movement exploiting a woman, plying her with money to play a part for political gain. In reality, it was he who was exploiting her: releasing an ambiguous documentary designed to undermine her pro-life legacy, after her death, when she is unable to defend herself or clarify her words." Of course, Boquet very much has an incentive to attack Sweeney and his film and insist McCorvey's words couldn't possibly be her own.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: Beyond The Benghazi Bungle
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center gave Lara Logan a pass after she botched her "60 Minutes" story on a fake Benghazi witness. Now Logan is back, falling for Antifa hoaxes -- and the MRC is totally cool with that as well. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 PM EDT
CNS Doesn't Like Alan Dershowitz Anymore
Topic: CNSNews.com

Remember several months ago, when attorney Alan Dershowitz was the toast of CNSNews.com for his legal opinions on the impeachment of President Trump that just happened to fit CNS' pro-Trump narrative? Well, that's apparently over with, now that Dersh has expressed an opinion that no longer aligns with CNS' views.

Dershowitz has opined that the government could, if it wanted to, force people to get a coronavirus vaccine because protecting Americans falls under governmental power and "I don't believe you have a right to be Typhoid Mary and spread" coronavirus. That clearly did not go over well at CNS, which published a May 22 op-ed in response by Wesley Smith of the right-wing creationist Discovery Institute:

Government cannot just pass any law it wants because there is a health emergency. So, here’s a question that must be answered in assessing Dershowitz’s claim of a broad power of the government in the current circumstance: Is the COVID-19 pandemic such a “great danger” that it would be “reasonable” to secure “the safety of the general public” for the government to force everyone in the country to be vaccinated?

It seems to me that the answer must be no.

Smith then complained that 1905 Supreme Court ruling in Jacobson v. Massachusetts that Dershowitz was invoking in defense of his decision -- fringe-right anti-vaxxer doc Jane Orient has also cited the case in arguing against complusory vaccination against a measles outbreak -- focused on smallpox, not coronavirus:

Context matters. The Jacobson case dealt with smallpox, one of the deadliest diseases known to man, with a 30 percent mortality rate and scarring afflicting the majority of survivors. COVID-19 comes nowhere close to being that deadly. Those at material risk of death from COVID-19—still a lower risk than smallpox—are the elderly and people with serious comorbidities. Children and healthy adults do not face a dire peril. Almost all recover from the illness and some don’t experience serious symptoms of any kind.

Third, since we can identify the minority most at risk from COVID-19, is it reasonable to force everyone in the country to be vaccinated? Absolutely not. The government can deploy far less intrusive means to shield such people with limited quarantine orders and locking down nursing homes, as two examples.

[...]

Our leaders are, of course, free to use persuasive means to convince us to be inoculated should a vaccine be perfected. But in this particular circumstance and given the exigencies of this specific disease, it can’t force us. And the government, Dershowitz’s opinion notwithstanding, certainly doesn’t have “the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.”

Interestingly, CNS did not report on Dershowitz's original comments.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EDT
Scott Lively's Obama Derangement (Among Other Things)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Isn't it interesting that Black Lives Matter and Antifa anarchists launched a national campaign of mayhem and rioting at the start of the weekly news cycle in which the fully exculpatory Michael Flynn transcripts were finally released to the public? The trigger, was, of course, the outrageous and possibly deliberate George Floyd killing, conveniently carried out in full public view and captured on video for instantaneous social media virality. I predicted on April 22 that the elites would orchestrate a new crisis as soon as it looked like America would regain her equilibrium, and it seems this may be it, or at least the first salvo in a new campaign of chaos.

The main purpose of the rioting, as was true of the now-waning COVID-19 Plandemic, is to spread fear. Fear is what keeps a sizable portion of the American people "sheltered-in-place," and that phenomenon of social destabilization is the key to preventing economic recovery. An orchestrated economic depression is, of course, the cornerstone of the elites' plan for taking down President Trump (which I again predict will fail).

That's what this season of Psy-Ops, with all its disinformation, propaganda and political intrigue, has always been about from its very beginning, when Barack Obama first began to realize that Trump could actually beat Hillary, thanks to the sabotage of the HRC campaign and the DNC by Bernie zealot Seth Rich, the Wikileaker whistleblower who was (I opine) murdered in broad daylight for that act of treachery.

The timing of the rioting, and his immediate, highly inflammatory public statement, betrays the hand of Barack Obama behind it all. I predicted that also in my WND column of Jan. 3, 2017. I compared Obama's actions between the Trump election and inauguration to Hitler's sabotage of France's Cherbourg harbor just after D-Day in WWII. I then noted that Obama had taken the highly irregular step of setting up his own post-presidency political base in Washington, D.C. I closed with this prediction: "I have no doubt that Obama is planning his own Battle of Bloody Gulch [Hitler's Cherbourg counter-offensive after the Americans had taken the city and began pushing east toward Germany] but one which he assumes he will win. Megalomaniacs cannot surrender graciously. Backed by armies of social justice warriors on the streets and in the hardened leftist bunkers of media, academia and big-money foundations, Obama will fight like a cornered rat to protect his legacy and it's underlying ideology. Be certain of it, and never stop fighting until freedom has been restored."

-- Scott Lively, June 1 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
MRC Uses Trump's Crappy Pollster For A Poll Reaffirming Its Agenda
Topic: Media Research Center

How closely is the Media Research Center working with President Trump's re-election campaign? It's now using Trump's pollster. From an anonymously written June 9 post:

The Media Research Center (MRC) in coordination with McLaughlin & Associates on Tuesday released the findings of a new poll examining likely voters’ attitudes toward media coverage of the coronavirus shutdown and President Trump.

The poll found that 60% of likely voters, both liberal and conservative, believed some members of the media would like to see the shutdown drag on so that it hurts President Trump's chances of reelection in November. Of those polled, 85% of self-identified conservatives and 41% of self-identified liberals agreed with the above statement.

“This is just more evidence of how at odds the American liberal media are with the American public,” said MRC President Brent Bozell.

All the MRC is doing here is confirming how its messaging -- in this case, the narrative that the non-Fox News media hate Trump -- is holding up. Given that 85 percent of conservatives buy this, the MRC is doing a fine job of preaching to the converted.

As it happens, the day before this press release was posted, McLaughlin & Associates issued a memo on behalf of the Trump campaign claiming that polls showing Trump losing are "skewed," adding, "Let’s prove them wrong again." This was followed by a letter from Trump's campaign demanding that CNN retract a poll it didn't like. CNN responded by noting that "this is the first time in its 40-year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN's polling results."

The MRC is certainly not going to tell you that McLaughlin is considered to be among the worst political pollsters. Most notoriously, in 2014 a McLaughlin poll for then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor showed him up by 34 points two weeks before a Republican primary against his opponent Dave Brat; Brat ended up defeating Cantor by 11 points.

This is who the MRC and Trump are partnering with to advance their agenda. No wonder they seem a bit jittery about things.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:36 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

As it did the previous month, CNSNews.com did what it could to prepare readers for even worse unemployment numbers. A May 18 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman highlighted a prediction that the unemployment rate could reach 25 percent, near Great Depression rates. So when the actual May numbers were released, even Susan Jones was surprised that the rate actually dropped from the previous month:

The jobs/employment report issued today by the Labor Department reflects what was happening in mid-May, and while it remains a grim picture, there are signs of improvement in every category as Americans straggle back to work.

The number of employed Americans increased by 3,839,000 in May to 137,242,000 -- far short of the record 158,803,000 set in December, but a move in the right direction.

The last time this number hovered at the 137M level was in 2000-2003.

At the same time, the number of unemployed Americans dropped by 2,093,000 to 20,985,000 in May, resulting in a lower unemployment rate than last month -- 13.3 percent in May versus 14.7 percent in April.

Even with those numbers, Jones still felt the need to distort numbers. Note the weasel words here: "The jobless rates for teenagers (29.9 percent), Blacks (16.8 percent), and Asians (15.0 percent) showed little change over the month." In fact, the rates for blacks and Asians rose.

CNS also served up the usual sidebars on Hispanic unemployment (declined) and  government jobs (the lowest level in 19 years). It didn't, however, tell readers what the "real unemployment rate" was, even though that U-6 rate (21.2 percent) is much higher than it was under the Obama administration, a time when CNS regularly reported it.

CNS also hasn't told its readers about a statistical aberration that should have made the rate even higher. Due to a misclassification error, the May rate should actually be about three points higher. Buyt that would make things look even worse for President Trump, and CNS is not in the business of making things look worse for Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Monday, June 15, 2020
MRC Tries To Keep CNN Conspiracy Theory Alive
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck began his June 9 Media Research Center post this way:

Try not to laugh or feel the urge to destroy your electronic devices after reading these quotes. On Tuesday, the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) announced their 2020 award winners, which included the insanely partisan Yamiche Alcindor of taxpayer-funded PBS, the liberal hacks at CNN, and The New York Times

That's right -- it's yet another MRC meltdown over journalists getting awards (though the only electronic devices in danger of getting destroyed are the ones in arm's length of Houck). Thus, we have the usual pained, unhinged exclamations from Houck like "What were the judges smoking?" But the really unhinged thing Houck wrote was this:

In the “Merriman Smith Memorial Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage under Deadline Pressure for Broadcast” category, WHCA handed first place to Jeffrey Zucker’s CNN for being parked outside Roger Stone’s Florida home on January 25, 2019 as FBI agents arrived before dawn to arrest him.

CNN has long denied being tipped off and insisted it came from a pure hunch. But no matter what they’ve said and will continue to say, the episode will always leave people skeptical.

That, of course, is the conspiracy theory -- promoted heavily by the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com -- that  CNN happened to be on hand to film Stone's arrest because it was tipped off, possibly by special counsel Robert Mueller himself. Houck himself pushed it back in the day, refusing to believe CNN's claim it followed the story closely enough that it could prepare for an arrest.

Despite the fact that absolutely no evidence whatsoever has surfaced to contradict CNN's explanation, Houck is still embracing the conspiracy theory and insisting there's reason for people to be "skeptical." Of course, "people" in this case means unhinged, irrational CNN-haters like Houck who are paid to hate CNN.

The headline on Houck's piece indicates that he believes any journalist who's not a right-wingher to be a "liberal hack." But his insistence on clinging to a never-proven conspiracy solely because he hates CNN that much demonstrates what a right-wing hack he is.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:50 PM EDT
CNS Presents Discredited Criminal Adulterer As An Expert on Antifa
Topic: CNSNews.com

Dinesh D'Souza is an convicted criminal (albeit a pardoned one) and adulterer who gets beaten down regularly on Twitter for the numerous false claims he makes about American history. No, naturally, CNSNews.com has decided to present him as an expert.

In a June 2 item, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman did just that:

While discussing Antifa's role in the riots and looting in U.S. cities, conservative scholar and best selling author Dinesh D'Souza said the organization is the "true descendant" of radical left socialist paramilitary groups, such as Mussolini's Black Shirts and Hitler's Brown Shirts.

He added that Antifa has melded its Marxism with "identity politics," such as "racial" or "gender" grievance, and this has produced a "kind of identity socialism."

When asked about Antifa on The Ingraham Angle on Monday night, D'Souza said, "I think Antifa is the true descendant of the socialist regimes of 100 years ago – Mussolini’s Black Shirts, Hitler’s Brown Shirts. These are paramilitary that these socialist leaders needed in order to achieve political objectives that couldn't be achieved any other way."

Note the error in that last paragraph, in which D'Souza described Hitler and Mussolini as "socialist leaders." In fact, Hitler was not a socialist, and neither was Mussolini's fascist regime. Note that Chapman gave a pass to D'Souza's falsehood.

Further, as has since been proven, Antifa has had only a very small role in the "riots and looting" in the wake  of the death of George Floyd, and at least some of that violence is actually the work of right-wing extremists.

Also note that Chapman made no mention of D'Souza's history of criminality, adultery and getting stuff wrong. Instead, he laughably described D'Souza as a "conservative scholar" and touting him as "the author of numerous books."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
WND Touts Even More Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It should surprise nobody that WorldNetDaily has continued to spread conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic. Let's take a look at some of the latest ones.

Michael Schisler wrote in a May 27 column:

What we are witnessing is a resurrection of the Vietnam War era media practice of broadcasting body counts on a daily basis. But now it's being done with a few twists designed to drive a radical left-wing agenda. During the Vietnam War, the media broadcast daily body counts to terrorize the enemy. Today they broadcast daily body counts in order to terrorize Americans.

While the typical American seeks solid information concerning the safety of reopening our businesses and schools, the liberal media feed us unqualified raw body counts. They are fully aware that raw body counts with absolutely no qualifying information terrorizes the American populace, which is exactly why they are doing it. They see that trafficking in fear porn has worked.

The same day, Jim Breslo contributed a column in which he accuses federal scientists Anthony Fauci and Robert Redfield of "exaggerating the seriousness of COVID-19," citing "Michael Fumento, author of 'The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS' and former AIDS analyst for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights." Fumento's book was dismissed by actual scientists when it came out in 1990as being ignorant of AIDS research. In it, Fumento dismissed the impact of coronavirus, decalring that it "clearly is one that almost exclusively kills the elderly."

Meanwhile, WND was pushing conspiracy theories in its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine. Its April issue complained that America's response to the coronavirus pandemic was threatened by "the de facto alliance between an increasingly far-left Democratic Party and establishment news media both pathologically obsessed with destroying the elected president of the United States by any means possible – including weaponizing a genuine mega-crisis." WND seems to have forgotten it was pathologically obsessed with destroying an elected president of the United States by any means possible, including spreading lies and conspiracy theories.

In the May issue, titled "DRUNK WITH POWER," WND asserted that "more and more politicians across the nation are suddenly acting like full-blown dictators" in trying to stop or slow the spread of coronavirus -- though it doesn't mention the word "coronavirus" until the ninth paragraph of its preview.WND also ranted:

There appears to be no limit to either the dictatorial tendencies of many Democrat politicians – or to their hypocrisy. Former President Barack Obama was photographed golfing on a Virginia golf course 40 miles from his Washington, D.C. home, while his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, was busy recording a robocall sternly urging all D.C. residents “to stay home except if you need essential healthcare, essential food or supplies, or to go to your essential job.” 

As we pointed out when CNSNews.com brought this up, it's nothing more than a cheap, lazy gotcha -- golf courses in Virginia were open at the time. In other words, WND remains as pathologically obsessed with Obama as ever.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Sunday, June 14, 2020
MRC Loses It Over The Fact That Opening Economy Means More People Die of Coronavirus
Topic: Media Research Center

Back when the coronavirus pandemic got into full swing, the Media Research Center had meltdowns over people wanting to protect abortion rights -- even though it defended a man who advocated letting elderly people die of coronavirus in order to save the economy. Since then, the MRC has been pushing another argument under in the same neighborhood.

For months, the MRC has been whining about people who claim that Trump allies who demand that lockdowns and stay-at-home orders end immediately in order to save the economy are putting people's lives in danger. It was so obsessed over this, in fact, that it devoted an April 21 post to compiling 16 examples, with Geoffrey Dickens huffing, "Liberal journalists and hosts exhibited little sympathy for protestors wanting to go back to work as they belittled them as zombies and a 'doomsday cult.' The President and conservatives that shared their concerns were derided as 'reckless and “dangerous.'" Nicholas Fondacaro ranted with his usual hateful bile and unprofessional name-calling in a May 12 post:

In arguably his most toxic diatribe to date, CNN host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo ended Tuesday’s Cuomo PrimeTime by lashing out at Fox News in the vilest of ways: Falsely declaring that they were totally fine with 10,000 more Americans dying from the coronavirus.

“But right now, the American family is in a period of dysfunction, we're estranged and acting strangely. 10,000 more Americans could die by August because so many places are relaxing social distancing? What happened to no man left behind? Now it's 10,000 is okay,” Cuomo asked, in a “closing argument” he draped under the veil of Mother’s Day.

Joseph Vazquez similarly grumbled in a May 21 post that New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman was issuing  "disgusting shots at President Donald Trump, Republicans, and ordinary Americans for wanting to reopen the economy: by claiming that "thousands of Americans may be about to die for the Dow," further complaining that "Krugman encouraged readers to speculate about the potential 'blowback — especially, by the way, among senior citizens — if an attempt to restart the economy leads to a new wave of infections.'"

MRC official Tim Graham, meanwhile, served up his own take on this in a May 18 post complaining that writer Molly Jong-Fast wrote an item about Fox News host advocating the roemoval of lockdowns under the headline "Laura Ingraham Wants Your Grandmother to Die." Graham huffed in response: "This has all the nuance and finesse an article headlined “Molly Jong-Fast Wants You to Commit Suicide From Sheltering in Place.” Or "Molly Jong-Fast Wants You to Be Unemployed for the Rest of Your Life." When Jong-Fast pointed out that conservatives advocating the ending of lockdowns are going against science, Graham declared: "That's not right. The conservative media is saying Democrats are claiming to be Science, but what happens when their favorite models and projections do not come true? They haven't been humble about admitting a hypothestis failed  -- like science lovers should."

But Graham and the rest of his science-questioning MRC minions don't want to question the possibility that the lockdowns saved lives and stopped out-of-control spreading of the virus. One study found that lockdowns slowed the infection rate in the U.S. and saved millions of lives worldwide. And it's indisputable that opening up business to restart the economy while there's still a significant risk of coronavirus spread will, indeed, needlessly cost lives if precautions aren't being taken. And, indeed, that's what's happening worldwide.

It's difficult to enjoy economic freedom if you're dead from something that could otherwise be avoidable. The MRC doesn't seem to understand that.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:39 PM EDT

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