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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
MRC Censors The Fact Trump Won't Commit To Accepting Election Results
Topic: Media Research Center

Back In April, NewsBusters blogger Mark Finkelstein complained:

Today's Morning Joe came close to accusing President Trump of plotting a coup d'etat to remain in office if he loses the election in November.

The President has been openly critical of the loosened vote-by-mail measures that Democrats have proposed, suggesting that vote-by-mail facilitates voter fraud. Since the individual states control voting rules, many states are likely to adopt such measures in time for the November election.

Joe Scarborough suggested to John Heilemann that Trump's criticism of vote-by-mail indicates that he is   "preparing already to undermine any results that may be unfavorable to him in the fall."

Heilemann not only agreed, but took it a stunning step further: "If he loses the election, he will stand up and say, 'This election was rife with fraud. We had way too much vote by mail.' I guarantee you that President Trump is thinking already about trying to build that predicate so that he can dispute the result of the election on this basis."

[...]

So Heilemann can "guarantee" that President Trump is thinking of ways to refuse to accept an election loss! Amazing powers of mind-reading. Also, an exceptionally insidious accusation against the president.

Heilemann's prediction has largely unfolded exactly as he said -- Trump has repeatedly refused to state that he will accept the results of the election, and Republicans are indeed preparing to contest the election if Trump loses. Yet the MRC has regularly dismissed the idea that Trump won't accept an election loss as a conspiracy theory.

Clay Waters complained in May that a New York Times reporter was filled dwith "anti-Trmp paranoia" when he raised the possibility that Trump will reject the election results. Another Waters post listed the idea that Trump won't acceptthe result as among "feverish conspiracy theories" the Times allegedly holds, then played whataboutism by claiming that "Democrats have been trying to discredit the 2016 results from Day One."

That whataboutism was common. In a July post, Kristine Marsh grumbled about CNN host Alisyn Camerota leading a panel discussion about Trump: "During this show she also floated left-wing conspiracies that President Trump will refuse to leave office, asking, 'Show of hands, how many people that President Trump may not accept the election results?' Show of hands, how many journalists at CNN haven't accepted the 2016 results?"

Also in July, Duncan Schroeder asserted that CNN host Jim Sciutto went "into tin-foil hat territory" by "fearmongering about Trump not accepting the election results," then played the whataboutism card again: "Sciutto and his fellow Democrats have yet to “accept the results” of the 2016 election and attack Trump still."

None of these posts admitted that Trump has refused to say whether he will accept the election results if he loses. Nor have any of these posts been corrected to reflect that fact.

It's as if the MRC is the media arm of the Trump campaign and won't admit to any negative news about him.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 9:28 PM EDT
Elizabeth Farah's Pro-Trump Bible Lesson
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the more than 20 years we've been covering WorldNetDaily, the one prominent figure who has been all but publicly silent is Elizabeth Farah, (second) wife of Joseph Farah and WND's chief operating officer -- in fact, pretty much the only times we've featured her is when WND touted her buying ancient coins WND was reselling, and when the Washington Post quoted her downplaying the shady financial shenanigans it documented WND engaging in over the years. In recent months, however, Elizabeth Farah has been posting videos on YouTube of her "DIY Bible Study" series.

For her Aug. 28 video, Farah discussed what she described as "the saint's duty to re-elect Donald J. Trump." That's right -- she's going to devising ways to use the Bible to justify voting for Trump.

She addressed abortion and policing, declaring, It is not love to your neighor, nor is it love to God, to defund law enforcement. That's not love; it is sin." She then lectured:

You know what? To know tove for Trump-Pence in this election -- either to vote for the other side or to stay at home, this is the equivalent --  I want you to think of a scene of this lovely family, three or four kids, mom and the dad, and dad's sitting in an easy chair and he's watching his game, and there are home invaders right outside the door, pounding down the door, they're gonna break in and do violence, perhaps rape the wife, whatever they do to their property, who cares, what happens to the the children, don't know, and the father wants to continue watching the game.

Or let's have another vision of this. "He that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." You are watching as a blind man goes to a cliff, or maybe it's toward an oncoming train, and you cannot be bothered to redirect his path to safety. That's what this is about. But I want you to jus twatch the news every single day, and you tell me it would not be sin to vote for Biden and Harris.

Farah later harped again on police defunding, delcaring that the idea was coming from "a lunatic, a madman or someone of just great delusion or, let's put it plainly, an evil man whose ideas are straight from the pit of hell. ... We're talking our minds, or the minds of these people, moving into a hellish nightmare of sin, wickedness, debasement of unthinkable proportion. These people, they're not sane, but insanity at its root is often sin-based." Then it was lecture time again:

We can't delude ourselves anymore. Choosing to be lazy, irresponsible, indifferent, slothful, sluggardly in November 3rd is not an option. It's not an option for those who are walking in the footsteps of the Messiah, for those who claim to know the King, who are in Christ in Messiah. This is about you deciding what side you're on. Is your faith an authentic faith? "Choose ye this day whom you will serve."

[...]

And by the way, this is not the sin of impulse, a sin of the flesh where you fall into some kind of sin or say something that you regret and ask forgiveness for, this is a deliberate sin. Knowing that you will go out -- and oh yeah, I haven't said the V-word -- and vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, that is a grave, grave sin. And I don't know that there is a Democrat out there running for national office that is honorable; i don't know, and there could be, so seriously, put in the comments below if there is somebody you know of. But I would say right now as a rule of thumb, from this day going foward the idea of voting for any Democrat who would remain in that party with what we see now happening with Biden and Harris at the top of the ticket, no, it's impossible. And I'm not saying you have to vote Republican, because if there were third-party candidate that was a godly man that -- but in that case,you're splitting the ticket or splitting the vote, and you're going to be guaranteeing a Biden-Harris White House, God forbid.

You cannot vote for Democrats as long as Democrats are and have been racing toward the embrace of riot, lawlessness, evil, wickedness. Of course, their stance on abortion for I don't know how long it's been puts them in that camp. But now -- you know, we can't see abortion on the nightly news, and we don't have that many people getting out there and wanting to show you a baby being ripped from limb to limb from the womb and then, you know, putting back together those precious little baby body parts. No, people don't tend to do that. But what we do see is the ripping down of monuments, the burning of cities, the looting of mom-and-pop businesses, the beating of innoncent people, men and women who are praying, the surrounding of people, Antifa,a fascist organization if there ever was one, Black Lives Matter, a Marxist renegade organization, both of which are funded by multimillionaires and billionaires who are not being discredited and disavowed by the leaders fo the Democratic Party.

If you want to vote for Biden and Harris, you are voting for Antifa, you are voting for Black Lives Matter, you are  voting for fascism, Marxism, lawlessness, evil, you are voting for the killing of babies, yuou are voting for the defunding of your police. Insanity.

You do not have any Christian liberty in November on the 3rd, 2020. "To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin" -- James 4:17.

For someone so concerned with biblical morality, Farah was curiously silent about the amorality of Trump, a man who pays hush money to porn stars.Neither did she address whether she and her husband have repented of their shady business practices, which played a major role in creating WND's  current barely-alive state of existence.

Still, that was hateful demogoguery of the type her husband cranked out nearly every day. So if you ever wondered what kind of person would marry a man like him, now you know.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Trump Stenographers: MRC Denies Biden Is a Moderate
Topic: Media Research Center

It's indisputable that the Media Research Center is the media arm of the Trump campaign and, thus, its aggressively biased "media reserarch" can't be trusted. One of the many ways it has performed this service is by attacking anyone who delcares Joe Biden to be a moderate -- because from its right-wing pro-Trump perspective, there are no moderates, and anyone even slightly more liberal than them is without question a far-left extremist of some kind.

Mark Finkelstein, for instance, complained in a July 17 post:

If the Democrats nominated Karl Marx, they'd describe him as a "moderate Marxist" . . . 

It's SOP for the Democrats and the liberal media: they invariably try to peddle their presidential candidates as "moderates" or "centrists."

But on today's Morning Joe, MSNBC's John Heilemann took things an absurd step further, actually describing Biden as "culturally conservative." That, of course, is baldfaced balderdash.

Finkelstein went on to present as evidence of Biden's purported extremism the ratings of him from various political interest groups, which gave him either  100% or 90% depending on their political persuasion. But such ratings are dubious as an objective method for evaluating politicians, since they're usually based on roll call votes on selected issues, not a politician's entire record.

A July 21 post by Duncan Schroeder huffed: "The idea of Biden being a moderate is a joke. Biden just created his policy platform with the help of far-left, communism-loving Bernie Sanders. Sanders even said that Biden might be the 'most progressive president since FDR.' Among many radical proposals, Biden plans to spend $2 trillion on fighting climate change, transition all Americans to electric cars by 2035, and to raise taxes by $4 trillion. Biden also said that the police have 'become the enemy.'"

Schroeder repeated his attack in an Aug. 6 post, smearing media people making the claim as "propaganists" (as if Schroeder isn't one himself).

Bill D'Agostino devoted an entire Aug. 10 post to ranting against the idea:

TV journalists have insisted throughout the 2020 election cycle that Democratic Presidential hopeful Joe Biden represents the “moderate,” “centrist” wing of his party, with some even worrying that his agenda might be too far to the right for his party’s progressive base to stomach. Yet not even Biden himself agrees with that lame spin, having promised his administration would be among the “most progressive” in “American history.”

[...]

Considering Biden’s platform is indeed more “progressive” than that of any Democratic nominee in history, it is deceitful for the media to mislead audiences into believing he is a “centrist” or a “moderate.”

An Aug. 11 post by Scott Whitlock spread the attack to Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, citing a dubious interest group score, "Kamala Harris is the most liberal vice presidential nominee to ever be nominated. Her lifetime American Conservative Union Score (meaning the number of times she voted with conservatives as a Senator) is 3.03. In 2019 it was 0." Nicholas Fondacaro joined in the same day, ranting that "the liberal media will flood the zone with lies about who Harris was and what she has supported in the past in order to protect their 2020 presidential ticket," though "her radical policy positions were exposed" during CNN town halls.

Michael Dellano declared that the Biden-Harris ticket "is, in fact, a radical-left ticket. ... The leftist media wants Americans to think that Harris is a moderate, because her actual policy perspectives are not very palatable." He ranted the next day: "Every major media outlet have pushed this lie that Harris is some sort of moderate, when it has been widely known that she has supported far left policies. Some metrics stated that Harris is more radical than self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders." Kyel Drennen harrumphed that one commentator "kept pushing the lie that the leftist presidential ticket was just a couple of moderates."

Kristine Marsh grumbled on Aug. 19: "Despite ample evidence from the candidate’s own mouth that he has embraced the radical-left wing of the Democrat party [sic], CNN’s New Day tried to make the case Wednesday that Biden was someone who 'crosses the aisle.'"

A month later, Alex Christy was still pushing this same narrative: "Considering Biden's allies have also hyped the possibility of him being the most progressive president since Franklin Roosevelt, maybe the idea that he's 'more of a moderate' is badly sliced baloney."

As is the MRC's determination to do anti-Biden messaging on behalf of Trump. It's "media research" is a sham, in no small part because it has put advancing political narratives ahead of reporting facts, and it devises metrics designed to do exactly that (witness its bogus "evaluative statements" metric to measure "bias," an entirely subjective concept, and its refusal to make its raw data public). The MRC's depiction of Biden's political views as "extreme" or "radical" are not based on objective fact -- they're opinions based on, again, it being so far right that anything that is not also far right must be attacked as "far left" or extreme.

Again, keep in mind that the MRC is an arm of the Trump campaign -- which should be the lens through which everyone views what comes out of there right now -- and its deliberate dishonesty and spin makes sense.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 PM EDT
Right-Wing Fact-Checker Attacks Other Fact-Checkers
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've identifed Just Facts, run by James Agresti, as a fact-checker with a clear right-wing bias that leads it to bend the truth to fit conservative narratives, despite the Media Research Center's attempt to suggest otherwise and its own dubious insistence that it cares only about "rigorously documented facts about public policy issues." Agresti peddles more misinformation in an Aug. 27 column published at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com. He writes in attacking other (non-right-wing) fact-checkers for failing "to get even basic facts correct":

In the final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Clinton said that “half of all” illegal immigrants in the U.S. “actually pay federal income tax.”

A Pulitzer Prize-winning fact check organization named PolitiFact looked into Clinton’s claim and reported: “While there is no official figure, experts estimate that about half of all undocumented workers pay federal income taxes, if not more.”

In reality, the polar opposite is true. Data from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the Congressional Budget Office show that roughly half of illegal immigrants file federal tax returns, but virtually none of them pay federal income taxes. Instead, they file these returns to claim refundable child tax credits, which give them cash welfare payments for every child they have.

Are we supposed to believe that PolitiFact doesn’t understand that “paying income taxes” is not the same as “filing tax returns to get welfare?"

Agresti aggressively misses the obvious: If these undocumented workers did not pay those income taxes -- and have been documented doing so by the IRS and other federal offices -- they would not be eligible to get those child tax credits. The fact that these workers got the tax credits does not negate the fact they paid into the system.

Agresti cited a couple other examples of picayune hair-splitting he didn't agree with -- even though he did the exact same thing, then parroted the MRC narrative that fact-checkers are just a bunch of nasty liberals:

So what’s the common thread here? They all mislead in ways that support progressive political agendas. This is not a coincidence. I’ve examined countless fact checks that are rife with deceit, and in nearly every case, it’s the same story: They mangle the truth in ways that advance leftist narratives.

Why would they do this? I can’t read their minds, but this can only boil down to two factors: incompetence and/or dishonesty.

So what's Agresti's excuse for his truth-mangling attack on PolitiFact in an attempt to advance a political narrative -- incompetence or dishonesty?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Monday, September 21, 2020
MRC Tries To Invent Another Biden 'Scandal'
Topic: Media Research Center

Nicholas Fondacaro is such a loyal, obedient Trump-bot and Bozellbot that he's desperately trying to manufacture "scandals" to hang on Joe Biden. Last we checked in on this, he was ranting that Jill Biden leaving her first husband (whom she had married at age 18) to be with Joe Biden was a massive "scandal" that demanded wall-to-wall coverage -- never mind that he finds no scandal in Trump being on his third wife and paying hush money to porn stars.

Fondacaro believed he had another gotcha winner in an Aug. 23 post:

For at least the second time in two months, Democratic nominee Joe Biden used a quote made famous by communist leader Mao Tse-tung when it came to women. Calling it simply an “old expression,” Biden got away with quoting the communist monster (who killed millions of people) because his interviewer, ABC’s Robin Roberts refused to call out, push back, or question her candidate as to why he was doing it.

[...]

Biden’s quotation of the communist butcher came when explaining why he chose Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to be his running mate.

Fondacaro clearly can't object to the sentiment of the statement, so he must raise a ruckus about its supposed source and play politics because it involves Mao, whom he mnakes sure to call a "communist butcher" who "killed millions of his own people."

This is an echo of what the ConWeb did in 2010 when it frothed over Obama White House adviser Anita Dunn referencing Mao in a speech, making sure to pull it out of context in the process.Needless to say, the MRC raged about it as well, ranting that it wasn't being covered toits satisfaction, then raging some more at Dunn's explanation that she was inspired by Republican strategist Lee Atwater to quote Mao, then took Dunn out of context in complaining further that the "old media" failed to cover the story sufficiently. The MRC reamins obsessed by this to this day; it published a Sept. 16 column by Walter Williams complaining that Dunn "said Mao was one of her heroes" (which, again, dishonestly takes her out of context).

In other words, the MRC ran this exact same playbook a decade ago against Obama, and it didn't work. Why does Fondacaro think it will work now?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:08 AM EDT
WND Repeatedly Smeared Obama As Nazi -- But Again Hypocritically Complains About Trump-Nazi Smears
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian began his Aug. 25 column this way:

“Close your eyes. Remember what you saw on television. Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of a field with lighted torches, veins bulging, spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s. Remember the violent clash that ensued, between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And remember what the president said when asked. He said there were, quote, very fine people on both sides. That was a wake-up call for us as a country.”

That was Joe Biden, formally accepting his party’s nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention last Thursday – and staking his moral claim to lead the free world on the lie that President Donald Trump admires Nazis.

Indeed, what has become known as the “Charlottesville lie” has been continually refuted for three years by virtually everyone both on the right and on the left. Trump never said Nazis are “very fine people.” It’s an absurd and outrageous lie.

As we've pointed out, the "Charlottesville lie" narrative is itself a lie. (An Aug. 21 WND article by Art Moore similarly pushed the "Charlottesville lie" lie.)

But Kupelian has a bigger issue to hypocritally litigate, as he did back in 2016:

Yet Biden’s blatant dishonesty is just part of a much larger pattern of Democrats continuously tying President Trump to Hitler, the single most detested genocidal monster in human history:

[...]

Such comparisons are far worse and far more serious than merely being insane.

Yes of course they’re insane. Adolf Hitler murdered 11 million people while Donald Trump has murdered none; ergo Trump is not Hitler.

But why “far worse and far more serious” than merely insane?

Consider that the only truly moral and courageous response to the real Adolf Hitler during the real Third Reich was to try to kill him. There were 16 known plots to assassinate Hitler, and all of the participants – who were eventually executed, including the beloved Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, hanged by the Nazis for his role in the “20 July plot” – are today universally regarded as heroes and martyrs. Therefore, comparing Trump to Hitler constitutes an insidious invitation to any of the countless violent leftwing crazies out there to attempt to assassinate the president, just like the “Bernie Bro” who shot at multiple Republican congressmen at a 2017 charity baseball practice, almost killing and gravely wounding Rep. Steve Scalise.

[...]

But back to the question at hand: Why do top Democrats and their media allies continually liken Trump to Hitler, when the comparison is so obviously extreme, reckless, deranged, dangerous and frankly evil?

It’s not solely because they detest Trump and consider “Hitler,” “Gestapo,” “Nazi,” “stormtroopers” and “concentration camps” useful nasty words to hurl at him.

It is far more purposeful and strategic than that.

Casting Trump as Hitler, and his supporters as deplorable white-supremacist neo-Nazi types, comprises the entire moral core of the Democratic Party’s claim to be the rightful inheritors of permanent political power in America, starting in November.

Consider this: The left – as recent events make clearer than ever – detests law and order, individual rights, Judeo-Christian morality, anything and everything that limits, confines, exposes or restrains it. It is thus continually fighting and rebelling against the Constitution, the laws of economics, human nature, basic biology – everything that inhibits their imposition on society of their wildest and most unhinged utopian fantasies.

Consider also, if you will, that if you were truly fighting a genocidal monster like Hitler, almost nothing would be out of bounds for you. Essentially there would be no rules – and that’s exactly the way the left likes it. No rules.

Kupelian is projecting -- he's accusing Democrats of treating Trump like he and WND treated Barack Obama during his presidency.

We would respectfully remind Kupelian that WND repeatedly likened Obama to Hitler and other Nazis. It first hid behind ex-Hitler Youth member Hilmar von Campe then invoked another war survivor, Anita Dittman, to perpetuate the smear. It has published numerous columns making the smear, and other columns defending the smear, insisting that those who complained about it "are out of ideas or have too much time on their hands."

If likening Trump to Hitler and Nazis is the terrible thing Kupelian claims it is, where was he when the "news" operation he manages repeatedly did that to Obama?  Did he ever object? Or did he gleefully repeat those smears?

Indeed, Kupelian closed his column by making the smear hehad just spent the rest of his column denouncing: "After all, considering the Democrats’ shockingly fake candidate, their insane platform and their appalling totalitarian plans for America, Adolf Hitler is just about the only person in history who, by comparison, makes today's Democrats look halfway palatable."

If Kupelian can't be bothered to apologize for WND's disgraceful history of Obama-Nazi smears -- and can't curb his own smearing impulses -- he has no moral standing to complain about the same thing being done to Trump.

If Kupelian can't be honest, perhaps he should shut up.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 21, 2020 12:44 AM EDT
Sunday, September 20, 2020
MRC's Embellishes Google 'Blacklist' Narrative
Topic: Media Research Center

The right-wing victimization campaign at the Media Research Center over social media's purported "censoring" of conservatives -- it that was really happening, would the MRC have to include right-wing extremists in their count? -- has been so intense that we forgot to point out the MRC's own attempt at claiming victimization. Corinne Weaver complained in a July 21 post:

Google users wouldn’t know that conservative websites like NewsBusters, The Daily Wire, and Breitbart exist if they consulted an organic search result on the platform today. 

The company has seemingly blacklisted numerous conservative websites like NewsBusters, MRCTV, CNSNews, Free Beacon, Breitbart, The Resurgent, Twitchy, RedState, PJ Media, Judicial Watch, The Blaze, Townhall, Project Veritas, LifeNews, PragerU, and The Daily Wire. None of these websites show up in an organic search on Google. While more than 3.5 billion Google searches are performed per day, certain conservative news sites appear prohibited from appearing in the general results. 

Mediaite reporter Charlie Nash noted that Google had “removed several conservative websites from search results.” These sites included RedState, Breitbart, Daily Caller, and Human Events.

Weaver is so dedicated to pushing the MRC's narrative that she censored the fact that Nash also noted some left-leaning sites were also suffereing the same Google search issues.

But since she's paid to push a narrative and not tell the full truth, Weaver rushed straight to conspiracy mode, huffing that "It seems as if Google has a new blacklist from organic results." MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted on Twitter, "We want official answers now! Congress needs to demand that Google tell why they temporarily blacklisted conservative sites. We know why it happened. And it’s 100% unacceptable." Like his subordinate, Bozell too censored the fact that left-leaning sites were also "blacklisted."

For all this conspiracy-mongering, the actual cause appears to have been much more benign: a technical error. But again, narrative trumps facts at the MRC; Alexander Hall dismissed the cause as "Lame!": "Talk about living down to expectations. Google gave a measly mea culpa after several conservative websites were delisted from its general search and appeared to have been blacklisted."

Hall went on to mislead his readers by claiming that "Liberal sites such as Newsweek, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, HuffPost, and Teen Vogue, had no  issue. Their websites showed up on Google organic search." As noted above, left-leaning sites were affected; Hall just cherry-picked ones that weren't. Hall also dug up another disgruntled ex-Google employee to push the conspiracy narrative:

Google may have a 'secret blacklist' of conservative news outlets, former Google engineer Mike Wacker claimed. 

He suggested to Mediaite, “It appears to have revealed the existence of another blacklist that disproportionately targets conservatives.”

Wacker speculated: “The glitch is that sites on this blacklist disappeared from Google search results, but the existence of the list is very much by design. And that raises a major question: Why was this blacklist created in the first place, and what else is it used for?”

There's apparenly good reason why Wacker -- like James Damore, Kevin Cernekee and Zachary Vorhies before him -- are former Google employees:  it seems he was aggressively pushing his right-wing views at work. A statement from  Google, as reported by Fox Business, stated that Wacker had been given multiple warnings “related to a pattern of threatening communications to co-workers and managers” which eventually led to his dismissal.

But, again, who needs facts when there's a narrative to push? A few days later, the MRC's "Free Speech Alliance" -- which cares only about "free speech" for right-wing ideologues -- sent a ranty letter baselessly accusing Google of lying: "This past Wednesday July 21, several conservative media platforms, including four of Media Research Center’s (MRC) major sites, were removed from Google’s search results. Google’s official response was that this was the result of a technical glitch. We don’t believe you. We believe Google is lying yet again. It's the same old game. ... You need to answer for this."

Needless to say, the letter completely censored the fact that the glitch also blocked left-leaning sites.

Bozell kept up the conspiracy-mongering and unproven accusations against Google in a July 28 column published not at his own operation but, rather, at the right-wing Daily Caller: "This past week, Google knocked more than a dozen prominent conservative sites off of its main search. The company claimed it had been a 'technical error,' not that anyone believes it. Former Google engineer Mike Wacker wondered if the company had a 'secret blacklist' of conservative sites." Again, no mention that left-leaning sites were also affected.

Bozell's accusations because more grandiose in a July 29 statement, in which he asserted that "Last week, the entire universe of conservative media vanished from Google’s search results in the blink of an eye." But the original post by Weaver linked in the statement never claimed that "the entire universe of conservative media vanished" -- only randomly checked right-wing websites like those run by Bozell.

Since the timing of this "blacklisting" coincided with a congressional hearing at which Google CEO Sundar Pichai would be present, the MRC made sure to exploit the situation with a "demand" for answers about this, in the form of a question Republicans could ask him -- which ultimately argued that Google should be broken up:

Mr. Pichai, Google inexplicably shut down the general search for at least 15 prominent conservative sites. Then those searches magically reappeared. How does something like that happen? Even if it’s just a technical error, as Google claimed, why does any company have that incredible amount of power, and why should U.S. regulations facilitate it? Isn’t your company simply too big, and doesn’t it need to be broken up?

(Note to Bozell: "at least 15" does not equal "the entire universe.")

As you can see, the MRC has continued to embellish its "blacklist" narrative until it largely strayed from established facts. That's what happens when narratives are more important than facts.

Oh, and shortly after all this drama played out, it was revealed that a bug in Instagram's algorithm  systemically shielded Donald Trump from negative hashtags without doing the same for rival Joe Biden. The MRC said nothing about this, let alone attack the explantion as a lie. Narrative before facts, remember?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 21, 2020 12:58 AM EDT
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

With a little help from its summer interns, CNSNews.com cranked out the fawning stenography for its favorite right-wing radio host, Mark Levin, during July and August with a whopping 22 articles:

That's a total of 61 articles through the first eight months of 2020, putting CNS back on pace of the previous three years, in which it devoted at least 96 articles to Levin annually.

It's ironic that the "news" division of the Media Research Center, which typically rages against purpoted "media bias," offers up such wildly biased coverage of a favored radio host.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 20, 2020 9:32 PM EDT
Saturday, September 19, 2020
MRC's Graham Bizarrely Imagines CNN's Stelter Has A 'Head Wound'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham has a clear case of Brian Stelter Derangement Syndrome, as demonstrated by his rantings about Stelter's new book on Fox News that are heavy on personal attacks and light on critical analysis. Graham took that to another level in an Aug. 31 post:

If something demonstrates the hilarity of Brian Stelter’s CNN hootenanny – bizarrely titled Reliable Sources --  it’s airing a seven-minute segment insisting President Trump is a fascist like Adolf Hitler, and at the end, asking the question “How can fact-checkers break through at this point?” Exactly.

Down in the Stelter Fallout Shelter, America is forever on the brink of an American Holocaust, or at least until the Democrats are back in the White House. His most ridiculous guest on Sunday was Yale professor Jason Stanley, a Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren donor. 

As per usual, there's no attempt at analysis of Stanley's claims, only outrage that they were made and sniping at Stelter for having Stanley as a guest.

But the bizarre thing is the headline Graham put on his post: "Stelter's Reliable Head Wound." What does that even mean? There's no reference to head wounds anywhere in his piece. Is Graham saying that Stelter's purported liberalism is the result of a head injury of some kind?

Graham concluded his piece by ranting: "Dear Brian: Do NOT try to tell us CNN presents 'Facts First.' This is, plain and simple, a smear." Apparently, only Graham is allowed to smear people with bizarre accusations of head injuries.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
WND Columnist Joins Race-Baiting Over White Child Killed By Black Man
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The right-wing obsession over the death of Cannon Hinnant, a white 5-year-old, allegedly caused by a black neighbor has so obsessed right-wng media that even the Media Research Center felt the need to weigh in. Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily -- no stranger to race-baiting -- weighed in as well, in the form of an Aug. 21 column by Barbara Simpson, who's mad that we can't blame all black people for this, despite the fact that no motive has yet been released and even the boy's parents have said race was not an issue:

It's an incident that's made for headlines and screams for justice.

Except this is 2020, and that's not the way things are because of one issue – race.

The little boy was white, and the man who shot him is black. There is no doubt who did it – the issue so far is why he did it. His parents speculate their son was high on drugs at the time.

So far, there are no reports of problems between the two families, and in fact, there is the report that Sessoms had dinner at the Hinnant house the night before.

While the legal wheels turn to investigate the case, the fact remains that the killing of Cannon Hinnant in North Carolina has been virtually ignored by media – broadcast and print. My local newspaper has not printed one word about it, nor have most print outlets, and as for broadcast, forget it. It's been almost totally ignored.

What is there about this case that would lead media to ignore the horror of such an unprovoked murder? Do you think it has anything to do with race that media are afraid to report the deliberate killing of a white child by an adult black man?

[...]

Mainstream media are ignoring the horror of this case, and it seems to me the issue IS race. I have no doubt that had the races been reversed, and a black child was killed that way by an adult white man, it would have been, and would continue to be, headline news. This is a sad reflection on what has happened in this country as media take sides on racial issues, and "Whitey is always guilty."

Simpson conveniently omits the fact that there is no issue of injustice here, as there has been with other cases. Nobody is seriously defending the accused killer. But she's off to the races, blaming Black Lives Matter even though the group has absolutely no involvement here:

Never forget the name "Cannon Hinnant" – the little white child sacrificed on the altar of Black Lives Matter. His life didn't matter because he was the wrong color, and the media ignored his death for that reason, although they will never admit it.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the killer, how he is charged and what kind of "justice" he ultimately faces.

I'm not expecting much.

Given that Simpson likes to fearmonger about black unrest, we weren't expecting much from her.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:14 AM EDT
Friday, September 18, 2020
Is Kyle Rittenhouse's Lawyer the MRC's Own Michael Avenatti?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just loved to spew outrage at Michael Avenatti, onetime lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the porn star to whom President Trump paid hush money to cover up their alleged affair, for doing a lot of TV, and it cheered when he got in trouble with other extralegal shenanigans, while still complaining that his misdeeds didn't get the media coverage it demanded.

But do right-wingers have their own Avenatti? Nicholas Fondacaro harrumphed dramatically in a Sept. 1 post:

With the liberal media claiming 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was a “murderer” who shot “unarmed” “protesters” in a supposed rampage through Kenosha, Wisconsin last Tuesday, someone had to set the record straight. And in a Monday appearance on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Rittenhouse’s lawyer, John Pierce blew up their lies and smears with evidence backed up by a New York Times visual investigation” and with video widely accessible online.

Making the case for how “this is 100 percent self-defense,” Pierce started where many on the liberal media vaguely reference: how his client was running for his life from a mob of leftist radicals who wanted to kill him, before any shots were fired.

After noting that Rittenhouse had helped to clean up graffiti earlier in the day and was asked to help protect a local business (and was not part of militia as the media initially lied about), Pierce detailed how a moving of the police line left his client stranded and subject the villainous hands of the rioters:

[...]

As the segment came to a close, both Carlson and Pierce sat dumbfounded as to why Rittenhouse was charged with a crime while the rioters destroying the city were getting off Scot-free. Both of them deduced that what was happening to the country was “sickening.”

But Fondacaro has censored the fact that Pierce has his own legal problems. The Daily Beast reported that Pierce and the law firm he founded "are mired in millions of dollars of debt, while a payday-lender-style loan to cover his own expenses prompted him to take a leave of absence. As Pierce’s firm totters around him, he appears to be using Rittenhouse’s legal defense to give himself a new persona as a trash-talking, right-wing firebrand." At the same time, according to the Beast, "Pierce began to behave erratically toward his ex-wife, according to records of text messages filed in a Los Angeles child-custody case. In those messages, Pierce allegedly made references to the Apocalypse" and "allegedly taunted his ex-wife over politics."

His record raised the possibility that the money Pierce was soliciting for Rittenhouse's defense through his #FightBack Foundation might be misused. Pierce has since resigned from the defense fund.

A co-founder of that fund is L. Lin Wood, the QAnon-sympathetic lawyer for Nick Sandmann, on whose behalf he filed numerous nuisance lawsuits against media outlets for needlessly huge damages, for which the MRC joined Wood in touting settlements with the outlets  as victories even though it's entirely likely that the confidential settlements gained them little more than a token amount to go away.

Fondacaro is demonstrating the old MRC double standard of holding media outlets to standards it has no intention of following for itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
Malkin Approvingly Cites Charlatan Filmmaker
Topic: CNSNews.com

Michelle Malkin has been moving steadily to the right-wing, white nationalist fringe as CNSNews.com continues to publish her column and promote her stunts. Her Aug. 26 column, published by CNS, was a screed against Black Lives Matter fitting for her white nationalist leanings. She eventually reached back to attack previous cases of black people getting attacked:

The Trayvon Martin hoax, as exposed by investigative documentarian Joel Gilbert, was built on an astonishing key prosecution witness switch-a-roo involving Martin's real girlfriend, Brittany Diamond Eugene (who was on the phone with Martin before he assaulted George Zimmerman) and a ridiculous impostor, Rachael Jeantel, who was barely literate and apparently manipulated into coached testimony by none other than Benjamin Crump.

As we've documented, Gilbert is best known for pushing the flagrantly false smear that Barack Obama's mother posed nude for Frank Marshall Davis, spread another flagrantly false claim about a ring that Obama wears, and who likes to make so-called documentaries that get mysteriously reclassified as "mockumentaries" years after the fact.

Gilbert's partner on the "Trayvon Hoax" film is WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill, who published a book-length hit job on Trayvon Martin and is best known for peddling numerous conspiracy theories that tend to blow up spectacularly (i.e., portraying murderer James Kopp and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph as innocent victims).

There is absolutely no reason to take at face value anything put out by Gilbert and Cashill. The fact that Malkin is doing so tells you just how far around the bend she's gone.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Thursday, September 17, 2020
MRC Cheers Sports Operation Run By Right-Wing Woman-Hater
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's favorite sports website is the right-wing Outkick the Coverage, now known just as Outkick. In June, Matt Philbin cheered how commentator Jason Whitlock moved there from Fox Sports (how far-right do you have to be to think that a Fox-run operation is not conservative enough for you?) and touted how "Whitlock and partners Clay Travis and Sam Savage want to turn "Outkick.com into a powerful media platform, a national distiller of truth, humor and fun." In july, the mysterious Jay Maxson promoted Whitlock declaring that "LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick are 'useful idiots,' a reference to Vladimir Lenin's strategy of spreading communist propaganda through uninformed people who don't fully comprehend the agenda."

The MRC loves Outkick cofounder Clay Travis as well. for example, in 2016, then-sports blogger Dylan Gwinn gushed at how Travis "let the knowledge bombs fall" in a defense of police, and and Maxson wrote in 2017 on how Travis declared that Colin Kaepernick "gets a ton of press only because left-wing media are using him to advance their own political beliefs."

When the Washington Post did a profile of Travis and Outkick that was not sufficiently laudatory, the MRC rushed to their defense with not one but two posts by Philbin. In the first, he got mad that the Post pointed out Travis' polarizing right-wing political views, and the second was devoted to rehashing Travis' own attack on the Post "hit piece."

The MRC, however, is not going to tell you about Travis' sleazy past. As Media Matters documented:

In 2008, Travis -- credited alongside “the deadly hippos” -- wrote Man: The Book, an effort at “satire” that instructed men to “Be A Man” and includes in the Amazon description, “If it gets you into bed with a girl, it isn’t a lie.”

In the “satirical” book, Travis instructs men to go to hospitals to hit on rape victims, “dash” a woman’s head “on the fireplace,” refer to a wife or girlfriend as a “cockmitten,” murder a woman’s cat in front of her and feed it to your dog, and says, “If you remember nothing else from this book, make this phrase your credo: All women are sluts.”

[...]

In May, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James reported that a racial slur had been spray-painted on his Los Angeles home, reporting the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department with a photograph of the vandalism. Travis alleged that James, one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, staged the incident in order to build up goodwill prior to the 2017 NBA finals.

So Travis is not just a woman-hater, he's a bit racist too. This is who the MRC thinks is a credible conservative to promote.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2020 2:01 PM EDT
CNS' Spin On Bannon Arrest: Trump Fired Him!
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman had a certain spin he wanted to push in an Aug. 20 article on the arrest of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon:

Former Counselor to the President Steve Bannon -- who was fired by President Trump in August 2017 -- was charged today, along with three other people, for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through an "online crowdfunding campaign known as 'We Build the Wall' that raised more than $25 million," said the U.S.  Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in a press release.

[...]

Bannon served at the White House from Jan. 20, 2017 to Aug. 18, 2017. 

In a statement on Aug. 18, 2017, then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day."

The New York Times reported that same day, "Mr. Trump had recently grown weary of Mr. Bannon, complaining to other advisers that he believed his chief strategist had been leaking information to reporters and was taking too much credit for the president’s successes. The situation had become untenable long before Friday, according to advisers close to Mr. Trump who had been urging the president to remove Mr. Bannon; in turn, people close to Mr. Bannon also were urging him to step down."

While Chapman was eager to disassociate Bannon from Trump, he hid the full extent of their association: Bannon was the CEO of Trump's 2016 presidnetial campaign before advising Trump in the White House. As we documented, CNS appeared to be following the White House's orders in throwing Bannon under the bus in early 2018 after it was reported that he cooperated with a book critical of Trump.

Chapman also failed to tell his reader that the "news" operation he manages promoted the apparently fraudulent wall campaign Bannon worked for. In an May 2019 article, Craig Bannister touted how the organization "has built the country’s first border wall on private land" and "was founded by a veteran and is dependent on private donations to fund its wall construction projects." The veteran is Brian Kolfage, who also faces fraud charges.

And in a July 2019 article, Bannister parroted a call from his boss, the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell, demanding that Facebook "live up to its own standards when it comes to standing up to violent and extremist groups like Antifa." Among the "conservative leaders" Bannister uoted was WorldNetDaily's David Kupelian, who complained that Facebook "shut down two Facebook pages managed by triple-amputee Iraq War vet Brian Kolfage." In fact, Facebook took down Kolfage's pages as part of the removal of hundreds of pages believed to be fake accounts designed to drive traffic to related websites.

Chapman's article was simply more pro-Trump damage control by a "news" organization that's already quite familiar with that kind of work.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: Loving The Fringe To Own the Libs
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center embraces and mainstreams crazy conspiracy theories like QAnon and extremist candidates because they can be shoehorned into its pet narrative of social media conspiring against conservatives. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 5:18 PM EDT

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