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Saturday, October 17, 2020
MRC Censors Full Story To Brand Bloomberg As Seeking 'Criminal Votes'
Topic: Media Research Center

Joseph Vazquez ranted in a Sept. 22 Media Research Center post:

It apparently wasn’t enough that  liberal cash cow Michael Bloomberg was spending $100 million to help Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to win Florida.

Now, the billionaire owner of Bloomberg News is trying to solicit donations to ensure that convicted felons in the Sunshine State are given the chance to vote Biden into the White House.

Bloomberg and his team “have raised more than $16 million to pay the court fines and fees of nearly 32,000 Black and Hispanic Florida voters with felony convictions,” according to The Washington Post on Tuesday. The Post said that the point of the effort was to boost “turnout for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.”

Vazquez never explains why Bloomberg helping "convicted felons" vote is a bad thing, or why convicted felons should not be allowed to vote at all.Mosdt important, Vazquez censored information about why this was even necessary in the first place. As the Post article he cites summarized:

Florida voters passed a statewide constitutional amendment in 2018 that gave former felons, except those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses, the opportunity to vote in upcoming elections. The Republican-controlled legislature subsequently passed, and the Republican governor signed, a law that conditioned their return to the voting rolls on the payment of all fees, fines and restitution that were part of their sentence.

Subsequent court challenges upheld the power of the legislature to condition voting rights on the payment of debts by former felons. Judge Barbara Lagoa, who is under consideration by President Trump as a possible replacement for Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cast a concurring opinion on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the state law requiring payment of debts.

The Republican effort is expected to limit what some viewed as a political benefit to Democrats of the constitutional change, which passed by ballot initiative with 65 percent support.

In short: Convicted felons have the right to vote in Florida -- indeed, were granted the right to do so by an overwhelming majority of Florida voters -- and Republicans conspired to make it as difficult as possible by demanded that all related debts be paid off in addition to completing the sentence.

Again: Vazquez never explains what the problem is. Perhaps he's just into voter suppression. Not a good look.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:08 AM EDT
WND's Brown Complains Of Trump-Hitler Comparisons, Forgets He Writes For WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown complained in a Sept. 25 WorldNetDaily article:

This past Wednesday morning, Donny Deutsch, a frequent guest on MSNBC and a former program host, claimed that there was "'no difference' between President Donald Trump's rhetoric and what 'Adolf Hitler preached' in Germany in the 1930s." He added, "And we're here and what is the difference between Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump? I'm not saying there is a Holocaust, but when you look at the tactics, that is where we are right now."

This is as outrageous as it is ignorant, and Deutsch needs to be called on the carpet for his ugly and inflammatory comments. As stated by the National Council of Young Israel, "To in any way liken President Trump to Adolf Hitler, who is arguably the most heinous anti-Semite in world history, is unequivocally repugnant, and trivializing the Holocaust to make a cheap political point on television is a tremendous insult to the victims and their progeny."

[...]

I have no desire to deny Trump's many flaws or to downplay the divisive nature of his rhetoric. But to compare him to Adolf Hitler, also comparing his followers to Hitler's Nazis, is simply obscene, not to mention a terrible slight on Hitler's victims. Deutsch should be ashamed of himself.

Surely Brown cannot be unaware that the publisher of his column -- as we documented when managing editor David Kupelian recently made a similar complaint --  frequently likened President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis, then defended doing so. We don't recall Brown ever expressing outrage about that, or saying that Kupelian, Farah and Co. should be ashamed of themselves for slighting Hitler's victims.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 AM EDT
Friday, October 16, 2020
MRC Kept A Secret: The 'Liberal Media' Hated Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes huffed in a Sept. 29 post:

Four years ago, the liberal networks pounded Republican nominee Donald Trump with bad press, yet he won the White House anyway. Now, ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts are giving Trump the same hostile treatment, but they’ve significantly softened their approach to Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Not only is Biden facing much less negative coverage than the President, he has received only one-sixth as much negative coverage as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received during the early weeks of the 2016 general election when she was Trump’s opponent. Instead of criticizing Biden for his “hiding in the basement” approach to the campaign, the networks are rewarding it by focusing nearly all of their negative scrutiny on Trump.

Wait, what? Hillary Clinton got negative coverage in the media, even by the MRC's bogus, highly subjective "evaluative statements" metric that examines only a tiny sliver of media? Please go on, Rich:

In 2016, the networks spent less time on candidate Clinton (262 minutes, or about two-thirds of Trump’s total airtime), and there were many fewer negative statements about that year’s Democratic nominee compared to Trump. But Clinton still faced a decent amount of scrutiny: 90 negative statements vs. 17 positive statements, for an overall spin of 84% negative).

This year, Biden has received less airtime than Clinton garnered four years ago, and far less attention than his GOP opponent: just 148 minutes during the period we studied, which included the virtual Democratic National Convention. (Four years ago, both parties held their conventions in July, before the study period.)

Compared to Clinton four years ago, Biden’s press has been completely toothless: just 15 negative statements vs. 19 positive statements, for an overall score of 54% positive. Even though their election preference was pretty clear four years ago, the networks still managed to air six times more negative statements about Clinton in 2016 than they have about Biden during the same period in 2020.

Yet "Hillary Clinton gets negative media coverage," while true, runs counter to the MRC's "liberal media" narrative. So back in 2016, Noyes buried that inconvenient fact by loudly complaining that the media was even more negative toward Trump and didn't cover Clinton's alleged scandals to his satisfaction. As Noyes put it in a October 2016 post:

The results show neither candidate was celebrated by the media (as Obama was in 2008), but network reporters went out of their way to hammer Trump day after day, while Clinton was largely out of their line of fire.

Our analysts found 184 opinionated statements about Hillary Clinton, split between 39 positive statements (21%) vs. 145 negative (79%). Those same broadcasts included more than three times as many opinionated statements about Trump, 91 percent of which (623) were negative vs. just nine percent positive (63).

Even when they were critical of Hillary Clinton — for concealing her pneumonia, for example, or mischaracterizing the FBI investigation of her e-mail server — network reporters always maintained a respectful tone in their coverage.

This was not the case with Trump, who was slammed as embodying “the politics of fear,” or a “dangerous” and “vulgar” “misogynistic bully” who had insulted vast swaths of the American electorate.

So, to Noyes, the "liberal bias" on Clinton was that it wasn't negative enough about her. And Noyes also made sure not to put those negative Clinton numbers in a graphic in his 2016 post -- though he did this year, because doing so suits this year's narrative.

Oh, and yet again, Noyes refuses to make the raw data public. What is he afraid of? That the subjective fakery of his metric will be exposed?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:05 PM EDT
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has been doing what he does -- complaining about federal deficits while refusing to explicitly assign blame where it lies: on the Republican president and Republican-controlled Senate. Jeffrey complained in a Sept. 11 article:

Federal spending has topped $6 trillion for the first time in any fiscal year in the nation’s history and the federal deficit has topped $3 trillion for the first time, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for August that was released today.

There is still another month left in fiscal 2020, which runs through the end of September.

As per usual, the words "Trump" and "Republican" do not appear, and it's illustrated with one of his favorite stock photos of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- falsely implying that Democrats share equal blame for the sice of the deficit when it controls only one-half of one relevant branch of government while Republicans control one and a half branches.

Jeffrey followed up on Oct. 2 with a similar complaint: "The debt of the federal government topped $27 trillion for the first time on Thursday, October 1, when it climbed from an opening balance of $26,945,391,194,615.15 to a closing balance of $27,026,921,935,432.41, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury Department." Again, Jeffrey avoids mention of who's actually in charge of the government, and he uses another stock photo suggesting that Democrats share equal blame.

Both articles note: "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Would Wold actually be happy with Jeffrey's biased, incomplete reporting here? We suspect not.

Ironically, an opinion column published by CNS was (somewhat) more balanced than Jeffrey's supposedly objective reporting.  A Sept. 24 column by Hans Bader actually told the truth that Jeffrey won't, but unfortunately went into speculation whataboutism: "Trump let budget deficits rise. Joe Biden will likely increase budget deficits far more."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 16, 2020 9:03 AM EDT
Thursday, October 15, 2020
MRC Thinks Reporting It Doesn't Like Is 'Fake News'
Topic: Media Research Center

If anything in the media does not conform with the Media Research Center's pro-Trump bias, it's branded as "fake news." Curtis Houck did exactly that in an Oct. 1 post:

On Thursday morning at NBCNews.com, reporter Julia Ainlsey filed a story that alleged Trump officials “were told to make public comments sympathetic to Kyle Rittenhouse” after the Kenosha riots according to a Department of Homeland Security document. Across the interwebs and on TV, it was offered with the implication that Trump aides wanted an encouragement of vigilantism.

But as it turns out (and like we saw with Ainsley’s overwrought Russian reporting in the Mueller probe), the hubbub was all for naught. In actuality, a basic reading of the article and memo obtained by NewsBusters revealed what Ainsley peddled was fake news and charged DHS officials with compiling what was known about Rittenhouse’s case using — get this — news reports.

At the time of this blog’s publication, this hitjob and disgust with a government document offering facts fetched 22 minutes and 11 seconds across CBS, MSNBC, and NBC programs.

Houck's defense of the memo is that the talking points aren't actually talking points because they weren't labeled as such -- just "Situation" and "Response" -- that offered "basic facts of the case" (which just happened to take the most Rittenhouse-friendly view of things, such as declaring "He took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners"). Houc then wrote:

Further, sources tell NewsBusters the document was only compiled for acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinnelli to give them — as memos do — the best set of available facts. 

According to two officials with direct knowledge, the document was prepared for the August 30 Sunday shows as, sure enough, Wolf appeared to discuss the deadly summer of violence on American streets.

Who are the sources? Houck doesn't tell us, which conflicts with the hypocritical MRC policy against anonymous sources (unless those sources adavance right-wing causes).

The only thing here that's "fake" is Houck's concern for the truth. In depicting a refusal to offer the right-wing spin he prefers as an example of "fake news," he proves nothing more than his desire to spin things at least as badly as any media member he accuses of it.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: At CNS, Fairness Is In Cognitive Decline
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has spent months pushing the Trump-approved narrative that Joe Biden has issues with senility and dementia, which it also imposed on Nancy Pelosi and others. But CNS will never portray Trump's mental slips as anything serious. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
MRC Is Mad Media Won't Promote Russian Disinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro hyperventilated in a Sept. 29 post:

In a bombshell letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe detailed how the Russian collusion narrative pushed by Democrats and the media was an alleged plot approved by then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Not only that, but President Obama was allegedly briefed on the matter by anti-Trump CIA Director John Brennan. The night’s presidential debate proved to be a great distraction as the broadcast networks spent their time proclaiming Joe Biden had the advantage.

While ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News were busy promoting their candidate ahead of the debate, the host for the night’s event, Fox News made sure to inform their viewers of the bombshell allegations.

Fondacaro, as you'd expect from a professional prevaricator, omitted a couple of things. First: Fox News, by promoting this story, was working on behalf of their candidate,. Donald Trump. Second: The evidence Ratcliffe released has been discredited.

Politico reported that the documents Ratcliffe declassified were "previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis," and that critics pointed out it "effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election."

Business Insider. meanwhile, pointed out that "Ratcliffe's decision to release disparaging information about Clinton from Russian intelligence sources appears to mirror Moscow's ongoing disinformation campaign against the former secretary of state," quoting one commentator noting that "this is old news, meaning the IC has had years to corroborate it and hasn't been able to do that." Another commentator noted that "Ratcliffe is serving up political chum to the President's allies on-demand, seeming to disregard whether it's A) accurate or B) in service of a foreign disinformation campaign." 

Fondacaro does concede that the information in the document dump can't be verified, but he handwaved the idea that Ratcliffe was pushing Russian disinformation by repeating a claim by Ratcliffe that it's not (though he offered no evidence to prove that).

Embracing Russian disinformation to own the libs? Sounds like a very Fondacaro-esque -- and MRC-esque -- move.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
WND Columnist Invents 'Indictment' Of Fauci Over Not Pushing Hydroxychloroquine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Hydroxychloroquine mania -- if not insanity -- continues at WorldNetDaily. Joel S. Hirschhorn began his Sept. 29 WND column by claiming this:

With a grand jury approach, the revealing of evidence herein shows that Dr. Anthony Fauci has deliberately ignored massive amounts of data showing that hydroxychloroquine is a safe, cheap and effective remedy for COVID-19. By ignoring his ethical responsibility as a physician to first do no harm, his behavior continues to cause preventable pain, suffering and death. Evidence also vindicates what President Trump said and did early on to inform Americans about the benefits of hydroxychloroquine.

Hirschhorn's bio gives him the "Dr." honorific, but he's not a medical doctor. He may have a Ph.D., as indicated by his claim to have been a "full professor" at the University of Wisconsin, but any relevant medical experience is limited to claiming that he Has "a long history of working on health issues" and was "an executive volunteer at a major hospital," whatever that means.

Hirschhorn's "grand jury approach" to "indicting" Fauci includes a lot of cherry-picked studies promoting hydroxychloroqine's alleged efficacy, whining that Fauci is a "tyrant" whose purported insistence on randomized control trials "has been sharply debunked," and summarily declaring: "In sum: Every single day people are suffering and dying unnecessarily because Fauci refuses to accept HCQ facts. Instead, in endless media statements and appearances he pushes masks, lockdowns and vaccines. Anthony Fauci benefits from incorrect views of HCQ in the mostly leftist press."

An actual grand jury -- not the one-man version residing in Hirschhorn's fevered brain -- would consider all evidence, not merely construct straw menfor the purpose of easily knocking them down.Unsurprisingly, Hirschhorn arrived at his predertimed conclusion:

For this grand jury proceeding, substantial evidence supports the indictment of Fauci on these counts:

A. Violating his physician oath to first do no harm.

B. Using his substantial influence to block widespread use of the proven safe, cheap and effective HCQ and, consequently, causing preventable pain, suffering and death for many thousands of Americans directly and through crippling lockdowns with their own negative health impacts.

C. Blocking traditional medical freedom and preventing physicians from using their best judgment in selecting for their patients the best treatment for COVID-19.

Shockingly, this is not the most extreme thing Hirschhorn written about Fauci, and just as shockingly, it didn't happen at WND. In an August column at some obscure website, Hirschhorn called Fauci a "war criminal" and claimed the Chinese "intentionally decided to spread the virus worldwide" so they "could make huge sums by selling the inevitably needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and, eventually, possible drugs and vaccines." He concluded by ranting that "until Fauci is knocked off his lofty pedestal they will continue to lose the war on the pandemic."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
MRC Thinks Twitter Poll Is Real And Reliable
Topic: Media Research Center

Jorge Bonilla spent a Sept. 30 MRC Latino post gushing over how "Telemundo anchors José Díaz-Balart and Felicidad Aveleyra were in for a shock as they revealed the results of an online poll that asked viewers’ take on who won the presidential debate." That "shock": a poll on Telemundo's Twitter account claiming that President Trump won the first debate with Joe Biden. Bonilla fuirther gushed: "The initial result announced on air was 66%, but the final result grew to 69%."

Unscientific polls are notoriously inaccurate, and opt-in polls like the one Telemundo used for this post-debate poll are doubly so, since they are so easily manipulated by partisans who can get together and plot to skew a poll (back in the day, this used to be called "freeping," after the right-wing message board Free Republic, where its users would regularly plot to skew a poll.). The MRC itself called out such "entirely insignificant and unscientific surveys" in 2017.

Bonilla, however, portrayed the meaningless Telemundo poll as accurate and legitimate -- he offers no evidence that the poll wasn't freeped by right-wingers -- before going on to insist it is a harbinger for alleged Hispanic support of Trump and a message to purportedly anti-Trump Spanish-language media (needless bold italic in original):

These results come as a shock to a Spanish-language media that is vested in both a Biden win and Trump loss, and in a debate result that reflected those desired outcomes. Despite years of biased coverage in news media and an obvious anti-Trump bent in Spanish-language media, a significant number of Telemundo’s viewers viewed Trump as a clear winner.

But there’s one more shock: An Instagram poll designed to clean up last night’s final result showed Biden to be the winner of the debate by identical margins (69-31), but also found Telemundo viewers in agreement with President Trump’s decision to appoint Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court (62-38!).

In the coming days Spanish-language media will have to deal with uncomfortable issues that have been suppressed from their viewers but brought out in the debate: such as, for example, the dealings of one Hunter Biden. We see, yet again, that viewers of Spanish-language media are in open revolt against the media that claim to serve them.

Yeah, not so much. Right-wingers can't even make the case to native English-speakers that Hunter Biden is a thing for anyone outside the right-wing media bubble Bonilla resides in.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 8:09 PM EDT
WND's Lively Dances On RBG's Grave
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I am writing this on the morning of Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, which is called Rosh Hashanah modernly. Friday the most powerful woman in the world, the Torah-defying Jewess and ultra-leftist Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died. My thoughts are about the culture of death she so aggressively promoted during her life – what the ancient Hebrew rabbis might call the "worship of unclean things" per the warnings of Deuteronomy and Leviticus – and the effect this idolatry has had on humanity during her highly influential life.

Thanks in significant part to the woman born Joan Ruth Bader in 1933 (the year Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany), wickedness spawned by open defiance of God – and the suppression of the natural law by which it might otherwise be reversed – has taken us to the brink of utter chaos.

[...]

How close are we to the Ten Days of Awe/Wrath? One measure is the desperation of the damned. The devil knows his time is short, and he is desperate, as are his followers in this world. For them, our president is "the last Trump," and if he succeeds in holding the presidency – surviving the full fury of their combined wrath and the total depletion of their political arsenal – their oh-so-close-to-fulfillment vision of global Socialist Utopia will be shattered.

Today their heroine "RBG" is dead, and Trump has the power and the will to replace her with a constitutionalist. To quote Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, " Fierce civil war will paralyze all of [America]. … People's capacity for sympathy will grow tired and weak from the sheer quantity of cruel deeds. And Caesar's ghost, searching for revenge with the goddess Atë by his side, just up from Hell, will cry in the voice of a king, 'Havoc!' and unleash the dogs of war."

What defines the wicked and makes them so desperate is not the evil of their deeds, but their refusal to repent. If God could forgive David and Solomon, God could forgive RBG and her baby-slaughtering, sodomy-championing allies – if they would only repent. But some would rather gnaw their own tongues in agony than submit to God. I hope that Joan Bader repented and is spared the torment Jesus took upon Himself on her behalf – just as I want that for every sinner, and for all those who will be "left behind" with a 10-day "second chance" at the Lord's soon return.

-- Scott Lively, Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Reality Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

You know the unemployment numbers are bad when the aggressive pro-Trump spinners at CNSNews.com can't find a way to go all rah-rah over them. Note the dejected tone of Susan Jones' lead article on the September numbers, where even her pro-Trump spin is labored and sadly nostalgic:

As more of the nation's economy opens amid the coronavirus pandemic, the September employment shows a fifth straight month of progress, but it's meager progress at best.

The number of employed Americans increased by only 275,000, to 147,563,000 in September from 147,288,000 in August.

The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 7.9 percent from 8.4 percent in August, as the number of unemployed people dropped by 970,000, to 12,580,000.

[...]

The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed. The remainder -- those who have no job and are not looking for one -- are counted as “not in the labor force," and in a troubling sign, this number increased in September by 879,000 to 100,599,000 from 99,720,000 in August.

(The lowest this number has been under President Trump is 94,279,000 in April 2017. BLS notes that this number has been steadily increasing in recent years as more baby boomers retire, and certainly the COVID-related business closures have accelerated the increase as more people drop out of the workforce.)

In that month, the nation's unemployment rate (3.5 percent) was at a 50-year low; the labor force participation rate (63.4 percent) was at a Trump-era high; and the number of employed Americans (158,759,000) was just 44,000 shy of the all-time record set in December 2019 -- the 25th such record set under President Trump.

The authors of the sidebars couldn't do much better. Terry Jeffrey wrote that "The United States added 66,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector in the month of September, but that still left the nation with 647,000 fewer manufacturing jobs then it had in February when the COVID-19 pandemic struck,"conceding that "When President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, there were 12,369,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States. The September count of 12,205,000 was 164,000 behind that."

Craig Bannister did a little better in his report on Hispanic unemployment, but still had to admit that "The 10.3% national, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos in August fell by 0.2 percentage points from August’s 10.5% level and 8.6 points from the record-high of 18.9% set in April, but remained well above March’s 6.0% mark."

Looks like CNS is going to have to publish more articles about Joe Biden's purported "cognitive decline" to make themselves feel better.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Monday, October 12, 2020
MRC Again Cheers Theft Of Intellectual Property By Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've documented, the Media Research Center normally loves the idea of private property -- except when the property in question is a song or image belonging to a non-conservative that a conservative uses without permission. The MRC regularly complains when Twitter "censored" meme President Trump retweets that are created by right-wing meme-maker Carpe Donktum and using stolen property -- that is, images without the permission of the original owners. The MRC's Alexander Hall made that complaint yet again in a Sept. 21 post:

Twitter labelled a meme shared by President Donald Trump. Now a lawsuit is targeting the meme’s creator and Trump himself.

The parents of toddlers featured in a Carpe Donktum meme video that parodied CNN’s biased portrayal of Trump supporters “have sued President Trump and meme artist Carpe Donktum for their involvement in the creation and sharing of the meme,” ReclaimTheNet reported September 18. A copy of the summons claimed that Logan Cook, better known as Carpe Donktum, “misappropriated” the toddlers’ “pictures and likenesses” and that the defendant added “fraudulent text to the manipulated video further distorting it.”

[...]

The meme video depicted a fake CNN headline that stated, "TERRIFIED TODLER [sic] RUNS FROM RACIST BABY." The footage featured footage, which had already gone viral on the internet in 2019, of an African-American toddler being chased by a white toddler with seemingly ominous music playing in the background. The segment was followed by a clip of "WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED," which featured the same two children “running toward each other on a sidewalk before embracing as Harry Connick Jr.'s version of the Carpenters’ ‘Close to You’ plays,” NBC News summarized.

While the video was clearly intended as a hyperbolic parody of liberal media coverage, Big Tech and liberal journalists took it with utter seriousness. The parody video’s editor, Carpe Donktum, has since been permanently suspended from Twitter.

At no point do Hall or Carpe Donktum address the actual issue at hand of stolen intellectual property, or why the parents of the toddlers have no right to enforce who uses the image they own. instead, Hall let Mr. Donktum rant about suing Twitter and whine that he was the purported victim of a "fraudulent DMCA Takedown which DIRECTLY led to my suspension" from Twitter, "which I had built over the course of 12 years and had amassed 273,000 followers, was not only my preferred outlet for expressing my 1st amendment rights, it also serves as an archive of all of my artistic work." DMCA is a reference to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which governs intellectual property like online images and videos; if Mr. Donktum explained what was "fraudulent" about him being held to the same standards as everyone else, Hall didn't excerpt it.

Again, the MRC apparently believes property rights belong only to conservatives, not the creators and owners of the images conservatives co-opt -- which seems to run counter to the property rights that conservatives normally hold so dear.

(Image of Carpe Donktum via CNN)


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 12, 2020 9:41 PM EDT
CNS Gives Lindsey Graham A Pass On His Supreme Court Flip-Flop
Topic: CNSNews.com

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham did a massive flip-flop on Suprme Court nominations. He said in 2016, in an effort to justify his fellow Republicans' blocking of President Obama's SCOTUS nominee that the next president should make that nomination in the last year of his first term, adding that if a case came up when a Republican president was in the same situationb, "you could use my words against me, and you'd be absolutely right." But when President Trump was given the opportunity to fill a seat less than two months before a presidential election with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Graham lent his support to Trump.

But rather than call out Graham for this flip-flop, CNSNews.com helped him justify it. CNS' leading pro-Trump stenographer, Melanie Arter, devoted a Sept. 21 article to Graham explaining away his abrupt change of heart, even letting him play victim by blaming Democrats for it:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) now has a different view on the judicial confirmation process, and his Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee are to blame.

In a letter to told Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham said on Monday that the way Democrats on the committee treated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has changed his view on Supreme Court judicial nominees.

Since Graham made sure not to describe the behavior he was flip-flopping over, Arter didn't either. The rest of her article is just a copy-and-paste of Graham's letter.

By contrast, CNS has repeatedly attacked Joe Biden as a flip-flopper; a Sept. 29 column by Bill Donohue is headlined "Year-by-Year Breakdown of Joe Biden's Abortion Flip-Flop," and Arter gave Republian House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a platform to bash Biden, claiming that "I’ve never seen anybody flip-flop more. 

Apparently, only some flip-flops are newsworthy at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 PM EDT
MRC Tries To Push Biden Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock used a Sept. 28 post to express sadness that the media won't buy into his conspiracy theory that the the Biden campaign worked with the New York Times on its expose on President Trump's taxes so that it could quickly put up an ad about it:

Journalists like to think of themselves as skeptical types who are always asking questions. But when theNew York Times on Sunday claimed to have acquired Donald Trump’s taxes and, just hours later, the Biden campaign had a corresponding campaign ad out, the networks didn't seem cynical. 

According to the Times, the President paid only $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017. CBS This Morning reporter Ed O’Keefe on Monday marveled, “Within hours of The New York Times report, the Biden campaign was out with a new ad contrasting the tax burden of average working Americans with the $750 in income tax the President paid. And they're also out with new campaign buttons that read ‘I paid more income taxes than Donald Trump.’” O’Keefe credulously cheered, “ Quick work there by the Biden campaign.”

[...]

Given how journalists jump on promoting all sorts of liberal theories about Republicans, isn't at least a little skepticism warranted at just how coordinated the Times story seems to be with the Biden campaign. 

Never mind, of course, that Whitlock offers no evidence whatsoever of coordination, thus making this a pure conspiracy theory; the Times has debunked the conspiracy, but Whitlock didn't think that was relevant to his piece. Further, there are software programs that promise to teach you how to make a video ad in minutes, so it shouldn't be surprising that the Biden campaign turned one around so quickly.

The MRC does have a bad habit of embracing conspiracy theories when thinks it it suits its right-wing political agenda to do so


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 12, 2020 6:59 PM EDT
Newsmax Gives Uncritical Platform To Misinformation About Coronavirus Origin
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax gave airtime to a conspiracy theory, as described in a Sept. 18 article by Brian Trusdell:

The Chinese virologist who fled her native country in April and claims the novel coronavirus was created in a lab in China says the communist government used a process to mask its origins because it was produced for nefarious purposes.

Dr. Yan Li-Meng told Newsmax TV on Friday that China used a process call gain of function, in which a virus can be passed through animals, to hide the genetically modified biomarkers that would indicate its man-made origin.

"This is done by the gain of function experiments because, as I said, I was a virologist and working on a vaccine study in that lab before," Yan told "Spicer & Co." "So what I can say is, based on the evidence after modification in the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome, there clearly shows this is after the created and make this not harmful virus into the human, highly contagious and dangerous virus.

"And this gain of function process definitely did not have any medical purpose. It's not to make a helpful, or have us get [a] vaccine, or drugs. Not at all. I mean, this is totally go to the other side, to make it harmful."

Yan's claim that coronavirus was created in a lab has been repeatedly disproven by actual researchers. The paper Yan co-wrote making this claim has not yet been peer-reviewed (which Trusdell does concede later on in his article).National Geographic found numerous holes in Yan's study, prompting another virologist to note, "It looks legitimate because they use a lot of technical jargon. But in reality, a lot of what they're saying doesn't really make any sense."Further, Yan's paper was funded by the Rule of Law Society, created by former Trump adviser (and current indicted criminal) Steve Bannon.

Trusdell did not note any of this criticism of Yan's conclusions, and neither did Spicer. Thus, Newsmax is perpetuating misinformation.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:51 AM EDT

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