Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center freaks out every time an animated program refuses to hate the LGBT community as much as it does. Read more >>
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Pushing Bogus Censorship Claims
We caught the Media Research Center serving as the PR agent for anti-abortion activist group Live Action, uncritically repeating its less-than-factual claims about being censored on social media. Its "news" division, CNSNews.com, is letting one of its columnists repeat those same bogus claims.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wrote in a Sept. 13 column:
As we documented, Pinterest never classifed Live Action as a porn site. And like the MRC, Perkins did not offer any evidence to counter the fact-check on Live Action's insistence that abortion isn't medically necessary; he just parrots the right-wing attack line that the fact-check was "biased" because the fact-checkers were allegedly "pro-abortion activists."
Seems like everyone at the MRC is singing from the same choir book.
Monday, September 30, 2019
Taylor Swift Derangement Syndrome At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
Gabriel Hays sneered in an Aug 8 post:
Well, fine, Taylor, but aren’t you currently dating one?
Hays worked up even more sneering in an Aug. 26 post:
Hays, an inveterate LGBT-basher, was also bothered that Swift's new album "also features a very pro-LGBTQ anthem in the song 'You Need To Calm Down,' which is a rebuke of homophobic people who aren’t happy celebrating all things queer."
The same day, Karen Townsend was upset that Swift used an acceptance speech at the MTV Music Awards to promote her petition online in support of the Equality Act, an “anti-discrimination” bill that discriminates against religious views on traditional marriage and biological sex," adding: "While Ms. Swift said the petition has enough support to receive a response from the White House and tapped her watch impatiently, clearly the bill doesn't have enough support in the Senate and therefore President Trump hasn’t seen it on his desk. Maybe Swift is the one who needs to calm down[.]"
The next day, Kristine Marsh huffed that "All three networks couldn’t stop gushing over pop star Taylor Swift’s liberal awakening on full display at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards," offended that she was "surrounded by drag queens" while accepting her award and promoting the Equality Act.
Hays returned to complain about "the very inclusive performance of everyone's favorite new lefty shill, Taylor Swift."
Matt Philbin picked up the sneer baton from Hays for an Aug. 29 post bashing a writer who he says is "pretty sure we need Taylor Swift’s sad thoughts about America," continuing: "The truth is, Swift is simultaneously trivializing and aggrandizing the political moment into, like, the worst night ever. It’s a much less clever episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. The Hell Mouth is open, the apocalypse is nigh; we need to defeat it and get to the prom by 8:30!"
MRC honchos Tim Graham and Brent Bozell couldn't help but offer their two cents, whining that "YOu Need To Calm Down" "trashes anyone still dissenting from the LGBTQ agenda" and that media outlets are "gushing over her leftist activism." Making equality a partisan issue, Graham and Bozell insisted that the Equality Act "enables anti-religious hatred and bigotry," mostly by keeping Christians from discriminating against LGBT people, adding that "The LGBTQ orthodoxy shreds dissent. There is no debate allowed. " They don't explain why Christians must discriinate against the LGBT community.
Hays slinked back again on Sept. 18 to grouse that "Ever since Taylor Swift decided to join the left’s propaganda machine, the pop star has been one of the hottest tickets for interviews." (As if he isn't a part of the Right's propaganda machine.) Hays went on another sneering binge, this time over Swift's preference for President Obama over Trump:
The MRC's inability to deal with a celebrity who run counter to the right-wing narrative shows us who really needs to calm down.
WND Begs For Money To Launch War on CAIR
Because the Council for American-Islamic Relations stands up for Muslims, WorldNetDaily despises them. So much so, in fact, that it's begging for money to try and destroy CAIR by building it into a bogeyman only it can attack. Managing editor David Kupelian writes in a Sept. 18 email to readers complaining that CAIR didn't mark the 9/11 attacks on Sept. 11:
First: WND may be desperate for money, but it betrays what few jouranlistic principles it can still plausibly claim to have by pledging to use that money specifically to attack an organization it doesn't like.
Second: WND doesn't mention that it loves to attack anyone who says something that "offends Christianity," which is just about anything. Indeed, Kupelian has smeared WND's critics as "anti-Christian."
Third: WND is "most trusted conservative Christian news website in America," which publishes "pro-American, truth-based journalism"? When did that happen? Well, it didn't -- that's an attempt a rebranding that WND first pushed in 2016, though Kupelian appears to have abandoned Joseph Farah's insistence that WND never admit its unmistakable bias by calling it "conservative" (though WND is actually several degrees to the right of mainstream conservatism). As far as WND being "trusted' and "truth-based"? Not so much.
Kupelian seems to think that admitting he and WND are blatantly partisan is the way to dig it out of its financial morass. But he seems to have forgotten that Farah was one of Trump's biggest fanboys as WND's ship continued to sink.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
MRC Cheers Attack on Fact-Checkers Who Ruled An Anti-Abortion Claim False
Topic: Media Research Center
The anti-abortion activists with Live Action don't want their views to be challenged -- no matter how false they are -- and the Media Research Center is helping to advance this dubious cause.
We've already documented how the MRC uncritically repeated Live Action's bogus claim that Pinterest shut down its account because of a purported campaign to censor conservative content when, in fact, it was because it was using the account to promote misinformation.The MRC is now working with Live Action on its latest campaign to deflect from the misinformation it provides.
A Sept. 3 post by Corinne Weaver repeated the Live Action party line that Facebook was "actively working to suppress pro-life content" and "censor" it by pointing out that some of Live Action's content was false:
Weaver also repeated the unsupported talking point that "the message of the videos is based on the opinions of 2,500 pro-life obstetricians and gynecologists." Weaver also didn't note any rebuttal of the fact-check, which pointed out that there are indeed circumstances in which a fetus may need to be aborted in order to save the mother's life.
A Sept. 9 post by Alexander Hall was essentially a Live Action press release:
Hall also repeated the misleading claim that "Pinterest placed Live Action on a blacklist among pornographic sites, blocking the pro-life group’s content from being shared on the platform." As we've noted, Pinterest explained that the label was a quirk of the company’s internal content moderation tools due to such bans being originally directed at porn, and that the account was never labeled as pornography.
On Sept. 12, Weaver and Hall did more PR work for Live Action by advancing its attack on Facebook's fact-checkers, citing a letter from anti-abortion republican congessman claiming that "Facebook’s ‘independent fact check’ of the Live Action videos was performed by two pro-abortion activists with significant ties to abortion-rights advocacy organizations." Weaver and Hall did not note any claim from Live Action or anyone else that the fact-check was incorrect -- which tells you the partisan political nature of this.
Facebook eventually backed down, but Live Action -- and, thus, Weaver -- were not done complaining. In a Sept. 16 post, Weaver complained that one of the medical experts who did the fact-check on Live Action videos said that "People who lie about abortion should be banned from Facebook for spreading hate." Again, Weaver failed to cite any evidence the fact-check was false, but instead repeated the Live Action talking point that "Lila Rose, the founder of Live Action, was echoing the professional opinions of several doctors."
Hall cheered Facebook backing down in a Sept. 20 post, gloating that "Facebook apparently knows that it made a mistake with the pro-life community. He claimed that "the bogus fact check that condemned [Rose's] content has not been retracted" -- but, as before, he offered no evidence there was anything bogus about the fact-check. Instead, he parroted Rose's bogus attacks on Facebook as a "far-Left, politically motivated puhlisher," conveniently ignoring the fact that Live Action is a far-right, politically motivated publisher who doesn't want its bogus attacks to be challenged.
It's almost as if Live Action paid the MRC for all this PR work.
CNS Gives Its Favorite Anti-Trans Doctor Another Platform
CNSNews.com loves to promote Paul McHugh's positions on transgender issues because they align with CNS' anti-gay, anti-trans narrative and he has the weight of his association with Johns Hopkins University to lend gravitas (even though conservatives don't care much for highfalutin schools like Johns Hopkins).
The latest attempt to do so is a Sept. 17 blog post by Craig Bannister touting that "Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and former psychiatrist–in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, who has studied transgendered people for 40 years, believes that patients suffering gender dysphoria need psychological care – not gender reassignment treatment."
You can see Bannister's appeal to authority by invoking the Johns Hopkins connection and even by giving him a middle initial. Bannister noted that the McHugh interview was taken from a website called the College Fix, but he didn't disclose the fact that it's a right-wing website (proudly stating on its nameplate that it's dedicated to "right-minded news and comentary," and, yes, the italics on "right" are in the original).
And because the College Fix didn't tell its readers that McHugh's views have been criticized over the years for being outdated, Bannister doesn't either. It's been pointed out that while McHugh argues for "psychological care" for transgenders, neither he nor anyone else has developed"a way to actually talk a transgender person out of their gender dysphoria." And Johns Hopkins has restarted the transgender reassignment surgery program McHugh suspended in 1979.
That tells us he's very out of the mainstream with current medical thinking. But Bannister and the College Fix don't want you to know that -- he serves too important of a political purpose to them.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Tim Graham's Latest Anonymous-Source Complaint Fail
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham ranted in a Sept. 10 post:
As we've documented -- and Graham would never admit in public -- the MRC has no problem with anonymous sources when they advance his employer's political and anti-media narratives. Heck the MRC has employed at least one NewsBusters blogger who wrote anonymously under a fake name. (Among Graham's titles is executive editor of NewsBusters, so he's surely aware of this.)
Graham whined further:
But the MRC is a hypocrite about Klein too. We've noted that it demanded media coverage of one Klein book despite publishing a post detailing its factual errors. In 2016, Graham similarly mustered up only lame whataboutism when Klein's anonymous sources were pointed out. He also did this in 2012 while alongside a complaint that the book's "headline-grabbing allegations" were being ignored.
Graham's hypocrisy on this issue is so ridiculous that perhaps he should give up.
WND Columnist Doesn't Understand All The Fuss Over Vaping
In her Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column, Rachel Alexander does a mostly good rundown of the current issues surrounding vaping, such as the lung diseases and deaths associated with it. But she rushed to blame the problems on a certain brand of vaping liquid on the black market that uses THC, the active ingredient in marijuana -- in fact, officials have yet to pinpoint a single cause, and one examination of 86 vaping patients found they reported using 234 different products. And then, she had to go and push the point that vaping is still safer than cigarettes:
Then again, Alexander is also pushing the idea that corrupt ex-Rep. Steve Stockman was targeted by the Deep State, so maybe her reporting has an issue or two.
Friday, September 27, 2019
MRC Gloats Over Low CBS Evening News Ratings
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent the first week of Norah O'Donnell's tenure viciously attacking her for her purported "liberal bias." Now, her ratings are low, and the MRC couldn't be happier about it. Nicholas Fondacaro gleefully wrote in a Sept. 3 post:
Shockingly, the normally hot-headed Fondacaro refrained from further attacks on O'Donnell beyond his claim that Glor was "more balanced"; his source for that claim was a February post by Rich Noyes citing the MRC's highly dubious methodology to claim that Glor’s CBS Evening News has consistently aired fewer negative statements about the administration than either of its competitors," though he still made sure to complain that the program under Glor refused to be a "pro-Trump bastion" -- which, of course, is what Noyes, Fondacaro and the rest of the MRC are demanding all news programs become (which is why Fox News never faces questions from the MRC about its obvious media bias).
CNS Mocks Actress For Speaking Out -- But Touted Ringo's Opinion on Brexit
Craig Bannister wrote in an Aug. 27 CNSNews.com blog post:
Actress Alison Brie used her public platform as a music video award presenter to lecture her viewing audience on her interpretation of the U.S. Constitution on Monday.
Brie declared enforcement of U.S. immigration law “unconstitutional” as she and her co-presenter conflated illegal and legal immigration, NewsBusters reports:
Who knew that a star of the show GLOW on Netflix was a constitutional scholar? She's not, and yet, actress Alison Brie declared with certainty on the stage of the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards Monday night that what America is doing to immigrants is “unconstitutional and frankly disgusting."
Her co-presenter then instructed the audience to applaud Brie’s constitutional analysis.
Bannister might have had a point if CNS didn't treat celebrities' political opinions with reverence -- when they conform to CNS' right-wing agenda, that is. We've documented the fawning treatment it affords the views of, say, actor Kevin Sorbo and ex-pretty boy Fabio, and it publishes a politics-heavy weekly column by musician Charlie Daniels.
And CNS' hypocrisy was proven yet again a few days later. A Sept. 10 blog post by CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman gushed over how "the famous Brit and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr strongly supports Brexit because the people voted for it, he says, and 'it's a great move' to be "in control of your own country.'" There was no mocking or dismissive tone; Chapman treated his opinion quite seriously.
There was also no news value here, since Ringo's statements were made in a 2017 interview -- two years ago.Talk about old (and hypocritical) news.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
MRC Gives PewDiePie's Racist Videos A Pass, Attacks ADL For Pointing Out The Racism
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center finds a way to take the side of yet another right-wing extremist while bashing one of the most respected civil rights groups in the country. Alexander Hall writes in a Sept. 11 post:
Note that Hall is curiously vague about exactly that "dust-up" was about -- or even what that "shock value humor" was that got him booted from Disney. Usually when people have "dust-ups" with the ADL, it's because they were acting in an anti-Semitic way. The Washington Post summed it up:
Hall also curiously failed to explain PewDiePie's reference to the "Christ Church travesty." That's because the perpetrator of the mosque massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, said "Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie" during his livestream of the massacre. (It was a reference to a campaign among PewDiePie's followers to boost his subscriptions to keep him the most popular YouTuber.)
Hall then went on a tirade against the ADL and Grenblatt, repeating a National Review claim that the ADL has been led "off a partisan cliff" under Greenblatt.
The next day, Hall cheered when PewDiePie reneged on his pledge to give money to the ADL due to backlash from his followers, which he thinks is a good thing:
Again, Hall was silent on the offensive content of PewDiePie's videos -- which means that Hall has spent much more space attacking the ADL for criticizing PewDiePie's offensive content than telling his readers exactly what that content was.
Apparently, if you're a conservative or even appear to be one, you can get away with "offensive" content for "shock value humor" as far as the MRC is concerned.
CNS Managing Editor Obsesses Over Chicago Violence To Distract From Mass Shootings
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman has occasionally invoked violence in Chicago when it suited his right-wing agenda. For instance, in 2016 he featured spotlight-loving Wisconsin sheriff David Clarke touting how "there have been 455 murders in Chicago so far this year, which is greater than the 270 coalition soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2013." Given how Clarke has since abruptly resigned from his sheriff amid lawsuits and became so toxic and extreme that even the Trump administration wouldn't hire him and Fox News barred him from appearing on the channel, this one hasn't aged too well. Chapman also wrote about Chicago violence a few times in 2017 and 2018, and he hadn't written about it at all for the first seven months of 2019..
But with the El Paso and Dayton massacres in early August -- one of which was clearly influenced by right-wing anti-immigration rhetoric that President Trump -- Chapman found a new reason to invoke Chicago: as a distraction. We've already noted that in an article just a couple days after the massacres, Chapman claimed that "51 people were shot in Chicago and seven of the victims died" the same weekend of the massacres, huffily adding that "the liberal media did not express nationwide outrage over that gun violence and politicians did not blame President Doanld Trump for the violence."
Chapman became mildly obsessed with Chicago violence for the next few weeks:
Chapman hasn't written about Chicago violence since. Perhaps the massacre story has sufficiently faded that he doesn't feel the need to.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Newsmax Alan Dershowitz Defense Watch
We've documented how Newsmax has been giving Alan Dershowitz all the space he wants to defend himself over his alleged involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking scandal and related issues. That hasn't really stopped.
On Aug. 9, Dershowitz defended his infamous argument for lowering the age of consent for sex, insisting it was merely "a provocative think piece, designed to stimulate debate." After Epstein's death, Dershowitz wrote an Aug. 16 piece insisting yet again that the sex accuations made against him by one of Epstein's victims is false, declaring: "The death of Jeffrey Epstein does not diminish the suffering of his real victims. Nor does it diminish the suffering of those who have been falsely accused by Epstein’s victims."
An Aug. 13 article quoted Dershowitz in a Newsmax TV appearance declaring that he will be vindication of the Epstein-related charges not only in a court of law but "the court of public opinion" as well, going on to claim that "the accusations against him are a result of opportunists trying to capitalize on society's sensitivities to the Me Too movement."
An Aug. 19 column by Michael Dorstewitz ran to Dershowitz's defense, portraying him as a victim of "polarization politics" over the Epstein-related charges and his defense of President Trump, making sure to portray Dershowitz as a "lifelong liberal." On Sept. 24, Newsmax published an Associated Press article on Dershowitz filing a motion to "throw out a lawsuit that accuses him of lying about his sexual history with a woman who claims she was a teenage victim of a Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking ring."
Dershowitz has also used his Newsmax platform to opine on politics:
We missed it before, but Newsmax also published an Aug. 1 column by former Dershowitz student David Oskar Markus defending Dershowitz against the Epstein-related claims, lamenting he is being "accused of a heinous crime without any real recourse or due process protection."
At The MRC, Trump's Sharpie Isn't News, But Biden's Eye Is
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center started off its attacks on coverage of Hurricane Dorian in the usual way, complaining that it spent too much time -- which is to say, any time at all -- reporting on the hurricane in the context of climate change. So bitter about this was Curtis Houck that he ranted that CNN hosts "are reduced to no more than puppets in Jeffrey Zucker’s play, willfully reading from nearly identical scripts as they peddle their daily doses of venom for not only President Trump, but anyone who stands in the way of their far-left, anti-gun, pro-abortion, and pro-Green New Deal vision (to name a few policies)." As if Houck isn't a puppet reading from Brent Bozell's hateful right-wing scripts.
But when President Trump kept insisting he was right about Alabama being endangered by Dorian even though early forecasts showing that possibility were quickly revised -- to the point that he displayed a map with an crudely extended possible impact area into Alabama drawn by the president's trademark Sharpie marker -- the MRC complained that too much time was being spent on that too:
But you know what the MRC did deem worthy of wall-to-wall media coverage? Joe Biden's eye showing some blood during a CNN climate change forum. Mnark Finkelstein whined, apparently unironically (bolding in original):
Similar unironic whining followed from Tim Graham:
On Thursday, we noted CNN's New Day skipped over Joe Biden's bloody eyeball during the seven-hour CNN Town Hall on climate change, despite it being an all-day Drudge Report item. But then something happened that we didn't expect: CNN never reported it. Neither did MSNBC. Neither did ABC, CBS, NBC, or PBS. Even The New York Times and The Washington Post skipped it. Fox News covered it, but not obsessively.
The Bloody Eye wasn't Earth-shattering news. But some wondered if it suggested a health problem for Biden. It wasn't Hillary Clinton collapsing in the September 11 "heat." But are these media giants that defensive?
WND's Erik Rush Tries To Explain Why U.S. Is Heading Toward Civil War, Excludes His Own Screeds As A Reason
The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush, he was declaring his preference for civil war over another Democratic president. He expanded on that a little more in his Sept. 4 column, in which he attempted to explain that "if the heretofore unthinkable should take place and the United States winds up on a civil-war footing within the next decade or so, historians will probably cite many of the controversial and bizarre phenomena to which we are routinely being exposed as having been clear harbingers of that conflict.
A lot of it is your basic right-wing claptrap; at one point he blames "leftist-fostered moral decay" for "increased numbers of people retreating into apathy, addiction, sexual promiscuity and increasingly bizarre and harmful forms of sexual deviance."
Then he ranted that George Soros is s "former World War II Nazi collaborator who'd become a billionaire via predatory global financial schemes, then used his vast wealth in an attempt to destroy the West, and America, from within." Rush is just the latest to repeat the "Nazi collaborator" lie at WND.
Rush eventually descended into lame right-wing tropes and his trademark Obama derangement:
Rush then claimed that future generations might wonder "why, in light of our past patriotism and having collectively overcome so much adversity, we suddenly turned on each other." He would never admit it, but right-wing screeds like those penned by Rush would be one contributing factor.
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