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Sunday, October 6, 2019
CNS Covers Trump-Ukraine Scandal With Its Usual Bias
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com is treating the scandal over President Trump's phone call to the Ukranian president exactly the way you'd expect: with a heavy pro-Trump bias, at least based on its first week of coverage.

Susan Jones' first article on the whistleblower complaint that led to the controversy served up her usual pro-Trump/anti-media framing, complaining that the report "provides new fodder for determined anti-Trump investigators" and that "liberal media outlets, including the Post, have seized on the report." She also complained that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, head of the House Intelligence committee, is "a dedicated  Trump foe." That was followed by more Jones articles touting Trump's dismissal of the complaint as "fake news," accacking the whistleblower and mocking Schiff, with no additional editorial commentary.

Jones also knew where to direct the story for maximum pro-Trump sycophancy: at Joe Biden. One article was devoted to uncritically repeating Rudy Guiliani's rants falsely claiming that Biden, as vice president, withheld federal money to Ukraine until an investigator who was looking into dealings in the country involving Biden's son Hunter was fired. (In fact, U.S. and European officials wanted the investigator fired because he wasn't investigating corruption in the country, which Jones didn't tell her readers.)

In a follow-up article, Jones bashed Schiff for "getting ahead of the actual facts" while making no editorial comments when quoting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for pointing out that conversations between world leaders are supposed to be confidential. Later, Jones lamented that the controversy has "has stoked Democrat [sic] cries for impeachment.By contrast, Jones made no judgments against Republicans Devin Nunes and Lindsey Graham in reporting their comments backing Trump and criticizing Biden. She also touted Republicans Jim Jordan (a favorite of CNS' parent, the Media Research Center) and Mark Meadows bashing the controversy, huffing that it originated with "a second-hand whistleblower complaint."

That kind of blatant bias from Jones continued. She whined in a Sept. 24 article:

We demand more documents!

The Democrat [sic] chairmen of three House committees are "demanding that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately begin producing documents the State Department has been withholding in response to a letter the Chairmen sent two weeks ago relating to efforts by the President and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to solicit the help of a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 Presidential Election."

[...]

Meanwhile, House Democrats are meeting at 4 p.m. to discuss possible impeachment proceedings against President Trump, this time for something he supposedly said in phone call with the newly elected Ukraine president.

Never mind that Congress does not know details about the complaint filed by an intelligence community whistleblower. And press reports now say the whistleblower's complaint is based on what he heard from someone else.

The same day, Jones uncritically repeated more dubious assertions about the Bidens from Trump, without snarkiness or additional editorial comment, though she repeated the false claim that "Joe Biden in 2016 forced the Ukraine government to fire a prosecutor who was looking into corruption."

On Sept. 25, Jones shockingly did not add snark to two articles featuring Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talking about an impeachment inquiry. But then, she also uncritically presented statements from Lindsey Graham and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, even as Sekulow ranted about "former Vice President Joe Biden's quid pro quo with the Ukraine government" (which, in that framing, ignores the facts).

CNS' Melanie Arter, meanwhile, was (as usual) stuck in stenography mode writing stuff with headlines like "Trump to Ukraine: ‘There’s a Lot of Talk About Biden’s Son, That Biden Stopped the Prosecution’."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:11 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2019 8:19 PM EDT
Saturday, October 5, 2019
MRC Mourns Right-Wing Financier, Doesn't Disclose He's An MRC Benefactor
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brent Baker somberly wrote in a Sept. 15 post:

Business tycoon T. Boone Pickens passed away this past week at age 91. In 2005, he took part in the Media Research Center’s “DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2004,” where he accepted, in jest on behalf of PBS’s Bill Moyers, the “Send Bush to Abu Ghraib Award.”

Pickens offered a humorous allegory about a cowboy with a rattlesnake and wrapped up with a joke about a monkey in tree, both to convey his scorn for the news media.

Baker curiously failed to disclose one key fact about Pickens: He didn't just randomly show up at that 2005 shindig. He had donated millions of dollars to the MRC.

As we documented, Pickens -- who made his money in the oil and gas industry -- gave a $1.5 million challenge grant to the MRC for the creation of its Business & Media Institute. As a result of that donation, MRC vice president Dan Gainor holds the title of T. Boone Pickens Fellow, and in 2011 he attacked ProPublica for investigating the oil and gas industry where Pickens made his millions. MRC chief Brent Bozell considered him an "old friend," devoting a 2011 column to gushing over his charitable donations while hanging out in the plush skybox at the Oklahoma State football stadium he funded through a $165 million donation to the school (while not admitting that the organization he runs has also been a beneficiary of Pickens' largesse). Pickens has also been a longtime meber of the MRC's board of trustees.

The MRC does not do itself any favors when it refuses to hold itself to the same standards of disclosure and transparency it demands from the "liberal media."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EDT
Is WND Slowly Merging With Western Journal?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily may be inching toward a resolution to its financial woes by moving closer to its old stomping grounds and an organization to which it has long been intertwined.

To recap: Joseph Farah founded the noprofit Western Journalism Center in the early 1990s, and it became a mechanism for promoting anti-Clinton conspiracy theories. WND was founded under the WJC umbrella in 1997 and was spun out as a for-profit company a couple years later. The WJC atrophied for a few years until it was taken over by Farah friend Floyd Brown in 2008, after which it collaborated with WND on a ridiculous "case for impeachment" against President Obama. Western Journalism then became a hub of right-wing fake news and clickbait, and was sold in 2014 to Liftable Media, operated by Brown's son. The website's name evolved into the Western Journal after its bogus clickbait got it blacklisted by social media operators and it's trying to go legit.

Western Journal is the descendant of the nonprofit Farah founded nearly30 years ago, and the two may be getting together again. How do we know?

First: WND's recent website redesign appears to use the same template that Western Journal uses. The basic setup is the same.

Second: WND has been running a full complement of Western Journal-bylined stories since at least Sept. 23 -- original content it needs since firing all its reporters in its ongoing financial crisis. These are full stories that get their own byline, compared with with the news it steals from other media outlets, which typically run only a few paragraphs and have a "WND News Services" tag, despite the fact that WND doesn't pay any of those news services for the content (which it has claimed it can do under fair-use doctrine).

With Joseph Farah (mostly) incapacitated by a stroke earlier this year, WND has lost its driving force who could keep his baby alive by sheer chutzpah (and financial shenanigans). It's not clear that the other top WND laeders, Divid Kupelian and Elizabeth Farah, have that same drive. Merging into Liftable Media's operations as a (barely) more credible version of Western Journal might be the best outcome for WND.

Plus, there should still be a nonprofit shell at Western Journal that WND can turn into that long-delayed operation to which it was planning to offload its reporting, a la the Daily Caller.

Is our hunch correct? Stay tuned.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2019 1:37 PM EDT
Friday, October 4, 2019
MRC Hurls Insults At Teen Climate Change Activist
Topic: Media Research Center

Greta Thunberg is a British teen making her name as a climate change activist. And the Media Research Center had nothing but disdain and insults for her over the past couple months as she sailed across the Atalantic Ocean to give a speech at the United Nations.

  • On Tuesday, CBS This Morning was in awe of radical climate change activist Greta Thunberg, hailing the 16-year-old from Sweden as “the voice of the planet” and touting her plan to sail across the Atlantic to attend a United Nations climate summit in New York. -- Kyle Drennen, Aug. 13
  • On New Day Sunday, CNN promoted global warming activist Greta Thunberg as the climate alarmist prepared for a publicity stunt to precede her appearance at the United Nations climate summit[.] -- Brad Wilmouth, Aug. 18
  • CBS Cheers Extremist Teenage ‘Climate Activist’: ‘Voice of the Planet’ -- Scott Whitlock, Aug. 28
  • "radical teenage climate change activist " -- Kyle Drennen, Aug. 29
  • Greta Thunberg wouldn't be a global figure if the media wasn't "smitten" with her and used her to do their bidding. -- Alex Christy, Sept. 7
  • At no time, then or now, did CBS not her extreme positions, including that eating meat is “stealing her generation’s future” and will lead to a climate apocalypse. Additionally, the teenager has touted “flygskam” or flight shaming for anyone who dares use an airplane regularly. -- Scott Whitlock, Sept. 10
  • Journalists simply can’t get enough of Greta Thunberg, the radical 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who wants people to stop flying in order to save the planet. ... Mitchell ignored the extreme nature of her views. -- Scott Whitlock, Sept. 18
  • "Swedish 16-year-old activist and media darling Greta Thunberg"-- Kristine Marsh, Sept. 20
  • Celebs were overjoyed at the sight of millions of young people around the world taking to the streets for 15-year-old pied piper Greta Thunberg and her climate change hysteria. -- Gabriel Hays, Sept. 20
  • Radical climate activist Greta Thunberg threw a temper tantrum at the United Nations on Monday where she claimed the world ruined her childhood, and threatened her opponents, and made faces at President Trump’s back. ... Of course, none of the networks dared to share the most radical parts of her screed before the U.N. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, Sept. 23
  • "the bitter ranting of radical climate teen Greta Thunberg at the United Nations on Monday" -- Nicholas Fondacaro, Sept. 23
  • "16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s disturbing speech yesterday at the United Nations" -- Kristine Marsh, Sept. 24
  • It’s climate change hysteria week and all the best in melodramatic, manipulative, and grotesque activism has been put on display for Mother Earth. Most notably,16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg’s dramatic meltdown at the U.N. went over about as smoothly as Harrison Ford landing a Cessna. -- Gabriel Hays, Sept. 24
  • The New York Timesjoined the rest of the mainstream press in hiding behind 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s angry, unscientific ranting before the United Nations, in order to push a message of environmental apocalypse. -- Clay Waters, Sept. 24

Finally, Jeffrey Lord huffed in his Sept. 28 column: "Greta Thunberg is on the politically correct side of the climate change debate. Had she been on the opposite side one can easily imagine that she would have received a ton of Covington-style press, mocked and ridiculed endlessly for her ignorance." Apparently, the Covington-style press from right-wing outlets like the MRC doesn't count.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Conflict of Interest: CNS Lets Liberty U Student Write About University's President
Topic: CNSNews.com

A Sept. 11 CNSNews.com article by Kharen Martinez Murcia took the side of Jerry Falwell Jr. following the publication of an expose in Politico on his tenure as president of Liberty University featuring allegations of self-dealing and creating a culture of fear at the school. She touted Falwell complaining that the criticism was an "attempted coup" that is "partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump" while dismissing Falwell's critics as "unnamed sources." Martinez Murcia also repeated Falwell's mendacious defense of a photo of Falwell at a "dance club," an issue because, as she concedes, "Liberty University’s honor code prohibits students from attending dances or consuming alcohol" (though she didn't mention that more photos of Falwell at the club surfaced).

But it's not until the end of the article that we get a parenthetical disclosure: "Kharen Martinez Murcia is a third-year student at Liberty University."

While it's nice and proper that Martinez Murcia's connection to Liberty was disclosed, that connection also means that she shouldn't have done this story at all. It can be easily argued that the article's pro-Falwell bias was because she didn't want to run afoul of him and the alleged culture of fear he's fostering at the school she's attending -- meaning she has a personal interest in writing the article the way she did.

Martinez Murcia is apparently CNS' intern for the fall semester. But if all she's learning is how to write biased articles, it's not really much of a true journalistic experience. It does, unfortunately, prepare her to work at Liberty's student newspaper.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EDT
Thursday, October 3, 2019
MRC Pretends That Trump's Not Pushing A Conspiracy Theory With His CrowdStrike Reference
Topic: Media Research Center

President Trump's mention of a firm named CrowdStrike in his conversation with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky is actually the invocation of a conspiracy theory: that the company that investigated the hacking of Democratic servers in 2016 refused to cooperate with the FBI and has hidden access to a DNC server, possibly in Ukraine. In fact, CrowdStrike turned over complete copies of forensic images of DNC servers, and it was never necessary for the FBI to have physical possession of the server (and there's no evidence it was ever in Ukraine).

But the Media Research Center has given trumo's reference to CrowdStrike a pass and, at times, even went along with Trump's conspiratorial angle.

In a Spet. 25 post accusing CNN personalities Wolf Blitzer and Jim Acosta of having "blatantly lied" about the "favor" Trump sought in his conversation with Zelensky by suggesting it was about investigating Hunter Biden instead of the CrowdStrike claim, Nicholas Fondacaro lectured: "For those who don’t know, Crowdstrike was the group that investigated the hack into the Democratic National Committee e-mails during the 2016 election, and had nothing to do with the accusations against Joe and Hunter Biden. Blitzer and Acosta undoubtablely knew exactly what Crowdstrike was and it was absolutely clear in the transcript that that was what the two Presidents were talking about." But Fondacaro didn't mention that Trump was pushing a conspiracy theory.

Trim Graham suggested the CrowdStrike claim was legitimate in a Sept. 26 post, complaining that in an intervew, Sen. Chris Murphy "claimed the president only talked about Biden, and somehow left out Trump's questions about CrowdStrike and hacking during the 2016 election."

Two days later, Graham complained that "Like most liberal journalists, Frank in effect skips over President Trump asking for a 'favor' about the firm CrowdStrike and skips ahead five minutes to where Joe Biden is mentioned." That link goes to a Rush Limbaugh rant pushing the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory and praising Trump's mention of it as evidence that Trtump is "gonna get to the bottom of the origins of this coup that was run against him come hell or high water."

Other mentions of CrowdStrike at the MRC are in passing or in transcripts but don't discuss it any further.

Of course, the MRC has embraced the CrowdStrike conspiracy for a while; a May 2018 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick pushed the bogus claim that "the DNC refused to allow the FBI to do that examination, preferring instead to allow it's own security company, Crowdstrike, to do the examination instead." Gladnick failed to mention that CrowdStrike turned over copies of everything to the FBI.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2019 9:53 PM EDT
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Promoting Dubious Anti-Google Research
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've detailed how the Media Research Center has pushed Google-hating researcher Robert Epstein's dubious claims about Google having an anti-conservative bias. Now its "news" division, CNSNews.com, is doing the same thing.

An Aug. 20 blog post by Craig Bannister was essentially a press release for his boss, Brent Bozell, detailing how he "and other conservative leaders released a letter calling on Google to explain reports and allegations that the search engine is attempting to block conservative sites and exclude voices that don’t fit the liberal narrative." (Bannister didn't disclose that Bozell is his boss.) The letter claimed that "Epstein identified pro-liberal bias in Google search results that helped flip three Orange County, CA, congressional districts in the 2018 midterm elections. Nationwide, Epstein found the results may have influenced 4.6 million undecided voters."

On Sept. 12, a blog post by Michael Morris detailed Epstein's appearance on the Fox News show of its favorite right-wing shouter, Mark Levin:

Speaking on Mark Levin’s FOX News Channel show “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, and self-professed liberal, Dr. Robert Epstein admitted that, in his research, he found a “very dramatic pro-Hillary Clinton bias” in Google search results.

“I can’t say what Google did, but I can tell you what we found,” stated Dr. Robert Epstein. “We found very dramatic pro-Hillary Clinton bias on Google, but not the other search engines, and in all 10 search positions on the first page of search results. That’s quite dramatic.”

Note that Morris followed the right-wing formula for trying to present Epstein as credible by calling him a "self-professed liberal," something his MRC cohorts did as well.Even the headline called him a "Liberal Research Psychologist."

But Levin was apparently not a curious questioner, because he didn't note -- or, at least,  Morris didn't see fit to note -- the questions people have raised about Epstein's research, namely that he appears to be assuming that the mainstream media outlets that typically populate the top of Google search results, which reflects Google's actual bias toward credible sources over fringe blogs and political sites, as "pro-Hillary."

But, hey, the narrative is more important at CNS than reporting actual news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Calls For Pardon of Newsmax Friend Kerik
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has been a longtime friend of Bernard Kerik. After the former New York City police commissioner was busted on various issues unbecoming of a police commisioner -- an affair with his book editor (and others), mishandling of taxpayers' money, links to a mob-controlled construction company and nanny problems among them -- it attempted an image rehabilitation campaign for him even as he was sentenced to prison for his crimes. In more recent years, Newsmax made Kerik a columnist and even published a novel he wrote under its Humanix Books imprint (while not telling its readers about the conflict of interest).

Now, it appears that Newsmax has one more bit of image rehab to do for Kerik: Get President Trump to pardon him.

Wayne Allyn Root made a naked appeal to that effect in his Sept. 19 Newsmax column:

[M]y friend Bernie Kerik served his country with honor and valor for over 30 years. He’s saved victims from burning buildings, been shot at, stabbed, survived the largest terror attack in U.S. history and a bomb plot aimed at him.

My friend Bernie served as one of the most decorated cops in the history of the NYPD, undercover drug detective, former leader of the U.S. Justice Department's New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, ran the largest jail system in America, and the largest police department.

As the 40th Police Commissioner of the city of New York, Bernie was responsible for 55,000 civilian and uniform personnel, and a $3.2 billion budget.

Bernie was one of the founding members of the Board of Trustees of the Twin Towers Fund, which raised and distributed $216 million to the families of emergency service workers killed on 9/11.

But my friend Bernie was an enemy of the D.C. Swamp. He was targeted for destruction and his life was ruined. He eventually pled guilty to false statements and tax charges that all started with failing to pay payroll taxes to his children’s nanny.

America’s Top Cop and 9-11 hero went to prison, spent time in solitary, served his probation, and in the aftermath, became one of the most aggressive proponents nationwide for criminal justice reform.

If ever there was a perfect candidate for a pardon, it’s Bernie Kerik, American hero. If ever there was a perfect moment to do it, Mr. President, that moment is now. You have the momentum, you have the American people’s support.

Mr. President, please pardon my friend Bernie Kerik.

Note that Root is playing the right-wing victimization card by claiming Kerik was "targeted for destruction." He seems to forget that if Kerik hadn't done what he confessed to doing in a court of law, there would have been no reason that any campaign to "target" him would be successful; Kerik ruined his own life, not anyone else.

As a further sign that a pardon for Kerik may very well be corporate policy, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy retweeted Root's column with the message: "Wayne is right: Bernie Kerik is an American hero, he deserves a pardon! Please read and share ..."

Remember that Ruddy is a close buddy of Trump, and Trump's pardons are influenced in part by his friends. That would seem to mean Kerik has a better chance of getting pardoned than he might otherwise.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 10:17 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard On Anonymous Whistleblowers
Topic: Media Research Center

As rumblings of impeachment of President Trump grew, the Media Research Center -- being dedicated Trump loyalists -- had to construct a narrative to try and save Trump. ONe thing it did from the start was to discount the allegations of the whistleblower as non-credible because he has chosen to remain anonymous and over the allegedly vague nature of the allegations:

  • It seems every week the media spends day after day obsessing over another anonymously-sourced report that makes claims no one can back up. Thursday, journalists were in a frenzy over a Washington Post report which alleged an anonymous “whistleblower” who formerly worked for an intelligence agency, claimed President Trump had promised something “troubling” to an unnamed foreign leader, earlier this Summer. -- Kristine Marsh, Sept. 19
  • An anonymous intelligence official has claimed that President Trump said something to someone during a phone call that the unnamed official found troubling. That is a summation of the flimsy reporting in The Washington Post that all three network morning shows seized on Thursday morning. -- Kyle Drennen, Sept. 19
  • On MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, left-wing regular Donny Deutsch was convinced that vague allegations of someone overhearing President Trump making controversial comments to another world leader during a private phone call would be the commander in chief’s downfall.  -- Kyle Drennen, Sept. 20
  • Despite that there were still few facts known and a whole lot of speculation about the allegations made by the anonymous and so-called “Trump whistleblower,” ABC and NBC were more than willing to throw their weight behind the effort. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, Sept. 22
  • The liberal media have begun yet another round of frenzied impeachment speculation, this time in reaction to anonymously-sourced media reports about a supposed whistleblower complaint that has not been released. -- Bill D'Agostino, Sept. 24

But in the midst of all of these attacks on the Trump whistleblower for being anonymous, the MRC was praising another anonymous whistleblower ... who was involved in one of the MRC's favorite narratives. Alexander Hall wrote in a Sept. 23 post:

Another anonymous Big Tech insider has come forward to take his company to task for election meddling. 

Fox News contributor Sara Carter published an exclusive blog article, “Google Insider Turns Over 950 Pages Of Docs And Laptop To DOJ.” According to the whistleblower, Google “created algorithms to hide its political bias within artificial intelligence platforms ... targeting particular words, phrases and contexts to promote, alter, reference or manipulate perceptions of Internet content.”

The “former Google insider,” who reportedly has already corresponded with guerrilla journalist organization Project Veritas, met with SaraACarter.com on “several occasions” in early August. 

The insider has claimed that this leaked information “will provide proof that Google has been manipulating the algorithms and the evidence of how it was done.”

The MRC won't whine about anonymous whistleblowers -- as long as they are being an anonymous whistleblower for its preferred causes.

(Though we have to wonder: How soon before we discover that the whistleblower is a far-right white nationalist like other Google "whistleblowers"?)

This is just another example of the MRC's hypocrisy over anonymous sources.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:28 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 7:54 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Doesn't Understand How Google Works
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian began his Sept. 20 column ranting about "how Big Tech is attempting to re-shape – indeed re-create – America in its far-left progressive image" and "the reckless far-left hate group the Southern Poverty Law Center," blaming them for alleging "forcing us into major layoffs, pay cuts and other painful but necessary survival strategies." (And not, apparently, the years of financial mismanagement.) He then served up his own dubious tale of woe:

A couple years ago I suffered a serious heart attack. I didn't talk about it publicly and never wrote anything about it until two years later, this past Christmas. The article was headlined "My Christmas heart attack" and many readers told me they were deeply affected by my story and the personal Christian testimony incorporated in it. And yes, I'd say of all the articles and books I've written over the decades, this one is uniquely meaningful to me.

Anyway, the other day I needed to pull up my "heart attack" article for some reason, so I opened a Google search window and typed in the search terms, "My Christmas heart attack wnd.com" – a formula that has always worked in the past. Enter the exact headline, plus "wnd.com" and Google takes you directly to the story on WND as the very first search result.

Except now, it seems, WND no longer exists – not to Google. When I keyed in the search terms, my article came up all right, but reprinted on another website (Virtue Online, a popular Anglican website that likes my writings and sometimes reprints them). After that came page after page of other search returns – but none included my heart attack article on WND. To Google, you see, WND doesn't exist.

(You might rembember that Kupelian did not learn the right lesson from his heart attack.)

Actually, we just did the "My Christmas heart attack wnd.com" Google search Kupelian described, and the top result was his column -- followed by another WND article:

So much for the idea that "WND doesn't exist" at Google.

Pro tip for Kupelian: If you want to guarantee finding WND articles on Google, put "site:" in front of "wnd.com" -- that way, it searches only WND articles. That's necessary since WND's own search engine has long been terrible.

But Kupelian wasn't done. He returned to victim mode by invoking anti-Google researcher Robert Epstein (whom it loves) claiming that "Google likely swung as many as 3 million votes toward Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest -- a claim that has been exposed as highly dubious -- and that it "is now poised to swing as many as 15 million votes in next year's presidential election – toward the Democratic candidate!"

Kupelian then went on to rant, "We have been suppressed, banned, defamed, sued, maligned, hacked and attacked in every way imaginable – but we're still here! I guess we must be doing something right." Then he begged for money, as usual.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 74: Our Cartoon Media Researchers
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 >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
CNS Joins MRC Parent In Pushing Bogus Censorship Claims
Topic: CNSNews.com

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:

“If this isn't bias, what is?” Good question – one that Facebook had better be prepared to answer. If they don't, at least four senators are about to make life difficult for more than CEO Mark Zuckerberg. After months insisting there's “no prejudice” against conservatives, Americans aren't buying it. Neither is Congress, and that's bad news for the Big Tech liberals at Twitter, Google, and Pinterest.

Other organizations might think it was a mistake. But the pro-life group Live Action knew better. They'd just been through this in June with another company – only Pinterest had a clever way of suppressing the message. They reclassified the entire organization as a porn site. Facebook, on the other hand, was a lot more open about their agenda. According to National Review, when Lila Rose posted two videos insisting abortion isn't medically necessary, they were labeled “false” and censored.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019 9:02 AM EDT
Monday, September 30, 2019
Taylor Swift Derangement Syndrome At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent much of the year bashing Taylor Swift for committing the offense of expressing political opinions it doesn't agree with. It's certainly not about to stop now.

Gabriel Hays sneered in an Aug 8 post:

Taylor Swift seems to be looking for a new reputation as leftwing savant and the singer has definitely put in a good effort, working hard to slam conservative perspectives ever since coming out against Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn in the November Midterm elections less than a year ago. In that short period she’s gone from knocking Blackburn’s platform of hate to now brutally slamming “white cisgender males” in Vogue’s September 2019 issue.

Well, fine, Taylor, but aren’t you currently dating one?

Hays worked up even more sneering in an Aug. 26 post:

Taylor Swift has gone from zero to sixty in record time when it comes to social justice activism. With the August release of her latest album, “Lover,” she joins the tired chorus of lefty status quo politics. In her latest project, the pop princess tackles the real issues of the day, like sexism and LGBTQ suffrage. She has also made no bones about the fact that America is in a dark place in 2019, telling reporters she thinks Trump is “tearing the country apart.”

In an interview published by The Guardian on Friday, August 23 — the same day Swift launched her album — the pop-star showed “the latest signs of her political awakening.” Ah yes, if you could consider identity politics and anti-Trump language as constituting an “awakening.”

Turns out, she’s as historically and civically ignorant as every other lefty celeb.

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:

Previously, under Obama, it had been a dream for Taylor. She told Rolling Stone, “We were in such an amazing time when Obama was president because foreign nations respected us. We were so excited to have a dignified person in the White House.” Yes, doll. They were dream times, weren’t they? She also added she’s looking forward to 2020: “I’m just focused on the 2020 election. I’m really focused.”

Miss Swift also urged party unity, saying that Dems need to not quibble about “the right kind of Democrat and wrong kind of Democrat” in order to beat Trump. She used an interesting image, claiming, “We need to just be like, ‘You’re a Democrat? Sick. Get in the car. We’re going to the mall.’” Hey, throw a drum loop on that, and some major chord strumming and you’ve got one killer campaign song.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:01 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019 8:29 PM EDT
WND Begs For Money To Launch War on CAIR
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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:

It’s like the 9/11 terrorist attacks by Islamic jihadists on our nation that killed almost 3,000 innocent people never happened. It was a “non-event.”

This is why we have reported the fact that CAIR stands for Islamic supremacy ... has raised large amounts of money to finance Islamic terrorist groups like Hamas ... and rather than assimilate into our Judeo-Christian American culture, CAIR believes that Islam reigns and that Sharia Law should replace the U.S. Constitution.

That’s what CAIR is and we want America to know it.

As the longest-serving, most trusted conservative Christian news website in America, WND will look back on this moment in history with shame if we fail to do more – much more – to expose CAIR and neutralize its influence on America.

If you agree with me, please take a moment – right now – to do one thing before you move on to your next email and possibly forget to return to this message by helping WND with a donation of $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford today.

CAIR survives by flying under the radar.

Unless they are wailing about someone saying something that “offends Islam” – which is just about anything – they stay off the front pages and toil in the background to undermine our nation by advancing Sharia supremacy in America.

WND vows to pull back the curtain on CAIR so decent law-abiding citizens can see CAIR and other groups like it for what they really are.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EDT
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:

Facebook chose a side in the abortion debate and is actively working to suppress pro-life content. 

Live Action, a pro-life nonprofit organization run by activist Lila Rose, was notified August 30 that two of the company’s videos were marked as “false” by fact-checkers. As a result, Rose was informed that the page’s outreach would be “limited.” 

A third-party fact-checking site, Healthfeedback.org, conducted a fact-check of Lila Rose’s YAF video that she shared to Facebook. In the video, Lila Rose defined abortion as the “direct and intentional killing of an embryo, a fetus, a baby in the womb.” She stated that this act was not “a medical treatment” and therefore “Abortion is never medically necessary.”

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:

Big Tech companies are facing their day of reckoning from the Pro-Life movement.

Leading pro-life organization Live Action has gone through its fair share of confrontations with Big Tech, and now is taking the fight to the next level.

In early September, Live Action’s attorneys sent cease and desist letters to YouTube and Pinterest. These letters accused them of suppressing content and breaching contracts, which resulted in money loss and damaged reputations.

Speaking exclusively with NewsBusters TechWatch, Live Action leader Lila Rose spoke with enthusiasm about the upcoming legal battle. In a best case scenario where the case goes to court and they win, she hoped for Big Tech companies to actually be held to standards of “integrity and fairness” to the point where they do not interfere with information and “people can make up their own minds.”

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2019 8:58 PM EDT

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