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Thursday, January 9, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: Defections In The Gay-Bashing Ranks
Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb used to be able to count on Chick-fil-A and the Hallmark Channel to be indifferent, if not hostile, to LGBT rights and issues. Now they can't, and they're a little sad about it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
MRC Writer Recycles His Dance On The Newseum's Grave
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates the Newseum because it doesn't believe in journalism -- it only wants news with a right-wing bias, as demonstrated by its "news" divbision, CNSNews.com. Tim Graham's factually deficient meltdown in taking a clearly hyperbolic claim literally about a movie screening at the Newseum shows just how radioactive actual journalists (and, thus, the Newseum) is to the MRC denizens.

Therefore, the MRC couldn't have been happier at the idea of the Newseum shutting down. When it was first announced last January, Scott Whitlock couldn't resist dancing on the Newseum's grave 11 months early, ranting that it was a "self-indulgent journalistic shrine" and complaining it didn't uncritically promote conservative journalism and right-wing talk radio."

Upon the Newseum's actual closing at the end of 2019, Whitlock recycled his museum-bashing in a Dec. 26 post, once again calling it "self-indulgent" in his headline and rehashed his earlier criticism that "the Newseum downplayed bias and derided the 'advocacy journalism' of conservative talk radio."

Of course, Whitlock thinks all journalism should have the exact same bias as Rush Limbuagh and Mark Levin and that their views should never be questioned (witness how the MRC rushed to whitewash Rush's misogynist smear of Sandra Fluke). He and the MRC won't be happy until that happens.

No wonder a museum that celebrated the opposite enraged the MRC so much.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EST
Pat Boone Goes The Divine-Donald Route On Ukraine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pat Boone's Dec. 24 WorldNetDaily column stated off complaining about Christianity Today editor Mark Galli's editorial advocating President Trump's impeachment, asserting that it was "so uncalled for, so unexpected from a publication whose sole purpose is to report what's happening in the Christian community at large – not to offer advice about totally political issues." Boone continued:

Abortion, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, prostitution, rampant pornography even on movie and TV screens – these are moral blights on our society Galli's magazine should address, because Christians can agree they are obvious spiritual threats to families, our children and America's future.

But to publicly jump into the middle of a far from settled controversy involving unproven charges against a duly elected president is terribly out of line for any "magazine," let alone one known as a Christian news service.

We would remind readers that Boone frequently made unproven charges against a duly elected president -- when that president was named Obama.

Boone then handwaved the key charges against Trump in the Ukraine scandal that led to his impeachment, declaring that there was "no harm done" and "that was that." Boone even purported to read the president's mind: "Trump was concerned about possibly facing Biden in the 2020 election – he would have eagerly embraced that unlikely possibility. Trump was understandably curious, not "digging for dirt," as has been repeatedly been charged."

This, by the way, from a man who thought that Obama should have been impeached because he allegedly faked his birth certificate. (It wasn't a fake.)

Then, Boone felt the need to lecture the editor of a Christian publication about Christianity:

So now I want to remind editor Galli, my Christian brother, of some very relevant biblical facts.

Jesus "hung out" with a lot of unsavory characters. The religious leaders, the Jewish hierarchy, were very critical of Him sitting and eating and even drinking with tax collectors and known publicans and sinners. Jesus answered that He had come specifically for people like them, rather than for supposed "good" people who didn't think they needed saving.

The same type of leaders criticized Jesus for accepting expensive fragrant oils from a known prostitute, whispering, "If He really knew what this woman is, He wouldn't have anything to do with her," and Jesus rebuked them for their hypocrisy and ignorance, commending the woman for preparing him for His coming death.

He noticed despised tax collector Zacchaeus up in the tree, and called him by name to come down and take Him to his house for dinner (resulting in the despised man's own salvation). He repeatedly surprised and scandalized the religious authorities by doing things they didn't approve, and were more openly criticized by Jesus than even the woman taken in adultery and about to be stoned, by law!

But Galli didn't criticize Trump for associating with "unsavory characters" -- he pointed out that Trump is an unsavory character who acted in a "profoundly immoral" manner.

Boone wasn't done lecturing, though, going into full divine-Donald mode:

So, brother Mark, you know the Bible; is Trump appointed by God?

Yes, we the people elected him, as we did Obama and Bush, Nixon and Clinton. But once we elected them, God authorized them to give us either what we need … or what we deserve. And as we continue to pray for them – as He orders us to do – God works through them and their decisions to show us both what we are, as individuals and a nation, and what we need to do to become more what He wants us to be.

Trump came to this office promising to "drain the swamp" of entrenched self-serving politicians and agencies, and amazingly, he's been doing that. You can certainly say that Jesus came to "drain the swamp" of hypocritical, self-righteous but ineffectual religious traditions – and HE did that.

His obvious flaws notwithstanding, Trump has been more supportive of Israel, the unborn, marriage and religious liberty than any other president in modern history. And furthermore, He operates under the expressed authority of God.

So, let him that is without sin cast the first stone.

In fact, Galli pointed out that the "grossly immoral character" of Trump "damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people" -- and that the magazine made the same call when Bill Clinton faced impeachment. We suspect that Boone wasn't similarly upset about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EST
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
MRC Insists Soros' Survival In Nazi-Controlled Hungary Is 'Source of Great Controversy'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a weird obsession with George Soros, regularly freaking out over the money he gives to causes it doesn't like (and occasionally using anti-Semitic imagery in the process). It has even argued that it's not anti-Semitic to hate Soros. It's still trying to deny Soros his Jewish heritage.

Joseph Vazquez complained in a Nov. 14 post: "Accuse liberal billionaire George Soros of impropriety and you could be accused of anti-Semitism and be de-platformed. At least that’s what the Open Society Foundations is allegedly saying should happen to lawyer and Fox News guest Joe diGenova." DiGenova had ranted without evidence that Soros somehow "controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department." Vazquez gave diGenova a pass on that, complaining instead of the call to remove diGenova from Fox News (which seems to have happened, though that's more likely because of his involvement in President Trump's Ukraine scandal.)

In a Dec. 26 post, Brad Wilmouth groused that a CNN anchor had accused Rudy Giuliani of "anti-Semitism and hatred" through his bizarre insistence that he is more Jewish than Soros. Wilmouth responded by insisting that Soros' tale of survival in Nazi-controlled Hungary is a "source of great controversy":

Philip Bump of The Washington Post argued "that bizarre comment that he's more Jewish than Soros. He makes that after having said that the former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, was under the control of Soros. So it is not only that he is, you know, assuming that he isn't enough Jewish, and not only that he's supporting these conspiracy theories broadly about Soros -- but he is spreading conspiracy theories very specifically about the person at the center of the impeachment without any evidence."

Coates and Bump did not clarify that what Soros did as a teenager to avoid persecution -- he posed as a Christian and even accompanied an official as he did inventory on a seized Jewish estate -- is a source of great controversy. Soros even stated in a CBS interview that he did not feel any guilt over what happened.

Actually, it's only a "source of great controversy" for Soros-haters like the MRC. Even the National Review article to which Wilmouth linked to prove this is somehow a "controversy" doesn't explain what's controversial about a teenager doing what he needed to do to survive the Nazi regime (in this case, posing as a Christian and helping a relative inventory Jewish property that had already been seized by the Nazis).

This is not the first time the MRC has done this; when Roseanne Barr falsely claimed that his survival tactic meant that that Soros was  collaborating with the Nazis, the MRC merely dismissed her claim as an "anti-Soros tweet" without bothering to debunk it.

Wilmouth then went on to invoke right-winger (and Jew, he's quick to point out) Dennis Prager insisting that "Criticism of Soros is rarely a lie, and its intent is rarely to create anti-Semitism." 

So how did the MRC go from  the claim being "anti-Soros" to a legitimate" source of great controversy"? Perhaps Wilmouth can explain. But then, explaining the facts would get in the way of the MRC's anti-Soros agenda.

Vazquez returned with a Jan. 7 post freaking out that "Godfather of the left" Soros (which, of course, sounds a bit anti-Semitic too, though the MRC did an entire report attacking Soros' philanthropy with that as the title) being named philanthropist of the year by an organization, ranting that Soros is "bankrolling leftist causes" and "currently supporting Big Government causes in the U.S. such as gun-control and a wealth-tax." Vazquez then went on an evidence-free attack of the Soros-founded Central European University as having a "radical left-wing history" dedicated to teaching "Soros’ own personal, bizarre leftist philosophy on “open society.”

Vazquez concluded with one final slam of Soros as having an "egotistical vision." But are the Mercers who fund the MRC any less egotistical? Vazquez didn't say.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 5:09 PM EST
CNS Now Offers Same-Day Service On Recycling GOP Talking Points
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com is so dedicated to advancing pro-Trump, pro-Republican talking points that it dedicates multiple articles to pushing the exact same talking points. While there's usually a few days between those articles parroting each other, it recently beat that by running both articles on the same day.

Susan Jones wrote in a Dec. 23 article headlined "Sen. Graham: 'I Want to Know How Far Up the Chain' the Trump-Russia Investigation Went":

"The Horowitz report is the first step in a long journey regarding FISA abuse," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told "Sunday Morning Futures."

[...]

Yes, there's two questions I want to ask these people. When you signed the warrant application, how much time did you spend trying to figure out if it was actually true? And how far up the chain did this go?

Did President Obama know about the counterintelligence surveillance of the Trump campaign? Did Vice President Biden know? How much information was provided to Susan Rice? I want to know how far up the chain the investigation went. I want to know why so many people could sign a warrant application so flawed.

"Up the chain" was clearly the Republican talking point of the day, and CNS apparently received marching orders to hammer it. Literally just 18 minutes later, Jones wrote another article headlined "Sen. Cruz on FBI Abuse: 'How High Up the Chain Did This Go?'"

"One of the worst legacies of the Obama administration is the corruption of law enforcement and the intelligence community," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Sunday Morning Futures."

He was talking about the Justice Department inspector-general report, which detailed 17 serious misrepresentations the FBI and the Justice Department made to the FISA court to get a warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

[...]

And, by the way, the big unanswered question is, how high up the chain did this go? We know that the deputy director of the FBI, McCabe, was read in and authorized this. We know the director of the FBI, James Comey, was read in and authorized this.

CNS even promoted the articles next to each other onits front page, as the screenshot shows, as if getting "up the chain" in the minds of its readers was the only (mandated?) goal.

Same-day service on recycled GOP talking points appears to be about all that CNS is good for these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 12:28 AM EST
Monday, January 6, 2020
The MRC's Own 'News' Operation Fails Bozell's Test Of News Operations
Topic: Media Research Center

During a Dec. 13 Fox Business appearance (apparently he couldn't get on Fox News proper), Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell huffed:

Look at CNN's audience. It’s collapsed. It's a worldwide network and it can't get 750,000 people in the United States of America. Its credibility has collapsed. The networks have collapsed. And it should collapse. If they are not going to report the news, if they are not going to investigate any story, if they are not going to tell the truth, I hope it does collapse.

The "news" he is demanding that CNN report, mind you, is not about the Ukraine shenanigans that got President Trump impeached -- it's Hunter Biden's deal with Burisma. He went on to rant that "no one thinking clearly or honestly is going to deny that the only reason Burisma got this guy on the payroll at $50,000 a month is because his last name was Biden. And everyone knows that." Never mind that the same question can also be posed about his own son, David, who's running the MRC-linked activist group For America. would he be there if his dad wasn't in charge of the entire operation?

There's another bit of hypocrisy going on here: Bozell's claim that if CNN is going to investigate any story, if they are not going to tell the truth, I hope it does collapse." If Bozell is so concerned about news organizations that don't investigate stories and don't report the truth, all he has to do is look down the hall at MRC headquarters at the "news" organization he runs, CNSNews.com.

CNS regularly publishes fake news, mostly in the form of uncritically repeating false and misleading statements by Trump and his allies. And what little investigative reporting CNS did has largely disappeared, replaced by sycophantic pro-Trump stenography.

By Bozell's own definition, CNS deserves to collapse. He'll never admit that, of course.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:24 PM EST
Fake News: WND Promotes Bogus Story About Purported Trump-Hat Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just because WorldNetDaily is being slowly subsumed into the Western Journal doesn't mean it has given up on publishing fake news -- after all, the Western Journal has a history of doing just that as well. Now it's pushing fake news with the assistance of the Western Journal.

On Dec. 14, WND stole a post from fake-news generator Gateway Pundit:

A 14-year-old student in Hamilton County, Florida, was hospitalized after being brutally attacked by multiple classmates on the schoolbus for wearing a Trump hat to school.

The family of the student, who has not been publicly identified, has now hired a lawyer and released a video of the attack.

Earlier in the day, the student also had milk poured over his head.

As it turned out, that basically wasn't true. The school district where the alleged incident took place stated that not only was there "no evidence" the student was wearing his Trump hat at the time of the assault, but that "The incident began with a verbal altercation between two students that escalated when additional students became involved." Meanwhile, the local sheriff's office added that there was no evidence of a hate crime in the assault, though several juveniles were charged with battery as a result of the alleged incident.

Further, as Media Matters reported, the Twitter account on which news of the alleged assault first surfaced has also promoted far-right QAnon conspiracy theories, and it changed its story about the incident -- first claiming that "8 black kids" assaulted the boy, later changing it to "two girst and 3 boys."

But WND wasn't about to let the fact that the claim isn't true get in the way of a good story. The next day, it published an article by Jared Harris of the Western Journal pooh-poohing the evidence proving the story wrong and clinging to the conspiracy:

Despite appalling video evidence, officials say the brutal pummeling of a young pro-Trump boy does not meet the criteria for a hate crime.

The savage beating spread like wildfire earlier this week as conservatives and even liberals were shocked by the ferocity of it. The clip can be seen here.

While the mother claims the brutality was over her son's support of President Donald Trump, officials have only given those behind the attack a virtual slap on the wrist with misdemeanor charges.

"An investigation has been conducted," the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook, "and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has filed charges on five juveniles for First Degree misdemeanor battery.

[...]

Hamilton County School District Superintendent Rex Mitchell released a statement on the attack Friday, seemingly dismissing it as an "altercation between students," instead of labeling it what it appeared to be on the video -- a group ganging up on a single boy at the back of a school bus.

According to Mitchell, the school district's investigation found no evidence that the boy's pro-Trump hat caused the ruthless attack.

"The incident began with a verbal altercation between two students that escalated when additional students became involved," Mitchell wrote.

"In addition to the video that was posted online which was recorded by a student, the school district reviewed the bus video which depicted, not only the altercation, but all events prior to the altercation and its conclusion."

[...]

Since the video seems to begin halfway through the fight, there's no way to tell how the conflict started or what it was over. The date of the new video is unclear, making it hard to determine when it happened in relation to the original clip.

Harris did not report the fact that  the school district found no evidence the Trump hat played a role in the assault, nor did he report that the first account of the alleged assault was false or that it came from a QAnon-linked Twitter account.

WND doesn't seem to understand that simply finding a different source for the fake news it publishes doesn't address its credibility problems.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Sunday, January 5, 2020
MRC Lionizes YouTube Videomaker PewDiePie, Is Silent On His History of Offensive Content
Topic: Media Research Center

For some reason, the Media Research Center is enamored with YouTube videomaker PewDiePie -- we've already highlighted how it's trying to portray him as a champion of politically incorrect humor while hiding his history of far-right sympathies. Now it's trying to portray him as a "free speech" advocate of some kind. Alexander Hall wrote in a Dec. 16 post:

YouTube’s Vice President and Global Head of Trust & Safety Matt Halprin released a blog on Wednesday, Dec. 11, titled “An update to our harassment policy.” Halprin proclaimed in the blog that YouTube would be taking a harder stance on “malicious insults,” “veiled threats” via simulated violence and “hate speech.” Content creators ranging from gamers like PewDiePie to conservatives like Steven Crowder across the political spectrum saw this vague and slippery update as potentially damning for the platform’s future.

Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie on YouTube, hosts one of the largest channels on the platform. He blasted YouTube’s harassment policy update in a recent video, stating, "The thing I've learned about YouTube's policies is that it doesn't matter what they say. What matters is how they enforce it."

Content creators have warned about a potential flaw in the new harassment policy update, suggesting that old content that has already been posted and allowed to remain by the social media platform in accordance with previous YouTube policies may now be retroactively removed.

“Why retroactively take down videos?” PewDiePie asked. “If you’re gonna make a new policy change, then go from there. Don't go back in old videos to say, ‘Actually, this one, this one bad!’ What does that fix?”

In portraying PewDiePie only as a "gamer," Hall didn't mention any of the guy's content he might have to worry about getting removed -- he has, after all, put up content described as racist, insensitive and anti-Semitic and got a shout-out from the perpetrator of the New Zealand mosque massacre. Hall also failed to mention that Crowder is best known for his rampant homophobia (which the MRC has defended) than being any sort of "conservative."

In a Dec. 30 post, Hall lionized PewDiePie as a "YouTube influencer" and "a leading content creator on YouTube for years" and touted how he "questioned the future of the entire platform and its relationship with its creators. Again, Hall failed to mention the offensive subjects of that content; instead he made sure to hype how PewDiePie is "the only solo creator to pass the 100 million subscriber mark" and presents his view as authoritative and not at all trollish: "As a leading creator he has watched a widening gulf between YouTube’s corporate leadership and its community of grassroots creators who made it a thriving platform in the first place."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EST
CNS Managing Editor Still Doing Copy-And-Paste Defense of Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've detailed how CNSNews.com has leaned on Republican copy-and-paste defenses of President Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman took another stab at it in a Dec. 17 article:

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) challenged the skewed reporting of CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, calling out his misrepresentation of President Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine and noting that what Tapper "said is completely untrue." Paul later added, "you guys are not being honest with the facts here."

CNN's Tapper has made it abundantly clear that he believes the Democrats' version of the July 25 phone call, often asserting that Trump was calling on the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for foreign aid. Tapper calls this interpretation "a fact."

However, as Sen. Paul explained, it is not a fact. If you read the transcript in context, Trump first asked about alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election and then asked about alleged corruption involving Hunter Biden, who was put on the board of a Ukrainian gas company in 2014, the Burisma Group, which paid him a reported $50,000 a month for five years (until April 2019), totaling at least $3 million. 

Focusing on corruption from 2016, Hunter Biden -- who has a long history of drug abuse -- and Joe Biden's demand (in late 2015) that a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating corruption be fired before loan guarantees to Ukraine were okayed is not an unreasonable interpretation of the phone call.

[...]

During the July 25, 2019 telephone call, President Trump alluded to corruption in Ukraine, possible interference with the computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and possible corruption involving Hunter Biden and perhaps Joe Biden.

This was followed by a copy-and-past transcript of the Tapper-Paul exchange with selective bits from Paul bolded, a selective excerpt from the Trump-Zelensky phone call (like his reporter Susan Jones, Chapman apparently thinks Zelensky's first name is too difficult to spell to be included in his article) and a transcript of Biden's statement that he got the Ukranian prosecutor fired.

Despite Chapman's protestations, it is increasingly clear that Trump intended to link U.S. aid to Ukraine to an announced investigation of Hunter Biden (whose purported "long history of drug abuse" is irrelevant to this scandal). It's since been revealed that Trump ordered military aid to Ukraine to be put on hold less than two hours after his phone call with Zelensky, and newly released emails show that the order to block aid to Ukraine came directly from Trump.

Further, Chapman's claim that Joe Biden demanded the firing of a "Ukrainian prosecutor investigating corruption" is false; the prosecutor was fired because he was not investigating corruption, and the international community joined Biden in this demand.

So not only has Chapman's article not aged well as his boilerplate defense of Trump crumbles, it contains a blatantly false statement as well. Not a good look for a "news" operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EST
Saturday, January 4, 2020
MRC Intern Melts Down Over Colbert Song Parody
Topic: Media Research Center

For as much as the Media Research Center loves to mock those who fact-check right-wing satire sites like the Babylon Bee (though, as those fact-checkers point out, right-wingers have a bad habit of treating Babylon Bee items as fact), it can't stop freaking out about jokes.

As an adjunct to the MRC's defense of conservative journalist James Rosen after Nancy Pelosi once again called him out for who he is, Aiden Jackson had a freakout over something comedian Stephen Colbert did, under the headline "Colbert PRAISES Nancy Pelosi in Bizarre Video":

Everyone should find a person that looks at them the way Stephen Colbert looks at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. On Thursday’s Late Show, Colbert did everything short of throwing rose petals at Pelosi’s feet as he opened his show with a fawning video tribute to his idol.

Hardly inexperienced in the practice of creating nauseating segments to appease his ultra-left audience, the music video salute to Pelosi may take the cake for worst of the worst. If you thought the “impeachment tree” was egregious…proceed to look at the clip below with caution.

The song begins with a snippet of CNN’s Jim Sciutto alerting his audience of Pelosi’s decision to move forward with impeachment: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing to the country and to the world that Articles of Impeachment against President Trump will proceed.” In an effort to create the image of a ‘strong woman,' a soundbite from Pelosi’s press conference then cuts in as she says, “Don't mess with me.”

To a wildly applauding audience, the video proceeded to cast Pelosi as a heroic woman who has been tasked with saving the country from peril (something that Colbert clearly believes to be the case):

Since Jackson is an MRC intern and, therefore, apparently a young person, she apparently missed the fact that Colbert's video is not particularly "bizarre" but, in fact, was a song parody of the kind he does regularly -- in this case, of Jim Croce's 1972 hit "You Don't Mess Around With Jim." Apparently, nobody else at the MRC apprised her of this fact (or were similarly ignorant about '70s music), which might have saved her from embarrassment over this meltdown.

Otherwise, Jackson is showing herself to be a student of the Curtis Houck School of Needlessly Vicious Partisan Hyperbole, declaring Colbert's humor to be "nauseating" and his audience "ultra-left."

Makes fact-checks of the Babylon Bee look rather tame in comparison, don't you think?

A couple weeks later, after the House voted for Trump's impeachment, the humorless Jackson lashed out at Colbert again, complaining that he "did not conceal his elation for President Trump’s impending impeachment in any way. His exuberance was uncontainable; so much so that the show began with a “merry impeachment” jingle sung by Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler characters." Jackson closed by declaring: "The impeachment of a duly elected President of the United States should be handled with grave importance and the utmost seriousness. Colbert’s excitement is telling of his disregard for the Constitution he purports to be protecting."

Making jokes about Trump is now a violation of the Constitution? When did that happen?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 4, 2020 11:23 AM EST
WND's Brown Is Wrong About The 'Charlottesville Lie'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown spent his Dec. 23 WorldNetDaily column complaining about the "power of the lie":

Speaking of the hatred that united the Jersey City shooters and the synagogue shooters in Poway and Pittsburgh, Biden then blamed President Trump for this hateful climate.

He said, "After Charlottesville, instead of condemning a naked display of hatred, Trump assigned a moral equivalence between those streaming through the night with torches, chanting anti-Semitic bile – and the courageous neighbors and activists who stood against them. He gave license and safe harbor to white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK."

He continued, "As I said after Charlottesville, we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. And, it's why I am running for president."

The only problem is that Trump did not say that "those streaming through the night with torches, chanting anti-Semitic bile" were very fine people. 

To the contrary, on Aug. 12, 2017, the day of the Charlottesville protests, he said, "I think there is blame on both sides.

"You had some very bad people in that group" (referring to those protesting the removal of a confederate statue). "But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."

Then, two days later, Trump issued a categorical statement, saying, "Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups."

How on earth could anyone get this wrong? And how on earth, now more than two years later, could former Vice President Biden's claim that, "He gave license and safe harbor to white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK"?

Read Trump's words again; then read Biden's words again. This is willful misrepresentation.

Not only so, but the next day, on Aug. 15, at a wide-ranging press conference, Trump said again that "we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence."

And in answer to another question, he explained exactly what he meant by the "very fine people." He said, "You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name."

That's who he was talking about.

Well, no. As we pointed out the last time someone claimed this, the group that was protesting the removal of the Confederate statue and Robert E. Lee park renaming was a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr.

In other words, what Brown is calling the "Charlottesville Lie" isn't a lie at all. Not that Trump defender Brown will ever admit it:

He could not have made himself clearer. And anyone with an open heart and mind – really, anyone who simply wanted to know the truth – would understand exactly what he was saying.

What is so frightening is that people – millions of people – believe the lie. And they believe it to the point that, if you're white and you voted for Trump, then you are, by default, a white nationalist, a racist.

Of course, Trump's cardinal sin was calling out hatred on the left as well as on the right, speaking against both neo-Nazis and antifa.

And, given his comments in the past about Mexicans and Muslims, which were either exaggerated or taken out of context, it was all too easy to create the Charlottesville Lie.

[...]

May God help our nation pursue the truth before a web of lies so entangles us that we can no longer find our way out.

Funny, we don't recall Brown ever holding Trump accountable for the web of lies he has spun over the years.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 AM EST
Friday, January 3, 2020
MRC Helps Eric Trump Lie About Wash. Post's Readership
Topic: Media Research Center

On Dec. 13, the Media Research Center's NewsBusters Twitter account tweeted out a graphic with the MRC's logo and a quote from President's Trump's son, Eric Trump:

How few people read The Washington Post? You know who reads The Washington Post? The people in the Beltway, right. And universally they're the most hated people in America by Americans.

The tweet added, "Eric Trump doesn't mince words." But he-- and, thus, the MRC -- is lying.

The Washington Post stated in April 2019: "The Washington Post recorded 86.6 million unique visitors in March 2019, according to comScore. This is a 5.5 percent increase month-over-month. The Post’s mobile audience also grew, increasing nearly 6 percent month-over-month to 71.8 million monthly unique visitors."

Now, 86.6 million unique visitors is not a "few" by any stretch of the imagination.Given that the population of the entire Washington metro area is a little over 6 million -- only about one-third whom live inside the Beltway -- we can safely assume that the Post's readership extends well beyond the DC region.

In other words, only a small fraction of the Post's readership is inside the Beltway. But since when is the MRC interested in promoting facts when they contradict its anti-media agenda?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EST
CNS' Jones Privileges Another Bogus Claim By Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

We know that CNSNews.com writer Susan Jones is a loyal Trump stenographer, dutifully transcribing every utterance from the president's mouth without regard to the veracity of the claims. nJones once again failed in fact-checking Trump in a Dec. 11 article.

Jones began by gushing, "Clearly enjoying himself at a rally in Hershey, Pa., Tuesday night, President Trump lauded House passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which Democrats delayed for months, until the day they announced two articles of impeachment against Trump." In addition to uncritically repeating Trump's evidence-free conspiracy theory that Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats waited to announce the trade deal until the same day a House vote on Trump's impeachment was announced because "it plays down impeachment because they're embarrassed by the impeachment," Jones also repeated Trump's assertion that "our poll numbers have gone through the roof because of her stupid impeachment."

In an apparent attempt to bolster the claim, Jones embedded a link to a Real Clear Politics running list of polls -- which explains nothing, since it is just a list of polls and their results and offers no tracking. By contrast, actual news organizations that do actual analysis found Trump's claim less than factual.

The Washington Post reported that Trump's approval rating actually decreased since the impeachment inquiry was announced, while support for impeachment showed "a big surge since the inquiry began — and relative flatness since." Even a Fox News poll taken shortly before Trump uttered his claim shows polling numbers on impeachment to be stable, with Vox noting that this mirrors other polling, while "one thing they do not show is the surge of support that Trump has been hyping as Democrats have moved toward impeaching him."

But fact-checking was not on Jones' agenda -- stenography was. She went on to rehash all his worn attack lines bashing impeachment and the media.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EST
Thursday, January 2, 2020
MRC Again Defends Conservative Journalist Who Tangled With Pelosi
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously noted how defensive the Media Research Center is of right-wing reporter -- formerly of Fox News and currently with Sinclair Broadcasting -- when Nancy Pelosi calls out his bias. Well, Pelosi did it again, and the MRC defended him again after Rosen followed another Republican talking point by asking Pelosi if she wants President Trump impeached because she hates him.

Nicholas Fondacaro unsurprisingly took Rosen's side, pejoratively declaring that Pelosi's "anger flared as she lashed out in response (something they would have condemned President Trump for)," going on to complain about media coverage of the incident: "When President Trump slammed the press, it was a destructive attack on the First Amendment, our institutions, and our democracy. But when Pelosi did it, it was considered her just flexing her power."

Curtis Houck kept up the pejorative language, attacking Pelosi's "lashing out" at Rosen and complaining that "the liberal media decided to play it up as a testament to Pelosi’s 'stunning' leadership."

Alex Christy grumbled that CNN "explicitly took the side of a politician railing against a journalist. Because the politician was liberal, and the journalist works for a conservative-owned set of TV stations. The words 'Jim Acosta' never crossed their lips." At least Christy admitted that Sinclair is conservative-leaning, which is progress. Of course, if Acosta had asked such a question of a Republican politician, the MRC would have lost its collective mind.

Krstine Marsh also bashed Pelosi for "angrily lecturing" and "lashing out at" Rosen,  but she did concede he's a conservative reporter. She went on to huff: "This isn’t the first time Pelosi has been hostile to Rosen. Just two weeks ago, Pelosi bashed Rosen as “Mr. Republican Talking Points,” at another presser." Marsh refused to admit that characterization is accurate.

Houck whined in a Dec. 6 post:

While CNN host Jake Tapper has defended journalists on numerous occasions over the course of his career, he chose not to during Thursday night’s CNN town hall with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, allowing her to jab Sinclair Broadcast Group as not a real news organization and James Rosen as not a real journalist.

In other words, it was more of the route he took toward Dana Loesch and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) during the Parkland show trial.

Tim Graham complained that "Supposedly right-leaning New York Timescolumnist David Brooks once again demonstrated it's hilarious he's supposed to represent a more conservative point of view in the NPR and PBS week-in-review roundtables. He paid unctuous tribute on both networks Friday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's slashing attack on Sinclair reporter James Rosen, going on to whine: "NPR offered no audio of Rosen, or the point he was trying to make -- which was Republicans claimed the impeachment attempt was because Democrats hated Trump. Neither did PBS. Putting reporters in context isn't important when it's time to praise Nancy Pelosi as she boasts of her devout Catholicism."

Yes, Graham has once again decided that context is an important thing after all.

Marsh returned to be appalled that comedian Stephen Colbert made comedy out of the situation, huffily adding: "Perhaps someone should inform his audience that Rosen was one of the conservative reporters who was spied on by the Obama administration. In the age where there is never enough outrage from the left over press freedom, Colbert sure doesn’t seem to care about that, if the journalist isn't beholden to the Democratic Party."

If Rosen wasn't beholden to President Trump and Republicans, the MRC wouldn't give a damn about him.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
CNS Wants You To Believe That 'Tabloid Media' -- Not Conservatives -- Pushed Hillary-Is-Lesbian Smears
Topic: CNSNews.com

Writing in a Dec. 5 article about an interview Hillary Clinton did with Howard Stern in which she "denied that she had ever had a lesbian affair and stressed that she really likes men," CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman stated that "Over the years there have been several unfounded claims, mostly in the tabloid media, that Hillary Clinton is a homosexual."

Well, that's not exactly true: those claims were largely pushed by Chapman's fellow conservatives.

Conservative Clinton-haters -- not the tabloids -- have pushed this never-substantiated rumor for as long as Hillary has been in the national public eye. Former Bill Clinton campaign aide turned conservative Clinton-hater Dick Morris has long promoted the idea that Hillary is a closet lesbian, as has Clinton-hating conservative author Edward Klein. Roger Stone, Larry Klayman and Matt Drudge have pushed it. As recently as 2013, radio host and Fox News contributor Sandy Rios -- who signed a letter pushed by CNS' owner, the Media Research Center, alleging that Facebook was censoring conservative content --  argued that Clinton's expressed support for same-sex marriage hinted at her sexual identity. Conservative websites were pushing these rumors during the 2016 presidential campaign.

These people are not working for the tabloids; they made their money in the conservative movement.

As Raw Story explained, right-wingers insist on portraying Hillary as a secret lesbian because she is a powerful woman who doesn't conform to the conservative stereotype of a female, despite the fact that she "has been married to the same man for her entire adult life while raising a successful daughter."

This is not an new story, by the way; Hillary has been denying this since at least 2007. Where was CNS' story on that then?

There is more reporting on this issue Chapman could have done, but didn't. He probably thinks Hillary is a secret lesbian too.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST

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