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Friday, February 21, 2020
MRC Attacks Google Again Over YouTube Funding Journalism Projects
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has previously attacked the Google News Initiative by tarring all the recipients of its grants as irredeemably liberal, even though several recipients were actually mainstream operations and the vast majority of the projects being funded are not ideologically driven. Now the MRC is taking another shot now that it has an unambiguously liberal target to bash.

Alexander Hall complained in a Feb. 11 post that the Young Turks -- which he branded as a "far-left media outlet" -- "launched a new project to train a new generation of liberals to dominate local media -- all funded by Big Tech giant YouTube and its owner, Google" as a part of the News Initiative. After repeating a Young Turks statement that its educational program to teach people how to use digital media to report on local issues, TYT Academy, is not designed to push any particular viewpoint, Hall huffed: "Based on The Young Turks’ track record as an outlet, that statement may be difficult for some to believe."

Hall seems to be assuming that the Young Turks operate the way programs that train conservative journalists, where viewpoint bias is demanded and you're branded a "Benedict Arnold" if you exercise editorial independence.

Hall then rehashed some of the MRC's previous lame hit jobs on Google. First, he claimed, "Google has a history of leaning to the far-left. Google fired engineer James Damore in 2017 after he wrote a memo criticizing political correctness and identity politics." As we documented, Damore's memo claimed that that women were psychologically and biologically unsuited to work as engineers and cited as a source the website Quillette, which dabbles in "alleged links between genetics and IQ, and Damore himself went on far-right and white nationalist talks shows and podcasts to promote his memo.

Hall also name-checked Google-hating professor Robert Epstein, who "testified at a state hearing in July of 2019 that Google had helped influence no less than 2.6 million votes in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election." As we also documented, Epstein's conclusions were based on a tiny pool of 21 undecided voters and didn't explain how he determined whether a given website exhibited "pro-Hillary bias."

True to form, Hall censored the inconvenient facts from the examples he cited, instead choosing to rant that "With Google/YouTube’s generous funding, this project alone may have power to swing future elections." He then repeated the two tracks the educational series would take: “Journalism tactics and responsibilities” and “Best practices for online video production.”

Oooh, the bias!


Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EST
MRC's West Trashes Vindman For Telling The Truth
Topic: CNSNews.com

Media Research Center senior fellow Allen West spent his Feb. 10 CNSNews.com column mostly raging at Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for telling the truth. First, he complained that the "progressive socialist left" was making Vindman into a hero. After needless diversions into the cases of Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley Manning, West finally got around to his attack:

LTC Vindman is still an active duty soldier, meaning he is held to a higher standard of justice, the UCMJ. The actions of LTC Vindman are not in keeping with the good order and discipline expected of our men and women serving in uniform. It is well known that LTC Vindman acted outside of his chain of command and truthfully, displayed “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”

And yes, that is a charge that could be levied against him under the UCMJ. Of course, the progressive socialist left sees LTC Vindman as a “hero” because he did their bidding. If any military officer had conducted themselves as LTC Vindman did during the reign of Barack Obama as commander in chief, he would have been declared treacherous, traitorous, and treasonous.

West is simply parroting President Trump's attack on Vindman in his justification for firing the lieutenant colonel from the National Security Council. He's also repeating a claim from Timothy Morrison, a supervisor who claimed that Vindman didn't follow the chain of command when reporting issues with Trump's phone call with Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky; in fact, Morrison had been Vindman's superior for just a week at the time of the Trump-Zelensky call, and his predecessor had a different view of chain of command than he did.

Further, since the NSC is a civilian operation, not a military one, it seems highly unlikely that Vindman could be punished under the UCMJ for his purported chain-of-command violation.

West then went on to rant:

The actions of LTC Vindman, if done under the Obama administration would have been termed “rogue” and the demands would have been for his firing.

LTC Vindman may have served admirably on the battlefield and even earned a Purple Heart. Then again, Benedict Arnold was a revered military leader until he was angered and turned against the cause for which he had fought.

LTC Vindman served in the National Security Council at the behest of the President. LTC Vindman has proven that he no longer has the trust and confidence of the commander in chief, and therefore was released from his duties at the NSC. LTC Vindman has not been kicked out of the Army. He has not been charged with anything. He has simply been removed from his assignment.

West couldn't come up with anything more serious against Vindman than having  "acted outside of his chain of command," and suddenly he's a Benedict Arnold-level traitor?

West concluded by ranting:

How interesting that the left is all up in arms over LTC Vindman, yet they could not celebrate a 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman who flew combat missions in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The left celebrates a deserter like Bowe Bergdahl yet criticizes the release of Army 1LT Clint Lorance who was imprisoned for six years because he killed the enemy in Afghanistan…even the Army withheld exculpatory evidence in his case. 

Weird that West is turning against the UCMJ that convicted Lorance of murder, while demanding that Vindman face the UCMJ for his actions. It's also far from clear that Lorance "killed the enemy in Afghanistan"; he was convicted of ordering his troops to shoot at a group of unarmed civilians, killing two, and even his own soldiers testified against him, describing him as ignorant and overzealous. Lowrance was also convicted of threatening a local Afghan; firing an M14 rifle into a village and trying to have one of his soldiers lie about receiving incoming fire; and obstructing justice by making a false radio report after the two men were killed.

All of which seems much more serious than making a report outside the chain of command. But for a guy who violated the UCMJ by torturing an enemy combatant, that's apparently a more honorable way to behave.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:50 PM EST
Thursday, February 20, 2020
MRC, CNS Paper Over Kobe Bryant's Rape Allegation
Topic: Media Research Center

Basketball star Kobe Bryant's death in a helicopter crash prompted tributes even inside the ConWeb -- while downplaying a sertain something that would otherwise be the lead story.

At the Media Research Center, mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson paid tribute to Bryant's "devotion to faith and family" while burying the thing that would seem to disprove that notion. Maxson eventually conceded that "In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault in Colorado, but the charges were dropped when his accuser refused to testify in a civil court and settled out of court" -- but then he touted how "With his wife by his side in a press conference, Bryant admitted he had committed adultery," then quoted Bryant's denial of assault charges, which Maxson framed as an "apology" because he claimed to understand how the accuser thought that their sexual encounter wasn't consensual. Though Maxson claimed Bryant made this claim in court, it was actually issued through his attorney, not from the lips of Bryant himself.

Maxson then gushed: "How many celebrities will own up to sin in the 21st century? He tried to redeem himself through devotion to family -- his wife and four daughters. There were rocky times ahead for Bryant with his wife and family, but they appeared to weather those storms." Maxson invoked Bryant's professed Catholicism for allegedly having "helped him through the difficult times in his life, especially the sexual assault charge," then closed by reiterating: "Kobe Bryant's life was an imperfect life, but he finished strong and devoted himself to faith and family."

(Of course, Maxson would never give, say, Colin Kaepernick the consideration of being "imperfect.")

At the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Craig Bannister similarly gushed how "Pro basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday in helicopter crash in Southern California, was a practicing Catholic who credited his Catholic faith for helping him through the toughest times in his life." He too took a while before admitting that the "toughest time" was the sexual assault charge:

Bryant relied on his Catholic faith as he dealt with, and sought to find peace after having been accused of sexual assault in 2003 – an accusation he denied, though he eventually issued an apology and agreed to a civil lawsuit settlement.

Bannister finished by noting a tribute Bryant by the Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:30 PM EST
CNS Melts Down Over Super Bowl Halftime Show
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Super Bowl halftime show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira did not sit well with the moral scolds at CNSNews.com.

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted attacks on the show by Franklin Graham and other conservatives as a mockery of "moral decency,"and Chapman helpfully added a description of the show: "The halftime show was little more than a striptease performed by pop-tarts Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, complete with crotch-rubbing, butt-shaking, hip-grinding, S&M leather, and a stripper pole."

In a Feb. 6 column advocating for "religious freedom," Ken Blackwell added an aside that "Public figures embrace hypocrisy, and the entertainment industry mocks values and celebrates immorality, as recently demonstrated in the Super Bowl halftime show." An otherwise empty item links to a post by Leesa Donner at the right-wing Liberty Nation with the headline "Avert Your Eyes: Do we Really Need a Super Bowl Stripper Pole?" who called the show "a prime-time gentlemen’s lounge act complete with sadomasochistic attire and stripper pole."

The winner for full meltdown, though, goes to John Horvat II, who uses the show to go on an extended morality rant under the headline "Wny Mothers Now Weep For Their Children":

I received an email recently that brought home the extent of the tragedy for which I grieve. It touched me to the very depth of my soul. It was from a mother commenting on the half-time show at the 2020 Super Bowl. The nation’s most-watched event featured an extravaganza of lewd dancing, scanty clothing and sexualized moves never seen before. It was much worse than past outrages. 

In this display, we sense a desire to corrupt. There can be no other explanation. Everyone knows that millions of young children, teenagers and youth watch the game and the show. Most of those watching profess religious beliefs contrary to the immoral performance. Many adults could not hold back their disgust at seeing this family event turned into a shameless spectacle of impurity. I initiated an online protest so that people’s outraged voices could be heard. 

In another email, a mother said that, upon seeing part of the show, “I sat on my couch and wept as I am trying to raise four kids in this culture. Thank you for speaking out.”  Her message was echoed by many others who were shocked by the “pornographic” display so contrary to “purity, chastity and modesty.”

Horvat uses this to rnat against "the decline of morals, the outrage of abortion and the LGBTQ+ tyranny," with particular focus on "ever-growing presence of drag queens, especially in their story hours that target pre-school children in public libraries and elementary schools," which purportedly demonstrate "the desire to corrupt," adding: "As one drag queen said at a public hearing in Lafayette, La., “this is going to be the grooming of the next generation.”

Horvat is deliberately taking the "grooming" line out of context. As we documented, the drag queen said that he has no agenda and the "grooming" that is taking place is about not hating drag queens the way Horvat does.

And don't doubt that hate is driving Horvat: He then huffs that "The drag queen is the cutting edge of the Sexual Revolution that seeks to destroy all sexual restrictions, identities, and taboos," adding: "We are entering times when unnatural vice and macabre lifestyles are becoming normalized. Satanism and “black masses” are proliferating."

Yep, he jumped rather easily from drag queens to Satanism.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 AM EST
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
How Is The MRC Melting Down Over Jim Acosta Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has toned down its bizarre, obsessive hatred for CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta of late. But that doesn't mean that the flare-ups of Acosta Derangement Syndrome have completely disappeared.

We've already documented a November meltown and noted how the MRC freaked about Acosta accurately describing Rush Limbaugh has a "history of making derogatory comments about African-Americans" while never actually disputing the accusation. Butit's gone on other Acosta-bashing tirades as well.

IN January, Nicholas Fondacaro groused that "Acosta chided Trump’s calm and reassuring tweet to the American people" following Iran's attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq, ranting that Acosta was "bitter" and was "gaslighting CNN's viewers." Fondacaro went on another mind-reading escapade, declaring that Acosta was "increasingly indignant" and "seemed to grow more and more irritated" and proclaiming that the reporter was "obviously more angry at Trump than the Iranians who were trying to kill Americans." Fondacaro is obviously angry that Acosta won't act like he's on Fox News and be a good little Trump-bot like himself.

Chief Acosta-hater Curtis Houck chimed in with a Feb. 5 post smearing Acosta as "Fake News Jim" for noting the relevant fact of Mitt Romney's support of one article of impeachment against President Trump.

Two days later, Scott Whitlock complained that the "pompous" Acosta "appeared at Point Park University on Thursday to lecture on how his truth telling 'gets under your skin.' Acosta also explained his worry that the President’s comments could lead to violence against the press." Remember, the MRC hates journalists and is actively callous toward their safety, actively denying that Trump's (and, by extension, the MRC's) anti-journalist rhetoric doesn't inspire violence.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:36 PM EST
Lie-Loving WND Unironically Attacks Democrats For Lying
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The latest edition of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine gets touted in a Feb. 7 article:

When conservatives attempt to explain the left’s shockingly wanton disregard for truth, they often say things like, “These people are captive to a toxic ideology” or “They’re obsessed with power” or “They’re playing to their radical leftwing base” or “They suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

All true, says Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian, “but the ultimate reason the left is so comfortable with lying – as with so many truly big issues in life – has to do with God. Do we honor and submit to the Creator of the Universe and His laws of life, or do we rebel against Him so that we can be, in effect, our own gods?”

It’s difficult for normal people, restrained by a functioning conscience, to comprehend how politicians like Adam Schiff and Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi can look into a TV camera – which is to say, look right into the eyes of millions of people – and flat-out lie continually.

This total divorce from honesty and truth, which has captured today’s Democratic Party, is explored in a powerfully eye-opening and original way in the latest issue (January 2020) of WND’s acclaimed Whistleblower magazine – headlined “IN LOVE WITH LYING: For today’s enraged, power-obsessed Democrats, deception is a creative force.”

You know who else is in love with lying? Kupelian and WND.

To name just two of the worst examples, WND spent eight years pushing the lie that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. and that his birth certificate was fraudulent, and it also pushed the lie that Seth Rich leaked Democratic emails. And its recent years haven't stopped it from publishing false, fake news -- heck, we caught them just the other day inventing a quote nobody is on record as saying.

The cognitive dissonance continued in Kupelian's column from the issue filled with more ranting:

Question: What do Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, Peter Strzok, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Adam Schiff all have in common?

It’s so painfully obvious, I don’t even need to say it.

Americans of sound mind and morals are being forced right now to confront a bizarre but inescapable truth about their nation’s leadership: The Democratic Party has become essentially a gargantuan web of lies and liars – and very little else.

[...]

It’s difficult for normal people, restrained by a functioning conscience, to comprehend how politicians like Adam Schiff, Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi can look into a TV camera – which is to say, look right into the eyes of millions of people – and flat-out lie.

I couldn’t do it and neither could you. Conscience and inner conflict would paralyze us.

Trust us: Conscience and inner conflict is not something Kupelian is burdened by. If he was, he would have used his position as de facto WND leader in Joseph Farah's absence to apologize for the above-cited lies he has spread through WND over the years. The fact that he hasn't shows us he knows he's lying and doesn't care.

Unsurprisingly, we've also caught Kupelian telling lies, for which he has yet to apologize as well.

Kupelian once wrote a column accusing Democrats of "projection" in criticizing conservatives. But Kupelian was the one projecting then, and he's doing the exact same thing now.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EST
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
CNS Floods The Zone On Pelosi's Speech-Ripping
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com may develop selective amnesia when it comes to reporting relevant details about its fellow conservatives, but when a Democrat or liberal does something it can exploit for its fellow travelers, CNS is ON IT.

Patrick Goodenough wrote disdainfully in a Feb. 5 article:

As President Trump completed his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slowly and deliberately tore in half what appeared to be her copy of the speech, before tossing the bits of paper onto the desk.

“The American age, the American epic, the American adventure has only just begun,” Trump said. “Our spirit is still young. The sun is still rising. God’s grace is still shining. My fellow Americans, the best is yet to come. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.”

Scarcely had the words left his mouth when Pelosi held up a sheaf of papers. She tore them in two, then – as seen from various camera angles – repeated the action three more times, before throwing down the stack of ripped pages.

Goodenough encapsulated CNS' right-wing bias by quoting three politicians commenting on Pelosi's act -- two of whom were Republicans but only one (Rep. Liz Cheney) was identified as such; the other, Dalia al-Aqidi, is identified only as running to unseat Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar -- and, as it turned out, who Goodenough did a fawning profile of just last month.

CNS followed up with more biased reporting in the form of attacks on Pelosi for her act:

  • Trump fangirl Susan Jones dutifully transcribed Trump's tweetstorm bashing Pelosi, touting how Trump was "retweeting some of the #PelosiTantrum criticism."
  • Melanie Arter featured how Trump White House official Kellyanne Conway claimed on Fox News that Pelosi's act "demonstrates that the Democratic Party has devolved into a petty, peevish and partisan party." In her lengthy summary of Conway's appearance, Arter did note whether Conway was ever asked if Trump's anti-Pelosi tweetstorm was an example of him being "petty, peevish and partisan."
  • Craig Bannister repeated how Jody Jones, who earned an invitation to theState of the Union address because his brother "was shot and killed by an illegal alien," went for the full-drama effect by declaring (on Fox News, natch) that Pelosi's speech-ripping "ripped our hearts out ... it just tore us up."
  • Managing editor Michael W. Chapman cheered how House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy "mocked" Pelosi's "stunt" and responding with a "video on Twitter, in which he declares, 'Acquitted for life' and tears up what, presumably, are the articles of impeachment."
  • Bruce Truax wrote that "In reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tearing up the president's speech on national television after the State of the Union on Tuesday, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) said he was surprised that Pelosi did not 'hit' Trump with the speech."
  • Chapman followed up on Goodenough's reference to Cheney by giving her her own article to rant that the speech-ripping allegedly showed that Pelosi is "unfit for office."
  • Finally, for some reason, editor in chief Terry Jeffrey felt the need to hunt down a Republican senator from North Dakota for his opinion of Pelosi's speech-ripping and then devote an article to said opinion, which could largely be summarized by his calling it "very, very, very odd."

That's a total of eight articles focused on a couple seconds of Pelosi ripping up a speech -- six of which were devoted exclusively to attacking Pelosi. Good thing CNS doesn't have to live up to the standards of fairness and objectivity its parent, the Media Research Center, demands from other media outlets.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EST
Monday, February 17, 2020
AIM Joins The ConWeb's Dershowitz Defense Game
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The Media Research Center and Newsmax weren't the only ConWeb outlets playing defense for Trump-loving lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Accuracy in Media made its own attempt in the genre with a Jan. 20 post by Spencer Irvine that continues AIM's newfound obsession with obscure media outlet NowThis News:

Alan Dershowitz, who taught law classes at Harvard University, has defended O.J. Simpson, Jeffery Epstein and Harvey Weinstein. NowThis News’s coverage pointed out that Dershowitz represented terrible people, such as Weinstein and Epstein. The website also said that Weinstein is currently facing charges of sexual misconduct and other sex crimes, while Epstein was a convicted sex offender.

NowThis News also wrote that Starr, who was the independent counsel during the Clinton impeachment investigation, also represented Epstein in legal proceedings. But the website failed to acknowledge that lawyers defend the innocent and guilty alike, as the criminal justice system operates on the premise that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It was not a crime for Dershowitz or Starr to defend people that lacked character and morals.

Irvine continued:

The website also accused Bondi, the former Florida Attorney General, of giving Trump a pass. It said that she was the attorney general “who dropped an investigation into Trump’s fraudulent university scam after receiving campaign contributions (a $25,000 donation) from the Trump Foundation.” NowThis News did not provide a source for that allegation, which is ironic because this was an article about legal proceedings and lawyers.

Irvine is playing dumb here: The story about the Trump Foundation's donation to a group supporting Bondi's campaign appeared in numerous places, including the New York Times. It's a well enough known story that NowThis didn't really need to source it. And Irvine certainly isn't going to mention that the Trump Foundation paid a fine to the IRS over the donation, since the foundation's tax status forbade it from making political donations. Nor will he tell you that the appearance of a quid pro quo is unmistakable.

Suggesting that an accurate story isn't accurate would seem to run counter to AIM's name and mission.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2020 9:48 PM EST
MRC Defends Limbaugh After Cancer, Medal of Freedom, Denies His History of Racial Attacks
Topic: Media Research Center

In the eyes of the Media Research Center, Rush Limbaugh can do no wrong -- remember, the MRC's response to perhaps Limbaugh's most odious moment of disgustingly smearing Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and a sex maniac was to reward his hate by launching an "I Stand With Rush" campaign. So when Limbaugh grabbed the spotllight by first announcing he has lung cancer and then being awarded a surprise Medal of Freedom during President Trump's State of the Union Address, you knew that the MRC would slobber over -- and fiercely defend -- the right-wing radio host.

Gabriel Hays huffed in a Feb. 3 post:

Sadly, not even lung cancer diagnoses are enough to escape the bitter taste of partisan politics.

Only a couple of short hours after legendary conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh revealed his diagnosis of an advanced stage of lung cancer, media publications and media figures began to get their digs in on the man because of his massive decades-spanning conservative influence.

Hays was effectively complaining that people were as insensitive to Limbaugh as Limbaugh has been to people he has hated over the decades. Very hypocritical -- and, needleess to say, Hays made no mention of the insults Limbaugh has hurled over the years that might have made some people feel a little less charitable toward the man.

Hays wrote a similar post the next day, this time grousing: "Cruel media leftists absolutely cannot stand Rush Limbaugh having a joyful moment even after his late-stage cancer diagnosis." Does he think Limbaugh himself would act any different if, say, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama suddenly faced a similar medical crisis?

Kyle Drennen complained that on on TV show "a vicious tweet was featured of a left-wing celebrity claiming that Limbaugh 'doesn’t think poor people deserve' medical care." Drennen did not dispute the accuracy of the tweet.

Scott Whitlock grumbled that "hard-left CNN journalist Jim Acosta ... smeared the radio star as a racist, claiming a 'history of making derogatory comments about African-Americans.'" Not only did Whitlock not offer any evidence that Limbaugh never made derogatory comments about African-Americans (beyond a blanket denial from Rush's producer), he offered no evidence that Acosta is "hard-left"; that's just a flare-up of the MRC's Acosta Derangement Syndrome. In a separate post, Whitlock complained that another commentator "exchoriated" [sic] Limbaugh as the "face of racism" again without offering proof to the contrary.

In a similar vein, Curtis Houck attacked ABC for describing Limbaugh as "controverisal and divisive" as well as "racist" but, similarly, offered no evidence to dispute the accuracy of the claims.

When another commentator noted that "birther" Limbaugh got the Medal of Freedom in a State of the Union scene akin to Oprah Winfrey handing out free cars, Nicholas Fondacaro could only muster in response: "Well, [April] Ryan, here’s some facts for you: Many people were very happy for Limbaugh too" -- apparently approving of Rush's birtherism.

MRC chief Brent Bozell popped in on a Fox Business appearance to complain about what an anonymously written NewsBusters post descrbied as "nasty jabs from CNN anchors that Rush Limbaugh is a racist (he’s not)." Again, no proof to back that up.

In a post unironically headlined "CLASSLESS AND CRUEL," Geoffrey Dickens grumbled that "haters in the liberal media couldn’t let Limbaugh – who just announced he is battling advanced lung cancer – have this one heartwarming moment for his family and millions of fans to savor without attacking him as an undeserving racist." Rather than offer proof to the contrary, Dickens merely claimed that "longtime Limbaugh producer Bo Snerdley [went] to his Twitter account to debunk Acosta and other liberals’ claims of racism" though that's not what happened at all; Snerdley merely demanded evidence of racial attacks, of which there is plenty.

Kristine Marsh joined in by whining that a couple of "The View" co-hosts "unfairly accusing Limbaugh of being a racist," but she too offered no evidence to contradict the claim.

Randy Hall detailed Fox News host Laura Ingraham denouncing Acosta's yet-to-be-contradicted statement about Limbaugh's history of racially derogatory remarks as "disgusting," but Hall offered no evidence that she disprove it; instead, guest and right-wing writer Sara Carter was given space to rant that the claim was "absolutely false," again without supporting evidence.

Clay Waters, meanwile, finally attempted a response to claims of racism when the New York Times suggested it, albeit nothing but a lame conservative trope: "It is easy to get offended if you assume any race-related comment by a conservative is racist.

And Brad Wilmouth complained that a CNN correspondent other than Acosta pointed out that Limbaugh has shared "xenophobic, misogynistic, and racist sentiments with the masses." He did a better job of responding to the claims, even if he was recycling old kneejerk MRC defenses of Limbaugh. He deflected on the "Barack the Magic Negro" parody song LImbaugh loved by claiming that it "was based on a Los Angeles Times piece that called Obama a 'magic negro,'" though he didn't explain how that made it less offensive.

After the reporter pointed out Limbaugh declaring that Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease activism was a act, parroted an old justification that "Fox himself, in his book, confessed that he had once deliberately avoided taking his medication so that his symptoms would look worse than usual as he lobbied for federal spending on stem cell research." Which didn't address the fact that Limbaugh implied that Fox was faking it all the time.

These weak or nonexistent responses tell us that even the MRC knows his history of offensive comments can't be defended -- so it tries to shout down the critics instead.

Needless to say, there was plenty of gushing over Limbaugh at the MRC as well. Hays devoted a post to the "immense outpouring of support from conservative leaders" who "showed their gratitude for how much of an impact the man had on the mainstream conservative movement," and Houck wrote up how Trump presented thte Media of Freedom to Limbaugh.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
Fake News: WND Invents Quote To Attack Health Care Reform
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily tried to be provocative in an anonymously written Feb 2 article headlined "'Just die, Grandpa': Doctors push 'full totalitarian' health care." It features dubious doc Jane Orient from the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons ranting against an American College of Physicians proposal to achieve universal healthcare coverage, which in WND's telling "the elderly are given painkillers to die as a matter of efficiency."

However, the "Just die, Grandpa" quote appears nowhere in the article or in any item to which the article linked, such as an AAPS promotion of a white paper by Orient denouncing Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (or the white paper itself). Nor did the quote appear in a Daily Mail article about the plan that WND referenced but did not link to, or in another AAPS item attacking the ACP plan that WND also did not link to.

Could it be that WND simply made up the "Just die, Grandpa" quote as clickbait to fearmonger about the ACP plan? Perhaps -- it's published fake news before.

If WND can't demonstrate where this quote came from and is apparently just making stuff up, it doesn't inspire any confidence about the veracity of anything on its website and, thus, WND's future.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 AM EST
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2020 9:08 AM EST
Sunday, February 16, 2020
MRC Has A 'Sesame Street' Cross-Dressing Meltdown
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates cross-dressing to the point that it can't even find the humor in what has long been a comedy trope. And when someone cross-dresses as a fashion and personal statement, well, it's meltdown time. And when that person appears on a children's TV show, it's time for a full five-alarm gay-bashing meltdown. Show us how it's done, Elise Ehrhard:

PBS once provided children with happy thoughts of a fatherly Mr. Roger's talking to us about our day or adorable Ernie singing about his rubber ducky on Sesame Street. But for the LGBTQXYZ movement, children's programming is just another opportunity to teach kids all the ways that it is a homosexual/transgender day in the neighborhood.

In recent years, children's public television has premiered a "gay marriage" on Arthur, sang about two dads with a baby in a preschool song about families, and put Grover in a purple dress on Sesame Street. But apparently having a muppet go transvestite for a day just was not inclusive enough. On January 30, the creators of Sesame Street announced on social media that cross-dressing LGBT activist Billy Porter, star of the LGBTQ FX show Pose, will appear on Season 51 of Sesame Street on HBO Max this spring.

She's gotten one thing wrong already: she identified "Sesame Street" as part of "public television" while also reporting that this episode will air on HBO Max, which is most definitely not public television.

Ehrhard goes on to demonstrate her hatred for who Porter is by mocking his fashion choices, despite no apparent experience in judging fashion:

You may remember Billy Porter from when he wore that ridiculous long black dress to the 2019 Oscars. The long women's gown he wore on the red carpet looked like something a widow would wear in Gone With the Wind. The man does not exactly have the creativity of David Bowie or Culture Club in his gender-bending. If the pictures on Sesame Street's social media are any indication, Porter wears the depressing, black women's gown when he visits the puppets on Sesame Street. 

Ehrhard concludes with the usual MRC rant about a "gay agenda" coming for your children:

While the show will not premiere until this spring, we can presume that the creators expect to children respond to this as normal, not comical or silly.

The LGBTQ "slippery slope" long ago slipped off a cliff and is now pummeling our children with its agenda. Next thing you know Daniel Tiger will announce his gender transition at his preschool or Elmo with "come out" to the kiddies. With the sexual/gender theory left there is no end to the possibilities.

Because in the world that Erhard and the MRC occupy, the worst thing is to teach children that people who are different shouldn't be hated for who they are.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2020 9:29 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

There was plenty of not-so-good news in January's employment numbers -- which CNS would have led its coverage with if the president was a Democrat. But because the president is a Republican, Susan Jones dowmplays them in her lead article:

President Donald Trump never misses an opportunity to plug the strong employment picture for which he takes credit, and today he earned more bragging rights:

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy created 225,000 jobs in January, well above estimates. BLS says notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

The number of employed Americans dipped in January to 158,714,000 -- down 89,000 from December's record high.

The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.6 percent in January.

But the labor force participation rate reached a Trump-era high of 63.4 percent, up from 63.2 percent in December, because the civilian labor force increased by 574,000 in January, after accounting for annual adjustments to population controls, BLS said.*

The asterisk leads to a note that the end of the article that explains the labor force participation rate change seems to be driven by statistical changes.

Similarly, the headline on Craig Bannister's sidebar on Hispanic employment would have focused on the unemployment rate increasing if it was being written under a Democratic president. But because it's Trump, it reads "Hispanic Employment Sets Record, Labor Force Participation Rate Highest Since March 2010 in January."

Still, there was bad news even CNS couldn't paper over. A sidebar by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey actually began with the fact that manufacturing jobs declined by 12,000, but he was quick to  spin that the U.S. "has gained a net of 26,000 manufacturing jobs" and that since Trump's election "manufacturing jobs have increased by 495,000."

Another sidebar by Jeffrey -- a loyal government-hating conservative -- conceded that The number of people employed by government in the United States grew by 177,000 from January 2019 to January 2020." But he made sure not to mention the name "Trump" in this article.

Even as CNS had to admit all this bad news about the economy, it had to pretend it wasn't the case when it came to reporting Nancy Pelosi's comments about the employment numbers. Bannister went into spin mode again:

Despite creation of 225,000 jobs, a 3.6% unemployment rate, a 3.1% increase in earnings over the past year, and extension of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared the January employment numbers “the rot at the heart of the Trump economy.”

Because manufacturing pro-Trump spin is more important at CNS than fully reporting the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EST
Saturday, February 15, 2020
MRC Serves Up Evidence-Free Hypocrisy
Topic: Media Research Center

A Jan. 30 Media Research Center post by Joseph Vazquez complained:

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough decided it was a good idea to tout an attack ad against Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) made by the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project just days later.

[...]

MSNBC’s The Morning Joe ran a Jan. 29 segment showing the entirety of The Lincoln Project’s hyperbolic attack ad “Martha McSally Is A Trump Hack.” Scarborough used the clip segment as an opportunity to go after McSally for calling out liberal reporters. Scarborough bloviated: “[McSally’s] going to get on another corrupt president’s good side by yelling at reporters who play it down the middle.” [Emphasis added.]

Scarborough appeared to be referencing McSally calling CNN reporter Manu Raju a “liberal hack” Jan. 16, for asking her if “new evidence” would be allowed into the Senate trial of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

MSNBC tweeted out Scarborough’s segment Jan. 29 touting the ad. The outlet’s tweet stated, “A new ad from the conservative group Lincoln Project criticizes Sen. McSally for supporting President Trump and calling a reporter a ‘liberal hack.’”

"Reporters who play it down the middle"? Really, Scarborough? Is he referencing the same liberal Manu Raju who pressed Democrats on CNN’s The Situation Room May 8, asking: “If we are in a constitutional crisis, why not pursue impeachment; why are you resisting?” That was months before the Trump/Ukraine issue broke headlines (the lynchpin of the liberal media’s impeachment crusade).

As we detailed when it first defended McSally's attack on Raju, the MRC has never proven that Raju is a "liberal hack." The example Vazquez provides is simply Raju asking a logical question of Democrats (he never identified exactly who was asked that question, since the MRC item he links to as evidence doesn't either, instead baselessly interprets the question as an example of "impatient reporters ... pushing for impeachment") who insisted that Trump has brought the national to what they called a "constitutional crisis." As much as Vazquez would like to think otherwise, it's a straightforward question that actually tried to pin down Democrats on what they believe.

Vazquez then engaged in another bit of hypocrisy:

An August 2019 study found that “CNN and MSNBC host Democratic Representatives and Senators seven times more frequently than their Republican counterparts.” Specifically, across three randomly-selected weeks of coverage, CNN overwhelmingly favored giving interviews to Democratic members of Congress over Republican members by a four to one ratio (136 vs. 29). Talk about playing it “down the middle.”

As we pointed out at the time the MRC issued this "study," the MRC is dishonestly trying to have it both ways -- it attacks CNN and MSNBC for not having on enough Republican members of Congress at the same time it praises Republican members of Congress for refusing to appear on CNN and MSNBC over their purported "liberal bias."

Vazquez and the MRC would never criticize Fox News for having enough Democrats on, nor would it praise Democrats for refusing to appear on the channel over its well-documented right-wing bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2020 2:39 PM EST
WND Loves Limbaugh's Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, as we all know, loves a good conspiracy theory, so it quickly jumped on the one Rush Limbaugh is peddling, courtesy of a republished Jan. 29 Western Journal article by Carmine Sabia:

Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh sounded the alarm on the origins of new diseases as well as older ones that were thought to be eradicated but are making a comeback.

All of these diseases are coming from leftist communities, both in the United States and abroad, Limbaugh noted.

[...]

On his program Friday, Limbaugh talked about the coronavirus outbreak as well as other diseases that have been hitting the state of California hard. Those include typhoid fever, typhus, hepatitis A, staph and tuberculosis.

“Where are all of these deadly viruses coming from?" the host asked, according to the transcript on his official website. "Communist countries. This latest virus that’s got everybody scared to death, where is it coming from? The ChiComs.

"What’s happening in all of these homeless tent cities in California? Medieval diseases that had been eradicated are starting to crop up."

Limbaugh continued, "Do not doubt me when I tell you that liberalism, left-wingism, socialism, communism, whatever, folks, it destroys.

Despite this being a supposed "news" article, Sabia piled on with biased opinion, rating that cities trying to help homeless people "is not compassion; it is lunacy," with an added side swipe at "cities' welcoming policies toward illegal aliens." Sabia finally concludes: "If people want to get serious about fixing the homeless crisis and the diseases it brings, they have to get to the root of the issue. Leftism."

The slow apparent merger between WND and Western Journal doesn't seem to have altered WND's basic editorial agenda one bit.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 AM EST
Friday, February 14, 2020
What? Donohue Approvingly Cites Cosby, Weinstein Lawyers To Defend Catholic Priests
Topic: CNSNews.com

If you're talking pointers from the defense lawyers for Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein in order to find ways to defend Catholic priests against claims of sexual abuse, well, that's simply not a good look. Yet that's exactly what Bill Donohue in his Jan. 23 CNSNews.com column, which really does begins this way: "One does not have to like Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein (I fought with the latter for decades) to like what their lawyers are saying in their defense. There are some lines of defense that are not only persuasive, they have direct application to accused priests."

Donohue goes on to approvingly cite Cosby's and Weinstein's defense lawyers for blaming the "public panic" and "hysteria" sparked by the #MeToo movement on the sexual abuse charges against their clients and for attacking their accusers as willing participants whose backgrounds must be attacked. And, yes, he totally goes there:

Everything that these lawyers have said about their clients is true of accused priests these days. Even more so.

A moral panic has indeed arisen in cases of clergy sexual abuse. It is fed by a hostile media, late-night talk-show hosts on TV, cable outlets like HBO, and others. Old cases of abuse are presented as if they are new, leaving the false impression that the scandal is ongoing. Pernicious generalizations about priests—and sick jokes—are made with abandon. Movies spread lies about the Catholic hierarchy. And so on.

This has less to do with the #MeToo movement than it does with vintage anti-Catholicism. It is no secret that the cultural elites harbor an animus against Catholicism. These kinds of atmospherics make it difficult for accused priests to get a fair trial. Add to this the cherry picking of accused priests by state attorney generals, and the table is set for conviction.

What Weinstein’s lawyer says about women accusers is certainly applicable to priest accusers. Some are telling the truth but others are lying through their teeth, seeking revenge against an institution they despise. And just as Weinstein is a “powerful guy” who is easily exploited because of who he is, the Catholic Church is a “powerful” institution that is also easily exploited.

It would do the Catholic Church wonders if more aggressive attorneys such as those employed by Cosby and Weinstein were hired. No priest should be a sitting duck for rapacious victims’ lawyers.

Donahue added with apparent pride that Weinstein defense lawyer Donna Rotunno "is a Chicago lawyer who went to a Catholic college."

Even we can't believe Donohue took this stance.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 14, 2020 8:58 AM EST

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