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Tuesday, March 24, 2020
CNS Devotes Four Articles To Democratic Congresswoman Retweeting A Swear Word
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com these days is mostly just pro-Trump stenography and negative news about non-conservatives, with particular emphasis on flooding the zone on the latter. And it's done the latter again.

When Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib -- whom it already despises and targets with highly biased reporting -- retweeted Parkland massacre survivor David Hogg criticizing a national day of prayer regarding coronavirus and calling for "immediate comprehensive action" instead, using a swear word in doing so, CNS was quick to flood the zone. Under the headline "Rep. Tlaib Retweets: ‘F**k a National Day of Prayer’," Patrick Goodenough highlighted the tweet and noted that Hogg's original tweet included a clip of HUD secretary Ben Carson lecturing that "we’ve gotten away from prayer and faith a lot in this country."

Goodenough didn't mention the fact that Hogg is a survivor of a mass shooting that killed several of his high school classmates, but he made sure to link to an earlier attack he wrote on "Muslim congresswomen" Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. CNS also made sure to use the most unflattering photo of Tlaib it could find.

Goodenough followed up the next day with an article featuring CNS friend (and dishonest Catholic) Bill Donohue attacking Tlaib and demanding that the House of Representatives reprimand her.

It was two days after that that CNS finally got around to telling more than one side of the story, in a blog post by Craig Bannister on Tlaib's "response to backlash over her retweet of a vulgar condemnation of the Sunday’s National Day of Prayer for coronavirus victims declared by President Donald Trump." He also touted Donohue's demand for the House to reprimand her.

Finally, Donohue was granted his own column to rant further about Tlaib, insisting her walkback was not sincere:

Let me be clear, Rep. Tlaib: You are fooling no one. You not only have a record of offending people, your anti-Semitic comments have mobilized friends of mine like Rabbi Aryeh Spero to hold a sit-in at Rep. Nancy Pelosi's congressional office to protest your bigotry (and that of your fellow "Squad" member, Rep. Ilhan Omar). Your record of hate speech is incontestable.

You say your retweet "was not an attack on prayer." How lame. What you manifestly chose to do is attack the one day when Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and others come together in a national day of prayer. Your point was to insult us. Mission accomplished.

By contrast, when then-candidate Trump sent out a tweet with a picture of Hillary Clinton accompanied by a six-pointed star with the phrase "most corrupt candidate ever!" -- widely viewed as anti-Semitic -- CNS did only a single article (that apparently is no longer online) dedicated to Trump denying the image was anti-Semitic.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 AM EDT
Monday, March 23, 2020
AIM Pretends PragerU Is Merely An 'Education Non-Profit'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Like the Media Research Center, Accuracy in Media tried to apply spin to the federal appeals court that upheld YouTube's right to monitor its private property against the "censorship" charges from right-wing content mill PragerU. Being the current iteration of AIM, though, it came with a focus on its new obsession, the obsucre online-only media outlet NowThis News.

In a Feb. 28 post, Spencer Irvine complained that NowThis accurately identified PragerU -- which he benignly described as "creat[ing] videos on topics across politics, philosophy, and economics and hav[ing] various guest speakers narrate the videos from a right-leaning political or cultural perspectiv" -- eas a right-wing content mill:

NowThis News claimed that YouTube “has been fertile ground for PragerU’s founders and funders to reach young people without traditional gatekeepers like parents and schools.” The website’s word choice insinuated that PragerU was circumventing young people’s parents and school staff, which was an odd choice of words. There should not be problems with companies directly communicating their messages to their consumers or clients, which is what PragerU is doing.

Also, NowThis News called PragerU a “right-wing media machine” instead of using the organization’s official definition as an education non-profit. The phrase that NowThis News used was misleading because it presented an opinionated phrase as factual and correct.

In fact, as we noted, PragerU admitted that it does target students around school and parental authority. Also, conservatives have plenty of problems with "companies directly communicating their messages to their consumers or clients" when those consumers are students and the message is considered "liberal."

Further, Irvine accepted PragerU's claims of YouTube "censorship" at face value when there is in fact no actual censorship going on. YouTube merely assigned some videos as restricted, which are in fact only restricted when the user has turned on restricted mode.

Finally, PragerU may be the "education non-profit" Irvine claims it is, but it doesn't meant that it is also a right-wing media machine -- you know, not unlike AIM itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
MRC Pretends To Read Major Garrett's Mind (And Does Another Bogus Trump Coverage Study)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center likes to pretend it can read the minds of journalists and correspondents in order to perpetuate its notion of a biased "liberal media." It did so again in a March 4 post by Rich Noyes headlined "CBS’s Garrett Hopes Bloomberg’s Millions Might at Least Have Damaged Trump."

But even Noyes doesn't actually claim that CBS correspondent Major Garrett expressed "hope"; instead, he repeats the old MRC complaint that Garrett reported something he didn't like:

On Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, correspondent Major Garrett suggested a silver lining (for liberals) after Michael Bloomberg’s massive campaign spending failed to produce any meaningful boost for his presidential hopes on Super Tuesday.

Garrett wondered if the past three months of Bloomberg’s TV advertising might somehow accomplish what years of extremely negative news coverage could not, i.e., put a significant dent in President Trump’s support.

Advancing the not-radical concept that Bloomberg's advertising may have hurt Trump's popularity is not "hope"; it's reporting. Of course, the MRC collectively think that everyone in the non-conservative media are constantly scheming to destroy Trump -- mostly by, you know, reporting facts -- so that sort of paranoia is not a surprise.

In the middle of this post, though, Noyes dropped the results of the MRC's latest bogus "study" of Trump coverage (needless bolding in original):

According to the MRC’s ongoing tracking, the spin of ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage of the Trump presidency has been 92% negative during the past six months (September 1 through February 29). For the entire Trump administration (beginning January 20, 2017), the coverage on those networks has been 90% negative.

Those broadcast network statistics do not include the oceans of cable TV airtime devoted to the Russia investigation, the Ukraine investigation and impeachment, as well as hour upon hour of general complaints about the President’s policies and personal style.

As is usual, Noyes extrapolates its so-called examination of "evaluative comments" about Trump of a tiny sliver of coverage as something much larger (though he admits it doesn't include cable news, which means it doesn't include Fox News), and he doesn't provide the actual statements so we can judge for ourselves.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EDT
WND Bashes Mosque For Allegedly Violating Law It Wants Repealed (When Used Against Christians)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily has attacked mosques for making use of the same legal protections that it has cheered Christian religious organizations for using. WND took that to the next level in a March 9 article by Art Moore:

Ahead of Tuesday's crucial Democratic primary, a prominent Michigan mosque is distributing to worshipers campaign material for Sen. Bernie Sanders targeting Muslim voters, which is a violation of the non-profit mosque's tax-exempt status.

A campaign leaflet obtained by David Gaubatz, known for his investigation of mosques that promote terrorism, urges Muslims to vote for Sanders on Tuesday.

With text in both English and Arabic, it concludes with: "Yalla! Vote for Amo Bernie this Tuesday, March 10!"

[...]

The so-called Johnson Amendment passed by Congress in 1954 prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations, such as houses of worship, from engaging in any political campaign activity. The Sterling Heights mosque states at the bottom of the home page of its website that it is registered as a 501(c)(3).

[...]

The guidance publication, 1828, makes clear: "Under the Internal Revenue Code, all IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office."

Violation of the code "may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of excise tax."

Ah, the Johnson Amendment. The law that, um, WND has been demanding repeal of for years.

Editor Joseph Farah wrote a 2008 column insisting on its repeal, declaring that churches "have every right to take a position on who should be our next president without risking the church's tax status." In a 2017 column, Chuck Norris cheered President Trump's partial rollback of the Johnson Amendment, calling it an example of how "the American people are granted more freedoms and choices, and fewer restrictions, which is exactly what our founders had in mind for the great experiment of our republic."

The very same day Moore's article appeared, Scott Lively used his column to denounced the amendment,  introduced by "the reprobate senator and soon-to-be President Lyndon Baines Johnson," because it "effectively neutralized the church as a political force. Today the majority of congregations totally avoid political and cultural involvement in fear of running afoul of the IRS."

WND -- in a further contrast with its current stance -- also cheered when churches deliberately flouted the amendment.

  • A 2009 article by Bob Unruh promoted the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund's "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," calling the Johnson Amendment "an Internal Revenue Service rule that anti-Christian activists often invoke when they want to silence the message of churches."
  • In 2011, Unruh cheered another ADF-led effort to break the law: "Hundreds of Christian pastors across the United States have knowingly spoken out from their pulpits about political candidates and have gotten virtually no response from the Internal Revenue Service, whose job it is to enforce the 1954 Johnson Amendment banning such speech from pulpits."
  • Unruh did it again in 2014, gushing that "in open defiance of agency rules, thousands of pastors have told their congregations what the Bible says about the positions held by electoral candidates."
  • And a 2012 article by Dave Tombers asserted: "The number of pastors standing up for their right to preach from their pulpits on politics is surging. They call a ban on such speech a 'cultural myth.'"

So, if the Johnson Amendment is a "cultural myth" that's designed to silence churches when it's applied to Christians, but it's suddenly a serious violation when Muslims are accused of doing it? Neither Gaubatz nor Moore explained -- but we're guessing that it has a lot to do with Muslims being held to a different standard and both of them disagreeing with the candidate allegedly being endorsed.

(Gaubatz, by the way, is an anti-Muslim activist best known for recruiting his son to work at the Council an American-Islamic Relations for the express purposes of stealing allegedly incriminating documents from the group. CAIR accused the younger Gaubatz of violating a confidentiality agreement; the Gaubatzes have apaprently never denied signing one, but planned to use the defense that CAIR doesn't legally exist. The lawsuit was still going on as of 2017.)


Posted by Terry K. at 2:13 AM EDT
Sunday, March 22, 2020
No, MRC, Court Did Not Rule That 'YouTube May Censor Conservatives'
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline of Alexander Hall's Feb. 28 Media Research Center item states, "Ninth Circuit Rules That YouTube May Censor Conservatives." That is a lie.

First, a little background: The MRC has been talking up the lawsuit that ended in this ruling for quite some time. corinne Weaver supplied a biased summary in an August 2019 post:

PragerU, a conservative media outlet known for its academic videos that explain traditional values and beliefs, will argue its appeal in a federal court on August 27. After a court dismissed the case on March 28, 2018, the company filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court against Google and its sister company, YouTube. PragerU accused Google of “targeting ideological differences and engaging in unlawful censorship and discrimination.”

In a previous ruling, a federal court stated that “Google has no obligation to equally apply its services, or in this case, its ostensible penalties.” PragerU filed another lawsuitin January 2019.

As of August 26, more than 100 videos produced by PragerU have been placed on YouTube’s restricted list. According to YouTube, videos that “contain potentially adult content” are not available to viewers who have the restricted mode turned on. Content that falls under certain categories are automatically restricted, including material that talks about drugs and alcohol, sexual situations, violence, mature subjects such as terrorism, war, crime, and political conflicts that resulted in death or serious injury, profane language, and incendiary and demeaning content.

[...]

YouTube’s restricted mode is used in places such as libraries, schools, and public institutions. So students trying to find a conservative point of view online in schools will not be able to access PragerU’s content. 

So YouTube is not actually "censoring" PragerU -- it's just age-restricting some of its content, and only for those who turn on YouTube's restricted mode. All one needs to do is turn off restricted mode and you have full access to PragerU videos. Yet somehow this has turned into a politically motivated lawsuit.

The motivation was clear in a separate August post by Hall, serving up more bias by calling PragerU "a popular conservative media outlet known for its academic but easy to understand videos which explain conservative ideas" and "are well known for their calm and measured tone." But Hall quoted PragerU officials exposing their real agenda -- they want to propagandize children and they want to be exempt from YouTube rules and scrutiny:

PragerU’s Chief Marketing Officer Craig Strazzeri was one of a handful of speakers who spoke. He pointed across the street to the library as an immediate example of a place where PragerU would be restricted. “If a student walks into that public library, goes on the computer, and searches for PragerU videos,” he said “there are over 200 that they will not be able to see” later adding for emphasis that five of those videos are on the Ten Commandments. 

[...]

PragerU personality Will Witt declared the importance of remaining on YouTube. “We don't wanna just start our own platform, right? Because we’re trying to reach everyone. There’d be so many leftists, people like me when I was in college, who we’d never reach.”

[...]

Restricting these videos can mean that their target audience may be unable to watch for themselves. YouTube’s restricted mode is used in locations such as libraries, schools, and public institutions. 

So rather than editing content to remove the restricted-mode tag or simply leaving for another video platform, of which there are many, PragerU played victim and sued YouTube.

In short, no evidence is provided that YouTube is censoring conservatives exclusively -- that, of course, is the central claim of victimization by the tech industry that the MRC has been spouting for quite some time.

Back to the current article, in which Hall huffed:

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that YouTube may censor whomever it chooses, and is not bound by the First Amendment.

The ruling in Prager University v. Google dealt a blow to PragerU’s cause this past Wednesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage. The decision upheld the district court’s dismissal of an action brought by PragerU against YouTube and its parent company Google despite PragerU's claim that YouTube acts much like a public forum and therefore was obligated to uphold First Amendment protections for freedom of speech.

"Despite YouTube's ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment," wrote Circuit Judge Margaret McKeown.

[...]

The Ninth Circuit explained that a key part of its reasoning in ruling against PragerU’s First Amendment claim was that “PragerU does not dispute that YouTube is a private entity that operates its platform without any state involvement.” Indeed, the Court noted that “private property does not ‘lose its private character merely because the public is generally invited to use it for designated purposes.’”

You'd think that organizations that claim to care about constitutional rights like PragerU and the MRC would be happy that a court upheld the principle of private property rights against those who were trying to federalize it for their own purposes. Instead, Hall complained: "And while YouTube and Big Tech leadership have made claims that they support free speech in theory, they are not necessarily legally bound to fulfil them. ... In short, when Big Tech companies make hollow corporate platitudes about free speech and protecting your voice, don’t expect much."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:10 PM EDT
CNS Lets Disgraced Rabbi Defend Christianity
Topic: CNSNews.com

You might remember Rabbi Daniel Lapin as the willing tool of sleazy lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff -- as we've noted, Abramoff served as chairman of Lapin's organization Toward Tradition and used the group to funnel money around in his lobbying efforts. These days, Lapin runs something called the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, and he still insists that he's "America's Rabbi" (but his bio mentions nothing about Abramnoff and Toward Tradition).

Apparently, he has some bad arguments he wants to share with us, and CNSNews.com gave him a March 4 column to do it in. It's the old "Christianity is being attacked" argument, and he denies he's likening it to the way Hitler acted (and 9/11) even as he refers to it as a "blitzkrieg":

I am not going to argue that what is happening now is on the same scale as the examples I cite above, but a serious war is being waged against a group of Americans. I am certain that if we lose this war, the consequences for American civilization will be dire.

Phase one of this war I describe is a propaganda blitzkrieg that is eerily reminiscent of how effectively the Goebbels propaganda machine softened up the German people for what was to come.

There is no better term than propaganda blitzkrieg to describe what has been unleashed against Christian conservatives recently.

Consider the long list of anti-Christian books that have been published in the past few years.

Lapin then offers a list of book titles that, in fact, focus on "the Christian Right" and "Christian fundamentalism" -- not Christianity as a whole. Lapin can't be bothered to engage in the arguments in in any of those books; instead he goes Godwin (and whatever the Muslim equivalent of Godwin is) again:

What is truly alarming is that there are more of these books for sale at your local large book store warning against the perils of fervent Christianity than those warning against the perils of fervent Islam. Does anyone seriously think America is more seriously jeopardized by Christian conservatives than by Islamic zealots? I fear that many Americans believe just that in the same way that many pre-World War II Western intellectuals considered Churchill a bigger threat to peace than Hitler.

Lapin then served up another dishonest argument: "Second, major movements that changed the way Americans felt and acted came about through books, often only one book. Think of Rachel Carson’s 1962 error-filled Silent Spring that resulted in the pointless banning of the insecticide DDT and many unnecessary deaths." Needless to say, Lapin never outlines thesupposed errors in Carson's book; as we documented, Carson didn't actually advocate for the banning of DDT in "Silent Spring" -- she criticized its overuse -- but the chemical does have a detrimental effect on the environment, and it has been so overused that many mosquitoes have become resistant to it, bearing out Carson's claims about it.

The rest of his column is little more than scare tactics, warning that if "they" succeed, "Christianity will be driven underground, and its benign influence on the character of America will be lost," resulting in "a long night of barbarism" in the West.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT
Saturday, March 21, 2020
The Hillary Derangement Virus Continues To Rage At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Just because the nation is in the midst of a coronavirus doesn't mean that the Media Research Center can't spend some time flaring up its old, lingering, increasingly irrational hatred for Hillary Clinton. And the release of a documentary about her was as good an excuse as any to indulge in another round of Hillary Derangement Syndrome.

Aiden Jackson was first up in a March 6 post:

The oozing admiration for Democratic politicians is never so tangible in the press as when Hillary Clinton hits the talk-show circuit. Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday’s Tonight Show shared in the media acclaim for Clinton’s newest Hulu Docu-series, Hillary.

Fallon made a point to hit all of the liberal sweet spots throughout the course of the interview, including a potshot at President Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus hysteria: “Were you surprised with how the Trump Administration handled it?”

"Coronavirus hysteria"? That didn't age well.

Jackson went on to sneer about how Clinton "bloviated" and engaged in "dishonesty." This was followed by a post from Scott Whitlock attacking the documentary  over a stdatement Bill Clinton made in it regarding the Monica Lewinsky scandal and surprisingly not slamming Hillary for her mere existence.

The abject venom against Hillary that has been inculcated in MRC employees surfaced most conspicuously in a March 10 post by Alexa Moutevelis aobut hate-watching the documentary. She sneered that it was a "four-hour slog" and hissed: "Although rewatching her 2016 concession speech and crying supporters was a highlight, this being a show about the Clintons, the series was filled with lowlights.

In an apparent signal that the Hillary-hate mandate came straight from the top, Tim Graham devoted his March 11 column to bashing the documentary, which he claims to have watched all of:

This is Hillary Clinton’s take...for hours and hours. She dominates the entire spectacle. It’s a 253-minute therapy session, as Hillary still fails to come to grips with the fact that she narrowly lost in 2016.

[...]

Every Clinton scandal is dismissed, if it’s even mentioned. Whitewater was “ridiculous.” Filegate and Travelgate are mentioned once in passing. Making $100,000 in cattle futures in Little Rock was never mentioned, even as they showed her 1994 press conference to “explain” it. Benghazi? There was “nothing there.” There was no time for the Clinton Foundation, or Uranium One. The private e-mail server? Standard procedure.

[...]

At the end of four hours of whining and victimhood, Hillary’s last words are “I have no regrets. I am a very grateful person.” That’s also false. Hillary sat for 35 hours of interviews, so there was even more venting than what’s been unloaded here.

Why this epic rehash? Let’s guess Hillary thinks she should be running for re-election right now, and she wants all eyes back on her. Just like her nemesis Richard Nixon, she’s always seeking to rehabilitate her image. Just like Nixon, she never will.

You may remember that we've gotten into it with Graham over his refusal to admit that so-called scandals like Travelgate were manufactured by conservatives (for instance, independent counsel Robert Ray found that the Clinton White House was well within its rights to fire Billy Dale and White House travel office staff and install its own people).

Graham also complained that the documentary is "a 253-minute therapy session, as Hillary still fails to come to grips with the fact that she narrowly lost in 2016." This from a guy who has failed to come to grips with the fact that Hillary even exists.

That's four posts largely about a documentary -- and a person -- they desperately wish didn't exist. But the MRC also found non-documentary-related reasons to spew venom at Hillary during this time as well. Alexander Hall used a March 8 post to complain that Clinton "blasted Facebook for enabling disinformation while using the mainstream liberal media to misinform viewers." That "misinformation"? That President Trump called the coronavirus a "hoax," something that the MRC has also been obsessed with.As per apparent MRC corporate policy, Hall couldn't help but add a sneering comment: "Maybe viewers should at least take heart that she spoke for more than a minute without mentioning Russia."

Then, in a March 10 post, Scott Whitlock whined that Hillary was among the "Democrats (elected or otherwise) or liberal activists or left-leaning feminists" to whom Time magazine retroactively gave a "Woman of the Year" designation, but only three conservatives.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
Your Weekly Mychal Massie Meltdown
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I've concluded that "Out of Africa" is more than a Meryl Streep movie about adultery and fornication with Robert Redford, lions, tigers and Africans as a backdrop.

Considering the craziness of many blacks, "Out of Africa" is a Satanic, parasitic hallucinogenic that was found in carrion, ingested by animals, which were later killed and eaten by Africans. The Satanic psychotropic once consumed by the Africans had wide-ranging generational periods of incubation before destroying the mental and emotional stability of those recognized today as African Americans. This demonic psychotropic has consumed the mind of great numbers of these so-called African Americans, leaving them spiritually dead in a fog of hatred and mind-numbing envy that is self-limiting.

It's that which I proffered above, or many so-called African Americans are born with an evil spirit or develop a spirit of acrimony that can only be defined as Satanic.

I've long argued that the antipathy many so-called African Americans derive such great delight in voicing, is anti-God. There's nothing scriptural or biblical about it. It's a manic form of hebephrenia that's responsible for driving near uncountable numbers of these people to prejudice.

It would be bad enough if this Satanic psychotropic infected only African Americans; but it has spread with an ecclesiastical virility not witnessed since the spread of Gnosticism in the early church.

-- Mychal Massie, March 2 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Friday, March 20, 2020
MRC Wrongly Attacks Reporter Who Accurately Noted How Conservatives Downplayed Coronavirus
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alex Christy complained in a March 9 post:

Washington Post reporter (and PBS Washington Week host) Robert Costa joined MSNBC Live guest host Kasie Hunt on Monday to talk about the coronavirus. After mentioning that two Republican members of Congress, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar are self-quarantining out of an abundance of caution after someone at CPAC tested positive for the virus. Costa claimed that only now are conservatives taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.

[...]

Costa replied by first talking by repeating a claim that was debunked over a week ago, "It's a fluid situation because it was just a few weeks ago that at the CPAC conference you had many conservatives calling this entire coronavirus situation a hoax."

He claimed that only, "Now that has the virus has hit some attendees in terms of their -- them being affected by the person there who had it, you have conservatives and Republicans talking about this in a new way." The White House task force on the matter was created on January 29, back when MSNBC was still obsessed with impeachment. and a month before CPAC.

Despite Christy's headline assertion that Costa "wrongly" claimed conservatives discounted the coronavirus until someone at CPAC tested positive, he never actually proves Costa wrong; the creation of a White HOuse task force is not a reflection of conservatives as a whole. 

For actual evidence of conservative downplaying coronavirus, we need go no further than the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com. Here are a few CNS items from late February and early March that aimed to downplay the effects of coronavirus:

Additionally, CNS downplayed its severity by accusing Democrats of wanting to "open the spending spigot" to fight it and gave space to right-wing radio host Mark Levin to rant that Democrats and the media just want to "attack, blame, and politicize."

Oh, and CNS never did a story on the CPAC participants who were exposed to coronavirus, even though the MRC had a presence there and, thus, had employees who were potentially exposed.

Looks a lot like downplaying to us.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EDT
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's a new year, so there are new opportunities for CNSNews.com to relentlessly plug its favorite right-wing radio host (with whom it may or may not have a cross-promotion deal with), Mark Levin.

After finishing out 2019 unusually slow -- thus denying Levin a third straight year of more than 100 articles about him -- CNS picked up the page in January and February:

That's 13 articles in the first two months of 2020.

While we're here, let's address CNS parent Media Research Center leader Brent Bozell's dopey comment -- linked above since he made it on Levin's radio show -- about public radio stations vs. Levin affiliates:

“Why one needs to have three NPR stations in Washington, DC; four in New York City, six in Seattle – and the list goes on and on. Why not just have one station in each city?

“But, then, it hits me. Wait a minute: this is National Public Radio – why don’t we have only one station for national public radio, not one thousand.

“And, I thought, well look, if you’re going to have a thousand NPR stations, I think we need to have one thousand Mark Levin stations.

For all his attacks on public radio, Bozell clearly doesn't understand how it works. NPR is not a monolithic national network with a 24-hour format that all its stations must air; in fact it owns no radio stations. All are locally owned, most are owned by college and universities and the rest by community based boards or public TV operations. As NPR further explains:

Each Member Station determines its own format and schedule. In creating their broadcast schedule, Member Stations have several options. They may choose to select from NPR programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered or Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!; pick up programs distributed by other public radio producers, stations or networks; and/or create their own local programming. Stations create their schedules based on the interests and needs of their local audience. Some stations focus on news and information while others follow a music format – with programming ranging from classical, to jazz, to AAA or world music.

Let's look at the formats of the NPR affiliates in the Washington, D.C., area (Bozell claims there are three; NPR lists two). One station appears to run a large selection of NPR-provided news and talk content, while the other is very heavy on classical music and related original programming and appears to air little NPR-generated content.

Bozell's other claim that  there should be "only one station for national public radio" is even more ridiculous; the average FM radio station has a broadcast radius of 40 miles, so one station can't cover the entire country. Apparently Bozell thinks radio is like cable TV.

Bozell made sure to make Levin look like a victim by omitting the fact that Levin's show airs on approximately 400 radio stations across the U.S., so he has nothing to complain about. Further, all of NPR's affiliates are nonprofit stations, which have different FCC license requirements than the commercial radio stations on which Levin's show airs.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Thursday, March 19, 2020
MRC Stealth-Edits Post After Trump Signs On To Idea It Had Called 'INSANE'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez wrote a March 17 post with the blaring headline "FREE MONEY? CNBC Boosts Romney’s INSANE Coronavirus Plan to Give EVERY American $1,000" that began: "CNBC apparently had no problem treating Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) insane coronavirus plan to give “every” American $1,000 as a rational idea."

But shortly thereafter, the word "INSANE" disappeared from both the headline and first paragraph:

What happened? Well, around the time Vazquez's post went up on NewsBusters, Presient Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin effectively endorsed Romney's idea by stating during that day's coronavirus brief that they were considering issuing such payments to Americans to provide immediate relief to those affected by the coronavirus crisis.With that endorsement, Romney's plan ceased being "insane."

There's also the fact that the MRC, as a pro-Trump propaganda outlet, cannot be seen as criticizing anything Trump has endorsed.

The MRC did not disclosed to readers that the post was edited, despite the fact it regularly attacks other media outlets for "stealth editing" items. The word "insane" remains in the item's URL, however.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:57 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2020 4:08 PM EDT
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has long abandoned his self-declared deficit-hawk position by refusing to single out President Trump by name for his role in expanding federal deficits. He couldn't even be bothered to complain about a massive spending bill he would have certainly squawked about if a Democrat was president.

In a Feb. 12 article, Jeffrey did his monthly piece on how "The federal government set records for both the amount of taxes it collected and the amount of money it spent in the first four months of fiscal 2020 (October through January)." As usual, the words "Trump" and "Republican" are absent, and Jeffrey threw in his favorite stock photo impage of Trump and Nancy Pelosi, as if Pelosi bore equal blame for the situation even though she controls only one-half of Congress and none of he Executive Branch.

Jeffrey repeated the pattern in a March 11 article: rewriting the first paragraph to add February, no mention of Trump or Republicans, another misleading stock photo of Trump and Pelosi.

It's almost as if Jeffrey is afraid to admit that these growing federal deficits he so vociferously loathed when Barack Obama was president are occurring under a Republican, since doing so would run counter to his "news" operation's even more vociferous pro-Trump editorial agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS On Impeachment, Part 3: Ridiculousness
Topic: CNSNews.com
More bias! More copy-and-paste boilerplate! The most ridiculous defenses of Trump presented with a straight face! CNSNews.com knows how to protect its favorite president. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EDT
MRC Mad That GOP Congressman's Clown Move Was Called A 'Clown Move'
Topic: Media Research Center

Kathleen Krumhansl comlained in a March 6 MRC Latino post that an CNN en Español anchor described Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz's stunt of wearing a gas mask on the House floor a "clown move":

As COVID-19 continues to spread, so do the insidious comments by the likes of CNN En Español anchor Juan Carlos Lopez, who turned a report on the correct preventive measures to take against the virus into an opportunity to call U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz a clown for wearing a gas mask to work. 

Take a look at this video from Directo USA´s March 5, 2020 edition, featuring Surgeon General Jerome Adams as he addressed The Latino Coalition:

[...]

Two things stand: First, that instead of passing on the valuable information offered by the Surgeon General, CNN En Espanõl opted to mock a Republican congressman  who evidently believed he was doing the right thing, that is preventing the spread of the virus hyped by the media trying to blame Trump for its spread.

Second, anchor Juan Carlos Lopez snarkily exemplifies the liberal media’s pettiness. In this case, CNN En Español deliberately displays their political agenda- in direct conflict with the safety and wellbeing of the very public they serve.

Krumhansl is apparently giving Gaetz a pass for his gas-mask stunt because she thinks he "evidently believed he was doing the right thing" by mocking the media's purported overhype of coronavirus concerns. But subsequent events have made it clear that the media was correct in warning of the danger of coronavirus and that mocking it was, indeed, a clown move.

The clownish nature of Gaetz's stunt was further borne out by the fact that just a few days later, a person living in his congressional district died from coronavirus, and shortly after that Gaetz himself went into self-quarantine after possibly being exposed to coronavirus at CPAC, a prominent conservative gathering.

Don't expect Krumhansl to update her post or admit that events have shown that Gaetz really was a clown for doing this.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EDT
WND Columnist Misleads To Defend Pence
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerry Newcombe complained in his March 3 WorldNetDaily column:

After President Trump named Vice President Pence last week to lead the nation's battle against the coronavirus, many in the media decried the choice because supposedly Mike Pence "doesn't believe in science." How could he? He's a Christian. So the logic goes.

They mock along the lines of: Maybe he just wants to pray the virus away.

Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel quipped, "Why is Mike Pence in charge? What is his plan to stop the virus, abstinence?"

Writing for mediaite.com (Feb. 26), Reed Richardson noted, "President Donald Trump's decision to task Mike Pence with heading up the federal government's coronavirus response triggered an immediate backlash as critics noted the vice president's record of doubting scientific evidence and his role in exacerbating an HIV outbreak in Indiana while he was governor."

Richardson argues that Pence allegedly did a poor job in quelling the HIV outbreak in Indiana because for two days, he canceled a needle-exchange program, and supposedly during those two days, the HIV "infection rates exploded." After praying about it, Pence relented. An explosion of new cases in just two days?

Newcombe is lying -- that's not what the Mediaite article said. This is what it said:

Trump said Pence has “a certain talent for this” and specifically cited the “Indiana model” in the Wednesday evening press conference where he named his VP to run the coronavirus response. But as this extensive New York Times report detailed in 2016, the staunch conservative Pence’s health policies helped ignite a massive public health crisis in his state when he shut down a needle exchange program that had severely curtailed the spread of HIV. Virus infection rates exploded, and Pence — two days after he said he would pray on the matter — relented and reinstated the program.

The article very clearly states that HIV infection rates "exploded" after he shut down a needle exchange program -- and before Pence took his two-day prayer sabbatical to  decided to reinstate it. But the situation was actually worse: As researchers reported in Politico, victims could not easily learn their HIV status because Pence supported budget cuts to a Planned Parenthood clinic that happened to be the only HIV testing provider in the area, the state took more than a month to inform local officials about an HIV surge, and it was not until a month after that that Pence finally approved a needle exchange -- which he then undermined by signing a bill that increased punishment for people carrying needles and made possession of a syringe wiht intent to commit an offense a felony. A preventable HIV outbreak was mismanaged, researchers concluded.

The rest of Newcombe's column was dedicated to defending Pence against the "canard that Christians are somehow anti-science," insisting that "The founder of every major branch of science was a Bible-believing Christian of one stripe or another."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EDT

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