Republican Rep. Devin Nunes was in cleanup mode, but you'd never know it by reading Susan Jones' March 17 article about him:
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) says there's no reason for Americans to be standing in long lines for food when there is no shortage of it in this country.
Nunes blamed the media for stoking panic that produces crowded grocery stores at a time when health experts are urging all of us to avoid crowds:
"These media freaks don't have a clue what's going on out in the real world," Nunes told Fox News's Sean Hannity Monday night.
We have a problem out here because we have people standing in line for 45 minutes at Costco. What I was saying is, you have empty restaurants. You can go through the drive-thru or do take-out. It's a great place to go.
The media freaks can do what they want. They are endangering lives here by continuing this panic when we have no food shortage in this country. The farmers of America produce an abundant food supply. We have more food than we can eat in this country. And We have to stop panicking and ensure that people know they don't have to wait in a line at Costco for 30, 45 minutes. They need to stay calm.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Sunday morning urged people to go to bars and restaurants, even while Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, was on other shows urging the opposite. Trump then on Monday echoed Fauci, saying the administration was urging people to “avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and public food courts.”
That left Nunes with some cleanup work to do. So he took to the friendly confines of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, where he tried to suggest he was talking about takeout — not actually eating at the restaurant.
“So what I was saying is you have empty restaurants, you can go through the drive-through, you can do takeout. It’s a great place to go,” Nunes said. “The media freaks can do what they want, but they’re endangering lives here by continuing this panic when we have no food shortage in this country.”
It’s a clarification that might have been nice in the 36 hours between his initial comments and his Hannity interview, but Nunes’s office didn’t respond to multiple requests from The Washington Post for further comment.
It’s also a clarification that doesn’t really hold water.
In his comments on Fox News on Sunday morning, Nunes had this to say: “If you’re healthy — you and your family — it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant. Likely you can get in easy. … Go to your local pub.”
So Jones wouldn't tell you that Nunes was on Fox News in an attempt to clean up earlier remarks. Instead, she acted like a good right-wing apparatchik, seizing on Nunes' "media freaks" diversionary comment to claim that "Examples of media hysteria play out daily on television, especially on the liberal cable networks."
One example of "hysteria" she cited was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying on CNN, "You take any numerical projections on any of the models and our health care system has no capacity to deal with it. We in New York have 3,000 ICU beds. In case you don't understand, intensive care unit beds. We already use 60. We need multiples of that."
Given that Cuomo's predictions have largely borne out, shouldn't Jones apologize to him for falsely accusing him of engaging in "hysteria"?
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now? Topic: Media Research Center
As the world descended into a coronavirus pandemic, the Media Research Center made sure to stay on-message bycontinuing its rich tradition of freaking out over anything remotely non-hateful of the LGBT community.
Alexa Moutevelis was outraged that a reboot of "Walker: Texas Ranger" will give the title character a "gay, conservative younger brother," grumbling that the show undoubtedly "will have plenty of opportunity to explore his gay personal life for audiences to watch" and sneering, "No word yet on if there will be a trans or non-binary character, but you can be sure something like will be a nice little Easter egg in there, too.
The nonbinary meltdowns continued over the show Fox show "Deputy." Rebecca Downs got upset when one character was revealed to be nonbinary and was dedicated to "living one's truth," huffing that the show is spreading "lies about biology in the name of some social justice warrior crusade": "The biology is clear that there are two sexes. There's also no "living one's truth." One is either a man or a woman." A couple weeks later, Downs complained that the show "tried to insert the issue into the series plotline again" and that another character "acted like it's all normal."
Lindsey Kornick huffed that another Disney+ series has "given in to the gay community" and that it "dives headfirst into LGBT propaganda by turning one of its main characters gay." She declared: "The Disney of old used to be about entertaining the masses. Let’s hope it’s not too late to return to that." It's indicative of Kornick's (and the MRC's) anti-gay bigotry that she think the mere mention of gay people is not family-friendly.
Recently, a prominent married politician was found in a hotel room with a gay male escort. That politician was the Democratic star Andrew Gillum, who almost beat Ron DeSantis in Florida's 2018 gubernatorial race. But in the fevered mind of Hollywood writers, it can only be a hypocritical Christian conservative who has something to hide.
The latest entry in "hypocritical Christian conservative" tropes appeared in Showtime's series Black Monday, in the episode "Mixie-Dixie," on March 15.
Democrats have provided numerous examples of shocking political sex scandals, from former President Bill Clinton to the recent example of Gillum. Yet for Hollywood writers, the only good sex scandal is one committed by a conservative, preferably a character who professes to be a devout Christian and believer in traditional values.
Kornick complained that the "Amazing Stories" reboot fell into a "propaganda trap by delivering a gay love story," further huffing: "Amazing Stories is supposed to be a show that inspires viewers with uplifting stories by upcoming filmmakers. Instead, it offers more opportunities for leftists to push their worldview on others. Only the most obsessive liberal would find that 'amazing.'" Says someone who's trying to push her right-wing worldview on others.
And Gabriel Hays felt the need to remind us how much he hates drag queens and is utterly gleeful that one of the "silver linings" of the pandemic is that drag shows have gotten shut down along with everything else:
You know, the coronavirus “social distancing” measures don’t have to be all bad. There are silver linings to some of this limbo, one being that the LGBTQ community has to slow down its offenses against our sensibilities.
Both the Hollywood gay lobby (GLAAD) and drag queens have reported hits to their respective lines of work. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation had to cancel its annual awards show because of coronavirus and famous drag queens are lamenting the lack of people coming to their shows because of quarantine.
Hey, at least kids all over the country can be safe from drag queen story hour for a month, and by the grace of God we have a reprieve from listening to another Taylor Swift lecture.
Yeah, well again, maybe a national break from drag queens is a good thing. All the viral videos of them sexualizing kids as young as nine-months-old are proof that maybe from certain perspectives, quarantine might be good.
Wait -- doesn't the MRC hate the idea of people finding "silver linings" from the coronavirus pandemic? More MRC hypocrisy.
A Child's Garden of WND Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Topic: WorldNetDaily
A more plausible explanation is that the virus was developed by China. At least that's what my Chinese driver told me after picking me up at the airport in Australia.
He told me quite emphatically that COVID-19 was man-made, developed as a weapon by Chinese scientists.
When I asked him where he learned this, he replied, "The internet."
But, he was quick to add, the YouTuber he followed was a former Chinese official with excellent, inside intelligence.
A few days later, a friend of mine in New York City, who is a pastor, shared a similar theory with me.
He said that a well-placed friend, formerly a higher-up in the FBI, told him that China developed the virus to hurt the American economy, thereby hurting Trump. And this was in retaliation against Trump for pushing back against China's trade policies.
The Great Coronavirus Panic of 2020 is being breathlessly stoked by Democrats and major media. They are using the panic they themselves induce to attack President Trump, claiming he has failed to adequately address the disease. Where the president has acted, those measures are criticized by Democrats and the media. His request for money was criticized as too little and his travel bans are prompting liberal outrage as xenophobic and too extreme. The left has positioned themselves to collect political dividends no matter what happens with the coronavirus. If the virus becomes a major public health disaster, Democrats can attack the president as incompetent and play see-I-told-you-so. If it amounts to nothing, as many believe it will, Democrats will claim credit for forcing the president to act. In any event, the circumstances are being pushed with few facts to support the draconian measures being taken.
Just as with the Russian collusion hoax, the level of hyperbole and hysteria surrounding the coronavirus panic is masking a lack of specific details that should give pause to those leading the organizations, universities, companies and governments shutting down activity. And it is impossible not to notice those advocating the loudest for the most extreme measures at every level of society have been the most vocal critics of the president. Just as with the legend of Russian collusion, liberal political professionals and members of the media gleefully parse and predict the bounty to be gained by Democrats and the political damage to President Trump as a result of coronavirus and its impact on the economy.
Will anti-Semites, like those in the "Squad," reject a COVID-19 vaccine if it is developed by Israel?
With their obvious hatred of everything Israel, will the women of the Squad reject a vaccine if it is developed by Israel? And by the way, it is looking pretty promising that Israel is on track to do just that.
Will they demand that the United States "boycott" the use of the vaccine and encourage their supporters to do the same? Will their anti-Semitic buddy and Shariah-lover Linda Sarsour follow suit and insist that no Muslim take the vaccine?
This all sounds silly, considering the severity of the coronavirus, but it's not. If these women, who have publicly espoused their contempt for the Jewish nation, are to be consistent, shouldn't this be the path they follow?
Many reputable people and organizations have come to the conclusion that this crisis began when a Chinese biological weapons facility accidentally released the COVID-19 virus into the atmosphere.
[W]hy did these spy agencies not alert President Trump at the earliest, after a proper use of surveillance, to the threat posed by this apparent leak in a Chinese biological weapons laboratory in Wuhan?
Could it be that they are either completely incompetent, a real possibility given their failure to confirm the lack of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, or did they withhold this intelligence to create a crisis that could ultimately cost The Donald reelection in 2020? Given that loyal minions of Obama's intelligence czars John Brennan, former CIA director, and James Clapper, former DNI, are still embedded in these intelligence agencies, the latter is more than mere speculation. Having failed to remove the president as a result of the Russian and Ukrainian witch hunts and ensuing impeachment proceedings, by allowing for a major health crisis to take hold, causing a free fall in our stock market and our economy, this is one way for the Deep State in the intelligence agencies and FBI to accomplish their nefarious ends.
A student from UNC, a senior, explained to me today that he thinks the coronavirus was developed in a lab in Wuhan, China, and set lose deliberately to let world leaders know what China is capable of doing to the world economy. He added that China has other virus strains and is using the threat of releasing them as extortion against the Western world. He thinks the key Western world leaders are all aware.
Would China do that? Would China kill a few thousand of its own people to make its point?
That student had at least 10 pieces of evidence to support his theory. He did exhaustive research. He pointed out how lying to the Western world is acceptable to Communist leaders. Killing their own people is also acceptable. The end justifies the means.
First things first. First we need to get rid of the virus. Then take inventory of the damage to the economy, fix it and then counterattack. Just like in any war. Stop the bleeding; take and fix inventory; counterattack. China cannot be allowed development of bio-chemical warfare.
MRC Censors Fact That Trump Himself Discredited Its Latest Anti-Media Narrataive Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained in a April 2 post:
Since Tuesday, liberal journalists on CNN and MSNBC have been teaming up with elected Democrats to shoot down the notion that their collective obsession with impeaching President Trump slowed the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The biased coverage argued the “talking point” was “dangerous” and predicted that it would not “pick up much traction.”
During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leveled the charge: “[Coronavirus] came up while we were tied down in an impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of, uh, the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment.”
On CNN’s The Situation Room that evening, White House correspondent Jim Acosta fretted: “Top Republicans are pushing back on the notion that the President failed to prepare the nation for the crisis, arguing he was tied up with the impeachment trial.” He then attempted to offer a supposed fact-check: “But hold on, here’s the reality. The President was acquitted on February 5th, five days before he declared at a rally that the virus would quickly disappear.”
For journalists at CNN and MSNBC to not even be willing to entertain the idea that the massive amount of time they devoted to the Democrats’ futile impeachment crusade might have distracted the country from the spread of COVID-19 throughout China and the world in December, January, and early February is astonishing.
Reporters should always be skeptical – of both our leaders and themselves.
But Drennen didn't tell MRC readers that this narrative was completely undermined by none other than President Trump himself:
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t have acted more swiftly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic even if he hadn’t been impeached, blowing up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) defense of him.
“Did it divert my attention? I think I’m getting A pluses for the way I handled myself during a phony impeachment,” Trump said during his daily press briefing on the coronavirus.
He told reporters that even though he “certainly devoted a little time thinking about it,” House Democrats’ impeachment of him in December did not affect how he dealt with the outbreak.
“I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached, okay?” Trump said. “And I think that’s a great tribute to something, maybe it’s a tribute to me, but I don’t think I would have acted any differently, or I don’t think I would have acted any faster.”
Drennen surely knew that Trump said this -- after all, he did so more than a day before Drennen's item was posted -- yet he chose not to include it in his item. Why? PRobably because he wouldn't have had an item otherwise.
For this hiding of inconvenient facts to advance a political agenda, reporters and non-reporters alike should be always be skeptical of anything the MRC does.
Bias: CNS Continues To Try And Make Biden Look Silly Topic: CNSNews.com
We'vedocumented the CNSNews.com template for covering Democratic presidential candidates: attack them relentlessly if they start to gain momentum among voters. Joe Biden was the most recent to get that rush of negative coverage. Even as coronavirus has become the story of the year, CNS has not stopped writing about Biden with spin to deliberately make him look bad.
An anonymously written March 13 article took a Biden comment on coronavirus out of context to up the ridiculous factor with the headline "Joe Biden Advises Americans to Stop Hugging Each Other."That was joined by another anonymous article claiming that Biden "is promising as part of his 'education' plan to send what he calls “child development specialists” into the homes of Americans who have young children. The program was initiated under Obamacare." Ooh, scary!
A March 16 article by Susan Jones went for old-fashioned right-wing scare tactics with the headline "Biden Would Immediately End All Deportations, Except for Felons." That was followed by another anonymously written article which focused on Biden having "vowed that he and Sen. Bernie Sanders 'share a common vision.'"
From there, it was a group of articles by Jones that vascillated between making Biden look either ridiculous and scary:
Then it was back to anonymity for an April 2 article complaining that Biden issued a tweet in Spanish urging people to complete their census forms. The anonymous writer huffed: "Biden did provide an English version of his tweet for Americans who do not know Spanish. But he did not send out the Tweet in Ukrainian or Chinese--or any other languages other than Spanish and English," but did not explain why Biden should issue his statement in every possible language.
It's abundantly clear that CNS has no interest in reporting fairly on Biden, just as it has no interest in reporting critically on President Trump.
MRC Bashes Media Outlets For Noting Coronavirus Silver Lining -- But Not Its Own Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has regularly complained whenever anyone noted a side effect of the coronavirus pandemic being a reduction in pollution and emissions:
A March 13 post by Brad Wilmouth complained that "Christiane Amanpour echoed climate alarmists who have suggested that the Coronavirus has been good for the climate by depressing human activity as she suggested there has been a 'silver lining' for the environment in China."
On March 19, Scott Whitlock huffed: "Talk about tone deaf. CBS This Morning on Thursday attempted to report the upside to a global pandemic that is killing thousands" being lower emissions.
Joseph Vazquez complained on March 23: "Multiple liberal outlets have capitalized on the coronavirus outbreak to push climate change propaganda. The essential message: Hey, at least pollution is down." He added, "The liberal media’s taste for infusing climate change propaganda into a global pandemic apparently knows no bounds."
Kyle Drennen groused on April 1: "NBC weatherman Al Roker joined some of his other liberal media colleagues in trying to find a 'silver lining'amid the coronavirus pandemic, namely that the deadly disease was improving the climate by forcing people to stay home.," adding; "Even as thousands around the world continue to suffer and die from COVID-19, liberal journalists can’t help pushing their environmental agenda."
By contrast, the MRC's very own "news" organization, CNSNews.com, has been similarly touting silver linings to the pandemic -- reframed as "blessings." Michael W. Chapman wrote in a March 23 article:
In her spiritual message for March 23, Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of the late Pastor Billy Graham, said there may be a "blessing in the coronavirus" in that God is perhaps using the pandemic "to get our attention so that we will listen to His message," and that this will spark a "national spiritual renewal."
"It’s time to pray! It’s time to turn away from our sin, self-centeredness and secularism, and turn to God in faith and trust. Now," said Anne Graham Lotz.
"Could the silver lining in the black cloud of the coronavirus be this?" asked Graham. "That it causes America to look up and listen to what God has to say, and therefore becomes the trigger for a national spiritual revival? May it be so!"
The same day, CNS published a column by Rev. Michael Orsi headlined "Sex Trade Slowdown and Other Blessings Behind the Fear," in which he claimed that "If we look behind the fear of coronavirus currently gripping the nation, we can spot a few genuine blessings," listing among them that it "has provided an occasion for us to reflect on life and death — and some of the big issues related to those. We should think about what it means to be human, how we should be living as a community, what we owe each other as neighbors, and what we really believe," adding that "those who come through may see new value in human existence. They may rediscover faith. They may come to a new relationship with God."
The next day, a CNS column by Hannah Harrison carried the headline "Quarantines Remind That He Is Still God" and declared: "Maybe this mania is a wake up call to the soccer mommas, the workaholic daddies, the busy kiddos, and the on-the-go college student. Two weeks, two months, or two years is nothing compared to the eternity we must behold with our Savior above. Instead of worrying what tomorrow will bring, maybe a quarantine is a head start exalting the One who is one the throne both today and forever."
If only the MRC held its own "news" division to the standards it tries to enforce on the "liberal media."
NEW ARTICLE: The Great CNS Pile-On Topic: CNSNews.com
When a Democrat or liberal commits a politically exploitable peccadillo, CNSNews.com floods the zone. It doesn't do that for negative stories about conservatives. Read more >>
Is Wayne Allyn Root Disappearing From Newsmax? Topic: Newsmax
It's been a bad month for Newsmax TV host and columnist Wayne Allyn Root.
He started relatively strong with a couple of attacks on Joe Biden, the latter pushing the right-wing smear that Biden has purportedly "suffered possible diminished mental capacity and cognitive decline," not to mention "senility, or early onset dementia." He wrote another column that began, "I’m the ultimate positive thinker. I’m also very cynical. You can be both. My favorite saying is, 'Expect the best, prepare for the worst.'"
But Root may not have prepared for what happened to him over the past couple weeks.
Media Matters caught Root downplaying coronavirus as "no different than the flu" on his Newsmax TV show, and he has used his TV and radio platforms to promote a scammy "therapeutic silver solution" that he and its manufacturer have suggested cures coronavirus.A few days after that revelation, the newspaper in his hometown of Las Vegas dropped his column, and the New York attorney general ordered Root to cease and desist from making misleading medical claims.
It appears he has lost his Newsmax platform as well. Media Matters' Eric Hananoki reported that Root's show had disappeared from the Newsmax TV scheduled; since then, the Newsmax TV page on Root's show has gone blank. Root hasn't published a column at Newsmax since March 20, despite articles continuing to appear on his personal website. (A post-Newsmax column appeared at the Gateway Pundit, illustrating how far he's falling.) He appears to still have his radio show as of this writing, syndicated by USA Radio Networks.
Neither Root nor Newsmax appear to have made a public statement about the apparent dissoluton of their relationship, but all evidence so far indicates it's over between them.
We've noted his aggressive Trump-o-phila, as well as his extreme hatred of President Obama, in his work at Newsmax.
MRC's Graham Attcks Doc That Exposes Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories (That The MRC Helped Advance) Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham is a terrible media critic. The main tell is that whenever anyone criticizes the conservative media that he works in, he quickly descends into deflection and whataboutism rather than responding to the criticism itself.
Case in point: Graham's March 20 post on "After Truth," the HBO documentary produced by villainous (in the MRC's eyes, anyway) CNN host Brian Stelter that examines largely right-wing conspiracy theories propagated through conservative media:
Anyone who heard Brian Stelter was producing a documentary on "fake news" for HBO titled After Truthcan imagine what they would receive. Anyone watching it finds nothing in it that’s very surprising. Stelter’s employers (current and past) at CNN and The New York Times are the Verifiers of Fact, fighting against a shameless “right-wing” army of misinformation profiteers.
Large chunks of time are devoted to the most notorious “right-wingers,” toxic Alex Jones of InfoWars and the unscrupulous duo of Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl, often battling with Oliver Darcy, Stelter's CNN colleague. They are far more interested in being notorious than getting it right. But if all they want is attention – isn’t HBO aiding them in seeking infamy?
I’m with Julio Rosas in noting what Team CNN/NYT didn’t want to discuss: “nothing about the media's role in putting out false narratives like with the Steele Dossier, the Covington Catholic kids, their terrible reporting with Kavanaugh's accusers, and propping up people like Michael Avenatti.” (Who pushed a Kavanaugh accuser, of course.)
The Covington counterpoint is obvious because it emerged from the same social-media swirl they're ranting against, only from the Left.
The Covington story was corrected within a day and is a non-issue everywhere but the MRC can't stop using it as a cudgel to push its agenda (not to mention the Covington kids' money-hungry lawyers suing everyone in sight for alleged defamation).
Note also that Graham, instead of responding to anything stated in the documentary, complained that he didn't follow his agenda. That's classic whataboutism.
Graham tried for whataboutism later in his post: "HBO might want to look in the mirror on spreading hateful conspiracy theories. Trump's going to declare martial law? Doesn't Bill Maher sound like Alex Jones distorting Jade Helm on that one?"
One: Maher is a talk-show host, not a journalist. Two: You really wanna go there on Jade Helm, Tim? Because your employer treated it as a real thing.
In May 2015, Ken Shepherd complained that MSNBC host Chris Matthews opened his "Hardball" show with "a 12-minute segment denouncing "The Politics of Paranoia," referring to some Republican elected officials from Texas who have voiced concerns about a U.S. military training exercise in the Southwestern United States codenamed Jade Helm." A few days later, Tom Johnson appeared to approve of a writer for the liberal journal The Nation stating that the Jade Helm conspiracy theory "validates the paranoia" of right-wingers and drives conservative vorter turnout, so it doesn't even matter if it's true. A couple days after that, Melissa Mullins referenced "Jade Helm 15 – a military training exercise taking place in Texas. There’s been a conspiracy theory, most notably by InfoWars’ Alex Jones, that Jade Helm 15 was actually the beginning stages of initiating martial law in the United States. The conspiracy theory started to spiral and raise suspicion when several politicians began voicing concern."
None of these writers bothered to tell readers there was nothing to the Jade Helm conspiracy theory (which we had pointed out the month before). The MRC tacitly let it stand without comment, apparently in the hope that anything was worth advancing if it hurt President Obama and liberals in general.
WND Falsely Claims Researcher Revised Coronavirus Death Estimate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Moore wrote in a March 26 WorldNetDaily article:
The lead author of a dire coronavirus study cited by the White House, Downing Street and other governments in their decisions to urge or impose unprecendented lockdowns and "social distancing" has drastically revised the estimated death toll of the pandemic in the U.K.
The study by Imperial College of London published March 16estimated that 2.2 million Americans and 500,000 Britons could die.
Now, lead author Neil Ferguson has testified to a parliamentary committee that the U.K. death toll is unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower, reported the website New Scientist.
And more than half that number would have died anyway by the end of the year, because of their age and underlying illnesses, he told the panel on Wednesday.
The massive revision has significant implications for how governments are handling the pandemic.
But that's not true. As an actual news organization reported, Ferguson's high death estimate was based on no government action against coronavirus and still stands; the new estimate is based on restrictions in the U.K. that have now expanded into a full lockdown of the country. Ferguson himself explained it on Twitter.
Thing is, Moore knows that. But he led with the false revision claim and waited until the 13th paragraph to note Ferguson's tweets and claim that he was issuing a "clarification." But Moore then quoted a right-wing blogger to assert that "no one in the U.S. or the U.K. was advocating at the time that no measures be taken to control the spread of the virus."
WND is well into its third year of financial crisis, and it still hasn't apparently learned its less on about publishing misleading and fake news.
MRC Flails In Defending Fox News Against Charges It Pushed Coronavirus Misinfomation Topic: Media Research Center
In a Feb. 27 post, NewsBusters blogger Randy Hall gushed over how "Primetime was a great time for Fox News in February, when the channel drew its highest ratings ever and attracted an average of 3.5 million viewers during the second month of 2020.... the 44th consecutive month the FNC has been the most-watched channel in all of basic cable and a 218-month streak as the most-watched cable news network."
Since then, the Media Research Center has steadfastly defended Fox News against charges that the channel has put out misinformation on the coronavirus in service of its pro-Trump agenda -- not by refuting the charges, mind you, since they're basically true, but by playing a lot of whataboutism. Typical of that approach was Kyle Drennen's March 13 post: "MSNBC was eager to exploit the coronavirus to bash cable competitor Fox News, accusing the rival network of spreading “misinformation” about the disease and even endangering the lives of its viewers. The discussion took place on the same show that labeled the virus President Trump’s “Chernobyl” on Thursday.
A March 17 post by Curtis Houck engaged in more juvernile name-calling:
Between Monday night and early Tuesday morning, CNN political commentator Joe Lockhart and MSNBC/NBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner rhetorically molded and mounted on their heads matching tin-foil hats, insisting that the Fox News Channel and President Donald Trump should face “criminal” and “serious liability” for misinforming the public on the deadly nature of the coronavirus. In the latter’s case, he compared the President to murderers in Washington D.C. he threw in prison.
As a reminder, Lockhart was a Clinton White House Press Secretary while Kirschner was a longtime federal prosecutor and Army JAG officer. And now both offer takes that belong on a liberal equivalent of InfoWars. My how the mighty fall.
Houck added: "Someone alert Lockhart to what the likes of primetime host Tucker Carlson and straight-news reporters like Bret Baier, Shannon Bream, Bill Hemmer, Ed Henry, and Martha MacCallum. He probably views them all the same as the equivalent of news anchors on TASS, but you can’t fix ignorance." But Houck made no effort to reverse that alleged ignorance by citing any actual examples of their work.
Socialist MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday night kicked off his prime time show by snarling that competitor Fox News is “endangering your life” with Coronavirus “lies.” The Last Word host, who has himself politicized the virus, insisted that “Fox now takes the pandemic seriously.” But “the sudden switch to taking the pandemic seriously at Fox proves that Fox was lying about it deliberately for weeks and weeks when they were lying in the way they believed Donald Trump wanted them to lie.”
Whitlock didn't counter the claim, nor did he explain why he felt the need to label O'Donnell a "socialist" in a post that had nothing to do with the subject.
Brian Williams is angry at “freaky” Fox News, deriding the network for thinking we’re all “stupid.” The MSNBC late night host, a man who lost his NBC job for lying, on Thursday night attacked Fox for not being honest in its past coverage of the Coronavirus. Talking to Michael Steele, Williams ranted, “The other attempt to tell us what we ourselves saw and heard or did not see and hear really has, at its core assumption, that we must be stupid.”
After playing six words from the March 9 Hannity, in which Sean Hannity used the phrase “bludgeon Trump with this new hoax,” Williams marveled at “the speed with which the entire [Fox] crowd turned around just days ago.” The ex-Nightly News anchor, who falsely claimed his helicopter was shot down over Iraq, added, “And awoke with new seriousness, Fox coverage changed along with the President's verbiage. It was freaky to watch.”
As before, Whitlock failed to explain what bringing up Williams' long-ago sins -- twice! -- had anything to do with anything now beyong gratuitous piling on. He did, however, attempt a weak defense by pointing out that Hannity said other things on that show that didn't downplay the virus. Which, of course, doesn't exactly refute the fact that he did.
But in a March 27 column, Tim Graham effectively admitted that Fox News pushed misinformation, which he reframed as not buying into alleged hype about the virus from the "liberal media":
The liberal pack is prosecuting Fox for supposedly shoving Americans off a coronavirus cliff with “misinformation.” Then they equate “misinformation” with the argument that the pandemic gave the liberal media a new rationale to cripple President Trump politically.
That’s not “misinformation.“ It’s rock-solid, bank-on-it information.
Yes, it’s factually true that the president and the conservative media were suspicious of all the Worst Case Scenarios and expressed skepticism about the threat. Many of us were initially reluctant to be dragged into a massive government intervention. Then Italy happened.
Of course, that worst-case scenario basicaly came true. Don't expect an apology for that.
Graham and the rest of the MRC will never explicitly admit that Fox News did misinform -- that would require actual research, after all, and we know the MRC would never do anything in-depth on Fox News.
CNS Hides An Important Fact In Reporting On Rand Paul's Coronavirus Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has long been fans of Sen. Rand Paul over the years -- for instance, we've noted its insistence on quoting Paul on things like Syria, about which he's not necessarily known to have expertise, and we caught CNS writing around criticism of Paul to highlight his (bogus) defense of President Trump during the impeachment saga.
So when Paul announced he has tested positive for coronavirus, CNS served up sympathetic coverage -- with a certain peculiar angle. An anonymously written March 22 article made sure you know that Paul as "asymptomatic," putting it in the headline and twice in the brief article.
The next day, another anonymously written article made that claim again in stating that Paul, "who—although asymptomatic--has tested positive for the coronavirus, put out a statement this afternoon explaining that he had taken the test because he is at higher risk of complications from the disease because his lung was damaged a few years ago when he was attacked by a neighbor." It went on to quote Paul (twice) saying he was asymptomatic.
There's just one problem with that emphasis, though: A person can spread the coronavirus while asymptomatic, and it's entirely possible that Paul did just that before his diagnosis, since he failed to self-quarantine while waiting for test results to come back. Paul was defensive about it, insisting that he "did not meet the criteria for quarantine," then lectured, "Instead of hounding people who got tested and then quarantined themselves, perhaps we need to broaden the testing and quit the finger-wagging."
CNS didn't mention any of that stuff, of course; the latter article simply repeated his insistence that he didn't meet the quarantine criteria.
AIM President Puts Fake News In Rant Against Fake News Topic: Accuracy in Media
It's never a good look when your rant against "fake news" contains fake news. But Accuracy in Media (ironic!) president Adam Guillette pulled off that feat in his March 17 column:
The mainstream media is desperate to turn the coronavirus scare into President Donald Trump’s Hurricane Katrina. What does that mean? It means they’re motivated to overhype this story simply so they can pile as much pressure as possible onto the president.
As just one example, CNN is calling the outbreak a “pandemic”. Neither the World Health Organization nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined COVID-19 as a pandemic, but why should facts stand in the way of a media narrative?
In fact, WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 -- six days before Guillette's column was posted. It's not clear that the CDC even issues such a declaration.
Guillette went on to defend President Trump against criticism of his reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, declaring that "Trump is the head bureaucrat, not the head of medicine. Would you expect him to be toiling away in the West Wing in desperate search of a cure?"
For all of his ranting over "fake news," Guillette didn't actually cite any examples; even if he had, it's a certainty that Fox News' downplaying of the threat wouldn't have been mentioned. Still, he was eager to try and politicize the situation: "If we’re lucky, fake news will kill demand for nationalized health care. These bureaucratic bozos can’t get testing kits into the hands of doctors; they can’t manage a supply chain of face masks and Lysol. Would you really trust them if your loved one had cancer?"
MRC Attacks Abortion During Coronavirus -- But Defended Man Who Advocated Letting Elderly Die Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's alreadystrident rhetoric against abortion has only gotten more so as the coronavirus pandemic spread. In addition to obsessing over whether a public health expert was identified as a former Planned Parenthood official despite that being irrelevant to the issue, the MRC has freaked out over the following:
Alexa Moutevelis melted down over an Abortion Provider Appreciation Day earlier this month, denying the humanity of abortion doctors as she called them "monsters" who have "more in common with supervillain Thanos."
Moutevelis returned to attack family planning proponents as the "Death Lobby" that wants to make abortion to be considered an essential medical service during the pandemic (of course, in Moutevelis' highly biased and hataeful take, they're "making sure they can keep killing preborn babies in a timely manner"). She further complained; "There is a genuine disconnect between doctors trying to save the weak and vulnerable elderly that coronavirus seems to target most in one room while killing the weak and vulnerable in the womb that abortion targets in another," adding, "At a time when there’s death and destruction all around us, let’s do everything we can to save lives instead of take them."
In another post, Moutevelis slandered abortion rights proponents as "blood-thirsty" and "monstrous" for complaining about provisions in the stimulus bill, huffing that "at a time when our country is shut down to protect the weak and vulnerable members of our society, some want to keep open the abortion clinics that kill the weakest and most vulnerable of all humans, the unborn, asessential businesses."
And Gabriel Hays mocked the idea that abortion clinics should be allowed to stay open: "Ah, yes, killing kids is as essential as the ER doctor saving lives. This is just a dark Orwellian leftist game. The notion that someone wanting an abortion (A CHOICE) is an equal emergency to someone’s imminent death from coronavirus or a heart attack is not convincing."
But when someone actually advocated letting the sick and elderly die from coronavirus as an expeditious way to save the economy, the MRC ran to his defense.
In a March 26 post, Curtis Houck complained that a man who advocated letting the elderly and infirm die during the pandemic since they are "not productive" and are "generally expensive to maintain" had a Washington Post article done about him. At no point does Houck express offense at the man's views, despite his employer's pro-life; he merely calls the "harsh and unpopular." The greater offense, according to Houck, is that aPost reporer called the man's elderly parents for their views on the subject:
If The Washington Post and senior editor Marc Fisher want Americans to stop calling the press “the enemy of the people,” a place to start would be not publishing stories like Fisher’s March 25 item trying to tear down a man who, as of Wednesday night, had less than 400 Twitter followers.
The thought crime committed by La Mesa, California lawyer Scott McMillan? Offering a harsh and unpopular take about the coronavirus and senior citizens.
In response, Fisher penned a 1,786-word piece entitled “He urged saving the economy over protecting those who are ‘not productive’ from the coronavirus. Then he faced America’s wrath.”
On Twitter, most of the brutal but well-deserved scorn came with Fisher tweeting how he not only wrote about McMillian, but he called his parents:
So, a few points. One, anyone surprised by Twitter’s vitriol must either not have an account or be living under a rock. Two, perhaps forcing McMillan to relive the past few days isn’t the best for his well-being. And three, why did Fisher decide to further bring attention to this poor soul’s life again?
Yep -- according to Houck, the "poor soul" and victim here is the man getting criticized for expressing an unpopular opinion -- despite it being one that he and the MRC should be opposed to as supposed "pro-life" activists. And Houck's concern that theperson's life was being "ruined" for expressing said opinion rings hollow considering that he very much wants to ruin the life of the Post reporter for the supposedly "unpopular" action of calling the guy out. Some targets are much more acceptable than others, it seems.
It's doubly hypocritical given that the MRC has come out against the view the tweet expressed elsewhere -- albeit only when media figures accused conservatives of supporting it. A March 23 post by Scott Whitlock complained that "the hard left in the media" like MSNBC's Chris Hayes are accusing President Trump and conservatives of being "ready to kill a 'million' senior citizens as a way of saving the economy from the coronavirus" (while making sure to note that Hayes is "a staunch supporter of abortion"), while a March 26 post by Whitlock accusing MSNBC's Joe Scarborough of claiming conservatives support "the mass death of the elderly population" to presreve "Boeing's corporate earnings."
So is it cool to let the elderly die, or nah? The MRC should perhaps get on the same page on that.
Bad Coronavirus Takes: Prisoners Make Great Guinea Pigs! Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's still early, but we may already have a winner in our nascent Bad Coronavirus Takes sweepstakes. In a March 25 WorldNetDaily column, lawyers Richard Kibbey and David Lamos not only advocate using prisoners as guinea pigs for prospective coronavirus treatments, they cite World War II Japan and the Nuremberg Trials not as cautionary tales but as guidelines for what you can get away with:
As the clock ticks, the number of new COVID-19 infections rise. While promising theories are emerging over potential vaccines and drug treatments, the stark reality is that without large-scale human experimentation of those new medications, the public will remain at risk. State and federal prisoners may hold the key to finding a cure for this pandemic.
To be sure prisoner volunteers would have to give informed consent of potential health risks and side effects before they are included in a test group. Current federal rules governing prisoner use for scientific experimentation allows it so long as the testing exposes the prisoner to "minimal risk" of harm. That regulation can easily be waived or modified by Congress or the Bureau of Prisons in the case of emergencies, which COVID-19 would seem to present.
Historically, the testing of prisoners to find cures for disease is not new. Gen. Douglas McArthur, the supreme commander for Allied Powers in Japan, readily accepted for the benefit of the United States the scientific results achieved by the Japanese in their human testing on conquered people during World War II. The ethics and legality of human testing of prisoners was also the basis for the Nuremberg Code, which set out guidelines for medical research experimentation on prisoners. Chief among those guidelines is informed consent and that the risks be justified by the anticipated benefits.
It is anticipated that prisoners would readily volunteer to be included in testing in return for a reduction in, or commutation of, their sentences of imprisonment. Commutation can be fast-tracked by state governors or the White House.
There would be no shortage of prisoner applicants for testing. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, in 2019 the United States had nearly 2.3 million citizens incarcerated in state and federal prisons. In those prisons are inmates who possess medical and nursing degrees – perfect candidates to assist in the experiments and testing. Dr. Samuel Mudd, convicted and imprisoned for aiding John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of President Lincoln, received a presidential pardon for his medical assistance in stemming the outbreak of yellow fever plague in his prison.
Yep, they went there. Even by WND standards, that a pretty callous column.