In Attack on Twitter, The Propaganda Loop Between MRC, Trump Closes Topic: Media Research Center
When Twitter attached a fact-check to a tweet from President Trump that falsely fearmongered about mail-in voting, the Media Research Center reacted as expected: by using it boost its failing war against social media for purportedly discriminating against conservatives.
The meltdown started in a May 27 post by Corinne Weaver:
Twitter has long threatened to label certain tweets from President Donald Trump. Now it finally has used the liberal media to fact-check his tweets.
A tweet from the president that discussed mail-in ballots was labeled as an “unsubstantiated claim” by Twitter. When Trump tweeted, “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.” A bright blue sentence was added by the social media platform at the bottom of the tweet, which said “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” The label led to a Twitter Events page, which said, “Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud.”
The statement continued, “These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.”
Weaver didn't contradict the fact-check, just complained that its sources were "liberal."
Alexander Hall then served up a post hyperbolically headlined "RNC Chair SCORCHES Twitter for Trump Voter Fraud Fact-Check, Citing Liberal Media," in which Ronna McDaniel assailed the Twitter fact-checking system as "a joke" and offered only anecdotal evidence to contradict the fact-check, which didn't bolster Trump's original claim that mail-in voting is "substantially fraudulent." Hall later whined that "liberal journalists from all corners of the internet came out of the woodwork" to support Twitter's fact-check.
Perpetually angry MRC writer Nicholas Fondacaro found a new enemy, huffing that "Twitter’s in-house fact-checker was an anti-Trump activist who had leveled many false accusations against the President" -- in fact, Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, didn't do the fact-check -- then complained that evening newscaasts "scoffed" at Trump's "understandably angry reaction."
The MRC then went into to victim mode with a post by an anonymously written post claiming to identify "33 Examples of Twitter’s Anti-Conservative Bias" that began by declaring, "President Donald Trump is right that social media companies have been targeting conservatives." But given that Twitter users post millions upon millions of posts each day, the fact that the MRC could find only 33 examples of "anti-conservative bias" isn't persuasive.
Hall returned to gush that Trump was about to issue an executive order in retaliation for Twitter fact-checking his tweet, softing declaring that "Twitter’s choice to fact-check the president’s genuine concern over the hazards of mail-in voting appear to have been the last straw." Hall then played whataboutism, accusing Twitter of allowing "other forms of Chinese government propaganda to remain on the platform. Hall further gushed over how "working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal protections that ensure the company is not held liable for what is posted on its platform," adding that "social media may be in for a reckoning."
MRC chief Brent Bozell had to weigh in, of course: "President Trump is right. Twitter, Facebook and other Big Tech firms are guilty of censoring conservatives and their protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be reviewed." Bozell did not explain how fact-checking Trump had suddenly become "censorship."
All of this inevitably led to a closing of the propaganda loop between Trump and the MRC, as an anonymous writer crowed:
President Donald Trump hit back at Big Tech bias by signing an “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship” in the Oval Office on Thursday. And he relied on information from the Media Research Center’s TechWatch to do it.
Before Trump signed the executive order that interprets Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), he showcased a blog by NewsBusters MRC TechWatch staff writer Corinne Weaver headlined “Mueller Report Twitter Moments: 76 Anti-Trump Tweets, Just 1 Pro-Trump.”
Remember: This is all about power and influence and destroying any media outlet or social media platform that isn't sufficiently right-wing.
CNS Is Now Promoting WND's Favorite Messianic Rabbi Topic: CNSNews.com
Jonathan Cahn was once among the favorite people at WorldNetDaily. The messianic rabbi came to prominence in 2013, when he gave a speech at a right-wing prayer breakfast the day President Obama was inaugurated for his second term, that was standard-issue right-wing, pro-evangelical Obama-bashing; WND lionized the speech, despite editor Joseph Farah being invited, then disinvited, then re-invited to the breakfast (he ultimately refused to show up at all) and despite WND originally not seeing the speech as important to the point that it took two weeks to do a "news" article about it. Farah in particular became enamored of Cahn and tried to ride his coattails, such as they were, by having WND make a biographical film about Cahn (since Cahn's books were being published by another company).
That fawning led to Farah and Cahn collaborating on a publicity stunt during a WND-led tour of Israel, where they knowingly violated the rules of the Muslim-controlled Temple Mount by talking about Christian history , thus getting their tour party kicked out. WND even touted Cahn's apparent endorsement of ISIS' destruction of the ancient Arch of Palmyra, as well as his portrayal of a reconstruction of the arch in New York City as a "sign of Baal" appearing in America (never mind that it was actually reconstructed as a repudiation of ISIS).
Cahn has also pushed the idea that President Trump's election was a result of divine intervention in the U.S. election process. That gives us a clue as to why we're writing about him now.
WND has effectively ceased to be a platform for Cahn, between the company's currently fragile existence and the fact that Farah, his biggest champion there, is currently out of commission recovering from a stroke. Enter CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who has taken on the mantle of promoting Cahn's latest publicity stunt in a May 27 article:
The United States is in "deep, deep trouble" and must repent and return to God in humility and prayer, according to Pastor Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jew and best selling "End Times" author who is a co-chair of The Return, a global movement that will publicly appeal to God on Sept. 26 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
"We are in a critical time in America," wrote Cahn and co-chairman Kevin Jessip in a May 21 commentary for CBN News. "We have been warned. God in His mercy has afforded us a time of reprieve to turn and repent for our land to be spared from destruction. It's a Nineveh moment!"
"'The Return' is a chance for America, 40 days prior to our next election, to turn back to God, just like Nineveh," said Cahn and Jessip. "The Return is the gathering to spark a movement to gather, fast, pray and repent for our wickedness."
But as Right Wing Watch has pointed out, Sept. 26 is 38 days before the presidential election, not 40; however, 40 is a symbolic Biblical number. Cahn has also promoted the rally as being on the "400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower," which isn't true either.
Then again, Chapman isn't one for fact-checking people he likes. Instead, he copied-and-pasted some of the bullet points from Cahn's "16 reasons why America is in 'deep, deep trouble,'" most of which coincide with right-wing talking points such as opposition to gay marriage, abortion and federal debt (though no mention of the fact that a good one-fifth of that debt was racked up under Trump).
Newsmax (Again) Fails To Tell Readers It Published New Horowitz Book Topic: Newsmax
Last year, Newsmax heavilypromoted a book by right-wing activist David Horowitz, "Dark Agenda," devoting numerous articles to promoting it and its author. What Newsmax rarely did, however, was disclose that it published the book through its publishing arm, Humanix Books.
Horowitz has a new book ou, "Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win" -- you'd think that a someone who claims to be a Jew, he'd be a tad more sentive to the Nazi-esque links to a word like "Blitz" -- and Newsmax is giving it and Horowitz a promotional push starting last month:
MRC's Double Standard On TV Weatherfolks With An Agenda Topic: Media Research Center
In an April 17 post, the Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth complained about NBC weatherman Al Roker arguing that what Wilmouth called the "climate change agenda" is not a political issue and about "just the facts." Rather than disputing any of the facts Roker offered up, Wilmouth insisted that "The inconvenient truth is that Roker has been known for routinely making outlandish statements in order to push his environmentalism," citing several recent MRC posts attacking Roker for his stand on climate change.
So the MRC doesn't like TV weatherpeople who do anything other than report the weather. Except, of course, when they're employed by Fox News.
Last year, the MRC cheered a Twitter post by Fox News meterologist Janice Dean bashing longtime MRC target and CNN host Chris Cuomo. But Dean became even more beloved when ventured further out of her lane and offered opinions about the coronavirus pandemic. Randy Hall gushed in a May 19 post:
While Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean is usually known for her sunny disposition, she has done her best this week to rain on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s parade. Dean is also pointing out how the mainstream media has been covering for the Democratic governor’s disastrous nursing home decision in New York.
The reason for the torrent was that she learned her elderly in-laws had died due to complications from the coronavirus pandemic while being treated at long-term care facilities adhering to policies approved by Cuomo.
Two days later, Curtis Houck gushed even more over Dean's appearance on the show of Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson, with a megadose of Houck's festering CNN derangement:
Somewhere, Matt Dornic, Jeff Zucker, and the rest of CNN must be nodding and smiling in approval. Thursday afternoon on Twitter, Never Trumper and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro gleefully attacked Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean for calling out Wednesday’s despicable, mega-swab-filled, and now-infamous Cuomo Prime Time segment.
Not only did Dean lose both her in-laws due to the coronavirus, but both were also New York nursing home residents and thus were victims of New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s deadly nursing-home policy. As our Nick Fondacaro wrote, the governor and brother/CNN host Chris Cuomo decided that such matters were beneath them, but Chris playing with giant swabs was fine.
We’ll get to Navarro’s smears, but first we’ll look at Dean’s powerful appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight that paid tribute to how Mickey and Dee Newman were “real people…not just numbers on a curve.”
Carlson asked if she believed that Andrew’s policy “contributed to” their deaths, and Dean stated that she did “and that's one of the reasons I'm speaking out, Tucker because I have not seen the coverage of this” outside of Fox News and the New York Post.
So a weatherman talking about climate change is a bad thing at the MRC, but a weatherwoman exploiting a family tragedy for political purposes to advance a conservative agenda is totally cool. Got it.
WND Gives A Platform To Yet Another AAPS-Linked Dubious Doc Topic: WorldNetDaily
In our review of the WorldNetDaily docs linked to the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons offering dubious advice on the coronavirus pandemic, we skipped one: Marilyn Singleton.
Singleton was a early pusher of hydroxychloroquine; in a March 23 column, she touted small anecdotal studies claiming effectiveness and demanded that the FDA "do [its] job" and "approve hydroxychloroquine now for COVID-19." In her April 9 column, she downplayed the threat of coronavirus and insisted the lockdown to slow the virus' spread is worse:
Every day 7,400 people die in the United States from many causes, including infectious diseases, but running totals are not broadcast on every medium. The unceasing barrage of news programs about the coronavirus/COVID-19 have become a means to whip us into submission.
Ending the lockdown is not about Wall Street or disregard for people's lives; it about saving lives. Advanced stages of non-COVID diseases, suicides, domestic violence, increase in substance abuse and mental health disorders, permanent poverty and dissolution of the middle class are unacceptable. Our society must not be fractured into those who live in gated communities and those who live in the streets, trailer parks and decaying homes they can no longer afford to keep up.
Singleton proved her AAPS and WND bona fides with taking the conspiracy route in her April 27 column:
It seems like some folks have used the ghost of Ernesto "Ché" Guevaraas their guide through the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States. Said Ché: "To send men to the firing squad [job loss, suicide, substance abuse], judicial [scientific] proof is unnecessary. … This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate [of President Trump]."
Apparently, Ché was on to something. Forty-three percent of U.S. adults and 52 percent of low-income adults say they or someone in their household has lost a job or taken a pay cut due to the outbreak. How can any American stuck at home not be disgusted by politicians who are still collecting their full paychecks while the middle class and working poor descend into an abyss?
COVID-19's angel of death spares most people: 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths occurred among persons aged 60 years and over; about 25 percent of all deaths were sick and elderly residents of long-term care facilities; nearly 90 percent of persons hospitalized have one or more underlying medical conditions. Oddly, the CDC is boosting the official death toll by including not only people who died due to COVID-19 but those who died of other causes and had the virus that causes COVID-19 in their system.
This epidemic has become the opportunity to change the U.S. from a free, energetic, resourceful individualistic society to an authoritarian, collectivist society of broken souls addicted to government largesse. To wit, a Los Angeles version of wealth redistribution: People can't work so they can't pay their rent. The mom and pop landlords can't pay their property taxes. The city then buys the "distressed" properties from desperate landlords at cut-rate prices and turns them over to the homeless.
Ché would be proud.
Singleton kept up that conspiratorial attitude in her June 2 column:
COVID-19 is a handy justification for Congress to promote a political ideology rather than propose targeted measures to assist those struggling with the consequences of the virus.
The government has been known to abuse its power – whether through cultivating fear, regulatory force, or by individual miscreants. Frederick Douglass= warned, "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them."
We cannot let a declaration of a public health emergency become the new gauge of what it takes to break our spirit of liberty.
The MRC's Weeklong, Trump-Friendly Antifa Meltdown Topic: Media Research Center
Antifa is a convenient bogeyman for right-wing activists because they're scary-sounding and can be used to play guilt-by-association with liberals. The specter of Antifa popped up again in the wake of the police-caused death of George Floyd, and right-wingers were more than happy to fearmonger about them again, especially since President Trump declared he would declare Antifa a domestic terrorist group (despite it being amorphous, unorganized and leaderless). Among them were the loyal pro-Trump lackeys at the Media Research Center.
Between May 31 and June 5 -- during the height of the Floyd protests -- the MRC referenced Antifa in 21 separate posts, usually as a way to attack anyone who expressed sympathy for the protesters.
Under a headline blaring "Friends of Antifa," Nicholas Fondacaro -- who is an obsessiveAntifa-hater -- complained that people on NBC "scoffed at claims from the White House and the Department of Justice that Antifa was partially to blame for violent rioting across the county, corrupting protests demanding justice for George Floyd" by accurately pointing out that no evidence was offered to back up the claim. Fondacaro insisted that "journalists on the ground at the riots have extensively documented Antifa’s involvement in the current violence," citing right-wing writer Andy Ngo. He didn't mention that Ngo may have been collaborating with the right-wing protesters that were clashing with Antifa protesters who he claimed attacked him during a 2017 protest, after which the MRC tried to turn him into a cause celebre.
Kristine Marsh attacked the idea that the Floyd protests have been "mostly peaceful," huffing that "The networks went out of their way to protect violent left wing mobs like Antifa rioting and looting." She later claimed that NBC's Andrea Mitchell "defended Antifa" and "claimed without evidence, that it was actually the "right wing" at these demonstrations to blame for the violence," despite linking to a Vice article reporting that right-wing extremists were, in fact, taking part in the protests; she merely dismissed them as a "fringe militia group."
(Meanwhile, in real life, an actual news outlet reported that most people arrested in the initial wave of Floyd protests in Minneapolis were local residents unaffiliated with any radical group -- undermining the right-wing narrative that Antifa-linked "outside agitators" were to blame -- and some had even proclaimed their support for Trump.)
CNN-deranged Curtis Houck insisted that CNN host Chris Cuomo -- whom he immaturely and unprofessionally insists on referring to as "Fredo" -- was "an outspoken Antifa supporter," linking to rants by Fondacaro, and claiming that Cuomo was "offering implicit endorsements for the rioting." Fondacaro also engaged in the juvenile name-calling of Cuomo and claimed he "emphatically argued that protests were under no obligation to be peaceful."
Tim Graham got mad at PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor -- a favorite MRC target of late -- "dismissed Trump's focus on violence caused by Antifa and urged him that 'in reality,' he should be focused on 'overwhelmingly peaceful people' at the protests," cheering that she "drew a vigorous Twitter rebuttal from conservatives."
Geoffrey Dickens served up some more of that useless "media research" the MRC is known for, claiming that "President Donald Trump’s decision to label Antifa a domestic terrorist group – after he blamed them for vandalism and violence in the George Floyd protests – comes after three years of liberal journalists either ignoring or downplaying the far left organization’s history of violence."
While some have tried to pretend that Antifa is not that bad-- after all, it's short for anti-fascist," so how bad can they really be?-- others have asserted without any evidence that it's actually white supremacists posing as Antifa that is responsible for the violence across the country. On Tuesday's& CNN Newsroom, hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto claimed to have found the evidence needed: a lone tweet from a since banned Twitter account.
Christy didn't mention that this same tweet was actually cited by one of its favorite right-wing journalists, Lara Logan, as evidence that Antifa was involved. Nor did he mention all theother evidence that right-wingers are trying to foment violence at the protests.
MRC chief Brent Bozell even worked Antifa into his latest politics-driven attack on Facebook, alleging that Facebook employees "haven’t made the same demands about truly repugnant and violent groups like Antifa, which have been allowed to proliferate on social media platforms without consequence" as they have in wanting Trump's Facebook posts regulated.
Finally, Marsh returned to accuse the Washington Post of publishing "Antifa propaganda" because an op-ed columnist argued that "being an anarchist means dreaming of a kinder, more equitable society.”
The MRC is not enlightening anyone here -- they're just pushing a narrative to serve their boss, Trump.
CNS Tries To Manufacture Outrage Over Biden Remark Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is looking for any excuse to attack Joe Biden because he's running against its preferred candidate, President Trump, and Biden's statement on a radio show that if black voters "have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, you ain’t black" was a good as any. CNS wasn't going to offer the likelihood that Biden was joking by taking his entire interview with radio host Charlamagne tha God into context, even though it regularlygives Trump an out by giving him a pass on offensive comments he later deems to be "sarcastic."
Melanie Arter's inital story on Biden's comments editorialized by trying to portray them as part of a pattern with Democratic presidential candidates:
Incidentally, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also appeared on “The Breakfast Club” during her presidential run, where she made her infamous line about carrying hot sauce in her purse - a comment that was seen by some as pandering to blacks because it paralleled singer Beyonce’s “I got hot sauce in my bag swag” lyric from the song “Formation.”
From there, it was the usual "news" articles on conservative figures -- Republican Sen. Tim Scott and BET co-founder Robert Johnson -- denouncing Biden. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman made sure to tell us that Johnson "is Black."
CNS then ran an op-ed by black conservative activist Ken Blackwell that was filled with manufactured outrage (and typos):
Shut up. Don’t think. Do as your [sic] told. See you in four years. That’s what Joe Biden essentially projected to America’s black community Friday morning.
"If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Biden said on the popular New York City-based "Breakfast Club" radio show.
Biden’s remarks sent shock waves across social media and in the political press, but it shouldn’t have shocked anyone. Joe Biden and the Democrat Party [sic] have long sowed racial division and promoted identity politics in order to maintain power and control.
His condescending remark is indicative of the Democrat Party’s [sic] overall attitude towards blacks and minority groups—Shut up and listen. We decide what you think and how you vote.
Joe Biden and the Democrat Party [sic] will continue to talk down to the black community and lie about President Trump’s record in an effort to sow division and hate, while President Trump is laser focused on criminal justice reform, rebuilding our economy, and safely re-opening America so that all Americans can continue to pursue greater economic opportunities for themselves and their families.
CNS tried to hide Blackwell's partisan intent, describing him only as "the former Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission," not telling readers his current job is with the right-wing Family Research Council.
CNS even published a column by Pat Buchanan -- for whom CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey worked when he ran for president -- complaining that "Biden was saying that no self-respecting black American would vote for Trump over him this November. Indeed, any such individual would have been labeled in the 1960s with the slur Uncle Tom." Because Jeffrey and Buchanan are such close buds, CNS isn't going to tell its readers that Buchanan has his own issues with race.
MRC Gets Mad When Other Media Critics Use MRC Tactics Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center viciously smears journalists it despises all the time -- remember how it cheered those "CNN sucks!" chants from Trump rally attendees -- but God forbid that anyone should treat the MRC's favorite pro-Trump journalists with anything even remotely approaching that sort of hate.
Thus, we have Tim Graham devoting a May 16 post to fretting that CBS correspondent Catherine Herridge -- who used to work at Fox News -- was being criticized for advancing a pro-Trump narrative in the case of Michael Flynn:
Can Fox News reporters ever truly succeed at liberal networks? Or is the Foxophobia so strong within the "mainstream" media that they are always suspicious? Some reporters succeed -- Major Garrett's still at CBS after a Fox News stint. But the guns are out for Catherine Herridge and her reporting on the Justice Department and the Michael Flynn case.
The Beasties offered this summary on Twitter: "Democrats on Capitol Hill have grown particularly irked by Catherine Herridge's work, believing she’s become a de facto clearing house for conservative conspiracy theorists who want to give their material the veneer of mainstream objectivity."
CBS, the "veneer of mainstream objectivity." That's hilarious.
Graham then made an unfortunate comparison: "But it's not hard to imagine that Herridge is finding herself to be the new version of Sharyl Attkisson, where many stories are sidelined to the internet because they're too upsetting for liberals to grant the 'imprimatur of neutrality.'"
Attkisson was beloved by the MRC a few years back for her anti-Obama reporting -- so much so that Graham and Co. overlooked her record of shoddy reporting and endorsement of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories and earned a dubious endorsement of her work from WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah. Attkisson's relationship with WND grew so suspicious that we had to wonder if she was paying WND to do fawning "news" articles about her then-new TV produced by the right-wing TV station owner Sinclair.
The MRC has been aggressively defending Fox News lately, and that apparently goes for former Fox News employees who take that attitude and bias into the mainstream media. Though Graham noted that CBS has another Fox refugee on its staff in Major Garrett, the MRC has never really defended him the way it's doing for Herridge, though it did highlight a time in 2018 when Garrett portrayed President Obama's criticism of Fox News during his presidency as equivalent to Trump's attacks on the entire "liberal media."
If Graham thinks Herridge is the new Sharyl Attkisson, that doesn't exactly bode well for Herridge -- and demonstrates once again that the MRC cares only about forwarding its bias and nothing about advancing the news media, and it absolutely hates when other use MRC tactics against its friends.
It's hard to find a lower species of life form today than Democrats holding political office. However, backstabbing, duplicitous Republicans will challenge the most reprobate Democrat any day of the week – and twice on Sunday when they're pretending to be the pious – for the title of "America's most undesirable."
Democratic politicians are pernicious liars and godless mercenaries of Satan, but Republicans are no less pernicious and godless, in addition to being nauseatingly craven.
Why is the Mitch McConnell-led Senate allowing Clinton, Biden and Obama not to be held criminally accountable?
What kind of investigation is Attorney General Bill Barr running/overseeing when he comes out yet again, well ahead of the completed investigations taking place on his watch as AG, and tells We the People he doesn't expect the Russian probe will lead to criminal investigation of either Obama or Biden?
Republicans have perfected the art of greasing the tracks for Democrats to go unpunished in the face of incontrovertible evidence against them. Why is Obama allowed to strut around like a sissified-banty rooster, as he stutters and stammers his way through the fomenting of discord based upon skin color?
What plausible excuses can be offered for not holding Hillary Clinton criminally accountable in the murder of Tyrone Woods, Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith in Benghazi? Why did Obama get away without even a slap on the wrist for his refusal to save the brave four men who were murdered in Benghazi?
Patriotic Americans have waited since President Reagan for a president who loved America and revered the American people. President Trump is fighting for us, and he's indeed worked mightily to "Make America Great Again." It has been and continues to be Republicans who are backstabbing him and betraying us.
Senate Republicans are a contentious lot of blueblood elitists, and the Kevin McCarthy House Republicans are little more than country-club types genteelly feeding off We the People.
We voted for President Trump because we believed in him. It's time to start slashing the political throats of feckless RINO backstabbers who refuse to uphold the rule of law.
MRC Tries, Fails To Bash Another Fact-Checker As 'Liberal' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's mission to falsely identify fact-checkers who aren't explicitly right-wing as "liberal" as a weay of defending President Trump's history of lies is continuing.
In a May 15 post, Alexander Hall huffed that "Liberal website ratings firm NewsGuard has expanded its partnership with Microsoft in order to spread “news literacy.”You mighr remember NewsGuard from that time WorldNetDail's Joseph Farah had a meltdown when a NewsGuard tried to ask him basic questions about WND's notoriously unreliable "news" operation.
Hall offered no actual evidence that NewsGuard is "liberal"; instead he complainws that co-CEO Steven Brill "has reportedly given four times more money to Democrats than to Republicans and added:
NewsGuard has a history of political partisanship. It has slimed figures like Rush Limbaugh and mischaracterized a post on Limbaugh's Facebook page. NewsGuard highlighted “a link to Limbaugh’s site with false claims that the coronavirus was created in a lab as a bioweapon and that it is similar to the common cold.” NewsGuard was neither accurate about what he actually said, nor even the date of the post.
Let's take a look at that accusation, made in an April 21 post by Corinne Weaver, in which she wrote:
A new report from liberal Microsoft partner NewsGuard, “ Tracking Facebook’s COVID-19 Misinformation ‘Super-spreaders,’” went after large Facebook pages that “repeat, share, and amplify these myths” about COVID-19. The second example on the list was Rush Limbaugh’s Facebook page, which had shared “a link to Limbaugh’s site with false claims that the coronavirus was created in a lab as a bioweapon and that it is similar to the common cold.”
That’s not what the page said at all. NewsGuard wasn’t even accurate about the date of the post. NewsGuard claimed the posting happened on Feb. 24, but linked to Limbaugh’s Facebook post, published on Feb. 29, 2020. That Limbaugh item stated, “I think dealing with the Chinese, there are any number of things that are possible.” The link led to a transcript of Limbaugh’s February 26 episode, when a caller asked on his show if COVID-19 was meant to be a response to the United States’ economic sanctions. Limbaugh’s response began with, “I don’t know.”
Both Weaver and NewsGuard are confusing here. Because NewsGuard is focusing on misinformation on Facebook, its initial focus is on Limbaugh's Facebook post, which was made on Feb. 29 and links to a transcript from Limbaugh's Feb. 24 show. NewsGuard has appended a correction (which Weaver has not acknowledged) fixing the date issues.
Weaver, however, is misleading about which Limbaugh said. The question to which she refers that Limbaugh answered with an "I don't know" occurs toward the end of a lengthy rant in which Limbaugh did,in fact, declare that he was "dead right" that "The coronavirus is the common cold, folks." and that "It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized."
Even the Feb. 26 transcript that was apparently originally linked by NewsGuard is more problematic that Weaver will admit. Limbaugh falsely claimed that "This is the 19th coronavirus" (the number represents 2019, the year it was discovered), again claimed Coronavirus is a respiratory virus like flu, like the common cold. I’m not wrong about this," and did very much argue that the virus was released by China in retaliation.
Weaver tried to make her own specious allegation that NewsGuard is "liberal," largely through guilt by association, citing not only Brill's alleged political donations but also money donated to it by Poynter and the Knight Foundation, which she dismissed as a "liberal journalism institute" and a "liberal foundation for journalism," respectively. Her proof that Poynter is "liberal" is that it identified the MRC as biased.
That's extremely thin gruel to make such accusations. But the MRC will keep making that gruel because a narrative must be maintained.
CNS' Chapman Suddenly Finds Chicago Shootings Newsworthy Again Topic: CNSNews.com
As we'vedocumented, one of the things CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman invokes whenever there is bad news that needs to be distracted from is highlighting weekend shootings in Chicago. So, as the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States was approaching 100,000 toward the end of May, Chapman decided -- for the first time since October -- to devote an article about shootings in Chicago, even managing to work in a coronavirus angle:
In Chicago, at least 49 people were shot (10 fatally) over the Memorial Day weekend, according to ABC 7 Chicago. It was the worst Memorial Day weekend shooting since 2015.
"The violence throughout the city on Memorial Day weekend was nothing short of alarming,” said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday.
In addition to the weekend violence, ABC News reported that although the coronavirus "has kept so many people home and temporarily shuttered businesses, homicides in Chicago are on the rise this year. According to police crime statistics posted online, between Jan. 1 and May 24, the city had 200 homicides, compared with 176 during the same period last year. The number of shooting incidents climbed from 679 to 826."
Chapman didn't explain why he only occasionally considers shootings in Chicago to be newsworthy.
MRC Parrots No-Tear-Gas Lie Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center proves itself to be more of a Trump lackey every day. A June 3 post by Brad Wilmouth claimed that CNN commentators "spread misinformation and freaked out over the dispersal of rioters in Lafayette square before President Donald Trump's speech on the riots across the country," asserting that "the group incorrectly claimed that the protesters were all peaceful and that tear gas was used against them." He added:
Introducing the segment at 6:16 a.m. Eastern, co-host John Berman stated that "we all saw attacks on peaceful protesters" who were "tear gassed so that President Trump could take a picture in front of a church."
After liberal political commentator Bakari Sellers cracked that "George Wallace is probably looking up at him with a smile," Camerota also claimed that "peaceful protesters" were "fired on with tear gas" so that "President and his attorney general and Ivanka in her heels and big designer bag could cross the street, and the President could try to figure out how to hold a Bible."
But Park Police have denied that the dispersal was done because of the President's speech or that tear gas was used, noting that the decision was made because some protesters turned violent and were hurling objects at police.
To support this, Wilmouth linked to an MRCTV post by Brittany Hughes, whosimilarly complained that "Multiple news outlets from local outlets to national news platforms ran with reports that the smoke plumes from the police were tear gas, and that the protesters were peaceful" and touted how the Park Police were "disputing the narrative."
But as actual news outlets reported, the Park Police stated that they used smoke canisters and pepper balls -- which, it turns out, are the functional equivalent of tear gas, since pepper balls are designed to be a chemical irritant. Meanwhile, another actual news outlet discovered tear gas canisters at the scene, further undermining the Park Police's story.
As of this writing, Wilmouth has not corrected his post.
UPDATE: The Park Police is now admitting that tear gas was used, but is still denying that it was the ones that used it. Wilmouth's post still hasn't been corrected.
Jack Cashill's Image Rehab of Steve King Didn't Work Topic: WorldNetDaily
Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King lost his re-election bid earlier this week, his constituents having grown weary of his history of racist remarks. Not even Jack Cashill's desperate attempt at image rehab couldn't stop it.
In his May 13 WorldNetDaily column, Cashill proclaimed King to be "a solid, nine-term conservative whose immigration policies helped shape President Trump's own" as well as "an unabashed conservative and an unapologetic defender of Western civilization." That racist stuff? Either lies or misunderstandings.
Taking aim at a Republican Jewish Coalition attack on King he insisted was "shockingly mendacious and spectacularly self-destructive," Cashill took issue with the RJC's claim that King supports "an ideology that says Jews, and other minority groups are inferior," insisting that "King has long been a champion of Israel and has argued publicly in favor of assimilation and interracial marriage."
Cashill then gets the RJC's name wrong about midway through his column, calling the the "Republican Jewish Committee." He then complained about a New York Times interview with King and attacked reporter Trip Gabriel, all while framing King's casual racism as no big deal:
Gabriel's language was predictably loaded. Trump "demonized immigrants," he wrote, conflating "demonized" with "described."
The president made "demeaning" remarks, inspired "fear" and used "misleading" statistics.
King's behavior was even worse. He used "racist language" in the past, "promoted neo-Nazis" on Twitter and was denounced by one anonymous "Republican leader" as a "white supremacist."
Gabriel's link about racist language led to a Salon article detailing comments King made using the common metaphor "pick of the litter" to describe how America should choose the most productive immigrants seeking to come here regardless of race.
The leftist Salon editors subverted his obviously positive intent and headlined the article, "Rep. Steve King: Immigrants are like dogs." This was all standard media stuff.
Gabriel, a former Styles section editor, made King's life hell with one sentence allegedly said by King but unrecorded by either King or Gabriel.
Gabriel set up the quote with a fairly accurate observation that King supported "immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is 'the culture of America' based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe."
Gabriel quoted King on the phrase, "the culture of America," but not on the phrase, "whites from Europe." King never talked in terms of race when he talked about culture. Gabriel slipped the "whites" reference in on his own.
The next sentence attributed to King proved to be the killer: "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive."
Cashill gave King's language-parsing defense a pass -- "If he had meant to lump all three of those phrases together he would have said 'those words' not 'that language'" -- then huffed, "Besides, no one has ever sat in a class talking about the merits of white nationalism or white supremacism. Gabriel knew what King meant."
Cashill is a bit obsessed with race issues -- a few days before this, he was trying to run his Trayvon Martin playbook on Ahmaud Arbery -- and his views are not in the mainstream.
CNS Reporter Parses Words To Defend Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough had a reputation as the closest thing to a real reporter left at CNSNews.com. But his work of late has been veeringslowly toward the pro-Trump agitprop that dominates much of CNS' original content. Goodenough served up this aggressive defense of Trump in a May 15 article:
President Trump was derided on Twitter Thursday for saying that the high number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States was related to the significant increase in testing. But the data suggest that he is right.
In saying, “If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases,” Trump clearly meant that if testing was not being carried out, then many cases would be going unconfirmed and unreported – not that they would not exist.
By the same token, in saying, “When you test, you have a case,” he self-evidently did not mean that the testing causes the case.
Jennifer Mercieca, who teaches in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, tweeted
(Trump did not say that the test causes the case.)
Goodenough cranked out another word-parsing pro-Trump defense on May 20:
A leading medical journal on Tuesday took issue with President Trump for citing its research in a letter to the World Health Organization – but evidently misinterpreted what Trump had written.
In his letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, Trump called for major reforms, failing which the organization would lose U.S. funding permanently, he warned, and the U.S. could even withdraw altogether.
Outlining his concerns about WHO’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, Trump wrote that WHO “consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal.”
The Lancet in a statement Tuesday called Trump’s comment “factually incorrect,” and added that it had “published no report in December, 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China.”
Trump did not, however, say the relevant reports in The Lancet had been published in December.
In referring to December, he was clearly speaking about the month during which the coronavirus was spreading in Wuhan – according to credible reports, including those published inThe Lancet.
But Goodenough suddenly wasn't interested in word-parsing or context in a June 1 article, since the goal was to play guilt-by-association with former President Obama:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding that Twitter suspend President Trump’s “racist” account, over his recent tweeted warning that looters exploiting protests sparked by the death of George Floyd risk being shot.
CAIR based its charge that the warning amounted to a “racist threat of violence” on the fact that Trump used the word “thugs” to describe those looting, vandalizing and torching businesses.
“Thugs,” explained CAIR, is “a race-coded word that bigoted politicians use to negatively describe African-American protestors.”
Five years ago, President Obama used the same word in connection with those looting and destroying businesses in Baltimore, amid protests over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody.
“A handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” were the words Obama used to describe the perpetrators of the violent behavior.
Trump, who just weeks later [in 2015] would formal announce his presidential run, scoffed at the criticism around the use of the word.
“They now say using the word ‘thug’ is, like so many other words, not politically correct (even though Obama uses it),” he tweeted. “It is racist. BULL!”
For some reason, Goodenough declined to clarify that, unlike Trump, Obama did not use the word "thug" on Twitter.
AIM Chief Fails In Attacking Newspapers As 'Hard Left,' Unworthy of Bailout Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media is attempting to regain what little relevance it had and maybe create some buzz by railing against the idea of treating the media like every other business in America that is eligible for coronavirus relief money. Of course, AIM simply wants the non-conservative media to die any way it can. The latest step in this is a May 22 op-ed by AIM president Adam Guillette pubished by the Washington Examiner.
Since Guillette, like most right-wing media critics, has never worked a day in the media he attacks -- he came to AIM from the discredited right-wing provocateurs at Project Veritas -- he doesn't understand how the media busienss works; he's too caught up in his biases. He began by ranting:
If Lenin said that capitalists “will sell us the rope we use to hang them,” newspapers are saying that conservatives will fund the ink they use to smear them.
Bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress have now signed on for a proposed media bailout. This isn’t a bailout for smaller newspapers and television stations. Those businesses were already eligible for the Payroll Protection Program, and many of them took advantage of it — in a big way.
The Seattle Times took $9.9 million tax dollars, and the Tampa Bay Timesbagged $8.5 million. Two of the most hard-left newspapers in America didn’t even hesitate before grabbing their Trump Bucks.
Needless to say, Guillette offers no evidence that either of those newspapers is "hard left" -- he simply assumes so because they don't have a right-wing bias.
Guillette then attacked the newspaper chain McClatchy for filing for bankruptcy. He continued to whine:
For years, conservatives bemoaned how far left their local newspapers shifted. Little by little, the editorial boards of nearly every local newspaper were taken over by progressives. Then the editorializing started spreading to each article. In response to their complaints, conservatives were always told, “It’s a private company, they can do what they want!”
But now we’ve learned that alienating a large portion of your marketplace isn’t a winning business strategy. Why, then, should customers be forced to pay for a product they’ve already rejected?
Of course, the newspapers claim their bias isn’t the problem. They blame the internet. Countless business models have been upended by the internet; should we bail out each of them? Should we have bailed out stone tablet makers after the invention of the printing press?
If Guillette is going to complain that newspapers' purported liberal bias are not a "winning business strategy" then he must also admit that explicitly conservative newspapers were never a "winning business strategy." As we've documented, newspapers like the Washington Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and New York Post have always been failures in the market and kept alive only because they were owned by deep-pocketed right-wing owners -- even in the pre-internet years when mainstream newspaper reliably turned profits. Even the publication where Guillette's op-ed appears, the Washington Examiner, is the remnant of a daily newspaper that failed after a new owner, Philip Anschutz, infused it with right-wing bias.
In order to be an effective critic, one must understand what he is criticizing. Guillette clearly doesn't.