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Sunday, September 27, 2020
MRC's Graham Demands False Equivalence On Fact-Checking
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham keeps trying to dunk on fact-checkers, and he continues to fail. He ranted in a Sept. 4 column:

Apparently, the proper role of the "independent fact-checker" during today's presidential campaign is to present the consistent opinion that Joe Biden is a force for truth and light, and President Donald Trump is a rampaging liar who never says anything true.

No one should suggest that these "fact-checker" groups need to parcel their rulings out in a completely even fashion so everyone gets a participation trophy for being half-right. But the dramatic tilt in these "fact-checkers" betrays an obvious partisan bias.

Just look at PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter rulings for Biden for the month of August: Mostly True, Mostly True, Mostly True, Mostly True, Mostly True and Half True.

Now let's compare that to Trump's August Truth-O-Meter rulings: one Half True, two Mostly False, 11 False and four Pants on Fire.

[...]

Overall, from the start of 2019 through August 2020, Trump has gotten 197 Truth-O-Meter ratings, and Biden has only gotten 64. Trump rated Mostly False or worse in 156 of them (79 percent). He was only Mostly True or True in 17 ratings (8.6 percent). By contrast, Biden rated Mostly True or True in more than half: 33 of 64 (52 percent), and then there are 29 Mostly False or worse (45 percent).

Does anyone less partisan than Brian Stelter think these "fact-checkers" should boast of their "independence"?

As usually happens when he makes this complaint, Graham offers no evidence that Biden tells falsehoods at the same rate as Trump, or that there's any reason to fact-check Biden at the same rate as Trump other than his demand for false equivalence. Nevertheless, he continued:

Some might suggest this is just about a serious aversion to Trump's casual relationship with the truth. So let's take a broader view. Take the dates of the party conventions, from the start of the Democratic one, on Aug. 17, to the aftermath of the Republican one, on Aug. 28. Over those 12 days, PolitiFact checked Republicans and their affiliated PACs and pundits 32 times and only checked Democrats and their equivalents 11 times. The disparity of checks alone implies a partisan tilt.

Again, Graham offered no evidence that Democrats told falsehoods at an equivalent rate to Republicans. The only thing being "implied" here is that Graham cannot be bothered to do even the most basic research to lend any kind of factual basis to his biased, partisan rantings.

Desperate to spin away any suggestion, no matter how well documented, that Trump is an inveterate liar, Graham spent a Sept. 13 MRC post whining that Trump's claims of mail-in voting being massively fraudulent were being fact-checked. In devising a new spin on Trump falsehoods, he insulted a Washington Post fact-checker as not smart enough to tell the difference between a fact, and a prediction," going on to huff: "This is one of the most annoying dirty tricks of the 'fact checking' trade. Smear your target as a 'liar' because you don’t like the predictions they’re making."

There is a long history of mail-in voting not being fraudulent, but Graham doesn't want to talk about that. He still in campaign-style spin mode as befits the MRC's status as themedia arm for the Trump campaign:

That's not to say that everything Trump says about mail-in voting is impeccable. Constantly predicting the election will be "rigged" or fraudulent is inflammatory, but it's in the future, so it's not factual/unfactual. Rizzo and his bosses don't care. They want the "fusillades of falsehood" headline and all the clicks that come from the trash talk. 

The Post and other Democrat-helper media outlets have an emotional investment in crushing anyone claiming mail-in voting could be problematic.

Graham clearly has an emotional investment in trying to discredit fact-checkers because they threaten Trump's re-election by telling the truth about the president.

Graham managed to appear even more desperate in a Sept. 17 appearance on the right-wing safe space that is Newsmax TV:

NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham appeared on Newsmax on Wednesday night to hammer the liberal media for fake and misleading fact checking. Talking about the grilling Donald Trump endured during his Tuesday night town hall on ABC, Graham dismissed the efforts of host George Stephanopoulos as “I'm a Democrat. I'm going to stick up for the Democrats.” 

He zinged, “It's not fact checking. It's just playing the Democratic Party rebuttal.”

That's not a "zing" -- that's flailing spin from someone who might as well be on the Trump campaign payroll (if he isn't already).


Posted by Terry K. at 11:12 PM EDT
CNS Is So Pro-Trump, It Won't Even Bash His Pro-Gay Leanings
Topic: CNSNews.com

How extreme is the pro-Trump bias at CNSNews.com? Its resident gay-hater can't even be bothered to criticize a Trump endorsement from a gay politician.

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman is virulently anti-LGBT, to the point that until now, his pro-Trump agenda stopped only when Trump didn't hate gays to his satisfaction. But the current CNS policy is publish no negative Trump coverage whatsoever, so when former German ambassador and former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell -- who, when he was appointed to the DNI position earlier this year, CNS made sure (via anonymously written articles) grumbled that he was "a gay man with a same-sex partner" and that he claimed "you can be gay and be a Christian" -- issued a full-throated endorsement of Trump last month, Chapman didn't seem to know what to make of it and, surprisingly, just repeated what Grenell said (presumably through clenched teeth):

In a video distributed by the Log Cabin Republicans, former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell states that Trump is the "most pro-gay president in American history." In a Twitter response to the video, Trump declared, "My great honor!!!"

Grenell, who is gay, served as the U.S. ambassador to Germany (2018-20) and as Acting Director of National Intelligence (2/20/20 - 5/26/20) under President Trump.  The Log Cabin Republicans "is the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies," according to its website.

[...]

"I know firsthand that President Trump is the strongest ally that gay Americans have ever had in the White House. Donald Trump is the first president in American history to be pro-gay marriage from his first day in office. ..."

In response to the video in an Aug. 20 re-tweet, President Trump said, "My great honor!!!"

It's telling that Chapman spends about half this article bashing and lecturing Joe Biden -- and not Trump -- over his evolving stance on gay rights. He fleshed out Grenell's statement that "Joe Biden said gay people couldn't receive security clearances because we would be a security risk" by admitting Biden said it in 1973 -- nearly 50 years ago, though it's likely that Trump had that same stance at that time -- then huffed that Biden's views have "evolved" and that he now "supports the LGBT agenda and even officiated at a gay 'wedding' at his home in August 2016," adding that "Biden's support (and votes) for homosexual behavior and so-called gay marriage are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church, of which he is a member."

But a week later, when the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce endorsed Biden, Chapman was back to his usual gay-bashing ways, devoting three paragraphs to complaining that "Biden would mandate that biological males who identify as females would be allowed to compete in real women's sports and use facilities created for real females." And he complained again that "Biden, a pro-LGBT Catholic, officiated a gay 'marriage' at his home in 2016." Chapman did not mention Trump at all in this article, let alone Grenell's endorsement of Trump.

The same day, CNS published an anonymously written article uncritically touting how "President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has posted a background paper arguing that Joe Biden’s record on LGBT issues is 'nothing to be proud of' because Biden, in the past, was often not an aggressive champion of the LBGT cause."

That's the power of CNS' pro-Trump stenography right now.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 27, 2020 11:33 AM EDT
Saturday, September 26, 2020
MRC Mad GOP Congressman Got Caught Editing A Video (Not At The Edit)
Topic: Media Research Center

In addition to defending the worst people in the name of "free speech," the Media Research Center gets mad when their fellow conservatives get busted messing with video clips, apparently believing that the right to manipulation is "free speech" as well. Kayla Sargent complained in an Aug. 31 post:

Twitter has, once again, bowed to pressure from the left to silence conservatives. 

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) reportedly removed a video from his Twitter account on Sunday after the platform flagged the video as having been “manipulated.” 

The video featured Ady Barkan, a man with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), in an interview with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden discussing police reform. Barkan speaks with the help of computerized voice assistance. 

In the original video, Biden discussed his plans for police reform, and Barkin asked “But do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?” Biden then replied, “Yes, absolutely.” 

The Scalise video had reportedly added the words “for police” to the end of Barkin’s question, according to Fox News. As Fox reported, “The context of the original exchange made clear that Barkan was talking about redirecting police funding, but the edit drew strong criticism nevertheless.”

No, Twitter is not trying to "silence conservatives"; it's trying to shut down manipulated images and videos. If Scalise had not manipulated the video, this would not be an issue. Sargent and the MRC are simply mad that Scalise got caught doing it -- and to someone it had dismissed as a "radical-left activist" just a month earlier and as a "far-left activist" a couple weeks earlier when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention. (No explanation, of course, of what exactly makes Barkan "radical" or "far-left"; he must be demonized no matter what).

The MRC, meanwhile, is certainly not going to tell readers what Barkan had to say a couple days later about conservative media outlets like the MRC who bolstered Scalise's misleading video:

Scalise has since conceded the video “shouldn’t have been edited” in an interview on Fox News — even as he attempted to claim there was an underlying truthfulness to the message. That isn’t the same as an apology to me, or, more important, the more than 2 million people in this country who communicate using assistive technology like I do.

It’s specifically insulting to witness actors with the worst intentions hijack the technology that has allowed me to speak to try to speak for me, but this duplicity also exposes the broader information crisis in our society. When President Trump claimed, as he did in the run-up to the 2018 election, that a “migrant caravan” threatened the safety of the United States, he was bolstered by a vast conservative media that runs coverage amplifying his claims from morning to midnight. The inauguration crowd size, the repeated lies about voter fraud, claims about wiretapping, all of it is part of an attempt to shear one half of America away from the other by creating an alternate reality for Trump’s supporters.

[...]

In that context, “deepfakes” such as the one Scalise posted aren’t missteps. They’re disinformation test balloons that should put every single one of us on alert. If they can without consequence make it seem as though I said something I didn’t, what else can they do? What else will they do? What fearmongering words can they put in Biden’s mouth in a video doctored to tip the election?

Nope, the MRC definitely does not want to have that conversation.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 AM EDT
Your Weekly Mychal Massie Meltdown
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's one thing to be an ideologue; it is another thing to be a pernicious liar, foolish to the point that you believe everything belched from your mouth is sacrosanct. It's another thing to be such a fool of narcissism that you think everyone else believes whatever you say, simply because you said it. That, however, is the mindset of Democrats.

The news media aired around the clock programming of Obama doing everything but lifting his skirt as he curtsied and bowed low to terrorist dictators. The Obama media praised his condemnation of America in 2019, when he told a gathering of globalists in Europe "Europe was better than the United States." (See: "Obama Insults America On Foreign Soil And It Is Worse than Ever," Carmine Sabia, The Federalist Papers, April 7, 2019.)

In Strasbourg, Germany, Obama condemned America as arrogant. A speech the Heritage Foundation called "one of the most damaging, if not the most damaging speech by a U.S. president on foreign soil in modern times." (See: "Worst Than Jimmy Carter," Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The Heritage Foundation, April 30, 2009.)

Obama is responsible for homosexuality introduced in grades K-5. He is responsible for putting our wives, our daughters, our mothers, at risk because of his edicts ordering women's bathrooms and shower facilities be open to any man who claimed to be a woman and vice versa. This proved to provide government-protected hunting grounds for the lowest forms of humanity.

[...]

Thankfully Obama is no longer in office; but his co-commander in deconstruction of America, Joe Biden, wants us to believe that he can lead America forward better than President Trump.

My question is: based upon what evidence? Biden has a nearly 50-year record of unprecedented failure on every quantifiable level. This is not hyperbolism; it is cold facts, and there are video records of Biden in his own words that stand as monuments to his incompetence and corruption.

Biden is non compos mentis. He is clearly of an unsound mind.


[...]

But, somehow that doesn't apply to Democrats. Hillary Clinton screamed like a skanky old banshee exuding a musky smell of perspiration and stale-urine body odor: "What difference does it make" – and the pathetic sycophants on hostile news programs saw nothing wrong. After all, it was only Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty. Just four Americans she and Obama sentenced to death because of their tacit refusal to provide lifesaving assistance.

-- Mychal Massie, Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:39 AM EDT
Friday, September 25, 2020
MRC Tries To Cancel Jim Gaffigan For Daring to Criticize Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center hated celebrities like Ricky Gervais and J.K. Rowling for holding non-conseravative views -- until they both decided to start hating transgenders as much as the MRC does. Now we have a case where that happens in reverse.

Jim Gaffigan was an MRC favorite for years. In 2015, it cheered how the comedian "got off a great zinger on Twitter yesterday aimed straight at Hollywood folks who look down on the average American who has given American Sniper their vote at the box office"; in 2017, Tim Graham and Brent Bozell praised a movie Gaffigan co-starred in trashing Ted Kennedy over Chappaquiddick (which tanked at the box office). As recently as August 2019, Christian Toto waspraising Gaffigan in a post headlined "Jim Gaffigan Veers to the Right, Slams Woke Film Critics," for not liking his "Chappaquiddick" movie enough; the next month, Toto praised Gaffigan again, this time for being "critical of how wokeness influences their business."

But last month, Gaffigan did the one thing that is absolutely forbidden at the MRC: criticized President Trump. And the MRC turned on him immediately. Gabriel Hays ranted at him in a Sept. 1 post that went personal and attacked his religious faith:

Jim Gaffigan is so secure and proud of his expletive-laden tirade against Trump, the GOP and their supporters from the last night of the Republican National Convention that he used nearly 2000 words on Facebook to convince fans that it was about him saving the country.

He indicated that his obnoxious and mean-spirited personal attacks on Trump’s family and Trump supporters from August 27 were just him speaking out against the current president’s destruction of America. He’s preserving democracy for his grand kids, one “hey fuck you karen" at a time. Give him a break!

In a massive Facebook status, the nice “Catholic” comedian and future Joe Biden voter (those are irreconcilable by the way) tried to explain his full blown Trump Derangement Syndrome-caused break from reality.

[...]

Gaffigan believed his posts were righteous. He wrote, “I feel a responsibility to coming generations, my children but selfishly I didn’t want to explain to my grandchildren that I didn’t fight to stop Trump.” The comedian added, “Maybe they will see that I stood up for decency, rule of law, and equality.”

Well the bile Gaffigan threw out on Twitter spat in the face of decency, and the fact he claimed he stands for BLM means he stands for the opposite of “rule of law” and “equality.” Just look at the BLM-inspired hate crimes and riots.

Toto -- who had formerly lavished praise on Gaffigan -- went into attack mode as well in a judgmental post headlined "Here’s Everything That’s Wrong with Jim Gaffigan’s Anti-Trump Rant," sneering that Gaffigan's "Tweets themselves sound like a combination of Cher, Rob Reiner and Judd Apatow. That’s never a healthy cocktail in 2020. And let’s trot out the obligatory, “Gaffigan has the right to Tweet anything he pleases” explainer." Of course, Toto -- like all other MRC-affiliated writers -- doesn't believe people have that right if they tweet things that aren't conservative; otherwise, he wouldn't have written this post in which he ranted that "Gaffigan is a victim of Fake News, for sure. He’s also an adult who has access to a wealth of news sources to get the full picture. He’s as guilty of gaslighting his followers as the news is of outright lying to its readers."

You sure you're not the one who's a victim of fake news and gaslightling people, Christian?

Geoffrey Dickens included Gaffigan in a post detailing what he dismissed as "Hollywood celebrities screaming and tweeting about the 'chaos' in the streets that somehow was Donald Trump’s fault," huffing that he "condescendingly attacked Trump supporters for voting for a 'criminal' 'traitor.'"

Criticism -- any criticism -- of Trump is verboten at the MRC, and they must ridicule and shout down anyone who does, even former friends like Gaffigan. Cancel culture, anyone?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EDT
Bill Donohue Can't Get His Sanger-Hating Facts Straight
Topic: CNSNews.com

Bill Donohue began his Aug. 26 CNSNews.com column by ranting:

Aside from pro-abortion activists, everyone who has taken a serious look at the writings and speeches of Margaret Sanger admits that she was racist. Indeed, her beliefs were just as racist as those of any Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The evidence is overwhelming. Yet there are those who are still trying to rescue her legacy. Worse, some are in total denial about her racism.

As we've pointed out, while Sanger was very much a eugenicist, there's  little evidence that it was racially driven, or that Sanger was any more racist than the typical person of her day. But Donohue will insist on making that point anyway.

He asserted, as evidence of Sanger's alleged virulent racism, that "Even today, almost 8 in 10 Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods," a claim he sourced from anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson's speech at the Republian National Convention -- a claim that is not true.

Donohue went on to ask his readers to "consider what Sanger said in her book, 'Women, Morality, and Birth Control': 'We don't want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.'"

Not only does that phrase not appear in that book, the word "Negro" appears nowhere in it, period.The phrase actually came from a 1939 letterfrom Sanger to a doctor participating in her project to bring birth control to the black community; as fact-checkers have pointed out, the quote is in reference to encouraging black doctors and ministers to let black women know that Sanger's birth-control campaign targeting blacks was not a Jim Crow-like action.

So: Donohue writes a column based on a flawed premise, and gets facts wrong in trying to bolster that premise. And we're supposed to trust what he says?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Wacky MRC Tries To Portray Harris As Anti-Vaccine
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's failed microagressions against Joe Biden have spread to his running mate, Kamala Harris. Scott Whitlock ranted in a Sept. 8 post that Harris is somehow an "anti-vaxxer":

The media love to mock conservatives and Republicans as kooks who are prone to all sorts of conspiracy theories. Yet Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is sounding like the most extreme anti-vaxxerand journalists are trying to give her a pass. The three networks on Tuesday downplayed or offered no critique of her attempts to turn Americans against a COVID vaccine.

On Good Morning America, Cecilia Vega highlighted a “Trump administration vaccine” and played a clip of Harris spouting conspiracy theories about the completion of one: “It would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about. I will not take his word for it.”

Vega offered no objection to this silly image of Dr. Trump on the White House lawn with viles and beakers, encouraging people to take something that he personally came up with.

Whitlock is simply lying to you -- at no point did Harris ever suggest Trump "personally came up with" a vaccine. She merely pointed out an inconvenient fact Whitlock would rather keep censored: Nobody trusts Trump's word on anything. In a link on the words "extreme anti-vaxxer," Whitlock referenced a Hill article that, in addition to Harris' comments, highlighted a poll finding that only 14 percent of respondents would get a coronavirus vaccine if Trump recommended it, compared with 46 percent who’d take one on the advice of their family and 43 percent who would on the advice of the CDC or Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.Indeed, Trump has been extravagantly promising that a vaccine will appear before election day, which further raises public concerns.

Instead, Whitlock ranted that "the vice presidential nominee of one of the two main parties is pushing unproven conspiracy theories," dishonestly adding: "If people don’t take a vaccine because the Democrats want to deny Donald Trump a win, Americans could die. But apparently that doesn’t matter to ABC, CBS and NBC."

Indeed, since the MRC is the media arm of the trump campaign and will hide or spin any negative news about him lest it hurt his re-election chances, it continued to blame everyone by Trump for the fact that nobody trusts him. Kyle Drennen wrote in a Sept. 11 post:

After repeatedly sowing fear and doubt about a potential COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to undermine President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, on Friday, NBC’s Today show was suddenly concerned by a new poll showing that many Americans would not trust a vaccine developed under the Trump administration. Of course rather than blame themselves for politicizing the vital medical research, the network hacks instead rushed to blame the President once again.

During a report early in the 7:00 a.m. ET hour, correspondent Tom Costello warned of “new evidence that the public’s trust has been shaken.” He then touted a new poll from a left-leaning group:

As with its insistence that Biden is an "extreme" "radical," the only reason Drennen sees the issuer of the poll, the Kaiser Family Foundation, as a "left-leaning group" is because the MRC is so far right. Outside the MRC's right-wing bubble, it's a highly credible group on medical and health issues.

Drenne went into shoot-the-messenger mode, referencing Whitlock's wacky post:

In reality, the hosts and correspondent at NBC need look no further than their own reporting if they want to know why people are so distrustful of any potential vaccine. Just over the past three days, the morning show has routinely suggested without evidence that Trump would somehow force a vaccine to be approved prematurely to help his political chances in November’s election:

In fact, on Tuesday, all three network morning shows touted the Biden-Harris campaign sounding like anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists as it tried to exploit the health crisis to smear the President. There was no challenge or fact-check of the irresponsible quackery.

A Sept. 17 post by Kristine Marsh also went into shoot-the-messenger mode:

The media is so desperate to get President Trump out of office they are actually willing to scare vulnerable Americans into not taking a vaccine that could save their lives. Earlier this month, the big three networks touted Kamala Harris warning Americans not to trust Trump with a vaccine. Yesterday, Biden came out with his own dangerous message telling Americans to not take any vaccine that comes out while Trump’s in office. 

Good Morning America Thursday, White House correspondent Cecilia Vega and anchor George Stephanopoulos spent a good deal of time deflecting blame from the Democrat ticket sowing fear about a COVID vaccine to project it was actually being “politicized” by President Trump.

 

[...]

Stephanopoulos openly floated the left’s anti-science conspiracy that President Trump was somehow involved in compromising the safety of the vaccine.

Marsh offered no proof that Trump wasn't interfering in the vaccine development process, and she censored the fact that he promised a vaccine by Election Day.

Nicholas Fondacaro did much the same thing in a post the same day, with additional lying about what Harris has actually said:

In recent days, the liberal media have dedicated a lot of effort into stoking fear the coronavirus vaccines being developed by multiple pharmaceutical companies under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which put the full weight of the U.S. government behind developing and distributing a safe and effective vaccine. Of course, they were taking their cues from the Biden campaign and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who said last week she “would not trust” a vaccine developed under President Trump.

But during a taped interview with CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell, which aired Thursday evening, Moderna president Dr. Stephen Hoge shot down their coordinated fear-mongering by admitting he was NOT feeling political pressure.

[...]

Now, despite Hoge’s admission of feeling no political pressure from the White House, the liberal media will likely still stoke fear of the vaccine and blame Trump for polls showing a lack of trust in the vaccine.

No, Nick, Harris did not say she "would not trust" a vaccine developed under President Trump; she said that she would trust it if someone more credible were vouching for it. But then, we know Fondacaro is a documented liar.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:19 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Conspiracies Continue For Jack Cashill
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist has spent much of the year chasing random conspiracy theories and defending the dubious -- and he also co-wrote a novel with a plot and title that sound suspiciously familiar. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EDT
Pelosi Goes To A Salon, And CNS Is ON IT
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com loves to pile on when a Democratic politician does something it doesn't like -- but gives Republicans a pass for similar behavior. Well, it piled on again against one of its favorite targets, Nancy Pelosi.

When Pelosi was found to have visited a hair salon in San Francisco in apparent violation of the city's COVID-19 restrictions, CNS cranked out a whopping five bylined articles (by Melanie Arter and Craig Bannister) in two days taking potshots at her over it:

After a break for the long Labor Day holiday weekend, CNS  returned with two more articles, both by Bannister:

Yet CNS wasn't done flogging this story. A Sept. 17 article by Bannister touted how White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sneered that Pelosi thinks the Israel peace agreements President Trump claimed to have a role in were "a distraction from her visits to the hair salon" -- a statement Bannister put in the headline of his piece. And a Sept. 21 column by CNS' favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, ranted that "Pelosi gets her hair done at an indoor salon, violating the same law she says applies to everyone else" while restrictions remain in California on going to church. Apparently Donohue has never heard of the concept that a church is the congregation, not the building.

That's eight "news" articles and an opinion column making a big deal of this. By contrast, according to a search of the CNS archive, it published no news articles on the unflattering book about Trump written by his cousin, Mary Trump, nor about a similarly unflattering book by Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Consider this yet another violaton of CNS' mission statement in which it promised to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
MRC Censors The Fact Trump Won't Commit To Accepting Election Results
Topic: Media Research Center

Back In April, NewsBusters blogger Mark Finkelstein complained:

Today's Morning Joe came close to accusing President Trump of plotting a coup d'etat to remain in office if he loses the election in November.

The President has been openly critical of the loosened vote-by-mail measures that Democrats have proposed, suggesting that vote-by-mail facilitates voter fraud. Since the individual states control voting rules, many states are likely to adopt such measures in time for the November election.

Joe Scarborough suggested to John Heilemann that Trump's criticism of vote-by-mail indicates that he is   "preparing already to undermine any results that may be unfavorable to him in the fall."

Heilemann not only agreed, but took it a stunning step further: "If he loses the election, he will stand up and say, 'This election was rife with fraud. We had way too much vote by mail.' I guarantee you that President Trump is thinking already about trying to build that predicate so that he can dispute the result of the election on this basis."

[...]

So Heilemann can "guarantee" that President Trump is thinking of ways to refuse to accept an election loss! Amazing powers of mind-reading. Also, an exceptionally insidious accusation against the president.

Heilemann's prediction has largely unfolded exactly as he said -- Trump has repeatedly refused to state that he will accept the results of the election, and Republicans are indeed preparing to contest the election if Trump loses. Yet the MRC has regularly dismissed the idea that Trump won't accept an election loss as a conspiracy theory.

Clay Waters complained in May that a New York Times reporter was filled dwith "anti-Trmp paranoia" when he raised the possibility that Trump will reject the election results. Another Waters post listed the idea that Trump won't acceptthe result as among "feverish conspiracy theories" the Times allegedly holds, then played whataboutism by claiming that "Democrats have been trying to discredit the 2016 results from Day One."

That whataboutism was common. In a July post, Kristine Marsh grumbled about CNN host Alisyn Camerota leading a panel discussion about Trump: "During this show she also floated left-wing conspiracies that President Trump will refuse to leave office, asking, 'Show of hands, how many people that President Trump may not accept the election results?' Show of hands, how many journalists at CNN haven't accepted the 2016 results?"

Also in July, Duncan Schroeder asserted that CNN host Jim Sciutto went "into tin-foil hat territory" by "fearmongering about Trump not accepting the election results," then played the whataboutism card again: "Sciutto and his fellow Democrats have yet to “accept the results” of the 2016 election and attack Trump still."

None of these posts admitted that Trump has refused to say whether he will accept the election results if he loses. Nor have any of these posts been corrected to reflect that fact.

It's as if the MRC is the media arm of the Trump campaign and won't admit to any negative news about him.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 9:28 PM EDT
Elizabeth Farah's Pro-Trump Bible Lesson
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the more than 20 years we've been covering WorldNetDaily, the one prominent figure who has been all but publicly silent is Elizabeth Farah, (second) wife of Joseph Farah and WND's chief operating officer -- in fact, pretty much the only times we've featured her is when WND touted her buying ancient coins WND was reselling, and when the Washington Post quoted her downplaying the shady financial shenanigans it documented WND engaging in over the years. In recent months, however, Elizabeth Farah has been posting videos on YouTube of her "DIY Bible Study" series.

For her Aug. 28 video, Farah discussed what she described as "the saint's duty to re-elect Donald J. Trump." That's right -- she's going to devising ways to use the Bible to justify voting for Trump.

She addressed abortion and policing, declaring, It is not love to your neighor, nor is it love to God, to defund law enforcement. That's not love; it is sin." She then lectured:

You know what? To know tove for Trump-Pence in this election -- either to vote for the other side or to stay at home, this is the equivalent --  I want you to think of a scene of this lovely family, three or four kids, mom and the dad, and dad's sitting in an easy chair and he's watching his game, and there are home invaders right outside the door, pounding down the door, they're gonna break in and do violence, perhaps rape the wife, whatever they do to their property, who cares, what happens to the the children, don't know, and the father wants to continue watching the game.

Or let's have another vision of this. "He that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." You are watching as a blind man goes to a cliff, or maybe it's toward an oncoming train, and you cannot be bothered to redirect his path to safety. That's what this is about. But I want you to jus twatch the news every single day, and you tell me it would not be sin to vote for Biden and Harris.

Farah later harped again on police defunding, delcaring that the idea was coming from "a lunatic, a madman or someone of just great delusion or, let's put it plainly, an evil man whose ideas are straight from the pit of hell. ... We're talking our minds, or the minds of these people, moving into a hellish nightmare of sin, wickedness, debasement of unthinkable proportion. These people, they're not sane, but insanity at its root is often sin-based." Then it was lecture time again:

We can't delude ourselves anymore. Choosing to be lazy, irresponsible, indifferent, slothful, sluggardly in November 3rd is not an option. It's not an option for those who are walking in the footsteps of the Messiah, for those who claim to know the King, who are in Christ in Messiah. This is about you deciding what side you're on. Is your faith an authentic faith? "Choose ye this day whom you will serve."

[...]

And by the way, this is not the sin of impulse, a sin of the flesh where you fall into some kind of sin or say something that you regret and ask forgiveness for, this is a deliberate sin. Knowing that you will go out -- and oh yeah, I haven't said the V-word -- and vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, that is a grave, grave sin. And I don't know that there is a Democrat out there running for national office that is honorable; i don't know, and there could be, so seriously, put in the comments below if there is somebody you know of. But I would say right now as a rule of thumb, from this day going foward the idea of voting for any Democrat who would remain in that party with what we see now happening with Biden and Harris at the top of the ticket, no, it's impossible. And I'm not saying you have to vote Republican, because if there were third-party candidate that was a godly man that -- but in that case,you're splitting the ticket or splitting the vote, and you're going to be guaranteeing a Biden-Harris White House, God forbid.

You cannot vote for Democrats as long as Democrats are and have been racing toward the embrace of riot, lawlessness, evil, wickedness. Of course, their stance on abortion for I don't know how long it's been puts them in that camp. But now -- you know, we can't see abortion on the nightly news, and we don't have that many people getting out there and wanting to show you a baby being ripped from limb to limb from the womb and then, you know, putting back together those precious little baby body parts. No, people don't tend to do that. But what we do see is the ripping down of monuments, the burning of cities, the looting of mom-and-pop businesses, the beating of innoncent people, men and women who are praying, the surrounding of people, Antifa,a fascist organization if there ever was one, Black Lives Matter, a Marxist renegade organization, both of which are funded by multimillionaires and billionaires who are not being discredited and disavowed by the leaders fo the Democratic Party.

If you want to vote for Biden and Harris, you are voting for Antifa, you are voting for Black Lives Matter, you are  voting for fascism, Marxism, lawlessness, evil, you are voting for the killing of babies, yuou are voting for the defunding of your police. Insanity.

You do not have any Christian liberty in November on the 3rd, 2020. "To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin" -- James 4:17.

For someone so concerned with biblical morality, Farah was curiously silent about the amorality of Trump, a man who pays hush money to porn stars.Neither did she address whether she and her husband have repented of their shady business practices, which played a major role in creating WND's  current barely-alive state of existence.

Still, that was hateful demogoguery of the type her husband cranked out nearly every day. So if you ever wondered what kind of person would marry a man like him, now you know.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Trump Stenographers: MRC Denies Biden Is a Moderate
Topic: Media Research Center

It's indisputable that the Media Research Center is the media arm of the Trump campaign and, thus, its aggressively biased "media reserarch" can't be trusted. One of the many ways it has performed this service is by attacking anyone who delcares Joe Biden to be a moderate -- because from its right-wing pro-Trump perspective, there are no moderates, and anyone even slightly more liberal than them is without question a far-left extremist of some kind.

Mark Finkelstein, for instance, complained in a July 17 post:

If the Democrats nominated Karl Marx, they'd describe him as a "moderate Marxist" . . . 

It's SOP for the Democrats and the liberal media: they invariably try to peddle their presidential candidates as "moderates" or "centrists."

But on today's Morning Joe, MSNBC's John Heilemann took things an absurd step further, actually describing Biden as "culturally conservative." That, of course, is baldfaced balderdash.

Finkelstein went on to present as evidence of Biden's purported extremism the ratings of him from various political interest groups, which gave him either  100% or 90% depending on their political persuasion. But such ratings are dubious as an objective method for evaluating politicians, since they're usually based on roll call votes on selected issues, not a politician's entire record.

A July 21 post by Duncan Schroeder huffed: "The idea of Biden being a moderate is a joke. Biden just created his policy platform with the help of far-left, communism-loving Bernie Sanders. Sanders even said that Biden might be the 'most progressive president since FDR.' Among many radical proposals, Biden plans to spend $2 trillion on fighting climate change, transition all Americans to electric cars by 2035, and to raise taxes by $4 trillion. Biden also said that the police have 'become the enemy.'"

Schroeder repeated his attack in an Aug. 6 post, smearing media people making the claim as "propaganists" (as if Schroeder isn't one himself).

Bill D'Agostino devoted an entire Aug. 10 post to ranting against the idea:

TV journalists have insisted throughout the 2020 election cycle that Democratic Presidential hopeful Joe Biden represents the “moderate,” “centrist” wing of his party, with some even worrying that his agenda might be too far to the right for his party’s progressive base to stomach. Yet not even Biden himself agrees with that lame spin, having promised his administration would be among the “most progressive” in “American history.”

[...]

Considering Biden’s platform is indeed more “progressive” than that of any Democratic nominee in history, it is deceitful for the media to mislead audiences into believing he is a “centrist” or a “moderate.”

An Aug. 11 post by Scott Whitlock spread the attack to Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, citing a dubious interest group score, "Kamala Harris is the most liberal vice presidential nominee to ever be nominated. Her lifetime American Conservative Union Score (meaning the number of times she voted with conservatives as a Senator) is 3.03. In 2019 it was 0." Nicholas Fondacaro joined in the same day, ranting that "the liberal media will flood the zone with lies about who Harris was and what she has supported in the past in order to protect their 2020 presidential ticket," though "her radical policy positions were exposed" during CNN town halls.

Michael Dellano declared that the Biden-Harris ticket "is, in fact, a radical-left ticket. ... The leftist media wants Americans to think that Harris is a moderate, because her actual policy perspectives are not very palatable." He ranted the next day: "Every major media outlet have pushed this lie that Harris is some sort of moderate, when it has been widely known that she has supported far left policies. Some metrics stated that Harris is more radical than self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders." Kyel Drennen harrumphed that one commentator "kept pushing the lie that the leftist presidential ticket was just a couple of moderates."

Kristine Marsh grumbled on Aug. 19: "Despite ample evidence from the candidate’s own mouth that he has embraced the radical-left wing of the Democrat party [sic], CNN’s New Day tried to make the case Wednesday that Biden was someone who 'crosses the aisle.'"

A month later, Alex Christy was still pushing this same narrative: "Considering Biden's allies have also hyped the possibility of him being the most progressive president since Franklin Roosevelt, maybe the idea that he's 'more of a moderate' is badly sliced baloney."

As is the MRC's determination to do anti-Biden messaging on behalf of Trump. It's "media research" is a sham, in no small part because it has put advancing political narratives ahead of reporting facts, and it devises metrics designed to do exactly that (witness its bogus "evaluative statements" metric to measure "bias," an entirely subjective concept, and its refusal to make its raw data public). The MRC's depiction of Biden's political views as "extreme" or "radical" are not based on objective fact -- they're opinions based on, again, it being so far right that anything that is not also far right must be attacked as "far left" or extreme.

Again, keep in mind that the MRC is an arm of the Trump campaign -- which should be the lens through which everyone views what comes out of there right now -- and its deliberate dishonesty and spin makes sense.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 PM EDT
Right-Wing Fact-Checker Attacks Other Fact-Checkers
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've identifed Just Facts, run by James Agresti, as a fact-checker with a clear right-wing bias that leads it to bend the truth to fit conservative narratives, despite the Media Research Center's attempt to suggest otherwise and its own dubious insistence that it cares only about "rigorously documented facts about public policy issues." Agresti peddles more misinformation in an Aug. 27 column published at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com. He writes in attacking other (non-right-wing) fact-checkers for failing "to get even basic facts correct":

In the final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Clinton said that “half of all” illegal immigrants in the U.S. “actually pay federal income tax.”

A Pulitzer Prize-winning fact check organization named PolitiFact looked into Clinton’s claim and reported: “While there is no official figure, experts estimate that about half of all undocumented workers pay federal income taxes, if not more.”

In reality, the polar opposite is true. Data from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the Congressional Budget Office show that roughly half of illegal immigrants file federal tax returns, but virtually none of them pay federal income taxes. Instead, they file these returns to claim refundable child tax credits, which give them cash welfare payments for every child they have.

Are we supposed to believe that PolitiFact doesn’t understand that “paying income taxes” is not the same as “filing tax returns to get welfare?"

Agresti aggressively misses the obvious: If these undocumented workers did not pay those income taxes -- and have been documented doing so by the IRS and other federal offices -- they would not be eligible to get those child tax credits. The fact that these workers got the tax credits does not negate the fact they paid into the system.

Agresti cited a couple other examples of picayune hair-splitting he didn't agree with -- even though he did the exact same thing, then parroted the MRC narrative that fact-checkers are just a bunch of nasty liberals:

So what’s the common thread here? They all mislead in ways that support progressive political agendas. This is not a coincidence. I’ve examined countless fact checks that are rife with deceit, and in nearly every case, it’s the same story: They mangle the truth in ways that advance leftist narratives.

Why would they do this? I can’t read their minds, but this can only boil down to two factors: incompetence and/or dishonesty.

So what's Agresti's excuse for his truth-mangling attack on PolitiFact in an attempt to advance a political narrative -- incompetence or dishonesty?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Monday, September 21, 2020
MRC Tries To Invent Another Biden 'Scandal'
Topic: Media Research Center

Nicholas Fondacaro is such a loyal, obedient Trump-bot and Bozellbot that he's desperately trying to manufacture "scandals" to hang on Joe Biden. Last we checked in on this, he was ranting that Jill Biden leaving her first husband (whom she had married at age 18) to be with Joe Biden was a massive "scandal" that demanded wall-to-wall coverage -- never mind that he finds no scandal in Trump being on his third wife and paying hush money to porn stars.

Fondacaro believed he had another gotcha winner in an Aug. 23 post:

For at least the second time in two months, Democratic nominee Joe Biden used a quote made famous by communist leader Mao Tse-tung when it came to women. Calling it simply an “old expression,” Biden got away with quoting the communist monster (who killed millions of people) because his interviewer, ABC’s Robin Roberts refused to call out, push back, or question her candidate as to why he was doing it.

[...]

Biden’s quotation of the communist butcher came when explaining why he chose Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to be his running mate.

Fondacaro clearly can't object to the sentiment of the statement, so he must raise a ruckus about its supposed source and play politics because it involves Mao, whom he mnakes sure to call a "communist butcher" who "killed millions of his own people."

This is an echo of what the ConWeb did in 2010 when it frothed over Obama White House adviser Anita Dunn referencing Mao in a speech, making sure to pull it out of context in the process.Needless to say, the MRC raged about it as well, ranting that it wasn't being covered toits satisfaction, then raging some more at Dunn's explanation that she was inspired by Republican strategist Lee Atwater to quote Mao, then took Dunn out of context in complaining further that the "old media" failed to cover the story sufficiently. The MRC reamins obsessed by this to this day; it published a Sept. 16 column by Walter Williams complaining that Dunn "said Mao was one of her heroes" (which, again, dishonestly takes her out of context).

In other words, the MRC ran this exact same playbook a decade ago against Obama, and it didn't work. Why does Fondacaro think it will work now?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:08 AM EDT
WND Repeatedly Smeared Obama As Nazi -- But Again Hypocritically Complains About Trump-Nazi Smears
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian began his Aug. 25 column this way:

“Close your eyes. Remember what you saw on television. Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of a field with lighted torches, veins bulging, spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s. Remember the violent clash that ensued, between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And remember what the president said when asked. He said there were, quote, very fine people on both sides. That was a wake-up call for us as a country.”

That was Joe Biden, formally accepting his party’s nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention last Thursday – and staking his moral claim to lead the free world on the lie that President Donald Trump admires Nazis.

Indeed, what has become known as the “Charlottesville lie” has been continually refuted for three years by virtually everyone both on the right and on the left. Trump never said Nazis are “very fine people.” It’s an absurd and outrageous lie.

As we've pointed out, the "Charlottesville lie" narrative is itself a lie. (An Aug. 21 WND article by Art Moore similarly pushed the "Charlottesville lie" lie.)

But Kupelian has a bigger issue to hypocritally litigate, as he did back in 2016:

Yet Biden’s blatant dishonesty is just part of a much larger pattern of Democrats continuously tying President Trump to Hitler, the single most detested genocidal monster in human history:

[...]

Such comparisons are far worse and far more serious than merely being insane.

Yes of course they’re insane. Adolf Hitler murdered 11 million people while Donald Trump has murdered none; ergo Trump is not Hitler.

But why “far worse and far more serious” than merely insane?

Consider that the only truly moral and courageous response to the real Adolf Hitler during the real Third Reich was to try to kill him. There were 16 known plots to assassinate Hitler, and all of the participants – who were eventually executed, including the beloved Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, hanged by the Nazis for his role in the “20 July plot” – are today universally regarded as heroes and martyrs. Therefore, comparing Trump to Hitler constitutes an insidious invitation to any of the countless violent leftwing crazies out there to attempt to assassinate the president, just like the “Bernie Bro” who shot at multiple Republican congressmen at a 2017 charity baseball practice, almost killing and gravely wounding Rep. Steve Scalise.

[...]

But back to the question at hand: Why do top Democrats and their media allies continually liken Trump to Hitler, when the comparison is so obviously extreme, reckless, deranged, dangerous and frankly evil?

It’s not solely because they detest Trump and consider “Hitler,” “Gestapo,” “Nazi,” “stormtroopers” and “concentration camps” useful nasty words to hurl at him.

It is far more purposeful and strategic than that.

Casting Trump as Hitler, and his supporters as deplorable white-supremacist neo-Nazi types, comprises the entire moral core of the Democratic Party’s claim to be the rightful inheritors of permanent political power in America, starting in November.

Consider this: The left – as recent events make clearer than ever – detests law and order, individual rights, Judeo-Christian morality, anything and everything that limits, confines, exposes or restrains it. It is thus continually fighting and rebelling against the Constitution, the laws of economics, human nature, basic biology – everything that inhibits their imposition on society of their wildest and most unhinged utopian fantasies.

Consider also, if you will, that if you were truly fighting a genocidal monster like Hitler, almost nothing would be out of bounds for you. Essentially there would be no rules – and that’s exactly the way the left likes it. No rules.

Kupelian is projecting -- he's accusing Democrats of treating Trump like he and WND treated Barack Obama during his presidency.

We would respectfully remind Kupelian that WND repeatedly likened Obama to Hitler and other Nazis. It first hid behind ex-Hitler Youth member Hilmar von Campe then invoked another war survivor, Anita Dittman, to perpetuate the smear. It has published numerous columns making the smear, and other columns defending the smear, insisting that those who complained about it "are out of ideas or have too much time on their hands."

If likening Trump to Hitler and Nazis is the terrible thing Kupelian claims it is, where was he when the "news" operation he manages repeatedly did that to Obama?  Did he ever object? Or did he gleefully repeat those smears?

Indeed, Kupelian closed his column by making the smear hehad just spent the rest of his column denouncing: "After all, considering the Democrats’ shockingly fake candidate, their insane platform and their appalling totalitarian plans for America, Adolf Hitler is just about the only person in history who, by comparison, makes today's Democrats look halfway palatable."

If Kupelian can't be bothered to apologize for WND's disgraceful history of Obama-Nazi smears -- and can't curb his own smearing impulses -- he has no moral standing to complain about the same thing being done to Trump.

If Kupelian can't be honest, perhaps he should shut up.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 21, 2020 12:44 AM EDT

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