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Friday, July 22, 2016
Everybody's Getting Their Bhuttos Wrong
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center really, really hates Chris Matthews, even when he's defending Donald Trump. So much so, in fact, they can't quite their facts straight.

The MRC's Curtis Houck devoted a July 21 post to complaining about Matthews saying that "the Republican National Convention (RNC) chanting “lock her up” concerning Hillary Clinton was akin to what one would hear in Buenos Aires, Argentina or Caracas, Venezuela."

This led Matthews to conclude the segment by invoking two Latin American countries and bizarrely and irresponsibly throwing in the assassinated former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (which he falsely asserted was male) as a consequence of such rhetoric:

I've never been to a convention — look, I’ve never been to a convention in Caracas or Buenos Aires, but I’m sure I’ve heard it down there...It is very Latin American. This is wild stuff. My opponent — and too, a lot of countries, they put away the guy who — how about — what is it, Benazir Bhutto? He loses an election, they hang him.

Matthews did get a fact wrong, just not the one Houck thinks he got wrong -- Matthews simply named the wrong Bhutto -- which makes Houck a little wrong too.

Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, is the person Matthews was trying to think of. He was ousted as Pakistan's prime minister in a military coup (not losing an election, as Matthews claimed), then was arrested on trumped-up charges of murdering a political rival. He was found not guilty yet was sentenced to death. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007 while seeking re-election to a third non-consecutive term as prime minister, which means her story wouldn't fit Matthews' analogy, as Houck suggested.

Can everybody just get their facts straight, please?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
Thursday, July 21, 2016
MRC Rants About Coverage of Melania's Plagiarism, As Is Their Job
Topic: Media Research Center

When the story of plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention broke, it was inevitable that the Media Research Center would complain about the coverage of it.

While the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, tried to bury the plagiarism story, the MRC proper was attacking news coverage of it, using seven MRC employees to call the coverage a "feeding frenzy" and grumble that "In contrast, ABC, CBS, NBC and FNC during these hours collectively provided a mere 1 minute, 48 seconds of coverage to Pat Smith's emotional speech condemning Hillary Clinton's inept handling of Benghazi."

When the story wouldn't go away -- you know, because the Trump campaign couldn't stop denying the obvious plagiarism -- the MRC then went into distraction mode, led by Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella:

It’s been a day and a half since the establishment liberal media sank their jaws into the Melania Trump “plagiarism” story, and they are showing few signs of letting go, with heavy coverage on the broadcast networks’ Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning news shows.

Eight years ago, however, when a similar flap threatened then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the broadcast networks generated much less coverage — just 14 minutes of airtime, or barely one-fourth what they’ve churned out this week.

Complete with chart, of course:

Noyes and Ciandella wrote, "The questions about Melania Trump’s speech are legitimate and deserve coverage, but the networks have blown this all out of proportion." Needless to say, they didn't mention the key differences between the Trump and Obama incidents: Obama's instances of plagiarized passages occurred in a campaign stump speech, not at the party's national convention; the person from whom the passages were lifted, then-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, is a friend of Obama's and had no problem with it, whereas Melania Trump's passages were lifted from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama; and unlike with the Trump incident, the Obama campaign didn't spend a day and a half denying that plagiarism took place.

That denial is the reason the story continued to be covered -- and that dishonesty became the story. It seems that it took CNN's Chris Cuomo calling Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort a liar after yet another denial that any plagiarism took place that the Trump campaign rushed out a statement from a staff speechwriter admitting plagiarism that the story finally was put to rest.

Complaining about something that was supposedly given too much coverage is meaningless if you ignore the real reason why the story dragged on as long as it did, as Noyes and Ciandella do.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2016 1:18 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Bozell's Hypocrisy on Demanding A Full Retraction For a Misquote
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserarch Center is nothing if not a loyal supporter and protector of Fox News (if only to guarantee that Brent Bozell and his underlings regularly appear on it). It won't even criticize blatantly biased pro-Trump propaganda on the channel even though it's indisputably an example of media bias.

Thus, it's unsurprising that NewsBusters, the MRC's main portal, has been totally silent about the sexual harrassment lawsuit former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has filed against Fox News chief Roger Ailes. And the only time the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has ever mentioned it on its front page is a July 15 Associated Press article on Ailes trying to move the case to arbitration.

So when MRC chief Brent Bozell made appearances on Fox News and Fox Business on July 18, network officials knew he would never talk about the Ailes lawsuit. So what did he talk about instead? How the Washington Post misattributed a statement by Marco Rubio to Fox News (and Fox Business) host Neil Cavuto. And of course, Bozell ramps this up to a full conspiracy-level scandal:

Fox Business Network brought on MRC President Brent Bozell Monday afternoon to talk about how the Washington Post smeared FBN host Neil Cavuto in an article in Sunday’s paper. In a roundup list of conservatives who were wrong about Trump getting the likely nomination, the Post inaccurately attributed a Marco Rubio quote to Neil Cavuto. After host Charles Payne asked Brent Bozell if this was “sloppy reporting,” Bozell responded that it was “absolutely sloppy” and that he thought the paper “owes an apology and a retraction.”

Payne observed that it seemed like the liberal media liked to pit conservatives against each other, with articles like this. Bozell agreed, that "the establishment press" like the New York Times and the Washington Post have always had a “certain disdain” for Fox News and because of that, they get loose with the facts and “gravitate” towards this kind of journalism. “I wonder how many people on the left they would look at in journalism?” Bozell asked. “They don’t. They want to find an opportunity to go after Fox at every chance that they get,” he added.

As usual, Bozell is being utterly hypocritical in his demands. Back in the mid-1990s, the MRC pulled random quotes from a book by then-New York Times editor Howell Raines and claimed that they maliciously disparaged Ronald Reagan. In fact, the MRC cobbled together statements 28 pages apart in Raines' book to make the claim.

When the Daily Howler's Bob Somerby called out the MRC on its egregious error several years later, did Bozell admit the “absolutely sloppy” work and issue "an apology and a retraction"? Of course not -- it simply appended a "clarifiaction" to the false posts and added the tepid statement, "We regret the confusion." No correction, no apology.

Unless Bozell can offer on the MRC's Raines misquotes what he demands the Post do for Cavuto, he needs to shut up about this. Then again, he was able to parlay his faux outrage into two TV appearances, so maybe that's all that matters to him.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
MRC Defends Race-Baiting CNN Commentator
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so completely aboard the Trump train, it appears, that it's starting to reflect his retrograde attitudes.

When race-baiting right-wing CNN commentator Harry Houck actually said that blacks are "prone to criminality," what did the MRC's Brad Wilmouth do in a July 11 post? He defended Houck as being "completely accurate" and blamed fellow CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill for freaking out about it and causing a lack of a civil conversation on the issue:

Monday's New Day on CNN displayed a classic example of how difficult it is to have a conversation with a liberal about racial issues. If you present relevant facts that are completely accurate, you run the risk of being accused of racism, especially if the liberal you're speaking to has a different vision of what your choice of words should have been.

Moments after CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck recited NYPD stats finding that New York City's black population commits crime at a rate much more disproportionate compared to their percentage of the population, he and liberal CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill got into a debate about whether the Ferguson police department was found to be racist based on emails that had been circulated.

After Hill declared, "If Harry stood on national TV and just said that black people are prone to criminality, I wouldn't even respond to that," leading Houck to respond, "Well, they are," as he referred back to the aforementioned crime statistics. The two then got into a heated exchange that went on for almost three minutes.

The problem here is that while Houck's numbers may be "accurate," they are incomplete and lack context. As the Daily Kos' Frank Vyan Walton details, the numbers Houck was citing date from the days of New York's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which overly targeted minorities and was ineffective at deterring crime -- only 6.2 percent of people stopped under stop-and-frisk were ever arrested and only 2 percent were convicted of a crime.

Further, Walton notes, in nearly every category of crime in the NYPD stats, the number of blacks arrested are significantly lower than the number of blacks considered as suspects, which would seem to suggest a certain amount of reflexive racism among the NYPD.

Houck is the kind of person whose attitudes on race the MRC now considers acceptable. That's what happens when you get on board the Trump train.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 3:13 PM EDT
Sunday, July 17, 2016
The MRC Brings Back The Clinton Equivocation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is bringing back the Clinton Equivocation. The 2016 spin: The MRC will help Donald Trump escape accountable for anything he has done in his life, no matter how terrible, because the Clintons will somehow have done something worse.

The MRC's Clay Waters did it in May. Now NewsBusters blogger Jack Coleman takes it to the next level in a July 10 screed. He starts off by unleashing venom at "McLaughlin Group" panelist Eleanor Clift, declaring that she's actually Baghdad Bob after he "apparently escaped to the United States [and] underwent  sex-change surgery -- sorry, gender enhancement therapy."

What set Coleman off on his vicious attack was Clift saying that questions about Hillary Clinton's private server are "like jaywalking compared to everything Donald Trump has put out there." Coleman rants:

Except that not a single thing Trump has "put out there" has occurred while Trump held one of the most significant positions in government, nor has any of it involved the most sensitive of national secrets. In the alt-reality inhabited by the left, Trump's hate speech is deemed far worse than Clinton's casual indifference to our security.

Is it remotely possible to believe that if Clinton and Trump were reversed in this scenario -- that it was Secretary of State Trump using a private email account, one with less security than my Gmail, even while abroad amid "hostile actors" -- that Clift would shrug it off?

While it was always unlikely that Clinton would serve time for her misdeeds, it takes an apologist of Clift's magnitude to blindly reject the indisputable justice that Clinton should never again receive a security clearance. This would render Clinton unfit as commander in chief, except for liberals like Clift who'd vote for her anyway.

So Trump's hate speech -- which Coleman apparently has no problem with -- is perfectly fine even if it ruins relations with American allies and divides Americans, so long as he didn't put on a private server?

Way to lower the expectations bar for your preferred presidential candidate, Jack.

Tim Graham plays the same equivocation game in a July 15 post complaining that reporters are pointing out that "Donald Trump is far worse for restricting access to reporters he doesn't like" than Hillary Clinton and how they ignore "how much more accessible Trump has been to reporters." Graham whines:

Hillary's failure to submit herself to press scrutiny likewise costs her next to nothing in the tone of her press clips. When she submits herself to interviews, they've been sappy and toothless -- see the anodyne TV questioning after the strange Comey non-indictment. The press that claims to value "independence" and "investigation" seem to think those don't apply when they cover the Clintons, and they actually hound Republicans (see Chuck Todd) when they dare to investigate Clinton scandals that the press doesn't want investigated.

The Trump aide's sorry manhandling of Michelle Fields is somewhat matched by the Clinton campaign's roping journalists like cattle. But again, they don't seem to find that embarrassing (or even worth remembering) when they compare the two candidates. Trump has been an arrogant, hypersensitive, fact-mangling candidate....and guess what? The record shows Hillary Clinton is, too.

Yes, Graham is really trying to  equate denying press access to physically assaulting -- er, "manhandling" -- a member of the press. And then he claims (without proof) that Hillary is equally "an arrogant, hypersensitive, fact-mangling candidate" as Trump.

But then, Graham is upset that Trump is even being held to basic factual standards, so he would say that.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Thursday, July 14, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Trump Flip
Topic: Media Research Center
In the space of just a couple of months, the Media Research Center went from demanding negative media coverage of Donald Trump -- which it didn't even order its own "news" division to do -- to complaining when it happens. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 5:22 PM EDT
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
MRC Is In Full Trump Campaign PR Mode
Topic: Media Research Center

In addition to outright denying that Donald Trump should be held accountable for his lies, the Media Research Center is fully on board the Trump campaign in order to spin his record.

In a July 6 post, Nicholas Fondacaro pushed back on protests over how Trump used bankruptcy proceedings at his Atlantic City casinos to avoid taking a personal financial hit on the casino's problems, complaining that the media "parroted Clinton’s attacks on Trump and talked about Trump’s bankrupted casinos as if they were the only casinos to have closed":

But the truth is, Trump’s casinos were not the only ones to shut down. Four of the city’s 12 casinos closed in 2014 after they all saw their incomes plummet by 50 percent in eight years. And in December 2015 CNN Money reported that, “three of the remaining casinos are "already on the brink," with the Trump Taj Mahal, Caesar's and Bally's having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.” Atlantic City as a whole was so bad the state government was forced to restructure how the casinos payed taxes. 

That's true but mostly irrelevant. As the New York Times reported, Trump made little effort to invest in the city where his casinos were or even do much reinvestment into his casinos, pulling his casino profits out of the city to put into his Manhattan real estate. Trump's manipulations over the nearly 30 years his casinos have been in Atlantic -- including three bankruptcy filings -- have been geared toward removing any personal financial responsibility for them while still reaping revenue from them, as others were left on the hook for the casinos' debts.

Clay Waters took the Trump apologist mantle in a July 9 post complaining about a New York Times' article on Trump's birther fixation in 2011. Trump tries to pretend that right-wingers-- and, thus, Trump -- had nothing to do with birtherism, narrowly focusing on how the birther claim originated with rogue Hillary Clinton supporters.

But Waters ignores that regardless of its origin, the birther movement grew almost exclusively due to right-wingers who hated Obama, like Trump. The MRC itself was not immune to promoting birtherism, and it only aggressively denounced birthers when they started going after Ted Cruz.

These are the kind of deflections and spin you'd expect to see from campaign spokespeople. Hopefully Trump is paying the MRC accordingly for its PR work.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
MRC Getting Into The Right-Wing-Screed Business
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center seems to be getting further and further away from all that "media research" stuff (not that they're all that good at it) and is moving toward hateful right-wing screeds. The MRC has been into these in the past month.

For example, P.J. Gladnick sneered in a June 10 post:

When you hear Elizabeth Warren loudly ranting about Donald Trump do her screechings sound vaguely familiar? Perhaps you were sure you heard someone like that in the past but you can't quite put your finger on it. Well, a recent caller to the Laura Ingraham radio show, Mark from Virginia, finally lifted the veil on that maddening ​mystery when he revealed that Warren was an almost exact vocal twin of the Ruth Buzzi's bag lady character of many eons ago on the Laugh-In television comedy show.

Aha! Now it is clear to you. Of course. And if you doubt the very similar vocal patterns, listen to this clip of Laura Ingraham comparing Elizabeth Warren's rants with those of Ruth Buzzi. They are eerily similar in both voice and attitude.

MRC VP Dan Gainor wrote a post titled "6 Radical, Crazy, Insane, Nutball, Liberal Things," declaring that "Tracking liberal insanity is like playing Whack-A-Mole only instead of pesky moles, you get to bash bizarro lefties." Again, not exactly forwarding the whole "media research" thing.

And Maggie McKneely made her hate clear in the headline of her NewsBusters post: "Make it Stop: Media Hype FLOTUS Snapchatting and Carpool Karaoke." Yes, McKneely is all bent out of shape because Michelle Obama is doing a "Carpool Karaoke" segment with James Corden. No, really:

Corden is undoubtedly a fan of his next guest, but First Lady Michelle Obama is an unconventional choice because she has no original songs. Maybe they can sing Fifth Harmony’s tribute to the FLOTUS.

To announce the upcoming appearance, Obama joined the world of Snapchat. Although she’s only used the app for a day, the ever-worshipful media has already dubbed her the “Snapqueen.” Cosmo, though, just prefers to call her their “Queen” in general. 

[...]

Michelle Obama was already the most televised first lady in history, appearing on everything from Jimmy Kimmel to NCIS to even Nickelodeon. But considering Hillary Clinton has had a snapchat account for almost a year, Obama has been surprisingly slow to join the bandwagon.  And since 71% of its users are under 25 years old, there’s no better way to reach the college-age demographic.

Snapchat’s appeal to its users is that everything that gets posted disappears forever after 24 hours, no matter how dumb and ridiculous it was. What better way to advertise karaoke? 

Again, this is all over Michelle Obama doing a harmless bit of TV. What is McKneely's problem?

UPDATE: Gladnick strikes again in a July 12 post, having apparently decided that Hillary Clinton is the Manchurian candidate:

Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Anybody who ever saw the movie The Manchurian Candidate would have quickly thought it rather odd that every soldier captured in Korea with Raymond Shaw gave identical answers when asked to describe him. However, when associates of Hillary used identical answers to describe her, Ezra Klein of Vox seems not to notice anything strange there. Here is Ezra making the observation about those identical (robotic?) descriptions without the least hint of curiosity as to the Manchurian Candidate quality about them:

The answers startled me in their consistency. Every single person brought up, in some way or another, the exact same quality they feel leads Clinton to excel in governance and struggle in campaigns. On the one hand, that makes my job as a reporter easy. There actually is an answer to the question. On the other hand, it makes my job as a writer harder: It isn’t a very satisfying answer to the question, at least not when you first hear it.

Hillary Clinton, they said over and over again, listens.

Hillary Clinton is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful listener I have ever known in my life.

And to make sure you know she is a good listener, Klein repeats "listen," listens," and "listener" 41 times in his shill Hill piece. Whenever the Red Queen flashes by, we get this response:

[...]

Except Klein did not question why every single person associated with Hillary gave that same Manchurian Candidatish "listen" answer. A skeptical mind would suspect that it was a mandatory talking point Hillary description answer handed down from on high. Instead, Klein went on to unsubtly press that "listen" shtick over and over again  much like 1950s TV commercials pitching aspirin products by showing a cartoon hammer pounding repetitively against a skull:

[...]

Agghhhh!!! Enough already, Ezra! You've pounded that Hillary "listen" bit so relentlessly against my skull that now I need an aspirin.

Exit question: If I flash the Red Queen in front of Ezra Klein and make a certain demand, would he jump into a vat of Kool Aid along with his fellow Hillary-enabling JournoLists?

So when Obama stop being the Manchurian candidate (or president)? Gladnick should ask Aaron Klein about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 9:38 PM EDT
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Is The MRC Bitter That Hillary Wasn't Jailed For Email Issues? Oh, A Tad
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline of Media Research Center writer Kristine Marsh's July 5 post reads "'Obviously' Clinton Wouldn't Be Charged; Right is Just 'Bitter,' Claim Journalists on Twitter." But instead of arguing that right-wingers like herself really weren't "bitter about Hillary Clinton not being charged over her email controversy, Marsh instead proved justy how bitter she is by her sneering attacks on those "journalists" who commented:

  • "Paul Krugman, columnist for the elitist The New York Times had his own snotty tweet ready"
  • "CNN analyst Van Jones snappily replied"
  • "Jamil Smith of MTV News dismissed the whole scandal in one crass tweet"

While Marsh was also suggesting that the "journalists" she quoted were supposed to be objective, most of them, like Krugman, Jones and Amanda Marcotte, are opinion writers. March very easily could have found conservative "journalists" similarly spouting off.

Marsh also complained that Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel "mocked the GOP" by commenting, "Who’ll be the first elected to call on the GOP Congress to create a special counsel and probe Clinton’s email again?" he was proven right by House Republicans hauling FBI director James Comey before a committee to explain himself, then declaring that the issue would not die due to the committee giving the FBI a referral "in the next few hours"  to investigate whether Clinton lied to the FBI, something Marsh's fellow MRC employees at CNSNews.com proudly reported.

Marxh ended her post with one last bitter salvo: "The media’s readiness to quickly dismiss yet another Clinton scandal proves that their attitude towards Clinton hasn’t changed since the days where she characterized her critics as part of a 'vast right-wing conspiracy.'" Of course, there was such a thing, and Marsh's employer was one of the organizations involved with it.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EDT
Friday, July 8, 2016
MRC Rants Against Gas Taxes, Provides No Alternative Method To Fund Transportation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alatheia Nielsen ranted in a June 30 NewsBusters post:

If you’re taking advantage of the extended Independence Day weekend to embark on a road trip, you’ll be filling up the tank.

If you are researching prices to see just how much your trip will cost, have you thought about which states siphon the most money from each tank of gas you purchase?

Unlike the federal gasoline tax, which is set at 18.4 cents per gallon across the nation, states set their own gas taxes, which vary widely from 12.25 cents to 50.3 cents per gallon, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. Five states are the biggest money grubbers. If your weekend plans take you through these five states, just remember how much of your gas money is actually going straight to the state government:

But Nielsen overlooked the fact that these "money grubbing" gas taxes in those five states -- as well as every other state -- goes mostly or entirely toward funding transportation needs in those states.

For instance, in California, which Nielsen identified as having "the 5th highest state gas tax," 57 percent of that total goes to highways, 36 percent for cities and counties for various needs -- mostly streets and roads -- and 7 percent for transit. In other words, nearly all of it; a small part goes into the state's general fund.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Hawaii, with the fourth highest gas tax, spends 96 percent of its gas tax revenue on state and county roads. In New York, the third highest gas tax, the money is completely earmarked for state and local transportation projects. IN Washington state, with the second highest gas tax, more than 61 percent is earmarked for transportation. And in Pennsylvania, the state with the highest gas tax, 100 percent is dedicated to transportation programs.

In other words, the gas tax is the main method states use to build and fix roads, as well as fund other transportation needs. It's a logical tax in that it's not a regressive tax and it's paid by people who benefit almost entirely from the service it provides. It makes eminent sense for drivers to pay for the roads they drive on, and the easiest way to do that is the gas tax.

Nielsen offers no alternative way to fund transporation needs if states' gas taxes are eliminated. But then, given that she got her information from the American Petroleum Institute -- which is part of the fossil-fuel industry whose bidding the MRC routinely does -- offering a solution was never part of the plan.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 PM EDT
Thursday, July 7, 2016
MRC Bizarrely Attacks Newspaper Article on Obama Being A Good Dad
Topic: Media Research Center

The hatred for President Obama at the Media Research Center is so visceral, they simply can't accept any reporting about him that's even remotely positive.

Even noting something as benign as Obama being a pretty decent father to his two children is beyond the pale at the MRC. When the Washington Post did just that, Melissa Mullins was ready with knives out:

The Washington Post is already working on crafting Obama’s presidential legacy story once he leaves office next January – and it isn’t just any legacy they are attributing to him – it’s an “unusual” legacy. Why?  Well, The Post certainly couldn’t use ObamaCare which was shoved down the throats of Americans and far exceeded projected costs.  They couldn’t use the issue of Immigration that Obama so passionately ran on during his campaign – especially after it was just smacked down by the Supreme Court earlier this week.  No – Obama’s “unusual” legacy was being “a good dad,” something that had nothing to do with his presidency.

“An analysis of past presidents shows how unusual Obama's hands-on parenting really is,” claimed the subheadline. Historian Joshua Kendall has written a book on First Dads. Check out some of the never-ending overflow of sappiness from the Post -- you may want to grab a tissue, or a trash can.

[...]

Obama also had a rule that he would have dinner five nights out of the week with his family -- which left only two nights for fundraisers.  Ironic that Obama gets lauded for this but when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan wanted to be at home with his family on the weekends, he took a lot of heat.

Kendall ended his gushy piece by saying, "In sharp contrast to his own neglectful father, this president with the perfect attendance record at his daughters' parent-teacher conferences has emerged as a model father. Out of his own feelings of loss and alienation, which he described in [his early memoir] Dreams from My Father, has come a road map for personal and social transformation.... ..for Obama, good parenting is a powerful tool for social transformation. It may also be a key component of his legacy."

Someone please, get me a trash can.

If Mullins is so offended by a mere newspaper article that she feels the need to vomit, she needs more than a trash can -- she needs psychiatric help.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EDT
Monday, July 4, 2016
MRC Goes To War Against Fact-Checkers To Protect Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

We could see it coming.

First, the Media Research Center tries to spin Donald Trump's lies and bashes anyone who points out that they are, in fact, lies. The the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com uncritically quotes a Trump campaign flack declaring that "We’re not going to base national security off PolitiFact" after fact-checkers pointed out that Trump got caught telling yet another lie.

Now, the MRC's war on fact-checkers has escalated with Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's June 29 column whining that fact-checkers continue ot call out Trump, attacking in particular "the liberal-media project calling itself PolitiFact."

Graham and Bozell bring up no less than three times what they call "Hillary Clinton's obscene lie about landing in sniper fire in Bosnia," complaining that it "is a distant memory." That's because it is -- she said it in 2008, and it was judged as false back then. By contrast, their preferred presidential candidate, Trump, lies on a daily basis and is surely lying about something right now. But pointing out the fact that Trump is an inveterate liar is apparently part of that the anti-conservative media conspiracy they've been warning us about. 

But let's read how Graham and Bozell rant about this:

Let us briefly review the ratings this "fact-checking" project gave the candidates that week.

Nine of Trump's statements were rated. There was one "Mostly False," four "False," three "Pants on Fire" and one "True" — restating that Hillary-Bosnia thing. Only four of Clinton's statements were rated: two "Mostly True," one "Half True" and one "True."

A Clinton critic can easily shred these results. They found it "True" in a Clinton speech to Planned Parenthood that maternal mortality has plummeted since Roe v. Wade — as if that's some kind of scientific principle connecting the two instead of a general advance in health care since 1973. That was a "Mostly False."

What about Clinton's claim that Trump "actually said, 'women should be punished for having abortions'?" Fact is, under heavy pressure from MSNBC's Chris Matthews Trump gave the thoughtless answer — "there has to be some form of punishment." But fact also is that he then almost immediately backed away, withdrawing that answer. "Half True" is being generous.

Declaring that Trump "almost immediately backed away" from a "thoughtless answer" on abortion -- actually, several hours passed before for he did so, and only after anti-abortion groups pointed out that this he was not following the political stance of the movement -- means that Graham and Bozell are making an excuse to save their preferred candidate, and it doesn't erase the fact that he did indeed say it in the first place.

And Graham and Bozell mislead about the statement it highlights about Clinton. In fact, PolitiFact rated Clinton's statement that maternal mortality has plummeted since Roe v. Wade as "Mostly True" -- not "True," as they claim -- and it also pointed out that the mortality rate was on the decline in the years before Roe v. Wade, which Graham and Bozell falsely suggest it did not do.

Since Graham and Bozell aren't ones to let the facts get in the way of an attack on fact-checkers, please continue:

PolitiFact avoided rating another Clinton statement altogether. In the same speech she said, "Thank you for being there for Natarsha McQueen, who told me how Planned Parenthood caught her breast cancer when she was just 33 years old, and saved her life." Wrong. One of the most persistent lies is that Planned Parenthood does mammograms and "catches" breast cancer. Planned Parenthood doctors only refer women to other people who do mammograms. Clinton tells that lie incessantly. "Pants on Fire Lie" puts it mildly.

Actually, the story is mostly true. NBC reports:

Natarsha McQueen, 40, of Brooklyn, NY, joined in and defended Planned Parenthood. McQueen was diagnosed with breast cancer after a breast exam revealed a lump and a subsequent referral from Planned Parenthood let to further diagnosis and treatment.

"Thanks to an early cancer screening I'm a breast cancer survivor," McQueen told a room of about 45 people on Capitol Hill.

"I had breast cancer. I was in complete shock. I was very young and there was no history of breast cancer in my family. I continue to go to Planned Parenthood for gynecological exams and breast exams as well," McQueen added.

While Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms in its clinics, it does provide referrals to places that do, and that's what appears happened with McQueen. Will Graham and Bozell walk up to McQueen and tell her to her face that she's a liar? Not likely -- it's much easier and safer to beat up on Hillary.

Graham and Bozell then set a false comparison between Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren:

Cruz and Warren were both elected to the Senate in 2012. Cruz has been assessed for truth on 114 occasions by PolitiFact, but Warren has only been assessed on four? And for the record, there's no rating for Warren claiming to be part Cherokee Indian.

Graham and Bozell don't mention that Cruz spent much of the past year running for president, while Warren did not. Oh, and there's no evidence Warren deliberately lied about having a Native American heritage or that she used it to advance in her career; she has said she relied on family stories for her claim.

Let's be clear about Graham and Bozell -- and the MRC -- are doing. The only way they can deal with Trump's constant lies is to declare the act of fact-checking to be a partisan exercise, as Graham and Bozell's whine that PolitiFact has "rated Trump 'False'/'Mostly False'/'Pants on Fire' 77 percent of the time. But they've rated Clinton 'False' and 'Mostly False' only 26 percent of the time."

The MRC have invested years -- nay, decades -- in portraying the Clintons as liars, but when someone who lies as much as Trump comes along and is a Republican, facts suddenly no longer matter.

Or, as Graham and Bozell conclude, fact-checking is now "a liberal, out-of-touch, elitist media thing." 


Posted by Terry K. at 10:42 PM EDT
Saturday, July 2, 2016
MRC Whitewashes Trump's Lies About Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've seen, one of the Media Research Center's duties for Donald Trump's presidential campaign is to try and counter the fact that Trump's a rampant liar. That's demonstrated again in a June 23 post by Nicholas Fondacaro:

Donald Trump delivered a condemning speech against is opponent Hillary Clinton Wednesday, explaining why he calls her “Crooked Hillary.” The “big three” networks rushed to her defense, mostly picking on the easy targets among his allegations. But NBC’s Hallie Jackson went the farthest in bending the truth to counter Trump, and make Clinton look good. “Trump never one to mince words, though today not all of them were true,” Jackson reported during Nightly News.

First, Jackson bent the truth regarding Trump’s claim that Clinton’s private E-Mail server was hacked by foreign governments. “But a State Department inspector general's report said it found no such evidence, only routine phishing,” she stated, “No government official has said her e-mails were hacked.”

But that’s not entirely accurate.

According to a recent report by the State Department’s Inspector General, there were two known attempts to hack into the server. That’s a huge step up from Jackson’s claim of “routine phishing.” But then again this fact has been omitted from NBC’s reporting in the past, most notably by reporter Andrea Mitchell when the report was first released.

But Trump did not say anything about attempted hacking; he specifically said Clinton server was actually hacked. An attempted hack is not an actual hack. Therefore, Trump is wrong, and Fondacaro looks silly for trying to spin it.

But Fondacaro keeps on spinning:

Jackson also noted the source material for some of Trump’s accusations, “Trump leaning heavily on the book Clinton Cash.” She once again mislead viewers claiming, “But that book's author admits there's no evidence to prove those allegations.” Although author Peter Schweizer did admit that he didn’t have the hard evidence that he would like, he has stated that a goal of his book was to get officials involved since that have the legal authority to investigate farther than he can.

But if even Schweizer admits he has no "hard evidence" to back up his paratisan attacks on the Clintons -- as Fondacaro is conceding -- Trump should know better than to cite it as undisputed fact. Fondacaro is just trying to whitewash more Trump falsehoods.

In other words, Fondacaro is the one "bending the truth," not the fact-checkers.

Despite all this nitpicking, Fondacaro failed to mention all the other Trump falsehoods in the speech that he also apparently concedes. CNN counted 10 outright "false" statements by Trump and four more "misleading" claims.

One of the "false" claims CNN identified was the server claim Fondacaro tried to whitewash, pointing out that "there is no conclusive indication that Clinton's email was ever breached, let alone proof that foreign governments were behind even such attempts." Fondacaro somehow forgot to mention that Trump claimed foreign governments hacked Clinton's server.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EDT
Thursday, June 30, 2016
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About This Month?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is not a fan of the gays, and it hate-watches TV shows with gay themes. There's so much gay-bashing at the MRC it threatens to overload our system. So here, in handy summary form, is some of the gay stuff the MRC has freaked out over over the past month.

-- Mairead McArdle takes issue with an interview "gay actor George Takei" conducted two two transgenders. Focusing on one interviewee, a transgender man named Lane, McArdle writes:

A telling part of Lane’s testimony is that, “I knew I was trans because I knew it was a thing already.” In other words, Lane’s transition came in part from her knowledge that being transgender “was a thing.”

So Lane wouldn't have become a transgender if right-wingers like McArdle were successful in suppressing the fact that transgenders exist? We're confused.

McArdle also huffed that "The transgender bathroom problem is the sort of thing most people never even dreamed of having to care about until some site like Salon declared it a pressing civil rights issue." Salon surely must be pleased that the MRC is giving it so much credit for promoting the issue.

-- Elliot Polsky goes into freakout mode about some LGBT-oriented fairy tales by sarcastically ranting, "It’s about time kids got some LGBT propaganda." Polsky goes on to be upset about a HuffingtonPost article about the fairy tales: "The article never elaborates what it is in particular that the children are supposed to understand, but it is clear enough what the adults reading the HuffPo article are supposed to take for granted: LGBT sexual relationships are normal."

-- Resident MRC transgender-phobe Tim Graham does his schtick again by attacking NBC for failing to hate the LGBT community. To Graham, gayness is the new communism, hiding under every bed:

By creating an "NBC OUT" initiative, NBC News is getting even bolder in just presenting one-sided LGBT propaganda from groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). On Thursday, they posted an article from Variety headlined “Transgender Representation on TV Hitting New Highs.” But as usual, they found a terrible shortage of transgender characters on our television screens. 

[...]

Right by the NBC peacock came this definitive conclusion: "The hope is that those larger roles will transcend magazine covers and television screens, and weave acceptance into the fabric of our hearts and minds." That's the usual way propaganda describes itself. We're just "weaving acceptance into your hearts and minds."

-- Maggie McKneely spends an entire post sneering at musicians Tegan and Sara for committing the offense of wanting to be popular while also gay:

Here’s something new: gay people gaining media attention for saying that they don’t get enough media attention.

Twin singer-songwriters Tegan and Sara, best known for their song “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, have been in the music industry for almost 20 years, predominantly as cult indie artists with a few dedicated fans. But after the release of their last album in 2012, Heartthrob, they were propelled into the mainstream pop world. The album became one of the top 3 in the U.S. and Canada, and the duo performed on tour with both Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

But now that they’ve moved from playing small indie music festivals to arenas with stadium seating, Tegan and Sara have a new goal: queering the mainstream.

In a recent interview, Tegan said that “success [for us] is queering the mainstream.” Because there aren’t enough people trying to do that already.

[...]

Tegan and Sara once believed that there was a limit to what they could achieve. At least, until their producer told them in 2009 that “I can’t think of a gay woman that’s on the pop charts. Well why can’t that be you?”

That won’t be hard. If they keep writing songs about their lesbian relationships, Tegan and Sara are bound to end up on the pop charts. Because the media always loves the chance to make the gay agenda as normal and “relatable” as possible.

-- Katie Yoder continues to be shocked that gay people are allowed to have kids, and advertisers will market to gay parents, in this case that Dove soap used a whole three seconds of a minute-long ad to show a gay couple with their child:

It’s a new push by numerous companies: showing families with two dads. Hallmark has done it. Campbell’s soup has done it. Now, Dove is doing it.

The soap brand Dove released a video of different dads on Monday in anticipation of Father’s Day. The minute-long short, “My Dad, My Hero,” compiled home-video footage of 22 families and featured, among other things, two gay dads with their son.

[...]

Dove tried to insert two dads in another Father’s Day ad last year. Because the ad showed the “very first moment [dads] find out they are going to be a dad,” the placement proved more difficult.

Yoder doesn't explain exactly why this is so offensive to her that she devoted an entire post to it. Apparently, her ick factor at seeing two men be parents is supposed to be self-explanatory.

-- McNeely returns to demonstrate a bizarre way to throw some shade on the Orlando massacre by expressing a weird amount of shock that some straight women like to go to gay nightclubs:

The worst part about the Orlando shooting wasn’t that 49 innocent people were killed. It’s that gay night clubs are no longer safe spaces…for straight women.

According to Elle editor Melissa Harris-Perry, hanging out at gay clubs is just something that “we straight girls” do. Straight women all around the world “maintain intimate friendships with beautiful gay men, basking in their appreciation of our femininity, jointly appraising male sexiness, seeking expert opinions on relationships, and invading party spaces.”

[...]

For a women’s magazine editor, Perry knows shockingly little about her fellow females. She assumes that because she enjoys ditching her husband for the company of other men who indulge her with “late night texts” and “smooching emojis” for the evening, every other straight woman must too.

Which is why the Orlando shooting was such a tragedy for women everywhere! Poor Melissa Harris-Perry and her feminist peers no longer feel that they can safely party away at gay nightclubs when they need a break from the imaginary patriarchy. Perry compared the attack on the Pulse nightclub to an act of “domestic violence.”

[...]

Perry feels as if she is in a “bubble of unreality” when dancing at these clubs. Someone should tell her she’s living in that bubble all the time.

Oh, she's not the only one living in a bubble, Maggie.

-- McKneely shows up more to have a hissy fit over Buzzfeed having a float in New York City's gay pride parade:

BuzzFeed has the most pride of all the liberal news outlets. After all, no one else got to star in a gay parade.

New York City’s annual pride march took place over the weekend, and “news” site BuzzFeed made sure it had the best seats in the house: from a float in the parade itself.

This blatant endorsement of the gay rights movement from BuzzFeed could be perceived as biased Lefty journalism. But Editor-in-chief Ben Smith doesn’t see it that way. After all, the organization’s manual states that when it comes to “civil rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality, there are not two sides.” And if it’s in the manual, it can’t be wrong, right? Anyone who disagrees with the gay, transgender, bisexual, etc. agenda is just crazy. There’s no need to provide fair reporting on crazy people.

Isn't "no need to provide fair reporting" on the "crazy people" it disagrees with the same policy the MRC's heavily biased "news" divison, CNSNews.com, follows?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Benghazi Committee Fails To Destroy Hillary, And The MRC Can't Even
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long counted on the Republican-dominated House Select Committee on Benghazi to do what it was created to do -- tar Hillary Clinton in the midst of her presidential run -- and has been known to freak out when it failed to do so to the MRC's satisfaction.

So when the committee issued its final report June 28 that committed the offense of failing to hold Hillary personally responsible for the deaths of four Americans at the diplomatic facility in Benghazi, the MRC went into Clinton derangement mode once again.

A post by Kyle Drennen complained about accurate reporting on the report, asserting that noting the fact that the report found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary meant that the media was "dutifully parroted Democratic talking points." So, once again, the MRC proves correct Stephen Colbert's axiom that treality has a liberal bias.

CNSNews' Susan Jones went into dutiful-stenography mode by pounding out a couple quick articles uncritically repeating its conclusions -- which, needless to say, is two more articles than CNS did on the report issued by the committee's Democrats.

Then, mysteriously, the articles disappeared from CNS' front page a few hours after their posting, even though the report was the day's big political news and left CNS without any mention of Benghazi whatsoever on its front page for much of the day of June 28.

The reason for this became clear later in the day with a Twitter post by MRC chief Brent Bozell and an accompanying CNS article by Michael W. Chapman: Bozell was throwing a massive hissy fit over the report failing to destroy Hillary like it was supposed to:

In reaction to the report released today by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which was investigating the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were murdered, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said it was the committee chairman’s job “to get to the truth, and he punted.”

The committee chairman is Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and the select committee was established by Congress in May 2014. Over the last two years, the committee has spent an estimated $7.1 million investigating the Benghazi attack and the administration’s actions concerning that event.

“I am stunned by the GOP’s unwillingness to accomplish anything in Congress, which now extends to resolving investigations,” said MRC President Bozell in a June 28 statement.  “Trey Gowdy’s continued admonition that it’s up to the American people to reach their own conclusions about Benghazi is an obfuscation.”

“It was up to him to get to the truth, and he punted,” said Bozell.

“Just as with the IRS investigation, the Republicans lacked the fortitude to confront those responsible,” he continued.  “Who denied the multiple requests for additional security for the compound? No answer. Who is being held responsible for the deaths of these men? No answer.”

Should the Commander-in-Chief be held responsible for the multiple failures of the military?” said Bozell. “Should the Secretary of State be held responsible for the disastrous consequences of State Department decisions? Not according to this report.”

“They wouldn’t even state that Hillary Clinton lied about the video though her own emails, read by committee members, prove she had!” he said.

Bozell's demand for accountability is particularly rich coming from a man who was never held accountable for spending more than a decade lying in public that he wrote his own columns.

Cnapman followed this up with another CNS "news" article (yes, Bozell's rant was classified as "news") quoting clopse Bozell friend Mark Levin similarly disparaging the committee's findings. Chapman didn't disclose that Levin has a business relationship with the MRC or whether his article was a part of it.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:39 PM EDT

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