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Tuesday, April 24, 2018
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

It's time once again to ask the musical question: What LGBT stuff is the Media Research Center freaking out about now? Because freaking out about LGBT stuff is kinda what the MRC does.

Gabriel Hays is freaking out about a gay person on TV, in the form of a new Netflix show:

It seems that 2018 is the year for John Hughes-esque teen dramedies to make a come back. This time with the full force of LGBT appeal. Hoping to gain a following with fans of the film, “Love, Simon,” Netflix has announced a new gay teen romantic comedy for it’s streaming service that will appear in June, just in time for the nation’s major Pride festivities.

[...]

The main character, Alex Truelove, is a “well-rounded senior with a wonderful girlfriend named Claire, and a bright future ahead of him.” Logo states that, “as Alex works towards achieving one last teenage milestone -- losing his virginity -- he meets Elliot, a handsome, charming gay kid from the other side of town.” It’s not hard to see how the rest of this story plays out.

To Hollywood, this is the new normal.

[...]

Anyways, if last year’s Call Me By Your Name was any indication, these progressive coming-of-age stories should be avoided at all costs by conscionable viewers. Yeah, you get “lighthearted” gay dramedies like this (not that there’s anything trite about promoting gay sex) but at the same time, Hollywood promotes vile (and very graphic) stories about pedophilic sex under the same inclusion umbrella.

The only hope in all this is that more and more viewers recognize this propaganda for what it is and choose more wholesome entertainment with their movie tickets. Thankfully, MRC Culture found that Love, Simon’s debut was surpassed by Christian film, I Can Only Imagine.

For the moment, however, an undeterred Hollywood will continue force feeding the public these gay propaganda movies. Let’s just pray that their plan will implode on its own when casual viewers start to realize that a story about a pansexual boy scout’s romantic wilderness adventure might not be all that relatable.

Lindsay Kornick complained that one TV show had a storyline about a transgendered military member:

It’s just like a liberal program to work in a sappy story for the cause. They even managed to insert Donald Trump without mentioning his name. After all, Trump was the one who recognized that it might be more important for the military to protect the United States than worry about diversity quotas. To the far left, he might as well have reignited the Third Reich, even though the military is already highly discriminatory and the law, as they say, was never enacted. It doesn’t matter since the narrative of “Trump hates the LGBT community” hasn’t moved an inch.

[...]

But one thing is clear. This was a moment of pure propaganda. We see the struggle of this one officer and assume any argument against transgendered people serving must be bigotry. There are no facts regarding the small amount transgendered people who serve in the military or the potential health cost of enlisting more. All we have is heartfelt platitudes and a Trump jab. Color me shocked that minds won’t be changed.

Dawn Slusher lamented that a Catholic-raised teen you on the show "Rise" had a "fall ... into temptation" as he "shares a kiss with male student Jeremy, quickly followed by Simon proposing sex to fellow student Annabelle (Shannon Purser) in an attempt to deny his attraction to Jeremy." Slusher is apparently so repulsed by this gay kiss that she times it and knows all about other gay kisses on TV:

We’ve seen the gay plot point between Simon and Jeremy building since the first episode, but it was still shocking to see it play out, nonetheless. Only about seven minutes into Tuesday’s episode, Simon temporarily gives in to his attraction to Jeremy and the two kiss passionately for 8 seconds in the high school parking lot as the music swells. It’s definitely the first time I’ve ever seen such an explicit kiss between two homosexual minors on network television, but apparently it's happened a few times before on Fox and ABC.

Hays had another freakout over the GLAAD Media Awards and GLAAD leader Sarah Kate Ellis "demanding that the LGBTQ+ community push for 100% representation in American culture," adding: "Well Sarah Kate Ellis certainly has the right people on her side to “accelerate acceptance,” or at least jam gay propaganda down the average American’s throat -- the major television news networks." Hays concluded by huffing that with "much of the weight of the mainstream media on her side, the propaganda is going to remain ever in conservatives’ faces."

And for good measure, Hays dropped a sneering reference to "the insufferable It Boys of Olympic homosexuality, Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 1:48 PM EDT
Sunday, April 22, 2018
MRC Pretends Williamson Lost Writing Job For Being A Conservative
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck rants in an April 5 post:

In another sign of extreme cowardice and censorship of conservatives, The Atlantic and editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg decided to firemconservative and former National Review writer Kevin Williamson on Thursday after just over two weeks since the announcement following vicious backlash to the hiring. 

The excuse was holding a pro-life position about women aborting children facing the death penalty, but the reality is that it only served as an excuse to pull the trigger.

Goldberg made the announcement in a Thursday memo to staff that Williamson “is not the best fit for his talents, and so we are parting ways” because his view in a podcast and previous tweets about women who have abortions and the death penalty were “contrary to The Atlantic’s tradition of respectful, well-reasoned debate, and to the values of our workplace.”

The cowardly EIC argued that he thought “Kevin would represent an important addition to our roster of Ideas columnists, and I addressed the controversy surrounding some of his past tweeting and writing” because “no one’s life work should be judged by an intemperate tweet, and that such an episode should not necessarily stop someone from having a fruitful career at The Atlantic.”

Of course, Goldberg peddled fake news when he made that argument as the views Williamson has on abortion were the exact reason that will prevent him “from having a fruitful career at The Atlantic.”

The gutless Goldberg claimed that Williamson’s stance “was also a centerpiece of a podcast discussion in which Kevin explained his views on the subject of the death penalty and abortion” and that Goldberg, in his infinite wisdom, realized that the former National Review correspondent’s stance was “his carefully considered views” and not a one-off tweet.

[...]

To recap, The Atlantic still maintains far-left writers such as Peter Beinart, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adam Serwer, and Alex Wagner, but Williamson was fired solely because of his conservatism. Nevermind the fact that he was anything but a Trump supporter; the reality that he was still let go shows how the left’s censorship has no limits. 

A couple things here. First: Houck provides no evidence that executing women who have an abortion is a mainstream "pro-life" view. He cites no mainstream anti-abortion activists who hold that view --indeed, the mainstream anti-abortion movement regularly denies that it has a goal of doing so. That makes Williamson's view an extreme one, and one  for which Williamson was justly fired.

Which brings us to our second thing: Houck is engaging in lies and projection by falsely painting Williamson's firing as a larger attack on conservatives. He has no facts on which to base his claim that Goldberg was issuing "fake news" on the reason for Williamson's firing, and calling Goldberg "cowardly" and "gutless" is simply classless name-calling. Houck's gratutious attacking of other Atlantic columnists as "far-left" is one that the MRC has engaged in to the point of meaninglessness. He cites no instances of those columnists advocating the execution of people engaging in currently legal behavior.

Houck rants about "the left’s censorship," but his employer's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has no columnists, let alone employees, who are anything but conservative. Houck should address bias on his own home turf first before casting stones elsewhere.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:15 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 7:17 PM EDT
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
MRC Cheers 'Chappaquiddick' Film for Bashing Kennedys, Hides How It's Flopping At Box Office
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long had an obsession with hating the Kennedy political dynasty -- so much so that it falsely attacks columnist Charles Pierce for a cutting remark about Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick that it wrongly interprets as praise for him.

So when news broke of a film that purports to tell the unvarnised truth about what happened at Chappaquiddick -- and, more importantly, make Ted Kennedy look bad -- the MRC was so giddy, it served as an unpaid (?) PR agent for the film.

In December, P.J. Gladnick cheered the trailer of the film for adhering to the Kennedy-hate that is right-wing orthodoxy: "If anybody feared that the upcoming Chappaquiddick movie would be a whitewash of Ted Kennedy, the recently released trailer should disabuse them of that notion."

Promotion of the film ramped up as its release date moved closer, led by Scott Whitlock:

  • Whitlock cheered the film's producer for refusing the "take the bait" from a Washington Post interviewer asking if the film had any resonance for the Trump era.
  • Whitlock also uncritically repeated the film producer's unsupported allegation that "powerful people"  tried to stop the film (and included the film's trailer in his post).
  • Another Whitlock post gushed that "The movie, in unflinching terms, shows Kennedy abandoning victim Mary Jo Kopechne to die in an overturned, submerging car" and complained that a Washington Post article about the film didn't like it enough.
  • Corinne Weaver lamented that "liberal Hollywood" allegedly kept a proposed Chappaquiddick film from being made 40 years ago.
  • Tim Graham raged when a writer argued that the film shows Democrats are addressing their issues with women while Republicans still have not: "For one, not all Democrats tried to rid themselves of Weinstein money. Take the Clinton Foundation keeping their quarter-million. And trying to argue Roy Moore "nearly won a Senate seat" is proof that the GOP is Worse Than Chappaquiddick?"
  • Christian Toto gave Jason Clarke, who plays Ted Kennedy in the film, lots of space to offer his political opinions, mainly about how terrible the Kennedys are. We thought the MRC opposed actors having political opinions.
  • Tom Blumer ranted at an "insufferably liberal" writer who thinks the film's portrayal of Ted Kennedy is inaccurate: "Anyone who knows the history, dramatically retold in the movie I saw Sunday afternoon, can only hope that the actually despicable Massachusetts senator accurately portrayed in the film makes the history books."
  • Bill D'Agostino complained that the media wasn't following the right-wing, anti-Kennedy line by promoting the film.
  • Graham and Brent Bozell wrote a column promoting the film, cheering how it's "drawing favorable reviews from the movie critics." They even used Ted Kennedy as a way to ludicrously portray Donald Trump as a wonderful guy by comparison: "[M]any older voters thought liberals sounded preposterous when they suggested Donald Trump's presidential campaign should be canceled over the "Access Hollywood" tape of him boasting of grabbing women in the crotch. Kennedy had a woman's death on his resume, and it never stopped the left from boosting him as the finest presidential timber."

One thing you won't read about at the MRC: How nobody wants to actually see this film.

In its opening weekend, "Chappaquiddick" made a paltry $5.7 million despite appearing on more than 1,500 screens. At that rate, it's highly unlikely to make back its production budget, despite it not being publicly disclosed.

That didn't keep MRC "news" division CNSNews.com from trying to spin away this dismal performance. Craig Bannister found someone who predicted the film would make only $2 million in its  opening weekend, so he laughably proclaimed that it "far surpassed box office predictions."

In its second weekend, "Chappaquiddick" saw its box office drop by about half. The MRC hasn't mentioned a thing about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
MRC Misunderstands The Whole Alleged Presidential Mistress Payday Thing
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock complains in a March 30 post:

Given how much coverage the networks have devoted to Stormy Daniels’s claims of an affair with Donald Trump, it might be worth remembering how Hillary Clinton and ABC journalists reacted to Bill Clinton's accuser Gennifer Flowers in 1992. 

Stormy Daniels received $130,000 from Trump’s lawyer before the 2016 election. Speaking of $130,000, here’s Clinton on the January 30, 1992 edition of PrimeTime Live:

If somebody's willing to pay you $130,000or $170,000 to say something and you get your fifteen minutes of fame and you get your picture on the front page of every newspaper and you're some failed cabaret singer who doesn't even have much of a resume to fall back on, and what's there, she lied about —  you know, that's the daughter of Willie Horton, as far as I'm concerned. It's the same kind of attempt to keep the real issues of this country out of the mainstream debate where they need to be.
-- Hillary Clinton on ABC's PrimeTime Live, January 30, 1992.

From March 7 to March 25, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted 23 segments and 40 minutes of airtime to the Daniels controversy. On March 26, these networks offered a staggering 61 minutes to the porn star’s appearance on 60 Minutes.

Clearly, 2018 journalists are not following the advice of 1992 Clinton.

Whitlock clearly doesn't understand the difference between the two payments. Flowers was paid by a tabloid to tell her story about an affair with Clinton, while Daniels was paid by Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen -- not a tabloid -- not to tell her story during the 2016 presidential election lest it hurt Trump's campaign.

The sources of the money means different consequences: Flowers appeared less credible by taking money from a tabloid, while Daniels' credibility was enhanced by Cohen buying her silence, effectively making her claim of an affair credible.

If Whitlock does see the two are fundamentally different things, that just exposes him as a desperate pro-Trump shill.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Sunday, April 15, 2018
MRC Wants To Fact-Check Fact-Checkers, Should Probably Start With Fact-Checking Itself First
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has proclaimed:

The Media Research Center (MRC) on Tuesday announced its new project Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers. As major news outlets increasingly rely on leftist “fact-checkers” to verify the credibility of news, the MRC will ensure the fact-checkers themselves are reliable, or exposed as liberal partisans if they aren't.

While fact-checking the accuracy of news is needed, often it is used as a medium to push a political agenda. Many fact-checking groups routinely cast judgments while failing to disclose their own liberal bias, and the public is on to it. According to a 2016 Rasmussen poll, an astonishing 62 percent of American votersbelieve fact-checkers are biased.

Some of the fact-checkers the MRC will monitor include PolitiFact.com, FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, Washington Post Fact Checker, AP Fact Check & CNN Fact Check.

Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers will give the public the facts and bring accountability to the so-called “fact-checkers.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued the following statement on Tuesday announcing the project:

“In an era of “fake news” and inaccurate reporting, it is important now more than ever that the fact-checkers themselves are exposed for their biases. MRC routinely finds instances when fact-checkers bend the truth or disproportionately target conservatives. We are assigning our own rating to their judgments and will expose the worst offenders. Americans deserve the truth. There must be accountability across the board, and that includes these alleged arbiters of fact and fiction.”

(Of note is that the conservative-skewing Rasmussen has as its managing editor Fran Coombs, the segregationist-leaning former managing editor of the Washington Times, so maybe it's not the most accurate or balanced poll.)

If only the MRC was as concerned with the accuracy of the work on its own website as it is with those of fact-checkers.

We've documented how the MRC promoted false stories, then refused to correct the record when they were proven false -- the purportedly imminent indictment of Hillary Clinton just before the 2016 presidential election, the bogus claim that CNN was scripting questions at a CNN debate, the death of a Border Patrol agent that turned out not to be at the hands of an illegal immigrant, an undocumented immigrant arrested on smuggling charges that were later dropped.

If the MRC can't be bothered to hold its own work to basic standards of accuracy, what moral standing does it have to fact-check anyone else?

Ther thing is, this isn't about the truth -- it's about trying to score political points. As a kneejerk supporter of a constantly lying President Trump, the MRC has been trying to delegitimize fact-checkers for a while now. The posts made after the March 27 announcement of the project -- all of which are written by Tim Graham -- further prove its partisan political intent.

Graham whined about a fact-check into whether Vice President Mike Pence called his wife "Mother" because it was somehow biased and trivial: "So if you can’t prove something is factual, why write about it? Aren’t the 'fact checkers' just spreading an unverified tale, publishing clickbait for Pence haters?" He huffed "This article is unverified gossip -- hardly something 'PolitiFact' should be proud to publish."

Graham then complained that another fact-check -- on a caravan of immigrants heading for the U.S. border -- was too nit-picky because it focused on "two words in a Trump tweet." He added -- without documentation -- that "Trump's brief tweet shouldn't have to say 'Caravans' coming each year' to be recognized as factual. Multiple caravans have been launched at the U.S. border."

Graham rated both of these fact-checks "deeply distorted" -- a statement that's nebulous to the point of meaninglessness.

But that's how the MRC rolls. Real journalists check facts; partisan activists attack the fact-checkers.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2018 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, April 13, 2018
Did The MRC Tell Mark Levin About Their Flirtation With Ben Shapiro?
Topic: Media Research Center

Looks like the Media Research Center has a new right-wing radio love, and it is Ben Shapiro. Gabriel Hays issues what is effectively a press release for Shapiro's new radio show in the form of a March 29 post:

Popular conservative intellectual Ben Shapiro is making the switch from podcast to conservative talk radio next month. A leading voice for the younger generation of conservatives, he hopes the transition will allow him to become a fixture for all conservative listeners.

Politico reported Thursday that Shapiro will air his first official radio program on April 2. Called The Ben Shapiro Show, it will be syndicated by audio broadcast network Westwood One. A one-hour program, the production will premiere in all major markets, including New York, Washington, and Los Angeles.

The 34-year-old Shapiro sees this as the next step in a career that already has gained massive social media support. He boasts 1.27 million Twitter followers, and, on average, his podcast is downloaded 15 million times a month. The momentum he has gained as a rising star in the young conservative movement, including as The Daily Wire’s editor-in-chief, makes this an opportune time for him to step into a larger arena – one dominated by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Still, he says he doesn’t want to directly compete with the conservative radio giants, but hopes that the move to radio will expand his listening demographic.

“If I’m known as the up-and-coming young conservative, at a certain point I’m going to age out of that, right?” he asked. “Being in a place where I’m seen as a leading voice for conservatism generally, not just for young conservatives is something I’d certainly like.”

How will the MRC's main radio squeeze, Mark Levin, take this flirtation with another host? We don't know, but it may or may not be a coincidence that the column this week from MRC bigwigs Tim Graham and Brent Bozell slobbers all over Levin's new Fox News TV show for being "more intellectual than anything produced on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC," sycophantically adding: "It's substance over sizzle. It serves to enlighten, not to entertain. ... It takes a nanosecond for Levin to go further than today's typically superficial television interview."

Needless to say, Graham and Bozell didn't disclose their history of cross-promotional business deals with Levin, which leaves open the question of whether this column is part of that as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EDT
Thursday, April 12, 2018
The MRC Remains Angry That Shepard Smith Sullies The Fox News Experience For Them
Topic: Media Research Center

The only Fox News employee to whom the Media Research Center refuses to give a pass is Shepard Smith, on account of the fact that he's a straight-news person at a channel full of right-wing ideologues, which means he's a liberal in the MRC's eyes.

When Smith gave an interview to Time magazine in which he emphasized his news-side work, as opposed to the right-wing opinionators that populate the rest of the channel, the MRC took offense.

A March 16 post by Randy Hall highlighted that Smith's statement that Fox News' opinion side doesn't "really have rules" and exists "strictly to be entertaining" has apparently "irritated" those opinion hosts, particularly Sean Hannity, who huffed that Smith is "clueless" about what his show does.

Tim Graham aimed for full derangement mode in a March 27 post, lashing out at Smith's "arrogant dismissal of his Fox News colleagues" and complaining that the Time interview "routinely -- like many media liberals -- portrays Smith as on the 'fact side,' even as they enjoy his criticisms of President Trump." Graham also complained thath "There's almost zero quotes pushing back on Smith's arrogance."

After noting that Time called Smith "despised" by part of the Fox News audience "for telling them what they don’t want to hear," Graham huffed: "We would rewrite it like this: Smith is 'despised for sounding like he's trying out for CNN or MSNBC.' It's the liberal media who describe a liberal tilt as what people need to hear." If Graham had actually bothered to prove that Smith's reporting is liberal -- as opposed to appearing liberal compared with the rest of the Fox News lineup -- he might have a point.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Monday, April 9, 2018
MRC Falsely Denies That NRA Exploited Rapper
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth writes in a March 25 post:

On Sunday's AM Joy, host Joy Reid and her panel were again hating on the NRA, this time smearing the pro-gun group with a conspiracy theory that it recently had black rapper Killer Mike -- who notably supported Bernie Sanders for President -- as a guest for the purpose of scaring members to become afraid of blacks and therefore to buy more guns.

Frequent guest Michelle Bernard -- who has been an MSNBC contributor and a columnist for Roll Call -- pushed the theory, inspiring agreement from Reid.

Nearing the end of the show shortly before 12:00 p.m. Eastern, Reid played a clip of Killer Mike on NRA TV. Reid then came on and chided the rapper for associating himself with the NRA, and also repeated the myth that the NRA did not react to the shooting death of black motorist and concealed carry holder Philando Castille after he was pulled over by a Minneapolis police officer.

Just one thing blowing a hole in Wilmouth's post: Killer Mike himself agrees that the NRA exploited him. From a actual news outlet:

In a roughly seven-minute video, Killer Mike spoke with NRATV host Colion Noir about black gun ownership and what it means to be an “ally” to African Americans. He suggested at one point that he wouldn’t let his children participate in last week’s school walkout protests because his family owned guns. Killer Mike said: “I told my kids on the school walkout, ‘I love you — if you walk out the school, walk out my house.’ That simple. We are a gun-owning family.”

On Saturday, as the march was getting underway, NRATV promoted the segment on its social media accounts, introducing Killer Mike as someone who “knows how guns can solve the problems society faces.”

Now, after a wave of criticism on social media, the rapper is apologizing for the clip, saying he had no idea it would be used to attack the marchers.

“I did an interview about black gun ownership in this era. That interview was used a week later by NRATV to disparage a very noble campaign that I actually support,” the rapper, whose real name is Michael Render, said in videos posted to Twitter on Sunday night.

He said the segment shouldn’t have been presented “in contrast” to the demonstration, which was organized by students around the country, including survivors of the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“I’m sorry, guys. I’m sorry that an interview I did about a minority, black people in this country, and gun rights, was used as a weapon against you guys,” continued Killer Mike, who is half of the rap duo Run the Jewels. “To the young people that worked tirelessly to organize, I’m sorry adults chose to do this, I’m sorry NRATV did that, I’m sorry that adults on the left and the right are choosing to use me as a lightning rod.”

In a series of tweets responding to critics, he also sought to clarify his remarks about not letting his kids participate in the walkout. It was a joke, he said — he wouldn’t let his son go because he was failing math class.

Needless to say, Wilmouth hasn't updated his post to reflect the facts and that what he claimed was a "conspiracy theory" was given credibility by the interviewee himself.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EDT
Sunday, April 8, 2018
MRC Still Viciously Embraces Needless Hyperbole
Topic: Media Research Center

A couple months back, we highlighted how ridiculous the Media Research Center's rhetoric has gone off the deep end with overly enthusiastic violent metaphors. It hasn't really stopped.

A March 13 post by Bill D'Agostino carries thge overwrought headline "'Are You a Goner?': Craig Melvin Viciously Interrogates Republican Congressman Ryan Costello." D'Agostino didn't identify any actual viciousness in the post itself; instead he complained that MSNBC host Melvin "bombarded his guest with a salvo of loaded questions and boilerplate DNC talking points. His only earnest question – which was to ask whether Costello planned to campaign with President Trump – came at the tail end of the conversation."

Apparently, Melvin's pointing out that the rapid ratte of high-profile departures from the Trump White House was a fact instead of the "narrative" Costello claimed it was was a "vicious" thing to do, according to D'Agostino; instead, he reframed Costello's words as referring to White House chaos as a "narrative" -- even though it's also a fact.

Referring to something as "vicious" should involve actual viciousness instead of merely a challenging line of inquiry. But that's not really clickbait, is it?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:57 PM EDT
Saturday, April 7, 2018
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

What LGBT stuff has the Media Research Center been freaking out about lately? Let's take a look-see!

Tim Graham was offended that "leftist drag queen Taylor Mac" was the subject of a news story simply because he was awarded a MacArthur "genius grant," which Graham portrays as evidence of how Taylor Mac is "so indulged by the left." Graham also declared that the story on Taylor mac was "a typical LGBT story" because it included "wacky demands about pronouns."

Ryan Foley keeps up the MRC's hatred of Olympic skater Adam Rippon, insisting that Rippon's "claim to fame" is his "criticism of the Vice President" (but apparently not that he is, you know, an Olympic-caliber skater) and that a recent TV appearance was "a public service announcement for the LGBTQ movement." Foley then served up an oddly capitalized lecture to Rippon on his claim that LGBT people lack a voice because of anti-gay politicans like Pence: "Perhaps Rippon fails to realize that the LGBTQ movement has captured the support of nearly all of the country’s major institutions, including the media, Academia, Hollywood, and the Courts."

Alex Nizberg, meanwhile, is mad that there is a gay person on TV (let alone more than one):

Set for a March 18 premiere, CBS’s new and upcoming show Instinct confirms yet again the media’s unflagging promotion of the LGBT agenda. The program will feature a “gay lead character” according to a January 6th AP article. 

Alan Cumming, the actor playing the lead part, lambasted Donald Trump: “His crime procedural ‘Instinct’ arrives at a time when Cumming said ‘the president is actively condoning, by his silence, violence and persecution against the LBGT community.’”

The Goldeneye and X-Men 2 “saluted CBS for committing to a series with a married gay couple,” according to the piece. “In real life Cumming, 52, has described himself as bisexual and has a husband, Grant Shaffer. But he was also once married to a woman.”

Last year on an episode of CBS’s Madam Secretary, one of the characters said that he was bisexual. Also last year, CBSN released Gender - The Space Between.

Lindsay Kornick complains that "Madam Secretary" engages in "more liberal pandering" by focusing on "a new character's sexuality":

The March 18 episode “Refuge” involves the administration discovering a raid and the illegal arrest of members of an LGBTQ nightclub in Abhkazia. Although homosexuality is legal in the country, the leader is apparently approving of the harsh treatment, claiming boldly that there are “no gays” in his nation. With this harsh human rights violation, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) attempts to plan a way to provide refuge for the LGBTQ citizens at the behest of her new advisor Kat Sandoval (Sara Ramirez).

Why is Kat so personally involved in this scenario? Because, like the actress who plays her, she is boldly “bisexual and queer” and even raising a child with no discernable pronouns. In this highly promoted episode, she even explains her lifestyle to Chief of Staff Jay (Sebastian Arcelus) as they plan to help the refugees.

[...]

The only problem is that this isn’t simply teaching. It’s lecturing and indoctrinating. Even the actress seems to admit that the scene is mostly about telling a majority-heterosexual population that they’re wrong for not knowing the politically correct sexuality terms of the day. We’re wrong for assuming that a woman is a woman, and we constantly need re-education from the liberal elites. That is the only lesson I gained from this very special episode of Madam Secretary.

Karen Townsend was relieved to discover that Stewie didn't actually come out as gay on "Family Guy": "So, despite the description by some in the press that this is a coming-out episode for Stewie, it really wasn’t. Also, remember that Stewie is in pre-school and drawn as a toddler. Sexualizing him at all is perverse." Townsend does know that this is a cartoon, right?

And Dawn Slusher was upset that an episode of "Rise" "featured a Catholic student who appears to be secretly gay, an effeminate priest who supports said student and his desire to take part in a controversial school play over the objections of his parents because he 'can appreciate its message of the perils of living in a repressed society,' and a female student who just started transitioning wanting to change in the boys’ dressing room."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 AM EDT
Thursday, April 5, 2018
MRC Parrots Trump Talking Point As 'Real Reason' McCabe Was Fired
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro serves as a fine Trump administration apparatchik in a March 18 post:

In the wake of the former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s firing from the FBI for misleading Inspector General investigators, the liberal media were rife with misinformation of their own. During the Sunday morning news programs, NBC’s Chuck Todd misled their viewers on why McCabe was fired and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos lied about the messages sent by pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents investigating her and President Trump.

According to Todd’s warped retelling of Friday’s firing, and the events leading up to it, President Trump and conservative media were to blame for McCabe getting canned by Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

What I would say is this, I think the fact that how the President made the McCabe firing happen, I mean, it is an extraordinary -- if you go back 18 months, the systemic campaign against McCabe to delegitimize him to raise questions about him, to a deputy FBI director that nobody had ever heard of and the president using his bully pulpit to do that.

Of course, the real reason McCabe was fired was that he leaked information about an investigation to the press he wasn’t supposed to and then lied to investigators about it.

Of course, Fondacaro doesn't actuallyknow the "real reason" McCabe was fired -- he's merely repeating the stated reason as forwarded by the Trump administrationn.

In fact, the report on McCabe by the Justice Department's inspector general has never been released -- only parts damaging to McCabe have leaked out. McCabe has since denied that he lied to investigators, and it's unclear whether he actually "wasn't supposed to" release information.

But never mind any of that -- or the fact that McCabe had, in fact, been the victim of a months-long right-wing delegitimization campaign. Fondacaro and his MRC colleagues have a Trump talking point to push:

  • Tom Blumer complained that "two Associated Press dispatches and an NBC news story wouldn't directly admit that his dismissal was largely based on a finding that he lied to internal investigators."
  • P.J. Gladnick huffed that historian Douglas Brinkley "acted as if the firing was strictly political and unjustified. However, as we shall later hear from reknowned [sic] legal scholar Jonathan Turley, the firing was not only justified but probably mandatory."
  • Kyle Drennen declared that some TV shows were "completely ignoring the fact that Bureau’s own Office of Professional Responsibility recommended the dismissal."
  • Bill D'Agostino grumbled that "the usual suspects on MSNBC’s Morning Joe had memory-holed McCabe’s alleged transgressions for which the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility had recommended his firing in the first place.
  • Drennen returned to complain that the media had a "desire to find a nefarious motivation behind the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe" -- as if that was difficult to find -- and, like Fondacaro, insisted that the inspector general's investigation was the "real reason."

Hopefully the Trump White House is paying the MRC well for all this water-carrying they're doing.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
MRC Tries To Justify EPA Secretary's Lavish Travel Expenses
Topic: Media Research Center

Even before the latest accusations of lavish spending by EPA chief Scott Pruitt, the Media Research Center was taking his side in justifying Pruitt's higher-than-usual travel expenses.

Scott Whitlock played the whataboutism card inthe form of an Obama Equivocation in a Feb. 14 post:

ABC on Tuesday went after the “high-flying” head of the Environmental Protection Agency, complaining that Administrator Scott Pruitt regularly flies first class. This is the same network that hailed a“lush,” “luxurious” vacation of Michelle Obama, ignoring the $148,000 cost. 

World News Tonight anchor David Muir trumpeted a special investigation: “Members of President Trump's cabinet under fire again for wracking up huge travel bills and you're paying for it. EPA chief Scott Pruitt spending thousands of dollars on first class flights, claiming it’s for security reasons.”

Reporter Mary Bruce chided, “With his high-flying lifestyle under scrutiny, today, the EPA chief Scott Pruitt was at it again.” The latest example? A $1600 flight from Washington to New York City. 

[...]

In contrast, on August 6, 2010, ABC’s Yunji de Nies touted Michelle Obama's "five-star," "luxurious" vacation to Spain, skipping any discussion of controversy over the $148,000 trip. De Nies gushed, "They toured the plaza in old Marbella. Cooled off with chocolate gelato and bought matching sun dresses. Michelle and Sasha Obama are making a splash in Spain."

That flight alone to Spain cost $73,781.

On Feb. 21, Julia Seymour tried to justify Pruitt's first-class travel expenses because of "the death threats he has received. According to The Wall Street Journal in November 2017, Pruitt gets five times as many threats as the previous EPA administrator and there had been 'explicit death threats.'" Seymour then chastised media outlets for failing to report on the threats.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EDT
Monday, April 2, 2018
MRC Complains Laura Ingraham Is Being Treated Like It Treated Reza Aslan
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is unhappy that Parkland student David Hogg called Fox News host Laura Ingraham for both maliciously taunting him for not getting into a couple of college to which he applied and for her emploper's overall shappy, dismissive treatement of the activism of the Parkland students.

The MRC's NewsBusters Twitter feed lamented, "Laura Ingraham publicly apologized, so what's the issue?" MRC chief Brent Bozell whined: "Laura immediately apologized for what she said. Her apology was sufficient and demanding anything more is grandstanding by the radical left. If this is the left’s new standard, advertisers should ditch the majority of liberal talk shows!"

Bozell and the MRC have apprently forgot about their own history.

Last year Bozell and the MRC manufactured some outrage when religious scholar Reza Aslan, who had a weekly show about fringe religions on CNN,  who had called President Trump a "piece of shit" for exploiting a terror attack in London to push his travel ban. Aslan quickly apologized, but that wasn't enough for Bozell, who moved the goalposts and demanded that CNN cut ties with Aslan:

Reza Aslan’s apology was not only insincere, but dishonest. His vulgar remarks towards President Trump this past weekend were only a few of the many hateful comments he has made about conservatives. CNN has yet to respond in any fashion to the backlash over Mr. Aslan’s insults. Allowing Aslan to continue to have any association with the network is not only embarrassing to CNN, but insulting to their viewers. 

As we documented, Bozell's jihad worked; CNN did cut ties with Aslan. But Bozell never explained why he considered Aslan's apology "insincere" and "dishonest" -- and he does not explain why he considers Ingraham's apology, made only after advertisers began to drop her show, to be "sufficient."

One suspects that Bozell's apology standards have nothing to do withi the apology itself and everything to do with the political leanings of the person apologizing.

Bozell's outrage that Ingraham's apology was not taken at face value is utterly hypocritical, since he's criticizing the exact same thing he did with Aslan. It's an untenable situation, as the MRC is proving in its attacks on the advertisers who dropped Ingraham. One post attacked one Ingraham-dropping advertiser who advertises on the show of MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin because of something Mohyeldin said three years before he was given a show. That's a little desperate.

It seems that Bozell and the MRC are mad at Hogg for playing its own game -- and doing just as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EDT
Sunday, April 1, 2018
MRC's Fondacaro Promotes Highly Misleading Trump Talking Point on Census Question
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro acted like he was auditioning for a job in the Trump administration in a March 27 post, devoted as he was to pushing a Trump talking point:

ABC and NBC pushed a major piece of false information in regards to the history of such citizenship questions on the census. Both asserted that such a question had not been asked since 1950. “For the first time in more than 60 years, the census will now ask people whether they are American citizens,” ABC anchor David Muir wrongly declared.

In reality, the last time a question about citizenship was asked on the census was back in 2000. According to the long-form questionnaire from that year, question 13 asked: “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” The question is repeated six times, once for each possible person in the household. The question was also asked in 1990 and 1980. All of this information was easily researchable on the Census Bureau’s website.

In fact, Fondacaro is on the wrong side of the facts here. An actual news outlet unravels the truth:

[T]he census itself has not asked a citizenship question since 1950. Third, the American Community Survey included a citizenship question in 2010, although it was not in the census itself.

Let’s take a quick stroll through the history. In 1950, the decennial census form asked respondents to enter their birthplace and whether they were naturalized.

In 1960, the birthplace question appeared again — but not the naturalization question.

In 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000, the census sent households a separate, long-form survey that included a citizenship question. This was in addition to the standard questionnaire, but only a fraction of U.S. households would receive it, about one out of every six.

So bogus is the Trump White House's take --  and, thus, Fondacaro's take -- on the citizenship question that his MRC colleague and CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter, herself seeming to audition for a Trump White House job in her dedication to pro-White House stenography, felt the need to set the record straight:

To be accurate, between 1970 and 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau used two questionnaires. Most households received a short-form questionnaire asking a minimum number of questions that did not include citizenship. But a sample of households received a long-form questionnaire in 1970, '80, '90, and 2000 that did include questions about "naturalization" or citizenship. The 2010 Census used just one short-form questionnaire consisting of ten questions -- none about citizenship. But since 2000, the Census Bureau has conducted an annual, national, ongoing "American Community Survey," which does ask about citizenship.

Will Fondacaro correct his own misleading post? Given that he has yet to tell the MRC's readers that the fake-news claim he parroted that CNN tried to script questions in a town hall forum following the Parkland massacre has been completely discredited, we have our doubts.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:38 PM EDT
Friday, March 30, 2018
MRC Suggests Stephon Clark Deserved To Be Killed By Police
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth writes in a March 23 post:

On Friday's The Beat on MSNBC, host Ari Melber claimed that the media do not spend enough time on stories of excessive force committed by police officers as his panel that included rapper Vic Mensa and conservative commentator Bill Kristol all seemed to prejudge Sacramento police officers as having behaved improperly in the shooting death of 22-year-old Stephon Clark.

No one mentioned that the police were pursuing him because they had reason to believe -- including infrared footage from a police helicopter -- that he had just perpetrated several acts of vandalism and robbery, or that Clark has a criminal history that includes domestic abuse and robbery.

In fact, it's not clear that Clark was the subject police were pursuing, and it's highly unlikely police knew of Clark's criminal record before shooting him.

Wilmouth does not explain why -- even if both of those things prove to be true -- Clark deserved to be shot 20 times for, essentially, holding a cell phone.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT

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