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Saturday, November 26, 2022
MRC Downplays Racist Attacks On 'Rings Of Power,' Whines It Wasn't Masculine Enough
Topic: Media Research Center

A Sept. 7 post by Stephanie Hamill began by whining:

Not a fan of the new Lord of the Rings TV series? Well then, you might just be a racist or a bigot according to some on the left.

Apparently, you can’t give an honest review about Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power without being called a racist or bigot because of Middle-earth’s new more "diverse and gender-balanced characters."

You see, movies and shows that have the right amount of diversity appear to be off limits when it comes to critiques about the quality and content, or at least that’s what it seems like these days.

After citing someone calling out right-wing trolls for launching vicious attacks on the series because some of the dwarves were not white -- even though J.R.R. Tolkien put implied racial undertones into his Middle-Earth that would make a depiction of some underclasses very much true to canon -- Hamill tried to frame these racist attacks as mere concern about "integrity":

So what some J.R.R Tolkien fans were concerned about was whether or not the new series on Prime Video would respect the integrity of his legendary work. Which is a legitimate concern considering many of us have noticed how Hollywood producers tend to ruin sequels and remakes when they focus on skin color and woke messages rather than the story and production value, among other things.

So being against racism is being "woke" instead of a commonsense position every sentient being should have? 

Hamill then tried to downplay the idea that racist trolls were spamming review sites with bad reviews, insisting they were really concerned about content:

But the release of the episodes clearly didn’t get the reaction and reviews Amazon was hoping for. So much so that Amazon halted reviews to prevent trolling. According to the Hollywood Reporter an Amazon source told it that reviews are being held for 72 hours to "help weed out trolls and to ensure each review is legitimate."

It’s very possible that this is a sincere effort to combat internet trolls, but this also could just be a ploy by Amazon to hide bad reviews.

Now over at Rotten Tomatoes the situation isn’t much better for Amazon, as The Rings of Power has an average audience score of 39 percent, which is rather interesting considering the TV critics gave it a score of 85 Percent.

As for what some viewers aren’t liking about the show? Well, the reviews and responses on social media vary.

Now we move on to the narrative Hamill really wants to push: the show's males aren't masculine enough. She uncritically quotes Elon Musk tweeting that "Almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk or both. Only Galadriel is brave, smart and nice," as well as her own tweet calling the show "wokified" without offering any examples beyong an accompanying picture of a black character. (The MRC has a bit of a thing about masculinity.) She continued to insist this, and not racism, was the real issue the trolls have:

These were just a few examples, if you go through social media and read the reviews you will find that the majority of people didn't actually take issue with the new diverse characters. Those who weighed in were complaining a lot about the plot, the dialogue, the special effects, the list goes on. 

Either way, the series drew more that 25 million viewers according to Amazon, making it the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video.

Hamill touted those review-bombed low ratings again in a Sept. 19 post:

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power's fourth episode, 'The Great Wave,' was released on Friday, September 16, which means we are now halfway through the new Lord of the Rings series' first season (of a reported five), and it doesn’t look like things are getting much better when it comes to the reviews of Amazon’s latest high profile show.

Things have gotten so bad that The Rings of Power is comparable in low user ratings to the Disney+ series, She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law on not only movie and TV review site Rotten Tomatoes, but also Metacritic.

But not so much, Metacritic users are giving the series an unfavorable user score of 2.4 out of 10. And over at Rotten Tomatoes, the audience reviews are still hovering in the upper 30's (out of 100), which hasn't changed since the release of the first two episodes.

If you compare the numbers to She-Hulk, you will notice the two series have strikingly similar marks, high critic scores and low audience reviews.

The Disney+ series has been described as a "woke, feminist mess" by Newsbusters contributing writer Elise Ehrhard, and I couldn't agree more.

Yes, the MRC did heavily whine about "She-Hulk" being "woke," whatever that is.

Hamill was also still insisting that it's not racist for online trolls to complain that the existence of non-white races in the show, and you're part of the "woke mob" for even pointing that out:

Some in the media and the "woke mob" have been labeling those with legitimate critiques about the series as "racists," including some of the hosts over at The View  who went off on those who weren't gushing over the 'The Rings of Power' and other new shows with diverse casts.

You see, no one is allowed to have a negative opinion about the series because of Middle-earth’s new more diverse and gender-balanced characters - or at least that's what is seems like. 

The problem with this idea is that it's intellectually dishonest. You're not by default an angry racist because you don't like the new series. Those who are going along with this notion clearly aren't listening to what viewers are complaining about in regards to the new Lord of the Rings series, which Kain perfectly describes in his article.

The problem with Hamill's line of logic is that complaining about the show's "diverse and gender-balanced characters" is very much a racist and sexist criticism.

Hamill spun again in an Oct. 16 post, whining that the "beta male" characters was really the most "common" criticism of the show"

The first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power has come to an end, with the eighth episode titled, ‘Alloyed,’ airing on Friday, October 14. I must say it's been a long journey filled with disappointment and too many cringeworthy moments to count.

Now one of the most common complaints among J.R.R Tolkien fans and popular critics was that male characters were portrayed as ‘weak’ and ‘cowardly’ throughout the series, among other things.

[...]

I think it’s safe to say that most of us don’t take issue with strong female characters in shows - I certainly don’t. That being said, it would be nice if there was a little balance, right?

The key to good fiction is believability, and one could argue that the writers of Rings of Power focused on cramming in the woke feminist agenda, in turn, throwing plausibility out the window. 

In this Amazon series you get the sense that the writers wanted you to know that women are stronger, smarter and better than men. It felt forced to say the least, which lead to a plethora of cringy, awkward, and unrealistic looking scenes — filled with beta males.

Hamill once again insisted that none of the criticism of the show could possibly have been racist:

You see, no one is allowed to have a negative opinion about the series because of Middle Earth’s new more diverse and gender-balanced characters - or at least that's what is seems like. 

Those who are accusing critics of 'racism' are dishonest and lazy. Want proof? Take a look at the difference between audience scores for The Rings of Power and House of Dragon

The House of Dragon is also a high-profile, fantasy TV show with a diverse cast, and it happens to be hugely successful, with an average audience score of 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. 

So it appears the so called 'racist backlash' against Rings of Power actually had nothing to do with the new diverse cast and more to do with the plot, the dialogue, the special effects, the list goes on.

Note to Hamill: Complaining about the show's "diverse and gender-balanced characters" is an inherently racist criticism, and if you're still whining about that, all the attempts to distract from said racism by huffing about "beta males" and citing reviews of a completely different show (in which she assumes without proof that the two shows appeal to exactly the same audience) doesn't change its racist nature.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:43 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 26, 2022 11:47 AM EST
WND's Root Predicted 'Red Tsunami' In Midterms -- Then Claimed Dems Stole Election When It Didn't Happen
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root confidently (and self-aggrandizingly) predicted a Republican midterm landslide in his Oct. 21 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "Bet the House on a GOP landslide":

I hate to say "I told you so," but I told you so.

I'm not just a political radio and TV talk-show host. I'm also a Vegas oddsmaker and professional sports handicapper – and I've got the 180-pound granite star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars to prove it. Before I ever got into politics, I spent 30 years as the top sports oddsmaker in America. The national media dubbed me "America's Oddsmaker" and "The King of Vegas Sports Gambling." I understand the odds.

I've used those skills to pick political winners too. After seven years on national radio and TV, and thousands of predictions about politics, my record is the most accurate in the media – by a mile. I'm not perfect, but I'm batting .999.

I called this one a long time ago. This election was always going to be about inflation, inflation, inflation. But clueless Democrats bet the house on abortion, abortion, abortion.

Have you seen the polls? The GOP is surging. Key races all over the country are moving to the GOP. Polls that I trust give the GOP a 4- to 7-point lead in the generic congressional poll, which translates to a historic landslide similar to GOP victories in 2010 and 2014.

[...]

Independent women have moved to the GOP by a remarkable, unheard of, unimaginable 32 points in one month. Why? Simple: inflation and crime have been raging out of control in the past month. The chickens have come home to roost.

It's all because Democrats bet on the wrong horse. They decided to gamble the whole election on abortion. I told the GOP to bet the house on inflation. Inflation trumps abortion every time.

"It's the economy and the women, stupid."

Root added vaccine fearmongering to his prediction in his Oct. 28 column:

The issues of inflation and crime worked like magic. A massive red wave landslide is upon us. As of days ago, I predicted a 50-seat GOP victory in the House and a 3- to 5-seat GOP victory in the Senate.

But then something happened that was so shocking that I believe it pushed even inflation and crime out of first place. This is the final blow that destroys the Democratic Party. This is so big that we don't have just a red wave coming on Nov. 8. We have a red tsunami.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just became the "Child Death Cult."

Last week the CDC voted unanimously to recommend every school district in the country mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for every child, or they can't go to public school. They recommend the COVID-19 vaccine be added to the "vaccine schedule." We know that most politicians, bureaucrats and schools – especially in blue states and cities – will comply.

This just became a life-or-death election. This just became the civil rights issue of the 21st century. This just became the parental rights issue of the millennium.

I believe this CDC decision is child abuse, reckless endangerment, negligence, medical malpractice, fraud, insanity, conspiracy, coverup and crimes against humanity, all rolled into one.

[...]

Every parent in America – especially mama bears – now has a life-or-death reason to vote 100% straight-ticket Republican for the midterms: to protect your precious, innocent children from an experimental, emergency-use-only, rushed-to-production vaccine that has proven dangerous and deadly all over the world.

Because if you live in a blue state, every child will be force-vaccinated, and all parental rights will be nullified.

[...]

Every parent in America who loves their children, who has no interest in turning them into a combination of guinea pig and crash-test dummy, has only one choice on Nov. 8 ...

VOTE REPUBLICAN.

This isn't a red wave anymore. This will be a Republican red tsunami.

Root spent his Nov. 5 column boast that even purported Democratic attempts to steal the election won't stop the "red tsunami":

The final sad days of desperation and depression are setting in for Democrats. They know a disaster is upon them. They know this coming Tuesday is a "disaster-level event" for the Democratic Party. For all intents and purposes, Democrats may cease to exist as a major party after Tuesday. The red wave landslide is that big.

It's now morphed into a red tsunami.

There's nothing left for Democrats to do now but try to rig and cheat ... and after the fact, claim the GOP stole the election. Classic Saul Alinsky strategy. Look in the mirror and whatever you see, blame your opposition for what you are and what you do.

But even their best rigging and election fraud won't work this time. Democrats can affect about 6 to 8 points. Maybe 10 points in a best-case scenario. That's the most they can get away with. But this GOP landslide is so big that nothing can stop it. It's a tsunami that will overwhelm the usual 6- to 8-point Democrat effect. Democrats are powerless to stop a double-digit GOP win. This one may be 15 to 20 points.

[...]

The final sad days of the Democrats are about a confused and hated president with dementia; an ex-president (Obama) despised by middle America; a House speaker (Nancy Pelosi) whose self-destructive husband gets himself in life-or-death trouble every time Nancy leaves the mansion; abortion, abortion and abortion.

But the gang who couldn't shoot straight forgot inflation, gas, groceries, rent and the economy, stupid.

On Tuesday they will find out what matters to America. Even the usual Democrat attempts at rigging and stealing won't be able to overcome the tens of millions of angry middle-class Americans coming with pitchforks to take back this country.

But the "red tsunami" didn't happen.Which means Root did exactly what you'd expect -- which, of course, was not apologizing for being so wrong. In his Nov. 11 column, he declared that the election was stolen again:

When something is so obvious, if the outcome makes no sense, if the outcome is literally impossible, then it is what it is. Forget "proof." You know it. You saw it. You felt it. You experienced it. It happened. It's real.

It seems the 2022 midterm was just stolen. Just like 2020.

If you disagree, you're delusional, or terribly naive, or brain-dead. Or you're in on the fix.

It's time to admit we're all part of a massive experiment in fraud, theft, brainwashing and gaslighting to a degree never seen in world history.

Think of all the times in just the past few years you've been gaslighted. I believe they lied to you about open borders … they lied about Hillary's 30,000 deleted emails … they lied about spying on former President Donald Trump … they lied about Russian collusion … they lied about a perfectly fine Ukrainian phone call … they lied about massive Biden corruption in Ukraine and China … they lied about the Hunter Biden laptop … they lied about the origins of COVID-19 … they lied about the need for lockdowns and masks … they lied about the need for COVID-19 vaccines … they lied about the vaccines being "safe and effective" … they lied and covered up all the deaths and injuries from the vaccine … they lied about the success of miracle drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin … they lied about the 2020 election.

You've been the victims of nonstop, severe gaslighting for a decade now. You're all part of a human psychology experiment in the limits that government and media can go in propaganda and brainwashing – while you can see they're lying right in front of your eyes.

And these are the exact same people now telling you Democrats just over-performed, and stopped a GOP red landslide, against all odds, without cheating and stealing the midterm election.

[...]

In this environment where Americans can't afford gas, groceries or rent, with the economy failing, inflation raging, scared to death of losing their jobs, living in cities plagued by violent crime, mass shoplifting, homelessness everywhere, streets lined with human waste and drug needles and failing schools intent on teaching your children to become masked transgender people.

In this environment, they all voted for Biden and the Democrats? Does that make sense to you?

That they looked around at the disaster one man has created in only two years, and they defied a century of historic midterm defeats for the party in power ... and voted for Democrats? Folks, you've been gaslighted.

Root provided no actual evidence  of a stolen election, of course; instead, he claimed that Republicans should have done as well in the rest of the country as they did in Florida, which has "strict voter ID requirements, strict laws against voter fraud, severe prison terms for anyone caught trying to commit voter fraud, no mail-in ballots sent to every voter, no ballot drop boxes, no ballot harvesting, no ballots accepted for days after Election Day and no counting for days until the desired result is achieved by the Democratic Party." Root didn't see the opposite end of that argument, that all those restrictions suppressed non-Republican votes in the state, meaning that Republicans actually "stole" the election there.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 26, 2022 1:02 AM EST
Friday, November 25, 2022
MRC Complains Again That Coverage Of GOP Candidates Was 'Negative' (Read: Accurately Reported)
Topic: Media Research Center

Rich Noyes was roused out of retirement to crank out one of his usual highly subjective coverage "studies" for the midterm elections, which got featured in a Nov. 1 post:

Four years ago, TV’s midterm coverage hammered Republican candidates and then-President Trump with 88 percent negative spin while sparing Democrats similarly bad press. This year, Democrats are in charge of the White House and both chambers of Congress, yet a new Media Research Center study of ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts finds that Republicans are receiving coverage that is just as negative (87% negative) as in 2018, while Democrats — including the President — are drawing far less scrutiny than the party out of power.

And another favor for Team Blue: the dominant topics within these campaign stories — GOP candidate controversies, abortion rights and the danger of “election deniers” — perfectly match the topmost items in Democrats’ campaign playbook. Our study shows discussion of these issues within campaign stories far eclipsed that of the economy and inflation, issues that voters deem most important.

This year’s study looked at the same period of time as we did in 2018, from September 1 to October 26. This year, the Big Three evening newscasts aired 115 stories which mentioned or discussed the midterm elections during, with a total airtime of 213 minutes, or about 60 percent more than the 130 minutes we tallied four years ago.

As with every other similar study the MRC does, it's highly flawed:

  1. It focuses only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and suggests it's indicative of all media. Fox News was not evaluated at all.
  2. The study explicitly rejects the idea of neutral coverage -- even though that's arguably the bulk of news coverage -- dishonestly counting only "clearly positive and negative statements."
  3. It fails to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover a given story.
  4. It fails to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its work could be evaluated by others. If the MRC's work was genuine and rigorous, wouldn't it be happy to provide the data to back it up?

Indeed, Noyes whined:

Most of this year’s discussion centered on four candidates: Republicans Herschel Walker, Mehmet Oz and Kari Lake, and Democrat John Fetterman. Fetterman’s bad press (81% negative, mostly comments panning his dreadful debate performance) was the worst of any Democrat, but it was better than any of the top Republicans. His Senate rival, Oz, was hit with 82 percent negative press, while Georgia’s Herschel Walker was slammed with 50 negative statements vs. six positive ones, an 89 percent negative spin.

That’s still better than Arizona’s Kari Lake, who was on the receiving end of nine evaluative comments, all negative, giving her a 100 percent negative press score.

While no Democratic candidate other than Fetterman received heavy coverage, there were occasional positive features for several of them, contributing to the Democrats’ more positive press. Alaska House candidate Mary Peltola, for example, was profiled in a glowing September 24 CBS Evening News story about her “milestone” status as the first native Alaskan in Congress.

Of course, the MRC hurled nothing but negativity at Fetterman and played defense for Walker over the abortion allegations. Noyes offered no advice on Walker's abortion scandal should have been covered in a "positive" manner (read: framed in right-wing talking points).

Noyes dishonestly whined further:

Viewers and voters seeking election news have more choices than ever, but even today, the Big Three remain uniquely powerful, with relatively large audiences (collectively, about 20 million viewers per night) of citizens who are not as ideologically-established as the fans of wall-to-wall cable news.

So while the establishment media fret about dangers to democracy, there’s a danger in a powerful partisan media passing itself off as objective or centrist, when the reality is that the networks are now open advocates for the success of one party over the other.

Meanwhile, the MRC refuses to admit that right-wing outlets like Fox News have an ideological bias, let alone spend some of its "media research" evaluating just how biased they are. That's because it depends on those outlets to advance its partisan talking points, and exposing their bias would be counterproductive to an ally.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:14 PM EST
WND Columnist Touts Conspiracy Theory-Filled Anti-Fauci Film
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There's lots to unpack in the opening of Rachel Alexander's Oct. 17 WorldNetDaily column:

When I first heard that the book Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote about Dr. Anthony Fauci was going to be made into a documentary by the "Fahrenhype 9/11" filmmaker, I was skeptical, because the left has been trying to defeat vaccine choice by falsely labeling our position as "anti-vaccine." It's part of a common tactic they resort to, portraying our positions inaccurately, because otherwise they would be unable to persuade people to gravitate toward theirs.

However, Jeff Hays is a respected filmmaker, despite how much big tech has banned him – I cannot find any of his movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime – and he explained to me that even Kennedy is not anti-vaccine; that's also a false portrayal. Kennedy mentions in every talk he gives about COVID-19 that he's not anti-vaccine, but the MSM doesn't report that part. Kennedy merely is skeptical of the effects of some vaccines.

First: Nobody on the left claims Kennedy. Second: Kennedy is indisputably an anti-vaxxer-- anyone who spreads lies and misinformation about vaccines is clearly not a supporter of them. Third: If Jeff Hays is working with anti-vaxxers like Kennedy, he cannot possibly a "respected filmmaker."

Fourth: Alexander is trying to be too clever by half in claiming that Kennedy "merely is skeptical of the effects of some vaccines." She later touts Kennedy pushing the claim that mercury in vaccines causes autism in children -- a discredited claim.

Fifth: She's also being too clever by half in claiming that being an anti-vaxxer is not "our position" and that she's being "inaccurately" portrayed as an anti-vaxxer and that she just wants "vaccine choice." She linked to a 2021 column she wrote complaining that "The left lies about the right being anti-vaccine. They routinely refer to us as 'anti-vaccine' when many of us have gotten the vaccine and merely want it to be a choice," adding: "Conservatives carrying signs that say 'Don’t jab on me' could be construed as being anti-vaxx, not anti-vaxx mandate. Stop letting the MSM refer to us as 'anti-vaxx.' It’s a lie. The left doesn’t follow the science with their insistence on mandates, because a lot of young healthy people have died after getting the vaccine." The thing is that there is no functional difference between being anti-vaxx and anti-vaxx mandates because there's so much overlap between the two groups.

Alexander went on to prove that Hays isn't a  "respected filmmaker" by rehashing the conspiracies he put into his attack film on Fauci:

The film goes over Fauci's flip-flop on wearing masks, how he originally dismissed them as not working against respiratory illnesses. Masks are referred to as "a symbol of obedience" so people "remain in constant fear." It's a "mass psychosis where you keep the entire population in fear that their lives are under attack."

Mark Crispin Miler, a professor of media studies at NYU, said people believed what they saw on CNN and other mainstream media due to their prestigious reputations. CNN said popular podcast host Joe Rogan took "horse dewormer medication" in order to misrepresent ivermectin.

The documentary goes so far as to hint that perhaps there was something nefarious going on; since ivermectin has been around a long time used to treat ailments, it is now a generic, so pharmaceutical companies can't make much of a profit from selling it. Ivermectin was once considered as possibly being used to treat cancer, but due to the stigma given it during COVID-19, that's now unlikely.

In fact, Fauci's position on masks changed because of initial misunderstandings about how COVID spread and a need to make sure health care workers had enough masks due to early shortages. Also, it has been repeatedly proven that ivermectin is ineffective against COVID, and there is no evidence that it's being suppressed because "pharmaceutical companies can't make much of a profit from selling it."

Alexander's conspiracies continued:

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is singled out for criticism. Through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates allegedly steered the World Health Organization away from its traditional role helping developing countries to a "single preoccupation with vaccines."

The legendary baseball player Hank Aaron was one of the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as part of an effort to convince blacks skeptical of it due to the Tuskegee experiment. But 17 days later, he was dead. Kennedy refers to the possible linkage as "suspicious," and even the left-leaning Snopes fact-checking site does not say the possibility of causation is false, labeling it "unproven." The documentary contains a long list of young athletes who collapsed from odd health problems shortly after getting the vaccine.

The documentary points out that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' own studies have found that the government's vaccine reporting system may be understating injuries by over 99%, in part due to no effort being made to make it more easily usable by the public.

Finally, when people started to become concerned about the adverse effects of the vaccine, Kennedy said Fauci killed the proposal for a vaccine safety commission.

Regarding the claim about Hank Aaron, doesn't Alexander think the claim that COVID vaccines caused his death should have to be proven before they are spread? Otherwise,she's just acting as a megaphone for unproven allegations. And the "vaccine safety commission" was proposed by Kennedy himself before the COVID pandemic as a ploy to foment distrust in vaccines, so it was not a good-faith idea and it's dishonest for him, Hays and Alexander to suggest it was any sort of good-faith effort.

Alexander concluded:

It comes down to "fear disables critical thinking," according to the documentary. Kennedy doesn't get into the whys behind his research. He doesn't explain why Fauci has these biases, but some of the commentators in the documentary point out that Fauci has a contempt for classical medicine, instead preferring radical, dangerous new alternatives. 

But Alexander won't call out how Kennedy and Hays are using fear to attack vaccines, and that Kennedy is the one who has a  "contempt for classical medicine." Perhaps that's because she pushes that same fear.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EST
MRC Ignores Facts To Cheer Alleged Demise Of Batgirl Film, Bisexual Superman
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center likes nothing more to lash out at superhero franchises who dare to offer protagonists who are anything other than white and heterosexual. An Aug. 4 post by Michael Ippolito -- under the headline "Get Woke, Go Broke" -- cheered the new owners of Warner Bros. and its DC comic franchises shelving a new Batgirl movie despite it being nearly completed, whining that the titular character wasn't white:

Some corporations have finally gotten the memo and are pumping the brakes on producing woke garbage. 

According to The Wrap, Warner Brothers will not release the $90 million project BatGirl either theatrically or on HBO Max. The movie was slated for release later in 2022, and numerous worrisome reports, such as the race-swapping of the main character, indicated it was going to be another leftist propaganda film. 

“The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance,” said a Warner Bros. Pictures spokesperson. “We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.” 

The total movie budget reached a whopping $90 million due to COVID shutdowns, reshoots, and an increased budget. The movie was set to be the character’s big breakthrough with veteran actor Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman. Early tests revealed that the moviegoers did not enjoy the film at all. Holy woke propaganda, Batman!

Ippolitio did not explain now, exactly, making Batgirl not white (she would have been Hispanic in this film) made the film "woke," nor did he identify any other content from the film -- which he could not possibly have seen -- that warranted the "woke" slur. Seems that Ippolito can't handle a person of color starring in a superhero film.

(Warner Bros. itself stated that a change in corporate strategy was the cause of the film's cancellation, and nothing was said about the film being too "woke," whatever that is.)

Matt Philbin was even more whiny and snarky -- with added homophobia -- about the alleged cancellation of another project in the DC universe in an Oct. 13 post:

Look! Up in the sky: it’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a woke bisexual guy in tights! Except he’s not going to be there much longer.

According to Brittany Bernstein at National Review Online, DC Comics announced at the New York Comic Con that it’s canceling Superman: Son of Kal-El because it turned out nobody was really interested in an excruciatingly woke comic book. 

Go figure.

Don’t ask me how comic book fans can pass up riveting story lines about Clark and Lois’s light-in-the-tights teenage son fighting climate change and other progressive bugaboos, but the series was less popular than CNN+.

“The fourth issue of the series sold just 37,500 copies, earning it an abysmal 55th place in October 2021 sales,” Bernstein reported.  

So what the hell was DC thinking when it dreamed up this dud? According to the series author, “The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity.” 

So this was an expensive exercise in virtue signaling. Lot of that going around.

Philbin was too invested in his homophobia that he ignored the inconvenient fact fact that the comic isn't getting canceled at all -- it's being re-launched in a new six-issue series as "Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent." And despite Philbin's gloating about the series' purportedly terrible sales, CBR pointed out that at the time this narrative appeared, "the best-selling comic book on Amazon was Superman: Son of Kal-El #16, the series' most recent issue," and "Son of Kal-El" writer Tom Taylor said that he will contiunue to write the new series. Perhaps that will teach Philbin to not get his comic book news from a right-wing commentary magazine.

The MRC previously whined about the creation of the bisexual Superman, because, again, it thinks superheroes should only be white heterosexuals.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EST
Updated: Friday, November 25, 2022 10:56 AM EST
CNS Can't Stop Complaining About Committee Looking Into Capitol Riot
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com hates Nancy Pelosi and hated the House committee hearings looking into the Capitol riot, so it's unsurprising that its initial story related to the final committee hearing on Oct. 13 was not about what was discussed during said hearing but, rather, an Oct. 14 article by Craig Bannister on a video of Pelosi released after the hearing:

“I’ve been waiting for this,” House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says in a newly-released video, in which she says claims “punch him out,” if then-President Donald Trump comes to the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021 riot.

“I’m going to punch him out,” House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said of Trump as the Capitol riot unfolded, according to video obtained from Pelosi’s daughter and aired by CNN Thursday.

CNN describes the scene, in which Pelosi declares that "this is my moment; I've been waiting for this," gesturing emphatically, before threatening to "punch" then-President Trump:

Bannister did tacitly concede, unlike WorldNetDaily, that Pelosi's remarks came in the context of a violent Trump-inflamed mob attacking the Capitol.

Indeed, CNS did no news article whatsoever on the contents of the hearing -- which arguably belies its claim to be a "news" operation. Instead, intern Lauren Shank wrote an Oct. 14 article uncritically repeating Donald Trump's grievances:

Former President Donald Trump spoke out against the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S Capitol, questioning why they did not ask him to testify months ago.

“Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago? Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting?” Trump asked on his Truth Social platform.

“Because the Committee is a total ‘BUST’ that has only served to further divide our Country which, by the way, is doing very badly – A laughing stock all over the world?”

In another post he wrote, “The Unselect Committee knowingly failed to examine the massive voter fraud which took place during the 2020 Presidential Election – The reason for what took place on January 6th.”

“Why didn’t Crazy Nancy Pelosi call out the ‘troops’ before January 6th, which I strongly recommended that she do,” said Trump. “It was her responsibility, but she ‘didn’t like the look.’ Crazy Nancy failed the American People!”

Shank refused to fact-check this claim -- if she had, she would have known that Trump never signed an order to deploy National Guard troops that day, so Pelosi could not possibly have turned it down.

Shank did eventually get around to describing something that actually happened at the hearing, while, of course, putting some biased spin on it:

While the potential of Thursday’s hearing may be its last on the Jan. 6 attacks, the committee, consisting of seven Democrats and two Republicans, all said “aye” in voting to subpoena Trump.

(The two Republicans, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Rep. Lynne Cheney (Wyo.), had expressed their disapproval of Trump even before the events of Jan. 6, 2021 and had voted for his impeachment.)

[...]

Although Trump’s critics frequently describe the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as an insurrection, to date not one person (of  900-plus arrested) apparently has been charged with insurrection.

The harshest charge has been “seditious conspiracy,” and brought against only 11 people.

Shank didn't expaloin why someone has to actually be charged with insurrection to describe the riot as an "insurrection."

Even though there will be no more committee hearings, CNS continued to attack the committee. Bannister invoked two of his favorite right-wingers to go after Pelosi again in a Nov. 10 article:

Democrats “never intended” their January 6 Select Committee to be political and “it was never planned as a political tactic,” House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) – who refused to allow Republicans to seat their own committee members – said Tuesday as the midterm elections were taking place.

Pelosi insisted that Democrats’ one-sided January 6 Select Committee hearings had no political agenda, when asked by PBS NewsHour Host Judy Woodruff about voters’ disinterest in the televised, public hearings.

“Well, well never intended it to be a political item. It’s about seeking the truth,” Pelosi responded.

“[I]t was never planned as a political tactic,” Pelosi added, repeating Democrats’ mantra that “democracy is at stake” in this year’s midterm elections.

But, as Constitution Scholar Mark Levin has explained on his “Life, Liberty & Levin” television program, the “illegitimate” hearings are an unconstitutional effort to indict and smear former President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues:

[...]

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who spent 20 years in Congress, has also explained how the one-sided hearings have been purely political.

“What I saw last night was a show trial worthy of Joseph Stalin,” Gingrich observed, following one of the hearings conducted in June. “Last night’s January 6 Committee propaganda show had nothing in common with legitimate congressional hearings.”

“There is a sense of fairness and Due Process which is central to American freedom and independence. The January 6 Committee has violated every aspect of due process, presumption of innocence, and impartial search for truth,” Gingrich noted.

Bannister didn't mention that because the committee hearings were not part of a legal process, there was not a duty to follow due process. He also didn't mention that Republicans had every right to hold their own hearings to build a counter-narrative to the House committee but chose not to.

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman tried to help Republicans fiorward a conspiracy theory about the riot in a Nov. 15 article:

At a hearing held before the House Homeland Security Committee on Nov. 15, FBI Director Christopher Wray declined to say whether the FBI had used "confidential human sources" "dressed as Trump supporters" in the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. 

House Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) asked Wray, "Does the FBI have confidential human sources -- did the FBI have confidential human sources embedded within the January 6 protesters on January 6, 2021?"

FBI Director Wray replied, "Congressman, as I'm sure you can appreciate, I have to be very careful about what I can say about when -- may I finish -- about when we do and do not and where we have and have not used confidential human sources."

"But to the extent that there's a suggestion, for example, that the FBI's confidential human sources or FBI employees in some way, instigated or orchestrated January 6, that's categorically false," said Wray.

Higgins then asked, "Did you have confidential human sources dressed as Trump supporters inside the Capitol on January 6, prior to the doors being opened?"

Wray replied, "Again, I have to be very careful --."

At that point, Higgins interjected, "It should be a no. Can you not tell the American people no, we did not have confidential human sources dressed as Trump supporters positioned inside the Capitol?"

Wray then responded, "You should not read anything into my decision not to share information on confidential human sources."

At that point, Committee chairman Benny Thompson (D-Miss.) said Higgins' time was up and they moved on to another congressman.

Higgins' line of questioning leaned into a conspiracy theory forwarded by right-wingers that secret FBI agents embedded in the crowd caused the violence that day. Chapman failed to explain that to his readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EST
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Welcome To The MRC's COVID Cruise!
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is sponsoring a Mediterranean cruise next summer, and all the usual right-wing folks will be on this junket. Aside from the MRC's own Brent Bozell, Tim Graham and Terry Jeffrey, other right-wing activists getting their cruise comped include Rick Santorum, Dean Cain, Charlie Hurt, Cal Thomas, Jason Chaffetz and Joe Concha. The one unsusual guest -- in that he's not a prominent right-wing activist like the rest -- is Jim Jimirro, who has actually done something with his life by creating the Disney Channel and running Disney's home video operation, and he has an "impact series" on media issues named after him at the Paley Center for Media. Jimirro did, however, moderate a panel last year in which Graham went off on a New York Times reporter, so maybe that's how he got the invite.

Even though the MRC regularly rants that the "liberal media" isn't diverse enough, there will be no diversity of opinion allowed here. This cruise is all about figid ideological uniformity, as one of the features being promoted is the opportunity to hang out with "like minded fellow cruisers."

But there's another thing these cruisers may share: COVID. A key part of the MRC's cruise promotion is that nobody is required to be vaccinated. Ads promoting the cruise on MRC websites proclaim that "NO VACCINES OR TESTS REQUIRED," and the top of the cruise website has a sticker declaring "Covid19 VAX no longer required."

Actually, it's a little more complicated than that. Celebrity Cruises, which will run the MRC cruise, has protocols that it follows; while vaccines are not required, it does state that "Unvaccinated guests ages 5 and older will need to test 3 days prior to boarding U.S. sailings; and ages 12 and older for select Europe sailings" and that "Boosters are highly recommended, but not required, for those eligible at least 7 days before" (text color in original). It's also noted that "Guests must provide proof at terminal check-in of a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation." The protocols further state: "Masks on board will be recommended, but not required, in the vast majority of venues. There may be select venues or certain situations in which masks are required. Celebrity Cruises is currently providing complimentary surgical mask(s) on board with replacements available upon request."

Given the MRC's penchant for spreading misinformation about COVID vaccines and overall hostility to COVID-related health protocols, the number of "like minded" cruisers who will be unvaccinated is likely to be higher than the general population and masking for onboard events will be minimal at best despite Celebrity's protocols, so these cruisers should prepare for a likely outbreak.

Bon voyage!


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 24, 2022 11:33 AM EST
CNS Defends GOP Candidate's Mockery Of Paul Pelosi Attack, Pushes More Distraction Talking Points
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com was so committed to sticking to Republican narratives of whining and whataboutism regarding the violent hammer attack on Paul Pelosi that CNS writer Susan Jones rushed to the defense of a Republican candidate for making light of the attack.

Jones had already uncritically repeated Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake whining that "You can't talk about Paul Pelosi, now you can't talk about Nancy Pelosi.. .. And I'm talking about all those things because I still believe we have a little bit of the First Amendment left." A Nov. 2 article by Jones criticized Hillary Clinton for bringing up Lake's dismissive attitude to the Pelosi attack and tried to invoke a "point of clarification" to defend Lake:

Former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined MSNBC's Joy Reid Tuesday night in demonizing Republicans -- not just individuals, but the "whole" party.

Reid mentioned the attack on Paul Pelosi by someone she described as having "sort of (a) right-wing conspiracy theory mind."

Clinton followed the leftist’s lead:

"I don't see Republicans running for the Congress or governors in many other different positions taking down their violent ads, or I don't see them curbing their rhetoric," she said:

"You played something from Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was calling for the death, because of treason, for Speaker Pelosi.

"The level of just plain crazy, violent hate rhetoric coming out of Republicans -- you played something from the candidate, the Republican candidate for governor in Arizona. I want viewers, I want voters to stop and ask themselves, would we trust somebody who is stirring up these violent feelings, who is pointing fingers, scapegoating, making a joke about a violent attack on Paul Pelosi?

"Why would you trust that person to have power over you, your family, your business, your community? So, I want to take this a step further away from the incident, that terrible incident with Paul Pelosi, and broaden it out, because what we have with the rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates, from their party right now is so disturbing.

Jones huffed in response:

Point of clarification: Republican Kari Lake, running for Arizona governor, did not make a joke about the attack on Paul Pelosi, although liberal media outlets accused her of "mocking" the attack.

In remarks about school safety at a campaign stop in Scottsdale, here's what Lake said:

"Nancy Pelosi, well, she’s got protection when she’s in D.C. — apparently her house doesn’t have a lot of protection," Lake said, stating the obvious.

Lake’s audience laughed, and that gave rise to reports that Lake was "joking" about the attack on Pelosi. Lake continued: "If our lawmakers can have protection, if our politicians can have protection, if our athletes, then certainly the most important people in our lives — our children — should have protection."

That doesn't make Lake look any better, but it's clear that Jones will bend over backwards to try to clean up offensive remarks by Republicans.

Jones also stayed true to repeating Republican talking points by using an article the next day to invoke the exact same distraction its Media Research Center parent did regarding the alleged assailant:

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday released a federal criminal complaint and supporting affidavit against David DePape, the homeless man who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer after smashing his way into the Pelosi's San Francisco house.

But of all the facts detailed in the eight-page complaint/affidavit, this one was missing: DePape was in this country illegally.

[...]

But the first words of the Oct. 31 DOJ news release announcing the federal charges say this: "A California man was charged today with assault and attempted kidnapping in violation of federal law in connection with the break-in at the residence of Nancy and Paul Pelosi in San Francisco on Friday."

San Francisco is a sanctuary city.

Jones didn't explain how DePape being in the country illegally somehow made him a violent felon. She also didn't highlight the details on how that happened, which don't mesh with the right-wing "sanctuary city" rhetoric Jones was invoking: He overstayed a travel visa from Canada he received in 2008 -- meaning that Donald Trump likely had an opportunity to expel DePape during his presidency but did not.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:58 AM EST
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
MRC Whines About Late-Night TV Not Being Fox News-y Enough
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Reserarch Center loves to whine about late-night TV hosts who won't be right-wing suck-ups like Fox News' Greg Gutfeld (whom it adores). And as the midterm elections approached, the MRC continued to be mad at them for not sounding like they work for the MRC (like Gutfeld does). Tim Graham gushed over a Fox News PR piece in an Oct. 8 post:

Joseph Wulfsohn at Fox News reports that audiences are leaving the Old Media late-night "comedy" shows now the Trump era is over, but the #Resistance model of partisan hot takes remains. 

CBS star Stephen Colbert was the king of late night as "The Late Show" became the most-watched late night show in the Trump era, averaging roughly 3 million viewers from 2017-2019.

But with Trump out of office, Colbert's liberal audience has shrunk to a 2.1 million viewer average in 2022, shedding 27 percent of his peak audience and losing his title as King of Late Night in recent months to Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, whose show "Gutfeld!" has edged out the CBS rival with 2.2-2.4 million viewers as of late.

Graham neglected to point out that Wolfsohn works for the same organization that airs Gutffeld, meaning that this is not legitimate reporting -- he made no effort to obtain comment from the hosts he's attacking -- but, rather, a biased Gutfeld promo that has no business being presented as "news."

Alex Christy spent a Nov. 8 post complaining that late-night hosts exercised their First Amendment rights:

From literal alarms over abortion to satirical Christmas songs to the typical anti-Republican diatribe, the men of the late night comedy shows used their Monday programs to deliver one last pitch to voters on why they should vote Democrat.

On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host’s wife, Molly McNearney, interrupted his anti-Herschel Walker ramblings with a literal alarm and siren, “Because tomorrow is Election Day. And abortion rights are gone or in danger in 26 states. Even though the overwhelming majority of this country supports a woman's right to choose.”

[...]

Over at The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert kicked off his Election Day Eve program with a video of satirical Christmas songs. The assortment of singers then preformed, “Have yourself a gerrymandered district,” “I'm dreaming of a white turnout,” “I saw mommy kissing Herschel Walker, then he gave her 700 bucks”, and “It's beginning to look a lot like fascists.”

Also included were “Oh Q-anon, oh Q-anon, Joe Biden is a lizard” and “Here comes Dr. Oz, here comes Dr. Oz talking about crudité” along with a promotion to get a free copy of “How the Grinch Stole Democracy.”

No word if Someone Got Run Over by John Fetterman or if Mandela Barnes preformed O Little Town of Moscow and the spinoff, O Little Town of Tehran.

Looks like someone lacks a sense of humor -- or is auditioning for a job at the Babylon Bee.

Christy returned for a whining post-mortem in a Nov. 14 post:

The late-night comedy scene has been reliably liberal for a long time, but the 2022 midterm election was a regular messaging machine for the Democrats, a NewsBusters study has revealed.

MRC analysts found that during the fall campaign, from Labor Day through the Monday night before Election Day, liberal guests outnumbered conservative guests 47 to 0. It was 100 percent liberal and/or Democrat.

[...]

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke were the guests who appeared multiple times during the length of the study.

Interviews were typically very friendly. Jimmy Fallon joked with the Clintons about how Trump was terrible about keeping documents secure (completely avoiding Clinton security scandals). Seth Meyers began his Kamala Harris interview with this tribute: “You, as an administration, you have accomplished a great deal despite only having a 50/50 Senate.”

After noting the affiliation of guest, Christy huffed: "No one is surprised that Fox News had zero." He shouldn't be either; afer all, he specifically states in his methodology that "Fox's Gutfeld! was not included.

Christy didn't explain why he excluded Gutfeld -- perhaps he was afraid that the numbers wouldn't look so stark if he included that right-wing shill. But if you're purporting to make a blanket judgment about all late-night television, wouldn't you include a show whom your employer has bragged has better ratings than the other shows you included?

That's shoddy "media research." But then. we expect nothing less from the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EST
Newsmax Finally Gives Up On Lara Logan After Anti-Semitic Remark
Topic: Newsmax

When Lara Logan lost her position year this year at Fox News -- where she was a regular guest and had a show on Fox Nation laughably titled "Lara Logan Has No Agenda" -- for her malicious yet ridiculous likening of Anthony Fauci to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, Newsmax felt bad for her. When her talent agency dropped her over the hateful comment, a Jan. 17 article by Luca Cacciatore took a sympathetic approach. But the nasty smear wasn't disqualifying for Newsmax, just like it wasn't for the Media Research enter (which played whataboutism instead of criticizing her).

Logan got another sympathetic article on April 13 by the apparently unironically named Charlie McCarthy, which noted that Logan was completely out at Fox News (whom Newsmax dislikes(

Reporter Lara Logan said she was forced out of Fox News and its streaming service after publicly criticizing Anthony Fauci.

"Lara Logan Has No Agenda," a show streamed on Fox Nation, was dropped, and the former CBS News correspondent has not appeared as a Fox News guest since making her comments about Fauci late last year.

"I was definitely pushed out," Logan told The Eric Metaxas Radio Show. "I mean, there is no doubt about that. They don’t want independent thinkers. They don’t want people who follow the facts regardless of the politics."

[...]

Logan told Metaxas that mainstream media stories about her also have hurt her career.

"If they Google you, and they see a Washington Post or New York Times hit piece on you, well then they don’t want anything to do with you, right?" she told Metaxas. "Oh well, we can’t hire you for our event, or We can’t employ you, or whatever else."

McCarthy waited until the fifth paragraph of his article to detaiil her offensive attack on Fauci, and he didn't mention at all her journalistic failings -- like promoting a man who told a false story about the Benghazi attack -- that resulted in all those "mainstream media' stories about her.

Logan went on to spout inflammatory statements during appearances on Newsmax TV as well:

  • On April 25, she was given a platform to rant that "because of President Joe Biden's policies on immigration; the United States has ''no southern border,'' and that the Biden administration's statements on the border "is the language of the United Nations. It's the language of the global elite.''
  • On Sept. 15, Logan complained that "Vice President Kamala Harris has been "lying about the border from Day One" as the White House overlooks the migrant crisis" and that the administration is engaged in "a globalist strategy" that's purportedly "designed to dismantle this country."
  • On Oct. 6, she whined that "the Justice Department is stalling its prosecution of Hunter Biden and will likely undercharge him," going on to claim: "'They're going to give up something on Hunter Biden because the reality is that much worse,' she added, noting that the news could be a distraction to avoid a November blowout in the midterm elections."

But it turns that even Newsmax has its limits on what it will put up with from Logan. Mediaite reported on Oct. 20 about a Logan appearance on Eric Bolling's Newsmax show:

Bolling interrupted to ask Logan about God and immigration.

“I have to ask you this because my audience is very God-fearing, God-loving, etc.,” he said. “Is God ok with a closed border?”

Logan replied in the affirmative because, she said, God is a fan of national sovereignty:

It’s much bigger than that. God believes in sovereignty, and national identity, and the sanctity of family, and all the things that we’ve lived with from the beginning of time. And he knows that the open border is Satan’s way of taking control of the world through all of these people who are his stooges and his and his servants.

And they may think that they’re going to become gods. That’s what they tell us. you’ve all known [historian Yuval Noah] Harari and all the rest of them at the World Economic Forum. You know, the ones who want us eating insects, cockroaches, and that while they dine on the blood of children? Those are the people, right? They’re not gonna win. They’re not going to win.

Harari is a Jewish historian, so Logan’s decision to single him out is instructive, given her recent behavior. “Blood libel” as it is known, is a centuries-old myth about Jewish people murdering Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals.

Logan has made several questionable and outright anti-Semitic statements. She claimed the theory of evolution is a plot perpetrated by the Rothschilds – a wealthy Jewish banking family. She also shared a post alleging that Jews are behind a scheme to create a “one world government.”

Once a reputable reporter for 60 Minutes, Logan has become increasingly unhinged.

Indeed, And that, apparently. was the last straw for Newsmax. It went into damage control later that day, declaring that it "condemns in the strongest terms the reprehensible statements made by Lara Logan" and has "no plans to interview her again." Oddly, Newsmax did no stories itself on its own ban.

The MRC, meanwhile, censored all news of Logan's smear and said nothing after Newsmax's ban.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:46 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2022 7:51 PM EST
After Failing To Meet Fundraising Goal, WND's Farah Begs For Money Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In September, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared yet another "existential threat" to his website, asserting that "We need to raise a minimum of $100,000 before the end of October." Since then, Farah has been almost completely silent on the issue in his column, preferring instead to do things like find biblical justification for begging for money, urging atonement for everyone but himself and parroting Chuck Norris' election endorsements.

He has, however, been writing updates in emails to the WND mailing list -- and the news hasn't been good. He wrote in an Oct. 25 email: "As I revealed a few weeks ago, we need to raise a minimum of $100,000 before the end of October. We have about a week left, and are a little more than half way there. I hope you can help us." He has talked poor before a self-imposted deadline before in a bid to increase donations. But that magic didn't work this time. He wrote in a Nov. 5 email:

And right now, it pains me to tell you that not only have all WND’s staffers had to accept pay cuts, but making payroll is frequently delayed as we attempt to overcome multiple crises that constitute an existential threat to the nation's oldest independent Christian online journalism organization.

A few weeks ago I revealed to you that we needed to raise $100,000 by the end of October. Many of you generously pitched in – and thank you so very much to everyone who did. However, we still fell short – and we are still struggling to make payroll for our journalists. Therefore, if others reading these words are able to help in any way, large or small, that support is still seriously needed. I hope and pray you can help us during this particularly tough time for WND.

Farah also repeated the lie that WND "publish[es] entirely truthful information Americans desperately need."

Farah made a similar plea in a Nov. 15 email:

Because of all the attacks on us, a few weeks ago I reluctantly revealed that we needed to raise $100,000 by the end of October. Many of you generously pitched in – and thank you so very much to everyone who did. However, we still fell short – and even today we are still struggling to make payroll for our dedicated journalists and a few other key bills necessary for our continued operation. Therefore, if others reading these words are able to help in any way, large or small, that support is still seriously needed. And if you have already contributed, but think you could pitch in a little more, that would be wonderful and appreciated. Every bit helps.
 
I hope and pray you can help us during this particularly tough time for WND.

Farah repeated that plea in emails on Nov. 20 and Nov. 21. He also repeated lies that WND is "publishing the TRUTH" and "that’s what we do for a living – report the news truthfully."

Farah is looking more desperate than shameless this time around -- and that may not be a good sign for WND. The fact that Farah lies about how WND is "publishing the TRUTH" though even a casual reader can identify misinformation and outright falsehoods that appear on a seemingly daily basis (or just peruse the ConWebWatch archives) suggests that whatever reality distortion field Farah has in keeping his website alive may not be working like it once did.

Is WND done for this time? We shall see. But it's not looking good.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- New Press Secretary, Same MRC Hate: September 2022
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is still maliciously depicting Karine Jean-Pierre as an incompetent diversity hire, and Curtis Houck is still man-crushing over every utterance from Peter Doocy. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EST
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
MRC Stayed On Message, Whined About Final 1/6 Hearing
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent the summer complaining about the House committee hearings into the Capitol riot -- and when one more hearing was held last month, the MRC complained about that too. We've already noted that MRC executive Tim Graham complained that the "liberal media" covered the hearings but not John Durham's latest failed prosecution (which the MRC also largely ignored), butthere was other whining as well. Curtis Houck grumbled in an Oct. 13 post that hearings cut into valuable airtime pushing right-wing narratives about inflation:

On Thursday morning, ABC and CBS showed what matters to them most. They combined to have spent more time on the last hearing of the House Select Committee on January 6 and the latest leaks against former President Trump than Americans struggling to make ends meet amid record-high gas prices, soaring food costs, and surging inflation.

All told (and when you add in NBC), ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and NBC’s Today spent a total of 12 minutes and 50 seconds on January 6 and the Mar-a-Lago raid and 11 minutes and 50 seconds on inflation. 

It should be noted nearly three quarters of the inflation total (eight minutes and 34 seconds) came from NBC’s Today, which was the only network to give more time to the state of the economy than January 6 and Trump (three minutes and 49 seconds).

In contrast, ABC and CBS gave far more time to their pet projects than showing any real concern for Americans wondering where their next meal is going to come from.

Houck didn't explain how he invented the claim that the Capitol riot hearings are the "pet projects" of TV networks. Kevin Tober engaged in similar whining later that day:

On Thursday, American consumers awoke to the news that they have been experiencing all along. That inflation continued to soar in September at a rate of 8.2 percent year-over-year and 0.4 percent over the previous month. This despite the Federal Reserve's steady interest rate hikes meant to curb inflation. Yet, the three evening news broadcasts gave that news a back seat to the latest January 6 hearing into the riots at the Capitol. 

ABC's World News Tonight was the worst offender on this contrast in coverage. The network led with the news of the January 6 Committee voting to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify before the committee. ABC devoted eight minutes and six seconds to the news while giving just 45 seconds to the red-hot inflation numbers.

Mark Finkelstein used an Oct. 14 post to complain that people on TVpointed out how the hearings made Republicans look bad:

After the House January 6 committee held its final hearing before the election, Morning Joe wasted no time on Friday's show in trying to translate those hearings into a blatant appeal to vote Democrat in the coming midterms. The election of a Republican majority is a vote for cheating, violence and the end of democracy.

First, looking directly into the camera, Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman turned member of the disgraced Lincoln Project, beseeched people to make the obvious choice for democracy and vote Democrat:

Finkelstein didn't dispuite the accuracy of anything that was said -- he just whined that it was said out loud. Meanwhile, Graham returned to spend his Oct. 14 podcast complaining about the hearings and tried to push the old right-wing narrative that nobody cares about them:

The final pre-election hearing of the Pelosi-picked January 6 Committee was overtly designed as midterm messaging for the Democrats -- including in fundraising emails. The media coverage suggests one party is in favor of democracy, and the other one is a mortal threat to democracy.

On MSNBC, Nicolle Wallace insisted to Rachel Maddow that "democracy issues" were a top midterm issue, but the January 6 hearings themselves aren't breaking through.

Politico just reported that "Overall, less than 2 percent of all broadcast TV spending in House races has gone toward Jan. 6 ads." CNN's Stephen Collinson wrote with great concern that "Voters may care more about the cost of French fries than January 6 panel’s compelling evidence."

We discuss the patterns with NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck, and he breaks down the major themes of this last hearing. It's safe to predict that if Republicans retake on or both houses of Congress in 2023, the networks that have provided all this live coverage will immediately lose interest in covering oversight hearings. They all think Trump scandals are urgent, and Biden scandals are a distraction.

As usual, Graham is confusing his right-wing media bubble with what happens in the real world. He also didn't explain why he apparently believes Trump should never be held accountable for his actions in instigating the Capitol insurrection.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2022 10:11 PM EST
WND Promotes Dubious Study Claiming COVID Virus Was Made In A Lab
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore wrote in an Oct. 24 article under the headline "Study finds Dr. Fauci's 'fingerprint' on origin of COVID virus":

A new pre-print study has concluded the virus that causes COVID-19 has a unique "fingerprint" indicating it originated in a laboratory rather than in nature.

Dr. Alex Washburne, a mathematical biologist, worked with researchers in the U.S. and Germany who studied the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence and compared it to previously discovered coronaviruses.

They detected "peculiar patterns" they concluded were the hallmark of a manufactured virus, describing it having a "synthetic fingerprint."

Moore is being dishonest here -- in fact, contrary to his headline, the pre-print study does not mention Fauci at all. Moore continued:

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sachs, chairman of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, a task force that investigated the origins of COVID-19, has concluded after 22 months of study that SARS-CoV-2 probably was laboratory-generated and that the technology likely came from gain-of-function research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The "synthetic fingerprint" discovered in the new study led by Washburne, says Sachs in an article published by Children's Health Defense, points to the work of Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist at the University of North Carolina known for his NIH-funded gain-of-function research in cooperation with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Mopore didn't mention that Children's Health Defense is the group of famously anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists headed by Robert Kennedy Jr., so the fact that Sach's paper was published there is immediately disqualifying. 

In fact, it's not until the 19th paragraph that Moore finally gets around to referencing Fauci -- andit's devoted to whining that he largely discredited the notion that the COVID-19 virus originated in a lab:

Another critic, Kristian Andersen, a virologist at Scripps Research in California, famously joined with three other virologists in a January 2020 email to Fauci stating they saw strong evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 was engineered in a lab, as WND reported. But after a teleconference the next day with Fauci to discuss the virologists' conclusion, Andersen began dismissing the lab-leak possibility as among "crackpot theories" that "relate to this virus being somehow engineered with intent and that is demonstrably not the case."

In April 2020, Fauci was asked by a reporter during a White House briefing if the research at the Wuhan lab might be responsible for the pandemic. Fauci insisted a "group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists" had concluded the virus was "totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human."

The next day, Peter Daszak – the EcoHealth Alliance founder who received funding from Fauci's agency to conduct research engineering coronaviruses – sent a thank you email to Fauci. Daszak thanked the National Institutes of Health and Infectious Disease director for "publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

"From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’s origins," Daszak wrote to Fauci on April 18, 2020.

At no point did Moore prove his headline claim that a lab-manufactured COVID virus was Fauci's "fingerprint" -- that derives from old anti-vaxxer attacks on Fauci accusing the NIH of funding gain-of-function research. Moore then whined that Andersen attacked Washburne's study:

he new study by Washburne, Andersen said, is "so deeply flawed that it wouldn't pass kindergarten molecular biology."

"The study is a clear example of motivated reasoning with a heavy dose of technobabble to make it sound legitimate – but it's nothing more than poppycock dressed up as science," said Andersen.

"In plain language — this is uninformed nonsense and it's simply not worth engaging with."

Moore also quoted Washburne pre-emptively attacking criticism of his study:

In a post on Substack, Washburne reacted to criticism that his study was "very poorly controlled" and "cherry-picked."

"The topic is personally relevant to every person capable of being infected by a virus or impacted by pandemic policies," he wrote. "I invite people to prove us wrong and, if they do so, even if there are flaws in their work, I will not call them names or attack their credentials.

"I will celebrate their ingenuity and commitment to the Truth, and if I am proven wrong I will change my mind," he promised.

Washburne said science "can save lives and revolutionize our civilization, but only if scientists and our broader society remain honest, curious, and open-minded."

Meanwhile, Washburne's study is not holding up to scrutiny. In an article at Vox, Kelsey Piper argued that the study "doesn’t help resolve the question of how SARS-CoV-2 originated" and is based on "statistical inferences from the idea that a particular cloning strategy was used to modify the virus." Piper added:

Even scientists who think a synthetic origin for Covid-19 is a very real possibility — such as Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who has made the case we need a full investigation to determine whether Covid was naturally or synthetically occurring — told me they thought this paper couldn’t prove the strong claim it was making.

Needless to say, Moore never followed up his stenography by doing actual reporting on what other experts think.That would have interfered with thenarrative he's paid (sporadically, given WND's financial issues) to promote, that there's some secret conspiracy that created and unleashed the COVID virus on the world.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 PM EST
CNS Uses Whataboutism And Whining To Deflect from Paul Pelosi Attack
Topic: CNSNews.com

Mimicking its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com reacted to the violent hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, by complaining that Republican anti-Pelosi rhetoric was being blamed mixed with whataboutism. The first article referencing the attack was an Oct. 31 piece by Susan Jones complaining that a Democratic senator referenced "election deniers" in condemning the attack:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is among the many Americans condemning the violent attack on Paul Pelosi. And she laid some of the blame on supporters of Donald Trump, who "have been expanding into our politics."

"This has to end," Klobuchar told NBC's "Meet the Press."

"And there are several things we can do from the security standpoint, which I'm happy to share with you...but it is also about making sure we don't add more election deniers into our political system."

Host Chuck Todd asked Klobuchar, "What's the bigger challenge, getting Republican leaders to deescalate or figuring out how to get these tech companies to stop amplifying this garbage?"

"They're both humongous challenges," Klobuchar said:

Jones became a one-person content mill after that, following this article literally just eight minutes later with an article quoting Vice President Kamala Harris' condemnation of the attack while weirdly leading with President Biden saying that Harris is "making me look good." And 20 minutes after that, Jones cranked out an article repeating Biden's condemnation of the attack and adding that "you can’t condemn the violence unless you condemn those people who continue to argue the election was not real, that it’s being stolen, that all the — all the malarkey that’s being put out there to undermine democracy." An hour or so later, she moved to documenting Republican whining that they're being blaming for fomenting the attack, while sneering at another critic:

Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said it's "unfair" for the Washington Post to blame "Republicans' increasingly violent and threatening rhetoric" for the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi.

In an op-ed published Saturday, the Post said: "For many Democrats, the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband represents the all-but-inevitable conclusion of Republicans’ increasingly violent and threatening rhetoric toward their political opponents — a phenomenon that escalated under former president Donald Trump."

"Well, I think that's unfair," McDaniel told "Fox News Sunday."

[...]

MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, her voice quivering with rage, took her cue from the Washington Post on Monday, saying that “years of Republican propaganda and Trump-fueled fascism led 42-year-old David DePape to break into Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home, with the intent to harm her."

"There is no mischaracterizing what happened," Brzezinski said: "Are we to insist this attack was not the direct result of the dangerous, violent rhetoric we have heard from Donald Trump's Republican party over the last six years? The deranged man who violently assaulted Paul Pelosi got his idea from somewhere...

Jones didn't explain why it was somehow bad form for Brzezinski to be "quivering with rage" over the attack.

Later that day, Craig Bannister served up the whataboutism:

On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) wife responded to a flashback video tweet recalling how one MSNBC host made light of a 2017 assault that blindsided her husband and left him with six broken ribs.

After a vicious attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband on Friday, Jason Howerton posted the flashback video in anticipation of left-wing media attempts to blame the attack on Paul Pelosi on right-wing rhetoric:

“I remember when @RandPaul was viciously attacked and an MSNBC anchor accidentally let her true feelings come out: ‘...the incident that left Senator Rand Paul with six broken ribs, this might be one of my favorite stories...’"

Kelley Paul replied:

“I do too, @kasie. I was caring for Rand as he struggled to breathe in terrible pain as you called his attack and injuries ‘one of my favorite stories’ on air. Yet you still have a job.”

While Bannister plucked the "one of my favorite stories" quote out of context to manufacture right-wing outrage, he did surprisingly include the full statement by the anchor in question, Kasie Hunt -- who, it turns out, said it was one of her "favorite stories" because "the first assault on a sitting U.S. senator in decades" involved a dispute with a neighbor over lawn care, not politics.

Melanie Arter served up more mundane Republican denunciation of the attack:

For her first article on Nov. 1, Jones went to the whataboutism well to whine about heated Republican rhetoric being blamed for the attack, while making sure to describe the alleged attacker as an "deranged, homeless nudist" in an effort to further distance Republicans from him:

Democrat [sic] activists, particularly those with cable TV platforms, berated Republicans on Monday for stoking the violence unleashed by a deranged, homeless nudist on Paul Pelosi, who is recovering from hammer blows to the head and body.

Not so fast, said Republican lawmakers Steve Scalise and Rand Paul, both of them badly injured at different times by people opposed to their conservative politics.

"I mean, there's an eagerness on the left to make this political and immediately to start blaming Republicans, but where's the sympathy, even from the left, for Paul Pelosi?" Sen. Rand Paul asked.

[...]

"Laura, my thoughts and prayers are with Paul Pelosi," Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Monday night. "[W]e need to be praying and hoping that he fully comes out of this and we stand up against any kind of violence, that is something I have been hearing loud and clear from all ends of the political spectrum, as it should be.

Jones served up further whining from a Republican candidate:

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake says she's being "attacked by the media," because "I'm speaking the truth" about topics that a leftist media has "prohibited."

"You know, you can't talk about vaccines. You can't talk about elections," Lake told Fox News's Tucker Carlson on Monday night:

"You can't talk about Paul Pelosi, now you can't talk about Nancy Pelosi, and you can't talk about the elections, and you can't talk about COVID. And I'm talking about all those things because I still believe we have a little bit of the First Amendment left."

Lake said another thing the media won't talk about is illegal immigration and its effect on Americans:

She noted that the man suspected of breaking into her opponent's campaign headquarters is an illegal alien, but "you can't say that now because you can't talk about that. It's insensitive. And the press won't report that.

Jones didn't mention that Lake is an election denier of the type Klobuchar warned about. Bannister wrote up whining and whataboutism of the Fox News variety:

The husband of the House Speaker was brutally attacked, and all Democrats and their media cohorts can talk about is how they want to blame the attack on conservatives, in order to influence the midterm elections, Fox News Channel late-night host Greg Gutfeld said Monday.

In the opening monologue of “Gutfeld!,” the comedian-commentator mocked the left’s lone obsession regarding the vicious home-invasion assault on Paul Pelosi: scoring political points.

While Democrats and liberal media are desperately trying to tie the home-invasion attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband to Make-America-Great-Again (“MAGA”) extremists and criticism of liberal politicians, Republicans are actually focused on the issue of crime, like the one committed against Paul Pelosi, Gutfeld said:

[...]

“It’s MAGA extremists behind this - because they always attract illegal alien nudists who live in school buses, who think they’re Jesus Christ,” Gutfeld mocked.

But, the people freaking out never mention attacks on conservatives, Gutfeld noted: “Remember how many jokes were made about Rand Paul getting his ribs broken, ‘Ha, Ha, Ha.’”

Bannister contributed even more Fox News-assisted whataboutism in a Nov. 7 post:

On Sunday, President Joe Biden claimed that his party never glorifies violence, ignoring times in recent years when prominent Democrats have been criticized for doing just that.

Speaking at a campaign event supporting the reelection of Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Pres. Biden said he couldn’t recall another time since the Civil War “where violence is condoned.”

Biden accused Republicans of inciting violence and engaging in dangerous rhetoric. He also accused unnamed Republicans of “making fun of” and “making excuses” for, the recent, brutal, home-invasion assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband, Paul – but, provided no examples:

[...]

However, on Sunday, Fox News recalled just some of instances when prominent Democrats have appeared to support violence, based on their political goals:

The first alleged example Bannister noted was "Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) threatened Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in 2020 during a pro-choice rally." In fact, Schumer merely said in that rally that right-wing justices "have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price." There was no endorsement of violence in that statement.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2022 10:20 PM EST

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