Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a bad habit of defending false or extreme claims by right-wingers in order to advance its bogus narrative that social media sites are exclusively "censoring" the views of conservatives out of purported "liberal bias." Kayla Sargent did this again in a Feb. 22 post:
YouTube has, once again, cracked down on testimony that it decided was “misinformation” about COVID-19.
The video-sharing platform removed a video featuring testimony from Thomas Renz, an attorney for the anti-lockdown advocacy group “Ohio Stands Up!” Renz spoke before the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee in support of House Bill 90, which would “establish legislative oversight” over the state’s COVID-19 response.
“Google and YouTube censored Mr. Renz, a licensed attorney testifying before the Ohio Legislature on a matter of great public importance regarding how the COVID-19 response has been a failure from the beginning in Ohio and throughout the United States because it has always been more about money and power than an appropriate response to a disease,” said the advocacy group in a blog post.
Renz testified that “no child under the age of 19 has died from this disease in Ohio,” and he further stated that “every single action the governor has taken has apparently been based on political science rather than real science.” The Ohio Capital Journal, however, found that “Data from the Ohio Department of Health shows  children in the age group have died of the disease during the pandemic.”
Despite the fact that Renz specifically offered to provide further information about his claims “under oath,” YouTube simply would not allow the testimony to remain on the platform.
Sargent disproves the premise of her post -- that YouTube had arbitrarily "decided" what was misinformation in Renz's testimony -- by acknowledging that Renz made an indisputably false claim that wasn't going to be fixed by his offering to testify "under oath." But that wasn't all; the Ohio Capital Journal article Sargent cited noted a host of other dubious claims Renz made:
While it’s unclear which specific COVID-19 misinformation from Renz sparked YouTube’s decision, there’s a lot to choose from.
Renz’s testimony was a firehose of COVID-19 conspiracy theorizing: He said unspecified entities “provide funding for people to find a COVID-19 death;” the ODH “whitewashes” its coronavirus data; that PCR testing, which public health officials consider to be a premier diagnostic, is “garbage” or “absolutely useless.”
He claimed the lockdown orders of the spring to be “the most drastic curtailment of rights ever taken in American history.” The statement was made without acknowledgement to the enslavement of Black Americans, the mass detention of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II, the forced relocation of Native Americans, or any number of national atrocities through American history.
While Sargent described him as an attorney, the Capital Journal also noted Renz's dubious background "His 'about me' page for his website lists no prior legal experience besides serving as a clerk on the Indian Supreme Court. However, in a prior interview, he said he did not remember when he served on the court and said he did not speak Hindi."
This sketchy guy full of false and misleading claims perhaps shouldn't be the kind of person the MRC goes to the mat for if it wants to be taken seriously.