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Tuesday, July 11, 2023
MRC Continued To Peddle Lies About Target's Pride Merchandise
Topic: Media Research Center

We've shown how the Media Research Center repeated and amplified lies from vicious transphobe Matt Walsh to start a phony attack on Target over selling pride-related merchandise. Tim Graham repeated those lies in a May 26 column that tried to blame the victim, insisting that it's somehow Target's fault for making right-wingers lie about it:

Some might claim that Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal is part of his “right-wing media machine,” but not when it comes to the news pages. The front page on May 25 included an article headlined “Target Is in Bull’s-Eye Of the Culture Wars.” Inside the paper, it’s “Culture Wars Snare Target.”

One of the most annoying tendencies of liberal journalists is defining the term “culture wars” as conservative resistance to the left-wing war on America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Target has lowered itself from typical progressive “Pride Month” pandering to partnering with a British Satanist to push an agenda in their stores.

Satanists aren’t culture warriors, only the Christians are? Target isn’t engaging in culture war, but Hobby Lobby is?

“Trans man” Erik Cornell’s Abprallen brand sells apparel that includes satanic imagery, including pentagrams, horned skulls, and references to the devil. One design on their T-shirts and pins carries the message: “Satan respects pronouns.”

Last year, Cornell wrote on his brand’s Instagram account: “Being called a demon is something I can cope with, and the idea of a trans demon is pretty damn cool, most of my work focuses on gothic or dark and satanic imagery juxtaposed with bright colours and LGBT+ positive messages.”

Cornell is not a Satanist, but Graham couldn't be bothered to telling his readers that. He did grudgingly admit that "The edgy Satanic gear isn’t on sale at Target," but insisted on blaming Target or it anyway: "Are their executives so dense that they can’t imagine this Satanist-adjacent promotion might be a publicity problem?" Graham also failed to mention that this war on Target was not organic but manufactured by people like Walsh -- a fact one of his writers gleefully touted.

Graham also conceded that no "tuck-friendly" swimsuits were ever marketed to children, but Target was again somehow to blame because someone under the age of 18 might wear one:

The Target story first kicked into prominence when the Associated Press and PolitiFact “fact checkers” rushed in to defend Target against those anti-groomer right-wingers who were spreading “misinformation.” They insisted that the swimsuits being sold with “tuck-friendly construction” were only in adult sizes. But it should be obvious that many teenaged children would fit into adult sizing.

Then it was also shown that swimsuits for younger children were tagged in the store as “thoughtfully fit” for “multiple gender expressions.” Obviously, young male children don’t have as much need for a “tuck-friendly” suit.

Graham concluded by raging that not hating transgender people is somehow making people want to be transgender:

The number of youth identifying as transgender has doubled in recent years, and all these leftists want to pretend that none of this happened because of their crusades waged on the Internet and their urgent “Pride” marketing from “woke” corporations.

The Left pretends this surge of gender confusion and amputation is “organic,” that it’s just people finding their “true selves” by the thousands. But it’s the result of a gender-denying culture war.

In fact, social contagion is not causing more youths to be transgender. Graham didn't explain why transgender people must always be hated and vilified in the media.

Alex Christy tried to play whataboutism with right-wing attacks on  Target in a May 26 post:

Apparently, colleges just hand out PhDs to anyone who wants one because on Thursday’s The 11th Hour on MSNBC, economics Prof. Justin Wolfers wondered if Target is “cowardly” for backing off slightly on the store’s display of LGBT products for children or simply the victim of “economic terrorism.” Meanwhile, the pot called the kettle black as senior reporter Ben Collins called the Target boycott a “terminally online” phenomenon.

Host Stephanie Ruhle led Wolfers by warning, “if you’re Target and you cave here, this is a slippery slope because this anti-LGBTQ movement, they’re not going to stop here. They want to sue every company out there that has any sort of diversity and inclusion initiative.”

Wolfers agreed, “I think there is something really quite scary here and it comes from the Target CEO saying the reason they were backing off is they were worried about the safety of their employees.”

For Wolfers, there are only two options, “it could be they're cowards and used that as protection and a smokescreen so they could make a cowardly decision, or it could be that they're actually genuinely concerned about the well-being of their employees and have had credible threats.”


Wolfers almost certainly did not refer to the left pressuring Target to remove Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage from their website as “literally terrorism” or "cowardly." Only conservative-inspired boycotts get such treatment.

Christy didn't mention that Schrier's book is a poorly written work that advances right-wing anti-transgender narratives at thet expense of actual science.

Christy then trampled on his employer's messaging, complaining that  Collins(accurately) identified Walsh as the "leader of the movement," though he did make sure to tout Walsh as a "MRC Bulldog winner." But then he complained that "Collins’s entire job is to submerse himself in the deepest backwaters of the internet and claim those weirdos represent and have outsized influence on the Republican Party." If Walsh is such a fringe "weirdo," why did the MRC see fit to give him a major award?

Another May 26 post, by Nicholas Schau, attacked non-right-wibng media outlets for reporting accurately on the furor while repeating those right-wing lies (again):

While the rest of America was busy being appalled, leftist media hacks celebrated Target’s disturbing line of LGBTQ-themed merchandise designed by an avowed Satanist.

Various news outlets, including TheStreet, NBC, CNN and Forbes, went to bat for Target and its woke antics. TheStreet provided an absurd defense of Target’s CEO and the Satanic designer it partnered with, saying that the CEO thinks that “inclusion is just good business.” NBC came out in full support of the disgusting merchandise. CNN’s coverage of the situation zeroed-in on the right-wing backlash, mourning that it harms Target’s cause. Forbes tried to attack reasonable laws against drag shows for kids, which the outlet cites as a reason that Target tries to sell its despicable merchandise.

Target’s despicable merchandise advertised for “pride month” included onesies, “tuck-friendly” swimsuits, mugs, books with LGBTQ messages for babies, and t-shirts with the word “queer,” sometimes featured with obscene messaging. This is consistent with Target’s past  wokeness, including the 2016 “transgender” bathroom policy. Fortunately, common-sense Americans kicked back against the evil attack on children, and the woke corporation is beginning to pull some of this grotesque merchandise. Target losta whopping $9 billion in market value following the controversy. But media outlets seemed more intent on erroneously painting Target as some kind of victim.

Schau's lies continued:

CNN similarly wrote a blatantly biased piece claiming that “Target is being held hostage by an anti-LGBTQ campaign.” In its absurd article, CNN blames “right-wing personalities” for creating this campaign which “became hostile.” CNN defended Target’s actions and claimed that “the campaign misrepresented Target’s ambitions,” adding that much of the totally reasonable criticism was based on “misinformation.”

In another report, CNN buried Target’s partnership with the Satanist in the ninth paragraph. The outlet also buried any mention of the abhorrent pride-themed merchandise marketed to children in the tenth paragraph.

Only in the MRC's right-wing bubble is it "absurd" for a media outlet to report facts. Indeed, despite all his ranting, Schau did not dispute a single fact in any article he attacked.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT

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