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Sunday, July 14, 2019
MRC: Won't Someone Think Of The Poor, Marginalized Fossil-Fuel Corporations and CEOs?
Topic: Media Research Center

We can thank the Media Research Center to make sure that those poor, marginalized fossil-fuel corporations and their CEOs have a voice -- presumably due in no small part to the millions said fossil-fuel interests have donated to the MRC over the years.

Joseph Vazquez III devoted a June 6 post to bringing us the important (and not terribly surprising) news that fossil-fuel CEOs oppose the Green New Deal:

Democratic presidential front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden gave Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal a big bear hug, with the release of his 22-page climate plan June 4.

The Atlantic called it a “ mini green new deal” and Biden claimed it will create around 10 million jobs while reducing U.S. net-emissions to zero by 2050. Sure. The media might hit Biden over plagiarism in the plan, but don't expect them to challenge the feasibility of a Green New Deal as business leaders have.

The liberal media have either promoted a Green New Deal (like the Atlantic) or ignored the kooky plan (like the networks), but politicians continue to peddle its economic and carbon fantasies. However, quite a few CEOs have been critical. That included prominent liberals like Microsoft CEO Bill Gates who said, “It’s not realistic.” Possible presidential candidate Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame called it “fantasy.”


Many business leaders have complained about the economic harm or expense of a Green New Deal. Even though the original resolution promised “economic security,” “guaranteed jobs” and “millions” of well-paying jobs, corporate leaders from tech, to banking, to energy production aren’t buying the positive economic claims of Green New Deal enthusiasts.

Unlike the Democratic field and left-wing media, business leaders aren’t wrapping their arms around it.

Vazquez went on to quote CEOs from fossil-fuel companies American Resources and ExxonMobil denouncing the plan, though he did quote others bashing it as well.

This was followed by a June 27 post by Joseph Valle denouncing "Left-wing Guardian columnist George Monbiot" for criticizing Royal Dutch Shell. Sounding like a paid PR shill for Shell, Valle huffed that Monbiot's "oil is evil attitude ignored all that the form of energy did to enable modern civilization’s existence and improve human life," then lectured him on how the oil business works:

What was infuriating to Monbiot was patently obvious from a business perspective. Shell has to make profits to reinvest or go out of business. Since oil and gas is still making lots of money for Shell because it supplies the vast majority of the world’s energy needs, of course the company would be mostly investing in the areas he so despises. 


Monbiot’s left-wing extremism regarding climate and energy prevented him from admitting all the good oil and gas did the world for many years. 

Written like Valle's auditioning for a job in Shell's PR shop.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:33 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

Because June's unemployment numbers came out in the middle of a four-day July 4 weekend, didn't devote the usual breadth of coverage. Still, it was as slanted as usual. Susan Jones' lead story was typical pro-Trump rah-rah:

After the Fourth of July fireworks, the fifth of July brings another reason for Americans to celebrate.

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump's presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported  on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

Jones also spun away the relatively low labor force participation rate after years of obsessing over it under President Obama. While Jones did concede that June's 62.9 percent is below the highest figure under Trump, she gushed over its slight uptick from July, adding, "The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better."

The only other story this time around was an article by Craig Bannister n the Hispanic unemployment rate, which "inched up to 4.3% from its record-low the previous two months." Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey did not contribute his usual sidebars on manufacturing jobs and government employment, presumably because of the long holiday weekend.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EDT
Saturday, July 13, 2019
MRC: Women Seeking Abortion Deserve An Invasive Pelvic Exam
Topic: Media Research Center

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has attacked the pelvic exams that the state of Missouri requires all women getting an abortion to have as a "state-mandated sexual assault." Indeed, the procedure is highly invasive; as described by the Washington Post, "The invasive practice requires a doctor to insert a speculum into a patient’s vagina to examine her cervix and to insert fingers into that patient’s vagina while pressing her abdomen to feel her reproductive organs."

But as intern Emma Fantuzzo writes in a June 25 NewsBusters post, that's no big deal, and besides, women who are having an abortion deserve that kind of invasive humiliation:

In the age of the #MeToo movement, claiming that Planned Parenthood is being forced to “sexually assault” it’s patients is a bizarre claim. Especially considering this medical procedure is not at all sexual in nature and is really only a minor inconvenience to a woman considering ending the life of her. Then again, the whole point of abortion is convenience.


But the victims of abortion are not even a thought in Maddow’s brain, the real inhumanity and source for liberal outrage were the 100 women who had to suffer through the “unnecessary” pelvic exams. These poor women and their 100 unborn children were forced to go through an inconvenient exam forced to: “…take off their clothes, let a doctor insert an instrument inside their body because of a policy the state now reversed.”

This was apparently so traumatic that as Maddow states: “Planned Parenthood is calling for the state health director of Missouri, Randall Williams, to be fired, over what happened to those hundred-plus women on his orders, which he now says was a mistake.”

Completely unacknowledged are the 100 children that were aborted three short days after this “sexual assault” of an exam.

At no point did Fantuzzo explain any actual medical justification for the pelvic exams, nor did she describe exactly how it takes place. She's apparently cool with the punishment aspect.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 AM EDT
WND Falsely Defends Anti-Muslim Activist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written July 5 WorldNetDaily article states:

Two British judges have delivered a second slapdown to activist and Muslim critic Tommy Robinson, finding him guilty of contempt for posting a video taken outside a court during the trial of Muslims who eventually were convicted of gang rape.

Robinson had been sentenced to 13 months for contempt when he posted an interview with individuals outside the court in 2018. He appealed and was released for two months, but prosecutors re-filed charges.

Reuters reported Friday two judges found Robinson, the co-founder of the English Defense League, in contempt for making the video recordings outside a courthouse in Leeds. The video revealed the identities of some of the defendants who were charged with grooming and sexually exploiting young girls.

The case ended in the convictions of more than a dozen Muslims for sexual offenses against girls in what has become known as the Huddersfield grooming gang case.

The grooming and sex abuse happened between 2004 and 2011, and the 20 defendants were convicted in three different trials in 2018.

Critics claimed the court’s censorship rules amounted to a “cover-up” of the fact that the perpetrators were Muslims.

Robinson was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to 13 months all within three hours. His appeal, however, was successful, and he was released after two months. The government’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, then restarted proceedings against him.

WND is leaving out a lot of information here, creating the false impression that Robinson was convicted for acting like a journalist -- which, of course, is Robinson's intent.

As we've noted, Robinson -- whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon -- is much more than a "Muslim critic"; his English Defense Leagueis a far-right group with a history of provoking anti-Muslim violence.

WND waited until the final paragraph to vaguely acknowledge one key point: "The United Kingdom’s rules differ from those in the United States. In the U.K., courts can suppress information about trials, and they can prosecute anyone not affiliated with the court or any party in the case for revealing information the judges want withheld." That's the central fact of the charges against Robinson.

WND never named any of the "critics" who claimed that the UK's rules on trial coverage  "amounted to a 'cover-up' of the fact that the perpetrators were Muslims" -- perhaps because the claim is bogus. As Leon Wolf and Aaron Colen wrote in a commentary for the conservative website The Blaze, the crimes in question "had been public knowledge for more than a year — including extensive reporting by the BBC, which is literally funded by the British government," adding: "If the British government was really trying to cover up these crimes, as Robinson has claimed to a credulous United States audience, then they might have made a smarter play than having their government-funded press organ repeatedly cover them."

Robinson's video jeopardized the legal proceedings against the men because jurors could have seen it, resulting in a mistrial, Wolf and Colen wrote. They concluded:

Robinson is not being jailed for the crime of journalism, as he claims. 

He is being jailed because he almost allowed men who committed heinous crimes to go free. 

Furthermore, he is no hero, as he claims. He is a repeat criminal and a repeat fraud whose main interest throughout the course of his career has been his own self-aggrandizement by feeding off the fear and ignorance of others.

That's a truth WND will never tell its readers about Robinson.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:11 AM EDT
Friday, July 12, 2019
MRC Writer Plays Art Critic To Go On Liberal-Bashing Tirade
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Jorge Plaza has decided to play art critic in a June 21 post that's basically an extended attack on a notorious 19th-century painting of a woman's nether regions:

Yesterday, guest writer Lilianne Milgrom published an article for the Huffington Post describing her experience with the 19th century Gustave Courbet painting L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World). The title of the article is “How An Encounter With The World’s Most Famous Vagina Painting Changed My Life.” This “vagina painting” is pornography. Full stop.

Unlike other nude paintings, there are no hands, no figs leaves, and no blurred lines to obscure the image in Courbet’s painting. In fact, there isn’t a face, legs, nor arms in sight. The painting is just a woman’s torso with a full-frontal view of her vagina -- pubic hair and all. The subject’s anonymity is dehumanizing and it emphasizes the work’s erotic nature.

It’s no wonder that the painting was not available for public viewing until 1991. Quite frankly, the work is grotesque, just as a similar painting of a penis would be. In 1994, French police removed copies of the novel Adorations perpétuelles from bookstore windows; the novel used L’Origine du monde as its cover. A similar event occurred in 2009 when Portuguese police confiscated copies of the book Pornocratie from bookstore windows; the book also used Courbet’s painting as a cover. When a French teacher posted the painting on his Facebook in 2011, the site immediately shut down his account for posting pornographic material.

Despite the clear graphic content of the piece, it is on full display at the Musée d’Orsay, one of the largest museums in the world. Since its public debut, the piece has garnered a gross appreciation from the artistic world.

Graphic and explicit? Undoubtedly. (That's why we illustrated this post with a self-portrait of Courbet and not the artwork in question.) Pornography, "full stop"? Only if you're an agenda-driven conservative who thinks that any artistic depiction of genitals is pornographic. It's been argued that the painting's craftsmanship, along with its nonerotic setting, means that it goes beyond pornography to an artistic statement.

But Plaza wasn't done judging both the painting and the woman who wrote about it:

Milgrome’s bewilderment over the women’s disturbance clearly reflected her own views on the work. Though she later asks the reader if the painting was “sacred or profane? Beautiful or repulsive? Threatening or empowering,” her own opinions bled through with obvious snobbery.

This is the typical crass and juvenile “resistance” we have come to expect from the left. Pro-choicers choose to express their opinions through “pussyhats” and vulgar slogans such as “this pussy grabs back.” Radical feminists paint portraits of President Trump using period blood as protest. Liberal “comedy” reviewers celebrate Amy Schumer for her gross-out vagina humor.

They can’t win by appealing to reason, so they appeal to passion.

As if Plaza isn't working from a position of passion and snobbery by extrapolating his personal dislike for a painting into a blanket attack on "liberals." And he forgot who said he enjoyed grabbing women by the pussy, demonstrating who the vulgar one really is here.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Falsely Fearmongers About Calif. Resolution
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily cranked up the anti-gay fearmongering in a June 21 article:

California, which already demands that public schools only portray homosexuality in a positive light and banned counselors from telling troubled youth they don’t have to be gay, now is moving against pastors and other spiritual leaders.

They, apparently, are guilty of telling homosexuals and others that the Bible teaches something else.

The dispute was revealed by columnist and commentator Todd Starnes, who recently interviewed Dr. David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association.

He explained that churches and pastors are just trying to help LGBT people.

But Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99, Starnes reported, calls on “counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators” and institutions with “great moral influence” to stop saying something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior.

“The proposed resolution also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as ‘unethical,’ ‘harmful,’ and leading to high rates of suicide,” Starnes reported.

While it is just a non-binding resolution for now, Gibbs said that does not mean it will stay a resolution.

In fact, the resolution doesn't sasy what WND claims it says. As Right Wing Watch documented, ACR 99 calls upon religious leaders to approach LGBTQ issues with love, compassion and knowledge of the harms caused by conversion therapy, and calls upon Californians “to embrace the individual and social benefits of family and community acceptance.” It also calls upon the people and institutions of California “to model equitable treatment of all people of the state.”

WND does admit it's a nonbinding resolution but fearmongered about it anyway, quoting nobody but Starnes and Gibbs. As usual, WND couldn't be bothered to talk to the state legislator who introduced the resolution or offer any other kind of fairness or balance to its story.

The same day, Michael Brown penned a column that fearmongered even more:

Put another way, these legislators are telling pastors and spiritual leaders to throw out the Bible, disregard the Lord’s will, ignore the testimony of thousands of ex-gays and conform to extreme political correctness – or else.

This is one of the most frontal attacks on our religious freedoms in memory (or perhaps in our nation’s history). And it confirms what I have said for the last 15 years: Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet. This is nothing less than that ancient spirit of Jezebel trying to silence God’s messengers through fear and intimidation.

There is one way to respond to such spiritual and legal attacks: First, stand up against the bill in order to expose its bias and bigotry; and second, if the bill should actually pass (which might be a long shot even in California), defy it.


Should we proclaim God’s love through the cross for every human being? Without a doubt.

But we must not refrain from declaring what God’s Word plainly says: Homosexual practice is contrary to His will, and He does not bless or recognize same-sex “marriages.” And when it comes to transgender identities, biology is not bigotry, and the best solution for people struggling with gender confusion is to help them find wholeness from the inside out.

Should this draconian bill actually become law, the strategy is simple: The Sunday after the bill is passed, every true pastor in California should preach a love-drenched message on what the Bible says about LGBT people and issues.

At no point did Brown acknowledge that ACR 99 is a nonbinding resolution and compels nobody to actually do anything.

(Right Wing Watch has also busted Brown for his false fearmongering about the resolution.)

WND followed up with a June 26 article attacking a chaplain at a Christian college for endorsing the resolution, quoting anti-gay right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel bashing him for having "become a prop for the LGBT agenda by directing pastors and counselors to reject biblical views of sexuality and deny counseling for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion." WND also bashed the school itself, Azusa Pacific University, for having allegedly "drifted" from its original mission." The article failed to tell readers that the resolution is nonbinding.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 12, 2019 12:21 AM EDT
Thursday, July 11, 2019
MRC's Double Standard on The Comedian Defense, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week, we noted how the Media Research Center defended right-winger Steven Crowder's homophobic trolling of gay journalist Carlos Maza as being the work of a "comedian" -- then attacked actual comedian Seth Meyers because he makes fun of President Trump.

The double standard continued in a June 19 post by Jorge Plaza -- two days after the defense of Crowder. In it, Plaza ranted against comedians he declared were "unfunny" because ... they didn't mock gay people, or something:

On June 19, The Hollywood Reporter fashioned a list of the top 40 “most powerful people in comedy” for 2019. It’s a predictable gaggle of reliable lefties and reads more like a wanted poster for the gang that ruined comedy.

The first big-name entry was Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat fame. Though since the 2006 blockbuster hit, the liberal Cohen has struggled to reclaim his “glory” days. His go-to gag is to ambush conservatives to make them look dumb, actively pandering to a lefty audience.

Unfortunately for Cohen, everyone recognizes his oddly oblong face and lanky body from Borat, so his disguises don’t work anymore. Now, whenever Cohen disguises himself to trick a conservative into saying something stupid, he embarrasses himself.

For this next entry, THR was kind enough to provide the readers bits of the comedian’s hilarity. For the description of comic Hannah Gadsby from Nanette, THR explained that the Netflix “comedy” special “was framed as Gadsby’s farewell to a decade-plus career in comedy, as she tackles misogyny, homophobia (including the internalized variety) and mental illness.” Ah yes, because people go to comedy clubs for gender studies lectures, right?


Of course, late-night propaganda shows are prominent on the list. But tellingly, THR didn’t bother to distinguish between them, simply listing them as “The Late-Night Hosts.” Can’t blame the site. The repetitive Trump-hate and liberal applause fodder Colbert, Kimmell, Fallon, Oliver, Bee, and co. slop out every night is largely indistinguishable.


In the left’s PC crusade against comedy, these are the people that we are left with to harold as comedic geniuses: washed-up gross-out artists that depend on crude vulgarity for laughs. Gone are the days of boundary pushing comedians like George Carlin and Dave Chappelle. Welcome to the age of “Woke Comedy.”

Ah, to pine for the days of un-woke "comedians" like Crowder and their wacky homophobia...

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Takes 'True Name' Credit Cards From LGBT to Terrorism
Topic: Newsmax

Lauren DeBellis Appell began her June 24 Newsmax column complaining that Mastercard will it will do away with legally binding names on cards, and instead let customers pick the name that goes on their card" through the True Name card "to affirm the LGBTQ community by offering a card that reflects their true identity."

Appell managed to avoid gratuitous LGBT-bashing in her column, which is a refreshing change. She did express concerns about security:

Problem solved -- not so fast. While that all sounds lovely and affirming and sensitive to one group of people, in the race to be politically correct we’re ignoring the glaring elephant in the room. One that has the potential to, at best, raise several serious, unaddressed questions and, at worst, breed a whole other litany of problems.

What are the safety and security implications? What about the potential for fraud? How about ID theft? Has anyone thought any of this through at all? Bueller… Bueller… anyone? All signs point to no, they have not.

After a detour about the legal hurdles she faced in changing her name (adding her married name and dropping a first name she didn't use and that "felt completely foreign and didn't represent me"), she concluded by leaping to the worst-case scenario:

Mastercard’s eagerness to show they’re sensitive to the LGBTQ community with the “True Name” card begs the question: when people are allowed to use differing forms of conflicting personal identification, what could possibly go wrong?

Has anyone thought through the obvious temptation for organized crime? Has anyone thought through the obvious temptation for terrorists — either those from abroad or people here who’ve been radicalized; all of whom are hell bent on destruction?

We shouldn’t, in the interest of being politically correct, wait until it’s too late to find out.

As if credit card companies wouldn't be fully thinking through security issues before implementing the card.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 PM EDT
CNS Sends Interns To Pester Members of Congress Again

It's a time-honored tradition at CNS: Send its summer interns out to pester members of Congress with the resume-padding busywork of a quasi-loaded question. And, thus, CNS' interns spent late June hounding congressfolk with the highly scripted, pro-Trump-biased question: “Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution says the president ‘shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ Do you think that the president has a constitutional duty to enforce the immigration laws on the books?”

CNS got a whopping 14 articles out of this schtick by our count, one for each congressperson they cornered on the question:

There's little actual news value here. Part of the point of this exercise is get the intern some resume material in the form of being able to say they asked a member of Congress a question. That can be helpful -- look at where it got former intern Sam Dorman. But it's a gotcha exercise too; any congressperson who fails to give the conservatively correct answer will be pilloried at CNS, with the hope of blowing up the incident into the larger conservative media (and the intern can get partial credit for that too).

It also, however, reinforces the idea that CNS is less and less about reporting the news and more and more about crafting right-wing propaganda.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Suffers From Acosta Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just can't stop spewing hatred and venom at the CNN correspondent for the offense of failing to be a pro-Trump shill. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:50 PM EDT
WND's Peterson Takes His White-Supremacist Schtick To A Whole New Level
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily columnist Jesse Lee Peterson loves to sound like a white supremacist while hiding behind his privilege as a black conservative to avoid facing any consequences for his extreme rhetoric. Since he faces no consequences, he took the white-supremacist schtick up to 11 in his July 7 column:

One man, President Donald Trump, is restoring America to its original greatness. God bless America, and God bless the Great White Hope, President Trump! With this year’s Salute to America on Independence Day in the nation’s capital, it’s finally clear that America is back!

I am 70 years old. I have not seen such an inspiring patriotic celebration since I was a kid. The president’s speech, and the event that he put together for the Fourth of July, expressed his pure love for our country.

I have noticed that no other group of people in the United States truly loves America as a whole like white people do. While growing up on the plantation, and throughout my life, I’ve watched white people proudly honor the country with visible displays of affection and respect. They support freedom, independence, true justice (not fake “social justice”), and adherence to our laws and Constitution like no one else. They work hard, create businesses, jobs and inventions, and – right or wrong – share these opportunities with others, and selflessly support others’ rights. President Trump is a perfect example of this love.

I wondered why it is that white people love the country so much, while blind people of color don’t share an appreciation for their opportunities. I realized that it’s because white men founded and built America, the greatest country on earth. Everybody and their mama want to come here – we can’t even keep the illegals out! But once they’re here, whether by choice or by force, they turn on the country and the white people who allowed them to be here. Nowadays, only whites have it in them to love and preserve America.


Last year, I declared July to be White History Month. Doesn’t July just feel white? It’s because of white people that we have Independence Day in America. In this country, we have the ridiculous “Black History Month” for so-called “African Americans” who don’t feel like they’re part of America. Homosexuals get two separate months! One celebrates so-called “Pride” and the other “LGBT history,” as if there’s anything good about homosexuality, transgenderism or any of that crap. Why not White History Month? Decent whites are hated – for no reason – by the people of color and children of the lie.


This is why I want white people to marry and make white babies. I call on all people of good will to appreciate white people. If we lose whites as a majority, we lose America.

All his greatest hits are there -- calling Trump the "Great White Hope" while igoring the racist history of the phrase , the gratuitous anti-LGBT smear, the hatred of his own race.

If David Duke said this, he would be treated like the white supremacist he is. Peterson is simply mimicking Duke -- and making himself look like a clown. But that sort of thing apparently goes over well at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Even The MRC Can't Make A Decent Case For The Laffer Curve
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center intern Joseph Valle complains in a June 20 post:

President Donald Trump infuriated the left again on June 19, when he awarded supply-side economist Arthur Laffer the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The left’s reaction was predictably vicious. An MSNBC analyst called Laffer one of the most “destructive forces” in economics since Herbert Hoover. New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait minced no words about his anger over Laffer’s award ceremony, calling him a “kook” elevated to “metaphysical status” within the Republican Party. He ridiculed Laffer’s theory as “provably untrue” and based on a “fake curve.”

Laffer was an economic adviser for President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and developed his namesake Laffer Curve in 1974 describing the relationship between tax rates and total tax revenue. Laffer has been a proponent of tax cuts to stimulate the economy and advised Trump to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. He’s also co-author of the book Trumponomics with fellow free-market economist Stephen Moore.

“Economists do not take Laffer’s claims seriously,” Chait sneered for NY Mag. Conservative economists would disagree with that claim, but the liberal media rarely give them the opportunity.

Oddly, neither did Valle -- at no point does he cite a conservative economist defending the Laffer Curve. Even the Investopedia explainer of the concept to which Valle links pointed out that "There are some fundamental problems with the Laffer Curve — notably that it is far too simplistic in its assumptions," and that "policy makers would be in practice unable to observe the shape of the Laffer Curve, the location of T* [the optimal tax level], whether multiple T*’s exist, or whether and how the Laffer Curve might shift over time."

Valle further undermined his case by citing conservative Noah Rothman pointing out that the Laffer Curve had "a lot against it over the years" -- making him sound not all that different from Chait (though Rothman went on to blame entitlement programs for federal deficit issues, like a good conservative).

If Valle can't even make a good case for the Laffer Curve while defending Laffer, that's probably a sign that no good case can be made.

Finally, Valle is silent on Laffer's flattery of Trump in the form of co-authoring a book on "Trumponomics" as a possible, if not likely, reason Laffer received his award from a vainglorious president (not to mention Moore's ill-fated nomination to the Federal Reserve board).

Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EDT
Julian Castro The Latest Victim of CNS' Bias

Just like Pete Buttigieg and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro has been the victim of weirdly skewed or mocking "news" coverage by

A June 14 article by Susan Jones carries the headline "Castro Tells Woman Whose Social Security Number Was Stolen: 'Crime Happens'." Judging by the headline alone, you'd think that Castro was being callous and dismissive toward the woman's concerns.

Instead, Jones actually includes Castro's full, lengthy answer, in which it's shown that remark is taken out of context because Castro was making a larger point about the perpetrators of crime not necessarily being defined by wealth or ethnicity:

Let me begin to answer that question by saying, look, all of us know as human beings that regardless of circumstance, whether people are rich, or poor, no matter the color of their skin, what their background is, that people commit crime. Crime happens.

Despite the headline, Jones' real purpose was to attack Castro for failing to hate illegal immigrants the way she does, since the question was framed as coming from "a woman who said an illegal immigrant stole her Social Security Number" and Jones was determined to suggest that all illegal immigrants are hardened criminals.

Jones huffed at the end in defense of her hero: "President Trump continually rails against 'open-borders Democrats' in Congress who refuse to fix the nation's broken immigration laws."

Between the headline and the story itself, Castro was victimized by two different types of media bias from CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EDT
Monday, July 8, 2019
MRC Mad At Jon Stewart For Insulting McConnell
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center can't refrain from attacking a perceived enemy even when that person is acting on behalf of a good cause. Aiden Jackson complains in a June 18 post:

Everyone appreciates when a meddling celebrity with little understanding of governmental operations tells members of Congress how to do their jobs, sarcasm intended. This rings especially true when the member of Congress they are criticizing is a Republican. Nevertheless, Jon Stewart continued his endless attacks on Mitch McConnell during a guest appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night.

Although pursuing a noble goal of securing compensation for the first responders of the 9/11 terrorist attack, it seems it is Stewart who is making the situation as politically charged as possible for no apparent reason by attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In responding to a video of McConnell calling Stewart “bent out of shape,” Stewart bemoaned:

No! No! No! No, Mitch McConnell, I'm not bent out of shape… Basically, we're saying, ‘You love the 9/11 community when they serve your political purposes, but when they are in urgent need, you slow walk, you dither, you use it as a political pawn to get other things you want, and you don't get the job done completely.

To suggest a person only cares about the victims of a terrorist attack when it suits their needs politically is a typically vicious claim coming from a liberal comedian. Especially when there is evidence to the contrary, neither McConnell nor any other sitting member of Congress has presented a barrier to passing the Never Forget Our Heroes Act.


The fact of the matter is, the Never Forget Our Heroes Act was never in danger of losing funding. Especially considering it has been renewed many times over in the past.

Jackson is simply parroting what McConnell himself has said -- which, of course, ignores the point Stewart was making: If the funding is so uncontroversial, there's no reason to wait until the last minute to approve it. If the funding "has been renewed many times over in the past," there's no reason to wait for it to get approved again. And there is some urgency, given that the fund is starting to run short of funds.

Stewart eventually got results -- McConnell will reportedly meet with 9/11 responder survivors, and he said a vote on the issue is upcoming. It's unlikely, of course, that Jackson will ever give Stewart for that because he's more angry that a Republican politician was insulted in the public square.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Uncritically Pushes Obama 'Shadow Government' Conspiracy Theory From Trump's Attorney
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written June 25 WorldNetDaily article breathlessly asserts:

Yet another major Obama administration scandal has been uncovered.

This one centered on then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper leaking classified information that endangered national security “in an attempt to undermine President Trump,” according to the American Center for Law and Justice.

ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow said Clapper changed policy to make it easier to share intercepted information among intelligence agencies, according to documents obtained through several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the ODNI and the National Security Agency.

They revealed that Clapper, in the latter days of his tenure as ODNI, “rushed” put new procedures in place.

“The documents also reveal that ODNI’s Robert Litt told Office of the Undersecretary of Defenses’ Director of Intelligence Strategy, Policy, & Integration (and also USDI’s Liaison to ODNI): ‘Really want to get this done … and so does the Boss.”

The documents show the plan was approved by Clapper and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“It was not immediately clear just how significant these revelations were. Now we know,” ACLJ said.

“Consider what we now know about the nature and degree of Deep State opposition to President Trump. With the public revelations about the infamous disgrace known as the Steele dossier, FISA abuse and the underpinnings of Crossfire Hurricane, as well as former-DNI James Clapper’s open hostility to President Trump and intentional leaking by senior law enforcement and intelligence actors – all of which appears to show a coordinated effort across agencies to oppose the Trump administration – the picture is coming into focus,” ACLJ said.

Except -- as with a lot of things WND publishes -- that's not exactly true. We'll let Wonkette explain what WND won't:

Here's the back story. In July 2008, outgoing President Bush modified a 2004 executive order (which was itself a modification of a 1981 EO signed by Ronald Reagan) on intelligence sharing. The new executive order made it easier for the National Security Agency (NSA), to share the vast quantities of data it was collecting with other members of the intelligence community (IC), particularly the CIA and FBI. Reasonable people can argue, as Edward Snowden did, that the NSA is amassing dangerous amounts of data and needs to be reined in. But after 9-11, the IC was roundly blamed for failing to share information that might have prevented the attacks. So George W. Bush, a Republican, ordered the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Defense to put their heads together and come up with some procedures for intelligence sharing between the agencies. These are the procedures Jay Sekulow is pretending were instituted to enable the DEEP STATE to spy on Donald Trump.

Which makes no goddamn sense, but HEY HELLO have you seen this email from Office of the DNI's General Counsel Robert Litt saying, "Really, really want to get this done ... and so does the Boss"? What if you knew that SOMEONE sent an email saying, "We could have a signature from the AG as early as this week, certainly prior to the 20th Jan?" Would you then be convinced that these plans which had been in the work for eight years were part of a sinister plot to tapp Trump's fraying, orange wires?


Check out the 26 pages of procedures for unaccountability to provide "classified information" to those "bureaucrats" at the FBI and CIA who have satisfied legally binding criteria establishing their need for it and undergone extensive training on how to keep it secure. Pretty nefarious of James Clapper and Loretta Lynch to want to get this signed before leaving office, huh Jay?


Moreover, as Marcy Wheeler points out, Trump could have rescinded that executive order any time in the past two-and-a-half years if he thought it was a license to spy on him. But he didn't give a damn until his lawyer managed to cherry-pick three pages from a document dump -- uploading them as three, separate PDFs with zero context is a nice touch -- and launched himself into a rant about DEEP STATE OBAMA FBI CONSPIRACY ARGLEBARGLE HENGHHHHHH.

And WND forgets to inform its dwindling reader base that Sekulow is also wearing the hat of Trump's attorney, which makes the validity of the claims -- which WND could not be bothered to verify -- even more suspect.

Burt why let the truth get in the way of a good conspiracy theory, right, WND?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 AM EDT

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