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Friday, November 8, 2019
MRC's Bozell -- Who Refused To Give Obama Credit for Bin Laden Death -- Whines That Trump's Not Getting Credit for Al-Baghdadi Death
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell complain in their Oct. 30 column:

The successful U.S. military campaign to bring swift justice to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is clearly a big, big victory for America. Rather than surrender, the world's most wanted terrorist tugged on a suicide vest and blew himself to pieces. He made sure the blast killed three of his children, too.

The media coverage could easily be predicted. Straight news has disappeared. Absolutely everything needs to be put through a political filter.


With the elimination of al-Baghdadi, the journalists and pundits gritted their teeth and acknowledged that this mission and Trump's approval of it reflected well on him. But that lasted five minutes. And then came the parade of "buts."

But this victory won't stop impeachment. But it won't stop ISIS. But Trump was too specific about the mission. But he thanked Russia first. But he didn't inform House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the mission. But he was too raw in describing the dead terrorist as "crying" and "whimpering." And so on. And so on.


The media's mission never changes: shower this president with negativity and an overwhelming sense of horror.


All this proves that the media aren't primarily interested in facts. Journalists channel their own emotions and pretend they're facts. They cannot tolerate the idea of complimenting this president for a success. His failure and political demise are always the first goals. Facts are getting in the way.

Bozell is complaining that "the media" is doing to Trump what ... he did to President Obama after the death of Osama bin Laden. 

In a May 2011 column (h/t Right Wing Watch), Bozell (and Graham, since he ghost-wrote the column) whined that George W. Bush deserved more credit than Obama for bin Laden's death despite having been out of office for more than two years at the time, and that Obama was being "rude" about it:

Unfortunately, while the president spoke for the whole country in remembering the pain of 9/11, his remarks left a gaping hole. He made no generous bow to all the efforts of his predecessor George W. Bush as well as his team. My one regret is that Bush 43 didn't get this scalp. He deserved it more than anyone.

Instead, Obama played subtle and wholly undignified games. He underlined that Osama had "avoided capture" under Bush and "continued to operate" during his tenure. But "I directed" CIA director Leon Panetta to make getting Osama the "top priority" (as opposed to?), and "I" gave the go-ahead to the final mission. Obama also avoided Bush in a Medal of Honor ceremony on Monday afternoon. Even in a Monday night "bipartisan" event at the White House, Obama honored the "military and counter-terrorism professionals" and "the members of Congress from both parties" who offered support to the mission....but no credit for Bush.

If the roles had been reversed, you know Bush would have been more generous. It's what Bushes do.

Then, in October 2012, Bozell complained about a film about the raid that killed bin Laden that was to air on the National Geographic Channel because it was airing too close to the 2012 presidential election and might help Obama get re-elected because it will associate bin Laden's death with the president:

Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, said, "we don't want to pass judgement on the content, because we haven't watched the film -- but timing is what matters."

He added: "If the National Geographic Channel puts off airing this documentary by just three days, and there's absolutely no reason why they can't, it shows they have no agenda. If they don't postpone it by just 72 hours, it will clearly show that they do."

If Bozell can't give proper credit to Obama for the death of binLaden, he has lost the right to play politics over al-Baghdadi's death.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 8, 2019 3:46 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

It was a decent month for employment numbers in Octrober, so it was pro-Trump rah-rah time again at Susan Jones wrote in the lead story:

Following September’s blockbuster employment report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday said more records were set in October.

A record 158,510,000 Americans are now working, the 23rd such record since President Donald Trump took office.

The nation’s labor force participation rate also set a Trump-era high of 63.3 percent. This number is explained in greater detail below, but the higher, the better. Payroll taxes from people who work help support programs for those who don't.

The economy added 128,000 jobs in October, higher than economists expected, given the General Motors strike that began on Sept. 15 and lasted six weeks.

Jones also touted how "the unemployment rate for black Americans, 5.4 percent in October, has never been this low." If Barack Obama were still president, Jones would be talking about how much higher it is than the white unemployment rate, which was 3.2 percent in October.

Craig Bannister served up the standard sidebar on Hispanic unemployment emphasizing the "record number" of employed Hispanics and downplaying the fact that the Hispanic unemployment rate actually went up in October.

Bannister also spun Nancy Pelosi's response to the October numbers, linking to Jones' article: "Despite record-high employment and a 4.1% unemployment rate, October’s jobs report is proof of how Republicans’ agenda is hurting the middle class, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi said Friday."

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman, meanwhile, devoted an article to taking a potshot at a liberal economist: "The U.S. economy today is doing pretty well, with record-high employment numbers and record-low unemployment numbers for blacks, among other positive indices. Yet back in November 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president, Pulitzer Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman predicted the U.S.  was 'probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.'"

By contrast, CNS was silent about Lawrence Kudlow's history of botched economic predictions after Trump named him a White House economic adviser.

UPDATE: These CNS stories are being used synergistically throughout the MRC; a Nov. 3 post by Tim Graham whined that the network news didn't cover October's numbers, huffing that "The networks keep insisting unemployment data isn't 'real news.'"

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 10, 2019 11:08 AM EST
Thursday, November 7, 2019
MRC's Double Standard On Anonymous Whistleblowers, Part 3: The Whine Factor
Topic: Media Research Center

It seems the Media Research Center just can't stop whining about the media citing anonymous sources in stories (except, of course, when that anonymous source happens to advance the MRC's anti-media narrative).

The Oct. 22 column by MRC honchos Tim Graham and Brent Bozell was an extended screed against anonymous sources:

Thus the dominant narrative of the first two years of the Trump presidency was the accusation of Russia colluding with the Trump campaign….until it collapsed. The network evening news shows wasted thousands of minutes just oozing with doom for the president. In 2018, the Russiagate stories were 98 percent negative. Now they’re doing it all over again with Ukraine.

All of this is based on what? Evidence provided by whom? How many dozens, maybe hundreds of television and print reports have been based on “anonymous sources”? How many times have we read about the reporter’s conversation with “multiple” or “six” or “more than a dozen” or some such number of sources?

Why can’t a single one come forward? Why must we find out, after digging and digging, that their most recent “whistleblower” has vanished from the scene? 

As consumers of “news,” it’s exhausting to wade through wild quotes, accompanied by phrases like “the official spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly.” But how on Earth would we know if the source was “candid”? The word, after all, is defined as “the quality of being open and honest in expression.” So why not come forward?

Meanwhile, Curtis Houck whined that the anonymous author of an "infamous" New YOrk Times op-ed stating how White House staffers are trying the save the country from Trump's worst impulses is writing a book: "Despite the fact that there’s no way for anyone other than The Times or the book publisher to vet them (plus the claims they’re leveling), the book will undoubtedly be celebrated as a modern-day Gospel by the liberal media. All the while, this person will be allowed to remain anonymous and thus take the coward route." He whined further: "Yuck. So a book about being anonymous and why it’s a good thing the author is staying anonymous will financially benefit an industry (the WH beat) that operates almost entirely on anonymous sources. Neato!"

Thew MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro and Alex Christy similiarly whined about the book.

With all that whining, you knew what was coming next: another patented MRC "study"! Bill D'Agostino did his duty:

Despite the unreliable nature of anonymous sources, the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have used them in nearly three fifths of their news reports about the impeachment probe since it first began, mostly to pass along damning accusations against the President that cannot be independently verified.

From September 24 — the day the impeachment inquiry was announced — to October 24, these three broadcast networks devoted 322 minutes to the probe in their evening newscasts, across 140 separate news segments. Of those, more than half (82, or 57%) relied at least in part on information from anonymous sources:

D'Agostino then intoned: "A policy piece by the Society of Professional Journalists cautions strongly against the use of anonymous sources, noting: 'Some organizations do not allow anonymous sources except in the most vital news stories.'"

Note that D'Agostino's chart references "TV's Imeppeachment Coverage" when, in reality, it the MRC's usual extremely narrow slice of TV in the form of network evening newscasts. Apparently, Fox News is not part of the "TV" world for D'Agostino. This was followed by the MRC's promotion of the requisite Fox News segment that touted this so-called study.

While all whining was going on, the hypocrisy got deeper as the MRC was touting yet another story that was, yes, anonymously sourced.

An Octy. 21 post by Gabriel Hays excitedly touted how, according to a Hollywood Reporter article, China is demanding edits to Quentin Tarantino's new film "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" before it can be shown there. Hays wrote: "The outlet’s anonymous sources claimed, 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's local release has been indefinitely put on hold.'"

Oops! Looks like someone forgot to check with the narrative creators at the MRC to make sure his post didn't undermine said narrative.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EST
CNS' Syria Withdrawal Coverage Becomes A Little Less Pro-Trump
Topic:'s interest in defending President Trump over withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria, thereby permitting Turkey to attack the Kurds that once were U.S. allies, has waned as the media in general has lost interest in the story.

On Oct. 21, Patrick Goodenough detailed a backtracking on Trump's withdrawal (though, of course, he didn't call it that): "As U.S. troops are being redeployed from Syria to western Iraq, there were indications at the weekend that President Trump may be prepared to leave a residual force across the border in eastern Syria, in a bid to keep a lid on ISIS and help to ensure that oilfields in the area to not fall into hands of the Iranians, whose forces are in Syria to bolster Bashar Assad’s regime." The same day, James Carstensen touted a German plan to create an "internationally controlled security zone" in Syria.

More stuff came in over the next couple days:

  • Goodenough reported on a "bipartisan Senate bill" seeking to move U.S. military operations out of Turkey .
  • Dimitri Simes reported on a Turkish pact with Russia to attack the Kurds.
  • Goodenough went for the default pro-Trump narrative by highlighting how "The U.S. special envoy for the Syrian conflict pushed back Tuesday on the charge that, had President Trump not pulled back a small number of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria this month, Turkish forces would not have crossed the border to attack Syrian Kurdish fighters."
  • A follow-up story by Goodenough reported how "Russian troops rolled into Kobane in northeastern Syria on Wednesday, on a mission to oversee the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish fighters and their weapons from the area in line with an agreement reached by the Russian and Turkish presidents a day earlier."
  • Melanie Arter dutifully repeated Trump claiming that "Turkey has informed the Trump administration that it will stop combat in Syria and will make the ceasefire brokered by the United States permanent."
  • Goodenough also repeated an attack line from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Obama administration "invited" the Russians to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war by having "them come in and pretend to be chemical weapons inspectors."

CNS then turned the narrative to the U.S. trying to capture Syrian oil:

Then things flipped back to Goodenough making Turkey the bad guy:

Meanwhile, CNS did publish an op-ed by conservatives Ken Blackwell and david Phillips asserting that "Turkey is practicing genocide again" in northern Syria and that "by allowing ethnic cleansing to remove the Kurds from northern Syria, the U.S. may be seen as an accomplice to Erdogan’s war crimes." But it also published a couple of pieces by managing editor Michael W. Chapman trying to retroactively justify Trump's withdrawal by dismissing the Kurds as terrorists and, perhaps even worse, a bunch of commies.

In the first, on Oct. 23, Chapman ranted:

Although many liberal news outlets and some politicians have described President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria as a “betrayal” of the Kurds, our allies in fighting against ISIS in the region, it is important to note that the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, is a “Marxist-Leninist separatist organization” that was designated as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the U.S. State Department in October 1997.

The next day, Chapman served up a somewhat altered version of the first article that walked back that one a bit:

Although many liberal news outlets have described President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria as a “betrayal” of the Kurds -- our allies in the fight against ISIS -- the Kurds who make up the People's Protection Units (YPG), are a direct offshoot of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in Turkey, which was designated a terrorist organization in 1997.

This does not apply to all the Kurds in Syria but specifically to those in the YPG.

But as actual foreign policy experts point out, the links between the PKK and the YPG are not as clear-cut as Chapman portrays them; the YPG denies direct links with the PKK though there is some overlap and shared goals. Perhaps Chapman can write another article walking back things a bit more.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 7, 2019 10:56 PM EST
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Newsmax Denounces Pro-Impeachment Poll As Biased
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 18 Newsmax article by Bill Hoffmann took issue with a Pew poll showing that 54 percent of registered voters support President Trump's impeachment, insisting that it was "stacked with Democrat [sic] respondents":

But the methodology behind the poll appears to have stacked it in favor of achieving a pro-Democratic outcome. 

Buried in the survey results is the fact that of the 3,487 respondents, 1,942 are Democrats or are Democratic leaning while 1,453 are Republicans or Republican leaning. That means 56 percent of those polled were Democrats compared to 42 percent who identified as Republicans — a 14 percent margin favoring Democrats.

Frank Luntz, a veteran American political consultant and pollster, questioned the validity of the poll.

“Self-identified Democrats outnumber self-identified Republicans by about 6 percent nationally. The sample for this poll leans a bit too Democratic to accept these numbers as gospel,” Luntz told Newsmax. “When the questions are about impeachment, you have a responsibility to ensure an accurately balanced sample.”

Hoffmann failed to look closely at the poll's methodology, which showed the weighted percentage spread -- which "aligns the sample to population benchmarks" -- was just 7 percentage points between Democrat and Repubican -- much closer to current self-identification numbers.

Hoffmann doesn't mention weighting at all in his article, even though he got a comment from Pew telling him to look at the methodology.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 PM EST
Facebook-Hating MRC Sets Bozell-Trump Jr. Interview On Facebook Live
Topic: Media Research Center

It appears all those free dinners with Mark Zuckerberg have paid off for Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell.

As we've documented, the Facebook chief has been sucking up to Bozell and other conservatives who agitate against Facebook by spreading the never-proven narrative that it uniquely discriminates against conservatives by hosting them at off-the-record dinners (which the MRC then had to defend). It seems now that Bozell is sufficiently comfortable with Facebook that he'll use it to his advantage.

The MRC is currently promoting an Nov. 12 interview Bozell will conduct with Donald Trump Jr. that will air on ...  Facebook Live. The promotion links to, yes, Bozell's Facebook page.

It's as if Bozell and the MRC are merely trying to exploit a perceived confict with Facebook for personal and political advantage and that they would never leave the platform -- after all, if Facebook were really as biased as Bozell claims it is, he would never air this interview on it, right?

It's as if Bozell has been completely insincere about this the whole time.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:32 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 10:15 PM EST
WND's Cashill Is A Seth Rich Conspiracy Dead-Ender
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The right-wing conspiracy theories about murdered Democratic Seth Rich secretly leaking DNC emails are so discredited that even WorldNetDaily stopped pursuing the story (not that it will ever admit it lied to its readers about this, of course).

WND columnist Jack Cashill, however, loves promoting discredited conspiracy theories. Thus, it was inevitable that he would still be promoting Seth Rich conspiracies. In his Oct. 30 WND column, Cashill remains a conspiray dead-ender:

Twelve days after Rich's death, WikiLeaks began releasing emails swiped from the DNC. Although mainstream journalists did their best to deny Rich was involved with those emails, WikiLeaks honcho Julian Assange kept making suppression difficult.

Four weeks after the shooting, Assange said on Dutch TV, "Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There's a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington."

When the show host insisted it was a robbery, Assange corrected him, adding, "I'm suggesting that our sources take risks."


If he were providing Assange data, the Russians had no reason to kill him; and if someone "had it out for Democrats," there were a lot fatter targets than Rich.

Cashill misleadingly invoked Robert Muller as part of his conspiracy theory:

Unlike the media, Robert Mueller thought Seth Rich worth discussing. The Mueller report quoted Assange at length about his insinuation that Rich was a source.

"According to media reports," Mueller's people wrote, "Assange told a U.S. congressman that the DNC hack was an 'inside job,' and purported to have 'physical proof' that Russians did not give materials to Assange."

Given his importance to the investigation, Mueller's crew should have interviewed Assange first. They did not interview him at all. Can't let that "alternative theory" go bouncing around when the fake ones do just fine.

Cashill curiously omits the part of the Mueller report that concluded Assange knew Rich wasn't his source for the DNC emails and simply claimed he was in order to obscure the fact he did indeed get them from the Russians.

Once a conspiracy theorist, always a conspiracy theorist. Cashill doesn't care about the facts if they interfere with his conspiratorial narrataives.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
MRC Falsely Smears Gayle King By Accusing Her Of A Smear
Topic: Media Research Center

The hypocrisy of the Media Research Center to obsess over sexual harassment scandals at some TV network while it effectively ignored similar scandals at Fox News is breathtaking, to say the least -- but we've come to expect no less than that. The MRC is so committed to that narrative that it's misrepresenting the words of "liberal" network employees.

Thus, we have this Oct. 14 item by Scott Whitlock:

CBS's Gayle King, who co-hosted a show with Charlie Rose (a man who resigned in disgrace after sexual misconduct claims) and who worked for network President Les Moonves (a man who resigned in disgrace after sexual misconduct claim) pressed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow on Monday about his possible “ax to grind” when it comes to sexual misconduct claims... at NBC. 

The somewhat confrontational segment featured all of the current CBS This Morning co-hosts grilled Farrow with detailed questions about his sourcing on sexual abuse claims from powerful men. While they referenced the problems at CBS, the questions came about the problems on NBC. 

Regarding NBC’s refusal to proceed with Farrow’s reporting on disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Gayle King demanded, “The bulk of the book is about your efforts to tell the Harvey Weinstein story and in the end NBC killed the story saying it didn't reach their level of journalism. How do we know that this is not just —  they're saying it's an axe to grind on your part.” 

Actually, it appears that King is simply setting Farrow up to respond to his critics, particularly at NBC, which has attacked his book (detailed in the transcript that Whitlock didn't otherwise acknowledge).

Whitlock repeated his smear  of King in an Oct. 22 post, claiming that "King suggested Farrow might have an 'ax to grind." That post was otherwise about Fox News anchor Bret Baier's appearance on "CBS This Morning,"with Whitlock whining that the show's co-hosts "grilled" Baier "about the departure of Shepard Smith from the network, baiting him to divine what exactly Smith meant when he said that the 'truth will always matter.'" (The MRC hates Smith for failing to march in lockstep with Fox News' right-wing agenda.)

Whitlock didn't mention that Baier has his own issues with the truth, touting an anonymous sourced story before the 2016 election that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent -- a story that Baier had to retract and a story the MRC totally embraced yet never told its readers was retracted.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:12 PM EST
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch

In case you were wondering: No, editor in chief Terry Jeffrey still has not explicitly assigned blame for increasing federal debt where it belongs: at the feet of President Trump and Republicans. He lamented in an Oct. 16 article:

The federal debt increased by $1,203,343,570,253.55 in fiscal 2019, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Department.

That equaled approximately $9,432 for each of the 127,586,000 households the Census Bureau estimated were in the United States in 2018.

In the decade that began on the first day of fiscal 2010 and ended on the last day of fiscal 2019, the federal debt increased by $10,809,572,749,922—for an average of $1,080,957,274,992.20 per year.

That $10,809,572,749,922 in additional debt accumulated by the federal government over the past decade equaled approximately $84,724 per each of the 127,586,000 households in the United States in 2018.

As usual, Jeffrey avoided using the words "Trump" and "Republicans" in his article, and it was accompanied with yet another stock photo that included Nancy Pelosi, even though she leads only one-half of one branch of government, while Republicans control one and a half branches.

Jeffrey further complained in an Oct. 23 column:

Federal spending programs that are "designed to transfer income ... to individuals or families" are set to hit a record $3,223,943,000,000 in fiscal 2020, according to projections published by the Office of Management and Budget.

These so-called "payments for individuals" (as the OMB calls them) are projected to account for 67.9% of all federal spending this fiscal year and consume 14.4% of the nation's gross domestic product.

Again, no mention of Trump or Republicans -- despite vaguely huffing that "The people who run our government are truly record setters — when it comes to taking money from one group and giving it to another" -- and again there's a stock photo that included Pelosi.

More budget-related huffing came in an Oct. 28 article:

The amount of money the federal government collected in individual income taxes and the total amount of money the federal government spent both set records in fiscal 2019, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Friday afternoon.

However, even while collecting a record amount in individual income taxes, the federal government still ran a deficit of $984,388,000,000 during the fiscal year.

The template was followed again: no mentionof Trump or Republicans, and a stock photo featuring Pelosi even though she's never mentioned in any of these articles either.

Jeffrey returned to the subject again in his Oct. 30 column, and he misportrayed the situation by arguing that Republicans and Democrats share equal blame for the deficit situation:

The leaders of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate proved again this week that they favor a bigger federal government that spends and borrows more money.


Congress is continuing what is now a bipartisan tradition.

In the first two decades of the 21st century, real federal spending has increased by 70.7%.


When Republicans and Democrats work together in Washington, D.C., today, it is not to cut a bloated federal government but to cut the chances this nation will be solvent and prosperous for our children and grandchildren.

But Jeffrey still couldn't bring himself to utter the word "Trump," even though the president signs those buget bills he considers too bloated and, thus, is ultimately responsible for them.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 AM EST
Monday, November 4, 2019
AIM Joins MRC In Embracing Tulsi Gabbard to Bash Hillary
Topic: Accuracy in Media

We've highlighted how the Media Research Center embraced liberal Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard as an excuse to engage in Clinton Derangement Syndrome yet again by bashing Hillary Clinton for criticizing her. Accuracy in Media got in on that action as well in an Oct. 21 post by Spencer Irvine:

Hillary Clinton recently floated a conspiracy theory on a podcast, insinuating that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is a “Russian asset.” Gabbard is currently running for president on the Democratic Party ticket, although a long shot, and has been an outspoken voice against U.S. interventionist policies in places such as Syria in the Middle East.


Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran and currently a major in the Hawaiian Army National Guard, and has served in Congress since 2013. Yet, she has fought back against claims that she is a Russian asset, primarily against the New York Times in the recent primary debate. Clinton’s insinuation agreed with the New York Times’s comment, when the newspaper wrote, “She is injecting a bit of chaos into her own party’s primary race, threatening to boycott that debate to protest what she sees as a ‘rigging’ of the 2020 election. That’s left some Democrats wondering what, exactly, she is up to in the race, while others worry about supportive signs from online bot activity and the Russian news media.”

As much as Never Trump and Democratic Party lawmakers criticized President Donald Trump for conspiracy theories, there is little outcry over Hillary Clinton joining in on the conspiracy theory bandwagon. It is hypocritical that Trump is blasted for conspiracy theories, but Clinton is left unscathed. Yet the mainstream media will focus on Gabbard, instead of the broader picture that Clinton engaged in a conspiracy theory about a current presidential candidate, even though that candidate is a longshot to become the party nominee.

Irvine never actually tries to disprove Clinton wrong, beyond citing Gabbard's military experience. Even the MRC conceded Clinton has a point (albeit before Clinton made her comment, after which it too went on a Clinton-bashing spree).

Of course, AIM is no stranger to promoting conspiracy theories -- we haven't forgotten the Cliff Kincaid years, even if AIM currently wants to.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 12:00 AM EST
Facebook-Bashing MRC Goes To Defense Mode After It's Revealed Zuckerberg Sucked Up To Bozell
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been waging a prolonged war on Facebook for allegedly discriminating against conservatives and their viewpoint (despite the fact that the evidence to support that is cherry-picked and circumstantial at best). But as it did when it was revealed that Facebook was sucking up to conservatives in order to stop the baseless attacks, the MRC went into defense mode when more sucking up was disclosed.

An Oct. 14 Politico article reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had been hosting "informal talks and small, off-the-record dinners with conservative journalists, commentators and at least one Republican lawmaker" -- one of which was MRC chief Brent Bozell. That sent the MRC into defense mode.

An Oct. 15 MRC post by Corinne Weaver put a "liberals pounce" frame on it: "The intolerant left has a long list of things they consider unforgivable sins. One of them includes simply talking and dining with those on the right." Kyle Drennen touted how it was "surprising" that CBS This Morning "co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King was quick to defend the practice, asking, 'What’s wrong with that?'"

Alex Christy, meanwhile, complained that MSNBC called out the meetings:

A Silicon Valley liberal meeting with conservatives to discuss a relevant controversy, how horrible. They can't stand that. 

Any good liberal guardian of the "truth," or the news, should not be kowtowing to conservative demands of neutrality. At least that is how MSNBC sees it.

The way these writers addressed the conflict of interest in their boss being a part of this story varied widely. Weaver disclosed that Bozell met with Zuckerberg; Drennen didn't disclose the current meetings but noted that "In May of 2016, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell, along with several other conservative leaders, met with Zuckerberg to discuss concerns of anti-conservative bias on the social network"; and Christy didn't mention his boss at all.

Bozell, meanwhile, tweeted out his own justification for the meetings:

Leftists at Facebook are actively working with leftist groups to advance their leftist agenda.

Zuckerberg hosts a couple of meetings just to HEAR from a handful of conservatives - and the far left is condemning him for it.

Leftism. Fascism.

What's the difference?

The issue that all these MRC writers conveniently ignore is that, as Media Matters' Parker Malloy pointed out, all these meetings with conservatives won't stop them from attacking Facebook -- the narrative is too strong and lucrative, and it will continue no matter how many times Facebook caves to their demands, even as research continues to prove that there's no systematic anti-conservative bias at Facebook.

Now, the MRC did praise Facebook for deciding not to censor political speech or fact-check political ads on the platform. Drennen claimed that "The disturbing irony of the news media that make their living from the First Amendment actually being upset by a social media company refusing to censor political speech is stunning," while Weaver framed the decision as Facebook deciding not to "define and correct what the platform calls hate speech."

But a couple days after that, it was back to attack mode, as Alexander Hall complained: "In the latest incidence of Big Tech being in bed with liberals, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have been caught recommending campaign hires to a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Hall waited until several paragraphs later to concede that "Zuckerberg had recently held private meetings with conservative leaders to address their concerns," though he didn't disclose that one of those "conservative leaders" was his boss.

Hall followed up with another post complaining about Facebook's new "news" tab curated by an editorial team, ranting: "Much like asking 'who fact-checks the fact-checkers,' the question of 'who curates the curators' will likely be on conservatives’ minds. After all, based on Facebook’s troubled history with truth, conservatives would be right to be concerned about their commitment to free expression."

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg's Oct. 18 sit-down interview with Fox News was completely ignored by the MRC.

Then the tone flip-flopped again in an Oct. 30 piece by Weaver headlined "Media War on Muckerberg" and unironically whining: "The media are opposed to anything that remotely resembles a neutral approach. So when Facebook decided to leave political ads from politicians untouched, the liberal news media declared war." Not a word, of course, about the MRC's war on Zuckerberg and the fact that too doesn't want a "neutral approach" -- it obviously wants Facebook to share its right-wing bias.

In sum: The MRC will always find a reason to attack Facebook, no matter how many times it's been demonstrated there's no anti-conservative bias or how many times Zuckerberg buys Bozell dinner.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:43 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 4, 2019 7:54 PM EST
WND's Klayman Has Extremist Laura Loomer As A Client
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Klayman devoted his Oct. 18 WorldNetDaily column to his newest client, Laura Loomer, whom he calls "a brave activist fighting to advance the truth, speaking truth to power, and opposing threats to our country" -- not to mention her current campaign for a Florida congressional seat, touting her fundraising "while being banned from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PayPal and Venmo and being systematically suppressed by Google." He further lionnized his client:

Loomer exposed the New York City Public Theatre portraying the assassination of Donald Trump. Loomer's investigative journalism has uncovered fraud and corruption within the Hillary Clinton campaign, Islamic extremism on college campuses, flaws and loopholes within the U.S. immigration system and widespread voter fraud. Loomer uncovered surprises about the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

But as a Jewish woman, Loomer puncturing the public relations balloon around Shariah law, treatment of women in Muslim countries and the public relations campaigns of jihadists made her a pariah among the news media.

Um, no. If Loomer is considered a "pariah" at all, it's because of her extreme Islamophobia and penchant for promoting dubious conspiracy theories. She's so Islamophobic, in fact, that she's been banned for Uber and Lyft for loudly complaining she couldn't find a driver who wasn't a Muslim. The "surprise" Loomer supposedly "uncovered" about the Las Vegas massacre was promnoting a bogus conspiracy theory claiming that the man who happened to be staying in the room next to that of the shooter was the shooter's accomplice. And Loomer's "expos[ing] of the theater production "portraying the assassination of Donald Trump" -- actually, a production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" with the title character wearing a suit and red tie -- consisted merely of loudly disrupting one production, getting herself arrested in the process. (We don't recall her getting so bothered about a different production of "Julius Caesar" where the title character looked like President Obama.)

That's the kind of person Klayman prefers to hang around with and represent in court.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Sunday, November 3, 2019
MRC Sells Mailing List To Firm Using Sexual Harasser O'Reilly As Spokesman
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has gotten a lot of mileage over the past month by embracing Ronan Farrow's account of how his story of harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment was spiked by NBC, even as NBC "Today" host Matt Lauer would eventually lose his job over similar harassment allegations. (Never mind that the MRC couldn't work hard enough to attack Farrow over his investigation into Brett Kavanaugh's past, declaring it a "questionable hit piece.")

But while the MRC has been giving heavy play to the NBC story, it's been renting its mailing list to a company whose spokesman is a disgraced sexual harasser -- Bill O'Reilly, who lost his job as a Fox News host after it was revealed that both he and the channel paid out millions of dollars in settlement money over claims of sexual harassment against him.

On Sept. 12, MRC subscribers received a message from the Oxford Group in which O'Reilly declared that "I'm the #1 best-selling nonfiction author of all time. And the top-rated cable television host in history. And I'm back in a BIG way." It was a promoting for something called the "Great American Wealth Project," which goal O'Reilly promised was "to help you achieve a seven-figure portfolio as quickly, safely and easily as possible."Viewers of O'Reilly's video would also receive a copy of O'Reilly's new book, which he boastfully claimed includes "Five interviews with the president, including one on Air Force One. Two with Don Jr. It's my best piece of writing of all time."

This was followed on Oct. 25 by another email from the Oxford Club which stated:

At the height of his hit TV show, Bill O’Reilly was reportedly making a staggering $37 million a year.

But today, something incredible has happened to his wealth.

For the first time publicly, Bill comes clean about it in this video.

It’s a stunning admission...

And one that anyone who wants to grow and protect their money in retirement needs to hear.

There's no mention of the fact that paying out millions to settle sexual harassment claims, of course. The video is another promotion for the Great American Wealth Project, featuring an interview with someone from the Oxford Club.

As we documented, the MRC was not terribly outraged by the harassment allegations against O'Reilly, serving up only perfunctory denunciations (though not so harsh that it kept MRC official Tim Graham from being a guest on the final edition of his Fox News show), suggested the charges weren't true, then gave O'Reilly a platform to let him complain that he was the victim of a "hit job"-- something the MRC would never have done for the likes of Lauer and Weinstein.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:48 AM EDT
CNS Promotes Right-Wing Extremist's Wacky Anti-Pelosi Petition

In January, CNS' Craig Bannister promoted a petition on the White House "We the People" website, "created by a person known only as M.G.," demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi be impeached for treason, touting how 12 days after its creation"the petition had garnered more than 130,000 signatures – enough to earn a response" from the White House.

The petition, devoid of supporting evidence, is pure wackiness:

Nancy Pelosi is a TRAITOR to the American People!
The Constitution defines, "Treason against the US.. ..adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." Illegal aliens are enemies that invade our country with drugs, human trafficking, and terrorist causing death and crime to American citizens. Nancy Pelosi adheres to these enemies by voting for and providing them aid and comfort through Sanctuary policies funded by US citizen tax dollars, and refuses to protect American people by refusing to fund our border wall, leaving our borders open and unsafe. Pelosi refused to meet with Angel families, caused the government shut down then traveled on US dollars to Hawaii and Puerto Rico while 800,000 Fed workers don't get paid, and uninvited Trump for SOTU. IMPEACH Pelosi for treason!

Yet Bannister thought this was of significant enough importance to devote an article to. So much so, in fact, that he did another article on it on Oct. 23, giving it the same undeserved serious coverage:

A White House website “We the People” petition calling on Congress to “IMPEACH Pelosi for treason!” has garnered more than a quarter-million signatures to-date.

As of Wednesday, October 23, 2019, more than 260,000 people have signed the petition to impeach House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) created January 18, 2019 on the “We the People” website - more than two and a half times the minimum of 100,000 required to warrant an official response.

The Georgia woman who created the petition in January, Marjorie Taylor Greene, personally delivered a copy of the petition to Speaker Pelosi’s House office on February 22 of this year. Greene continues to encourage Americans to sign the petition, aided by President Donald Trump’s recent calls for Pelosi’s impeachment for the way she has conducted her impeachment inquiry of him.

Since posting the petition, Greene – a business owner, wife and mother – has launched a campaign to become the Republican House candidate for Georgia’s 6th district.

Bannister won't tell you, however, that Greene is a far-right activist -- enough of one to have earned a profile from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC states that Greene has been livestreaming her various stunts on Facebook (of which her delivery of the Pelosi petition was just one), where she "uses a cheery persona and smiles to sugarcoat a message of intolerance toward different targets – all based on the opportunity for publicity. She hangs out with Islamophobic extremists like Laura Loomer as well as anti-government militia leaders, and she has also heckled survivors of the Parkland school massacre as "brainwashed" for pushing to change gun laws.

CNS has previously given free publicity to other Republican presidential candidates. 

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Saturday, November 2, 2019
MRC's Double Standard on Repeating Talking Points
Topic: Media Research Center

Bill D'Aogstino intoned in an Oct. 17 post:

Television journalists these days sound so similar to Democrats on impeachment that it's nearly impossible to tell them apart. Weeks before the impeachment inquiry was even announced, talking heads were passing off Democratic talking points as objective information about the President's alleged wrongdoing.

What follows is a compilation video of some of the liberal media's greatest minds spouting DNC talking points. These journalists have not had their words taken out of context while attempting to summarize the Democrats’ position. Whether or not they they were intentionally regurgitating the words of Democrats, they did so without attributing their words to anyone.

First: There's a rich irony in the MRC accusing the media of following Democratic talking points, given how much in lockstep the MRC is in following Trump White House talking points on the Ukraine scandal. Indeed, the very act of accusing the media of following Democratic talking points is itself a Trump White House talking point that D'Agostino is eagerly parroting.

Second: D'Agostino is misleading here by claiming that all these TV statements were made by "journalists"; in fact, many of the people in his video were acting as analysts or commentators, not journalists. Carl Bernstein, for instance, hasn't been involved in day-to-day reporting for years.

Third: D'Agostino's claim that "These journalists have not had their words taken out of context while attempting to summarize the Democrats’ position" is an obvious lie. How can a two-second clip of a "journalist" -- some of which are simply sentence fragments -- be anything other than out of context? D'Agostino can't be bothered to supply the sources of his clips so we can judge for ourselves how much in context they are.

But honesty and context are not what D'Agostino and the MRC are trying to engage in. They want clicks from their fellow right-wingers, and they want to defend the president by pushing his talking points.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 AM EDT

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