AIM Obsesses Over Alleged Bias At Obscure Media Outlet Topic: Accuracy in Media
For some reason, Accuracy in Media has been targeting NowThis News, an obscure media outlet, doing several posts on its alleged bias over the past couple months alone. And, as ever, it has trouble with the whole media-watchdogging thing.
In a Nov. 21 post, Spencer Irvine -- grandson of AIM founder Reed Irvine and son of current AIM publisher Don Irvine -- asserted that calling abortions "safe and legal," which NowThis did in an article, "can be interpreted as a partisan stance," never mind that it can also be interpreted as an objectively true statement. He then lectured: "News media should not endorse, implicitly or explicitly, political views, stances, or opinions. NowThis News took a blatant political stance and yet portrayed itself as a neutral and trustworthy news source." Never mind that NowThis hasn't exactly hidden the fact that it's a progressive-leaning outlet.
We don't recall AIM complaining that any conservative media outlet "took a blatant political stance" on an issue, or that Fox News falsely "portrayed itself as a neutral and trustworthy news source" with its "fair and balanced" slogan.
Irvine attacked NowThis again in a Dec. 2 post attacking the outlet for calling out President Trump's falsehood that 14 million jobs have been created during his presidency. Irvine not only tried to spin the numbers but also the fact that Trump lies a lot:
It is common knowledge that Trump tends to embellish the facts in public speeches, but NowThis News criticized Trump for the embellishment. It also included a tweet from a Vox journalist who called Trump’s remarks “absurd,” despite that Vox Media is far from a neutral source of news and analysis.
NowThis compared Trump’s job creation numbers to Obama’s and claimed that the Trump-led economy “created fewer than 6 million jobs since Trump has taken office.” The article claimed that this was “less than what Obama created when he was in office,” and cited a Forbes article to support that claim. However, the link that NowThis News used was a broken link and the information in the Forbes article cannot be verified.
Upon further investigation, a different Forbes article pointed out that Obama created one million more jobs than Trump has at this point in the presidency, which is a significant difference. However, both Forbes and NowThis News did not take into account consumer confidence and how the U.S. economy got back on track after Trump’s election.
Irvine complained once more in a Dec. 5 post about an allegedly biased NowThis article on the impeachment hearings: "The lack of ideological balance, in addition to the partisanship and favoritism toward Democratic lawmakers and their witnesses in this recap article, illustrated NowThis News’s political bias and how it should tell its readers that it is a partisan news source, not an unbiased one." Again, Irvine did not hold conservative media outlets similarly accountable for their lack of balance.
Carrie Sheffield did the NowThis-bashing -- and Trump-defending -- honors in a Dec. 11 post:
NowThis News’ impeachment coverage omitted key facts about diplomats’ testimony on Capitol Hill, leaving false anti-Trump impressions for its readers.
“Trump and many in the GOP have called the inquiry a ‘sham’ despite the testimony of multiple career diplomats that Trump offered a quid pro quo to the president of Ukraine to investigate unfounded claims against Biden,” wrote NowThis’ Christina Cocca.
Cocca failed to mention that House Democrats based their calls for impeachment on assumptions, presumptions, and speculation from witnesses who had no interaction with the President. None of the diplomatic witnesses during the impeachment hearings had any firsthand knowledge or evidence of wrongdoing by the President.
Most of their witnesses never spoke with Trump or weren’t even involved in the events at hand. Only two people actually asked the president about this – Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Sen. Ron Johnson, and the President told both of them he was not seeking any quid pro quo.
If only AIM cared this much about the accuracy of conservative media.
MRC Won't Admit NY Times-Basher Is A Biased Conservative Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Aiden Jackson devoted an entire Dec. 2 post to how "former New York Times contributor and current New York Post reporter, Michael Goodwin" went on Fox News to talke about a Fox News-published op-ed complaining that the Times "has cemented itself as the CNN of the newspaper world with a leftist trajectory and near total loss of journalistic integrity" and that "the old-guard reporting standards at The New York Times are almost non-existent in the era of President Trump." Jackson went on to tout how "Goodwin then used a sledgehammer on the Timesto label them as a completely leftist publication through and through."
What Jackson doesn't tell you: Goodwin is a right-winger through and through. He did allude to it, stating that "As a disclaimer, it should be noted that Goodwin has served as a reporter with the Post for many years and currently writes opinion pieces for Fox News." But at no point does Jackson place an ideological label on Goodwin; instead, he played up Goodwin being a former Times employee to suggest that his Times-bashing is not partisan, despite the fact that he hasn't worked for the Times for a good couple decades and has been linked with right-wing outlets like Fox News and the Post since then.
Funny how the MRC has conniptions about how conservatives are labeled but won't use proper labeling when it doesn't serve its interests and narrative to do so.
WND Columnists Bash Buttigieg For Being Gay Topic: WorldNetDaily
Larry Tomczak spent his Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily column attacking Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for being gay. He complained that "multitudes in the media are giddy about his ascendancy but are downplaying the issue of his homosexuality and gay "husband" for political reasons," while "millions are being desensitized to acceptance of homosexuality through multiplying gay characters in entertainment, pervasive gay pride events and children propagandized in schools." Never mind that Tomczak's gay-hating rants are also a form of propaganda.
Tomczak also attacked Buttigieg's Christian faith: "Whether it's Mr. Buttigieg or simply people we know, a person claiming to be an authentic Christian and a practicing homosexual is, according to Scripture, a counterfeit convert." He then listed "10 biblical reasons true Christians are not practicing homosexuals," in which two of the reasons involve it beinga "contradiction of biblical teaching," another declaring that homosexuality "cannot be justified" and the final one insisting that "Homosexual behavior can definitely be changed in anyone humbling themselves and repenting, as evidenced by multitudes throughout the world who testify to their freedom in Jesus Christ."
Nevertheless, he further tries to convert Buttigieg: "Here's the deal: Whether a high-profile figure like Pete Buttigieg or an ordinary person, God offers hope, forgiveness and freedom to everyone who repents and believes the transformative and liberating message of the gospel."
Fellow WND columnist Michael Brown similarly attacked Buttigieg for being gay and Christian:
It would be one thing if Mayor Pete Buttigieg was a non-religious man, taking swipes at the Bible as an out and proud, secular, gay man. It's another thing when he claims to be a follower of Jesus. The hypocrisy, let alone the butchering of the Bible, is all the more glaring.
Brown admitted Buttigieg has a point when he criticizes evangelicals who treat Trump has a savior figure, -- something Brown himself is guilty of -- then ranted: "Yet Buttigieg has absolutely no right to respond to a question about perceived Christian hypocrisy when he is a living example of Christian hypocrisy. He professes to be a committed Christian, yet he practices what the Torah calls 'detestable' and the New Testament calls 'contrary to nature.' Worse still, he celebrates this publicly. And how can he possibly discuss 'the question of what ethical content at all Christianity even has,' when he overthrows Christian ethics based on his sexual desires and romantic attractions?"
Brown then attacked Buttigieg for claiming to be a good Christian despite committing the "fundamental error" of being gay:
As for Jesus, when He came into the world, He was quick to forgive all manner of sins, including adultery. And He died to pay for our sins. But He warned that unrepentant adultery would be punished by the fires of hell, something far worse than the death penalty.
May the mayor of South Bend experience a personal awakening. And may he learn to bow to the morality and wisdom of the Word rather than twisting it to fit his own experience.
Funny how both Tomczak and Brown demand that Buttigieg bow to their religious will rather than letting him be a Christian in the way he believes is best.
Posted by Terry K.
at 12:17 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:37 AM EST
MRC's Most Dishonest 'Study' Yet Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is known for its highly biased "studies" of media coverage. It may have outdone itself with its latest one. Bill D'Agostino huffed in a Nov. 25 post:
Broadcast networks NBC, CBS, and ABC have donated 75 hours of free air time to Democrats’ impeachment hearings, despite notably poor (and consistently shrinking) ratings. Yet during President Clinton’s impeachment, these same networks could not be bothered to carry more than a few hours of independent counsel Ken Starr’s one-day presentation of the evidence against Clinton on November 19, 1998.
NBC’s live coverage during the hearings amounted to a whopping 92 percent (1,653 minutes, or 27.5 hours) of the total 30 hours of testimony. CBS ran special coverage for 84 percent of the hearings (1,517 minutes, or 25 hours), while ABC broadcast 75 percent (1,358 minutes, or 22.5 hours). These numbers reflect the coverage on network-affiliated stations in the Washington, D.C. area.
By contrast back in November of 1998, NBC aired a paltry 26 percent (194 minutes) of Starr’s 12.5 hours of testimony on Capitol Hill. CBS covered 42 percent of the hearing (314 minutes), while ABC broadcast 36 percent (272 minutes).
Over the past two weeks, broadcast networks bumped hours of regularly scheduled programming for hearings featuring 12 hitherto unheard of witnesses, many of whom had never even spoken to President Trump. Yet these networks were reluctant to cover Starr’s testimony back in 1998, even though that hearing relied on a single well-known witness with intimate knowledge of all the evidence being presented.
That's right -- the MRC is dishonestly comparing several days of Trump impeachment hearing coverage to a single day of testimony by the chief anti-Clinton antagonist.
Note that D'Agostino also invoked the MRC narrative of dismissing the hearings because of their allegedly low ratings; he reinforced the narrative by claiming that "the hearings these past two weeks have had consistently poor viewership, and the number of Americans tuning each day has been shrinking." In fact, the hearings attracted millionsof viewers when counting all outlets that aired them, and NBC -- whose coverage D'Agostino attacked for drawing "even fewer eyes ... than an average Days of Our Lives episode" -- actually drew more viewers than Fox News in the coveted demographic of viewers age 25 to 54. Nevertheless, he insisted: "It would appear President Trump's election has rendered broadcast networks incapable of understanding what interests their own audiences.
D'Agostino also unironically complained about the Clinton hearings being described as having low ratings, to the point that individual affiliates broke away for their own local programming.
NEW ARTICLE -- CNS On Impeachment: Cleanup Mode Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is so pro-Trump that it not only tried to spin away the worst aspects of President Trump's Ukraine entanglement, it tried to retcon the most incriminating statements about it made by the president and his surrogates. Read more >>
MRC Loves It When 'South Park' Mocks Transgenders, Is Sad When It's Criticized For Doing So Topic: Media Research Center
In a Nov. 13 post, the Media Reserach Center's Alexa Moutevelis gushed over how the TV show "South Park" mocked transgenders by how it "illustrated the absurdity of allowing men who identify as women into female athletic competitions, in a way only South Park can, in the episode titled 'Strong Woman,'" which featured "a trans athlete in the mold of former WWF wrestler Macho Man" entering a female strong-woman competition, and the women in the competition are told not to complain about because "you'll upset the PC babies." Moutevelis served up her own mocking at the end: "I can only imagine how the PC Babies will howl at this episode. You know how they are."
Moutevelis followed up that with a Nov. 21 post mocking one writer who claimed the episode descended into "the same tired old transphobic, homophobic, intentionally offensive gobbledygook":
Last week, South Park aired a classic episode that skewered the trans athlete phenomenon. But IndieWire author Jude Dry, whose pronouns are listed on Twitter as “they/them/theirs,” was not amused.
Dry's IndieWire article this Wednesday hilariously claimed the episode “provoked an immediate and universal backlash,” (only if backlash means laughter). The subtitle said, “Last week's episode provoked outcry by taking aim at transgender athletes, but the Comedy Central show has a long history of transphobia.” The definition of transphobia apparently means to not immediately celebrate and accept anything a trans person says.
It’s more that this author is humorless when it comes to certain hot button topics than that South Park is alienating viewers and yet Dry implies that creator Trey Parker is a bigot: “Parker’s pandering plea that his viewers not see him as a bigot for writing such a lazy, charged, and dangerous script is so ridiculous it’s almost laughable.”
And this IndieWire article is so ridiculous it is absolutely laughable.
Apparently, transphobic, homophobic and intentionally offensive gobbledygook is what trips Moutevelis' humor trigger, so this particular brand of hate is OK with her.
On the other hand, Moutevelis is not so supportive of "South Park" when when it mocks her favorite president. In September, she and Sadi Martin complained that "The new season of South Park got back to its libertarian roots in ways many conservatives might not appreciate" when it focused on "illegal immigrant children being placed in detention centers" and engaged in "heavy-handed comparisons of the Jewish Holocaust to the current immigration crisis America faces today." Moutevalis and Martin concluded by lamenting, "South Park has always been at its best when it's subversively skewering the sacred cows of the left. Let's hope the rest of the season brings more of that and doesn't keep hitting us over the head with the same liberal talking points we hear everywhere else."
So, in Moutevelis' eyes, "South Park" is hilarious when it makes jokes about liberal causes, but painfully unfunny when it mocks conservative causes. Maybe she's the real "PC baby" here.
WND Repeats Fake-News Ukraine Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
An anonymously written Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily article asserted:
A Ukrainian member of parliament says that Hunter Biden and his corporate cronies made $16.5 million from the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
Joe Biden is on video boasting he threatened Ukraine officials the U.S. would withhold aid if they didn't fire the general prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma at the time.
The Zerohedge blog reported an "indictment drawn up by Ukraine's Office of the Prosecutor General against Burisma owner Nikolai Zlochevsky claims that Hunter Biden and his partners received $16.5 million for their 'services' - according to Ukrainian MP Alexander Dubinsky of the ruling Servant of the People Party."
But as an actual news organization reported, this isn't actually true: no indictment was announced. Further, "ZeroHedge apparently misconstrued the original Russian article from the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency, which did not mention an indictment. The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency operates as part of Interfax, a Russian news outlet."
In other words, ZeroHedge is pushing Russian propaganda, it got that propaganda wrong to the point that it became even more propagandistic. The original ZeroHedge article has been corrected to more accurately state that "a document leaked from the Ukraine's Office of the Prosecutor General contains claims against Burisma owner Nikolai Zlochevsky."
The actual news organization also cited an expert on Russian kleptocracy, who pointed out that Dubinsky, the Ukraine official helping to push this claim, is "not credible" and that he and a fellow Ukraine official who also pushed this claim are "professional disinformers. ... Anybody who’s anybody knows about these two. They are not credible." WND didn't mention that either, which tells us that it (and ZeroHedge) are not among the "anybody who's anybody."
Meanwhile, WND's article remains uncorrected.
There's another claim in the WND article that's false as well: the asserion that the Ukrainian prosecutor Biden wanted fired "was investigating Burisma at the time." In fact, the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was not investigating Burisma or much else at the time, which is why Biden (and other European countries) wanted him fired.
Geoffrey Dickens complained in a Nov. 19 post that "MSNBC has tabbed a Bernie booster (Rachel Maddow) and Joe Biden fan (Andrea Mitchell) to be the lead moderators for Wednesday’s Democratic debate. So it’s a good bet the questions won’t be coming from the right." He then served up "just a few examples of Wednesday night’s debate moderators’ history of liberalism, as culled from the MRC’s archives."
The next day, Nicholas Fondacaro attacked MSNBC's parent network, NBC, for a pre-debate segment of its "What Matters" series that allegedly "seemed to suggest only Democrats cared about the opioid crisis while boosting Senator Bernie Sander’s Medicare for all scheme," going on to huff that the series was "biased" and "only sought out 'What Matters' to Democratic voters. Scott Whitlock followed some hours later by bashing a different "What Matters" segment for purportedly being "yet another PR push for a liberal 2020 candidate" and doing so "shortly before sister network MSNBC debuted a Democratic debate filled with liberal hosts."
As far as the actual debate itself, Whitlock complained:
What was the big concern for the liberal hosts of MSNBC’s Democratic debate on Wednesday night? Dealing with the nasty Republicans and figuring out ways to convince them to support impeachment. The first half hour of the event was full of queries on impeachment, as well as fretting over being mean to Joe Biden’s son, and reminders that the GOP opposed Barack Obama. Rachel Maddow offered what could be the most obvious question for the assembled 2020 candidates.
Rather than focus on issues, she wondered if Senator Elizabeth Warren would lobby her GOP colleagues to remove the President. Not shockingly, Warren said she would!
Impeachment is not a issue these days? That's news to us.
Shortly thereafter, Whitlock whined in a separate post that Maddow -- whom he called "far-left" in the headline, a favorite sloppy label for the MRC -- "unloaded both on the state that hosted the 2020 contenders (Georgia) and also a conservative Democratic Governor for daring to be pro-life."
Even MSNBC's post-debate analysis was attacked, with Curtis Houck in bash mode on people paid to have an opinion for having an opinion (that he didn't approve of). Kyle Drennen followed by attacking other networks' debate coverage, feigning surprise that impeachment would be a topic of discussion and insisting that "it was as if all three network morning shows were reading from the same liberal script" by accurately reporting that impeachment was a debate topic. Drennen didn't tell us whether Fox News mentioned impeachment in its coverage of the debate.
CNS Lazily Reprints Press Release On Roger Stone's Conviction Topic: CNSNews.com
When Trump confidante and sleazy political operative Roger Stone was arrested on various on a warrant from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation earlier this year, CNSNews.com was quick to embrace the bogus conspiracy theory that Mueller tipped off CNN to the arrest so it could have cameras there. Even Mueller himself pointed out this was not true, but CNS never told its readers about it.
Despite that obsession over Stone's arrest, CNS' interest in the case didn't extend to his trial, not even bothering to offer daily coverage of it. And when Stone was found guilty, CNS did the absolute minimum: an anonymously written Nov. 15 article stating that "Political consultant Roger Stone was found guilty today by a jury that convicted him of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to a statement put out by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia," followed by a copy-and-paste job of the entire statement.
No mention of the conspiracy theory it once embraced, no mention of any statement by Stone or his attorneys on the verdict -- just an grudging acceptance that maybe Stone is as terrible as everyone outside the Trump orbit CNS occupies has said, and the ultimate in lazy stenography.
MRC Freaks Out Over Nonbinary Cartoon Character Topic: Media Research Center
We noted earlier this year when the Media Research Center had a freakout when the rebooted cartoon "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" added a character who wasn't heterosexual and another character who had two dads -- as if acknowledging that gay people exist and aren't inherently evil was an insidious "gay agenda." Well, "She-Ra" has continued to refuse to be as heterosexual as the MRC demands so the freakouts have continued.
Alexa Moutevelis complained in an Oct. 30 item that not only is there a nonbinary character on the show, a nonbinary actor is voicing them:
Prepare for trouble! It looks like the new season of Netflix’s kids' show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (coming November 5) will feature “the first nonbinary actor to voice a nonbinary animated character in a recurring series role.” Just what parents have been waiting for!
Netflix’s LGBTQ Instagram account Prism was so excited to make the announcement that they produced a video of performer Jacob Tobia talking about the character. Tobia, who recently wrote a memoir titled Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, said, “I play a character called Double Trouble who is a non-binary, shape-shifting mercenary, so functionally, I’m playing myself.”
Moutevelis complained about the show being "propagandizing" and "indoctrination" -- as if she wasn't doing the exact same thing -- and concluded by ranting, "She-Ra already has featured gay characters and storylines in the past. It looks like season 4 will be more than Double Trouble – parents, beware!"
In season four’s She-Ra, released Nov. 5, the “non-binary” character Double Trouble is really just a shape-shifter like the countless other shape-shifting characters that have existed in past children’s cartoons and world mythology. Calling classic shape-shifters “transgender” is a new trope of the “woke.” For example, in Rick Riordan’s blockbuster mythological children’s book series, Magnus Chase, a shape-shifting demi-god wearing a hijab is now considered a “transgender” Muslim.
Memo to the left: shape-shifters are not real and men and women cannot change their biological sex. If the left gets to stamp “transgender” on every shape-shifting character, then Robin William’s Genie would have to be called gender dysphoric because he morphs into Joan Rivers, among many other impressions, while singing “Prince Ali” in Aladdin.
The only distinction of Double Trouble is that the voice sounds like a campy gay male from Sex and the City. S/he says “darling” a lot and tells one of the princesses “that outfit really isn’t working for you.” The way transgenderism itself is constantly channeling homosexual stereotypes may explain in part the calls by some lesbian and gay activists to separate themselves from the “T” part of their movement.
Ehrhard went on to mock the fact that nonbinary people would like to be addressed by their preferred gender (or nongender, as it were):
Double Trouble says he loves “the thrill of seeding destruction and chaos,” which pretty much encapsulates the entire LGBT movement’s encroachment into pre-pubescent children’s lives. It is very important to transgender activists to confuse children about both grammar and identity. Everybody, including the villain mastermind, refers to Double Trouble as “they” and "them." “Even the most evil person on the planet doesn’t misgender people, because that would be rude,” Tobia said. You can try to destroy the universe and the English language, but don’t you dare “misgender” anybody!
Ehrhard then issued a sexist attack on the show's writing staff for not being sufficiently male:
Much hoopla has been made of the fact that this contemporary She-Ra has an all-female writing team (even though biological sex is supposedly not fixed). That being the case, I am embarrassed for my sex because the show spends an inordinate amount of time having princesses kvetch at each other and argue about their feelings. I am middle-aged and have more patience, but it must be torture for the kids to wait for action in between endless bickering between Princess Glimmer and Adora while other heroes take “me-time.” Is this really what an all-female writing team is supposed to produce for an action cartoon? If so, it might be time to add some testosterone to the mix. That is, if anybody in Hollywood can still acknowledge biological reality at all.
Ehrhard and Moutevelis should perhaps obsess a little less about cartoons.
Mychal Massie's LGBT Derangement Syndrome Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie began his Nov. 4 WorldNetDaily column by quoting from "the [Homosexual] (I refuse to use the appellation 'gay') Manifesto," then declared: "There's no ambiguity in the preceding paragraphs. The words are quoted verbatim from homosexual publications. There's no denying the motivations of the homosexual agenda. The most skilled compurgator would be unable to argue them innocent of my allegations. This is the motivation behind what is taking place today."
Except that it's not a real thing. As writers who do actual research have pointed out, the "Gay Manifesto" actually begins by stating, ""This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor." In other words, it's satire.
But then, Massie has never been one to let the facts get in the way of a good rant, and so he goes on to huff that "It's time to confront the dark objectives driving the homosexual agenda. We must fight to protect and shield our children who are the most vulnerable to this satanic inculcation," then attacking President Obama, "who if we are to believe the allegations that appear to be highly credible based upon names, dates, locals and scenarios regarding his own sexuality." Massie provides no evidence that anyone who made that claim is "highly credible"; in fact, the chief peddler of that claim, Larry Sinclair -- whom Massie has falsely claimed died in a "very suspicious car accident" in 2011; he's actually very much alive -- has no credibility whatsoever.
Massie served up another anti-LGBT rant in his Dec. 2 column, invoking the usual right-wing tropes:
I will never bow before the altar of Baal. It is time we stand up to the alphabet homosexual offal cabals that think they can force and bully their chosen sexual perversions to be accepted as normal. Their arguments for invasion into every facet of culture are not persuasive; they are an insult to sanity.
It's time for the overwhelming majority of people who do not support immorality subverting our culture to stand up and be counted.
We have the right to say no to homosexual predators who prey upon young, impressionable minds by pretending to be what they are not and reading books to children in libraries. It is our right to say no to any attempt to have sodomite preachers infiltrate our church.
Christians and those who refuse to approve a behavior that is being forced upon the people cannot be compelled to comply with abnormal and degenerate behavior. We have alternatives to sending our children to schools where a boy claiming to be a girl can shower with your daughter.
Massie also claimed that Google "prominently displays in searches" a number of "false teachers" who offer a brand of Christianity that fails to hate gays as much as Massie does, asserting that it is "motivated to do so by the "prince of liars" because in so doing it supports the lie people like [Pete] Buttigieg espouse about Scripture."
MRC Has A 'Moderate' Labeling Meltdown Topic: Media Research Center
As we've noted, the Media Research Center loves to sloppily label anything remotely liberal as "far-left" without justification (aside from the fact that from its distorted right-wing vantage point, it probably seems that way). But it gets even more offended when a Democrat is described as anything less than "far-left."
Scott Whitlock complained in a Nov. 8 item (bolding in original):
CBS This Morning on Friday pushed the fantasy that the 2020 Democratic field somehow contains several “moderate” or “centrist” candidates, rather than far-left liberals. It started in the 7am hour when reporter Ed O’Keefe reflected on Michael Bloomberg potentially joining the race: “But recent polling shows Biden is slipping behind Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and moderate Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.”
Moderate? Buttigieg is radically pro-abortion. He’s pro-gun control and wants to pack the Supreme Court in order to protect Roe v. Wade. Where is he “moderate?” Later in the show, correspondent Margaret Brennan cheered the entry of Bloomberg: “He's in some ways, though, splitting possibly a vote with Joe Biden, maybe helping the center, that center moderate Democrat have another voice.”
Biden? The former Vice President and Senator is certainly a liberal. His lifetime American Conservative Union score is 12 and the Democrat has drifted farther left as the years go by.
Whitlock concluded by huffing, "The liberal media want you to believe that a field of far-left Democrats actually has some secret 'centrists.'" There's that gratuitous "far-left" mislabeling again.
So offended was Whitlock by this concept that he even went after Fox News -- who nomrally gets a pass from the MRC no matter how biased it gets -- for doing something similar in a Nov. 19 post (again, bolding in original):
MSNBC and Fox on Monday pushed the idea that Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a moderate. However, the facts simply don’t back this up when it comes to the 2020 presidential candidate. In fact, Fox’s Harris Faulkner even lumped in the radically pro-gun control Michael Bloomberg as another “moderate,” saying: “After months of watching the Democratic Party move farther to the left, moderates are now looking to regain control of the 2020 race. But can two new candidates and Pete Buttigieg's recent rise change anything?”
Faulkner added, “Progressives like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are getting a lot of attention lately. However, moderates could be on the upswing. Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has jumped into the primary, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg potentially is launching a bid, as well.”
Moderate? Buttigieg is radically pro-abortion. He’s pro-gun control and wants to pack the Supreme Court in order to protect Roe v. Wade. Michael Bloomberg was a liberal New York City who is probably best known for his efforts to restrict the Second Amendment. How are any of these people moderate?
Whitlock did it again in a Nov. 25 post: "The three network morning shows on Monday hyped the entry of Michael Bloomberg into the 2020 race as a “moderate” who will take on other “moderates,” Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. They also touted the ex-New York Mayor’s former Republican status. ... In reality, Bloomberg is radially supportive of restricting the Second Amendment and who supports abortion." Nicholas Fondacaro chimed in as well the same day, complaining that one show "falsely labeled [Bloomberg] a 'moderate.'"
Clay Waters joined the narrative in a Nov. 27 post attacking the New York Times for using the M-word:
It’s bad enough that the Times is labeling Buttigieg and Bloomberg moderates, although there is at least the thin excuse that there are no hard-and fast metrics for measuring just how liberal those two former mayors are. But the American Conservative Union has long kept up with the ideological voting records of congressmen, and former Sen. Kerry as of 2004 had earned a lifetime rating of 5.18 out of a possible 100. No “staid moderate,” just a true-blue Massachusetts liberal.
But Waters and Whitlock invoked the ACU voting record, but they didn't explain how, exactly, that score is a reliable indicator of one's place on the ideological spectrum.
Kristine Marsh had a related "moderate" meltdown in a Nov. 18 post:
It seems anyone to the right of Karl Marx is considered a “moderate” in today’s Democrat [sic] party. On ABC's The View Monday, the hosts were discussing a new Iowa poll out this weekend that showed a significant bump for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 race. Co-host Joy Behar claimed he was rising in the polls because he was a “moderate” Democrat, who was “fresh, new and gay” but also in a “traditional” same-sex marriage. What?
The far-left in the media are constantly trying to make radical Democrats appear rational and mainstream. From the very beginning, Buttigieg has advocated far left positions on guns, health care and suggested he supports abortion until birth. Yet the media has consistently downplayed his liberal policies by calling him a “moderate.”
The MRC's complaints about labeling might be taken more seriously if their own labeling of anything remotely to the left of the MRC wasn't so sloppy and out of whack.
The Media Research Center has tried to delegitimize the impeachment hearings by portraying them as boring and poorly rated (as if excitement and good ratings was a measure of justice), so it was inevitable that the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, would push that same narrative. And that's exactly what Susan Jones does in a Nov. 19 CNS article:
Four witnesses will testify in the House intelligence committee's impeachment inquiry today, beginning with Alexander Vindman (member of the National Security Council since 2018) and Jennifer Williams (Vice President Pence's advisor) at 9 a.m.; and Kurt Volker (special envoy to Ukraine) and Tim Morrison (National Security Council official) at 2:30 p.m.
But who will be watching?
It's "boring television," Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Monday night.
Jones did not allow anyone to rebut Biggs' claims or to point out the obvious fact that TV ratings are not a measure of justice. Instead she repeats an attack on impeachment inquiry witness Alex Vindman by claiming that his former supervisor at the National Security Council "had raised concerns about Alex's judgment." That attack, of course, comes directly from the Trump White House.
But Jones never told her readers that Vindman rebutted this claim by reading from a performance evaluation of him by Hill that called him "a top 1% military officer and the best Army officer I have worked with in my 15 years of government service." Or that Hill herself later testified that she never had any issues with Vindman's judgment but, rather, was concerned about how a military man like him would handle the increasingly political direction the Ukraine issue was turning.
Remember: At CNS, reporting the facts doesn't matter -- adhering to the narrative does.
MRC Censors Full Story On ABC's Spiked Jeffrey Epstein Probe Topic: Media Research Center
For the past month or so, the Media Research Center has been obsessing over a bit of media-related news: the "bombshell scoop," as Scott Whitlock termed it, from "investigative journalist" James O'Keefe of a leaked video of an ABC host lamenting that the network killed a story about "convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his network of connections to powerful men, including Bill Clinton," featuring alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre. (The host and ABC itself later issued statements that the reporting at the time didn't meet the network's standards.) So huge was this story at the MRC that it translated Whitlock's post into Spanish.
Over the following weeks, the MRC hasrepeatedlytakenpotshots at ABC, especially after the person who allegedly leaked the video to O'Keefe was apparently subsequently fired from a job at CBS and right-wingers like Megyn Kelly tried to advance the story.
Because this story conveniently fits into the MRC's media-hating narrative, it has censored the fact that there's another side to this story. If you'll recall, Alan Dershowitz, -- who was Epstein's lawyer when he got a sweetheart deal for a short prison sentence -- has vehemently denied allegations by Robert Giuffre that Dershowitz had sex with her while she was underage and doesn't believe that the woman is credible. He served up his encounter with ABC in a Nov. 20 Newsmax column:
In mid-2015, I was sent an email that one of Giuffre’s lawyers had circulated, announcing that an interview with Giuffre would be run on "Good Morning America," the ABC evening news, and "Nightline." I immediately called ABC to inquire whether my name was being mentioned, since she had falsely accused me of having sex with her, even though there was incontrovertible proof that I had never even met her. They said it was not. (To this day, she has not publicly and directly accused me out of court, in order to avoid being held accountable for her defamation.) I asked about Leslie Wexner — who she had also privately accused — and was told that his name was also not mentioned. (Perhaps because her silence about him was being negotiated.) I told the producer that Giuffre had a long history of lying about prominent individuals, including Tipper and Al Gore and Bill Clinton, as well as about other matters, including her age at the time she met Epstein. I also told them about my conversation with Giuffre’s friend Rebecca Boylan, in which she told me about the plan to obtain a billion dollars from Wexner. I told them that these interviews with Giuffre were part of the shakedown plan — that Boylan had told me that Giuffre went on TV in order to send Wexner the following message: See, I have access to the media; this time I didn’t mention you; but next time . . .
The people at ABC said they would look into the matter and I sent them the evidence. I made it clear that I was calling onlyon my own behalf and not on behalf of Epstein. I told the same thing to the NPR reporter when he interviewed me about this episode. But he had an agenda and a story line, and reporting accurately what I told him would undercut his pre-determined narrative. So this is what he falsely reported in a piece entitled “How media fell short on Epstein.”
The NPR reporter described me as Epstein’s lawyer, without disclosing that I explicitly told him that I had called ABC only on my own behalf as someone who had been falsely accused by Giuffre.
Notwithstanding his expressed interest in how I “convinced” ABC not to run the interview, he never mentioned the evidence I provided to ABC and to him proving that Giuffre had a long record of lying. Instead he quoted Julie Brown, a reporter for the Miami Herald, recently telling him, “I [Brown] found [Giuffre] to be very truthful and credible.” But Brown had never told that to ABC, back when they were making their decision. She only told it to the NPR reporter when he was doing his report years later. So her after-the-fact assessment of Giuffre’s alleged credibility was completely irrelevant to ABC’s decision, while my evidence — which I sent to ABC at the time — was highly relevant.
So ABC was right and its critics are wrong.
For all of its obsession with the ABC-Epstein story, the MRC has said nothing about Dershowitz's defense of ABC spiking the story. Strange, since the MRC loved Dershowitz for his defenses of President Trump before his ties to Epstein became more prominent following Epstein's arrest on new sex-trafficking charges and his death in prison.
We have no idea who's telling the truth here, but we know that the MRC is doing a disservice to its readers by hiding the fact that this story is complicated, just because it has a narrative to perpetuate.
CNS Editor's Double Standard On Federal Spending Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey spent his Nov. 20 column lecturing members of Congress that the longtime practice of paying a year's salary to the surviving spouse of a congressmember who dies in office is a waste of money:
The members of Congress who have enacted previous bills that included language directing the Treasury to provide the equivalent of a full year's salary to the spouse of a deceased colleague were not giving that person their own money.
They were giving that person your money — or your children's and your grandchildren's money.
And this, of course, is exactly how the Washington establishment has long shown how compassionate it is: It takes money from one group of people and gives it to another.
Since Congress plans to run annual deficits in every fiscal year for the foreseeable future, this "gift" might alternatively be paid with borrowed money — adding to the $1.1 trillion deficit the Office of Management and Budget had previously estimated the Treasury would run this year.
In that case, the Treasury will issue bonds to secure the cash needed to fund that "gift" and then roll those bonds over and over — unless the federal government actually pays off its debt someday.
Jeffrey, however, is much more cavalier when it comes to spending tax money on causes he approves of -- and he was just two weeks before his lecture to Congress.
Ashe hasbefore, Jeffrey devoted a Nov. 7 article to touting how building a border wall would take up an infintesimal amount of the federal budget, then complaining that Congress isn't funding it to his satisfaction:
The $5,000,000,000 that President Donald Trump has requested Congress appropriate for border-wall construction along the southwestern border in fiscal 2020 equals just 0.1 percent of the $4,745,573,000,000 that the Office of Management and Budget estimates the federal government will spend in total during the fiscal year.
The fiscal 2020 Department of Homeland Security funding bill that the House Appropriations Committee has approved, however, provides $0 for the wall.
The $5,000,000,000 President Trump has requested for construction of the border wall in fiscal 2020 equals 0.1 percent of the $4,745,573,000,000 that the OMB estimates the federal government will spend in total in fiscal 2020.
By contrast, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved and sent to the full Senate a DHS funding bill that says: “$5,000,000,000 is for the construction of pedestrian fending.”
Unlike in his lecture over survivors' payments, Jeffrey did not mention the federal deficit at all or fret that the wall would be paid for with borrowed money. It's as if he has different standards based on things he would like to see money spent on.