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Saturday, February 1, 2020
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center can walk and chew gum at the same time, it seems -- even as it's in full Trump defense mode on impeachment, it hasn't forgotten about hating the LGBT community.

Gabriel Hays complained about the "new, inclusive future" of Marvel Comics with the planned introduction of a transgender superhero, grousing that "apparently trans representation is as much a priority as is portraying African American heroes and strong female characters." He further complained that a brief same-sex kiss in the final "Star Wars" movie was "angering folks who didn’t want a PC lecture," though failing to explain how a kiss equated to a "lecture."

Hays returned to complain that Taylor Swift was receiving an award marking her commitment to LGBTQ issues, whining: "Taylor is less of a hero, and more so just another spoiled celebrity being paraded out by special interest groups in order to condescend to people who are reluctant to join progressive causes. She’s a leftwing android more or less. She promotes all the boilerplate gay lobby crap and bashes Donald Trump supporters as scary racists."

So, is Hays a right-wing android, promoting boilerplate gay-hating crap? Pretty much, given that he went on to rant about the alleged "over-representation of LGBTQ folks in TV/film entertainment" and attacked Swift again as "just another one of the left’s anti-intellectual, propaganda mouthpieces that helps GLAAD bully people into submission." As if Hays isn't trying to bully LGBT advocates into shutting up.

Elise Ehrhard ranted about what she thinks the "LGBT agenda" is:

The LGBT agenda is not about “live and let live.” It is about delegitimizing “heteronormativity” and locking children into sexual “identities.” The days of a girl being free to go through tomboy phases or a boy simply liking pretty, “girly” things at some stage in his childhood is long gone. The LGBT movement insists on projecting their own arrested psycho-sexual development onto all children regardless of the realities of those children’s experiences.

Ehrhard also went on another hate-watching binge, declaring that one show "left me enraged." But the MRC is paying her to hate-watch such shows, so her hateful rage is becoming quite lucrative.

Hays came back again to try and bully another LGBT person into shutting up:

Seemingly benign LGBTQ personality Jonathan Van Ness has devoted recent months to authoring children’s books with not-so-benign themes. The Queer Eye star is doing his part to introduce transgenderism and gender confusion to children with a picture book about a “nonbinary guinea pig.”

It’s about time that Van Ness sashayed away from the spotlight.

Lindsay Kornick grumbled that the "Batwoman" series -- which she has previously attacked for making the titular superhero a lesbian -- "goes the extra mile by 'outing' Batwoman as a lesbian in the universe of the show. Apparently, that’s the latest milestone for the LGBTQ community." She then lectured: "After all, what does Batwoman being a lesbian have to do with her being a superhero? Being gay doesn’t make one any more noble or self-sacrificing, so it hardly constitutes mentioning in a show about being a hero. Sadly, representation and having a progressive image seems to be more important than saving lives in the world of Batwoman."

Ehrhard returned to complain that a TV show about "rural Christian churchgoers" had a scene in which said churchgoers sang "Ave Maria" in a "gay drag bar," leading her to ponder: "But why, exactly, must Christians openly celebrate drag culture in order to love gay or transgender individuals?" She then channeled Glenn Beck by huffing that the scene was "just another example of how far the Overton window has been pushed in American living rooms."

Alexa Moutevelis melted down over how one TV show "had it's 12-year-old characters share their first kiss - a gay kiss," ranting that "For reasons I can't even begin to fathom, ABC insists on pushing the homosexual agenda on children, taking it further and further with each episode."

Kornick devoted another post to her hate-watching of "Batwoman," this time complaining that the show has been "forced to introduce a homophobic police force to pretend having a lesbian lead really matters," retorting that "Considering one can hardly refuse to serve gay wedding cakes in this day and age anymore, I think the progressives doth protest too much."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EST
WND Still Pretending Criminal Ex-Congressman Stockman Is A Victim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, it seems, just can't quit its favorite felonious ex-congressman, Steve Stockman. Rachel Alexander, the WND columnist who has been obsessively spinning the tale that Stockman's conviction on multiple fraud charges was a Deep State conspiracy was at it again in a Jan. 20 column that begins: "If you raise money for a nonprofit, but don't finish all of the projects you were raising it for, you could go to prison for 10 years. This is no exaggeration."

Given that Stockman was convicted on charges that he spent money earmarked to establish a center for conservative interns in Washington instead on things like spying on political rival and going on dolphin boat rides, that is very much an exaggeration.

Alexander spun anyway, claiming again that Stockman is a "very outspoken conservative congressman who appears to have been targeted by the left through the legal system" and insisting that said diverted money were actually a salary he was being paid from nonprofits that he ran and "how he spent his salary was his own business." She went on to huff that "Stockman was convicted of merely process crimes, which are meant to pile on, and crimes that normally are handled civilly by correcting a filing," concluding:

Stockman has an impeccable background with no criminal convictions until now. The Department of Justice is out of control, and it's unfortunate President Donald Trump has not been able to clean it up yet. Left-wing prosecutors targeted and overly prosecuted Stockman to send a message to outspoken conservative elected officials: Back down or you will pay. Convicted murderers have served less than 10 years in prison. Let's hope wiser heads at the U.S. Supreme Court agree to take this case. Alternatively, Trump needs to pardon Stockman.

Making a case for Trump to pardon Stockman is the ultimate goal of all this, which WND has lobbied for previously.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EST
Friday, January 31, 2020
MRC Deflects From Dershowitz's Ties To Jeffrey Epstein
Topic: Media Research Center

When the Jeffrey Epstein story broke anew last summer, the Media Research Center didn't want to talk about the convicted pedophile's links to its favorite legalistic Trump defender, attorney Alan Dershowitz. After laying low for a while when one of Epstein's underage victims accused Dershowitz of inappropriate behavior with her, Dershowitz is suddenly high profile again after becoming part of President Trump's legal team on impeachment matters. And after near complete radio silence from the MRC on the issue, the MRC has become annoyed that people are bringing up Dershowitz's ties to Epstein.

In a Jan. 21 post, Kristine Marsh complained that "The View" co-host pointed out that Dershowitz "defended Epstein," which makes it "seems like there's something very gross about all these people that they have something to hide." Marsh then complained that Behar wouldn't fall for a Republican-friendly attempt at deflection: "After co-host Meghan McCain pointed out that President Clinton had a relationship with Epstein as well, Behar dismissed that point as not relevant because he wasn’t the one getting impeached 'right now.'"

The same day, Alex Christy expressed displeasure that CNN analyst Elie Honig discussed "controversial" members of Trump's defense team like Dershowitz, offering up his own "so what" defense: "Honig declared, 'He's been involved in high-profile cases he’s defended from O.J. Simpson to more recently Jeffrey Epstein.' So? Even the worst people are entitled to defense counsel. Honig went on to cite the Epstein-related sexual assault allegations against Dershowitz, that Dershowitz has denied."

Is Christy putting Trump on his list of "worst people" entitled to a legal defense? He doesn't make that clear.

Gabriel Hays then complained that Samantha Bee highlighted "Dershowitz’s friendship with billionaire and alleged suicide victim Jeffrey Epstein, saying, 'In Dershowitz’s defense, it’s not like he was close friends with notorious pedophile and didn’t-kill-himself-er Jeffrey Epstein. Oh no, I’m sorry, he totally was.' Boom, roasted, right?"

Hays then immediately went into whataboutism mode: "But isn’t the source of much of her rage the fact that Trump beat her own preferred rapist protector in the 2016 election? I mean, regardless of any of these men’s charges, Samantha’s Hillary Clinton support shows that she supports the same kind of person."

It seems the MRC is still a bit uncomforable with the fact that Dershowitz is basically the same kind of "sleazy porn lawyer" it normally hates.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EST
CNS Offers Same-Day Service On Another GOP Talking Point Du Jour

As we've documented, President Trump and Republicans can count on to not only promote their talking point du jour but to repeat it as often as needed -- even multiple articles on the same day. And they've done it again.

When House Leader Nancy Pelosi signed the articles of impeachment against Trump for delivery to the Senate, Republicans worked up some outrage because she used commemorative pens to do so -- even though commemorative pens are a Washington staple for signing legislation and other important documents. (Senators got commemorative pens at President Clinton's impeachment trial, which seemed to have gone unnoticed by Republicans.)

But outrage must be manufactured, and CNS was all to happy to manufacture it with a pair of Jan. 16 articles. At 11:27 a.m., Melanie Arter wrote under the headline "Conway: Pelosi Celebrating with Fist Bumps, High Fives and ‘Commemorative Pens’":

While the Democrats are gearing up to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate and celebrating the president’s impeachment, President Donald Trump is talking about the trade deal with China and the Dow Jones Average hitting 20,000 for the first time in history, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told Fox News on Thursday.

“The president is still talking about the monumental trade deal with China yesterday. The Dow Jones getting past 20,000, and making history in that way. Yesterday indeed was historic, but for a different reason than Pelosi's fist bumps and high fives and commemorative pens. They acted like a bunch of southpaws getting major league baseball contracts,” Conway said in an interview with “America’s Newsroom.”

A mere six minutes later, at 112:33 a.m., Craig Bannister deliver a blog post under the headline "McConnell: Pelosi Handed Out ‘Golden Pens on Silver Platters, Souvenir to Celebrate’ Impeachment":

“The House’s hour is over,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Thursday in a floor speech slamming Democrats for putting on a “partisan performance” celebrating the signing of articles of impeachment by handing out souvenirs and posing for smiling photos.

In a contrived signing ceremony Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed the articles of impeachment, one letter at a time, using golden pens delivered to her on a silver platter – which she handed out as souvenirs, McConnell said:


In all, Pelosi gave out more than two dozen pens she used to sign the articles of impeachment.

Neither Arter nor Bannister mentioned the relevant fact that there were commemorative pens at Clinton's impeachment. then again, relevant facts are not what Trump and Republicans want from CNS right now.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EST
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Mysterious MRC Sports Blogger Goes On An Obama-Derangement Rant
Topic: Media Research Center

Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson is taking a break from his typical Colin Kaepernick derangement to engage in some old-school Obama derangement. Maxson used a Jan. 16 post to complain that Nike donated $5 million to help build a public health facility that will operate with the Obama presidential library in Chicago.

Of course, the headline on Maxson's piece says something different: "Hope and $5 Million in Change: Nike Donation Supports Obama's Chicago Library." Maxson's headline falsely suggests that the money is going to the library itself and something political. Maxson then declared that "The Obama donation is another statement by Nike reinforcing its far-left progressivism."

Yes, Maxson really thinks Obama was "far-left" -- though it might look that way to anyone as far right as Maxson and his MRC colleagues.

But Maxson is more interested in putting hateful opinion before fact. He/she sneered that the library and athletic facility is an "idealistic creation" and is designed "for the Obamas to glorify the people they admire most -- themselves." Maxson forwarded speculation about construction, wondering "if the plans ever move beyond the blueprints and gloating over a report that fundraising to build the library has been a challenge, huffing: "Perhaps if the Obama presidential legacy included more meat than basketball, the donation dollars would be rolling in fast and furious by now."

Maxson managed to work in one more golden-oldie potshot at the former president: "So far, there's a whole lot more symbolism than fresh concrete on Chicago's South Side. In fact, the inaction of donors are not exactly a vote of confidence for the former president. And if Barack Obama said, 'You didn't build that,' this time he'd be correct."

The fact that Maxson was making a eight-year-old reference doesn't mean it wasn't taken out of context, as the MRC has loved to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 PM EST
CNS Give Another Campaign Ad Disguised As 'News' To GOP Candidate

Last July, basically ran a campaign ad for a Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Now it's doing one for a GOP challenger to another Democratic congresswoman it dislikes.

A Jan. 17 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough sings the praises of a Republican running against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and takes potshots at the incumbent:

Making waves on social media on Thursday: An Iraqi-American, Muslim, former refugee, and supporter of President Trump has launched a campaign to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in November.

Dalia al-Aqidi, whose three-decade journalism career includes a stint as White House correspondent for the U.S.-government-funded Alhurra satellite network, posted online an announcement video introducing herself, and explaining her decision to take on Omar, who has frequently courted controversy since entering Congress in January 2018.

“We might seem nearly alike – both Muslims, both women, both refugees. But we couldn’t be further apart,” Aqidi says. “She spends her time in Congress sowing seeds of division, actively supporting our enemies.”


On her Twitter account profile (28,500 followers as of Thursday), 51-year-old Aqidi describes herself as “Refugee, Muslim, Journalist.”

On her Twitter profile, Omar (1.8 million followers), 37-year-old Omar describes herself as “Mom, Refugee, Intersectional Feminist.”

This being CNS, Goodenough omitted certain inconvenient facts that journalists closer to the district have uncovered. Perhaps the most salient of those is that Aqidi had lived in Omar's district for a mere three months before announcing her candidacy for her seat. There are also six other candidates vying for the Republican nomination to run against Omar, none of whom rated a mention in Goodenough's article.

Finally, there's the very inconvenient fact of the makeup of Omar's district: "Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District is overwhelmingly Democratic, and elected the freshman congresswoman in a landslide in 2018. Although Omar has become a national media lightning rod, recent polls suggest she has little to fear from competition at home."

That all seems like important information for readers. But Goodenough, unfortunately, is more interested in making a campaign ad than doing journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 AM EST
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
MRC Hypocritically Cheers Republican Senator's 'Liberal Hack' Attack on Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember when the Media Research Center had a hissy fit every time Nancy Pelosi called out right-wing Sinclair and ex-Fox News reporter James Rosen for his bias, making sure to rush to his defense while never actually disputing Rosen's bias? Well, you will not be surprise that when a Republican politician attacked a reporter by calling her a "liberal hack," the MRC took that as an article of faith and piled on.

Though the MRC claimed that Pelosi's "anger flared" and was "lashing out" at Rosen, writer Kristine Marsh declared that Republican Sen. Martha McSally was merely being "snarky" when she called CNN's Manu Raju a "liberal hack" and was upset that one commentator said McSally "lashed out." Then she complained that "Raju’s pearl-clutching colleagues at CNN and other liberal outlets were quick to defend the reporter through tweets and statements on social media." She failed to mention her MRC colleagues' pearl-clutching in defense of Rosen.

Curtis Houck, meanwhile, mocked the response to McSally's attack as "#FirstWorldProblems for the liberal media," then played some very selective whataboutism by claiming that CNN's Wolf Blitzer "offered no such outrage when, in February 2019, Raju was told off by far-left Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN)." Houck didn't mention that plenty of CNN personalities did criticize Omar. Houck followed that by touting a "supercut of all the outrage" over McSally's attack on CNN, also playing the selective Ilhan Omar whataboutism card: "Almost a year ago, when leftist Rep. Ilhan Omar was rude to Raju and refused to answer his questions, [CNN media reporter Brian] Stelter's newsletter had.....nothing."

Marsh followed up with a post proudly declaring that McSally "humiliated" Raju, and that complaints about it showed "how reporters have the thinnest skin possible." Showcasing how whataboutism is the order of the day at the MRC, Marsh responsed to a Washington Post reporter's complaint that McSally was fund-raising off herinsult by retorting, "Funny, I haven’t seen The Post complain about various Democrat politicians fundraising over their “viral” moments, such as Nancy Pelosi selling merchandise on her moment attacking a right-leaning reporter." At no point did Marsh criticize McSally for her fund-raising. Then she repeated the MRC talking point du jour that "Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar was rude to this same CNN reporter last year and the media couldn’t have cared less."

Gabriel Hays complained that one commentator was "taking cheap shots at Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) for calling a CNN liberal hack a 'liberal hack,'" but he offered no evidence proving Raju is, in fact, a "liberal hack." Aiden Jackson promoted a Fox News appearance by McSally defending her attack on Raju, adding the editorial comment that "Americans are experiencing fatigue over the double standard that is constantly on display in the liberal press." She too failed to offer evidence of Raju's purported bias.

Alex Christy grumbled that a CNN repoter "continued CNN's feud with Arizona Senator Martha McSally" (failing to mention that McSally started it) and that he "condemned her for "immediately attempting to fund-raise off of it," as if CNN hasn't also tried to spin this event for their own purposes, in ways they would never do so if it was a Democrat."

Nicholas Fondacaro showed why he may be rivaling Brent Bozell for the biggest jerk at the MRC by engaging in unprofessional name-calling, attacking CNN's Chris Cuomo as "Fredo " for daring to criticize McSally, whining that "Fredo called a historic combat veteran a “punk,” meanwhile he had never served a day in his life." (How many days of military service has Fondacaro served?) Fondacaro concluded by sneering, "That was not news. This is CNN." We doubt that Fondacaro has ever typed the words, "That was not news. This is Fox News."

Finally, Clay Waters groused that the New York Times had a double standard about how it treated the McSally-Raju story comparted to the Pelosi-Rosen story -- as if he and his employer don't have one -- and rushed to Rosen's defense and complaining that his employer has been "tarred by the Times as irresponsible and conservative," though he did not dispute the accuracy of that assessment.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 3:00 PM EST
CNS Pumps Up Outlier Poll On Trump's Popularity

Craig Bannister spun in a Jan. 16 blog post:

On Thursday - the day after Democrats delivered impeachment articles to the Senate - Donald Trump’s Presidential Approval Index rating turned positive for the first time in nine months, Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Presidential Tracking Poll results show.

Trump’s +1 rating in Rasmussen’s Presidential Approval Index reflects 40% of likely U.S. who said they “strongly approve” of the job Pres. Trump is doing and 39% who “strongly disapprove.”

Overall, Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters either “somewhat” or “strongly” approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 47% somewhat or strongly disapprove.

Not since December 5, 2019 – the day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Democrats would formally proceed with impeachment – have so few voters disapproved of Trump’s performance.

Bannister won't tell you, however, that Rasmussen Reports is an outlier poll that always skews Republican. According to FiveThirtyEight's polling aggregate, on the day Bannister's article was published, Trump's was at a 42.4% approval and 52.9% disapproval. Further, FiveThirtyEight gives the Rasmussen poll only a C+ rating and found that its mean-reverted bias is 1.5% toward the Republians.

Also, note Bannister's phrasing in claiming that "so few voters disapproved of Trump’s performance." Even taking into mind Rasmussen's highly skewed polling, that's still 47 percent -- not exactly "few."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 AM EST
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
MRC Demands That Conservative Trolls Be Praised
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock complained in a Jan. 14 item (boldface in original):

Apparently, cynicism is warranted for congressional leaders. Well, some of the time anyway. Nancy Pelosi fan Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday scoffed and laughed at Kevin McCarthy as the House Minority Leader suggested that Pelosi’s delaying of impeachment articles is nothing more than a transparent attempt at helping Joe Biden. 

Mitchell contemptuously explained, “The House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, kind of trolling, created some problems this morning — or tried to create some problems this morning —  by suggesting that maybe Joe Biden should suspend his campaign in fairness to his Senate colleagues.”

So, Kevin McCarthy is a troll now? Mitchell certainly doesn’t use that kind of language about Pelosi.

Whitlock seems a bit put out that trolling gets criticized -- at least when those trolls advance the MRC's agenda. Indeed, it was just a year ago that Whitlock's MRC colleague Curtis Houck gushed over how President Trump unleashed "a trollish tweet for the ages that united people across the right side of the aisle against the media for a day-long dunk squad session" by attacking CNN's Jim Acosta (a frequent target of Houck's CNN Derangement Syndrome).

Whitlock also failed to name any examples of trolling by Pelosi along the lines of anything McCarthy has said. Instead, he complained that "Mitchell rarely shows such skepticism about Pelosi’s motives. In December, she 'attested' to the 'deep faith' of the House Speaker." Who was being trolled in that Pelosi claim? Whitlock doesn't say, nor did he explain wh Pelosi must be challenged about the sincerity of her religious faith.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EST
Compare and Contrast: CNS' Jones Shows Her Right-Wing Reporting Bias
Topic: reporter Susan Jones is filled with hate and bias toward those who don't share her right-wing ideology, and that shows through every time she reports on political figures. Let's compare and contrast, shall we?

A Jan. 13 article by Jones highlighted Nancy Pelosi's statement that no matter what happens in the Senate, President Trump is "impeached forever." Jones proceeded to read Pelosi's mind, declaring that after several paragraphs in which Pelosi "explained her delay" in sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate focusing on the need for witnesses in the Senate trial, then declared that "Pelosi thus indicated that she's been playing political games with the month-long delay. Jones didn't indicate how a need for witnesses equated to "political games."

Jones pushed a related point later in the article, stating that "Pelosi also repeated her assertion that by failing to subpoena witnesses -- witnesses the House didn't bother waiting for -- McConnell and Senate Republicans will be staging an unfair trial."

Jones cranked up the condesension in a Jan. 15 article in which she framed Pelosi's announcement of the impeachment managers around her quoting "famous men" in doing so:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, invoking Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, and even the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, announced on Wednesday that "this is a very important day for us."

She named seven impeachment managers -- all of them litigators, she noted -- including intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). More on the seven managers in a moment.

At the top of her news conference, Pelosi aimed to explain why impeachment -- once so urgent, then not so urgent as she withheld the articles for almost a month -- is necessary and historic.

She emphasized the "importance of time," and she repeated something she said on Sunday, that Trump's impeachment "will last forever." (He's forever stained, in other words, regardless of what the Senate does.)

The last paragraph of her article was devoted to repeating a GOP talking point, that Pelosi was "pressuring the Republican-led Senate to call the witnesses and subpoena the documents that the House committees decided not to wait for."

By contrast, articles from Jones about Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy talking about impeachment have no such condescension or bias.

A Jan. 13 article uncritically repeated McCarthy's evidence-free claim that "Pelosi delayed the Senate trial to impede the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders." Jones showed no skepticism about McCarthy's claim, nor did she demand substantion.

In an article the next day, Jones went further into stenography mode, repeating McCarthy's claim that "Pelosi gained "nothing" by withholding the articles for almost one month, after claiming such urgency to get them passed," failing to mention that McCarthy's complaint files against how Republicans have frequently complained that Democrats were moving too fast on impeachment.

Jones also promoted McCarthy's concern trolling that Joe Biden "make a pledge not to campaign when Bernie Sanders cannot" because he must attend the Senate impeachment trial, though she did include a response from Demmocratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries that "We will not take political advice from Kevin McCarthy," albeit not until the 10th paragraph.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EST
Monday, January 27, 2020
Another Purportedly Non-Biased Group Gets Space At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

NewsBusters published a Jan. 13 post by James D. Agresti that seems designed to fit the Media Research Center's media-bashing narrative:

NBC News reporter and political director Chuck Todd recently railed against “misinformation” and singled out President Trump and “the right” for having an “incentive structure” to spread it. Todd, who according to NBC, “is responsible for all aspects of the network’s political coverage,” also stated that Republicans criticize the media for “sport” and “the loudest chanters of fake news” are “the ones who, under a lie detector, would probably take our word over any word they’ve heard from the other side on whether something was poisonous or not.”

Speaking directly to those unsupported claims, a scientific survey commissioned by Just Facts shows that many people are indeed misinformed—but contrary to Todd—this is a bipartisan affair. In fact, the survey found that the most commonly believed misinformation accords with left-leaning narratives spread by the press, and Democrat voters are more likely to accept these falsehoods than Trump voters. Furthermore, sizable portions of Trump voters have swallowed some of these media-promoted liberal fictions, as well as some conservative ones.

A good number of the questions in the survey seem designed to push a conservative narrative, particularly regarding taxes and school choice and energy (though it does conceded that "the earth has become measurably warmer since the 1980s." Indeed, Just Facts' front page seems to reflect a conservative mindset; one article pushed the right-wing narrative that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate than native Americans despite the data being questionable at best.

Despite that -- and the fact that this article is published at an indisputably conservative outlet, where Agresti has published previous items -- Just Facts insists on presenting itself as non-biased. Agresti has even written a lengthy attack on the Media Bias Fact Check website for daring to suggest that it has a conservative bias, attacking the website's reasoning as "flagrant and simplistic" and accusing it of being "either inept and/or dishonest."

It seems that, like another purportedly unbiased group the MRC has given space to, AllSides, Just Facts is a  stealth conservative organization, cloaking its agenda in "science." Ask yourself this question: If they weren't, would the MRC be allowing them to write for it?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EST
WND Repeats 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore complained in a Jan. 20 WorldNetDaily article:

At a black Baptist church Sunday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., former Vice President Joe Biden repeated the false claim that President Trump referred to neo-Nazis as "very fine people" then linked the president to the Ku Klux Klan.


Biden repeated the claim that Trump had in mind neo-Nazis and white supremacists when he said there were "very fine people on both sides" of the debate. In fact, Trump immediately made it clear he was talking about people who wanted to maintain statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate figures, not "the neo-Nazis and white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally."

As we detailed when WND columnist Michael Brown similarly complained about the "Charlotteville Lie," the group that was protesting the removal of the Confederate statue and Robert E. Lee park renaming was a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr. That means the folks protesting the removal of the statues were not "very fine people."

Like a lot of other conspiracy theories, the "Charlottesville lie" lie will not die at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 AM EST
Sunday, January 26, 2020
MRC's Graham Defends Trump Shutting Down Press Briefings
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham devoted a Jan. 12 post to complaining that CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brtian Stelter featured "a letter posted on by 13 former press secretaries -- nine of them with Clinton or Obama, and three of them paid CNN analysts -- demanding regular briefings at the White House, State Department, and Pentagon." Because CNN derangement is an MRC go-to, Graham immediately sneered, "It felt like another CNN ploy to get some Jim Acosta screaming on the air." He then huffed:

[Former Obama spokesman John] Kirby tried to make this sound like reporters add a beautiful polish of coherence to public policy -- instead of screaming and yelling and throwing tantrums. "The American people have a right to know that the kind of decisions made by their elected leaders have been informed by context and deeper understanding."

Stelter yelled at [deputy press secretary] Gidley instead of considering the argument that the press can sound more like hecklers than the forces of "context and deeper understanding."

Needless to say, Graham is being utterly hypocritical. He and the MRC had no problem with reporters heckling the president when that president was a Democrat and the reporter was a partisan conservative named Neil Munro.

Graham also seems to not have noticed that his fit of Acosta Derangement Sydrome can be turned on its head: The White House is afraid to give Acosta (or any other legitimate reporter) a platform to ask questions of the White House lest they make Trump and Co. look bad.

That's the problem with Graham's commentaries, since they are steeped in partisan politics and devoid of journalistic knowledge: They can always be turned around on him, and he'll alwayd look like a hypocrite in making them.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EST
CNS Hides The Fact That Defense Secretary Saw No Imminent Threat From Iran
Topic: likes to selectively report on interviews by President Trump's allies, writing around inconvenient revelations or criticism to focus on the Repubican talking point du jour. This happened again in a Jan. 13 CNS article that begins this way:

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday defended President Trump's targeted strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

"We are safer today than we were just a few weeks ago. Why? Because we took out the world's foremost terrorist leader, Qassem Soleimani, who had the blood of hundreds of American dead service members on his hands," Esper told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"Secondly, we restored deterrence with Iran without any United States casualties. And, third, we reassured our partners -- partners and allies in the region that we will stand up and defend our interests."

Jones and CNS dedicated no other article to Esper's interview. Which means that Jones was writing around its big revelation, that Esper admitted he didn't see any evidence of what Trump portray as an imminent threat from Soleimani to attack as many as four U.S. embassies.

But CNS couldn't ignore that important information, though. So it was buried in other articles:

  • Another article by Jones waited until the 18th paragraph to note that "Even Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday he didn't see evidence of a specific threat against four U.S. embassies."
  • An article by Patrick Goodenough waited until the 12th paragraph to report that "Defense Secretary Mark Esper made headlines Sunday when he told CBS’s 'Face the Nation' that he had not seen specific evidence 'with regard to four embassies' being under threat of attack, as Trump stated on Friday."

This is bad journalism. If a mainstream media outlet did this sort of distortion, selective reporting and burying the lead, CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be going on the attack.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
Saturday, January 25, 2020
An MRC Tweet Asks A Very Dumb Question
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's penchant for really dumb tweets seems to have trickled down into his Media Research Center at large. On Jan. 15, the MRC's NewsBusters account tweeted: "If 'impeachment lasts forever,' why did it oh so very rarely come up when the Clintons were running for president in 2016?" with an animated GIF of Bill and Hillary Clinton?

As numerous commenters pointed out, Hillary Clinton was running for president, not Bill. Hillary wasn't impeached, and despite what the MRC seems to thin, Bill's impeachment did not magically transfer to her.

Further, the MRC's argument that impeachment should last forever collides with a narrative pushed by another MRC division: A Jan. 22 article favorably quoted Alan Dershowitz declaring that if the Senate votes to acquit President Trump, his impeachment will "disappear."

Surprisingly, this tweet is still live as of this writing -- the MRC is apparently not embarassed by the post's utter failure of logic to delete it.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EST

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