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Thursday, February 13, 2020
MRC's Right-Wing Propagandists Upset Right-Wing Propaganda Is Pointed Out
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro began a Feb. 2 post this way:

In exercising projection, CNN’s so-called “Reliable Sources” sought to decry President Trump’s “imperial presidency” on Sunday by emphasizing how there was no such thing as “right-wing media” vs. “liberal-media,” but, in fact, it was a “propaganda apparatus” vs. a “media apparatus.” 

So weird that Fondacaro sounded so much like a projecting right-wing propagandist appalled that his propaganda was being pointed out for what it was. And his right-wing propaganda continued as he sneeringly called "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter a "media janitor":

Meanwhile, back here, in reality, the Department of Justice inspector general found that FBI investigators in the Russia probe had lied to the FISA court to get warrants to spy on Trump campaign aide. And, as a recent Media Research Center study found, the evening network newscasts were stacking the deck against the President’s legal team.

Fondacaro is referring to this "study," which like all so-called MRC studies stacks the deck against the media outlets it criticizes by cherry-picking the coverage using an exceedingly narrow methodology to make its targets' coverage look as biased as possible, then refusing to make its data public so the rest of us can judge its accuracy.

Meanwhile, Fondaaro stayed in propaganda mode, further sneering that CNN guest Sam Donaldson was "irrelevant " and a "washed-up journalist" who offered "cheesy advice for young journalists" that was purportedly "accented by a head turn and a smile."

By the way, Fondacaro never denied that his employer and fellow travelers in the right-wing media offer propaganda; instead, he took the whataboutism route, attacking CNN for having random guest who criticized Trump. For propaganda, it was pretty lame.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EST
CNS Remains Mum About Dershowitz's Epstein Ties
Topic:, like its Media Research Center parent, has endeavored to hide the ties betwen Alan Dershowitz, its favorite allegedly liberal Trump defender, and Jeffrey Epstein, the notorious pedophile whom Dershowitz represented in getting a sweetheart deal that resulted in only a short prison sentence for his crimes.Dershowitz has also been accused by one of Epstein's victims of sexual improprieties, which he has denied.

With Dershowitz's return to prominence as part of Trump's defense team at his Senate impeachment trial, CNS is even more reluctant to talk about it than the MRC is.

A Jan. 21 article by Susan Jones touted the Fox News appearance of Triump's lawyers, including Dershowitz, who was quoted forwarding the argument that you don't judge a president "by looking into the depths of his mind and trying to figure out whether somewhere in the back of his mind he was trying to get some advantage to his electability." Jones also uncritically repeated Trump's claim that "there's a lot of talk" that then-Vice President Joe Biden "stopped the prosecution" of Biden's son and the Ukrainian company he worked for by getting the prosecutor fired without mentioning the important fact that the prosecutor was actually fired for not investigating corruption.

That was followed by a Jan. 22 article by Craig Bannister touting another Fox News appearance by Dershowitz, in which he insisted that if  Trump is acquitted, "the impeachment disappears."

When the president's defense team swung into action at the trial, CNS was giving them copious space, including four -- count 'em! -- articles dedicated to Dershowitz's arguments:

As perusual, none of these articles mention Dershowitz's links to a convicted pedophile, even though CNS has a eye for detail when it wants, such as telling us (twice!) what dating app Pete Buttigieg met his husband on.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:46 AM EST
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
MRC Bogus Study Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center added to its litany of bogus studies on impeachment coverage with a Jan. 29 piece by Nicholas Fondacaro:

Before the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump was gaveled into session, Chief Justice John Roberts presided over a swearing-in ceremony where all 100 senators pledged to be impartial jurors. The liberal media zeroed in on that pledge and decried Senate Republicans who seemed to be siding with the President.

But a Media Research Center study of broadcast evening news coverage of the opening arguments of both sides, found ABC, CBS, and NBC did not live up to the standard they demanded of Republicans. They gave Democrats double the airtime and showered their arguments with mostly praise, while expressing only criticism of the President’s legal team.

As usual, the MRC's exceedingly narrow methodology is at play here: examining only neetwork evening news, and then only a tiny sliver of that with "evaluative statements," and the complete exclusion of neural coverage and the refusal to make its data public so the rest of us can judge how biased the "study" is.

Curiously, Fondacaro didn't disclose the methodology in his piece. Instead, he seemed to be more interested in serving as a member of Trump's defense team:

The networks would roundly tear down the arguments Trump’s legal team was making despite the evidence they would present. When Trump lawyer Michael Purpura argued with evidence that the President was long interested in burden-sharing when it came to Ukraine’s defense, CBS chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes tried to shoot it down by saying, “Those claims run counter to witness testimony.” A common assertion by the networks.

Fondacaro offered no evidence to rebut Cordes' statement that defense lawyers' arguments "run counter to witness testimony."

Fondacaro further complained that "With the liberal media’s demand that Republicans be impartial in hearing the case, it was clearly more of a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ suggestion." He failed to note how his employer's "news" division,, offered even more biased coverage of impeachment trial arguments.

But CBS complained to the MRC about the study, and the MRC's response dismissing it in a editor's note at the bottom of the piece, showed just how narrow and ideologically driven its methodology is:

A spokesman for CBS News contacted NewsBusters to insist that the minutes-and-seconds count for CBS did not mention CBS had the only interview with a group of Trump-defending House members.

The study was about the relative coverage of the two Senate presentations -- one by the House managers, one by Trump's legal team. The numbers are therefore accurate, and this is explained in the article. As NewsBusters readers were already informed by Nicholas Fondacaro, anchor Norah O'Donnell interviewed the four GOP House members (not legal team), but she also interviewed four Democrat House managers. That's not included in the CBS count either, since it aired prior to the study period.

Funny how anything that might have made CBS look less biased is conveniently excluded from the MRC's study. It's almost as if the methodology was drawn up to reach a pre-determined conclusion in order to fit an agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, October 8, 2020 10:23 PM EDT
WND Promotes Poll That Wildly Inflates Black Suport For Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer gushed in a Jan. 31 article:

A new Rasmussen poll shows black voter support for President Trump has doubled in the last year to an astonishing 42%.

In November, polls by both Rasmussen and Emerson showed Trump had a remarkable 34% approval rating among black voters, compared to the 8% he received from blacks in the 2016 election.

Actual journalists, meanwhile, report something WND won't tell you: that the Rasmussen number has nothing to do with reality. The Washington Post explains:

Blacks have been the most solidly Democratic demographic bloc for decades. Polls show that Republican presidential candidates rarely get more than 10 percent of their votes. Trump did not break that pattern in 2016, with estimates of his black support ranging between 6 percent and 8 percent.

Republicans know that these abysmal figures constitute a huge head wind against any chance for Trump’s reelection. Blacks compose significant shares of the voting population in the key swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Even Wisconsin’s small black population could be decisive given how finely balanced that state is.


As a result, many Trump backers have seized on anecdotal or cherry-picked evidence to show such a surge is happening. They note that some polls show Trump’s job approval rating among blacks to be as high as 34 percent, while contend Trump’s support from high-profile blacks such as Kanye West is helping him make inroads. A new book — “Coming Home: How Black Americans Will Re-Elect Trump” — making the conservative rounds argues that Trump received 21 percent of the black vote in Pennsylvania in 2016, and that he will receive 15 percent to 20 percent of that vote in 2020. Conservatives desperately want to believe this is true, and thus all too credulously accept these claims as fact.

Here’s what the facts really show: Trump’s job approval rating among blacks averages a mere 13.3 percent in three of the most recent polls that release breakdowns by race. Trump received an average of only 9 percent of the black vote against Joe Biden in surveys in four key swing states conducted by the New York Times and Siena College in November. And a recent Washington Post/Ipsos poll of blacks found Trump’s position to be even worse. This poll is the only recent public poll that interviewed only black voters, and thus has a lower margin of error for them than the other polls mentioned above. It foundTrump had only a 7 percent job approval rating and gave him only 4 percent of the vote against Biden.

And another Post article pointed out: "More than 8 in 10 black Americans say they believe Trump is a racist and that he has made racism a bigger problem in the country. Nine in 10 disapprove of his job performance overall."

The Rasmussen poll is off in fantasy land -- but then, that's where WND is too.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 1:59 AM EST
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Ratings Game
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center and its "news" division pushed the dubious spin that Trump impeachment proceedings were illegitimate because they didn't get as high of TV ratings as, say, the O.J. Simpson trial. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:52 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Ignores Millions Watching On TV To Claim Basketball Game Outdrew Impeachment Trial

The Media Research Center has pushed the narrative that the impeachment process against President Trump is illegitimate because it hasn't generated the TV ratings of, say, the O.J. Simpson trial -- a narrative that was echoed by its "news" division, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey tried to take that further, but only ended up with possibly the dumbest take on this narrative.

"High School Basketball Game Outdraws Senate Impeachment Trial" was the headline on Jeffrey's Jan. 31 "news" article -- this was labeled as Washington "news" and not opinion -- and, yes, that's the take he's going with:

The varsity basketball game between the Gonzaga Eagles and the Good Counsel Falcons that was played in the Gonzaga gym—about a one-mile walk from the U.S. Capitol--drew a larger crowd on Thursday evening than the Senate impeachment trial did.

That was the case even though the Gonzaga-Good Counsel game drew a modest crowd--as Gonzaga won 79-55.

According to Gonzaga Athletic Director Joe Reyda, there was a crowd of about 200 at the varsity basketball match that started at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

A count of the people in the Senate galleries, taken between 7:46 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. by this writer, indicated there was a total of approximately 131 people in the galleries at that time.

This included Capitol staff and security personnel as well as reporters and visitors.

Jeffrey was silent about the utterly obvious that that the impeachment trial was broadcast live on TV across the country, meaning that one did not need to travel to Washington and go through however many levels of security to sit in the Senate chamber and watch the trial in person.And he's certainly not going to mention the fact that the first day of the trial drew 11 million viewers, more than has ever watched a single high school basketball game. Viewership may have declined an the trial went on, but the audience was still in the millions and still towered over the basketball crowd.

By contrast, the basketball game in question was not broadcast on national TV and was almost assuredly not broadcast on TV even in the Washington, D.C., area where these schools (as well as Jeffrey) were located, meaning the gym was the only place one could have seen that game. Further, the security level for spectators was likely much less onerous than at the gym.

Jeffrey deliberately ignored the interest of millions of viewers of the impeachment trial across the U.S. to cling to this incredibly stupid talking point in an attempt to discredit impeachment. Perhaps he should instead focus on making his website's news coverage less biased.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 12:22 AM EST
Monday, February 10, 2020
MRC's Double Standard On Authors Selling Books
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center went into a defensive panic when it was revealed that former Trump national security adviser John Bolton's proposed memoir revealed what he knew about President Trump's attempt to coerce Ukraine into giving him dirt on Joe Biden, with much of the rancor centered on how all of this was in a book Bolton wanted to sell.

  • Kyle Drennen huffed, "In an effort to aid Democrats in prolonging the Senate impeachment trial, on Monday, all three networks seized on a supposed “bombshell” – though unverified – claim in former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s upcoming memoir. All the sensational coverage clearly designed to turn up the pressure on Republican senators to call witnesses."
  • Gabriel Hays grumbled under the shouted headline "SO STUPID" about the "unverified, hearsay New York Times anecdote taken from an excerpt of John Bolton’s unpublished book," calling it "the least serious thing Bolton has ever said (if he said it)."
  • Nicholas Fondacaro fawned over the "fact-based arguments for acquittal" coming from  Trump's lawyers and complained that some media outlets "chose to disregard the defense in favor of pouncing on reported allegations made in the conveniently timed leak of former national security advisor, John Bolton’s yet to be released book." Fondacaro also baselessly called Bolton's book "dubious."
  • Clay Waters complained of the Bolton book excerpt: "Wow, the timing of this leak is at a terrible time....just as it was engineered by the Times and their leaking pals."Kathleen Krumhansl dismissed the Bolton book as nothing but "today's talking points."
  • Drennen returned to approvingly highlight one commentator "criticizing Bolton’s motivation for not sharing his account of what happened with Ukraine earlier in order to sell a book."
  • Curtis Houck groused about "the latest (and clearly coordinated) leak by The New York Timesof details in John Bolton’s book" and that one TV host said "Bolton was like Tom Cruise in The Firm."

By contrast, when a conservative (well, one that hadn't crossed the Trump-MRC machine, anyway) has a book to sell with some juicy dirt in it,  the MRC will happily join the sales team.

It served up a raft of posts touting allegations in right-wing author Peter Schweizer's anti-Clinton book "Clinton Cash" -- which got traction through, yes, an article in the New York Times, the outlet the MRC is currently bashing for reporting on the Bolton book excerpts -- and defending its quthor. Houck, for instance, gushed that the "bombshell" book was "damning" and complained that Schweizer was accurately identified as a conservative. The MRC even attacked ABC's George Stephanopoulos for committing the offense of asking tough questions of Schweizer duyring a TV interview (while praising Fox News' Chris Wallace for serving as a Schweizer surrogate) and pretended to be aghast that Stephanopoulos -- accurately, one might add -- "suggested Schweizer was merely writing this book to help Republicans go after Hillary for political reasons." The MRC then attacked Stephanopoulos for having donated to the Clinton Foundation.

Schweizer's reporting was wobbly, however, but that didn't matter to the Clinton-deranged MRC. Fondacaro even made excuses for it in a 2016 post: "Although author Peter Schweizer did admit that he didn’t have the hard evidence that he would like, he has stated that a goal of his book was to get officials involved since that have the legal authority to investigate farther than he can. 

Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EST
WND Republishes Article Slobbering Over Melania's Wardrobe
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On Jan. 26, WorldNetDaily published an article by Laura Stewart of the Western Journal -- into which WND appears to be slowly subsumed by -- in which she takes pro-Trump sycophancy to a new and embarrassing level by repeatedly gushing over Melania Trump's wardrobe:

First lady Melania Trump wowed as the epitome of elegance over the weekend as she joined her husband President Donald Trump at the 45th G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.

Global leaders from the United States, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan were joined by their spouses as they gathered in Biarritz. The event was highly publicized, with press continually photographing both the diplomats and their better halves.

Melania Trump has been called a fashion icon -- something the U.S. hasn't seen in the White House since Jackie O. -- and she more than lived up to the title the past few days.

The president and first lady arrived at the summit on Saturday, with FLOTUS sporting a summery mango-colored midi dress with fuchsia and white tie-dye detailing. The Calvin Klein frock was accessorized with black sunglasses and what appear to be sky-high fuchsia Christian Louboutin pumps based on their red soles.

Stewart's source that Melania Trump is a "fashion icon" is another Western Journal article in which ... the term "fashion icon" does not appear.

Stweart follows this with paragraph after tedious paragraph of what Melania wore at various summit events; despite her headline, she offered no evidence that anyone but herself was "wowed." She finally concluded: "As always, the first lady demonstrated class and poise, both in her fashion choices and in her diplomacy."

Republishing such lame and biased content isn't exactly helping WND gain back its ruined credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EST
Sunday, February 9, 2020
MRC Again Pushes Lousy-Ratings Narrative On Impeachment
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center apparently liked the narrative it pushed late last year that the Trump impeachment hearings were illegitimate because the TV ratings were bad -- as if popularity was related to justice -- that it glommed onto it again.

Rich Noyes wrote in a Jan. 24 post:

The ratings are in for the first day of the Democratic House Managers impeachment arguments in front of the Senate, and the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) collectively lost about three million viewers who would have been expected to watch their normal fare of daytime soap operas.

According to preliminary Nielsen data posted on, just over 4 million people watched the first day of the Democrats’ opening arguments on Wednesday on the broadcast networks, who handed over vast swaths of their daytime programming to the impeachment trial. Among the Big Three, CBS saw 1.52 million average viewers, followed by ABC and NBC, with 1.29 million and 1.26 million, respectively.

These numbers are actually down from the 5.1 million average viewers who tuned in these networks for Tuesday’s tedious debate about the rules for the Senate trial.


By suspending regular programming and joining cable news in providing hours of live coverage, the broadcast networks are signaling that viewers should consider the Senate trial a momentous, historic occasion. But viewers aren’t buying it.

On an average weekday, ABC, CBS and NBC run daytime dramas that attract far more viewers than tuned in to the supposed history of the Senate trial.

Noyes added that "some loyal soap opera fans are venting their anger at the decision to run the same event that’s available on all of the cable news networks," adding anonymous potshots from a comment thread. (Wait, doesn't the MRC hate anonymous sources?)

A Jan. 30 post by Randy Hall crowed that Fox News is the "most-watched cable news network," adding, "January, of course, was the impeachment trial. Apparently, Americans just don't to watch the liberal CNN's spin on the Senate trial." The next day, Hall fully embraced the narrative:

Common complaints during the first seven days of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump were that the broadcasts went on far too long, and the hearings were boring in part because the coverage usually ran from 1 p.m. through primetime and sometimes into the early morning hours.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that ratings for coverage of the hearings fell sharply among the “Big Three” after CBS attracted an average of only 1.52 million viewers, followed by ABC with 1.29 million and 1.26 million for NBC.

The MRC even extended the narrative to social media, with a Jan. 26 post by Tim Graham chortling about how the trial had lower engagement than the hearings: "Isn't it obvious that viewers might see the trial as a repeat? The House managers literally played a pile of clips from the House hearings. And who builds TV ratings when everyone knows this show will be canceled -- by an acquittal?"

None of these MRC writers explained the link between popularity and justice they imply exists.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:04 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 10, 2020 5:57 PM EST
CNS Criticizes Fellow Right-Wing Outlet's Anti-Semitism, Hides That It Previously Promoted Its Interviews
Topic: does a lot of things wrong journalistically -- specifically, its extreme pro-Trump bias -- but it occasionally does the right thing, for which it deserves at least some credit. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote in a Jan. 23 article:

The news outlet TruNews, whose host Rick Wiles  describes Jews as "deceivers" who "plot" and "lie," and who have orchestrated a "Jew coup" against President Donald Trump, was invited to cover the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland by the White House, according to Wiles.

"We just want to thank President Trump and the White House for extending the invitation to be here today and throughout the week," Wiles stated in a Jan. 21 report from Davos. (The World Economic Forum runs Jan. 21-24.)

In addition, CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted on Wednesday, "The White House Correspondents' Association (@WHCA), which does *NOT* make credentialing decisions, confirms to me that the White House credentialed the anti-Semitic TruNews. WHCA says it is raising this issue with the WH."

Chapman even added at the end that " contacted the White House press office by telephone, Twitter, and email and asked if it had given press credentials to TruNews. The White House did not respond before this story was published."

Chapman, however, gets only partial credit here. Why? Because he has promoted interviews Wiles has conducted, since they share many of the same values, anti-Semitism aside:

  • A June 2015 article by Chapman touted a Wiles interview with Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, who said that "God’s judgment on America is at the 'tipping point' because of our abandonment of Israel, the killing of 60 million babies by abortion, and the legal recognition of gay marriage."
  • In March 2016, Chapman cited how gun activist Larry Pratt said on Wiles' show that then-Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland has consistently voted against “an individual right to keep and bear arms” and is a moderate only in the sense that the “Kremlin” has some “moderates.”
  • In June 2016, Chapman promoted a Wiles interview with North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who ranted that two prominent newspapers in the state are “are two of the most liberal rags in the country right now” because it criticized a new state law "that says men and women must use the bathroom and shower that matches their sex at birth.
  • A September 2016 article by Chapman repeated a Wiles interview with former Republican Rep. Paul Broun declaring that the family is being destroyed through "political correctness and through the homosexual rights agenda."

Chapman didn't tell his readers that he has previously promoted Wiles' interviews.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:37 AM EST
Saturday, February 8, 2020
MRC Complains TV Characters Aren't Shamed For Having Abortions
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center wants women to feel forever stigmatized for having an abortion -- even make-believe characters on TV shows.Despite the fact that abortion is a common and safe medical procedure that has been legal for decades, Rebecca Downs spent a Jan. 24 post fretting that TV shows have "normalized abortion":

While television networks largely celebrate abortion, it’s worth noting that a celebration of life is taking place, with the annual March for Life on January 24. Whether networks will finally give these peaceful pro-lifers their due in media coverage, after for years neglecting them, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, liberal television networks, from news shows, to actress spokespersons, to television dramas, continue to promote abortion to the public.

Here’s a look at some of the most memorable abortion moments on television from the past year.

Downs' definition of "promoting" abortion is when a female character is not shamed or stigmatized for having one. For instance, she complains that one character's admission that she had an abortion as a teenager is an example of how "teen abortions are pushed." She even attacked shows with more instances of non-judgmental treatment of abortion as "repeat offenders."

Downs also complains that anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers are criticized on TV:

Crisis Pregnancy Centers are a valuable resource enabling women facing unplanned pregnancies to choose life for their children. Sometimes this means choosing adoption, sometimes parenting. They’re not meant to judge, but to help women. You’d never know that from how the liberal networks address CPCs, mostly as “fake clinics.”

In fact, it's been documented how CPCs do judge, do coerce and mislead women. Downs is pushing a fantasy by pretending that doesn't happen.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EST
WND Columnist Pushes Bogus Quote, Pretends Right-Wing Violence Doesn't Exist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Lowell Ponte wrote in his Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column:

Two major stories top the news – the Democratic Party's illegitimate leftist effort to oust our duly elected President Donald Trump by dishonest impeachment, and the rapidly-spreading epidemic from China of a dangerous respiratory disease. These two stories are surprisingly similar.

The socialist Democratic Party's aim is to regain control over the government, which it intends to make infinitely large, powerful and coercive.

"Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force," said George Washington in a quote often attributed to him. "And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Ponte won't tell you, but he's taking refuge in the "often attributed" claim about the Washington quote to hide the fact that Washington likely never said it at all. Online investigators say there's no actual evidence he did say it, and the quote is likely apocryphal.

But facts are not foremost on Ponte's agenda; after all, the headline of his column is "The left is a violent contagion." Ponte wants you to "remember New York City's Shakespeare in the Park depicting the stabbing assassination of an actor who looked like President Trump" without mentioning another theater production that featured the stabbing assassination of an actor who looked like President Obama. We don't recall Ponte being outraged about that.

Ponte also declared taht "Such violence is almost non-existent on the political right," conveniently ignoring all the violence that does exist on the political right. Abortion clinic shootings? Plotting to murder liberals and journalists? Mailing bombs to liberals and journalists? That apparently never happened, according to Ponte.

Ponte has long had an irrational hatred of people who don't share his right-wing views.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EST
Friday, February 7, 2020
Tim Graham's Vindman Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center showed an utter lack of respect for decorated military man Alexander Vindman -- despite its usual demand of respect for decorated military men -- all because he committed the conservatively incorrect crime of adhering to his principles and testified before an impeachment about what he saw and heard regarding President Trump. MRC bigwig Tim Graham took that even further by fowarding a conspiracy theory over Vindman's purported contacts with the whistleblower who exposed President Trump's shady quid pro quo attempt with the president of Ukraine in order to get dirt on Joe Biden.

In a Jan. 24 post, Graham ran to the defense of Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn after she was called out for her smears of Vindman, claiming he was not an "American patriot" because he "badmouth[ed] and ridicule[d] our great nation in front of Russia, America’s greatest enemy." Graham declared that Blackburn was "honestly criticizing" Vindman while anyone wo criticized Blackburn was "dishonestly" doing so, going on to huff:

Democrats -- inside and outside CNN -- find it easy to equate patriotism with removing Trump from office. Earlier this month, we pointed out that reporters have come running to say Vindman is "falsely brutalized" when he's accused of helping the whistleblower set the impeachment train in motion. When Republicans attempted to ask Vindman in the impeachment inquiry if he leaked to the whistleblower, Rep. Adam Schiff shut down the line of questioning. 

Just as we saw in the Clinton years, reporters love to say claims are "unsubstantiated" when they either (a) shut down or shame attempts to substantiate it or (b) refuse to substantiate it instead of investigate it.

Graham then complained that "CNN and others have ignored Paul Sperry's reporting for Real Clear Investigations, which reported about Vindman's liberal biases." Graham didn't mention that Sperry used to work for right-wing birther factory WorldNetDaily, which tells you about how seriously his reporting should be treated.

Finally, Graham served up a bit of whataboutism:

CNN ignored all of that reporting as it hotly trashed Sen. Blackburn as the screen read "GOP QUESTIONS PATRIOTISM OF PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT." Forgive us if this has a taste of the media's fulsome defense of Sen. John Kerry in 2004, who also disparaged America, after his military service in Vietnam.

This is NOT the approach CNN and other liberal media outlets showed to Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal after he served on the National Security Council. Insulting North was never "beyond the pale."

Graham refused to concede that CNN's screen text was accurate. And it's funny how people in the military suddenly become deserving targets of Graham and the MRC when they stop serving the conservative movement by showing that other viewpoints exist in the military.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 PM EST
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020 2:02 PM EST
CNS Presents Ridiculous Defenses of Trump With A Straight Face
Topic: is so in the tank for President Trump that it lets the most ludicrous defenses of him pass without editorial comment or even a simple fact-check. Craig Bannister reported in a Dec. 18 blog post:

While presiding over the “sham trial” of Jesus, even Pontius Pilate granted the accused more rights than House Democrats have granted President Donald Trump, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Georgia) said Wednesday.


And, with Christmas approaching, Loudermilk said, Democrats should consider that they have denied President Trump something that even Pontius Pilate was willing to give Jesus - the opportunity to face his accuser:

“Before you take this historic vote today – one week before Christmas – I want you to keep this in mind:

“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus, than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process.”

You'd think that as the devout Christians the CNS crew claims to be, Loudermilk's claim would have raised some red flags about its accuracy, (not to mention find his likening of Trump to Jesus more than a little ludicrous). Instead, it was left to an actual fact-checker to report: "Biblical accounts cited to us by experts in law and religion say Jesus was questioned by the Roman governor, not given an opportunity by Pilate to face his accusers. Trump has yet to go on trial in the Senate. But before being impeached by the House, he was given the opportunity to present a defense."

On Jan. 20, Bannister again presented a ridiculous claim with a straight face:

Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision was equality and unity – not a baseless impeachment designed to tear the country apart – Top White House aide KellyAnne Conway said Monday, when asked to comment on President Donald Trump’s plans for the holiday honoring the late civil rights leader.

Conway said Trump shares Dr. King’s vision for unity and equally, and that she believes Dr. King would not have supported putting the nation through an unfounded, divisive impeachment – especially, one where no crimes have been alleged:

“Well, I can tell you that the president is preparing for Davos and agrees with many of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for and agreed with for many years, including unity and equality. And he’s not the one trying to tear the country apart through an impeachment process and a lack of substance that really is very shameful at this point.” 


“When you see the articles of impeachment that came out, I don’t think it was within Dr. King’s vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes or misdemeanors.”

Again, it was left to an actual news outlet to add response and context:

Her comments were immediately ridiculed as one of the most bizarre attacks on the impeachment process to date.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, called the remark an “embarrassingly incompetent answer.” Trump, she suggested, has in fact strayed far from King’s legacy — by redefining the presidency and pushing it away from leadership.


Yet Trump, who was sued in the 1970s for housing discrimination against blacks, has not fared much better in office: He has been largely panned by black Americans, an overwhelming majority of whom say they think he is a racist and has made racism a larger problem in the United States.

Of course, defense of Trump comes ahead of reporting facts at CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EST
Thursday, February 6, 2020
During Trump Imeachment, The MRC Turned Into MoveOn
Topic: Media Research Center

During the Trump impeachment trial, the Media Research Center used its NewsBusters blog to highlight purported hypocrisy by the "liberal media." For instance, the theme of one day was complaints that the Clintonimpeachment trial was"sidelining 'the people's business."



Meanwhile, the MRC is doing what it criticized the media for doing 20 years ago: complaining that the Trump impeachment as sidelining the people's business.

On Jan. 29, the MRC's activism division, MRC Action, sent out an email telling its followers to demand that senators "get back to work" (typographical enhancements in original):

It's time to let your Senators hear the voice of the people.

Tell the Senate to stop wasting time on impeachment and get back to work!


The media have promoted their impeachment crusade since the day President Trump was elected. And the media elites are still pushing hard to promote impeachment. MSNBC contributors are even urging Congress to cancel the State of the Union address to focus on impeachment. 

But Americans are simply sick and tired of impeachment...just look at the ratings! 3 million people tuned out when the major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) switched from soap operas to impeachment. That’s right, The Young and the Restless has higher ratings.


Because the American people are sick and tired of nothing getting done in Washington. Politicians promise action, and instead of working they are dragging out this impeachment process.  

It’s time for Senators to vote and get back to their jobs. You can make a difference!

The next day, MRC Action sent out another email in which the MRC goes full-blown

NOW is the time to CALL YOUR SENATORS!

Just today, the top four Senate offices on our campaign landing page are starting to send calls to voicemail! They’re overwhelmed by folks telling them to vote already and get back to work. (Btw, many House and Senate offices use voicemail transcribing software that turn each call into a written complaint that is counted as a contact of their office. So being sent to voicemail isn’t a bad thing!)

This is urgent, and the message cannot be overstated: Every politician promised action and real legislation. Too much time is being wasted on impeachment — all the focus is on impeachment when our Senators are distracted from doing their actual work: to improve Americans’ lives. This is exceedingly damaging to our Republic, both now and in the future


It’s time for the Senate to get back to work instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars on impeachment!

Melt the Senate phone lines and urge both of your Senators to acquit President Trump. Show America that you won’t stand for this outrageous, unwarranted bias against the President. Every call matters, place yours today!

This was followed by still another email taking credit for Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander's decision to vote for acquittal, screaming, "YOU HELPED MAKE THIS HAPPEN!" The email went on to rant that "As of early January, the Senate has yet to act on over 300 bills sent up from the House because they’re too busy focusing on the farce of an 'impeachment trial.'"

After Trump's acquittal by Republican senators, MRC Action sent out one more email taking credit for that too:



The timing has been historic. In less than 24 hours, President Trump delivered his stunning State of the Union Address, then was ACQUITTED in the Senate! – And that ONE-TWO PUNCH? It could not have come about IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU!

Thanks to your adherence to principle and your energetic engagement, we in the MRC ACTION GRASSROOTS ARMY were able to change history!


 Actually, we're pretty sure it is hyperbole. The email cited only "2,573 grassroots members having allegedly participated, yet it went on to crow about a "MRC ACTION IMPEACHMENT TRIAL TSUNAMI."

At the same time,  MRC bigwigs Tim Graham and brent Bozell served up their own MoveOn entry with a column titled "Turn the Page on Impeachment," insisting ath "it feels unexceptional, more like Chapter 27 of the Same Old Saga" (kinda like how six years of anti-Clinton activism in the 1990s by the MRC and its fellow conservatives yielded only an impeachment for lying about sex?), and huffing that "The American people should point and laugh at the idea that the networks would argue it was essential for the Senate jurors to be nonpartisan in their weighing of the evidence. Our media elites are never objective.

We would point out that the MRC's "news" disivion claims to be objective, what with its mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story," but is even more biased than it has accused the "liberal media" of being.

This is all ironic because Bozell, in a 2018 interview, attacked MoveOn for ignoring the alleged Clinton scandals:

Throughout the Clinton administration, there was one scandal after another. Some many of these scandals preceded his election to the presidency but were hugely important, i.e. Whitewater. And then, once he became president, the Monica Lewinsky affair and others, and the FBI scandal, which was a huge scandal. Well, what did we hear from the media? We heard from the media that we needed to get to more important things. We need to move on, move on, move on. That’s when we got They ignored all of the Clinton scandals.

And now, Bozell is MoveOn, and he's ignoring the Trump scandals because it's in his political interest to do so.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2020 4:49 PM EST

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