The MRC's Latest 'Moderate' Meltdown Topic: Media Research Center
For some reason -- perhaps to fulfill a mandated right-wing narrative -- the Media Research Center has spent months obsessing over the idea that some Democratic presidential candidates cold be considered "moderate." As the primary process heated up, the MRC's obsession renewed.
MRC officials Tim Graham and Brent Bozell kicked things off in January by invoking a conservative measure of politics:
The American Conservative Union ratings system has been widely accepted as the voting compass from the perspective of the right. According to the ACU, a centrist would look like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has a lifetime ACU score of 44.8%. Reporters could call her a "liberal Republican," and they should, except that term simply doesn't exist. (Don't believe us? Check it out.)
Or take Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is considered a "conservative Democrat," but that animal doesn't exist in the Senate. His lifetime ACU rating is 26.7%, putting him in lockstep with the left almost three-quarters of the time.
Where this all gets ridiculous is the presidential field.
With extreme socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race, anyone who isn't endorsing a socialist position — like redistributing wealth, abolishing private health insurance and shredding the fossil fuel industry — is categorized as a centrist. Defending the leftist lurch that was Obamacare is now the centrist position in this daffy media dictionary.
The problem here is that the ACU rating is not an objective one -- as even Graham and Bozell admit, it vews things "from the perspective of the right." But however inaccrate and skewed, the MRC now had a narrative to peddle.
Clay Waters complained that the New York Times described Pete Buttigieg as a "moderate." Two days later, Scott Whitlock grumbled that "During the 2020 Democratic primaries, CBS This Morning journalists have repeatedly spun several of the candidates as 'moderates,'" to which he retorted by referencing the ACU sores, though he never explained how they are a reliable indicator of anything. He added as purported evidence of Amy Klobuchar's lack of moderation: "Klobuchar is radically pro abortion, promising to 'reverse Trump abortion policies in the first 100 days.' She supports extensive gun control restrictions and is 'open' to expanding and packing the 'Supreme Court.'" (No explanation of why Whitlock put "Supreme Court" in scare quotes.) Whitlock also used his headline to call CBS "deluded."
Kyle Drennen groused that one interviewer called Buttigieg a "moderate Democrat" but failed to "grill Buttigieg on some of his own radical views on abortion or packing the Supreme Court," adding without evidence: "Bernie Sanders is so extreme that the media are working to paint the rest of the left-wing Democratic field as 'moderate' by comparison."
Graham and Bozell returned to declare that "the Democratic field toes an extreme line": and that "lazy journalists often stick to this false 'moderate' terminology on the campaign trail. This again ignores the fact that they're seeing things from right-wing viewpoint that's not reflective of objective reality.
Geoffrey Dickens declared in a headline, "Don’t Believe the Media Spin: Buttigieg and Klobuchar Are No ‘Moderates’," adding; "During their coverage of the New Hampshire Democratic primary contest, cable and network journalists INCESSANTLY hyped Klobuchar and Buttigieg as 'moderates,' but a cursory look at their public stances reveal that either one of them would be the most liberal Democratic candidate ever nominated to be President." Like the rest of his MRC compadres, Dickens won't admit that this "cursory look" is too biased to be taken seriously.
Waters returned as well: "In its quest to find moderates or even 'centrists'among the Democratic field of presidential candidates to pit against the avowed leftists, The New York Times must ignore several of the candidates’ actual voting records and public policy stands."
Under the sneering headline "They Think You Are Dumb," Whitlock huffed: "The journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday waved goodbye to Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 campaign with one last disingenuous claim that the liberal Democrat is a 'moderate.' This weekend, all three networks cheered mysterious “moderate” alternatives to Bernie Sanders. Apparently, all you have to do to be a centrist is simply not take a vacation to the Soviet Union like Bernie Sanders."
Of course, Whitlock and the rest of the MRC think you're dumb if you believe their definition of "moderate" is not skewed by their right-wing worldview and agenda.
CNS Praises Right-Wing Authoritarians In Russia For Hating Gays Topic: CNSNews.com
For the past week or so, CNSNews.com has been bashing Bernie Sanders for noting that communist regimes in Cuba and China for having done positive things like encouraging literacy or reducing poverty (while burying the fact that Sanders did criticize the authoritarian nature of those regimes). But CNS loves right-wing authoritarian regimes that share the same views it does, especially on the subject of homosexuality. For instance, we caught CNS last year touting right-wing Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro's hatred of gay people.
That happened again in a Feb. 18 article, with managing editor Michael W. Chapman, CNS' chief gay-basher, doing the honors:
During a meeting about amending the Russian Constitution last week, President Vladimir Putin said, "as long as I'm president" there will be no "gay marriage" in Russia. "there will be dad and mum," he added.
Putin made his remarks on Feb. 13 during the meeting in the Kremlin, in Moscow. Putin made clear, according to Reuters, that there would not be a "parent number 1" and "parent number 2" on birth certificates or related official documents.
"As far as 'parent number 1' and 'parent number 2' goes, I've already spoken publicly about this and I'll repeat it again," he said, "as long as I am president this will not happen."
"There will be dad and mum," said the Russian president.
Unsurprisingly, Chapman made no mention of Putin's authoritarian tendencies -- which include a communist-style command economy, cronyism, increasing state control over media and the crushing of political opposition -- or the fact that Putin-directed agents meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Instead, Chapman went on to cheer how "So-called gay marriage ... is not allowed" in Russia and that "In 2013, Russia enacted a law that prohibits the promotion of homosexual propaganda to minor youth and children, through print, radio, television and the Internet."
Chapman didn't explain why he's allowed to praise aspects of otherwise unsavory regimes and Sanders isn't.
AIM Lamely Defends Limbaugh After Receiving Presidential Medal Topic: Accuracy in Media
It appears that both Brian McNicoll and Carrie Sheffield have departed Accuracy in Media, which at this point leaves just Spencer Irvine to crank out the bulk of AIM's content, and his main qualification for the job is that he's the son of publisher Don Irvine and grandson of AIM founder Reed Irvine.
So we get lame pieces like Spencer's Feb. 6 item attempting to bash ABC for its coverage of Rush Limbaugh's receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Trump. Irvine complained that ABC "exclusively focused on Limbaugh’s critics" and "failed to find and quote a single source in defense of Limbaugh’s past comments and political views."Of course, given that Irvine himself failed to offer a defense of Limbaugh, it may very well be that there is no good defense of him. Irvine further complained:
The news outlet cited multiple critics on social media without sourcing these critics or their arguments, which alleged that “Limbaugh has made numerous derogatory comments about minority groups as well as offensive comments about AIDS and the LGBTQ community, suicide and many other sensitive topics and marginalized communities.”
It also listed multiple reasons to discredit Limbaugh and his award, such as Limbaugh’s comments that abortion activist Sandra Fluke was a “slut” for her abortion views. ABC News acknowledged Limbaugh apologized for insulting Fluke.
ABC News’s article highlighting Limbaugh’s critics lacked fair treatment and neutrality and neglected to present the opinions and views of his radio show listeners.
Irvine didn't mention the fact that Limbaugh's so-called apology to Fluke was half-hearted at best, apologizing only for "word choices" and defending himself by insisting that he was merely "illustrat[ing] the absurd with absurdity."
The next day, Irvine bashed NowThis News, AIM's odd new target, for doing much the same thing, grumbling that "NowThis News said Limbaugh is 'a right-wing radio host known for having sexist and racist views'and said that Limbaugh is 'unapologetic for his racist and sexist views.' It listed several examples, such as calling abortion advocate Sandra Fluke a 'slut.' The website failed to tell its readers that Limbaugh has since apologized for insulting Fluke. Again, He complained that NowThis "did not offer any other defense or counter-argument to its claims that Limbaugh was a racist and a sexist" but, again, Irvine failed to offer one himself.
Irvine concluded by huffing: "Journalists should back up their claims with evidence or quotes from both sides of the political aisle or issue, but in this case, NowThis News failed to offer a fair defense of Limbaugh’s words or his legacy. Instead, its audience read a biased article that portrayed Limbaugh in a negative light." Irvine seems to have forgotten he works for AIM, which has a legacy of unfair, biased, and outright false attacks against those it deemed its political enemies, particularly Barack Obama and the LGBT community.
MRC Is Sad Fringe-Right Blog's Conspiracy Theory Got 'Censored' Topic: Media Research Center
For some reason, the Media Research Center really hates it when right-wing websites get caught pushing fake news and conspiracy theories. Alexander Hall complained in a Feb. 18 post:
The origin of the coronavirus is still being debated, but Twitter has responded to one skeptic outlet by censoring it.
The ZeroHedge founder reportedly, under the pseudonym Tyler Durden, asked “Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?” and theorized about the coronavirus’ true origins. ZeroHedge was then suspended from Twitter. Forbes claimed that a spokesperson from Twitter indicated that “ZeroHedge was removed for violating its platform manipulation policy, which the social media giant describes as ‘using Twitter to engage in bulk, aggressive or deceptive activity that misleads others and/or disrupts their experience.’” However, The Daily Mail cited a resurfaced research paper from the South China University of Technology, which appears may lend some credence to ZeroHedge’s initial reporting.
ZeroHedge founder "Durden" said that he was suspended from Twitter after Buzzfeed claimed that his blog had doxed a Chinese scientist whom Durden argues was a “public figure.”
Note that Hall doesn't portray ZeroHedge as pushing bogus conspiracy theories -- it's just a "skeptic outlet."
Perhaps that's because Hall really wants to believe ZeroHedge's conspiracy theory. After acknowledging that credible outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times point out that ZeroHedge's conspiracy theory is "debunked" and "fringe," Hall went all in:
Durden purportedly showed a “help wanted” notice from the lab itself, which, translated from Chinese using Google translate, called for new hires who will use “bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases."
In addition, sources such as The Daily Mail have cited a research paper: "The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus," by scholars Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao. The research paper appears to have been scrubbed from ResearchGate, but MRC TechWatch was able to view using the Wayback Machine to see ResearchGate’s cached information.
The paper’s abstract observed that “The 2019-nCoV has caused an epidemic of 28,060 laboratory-confirmed infections in human including 564 deaths,” and how “the genome sequences from patients were almost identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus.”
In other words, these “scholars” from South China University of Technology suggest that “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”
In fact, the research paper being cited has not been peer reviewed and offers no evidence of a direct connection between the laboratory and coronavirus, beyond a map noting the distance between the laboratory and the Wuhan seafood market linked to the spread of cornonaviarus, nor does it offer any proof that the coronavirus originated at the laboratory.
Meanwhile, Hall himself is censoring certain inconvenient facts -- namely, the dubious track record of both websites he cites. ZeroHedge is a pro-Trump blog that has long pushed fake news and conspiracy theories, and Hall remains weirdly unbothered by the pseudonymous "Tyler Durden" despite the fact that his employer has long (and hypocritically) railed against anonymous sources in the media. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, is so unreliable that even Microsoft and Wikipedia warn against trusting it.
This isn't the first time the MRC has defended ZeroHedge after it got caught pushing fake news. In November, Corinne Weaver complained that Twitter "censored" an acount that had repeated a false story from ZeroHedge claiming that Ukrainian officials had drawn up an indictment against Hunter Biden. She complained that an NBC report "suggested the blog that ZeroHedge “first disseminated” on the allegation was 'misconstrued,' it did not cast doubt on the original Interfax-Ukrainian piece." In fact, as the NBC report pointed out, the Interfax-Ukraine report did not mention an indictment.
Michael Brown's Homophobic Buttigieg Meltdown Topic: WorldNetDaily
We noted that CNSNews.com published WorldNetDailiy columnist Michael Brown's anti-gay attack on Pete Buttigieg, in which he declared that "Choosing an out and proud “married” gay man to run for president, let alone become president, would contribute to the further degeneration and moral confusion of our society along with further attacks on our most fundamental rights." Since WND published it too, let's look at it further.
Brown admitted he would be seen as a "homophobic bigot" for saying that, and, yes, that's pretty much whatheis, his denials notwithstanding.He did, take issue with "moderate Canadian evangelical" Randall Rauser's statement that it shows he has "an irrational fear of and/or antipathy toward gay people" that's more than a little hypocritical, given that "Evangelicals like Brown fall over themselves to excuse Trump's grotesque immorality," prompting him to dod exactly that:
First, I have never excused the president's past immorality. In fact, I probably called attention to it as much as any evangelical leader during the primaries. To say, I "fall over [myself] to excuse Trump's grotesque immorality" is to speak a lie.
Second, to this day, like a broken record, I draw attention to aspects of the president's behavior that I find destructive and harmful. In fact, shortly after the National Prayer Breakfast, I wrote an article addressing the very issues Rauser mentioned regarding Trump's response to the words of Jesus.
So, to brand me hypocritical for speaking out against Mayor Pete's proud homosexuality is to be either misinformed, dishonest, or both.
But there is a much bigger issue the critics are missing.
President Trump is not flaunting his past immorality, nor is he pushing it presently. Instead, when the ugly tape of his lewd comments went public, he said, "I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. … I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down."
In stark contrast, Mayor Pete has talked about how his homosexual relationship to his "husband," Chasten, has brought him closer to God. He has kissed his partner at public rallies. He is pushing his homosexuality, not apologizing for it.
You better believe that he will do everything in his power to normalize homosexual relationships even more in the eyes of America. He will also do his best to marginalize those who are convinced that these relationships are contrary to the will of God.
Note to Brown: If you really think Trump was being sincere and truthful when he issued that non-apology, and that the years subsequent to that statement haven't shown that those words reflect exactly who Trump is, he's being terribly naive. By taking Trump's words at face value when there's every reason not to do so, Brown is, in fact, excusing his immorality.
Brown then tries to parse between people and behavior, even though he can't do so with Buttigieg:
It is not so much that homosexual practice is worse than adultery or fornication. Rather, it is the fact that there is an aggressive, gay agenda that has systematically undermined biblical morals for decades. It has also sought to silence all dissenting voices, becoming the principle threat to our religious and moral freedoms.
That's why I've been active in resisting LGBT activism since 2004, reaching out to individuals with compassion but resisting the agenda with courage.
And so, it is not the people whom I oppose. (God forbid. I've made that clear hundreds, if not thousands of times.) It is not even homosexual acts that primarily concern me (although issues of health and safety should not be ignored).
It is an aggressive agenda that I oppose, one that I and others have tracked carefully for many years. ... It is an agenda that would only be fueled with great intensity by an out and proud gay president.
Brown then complained that "President Obama's administration pushed radical trans activism on our nation's schools, under severe penalties," though what he considers "radical" was allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that meshes with their gender identity.
When someone pointed out that Brown isn't not exactly being silenced for his anti-gay activism, what with all the attention he's getting for bashing Buttigieg, he devoted a column to insisting he is being silenced because, among other similar things, the Southern Poverty Law Center "put me on their list of 30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right, seeking to defame me by linking me with neo-Nazis and other violent extremists." He continued playing the victim:
As for whether a President Buttigieg would try to marginalize Bible believers like me, what we do know is that he has already done that very thing. He has already used his campaign platform both to celebrate his homosexuality and to denigrate the Christianity of those who differ with him, including Vice President Pence.
LGBTQ+ activism has already had a deleterious effect on society in many ways, some of them outright oppressive. We could expect more of the same – really, much more – with an out and proud gay president.
No fearmongering here, and, for the record, no paranoia. I plan to continue to speak out regardless of cost or consequences.
I'm simply sounding the alarm in advance. A word to the wise is sufficient.
Of course, Brown never stops to consider that his "speaking out" is an attempt to silence LGBT voices, since irony escapes him.
Brown was back to attacking Buttigieg in a Feb. 28 column bashing him for having "a national platform to a 9-year-old old who wanted advice on coming out as gay." Let the gay-bashing rant begin, with the added bonus of suggesting gays are pedophiles while denying that they are:
Remember. This child is only 9 years old.
He is pre-pubescent.
He is only a few years removed from thinking that boys who like girls have "the cooties." (Do you remember hearing that in kindergarten and the first grade?)
And surveys have indicated that plenty of teenagerswho identify as gay no longer do so when they reach adulthood.
How dare any of us put a 9-year-old child like this on public display, now branding him for life as gay. What if Zachary wants to "take it back" in a few years? What then?
Let me put this in a larger context for a moment. Perhaps the light will go on for you as you continue to read.
If there is one accusation that gay men hate more than any other it is the accusation that they are pedophiles. That all (or most) homosexual men are interested in having sexual relationships with boys. That it is not safe to leave a boy alone in the presence of a gay male. That all (or most of them) are child abusers. Every gay man with whom I have talked over the years has categorically and emphatically rejected these accusations. And I, for one, believe them.
In my view, the real danger is one of older homosexuals influencing impressionable children. Of indoctrination more than seduction. Of persuasion, not rape. That's one reason I raised concerns about the potential, negative impact of a President Pete Buttigieg.
Of course, there is no denying the well-known tradition of "man-boy love" in homosexual history, from the "mentoring" of ancient Greece to the NAMBLA societies of today. Calling it "intergenerational intimacy" does not make it any less heinous.
Brown sure moved from Buttigieg to NAMBLA pretty quickly there, didn't he? Yet he concluded by insisting that "My warnings are not exaggerated."
MRC Pretends All Attorneys Calling For Barr's Resignation Are 'Liberal Media Pundits' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen complained in a Feb. 17 post:
On Monday, the network morning shows predictably all seized on an open letter from former Justice Department officials demanding the resignation of Attorney General William Barr. However, the broadcasts conveniently left out the fact that several of the ex-DOJ employees who signed on to the letter currently serve as professional anti-Trump pundits on CNN and MSNBC.
But Drennen never gets beyond identifying "several" signatories -- and even the Daily Caller article to which he links names only eight "liberal media pundits" who signed the petition. Drennen also never explained how this paltry number discredited a petition signed by more than 1,100 ex-DOJ officials (a number that has since grown to more than 2,000). Are they all "liberal media pundits"? Highly unlikely, though Drennen wants you to think otherwise.
Drennen even acknowledged that officials that worked under both Democratic and Republican presidents, then huffed that "no mention was made of how many liberal media pundits were included in the letter. (Eight, Kyle. The number is eight.)
After once again complaining about "the anti-Trump punditry regularly offered by several of those who signed the letter," Drennen closed by grumbling: "The President’s most vocal political opponents are somehow portrayed by press as objective experts who are simply 'taking a stand' and trying to 'instill a broad sense of responsibility.'" But it's the height of irresponsibility and partisan hackery for Drennen to presume that because eight signatories are "liberal media pundits" that all 1,00-plus are.
Of course, we know that neither Drennen nor anyone else at the MRC can be bothered to do the actual research to determine the political leanings of each and every signatory, despite being employed by an organization that claims to do "media research." The slight guilt-by-association smear is all that counts as "media research" here.
But Drennen wasn't the only MRC writer desperate to downplay the letter. Nicholas Fondacaro dismissed the letter as "self-righteous" then grasped at the whataboutism card, grumbling that "there was no such letter when the DOJ inspector general found that the FBI had lied to the FISA Court in order to obtain warrants to spy on a Trump campaign aid." He also insisted the letter's signatories weren't "bipartisan" because "they and the media share the same political motivation: remove Trump at all costs."
The MRC's motivation is to save Trump at all costs, so Fondacaro, Drennen and crew are propbably not the mosdt qualified people to serve up so-called "media research" on this subject.
Allen West's Dumb Rhetorical Excess Topic: CNSNews.com
Media Research Center "senior fellow" and CNSNews.com columnist Allen West has a propensity for some really dumb rhetorical excess.
In a Dec. 2 column, he actually declared that we are living in "the real Hunger Games." Why? Because some want to abolish the Electoral College and have a direct popular vote for president:
This was established to give the smaller states, more rural areas, an equal voice to the larger more populated centers, areas, States. Yes, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 election, translating to some 12-13 states. In the Electoral College, it was a landslide victory for Donald Trump, who won close to 38 states. Now, what do we hear from the progressive socialist left? Yes, end the Electoral College, they prefer the tyranny of a pure democracy…the rule of “The Capitol” over the Districts.
Sadly, this is happening in many of the States in our Constitutional Republic, and I do not find it by coincidence. If there is one thing about the left in America, they are highly strategic. They are relocating into economically successful and strong conservative States and turning them blue, based upon the concept of “The Hunger Games”. They are fortifying themselves within the cities, the population centers, which are often strengthened by the academic, media, entertainment, cultural, and political elites.
The greatest amount of despair, despondency, death, crime, pestilence, and corruption is found in our large American cities…and we know who controls them. Thomas Jefferson was so very prescient, and correct, with this assertion. And isn’t it rather interesting that the left wants more public transportation and electric vehicles which regulate, constrain, the movement of Americans?
We are living in the real Hunger Games.
Yes, in West's right-wing mind, making everyone's vote for president count the same is exactly the same as "The Hunger Games."
On Dec. 16, West insisted that the FISA court was no different that the notorious Stasi intellligence agency in Soviet-controlled East Germany -- and, of course, immediately throws Bernie Sanders into the mix:
Last week, the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed that we have a New American Stasi. As a Member of Congress, I had voted against the renewal of the Patriot Act, a main reason was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. I could not, and still cannot, fathom having a “secret” court that has the power to grant warrants to conduct surveillance, spying, against American citizens without their knowledge, or ability to defend themselves. That is a complete and utter violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, yet this is what happened.
And last week, Mr. Horowitz confirmed my greatest concerns: Seventeen inaccuracies and omissions were made to this secret court in order to obtain warrants to conduct surveillance, spying, against American citizens. And yes, the entire Mueller special investigation which was enacted for one reason, but veered greatly off course, and certain political opposition have found themselves in sentenced to prison.
This is how things happen when progressive socialists are in power. What perhaps started with every good intention of keeping us safe from Islamic jihadists and terrorist attacks is now being used against political opponents. I have always admired the hypocrisy of socialists, communists, to claim the title of “Democratic”, such as East Germany did, and North Korea does today. It is a means by which they attempt to deceive and wrongfully label themselves…such as Bernie Sanders with his “Democratic Socialism.”
We have developed terms such as “Deep State.” We have folks calling themselves the #resistance. What we truly have developing is a New American Stasi…tactics are the same, as well as the objectives.
West would never concede that the people who actually in power -- that is, the Trump administration -- would behave in a Stasi-esque way, for instance, by trying to destroy the life of the whistleblower who exposed Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president.
In his Jan. 13 column, West ranted that following an election that saw Democrats gain full control of the Virginia legislature, Gov. Ralph Northam "and his leftist minions are following Lenin’s playbook with forcing universal background checks, banning certain firearms, and implementing red flag laws. And we should not be surprised." West did not explain why red-flag laws -- temporarily taking weapons away from people who may be a danger to themselves or others -- is just like communist gun confiscation.
By his Feb. 17 column, though, West had notched things down to being merely dumb. He portrayed all Democratic presidential candidates as being just as "soclialist" as Bernie Sanders and their rhetoric as "New Coke," adding: "There is nothing new and improved about the American progressive socialist left’s formula, it is all the same, a recipe for disaster." Still, he couldn't help himself by injecting a falsehood into his argument:
You recall, during the Carter administration when it was asserted that every American had a “right” to own a home -- the Community Reinvestment Act. Thirty years later, we saw the results of government intrusion into the private sector mortgage industry, a financial meltdown. Of course, we are told today by the left that healthcare is a right. That is how the left will always frame their objective of government control of economic means of production.
As experts have said for years -- and as we pointed out years ago -- the Community Reinvestment Act played an insignificant role in the 2008 financial crisis, since most of the mortgage lenders doing the subprime lending that drove the crisis were not subject to the CRA's provisions.
MRC Still Downplaying 'Conservative Comedian' Crowder's Homophobic Attacks Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, we detailed how the Media Research Center worked to reframe right-wing videomaker Stephen Crowder's homophobic attacks on then-Vox host Carlos Maza -- smearing him as a "lispy queer," among other things, which inspired Crowder's right-wing follower to doxx Maza -- by saying that Crowder is a "conservative comedian" who is apparently exempt from criticism (though that hasn't stopped the MRC from attacking the humor of comedians who are not conservative). It was only after Maza went public about the verbal abuse and doxxing that YouTube moved to demonetize Crowder's channel, for which the MRC granted victimhood status to Crowder.
Well, Maza has since gone out on his own to make videos for his own YouTube channel, and the MRC is attacking him once more.
In a Feb. 13 post, Alexander Hall complained that "The New York Times gave this “New York-based socialist” a prominent feature in their business section with two gigantic photos on separate pages," then engaged in revisionist history about Crowder: "Maza, aka @GayWonk, famously triggered the adpocalypse on YouTube when he blasted the platform for allowing conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder to poke fun at him during Gay Pride Month. Shortly afterward came a wave of 'carpet bombing' demonetizations and potential rule changes that restricted free speech on the platform." Hall made sure not to mention Crowder's vicious homophobia.
The next day, Clay Waters, the MRC's designated Times-hater, went after the Times article itself, bizarrely and counterfactually portraying Maza as the aggressor and Crowder as the victim: "Maza, whose Twitter bio refers to Tucker Carlson as a white supremacist, targeted conservative Steven Crowder in 2019. After Crowder mocked him as a 'lispy queer,' YouTube was pressured into demonetizing Crowder’s YouTube videos." (Waters doesn't mention that Maza's claim about Carlson is backed up with evidence.)
Waters also insisted that Maza is "no slouch at internet bullying," while conveying further victimhood on Crowder by complaining that the writer of the Times article showed "hostility toward Crowder" by referring to him as "a bargain-bin conservative comedian." Needless to say, Waters couldn't be bothered to describe the full extent of Crowder's homophobic attacks.
The MRC is quite invested in portraying Crowder as a victim. In December, Hall gave Crowder a platform to rant that "the purge is coming" in the form of YouTube proposing content reforms to cut down on "malicious insults" and "veiled threats" -- you know, what Crowder did to Maza. Which, of course, led Hall to invoke revisionist history to claim that Crowder was merely "mocking" Maza.
WND Columnist Merges Sanders Derangement With Soros Derangement Topic: WorldNetDaily
Brent Smith started off his Feb. 14 WorldNetDaily column with a dire warning:
If this doesn't get you out to vote, nothing will. And it's just three simple words. Simple, but excruciatingly painful: President Bernie Sanders.
The old saying, elections have consequences, is no truer than it is today. And I can think of nothing more consequential than the election of Sanders.
I would estimate that the vast majority of ignorant millennials and college students who have and will cast a ballot for Sanders have no idea what they're really voting for.
All they know is that Bernie has promised them an endless array of free stuff and money.
But below the surface lies a horror of unimaginable misery – something Americans have never experienced.
That's some quality fearmongering right there. But that wasn't enough for Smith -- he decided to wrap right-wingers' other favorite bogeyman in to the mix, starting off by saying, "just for kicks, I'm going to float a "conspiracy" theory out here" regarding Sanders' campaign manager, Faiz Shakir:
Inside his shirt may be a tag that reads, "Property of George Soros."
So here's my theory.
What has George Soros dreamed of for decades?
He's been trying to find a way to take down the United States and remake it in his image. But Soros knows it can only be done from within, and until now, there hasn't been a vehicle to accomplish the task.
George Soros is a billionaire. He is, for want of a better term, the original social justice warrior. He made his fortune for the sole purpose of indulging his idea of social justice. But don't take my word for it.
In an interview, Soros said: "I realized [as a young man] that it's money that makes the world go round, so I might as well make money. … But having made it, I could then indulge my social concerns." Invariably, those concerns centered around a desire to change the world generally – and America particularly – into something new, something consistent with his vision of "social justice."
And he's admitted to having a God complex, or as he puts it, a "Messianic" complex.
Enter Bernie Sanders, a radical Marxist who, due to the panic he is causing, many think has a legitimate shot. Is it possible that Soros ("look, Mama, it's the devil." h/t: the Waterboy), after all these years, believes he has finally found his vehicle, his puppet, in Sanders to help him fulfill his dream to "change" America?
For me and my tinfoil hat, I think it's more than just possible – it's likely.
As Sanders Gets Popular, CNS Unleashes Volley Of Attacks On Him Topic: CNSNews.com
Like Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders made a good showing in Iowa. Like Buttigieg, CNS panicked and targeted Sanders with negative reporting designed to trigger its right-wing readership by hammering on a single point. With Buttigieg, it was his sexuality; with Sanders, it was hanging the word "socialist" or "communist" on him at every opportunity, with the word itself or others implying extremism (from CNS' right-wing point of view, that is), attacking his policies, or digging up decades-old statements by the senator.
Here's what CNS has published on Sanders and socialism since the Iowa caucuses:
Regarding Sanders' statements praising certain policies in China and Cuba, CNS typically buried or censored completely Sanders prefacing the statement by expressing his opposition to authoritarian regimes. That statement never made any CNS headline, of course.
Those weren't the only attacks, of course. Craig Bannister did his bit as a Trump campaign surrogate by cheering how "Rudy Giuliani posted an embarrassing video of Sanders on Twitter," mand loyal stenographer Melanie Arter highlighted how President Trump claimed without evidence that "Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is leaking information on Russia, because the Democrats don’t want Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to represent them" (not that Arter made an effort to fact-check Trump, of course).
CNS even tried to play gotcha with Sanders in an anonymously written Feb. 7 article:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D.-Vt.) sayson the websitefor his presidential campaign that “[c]limate change is a global emergency” and “the Arctic is on fire.”
By contrast, the National Weather Service is reporting today that it is 45 degrees below zero in Nuiqsuit, which is in northern Alaska.
The weather service is predicting that the high today in that part of Alaska will be 44 degrees below zero and the low will be 47 degrees below zero.
That, of course, is an old right-wing climate denier trope, claiming that the fact that it still gets cold in the winter disproves the fact that the earth is getting warmer. In fact, Arctic temperatures are the second warmest on record, and permafrost and ice sheets are melting.
CNS knows that its parent, the Media Research Center, will never apply the standards of fairness and balance to it that the MRC demands from other media outlets -- after all, CNS' "media bias" is one that its parent approves of.
MRC's Philbin Thinks Criticizing A Conservative Athlete's Death Threat Is 'Cancel Culture' Topic: Media Research Center
Oh, those wacky death threats. Aren't they just silly and unserious?
The Media Research Center's Matt Philbin thinks so. He spent a Feb. 18 post complaining that former San Francisco Giants player Aubrey Huff wasn't invited to a 10th anniversary gathering of the 2010 team's World Series appearance because of his history of threatening and offensive tweets -- which, of course, Philbin falsely framed by insisting that Huff was disinvited because of his support of President Trump and declaring that "cancel culture has made the big leagues."
And what is the "culture" that's supposedly being "canceled" here? Well, death threats for one. Like Huff's tweet saying: "Getting my boys trained up on how to use a gun in the unlikely event @BernieSanders beats @realDonaldTrump in 2020. In which case knowing how to effectively use a gun under socialism will be a must. By the way most the head shots were theirs."
Most normal people would see this as an implicit death threat at the very least and an explicit one at worst. Not Philbin, though -- he declared this threat to be "serious" and "silly" and then sneered: "Okay, maybe the tweet wasn’t a good idea. Lefties are triggered (sorry) by men, boys and guns in the best of circumstances, but put the three together, toss in a political reference and you’ve got soiled culottes all over the Bay Area."
Interestingly, Philbin never quoted from this tweet, only included a screenshot that has since mysteriously disappeared.
Another Huff tweet argued that Americans should kidnap attractive women from Iran so they can "fan us and feed us grapes, amongst other things." Philbin proclaimed this to be a "joke," even though the MRC sees no humor in jokes from actual comedians if they choose a conservative target. Similarly, Philbin gave Huff a pass on his defense that his tweets are "locker room humor" that "is meant to be satirical, and sarcastic."
None of the Huff tweets Philbin cited, undercutting his narrative that Huff is a victim of his backing of Trump.
Philbin concluded by, er huffing: "Look, Huff is a dinosaur -- a throwback to the dark ages of the 2010s. The Giants know it, and they have a responsibility to shield the people of San Francisco from the kind of monster who would say, 'To the fans, you were always amazing to me. And just because I might not share some of your political views (which are stupid) I still repect your right to express them.'" Weird that the MRC never defends a liberal for acting like a "dinosaur."
CNS Entertains Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough started off his Feb. 19 CNSNews.com article in a somewhat promising way:
Did the coronavirus that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year originate from a market where live animals were sold alongside seafood? Or is there another explanation – one that may be linked to China’s leading institute dealing with virology, virus pathology, and emerging infectious diseases?
Debates over the issue have been raging online, even as scientists around the world are, as Science News reported last week, “furiously exchanging data, including genetic details of viruses that have infected people.”
Conspiracy theories birthed by the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus, now named COVID-19, include claims of a Chinese bioweapon, deliberately or accidentally discharged.
Unfortunately, Goodenough felt the need to justify the existence of those conspiracy theories. He claimed that "Beijing’s poor record of transparency – in this and previous coronavirus outbreaks" was enough justification, touting how "some critics, while not necessarily promoting the notion of a bioweapon, are calling into question the assertion that the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was the source. They are raising questions about a possible link with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), located less than nine miles away."
He then gave space to Republican Rep. Tom Cotton to peddle that very conspiracy theory:
“So we don’t know where it originated. But we do know that we have to get to the bottom of that,” Cotton said. “We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level-4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases.”
“Now, we don’t have evidence that this disease originated there [at the WIV], but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says,” he continued. “And China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all.”
Curiously -- since he's probably the closet thing to a real reporter CNS has -- Goodenough offered no pushback or balance, refusing to mention that people who know more about the subject than Cotton does have debunked his claim. The Washington Post reported:
In response to Cotton’s remarks, as well as in previous interviews with The Washington Post, numerous experts dismissed the possibility the coronavirus may be man-made.
“There’s absolutely nothing in the genome sequence of this virus that indicates the virus was engineered,” said Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University. “The possibility this was a deliberately released bioweapon can be firmly excluded.”
Vipin Narang, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it is “highly unlikely” the general population was exposed to a virus through an accident at a lab.
“We don’t have any evidence for that,” said Narang, a political science professor with a background in chemical engineering.
After Cotton’s Sunday remarks, Narang said, “These kinds of conspiracy theories are unhelpful.”
“I don’t think it’s particularly helpful, and it’s borderline irresponsible to — and it’s without evidence, so at this point it’s a conspiracy theory — peddle it,” he said. “Cotton should spend more time funding the agencies in the United States that can help contain and combat the virus rather than trying to assign blame.”
That seems like relevant informtion, but Goodenough apparently deemed it unnecessary for his article. Instead, he quoted Ebright from a Twitter thread suggesting that the coronavirus could have been "a natural accident or as a laboratory accidentand ignoring Ebright's statements in the Post denouncing the idea that the virus is an engineered bioweapon.
We hate to see Goodenough bowing to CNS' increasingly virulent right-wing bias, but that's what appears to be happening.
MRC Melts Down Over 'Throuple' Who Wants To Buy A House Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is vehementlyopposed to the mere existence of anyone who is not exclusively heterosexual, let alone allowing such a person to be depicted, in real life or fiction, in the media (at least not with a healthy dose of shame for being who they are). So when the HGTV show "House Hunters" featured a "throuple" looking for a suitable house, a meltdown was inevitable even though they were contributing to the Trump economy by buying a house. Crank up the sneering condescension, Alexa Moutevelis:
The nuclear family is so 20th Century. That’s what our culture is telling us repeatedly. The latest iteration comes from HGTV’s popular program House Hunters, which featured it’s very first “throuple” (a three-person polyamorous couple) in an episode that aired Wednesday night.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, the episode, titled “Three’s Not a Crowd in Colorado Springs,” introduced married couple Brian and Lori, who have two biological children together, and their partner Angelica “Geli.”
"I didn't plan on being in a relationship with a married couple, but it just happened very naturally, organically," Geli said. Yes, what could be more natural and organic than a three person relationship?
"The past four years, I've been living in Lori and Brian's house, so buying a house together, as a throuple, will signify, like, our next big step as a family of five rather than all four of them plus me," Geli said. Sounds like Geli has been a little jelly (jealous) of the original nuclear family. Those poor kids!
Moutevelis seemed to be encouraging residents of the city the throuple is moving to harass and shame them in her stead: "By the way, they might have some additional trouble fitting in, Colorado Springs is known as one of the most conservative cities in the country, home to Focus on the Family and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Moutevelis concluded by whining that "Again, pushing polyamory is not a new cultural phenomenon. ... To get really weird, Freeform’s mermaid drama Siren even boasted an interspecies triad," before closing with one final sneer: "I don't even want to think about the latter happening in real life, let's just hope HGTV doesn't turn it into another special episode."
Moutevelis' obvious hatred undercuts any other message she might be trying to send.
For WND's Brown, There Is No Bottom Where Trump Is Concerned Topic: WorldNetDaily
We'vedetailed how WorldNetDailiyu columnist Michael Brown has made it more than abundantly clear that he'll ride or die with President Trump no matter how evil he gets, as long as he continues to deliver the goods that boost the right-wing agenda Brown supports. Brown summed it up again in his Feb. 5 column:
President Trump's State of the Union message, coupled with the Democratic response, reminds me of why I voted for Trump in 2016 – and why I plan to vote for him again in 2020. The contrasts are just too extreme. I am conscience-bound to vote against the radical left and to vote for the causes Trump will uphold. Everything else pales in comparison.
I am voting against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up the president's speech for the whole world to see.
And so, when I vote for Trump, I am voting against the socialism of potential Democratic nominee like Bernie Sanders. The effects of his proposed policies, along with those of other leading candidates, would be disastrous.
I feel conscience-bound to cast my vote, a vote that will be meaningful.
I am also voting against every Democrat (including Speaker Pelosi) who chose to sit rather than stand when the president called on Congress to ban late-term abortions.
My conscience doesn't allow me to skip the election because Trump does not live up to all my ideals. Nor does it allow me to cast a protest vote for another candidate who cannot possibly win.
Maybe that's what your conscience dictates, but not mine.
Brown tackled a thornier issue in his Feb. 14 column: "How should Christian conservatives respond to President Trump's statement that he would have no problem voting for a gay president?" But this ended up not being thorny at all -- in Brown's eyes, Trump's personal friendliness toward gays is outweighed by the anti-LGBT policies pushed under his adminstration:
Trump's policies have consistently pushed back against LGBT activism and for Christian conservative rights.
That's why last year, the HRC (the world's largest gay activist organization) labeled Trump the "worst president on LGBTQ issues ever."
To be clear, I stand against LGBT people being "attacked" or "targeted." But when the HRC uses that language, it often means this: "The Trump administration is pushing back against the radical extremism of queer activism." For that, I am glad.
Brown went further in his faux-sympathy tack, again cheering Trump's anti-LGBT polilcies while parenthetically adding: "Again, I have no joy in seeing those who identify as LGBT feel attacked. And I do not want them hurt. I simply believe that many of their goals are detrimental to the overall well-being of our society, which is why I oppose them."
Oh, knock it off. One of the acts under Trump that Brown is that, citing the HRC entry he quoted, "Less than two hours after Trump and his virulently anti-LGBTQ activist Vice President Mike Pence were sworn into office, all mentions of LGBTQ issues were removed from the official White House webpage." Acknowleding the existence of an entire group is "radical extremism"? And eliminating all mention of it is not an attack on that group?
Brown is overjoyed by the prospect of the Trump administration having a policy that Christians have and deserve more rights than non-Christians, undoubtedly helped along by "the nearly 200 conservative judges who have been appointed by Trump" Brown also gushed over.
Brown concluded: "That's one reason my vote for him in 2016 was justified. And that's why I believe my 2020 vote for him will be justified as well."
In short, there is no bottom, at least as long as Trump's policies hate the LGBT community as much as Brown does.
NEW ARTICLE: Drag Queens and Nonbinary and Cross-Dressers, Oh My! Topic: Media Research Center
It's not just transgenders: The Media Research Center's war on non-heterosexual people continues. Read more >>