AIM President Puts Fake News In Rant Against Fake News Topic: Accuracy in Media
It's never a good look when your rant against "fake news" contains fake news. But Accuracy in Media (ironic!) president Adam Guillette pulled off that feat in his March 17 column:
The mainstream media is desperate to turn the coronavirus scare into President Donald Trump’s Hurricane Katrina. What does that mean? It means they’re motivated to overhype this story simply so they can pile as much pressure as possible onto the president.
As just one example, CNN is calling the outbreak a “pandemic”. Neither the World Health Organization nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined COVID-19 as a pandemic, but why should facts stand in the way of a media narrative?
In fact, WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 -- six days before Guillette's column was posted. It's not clear that the CDC even issues such a declaration.
Guillette went on to defend President Trump against criticism of his reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, declaring that "Trump is the head bureaucrat, not the head of medicine. Would you expect him to be toiling away in the West Wing in desperate search of a cure?"
For all of his ranting over "fake news," Guillette didn't actually cite any examples; even if he had, it's a certainty that Fox News' downplaying of the threat wouldn't have been mentioned. Still, he was eager to try and politicize the situation: "If we’re lucky, fake news will kill demand for nationalized health care. These bureaucratic bozos can’t get testing kits into the hands of doctors; they can’t manage a supply chain of face masks and Lysol. Would you really trust them if your loved one had cancer?"
MRC Attacks Abortion During Coronavirus -- But Defended Man Who Advocated Letting Elderly Die Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's alreadystrident rhetoric against abortion has only gotten more so as the coronavirus pandemic spread. In addition to obsessing over whether a public health expert was identified as a former Planned Parenthood official despite that being irrelevant to the issue, the MRC has freaked out over the following:
Alexa Moutevelis melted down over an Abortion Provider Appreciation Day earlier this month, denying the humanity of abortion doctors as she called them "monsters" who have "more in common with supervillain Thanos."
Moutevelis returned to attack family planning proponents as the "Death Lobby" that wants to make abortion to be considered an essential medical service during the pandemic (of course, in Moutevelis' highly biased and hataeful take, they're "making sure they can keep killing preborn babies in a timely manner"). She further complained; "There is a genuine disconnect between doctors trying to save the weak and vulnerable elderly that coronavirus seems to target most in one room while killing the weak and vulnerable in the womb that abortion targets in another," adding, "At a time when there’s death and destruction all around us, let’s do everything we can to save lives instead of take them."
In another post, Moutevelis slandered abortion rights proponents as "blood-thirsty" and "monstrous" for complaining about provisions in the stimulus bill, huffing that "at a time when our country is shut down to protect the weak and vulnerable members of our society, some want to keep open the abortion clinics that kill the weakest and most vulnerable of all humans, the unborn, asessential businesses."
And Gabriel Hays mocked the idea that abortion clinics should be allowed to stay open: "Ah, yes, killing kids is as essential as the ER doctor saving lives. This is just a dark Orwellian leftist game. The notion that someone wanting an abortion (A CHOICE) is an equal emergency to someone’s imminent death from coronavirus or a heart attack is not convincing."
But when someone actually advocated letting the sick and elderly die from coronavirus as an expeditious way to save the economy, the MRC ran to his defense.
In a March 26 post, Curtis Houck complained that a man who advocated letting the elderly and infirm die during the pandemic since they are "not productive" and are "generally expensive to maintain" had a Washington Post article done about him. At no point does Houck express offense at the man's views, despite his employer's pro-life; he merely calls the "harsh and unpopular." The greater offense, according to Houck, is that aPost reporer called the man's elderly parents for their views on the subject:
If The Washington Post and senior editor Marc Fisher want Americans to stop calling the press “the enemy of the people,” a place to start would be not publishing stories like Fisher’s March 25 item trying to tear down a man who, as of Wednesday night, had less than 400 Twitter followers.
The thought crime committed by La Mesa, California lawyer Scott McMillan? Offering a harsh and unpopular take about the coronavirus and senior citizens.
In response, Fisher penned a 1,786-word piece entitled “He urged saving the economy over protecting those who are ‘not productive’ from the coronavirus. Then he faced America’s wrath.”
On Twitter, most of the brutal but well-deserved scorn came with Fisher tweeting how he not only wrote about McMillian, but he called his parents:
So, a few points. One, anyone surprised by Twitter’s vitriol must either not have an account or be living under a rock. Two, perhaps forcing McMillan to relive the past few days isn’t the best for his well-being. And three, why did Fisher decide to further bring attention to this poor soul’s life again?
Yep -- according to Houck, the "poor soul" and victim here is the man getting criticized for expressing an unpopular opinion -- despite it being one that he and the MRC should be opposed to as supposed "pro-life" activists. And Houck's concern that theperson's life was being "ruined" for expressing said opinion rings hollow considering that he very much wants to ruin the life of the Post reporter for the supposedly "unpopular" action of calling the guy out. Some targets are much more acceptable than others, it seems.
It's doubly hypocritical given that the MRC has come out against the view the tweet expressed elsewhere -- albeit only when media figures accused conservatives of supporting it. A March 23 post by Scott Whitlock complained that "the hard left in the media" like MSNBC's Chris Hayes are accusing President Trump and conservatives of being "ready to kill a 'million' senior citizens as a way of saving the economy from the coronavirus" (while making sure to note that Hayes is "a staunch supporter of abortion"), while a March 26 post by Whitlock accusing MSNBC's Joe Scarborough of claiming conservatives support "the mass death of the elderly population" to presreve "Boeing's corporate earnings."
So is it cool to let the elderly die, or nah? The MRC should perhaps get on the same page on that.
Bad Coronavirus Takes: Prisoners Make Great Guinea Pigs! Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's still early, but we may already have a winner in our nascent Bad Coronavirus Takes sweepstakes. In a March 25 WorldNetDaily column, lawyers Richard Kibbey and David Lamos not only advocate using prisoners as guinea pigs for prospective coronavirus treatments, they cite World War II Japan and the Nuremberg Trials not as cautionary tales but as guidelines for what you can get away with:
As the clock ticks, the number of new COVID-19 infections rise. While promising theories are emerging over potential vaccines and drug treatments, the stark reality is that without large-scale human experimentation of those new medications, the public will remain at risk. State and federal prisoners may hold the key to finding a cure for this pandemic.
To be sure prisoner volunteers would have to give informed consent of potential health risks and side effects before they are included in a test group. Current federal rules governing prisoner use for scientific experimentation allows it so long as the testing exposes the prisoner to "minimal risk" of harm. That regulation can easily be waived or modified by Congress or the Bureau of Prisons in the case of emergencies, which COVID-19 would seem to present.
Historically, the testing of prisoners to find cures for disease is not new. Gen. Douglas McArthur, the supreme commander for Allied Powers in Japan, readily accepted for the benefit of the United States the scientific results achieved by the Japanese in their human testing on conquered people during World War II. The ethics and legality of human testing of prisoners was also the basis for the Nuremberg Code, which set out guidelines for medical research experimentation on prisoners. Chief among those guidelines is informed consent and that the risks be justified by the anticipated benefits.
It is anticipated that prisoners would readily volunteer to be included in testing in return for a reduction in, or commutation of, their sentences of imprisonment. Commutation can be fast-tracked by state governors or the White House.
There would be no shortage of prisoner applicants for testing. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, in 2019 the United States had nearly 2.3 million citizens incarcerated in state and federal prisons. In those prisons are inmates who possess medical and nursing degrees – perfect candidates to assist in the experiments and testing. Dr. Samuel Mudd, convicted and imprisoned for aiding John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of President Lincoln, received a presidential pardon for his medical assistance in stemming the outbreak of yellow fever plague in his prison.
Yep, they went there. Even by WND standards, that a pretty callous column.
MRC Silent On Management Turmoil At Its Media Partner Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center brags that "Since late January of 2012, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard has once a week featured a 'Mainstream Media Scream' selection in his 'Washington Secrets' column." That gives the Examiner protection from criticism by the MRC -- it touted stories from the Examiner that used anonymous sources despite regularly attacking other media outlets for their reliance on anonymous sources, it gave a pass to an Examiner writer who posted a nasty tweet about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and it's certainly never going to critique Bedard himself for being a pro-Trump shill.
So -- just as it did with similarturmoil at Fox News -- the MRC has chosen to remain silent about management turmoil at the Examiner, driven by complaints of sexual harassment and abusive behavior.
Last month, Toby Harnden was forced out of his job as Examiner managing editor after being accused of mistreating staffers and making sexist and homophobic comments about employees, documented through email and recorded conversations. Ironically, they were documented by an editor who had been fired the week before for sending a lewd video to colleagues. That editor also exposed some winghut welfare at the website, including one editor who gets a salary plus a $40,000 "sweetener" from a conservative nonprofit and another editor who is not terribly productive.
Then, earlier this month, another top editor quit the Examiner, citing how Examiner leadership enabled Harnden's abusive behavior, specifically citing current Examiner editor in chief Hugo Gurdon for doing nothing about it, and failing to conduct a promised internal investigation after Harnden's departure. The editor also cited a graphic purporting to identify "rape victims" at the top of a "privilege pyramid."
The Examiner also apparently stopped doing stories on Fox News that could be considered negative in an effort to get the network to reverse a ban on Examiner writers appearing on it.
This is whom the MRC is partnering on content with. No wonder they won't say a word about it.
CNS On Coronavirus: Blame China! Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's coverage of the coronavirus has largelyreflected the talking points on it from the Trump White House. so when Trump focused on blaming China for the virus, CNS did too:
A March 17 article by Melanie Arter touted a Republican congressman "demanding reparations from China for putting the United States through the adverse health effects and financial fallout from coronavirus."
The same day, a blog post by Craig Bannister promoted a poll by the Trump-friendly Rasmussen in which "One in four U.S. likely voters say that it should be considered an act of war, if China goes through with its threat to restrict U.S. access to critical drugsduring the coronavirus outbreak."
Arter internalized the Trump-mandated "Chinese virus" description in a March 18 article in which she uncritically repeated Trump's false statement that "I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously."
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman gleefully repeated this bit of propaganda from dear leader: "After a reporter asked President Trump why he refers to the coronavirus as the 'Chinese Virus,' adding that this seems 'racist,' Trump replied, 'Because it comes from China.'"
Patrick Goodenough highlighted how "a senior State Department official on Wednesday evening contrasted China’s response to how U.S. authorities dealt with the H1N1 'swine flu' outbreak 11 years ago," complete with a "partial timeline" of events.
Chapman added an item similar to his earlier one: "On Wednesday, CNN's chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju asked Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) if it was okay for President Trump to refer to the coronavirus as a 'Chinese virus,' to which Graham said yes because 'it came from China.'"
Later on March 19, Chapman complained that "the liberal media continue to scold President Trump for calling the coronavirus the "Chinese Virus," and that one reporter "took the issue a little further by reporting that it is "a bat virus" and "not a China virus." He then lectured:
In the fall of 2014 there were several cases of Ebola diagnosed in the United States. One of the patients, a Liberian national visiting the United States, died from the illness. According to the CDC, "Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, the virus has been infecting people from time to time, leading to outbreaks in several African countries."
Despite its origin in Africa and its designation as the Ebola virus, the liberal media did not criticize then-President Barack Obamaor his administration for using that label: Ebola virus.
Chapman did not note that if Trump was actually following that nomenclature, he'd be calling it the "Wuhan virus," not the "Chinese virus,"nor did he ask why Obama and other officials didn't blame the entire country where the Ebola virus originated by calling the "Democratic Republic of Congo virus."
Meanwhile, biased pro-Trump coverage continued elsewhere. A March 18 item by Jones using the coronavius crisis to promote her political agenda is headlined "Democrats Use Coronavirus Crisis to Push Their Political Agenda." Arter did her duty by uncritically repeating treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin declaring that "the United States is “still the greatest place to invest” despite the current stock market crash amid the coronavirus pandemic."
Speaking of pushing a political agenda -- as well as serving up a unlabeled press release from his employer -- Bannister touted how "the Media Research Center released an open letter to President Donald Trump on behalf of 39 leaders in the conservative movement demanding "a more formal investigation to uncover the truth"behind the origins of the coronavirus that came from Wuhan, China and specifically the actions of the Chinese government."
MRC Pretends Selectively Editing Videos Isn't Manipulation Topic: Media Research Center
Most people understand that selectively editing videos to take them out of their intended context is a form of manipulation. The Media Research Center thinks differently -- at least when the video editors are conservatives and the video's target is a Democratic presidential candidate -- and is laboring hard to split hairs in order to prove it.
We've already noted that MRC tech blogger Alexander Hall is upset that Facebook pointed out that a misleadlingly edited edit of Joe Biden tweeted out by Trump was, in fact, misleadingly edited and had flagged it as such.In a March 9 post criticizing Twitter for similarly pointing out the video's misleading nature, Hall's case for claiming the video isn't misleading comes from... the Trump operative who originally posted it:
An embarrassing clip of Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden stammering during a speech has been spun by liberal media as “manipulated media.”
Former Vice President Biden was caught on video seemingly endorsing President Donald Trump for re-election. Liberal media outlets condemned the video as deceptively edited misinformation in order to cover for the Democratic primary frontrunner. Twitter followed up by labeling the video as “manipulated media.” When reached out to for comment, Twitter staff replied that “this Tweet was labeled based on our Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy.”
The clip, posted on March 7 by White House social media director Dan Scavino, showed Biden stammering: “Because we can not get re-elect, we can not win this re-election. Excuse me, we can only re-elect Donald Trump.”
Trump retweeted Scavino's proclamation that “The video was NOT manipulated,” and has also retweeted other variations of the video in question.
It's laughable that Hall is treating Scavino as an objective observer of what is and is not video manipulation, given that he has a personal and professional vested interest in the outcome. Also note that Hall is again focused on Biden allegedly "stammering" in the video being the non-manipulated part, not the deceptyive edit.
Hall then played whataboutism:
Donald Trump, Jr. retweeted multiple conservative commentators who were calling out Twitter for allowing a Biden campaign video which itself appears to be deceptively edited in that it claimed that Trump was calling the coronavirus a hoax. A Politico article featuring this same claim was fact-checked on Facebook, at the behest of the Daily Caller, a move which outraged members of the liberal media. Former ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Judd Legum questioned, “The bigger question is why Facebook allows The Daily Caller to make judgments about Politico's reporting.”
Hall then invoked a tweet from right-wing writer Ryan Saavedra -- who also has a ideological interest in the debate -- attempting to parse between "selectively edited" and "manipulated" to make the same whataboutism point.
One cannot escape the feeling that Hall is trying to redefine words to protect the Trump campaign and advance a political agenda.
WND's Cashill Writes A Book For Teen Boys That Sounds Strangely Familiar Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill is a bit full of himself -- so committed to the idea that he's right about everything that he can't be bothered to admit that a large number of his pet conspiracy theories have, shall we say, not held up, let alone apologize to his readers for getting things so wrong.
Cashill has a new book out, which he's portraying as a book for young men. He began his March 4 WorldNetDaily column with a rant about what he thinks is the current state of YA literature:
The betrayal begins with the books teachers assign in high school and college. These books are routinely effete, feminist, anti-Christian, socialistic and often gay.
Collectively, they do better a job of teaching a young male to be a metrosexual than to be an a man.
I do not exaggerate the problem facing young men in school. To see what educators would like our young people to read, I chose an article titled "20 Contemporary Books for Your High School Reading List" from a random Google search.
Here are some samples. In "Bless Me, Ultima," described as "a classic piece of Chicano literature," the protagonist learns a new kind of spirituality from a faith healer.
"The Hate U Give" tackles "themes of racism, police brutality, and societal injustice."
The one worthy book, Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," may be the single bleakest book I have ever read. Even by post-apocalyptic standards, it is a total downer. The movie version makes "The Walking Dead" look like "Hello, Dolly."
Given the books young people are assigned, It should not surprise that girls are an incredible 10 times more likely than boys to pick up a book and read it on their own.
By contrast, Cashill claims that preparing to write his new book, "I harkened back to the books I was assigned to read in high school. I still remember them: 'Call of the Wild,' 'Red Badge of Courage,' 'Annapurna,' 'Kon-Tiki,' 'Mutiny on the Bounty,' 'Men Against the Sea,' 'Huckleberry Finn' and 'Lord of the Flies.' These books not only captured our attention and held it, but they also helped us boys envision our lives as men. We saw how courage, perseverance and self-reliance worked in the real world and why they remain essential virtues."
Cashill found a co-writer and claims they wrote "an action adventure novel that young men – men of any age – would actually want to read":
The result is "The Hunt." In the book we tell the story of a recently widowed Army veteran who takes his adolescent sons on a character-building elk hunt to Colorado only to discover they are the ones being hunted.
The hunters are leftist anarchists in league with Muslim terrorists hell-bent on shooting the president's plane out of the sky. The incorrectness of the bad guys assures that no public high school anywhere will put the book on its reading list.
Cashill didn't remark on this amazing coincidence, of course -- that would be too obvious (not to mention making the inevitable copyright infringement lawsuit happen a bit sooner than he's planning). Instead, he cited a couple anonymous glowing reviews, then exhorts his reader to "talk to your school board" about adding it to their school curriculum.
We suspect that no school board would want any book with such a blatant partisan agenda, almost assuredly filled with stiffly drawn heroes and cardboard villains,to be inflicted on their students.
What Is MRC's Mysterious Sports Blogger Freaking Out About Now? Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson is as mysterious as ever (since he/she has no social media presence outside the MRC, we don't even know if that's his/her real name or even his/her gender, since "Jay" can work both as masculine and feminine). So what has he/she been freaking about lately?
Any and every media mention of Colin Kaepernick triggers him/her, so there's a post ranting about Kaepernick writing his memoir, prompting Maxson to declare that the book will "serve up the same garbage that turned off 32 NFL teams and alienated countless sports fans across America," adding, "The audio version could be particularly revealing if the tone of Kaepernick's voice reflects his hatred for country."
In Maxson's view, the only political opinion an athlete is allowed to speak publicly is a conservative one in general and support of President Trump in particular, so the 1980 Olympics hockey team gets praise for appearing on stage with Trump, and washed-up NFL quarterback turned washed-up minor-league baseball player Tim Tebow gets fawned over for "saying he'd rather be known for saving babies from abortion than as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback."
Following in the MRC tradition of jealously hating any journalist whocommits the offense of winning an award for their journalism, Maxson attacked USA Today writer for winning an award,huffing that "To win the Red Smith Award for sports writing is tantamount to having one's left-wing credentials enshrined by the Associated Press" (though he named no other examples of this happening). Maxson complained that "Brennan helped perpetuate the LGBT narrative" of pointing out that conservatives like Maxson hate gays in sports, which seems pretty accurate to us.
Even though he's a member of the conservative Mormon Church, Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young is very San Francisco. Young just bucked his LDS church and his alma mater, Brigham Young University, by tweeting support for LGBTQ students at the school where people are protesting the church's opposition to same-sex relationships.
This is no new revelation for Young (seen during his 2005 Hall of Fame induction in photo), a descendant of Brigham Young himself, but nevertheless much in tune with Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco social values.
The brother of Young's wife Barbara is homosexual, and they have been opposed to marriage as the union of one man and one woman for several years. In 2008, California voters affirmed that ideal by passing Prop 8. Despite the LDS position on marriage and sexuality, the Youngs posted a sign in their yard in opposition to that ballot proposition.
Maxson offers no evidence that Young is "opposed to marriage as the union of one man and one woman"; he does appear to support the expansion of marriage rights and benefits to same-sex couples.
Similarly, Maxson freaked out that retired NBA star Dwayne Wade brought his transgender child to an awards ceremony for an "LGBT pressure group," sneering, "Rather than address their child's gender confusion, father and step-mother have both chosen to become folk heroes to the LGBT agenda by celebrating a child's confusion."
Maxson was quick to adapt his/her schtick to the coronavirius era, complaining that the NBA's Utah Jazz was criticized for having the entire team and many team employees were tested for the virus when they were in Oklahoma City for a later-canceled game, at a time when few regular people could easily obtain tests.Macson whined: "Oklahoma should get credit for doing some things right though. It's not exactly the epicenter of the pandemic, and when out-of-staters brought the virus into the heartland state, Oklahoma jumped on that group and started testing. Sounds like pretty good strategy ... that just got in the way of the agenda of a writer for a progressive blog."
CNS Lets A Bunch Of Trump Falsehoods Stand Uncorrected Topic: CNSNews.com
As a loyal pro-Trump stenographer, CNSNews.com lovestorepeat falsehoods from President Trump without bothering to fact-check or correct them. He's been talking a lot during the coronavirus pandemic, and CNS remains happy to just scribble down whetever he says without telling readers it's false.
"I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the 'borders' from China - against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!"
President Trump issued that tweet shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday, after listening to negative coverage from the morning news shows.
But as an actual news outlet pointed out, Trump has a history of comments showing he did not, in fact, take it verious seriously:
In late January, when a CNBC reporter asked if there were “worries about a pandemic” spreading from China, where it was first reported in December, he replied, “No, not at all. We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
While speaking about the first cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S. at a White House news conference on Feb. 26, he claimed that "pretty soon" there could only be one or two people affected.
“We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people,” Trump said. “And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.”
The next day, at a White House meeting, he said, "It's going to disappear. One day -- it's like a miracle - it will disappear." He has suggested, without firm scientific evidence, that warmer weather would stop the spread.
In a March 19 article, Melanie Arter uncritically repeated:
President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration was prepared to deal with the pandemic of the coronavirus, but he wasn’t prepared to deal with the media.
The president complained that the press, and specifically NBC News, called him “racist” for banning foreign nationals traveling from China from entering the United States.
But Trump did not offer a specific example of anyone at NBC calling him "racist" over that decision -- and, thus, neither did Arter. YOu'd think an example could be easily found if that actually happened.
President Donald Trump announced “exciting progress” Thursday in finding therapy drugs to fight the coronavirus.
Not only has a drug that’s used to fight malaria and treat arthritis shown promise in fighting COVID-19, but the administration is looking at drugs used overseas to treat the virus.
The president pointed to chloriquine, a drug that has been shown to be effective in treating arthritis and malaria, as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
["]They've been trying for many decades to get this approved. It sounds simple, but it's not, because there is liability involved in lots of other things. I was able to get it approved, working with Congress. Right to try. This is beyond right to try. What we are talking about today is beyond right to try.["]
Arter didn't tell her readers that chloroquine has, in fact, not been approved to treat coronavirus.
Arter returned on March 24 for another false claim from Trump:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had a chance to order 16,000 ventilators five years ago for a discount, but he opted for death panels and lotteries instead, President Donald Trump said Tuesday.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Cuomo complained that the federal government only sent 400 ventilators, when they needed 30,000.
Trump was referring to an op-edby former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey published March 19, 2020 by the New York Post:
In fact, McCaughey -- a longtime misinformer on the subject of health care -- appears to have misread a state report on pandemic preparedness, falsely interpreting a worst-case scenario that might require thousands of ventilators as a "chance" to buy them; the report does not even make a ruling on the optimal number of ventilators the state should have stockpiled. The "death panels" reference is to recommended procedures in the report regarding triage.
If CNS is going to be nothing more than a Trump stenography website, it should stop calling itself "news."
Bad Coronavirus Takes: CNS' Jeffrey Cares Only About Christians Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey begins his March 25 column this way:
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order on Monday that is aimed at stopping the new coronavirus — and, in the process, makes it a criminal offense to hold a church service attended by more than 10 people.
Yes, his order makes it a crime for more than 10 people to gather in a church.
That's misleading -- as Jeffrey concedes in the next few paragraphs, in which he admits that what was criminalized was all gatherings of more than 10 people, not just church services.
Yet Jeffrey spends the rest of his column falsely pretending that only church services were targeted. So much so, in fact, that he pestered Northam's press secretary demanding "a simple yes or no" to whether church services fall under the ban, even though it's obvious they are. ANd he wasn't done ranting:
Virginians now live in a state where holding a church service attended by 11 people has been unilaterally declared a crime by the governor.
The same executive order that creates this church-attending crime also declares that Virginia's state-owned liquor stores are "essential retail businesses" that "may remain open during their normal business hours."
How can a person walk into a liquor store, exchange a glass bottle of whiskey and money with a clerk and keep his social distance? Could 11 people in a church — praying the rosary together — stay further apart physically than the buyers and sellers at a Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control store?
What would St. Thomas More think of a government that made it a crime to gather and pray in church?
What would the framers of the First Amendment think?
What future "emergencies" will inspire future governors to act on Northam's precedent?
Jeffrey is so obsessed with pushing his right-wing agenda that he only cares how he and his fellow Christians are impacted and doesn't seem that interested in how anyone else is, and he apparently believes that he and his friends should be exempted from the rules that apply to everyone else because they're Christian.
MRC Attacks CNN For Not Noting Coronavirus Expert's Irrelevant Link To Planned Parenthood Topic: Media Research Center
Count on the Media Research Center to cling to its agenda in the midst of a national emergency. Curtis Houck ranted in a March 16 post (needless bolding in original):
It’s well-established that CNN has refused to act as a serious news organization. So, it came as no surprise when a Media Research Center study found that CNN featured Dr. Leana Wen 16 times from March 2 to 16 for a total of 73 minutes and 29 seconds to discuss the coronavirus. However, there were zero seconds verbally acknowledging her past as Planned Parenthood’s former president.
Instead, CNN has labeled her as either a former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, emergency room physician, or Visiting Professor of Health Policy & Management at the George Washington University. (Updated chart forthcoming)
only 10 seconds of the total featured chyrons noting how, less than a year ago, she was leading the nation’s leading aborter provider.
At no point, however, did Houck explain why it was important for Wen to be labeled as the former head of Planned Parenthood. She was on CNN to talk about coronavirus, not family planning or pro-choice activism, so her Planned Parenthood experience was irrelevant to the issue. Fuyrther, she was only head of Planned Parenthood for less than a year before being ousted last July, so there wasn't much of that experience to bring to the table.
It appears Houck was invoking the MRC's ancient hatred of Planned Parenthood and anything that smacks of being supportive of abortion. He was also trying to figure out a way to dunk on CNN and serve up a whataboutism deflection for criticism of Fox News, as the end of his post indicates:
For CNN’s near-daily assault on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, CNN has refused to keep its own house in order.
Whether it’s refusing to disclose guests as former Obama officials, firing off snarky statements, or making sophomoric facial expressions, perhaps they should worry about doing “the small stuff” right first.
Actually, CNN did get the small stuff right by not inserting something that was utterly irrelevant to the issue at hand.
Houck already hates CNN's Jim Acosta, and that hatred appears to have spread to CNN as a whole, so he's looking for any excuse to go on the attack, no matter how irrelevant.
NEW ARTICLE: The Talking Point Two-Step Topic: CNSNews.com
While the Media Research Center mocks the argument that funding for public broadcasting shouldn't be cut because it's an infinitesimal amount of the federal budget, the head of its "news" division demands funding for the border wall for the exact same reason. Read more >>
A March 9 column by Lance Voorhees -- whose WND bio begins with the claim that he's "an American Mensa member" -- tried mightily to drag the Muslims into it because ISIS once "called for 'viral warfare' against the West," prompting him to declare: "My fellow Americans, be forewarned: The coronavirus is surely on ISIS' radar to be weaponized as well." Voorhees went on to rant about "students and tourists from Muslim-majority countries" who come to the U.S." then goes on to suggest that all Muslims are potential terrorists: "Viral jihad is a clear and present danger – an inexpensive terrorist strategy Americans cannot afford to ignore. Please join me in flooding the State Department by calling the recorded comments service at: 202-647-6575 and press "8" to record your concerns … and be polite."
In a March 20 column, James Zumwalt -- who's already prone to believing conspiracy theories -- served up another one, citing an interview with "biological warfare (BW) expert professor Francis Boyle," who purports to have "definitive evidence a biowarfare lab at the University of North Carolina (UNC) was the initial catalyst for the virus," and the lab then worked with "a top Chinese biowarfare expert" to develop "biowarfare DNA genetic capability" for the virus.
MRC Thinks Facebook Is 'Backsliding' And 'Caving' Because It Has Standards Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a narrative that Facebook is irredeemably liberal despite all the evidence to the contrary (secret dinners with Brent Bozell, anyone?), and it has to cling to that narrative. It also feels it has to continue to bully Facebook if it ever looks like it won't be a right-wing shill. In December, for example, the MRC's Alexander Hall accused Facebook of "backsliding" on "free speech" by scrutinizing political ads (beause conservatives like consider it "restricting free speecn" to political ads to any sort of standard of truth and accuracy).
True to form, Hall got mad in a March 6 post when Facebook cracked down on Trump campaign ads that falsely presented themselves as linked to the upcoming census, under the headline "Facebook Caves":
A liberal journalist blasted Facebook until it removed certain Trump campaign ads as the 2020 Census approaches.
Founding Editor-in-Chief of the now defunct outlet Think Progress Judd Legum scorched Facebook for “running more than 1,000 ads on Facebook promoting” what he called “a fake 2020 census.” The piece written for his liberal news outlet Popular Information seems to have caused Facebook to change its mind, removing the Trump campaign’s census ads. “Just hours after this piece published,” Legum tweeted, “Facebook reversed course and said they would take all of the Trump census ads down.”
In the update at the top of Legum’s Popular Information’s coverage, it declared victory. “Facebook abruptly reversed course and said they would take down the Trump campaign’s ads about the Census,” it wrote. Facebook reportedly disclosed the decision via email to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights president Vanita Gupta. Gupta had reportedly contacted Facebook over the accusations made in Popular Information’s article on the Trump ads.
Facebook allegedly wrote: "Upon further review, these ads are currently being taken down given the policies in place to prevent confusion around the official U.S. Census."
Hall doesn't even bother to defend the ad's content -- perhaps because he knows he can't. Nor did he bother to describe for his readers exactly how those ads were misleading. As the above image shows, the ad presented itself as the "Official 2020 Congressional District Census," coming from the "Certified Website of President Donald J. Trump," complete with a survey number "For Official Use Only."
Instead, Hall invoked Robert Epstein, whose usual schtick is hating Google, calling this "censorship," adding "Whether u know it or not, #Google-&-the-Gang will decide who our next president will be. #BeAfraid."
Four days later, Hall played the "Facebook Caves" card (and headline) again, upset that Facebook accurately pointed out that a misleading right-wing edit of Joe Biden tweeted out by Trump was, in fact, misleadingly edited, blaiming the Biden campaign and the "liberal media" fo rpurportedly forcing Facebook to make that ruling "under liberal pressure after Twitter labeled the video clip as 'manipulated media.'"
Hall conceded that the video actually was misleadingly edited -- cutting off immediately after saying "We can only re-elect Donald Trump" where he said that could happen "if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It's gotta be a positive campaign.'" But then, he seemed to be suggesting the video was flagged because it showed Biden "stammering" -- a word he put in the headline and used three times in his item.
CNS Devotes Four Articles To Democratic Congresswoman Retweeting A Swear Word Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com these days is mostly just pro-Trump stenography and negative news about non-conservatives, with particular emphasis on flooding the zone on the latter. And it's done the latter again.
When Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib -- whom it already despises and targets with highly biased reporting -- retweeted Parkland massacre survivor David Hogg criticizing a national day of prayer regarding coronavirus and calling for "immediate comprehensive action" instead, using a swear word in doing so, CNS was quick to flood the zone. Under the headline "Rep. Tlaib Retweets: ‘F**k a National Day of Prayer’," Patrick Goodenough highlighted the tweet and noted that Hogg's original tweet included a clip of HUD secretary Ben Carson lecturing that "we’ve gotten away from prayer and faith a lot in this country."
Goodenough didn't mention the fact that Hogg is a survivor of a mass shooting that killed several of his high school classmates, but he made sure to link to an earlier attack he wrote on "Muslim congresswomen" Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. CNS also made sure to use the most unflattering photo of Tlaib it could find.
Goodenough followed up the next day with an article featuring CNS friend (and dishonest Catholic) Bill Donohue attacking Tlaib and demanding that the House of Representatives reprimand her.
It was two days after that that CNS finally got around to telling more than one side of the story, in a blog post by Craig Bannister on Tlaib's "response to backlash over her retweet of a vulgar condemnation of the Sunday’s National Day of Prayer for coronavirus victims declared by President Donald Trump." He also touted Donohue's demand for the House to reprimand her.
Finally, Donohue was granted his own column to rant further about Tlaib, insisting her walkback was not sincere:
Let me be clear, Rep. Tlaib: You are fooling no one. You not only have a record of offending people, your anti-Semitic comments have mobilized friends of mine like Rabbi Aryeh Spero to hold a sit-in at Rep. Nancy Pelosi's congressional office to protest your bigotry (and that of your fellow "Squad" member, Rep. Ilhan Omar). Your record of hate speech is incontestable.
You say your retweet "was not an attack on prayer." How lame. What you manifestly chose to do is attack the one day when Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and others come together in a national day of prayer. Your point was to insult us. Mission accomplished.
By contrast, when then-candidate Trump sent out a tweet with a picture of Hillary Clinton accompanied by a six-pointed star with the phrase "most corrupt candidate ever!" -- widely viewed as anti-Semitic -- CNS did only a single article (that apparently is no longer online) dedicated to Trump denying the image was anti-Semitic.