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Saturday, May 23, 2020
Reminder: MRC Is Happy To See Non-Conservative Media Die
Topic: Media Research Center

If there was any question that the Media Research Center has a goal of silencing non-conservative media and not merely doing "research" on them, Joseph Vazquez makes it clear in an April 30 post in which he huffily rants against the idea that the federal government could help media outlets hurt by the coronavirus pandemic by buying ads:

The Los Angeles Times touted a new media lobbying effort to expand federal ad spending by billions of dollars for local media companies.

In a story headlined, “Rocked by coronavirus losses, TV, radio, newspapers seek government ad dollars,” The Times pushed the case for expanded government-funding of media outlets. “Every year the federal government spends around $1 billion in advertising to promote its programs and military recruitment,” The Times said.

The outlet also pulled on the heart strings of its readers. It stated how media companies were “financially devastated by the coronavirus outbreak, “even as the hunger for news and information on the pandemic is driving up viewing and readership.”

And then came the kicker: Representatives from media companies involved in a new lobbying effort want Congress to expand “federal advertising spending to between $5 billion and $10 billion for the rest of the year.” That’s at least between a 400 percent to 900 percent spending increase. The Times even admitted that large media conglomerates like Comcast (owner of NBC News) “own television stations that would likely see some benefit from the increased spending.”

The federal government was already planning to spend “as much as $2 billion” in tax dollars on ad spending, according to The Times, but apparently that wasn’t enough.

Vazquez suddenly became concerned about the alleged "conflict of interest" in media outlets taking money from the government, even though those outlets would actually be providing a service for that money:

Instead of raising questions about what such a thing could mean for journalistic ethics, The Times instead went on to cover for the idea: “The proposal is designed to minimize the perception of the funds being a handout to media companies, as the government will be getting commercials and ads in return.”

The Times didn’t address the potential conflict of interest this sort of push entails.

But The Times wasn’t the only liberal outlet that pushed the idea for the federal government to expand funding to media outlets.

On April 20, published a piece with this headline: “The call for federal support of local news is getting louder.”


Liberal outlet Deadline complained the Senate’s recent $484 billion small business relief package didn’t “specifically provide relief to a larger number of local media outlets.”

None of these outlets addressed the potential conflict of interest issues prevalent here in their stories.

If the liberal state-funded media operations NPR and PBS are any indication of the effects of government financial involvement in the news industry, then no thanks.

If Vazquez is really concerned about conflicts of interest at media outlets, he can start a little closer to home -- specifically, down the hall at MRC headquarters. Ther MRC's "news" division,, is not only not an independent news organization -- it's simply another outlet for its parent's right-wing, anti-media agenda -- it has conflicts of interest as well, the most blatant one being its dozens of articles promoting Mark Levin, so many that it seems there is a cross-promotion agreement going on.

Further, Vazquez sticking "HECK NO" in the headline tells us what his (and the MRC's real agenda is: to kill non-conservative media outlets. He and the MRC probably couldn't be happier that the internet and the pandemic have struck a double blow to the viability of legacy media operations, and they oppose anything that might extend their life.

That's not "media research" -- it's hatred, pure and simple.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 PM EDT
WND Columnist Barry Farber Dies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist and radio host Barry Farber died earlier this month. WND managing editor David Kupelian gave him quite a sendoff:

On a personal note: Barry Farber was a friend, colleague and hero. He was a longtime weekly columnist for WND. Moreover, having had the opportunity to be a guest on his show dozens of times over the years, I can honestly say Barry Farber was my favorite talk show host in the whole world to be interviewed by, and I told him so more than once. The best talk hosts have the mysterious ability to draw the very best out of their guests, and that was Barry. He was unfailingly warm, gracious, knowledgeable, fresh, and effusively but genuinely enthusiastic about and interested in his guests. I am also grateful to have had the chance to talk to Barry just a day before he died. 

Farber fell into pro-Trump sycophancy in his later years, at one point likening him to Michelangelo. He also tarnished his reputation by embracing discredited anti-vaxxer activist Andrew Wakefield and the documentary film he made (which WND, of course, was totally cool with).

Even so, Farber wasn't one of the worst WND columnists, which tells you all you need to know about the history of WND columnists.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Friday, May 22, 2020
MRC's Graham Predictably Melts Down Over Pulitzer Prizes Again
Topic: Media Research Center

One thing you can count on from the Media Research Center is regular meltdowns anytime a journalist it despises wins an award. With the awarding of this year's Pulitzer Prizes, Tim Graham comes through again. He ranted in a May 4 post (bolding in original):

They handed out the latest Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, and once again, the liberal tilt was all over the selections, and the ceremony itself.


While many awards had a liberal tinge, two were obviously awarded for resisting Trump. In the newly created Audio Reporting category, NPR's This American Life won for an episode called “The Out Crowd” — which "illuminated the personal impact" of the Trump Administration’s policy to make immigrants “Remain in Mexico” until they can be admitted.

In the Editorial Cartooning category, the winner was Barry Blitt of The New Yorker, “for work that skewers the personalities and policies emanating from the Trump White House with deceptively sweet watercolor style and seemingly gentle caricatures.”

Over the previous three years, four Pulitzer Prizes for reporting were handed out for exposing Donald Trump's apparently shady deeds, from alleged Russian collusion to tax evasion. In the previous eight years, there's not a single reporting prize handed out for exposing anything about Barack Obama or his team. Democracy was never in darkness back then.

Graham does not identify what about Obama needed to be "exposed" in such a way that would warrant a Pulitzer.

Graham was particularly incensed that "the widely criticized fake-history '1619 Project'" from the New York Times won an award, even after the Times felt pressed to publish an 'update,' a 'clarification' on its central idea that slavery was 'one primary reason the colonists fought the American Revolution.' It turned out their point was not true."

That change -- more accurately stating that preserving slavery was a motivation of "some" colonists and not "all" of them -- was actually relatively minor and, despite the insistence of Graham and his right-wing media cohorts, doesn't particularly undermine the fact that racism influenced the creation of the United States and the Constitution and played a role in perpetuating the racial inequity that still plagues America today. (Graham devoted a March column to whining about this as well.)

If Graham and his MRC was as scrupulous as the Times in correcting the record when it gets something wrong -- which it's not -- Graham might have a leg to stand on. Instead, he's in "do as I say, not as I do" mode again.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
CNS Tries To Play Gotcha With A Golfing Obama

Craig Bannister thought he had a gotcha in an April 30 blog post:

Last Friday, Michelle Obama debuted two PSA videos urging African-Americans to stay safe from the coronavirus by staying home – and the very next day her husband Barack was spotted out on the links playing golf.

As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in its article titled “Michelle Obama urges African Americans to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” two PSAs by Mrs. Obama were released on Friday, April 24, telling African-Americans to stay home, even if they’re not exhibiting any symptoms of the virus, because they can still spread the disease to others.

Then, on Saturday, her husband, former President Barack Obama, was outside enjoying a round of golf in Virginia, Politico Playbook reported on Sunday, April 26[.]

What Bannister didn't tell you: Golf courses in Virginia were open for play, and the state's stay-at-home order at the time permitted "outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements" (and golf is technically exercise). Even Tucker Carlson noted that Obama was engaging in social distancing while playing.

The photo accompanying Bannister's blog post is an Getty image lacking a date or description, which tells us it's a file photo and not of the golf outing in question. That's a mildly dishonest thing for Bannister to do.

Further, Bannister is almost certainly not going to tell you that President Trump played golf in January and February as the coronavirus was gaining hold in the U.S. That would seem a more relevant issue than playing a lame, politically motivated gotcha game with a former president whom CNS has always despised.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Thursday, May 21, 2020
AIM Can't Figure Out Conservative Media Is Biased On Tara Reade
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Spencer Irvine wrote in a May 5 Accuracy in Media post:

Data journalism site FiveThirtyEight discovered that the mainstream media covered Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden less than conservative media.

The website’s findings confirmed Accuracy in Media’s reporting that the mainstream media ignored Reade’s allegations longer than it should have.


Fox News “has devoted the most attention to Reade so far” and intensified its Reade-related coverage. It has mentioned Reade 371 times, compared to CNN’s 35 clips that mentioned Reade. FiveThirtyEight said that MSNBC “barely mentioned her” until last week. But FiveThirtyEight pointed out that conservative online outlets “accounted for most early coverage” of Reade’s allegations from websites such as The Blaze, Daily Caller, and Breitbart.

FiveThirtyEight’s media analysis on Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden confirmed that media bias played a significant role in dictating media coverage. The mainstream media was slow to respond to the allegations and ignored them longer than it should have, while the conservative media covered the story early and often.

Note how Irvine assumes that the conservative media's coverage of the Reade story is his default, cheering how they covered it "early and often" and criticizing the "mainstream media" for waiting "longer than it should have." But he's ignoring the fact that the conservative media have a motivation for covering Reade "early and often": it's biased.

Irvine seems not to have considered that the conservative media pushed the Reade story "early and often" because they believe the story will hurt Biden and help President Trump. If Irvine thinks the "mainstream media" held off "longer than it should have" because it's purported biased for Biden, then the opposite must be true.

There's simply no reason for Irvine to assume that the conservative media is the standard of political coverage when it actually is as biased as he likes to think the "mainstream media" is.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2020 8:54 PM EDT
Yes, Tim Graham, NewsBusters Did Push The Climategate Hoax
Topic: NewsBusters

The most thin-skinned right-winger when it comes to criticism of his operation (behind WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, of course) is the Media Research Center's Tim Graham. He can't admit his own errors, and he's certainly not about to admit when the MRC operation for which he serves as executive editor, NewsBusters, screws up.

Graham spent an April 30 post complaining about "one of those dramatically one-sided climate fearmongering-documentaries" hosted by CNN's Bill Weir. He went on to complain:

Weir ripped conservatives as part of a "machinery of denial" funded by the oil companies. As he promoted climate activist/scientist Michael Mann, he presented the 2009 scandal known as "Climategate" as a "malevolent hoax" created by, among others, the late Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters and other conservative bloggers, like Ed Driscoll and Geoff Metcalf. There was zero rebuttal offered to Mann's "malevolent" spin. 

When Weir pointed out that "Multiple investigations from the EPA to the UK's House of Commons cleared them and declared Climategate was a malevolent hoax," Graham went on a tirade (bolding in original):

Weir failed to explain that the House of Commons inquiry took only one day of oral testimony and said it was not an inquiry into the science issues. I can't find the words "malevolent hoax" in there, or in the EPA press release. But Weir could always show us where he got that loaded phrase.

If you were to read the actual NewsBusters blog by Noel Sheppard -- as the scandal was breaking -- it's a very straightforward summary of what the hacked e-mails said. This is one of the "cherry-picked" phrases from Mann: "I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline." 

In other words, Mann was fudging numbers.

No, he didn't. As actual researchers documented:

"Mike's Nature trick" refers to a technique (a "trick of the trade") by Michael Mann to plot recent instrumental data along with reconstructed past temperature. This places recent global warming trends in the context of temperature changes over longer time scales.

There is nothing secret about "Mike's trick". Both the instrumental and reconstructed temperature are clearly labelled. Claiming this is some sort of secret "trick" or confusing it with "hide the decline" displays either ignorance or a willingness to mislead.


The common misconception that scientists tried to hide a decline in global temperatures is false. The decline in tree-ring growth is plainly discussed in the publicly available scientific literature. The divergence in tree-ring growth does not change the fact that we are currently observing many lines of evidence for global warming. The obsessive focus on a misquote taken out of context, doesn't change the scientific case that human-caused climate change is real.

So, yes, Climategate was a cherry-picked hoax pushed by right-wing activists -- the fact that it was malevolent would seem to be self-evident, even if Graham can't find the actual word in any of the debunkings he cites -- and Sheppard and NewsBusters indisputably pushed it.

We've documented Sheppard's lengthy history of climate change bamboozlement -- to the point where he pushed the bogus idea that back-to-back blizzards in Washington, D.C., somehow proved there was no global warming. Needless to say, the MRC has never corrected Sheppard's original "hide the decline" post where he deliberately misinterpreted the information, despite his similarly lengthy history of pushing falsehoods in general. So maybe Graham shouldn't be so aggressively defending Sheppard's original work.

Then again, Graham is in full deflection mode. He won't concede that Sheppard and NewsBusters got it wrong, so he attacks studies that showed the hoax, then tried to misdirect by complaining that "these supposedly fact-based scientists worked to censor opposing viewpoints from the scientific literature."

Weir is not wrong, and Graham knows it. But Graham -- rather pettily and selfishly -- is not going to give Weir the satisfaction of admitting that.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:01 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch, Pre-Reporting Edition

You know the unemployment situation under President Trump is bad when has to do pre-reporting to soften the blow. It did that before March's coronavirus-spiked numbers came out, and it did so before the even more spiked numbers for April.

An April 30 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman featured a Fox Business report (of course) noting that there have been more than 30 million jobless claims filed since the pandemic shutdowns began and "unemployment is expected to hit between 18% and 20%, which is a 'Depression-like' number." Chapmanthen served up those Depression-era numbers: "During the Great Depression, the national unemployment rate peaked at 24.75% (of the labor force) in 1933. The U.S. population then was 92,950,000.  The unemployment rate stayed in the high teens from 1935 to 1940."

When the actual numbers came out on May 8, Susan Jones reverted once again to looking at the labor force participation rate, while also trying to remind readers that Trump was doing great before the pandemic:

The nation's labor force participation rate reached a 47-year low of 60.2 percent in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the number of people not in the labor force jumped by 6,570,000 to a record 103,415,000.

The participation rate has now dropped 2.5 percentage points since March, and it is the lowest it has been since the 60.0 percent recorded in January 1973.


The number of employed Americans had broken 25 records under President Trump, something he has frequently repeated on the campaign trail.

At the same time, a record 23,078,000 Americans were unemployed in April -- 15,938,000 more than in March.

The unemployment rate of 14.7 percent didn't get mentioned by Jones until the eighth paragraph of her article.

In his designated sidebar, Craig Bannister had the grim duty of reporting that "The 18.9% national, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos in April more than tripled from March’s 6.0% level, as the number employed plummeted by more than five million (5,093,000) and the number unemployed jumped by more than three million (3,492,000) from March’s levels." Editor Terry Jeffrey's designated sidebar complained that "As overall employment in the United States was dropping dramatically in April, the federal government added 1,000 jobs."

Chapman followed up on May 12 with a little pre-reporting for the next report, noting that "Kevin Hassett, the senior economic adviser to President Trump and former chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, said that in the next report on jobless claims he expects the national unemployment rate to be 'close to 20%,'" and that it likely won't get back below 10 percent until late next year.

Not a lot of distortion this time -- it seems even CNS can't spin numbers this bad.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Silver Linings Playbook
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center gets mad whenever someone notes a bright side to the coronavirus pandemic -- but writers for it and its "news" division CNS have touted their own favorite bright spots. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EDT
CNS Pretends Trump Writes All Of His Own Tweets

Patrick Goodenough wrote in a May 4 article:

Confronted by a tweet from former Vice President Joe Biden criticizing his response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump said Sunday the tweet was not written by Biden but “by a young man that got very good grades at a very good school.”

Trump, a prolific tweeter himself, was speaking during a “virtual town hall” event broadcast by Fox News.

Host Bret Baier drew his attention to a recent tweet on Biden’s Twitter feed responding to Trump’s criticism of the Obama administration.

“We left a playbook. He ignored it,” the tweet read. “We created an office for pandemics. He gutted it. We had CDC officials in China to detect and contain outbreaks. He pulled them out. Trump can try and shift blame all he wants, but the fact is his actions left us unprepared.”

“First of all, Joe Biden didn’t write that,” Trump retorted. “That was written from a young man that got very good grades at a very good school. That was not written by him. I promise you that.”

But Goodenough didn't tell you that Trump doesn't write all of his tweets either. As an actual news organization detailed, White House social media director Dan Scavinois believed to write about half of Trump's tweets:

If you look at Trump's Twitter page, you'll see, for one thing, a few sort of anodyne things: "I'll be at such-and-such a place at 1 o'clock." Trump's not writing that; Dan Scavino is.

Then you'll see other things that will say, "I'm not the corrupt one; Hillary Clinton is corrupt." And it will list three or four reasons why Hillary Clinton is the corrupt one, not Trump. Well, that's Trump, but it's Trump in "collusion," as it were, with Scavino, who will supply the litany of examples.

There are also some tweets that Trump will dictate to Scavino and Scavino will then polish them up, make sure there are no grammatical errors or anything like that. Trump will look at them and then say, "OK, that looks good," or "No, no. I want you to put this back in." Then he'll say, "Go ahead and hit send," and Scavino will do so. ...

There certainly are tweets that Trump himself writes in the dark of night or first thing in the morning that Dan Scavino sees when the rest of the world sees. That's probably about half of the tweets overall. But of the 37,000 or so tweets that Trump has sent out, Dan Scavino is responsible for — at least as a "co-conspirator" to — about half of those.

Goodenough did tiptoe toward doing a fact-check on Trump, which his employer is usually too dedicated to stenography to touch:

Trump then said that after he restricted travel from China in early February – doing something that nobody had wanted to do – “Joe Biden said, ‘he’s xenophobic. He’s a racist.’ They called me a racist.”

“And I saved hundreds of thousands of lives. And he actually apologized with a letter on a Friday night saying ‘he made the right move.’ It wasn’t well played by the press, but he said I made the right move.”

The Biden campaign has disputed in the past that the Democratic presidential candidate had written a letter and apologized.

Biden’s campaign did issue a statement a month ago, on a Friday, saying the candidate supported the travel ban that barred entry to any non-U.S. national who has visited China in the previous 14 days. He did not apologize.

Oh, so close. Actually, not only is there no evidence whatsoever that Biden ever apologized to Trump for anything regarding to Trump's attempt to stop travel from China , it's false for Trump to claim that Biden branded him "xenophobic" or "racist" for doing so; the Biden campaign says his reference to xenophobia was about Trump's long record of scapegoating others at a time when the virus was emerging from China.

It's unclear why Goodenough thought it was important to note that the Biden campaign's statement was issued "on a Friday."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:05 PM EDT
Mychal Massie Meltdown Watch, 'Fat Prof' Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily
I remember my late mother's saying: "Give a monkey a show, and it will always perform." There's a mountain of truth in her timeless axiom – especially when it comes to Brittney Cooper, who proves you can be as undesirable as a fat, greasy pig at a Muslim dinner party and still get a paycheck from Rutgers University.

It used to be that basket weaving was the most meaningless course one could take in higher education. During my undergraduate and graduate years, we laughingly referred to certain degree pursuits as being such because the degree wasn't worth the paper the ink was printed on.

Today basket weaving has been replaced by degrees in women's and gender studies, equally as useless as basket weaving unless, of course, the so-called professor teaching same is a wannabe commie loser enjoined to a plexus of hatred, crafted and controlled by parathion neo-Leninists.

If I were a black woman who was supposedly "down with the struggle" and committed to "keeping it real," the last area of academia I would seek degree in would be women's and gender studies. It's a more worthless curriculum of study than afro-centrism and pan-Africanism. It's a degree program for women, specifically black women, who are uncouth and intellectually incapable of pursuing real academic curricula.


Cooper has proven time and again that she's only marginally qualified to have a career in those areas of academic idiocy. She maintains credentialing based upon skin-color affirmative action and the lack of propriety that bigoted, white liberals expect and applaud from their in-house simians.


When Cooper was blaming President Trump for black women being obese, she should have been challenged pursuant to whether said claim was born out of jealousy for the countless number of beautiful black women who have the magnificent figure she does not.

Perhaps she was just angry that someone didn't tell her to put down the box of Twinkies and step back from the cupcake aisle. I can understand a person being embarrassed about being overweight. But, just because she wears what appears to be a 6X clothing and has jowls that cover her neck and the top of her chest, she doesn't get a pass to blame her appearance on President Trump.


COVID-19 ultimately will be looked back upon as the gateway for what is biblically prophesized to come. With that said, in the moment COVID-19 is a hard sell for those of us who are of sound mind and capable of thinking for ourselves. 

However, in order to promote the agenda of forced vaccination and social monitoring, which will usher in the zeitgeist necessary for the antichrist to thrive, there must be victims who fit into the Hegelian Dialectics bag of tricks skillfully deployed by Fabian Democratic Socialists.


Cooper is nothing more than a tool in the employ of nefarious globalists and population-control Lucifarians. I could pity her; because the one chance she has to find completeness and value she has blasphemed, calling God a white supremacist driven by patriarchy. She has railed that "God [Almighty] isn't the God [she] serves." Speaking of Jehovah, she said: "He might be 'biblical' but he's also an a**hole." 

-- Mychal Massie, May 4 WorldNetDaily column

(Unsurprisingly, Massie has issues with women who don't think like he does.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
MRC Remains Angry & Jealous That Obamas Are Having Success
Topic: Media Research Center

Even though Barack Obama has been out of the White House for more then three years, he and wife Michelle are still living rent-free in the collective heads of the Media Research Center.

On April 20, Elise Ehrhard ranted, perhaps a bit jealous of the Obamas' post-presidency success:

The Obamas have created a very lucrative post-presidential life in the entertainment industry. Barack and Michelle Obama currently have a $50 million Netflix contract which they acquired with the help of a campaign contributor. Obama's former national security advisor, Susan Rice, is on Netflix's Board of Directors. The New York Post has even called Netflix "a propaganda machine for the Obamas."

So perhaps it is not surprising that the new Netflix series, BlackAF, from Kenya Barris, the creator of Black-ish, Mixed-ish and Grown-ish,praises the Obamas in about every other episode. Even the series' opening mixes images of the Obama family with African American heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ehrhard ranted further after it was noted on the show that the Obama daughters can't get away with anything:

Actually, the only presidential daughters who faced any serious consequences for their teenaged mistakes were Jenna and Barbara Bush. Both Bush daughters were arrested and charged with underage drinking. Their arrests ended up on the covers of newspapers and weeklies across the country. Jenna appeared in court for underage drinking and using a false ID. The Bush daughter was ordered to undergo counseling and serve community service. The clothes she wore in the courtroom -- including Capri pants, sandals and a toe ring -- were mocked and ridiculed all over the news. Malia Obama, on the other hand, faced no consequences for appearing to smoke marijuana.

You might recall that the ConWeb tried to blame everyone but the Bush daughters for the crime they committed.

In an April 21 post, Gabriel Hays suggested without evidence that there was a direct link between allegedly Democratic-arranged money to public broadcasting in a coronavirus stimulus bill and Michelle Obama having a new show reading classic children's books on a PBS subchannel:

One also might wonder whether there’s a bit of PBS/Democrat quid pro quo that got Mrs. Obama her PBS KIDS deal after the station’s parent company, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, received a massive bailout from the government, a provision stipulated by Democrats in Congress.

As Newsbusters pointed out, CPB received more government funding this year than ever before. It received $75 million in March on top of the $465 million already granted to the CPB, which was already $20 million more than it received last year.

CPB must sure be grateful to those Democrats. Giving Michelle Obama a cute kids show would certainly be a nice expression of their appreciation.

If you'll recall, the MRC tried to exploit the pandemic by using that money to CPB as a cudgel to demand that people's careers be destroyed by cutting off federal funding to public broadcasting entirely.

Hays returned for another meltdown on April 28, appalled that anyone would make a documentary based on a book that sold more than 10 million copies:

What many people are probably considering the lamest surprise reveal in modern history, the upcoming “top-secret” Michelle Obama Netflix documentary is coming sooner than expected and some in the media are dying of excitement to say the least.

Really though, who are they trying to convince?

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the wait is almost over for the film adaptation of the Former First Lady’s best-selling memoir Becoming. The project, which the outlet indicated had been kept “top-secret for months” will debut on the streaming platform on May 6.


It’s quite clear that Michelle and her husband are cultivating a media empire at the moment. Not only have Obamas come out with Michelle’s number one book and this new documentary, their production American Factory won the Academy Award for best documentary earlier in 2020. She’s also the new smiling face of children’s public television, having just started a PBS KIDS show where she reads books to America’s youngsters.

Did we mention that the book has sold more than 10 million copies? Because Hays didn't.

Tim Graham -- who has a longstanding issue with being jealous of the Obamas' success --  complained about it again in his May 1 column:

So let’s get this straight. The Obamas were awarded a book deal worth an estimated $65 million for their memoirs, hers and then his. They also struck an estimated $50 million production deal with Netflix. (We don’t have actual numbers. Could someone in the media ask for a tax return?)

Now, with this self-aggrandizing documentary, the second deal is being used to accentuate the profits for the first. The buck-raking here is intense. Donald Trump surely admires their self-promotional moxie.

The Obamas quickly became super-rich. Vanity Fair celebrated these "Obamoguls" even as Mrs. Obama was hailed for her “saintly popularity.” This so-called saint doesn’t spurn the finer things. Last August, TMZ reported the Obamas were buying a $15 million mansion on the coast of Martha's Vineyard to match their $8 million D.C. mansion. Non-Fox network coverage? Zero. In December, they actually bought said mansion for $11.75 million. Non-Fox network coverage? Again, zero.

Graham is further annoyed that Ivanka Trump wrote a badly reviewed book (which he apparently hasn't read to back up his apparent view that it's secretly better than Obama's):

Not everyone famous is praised for self-help books for women. The current president’s daughter Ivanka Trump wrote one in 2017, and the New York Times was brutal: “It reads more like the scrambled Tumblr feed of a demented 12-year-old who just checked out a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations from the library.”

There are never any Republican critics of Michelle Obama in the “news” these days. Sonia Rao’s Washington Post story on the documentary quoted Anita McBride, chief of staff to previous First Lady Laura Bush, who said Michelle was a “reluctant” First Lady, but then formed lasting public connections through her “extraordinary use of media and pop culture and television.”

Is that Michelle’s gift to the media? No, it’s the media’s gift to Michelle. The infatuated titans of “news” and entertainment media appear to have granted her every “extraordinary” wish in building this “billion dollar brand.”

The cheers are always presumed to be unanimous. Dissent from this party line is ignored. And no one asks about the profits. Greed, for the Obamas, is cast as just another inspiring voyage of self-discovery.

We suspect Graham has never talked about the Trump family's more obvious greed in this same disparaging manner.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2020 9:17 PM EDT
CNS' Highly Biased Flynn Obsession
Topic: is pretty much on board for whatever will advance President Trump's re-election. The fight over former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn is one thing it has decided is relevant.

After Flynn's attorney released notes from FBI agents that she claimed showed them trying to catch Flynn in a lie -- you know, like the one Flynn pleaded guilty to -- CNS flooded the over the next couple days:

That's six stories in two days devoted exclusively to pushing a pro-Flynn (and, thus, pro-Trump) narrative. They were followed a few days later with a couple more articles, one of which, "'Where's Chris Wray Been?' Rep. Jordan Asks Why Wray Didn't Tell Congress About 'FBI Misconduct'," follows in CNS' history of pushing the same exact pro-Trump talking point over multiple articles.

None of them even hinted that there's another side to the story:  that giving Flynn an opportunity to tell the truth or lie about his dealings is standard lawa enforcement procedure and that it was not entrapment. After all, if Flynn had simply told the FBi agents the truth, he could have avoided all this trouble.

When Trump's Justice Department announced that it would seek to dismiss its case against Flynn, CNS flooded the zone again:

That's eight more articles over another two-day span designed to push a pro-Flynn (and, thus, pro-Trump) narrative. This time, though, CNS did actually publish two articles noting that there's an alternate viewpoint:

Still, the bias is clear -- 14 articles pushing one viewpoint vs. two articles noting a different one.

And when the Trump White House began pushing the notion that then President Obama was behind all this, the CNS pro-Trump hype machine roared to life once again, with added Flynn-related content and attacks on the judge who won't immediately drop the Flynn case:

That's 13 pro-Flynn (and, thus, pro-Trump) "news" stories between May 11 and 15. By contrast, just four that offer a different viewpoint:

So, to sum up: Between April 30 and May 15, CNS published 33 articles related to the Flynn case, only six of which didn't push pro-Flynn (and, thus, pro-Trump) narratives. That would seemm to be a violation of its mission statement that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

To whom does one complain at CNS about this violation?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT
Monday, May 18, 2020
Fake News: MRC Falsely Insists Whistleblower's Claim Of Retaliation Is 'Debunked'
Topic: Media Research Center

In the eyes of the Media Research Center, President Trump can do no wrong and anyone who accuses him of wrongdoing is obviously lying. The case of Rick  Bright, who says he was demoted as head of a federal agency because he refused to promote Trump's pet drug hydroxychloroquine, is one example.

Nicholas Fondacaro complained in an April 22 post that "the liberal media lit up with the new anti-Trump narrative about Dr. Rick Bright, who claimed without evidence that he was fired from his HHS position for opposing the use of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug President Trump had touted as a possible treatment for the Chinese coronavirus," further grousing that the media did "no apparent vetting of what he claimed." Fondacaro then tried to play gotcha with a Politico article that he claimed "debunked the allegations" Bright made.

But that article claimed that "Three people with knowledge of HHS' recent acquisition of tens of millions of doses of those drugs said that Bright had supported those acquisitions in internal communications," and that "five current and former HHS officials" claimed that Bright's demotion "was more than a year in the making."Notice that none of those people are on the record -- they're anonymous sources of the kind that the MRC despises when they make claims against the MRC's favorite conservatives ... like Trump.

Hypocrisy aside, Fondacaro is simply wrong by claiming these anonymous sources have "debunked" Bright's story. There's no way to know that at this point, and an alternate telling of events does not "debunk" the first one -- even if you assumel ike Fondacaro apparently does that Trump and his administration never lies.

Nevertheless, Fondacaro insisted again the next day that Bright's allegations were "debunked." He made an even more false claim in another post the same day, declaring that "Bright’s accusations were discredited almost as fast as he made them." And on May 5, Fondacaro asserted that "Bright’s initial allegations were proven bogus within hours by Politico’s Dan Diamond."

(Then again, Fondacaro does have problems with the truth.)

Randy Hall took his own shot at boosting that anonymously sourced Politico article, claiming that a New york Times article "crumbled quickly" because of the Politico piece. Clay Waters dialed it back a bit in an April 29 post, linking to Hall's item to claim that "Politico made a compelling case that the Times' front-page scoop on Bright was bogus.

When Bright testified before Congess to make his claims, the MRC was ready to pounce again. Kristine Marsh linked to an earlier Fondacaro piece as proof of "evidence contradicting Bright's story," while Fondacaro returned to assert that Bright's claims "have already been disproven," even though he knows that's not true.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:40 PM EDT
Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Typos Division

Stelter has a bit of a hobby of reading a lot into Trump's tweets. He has on more than one occasion spent an inordinate condemning Trump's Twitter typos, arguing that if "When someone can't get the little stuff right, it makes you worry about the big stuff."

-- Curtis Houck, Aug. 28 NewsBusters post

CNN’s Brian Stelter devoted an entire segment on Sunday’s edition of Reliable Sources to obsessing over President Trump’s spelling mistakes on Twitter. While he conceded that “everybody makes spelling mistakes,” Stelter seemed to think that the President’s Twitter typos deserve extra special scrutiny because “if you can’t get the small stuff,” such as spelling, “people worry about the big stuff.” The clear implication was that President Trump’s spelling habits have an impact on his ability to run the country effectively.

-- Ryan Foley, Nov. 19 NewsBusters post

* * *

On the “Issues” page of her official congressional website, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D.-Minn.) says that there are “over 11 million undocumented immigrations [sic] living in the United States.”

The top issue listed on the page is: “Immigration.’

That heading is followed by a paragraph that says:

“In Congress, I am committed to doing all I can to help the over 11 million undocumented immigrations living in the United States come out of the shadows and get access to rights and privileges they deserve.["]

-- Anonymously written April 15 article at, NewsBusters' sister organization

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EDT
WND Touts Dubious, Conspiracy-Laden Coronavirus Videos
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is keeping up its conspiratorial reputation by coming to the defense of the stars of conspiracy- and misinformation-laden videos that have been heavily criticized on social media.

IN an April 27 article, WND touted a video by "two California physicians with advanced degrees in microbiology," Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, who "contend that their testing of more than 5,200 patients along with public data show the coronavirus is no more deadly than the seasonal flu and that the sheltering-in-place policy in the United States and most of the Western world not only is unnecessary, it's harmful." WND didn't fact-check the video and, thus, tell readers that, as we detailed, actual experts say the doctors' patient sample was not representative of the general population, with one likening it to "estimating the average height of Americans from the players on an NBA court."

The next day, Art Moore wrote about how YouTube removed Erickson and Massihi's video,conspiratorially suggesting that it was removed for going against "World Health Organization recommendations" and failing to mention any of the actual experts who have discredited the video. Michael Brown cited YouTube's removal of the video in his April 29 column, conspiratorially adding that "disputed opinions offered by medical doctors (in this case, emergency room doctors) will be banned." He too failed to mention the experts who discredited the video.

WND then found a new person to play victim: Judy Mikovits, who once worked with Dr. Anthony Fauci and has made a video that was similarly removed by YouTube. An anonymously written May 6 article benignly describes Mikovits' video as arguing that "the isolate-everyone policy is a big mistake and claims officials have a financial incentive to implement mass vaccinations."

Because Mikovits seems to be running in the history of video-making charlatans WND has promoted in the past, it's giving her a platform without any of that pesky fact-checking WND isn't exactly known for. The article claims that "Mikovits claims Fauci was among the top health officials who framed her and destroyed her career because of her contrary views," adding:

She published a "blockbuster" study claiming "the common use of animal and human fetal tissues were unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases."

"Big Pharma" then waged struck back, destroying her "good name, career and personal life."

Mikovits, interviewed by Mikki Willis, says she was framed and arrested at her home, falsely accused of stealing intellectual property.

In fact, the "blockbuster" study was retracted by the journal that published it because its results could not be replicated by other researchers and that it appears her samples were contaminated. Further, while theft charges against her were eventually dropped -- not necesariliy because they weren't true but, rather, because the institute she worked for was embroiiled in other legal difficulties -- a lab employee signed an affidavit that he had removed notebooks from the lab and eventually delivered them to Mikovits.

WND also noted that Mikovits claims that a coronavirus vaccine "will kill millions, as they already have with their vaccines," before adding, "Mikovits emphasizes, however, she is not against vaccines, noting she is an immunologist." In fact, Mikovits is part of the anti-vaxxer community and once wrote a book with anti-vaxxer Kent Heckenlively.

As per usual, WND couldn't  be bothered to fact-check the video, even though it contains numerous false claims.

So ...  business as usual for WND. Which is a bad thing for WND, since that kind of business is what drove WND to its current state of barely being in business.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT

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