MRC Tries, Fails To Bash Another Fact-Checker As 'Liberal' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's mission to falsely identify fact-checkers who aren't explicitly right-wing as "liberal" as a weay of defending President Trump's history of lies is continuing.
In a May 15 post, Alexander Hall huffed that "Liberal website ratings firm NewsGuard has expanded its partnership with Microsoft in order to spread “news literacy.”You mighr remember NewsGuard from that time WorldNetDail's Joseph Farah had a meltdown when a NewsGuard tried to ask him basic questions about WND's notoriously unreliable "news" operation.
Hall offered no actual evidence that NewsGuard is "liberal"; instead he complainws that co-CEO Steven Brill "has reportedly given four times more money to Democrats than to Republicans and added:
NewsGuard has a history of political partisanship. It has slimed figures like Rush Limbaugh and mischaracterized a post on Limbaugh's Facebook page. NewsGuard highlighted “a link to Limbaugh’s site with false claims that the coronavirus was created in a lab as a bioweapon and that it is similar to the common cold.” NewsGuard was neither accurate about what he actually said, nor even the date of the post.
Let's take a look at that accusation, made in an April 21 post by Corinne Weaver, in which she wrote:
A new report from liberal Microsoft partner NewsGuard, “ Tracking Facebook’s COVID-19 Misinformation ‘Super-spreaders,’” went after large Facebook pages that “repeat, share, and amplify these myths” about COVID-19. The second example on the list was Rush Limbaugh’s Facebook page, which had shared “a link to Limbaugh’s site with false claims that the coronavirus was created in a lab as a bioweapon and that it is similar to the common cold.”
That’s not what the page said at all. NewsGuard wasn’t even accurate about the date of the post. NewsGuard claimed the posting happened on Feb. 24, but linked to Limbaugh’s Facebook post, published on Feb. 29, 2020. That Limbaugh item stated, “I think dealing with the Chinese, there are any number of things that are possible.” The link led to a transcript of Limbaugh’s February 26 episode, when a caller asked on his show if COVID-19 was meant to be a response to the United States’ economic sanctions. Limbaugh’s response began with, “I don’t know.”
Both Weaver and NewsGuard are confusing here. Because NewsGuard is focusing on misinformation on Facebook, its initial focus is on Limbaugh's Facebook post, which was made on Feb. 29 and links to a transcript from Limbaugh's Feb. 24 show. NewsGuard has appended a correction (which Weaver has not acknowledged) fixing the date issues.
Weaver, however, is misleading about which Limbaugh said. The question to which she refers that Limbaugh answered with an "I don't know" occurs toward the end of a lengthy rant in which Limbaugh did,in fact, declare that he was "dead right" that "The coronavirus is the common cold, folks." and that "It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized."
Even the Feb. 26 transcript that was apparently originally linked by NewsGuard is more problematic that Weaver will admit. Limbaugh falsely claimed that "This is the 19th coronavirus" (the number represents 2019, the year it was discovered), again claimed Coronavirus is a respiratory virus like flu, like the common cold. I’m not wrong about this," and did very much argue that the virus was released by China in retaliation.
Weaver tried to make her own specious allegation that NewsGuard is "liberal," largely through guilt by association, citing not only Brill's alleged political donations but also money donated to it by Poynter and the Knight Foundation, which she dismissed as a "liberal journalism institute" and a "liberal foundation for journalism," respectively. Her proof that Poynter is "liberal" is that it identified the MRC as biased.
That's extremely thin gruel to make such accusations. But the MRC will keep making that gruel because a narrative must be maintained.
CNS' Chapman Suddenly Finds Chicago Shootings Newsworthy Again Topic: CNSNews.com
As we'vedocumented, one of the things CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman invokes whenever there is bad news that needs to be distracted from is highlighting weekend shootings in Chicago. So, as the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States was approaching 100,000 toward the end of May, Chapman decided -- for the first time since October -- to devote an article about shootings in Chicago, even managing to work in a coronavirus angle:
In Chicago, at least 49 people were shot (10 fatally) over the Memorial Day weekend, according to ABC 7 Chicago. It was the worst Memorial Day weekend shooting since 2015.
"The violence throughout the city on Memorial Day weekend was nothing short of alarming,” said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday.
In addition to the weekend violence, ABC News reported that although the coronavirus "has kept so many people home and temporarily shuttered businesses, homicides in Chicago are on the rise this year. According to police crime statistics posted online, between Jan. 1 and May 24, the city had 200 homicides, compared with 176 during the same period last year. The number of shooting incidents climbed from 679 to 826."
Chapman didn't explain why he only occasionally considers shootings in Chicago to be newsworthy.
MRC Parrots No-Tear-Gas Lie Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center proves itself to be more of a Trump lackey every day. A June 3 post by Brad Wilmouth claimed that CNN commentators "spread misinformation and freaked out over the dispersal of rioters in Lafayette square before President Donald Trump's speech on the riots across the country," asserting that "the group incorrectly claimed that the protesters were all peaceful and that tear gas was used against them." He added:
Introducing the segment at 6:16 a.m. Eastern, co-host John Berman stated that "we all saw attacks on peaceful protesters" who were "tear gassed so that President Trump could take a picture in front of a church."
After liberal political commentator Bakari Sellers cracked that "George Wallace is probably looking up at him with a smile," Camerota also claimed that "peaceful protesters" were "fired on with tear gas" so that "President and his attorney general and Ivanka in her heels and big designer bag could cross the street, and the President could try to figure out how to hold a Bible."
But Park Police have denied that the dispersal was done because of the President's speech or that tear gas was used, noting that the decision was made because some protesters turned violent and were hurling objects at police.
To support this, Wilmouth linked to an MRCTV post by Brittany Hughes, whosimilarly complained that "Multiple news outlets from local outlets to national news platforms ran with reports that the smoke plumes from the police were tear gas, and that the protesters were peaceful" and touted how the Park Police were "disputing the narrative."
But as actual news outlets reported, the Park Police stated that they used smoke canisters and pepper balls -- which, it turns out, are the functional equivalent of tear gas, since pepper balls are designed to be a chemical irritant. Meanwhile, another actual news outlet discovered tear gas canisters at the scene, further undermining the Park Police's story.
As of this writing, Wilmouth has not corrected his post.
UPDATE: The Park Police is now admitting that tear gas was used, but is still denying that it was the ones that used it. Wilmouth's post still hasn't been corrected.
Jack Cashill's Image Rehab of Steve King Didn't Work Topic: WorldNetDaily
Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King lost his re-election bid earlier this week, his constituents having grown weary of his history of racist remarks. Not even Jack Cashill's desperate attempt at image rehab couldn't stop it.
In his May 13 WorldNetDaily column, Cashill proclaimed King to be "a solid, nine-term conservative whose immigration policies helped shape President Trump's own" as well as "an unabashed conservative and an unapologetic defender of Western civilization." That racist stuff? Either lies or misunderstandings.
Taking aim at a Republican Jewish Coalition attack on King he insisted was "shockingly mendacious and spectacularly self-destructive," Cashill took issue with the RJC's claim that King supports "an ideology that says Jews, and other minority groups are inferior," insisting that "King has long been a champion of Israel and has argued publicly in favor of assimilation and interracial marriage."
Cashill then gets the RJC's name wrong about midway through his column, calling the the "Republican Jewish Committee." He then complained about a New York Times interview with King and attacked reporter Trip Gabriel, all while framing King's casual racism as no big deal:
Gabriel's language was predictably loaded. Trump "demonized immigrants," he wrote, conflating "demonized" with "described."
The president made "demeaning" remarks, inspired "fear" and used "misleading" statistics.
King's behavior was even worse. He used "racist language" in the past, "promoted neo-Nazis" on Twitter and was denounced by one anonymous "Republican leader" as a "white supremacist."
Gabriel's link about racist language led to a Salon article detailing comments King made using the common metaphor "pick of the litter" to describe how America should choose the most productive immigrants seeking to come here regardless of race.
The leftist Salon editors subverted his obviously positive intent and headlined the article, "Rep. Steve King: Immigrants are like dogs." This was all standard media stuff.
Gabriel, a former Styles section editor, made King's life hell with one sentence allegedly said by King but unrecorded by either King or Gabriel.
Gabriel set up the quote with a fairly accurate observation that King supported "immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is 'the culture of America' based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe."
Gabriel quoted King on the phrase, "the culture of America," but not on the phrase, "whites from Europe." King never talked in terms of race when he talked about culture. Gabriel slipped the "whites" reference in on his own.
The next sentence attributed to King proved to be the killer: "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive."
Cashill gave King's language-parsing defense a pass -- "If he had meant to lump all three of those phrases together he would have said 'those words' not 'that language'" -- then huffed, "Besides, no one has ever sat in a class talking about the merits of white nationalism or white supremacism. Gabriel knew what King meant."
Cashill is a bit obsessed with race issues -- a few days before this, he was trying to run his Trayvon Martin playbook on Ahmaud Arbery -- and his views are not in the mainstream.
CNS Reporter Parses Words To Defend Trump Topic: CNSNews.com
Patrick Goodenough had a reputation as the closest thing to a real reporter left at CNSNews.com. But his work of late has been veeringslowly toward the pro-Trump agitprop that dominates much of CNS' original content. Goodenough served up this aggressive defense of Trump in a May 15 article:
President Trump was derided on Twitter Thursday for saying that the high number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States was related to the significant increase in testing. But the data suggest that he is right.
In saying, “If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases,” Trump clearly meant that if testing was not being carried out, then many cases would be going unconfirmed and unreported – not that they would not exist.
By the same token, in saying, “When you test, you have a case,” he self-evidently did not mean that the testing causes the case.
Jennifer Mercieca, who teaches in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, tweeted
(Trump did not say that the test causes the case.)
Goodenough cranked out another word-parsing pro-Trump defense on May 20:
A leading medical journal on Tuesday took issue with President Trump for citing its research in a letter to the World Health Organization – but evidently misinterpreted what Trump had written.
In his letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, Trump called for major reforms, failing which the organization would lose U.S. funding permanently, he warned, and the U.S. could even withdraw altogether.
Outlining his concerns about WHO’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, Trump wrote that WHO “consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal.”
The Lancet in a statement Tuesday called Trump’s comment “factually incorrect,” and added that it had “published no report in December, 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China.”
Trump did not, however, say the relevant reports in The Lancet had been published in December.
In referring to December, he was clearly speaking about the month during which the coronavirus was spreading in Wuhan – according to credible reports, including those published inThe Lancet.
But Goodenough suddenly wasn't interested in word-parsing or context in a June 1 article, since the goal was to play guilt-by-association with former President Obama:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding that Twitter suspend President Trump’s “racist” account, over his recent tweeted warning that looters exploiting protests sparked by the death of George Floyd risk being shot.
CAIR based its charge that the warning amounted to a “racist threat of violence” on the fact that Trump used the word “thugs” to describe those looting, vandalizing and torching businesses.
“Thugs,” explained CAIR, is “a race-coded word that bigoted politicians use to negatively describe African-American protestors.”
Five years ago, President Obama used the same word in connection with those looting and destroying businesses in Baltimore, amid protests over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody.
“A handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” were the words Obama used to describe the perpetrators of the violent behavior.
Trump, who just weeks later [in 2015] would formal announce his presidential run, scoffed at the criticism around the use of the word.
“They now say using the word ‘thug’ is, like so many other words, not politically correct (even though Obama uses it),” he tweeted. “It is racist. BULL!”
For some reason, Goodenough declined to clarify that, unlike Trump, Obama did not use the word "thug" on Twitter.
AIM Chief Fails In Attacking Newspapers As 'Hard Left,' Unworthy of Bailout Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media is attempting to regain what little relevance it had and maybe create some buzz by railing against the idea of treating the media like every other business in America that is eligible for coronavirus relief money. Of course, AIM simply wants the non-conservative media to die any way it can. The latest step in this is a May 22 op-ed by AIM president Adam Guillette pubished by the Washington Examiner.
Since Guillette, like most right-wing media critics, has never worked a day in the media he attacks -- he came to AIM from the discredited right-wing provocateurs at Project Veritas -- he doesn't understand how the media busienss works; he's too caught up in his biases. He began by ranting:
If Lenin said that capitalists “will sell us the rope we use to hang them,” newspapers are saying that conservatives will fund the ink they use to smear them.
Bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress have now signed on for a proposed media bailout. This isn’t a bailout for smaller newspapers and television stations. Those businesses were already eligible for the Payroll Protection Program, and many of them took advantage of it — in a big way.
The Seattle Times took $9.9 million tax dollars, and the Tampa Bay Timesbagged $8.5 million. Two of the most hard-left newspapers in America didn’t even hesitate before grabbing their Trump Bucks.
Needless to say, Guillette offers no evidence that either of those newspapers is "hard left" -- he simply assumes so because they don't have a right-wing bias.
Guillette then attacked the newspaper chain McClatchy for filing for bankruptcy. He continued to whine:
For years, conservatives bemoaned how far left their local newspapers shifted. Little by little, the editorial boards of nearly every local newspaper were taken over by progressives. Then the editorializing started spreading to each article. In response to their complaints, conservatives were always told, “It’s a private company, they can do what they want!”
But now we’ve learned that alienating a large portion of your marketplace isn’t a winning business strategy. Why, then, should customers be forced to pay for a product they’ve already rejected?
Of course, the newspapers claim their bias isn’t the problem. They blame the internet. Countless business models have been upended by the internet; should we bail out each of them? Should we have bailed out stone tablet makers after the invention of the printing press?
If Guillette is going to complain that newspapers' purported liberal bias are not a "winning business strategy" then he must also admit that explicitly conservative newspapers were never a "winning business strategy." As we've documented, newspapers like the Washington Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and New York Post have always been failures in the market and kept alive only because they were owned by deep-pocketed right-wing owners -- even in the pre-internet years when mainstream newspaper reliably turned profits. Even the publication where Guillette's op-ed appears, the Washington Examiner, is the remnant of a daily newspaper that failed after a new owner, Philip Anschutz, infused it with right-wing bias.
In order to be an effective critic, one must understand what he is criticizing. Guillette clearly doesn't.
SHOCK: MRC Writers Stop Hating CNN For A Few Seconds Topic: Media Research Center
The Twitter feeds of Media Research Center writer Nicholas Fondcaro and NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck are typically filled with hate and bile toward the MRC's usual targets, but particularly CNN -- they are paid well for their hate and bile after all. But they committed a minor sin in the eyes of their employer: they expressed sympathy toward CNN over the weekend when correspondent Omar Jimenez was arrested for no reason by Minnesota State Police while covering the unrest in Minneapolis following the police-custody death of George Floyd.
Houck wrote: "This is infuriating and stupid. What a horrible look for the Minnesota State Police. Absolutely inexcusable. It's pretty clear they weren't protesters. Everyone knows how blunt, possibly harsh, and maybe nasty I've been to CNN. But arresting Omar Jimenez or anyone reporting? No." Fondacaro similarly wrote: "Unbelievable! I’m not a fan of CNN but this is BS and wrong! The crew was respectfully asking police where they wanted them to move so they could stay out of the way of Minnesota State Police, and they get arrested."
None of this supposed concern made it to the pages of NewsBusters, one sign that this expression of sympathy was either utterly phony or a mistake for which they had to answer to their MRC overlords. Antoher sign: Fondacaro and Houck were soon bashing CNN as usual.
A few hours later, Fondacaro was viciously mocking CNN anchor Brian Stelter as "Pennywise" and a "clown," ranting that the channel is trying to "warp reality," and bizarrely blaming CNN for a Fox News reporter getting heckled (even though, as we've documented, he and his MRC coworkers spent years egging on people to yell "CNN sucks!" at CNN correspondents).
Houck, meanwhile, went into abusive-spouse mode a few hours later by blaming CNN itself and the media in general for losing his sympathy for the CNN reporters getting arrested:
See, this is how the media so often throw good will, which was absolutely there this morning b/c it was awful.
Perhaps the biggest lie about the news media is that their insistence that they don't like being a part of the story. They love it and relish it, especially CNN.
It's probably closer to the truth to point out that Houck has no good will whatsoever toward CNN and any sympathy was always going to be fleeting (if not entirely manufactured).
The MRC lets Houck's and Fondacaro's increasingly irrational anti-CNN rage go unabated, it's spilling over into actual MRC posts, and it seems everyone's totally cool with that.
NEW ARTICLE -- WND's Coronavirus Conspiracies: The Dubious Docs Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's stable of fringe physicians -- plus a couple new ones -- serve up the usual questionable advice (about hydroxychloroquine) and fearmongering (about a possible vaccine). Read more >>
MRC Still Treating Lara Logan Like A Real Journalist -- But She Repeated Antifa Hoaxes Topic: Media Research Center
Since she re-emerged last year as a conservative darling, the Media Research Center has been trying to make Lara Logan a thing again, largely by ignoring the thing that made her not a thing in the first place: the "60 Minutes" story in which she promoted the story of a purported witness to the Benghazi attack who was later discovered to have been lying about the whole thing. The MRC tried to portray Logan as a credible journalist again in a June 2 post by Kristine Marsh:
The media has not only been downplaying and ignoring the violence caused by Antifa for years, they’ve also been increasingly defending them from scrutiny. On Fox and Friends this morning, journalist Lara Logan went after The New York Times for doing exactly that, after President Trump announced he would designate the violent left-wing anarchist group as a terrorist organization.
Host Steve Doocy began the interview by asking Logan to respond to many in the media’s charge that Antifa couldn’t be labeled as terrorists since there was “no central leader” and they were well spread out. Logan argued this was the media aiding Antifa’s “propaganda” by criticizing a move that would “dry up” the group’s funding, citing celebrities contributing bail money.
She called out the New York Times specifically for “dismissing” what everyone can plainly see about the organized group’s nefarious role in this past week’s protests:
Logan went on to read from an Antifa document which lists their ten ultimate “goals” to achieve; essentially, to completely destroy American society by dismantling every system of order: “Liberation begins where America dies. So that is what this is about,” she summarized.
But the "Antifa document" she was reading from was a list of "points of action" from a group called the Revoluationary Abolitionist Movement, which she also posted on her Twitter account. But Logan did not explain in her Fox News appearance how this particular group is a part of Antifa or otherwise represents Antifa, or even that it has any constituency of any size.
But as Marsh posted this item presenting Logan as credible, Logan was getting destroyed on Twitter for posting two things she claimed were Antifa-related but turned out to be hoaxes.
As Media Matters' Parker Malloy summarized, Logan posted a document claiming to prove that Antifa "have infiltrated LE (Law Enforcement)" and which detailed "communication channels, secrecy levels, codes and PROFESSIONAL AGITATORS." In fact, as Snopes documented, this document first surfaced in 2015, well before the police-custody death of George Floyd, and we can safely assume it's a hoax because "an organization that secretly organized and masterminded protests, then produced and distributed confidential documents outlining such illegal activities as their use of tax authorities and accounting firms in order to conceal their funding of those protests, would be so foolish as to emblazon the incriminating evidence with their name and logo."
Logan also retweeted a Twitter post from someone claiming to be "ANTIFA America," stating, "Tonight's the night, comrades. Tonight we say 'F--- The City' and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours ." But as NBC reported, that account, which has since been shut down, was linked to white nationalist group Identity Evropa.
Touting a reporter who tends to get suckered by hoaxes is not the best way for the MRC to prove the credibility of the right-wing media.
In April, it was revealed that Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold off much of his stock holdings -- up to $1.7 million worth -- in mid-February, a couple weeks before the stock market crashed due to the coronavirus shutdown. At the same time, he was expressing public optimism about how the country would handle coronavirus while making much more dire assessments in private. Federal investigators have since seized Burr's cell phone on the same day he stepped down as intelligence committee chairman due to the investigation.
CNSNews.com has reported none of this -- perhaps because Burr is a Republican who has been Trump-friendly on occasion. In February 2019, managing editor Michael W. Chapman repeated Burr's proclamation that based on all the facts available, there is no evidence of "collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia" which Chapman echoed in another article that month. CNS did, however, publish a May 2019 column by David Limbaugh huffing it was "nauseating that RINO Sen. Richard Burr, as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is doing the bidding of vindictive Democrats in issuing a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr."
CNS even reported on Burr after the scandal broke, yet still stayed silent. In an anonymously written April 22 article -- a week after the scandal was first reported -- highlighted how Burr "put out a statement" agreeing with an intelligence community assessment that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election -- albeit buried in the ninth paragraph of an article that began with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi invoking the report to wonder what Vladimir Putin has on President Trump.
CNS performed the same see-no-evil service for another Republican senator caught up in the same scandal. Sen. Kelly Loeffler sold nearly $20 million in stock in the weeks before the coronavirus pandemic broke and is also under investigation. Yet in an April 17 article, Melanie Arter touted how Loeffler, "who serves on the bipartisan task force to reopen the economy, told Fox News on Friday that she’s concerned that China might be holding up test kits." Arter did not mention Loeffler's stock controversy.
If it's bad news about Republicans, it appears that CNS will not live up to its billing as a "news" organization and report facts; it will censor that news.
Newsmax Columnist Clings To Conspiracy Theory Of Coronavirus As Chinese Bioweapon Topic: Newsmax
The idea that coronavirus is a Chinese-made bioweapon is one that has been longdiscredited. Still, it's one that some conspiracy theorists cling to. One of them is Clare Lopez, a right-wing activist whom we saw last among other biased right-wingers (and discredited fraud Wayne Simmons) on Accuracy in Media's "Citizens' Commission on Benghazi." for some reason, Newsmax gave Lopez a May 11 column to pursue her new conspiracy theory.
Lopez ranted that "With CCP ["Commuinist Chinese Party"] propaganda efforts in full overdrive, it is important that USG [could be "U.S. government," but Lopez never explains the acronym] leadership speak openly and clearly about Beijing's advanced Biological Weapons Program (BWP). This particular coronavirus may have escaped a CCP lab accidentally, but its creation was anything but unintentional." She went on to quote speculation that a biology lab in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus first appeared, "is linked to China's covert bio-weapons program," then concluded with more speculation and conspiracy theorizing:
To put this in perspective, it is important to understand how Xi Jinping and the CCP's top leadership think. They are steeped in thousands of years of Chinese history and warfare. Sun Tzu's 500 B.C "Art of War" is studied alongside the 1999 "Unrestricted Warfare." Let's conclude here with the secret speech of Chi Haotian, who was China's Defense Minister from 1993 to 2003 and also Vice Chairman of the CCP's Central Military Commission. In this chilling speech, translated into English in 2005, Gen. Chi openly referred to the CCP's intention to militarily defeat, occupy, and colonize the U.S. And what of 330 million Americans? The CCP will be "using special means to 'clean up' America", i.e., "new bio-weapons."
No, thanks, we'll just stick with actual, authoritataive sources who aren't so much into baseless, discredited speculation.
Double Standard: MRC Frets Over Heckling Of Fox News Reporter -- But It Cheered 'CNN Sucks' Chants Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck was in high dudgeon in a May 30 MRC item, fretting that "Just before 1:00 a.m. Eastern Saturday, Fox News Channel’s America’s News HQ co-host Leland Vittert was chased, harassed, and heckled by violent, far-left rioters outside the White House and was forced to abandon the scene, having to toss back to Fox News @ Night host Shannon Bream." Houck followed up later that day, stating that Vittert was "viciously targeted and harassed than physically assaulted by far-left, Fox News-hating, rioting mob, their equipment, solely because they worked for Fox News[.]"
But Houck and his MRC colleagues would like you to forget that they are totally cool with journalists being harassed and heckled -- that is, when their employer is not Fox News. For instance, MRC writers were amused to no end when Trump supporters chanted "CNN sucks!" at CNN correspondents covering Trump events.
Let's look at how the MRC has hypocritically condoned and reveled in this threatening behavior over the years:
Tuesday morning’s CNN New Day CNN began by playing a clip of a Donald Trump rally yesterday where the crowd began chanting, “CNN sucks” repeatedly. The CNN panel didn’t like that one bit and blamed Trump for not telling the crowd to quit it. -- Kristine Marsh, Oct. 11, 2016
Why do people who lecture about the First Amendment find it unseemly for anyone to yell "CNN sucks!" Or "Lock her up!" Then the First Amendment seems like a questionable excess. -- Tim Graham, Nov. 22, 2016
When Barack Obama (and Bill Clinton before him) pummeled Fox News as a blight on America, did any liberals smell a whiff of authoritarianism? No. But when a Trump crowd chants "CNN Sucks," it's automatically an "authoritarian" crowd of proto-fascists. -- Tim Graham, Dec. 6, 2016
News analyst Kristine Marsh knocked it out of the park with a catchy headline and hilarious segment from CNN’s New Day that featured gripes that anti-CNN chants at a Trump rally frightened them. -- Curtis Houck cheering what he claimed was the third most popular post at NewsBusters in 2016, Dec. 30, 2016
MSNBC journalists on Thursday whined about the treatment they were getting from Americans visiting Washington D.C. for Donald Trump’s inauguration. ... He continued, “Standing on the stage with the media, we've heard chants of CNN sucks, of NBC sucks. We have heard very similar to the chants we heard during the campaign.” -- Scott Whitlock, Jan. 19, 2017
Even before the presidential election took place on November 8, 2016, the co-anchor joined other CNN personnel in hyperventilating after playing a clip of a Donald Trump rally where the crowd began chanting “CNN sucks” repeatedly. -- Randy Hall, Feb. 9, 2017
Minutes later, [Jim] Acosta ranted about how Trump “has an unhealthy attitude toward the news media” and looked back on his rallies, including crowds chanting that “CNN sucks.” ... Pause here for a second. CNN’s White House correspondent says blasting the media is un-America [sic]? -- Jim Acosta, April 12, 2017
Hours before President Trump arrived on Monday night at a South Carolina campaign rally with incumbent Republican Governor Henry McMaster, CNN’s chief White House correspondent and carnival barker Jim Acosta faced quite the crowd behind him during a live shot with chants of “go home, Jim” and “fake news Jim,” while one attendee moved from side to side with a “CNN Sucks” sign. ... When he returned back live, Acosta spoke without hecklers about how some illegal immigrant children had ended up being housed from the border. From there, however, the rally attendees got their acts together and rejoined shouting “go home, Jim” while the man holding the “CNN Sucks” sign moved back and forth across the screen. -- Curtis Houck, June 25, 2018
Ahead of President Trump’s Tuesday night rally in Tampa, Florida, CNN’s chief carnival barker and showboater Jim Acosta was heckled yet again by the arena of Trump supporters, chanting “CNN sucks.” Of course, Acosta chose not to ignore them and asserted that it’s “false” that the Jeffery Zucker-led network “sucks.” Okay, Jim. -- Curtis Houck, July 31, 2018 (Houck later added this to a condescending year-end list of the "worst Acosta moments of 2018.")
To put it bluntly, April Ryan’s dislike of Sarah Huckabee Sanders or anyone opposed to her has arguably reached an unseemly territory. Appearing on Wednesday’s CNN Tonight, the American Urban Radio Networks correspondent dismissed the harassment and threats against the White House Press Secretary and melodramatically surmised that Jim Acosta’s “life...was in jeopardy” at Tuesday’s Trump rally.-- Curtis Houck, Aug. 3, 2018
During Wednesday’s edition of The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld delivered a monologue highlighting the hypocrisy of the media for slamming President Trump when he goes after media outlets but looking the other way when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized Fox News during a recent interview with The Guardian. ... ["]They were silent when we were attacked although they spent all of last week crying about Jim Acosta and the “CNN sucks” chant, which, by the way, it kind of does. Okay?["] -- Ryan Foley, Aug. 9, 2018
But you know what else? The First Amendment also gives people the right to say “CNN sucks,” but such criticism is taken nowadays as an incitement of violence. -- Curtis Houck, April 23, 2019
CNN Sucks: Primetime Ratings Down 26 Percent, While Fox News Dominates -- headline on Tim Graham post, May 1, 2019
The liberal media pretend they are the only guardians and practitioners of the First Amendment, and slime the conservative media as “state-run TV” and worse. Saying “CNN sucks” is also a use of the First Amendment, not its repeal. -- Promotion for Tim Graham and Brent Bozell's book "Unmasked," June 4, 2019
From defending his showboating to admitting that he’s at times belligerent on purpose to conceding that fellow journalists loathe him, Acosta’s conceited argle bargle showcased Acosta at its worst and the dangers of the liberal media’s belief that the First Amendment only concerns them, neglecting how it also gives Americans the right to chant “CNN sucks.” -- Curtis Houck, June 14, 2019
The liberal media often suggest President Trump was the one with thin skin; just look at how they lionize Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s jabs at him. But during Tuesday’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN proved themselves to be the ones with thinner skin when they cut away from Trump’s 2020 campaign launch rally in Orlando, Florida after the crowd started chanting “CNN sucks.” Trump was discussing how the 2016 election was “a defining moment in American history” and told the crowd to ask the media for confirmation of that fact. The crowd booed at first but that gave way to the “CNN sucks” chanting. “By the way, that is a lot of fake news back there. That's a lot. That's a lot,” the President quipped. ... So, President Trump and his supporters mocked the press and CNN had an absolute meltdown. All that over a “CNN sucks” chant. And isn’t CNN supposed to be the “facts first” news outlet? -- Nicholas Fondacaro, June 18, 2019
[John Avlon] went on to say that the President loves to “deflect, distract, and divide.” Though, wasn’t it CNN who cut their coverage of the Trump rally after chants of “CNN sucks” rang out from the crowd? Who’s really deflecting criticism here? -- Joseph Chalfant, June 19, 2019
Ah, yes. Unfortunately for the liberal media, even the President has First Amendment rights, just like Trump supporters have the right to chant “CNN sucks” and, no, it’s not a death threat. -- Curtis Houck, July 15, 2019
but Houck somehow forgot to mention that time when, yes, that effectlvely was a death threat.
When a man who drove a van plastered with anti-media bumper stickers that in part echoed the MRC's anti-media narrative -- including one that said "CNN Sucks" -- Houck and the MRC couldn't work hard enough to try and separate the hateful rhetoric from the hateful bombing:
Despite [Brian] Stelter’s insistence that he’s not blaming Trump, he spent nearly 10 minutes blaming everyone from Trump to conservative media for Wednesday’s violence [of a man sending mail bombs to CNN]. ... ["]Just one more point to make about that. Oftentimes at these rallies, you hear chants of “CNN sucks,” chants of “fake news,” chants “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton. Everytime that happens, he could tamp it down or he could cause it to get louder and oftentimes he wants it to get louder.["] -- Curtis Houck, Oct. 24, 2018
CNN’s Inside Politics host John King insisted on Thursday’s show that he wasn’t blaming President Donald Trump for this week’s mail bombs, but did exactly that. On Friday, King did it again, declaring that the pro-Trump bumper stickers on the suspects van (including “CNN sucks”) “does not make the President responsible for this,” even though he used the word “but” to then do not only that, but directly lecture Trump supporters. -- Curtis Houck, Oct. 26, 2018
Weekday morning CNN Newsroom co-host, chief national security correspondent, and former Obama administration official Jim Sciutto offered a repulsive piece of analysis Friday night on the suspect arrested in this week’s mail bombs, comparing the President to Islamic terrorists like ISIS peddling online propaganda to help lone wolves become “self-radicalized” and carry out attacks. Of course, Sciutto received zero pushback on his asinine and ugly comparison. Instead, he was teed up by Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer, who remarked how the suspect “advertis[ed] on that van” with “all those stickers....where he stands politically” in addition to holding a “CNN sucks” sign at a Trump rally, so it was no surprise he decided to target them.-- Curtis Houck, Oct. 26, 2018
In addition, Nicholas Fondacaro got mad when the hosts on "The View" pointed out the "CNN Sucks" bumpter sticker and added, "Can you honestly say President Trump's words and actions didn't inspire this guy?"
Houck and the MRC are crying crocodile tears over the treatment of Vittert -- Fox News is its favorite channel, after all -- even though it egged on heckling and attacks on CNN reporters. A clear double standard if we've ever seen one.
Alyssa Farah -- daughter of WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah -- has been working her way up through the Trump administration, first as Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, then as Pentagon press secretary; last month, she was named White House director of strategic communications. We were the first to report Farah's connection to the birther and conspiracy theory site, noting stories she wrote for WND while studying journalism at homeschooler-friendly Christian school Patrick Henry College.
But a strange thing has happened recently: Alyssa Farah's name has been all but purged from WND.
Farah's archive was intact as recently as July 2019, showing dozens of articles with her byline. But sometime between July and December 2019 -- based on links in the Internet Archive -- her archive was purged, leaving just an author page with only her name and her onetime status as a "special Washington correspondent for WND."
For instance, a 2013 article by Farah in which she channeled anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists by claiming that a vaccine against the human papillomavirus that has been shown to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer "has caused thousands of adverse reactions ... and even death" now carries only a generic "WND Staff" byline.
It's easy to speculate on why this happened -- her dad runs the joint, after all, and even if he is continuing to recover from a stroke, her stepmother, Elizabeth, was her husband's lieutenant and could easily make that happen. One can easily presume that Alyssa is treating this as an old shame now that she's a Whtie House bigwig and would rather not remind people that she once worked for her dad's (questionably run) conspiracy-theory operation.
But she and WND forget that the internet is forever, and not only do old shames get memorialized, attempts to scrub them do as well.
(Thanks to an alert ConWebWatch reader who informed us about this.)
No, MRC, Michael Flynn Was Not 'Exonerated' Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, we pointed out how the Media Research Center hypocritically proclaimed that the lack of proposed charges against President Trump in the Mueller investigation meant that he was completely exonerated -- despite years of lecturing the media (and yours truly) that the fact that the Clintons have never been charged with anything doesn't mean they're guilty of something. The MRC is indulging in that hypocrisy again in the Michael Flynn case.
The MRC is actually promoting the idea that Flynn, President Trump's ever-so-brief national security adviser, was "exonerated" on charges of lying to the FBI -- even though he admitted twice to doing so -- when all that happened was that Trump's Justice Department asked to stop pursuing the case.
Nicholas Fondacaro privileghed the falsehood in a May 7 post:
“What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again,” Trump declared on April 30. Neither ABC News, CBS News, nor NBC News mentioned Trump’s comments on Flynn being “exonerated” nor the underlying reason why.
Perhaps because Flynn was not, in fact, "exonerated."
The next day, Curtis Houck uncritically quoted White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany touting "the exoneration Michael Flynn got today," gushing that McEnany "ended her passionate defense of Flynn and torching of the Deep State with a quote from Montesquieu and a nod to" the above Fondacaro post.
Jorge Bonilla, however, went fully in on the falsehood in a May 10 MRC Latino post, starting with his headline: "Univision, Telemundo Uninterested In Covering Flynn Exoneration- Covered Plea Deal 26X As Much." He continued (needless bold italic in original):
At least Univision took 26 seconds to fume over the DOJ’s decision to drop the charges against Flynn. Telemundo did not even acknowledge Flynn’s exoneration, despite devoting a staggering six minutes and 50 seconds to the plea deal on December 1st, 2017. When added to Univision’s two minutes and 49 seconds on the same day, this amounts to nine minutes and 39 seconds against Univision’s 26 seconds on Flynn’s exoneration by the DOJ.
Put simply,the Spanish-language networks gave 26 times as much coverage to Flynn’s plea deal with the FBI as they did to the DOJ’s dismissal of charges against Flynn.
Bonilla concluded by insisting that "the market continues to cry out for an alternative" for a Spanisgh-language network that, apparently, is a Spanish-language Trump sycophant like Fox News. One could also say the market is crying out for a conservative "media research" organization that doesn't spread lies.
It seems that CNSNews.com was so busy playing defense for the Trump administration over the coronavirus pandemic that there wasn't much time to provide its usual fawning stenography of right-wing radio host Mark Levin. It found time to do only eight articles on Levin or his guests during March and April:
That's a total of 21 articles for the first four months of 2020, a little bit off CNS' usual pace, publishing at least 96 Levin articles annually the past three years. CNS will have to step it up to demonstrate the one-sided and un-fact-checked love Levin has come to expect (per a possible cross-promotoin deal) from his favorite "news" outlet.