MRC's Lord Won't Deny Obama Birtherism Was A Bad Thing Topic: Media Research Center
In response to President Trump's embrace of a claim that Kamala Harris isn't eligible to be president because her parents weren't U.S. citizens at the time she was born in the U.S., Jeffrey Lord spent his Aug. 15 Media Research Center column ranting that Democrats are the real birthers, invoking discussion about the eligibility provenance of Repubicans from Mitt Romney to Ted Cruz to 19th-century president Chester Arthur (to whom Lord devoted a good chunk of the column). But of the most prominent victim of birther accusations, Lord has this to say:
Over at Mediaite was this story about the question being asked of President Trump at his press conference on Thursday. He had not heard of the issue and said he would look into it. The Mediaite reporter than says this:
“Trump infamously pushed the racist Birther conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama for years before finally bowing to reality just two months before the 2016 election.”
The Washington Post dutifully went to the Biden campaign for comment, and happily ran this response from one Andrew Bates, a campaign spokesman. Trump, said Bates, “was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama.”
The left wing Talking Points Memo nstantly played the race card, headlining: "Trump Ignites Yet Another Racist Conspiracy Theory, Aimed This Time At Kamala Harris."
The Chicago Tribune chimed in with this: "He (Trump) was a high-profile force behind the so-called ‘birther movement’ — the lie that questioned whether President Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, was eligible to serve.”
And on…and on this obsession with playing the race card went across the perpetually race-card playing media.
Note that Lord never actually denounces Obama birtherism as illegitimate the way he did when made against Republican candidates; he only complains that the media claimed Trump had racist intent in pushing it.
Lord has done this before. In 2016, Lord used a CNN appeaerance to deny that Obama birtherism was racist without criticizing Obama birtherism itself while also ranting about, yes, Chester Arthur. That resulted in a fellow guest to respond, "Are you kidding me? Is this a comedy show, Jeff?"
If Lord can't admit that Obama birtherism -- which went on for years -- was as similarly illegitimate as questioning Harris birtherism (which he did deny was an issue), perhaps he should stay out of this discussion.
This is in line with the MRC's semi-birtherism on Obama. As we documented, it wasn't moved to explicitly denounce right-wing birther attacks on Obama from Trump or anyone else until Cruz's eligibility was questioned.
WND Columnist Inserts Herself Into Stockman's Legal Proceedings Topic: WorldNetDaily
Rachel Alexander remains the greatestchampion in the ConWeb of corrupt ex-congressman Steve Stockman. As she has before, she's been trying to get Stockman sprung from prison -- where he's currently residing after getting covicted on a passel of wire fraud and money laundering charges -- due to the coronavirus pandemic, and manufacturing conspiracy theories in the process.
In her Aug. 3 WorldNetDaily column, Alexander complained that one prison released a convicted murderer (not mentioning the fact that murderers are least likely to repeat the crime again), then once again pushed Stockman's sob story:
In contrast, conservative former Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas has been prohibited from leaving prison, despite the fact he is in his 60s and has diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, asthma and more. Every single inmate over 60 who has diabetes in his federal prison in Beaumont, Texas, has been allowed to leave for home arrest except him. Now he's contracted COVID-19.
Stockman has found out that high-level bureaucrats within the Bureau of Corrections are the ones preventing him from leaving. He is trying to alert Attorney General William Barr to his situation.
Alexander rehashed her conspiracy theory that Stockman is innocent and "was targeted by left-wing DOJ prosecutors in the Obama administration because he was an outspoken conservative who went after Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder and Lois Lerner."
In her Aug. 17 column, Alexander kept up the sob story, repeating her lament that "crooked bureaucrats at the Bureau of Prisons will not allow him to move to home confinement, despite the fact he is over 60 years old and has diabetes and other health problems." She highlighted a Supreme Court appeal Stockman is making of his conviction, then disclosed something interesting:
Many of the same nonprofit leaders and a few others associated with them (including myself) just signed on to an amicus curiae brief from American Target Advertising, written by Richard Viguerie's attorney Mark Fitzgibbons, supporting Stockman's petition. They lay out three clear areas of abuse in Stockman's case.
If Alexander is presenting herself as a journalist -- her WND bio lists her links as an editor for various conservative websites -- why is she personally inserting herself into Stockman's legal proceedings? Seems more than a bit dishonest.
Your Regular Reminder That MRC's Trump-Coverage 'Studies' Are Bogus Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes did what he was paid to do in an Aug. 17 post under the blaring headline "STUDY: 150 TIMES More Negative News on Trump than Biden":
As the pandemic grinds on, the Big Three broadcast evening newscasts are among the highest rated programs on television today — and that means millions of viewers are witnessing the most biased presidential campaign coverage in modern media history.
I’ve been studying the news media and elections for more than 35 years. Trust me — there’s never been anything like it.
A new MRC analysis of all evening news coverage of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in June and July found these networks chose to aim most of their attention and nearly all of their negative coverage on Trump, so Biden escaped any scrutiny of his left-wing policy positions, past job performance or character.
The extra airtime devoted to Trump consisted almost entirely of anchors and reporters criticizing the President. During these two months, our analysts documented 668 evaluative statements about the President, 95 percent of which (634) were negative, vs. a mere five percent (34) that were positive. Using the same methodology (fully described at the end of this article), we found very few evaluative statements about Joe Biden — just a dozen, two-thirds of which (67%) were positive.
Do the math, and viewers heard 150 TIMES more negative comments about Trump than Biden. That’s not news reporting — that’s a negative advertising campaign in action.
As we've repeatedly documented, these MRC "studies" are utterly bogus for these reasons:
It focuses only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and suggests it's indicative of all media.
It pretends there was never any neutral coverage of Trump. Indeed, the study explicitly rejects neutral coverage -- even though that's arguable the bulk of news coverage -- dishonestly counting "only explicitly evaluative statements."
It fails to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover a given story.
It fails to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its work could be evaluated by others. If the MRC's work was genuine and rigorous, wouldn't it be happy to provide the data to back it up?
Given that much of the news coverage Noyes presumably looked at for the study -- again, we don't know for sure because he refuses to post the raw data -- involved the coronavirus pandemic and Trump's questionable handling of it, negative coverage was inevitable, and Noyes is not being paid to admit that Trump deserves any of the negative coverage he's getting.
Noyes' attempt to describe the study's methodology doesn't help his case:
Methodology: For this report, MRC analysts reviewed every mention of President Trump and former Vice President Biden from June 1 through July 31, including weekends, on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News. To determine the spin of news coverage, our analysts tallied all explicitly evaluative statements about Trump or Biden from either reporters, anchors or non-partisan sources such as experts or voters. Evaluations from partisan sources, as well as neutral statements, were not included.
As we did in 2016, we also separated personal evaluations of each candidate from statements about their prospects in the campaign horse race (i.e., standings in the polls, chances to win, etc.). While such comments can have an effect on voters (creating a bandwagon effect for those seen as winning, or demoralizing the supports of those portrayed as losing), they are not “good press” or “bad press” as understood by media scholars as far back as Michael Robinson’s groundbreaking research on the 1980 presidential campaign.
Noyes is also not going to admit that his determination of whether an evaluative statement is "positive" or "negative" -- remember, he's pretending there are no neutral evaluative statements -- is entirely subjective and is not an objective metric. (Declaring a particular media outlet or story to be "biased" is subjective too, but that's an argument for another day.)
This is not "media research" in any competent academic sense -- it's an attempt to create justification for a political agenda.
Doing its job as a Trump campaign surrogate, CNSNews.com has been hammering the dubious claim that Joe Biden is suffering from "cognitive decline" -- a manufactured concern it has expanded to Nancy Pelosi. Since we last checked in late July CNS has continued to highlight misstatements by Biden to bolster that narrative, with articles like:
We're not sure what Susan Jones was trying to push in an Aug. 21 article on Biden's acceptance speech that the Democratic National Convention (which Jones deliberately misnamed the "Democrat National Convention"), headlined "Watch: Biden Raised His Voice, Didn't Smile As Speech Ended," in which she actually complained that "at the end of his speech, delivered live at the Chase Center in Delaware, an unsmiling Biden raised his voice, apparently for emphasis, but he looked almost angry."
CNS is continuing to question Pelosi's mental health too. In an Aug. 27 article, Craig Bannister claimed thate "In the span of about twelve seconds, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared to suffer two mental lapses as she struggled to find words when answering a question at her Thursday press event." And on Sept. 10, Bannister ramped it up:
Eighty-year-old House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) struggled to finish a sentence, and appeared to bang on her podium in an effort to collect her thoughts, during a press conference on Thursday.
Speaker Pelosi seemed to lose her train of thought, until she rapped twice on the podium, while she attempted to make a point about her climate agenda. But, after recalling the name of her climate bill, Pelosi continued to have difficulty speaking, struggling to finish the words, “return” and “better” as she completed her thought:
CNS even dragged another Democrat into its mental-lapse obsession in an anonymously written Aug. 10 article: "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) suffered a mental lapse when appearing on MSNBC on Monday morning saying, as he did so, 'uh, um, uh—I got to remember the words.'"
But when it comes to President Trump's mental lapses, well, that's just a "liberal media" narrative. Jones said as much in an Aug. 5 article on how "Jill Biden spoke for her husband, Democrat [sic] presidential candidate Joe Biden" in a Fox News in which she denied that her husband isn't "competent to be presidentand noted that Joe Biden is only a couple years older than Trump. Jones parenthetically huffed in response:
Liberal activists in the media are now focusing in particular on Trump's mispronunciations ("Yosemite") and twisting his words ("It is what it is") to make it look like he doesn't grasp the severity of the pandemic, for example. The intent is to portray Trump as cognitively impaired.
You mean like what you and your colleagues are doing to Biden, Susan? Heaven forfend!
And in an Aug. 25 article, Jones repeated how Trump boasted how "we're going to end up with 302 great Supreme Court Justices," then had to parenthetically add, "(He meant lower-court judges.)" After all, she's not getting paid to question Trump's "mental decline" the way she and her CNS co-workers obsess over Biden's.
UPDATE: In a Sept. 11 article, Jones made a point of noting that "Joe Biden would be the oldest person to take the presidential oath -- 78 years old -- if he's elected in November" in writing about how he "tried to laugh off "this idea of, you know, slow Joe." Jones then went in to pro-Trump attack mode:
Concerns about Biden's health focus mainly on his mental acuity, as he has trouble completing thoughts and speaking without notes or prompts.
As for "who's able to move around," until recently, Biden has spent most of his time sheltering inside his Delaware home and giving controlled interviews via video from his basement studio, while President Trump has traveled around the country, taking criticism from Biden and other Democrat/media activists for holding campaign rally after campaign rally amid the pandemic.
Again, Jones was silent about Trump's mental-lapse issues.
MRC Mad Tucker Carlson Called Out For Mispronouncing Kamala Harris' Name Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is very protective of Fox News, a channel on which MRC employees appear to push their (and Fox's) right wing talking points -- even when the channel gets caught doing something wrong. Thus, we have an Aug. 14 post by Ryan Foley complaining that CNN busted Fox News host Tucker Carlson for his apparently deliberate mispronunciation of Kamala Harris' name:
On CNN’s New Day Wednesday, co-host John Berman and his panel obsessed over Tucker Carlson’s mispronunciation of Biden VP pick Kamala Harris’s name. They used a clip of Carlson arguing with Democrat Richard Goodstein about the importance of getting the pronunciation right as an excuse to complain about the constant racism and sexism supposedly faced by Harris, a woman of Jamaican and Indian heritage.
The clip began with Goodstein informing Carlson, who had pronounced Harris’ first name “Kamm-a-la,” that her name was pronounced “Comma, like the punctuation mark, la.” When Carlson responded to the correction with a “so what,” Goodstein argued that “out of respect for somebody who’s going to be on the national ticket,” pronouncing her name correctly was a “bare minimum.”
At this point, Carlson asked Goodstein a rhetorical question: “I’m disrespecting her by mispronouncing her name unintentionally?” He concluded that “You’re not allowed to criticize Kamala Harris or Kamm-a-la Harris or whatever.”
Carlson’s use of the phrase “whatever” did not sit well with CNN political commentator Angela Rye, one of the panelists on New Day Wednesday. Rye went so far as to smear Carlson as a racist: “It’s not ‘whatever.’ It is about you having to finally face what you have done to this country, to black people, to black women.”
Foley went on to declare that it was "juvenile “journalism” and liberal activism" to point all this out. We weren't aware that expecting people on TV to correctly pronounce someone's name was "liberal activism" -- we thought it was simply being accurate. But then, the MRC is waging war on the very idea of facts, so perhaps this is not surprising.
August's unemployment numbers were decent enough that Susan Jones' lead article did some aggressive gushing -- while, of course, working in how the economy was great before the pandemic:
Here's some encouraging news heading into the Labor Day weekend: The number of employed Americans increased for a fourth straight month in August, as 3,756,000 more Americans either returned to or joined the labor force, according to the monthly report produced by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
After slipping from a near-record high of 158,759,000 in February -- then tanking in April to 133,403,000 -- the number of employed Americans increased in May to 137,242,000; June (142,182,000); July (143,532,000) and now August (147,288,000 employed).
Likewise, the nation's unemployment rate dropped for a fourth straight month in August, settling at 8.4 percent vs. 10.2 percent in July -- and well below the record shattering 14.7 percent in April, as the pandemic-induced shutdown took full effect. As recently as February, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a 50-year low.
Needless to say, Jones made no mention of the "real unemployment rate" metric it loved pushing when a Democrat was president, and she gave a pass for the labor force participation rate being relatively low that she rarely gave though the reason -- retiring baby boomers -- was the same for it being relatively low under President Obama.
Apologist: MRC Labors To Defend Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Topic: Media Research Center
For a good example of bhow the Media Research Center serves as a propagandist for President Trump and his administration -- while also reinforcing Trump's anti-media agenda -- it's hard to beatthis Aug. 12 post by Joseph Vazquez.
Vazquez staerted off by unironically accusing MSNBC's Ali Velshi of having "inundated viewers with propaganda by pointing out that "the GOP was 'deceiving Americans' and conforming to a 'conservative fetish about poor people getting freebies and running up the national debt.'" He then retorted: "Saying conservatives have a 'fetish' about 'running up the national debt' is like saying liberals have a 'fetish' about tax cuts."
Vazquez is rather deliberately missing Velshi's point -- conservatives cry poor when it might go to people and causes they disapprove of, i.e., coronavirus relief for poor people, but make sure their supporters get the money they want, and that it makes no logical sense for conservatives to insist there's no more money for coronavirus relief when trillions have already been approved by a Republican Senate and signed by a Republican president.
Vazquez then laboriously explained that a video of Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell was edited to say that there is "essentially ... no" limit to what the Fed will put into the economy to keep it afloat when he actually said there wasn't a "blank check," which "completely undermines Velshi's 'magical money tree' argument." But Vazquez is distorting what Velshi said -- he pointed out that there is a "money tree" for banks and the stock market, but not those who "are unemployed through no fault of their own."
This was followed by Vazquez getting mad at Velshi noting that conservatives didn't care about the debt when they supported a tax cut in 2017. In rebuttal, he cited the right-wing Heritage Foundation -- hardly an objective source -- blaming the debt on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Finally, Vazquez served as an apologist for Trump:
He lambasted Trump’s order to suspend the payroll tax, which he claimed would “hurt Americans more than anything, because it takes money away from Social Security and Medicare.”
This is also misleading. According to liberal outlet Politifact, “While it’s true that the payroll tax provides nearly 90% of the revenues for Social Security, The program’s promise to people exists outside of the funding mechanism.” The outlet rated the claim that “Killing the payroll tax means killing Social Security” as “Half-True.” But as the Yiddish proverbgoes, “A half truth is a whole lie.”
Vazquez is being deliberately obtuse here. If it was so easy for Congress to designate another funding mechanism for Social Security outside the payroll tax, it would have done so already. Because it hasn't, and because the payroll tax funds nearly all of the program, cutting the payroll tax will, in fact, take money away from it and Medicare.
Vazq uez is attacking a "half truth" with his own half-truth. By the Yiddish proverb he invokes, that makes him a liar.
The Miseducation of Mychal Massie Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie's Aug. 10 WorldNetDaily column was a tirade against an Illinois state legislator who, in his telling, wants to "effectively abolish history classes in schools" because they foster "white privilege and a racist society … and contribute to the miseducation of Illinoisans." This led Massie to huff:
With that thought in mind, exactly what does Ford know about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? The fact that none of these men was black, none of them was homosexual or transgender, and none of them wallowed around Chicago homosexual bathhouses, as one very prominent politician from Chicago is reputed to have done, does not dismiss what they gave to America.
What does [the legialator] suggest be used as history, in place of the 56 (white) men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Following is the factual history of the 56 "old white men" who signed that document. Chicago is the capital of murder, incestuous corrupt politics, prostitution and debauchery on every measurable level – but how many people identifiable by Ford can claim the following history?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well-educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children gone.
If that sounds familiar, it should: Massie copied-and-pasted it almost verbatim from an online essay that goes viral on occasion. And far from Massie's claim that this is a "factual history" of what happened to the signers, it contains no small amount of misinformation, as Snopes documented. Among the falsehoods and distortions:
The five signers who were captured by the British didn't die in custody.
The nine who died during the Revolutionary War didn't die from "wounds or hardships" inflicted by the British; one actually died in a duel with a fellow officer.
Several names are misspelled.
John Hart's wife died several weeks before the British overran the area where they lived, and he and his children (most of whom were adults at the time) almost certainly never had to stay in hiding for "more than a year" since the Continental Army recaptured the area a month later.
Despite declaring that "this is the history that [the legislator] wants removed, Massie ironically proved the legislator right by demonstrating that history as it is taught contains misinformation -- and that it should be removed for being so factually wrong.
MRC's Houck Tries To Deny Trump's New Favorite Doc Is A Fox News Hire Topic: Media Research Center
Curtis Houck once again proved his pro-Trump colors in an Aug. 13 article:
On two separate occasions on Wednesday (and on their website), CNN dismissed White House Coronavirus Task Force hire and neuroradiologist Dr. Scott Atlas as merely a “Fox News guest” who’s part of an “echo chamber” that’s murdering “tens of thousands of Americans.”
Along with a CNN.com article, the segments totaled five minutes and 42 seconds, which was five minutes and 42 seconds more than they gave Janice Dean being removed from testifying before New York lawmakers about losing her in-laws to the coronavirus.
Starting with the second segment, CNN Tonight host Don Lemon rudely ignored Atlas’s distinguished career and instead boiling him down to a talking head: “[I]n the middle of the worst public health crisis in the middle of a century, Trump is turning to Fox News guest for medical advice instead of Dr. Fauci.”
Lemon refused to inform viewers that not only has Atlas been with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, but he spent over a decade as a professor and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, edited a leading textbook on the topic, and been a leading global expert in using MRI’s to diagnose and treat brain and spine conditions.
Like she did on TV, [Kaitlan] Collins employed anonymous White House sources to trash Atlas and undercut his credentials as a way for Zuckerville to imply Atlas was not only unworthy of being taken seriously, but heard[.]
Houck is so desperate to defend Atlas' alleged medical bona fides that he neglected to point out that Atlas' specialty, neuroradiology, has noting to do with viral treatment or epidemiology, knowledge of which is needed to speak authoritatively about coronavirus. He also failed to explain that the Hoover Institution is a conservative think tank, not a medical organization that provides Aglas with any sort of relevant expertise.
Meanwhile, Houck completely censored the fact that Atlas hasn't praticed medicine for eight years and has made wrong predictions about coronavirus, and he certainly won't concede that the most logical explanation for Atlas coming to Trump's attention is that he has appeared on Fox News.
There will also be no follow-up post from Houck on the fact that because Atlas' views on coronavirus, such as promoting "herd immunity," are so out of sync with actual medical experts that even the coronavirus conspiracy-mongers at WorldNetDaily have criticized him, Fox News -- the channel that brought Atlas to Trump fame, reportedly won't book him on its news shows.
Houck concluded his post with a mini-rant showing the depths of is irrational hatred of non-Fox media: "In other words, CNN continued its poisonous march on Tuesday to divide the American people and crush their wills to hope for a better tomorrow and making clear that it all but views those against their anti-reopening, anti-hope, mental health-crippling, and pro-lockdown worldview as mortal enemies."
Soundds like the one whose mental health has been crippled is Houck, damaged by his years of Bozellville indoctrination.
CNS Still Trying To Spin Coronavirus Numbers Topic: CNSNews.com
Last month, we caught CNSNews.com repoirter Susan Jones trying to downplay the summer surge in coronavirus, much of which occurred in Republican-led states, by comparing the numbers to the very high number of cases in the spring. How has Jones done in the month since our report?
Jones' Aug. 11 body count was a little closer to reality but still labored to spin by including mid-April numbers for comparison:
As expected, the most recent death certificates submitted to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show at least three straight weeks of increased deaths involving the COVID-19 virus.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, deaths involving the virus started rising on July 4, following ten straight weeks of decline from the mid-April peak of 17,010.
In fact, contrary to her claim that CNS "previously reported" deaths were rising, her case-count article from the previous week claimed differently carring the headline "CDC: COVID-Involved Deaths Drop 8.29% for Week Ending July 18."
According to the latest death certificates submitted to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, deaths involving COVID-19 increased in all four weeks that ended in July. (Data for August are still too preliminary to be reliable.)
For the week ending July 25, at least 6,357 people died from COVID, a 2.53 percent increase from the 6,200 deaths in the week ending July 18, but 62.64 percent below the peak of 17,020 COVID-involved deaths for the week ending April 18.
At least Jones admitted up top that newer data "are still too preliminary to be reliable," something she buried in previous articles.
For the next week, numbers looked better from her perspective, so it was back to full spin mode:
Deaths attributed to COVID-19 are once again trending down, based on preliminary death certificates submitted to the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the week ending August 1, the NCHS counted 6,356 COVID-involved deaths, a 10.94 percent decline from 7,137 deaths in the prior week and a 62.67 percent decline from the mid-April peak of 17,030 deaths.
This time, she added a plug for her favorite president, something she didn't do in the articles admitting that cases were up:
"We are doing an incredible job on the China virus, but I'm going to talk to about that Thursday night," President Trump said in his speech to the Republican National Convention on Monday. "Will anybody be listening on Thursday?" he joked.
By Aug. 31, Jones was back to fully downplaying things, under the headline "CDC: COVID-Involved Deaths in Mid-August Down 63% From April Peak." This time, she added: "The official COVID-involved death count does not distinguish between COVID-only deaths and deaths where COVID may have exacerbated an otherwise survivable underlying condition."
COVID deaths for the week ending August 22 have returned to levels not seen since the end of June.
Based on death certificates submitted to the National Center for Health Statistics -- part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- 3,504 people died of "confirmed or presumed COVID-19," for the week ending August 22.
That is a 36.69 percent decrease from the 5,535 deaths recorded in the prior week, and a 79.43 percent drop from the mid-April peak of 17,039 COVID-involved deaths -- that is, deaths given the ICD-10 code of U07.1.
Jones did other COVID-related spinning in a July 15 article touting lower death counts among younger people:
Medical experts have long noted that the younger you are, the less likely you are to contract COVID-19 or suffer adverse symptoms, and the latest numbers posted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bear that out.
CDC's National Center for Health Statistics now reports a total of 188 COVID-involved deaths among people age 24 and younger -- or 0.154 percent of the total 121,374 COVID deaths reported to CDC from early February through the week ending July 11. The majority of students fall into this 24-and-under age group.
By contrast, a total of 97,459 people age 65 and older have died of COVID as of July 11 -- 80.29 percent of the total COVID-involved deaths.
Jones went on to uncritically promote arguments from President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that this proves schools should reopen fully, while going on to complain that "teachers unions are resisting" -- while censoring the fact that health experts have also advised caution regarding fully opening schools.
Jones further declared in an Aug. 4 article that "The latest CDC data shows that the 26 states led by Republican governors have fewer than half the COVID-involved deaths of the 24 states (and D.C.) led by Democrats." She added: "Of course, states led by Republican governors are not necessarily conservative or "red" states. But of the 30 "red" states that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016, COVID-involved deaths now total 51,631, which is 59.07 percent of the 87,406 COVID deaths in the 20 states and D.C. that voted for Hillary Clinton."
Gotta keep spinning for Trump and Republicans, right? That's what Jones gets paid to do.
MRC Still Choosing To Own the Libs By Embracing QAnon Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center has largely embraced the far-right QAnon conspiracy theorists in order to own the libs by painting them as victims of "censorship" of their dangerous fringe theories. It hasn't stopped doing so.
Facebook revealed its new “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” policy to crack down on groups the platform said are “tied to violence.” It was the latest of many revisions in Facebook policies in recent weeks, all seemingly connected to the election.
“Today we are taking action against Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, US-based militia organizations and QAnon,” Facebook reported in an August 19 blog. Facebook declared that it had “removed over 790 groups, 100 Pages and 1,500 ads tied to QAnon.” In targeting “militia organizations and those encouraging riots, including some who may identify as Antifa,” Facebook has “initially removed over 980 groups, 520 Pages and 160 ads.”
As usual, Hall censored the fringe nature of QAnon, then portrayed them in an end-of-item call to action as mainstream fellow travelers who are being victimized the same way the MRC loves to complain conervatives are: "Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives.
On Aug. 31, Hall complained that "Twitter censored a post retweeted by President Donald Trump indicating that the amount of COVID-19 deaths has been greatly exaggerated." But in noting that Trump had retweeted a QAnon adherent named Mel Q, Hall oddly framed a description of the conspiracy theory as coming from a bastion of the "liberal media," as if to discount the description: "Mel Q appears to be associated with the 'QAnon' conspiracy theorists, who according toThe New York Times, reportedly believe: 'Mr. Trump ran for office to save Americans from a so-called deep state filled with child-abusing, devil-worshiping bureaucrats.'"
In contrast to Hall, though, others at the MRC do seem to recognize that QAnon is something that should perhaps not be mainstreamed. Clay Waters groused in an Aug. 15 post that a New York Times reporter "smeared the Tea Party by comparing it to the nutty QAnon conspiracists." Waters also rebutted the claim that the Tea Party ebraced Obama birther conspiracy theories by huffing that "the 'birther' rumors about Barack Obama originated among Hillary Clinton supporters during the 2008 primary." But as we've noted, it was not Hillary supporters that obsessively pursued birther conspiracies for eight years but, rather, the likes of the definitely-not-Hillary-supporters at WorldNetDaily.
An Aug. 18 post by Heather Moon took offense to ranty "pro-Trump radio host" Bill Mitchell being described as a QAnon supporter and gave him space to finesse that claim while not explicitly denying it: "Mitchell addressed such claims on his Parler account. He explained that he has interviewed a few prominent QAnon (Q) followers on his radio program, and that he has “nothing against Qanon and those from the movement I have met seem to be true patriots and love Trump.” However, he clarified that he’s “never personally followed Q,” and noted that “it’s just too esoteric for my tastes.”
WND's Mercer Slips Further Into White Nationalism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Even though its affinity for white natinalism is arguably one reason WorldNetDaily is in its current precarious financial state, it still has a toe in that fetid water.
Ilana Mercer has been dancing around the fringe of white nationalism for years, normally expressed through her nostalgia for apartheid in her native South Africa and touting an intellectual case for it (while purporting to deplore its racial aspects); she also had Peter Brimelow of the notoriously white nationalist website VDARE write the preface to her book "Into the Cannibal's Pot" and appeared at a conference with the likes of Brimelow, Jared Taylor and John Derbyshire. But Mercer has been edgingcloser to more blatant, if still genteel, white nationalist leanings in recent years.
Mercer's Aug. 6 column was a long complaint against the idea that there's "systemic racism" in America and portraying white people as the real victims:
Systemic racism is most certainly not "the only plausible explanation" for the lag in the fortunes of African Americans, although, as it stands, systemic racism is inferred solely from one single fact: In aggregate, African Americans trail behind whites in assorted academic and socio-economic indices and achievements.
This logical error is the central tenet of preferential treatment – affirmative action, and assorted quotas and set-aside edicts and policies.
High among corporate America's priorities is acting as a race leveler – voluntarily sniffing out deviationists and generally proceeding against and "reeducating" pay-dependent prey. Corporate America's human resources departments are in the habit of deluging employees with the racial agitprop of illiterate, if degreed, pamphleteers. The woman who wrote "White Fragility" comes to mind.
In a workplace so shot through with hatred of whites, quite foreseeable is a form of intellectual reparations, where the designated white "oppressors" labor behind the scenes, while the officially "oppressed" manage them and take credit for their intellectual output.
It says something about the circles in which she runs that this column was also published by American Renaissance, Jared Taylor's white nationalist website.
Mercer's Aug. 13 column was dedicated to detailing mostly white victims of violence perpetrated by blacks, starting with "the point-blank execution of little Cannon Hinnant (white), on Aug. 9, by Darius Sessoms (black)." As we've noted, Hinnant's death has been exploited by race-baiting right-wingers as an apparent attempt to play down the police-related deaths of black people. She went on to add that "Similar black-on-white atrocities are a daily occurrence, documented, "in moving images," by "the fearless and indefatigable journalist Colin Flaherty. If you'll recall, Flaherty had a race-baitingplatform at WND for a few years.
On April 20, Mercer tried to argue that there was no racist intent on the part of the officer who caused the death of George Floyd, in which she danced around her true intent. She first claimed that "This is not to refute the reality of racially motivated crimes. These most certainly occur. It is only to refute the legal and ethical validity of a racist mindset in the prosecution of a crime"; by the end of her column, she had declared: "As I've argued here, racism amounts to a thought "crime." Thought crimes are the prerogative of a free people. To intellectually disembowel the left, the right must unapologetically reject the very idea of policing, purging and persecuting people for holding and expressing politically unpopular ideas."
Surprisingly, AmRen did not publish this column.
UPDATE: Mercer's "systematic racism" column was also published by something called NAEBC, or Newsroom for American and European Based Citizens, which Mercer has touted as "a young and vibrant nascent European organization, that’ll be offering up fighting words against the degenerate Left, stateside and on the Continent, all in furtherance of OUR VALUES." We're guessing that NAEBC is not much into multicululturalism or non-white people as a whole.
MRC Will Never Admit Trump Gets Anything Wrong Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center not only will refuse to admit that President Trump gets anything wrong (beyond Tim Graham's flippant dismissal that he has a "casual relationship with the truth"), it will attack anyone who points out that he does.
In an Aug. 5 post, Alexa Moutevelis complained that "Both Twitter and Facebook acted quickly Wednesday night to remove a video of President Trump speaking on Fox News about the coronavirus’ effects on children. The social media sites said the content violated their policies on COVID-19 misinformation." Moutevelis wasn't about to concede what actual news organizations, as well as Twitter and Facebook, pointed out: that contrary to Trump's claim that children are "almost immune" from coronavirus and thus schools should be fully reopened, children represent more than 7 percent of cases, and coronavirus has spread at schools that have reopened.
Instead, Moutevelis played whataboutism -- "Meanwhile, Twitter allows Iran's Supreme Leader Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei to call for Israel’s violent destruction and keeps allowing noted anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan back on the platform" -- served up "what Trump said in full" to offer "more context" (not that it helps Trump's case), and uncritically repeated how "the Trump campaign defended the President’s comments."
Moutevelis also reprinted a tweet from her boss, Brent Bozell, defending Trump's lies: "Facebook and Twitter need to stop this crap! They should both be investigated for election interference. To censor the President during an election year, no matter what he says, is leftist election manipulation. Orwell would be proud." Orwell would likely be more proud of Bozell's defense of a (Republican) president's sacred right to lie to the American people.
President Donald Trump has been censored by Big Tech for commenting on COVID-19.
Facebook and Twitter obliterated a video of Trump speaking on Fox News about the coronavirus’s effects on children, both claiming the content violated their respective policies on COVID-19 misinformation. Conservative leaders have responded that this is yet another case of Big Tech’s accelerated use of their power to rig the election. Meanwhile, liberals contend that these crackdowns on the president’s speech are sorely needed.
Hall quickly moved to victim mode, declaring that "Conservative commentators were incensed by Big Tech’s overreach in censoring the president’s commentary on a disease whose nature is hotly debated.
Jeffrey Lord tried to spin things in an Aug. 8 post, citing studies showing children have a lower rate of infection than adults to claim Trump is right and the fact-checkers are wrong: "When will Facebook and Twitter block The Washington Post, Time magazine and the BBC from posting what Twitter labeled 'misinformation”' on their sites? Is there any punishment looming?"
The MRC still wasn't letting it go in an Aug. 13 post, in which Kayla Sargent got mad at Facebook's voter tool, then got doubly mad when it stated the tool is "based on lessons from our COVID-19 Information Center, which has been providing accurate and authoritative information from health authorities about the pandemic since March.” She huffed: "Considering the fact that Facebook recently removed a video of President Donald Trump discussing the effects of COVID-19 on children, and removed a video of doctors discussing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus, conservatives may want to exercise caution when analyzing Facebook’s new tool."
Sargent didn't tell her readers that, as we documented, that video from "America's Frontline Doctors" talking about coronavirus included numerous false and misleading claims, not just the dubious claim that hydrochloroquine is an effective treatment.
CNS Bizarrely Fixated On Political Opinions Of Bette Midler, Cher Topic: CNSNews.com
As much as CNSNews.com loves to post article after fawning article about Mark Levin, it also engages in hate-posting -- writing about people's opinions of people it despises for the purpose of holding them up for ridicule for its right-wing audience. For reasons so far unexplained, the chief recipient of that is entertainer Bette Midler.
Since February, CNS has posted a whopping 29 articles on Midler opining on things political -- 20 of which have appeared since June:
Lest it wasn't clear that the goal here is to attack Midler's views, an Aug. 26 article by Susan Jones omplained that "leftist celebrity Bette Midler was particiularly vicious" in responding to a speech by Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention.
That's a lot of digital ink to spill on a relatively minor celebrity.
The vast majority of these Midler post are anonymously written, carrying only the byline of "CNSNews.com Staff." But a quirk of CNS' search engine shows the content managment system account from which articles are placed, and the anonymous Midler posts are almost all being posted from the account of editor in chief Terry Jeffrey.
Strangely, Midler isn't the only past-her-prime liberal celebrity CNS has fixated on in recent months Since April, CNS has posted 14 articles on the political opinions of Cher:
Again, most of these pieces are anonymously written but come from Jeffrey's account. His goal here appears more toward straight ridicule by featuring her random capitalization and penchant for substituting numbets for words in the headline, even though those are common across Twitter and social media. And, again, there's no explanation of why CNS cares so much about Cher's political opinions.
That's a bizarre fixation you got there, Mr. Jeffrey.
MRC Laughably Tries To Manufacture Biden 'Cheating' 'Scandal' Topic: Media Research Center
It's a sign of how desperate the Media Research Center is to re-elect President Trump at all costs that it's willing to be utterly hypocritical about it. Nicholas Fondacaro huffed in an Aug. 18 post:
On the day Jill Biden was set to take the stage at the virtual Democratic National Convention, an exclusive from the U.K.'s Daily Mail documented allegations from her first husband, Bill Stevenson, who claims their marriage was destroyed because she cheated on him with then-Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). Despite the allegations being fresh news, the Tuesday evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC covered them up to protect their candidate and boost Jill’s forthcoming speech.
But according to the Daily Mail report, “ Joe Biden and his wife Jill have lied to the world for more than 40 years about how they started dating — they actually had an affair that broke up her first marriage, her first husband claims. And the whole story the Bidens tell about how the presidential candidate fell in love with Jill after a blind date is completely made up.”
None of these new scandals were of any interest to the broadcast networks, whose mission it was to defend their 2020 candidate at all costs.
Fondacaro doesn't mention that the Daily Mail is considered so unreliable as a news source that Wikipedia banned it from being cited. He also didn't mention that Jill Biden's ex is putting all of this in a book likely to come out before the election, strongly suggesting that the ex is trying to profit off -- as we documented, Trump's niece got a much different treatment from the MRC for her book, accusing her of trying to cash in and demanding her allegations be fact-checked by the media. Fondacaro made no apparent effort to fact-check the ex's claims before promoting them.
Finally, Fondacaro ignores the inconvenient fact that even if the allegations are true about Jill Biden, Joe Biden is running against a man who is on his third marriage, cheated on all three wives, and paid hush money to a porn star to cover up their affair, so playing the morality card simply doesn't work here. If Fondacaro had ever condemned Trump's sleazy behavior, he might have a point, but he doesn't show that he has.
Nevertheless, the MRC insisted that was a "huge scandal." The next day, Kristine Marsh ranted:
Wednesday morning, all three networks displayed their allegiance to the Democrat party by continuing to completely ignore< a huge scandal that broke yesterday about how Jill and Joe Biden met. Even as the former second lady appeared on ABC, NBC and CBS’s morning shows for interviews following her husband's nomination last night, the journalists used the opportunity to schmooze with Biden and throw softball questions instead of asking about her ex-husband's claims she cheated on him with then-Senator Joe Biden.
Marsh demonstrated how little she cares about facts by deliberately getting the Democratic Party's name wrong, calling it "the Democrat party." And, like Fondacaro, Marsh made no mention of Trump's serial philandering.
Fondacaro again tried to flog this "scandal" to life in an Aug. 20 post, grousing that "While NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt refused to press Jill Biden on accusations she cheated on her first husband with then-Senator Joe Biden during his Thursday interview, he did awkwardly ask her whether or not she got nervous whenever her husband was addressing the public." Again, Fondacaro didn[t explain why he's giving Trump's exponentially worse behavior a pass.