MRC Tries To Pretend Trump's Fearmongering About Dems Destroying Suburbs Isn't Racial Topic: Media Research Center
President Trump's fearmongering about low-income people moving into the suburbs was always a racial appeal, if not a racist dog whistle, but the Media Research Center wants you to think otherwise. Let's go back a little and examine how it did that.
A July 17 post by Duncan Schroeder was offended that CNN host W. Kamau Bell commented on Trump's assertion that Democrats will the suburbs by noting that "the suburbs were created for white flight: "Bell lied because the notion of 'white flight' is a myth that has no statistical basis." Actually, there are plenty of statistics to prove that white flight into the suburbs was very much a fact after World War II.
To bolster his claim that "African Americans have actually fled inner cities at higher rates than whites and the five largest suburbs in the U.S. have the fastest growing black populations in the U.S. No doubt to escape issues such as crime and poverty created by failed progressivepolicies," Schroeder's cited a column from right-wing columnist Walter Williams and a Fox News opinion piece by an employee of the right-wing Hudson Institute -- never mind that doing so contradicts his original assertion that white flight is a "myth."
When the Trump administration canceled a rule insituted under the Obama administration called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that sought to ensure that communities had plans to address housing discrimination and degregation with Trump himself claiming that it would keep low-income housing out ofthe suburbs, the MRC -- as you'd expect from the media arm of the Trump campaign -- tried to downplay that aspect.
A July 30 post by Kristine Marsh dismissed the rule as "radical government overreach" and highlighted "years of conservative criticism to the unfair housing rule which puts local governments and homeowners’ decisions into the hands of the federal government." She linked to a 2015 MRC post uncritically quoting then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly fearmongering that the rule would "regulate and enforce the diversity of neighborhoods (and particularly wealthy ones)."
Schroeder returned on July 31 to declare that the AFFH rule as an "Obama power grab"and claimed that a CNN correspondent "unabashedly lied by claiming that Trump rescinded the policy to appeal to 'white suburban voters' and to inflame 'racial divisions and the racial culture wars.'" Denying the racial aspect, Schroeder followed the MRC narrative by insisting:
Conservatives, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, have long opposed the AFFH. They opposed the policy because it enabled the federal government to bypass local governments and homeowners by charging the federal government with planning their neighborhoods for them. The policy increased local taxes by requiring towns to build larger water and sewer lines, add mass transportation, and increase school sizes and social services. Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center wrote that the policy perverted the intention of 1968 Fair Housing Act through “federal overreach on steroids” which “nullifies the very idea of legislative democracy.”
Schroeder also repeated his falsehood about "the myth of white flight, which says that whites fled from the inner cities to the suburbs because minorities couldn’t afford to live in the suburbs." Schroeder ignored the fact that racist covenents barred housing from being sold to Black people in many early suburbs until the practice was made illegal. Schroeder then ranted: "Thus, Trump is also speaking to the many successful minority residents of suburbs all across the country. Does [the CNN correspondent] not believe that minorities in the U.S. can be successful enough to afford the suburbs? That would be well, racist."
Michael Dellano proclaimed that a commentator admitting that some non-white people live in suburbs negated the argument that Trump is making a racist appeal: "Trump obviously wants all suburban voters, regardless of race, to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods, but the leftist media cannot swallow that truth."
On Aug. 12, Schroeder declared the AFFH to be "onerous" and regurgitated his previous biased attack. Marsh added that "it’s only the mediawho keeps bringing up racism when Trump talks about the suburbs," linking to Schroeder's post as alleged proof.
Journalists boast about how they hold the president accountable for his statements. But far too often, they mangle his statements, especially the ones that can sound racially insensitive. At Wednesday night's briefing, President Trump was asked about his use of the word "invasion" to describe Democratic plans to mandate low-income housing in suburban neighborhoods, which can be expected to decrease property values, as any realtor knows.
The word "invasion" is florid, and it's often applied to illegal immigration, so liberals are already prone to interpret it as racist or an application of racial code words. But PBS White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor completely mangled Trump's answer into something it was not.
So he's saying that suburban homeowners are going to be financially harmed, including minorities. It's the Left that thinks "low-income housing" must mean black and brown people. How cynical is that?
Not as cynical as pretending anything Trump says can be taken at face value, and that he's not really making a racial appeal at its core.
The media has been hell-bent on making Trump’s comments about race even when they defeat their own argument by admitting the suburbs are actually diverse. Furthermore, the media actually reveals their own racism by assuming that minorities don’t want to live in safe and prospering neighborhoods. Mitchell herself has grossly mischaracterized what Trump’s said on this issue, sneering on a previous show he was really telling whites, “I’m going to protect you from black people.”
Ignoring reality is the MRC's job these days -- after all, it is the media arm of the Trump campaign.
CNS Managing Editor Misleads on Va. Bill To Provide Discretion On Police Officer Assault Charges Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman spent part of last month obsessing over a Virginia state legislative bill -- to the point where he played the old CNS trick of playing gotcha by pestering state legislators about it. The first attempt came in a Sept. 4 article:
Although legislation that would reduce the charge for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor has passed the Virginia Senate and is now in the House of Delegates, the office of House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) did not respond when asked if the Speaker supports the bill.
But that's not exactly what's happening, as even Chapman admits in the question he crafted to ask that legislator; he concedes that the bill would "give a judge or a jury discretion in whether to impose a misdemeanor penalty (instead of the prescribed felony) for a simple assault of a police officer, judge, or EMS personnel." He wrote again later in the article that the bill "would not change the assault/felony statute but it would allow a judge or jury, using their discretion, to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor."
As an actual news outlet reported, the bill "give judges and juries leeway to decide whether someone who shoves a police officer without causing injury deserves the same felony assault charge as someone who punches or stabs and remove a mandatory six-month jail sentence for the offense. But Chapman did not explain why this was such a terrible thing.
Still, follow-up araticles Chapman did started with the same misleading framing.
Sept. 9: "When asked whether she supported legislation that would allow a judge to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the office of House Delegate Amanda Batten (R-96th District) said she does not support such legislation, either the Senate version or what may eventually emerge from the House."
Sept. 9: "When asked whether they supported legislation that would reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor, the offices of six Virginia House Delegates, all Democrats, did not respond."
Sept. 11: "Democrats in the Virginia Senate voted unanimously in August in favor of legislation to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor. Senate Republicans opposed the measure."
Sept. 14: "When asked whether she supports legislation that would allow a judge to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, House Delegate Kathy Byron (R- 22nd District) said she 'adamantly opposes" the idea and added that it "sends the wrong message at the worst possible time.'"
Again, in none of these articles does Chapman explain why this bill is a bad thing, even as he concedes that it merely provides discretion in cases of minor contact.
Chapman's bad-faith intent was made even more clear when he ignored the fact that later in the month the bill was shelved by a Virginia House of Delegates committee for further study. That shows he was trying to push an agenda instead of doing responsible reporting. But then, we don't expect anything else from CNS.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do: MRC Won't Promote Right-Wing Books Graham Attacks Media For Ignoring Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham devoted his Sept. 16 column to whining that "anti-Trump" books by Bob Woodward, "the most overpraised journalist in Washington" (who was merely quoting what Trump told him during 18 hours of interviews) and more: "Also this week, the networks lavished attention on two discredited actors in Trump scandals: former FBI agent Peter Strzok, dismissed from the Robert Mueller probe for flagrantly partisan text messages, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, fresh from serving a prison sentence. Trump's niece Mary Trump is still squeezing big money out of her lurid psychological profile on Uncle Donald. She calls him 'The World's Most Dangerous Man.' It helps with the royalties."
He further complained that on that guest list, "there isn't a single author with a deeply critical book on Joe Biden, going on to huff:
Pro-Trump authors are being ignored by the "mainstream" media. Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a bestselling memoir called "Speaking for Myself," but somehow, she is considered beyond the pale, even though she hasn't been to prison like Cohen.
Washington Examiner reporter Byron York has a new book out on the Mueller probe and other Trump scandal inquiries titled "Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment's Never-Ending War on Trump." Liberal journalists will probably dismiss the book because it's published by the staunchly conservative Regnery Publishing. The networks that were so deeply invested in the fantasy of Russian government collusion with the Trump campaign won't want to hear York explain that Mueller's team of Democratic investigators knew early on there was no proof of collusion but dragged the whole charade out past the midterm elections.
Black conservative Candace Owens has a brand-new book titled "Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation," published by Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions. Does anyone think CBS will lavish attention on this book as it did for Woodward, also a Simon & Schuster author?
You know who else hasn't promoted those book? Graham's MRC.
A search of the NewsBusters archive found no promotion of Owens' book, and only one post mentioned that she wrote a book. At the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, while it loves to quote Owens (and censor her numerous controversies), a search of its archive showed the only mention of her book there is ... Graham's column.
York fared worse: The only mention of York's book at both NewsBusters and CNS appears in Graham's column. And at MRCTV, the MRC's video site, there was no mention at all of either book.
If these books are so valuable and so insightful and so meaningful, why won't the MRC put its money where Graham's mouth is and give them the promotion on their own websites he insists they deserve?
WND Columnist Proclaims Kenosha Shooter A 'Folk Hero' Topic: WorldNetDaily
The silver-haired Mr. Cooper, also a CNN celebrity anchor, is the son of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Private property owners defending their modest residences and meager businesses is not something someone who grew up in a castle can comprehend.
Not so Kyle Rittenhouse. Young Kyle went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, because he was never confused. He attempted to do the job politicians and police have refused to do. As the city's mayor and the state's governor watched Kenosha burn, Kyle confronted the enemies of the commonweal. Unlike the flaccid men of the media and in corridors of power, the 17-year-old rose to the challenge, firing only when he was prone and was being pounded by the feral fiends.
Intent on doing a Nick Sandmann on Rittenhouse, the media hounds have been pounding the airwaves with the "right-wing vigilante" pejorative, also calling Kyle a "17-year-old man." This is a subliminal message for "charge him as an adult."
Seventeen-year-old Kyle's recent history? Working as a community lifeguard – boy, can he swim in polluted waters – cleaning "defaced storefronts," dumpster fires lit by Democratic detritus and standing sentinel in front of storefronts in downtown Kenosha, actions the local police instructed him to cease. Well, of course: The police force, in 2020, is a spent force, missing in action, flouting their constitutional obligation to protect innocents and their property.
But President Trump is still a fierce brawler. He knows that the only time you reach across the aisle to the current crop of pyromania-enabling Democrats is to grab them by the proverbial throat. With the president in the lead, I hazard that 50% of the country is behind this remarkably composed young man. ("Never Trumpers" are with the "new and radicalized Democratic coalition.")
Amid the chaos, some pettifoggers have found the wherewithal to throw the book at Kyle Rittenhouse and Steve Baca, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He, too, was chased down by a wilding pack, ran until he could no longer, and only then stood his ground. Why is Baca being prosecuted and destroyed, rather than given the key to the city?
T. Jefferson – hush, don't say a Founding Father's name out loud – passed the 1807 Insurrection Act. If it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me. Bring It. Some skulls need cracking.
Still better: Tired of waiting on a neutered, coopted, infiltrated and compromised police to come to the rescue? Let law-abiding taxpayers hire private protection of Kyle Rittenhouse's caliber.
MRC Writer Whines Media Covered Woodward Book Over Trump's Nobel Nomination Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center went into full damage-control mode against Bob Woodward's new book that extensively quotes President Trump in hours of interviews he gave to the journalist -- of course, since the MRC couldn't attack Trump for misquoting Trump since it's all on tape, it bashed Trump for the usual "liberal bias" and for even writing the book at all. But the MRC's most absurd deflection over the Woodward book deserves its own post.
It came from Nicholas Fondacaro, who actually dedicated an entire post to this:
It was easy to tell the broadcast networks were in full campaign mode on Wednesday seeing as they spent large chunks of their evening newscasts hawking yet another anti-Trump book, Rage by Bob Woodward. But while they spent over 16 minutes (16:26) being up in arms over something President Trump said publicly back in April, they used it to cover-up how the President was nominated by a member of the Norwegian Parliament for a Nobel Peace Prize, for his work in the Israel-UAE peace deal.
CBS Evening News dedicated by far the most time to the book, over seven minutes (7:08) between three different segments, with one just about Joe Biden’s reaction. Next, was ABC’s World News Tonight with over five minutes (5:09), and NBC Nightly News brought up the rear with over four minutes (4:09).
Because Fondacaro is a fundamentally dishonest person, he didn't tell his readers that Trump's nomination is effectively meaningless since a fairly large group of people can make nominations. He also refused to disclose that the person whonominated Trump is a Norwegian lawmaker who's notoriously anti-immigration and who likened Muslim headscarves to Ku Klux Klan uniforms.
Instead, Fondacaro gushed over the MRC's favorite "news" channel for doing his bidding: "Unlike the networks, Fox News Channel’s Special Report managed to walk and chew gum at the same time, covering both the book and the peace prize nomination." Fondacaro lavished four paragraphs on how Fox News promoted the Nobel story. While he denounced the network journalists as "liberal hacks" rooting for Joe Biden, he refused to identify Fox News as a reliably pro-Trump outlet that would be prone to distracting from the Woodward story to tout the dubious Nobel story.
But then, Fondacaro is such a Bozell-bot true believer in the MRC's anti-media narrative that he may simply be incapable of seeing Fox News' obvious bias. Or he's lying like he usually does.
Abortion-Obsessed CNS Editor Slams Ginsburg Upon Her Death Topic: CNSNews.com
It took nearly a day for CNSnews.com to do a story on the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And because highly biased editor in chief Terry Jeffrey wrote it, the story -- illustrated with an ominous-looking photo of Ginsburg -- had no interest in looking at her groundbreaking career but, rather, was focused on a single subject he could bash her on:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who defended what she argued was a constitutional “right” to partial-birth abortion, passed away on Friday night. She was 87 years old.
In the 2000 case of Stenberg vs. Carhart and the 2007 case of Gonzales vs. Carhart, Ginsburg made clear her view that the U.S. Constitution protected a “right” to abortion (as the court had ruled in the 1973 case of Roe vs. Wade and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey) and that this right extended to the practice of partial-birth abortion.
Even though the story was ostensibly about Ginsburg, Jeffrey included an excerpt from Clarence Thomas' minority opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart in which he described in detail the "partial birth abortion" procedure for no apparent legal reason but apparently for shock value.
But Jeffrey wasn't done attacking a dead woman. In his Sept. 23 column, he huffed that "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ought to be remembered for two things: her attacks on the right to life and her attacks on religious liberty." He rehashed his earlier attacks on Ginsburg's stances on the abortion-related cases -- and again repeated Thomas' gratuitious description of the abortion procedure in question, gushing at his "clinical clarity" even though Thomas is not a doctor, ranting, "How could any rational person conclude that the government had an interest in stopping doctors from jamming scissors into the skulls of partially born babies?
Jeffrey then complained that Ginsburg issued dissenting views in cases on whether employers had to cover contraceptives and "abortion-inducing drugs," grousing that in one case, "In Ginsburg's view, the federal government had a duty to force Catholic nuns to violate their religious beliefs in order to make sure their lay female employees did not have to pay for their own contraceptives."
Even the CNS editor in chief can't help but violate the "news" operation's mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."
NEW ARTICLE: Extremism Looms At The MRC Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center employees dismiss right-wing extremist Laura Loomer as crazy on their personal social media, but that doesn't translate to their employer, where she's just another Muslim-hating "free speech" martyr. Read more >>
CNS Aggressively Defends Trump From His Own Words In Woodward's Book Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center's "news" division, CNSNews.com, went into an even more aggressive damage-control mode than its parent over Bob Woodward's book exensively quoting President Trump, who gave Woodward 18 hours worth of interviews and admitted he publicly downplayed the threat of coronavirus to the U.S. while knowing it was much more serious.
If Americans listened to and/or read what President Trump said about the emerging coronavirus in late January and early February, they knew back then that the virus was contagious, that it had "severe manifestations," and that it was a "serious public health threat," particularly for "older adults and people with underlying health conditions."
Moreover, a look at public statements issued by the World Health Organization in late January also informed the world that "all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of 2019-nCoVinfection."
WHO issued that statement on January 30 -- one day after President Trump announced the formation of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force "to work to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus."
Following yesterday’s release of Trump’s recorded comments to author Bob Woodward, the president's many Democrat/media critics are now literally portraying him as a murderer for allegedly concealing the severity of the emerging coronavirus crisis. ("Donald Trump says he didn't want Americans to panic. No, he just wanted to sit by and watch them die," said MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on this Thursday. See his full screed below)
But a look at the public record tells a different story.
The following is a partial timeline of the many remarks, announcements and proclamations issued by Trump as the coronavirus emerged, as health experts learned more and more about it, and as the economic repercussions of the shutdown took effect.
Needless to say, Jones didn't mention all the times Trump publicly downplayed the virus or said it would magically go away.
This was followed by Arter doing her usual Trump stenography by letting him spin what he said to Woodward and an article from Jones featuring Vice President Mike Pence defending Trump. After that came a potpourri of defenses and attacks:
Jones returned to spin mode in a Sept. 22 article complaining that Joe Biden was still talking about Woodward's book when other things were happening:
Heading into the election, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden wants Americans to stay angry and continue grieving for lives lost to the coronavirus -- around 200,000 according to some estimates.
Biden has made the pandemic a centerpiece of his campaign to portray Trump as callous and incompetent. However, the death of Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the looming fight over her successor now competes with coronavirus as a major concern for the electorate.
Jones linked to her earlier timeline to bolster her claim about "the actions taken early on by President Trump and his administration, before anyone in this country had died." Again, she ignored all the times Trump downplayed the virus.
MRC Covers Woodward Book of Trump Interviews By (Of Course) Attacking Woodward Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was in the midst of pro-Trump damage control over an Atlantic article about President Trump disparaging U.S. troops when it had a new crisis to contend with: Bob Woodward's book based on hours of interviews with Trump. Naturally, the MRC went into shoot-the-messenger mode, attacking Woodward as biased even if it couldn't dispute that he was directly quoting what Trump told him.
The MRC's first post on Woodward's book was, oddly, from Gabriel Hays focused on the reaction of "Hollywood Twitter." But he was already defending Trump's remarks to Woodward about publicly downplaying the coronavirus threat when he knew it was more serious, declaring that the remarks "occurred during the early stages of the Trump administration’s Chinese virus response (when people like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and former Vice President Joe Biden sat on their thumbs, badmouthing the president’s xenophobic actions)."
Tim Graham complained that Trump was criticized for talking to Woodward, making sure to portray Trump as the real victim: "So, to review: Trump is stupid to grant all his interviews to Sean Hannity and Fox. And now he's stupid to grant interviews to Bob Woodward. These leftists will criticize the president no matter which decision or direction he takes. The only consistency they show is that they always want Trump defeated, removed, finished."
Curtis Houck churned out another gushing piece on Kayleigh McEnany, huffing that "Acela corridor-based journalists... tried (and failed) to browbeat Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany over claims that Trump 'lied to the American public' about COVID-19’s threat to America and was therefore complicit in having murdered nearly 200,000 people. And yes, that actually was the narrative these vile hacks peddled."
Alex Christy groused that people on MSNBC "came together for some Monday morning quarterbacking on President Trump's handling of the pandemic, with Woodward's Washington Post colleague Phillip Rucker using the book to blame Trump for 190,000 COVID deaths," adding, "It's one thing to criticize Trump, but it is unscientific nonsense to say that he is responsible for 190,000 deaths from a novel virus."
Mark finelstein grumbled about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough's "grim, paternalistic, pursed-lip approach to the anti-Trump coronavirus spin coming out of the latest Bob Woodward book."
Scott Whitlock complained: "It’s Bob Woodward, so it must be another Watergate scandal, right? That’s the thinking on CBS This Morning on Thursday as Gayle King and John Dickerson compared the leaked quotes in the latest Woodward tome Rage to the 1970s scandal that brought down Richard Nixon."
Kristine Marsh touted Meghan McCain's spin that "the media has an agenda against Republicans so if you talk to them you’re guaranteed to 'look bad,'" ignoring the fact that Woodward has his Trump interviews on tape.
Kyle Drennen insisted that "Dr. Anthony Fauci completely dismantled the anti-Trump narrative being pushed by Bob Woodward regarding the President’s handling on the coronavirus pandemic" by claiming that Trump didn't mislead the public, playing the victimization card by claiming that "Any evidence, like Dr. Fauci’s comments, that runs counter to the narrative the leftist media wants to push will simply be censored or downplayed in a desperate attempt to damage Trump."
Nicholas Fondacaro huffed that CNN's Jake Tapper interviewed Joe Biden in footage that featured him "going off on President Trump and Tapper slow pitching him excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new anti-Trump book."
Houck returned to bizarrely turn the story into anti-Biden spin: "On Thursday afternoon, President Trump continued to distinguish himself from Joe Biden on access with another White House press conference that featured snarky, Jim Acosta-like questions from ABC’s Jonathan Karl (even though he’s written about his disdain for Acosta’s style) and far-left Washington Post reporter and MSNBC contributor Phil Rucker as they both accused him of having lied to the American people about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic."
Graham devoted an entire column to deflecting from Trump's words by blaming the media and playing whataboutism: "Let’s put aside the nagging question of why Republican presidents grant interviews to this liberal Watergate war horse. Let’s focus instead on the nastiness of blaming hundreds of thousands of deaths on the president. Imagine, for a minute, that President Hillary Clinton was in power when the coronavirus arrived from China. Would the press place a single death at the White House door?" Well, Graham certainly would.
Geoffrey Dickens registered his own complaint: "A Bob Woodward book with so-called embarrassing details about a Republican president is like catnip for the DC/NY media crowd. ... If it all sounds familiar, it is: the commotion over the leaks and Woodward interviews follows a pattern when it comes to his previous books that bash GOP presidents."
Finally, Graham ranted about an interview Scott Pelley of "60 Minutes" did with Woodward:
How stupid does Scott Pelley think we are? Can we really be told after five years of fire-breathing televised Trump hatred that we live in a world where reporters stick to reporting, not editorializing?
Pelley touted Woodward as a destroyer of presidencies, the man whose "first investigation, reported with Carl Bernstein, led to the resignation of Richard Nixon." But there it was near the end of Sunday night's interview, Pelley claiming reporters are "not supposed" to reach "editorial conclusions" about presidents!
The only conclusion that can be reached here in this discussion between two gray-haired retirement-age journalists that this is simply a shameless infomercial, using the antiquated notion of journalistic objectivity to add shock value and sell more books for Simon and Schuster, another affiliated Viacom-CBS property. The corporate synergy requires this kind of con artistry.
Graham cranked out another column dismissing Woodward as "the most overpraised journalist in Washington ... who is the same age as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden but is still trotted out with great fanfare as the conquering hero of Watergate."
Anything to avoid having to discuss what Trump actually said to Woodward, eh?
On Saturday, Newsmax TV will air "Trump and Me: A Conversation with Ron Kessler," an original new documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the Trump presidency to reveal the true story of how Donald Trump became leader of the world’s most powerful nation — and how he made it great again.
For over 20 years, famed journalist Ron Kessler had almost unlimited access to Trump as he made him a subject of multiple books.
For the first time, Kessler shares his private and most candid thoughts about the billionaire-turned-president.
In< "Trump and Me," Kessler describes how Trump worked his way up the ladder of success, graduating from the prestigious Wharton School to help run his father's real estate business, eventually turning it into a multibillion-dollar enterprise.
Kessler looks at Trump's uphill battle in Washington to reform the bureaucracies of the FBI, CIA, VA, and other agencies that are in desperate need of fresh blood and renewed ethics.
And he discusses Trump's efforts boost the economy, reign in trade agreements, end poverty, and fight bigotry.
"He was very prepared for becoming president because he had a grasp on a lot of world issues and a grasp of conservative approaches to the government — and he simply implemented them," Kessler says in "Trump and Me."
He adds, "Trump really cares about his country. He is a patriot."
Kessler also reveals Trump's most personal side, including his relationship with his wife Melania, family, and his staff.
Kessler has long been a pro-Trump hagiographer and, when he was Newsmax's White House correspondent, was promoting Trump's presidential prospects there as early as 2011, at one point gushing (in writring about flying on Trump's commercial-size private jet) that Trump "is younger, thinner, and blonder than in his photos."
Which makes Newsmax's claim that Kessler's special is "an unvarnished, unbiased look at Trump that you will not find anywhere else" particularly hilarious. We don't doubt that you won't see this anywhere else, but based on the above description, the show appears to be quite varnished and most definitely biased, coming from a highly biased pro-Trump writer.
WND Touts Bogus Hydroxychloroquine Study Pushed By Fringe Group Topic: WorldNetDaily
From an anonymously written Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily article:
With media solemnly spotlighting the passing of the 200,000 mark in deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the United States, a physicians assocation has a question.
"Why is the death rate about 75 percent lower in many countries?" asked Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
The reference is to a country-based analysis updated Sept. 20 that shows a gap between countries that treat COVID-19 early or prophylactically with hydroxychloroquine and those that, like the U.S., discourage or prohibit its use.
That link to the "country-based analysis" goes to an anonymous website, HCQTrial.com, featuring a bogus study. Lifehacker points out that the results on the website are "not a study, but it’s definitely packaged to look like one":
What it actually is, is an anonymous website with many of its sources credited to also-anonymous Twitter accounts. But it wears the garb of science: The charts mirror the style of other epidemiological graphs that have been floating around; the typography smacks of certain scientific journals’ style.
But what’s even sneakier is the way it co-opts the language of science and deliberately misuses words. The phrasing has changed after criticism, but at one point the site claimed to describe a “country-randomized trial” of literally billions of people.
As many actual epidemiologists have pointed out, all these folks did was to look at COVID-19 death rates in a handful of cherry-picked countries and conclude that the countries that made a “strong decision” in favor of hydroxychloroquine usage had lower death rates.
The Science-Based Medicine website details further that "There’s no such thing as a 'country-randomized trial'. It’s a meaningless term. Subjects were not 'randomized by country'. They couldn’t have been. This is a retrospective study," concluding that HCQTrial.com "is obvious pseudoscience to anyone who has any expertise in epidemiology and/or clinical trials, but unfortunately it has spread far and wide faster than experts could debunk its disinformation."
It also theorizes (since the site's operators are anonymous and the domain owner has been hidden form public view) that Orient's AAPS may be affiliated with this website, but admits that this and an apparently affiliated website, c19study.com, "are simply useful repositories of disinformation for AAPS to use. Either way, it’s clear that these sites are all related and that they are all spreading the same sort of disinformation."
Indeed, in a WND column published the same day (and also published at Newsmax), Orient made a similar claim about hydroxychloroquine having a "75% lower mortality rate," but this time linking to c19study.com, which is just a list of HCQ-related studies with a similarly anonymous provenance.
In that column, Orient also wrote about how "Epidemiologist Harvey Risch of Yale University estimates that 100,000 people may have lost their lives needlessly because of governmental agencies obstructing the use of HCQ." But Science-Based Medicine argued that Risch was employing "bad science" in trying to defend HCQ through the use of cherry-picked studies and positively referencing Vladimir Zelenko, who made numerous unverified claims about HCQ's efficacy (debunked by state health officials) that WND promoted earlier this year.
Orient went on to argue that "the authorities' cherished dogmas about viral diseases in general are wrong," citing what is effectively an opinion piece in the AAPS' own journal by one Dr. Lee Merritt, who concluded by likening "a corrupt, and yes murderous, vaccine industry" to "the murderous and corrupt Soviet regime." Merritt is not an epidemiologist; she's an orthopedic surgeon. She was also formerly known as Lee Hieb, a past president of AAPS who is, as we documented, an anti-vaxxer who's more than a little factually challenged.
WND continues to publish misinformation and falsehoods from a fringe group that's known for doing so -- even though publishing misinformation is one big reason that WND has been teetering on the edge of existence for the past couple years. It hasn't learned anything.
MRC Goes Into Full Defense Mode Over Allegations Trump Disparages Military Topic: Media Research Center
Because the Media Research Center is the media arm of the Trump campaign, it acted like an extension of the White House press secretary in trying to stamp out an Atlantic story citing numerous people claiming that President Trump privatedly dismissed fallen U.S. soldiers as "losers" and "suckers."
Curtis Houck complained that the Atlantic piece was anonymously sourced and that its editor is a "liberal," attacking media outlets for reporting it: "And because conducting journalism isn’t what they do, they also couldn’t be bothered to mention both the excerpt of John Bolton’s book on the day in question that made no mention of these comments and a White House e-mail also debunking them."
Tim Graham dismissed the Atlantic as "the exquisitely partisan source of today's anonymously-sourced anti-Trump hit piece" on Trump.
Houck returned to gush that "White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany continued the full court press from the Trump administration and campaign to debunk, deny, and dispose of Thursday’s Atlantic hit piece against President Trump from liberal hack editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, calling it 'conspiracy-laden propaganda' and 'fake news' that abandoned 'all journalistic integrity.' And in a true mic drop moment, McEnany read the roughly four-minute statement and left the podium without taking questions." Houck doesn't seem to understand that a denial from the White House is not the same as a "debunking." (The MRC loves to gush over McEnany.)
Alex Christy was mad that the Atlantic's sources chose to stay anonymous, declaring that "without names, it looks like a combination of confirmation bias (Goldberg, in his article, cited Trump's feuds with veterans and their families where he has gone too far) and political gossip" and adding that "some accusations are so serious, in order to run them they need more than Twitter-fearing anonymous sources commenting on an event from 2018."
Graham joined the whining about the Atlantic's anonymous sources, then went on to whine about "Brian Stelter's anonymous sources for his Fox-bashing book Hoax. If they've left Fox News for greener pastures, why don't they show some guts and go on the record?"
Graham later grumbled that "the traveling/groveling Biden press corps" wasn't asking if "The Atlantic article trashing the president for allegedly trashing our war dead was coordinated with the Biden campaign."
P.J. Gladnick complained that "CNN's Chris Cillizza hyped the Atlantic magazine smear upon President Donald Trump" but "never even mentioned the one very prominent non-anonymous source that came forward to upend that story, namely John Bolton." Actually, Bolton has said, "I’m not saying he didn’t say [the remarks] later in the day or another time."
Kristine Marsh huffed that ABC's George Stephanopulos "badgering" Sarah Huckabee Sanders over the Atlantic story and "spent the majority of the interview arguing with her over whether or not President Trump hates the military." In another post, Marsh touted how "several named witnesses have shot down the story told in the Atlantic as false." In fact, few of the "named witnesses" can credibly deny the story in full.
Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg must have thought early Tuesday evening that he was making matters better when he appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room to discuss his hit piece against President Trump, but despite host Wolf Blitzer’s gushing praise for his “amazing” “bombshell” we all should be “grateful” for, he continued to undermine the central claims of his tale.
Throughout the eight-minute-and-35-second segment, Goldberg faced no real challenge from Blitzer, showed us how he’s long been a go-to messenger for what some call the Deep State, and illustrated why he was a reliable flack for the Obama regime.
Graham devoted an entire column to denouncing the Atlantic as a "hyperpartisan outlet" (ironic, since Graham is a hyperpartisan critic). Graham also devoted a podcast to attacking the Atlantic piece.
Jeffrey Lord devoted an entire column to hyping a claim from a right-wing blog post written by onetoime NewsBusters blogger Rusty Weiss claiming that Atlantic editor JeffreyGoldberg admitted the story was "shoddy." Weiss has since softened and recast his original claim.
It's as if the MRC was being paid by the Trump campaign to do this.
But given the opportunity to fact-check President Trump or other Republicans, Goodenough has refused to do so.
Goodenough actually wrote around one falsehood in an effort to avoid having to report on it. In an Aug. 26 article, he wrote on the Republican National Convention speech of Madison Cawthorn, gushing over how the wheelchair-bound Republican congressional candidate ended the speech "by hauling himself out of his wheelchair, standing to recite an adaptation of the pledge of allegiance." Goodenough went on to write that "Earlier in the speech, Cawthorn noted how young some of the great men of American history were at the time they were making an impact, citing George Washington, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln."
That's a dishonestly generous paraphrase of what Cawthorn actually said; he said that "personal favorite" James Madison "was just 25 years old when he signed the Declaration of Independence." In fact, Madison did not sign the Declaration.
In a Sept. 1 article, Goodenbough uncritically repeated Trump's assertion that Black Lives Matter is a "Marxist organization" (it's not). He then responded to Trump's claim that "Money is coming from some very stupid rich people that have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded – which it won’t – they will be thrown to the wolves like you’ve never seen before" with this lame bit of affirmation: "Amid protests that erupted across the nation after a white police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis last May, some of America’s biggest corporations – including Nike, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon – announced donations to Black Lives Matter and other organizations focused on social justice for black communities."
Goodenough provided no evidence that any money from these corporations are funding protests or violence, either directly or indirectly. He also wrote this:
Trump recounted that a person flying “from a certain city” to Washington to attend the Republican National Convention had been on a plane that “was almost completely loaded with – with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear, and this and that.”
He wouldn’t reveal the name of the city the plane came from, saying the matter was “under investigation,” but added that along with a handful of people heading to the RNC, “a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage.”
If Goodenough had bothered to look into it, he might have found that Trump's story sound susiciously familar to a similar (and bogus) claim circulating in right-wing circles in June. Or it could be a right-wing congressman who freaked out about sharing a plane with Black Lives Matter activists flying to Washington, D.C., for the anniversary of the March on Washington.
Goodenough served as a Trump stenographer in a Sept. 17 article touting how "President Trump said Wednesday distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to prioritized recipients could begin as early as next month, but by November or December at 'the latest,' and suggested a speedier rolling-out to the broader population than that suggested earlier in the day by CDC Director Robert Redfield." He made sure not to mention that Trump's promise of a vaccine before the election is widelyviewed as a ploy to get votes and to distract from his mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.
We've noted how Goodenough's reporting at CNS has evolved from relatively straight to unambiguously pro-Trump and anti-Democrat.
MRC's Houck Dishes It Out, Can't Take It Topic: Media Research Center
Curtis Houck is among the most vicious of the Media Research Center's writers. He routinely slings personal insults at CNN personnel -- he has called CNN employees "deranged" "lemmings," smeared another as "immature" with an "incapacity to behave like an adult" (one of his favorite attacks against CNN) and was absolutely giddy that pro-Trump protesters heckled the network. And that's just at NewsBusters, where he serves as managing editor; on his Twitter account, he obsessively bashes CNN's Oliver Darcy as a "conservative Benedict Arnold," whatever that means, accused another CNN personality of having "sold her soul" to join "Zuckerville," insists that "liberal media" like CNN are "the enemy of the people," has ranted that CNN and other outlets "want vaccines to fail and don't see any problem with people going full anti-vaxxer" to spite Trump and smeared the channel as "bad people. They're purposefully spreading fake news, but they don't care. Why? Because if you don't agree with their hysteria-filled way of doing things, they hate you."
But it seems Houck can dish it out, but he can't take it. Responding to a snarky tweet from CNN official Matt Dornic, Houck served up his usual nastiness: "CNN's 'head of strategic communications' reminding us that CNN should come out and endorse Biden. Because if you're not a liberal and actually want to vote for Trump, CNN and people like Matt probably think you're racist, stupid, and just not that smart." Dornic -- clearly aware of Houck's history of responded unhinged invective -- responded in kind: Your gaslight game has improved significantly, Curtis. [clapping emoji] If I didn’t know better, I‘d blame your tweet on an actual personality disorder rather than a desperate plea for attention and approval.
Suddenly, Houck decided to play the victim: "Actually, I've suffer [sic] from depression and attempted suicide, so nice of you to invoke mental illness as a joke to try and attack me instead of respond to the merits of CNN's hatred for people who disagree with them." Houck wrote in a separate tweet: "CNN PR lead joking about mental illness to someone who's battled depression and attempted suicide. That would be me."
Now, we don't attack people on the basis of their mental health, and we have never criticized Houck on that basis. But for Houck to hide behind his mental health issues (which, by the way, are not a secret; he has a thread regarding them pinned to the top of his Twitter page) as a way to change the subject and avoid engaging with people taking issue with his repeated nastiness is unfair, not to mention little more than a way to avoid responsibility for one's own words.
We are very much sympathetic to Houck's mental health struggles -- we'd be happy to talk with him about it sometime (though, in another attempt to evade criticism for his work, he's muted us on Twitter). But he doesn't get to hide behind them to keep from being called out on his nastiness. And if it's his job that makes him so vicious toward CNN that it feeds into such issues, maybe he should find another line of work.
Reagan-Loving Activist Now Advocating For Corrupt Ex-Congressman's Release From Prison Topic: Newsmax
Looks like WorldNetDaily and WND columnist RachelAlexander aren't the only ones trying to embrace conspiracy theories to get former right-wing congressman and convicted felon Steve Stockman out of prison. Self-proclaimed presidential historian Craig Shirley -- who basically makes his living these days writing hagiographic books about Ronald Reagan -- devoted his Sept. 18 Newsmax column to making Alexander-esque arguments to claim that Stockman should be released from prison.
Shirley insisted that Stockman was targeted because he was the leading voice in exposing Obama's IRS commissioner, Lois Lerner's purported scheme to use the IRS as a cudgel against conservative nonprofit groups" and "called for Lerner to be arrested."This bit of right-wing victimization conveniently ignores the fact that progressive noprofit groups were also targeted at the same time. But Shirley doesn't care about facts, he cares about playing the victimization card, insisting this directly led to "a five-year long investigation costing taxpayers millions of dollars and led to a ham-fisted 10-year sentence in federal prison in 2018."
While Shirley was ranting about "the Obama case against Steve," he obscured the fact that Stockman was convicted of 23 felony counts of fraud and other financial crimes in 2018 -- more than a year after Obama left office -- and by a jury in a courtroom in Texas, generally not seen as friendly to anything associated with Obama. The U.S. attorney whose office that prosecuted the case and the trial was appointed by President Trump and said that "corrupt officials like former congressman Stockman make it harder for the honest ones to do their jobs."
Shirley then handwaved Stockman's crimes as business as usual:
The Obama case against Steve stems from a grand total of $915,000 he raised for nonprofits he worked for from a pair of donors. The donors knew what their money was being utilized for, never once complaining to Steve or any authority figures about it.
The money was intended for various educational and philanthropic projects, some of which never panned out (which, trust me, happens often in the nonprofit business).
But prosecutors claim this is proof Steve defrauded his donors, even though, again, the donors knew where the money was going and that not every project was going to necessarily come to fruition.
Add to that the fact Steve paid himself a salary, and suddenly you’ve got an airtight case for fraud apparently.
Shirley then ranted about purported trial irregularities that "This may sound like a B-Grade spy novel, but unfortunately this all happened right here in the United States. This is the kind of thing Vladimir Putin does every other Thursday." He concluded with one final rant:
Steve Stockman is no criminal; he’s a patriot who was shedding light on the illegal actions of Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ).
The Obama cronies who put Steve away now toast happily while he wastes away in a prison cell. The only things he did wrong was call, rightfully, for Lois Lerner’s to be held to account, and for Holder’s impeachment.
Like the strongmen they vehemently claim to abhor, corrupt Democrats decided that, as in the tin pot dictatorships of the globe, the opposition had to be silenced.
Free Steve Stockman. Now.
The 12 jurors who unanimously decided that Stockman was guilty probably feel differently.
Shirley didn't disclose that he is among the right-wing signers of an amicus brief filed by a direct marketing company arguing for Stockman's release from prison.