MRC's Graham Still Jealous Of Obamas' Memoir Success Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center -- mostly Tim Graham -- has been insanely jealous at the success of the Obamas' post-presidency dealings, from their Netflix production deal to the book deal for Barack's and Michelle's memoirs to the mere idea of them making money in general and buying houses with said money.
Graham spent his Aug. 19 column whining that "the media see it as their job to praise everything Michelle Obama does with overwhelming enthusiasm," huffing:
Please try this imaginative exercise: When has a “news” professional ever asked Michelle Obama a challenging question? When has she ever been portrayed as anything less than Barack’s “not-so-secret weapon”? If you want to smell a whiff of authoritarianism in America, it feels almost illegal to speak one discouraging word about the first black First Lady.
Michelle Obama is America’s most pampered princess, the most spoiled figure in our modern political history. Her every move is carefully prepared and managed, and no one ever disturbs her peace when she’s on display. Praising her poise and her cool is mandatory, and it’s easier to show poise when no one ever, ever challenges you as less than perfect.
This is what makes all of her Oprah-esque blather about empathy sound a little humorous. How can this multi-multi-millionaire author and celebrity with the Martha’s Vineyard mansion present herself to the voters as Just Like You? She has filmmakers make gushy films about how empathetic she is as part of the lucrative family business deal with Netflix, but who else gets that privilege?
Even conservative writers and media outlets want to hail her rhetorical bilge. Let’s stop that. Someone needs to break this sickening spell. Let’s dare to treat her like just another wealthy Democrat hack, selling a siren song of socialism in her glitter boots.
Graham petulantly refused to give Michelle credit for the fact that her book sold 10 million copies, grousing: "It’s true she had one of the most successful books in recent years, in large part because of fierce Democratic loyalty, and in part because of endless, breathless promotion by fiercely loyal 'news' outlets."
Graham turned his attention to Michelle's husband in a Sept. 17 post, finding things to complain about in the announcement of the November publication of Barack's memoirs: "The guy who mocked the bitter clingers to guns and religion is going to lecture about divisiveness. Obama has now split his memoirs into two volumes. This one will cover his life up through the takedown of Osama bin Laden in 2011. Don't bother looking for Reverend Wright in the index."
Graham pre-emptively declared Obama's memoir to be a fake -- never mind that it has yet to be published -- because his memoir "Dreams From My Father" was "full of fictional tales (never mind that it says right there in the book that "some of the characters that appear are composites of people, I've known, and some events appear out of precise chronology").
Graham concluded by whining that the media was pointing out how big of a deal Obama's book is to the publishing industry and that the $65 million the Obamas received for their memoirs appears to have been money well spent, given how many copies of Michelle's book were sold.
It's sad that Graham apparently has nothing else going on in his life, giving him time to spew hateful, partisan jealousy at the Obamas.
Newsmax's Dick Morris Is In Full Trump Suck-Up Mode Topic: Newsmax
A raft of failed predictions in 2012 sent Dick Morris into exile at Newsmax, which attempted one of its image rehab projects on him, which didn't really take given his irrelevance over the past few years as a political pundit beyond Newsmax's walls. While we weren't watching (it seems he's writing columns for Newsmax all this time), Morris has taken his pro-Trump sycophancy -- as touted in a 2016 book published by Newsmax's book division, Humanix -- to the next level. In his Sept. 16 column, the headline sums up Morris' suyck-up mode -- "Key to Trump's Victory — He Believes in America, Democrats Never Will":
The Democratic National Convention opened the door for the Trump campaign to run on a central theme: Belief in America.
The dour pessimism which oozed from every portal at the Democrats' convention sets up a beautiful contrast between the two candidates and their parties — optimism versus pessimism, That is, belief in America versus versus doubt over America.
Democrats believe the virus may conquer us.
Republicans believe we will conquer the virus.
Democrats predict a shaky economy at best and a prolonged recession at worst.
But Republicans believe the ongoing economic comeback will continue and, if Trump wins, accelerate.
So the Trump Campaign should say to the Democrats, "How can you lead a country when you don’t believe in its future?"
Republicans should respond sounding this theme: "Believe in America and make it great again."
The Biden campaign would rather make the race a personal referendum on Trump’s style, temperament, and personality. But the race will inevitably revolve around the Trump record and what it means for our nation's future.
The Democratic strategy is to throw mud at Trump with an unending series of suggestive, titillating accusations and inferences from a plethora of books to keep the president in a permanent state of rage.
But the Trump campaign, by echoing a message of optimism can cut through that miasma.
When we convert pessimists into optimists, we switch voters from Biden to Trump.
And, of course, when the vaccine arrives, its ballgame over.
On Sept. 28, Morris attempted a novel spin on Trump's tax controversy:
Contrary to the false impression in The New York Times story, Donald Trump did not avoid taxes.
He pre-paid them.
In 2016 and 2017, he requested and got an extension to file his returns.
As required, he made an estimated tax payment of $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017. Then, it turned out that he did not owe that much in taxes, but, rather than demand the money back, he let the IRS keep it and apply it to any future tax he owed.
So — when he only paid $750 in taxes for the first two years of his presidency it was because he had already overpaid during the two previous years and just reduced his payment by that amount.
Over the longer term, Trump overpaid his taxes by $72 million.
Because some of that overpayment was more than two years earlier, he was not allowed to offset it against current taxes. But Obama changed the law to allow taxpayers to go further back and he offset his tax liability in future years by citing his overpayment.
So Donald Trump did not avoid paying taxes, he prepaid them.
So what's wrong with that?
Not much, aside from the fact that's not what actually happened. Trump has been trying to get a $72 million tax refund since 2010 by claiming $1.4 billion in losses in 2008 and 2009; claiming losses to avoid paying taxes is a longtime Trump schtick.
Morris wasn't done sucking up on the issue of taxes:
And, since no good deed goes unpunished in politics, the president also being skewered for taking a charitable tax deduction of $119 million for agreeing not to build homes on a 200 acre plot in Westchester, New York and a similar one in Los Angeles.
In each case, Trump bought the property planning to build a golf course and homes on them. Both times, the local zoning board refused to allow the development.
So Trump donated the right to develop develop this land to charity and took a deduction of $119 million, called a charitable easement.
So now the beautiful land in each location will be preserved forever wild as a place of refuge for people, birds, and animals.
Again, Morris is censoring the shady part of the controversy about the New York property known as Seven Springs:
Trump failed to develop the property after neighbors fought back so he took advantage of a historic conservation easement provision that allowed him to claim a $21 million charitable tax deduction when he signed a deal not to develop most of the property. He has also written off millions in property taxes as a business expense, classifying Seven Springs as an investment property rather than a personal residence, even though the Trumps appear to have used the sprawling estate as a summer "compound" and "retreat for the Trump family" for years.
Trump's tax records show that about $119 million of the $130 million in charitable contributions reported to the IRS have come from the Seven Springs scheme. The Seven Springs deduction is under investigation by New York's attorney general.
Morris concluded by invoking the right-wing defense of Trump on the tax issue: "He took advantage of every way to cut his tax burden. Do you know any taxpayer who doesn’t?"
WND's Cashill Rehashes Old Obama Conspiracies Topic: WorldNetDaily
On top of his usual potpourri of conspiracies, WorldNetDaily has been obsessingover President Obama as his new anti-Obama book neared publication. Now that it's out, Cashill's columns are promoting said book, and it's pretty much all his columns have been about of late.
In his Sept. 9 column, Cashill speculates about Obama's sexuality, based on letters he allegedly wrote to a college girlfriend in which Obama allegedly claims that "I make love to men daily, but in the imagination. My mind is androgynous to a great extent and I hope to make it more so." Cashill then lets his smutty mind run amok:
This revelation came at a good time for me. In writing my book "Unmasking Obama," I was still debating whether or not I should address the rumors of Obama's homosexuality.
There was other evidence to consider. One was Obama's adolescent relationship with CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis, an admitted bisexual with a taste for underage prey.
Then too there was the memorable Larry Sinclair. In June 2008, at the National Press Club in Washington, Sinclair related the alleged details of a two-day coke and sex romp with the then-married Obama in 1999.
Sinclair provided dates, the name of the hotel, the name of the Muslim limo driver who arranged the assignation, the specifics of their sexual interlude, and challenged the media to follow up. They did not. Instead, as was their habit during the Obama years, they attacked the messenger.
On Sept. 16, Cashill declared that this summer's unrest following the police shootings of black people "is the America Barack Obama and Joe Biden have wrought, and it is too damn late for a beer summit to paper things over," going on to make his usual complaint that "Obama tacitly endorsed the media's transformation of Zimmerman, a Hispanic civil rights activist, into a white-supremacist killer." Cashill, of course, transformed the black teen Zimmerman killed, Trayvon Martin, into a would-be thug.
Cashill played victim in his Sept. 23 column, parlaying a one-star review of his Obama-bashing book on Amazon into a "Fahrenheit 451"-style attempt to silence him, adding: "Of course, I am hoping for more abuse, maybe a smack down from big-time firemen like the smear artists at the Media Matters for America or the 'extremist' monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center. If truly successful, I might get a big fat 'False' from the faux fact-checkers at Snopes.com or PolitiFact.com."
They're not "smears" if it's the truth, Jack. And the truth is that Cashill has so discredited himself over the years that pretty much the only people who care about him is us, and only because he has decided to go down with the WND ship.
Cashill spent his Sept. 30 column hair-splitting over Obama's words in a 2012 presidential debate with Mitt Romney over whether he called the Benghazi attack an "act of terror."
Since WND isn't selling Cashill's book or, apparently, any other thing published in the past couple years outside of its sparely read Whistleblower magazine in its online store, it did the next best thing and published a gushy review of it by one William F. Marshall, who claims to be a "senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc." (complete with parenthetical disclaimer that "The views expressed are the author's alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch"). Marshall declared the book to be "an important new work to the Obama biographical collection. It explores the many advances the cultural left made on traditional American society during the Obama era, with Barack Obama as the figurehead, at least, leading the campaign, abetted by an equally determined leftist media that protected him as zealously as any Praetorian Guard." He touted how Cashill pushed Sinclair's claims, laughably adding that "The tale is told not for its prurient value. ... They tried to discredit the man rather than investigate his explicit allegations through gumshoe reporting." Oh, but Cashill is very much aboiut the prurient value, is he not?
Marshall also fawned over Cashill's alleged "dry wit," adding, "We should all learn to laugh at the absurdities of America's political scene today. Humor helps keep us sane." He's clearly not going to mention that Cashill's record as a discreditedconspiracy-monger precedes him and that all the "dry wit" he can muster doesn't wipe that way.
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.