Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center pushes mini-scandals and conspiracy theories in the hopes of making Joe Biden look bad. But nobody else seems to care. Read more >>
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
WND's Farah, Kupelian Hypocritically Rant About Things
For her Oct. 9 video -- taking a break from peddling far-right politics under the guise of "DIY Bible study" and now claiming to offer "Truth in the Booth" -- WorldNetDaily's Elizabeth Farah interviewed the guy she's worked along for the past two decades-plus, WND managing editor David Kupelian.
In the hour-long interview, Farah declared the election to be a "spiritual battle," and Kupelian of course concurred. He ranted:
He also argued that people are "either channeling good or channeling evil." Of course, Kupelian and Farah (her husband, Joseph, too) have been channeling evil for years through the lies and conspiracy theories WND has spread -- highly ironic because both Farah and Kupelian like to seem themselves as, in Farah's words, "firmly footed in reality -- truth"and anyone who disagrees with them, or even points out they're wrong, are the evil ones who are engaging in projection.
Kupelian also complained, as he has before, about Trump-Hitler comparisons , calling them "grossly irresponsible and reckless" and declaring that the only way liberals "can sleep at night" and "look right into the camera" and tell lies is to make such a comparison. But he fails to acknowledge the very same argument can be made about him -- after all, WND spent eight-plus years of likening President Obama to Hitler and other assorted Nazis, and we assume Kupelian slept very well at night after spreading such smears and birther lies because he believed he was saving the world, or at least his right-wing vision of Christianity, by fighting Hitler. He and Farah would never consider themselves "grossly irresponsible and reckless" for their multitudes of Obama smears and lies.
(He also repeated the "Charlottesville lie" lie.)
Kupelian went on to rant that Nancy Pelosi calling Trump the "enemy of the people" was "treason" is "so irresponsible" that "you are asking people to go out and do horrible things." We would remind Kupelian that WND likened Obama to the Antichrist. Does he think that was irresponsible and that it asked WND readers to go out and do horrible things? And they certainly don't see themselves as irresponsible or reckless for portraying everyone they disagree with as not just wrong but evil, which may also spur people to do horrible things.
Farah, meanwhile, declared that "it's a moral obligation to vote for the Republican Party and Donald Trump this year" because "it's a biblical choice you're making, a spiritual, moral, ethical choice, and if we're walking in the feet of the Messiah, the shoes of the Messiah, the way, we can do nothing but vote for Donald Trump." Kupelian responded that "I could not agree more."
Kupelian went on to continue to deny Biden's humanity and push his conspiracy theory of him as a senile puppet, at one point calling him "Joe Biden, quote-unquote, the Trojan horse of Joe Biden. ... Joe Biden is really not there anymore, he's a puppet, he's a Trojan horse, everybody knows it."
Farah also gushed over Trump by going the divine-Doinald route: "He is like a Samson, in that he is -- you know, I m not going to speak for God spike fo him, but he is in office doing God's work." Kupelian then laughably claimed that Trump "has grown in office" and shown "grace" in the face of "unprecedented attacks." Again, Kupelian forgot there is, in fact, a precedent in WND's smears of Obama.
Farah also put in a plug for the new edition of WND's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine, which portrays Biden as, yes, a Trojan horse; the writeup also smeared him as "a feeble, constantly lying, unprincipled, corrupt career politician whose mental disintegration is now so apparent and advanced that he can barely speak coherently."
Even though they are WND company officials who played key roles in running the website into the ground because of the above lies and smears (and, of course, questionable business decisions and shady practices), Farah and Kupelian didn't talk about the current financial state of WND -- though they really should sometime if they want people to take them seriously.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
MRC Defends And Deflects Over Trump's Debate Failure on White Supremacy
Topic: Media Research Center
When President Trump couldn't quite denounce white supremacy and the thuggish right-wingers in the Proud Boys during the first presidential debate, the Media Research Center -- as you'd expecct from the media arm of the Trump campaign -- launched into the usual defense-and-deflection mode it has had to do so many times.
Gabriel Hays kicked off the defense by complaining that Joe Biden "called Trump a 'racist' and repeated the thoroughly-debunked lie that Trump praised white supremacists in Charlottesville." (Yeah, not so much.) Hays then tried to explain away"lefties in Hollywood" pointing out that Trump told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by": For the hyenas of Hollywood Twitter, the only interpretation of this moment was that Trump was sidestepping the condemnation of white supremacists and telling a group of racist militiamen to hold their villainous action until he gives the order. Though Trump has specifically condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis at least twice now." Then he played whataboutism: "But, again, as Trump pointed out in the debate, where’s the condemnation of ANTIFA and the Black Lives Matter left which has inspired most of the violence on city streets since May?"
Curtis Houck whined that one commentator criticized Trump "for having supposedly failed to denounce hate groups." Nicholas Fondacaro, insisted that Trump actually did denounce white supremacists and militia groups when he merely agreed to do so without actually doing it:
Kristine Marsh linked to Fondacaro's post in claiming that Trump's failure to condemn white supremacists was "another lie from the media." Joseph Morris asserted that Trump merely "inartfully answer[ed] a question about a white supremacist group," adding, "While Trump's response was not the best wording, it was not a call to violence." He too played whataboutism, huffing that "Joe Biden refused to even acknowledge the existence of far-left violent extremists, falsely proclaiming: 'Antifa is an idea not an organization.'"
Norris returned to rant: "Appearing on CNN's New Day on Thursday, unhinged left-wing commentator Errol Louis was given free reign to fabricate wild claims that President Trump was sending a clear signal to violent extremists, militia-type organizations” and telling them 'That he does want them, in fact, to go out and help disrupt the elections.' Not only was there no challenge of the false smear, the cable network has actually been actively pushing such hysteria."
Noirris served up another reframing of Trump's remarks, claiming he was being criticized for "not denouncing white supremacy the way they demanded him to."
Jorge Bonilla got in on the action, claiming that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos -- a longtime MRC target -- "twice pushed the lie that President Donald Trump has not denounced white nationalism generally, or the proud boys specifically."
This was capped by an anonymously written piece with video headlined "19 Times Donald Trump Has Denounced White Supremacy" -- which included the debate clip in which Trump didn't actually denounce white supremacy. The unnamed author added whataboutism: "Oddly these same journalists don’t demand that Joe Biden repeatedly denounce Antifa."
It's almost as if the Trump campaign paid the MRC to crank out that last piece. And all the other defenses and deflections.
CNS Keeps Up The Spin On COVID Case Numbers
Over the past few months, CNSNews.com -- mostly reporter Susan Jones -- has been heavily spinning coronavirus case and mortality numbers, obscuring the summer surge by comparing it to the initial surge earlier this year. The spin hasn't let up.
A Sept. 15 article by Jones carried the headline "COVID-19 Deaths in Last Week of August Down 83.8% From April Peak and touted how "the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 has now declined for at least five straight weeks since late July." Jones shifted her spin in a Sept. 22 article:
In another Sept. 22 article, Jones tried to shift blame for the virus in an article headlined "CDC: Adult Obesity, a Risk Factor for COVID, Is Increasing," making sure to highlight that obesity "increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19."
Jones' Sept. 29 article was a bit of a corrective, but still featured her old spin:
Jones had somewhat less spin and more reality in her Oct. 6 article:
Jones tried to spin harder in her Oct. 13 article, lamenting "new cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia over the last seven days, with the highest per-capita increases in the upper Midwest/West" but declaring that "at the same time, data based on death certificates submitted to CDC show deaths have been dropping since the week ending August 1."
Patrick Goodenough tried his hand at spinning COVID in an Oct. 13 article by finding a new way to count dead people: "As a proportion of the national population, the United States has accounted for fewer deaths attributed to the coronavirus this month than any other major country in the Western Hemisphere except for Canada, although still more than those in Western Europe."
That's what spinning for Trump is all about.
UPDATE: Jones spins even more in an Oct. 20 article, noting a rise in coronavirus cases but declaring that "while cases are rising in most states, deaths are not rising at the same rate: CDC counts 0.2 deaths per 100,000 people in the last seven days."
Monday, October 19, 2020
MRC Parrots Trump's Needless Freakout Over Ballots Thrown Away
Topic: Media Research Center
As the media arm of the Trump campaign, the Media Research Center believes it is its duty to bash media outlets for not reporting stories the way President Trump wants them reported -- even the facts don't exacctly back Trump up. Thus, we have Mark Finkelstein huffing in a Sept. 25 post:
Later that day, Kyle Drennen went full-on Trump defense, accusing MSNBC's Chuck Todd of saying that Trump was making up a story related to the case because "when we asked the White House for information to back up this claim about Trump votes being thrown in the trash, they sent us a report that did not back up his claims one bit.reported that the story was not only completely true but being investigated by the Justice Department."
But Trump's wording about case was misleading at best, suggesting that the ballots were throw away because they were votes for Trump. There's no evidence then or now that this was the case. Nevertheless, Drennen ranted: "It’s interesting that any story that goes against the leftist media narrative is immediately disregarded and deemed irrelevant. Todd was so deep in the tank for Democrats that he preemptively called the President a liar, even as the anchor himself lied to his viewers."
But it turns out that CNN and NBC were right in their reporting that this was an isolated case. An actual news outlet reported that the ballots were incorrectly thrown away by a temporary contractor, who was removed when the incident was discovered.
Weirdly, neither Finkelstein nor Drennen thought it was odd that Department of Justice officials investigating the incident disclosed what candidate the unidentified -- after all, ballots aren't supposed to be counted until election night. One former DOJ official quoted by the actual news outlet found it "bizarre and disturbing."
MRC readers will never know the outcome of this case, however. Having performed its Trmp-mandated duty of fearmongering about mail-in voting, it hasn't mentioned the story again.
Alveda King Can't Stop Shilling for Trump
Alveda King has long been a pro-Trump sycophant, and she went further into it in her Oct. 2 Newsmax column, gushing over President Trump's pandering to blacks, linking to Trump websites to back up her claims:
We don't know who owns the "still not racist" website King links to; the owner has hidden their identity.
(And, yes, Newsmax is still letting Trump call herself "Dr." even though her doctoral degree is honorary.)
In her Oct. 5 column, King tried to rather lamely explain why she's a Trump supporter:
Again, let's pray for healing and better days ahead.
Trump is not exactly known for healing anything -- witness 210,000+ coronavirus deaths under his watch -- but you do you, Alveda.
The Coronavirus Vaccine Fearmongering Continues At WND
Barbara Simpson ranted in her Sept. 25 column that the idea a vaccine will "suddenly fix everything" couldn't be "further from the truth," citing relatively rare cases in Africa where some people have caught polio from the vaccine. From there, it was quickly onto Bill Gates conspiracy territory:
Daniel Joseph served up an Oct. 2 video by Daniel Joseph asks the question, "Is a forced COVID vaccine the Mark of the Beast?" His answer appears to be yes, declaring that "this has the Antichrist written all over it." (No, we didn't sit through the entire tedious hour-and-a-half video.)
Brent Smith's Oct. 9 column went anti-vaxxer, declaring that "if your diseased child doesn't negatively affect me or my family, it isn't my problem," adding: "The science is all there. Any parent can research the safety and warnings of vaccines and make an educated decision to vaccinate their children and themselves, or not. This may seem rather selfish, but that's the price of freedom, and your stupidity and fear shall not trump my liberty."
This followed up on a column Smith wrote in August declaring that getting the vaccine is a matter of "My Body, My Choice." He invoked both Saul Alinsky and Chinese "social credit" schemes in the process, the concluded by claiming: "They're already taking away our right to choose how we vote. Soon, I fear, we may have to make a hard decision to choose, or not, to be vaccinated. And if we choose the latter, there will be consequences, as we move closer to the Chinese model."
(We overlooked this when it was first posted, but Scott Lively spent a column in July freaking out over the remote possibility that the Supreme Court could mandate a vaccine, adding that "the only hope I can see for avoiding mandatory vaccines is a Trump reelection accompanied either by 1) full GOP control of Congress, or 2) a quick flip of SCOTUS to a conservative majority." This being the gay-hating Lively, he also took a detour to rant about gay marriage.)
Sunday, October 18, 2020
MRC Frets That Colbert's Trying To 'Weaken The Morale' Of Trump Supporters
Topic: Media Research Center
Sergie Daez began a Sept. 30 Media Research Center post ominously: "Stephen Colbert is attempting to weaken the morale of religious conservatives who support Trump."
How? According to Daez, he made a joke about Trump being a "religious man" in that "he pays taxes like a church." This led to a lecture in which Daez handwaved Trump's general awfulness as a person because he sucks up to the religious right and that Joe Biden is somehow an even worse person for supproting abortion rights:
The MRC wants you to think this Trump campaign ad is "media research."
CNS Notices Only Polls That Make Trump Look Good
Joe Biden is leading President Trump by a large margin nationwide -- but you'll rarely read about that at CNSNews.com, despite it claiming to be a "news" operation. Because CNS is operated by the Media Research Center, the media arm of the Trump campaign, the polls it promotes are cherry-picked to fluff Trump and avoid bad news about his campaign.
For example: An Aug. 21 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman ignored the national numbers to promote a poll claiming that "Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump are statistically tied in the presidential race" in Minnesota, which Trump lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Needless to say, Chapman ignored theoverall polling that shows Biden with a sizable lead; instead, he pushed polling from the Trafalgar Group, which "weights its polls to account for a 'social desirability bias,' or the so-called shy Trump voters who are embarrassed to tell pollsters they support his candidacy." Trafalgar'spolling gets a C-minus rating from FiveThirtyEight.
Speaking of unreliable pollsters, CNS loves reporting on polls by Rasmussen, which has a notorious pro-Trump bias (on top of being on the unreliable side -- only a C-plus from FiveThirtyEight). Here are the Rasmussen polls CNS touted over the past couple months:
Even with more reputable pollsters like Gallup, CNS worked to cherry-pick results. Chapman found another cherry-picked -- and irrelevant -- finding to push in a couple articles:
Chapman found another weird (and meaningless) Gallup poll finding in an Oct. 7 article: "In a new poll on President Donald Trump's job approval rating, Gallup found that a majority of Americans predict Trump will win reelection -- only 40% said Biden will win. AndCraig Bannister did a lot of reading into another Gallup finding in an Oct. 13 article, working in an attack on Biden in the process:
But as CNN's Chris Cillizza points out, the finding conflicts with Trump being behind in the polls and other findings showing that people don't personally like Trump, meaning that voters are not necessarily crediting Trump for making them "better off."
UPDATE: CNS also likes fake polls too. Like its Media Research Center overlords, it touted a Twitter poll claiming that a majority of respondents declared Trump the winner of the first debate.And even more than the MRC did, CNS hid the fact that it was an easily manipulated online poll that is utterly meaningless.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
MRC Censors Full Story To Brand Bloomberg As Seeking 'Criminal Votes'
Topic: Media Research Center
Joseph Vazquez ranted in a Sept. 22 Media Research Center post:
Vazquez never explains why Bloomberg helping "convicted felons" vote is a bad thing, or why convicted felons should not be allowed to vote at all.Mosdt important, Vazquez censored information about why this was even necessary in the first place. As the Post article he cites summarized:
In short: Convicted felons have the right to vote in Florida -- indeed, were granted the right to do so by an overwhelming majority of Florida voters -- and Republicans conspired to make it as difficult as possible by demanded that all related debts be paid off in addition to completing the sentence.
Again: Vazquez never explains what the problem is. Perhaps he's just into voter suppression. Not a good look.
WND's Brown Complains Of Trump-Hitler Comparisons, Forgets He Writes For WND
Michael Brown complained in a Sept. 25 WorldNetDaily article:
Surely Brown cannot be unaware that the publisher of his column -- as we documented when managing editor David Kupelian recently made a similar complaint -- frequently likened President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis, then defended doing so. We don't recall Brown ever expressing outrage about that, or saying that Kupelian, Farah and Co. should be ashamed of themselves for slighting Hitler's victims.
Friday, October 16, 2020
MRC Kept A Secret: The 'Liberal Media' Hated Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes huffed in a Sept. 29 post:
Wait, what? Hillary Clinton got negative coverage in the media, even by the MRC's bogus, highly subjective "evaluative statements" metric that examines only a tiny sliver of media? Please go on, Rich:
Yet "Hillary Clinton gets negative media coverage," while true, runs counter to the MRC's "liberal media" narrative. So back in 2016, Noyes buried that inconvenient fact by loudly complaining that the media was even more negative toward Trump and didn't cover Clinton's alleged scandals to his satisfaction. As Noyes put it in a October 2016 post:
So, to Noyes, the "liberal bias" on Clinton was that it wasn't negative enough about her. And Noyes also made sure not to put those negative Clinton numbers in a graphic in his 2016 post -- though he did this year, because doing so suits this year's narrative.
Oh, and yet again, Noyes refuses to make the raw data public. What is he afraid of? That the subjective fakery of his metric will be exposed?
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has been doing what he does -- complaining about federal deficits while refusing to explicitly assign blame where it lies: on the Republican president and Republican-controlled Senate. Jeffrey complained in a Sept. 11 article:
As per usual, the words "Trump" and "Republican" do not appear, and it's illustrated with one of his favorite stock photos of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- falsely implying that Democrats share equal blame for the sice of the deficit when it controls only one-half of one relevant branch of government while Republicans control one and a half branches.
Jeffrey followed up on Oct. 2 with a similar complaint: "The debt of the federal government topped $27 trillion for the first time on Thursday, October 1, when it climbed from an opening balance of $26,945,391,194,615.15 to a closing balance of $27,026,921,935,432.41, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury Department." Again, Jeffrey avoids mention of who's actually in charge of the government, and he uses another stock photo suggesting that Democrats share equal blame.
Both articles note: "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Would Wold actually be happy with Jeffrey's biased, incomplete reporting here? We suspect not.
Ironically, an opinion column published by CNS was (somewhat) more balanced than Jeffrey's supposedly objective reporting. A Sept. 24 column by Hans Bader actually told the truth that Jeffrey won't, but unfortunately went into speculation whataboutism: "Trump let budget deficits rise. Joe Biden will likely increase budget deficits far more."
Thursday, October 15, 2020
MRC Thinks Reporting It Doesn't Like Is 'Fake News'
Topic: Media Research Center
If anything in the media does not conform with the Media Research Center's pro-Trump bias, it's branded as "fake news." Curtis Houck did exactly that in an Oct. 1 post:
Houck's defense of the memo is that the talking points aren't actually talking points because they weren't labeled as such -- just "Situation" and "Response" -- that offered "basic facts of the case" (which just happened to take the most Rittenhouse-friendly view of things, such as declaring "He took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners"). Houc then wrote:
Who are the sources? Houck doesn't tell us, which conflicts with the hypocritical MRC policy against anonymous sources (unless those sources adavance right-wing causes).
The only thing here that's "fake" is Houck's concern for the truth. In depicting a refusal to offer the right-wing spin he prefers as an example of "fake news," he proves nothing more than his desire to spin things at least as badly as any media member he accuses of it.
NEW ARTICLE: At CNS, Fairness Is In Cognitive Decline
CNSNews.com has spent months pushing the Trump-approved narrative that Joe Biden has issues with senility and dementia, which it also imposed on Nancy Pelosi and others. But CNS will never portray Trump's mental slips as anything serious. Read more >>
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