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Friday, November 20, 2020
MRC Misleads Again About Twitter Political Donations
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously caught the Media Research Center making false headline claims about Facebook and Twitter purportedly dedication a vast majority of corporate political donations when the fine print showed that it was individual employees making those donations. Well, they did it again.

Under the headline "Shhh: Twitter Donations to Dems Now Exceed 99 Percent," Joseph Vazquez began a Nov. 5 post by hyperventilating, "The harbingers about Twitter’s Orwellian censorship of President Donald Trump and conservatives during the election have already come true. Donation records may help explain the reason."

That sounds like corporate donations, right? But it's not, as Vazquez quickly concedes:

A recent study found that Facebook employees/PACs and Twitter employees contributed over 90% of their contributions of $200 or more to Democrats. Twitter employees, in particular, have since increased their donation disparity in favor of Democrats to almost 100 percent.


Oh, but the donation records don’t stop there. For “congressional candidates” alone, Twitter employees donated $352,016 to Democrats and a laughable $624 to Republicans, or 0.15 percent of the total Twitter employee donations to congressional candidates.

Despite establishing no emperical connection between Twitter employees' individual and private political donations and  Twitter corporate policies,Vazquez continued to whine:

It appears that the platform will do anything to help Democrats attain victory. A recent MRC study found that Twitter had censored the president (including his campaign accounts) 64 times since he was elected, while Biden (including his campaign accounts) wasn’t censored at all. 

A report from yesterday also found that Twitter was censoring at least six top conservative verified accounts while the election was underway, including the president and his campaign. Others that were censored included The Daily Wire writer Matt Walsh, actor James Woods, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton and Turning Point USA co-founder Charlie Kirk.

But as we pointed out, Twitter enforcing its terms of service on those who violate them is not "censorship," and the MRC offered no evidence backing up its suggestion that Biden violated those terms to the extent that Trump has. Further, the MRC admitted in most instances all that happened was that a filter was placed over the offending tweet and comments were turned off -- which is not "censorship" by any normal definition of the word.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

CNSNews' Susan Jones does her best to put a positive pro-Trump spin on last month's employment numbers under the headline "Post-Election Gains":

October marked the sixth straight month of post-pandemic employment gains, as the economy added 638,000 jobs and the nation's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent, a point below September's 7.9 percent and far lower than the record-shattering, COVID-induced 14.7 percent in April.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 149,806,000 people as employed in October, which is 2,243,000 more than September's number, but 8,997,000 below the record 158,803,000 people employed in December 2019, just before the pandemic erupted.

Interesting that Jones is touting December 2019 as the relevantpre-pandemic high, given that the pandemic didn't affect employment numbers until March.

Jones also noted the low laboe force participation rate, but was quick to explain it away, something she rarely did when Barack Obama was president: "BLS notes that this "not in the labor force" number has been steadily increasing in recent years as more baby boomers retire, and certainly the COVID-related business closures have accelerated the increase as more people drop out of the workforce."

CNS also served up the usual sidebars. Craig Bannister tried for pro-Trump rah-rah by claiming that "The unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos improved for the sixth consecutive month in October as the nation’s businesses continued reopening from the coronavirus-prompted shutdown." Government-hating CNS editor Terry Jeffrey, meanwhile, gloated that "The number of people working for government in the United States declined by 268,000 in October even as overall employment in nation increased," then had to admit, "The decline of government workers occurred as temporary Census workers were let go and employment dropped in government schools."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 AM EST
Thursday, November 19, 2020
MRC Still Portraying Twitter Enforcing Terms Of Service Against Trump As 'Censorship'
Topic: Media Research Center

The last time we checked on the Media Research Center whining that social media companies enforcing their terms of service on President Trump was "censorship," it was featuring both Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps because portraying Facebook as uniquely biased against conservatives is utterly divorced from reality, the MRC has now decided to focus solely on Twitter (despite accompanying graphics still blaming plural "tech companies"). Corinne Weaver complained on Nov. 9:

Through its rampant censorship, Twitter has done its best to silence President Donald Trump. However, neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor his campaign have received any labels or filters of any kind.

Election Day brought with it a huge spike in Twitter’s censorship. The company’s arsenal used against Team Trump included labels, filters, blocking URLs and preventing users from commenting on certain tweets. This same treatment was also handed to the Trump campaign Twitter account. Since Nov. 3, Trump’s personal Twitter account was censored 35 times as he tweeted about ballots and election counts. Overall, Twitter has censored Trump since May 31, 2018, a grand total of 111 times. In contrast, Biden and his campaign have received no forms of censorship or suppression.

Weaver followed up the next week:

Twitter has gone off the rails when it comes to censoring President Donald Trump and his campaign account. But meanwhile, Joe Biden and his campaign accounts remain untouched.

The president’s account and the account of Team Trump received 83 labels on their tweets between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, as of the time of this piece’s publication. These tweets included retweets of statements from figures like X Strategies CEO Alexander Bruesewitz, Fox political analyst Gregg Jarrett, and actors Kevin Sorbo and Jon Voight. Overall, since May 31, 2018, Trump and his campaign have been censored 194 times. 

Between Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, Trump’s personal Twitter had been censored 36 times. Between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, Trump’s personal account received 64 labels. This marks a 77 percent increase in censorship over the previous week. By contrast, none of Joe Biden’s tweets have been given any sort of label.

In neither post did Weaver cite a Biden tweet that should have been "censored," nor did she coherently explain why any of the Trump tweets should not have been. She did sort of try on that last part though, asserting that in one "censored" clip, "Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo discussed with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) the concept of 'dead people voting.' Twitter labeled this video with 'This claim about election fraud is disputed.' Yet, according to 2012 research done by the Pew Center on the States, 1.8 million deceased people were registered as voters. This topic has been discussed broadly by both sides in the past 10 years."

But dead people on the voting rolls is not the same as "dead people voting." Weaver did not note whether Bariromo or Graham offered any verifiable of evidence of "dead people voting," let alone that it has been an significant issue in the presidential campaign.

That's the kind of baseless, factually unsupported ranting Weaver doesn't think should be disciplined by Twitter.

UPDATE: After the election, Kayla Sargent similarly complained that Twitter "censored tweets from at least six conservatives’ verified accounts, including President Donald Trump. In five of the six instances, the platform placed an interstitial, or filter, over the tweets, and in five of the six cases, it turned off comments and likes. Twitter still allowed quote tweets for the posts, however." But if you can still easily see the tweets simply by turning off a filter, it's not "censorship," is it? Sargent didn't explain why it is.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:42 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 23, 2020 2:07 PM EST
Fake News: CNS Illustrates Article With Fraudulent Image

Lucy Collins kept up the intern tradition of pestering politicians with gotcha questions in a Nov. 12 article -- in this case, Nancy Pelosi:

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, asked the speaker, “In 2000, Democrat Al Gore was allowed to press his legal challenge against George W. Bush for 37 days, do you think the same type of patience should be afforded to President Trump in his legal challenges?”

Pelosi said, “In 2000, the delayed ascertainment caused many difficulties, the Bush Administration was outspoken about what was happening in the country. And, as [Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)] said, this is a completely different situation, we are talking about one state.”

Gore had challenged to [sic] vote count in Florida and the case was eventually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

That's an overly simplistic distillation of what happened in 2000, but that's not the issue here. The issue is what appears after that statement: an image of a Washington Times front page proclaiming, "PRESIDENT GORE," described as a screenshot from YouTube. Here's a screenshot of the fake image as it appears in the article:

Just one problem: That image is a fake, and it's unclear where the image originated. As the newspaper itself tweeted, "Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a 'President Gore' headline."

It's been nearly a week, and CNS has let that image stand uncorrected and without context. That's not how "news" organizations -- which CNS claims to be -- establish credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2020 1:43 PM EST
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
MRC Promotes Parler, Censors Financial Backer's Tie To The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted the Media Research Center's recent enthusiasm (as well as its "news" division, for right-wing Twitter alternative Parler, even as it descends into a conspiracy hub. Turns out there's a reason for that -- one it has yet to tell its readers.

It was revealed this week that conservative financier Rebekah Mercer is a key investor in Parler -- so much so that she's considered a co-founder. If that name sounds familiar, it should: As we documented, not only is Mercer's family donated millions of dollars to the MRC over the years, making it one of its largest benefactors, Rebekah Mercer sits on the MRC's board of directors.

But the MRC has never revealed that conflict of interest to its readers, even as its promotion of Parler has ramped up around election time:

  • On Nov. 2, Joseph Vaquez gushed over how Parler CEO John Matze "warned Americans on CNBC about Big Tech’s Orwellian censorship against President Donald Trump that will continue right into election night.
  • Vazquez fawned over Matze and Parler again in a Nov. 11 post: "A conservative exodus to Parler from liberal Big Tech platforms has taken place since the chaotic election. The rising social media platform had skyrocketed to become the top app on the App Store."
  • The same day, Kayla Sargent cheered how Parler "hasn’t yet bowed to pressure from the left," adding, "With the rampant censorship on Facebook and Twitter, many conservatives have turned to the Parler platform."
  • On Nov 13, P.J. Gladnick mockingly wrote of "Parler's great sin of acting as a platform, and not a publisher, which engages in neither censorship nor placing warning or advisory labels on posts.
  • In complaining in a Nov. 17 post about a CNN reporter that platforms like Parler spread misinformation and hate, Alexander Hall even admitted that "Rebekah Mercer, daughter of conservative mega donor Robert Mercer, is among the company’s financial investors" -- but censored the fact that Mercer is also on the MRC's board.
  • On Nov. 18, Heather Moon argued that "Parler is not as dangerous as experts .... make it out to be, but she too censored the Mercer connection.

This lack of disclosure further affects what little credibility the MRC has.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 PM EST
AIM Morphs Into Project Veritas With Hidden-Camera Stunt
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's president, Adam Guillette, came to the organization from the discredited Project Veritas. So perhaps it was inevitable that he would bring some of his former employer's stunts to AIM.

Before the election, it went after Democratic Iowa Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield. In the video, Guilllette ranted about how Black Lives Matter is a "radical, violent organization," then touted how AIM secretly taped Greenfield's husband stating that his wife supports BLM, as well as Greenfield herself. Guillette did not explain how his secret taping was legal, or why he was so desperate to pull this stunt that he had to go to Iowa to do it.

Guillette proclaimed himself to be "morally outraged when politicians say one thing to one group of people and another thing to another group of people," though we doubt he will ever do this same thing to a Republican politician despitethe fact that many of them are also two-faced. Guillette then promised more of this shady behavior: "Accuracy in Media hidden-camera investigators exposing lying, two-faced politicians. Accuracy in Media will also be exposing exposing lying, two-faced journalists."

So can we also expect AIM to self-destruct with bogus attacks the way Project Veritas has this election season?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EST
WND Unsuprisingly Drags Soros Into Its Election Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It wouldn't be a full conspiracy for WorldNetDaily over election results if it couldn't drag George Soros into it. Doing the honors here is "Frank Wright, Ph.D." of D. James Kennedy Ministries, and he brought in another old friend:

Richard Poe, co-author with David Horowitz of "The Shadow Party," a probing look at George Soros' far-reaching influence, says the left-wing billionaire is staging a revolution.

"George Soros is trying to steal the election," Poe told D. James Kennedy Ministries, which produced the new, nationally aired documentary, "Radical Billionaire: George Soros and the Scheme to Remake America." Poe claims Soros "has a whole crack team of experts, the top experts in the world. … And they are absolutely trying to steal this election."

There's no question that Soros is determined to remove President Donald Trump. He assured elites at Davos in 2018 that Trump is a "purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner." $70 million, at last report, into Democratic coffers to help evict Trump from the White House.

And Soros is no amateur at regime change. He has an established record of driving leaders from power. Horowitz and Poe assert that "Soros' Open Society Foundations have facilitated coups and rebellions in many countries, always ostensibly in the interests of 'democratization.'


The risk is very real, Richard Poe told D. James Kennedy Ministries:

"They think this is their moment. George Soros and his colleagues who have broken many countries around the world … are now instituting a revolution here in the United States. And they believe that it can work this time. This is their big moment to overthrow our lawful government, to destroy our culture, to destroy our customs, to destroy our Constitution, to destroy our people, to destroy everything that is important in our lives."

So what to do? Pray diligently for God's mercy. And stand with elected leaders and police who face Soros-inspired efforts to "mobilize civil society" to oust President Trump.

You might remember Poe as a purveyor of conspiracy theories about not just Soros but Hillary Clinton, perpetuating discredited claims (in a WND-published book) that the Clintons had their political opponents murdered. We had no idea he was still around, let alone still pushing those hoary old conspiracies.

Perhaps instead of praying diligently for God's mercy, Wright should be praying for more competent and less discredited henchmen to help him push his conspiracy theories.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EST
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
MRC Pretends Pro-Trump 'Herd Immunity' On Coronavirus Is Scientifically Sound
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just hates when the media invoke actual science to criticize President Trump's actions on coronavirus. Mark Finkelstein got all huffy in an Oct. 14 post:

CNN seems happiest when it can accuse the president of not merely being reckless with the coronavirus response, but being guilty of "mass murder."

The president has tweeted in favor of more reopening of states. Yahoo News reported White House aides cited something called the Great Barrington Declaration, which states "The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity." Yahoo cautioned that "It is unclear how far Trump and his administration will go to push states to adopt a herd immunity approach to the virus."

But on Wednesday morning's New Day, they brought on former Harvard professor Dr. William Haseltine to drop rhetorical bombs. What provoked the prof was the possibility the prez might be adopting some form of "herd immunity" approach to the pandemic. It's something that the president's science adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, has been suggesting.

According to Haseltine, adopting the herd immunity approach would cost nothing short of two to six million American deaths . . . every year!

Of course, that ignores the realistic prospect that by June or so, an effective vaccine will be widely available. It also flies in the face of the New York Times report that "Experts are saying, with genuine confidence, that the pandemic in the United States will be over far sooner than they expected, possibly by the middle of next year. "

In that light, the prof's prediction of 2-6 million American deaths every year seems wildly pessimistic. But the left will never overlook an opportunity to cast President Trump in the worst possible light.

Note that Finkelstein doesn't actually try to defend the idea of herd immunity on coronavirus -- perhaps because the vast majority of virus experts don't think it's a good idea, given that it will require more people to die before a vaccine becomes widely available, as well as the fact that, since COVID-19 is such a new virus, nobody knows for sure what the herd immunity threshold is for it.

Finkelstein also didn't mention that the Great Barrington Declaration has numerous fake-name signatories, or that  one of the declaration's co-authors has since walked back his support for herd immunity.

Duncan Schroeder similarly whined in an Oct. 23 post:

On Wednesday afternoon’s CNN Newsroom, host Brianna Keilar collaborated with medical analyst and former Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen to attack one of the liberal media's most hated targets in White House adviser Scott Atlas and discredit herd immunity. Wen lied by claiming that herd immunity “goes against the consensus of entire medical, scientific and public health community” and Keilar proclaimed that “it’s not a public health strategy.”


Wen flat out lied about the “consensus” about herd immunity. Atlas himself is an esteemed scientist for one so his opinion certainly bares some weight. Furthermore, the strategy is supported by esteemed Harvard professor of medicine Martin Kulldorff as well as other medical experts from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford. Furthermore, the strategy was proven as effective in Sweden, as cases and deaths have dropped dramatically there. In fact, by September, Sweden averaged one COVD death per day.

The MRC has previously defended Atlas, and while he might be an "esteemed scientist,"his specialty is in neuroradiology, not epidemiology or other viral studies that would be relevant in combating coronavirus, and the university where he was based, Stanford, has distanced itself from his views, calling them "inconsistent with the university's approach in response to the pandemic."

Further, Schroeder appears to have spoken too soon about Sweden's alleged success with herd immunity, as new cases have exploded over the past month to the point that the country is aggressively restricting public gatherings to slow the spread.

Schroeder then took a gratuitous shot at Wen because of her former Planned Parenthood leadership -- something else the MRC is weirdly obsessed with, despite the fact she had the job for less than a year. When Wen said that "to hear the President say that he wouldn't do things differently when there are over 220,000 Americans who have died, I mean, that's shocking, it's unbelievable," he sneered in response: "A rather ironic statement coming from a former president of Planned Parenthood. Is she as concerned about the hundreds of thousands of babies that Planned Parenthood murders every year?

Schroeder implored us in his headline to "listen to the science." But it's clear he only "listens to the science" when it supports his pro-Trump bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Cashill's Cornucopia of Obama Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has a new book out in which he apparently rehashes every single Obama-related conspiracy theory, no matter how discredited. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
CNS Pushes Dubious Election Irregularities To Boost Trump Agenda

We noted how's Craig Bannister referenced a discredited case in which it was alleged that ballots in Maricopa County, Ariz. (which Bannister wrongly claimed was in Florida) were rejected because votes were marked with a Sharpie pen. But CNS also devoted a full article to this nonsense.

Pro-Trump stenographer Melanie Arter devoted a Nov. 6 article to rehashing right-wing claims in the case:

A lawsuit in Arizona claims 80 percent of voters at a polling location in Maricopa County, Ariz., had their ballots rejected because of a Sharpie issue.


Election law attorney Christian Adams, who serves as president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation and once served as general counsel and former DOJ voting section attorney under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, is representing the plaintiffs in the case.

“This is a case to get somebody's right to vote vindicated. Mrs. Aguilera attempted to vote, and she watched this happen. She watched her ballot rejected because of the Sharpie. I know a lot of people want to try to debunk the Sharpie issue. These are sworn affidavits. People say there's no evidence of this, Maria. These are affidavits of an election official,” Adams told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo” on Friday.

Arter was so busy transcribing the Fox Business segment that she censored the fact there's  another side to this story. As an actual news outlet reported:

Rumors began to spread on social media Wednesday that voters in the battleground state of Arizona who used Sharpie pens on their ballots wouldn't have their votes counted. That confusion prompted state officials, election monitors and a top Trump administration official to push back on "#SharpieGate" rumors.

"Don't promote disinfo! Stop spreading #SharpieGate claims," tweeted Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs on Thursday morning, reminding people that election jurisdictions allow voters to mark ballots with a variety of writing instruments, including Sharpies.

Maricopa County officials said poll workers were trained to require voters to use Sharpies at voting sites because the ink doesn't smudge as ballots are counted. An informational video was posted in a Maricopa County Elections Department tweet that said, "New offset columns on the ballots means bleed through won't impact your vote!"

So, yes, Sharpies are actually encouraged for voting in Arizaona. But Arter isn't going to tell you this -- despite the fact that this debunking was published the day before her own article was published -- because she has a pro-Trump narrative to push. And neither Arter nor anyone else at CNS has bothered to update the story.

That's not the only election-related issue Arter misled about to Trump's benefit. A Nov. 5 article featured how "Election officials are forcing poll watchers to stand 30 feet away to observe ballot counting in Philadelphia, citing concerns about the coronavirus, Corey Lewandowski, senior advisor to the Trump campaign, told Fox Business on Wednesday." Arter was too busy quoting Lewandowski to make it clear that Democratic poll watchers were no closer.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EST
Monday, November 16, 2020
MRC Still Aggressively Ignoring Evidence Facebook Isn't Biased Against Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

The evidence that Facebook isn't really biased against conservatives keeps piling up:

  • The top-performing posts are consistently from right-wing sources, which bolster the contention that right-wingers engage with audiences on a more visceral level on Facebook than liberal operations. In fact, right-wing Facebook pages earned more total interactions, despite making up a minority of posts.
  • There is no statistical evidence showing anti-conservative bias at Facebook, though  the company won't release the data to definitively prove it.
  • Facebook reportedly manipulated its news feed algorithm to increase exposure for right-wing websites and reduce it for liberal operations in an apparent attempt to quash accusations of anti-conservative bias.
  • Facebook reportedly exempted Persident Trump's family and allies from its misinformation rules to avoid accusations of anti-conservative bias.

So the ref-working is working. Of course, the Media Research Center has not told its readers about any of this research -- after all, it has a victim narrative to maintain. And as these reports became public, the MRC continued falsely painting Facebook as the conservative-hating bad guy. We've already documented how the MRC cried "censorship" when Facebook enforced its rules against spreading misinformation on Trump's campaign and right-wing radio host Mark Levin, as well as the false claim that Facebook makes 90 percent of its political donations to Democrats (actually, those are the employees, who are free to give to whomever they want). But there's much more.

An Oct. 12 post by Alexander Hall and Alec Schemmel played the whataboutism card, complaining that "Facebook has repeatedly censored or banned groups on the right while allowing reportedly violent Antifa factions and left-wing militia organizations." This, of course, brought an "open letter" from their boss, Brent Bozell, to Congress huffing that "If Facebook bans pages and groups on their platform promoting conspiracy theories like QAnon, it ought to do the same with those perpetrating violence like Antifa."

On Oct. 23, Hall cheered the idea of the Federal Trade Commission "mulling over an all-out offensive against Facebook" filing an antitrust lawsuit,suggesting a conspiracy of some kind by asserting that "conservatives who wish to wrangle with Big Tech have reportedly faced opposition both from Democrats and fellow Republicans."

The same day, Kayla Sargent launched another attack on Facebook's newly created oversight board,  complaining that 'the board is primarily comprised of leftists" -- the MRC's evidence of which is that one board member is a Muslim and another made a pun on Barron Trump's name during a congressional hearing -- and spreading the lie that "the suppression of conservative speech on the platform may not change at all, and could even get worse."

An Oct. 26 post by Joseph Vazquez tried to manufacture a conspiracy:

If the liberal media’s relative silence towards Facebook and Google’s Orwellian behavior this electoral cycle seemed deafening, perhaps it's because many outlets have received big loads of cash from them.


The extent of both Big Tech companies’ influence over journalism in America doesn’t stop there. Facebook also “gains influence over the press (while also scoring public relations points) by financing fact-checking initiatives.” For example, in 2019, Facebook was the “largest source of revenue” for the left-wing Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, Washington Monthly said. In addition, Google also “finances fact-checking organizations (many of the same ones as Facebook), but is even vaguer than Facebook about the amount it gives and to whom.”

The same day, Hall complained that "Facebook is reserving the right to reduce the spread of controversial posts and rig users’ news feeds for what it considers to be the greater good,: but he offered no evidence that these rules would specifically target conservatives.

On Oct. 28, Schemmel highlighted how "CEO’s from Twitter and Facebook struggled to provide one example of a liberal being censored on their respective platforms during a Senate hearing about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act" while uncritically repeating the talking point that "Republican lawmakers have argued that social media companies disproportionately target conservative viewpoints while giving a free pass to liberal ones."

Sargent launched another attack on the oversight board on Nov. 4, stating that "The Facebook Oversight Board’s most radical member,Tawakkol Karman, who lives in Yemen, tweeted today praising the possibility of Trump’s defeat." That would be the Muslim member the MRc has previously lashed out at.

Hall went back to the whataboutism card on Nov. 6, grousing that "Facebook has shut down an activist group with pro-Trump ties concerned about voter fraud while still allowing reportedly violent Antifa groups to remain." He downplayed the threats of violence on the group's page that prompted Facebook to shut it down by letting page organizers deny it. The same day, Sargent got mad that Facebook was "censoring what they deem to be election misinformation," but she made no case for the unrestricted distibution of false information.

And Hall lashed out at Facebook for flagging an MRC video as misinformation:

Facebook’s fact-checkers have tried to discredit MRCTV’s reporting about the most critical election of our lifetime.

The NewsBusters Facebook account posted a video on Thursday by MRCTV Managing Editor Brittany Hughes. In the video, Hughes slammed the lack of transparency during the 2020 election process. The text of the post itself asked: “Why aren't Americans allowed to talk about serious, legitimate questions regarding the 2020 election? Because Big Tech doesn't want you to.” Facebook fact-checkers predictably flagged the post with a massive label: “Partly False Information,” and claimed: “The same information was checked in another post by independent fact-checkers.”

The label linked to a fact-check claiming: “Biden Did NOT Suddenly Go Up 138K Votes In Michigan, With No Change To Trump” by none other than the notoriously left-wing Lead Stories.

Hughes responded that the fact-check was irrelevant because MRCTV’s video agreed with the fact-check’s statement: “What looked like a suspicious, one-sided jump was actually just an input error.” 

Hall didn't mention that Marsh also falsely ranted that the election results "stinks worse than a Seattle fish market, and anyone with two eyes and a brain stem can see it."

Oh, and as we've documented, Lead Stories is not, in fact, "notoriously left-wing"; indeed, both he and Marsh appear to concede that Lead Stories' fact-check on the Michigan votes is correct. Hall also reprinted the part of Hughes' script in which she pushes the conspiracy bny claiming the vote numers "were quickly added to Biden’s vote tally and any question over their legitimacy was immediately censored on Twitter" before admitting "the whole thing was a 'typo.'" The fact that Hughes put "typo" in scare quotes in her script tells us she wasn't all that happy that the facts trumped her conspiracy theory -- and that Facebook was correct to flag her video.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 16, 2020 9:28 PM EST
Huh? Newsmax Columnist Wants Child-Sex-Trafficking Suspect Released On Bail
Topic: Newsmax

Yes, Jonna Spilbor spends an entire Oct. 27 Newsmax column demanding that Ghislaine Maxwell -- alleged co-conspirator with convicted child sex trafficking criminal Jeffrey Epstein -- be released on bail, complaining that she's being held under "unusually restrictive, if not punitive, conditions":

As a lawyer who has analyzed, written extensively about, and provided commentary on a national scale for many a high-profile case — including those with serious sex crime components (Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, the Duke Lacrosse case, Bill Cosby and most recently, and Harvey Weinstein) this harsher-than-most handling of Maxwell’s case immediately struck me as beyond odd.

In an era where we witness routinely a veritable parade of high-profile defendants marching into their arraignments with lawyers on their arms after breakfast, and marching out with GPS monitors on their ankles before lunch, why is Ms. Maxwell not being afforded the same constitutional deference as so many her other famous predecessors?

It's a more than fair question.

Her treatment in the legal arena thus far has been anything but equitable.

Perhaps the most glaring anomaly in this case, is the judge’s decision to lock Maxwell up, pre-trial, with no opportunity for pre-trial release, as if her guilt is a foregone conclusion.

A dangerous proposition for anyone who appreciates the presumption of innocence.

I know I do. You should too.

Spilbor handwaved the idea that Maxwell should be seen as a flight risk by declaring, "A person who’s on society’s outrage meter can’t go to a local diner without being detected. Besides, we have the technology to tether defendants inside any jurisdiction." Except that the vast majority of Americans couldn't pick Maxwell out of a lineup, and she would be unlikely to be out and about anyway.

Spilbor then tried to make the case that Maxwell could very well be innocent while also playing the blame-the-victim card by complaining that some accusers have allegedly "procured very visible opportunities" to tell their stories:

In a case where the central allegations are nearly three decades old and supported, if at all, by the untested credibility of the accusers themselves, denying Maxwell any meaningful pre-trial opportunity to push back against these accusations and the motivations behind them — which will necessarily include, like it or not, questioning the veracity of those who have provided evidence to be used against her — represents a complete deprivation of due process.

Add to that, the fact that numerous women — possibly including one or more of the anonymous accusers in the criminal case, although your guess is as good as Maxwell’s —have procured very visible opportunities with Netflix, and other media outlets, to publicly tell their stories, while prosecutors simultaneously implore the judge to keep the accusers’ identities under wraps, renders the decisions made from the bench thus far not merely detrimental, but absurd.


We must keep in mind an arrest marks the beginning, not the end in the judicial process.

Ghislaine Maxwell is not guilty. Not yet, anyway.

And have we considered, maybe not ever?

While defendants do indeed have rights in America, perhaps going to the mat for someone who -- regardless of what her guilt is ultimately ajudicated to be -- has had clear and close contacts with a convicted child sex trafficker is perhaps not the smart thing for Spilbor to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EST
WND's Cashill Still Rehashing Old Obama Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've noted, Jack Cashill rehashes old anti-Obama conspiracies in his new book, which in turn serves as fodder for his WorldNetDaily column. He has continued to milk the book for column ideas.

On Oct. 7, Cashill obssessed over Obama's 1981 trip to Pakistan. Despite offering no evidence whatsoever that Obama did anything scandalous or evil while there, he portrayed the trip as secret and shameful, finding conspiratorial significance in the fact that Obama's passport was breached in 2008 by an employee of a company headed at the time by John Brennan, then an Obama adviser and later CIA director. Cashill didn't mention that the employee also apparently also breached the passport of Obama's opponent, John McCain. From there, Cashill tried to apply the right wing's Clinton Death List narrative to Obama, suggesting that he murdered anyone who tried to look further into the trip:

In his 2016 book, "Deception," Timmerman further reported that five days after the passport story broke in March 2008, Washington, D.C., police arrested, on a marijuana charge, a man with the unusual name "Leiutenant [sic] Quarles Harris Jr."

In addition to the marijuana, police found eight State Department passport applications on Harris when they busted him. According to his charging document, "Harris admitted he obtained the Passport information from a co-conspirator who works for the U.S. Department of State."

After he agreed to cooperate in the State Department investigation, the D.C. police released Harris on his own recognizance. Less than a month later, D.C. police found Harris shot dead in the front seat of his locked car, the shots having penetrated the windshield.


Granted, all the allegations I cite about Brennan are unproven. In 2013, reporter Michael Hastings, then with BuzzFeed, set out to confirm them with an exposé on Brennan, by then the head of the CIA. Hastings did not get to finish the job.

Early in the morning of June 18, 2013, Hastings sent an email to his editor: "the Feds are interviewing my 'close friends and associates.' Perhaps if the authorities arrive 'BuzzFeed GQ,' er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues."

Several hours later, Hastings was burned beyond recognition in a fiery car crash in a Los Angeles neighborhood. As they say, dead men tell no tales.

In fact, Hastings' family members say he was behaving erratically and acting paranoid before his death.

In his Oct. 15 column, Cashill huffed:

OK, the cat is out of the bag. Obama knew. According to information released recently by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe, Obama's CIA Director John Brennan's own handwritten notes indicate that he briefed Obama in July 2016 about the real provenance of the Steele dossier.

In Brennan's words, the briefing dealt with the "alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services."

Instead of investigating Clinton's dirty tricks, Obama and his henchmen, Brennan most notably, pretended that the claim of Russian interference was valid. Hillary's involvement was one secret they did not leak.

Actually, that information has been discredited as Russian disinformation.

In a pre-election Oct. 28 column, Cashill added a couple shots at Joe Biden:

A few weeks ago, while out promoting my new book, "Unmasking Obama," a fellow asked the ultimate question about Barack Obama: puppet or puppeteer?

After watching Obama slouch his way toward Election Day, drawing crowds smaller than those of even Melania Trump, I am convinced the answer is "puppet."

In his prime, Obama generated dramatically more enthusiasm than does the corrupt and senile Joe Biden. That said, the obvious puppet Biden will likely get more votes than Obama did despite the fact that the strings can be seen from the cheap seats.

This has to depress Obama. Watching the puppeteers from the sidelines, Obama has to fear that he will be discarded after this election as casually as Buzz Lightyear was in "Toy Story 3."

Obama liked to think he was his own man. He wasn't. Like Biden in 2020, if not as conspicuously, Obama served his masters as a front man for the long march of global progressivism through America's institutions.

One has to wonder whose puppet Cashill is to spend so much time and energy pushing discredied conspiracy theories.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EST
Sunday, November 15, 2020
CNN Derangement Syndrome: MRC's Philbin Invents Claims About A Reporter's Motivation
Topic: Media Research Center

One manifstation of the Media Research Center's CNN Derangement Syndrome is to assume that every single story CNN airs or publishes has some secret "liberal bias" that must be called out. Hence, we have Matt Philbin's manufactured distress that CNN's website published an article marking the 100th anniversary of a notorious racist massacre in Florida in which the Ku Klux Klan murdered dozens of black people in a Florida community, then burned down the community:

Fancy the surprise of’s Harmeet Kaur when she flipped the page on her 365 Reasons to Hate America desk calendar and discovered that Nov. 2 is the 100th anniversary of the Ocoee, Florida race riots. That’s editorial gold in a “news” organization that runs on race baiting, resentment and lefty smugness. And with the election tomorrow, Kaur must have felt like she’d hit the lottery.

And lest you think the glee wasn’t general at CNN, check out the headline someone came up with: “On this day 100 years ago, a White mob unleashed the deadliest Election Day violence in US history.”

Needless to say, Philbin offers no evidence that such a calendar even exists, let alone that Kaur owns a copy -- whcih means he's spreading lies.Philbin then made up more stuff by inventing a motivation for Kaur to have done the story in the first place:

We know CNN wants to remind us that America is bad, and white Americans are the worst. We know CNN would like us to think whites are always scheming to keep black people from voting, and we know that CNN likes to imagine whites are always just a disputed election away from mass lynchings and arson. We know CNN has an interest in keeping us divided, and wants our collective guilt to be top of mind when we enter the voting booth.

The reality a century on from the Occoee massacre is the political violence major cities are preparing for will come, if it does, at the hands of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The political left are now the intimidators, ready to burn it all down if the election doesn’t turn out their way. But that doesn’t have a place in CNN’s narrative.

Whatever CNN’s motivations, there's a good and productive reason for marking the 100th anniversary of Occoee: to marvel at how far we’ve come. This was the real, crushing institutional racism and race hatred of Jim Crow. It should remind us of the heroism of the Civil Rights movement, undercut the pretensions of multi-millionaire athletes grumbling and musicians grumbling about “systemic racism.”

Philbin is effectively saying that any racism today desercves a pass because it's not as bad as it was in the Jim Crow South -- and, anyway, Antifa. Way to play whataboutism there, Matt.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EST
CNS Melts Down Over Pope Declining To Hate Gay People
Topic:'s uber-Catholic editors hate gay people, and it also hates Pope Francis for failing to be a right-wing pope like Benedict XVI. So when Pope Francis effectively endorsed civil unions for gays because "they’re children of God and have a right to a family," CNS went into a highly predictable meltdown mode with its usual arrogance of lecturing the pope about Catholicism.

Patrick Goodenough wrote that the pope's pronouncement "shock waves around the Catholic world," followed by reminders of how much the pope and all Catholics are apparently supposed to hate gay people:

Catholics on both sides of the divide over the sanctity of marriage and same-sex rights acknowledged that the pontiff’s comments do not constitute a change in church teaching on homosexuality. The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares unequivocally that homosexual acts are “contrary to natural law,” noting that the Bible “presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity.”

A June 2003 from the Vatican’s Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – signed by the cardinal who would become Pope Benedict XVI less than two years later – states that, “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

And in a 2010 letter the pope himself, the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, called the push to legalize same-sex marriage in Argentina "a 'move' of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God."

This was followed by an article from managing editor Michael W. Chapman denouncing the pope's "heretical remarks" and featuring how his favorite right-wing evangelical, Franklin Graham, "rebuked the pontiff's blasphemy." Chapman waited until the eighth paragraph to remind readers that Graham is a Protestant, not a Catholic. He also rehashed a Catholic document declaring that any legal recognition of same-sex relationships "would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity."

CNS then devoted an anonymously written article to rehashing how "The Roman Catholic Church says that homosexual acts 'are contrary to natural law' and 'under no circumstances can they be approved' ... says paragraph 2357 of the Catholic Catechism as posted online by the Vatican." This was followed by another anonymous article recounting that "Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, authored a pastoral letter on the care of homosexual persons that was distributed to the bishops of the Catholic Church in 1986 that noted that St. Paul had listed 'those who behave in a homosexual fashion among those who shall not enter the kingdom of God.'" Strangely, no mention was made of the pope's pronouncement in either of these articles, which would have provided the context for their existence.

Finally, Chapman trotted out one of CNS' favorite right-wing Catholics, Raymond Burke, to declare that "no Catholic is bound to support the recent statements by Pope Francis in support of gay civil unions and gay families. Catholics are instead obligated to oppose such abominations, said Burke, because they are contrary to Church teaching and they are the private opinions of Francis as a man, not as the Supreme Pontiff."

CNS also gave a column to another right-wing Catholic, Rev. Michael Orsi, to assert that "Francis’ remark about civil unions didn’t rise to the status of an infallible pronouncement. They didn’t even come close. In fact, they hold no theological weight at all." Orsi went on to huff that the pope's statements "are questionable and highly problematic. They seem to give approval to sinful behavior. They create the false impression that the Church now says homosexual relationships are acceptable, even equivalent to the love between a man and a woman" and that "his words actually undermine marriage." He concluded that "Pope Francis might want to be a bit more prudent in sharing his private thoughts."

Outside of Goodenough's original article that quoted some supporters of the pope's statement, CNS declined to give non-right-wing Catholics a voice in discussing this issue.

UPDATE: CNS also published a column by John Horvat II declaring that "God is offended" by the pope's statement because "no pastor can express approval for an intrinsically evil sexual relationship that will drag its participants to Hell unless they repent," and that "the faithful have the right and duty to resist his errors." 

Posted by Terry K. at 3:59 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 12:31 AM EST

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