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Sunday, December 20, 2020
MRC Drags 'Big Tech' Into Its Stolen-Election Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Remember when Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell flogged his conspiracy theories about the election purportedly being stolen from President Trump by declaring, "what we're going to break next week is going to blow you away." Well, it took two weeks for that revelation, and frankly, we felt little more than a mild breeze.

A Dec. 17 "special report" by Corinne Weaver expanded the MRC's conspiracy theory to "big tech":

Big Tech companies, outraged at President Donald Trump’s win in 2016, put everything they had into ensuring that he would lose in 2020.

In seven key swing states, one in seven Biden voters (14 percent) said they primarily relied on sites such as Facebook or Twitter for their election news, according to a survey from the Media Research Center conducted by The Polling Company, which polled 1,750 Biden voters in seven swing states. But on Twitter and Facebook, conservatives, Trump supporters, and news that damaged the Biden campaign were regularly stifled, especially in the months leading up to the 2020 election.

Campaign messages only have value when they are heard. Trump and his campaign suffered the most in the censorship melee. Before the election, Twitter and Facebook had censored them 65 times but left former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, unscathed. Twitter was the bulk of the problem, with 98 percent of all the instances of censorship.


The denial of facts from the liberal media left voters in the dark. Many Biden voters were not aware of the broad censorship Big Tech companies used to silence conservatives and Trump supporters.  Thirty-four percent of Biden voters were not aware that Trump had been censored by Twitter and Facebook, while Biden was not censored at all, according to the poll from The Polling Company. Fifty-two percent of Biden voters were not aware that Antifa pages were allowed on Facebook, while many conservative pages had been taken down. Sixty percent of Biden voters were not aware that Facebook and Twitter prevented users from mocking or posting satire of Biden and his campaign.

The not-so-special "special report" is just a rehash of the MRC's anti-"big tech" victimization narratives over the past year -- much of which we've already discredited. The complaint that Twitter "censored" Trump and his campaign while not doing the same to Biden overlooks the inconvenient fact that the MRC has never provided evidence that Biden violated Twitter's terms of servie the way Trump has and, therefore deserved to be "censored" (in reality, Trump's violating Twitter posts are simply flagged as false and remain visible to readers).

Oh, and The Polling Company was founded by Kellyanne Conway, former Trump adviser, so its fairness and accuracy can be reasonably questioned. Not that Weaver will mention that, of course.

Weaver is clearly gaslighting with this victimization narrative -- but then she accuses others of gaslighting by pointing out that there's no evidence social media outlets are exclusively targeting conservative content:

But Big Tech denies it censors conservatives every time while finding new ways to suppress, label, and remove information posted on their platforms. The liberal media insist that tech companies are not removing content, but still urge Facebook, Twitter, and Google to do more to remove ideas and opinions that go against their established narrative. From criticism of mail-in ballots to satirical posts about Biden, Big Tech took them all down. YouTube’s latest policy that will ban content that contests the 2020 election results is proof of the overwhelming direction toward censorship.

The Gaslight Strategy

The liberal media covered up the fact that Big Tech companies censored conservatives. “Republicans and right-wing media outlets have been all too happy running with the narrative that social media companies are censoring conservatives, regardless of the facts,” stated CNN Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy. Vox Associate Editor of Politics and Policy Aaron Rupar tweeted in 2018: “.@foxandfriends gave @GOPChairwoman a platform to tout, without any pushback, hoax stories about conservatives being ‘censored’ on Twitter.” Popular Information founder Judd Legum tweeted in 2019: “The core claim, that conservatives are being censored on social media IS TOTALLY MADE UP.” Media ignored Big Tech censorship reports, hearings in the House and Senate, and labeled censorship concerns as a “conspiracy theory.” The strategy was to make it seem as if censorship wasn’t happening.

Weaver aded more conspriacy-mongering:

Companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter picked sides before the election and used all their power to further the win. 

Ninety percent of donations from Twitter and Facebook employees went to Democratic campaigns, according to Facebook contributed 91.68 percent ($2,409,464 out of $2,628,040) of its donations to Democrats collectively between individual donations ($2,400,269) and PAC donations ($234,000) equaling $200 or more. Affiliates of Alphabet, Inc., Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple donated $10,243,589 to the Biden campaign during the 2020 presidential race, according to OpenSecrets. Trump received only $427,047 from the aforementioned Big Tech companies.

When the left embraced mail-in ballots, so did Big Tech. But that meant a hasty suppression of any criticism of mail-in voting. A letter from the Biden campaign, obtained by Axios, proclaimed that Donald Trump Jr.’s public statements of concern over mail-in voting were dangerous to democracy itself. Biden specifically condemned the platform for allowing “this dangerous claptrap to be spread to millions of people.” The liberal media, including CNN and TechCrunch, previously had warned about the dangers of mail-in ballots. “Yet votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show,” wrote The New York Times in 2012. 

Trump was fact-checked by Twitter for condemning “Mail-In Ballots” as “substantially fraudulent” in May 2020. GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called out Twitter for censoring critiques of mail-in voting earlier this year: “Twitter falsely claims there is no evidence of mail-in ballot fraud.” She added: “That’s odd since NJ’s all-mail primary this month was ‘plagued’ by fraud concerns, with 3,000 votes set aside.” The censorship seemed to come as a response to criticism from the Biden campaign.

Weaver is -- as the MRC has long done this year -- falsely conflating political donations by individual employees of a company with corporate donations. And Weaver ignored McDaniel's hyping of alleged fraud in a local election in New Jersey showed that the system for detecting such possible fraud worked ... and demonstrated exactly how difficult it would be to do so on a national scale without detection the way Trump's "censored" Twitter posts have claimed.

Weaver concluded by fully buying into to Trump's false stolen-election narrative: "If liberal Big Tech companies have so much power and influence to manipulate an election, can any election really be fair? That’s the question that both political parties, Congress and the federal government must address. Before the next election." Because the MRC has decided that the very integrity of elections must be undermined -- desipte no solid evidence to back it up -- in order to preserve Trump's legacy.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EST
CNS Gives Platform To Non-Verified Claims That Non-Citizens Stole Election From Trump
Topic: has provided an uncritical echo to claims that the presidential election was stolen from President Trump through various means of purported fraud. Another example of this is a Nov. 9 column by James Agresti:

Based on current population data from the Census Bureau and voting data from previous elections, my organization,  Just Facts, has conducted a study to estimate the number of votes illegally cast by non-citizens in the battleground states of the 2020 election. The results—documented in this spreadsheet—show that such fraudulent activities have netted Joe Biden the following extra votes in these tightly contested states:

  • Arizona: 51,081 ± 17,689

  • Georgia: 54,950 ± 19,025

  • Michigan: 22,585 ± 7,842

  • Nevada: 22,021 ± 7,717

  • North Carolina: 46,218 ± 16,001

  • Pennsylvania: 32,706 ± 11,332

  • Wisconsin: 5,010 ± 1,774

If the lower end of these illegal vote estimates were removed from the vote tallies as of Nov. 8, 2020, 2:00 AM EST, Donald Trump would be leading in states that have a total of 259 electoral votes, or 11 shy of the 270 needed to win the presidency. If the upper end of the illegal vote estimates were removed, Trump would be leading in states that have 285 electoral votes, or 15 more than needed to win the presidency.

These estimates account for just one type of election fraud, and they tend to understate it because they depend on Census surveys, which are known to undercount non-citizens.

Agresti also threw a statement from "a Ph.D. scholar who specializes in data analytics who floridly declared: "Instead of adding politics, vitriol, and bias to this timely, heated topic, this study provides a credible data analysis that supports a strong hypothesis of non-citizens having a significant effect on this election. Any serious critic should try improving on these estimates, as opposed to dismissing them with unproven claims."

As we've documented, Agresti's group has a clear right-wing bias that leads it to bend the truth to fit conservative narratives, meaning that Just Facts is, in fact, adding politics and bias to support the conservative narrative that the election was stolen from Trump.

Agresti went on to complain: "A common argument used to dismiss facts about election fraud is that President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity failed to find widespread evidence of such malfeasance. This claim is a classic half-truth because it neglects to reveal that the Commission existed for less than a year because its work was blocked by the refusal of states to turn over voter data and a flurry of lawsuits." Agresti failed to note that the reason states frefused to turn over election data to the commission was because it was never a legitimiate attempt to study "election integrity" and was seen by many as merely a tool to implement additional roadblocks to voting (another longtime conservative narrative), evidence of which was that it was stacked with conservatives and the Democrats on the commission were largely out of the loop regarding the group's proceedings.

Well, USA Today looked at Agresti's study and pointed out that it's all unverified speculation and that few non-citizens are likely to vote because of the harsh penalties -- i.e. deportation -- for doing so, and that the "Ph.D. scholar" who floridly signed off on the study is not an election expert. As you might imagine, Agresti didn't take that well, resulting in a Nov. 30 CNS column:

A “fact check” by USA Today is defaming a Ph.D.-vetted study by Just Facts that found non-citizens may have cast enough illegal votes for Joe Biden to overturn the lawful election results in some key battleground states. The article, written by USA Today’s Chelsey Cox, contains 10 misrepresentations, unsupported claims, half-truths, and outright falsehoods.

Furthermore, Facebook is using this misinformation to suppress the genuine facts of this issue instead of honoring its policy to “Stop Misinformation and False News.” Compounding this malfeasance, a note at the bottom of Cox’s article states that USA Today’s “fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.”

Most of Agresti's attack on the fact-check are picayune -- three involve attacking Cox for noting that neither of the scholars he cited as having "vetted" the study having relevant experience in elections -- and involve rants such as these: "Yet Cox describes this stunning array of documented facts with the phrase 'Agresti argues' and then rejects all of them in favor of an unsubstantiated claim from a progressive lawyer. That’s not fact-checking but propagandizing." As if Agresti isn't trying to do his own propagandizing in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:13 PM EST
Saturday, December 19, 2020
MRC Latino Finds A Way To Be Offended By An Obama Statement
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of its perpetual seething hatred of Barack Obama, he Media Research Center has to reinterpret to find a way to be offended by what he says. Thus, we have a Nov. 27 post by Jorge Bonilla attempting to claim that Obama's statement that "People were surprised about a lot of Hispanic folks who voted for Trump" because their "views on gay marriage or abortion" supercede any outrage at Trump's racist smears of Hispanics was really offensive, not just a statement of fact:

President Barack Obama’s interview with The Breakfast Club, released the day before Thanksgiving, garnered significant news and reaction due to a simple line about Hispanic evangelicals who vote their conscience. But by narrowly focusing on what Obama said, most (if not all) subsequent analyses miss the broader point about which is why that remark is offensive.


The widely cited partial quote (starting at “People were surprised…”) comes off as factual and non-controversial, as if Obama were merely stating that there do, in fact, exist Hispanic evangelicals who give greater priority to life issues than they do to immigration. But he didn’t really just make an assertion of fact. Viewed within its full context, Obama’s remark was an expression of contempt similar, in tone and substance, to his infamous “bitter clingers” remark- the exact opposite of an acknowledgment of ideological diversity within the Hispanic community.

Obama’s smears, though, are nothing new to us. And if he feels free to vent about conservative Hispanics who don’t toe the line, it is because there is on the left a permission structure to do so.

Bonilla then asserted that an earlier statement by Obama that "the religious issue, the importance of family, the abortion issue ... explains, in part, why one out of three Hispanics vote for Donald Trump and is so conservative" -- for the vast majority of people, just an uncontroversial statement of fact -- was somehow just as offensive:

The common thread between these statements is, aside from the whiny sense of entitlement to the Hispanic vote and seething contempt for those who don’t toe the line, a default labeling of Hispanics who voted for President Donald Trump as social conservatives. But this reveals a further disconnect with the community that both Obama and Ramos claim to champion. 

Trump’s 2020 Spanish-language messaging was narrowly limited to anti-socialism, economic empowerment, and law-and-order. There were no Trump ads about abortion or the Supreme Court. The Trump coalition is diverse and the same is true for Trump supporters within the Hispanic community, from Miami-Dade to the Rio Grande Valley and from Lawrence, MA to Los Angeles. 

And therein lies the offensive nature of Obama’s remarks. They are not merely a statement of fact but an expression of sneering contempt for those Hispanics who do not conform to what is expected of them. The expectation being, in this case, that Hispanics be single-issue immigration voters that turn out en masse for whomever flings open the border- La Raza über alles. Economic empowerment, personal liberty, school choice, free exercise of religion- all these other issues must become subordinate to immigration and if you vote your conscience or, as Ramos puts it, “feel totally identified with this country” then you are a race-traitor. That’s precisely the point Obama was trying to make within his broader discussion of what gets taken for granted in big liberal cities.

Obama’s been out of office for four years but his demagoguery game, aided and abetted by a Spanish-language media that looked the other way as he smeared a big chunk of the community they claim to champion, is as strong as ever.

It seems that Bonilla is reading into Obama's statements something that really isn't there and just looking for something to be offended by. Then again, that's part of his job as director of MRC Latino as well as a way to keep up the MRC's war on Hispanic media and hosts such as Jorge Ramos.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:26 AM EST
Your Weekly Mychal Massie Meltdown, Obama Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I've never in my life been more offended by two people than I am by Obama and the contumacious ingrate he calls a wife. Together they're offensive on every quantifiable level. They are boorish and epitomize the most unflattering characteristics of those viewed as common and uncouth.

But that doesn't stop them from disparaging others for personal gain. Yet the very people they belittle and malign, afford them almost godlike status. Even more condemnable is that they advance the sadistic characterization of the thick-lipped, nappy-head, shiftless coloreds who are unsophisticated, uneducated troublemakers who destroy and reduce neighborhoods to rubble wherever they go. They're worse than white liberals who do same.

Obama's most recent put down of blacks was when he claimed that white people object to defunding the police because they're afraid if that happens, black predators will come into their neighbors and cause trouble.

These two skin-color mongers and those like them prostitute divisionism based upon accusations of "white privilege" and accusations of white people being unconscious racists/bigots. But, they would have you overlook one important fact.

The Obamas and those like them are the people who hold blacks in contempt and are lauded for proffering the lowest opinion of black people.


My friends and I are blessed, because we've watched our children grow up to exceed our expectations, raising the bar of expectation even higher for their children.

But those like Obama and his disgusting spouse look at blacks as being uneducated life forms that behave poorly and in an uncivilized manner. The fact that when they publicly say that and it's accepted without rebuke, proves my point.

The Obamas package their remarks as primary causal reasons and/or factors for white people not wanting to defund police and moving out of neighborhoods blacks move into. But what they are really saying is that blacks are like locusts, i.e., wherever they go they soil and destroy.

-- Mychal Massie, Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily column

(Ironic statements coming from a black man who usually sounds like a white supremacist.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EST
Friday, December 18, 2020
MRC Whines That 'Big Tech' Will Turn Over POTUS Social Media Accounts To Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates "Big Tech" so much -- and is such a Trump sycophant that it won't admit he lost the election -- that even an uncontroversial decision like giving Joe Biden control of the presidential feeds on Facebook and Twitter when he takes office is yet another sign of the conspiracy. Alexander Hall huffed in a Nov. 23 post:

Big Tech has declared that Democratic nominee Joe Biden will receive the official verified presidential accounts from Twitter and Facebook/Instagram in late January, despite the fact that several states are still contested.

“Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc will transfer control of the @POTUS account to the Joe Biden administration on Jan. 20, the social media companies said on Saturday,” Reuters reported Nov. 21. The @POTUS accounts on both Facebook and Twitter are distinct from President Donald Trump’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter account and the @DonaldTrump Facebook page that Donald Trump has used to write the majority of his most popular posts.

Twitter reportedly informed Reuters this past weekend that the company is “actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021.” The same spokesperson added that this action is being taken “As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records.”


Twitter chomping at the bit to coronate Biden should come as no surprise after it did all-but pull the voting machine levers to help him prior to the election.

No, Alex, the election was not "still contested" when you wrote this.The Trump campaign filing baseless lawsuits filled with discredited evidence was not a serious attempt at "contesting" the election. Trump had requested a recount in Georgia the day before Hall wrote his post -- possibly the only serious attempt at contesting election results -- but that and even a subsequent recount showed that Biden still won the state.

Biden won the election, which -- despite Hall's protestations to the contrary -- was clear on Nov. 23. He's just mindlessly attacking "Big Tech" because that's his job.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EST
CNS Lamely Defends Pompeo Over Georgia Visit

Patrick Goodenough wrote in a Dec. 7 article:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swatted away criticism Monday over his plans to deliver a speech this week in Georgia – where crucial Senate runoff elections are looming – suggesting that no-one had raised flags when his predecessors had domestic engagements during their tenures at the State Department.

Pompeo, already under scrutiny for activity deemed inappropriately political during the recent election campaign, is due to speak at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on Wednesday, on “the China challenge to U.S. national security and academic freedom.”


Interviewed on “The Guy Benson Show” on Monday evening, Pompeo laughed off the criticism.

“I’m just chuckling,” he told Benson when asked about the kerfuffle. “I promise you, when Secretary [of State John] Kerry traveled to Massachusetts or Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton traveled to New York, those were coastal elite states – those were all fine for secretaries to travel to.”

But Goodenough waited until much later in his article to reveal that what Pompeo's doing and what he accused Clinton and Kerry of doing are, well, not quite the same thing:

A non-exhaustive review of travel by Pompeo’s two Democratic predecessors at the State Department finds that Kerry delivered occasional speeches in Massachusetts (including one at Harvard in 2015 and another at MIT in early 2017) and visited a wind technology testing center in Boston with his British counterpart in 2014.

Clinton took part in numerous events in New York City while serving as secretary of state from Jan. 21, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2013 – not including those relating to the United Nations – delivering speeches at policy institutions, schools, galas, benefits, award dinners, and other events.

Goodenough offered no evidence that any of those Kerry and Clinton speeches he referenced took place in a state with an active major political contest going on at the same time.

And it wasn't until the very last paragraph of his 17-paragraph aticle that Goodenough conceded one major mitigating factor: "Kerry and Clinton did represent Massachusetts and New York respectively during their U.S. Senate careers."

That's right -- Kerry and Clinton actually lived in those "coastal ellite states" they gave speeches in. (And Goodenough never explained what, exactly, was relevant about Pompeo's sneering at "coastal elite states.") By contrast, Pompeo is from Kansas, not Georgia.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EST
Thursday, December 17, 2020
MRC Mad That Cop Shows Mirror Current Events
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent a good part of November complaining that scripted network TV shows that focus on police have taken the summer's events regarding racial justice and policing into consideration.

Elise Ehrhard devoted a Nov. 11 post to ranting about one show's treatment of the issue:

This fall's network television line-up of cop shows has begun and that means endless lecturing of the Black Lives Matter narrative. Audiences are being hectored that police officers are inherently racist towards black men and nothing has changed in the U.S. since Jim Crow.

Hollywood has been beating this drum for many years now, from shows with officers shooting innocent black people to cops covering up killings of innocent unarmed black suspects, but they vowed a renewed focus after the death of George Floyd. 

The latest installment in the "cops are inherently racist and always will be" genre was the season 4 premiere episode of CBS's S.W.A.T, titled "3 Seventeen Year Olds," on November 11. The premiere was set on the anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. 

Since 1992, major reforms have taken place in the Los Angeles Police Department that have led to substantive improvements. Even corporate media sites like CNN have written pieces acknowledging that the LAPD had "what Harvard researchers would later call one of the most ambitious attempts at police reform ever attempted in an American city."

But you would know absolutely none of that from the conclusion of S.W.A.T.

Karen Townsend complained in a Nov. 12 post: "The eighth season of NBC’s Chicago P.D.began airing on November 11. From the beginning of the first episode, titled 'Fighting Ghosts,' it is obvious that the groundwork is being laid for an ongoing conflict between police reformists and those who want to protect racist, corrupt cops." She then attacked theshow for "portraying the police as racists and always the ones in the wrong." Given that the previous time the MRC devoted a post to the show was 2017 (when it complained about an episode regarding illegal immigrants), we're pretty sure it does not "always" portray police as "in the wrong."

The same day, Lindsay Kornick groused about another cop show reflecting current events in an episode based on the notorious Central Park dog walker story, with added racial profiling. "No, this wouldn’t have happened if people didn’t assume every cop was an evil racist. More importantly, this wouldn’t have happened if networks weren’t so desperate to appeal to BLM activists that they claim the characters in a show over twenty years old are now racist," Kornick huffed.

Ehrhard hate-watched "S.W.A.T." again for a Nov. 25 post, which featured "another BLM storyline, with a discussion of the movement to defund the police," further huffing that the storyline "only fuels the dangerous police abolitionist mentality that is causing the greater loss of life in our country.

Even non-cop shows were not immune from the MRC's lashing out. Ehrhard devoted a Nov. 16 post to grumbling about the "woke legal drama" "All Rise" for "repeating the Black Lives Matter narrative," declaring, "This is the poison Hollywood pushes on our culture to sow constant racial division."

The MRC had to work to find a show that reflected its pro-police, anti-racial justice narrative. But Kornick did, and gushed all over it in a Dec. 5 post:

Despite an occasional dip into political correctness, CBS’s Blue Bloods usually takes the rare stance in defending the police in media. Thankfully, the latest episode continues that trend with the show standing up against the charge of “systemic racism” in the NYPD at the height of anti-copaganda. Christmas season is truly the time for miracles.


It shouldn’t be so bold that a TV police officer would defend his own profession, but after Chicago P.D. and Law & Order: SVU both surrendered to the anti-cop narrative, Frank Reagan is clearly the exception not the rule for cops in 2020 television. Let’s hope he can continue to be exceptional the rest of this season as well.

Not surprising coming from a "media research" outfit that sought to demonize all Black Lives Matter supporters as Antifa terrorists.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:23 PM EST
WND Columnist Misleads About Masks
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been a while since we checked in on how WorldNetDaily columnists are misleading about coronavirus. Our focus this time is on a Dec. 1 column by Barry Shaw, who begiins but writing:

Around the world there is a manic mask mandate on steroids. But do masks stop the spread of COVID-19?

The answer depends on who you ask. That's science for you. It's precociously contrarian at a time you want definitive answers.

If you had followed the American experts, from the Centers for Disease Control to Dr. Anthony Fauci, you would have seen a 180-degree swing in statements about masks. And yet, despite the bold certainty of both that masks prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are studies that cast doubt on that certainty.

A Danish mask study, a 4,800-person randomized trial that took place in the spring and early summer, found little statistical difference in infection rates between a group that wore masks and a group that didn't.

Ultimately, 42 of 2,393 people (1.8%) in the mask group and 53 of 2,470 (2.1%) in the no-mask group became infected.

Actually, the study authors have said the study's results "should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection," and an accompanying editorial pointed out that the study "does not disprove the effectiveness of widespread mask wearing."

Dr. Christine Laine, editor-in-chief of the Annals of Internal Medicine, said masks "are not a magic bullet."

"There are people who say, 'I'm fine, I'm wearing a mask.' They need to realize they are not invulnerable to infection," she said.

But Laine also pointed out that the Danish study was inconclusive. From there, Shaw moved onto another favorite right-wing narrative:

Sweden is a country that defied both mask-wearing and lockdowns.

Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist for the Swedish public health authority, has relied heavily on the public adopting a strategy of herd immunity to allow them to build up antibodies. Although admitting that the use of masks could be considered when visiting busy and confined places, he has been against mass mask mandates.

"The evidence is weak," he told Science magazine. "Countries that have masks are not doing the best right now. It is very dangerous to try to believe that masks are a silver bullet."

Swedish authorities actively discouraged people from wearing face masks which, they said, would spread panic, are often worn the wrong way and can provide a false sense of safety.

In Sweden, they took active steps to prevent fear from influencing their open society to the extent that individuals, particularly medical professionals, were punished for wearing a mask.

And what's been happening in Sweden lately? Coronavirus cases have hit record levels, prompting folks to rethink the whole discouraging-masks thing.

Shaw then descended into the usual right-wing anti-Fauci and pro-hydroxychloroquine rants:

Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, said about Remdesivir on April 29: "Remdesivir has a clear-cut significant positive effect in diminishing time to recovery for patients with COVID-19. This will be the standard of care. A drug that can block this virus."

We can trust science, can't we? Well, apparently we can't.

A month later, Dr. Peter Breggin released a report titled "Fauci's Remdesivir: Inadequate to Treat COVID-19 and Potentially Lethal." His opening statement read, "We have found that Remdesivir is a failed antiviral drug that will probably do more harm than good for many coronavirus patients."

As Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a New York state physician who has treated thousands of COVID-19 patients, told me in August: "For early stage COVID-19 patients Hydroxychloroquine is much safer than Remdesivir. Remdesivir causes dangerous cardiovascular problems such as atrial fibrillation (6%), hypotension (8%), and cardiac arrest (1%). Remdesivir also causes hepatic toxicity (23%), kidney damage (19%), and serious lung damage (10%) such as ARDS."

So whose science are we supposed to follow? Certainly not that of Dr. Fauci.

Breggin's article on remdesivir was published on his own website in May and has apparently never been peer-reviewed. Actual scientists doing actual research, meanwhile, have found some benefits for remdesivir in treating coronavirus. Zelenko, of course, is the doctor whose unverified claims about hydroxychloroquine WND has previously promoted.

Shaw concluded by scaremongering about a coronavirus vaccine: "Are there long-term side effects? Nobody knows."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic:'s efforts to spin November's unemployment numbers began early, with a Dec. 1 article by Melanie Arter that "More than half of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April due to COVID-19 shutdowns have been regained, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday." Arter uncritically repeated Powell's claims that the Federal Reserve Board took "forceful actions to provide relief and stability, to ensure that the recovery will be as strong as possible, and to limit lasting damage to the economy."

When the numbers for November came out a few days later and looked, well, not very good for CNS' pro-Trump purposes, Susan Jones started off with an unusually downbeat main story:

As COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise in this country, the nation's labor force awaits mass vaccination. In the meantime, some states are now ordering another round of business shutdowns, a burden that falls heavily on bars, restaurants and other small businesses that have had to lay off workers.

The monthly jobs report issued today shows a less robust improvement than we've seen in recent months.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says the economy added 245,000 jobs in November, the smallest number since April.

And after six straight months of post-pandemic employment gains, the number of employed people in this country dropped by 74,000, to 149,732,000 in November.

Jones even had to concede that while the unemployment rate dropped, it was because people dropped out of the labor force.

The number of manufacturing jobs -- the focus of editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's usual sidebar -- showed anemic growth, so much so that Jeffrey didn't outright state what that number was and instead touted how "The United States has added 764,000 manufacturing jobs since jobs in that sector hit a pandemic-era low in April of this year." Craig Bannister's sidebar was the only that that was upbeat, proclaiming that "The unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos improved for the seventh consecutive month in November as the nation’s businesses continued reopening from the coronavirus-prompted shutdown."

But that clearly wasn't enough pro-Trump rah-rah for CNS. That would seem to explain Jeffrey's cherry-picking follow-up article desperately spinning the numbers by comparing them to, um, Obama's first term:

The 6.7 percent unemployment rate that the United States had in November was lower than the unemployment rate for any month during President Barack Obama’s first four years in office, according to the data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In fact, the unemployment rate never dropped below 7.7 percent in Obama’s first term in office, and was climbing upward as that term came to an end.

In January 2013, when Obama was inaugurated for his second term, the unemployment rate was 8.0 percent.


In September 2012, as Obama’s first term approached an end, the unemployment rate finally fell below 8 percent, hitting 7.8 percent.

But then by January 2013, it had risen again to 8.0 percent.  By the end of 2013, the first year of Obama’s second term, it had dropped to 6.7 percent—the rate it saw in November of this year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeffrey failed to acknowledge that there is a huge difference between a major recession and a pandemic-driven shutdown.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EST
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC’s Ongoing Facebook Deception
Topic: Media Research Center
Facebook is dominated by conservative-leaning posts and it has given a pass to President Trump and his supporters who broke its rules, but the Media Research Center is still peddling the lie that the platform uniquely discriminates against conservatives. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EST
Convicted Felon Kerik Pushing Election Fraud Claims At Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Dick Morris is not the only dubious figure pushing never-proven election fraud claims at Newsmax. Eric Mack writes in a  Dec. 2 article:

Those denying the evidence of voter fraud -- and not the witnesses brought forth by the Trump campaign legal team -- might be the ones lying to Americans, former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik said Wednesday evening on Newsmax TV.

"If they lie in these affidavits, there's a five-year penalty to go to prison: Nobody's lying," Kerik said on Wednesday's installment of "Stinchfield," from outside a Michigan oversight hearing. "They're not lying. They're not making this stuff up. This is evidence.

"And for the attorney general or anybody else to say they haven't seen any evidence of voter fraud, then they're not looking."

Kerik, a seasoned law enforcement leader, is tasked with collecting the evidence for the legal team and told host Grant Stinchfield it is "frustrating" that local enforcement, the FBI, and the Justice Department are not acting on the sworn evidence.

"We're not getting any traction with law enforcement, that I can tell you, and it's frustrating," Kerik said. "When you listen to this evidence, you listen to these witnesses who have sworn affidavits under the penalty of perjury as a felony, you have to think to yourself, 'I hear them.'

"I know the FBI and the Department of Justice have to be watching this."

State election laws are being flouted and violated, negligently and maybey even criminally, according to Kerik.

Mack leaves out a couple things: Kerik is a convicted felon who spent four years in prison on tax fraud and perjury charges whose image Newsmax tried to rehabilitate before prison and hs been continuing to do after prison (it book division even published a novel he wrote). Kerik was pardoned by Trump earlier this year, which -- on top of being a buddy of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was New York City mayor when he was police chief -- may be why he's so invested in pretending Trump's election-fraud fictions are fact.

That's what's hiding behind Mack's delcaration that Kerik is a "seasoned law enforcement leader."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:21 PM EST
Lying Scammers At WND Unhappy About Being Called Lying Scammers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The snowflakes at WorldNetDaily still can't take criticism. When Media Matters (disclosure: we used to work there) called out right-wing operatives and media figures for trying to raise money off of President Trump's never-proven claims of election fraud, WND was offended to find itself on the list. First, an anonymously written WND article complained:

“Right-wing media figures” – from Candace Owens to Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton to Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe to WND’s David Kupelian – “are lying about the election being stolen to grift their followers for money.”

Or at least that’s how the far-left, Soros-funded organization Media Matters headlines its story accusing prominent conservatives of “scamming” their audiences.

WND did not counter the lying-scammer accusation outside of excerpting a fundraising letter from managing editor David Kupelian, but it did respond with, yes another money beg: "EDITOR’S NOTE: If, contrary to Media Matters, which is generously funded by leftwing activist billionaire George Soros, readers believe the Democrats really have been engaged in a multifaceted campaign to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump, and would like to help assure that a truthful, fearless, God-honoring free press survives this tumultuous year to inform good Americans for years to come, please make a donation now."

The next day, Kupelian sent out an email to WND's mailing list in which -- after copying-and-pasting the above WND article -- he ranted further:

Here’s an idea: If you believe the Democrats really have been engaged in a multifaceted campaign to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump, and would like to help assure that a truthful, fearless, God-honoring free press survives this insane and tumultuous year, to inform good Americans for years to come, please make a donation today. You many not be able to send millions our way as Soros does to Media Matters and others on the left, but even a small amount helps a lot.

After all, while we’re all waiting to find out the truth about Smartmatic and Dominion voting technology – attorney Sidney Powell having now filed her “release the Kraken” lawsuits – we should keep in mind exactly who led us all into today’s terrible, multifaceted mess: A mess of lies regarding COVID-19, lies about President Trump from the Russia collusion hoax to the Ukraine impeachment hoax, lies about Joe Biden – lies about virtually every aspect of today’s political, cultural, medical and historical reality.

That would be America’s shockingly dishonest, fraudulent and corrupt news media.

Only today’s Pravda-like press could have enabled someone like Joe Biden – disintegrating mentally, always wrong, lying continually, spectacularly corrupt – to become the Democratic presidential candidate and very possibly president.

One thing is for sure: No matter how this election disaster ends, the media landscape will be forever changed. Most so-called “mainstream journalists” have demonstrated they are no better and no different than Pravda, the pretend “newspaper of record” in the former Soviet Union that was actually just a craven, lying, servile propaganda mill for that totalitarian regime’s ruling elite.

Thus, whatever the future holds after this election, Americans are going to need, more than ever before, a moral, courageous and TRUTHFUL “free press” to help everyone navigate what promises to be a tumultuous, dangerous and unpredictable era ahead.

WorldNetDaily fully intends to remain a key part of America’s truth-proclaiming free press in the days, months and years to come. Indeed, our motto since 1997 – long before most of the rest of the online media pack even existed – has been “A Free Press for a Free People.”

A "shockingly dishonest, fraudulent and corrupt news media"? Kupelian is projecting, because WND is all of those things, as we've documented every time Kupelian gets on his hypocritical high horse. And we haven't even gotten to the scammy ersatz bitcoin giveway WND did as a donor enticement, the promoters of which have since been arrested.

Kupelian's description of Biden as "disintegrating mentally, always wrong, lying continually, spectacularly corrupt" is a similar projection, since all of those terms can more accurately describe Trump. Not that Kupelian and WND will tell you that, of course, despite Kupelian's decidedly inaccurate insistence that "we dare to publish the truth, something increasingly forbidden in today’s media culture."

Kupelian lied further in his conclusion: "The bottom line is, if you want honest, truthful, hard-hitting news reporting by veteran journalists who honor God, America and the Constitution, please help us out now, so we can be there for you, come what may." "Honest" and "truthful" are the last words that ome to mind when anyone thinks of WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
MRC's Double Standard on Softball Interviews
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to complain that President-elect Biden gets asked "softball" questions in media interviews:

  • Kyle Drennen complained on Nov. 10: "During his first press conference as President-Elect on Tuesday, Joe Biden made sure to only take a few questions from reporters he knew would toss him softballs. Almost all of the questions were designed to tee up the Democrat to slam President Trump for not having conceded the race, despite votes still being counted in multiple states."
  • Curtis Houck whined on Nov. 16, linking back to Drennen's post: "Just as they did on November 10 in his first post-election press conference, liberal journalists played the role of lap dogs for Joe Biden, giving him free reign to attack President Trump and nudge him to the left on the coronavirus pandemic and the economy."
  • Joseph Vazquez declared on Nov. 19: "The Hill opinion columnist Joe Concha nuked the “marshmallow media” for consistently lobbing “T-ball” questions at former Vice President Joe Biden in the relatively few press conferences he’s held since clinching the Democratic nomination."
  • Houck followed up the same day: "If anyone was hoping the third time would be the charm for consistently constructive or tough questions at a post-election Joe Biden press conference, Thursday illustrated that such a hope was a fool’s errand. Over the course of the 15-minute availability, the Biden team had the former vice president receive questions from only four reporters with three of them offering softballs."

Needless to say, that concern about softball interviews of politicians doesn't apply when the politician being interviewed is a Republican -- or Donald Trump. When Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo interviewed Trump and was so utterly softball that she offered no pushback to his false claims of election fraud, the MRC wasn't happy when that was pointed out.

Joseph Norris took the whataboutism route in a Dec. 1 article:

On Sunday, Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo interviewed President Trump for most of her Sunday Morning Futures program about his challenges to the election results in multiple states. This caused an eruption of outrage hours later on CNN’s Reliable Sources, that Bartiromo would give the president softball questioning on such a controversial issue. 

The president’s lawyers haven’t been winning in court, and as always, CNN attempted to discredit the competition to maximum effect. CNN host Brian Stelter said Bartiromo was "not a journalist at all." He summarized: "Fundamentally, that is what this is about, destroying trust in the election system. It’s about delegitimizing Biden's presidency."

Wow. No irony, at all. Given the leftist media’s four-year war on the President, and CNN’s own history with the Russia coverage, it is not Fox News that is destroying trust in our election system. CNN's been doing that for years.


It is laughable that Stelter and his guests are accusing Fox News of being partisan hacks and spreading misinformation given their recent history. Stelter hypocritically lamented Bartiromo’s “fall”: “it's sad that a journalist like Bartiromo, who had a storied career, is now not a journalist at all. She is now on there just teeing up the President to lie to the viewers.”

Carpenter piled on: “ This is propaganda. If the RNC, if the Trump campaign produced a commercial, Brian, it would be more constrained by the truth to go on the airwaves than what transpired that hour.” This coming from the network that literally ran chunks of a Michelle Obama "closing argument" for Biden and called it a "news" show.

When Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about Bartiromo's obsequiousness, Curtis Houck didn't take it well:

Late Monday on ABC, viewers saw the latest instance of a liberal double standard as, if the comment below had been leveled against a female journalist, politician, or spouse would have fetched wall-to-wall condemnations. During his eponymous show’s monologue, host Jimmy Kimmel quipped that the “always-sycophantic” FBN and FNC host Maria Bartiromo had been “auditioning for the position of” President Donald Trump’s fourth wife.


Ah, yes. Let’s boil down a woman who’s been a business anchor, correspondent, and host for over 25 years (and currently the host of the most-watched business news program), and the daughter of working-class parents to a housewife.

Imagine if a Fox News comedian said this about, say, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris or a journalist like Dana Bash or Norah O’Donnell. The silence would be deafening.

Houck seems to have forgotten that he (as NewsBusters managing editor) and his employer sought to justify smearing Harris as a "hoe" because she once was romantically involved with a prominent politician.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EST
Pro-Trump Newsmax Hires Trump's Pollster For A Pro-Trump Poll
Topic: Newsmax

An unbylined Nov. 26 Newsmax article states:

More than two-thirds of the nation says it is fair for President Donald Trump to ask for a recount in key states, according to a new Newsmax/McLaughlin & Associates poll released Thursday.

Sixty-seven percent of likely voters backed Trump's recounts where the vote margins in his race with Joe Biden were 1% or closer, which applies to states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

Despite the close contests, 65% of Americans say the election will ultimately be decided honestly. But fully a third of all voters, 35%, said that there was significant fraud.

"This seems to be a very disturbing and high number for the country that always prided itself to be the world's leading democracy," pollster John McLaughlin said. "The highest level of fraud concerns are among Trump voters at 70% and Republicans at 65%."

What Newsmax didn't tell you, just like the Media Research Center didn't: McLaughlin & Associates was the pollster for Trump's campaign, meaning it has a certain bias and conflict of interest in conducting polls that support narrative pushed by the Trump campaign.

Additionally, Trump has been giving Newsmax's TV operation lots of attention of late, meaning that it's entirely likely that Newsmax did this poll as a way to garner even more attention from Trump -- with, hopefully, the resulting eyeballs of right-wing viewers that will watch its channel.

In short: This just screams "stunt" and "lack of credibility." There's no real reason to trust this poll.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 PM EST
CNS Sends Interns To Pester Members of Congress With Anti-Trans Gotcha Question
Topic: has long been obsessed with hating transgendered people, particularly the idea that a boy who identifies as a girl might be allowed to use girls' locker rooms and restrooms -- and that President-elect Joe Biden supports transgender rights. For instance:

  • In an August column, editor in chief Terry Jeffrey mocked Republican John Kasich for saying his conscience led him to support Biden, sneering: "Under Biden's rule, a human being who God and nature made male will be allowed to play girls sports and use the female bathrooms and locker rooms. But Kasich's 'conscience' is driving him to support this candidate."
  • Another August article highlighted that Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, "co-sponsored the Equality Act, a bill that would require schools to allow biological male athletes who identify as transgender to play on female sports teams and use female locker rooms and showers."
  • An unbylined Oct. 28 article (but apparently posted by Jeffrey, according to CNS' search engine) warned that "Biden is promising that on his first day as president he will order schools to let biological males, who consider themselves female, to have 'access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.'"
  • On Nov. 9, Jeffrey declared that "Joe Biden also supports letting biological males who are 'transgender' claim to be females on government identity documents—and to play on girls’ sports teams and use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms," suggesting that Biden wasn't a true Catholic for supporting this.
  • In his Nov. 18 column, Jeffrey listed among the purportedly "evil" things Biden will dois "force public schools to treat biological males as females and biological females as males," adding that "Under Biden's plan, an 18-year-old boy who says he is a girl can play on the girls' field hockey team and use the girls' locker room."

Now, Jeffrey is forcing CNS' fall interns to act out his biased anti-trans agenda. As it likes to do, CNS regularly sends its interns to Capitol Hill to pester members of Congress with gotcha questionsdesigned to push its right-wing narratives. This is summed up in a Dec. 1 article:

When asked about Joe Biden’s intent to order public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams of their choice, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that he does not think Biden “has the power” to force such a unilateral change and that he would “like to hear from the schools.” 

Graham also said he did not know if it was a good idea or not to allow transgender “women” (biological males) to play on real women’s sports teams and use their locker rooms.

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNS News asked Senator Graham, “Joe Biden said that on his first day of office he will mandate through Title 9 that all sports teams, locker rooms should be open to transgender students according to their gender identity. Do you think he has the power to unilaterally do this at all federally funded schools and do you agree with this?”

“No, I don’t think he has the power,” Graham said, “and I don’t know if that's a good idea or not, I’d like to hear from the schools.”

From there, the CNS gotcha-question conga line continued, with overly long headlines to push the narrative:

All of the articles -- yes, it pestered eight members of Congress with this question -- copy-and-paste Biden's policy; most of the articles added pictures of what it claims are transgender athletes with "woman" and "female" in scare quotes to describe them.

With transphobic Jeffrey at the helm, CNS will keep spreading anti-trans hatred and use it as a cudgel to bash Biden.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 15, 2020 12:41 AM EST

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