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Monday, January 11, 2021
Riots Shock MRC's Graham Into Reasonableness -- Briefly
Topic: Media Research Center

Last week's riot at the Capitol seems to have shocked the Media Research Center's Tim Graham into reasonableness, if his Jan. 8 column is any indication:

Critics of liberal-media bias are often accused of whataboutism. We're accused of diverting everyone's attention from some conservative or Republican scandal or offense by changing the subject to the media's performance.

After a pro-Trump crowd breached the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to flee, my friend and former colleague Dan Isett tweeted: "Yeah, the media covered for left-wing riots last year. So what? We aren't children and we don't use misbehavior by those we disagree with to excuse the misbehaviors of those we do. Personal responsibility is a hallmark of our philosophy."

Amen. If we were raised right, our parents told us two wrongs don't make a right. This is not a time for calling out double standards. This is a time for standards. Respecting the home of our Congress is the lowest possible standard for American civilization. You don't Make America Great Again by shoving cops and breaking glass on Capitol Hill.

It's not hard to find prominent voices on the left who are suddenly finding lawlessness inexcusable after having suggested it was excusable if it forwarded their agenda. They used words like "rebellion" to glamorize unrest. But this is not rioting at an Apple store. This is where our democracy lives.

That's a big change in tone from his boss, Brent Bozell, who justified the violence while claiming to denounce it, and also fretting that said violence would hurt the conservative movement Graham's disavowal of whataboutism is also interesting, since whataboutism is what the MRC runs on (and Graham too).

Graham went on:

The "told you so's" from liberals weren't half as depressing as the "protests" from so-called "born-again Americans" themselves. And at this sad hour, I'm not invested in driving the notion that a vast left-wing conspiracy somehow overtook a peaceful Trump rally. In this moment, it feels like another unproven claim, like the Trump landslide.

Graham seems to have ignored that his boss is still clinging to his bogus election-fraud conspiracy theories -- and that the MRC has not only published posts promoting the idea that the election remains in dispute, it has complained that right-wing tweets disputing the election were flagged by Facebook.

More interestingly, Graham wrote this:

Adding salt to the wounds of video showing "conservatives" ramming through police barricades were pictures of "conservatives" destroying media equipment. If you're stomping on someone's camera, you're no friend of America. Just because journalists might seem to wear hats that say America has never been great doesn't excuse your destruction of property. They have a right to report — even a right to distort — and we have the right to call out distortions. That's the First Amendment, too.

That sort of expressed respect for journalists is almost unheard of at the MRC, which effectively rooted for Trump supporters to attack them and mocked their concerns about their safety in covering Trump. The MRC's hatred for journalists and journalism is so vicious that it sells shirts saying, "Believe In America, Not The Media."

But Graham apparently got that fit of conscience out of his system, and he quickly revered to form. His Twitter account since then has wrote a post sneering at CNN as "the MMMBop of news" and wrote a post mocking CNN's Anderson Cooper as nothing more than the "son of the famous and uber-wealthy fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt" and calling him "Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper" even though that's not his actual middle name.

So, it appears Graham really didn't mean anything he wrote in his column.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 PM EST
Newsmax Columnist Pushes Bogus Election Fraud Conspiracies
Topic: Newsmax

One of Newsmax's most prominent voices in promoting bogus election fraud conspiracy theories has been columnist Michael Dorstewitz. In a Nov. 16 column, for instance, he uncritically repeated Rudy Giuliani's claim that voting-tech company Dominion "actually is a company owned by two Venezuelans that's been in business for about 20 years and been disqualified in so many places it would make your head spin." That's not true, and it's one of the claims Newsmax had to walk back in an attempt to avoid getting sued for defamation by Dominion and another voting tech company, Smartmatic.

Dorstewitz touted in a Nov. 23 column: "Trump-Pence campaign lawyers claim they can prove election fraud and other acts of misconduct on a massive scale. Also, state courts, secretaries of state and election officials made eleventh hour changes to election procedures that constitutionally may only be made by state legislative bodies. Too many people just aren’t buying it."

In a Jan. 2 column -- promoted at one point as the top story on Newsmax's front page -- Dorstewitz wrote:

Each time a member of the big media reports on someone referring to acts of fraud or even irregularities in the Nov. 3 presidential election, they describe them as "baseless claims" or "unproven."

Such words are included in almost every wire story since election day published by the Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg, and others.

Actually, there are many examples of vote fraud that took place during the 2020 election, and serious evidence of voting irregularities relating to the mail-in ballots.

Dorstewitz then cited a bunch of claims, scrupulously ignoring the evidence that most, if not all, of them have been discredited.

On Jan. 4 Dorstewitz touted the Republican attempt to deny Biden from being certified by the Electoral College:

Ever since Republican lawmakers announced they intend to mount an objection to the Electoral College vote when a joint session of Congress meets Wednesday, Democrats and mainstream media have denounced it as undemocratic.

But the caterwauling from the left brings to mind a line from Shakespeare’s "Hamlet," that "The lady doth protest too much," and thus loses all credibility. Are they really that afraid of the truth?

At least a dozen senators and 140 House members are expected to object to the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory as the 46th president.

They’re calling for an electoral commission to go over the results in key states for 10 days before they’re certified.

As he has before, Dorstewitz then attacked Joe Biden:

In addition to evidence the 2020 election may have been rigged, it doesn’t pass the smell test. It doesn’t make sense that Biden, who hasn’t had an original thought in 78 years and 45 days, won the election, despite the fact that:

  • His party lost at least 11 House seats
  • He lost heavily in the bellwether states of Florida, Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa
  • He lost nearly every bellwether county in the country
  • He bested Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance in only a few cities

He offered no evidence to back up his "bellwether county" claim; his claim that Biden largely underperformed Hillary is a lie.

Dorstewitz's record of dishonesty and fraud doesn't bode well for Newsmax's attempt to frame itself as a reasonable alternative to Fox News (not to mention trying to keep from getting sued over publishing said falsehoods).


Posted by Terry K. at 6:37 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 11, 2021 6:40 PM EST
Family Feud: Joseph Farah's Daughter Renounces Election Conspiracies He's Spouting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Following the right-wing riots in the Capitol on Jan. 6, former White House communications director Alyssa Farah took to Twitter to send a message to the Trump supporters that instigated and encouraged the violence:

Dear MAGA- I am one of you. Before I worked for @realDonaldTrump, I worked for @MarkMeadows & @Jim_Jordan & the @freedomcaucus. I marched in the 2010 Tea Party rallies. I campaigned w/ Trump & voted for him. But I need you to hear me: the Election was NOT stolen. We lost.

There were cases of fraud that should be investigated. But the legitimate margins of victory for Biden are far too wide to change the outcome. You need to know that. I’m proud of many policy accomplishments the Trump Admin had. But we must accept these results.

Which is all well and good -- admitting that the election is not stolen is a big step for a former Trump White House official to take publicly. But there's another issue involved here: Farah's father, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, is still spouting those election conspiracy theories her daughter has renounced.

We looked at Joseph Farah's bogus claims last month, and -- being a guy who never met a right-wing conspiracy theory he didn't like -- he hasn't stopped. in his Dec. 29 column, he declared that a Gallup poll showing Trump being rated higher than Joe Biden on a list of most admired Americans is evidence that Trump "won in a landslide": "Donald J. Trump is the most admired man in America. We saw in the campaign that he had become the most LOVED man in America. Then how could he have lost an honest election?"

On Jan. 8 -- two days after the Capitol riots, Farah ranted, while also taking a minor shot at his daughter:

My wife, Elizabeth, and I traveled to Washington Wednesday for President Trump's "Save America Rally" – because we sincerely believed we needed to show our support for the president, since the will of the majority of the electorate had been overthrown.

There were, by my estimates, at least half a million gathered at the mall – dressing in red, white and blue and many sporting American flags. It was a sight to behold. At daybreak, they began showing up from every nook and cranny in the city.

We were proud to be there. There was no place we'd rather have been than showing our support for the greatest president of our lifetimes – perhaps the greatest ever!

[...]

I guess it's no surprise that we did not attend with my 31-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who resigned as director of communications for the White House in November, because she strongly disagreed with our president and with us. Alyssa is a grown adult, and despite the disappointment of the disagreement, we are not here to pick a public fight with her. We love ALL our kids – all five of our daughters!

But we want to go on the record as to why we agree with Trump that our nation has been the victim of a fraud of epic proportions and that Joe Biden is the first American pretender about to be elevated to the "throne" in 240 years!

Why do I say this?

The evidence is so overwhelming as to make me wonder where to begin. The particulars vary depending on the state. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada certified election results despite the illegal, unconstitutional or fraudulent actions taken to produce the results we were given.

[...]

The items I have listed above are only a taste, but will suffice to make the point: Any election exhibiting half these characteristics would have received a thorough investigation in the weeks between Nov. 3 and Dec. 16 – that is, any election that did not have Donald J. Trump as the aggrieved candidate.

So, yeah, there's a bit of a family feud going on there. Alyssa Farah has been trying to downplay her link to her father and his discredited website, having herself scrubbed from WND's archive of the articles she wrote for it while a college student (forgetting that the internet is forever).

Farah pere's refusal to accept reality seems to have caused a rift between him and his daughter. It's also something that -- despite belated attempts to boost revenue and credibility -- it may also cost Farah his business.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Sunday, January 10, 2021
MRC Keeps Falsely Smearing Harris Over Coronavirus Vaccine
Topic: Media Research Center

Last fall, we documented how the Media Research Center tried to falsely paint Kamala Harris as an "anti-vaxxer" because she said she would take recommendations on a coronavirus from medical professionals but not President Trump, who was promising a vaccine as a re-election ploy. Now that there is an actual vaccine, the MRC is trying to rewrite history. Scott Whitlock huffed in a Dec. 11 post:

Oh, NOW CBS is concerned with vaccine skepticism? This Morning hosts and reporters on Friday fretted that Americans, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, might be resistant to taking the newly-approved COVID vaccine. Yet nowhere in the segment did Gayle King or reporter Adriana Diaz remind viewers that Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris indulged in anti-science, anti-vaccine propaganda during the campaign.

But Whitlock buried what Biden actually said -- "I trust vaccines, I trust the scientists, but I don't trust Donald Trump" -- in the 11th paragraph of his article, and he completely censored what Harris said at the time: that she "would not trust Donald Trump" given his reputation for muzzling health officials who spoke publicly about inconvenient facts, and that she would require "a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability" of a vaccine.

Kristine Marsh complained the same day, "Democrats like [Rep. Katie] Porter and Kamala Harris led the media in putting politics about public safety in casting doubt about the safety of this vaccine before the election, and now they want to reverse course and avoid taking responsibility for their damaging actions." She too censored what Harris actually said. As proof of Porter allegedly "casting doubt about the safety of this vaccine before the election," she linked to an article in which she questioned that Trump put a former pharmaceutical executive in charge of the Operation Warp Speed vaccine initiative -- never mind that the MRC would likely have done the exact same thing if the president was a Democrat.

Marsh returned to rant on Dec. 15:

Now that there’s hope on the horizon with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine being distributed here in this country, the morning networks have been singing a different tune about how safe this vaccine is. After spreading anti-vaccine quackery on Good Morning America leading up to the November election, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos urged Americans to “trust” Dr. Fauci that this vaccine is safe to take, on Tuesday’s GMA.

[...]

But GMA wasn't trying to convince Americans of the vaccine's safety leading up to the election. In September, ABC, along with the other networks, spread dangerous conspiracies about the vaccine...that came straight from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s mouths. George Stephanopoulos and Cecilia Vega in particular repeatedly questioned if Americans should take any vaccine developed while Trump was in office.

And those "dangerous conspiracies" were ... just pointing out that Trump's word can't be trusted, which is just common sense. She again censored what Biden and Harris actually said.

Marsh continued her dishonest attack the next day: "As we’ve documented at NewsBusters, Harris told Americans in September not to trust President Trump on the coronavirus vaccine. ABC used Harris and Biden’s own words to spread mistrust about a COVID vaccine, and now they have the audacity to question why there’s mistrust, and ask Harris how to combat that mistrust, when they themselves were part of the problem?"

On Dec. 22, Marsh again falsely accused Harris of "spreading anti-vaccine misinformation before the election, only to flip the script after she and Biden won." 

It's important to note that at no point in any of these posts did MRC writers offer evidence to back up their implicit claim that Trump's word on a vaccine -- or anything else, for that matter -- should be trusted without question.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EST
Terry Jeffrey Trump Deficit Blame Avoidance Watch, With Extra Confusion Over Coronavirus Relief
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey served up his usual complaint in a Dec. 10 article:

The federal government spent a record $886,587,000,000 in the first two months of fiscal 2021 (October and November), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

At the same time, the federal government ran a deficit of $429,337,000,000, which is the second highest deficit the federal government has ever run in the first two months of a fiscal year.

The largest deficit the federal government has ever run in the first two months of a fiscal year came in fiscal 2009, when it ran a deficit of $491, 943,980,000 (in constant November 2020 dollars).

Also usual: Jeffrey did not note that this happened under a Republican president and a Republican-led Senate -- the words "Trump" and "Republican" are nowhere to be found -- and his article is illustrated by a picture of Trump with Nancy Pelosi, falsely implying Democrats hold equal blame for this.

But Jeffrey was officially silent as that same Republican president and a Republican Senate presided over the passage of a coronavirus relief bill and a related bill to keep the government funded. There were two anonymously written articles singling out obscure provisions, but it's unclear whether CNS backs or opposes them since they both reflect certain conservative principles:

  • The first notes that the bill "includes a passage on page 997 that sets aside $35 million to provide grants to groups that provide 'cation in…voluntarily refraining from non-marital sexual activity.'"
  • The second states that it "includes a passage on pages 415 and 416 that provides $250 million of 'enhanced border security' in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt Tunisia and Oman."

That was followed by a article by Craig Bannister noting that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham offered a "defense of the $10 million allocated to Pakistani 'gender programs.'"

Then, when Trump attacked the spending bill and called for  even higher coronavirus relief payments to Americans, CNS played it straight. In a Dec. 23 article, Susan Jones uncritrically repeated Trump's framing of the bill having "plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it"; this was followed by an article from Bannister noting that "Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar says Congress should send President Donald Trump what he wants: a COVID-19 stimulus bill that contains nothing but direct $2,000 payments to the American people." There was also some stock whining from Rand Paul about all the spending in a Dec. 22 article by Jones, who proclaimed Paul as being "true to his fiscal conservatism."

While CNS published no article on Trump's eventual signing of the bills as passed by Congress, managing editor Michael W. Chapman uased a Dec. 28 article to highlight a report on government waste featuring "the creation of a $6.9 million 'smart toilet,' which operates with three cameras, one of which can identify a user's 'analprint.'"

CNS tried to return to form in a Jan. 6 article by Jones headlined "Biden: 'Free, Free, Free': Vaccinations, 'COVID Treatment,' $2,000 Checks..." But Jones failed to inform her readers that Trump not only supports the $2,000 stimulus payments as noted above, he also supports free COVID vaccinations and free COVID treatment.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:26 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2021 7:52 PM EST
Saturday, January 9, 2021
MRC Cheers That White House Twitter Accounts Must Rebuild Followers Under Biden
Topic: Media Research Center

For all of its failing victimization narratives regarding "Big Tech," the Media Research Center actually found something to like about them -- and that's because it impacts President-elect Joe Biden. Kayla Sargent seemed pretty pleased in a Dec. 22 post:

Former Vice President Joe Biden will reportedly have a long way to go to build up his Twitter presence, assuming, as currently projected, he takes over as president in January.

Twitter has reportedly told the Biden team that the official @POTUS account will be reset to zero followers, and “Donald Trump’s followers will not carry over to the official Twitter accounts assigned to the new president and White House in January, a reversal from the last transition,” Bloomberg News reported. 

“The move would mean the Biden administration will start with zero followers and would cut off a way for Biden to instantly reach millions of people who currently follow the official accounts used by Trump,” said Bloomberg News. “The @POTUS account has more than 33 million followers while @WhiteHouse has 26 million.”

[...]

Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, said in a tweet that the team “pushed back” but “were told this was unequivocal.” 

No histrionics and no ranting about "censorship" here. Just an clear undercurrent of happiness that Biden was being inconvenienced.

The next day, Dan Gainor was even more pleased by the situation:

The left is never happy. Likely president Joe Biden’s team is angry at Twitter because the site won’t transfer all of President Donald Trump’s official followers to Biden.

Digital Director Rob Flaherty whined that, “ In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama's Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse -- at Team 44's urging. In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”

Trump has been the most interactive president in history … and the media and the left hated him for it. They especially despised the Twitter account that he built up to more than 88 million followers. But that’s Trump’s personal account and not at issue.

[...]

Fifty-nine million fans is a big PR baseline, though presumably many would unfollow Biden.

Team Biden would have a tough case to make that Twitter is somehow unfair to them. Twitter censored the Hunter Biden scandal and shut down the New York Post account for 17 days. It has censored Trump or his campaign 553 times, compared to zero for Biden.

As we've noted, flagging Trump for spreading false information is not "censorship," as there's no inherent constitutional right to spread lies, and Gainor doesn't explain why private companies have no right to enforce their terms of service against someone who has repeatedly violated them.

Also: Note how neither Sargent nor Gainor were willing to unambiguously concede that Biden won the election; Sargent equivocated by saying it's based on "assuming, as currently projected, he takes over as president in January," while Gainor called him the "likely president."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EST
WND Gets Its Trump Pardon of Corrupt Ex-Congressman
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For years, WorldNetDaily -- a stanuch supporter of corrupt former Texas congressman Steve Stockman -- has been lobbying for President Trump to pardon Stockman following his conviction on various and sundry financial crimes. Columnist Rachel Alexander has long been pushing the conspiratorial idea that Stockman was a victim of the "Deep State" (and also tried to insert herself into Stockman's defense by signing onto an amicus brief); in August 2019, for example, she huffed that Stockman "was convicted due to an improper trial against him, with prosecutors presenting incorrect information to the jury and getting the judge to agree to prohibit him from producing helpful evidence," and was also the victim of "a drive-by political hit" by a "corrupt cabal" at the Justice Department.

Alexander was still at it in her Dec. 7 column, declaring that Stockman was "was one of the left's recent victims of the deep state"and touting how "conservatives are urging that President Trump pardon Stockman, because he's been able to obtain no justice through the justice system. The deep state is still heavily entrenched in the DOJ, and the left still controls much of the judiciary."

Alexander also cited as among "notable political prosecutions" those of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Dinesh D'Souza, lamenting that "for the most part, people just shrugged them off thinking those targeted would eventually beat the charges." Actually, D'Souza pleaded guilty to violating election law (because he did), and Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt because that's what he did.

Well, Alexander and WND got their wish; Trump commuted Stockman's prison sentence just before Christmas. Bob Unruh's article on the commutation predictably played down the crime and emphasized the defense that judge and jury rejected. He invoked right-wing activist Craig Shirley's conspiratorial claim that Stockman's conviction was "an Obama hit job on conservative nonprofits" -- a defense he has made elsewhere and which, frankly, doesn't say much about the way conservative nonprofits are run -- and repeated Alexander's previous plea that Stockman should have been released from prison to reduce his exposure to coronavirus, since he was "among the non-violent, non-sex crime prisoners whose health conditions and the conditions within our federal prison system make them 'sitting ducks' for a fatal COVID-19 virus infection."

So having achieved that, Alexander devoted her Dec. 28 column to lobbying for another pardon:

As it becomes obvious that President Trump may not be able to overcome the fraud stopping him from winning reelection, he is pardoning and commuting the sentences of conservatives wrongly targeted through the legal system. Last week, he commuted the sentence of conservative former Congressman Steve Stockman, who had served almost three years of a 10-year prison sentence.

Now he needs to pardon Jon Woods, a conservative former Arkansas state legislator. Woods is serving an 18-year sentence for process crimes involving a Christian college. Sound familiar? The left loves to target conservatives involved with Christian activities, and if they can't get them on real crimes, they get them on "process crimes." Woods was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. That's right, no real crime, just the fact something was mailed, some phone calls were made and some money was spent while what he was accused of was happening. For example, "money laundering" sounds scary, but all it means is he used a cashier's check to pay for something coming out of his own bank account (he was paying back someone for something unrelated) because it was a large check and the recipient required it.

But what Alexander dismisses as "process crimes," the prosecutors pointed out were bribery and kickbacks:

Between approximately 2013 and approximately 2015, Woods used his official position as a senator to appropriate and direct government money, known as General Improvement Funds (GIF), to two non-profit entities by, among other things, directly authorizing GIF disbursements and advising other Arkansas legislators – including former State Representative Micah Neal, 43, of Springdale, Arkansas – to contribute GIF to the non-profits.  

Specifically, Woods and Neal authorized and directed the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, which was responsible for disbursing the GIF, to award a total of approximately $600,000 in GIF money to the two non-profit entities. 

The evidence further showed that Woods and Neal received bribes from officials at both non-profits, including Oren Paris III, 50, of Springdale, Arkansas, who was the president of a college.  Woods initially facilitated $200,000 of GIF money to the college and later, together with Neal, directed another $200,000 to the college, all in exchange for kickbacks.

To pay and conceal the kickbacks to Woods and Neal, Paris paid a portion of the GIF to a consulting company controlled by Randell G. Shelton Jr., 39, of Alma, Arkansas.  Shelton then kept a portion of the money and paid the other portion to Woods and Neal.

Paris also bribed Woods by hiring Woods’s friend to an administrative position at the college. 

An Arkansas columnist has already deconstructed Alexander's column and her Stockman-esque defense of Woods: "She defends Ecclesia College, recipient of money it never should have received and all those who played along. Because see, they are 'conservatives,' and all is forgiven if you are a Trumper, no matter how crooked. And Jon Woods was the FIRST Arkansas legislator to endorse the sociopath in chief."

Alexander also said of Ecclesia, the Christian college at the center of the scandal: "Ecclesia is a respected college, whose board members have included WallBuilders founder David Barton, author Eric Metaxas and singer Pat Boone."Actually, none of those people are respected Christians: Barton is a discredited historian, Metaxas has gone off the deep end for Trump, and Boone is a virulent and dishonest Obama-hater.

Alexander concluded by declaring that "Trump has another opportunity to bring justice here." Actually, it seems that Woods is, if anything, less deserving of a pardon than Stockman -- not that it might keep him from getting one from Trump, of course,


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EST
Friday, January 8, 2021
After Capitol Riots, MRC Plays The Victim Narrative On Social Media
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has gotten a lot of mileage out of pushing the victim narrative regarding social media -- that conservatives are solely and uniquely "censored" by "Big Tech" merely for the sin of being conservatives -- and it's not about to let a little thing like a Republican-instigated riot at the Capitol get in the way.

Alexander Hall went for full victimization in a Jan. 6 post ridiculously headlined "Twitter Suspends Trump As He Calls for ‘Peace’":

President Donald Trump’s call for order was restricted by Twitter, as chaos erupted in the nation’s capital.

Rioters stormed the capital on January 6 and Trump responded with a short video posted to Twitter that called for peace and an end to the protest. He assured his supporters, “I know your pain. I know your hurt,” but told them “you have to go home now. We have to have peace.” President Trump also assured his supporters that he agrees the election was “fraudulent,” but warned “we can’t play into the hands of these people.” The tweet was promptly labeled with a warning: “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”

The “risk of violence” claim was especially bizarre since Trump made it clear he was calling for “peace” and urging the protesters go home.

Hall seems to have missed the part where Trump instigated the riot he was supposedly trying to defuse. He also censored the part of Trump's video where he encouraged the rioters by saying, "We love you. You're very special," and falsely claimed that "We had an election that was stolen from us." Instead, he whined that "Twitter has targeted Trump with more than a year of unprecedented restriction of his tweets. Trump and his campaign have been censored by Twitter 625 times, Twitter heavily restricted this post in kind" -- failing, as the MRC usually does, to explain why Twitter, a private company, has no right to enforce its terms of service on all of its customers.

As more social media outlets cracked down on Trump, Hall complained the next day, continuing to falsely frame the issue as Trump being "censored" for calling for peace:

Even as President Donald Trump called for peace, social media companies purged posts and his video and restricted his accounts, with at least two platforms removing his presence indefinitely.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared in a Facebook post that the block on Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be extended indefinitely, as “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” Zuckerberg specified: “[W]e are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

This indefinite purge of Trump follows multiple Big Tech platforms cracking down on Trump’s call for peace amid the D.C. chaos, which saw rioters storm the U.S. Capitol building.

Again, Hall refused to report the full content of Trump's video and history of incitement that came before the "peace" call.

Meanwhile, as the Trump-inspired riot was going down on Jan. 6, the MRC's Kayla Sargent was grumbling that "The left’s hatred of President Donald Trump truly knows no bounds. Recode co-founder and New York Times contributor Kara Swisher is rejoicing in her assumption that Trump will be removed from Twitter."She grumbled further on Jan. 8:

The left is absolutely desperate for Twitter to ban President Donald Trump.

At least 120 leftists on Twitter have called for Trump to be permanently removed from the platform following the Jan. 6 unrest at the U.S. Capitol Building. The list includes figures in media, Big Tech and leftist nonprofits.

Sargent concluded, "Regardless of the violence that took place, restricting the speech of a sitting U.S. president certainly should not be the solution." Even if that sitting U.S. president inspired said violence? Sargent is silent on that question.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EST
CNS Tries To Co-Opt The Beatles For Their Anti-Trans Agenda
Topic: CNSNews.com

How much does CNSNews.com hate transgender people? It tried to co-opt the Beatles for its agenda.

Pretending this was something entirely new and not a rehash of a 50-year-old song, an anonymously written Dec. 29 CNS article carried the headline "Paul McCartney Tells Man ‘Who Thought She Was a Woman’ to ‘Get Back’ and ‘Go Home’":

The Beatles song “Get Back,” which was written by Paul McCartney and first released in April 1969, talks about a man who thought she was a woman and tells her to “get back” and “go home.”

A promotional video for an upcoming documentary film on The Beatles by Peter Jackson—entitled “The Beatles: Get Back” —was posted recently on YouTube. It shows The Beatles playing “Get Back” in a studio and Paul McCartney singing the lyrics.

In the second verse, McCarney says:

“Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman

But she was another man.

All the girls around her said she’s got it coming

But she gets it while she can.

Get back, get back

Get back to where you once belonged.

Get back, get back

Get back to where you once belonged.

Get back Loretta, go home.

Your mother’s waiting for you.”

That's it. That's what CNS thinks is "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 AM EST
Thursday, January 7, 2021
MRC's Bozell Justifies Capitol Violence, STILL Clings To His Election Fraud Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is as shameless as he is dishonest.

Bozell made an appearance on Fox Business Wednesday to justify -- yes, justify -- the violent insurrection at the Capitol earlier in the day: "This is an explosion of pent-up outrage from Middle America. Look, they are furious that they believe this election was stolen. I agree with them. They are furious that with the Deep State, they believe Washington is utterly corrupt, and they've had it. I agree with them. They are furious with Antifa and the rampaging in the streets and the lawlessness ,and one cop every single week is being shot to death -- think about that one for a second -- and I agree. They are furious with the vast censorship of free speech that's taking place. So the fury was there."

Then, he pivoted away, trying to minimize the violence as done by a small group of actors: "Unfortunately, it was controlled fury with the vast majority, and one element went forward with lawlessness, and it has done tremendous damage to everyone else." Remember that Bozell's MRC loves to mock commentators who said the same thing about the summer's racial justice protests. He then went the whataboutism route, caying that critics of the violence have "damn well better have criticized Antifa for the last year and Black Lives Matter for their lawlessness, their destruction of property, their killing of people. If they have done that they have every right to be critical. If they have not done that, let those people who have been reasonable and have been objective in this, let them speak out."

Bozell also reiterating that he agrees with those who claim the election was stolen and effectively justifed the violence, betraying his own words.He then ranted: "It's hundreds -- it's millions, tens of millions of people -- it's 40 percent of the American people believe this stolen. This is not a handful of people."

But Bozell has spread lies and misinformation about the election and fed thsi false story that these people believe. As we documented, Bozell asserted without evidence that pre-election polls showing Biden with a big lead over Trump were "deliberately wildly wrong," and he hired right-wing pollsters -- one of whom actually worked for the Trump campaign -- to push his conspiracy theory that the media stole the election from Trump.

Bozell then explained he really cared about what the violence will do to the conservative movement and again complained: "I am heartsick about that element that has been so destructive and has done so much damage to a very noble cause, but the damage they have done to conservatives like me is profound. ... No one's going to look at pictures of the whatever, the 900,000 that didn't participate in this, who were there marching peacefully. No one's going to look at that. No one ever looks at marches by conservatives that are peaceful --  the right-to-life march every single year, the Tea Party marches where they pick up their own wrappers. They've never gotten credit for this. So one's going to look at the overwhelming majority that were peaceful. They're going to look at the bad guys."

He concluded by declaring, "I hope there is a through investigation. My guess is when all this is over you're going to find that there were some bad guys on the other side who were also participating. It's just a hunch."Bozell was silent about President Trump -- whom his MRC has been dedicated to defending in an unquestioning manner over the past four years -- or his role in instigating the violence.

After his TV gig, he went on Twitter to thank the host, adding: "Violence is never the answer and hurts the cause of the millions, like myself, who know this election was stolen." Bozell will never admit that when you lie to people the way he has, violence is inevitable -- and he's got blood on his hands for encouraging it.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:44 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2021 6:53 PM EST
SHOCKER: Falsehood-Prone WND Publishes A Fact-Check (Of Someone Else)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is best known for publishing falsehoods and conspiracy theories. So it's a bit of a surprise to see WND pretend to be an actual news organization and publish -- gasp! -- a fact-check. Art Moore served it up in a Dec. 18 article, but rather than go after anything WND has previously published -- James Zumwalt's libelous election-fraud smears, to name just one recent example, about which WND has remained silent despite the fact that other right-wingers have been sued for publishing the exact same things -- he went after an obscure, easy to debunk claim:

A claim repeated by a Texas elector that Chief Justice John Roberts was heard from an adjacent room at the Supreme Court building screaming at colleagues for considering the Texas election-fraud case has a fundamental flaw.

The justices have been meeting remotely for the past two months during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Nevertheless, video of Texas elector and State Republican Executive Committee official Matt Patrick making the claim Monday at the Texas State House has gone viral on social media.

"This is an absurd fantasy," said Ed Whelan, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, of Patrick's claim.

"For starters, the Justices haven't been having in-person conferences," tweeted Whelan, a former clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

This may be just a front to drum up business the finally launched Daily Caller-clone nonprofit WND News Center and portray it as something legitimate rather than a last-ditch bid to keep WND alive by offloading its reporters from the core for-profit operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2021 2:29 PM EST
CNS -- Which Calls Alveda King 'Dr.' -- Is Mad That Jill Biden Uses 'Dr.'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com columnist Hans Bader did a lot of whining over Jill Biden using the "Dr." honorific despite having a PH.D. and not a medical degree. First came his Dec. 14 column:

I am a lawyer with a "Juris Doctor" degree from Harvard Law School. But calling myself "Doctor" would be misleading, because I don't practice medicine. Indeed, it would be insufferably pompous. As law professor Eugene Volokh notes, lawyers don't call themselves "doctor," even though the word "doctor" is in their degree.

Jill Biden has an Ed.D degree that required even less study than becoming a lawyer, and no original research -- indeed, it required less research than I conducted while at Harvard Law School.

Yet, Biden calls herself "Dr." And liberal media -- the same liberal media that ridiculed conservatives with doctorates for calling themselves "Dr." The conservative White House official Sebastian Gorka was  mocked for calling himself "Dr." by TV host Samantha Bee, and the Washington Post questioned Gorka's doing so, because, it said, "mainstream news outlets generally refuse to attribute the 'Dr.' prefix to anyone who is not a medical doctor."

[...]

Calling Biden "Dr." makes even less sense than calling a lawyer like me "Dr." That's because Biden's "Ed.D" degree required less study (3-4 years part-time study) than a law degree (which requires three full years of study), according to one of the nation's leading law professors, Eugene Volokh. Biden's studies also did not require the equivalent of a dissertation, which is typically required for a doctorate.

So Biden's claim to be called "Dr." is far weaker than that of people like Sebastian Gorka, who completed a dissertation to get their PhD. (Remember, the media mocked the conservative Gorka for calling himself "Doctor Gorka").

You know who else had no problem calling Gorka "Dr."? CNS. A July 2017 article graced him with the honorific. An October 2017 CNS article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, meanwhile, referenced not only "Dr. Sebastian Gorka" but also "Dr. Alveda King."

You remember her, right? CNS has literally spent years gracing King with "Dr." even though her doctorate is honorary.

Meanwhile, Bader wasn't don't making personal attacks on Biden. His Dec. 17 column attacked her doctoral dissertation, insisting without evidence that "its quality was so poor that people would likely have raised questions about its adequacy, if her husband hadn't been a powerful politician in Delaware, whose state university gave her the degree." He rehashed his earlier whining about Biden's purported lack of rigor:

People assume that because Mrs. Biden received a doctorate, her paper must have been a "dissertation." But it wasn't; in reality, it was a mere "executive position paper." As law professor Eugene Volokh notes, the University of Delaware did not require Mrs. Biden's paper to conduct any original research, as is required for a dissertation. Her degree was also not like a Ph.D, because it required less coursework than is needed to get even a lesser professional degree like a J.D.

Lawyers like me need three years of full-time study to get a J.D; Mrs. Biden's degree only required part-time study for 3-4 years.

So her degree wasn't the equivalent of a Ph.D, a medical degree, or even a professional degree, in terms of its rigor.

Bader made sure not to mention that, unlike with Biden, there are questions about the legitimacy of Gorka's doctorate, earned from an obscure Hungarian university, which is much more of a polemic than actual researcch and which the doctoral referees team (one of whom co-wrote a book with Gorka, so he may have been a bit bias) to have merely rubber-stamped instead of offering any sort of detailed evaluation.

That's the sort of thing CNS is doing these days -- bashing anything Biden because it can.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC Division Of The Trump Campaign, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center
As the presidential election neared, the Media Research Center became even more of a loyal Trump defender and Biden attacker. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EST
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
MRC Throws A Huge Tantrum Over An Editorial Cartoon It Didn't Like
Topic: Media Research Center

The left is so unhinged in their hatred and fear of President Donald Trump that they’re flat out publicly dehumanizing anyone who would dare try to get him back in office for another four years. 

According to Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes and her latest hate-filled artwork for the D.C.-based rag, Republicans who have publicly supported Trump’s legal fight to challenge Joe Biden’s presidential victory, despite how fishy that victory may be, are sneaky, evil rats.

Oh yeah, these republicans are sneaking and scurrying around, trying to overturn what powerful establishment dems have ordained. And if we’re to take the allegory to its final conclusion, what does one do about a rat problem? Well, you know. 

With her latest artistic creation, Telnaes portrayed each of the Republican lawmakers that endorsed Texas’ lawsuit against voting irregularities in the 2020 election as hideous, scheming rats. It’s quite a shocking image. A whole page of the Washington Post was dedicated to this shocking insult, called “All the Republican Rats.” Though insult is too light a term for the work, as it’s a dehumanizing piece of illustrated libel that should get Telnaes tossed from any polite establishment.

But again, this is The Washington Post we are talking about …  

In the abhorrent cartoon, the name of each and every Republican Attorney General and U.S. congressman who signed on to the Texas lawsuit to defend Trump’s claims of a fraudulent election was scribbled next to a drawing of a nefarious-looking rodent.

[...]

Sadly none of this is surprising from this cartoon-scribbling fascist hack. Telnaes resorted to this same partisan wickedness before by depicting Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) children as monkeys in 2015. Though “All the Republicans rats” is truly her seminal moment of artistic hatred.

And, as some have pointed out, the cartoon can be seen as blatantly anti-Semitic, so there's that too. Of course, that's anything but surprising for someone as openly partisan and hateful as Telnaes.

-- Gabriel Hays, Dec. 21 MRC NewsBusters post


Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 6:26 PM EST
Newsmax's Hirsen Still Spinning Election-Fraud Conspiracy Theories
Topic: Newsmax

Smirky Newsmax columnist James Hirsen has become quite enamored of bogus right-wing election-fraud conspiracies, and that hasn't really stopped. We've noted his Dec. 7 column likening the election to a bank heist, but he's done more of that.

In his Dec. 14 column, Hirsen lashed out at the Supreme Court justices who refuse to take up the highly dubious Texas lawsuit trying to intervene in the elections of other states:

To the heartbreak of millions of Americans who were hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court would give justice a fighting chance in the current fog of electoral war, seven of the nine members of the High Court simply slunk away last Friday without even lending an ear.

Approximately one week ago, shortly before midnight, the state of Texas filed a lawsuit directly with the high court.

In that suit, Texas challenged the election procedures that had taken place in the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The seven members of the high court, who took the position that Texas and the other co-plaintiff states would not be allowed to have their case heard, committed a fundamental error.

The justices may have been influenced by a slew of legal prognosticators, some of whom had taken to the Democratic-dominated media to ridicule the Texas attorney general for having initiated the action in the first place.

[...]

The threshold issue that was before the Supreme Court was whether the constitutional prescription for the selection of electors had been violated by non-legislative actors.

This was, and will always remain, central to the functioning of our republic, and it is a premise that is vitally important for all of the justices to recognize.

Seven simply did not.

These wayward seven failed to allow the case to move forward.

In his Dec. 28 column, Hirsen ranted about Americans allegedly being victims of intelligence-style PSYOP tactics over the election:

There has been a concerted effort to perpetuate two falsehoods: first, the claim that no such evidence of election fraud exists; the second, the repeated mantra that the election is "over" and everyone needs to "move on."

The first falsehood supports the fallacious premise that the 2020 presidential election was conducted in a legitimate manner. It was not.

Even former Attorney General William Barr, among others, admitted that there was fraud.

The second falsehood seeks to sweep the rigged election under the rug.

The nation cannot.

The Republic ceases to exist without free and fair elections.

At present, approximately half of the country believes that the election was conducted in an illegitimate manner.

These are the folks who are not just distrustful of the way the election was conducted.

They are the folks who have lost trust in their government; lost trust in their elected officials; lost trust in the complicit news media; lost trust in the social media; lost trust in the tech companies; and on and on.

No doubt, the use of PSYOP on an unsuspecting public played a major role in the vanquishing of their trust.

However, this type of undermining typically leads to cynicism, which can be unhealthy for an individual and fatal to a society.

But Hirsen is engaged in his own PSYOP here. His goal as a right-wing activist is to instill that distrust in people for the benefit of Trump -- otherwise, why would he spend the past two months ranting about how the election was stolen from Trump, something he would know is not true if he had ever bothered to closely examine the evidence?

Hirsen wants people to be distrustful of government and the media and to be cynical about the state of things. That's his job. That's what Newsmax pays him to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 PM EST

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