NEW ARTICLE -- Exhibit 76: Heathering for Trump Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center spent part of the 2020 election lashing out at its conservative allies who failed to be as reflexively and uncritically pro-Trump as it has been. Read more >>
After President Trump's phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger leaning on him to overturn election results in that state became public, Newsmax rushed to defend him. In a Jan. 3 article credited only to "Newsmax Wires," the anonymous writer stated:
The Washington Post on Sunday released audio of a Saturday phone call between President Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the two can be heard discussing election results.
The Post initially released snippets of the hour-long call in which Trump can be heard discussing election results with Raffensperger and his lawyer Ryan Germany.
Also joining the call was White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump campaign lawyer Cleta Mitchell.
Trump lays out numerous examples of double voting, dead people voting, and other ballot irregularities and anomalies.
Raffensperger and Germany counter Trump's assertions largely with simple claims that the matters Trump raised have been investigated.
Trump insists he won Georgia's presidential election on Nov. 3 and claims widespread fraud deprived him of that victory.
The Washington Post claimed that in his talk with Raffensperger, Trump "repeatedly urged him to alter the outcome of the presidential vote in the state."
This claim is false.
The transcript of the call shows Trump demanding an honest accounting of the ballots, which he says would give him more than 11,000 votes.
This is followed by excerpts of the call under headings like "Trump Lays Out Ballot Fraud, Irregularities," "Trump Says Fulton County Videotape Shows Massive Fraud," "Trump: Says Many Dead People Voted," "Trump Sees Fraud Also in Michigan, Pennsylvania," and "Trump Disputes Raffensperger." The article noted Raffensperger's response only that he "dismisses" or "disputes" or "responds" to Trump's claims.
What Newsmax never says, however, is that most of what Trump alleged has been discredited, as numerousfact-checkershavefound. And contrary to Newsmax' claim, it's not "false" to claim that Trump pressured Raffensperger to change vote totals; intimidation was clearly the purpose of the call.
Such blatant Trump toadying is keeping Newsmax from being taken seriously as a news outlet.
UPDATE: To cite another example of Newsmax's Trump toadying: A Dec. 17 article by Eric Mack uncritically promoted the "blistering 36-page report" by White House aide Peter Navarro "in which he asserted that voter irregularities and election fraud have been found in 'more than sufficient' quantities to swing the election to President Donald Trump." Even though the report has been utterly discredited, Mack would admit only that none of the legal cases the Trump campaign filed in an attempt to overturn the election "have gained significant traction" and that "Critics have rebuked Trump for advancing claims of fraud with insufficient proof and weakening the electoral process." Mack made no effort to fact-check any of Navarro's claims; he presented them as effectively factually accurate.
MRC Sells Bumper Stickers Pushing Election Fraud Conspiracy Theory Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell has made it clear that he and his Media Research Center will not admit that Joe Biden won the election fair and square and that there is no evidence of massive election fraud -- even after ther Capitol riot that was spurred by promotion of those election fraud conspiracy theories.
We see this even at the MRC's online store, which is continues to sell bumper stickers saying things like "Biden Won ... And Pigs Fly" and "Roses Are Blue. Pigs Fly. And Biden Won." There's also a bumper sticker that states "Biden 'Won' Because The Media Lied" -- which references the MRC's take on the conspiracy theory, that Trump lost because the media didn't advance right-wing, pro-Trump spin to the MRC's satisfaction ... as determined by the Trump campaign's pollster and the pollster founded by longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Meanwhile, of course, the MRC continues to express its disdain for journalism -- and, it seems, the very "news" division it operates, CNSNews.com -- to sell clothing emblazoned with the phrase, "Believe In America, Not The Media."
Such extremism and denial of reality is not a good look for an organization that presumably would like to be thought of as something other than a Trump toady.
WND's Brown Distances Himself From Right-Wing Evangelicals' Trump Obsession Topic: WorldNetDaily
When last we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown, he was starting to waver a little bit on his steadfast support for President Trump based on his right-wing, evangelical-friendly agenda, as the fact that Trump is amoral liar started to weigh on him, as well as his fellow evangelicals' obsession with Trump (which he helped create by serving as an apologist for the president).
Brown was still in defense mode in his Dec. 9 column, Denying that Trump'sappeal to white evangelicals was racial, though he conceded that "evangelicals have looked to Trump as a savior figure of sorts, a strong man who, at last, will push back against the left" and that "Trump's America-first nationalism appealed to many a white supremacist, including those on the alt-right." He then vouched for Trump's non-racism:
If he were truly a racist (or, at the least, someone who catered to white supremacy), why did he work so hard (and succeed) in expanding his minority base? Why did he reach out to black and Hispanic pastors and activists, bringing them into his inner circle? Why did he take pride in having a growing multi-racial base? Why did he respond to racial unrest in 2020 by gathering key black leaders for input and counsel?
And as much as I have been an open critic of Trump when I have differed with his words and conduct (as a Trump supporter and voter), I have never believed he was a racist. Some of my anti-Trump, evangelical friends agree with me here as well.
The issue of protecting our borders is about law and order and safety. It is not about keeping out needy refugees who want to become part of our country.
But on Dec. 14, he sided with religious scholar Beth Moore in warning against Christian nationalism: "Many Christian conservatives today are equating the fate of America with the fate of God's kingdom, making one party (obviously, the Republican Party) into God's party and the other party (obviously, the Democratic Party) into Satan's party." He added:"We should fight for what is right and against what is wrong. But the cause of Trump is not the cause of Christ, nor is the battle for the Senate a battle for the kingdom of God." On Dec. 16, Brown warned against inappropriate merging of religion and politics, "taking over our neighborhoods through intimidation and fear, forcing non-believers to live by our moral codes."
In his Dec. 25 column, Brown shot down pardoned criminal Michael Flynn's attempt to boost Christian nationalism:
We can also recognize the important role that the Bible played in the founding of our country.
But all that is a far cry from viewing America as a truly Christian nation or conflating the cross with the flag.
Rather, that is the type of Christian nationalism that can be so dangerous, the kind that non-Christians (or, even simply non-fundamentalist Christians) find so concerning.
That is the type of rhetoric that can lead to calls for a theocracy, something I want no part of until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom.
That is the type of mindset that sees the battle for the 2020 elections as a battle for the Gospel, as if the anti-Trump forces are all anti-Jesus and the pro-Trump forces all pro-Jesus.
Again, Trump is not Hitler, and we who voted for him are neither Nazis nor supporters of Nazism. But to the extent that we think that true American-ness equals true Christianity, we make a serious mistake. And to the extent we wrap the cross in the American flag, we degrade the Gospel.
On Dec. 28, Brown more explictly rejected Christian nationalism expressed as unwavering support for Trump, pointing out that America "was not established as any kind of theocracy, although we had strong biblical roots":
It is that same zeal for God and love of country that moved some of us to speak up in the aftermath of the elections, as we saw a dangerous spike in Trumpism (meaning, an unhealthy looking to Trump as some kind of political messiah).
Did we do this to gain the approval of Never Trumpers or to appease a potential Biden administration? The suggestion is as laughable as it is ludicrous.
And in his Dec. 30 column, after flirting with both-sides-ism on partisan media sources -- "not everything the left-leaning media say is false, and not everything the right-leaning media say is true" -- Brown eventually comes down hard on his fellow right-wingers who reflexively reject anything not reported by right-wing media ... and more specifically himself, citing the hostile reaction he got from far-right activists after writing a column denouncing the QAnon conspiracy. (Interestingly, not only did WND not publish the column, it was reportedly deleted from the right-wing evangelical website Charisma after publication.) Brown then took apart the evangelical obsession with Trump -- one, by the way, he helped create:
As for the president, I have heard Christian leaders say that he is the only one they trust right now. I have seen posts saying that "all pastors" have been bought out by "the elites." And on and it goes.
Trump, for his part, has made clear that we cannot trust the Supreme Court. Or the DOJ. Or the FBI. Or Congress. Or the media. Or the voting system (he's been saying that for years, for the record). Or those who used to work in his administration. "Believe me," he says repeatedly, and many of us do, hook, line and sinker. He alone can be trusted. This too is very dangerous.
Added to all this is the crisis taking place right now in the charismatic church, where a substantial chorus of prophetic voices, in absolute one accord, has proclaimed that Trump will serve a second consecutive term. They prophesied this for many months before the election, and now, most of them have reaffirmed their prophecies, "Joe Biden will not serve in the White House. President Trump will be inaugurated. The tables will turn."
Can you imagine the fallout if this does not happen?
Does it simply mean these individuals cannot be trusted? Or is this an indictment on the entire charismatic movement (of which I am a part)? Or is this an indictment on the very idea of God and the Bible?
Brown concluded by delcaring, "May 2021 be the year when the sword of truth emerges to cut through the lies. And may we have the courage to follow the truth, come what may. It will deliver us from a pandemic even more deadly than COVID – the pandemic of deception." Given what happened in the days that followed, it might take more than that to get his fellow right-wing evangelicals to reject deception.
How Is The MRC Freaking Out About LGBT Folks In Entertainment Now? Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center regularlycomplains that there are too many gay people on TV, and it's quite unhappy that the Hallmark Channel decided to make one of its trademark Christmas romance movies featuring a same-sex couple. So when not only the Hallmark Channel but also the Paramount Network debuted Christmas movies featuring same-sex couples, Sergie Daez was on hand to sneer at them:
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me . . . an LGBTQ movie.
That could seriously be a legitimate advertising line for Paramount Network, which is releasing an LGBTQ+ Christmas themed film called Dashing in December, according to popculture.com. Written as a romantic comedy and directed by Jake Helgren, the film will be released in its titular month on Sunday the 13th this year. Meghan Hooper, EVP and Paramount’s Head of Original Movies and Limited Series, stated that “This feel-good project captures the importance of inclusive storytelling, the power of love and the spirit of the holidays all rolled into one.”
Ah, yes, inclusive storytelling. The highest of all virtues that calls for everything to be sacrificed so that the anti-family beliefs of 4% of the country’s population can be imposed on everybody. Apparently Paramount Network believes that a lifestyle centered on pleasuring the self captures “the power of love” and “the spirit of the holidays.” Leftists will probably laud the film as the next Christmas classic along with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.
This is just another attempt by the movie industry to brainwash the masses so that they can believe that a turbulent lifestyle is idyllic.
And Paramount Network isn’t the only company kowtowing to gay agenda tyrants. According to popculture.com, Hallmark Channel has also started producing content centered on LGBTQ+ characters this year. Not only did they release a film that featured a same-sex wedding in August (called Wedding Every Weekend), they are also producing a film called The Christmas House, with a plot on child adoption by a gay couple.
Naturally, Hallmark didn’t describe this as leftist propaganda, but Michelle Vicary, who is an EVP programming for Hallmark, stated that "Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever." How inclusive and virtuous these people are.
What people need at the end of a tough year is for the leftist agenda to leave them alone and stop imposing the lifestyle of the few on the many.
If those who want to see same-sex Christmas movies are "gay agenda tyrants," does that make Daez and the MRC anti-gay tyrants?
Daez is emerging as the MRC's chief gay-hater. On Dec. 2, Daez had a meltdown over the film "The Prom":
The new film The Prom is, according to Indiewire.com, “every teenage girl’s dream: The high school PTA has just announced they’d rather cancel prom than let you bring your girlfriend, when a gaggle of garishly dressed Broadway stars you’ve never heard of storms in singing, ‘We are gonna help that little lesbian…’” This sounds like a woke fantasy more than anything else.
Indiewire.com claimed that the musical romantic comedy film “has all the makings of a classic Hollywood musical: Haughty urbanites descend reluctantly on a small provincial town seeking validation and instead find love, connection, and renewed life’s purpose.” But even they admit that the description is only accurate if one puts aside “its impassioned overtures for LGBTQ+ rights.”
“All the makings of a classic Hollywood musical.” Yeah, right.
The Prom doesn’t sound like a classic Hollywood musical at all. It seems to be more of a typical Hollywood lecture on how everybody should accept the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Those types of lectures are radical left propaganda. They are not “adorable,” not “feel-good,” not “entertainment,” and definitely not what “we needed this year.”
A week later, Daez had another anti-gay meltdown, this time over Charlize Theron's idea to remake "Die Hard" with a lesbian theme:
It didn’t seem possible to make 2020 crazier than it already was, but then somebody had the bright idea of producing LGBTQ Christmas movies for the holiday season. Hijacking the holidays for new LGBTQ propaganda was bad enough, but now actress Charlize Theron is planning on ruining an old holiday film with a new remake. Obviously, film companies do this all the time, but Theron is planning to ruin the film with LGBTQ propaganda.
What a great step forward for mankind. One can already hear the gushing of Twitter’s woke mob over the “inclusivity” and “representation of minorities” in the enterprise. Why not make “replace” culture a thing and do a lesbian remake of Braveheart with Wilhemina Wallace, or of Gladiatorwith Maxine Decimus Meridius. Who would not be entertained by that.
This is a worse idea than the LGBTQ Christmas movies.
You know you’re old when you can think back on a time when Cartoon Network proudly gendered their cartoon characters. Nowadays, “The Powerpuff Girls” wouldn’t be considered inclusive enough for the children’s entertainment network. Case in point: the animation channel’s latest social media post which tells kids that being a pansexual genderqueer androgynous whatever is just as normal as being a boy or a girl.
Cartoon Network, like almost everything else in this earthly realm, is seemingly suffering from a bout of leftwing crazy.
On December 14, the channel’s Twitter account posted a series ofeducationalcomic strips featuring trans propaganda for the edification of viewers, most of which are children obviously. In any normal circles, this would be viewed as the opposite of kid friendly or educational.
Still, the channel captioned its post, saying, “Here's to not only normalizing gender pronouns, but respecting them, too. Whether you use he/she/them or something else, we acknowledge and LOVE you!” What they meant to say is, here’s to normalizing mental illness in innocent schoolchildren.
Matt Philbin had to weigh in too, which he did in a Dec. 30 post in which he served up the familiar MRC lament of too many gay people on TV:
You thought journalism was hurting? Not at all. Consider: a pandemic is raging, businesses are being starved by lockdowns, and a whole lot of people don’t believe the results of the presidential election. But back on Nov. 24, USA Today had the resources to devote 2,300 words to gay actors complaining about straight actors getting too many queer roles.
Not that the problems of a self-obsessed subset of an insular and frivolous industry aren’t fascinating. Who among us can’t say exactly what we were doing when we heard the news that Selena Gomez was going to play a lesbian mountaineer?
And nobody really wants accuracy. Oliver cited numbers from GLAAD: in 2019, 18.2% of major studio releases included characters that were “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer.” And, “On television, LGBTQ characters are projected to represent a record high of 10.2% of series regulars on prime-time scripted broadcast series.”
LGBT people make up 4% of the population. What they’re shooting for is over-representation. Yet Oliver lamented “the scarcity of roles available for out LGBTQ actors to play LGBTQ characters.” He quoted a “gender and sexuality studies professor” who says, “It would be nice if there were enough LGBT roles that anyone could play them because there wasn't any scarcity of representation, However, that’s not the case.”
It’s a real dilemma. You have too many queer actors in an industry that’s already pushed queer content and characters well beyond any semblance of realism.
Clearly, the MRC is not hurting that it can affort to have Philbin spend nearly 450 words ranting about a newspaper article that failed to hate LGBT people the way he demands.
CNS Uncritically Promotes Hawley's Exaggerated Claim Of His Family Being 'Threatened' Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones sure tried to make it sound sinister in a Jan. 5 article:
In a tweet late Monday night, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said his family was threatened by "Antifa scumbags" while he was out of town:
Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel. They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence.
Hawley has made headlines in recent weeks after announcing he will object to the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6.
The threats aimed at him follow the graffiti vandalism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Louisville, Kentucky home and an apparently coordinated graffiti attack at the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this past weekend.
But if Jones had bothered to look further ihnto the story before writing about it, she would have learned that Hawley's claim of his family being "threatened" was exaggerated. As an actual media outlet reported:
Vienna police said they did not see anyone pounding on the Hawleys’ or their neighbors’ doors, did not hear any threats and did not see any vandalism other than chalk on the sidewalk. And as of Tuesday afternoon, they had not received a formal complaint from the Hawleys, Officer Juan Vazquez said. Vazquez told the Associated Press that when police arrived, they found that the “people were peaceful.”
Demonstrators with ShutDownDC, which organized the protest, also told The Washington Post that they did not engage in vandalism or even knock on Hawley’s door. shared by the group shows protesters writing in chalk on the sidewalk, chanting through a megaphone and at one point leaving a copy of the Constitution on Hawley’s doorstep.
“This was not threatening behavior,” said Patrick Young, a ShutDownDC organizer. “This is people engaging in democracy and engaging in civil discourse. … This was a pretty tame and peaceful visit to his house.”
The group’s video shows several officers asking protesters to quiet down, but then standing by as the crowd continued with its demonstration.
Hawley said protesters at his Virginia home "screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open (his) door."
This conflicts with police accounts of the event and a video showing the full demonstration. The demonstration was disruptive, but the full video shows it was not as violent as he made it sound.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
Jones has not seen fit to correct the record in this or any subsequent article, meaning that a highly misleading claim remains live on the CNS website. Is that the way a media outlet builds credibility?
Fake News: MRC Allows False Claim To Remain, But With An 'Editor's Note' Topic: Media Research Center
Joseph Vazquez -- whose main job these appears appears to go spelunking into election-donation databases in an attempt to shame the MRC's preferred targets for having donated money to Democrats -- thought he had a winner in a Dec. 22 item:
Here’s another reason CNN’s political coverage seemed slanted against President Donald Trump: Political Correspondent Sara Murray gave cash to one of the only two Democratic senate candidates to defeat a GOP incumbent so far.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) records revealed that Murray gave $1,000 to Democratic Senator Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) campaign Sept. 19, 2020. Her contribution creates a potential conflict of interest given Murray’s role as a news correspondent covering politics for CNN.
The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics clearly states that journalists should “[a]void conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.” It also states that journalists should refuse credibility-harming “special treatment” and should “[a]void political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.”
These general rules to protect journalist impartiality are clearly lost on CNN.
The MRC later appended an update to Vazquez's post: "CNN Head of Strategic Communications Matt Dornic responded to this story on Twitter, claiming, 'Wrong address. Wrong person. Wrong reporting,' despite the FEC record identifying 'Sara Murray' as a 'Correspondent'" employed by 'CNN.'"
It turns out that CNN was correct -- and Vazquez was wrong. His post now begins with this editor's note:
According to FEC records, there is another Sara Murray in Washington D.C. at the same zip code whose occupation is a nutritionist. Prior to this post's publication, MRC reached out to several CNN officials for comment. All of them went unreturned. Since publication, CNN has informed NewsBusters that both CNN and Murray unequivocally deny that she's made any political donations and are looking into the donation’s origins. The Mark Kelly campaign sent a note to the FEC stating:
"This filing is to notify that on the October 2020 Quarterly report we incorrectly reported Sara Murray's occupation as Correspondent and employer as CNN. The correct information, as given by the donor who made the contribution on September 19, 2020, is that their employer and occupation are both Not Employed."
Our report on the donation record was accurate, but the FEC record was not, so we're happy to correct it.
Wrong. Because the FEC record was not accurate, Vazquez's report wasn't acccurate. The donor was misidentified, and the MRC is trying to hide behind that to mask Vazquez's errort. Bizarrely, the MRC is leaving Vazquez's false post up even though it identifies the wrong person as the donor. The fact that there's an "editor's note" admitting the piece is false is no excuse for allowing the original false claim to stand.
And that tells you all you need to know about how selectively the MRC applies journalistic ethics.
Even After Creating Lawsuit Threat, WND Is Still Letting Zumwalt Spin Election Conspiracies Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist James Zumwalt is in trouble -- not only has he written a column featuring apparently false and defamatory claims about an employee of Dominion Voting Systems that over which employee has sued others, he's been pushingother bogus election fraud conspiracy theories. Not only have Zumwalt and WND been silent about the lawsuit threat they face, WND has continued to publish even more columns by Zumwalt pushing those same bogus conspiracy theories.
Something very strange following the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election has happened. Despite the occurrence on election night of numerous unprecedented acts such as the sudden vote-counting suspension in several key states where Donald Trump was leading at the time; how votes within some of these states, in mere minutes, gave rise to a mathematical impossibility of hundreds of thousands of Joe Biden votes "arriving" to offset Trump's lead as he received an insignificant number; how suitcases filled with Biden ballots were mysteriously pulled out from under tables in voting centers after observers left; the repeated feeding of the same Biden ballots into voting machines; issuance of a sworn affidavit from a truck driver who, in the dead of that night and the following morning, claimed he transported thousands of Biden ballots from New York to Pennsylvania, etc., what is most strange is the fraud indifference exhibited in the election's aftermath.
All the above, alone, were sufficient to raise the query whether fraud occurred, prompting an investigation. However, the media and government officials – mostly Democrats but also some Republicans – are rushing to inaugurate a president who may not have even been elected by the people in a fair contest. The possible consequences of this should, years later, evidence of fraud be proven would undermine every action Biden subsequently took as a fraudulently elected president, including international treaties, appointing judges, implementing immigration policies, etc. Biden himself should even embrace such an investigation to eradicate doubts of illegality that will haunt his presidency or has a chance at undermining it later.
But the media that sharpened their skills digging up the truth during times of crisis in our country's history have largely been silent.
On Jan. 6, Congress officially counts the electoral votes. Eleven Republican senators who, having now joined together, will request that day that Congress appoint an electoral commission to manage an emergency 10-day audit concerning the election results. Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the joint session of Congress Wednesday, has said he welcomes the election challenge. If any effort to restore integrity to our voting process is to be undertaken, this, at a minimum, must happen. Failing to do so plants a seed of presidential illegitimacy for Biden that will plague him for life.
Should an historical point in time of a democracy's existence occur where a line representing its strength intersects with a line representing voter indifference – the former falling beneath the latter – that democracy is on life support, its recovery unlikely. Before finding ourselves there, we need to see an investigation undertaken to ensure a meaningful 2020 vote really was held.
Now seeking to throw salt on an open wound, Democrats play their own "loyalty through fear" card. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., introduced a resolution to expel members of Congress who dared to question the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. Her argument is that, simply by contesting the issue, they too contributed to inciting the Capitol riot. She hypocritically argues "We can't have unity without accountability" while ignoring "we can't have unity without knowing we had a fair election." Rather than support an election investigation to discover the truth, Democrats prefer to eliminate Republicans from office for challenging the election's fairness. Saddam would be proud.
Democrats have taken a lesson out of the old communist handbook: Those successful in limiting the freedom of the people will soon control them. At a time we hear talk about creating a third political party, failing to challenge Pelosi and her ilk could very well leave us with having just one.
It's surprising that WND is still letting Zumwalt write columns, given how much legal jeopardy he has exposed it to. Then again, WND's ongoing precarious financial status shows it's not good at making business decisions.
MRC's Demand For Coverage That Trump Topped 'Most Admired' Poll Didn't Age Well Topic: Media Research Center
In light of the Capitol riot, the Media Research Center's pro-Trump sycophancy hasn't exactly aged well. Along the lines of the MRC's whining that the non-right-wing media didn't cover Trump's Nobel Peace Prize nominations -- a meaningless act for minor peace deals that it nevertheless deemed significant enough to have a pro-Trump ask voters about as part of its bogus campaign to claim the election was stolen from Trump -- is this Dec. 31 item by Brad Wilmouth:
On Tuesday morning, Fox News viewers got to see that, for the first time, President Donald Trump has come in first place in Gallup's annual poll of "most admired man" of the year.
But in contrast with how journalists swooned over former President Barack Obama the last time he came in first place, the other networks have so far ignored the finding.
On Tuesday's Fox & Friends, news reader Jillian Mele informed viewers that Trump had pulled ahead of Obama for the first time, and that, in spite of winning the presidential election, President-elect Joe Biden still comes in behind Obama.
Last year, Obama and Trump were tied for first place, and 2018 was the last year Obama was unequivocally in first place. In each case, you don't have to get to 20 percent to win, because they don't offer a list. You have to volunteer your answer.
Two years ago, on December 27th, the CBS Evening News hyped the finding in its tease: "In a Gallup poll released today, First Lady Michelle Obama was voted the woman most admired by Americans this year. And, apparently, it's a family thing because Barack Obama is the most admired man in America for the 11th consecutive year."
CBS This Morning, ABC's Good Morning America, MSNBC's Morning Joe, and CNN Tonight also covered the story in 2018.
Of course, after last week's events, nobody outside of pro-Trump dead-enders -- and MRC employees, but we repeat ourselves -- are going to put Trump on a most-admired list.
Instead of the usual call to action to attack advertisers of "liberal media" shows, Wilmouth concluded his item by asking his readers to throw Fox News some sugar: "Tuesday's Fox & Friends was sponsored in part by Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked. Let then know you appreciate the show keeping their viewers informed of matters censored by the more liberal networks."
But just when people are beginning to breathe a sigh of relief, there are reports of a new, even worse, strain of the coronavirus.
In years gone by I doubt I would have questioned the validity of such a claim made by the "experts."
But, after all the misstatements, half-truths and outright lies we've been fed, not only scientifically and medically, but politically, in regards to the election, I'm finding it increasing difficult to believe that a new, mutated strain of the virus has been discovered, just as the vaccine is being widely distributed.
This "new strain" may be entirely legitimate, but after all we've been fed this year, I'm sorry, but I just don't believe it. I can't – at least not at first blush. Give me a better reason than it's what some expert says, and maybe I'll believe.
Why should I? This is a classic, virtually textbook demonstration of the Boy who cried Wolf.
How many times do they think we will just sit here and believe one tall tale after another before it just becomes too much.
I know I sound like some unhinged, conspiracy moron, but again, why should I believe the same "experts" who have been consistently feeding us wrong information about every measure regarding this pandemic?
And believe me; I don't want to be that guy, that outlier. But I have to – hell, we all must. Look at what they've put us through, made us do, not do and forced us to endure. And look at what it has done to improve our lives. Absolutely nothing!
Juxtapose that with all they've done to erode away any confidence we had in these "experts" to practically nothing.
After all this, at best we must conclude the experts to be incompetent, or at worst, just plain bad people, manipulating the ignorant for their own gains.
And now we are expected to believe them once again – that by sheer happenstance, and just as we can begin to see a possible end in sight, they've discovered a new strain!
And let me guess. The vaccines just developed at lightning speed are completely ineffective, and any happy thoughts we had of opening up America again? Just put those thoughts back in the lock box.
This new strain may be totally legit, but you'll have to pardon me if I'm just a bit skeptical.
Meanwhile, in the real world, facts don't care about Smith's feelings -- the coronavirus variant exists and is more transmissible than the original strain.
CNS' Capitol Riot Coverage: Briefly Shocked Into Balance Topic: CNSNews.com
Yesterday, we looked at how CNSNews.com fed into President Trump's bogus narrative that the election was stolen in the days before the Jan. 6 armed riot at the Capitol. Now, let's examine CNS' coverage of the riot and its aftermath.
Like its colleagues at the Media Research Center, CNS was briefly shocked into balance by the right-wing-driven riot. An early, anonymously written article on the riot was mostly straight, and an article by Melanie Arter quoted a Republican congressman denouncing it.Another Arter article noted that "Hours before protesters marched to the U.S. Capitol and stormed the U.S. Capitol building, President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., mocked Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters who looted and rioted in nationwide protests last year, comparing Trump supporters to them at the Save America Rally in Washington, D.C. This was followed by an article highlighting that "a pipe bomb was found outside the headquarters of the Republican National Committee," burying that "A suspicious package was also discovered at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee."
After that, Susan Jones penned articles on both Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell denouncing the riot, followed by an article on Fox News' Tucker Carlson denouncing the riot while also seeming to justify it: "As long as people sincerely believe they can change things by voting, they stay calm." There was no mention of Trump's false claims of election fraud that instigated it.
Arter served up more stenography, uncritically repeating White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's denouncing of the riot and Trump's later denouncing of the riot and empty pledge of "a smooth, orderly and seamless transition" without comment or any mention of Trump's key role in instigating the insurrection.
But CNS also delivered some of the nitpicky things they're known for (while not explicitly defending Trump or the riots). Rob Shimshock complained that some random former "Jeopardy!" champion refused to mourn the death of Ashli Babbitt, a protester who was killed in the riot. Shimshock sympathetically described her as a "14-year veteran of the Air Force" but failed to note that she was also a QAnon conspiracy theorist.
An article by Jones on former Republican Colin Powell denouncing the riots and the police response to it framed it as "a 'bash Trump' interview with CNN," further complaining that Powell was "invited by CNN's Wolf Blitzer to view the Capitol police response through a racial lens" and parenthetically adding, "Notably, President-elect Joe Biden is among the Democrats -- many in the media -- insisting that the Capitol police response would have been more violent if the mob storming the Capitol had been mostly black." Jones repetitively hammered home that point again later in the article: "Host Wolf Blitzer brought up the race card, as Biden and many liberals have done as well."
Managing editor Michael W. Chapman grumbled that comedian Kathy Griffin issued "a tweet re-posting her infamous 2017 photo in which she posed while holding up an image of the president’s 'severed head.'" And Bannister returned to tout how "A video montage posted Thursday shows MSNBC and CNN hosts and guests excusing, denying and defending leftwing violence in 2020."
MRC Hurls Bogus Narratives At Twitter For Banning Trump Topic: Media Research Center
After the Capitol riot, the Media Research Center was quick to play victim, ridiculously portraying President Trump's initial suspension from Twitter as coming as he called for "peace," even though he clearly used the plaform to help incite the riot. Alexander Hall kept up that dishonest framing as Facebook suspended Trump:
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.
Rioters stormed the capital on Jan. 6 and Trump responded with a short videoposted 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 he 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.
As we've noted, Hall is again censoring that Trump also told the rioters in thart video, "We love you. You're very special." And as became clear in subsequent reporter, Trump did nothing while the riot was actually going on, preferring to watch it unfold on TV, and the riot was nearly over by the time Trump released that video.
As other social media outlets shut Trump down, Hall persisted in lying about Trump and "peace":
The internet’s most powerful platforms appear to have blamed President Donald Trump for riots that occurred at the U.S. Capitol building, even as he called for an end to civil unrest.
Many of the internet’s biggest tech platforms launched varied but simultaneous attacks on the sitting president. Twitter locked Trump’s account for 12 hours and “included the removal of three tweets and a warning that Trump could be subject to a permanent suspension” if he continues to contest the election's legitimacy, The Washington Post reported. 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. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” he said. 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.” Other tech platforms including Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify have followed suit in blaming the sitting president for the actions of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, even as he made a call for “peace.”
This multi-pronged deplatforming of Trump occurred as high ranking Democrats and former First Lady Michelle Obama called for a crackdown on the president and his supporters. “They bear major responsibility for ignoring repeated red flags and demands for fixes,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) according to the Washington Post, Blumenthal condemned Big Tech companies for refusing to crack down “until well after there was blood and glass in the halls of the Capitol.”
It speaks volumes that Michelle Obama, like many others, has specifically singled out Big Tech as the institution of choice to crush conservative dissent.
Hall apparently believes inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol is acceptable "conservative dissent."
At this point, it became time for the MRC to add the whataboutism card to the "peace" mix. A Jan. 8 post by Kayla Sargent declared:
Twitter doesn’t hold foreign government accounts to the same standard as President Donald Trump, but the platform has reached a new low.
Twitter patted itself on the back after suspending Trump for 12 hours for posting a video in which he called for “peace” amid the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. But it has ignored blatant pro-genocide propaganda from the communist Chinese government.
This came despite her boss, MRC executive Tim Graham, denouncing the playing of whataboutism regarding the riots. Needless to say, the MRC will never give Twitter credit for all the leftist and communist regime-related accounts it does suspend.
Twitter has finally lost it. The social media site purged President Donald Trump, going against its own rules. This from a site that has allowed foreign dictators and even pro-genocide propaganda. But it won’t allow a sitting U.S. president to post.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter announced on Jan. 8. Twitter Safety explained that “we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action,” but did not elaborate on the offending tweet(s).
“The suspension amounts to a ban: Trump can no longer access his account and his tweets and profile picture have been deleted. Trump had 88.7 million followers prior to his suspension,” CNBC reported.
Many of the internet’s biggest tech platforms launched simultaneous attacks on the president. Twitter had initially locked Trump’s account for 12 hours and “included the removal of three tweets and a warning that Trump could be subject to a permanent suspension” if he continues to contest the election's legitimacy, The Washington Post reported.
Other tech platforms including Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify followed suit in blaming the sitting president for the actions of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, even as he made a call for “peace.”
It's so cute how Hall is playing dumb here, pretending he doesn't know that Trump consistentely violates Twitter's terms of service as he complains that Twitter "did not elaborate on the offending tweet(s)" that led to his ban.
As expected, neither Hall nor Sargent explain why Twitter must publish whetever Trump says even though, as a private business, it has rights to free association and terms of service that it enforces on other people.
Even though Trump and other right-wingers promoting false narratives that the election was stolen was the driving force behind the Capitol riot, Hall got mad that Twitter would clamp down on distribution of such claims:
Twitter unveiled an updated Civic Integrity Policy in January, clarifying the platform’s ironfisted policy against questioning elections.
Twitter has been one of Big Tech’s most infamous innovators when it comes to censoring genuine concerns about elections. “The public conversation occurring on Twitter is never more important than during elections and other civic events,” Twitter declared in a January policy update. Twitter claimed: “Any attempts to undermine the integrity of our service is antithetical to our fundamental rights and undermines the core tenets of freedom of expression,” suggesting absurdly that freedom of expression is “the value upon which our company is based.”
That's right -- Hall claimed that spreading lies about the eleciton was just an expression of "genuine concerns."
Joseph Vazquez, meanwile, gloated over Twitter losing $5 billion in market value since the riots and bizarrely framed trying to shut down incitements to riot as being "woke":
Go woke, or go broke? Orwellian platform Twitter has now experienced the effects of that principle for the draconian anti-free speech measures it has wielded lately.
Yahoo! News reported that Twitter shares dive-bombed more “than 10% on Monday” following its decision to ban President Donald Trump from its site after the Capitol Hill riot Jan. 6. Specifically, the liberal outlet noted that “Shortly after market open Monday, the stock dropped as much as 12.3% to reach as low as $45.17 per share.”
Business Insider reported the real kicker: Twitter’s stock price loss erased a jaw-dropping “$5 billion from its market capitalization.” Ouch. [Emphasis added.]
Sargent returned to lash out at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's defense of banning Trump from his website, complaining that he was taking "his self-assumed position as the arbiter of truth on the platform" -- as if a company's CEO has no voice in the company he runs -- and lamented: Trump is still able to circumvent the Twitter ban to some extent, at least for now, by using the @whitehouse and @POTUS accounts. As long as he doesn’t write anything Twitter doesn’t like."
Like, you know, fomenting insurrection against the government because he falsely claims to have really won the election. But Sargent and Hall probably believe him.
UPDATE: Curtis Houck reinforced the victim narrative -- and his raging case of CNN Derangement Syndrome -- by whining on Jan. 8 "Mark it down, NewsBusters readers: January 8, 2021 will go down as one of the greatest days in the lives of more than a few CNN charlatans due to the massive, unprecedented crackdown on American free speech, including Twitter’s permanent banning of President Trump."
Let's go back to WND editor Joseph Farah's Jan. 8 column in which he dissed his daughter, former Trump White House communications director Alyssa Farah, for regaining a sense of reality of President Trump's real legacy and declining to attend the pre-riot pro-Trump rally with her father and his wife.
Yes, he and wife Elizabeth Farah -- who made her own strangevideos portraying Trump as ordained by God -- were there. As he gushed: "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!" They apparently didn't participate in the riot and insurrection -- or the "side trip," as Farah described it:
Though we did not include the side trip [to] the Capitol building, we watched the sad proceedings on television at the nearby haven of the Willard Hotel. We saw many people returning from the Capitol – women with children, elderly men and women so frail, but determined to make their voices heard.
After rehashing numerous bogus claims about election fraud that he insisted "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," Farah decided to minimize and play whataboutism, expressing sadness about the deaths but cheering the idea that politicians are "fearful" or far-right activists like himself:
It's very sad that a woman was killed by police fire in the Capitol Wednesday, that a policeman died of his injuries and that three others died during the event. It's a tragedy. But it lasted one day. It was not the kind of tragedy we witnessed as a country when our urban streets were set ablaze, $2 billion in damage done and 30 people killed over months of riots while Biden remained silent, Harris and other Democrats egged the rioters on and even went to the outrageous length of bailing out the violent perpetrators. The hypocrisy is almost too much to bear.
While the Washington establishment may be very eager to be rid of Donald J. Trump, tens of millions of Americans are not eager at all for his departure. They are fearful about the change that has taken place inside America. They see right being called wrong, winners being declared losers and tyranny being called freedom.
Where do we go from here? We continue the fight for truth, liberty and the restoration of our republic. What else can we do? We're Americans, after all.
As we all know, Farah cares nothing about the truth; otherwise, he would -- just to cite one example -- let WND report on Fox News' seven-figure settlement with Seth Rich's family, or mention that a key WND source on Rich, Matt Couch, retracted and deleted all his Seth Rich-related conspiracy claims, or have an honest conversation about the Seth Rich conspiracy theories WND haspublished.
Craig Bannister even trotted out right-wing actor Jon Voight to rant, "We all know how this election was false. We all know. But, is anyone standing up for the truths? Is anyone?"
As expected from such a pro-Trump outlet, none of the articles admitted the fact that no solid, credible evidence exists of massive fraud on the level that might overturn election results. But, surprisingly, CNS did a couple articles to offer a modicum of perceived balance:
And on the morning of Jan. 6, Melanie Arter served as stenographer for Trump's speech of incitement at the rally outside the Capitol:
President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed that the 2020 presidential election was “pure theft,” alleging that voter fraud changed the election results to favor Joe Biden.
Speaking at the Save America rally in Washington, D.C. ,Trump called on supporters to get their elected Republican officials to fight, “and if they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight.”
“You primary them. We are going to let you know who they are. I can already tell you frankly, but this year, using the pretext of the China virus and the scam of mail-in ballots, Democrats attempted the most brazen and outrageous election theft, and there has never been anything like this. It’s a pure theft in American history. Everybody knows it,” he said.
“That election, our election was over at 10:00 in the evening. We are leading Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia by hundreds of thousands of votes, and then late in the evening or early in the morning, boom. These explosions of bullshit, and all of a sudden it started to happen,” the president said.
The president called out the mainstream media, saying they have become “the enemy of the people.”
“We don't have a free and fair press. Our media is not free. It’s not fair. It suppresses thought. It suppresses speech, and it’s become the enemy of the people. It’s become the enemy of the people. It's the biggest problem we have in this country. No third world countries would even attempt to do what we caught them doing, and you’ll hear about that in just a few minutes,” he said.
“Now, it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy, and after this, we are going to walk down, and I will be there with you. We are going to walk down. We’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, walk down to the capital, and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness,” the president added.
“You have to show strength, and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been unlawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country. Our country has been under siege for a long time,” he said.
No mention, of course, of the fact that none of Trump's election fraud claims have been proven.
And then the riots began.
How did CNS cover them? We'll examine that in an upcoming post.
The Media Research Center's Lindsey Kornick wrote in a Jan. 10 post:
Republicans and Democrats can both agree that the events on the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday were disgraceful at best. Unfortunately, leftists have the terrible habit of dividing people even in the worst circumstances. Case in point, former GOP governator turned leftist celebrity Arnold Schwarzenegger compares the events to Kristallnacht, calling Trump the “worst president ever.”
On January 10, Schwarzenegger took to Twitter to post a seven-minute video commenting on the storming of the U.S. Capitol. While he of course condemned the actions on January 6, he went even further to the point of comparing the event to Germany and Austria’s Kristallnacht or The Night of Broken Glass.
While the actions on Wednesday were horrible, they do not represent a rising Nazi force. Unlike both Kristallnacht or even the BLM riots for that matter, these actions were widely condemned without any racial or Semitic targets. Considering Schwarzenegger references his father being present during Kristallnacht, one should think he would be more tactful in comparing them.
Kornick will not take this same indignant tone with her boss, even though he not only did the same exact thing but tripled down on it, as described in a Jan. 11 article at his own media outlet, CNSNews.com:
“Stalin censored speech. So did Mao. So did Hitler. It’s what tyrants do,” Media Research Pres. Center Brent Bozell says, reacting to recent censorship tactics employed by social media giants like Amazon and Twitter.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and his “power-mad Marxist employees have lost their minds,” Bozell tweeted Friday after the social media platform permanently banned the president of the United States:
“.@Jack and the rest of his power-mad Marxist employees have lost their minds. They insanely think they are more important than the President. Instead of hurting Trump, they are reminding everyone that Big Tech needs to be crushed.”
“Big tech is doing what we were all told was a crazy conspiracy [theory], canceling conservatives. Now they’re after @parler_app. Don’t let them win! Join me there @brentbozell,” Bozell tweeted, adding that Big Tech is using the same tactics employed by infamous dictators:
“Stalin censored speech. So did Mao. So did Hitler. It’s what tyrants do.”
Actually, Bozell's demand that all media outlets must publish anything Trump or any conservative says no matter how offensive -- and those outlets are then forbidden to hold them responsible for their words -- is much closer to what Mao, Hitler and tyrants do.
So Bozell gets to go Godwin without consequences, while those Bozell and the MRC consider their enemies are attacked for doing the same exact thing. Indeed, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro ridiculously huffed that businesses who exercise their right to free associaiton -- in the form of ceasing to do business with right-wing website Parler because its users help plan last week's Capitol riot and issued death threats against numerous people -- is just like Kristallnacht ... and the MRC said nothing.
This is the second time this has happened in recent months: the MRC denounces someone making a Nazi reference while Bozell goes Godwin. That double standard never dies, it seems.