MRC Censors Problems With Its Right-Wing Advocates Of 'Free Speech' On Social Media Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so into pushing the conservative victimization narrative about social media that it is censoring the, um, issues with the advocates for "free speech" (which, in the MRC's eyes, should only apply to conservatives). Kayla Sargent touted in a Jan. 13 post:
Despite Big Tech’s efforts to silence conservatives on Parler, one state’s Attorney General will not stand for it.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has demanded answers from several Big Tech companies about the suppression of the free speech-oriented platform Parler.
Paxton has “issued civil investigative demands (CIDs) to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Web Services, and Apple, asking the companies for their policies and practices regarding content moderation and, more specifically, for information related to Parler, a social media application recently terminated or blocked by Google, Amazon, and Apple,” according to a Jan. 13 press release.
“For years, these Big Tech companies have silenced voices in the social media sphere and shut down competing companies and platforms. It has only grown worse in recent months. And just last week, this discriminatory action included the unprecedented step of removing and blocking President Donald Trump from online media platforms,” said the release.
Paxton’s investigation followed the recent purge of Parler from Apple and Google’s app stores, Amazon went so far as to remove the website from its web hosting servers.
Sargent didn't mention that Paxton appears to be less than law-abiding, given that he's under investigation by the FBI and that his lieutenants in the attorney general's office are the ones who turned him in. The Associated Press reported in November:
Seven senior lawyers in Paxton’s office reported him to the FBI in late September, accusing him of abusing his office, bribery and other crimes. The group included some of Paxton’s longtime allies and was later joined by the agency’s head of law enforcement. All eight have since resigned, been put on leave or been fired, prompting a whistleblower lawsuit.
The full extent of what Paxton’s employees told the FBI is unknown and the agency has consistently declined to comment.
Paxton’s actions appear to have helped [businessman Nate] Paul in at least four ways. But the one that led his staff to report him was Paxton’s hiring of an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims that the FBI, federal judges and others were conspiring against him.
The lawyers in Paxton’s office felt Paul’s claims were unsupported and outside of their office’s jurisdiction. The Houston lawyer Paxton hired had no prosecutorial experience but did have ties to Paul’s defense attorney.
The next day, Sargent embraced another dubious ally:
Conservatives have faced a barrage of censorship in the last few weeks, but at least one European country is standing up against Big Tech.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed his desire for an open and free internet without censorship in a Facebook post.
For Morawiecki, the fight for free speech appears to be very personal. “For close to 50 years we lived in a country in which censorship was practiced, in which Big Brother told us how we are meant to live and what we are meant to feel, and what we are not allowed to think, say or write. That is why we are so concerned with any attempt to limit freedom,” he said.
“We are now increasingly faced with practices we believed were left in the past. The censoring of free speech, once the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now back, but in a new form, run by corporations, who silence those who think differently,” Morawiecki continued.
In recent months, Poland has stepped up in the fight against censorship online. In December, Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced a legal initiative to allow users to file complaints if their posts were removed. The initiate would also create a specific court for the freedom of speech.
But Sargent censored the fact that Poland's government does, in fact, embrace censorship of anyone critical of it or is otherwise independent of the government. In July, Reporters Without Borders detailed a planned "repolonization" law that would limit foreign investment in media outlets and limit the number of outlets a non-state owner can have, whose thinly veiled purpose is to censor and intimidate non-state-owned media. Meanwhile, the Polish state oil company purchased a top newspaper chain in the country, leading to fears of it becoming a propaganda outlet, while state-owned media is increasingly moving toward becoming mouthpieces for the same government that Sargent is lionizing.
The idera that a government official who's actively working to shut down speech he doesn't agree with in his own country is somehow a champion of "free speech" is laughable, but Sargent doesn't want you to know all the facts.
UPDATE: In a Dec. 22 post, Sargent similarly touted "one nation is looking to change the way Big Tech can censor speech." by citing how Poland "announced a legal initiative on Thursday [Dec. 10] aimed at enabling internet users to file complaints against the removal of online posts as well as the creation of a special court for freedom of speech," adding that "Not only will users be able to sue Big Tech companies in some instances, but there will reportedly be consequences for Big Tech companies if they do not comply with Poland’s law." Again, she didn't mention the Polish government's efforts at censoring media who don't spout government propaganda.
Dick Morris Pushed More Election Fraud Conspiracy Theories At Newsmax Topic: Newsmax
A while back, we busted Newsmax commentator Dick Morris for spreading election fraud conspiracy theories. He never really stopped doing so. Morris was spreading bogus claims of fraud in his Newsmax column, asserting on Dec. 15:
Antrim County, Michigan — solid red Trump country — raised eyebrows on election night when the results came in showing Biden beating Trump by 63% for the Democrat and only 37% for the Republican. (Trump had beaten Hillary in Antrim by 61-38).
Republicans demanded a recount and got one on Nov. 5.
Oops! It showed. Trump winning this time but by only 57-43.
Still fishy given the massive Trump victory over Hillary four years ago.
Morris went on to cite an alleged audit of the election in Antrim County in which "Antrim County Dominion machines recorded an error rate of 68%." That "audit" has been discredited by election experts who said the people behind the audit didn't understand how voting technology works.
In a Dec. 20 appearance on Newsmax TV, Morris laughably claimed that then-President Trump was winning the "argument" election fraud, claiming, "If Trump is not inaugurated and has to run again in 2024, having won this argument about 2020 is a very important thing, particularly if he can substantiate and lend more credence to the idea that China was behind a lot of the errors and theft." The article by Eric Mack continued:
Morris pointed to the polling of Americans who believe there is evidence of voter fraud in this election, telling host John Catsimatidis that Trump will not overturn the election, but he can set himself up for a strong 2024 case.
"Trump is finally getting some traction on his charges," Morris said. "He is winning the large argument, which is incredible, because the media is opposing him at every turn. Every time he says anything, they say 'discredited,' 'unsubstantiated,' 'disproven.'"
Morris considers complicit media hyperbole.
"Just by calling accusations names does not disprove them," Morris said. "They are losing this fight. That has great significance for the election of 2020, but it has a larger significance for 2024."
The next day, Morris said it was "completely untrue and unfounded" and "just disinformation that the Left is spreading" that Trump was planning to declare martial law," but then touted polling showing that more people didn't believe the election results: "If that trajectory continues, you're talking about a major new political reality in this country which is that half the voters will think the current president is illegitimate and will understand the need for serious reform, and take anything that happens with a gigantic grain of salt."
In a Dec. 28 Newsmax TV appearance, Morris lashed out at Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for purportedly have created "serious problems" by how he oversaw the November election in not giving Republicans every possible opportunity to challenge votes for Biden.
Morris served up more ranting in a Dec. 30 Newsmax TV appearance:
Recent polling showing more Democrat strength in the Georgia Jan. 5 runoffs elections should be setting off "triple, quadruple alarms," according to presidential strategist Dick Morris, who spoke with Newsmax TV.
"The problem here is not that Georgia will vote Democrat – the problem is they will vote Republican, but it will be stolen," Morris told Wednesday's "The Chris Salcedo Show."
Morris rebuked Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp for declining to call a special legislative session to address voter fraud concerns and adopt new rules for these special elections.
"You should be scared to death if both those Republicans lose that runoff," Morris told weary Georgia Senate runoff Republican voters.
"Goodbye checks and balances, goodbye founding fathers, goodbye Constitution," Morris warned. "The courts, the House, the president, and the Senate will be in perfect alignment to do whatever the radical wing of the Democratic Party wants."
In between, Morris declared that "Trump "absolutely" will run again in 2024 and will easily win the Republican nomination, adding, "And the more evidence that accumulates of voter fraud . . . the media can persist in the illusion that Trump is unpopular, that he's awful, that he really lost the election."
On Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol riot, Morris apparently had nothing to say about that, but he did claim that Vice President Mike Pence won't be able to ''get nominated for dog catcher'' after choosing to accept electors from disputed states and certify the Electoral College victory for Joe Biden: "''When the push came to shove, Mike Pence was as disloyal as you can get. He has a pure constitutional way of sending this stuff back to the legislators. He chose not to do it."
In his column that same day, however, Morris seemed to have given up on bogus election fraud conspiracy theories, declaring that Republicans would have to emulate Democratic tactics:
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That saying applies perfectly to the election of 2020 and the Senate runoff of 2021.
We need to beat the Democrats and the ultra-left at their own game.
To do so, we must start with a basic realization: The Democrats won by changing the rules. No longer would campaigns and candidates work to get voters to the polls. They would bring the polls to the voters.
The entire construct of Election Day needs to change on our side of the aisle from GOTV (get out the vote) to home delivery.
And, on Election Day, lets get our poll watchers to go door-to-door "curing" the defects in the ballots of our voters.
We need to get down in the trenches and battle hand to hand for each vote.
Morris apparently forgot all about election fraud (perhaps because there wasn't any) and moved onto a new cause. In his Jan. 14 column, he was ranting about of "Democratic reign of terror" brought about by ... Democrats and Americans in general holding Republicans responsible for their roles in instigating the Capitol riot. Of course, like a loyal Trump toady, Morris denied that Trump played any role in instigating the riot: "The charge that he 'incited' the riots only refers to his peaceful exercise of free speech, denouncing the election of 2020 as the result of fraud and saying that it was “stolen.” Whether you agree with his statement or not, that is the essence of free speech that is protected by the First Amendment."
WND Pushed Bogus Claims That Antifa Led Capitol Riot -- Until Reality Hit Topic: WorldNetDaily
After the right-wing Capitol riot, one of the first things WorldNetDaily columnists did was push the claim that it was instigated by Antifa agitators, not any actual Trump supporters.
Larry Tomczak -- who, like WND editor Joseph Farah, attended the rally that preceded the riot -- declared: "There were some fringe elements and, we suspect, 'planted' agitators whose mission was to gain media attention and discredit the law-abiding citizens in attendance. ... Radical communist and socialist agitators are paid handsomely to infiltrate such gatherings to incite riots and demonize law-abiding citizens."
In his Jan. 7 column, Daniel Pilla wrote that "It is simply undeniable that Antifa and Black Lives Matter are sworn to destroy the American Republic. This fact is established well beyond any reasonable doubt," adding, "Regardless of what you think about President Trump and his performance as president, it is wholly irrational to believe that he, by his comments, intentionally inflamed a crowd of his supporters to storm the Capitol."
Patrice Lewis lamented in her Jan. 8 column: "I went to bed Wednesday night and hardly slept. I tossed and turned and watched the clock for hours. Election fraud. Antifa provocateur riots. Chaos. Anarchy. Murder."
Barbara simpson asserted in her Jan. 8 column that Black Lives Matter and Antifa "have the goal of destroying our country and system of government," adding: "Like it or not, they were a major presence in the riot in Washington. I can only hope that enough of their members will be identified and held responsible for their lawbreaking."
Mychal Massie ranted in his Jan. 11 column: "Antifa and Black Lives Matter joined forces in disguising themselves as participants in the Jan. 6 rally, using a peaceful protest as cover to commit violence and more than likely murder as well."
Marty Owen wrote in his Jan. 12 column that "many eyewitnesses who were present believe that the small group of rioters was composed – at least, in part – by Antifa members and other violent revolutionary types disguised as Trump supporters. These infiltrated the rally precisely to give the press corps an opportunity to paint Trump supporters as a group of lawless insurrectionists, ready to explode like a stack of dynamite in order to overthrow the government through mob violence. The experience of many eyewitnesses who were present, whose personal testimony contradicts the narrative of the leftist media, needs to be considered."
The "news" side of WND also pushed this as well. A Jan. 6 article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeated that "Social media was filled with charges that the protesters were Antifa operatives disguised as Trump supporters." A Jan. 7 article by Unruh repeating Republican Rep. Paul Gosar's claim that the Capitol riot had "all the hallmarks of Antifa provocation," adding in a tweet, "Look at the folks breaking the glass. All Antifa – your little buddies." He also cited Republican Rep. Mo Brooks tweeting that "Congressman told me he was warned on TUESDAY by Capitol Police officer that intelligence suggest fascist ANTIFA was going to try to infiltrate the Trump rally by dressing like Trump supporters" as well as disgraced ex-New York City police chief Bernard Kerik tweeting, ""President @realDonaldTrump supporters pulling Antifa terrorists away from building. There's plenty of these videos." Unruh waited until the third-to-last paragraph of his 23-paragraph item to note someone who said the rioters didn't look like Antifa.
An analysis of videos of the death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt at the U.S. Capitol indicates Antifa activists provoked the fatal gunshot from a police officer.
Japanese investigator Misako Ganaha explained in a video interview with Epoch Times reporter Joshua Philipp on his "Crossroads" program that she analyzed two lengthy videos, affording two different angles of the incident near the House chamber.
Ganaha, who lives in Okinawa, Japan, said it was clear to her that the two men were not Trump supporters.
She said she's seen the same Marxist "agitate and divide" tactics employed by leftists in her home country.
Clearly there were Trump supporters inside the Capitol building, she said, but "the ones who were leading the crowd, or agitating the crowd, were not Trump supporters," she said.
The problem, of course, is that numerous fact-checks have foundnoevidence of Antifa involvement in the riot -- WND's columnists are lying.
While their lies have been allowed to stand, Moore's article was a different matter. His article now begins with a lengthy correction:
CORRECTED Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST: Based on fact checks by AFP and Lead Stories, this story has been corrected to include comments from the FBI indicating there was "no credible intelligence suggesting Antifa involvement in Wednesday's criminal activity" at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The text of the story has been amended to remove the "Antifa" name. The original headline of "Analysis concludes Antifa provoked shooting of Ashli Babbitt at Capitol" has been amended to: "Video analysis suggests 'agitators' provoked shooting of Ashli Babbitt at Capitol." The original subheadline has been changed from "The ones who were agitating the crowd were not Trump supporters" to: "FBI maintains: 'No credible intelligence suggesting Antifa involvement.'"
Ouch. Nevertheless, Moore wrote an article the same day the correction was appended to his earlier one that claimed, "Another key question is whether or not there were facilitators inside the Capitol and outside it who instigated or enabled the attack to be carried out. Videos shows officers and other people removing barriers and opening doors to let the crowd in and people smashing windows as Trump supporters boo and demand they stop, yelling 'Antifa.'" This was followed by embedded tweets from someone claiming without evidence that Antifa was instigating the violence. Moore did not repeat the statement fro his correction that the FBI cites no credible intelligence suggesting Antifa involvement.
While WND is showing a concern about the accuracy of the information on its website these days that it has rarely exhibited in its 23-year history, Moore -- just like fellow writer Bob Unruh, who we caught making false claims that forced a similar walkback -- is unlikely to find his job at WND to be in danger. Who else would work for WND, given its well-earned reputation for fake news and conspiracy theories?
MRC's Houck Bids An Immature Farewell To CNN's Acosta Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has suffered from a ragingcase of Acosta Derangement Syndrome for the duration of Donald Trump's presidency, unable to deal with CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's aggressive coverage of the Trump White House. When Acosta announced that he was leaving the White House beat at the end of Trump's presidency, it fell to the MRC's chief Acosta-hater, Curtis Houck, to serve up the sneering and immaturity that has been a hallmark of his "media criticism" of Acosta.
In a Jan. 11 post, Houck huffed, under a headline with the juvenile moniker "Fake News Jim":
On Monday morning, CNN and chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta announced that, having spewed four years of hatred against President Trump and his supporters and vanquished Trump from office, he’ll depart the White House beat. Instead, he’ll become chief domestic correspondent and become a weekend anchor for the Jeffrey Zucker-led circus.
We report, you decide on whether that’s a promotion or an admission of mission accomplished.
Houck cited no "fake news" that Acosta has supposedly reported during his time in the Trump White House.
On Tuesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta spent his final day as chief White House correspondent reveling in having accomplished his life’s mission of celebrating himself and playing the role of general in helping to removing President Trump from office, a man he’s so deeply hated.
As Acosta and CNN shared on January 11, he’ll leave the White House beat to become a weekend anchor (presumably of CNN Newsroom) and take on the title of “chief domestic correspondent.”
Acosta was in a jovial mood, tweeting this caption alongside a selfie with NBC’s Peter Alexander: “Just a couple of guys covering the WH on the last full day of Trump admin. Think we will finally have time for that drink now @PeterAlexander?”
In another tweet, Acosta insinuated symbolism in the departure of the Orange Man: “Light rising from the National Mall behind the Trump WH where a final ‘lid’ for this president has been called.”
NewsBusters combed through our archives to find the 15 worst Acosta moments over the past four years. Trust us, this wasn’t easy and more than a few were left on the cutting room floor. But here there are, presented in chronological order.
It's never good or professional when your "media criticism" is motived by such deeply personal animus, but that has clearly been Houck's motivation for trying -- and failing -- to destroy Acosta. But his employer apparently thinks it's cute.
AIM Tried To Blame Media For Capitol Riot Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media president Adam Guillette issued a statement after the Capitol riot that labored to blame the media for it:
On Wednesday, I was disgusted by the scenes I saw unfolding on television. I’m sure you felt the same way.
The individuals who broke into the Capitol are ultimately responsible for their own actions. We must continue to believe in personal responsibility.
That said, it is worth acknowledging the flames that our national media fanned all summer.
Mainstream media and social media influencers have normalized violence by redefining riots as “peaceful protests”. Celebrities even paid the bail money of rioters so that they could go out and commit more crimes. But that doesn’t mean you and I should ever stoop to their level.
President Donald Trump began his speech yesterday with a line that stood out to me:
“The media is the biggest problem we have in this country.”
I couldn’t agree more.
The media should be exposed again, and again, and again. You and I must continue to hold them accountable for their unconscionable attempts to divide our nation.
We should do this not because we “hate” our enemies, but because we love our country.
Ah, but AIM and other right-wingers do hate their enemies, and they very much consider the non-right-wing media to be an "enemy."Their goal is not to improve the "liberal media"; it is to destroy it.
Guilllette is also dishonestly portraying all of the racial justice and police reform protests last summer as violent by falsely claiming the media portrayed violent riots as peaceful; in fact, the vast majority of protests were, in fact, peaceful.
It's also clear that Guillette and AIM will not hold Trump accountable for his role in instigating the riot -- after all, it's more important to them that Trump hates the non-right-wing media as much as they do.
WND Walks Back Fake-News Election Fraud Story It Published Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily just keeps gettingbusted on the stories it publishes abourt purported election fraud. Bob Unruh wrote in a Dec. 29 article:
State lawmakers in Pennsylvania have discovered a serious problem with the 2020 presidential election.
There were more votes than voters.
In a report posted online, the lawmakers explain how they did extensive analysis of election data.
What they found were "troubling discrepancies between the numbers of total votes counted and the total number of voters who voted in the 2020 general election."
They now are questioning "how the results of the presidential election could possibly have been certified by Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar and Governor Tom Wolf."
The report explained, "A comparison of official county election results to the total number of voters who voted on November 3, 2020 as recorded by the Department of State shows that 6,962,607 total ballots were reported as being cast, while DoS/SURE system records indicate that only 6,760,230 total voters actually voted. Among the 6,962,607 total ballots cast, 6,931,060 total votes were counted in the presidential race, including all three candidates on the ballot and write-in candidates."
That results in a "difference" of 202,377 "more votes cast than voters voting," and with the 31,547 over- and under-votes, means "an alarming discrepancy of 170,830 votes, which is more than twice the reported statewide difference between the two major candidates for president of the United States."
This story went so badly that WND itself beat us to the punch and performed a walk-back on its own. Unruh's story now begins with an editor's note:
UPDATE Jan. 3, 2021: This story has been updated to include more information concerning a report alleging the certification of the Pennsylvania presidential vote was premature and in error amid claims there were thousands more ballots counted than there were voters who voted. According to a LeadStories fact check, the analysis, released by a handful of state Republican lawmakers, was based on partial data, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. The number of voters used by the lawmakers did not include completed totals from several major counties. The agency defended its certification, stating: "State and federal judges have sifted through hundreds of pages of unsubstantiated and false allegations and found no evidence of fraud or illegal voting." The original headline for this story has been amended from "Pennsylvania lawmakers find there were more votes than voters" to "Did Pennsylvania lawmakers find more votes than voters?".
Later in the article is another note:
UPDATE:According to a LeadStories fact check, the analysis, released by a handful of state Republican lawmakers, was based on partial data, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. The number of voters used by the lawmakers did not include completed totals from several major counties. The agency defended its certification, stating: "State and federal judges have sifted through hundreds of pages of unsubstantiated and false allegations and found no evidence of fraud or illegal voting."
That's brutal. Yet Unruh still has a job at WND despite making such an egregious and sloppy error.
The fact that WND published these kinds of articles without bothering to fact-check first not only makes them look bad, it makes one wonder about the viability of its new WND News Center, on both the soliciting-donations side and getting-others-to-publish-their-work side.
CNS Keeps Trying To Mainstream QAnon GOP Rep. Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is a huge fan of far-right Republican Rep.Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia -- so much so, in fact, that it keepscensoring for its readers just how far-right she is, and her support for the fringe QAnon conspiracy theory. CNS has continued to promote Greene:
A Dec. 16 article by Craig Bannister touted how Greene "says America is suffering from “a spiritual blinding” in which truth is denied and untruths are accepted as truths," adding that she "bills herself on Twitter as 'Christian, Wife, Mom, Small Business Owner, Proud American, 100% Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Trump.'" He didn't mention that Greene accepts the untruth of QAnon as truth.
On Dec. 23, Bannister gushed that Greene took "a shot at the foreign pork in the COVID-19 stimulus relief bill," calling it "the biggest F you to the American people."
Bannister served up more gushing in a Jan. 4 article a proposal to use gender-neutral language: "Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) desire to deny it, there are only two genders, new Congresswoman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said Monday, announcing that she will vote against Pelosi’s proposed rules change."
Susan Jones served up a more full-throated defense of Greene in a Jan. 13 article:
Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) told CNN on Wednesday that newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is among the "handful" of lawmakers who are "morally bankrupt," "depraved," and "dangerous."
Crow said House Democrats are looking at ways to "stop" Greene: "And whether this is an expulsion proceeding, a censure, you know, we can't let this stand," Crow said.
Crow was reacting to a tweet posted Monday night by Greene, a Trump supporter, who predicted that the latest impeachment effort would fail:
"President Trump will remain in office," Green tweeted overnight. "This Hail Mary attempt to remove him from the White House is an attack on every American who voted for him. Democrats must be held accountable for the political violence inspired by their rhetoric."
Twitter labeled the tweet, saying "Election officials have certified Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. Presidential election."
In addition to censoring Greene's admiration for QAnon, Jones also omitted other relevant information for context, whereas Politico did not:
After Congress resumed its certification proceedings following the attack, Greene was one of the 147 congressional Republicans who still objected to the election results. She also drew criticism last week after video footage showed her, along with a handful of other House Republicans, refusing to wear a mask while sheltering with other lawmakers amid the violence. At least three House Democrats have since tested positive for Covid-19.
Greene, a freshman congresswoman elected last November, has previously endorsed elements of the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory and made Islamophobic comments. She has won praise from Trump, who has called her a “future Republican star.”
The next day, Jones cheered that "Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said on Wednesday she plan to file articles of impeachment against Democrat Joe Biden the day after he is sworn in as president," adding that "Greene is among President Trump’s strongest congressional supporters, and at least one Democrat has mentioned 'expulsion' as a way to 'stop' her." Again, Jones forgot to mention that Greene is a right-wing extremist who is an adherent to the QAnon conspiracy theory. (She also forgot to mention any cause Greene has for impeaching Biden.
We don't see how mainstreaming an conspiracy theory-obsessed extremist -- as CNS is trying to do with Greene -- is going to end well.
MRC Stops Selling 2 Of 3 Election Fraud Conspiracy-Promoting Bumper Stickers Topic: Media Research Center
Well, that didn't last long.
A week after we documented how the Media Research Center was selling bumper stickers perpetuating election fraud conspiracy theories, it is no longer selling two of them at its online store. Stickers stating "Biden Won ... And Pigs Fly" and "Roses Are Blue. Pigs Fly. And Biden Won" are no longer available on its CafePress-powered bumper sticker page.
It is, however, still selling a bumper sticker stating, "Biden 'Won' Because The Media Lied." That's related to the MRC's own related conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" deliberately manufactured polls before the election showing Biden with a big lead -- evidence of which it has never provided -- and that the media didn't act more like Fox News in covering Biden (as determined by Trump-linked pollsters).
So the MRC is trying to have it both ways -- pushing its own never-proven election fraud conspiracy theory while also claiming that it's not Trump's never-proven election fraud conspiracy theory. That's only a slightly less bad look than it had before.
NEW ARTICLE: Spinning COVID At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com spent much of 2020 trying its best to put a pro-Trump spin on coronavirus case and death numbers by attempting to downplay new surges of the virus. Read more >>
Newsmax Columnist Thinks 'Frail And Mendacious' Biden Will Be Forced Out Topic: Newsmax
After all, it is difficult to know what is more implausibly far-fetched:
(a) that, as the Republicans claim, there was pervasive electoral fraud on a scale so massive that it determined — indeed, inverted — the outcome of the ballot; or (b) that, as the Democrats claim, as a lackluster and lackadaisical candidate, perceptibly frail and aging, Joe Biden genuinely managed to amass the highest number of votes ever in a presidential election, surpassing former U.S. President Barack Obama’s previous 2008 record by almost 12 million votes.
Making this latter scenario even more difficult to accept at face value is that Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., was hardly an electrifying vote-getter, having being forced to drop out quite early on in her own party’s primaries for its choice of a presidential candidate.
Indeed, Biden’s choice of Harris as his prospective vice president was, in itself, more than a little incongruous, as she had viciously excoriated him during the primaries for his record on race relations, complicity with segregationists and sexual impropriety, adamantly proclaiming that she believed the women who had complained about his unwanted sexual advances.
Indeed, in light of his anemic, largely "no-show" election campaign, in which he studiously avoided articulating his position on a number of crucial issues, Biden’s apparent electoral achievement is even more bewildering.
The contour lines of an approaching scenario in which Biden, exposed as both frail and mendacious, is forced to step down and concede the presidency to Harris are gradually coming into focus.
With an ever-more critical press and an ever-more radical intra-party opposition, we may well be on the cusp of a new American (or rather un-American) revolution — a revolution in which a cardboard-cutout president is driven from office by people imbued with a political credo, forged by figures and ideas not only different from, but entirely contrary to, those that made America America.
It is indeed a scenario that risks transforming America into a de-Americanized post-America — an unrecognizable shadow of its former self.
That will be the terrible price the American electorate has inflicted on itself for submitting to the fit of puerile and petulant pique that molded its choice this November.
Disgraced Ex-Newsmax Columnist Resurfaces At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
The last time we checked in on Wayne Allyn Root, he was getting unceremoniusly dumped by Newsmax as a columnist and TV host for downplaying the coronavirus pandemic while also pushing a scammy coronavirus treatment so questionable that a state attorney general sent him a cease-and-desist order. Working his way down the ConWeb food chain, it's probably no surprise that he ended up at a place a little more tolerant of his shenanigans: WorldNetDaily.
WND had previously published Root off and on for years, and his last appearance had been in 2016. But starting Dec. 14, WND began publishing Root's weekly column. In his Dec. 21 column, Root had a meltdown over Dr. Anthony Fauci's call to restrict holiday gatherings to reduced the spread of coronavirus:
I have a message for Dr Fauci: "First, not just no. HELL NO. This is America. This is a free country. If we want to celebrate Christmas, we will. If we want to go to church, we will. If we want to spend the holidays with our children, we will. We're adults. We make our own decisions. This isn't a nanny state. It's not the Soviet Union. It's not Nazi Germany. We don't need government bureaucrats telling us what to do, how to live our lives or how to spend the holidays.
"Second, you're a typical Ivy League egghead. You're too smart for your own good. You have IQ but clearly no emotional intelligence. And certainly no common sense.
"Third, how can I say this nicely? SCREW YOU. I love my family. I love my children. I love Christmas. I don't know you. I don't owe you. And I don't answer to you."
From there, Root gravitated toward election fraud conspiracy theories:
On Dec. 28, Root declared that "Democrats cheated and stole this election, without punishment (so far)" and that President Trump must come back now because "the 2024 election will not matter, simply because America won't exist in 2024 – not the America we know now. Democrats will destroy that America. Trust me, this will be a foreign country by 2024."
On Jan. 4, Root cited a guy he identified only as "Richie" whom he said had experience fixing horse races declare that the 2020 presidential election was "the greatest scam and steal in world history," adding, "He says anyone who denies this election was stolen is a criminal who was in on the scam, a bribed politician or bureaucrat who benefits from the scam, or a completely naive moron."
Root began his Jan. 11 column by complaining that he was the victim of media bias because "called for a Trump car parade to celebrate President Donald Trump and show the media how we felt about the obviously stolen election" in his hometown of Las Vegas and "was barely a mention on any local TV news program, no mention in the Vegas newspaper." Actually, the Las Vegas newspaper was owned at the time by conservative financier Sheldon Adelson, who would have no motivation to suppress such news. He went on to rant that "the jealous media and D.C. swamp conspired to demonize Trump and his supporters," adding: "These D.C. swamp insiders are all green with envy. They hate and resent Trump. They hate and resent the middle class and the Silent Majority for loving Trump. They hate their own base. Great job, guys. Now we hate you back."
Trump has had hundreds of rallies for six years now. Millions have attended, maybe 20 million-plus. And there's never been one window broken, one property damaged, one person shot, one police officer attacked. Yet after one incident in D.C., it's used as a trigger to ban and censor mention of the fact that the election was clearly stolen; to ban, censor and impeach President Trump; to ban and censor conservatives; and to label all 74 million Trump voters as "domestic terrorists."
There's the scam: Cover up hundreds of violent Antifa and Black Lives Matter incidents, and blow out of proportion this one incident of violence at a conservative event involving around 170 people out of 74 million, 170 who made a bad decision in the heat of the moment. That's assuming it wasn't Antifa causing the small amount of violence.
He then declared that "GOP leaders only represent the D.C. swamp. They don't represent 74 million Trump voters."
MRC Touts Levin Loudly Leaving Facebook Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Alec Schemmel served up more PR work for right-wing radio host Mark Levin in a Dec. 30 post:
Talk radio star Mark Levin told his social media audiences that he would be leaving Facebook.
“Please follow me at Parler as I will leave Facebook in 4 days for continuingly censoring me,” Levin said to his social media followers on Dec. 28. Levin then sent out absecond post the following day indicating to his followers that he would be leaving the platform “in a matter of hours.” He called Facebook “corrupt.”
The announcements came after Levin had already hinted at boycotting the social media giant. Since October Levin received three notifications from Facebook indicating his page had been given “reduced distribution and other restrictions,” which has crescendoed in him announcing his departure.
“I've been restricted and censored on Facebook. Please make sure you transition to Parler ASAP as I will be leaving Facebook probably by the end of the year,” Levin said on Nov. 18.
Schemmnel didn't tell you that the reason Facebook "restricted and censored" Levin was that he spread lies misinformation and refused to correct false claims. As we've documented, Levin spread a claim that originated on the conservative blog Hot Air that misquoted Joe Biden; Hot Air later corrected itself, but Levin never did. Levin also p[osted another claim about Biden that falsely listed the date in which a picture of him not wearing a mask took place.
Schemmel also censored the fact that Levin had been claiming for weeks he was leaving Facebook without bothering to list a date certain; it was only after Mediaite called him on it that he said he would leave at the end of the year -- which occurred about a month before the Dec. 28 post that Schemmel cited.
Schemmel devoted two paragraphs to Levin touting his Parler page without disclosing that the MRC and Parler share a major funder in Rebekah Mercer, who also sits on the MRC's board.But Schemmel saved the kicker for his very last paragraph: "Levin has continued to post to his Facebook account following the announcement."
In other words, this is all performative PR. Just what you'd expect from an organization whose leader considers himself a close from of Levin.
CNS Gives Up On Reporting COVID Death Numbers Topic: CNSNews.com
One of CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones' main jobs over the past year has been to try and spin coronavirua infection and death rates in an apparent attempt to make President Trump look good by comparing more reent numbers to the original surge last March and April. But as the pandemic rose to new heights, Jones couldn't do that. So the spin in her Dec. 17 article was that, yes, more people are dying, but they're mostly old people so it's not that bad:
In the past week, Wednesday to Wednesday, another 14,527 people, at least, died of coronavirus in this country, according to the most recent data posted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As the table shows, the vast majority of those COVID-involved deaths -- 13,816 -- were in people age 55 or older, according to death certificates filed with CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, medical experts warned that the elderly and infirm were particularly vulnerable to the virus, and that continues to be the case.
Jones went on to condede that "the COVID death toll has been rising sharply since early October" andthat "the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to "act now" to slow the spread" as winter sets in and holiday gathering occur. Trtump's name did not appear at all.
But that, apparently, was all the honesty about coronavirus that CNS could handle, because that was the last of these type of articles that Jones has written. While Jones did take some time off around the holidays, she has been on the job since Jan. 13, and COVID number are apparently no longer her concern.
Perhaps the change in presidents will bring a new concern over the numbers -- after all, she can now spin them to blame Biden.
Huh? MRC's Bozell Declares Serial Liar D'Souza 'Speaks The Truth' Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is still spreading the lie that the election was stolen from Donald Trump, so it's clear he cares nothing about facts.We see this again in a Jan. 11 tweet in which Bozell promoted the new podcast by right-wing activist and convicted criminal Dinesh D'Souza by declaring: "The conservative movement needs story-telling. Dinesh is a master storyteller. He speaks the truth, and that's our strongest weapon. Arm yourself with it!"
Really? The guy who is so wrong so often about facts that college history professor Kevin Kruse effectively has an unpaidsecondjob debunking D'Souza's bogus narratives "speaks the truth"? The guy who pleaded guilty to lying in the course of trying to make an illegal campaign donation? That guy?
It would appear so. This embrace of a documented liar shows you which way Bozell's moral compass is pointing these days.
WND's Brown Admits Biden Won, Stays Viable As An Activist Topic: WorldNetDaily
In our last update on WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown, he was ever-so-slowly backing off his aggressive advocacy for President Trump as he pushed bogus claims that the election was stolen. Then the Jan. 6 Trump-inspired Capitol riot happened. That day, WND published a column by Brown that did not reference the riot but addressed the so-called prophecies by right-wing evangelical ministers claiming that Trump would be re-elected:
When it comes to the presidential elections, God never gave me any assurance that Trump would be reelected (although, as any of my readers would know, he was my preferred choice over Biden). Nor did the Lord ever give me any assurance that the prophets, who to a person proclaimed a Trump victory, were right.
That means that my faith will not be affected in the least with the anticipated inauguration of Joe Biden, although I will certainly be concerned with the direction he has pledged to take our country.
The Bible never told me (or you) that Trump (or any other presidential candidate) would be elected. And I can give a list of reasons why so many prophetic voices and Christian leaders could have been so wrong in their pro-Trump predictions. (We will certainly address that when the time is right.)
But my message to a watching world right now is simple: John 3:16 will remain true long after the Trump reelection prophecies are forgotten. Don't confuse what is written in the Word with some alleged prophetic words.
On Jan. 11, Brown tried to justify his and evangelical Christians' support for Trump even as "things are ending very badly for Donald Trump's presidency and some of his close associates are abandoning him," while concluding some people did "compromise" their values:
So, on the one hand, Trump won some short-term victories and also appointed many lifetime judges. He did much good on the national and international scene. On the other hand, we are now left with a real, national mess, with the balance of power shifting dramatically left and with the country as a whole vulgarized in many ways by the Trump presidency.
We had absolutely nothing in common with the white supremacists and other fanatics who stormed the Capitol last week. We were not xenophobes or racists or misogynists. But we were staunchly opposed to where the radical left might take us, hence our vote for a very flawed man.
Many of us also hoped that some of the godly leaders who surrounded him would be able to help him make some deep, fundamental changes as they spoke into his life with clarity and truth. And so we cast our vote.
Did we sell our souls in doing so? Did we compromise our values in the process?
For many of us, the answer is no, and we don't need to go on an apology tour for our vote. Even if some of our friends were more prescient than we were, seeing that things would end badly, we acted with sincerity before God and man. And if in the years ahead, our worst fears are realized and our country lurches even further to the far left, we will remember why we voted as we did.
That being said, many of us did sell our souls and compromise our values. There is no doubt about it whatsoever.
We diminished the importance of a leader's character and integrity. We became apologists for the president's sins and shortcomings. We mirrored his worst characteristics. We justified the unjustifiable. We put our trust in a man to fight our political and cultural battles. We became better known as "the Trump people" than as "the Jesus people." The list goes on and on.
To the extent that applies to any of us, we need to do some serious, private soul-searching along with some honest, public repenting, not in reaction to the attacks from the left but out of reverence before God.
Either way we voted, however, the reputation of Jesus has been trashed before the nation. What can all of us do to see His name lifted up again?
Brown used his Jan. 13 column to try to carve a center path between "Never Trump" and "Forever Trump":
To the Never Trumpers, I say this: If you genuinely love America and you are people of real character, now is not the time to gloat or say, "I told you so." You should be grieving that the nation is in so much pain, and you should be doing your best to heal the wounds rather than pour salt into them. And if you feel your fellow conservatives erred in supporting Trump, then seek out healthy discussion and dialogue. Condescension is not called for.
To the Forever Trumpers, I say this: You cast your vote for him twice, and you are standing with him now that he is being impeached for a second time. You see how the left finally has its moment and is trying pounce and destroy, so this is not the time for you to abandon Trump's side. All that is understandable.
But either way, impeached or censured or not, he will be out office in one week. It's time to move on. There's no need for you to tether your future political hopes to him.
Brown showed he was moving on in his Jan. 15 column, cheering Biden's election because right-wing evangelicals need an enemy, and "an adversarial presence in the White House could be the best thing that happened to the Church of America in years."
Finally, Brown declared in his Jan. 20 column under the headline "Joe Biden is president – by the sovereign will of God."
As for the issue of voter fraud, there are clearheaded, well-informed conservatives who are sure there is nothing to the charge of massive voter fraud, and there are clearheaded, well-informed conservatives who hold to the opposite view.
For argument's sake, though, let's just say that massive voter fraud did take place. How could I possibly point to divine sovereignty if Biden was fraudulently elected? Wouldn't this make God complicit in fraud?
Actually, in my view, that's one of the things that would argue in favor of divine action rather than against it. In other words, if the only way Biden could be elected was by massive fraud and yet God did not cause the fraud to be revealed in a categorical and undeniable way, then He chose to allow it to happen.
After admitting that Trump channeled "dangerous emotions," Brown lectured on how to pray for (or is it against?) Biden:
I would encourage you, then to: 1) make a list of everything you fear could go wrong under the Biden-Harris leadership and pray for the opposite; 2) pray daily that the Lord would restrain those whose vision would destroy our nation; 3) pray that Biden and Harris would have life-changing encounters with the Lord; 4) if the Biden presidency is meant as divine chastisement, pray that we would understand where we need to repent so that mercy may be poured out; and 5) pray that, no matter what happens, Jesus would be glorified and His kingdom advanced on the earth.
So Brown gets to have it both ways: a flawed ally if Trump won, and an convenient bogeyman under Biden. And either way, he still gets to be an activist.