MRC's Double Standard On Double Standards Topic: Media Research Center
In his Jan. 8 column, in the immediate aftermath of the right-wing Capitol riot, Media Research Center executive Tim Graham warned against playing whataboutism on comparing the Capitol riot to last summer's protests against racial justice and police misconduct, which occasionally descended into violence: "If we were raised right, our parents told us two wrongs don't make a right. This is not a time for calling out double standards. This is a time for standards. Respecting the home of our Congress is the lowest possible standard for American civilization. You don't Make America Great Again by shoving cops and breaking glass on Capitol Hill." But almost immediately, Graham's MRC was playing that whataboutism card -- starting on the very day he made that statement.
Where is the outrage for Democrats, who either stayed silent or publicly supported and offered to bail out jailed left-wing Antifa anarchists who assaulted police, murdered Trump supporters and tried to burn down federal buildings with people inside? Media commentators and journalists will conveniently give them a pass, while Republicans get blamed for the violence they condemn. -- Kristine Marsh, Jan. 8
The Hispanic media's double standards – when reporting about “double standards” – shone through at Telemundo News, where anchor Jose Diaz-Balart sanctified last summer´s BLM-Antifa riots, and demonized both the Capital Police and National Guard in Washington, D.C., in a report that echoed the liberal talking points featured yesterday on ALL of the liberal news outlets.-- Kathleen Krumhansl, Jan. 8 (also posted in Spanish)
In the aftermath of the seditious acts of some Trump supporters in storming the Capitol building while they grotesquely chanted “hang Mike Pence,” the liberal media insisted the double standard in the situation came from Capitol Police (suggesting they were harsher on Black Lives Matter). But During Sunday’s MediaBuzz on Fox News, Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway called out the media for their double standard in their rhetoric and coverage of the “summer of rage” featuring mass BLM and Antifa violence. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, Jan. 10
Many companies, like Ben & Jerry’s, Chevron, The Coca-Cola Company and The Walt Disney Company, took to Twitter to express their “outrage” at the events that transpired on Capitol Hill Jan. 6. This newfound outrage begs the question: Where was all this holy corporate fury when areas in cities ranging from New York City to Seattle and Chicago to Minneapolis and Portland were all set on fire throughout 2020? -- Joseph Vazquez, Jan. 12
CNN has shamelessly pandered to liberal rioters and downplayed their violent actions this past summer and now are showing their hypocrisy over last week’s violent Capitol Hill siege by a mob of Trump supporters. Even though most Democrats were reluctant to criticize, and many avoided condemning left-wing violence altogether, CNN and the rest of the media have made it their mission to punish Republicans in Congress and shame millions of Trump voters as responsible for the Capitol Hill riot. The network aided one Democrat official this morning in defending Democrat double standards, while claiming that Black Lives Matter protests were “unbelievably different” than the Capitol Hill violence. -- Kristine Marsh, Jan. 15
You know what else they're forgetting, Liz? All this talk about Washington, D.C. needed to be guarded yesterday. What about what happened four years ago? What about the mob that attacked four years ago during the Trump inaugural? Where they closed down streets where Antifa and Black Lives Matter were destroying property up and down. They rioted on the day of Donald Trump's inauguration and nobody in the press covered that. What hypocrisy. -- Brent Bozell, Jan. 21
Far more Republicans and conservatives immediately condemned the violent behavior at the Capitol than Democrats condemned any of the violent riots from Antifa and BLM. Yet there are not endless segments on how dangerous Antifa is on CNN or any of the networks. There are no journalists or media types demanding every liberal abandon the Democrat party [sic] because of violent rioters on their side. That’s not even a suggestion. -- Kristine Marsh, Jan. 27
Yes, the MRC has managed to have double standards about double standards.
The last time we checked in, CNSNews.com was falling behind on its usual pace of uncritically promoting things said by right-wing radio host Mark Levin or by guests on his show. So how did CNS finish out the year in Levin promotion? Here are the Levin-touting articles CNS published in the final two months of 2020, which was heavy on pushing dubious election fraud conspiracy theories:
MRC Wants You To Think Conservative Comedy Is A Thing Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center wants you to believe, against all evidence, that "conservative comedy" is a thing that is happening. In a Dec. 12 post, Christian Toto admits there's no evidence of it but trires to make the case for it anyway because of the right-wing victimhood narrative, as evidenced by the headline "Conservative Comedy Is FIGHTING BACK Against the Censors at Big Tech":
Suggest women aren’t funny and you’ll be quickly attacked, if not outright canceled.
Podcast giant Adam Carolla found that out the hard way.
Say that conservatives lack a sense of humor, though, and there’s little to no outrage. After all, the comedian class is overwhelmingly left of center. There’s no current late night show that leans remotely to the right. And, as liberal critics giddily point out, Fox News’ attempt to create such a program died a quick, merciful death.
There’s another reason so few conservatives make us laugh. They face industry-wide condemnation for telling right-leaning jokes.
Just ask Michael Loftus, who shared a chilling story about his scotched plan for a fair and balanced talk show. Or check in with Steve McGrew, who lost a critical gig for supporting President Donald Trump.
It's telling that Toto includes no examples of their alleged comedy so we can judge how funny they are.
Toto claimed that "It’s why the best conservative comedy today is found at the digital margins"-- but then cited as an example Steven Crowder, who's best known for being a nasty homophobe.
Then it was time to play victim again:
Big Tech doesn’t want conservative comedy on its turf, either.
The social media giants already censor right-leaning views, a trend which went nuclear in the weeks leading up to the presidential election.
Now, they’re ramping up their efforts to make sure liberal targets aren’t exposed to satire.
It’s also constantly under assault by both Facebook and the mainstream media. The former routinely lashes out at the Bee’s Facebook page, threatening to throttle its reach, demonetize it or simply crush it.
Facebook once suggested Bee humor could “incite violence.” It’s not funny to The Babylon Bee, which receives a sizable portion of its web traffic from Facebook. The social media giant’s repeated attacks on the Bee represent an existential threat to its business model.
Sites like Snopes.com also fact-check The Bee’s parodies, a practice they rarely, if ever, deploy on fellow news parody site The Onion.
Toto omits the fact that fact-checkers look at the Babylon Bee because too many right-wing wenbsites present its satireas fact. Which tells us it may not be very good satire.
Two days later, Alec Schemmel fed into Toto's victimization narrative with a piece on another alleged conservative comedian:
In 2020, jokes aren’t even immune from Facebook censorship.
Anti-PC comedian JP Sears told his social media followers that Facebook is threatening to deplatform him. “Hey family, looks like my days here on Facebook are numbered,” Sears posted on Dec. 8. “Please join me on Parler (username @awakenwithjp) where I’ll continue to share uncensored.”
Sears is known for his counter-culture comedy, which takes jabs at subjects like political correctness, the liberal media and Big Tech. In a video posted on Facebook titled “How the Media Wants You To Think” Sears and others lit into the left’s pandemic narrative. They provided some hilarious pseudo-virtue signaling via a litany of anecdotes pretending to prove their courage in the face of COVID-19.
“Instead of working I'm brave enough to protect my family by letting them starve,” said one of the video’s actors in a very serious and melodramatic tone. “I'm brave enough to want to be tracked, so I can be safe,” said another.
We're not seeing the "hilarious" part here. But grievances, not hilarity, are what Sears and Schemmel are pushing:
Sears alerted his audience to be prepared for Facebook to drop the hammer on his account. He posted purported screenshots of Facebook’s notice to him stating that his “Page is at risk of being unpublished because of continued Community Standards violations.” In an episode of his "Awaken With JP" podcast, according to RedState, Sears said his channel has received this recent threat due to his unwillingness to stay within the boundaries of the mainstream narrative about COVID-19.
“I will not back down from Tyrrany[sic],” Sears said in his Facebook post. “I will without question risk losing what I have in the name of freedom.”
Maybe if all these "conservative comedians" worked harder at being funny instead of playing the victim, their careers might actually be going somewhere.
WND Is Sad That Confederate General's Statue Was Removed From Capitol Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh was very sad about a Confederate statue being "canceled" in a Dec. 22 article:
Gen. Robert E. Lee, a descendant of signers of the Declaration of Independence, a graduate of the United States Military Academy and a hero of the war with Mexico who married a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, has been canceled at the U.S. Capitol.
The statue had stood adjacent to George Washington for 111 years but now will be moved to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
It was Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who once appeared in blackface and advocated for infanticide, who created a team to remove the statue, one of two the state is allowed to have in the Capitol building.
Replacing Lee will be a statute of Barbara Rose Johns.
Note that there's no mention so far of the thing Lee is best known for: leader of the Confederate army, which fought against the United States in the Civil War. Nor does Unruh explain who Barbara Johns is (a civil rights leader who, as a high school student, helped create an anti-segregation lawsuit that was consolidated into the Brown v. Board of Education that ruled segregated public schools to be unconstitutional).
Also note that the headline is wrong: The statue was not "torn down," it was removed and relocated.
It wasn't until the seventh paragraph of his article that Unruh got around to mentioning the defining fact of not only Lee's life but the removal of Lee's statue:
The removal of the statue is part of a movement accelerated by the protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd calling for a reassessment of major figures in American history.
In Lee's case, it was his decision, after years of serving with honor for American forces, to lead the Confederate forces..
At the end of the Civil War, Lee was granted parole to return to his home, as President Lincoln had wished.
That's an incredibly simplistic -- and inaccurate -- reading of what happened to Lee. While Lee submitted an amnesty oath to President Andrew Johnson in June 1865, he was not granted parole at that time; Lee's rights of citizenship were not restored until 1975, more than a century after his death in 1870. Further, Lee could not return to his home in Virginia because it had been turned into a burial ground for Union soldiers, known today as Arlington National Cemetery.
MRC Again Touts Shady Reporter Because He's Attacking Biden Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a thing for right-wing reporter John Solomon. In November, the MRC's Joseph Vazquez touted his claim that "a mountain of evidence has been amassed in private lawsuits alleging there was, in fact, significant and widespread voting misconduct," even though one reporter who looked into Solomon's claims found him to be "profoundly misleading" and that the claims typically leave out information that discredits them. Of course, Solomon's reputation as a biased, shoddy reporter precedes him, but Vazquez also failed to mention that Solomon's overall work is suspect because of his shady dealings with Russian and Ukranian sources to launch thinly sourced smear campaigns against critics of President Trump.
Nevertheless, Vazquez gave Solomon another platform to launch a political attack in a Jan. 4 post:
Just the News Editor in Chief John Solomon didn’t let former Vice President Joe Biden get away with attacking the Trump economy, especially since several members of Team Biden have made millions from it.
As Solomon put it, new financial disclosure reports with the Office of Government Ethics revealed that Biden “and his closest advisers personally fared extremely well during the Trump years, with some raking in millions each.”
Specifically, Biden himself “saw an historic rise in income and net worth, scoring at least $16.7 millions in income since Trump took office in 2017, or about three times what he and his wife Jill had made in the prior 20 years combined.” But that wasn’t all. Solomon also wrote that “[t]he former vice president also picked up a nifty second house, a beach estate in Rehoboth, Del., worth more than $2 million.”
Except that Biden's increase in income had little to do with "the Trump economy" -- they were driven by the fact that he used to be vice president. According to a Forbes article to which Vazquez linked, Biden made that moneythrough a book deal made with him and his wife, Jill, speaking engagements and a college professorship -- all things former presidents and vice presidents typically do.
Still, Vazquez felt the need to sneer, "So much for that 'Joe from Scranton' imagery that the media had peddled on Biden’s behalf throughout the election cycle." It's a dishonest and hypocritical attack from Solomon that Vazquez is amplifying to manufacture a class war against Biden, never mind that his president for the past four years, Donald Trump, was all about flaunting his supposed wealth.
And, of course, Vazquez didn't bring up Solomon's history of shoddy reporting.
Two Minnesota state lawmakers are the latest to call for an audit of death certificates citing coronavirus, saying COVID-19 deaths could have been inflated by as much as 40%.
State Rep. Mary Franson and state Sen. Scott Jensen, a physician, have released a video on their findings:
"I have … examples where COVID isn't the underlying cause of death, where we have a fall,” she said in the video. “Another example is we have a freshwater drowning. We have dementia. We have a stroke and multi-organ failure.”
In one case, she added, a person who was ejected from a car was "counted as a COVID death" because the virus was in his system.
Franson said at least 800 of the "death certificate data points" inspected by them indicated the virus was not the underlying cause of death.
But Farah didn't mention the relevant fact that Minnesota state officials have debunked Jensen and Franson's claims:
Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann says MDH follows the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics on defining COVID-19 deaths.
"When we look at the number of deaths reported via [the NCHS], the number they’re reporting is consistent with what we are reporting," Ehresmann said. "We’re absolutely following the national guidance on how we are doing our death reporting from COVID-19.
Ehresman said car crash victims are not being counted among the state’s COVID-19 deaths.
"If someone had tested positive for COVID and then subsequently died, we would review the death certificate and motor vehicle accident would be the cause of death and so it would not be considered a COVID death," Ehresmann said.
Farah went on to write:
Questions continue to be raised by legislators in other states. A Southern Arizona lawmaker is claiming a new study he commissioned shows there is no correlation between the rising number of people being infected with COVID-19 and the number who wind up in the hospital. Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, is accusing the state health department of withholding the raw numbers that would allow him and other lawmakers to decide whether the trends being cited by Gov. Doug Ducey to justify his actions are merited.
But Finchem is a far-right-fringe politican who has links to the violent Oath Keepers militia, tried to make gold legal tender in Arizona and cheered the Capitol riot but then falsely blamed Antifa for the violence. So he's not exactly a reliable source.
If Farah is going to double down on the same type of conspriacy theories that have nearly put WND out of business, maybe he needs to spend some more time recovering from his health issues.
CNS Attacked Even More Biden Cabinet Nominees Topic: CNSNews.com
We've shown how CNSNews.com let its bias show with repeated attacks on Biden cabinet nominees Pete Buttigieg and Xavier Becerra. But it also went after several other nominees as well.
Biden's nomination of former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice brought a Dec. 11 article by Patrick Goodenough rehashing her "deeply controversial role in the September 2012 Benghazi affair." He highlighted how "the White House deployed Rice to deliver to five Sunday television talk shows the message that the attack was a “spontaneous reaction” to an online video mocking Islam’s prophet," adding that it "stoked Republican suspicions that the administration was trying to spin the events for political ends – and mislead voters – in the closing weeks of Obama’s re-election campaign." It wasn't until the final section of his 24-paragraph article that Goodenough got around to admitting that "Rice consistently maintained that her comments were based on the best information available to the intelligence community at the time."
Biden's nomination of Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense generated a Dec. 10 piece by Susan Jones trying to blame him for U.S. troops leaving Iraq:
The Obama-Biden administration's decision to pull combat troops out of Iraq in 2011 was heavily criticized at the time and years later for creating the vacuum eventually filled by the Islamic State. Obama ended up sending U.S. troops back to Iraq in 2014 to counter the rise of ISIS.
Obama later defended his controversial 2011 troop pullout by saying he had no choice -- "we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government" to keep them there, he said. So clearly the Austin-Biden diplomatic efforts did not persuade the Iraqi leadership to keep residual U.S. forces in the country.
CNS' first reaction to Biden's nomination of Tony Blinken as secretary of state was an article by Goodenough promoting Republican Sen. Tom Cotton sneering that Biden was "surrounding himself with panda huggers who will only reinforce his instincts to go soft on China.” That was followed by a column from Ben Shapiro claiming that Blinken was "most famous for embracing the Iran deal and encouraging more American troops in Syria."
Jones penned a Dec. 2 attack on Blinken, uncritically quoting GOP Rep. Josh Hawley having "criticized Blinken as someone who advocates closer ties to China, a country that is and will be a continuing national security threat to the United States" and "noted that the election outcome is not yet settled, yet Biden already has nominated war hawk Tony Blinken as his secretary of state."
Craig Bannister bashed two nominees in a single Dec. 1 article:
At least two of presidential heir apparent Joe Biden’s cabinet picks support burdensome new taxes.
Biden’s choice to head up the Office of Management and Budget (OBM), Neera Tandemn [sic], has voiced support for two different costly soda tax proposals that would hit low-income Americans the hardest, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) analysis reveals:
Biden’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, is a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council, a group lobbying Congress to pass a national carbon tax. As ATR reports<, such a carbon tax would cost Americans more than two trillion dollars over the next ten years, while sharply raising the average American’s energy costs[.]
Bill Donohue devoted a column to smearing Tanden, declaring that "there is no reason to trust her" because she "was part of the email chain" of a group that was purportedly "fomenting a "revolution" in the Catholic Church." He concluded by ranting that "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should lead the fight to block her nomination as the new head of the Office of Management and Budget."
MRC Still Treating QAnon-Loving Rep. Greene As A Victim, Censoring Her Extreme Views Topic: Media Research Center
Back in September, the Media Research Center portrayed Marjorie Taylor Greene, then a candidate for a House seat in Georgia, as another victim in its conservative victimization narrative who was "censored" by social media -- but it made sure to censor her well-documented history of racism, anti-Semitism and QAnon affiliations. Now that she's won the seat, the MRC is still manufacturing victimhood for her while continuing to hide her extremism.
Twitter censored another member of the U.S. government, but she quickly fired back, calling out Twitter’s hypocrisy.
Twitter suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for twelve hours Sunday evening, citing “‘multiple violations’ of the company’s civic integrity policy,” according to The New York Times.
The suspension reportedly came after Greene tweeted: “The 1/5 disaster in Georgia lays solely in the hands of state leadership who failed voters in our state. @GaSecofState and @GabrielSterling were begged by Republicans to fix our elections. They did nothing. They are to blame, not me, not @realDonaldTrump, not @CollinsforGA,” according to the Washington Examiner. The tweet included a label that said, “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”
As before, Sargent censored all mention of Greene's QAnon affiliation or her extremism.
In a Jan. 22 post, Alec Schemmel went after a representative of one of the MRC's favorite targets, the never-Trump Lincoln Project, for describing "Marjorie Taylor ‘Cuckoo QAnon’ Greene" as an example of Republican "whiny bitch victimhood," then complained that MSNBC host Joy Reid "questioned how Greene, someone who has rallied against Big Tech censorship, could be considered a victim when she was 'literally on the House floor saying she’s being silenced while she’s on the House floor, also on TV.'" Schemmel didn't admit that Greene really is a QAnon fan, and he certainly didn't rebut the Lincoln Project guy pointing the GOP's "whiny bitch victimhood," since that is the core of the MRC's anti-social media strategy.
Ever since January 6, the media has been pushing hard the notion that domestic terrorists and QAnon conspiracy theorists are directly and only associated with the millions of Americans who call themselves Republicans and/or voted for former President Trump. Now, some in the media are taking this ludicrous smear even further by declaring that if you call yourself a Republican, you are supporting far right extremism.
On Wednesday’s The View, co-hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin were disgusted by 45 Republican senators backing Sen. Rand Paul in calling the Senate impeachment trial of now private citizen Donald Trump, unconstitutional. Joy Behar seethed they were cowards who were "scared to lose their jobs," while the GOP was now the party who supports "seditionists and insurrectionists."
Sunny Hostin went even further than Behar, claiming that the Republican party was now the “QAnon” “Far-right extremist” party, along with a whole slew of other repellant smears.
Hostin referenced Greene when she said of Republicans, "This is the party of QAnon," but Marsh left that buried in the transcript (and misspelled Greene's name).
NEW ARTICLE: The Strange Case of Dr. Brown and Mr. Trump, Part 2 Topic: WorldNetDaily
After President Trump lost the election, WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown still couldn't quite admit that evangelicals' embrace of him was a bad thing -- until the Capitol riot. Read more >>
Pete Buttigieg wasn't the only Biden administration cabinet nominee CNSNews.com lashed out at upon the announcement of their nomination.
When California attorney general Xavier Becerra was nominated to be secretary of Health and Human Services, managing editor Michael W. Chapman cobbled together an article on how his fellow right-wingers "strongly denounced" the nomination, "noting his long pro-abortion record, anti-free speech actions, and opposition to religious liberty." He quoted Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser declaring that "Becerra is aggressively pro-abortion and a foe of free speech. As attorney general of California, he continued what his predecessor Kamala Harris started by persecuting citizen journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s role in baby parts trafficking."
That would be a reference to David Daleiden, an anti-abortion activist who secretly and illegally taped people at abortion industry conferences while falsely presenting themselves as workers for a fake company interested in buying fetal body parts. No crimes were found, and a jury ruled in 2019 that Daleiden should pay Planned Parenthood $870,000 in punitive damages for his attempt to try and destroy the organization under false pretenses. In December, the judge in the case order Daleiden and his associates to pay Planned Parenthood $13.6 million in legal fees.
Chapman also wrote:
Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with the Catholic Association, said, "President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of Xavier Becerra to run HHS is a gross insult to Catholics. Becerra spent years tormenting the Little Sisters of the Poor in court, trying to force them to pay for things like abortion pills against their consciences. He also led efforts to force pro-life pregnancy resource centers to advertise for abortion."
Actually, it appears McGuire is lying a bit here. What actually happened was that Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and then the Little Sisters of the Poor filed to intervene and became a party to the suit. In other words, if there was any "tormenting," the Little Sisters chose to have it happen.
Nevertheless, Chapman went on to uncritically quote another Catholic organizaiton claiming that Becerra "has targeted the Little Sisters of the Poor."
Tim Graham of CNS' parent organization, the Media Research Center, complained that "Becerra has zero medical expertise" and grumbled that he successfully prosecuted Daleiden: "California's Justice Department entered Daleiden's home and seized computers, digital storage devices and identification documents. A jury ordered Daleiden to pay $2.3 million in damages to Planned Parenthood for exposing its heinous trafficking."
Another column by Donohue raged that Becerra is a Catholic but is actually "an enemy of the Catholic Church," adding that "Biden himself is at war with these Church teachings."
CNS editor Terry Jeffrey devoted his Jan. 6 column to bashing Becerra, citing a case where California attempted to make "crisis pregnancy centers" had to inform clients that they could go elsewhere to get an abortion if they decided they ultimately wanted one. Jeffrey didn't mention that these "pro-life pregnancy centers" have a long history of coercing women into not having abortions, which was the basis for the proposed law. He concluded by huffing that "Xavier Becerra — if confirmed — will lead a Biden HHS that is focused on advancing the killing of unborn babies and funding that killing with federal tax dollars."
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.