MRC's Double Standard On Attacking Reporters Topic: Media Research Center
Last month, the Media Research Center got a bit of clickbait mileage out of a controversy involving a deputy press secretary in the White House press office, TJ Ducklo. It actually began with some manufactured outrage about how a reporter ended up having a romatic relationship with Ducklo, even though the reporter responsibly asked to be reassigned after the relationship began; Kristine Marsh sneered that a People magazine article on the relationship read "more like a PR piece for the reporter and her Team Biden boyfriend" (as if anyone expects hard-hitting journalism from People) and whined that the reassignment allegedly didn't happen soon enough.
Then there was an actual (though still relatively minor) controversy to address: Ducklo had objected to the story, and he tried to intimidate the female reporter working on it by using derogatory and misogynistic language. Since the MRC does not miss an opportunity to attack a Democratic president and his administration for even the slightest offense, it was quick to pounce.
First, Curtis Houck complained that the one-week suspension he originally received was a "slap on the wrist." He later whined that this story wasn't getting wall-to-wall impeachment-level coverage on the (non-Fox) evening news. When Ducklo ultimately left his job over the incident, Houck was still whining that it deserved wall-to-wall coverage:
When it comes to circling the wagons, the liberal media did just that for the Trump era, defending colleagues whenever they were called out by President Trump or a White House aide and framed such condemnations as dangerous attacks on our democracy. But when it came to light on Friday that Biden White House Deputy Press Secretary T.J. Ducklo threatened Politico’s Tara Palmeri, the broadcast networks were largely nowhere to be found.
Between late Friday morning and Monday morning, ABC’s flagship morning and evening newscasts ignored Ducklo mocking her love life and threatening to “destroy” one of their former White House correspondents. Over on CBS and NBC, they combined for a paltry one minute and 19 seconds with none since Saturday morning.
Worse yet, not a single network newscast has acknowledged the fact that Ducklo resigned on Saturday night.
All of this is quite hypocritical, because the MRC has sown itself to be quite cool with not just offensive language but actual physical assualt of a reporter by a conservative.
In 2017, Greg Gianforte, then a Republican candidate for a congressional seat in Idaho, body-slammed and hit a reporter who apparently asked him something he didn't like. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. And MRC management was OK with that. As we documented, MRC chief Brent Bozell delcared that the reporter was "an obnoxious, dishonest first class jerk. I'm not surprised he got smacked," and executive Tim Graham huffed that the reporter had been working for a British newspaper (though is an American), whining, "Let's ask why on Earth a House candidate in Montana should have to answer questions from a reporter for a BRITISH newspaper????"
As we also noted, their disdain for the reporter was personal -- he exposed the MRC's legally questionable purchase of a house in Pennsylvania from MRC vice president David Martin and was also among the reporters who highlighted the revelation that Graham ghost-wrote Bozell's syndicated columns.
The MRC has condoned behavior less egregious than Ducklo's, which makes all this hyperventilating less the expression of legitimate outrage and more a partisan political exercise.
I'm very curious about a phenomenon practically inexplicable to me.
"Christians" who hate Trump.
I’m not referring to people who don't approve of President Donald J. Trump. I’m taking about all-out hatred that finds him "morally depraved" and insists his supporters must repent after "turning a blind eye to his evil."
I will use as Exhibit A one Martin Griffith, a contributor to the Sacramento Bee, a retired journalist and founding member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
He begins his Jan. 31 treatise: "Like many Americans, I'm mystified by how so many evangelical Christians turned a blind eye to former President Donald Trump’s moral depravity and constant attacks on civility and democracy over the last four years.
It seems that Martin Griffith has lived a somewhat sheltered life, far removed from the stories of biblical heroes like King David, a man after God’s own heart. What was David? He was, at various times, an adulterer, a murderer and the greatest king in the history of Israel.
What God knew was that all men are inclined toward evil but capable of repentance.
That's what counts. It's always what counts. Isn’t that wonderful?
Griffith apparently forgets the mercy of God. It's in every book of the Bible.
Even more to the point, Trump is a great man. Joe Biden is not.
You said: "As Christians, we should be the light of the world, not part of its darkness.
I agree. Trump was light, Biden was darkness. Trump was optimistic. Biden saw only the approaching long dark night.
Why do you hate Donald Trump? Where is your love and tender mercies? Why are you incapable of believing Trump and yet over the moon when it comes to Biden?
Why are you more concerned with "political civility" than the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
It’s weird when people lecture us on "light" and "darkness" when there is no light in them.
Almost as if on cue after years of avoiding assigning blame for federal deficits racked up under a Republican president and Republican-controlled Senate, the end of the Trump presidency means new scrutiny of federal spending at CNSNews.com now that Democrats can be blamed for it. but first, CNS editor Terry Jeffrey had a little housekeeping to do under the old blame-avoiding method, declaring in a Feb. 11 article:
The federal government spent a record $1,923,752,000,000 in the first four months of fiscal 2021 (October through January), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
At the same time, the government collected $1,188,021,000,000 in total tax revenues—resulting in a record October-through-January deficit of $735,732,000.
Since Trump was president for nearly all of this time, and Democrat sdid not assume and presidency or take control of the Senate until Jan. 20, Jeffrey is careful not to point out this debt was racked up under a Republican president and Senate -- as usual, the words "Trump" and "Republican" appear nowhere. The accompanying file photo is of Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Republican Mitch McConnell -- as if both parties shared equal blame -- while Trump was nowhere to be founded despite the fact that, again, he was president for all of 11 days of the time period Jeffrey was writing about.
For his next monthly summary on March 10, Jeffrey was starting to shift toward laying blame on Democrats. In complaining that "Federal taxes, federal spending and the federal deficit all set records in the first five months of fiscal 2021 (October through February)," Jeffrey didn't call out Democrats, but he didn't also tell his readers that the presidency and Senate were under Repubican control until Jan. 20, or more than 3 1/2 months of that five-month period.
Nevertheless, the file photo Jeffrey used this time features only Democrats: Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
Look for Jeffrey to get more aggressive in the coming months about blaming Democrats for federal deficits -- and shoving down the memory hole his refusal to hold Republicans accountable by name.
MRC's Lord Knows Who's To Blame For Capitol Riot, And It Is ... Democrats? Topic: Media Research Center
Jeffrey Lord whined in a Feb. 13 Media Research Center post:
As the impeachment week unfolded, Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, the impeachment manager, has made a point of showing videos illustrating in graphic detail the attack on the Capitol.
And no one has been more emphatic in support of Trump’s impeachment for the events of January 6th than Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. Schumer, of course, sat front and center in the Senate chamber and watched the video clips Raskin showcased.
But there’s something curious going on with the media coverage of Raskin and Schumer.
Now. What are we not seeing in the media? Let’s start with what we know.
Who runs the Capitol Police? That would be the Architect of the Capitol, the House and Senate sergeants at arms, as well as four committees, two each from both Houses of Congress. The Capitol Police web site identifies those four as one oversight committee from each body, plus, as always with Congress, the appropriating committees from the House and Senate.
In practice, this means the House Administration Committee and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee are the congressional committees in charge of the Capitol Police.
In the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol, the House sergeant at arms, Paul Irving, resigned - and this was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Shortly afterward, Michael C. Stenger, the senate sergeant at arms, resigned. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Schumer had made it clear that upon taking office he intended to fire Stenger.
Hmmm. What is the media not saying?
The number two Democrat on the House Administration Committee is…Congressman Jamie Raskin. And who sits on the Senate Rules and Administration Committee? That would be Senator Chuck Schumer.
But strangely there is no one in the media asking of Raskin and Schumer what was famously asked of Nixon by then-Tennessee Senator Howard Baker of the Senate’s Watergate investigating committee. To wit:
What did Raskin and Schumer know and when did they know it?
And why didn’t they do anything to protect the Capitol, their colleagues and staff from what was coming?
Lord is careful not to note that those two Senate committees were controlled by Republicans on Jan. 6, the day of the riot. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, Democrats who won Senate runoff races on Jan. 5, were not sworn in until Jan. 20. Which tells you that Lord is not going to ask any of his fellow Republicians what they knew and when they knew it and why they didn't do anything to protect the Capitol and their colleagues.
That's an example of bias so ridiculous that it could only come from Jeffrey Lord.
WND Pretends Woman Killed In Capitol Riot Wasn't A Crazy Right-Winger Topic: WorldNetDaily
Brian Sussman complained in his Feb. 16 WorldNetDaily column:
The propagandists in the Democratic Party and their willing accomplices in the media continue to insult us with their details of the so-called "insurrection" at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Their quick summary often includes something like, "during the insurrection a woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol."
Generally, they avoid mentioning the woman's name and especially who shot her.
Their hope is that by eliminating as many details as possible, and repeating their mini-version of the story over and over and over, the public at large will believe the shooter was a wild-eyed Trump supporter who crashed the Capitol and the victim was a congressional staffer or perhaps even a Capitol Police officer.
From my observations, that's exactly what most in the public now think.
Actually, as those who read WND are aware, the deceased woman's name is Ashli Babbitt. She was from Southern California. Ashli was 36 years old. There was a memorial held for her last Saturday. Her friends describe Ashli as having been a loving, passionate, patriotic woman.
Compare that to the media's talking heads. When they occasionally reveal Ashli's identity they make her out to be a conspiracy kook.
Hardly the case.
According to a GoFundMe account set up to fund her memorial:
"Ashli's love for America started early. She joined the United States Air Force in 2003 at age 18 and served for the next 14 years. During that time, Ashli deployed four times. It was during one of those deployments she was injured during an attack. Throughout her challenges, she never lost her unwavering patriotism and love for her country. After active duty, Ashli joined the National Guard and went back to school to earn a degree in business. She used that knowledge to run her own company along with her husband, Aaron."
Ashli was also a proud supporter of President Trump. That's why she was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.
Ah, but Babbitt actually was a conspiracy kook. As the Washington Post reported:
Babbitt’s journey — illuminated through her extensive social media activity, court and military records, and interviews with some who knew her — was one of paranoid devotion and enthusiasm that only increased as Trump’s fortunes waned.
She avidly followed the QAnon conspiracy theory, convinced that Trump was destined to vanquish a cabal of child abusers and Satan-worshiping Democrats. She believed Wednesday would be “the storm,” when QAnon mythology holds that Trump would capture and execute his opponents.
Like so many others, she believed Jan. 6 would be not a day of infamy, but an end to her troubles.
“Nothing will stop us,” she tweeted Jan. 5. “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours....dark to light!”
In late December, the incoming vice-president, Kamala Harris, tweeted about her plans for the first hundred days of the Biden administration. She promised “to ensure Americans mask up, distribute 100M shots, and get students safely back to school”.
Among the thousands of responses was an angry tweet from a 35-year-old air force veteran in San Diego.
“No the fuck you will not!” Ashli Babbitt replied to Harris. “No masks, no you, no Biden the kid raper, no vaccines...sit your fraudulent ass down…we the ppl bitch!”
Sussman then tried to heap blame on the officer that killed Babbitt and suggest that she was killed unjustly:
And what do we know about the person who killed Ashli Babbitt?
Only that he or she is a Capitol Police officer. We're told a preliminary investigation did not find enough evidence to criminally charge the officer.
Unlike other killings involving police in the United States, this officer's identity is being withheld. Likewise, the victim's name is not continually being repeated by activists screaming, SAY HER NAME.
But Sussman is olaying dumb about the circumstances that led to Babbitt being shot. As the Post reported:
It is unclear exactly how and when Babbitt entered the Capitol. She undoubtedly understood law enforcement could use deadly force in response to the breach. Airmen in the role Babbitt once occupied in the D.C. Air National Guard’s 113th Air Wing receive riot-control training, and her former unit was mobilized to protect the Capitol on Wednesday.
But it has since become clear what happened inside: The raging crowd that bashed in the windows of a barricaded door to the Speaker’s Lobby, with a short tanned woman in an American backpack at the front of its ranks. Her attempt to climb through one of those windows, leading the way, despite a Capitol Police officer pointing a handgun in her direction. The abrupt way she toppled backward after a single shot resounded.
Babbitt appears to have been part of a violent mob -- something Sussman won't admit.
NEW ARTICLE: Financial Non-Accountability At CNS, Pandemic Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
Throughout 2020, CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey continued to fret about growing federal deficits driven by coronavirus relief -- but he still refused to call out the Republican president and Republican Senate under which they occurred. Read more >>
MRC Has A Fit Over Springsteen's Super Bowl Ad Topic: Media Research Center
As with its corporate subisidiary CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center had a minor meltdown over Bruce Springsteen's Jeep ad during the Super Bowl calling for people to meet in "the middle." First up was professional hater Gabriel Hays, who whined that Springsteen couldn't possibly be a credible advocate for moderation because he had once criticized President Trump:
Melodramatic and patronizing corporate TV ads are as big a part of the SuperBowl as a Tom Brady appearance, though New Jersey music legend Bruce Springsteen’s obnoxious Jeep ad about the “ReUnited of America” took patronizing to a whole new level.
Considering “The Boss” has been slamming Trump and his supporters (which he has called “bums” and a “fucking nightmare”) for the better part of five years, his 2021 Jeep< Super Bowl ad seemed less an appeal to unity, than a call for Trumpers to get on with Democrats' far left ambitions for their country.
The ad, produced by Jeep and starring the “Born to Run” singer, made a heavy appeal for Americans to find common ground with one another after a contentious Donald Trump presidency. The setting of the ad was a chapel in Lebanon, Kansas, the exact geographical middle of the United States of America. The singer elaborated on the obvious metaphor with soulful and somber words: “All are more than welcome to come meet here in the middle. It’s no secret the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, between servant and citizen, between our freedom and our fear.”
At the end of the ad, the words “To the ReUnited States of America” flashed on screen. Oh, back to normal, is it?
Of course, millions of conservatives have seen opportunistic Democrat politicians lie to them for years about Russian collusion, the first impeachment of Donald Trump (and his second). They’ve seen Dems endorse the Black Lives Matter protests which led to $2 billion worth of property damage and dozens of murders and the same conservatives have had the pleasure of being called deplorables, racists and rubes every step of the way.
Springsteen, a proud Dem, has done his fair share of demonizing these conservatives by going after their presidential candidate. Springsteen blistered Trump a few months before the 2020 election. In an interview with Atlantic, Springsteen called Trump a “to democracy,” adding that the then-president was standing in the way of “any kind of reform” that could stem from the Black Lives Matter protests, which were raging at the time.
“I don’t know if our democracy could stand another four years of his custodianship. These are all existential threats to our democracy and our American way of life,” he added in that interview. Of course that means the 74 million who voted for Trump are that threat.
For all his virtiol against Springsteen, Hays offered no evidence that the Boss is wrong about Trump.
After the Super Bowl, Kyle Drennen served up his own little rant, similarly whining about Springsteen's purported divisiveness (read: he's not a conservative):
On Monday, all three network morning shows hailed left-wing, bomb-throwing rocker Bruce Springsteen for a Jeep Super Bowl ad in which he hypocritically preached unity and meeting in the political “middle.” Rather than call out the singer for his history of incendiary partisan rhetoric, hosts all seemed to experience collective amnesia as they pretended he was the perfect messenger to bring people together.
This is the same Springsteen who during a concert on the Today show plaza in September of 2007 launched into a unhinged political tirade accusing the Bush administration of “rendition, illegal wiretapping, voter suppression, no habeas corpus, the neglect of our great city New Orleans and the people, an attack on the Constitution and the loss of our best young men and women in a tragic war.”
In 2007, just days after Springsteen’s Today show tantrum, CBS’s 60 Minutes as “an artist in progress” who was “questioning whether America has lost its way at home.”
Just before Barack Obama was sworn into office in January of 2009, Springsteen couldn’t resist the urge to kick the departing Republican president on his way out. He tarred the Bush administration as a “nightmare” in which “thousands and thousands of people died” and “lives were ruined.”
Drennen's rant against Springsteen's anti-Iraq War sentiments are odd, since we thought the MRC was no longer proud of the Iraq War, given how it complained that obituaries for conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer helped lay the right-wing ideological framework for the war.
Drennen also cited another ideological crime Springsteen committed -- he once vacationed with an Obama: "After vacationing with the Obamas on a luxury yacht the following year, Springsteen promptly released an anti-Trump protest song."
Drennen concluded by huffing: "Despite the sycophantic claims from NBC, ABC, and CBS, Bruce Springsteen is the least qualified person to talk of unity or meeting in the middle. Perhaps he should lead by example and apologize for all the disunity he’s fostered." Of course, both Hays and Drennen have proven they won't even broach a discussion of unity with someone they not only clearly despise but need to maintain as a political target as part of their jobs, so that would make them even less "qualified" than Springsteen, no?
We've noted how defensive Newsmax has become as its questionable and highly biased reporting has come under scrutiny. In a Feb. 22 article repeating its claim that Newsmax's reporting on election fraud and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was just fine, this defense was also added:
The Democratic letter also alleges that Newsmax "amplified allegations that members of the Chinese Communist Party helped to develop the COVID-19 vaccine." Newsmax stated it has no idea what House Democrats are alleging here, as Newsmax did not report anything unusual about China and the COVID-19 vaccine.
In fact -- given that many conservarives assume that the actions of the virology lab in Wuhan, China, reflect the actions of the Chinese Communist Party -- Newsmax has pushed the dubious idea that thte coronavirus was created and/or released from the Wuhan lab. This happened as far back as Januaruy 2020, when Clare Lopez declared, under the headline "Did Wuhan Coronavirus Escape from a Lab in China?" that "the Chinese regime still has a clandestine offensive [biological weapons] program that not only works with advanced laboratory tools like CRISPR to develop some of the most deadly pathogens on earth, but possibly does not have adequate protocols in place to prevent their escape into the public," adding that "Wuhan is also the site of the communist regime’s only declared BSL-4 (Biosafety Level 4) or P4 (Pathogen Level 4) facility, the Wuhan Institute of Virology."
That sort of conspiratorial speculation continued. For instance:
In an April 2020 column, Larry Bell touted a Fox News report in which "the multiple unnamed information sources indicated that the release of the deadly virus most likely resulted when a lab intern at the top biosafety level-4 Wuhan Virology Institute, became accidentally infected due to lax safety protocols, then later infected her boyfriend."
Also in April, Newsmax hyped "circumstantial evidence" that "a Wuhan, China, laboratory released COVID-19 on the world."
In September, Bell speculated that the virus "was bio engineered for non-malevolent purposes in a research laboratory." Also in September, Newsmax promoted claims from Chinese scientist Li-Meng Yan that the virus was "conveniently created" in the Wuhan lab. (Yan's research has been discredited.)
Also that month, a Newsmax column by Tom Borelli attacked a reserarcher who was a member of a COVID-19 commission assembled by prestigious medical journal The Lancet and has criticized the idea that the virus was created in a lab, asserting that he runs an organization "that received NIH funding to conduct bat coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute for Virology" and that it's in his "professional interest if the virus was naturally occurring since he would have a reason to seek more grant money to study bat coronaviruses in China."
A Feb. 10 column by Rand Fishbein pushed the iead that there is a "mounting body of evidence that COVID-19 is almost certainly laboratory modified virus and not a naturally occurring phenomena."(Newsmax did stick a disclaimer on Fishbein's column noting that it "has been authored by a non-clinician."
Newsmax may not think such conspiratorial speculation is "anything unusual," but that just shows how much time Newsmax has spent over the years spreading conspiracy theories.
CNS Spent Months Promoting Trump-Loving State Legislator Who Claimed To Be A Democrat Topic: CNSNews.com
Last May, we highlighted how CNSNews.com had been touting a minor politician, Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, who claimed to be a Democrat but declared his love for then-President Trump. Well, he has continued to be a thing at CNS -- well, mostly for writer Craig Bannister -- for the goofy unicorn antics of a Republican pretending to be a Democrat. These are from last summer alone:
In August, Bannister hyped how Jones "posted a video recalling how he was 'met by a violent mob' and feared for his life when as he left Pres. Donald Trump’s White House speech last Thursday." Bannister did not note that Jones offered any proof to back up his claim, but he did uncritically report Jones' assertion that "my life was threatened."
Before the 2020 presidential election, Jones got more press from Bannister for his schtick:
After the election, Bannister gave Jones space to rant about Stacey Abrams motivating Democrats to vote, claiming that she was "'practicing hypocrisy and not democracy' by ignoring the election concerns plaguing her state." Bannister added that "Democrat Jones says he’s endorsing the two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia’s upcoming runoff elections – because, if they don’t win 'It’s going to be chaos, it’s going to be communism.'"
And on Feb. 11, Bannister rehashed Jones' claim of being "ambushed" by a liberal "mob":
Democrats at this week’s Senate trial are accusing former President Donald Trump of inciting a deadly insurrection by a speech he gave. But, last year, a Democrat Georgia state representative repeatedly warned that it’s the left that Americans should fear.
As CNSNews.com reported, last August, Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones tweeted a video recalling how he had been “ambushed leaving the White House by a left-wing mob for proudly supporting @realDonaldTrump."
“My life was threatened and others’ lives were threatened” by “a violent mob,” Jones said, adding that “I feared for my life.”
Again, Bannister noted no proof from Jones that this actually happened. And he buried the real news here: "Since the attack, Rep. Jones has left the Democrat Party [sic] and become a Republican."
Of course, that means Jones has lost his unicorn gadfly status, and CNS will likely not have much to do with him again.
It's Time For WND, Cashill To Retract And Apologize For Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Seth Rich conspiracy theory has almost completely fallen apart, and WorldNetDaily -- which heavilypromoted it out of a desire to put its personal animosity against Hillary Clinton ahead of reporting facts -- won't tell readers about it.
Last November, Fox News settled with Rich's family -- reportedly for seven figures -- over a false story it published on its website pushing the conspiracy theory that Rich, a Democratic staffer who was murdered in 2016, was killed because he leaked Democratic emails to WikiLeaks. WND censored this story, telling its readers nothing about it. Since then, there's been another settlement, as CNN reported:
"I take full responsibility for my comments and I apologize for any pain I have caused," the businessman, Ed Butowsky, said in a statement retracting his previous comments. "I sincerely hope the Rich family is able to find out who murdered their son and bring this tragic chapter in their lives to a close."
"Today we retract and disavow our statements and we offer our apology to Mr. Rich and his family," said the fringe internet activist, Matt Couch, in a separate video posted online. "I take full responsibility for my actions ... and would like to apologize to Mr. Rich and his family."
The retractions came as part of a settlement Aaron Rich, Seth Rich's brother, reached with Butowsky and Couch over a lawsuit he filed against them in March 2018. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The Washington Times, a conservative news outlet that was also sued, also retracted its claims and settled with Aaron Rich in October 2018.
Seth Rich was fatally shot in Washington, DC, in July 2016. Police have said evidence indicates he was the victim of a botched robbery, but in the wake of his death, far-right activists and media organizations suggested something far more sinister.
Without real evidence, these far-right activists peddled a conspiracy theory that posited Seth Rich leaked a trove of DNC emails to Wikileaks and was killed in retribution for the supposed leak. The theory was convenient for some on the right as they disputed allegations Russia hacked the DNC, something President Donald Trump had disputed.
That was in mid-January. WND has censored this story as well. That silence is strange, because Butowsky played a key role in WND's reporting on Rich. WND touted Butowsky as "a Texas businessman who hired a private eye to look into Rich’s murder" -- Rod Wheeler, who was amajor source for WND's early stories on Rich. (Wheeler later tried to sue Fox News for making up quotes from him in the notorious false story, which was thrown out of court.)
The empathy-devoid conspiracy-mongerer Couch, meanwhile, was promoted by WND columnist conspiracy maven Jack Cashill in an attempt to perpetuate the bogus conspiracy theories. in December 2019, Cashill repeated a claim by "independent journalist" Couch that discovery in a Rich-related lawsuit was kept under seal: "Isn't that interesting, America?" Cashill quoted Couch as saying. (Fact-check: discovery had not been sealed).
Then, in April 2020, as we documented, Cashill gushed that Couch was "irrepressible"; he also tried to defend Butowsky as "well-intentioned" and declared that one reporter had "less interest in solving Rich's murder than he did in slandering Butowsky." So it seems Cashill should be required by WND to issue a retraction as well.
And don't forget that WND knew or should have known that the Seth Rich conspiracy was bogus all along. We've documented how reports showed that then-WND reporter Jerome Corsi knew as early as August 2016 -- less than a month after Rich's death in what police investigators believe was an apparent botched robbery attempt -- that Russian hackers, not Rich, gave those emails to WikiLeaks.
We know WND is capable of correcting a story when it turns out to be false. If it has any genuine despire to be treated as a credible news source (not to mention head off a defamation suit by Rich's family that they are more than entitled to file), now is the time for WND (and Cashill) to fully embrace what it means to set the record straight and fully retract and apologize for all the Seth Rich conspiracy theories it promoted since 2016.
If not, all the tiny walbacks it does won't make a difference because they will never erase WND's notorious reputation for pushing fact-free conspiracy theories.
MRC: Psaki Busting Fox News Reporter For Selective Quoting Is 'Revisionist History' Topic: Media Research Center
We'vedocumentedhow Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck's new delcared enemy is Biden press secretary Jen Psaki -- in no small part because she replace his beloved Kayleigh McEnany. Houck's goal is to warp reality to make Psaki look bad. Filling the new role fo Houck's beloved is Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, whom he cheered once again in a Feb. 8 post for allegedly socking it to Psaki again:
Making his return to the White House Briefing Room on Monday for the first time since January 26, the Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy sparred Press Secretary Jen Psaki over concerns about laid off energy workers and then a possible Biden administration directive to bar ICE from deporting illegal immigrants for crimes such as DUI and simple assault.
Doocy didn’t mince words, first asking Psaki about “when is it that the Biden administration is going to let the thousands of fossil fuel industry workers, whether it’s pipeline workers or construction workers who are either out of work or will soon be out of work because of a Biden, when it is and where it is they can go for their green job” seeing as how it’s “something the administration has promised.”
Psaki had zero remorse, seeming to suggest that such workers were concocted by Doocy’s imagination: “Well, I certainly welcome you to present your data of all of the thousands and thousands of people who won't be getting a green job, maybe next time you're here you could present that.”
Despite Twitter’s attempted clean-up on aisle 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Doocy came prepared.
Along with quoting AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka from his Axios interview and numbers on job losses from the axing of the Keystone XL pipeline, Doocy laid out the facts, but left Psaki exhibiting nothing but signs of disgust (click “expand”):
Houck then pulled a little trick: burying the contentious questioning in a partially obscured blockquote -- which hid the fact that Psaki busted Doocy on taking Trumka out of context:
DOOCY: But you said that they would be getting green jobs, so I'm asking when that happens. Richard Trumka, who is a friend — longtime friend of Joe Biden, says about the day one Keystone deal, he said “I wish he,” the President, “had pared that more carefully with the things that he did second by saying, here's where we're creating the jobs.” So, there's partial evidence from Richard Trumka.
PSAKI: Well, you didn't include all of his interview.
DOOCY: Okay. How about — okay —
PSAKI: Would you like to conclude the rest?
DOOCY: — so, so, how about this, the Labor International Union of North America said the Keystone decision will cost 1,000 existing union jobs and 10,000 projected construction jobs.
PSAKI: Well, what Mr. Trumka also indicated in the same interview was that President Biden proposed a climate plan with transformative investments in infrastructure and laid out a plan that will not only create millions of good union jobs but also help tackle the climate crisis. And as the President indicated when he gave his primetime address to talk about the American Rescue Plan, he talked about his plan to also put forward a jobs plan in the — in the weeks or months following. And he has every plan to do exactly that.
Not only did Houck not quote from the exchange in the body of his item, he then tried to claim that others who pointed out Psaki busting Doocy's context-ripping were engaging in "revisionist history":
Afterwards, Twitter’s far-left curators sided with Psaki, offering up some revisionist history: “White House press secretary Jen Psaki corrected Fox News journalist Peter Doocy after he truncated a quote from AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka while questioning her about Biden’s plan for ‘green jobs.’”
Someone have spa workers on hand to account for all the Twitter leftists (such as serial leftist hack Aaron Rupar) twisting themselves into pretzels for having through the above exchange was one of Psaki’s finest hours. Take that as a good sign that Doocy’s questioning was spot on.
Houck offered no evidence that Twitter's news curators are "far-left," beyond its failure to reinforce his far-right narrative.
It's clear that the only person engaging in revisionist history here is Houck.
WND's Lively Feeling Persecuted Again For Hating LGBT People Topic: WorldNetDaily
Conservatives who walk the walk understand that the common denominator of first responders, military heroes and America's founders is their willingness to pay the price for liberty. The price of liberty is sacrifice – risking your life, your assets and your reputation in the gamble, not the certainty, that freedom will prevail over tyranny as a result.
In my most recent WND column, I implored President Trump to stop endorsing the destructive LGBT agenda and blamed his expulsion from the White House by the election-stealing Biden campaign on that grave spiritual error.
That column triggered an email inquiry from a Newsweek reporter: "Do you have any comment about Right Wing Watch's comments on you proclaiming that Donald Trump was too pro-gay for God to allow him to win the 2020 presidential elections? Do you agree with the Southern Poverty Law Center's assessment of your past words and actions? Lastly, were you aware that most national and international LGBTQ rights organizations consider Trump to be the most anti-LGBTQ president of all time?"
I responded thus: "Both Right Wing Watch and the SPLC are extreme left-wing hate groups incapable of honesty on anything related to the LGBT agenda. And 'most national and international LGBTQ rights organizations' are equally leftist and thoroughly dishonest about Trump. Politically speaking, President Trump has struck a fairly smart balance on LGBT issues by showing basic respect for people with same-sex attraction disorder, and honoring relatively conservative 'gays' like Ric Grenell with appointment to high office. Honest secular-minded people see past the liberal propaganda and know that Trump is pretty much a moderate on those issues.
"From the spiritual perspective of Bible-believing Christians and Torah-faithful Jews, however, any endorsement of homosexual sin by national leaders whom God has anointed (as we believe Trump was) – sin clearly defined in Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26-27 – carries with it a specific curse detailed in Leviticus 18:26-28: that 'if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it spewed out the nations before you.'
"This curse was prophetic in the conquest of Israel and then Judah by the Assyrians and Babylonians, respectively, and in my article I analogized Trump's expulsion from the White House by the far-more morally offensive Joe Biden, to those biblical stories as a way to explain why God did not grant Trump the second contiguous term so many Christians believed he would serve."
In consequence of Newsweek's implied threat of a political hit piece on both me and President Trump, the first Tennessee speaking invitation I've received from a "conservative" group was abruptly rescinded last week. I had expected better from the Bible Belt, but I guess no part of this nation is immune from the slippery slope of "talk the talk" conservatism.
What type of conservative are you, dear reader? Will liberty survive your watch?
AIM Mad The Truth Was Told About Limbaugh Topic: Accuracy in Media
Ella Carroll-Smith complained in a Feb. 17 Accuracy in Media post:
Rush Limbaugh, one of the most influential voices in the history of conservative talk radio, died Wednesday following a year-long battle with lung cancer. HuffPost immediately jumped at the opportunity to run this headline: “Rush Limbaugh, Bigoted King of Talk Radio, Dies at 70.”
The “obituary”, which reads more like a hateful tirade, goes on to claim that Limbaugh “saturated America’s airwaves with cruelty bigotries, lies and conspiracy theories for over three decades.”[...]
Even now, after his death, the media still can’t help but pile on their hatred of Limbaugh. NBC ran with this as the subhead for his obituary: “The Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree outraged critics with his long history of sexist, homophobic and racist remarks.”
NowThis reported that “[d]uring his decades-long media career, he used his platform to promote racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and conspiracy theories.”
The Washington Post, which famously described ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar” upon his death, covered Limbaugh as a man whodeployed comic bombast and relentless bashing of liberals, feminists and environmentalists to become a cultural phenomenon and lead the Republican Party into a politics of anger and obstruction.”
All of this is but a small sampling of the hateful rhetoric that’s making its way across mainstream news outlets Wednesday.
At no point, however, did Carroll-Smith dispute the accuracy of any of those "hateful" descriptions of Limbaugh -- perhaps because she can't. He indisuputably was bigoted and promoted racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and conspiracy theories. Which means that this AIM post is all about being mad that the truth was told about Limbaugh.
We lost a titan of the conservative movement. But within hours of his passing, radical left-wing “journalists” began to smear Rush Limbaugh.
HuffPost called him the “Bigoted King of Talk Radio.” Rolling Stone ran the headline, “Rush Limbaugh Did His Best to Ruin America.”
Rush stood up for our beliefs throughout his entire career.
I hope you’ll take just a minute out of your day to stand up for Rush.
Use the box on this screen to send one prewritten message that goes to the editors of these publications, as well as the board of directors of their parent company. Or modify our message and send your own.
We should be able to respectfully disagree about politics in America. There’s no reason for them to use hateful rhetoric to smear a dead man.
Again, AIM does not dispute the accuracy of those descriptors of Limbaugh. Again, AIM is mad that the truth was told.
Also, it's rich to hear AIM declaring that "We should be able to respectfully disagree about politics in America" given that a key AIM employee for decades was CliffKincaid.
CNS' Impeachment Coverage Largely Ignored The Actual Trial Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reflexively returned to pro-Trump defense mode as the House impeached him after the Capitol riot, then continued to grouse about impeachment as the Senate trial moved closer. The week before the trial, kept pushing the pro-Trump takes:
By contrast, CNS published only three articles on the pro-impeachment side -- two of which quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the third misleadingly framed Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy as agreeing with Rand Paul while burying the fact that he also said that "I come to a different judgment."
When the actual trial started on Feb. 9, CNS had no interest in covering what was actually being said and done on the Senate floor -- perhaps because its editors knew that the evidence did not look good for Trump. So it sought to distract attention from it; one early story by Craig Bannister on a Rasmussen poll carried the headline "Only 36% of Voters Will Watch Most or All of Trump’s Impeachment Trial – And, Pres. Biden Isn’t One of Them." Instead, it covered what (mostly Republican) politicians said outside the trial being critical of it:
The three above articles followed by asterisks are the only ones of the 15 CNS published during the week of the trial that directly reported testimony given during the actual trial.
CNS was also making sure to highlight the Republicans who voted against Trump. A Feb. 10 article by Susan Jones complained that "Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on Tuesday joined five liberal Republicans (Collins, Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Murkowski) in voting to proceed with President Trump's second impeachment trial on constitutional grounds." When the Senate ultimately voted to acquit, the anonymously written three-paragraph article announcing the decision devoted one of those paragraphs to listing the Republians who voted for conviction. That was followed by an article by Bannister claiming that Trump "issued a statement of thanksgiving, encouragement, hope – and warning" after the trial, which also listed the seven Republicans who voted for conviction.
And it wouldn't be CNS if it couldn't work an anti-LGBT angle into things. Thus, we have an anonymously written article complaining that "Rep. David Cicilline (D.-R.I.), who is now serving as a House Impeachment Manager in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, also serves as the chairman of the 'Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.'" No explaination was given as to why CNS felt the need to inform readers of this or what relevance it has to impeachment.
It was only after Trump was safely acquitted that CNS felt it could publish numerous articles critical of him on Feb. 15, two days after the end of the trial:
Unlike Trump's last impeachment, CNS largely restrained itself from presenting ridiculous defenses with a straight face. But because it knew Trump's actions were indefensible, it apparently decided that its coverage would be as minimally impactful as possible. Which, of course, still makes CNS a pro-Trump shill, not the "news" organization it proclaims itself to be.
MRC Tries To Revive Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Topic: Media Research Center
Last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, wedocumentedhow various places on the ConWeb pushed the idea that the novel coronavirus was developed by the Communist Chinese in a laboratory in Wuhan, China -- even the Media Research Center was sad that a far-right conspiracy blog was suspended by Twitter for pushing the bogus claim. Now, the Media Rsearch Center's Nicholas Fondacaro is trying to revive the conspiracy theory as a way to attack the World Health Organization. He wrote in a Feb. 9 post:
In the early days of the pandemic, the World Health Organization was caught covering for the murderous Chinese regime by pushing false information about how the virus spread. And ever since, the liberal media have been trying to downplay their lies, even going so far as to tout how China was shipping supplies around the world (they were defective), and complained when then-President Trump withdrew the United States the WHO.
But on Tuesday, ABC and CBS pushed a WHO claim that the coronavirus didn’t originate from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The assertion was dubious at best considering we knew that WHO scientists were only recently allowed into the country (over a year after the virus started spreading), they were being closely watched and followed by Chinese officials, and China had been trying to rewrite the fact the virus came from their country.
And according to a Fox News Channel segment on Special Report, there were no American scientists on the WHO team and even some Biden administration officials weren’t buying their findings.
While there are questions about how much meaningful access WHO officials looking into the coronavirus' origin in China have had, they aren't idiots or CCP dupes as Fondacaro would like you to believe -- they are medical experts, unlike right-wing propagandist Fondacaro. WHO virologist Marion Koopmans, who was on the team that went to Wuhan, has said that while the exact source of the coronavirus may never be pinpointed, "we have not been able to find any credible link" between the virus and the Wuhan lab.
But the truth doesn't generate clicks for Fondacaro and the MRC; peddling conspiracy theories and right-wing hate does.