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Thursday, March 18, 2021
MRC Brings Back Misinformation-Peddling Pollster
Topic: Media Research Center

Late last year, we caught the Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez promoting right-wing pollster Richard Baris while censoring the fact that Baris had been busted for pushing false claims about fraud in the 202 presidential election. So it's probably not surprising that Vazquez gave Baris another platform in a Feb. 19 post:

Big Data Poll Director Richard Baris slammed a CNBC economic survey arguing that President Joe Biden won an initial approval rating that topped the first ratings of the last four presidents.

CNBC’s recent All-America Economic Survey of 1,000 people claimed that Biden’s leftist agenda won him a whopping 62 percent initial approval rating for his “handling of the economy and for uniting the country.” The result supposedly topped the “first ratings of the last four presidents.” In addition, Biden’s initial rating was “18 points higher than Trump’s.” Baris summed up Biden’s numbers in one sentence: “At this point, there’s no excuse for them to continue to release results derived from methodologies that have repeatedly proven to be flawed.”

When reached for comment, Baris told the MRC the accuracy of polling companies could be measured by the reliability of their predictions leading up to the tumultuous 2020 election:

The only real test of a pollster's accuracy and trustworthiness comes on Election Day. It’s important to remember that these pollsters failed miserably last November. There are several reasons for that failure, all of which are now pretty widely acknowledged in the industry.

Given that Baris has already been busted pushing false informaiton, there's no reason to trust his opinion on anything -- but Vazquez does anyway, letting him rant about polls he doesn't like use methods he doesn't like. But he seems to be overlooking that CNBC's poll can be described as valid because its Biden poll presumably uses methodology similar to its previous polls, making comparisons between those polls more valid. It's much more difficult to draw comparisons between polls if the methodologies they used are drastically different.

Given that BNaris has made his pro-Republican leanings all too clear, it's hard to take his criticism of other polls seriously because it seems obvious he's just trashing the competition. Indeed, FiveThirtyEight thinks that Baris' Big Data Poll findings are so unreliable that it has received an F rating and has been banned from its polling analysis.

This is who Vazquez thinks is a credible "expert" on polling.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EDT
WND Clings To The 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted how WorldNetDaily likes to push the claim that then-President Trump didn't really say that neo-Nazis and far-right militia members were "very fine people" in commenting on the 2017 Charlotteville protests. Art Moore took another crack at it in a Feb. 12 article:

A defense attorney for President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial on Friday refuted the oft-repeated "Charlottesville lie" that Joe Biden says prompted him to run for president.

House impeachment managers played a selectively edited video of Trump's 2017 remark on Thursday, claiming he referred to neo-Nazi rioters as "very fine people."

But David Schoen was ready with the full video, which shows the left has been dishonestly manipulating Trump's words to back their claim that he is a white supremacist.


Biden, in one of many occasions in which he repeated the lie, said during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last summer that Trump's words in 2017 were "a wake-up call for us as a country" and, for him, "a call to action."

"At that moment, I knew I'd have to run," he said.

In fact, during his remarks on Charlottesville, Trump immediately made it clear he was not talking about "the neo-Nazis and white nationalists," explicitly declaring "they should be condemned totally."

His reference – as a CNN contributor pointed out in a rebuke to his network colleagues – was to the people on both sides of the issue of whether or not to maintain statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate figures.

As we've pointed out, this argument omits the crucial context that the group that was protesting the removal of the Confederate statue and Robert E. Lee park renaming was a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr.

Jack Cashill similarly pushed this bogus narrative in his Feb. 17 column:

One useful outcome of this most recent impeachment Kabuki was the exposure of the "very fine people" lie, the one spawned by the media in the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia, dust-up in August 2017.

So pervasive was the lie that reportedly Trump's attorneys did not even know it was a lie until they began to research it.

Left unexplored, however, even by the conservative media, was how Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign on the wings of this lie and rode it, by hook and by crook, all the way to the White House.


The "fine people" Trump spoke of were those protesting the removal of Robert E. Lee's statue. Trump wondered out loud whether the removal of statues would lead to the removal of George Washington's statue or Thomas Jefferson's.


As has become the Big Media norm, the New York Times article on Biden's presidential announcement allowed his deceit to pass unremarked. Other media followed suit. And Biden kept lying.

The Charlottesville gambit was part of a larger strategy to paint Trump as a racist dating back to his challenge of Barack Obama's birth certificate eight years earlier.

Like Moore, Cashill refused to acknowledge that the group organizing against the Lee statue removal was a right-wing militia.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:57 AM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

For the first full month of Joe Biden's presidency, it seems that is reluctant to give him credit for job growth. In her lead story on February's numbers, Susan Jones is still waxing nostalgic about how many jobs Donald Trump created before the pandemic and comparing the's numbers to pre-pandemic totals:

The economy added a healthy 379,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 6.2 percent.

A year ago February, the nation's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a fifty-year low; but that was before coronavirus caused parts of the economy to shut down.

The number of employed Americans, 150,239,000, increased in February for the tenth month in a row. That's a gain of 208,000 from January, as more states start to relax COVID restrictions.

The 150,239,000 employed Americans in February is well below the record 158,735,000 set during the Trump administration. But it's close to the levels set in late 2015/early 2016 during the Obama-Biden administration.

That's not the only right-wing Jones pushed in her article. She also uncritically quoted right-wing economist (and CNS columnist) Stephen Moore claming that the lower unemployment rate "shows we don't need another $2 trillion dollar stimulus bill. We need to get states reopened. The number of COVID cases is down dramatically. The success of Operation Warp Speed and the vaccine have been the best stimulus of all."

CNS served up the usual sidebars this time around: one from editor Terry Jeffrey lamenting that "Despite adding 21,000 manufacturing jobs in the month of February, the United States has lost 561,000 in the past year," and the other from Craig Bannister conceding that "The unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos improved slightly in February as more than a quarter-million both entered the labor force and found jobs and the nation’s businesses continued reopening from the coronavirus-prompted shutdown."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:27 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Jealous? MRC Still Envious That Obamas Are Doing Well
Topic: Media Research Center

In a March 15 post, a Media Research Center writer suggested that CNN's Brian Stelter doing a segment on Fox News host Tucker Carlson's incendiary and offensive rhetoric meant that he was jealous of Carlson's ratings. By that logic, we can assume that the MRC's weird fixation on how productive Barack and Michelle Obama (and how much money they've made in the process) have been after leaving the presidency is an expression of jealousy as well. Obama hasn't been president for four years ,and it hasn't stopped.

Late last year, Clay Waters served up some late-breaking attacks (coming after our previous item) on book reviewers weighing in on Obama's presidential memoir: in one piece, he whined that the New York Times Sunday Book Review's "obeisant" and "almost reverent" take on the book "took up five full pages of the section; in the other, Waters huffed that former Times book critic Michiko Kakutani "fulfilled her reputation for sucking up to President Barack Obama" in an interview with him, further complaining that "Kakutani mined Obama’s vast book (the first of a threatened two in a series) for more of Obama’s mind-droppings."

In a Feb. 18 post, Gabriel Hays has decided it's perfectly fine to attack the child of a (former) president:

The Obama media empire continues to grow stronger as yet another Obama family member gets a cushy Hollywood gig. What’s next? The Obama dogs getting their own late night talk show?

In addition to Michelle and Barack Obama having respective massive book deals, a Hollywood production company which has produced Oscar-award winning movies, and frequent guest appearances for Michelle on PBS, their daughter is now in on the action. News dropped recently that Malia Obama landed a lucrative screenwriting gig with Amazon Studios and Star Wars actor, Donald Glover.

It sure pays to be an Obama these days.

Hays sounds like he thinks he deserves that gig.

Obama's planned podcast with Bruce Springsteen prompted more MRC whining. Kyle Drennen huffed that the podcast was a "vanity project" and that coverage of it "made it clear journalists were still adoring fans eager for any new product being put out by the Democrat." Hays returned to ramp up the petulenace under the all-caps headline "INSUFFERABLE":

What is it with the entertainment industry giving radio and podcast gigs to people who should have shut up years ago? In what is probably another sign of the apocalypse, two of the more insufferable lefties in American history are teaming up for one podcast series.

Former President Barack Obama and “Glory Days” singer Bruce Springsteen have launched a podcast titled “Renegades: Born in the USA.” Yeah, how’s that for obnoxious?


And Barry’s just being Barry, making media content with his mega-million dollar partnership with Netflix and his book deals, and talking trash about conservative Americans and Trump every step of the way. Yeah both of these jokers are real renegades, the way they are shilling for the all-encompassing liberal machine that is now looking to brand grandma’s facebook posts as “domestic terrorism.” Real outsider stuff, boys.

Hays is almost entertainingly oblivious to how much he's pegging the insufferably-obnoxious meter. But will he concede that Obama was, in fact, born in the USA? The jury's still out on that.

On March 3, Kristine Marsh grumbled that Michelle Obama had a book to sell, and that "ABC’s morning show Good Morning America was happy to act as Michelle Obama’s PR team, not only helping to sell her book to kids but also promote her well-crafted image of the wise and inspirational role model. There wasn’t one critical or tough question in the exclusive ABC interview.

And on March 14, Tim Graham was shockec -- shocked! -- that People magazine failed to a harsh right-wing takedown of Michelle Obama, underthe headline "Lickspittle Olympics":

Just five weeks after their latest puffball cover story on Joe and Jill Biden, People magazine offers a cover story on Michelle Obama. The cover announced the theme: " Love, Family & What I Know Now: The former First Lady on keeping life fun, parenting grown daughters, and how marriage was shaken but stayed strong: 'I look across the room and I still see my friend'."

"We've learned to count our blessings" is the big takeaway inside, and "making the most of pandemic isolation with her husband and daughters (Baking! Eavesdropping!)"

But why now? What is she selling? The excuse for another six-page spread of sugar is a new “young readers edition” of her 2018 memoir Becoming. (They're counting their royalties, not just their blessings.)


Now who is buying the Obamas as "working class" folks now? After more than $100 million in book deals and Netflix deals and speaking fees, and so on, and so on? But People will still publish this syrup in all seriousness.

But aren't fluffy profiles the reason People magazine exists? And hasn't the MRC spent the past four years insisting that a self-proclaimed billionaire narcissist with a taste for gaudiness is the champion of working people?

Seems that Graham is still jealous that Michelle Obama's memoir sold many times more copies than the sum total of anything he ghost-wrote for his boss, Brent Bozell.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:35 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: How CNS Embraced Trump's Bogus Election Fraud Conspiracy
Topic: gave Donald Trump plenty of space to push unchallenged his claim that the election was stolen from him. After the Capitol riot, though, CNS was briefly shocked into reporting balanced news. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 4, 2021 11:28 AM EDT
WND Columnist Cites Pseudo-Historian While Fretting About History Being Wiped Out
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Patrice Lewis wrote in her Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily column:

Last summer I read an engrossing book entitled "1421: The Year China Discovered America" by Gavin Menzies, a retired British submarine lieutenant commander turned amateur archeologist. The book documented his efforts to demonstrate how a Chinese fleet of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of ships set sail in 1421 and circumnavigated the world, touching base everywhere from the Americas (North and South), Australia, Africa, Greenland, Europe, and all points between. The purpose of the expeditions, according to Menzies, was to chart the waters of the globe, impress and intimidate foreign rulers, and bring the entire world into China's "tribute system."

The book was riveting. While COVID lockdowns and subsequent unemployment soared around America, I was lost in the voyages of these Chinese explorers. While cities burned around the nation, causing billions of dollars in damages and killing dozens of people, I was absorbed by the evidence of the expeditions found in California and the Caribbean. While BLM and Antifa toppled statues, defaced monuments and demanded history be rewritten, I was captivated by the evidence presented of the Chinese discovery of Australia and even Antarctica. While Portland, Seattle and other blue cities were torn apart by constant violence and anarchy, I was immersed in the phenomenal accomplishments of those Imperial Chinese fleets.

Some sources dismiss Menzies as a "pseudo-historian" because he doesn't have academic credentials after his name (for the record, I'm not nearly as impressed by academic credentials as I used to be), but I found the book compelling and fascinating nonetheless. Whether or not Menzies' conclusions are accurate is not the focus of this column. Instead, ponder this question: If the premise of the book is true – if evidence points to China being world explorers long before Europeans – why doesn't history reflect this? Why aren't the accomplishments of Imperial China known throughout the world?

The proposed answer, according to Menzies, is because during the years the voyagers were at sea and out of touch with their mother country, Imperial China's tumultuous and controversial régime changed, and its leaders (who commissioned the fleet) were deposed. The new incoming régime was rigidly insular. All foreign goods, services and trade were forcibly suppressed and – here's the critical part – expunged from the records. As with many cultural revolutions, the leaders wanted their reign to be "Year Zero" for history. The accomplishments of the previous rulers were not just unwelcome, they were downright dangerous to acknowledge.

Turns out there's a good reason actual historians dismiss Menzies' conclusions: because he offers no proof to back them up.  As one actual historian wrote:

Unfortunately for supporters of this theory, he offers no proof, only a great deal of circumstantial evidence marred by questionable scholarship.

Menzies has no "smoking gun" that proves his theory-- because the xenophobic Confucian officials who advised the later Ming emperors destroyed all records of these sea voyages.


Authors that aim to rewrite 500 years of accepted history should rely less on subjective claims and more on hard evidence. And this is where Menzies ultimately fails to persuade. First, he does not read Chinese and thus cites no primary sources--a problem even if one accepts that the records were all destroyed. Even more fatal to his argument, Menzies often fails to provide corroborating data for many of his claims. To cite just four examples, he: never provides the DNA evidence supposedly linking the American Indians and Chinese; fails to document the discovery of Chinese anchors off the coast of California; appeals to unspecified "local experts," as when arguing that remains of 15th century Chinese shipwrecks have been found in New Zealand; and says that a Taiwanese museum's copy of a Chinese map allegedly showing Australia and Tasmania "unfortunately...has been lost." Questionable speculative leaps are also Menzies's stock-in-trade, as when claiming that the inscription on a stone column in the Cape Verde Islands (off Africa's western coast) is in Maylayam, a language of South India, and that this proves the Chinese were there. Yet why would a Chinese fleet admiral order a message inscribed in a language other than Chinese? 

But as Lewis already wrote, she doesn't care whether Menzies is accurate -- a strange stance for someone who has touted how she homeschooled her children. She thinks liberals are erasing history the way the alleged Chinese expedition to the U.S. was purportedly eradicated:

America, too, has experienced a régime change in which the Five Evils (Big Tech, Hollywood, public education, mainstream media, politicians) are engaging in a long-term scrubbing of history, both past and modern. In a remarkably short period of time, our history – the good, the bad and the ugly – is being expunged from the records, leaving behind a sterilized and factually false account. Our founding documents are being dismissed as racist, and the intellectual giants who shaped the groundwork for a nation of freedom are being rebranded as white supremacists whose legacy is not just unimportant, but downright dangerous to acknowledge. America's origins are being rewritten to fit the narrative of the extreme left agenda.

How long before the logs and records of our history are destroyed, and the memory of them expunged so completely over the succeeding decades that they might never have existed? Even now there are whole generations of children who have grown up completely ignorant of major world events, everything from the Holocaust to the democide (death by government) of hundreds of millions of people over the last 120 years due to socialism and communism. They are equally ignorant of American history except what reflects the extreme leftist narrative.


Even now, the left is trying to scrub President Trump from history. We're watching it happen in real time.

We are witnessing a purge unprecedented in America, but widely repeated through world history during tyrannical régimes. Dissenting voices are silenced, religious expression is suppressed, statues are toppled, history is rewritten, and – most importantly – the education of children is strictly regulated. As Hitler so accurately observed, "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already. … What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community."

And it's all happening in less time than you think.

Lewis seems to have missed how the Trump administration tried to eradicate all mention of the Affordable Care Act from government websites as a prelude to the administration's attempt to overturn the law and discourage people from using it.Maybe Lewis doesn't think that rewriting history is that big of a deal when right-wingers do it -- which, or course, makes her a hypocrite.

Lewis has been moving to the far-right fringe in recent months -- she previously pushed the false claim that Antifa was involved in the Capitol riot, declared that Trump was the victim of a "coup d'etat," and  proclaimed that because ofthe pandemic, "we're in the throes of an orchestrated economic collapse. Orchestrated. Got that? Orchestrated." One could say she's fulfilling her potential as a WND columnist.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
MRC Remains Angry TV Cop Shows Mirror Current Issues In Policing
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center has gotten upset that police-related dramas on TV are taking the ripped-from-the-headlines approach in addressing recent controversies over police brutality that don't adhere to the MRC's pro-police, anti-reform agenda. You will not be surprised to learn that the complaining has continued. Lindsay Kornick complained in a Jan. 3 post:

Looks like CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans will spend its 2021 doubling down on false liberal propaganda. While the show already bent over backwards to claim police officers are killing young black men last month, the latest episode somehow went further to appease a “burn the establishment” progressive and her mostly “peaceful” crowd.

Kornick further complained that one character "even goes so far as to peddle the usual lie that the “vast majority” of BLM protestors are just peaceful idealists being dragged by a few bad actors. She linked to a right-wing post ridiculing a study finding that 93 percent of protests did not result in rioting -- a "vast majority" by any definition and, thus, not a "usual lie." (Ironically, the MRC would be using this exact same argument a few days later to distance conservatives from the right-wing Capitol rioters, even though both were clearly on the same pro-Trump side.)

Rebecca Downs went after a different show, "The Rookie," grumbling on Jan. 4 that the show "aims to get political on policing" by discussing racial issues and that one show writer said that it "can’t do one special episode, where we feel good and solve racism in the end, and then go back to our usual thing the next week. We want to change things for as long as we get to do this show.” This was followed by her complaint on Jan. 11 that the show"revealed a new “ polarizing” character, veteran officer Doug Stanton (Brandon Routh) and his hit-you-over-the-head racial profiling. The episode also featured interactions between titular character Officer John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) and James Murray (Arjay Smith), a local black man, while Nolan's assigned to a community policing center."

Downs' anger continued as the show's storyline did, ranting on Jan. 18 that the latest episode featured how that "polarizing" officer character "physically assaults an innocent young black man who does not match the description of their suspect, then threatens to arrest the man's entire family for trying to intervene while pointing his gun at them all in an over-the-top scene, with the rookie he is training, Officer Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr.), uncomfortably watching it all." She concluded by huffing that "it looks like next Sunday we can enjoy what is, at best, another increasingly crowded, melodramatic, and poorly written episode of The Rookie." The next week, Downs groused that the character was "a white racist cop personified," adding that "Our main characters may want Stanton gone, but he also is a veteran of the job who knows a thing or two."

Elise Ehrhard bashed another show in a Jan. 26 post:

CBS's woke court drama All Rise has spent all season pushing BLM propaganda. One lie that Black Lives Matter promotes is the myth that America's first police departments were created to capture fugitive slaves. The leader of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York< even said on Fox News that the first police departments were used as "slave patrols." One way that leftism attempts to destroy American institutions is by lying about their founding. 

BLM's claim is demonstrably false. The first pre-Civil War police departments were created in Boston, New York and Philadelphia and their creation had nothing to do with capturing runaway slaves. But facts never stopped Hollywood from promoting BLM myths.

No, it's not "demonstrably false." Northern big-city police departments may not have been founded on capturing slaves, but historians point out that Southern cities had slave patrols that predated police departments' founding, and that all such police operations were created to enforce the existing social hierarchy before evolving into a force for protection starting in the late 19th century.

On Feb. 14, Ehrhard complained that another show pointed out that last summer's protests were mostly peaceful: "Television shows this year just have characters keep saying over and over again that the protests are peaceful, really, really peaceful. Did they ever hear of Shakespeare's warning, 'I think thou doth protest too much'? If protests were genuinely peaceful, Hollywood writers would not have to keep telling audiences that." She concluded by sneering out the MRC's nasty narrative: "BLM and Antifa protests have been a poisonous exercise in domestic terrorism and no amount of Hollywood lying should ever cause Americans to forget it."

Downs returned on Feb. 22 to bash "The Rookie" some more: "For weeks, ABC’s The Rookie hit viewers over the head with the evils of racist white cops, personified through Officer Doug Stanton (Brandon Routh). While Officer Stanton may be gone, the show is just getting started on the racial white guilt."

Kornick, meanwhile, ranted about a yet another show in a Feb. 21 post: "CW’s Batwoman may have a new lead, but the politics are as bad as ever. With several subtle victimization jabs in the past few episodes, the superhero series finally makes a bold move by supporting the ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) movement. Again, this is supposed to be our hero, ladies and gentlemen."

Fortunately for the MRC, there's still one show on TV that reliably pushes its right-wing agenda. A Jan. 25 post by Dawn Slusher cheered, "Leave it to CBS’s excellent hit cop drama Blue Bloods to confront anti-police sentiment head-on and depict how it affects not only officers, but their families, as well," calling the show "a breath of fresh air in an industry that refuses to recognize the humanity of police officers and how they sacrifice their lives to keep us safe."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:06 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 8:10 PM EDT
WND's Favorite Ex-Soviet Bloc Spymaster Has Died
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily reported last month that Ion Mihai Pacepa, "one-time communist spymaster" in Romania who defected to the U.S., has died. The article, by managing editor David Kupelian, gushed:

On a personal note: In 2012, Pacepa wrote the definitive book on disinformation, titled “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism,” coauthored with historian and law professor Ronald Rychlak, and with an Introduction by R. James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence. I was honored to be involved as the book’s editor, and also as a scriptwriter for the companion feature-length film documentary, “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy to Destroy the West.”

It was wonderful to know and to work with Mihai Pacepa – “Mike,” as his friends called him. Mike, Ron Rychlak and I have remained good friends ever since.

Since Kupelian dishonestly fails to come right outy and say it, it's up to us to point out that "Disinformation" was published by now-defunct WND Books.

That was followed by a Feb. 25 column tribute to Pacepa by Paul Kengor that was similarly gushy, touting how "I often got his emails in response to my articles here at The American Spectator, of which he was an avid reader" and that Pacepa pushed the conspiracy theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was programmed by the Soviets to assassinate John Kennedy (though he did concede that "this theory of Soviet involvement is disputed by Kennedy assassination investigators and by the Warren Commission").

We remember Pacepa as the purported author of a pro-Trump screed that WND distributed before the 2016 election, which may have actually been ghostwritten by Pacepa's coauthor, mouthpiece and gatekeeper, Ronald Rychlak; we had a nonproductive conversation with Rychlak in which he deflected questions about why Pacepa would back a candidate who's cozy with another former communist spymaster, Vladimir Putin.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:15 PM EDT
CNS Misses 'Great Conservative Leader' Limbaugh
Topic: unsurprisingly fell all over itself to toss plaudit after plaudit after the death of right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh. It published these gooey tributes to him:

CNS also echoed its Media Research Center parent by complaining that others said not-so-nice things upon Limbaugh's death. One article groused that "less than two hours after it was announced that Rush Limbaugh had died," Amazon executive and former Obama press secretary Jay Carney tweeted that "There is a direct line between Rush Limbaugh and January 6th -- and it runs through Fox News," a sentiment the anonymous writer didn't dispute. Craig Bannister was annoyed that CNN's Jim Acosta pointed out that Fox News did a softball interview with Donald Trump discussing Limbaugh's death that didn't challenge him on the "election lies" he told.

And managing editor Michael W. Chapman devoted an article to whining that "Minutes after the death of conservative talk-radio legend Rush Limbaugh was announced today, some left-wing reporters took to Twitter to openly celebrate his death and attack and insult his memory." One of the things he complained about that reporters noted Limbaugh's "long history of sexist, homophobic and racist remarks." Chapman didn't dispute the claims -- and, like his MRC co-workers, he refused to acknowledge there are good reasons why people might feel that way about Limbaugh.

Perhaps Chapman and the rest of the CNS crew are silently acknowledging that racism, homophobia and misogyny are what one needs to be a "great conservative leader."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Monday, March 15, 2021
MRC's Double Standard On Sleazy Sex Scandals
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center spent a lot of time over the past few years Heathering the Lincoln Project for being never-Trump conservatives and looks for any opportunity to write negatively about it. Well, it was handed a plum opportunity when it was revealed that Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver had sent unsolicited and sexually provoctive messages to teenage males. Unsurprisingly, the MRC launched into its usual blitz of complaining that the alleged scandal wasn't getting attention outside its media bubble and that other Lincoln Project representatives were somehow still allowed to appear on TV:

Meanwhile, the MRC was studiously ignoring a creepy sex scandal involving a conservative who wasn't anti-Trump. Take it away, Law & Crime:

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) on Friday announced that a former aide to President Donald Trump was arrested in Washington, D.C. and charged with receiving, possessing, and distributing child pornography.

Ruben Verastigui, 27, who worked on Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, was previously employed as a senior digital strategist for the Senate Republican Conference and Republican National Committee.  He was also the digital media coordinator for the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America. He left the Republican Conference in July of 2020 to become the communications manager for the nonprofit group Citizens For Responsible Energy Solutions.


The details are graphic.

According to that public document, Verastigui allegedly told another person in April of 2020 that he was “into” sexually assaulting babies.

The MRC has censored any mention of Verastigui and his crime. Meanwhile, his former employer, Students for Life, has been given a lot of play at the MRC; The group's leaders have been been signatories to two letters issued by the MRC pushing its dubious narrative that "Big Tech:" is solely muzzling conservatives, and a January post by Gabriel Hays cited Students for Life among the groups cheering a Supreme Court ruling making it harder to obtain medication to induce an abortion.

If the Lincoln Project is tainted by Weaver's sleazy sex scandal, why isn't Students for Life tained by Verastigui's even sleazier sex scandal?

You'd think that the MRC would be outraged at all sex scandal perpetrators. Apparently, those who are sufficiently loyal to the right-wing cause and the organizations that employed them get a pass.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EDT
WND's Lively: U.S. No Longer A Republic Because Biden Was Elected
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It was Benjamin Franklin who famously replied, "A republic, if you can keep it," when a group of citizens asked him what form of government the founders had created for them. Few remember that he also said, "[This republic] is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other," adding, "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Notice that he said "when," not "if."

Franklin's prophecy has come true: The putative Biden "presidency" is proof that our republic has been replaced by despotism – the consequence of our loss of virtue as a people. Sure, we can blame the Marxists for usurping our institutions and indoctrinating generations of Americans in atheism, hedonism and the victim/plunder mentality, but we nevertheless remain responsible for our own choices. "The devil made me do it" defense can't save you in this life or the next.


If Donald Trump was America's judge, as I believe, he fits the mold of Samson (complete with iconic hair) – who furiously fought the corrupt Philistines and in the end (Jan. 6) pulled down their temple on all of their heads. What followed Samson in Israel (under Eli and Samuel) was the transition to a monarchy led by Saul, who transformed into an Antichrist figure during his reign, who was followed by David, the Christ figure.

This pattern also fits the last-days timeline of prophecy. If so, it could be that Biden is the Eli figure – famous for the criminality of his sons – and Trump could even return in 2024 for a second term as the transitional Samuel figure, but either way there was not in Israel, nor would there be in America, any restoration of the republic, just a possible continuation of the reprieve, consistent with God's longsuffering nature.

It all comes down to the hearts of the people ourselves, and, just as was true under the final judges of Israel, there is today no apparent hunger for a return to national godliness that would manifest in repentance.

With apologies to the patriot prophet Benjamin Franklin, it must now be said that he was right, and due to our own collective loss of virtue, America was the republic we couldn't keep.

-- Scott Lively, Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EDT
CNS Frets Biden Will Allow More Non-Christian Refugees Into U.S. Than Trump Did

We've documented how, mainly reporter Patrick Goodenough, fretted that the U.S. let into the country too many Muslim refugees and not enough Christian ones under President Obama -- although there were almost always more Christians than Muslims -- and cheered when President Trump not only drastically cut the number of overall refugees but dramatically increased the percentage of those that were Christian. With a new administration and likely changes in refugee policies, CNS is ready to skew the issue again.

An anonymously written article published in December complained about a Biden campaign policy statement stating that "Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure." Another anonymous article in january groused that "President-elect Joe Biden has promised to terminate policies followed under President Donald Trump that Biden says limited 'the ability of members of the LGBTQ community' to claim asylum in the United States." Goodenough fretted in a Feb. 4 article:

President Joe Biden signaled on Thursday that the United States will in the next fiscal year aim to admit the largest number of refugees in almost three decades.

The refugee admission ceiling for fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1 this year, will be 125,000, Biden said at the State Department.

That number is 15,000 more than the highest cap set during the Obama-Biden administration (Its proposal of 110,000, for FY 2017, would have been the highest since FY 1995. It did not survive, however, as President Trump, days after his inauguration, signed an executive order lowering it to 50,000 admissions.)

Goodenough did offer some sort of balance, noting that "Refugee resettlement agencies applauded the move." while "Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) criticized Biden’s announcement,"though he didn't explain what significance Cotton's remarks have to the debate beyond being a random Republican would happened to issue a statement on the issue.

Goodenough rehashed what we already knew about the Trump administration's refugee policy in a Feb. 11 article:

The Trump administration’s refugee policies led to an increased proportion of Christians among those resettled in the United States – but because overall refugee numbers were reduced so significantly, far fewer followers of the world’s most persecuted religious faith were resettled during the Trump years than previously, advocates told the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Wednesday.

Between fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2020, the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. from the 50 countries on the Open Doors USA annual list of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians dropped by 83 percent – from 16,714 to 2,811 – Jenny Yang, senior vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief, told a USCIRF hearing on “Refugees Fleeing Religious Persecution.”

Goodenough's assertion that Christianity is "the world’s most persecuted religious faith" is dubious at best, though he did graciously concede that "Adherents of faiths other than Christianity face persecution too." He also conceded a fact he obscured in his original reporting at the time, that Christian refugees almost always outnumbered Muslim ones under Obama:

During most of the Obama administration, Christians outnumbered Muslims – although not by large margins – among the refugee admissions.

That changed in the last full fiscal year of the Obama administration, when 44.5 percent of the 84,994 refugees resettled in the U.S. were Christians and 45.7 percent were Muslims.

Goodenough also complained that "President Biden is expected to increase the admission ceiling for the current fiscal year," though he had to admit that the move was applauded by not only resettlement agencies but also the USCIRF, "a bipartisan statutory body that advises the executive and legislative branches."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Fake News At WND: Election Fraud Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily unsurprisingly embraced Donald Trump's bogus claims that voter fraud cost him the election -- but, surprisingly, some claims were so egregiously false that WND actually felt compelled to correct the record. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 AM EDT
Sunday, March 14, 2021
MRC Rushes To Limbaugh's Defense Afer His Death -- But Mentions Sandra Fluke Only Once
Topic: Media Research Center

Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh's death brought the expected plaudits, under headlines like "Radio Icon Rush Limbaugh Delighted MRC Galas: ‘Stay on the Truth’" and "Mike Pence Honors Rush Limbaugh: ‘The Anchor of Conservatism’" and "Mr. Snerdley Pays Tribute to the Late, Great Rush Limbaugh as Only He Could." But as it did when Limbaugh announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer a year earlier, the MRC lashed out at anyone who pointed out that Limbaugh was a racist, misogynist, divisive hater while almost failing to offer a coherent defense against the claims:

Again: Aside from the above-noted Jay Maxson example, none of this posts offer any sort of defense of Limbaugh -- they simply whine that Limbaugh was criticized -- accurately, one could say -- upon his death. (Also, note that the MRC so loved the word "despicable" to describe the non-right-wing media's response to Limbaugh's death that it appears in the headlines of three of these items.)

One post, however, did attempt to defend the arguably indefensible. Tim Graham devoted a Feb. 18 post to responding to an Associated Press obituary of Limbaugh that noted "As the AIDS epidemic raged in the 1980s, he made the dying a punchline," that "When actor Michael J. Fox, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, appeared in a Democratic campaign commercial, Limbaugh mocked his tremors" and that "when a Georgetown University law student supported expanded contraceptive coverage, he dismissed her as a 'slut.'"Graham's response: There's context! And Rush (allegely) apologized!

Each one of these could be dissected and put into context -- for example, he apologized for making light of AIDS patients. But reporters skip over the apologizes where he apologized. He also apologized for suggesting law student Sandra Fluke was a "slut." He also apologized to Michael J. Fox, but Brent Baker has fuller context. 

Adding context would crimp the "cruelty" and "malice" charges, but Sedensky left that out. There's also no sense of timeline -- the "AIDS Updates" and jokes about D.C. homeless advocate Mitch Snyder are from 1990, before Limbaugh's show became a widely distributed national show.

Graham linked to no evidence that Limbaugh ever apologized for his "making light of AIDS patients." And Limbaugh didn't merely "suggest" Fluke was a "slut" -- he out-and-out called her one, the MRC gave him a pass for doing so, and Limbsugh's so-called apology wasn't much of one and it came only after advertisers threatened to quit the show.

Graham's post, by the way, was the only one of the Limbaugh defense posts in which Fluke was mentioned by name.

The MRC had the same hates as Limbaugh did, so it couldn't understand why his targets -- or anyone who's not in their right-wing media bubble -- might object to the offensive things he said. Because to Graham and the rest of the MRC crew, they weren't offensive.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 14, 2021 11:30 PM EDT
CNS Keeps Disrespecting LGBT Politicians

It's no secret that hates LGBT people in general and LGBT politicians even more -- just look at the treatment it gave to Pete Buttigieg. Even when Buttigieg was nominated by President Biden as transportation secretary, CNS continued to obsess over his sexual orientation, illustrating articles about the nomination with photos of him kissing his husband in an apparent attempt to squick out its right-wing, homophobic readership.

CNS pulled that disrespectful trick once again in a Feb. 22 article in which an anonymous  CNS reporter noted that Buttigieg "has tweeted out a video of himself having an exchange with a person about the basic philosophy he brings to transportation in the United States." The original headline rad "Trans Secretary Pete Explains: ‘What About Bikes, Scooters, Wheelchairs...Roads Aren’t Only for Vehicles’" -- seemingly suggesting that Buttigieg was somehow transgender, whcih CNS hates even more than being gay -- and accompanied the article with, yes, a photo of Buttigieg and his husband kissing:

CNS later changed the headline, swapping out "Trans Secretary Pete" for the more conventional "Transportation Secretary Buttigieg" and replaced the irrelevant kissing photo with a more normal stock shot of Buttigieg.

But that's not the only recent example of CNS disrespecting an LGBT politician. An anonymously written March 1 article focused on Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney defending the Equity Act, asserting that the law "would force schools in the United States to let biological males play on girls’ sports teams and use their locker rooms, restrooms and dressing rooms" as if it was the only thing the llaw would do, and also pointing out out that Maloney "is in a same-sex marriage." The headline CNS put on his article? "Congressman Married to Other Man on Equality Act Opponents: ‘They Believe LGBT People Are Morally Inferior’."

Yes, that's a picture of Maloney with his husband.

CNS is apparently proud enough of this slight that it remains the article. CNS also doesn't dispute Malone's contention that Equality Act opponents belive that LGBT people are "morally inferior" and that "their beliefs demand existing discrimination against LGBT people be allowed" -- perhaps because it's indisputably true.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 14, 2021 10:52 AM EST

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