MRC Whines That False COVID Claims Are Being 'Censored' Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a badhabit of defending false or extreme claims by right-wingers in order to advance its bogus narrative that social media sites are exclusively "censoring" the views of conservatives out of purported "liberal bias." Kayla Sargent did this again in a Feb. 22 post:
YouTube has, once again, cracked down on testimony that it decided was “misinformation” about COVID-19.
The video-sharing platform removed a video featuring testimony from Thomas Renz, an attorney for the anti-lockdown advocacy group “Ohio Stands Up!” Renz spoke before the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee in support of House Bill 90, which would “establish legislative oversight” over the state’s COVID-19 response.
“Google and YouTube censored Mr. Renz, a licensed attorney testifying before the Ohio Legislature on a matter of great public importance regarding how the COVID-19 response has been a failure from the beginning in Ohio and throughout the United States because it has always been more about money and power than an appropriate response to a disease,” said the advocacy group in a blog post.
Renz testified that “no child under the age of 19 has died from this disease in Ohio,” and he further stated that “every single action the governor has taken has apparently been based on political science rather than real science.” The Ohio Capital Journal, however, found that “Data from the Ohio Department of Health shows  children in the age group have died of the disease during the pandemic.”
Despite the fact that Renz specifically offered to provide further information about his claims “under oath,” YouTube simply would not allow the testimony to remain on the platform.
Sargent disproves the premise of her post -- that YouTube had arbitrarily "decided" what was misinformation in Renz's testimony -- by acknowledging that Renz made an indisputably false claim that wasn't going to be fixed by his offering to testify "under oath." But that wasn't all; the Ohio Capital Journal article Sargent cited noted a host of other dubious claims Renz made:
While it’s unclear which specific COVID-19 misinformation from Renz sparked YouTube’s decision, there’s a lot to choose from.
Renz’s testimony was a firehose of COVID-19 conspiracy theorizing: He said unspecified entities “provide funding for people to find a COVID-19 death;” the ODH “whitewashes” its coronavirus data; that PCR testing, which public health officials consider to be a premier diagnostic, is “garbage” or “absolutely useless.”
He claimed the lockdown orders of the spring to be “the most drastic curtailment of rights ever taken in American history.” The statement was made without acknowledgement to the enslavement of Black Americans, the mass detention of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II, the forced relocation of Native Americans, or any number of national atrocities through American history.
While Sargent described him as an attorney, the Capital Journal also noted Renz's dubious background "His 'about me' page for his website lists no prior legal experience besides serving as a clerk on the Indian Supreme Court. However, in a prior interview, he said he did not remember when he served on the court and said he did not speak Hindi."
This sketchy guy full of false and misleading claims perhaps shouldn't be the kind of person the MRC goes to the mat for if it wants to be taken seriously.
Joseph Farah's Biden Derangement Syndrome Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah isn't just spinning election fraud conspiracy theories -- he seems to have also come down with a full-fledged case of Biden Derangement Syndrome.
In his Jan. 25 column, Farah touted how "Mike McCormick, the author of 'Joe Biden: Unauthorized,' said the president is now at '50 percent' of mental capacity. 'He's not capable of sitting down with Chinese President Xi Jinping,' McCormick said." He didn't mention that Biden is a hostile writer -- his other major work is a book called "15 Years A Deplorable" -- whose alleged biography was self-published.
Two days later, Farah had a childish (and crazy) response to Biden declaring he would bar the federal government from using the term "China virus" to describe COVID-19:
China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus. China Virus.
I figured I better get that out of my system while I still can.
I've been calling the coronavirus the China virus from the start. So was Donald J. Trump. So were millions of other Americans.
It indeed originated there. It was also intentionally spread by China as an attack on the United States and elsewhere. These are facts. It's why Donald Trump first stopped travel from China specifically.
Is Biden mad? Is he losing his marbles?
He's gleefully and willfully working with Communist China to ban the name of a virus begun by China, likely for the express purpose of spreading the disease throughout the world as a bio-weapon!
Is this guy for real? Is this still the United States of America? Is he really the president of the United States, or is this a nightmare?
On Jan. 31, Farah ranted about Biden signing so many executive orders in his first days in office: "Joe Biden, who said during the campaign he didn't believe in executive orders, actions and directives as a way of governing, signed 40 of them, in just his first nine days. In other words, he's acting like a dictator, criticized by no less the New York Times." In his Feb. 8 column, Farah declared that "the fix is in" on a federal investigation of Hunter Biden because a lawyer hired by federal officials to work on it came from the same law firm as Hunter's defense attorney.
On March 7, Farah melted down over Biden referring to Taxas and other states relaxing restrictions whilie the coronavirus pandemic is still raging as "Neanderthal thinking":
Perhaps you think Neanderthals are extinct, or that they bred their way into the line of humans to the tune of 2-3% – or maybe, like me, you don't even believe Neanderthals ever existed.
But Biden clearly does.
He believes human beings existed 40,000 years ago, 300,000 years ago, maybe 1 million years ago. In other words, he believes in evolution – not because he is educated, but because he trusts scientists to know things they cannot possibly know. He also does not trust God when he clearly tells us all life – human and animal – began less than 6,000 years ago when He created Adam and Eve. I've never heard anything that could cause me to doubt that fact.
And to top it off, Neanderthals were supposed to be an inferior race which developed in Africa before moving into the Middle East and Europe! Once a racist, always a racist.
What is the definition of a racist? To believe in inferior races. Isn't that right? If you believe in inferior races, you must believe in a superior race.
Does that not make Joe Biden a "white supremacist?"
Donald Trump had it right when he said Joe Biden was shot. "He's gonzo, folks."
More specifically, what he meant was Joe Biden had seen better days. He was cognitively challenged. He was not the man he once was – and that's not saying much.
This is a serious matter.
The world is a dangerous place. We have enemies. It's not Trump. It's not "domestic terrorists." It's not white supremacists.
This week Biden forgot, if he ever knew, the name of his secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin. He was standing right next to him at the time. He never recalled it. So he referred to him as "the guy who runs that outfit over there." In other words, he forgot his title too.
Now we know for certain that the Democrats pulled off one of the greatest con-jobs in the history of the world – keeping Joe Biden hold up throughout the 2020 "campaign" and reserving enough "votes" to give him the greatest victory ever in the annals of U.S. elections – generally called "The Steal."
So what's the administration going to do – or should I say Chief of Staff Ron Klain or Barack Obama or whoever the shadow president is?
This is as serious as a heart attack – and there is no one prepared in the wings if Joe Biden fails. You can't keep this going much longer – even though Kamala Harris is playing president, meeting foreign dignitaries, trailing Joe Biden everywhere.
Now we know why Harris was selected for this assignment. She did not have any achievements in her political career to warrant it – but her inexperience, coupled with her radicalness, was made to order for the Democrats who care about nothing other than getting their way.
This is one scary scenario.
What is to become of the greatest land the world ever knew?
God help us!
It seems that Farah is more deranged about Biden than he has portrayed Biden himself as being.
CNS Follows MRC In Pushing Anti-Wind Turbine Narrative In Texas Until It Can't Topic: CNSNews.com
Like its Media Research Center parent, MRC "news" division CNSNews.com started its coverage of severe cold weather in Texas that shut down electric power to millions by pushing the usual right-wing narrative in favor of fossil fuels and attacking alternative sources like wind and solar. Susan Jones did her duty in a Feb. 16 article:
Coincidentally, but right on cue, the generator-supplied power went out in the home of former Texas Governor and former Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry Monday night, just as Perry began his interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson.
Carlson said the power outage was "proving the point that we're making" -- that it's the government's responsibility to provide reliable power during life-threatening cold snaps, and green energy is not up to the job.
"So the point is, you need to have a diversity of energy sources, no matter where you are, and it couldn't be a greater example of that in the State of Texas right now," Perry said.
"We've got massive amount of wind farms out in West Texas that are frozen up, they are just like a propeller on an airplane, they froze up last night, no wind out there. All of that wind energy was lost."
This was followed by an article from Craig Bannister touting how far-right Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert "urged followers to watch a video clip she posted of Fox News Host Tucker Carlson 'exposing the green energy scam and how bad policy hurts people'" and claiming that "frozen wind farms in West Texas caused power outages in the state when temperatures fell to one degree Fahrenheit in Dallas (no mention, of course, that Boebert is an extremist who has praised QAnon and the Proud Boys thugs). Melanie Arter joined with stenography on how "Texas’s reliance on green energy in light of the recent power outages illustrates how “the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal” for the United States, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News’s 'Hannity' on Tuesday" -- never mind that the Green New Deal doesn't actually exist -- and that "our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where It was lacking power in a statewide basis."
But that narrative quickly got overtaken by facts, as even CNS admitted. It published a Feb. 18 column by an analyst from the conservative Heritage Foundation admitting the problem wasn't wind turbines freezing -- after all, they work just fine during the winter in northern states -- but that the turbines weren't winterized, and that natural gas generated power failed as well: 'Equipment not hardened for such cold temperatures froze along fuel supply infrastructure and at multiple generators, and natural gas resources were diverted from generating electricity to supplying heat."
The same day, Arter did some stenography for the Biden White House, featuring how "White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it was failures in coal and natural gas that is to blame for the state’s power outages, not wind and solar despite the state’s wind turbines freezing over," also quoting Psaki saying that "the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, have gone so far as to say that failures in wind and solar were the least significant factors in the blackout."
Even though that narrative became inoperative, CNS still found things to complain about. Bannister groused that "As Texas residents continue to suffer power outages and dangerously cold temperatures, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is assuring the public that illegal aliens being detained in the state still have heat, food and water," and Arter was similarly annoyed that "Former Democratic presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) on Thursday blamed Texas Republicans for the blackout that left millions without power in the state."
Bannister, however, tried to put a twist in the narrative, however, quoting Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert claiming that "Texas officials knew they needed to winterize the state’s power plants in preparation for severe cold. But, instead, they chose to spend Texas’ financial resources on developing less-reliable energy sources that couldn’t stand up to severe weather." Gohmert and Bannister offered no evidence that this was the case.
Bannister also gave space to a Texas mayor who may or may not have quit his job and "told citizens the city and county owe them nothing and they should fend for themselves as they were freezing in extreme cold without power."
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Election Fraud Conspiracists Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's columnists went wild promoting baseless claims that the election was stolen, and a few even suggested overturning the election and appeared to encourage violence. Here are the worst examples. Read more >>
MRC's Double Standard on Section 230 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long railed against Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives immunity from liability to internet services on which users post something illegal. But the MRC and other right-wing activists have created the narrataive that social media is deliberately and solely "censoring" conservatives merely for posting conservative things, which has never been proven. Last fall, the MRC cheered the Trump administration's efforts to overhaul Section 230 to counter what Alexander Hall claimed "the unchecked power of Big Tech companies,"even encouraging readers to use "the MRC’s FCC contact form to alter Section 230." It also hailed a Republican-pushed bill to alter Section 230 that would purportedly "provide more accountability for Big Tech companies," uncritially quoting one Republican congressman claiming without evidence that social media is trying to "censor content that deviates from their beliefs."
MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted in a letter to Congress that "Section 230 gives social media platforms, such as Facebook, undeserved protection from liability. Facebook is an ideologically driven publisher of editoralized content that used its dominating market power to deliberately and successively swing the election in favor of its preferred presidential candidate, Joe Biden. ... ... Given their massive market dominance and power, if Facebook’s unfair protection from liability under Section 230 is not severely curtailed, Americans will no longer vote for their elected representatives — Facebook will decide who our political masters are." The MRC's Free Speech America project (which doesn't actually believe in free speech because it's blocked us from following its Twitter account) is demanding that Section 230 be altered in an apparent attempt (based on what the MRC has criticized over the past few months) to allow conservatives to spread false claims -- regarding election fraud and coronavirus conspiracies, whcih the MRC has portrayed as "conservative content" that must not be "censored" -- with impunity. The MRC even gushed over then-President Trump's threat to veto a defense funding bill if it did not completely repeal Section 230; Congress quickly overrode Trump's veto, so it was ultimately a hollow, meaningless effort.
(If you want to find out exactly how the MRC had been lobbying the Trump administration to change Section 230, however, you're somewhat out of luck -- it threw a tantrum at a fellow conservative group for filing a Freedom of Information Act request seeking copies of email communications between the MRC and administration officials, insisting that they are "private.")
But when non-conservatives offer thoughts on Section 230 -- and, worse, point out how bogus the MRC's narrative is -- the MRC melts down over that, as Hall did last October:
Democrat [sic] Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) condemned Trump’s “propaganda parrots” on Fox News and his fellow conservatives for “peddling a myth” at a Big Tech hearing. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation October 28. Markey undermined the core idea of the “Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?” hearing by suggesting that “anti-conservative bias” at Big Tech is a “false narrative.”
Markey contrasted the problems he considers to be real while gaslighting conservatives that their concerns about Big Tech bias are invalid:
“Here’s the truth, violence and hate speech online are real problems. Anti-conservtive bias is not a problem,” Markey suggested.
When Democrats called for a review of Section 230 following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- inflamed in large part by false claims about election fraud promoted on social media by Trump and others -- Kayla Sargent took exception:
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has been a hot topic for quite some time, and now, the left appears to be using the liability shield as an excuse to attempt to further regulate free speech online.
Democrats in Congress and the Senate may be placing Section 230 under the microscope following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
“Social media continues to be a concern. The amount of radicalization on both ends of the political spectrum done by social media and the so-called Section 230 exemption needs to be reviewed,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Full Court Press.
During the interview, Warner paid lip service to the notion of being pro-First Amendment, while simultaneously arguing that some speech should not be allowed to be amplified.
Ssrgent did seem to be happy, however, that President Biden "told The New York Times Editorial Board that Section 230 should be 'revoked, immediately.'"
Sargent also attacked a Democratic-led attempt to reform Section 230, claiming that "it will do far more harm than good" because it "would cut liability protections for providers on paid-for speech like ads, which could encourage platforms to censor even more content to avoid liability." Sargent repeated the MRC's meaningless narrative that "Twitter censored former President Donald Trump 625 times between May 31, 2018 and January 4, 2021. President Joe Biden was not censored at all during the same time span." As before, Sargent provided no evidence that Biden violated Twitter's terms of service 625 times the way Trump did, thus earning being "censored" by Twitter.
On Feb. 22, the MRC gave its paid apparatchik Dan Gainor a platform to fearmonger that "Every aspect of technology is now being closed off to the conservative movement" -- a claim that's ridiculous on its face.He made this claim at an event hosted by something called the "Repeal and Replace Section 230 Coalition," where he was joined by "congressmen, industry experts and religious figures."
We couldn't find much about this coalition, but it turns out that Gainor's fellow presenters at the eveng included far-right congress woman Marjorie Taylor Greene -- just a couple weeks after the MRC finally denounced her extremism after months of portraying her as a mainstream conservative -- Jim Garlow, a right-wing evangelist who was an aggressive supporter of Trump; Dikran Yacoubian, a conservative activist who got a funder to give $2.5 million to right-wing org True the Vote in an attempt to find election fraud in the presidential election (none was found, so he wants his money back); and Mark Masters, who currently runs the radio syndicator founded by his father, accused cult leader Roy Masters.
These are the people the MRC is hanging out with to push its anti-Section 230 crusade.
UPDATE: Jeffrey also devoted a Feb. 24 column to complaining that the National Endowment for the Arts was getting money from the relief bill: "Did federally funded artists produce any great masterpieces in this period? Did American taxpayers get their money's worth? Should we now use a bill allegedly designed to fight COVID-19 to pay the NEA an additional $135 million?" Apparently, Jeffrey apparently believes that artists weren't affected by the pandemic. He also gratuitously complained that theater group "based in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco congressional district" once got a grant to stage "a groundbreaking trans and queer examination of American masculinity's deep roots in Trouble."
After Giving Trump A Pass On Deficits, CNS Eagerly Blames Dems For COVID Relief Bill Price Tag Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com, led by supposed deficit-hawk editor Terry Jeffrey, almost entirely refused to hold President Trump and Senate Republicans accountable for the deficit spending created by coronavirus relief bills (though it usually found a way to blame Democrats for them despite controlling only half of Congress). With Democrats now in control of both the White House and Congress, CNS is unsurprisingly showing its bias bybeing much more vocal in complaining about allegedly wasteful spending in the latest COVID relief bill -- and in calling out Democrats while doing so.
Jeffrey declared in his Jan. 27 column that "The $1.9 trillion relief bill that President Joe Biden wants Congress to pass now as his response to the COVID-19 pandemic would cost Americans more than the entire federal government cost in fiscal 1981." Jeffrey did not make that comparision about last year's main relief bill, the CARES Act, even though it cost $2.2 trillion. Meanwhile, only now that Trump is safely out of office is Jeffrey criticizing him by name for running up the deficit:
Last March, President Donald Trump signed a $2.3 trillion spending law to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December, Trump signed another spending law that included $900 billion targeted toward COVID-19 relief.
Now Biden wants to spend another $1.9 trillion.
When Biden took office as President Barack Obama's vice president on Jan. 20, 2009, the federal debt stood at $10.6 trillion. Eight years later, when Donald Trump was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2017, it stood at $19.9 trillion. By Jan. 20, 2021, when Biden was sworn in as president, it had risen to $27.7 trillion.
In just the last two presidencies, the federal debt has risen by $17.1 trillion — or about 161%.
The COVID-19 pandemic was caused by a lethal virus this nation has sacrificed much to control. Our runaway federal government is caused by politicians we do not control enough.
Over the following weeks as the relief bill was debated, CNS went on to blame Democrats for the supposedly wasteful spending in the bill, mostly by uncritically repeating Republican and conservative attacks on it:
Jeffrey returned in a March 10 column in which he declared that it is axiomatic that the relief bill "will use tax dollars to pay for abortions" because it contains no Hyde Amendment-style clause prohibiting it. He identifed no federal program or funding mechanism receiving relief bill money through which that might actually happen.
CNS couldn't be bothered to produce an article on Biden signing the bill into law.
MRC Helps Anti-Abortion Website Plays Dumb On Why Its YouTube Channel Got Shut Down Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kayla Sargent quickly went Godwin in a Feb. 10 post:
The YouTube censorship Gestapo has struck again.
YouTube has reportedly entirely banned the pro-life group LifeSiteNews from the platform in its latest attempt to silence conservative voices.
“YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a temporary ban; every single one of our videos is completely gone. Thankfully, we have backups of all our videos, but this means hundreds of thousands of people have lost access to our truth-telling content,” the pro-life organization said on its website.
“Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to more than 300,000 followers,” LifeSiteNews continued.
Sargent went on to play dumb by claiming that "The specific reason that YouTube suspended LifeSiteNews is unclear, as YouTube did not respond to a request for comment at the time this piece was published." In fact, it probably wasn't that hard to figure out; the next day, Vice got the scoop from YouTube (which likely correctly surmised that the MRC is hostile media and wouldn't treat it fairly):
YouTube has banned LifeSiteNews, an anti-abortion outlet that bills itself as the “#1 pro-life news website,” for repeatedly sharing videos that spread misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines against it.
“In accordance with our longstanding strikes system, we terminated the channel LifeSiteNews Media for repeatedly violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content that promotes prevention methods that contradict local health authorities or WHO,” Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokesperson, told VICE News in an email.
In November, YouTube took down a LifeSiteNews video featuring a doctor who called the coronavirus pandemic “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public,” according to LifeSiteNews. The doctor also called both masks and social distancing “useless” when it came to stopping the spread of the deadly virus.
The Centers for Disease Control disagrees. New research from the agency, released Wednesday, found that when people wear two snug masks, they can reduce the coronavirus’ transmission by about 95 percent compared to being unmasked.
Then, in late January, LifeSiteNews earned a second strike from YouTube for a video about the alleged links between abortion and the coronavirus vaccines. This is a popular topic among anti-abortion advocates, who are increasingly divided over whether they should take take COVID-19 vaccines that may have been developed with the use of fetal cells.
LifeSiteNews has spread numerous other coronavirus conspiracies as well. LifeSite presumably knew about YouTube issuing strikes against its content, which it could have told Sargent about. Instead, it knew that Sargent would be a sympathetic writer who would help LifeSite forward the bogus right-wing narrative that "conservative speech" is being "censored" on social media.
(A Feb. 12 article at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, did admit that YouTube banned LifeSite for coronavirus misinformation, but published it under the deceptive headline "YouTube Bans Pro-Life LifeSiteNews, Shuts Out 300,000 Followers." Sargent never bothered to update her article to tell readers the real reason LifeSite was banned.)
But LifeSite knows where to go so its claims of victimization will not face much scrutiny. Thus, Alexander Hall was the willing stenographer for it again in a Feb. 23 post:
LifeSiteNews said they have been financially kneecapped by Google.
LifeSiteNews author Gualberto Garcia Jones stated that “thanks to our conference on the morality, legality and science behind the covid vaccines, Google has completely banned our website from Google Ads and Google Ad servers” in an Feb 23 email to the Media Research Center. Jones explained further that the financial blacklisting by Google has massive implications: “[U]nfortunately, our advertising agency used Google ads as it is the industry standard. In addition, Google has banned us from Google News and Google discover.”
LifeSiteNews explained in its reporting on the censorship, that Google had “cit[ed] alleged ‘dangerous or derogatory content’ the company declined to identify.” The outlet also said it “received an email notifying us that LifeSiteNews ‘is not currently in compliance with our AdSense Program policies and as a result, ad serving has been disabled on your site.’"
LifeSiteNews said that the only example Google provided was “a February 4 LifeSite articledetailing an interview former University of Virginia school of medicine profesor Dr. David Martin gave on mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines and the distinction between vaccination and gene therapy.”
Given that LifeSiteNews deliberately hid from Sargent the real reason it got kicked off YouTube, it's entirely likely that it's obfuscating about why it Google blacklisted it. Certainly it knows that its COVID conspiracy-mongering is problematic, but it's obvious that it will never admit to spreading lies.
Hall would know that as well if he could be bothered to do anything beyond stenography. Instead, he uncritically repeated Sargent's claim that "YouTube has reportedly entirely banned the pro-life group LifeSiteNews from the platform in its latest attempt to censor speech online," without bothering to explain that YouTube was not "censoring speech" but shutting down lies.
Neither Hall nor Sargent explained why LifeSite should be allowed to spread lies without consequence. This is yet another example of the MRC embracing peddlers of fiction masquerading as fact in an attempt to own the libs.
Another WND Columnist Pushes 'Mark Of The Beast' Narrative On COVID Vaccine Topic: WorldNetDaily
As oart of documenting WorldNetDaily's copious amount of bad takes on the coronavirus pandemic, we've documented two WND commentators pushing the idea that a coronavirus vaccine (before one was even available) would be the equivalent to the Biblical mark of the beast. Brian Sussman contributes to this strain of literature witha Feb. 24 column provocatively headlined "Coming 'COVID-19 passports' – mark of the Beast?" And Sussman certainly works hard on making that case:
So what's going on here?
Digital-format immunity passports would eventually likely normalize digital-format proof-of-status documents.
Advocates of COVID passports visualize a world where we can't pass through a door to a plane, workplace, school, or restaurant until the gatekeeper scans our credentials. In no time the public would be conditioned to submit to these demands.
This digital system could easily be expanded to check not just a person's immunity status, but any other bit of personal information a gatekeeper might deem relevant, such as banking information, age, pregnancy, HIV status, or criminal history; and all data – your data – could be accumulated into one database.
And could we really trust those overseeing the databases?
Of course not.
The next step in this plan will move from smartphone apps to invisible barcode-like tattoos stamped on the body of those who have been vaccinated. This would accommodate those without cell phones and prevent hackers from stealing personal information. The tattoo plan is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates. The easily applied invisible tattoos would likely be placed on the hand or forehead.
Students of the Bible will immediately recall the mark of the Beast from the New Testament's book of Revelation:
"He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave,to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast. …" (Revelation 13:16-17)
But after that conspiratorial setup, Sussman bailed out at the last minute and denied he was doing what he was doing:
No, I'm not claiming the vaccine is the mark of the Beast, but I am emphasizing that society is moving very quickly into a brave new world, especially in the realm of personal privacy and information security.
Our government was designed to protect our liberties, not recklessly allow them to be abused.
So much for having the courage of one's conspiratorial convictions.
MRC's Houck Can't Stop Gushing Over Doocy's Hostile Questions Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck's abjecthatred for Biden press secretary Jen Psaki -- and man-crush on Fox News reporter Peter Doocy -- is continuing apace.
On Feb. 22, Houck attacked Psaki's appearance on a Sunday talk show, effectively accusing her of incompetence: "Along with struggling to answer basic questions during White House press briefings, Press Secretary Jen Psaki found herself paddling the struggle boat on Sunday with ABC’s This Weekas chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl inquired about then-candidate Joe Biden’s affection for scandal-ridden Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY)." The next day, Houck gushed over Doocy under the headline "Doocy Demolishes Psaki on Biden WH’s Immigration Double Standard":
A day after struggling with questions about embattled OMB Director nominee Neera Tanden, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki found herself being torched Tuesday by Fox News’s Peter Doocy about the administration’s immigration policies and specifically the reopening of a detention center both President Biden and Vice President Harris derided as an abomination under the Trump regime.
Worse yet for Psaki, Doocy drew follow-ups from CBS’s Ed O’Keefe (who asked an excellent question earlier in the briefing about the Keystone XL pipeline) and McClatchy’s Francesca Chambers. Later on, she faced stiff questions fromNew York Post’s Steven Nelson on drones and government surveillance.
Houck served up more gushing over Doocy and sneering at Psaki in a Feb. 24 post:
After making his mark during Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Fox News’s Peter Doocy again tussled Wednesday with Press Secretary Jen Psaki over illegal immigration, wondering whether the term “kids in containers” was more apt for the detaining of illegal immigrant children since Psaki was turned off (read: triggered) by the description of “kids in cages.”
Doocy started with this: “We spoke yesterday about immigration and this facility — HHS facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas for migrant children. And you said it is not kids in cages. We’ve seen some photos now of containers. Is there a better description? Is it kids in containers, instead of kids in cages? What is the White House’s description of this facility.”
Clearly not amused, Psaki insisted she would “give a broader description of what’s happening here&rdquo where they were not and would not “separate” and “rip” kids “from the arms of their parents at the border” but instead “expand and open additional facilities, because there was not enough space in the existing facilities — and if we were to abide by COVID protocols, that’s the process and the step.”
She added how children were also having access to an education and medical care, so it was different than whatever the Trump administration did. Coincidentally, in-person education is something younger American citizens haven’t been able to get for almost a year thanks to teachers unions.
Houck then complained that "Psaki went personal by wondering if Doocy was concerned about being accurate with viewers." Never mind, of course, that Houck's beloved Trump press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, regularly attacked reporters, as did Houck for using the same aggressive tone with McEnany that Doocy is using with Psaki.
Under the ridiculous headline "Doocy Smash," Houck's Feb. 25 post gushed even more over Doocy:
Clearly on a roll since returning to the White House Briefing Room rotation on Tuesday, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy continued his streak Thursday of asking the tough questions to Press Secretary Jen Psaki. This time, Doocy was dogged in seeking comment on the nursing home scandal and sexual misconduct allegations against Biden ally and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).
Despite the fact that ABC had ignored it through Thursday morning (while ABC, CBS, and MSNBC waited until then with CNN first noticing in the noon Eastern hour), Doocy began his questions by invoking former Cuomo aide Linsdey Boylan’s claims in light of Cuomo chairing a virtual meeting of the National Governors Association with President Biden.
Doocy wondered if, given Boylan’s disturbing claims about Cuomo, the White House was “worried about this becoming a distraction from an important meeting about COVID response.”
Psaki’s answer was standard for a spokesperson in that she insisted Biden “has been consistent in his position” that “[w]hen a person comes forward, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect” and “[t]heir voice should be heard not silenced and any allegation should be reviewed.”
Ruling? Pants on fire, Jen. Sure, one could say anyone and everyone should be “heard,” but as we’ve seen with Tara Reade versus Christine Blasey Ford, not all allegations are actually heard in the public square. Psaki might as well have followed up with the adage about a tree falling in the forest.
Houck is not going to mention that he and the rest of his MRC crew smeared and disrespected women who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault and harassment and care about Tara Reade not as a woman but as a tool with which to bash Biden, so Houck may not want to beg comparisons here.
Again, Houck imputed sinister motives to Psaki's side of the exchange, claiming that "a peeved Psaki insisted that Doocy of routinely engaging in disinformation." Given that Fox News is very much a disinformation mill masquerading as a "news" channel, that concern is well founded.
WND Lets Ministry Cry Censorship Over Its Political Hatchet Job On Soros Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh lets a ministry play the victim in a Feb. 19 article:
The "cancel culture" has struck the influential D. James Kennedy Ministries, founded by the influential Presbyterian minister.
The organization said it's been deplatformed by Lifetime TV, to which it paid "enormous fees" over the years, because of its Christian perspective on issues such as abortion.
Lifetime TV had demanded that the ministry remove all "controversial" content or it could not continue to purchase time for its program "Truths That Transform."
Frank Wright, CEO of the group, said Lifetime imposed an unacceptable demand to remove all programming that addressed abortion or left-wing financier George Soros or it would be banned entirely.
Of course, Lifetime has every right to choose the programming that airs on its channel. And note what Unruh glossed over there: D. James Kennedy Ministries "purchased time" on Lifetime. He also ignores another question: What business does an organization that proclaims itself to be a religious ministry have in pushing a political hatchet job on Soros?
Indeed, the program, "Billionaire Radical: George Soros and the Scheme to Remake America," is very much a hatchet job that has nothing to do with religion. The goal of the program is to make Soros look as unflattering and evil as possible -- even suggesting that he's some kind of puppetmaster, an anti-Semitic trope, though not actually using that word -- even repeating the sleazy smear that "he did assist Nazis" during World War II, attacking him for doing what he could as a teenager to survive a Nazi regime whose goal it was to murder people like him. The program quotes only right-wing Soros critics like David Horowitz, Daniel Lapin and Richard Poe.There are many slippery, misleading and outright false claims, such has calling Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a "Marxist."
Of course, this is ultimately all about money; at the end of the program, a pitch is made that for a donation, Kennedy Ministries will send out "a compelling chart and guide showing in graphic detail how George Soros' money flows to radical causes," further claiming that "we have done the homework to separate the facts from the myths" -- highly unlikely given its embrace of the Nazi smear.
WND also gave Kennedy Ministries president Frank Wright a column the same day to whine about this further, complaining: "Lifetime objected to our exposé on Planned Parenthood, in which we documented the organization's sale of baby body parts derived from abortions. The network objected to our exposé on billionaire radical George Soros and his systematic efforts to undermine American laws and institutions. They even objected to our program on the spiritual life of George Washington." Again, Wright never explained what business a religious ministry has in creating a political smear job on Soros.
Wright also huffed: "One might argue that the foundational question here is: Why are progressives so deathly afraid of the free marketplace of ideas? They are in urgent need of reading – perhaps for the first time – John Milton's 'Areopagitica.' In his polemic against the state-sponsored cancel culture of his day, this Puritan declared: 'Let [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?'" If Wright cares as much about "Truth" as he claims, why didn't subject his Soros hatchet job to any kind of outside fact-checking or even allow a Soros supporter to appear in his program to rebut its claims? Where is the forum anywhere at any Kennedy Ministries website where people are allowed to engage in debate over the false and misleading claims in the Soros program?
On top fo that, claiming "cancel culture" and "censorship" as Wright and WND are doing is also highly dishonest; there are enough media outlets that Kennedy Ministries should be able to easily find one and that there's no need to rely on a single outlet like Lifetime, which is exercising its right as a private business to decide what it airs -- indeed, the ministry has many TV outlets.
CNS Finds '3 Errors In 12 Seconds' From Biden -- But Gives Trump's Faleshoods A Pass Topic: CNSNews.com
Refugee-obsessed CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough nitpicked President Biden's numbers in a Feb. 18 article, with a headline claim that Biden made "3 errors in 12 seconds":
In the space of 12 seconds during his CNN town hall in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden made three separate errors when talking about refugee admissions to the United States.
“We used to allow refugees, 125,000 refugees into the United States in a yearly basis,” he said. “It was as high as 250,000. Trump cut it to 5,000.”
Biden is correct in saying that President Trump slashed refugee admission numbers to record-low numbers. But all three figures he gave were off the mark.
--Over the years since the modern-day refugee admission program was established in 1980, the highest number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S. in any one year was 207,116, in fiscal year 1980, according to the numbers published by the State Department. It was not 250,000, as Biden asserted. (Even had he been referring to the ceiling rather than the actual number of admissions, the highest ceiling ever set, by the Carter administration for FY 1980, was 231,700, not “as high as 250,000.”)
--Biden said the U.S. “used to allow … 125,000 refugees into the United States in a yearly basis.” In fact, according to the State Department, over the 42 years since the Refugee Act was enacted in 1980, the U.S. admitted 125,000 or more refugees only three times – in fiscal years 1980 (207,116 refugees), 1981 (159,252 refugees), and 1992 (132,531 refugees). The average number of refugees admitted a year over that 42-year period stands at 88,207.
--Biden said Trump reduced the number of refugee admissions to 5,000. In fact, the lowest number of refugees resettled in the U.S. during the Trump presidency was 11,814, in FY 2020. Of the five years accounting for the smallest number of refugee admissions since 1980, three were under Trump – fiscal years 2020 (11,814 refugees), 2018 (22,517 refugees) and 2019 (30,000 refugees) – and two under President George W. Bush – fiscal years 2002 (27,131 refugees) and 2003 (28,403 refugees).
Goodenough weirdly added at the end of his article: "During his presidency Trump was frequently criticized or mocked for giving exaggerated or inaccurate figures during speeches or interviews." Not that we can recall Goodenough pointing out those inaccuracies they way he did to Biden.
A little over a week later, Goodenough had the chance to put his words in action by pointing out false and misleading claims former President Trump, he punted. Instead, Goodenough's Feb. 28 article on Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference is largely fluff and stenography, leading with Trump's narcissistic teasing about a 2024 presidential run:
Former President Trump made his return to the political arena in a fired-up speech on Sunday, slamming the five-week-old Biden administration’s record and making clear he has no intention of going away quietly. He stopped short of announcing plans to run again for the White House in 2024.
Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida just two weeks after the U.S. Senate acquitted him of inciting insurrection, Trump pledged to throw his support behind strong conservative candidates, while dismissing by name those he characterized as “Republicans in Name Only.”
But he left hanging the question of whether he envisaged being the party's standard-bearer in the next presidential race.
While actual news outlets have performedfact-checks on just Trump's claims of election fraud that purportedly cost him the election, this fawning statement is all Goodenough wrote about it: "Evidently unfazed by the criticism he received for his reaction to the declared outcome of November’s election, Trump returned to the issue several times."
And while there are manyfact-checks of Trump's speech as a whole, Goodenough didn't reference them or do any-fact-checking of his own here or in any other article. Instead, he uncritically forwarded Trump's rants that Biden has had “the most disastrous first month of any American president in modern history” (by what metric? Goodenough didn't seem interested in finding out) and that the Biden administration is "anti-jobs, anti-family, anti-borders, anti-energy, anti-women and anti-science."
If one was looking for a compare-and-contrast of how CNS' pro-Trump, anti-Biden editorial agenda operates, Goodenough couldn't have delivered a better example.
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.
WND Clings To The 'Charlottesville Lie' Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
We'venoted 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.
For the first full month of Joe Biden's presidency, it seems that CNSNews.com 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."
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.