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Thursday, April 8, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck's template for review White House press secretary Jen Psaki's briefings is a rigid one: Psaki is invariably evil, rude and deceptive, and the Fox News reporters asking her hostile questions are invariably heroes. On March 5, Houck didn't have his man-crush Steve Doocy, but another Fox News reporter was the hero with Psaki, of course, as the pinata:

With the border crisis only continuing to grow, Friday’s White House press briefing featured multiple reporters pressuring Press Secretary Jen Psaki for answers on detention facilities, the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border, and whether the Biden administration has decided if it’ll allow an unlimited number of people to come across the U.S/Mexico border.

Fox News White House correspondent Kristin Fisher led the way, calmly but aggressively hammering at Psaki for answers on basic statistics about the crisis and, on a different topic, the nursing home and sexual harassment scandals facing White House ally and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).

Fortunately for Houck, he was able to crush on Doocy some more on March 10:

Wednesday’s White House press briefing served as another failure by the Biden administration to come clean on the illegal immigration crisis at the U.S./Mexico border and was bolstered by two rounds of questioning from Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy. During one exchange, Press Secretary Jen Psaki scoffed at Doocy’s concerns, prompting him to informing here that “it’s not funny.” 

But rather than do a straightfoward presentation of the discussion that led to that, Houck buried most of it in a transcript and pretended to read Psaki's mind by declaring that she "made clear she was already tired of Doocy" while "Doocy waited her out," then accusing Psaki of "misdirection" and declaring that
"Psaki became even more annoyed, turning her head and even chuckling at Doocy’s question, calling it 'a little bit of mixing different circumstances.' Normally calm, Doocy’s face became red with disgust, telling Psaki: 'It’s not funny.'"

The next day, Houck was in full man-crush mode -- and full Psaki hostility mode -- gushing under the headline "Peter Doocy Wipes the Floor With WH, Schools Jen Psaki on COVID at the Border":

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy was firing on all cylinders on Thursday afternoon, delivering a thorough evisceration of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki over the Biden administration’s lax immigration policies, their double standard requiring COVID testing for international fliers but not for illegal immigrants, and the regime’s affinity for green jobs.

Doocy started by quoting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s insistence that illegal immigrants see Biden as “the migrant President”and this “flow” of people needed to “be tackled” and asking whether “the White House take[s] that as a compliment.”

Seemingly under the impression that Doocy was misleading her, Psaki asked for more context, but Doocy promptly read the full, unambiguous quote.

Psaki spun her usual web about how “the majority of people who come to our border will be turned away” despite the fact that they’ll be ferried out across the country as part of their “human approach”to children.

[...]

Two words to describe Psaki’s answers ever since this issue began, dear readers: Word salad.

Actually, “word salad” works for just about everything she’s said from the podium when it comes to answering tough questions.

Houck's beloved Kayleigh McEnany played word games with reporters, but he never called her out on it like he does with Psaki.

Houck gushed some more on March 13 that "Doocy again went toe-to-toe with Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the border crisis and school reopenings, but in a sign that patience might be wearing thin with some liberal journalists, Doocy had assistance from multiple reports on the border as well as hard-hitting questions of their own on the coronavirus and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY)." And he more Pska-sneering, whining that "Psaki took the easy way out, refusing to deviate one iota from her previous talking points." Again, the same thing could be said of his beloved McEnany.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2021 10:07 PM EDT
WND Touts Book Of AAPS-Affiliated Fringe Pusher Of Dubious COVID Meds
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You may remember Joel S. Hirschhorn for his imaginary "indictment" of Anthony Fauci by a "grand jury" impaneled in his own fevered brain. That craziness, though, may be the thing that keeps WND publishing him. Affiliated with the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Hirschhorn got WND to publish an excerpt from his new book which is also a screed against Fauci for failing to buy into the right-wing hype over dubious medications like hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus. He conspiratorially declared:

This book does more than describe the pandemic blunder, particularly in terms of the influence of Dr. Anthony Fauci. It can help Americans protect their lives by not being victimized by disinformation and propaganda from leftist media. Pandemic management has failed because of corrupt forces aiming to make billions of dollars from expensive medicines and vaccines. There has been widespread dereliction of duty on the part of many local, state and federal government officials.

Hirschhorn went on to cite what he claimed were "credible sources" on thealleged efficacy of hydroxychloroquine. They include Simone Gold of another fringe group, America's Frontline Doctors -- of which Hirschhorn is also a member -- and who we last saw taking part in the Capitol riot; and Zev Zelenko, an early pusher of HCQ that WND and AAPS heavily promoted last year.

Hirschhorn then sounds like he's auditioning for a job at the Media Research Center:

The first thing is to depend on information from “conservative” sources and avoid paying attention to COVID information from leftist, mainstream sources. In the former category are shows on Fox News, especially Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. There are a multitude of conservative websites, many of which have been identified in the previous parts of this book. Of particular note are websites that have published pandemic articles by this author; they include WND.com, lifesitenews.com, globalresearch.ca, unz.com, opednews.com, nolanchart.com. Another important website is americasvoice.news, which airs the Steve Bannon War Room show that has often given reliable information on the pandemic.

For data on the pandemic for the U.S. and other nations, there is worldometers.info/coronavirus/.

Perhaps more importantly, ignore and discount COVID information that amounts to disinformation and propaganda on all the major leftist media, including the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as CNN and MSNBC. Stay away completely from social media for reliable information. …

Hirschhorn then went on to rant against studies showing that HCQ and ivermectin -- another dubious medication embraced by the likes of WND and AAPS -- are ineffective and, thus, interfere with his activism (and, presumably, his current income stream):

Briefly, here are some points to remember if you hear about or read for yourself medical studies that conclude that HCQ or IVM is unsafe and ineffective.

Many such studies have used these drugs too late in the process of COVID infection. Mostly such studies have wrongly used what should be considered valid early treatment for hospitalized patients whose infection has progressed beyond the early virus replication stage. Although there have been many studies showing HCQ or IVM effective for hospitalized patients, the key is whether those patients were given the medicines early enough to be effective. But the majority of negative studies on HCQ or IVM gave the medicines too late to be effective.

In some other negative studies, the dosages of HCQ or IVM have been too high, or generally inconsistent with what positive studies have used successfully. Another shortcoming of many negative studies is that there was no use of zinc. Often negative studies include very small numbers of participants using the tested drug.

He added, "A website particularly useful for getting information on prophylaxis is COVID19criticalcare.com. It tends to focus on the use of IVM rather than HCQ." This website is operated by something called the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, which was formed to push unapproved treatments like ivermectin and HCQ.

In other words, if you've read Hirschhorn's rantings at WND, it seems you've pretty much already read his book.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:02 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2021 6:51 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Post-Riot Cleanup
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center labored hard to distance conservatives from the right-wing, pro-Trump Capitol riot -- even though MRC chief Brent Bozell endorsed the anger behind it and the election-fraud conspiracy theories that led up to it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
CNS Somehow Gets 5 Stories Out Of Biden Tripping On Stairs
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's part of CNSNews.com's editorial agenda to spread the narrative that President Biden is going senile. So when Biden tripped on the stairway to Air Force One, CNS was ON IT, somehow cranking out five stories' worth of related content, four of which appeared on March 19, the day of the incident.

An anonymous CNS employee -- why is that employee withholding their byline for this apparently important story? -- breathless reported in the lead story:

President Joe Biden fell three times while trying to board Air Force One this morning to fly to Atlanta to speak about the horrible murders that took place there this week.

Video footage shows Biden leaving Marine One and walking a short distance across the tarmac to the stairs leading up to Air Force One.

As he tries to climb those stairs, he falls three times.

After the third fall, he manages to keep his feet and climb the remainder of the stairs into the airplane.

Biden will turn 79 on November 20.

Emphasizing Biden's age is another way CNS tries to feed into the right-wing Biden-is-senile narrative.

This wasw followed by another anonymously written story highlightig that "A video posted on YouTube by the Reagan Library, shows then-President Ronald Reagan walking down the stairs from Air Force One—while not holding the railing—and then walking back up the stairs, while occasionally not holding the railing, and responding to reporters yelling questions at him. The video was made on Aug. 10, 1982 when Reagan was 71 years old." This anonymous writer also complained that "When Reagan was running for President at 69 years of age, the New York Times repeatedly reported on assertions that he was 'too old' for the job."

A third anonymously written story went back to the senility angle:

When President Joe Biden gave his nationally televised address on Thursday announcing that on Friday his administration would achieve his goal of delivering 100 million COVID-19 vaccination shots in his first 100 days in office, he called Vice President Kamala Harris “President Harris.”

The next day, Biden would trip three times while climbing the stairs of Air Force One.

the anonymous writer did not explain how these tywo events are connected.

The fourth story that day did, surprisingly, carry a byline, that of Craig Bannister. He's apparently proud enough of his attempt to dunk on Biden to put his name on it, unlike his fellow CNS employee[s]:

On Friday, President Joe Biden made headlines and viral video by falling three times while trying to climb stairs boarding Air Force One. But, last September, Candidate Biden mocked the way President Donald Trump navigated stairs.

Visiting West Point for a commencement ceremony last September, Biden claimed to be more agile and vigorous than Trump. "Look at how he steps and look at how I step,” Biden urged.

[...]

On Friday, however, it was Biden who stumbled, multiple times, as he tried to run up the stairs. As CNSNews.com reported, video footage shows Biden leaving Marine One and walking a short distance across the tarmac to the stairs leading up to Air Force One. As he tries to climb those stairs, he falls three times.

Bannister concluded: "Biden will turn 79 years old on November 20."

Bannister returned on March 23 to uncritically help Donald Trump try to dunk on Biden:

Former President Donald Trump said he expected President Joe Biden to take the type of tumble he did last Friday on stairs boarding Air Force One.

“I expected it,” Trump said in an interview Monday with Newsmax TV, when he was asked if he was shocked when Biden fell three times on the stairs while boarding the plane:

[...]

Trump recalled how media attacked him last year, when he carefully and slowly descended an icy ramp at West Point. “The last thing I wanted was to take a tumble, like Biden did,” Trump said, noting that the “lamestream media” virtually ignored the news when Biden actually did fall:

Given that Trump traversed that ramp in June, the claim that it was icy doesn't hold water (or ice). The ramp, despite Trump's claims to the contrary, was not particularly steep.

By contrast, a search of the CNS archive reveals that it devoted exactly zero articles about Trump's awkward walk down the ramp at West Point or his even more awkward attempt to drink water there. It did get a passing mention in an article four days after the incident that quoted Nancy Pelosi referencing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2021 1:33 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
MRC Writer Pushes Biased Economists To Attck 'Liberal' Claims About Economy
Topic: Media Research Center

You know you've ticked off the Media Research Center in making a logical point when it essentyially does duplicate posts to attack you.

Back in February, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt made the logical observation that the econom, as judged by GDP growth and job creation, does better under Democratic presidents than Republican ones, adding that "the pattern is so strong and long-lasting that coincidence alone is unlikely to be the only explanation." Enter MRC writer Joseph Vazquez, who huffed in a Feb. 4 post:

Three economists lambasted a New York Times op-ed claiming that the Democratic Party is better for the economy than the GOP.

Times senior writer David Leonhardt’s main argument was that “The American economy has performed much better under Democratic administrations than Republican ones, over both the last few decades and the last century.” Economists ripped apart the op-ed as “nonsense,” “intellectually sloppy,” and filled with “numerous false claims.”

The piece further argued that Democrats have been more “pragmatic” by being “willing to heed economic and historical lessons about what policies actually strengthen the economy, while Republicans have often clung to theories that they want to believe — like the supposedly magical power of tax cuts and deregulation.” 

But Leonhardt wildly missed the mark. Economists Daniel Mitchell, Chris Edwards and Brian Riedl all hammered the op-ed for arbitrarily zeroing in on party affiliation, while dubiously brushing aside more important economic factors. Mitchell stated in a tweet that Leonhardt’s article was “intellectually sloppy for one obvious reason (failure to properly account for business cycles) and one completely overlooked reason (policy direction matters, not partisan affiliation).”

Vazquez, however, failed to disclose (beyond embedded links on their names) that these economists are not objective but, rather, quite biased. Mitchell is co-founder of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a conservative think tank that loves flat taxes and offshore tax havens; Edwards is with the libertarian Cato Institute; and Riedl works for another right-wing think tank, the Manhattan Institute. In other words, these are exactly the positions anyone would expect them to take.

For some reason, Vazquez was so annoyed by Leonhardt's op-ed that he attacked it again a month later in a March 11 post, apparently because he scored an "exclusive interview" with Riedl, one of the (biased) economists  he had previously cited:

An economist ripped the media for pushing the false idea that Democratic administrations are better for the U.S. economy than GOP administrations.

New York Times senior writer David Leonhardt had written that Democratic administrations have been more “pragmatic” by being “willing to heed economic and historical lessons about what policies actually strengthen the economy, while Republicans have often clung to theories that they want to believe — like the supposedly magical power of tax cuts and deregulation.”

Economist and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Brian Riedl rebuked Leonhardt and the media for living in an “ideological cocoon” and pushing talking points on behalf of Democrats. “This is just partisan nonsense,” Riedl said of Leonhardt in an exclusive interview with the Media Research Center.

While Vazquez did identify Riedl's employer, he did not explain its political slant and, thus, Riedl could just as easily be described as living in his own ideological cocoon.

Vazquez concluded by whining that "Leonhardt has not been the only one to advocate on behalf of the Democrats, however," citing other assessment reaching the same conclusion. Of course, Vazquez would never describe himself or Riedl as "advocating on behalf of the Republicans," even though that's exactly what they're doing.

This wasn't the only time Vazquez called on biased economists to attack a viewpoint deemed "liberal." In January, he trotted out Mitchell to help him rant against Washington Post article he ripped as "propaganda that former President Donald Trump’s economy was terrible for minorities." In a March 3 post, he called on Cato's Edwards to bash Times columnist Paul Krugman for having "attacked capitalism for promoting 'too much choice' for American consumers,'" touting how "Edwards ripped Krugman for blaming American capitalism while ignoring that government deserves much of the blame for making life more complicated for American consumers." As before, Vazquez didn't explain the bias from which Edwards and Mitchell are operating.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
CNS Continues To Hide Pro-Trump Columnist's Links As Trump Adviser
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com has allowed Ken Blackwell to advocate on behalf of President Trump while rarely disclosing that he was an official Trump surrogate and adviser to his re-electrion campaign. Trump may be gone, but Blackwell is still defending him -- and CNS is still not disclosing his ties to Trump.

In a Feb. 8 column, Blackwell attacked "Democrat Sen. [sic] Pat Leahy" for presiding over Trump's second impeachment trial, declaring that "Leahy’s usurpation of [Chief Justice John] Roberts’ role in the second impeachment trial of Trump highlights how this whole affair is unconstitutional." The end-of-column bio described him as "a Distinguished Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission."

In a column the next day, headlined "Election Integrity: The Case For Trump's Acquittal," Blackwell did actually admit he was a Trump adviser, if only because he was complaining that Trump didn't take his advice not to use the term "law and order" because it turned off black voters and "suburban white voters" and hoping Trump takes his advice on how to argue that the presiential election may have been stolen from Trump by focusing on "massive irregularities" and not "wide-eyed conspiracy theories."

Blackwell spent his March 16 column huffing that the New York Times was using "its hatred of all things Trump" to fight against Republican-led "election integrity" efforts:

In the wake of a presidential election marred by widespread lawlessness that produced unprecedented levels of public distrust, the Times struggles to conceive of efforts to rectify the problem as anything other than acts of obeisance to Donald Trump. In the minds of most leftists, it seems, the term “election integrity” — when used by Republicans — is merely code for “voter suppression.” Bad faith on the part of GOP legislators is simply assumed.

In reality, conservative voters and lawmakers have many legitimate reasons to question the security of our electoral process after watching leftist officials participate in an extra-legal public-private partnership with Big Tech billionaires and progressive activists that involved casually disregarding duly-enacted laws that had been put in place for the express purpose of ensuring free and fair elections.

CNS returned to not mentioning Blackwell's Trump ties, with the end-of-column bio stating only that he "is a senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council" and "former Secretary of State of Ohio."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:55 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Has Fauci Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Newsmax

You know you're in for a doozy when Newsmax feels compelled (as it has before) to top a column with the disclaimer "The following is authored by a non-clinician." And indeed, Bill Robinson's March 9 column is little more than a screed against Anthony Fauci:

I never liked Dr. Fauci, his diminutive stature, gravelly voice or Napoleonic, tough guy attitude. He seemed to me the consummate phony. His actions have all but confirmed this to be true. 

When the pandemic first began in earnest, Fauci was packaged up and sold to the president and worried American populace as "the foremost epidemiologist in America" and innumerable other permutations of this outright falsehood.

Based on the past year, Anthony Fauci is nothing of the sort; he’s not even close to the "foremost," "most prominent" or "most respected" epidemiologist this country has.

Those titles would go to Dr. Ian Lipkin at Columbia University, who traveled to China to investigate the Wuhan virus in February of 2019 when Dr. Fauci was still calling cable media outlets scheduling his countless appearances.

Or, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, whose been questioning and shattering Fauci’s flip-flopping and dangerous advice to Americans from the beginning. Dr. Bhattacharya is also a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration which is a foundational document laying out precisely how the cure was worse than the virus and why we have been taken to the cleaners in listening to those only wanting to keep us inside, masked up and economically decimated.

Ah, yes, the Great Barrington Declaration,  which argued against lockdowns and in favor of promoting herd immunity against coronavirus -- even though nobody can predict exactly who would die from what would essentially be a global chicken pox party.

But Robinson has more anti-Fauci hate to spew:

Whether intentional or not, Fauci has been a willing and intentional pawn of the Marxist Left in this country. Regardless of his intent, he’s been a failure in every respect.

And of course, he still had false adulation ladled on him by our mainstream media like a well-basted Thanksgiving turkey throughout all his decades of quiet fiascoes.

Yet, in spite of it all, Fauci is the highest paid government employee in the country—more than the president—and his lightning-quick conversion to "chief medical advisor to President Biden," shows not only his utter lack of any loyalty but that his previous decrees were highly suspect.

As Fauci’s reign of blundering and misinformation comes to an end, there’s little doubt that all Americans have a tough lesson to be learned from all this chicanery.

Don’t automatically trust or assign any credibility whatsoever to a doctor or politician. Is this case, Fauci was both.

Not sure what coronavirus has to do with the "Marxist left," but then, we've never spent any time with Robinson to find out.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:42 PM EDT
WND's Farah Is Trying To Whitewash The Capitol Riot
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has tried to whitewash the Capitol riot before, throwing his daughter under the bus in the process. He's still at it. In a Feb. 28 column, he complained about what the riot was being called:

"The Capitol Insurrection," "the Siege," "the armed insurrection in Washington, D.C." It's also been described as a "military-style formation" of "anti-government right-wing fringe organizations," "the storming of the Capitol," "the Capitol riot," "armed" protests, and even "a medieval battle."

And now it's been called "the Capitol bombing." A bombing! By no less an authority than the next attorney general, Merrick Garland.

This is getting ridiculous.

It was bad enough when someone decided to call it the "Capitol Insurrection." It was not a good choice. I don't know who it was – maybe Nancy Pelosi. But it was not appropriate to call it an "Insurrection." It never rose to the meaning of that word, which conjures up dire synonyms like "Insurgence," "Revolt" and "Rebellion."

Do any of those words sound like a conflict that took just one life – a woman who was gunned down by an as-yet-unnamed Capitol policeman? I hardly think so. Do any of those synonyms suggest a conflict that lasted only a few hours? No.

It was a bad name and we all knew it the first time it was used. It was designed to inflame, to divide, to confuse. And indeed, it has inflamed and confused people to the point that Biden's AG pick rachets up the rhetoric to "bombing."

Oddly, Farah did not offer a word he thinks accurately describes the event.

In his March 17 column, Farah tried to push the idea that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick really didn't die as a result of the riot because the initial reported cause -- that he was hit by a fire extinguisher -- may not be true. Farah ranted that this was a "lie" promulgated by the New York Times, though he offered no evidence to support his suggestion that the Times or anyone else knowingly "lied" about Sicknick's death.

He then complained that two people charged with assaulting Sicknick with chemical spray -- and, thus, perhaps contributing to his death -- may be innocent:

It remains to be seen if Officer Sicknick was exposed to tear gas, widely used Jan. 6 by police that day – as was pepper spray.

Once again, what is the Justice Department doing here? We know they are attempting with their charges to promulgate a "domestic terrorism" case or cases. Will they make a victim of "domestic terrorism" out of a man who was "in good spirits" the night after his "attack"? Has he become the only "convenient" death of a police officer? Death by pepper spray – hardly a deadly weapon when employed elsewhere by civilians or cops?

Officer Sicknick was a good man. He was a supporter of President Trump. He was well-liked by one and all. It's bad enough his death was used in a lie – once – and maybe a second time.

Are they deliberately stacking the deck against [George] Tanios and [Julian] Khater, a couple of fast-food managers? Are these two desperadoes a threat to Americans everywhere?

The next day, Farah tried to whitewash Ashli Babbitt, shot and killed by Capitol Police during the riot:

Babbitt was a 14-year Air Force veteran, an unarmed woman who attended the protest of the inexplicable election snafu. Over two months after her death at the hands of a Capitol police officer, no information or details have been released.

[...]

Maybe there is an explanation of the only shooting death – for that matter, the only shooting incident – in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

It comes from the unnamed officer who shot Babbitt, by way of his attorney, Mark Schamel. It's not much of an explanation given there were hundreds of people at the Capitol, perhaps as many as 1 million for the rally.

Apparently, Babbitt's backpack raised alarms. They compounded the fears of the officers. There were three other officers closer to Babbitt.

But Officer X, we'll call him, decided that his most prudent course of action was to fire a shot at Ashli Babbitt in a crowded room because she wore a backpack. In the off chance it contained a bomb or weapon, Officer X would take her out.

What did Ashli have in the backpack?

It was a wool sweater and a scarf.

We continue to hear horrific tales from Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Gen. Russel L. Honoré about that day at the Capitol. We've heard about the "insurrectionists." We've heard about the "domestic terrorists." We've heard about the "white supremacists."

The truth is, at the end of the day, it apparently was a backpack that defined the story for Ashli Babbitt – that took her life.

Farah is not going to tell his readers that Babbitt was a conspiracy kook and a QAnon supporter.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2021 2:43 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Malicious: MRC Cheers Tent Falling On Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center not only criticizes any journalist who fails to spout its right-wing dogma -- it actively hates them and wishes them harm. So much so, in fact, that it cheers when they get hurt. Brad Wilmouth demonstrated how in a March 5 item:

On Thursday, MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff was presenting clips of his interview with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about Trump immigration policy separating illegal immigrant parents and children when his report was apparently so full of hot air that the tent his production team was using blew over on live television, forcing him to catch it with his hands.

The live TV blooper occurred after a clip was shown of Soboroff badgering Mayorkas about the "potential criminality of the Trump administration."

After running a clip of the Mayorkas interview, Soboroff was seen live on air at 11:03 a.m.. Before he could say anything, his tent fell on him, leading him to catch it and comment on the goof-up and again talk up prosecution of Trump officials:

The MRC's glee that Soboroff could have been injured during this incident was more cleari n the Twitter post promoting Wilmouth's item, which chortled: "INTENSE HOT AIR! Tent falls on MSNBC reporter live after he pushes prosecuting Trump and underlings for separating illegal immigrant families."

The MRC doesn't do "media research" -- it promotes hatred of journalists (that aren't employed by Fox News).


Posted by Terry K. at 8:34 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:35 PM EDT
WND Columnist Touts Fake Bonhoeffer Quote
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his March 2 WorldNetDaily column, Larry Tomczak touted how "a significant leadership gathering takes place at what was once Heritage Village USA to discern what God is saying so that we as the people of God can stay strong and on the right track." He then served up what he considered to be key "nuggets" from the confab, which included a lot of the usual right-wing Christian posturing. Tomczak's final point was this:

10. About 98% of the time I was an avid listener but added some comments better encapsulated by the words of another leader who fearlessly addressed the threat of Hitler's democratic socialism. It cost him his life. May none of us shrink back in the time of testing but may we all look to the Lord with renewed devotion, meditate on His Word, share the gospel and engage culturally in a winsome and courageous way.

Here's the deal: "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Just one problem with that quote: there's no evidence Bonhoeffer ever said or wrote it. As Warren Throckmorton has documented, the quote appears in none of Bonhoeffer's works, despite Bonhoeffer biographer Eric Metaxas uncritically promoting the quote.

Will there be a correction? Probably not -- the fake quote serves both Tomczak and WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:52 PM EDT
AIM Misleads In Attack Biden Over Texas Energy Issues
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Stephanie H. Freedman got one thing right in a Feb. 24 Accuracy in Media post examining the Texas cold snap and resulting failure of energy sources there: she wasn't trying to blame wind and solar and ignoring that failure to winterize power sources of all kinds was a major contributing factor. But she tried to put the blame on the Biden administration for its initial response:

While there is no denying there is a hybrid policy conversation to address this crisis, there is a very important fact that is missing from the major media analyses. 

On Feb. 12, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “declared a state of disaster threat of widespread damage due to prolonged freezing temperatures.”

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is responsible for 90% of Texas’s energy, reported they needed an “increase in energy supplies” to help counter the negative effects of the storm. ERCOT also reported that “numerous energy generation units will be unable to operate at full capacity without violating federal air quality or other permit limitations.”

These issues were listed in a request submitted to the Department of Energy on Feb. 14 regarding discretion for “using their energy generators and relief from exceeding state emissions requirements during emergency conditions”. 

The Department of Energy responded that while it would allow a certain increase in energy output, it would not “provide relief from obligations to purchase energy allowances for emissions that occur during the emergency condition.” They also specified their priority to “minimize adverse environmental impacts, by limiting operation of dispatched energy units.”

The order from the Department of Energy also hiked the price of power credits being sold to the state at a price “no lower than $1,500/MWh,” a significant increase over the $18.20 that Texans typically pay for the same amount of energy.

But neither of those things are true. Both the Department of Energy and ERCOT confirmed to the Associated Press that the claim that DOE enforced emissions limits on power sources was false, and the DOE order actually approved what ERCOT requested. And ERCOT, not DOE, set the minimum $1,500/MWh price to ensure that its request to DOE would be used as a last resort, according to an ERCOT spokesperson. The DOE ultimately defers to the applicants and the market on how prices are determined.

Sp much for accuracy in media at AIM.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
CNS Gives Space To Conspiracy Theorist Doc To Attack Masks
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com gave Dr. Jim Meehan space for a column on March 10 (bolding in original):

A response to people who use the classic fallacious argument, “Well, if masks don’t work, then why do surgeons wear them?”

I’m a surgeon who has performed more than 10,000 surgical procedures wearing a surgical mask. However, that fact alone doesn’t really qualify me as an expert on the matter. More importantly, I am a former editor of a medical journal.

I know how to read the medical literature, distinguish good science from bad, and fact from fiction. Believe me, the medical literature is filled with bad fiction masquerading as medical science. It is very easy to be deceived by bad science.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve read hundreds of studies on the science of medical masks. Based on extensive review and analysis, there is no question in my mind that healthy people should not be wearing surgical or cloth masks. Nor should we be recommending universal masking of all members of the population. That recommendation is not supported by the highest level of scientific evidence.

CNS describes Meehan as "a physician, entrepreneur, and accomplished leader who provides novel science and solutions that conform to honest, open, transparent, and patient-centered principles." It also noted that Meehan's column "originally appeared on Principia Scientific International."

CNS is not going to tell you that Principia Scientific International is filled with conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. And it's definitely not going to tell you that this description also fits Meehan himself, as a report on a hearing he testified at in his native Oklahoma details:

Meehan is a licensed medical doctor who operates in Tulsa. His Oklahoma Medical Board profile lists his specialties as general preventive medicine, nutrition and addiction medicine. He  often preaches against vaccines on and wearing face masks on Twitter.

In his Twitter bio, Meehan lists hashtags for “Medical Freedom,” a popular tag for the anti-vaccine movement, and for QAnon, a far-right fringe conspiracy that believes a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles runs a child sex-trafficking ring across the world that also schemes against President Donald Trump. Some members of QAnon believe Trump is secretly sending them coded messages on various websites to update them. 

In 2019, the FBI described QAnon as a domestic terror threat.

At one point in the hearing, Meehan said that an overabundance of skin pigment prevents the sun from killing the coronavirus inside the bodies of people of color and they should take more  vitamins to keep from getting sick. There is no scientific evidence for that claim.

Further, a judge ruled that Meehan was not qualifed to speak as an "expert witness" in a Connecticut lawsuit fighting agaist a mask mandage because he lacks specific expertise and holds anti-science views, adding that "while Meehan is an expert ophthalmologist, he was not credible to testify on the subject at hand since he has not done any work related to COVID-19."

So CNS published an eye doctor who has no expertise  in treating coronavirus to opine on wearing masks. The creeping WND-ization of CNS continues.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 12:19 AM EDT
Monday, April 5, 2021
Has The MRC Stopped Defending Steven Crowder?
Topic: Media Research Center

Has right-wing video person Steven Crowder finally become too offensive for the Media Research Center to defend?

In 2019, you'll recall, the MRC rushed to Crowder's defense, complaining that YouTube de-monetized him for making alleged jokes about gay journalist Carlos Maza that were, in reality, barely disguised homophobia. When Crowder was fully reinstated at YouTube a few months later, the MRC again portrayed Crowder as a comedian who was unfairly targeted and hid the full extent of his homophobia.

On Feb. 25, Heather Moon complained that "comedian Steven Crowder" was listed by an Anti-Defamation League study as among right-wingers who serve as "gateways" to exremist content. The MRC rushed to again help Crowder play victim in a March 10 item by Alexander Hall:

Conservative commentator Steven Crowder said he has been silenced on Twitter for unknown reasons, and proclaimed to TheBlaze: “Behold, the modern 'public square!’"

"Twitter has suspended the account of popular BlazeTV host Steven Crowder for at least one week without explanation,” TheBlaze reported March 9. Louder with Crowder host Steven Crowder reportedly explained: "No idea why Twitter locked me out, as in the allotted category (wherein they would include said information) was left blank."

Crowder “confirmed” to the MRC what TheBlaze reported, and explained, “As far as I understand it, I’ve been suspended THREE times as the countdown has kept getting longer. And they have yet to send ANY reason for the suspension. At all.”

Had Hall bothered to do even a modicum of research instead of accepting Crowder's claimed victimhood at face value -- letting him prattle on at length about how "video content of his from previous years was rapidly gaining notoriety among liberal Twitter users" and how his "core concern was that Big Tech platforms will purge users on what they posted in the past, rather than in the present" -- he might have learned that a more proximate issue might have been responsible for Crowder's Twitter outage: On the same day he claimed his Twitter account was suspended, his YouTube show (which he presumably promotes on his Twitter feed) featured him using a racial slur to describe Meghan Markle.

That's the last instance of Crowder-defending we've seen at the MRC. That's good -- if unusual, given how thge MRC loves to double down in defense of extremists -- because Crowder became even more offensive after that:

His March 16 show used offensive racial stereotypes to portray black farmers to mock relief they were receiving from President Biden's coronavirus relief plan after decades of discrimination.It was offensive enough that YouTube pulled the video. His co-hosts cranked up the racism the next day.

After a six-day absence from his show, Crowder returned on March 22 to use another racial slur, followed by homophobic slurs two days later. This prompted YouTube to suspend and demonitize one of Crowder's accounts; his attempt to evade the suspension by using another channel of his faiiled. Crowder was reduced to being offensive on BlazeTV, which apparently had no problem with it.

Apparently homophobia was cool with the MRC, but blatant racism is its line in the sand. Congratulations, MRC, for finally demonstrating you have at least some standards. However, we expect it to flip-flop and defend Crowder again once returns to homophobia, a la Marjorie Taylor Greene.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Fake News At WND: Coronavirus Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has gotten busted promoting bogus claims regarding the coronavirus pandemic -- only some of which it has properly corrected. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EDT
CNS' Attacks on Garland's AG Nomination Were Lame
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center had a hard time finding ways to attack Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland the way it has done to other Biden Cabinet nominees. It didn't go after him at all when he was first nominated, and its articles cherry-picking responses to questions during his confirmation hearing were lame at best.

A Feb. 22 article by Susan Jones appeared to compalin that Garland said he would prioritize the prosecution of "white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 -- a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government." Jones complained the next day that Garland said, in response to questions from mostly Republican senators, that he didn't have an opinion on the Second Amendment -- despite the fact that, because it is his job to enforce the law and not make law, he's not supposed to have an opinion on it. Another article by Jones merely summarized his views on "racism, disparate justice, and implicit bias."

It wasn't until March 4 that CNS came up with a plausible line of attack. Terry Jeffrey's column bashed Garland for, while serving as a judge, allowed a 17-year-old "illegal alien" arrested at the Mexican border to receive an abortion. "So, what was Garland thinking, if anything, when a pregnant alien teenager — caught trying to illegally enter the United States — came before his court, seeking his blessing to terminate her child?" Jeffrey huffed -- even though he repeatedly denied the humanity of the teen by repeatedly referring to her as an "alien."

And it wasn't until two days after Garland was confirmed by the full Senate on March 10 that CNS published an article by Emma Riley recounting how conservatives opposed Garland in a letter. "The letter cited Garland’s ambiguity over the law on whether attacking a federal court house at night or during the day constitutes 'domestic terrorism'; his unwillingness to condemn remarks that 'black people are genetically superior to white people'; and his unwillingness to denounce the comment that 'any pro-life advocate is unfit for office,'" Riley wrote -- again, ignoring the fact that the attorney general is not supposed to have an opinion on such things.

The fact that even the highly biased "journalists" at CNS couldn't findmuch to attack Garland tells us that he likely won't be as bad as they think.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EDT

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