ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, May 4, 2021
MRC Plays Whataboutism on Scandal-Ridden Matt Gaetz
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center blogger Mark Finkelstein started an April 2 post by writing:

For the liberal media, when it comes to Republicans, it's often a case of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't.

Take the case of Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who is facing accusations regarding his personal behavior ranging from the tawdry to the criminal. To date, no charges have been filed against Gaetz, and he has asserted that he has been the victim of an extortion plot. 

If Gaetz's fellow Republicans refuse to distance themselves from him, the liberal media would surely accuse them of covering for a miscreant. But what if Republicans do denounce Gaetz? Well, that doesn't win them any brownie points either in the eyes of the "facts first" media.

Take MSNBC analyst John Heilemann on today's Morning Joe. He launched a pre-emptive strike against Republicans, with the goal of ensuring they'd receive no real moral credit should they denounce Gaetz.

Then it was time to bring in the whataboutism:

On that matter, Heilemann has some first-hand experience in dealing with a colleague enmeshed in a sex scandal. For years, Heilemann worked closely with Mark Halperin. The pair co-wrote two books about presidential campaigns. For three years, Heilemann and Halperin co-hosted a political analysis show on Bloomberg TV and MSNBC. Heilemann also co-starred with Halperin in Showtime's documentary series The Circus, a behind-the-scenes look going out on the road for the 2016 presidential election.

In 2017, Halperin was the subject of a major sex scandal. A dozen women came forward, accusing Halperin of sexual abuse. He was ultimately fired by NBC, MSNBC, and Showtime.

So how did Heilemann handle the scandal? Did he throw his long-time partner under the bus? Defend him? Nope: Heilemann went for the credulity-stretching claim that he was totally, completely, unaware that Halperin had ever been involved in anything sketchy. Talk about a "cynical public-relations-driven approach"!

[...]

If Heilemann was telling the truth, and had no "inkling" of Halperin's misbehavior despite years of working so closely with him, Heilemann must be incredibly obtuse—hardly a desirable quality in a TV "analyst."

Needless to say, Finkelstein offers no proof that Heilemann is lying when he claimed he knew nothing of Halperin's behavior toward women. Also needless to say, Finkelstein didn't mention what Halperin's current image -rehab gig is: working for fellow right-wing outlet Newsmax.

Finkelstein wasn't the only MRCer to go the whataboutism route on Gaetz. The same day, Duncan Schroeder grumbled that MSNBC's Joy Reid "asserting that, because Trump and now Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) have both had sexual assault allegations leveled against, Republicans must support sexual assault. No word on whether she thought Democrats like herself support sexual assault and sexual miscreants because of the party being the home of Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and lesser known figures like former Senators Brock Adams (WA), Charles Robb (VA), and former Congressmen Tim Mahoney (FL), Mel Reynolds (IL) and David Wu (OR)." He further declared that "sex scandals have unfortunately plagued both parties."

Meranwhile, an April 5 post by Veronica Hays complained that "Saturday Night Live" lampooned Gaetz, "touch[ing] on all the scandalous accusations brought against him this past week, such as sex trafficking and an indecent relationship with a minor." On April 15, Curtis Houck huffed that Gaetz was criticized on MSNBC again "despite the fact that Gaetz has denied any and all wrongdoing and called the leaked news stories 'smears' that 'range from distortions of my personal life, to wild — and I mean, wild — conspiracy theories.'"

None of those items, it's worth noting, explicitly condemn Gaetz's alleged behavior. We've already noted that the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, has gone completely silent on the Gaetz story despite devoting numerous articles to his highly clickworthy (to right-wingers, that is) liberal-bashing.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Tries To Rewrite History of Capitol Riot
Topic: Newsmax
Incoming U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stumbled and hesitated but eventually stated that the most complicated investigation facing his department was the events of January 6.

This cannot possibly be true, because even the implausible surviving head of the thoroughly discredited FBI, Christopher Wray, acknowledged in congressional testimony there was no evidence whatever that those events were coordinated or organized by elements connected to the former president.

Every informed person in the world knows that the events of January 6 were the result of a loose sequence of facts that were only allowed to aggregate into the assault on the Capitol because of the malice or incompetence of Trump’s enemies.

The U.S. political system tolerated a great many interventions in the techniques for voting and counting votes in the presidential election, especially in six states that were known to be closely contested: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Many of these changes were not adopted by the state legislatures as the Constitution requires, but by executive or judicial action within the states.

There were, counting the action of the attorney general of Texas supported by 18 other states, 28 lawsuits by the Republicans concerning the election.

The courts refused to adjudicate any of them.

Excuses and technicalities were found to avoid judging the claims.

The immense and justified outrage of President Trump and his 75 million followers never led to violence or illegality and the gathering in Washington on Jan. 6 demonstrated solidarity with the outgoing president.

He urged "peaceful and patriotic" action and avoided any incitement to improprieties.

A few thousand of the large number of professional hooligans in the country saw an opportunity and were present.

Because the mayor of Washington, D.C. and the speaker of the House had ignored the requests of the head of the Capitol police for reinforcements, the thugs forced entry into the Capitol.

National legislatures are frequently attacked by crowds, but normally the officials responsible have the intelligence to ensure an adequate level of security.

The damage was not particularly serious and the only fatalities were Trump supporters and one Capitol policeman whose fate was grossly misrepresented by the anti-Trump media.

The most accurate reflection of the spirit of the occasion was the image of the senators hiding under their desks wearing ludicrous protective headgear: the apotheosis of the "world’s greatest deliberative body."

The most asinine legislative initiative in the modern history of the country ensued: the impeachment of the president for an incitement he did not utter to an insurrection he did not seek — and, indeed, one that did not occur — in order to remove him from an office he no longer held.

-- Conrad Black, March 30 Newsmax column

Black is lying whem he claimed that "the mayor of Washington, D.C. and the speaker of the House had ignored the requests of the head of the Capitol police for reinforcements" the day of the riot. In fact, DC metropolitian police were on the scene, and Capitol Police requested National Guard backup early on, but that had to also be approved by the Defense Department, which didn't do so until much later in the day.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
WND Commentary Editor Weirdly Boasts Of Catching COVID At Church
Topic: WorldNetDaily
I caught COVID at church – praise God!

That's a peculiar headline, I suppose – but one that expresses my gratitude for the opportunity I have had to worship with other Christians, maskless (shhh!), over the last few months, mindful of the risk.

Despite specific and quite arbitrary restrictions the governor of my (unnamed) state has demanded of churches, and the First Amendment implications of those rules, my own (unnamed) church decided to prioritize the Word of God over the word of the State. (By the way, do you remember when we didn't need to hide information when we expressed opinions because our government overlords had far less power to hunt us down and punish us?)

While some churches in town were either shut down for in-person worship or were meeting but with nearly unworkable COVID restrictions, my church took a simple, liberty-based approach to in-person worship: The main room has no social distancing, and face masks are optional; another room, where the service is video-fed, requires masks and social distancing; and online streaming of the service is an option for those who choose to stay at home.

The church leadership, without consulting the latest restrictions from the governor's office, made a decision that gave the people a choice of how to participate – while still having an in-person worship service every Sunday.

[...]

I knew the risk of worshiping close to other Christians, but decided to take that risk. I knew the risk of inhaling and exhaling in unison with other Christians as we sang praise to God, but decided to take that risk. I knew the risk of looking a brother in the eye – and, maskless, in the nose and mouth – greeting him and offering a firm handshake and smile, but decided to take that risk.

Despite the risk and despite my having endured COVID-19 after taking that risk, I would do it all over again. For me the gathering of God's people in weekly worship and fellowship is too valuable an activity to put on the shelf for months on end. And the beauty of liberty is that other people can choose to do otherwise. Others can take different risks to participate in other activities, church-based or not. It's called living life.

[...]

So, why do I praise God that I caught the virus at church? Because, unlike so many, I had the opportunity to take the risk to worship corporately with the Body of Christ, and in that activity God has blessed me immeasurably. Unlike the leaders of the church in Dallas, those leading my church decided to gather in a way that respects their people, their responsibilities and, most importantly, their God. And for that I am most grateful.

-- Ron Strom, WorldNetDaily commentary editor, April 1 column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
CNS Appears To Take Putin's Side Against Biden
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's disturbing when a "news" operation appears to be taking the side of a foreign country against the president of the United States, but that's what CNSNews.com appears to have done.

In March, President Biden referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "killer" in reference to a poisoning attempt on Putin critic Alexei Navalny. CNS didn't do a story on that, but a March 18 article by Dimitri Simes hyped Putin's response that "it takes one to know one," going on to call the exchange "a serious diplomatic row" that Biden created.

The next day, CNS reporter Patrick Goodenough sounded like he was writing for Russian state media than a U.S. "news" outlet:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged President Biden to take part in an urgent livestreamed dialogue amid a diplomatic chill following Biden’s portrayal of the Russian president as a “killer.”

Putin says he’s available on Friday or Monday, although the White House gave no indication it was interested in taking up the invitation.

Meanwhile Dmitry Medvedev, who as Russian president had dealings with then-Vice President Biden during the Obama administration, suggested that the remark which sparked the spat could be attributed to Biden’s age and state of health.

Asked during an ABC News interview aired on Wednesday if he thought Putin was a killer, Biden replied, “I do.”

Fallout over the comment, accompanied by a declassified U.S. intelligence assessment that Putin had authorized “influence operations” to undermine Biden’s presidential campaign, has already seen Moscow recall its ambassador for consultations.

[...]

Meanwhile, Russian media quoted Medvedev, who served as president from 2008-2012, as telling reporters, “I met with incumbent U.S. President Joe Biden at various international events. He gave the impression of a reasonable person then.”

“However, it seems that time hasn’t been kind to him,” he said.

Medvedev, who now chairs the Russian Security Council, added, “I can only quote Freud: ‘Nothing in life is more expensive than illness and stupidity.’”

Goodenough omitted mention of Navalny, thus taking Biden's "killer" comment out of context -- an assessment even the conservative Heritiage Foundation agrees with.

The same day, CNS pubiished a column by Pat Buchanan -- whose 1996 presidential campaign CNS editor Terry Jeffrey managed --  complaining about the comparison: "What is Biden doing? Do we not have enough enemies? Does he not have enough problems on his plate?"

Also on March 19, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman  touted his favorite evangelical, Franklin Graham, bizarrely playing whataboutism over the exchange by invoking the abortion card:

After President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "killer," Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the late Pastor Billy Graham, noted that President Biden and his administration support abortion, the "killing of the innocent," and that since Jan. 1 "more than 185,000 babies have been murdered through abortion in this country."

"We will be held accountable by God," said Rev. Graham.

CNS published another column by Buchanan on March 23 in which he complained that "Biden is himself responsible for the poisoned relations with Russia, after telling ABC that, yes, Vladimir Putin is "a killer" whom he once told to his face that he had no 'soul.'"

That same day, Goodenough wrote an article suggesting the Biden remark was pushing Russia toward Chinabecause it caused an "an uptick in U.S.-Russia tensions," and he uncritically quoted Russian officials accusing the U.S. of standing in the way of the “rise of a truly multipolar democratic world.” Goodenough didn't mention that Russia is not a democracy.

It's just not a good look for CNS to take Russia's side against Biden.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Monday, May 3, 2021
MRC Is Angry Superhero Show Talked About Race
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to rant about its supposedly favorite superheroes failing to conform to its favorite right-wing heteronormative stereotypes. That failure continues to be a steady source of content for the MRC. Veronica Hays whined on March 17 that a "transsexual woman" artist helped make Captain America non-heteronormative:

Someone switched out the super soldier serum. Captain America is now gay. Our beloved champion is now a social justice warrior, taking on the form of a gay teen with tattoos, multiple piercings, and an edgy, shaved haircut. Make sure you refer to him with the correct pronouns, or else..

[...]

Naturally, the press and creators must make a big fuss over this new gay character. “Marvel Comics is proud to honor Pride Month with the rise of this new  LGBTQ+ hero." It is clear that the heads at Marvel entertain politically correct motives as we’ve seen before, and oftentimes at the cost of quality storytelling. This stunning and brave addition to Marvel’s universe will most likely appeal to a very limited target audience, but when sales reflect that, Marvel will be able to blame U.S. homophobia. Will they face the reprisal of the “go woke, go broke” phenomenon? Time will tell. 

The MRC then shifted its focus to being angry about superheroes talking race on a related show. On March 29, Lindsay Kornick ranted about "the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) decline into wokeness" because the Disney+ show "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" included racial themes as a central storyline, huffing, "Disney+ and Marvel might have to focus on actual heroics if they want their superhero shows to succeed." Kornick returned on April 8 to promote an anonymous YouTube video citing unverified streaming data to claim that "massive number[s]" of people stopped watching the aforementioned episode when that storyline became prominent. (We thought the MRC hated anonymous sources.) Kornic then put her own spin on this: "Of course, Overlord DVD’s personal take on the matter is subjective, though, if this discovery is in fact true, it is a moment of revelation for The House of Mouse. Americans are tired of the “wokeism” of mainstream media and the entertainment establishment."

Kornick was back on April 18 to attack yet another episode of the show:

Marvel’s latest series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has proved to be the polarizing propaganda the media hoped it would be. Now on its penultimate episode, the Disney+ series is stepping things up by asserting that nothing's changed in 500 years and no black man should want to be Captain America.

[...]

The show once again seems determined to act like America was, is, and always will be racist in some way, even if we’re nowhere near as discriminatory as we were in the 1940s and '50s.

In fact, Isaiah, a black man, is the only person who declares that a black man won’t and shouldn’t be Captain America. No one in conservative media is claiming Sam can’t be the next Captain America. No one else in the series says Sam can’t be the next Captain America. All that’s there is the assumption that racist America wouldn’t want a black superhero, despite Black Panther being a huge success. This series itself is far more racist than anything it purports America to be.

This whole point becomes moot since Sam indeed chooses to take up the shield and presumably will become the next Captain America. All that means is that this scene was just lip service to a bunch of social justice warriors who likely never cared about Captain America in the first place. Let’s hope the finale isn't worse than this.

We would remind Kornick that her employer has dismissed "Black Panther" as a a film promoted by "Hollywood's PC police for an apparent mystical celebration of African American culture," complained that it had too much violence, and attacked its lead actor (whose name it got wrong) for committing the offense of criticizing Donald Trump.

On April 23, Kornick predictably complained about the show's finale:

Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been a mixed bag of action sequences and blatant political messages. The Disney+ series ended things with a bang by making one last racial jab at audiences and Captain America fans.

[...]

Sam: I’m a Black man carrying the stars and stripes — what don’t I understand? Every time I pick this thing up, I know there are millions of people who are going to hate me for it. Even now, here, I feel it. The stares, the judgment, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. Yet I’m still here. No super serum. No blonde hair or blue eyes. The only power I have is that I believe we can do better.

Again, I’m going to need actual sources of these millions of people who supposedly hate the idea of a black Captain America. The Americans in this show don’t hate him since dozens cheer as Sam rescues a van full of hostages and proudly call him Captain America. Real-life Americans clearly don’t hate him if Disney and Marvel were willing to spend millions to give him his own show about becoming Captain America. In fact, millions of people seemed excited at the idea since it was first introduced at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Instead, those fans and several others are thrown under the bus for social justice posturing. Even worse, they’re thrown under the bus for posturing and terrorist sympathy. America is definitely ready for a black Captain America, but millions of Americans will definitely not tolerate being lectured by these twisted priorities. The future of Marvel is looking pretty bleak.

If Kornick and the MRC really have no problem with a black superhero, why have they spent so much time and speace complaining that it's being talked about?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 3, 2021 9:38 PM EDT
CNS Presents Reporter's Anti-Trans Rant As 'News'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com hates transgender people so much that it doesn't even bother to keep up the pretense of being an objective "news" organization to push that hate. That was demonstrated in a March 31 "news" article by reporter Susan Jones:

Happy "Transgender Day of Visibility."

That is today's message from your government -- the Biden State Department, to be precise:

“On the occasion of Transgender Day of Visibility, the United States proudly recognizes transgender and gender non-conforming persons and their continued struggle for a life of equality, security, and dignity.”

So begins the declaration attributed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

[...]

The problem many Americans have with visibility -- is visibility; namely, the idea of opening female bathrooms and locker rooms to people born male who say they identify as female.

A related concern involves transgender females playing on girls' athletic teams, where the immutable physiology of males may give them a competitive advantage, including for athletic scholarships.

Jones offered no proof she speaks for "many Americans" in her hatred of transgender people. And people who "say they identify" as the opposite sex is not the defintion of a transgender person. And, again, this rant was presented as "news," not commentary.

This is not Jones' first anti-trans editorializing. In February, she was mad that Republican Sen. Rand Paul's hostile questioning of transgender Biden admin istration nominee Rachel Levine was called out, huffing that "It is now offensive and inappropriate in the U.S. Congress for a lawmaker to question a transgender physician about her views on minor children making the decision to change their sex through hormone use and surgery."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Feels The Pressure
Topic: Newsmax
Facing lawsuit threats from voting-tech companies, Newsmax has had to walk back the pro-Trump conspiracy-mongering it had done since the election pushing bogus claims of election fraud. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:21 PM EDT
WND Fearmongers, Spreads Misinformation About COVID Vaccine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been fearmongering about a coronavirus vaccine even before one became available, and it has spread false rumors about boxer Marvin Hagler's death being linked to getting a vaccine. So it's not a surprise that vaccine fearmongering has been a key part of WND's coronavirus coverage in recent months as vaccines have been released. Let's look at how it has done so, largly by amplifying rare and alleged side effects:

That last article came from the far-right Liberty Sentinel and uncritically repeated claims from Peter McCullough, promoted in the article as "the doctor with the most citations in the National Library of Medicine on these topics." McCullough has previously been busted for spreading misinformation about the vaccine, falsely claiming that there's no reason for anyone under age 50 to get it and that there's no such thing as asymptomatic spread of the virus.

The story from March on the "healthy" mom dying after getting the vaccine, taken from a Utah TV station, is nothing but fearmongering. The Utah state medical examiner has since said that nobody in the state has died from the vaccine, including that woman.

This sort of irresponsible, fearmongering coverage doesn't exactly build trust in WND's news coverage.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 3, 2021 5:36 PM EDT
Sunday, May 2, 2021
Insecure? MRC Freaks Out Over Report That Pollution May Be Shrinking Men's Private Parts
Topic: Media Research Center

A recent study revealed that evangelical Christianity's emphasis on a certain definition of masculinity makes evangelical Christian males insecure about the size of their private parts. One has to wonder if that ind of insecurity is behind a March 30 Media Research Center post lranting about a theory that environmental pollution is causing said private parts to be smaller, because Joseph Vazquez is sure irate about it:

We’ve reached a point of media insanity where liberal outlets are trying to convince people that pollution causes their private parts to shrink.

Sky News, PinkNews, VICE, Business Insider and TMZ all pushed stories propagandizing a bonkers theory from a new book by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Professor of Environmental Medicine & Public Health Shanna Swan. Swan’s theory alleged that “Penises are shrinking and genitals becoming malformed because of pollution,” according to the Sky News characterization. None of the outlets mentioned that Swan was a donor to President Joe Biden, according to Federal Election Commission records. Biden is planning to spend between $3 trillion and $4 trillion to juice the economy again, but “[t]ackling climate change and shifting to clean energy will underpin virtually every part of the package,” The New York Times reported.

Sky News, PinkNews and VICE parroted Swan’s fear-mongering that pollution-induced shrinking “penises” was an “‘existential crisis,’” reflected in decreasing fertility rates. PinkNews panicked that “global warming is coming for your penis.” It continued: “If that’s not a wake up call, we don’t know what is.”TMZ sounded the eco-extremist alarm too: “And you thought a cold pool was bad ... sound the alarm!!!” Business Insider’sstory on the matter was headlined, “Boys are being born with testicles in the wrong place, and pollution could be to blame.”

VICE’s report was arguably the most cringeworthy. Its entire story on “Shrinking Human Penises” was headed up by an image of phallic-shaped fruit and vegetables.

Not that rather to disprove anything Swan wrote, Vazquez instead twists it into a political attack by citing a single $100 donation to Biden's campaign Swan once made -- as if that has any relevance whatsoever to the kind of research she's doing. Vaquez did, however, claim that "JunkScience founder Steve Milloy has been critical of Swan’s work on the matter as recently as 2019. Not only is that also irrelevant to the matter at hand -- no evidence is cited of Milloy doing anythinbg other than whining about Swan's work -- Vazquez failed to mention that Milloy is a right-wing activist and climate denier who has received funding from polluters such as tobacco and pesticide makers.

That large-scale activism seems a lot more relevant to mention than a single $100 political donation, but Vazquez apparently doesn't think so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT
CNS Politicizes Easter To Attack Biden
Topic: CNSNews.com

How much does CNSNews.com hate Joe Biden? It (and the uber-Catholics who run it) turned Easter into a cudgel to attack him.

An April 1 column by Tom Kilgannon of the right-wing Freedom Alliance carried the headline Cafeteria Catholic Biden Should Not Go to Communion at Easter Mass," going on to declare: "Holy Week is the most meaningful time of the year for Catholics. It is when Jesus gave us the sacrament of the Eucharist. He died for our sins, and He rose from the dead so that we may have eternal life. This is the Church Joe Biden loves but for which he is causing problems. He, and he alone, has the ability and responsibility to correct the situation."

This was followed the next day by a rant from dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue, who sneered: "As we approach Easter, the bishops, as well as millions of practicing Catholics, are not going to have their concerns about Biden allayed by photos of him clinging to his rosary beads. He cannot at once declare himself to be a "devout Catholic" while at the same time supporting abortion-on-demand, gay marriage, sex transitioning for minors, and the war on religious liberty. It's time for President Biden to stop living a lie." This from a guy who has told more than his share of lies, so maybe he should address that first before accusing others.

On April 5, CNS served up an anonymously written article noting the Bidens' Easter message that "cited the Gospel of John" and quoted the message as noting "the sentiments of Pope Francis, who said that getting vaccinated is a moral obligation." This was surprisingly free of editorial commentary, but that was rectifiedlater that day by an article from Emma Riley, who found something to complain about anyway:

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden shared an Easter video message on Sunday that talked a lot about COVID and a “moral obligation” to get vaccinated, but did not mention the words Jesus Christ.

Easter is, as the Encyclopedia Britannica explains, the “principal festival of the Christian church, which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after His Crucifixion.” Easter is celebrated every year by the global Christian population, estimated at 2.54 billion people.

CNS even got mad at another Democrat for wiashing people a happy Easter, as another April 5 article demonstrated:

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D.-Minn.) sent out a tweet on Sunday wishing: “Happy Easter to all who are celebrating it around the world.”

She then sent out another tweet that said: “It’s Sunday and I should have slept in but I am gonna wake myself up for this interview, kinda smile.”

The interview Omar was referring to was with Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s State of the Union.

At both the beginning and end of this Easter Sunday interview, as transcribed by CNN, Tapper wished Omar an “early” happy Ramadan.

Apparently, only right-wing Christians are allowed to wish other Christians a happy Easter as far as CNS is concerned.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Newsmax Apologizes To Dominion Employee to Settle Lawsuit
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax serving as a conduit for pro-Trump election fraud conspiracy theories continues to come back to bite it. In December, it issued a statement disavowing right-wing attacks on voting-tech companies Dominion and Smartmatic in an attempt to avoid getting sued by the companies. Now, it has apologized to Dominion official Eric Coomer in an April 30 statement published on the Newsmax website:

Since Election Day, various guests, attorneys, and hosts on Newsmax have offered opinions and claims about Dr. Eric Coomer, the Director of Product Strategy and Security at Dominion Voting Systems.

Newsmax would like to clarify its coverage of Dr. Coomer and note that while Newsmax initially covered claims by President Trump’s lawyers, supporters and others that Dr. Coomer played a role in manipulating Dominion voting machines, Dominion voting software, and the final vote counts in the 2020 presidential election, Newsmax subsequently found no evidence that such allegations were true. Many of the states whose results were contested by the Trump campaign after the November 2020 election have conducted extensive recounts and audits, and each of these states certified the results as legal and final.

There are several facts that our viewers should be aware of. Newsmax has found no evidence that Dr. Coomer interfered with Dominion voting machines or voting software in any way, nor that Dr. Coomer ever claimed to have done so. Nor has Newsmax found any evidence that Dr. Coomer ever participated in any conversation with members of “Antifa,” nor that he was directly involved with any partisan political organization.

On behalf of Newsmax, we would like to apologize for any harm that our reporting of the allegations against Dr. Coomer may have caused to Dr. Coomer and his family.  For more on this, please go to our website at Newsmax.com, and read “Facts About Dominion, Smartmatic You Should Know.”

The statement doesn't say it, but it's a part of a settlement of a lawsuit Coomer filed against right-wing personalities and outlets for pushing those false claims; as a result of this and other undisclosed terms, Coomer has dropped Newsmax from the lawsuit.

Newsmax's settlement puts pressure on the other defendants in the lawsuit, including Joe Oltmann, the main source of the apparently false claims against Coomer. It also puts pressure on WorldNetDaily, even though it's not named in the lawsuit; WND columnist  James Zumwalt uncritically repeated Oltmann's claims in a Dec. 2 column that remains inexplicably live and unedited on the WND website despite the legal jeopardy it has put WND into.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EDT
Joseph Farah's Biden Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has a raging case of Biden Derangement Syndrome. Let's see how that's been manifesting lately, shall we?

Events are spiraling out of control.

No one can pretend they don't see it.

The president has cognitive shortcomings. Have we seen another president who is confused about who actually commands the post? Is it Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris, whom he has referred to several times as "President Harris."

The fall outside Air Force One was unlike the late President Gerald Ford's comic stumble a generation ago. No one doubted Ford was prepared to execute the oath of the most important office in the world. There was no comparison to President Donald J. Trump's shaky walk as he descended a ramp at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. That incident led to conjecture by the press about Trump being ill and suffering from Parkinson's disease. More than likely, the ramp was just slippery.

[...]

It's time to stop pretending that everything is all right with Joe Biden.

Everything is not all right.

He's 78 now – older than any other president.

As Dr. [Ronny] Jackson has said, candidly, "Something's not right!" What's happening is very wrong. And it's not Joe Biden's fault alone.

Who choreographed the 2020 campaign of secrecy? Who kept Biden stashed away, in hiding, for weeks at time – every word uttered put in his mouth through a teleprompter. Still he had problems, lost his place, couldn't tell where he was.

-- March 22

After only two months, it's time to call Joe Biden the worst president of all time – and it's not even close.

The latest gambit: The White House said it will consider spending $3 trillion on boosting the economy, reducing carbon emissions and narrowing economic inequality, beginning with a giant infrastructure plan.

This will be the greatest spending boondoggle ever. It’s a total waste! Even what it promises is a waste – and these are Biden’s simple words.

Boosting the economy? Biden wouldn’t even know how. Carbon emission? It will not make the climate warmer or cooler – whatever the plan.

It's a fairy tale for kids and grownups. For narrowing economic inequality? Sounds like more wealth redistribution schemes. A giant infrastructure plan? Biden simply cannot be trusted with anything called giant.

-- March 23

He lost his train of thought, assuming he had one. He forgot some of the questions that were asked. He continually flipped through a notebook, strange to see among past commanders in chief, and read prepared answers.

What an ugly scene was Joe Biden's first presidential press conference.

[...]

It was not an impressive performance.

Although he did respond to a question about whether he will seek a second term.

He said he expects to but that the future is never certain. He's already 78 you know, the oldest president ever.

"My plan is to run for reelection. That's my expectation," Biden said, speaking in the East Room of the White House.

Pressed to elaborate, Biden walked back his 2024 musings a bit.

"I'm a great respecter of fate. I've never been able to plan four and a half, three and a half years ahead for certain," he said.

Biden lacked even one memorable remark in a tedious, hour-long non-event. No kidding. I had to watch it!

-- March 25

Joe Biden is not just trying to fix the future of all U.S. elections, he's ruining the all-American sport of baseball to do it!

How?

Joe Biden called it, inexplicably, the second coming of Jim Crow.

[...]

There was a time I thought about Joe Biden as just a rube – a dishonest, venal, unscrupulous man. I overrated him. Anybody who can lie like that is beneath contempt.

-- April 5


Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 AM EDT
Friday, April 30, 2021
MRC Fails In Asserting That FDR's New Deal Was 'Disastrous'
Topic: Media Research Center

Joseph Vazquez devoted a March 31 Media Research Center screed to attacking New YOrk Times columnist Tom Friedman for approving of President Biden's stimulus plans. He took particular exception to this part: "Friedman said that Biden should “not only channel his inner F.D.R. but also a little Ronald Reagan and some rip-roaring capitalism.” Friedman argued as if Reaganomics and FDR’s disastrous New Deal welfare state belonged in the same sentence."

Vazquez's evidence that Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was "disastrous" is a link to a review at the right-wing Foundation for Economic Education of a book called "FDR's Folly" by Jim Powell, senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute -- and, thus, brings a highly biased view of FDR to the table. It begins with a highly dishonest cherry-picking of unemployement statistics: "In 1931, the year before Franklin Roosevelt was elected president, unemployment in the United States had soared to an unprecedented 16.3 percent. In human terms that meant that over eight million Americans who wanted jobs could not find them. In 1939, after almost two full terms of Roosevelt and his New Deal, unemployment had not dropped, but had risen to 17.2 percent." This omits the pertinent fact that Great Depression unemployment peaked at 25.6 percent in May 1933.

Powell's book has been dismissed as a work of revisionist history designed to preach to fellow conservatives and libertarians and is not necessariliy reflective of reality, byt Vazquez won't tell you that.

Further, as we've previously noted, unemployment statistics from the 1930s did not count people employed by government work programs -- a key piece of FDR's New Deal -- as actually being employed, thus making the unemployment rate artificially high, and it can be argued that FDR cutting back on spending and raising taxes in 1936 caused a recession in 1937-38 that raised unemployment rates.

Vazquez went on to complain that Friedman "used California’s 2020 decision to ban the sales of new internal combustion engine cars by 2035 as an example" of the government directing capitalism to achieve needed goals, adding, "The Institute for Energy Research rebuked California’s ban as placing 'Californians into a financial dilemma of not being able to afford a vehicle.'" Vazquez didn't mention that the Institute for Energy Research is funded by fossil-fuel interests, making their conclusions a tad suspect.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:04 PM EDT
WND (And CNS) Columnist Loves Her Right-Wing Authoritarians
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ilana Mercer kicked off her March 25 WorldNetDaily (and CNSNews.com) column by praising her right-wing European authoritarian leaders:

Certain national-conservative governments in Eastern Europe should be natural allies to conservative policymakers stateside, if such unicorns existed.

Vladimir Putin's, for example.

Before his death, from the safety of exile, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, one of Russia's bravest and most brilliant sons, praised Putin's efforts to revive Russia's traditional Christian and moral heritage. For example:

"In October 2010, it was announced that 'The Gulag Archipelago' would become required reading for all Russian high-school students. In a meeting with Solzhenitsyn's widow, Mr. Putin described 'The Gulag Archipelago' as 'essential reading': 'Without the knowledge of that book, we would lack a full understanding of our country and it would be difficult for us to think about the future.' …

"If [only] the same could be said of the high schools of the United States." (Via The Imaginative Conservative.)

The Russian president patiently tolerates America's demented, anti-Russia monomania. And, as America sinks into the quicksands of Cultural Marxism, Putin's inclinations are decidedly reactionary and traditionalist.

He prohibited sexual evangelizing by LGBTQ activists. He comes down squarely on the side of the Russian Orthodox Church, such as when vandals, the Pussy Riot whores, obscenely desecrated the cathedral of Christ the Savior. The Russian leader has also welcomed as refugees persecuted white South Africans, where America's successive governments won't even officially acknowledge that they're under threat of extermination. Also, policies to stimulate Russian birthrates have been put in place by the conservative leader.

Hungary is oh-so happy in its homogeneity and wants to keep it. But not if Washington can help it. Prime Minister Viktor Orban's motto is, "Procreation, not immigration." Orban plumps for closed borders and pro-Western, Christian, Hungarian-families-first policies. Yet his ongoing campaign against George Soros, an agitator for global government, was met by Donald Trump's State Department with a stern rebuke to … Hungary, claiming that its anti-Soros law will cost the country dearly.

Americans on the right could only dream that, like Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic – the U.S. would "shut its border to Islamic migrants to keep potential terrorists out."

There's no mention of all the political repression Orban has done to achieve that allegedly "oh-so happy in its homogeneity" in Hungary. And Mercer might want to ask Alexei Navalny how Putin's crusade for "traditional Christian and moral heritage" is working out for him.

Mercer spent the rest of her column lamenting that apartheid ultimately cost South Africa support from the West as an anti-Soviet ally. Then, reminding us she still has some nostalgia for apartheid, she concluded: "An ahistoric, rootless America, shot through with dangerous and systemic anti-white animus, is an America in which liberty has been lost." 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 30, 2021 1:44 PM EDT
CNS Touts Wash. Post Fact-Check On Biden -- Something It Never Did Regarding Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones wrote in a March 31 CNSNews.com article:

At his March 25 news conference, President Joe Biden called Georgia's new election integrity law "un-American" and "sick."

"It's sick, deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line, waiting to vote, deciding that you're going to end voting at 5:00 when working people are just getting off work, deciding that there will be no absentee ballots under the most rigid circumstances."

A day later,Biden issued a statement, titled, "the Attack on the Right to Vote in Georgia," saying in part: "Among the outrageous parts of this new state law, it ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over."

His remarks are false. In fact, the Washington Post is giving Biden "four pinnochios" for saying what he did.

You will not be surprised to learn that, according to a search of the CNS archive, CNS has not only never devoted an article to a Washington Post fact-check of Donald Trump, it attacked the Post for fact-checking him at all.

In a May 2019 column, for instance, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham -- the people who run CNS' parent, the Media Research Center -- complained that the Post made a big deal of counting 10,000 falsehoods spoken by Trump, whining that the Post engaged in "bias by target selection," "nitpicking" and "bias by multiplying nitpicking times 100" to reach that number , ultimately dismissing the number as "10,000 gotchas."

CNS has repeatedly held Biden to factual standards it refused to apply to Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« May 2021 »
S M T W T F S
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google