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Friday, May 28, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck clearly thinks that Jen Psaki's White House press briefings are nothing more than an show for his amusement -- an opinion we're pretty sure he never offered about the press brieefings of his old crush, Kayleigh McEnany.  Thus, we're treated to things like a May 4 post headlined "The Psaki Show Is Back":

The White House press briefing returned on Tuesday following a week-long hiatus and, with plenty to talk about, Fox News’s Kristin Fisher burst out of the gate and asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki whether teachers unions hold sway over CDC recommendations for school reopenings as well as what the White House thinks Americans should be allowed to do once vaccinated.


Though there hadn’t been an episode of the Psaki show in a week, it was the same old, same old with Psaki providing next to nothing [.]

If there's nothing of interest but the "same old, same old," why does Houck continue writing these posts? Because they're not about the actual content -- his goal is to trash Psaki at every opportunity and gush over the hostile questioning of right-wing Fox News reporters like Fisher and Peter Doocy.

Perhaps Houck took his own advice, for he didn't cover briefings for the next few days. His next post was on May 10, which began with a shot at Fisher suggesting that she's a traitor to the right-wing ideological cause by leaving Fox News for CNN -- which Houck hates with a psychotic passion -- but his man-crush Doocy was on the job in her stead to push right-wing talking points:

With Kristin Fisher having left to join the evil empire, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy soldiered on during Monday’s briefing and found success in repeatedly questioning Press Secretary Jen Psaki over the fallout from Friday’s jobs report and whether increased unemployment benefits are keeping people from wanting to rejoin the labor force.

Doocy pointed to the fact that “employment only rose about 266,000 jobs in April out 7.4 million or so jobs openings” before asking whether the Biden administration knows “that people are just choosing not to apply for jobs because the extra unemployment benefits are so good.”

Psaki insisted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and the rest of Team Biden had “looked at the data” and they insist things were going swimmingly with unemployment having nothing to do with the increased welfare state.

Instead, she blamed a lack of affordable childcare, “the need” for more employers to pay workers “a livable, working wage,” the number of vaccinations when the jobs numbers were put together, and yes, schools still being closed.

That would be stem from the preferences of the teachers unions, so if only that was a group the White House could have influence over and not the other way around.

Doocy came prepared for this kind of answer, so he shot back: “But Bank of America economists, who are cited in a Bloomberg story say, anybody making less than $32,000 a year is better off financially just taking unemployment so is the White House creating an incentive just to stay home?”

Psaki hit back that it’s not the belief of “the majority of economists, internally and externally of the White House” and instead defending the increased payouts due to the “very difficult economic downturn.”

Psaki's actually right, but the MRC is not paying Houck to say she's ever right about anything. His job is to push right-wing narratives regardless of their accuracy, bash Psaki and lionize Doocy.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:02 PM EDT
Farah Marks WND's 24th Anniversary With Recounting Of Its Biggest Lies And Bias
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily recently marked its 24th anniversary, and editor Joseph Farah used that occasion to go down memory lane touting WND's alleged "accomplishments." He wrote:

One of the proudest moments for me was our sustained coverage of the Terri Schiavo case. WND was the only news outlet that covered the saga of this young, disabled woman, who was eventually starved to death by court order, for two years before it became, for a short time, the biggest story in the world. I am convinced that without that coverage, few would even know the name Terri Schiavo today. She might have died in obscurity, and the great debate over the sanctity of life that her sacrifice inspired might have been limited to local backwater courtrooms.

Now, we've been following WND's journey for much of that time, and we know when Farah is BSing you. We documented how WND's coverage of the Terri Schiavo story was highly biased, effectively serving as the PR agent for her family while repeatedly suggesting that her husband murdered her, first witih the brain injury that left her in a persistent vegetative state and then going through the legal process to have her life support cut off after years of no change in her condition. A book by a WND reporter on the case perpetuated much of that unfair and defamatory bias.

Farah continued:

More recently, WND set the standard – and is still doing so – in coverage of the killing of another innocent: Miriam Carey, a young black dental hygienist from Connecticut who was gunned down by Secret Service and Capitol Police on the streets of Washington for making a wrong turn near the White House. WND did the kind of journalism in this case that inspired me to become a reporter, to devote my life to news, to feel like I had the best job in the world. This case isn't over – and won't be – until the cover-up is fully exposed and her family receives justice.

Actually, WND was using the Carey story to attack President Obama. Farah cares nothing about Carey the person, only Carey the anti-Obama cudgel.

Farah added:

I can't forget WND's dogged pursuit of Barack Obama's eligibility issue, culminating in its book "Where's the Birth Certificate?" going to No. 1 at Amazon, forcing the White House to retrieve what it claimed was the legitimate document from Hawaii a day later. The pursuit of this story, it should be recalled, got Donald Trump involved in arguably his first major controversial political act.

This was a turning point for the nation!

Why would Farah think that his operation's eight-year promotion of a lie was such an accomplishment? That, more than anything, is responsible for the current financially challenged state of WND. And if Farah was so proud of turning Trump into a birther, why did it downplay Trump's birtherism before the 2016 election?

Of course, Farah will never admit his history of shoddy journalism has brought WND to the brink; instead, he complained that "Google, Facebook and Amazon had their way with us." He concluded by tying a predicted WND renaissance with that of Trump:

We're down but not out. I see a renaissance on the horizon. Trump will be back after being cheated out of reelection.

At 67, I'm not a kid any more. But I'm giving WND my all for the time I have. Pray for us. Pray for Donald Trump, who has proven to be the only man capable of taking on the Tech Tyrants. Join with us. Support us. We're not through. We're still here. We plan on ushering in better times for America!

Make America Great Again, indeed – in the name of God!

It's unlikely that anyone would agree with Farah that the lies he and WND have spread over the past 24 years have made anyone great again, let alone America.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:53 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 28, 2021 3:00 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

Job growth was slower than expected during April, so was eager to use the occasion to yet again, in Susan Jones' main story, tout how much better the economy was under Trump pre-pandemic:

Friday's jobs report reflects a reopening economy that still has a long way to go to match its Trump-era strength.

Contrary to bullish expectations, the unemployment rate actually ticked up a tenth of a point to 6.1 percent in April, and the economy added 266,000 jobs, far fewer than the 770,000 (revised) added in March and the 536,000 added in February.

Notably, the number of employed Americans increased in April for the 12th consecutive month since the economy tanked under COVID pressure in April 2020. Last month, BLS said 151,176,000 Americans were employed. That is 318,000 more than in March, and 1,145,000 more than when Joe Biden took office in January.

But the number of unemployed American also increased (+102,000) to 9,812,000 last month, boosting the unemployment rate slightly.

Jones concluded by huffing, "President Joe Biden will speak about today's jobs report later on this Friday, no doubt taking another opportunity to promote his American Jobs Plan."

Terry Jeffrey served up his usual sidebar complaint about government jobs, grousing this time that "Federal, state and local governments in the United States increased their employment by a combined 48,000 workers in April." But he knew who to blame; the article was illustrated with a picture of Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi bumping elbows, as if to (falsely) suggest they were celebrating more govenrment unemployment. Jeffrey tried to distort numbers further by comparing them to 20-eary-old numbers: "Even with the significant decline in government employment that occurred when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, government employment is still up 1,020,000 in this century, rising from 20,571,000 in January 2000 to the current 21,591,000."

CNS served up one other usual sidebar, this one on Hispanic unemployment.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 28, 2021 9:04 AM EDT
Thursday, May 27, 2021
MRC Serves As The Babylon Bee's PR Division Yet Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to play defense for satire site Babylon Bee whenever anyone points out that right-wingers have a bad habit of promoting its articles as actual news (which says a lot about the "satire" it publishes that it's so unrecognizable as such to its target audience). It's also serving as the Bee's PR arm.

In an April 24 post, Autumn Johnson parroted the Bee's criticism of Facebook for having "penalized" a post "making fun of leftist rioters and looters," ominously adding, "This is not the first time that Facebook has targeted The Babylon Bee."

Gabriela Pariseau wrote in an April 27 post:

The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon told Fox News he was considering taking legal action against The New York Times after it labeled the satirical news site “misinformation.”

Babylon Bee has an established history as a popular satirical website, and Dillon said the company was considering serious action: "We are contemplating and discussing with our counsel what the next move should be. Should we sue them or not? And that's an open question." Dillon suggested that the “misinformation” label could pose a serious threat to his website. “They put this stuff out there and if they can get it to stick, then then we have no platform remaining,” he said. “There's not going to be anybody who wants to host our stuff. ... It’s an effort to try and cancel us."

Dillon also claimed that liberals question whether The Babylon Bee’s content qualifies as satire: "These liberal media outlets and personalities have tried to create this narrative about us where we're not actually a satire site, but a disinformation site and where we're putting out fake news on purpose to mislead people.”

This is in regard to a Times article that the MRC's Clay Waters lashed out against in March. Both Pariseau and Dillon apparently forgot to mention the main issue: that right-wingers -- even Donald Trump and Ted Cruz -- tweet the alleged satire at the Babylon Bee as real news.

The same day, Heather Moon attacked a study of who shares fake political news (turns out Republicans do, a lot), complaining that it listed the Bee as fake news: "Listing satire and comedy as 'fake news' is ludicrous." But if those Repubicans are sharing Bee articles as news, does that not make it fake news?

On April 29, the MRC posted an "explainer video" purporting to blame social media operations for the fact that the Bee's readership has trouble telling news and satire apart, and it includes a whopper fairly early: "The Bee's comedy is clear to literally everyone, except the censorship bigots who work for social media companies." As proven above, that is literally a lie. The rest of the video is just rehashes of the MRC's previous pro-Bee defense work. In short, it didn't explain much, since it completely censored the main point of contention.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 77: Denial of Reality Attack, Immigrant Crime Division
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth clings to another lost cause: the right-wing narrative that illegal immigrants commit more crime, despite all the evidence indicating otherwise. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EDT
CNS Offered Biased Coverage of Biden's Speech to Congress
Topic: served up the biased coverage of President Biden's speech to Congress that anyone with a pulse was expecting -- cherry-picking moments it could portray in a negative light for its right-wing audience whiile failing to cover the speech as a whole.

Things started off with a biased complaint from Patrick Goodenough, who grumbled that Nancy Pelosi was nicer in introducing Biden than she was ayear earlier in introducing then-President Trump:

What a difference a year makes.

As she introduced President Joe Biden ahead of his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not hide her enthusiasm.

“Members of Congress,” she said, in muffled tones through her mask. “I have the high privilege and distinct honor to present to you the president of the United States.”

Moments beforehand, Biden had handed her a copy of his speech, and the two met eyes over their masks, with Biden briefly raising one hand. When Biden finished his address, they bumped elbows.

Almost 15 months earlier, as Pelosi introduced President Trump for what would be his last State of the Union address, she said simply, “Members of Congress, the president of the United States.”

CNS then launched into a series of articles target various aspects of Biden's speech:

By contrast, Susan Jones was quite reverential to Rep. Tim Scott's Republican response to Biden, oddly highlight his response to things in Biden's speech that CNS never covered:

Shortly after President Joe Biden urged Americans to seize the opportunity "to root out systemic racism that plagues America," Sen. Tim Scott -- a black man who has experienced discrimination firsthand -- rejected the claim that this is a racist country:

"Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country," Scott said in his response to Biden's speech.


Scott said he has experienced the pain of discrimination, including from "progressives" who disagree with his conservative views:

"I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason. To be followed around a store while I'm shopping...I've also experienced a different kind of intolerance.

"I get called "Uncle Tom" and the N-word -- by "progressives"! By liberals! Just last week, a national newspaper suggested my family's poverty was actually privilege because a relative owned land generations before my time. Believe me, I know firsthand our healing is not finished."

(Indeed, "Uncle Tim" began trending on Twitter Wednesday night as Sen. Scott spoke.)

To add insult to bias, Jones contributed an article on former President Trump's reaction to Biden's speech, putting his sneer that "Nancy's mask was the biggest mask I think I've ever seen" right in the headline. She rehashed a good part of that article in a follow-up piece on Pelosi explaining why members of Congress wore masks.

The coverage concluded with editor Terry Jeffrey playing mask gotcha:

When a masked President Joe Biden entered the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday to deliver his address to a limited number of senators and congressmen—as the video below shows--he fist-pumped the bare knuckles of at least eight people.

Then he patted Chief Justice John Roberts on the arm.

As he then gave his speech—with Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi conspicuously wearing masks behind him--Biden repeatedly put his hand to his face.

Sometimes he wiped his open mouth. Sometimes he rubbed the base of his nose. Then he wiped his eye.

On the way out of the chamber, he had skin-to-skin contact with multiple members—including one who held his fist in her hand and another who shook his hand.

He did this at an event where many members of Congress were denied entry into the chamber in order to avoid the risk of spreading COVID-19.

This is what CNS deemed to be more important than a comprehensive, objective overview of Biden's speech.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2021 1:43 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Accountability Dies In Hypocrisy: MRC Selectively Mocks Media Corrections
Topic: Media Research Center

Scott Whitlock declared in a May 3 item:

Another week, another round of embarrassing corrections from major news media outlets. The Washington Post, The New York Times and, among others, were forced to retreat on stories saying that Rudy Giuliani was warned by the FBI over Russian disinformation.


The Washington Post claims “democracy dies in darkness.” Accountability dies with a small update at the bottom of a website few will ever check again.

Of course, correcting the record is accountability, a concept the MRC is unfamiliar with. We would remind Whitlock that his employer has yet to tell its readers that the Fox News story just before the 2016 presidential election that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent was false, even as Fox News itself retracted the story.

For all of Whitlock's taking media to task for running a correction, he -- as well as the rest of the MRC refused to give right-wing media outlets the same mocking treatment for the embarrassing corrections they had to make at around the same time. We've already documented how the MRC stealth-edited a post to obscure the fact that Fox News reporter Peter Doocy used a White House press briefing to promote a bogus story from sister organization the New York Post falsely claiming that theBiden White House was giving copies of Kamala Harris' children's book to undotumented immigrant children.

The MRC wasn't done dowmplaying it, though. MRC executive Tim Graham complained in his April 30 column that "On Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Trevor Noah mocked the fake news of Kamala Harris’s kiddie book being handed out to migrant children as combining 'immigration, socialism, and reading, the three worst things in the world!'"-- but he didn't tell readers that the "fake news" came from a fellow right-wing media outlet.

That wasn't the only right-wing media screw-up that the MRC would downplay. Fox News had to correct a graphihc that falsely claimed the Biden would mandate that Americans cut 90 percent of meat from their diets, limit consumption to four pounds per year and one hamburger per month. Pretty embarrassing, right? Not according to the MRC, which -- again -- was more mad that the mistakes were called out.

In an April 28 post, Kristine Marsh complained that on an episode of "The View,": "Whoopi Goldberg started off by playing a highlight reel of Republicans discussing a debunked New York Post story alleging minors at a border facility were given Kamala Harris’s book, as well as Fox News issuing an apology for a misleading graphic about the Biden administration wanting to limit meat consumption for climate change. That spurred condescending lectures from the liberal co-hosts about media bias and fake news on the right."

The same day, Curtis Houck whined that MSNBC's Joy Reid "reveled in recent corrections from News Corp-owned outlets despite multiple recent ethical and factual failures from MSNBC and fellow Comcast-owned network NBC," adding, "Reid set the table with the retracted Fox News stories about meat consumption and Vice President Harris’s children’s book at a detention center (and the fact that Tucker Carlson has a show) to argue FNC is a bastion of fake news filled with people who think the coronavirus was never real and the election was stolen."

Graham kept up the whataboutism in a May 8 post, insisting that  despite the falseness of the Fox News story, liberals still thinik it's a good idea to eat less meat:

Liberals are having it both ways right now. It's nuts to suggest Joe Biden has a plan to take away your meat. But the eco-lefties really want to limit everyone's meat intake, especially beef. On Saturday night's All Things Considered, NPR host Michel Martin brought on New York Timescolumnist and food writer Mark Bittman for an interview headlined "Food World Ramps Up The War On Meat."

Martin began by explaining "It was falsely suggested multiple times on Fox News and by some Republican members of Congress that President Biden's climate plan will limit red meat eating in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions." But that doesn't mean the left isn't eager for a meat limit.

Graham concluded by complaining that the NPR segment "only considered interviewing leftists who don't like meat-eaters. The meat-lovers didn't get a rebuttal." Graham offered no evidence that any of the people in the segment were "leftists" beyond their saying eating less meat is not a bad idea (which isn't a"leftist" viewpoint).

Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 PM EDT
Newsmax Uncritically Repeats False Election Claims By Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Jeffrey Rodack wrote in a May 7 Newsmax article:

Former President Donald Trump ripped into Michigan and Wisconsin for not investigating what he claimed was a late vote dump in both states for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. 

His comments came Friday on his new online platform he set up to communicate with his followers. While blasting the two states, he also referred the 2020 presidential election as "fraudulent."

Writing "From The Desk of Donald J. Trump," he said:  "At 6:31 in the morning on November 4th, a dump of 149,772 votes came in to the State of Michigan. Biden received 96% of those votes and the State miraculously went to him. Has the Michigan State Senate started their review of the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 yet, or are they about to start? If not, they should be run out of office. Likewise, at 3:42 in the morning, a dump of 143,379 votes came in to the state of Wisconsin, also miraculously, given to Biden. Where did these "votes" come from? Both were State Election changing events, and that is on top of the other corruption without even including the fact that neither state got Legislative approval, which is required under the United States Constitution."

What Rodack didn't report: Trump is wrong. As was reported months ago, the purported "vote dump" in Wisconsin was simply the recording of votes in heavily Democratic Milwaukee County. The Michigan "vote dump" claim is similarly old and bogus; the number comes from old metadata that was later corrected in the vote verification process.

Newsmax is again privileging false claims by pro-Trump activists (and Trump himself), just as it did with atatcks on election-tech company Dominion -- which, of course, Newsmax has had to walk back to settle defamation lawsuits. You'd think that would have taught Newsmax to tell both sides of the story.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:42 PM EDT
CNS Embraces Dubious Kerry-Iran-Israel Story

Just like its Media Research Center parent, has embraced the dubious claim that former secretary of state and current climate envoy John Kerry leaked information to Iran about Israeli military strikes against Iranian facilities in Syria.

An April 27 article by Patrick Goodenough surprisingly led with Kerry's denial that he had any such conversation with the Iranian foreign minister, whose conversations were leaked, as well as the likelihood that the attacks were likely already public knowledge -- but also made space for Republican attacks on Kerry. Two days later, Goodenough wrote an article that focused on the Iranian response to the leaked audio, in which he also highlighted that "In the U.S., the most explosive aspect of the leaked recording has been Zarif’s claim that Kerry had informed him about covert Israeli military strikes against Iranian targets in Syria." Goodenough noted Kerry's denial but not the fact that the State Department said the Israeli strikes were already public knowledge.

Despite the story not really going anywhere, Goodenough was determined not to give up on it. In an April 30 article, he effectively took the side of an enemy of the United States by trying to undermine Kerry's defense:

But Kerry dismissed the claim as “unequivocally false,” and the State Department defended him by saying the issue of Israeli operation in Syria was public knowledge at the time, thus implying Kerry was not telling Zarif anything he would not already have known.

However, if Zarif is to be believed, he did not know about the attacks before Kerry enlightened him.


The first time Israel publicly acknowledged that it had carried out secretive operations against Iranian interests in Syria – with the number 200 mentioned – was in September 2018.

As reported earlier, it’s unclear exactly when the Kerry-Zarif conversation took place – if indeed it did – and, if it did, whether it was during a face-to-face meeting or in some other form of communication.

Kerry has acknowledged having met with Zarif several times between the time he left the State Department (January 2017) and the time President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal (May 2018). Their last known meeting, in New York in April 2018, took place five months before Israel’s public admission.

Goodenough went on to claim that this so-called scandal is "being called 'Zarifgate," -- but he doesn't say who, exactly, is calling it that -- and touted how Republican senators are demanding an investigation into Kerry's purported "transactional diplomacy," though the" transaction" was never identified.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
Falsehood-Prone WND Goes After Other Media Outlets For Fixing False Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh declared in a May 3 WorldNetDaily article:

Several major legacy media organizations have been burned by their "sources," and have been forced to retract their claims that former New York mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was warned by the FBI about a "Russian disinformation" campaign against him.


When legacy media outlets New York Times, Washington Post and NBC reported on the raid, they said that the FBI had "warned him about being targeted by a Russian influence operation."

However, all three now have retracted that claim, according to Fox.

The Times said, "An earlier version of this article misstated whether Rudolph W. Giuliani received a formal warning from the F.B.I. about Russian disinformation. Mr. Giuliani did not receive such a so-called defensive briefing."

The Post's was similar, and NBC said, its original report "was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani."

They all said their reporters wrote up the claims based on information provided by "anonymous sources."

Does Unruh need to be reminded of how many times WND has been burned by sources peddling false information, resulting in the need to make corrections? We can go back to 2008, in which it settled a defamation lawsuit for falsely accusing a Tennessee car dealer of selling drugs in an attempt to smear Al Gore, but earlier this year WND was appending corrections to some articles just a few months ago that peddled false claims about election fraud and coronavirus (though certainly not all of the bogus articles it published).

WND has been burned plenty of times -- or it already knew the claims were false but published them anyway -- yet it has the temerity to take other media outlets to task for correcting the factual record, something WND is generally loath to do.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
MRC Pays Trump's Pollster For Another Anti-Biden Poll
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the components of the Media Research Center's election-fraud conspiracy theory was a poll it conducted claiming that some people who not have voted for Joe Biden if they knew about the Hunter Biden controversy -- but it has censored the fact that the company that did the poll, McLaughlin & Associates, worked for Donald Trump's re-election campaign, putting the poll's objectivity into question and raising questions of conflicts of interest (not to mention McLaughlin's notorious unreliability). But that's the kind of bias the MRC prefers, so it sent some more money McLaughlin's way, as detailed in an anonymously written April 26 item:

As Joe Biden nears his 100th day in office, a new poll conducted for the Media Research Center by McLaughlin & Associates finds a plurality of voters say the news media have given the President an easier ride than his predecessors.

The public’s perception of a pro-Biden bias is confirmed by a recent MRC study which found broadcast evening news coverage of the new President has been more positive than negative (59% positive vs. 41% negative). By contrast, our analysis of the same time period in 2017 found 89% negative coverage of President Trump, vs. just 11% positive.

The poll of 1,000 people who voted in last fall’s general election was conducted from April 8 to April 12. When asked if they thought the news media has been easier or harder on Joe Biden, or if Biden has been treated about the same as other Presidents, voters by a more than three-to-one margin saw the media as going easy on Biden.

Nearly half (45.3%) said the media had been “easier on Joe Biden,” compared to just 13.8% who said the media had been “harder on Joe Biden.” Just over a third (34.7%) said they thought the media had treated Biden about the same as other Presidents, while 6.2% said they didn’t know.

Again, the MRC hid from readers McLaughlin's partisan record and dubious reliability. On the other hand, McLaughlin did produce the result the MRC paid it for, so appears that narrative once again trumps facts.

That makes for great campaign oppo research. But legitimate "media research"? Not so much.

Speaking of biased polls, an April 27 item by Joseph Vazquez touted:

A newly released poll revealed that Americans aren’t putting up with big business unleashing faux outrage at states attempting to protect their electoral processes.

Rasmussen Reports released a survey of 1,000 American adults showing that 37 percent of Americans were less likely to purchase Coca-Cola products. Rasmussen said that the results were due to the company’s liberal political stance against Georgia’s recent law protecting voter integrity. In addition, the survey found that Americans opposed major businesses attempting to influence politics “[b]y more than a 3-to-1 margin.” Perhaps Coca-Cola and others should learn that leftist virtue-signaling doesn’t necessarily pay dividends.

Vazquez isn't going to tell you that Rasmussen has a notorious conservative skew, or that what he and Rasmussen call "voter integrity" -- the preferred right-wing terminology for Republican-pushed election law changes -- most people would call voter suppression.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Freaked Out That Ex-California Residents Are Making Other States More Liberal
Topic: Newsmax

It seems rational to think that people that leave California are unhappy with the Golden State. However, it appears that many are not — or at least not in a way one would think.

Recent data on expatriated Californians suggests that they leave mostly because California is just too expensive; many of them do not harbor the expected ideological grievances. On the contrary, California "immigrants" become emissaries of the welfare state when they settle in their new homes.

Empirical data suggests that transplanted Californians demand progressive policies wherever they go. The impact of the Golden State's proliferation of entitlement values is exacerbated by the fact that many Californians are moving to conservative states with a lower cost of living like Texas, Colorado, Utah, Tennessee, Montana and Idaho.

Settling there, they often advocate for subsidies and welfare state policies that they are accustomed to.


Derek Thompson, writing for the Atlantic, points out that recently Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a stern admonition via social media addressing Californians relocating to Texas: "…those high taxes, burdensome regulations, & socialistic agenda advanced in CA? We don't believe in that." This warning was repeated in various warnings in Texas newspapers about the evil "California-ing" of Texas.

Colorado, a historically conservative state, faces similar predicament to that of Texas. Migration of Californians to Colorado has dramatically impacted major facets of daily life there. From significant increases in taxes at the local, county and state levels to gun control legislation that rivals that of Illinois, it appears Californians have transplanted not only themselves but also the very policies that made the Golden State ultimately unlivable for them.


While expatriated Californians may be seeking lower taxes, more affordable housing and better job opportunities, they fail to see that in seeking the benefits of conservative-leaning states through handouts, they are killing off their hosts by bringing with them the same progressive social policies that turned California into a dysfunctional economic reality show.

Bottom line: Red states like Colorado and Texas are at risk because expatriated Californians fail to accept a value system that made those states successful. As long as California's exodus of welfare state values continues, the uniqueness of American individualism and market economics will be at an increasing risk of being marginalized.

-- Yuri Vanetik, May 3 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 6:43 PM EDT
WND Censors Fact That Pollster Trashing Biden Worked For Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in an April 28 WorldNetDaily article:

A noted pollster is warning that Joe Biden's approval numbers, though slightly positive, are a dark omen because they are significantly below most recent presidents.

"The fact he's only in the low 50s right now is a really bad sign for Joe Biden," pollster John McLaughlin said in a report by Just the News.

He said the problem is that the president is governing as an extreme leftist – after having promised the American people he would be a moderate.

"He's taken what should have been very popular issues — COVID relief, infrastructure — that Americans overwhelmingly support and turned those into radical left-wing pieces of legislation," said McLaughlin said in the report. "Republicans can't wait to get into election season and talk about some of the things that are in those bills ... expanding the welfare state, tax increases, basically open borders. That's not where the American people are right now."

Biden is just at 100 days in office and his job approval ratings actually are mostly assessed in polls at being just above 50%.

But ABC has reported that the average approval rating for the past 14 presidents at this point in their terms is 66%.

The only ratings lower than Biden's were for Gerald Ford, who was under attack for his pardon of Richard Nixon, and Donald Trump, whose first term was plagued by the unrelenting – and false – claims by Democrats and their allies in the legacy media about "Russia collusion."

Unruh forgot to report one important thing: McLaughlin worked for Trump's re-election campaign, so perhaps his perspective is more than a little biased and colored by partisan politics. The Just the News report from which Unruh cribbed his article did note that fact.

Unruh also tried to obscure just how bad Trump's ratings were. According to the ABC article he referenced, Trump's approval rating in the first 100 days was a mere 42 percent, much lower than Biden's. For Unruh to blame that on the "Russian collusion" story is disingenuous, since much more was going on and Trump had mad his divisiveness all too clear. And if Unruh thinks it's "false" to point out that the Trump campaign had been working with Russians, he clearly didn't read the Mueller report.

Such dishonest reporting isn't likely to get other media outlets to take part in its WND News Center.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 2:42 PM EDT
CNS Running Out Of Ways To Downplay COVID Deaths

We've documented how spent 2020 downplaying the number of deaths in the U.S. caused by coronavirus in an effort to boost President Trump. With Trump leaving office, CNS took a two-month break before briefly resuming death counts in February. vSusan Jones, the CNS reporter who was in charge of doing those body-count articles, hasn't done one since, however.

But the following month, editor Terry Jeffrey tried his hand at minimizing things, first serving up this bit of spin in his March 17 column:

American children 14 years and younger are more likely to be murdered than to die because of COVID-19, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


These 911 murdered children were not some abstract statistic. They were human beings — at the beginning of their lives. Had the major television networks and newspapers been inclined to treat this pandemic of child murder as a major story, they could have led with it every day — telling the stories of the young and innocent victims, revealing the facts about those who murdered them, and following the actions of the law enforcement officers and prosecutors responsible for bringing those murderers to justice.

It seems, though, that Jeffrey is treating children who died of COVID as abstract statistics and not human beings because there weren't enough of them for him to turn into a cause. Does he think that all of the nearly 600,000 U.S. deaths of all ages from COVID is an abstraction too?

Jeffrey did something similar in a March 27 "news" article:

Of the 526,028 deaths in the United States involving COVID-19, as officially reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 238 have been in children 17 and younger.

That equals 0.04 percent of all COVID-19 deaths reported in the United States.

But Jeffrey gave up on that angle as well, with CNS choosing instead to do things like publish an April 21 rant by anti-vaxxer Michelle Malkin complaining that children "are being bombarded by an inescapable public relations campaign by all the Bigs — Big Pharma, Big Government, and Big Tech — to brainwash them about the COVID vaccine," adding, "While children under 18 remain at the lowest risk of COVID-19, peer pressure to get the experimental jabs is enormous."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 12:34 AM EDT
Monday, May 24, 2021
MRC Whines That Oscars Talked Too Much About Black People
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the things the Media Research Center pays its employees to do is to spew hate at Hollywood and the Oscars in particular, seemingly because the best films never star right-wing actors like Kevin Sorbo or Kirk Cameron. Needless to say, it predictably hated this year's Academy Awards.

Lindsay Kornick kicked off the hate by complaining that presenters and others talked about black people:

Even in a pandemic, we can always count on The Oscars. Or rather, we can always count on The Oscars to give us a night of insufferable political preaching. And Sunday night’s ceremony delivered political rantings in record time.

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards kicked things off with actor/director Regina King, representing her film One Night in Miami. She was there to introduce the nominations for Best Original Screenplay, but in true Oscar fashion, she started by bringing up the George Floyd murder trial and protests in Minneapolis. She even lectured viewers who loathe Hollywood preaching, claiming, “As a mother of a black son,” she needed to speak.


Lecturing the audience still willing to put up with your nonsense is not going to win you any more viewers, ABC, no matter what the Los Angeles Times tells you. Between that and Regina King’s further attempts to explain away Hollywood’s hypocrisy for not wearing masks while the cameras are on, the show was already faker than the movies.

Elise Ehrard continued the whining over black people being talked about, lashing out at a dorector for saying that "Today, the police will kill three people":

This year's Academy Awards show was an unwatchable train wreck of BLM& virtue-signaling and bad lighting. A freshman film student could have produced a better show than this mess.

The shout-outs to BLM reached peak cringe during the acceptance speech of Travon Free. Free shared an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film with co-director Martin Desmond Roe, for the Netflix film Two Distant Strangers. Two Distant Strangers is about a young black man murdered by police.


So, we must repeat once again, for the people in the back: The Washington Post’s own database of fatal police shootings lists only 14 unarmed Black victims and 25 unarmed white victims in 2019. In 2020, 1,021 people were shot and killed by police but only 55 of them were judged by The Washington Post to be unarmed, so 95% were armed and a threat to others. While any death is a tragedy, there is no epidemic of cops killing unarmed victims. It is manufactured outrage designed to fill up left-wing activist coffers and promote racial division.

But Free didn't specify that unarmed people were killed by police, and even Ehrhard's own numbers back up Free's point that black people are disproportionately shot by police. And isn't Ehrhard also trying to stir up racial division for the purpoise of filling up the MRC's coffers?

Karen Townsend perpetuated the tone:

From the beginning until the end, the 93rd Annual Academy Awards was loaded with Black Lives Matter wokeism. Airing on ABC on Sunday night, the show began with self-described "preaching" from actress/director Regina King on the Chauvin trial in Minneapolis and the dangers faced by black men.

The tone was set and the show was none the better for it. It was an unusual set up for the Oscars this year, with no host, and a non-theater location. There were none of the traditional time constraints for acceptance speeches, no music suddenly beginning as a cue for the winner to wrap it up, little to no movie clips - the pacing and production quality were shockingly bad for Hollywood.

Presenter and actress Laura Dern was insufferable to endure. She spoke slowly and added her own twist to introducing nominees for Best Supporting Actor, saying, "Each of these five artists presented us with themes of equity and social justice in their own unique and extraordinary ways." She personalized the introductions as though she was the center of attention. It was awkward to watch.


To say that this awards ceremony was boring is an understatement. It is no wonder that ratings have been so bad for these shows – who wants to turn in and listen to Hollywood one-percenters scold their audience about the hardships presented because of social injustices? The pandemic has shown us that the entertainment industry has forgotten how to entertain us. The movies up for awards were all filled with messages, not entertainment. The industry is more focused on social activism, not entertaining their consumers.

Gabriel Hays kept up the MRC's race-obsessed coverage by unironically accusing the Oscars of being race-obsessed:

Oh, it’s Oscar season, baby, and once again that means fixating on all the political things Hollywood wants to talk about rather than actual movies. In the year of the pandemic, big Hollywood movies seemed hardly relevant, but our moral betters in Tinsel Town weren’t going to pass up a chance to lecture us.

The Oscars awards show was a parade of diversity -- the hollow kind the left specializes in. And the media lapped it up. The Hollywood Reporterw as so impressed with its industry’s commitment to minimizing whiteness in Hollywood that it put out a little scorecard on just how many different races were awarded.

So much for not making race a thing.

Hays followed up by cheering the lower-than-usual ratings for the Oscars:

Sure, you may feel annoyed about all the woke, self-righteous stuff Hollywood actors have directed at conservatives during the Academy Awards, but the silver lining is that they’re only hurting themselves.

According to Nielsen ratings – as reported by The Hollywood Reporter – April 25’s 93rd Annual Academy Awards was the worst rated in the awards show's history. Even worse, this year’s Oscars ratings were literally twice as bad as last year's, and that one had previously ranked as the worst in Oscars history. 


Hays unsurprisingly buried the actual reason: theaters have been closed for much of the past yer due to the pandemic. But that truth is inconvenient for Hays, so he made sure to steer the story back to the MRC's narrative: "We can’t rule out the fact that these awards shows are also losing ratings due to them getting even more political with each consecutive year. "

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 PM EDT

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