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Saturday, June 5, 2021
MRC Tries To Justify GOP Culture-War Issues
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alex Christy began an April 30 post by complaining:

MSNBC and NBC journalists are gaslighting viewers into believing that toxic critical race theory, the ahistorical 1619 Project and other culture war issues are pretend problems in Republicans' imagination.

MSNBC's MTP Daily  host Chuck Todd and political editor Carrie Dann spent Friday's show venting about Republican legislatures passing legislation against everything from election reform to critical race theory to The 1619 Project, to preserving the competitive integrity of women's sports. The liberal pair mocked these measures as dealing with problems that don't exist.

Christy went on to complain that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice got caught in an interview with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle being unable to provide an example "of a West Virginian transgender athlete attempting to get an unfair competitive advantage" that would have justified his signing of a state law that would ban transgender girls from taking part in sports. No evidence, no problem, Christy says: "Just because Justice could not provide an example from his state, doesn't mean the issue is made up. Athletes who have had these advantages have recently appeared on MSNBC.

Christy followed up by bashing Todd and his guest for pointing out the 1619 Project and critical race theory are issues only in the eyes of right-wingers trying to turn them into issues:

The problem with CRT is that is both a fallacious and cynical theory that leads to people of different races coming to view each other as their enemy, while the problem with The 1619 Project is that it has been debunked as politicized history by actual scholars. 

This is basic stuff that MSNBC could learn if it were to venture out of its liberal bubble from time to time.

Christy provided no links to support either of those claims. Regarding the 1619 project, there was one overstated claim that was walked back a bit and which did not discredit the overall project (as if the way history is taught now has not been politicized).And critical race theory is not a term that teachers use, which makes it unclear what, exactly Christy is talking about, let alone objecting to.

But facts are not important to Christy -- advancing the right-wing narrative is. And at no point did Christy explain why any of these things are actual problems and not merely GOP culture-war hot buttons.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 PM EDT
WND's Farah Wants His Stimulus Check (That He's Apparently Not Qualified To Receive)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah wrote in his May 10 column:

I got a letter from Joe Biden the other day – direct from the White House.

In it, he bragged about his American Rescue Plan that "deliver immediate economic relief to hundreds of millions of Americans, including you."

It's the second letter I got from him – but still no check after four months in office.

Does Joe Biden consider "immediate" relief the kind that takes four months or more?

"A key part of the American Rescue Plan is direct payments of $1,400 per person for most households." he wrote. "With the $600 payment from December, this brings the total relief payment up $2,000."

But wait a minute! Joe Biden wasn't president in December. Donald Trump was. The one and only payment I got from the government was a $600 check that came in December – from Donald Trump. He's taking credit for Trump's expeditious work – just as he did for the vaccine!

And Joe hasn't sent me a dime!

Farah didn't, however, offer any evidence or otherwise indicate that he was qualified to receive any stimulus money from that payout. If he had bothered to do any research, he would know that the checks went only to individuals making less than $80,000 or couples making $160,000. It appears that Farah didn't qualify. That suggests to us that despite WND's financial travails over the past few years, Farah and his wife, Elizabeth -- who is WND's chief operating officer -- have still been doing quite well for themselves.

But Farah doesn't actually care about the check he doesn't need -- he apparently makes too much to receive one. He went on to complain:

Joe Biden has been in power for four months. It's been an embarrassment – one blunder after another, one faux pas after another.

But do you know what's around the corner? Election Day 2022, Tuesday, Nov. 8. That's right. Judgment Day is coming!

Oh baby, I can hardly wait. Not for a check – for retribution, for payback, the American way, for justice!

Farah is simply looking for further justification to engaged in his unhinged hatred of Biden, and a missing check he's apparently not qualified to receive in the first place is as good a reason as any.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 AM EDT
Friday, June 4, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Doocy-Philia Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck's man-crush on Fox News' Peter Doocy for asking hostile questions of White House press secretary Jen Psaki is getting downright embarassing. In a May 11 post headlined "Doocy Destroys Psaki Over COVID, Gas Shortages," Houck gushed:

Tuesday brought us a packed White House press briefing amid an East Coast gas shortage, fears of inflation, and ongoing crises on the border and with the coronavirus. So, it was only natural that Fox News’s Peter Doocy brought the heat with questions about the Biden administration denying there was a border crisis, energy regulations, and peddling fear about outdoor transmission.


Doocy took his shot on immigration with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas leading off the briefing (alongside Granholm to talk about the pipeline), citing Fox News reporting along the border that “show[ed] humongous groups of dozens or hundreds of migrants walking right into the country” to wonder how that squared with his insistence that “the border is closed.”

Mayorkas didn’t flinch and insisted he “meant...precisely that” when he said “the border is closed.”


Doocy pivoted to the pandemic and concern the Biden CDC’s guidance has made it “ convince people to get vaccines and to wear masks when they created this impression that up to 10 percent COVID transmission occurs outdoors, even though there's this New York Times report now where they say there's not a single documented COVID — COVID infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions.”

Psaki again tried to wiggle out of it, so Doocy was more direct in his follow-up in floating the notion that the Biden administration hasn’t been following the “science”[.]

Houck was at it again the next day:

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy went into the weekend on a bang, hammering the Biden administration during Friday’s briefing about the sudden change no longer requiring vaccinated people to mask or socially distance indoors and outdoors. Specifically, he wondered what the “big breakthrough” was since President Biden had said in March that such a change was “Neanderthal thinking.”

Doocy first told Press Secretary Jen Psaki there’s been “a lot of questions about the timing of the CDC’s announcement yesterday,” so he first wanted to know whether anyone on Team Biden had the update done out of “political reasons.”


Doocy then read back the CDC’s own statistics showing “only 45.6 percent of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated as of yesterday” with “[o]nly 58.9 percent of the adult population had — has at least one dose” and asked what happened to the administration’s push to have all American adults vaccinated first.

To underline this, Doocy cited Biden’s own words that many in the media were happy to trumpet: “[S]o what happened to President Biden saying in March that he thought lifting mask mandates before every adult American goes and gets a shot is Neanderthal thinking?”

This went on for a few minutes with Psaki going on and on about the Biden executive branch leading with scientists as their “North Star” (and not Biden, as some have claimed) and letting them make decisions.

It seems that Doocy, not Psaki, was the one "going on and on" in pushing his right-wing talking points, but Houck will never admit that.

Houck had to wait a few more days for his next Doocy-fluffing session on May 20:

Thursday featured the first White House press briefing in nearly a week (due to President Joe Biden’s travel schedule), and so Fox’s Peter Doocy made the most of it by grilling Press Secretary Jen Psaki over the origins of the coronavirus, the Biden administration allowing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to go through, and Middle East violence.

The FNC reporter wasn’t alone in asking the tough questions as CNN’s Kaitlan Collins joined in on Nord Stream 2, RCP’s Philip Wegmann asking about s-corporations, and the Daily Caller’s Shelby Talcott citing anti-Israel rhetoric from some of Biden’s fellow Democrats.

Doocy led off with COVID by wondering whether the administration has a response to claims from House Republicans that they have “significant circumstantial evidence” that the virus came from a lab. He also wondered if the White House would support increased pressure on the Chinese to allow for further investigations.


Doocy then switched to the Russian pipeline to Germany, telling her “there’s a lot of talk about Nord Stream and Keystone, and I’m just trying to help our — help people understand” how allowing the former wouldn’t “undermine U.S. climate leadership” like Biden did when he killed the former on environmental grounds.

Psaki hilariously claimed “we’re hardly letting any country or other countries build Nord Stream 2” and they had no option other than to “convey that we believe it’s a bad — a bad idea, a bad plan” because “[w]hen the President took office, 95 percent of this pipeline was built.”

Reacting to Psaki’s answer that amounted to little more than a shrug emoji, Doocy continued to press and focused on the lack of sanctions[.]

Houck might as well be writing Fox News press releases.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 PM EDT
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch
Topic: started out the month of March the way it had the first two months of the year -- as the loyal PR division for right-wing radio host Mark Levin. The stenography was plentiful:

That last post was dated April 1 -- but CNS posted no other Levin stenography during the month of April. Why? Perhaps because it lost a couple interns to whom CNS farmed out this busywork. With these seven addtions, that leaves a total of just 21 Levin items for the first four months of 2021, well off its normal pace.

Indeed, it would not be until well into May that CNS posted another piece of Levin stenography. Shortly after that, CNS got some new interns to do that grunt work.

How would Levin feel if he knew his pearls of wisdom were being relegated to CNS interns?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 AM EDT
Thursday, June 3, 2021
MRC Rushes To Santorum's Defense After Questionable Remarks
Topic: Media Research Center

When right-wing CNN pundit Rick Santorum rather dumbly declared that "there isn't much Native American culture in American culture" and that there was "nothing here" before European settlers arrived, the first thing the Media Research Center did was, as usual, defend Santorum and attack anyone who dared to criticize him. Nicholas Fondacaro led the defense league insisting that Santorum was totally correct:

Following a long-winded shouting match between CNN Prime Time host Chris Cuomo and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) where the latter defended comments he made about the European and Judeo-Christian founding of America, CNN Tonight host Don Lemon lost his mind during the handoff. The irate CNNer was screaming about how Santorum was wrong and how, supposedly, “Europeans did not found this country” but “it was here” before them.

“I’m breathing heavy right now,” Lemon announced after Cuomo finished his pompous and self-righteous handoff smearing Republicans. Huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf, Lemon recounted how he was sitting in his office and fuming at the TV:


Yes, Native Americans inhabited the North American continent before the arrival of Europeans, but it was NOT the United States of America. It was a series of smaller tribal nations. Yes, Europeans conquered the Native Americans, just like those tribes did to other tribes and other races had done to themselves and others. Conquest was a huge driver of human history. In fact, our species was suspected of having driven other intelligent primate species to extinction during our rise to the apex.

Santorum was right to say that it was the Judeo-Christian values and enlightened thinking that helped the Founders craft our current country. That's a fact. And the Native Americans did provide a measure of influence on the founders. Now, that doesn't mean people from non-European backgrounds are excluded from the American experience or discount the principle that all people are created equal.

Fondacaro concluded by asking, "Now, if what Santorum said was so 'wrong,' 'egregious and insulting,' why was he still on the CNN payroll?" Hold on to that thought, Nick.

Jeffrey Lord followed up in a May 8 post declaring that "This dust up isn’t about Native Americans. It is about race. In this case it’s really about the leftist media  and race" and the "cancer of identity politics." In his May 15 column, Lord defended Santorum again, this time from websites calling for a boycott of CNN over his remarks, complaining they ignored that "Santorum was straightforward, said that he had “misspoke” and went on to clarify exactly that he would never…. dismiss what we did to the Native Americans, far from it. The way we treated Native Americans was horrific.”

When CNN eventually did fire Santorum over his remarks, the MRC defended him on that too. Scott Whitlock huffed that "The political commentator apologized for his comments and said he misspoke, but that apparently wasn’t enough for the liberal news outlet," then played whataboutism: "Showcasing the hypocrisy of CNN, the network has REFUSED to punish star Chris Cuomo for the shocking revelation that he participated in strategy sessionsadvising his governor brother, Andrew Cuomo, on how to survive the multiple sexual abuse claims against him."

Fondacaro didn't return to his earlier statement that the fact Santorum wasn't immediately fired was evidence that he was right. Instead, he groused that CNN fired santorum "after he said some clumsy things about Native Americans and the origin of America’s system of government." He then groused further about CNN's alleged lack of conservative views, oblivious to the fact that his employer operates a "news" division tha's intolerant of liberal views.

Like a good right-winger, Santorum ran to Fox News to complain about his firing, touting how Santorum "appeared with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Monday night to discuss what happened. And according to Santorum, he had talked with liberals at CNN who were 'concerned' about the network’s adoption of 'cancel culture.'" And Tim Graham whined in his May 26 column:

The substance isn’t the real issue. It’s all about the purge. The only “Republicans” that CNN wants any more are Biden voters like Ana Navarro, who tweeted out video of LeBron James doing a Latin dance and claimed it “is the best thing I’ve seen all day. Except for the news Santorum [is] no longer with CNN.”


Anyone cheering the firing of Santorum better not come to the public square and decry how Americans “retreat to their silos” of one-sided news watching. Liberal journalists seem very comfortable building and reinforcing their one-sidedness, and regularly rain missiles on the conservative “silos,” even thought Fox News is more tolerant of liberals than CNN is tolerant of conservatives.

Graham offered no evidence of that last statement, and the fact that the first place Santorum ran to after his firing was Fox News tells us that getting fired may have been a career move for him.

Lord -- who himself got fired by CNN a few years back for making inflammatory remarks -- declared:

CNN has an utterly perfect right to hire and fire whomever they want. I certainly never disputed that and Rick Santorum doesn’t either.

The real problem here is CNN pretending that we are not targeted because we are conservatives or Trump supporters.


But as the firing of Rick Santorum -- and, earlier, all the rest of we conservative CNNers -- illustrates, if nothing else it shows just how cowed CNN is by the left-wing mobs. Which is to say, CNN has a conservative problem.

Like Graham, Lord will never call out Fox News for lack of ideological diversity, or raise thte possibility that Santorum got himself fired to make himself relevant again in right-wing media circiles.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 PM EDT
CNS Bizarrely Cares About Biden's Hair, For Some Reason

How desperate is to attack President Biden at every possible opportunity? It ran an article about his hair. No, really.

An anonymous CNS writer (presumably because they didn't want their name associated with this dreck) wrote in an April 30 article headlined "Judge Solely by His Hair: Which Photo of Biden Was Taken in 2012 and Which in 2021?":

One photo of Joe Biden shows him almost completely bald on the top of his head, while two others shows him with a fair amount of hair remaining there.

The question: Which one was taken earlier in his life and which ones were taken later?

One might guess that a man would lose hair as he got older.

Yet, in the three photos below from Getty Images—one from 2012 and two other taken in 2021—Biden appears to have gained hair on the top of his head as time has passed.

The anonymous CNS wreiter never explained the relevance of this story. It's not done as a light item, because CNS has no interest in humanizing Biden. The only possible reason is to mock him -- another double standard since it brooked no mocking of Donald Trump.

The thing is, of course, that this isn't a new thing -- his hair has been discussed since the late 1980s, and Politico did a 2008 article in which a consensus was reached that Biden has received a hair transplant, even if he won't admit it.

Congratulations, CNS -- you're 30 years late to a meaningless story.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
MRC's Houck Has A New Man-Crush: Greg Gutfeld
Topic: Media Research Center

Peter Doocy is not the only Fox News employee Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck has a man-crush on. A Feb. 10 post by Houck is largely a rewritten Fox News press release about Greg Gutfeld was being given his own weeknight show, going on to add that "on perhaps an equally-important note, a Fox press release made clear that Gutfeld would remain a co-host of FNC’s hit show at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, The Five." When CNN's Brian Stelter accurately pointed out that, since Gutfeld's right-wing show would bump Shannon Bream's "news" show to a later larter, Fox News was "shifting further to the right," Houck huffed that "The knives came out immediately as ... Stelter took a personal dig at Bream that was roundly derided as demeaning and sexist if the networks were reversed."

When Gutfeld's show actually started in April, Houck gushed over his right-wing rants:

Making his move from to weeknights (after starting on overnights and then weekend evenings), Fox News Channel host Greg Gutfeld kicked off his new eponymous show on Monday with a barnburner of a monologue lampooning his competition on CNN, MSNBC, and the late-night comedy shows and denouncing the left for thriving on “making people hate each other.”

Before a studio audience, Gutfeld welcomed in his new audience by saying that he was “as giddy as Kamala Harris explaining kids in cages or Woody Allen hearing about kids in cages” and bidding a special hello to viewers from his former Saturday show and The Five.

He also made sure to make a quip about President Biden:“If you ended up here because you thought your TV was the microwave oven, it's good to see you, Mr. President. Your pizza will be warm in two minutes. And Hunter, he brought the extra cheese.”

Gabriel Hays then chimed in, demonstrating that the MRC and conservatives in general can dish it out but can't take it by raging at anyone who refused to be as effusive as Houck about Gutfeld's show and declare the guy a comedy genius:

If you’re Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel, you can spend hours of your late night show bashing Trump and you’re hilarious. But if you’re a conservative late night host making fun of Dems, they’ll call you “nasty and unappealing.”

But never forget, Samantha Bee can call Ivanka Trump a “c**t” and she’s an industry favorite.

Since Greg Gutfeld took the format for his Saturday evening talk show and repurposed it as a weeknight late night platform to compete with cable network late night shows, the bullies of the other side have been fuming. Hollywood outlet Variety, which carries water for all the trash that comes out of the mouths of political hacks like Colbert, made the most recent scathing attack in their official review of the show.


Ultimately, these hacks must just be jealous. Early ratings indicate that Gutfeld!  is outperforming all but one of the major late night comedy show slots. Except for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the Fox News Channel late night program earned higher ratings than Jimmy Kimmel Live!The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,The Late Late Show with James Corden, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and TBS' Conan. Keep trying with those negative reviews, guys!

Houck returned to gush some more on April 13: "Kicking off week two of his weekday show on Monday, Fox News Channel host Greg Gutfeld blasted CNN as hellbent on “elevat[ing]...heart rates by making people hate each other” with their latest virtue-signaling charade coming in the form of Brian Stelter, attacking Fox hosts for not posting selfies when getting the coronavirus vaccine."

No mention, of course, of Fox's own right-wing virtue-signaling. Instead, Houck cheered that "Gutfeld had been on a ratings tear, easily topping late-night cable comedy rivals Trevor Noah’s Daily Show and Conan O’Brien’s TBS program as well as cable competitors Don Lemon on CNN and Brian Williams on MSNBC."

On May 3, Houck exhibited even more of his usual hateful glee that Gutfeld 's show is doing well in the ratings (for a cable TV show, anyway):

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN charlatan Brian Stelter and longtime liberal media defender Bill Carter went to bay for the far-left tilt of network comedy shows while attacking right-leaning comedy as one of radicalization and vindictiveness. 

In reality, the ratings have shown otherwise with FNC’s Gutfeld! fetching monster ratings that rivaled those on the broadcast networks while, speaking of new shows, CNN’s rebooted New Day has been flailing under poor ratings and spending its days treating conservatives like enemies of the people.


New Day and CNN are busy trying to get their viewers to be at the throats of people outside their political bubble, Gutfeld’s alternative has continued to thrive. Before too long, Stelter and friends will be calling for advertiser boycotts out of jealousy. And when it does happen, we’ll be there to cover it for you.

Houck and Gutfeld are also trying to get their audience to be at the throats of people outside their political bubble -- but Houck will never concede that truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist Pardoned By Trump Keeps Up The Trump-Fluffing
Topic: Newsmax

President Trump pardoned Conrad Black of fraud charges after he wrote a sycophantic book about Trump, so it's perhaps no surprise that the Newsmax columnist has gone all in on propping up Trump, to the point of rewriting the history of the Capitol riot. It's also not a surprise that Black is going all in on election fraud conspiracy theories in his May 11 column:

The question is whether the NeverTrumpers, abetted by the Democrats, can kill Trump’s chances of a political resurrection.

Success will be impossible unless they can both stamp out the belief of approximately half the voters that 2020 was a tainted election, and keep alive the fiction that Trump was actively promoting an insurrection on Jan. 6.

This is bunk and the cornerstone of what is really the Big Lie — the Trump-haters’ theory that he is just a hooligan and a sore loser of a fair election. In truth, the only reason that has any traction at all is due to the failure of the judiciary to address the constitutional and electoral controversies Trump raised.

Trump warned of the dangers of ballot harvesting, but his campaign wasn’t ready on the ground or in the courts to tackle the issue when it presented itself. And he didn’t help his case with his nonsense about having won the popular vote. In these respects, he is not blameless.


McConnell and most of the wiser anti-Trump elements in the Republican Party leaped back into their trenches and presumably will return to the comparative discretion most of them observed while Trump was president.

Those unable to contain their Trump-hate will bite the dust if they have to deal with a primary opponent — e.g., Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and one or two others can grumble, but presumably even they realize that being useful idiots for the Democrats is not what they were sent to Washington to accomplish.

Trump’s enemies are going to have to face the facts: They defeated him with a tainted election — assisted by the abdication of the judiciary from its constitutional status as a coequal branch of government with the executive and the legislature, and with a sandbag job from almost the entire media.

The attempt to hang Jan. 6, around his neck has been a complete fiasco, led, appropriately, by the director of the much-diminished FBI, Christopher Wray.

The dawning awareness that Trump or a candidate approved by him can only be kept out of the White House in 2024 will, on past form, lead his enemies to an even more frenzied assault. It won’t fly.

This is an incompetent administration seriously mismanaging the most dubious mandate any president has ever had. 

Gotta keep earning that pardon, eh, Conrad?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:03 PM EDT
WND Columnist Pushes Bogus Attack on Kerry
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Brent Smith ranted in his April 30 WorldNetDaily column:

If you're surprised by recent revelations about America's "climate czar," John Kerry, then you don't know John Kerry.

"… the newspaper [New York Times] reported the audio revealed that Kerry had disclosed sensitive intelligence about Israel to [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif."

According to leaked audio, "Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times, to his astonishment, Zarif said," the New York Times reported.

If you're surprised that the former Obama secretary of state, now a member of the Biden administration, contacted one of our most hated enemies, Iran, and outed one of our closest allies, Israel, you don't know the traitorous John F. Kerry. This is a pattern of the smarter-than-you-and-I, haughty John Kerry (hat tip: Rush Limbaugh).

He's the same man, then a private citizen, who secretly met with Iranian officials during the Trump presidency to attempt to undermine the Trump administration to save the disastrous Obama/Iran nuclear deal. Of course none of the Trump people knew a thing about it.

Again, this is nothing new for Kerry – selling out one side to benefit the other. Yet it's always the good guys he sells out, in favor of our enemies.

As we documented when the Media Research Center and pushed it, this story is dubious at best. nThe date of the Zarif conversation is unknown, but it was public knowledge as early as July 2017 (thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu getting caught on a hot mic) that Israel had attacked Iranian assets in Syria, and Zarif should have kinown -- he appears to have been complaining that he was out of the loop.

Nevertheless, Smith continued: "Kerry knew, long before Rush Limbaugh began repeated it, that, "The nature of the evidence is irrelevant; it's the seriousness of the charge that matters." Smith has demonstrated that obviously knows that as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: Dick Morris' Election Conspiracies
Topic: Newsmax
The terminally wrong Newsmax pundit picked the wrong horse by sucking up to Donald Trump and pushing bogus claims that the election was stolen. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2021 2:08 PM EDT
MRC Revives False Narrative That Facebook Banned Trump For Calling For 'Peace'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spent months misleading about Donald Trump's ban from social media outlets, falsely suggesting it was done because he called for peace after the Capitol riot -- deliberately hiding the fract that he was banned because he helped incite those riots by pushing bogus claims about election fraud. As Facebook's oversight board weighed whether to reinstate Trump, that false narrative surfaced again.

In a May 4 item prior to the board's announcement, Alexander Hall attacked the oversight board for have "damning affiliations" (read: they're not all right-wing activists like the MRC), adding "Facebook had suspended then-President Trump indefinitely, even as he called for peace amidst the U.S. Capitol riots." Gabriel Hays played the whataboutism cared in another post that day, complaining that "In light of the fact that a social media tribunal will decide on May 5 whether Trump can get his Facebook account back, it’s good to take note of all the famous people who should have had keys to their own accounts taken from them for promoting actual violence."

After the decision to keep Trump's account suspended, Kayla Sargent also made the false "peace" claim:

In a massive blow to free speech online, the Facebook Oversight Board decided to uphold the platform’s ban of former President Donald Trump. But with limits.

The Board “upheld” Facebook’s decision to ban Trump after more than three months of deliberation. The decision further solidified the Board’s role in strengthening Facebook’s censorship power. But it insisted that Facebook review the decision within six months.



Facebook decided to ban Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, after he called for “peace.”

Sargent also attacked thte oversight board, claiming that "many of the Board’s members are radical leftists."

Hall returned with a post filled with right-wing Trump sycophants -- whom Hall wants you to think are merely "conservative leaders and free speech advocates" -- criticizing the "notoriously liberal" for upholding Trump's suspension, And, yes, he wrote again that Facebook had suspended then-President Trump indefinitely, even as he called for peace amidst the U.S. Capitol riots."

Alec Schemmel touted Trump's unsurprisingly negative reaction to his continued ban; surprisingly, he didn't invoke the "peace" claim, instead declaring Trump was suspended for "purportedly inciting the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 with his social media postings." Sargent served up another post on the decision, this time on "liberal tech journalists" -- read: not right-wing activists -- purportedly being "upset" over the continued ban, again asserting that "Facebook decided to ban Trump following the Jan. 6 riot in Washington D.C. after he called for 'peace.'"

And the MRC wonders why it's not taken more seriously.

UPDATE: The MRC also made a May 10 "explainer video" complaining that "Facebook's overwhelming global oversight board made an overwhelmingly American ruling and blocked the former president, at least for now," going on to whine further about the non-American and "leftist" nature of the board and huffing, "And these people get to influence American elections!"

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 5, 2021 9:24 PM EDT
Reverse Mask-Shaming At CNS
Topic: has deeply drunk the right-wing Kool-aid on opposing mask mandates and masks in general, and it's not afraid to play a bizarre form of reverse mask-shaming on President Biden and others in his administration -- as we've noted, CNS enjoys taking shots at Biden for even briefly not following their own mask mandates, even though CNS opposes wearing masks -- for example, it has touted Republican Sen. Rand Paul insisting that mask questions are being driven by "emotionalism," and his strange declaration that "If you want more people to get vaccinated, Joe Biden should go on national TV, take his mask off and burn it" (no mention of the fact that Paul refuses to get vaccinated).

Let's look at a few more examples of that reverse mask-shaming. Melanie Arter served up an attempted gotcha in an April 27 article:

President Joe Biden, who is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, wore a mask Tuesday while walking outside by himself to the podium to announce new CDC guidelines that vaccinated people can go without masks outdoors as long as they are not in big crowds.

According to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you are fully vaccinated, “You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues.”

Arter deliberately waited until the final two paragraphs of her 14-paragraph to disclose the reason why Biden did that: so he could send a message by "watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get inside." That's dishonest journalism.

Patrick Goodenough tried his hand at mask-shaming in a May 3 article:

Asked why a fully-vaccinated President Biden still wears a mask outdoors despite amended CDC coronavirus precaution guidelines, a senior White House adviser said on Sunday she finds herself doing so too, out of “habit.”

“It’s interesting that you raise this,” Anita Dunn told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I myself found that I was still wearing my mask outdoors this week, because it has become such a matter of habit.”

Goodenough then referenced how "During a visit to Duluth, Georgia on Thursday, Biden – in an outdoor setting – briefly misplaced his mask, leaving the state’s two masked Democratic senators waiting behind him on the drive-in rally stage as he and First Lady Jill Biden, also masked, looked for it" -- which CNS had previously made an issue of.

The next day, it was Susan Jones' turn:

President Joe Biden, a stickler for mask-wearing, was not masked last week, nor was his wife Jill, when they posed for a cozy, indoor photograph with (maskless) former President Jimmy Carter, 96, and his wife Rosalynn, 93.

Other photos show the Bidens wearing their masks as they walked out of the Carters' home in Plains, Georgia.

Next up was Craig Bannister, in a May 5 article:

Vice President Kamala Harris kissed her husband goodbye before she boarded Air Force Two on Tuesday – both wearing coronavirus masks, even though both have been fully vaccinated.

Harris was departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland as she and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff kept their masks on their faces as they engaged in an on-camera kiss.

Harris and her husband received their first COVID-19 vaccination shots in December, with the vice president using the event as a photo-op. Then, in January, both received their second doses during a press event reported by People magazine[.]

Arter returned to attack Biden anew in a May 13 article:

CNN “New Day” host John Berman asked White House senior advisor for COVID response Andy Slavitt on Monday why President Joe Biden and congressional leaders he met with them at the White House on Wednesday all wore masks despite all being fully vaccinated.


“Well, look, I think people who have been vaccinated are starting to get a little bit impatient with what can I do? Can I go indoors? Can I take masks off, et cetera? And I think the CDC is getting there step by step. So right now you can do pretty much everything outdoors without a mask, everything indoors if you're around vaccinated people without a mask,” Slavitt said. 

“So why were they all wearing masks?” Berman asked.

“I'm not sure the president is the average person. I personally think there's a lot of protections around the president. Why does he need lots of Secret Service agents?” Slavitt said.

That's how hard CNS has to work to continuously crank out negative anti-Biden content -- by turning masks into a political issue.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2021 11:47 AM EDT
Monday, May 31, 2021
Graham Buries The Lede In PolitiFact Attack: MRC Screwed Up Data In A Graphic
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham began an April 21 post by intoning:

PolitiFact is well known for hammering conservatives far harder than liberals. We have offered a series of snapshots of their pro-Democrat tilt. What happens when they attempt to flag a conservative group for falsehood...and then walk away? Let us speak from some of our own recent experience.

What followed was a tale that started with PolitiFact -- whom Graham hates with a passion -- contacting the MRC for substantiation of numbers it used in a graphic it posted on Facebook (which the MRC still insists is biased against conservatives despite all evidence to the contrary) attacking President Biden's claims about immigration. Weirdly, the person at the MRC who handled PolitiFact's request was not Graham or any of the researchers under his stead but, rather, the head of marketing, Ed Molchany.

Graham then rather vaguely wrote: "Then Molchany noticed that the chart needed an update, because it was an estimate. The Facebook page was updated." In other words: The MRC got a number wrong, and he's trying to soft-pedal it -- something he would never do if someone in the "liberal media" had done something similar.

PolitiFact ended up doing nothing further regarding the graphic, which set Graham off:

So what happened? Nothing! Kertscher and PolitiFact never posted a ruling that the MRC chart was acceptably truthful. It might have helped PolitiFact  to show good faith after this exchange of facts. I contacted Kertscher for comment, and Kertscher said he forwarded to PolitiFact editor Angie Drobnic Holan. There has been no comment sent back. 

Instead of ruling on our chart, on Monday, Kertscher posted a "fact check" that warned about a Facebook claim that the Bidens wanted to remove gender terms.


So when you see that the Democrats get the most True and Mostly True ratings on PolitiFact, it might just be because they won't give them to conservatives when their facts add up. 

Graham didn't explain why PolitiFact should act in good faith -- despite not proving any lack of such -- when Graham and the MRC has never acted in good faith toward PolitiFact, seeing it only as just another target for his partisan right-wing agenda. Graham is the one who should be acting in good faith by not raging at PolitiFact over any perceived slight and not trying to make it a target of his wrath and assume "liberal bias" where none may actually exist.

Indeed, Graham should really be thanking PolitiFact -- after all, would it have fixed that incorrect number in its graphic if PolitiFact hadn't asked about it? And shouldn't Graham be grateful that PolitiFact didn't pounce on the MRC for that false number the way the MRC attacks mistakes in the "liberal media"?

Show good faith and you get good faith. Haven't you learned that yet, Tim? Why do you think you're exempt?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 31, 2021 10:26 PM EDT
Parler Is Back -- And The MRC Still Won't Tell You It Shares A Funder
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center has aggressively promoted and deended the right-wing social media app Parler without telling its readers that its main funder, Rebekah Mercer, is also a major funder of the MRC. Now, Parler is trying to make a comeback after getting losing hosting and distribution following the Capitol riot -- some participants plotted the attempted insurrection on the app -- and the MRC is still hiding important information.

Because the MRC is hiding the basic information of shared funding, it must also hide behind-the-scenes turmoil at Parler. It had previously taken the side of current Parler management against co-founder John Matze, who had been ousted from the company in a power move by Mercer, in part because Matze wanted more robust moderation procedures and Mercer didn't.. Thus, the MRC will never tell you that Matze has sued Parler over his firing, claiming his 40 percent ownership stake in the company was stripped from him, and also noting that Mercer initially hid her involvement in Parler by using a holding company. Matze's lawsuit also claims that right-wing radio host Dan Bongino was brought in to Parler as a way to attract his right-wing followers to the platform -- but that Mercer has refused to do the paperwork to give Bongino the ownership stake he was promised (and claims he has).

That's not the only controversy. Parler's lawyers disclosed in a letter to a congressional committee that it wasn't the "free speech" platform the MRC insisted it was because it "has acted to remove incitement and threats of violence from its platform," the company worked with the FBI to investigate those violent threats.

But those facts don't matter -- and they certainly should not be spread around too much -- because the MRC has a bogus "censorship" narrative to push. Thus, we have dumb gotcha things like a March 24 post by Joseph Vazquez harrumphing that not only is the head of Amazon Web Services --where Parler was hosted until the fallout from the Capitol riot -- is in line to become Amazon CEO, his replacement at AWS had donated to Joe Biden's presidential campaign. "The fact that Amazon was willing to hire a blatant partisan to control its massive internet service apparatus is alarming given the Big Tech company’s disgusting history of censoring conservatives," Vazquez huffed, even though he could not possibly link the new CEO's donation to Biden to Parler's removal from AWS.

The next day, Casey Ryan served up revisionist history while writing about tech CEOs testifying to a congressional committee. After the Google CEO noted that it removed apps from its Google Play store "for inciting violence," Ryan declared, "Google removed the free speech platform Parler from its app store after Trump’s supporters began moving to the platform." Ryan then sounded like a Parler PR rep: "Up-and-coming free speech platform Parler gained greater exposure after social media giants, including Twitter, banned Trump. The free speech platform reportedly saw exponential growth following Big Tech’s actions. Twitter’s censorious moderation policies appeared to drive people away more than help attract new users."

After Apple CEO Tim Cook defended Parler's removal from its app store, Kayla Sargent tried to manufacture some outrage in an April 5 post:

Apple has, once again, reaffirmed its commitment to silence conservative voices and so-called “hate speech” on the company’s platforms.

Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on Sway, a podcast hosted by far-left Recode co-founder and New York Times contributor Kara Swisher. The two defended Apple’s decision to remove Parler from its App Store and proceeded to at least operate under the pretense that Apple cares about privacy rights.

Cook called the App Store’s removal of Parler “a straightforward decision, because they were not adhering to the guidelines of the App Store,” according to the podcast transcript. Cook further specified: “You can’t be inciting violence or allow people to incite violence. You can’t allow hate speech and so forth. And they had moved from moderating to not being able to moderate.”

Apple and Google both removed Parler from their app stores following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Amazon then booted the platform from its web hosting services in a move that temporarily shut down Parler’s website.

Cook said that he wanted Parler to “put in the moderation that’s required to be on the store and come back, because I think having more social networks out there is better than having less.”

Neither Cook nor Swisher mentioned the fact that “[i]n court documents about the pro-Trump riots at the Capitol, Facebook is cited far more than any other social network,”according to Business Insider.

Sargent didn't mention the fact that Parler had been doing some moderation of content, even though it would have helped her case against Cook. Her claim that Facebook was cited more than Parler is just whataboutism to hide the fact that Parler was, in fact, used by rioters. Sargent also offered no evidence to back up her claim that Swisher is "far-left."

When Apple finally did allow Parler back into its app store, Sargent cheered on April 19 that it was "a win for free speech," then complained that "Apple still took the time to bash Parler when it could. Apple claimed that some posts on Parler 'encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and called for violence against specific people.' Apple also claimed that Parler’s 'moderation practices were clearly inadequate to protect users from this harmful and dangerous content.'"Sargent didn't dispute the factual accuracy of those claims, just complained that they were made.

Sargent then tried to slip through an admission that Parler wasn't as "free speech-oriented" as advertised int he mddie oftaking another shot at Apple amid more Facebook whataboutism: "In a blatant act of hypocrisy, Apple banned Parler following the riot, but did not ban Facebook, despite the fact that Facebook reportedly played an outsized role in fueling the riot. Parler claimed that it had warned the FBI 'more than fifty times' before the riot."

In an April 23 post, Alexander Hall tried to reframe the moderation issue: It's not "censorshi" if Parler does it, and it's only censorship when Apple is forcing them to do it:

Parler Interim CEO Mark Meckler explained in an interview that Parler’s app is returning to Apple’s App Store on the condition it comply with the platform’s rules. Mecklerr said that there will be alternate versions with different sets of rules.

Fox Business host Stuart Varney opened the interview with Meckler by inquiring: “I believe you've agreed to more aggressive patrolling of users' posts.” Meckler “push[ed] back very strongly,” claiming “we’re actually not doing content moderation at all, Stuart.” Meckler then admitted, however, that “what allowed us to get back on the App Store was that Apple requested that the version of the app … will have a particular kind of content censorship that is required by Apple.”

Meckler illustrated further "[The app] will censor content that is aimed at peoples’ inherent characteristics, immutable characteristics: race, gender, sexual orientation." Meckler went on to explain: "Apple doesn’t think people should be able to see that kind of content." 

Parler does not appear happy with Apple’s requirements and has negotiated with the company to allow people to speak their minds freely. "We disagree vehemently," Meckler noted.

It appeared that Parler accessed outside the app, such as via computer or Android, would be entirely different: “If folks want to see that content, they’ll still be able to go to and look at their account there and see that content. If people want to see that kinda stuff, it’s available on their Android app. But in order to get back on the App Store, Apple required that particular version of censorship on that particular app.”

Hall didn't explain why Meckler would not be "happy" with having to moderate content that attack people for their "immutable characteristics," or why such content is apparently crucial to Parler's operations. Hall ultimately conceded, however, that Parler does "censor" some content:

Meckler explained that Parler, aside from its Apple-compliant version, does not censor content unless it breaks the law:

“Unless it is considered illegal, if it is actual incitement to violence, then it is considered illegal, and obviously, we would have lawyers look at that. Anything that's illegal is not welcome on Parler. If it's protected by the First Amendment, it’s welcome on Parler, but we draw the line at illegal acts.”

No mention, of course, of the moderation battles inside Parler, Matze's firing, his lawsuit or even the name Rebekah Mercer (or that she also funds the MRC).

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 PM EDT
MRC Defends Tucker Carlson's Death-Threat-Inducing Attacks On Another Journalist
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves targeting journalist -- and it loves even more when Fox News' Tucker Carlson does so too, to the point that Carlson's viewers send the journalists death threats, as New York Times writer Taylor Lorenz has learned. Another target of both MRC and Carlson has been NBC tech reporter Brandy Zadrozny.

Last September, the MRC's Alex Christy complained that Zadrozny "trash[ed] Facebook for not being bossy enough with its stupider (i.e. conservative) consumers" by pointing out that its policy to stop election ads a week before the election was meaningless, huffing in response: "Nobody in this conversation acknowledged that candidates have been airing controversial ads on television for decades, and no one needed a moderator like Facebook to rule one side was airing 'disinformation.' That was hashed out by the opposing candidates."

Then, in an April 9 post, Alexander Hall whined:

NBC investigative reporter Brandy Zadrozny is one of the internet's most famous Cancel Vulture journalists ruining the lives of everyday Americans. She blasted Fox News and right-wing commentators in an interview with the Nieman Journalism Lab.

On Thursday, Zadrozny was introduced by Nieman Lab writer Brad Esposito in an interview as a “librarian turned reporter,” and she indeed has no qualms about nagging Americans to hush. While Zadrozny claimed that “[t]here’s so few monsters in the world,” she said she has “never felt so secure in my critique of a place” as calling Fox News “trash.” She mentioned “Fox” seven times during the interview. 

One segment that oddly enraged her was when former Fox News host Eric Bolling used “doughnuts” to explain the crisis of America’s national deficit= under then-President Barack Obama. “That was actually an Eric Bolling segment that actually aired and I remember just screaming at the TV — like, we had all of these TVs, and I was like, nooooooooooo. So a lot of screaming.”

What apparently doesn’t outrage Zadrozny though? Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters, it seems. 

Despite a history of reporting on extremism on social media platforms, Zadrozny only mentioned Antifa in the context of paranoia by certain “Facebook groups.” She also merely described Black Lives Matter protestors as people “saying the names of Black men and women who were killed for no reason.” Meanwhile, she described white counter demonstrators, who likely came to prevent the destruction of the local area, as an “army of white people [in fatigues] with huge guns everywhere.”

Esposito brought up the January 6 Capitol riot. Neither Esposito nor Zadrozny mentioned the Black Lives Matter riots that destroyed property in multiple cities including $500 million in damages in Minneapolis alone, according to Fox News. The two journalists also failed to mention the more recent Capitol attack where an aspiring Nation of Islam member reportedly attacked multiple police officers, resulting in the death of one officer and himself.

Hall didn't mention that Bolling's doughnut-deficit analogy did not reflect reality (or why he's a former Fox News host). Nor did Hall explain why he does not find the Capitol riot offensive. He then touted how the right-wing website Revolver News described Zadrozny as "The Woman In Charge of Doxxing and Destroying Trump Supporters" (no comment on the underhanded methods of the right-wing Project Veritas for comparison).

Then, it was Carlson's turn to target Zadrozny, citing the Revolver News report and having one of the writers of that story, Darren Beattie, on to talk about it. No mention that Beattie got fired from the Trump White House for hanging out with white nationalists.NBC responded by stating that Carlson's "smear" of Zadrozny "ha[s] shamefully encouraged harassment and worse."

After that the Washington Post did an article on how Carlson targets journalists, prompitng Tim Graham to complain:

Friday’s Washington Post splashed a big headline on the front of the Style section with a picture of number-one Fox News host Tucker Carlson and the words “The bully pundit: Fox News host Tucker Carlson often launches attacks on journalists. And once he’s off the air, the zealots who follow him start lobbing hate tweets and death threats.”

Radio host Chris Plante made fun on his Friday morning radio show with the obvious point: So it’s dangerous to launch attacks on journalists, but what is this story but a 43-paragraph attack on a journalist? Apparently, no Fox News host can be identified as a journalist. The Washington Post implies conservatives are propagandists, not journalists.

This is just the latest in a pile of stories campaigning for Carlson to be canceled by Fox.

Wait -- Graham thinks Carlson is a "journalist"? And that right-wingers like himself and Carlson are not propagandists? They both get paid quite well to push propaganda. And if Carlson is not an effective propagndist -- er, journalist, why is he and the MRC so concerned that Carlson is being held accountable for what he says and obsessing about what the Post is saying about him?

Graham then decided to wilidly read into the Post reproducing Fox News' defense of Carlson as "legitimate criticism": "They printed that like it was hate speech, like it was offensive. This is a common liberal-media tactic: disparaging conservative media criticism by saying it only encouraged violent Twitter trolls. CNN commonly claimed any attempt to criticize them or chant 'CNN sucks' at Trump rallies encouraged violence against journalists." Graham gets paid well to disparage any legitimate criticism of conservative media.

Graham then complained of the "threatened liberal journalists" listed in the article, including Zadrozny and Lorenz who got death threats as a result of Carlson's targeting, then whined: "So getting a Twitter death threat is serious, but a mob outside your home is just a 'boisterous protest'? Was it 'mostly peaceful'? His wife called the cops." Graham forgot the part about Carlson lying that his front door was damaged by the protesters, suggesting that calling the cops may have been an overreaction -- or was done so right-wing defenders like Graham could attack the protesters as more dangerous than they actually were.

Graham concluded by huffing: "The point of this article is that Fox News is a menacing threat, not a news network. It's as anti-Fox as a Brian Stelter rant at CNN."? Stelter, of course, is another MRC (and Fox News) target.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 31, 2021 12:09 AM EDT

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