ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
MRC Loves To Defend Fox News By Playing Whataboutism
Topic: Media Research Center

Since the Media Research Center is the de facto PR division of Fox News, it not only praises the channel for reliably pushing right-wing talking points, it runs to the channel's defense whenever anyone in the "liberal media" criticizes it. But as it usually does, the MRC's "defenses" of Fox News are actual defenses at all -- it simply plays whataboutism.

In February, Tim Graham complained that a National Public Radio show criticized Fox News, but rather than actually respond to the criticism, Graham attacked the critics: "We like the hashtag #DefundNPR, but that means removing its taxpayer subsidies, which they always implausibly claim is some miniscule fraction like two percent. These NPR people want Fox 'radically ostracized.'" Forcing NPR to go out of business by cutting off funding because you disagree with opinions it airs is apparently not "radically ostracizing," according to Grtaham.

A March 5 post by Donovan Newkirk comlained:

On Friday, CNN’s Brianna Keilar and her Republican-loathing colleague, Brian Stelter, took turns bashing their competitor, Fox News Channel, for the crime of allowing  the expression of conservative thought. Abandoning even the pretense of being objective journalists, the two left-wing hosts condemned Fox executives and hosts for actually pledging to practice adversarial journalism and hold the new administration accountable.

Seemingly unaware that they work for one of the most liberal broadcast companies in the world, Stelter and Keilar audaciously derided Fox’s level of objectivity. 

Of course, the MRC is highly biased, which by Newkirk's definition should disqualify it from critiquing non-right-wing media.

Scott Whitlock took another shot at Stelter -- who wrote a book on Fox News that the MRC predictably trashed -- in an April 19 post:

CNN’s Brian Stelter is obsessed with Fox News. He can’t stop talking about his news competitor and now the Reliable Sources host is turning to... an ex-Australian prime minister for proof of the network's terrible influence?  Malcolm Turnbull was supposed to be a conservative. Yet, as the country's former Prime Minister, he veered left on abortion and other issues. Ultimately, he was removed by his own conservative party.

But he hates Fox News and that’s good enough for Stelter! On Sunday, the host touted him sliming Rupert Murdoch’s “market for crazy.”

He too offers no actual defense of Fox News, instead of whining that "Stelter’s obsession with trashing Fox News is like if Pepsi put out a press release to tell the world how awful Coke is." And isn't hating CNN a key requirement that makes one a good-enough MRC employee?

Anyone who offers even the most mild (and accurate) criticism of Fox News gets trashed as a "rabid Fox hater," as Nicholas Fondacaro did in an April 25 post that does no actual Fox defense but is filled with personal attacks on the critic:

Over the course of the Trump presidency, Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik had become steadily more and more unglued. Now, during an appearance on CNN’s so-called Reliable Sources on Sunday, Zurawik was teed up by fill-in host John Avlon to attack Fox News. And Zurawik didn’t disappoint, suggesting CNN’s heavyweight competitor was a “danger to democracy” and needed to be targeted by either federal government abuse of power, or by repeated smears from the rest of the liberal media.

“[W]hen we saw also in recent days Fox News host trying to double down on the big lie, but also change its definition. Laura Ingraham in particular, saying that the big lie is that the existence of systemic racism itself,” Avlon questioned the rabid Fox hater.

Brad Wilmouth also brought the whataboutism in a May 6 post:

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's war on Fox News continued by bringing on liberal professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson and promoting her new study that conservative media like Fox and the Rush Limbaugh program were spreading unproven conspiracy theories about COVID-19 last spring.

But wait, that's weird -- one of these so-called conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus in Wuhan was recently promoted by New Day.

Jamieson's findings were perfectly pitched for the liberal media: conservative media are bad, while "Mainstream broadcast and print media usage correlated with higher levels of correct information and lower levels of misinformation."

Just like Wilmouth's whataboutism is perfectly pitched for right-wing outlets like Fox News?

On May 7, Kristine Marsh responded to "The View" criticizing Fox News with this blatant piece of whataboutism: "It’s always hilarious when the hosts of one of the most partisan and fact-free shows on television pompously lecture others about the importance of truth telling in the media." Again, by that same standard, the MRC has no business criticizing the media.

Wilmouth followed up with this slab of whataboutism on May 15:

On Friday's CNN Newsroom, weekend host Fareed Zakaria came on to promote his Sunday night special on Republicans titled A Radical Rebellion, and it quickly became another hit job on Fox News. Former Fox News host Alisyn Camerota dismissed them as "trying to pass themselves off as news," and Zakaria called it a "propaganda arm of the most extreme wing of the Republican party."

Zakaria claimed "It becomes impossible to deny the Republican Party today has been infected by a series of crazy conspiracy theories." 

After co-host Victor Blackwell noted that 70 percent believe the election was "stolen" from President Donald Trump, Zakaria cited an online poll -- which outfits like Pew Research Center have argued are unreliable -- to allege irrational fears by Republicans over vaccines: "I think that it's that statistic -- it's the one I mentioned -- 40 percent believe that Bill Gates is trying to control them by implanting microchips in their brain....I think something like a third of Republicans still believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not the United States."


Not mentioned is that there has also been polling over the years suggesting that many Democrats have also believed in questionable conspiracy theories -- like the more than half of Democrats who believed President George W. Bush might have deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen to justify going to war. 


If any news outfits act as partisan propaganda, CNN would have to be one that wears that label for the liberal side. CNN's New Day show -- which Camerota used to co-host until recently -- has misinformed viewers for years to the benefit of Democrats on a variety of issues ranging from abortion, gun control and illegal immigration, to the role of race in questionable cases of police violence.

That "online poll" that Wilmouth insisted was unreliable came from YouGov -- whose polls the MRC has promoted when their results meshed with its agenda.

Graham served up even more whataboutism in a May 28 post:

New York Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum is projecting bad publicity into one cable-news network for narrowing the diversity of its opinions. Rick Santorum’s firing at CNN? Don’t be silly. The headline is “Fox News Intensifies Its Pro-Trump Politics as Dissenters Depart.” 

Nobody at Fox is being fired after Twitter lobbying campaigns. Grynbaum sounded like former Times media reporter Brian Stelter: “Onscreen and off, in ways subtle and overt, Fox News has adapted to the post-Trump era by moving in a single direction: Trumpward.”


Now compare that to the Times story on Santorum getting canned, by breaking-news reporter Jesus Jimenez, The headline was “CNN Drops Rick Santorum After Dismissive Comments About Native Americans.”

That's nowhere close to “CNN Intensifies Its Pro-Biden Politics as Dissenters Are Fired.”

The same day, Marsh returned to grouse that "CNN anchor Jim Acosta hasn’t checked his pompous attitude at the door since leaving his role as White House correspondent. On Friday's New Day, Acosta came on for the sole purpose of trashing Trump supporters, the Republican party and CNN’s competitor Fox News as brainless extremists," insisting that "attacking Fox News and ignoring virtually all else to hype the GOP "civil war" has been CNN's pathetic agenda for quite some time.

That's how the MRC gives Fox News a pass, by lazily judging as a reaction to so-called "liberal media," not on its own.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 10:14 PM EDT
CNS Parrots MRC Parent In Gloating Over Lower-Than-Expected Employment Growth
Topic:'s coverage of the April employment numbers didn't end with its skewed reporting on the numbers themselves. Like its Media Research Center parent, CNS pounced on the lower-than-expected job growth figures to push right-wing narratives about too-generous unemployment insurance supposedly discouraging people from getting jobs. A May 7 article by Melanie Arter highlighted how "Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday that the extra unemployment compensation funds were not a factor that made a difference in last month’s jobs numbers." Taht was followed by Craig Bannister gloating over how "liberal media" predictions of robust job growth didn't come to pass:

Confident that the Biden Administration’s policies would produce a robust jobs report for April, liberal media ran headlines and stories promising job growth numbers that proved to exceed reality by more than seven hundred thousand, and as much as 1.7 million.

As reported, Friday’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report reveals that the unemployment rate increased slightly in April as the ranks of the unemployed grew by 102,000, with the month’s job growth failing to reach even half that of recent months:

Bannister then linked back to an even gloatier NewsBusters post on the same subject.

A May 10 article by Susan Jones, meanwhile, again highlighted "the disappointing April jobs report" and noted that Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said "there is 'anecdotal evidence' but 'nothing in the data' to suggest that higher unemployment benefits, passed by Congress as part of COVID relief, are hurting the job market."

CNS also offered plenty of opinion on the subject:

  • A May 12 column by Tony Perkins complained that "The Democrats' COVID welfare -- a mix of generous unemployment benefits and stimulus checks -- is turning the country's workforce into a bunch of highly-paid couch potatoes" (never mind that both stimulus checks and higher unemployment benefits began under President Trump).
  • Pat Buchanan huffed in his May 14 column: "Workers might reasonably ask: Why go back to work when we can take the summer off, with full unemployment, plus $300 a week?"
  • David Limbaugh whined: "You don't increase productivity and jobs by injecting play money into the economy and continuing to pay unemployment benefits that disincentivize people from returning to work, a reality he cynically denies."
  • Stephen Moore complained: "President Joe Biden made the laughable observation that he saw "no measurable evidence" that the super generous unemployment program is a deterrent to working. He needs to get out more."
  • Craig Bannister grumbled that White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that "It’s not that federal subsidies to unemployment insurance benefits have made it more attractive for people to stay home than to return to work, it’s that other factors, such as the low pay being offered, are discouraging would-be workers."

Acutally, numerous studies have shown that unemployment benefits do not keep people from seeking work. But CNS never reported that perspective to its readers -- the right-wing narrative comes before the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:26 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 27, 2021 1:33 PM EDT
Newsmax Touts Disgraced Ex-Governor Running For Missouri Senate
Topic: Newsmax

We've already noted how Newsmax columnist Bernard Kerik endorsed a fellow disgraced politician, Eric Greitens, for a Missouri Senate seat. Greitens, if you'll recall, was forced to resign as Missouri governor after allegations of an abusive sexual affair and campaign improprieties. But Newsmax has tried to rehabilitate Greitens during this campaign (ironically, not unlike the way it tried to rehabilitate Kerik after the improprieties that sent him to prison came to light).

Kerik also wrote a Feb. 26 column declaring Greitens had been "fully exonerated" (he wasn't) and that he "earned enemies by doing the right thing" (ask the woman with whom he was in an abusive relationship about that).

An April 12 article by Marisa Herman gushed that Greitens "sprang into action to help save the life of a man who collapsed near the Navy SEAL at Mar-a-Lago’s beach club," adding that "In July, he helped provide first aid to two men who were shot near St. Louis University." Herman curiously made no mention of the numerous scandals that cost him his job as governor.

An anonymously written April 19 article touted how "Kimberly Guilfoyle — the former prosecutor, Trump campaign adviser, and television personality — was tapped as national chair of former Missouri governor Eric Greitens’ newly launched Senate campaign." That was followed four days later by a column from Guilfoyle carrying the headline "Kimberly Guilfoyle Endorses Eric Greitens for Missouri Senate Seat" -- but didn't disclose until the very end that she works for his campaign. She spun Greitens' corruption by blaming "a crooked prosecutor, financed with PAC money by liberal billionaire George Soros," for trying to "tear down a man who was willing to expose the Missouri establishment and liberal mob."

Newsmax also gave Greitens space for a May 15 commentary in which he declared that "it was disgusting to see what happened to President Donald J. Trump during the 2020 elections" -- though he cited no evidence of fraud -- and praised the GOP-led audit of ballots in Arizona. He asserted that "in what appears to be a brazen attempt to undermine this audit, election officials deleted entire databases days before handing over computer drives. The files deleted include one labeled, “Results Tally and Reporting.” If there’s an explanation, let’s hear it. If not, there should be significant consequences for this obstruction." As we've documented, there is an explanation: audit investigators screwed up, and the databases were never deleted. Newsmax has yet to correct Greitens' work.

Surprisingly, the most balanced coverage of Greitens has come from Newsmax writer John Gizzi. In an April 2 article, Gizzi admitted that Greitens is "highly controversial." And in a May 24 article, Gizzi pointed out that Greitens has not been as "fully exonerated" as he claims, noting that the Missouri Ethics Commission required Greitens' campaign to pay a $178,000 fine for improprieties, qutoing a newspaper editorial noting that it's "an eye-popping dollar figure from a body more accustomed to levying penalties in the $100 range." Gizzi also got other opinions beyond Greitens regarding his abusive affair with a hairdresser:

Newsmax spoke to 3 Republican House Members who served on the committee. They stood by their report, saying that Greitens' criticism of the committee was groundless.

"The witness [the hairdresser] testified under oath," said a House member who requested anonymity. "Gov. Greitens never appeared before our committee to testify under oath."

That's an unusual break from the right-wing propaganda Newsmax is largely known for.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 3:14 PM EDT
WND Contiues To Promote Ivermectin Study Rejected By Medical Journal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In February, we caught WorldNetDaily's Art Moore promoting a "new, peer-reviewed study finds that one of the cheap, widely available drugs that has been dismissed by the left, establishment media and many in the health establishment as a treatment for COVID-19 reduces infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%," to be published in the journal Frontiers of Pharmacology. But a week after Moore's article appeared, the journal withdrew the article -- manufactured by a group called the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, which was formed to push unapproved treatments like ivermectin -- before actual publication, stating that it contained unsubstantiated claims and violated the journal’s editorial policies.

Despite the fact that the study was never actually published, Moore has continued to falsely promote the study as "peer-reviewed" and published.

In a May 2 article, Moore largely copied-and-pasted from his original (and now false) Feb. 25 piece:

In February, a peer-reviewed study found that ivermectin – which has been shown to inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures – reduces infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%. In more than 30 trials around the world it caused "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology

The evidence is so strong, the researchers believe, the anti-parasitic drug should become a standard therapy everywhere, hastening global recovery.

"The data is overwhelming – we are in a pandemic, and this is an incredibly effective way to combat it. If we use ivermectin widely, our societies can open up," said study co-author Professor Paul Marik, director of emergency and pulmonary care at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Moore did another false plug in a May 10 article:

In February, a study published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology found ivermectin reduces COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%. In more than 30 trials around the world, the drug causes "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study.

The latest study was led by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, or FLCCC, a group of medical and scientific experts who are researching and promoting drugs such as ivermectin and hydroxycloroquine as an effective prophylaxis and treatment for COVID-19.

"We did the work that the medical authorities failed to do, we conducted the most comprehensive review of the available data on ivermectin," said Pierre Kory, president and chief medical officer of the FLCCC.

"We applied the gold standard to qualify the data reviewed before concluding that ivermectin can end this pandemic."

Those quotes from Kory actually come from a FLCCC press release announcing publication of a version of its study in the American Journal of Therapeutics, which is where it landed after Frontiers in Pharmacology rejected it.

Moore was still repeating the false claim in a May 17 article:

In February, a peer-reviewed study found that invermectin reduces coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%.

Ivermectin, in more than 30 trials around the world, causes "repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease," according to the study, which was published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology.

Moore's reporting has been factually inaccurate and dishonest. It's what we've come to expect from WND, but it's not what WND needs if it wants people to pay for its so-called reporting.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 18, 2021 12:09 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
MRC Cheers Israeli Bombing Of AP Office In Gaza
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates (non-right-wing) journalists so much, it effectively roots for them to be hurt or killed. So it's no surprise that a May 16 MRC post by Nicholas Fondacaro defended Israel from blowing up offices in Gaza that contained offices for the Associated Press and other media organizations on the pretense that terrorist group Hamas also had offices there, by cheering then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for ordering the bombing:

In a Sunday appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called out The Associated Press for lying about the Saturday bombing of the building they willing shared with Hamas terrorists. He also schooled CBS fill-in moderator John Dickerson by noting the extra measures Israel took to reduce the number of civilian casualties in the areas they were targeting.

During the course of their interview, Dickerson seemed to scoff at the idea that Israel had proof that Hamas was using the media as human shields. Asking: “It’s inconceivable you would have talked to [President Biden] and not shared proof of Hamas in those buildings that housed the journalists. Did you share that with him?” Dickerson seemed uninterested in why Biden had not condemned the bombing.

Netanyahu noted that they passed the information along through the proper intelligence channels and then went after the AP for their lies suggesting they had only just escaped the building before it collapsed:

In fact, occupants of the building were given as little as 10 minutes to evacuate the building before it was blown up, which is not very much time at all and, thus, not the "lie" Netanyahu (and, by extension, Fondacaro) wants you to believe it is.

Fondacaro then declared that "Many have pointed out that there was no way that the AP didn’t know Hamas was using the same building as them; they would be very poor journalists otherwise or lying." He didn't identify who this "many" were or if any of them were not right-wing media-haters or MRC employees. Indeed, the Israeli government was forced to walk back a claim by an Israeli military official that AP and Hamas employees drank coffee together each morning, claiming he was only speaking figuratively.

Likewise, Fondacaro also huffed that "Dickerson wanted to see the 'smoking gun' proof that The Jerusalem Post had reported was shown to the United States" without offering evidence that everybody should trust Netanyahu's word on its face.

It's apparently easier for Fondacaro to believe that AP employees are terrorist sympathizers than human beings whose lives have inherent value even if they don't share his rigid right-wing ideology.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Forced To Correct Another Bogus Election-Fraud Article
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily publishes a lot of falsehoods that it doesn't correct, so when it does issue a correction, that's meaningful -- and it indicates that it's a screw-up so bad that even the notoriously fact-averse WND can't let it stand. Bob Unruh -- one of WND's chief misinformers on election issues -- wrote in a May 12 article:

A lawyer fighting an election-fraud case in Antrim County, Michigan, has revealed that the voting machines there contained a software program that could have been used to manipulate vote totals.

In fact, lawyer Matthew DePerno said in a podcast interview that with the MySQL program installed on the machines, and them all being linked, someone with access could "do whatever you want."

DePerno, just a day earlier confirmed in a court hearing that there were 1,061 "phantom votes" in the county during the 2020 presidential election, because while a recount of ballots tallied 15,962, the Michigan secretary of state's database showed only 14,901 votes were cast.

His latest concerns were raised during an interview with JD Rucker at the NOQ Report.

Rucker said the bombshell that DePerno delivered was that all of the voting machines were connected to each other through an intranet, that itself was not connected to the internet. However, he said a laptop computer with access to the intranet and access to the internet was left on during the Election Night counting.

But this apparently isn't true. WND later added a correction, which it euphemistically called an "update[] with additional context":

UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL CONTEXT, May 13, 2021, at 2:45 p.m. ET: A fact-check by LeadStories indicates some of the claims made by attorney Matthew DePerno in the story below are in dispute. At issue, according to LeadStories, are "the safeguards in place to protect against fraud, including hand counts and audits" and "explanations provided by election officials."

"Michigan uses paper ballots, which have been preserved, meaning the accuracy of voting machines can be verified. Since the 2020 election, the state completed more than 250 audits, including a hand-tally audit of all the votes cast for president in Antrim County. According to the Michigan secretary of state's office, 'every one of them confirmed the integrity and accuracy of the 2020 general election.'" 

Publishing falsehoods that you have to correct -- and other falsehoods that are left uncorrected -- is not the way to instill trust in a "news" organization, WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:20 PM EDT
Newsmax's Black Lashes Out At Liz Cheney, Likens Her To Brutus
Topic: Newsmax

With his slobbering Trump sycophancy, Conrad Black apparently still thinks he needs to earn the pardon Donald trump gave him after committing fraud. So we have his May 18 Newsmax column, in which goes on an epic rant against Liz Cheney

The apparent suicide plunge of United States Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., appears to be the psychopathic backlash of NeverTrumpers who are starting to realize Donald Trump’s defeat in November and the allegations he was attempting to overturn the election by provoking an "insurrection" at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 do not bring back the Republican Party of the Bushes and McCain and Romney, as those families seem to imagine.

This is only the first shoe dropping.

It will soon be followed by the realization of the role the NeverTrumpers have played in shackling the country and the Western world to the unfolding disaster of the Biden presidency.

Like Brutus charging out of the Roman Senate on the Ides of March, 44 B.C., holding up two bloodied knives and expecting to be applauded after proudly shouting to a distracted group of observers that they had assassinated the tyrant, Cheney acknowledges she voted in support of the Trump administration over 90% of the time, but that her reverence for the rule of law requires her to oppose the "Big Lie."

This lie, she insists, is that there is some question about the legitimacy of the election result. She also holds that there can be no question that Trump attempted to launch a violent assault on the vital processes of the U.S. electoral process by inciting the invasion and vandalization of the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6.

Cheney endlessly repeats her faith in the rule of law as the justification for her mortal opposition to the president whom she claims to have voted for just six months ago.

This faith in law did not propel her to object to the lawless assault upon Trump by the authors of the Trump-Russia collusion fraud or the first spurious impeachment of him.

It's rather the last refuge of someone willfully sacrificing a congressional leadership position to be a useful idiot for the Democrats as they seek, through their iron-fisted control of the national political media, to maintain the Real Big Lie — namely, that the November election’s results have been carefully and impartially reviewed by the courts, and that the ex-president incited an insurrection on Jan. 6.

Since — as with Brutus, who shortly had to flee Rome never to return—the majority of Republican voters are not persuaded of the fairness of the election or the effective and dispositive performance of the judiciary, or the anti-Trump take on Jan. 6, Cheney is reduced to taking comfort from the efforts of the cheerleading choristers like Peggy Noonan, telling Cheney and Noonan’s readers that Trump really doesn’t represent many people and is fading quickly.

There isn’t much evidence of this and, in any case, it should not be counted upon in the face of Joe Biden’s crumbling regime.

Black went on to gush about the cultish status Trump current ly occupies in the Republican Party: "Long before serious consideration needs to be given to the next presidential nominee, however, Trump will flex his muscles in the midterm elections next year. He will demonstrate that he is the only person in the country for whom 50,000 Americans will stand outdoors in raw weather to wait for the chance to see and listen to him."

That's how the sycophantic Black earned his pardon.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EDT
CNS Devotes 2 Articles In A Month To Attacking The Same Pro-LGBT Army Ad

We've documented how has a habit of devoting multiple articles to pushing the exact same talking point. It's done that again -- but to push its anti-LGBT agenda.

An anonymously written May 12 article stated:

In a new, animated recruitment ad, the U.S. Army presents the story of "Emma," a real soldier (Emma Malonelord), who was raised by lesbians, enjoyed a "fairly typical childhood," saw her two moms get married,  and decided to join the Army to experience her "own adventures, my own challenge."

It is a recruitment ad with a pro-homosexual theme. It presents lesbian behavior, "gay marriage," and gay parenting as normal and patriotic.

The anonymous author -- a search of CNS' archive suggests it may have been written by the gay-athing managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- offered no evidence that those thins are not "normal and patriotic."

CNS was apparently so outraged by this ad (and eventually had received a crop of summer interns) that it published another anonymously written attack on this exact same ad on June 10:

The U.S. Army has produced an animated recruiting ad that depicts a same-sex marriage between two women and tells the story of how the daughter of this pair joined the Army.

The ad is part of a series of ads the Army is calling “The Calling.” On the website, the Army says of these ads: “See how five young Americans made the most important decision of their lives, for reasons as diverse as they are.”

The ad featuring the animated same-sex wedding is about and narrated by Cpl. Emma Malonelord, who works as an “air defense enhanced early warning system operator.”

On its webpage about the ad, the Army says: “Raised by two supportive mothers, Emma felt lucky to have such powerful role models in her life. Inspired by their courage and conviction, she was determined to face challenges of her own and shatter stereotypes along the way.”

The latter article is less obviously judgmental, but it also doesn't explain why it obviously finds the ad offensive -- or why it exists at all, given that CNS had covered this exact same territory a month earlier. Did somebody forget about that earlier article? The CNS archive suggests that it may have been written by editor Terry Jeffrey, who's less overtly anti-LGBT than Chapman. The headline, however, complains that the ad "promotes lesbianism and same-sex marraige," so the anti-LGBT message still came through.

Still, it appears that someone at CNS felt so strongly that this ad must be denounced that two articles were devoted to bashing it. That's not "news" -- that's ideology-driven activism.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Monday, June 14, 2021
MRC Defends Vaccine Misinformation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has previously defended right-wing anti-abortion site LifeSiteNews' troubles with Facebook by falsely framing a suspention of the website's page as an attack on conservatives -- its usual narrative -- when it was actually about LifeSite publishing deliberate misinformation about coronavirus. When Facebook banned LifeSiteNews for good, a May 7 post by Kayla Sargent hyped the bogus "censorship" narrative, though she did finally give notable placement to the misinformation stuff:

Facebook quietly unpublished a pro-life page as the tech world focused on former President Donald Trump. The platform’s Oversight Board had an upcoming decision on the former president’s Facebook suspension when LifeSiteNews lost its page.

The LifeSiteNews Facebook page was removed on May 4 in what appeared to be the platform’s latest attempt to silence any dissent about COVID-19 vaccines.  A representative from LifeSiteNews told the Media Research Center in an email that Facebook had removed the page “for publishing this piece based on official government data.” The email included a link to an article titled “COVID Vaccines Can Be Deadly for Some.” The article explained: “[P]eople who have previously had COVID-19 will be at greater risk of adverse events if they receive Covid vaccination.” However, LifeSiteNews continued: “To be clear, this is a theory based on an understanding of immunology.”

LifeSiteNews has encountered Big Tech censorship before. “Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts said in a statement from the organization. “We have known this day was coming for months now.”

Sargent is hiding the nature of the misinformation that LifeSiteNews published. The article in question was republished from an apparently anti-vaccine website called The Dark Side of Vaccines and dishonestly used the government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System to falsely link adverse effects reported to it as solid evidence that the vaccine is killing people.In fact, many of the adverse effects reported to VAERS are incidental, there is no actual evidence linking the vaccine to deaths, and anti-vaxxers are misusing VAERS to fearmonger about the COVID vaccine.

Still, she devoted a paragraph to letting LifeSIteNews defend its misinformation:

LifeSiteNews also claimed that its content was based on evidence. Roberts continued: “Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots. We’ve also been tagged for the numerous articles we have shared making the connection between the COVID shots, and really all vaccines, and aborted baby cell lines.”

Sargent later updated her post to quote Ilyse Hogue of "the pro-baby killing National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice America" cheering the ban because LifeSiteNews "are primary purveyors of some of the most toxic disinformation out there." strangely, she didn't a more formal statement by NARAL, Media Matters, GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign noting that the groups had compiled "more than 100 posts that proved LifeSiteNews’ repeated violation of Facebook’s related policies" -- which means she would have to admit that violation of Facebook's terms of service, and not purported targeting of conservatives, is why LifeSiteNews got banned.

This isn't the only source of vaccine misinformation Sargent has defended. The day before, she cheered -- under the misleading headline "Fight for Free Speech" -- how anti-vaxxer group Children's Health Defense is suing Facebook over an "alleged First Amendment violation" of "censorship." Unilke with LifeSiteNews, though, Sargent actually calls CHD's misinformation what it is, noting that it "falsely claimed on its website that 'vaccines can and do cause injuries including autism and many other adverse health outcomes'" and has spread wacky conspiracy theories abaout 5G technology -- but one can presume that it was because she also got to highlight that the group "was established by its leftist president, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr." -- thus trying to link liberals to vaccine conspiracy theories.Sargent made s=no such statement about LifeSiteNews.

Nevertheless, Sargent went on to whine that "Facebook has the power to choose who can participate in debate in the public square." She failied to mention that if you spread lies and misinformation in a civilized society, as LifeSiteNews and CHD have done, you forfeit your right to take part in that debate.

And as long as the MRC is continuing to defend fringe misinformers, it's coming close to forfeiting that right as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
WND Can't Quite Give Up On Election Conspiracy Lawyer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily loved lawyer Sidney Powell's uncorroborated claims and gushed over the "Kraken" lawsuit that was supposed to blow the election results wide open -- but soured on her after she withdrew that lawsuit in mid-January after facing actual and threatened defamation lawsuits from election tech companies like Dominion. 

It took a while, but WND is learning to love Powell's conspiracy theories again. In a March 1 article, Bob Unruh touted a claim she made on an obscure podcast that there is "more than enough evidence in the public now to more than reverse the election in at least five states." Unruh then made this curious claim: "Powell had promised in the aftermath of the Nov. 3 election to 'release the Kraken,' with lawsuits that would blow up the claim that the vote count was legitimate. Her lawsuits were rejected on prodecural grounds, however, and her claims never got traction."

Wrong -- Unruh apparently missed WND's own report that Powell was the one who withdrew the "Kraken" lawsuit and was not "rejected on procedural grounds."

Unruh gave Powell play again in a May 5 article:

One of the lawyers who fought, without a lot of success, to have evidence of fraud in the 2020 presidential election reviewed by the courts in America has delivered a harsh verdict on the state of the nation under President Joe Biden.

Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor, worked on cases that, had they succeeded, would have been to the benefit of President Trump.

They argued various state election systems mishandled mailed ballots, absentee ballots and even suggested fraudulent ballots, with huge dumps of votes all for Biden sometimes appearing in the dark-of-the-night hours.

She was interviewed on The Talk of Pittsburgh radio, the Rose Unplugged show.

"The world is absolutely upside down because this country is upside down," she charged. "They're feeding lies to the American people very single day. Just the fact that they're saying Biden is president is a lie because we've still got to resolve the election issue."

Unruh didn't mention that Powell is the one who has effectively admitted feeding lies to the American people. In a response to the Dominion defamation lawsuit, Powell's lawyers argued that she should not have been trusted in spinning her  conspiracy theories because "no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact."

Unruh again claimed that Powell's "lawsuits over the election were closed down," failing to mention that Powell was the one who withdrew at least one of those lawsuits.

Unruh loves to peddle factually dubious reporting on the election -- even at a time when WND needs factually accurate reporting to pull itself of its ongoing financial black hole.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:25 PM EDT
CNS Gives Discredited D'Souza A Platform

Craig Bannister gives Dinesh D'Souza a plug in a May 4 article:

Identity socialism has taken hold of America by dividing people based on identity groups and creating new classes of heroes and villains, conservative Author and Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza explains in a PragerU video.

In his video titled “What Is Socialism?” D’Souza says that identity socialism promotes division by defining who is “in” and who is “out” in American society:


Identity socialism has employed a long-term strategy to perpetuate itself, D'Souza says. By turning radical students into radical professors who teach its ideology to impressionable students, Identity Marxism could permeate American society to the point that “Even big business, the hated capitalist class itself, would succumb”:

Bannister offered no balanced, opposing view to D'Souza -- which means he failed to tell readers that D'Souza has a well-documented history of being wrong on so many things, to the point that historian Kevin Kruse effectively has an unpaid part-time job debunking D'Souza's numerous falsehoods. Because he's hiding the truth about D'Souza, Bannister also doesn't explore how it reflects on PragerU to give a fabulist like D'Souza prominence as one of its so-called educators.

Bannister is acting as a PR person for D'Souza and PragerU -- not a journalist. That's not a good look for an organizaiton that insists on calling itself "news."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Whitewashing The Capitol Riot
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has been working to minimize political damage on Donald Trump from the Capitol riot, portraying a dead protester as a victim and a dead police officer as a propaganda tool. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 AM EDT
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Superpowered Whining: MRC Can't Handle 'Batwoman' Addressing Current Events
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center really despises the TV series "Batwoman" for being somewhat reflective of current societal issues (as much as a superhero show can get away with, anyway). For instance: In 2019, it raged that Batwoman is the first lesbian superhero on TV, then whined last year that this has contined to be noted on the show.

Lindsay Kornick is the MRC's designated hate-watcher of "Batwoman," and this season she's been triggered by the show tacking racial issues -- and we know how the MRC hates TV shows, and superhero shows in particular -- that don't handle racial issues like the good little right-wingers they're supposed to be -- and a black character, Ryan Wilder, inheriting the Batwoman outfit. In a Feb. 21 post, Kornick complained that the show dared to be critical of the police, which apparently is forbidden:

The February 21 episode “Gore on Canvas” has both the new Batwoman aka Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) and the private security firm known as the Crows working to find and recover a black-market painting. This painting, it turns out, can decipher the location of where a group of assassins is holding the previous Batwoman, Kate Kane. Unfortunately, Ryan has a visceral hatred for the Crows after a previous experience with them, and she makes that clear to the Crows' leader Commander Kane (Dougray Scott).


The Crows may be a private security firm, but the show is clearly using them as a stand-in for the police, from the ACAB acronym to the demand to “burn it all down.” ... A private security firm going rogue and hurting people in a city with a superhero who dresses like a bat is far from representing what’s going on with the police in our country. However, that falls perfectly in line with all the fiction we’ve come to expect from BLM.

In a Feb. 28 post, Kornick whined that "After demonizing the police, CW’s racial justice Batwoman has now jumped to demonizing doctors. Somehow, I doubt a world without either would improve the black community." Kornick went on to blame the show for causing black people to be afraid of getting the coronavirus vaccine: "Considering we’re currently in a country desperate to vaccinate all its citizens with black people among the most hesitant, the last thing TV shows should do is demonize doctors trying to do their jobs. Yet Batwoman can’t help but call hospitals racist for the sake of scoring social justice points. Even people’s lives don’t seem to matter to this superhero series. Thank goodness she’s not our hero.

On March 28, Kornick went after a superhero show for not fawning over the police: "In case it wasn’t clear before, CW’s Batwoman really doesn’t like the police. As a little reminder, the latest episode for the caped crusader promotes more Black Lives Matter propaganda for 2021, this time with a 'Defund the Police' message," further whining: "Batwoman is hardly the best arbiter of justice. Now I doubt that Batwoman even knows what justice is."

Kornick complained in an April 11 post:

CW’s Batwoman has gone from peddling Black Lives Matter lines to peddling Black Lives Matter conspiracy theories. If the past few episodes weren't bad enough, attacking private prisons and gun owners takes it to a whole new level.


It turns out the mastermind behind these crimes is the wealthy CEO of a private correctional facility. According to Batwoman’s research, he uses criminals from his prisons to target community centers and rewards them with time off their sentences. The reason he targeted the community centers is because they have successful programs helping at-risk youth. And according to Batwoman, "These programs keep kids from falling through the cracks, but you know who profits from the kids who do? Prisons."

Sounds like some terrible BLM prison abolition conspiracy theory come to life. And it only gets worse when Batwoman confronts CEO Ellis O'Brien on his crimes.


Fortunately, he’s later arrested, so justice is served, except for the fact that this is a nonsensical argument for the BLM goal of abolishing prisons. If you're forced to resort to insane conspiracy theories to have the moral high ground, then perhaps you’re not as right as you think.

But Kornick also isn't as right as she thinks. Research has shown that the presence of private prisons in a state tends to induce judges to give longer prison sentences in order to keep the facilities filled.

On May 16, Kornick grumbled that "It’s clear at this point that CW’s Batwoman’s mission is not to fight crime but to fight the police." After complaining about the storyline's events, she huffed:

The next episode promises to dive into this budding Black Lives Matter moment, but back in reality, we have to acknowledge the truth. Contrary to what this show believes, black people are not routinely shot or arrested for simply being black or pulling out cell phones. This show can make up whatever anti-police story it wants, but it can’t change facts. Unfortunately, this will probably not be the last time I have to say that this season.

Well, yeah, because the MRC is paying her to say that. Which brings up to her June 6 post featuring more of the complaining she's being paid to do:

Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned. CW’s Batwoman followed up its last blatant Black Lives Matter propaganda episode with an even more blatantly BLM-biased episode this week.

The June 6 episode “Armed and Dangerous” picks up right where we left off following Luke (Camrus Johnson) being shot by the private security team the Crows basically for being black. Unfortunately for him, his life hangs in the balance as he’s placed in a coma after losing too much blood. Meanwhile, Ryan/Batwoman (Javicia Leslie) tries to get to the bottom of the shooting to find justice for her friend and hopefully help save his life.

Of course, the episode makes it abundantly clear that Luke is only in this situation because he’s black and because the Crows, the show’s regular police stand-in, are racist. In fact, the Crows even let the real white suspect in a crime run away because they were too engrossed with shooting Luke. Even worse, they cover their tracks by falsifying bodycam footage of the shooting.


Contrary to this scene, nobody believes shooting victims deserve it simply because they are black. Also, contrary to the scene, Luke does survive, but Ryan is unable to find the real video to clear his name.

Nevertheless, Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott) follows Ryan’s advice to “burn it down” by formally disbanding the Crows and charging the Crows agents with assault with intent to kill. If you are confused as to how a system that needs to be burned down would still trust a police precinct to investigate and arrest people, don’t hold your breath. The show does not and probably will not explain it.

Just like Kornick never explains why nobody is allowed to criticize the police.

UPDATE: A June 13 post by Kornick raged against the latest episode: "With only two episodes left in the season, Batwoman’s in a race against the clock to squeeze in this propaganda, so it looks like they’re opting for the completely false route with their politics now." Kornick responded with more right-wing narratives: "The overwhelming majority of police shootings involve armed suspects or people resisting arrest, so police shootings don't just happen for 'no reason.' And talk of gunmen getting out of jail free makes sense if Luke is referring to the inner-city crime and gang bangers shooting people and getting turned back on the street thanks to lax bail laws."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 14, 2021 11:03 AM EDT
Rabbi Spero's Hypocrisy On Holocaust Comparisons

Loopy right-wing rabbi Aryeh Spero ranted in an April 9 column:

One would expect the commemoration of something as tragic and sacred as the Holocaust to be done in a respectful manner and not be manipulated for political goals. Such was not the case this week with Nancy Pelosi’s statement sent out on Holocaust Remembrance Day, known in Israel as Yom Ha’Shoah<. Instead, she exploited the murder of six million Jews by Hitler and his regime, using it to create a manifesto of Democrat false talking points and the demonization of millions of Americans associated with conservatism and who voted for President Trump. It was sacrilege and shameful.

The first principle regarding the Holocaust is as follows: It was a unique, once-in-history, genocidal plan to exterminate an entire race of people, Jews, across the globe simply because of who they were at birth. Unlike conventional warfare where antagonists may wish to eliminate those they are fighting, Hitler planned the systematic murder of those not only at war with him but those beyond the confines of the battle lines, searching for Jews worldwide even though they were not in the way of his territorial ambitions. They were murdered not for what they did or their conduct, but for simply being born into a people. While he did kill others during the war, the grand plan of Final Solution was specific to eradicating the Jewish people, no other group, from the face of the earth, leaving no trace of their ever having existed.


How dare she!! Invoking the Holocaust and the hate of Jews by Hitler when describing the Jan.6 protest in D.C. is blatantly dishonest, disrespectful of those murdered by Hitler, and propaganda at its worst. This is low even for Nancy Pelosi, the godmother of today’s political viciousness, a Deep State game plan of lies which politicizes everything, crushing the soul of those things noble for political gain, slashing and burning so as to achieve one-party rule.

But when extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene last month ludicrously compared mask mandates to the Holocaust, Spero was silent. We could find no outrage from Spero over Greene committing "sacrilege" by likening a trivial event to the Holocaust, at CNS or anywhere else.

Note that Spero referred to the Jan. 6 insurrection only as a "protest." He went on to falsely insist that "virtually all" of the insurrectionists merely "slowly walked through the Capitol." He also served up a revionist take on the "Charlottesville lie" lie:

Pelosi talks of “Charlottesville,” the oft used Democrat talking point condemning President Trump for “siding with Nazi protesters." This is one of the great lies in American history, reminiscent of Goebbels, who taught: ”If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." President Trump immediately condemned the neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, but he rightfully argued that in the streets that day were other groups, not neo-Nazis, with valid concern over the toppling of statues of heroes to many in the South. President Trump was correct, and courageous and honest, in differentiating between neo-Nazis (white supremacists) and those feeling warmth and devotion to their history below the Mason-Dixon Line. Loving your native history does not automatically make one a “white supremacist."

In fact, a protest against removal of Confederate statues that Trump praised was organized by a group calling itself American Warrior Revolution, which considers itself a militia and later effectively blaming liberal counterprotester Heather Heyer for her own death in getting mowed down by a car driven by white supremacist James Fields Jr.

That's not the only bit of loopiness Spero has served up lately. In his April 27 column, he offered up a prayer to "help us stop those deliberately confusing children as to their natural God-given gender and forcefully pushing them to explore and even affirm sexual practices that are anathema to the innocence of childhood, that most precious and sacred phase of their life," adding, "Do not allow the so-called “woke” to teach our children to despise themselves."

Spero served up a similar prayer in a May 14 commentary that is supposedly about "Israel under attack":

But Lord, you have forewarned us in Scripture that “the wages of sin are sin” and that one sin begets another sin. Let us ponder this. It is inevitable that a side and outlook whose so-called “values” disregard the life of the unborn is indifferent to the holiness embodied in traditional marriage, often mocks biblical Christian observances, pushes to confuse our children regarding their God-given gender,  demonizes people born white, labels patriotic nationalism as something “extreme” and our country’s “greatest threat," that is ashamed of America’s founding principles and heroes, and labels its Caucasian citizens as systemically racist would necessarily, also, pressure Israel, question its sovereignty over Jerusalem, and cozy-up to Iran, and financially support Palestinian Arab terrorism. Yes, it is inevitable and predictable.

The socialists proudly call this “intersectionality,” linking all these vices into one, unified outlook. We, however, know it for what it really is: a repudiation of the biblical Judeo-Christian outlook. It is simpatico with evil and a rejection of that which is wholesome and noble. In the timeless, never-ending battle of Godliness vs. that which is Demonic, intersectionality has chosen the Dark Side.

In short: Spero is just as loopy and as right-wing as ever.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:58 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 13, 2021 3:59 PM EDT
Saturday, June 12, 2021
MRC Complains About Its Graphic Getting Fact-Checked
Topic: Media Research Center

As much as it loves to attack fact-checkers, the Media Research Center can't stand it when its own claims get fact-checked. (That's why MRC employees have blocked or muted us on Twitter.) So when the Associated Press fact-checked a graphic the MRC posted on Facebook -- you know, the place where MRC content does phenomenally well despite all the purported censorship of right-wing views -- Kayla Sargent devoted an April 22 post to complaining about it, mainly that the AP busted the MRC for making overblown claims that lack context:

Facebook’s fact-checkers are covering for the left’s huge election power grab in H.R. 1. A far left AP fact-checker spent 850 words trying, and failing, to debunk a graphic about the bill. 

AP News fact-checked a graphic from the Media Research Center on Facebook and claimed it was “missing context.” In reality, the AP fact-checker, far-left reporter Terrence Fraser, just didn’t like the language that the graphic used. 

The first point that the graphic made was that H.R. 1 would “OVERRULE Voter ID laws in place in 36 states.” Fraser responded by saying that the bill would allow “voters to affirm their identity using only their signature, but the proposed legislation only applies in federal elections.” But, as The Daily Signal pointed out, “states obviously can’t enforce their voter ID requirements if federal law says they have to allow anyone who just signs a form to vote.” 

Whether state Voter ID laws would, technically, remain on the books if H.R. 1 passes is irrelevant, particularly in states where a state election is held at the same time as a federal election.


Essentially, Fraser’s “fact-check” simply adds Democratic spin to the items in the social media post being reviewed. None of his points disproves any aspect of the post. The only way to avoid an opening for AP to claim the post is “missing context” would have been to include every one of the thousands words of the massive bill in the social media post, and even that likely wouldn’t have stopped AP from working with Facebook to discredit this post.

Ah, yes, "context" -- the thing the MRC loves to bust others for omitting but denounces when it comes to fact-checks of itself and its friends. If a statement requires caveats to be accurate, it's not an accurate statement -- and because of that, the AP dispantled Sargent's assertion that the post wasn't "disproven."

As if whining about getting busted for context issues wasn't enough, Sargent personally attacked the fact-checker for purportedly being "far-left":

Fraser’s biased analysis of MRC’s graphic is typical for far-left “journalists.” His bio on AP’s own website said that he “has worked for VICE Media, The Marshall Project and ProPublica,” three very liberal organizations. The Marshall Project has published articles such as “How Biden Can Reverse Trump’s Death Penalty Expansion” and “Why Is It So Hard To Prosecute White Extremists?”

Another bio from the Ida B. Wells Scholar program said that Fraser’s dream job is “to write for The Nation or do documentary videos for The Intercept.” Two more leftist journalism operations.

By the same standard, Sargent and her MRC colleagues fail ther objectivity test for being so utterly partisan. But Sargent will never bring that little fact up while attacking the alleged "liberal bias" of others -- indeed, she wants you to think that the MRC is not biased at all, a laughable fantasy.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

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

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google