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Monday, June 28, 2021
MRC Puts Lipstick On A Partisan Fox News Interview
Topic: Media Research Center

As part of its incessant slobbering over Fox News, the Media Research Center served up a gushing May 11 post by Kyle Drennen:

Appearing on Fox News Monday afternoon, left-wing American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten faced the kind of tough questions that her buddies in the liberal media would never dare ask. Anchor Martha MacCallum grilled the major Democratic Party backer on a range of topics from powerful teacher’s unions tampering with CDC pandemic guidance to radical critical race theory being taught in schools.

“So one third of American public school kids are still not fully back at school. The teacher’s unions have been accused at times of dragging their feet and more recently of having too much influence over the White House and the CDC,” MacCallum told viewers just moments before bringing Weingarten on her 3:00 p.m. ET hour show. She cited a bombshell New York Post report “that the American Federation of Teachers union, known as AFT, was able to coax their language directly into CDC policy.”

Turning to Weingarten, MacCallum pressed: “You can see why that would lead people to think that you all have a lot of muscle over at the White House when it comes to reopening our schools.” The hackish union chief desperately tried to deflect blame by attacking Donald Trump: “I begged the Trump administration to do exactly what the Biden administration did, which is real safety guidance, that Trump – that the former president didn’t mock every other day.”

MacCallum wasn’t buying it:

Of course, Drennen was cheering that MacCallum was pushing right-wing talking points in the name of "journalism." But as a less biased website pointed out, MaCallum was the desperate one, getting mad at Weingarten for defending how schools are run and even for daring to say something nice about President Biden.

Drennen later praised MacCallum for parroting right-wing attacks on the 1619 Project, then added:

Clearly growing uncomfortable with the topic, Weingarten resorted to juvenile Fox-bashing: “I would hope that Fox would be just as focused on lets get rid of the misinformation about what happened in this election. This election was – ”

MacCallum cut her off:

Drennen made sure not to let any criticism of Fox News enter his post, though he quoted MacCallum furiously trying to deflect, "Oh, come on, Randi, come on. This is not the topic that we’re here to talk about. I’m not going to talk about that. We’ve talked about that before. But – no, that’s a dodge, okay?"

Meanwhile, that less-biased outlet told the truth that Drennen wouldn't about that exchange:

Fox News viewers were treated to a heated debate between The Story host Martha MacCallum and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten on Monday, as Weingarten sought to hold Fox’s feet to the fire over some of the network’s biggest names spreading misinformation about the 2020 presidential election, specifically the baseless theory that President Joe Biden won the election due to voter fraud – a theory that former President Donald Trump and his supporters have continued to espouse , despite Fox’s own fact–checks of the claims.

[...]

After some more back and forth about how the history of slavery should be taught in the U.S., Weingarten pivoted again to Fox’s election coverage.

“If you’re talking about misinformation now, Martha, and I hope you are, I really would hope that Fox would really look at what happened in this election and how we can – because every social studies teacher is wrestling with this — discern fact from fiction. We have to do that.”

MacCallum responded that the outcome of the election is well-settled.

“Well we have a president, President Biden was elected in 2020, and I think all of that is quite clear. So I’m not sure why you are so concerned with that part, with that particular moment in history. Every election is significant. Nobody is hiding anything under any rocks here.”

We can see why Drennen wouldn't want to breathe a word of that -- a non-insignificant part of the MRC's readership likely believes that Trump won, and the MRC has never retracted, let alone substantiated, its own variant of the stolen-election conspiracy theory.

Despite Drennen's all-caps insistence that MacCallum TORE APART Weingarten, all MacCallum did was spout political talking points that Weingarten easily swatted away.

Drennen concluded: "A leftist partisan like Weingarten is so used to having friendly chats with compliant reporters who support her agenda that she doesn’t know how to deal with real questions about teacher’s unions damaging the American educational system." But he'll never identify MacCallum as the right-wing partisan she is, and he'll never criticize MacCallum's compliant interview with her fellow right-wingers.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2021 10:08 AM EDT
CNS Commentator Is Latest To Defend Crowder's Hate
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com took after its Media Research Center parent again, this time in trying to defend right-wing videomaker Steven Crowder. A May 21 CNS commentary by the Heritage Foundation's Kara Frederick stated:

Conservative comedian Steven Crowder filed notice last week of a lawsuit against YouTube, claiming, “This is the big one, boys and girls.”

Crowder’s May 14 filing follows his second “strike” in as many months. In March, YouTube demonetized Crowder’s channel and issued his first demerit of 2021 on grounds that one of his videos contained COVID-19 misinformation. In April, Crowder earned “strike two” under the pretext of harassment and cyberbullying.

One more infraction in the designated 90-day window and he will be permanently cut off from his 5 million YouTube followers.

Note that, like the MRC, Frederick refused to say exactly what earned Crowder his second strike. No, Kara, it was not "the pretext of harassment and cyberbullying'; it was mocking a woman shot to death by police.Frederick also didn't mention that the"demerited" Crowder video containing COVID misinformation also contained a lot of racism.

Frederick then combined the comedian's pass (though Crowder isn't all that funny) with whataboutism:

Crowder is polemical—he is, after all, a comedian—but his undue scrutiny ignores a morass of unpunished “violations” that proliferate on YouTube all around him.

If the coronavirus misinformation standard were applied consistently, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s announcement in March 2020 that “there is no reason to [walk] around with a mask” would have been struck from the platform during the height of the pandemic.

If the harassment and cyberbullying standard were applied uniformly to comparable accounts, left-of-center comedian Bill Maher’s glee over billionaire businessman David Koch’s death would no longer be searchable on Maher’s show’s channel.

From there, Frederick used crowder to push the factually deficient right-wing narrative that "Big Tech" is solely targeting conservatives for saying conservative things:

As such, conservative voices like Crowder’s should not be sacrificed on the altar of Big Tech.

Yet the fight is not about Crowder. Instead, it’s a crisis of the tech titans’ own making. Inconsistent enforcement of vague rules, the opacity of content-moderation practices, and a lack of recourse are the hallmarks of Big Tech today.

Crowder’s latest legal move points to a broader, more pernicious trend taking hold in Silicon Valley and beyond. (He’s threatened to file suit against Big Tech before, as recently as February.)

The evolution proceeded slowly at first. When platforms banned gratuitous-chaos agents, such as Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos, many conservatives were reluctant to defend them, even on principle. Now, social media companies are sprinting away with the goal posts.

What began as an effort to ban fringe outlets such as Jones’ “Infowars” has rapidly expanded to the restriction of traditional conservative views.

Huh? Mocking a dead woman and launching homophobic attacks against a gay journalist -- something Crowder has also done -- are "traditional conservative views" whose expression must be protected? And Frederick also thinks that  Yiannopoulos and Jones -- who are weirdly described as "gratuitous-chaos agents" and not the ideological far-right provocateurs they are -- are pushing "traditional conservative views" too?

Frederick is playing the bogus victimhood card and trying to portray hate as "traditional conservative views." We know CNS and the Heritage Foundation have a narrative to maintain even as it's falling apart, but sheesh, guys.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax's 'Non-Clinician' Blues
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has felt compelled to make sure readers know that several columns -- mostly making dubious claims about the coronavirus pandemic -- were written by a "non-clinician." Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EDT
Another Day, Another 'Existential Threat' At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is facing yet another "existential threat," according to a May 23 article by managing editor David Kupelian. Unfortunately, he doesn't make the best case for saving WND by lying at the very top:

Dear friend of WND,

We are in the middle of a war. No, I’m not talking about the war in the Middle East against our trusted friend and ally, Israel. I’m talking about the war inside America, which, among other things, led to the last two week’s attacks against Israel.

There is a Marxist revolution now exploding in America. That is no exaggeration.

For a reality check, consider that the top-selling books on Amazon right now include “American Marxism” by Mark Levin, currently #9, and “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military” by Matthew Lohmeier, currently #10. (Lohmeier, you’ll recall, is the Space Force officer just ousted for exposing the rampant Marxist indoctrination going on within America’s Armed Forces.) Then there’s David Horowitz’s bestseller, “The Enemy Within: How a Totalitarian Movement is Destroying America,” and so on.

This is real. And let's be totally clear as to what we're really dealing with: What we cryptically refer to as "The Left" – code words for a godless, revolutionary movement steeped in pathological anger and churning rebellion against America as a uniquely blessed Judeo-Christian, constitutional republic – is at war not with “racism” and “inequity” and Trump supporters (whom they label “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists”), but with America herself.

1) None of this has to do with an "existential threat" at WND. 2) Just because right-wingers are selling books about a purported Marxist threat to gullible readers doesn't mean there actually is a Marxist threat. 3) If anyone is expressing pathological anger, it's Kupelian.

Finally, Kupelian serves up some particulars:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the wretched leftwing hate group that Big Tech companies rely on to identify hateful extremist organizations (and which the Biden administration just announced it is teaming up with to tackle “extremism”) characterizes WND as an “extremist group.” Apparently, your favorite news site engages in “manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications designed to further the paranoid, gay-hating, conspiratorial and apocalyptic visions … from the fringes of the far-right and fundamentalist worlds.” Translation: We’re conservative and Christian.

Kupelian finally gets the SPLC's description of WND correct -- for years, WND had falsely claimed that the SPLC called it a "hate group." (Not that it wouldn't be an accurate description.) And the SPLC's readout that WND is filled with "manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications" doesn't need to be translated, and even if it did Kupelian's translation would not be accurate.

A short while ago, WND posted a single video on its YouTube channel defending Trump mega-supporter, “MyPillow guy” Mike Lindell. As a direct consequence, YouTube de-monetized WND’s YouTube channel.

As we've pointed out, the likely real reason YouTube demonitized  that video defending Lindell is because it included a clip from the podcast of Steve Bannon, who has been banned by YouTube for making false claims about election fraud.

A few months ago, Newsguard, the internet’s self-appointed guardian of truthful reporting, complained about a WND piece suggesting COVID-19 originated in a biolab, and not from a bat someone purchased to eat at a “wet market.” “Firstly,” Newsguard authoritatively informed us, “medical authorities have found no evidence that the virus was created intentionally or otherwise in a lab,” adding, “the CDC states that its research suggests ‘recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.” Uh huh. Today, virtually all experts (except Dr. Fauci) – including even the CDC – are publicly conceding that the coronavirus pandemic very likely originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the level-4 biolab where dangerous “gain-of-function” research was being conducted on bat viruses, secretly funded by the U.S. taxpayer thanks to Fauci’s approval.

None of which provides proof that the  virus was "created intentionally" at the Wuhan lab. Oh, and the U.S. money to an alliance that was working with the Wuhan lab did not go to gain-of-function research.

Three major international online ad companies – TripleLift, AppNexus/Xander and Teads – all recently canceled WND, seriously hurting our revenues. Why? One said we engaged in “hate speech” while another specifically cited an opinion article critical of allowing homosexual couples to adopt children. The way I see it, if WND has to go out of business for affirming such self-evident and vital truths, such as defending the innocence of our nation’s children, then so be it.

It's hard to find a way to twist "hate speech" -- which, again, WND is filled with -- as "defending the innocence of our nation’s children," but Kupelian sure gave it a shot.And, of course, those ad companies are private businesses who can choose who to have as its business partners.

Since last September, Facebook has massively suppressed WND’s traffic on its platform – by up to 90% – by confining us to what is known to insiders as “Facebook Jail.” This really hurts when you have close to a million followers. Why is Facebook doing this? I spent an hour with two Facebook reps to find out, but they could provide neither a reason for the radical suppression of WND, nor any real recourse for us.

Facebook is also a private business and is under no obligation to promote WND's content -- especially given how hateful and error-ridden it is -- or to provide a reason for doing so. Kupelian then ramped up the victimization even more:

Unlike most major news organizations – even many conservative ones – WND doesn’t have a billionaire sugar-daddy pumping money into our operation as needed. We’ve always done it the old-fashioned way, earning our own way. Of course, there’s a good side to that arrangement, since we’re beholden to no one but God. However, because the leftwing elites, Big Tech and cancel culture have made it almost impossible to operate by taking over the internet and suppressing, censoring and canceling truthful news reporting, we’re really struggling right now.

Kupelian seems to have forgotten about the years in which its major funder was Robert Beale -- father of longtime WND columnist Vox Day -- a businessman who later became famous for going on the lam rather than face tax evasion charges, and then threatening a judge. And if WND is only "beholden to no one but God," we have to wonder how it's explaining to the Almighty why it publshes so much false and hateful misinformation. He can't be pleased that WND is doing that in His name.

Then, finally, we got to the sales pitch of Kupelian begging readers to donate to the WND News Center; it's amusing given how often WND has defended tax protesters to see Kupelian make a point of stating that the News Center is "approved and designated by the IRS as a public charity." Of course, Kupelian provided no numbers regarding how much money it needs to get out of its "existential threat," nor did he explain how exactly the money will be spent.

Kupelian made one last pitch: "If you help us, we will be able to boldly report, like no one else, on the tremendous forces of anarchy, insanity and spiritual darkness that are now washing over our beloved republic. Help us push back against the tide of darkness!" Notice that he didn't say anything about telling the truth.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 28, 2021 12:06 AM EDT
Sunday, June 27, 2021
MRC's 'Explainer Videos' On Election Laws Don't Explain Why Republicans Are Pushing Them
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has gotten into "explainer videos" as a way to advance its right-wing agenda. It has put out a couple of "explainer videos" to push Republican narratives that Republian-pushed state laws aren't design to suppress voting by non-Republicans despite the fact that only Republicans and conservatives support them.

In an April 15 video focused on GOP-pushed changes in Georgia's election laws, the voiceover said of changes regarding drop boxes: "They claim it limits drop boxes, but this one's objectively not true. Before the law was passed, there was no law rin Georgia requiring drop boxes. The law doesn't limit them, it establishes them." That's misleading and hides the full story. PolitiFact told that full story:

The state election board added drop boxes in 2020 as an emergency rule during the pandemic. The new law makes drop boxes part of state law but restricts their availability. The law says all counties must have at least one drop box but can only add more if it adds up to one drop box for every 100,000 registered voters or the number of early voting locations there are in the county. The New York Times found the new law would allow 23 drop boxes for the four counties that make up metro Atlanta, compared to the 94 those counties offered combined in 2020.

The law also restricts use of drop boxes to early voting hours, which renders moot a reason why some voters use them: to turn in ballots late at night, or after the early voting period has ended. State lawmakers also banned mobile voting buses, which Fulton County used in 2020.

In other words, the law restricts drop box usage much tighter than it did in 2020, so it is not merely an establishment of their usage as the MRC wants you to believe.

The video also framed new restrictions on absentee ballots as a voter ID issue, but as PolitiFact pointed out, the law bans counties from doing mass mailouts of absentee ballots. In its lawsuit against the Georgia law, the Department of Justice pointed out that a top Republican officials in Georgia effectively admitting that election law changes were designed to suppress votes for Democrats, including one official who quoted Donald Trump in saying that mass absentee ballout mailings are "extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia."

Regarding thte law's prohibition of giving food and water to people waiting in line to vote, the voiceover said: "Sounds extreme, until you consider what happened in Georgia's 6th District, when Democrat [sic] activists started handing out bottles of water to people in line, while urging them to vote Democrat. This is why we can't have nice things. Every state has laws against campaigning at the polls; this is just closing a loophole." The video offers no substantiation that this particular incident happened or his suggestion that only Democrats were doing this and, thus, ruined "nice things" (yes, the video put those words on screen, which is where the screenshot at upper right comes from). Yes, every state has laws against campaigning at the polls, but no proof is offered that the "Democrat activists" were violating it thorugh this particular instance of handing out water to people in line.

The video concludes by stating, "Don't fall for political talking points masquerading as news." Ironic from a video pushing political talking points masquerading as a fact-check.

This was followed up with a June 16 "explainer video" once again justifying the Republican-pushed election changes (though the video never admits Republicans were driving them), with the voiceover complaining that "durin the pandemic, states adopted a lot of new and exotic voting techniques ... so now states are moving to update their rules to make sure only eligible voters are voting." But the video offers no evidence there was any significant number of non-eligible voters who voted that would make the election law changes necessary. The voiceover then resorted to the Republican narrative that the changes are about nothing but "making elections more secure."

The voiceover then offered a defense of these Republican-pushed laws (which he won't admit) that are being targeted by evil liberals in Washington pushing laws like HR1: "Here we have a host of election laws passed in statehouses around the country by lawmakers elected by the people. For a small cadre of liberals in Washington, D.C., to override all of that on a purely party-line vote would seem extremely un-democratic." But weren't all of those state laws passed on party-line votes in majority-Republican legislatures?

The vioceover then complained that "the media" want you to "think Democrats are just trying to protect voter rights." Is that like how the MRC wants you to think that Republicans care only about "election integrity"?

The voiceover concluded bny huffing that "partisan journalists have abandoned reporting the news in favor or reporting propaganda and political advocacy." Apparently, our narrator never watched Fox News.

Again; Not once in either of these videos is it admitted that these restrictive voting laws  wereput intoplace by Republicans, nor did it explain why we're not supposed to believe that Republican-promoted election laws aren't designed to help Republicans. Seems like these "explainer videos" have some more explaining to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 27, 2021 7:45 PM EDT
CNS Can't Stop Attacking Pelosi Over Capitol Riot Response
Topic: CNSNews.com

For months, CNSNews.com has been attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and its aftermath -- even though she and other Democrats had nothing whatsoever to do with it, and even though it was led by pro-Trump forces on the same side that CNS is on. (Remember, CNS helped amplify Donald Trump's bogus claims of a stolen election, which played a major role in inciting the rioters.)

A January article by Melanie Arter featured how "Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told Fox News’s 'The Story with Martha MacCallum' on Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested more National Guards be sent to Washington, D.C., even requesting 'crew-manned machine guns' – a sharp contrast between how she reacted when President Donald Trump wanted to use the military to deal with the violence from nationwide Black Lives Matter protests."

In February, CNS not only served as a echo chamber for Republican arguments that she was somehow responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot but also for GOP attacks on her response to it:

  • An article by Susan Jones highlighted GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham's claim that the riot was "pre-planned" and adding, "What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it?"
  • Another Jones article featured another GOP congressman attacking Pelosi deciding to leave heightened security around the Capitol for the time being, huffing, "I'm calling it Fort Pelosi at this point. The Guard can't serve as her private security force, and we need answers and we're not getting any."
  • Yet another Jones article let yet another GOP congressman rant about Capitol security: "This is absolutely being done by Nancy Pelosi. Remember, this is a woman who said that walls are immoral to protect the American public and our border. And now we have this wall all the way around the Capitol."
  • A March 1 article written by three CNS interns stated that "House Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), along with 41 other House members, sent a letter on Feb. 5 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging her 'to remove the barbed wire fencing surrounding the Capitol and send the National Guard troops home to their families.' To date, Pelosi has not responded to the congressmens’ letter."
  • Another March article seemed upset that Pelosi said "'it's going to take more money to protect the Capitol in a way that enables' the public to continue to have their historic access to it and that enables 'Members to be comfortable that they are safe.'"

Later that month, an anonymous article complained that "The 'task force' of advisors that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) put together after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has recommended that Congress immediately approve funding to design and install 'mobile fencing' around the Capitol."

In an April 14 article, Craig Bannister seemed to be mocking a statement Pelosi made regarding the riot:

If the rioters who invaded the U.S. Capitol last January had caught up with, she was prepared to fight back – even if it meant using her spike heels as weapons – House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says.

"Well, I'm pretty tough. I'm a street fighter. They would have had a battle on their hands," Pelosi said in an interview with USA Today published Tuesday.

Displaying her 4-inch-high stilettos to her interviewer, Pelosi joked that "I would have had these" to use as weapons.

Even though Bannister eventually said Pelosi was joking, that's not theimpression readers had from the headline, which lacked any reference to humor: "Pelosi Says She Would’ve Used Her Spike Heels to Fight Off Capitol Rioters."

Months after the riot, CNS was still complaining about Pelosi talking about it. An anonymous June 16 article carried the headline "Nancy Pelosi: ‘January 6th Was Unquestionably One of the Darkest Days in the History of Our Democracy'" -- apparently once again annoyed that Pelosi was talking about it -- but it was actially a bill to award Congressional Gold Medals to law enforcement officers who tried to protect the Capitol on Jan. 6.

That, by the way, is the only article CNS did referencing the medals to law enforcement; it certainly wasn't going to tell readers that 21 Republicans -- including CNS faves Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz -- voted against awarding the medals.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 27, 2021 3:35 PM EDT
Saturday, June 26, 2021
MRC Writer Argues JoJo Siwa Is Obeying Satan By Not Being Heterosexual
Topic: Media Research Center

There are few things the Media Research Center loves more than to judge women -- and celebrities especially -- who fail to be heterosexual, and they take an unseemly interest in their alleged sex lives (or lack of one). When child star JoJo Siwa -- now a 17-year-old -- announced she was "part of the LGBTQ community," and pansexual, telling readers that "you can be in love with whoever you want," Veronica Hays had a massive meltdown in an April 12 post that she began by screeching, "They're turning the kids gay!":

This is unabashed brainwashing and the little red devil is complicit. The LGBTQ cabal is pushing their perverse agenda by the most subversive means. There is no disguising it, either, as Siwa clearly stated their evil machinations: “GLAAD has been working closely with kid and family show creators and publishers like ‘Little Bees Books’ to help them share LGBTQ stories for tween and teen audiences. Now even the littlest of kids can see what inclusion looks like.”

Siwa is a massively famous dancer, YouTuber, and now multimillionaire whose entire brand is specifically marketed towards a target audience of young children. She has over 33 million Tik Tok followers and 12 million more following her YouTube account. The power of her influence on the youngest generation is staggering and now dangerous as it is being weaponized to destroy their innocence. Defiling the fragile purity of children is the ultimate outrage and made worse by the fact that the perpetrator is herself a young girl. 

And all this for what? For the children to become little drones with identity crises at 10-years-old? It's diabolical.

If those children were to become little righrt-wing drones -- through the same kind of indoctrination she thinks the "LGBTQ cabal," whatever that is, is doing -- Hays presumably would have no problem with that.

When Hays is dismissing people as minions of Satan simply for believing differently from you, as Hays is doing here, there is no way to have a civil conversation with her -- the vicious, seething hatred is just too palpable.And it shows the intolerance, homophobia and transphobia that has always been slightly under the surface at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 AM EDT
Irony: WND Columnist Is Concerned About 'Press Deceit'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Laura Hollis began her May 20 WorldNetDaily column by huffing under the headline "Is press deceit a pathology, or closer to insanity?":

A free country depends upon an honest and vigilant press to demand accountability from the country's political, economic and cultural leaders.

We are in serious trouble; our press is neither honest nor vigilant.

To the contrary, the national media in the United States is hopelessly biased, selectively incurious and relentlessly deceitful about the most important issues we are facing today. As a result, the health of the nation is at risk. Literally.

Hollis is conveniently ignoring the fact that the outlet that publishes her column is one of the most deceitful media operations out there. Of course, like any right-winger, Hollis' definition of "the press" only includes outlets she can attack as "liberal," even though many national media outlets like Fox News has an unambigulous right-wing bias.

After ranting about alleged media suppression of speculation about the source of the coronavirus in China -- as if talkinga baout that would have saved any of the 5600,000-plus people who died of it in the U.S. -- Hollis then took on a related subject:

But the press's stubborn opposition to anything Trump said extended not only to the origins of COVID-19 but also to treatment methodologies. When Trump repeated what he had been told about successful early intervention with the drug hydroxychloroquine, the talking points went out: Denounce it. Even when hundreds of doctors pleaded for the use of hydroxychloroquine based on their successes with their own patients, the press attacked those physicians. So rabid was their loathing of Trump. I watched countless people repeat these denunciations as if they were gospel. And, in a dynamic we have seen play out on plenty of other issues since, social media banned anyone who tried to present any countervailing evidence.

This is beyond pathology; it is insanity. It is bad enough when press bias causes people to lose elections. This level of derangement may well have caused people to lose their lives.

Most people who care about medicine think it should be advanced with legitimate trials, not anecdotes, and actual medical experts have not found hydroxychloroquine to be effective in treating COVID-19.

In pushing an ineffective drug in order to own the libs -- not to mention refusing to hold her publisher to the same standards she holds the "lliberal media" -- it appears Hollis is the one who going from beyond pathology to insanity.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT
Friday, June 25, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Fauci Email Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck kept up his Psaki-hating, Doocy-loving White House press briefing schtick into June, as his writeup of the first presser of the month showed:

Continuing to show their undying fealty to the altar of Dr. Tony Fauci, the White House press corps refused to ask Press Secretary Jen Psaki a single question during Wednesday’s briefing about the bombshell trove of emails from the NIH official from the early moments of the pandemic.

It was on the mind of at least one reporter in the room as our friend Amber Athey of The Spectator had planned to ask about them, but she wasn’t granted a question during 42-minute briefing.

[...]

Fox News’s Peter Doocy took up [NBC reporter Peter] Alexander’s line of question: “Why do you think that these ransomware attacks have been rising since President Biden took office?”

Psaki refused to answer and instead blamed the companies themselves for coincidentally getting hacked within a short time period and not listening to federal guidelines.

Doocy also brought up concerns about “a shortage of workers” in numerous sectors of the economy and the role that increased unemployment benefits could play in discouraging work, but Psaki chose to blame a continued need for workers to feel safe and increase child care facilities.

Actually, the Fauci emails weren't that big of a deal, and unemployment benefits aren't causing worker shortages. But those things are part of the right-wing narrative, so Houck must mindlessly repeat them -- and he obsessed about the Fauci emails again the next day, while adding another right-wing narrative and introducing Doocy's Fox News colleague in asking hostile questions:

A day after not one reporter called on during Wednesday’s White House press briefing brought up newly-released e-mails from Dr. Tony Fauci, three reporters stepped up on Thursday’s episode to ask Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the damning e-mails from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and, on a related note, investigating the origins of the virus in Wuhan.

In fact, a review of the briefing transcript showed three reporters combined to ask only 11 questions on either subject out of 96 total questions from the briefing (which worked out to only about 11.4 percent).

Fox News’s Jacqui Heinrich broke the ice as the fifth reporter called on. After a series of infrastructure questions, she made the pivot and invoked the e-mail between Fauci and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins that dismissed an April 2020 report from Special Report anchor Bret Baier about the virus escaping from a lab as a “conspiracy” theory.

Asked if that’s still “the position of the administration and their health experts that this was not engineered,” Psaki brushed Heinrich aside, saying she’s “spoken to this pretty extensively” and while she’ll let Fauci “speak for himself...he's been an undeniable asset in our country's pandemic response.”

Psaki dismissed the notion of going through what Fauci knew in the early days, calling it “obviously not that advantageous for me to relitigate the substance of e-mails from 17 months ago” when the focus should be on the intelligence community’s ongoing review.

Houck continued his -- and Fox News' -- obsession with the Fauci emails for the June 4 hearing:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki continued on Friday afternoon to show an aversion to discussing the thousands of published e-mails from Dr. Tony Fauci, repeatedly declining to elaborate on them during Friday’s press briefing. Speaking to Fox’s Peter Doocy, Psaki insisted that, while Fauci can speak for himself, the Biden administration “wouldn’t stand by” while “attacks” are “launched” against him.

Doocy started his Friday Q&A on the subject of a congressional or presidential commission to look at “the initial U.S. response to COVID-19,” but all Psaki would commit to would be the administration’s 90-day review of the intelligence regarding the origins of the virus.

[...]

Since Psaki invoked Fauci first, Doocy used that opening to pivot to his e-mails and, after acknowledging Fauci “had his hands full at the time trying to figure out what to do,” the doctor seemed to have been “saying one thing in e-mail and then coming to this microphone and saying something else.”

“If that is the case, and if that affected the U.S. policy posture at the time, should he be held accountable,” wondered Doocy.

Houck certainlyperforned his duty as right-wing narrative pusher by repeatedly obsessing over Fauci's emails -- almost as if he had instructed to do so.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 25, 2021 8:52 PM EDT
WND Makes Another Inconsistent Correction
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is maddeningly inconsistent on which of the many false and misleading claims it publishes on its website it chooses to correct. In his May 19 column, Sean Harshey declared that "The Great Coronavirus Panic of 2020 is increasingly being revealed to have been the greatest partisan political scam in history," claiming that the reaction to the pandemic was a ploy to destroy President Trump. In the midst of that, Harshey huffed that "the CDC admitted that calculations used to compile COVID death rates were improperly inflated due to hospitals counting COVID deaths to include cases where a patient died from some other cause, such as a heart attack. The unhinged attacks by liberals on President Trump and conservatives based on COVID death counts were manufactured propaganda."

Four days later, WND attached a lengthy correction to Harshey column:

CORRECTION May 23, 2021, at 11:14 a.m. ET: A statement in the below commentary has been fact-checked by HealthFeedback and found to be misinterpreted. The statement in question is:

"Also this week, the CDC admitted that calculations used to compile COVID death rates were improperly inflated due to hospitals counting COVID deaths to include cases where a patient died from some other cause, such as a heart attack."

The fact-check found that the U.S. CDC director didn't state that COVID-19 deaths were over-counted, but that her statements about deaths among vaccine breakthrough cases were misinterpreted. HealthFeedback noted: "U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky declared in May 2021 that hospitals are reporting cases of COVID-19 infections in people who have been fully vaccinated, which are known as breakthrough cases. Some of these cases resulted in deaths, which may have been due to COVID-19 or other causes, like heart attack. Only cases in which COVID-19 was the immediate cause of death or did initiate the chain of events leading to the death are counted as deaths by COVID-19, according to CDC guidelines."

By contrast, WND has let numerous lies about the pandemic and the election stand uncorrected. And Harshey's own March 3 column counterfactually claiming that Antifa was responsible for the Trump-supporter-led Jan. 6 Capitol riot hasn't been corrected.

Interestingly, Harshey appears to have stopped writing for WND; his weekly column of May 26 is the last one published. Somehow we doubt that shame over getting something wrong played any sort of role in this.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 25, 2021 7:26 PM EDT
CNS Attacks Yet Another Biden Nominee
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has found itself yet another Biden administration nominee to attack. This time, CNS' target is David Chipman, nomated to be head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Chipman's nomination merited only a passing mention by Melanie Arter in an April 8 article otherwise focused on President Biden's efforts to curb gun violence. But by the time his confirmation hearing rolled around in late May -- and Chipman's support for gun-control efforts made it to the radar of right-wing activists -- CNS was ready to attack, cranking out a whopping five articles related to it. A May 28 article by Susan Jones complained:

David Chipman, the former ATF-agent-turned-gun-control-activist, told Congress on Wednesday that he supports a ban on AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles "as has been presented in a Senate bill and supported by the president."

But if it were up to him, Chipman would go further than banning so-called "assault weapons."

Chipman told the Senate Judiciary Committee that in his work as a gun control activist, he has advocated for placing regulatory burdens on Americans who currently own the AR-15 and similar firearms:

"So you want to ban the most popular rifle in America," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Chipman at the confirmation hearing.

An article by Melanie Arter went on to complain that Chipman "refused Wednesday to define what assault weapons are, saying that would be up to Congress to define." This was followed by two attacks on Chipman by Republican senators:

  • An article by Jones touted a gotcha question by Sen. Tom Cotton demanding Chipman define an assault rifle.
  • An article by Arter featured Sen. John Kenney ranting that Chipman "does not believe in the 2nd Amendment, and he’s just one of many Biden appointees that are the most radical people he’s ever seen."

There was also a fifth article written by Jones, which carried the headline "ATF Director-Nominee Asked If He will Prosecute Hunter Biden for Lying on Background Check Form." But the article was deleted from the CNS website without explanation; the URL now returns an error message.

None of the four extant articles (and, we can presume, the disappeared one as well) quoted any Democratic senator questioning Chipman; indeed, none mention the presence of Democratic senators at all. So much for CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." Meanwhile, CNS has yet to report that Chipman's nomination was advanced out of ommittee to the full Senate for a vote.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EDT
Thursday, June 24, 2021
How Is MRC Writer Gabriel Hays Freaking Out About Transgender People Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Since Media Research Center writers like Gabriel Hays are paid well to engage in freakouts over transgender stuff in entertainment, readers continue to be subjected to them.

Back in March, the transphobic Hays melted down over Sports Illustrated featuring a transgender swimsult model:

A mutilated man posing as a woman is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and Good Morning America is just super excited about it. The ABC morning program referred to “the first black and Asian-American transgender model to appear" in the mag’s swimsuit edition as a “trailblazer.”

In a very pro-trans segment of the morning news show, anchors hyped up their “exclusive reveal” of the first SI transgender swimsuit model. GMA anchor Robin Roberts introduced her, saying “Leyna Bloom is trailblazer, but it wasn’t easy getting here.” Yep, well the political moment is finally here when being a black Asian American trans person with body positivity would be the crown jewel in the left’s identity politics propaganda, so here we go!

Bloom told the GMA host about her belief that society needs to accept the beauty standards that people like her achieve. “We need to constantly remind ourselves to protect those people in our society … that are different, that are beautiful uniquely as themselves.” She also stated the need to “challenge society to make it better for everyone else.”

So being uniquely yourself means becoming someone else? Check.

That, of course, is not how it works. Hays, of course, is not-so-uniquely being a transphobic asshole -- but, hey, that's what the MRC pays him for. A few days later, Hays huffed over the former Ellen Page transitioning and taking the name Eliot:

Trans people are all the rage at the moment and popular magazines are clearing inclusivity hurdles by getting their "First Ever!" trans cover stars. On the same day that Good Morning America did a feature on Sports Illustrated's first ever black & Asian American trans swimsuit model, Time featured its own trans cover star.

Actor Elliot Page broke new ground for liberal rag Time magazine by becoming the publication’s first ever trans male cover star. Who’s Elliot Page? You might better recognize Page if you recall that just a short few months ago, “he” was fine being a biological female that went by the name of Ellen Page, the actress best known for her endearing and quirky role as a pregnant teen in the movie Juno.

Hays showed up again on April 1 to lash out at chef Padma Lakshmi for daring to argue parents who won't "“If you can't accept your child for who they're telling you they are" are bad parents:

here’s no question some famous chefs can be great parents. It’s just that Padma Lakshmi isn’t one of them. A harsh judgement? Sure, but since she’s making pronouncements on parental worth based on acceptance of trans propaganda, all’s fair.

[...]

Oh OK? So children are telling parents what’s up or what’s down now, huh? Well that’s quite revolutionary from Ms. Lakshmi. It seems like kids are the parents now. How long til Mommy and Daddy’s time out is over?

[...]

Parents who earnestly believe that a kid knows his gender and sex are different than what they are, should probably trust their child’s expertise if he claimed to be a dinosaur, or if he claimed to have invincibility powers against the strange chemicals under the sink he’s curious about. 

Hays had another meltdown on April 12 over the GLAAD Media Awards:

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is one Hollywood lobby group that clearly doesn’t give a damn about harming kids.

GLAAD, the leading activist group pushing the LGBTQ agenda in entertainment media, hosted its 32nd annual “GLAAD Media Awards” on April 8. For the uninitiated, the GLAAD Awards is an event put on by the gay lobby in order to recognize the achievements in LGBTQ representation made by entertainment and news media. This year’s event was virtual due to the COVID panic, but the society-destroying propaganda was as explicit and immediate as ever. Even worse, this time much of it was aimed at children.

In addition to lesbian child YouTube star JoJo Siwa using her appearance at the awards show to tell her legions of kid fans that loving whoever you want is “all that matters,” one famous Hollywood transgender star told confused “trans” children that they are “anointed” and “divine,” i.e. that their confusion over their gender makes them special, or set apart.

Of course, anyone still honest enough to admit that transgenderism is more a sign of  psychological issues rather than a blessing sees this as a toxic message, especially for children who are less likely to have a full understanding of who they are at their age.

Hays can't even handle words used in a way he doesn't like if they suggest transgender people are in any way human. From a May 7 meltdown:

It’s hard to believe, but America’s largest pro-abortion lobby has actually found a way to demean women and motherhood even more than by convincing them to kill their children. The leftists of NARAL are now referring to women as “birthing persons” in order to keep up with our ever-wokening society, and conservatives are giving them a hard time for it.

So, we’re going from “pro-choice is pro-woman” to “pro-choice is pro birthing person.” Er, we’re not sure that poster’s going to be a popular one.

[...]

Yeah, NARAL clearly upped their stupid game, though that’s saying a lot because they think promoting killing innocent human babies is the right calling in life.

Hays had another language freakout in a June 2 post:

We all know that taxpayer-funded media takes one look at the population that pays for their product and says, “thanks for the money, now, to hell with you.” Case in point, National Public Radio got with GLAAD, Hollywood’s gay lobby, and composed a “guide” on how to properly refer to people and all their new gender pronouns.

Yep, 330 million Americans thank you, NPR, for now trying to rewrite their language to fit the demands of the unfortunate 0.6% of the population that is transgender. (For now -- fads being what they are, that number is subject to wide fluctuation.)

[...]

And as far as “anti trans state laws,” NPR is now faulting people for wanting to keep biological men out of women’s sports? Yeah if we don’t throw away reality for 0.6% of the population, we’ve chosen to hate them. Go to hell, NPR, is all we have to say.

Hays wants to throw away transgender people, period, so perhaps he's much further on the path to hell than anyone at NPR.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 24, 2021 8:31 PM EDT
Newsmax Pushes Dubious Pro-Trump, Anti-Biden Polls
Topic: Newsmax

Nick Koutsobinas wrote in a May 18 Newsmax article:

Nearly 37 percent of Democrats say they would "absolutely" vote for President Joe Biden in the 2024 primaries while 20.7 percent say they would “likely” vote for the incumbent, totaling 57.4 percent, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Trafalgar Group. 

Comparitavely, 49.1 percent of GOP voters say they would "absolutely" support former President Donald Trump in a Republican primary in 2024 if he chooses to run and 34.9 percent say they would vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if No. 45 sits out.

Koutsobinas didn't tell you, however, that the Trafalgar Group has a pro-Trump bias and a less-than-stellar record; as we've noted, Trafalgar "weights its polls to account for a 'social desirability bias,' or the so-called shy Trump voters who are embarrassed to tell pollsters they support his candidacy," and Trafalgar's polling gets a C-minus rating from FiveThirtyEight.

That's not the only dubious poll Newsmax has touted. The apparently unironicaly named Charlie McCarthy wrote in a May 19 article:

Former President Donald Trump defeats Vice President Kamala Harris head-to-head, something made more significant by nearly two-thirds of voters saying they don’t think President Joe Biden will finish his current term, according to a new poll.

When asked if Harris will be president before the end of Biden’s 4-year term, 64% of likely voters in the McLaughlin monthly May poll said she would.

Even among Biden voters (51%) and Democrats (50%), many said it’s likely Harris will be president.

In a presidential contest pitting Trump against Harris, the former president leads 49% to 45%.

Trump leads Harris among independents (48% - 42%) and suburban voters (52% - 42%), but also takes 39% of Hispanics and 17% of African Americans.

McCarthy didn't mention that McLaughlin was the pollster for Trump's re-election campaign, making these results look less than objective. McLaughlin has also been wrong in the past, most notoriously so in 2014 when it claimed polls showing Republican Eric Cantor ahead of his primary rival, Dave Brat, by 34 points; in the actual election, Brat beat Cantor by 11 points.

But principals John and Jim McLaughlin have their own Newsmax column, so the management is less than eager to call them out. And in their column that came out the same day as McCarthy's fluffing of its poll results, the McLaughlins reminded us of just how in the tank they are for Trump:

In 2016, we had the privilege of advising then-candidate Donald J. Trump from the primaries through election day.

The Republican establishment didn’t think he would win. He beat them for the Republican nomination. The Washington, D.C. establishment didn’t think he could win in November 2016.

The establishment media created the "Hillary electoral lock." He beat them again.

Then, for four years, they tried every means possible to delegitimize him.

[...]

The Democratic party won the 2020 election with the help of Big Tech and the mainstream media, who all covered for candidate Joe Biden who rarely had to campaign, or even leave his Delaware basement. His voters said he was too old. Trump voters said he was senile with dementia.

Either way President Biden isn’t releasing any cognitive tests for public consumption that could precipitate a national security crisis. They even covered up the lucrative Hunter Biden corruption with foreign businesses in Russia and China just to beat President Trump.


[...]

As we have seen in previous months the impeachment, relentless media attacks, censorship and persecution of President Trump have backfired among Republican primary voters.

Three quarters, 73%, of all Republican primary voters, which includes independents who vote in GOP primaries, want to see Donald Trump run again in 2024.

That’s an amazing statistic.

If Donald Trump runs again Republican primary voters would support him 82%-13% and they would vote for him in the general election 83%-11%.

President Trump has near unanimous support in the base.

[...]

It’s early to look at 2024, but with the Democrats and liberal media apologizing for their polling failures of 2020, if they take a poll based on the actual 2020 turnout, they are not going to like what they see. Donald Trump is leading Kamala Harris for President.

Boom!

The McLaughlins don't seem like the kind of folks who can be trusted to conduct truly objective polling.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Correcting The Hypocritical Record
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to attack the "liberal media" for correcting mistakes -- even as it makes stealth edits to hide falsehoods and gives its fellow right-wing media a pass for its mistakes. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EDT
Are You Serious? CNS' Coverage On Mask Mandates Is Partisan And Silly
Topic: CNSNews.com

Over the past couple months, CNSNews.com has engaged in reverse mask-shaming and tried to force political motives on federal mask guidance, so it clearly has no interest in treating the issue seriously.

As it is apparently mandated to do by its Media Research center parent, CNS automatically takes the side of Republicans and conservatives, as seen in a May 12 article by Susan Jones hyping how "Several Senate Republicans chided the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday for what Sen. Susan Collins called "conflicting, confusing guidance" from CDC, especially as it relates to schools, summer camps, and mask mandates." The next day, Melanie Arter served up more reverse mask-shaming under the headline "CNN Asks WH Aide Why Biden Wore Mask Indoors Meeting with Fully Vaccinated Congressional Leaders."

Arter returned on May 14 to transcribe a mask attack from Fox News:

Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier pointed out Thursday that President Joe Biden’s ultimatum on mask wearing if you’re not vaccinated leaves out people who have already had COVID and have natural immunity as well as children.

Saphier told Fox News’s “Hannity” that Biden’s tweet directing people to “get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do” was “dangerous.”

Arter did not allow anyone to respond to Saphier. Later that day, Arter scrounged up a "former acting CDC Director" to attack mask guidance.

In a May 17 article, Jones was still on her kick of manufacturing a political motive for changes in mask guidance, huffing that "Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, went on all the Sunday talk shows to explain her agency's sudden and confusing about-face on face masks," adding that "She told "Fox News Sunday" that political pressure had nothing to do with the sudden change in CDC masking guidelines." the next day, Jones complained that New Jersey wasn't ready to lift mask mandates just yet.

Arter served up another political attack in a May 18 article: "Adm. Brett Giroir, former coronavirus testing czar for the Trump administration, told Fox News on Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped the ball when it came to messaging about mask guidance and coordinating with the White House." On May 19, Craig Bannister promoted a right-wing gotcha attempt in which "Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked Walensky to 'in one minute, summarize for me what the recommendations are today from your agency about wearing masks,'" conceding that "the CDC director obliged."

On May 20, Jones gave space to Republican House members whining that Nancy Pelosi won't lift mask mandates on the House floor until all House members are vaccinated:

So far this week, several Republicans -- Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Beth Van Duyne of Texas, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina -- have been fined $500 for refusing to wear masks despite an initial warning to do so.

They face fines of $2,500 the next time.  Several other Republicans have received first-time warnings for not wearing masks.

Rep. Ralph Norman told "Fox & Friends" he's "just tired of it," and "I'm going to do it again."

"I'm not putting another mask on," he told "Fox & Friends" on Thursday.

Jones did not allow Pelosi or any other Democratic House member respond to Norman or his fellow GOP mask complainers.

Also on May 20, managing editor Michael W. Chapman gushed at how "Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed a bill into law that prohibits the public schools from imposing mask mandates on their students. Chapman devoted six paragraphs of his seven-paragraph article quoting Reynolds and two Republican state legislators touting the legislation; the final paragraph quoted a "Democrat [sic] State Rep." criticizing it. Not exactly fair and balanced, eh, Mike?

Speaking of balance, Jones finally served up a little in a May 21 article quoting Pelosi defending her House mask mandate, saying that "unvaccinated lawmakers are selfish, and she suggested they eventually may be required to vote from the House gallery instead of the House floor."

And on May 24, Bannister demonstrated the unseriousness of CNS' agenda-driven mask coverage by devoting an article to the opinions of a washed-up right-wing actor:

Conservative actor and former “Hercules” star Kevin Sorbo has a message for the businesses that are still requiring customers to wear masks in order to patronize their businesses.

On Sunday, Sorbo posted a tweet reminding business owners that the anti-mask customers they’re turning away today, despite the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) loosening its rules, are the ones who weren’t afraid to shop at their establishments - and helped keep them in business - when others were shunning them:

“To any business that has a mask policy:

“The maskless shoppers you turn away were the ones willing to support you when no one else would.”

Nothing says "legitimate opinion" quite like a guy who hasn't done much since that "hercules" role a few decades ago.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 24, 2021 4:04 PM EDT

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