MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Holiday Edition Topic: Media Research Center
It was a slow week for the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck after Independence Day -- he didn't have Peter Doocy to man-crush over at the White House press briefints, which seemed to make him less interested in full-out bashing of Jen Psaki. So his offering for the July 6 White House press briefing could be summed up this way: I can't man-crush on Peter Doocy, but I can spew hate at other reporters!
With Fox’s Peter Doocy away from Tuesday’s White House press briefing, interest shifted elsewhere for NewsBusters and, thankfully, CNN political analyst and Grio correspondent April Ryan beclowned herself with questions from the left on civil rights, voting, and white supremacists. This included the insane assertion from Ryan to Press Secretary Jen Psaki that voting rights have “collapsed” with GOP laws and the failure of the For the People Act.
Houck's only other entry for that week was for the July 9 briefing, where he did latch onto other right-wing reporters:
Friday’s White House press briefing featured an important and welcome surprise as CBS senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang used her front-row spot in the Briefing Room to repeatedly question Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the administration’s role in the upcoming sale of Hunter Biden’s art collection in New York City.
And besides Jiang, the other notable questioners were less surprising (but nonetheless equally important) as Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann asked about critical race theory and the origins of the coronavirus while the New York Post’s Steven Nelson asked about the extent to which President Biden was involved in his son’s shady business dealings.
Houck went on to complain about a "far-left voting rights question," though he never equivalently identified Wegmann or Nelson as "far-right."
Life is apparently dull for Houck when he can't man-crush on Doocy.
WND Touts Retracted, Discredited Study On COVID Vaccines Topic: WorldNetDaily
An anonymously written July 4 WorldNetDaily article stated:
Those mask mandates imposed for the COVID pandemic could be hurting kids, and the vaccines could be killing them, according to a new Just the News report that cites several medical journals and studies.
"Measured carbon dioxide content in 'inhaled air,' observed in a study of masked German schoolchildren, was at least three-fold higher than German law allows, according to a research letter published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics," the report said. And, "Last week, the journal Vaccines, affiliated with the American Society for Virology, published research that estimates every three COVID-19 deaths prevented by vaccination are offset by two deaths 'inflicted by vaccination,' using Israeli and European data."
Masks and vaccines -- and lockdowns -- have been among America's main responses to the virus that likely originated with a Chinese lab in Wuhan that works with the Chinese Communist Party's military.
Those defensive strategies were adopted over treatments with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine that some studies have suggested are effective against the virus.
The report said the review in Vaccine estimated the "number needed to vaccinate" (NNTV) to prevent one COVID-19 death, using a million-person Israeli field study and "the most prominent trial data from regulatory phase 3 trials."
It looked at fatal side effects and more.
"Simply put: As we prevent three deaths by vaccinating, we incur two deaths," according to the paper, though looking at phase 3 trial data alone, the "optimum case" is four deaths caused and 33 lives saved by vaccines, Just the News reported.
WND soft-pedaled questions about the Vaccines study, stating only in the final paragraph of the article that "The publication days after releasing the results expressed doubts about what it documented, and said it was investigating." In fact, the fallout has been much more devastating.
Several vaccinaologists and virologists resigned from the journal's editorial staff in the wake of the study, with one of them pointing out that "The data has been misused because it makes the (incorrect) assumption that all deaths occurring post vaccination are caused by vaccination." It was also noted that none of the paper’s authors is trained in vaccinology, virology, or epidemiology. The journal retracted the paper on Julyi 2 -- two days before the WND article was published -- agreeing that data was misinterpreted. Fact-checkershavenoted how thehighly flawed paper is being used by anti-vaxxers (like, you know, WND) to spread fear about COVID vaccines.
Again, all this happened before WND's article was published -- meaning that WND was simply too lazy to do any actual reporting and just copied-and-pasted the 3-day-old report from the dubious right-wing operation Just the News. As of this writing, the WND article has not been corrected, and there's no correction anywhere else on the website.
But there's someone else that comes off just as bad, which WND also copied from the Just the News report:
Jane Orient, chief of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, said the Vaccine paper "is an excellent and much needed analysis."
But she thinks the risk-benefit ratio is likely to be "much worse" than the paper's authors estimate.
Yeah, that didn't age well. Neither has the idea that WND wants people to pay for the privilege of reading such shoddy journalism. It's especially embarassing (or it would be if Joseph Farah was capable of shame) as WND begs yet again for money to keep it alive.
UPDATE: Oh, about the other study promoted in the article, which claimed that the carbon dioxide levels in the inhaled of masked German schoolchildren? That one's been retracted too:
In the retraction notice, the journal editors cited "numerous scientific issues," that also included questions over the applicability of the CO2 measurement device and the validity of the study conclusions.
"In their invited responses to these and other concerns, the authors did not provide sufficiently convincing evidence to resolve these issues, as determined by editorial evaluation and additional scientific review," the notice read. "Given fundamental concerns about the study methodology, uncertainty regarding the validity of the findings and conclusions, and the potential public health implications, the editors have retracted this Research Letter."
The study quickly fell under criticism after it was published. Joseph Allen, MPH, DSc, who studies the impact of carbon dioxide on human health at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, called the study "terribly flawed" and predicted on Twitter that it would be retracted. His key complaint was that the study failed to account for the outside air that would flood in when the children inhaled.
So WND has gone 0-for-2 on bogus reporting in a single article. Needless to say, it has not told this to its readers. Instead, it also promoted the bogus German study in a July 9 article by Bob Unruh.
Liberal billionaire George Soros signed an open letter in 2019 calling on 2020 presidential candidates to adopt the infamous “wealth tax” on the rich. But he reportedly paid no federal income tax three years in a row.
Soros-funded outlet ProPublica published a report exposing how “Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.” A Soros spokesman reportedly told ProPublica: “‘Between 2016 and 2018 George Soros lost money on his investments, therefore he did not owe federal income taxes in those years. Mr. Soros has long supported higher taxes for wealthy Americans.’” But as The Dan Bongino Show’s Matt Palumbo noted, “the performance of Soros Fund Management, the fund responsible for Soros’ massive wealth, gained 5% in 2016, 8.9% in 2017, and 0.9% in 2018. Where exactly is the loss that they’re speaking of?” [Emphasis added.]
Soros signed an open letter in 2019 calling on presidential candidates to adopt a wealth tax on the top one-tenth of one percent. The letter reeked of left-wing propaganda: “Those of us in the richest 1/10 of the richest 1% should be proud to pay a bit more of our fortune forward to America’s future. We’ll be fine — taking on this tax is the least we can do to strengthen the country we love.” In essence, it appeared Soros was being hypocritical.
Vazquez and Palumbo, however, offer no evidence that Soros Fund Management is the same thing as Soros' personal wealth -- indeed, Soros Fund Management is in the business of managing other people's money, not Soros' money aloone -- and Soros advocating for higher taxes while taking advantage of current tax laws to shield his money from taxes is not hypocritical, just good business sense. If Donald Trump is allowed to take tax deductions for financial losses on investments -- which the MRC had no problem with -- why not Soros?
Vazquez also falsely suggested that the story was only about Soros -- it actually looked at the tax returns of several other prominent billionaires as well, such as Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett. (He also glossed over the fact that it says a lot about ProPublica's editorial integrity that the "Soros-funded outlet" was willing to take on Soros.)
So it was strange to see that a mere nine days later, Vazquez was trashing this very ProPublica study because it, um, exposed how billionaires not named George Soros weren't paying taxes, pulling his usual trick of invoking biased right-wing economists to back him up:
CATO Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards joined Fox Business to dismantle a leftist argument from the Soros-funded ProPublica that the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes.
Edwards ripped ProPublica’s recent report that used selective data to claim that “[e]xperts have long understood the broad outlines of how little the wealthy are taxed in the United States.” He retorted on the June 17 edition of Kudlow: “ProPublica summarized data on just 25 tax returns of selected wealthy people, but they were unrepresentative of the broader group of wealthy people in America.” Edwards lambasted the outlet for being “very selective in what they’re releasing here.”
Edwards also tore apart other misleading claims from ProPublica. “ProPublica’s claim that if you add in payroll taxes, people in the middle pay higher tax rates than the 25 taxpayers at the top is totally wrong,” Edwards rebuked. “There’s Congressional Budget Office data [that] shows that people at the top pay more than twice as much in income and payroll taxes than people in the middle.”
Fox Business host Larry Kudlow chimed in that ProPublica was blurring the line between income and wealth in its analysis and accused ProPublica of “chicanery.” Edwards agreed: “Capital gains is not income. It’s a separate thing. So, for example, in the national income or GDP accounts, capital gain is not included in income.” He continued: “No country in the [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] — all 35 or so countries — no country taxes capital gains on a so-called accrual or mark-to-market basis like ProPublica is sort of claiming that we should.”
Edwards argued that ProPublica’s policy prescription, based on its confusion between income and wealth, was nonsensical. “Taxing people on fluctuating asset values, like ProPublica is implying, makes absolutely no sense for many reasons,” Edwards said. Kudlow then accused ProPublica of having “jimmied” the numbers.
Vazquez didn't mention he had praised this very same report nine days earlier for exposing Soros. Does he think that only Soros should have to pay his fair share in taxes while other non-liberal billionaires get away with it?
That wasn't the only flip-flop at the MRC. The same day Vazquez praised the report for attacking Soros, Scott Whitlock ranted that "Super wealthy CBS This Morning co-host Tony Dokoupil channeled his inner socialist on Wednesday as he hyped a likely illegally-obtained ProPublica report that exposed the IRS documents of the 25 wealthiest Americans. At no time did the mega-rich Dokoupil worry about the ethics of how this were done or mention if he’d like his tax filings revealed." He then cited the right-wing Heritage Foundation to hiss that "The foundation of the ProPublica report is false."
In our last bimonthly summary of CNSNews.com's stenography for right-wing radio host Mark Levin, we noted that CNS stopped doing its Levin stenography for more than a month, apparently because of a lack of interns to perform the drudgery. A May 11 article by Craig Bannister touting how Levin would be taking part in "a virtual event paying tribute to the nation’s 2021 graduating class of high school seniors planning to enlist in the U.S. military" was CNS' first Levin reference since April 1. But it wasn't until the summer interns were fully on board in late May that the Levin stenography fully ramped up. Here's what was published for the May-June period:
MRC Embraced Lame Hit Piece On Harris Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock tried his best to sell a hit piece on Kamala Harris in a July 1 post:
During the entire Trump administration we saw journalists leap on any anonymous leak or gossip about infighting inside the administration. Yet, when Politicoon Wednesday unleashed a damning 2200 word expose on Kamala Harris and the alleged toxic, "abusive" environment inside the Vice President’s office, ABC, CBS and NBC on Wednesday night and Thursday morning censored the claim that working for the VP is a “place where people feel treated like s---.”
Despite a total of 90 minutes on the evening newscasts and six hours combined on ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today, the networks had no interest. It’s not as though there wasn’t time.
Here's some of the fluff coverage that DID make it: CBS devoted five minutes of air time to a popular podcast. GMA showcased the best protection against bug bites and NBC’s Today spent almost seven minutes previewing holiday travel options for the Fourth of July.
The Politico piece, written by Christopher Cadelago, Daniel Lippman and Eugene Daniels contained much of the same anonymous quotes that reporters loved during the Trump Era. This nameless individual complained about “feeling like shit.”
The Politico writers gossiped, “Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials.” They touted the “22 current and former vice presidential aides” who talked for the story. Yet, unlike with Republican political leaders, this story has so far drawn no interest from fellow reporters.
The corrupt politicians posing as journalists at ABC, CBS and NBC are doing their best to bury the dysfunction, incompetence and unhappiness swirling around the Vice President.
Funny how Whitlock touts the Politico piece as "gossip," despite having dismissed people writing about the inner workings of the Trump administration as gossip-mongers. And by his own rule, the Politico story was unworthy of attention by Whitlock and the MRCbecause the sources were anonymous -- none of those "22 current and former vice presidential aides" spoke on the record. But then, ther MRC has always been hypocritical about anonymous sources -- they're not credible when criticizing a Republican but utterly unimpeachable when criticizing a Democrat.
Whitlock's biggest problem, however, is that there's really no there there. As Mediaite's Tommy Christopher noted in citing observers who read the Politico piece, the harshest accusations come down to Harris being hard to get access to -- as if limited access to a vice president is unexpected or even a bad thing -- and that some staffers were not in the loop on one particular trip by Harris -- again, not that big of a deal.
Nevertheless, the MRC thought it had a winner here. Another post the same day by Kristine Marsh complained that the hosts of "The View" accurately noted how small a story it actually was:
While journalists ignored the brutal expose, The View co-hosts on Thursday leapt to Kamala Harris’s defense, after current and former aides complained about an abusive workplace toPolitico.
Despite cheering on the “whistleblowers” in the Trump White House, the liberal hosts completely trashed the anonymous complaints from twenty two of Harris’s current and former staff saying things like they felt they were “treated like s---.”
Moderator Whoopi Goldberg repeatedly downplayed the report as petty complaints. She asked co-host Sunny Hostin, “Is it possible that this is the -- the functioning of politics or is it just, you know, come on and get with the program young folks? Is it me being an old lady going, ‘get off my lawn?’”
Meghan McCain agreed with Hostin that there was probably some “gender bias.” She brutally mocked whoever the anonymous leakers were for “running to Politico like a little bitch.” At least McCain is consistent in her hatred for leakers in both Republican and Democrat administrations, unlike her co-hosts.
Spurred on by the common consensus, Goldberg got more bold in mocking the anonymous staffers. She asked Joy Behar, “So Joy, is it time for us to say, ‘hey, grow a pair?’”
As you might expect, Behar had the most ridiculous response to the expose. She suggested it was a set up from the right-wing, who apparently attack Harris way more than they attack Biden because the president “looks like their base.” Clearly she doesn’t read conservative media outlets very often.
Marsh didn't mention the MRC's double standard on anonymous sources.
This story even led to even more man-crushing from Curtis Houck on his favorite Fox News reporter. He used a a July 2 post to gush that "Fox’s Peter Doocy came prepared Friday afternoon" to tout "negative stories about Vice President Kamala Harris’s staff" at Jen Psaki's White House press briefing:
Rewind to the beginning of Doocy’s spot and he led off with a series of stories in establishment, liberal media publications about the reportedly disorganized, haphazard, and toxic work environment associated with the Vice President.
Psaki, who worked at CNN prior to joining the Biden team, refused to engage because “I try not to speak to or engage on anonymous reports or anonymous sources” as Harris “has a challenging job, a hard job, and she has a great supportive team of people around her.”
Houck just hates it when Psaki won't engage with an obviously hostile Doocy. And he offered no evidence to back up his claim that Politico is as "liberal media publication."
And that was the end of the MRC trying to exploit that story, as we could find no other reference to it. Apparently, it finally realized how lame it actually was.
WND's Moore Tries To Create A 'Censhorship' Victim Over Ivermectin Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Moore took the victimization route to promoting the dubious drug ivermection as a treatment for coronavirus in a June 30 article:
YouTube censored one of the most popular podcasts in the country because it mentioned the drug ivermectin as a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.
Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist who was a professor at Evergreen State College, told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night YouTube has blocked "The Darkhorse Podcast" from generating ad revenue, which is how he makes a living.
YouTube said it will not allow any channel to discuss "[c]laims that ivermectin is effective in treatment or prevention of COVID."
Moore offers no evidence that Weinstein's podcast has any level of popularity, let alone "one of the most popular podcasts in the country," but that's the least of the issues here; he's misrepresenting how Weinstein's YouTube channel was demonitized. As Vice documented, YouTube doesn't demonetize people for the mere "mention" of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID, as Moore claims; it's presenting it as a cure while failing to mention that there's little credible evicence to back that up that got Weinstein in trouble.
But Moore doesn't care about the facts -- he has an old and discredited narrative to push:
Worldwide, more than 50 peer-reviewed studies have shown the effectiveness of ivermectin as a treatment and prophylaxis against COVID-19. A recent study by the American Journal of Therapeutics that analyzed 18 randomized controlled treatment trials found ivermectin elicited "large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance" in COVID patients.
But as Vice also noted, a new meta-analysis and systemic review of studies that investigated ivermectin found that the highest quality studies, known as randomized controlled trials, showed that ivermectin had little if any effect and that it "is not a viable option to treat COVID-19 patients." Unsurprisingly, WND has published no article about this study.
As we've already noted, Moore uses this article to falsely claim that ivermectin advocates published "in February" a study in the American Journal of Therapeutics claiming the drug's effectiveness. In fact, the study was provisionally accepted in February by the journal Frontiers of Pharmacology, which ultimately chose not to publish it because of the clear promotional function of it and the low quality of the studies it cites; it was published by the American Journal of Therapeutics a couple months later.
Medical fact-checker David Gorski summed up the right-wing craze around ivermectin: "Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine. It’s been promoted the same way and by the same people. The same conspiracy theories have sprung up around it as the scientific evidence supporting its use is weak at best, negative at worst." Don't expect Moore or anyone else at WND to report that truth.
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 78: The MRC's Non-Conforming Superhero Meltdown Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Lindsay Kornick hate-watches shows like "Supergirl" and "Batwoman" just so she can complain that they have characters who aren't heterosexual or touch on issues in the news (or don't hate journalists). Read more >>
CNS Thinks A Biased, Manufactured GOP Hearing Is 'News' Topic: CNSNews.com
Craig Bannister gushed in a July 1 CNSNews.com article:
“Will the media and Big Tech be apologizing” to people who said the coronavirus originated in a lab, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) asked Wednesday, posting a video montage of doctors saying that it did.
On Tuesday, House Republicans held a hearing investigating the origins of coronavirus, where “every single expert witness” concluded that the coronavirus came from a laboratory, rather than from natural causes, Scalise tweeted, introducing the video:
“WATCH → Every single expert witness at yesterday’s COVID-19 origins hearing told Congress it came from a lab. Will the media and Big Tech be apologizing for calling people conspiracy theorists for saying that?”
Bannister is not interested in actual reporting, so he avoided any mention of the obvious: the reason "every single expert witness" at the hearing made that same claim is because they would not have been allowed to testify by Scalise if that was not their conclusion. All the witnesses were specifically chosen to forward that Republican talking point.
It was something of a kangaroo court of a hearing with predetermined evidence and a predetermined outcome; even the right-wing New York Post admitted that no Democrats were allowed to take part and that not even Anthony Fauci would testify.
It was a partisan political exercise, not a legitimate effort to learn anything. Because CNS is on the side of those political partisans, Bannister won't admit that inconvenient fact.
MRC Is Angry Olympics Aren't Heterosexual Enough Topic: Media Research Center
In the runup to the Olympics in Tokyo, the Media Reserach Center -- led by the mysterious and virulently transphobic sports blogger Jay Maxson -- was increasingly angry that they wouldn't be heterosexual enough, lashing out at LGBT athletes who might qualify.In May, Maxson raged over a transgender weightlifter from New Zealand, feven though he (or she) is likely not a New Zealand resident and, thus, has no actual reason to care. Maxson then demonstrated his utter ignorance of how transgenderism works in a June 9 post:
The U.S. Olympic women's BMX team just got a whole lot more macho! A man is now in prime position to steal a spot from a woman on the U.S. freestyle cycling team. Chelsea Wolfe is expected to become the first transgender athlete to make a U.S. team, at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next month.
In 2014, Wolfe suddenly decided that he was not a man, but a woman. And presto, he’s a woman who defies the laws of biology! One who currently ranks third among female American BMX competitors. The two women ranked ahead of him will compete in Tokyo, and Wolfe will serve as the alternate, as things stand now.
Has Maxson ever met a person who is not heterosexual? Is he so cocooned in the heterogenic MRC bubble that he never has to, meaning he has free rein to make up stories about how and why a person feels the need to change gender?
Maxson ramped up his (or her) hatred of Wolfe in a June 22 post raging over a tweet in which she sarcastically said she would burn a flag on the podium if she won, smearing her as a "sicko" and ranting that "The two-faced IOC deserves a lot of the blame for allowing this assault on the integrity of women’s competition by trans activists." He concluded by huffing that "The males Wolfe and New Zealand weightlifter Lauren Hubbard are officially qualified for Tokyo and they’re destroying any chance these Olympic Games will promote fairness."
Abigail Streetman picked up the mantle of hate in a June 25 post, asserting without evidence that runner CeCe Telfer transitioned to female solely because he sucked as a male runner:
One small step for women, one giant hurdle for women’s sports. Transgender track star CeCe Telfer was just deemed ineligible to participate in the United States Olympic trials as a woman due to his testosterone levels being too high. Of course, any real doctor that doesn’t feed into the woke mob mentality will tell you that it’s impossible for a man to become a woman just because they lower their testosterone levels.
Men produce nearly 20 times more testosterone than women, and there are obvious strength differences between the two genders. Telfer learned how to use this to his advantage. The ‘star’ ran for the Franklin Pierce University men’s track and field team. He also placed in the top 200 in the 400m hurdles in the NCAA Division II men’s division in 2016 and placed 390th in 2017. After these accomplishments he realized that he was actually a woman.
Is it a coincidence that after falling 190 positions from 2016 to 2017 he decided to transition and compete against women instead? I think not. In 2019, Telfer became the first man to win an NCAA title in the women’s 400m hurdles.
Streetman apparently believes Telfer is as shallow as she is, and she knows as little about what she writes as Maxson does.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Hays -- who hates transgender people almost as much as Maxson -- cheered when former NFL quarterback Brett Favre (football isn't and never has been an Olympic sport) expressed "his disapproval of biological men competing in women’s sports," specifically targeting Hubbard and Wolfe. Bridge O'Neal complained that a TV show committed the offense of having "celebrated non-binary track athlete Nikki Hiltz, who competed against women during the Olympic trials," going on to complain that "It seems that now the liberal media is criticizing conservatives for their attempts to maintain fair and traditional competition in the Olympics and in kid's sports."
Maxson returned for a July 7 post whining that "Professional sports and the media who cover them just couldn’t impose enough LGBT propaganda on you in the recently completed month of June," citing as an example "Chelsea Wolfe, a man despite the female name, qualified to be an alternate on the U.S. Olympic women’s BMX team for the Summer Games at Tokyo." Maxson ramped up the hate again in a July 19 post in which he (or she) specifically complained there were way too many LGBT athletes in the Olympics:
Queer theory is in full session at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. And then some! The Summer Games will be the queerest ever, with 142 publicly out homosexual, transgender and nonbinary athletes going for the Gold.
Outsports and The Queerstory Files say the number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes in Tokyo is not only double the number of out athletes who competed in the 2016 Rio Games, but greater than the number of such athletes in all previous Summer Olympic Games combined. Aren’t we all in for a treat?
Guess who’s leading the gigantic LGBTQ parade. It’s the United States with 30 out-standing athletes. The leaderboard also includes Canada (16), the United Kingdom (15), the Netherlands (14), New Zealand (9) (see trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard in above photo), Australia (10) and Brazil (9).
Lesbians outnumber gay men 8-1, with women’s soccer boasting 30 out players. Outsports says, “This continues a trend seen at past Olympics and is reflective of out athletes in elite non-Olympic sports where women also proliferate.” Atta boy, girls!
Maxson concluced his (or her) rant by huffing, "The long-held Olympic motto of 'citius, altitus, fortius'' ('fastest, highest, strongest') just doesn’t do justice anymore. The International Olympic Committee may as well make it official and add the word 'queerest.'"
If Maxson believes LGBT athletes are so inferior, why doesn't he (or she) put up or shut up, and race against them to prove that heterosexuality rules. Unless ... Maxson did race and was beaten soundly by an LGBT athlete, which would explain why he (or she) is so bitter and hateful.
Newsmax Still Sending Conflicting Messages On COVID Vaccine Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has gotten itself into a spot of bother as COVID-19 vaccine hestitancy has grown among conservatives -- and particularly among people who watch Newsmax. A recent survey found that viewers of Newsmax and One America News are twice as likely to refuse the vaccine than even Fox News viewers. For months, Newsmax has been trying to walk the line of serving anti-vaccine clickbait to its core audience while trying not to be too irresponsible about -- hence, all those "the author is a non-clinician" disclaimers on columnists spreading COVID conspiracy theories.
Still, more aggressive walkbacks were needed. When Newsmax TV host Rob Schmitt declared that vaccinations are "just generally kind of going against nature" and "stand in the way" of the circle of life "where something’s supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people," it didn't go over well -- to the point that Newsmax had to issue a statement backing away from his claim and in support of vaccines: "Newsmax as a network strongly supports President Biden’s efforts to widely distribute the covid vaccine. It is important for the safety of all and especially those at high risk, such as the elderly."
This was followed by a July 20 column by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, in which he even more heartily endorsed COVID vaccines (while staying true to his operation's right-wing slant by framing them as a Trump achievement that Biden had managed not to screw up):
As a journalist, I believe in giving credit where it’s due.
Six months into his administration, President Joe Biden should be applauded for making a huge dent in the COVID pandemic.
He inherited an effective vaccine from President Donald Trump, took it into his arms, and ran with it.
The success of this approach has been obvious. Serious deaths and hospitalizations (the most important COVID data) have collapsed.
So far, Biden’s success as president is all about COVID – not only with the vaccine, but also his push for ample and popular stimulus packages.
His success is also about Donald Trump.
Biden could have distanced himself from the vaccine since his political nemesis had been key for its creation.
Instead, Biden did the right thing and embraced Trump’s work – and built upon it to the betterment of the country. He also benefited politically.
When we have witnessed Biden fumble, it usually has to do with him rejecting Trump’s work.
The rest of Newsmax is still not on board with that message, though. A July 26 article by Jack Gournell complained that the death from COVID of a man -- an apparent conservative -- who opposed vaccines was getting too much media attention:
Stephen Harmon, a 34-year-old California man who didn't believe in vaccines, died of COVID-19 complications last week. His death — and his social media posts mocking vaccinations — were reported by local and national news outlets.
Harmon, who wasn't famous, was a member of a Hillsong church in California. The global church counts celebrities including singer Justin Bieber among its members, but has not taken a stand for or against vaccines.
The Associated Press reported in its opening sentence that Harmon "mocked COVID-19 vaccinations" and had "died this week at a Los Angeles-area hospital after contracting the virus."
A column the same day by Tom Borelli demanded that Anthony Fauci be fired because he wasn't sucking up to conservatives in a way that would make them want to get vaccinated:
Many Americans, especially conservatives, have “Fauci Fatigue.”
His numerous TV interviews with too many conflicting statements over the past year and a half has eroded his credibility.
Moreover, Fauci’s sales pitch to get vaccinated is a turnoff to conservatives.
On MSNBC, Fauci interpreted the personal decision to avoid getting vaccinated is based on politics and said, “Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.”
Scolding conservatives for not obeying his view is a sure way to get the opposite response.
The recent exchange between Fauci and Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., over the definition of gain-of-function research and Fauci’s role in funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a Senate hearing will only further alienate conservatives.
To summarize, increasing numbers of Americans don’t trust the government or the science. Logically, that makes Fauci - a government scientist - the worst person to convince individuals to get vaccinated.
But conservatives have never trusted government or science. It's not Fauci's responsibility to change it -- it's the responsibility of conservatives like Borelli. So what has he done to encourage his fellow right-wingers to get vaccinated? He doesn't say, nor does he say whether he himself has been vaccinated.
CNS Covers Anti-Transgender Activists At School Board Meeting (That CNS' Parent Helped Incite) Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how the Media Research Center helped to inflame right-wing emotions against a Virginia school board located near MRC headquarters over the hot-button issues of critical race theory and transgender rights, resulting in a school board meeting where disorderly people got arrested. It also generated more content for various MRC operations, like this June 23 CNSNews.com article by Elizabeth Nieshalla, under the biased headline "Virginia Parents Fight Back Against Loudoun County School Board’s Transgender Policy":
A Loudoun County, Va., school board meeting on Tuesday was the site of a large protest against a transgender policy that ended reportedly in one arrest and one injury.
Nearly 300 parents and community members attended the meeting to speak out against the pending pro-transgender Policy 8040, Critical Race Theory, and related left-wing ideologies of the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) School Board. Some people who support the policy were also in attendance.
Loudoun County parents organized a rally outside of the LCPS Administration Building to take place prior to the meeting. A crowd wearing red gathered in solidarity against the school board and the policy.
Cathy Ruse, a lawyer and former Fairfax County School Board member said at the rally, “Loudoun County School Board is poised to impose on all families in the public school system a radical anti-science proposition that biological sex is meaningless.”
The policy, she said, “wraps itself in fake science and then shuns any true science that doesn’t further its politics.”
Needless to say, more attention was paid to opponents of thet policy than supporters, and Nieshalla made no mention at all of the fact that her employer help to incite the anti-transgender forces.
Nieshalla is a summer intern for CNS, who doesn't seem to be interested in teaching her how to do fair and balanced reporting -- or to disclose clear conflicts of interest.
WND's Cashill Defends Chauvin Again, Stays On Wrong Side of History Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill, it seems, is determined to remain on the wrong side of history. His June 23 WorldNetDaily column is yet another defense of Derek Chauvin and an attack on the man he killed, George Floyd:
Chauvin is not your average murderer. He did not seek out his victim. By aggressively resisting a valid arrest, George Floyd sought him.
Chauvin did not go to the crime scene voluntarily. The dispatcher sent him. Once at the scene, he found two rookie cops struggling to subdue the muscular 223-pound Floyd in the back of the police vehicle.
[Judge Peter] Cahill concedes as much. "Although George Floyd was handcuffed, he had still been able to resist and to prevent three police officers from seating him in a squad car. …"
After assessing the scene for a minute, Chauvin did not strike Floyd or tase him. He offered to roll down the car windows and turn on the air conditioning to alleviate Floyd's anxieties, not routine behavior for a murderer. None of this made Cahill's filing.
Cashill added, "While helping Chauvin restrain Floyd, Officer Thomas Lane said, 'I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.' Chauvin responded, 'That's why we have him on his stomach.'" Cashill didn't mention the fact that there's considerable doubt about whether "excited delirium" is even a thing, or just an excuse for police to justify aggressive or violent responses to a suspect.
Cashill also wrote regarding Floyd: "Chauvin had no way of knowing that the perp – soon to become victim – had two dangerously blocked arteries or that he had ingested enough fentanyl to kill a man three times over and enough meth to finish the job." In fact, medical professionals involved in the case testified during Chauvin's trial that Floyd did not die or a fenanyl or meth overdose, and that any fentanyl and meth in Floyd's system were well below lethal levels.
Cashill went on to suggest that Floyd deserved to die: "Floyd was sentenced to five years. He served less than four. Floyd had been arrested nine times. Chauvin just once, but Chauvin could very well serve more prison time than Floyd."
He concluded by laughably likening Chauvin to black victims of racism: "Like the Scottsboro Boys and others, Derek Chauvin made the mistake of being of the wrong race in the wrong place at the wrong time. And unless Cahill acknowledges as much, history will not forgive him." Unlike the Scottsboro Boys, Chauvin received a fair trial, was not judged by racists, and actually committed the crime he was accused of.
MRC's Double Standard On Describing Misinformation Topic: Media Research Center
It matters how words are used. When the Media Research Center attacks someone for pushing misinformation, it does so in no uncertain terms. Let's look at some examples from the past couple months: (bold added):
Ironic that an outlet funded by one of America’s most notorious billionaires was willing to push misinformation and Chinese propaganda while claiming to fight “bad information.”-- Joseph Vazquez, June 3
Cruz criticized Facebook for allowing communist China to push misinformation on the platform about its human rights violations against Uyghurs, while simultaneously censoring the 45th president of the United States.-- Alec Schemmel, June 16
Now that the "anti-trans" states are outlined for the American public, the special includes a completely ludicrous segment of misinformation on medical intervention on vulnerable children being “life-saving.” -- Veronica Hays, June 18
Misinformation: Nets LIE as GOP Saves Country from Election Power Grab -- Nicholas Fondacaro, June 22
Lies and misinformation, this is CNN. -- Nicholas Fondacaro, June 22
The new targets are white Americans who are presumed guilty of exploiting racism for “their own political and financial gain.” And the new media misinformation is that none of this is happening at all, it’s just right-wing panic and propaganda. -- Tim Graham, July 9
But when the MRC's fellow right-wingers get caught pushing misinformation -- particularly regarding coronavirus and COVID vaccines -- it's never defined so aggressively, and it is usually put in scare quotes or accompanied by other qualifying language. Again, from the past couple months (bold added):
MRC president Brent Bozell said in a tweet: “Facebook, which claims to be fighting ‘misinformation’ essentially admitted today that THEY have been spreading misinformation for over a year. Yet another reason to remove the protections Facebook and others receive from section 230.” -- Kayla Sargent, June 7
The platform recommended WHO information to users who had a history of engaging with content that the platform deemed to be misinformation. -- Alex Schemmel, June 11
Last year, a video promoted by former President Trump that detailed the potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine was removed from YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for “misinformation.” -- Autumn Johnson, June 11
YouTube has constantly censored what it considers misinformation about COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. -- Kayla Sargent, June 21
The organization's lawsuit alleged that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent letters to Facebook and Google regarding “vaccine misinformation.” -- Kayla Sargent, June 30
CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter is always decrying "misinformation" from conservative media, but extreme climate panic is never considered inaccurate. -- Brad Wilmouth, July 5
Trump said that Big Tech’s apparent war with what it deemed to be misinformation could be traced back to the government. -- Kayla Sargent, July 8
The Biden administration continued its rampage against what it deems to be "misinformation" about COVID-19. -- Kayla Sargent, July 15
The Biden administration announced at a press briefing on Facebook Friday that it was working with Facebook to censor posts that contained “misinformation.” -- Auitumn Johnson, July 16
The social-media sites offered statistics on how much COVID "misinformation" they removed -- which probably includes anything on the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. -- Tim Graham, July 17
Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen whined about the Biden administration’s rampage over so-called misinformation about COVID-19 in a blog post. -- Kayla Sargent, July 19
The Biden administration said it is trying to censor so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19 online, then completely denied it four days later. ... Psaki responded by flip-flopping on whether the White House planned to take down what it deemed to be misinformation about COVID-19 online. -- Kayla Sargent, July 20
The Biden administration has faced criticism for working with Facebook to flag what they deem “misinformation” and the President’s declaration that “Facebook is killing people.” -- Bridget O'Neal, July 20
President Joe Biden’s administration is considering a massive reform of Section 230 to bully Big Tech into censoring so-called misinformation from conservative sources online. -- Alexander Hall, July 21
Twitter, of course, has refused to allow anything it deems to be misinformation about COVID-19 or its vaccines on the platform.-- Kayla Sargent, July 22
The Biden administration has continued its war against what it considers COVID-19 misinformation. ... U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy panicked about the threat of COVID-19 and so-called “misinformation” online in a July 22 address, according to Reclaim the Net. -- Kayla Sargent, July 26
Nine GOP senators wrote a letter to President Joe Biden demanding answers for the White House flagging so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19 on social media. -- Kayla Sargent, July 27
Apparently, in the MRC's eyes, there's an unambiguous, objective definition of what misinformation is when its political enemies do it but a fluid, subjective definition when its allies do it.
That's just another MRC double standard showing how little its word can (and should) be trusted.
Homophobic WND Columnist Smears LGBT People As 'Predators Of Children' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie hates LGBT people, so it's so surprise to see him serve up another homophobic frekout in his June 15 WorldNetDaily column:
Our children are not safe. They are the prey of reprobate sodomitic predators who are encouraged and supported in their demonic deviancy from the White House to the preschool classroom. And let there be no doubt about it: There is nothing normative about the conversion of children into anti-God sexual trinkets for perverts.
Dr. Michael Brown spoke well when he wrote:"… the homosexual movement could not grow by reproduction, it had to grow by seduction. … The homosexual movement cannot grow by biological replication, so instead, it puts its emphasis on ideological indoctrination."
And therein lies most of the reason for sexual cannibalization of the minds of our young.
This is not by accident; it is by design. It is part of a well designed, carefully orchestrated and successfully implemented satanic attack against the family. The plan has been successful to date because the demonic legislatures, rumored-to-be-participatory jurists and child-molesting, pro-homosexual presidents. Hollywood and television has made what should be viewed as criminal and/or mentally ill fashionable.
Along with other groups and churches, I have been warning parents about the homosexual plan to use vile behavioral-modification tactics and their alphabet moniker horror groups to subvert the classroom environment.
The leaders of these alphabet homosexual groups are morally opprobrious and bankrupt of any measurable semblance of truth. In brief they are pernicious liars and of the highest order. It never fails that whenever I write exposing the threat to family and children these groups pose, their minions claim I am lying. But that is because they have no choice. I place my record of being right beside their record of being liars any time and anywhere.
I contend, and nothing dissuades me, that the real reasons sexual deviants are forcing sexual deviance upon children in Kindergarten through fifth grade is because the sexual deviancy they practice is not normal, neither is it genetic. Ergo, they must continually find ways to replenish their kind. If they do not desensitize young children to the abnormality and ungodliness of this perversion by the time untainted children are adults, they will reject personal participation in this deviant sexual practice.
As he has before, Massie invoked something called the "Gay Manifesto" (which he continues to insist on calling the "Homosexual Manifesto"), treating the satirical piece as utterly serious and getting that wrong too, whining that the author "and his perverts claimed his manifesto was just a humorous joke and everyone understood that except Christians. Fast forward to the zeitgeist of today, and it is apparent many are not laughing at abhorrent filth being forced upon our children."
Massie kept up the hate in a July 5 column that started out much the same way, with added complaining that his homophobia was being called out:
Let me be clear. Despite every lie you have heard and/or believed, there's nothing normal nor natural about the sexually deviant practice of homosexuality. The so-called "lgbtq" assemblage of sexual amoral deviancy is as unnatural, unhealthy and abnormal as an unemptied chamber pot at the kitchen table.
I've been ahead of the curve in warning about the social decline in America; and with every warning came assertions by demonic minions mocking me and calling me names.
May 30, 2013, a front group for People for the America Way called Media Matters, both of which are neo-Leninist groups committed to subversion of all truth and morality through demonic agitprop and intimidation, lashed out at me. Satan had to do his best to downplay my truth, and as usual he chose them to attempt same. I'd written in a syndicated op-ed, "Let the homosexuals have the Boy Scouts."
That column was his usual unhinged reaction to the Boy Scouts allowing openly gay youth to join the group, in which he asserted that boys would be "coerced into homosexual behavior" because of their "hormones." We'd also argue that Media Matters has a much better record of telling the truth than Massie does. (Note: We used to work for Media Matters.) He continued to rant:
I, along with others, have warned parents (and America) that demonic godless hordes were hell-bent and determined to destroy the biblical standard for family, marriage and child-rearing. I warned that each encroachment into society was a strategical act to advance their goal of destroying the biblical standard for family and propriety.
I'm right – and those attacking me are fools. These pernicious calumniators have maligned my cautions and warnings, but I've been as right as rain. Today we have Kellogg's cereals promoting homosexuality on the most grotesque and abdominal levels heretofore conceived to those most vulnerable.
I don't give a rat's behind what people call me, as long as I am speaking the truth. My position may be as unpopular as Christians protesting abortion, but what I've said is unimpeachable truth. And that doesn't change because the devil's minions call it untrue.
Massie is a hater and a liar, not a truth-teller. And that's the unimpeachable truth.
Newsmax Columnist Cites Racist Writer In Bashing Juneteenth Topic: Newsmax
Pedro Gonzalez used his July 7 Newsmax column to complain about Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday:
Juneteenth, in truth, marks the death of the old American nation and the birth of a new one, clawing out from the chest of the Republic in a nightmarish vision that would make Ridley Scott squirm.
The new holiday emerged from the mists of June with feeble opposition from Republicans, who spent months railing about the evils of anti-white critical race theory and the New York Times' “1619 Project,” only to turn around and inaugurate a national holiday to honor and validate the basic narrative underlying those things.
Just 14 Republicans voted against federalizing the holiday. It didn't matter to the GOP that a paltry 7 percent of Republican voters wanted it as a new holiday and that more than 60 percent of Americans know "nothing at all" or only "a little bit" about Juneteenth—though that will surely change now.
Gonzalez then tried to bolster this argument:
There is a historical precedent to Juneteenth: President Ronald Reagan’s signing of Martin Luther King Jr. Day into law, an event which Samuel Francis wrote about in the May 1988 issue of Chronicles.
Francis accurately predicted that the logic behind destroying Confederate symbolism would extend to virtually every other symbol of the historic American nation in the shadow of the King holiday.
He also perceived King's entry into the national pantheon, towering over the likes of George Washington, as marking the consummation of a new order that grew out of the smoldering ashes of the old.
"We forfeited the right to revere the Constitution, the governmental principles and mechanisms it established, and the men who wrote it when we put Dr. King into the pantheon," Francis wrote.
"The federalism, rule of law, states' rights, limits on majority rule, checks and balances, and separation of powers that characterize the Constitution," Francis explained, "all are incompatible with the full blossoming of the egalitarian democracy that Dr. King envisioned and which is the completion of the radical reconstruction to which his holiday commits us."
Gonzalez didn't mention that Francis was a racist -- to the point that he was the editor of the newsletter for the whit-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens until his death in 2005.So, yeah, he was never going to be very complementary to the introduction of a King holiday. Like Francis did, Gonzalez writes for the right-wing journal Chronicles, where he is an associate editor.