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Wednesday, September 1, 2021
MRC Seeks Revenge On Fact-Checker That Called Out A Dubious MRC Graphic
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center is completely unable to handle criticism, lashing out whenever it work is examined by fact-checkers. Now it's taking those tantrums to the next level. First, Alexander Hall grumbled in an Aug. 9 post:

Facebook’s approved fact-checker PolitiFact rated a graphic from the Media Research Center as “FALSE,” even though the image merely shared a chart from the Center for Disease Control.

Facebook’s trusted flagger PolitiFact came after the Media Research Center (MRC) for citing a graphic first released by the CDC. “A conservative group that focuses on exposing what it describes as leftist bias in the news media misled its Facebook audience by claiming that fewer than 2,000 people are currently hospitalized in the United States with COVID-19,” Politifact reported. 

PolitiFact executive director Aaron Sharockman informed the Media Research Center: “We will soon be publishing a fact-check of this image.” The Facebook fact-checking partner acknowledged that “[t]he image cites the CDC, and we were able to locate the same data,” but claimed that it did not have appropriate context:

“However, the data represents just 10% of the population and does not include places like Texas and Florida. Those two states alone have nearly 20,000 current COVID hospitalizations, according to HHS and state data. These disclaimers were attached to the CDC data but not to your graphic. Florida is experiencing record hospitalizations, according to state data.”

MRC spokesperson Iris Miller explained to PolitiFact that “This is the same chart that is on the CDC's website, found at: https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/covidnet/COVID19_5.html,” and quipped, “If you disagree with the data or the chart, you should fact-check the CDC.”

PolitiFact acknowledged that “while the Media Research Center copied the CDC data accurately, it failed to include a very important CDC-issued disclaimer.” Claiming to need a five-paragraph disclaimer for merely citing a graphic from a major institution is the new rule now apparently. PolitiFact tried to combine three fact-check categories into one. It failed to note its issue as one of context, and chose to instead label the entire graphic as “FALSE,” but called it “partly false information” on Facebook.

Hall omitted the fact that it was using the incomplete CDC data to push the right-wing narrative that the Delta variant wasn't that bad and didn't warrant any special attention or directiveds to keep the variant from spreading, and "the media" was making much ado about nothing. Because the graphic's data lacks the context that it's only a tiny number of the total amount of cases, the graphic's message is false.

Having been caught red-handed peddling misinformation, Hall then tried to play victim and attack PolitiFact -- and, irrelevantly, the Poynter Institute because PolitiFact's editor in chief wrote a piece published at Poynter calling for further crackdowns on misinformation, a commonsense idea that Hall felt the need to maliciously interpret as "more censorship." Hall did not explain why he thinks lies and misinformation are "free speech."

But the MRC's tantrum didn't stop there-- it's now lashing out  at PolitiFact for busting it. An Aug. 25 post went into full victimhood mode, declaring that "Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, in conjunction with the Free Speech Alliance, joined 10 other conservative leaders in demanding the International Fact-Checking Network remove PolitiFact as a fact-checker for violating IFCN’s Code of Principles. More than 40 conservative leaders have signed on to the open letter led by the Free Speech Alliance and MRC’s Bozell."

The letter rehashed Hall's complaint -- and his omission that the incomplete data the MRC used was done so in order to forward a false agenda, huffing that "This is an egregious, unmerited and overtly biased action against a viewpoint the liberal PolitiFact disagrees with." The letter provides no evidence that PolitiFact "disagrees" with the MRC graphic's message because it's "liberal."

The letter never explicitly claimed that PolitiFact's fact-check of the MRC violated the IFCN's principles -- instead, it hauled out other grievances against PolitiFact to list the priniciples it claimed were violated, then went on an unsubstantiated partisan tirade:

PolitiFact’s crusade against conservatives is especially troubling given the ubiquitous censorship of conservatives on social media. The backdrop of this controversy is a huge push by the federal government to censor online content. The White House disturbingly announced that it was colluding with social media companies to censor so-called “disinformation” regarding COVID-19. This coordination has overwhelmingly harmed conservatives who are naturally more skeptical of Big Government mandates. 

This Orwellian behavior on the part of the federal government is, in its own right, potentially fatal to the health of a free society and fascistic. But together with the behavior of organizations like PolitiFact and the censorship of conservatives by Big Tech, the current situation poses an existential threat to our free and open society. 

If dissenting viewpoints are dropped down the memory hole, if only those voices that are acceptable to the state and Big Tech are allowed, our civil and political society are in jeopardy.

Yes, the MRC is once again trying to justify lies and misinformation by conservatives as "free speech." The IFCN should be able to easily see through the MRC's partisan ranting and see their complaint has no basis in reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EDT
Dominion Sues Newsmax Over Bogus Voter Fraud Claims
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's legal troubles over its aggressively pro-Trump reporting after the 2020 presidential election have yet to end. Last month, Dominion Voting Systems -- the company that supplied some of the voting technology used in elections -- sued Newsmax, along with fellow pro-Trump outlet One America News Network and others, for their role in pushing false claims about the company.

A Newsmax spokesperson tried to push back by playing victim: "“While Newsmax has not reviewed the Dominion filing, in its coverage of the 2020 Presidential elections, Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress — Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press.” But the lawsuit makes it clear what Newsmax did and why Dominion thinks it was done:

Dominion’s attorneys opened their Newsmax complaint with a series of quotes, including one from Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy in which he said, “In this day and age, people want something that tends to affirm their views and opinions.”

Among other things, the lawsuit singled out one of the network’s signature shows, Greg Kelly Reports, for a segment called “Democracy or Dominion,” based on Powell’s claim that Dominion and Smartmatic software shifted millions of votes.

“Throughout this time, Newsmax recklessly disregarded the truth; indeed, Newsmax knew the statements it repeatedly broadcast about Dominion were lies,” the lawsuit stated. “Specifically, Newsmax knew the vote tallies from Dominion machines had been confirmed by numerous independent audits and hand recounts of paper ballots following the election.” Dominion’s attorneys also pointed to statements from figures such as then-Attorney General William Barr and then-Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs, debunking the claims.

The lawsuit also pushed back against Newsmax’s argument that it was merely reporting on the election claims.

“Newsmax made the intentional and knowing choice to depict—and then publicize, endorse, and fuel—the lies about Dominion as truth, creating and promoting an alternate reality that duped millions of Americans into believing that Dominion stole the 2020 election from President Trump. It repeatedly broadcast the lies of facially unreliable sources — lies which Newsmax itself adopted, endorsed, promoted, and manufactured,” the lawsuit states.

“In short, this lawsuit is not about Newsmax covering President Trump; it is about Newsmax courting President Trump, by feeding its audience a torrent of lies that supported the false narrative that President Trump won the election.”

As we've documented, Newsmax tried to forestall a lawsuit from Dominion and fellow voting-tech company Smartmatic last December by issuing a statement pushing back against right-wing attacks on the companies -- even though Newsmax made those same attacks on TV and its website. In April, Newsmax settled a lawsuit from Dominion executive Eric Coomer by, in part, issuing a statement defending him.

Newsmax's own article on the latest Dominion lawsuit, by Marisa Herman, gave a further hint at its possible defense:

After the 2020 election, Newsmax interviewed and reported on the statements made by  Trump, his attorneys, elected officials, and others who made claims about Dominion.

During its election results coverage, Newsmax made several requests for an interview with Dominion’s spokesman, who declined to come on the network.

Newsmax also hosted and aired multiple guests who claimed the election was not stolen or rigged and disagreed with the Trump campaign claims.

On Dec. 19, 2020, Newsmax issued a statement clarifying its coverage, noting that “No evidence has been offered that Dominion … used software or reprogrammed software that manipulated votes in the 2020 election.”

In correspondence with Dominion, Newsmax also noted that though the Trump campaign did not provide evidence of software manipulation, this does not mean the voting company never acted wrongly.

That appears not to have swayed Dominion enough to keep it from suing Newsmax, so it's unclear how that would hold up in court.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:02 PM EDT
WND's Magazine Doubles Down On Trump's Big Lie About The Election
Topic: WorldNetDaily

These days, WorldNetDaily is very much into dedicating its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine to amplifying the lies and misinformation that infest its main website. It did that with coronavirus, and now it's doing so with election fraud.

Doubling down on editor Joseph Farah's embrace of Trump's Big Lie, the July-August issue of Whistleblower is titled, "Yes, the 2020 election was stolen." The introductory promo taken from David Kupelian's essay touts how greatDonald Trump supposedly was and how terrible Joe Biden supposedly is, then asks: "In short, was the 2020 election truly fair? Or was it rigged?" Kupelian is then quoted:

"This Whistleblower issue," says bestselling author and Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian, "takes a 30,000-foot view and explores all of the components of what was in reality a rigged 2020 election – from actual conventional voter fraud, to Google’s turning an estimated 6 million 'undecided' voters to Biden, to social media and major news organizations and the 'deep state' all working together to suppress damning information about Joe Biden just before the election, to encouraging voter fraud under cover of COVID, to the Democrat-Media Complex's  underlying message that voter fraud is morally permissible because 'Trump is another Hitler' – and lays out an overwhelmingly convincing case that the 2020 election was the most corrupt in generations."

(Have we mentioned that WND repeatedly likened President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis, thus effectively pushing the underlying message that spreading lies about him -- such as its years-long birther obsession -- was morally permissible?)

The problem here, as it was in the COVID issue, is that many of the articles selected for the magazine were discredited at the time they were originally published on the WND website. They include:

  • “How we know Democrats rigged and stole the 2020 election: 10 questions Americans aren't allowed to ask, let alone answer” by Wayne Allyn Root

This first appeared as a May 10 column by Root that was turned into a "news" article the same day. We documented how seven of the questions have already been answered -- but they showed Root was repeating false claims.

  • “Audit team reports 74,000-ballot discrepancy in Arizona county’s mail-in votes”

This appears to be a repeat of a July 15 article by Bob Unruh. As we've noted, fact-checkers have found that the claim from the folks running the highly dubious audit in Arizona because it "appears to have come from a lack of understanding of the data contained in early voting reports."

  • “Shocker: Vote recount in 1 county had 60% error rate”

This is from a July 14 article by Unruh that cited the highly unreliable Gateway Pundit and the right-wing voter rights group in the state run by a conspiracy theorist. As we noted, a fact-checker debunked the claim, pointing out that given how Georgia election ballots had been recounted three times, "there is no chance that a large number of ballots were double counted."

  • “Texas probing hundreds of election fraud cases”

This comes from a June 28 article by Unruh. As we noted when CNSNews.com repeated this same claim, as made by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, an actual news outlet reported that the Texas Attorney General's office did report 534 cases of voter fraud in which people were charged -- but they date back to 2004. By contrast, nearly 94 million votes were cast in Texas elections since 2004, making the 534 cases of voter fraud an infintesimal issue. While there were also 510 cases being investigated at the time of the report, only one involved the 2020 election.

  • “Google can turn an election without 'vote fraud'” by Art Moore, on top Google researcher Robert Epstein, a Democrat, who warns of Big Tech’s dire “threat to democracy”

This appears to be from a July 6 interview Art Moore did with Epstein. As we've documented, his anti-Google reserarch is dubious at best. As for his star claim, as repeated by Kupelian, that  Google "turn[ed] an estimated 6 million 'undecided' voters to Biden," the Washington Post's Philip Bump noted: "Of course, the idea that people primarily base their decisions on what they learn from Googling candidates — particularly at the presidential level — is dismissible on its face. President Biden got a record level of support from Democrats even as Trump earned near-universal support from Republicans. Which of them was influenced by his or her search results?"

But Kupelian and WND aren't into publishing facts -- they want to push a narrative, and they don't care that it has been repeatedly discredited. The fact that it's so wiliing and eager to publlish lies -- not any "big tech" conspiracy against it -- is the reason WND remains at death's door.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 11:21 PM EDT
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
MRC Got Mad When It Was Pointed Out That Right-Wing Rage Against Critical Race Theory Was Manufactured
Topic: Media Research Center

In a June 20 post, Nicholas Fondacaro asserted that NBC's Chuck Todd "tried to lie to viewers by claiming that parental opposition and outrage to Critical Race Theory was 'manufactured at Fox [News].'" He claimed that Republican activist Brad Todd disproved the idea simply by saying (without offering proof) that the controversy was "a parent-led backlash at the grassroots level."

Fondacaro won't tell you because he's not being paid to tell the truth, but Todd is correct: In the three and a half months before Fondacaro's item was published, Fox News referenced critical race theory more than 1,200 times. That right-wing monomania extends the the MRC itself: According to a ConWebWatch search of the NewsBusters archive, critical race theory was referenced in a whopping 132 posts between April 1 and Aug. 31. Fondacaro went to highlight a reporter noting a controvesy over CRT in schools in Loudon County, Virginia -- where the MRC later sent its followers to inflame emotions at a school board meeting a couple days later. Fondacaro claimed the reporter's account of "dozens and dozens and dozens of parents" attending a school board meeting there as further evidencethat Tood was lying, though no apparently no proof was offered that those protesters actually had children in that school district.

Despite all that, the MRC continued to feel the need to melt down every time it was (accurately) pointed out that Republicans are ginning up anti-CRT outrage. On July 7, Tim Graham complained that Politico reported that "Republicans are hoping to turn that discord [over CRT] into political capital," offering whataboutism in response: "This carries the usual Democrat spin: it somehow leaves out that the Democrats and their race-based interest groups like the NAACP somehow aren’t waging 'culture wars,' and somehow the Democrats aren’t driving a narrative on race to beat the Republicans." Graham further grumbled:

This links to another Politico story on how "Trumpworld bets big on critical race theory," and "Republicans aren’t coy about what they are trying to do. It’s not just about changing curricula. It’s about taking back Congress." That story doesn't prove conservatives have no evidence. Instead, it notes that black journalists and entertainers are pushing "systemic racism" education. 

The focus of the Politico story was in Loudoun County -- and Graham failed to disclose that the MRC encouraged agitators to make noise at the meeting.

Fondacaro returned on July 9 to melt down over CNN's Chris Cuomo calling right-wing attacks on CRT "fake outrage":

As the saying goes, you know you’re over the target when you start getting flak. And that’s exactly what’s been happening with the liberal media franticly trying to protect critical race theory. On Thursday, it was CNN Prime Time host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo’s turn to flat-out lie, gaslight, and try to rehabilitate the image of the racist and socialist propaganda. Fredo even teamed up with American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten to claim CRT wasn’t being taught but yet it was.

[...]

But see, here’s the game that Cuomo was playing: full-blown critical race theory might not be tough as its own course but it influences lesson plans and approved reading material. As CRT critic Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute has documented, “At least 25 public school districts in 12 states are now teaching ‘Not My Idea,’ a book that claims ‘whiteness’ is the devil, luring children with the promise of ‘stolen land [and] stolen riches.’”

And the left was trying to proliferate it. But the media knew full well that’s what was happening.

Graham's column the same day groused that "'Critical race theory' has become the latest 'Republicans pounce' story, "going on to darkly warn: "The new courses are coming. 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." Graham didn't prove that right-wingers weren't spreading panic and propaganda.

In a July 13 video, Bill D'Agostino used clips of media folks blame Fox News and right-winger for manufacturing outrage over CRT -- which he didn't disprove -- then went on offer what CRT means to "the average person," which conveniently conforms to the right-wing narrative about it. He concluded with the usual right-wing fearmongering: "Consider doing your own research into what a bunch of suits on TV try to tell you about the world. And, hey, maybe consider skimming through your kids' textbooks when they get home from school."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EDT
WND's Root Goes Full Godwin: 'Welcome to 1938'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root began his Aug. 9 WorldNetDaily column by declaring, "This is the most important commentary I've ever written." But it turns out that by "most important," he meant "craziest and most Nazi-smearing":

This is 1938. I'm a Jew. I now understand just a little of what it felt like to be a Jew in 1938. No, it's not the Holocaust. Nothing can be compared to the Holocaust. Ever.

But 1938 was not the Holocaust. It was the pre-Holocaust. It was the time before the nightmare, when the foundation was being laid to destroy the freedom, free speech, businesses and lives of millions of Jews.

Everything happening today to the American people … to the U.S. Constitution … to freedom … and particularly to unvaccinated Americans reminds me of 1938. This is only the beginning. It gets much worse from here.

First, "the papers." Vaccine mandates and vaccine passports are just like 1938, when the Gestapo demanded papers from every German.

Republicans asked for "papers" from migrants who had broken into our country. Criminals. Democrats said, "No, that's racism." Republicans asked for "papers" once every two years for federal elections, to prove you have a right to vote. Democrats said, "No, that's racism."

Now Democrats want American citizens, not illegal aliens, not criminals, but patriots born in this country, to produce papers 24/7. We'll need papers to enter restaurants, bars, nightclubs, concerts, casinos, conventions and hotels and to board a train, plane or bus. We'll need papers to enter a supermarket, or we'll starve to death. All for the crime of being unvaccinated against … wait for it ...

The flu.

All for the crime of being unwilling to inject an untested, rushed to production, experimental, "for emergency use only" shot into our bodies.

Nope, Wayne, COVID is not the flu. Then he laughably insisted: "By the way, this isn't about vaccines. If you want the vaccine, take it. I'd never stop you. I'd never limit your freedom, your choice. This is about vaccine mandates – forcibly injecting Americans who don't want it. That's 1938." But if he's lying that the COVID vaccines are "untested, rushed to production, experimental," it's definitely about the vaccine. And never mind that when the pandemic began, Root was touting how "the coronavirus vaccine will be developed in a capitalist nation." He seemed pretty bullish on the vaccine back then.

But he wasn't done ranting or Nazi-baiting:

Stars on clothing. It's coming. The vaccinated get into restaurants, bars, concerts, supermarkets, planes and trains. They keep their jobs. The rest of us are marked as "subhuman" for life. That's the star. That's 1938.

Media and social media as the public-relations wing of the government. That's called propaganda. Remind you of 1938? Back then, the Jews' books were burned. Today, it's those of conservatives, patriots and specifically the unvaccinated. We are silenced. Our facts are labeled "misleading." Only the facts that agree with big government's agenda count. That's 1938.

Door-to-door intimidation and making lists of those who disagree with "government knows best." Trust me, that army of door-to-door vaccine brainwashers will soon be turned into a Gestapo of gun-grabbers. 1938 was the year Nazis banned Jews from owning guns. They took them door to door. That's 1938.

Only days ago, a former Department of Homeland Security official said the unvaccinated should be on the federal no-fly list. That's exactly how Nazis attacked the Jews and others who disagreed with their agenda. It was always lists. Lists of people to be disappeared in the middle of the night; lists of those to be sent to reeducation camps; lists of those to be sent to concentration camps; lists of enemies of the state. It's happening again. Maybe this time you'll only lose your job or free speech. This is, again, 1938.

It's all disgusting and disgraceful. But I'm warning you, this is just the start. It's all going downhill from here – fast. This is the end of America. This is 1938.

Root has to keep his readers agitated and hateful. Where does he go after smearing people he doesn't like as literal Nazis?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:52 PM EDT
Newsmax's Reagan Pushes COVID Misinformation
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Reagan has previously pushed COVID misinformation, and he's doing it again. He ranted in a July 31 Newsmax column:

"Chicken Little" made one wrong prediction of doom and the poor poultry spokesperson became a social pariah for eternity.

The CDC is a fountain of misinformation — predicting doom, backtracking on predictions, issuing decrees, backtracking on decrees, ignoring inconvenient science and recycling virus policies that didn’t work the first time — and yet pocket totalitarians in government at all levels follow CDC "expert" advice without question.

Now the pandemic porn purveyors at the CDC are using the Delta variant as the latest excuse to flex their authoritarian instincts.

It’s time to turn off the TV, step back, go outside for a maskless walk and then come back and evaluate the facts.

In a recent interview on CNBC’s "Squawk Box" Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Marty Makary tried to put the virus in perspective. "There’s a lot of good news out there, and I think that people need to hear that good news right now. People have an entirely distorted perception of risk."

Dr. Makary was polite enough to avoid pointing out the majority of the "distorted perception of risk" is due to what can be best decribed as the opposition media’s hyperventilating "Virus Apocalypse" coverage.

Here's context you don't get from the mask mandate militia:

Dr. Makary said the current threat presented by COVID-19 today is dramatically lower than it was one year ago. Even better, for younger Americans, "the case fatality rate of COVID has become similar to seasonal flu. 'Right now, we’ve got 1/50th the number of daily cases of this virus" compared with cases of flu during a mild season in the U.S.'"

COVID-19 cases less deadly than the flu?

We’ll wager you haven’t heard that on any of the leftist shout shows.

Perhaps because that's not really true -- 630,000 dead Americans would dispute the contention that COVID is safer than the flu if they weren't, you know, dead.

Also, Makary is perhaps one of the last people we should trust on COVID issues, since he's a misinformer who notoriously declared last winter that the U.S. would reach "herd immunity" from COVID' by April, which proved wildly wrong. He's since moved on to becoming a Fox News pundit.

Reagan repeated another right-wing pundit who insisted that the Delta variant "is literally the flu with a [case fatality rate] identical to it," prompting Reagan to add that "The Delta variant is actually good news since it’s less harmful and getting it provides robust natural immunity to any COVID virus."

Actually, the Delta variant is more transmissible than the flu, and there's no evidence that it's "less harmful" than the original virus. Further, a recent study shows that about half of people who have survived COVID still have lingering symptoms -- so much for the whole "less harmful" angle.

Also: You know what else provides robust immunity to COVID? Vaccination. Reagan weirdly doesn't advocate getting one.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
CNS Highlights Infrastructure Earmarks in Democratic Districts -- Not GOP Ones
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com cranked out a quartet of anonymously written hit pieces on July 29. The first:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $6,550,000 earmark aimed at stopping people from committing suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, which is in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district.

The second:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $7,200,000 earmark for building one block of a road in an industrial area of San Francisco that sits within Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district.

The third:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $2,400,000 earmark for that is called a “Community Beautification Project” in Glendale, Calif., which sits in Rep. Adam Schiff’s congressional district.

The fourth:

The $715-billion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month includes a $2,400,000 earmark for that is called the “Riverside Drive Pedestrian Mall” in New York, New York.

The money was request by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D.-Calif.) in whose Manhattan-based district the money would be spent.

Note that all four of these articles target projects in districts led by Democratic memnberts of Congress, with two of them specifically focused on Nancy Pelosi (part of its multi-pronged war on her apparently). None of these four articles, however, point out that the "member designated project authorizations" in the infrastructure bill that CNS is rather lamely attacking here are also available to Republican members of Congress, and they did indeed take advantage of these earmarks.

For instance,  one of the earmarks for Alaska -- which has a single House member, Republican Don Young -- is $5.6 million for phase 2 of the Seldon Road Extension in Wasilla (you might remember Wasilla as being Sarah Palin's hometown). Young issued a press release touting that the money for that projec tand two others in the state are in the bill, adding:

"I am encouraged that following my advocacy for the return of Congressionally directed spending, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is including funding for three separate Alaskan projects as part of the INVEST in America Act," said Congressman Don Young. "For too long, my colleagues and I have been unable to directly request funding for specific projects in our districts. This decade-long ban on 'earmarks' served only to shift Congress' rightful power to appropriate money to the Executive Branch, while denying needed funds to local entities. This Congress, through the Member Directed Projects program, we have begun to take incremental steps toward fully restoring the Article I powers of Congress. The projects approved by the Committee are important ones, and I am grateful for the chance to directly advocate on behalf of these endeavors and the communities they will support.

Yet CNS did not highlight this project or criticize Young for enthusiastically endorsing the idea of earmarks. Why? Because Young is a Republican, and CNS' editorial policy is to avoid criticize Republicans. That's why CNS will never call out President Trump and Senate Republicans for running up deficits during Trump's presidency though editor Terry Jeffrey and crew like to present themselves as deficit hawks -- and no problem attacking Democrats for deficits run up under their watch.

It's hypocritical, biased reporting -- and it's exactly what we've come to expect from CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 12:22 AM EDT
Monday, August 30, 2021
MRC's Latest Transphobic Hate Targets: An Actor, A Model, A Muppet And More
Topic: Media Research Center

How has the Media Research Center been hating transgender people lately? Let us count the ways. Gabriel Hays -- a huge transphobe -- melted down on June 29 over the idea of the transgender woman winning a beauty pageant:

One of the world’s premiere beauty pageants has fallen for the transgender craze and will be allowing a biological male to compete with the country’s most beautiful women for the crown of Miss America.

A transgender woman – or anatomically speaking, a dude – just beat out 21 real women for the title of Miss Nevada giving 27 year-old Kataluna Enriquez the chance to be crowned Miss USA in the larger beauty competition. Our hearts go out to all the women who have so far been deemed less beautiful than a literal man.

And we thought models had to deal with intense pressure, before they had to compete with men.

On July 13, Streetman repeated her assertion that being anything other than heterosexual is a manifestation of mental illness. In complaining about a Courtney Cox-hosted series about non-traditional couples navigating having a baby -- a concept she insists is "grossing everybody out" -- Streetman huffed:

The series is currently on season three and in June it released an episode featuring a trans couple who swapped roles. Cox describes this couple’s story as one of overcoming “trans discrimination.” The woman in the relationship identifies as a man but is pregnant, and the man identifies as the mother and had implants in an attempt to breastfeed the baby. No, I am not making this up. Watch for yourself:

[...]

That poor child is now being raised in a household with two mentally ill parents who are supposed to help their kid through life but don’t even know their own gender. God bless that baby.

And God help Streetman learn that people who are different from herself shouldn't be automatically hated or dismissed as mentally ill.

Hays served up more ranting in a July 14 post:

Ah, history is made yet again in our budding United States Socialist Republic. Hollywood has nominated its first ever biological male in a top Best Actress category.

And, no, this wasn’t some third rate awards show, like the BAFTAs or BET Awards, or even the SAG Awards. ‘Twas the primetime Emmys that pushed this gender-destroying, reality-bending boundary. On Tuesday July 13, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that actor Mj Rodriguez became the “first transgender performer to be nominated for a lead acting role in a primetime series” for the 73rd annual Emmy Awards.

Rodriguez was nominated for the “Best Lead Actress in a Drama” Emmy category. The awards ceremony is set to be held in September. 

Rodriguez – a biological male – starred in the latest and final season of FX’s LGBTQ centric series Pose, a show which featured ldquo;the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, including Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore and Hailie Sahar.”

Hays concluded by sneering, "Yeah, it’s one small step for trans kind, and one giant, disastrous leap backwards for literally everyone else.

On July 20, Abigail Streetman had a similar meltdown over a transgender woman becoming a Sports Illustrated swimsult model, under the hateful headline "Your Model's A Man, Baby!":

Sports Illustrated has gone completely anti-truth and released a new cover which features Leyna Bloom, who is a biological male. Despite what Bloom’s Twitter bio said, he is not helping to make the world or this country a better place. 

Sports IllustratedSwimsuit posted an announcement for the new swimsuit cover model’s on Twitter. As always the magazine releases three different covers for each edition, but Bloom was the first and only man to ever be promoted as a woman.

[...]

Sports Illustrated also wrote an article on Bloom on June 17, titled “Leyna Bloom Is On A Mission.” Yeah, a mission to distort the truth and deny reality.

[...]

Bloom further stated: “This is a huge milestone. When I was crying in MJ and Tyra [Banks’] arms, I was like, ‘This magazine is going to change the world.’” 

Maybe, but it definitely isn’t for the better.

Hays returned on Aug. 2 to spew hate on the idea of a transgender (or even cross-dressing) Muppet:

Disney continues to corrupt everything it touches. Since it now owns the rights to Jim Henson’s The Muppets that means The Muppets gets ruined, and by extension our children’s opportunity for quality entertainment. Recently the Disney Muppets spin off TV show, Muppet Babies made beloved character Gonzo into a trans woman, because anyone can be any gender these days.

Pop culture outlet Vulture reported on Gonzo’s new transgender iteration recently, praising the fact that the show for “3 to 8" year-olds is making such a pro-LGBTQ statement. Though this is disturbing propaganda that insists that parents trying to raise boys and girls normally aren’t doing it right.

Not to mention it’s super confusing for impressionable children.

This gender-subversive TV episode features the boy alien/thing (we’re pretty sure Gonzo has been a guy throughout Muppets’ history) donning a dress and becoming “Princess Gonzarella.” Apparently that’s the height of freedom and expression for Gonzo, who usually has to suffer through wearing boys’ overalls, t-shirts and sneakers out on the playground.

Hays further whined, "This is Disney propaganda so none of the Muppets found it weird. In fact they all loved it." Hays, of course, would be waiting outside the school to beat up this (completely fictional) character for being a little too swishy for his comfort. It must be such a sad existence Hays leads, being so consumed with people for people (real and fictional) who are different from him.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 30, 2021 10:28 PM EDT
WND Tries To Redefine Misinformation As Partisan, Subjective
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily is trying to make misinformation a subjective, partisan concept. In an Aug. 3 article, Bob Unruh redefined clear lies and misinformation as merely something others "disagree" with, while trying to pump up Donald Trump's obvious lies about the 2020 presidential election:

Twitter has announced it wants to crack down on information with which it disagrees, so it's enlisting the legacy news outlets of the Associated Press and Reuters to help.

A company executive handling "curation" of content, Joanna Geary, said, "I'm excited to announce a new collaboration with @AP and @Reuters to expand how we highlight credible content on Twitter."

However, both media organizations have taken one side in political arguments, with AP arguing in May that "Trump's 'Big Lie' imperils Republicans who don't embrace it," suggesting that Trump's concerns about vote fraud are a "lie."

The wire organization alleged, "Trump's discredited allegations about a stolen election did nothing to save his presidency when courtrooms high and low, state governments and ultimately Congress … affirmed the legitimacy of his defeat and the honesty of the process that let to it."

However, audits continue in several states where results raised concerns about the potential of fraud. And it is indisputable that leftist Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook donated some $350 million to leftists in various offices to help them "run" the election. Also, various state officials arbitrarily changed state laws to accommodate COVID even though the Constitution allows only state legislatures to do that.

The fact that no judge ever reviewed the evidence of fraud also undermines the claim that it didn't exist, as fact-checkers, often run by media groups, have claimed over and over.

Reuters, too, in May, claimed that President Trump was "poisoning" democracy with his "Big Lie," again without acknowledging the legitimate questions that have yet to be answered.

Unruh is lying when he claimed that only "leftists" received money from Zuckberberg's Center for Tech and Civic Life; the money was available to any election official who wanted it, and it helped the election go smoothly in a year when the pandemic disrupted things.

Unruh is also wrong about there being "legitimate questions" remaining about the election. No credible evidence has surfaced of substantial fraud that would change the outcome of the presidential election, though WND has continued to promote questions even though they have long been discredited.

Unruh expanded his whining to other subjects as well:

Legacy media and social media outlets repeatedly have censored discussion about information they don't like, even if it has proven later to be valuable, such as treatment for COVID with ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine, and well as information that they've later flip-flopped on, such as discussion of the Wuhan lab in China as the source of COVID. That discussion was banned for months, only to suddenly become accepted for discussion.

Many of the banned discussions have, in fact, been censored based on the fact that President Trump made statements on those issues, such as COVID treatments, election fraud, the false Russia collusion narrative promoted for years by Democrats and the media, and more.

In fact, those media operations successfully suppressed a New York Post story about scandals involving Joe Biden's son, Hunter, just before the 2020 election and a Media Research Center poll later revealed that had more people known about the allegations of misbehavior, enough would have avoided voting for Joe Biden to have changed the result of the election.

Unruh didn't mention that MRC poll was conducted by Trump's own pollster, raising questions about its bias. The HunterBiden laptop story has been promoted by two of the more biased and least credible outlets, the New York Post and the Daily Mail, and it has yet to be definitively proven the laptop was his. Meanwhile, treatment of COVID with ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine has not been proven "valuable," given the dearth of credible medical evidence to back it up (no matter how much WND wants you to believe otherwise).And it is not "false" to claim there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Unruh is just parroting WND's biased editorial narrative. If he had any integrity at all -- he was once a reporter for the Associated Press, so he did have some at one time -- he would take responsibility for spouting lies and misinformation.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 PM EDT
CNS Digs Up Old House Prayer For Another Obtuse Attack on Pelosi
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've noted CNSNews.com's recent penchant for repeaeting months-old -- or even years-old -- stories and treating them as news.This happened again in an anonymously written Aug. 5 article that rehashes something that happened nearly two years ago:

When the U.S. House of Representatives opened its meeting on Nov. 8, 2019, the clerk read a statement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) that she was appointing Rep. Jamie Raskin (D.-Md.) to sit in that day as speaker pro tempore.

Raskin then introduced guest chaplain, Pastor Deamon Scapin, to say the opening prayer.

“God of Heaven, let truth reign,” Scapin said near the beginning of his prayer.

“Bind the lying spirit of Satan and remove corruption, falsehood, and bias,” he ultimately said.

As with a previous article that repeated a months-old floor speech, no explanation is offered for why the article is appearing now, 20 months after the prayer being reported on was first made, or what, if anything, the anonymous writer found objectionble. Prayers to open legislative sessions are pretty much a daily occurrence and are typically not newsworthy in and of themselves. There may be a clue in the headline, however, which specifically refers to "Pelosi's House" even though Pelosi herself was not even there at the time.

CNS' multi-pronged war against Pelosi -- which include attacks on her religion for purportedly being insufficiently Catholic -- has gone into some weirdly obtuse places, such as an article a few weeks earlier which strangely obsessed over her saying "Oh, my God." This appears to be yet another one of those.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 30, 2021 4:30 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Blowing The Whistle On COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An issue of WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine attacked the "ruling elite" for purportedly suppressing news of dubious treatments for coronavirus -- a narrative that's riddled with false and misleading claims. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 AM EDT
Sunday, August 29, 2021
MRC Complains About 'Hit Piece' On GETTR That Echoes MRC' Hit Pieces On 'Big Tech'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Casey Ryan complained in an Aug. 2 post:

GETTR CEO Jason Miller fired back against Politico after the media outlet launched an attack against his new platform claiming that it is a hotbed for terrorist activity.

Politico reported that free speech alternative platform GETTR was “inundated with terrorist propaganda spread by supporters of Islamic State.” The liberal media outlet further reported that GETTR “features reams of jihadi-related material, including graphic videos of beheadings, viral memes that promote violence against the West and even memes of a militant executing [former President Donald] Trump in an orange jumpsuit similar to those used in Guantanamo Bay.” The story ended with a statement that Politico reportedly obtained from Miller. However, the GETTR executive said that Politico is “refusing to print [his statement] in its entirety.”

In his response on GETTR, Miller attacked ISIS and called out Politico for its reporting: 

“ISIS is trying to attack the MAGA movement because President Trump wiped them off the face of the earth, destroying the Caliphate in less than 18 months, and the only ISIS members still alive are keyboard warriors hiding in caves and eating dirt cookies. Buried beneath a misleading and inflammatory headline, however, even Politico acknowledges GETTR has a robust and proactive moderation system that removes prohibited content, maximizing both cutting-edge A.I. technology and human moderation.”

Politico’s hit piece against GETTR was headlined, “Jihadists flood pro-Trump social network with propaganda.” Several other media outlets also dogpiled GETTR and appeared to gleefully cover the story.

Ryan won't tell you that the thing Miller is complaining about is the exact same thing his MRC co-workers regularly do in their attacks on "big tech":

  • On Jan. 8, Kayla Sargent grumbled that Twitter suspended Trump after the Capitol riot ,but "it has ignored blatant pro-genocide propaganda from the communist Chinese government."
  • On June 2, Alec Schemmel complained that "Facebook has had no reservations about censoring conservative accounts. Yet, it allows accounts of state-controlled propaganda outlets from the genocidal regime of China to flourish. Forty accounts on Facebook, amassing over 751 million followers, are managed by Chinese state-controlled media outlets.
  • Schemmel wrote on June 16 that "Conservative lawmakers condemned Facebook for censoring former President Donald Trump while simultaneously allowing the Chinese Communist Party to post propaganda freely on its platform."
  • Schemmel asserted on June 28 that "Facebook continues to allow China to lie to the world about its human rights violations against Uyghurs, while simultaneously banning the former president of the United States from its platform."
  • On Aug. 1, Alexander Hall hyped that "Left-wing author of Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism Jillian C. York condemned former President Donald Trump for fomenting unrest in the past, but expressed wariness over Facebook’s ban of the infamous Taliban.
  • On Aug. 26, Schemmel dutifully reported a complaint from the CEO of Parler that Taliban representatives have Twitter accounts . Of course, he failed to disclose that Parler's chief financial backer, Rebekah Mercer, is also a leading financial backer of the MRC.
  • The same day, Hall touted how "former Secretary of Defense Chief of Staff Kash Patel torched Twitter for hosting the Taliban, following horrific terror attacks on American troops in Afghanistan."

Ryan sounded like a paid mployee of GETTR -- as all MRC employees do -- in trying to serve up some positive spin for Miller's benefit, touting how "the Washington Examiner previously reported that GETTR passed '1.5 million users in just 11 days.'" But as we've noted, that number turned out to be bogus; according to a report from the Stanford Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Center (h/t Wonkette), GETTR didn't actually reach 1.5 million users until the first week of August. Ryan went on to insist that despite a claim from the Daily Beast that GETTR "has struggled to gain much traction," "several prominent personalities have joined the platform."

The MRC is so determined to serve as the PR division of GETTR, in fact, that it devoted a second post the next day to Miller's complaints about the Politico article. That article, by Autumn Johnson, is mstly a repeat of what is in Ryan's piece, though it added a biziarre accusation from Twitter that the Politico piece was "funded by GETTR’s competitors in the tech and social media marketplace." Johnson apparently made no effort to seek substantiation of this claim from Miller, for none is provided; instead, Johnson linked to a commentary by Miller at the right-wing National Pulse website, in which he complained that data for the Politico piece came from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue," which he ranted " is funded by a list of GETTR’s Big Tech competitors." Which, of course, proves nothing; Miller offers no evidence to further his conspiratorial claim.

Interestingly, neither piece noted whether or not GETTR took down the jihadi accounts after they were made public.Johnson rehashed GETTR's moderation policies as cited in Miller's National Pulse piece, but he too did not explicitly state that the jihadi posts have been removed. Miller did ry to make excuses, stating that "To combat Islamic extremist content is a continuous battle, as our competitors can attest, and much of the objectionable content on our platform was posted before our official launch."

Again, the MRC's function here is PR, not fact -- just like it has been with Parler.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 29, 2021 11:18 PM EDT
CNS' Hot Pestering Intern Summer: The Final Round
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNS' summer of interns pestering members of Congress with leading gotcha questions came to an end with a classic -- if by "classic" one means a deceptively simple question designed to let conservatives virtue-signal for answering "no" and make liberals look bad for answering "yes." The question: “The debt of the federal government is $28.4 trillion. Is that too much?”with some getting the follow-up: “Is there any federal program or agency that you would eliminate to reduce the federal spending?”

Perhaps reflective of thet nature of the questions, CNS' list of victims this time is much more Republican-skewed this time around:

Most of the articles added conservative-friendly boilerplate that sounds like it was actually written by CNS editor Terry Jeffrey:

Over the last 39 years, the debt has ballooned, from $1.1 trillion to $28.4 trillion. The federal debt did not surpass $1 trillion until fiscal 1982. That fiscal year, according to the Treasury, the debt started at $997,855,000,000 and ended at $1,142,034,000,000.

In the 1994 Contract With America, conservative Republicans called for eliminating the Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Education, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In the federal government, in addition to the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, there are 15 departments, such as Defense, HHS, Commerce, and Education. Also, there are approximately 453 agencies.

According to The Hill, “The federal government employs nearly 9.1 million workers, comprising nearly 6 percent of total employment in the United States. The figure includes nearly 2.1 million federal employees, 4.1 million contract employees, 1.2 million grant employees, 1.3 million active duty military personnel, and more than 500,000 postal service employees.”

Jeffrey, of course, is a massive hypocrite on this issues, fulminating about deficit spending when it happens under Democrats but refusing to call out Republicans responsible for deficit spending on their watch≥

So what have the interns actually learned this summer? Not much, really. They got resume-friendly clips of them interacting with famous (for D.C.) people, but it's not hard to yell a question at a politician when he or she is walking past you, or to pretend you're a reporter who's "just asking questions" when those questions are designed to be politically loaded and to advance one particular ideological point of view. In short: they may have learned some stuff, but much of it doesn't necessarily involve journalism?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 29, 2021 11:31 AM EDT
Saturday, August 28, 2021
MRC Defends Drummer Fired From Band Over Refusing COVID Vaccine
Topic: Media Research Center

It's not tquite embracing the worst people (or the UFC) to advance right-wing narratives, but the Media Research Center came somewhat close by defending the right of an ex-member of a washed-out '90s band to refuse to get a COVID vaccine. Abitail Streetman wrote in an Aug. 4 post:

Vaccine mandates have been growing in popularity over the last couple months with companies like Tyson, Walmart, Google and Disney now all requiring the shot. But it’s not just theatres and businesses now. Pete Parada, drummer for The Offspring has been booted by his own band members for refusing to get vaccinated due to possible complications related to his medical history

Parada has been a member of this band since 2007 and stated in a lengthy Instagram post that he plans to release music with his daughter now. The musician took to his social media account to explain why his fans would no longer be seeing him on stage or around the band during their upcoming tour.

[...]

He explained that for him “the risks outweigh the benefits” and he holds no grudges towards his band. But he can’t promise that many of his fans won’t be upset, and rightfully so. We don’t accept racial discrimmination but prejudice against the unvaccinated, that’s perfectly acceptable. 

[...]

Parada also explained that those who haven’t yet been vaccinated have varying reasons for their decisions whether it’s a medical condition, “conscientious risk/ benefit analysis,” or “financial instability.”  He also had a strong message for those who aren’t willing to accept perspectives that differ from their own. “Let’s avoid the unfortunate tendency to dominate, dehumanize and shout down at each other.” 

Streetman clipped a portion of Parada's lengthyy statement, in which he mentioned "infomred consent," but said nthing else about it. That phrase is a buzzword for anti=vaxxers (like Physicians for Civll Defense, run by AAPS extremist and anti-vaxx fearmongerer Jane Orient) He also spouted more veiled anti-vaxx gobbeldygook that undermined his case. As Wonkette noted: "If he had said something like, "Please please please get your damn shots to protect yourselves and everyone else, and also to protect people like me who literally can't get the shots," that would have been OK. As it is, he kinda showed his cards.

And as others have pointed out, the band's leader, Dexter Holland, holds a doctorate in molecular biology, so Parada's dismissal is not without a medically informed basis.

Still, Streetman concluded by huffing, "If only our politicians actually knew how to control their desire for power, or at least hide it better.  Pay attention, this is only the beginning of a much larger issue." We'd take the word of a Ph.D. in molecular biology over that of a right-wing blogger.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 AM EDT
Jack Cashill's Obama Obsession Continues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been more than four years since Barack Obama left the White House, and WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill is still -- still! -- obsessed with him. Let's look at how that obsession has played out lately. He complained in his June 9 column:

For the people who wonder whether the Biden White House represents the third term of the Obama presidency, Barack Obama provided the answer last week in a wide-ranging interview with New York Times columnist Ezra Klein.

In Obama's esteemed opinion, the answer is definitely yes. In making this assertion, Obama reminded the nation just what small ball politics he and his minions play – at least when everyone is looking.

"I think that what we're seeing now, is Joe and the administration are essentially finishing the job," Obama told Klein. "And I think it'll be an interesting test."

Cashill declared that Obama was "the most divisive spin master in recent American history" -- apparently, he's never heard of Donald Trump -- than unironically huffed, "Division is his real legacy, and it is a legacy President Joe Biden seems hell bent on continuing."

In his June 30 column, Cashill lashed out at Michelle Obama:

From her days at Princeton forward, Michelle has projected a racial paranoia that her white-raised husband never did. Along with Jesse "I want to cut his nuts out" Jackson and Al "72 official White House visits" Sharpton, Michelle kept Obama locked in a past that left him feeling guilty for never having lived it.

Truth be told, Michelle never lived it either. She grew up in a comfortable two-parent family and wafted through life on a magic carpet of unearned benefits.

[...]

In truth, America was never afraid of Michelle, but Obama was. If Michelle ever becomes president, we might begin to understand why.

Cashill spent his July 7 column speculating about Obama's sex life, rehashing the utterly discredited claims made by Larry Sinclair:

For all his eccentricities and his petty rap sheet, Sinclair comes across as oddly believable.

As a white man, he understood better than most how his accusation would be perceived. "All of a sudden," he said, "you're called a racist, a bigot."

ew people actually called Sinclair a racist because the media made sure no one saw or heard of the press conference. Politico, for instance, refused to publish Sinclair's "outlandish" allegations because they were "unsubstantiated."

No, Jack, Sinclair was never believable, oddly or otherwise.

In his July 21 column, Cashill melted down because in his memoir, "Barack Obama had the nerve to quote the great Soviet dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn," becuase "he and his woke cronies had canceled Solzhenitsyn many moons ago." He concluded by whinning further: "There is little joy and less surprise in watching Obama and Biden lie America's way to socialism. As Solzhenitsyn understood, there was no other way to get there."

On July 28, Cashill reminded us that he's still a birther:

Parents who moved abruptly to Hawaii to protect their daughter's reputation would have had little compunction about recruiting a friendly African eager to extend his visa courtesy of a pregnant American "wife."

Registering a home birth six months after it actually happened would be the final step in a well-executed plan to save face and give their grandson an identity.

If my suspicions are right, the real issue may not be where Obama was born, but when. It's possible that Ann fled Hawaii in late August 1961 with a baby who was just a few weeks old, but her decision to leave would seem much more prudent if the baby had been born several months prior.

[...]

As to the birth certificate the Obama camp produced in April 2011 under Donald Trump's prodding, recall that the law firm that produced it, Perkins Coie, was also responsible for the Steele dossier. Draw your own conclusions.

Because Cashill cares more about conspiracy theories than the truth, he's certain to do exacctly that.

Oh, did we mention that Cashill has a new anti-Obama book? He does, and its premise is that "Obama inhabits a smug, elite liberal America in which conservatives are not welcome. Indeed, from Obama’s perspective, their every thought, gesture, and vote is insincere and likely racist." Just what we'd expect from Cashill.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 AM EDT

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