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Friday, September 10, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Bombing-Psaki Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck buries any news of a #PsakiBomb -- he'd rather bomb Psaki. Amid the fall of Afghanistan, Houck showed he was mnre interested in taking partisan shots than suypporting America with his near-orgasmic glee over White House press secretary Jen Psaki taking tough questions from reporters on the subject -- and without his man-crush Peter Doocy on duty. Houck harrumphed after the Aug. 17 briefing:

Though most of it didn’t make the Tuesday network evening newscasts, the White House press corps made an effort to raise tough questions with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Press Secretary Jen Psaki amidst the collapse of Afghanistan, showing that neither had the answers to basic questions about how they’ll ensure the safe departure of American citizens and Afghan allies, the plight of Afghan girls, and what this means for our commitments around the globe.


With Fox’s Peter Doocy not in the room, the most effective reporter fell to his colleague Jacqui Heinrich (who only questioned Psaki) and, surprisingly, CBS’s Weijia Jiang, who did the opposite of Shear with short, pointed questions.

Doocy was back for Houck to swoon over (anlong with fellow right-winger Philip Wegmann) for the Aug. 23 briefing:

To go along with two horrendously bad Pentagon press briefings and another at the State Department, the White House joined in Monday afternoon with a shellacking at the hands of the press corps on Afghanistan. For this installment, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Press Secretary Jen Psaki took fire from all angles, ranging from Fox News to NPR.

Led by Fox’s Peter Doocy and Real Clear Politics’ Philip Wegmann, Team Biden was grilled about whether Americans have been “stranded” by their own government, whether Americans outside Kabul will be rescued, and how can the U.S. take to heart anything that emanates from the Taliban.


Fast-forward a few minutes to the one-two punch of Doocy and Wegmann, which featured the latter telling Sullivan that Biden “has criticized his predecessor,” “the Afghan army,” and “the Afghan government for all of their failures,” but not the Taliban.

It was a full-on Doocy-gasm, however, for the Aug. 24 briefing:

Appearing almost four hours late in the White House Briefing Room, Press Secretary Jen Psaki faced more excellent questions Tuesday afternoon over the Biden administration’s handling of Afghanistan. As was the case on Monday, Fox’s Peter Doocy led the way with questions about vetting Afghan refugees, whether she’d take back her claim that people aren’t “stranded” in Afghanistan, and whether the Taliban now has “the same kind of influence over military planning as” Biden.

Called on sixth, Doocy got right to work: “Is there any concern that maybe trying to reach this deadline and get everybody out, mistakes are being made, now that there is a report that at least one of the Afghan evacuated to Qatar has suspected ISIS ties?”

Psaki replied there’s “a stringent vetting process which includes background checks before any individual comes to the United States” and thus is something the administration has taken “incredibly seriously.”

Psaki also had a Baghdad Bob moment as she proclaimed that “this is now on-track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in U.S. history” and thus “I would not say that is anything but a success.”

Houck's beat ( or, perhaps, the beating off) continued for the Aug. 25 briefing:

After almost an entire week away on vacation (aside from an August 23 briefing), The Psaki Show hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly for the Biden administration and, like Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday was no exception as Press Secretary Jen Psaki had little in the way of friendly reporter questions as Fox’s Peter Doocy had the cavalry on his side in pressing on issues surrounding the collapse of Afghanistan.

In Doocy’s case, he called out Biden cracking a joke about the humanitarian disaster, why did Biden spend so much time on Tuesday talking about his Build Back Better, and does the U.S. still have a policy of not negotiating with terrorists since we’ve had to lob constant pleas at the Taliban to not attack U.S. troops or those fleeing the country.

Doocy led off with how Biden had brushed aside NBC reporter Peter Alexander’s Afghanistan question hours earlier during a pool spray about cybersecurity by saying this when asked what he’d do for Americans still in Afghanistan after the August 31 deadline: “You’ll be the first person I call!”

Doocy posed a simple question: “So, what’s so funny?”

Houck thinks it's quite hilarious any time he can denigrate Psaki. That does seem to be where he gets his jollies these days.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT
WND Is Still Spreading Hirschhorn's COVID Misinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joel Hirschhorn has been one of WorldNetDaily's biggest COVID misinformers over the past year, and even though we've repeatedly proven him wrong, WND continues to give a platform to spout more misinformation. He ranted in his Aug. 2 column:

One of many COVID pandemic falsehoods is that if people just get vaccinated, all will be well for the individual and the nation. This is pure deceit. Why is the government feverishly spewing out this message? One simple reason, namely to promote even more vaccination. In the fight against vaccine hesitancy and rejection, the government must keep reassuring the public that once you get vaccinated you are home free.

So why is the government now mandating masking even for the vaccinated and in some places more lockdowns? Aside from a huge amount of data on deaths (now more than 50,000) and injuries from the experimental vaccines themselves, there is big media suppression of data on how the vaccinated are suffering from reinfection, called breakthrough infections.

You may hear that getting reinfected after vaccination is better than not getting vaccinated and getting COVID for the first time. But this argument fails to fully acknowledge all the deaths and serious injuries from getting any experimental vaccine in the first place.

Hirschhorn is lying when he claims thgat COVID vaccines have claimed "more than 50,000" deaths. He knows he's lying, because he's deliberately misinterpreting federal data on vaccine side effect. Yet he continues to tell the lie, and WND lets him do it. He also linked to an anonymous website purporting to gather data on vaccine side effects but appears to be geared toward dishonestly scaring people out of getting a vaccine.

Hirschhorn then tried to blame breakthrough infections on the purported ineffectiveness of the vaccine by citing data from Israel:

Data from other countries also shed light on the problem.

Data from Israel found that "more than [new COVID] 3,000 cases – or approximately 40% – occurred in people who had received a COVID-19 vaccine." The same fraction has been reported for U.K. Any indication by the government that the situation is very different for the U.S. is nonsense.

Hirschhorn's source is an article on a far-right website written by one of the most notorious COVID misinformers, quack doc Joseph Mercola, so there's no reason to trust it. But as an honest medical expert explained, there may be more cases of severe COVID among vaccinated people in Israel because there are so many vaccinated people; a far higher percentage of unvaccinated people in Israel are catching COVID, compared to the percentage ofvaccinated people.

Hirschhorn spread m ore vaccine fearmongerin in his Aug. 19 column:

Admittedly, people face a difficult decision on whether or not to take an experimental COVID vaccine. So much information tells the ugly story of people who have suffered illness or death because they were not vaccinated. But there are increasing stories of breakthrough infections despite vaccination. Why? Because these vaccines are not working very well.

How can Americans make good, informed decisions about the vaccines? Especially those who have refused to capitulate to the coercion and propaganda? They need good information, especially about blood clots and bleeding that have injured and killed many people worldwide.

They will not get that from the mainstream big media. They will get it from this article.

No, they won't. Remembner that it has been found that you're more likely to get a blood clot from a COVID infection than a COVID vaccine.

Hirschhorn went on to cite a "medical research article" published not in a journal but, rather, at a website called Doctors for COVID Ethics -- a shady fringe group that is "demanding the immediate withdrawal of all experimental gene-based COVID-19 vaccines" -- that ranted about "spike protein" from the Pfizer vaccine, calling it "poisonous"; Hirschhorn added, "The strong language used by these doctors is worthy of respect." Actually, one of the authors, Sucharit Bhakdi, is a rabid anti-Semite who has claimed that Jews "learned the evil" from the Nazis, and that Israel is "a living hell." This is who Hirschhorn this is "worthy of respect."

But it wasn't until nearly the end of his lengthy, fear-filled article that Hirschhorn conceded the truth: "Of course, the risk of getting serious blood clots seems much higher for those who get a serious case COVID-19 then it is for those who get vaccinated. They tend to be acute, near-term impacts amenable to various treatments, though sadly not lifesaving in all cases."

Hirschhorn has been proven wrong too many times to be trusted. The fact that WND does -- and continues to give him a platform to spout his misinformation -- is yet another reason WND can't be trusted.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 PM EDT
CNS' Double Standard On Back-Turning

When track athlete Gwen Berry turned away from the American flag during a medal ceremony at an Olympic trial competition, was quick to attack:

  • Melanie Arter surprisingly did offer Berry's side of the story, but also complained that White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended "the right of people granted to them in the Constitution to peacefully protest."
  • CNS published a column by Ben Shapiro ranting that "Berry just saw an opportunity to maximize her profile," going on to huff that "America currently rewards an entitled sense of grievance."
  • An article by Craig Bannister repeated a claim by Caitlyn Jenner calling Berry's protest "disgusting" and "kind of her last hurrah." In keeping with CNS' hatred of transgender people and its confusion about how to handle Jenner now that she's outed herself as a right-wing Republican, Bannister also made sure to add that Jenner is "a transgender 'female' who used to be Bruce Jenner."

But when police officers showed a similar lack of respect by an instance of back-turning, CNS was all for it. From an Aug. 10 article by Bannister:

Chicago police officers turned their backs on Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot Saturday evening after two of their fellow officers were shot, one fatally – and Lightfoot deserved it, the president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police said Monday.

As ABC 7 Chicago reports, the two officers were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where “hundreds of officers gathered after 10 p.m. to stand guard and pray”:


“For the two-and-half years that she has been mayor, she has vilified the police,” John Catanzara, president of Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police, told Fox News on Monday, noting that Lightfoot ignored being told she was not welcome at the hospital where the officer was in Intensive Care:

“The men and women of this police department have no respect for this mayor, and it was as palpable as you could possibly imagine outside that hospital at the University of Chicago two nights ago.

“The mayor was told: Do not come up to the seventh floor of that hospital and speak to the family or the officer who was still injured, fighting for his life, Officer Yanez.

“But, yet, the mayor still thought she knew best and went up there, against the advice of the family. And, the officer’s father gave her a piece of his mind and the officers up there all turned their back to the mayor - and rightly so.”

No lecture from Bannister or anyone else at CNS about how a city leader deserves some sort of respect or how police were deciding they knew better than city officials on how to handle the situation.

Seems that the same form of protest should be treated the same. Not at CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
Thursday, September 9, 2021
MRC Censors News That Whistleblower It Attacked Got A Government Settlement
Topic: Media Research Center

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic past year, the Media Research Center was attacking anyone who dared to question how President Trump was handling the crisis or pointed out he was handling it poorly. ONe of those targets was Rick Bright, a federal employee who was fired as head of a HHS agency because he didn't promote Trump's pet drug hydroxychloroquine. The MRC insisted that Bright was "discredited' because a Politico article attempted to contradict his claims -- but it did so by citing only anonymous Trump officials, and we know how the MRC feels about anonymous sources.

Well, it tiurs out that Bright may have been more correct than the MRC will ever admit. Last month, Bright settled with HHS in "a financial agreement that compensated him for losses including salary, benefits and pension contributions after he was abruptly removed in April 2020 from his role as the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority." Bright even got HHS to say nice things about him:

In a statement, an HHS spokesman confirmed the settlement on the whistleblower claim.

"The Agency would like to thank Dr. Bright for his dedicated public service and for the contributions he made to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic while he served as BARDA Director. We wish him well in his new endeavors."

Bright's attorney added that Bright is working with the government on a second complaint he made to investigate "the prioritization of the Trump political agenda over the health of the American public constituting a grave danger to the public health and safety, and the circumvention of established protocol in order to award lucrative contracts without scientific merit."

Needless to say, the MRC has completely censored this story, and its certainly not going to update any of its previous attacks on Bright to reflect that he was right enough to get a nice settlement from the government.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:11 PM EDT
Doctor's COVID Misinformation Was Too Good For WND To Fact-Check
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh wrote in an Aug. 10 WorldNetDaily article:

An Indiana physician has delivered a stunning scolding to his local school board for listening to the "counterfactual" propaganda being delivered to America by the Centers for Disease Control about the COVID-19 virus that appeared out of a Chinese lab in Wuhan.

Dr. Dan Stock of McCordsville, Indiana, delivered to his board in the Mt. Vernon Community School Corp. a thumb drive containing studies about COVID, and said the problem is that people aren't using the facts when they want to fight coronavirus.

"I would suggest the reason we still have a problem is because we're doing things that are not useful and we're getting our sources of information from the Indiana State Board of Health and the CDC who actually don't bother to read science before they do this," he said.

He said first, masks don't help. And then, "No one can make this virus go away."

"You will be chasing this the remainder of your life until you recognize that the Center[s] for Disease Control and the Indiana State Board of Health are giving you very bad scientific guidance. And instead read the articles that are coming in the email and on this flash drive and listen to the people in this audience here tonight who actually have recognized the advice they are getting from the CDC and the NIH is counterfactual."


The doctor's testimony, online, shows he is a family medicine physician, trained " in immunology and inflammation."

"Everything being recommended by the CDC and the State Board of Health is actually contrary to all the rules of science," he alleged.

Viruses, he said, spread by aerosol particles that aren't stopped by masks.


Further, he asked why is a vaccine "that is supposedly so effective having a breakout in the middle of the summer when respiratory viral syndromes don't do that?"

In fact, handing out vaccines during the virus, can "causes the immune system to actually fight the virus wrong and let the virus become worse than it would with native infection."

And he said there are other treatments.

"I can tell you, having treated over 15 COVID-19 patients, that between active loading with vitamin D, ivermectin and zinc, that there is not a single person who has come anywhere near the hospital."

This was all too good for Unruh to fact-check, given that Stock's claims are in line with WND's conspiracy-driven editorial agenda. Actual, responsible journalists who fact-checked Stock, however, found his claims filled with misinformation:

Unruh offered no explanation as to why he refused to act like a journalist and fact-check Stock when many other actual journalists did.

But COVID misinformation, not facts, is what fuels WND these days, and the load of hooey served up by Stock -- who's a right-winger who took part in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- is right up WND's alley. Never mind that it's this kind of misinformation that has kept WND on the edge of financial failure for the past three-plus years.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:04 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 9, 2021 5:13 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's War on Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy): The Profiles
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck can't handle it when White House press secretary Psaki doesn't face hatred in media interviews -- or that Fox News reporter Doocy's right-wing bias gets called out. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 PM EDT
CNS Trying To Downplay COVID Deaths In Children

As we've documented,'s editorial agenda regarding its coverage of coronavirus is, in part, to downplay the number of children that have been killed by it, presumably as a component of the right-wing campaign to open schools for in-person learning and fight mask mandates. We saw it already with a question CNS' summer interns ambushed members of Congress with regarding whether schools should be able to mandate that students be vaccinated (even though no vaccine has been approved for children under 12). But it's been done other ways as well.

Susan Jones -- who was CNS' leader in 2020 in downplaying COVID deaths to try and make President Trump look good -- was serving up a different kind of downplaying in a July 20 article:

Since the start of the pandemic 18 months ago, in January 2020, a total of 335 children ages 17 and under have died of COVID-19, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In that same 18-month time period, a total of 49,725 children ages 0-17 have died from all causes. So COVID deaths account for 0.673 percent of all deaths among children under 17, based on death certificates submitted so far to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Jumping to the next age group, 18-29, 2,446 have died of COVID-19, or 2.607 percent of the total 93,796 deaths for this age group since January 2020.


Although children under 17 -- and people under 29 -- are less likely to die from COVID than older people are, the CDC and the Biden administration are pushing hard for everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated.

Taht last paragraph, we assume, is there to make it clar that Jones is making a political argument, not a medicine-based one.

Jones repeated her claims in another article that day complaining that experts are advising masks in schools:

"As the director of the CDC, it is my priority to get our children back to school for safe, in-person learning," Rochelle Walensky told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday.

That includes COVID vaccination for everyone 12 and older; and it requires "layered prevention strategies," which means face masks for all.

(The American Academy of Pediatrics also is recommending< "a layered approach to make school safe for all students, teachers and staff...That includes a recommendation that everyone older than age 2 wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.)

The CDC and the rest of the Biden administration are pressing hard for the vaccination of everyone 12 and older. Studies are now underway on vaccinations in children as young as two.

Jones waited until late in the article that the Delta variant of COVID is surging and causing hospitalizations and deaths, even among children.

Craig Bannister devoted a July 28 article to Donald Trump ranting, "We won’t go back. We won’t mask our children," while saying nothing about Trump's abysmal record on fighting COVID during his presidency, and waiting until the end of the article to note an actual medical expert stating that the Delta variant "prompted CDC's updated masking guidance for fully vaccinated people, including school kids."

On Aug. 2, Jones railed at another medical expert: "Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on Sunday that mask-wearing for schoolchildren may be 'inconvenient,' but it makes good 'common sense.'"And on Aug. 5, Jones had a body-count update:

As of Wednesday, August 4, a total 349 children ages 0-17 have died of COVID since the pandemic began in January 2020, based on death certificates submitted so far to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

In that same time period, CDC counts a total of 606,389 COVID-involved deaths in the United States. So children account for 0.057 percent of all COVID-involved deaths, or those coded toICD–10 code U07.1.

CDC does not disclose what, if any, underlying conditions those 349 children may have had.

Since January 2020, the CDC has recorded 51,892 deaths from all causes in children 0-17, which means the 349 COVID-involved deaths equals 0.67 percent of the deaths in children from all causes.

Jones did not highlight the fact that 14 children had died of COVID the previous month. And she waited until the eighth paragraph to mention that cases and deaths are rising overall, while still complaining that "Amid the Biden administration's intensive push to vaccinate reluctant Americans, we hear a lot about the transmissibility of the delta variant."

Jones tried to play statistics gotcha with Anthony Fauci in an Aug. 13 article:

At a news conference on Thursday, a reporter asked Dr. Anthony Fauci if the delta variant is more virulent in children.

"There's no doubt that there are more children getting infected," Fauci responded, without giving any numbers:


But it's not yet clear if more children in the hospital will lead to a spike in children dying.

According to the most recent (August 11) data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 354 children ages 0-17 have died of "COVID-involved" illness in the United States since the start of the pandemic in January 2020. This is based on death certificates submitted so far to CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Jones then effectively conceded CNS' spotty reporting while also repeating statistics show deaths among children have gone up as the Delta variant has spread: periodically tracks the number of children ages 17 and under whose death certificates list COVID.

On March 24, 2021, that number was 238; On July 20, the number had increased to 335; on July 28, the number was 340; August 4, the number was 349; and one week later, as noted above, the number had increased by 5 to 354.

Although the number of children dying because of or with COVID is likely to increase, children continue to be a very small percentage of all COVID-involved deaths.

The 354 children 0-17 who died of or with COVID as of August 11 represent 0.0579 percent of the 610,425 total COVID deaths in this country (based on CDC's most recent death certificate data).

Jones was on the warpath again the following week. On Aug. 16, she grumbled that Collins "made the case for children wearing masks in school, a CDC recommendation based on 'more than a dozen publications showing that evidence'" -- then three days later, again downplayed COVID risk to children:

Most reported cases of COVID-19 in children under the age of 18 are asymptomatic or mild.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hospitalization rates for children, while far lower than that for adults, are increasing in school-age children, ages 5-17.

Some of these children are at risk for severe COVID, CDC says, particularly those with underlying medical conditions.

She waited until the final paragraph to note CDC research showing that "SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs more easily in high schools than in elementary schools, and outbreaks have been associated with high school extracurricular activities. Vaccination of adolescents is expected to reduce the risk for COVID-19 in these settings."

In yet another body-count article on Aug. 19, Jones pushed a talking point about comorbidities:

The CDC told that the National Center for Health Statistics does not track health conditions that may have contributed to the deaths of children in that specific 0-17 age group, although it does track co-morbidities in the broader 0-24 age group, based on information from death certificates.

In the 0-24 age group, which mixes adults with school-age children, the most prevalent co-morbidities listed on death certificates are respiratory illnesses, influenza/pneumonia, obesity, diseases of the circulatory system, and sepsis.

It's a right-wing talking point to downplay the number of COVID deaths by raising the question of comorbidities, even though COVID unquestionably contributed to their deaths. Meanwhile, Jones is discounting the deaths of those children because there apparently aren't enough of them for her to care about.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
No, MRC, Demonitization Of Piers Morgan Column Is Not 'Censorship'
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to describe things as "censorship" that are not censorship at all. Casey Ryan took that to a new level by complaining in an Aug. 4 post:

Talk about Olympic-sized censorship. Google admitted that the platform demonetized a column from former talk show host Piers Morgan that merely criticized Olympic gymnast Simone Biles for abandoning her team at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

In a column for the Daily Mail headlined “Free speech is dying and woke Google is helping to dig its grave,” Morgan said Google demonetized a column he wrote critical of Biles only eight hours after it was published. “This meant they banned all adverts from appearing alongside it, so the Mail would receive zero revenue from the column appearing on Google,” Morgan wrote.

He emphasized that the platform’s censorship was “a big deal” because “Google and Facebook have a virtual monopoly on online advertising revenue, hoovering up 80% of the entire market between them.” In a response to MRC Free Speech America, Google admitted to demonetizing Morgan’s column.

Google did not accuse Morgan of making a racist or bigoted remark, but accused readers leaving comments under his column of racist activity. “Our systems detected racist content in the comments under a recent MailOnline article from Piers Morgan so we blocked ads from showing against the article in accordance with our policies. The article remains on MailOnline, but advertisers using our ad tech will not see their ads running alongside it while those comments remain,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

This was not "Olympic-sized censorship." Indeed, it was not "censorship" at all. Nobody was prevented or even mildly inconvenienced from reading Morgan's column. No commenter was prevented or inconvenienced from commenting.  The column is stil available. The Daily Mail -- a notoriously biased and inaccurate newspaper -- just can't make any money from people's eyeballs. And the last time we checked, private companies still have the choice to not associate themselves with content they find offensive.

Nevertheless, Ryan continued: "No website appears safe if Google is willing to censor stories with anonymous comments." Again: Morgan was not "censored," and the comments section was not "censored." Ryan never called out the Daily Mail's responsibility to run a comments section that's properly moderated and free of racism and bigotry, or that perhaps Google's demonitization of Morgan's column might nudge the Daily Mail toward accepting that responsibility.

THe MRC and its Free Speech America project will continue to discredit themselves if it continues to false describe any criticism of a conservatve "censorship."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:52 PM EDT
Priest At CNS Issues Right-Wing Lecture Against Welfare

It's not often you get a right-wing lecture against welfare from a Catholic priest, but that's what Rev. Michael Orsi served up in a Aug. 9 column headlined "Quit Misinterpreting Jesus: Free Food Isn’t Free."

Orsi began by recounting Jesus' miracle of the loaves and fishes, then deciding that Jesus leaving the scene rather than letting the crowd crown him king had a political intent: "Was this the Lord’s way of showing He didn’t want people to become dependent on government?" Unlikely, and Orsi knows it, going on to add: "Forgive me for letting my political predilections carry me away. Sometimes I just can’t help myself."

Of course, interpretation of Scripture should have nothing whatsoever to do with the reader's political predilections, but that didn't stop Orsi from sounding more like he was reciting Republican talking points instead of being a helpful interpreter. He decided to interpret Genesis as saying "We need to work, to develop ourselves, physically and intellectually, to gain a sense of virtue," then sounded even more like a Republican by rehashing how bad the Soviet Union was. Then came the lecture against welfare and even meaningful pandemic assistance from the government:

Now, to be sure, the lockdown hit plenty of people, and it hit them hard. Jobs were lost, businesses closed. And of course, there are those who would be incapable of supporting themselves, regardless of the pandemic. We have assistance programs for good reasons.

But there are plenty of other people who are perfectly capable of working — and who could readily find work at the many companies currently recruiting desperately — but who have gotten used to being taken care of by “Uncle Joe” in the White House.

Businesses all over the country are reporting unfilled positions. But people are responding to the perverse incentive to lay back on the stimulus checks. And so jobs go begging.

This has consequences. As it’s often been said, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” When you do nothing good, you’re likely to do something bad.

And so we’re seeing an increase in drug overdoses. People are dying as a direct result of these government checks and the excessive, unhealthy leisure that money has brought. With no meaningful way to spend their time, no sense that their survival and the welfare of their families depend on them, people are destroying themselves.

Nothing is free. There’s always a price to pay.

Government handouts are not a blessing. At best, they are a temporary expedient to address a short-term emergency need. But as an ongoing way to operate a society, they don’t work. And the proof of that has been seen everywhere. They’ve failed in Russia, in Cuba, in Venezuela. And the signs of failure are appearing here as well.

Meanwhile, in reality, Americans aren't lazy, and they have used the  expanded unemployment benefits to hold out for better jobs with better pay. Orsi seems to think that Americans must accept whatever job is open, regardless of the pay, the danger (and exposure to coronavirus is very much a danger) or their suitability to the position.

Orsi further lectured that welfare is a failure "because they encourage us to act in that less-than-human way. And so we become less than human." He said nothing about the responsibility of employers to provide a safe, welcoming environment with pay that is commensurate with the risk involved.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
Newsmax Tries To Blame Obama Party for Martha's Vineyard COVID Spike
Topic: Newsmax

Sandy Fitzgerald wrote in an Aug. 14 Newsmax article:

Martha's Vineyard is experiencing a COVID-19 spike with 74 people testing positive for the virus after hundreds of people converged on the wealthy enclave to dance and party — maskless — at last Saturday's bash celebrating President Barack Obama's 60th birthday.


Last Saturday, hundreds of guests flew in from around the country to party under tents on his estate in Edgartown, but in the nights before the celebration itself, Obama also met with friends Thursday at the Barn Bowl & Bistro and then Friday at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort.

The party continued Sunday when Obama enjoyed a brunch at the Beach Road restaurant under a marquee that was built for him by the water in Vineyard Haven.

But even as Fitzgerald was writing that, she (or he) was also admitting that there was no evidence to back it up:

Health officials are pointing out it is still too early to know if the cases were related to the workers and guests who gathered for Obama's weekend extravaganza, The Daily Mail reported in an exclusive Saturday.


Even before the week celebrations, though, Martha's Vineyard was already having a surge of cases, with 48 people falling ill in the week before the party. Of those people, about half had gotten their vaccinations, said health officials.

Indeed, even the right-wing Washington Examiner has admitted that the COVID surge on the island has nothing to do with Obama's party.

As political attacks go, this one lame, not to mention completely false. It doesn't help Newsmax's efforts to be seen as a legitimate "news" source.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT
WND's Farah Is Still A Proud Obama Birther
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah reminded us he's still a proud Obama birther in his Aug. 3 column:

Do you know what today is?

It's supposedly Barack Obama's birthday.

Do you recall all of the contention about his birth certificate?

Have you ever seen a birth certificate cause as much controversy?

We considered it very important. You might want to re-examine some of the articles on the subject in case you missed them. This was "Birth Certificate Central" during the Obama years. It was akin to the only place to find Hunter Biden laptop stories in the New York Post during the presidential election. Of course, that was before Big Tech ran the Internet like the secret police.

Why was it relevant then? Because Obama would become president of the United States, a position that absolutely required him to be a "natural born citizen" according to this nation's Constitution. Was he? Let's review a few facts.

He claims he was born in Honolulu in late August 1961, to Ann Dunham, a 17-year-old high school student, and Barack Obama, a visiting student from Kenya.

Biographers agree without objection that Ann Dunham moved her son from Hawaii to Seattle within three weeks of his birth. It is doubtful that either a visiting student from Kenya or a minor from Hawaii could confer "natural born" citizenship on their son.

That was the BIG question, the mystery – which has never been resolved or answered.

Actually, it has -- the mere fact that Obama was born in the United States to an American citizen mother makes him a "natural born citizen." Farah will never admit that, of course, or the fact that the birther stuff was always -- always a partisan political attack. Farah proved that in 2016 when he gutlessly punted on the issue of whether Ted Cruz was a "natural born citizen" despite the fact that his longstanding assertion of what te phrase meant to him would have disqualified Cruz, his preferred presidential candidate that year, who was born in Canada to a non-citizen father.

Farah then tried to make his obsession relevant to today: "Of course, since then, the Democrats have run another presidential candidate that stretches the boundaries of the Constitution. Both of Kamala Harris' parents were foreign born – her mother was an immigrant from India and her father was born in Jamaica." He didn't mention Cruz, of course -- or that Harris was born in the U.S., making her a natural born citizen.

Farah went on to tout Jerome Corsi's birther book, though he never identified on exactly what chart it was ever a "No. 1 bestselling book":

All of this was thoroughly documented in WND and in Dr. Jerome Corsi’s No. 1 bestselling book published by WND Books, "Where's the Birth Certificate?" In fact, it was of significant interest by Donald Trump.

The stories in WND continued for several years, beginning with Obama's candidacy for president in 2008 until the book hit the No. 1 bestseller ranks and an Obama "birth certificate" in April 2011 was finally produced. It’s worth noting that even Democratic Hawaiian governor Neil Abercrombie was perplexed at not being able to find a birth certificate or "any slip of paper" designating the birth of Obama.

You may recall that it was the Democrats' favorite law firm, Perkins Coie, which was assigned the task of defending against Republican challenges to Joe Biden's "immaculate" election of 2020, that also finally discovered the long lost "birth certificate," not to mention the discredited Steele Dossier it helped Hillary Clinton produce.

Farah appears to be lying here. A Google search revealed no instance outside of Farah's column in which Abercrombie said he could not find "any slip of paper" designating the birth of Obama. To the contrary, Abercrombie said the certificate existed in the state archives -- which was irrelevant anyway because the certificate Obama originally released was a certified state document.

We covered WND's lies and misinformation about Obama's birth certificate every step of the way (scroll down for our complete list of articles). Farah has never challenged anything we published about it -- so he knows he was lying and won't admit it. And he is continuing to lie to this very day.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
MRC Gets Mad When Cuomo's Sexual Harssment Likened To Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

In our summary of how the Media Research Center was gleefully dancing on Andrew Cuomo's political grave, we overlooked one instance in which the MRC got all huffy about Cuomo's sexual harassment scandal being likened to Donald Trump's long history of sexual harassment. In an Aug. 4 post, Alex Christy complained that for PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, "one of the takeaways is that, unlike Republicans, Democrats have no tolerance for such behavior":

Repeating that Cuomo has no intention of resigning, she declared:

He is someone who thinks he can hold on and when I'm talking to people, Democrats, they are also pointing to people like former President Trump who held on after dozens and dozens of women accused him of sexual harassment, of abuse and rape he was able to continue to still be president and now has a lot of power in the Republican Party, that's in some ways what Andrew Cuomo is trying to hang on to power and act a bit Trumpian here.

According to Alcindor, the analogy falls part because, "Democrats don't seem to have the same appetite for this sort of behavior that the GOP has." 

Mitchell agreed, "Yeah, 21 women and also holding on after the Access Hollywood tape was revealed when he was first running for office. So that is the playbook to just outlast the outrage, if he can."

At this point, we will remind you that the MRC went on a huge whataboutism kick regarding the "Access Hollywood" tape, playing the Clinton Equivocation card, and also that the MRC denigrated the women who made claims of sexual harassment (and worse) against Trump.

If you guessed that Christy would follow MRC tradition in attempting to rebut Alcindor, you would be correct. Cue the whataboutism and Clinton Equivocation:

For the media, it's as if Bill Clinton and his impeachment never existed. Liberal hero Sen. Ted Kennedy, "the lion of the Senate," left a woman to drown after a car accident, and, with fellow liberal Sen. Chris Dodd, allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the infamous 1985 "waitress sandwich."

So no, Democrats do not have the moral high ground and it is easy for them to say Cuomo should resign when they know that the blue state governor will be replace [sic] by another Democrat.

Yes, Christy has to go all the way back to 1998 and 1985 and 1969 to deflect from Trump's actions in the much more recent past. And Cuomo eventually did resign under pressure with nobody on any side defending that behavior -- something that can never be said about Republicans and Trump, even though a resigned Trump would have been replaced by another Republican.

Christy never mentioned Trump again, by the way, so perhaps he was conceding that Trump is terrible to women -- he just doesn't want to have to say the words out loud.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
It Wasn't True, And It Didn't Happen In August
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On July 23, WorldNetDaily columnist Craige McMillan -- who has spread conspiracy theories about the election -- wrote a column headlined, "What if it's really true, and it all happens in August?" In it, he pushed a mishmash of QAnon and other right-wing conspiracy theories about Donald Trump returning to power in August:

The question I'm asking is, what if there has always been fire in the midst of all the smoke being blown about by big media huffing and puffing, Big Tech censorship and big government "we're gonna do it anyway" career civil servants?

Early in President Trump's term of office, amidst a room full of military brass and their wives, Trump referred to that particular moment in time as, "The calm before the storm." A reporter immediately followed up: "What storm, Mr. President?" The only response was, "You'll find out."

I'm ambivalent about Taylor Swift, but her song "August" was released on July 24, 2020. Her lyrics came up during a search for "August folklore." The month itself is named after the Roman Emperor Augustus.

Since the 2020 election there have been persistent rumors (smoke) that the election was stolen through absentee ballots (expanded for use during COVID-19) and electronic voting machines. This evidence is said to consist of packet captures from voting machines (that were not supposed to be connected to the internet).

There is no question that packet capture is a real thing. The amount of data for an entire election would have been enormous, and would have required access points (to connect the equipment) and a way to sort through the packets coming and going throughout the election. My thought is that only the military or an intelligence agency could execute such an operation. Big Tech, possibly. Hackers? I'm dubious.

Having set the stage, let's finally get to the real question. What happens if:

  • The U.S. election was stolen;
  • conclusive evidence to prove that it was stolen exists; and
  • our military or an intel agency gathered evidence of the real vote counts?

At that point, the calm before the storm will be over. The storm will be upon us.

McMillan went to argue this could result in military rule: "If the evidence shows a foreign actor conspired to aid the Democrats in the presidential election, we're looking at a period of military rule, not only nationally (D.C.) but in most large cities as well. This will have to happen while the bad actors are removed from their positions and punished for their crimes."

Of course, none of this happened. Mike Lindell's "cyber symposium" ended up demonstrating that "packet captures" were a bust, proving absolutely nothing about the election, let alone that it was stolen.

Needless to say, McMillan felt no need to apologize for being so wrong. His Sept. 3 column is a weird fantasy on the theme, "If you were God, would you save America today?" One gets the feeling he's rooting for that answer to be no ... simply because his beloved Trump lost.

Like many other WND employees and writers, McMillan is living in a fantasy world, unable to accept the reality that Biden legitimately won the election. He will continue to embarass himself by writing about his delusions (provided WND survives long enough to continue publishing them).

UPDATE: By contrast, an Aug. 9 WND column by Michael Brown admitted that no matter what proof Mike Lindell might offer in his then-upcoming cyber symposium (and he didn't offer any), "Trump will not be reinstated to the presidency this month":

That should be self-evident, since President Biden is not about to be arrested and imprisoned, and the military (or any other power) is not about to restore Trump to the White House. All the dates predicted thus far for the big shift, be it by pro-Trump prophets or QAnon conspirators, have come and gone, and none of the predictions have come to pass.

On that score, the ship has sailed, and it is high time to move on (really, well past high time).

He did go on to praise Trump, however, as he has done before.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 11, 2021 1:12 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Nyet To Biden, Da To Putin
Topic: hates President Biden so much, it's actually siding with Russia's Vladimir Putin against him. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 AM EDT
Monday, September 6, 2021
MRC Has Lost Its Love For Lindell
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spent the first part of the year inserting MyPillow guy Mike Lindell into its "censorship" victimization narrative because of his wseirdly aggressive defense of Donald Trump and his promotion of the never-proven conspiracy theory that the eleciton was stolen. The last time we checked in April, the MRC was gushing over the idea that Lindell planned to launch his own social media platform, as well as comtinuing the victim narrative by complained that Lindell's falsehood-filled video "Absolute Proof" got pulled from a couple video platforms, claiming he faced a "constant barrage of Big Tech censorship." Of course, if Lindell and other right-wingers want to live in "a world without the constant barrage of Big Tech censorship," they should stop telling lies and respect the terms of service of social media platforms.

The MRC continued to promote Lindell's ventures. An April 13 post by Joseph Vazquez touted how Lindell "is launching an online store to combat Big Tech giant Amazon’s hold over e-commerce," which Lindell insisted would be “a patriotism-themed e-commerce platform.” The site has apparently launched, though we haven't heard much about it since; Lindell was planning to launch an IPO for the operation, but claimed that his getting sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion over false claims he allegedly made about the company supposedly put those plans on hold. Still, Vazquez went on to rehash Lindell's victimhood bona fides:

Just recently, both YouTube and Vimeo removed Lindell’s documentary Absolute Proof. The documentary called the results of the 2020 presidential election into question.

The Washington Post celebrated Dominion Voting Systems launching a lawsuit against Lindell for his election claims in a news item that read like a venom-spewing op-ed: “Mike Lindell made his bed with Trump’s bogus conspiracies. Now, he gets to lie in it.”

In January 2021, Twitter banned Lindell from the platform “due to repeated violations of our Civic Integrity Policy,” a spokesperson told MRC Free Speech America.

But Lindell’s election claims are not the only reason why he’s been attacked by the far left. His faith as a Christian has also come under heavy fire.

On April 15, Alexander Hall promoted the launch of Lindell's social media operation:

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell chose to take matters into his own hands after Twitter banned him in January. He has now created a new social media platform called “Frank” that is reportedly close to launching for conservatives seeking to speak their minds in a more wholesome atmosphere.

Lindell explained the idea behind the platform in a short video on the FrankSpeech website before its limited April 16 opening: “This is gonna be a platform like no other. It's kinda like a YouTube-Twitter combination.” Lindell made sure to assure viewers: “We’re going to be attacked, but I have my own servers and everything,” he explained. “We’re not gonna be worried about Amazon taking it down or YouTube or Google or Apple.” 

Lindell also explained that his plan for a more family-friendly platform was a feature, not a liability: “You don’t get to use the four swear words: you know, the c-word, the n-word, the f-word or God’s name in vain,” he explained. “Free speech is not pornography. Free speech isn’t, ‘I’m gonna kill you.’”

Well, actually, it kinda is. If you block certain kinds of speech you find objectionable, -- even to create "a more wholesome atmosphere" -- you're no longer a "free speech" operation.

Hall didn't bother to do any follow-up on the issues it had at launch that prevented people from actually signing up (which Lindell blamed without evidence on a "massive attack" against the operation), or about the event promoting the operation in a half-empty Corn Palace in South Dakota.

In a May 7 post, Vazquez got some amusement out of the Democrats allegedly compiling an opposition-research file on Lindell in case he does something political in the future: "Allies of President Joe Biden are apparently so worried about his political future that they decided to compile an entire opposition file on MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell." Actually, that's smart political work, because it's a good idea to be prepared for anything in the political arena.

That, however, was the last post dedicated to Lindell (he received passing mention in two posts in August). The Frank platform appears to have not caught fire (unless you count the dumpster fire of its launch) -- the MRC seems to have put its rhetorical chips on GETTR, the site run by former Trump aide Jason Miller (which also has its dumpster-fire aspects). And it may be that Lindell has become too crazy for the MRC -- which would be an achievement given the kind of extremists it has portrayed as mainstream conservatives who are being "censored" by "Big Tech" in order to pad its victim narrative. The MRC did not promote last month's "cyber symposium" hosted by Lindell, and it didn't even note that Fox News "censored" Lindell by refusing to run ads for it, causing Lindell to pull all his MyPillow advertising off Fox News.The abject failure of the symposium made Lindell look even worse than he already did.

Too crazy for the MRC? Not exactly a pillow-soft landing for Lindell.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 6, 2021 10:23 PM EDT

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