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Monday, September 27, 2021
MRC Buries The Lede, Hides Lack Of Actual News On Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted that the Media Research Center's attempt at "media research" studies tend to avoid any serious examination of Fox News, lest it be forced to admit that Fox is every bit as "biased," if not more, than favorite targets like CNN and MSNBC. The MRC has now supplied an execption taht proves the rule. Rich Noyes wrote in an Aug. 24 post:

If you’re looking for actual news on any of the three major cable “news” networks these days, you might be looking in the wrong place. According to a new study by the Media Research Center, less than one-fourth (22.3%) of what is aired on cable news could be classified as old-fashioned hard news — just-the-facts reporting or live as-it-happens coverage of an unfolding event. Instead, nearly 80 percent of what’s on cable news these days consists of talk-show discussion and opinionated commentary by the anchors.

Our analysis also shows that cable news has abandoned a varied news agenda in favor of repetitive discussions of U.S. politics. “Politics” now accounts for more than 60 percent of cable news airtime, while other aspects of U.S. life (crime, health, business, sports, weather, etc.) have been pushed to the margins.

For this report, Media Research Center analysts reviewed a sample of 108 hours of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel programming from February 1 through June 30. The sample consisted of two randomly selected hours of weekday programming from each network for each hour beginning at 6am ET and ending at midnight ET. (More details below.)

It wasn't until the ninth paragraph, however, that Noyes finally got around to serving upy a breakdown by network:

The differences among the three cable networks were relatively slight, but CNN had the greatest percentage of hard news (28.2%, vs. 71.8% discussion/commentary). MSNBC delivered 20.3 percent hard news vs. 79.7 percent discussion/commentary, while Fox News gave viewers 18.4 percent hard news vs. 81.6 percent discussion/commentary.

That's right -- the MRC agrees that Fox News carries the least "news" of the three cable news channels, while the hated CNN carries the most.

Needless to say, Noyes was not eager to spotlight that finding. In addition to burying the hard numbers, the graphics that accompany his piece serve up only numbers for the three channels combined, without any breakdown by network.

Noyes continued to spin away the numbers by focusing his expressed criticism on CNN and MSNBC, though he again had to admit that "news" content on Fox News has plummeted:

Eight years ago, the Pew Research Center studied cable news and found that “factual reporting” amounted to a bare majority of CNN’s content (54%), vs. 45 percent of Fox News and a scant 15 percent of MSNBC’s programming, with the rest consisting of “commentary and opinion.” Now, it seems, the other networks have caught up to MSNBC in jettisoning their hard news mission in favor of inundating their audiences with endless political chattering.

Back in 2019, CNN’s media reporter Brian Stelter tried to defend this trend as something that was needed in the age of Trump: “These days, cable news is primarily a 24/7 talk show about politics and other stories. I say politics first, because you know, especially in the past three years, all things Trump has been the focus....Cable news has had to evolve....There’s less of a need for headlines, and more of a need for talk about the news, analysis of the news.”

Now in 2021, in the age of Joe Biden, what used to be “cable news” is still a “24/7 talk show about politics and other stories.” The question is, does anyone really “need” more talk about the news?

Note that Noyes absolutely refused to call out Fox News' precipitous decliine in "news" content -- presumably because he agrees with the opinion content that replaced it.

That was accompanied by a separate study on broadcast news that seems to illustrate a hard truth about those outelts the MRC is paid to try and destroy:

This might be a surprise — if you want traditional “hard news” served up in an efficient 30-minute package, the best place to find it may still be one of the Big Three evening newscasts, where more than 70 percent of the typical broadcast fits the definition of old-fashioned reporting. And, compared to cable news, ABC, CBS and NBC present viewers with news about a much wider array of topics.


Broadcast news also has a far more varied menu than cable. While politics utterly dominates cable, it was only the third most frequent topic in our survey of ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows. Health news (mostly the pandemic) accounted for 18.8 percent of all airtime, followed by crime (14.7%) and only then reaching U.S. politics (13.9%).

Noyes concluded:

Neither this study nor our matching study of cable “news” were designed to rate the bias or the quality of the programming on these networks. Our goal was merely to quantify the changes we’ve seen over the years, especially in cable news, as journalists have moved away from “just the facts” reporting in favor of perpetual roundtable analysis of current events, mostly politics.

But as tens of thousands of other articles on NewsBusters have amply documented, there’s nothing about this shift in format that has meant better, fairer, or less biased coverage for those who watch the news. Indeed, as cable news has increasingly shoved fact-based reporting aside, what’s left is little more than hours of predictable commentary from hosts and guests alike.

Of course, none of those "tens of thousands" of NewsBustsers article complain about the obvious bias and unfairness that permeates Fox News. If the MRC ever sees fit to attack bias on Fox News the way it does gainst the "liberal media," maybe then it can be considered a legitimate "media research" organization.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:51 PM EDT
CNS Columnist Stokes Right-Wing Fears Over Vaccine Mandates

Remember Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin, the guest commentator who wrote an attack on Simone Biles that was apparently so tone-deaf that CNS quickly deleted it shortly after publication (and who is actually most famous for perfoming an equally tone-deaf photo-op stunt that cost her a job at a right-wing paper)? Well, CNS somehow let her come back to write another piece. In the Aug. 16 commentary, Moriarty-McLaughlin ranted about vaccine mandates allegedly tearing America apart:

Requiring a vaccine for admission to go out, live life, and even purchase basic necessities like food and water is inhuman, let alone American.

Cities like Los Angeles and New York are setting an atrocious standard capitalizing on a global health crisis and dehumanizing citizens.


If America is looking toward a future resembling normal life, the coastal elite’s vaccine mandate approach is not the answer.

In order to restore life pre-pandemic, Americans need to take a deep look at their leadership at the state level. Vaccine mandates may potentially lead to interstate migration, where the unvaccinated flee blue states and flock to red states with no mandates.

Moriarty-McLaughlin made no mention of the more than 600,000 Americans who have been "dehumanized" though being killed by COVID, or thte public health emergency that COVID has brought about, or that governments have the right and duty to try and protect people's health. And should she be alarmed that the unvaccinated might move to red states, where COVID infection and death rates are out of control?

Moriarty-McLaughlin can't imagine that public health officials genuinely want to try and keep people alive, and she'd rather stoke right-wing anti-government hysteria. How cynical of her.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 27, 2021 12:55 PM EDT
Bozell's Self-Unaware Quip About Media and Cuomo
Topic: Media Research Center

For one of the more self-unaware rantings we've seen, here's an Aug. 12 NewsBusters post:

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell on Thursday slammed journalists who are trying to remind people of Andrew Cuomo’s supposed larger legacy --- not just the sex abuse scandal that toppled him from power.  Appearing on Varney and Co. to reply to CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe hailing the Democrat’s “masterful job” in handling Covid, Bozell marveled, “'Masterful.' It’s like saying, ‘Bill Cosby did a masterful job entertaining millions except for the women he abused.’”

Or, say, lavishing praise Fox News founder Roger Ailes upon his death for creating the biased right-wing channel and declaring that "the good Roger did for America is immeasurable," without mentioning the women he sexually harassed.

Bozell added: "When they listen to a reporter, they're listening to a press release from the Democratic National Committee. This is what -- I don't like the phrase mainstream media. There is nothing mainstream of the media today. The news media are on a mission, to destroy the conservative movement and advance socialism." This from a guy who's essentially a walking press release from the Republican National Committee who's on a mission to destroy all media that doesn't have a right-wing bias. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 AM EDT
WND's Farah Calls For Day of Atonement -- But When Will He Atone?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in 2013, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah called for a "national day of prayer and fasting" that -- despite his laughable insistence that he was being nonpartisan -- was more about his obsessive hatred of President Obama than any sincere desire to pray. While calling for repentence (and separately ranting that Obama's re-election was "God’s judgment on a people who have turned away from Him and His ways and from everything for which our founders sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor"), he made no attempt to repent for his journalistic sins and bogus birtherism.

Now, Farah is at it again -- and has again excluded himself. He wrote in his Aug. 20 column that he took inspiration from the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur to call Christians to take part in a day of atonement ... which again has a partisan motivation:

Some modern American Christians might arrogantly suggest they don't have to atone for any sins because Jesus already did that for them. While it's true that Yeshua died for the sins of those who make Him Lord of their life, that atonement doesn't come without sincere repentance.

And repentance is not a one-time act. It's not a collection of magic words we say one time in our lives so that we have license to sin some more. Repentance is a continual process, because we all fall short of the mark.

It's not just individuals who need a Day of Atonement.

In ancient Israel the high priests prayed for the sins of the nation, too.

America could take a lesson from that experience.

We are a nation in moral free fall.

We've lost our ability to discern right from wrong.

We don't even accept that there is such a thing as sin anymore. Sinners are just those practicing alternate lifestyles.

But this can't go on forever – just as it couldn't go on forever in ancient Israel when the nation went adrift.

God is longsuffering because He loves us. But like any good parent, He will not enable His children forever. He will discipline them in an attempt to bring them back to His authority – not wishing any should perish.

Again, the question is: When will Farah genuinely atone for his journalistic sins? WND's seemingly perpetual financial issues haven't kept Farah from doubling down on publishing lies, from election fraud to coronavirus.

Farah did not indicate when, if ever, he would atone for misinforming and lying to the American people. If he wants to ever be taken seriously again, he needs to seriously consider living up to his own words.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Sunday, September 26, 2021
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Double Standard On Satire
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center will fact-check jokes -- but it also lashes out at fact-checkers who are forced to monitor right-wing satire site the Babylon Bee because so many conservatives mistake its satire for reality. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:26 AM EDT
CNS Heaps Biased Hate On Biden Over Afghanistan

As the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan in August, with the unexpectedly quick takeover of the Afghan government by the Talibam, -- in addition to defending former President Trump over his cutting the deal with the Taliban that led to U.S. withdrawal -- went relentlessly negative, filling its website with increasingly vicious and personal attacks from Repubicans and other conservatives on President Biden and his administration.Here's a list of the attacks CNS published between Aug. 12 and Sept. 1:

Needless to say, there is no similar list of stories at CNS of people defending Biden. And pretty much all of these attacks are presented as "news" with no attempt to balance them, despite CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

CNS claims to be a "news" organization. It has shown here that it's little more than a stenography service for conservatives.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 AM EDT
Saturday, September 25, 2021
MRC Doesn't Think Blacks Should Be Encouraged To Play Baseball
Topic: Media Research Center

A series of Washington Post articles features the stories of black baseball players, both then and now, in examining the issue of why the number of black baseball players has declined. For some reason, this has Matt Philbin, the Media Research Center's managing editor for culture, to have a meltdown, beause he has apparently decided that blacks shouldn't be encouraged to play baseball:

The Washington Post has “spent this baseball season examining the experiences of nine African American ballplayers, from a 90-year-old icon to an 18-year-old prospect,” according to an introduction to it’s series of articles called “The Nine.” It’s an exercise that’s supposed to tell readers important things “about this game and this country.”

It tells us more about the race-obsessed progressives who write for the Post than anything else. The central theme of the nine long articles is that, after an arduous, often painful integration era and a black heyday in the 1970s and 80s, there have been fewer and fewer black major leaguers.  More than 16% of MLB players in 1989 were black. Today it's less than 7%.

As you can guess, this is baseball’s fault. 

In a free society, people self-select. They gravitate to the professions, diversions and social circles that suit them. Young black athletes gravitate towards basketball and football. Not coincidentally, blacks are a majority in the NBA and the NFL. But the Post isn’t publishing think pieces about those sports.

Because according to the new woke orthodoxy, any sphere not dominated by [your preferred minority group here] is suspect and must be exclusionary or systemically racist.


Baseball integrated more than 70 years ago. Black players overcame racism to become some of the game’s legendary figures. As “The Nine” itself proves, MLB is open to black players. Indeed, it’s been doing outreach to black communities for at least 30 years. 

Baseball allows black players to play! Isn't that enough? Indeed, Philbin goes on to whine thatthe Post pointed out that baseball is a bit of a "stodgy" sport that gives few opportunities for players to express themselves:

But the real problem with baseball not being black enough seems to be that baseball isn’t, you know, black enough. The game is “stodgy,” permeated by a “personality-suppressing culture.” (That might be surprising to Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra or Keith Hernandez.) The “contrived and archaic ‘right way’” to play ball “has been code for the ‘White way’ for decades.”

The Post says “Recently, baseball has been at war with itself, promoting ‘Let the kids play’ to push its product while some players flash fun-police badges with inside fastballs.”

No question which side the Post takes.

Philbin concluded by sneering that the Post's "focus is raceball." But "raceball" is exactly what Philbin is playing by freaking out over players of color in the game and arguing against more black players in baseball. That' the "culture" the MRC is paying Philbin to write about.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
WND Columnist Blames Liberals For Afghanistan's Collapse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Andy Schlafly knows who to blame for the Afghanistan government collapsing and being taking over by the Taliban, and it is ... liberals and feminists. From his Aug. 18 WorldNetDaily column:

Like Biden, the departed Ashraf Ghani was installed as Afghan president by liberals after a disputed election that took months to resolve. Like Biden, President Ghani is an elderly, low-energy man who promoted progressive policies having little connection with reality or what the Afghan people want and believe in.

Like Biden, President Ghani failed to attract genuine support among ordinary Afghans as Trump does so well with many Americans. The equivalent of "woke" ideologies and policies were being pushed on that rugged country, and of course no Afghans would risk their lives to defend what they do not believe in.

Feminist policies were being imposed on Afghans who have a deep-rooted patriarchal culture that is the opposite of what liberals demand. The vast majority of adult Afghan men cannot read or write, yet liberals insisted on building schools to indoctrinate Afghan girls and young women with secular progressive beliefs.


To be clear, Afghanistan is not a defeat for America's brave soldiers and Marines, who served so courageously there under terrible and frightening conditions. In late 2001, merely 3,000 American troops swiftly accomplished what seemed impossible, by seizing control of the country from al-Qaida for harboring 9/11 terrorists.

But progressives and an effete occupant of the White House have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This failure was not on the battlefield, but in the misguided ideology of those who attempted to impose political correctness on a country that is the antithesis of it.

Of course, given that the Taliban runs the country now, any policy even slightly to the left of the Taliban could be seen as "progressive" or "feminist." There are, no doubt, a signifncat number of people in Afghanistan who think allowing women to go to school is "feminist." Is that what Schlafly's talking about?

Schlafly also ranted: "In four entire years of Trump's leadership, nothing like this catastrophe occurred, and barely six months into the presidency of the mentally declining Biden the wheels are already coming off."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Friday, September 24, 2021
MRC's Graham Is Mad That Rest Of Media Doesn't Hate Psaki As Much As He Does
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center just hates it when non-right-wing media won't trash and denigrate White House press secretary Jen Psaki the way the MRC's Curtis Houck compulsively does, so it will lash out at any non-negative portrayal of her. So when the Washington Post did an article on the clashes between Psaki and the MRC's favorite right-wing repoter, Fox News' Peter Doocy -- which Psaki tends to win -- Tim Graham spent his Aug. 6 podcast raging about it. It was promoted this way, with a massive dose of whataboutism:

The Washington Post has "honored" Fox White House reporter Peter Doocy by highlighting his exchanges with Biden press secretary Jen Psaki in the briefing room. Doocy gets "fact checked" by media reporter Paul Farhi...but in 2018, Farhi and the Post didn't check on CNN's Jim Acosta as he told them he was all about the facts, not about damaging Trump.

Indeed, Graham pretended it was 2018 again and complained at length about Acosta, who has been a longtime MRC target, whining that the same Post reporter didn't spew hate at Acosta in an earlier profile. "Jim Acosta is so clueless that he showed up wherever Trump was working and metaphorically flipped him off. It was his job to yell and upset the president and embarrass him and just basically make a spectacle of himself. This is not what Steve [sic] Doocy does." That's not the impression we get from the MRC, which routinely runs headlines like "Doocy Smash" and "DOOCY DEMOLITION" to cheer his preening and alleged dominance over Psaki. Graham then huffed of Acosta that "A good reporter isn't measured by how loud he yells at Trump," then played a clip package of interactions with Acosta and a very testy Trump in which Acosta... did not yell.

Continuing to get Doocy's name wrong, Graham asserted that by contrast, "Steve Doocy is the one who ytou could say he's asikng, he's holding the president accountable, he's asking factual questions or asking questions about facts he wants." Graham forgot that the MRC stealth-edited a post to hide the fact that Doocy tried to play gotcha with Psaki on a false story about Vice President Kamala Harris' book being given to undocumented immigrants. Graham ultimately huffed that "Acosta's a very one-sided asshat. That's what he does." (Is Graham sure he's not talking about himself?)

Graham then justifed the idea of violence against members of the media who refused to suck up to Trump the way the MRC did and does: "Jim Acosta has very clearly set himself out to be the enemy. That's his gig. That's what he does... Jim Acosta has never been slugged by anyone, and even if he was, you can't blame NewsBusters or Donald Trump. Blame Jim Acosta. Why don't you blame what you're doing? Why don't you look at your last name -- "accost"? Accost is what you do."

Reminder: Acosta stopped being a White House correspondent in January, meaning he hasn't been there for around eight months at the time of Graham's rant. Also remember he's supposed to be defending Doocy here (though he can't even be bothered to get his name right). That's how much Graham and the rest of CNN are obsessed with trying to destroy CNN and its employees for the sin of not being Trump toadies.

Graham went on to whine that the Post didn't label Children's Health Defense, the anti-vaxx group that Robert Kennedy Jr. heads, as a "left-wing" group -- but that's because it's not. As we've documented, Kennedy's group has no constituency on the left. And Graham left out the fact that the organization he's an executive of defended CHD's right to misinform people about vaccines.

He futher whined that, while the Post reporter he's criticizing will actually contact the MRC from time to time for reaction on such stories, "Brian Stelter doesn't call me for media stories. But I guess we can all understand why." Because you're not a "media researcher" but, rather, a right-wing political activist who irrationally hates Stelter and likes to metaphorically (if not actually) flip him off at every opportunity?

Graham's whining continued in his Aug. 18 podcast, where the target was a interview Psaki did with Mediaite's Tommy Christopher he deemed too fawning (read: he didn't trash her the way the MRC would).He ranted that the media is "99 percent Bicen voters," though he refused to speculate on whom Doocy voted for. He then complained about attention about #PsakiBomb hashtags, apparently oblivious to the ridiculously Doocy-fawning headlines on the website of which he's the executive editor.

Later, Graham was joined by the MRC's chief Psaki-trasher, Curtis Houck, to do what the MRC pays him to do. Sounding like the biased right-wing activist they are, Houck joined Graham complained that "the media" was trying to "drag Trump into" the story of U.S. withdrawal of Afghanistan -- apparently forgetting that Trump was the person who set this in motion by signing a withdrawal deal with the Taliban.

The two then collaborated on what (biased) questions they would has Psaki if they had the chance. They chose to ask about an obscure 2013 "scandal" of the State Department (where Psaki worked at the time) editing out a question by then-Fox News reporter James Rosen from a briefing. Graham added that he wanted to ask why there is no page at PolitiFact for Psaki.

Houck also rushed to the defense of his belived Kayleigh McEnany, complaining that "she was seen as this kind of bimbo" anolong with others who worked in the Trump White House. Graham groused that "obviously, you know that Jen Psaki spends her year or her year and a halfas the White House press secretary, I imagine she's going to land a very sweet gig in some PR group in DC, and then probably have the CNN gig again on the Jake Tapper show. So she could still be doing Biden's talking points, but just as a regular pundit on CNN."

In other words, exactly what you'd expect from these two -- with a complete lack of admission that Doocy or any other right-wing reporter is in any way biased.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Falsely Portrays Afghan Copter Photo
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joe Kovacs excitedly wrote in an Aug. 30 WorldNetDaily article:

Video emerged Monday showing a man hanging from a U.S.-supplied helicopter during what is being called an aerial "patrol" of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The footage shared by the Talib Times, which calls itself the "English language official account of Islamic Emirate Afghanistan," shows the person dangling from what's thought to be a UH-60 Black Hawk chopper.


The reason for the man hanging was unclear, but the Right Scoop site suggested it may have been a gruesome, public execution.

"I can't imagine this could be anything other than a public execution by the Taliban," its report stated. "Why else would you hang a man from a helicopter like this? But I'm open to suggestions otherwise."

The unverified video was shared just one day before the remaining American troops were expected to exit Afghanistan.

Some online commenters noted:

  • "You folks just don't get it. The Taliban is in the White House. Taliban Treasonist Joe Biden! Wake up, this is no mistake but by design."
  • "Just wait till they start tossing their enemies out of the C130s we left them."
  • "I like how Talib Times Twitter account uses same logo as NBC. LOL."
In fact, as actual news outlets and fact-checkers reportted, the man hanging from the copter was wearing a harness, and he was trying to fix a flag on a building.

Kovacs simply chose to ran with a right-wing meme without bothering to fact-check first. Even though the Right Scoop story he cited eventually updated its post to note that a man was not being hanged, Kovacs couldn't be bothered to update his story with the truth.

That embrace of fake news is yet another reason why WND continues to circle the drain and perhaps doesn't deserve to live.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:38 PM EDT
CNS Promotes Falsehood That 'Illegal Aliens' Are Spreading COVID in U.S.
Topic: loves to push as many attack pieces on the Biden administration as it can crank out, and it doesn't bother to fact-check them first. For instance, it has made an effort to promote the right-wing narrative that immigrants coming across the southern border are responsible for the current surge in coronavirus cases.

In an Aug. 6 article, Craig Bannister uncritically quoted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz ranting: "If CNN really gave a damn about COVID, they’d come down to McAllen & see the THOUSANDS of illegal immigrants with COVID being released by the Biden admin without a care in the world into Texas cities & towns. There’s an invasion going on at the southern border but CNN is silent."

An Aug. 9 commentary by Andrew Arthur of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies hyped claims that COVID-positive immigrants were being released into communities: "Again, the Delta COVID variant is highly contagious, and a “hyperlocal outbreak” could overwhelm health resources (including hospital beds) in the small towns that dot the Rio Grande Valley. If the Biden administration is obstructing disclosures about COVID-positive migrants who have been released into those towns for political reasons, it needs to stop and put the facts out there./p>

An article the same day by Melanie Arter uncritically repeated:

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that President Joe Biden’s handling of migrants at the southern border has resulted in a super spreader event in Texas.


“And you and I -- and you have documented that well on this program, Maria, but what neither one of us saw was that he would take a humanitarian crisis and now create a health -- public health crisis at our border as well. By his actions, he's created the largest COVID super-spreader event anywhere on the planet at the Southern border in Texas right now, and to criticize Texas over COVID is just -- is just nonsensical,” Ratcliffe said.

“I mean, let me put this in perspective for you, Maria. As you and I, as U.S. citizens, if we go to Mexico City, and we want to return to our home country, we can't do so. The Biden administration says we can't do so without a COVID-negative test,” he pointed out.

“At the very same time, the Biden administration is allowing thousands of COVID-infected illegal aliens not only into the country, but then transporting them around the country, and, again, in what has been the largest super-spreader COVID event anywhere in the world, and the Biden administration is directly responsible for that,” Ratcliffe said.

But there's little evidence that immigrants are responsible for the COVID surge in border states. As one actual news outlet reported:

While it is true that people entering the country without permission could be contributing to the overall number of Covid-19 cases — as has been the case recently in McAllen, Texas — experts believe the impact of these cases does not make a difference in the American health situation.

It is not migratory patterns that explain the recent outbreaks of Covid-19, but the low vaccination rates in certain states, Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University School of Medicine, told Noticias Telemundo.

"In some states, it isn't clear that there is very much migration right now at all, although there are big outbreaks," Caplan said. "As far as I know, the migration patterns in the past month are more north than south. That does not correlate at all."

Another news outlet noted:

Facts First: Public health experts dispute the notion that migrants entering the southern border are largely responsible for exploding Covid cases across a large swath of the country. Instead, experts point to the more transmissible Delta variant and relatively low vaccination rates as primary causes of this latest wave. It's also worth noting that some of the Republicans blaming the surge on migrants have banned mask mandates and pushed back against policies requiring vaccines.

Yet another news outlet reported:

The key factors behind the recent spike in COVID-19 cases are people in U.S. communities who are unvaccinated and are not following guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the highly contagious delta variant, according to public health experts.

At a news conference last week, Dr. Ivan Melendez, who serves as the local health authority in Hidalgo County, Texas, acknowledged that arriving migrants were “part of the problem” but he also said they did not pose any more of a danger than he does. “I have been in seven COVID units today.”

He said migrants are not responsible for introducing the virus nor do they have higher infection rates compared with the general population.

“Is it a pandemic of the migrants? No, it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Melendez said.

Then again, CNS puts narratives first and facts somewhere below that.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EDT
Thursday, September 23, 2021
MRC Pretends Right-Wing Anti-CRT Think Tank Activist Is Just An 'Independent Journalist'
Topic: Media Research Center

During the right-wing movement's -- and, thus, the Media Research Center's -- summer of freaking out over critical race theory, its guilding light has been activist Christopher Rufo. However, the MRC had to contort itself to pretend he's not an activist.

On June 18, Curtis Houck complained that MSNBC's Joy Reid "leveled a misleading attack on the Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo" -- but apparently it was not so misleading that he made any effort to correct it. Houck is apparently referring to a statement by Reid -- the transcript was conveniently offloaded to a separate document outside his post -- who said right-wingers are "trying to label anything that makes them feel uncomfortable as a critical race theory. This is from a guy named Christopher Rufo is who’s at the — a conservative think tank — at a conservative think tank and he says “the goal is have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory’...We have decodified the term and we will recodify to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.” Basically using critical race theory as a brand name." 

That is effectively what Rufo wrote in a March tweet: "We have successfully frozen their brand—'critical race theory'—into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category."

In a June 24 post, Nicholas Fondacaro wrote about Rufo's appearance on Reid's show -- unsurprisingly in full rah-rah mode and insisting that "Reid didn't sdand a chance against" him -- touting him complaining that he's just a "think tank scholar," not the "political operative" Reid claimed he was (and the rest of the world sees him as). Fondacaro then complained: "As the interview progressed, Reid played a series of edited together soundbites of Rufo’s appearances and talks, which wasn’t actually damaging but she tried to put words in his mouth and prescribe his motive anyway. “You want to make a campaign and stuff everything in there and you want to stuff it all into Critical Race Theory,” she sneered." But Rufo's tweet says that's exactly what he's doing.

A July 6 post by Kristine Marsh laughably called Rufo an "independent journalist" (he's neither). The same day, Fondacaro returned to act as Rufo's PR agent:

On Tuesday, the Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo unspooled another fantastic Twitter thread exposing how U.S. defense contractor Raytheon was polluting its employees with Critical Race Theory, including telling employees that they must view each other based on race. This massive exposé landed him on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he expounded his findings and noted that memes about the direction of wokeness had become prophetic.

Getting on Fox News, of course, is the goal of any right-wing activist. This was followed the next day by Joseph Vazquez typing up a rote "the non-right-wing media ignored our narrative" story on evening news broadcasts ignoring that "Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Christopher Rufo dropped a bombshell exposing a major U.S. defense contractor’s mission to shame its white employees and enforce critical race theory."

By this time, the MRC had moved into full defense mode for Rufo. On Aug. 8, Tim Graham got mad that the Wahington Post researched a fact-check of Rufo, then ... finding his claim was true, did nothing. Because he had nothing to attack, Graham attacked the Post for even trying to fact-check him. This non-story was the subject of Graham's podcast the next day.

On Sept. 9, Alexander Hall had another right-wing victim of "censorship," because Rufo was "unverified" by twitter "and reportedly targeted by a 'Government-backed attack' after he allegedly exposed Critical Race Theory policies at Google." Hall identified Hall only as a "Manhattan Institute senior fellow," not a right-wing activist.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2021 8:48 PM EDT
WND Columnists Manufacture Cuomo Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You'd think that WorldNetDaily would be done with Andrew Cuomo following his resignation as New York governor following multiple allegations of sexual harassment. But because it's WND, its columnists felt the need to build conspiracy theories around it.

In his Aug. 11 column, Nicholas Waddy suggested that Cuomo had to resign in order to keep from hurting Democrats' political chances in the 2022 elections:

The problem, however, is that, while most of us may want to believe that Cuomo, for instance, is guilty of sexual harassment, because it is so easy to think ill of a man so widely disliked, this does not necessarily make him guilty of any crime or "misdemeanor" in point of fact. He can be a jerk without being a criminal jerk. The distinction matters.

Keep in mind that, toward the end of "Cuomo-gate," Democrats in New York wanted Cuomo to be guilty, because if he were, then he could be removed – as a political liability to Democrats. Republican politicos likewise wanted Cuomo to be guilty, because their conservative constituents would never have forgiven them if they did not vote to impeach and remove such a hated figure on the right.

For different reasons, therefore, politicians of both parties in New York agreed on Cuomo's preferred fate – it was resignation or removal, period/exclamation point – but the nature of the accusations and the amount of hard evidence underlying them never made much difference to anyone's political calculus.


Did Cuomo really harass 11 women, or were those charges merely a convenient means by which the New York political establishment could rid itself of a man who had become "dead weight" and an impediment to Democratic electoral success in 2022 and beyond? We may never know the answer to these questions, and that is highly unfortunate.

Waddy also complained that "President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in January 2021 without the presentation of any evidence, without the examination of witnesses and without meaningful deliberation." Of course, the "evidence" was Trump's actions in the runup to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot he instigated, which was out in the open for everyone to see, and it was Republicans, not Democrats, who blocked the introduction of witnesses and the gathering of new evidence in Trump's impeachment trial.

Scott Lively, meanwhile, used his Aug. 12 column to theorize that the harassment claims were a distraction from Cuomo's purported killing of thousands of people by transferring COVID patients to nursing homes in the early part of the pandemic to make room for more patients in hospitals:

On March 25, 2020, as the human death toll attributed to COVID-19 was skyrocketing, and the official government narrative for granting itself extraordinary emergency powers was centered on hospitals being overrun with COVID patients, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the executive decision to sacrifice the very elderly and infirm so that more hospital beds would be available for younger people. That's my most charitable possible theory as to Cuomo's motive for issuing what in retrospect was clearly a death warrant for over 15,000 nursing home patients in the Empire State. That death warrant was the now infamous Cuomo Nursing Home Directive, stating in pertinent part:

"No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or re-admission."

My less charitable, more realistic theory is that Andrew Cuomo intentionally murdered those "useless eaters" with the same Malthusian imperiousness he displayed in championing New York's ghoulish 2019 late-term abortion law.


But even in today's Amerika, mass murder is hard to get away with, and so, when his damage-control efforts proved ineffective, Andrew Cuomo needed a survivable exit strategy.

Enter Lindsey Boylan (aka "Andrew Cuomo's Monica Lewinski") as the first in a parade of "me too" accusers.

To be absolutely clear, I am not accusing Ms. Boylan of complicity in Cuomo's public diversion scheme, any more that I think Monica Lewinski was in on the Bill Clinton diversion strategy (though in Lewinski's case, I think it's possible). I'm only saying that Cuomo is following the Clinton playbook to the letter by allowing an almost certainly ally-orchestrated (or at least nudged), fully survivable (and "stud-status" enhancing) sex scandal to draw public attention away from the real scandal and its risk of truly serious consequences.

Lively went on to claim that President Clinton's Monica Lewinsky sex scandal was a diverson from alleged shady deals with China. But he can't even be bothered to spell Lewinsky's name right, which hurts his credibility on the conspiracy-theory front.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's War on Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy): June 2021
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck loves to help biased Fox News reporter Doocy push right-wing talking points in White House press briefings. PLUS: Houck once again covers for Doocy by burying the stupid question he asked President Biden. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 PM EDT
CNS Can't Stop Promoting Boebert, Hiding Her Extremism

Lauren Boebert is one of's favorite members of Congress -- though it has to hide her extremism in order to treat her as a normal politician. The gushing has unsurprisingly continued. Melanie Arter touted in an Aug. 13 article:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said Friday that she has introduced a resolution to censure President Joe Biden for his handling of the border crisis, and she supports her colleague Rep. Andy Biggs’ (R-Ariz.) efforts to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“In my censure resolution that I introduced to censure President Biden for his dereliction of duty to secure the southern border, I called for the removal of Secretary Mayorkas, and I certainly support Chairman of the Freedom Caucus Andy Biggs' efforts to impeach Secretary Mayorkas,” the congresswoman said told Fox News’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo.”

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman followed on Aug. 26:

In the wake of the bombing at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan that killed at least 12 U.S. soldiers and an unconfirmed number of civilians, House Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said President Joe Biden has blood on his hands for failing to competently plan and execute the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"There is blood on Joe Biden’s hands," she tweeted today. 

While CNS was serving as Boebert's press office, here's what it didn't report:

But that's not news at CNS. Hating on Biden is, and it doesn't hare how extreme or marginalized the right-winger attacking him is.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2021 12:57 PM EDT

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