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Wednesday, September 29, 2021
MRC Touts New Book From Discredited Google 'Whistleblower'
Topic: Media Research Center

In 2019, the Media Research Center embraced former google employee Zach Vorhies as a purported whistleblower who claimed the company manipulated search results to disfavor conservative ideas -- while hiding the fact that Vorhies, according to the Daily Beast, is a far-right copnspiracy theorist who is also "an avid promoter of anti-Semitic accusations that banks, the media, and the United States government are controlled by 'Zionists.'” Well, Vorhies is back with a new book to promote -- and the MRC is more than happy to do so. Autumn Johnson uncritically repeated in an Aug. 14 post:

Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies says Google altered its news algorithm to directly target former President Donald Trump.

Vorhies was a senior software engineer at YouTube and Google. He left >after discovering the companies censored conservatives.  

Vorhies’s new book, Google Leaks: A Whistleblower’s Exposé of Big Tech Censorship, took a deep dive into Big Tech’s censorship of right-of-center conservatives:


He also said Google’s algorithm tacked new negative stories about Trump onto old ones in order to keep them at the top of search results longer.

“They allowed the mainstream media to structure their stories so that they could remain in the top of their search index,” he said.

Johnson apparently did no fact-checking to verify anything Vorhies said. In fact, her fact-checking was so lax that her post originally appeared with Vorhies' name spelled wrong.

Needless to say, Johnson said nothing about Vorhies' far-right lunacy and anti-Semitism. And there's more that Johnson censored:  Last year, Vorhies made a video laying out a plan to turn a discredited anti-vaxxer film, "Plandemic," into a viral sensation, which included running the social media accounts of the film's maker, Judy Mikovits.

Despite Vorhies' utter lack of credibility, Johnson continued to promote him. She repeated Vorhies' claims in an Aug. 20 post on a seperate Google-related issue ... which also managed to mislead. The post carries the headline "Google’s ‘Geofence’ Warrants Have Increased 12x Over 3 Years," which falsely suggests that Google is the one seeking the warrants. In fact, as the post itself explains, it is law enforcement agencies who are demanding that data from Google. While noting legitimate privacy concerns, Johnson's reference to Vorhies' dubious claims falsely frames this as a conservative-only issue, which it is not.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
CNS Columnist Shills For E-Cigarettes

Hans Bader sounds like he's getting paid by the e-cigarette industry in his Sept. 13 column, which also forwards a conspiracy theory:

The FDA has banned the e-cigarettes commonly sold on the market, by either rejecting them, or delaying their approval. It isn't enforcing the ban against the biggest brands yet, and it may eventually approve those brands for sale. The FDA's ban on a vast range of e-cigarettes will make it harder for many smokers to quit smoking, by depriving them of alternative ways of satisfying their craving for nicotine.


E-cigarettes ave lives by weaning many smokers (like my wife) off of cigarettes. If retailers stop selling e-cigarettes, that will cost many lives, because e-cigarettes are a substitute for cigarettes, which cause cancer. Curbing the sale of e-cigarettes will also enrich the powerful trial lawyers who bankroll Democratic politicians. That's because curbs on vaping increase cigarette consumption, and rising cigarette consumption increases payments to trial lawyers under the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.


“E-cigarettes could replace much or most of cigarette consumption in the U.S. in the next decade,” said William T. Godshall, Smokefree Pennsylvania's executive director. His group had campaigned in the past for smoke-free public vicinities, higher cigarette taxes, and cigarette pack graphic warnings.

“There is no evidence that e-cigarettes have ever harmed anyone, or that...nonsmokers have begun using the products,” Godshall said. Godshall rated e-cigarettes a 2 or lower on a scale of harm ranging 1 to 100, where lozenges and nicotine gums are 1 and cigarettes are 100.

When smokers switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, that reduces cancer deaths. But it also leaves greedy lawyers and state governments with less cigarette revenue.

Bader won't tell you, but Godshall is lying. E-cigarettes have been linked to lung disease, and they have been shown to serve as an introduction to smoking for young people, who then go on to use cigarettes. And Bader's personal anecdote aside, it's far from clear that e-cigs are an effective way to quit smoking.

Bader actually did note some of this later in his column, but dismissed it by putting "research" in scare quotes when describing them.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 PM EDT
Shocker: Newsmax Columnists Raise Concerns Over Texas Abortion Law
Topic: Newsmax

The ConWeb has been unsurprisingly enthusiastic about Texas' new, highly restrictive law that effectively bans abortion in the state. But surprisingly, a couple of Newsmax columnists have raised questions about law, particularly its "bounty hunter" legal mechanism of letting civilians enforce it and its possible effects on Republicans in future elections.

Dick Morris fretted oer the latter in his Sept. 2 column:

Last night’s Supreme Court decision to let Texas abortion law stand effectively undermines Republican chances in the coming elections of 2022 and 2024.

The Biden ratings crash caused by the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan is now over. The page has been turned. Now, it's going to be all about abortion.

The gender gap in American politics began in 1974 after the Roe V Wade decision. This new Texas law, that effectively reverses the decision, will bring the abortion issue back to center stage. Recent polling suggests that 74% of the American voters support keeping abortion legal.


With Biden reeling and, on the ropes, this Texas law and the Court decision, comes as a welcome reprieve for Democrats nervous about the ’22 elections.

In the hands of a hysterical media, it might even encourage court packing and facilitate election-altering changes like those in HR 1.

This decision changes everything.

Paul F. deLespinasse spent his Sept. 7 column concerned that the law's enforcement mechanism could have severe implications on things like gun rights if it was upheld by the Supreme Court:

The Texas abortion ban cleverly obstructs legal challengers. The cleverness was needed because the statute is clearly unconstitutional given the precedent of Roe v. Wade.

The legislation denies Texas officials power to enforce it but authorizes private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone performing or contributing to an abortion. This blocks the way legislation is usually challenged before anyone is convicted for violating it. .

Challengers usually sue the official who could enforce the law, but here there is no such official. Since any private citizen could enforce this law, it is unclear who challengers could sue.


The more cautious abortion opponents have avoided putting the issue squarely before the Supreme Court, fearing that some justices personally opposed to abortion might uphold Roe on grounds of stare decisis — the importance of stable rules people can rely on.

Instead, they have enacted increasingly severe procedural limits on abortion, seeking to nibble Roe to death. But Texas has chosen to be "in your face" about it.

The Supreme Court therefore may not be able to evade the basic issue forever. It might either have to overrule Roe or strike down the Texas statute. I predict the latter.

Texas is playing with constitutional fire. Its approach is one that conservatives could never support as a general rule. It could also be used to protect other legislation violating the Constitution, including laws prohibiting ownership or possession of all guns.

We've not seen these issues discussed elsewhere in the ConWeb.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:54 AM EDT
WND Defends The Honor of Ivermectin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore has been one of WorldNetDaily's biggest promoters of dubious COVID medication ivermectin, even though he's supposed to be an unbiased journalist and tell both sides of the story and admit the ivermectin promotion he has been doing has been highly biased and tied to pro-ivermectin activists. When it was pointed out that ivermectin is best known as a horse dewormer -- and that people are buying the horse version of ivermectin from farm stores, resulting in cases of ivermectin poisoning -- Moore rushed to the medicine's defense in a lengthy Sept. 2 article:

Even NPR – albeit in its signature erudite, carefully modulated tone – couldn't hold back the preening sarcasm shared by its media allies when it became known this week that a chief critic of the establishment narrative on COVID-19 revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 and treated the disease with ivermectin.

The public broadcaster reported that the host of the world's No. 1 podcast, Joe Rogan, was "taking a cocktail of unproven treatments – including ivermectin, a deworming drug for cows that the FDA warns people should not ingest."

Political commentator Andrew Sullivan was among many who pointed out that while the drug indeed is used for farm animals, there is a Nobel-prize-winning, FDA-approved version of ivermectin for human consumption. In fact, ivermectin, touted as a "wonder drug" in the Journal of Antibiotics, was shown in both in-vitro and in-vivo studies long before the COVID-19 pandemic to have strong antiviral as well as antiparasitic properties. And since the spring of 2020, ivermectin – which is on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines and is being administered to refugees entering the U.S. – has been the subject of 113 published studies presenting statistically significant evidence indicating it is safe and effective for both treating and preventing COVID-19. Among them are 73 peer-reviewed studies, with 63 comparing treatment and control groups. Significantly, a June 2020 study found ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in-vitro. And based on promising results in human trials, the University of Oxford is studying ivermectin in the U.K.'s PRINCIPLE trial, the world’s largest clinical trial of possible COVID-19 treatments.

"At this point you have to assume that NPR knowingly lies to its listeners," Sullivan said in response to the broadcaster's tweet.

Moore didn't mention that his source for that "113 published studies" claim is an anonymously run website that is dedicted to mysteriously promoting ivermectin. And that Journal of Antibiotics study calling ivermectin a "wonder drug" came out in 2017 and, thus, is not applicable to COVID. Simiarly, ivermectin wa named an "essential medicine" by WHO -- but in 2015, meaning it also does not apply to COVID treatment. And it's irrelevant that there is a "Nobel-prize-winning, FDA-approved version of ivermectin for human consumption" becaue the FDA has not approved ivermectin for treatment of COVID.

Moore went on to hype: "More recently, the American Journal of Therapeutics published a paper analyzing 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 that found 'large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance.'" But as we documented -- and Moore has never told his readers -- this study was manufactured by pro-ivermectin activists, and it was rejected for publication in a different journal because of unsubstantiated claims violated editorial policies. Also, thte study is a database analysis, not any sort of actual clinical study.

Moore also hyped that "ivermectin – already widely used in low- and middle-income countries to treat worm infections – has been touted by government officials in treating COVID-19." But as we documented, reports from India at that time did not support the idea that a decline in COVID cases and thte use of ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine.

Moore took a while to get around to mentioning the issue of people buying the horse version of ivermectin, but he insisted it wasn't that big of a deal.

While some local health authorities are reporting they've received calls from people who have become sick from ingesting the animal version of ivermectin, the reporting of the Daily Beast and others offers no hard evidence that the scope of the poison-control reports is significant and should detract from the drug's potential to save lives.

The vast majority of Americans, who have taken the drug through a doctor's prescription, apparently can tell the difference between horse pills and people pills.

Moore went on to tout something called the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance -- Moore dutifully let the group describe itself as "a group of highly published, world-renowned critical care physicians and scholars" --complaining that federal officials who point out a lack oflegitimate medical evidence for using ivermectin to treat COVID " ignore the growing body of scientific evidence from peer-reviewed research, over 40 medical trials, and results from Ivermectin’s use in medical settings worldwide, showing the safe and effective use of the drug in fighting COVID-19." Moore didn't mention that the FLCCC is an activist group created to push dubious treatments like ivermectin, and it was the group behind the study that was rejected by one medical journal, as noted above.

Moore then went back to hyping the drug:

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on ivermectin, David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper ask "Why Is the FDA Attacking a Safe, Effective Drug?"

"If the FDA were driven by science and evidence, it would give an emergency-use authorization for ivermectin for Covid-19. Instead, the FDA asserts without evidence that ivermectin is dangerous," they write.

In fact, that op-ed is highly dubious --  one of the co-authors used to work for a company that marketed ivermectin, and the op-ed itself cited as part of its evidence a study that had been retracted after accusations of data manipulation.

In short, Moore is back to his old shenanigans, violating acceptd rules of journalism to act as a salesman for a drug so dubious he has to ramp up the hype and build conspiracy theories around.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:38 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 1:51 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
MRC's Graham Fights Another Losing Battle With Context
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham is having yet another issue with context. He complained in an Aug. 22 post:

The fact-checkers at haven't done a single fact check on President Biden's statements since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. But they did do a fact check on October 18 attacking President Trump for being soft on the Taliban. A meme by the leftists at Occupy Democrats was ruled "Mostly True." The Snopes headline was “Did Trump Admin Get Taliban Leader Out of Pakistani Prison?”

Snopes only checked the meme, and not the language that came with it on Facebook. It wasn't apparently false to boast "This is ALL on Trump!"

When a liberal is targeted, the "independent fact checkers" often suggest conservative critics are "Missing Context." Well, in this case the missing context is this: Trump’s State Department pressured Pakistan to release Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar of the Taliban as a ploy to help peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. It wasn't out of admiration. The Occupy Democrats meme suggested Trump’s team sprung this terrorist from prison, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo validated him with a meeting....without any reference to trying to help peace talks.

Context is not really Graham's friend here. If the end result was that pressure from the Trump administration got a Taliban leader out of prison, does the claim that it wasn't done "out of admiration" really help the argument? After all, Graham is conceding the point that Baradar was freed because of Trump's involvement. And does the context that Pompeo met with Baradar while "trying to help peace talks" really mitigate the fact that maybe we shouldn't be trying to negotiate peace with the Taliban?

Perhaps sensing how dumb his argument was becoming, he changed tactics and decided to issue a personal attack on the Snopes researcher, grumbling she once worked for "Arab propaganda network Al Jazeera," then a couple of shows on Comedy Central, followed by a show starring former "Daily Show" regular Hasan Mihnaj, where she complained the show's "progressive ethos" were nbot practiced behind the secnes. Graham went on to sneer: "Then she was hired by Snopes...from Al-Jazeera to comedy shows to "fact checking." It's all a young worker's career of cultivating a 'progressive ethos on screen.'" But he idenbtifies nothing "progressive" in her fact-check -- he's just lazily playing guilt by association.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:16 PM EDT
WND Columnist: Afghanistan Withdrawal Is Distraction From Arizona Audit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Craige McMillan has been spending months spreading discredited election fraud conspiracy theories. He's latched on to another one in his Aug. 27 column, claiming without evidence that President Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan was designed as a distraction from the (bogus) Arizona election audit:

Who would have thought? Afghan bombings are caused by Arizona election audits! It's such a coincidence that it's almost like it's not. For months now the Big Lie in Big Media in America has been that the Arizona Senate's audit of election processes in Maricopa County has already been discredited. Or maybe "discredited" is just a secret code word that shuts down most of the 81 million Democrat-voter thought processes that supposedly cast a ballot for Joe Biden.

The word "discredited" sitting off there in the corner by itself is an odd claim, though. The entire audit process was live streamed on the internet. Anyone with concerns about the audit processes could have watched everything and raised the alert on Big Media. Perhaps there are none so blind as those who will not look.


Perhaps the real news in the images of Afghanistan human trauma and carnage is that our own elites know that free and fair elections really didn't happen in America on Nov. 3. Maricopa County is the most populous in Arizona. It only needs 13,000 disqualified ballots to flip the vote from Biden to Trump. The larger the election discrepancies, the greater the pressure on the Arizona Senate to withdraw its Biden electors and appoint Trump electors, to correctly reflect the lawful popular vote.

he election audits are necessarily going to extend to all states with questionable election results, and there is a well-established move afoot to extend the audits to all 50 states. Long before that happens, however, the states with troubled election results will succumb to audits, and if fraud is verified that would have changed the result, they will be unable to resist the will of voters who will consider Biden to have been fraudulently elected, and they will decertify their electors. At that point the Biden government becomes illegitimate in the minds of a majority of Americans, and perhaps most foreign nations, with the possible exception of Communist China.

That's why Afghanistan is suddenly in the news, folks. Atrocities and fear push aside election-audit results. The Democratic elites know they are standing on a bridge too far. They cannot stop the audits, because presidential elections are a state issue in the Constitution. Cackling Kamala is not going to step in and fix their problem, as most of us don't think this is a laughing matter. Nancy Pelosi wants Kamala out of the way while she is still speaker, because she sees herself as next in line after Kamala for president.

McMillan ignores that the reason the Arizona audit is considered to be discredited is because of its numerous security issues and the fact that the head of the company conducting it has spread election conspiracy theories.

But with the audit's ultimate conclusion that it not only found no actual evidence of fraud but that Biden got even more votes than Trump, will McMillan now decide the audit was "discredited" because it failed to confirm his conspiracy theories? We shall see.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EDT
Trump-Fluffer Kessler Laughably Inisists That Biden Is The Real Narcissist
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler has found a narcissist in the White House and it is ... Joe Biden? He wrote in a Sept. 1 Newsmax article:

From running for president as a moderate who is actually governing from the left, to projecting himself as empathetic and caring, Biden has done a good job of fooling the American people.

But the whispery voice he adopts to project compassion is yet another act.

The truth is that Biden exhibits all the signs of a narcissist.

According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

These individuals take advantage of others to get what they want and have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.

Biden’s character flaws are magnified by what insiders call White House-itus, a malady of arrogance that is common to U.S. presidents.

Of course, the idea that Biden is a raging narcissist is ridiculous on its face -- perhaps Kessler could identify some of those supposed "insiders" he invoked to make his case. What makes this even more ridiculous is that Kessler has spent the past couple decades in thrall to a genuine narcissist and former Whjite House resident, Donald Trump.

We've documented how Kessler has been fluffing Trump since the late 1990s, when he featured Trump in a book he wrote on rich people in Palm Beach. Kessler was aggressively feeding Trump's ego by publicizing Trump's presidential ambitions as far back as 2011.

Before the 2020 election, Kessler worked with Newsmax to put together a long campaign ad masquerading as a "documentary" called "Trump and Me: A Conversation with Ron Kessler," which purported to tell "the true story of how Donald Trump became leader of the world’s most powerful nation — and how he made it great again."The gushing continued:

In "Trump and Me," Kessler describes how Trump worked his way up the ladder of success, graduating from the prestigious Wharton School to help run his father's real estate business, eventually turning it into a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

Kessler looks at Trump's uphill battle in Washington to reform the bureaucracies of the FBI, CIA, VA, and other agencies that are in desperate need of fresh blood and renewed ethics.

And he discusses Trump's efforts boost the economy, reign in trade agreements, end poverty, and fight bigotry.

"He was very prepared for becoming president because he had a grasp on a lot of world issues and a grasp of conservative approaches to the government — and he simply implemented them," Kessler says in "Trump and Me."

He adds, "Trump really cares about his country. He is a patriot."

Kessler also reveals Trump's most personal side, including his relationship with his wife Melania, family, and his staff.

That was followed by this laughable claim: "It's an unvarnished, unbiased look at Trump that you will not find anywhere else." Oh, please -- if this was really "unvarnished" and "unbiased," Trump would not have permitted it, Kessler would not be taking part, and Newsmax would not be airing it.

Given that Kessler has spent the past couple decades enabling a narcissist, Kessler has no credibility in dubiously accusing Biden of being one.

(Photo: Ronald Kessler and his wife, Pamela, with Donald Trump, from Kessler's 1999 book "The Season.")

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 12:35 PM EDT
CNS Mocks Biden For Responding To Afghan Suicide Bombing 'Someday' (Though It Happened The Very Next Day)
Topic: served up three articles on President Biden's remarks after a pair of suicide attacks outside the Kabul airport on Aug. 26. The first was a basic stenography piece by Melanie Arter under the headline "Biden: ‘We Will Hunt You Down and Make You Pay’." The second, written by SusanJones under the headline "Biden: 'These ISIS Terrorists Will Not Win.'," included the objective journalism-violating editorial comment that Jones is known for, touting the suicide attacks as "a propaganda victory at the very least" and after noting that Biden he ordered his commanders to "develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership, and facilities," sneered, "Those plans, then, are just now being developed." Jones also made sure to add Republican criticism: "Long before Biden's disastrous exit from Afghanistan began, a number of politicians and pundits were warning that terrorists are exploiting Biden's lifting of restrictions at the southern U.S. border."

The third, by Craig Bannister, cherry-picked Biden to make him look like a weak leader, under the biased headline "Biden: We Will Respond to the Terrorist Attack, Someday":

Addressing Americans following Thursday’s deadly Kabul Airport bombing, President Joe Biden promised that the U.S. will strike back at the terrorists responsible, at some point.

Biden said that the U.S. will strike back at the terrorists, someday, whenever it chooses to do so:

“I’ve also ordered my commanders to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership, and facilities.

“We will respond with force and precision at our time, at the place we choose, and the moment of our choosing.”

Last Friday, however, Pres. Biden vowed there would be a “swift” military response to “any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport”:

The next day, the U.S. launched a drone strike against ISIS-K militants. CNS didn't bother to report on it. It was only after the second day of drone strikes that CNS' Patrick Goodenough felt compelled to write about the response his employer initially mocked:

For the second time in two days, the U.S. military on Sunday carried out an unmanned airstrike targeting suspected ISIS-K terrorists, destroying a vehicle in Kabul which it said posed an imminent threat to the Kabul airport where the U.S.-led evacuation mission is drawing to a close.

“We are confident we successfully hit the target,” U.S. Central Command spokesman U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Urban said in a statement. “Secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”

But even then -- apparently under orders to put a negative spin on things -- Goodenough felt compelled to portray the drone strikes as a possible failure by emphasizing the possibilities of civilan casualties:

“We are assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we have no indications at this time,” he said. “We remain vigilant for potential future threats.”

Hours later, Urban in an updated statement said the military was aware of reports of civilian casualties, suggesting they may have resulted from the secondary explosions, rather than the initial strike on the vehicle.

Goodenough did something similar to the Biden administration earlier this year -- complaining that Biden hadn't acted quickly enough in responding to Russian misdeed, then virtually ignored it when Biden did respond the day after his complaint appeared.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 12:05 AM EDT
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

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