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Thursday, October 21, 2021
MRC Writer LIES About Reporting On Border Partrol Whip Claim
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro hyperbolically ranted in a Sept. 20 post:

Parroting the Biden White House’s use of “horrific” to describe the images coming out of Del Rio, Texas Monday, ABC and CBS drew viewers’ attention to the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. But no, they weren’t talking about the nearly 15,000 Haitian illegals living under the international bridge in squalid conditions. They were spreading misinformation and lies about Border Patrol agents purportedly using “whips” against the people trying to cross the river.

Actually, the liar here is Fondacaro -- at no point does he quote anyone from ABC or CBS describing anyone from the Border Patrol using "whips." From later in his post:

There are alarming images from the Texas border tonight. The White House pressed on them today, calling the images ‘horrific.’ What were some Border Patrol agents doing,” gawked ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir, repeating his dubious question from his opening tease.

Downplaying how the Biden administration had been ignoring cries for help from Customs and Border Protection for months, ABC correspondent Kenneth Moton ignored statements made by CBP giving context to the images, equipment, and training their agents received:

Tonight, this new video of Haitian migrants at the southern border, the chaos and despair. Images showing Border Patrol agents on horseback as they try to stop them from crossing the river into the U.S. the White House seeking answers.

He followed up with a soundbite of Press Secretary Jen Psaki ignorantly spouting off. “I've also seen the video. I can't imagine what the scenario is where that would be appropriate,” she said.

[...]

But the truth didn’t matter to the CBS Evening News as they too spewed the lies. Correspondent Manuel Bojorquez even accused agents of targeting families and babies.

“A number of agents on horseback can be seen trying to keep migrates from crossing into the country while threatening them with what appears to be horses reins or ropes; including families like this one holding a baby when the agents get dangerously close,” he claimed.

He also whined about “A massive show of force by Texas Troopers crating a barricade along the border to stop the thousands of mainly Haitian migrants from arriving in Del Rio, Texas.”

Again: Fondacaro doesn't quote anyone declaring that the Border Patrol was using whips. That make him a liar -- eve as he accused others of telling "lies" he didn't actually identify. Yet so committed was Fondacaro to the false right-wing narrative that he spouted it again the following day:

For the second evening in a row Tuesday, ABC and CBS continued to peddle the debunked and malicious smear that mounted Border Patrol agents were “whipping” Haitian migrants that tried to cross into the United States illegally. While they either scoffed at or ignored the statements from knowledgeable sources explaining the training and basic horsemanship, NBC Nightly News again bucked the narrative and chose to talk about how violent some of the illegals were when they were being deported.

[T]he Department of Homeland Security is now launching an investigation into those disturbing images of some border agents on horseback, images the White House called ‘horrific,’” announced sensationalist ABC anchor David Muir on World News Tonight.

Further into the segment, ABC correspondent Kenneth Moton lauded the ridiculous investigation and President Biden’s ignorant comments:

MOTON: And tonight, amid questions over images, the white house called “horrific.” DHS now launching an investigation into these images, showing Border Patrol agents on horses, confronting migrants as they enter Texas from Mexico. Tonight, President Biden reacting to those chaotic scenes.

BIDEN: We will get it under control.

“The union representing Border Patrol agents saying, that's their training,” he scoffed at the facts. And as he wrapped his segment, Moton touted how DHS “right now, has agency monitors on the ground to make sure those policies are being followed.

Over on the CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell didn’t fear for the Del Rio community that was having their grocery stores cleaned out nor for the overworked and overwhelmed Border Patrol agents. “And there is growing concern about how the migrants are treated both in Mexico and the U.S.” she lamented.

The network was also out to warp reality, ignoring the situation surrounding the need to bring in mounted units. Disregarding how Border Patrol needed to use horses because of the terrain and for potent crowd control, CBS correspondent Manuel Bojorquez suggested they just wanted to be cruel.

“The Department of Homeland Security is now investigating this incident where Border Patrol agents on horseback are seen intimidating Haitian migrants at the southern border,” he reported.

Again, the reality warper is Fondacaro. despite accusing ABC and CBS of claiming the Border Patrol was "whipping" immigrants, he quotes nobody actually saying that.

But Fondacaro wasn't done pushing his false narrative. He wrote in a Sept. 22 post: "Border Patrol was already stretched dangerously thin but on Wednesday, ABC’s World News Tonight celebrated their job getting harder as multiple mounted agents were ordered to 'administrative duties' after the rabid left and liberal media smeared them with lies about using 'whips' on Haitian migrants." But nowhere in his post did he quote any ABC employee saying the word "whips."

Telling ridiculous and blatant lies is a Fondacaro staple -- but the MRC appears to be totally cool with one of his researchers spreading lies, since he still has a job there.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EDT
WND 'News' Article Push Conspiracy Theories Over Planned Parenthood, Biden's 'Failing Mental Abilities'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh peddles two anti-Biden conspiracies in a single Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily "news" article:

Joe Biden's openly failing mental abilities have been a common topic of discussion since long before his election.

He's frequently seen stumbling through statements, pulling cheat sheet notes out of his pocket, forgetting names and more.

So a related question has been just exactly who is making those decisions that come out of the Oval Office.

Now it's known that one of the major influencers is Planned Parenthood.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, senior editor at the Federalist, has written on her organization's website that's because Biden is "flouting the law to push through a massive financial favor to the powerful and lucrative abortion industry that backed Joe Biden's presidential candidacy with tens of millions of dollars."

This being WND, Unruh offers no objective evidence that Biden has "openly failing mental abilities" or that anything Biden has done has occurred under the direct "instructions" of Planned Parenthood.

It takes Unruh several more paragraphs to (badly) explain (with bias) that all his biased invective is over a relatively minor policy change regarding the Affordable Care Act. In 2020, the Trump administration added a provision to the ACA to make billing for abortion services more cumbersome by requiring that coverage for such services be billed and paid for separately, rather than allowing them to be paid under a single bill, a practice that medical observers said was "expected to generate consumer confusion and potentially coverage losses" -- an observation even the Trump administration agreed with. The Biden administration is simply reversing that policy.

This also being WND, Unruh can't be bothered to balance his article with any countervailing view -- the entire article is a veiled opinion piece that censors dissent from its right-wing agenda.

This, by the way, is the kind of "news" content WND wants its readers to pay for and other websites to republish, at least if they can "provide a large audience." But if WND can't provide its own audience for such content, why would anyone else want to?


Posted by Terry K. at 4:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2021 4:20 PM EDT
Newsmax Censors Most Criticism of Ariz. Election Audit
Topic: Newsmax

Brian Truesdell wrote in a Sept. 24 Newsmax article:

Auditors who reviewed voting results cast in Maricopa County, Arizona, in last November's election said Joe Biden's vote total was 99 more than officially certified — and Donald Trump's was 261 fewer.

But at the same time, they maintained they'd found multiple election anomalies, among them more than 17,000 duplicate ballots.

The findings of the audit, commissioned by Arizona Senate Republicans and conducted by Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, were both hailed and decried by Trump critics. At once, they said the review debunked the former president's claim of fraud, but also disputed other assertions of irregularities at the polls.

That was the only reference to "critics" or any other viewpoint Truesdell would make in the article. The rest of his article largely consisted of repeating claims about the audit by those who conducted it and by Donald Trump, who hyped its results. He wrote at one point:

Among others who testified was Shiva Ayyadurai, who identified himself as an expert in pattern recognition with more than 40 years of experience. He raised several issues with the county's signature verification system — particularly the mail-in ballots, including voters receiving more than one voter ID number.

Truesdell didn't tell his readers that, as we've noted, Ayyadurai mislead in his stated finding and appeared to have no knowledge of Maricopa County policies and procedures regarding the early ballot envelopes and signature verification.

Truesdell touted Trump's comments about the audit results but didn't mention that, as even a Newsmax article earlier in the day by Jeffrey Rodack admitted, a newspaper found the results misleading and factually dubious. The closest Truesdell got to noting that the audit would have no impact onthe 2020 election was an admmission that "The after-the-fact audit is not expected to change the election results retroactively" -- though he then promoted how "Trump supporters" have embraced the audit.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
CNS Promotes Right-Wing Jewish Group's Nasty Attacks On Omar, 'Squad'
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com -- led by managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- has embraced the right-wing, pro-Trump Coalition for Jewish Values as a reliable source of right-wing attacks on CNS' political enemies. Chapman has continued to promote the group's political attacks.

A particular target of the group is the group of Democratic lawmakers known as "The Squad," and Rep. Ilhan Omar in particular, and Chapman is all too happy to serve as the group's PR agent. Chapman dutifully wrote in a June 3 article:

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents 1,500-plus traditional rabbis in American public policy, denounced "The Squad" for its "hateful rhetoric" against Jews and Israel, stressing that the "hateful bias shared both by The Squad and at 'pro-Palestinian' demonstrations ... now motivates violent attacks against Jews in American cities."

[...]

“Hateful rhetoric against Jews has increased since the ‘The Squad’—Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Ayanna Pressley (MA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) first arrived in Congress in 2019,” said CJV Western Regional Vice President Rabbi Dov Fischer in a statement.

“What we see now is a Republican leadership anxious to condemn statements that lack sensitivity, while their Democratic counterparts are giving blatant hatred a pass," said Rabbi Fischer. 

Fisher did not provide any evidence of any anti-Jewish attack that could be directly linked to any memver of "The Squad" or any thing they said, and Chapman was too locked in stenography mode to ask for any.

A June 15 article by Chapman hyped Republican attacks on Omar as a "radical anti-Semite," adding, "In February 2021, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents more than 1,500 orthodox, traditional rabbis, denounced Omar's appointment as vice chair of the Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights subcommittee within the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. That was followed by a June 23 article by Elizabeth Nieshalla hyping how "Some 200 rabbis from the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, calling for the removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee." Nieshalla quoted the coalition claiming that “Jews are being attacked day and night on American streets by mobs incited by Rep. Omar’s rhetoric,” but no evidence was offered of any direct incitement. An Aug. 11 article by Chapman repeated the unsupported claim -- ironically, in an article complaining that Omar's spokesman pointed out that pro-Israel activists' attacks on Omar were endangering her life.

A Sept. 23 article by Chapman enthusiastically promoted the CJV's vicious attack on the members of Congress, quite literally calling them Nazis:

Democratic members of "The Squad" reportedly lobbied behind the scenes on Tuesday to kill $1 billion in renewed funding for Israel's Iron Dome interceptors, a step that could only be supported by "those who want more Jews to die," said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV).

"Less than a century ago, these people called themselves #Nazis; today they are called 'The Squad,'" tweeted Rabbi Menken on Sept. 22.

Last year, CNS made a big deal of promoting complaints that some likened Donald trump to Nazis; Chapman didn't explain why the CNS collective mind changed on golng Godwin.

Chapman then offered his own biased definition of the group:"'The Squad' is composed of radical, left-wing Democrats, who support socialist policies and are often critical of Israel, sometimes spewing anti-Jewish remarks." Of course, Chapman and the CJV are simpatico in wanting people to believe that any criticism of Israel is "anti-Jewish" and make no clear distinction between the two.

We've already noted that Chapman called on the CJV to trash Colorado Gov. Jared Polis after he got "married" (his scare quotes, not ours) to his gay partner.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 22, 2021 12:09 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
MRC Complains About Facebook's VIP Policies -- But Censors How Trump Benefited From Them
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall huffed in a Sept. 13 post under the similarly huffy headline "Does Facebook Have Different Rules for VIPs? Report of Leaked Documents Suggest It Does":

Facebook reportedly has a specific set of elite users who don't have to follow the same censorship rules applied to average users. 

There’s a club of elites who don't have to follow the same rules, and Facebook has reportedly hidden it until now. “A program known as XCheck has given millions of celebrities, politicians and other high-profile users special treatment, a privilege many abuse” reported The Wall Street Journal on Monday. The Journal suggested that XCheck “was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians and journalists.” In practice, however, it reportedly “shields millions of VIP users from the company’s normal enforcement process.” 

The report described some users as being “whitelisted” or “rendered immune from enforcement actions—while others are allowed to post rule-violating material pending Facebook employee reviews that often never come.”

Hall's alarmist take might be justified -- if he hadn't censored the fact that Journal made a big point of noting that among the major XCheck beneficiaries has been Donald Trump:

In practice, Facebook appeared more concerned with avoiding gaffes than mitigating high-profile abuse. One Facebook review in 2019 of major XCheck errors showed that of 18 incidents investigated, 16 involved instances where the company erred in actions taken against prominent users.

Four of the 18 touched on inadvertent enforcement actions against content from Mr. Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr.

[...]

In June 2020, a Trump post came up during a discussion about XCheck’s hidden rules that took place on the company’s internal communications platform, called Facebook Workplace. The previous month, Mr. Trump said in a post: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

A Facebook manager noted that an automated system, designed by the company to detect whether a post violates its rules, had scored Mr. Trump’s post 90 out of 100, indicating a high likelihood it violated the platform’s rules.

For a normal user post, such a score would result in the content being removed as soon as a single person reported it to Facebook. Instead, as Mr. Zuckerberg publicly acknowledged last year, he personally made the call to leave the post up. “Making a manual decision like this seems less defensible than algorithmic scoring and actioning,” the manager wrote.

Mr. Trump’s account was covered by XCheck before his two-year suspension from Facebook in June. So too are those belonging to members of his family, Congress and the European Union Parliament, along with mayors, civic activists and dissidents.

That interferes with the MRC's narrative that Trump was a victim of "censorship" by Facebook -- it rturns out he was given a pass to regularly violate the platform's rules.

Because Hall knows that, he made sure to get back on his narrative, huffing further that "Big Tech censorship has disproportionately aided the left in recent years" and citing the Hunter Biden case as an example -- never mind that the Journal article offers no evidence there is any ideological bias in Facebook's XCheck issues, or that it appears the issues actually benefited conservatives like Trump.

Hall's censorship of facts inconvenient to his narrative is much closer to actual censorship than many of the claims the MRC has made about purported "censorship" of social media posts, in which it has portrayed a flag about content or demonitization of a post -- but the original posts could still be read -- as "censorship.' And he's definitely not going to tell you that it's attacking Facebook's purported "censorship" while the MRC is bragging about how well its content does on Facebook.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Multi-Pronged War on Nancy Pelosi
Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has always hated the House speaker, of course, but with Democrats now in power in Washington, its attacks against her have escalated. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EDT
WND Puts Its Best Spin On Dubious Ariz. Election Audit Results
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has uncritically repeated misinformation about, and from, the audit of 2020 presidential election  voes in Maricopa County, Ariz., so it had high hopes for the announced results. An anonymously written Sept. 23 article tried to work up enthusiasm for it:

Arizona state Senate Republicans will present a final report of their audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County on Friday.

The session at 1 p.m. Pacific Time – to be streamed live – will be closely watch by lawmakers in other states, including Georgia and Pennsylvania, who have been gathering evidence to support their contention that the outcome of the presidential election last fall was fraudulent.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen will hear the findings of the audit. Among the presenters are Doug Logan, CEO of the lead contractor Cyber Ninjas, and Ben Cotton, the founder of the digital forensics company CyFir.

In May, Cotton said he was able to recover data from vote-counting machines that the Senate audit team had accused Maricopa County of deleting.

Among the audit's critics is Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democratic candidate for governor, who has called it "political stunt" to cast doubt on election integrity.

However, a statewide, citizen-run canvassing launched in December – claiming no affiliation with the state Senate's audit – found 173,104 "lost votes," people who said they voted but no vote was recorded, and 96,389 "ghost votes" from invented voters.

WND censored the fact that the citizen canvass report has been discredited, and that the databases accused of being deleted were actually inadvertently hidden by the people runmning the audit, which should offer a clue as to how seriously the audit should be taken.

The anonymous WND writer added: 

Jovan Pulitzer, who had invented a system he claims can detect fraudulent ballots, believes the report is "going to be monumental."

"For the very first time you're really going to see how sick this system is that we call our election and voting system," he said in an interview Sept. 17 with St. Louis Real Talk radio station 93.3.

"It's about as efficient as a 1980s fax machine. And you’re going to look at it and go, 'Wow, why didn't we do anything with it?'"

Pulitzer (not his real name) does not have a record that inspires trust: he's a con man, failed treasure hunter and inventor of one of the worst gadgets ever, the CueCat.Not that the anonymousWND writer thought this was worth telling readers, of course.

The Sept. 24 article on the actual results -- also written anonynmously -- started out surprisingly balanced for a WND article, though he (or she) made the mistake of basing the story on the notoriously unreliable Gateway Pundit:

The CEO of a cybersecurity firm hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to audit the 2020 election results in Maricopa County said Friday he found more than 57,000 problem ballots, however his team's count confirmed that Joe Biden won.

Those mixed results produced contrasting reactions on Friday, with media reporting the five-month, $6 million effort was a waste of taxpayers money while President Trump, Arizona Republican lawmakers and voter-integrity activists pointed to findings that verify their belief that the election was fraudulent.

Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, said his team found 57,734 ballots with serious issues, the Gateway Pundit reported.

[...]

Ben Cotton, the founder of the digital forensics firm CyFIR, claimed in his presentation to the senators he has evidence that Maricopa County workers intentionally deleted data.

He said his team caught the election workers at the keyboards of computers in February purging results from the Election Management System the day before the audit began.

Cotton is lying; as county officials stated, "Nothing was purged. Cyber Ninjas don’t understand the business of elections. We can't keep everything on the EMS server because it has storage limits."The anonymous WND writer did acknowledge that "Maricopa County responded with a statement on Twitter saying it 'strongly denies claims that @maricopavote staff intentionally deleted data.'" And, of course, that 57,000 number is a bogus accounting.

As the article continued, the anonymous WND writer became content to simply regurgitate whatever bogus claims were made:

Another 17,000 ballots in Maricopa County should not have been counted because they were duplicate votes, contended Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT-trained data analyst hired by the Senate Republicans.

He said there were ballots that eventually were double or triple counted that had a "verified and approved" stamp pre-printed on the front. Among the examples he presented was a ballot that was stamped as approved even though it didn't have a signature.

As one fact-checker noted, that's not what happened, and "Ayyadurai appeared to have absolutely no knowledge of Maricopa County policies and procedures regarding the early ballot envelopes and signature verification.

The audit was proved to be a sham, but it produced the results WND wanted, so it tried to keep the narrative alive. An anonymously written Sept. 29 article hyped the next step:

When the Arizona state Senate revealed last week the results of its audit of the 2020 presidential election race in Maricopa County, which confirmed more than 57,000 problem ballots in a county won by Joe Biden by a handful, some may have thought the issue was over.

They would have been wrong.

This week, Arizona Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Brnovich announced a review of the issue, and so did officials in Maricopa County.

The article repeated the false claims about data being deleted.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
MRC Tries To Hype Minor Durham Indictment As A 'Massive Development'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro hyperbolically declared in a Sept. 16 post:

On Thursday, Special Counsel John Durham convinced a grand jury to indict Michael Sussmann, a lawyer with deep ties to both the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. Sussmann was accused of providing the FBI with false information and lying to investigators about who he was working for. But despite this massive development, neither CBS nor NBC decided to give it airtime that evening, effectively obfuscating it from their viewers.

Instead of reporting on Durham’s indictment of a second person accused of lying to trump up false connections between Russia and former President Trump, the CBS Evening News spent over two minutes (2:01) on a protest to support January 6 rioters (a protest that was two days away). NBC Nightly News didn’t report on either the indictment or the protest.

CBS’s omission was especially heinous considering their senior investigative correspondent, Catherine Herridge (formerly of Fox News), was all over the story on Twitter[,]

Fondacaro went on to gush that "Fox News Channel’s Special Report was sure to drill down on the important details ABC omitted. In their over-three-minute (3:06) segment on the Durham indictment, correspondent David Spunt noted that Sussmann’s involvement was hinted a year ago."

Because Fondacaro is so ideologically invested in building Sussmann's indictment on relatively minor charges into a "massive development" -- to the point of portraying notorioiusly biased Fox News as a voice of reason -- he's not going to tell you what other legal observers have said about it. One observer noted that "Durham struggles in the text of the indictment itself to explain why Sussman’s lie mattered—which is important in a false statement case because the false statement’s materiality is an element of the offense," and he points out that "the evidence that Sussmann lied at all is weak." He added that Durham's apparent mission to "pressure Sussmann to cooperate with a broader effort to prosecute Clinton-world operatives for an attempt to defraud the FBI on Trump-Russia matters" has two big flaws: that "digging dirt on political opponents and trying to interest law enforcement in that dirt is not presumptively a crime," and that "the Russia investigation in the main did not turn on these efforts or flow from them."

(Indeed, Tim Graham lashed out in his Sept. 20 podcast at CNN's Brian Stelter for making a similar argument: "Stelter complained the charge of false statements was just 'peripheral characters flubbing details.' He ignored that many of Robert Mueller's indictments were for false statements under oath.")

Fondacaro went on to complain that "Muir falsely claimed Durham was “appointed by former President Trump” when in reality it was then-Attorney General William Barr." But given the closeness at the time between Trump and Barr, isn't that a distinction without a difference?

When Durham did something else minor, Fondacaro ramped up his hype machine again in a Sept. 30 post:

On Thursday, Special Counsel John Durham made more moves in the investigation into the origin of the Russia collusion hoax. Again, the person in question is a tech executive with ties to Hillary Clinton, plus ties to the man charged with feeding the FBI false information about then-candidate Donald Trump having a secret server to communicate with Russia. Of course, this latest development went right into the newsroom wastebasket of the broadcast networks who ignored it that evening.

Only the highest priorities and news judgment from the liberal media were on full display Thursday evening.

Instead of covering how another person in the Clinton orbit was under the legal microscope, ABC’s World News Tonight chose to try to boast about President Biden supposedly leading negotiations with his party to save his agenda. On CBS Evening News, they were busy touting how Biden would arrest and deport fewer illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, NBC Nightly News was hyping the lineup for the Super Bowl Half Time Show next February.

Then there was Fox News Channel’s Special Report, where anchor Bret Baier made the story a priority.

Of course, Fondacaro isn't going totell you that Baier, like himself, "made the story a priority" because he's paid to push right-wing agendas and it might adversely afffect his job if he did not make his news report Trump-friendly and Hillary-hostile. Also, the story of a Trump Organization server linked to Russia's Alfa Bank is far from "false" as Fondacaro claimed; and the server mystery is far from settled.

But, again, Fondacaro is not a "media researcher" -- he's a right-wing shill who prioritizes manufacturing narratives over telling the truth.

His fellow co-worker Brad Wilmouth is as well, which is why he spent an Oct. 3 post touting how, "picking up on recent reporting by NewsBusters, Fox News host Laura Ingraham lambasted the liberal media for downplaying the most recent developments in the investigation of wrongdoing by those involved in the anti-Donald Trump Russia collusion probe." So a partisan organization constructing right-wing narratives is "reporting" now?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 10:05 PM EDT
Newsmax Touts Noem -- But Censored Affair Accusation
Topic: Newsmax

On Sept. 28, Newsmax partnered with the conservative Young America's Foundation at the Reagan Ranch in California, and the star speaker was Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. Needless to say, it cranked out the coverage of her spinning right-wing talking points and self-promotion:

That was followed with an article the next day from a interview Noem did with Newsmax at the event, under the headline "Gov. Kristi Noem to Newsmax: COVID Shows 'Leadership Has Consequences'."  The article didn't mention the most recent direct consequence of her "leadership" -- a surge in COVID cases in the state following the big motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., the previous month. Noem even got a Sept. 29 article from Charlie McCarthy on how her administration "has applied for a special-use permit to hold fireworks at Mount Rushmore on the Fourth of July next year," though "The Biden administration denied Noem's permit request for fireworks in 2021."

One thing you won't read about at Newsmax, though: accusations of an extramarital affair she had with former Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, for whome he had been an adviser. INteresting, the accusation came from a conservative website. Noem has denied the accusation, and she more definitively broke ties with Lewandowski a couple days after that accusation surfaced, when it was revealed he made sleazy sexual advances to the wife of a prominent Republican donor.

But you will read nothing at all about this at Newsmax.

It, did, however, note another burgeoning Noem scandal that erupted around the same time. Another excerpt from Newsmax's Noem interview with host Rob Schmitt, written by Eric Mack, allowed her to frame the scandal as a political attack by a "disgruntled" ex-employee:

Striking back at a report by The Associated Press claiming the daughter of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem received special treatment in receiving a real estate appraiser license, Noem dismissed the claim as baseless and a "political attack."

"The real story is that my daughter received no special treatment," Noem told Newsmax on Tuesday in an exclusive interview from the Ronald Reagan ranch outside Santa Barbara, California, which aired Wednesday on "Rob Schmitt Tonight."

"She did exactly what every other person did, applying and receiving an appraisers license in the state of South Dakota.

"This is another political attack."

[...]

"While they completely ignore Hunter Biden, they're going after my daughter," she lamented. President Joe Biden's son has been accused of influence peddling and questionable dealings with foreign governments.

This is the only mention of this scandal on the Newsmax website, which means it has censored later deveopments such as hiding mention of a meeting with a state employee in charge of issuing appraiser licenses in a video defending herself, the employee's subsequent claim she was forced to retire over the controversy and receiving a $200,000 payout to drop further action against the state, and blocking the release of documents regarding Noem's daughter's license.

Newsmax seems to be doing a fine job of covering for a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:35 PM EDT
Irony: WND Columnist Complains About 'Trusted Sources'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Craige McMillan writes in his Sept. 24 WorldNetDaily column:

One of the things I frequently hear is that, "it's impossible to tell what is true anymore!"

Maybe it's actually been that way for much longer than most of us ever realized. Operation Mockingbird, where big media got its talking points from the CIA, was exposed back in the 1970s. Did we really think that something which worked so well would be stopped just because it had been exposed?

What's different today is that a second front has opened up with disinformation and censorship. Big tech, which was created by DARPA, added censorship to the government's arsenal of lies. This is straight out of the fascist playbook, where it is illegal for government to censor individuals, so they use a created private entity to do the task. The end result is the same: Only the "official truth" emerges, and it always comes from big media and "trusted" sources.

These sources are trusted, of course, only by those who lack the skills to assess their truthfulness. There are a variety of ways to tell if information is true. Writers ask – and answer – this question all the time. What might surprise you is that fiction writers ask it more often than nonfiction writers.

What McMillan isn't going to tell you: If the information was published by WND, there's a higher-than-normal likelihood that it's not true and shouldn't be trusted. He would like to keep his WND writing gig, after all. McMillan then goes on to demonstrate why WND shouldn't be trusted by spouting a conspiracy theory about why flu deaths were so low last winter:

What I would believe is that the normal number of flu deaths were shifted to a new, mysterious illness that has symptoms similar to the flu. The big clue for me is the overreach. All deaths were attributed to the new illness, taking the annual flu death total to zero? Ha, ha, ha! Not believable without a forensic audit of death certificates and patient records.

Was the shift an honest mistake? Perhaps the dreaded new disease and the flu were very similar, and experienced medical people could not tell the difference in how the patients died. The longer you are alive and visit doctors, the less likely you are to believe that we can hide anything from them. It just doesn't ring true on a large scale, with many patients and many doctors, does it?

Maybe something else was at work. Were the hospitals padding the numbers of deaths by the dreaded new disease? Did they get extra money for dreaded new disease deaths? Yes, they did, and they still do. Would hospitals withhold therapeutic treatment with off-label drugs that alleviated hospitalization? Aren't hospitals supposed to fix people, not just keep them locked up until they die?

Is there anyone else outside of the hospital who benefits by lumping the seasonal flu deaths in with the dreaded new disease deaths? Tyrannical governors? Power-hungry health departments? Pharmaceutical companies? Go ahead and ask the questions. The reservoir of truth within you about how the world works and people act will set you free.

Or, you  know, flu deaths were down because wearing masks to keep COVID-19 from spreading also keeps the flu from spreading and more people got flu vaccinations. But Occam's Razor never seems to occur to conspiracy-mongers like McMillan -- there must always be a deep, dark conspiracy that echoes his right-wing ideology.

McMillan concluded by declaring: "Don't sell yourself short. Don't pay much attention to so called trusted sources. The fact that they are being called trusted sources by those driving the narrative is a big clue. Any source that can be trusted isn't afraid of being questioned." Remember, this is a guy who thinks WND is a "trusted source." It's not.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EDT
CNS Parrots MRC's Defense Of Nicki Minaj's Anti-Vaxxer Claims
Topic: CNSNews.com

Showing once again there's less and less separation between the Media Research Center and its "news" division, CNSNews.com once again followed the MRC's partisan footsteps by echoing a story the parent had previously pounced on, this time the Nicki Minaj COVID story, in which the rapper is made out to be a victim for her COVID anti-vaxxer claims being exposed. Megan Williams parroted the rapper's side of events in a Sept. 16 article:

Rapper Nicki Minaj told her 22.6 million followers she had “been suspended from Twitter” for posts telling people to get the COVID-19 vaccine when they are ready, reported Salon.

“They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. If I get vaccinated it won’t be for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now,” Minaj tweetednon Monday.

She later posted about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad and Tobago that supposedly got the vaccine and became impotent and had swollen testicles. She warned her followers to make a decision about getting the vaccine for themselves.

“So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with [your] decision, not bullied,” Minaj advised. 

It wasn't until the 10th paragraph that Williams got around to noting that "Trinidad and Tobago claimed that there are actually no reports of the COVID-19 vaccine side effects that Minaj reported in her tweet."

The next day, Melanie Arter seemed to be blaming the Biden White House for Minaj getting things wrong about its outreach to her:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is denying that they invited rapper Nikki Minaj to the White House to discuss her concerns about COVID vaccinations.

[...]

As a result of the controversy, Minaj said that she was invited to the White House, which she called “a step in the right direction” and indicated that she was going.”

“The White House has invited me & I think it’s a step in the right direction. Yes, I’m going. I’ll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business. I’ll ask questions on behalf of the ppl who have been made fun of for simply being human. #BallGate day 3,” she tweeted.

The White House, however, denied that they invited Minaj for a visit.

Arter also uncritically repeated Minaj's bogus claims about her cousin's friend's swollen testicles without also mentioning the claim has been discredited.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Monday, October 18, 2021
MRC Lashes Out Again At Teen Who Criticized Texas Anti-Abortion Law
Topic: Media Research Center

Over the summer, the Media Research Center went on the attack against a Texas teenager, Paxton Smith, who used her high school graduation speech to inveigh against the then-proposed Texas law that would effectively outlaw abortions in the state -- sneering that she was "pro-baby killing" but then pretending that its vicious hatred for her wasn't about her opposition to the law. After the law passed, Smith made a couple more TV appearances to talk about the law ... and the MRC was ready to attack again.

Brad Wilmouth complained in a Sept. 5 post:

On Saturday afternoon, MSNBC weekend host Alex Witt displayed the liberal new network's pro-abortion activism by gushing over teenage abortion rights advocate Paxton Smith, who gave a valedictory speech a few months ago that was hyped by the left.

Witt even had Smith -- now at University of Texas student -- on her show to complain about the new Texas heartbeat law, allowing her to charge that the state's Republican governor, Greg Abbott, will have "blood on his hands" because of it. The MSNBC host began the segment by playing a clip of Smith's speech claiming that there is a "war" on women's rights, and, after bringing her on board, noted that she has continued to be an activist and plugged her book on the subject.

Like a fangirl, Witt oozed with enthusiasm: "I'm very excited to welcome Paxton Smith to the show right now. I'm also going to say I'm sure that the University of Texas at Austin is very excited to have you as a student there. You're going to do a lot -- I'm sure you're going to bring a lot to that campus."

Wilmouth concluded by declaring that Smith's appearance was a "segment promoting the killing of unborn babies."

Alex Christy followed up with his own attack in a Sept. 9 post:

Paxton Smith went viral in June for using her high school valedictorian speech to condemn pro-life laws. This made her a hero in the eyes of the media and now that her native of state of Texas has passed another pro-life law, Stephanie Ruhle invited Smith onto her Wednesday show on MSNBC to talk about it.

Ruhle began by hailing Smith as some sort of prophet, "Paxton, you knew this was coming, you warned us about it. You saw this as such a crisis, you made your high school valedictorian speech about it. Now here it is and the rest of the country is waking up to it and we're in shock."

[...]

Smith may be young, but she is an adult, which means she is perfectly capable of being asked tough questions, but Ruhle went the complete opposite direction when she asked, "Not just a college freshman now. You are an advocate and activist. What are you doing next?"

Apparently forgoing that music career, Smith is working on new book entitled, "A War on My Body and that book is going to focus on telling a lot of different perspectives that are often not taken into account when we talk about the abortion situation."

For Smith "different perspectives" include lamenting that we don't abort enough minorities, "We're going to talk about the racial disparities that people face when trying to access this health care."

Christy somehow forgot to call Smith a baby-killer like his colleagues did. Did his pay get docked for that?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 PM EDT
WND's Root Predicted Calif. Election Fraud -- But Can't Prove Any Fraud Happened
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Wayne Allyn Root began his Sept. 13 WorldNetDaily column with a heavy dose of self-aggrandizement leading to a prediction:

Muhammad Ali once said, "It ain't bragging if you can back it up." So, I'm gonna brag. I've got the best track record of political predictions anywhere on radio or TV.

I talk three hours a day on the radio with my show, "Wayne Allyn Root: Raw & Unfiltered," on USA Radio Network. I also hosted 750 episodes of my own talk show for three years on Newsmax TV.

I've written literally thousands of newspaper columns and commentaries over the past decade. And I've written 14 books.

My 15th book comes out on Thursday: "The Great Patriot Protest & Boycott Book." My book gives away the hard-to-find contact info that will enable 80 million Trump voters to hound, protest and boycott the top 100-plus "woke" companies. With this book, if any company goes woke, we will make you go broke.

Altogether, I may be on the record publicly more than any political oddsmaker, analyst or host in America. I've made literally thousands of predictions. I'm batting at least .990. I've gotten maybe a half-dozen predictions wrong out of thousands.

Root didn't mention the fact that he lost his Newsmax gig for promoting scammy medicines that purportedly treat COVID. Anyway, back to his prediction:

So, here's my prediction for the California governor's recall election:

Gov. Gavin Newsom will be recalled, and Larry Elder will be the next governor of California. Except it won't matter. Because after all the massive Democratic vote fraud is factored in, Gavin Newsom will survive the recall and Larry Elder will lose.

[...]

How do I know? Let me count the ways.

irst, millions of people who have immigrated illegally are voting in California. When they get their driver's licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles, they are automatically registered to vote. By law, no one is allowed to ask if they are a citizen. No one can ask for valid ID. Millions of such voters tip the scale for failed socialist Democrats in California. It's pretty simple – they vote for the party that won't deport them and will keep welfare checks coming from cradle to grave.

Second, California has sent out tens of millions of mail-in ballots. Just like the presidential election in 2020, there is no way to know who's who. There is no voter ID. There is no chain of custody. There is no signature verification. There is nothing but millions of fake ballots, signed with fake names.

Just one of my fans has received 16 ballots at his California home. He lives there with only his wife and two kids. Sorry Larry, Democrats and their flood of fake ballots will never allow you to win this one.

Third, California allows anyone to print out ballots on their home computer. That's pure insanity.

Fourth, California has ballot harvesting. Anyone can collect thousands of fake ballots, fill them out and hand them in. Democrats have perfected this art.

Lastly, the actual ballots were designed with a flaw. You must fold the ballot to mail it. Computers that scan the votes often auto-cancel the name checked on the fold. Guess whose name is on the fold out of 46 candidates? Larry Elder. What a coincidence. What a shocker!

If Root's prediction percentage is supposedly high, his average on repeating facts is much lower. Contrary to Root's assertions, voters were not required to fold the ballot any particular way, let alone a way that put Elder's name on the fold, a voter must have requested the ability to print a ballot at home at least seven days before the election (along with other safeguards to prevent fraud), and there have been no major issues with fraud in previous California elections where mail-in ballots have been used.

Root concluded by huffing: "So, I'm rooting for you Larry. I know you'd make a great governor. But sadly, I know it won't matter. The election is rigged. Your governorship will be stolen, just as Trump's presidency was stolen."

But then an interesting thing happened: nothing.Despite his love of spreading misinformation about about the presidential election to back up his claim that "Trump's presidency was stolen," Root has yet to offer any proof that the election was "stolen" from Elder. In his Sept. 20 column, he simply rehashed his earlier claims: "Exhibit A is the California recall election that just ended last week. It was rigged from the get-go. Larry Elder never had a chance. California Democrats just conducted a test run of the expanded plan. It worked to perfection." He offered no evidence to back it up. His columns on Sept. 27, Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 were all silent on the election.

Meanwhile, in the real world, there were few issues with the election, and even Elder gracefully accepted his decisive loss.

If Root can't come up with any actual evidence of election fraud, he will have to recalculated his prediction rate to lower it.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: California Recallin' At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center predictably shilled for right-wing radio host Larry Elder in the lead-up to the California recall election -- and was presumably glad it no longer had to suppress its transphobia to support early GOP front-runner Caitlyn Jenner. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 AM EDT
Sunday, October 17, 2021
MRC's Graham Justifies GOP Lie About Biden, Complains That Fact-Checkers Called Them Out
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham, it seems, still doesn't understand how fact-checking works. In a Sept. 16 post, he tried to push a false narrative and complained that fact-checkers busted right-wing media for spreading it:

Sister Toldjah at RedState reported that those “independent fact checkers” at CNN andThe Washington Post rushed to Biden’s defense again on Tuesday. They were upset that Republicans pounced on Team Biden for cutting off the president’s White House video feed in mid-question on Monday in Idaho, like he was going to lose his marbles.

For Biden critics, this easily recalled the recent Politico story about how embarrassed the Bidenites are "filled with anxiety" are about Biden speaking in public and “some White House staffers will either mute him or turn off his remarks” at their desks.

[...]

Glenn Kessler threw Four Pinocchios – his Pants on Fire rating – for Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) asking the Secretary of State “It’s been widely reported that somebody has the ability to push the button and cut off his sound and stop him from speaking. Who is that person?”

That’s actually a question. Someone obviously cut the feed. They didn’t “stop him from speaking.” They stopped the public from hearing it. But Kessler aggressively and defensively interpreted it (which ain’t fact checking) as “Who’s that person behind the scenes secretly controlling President Biden?”

It wasn't until the 13th paragraph of his article -- after pushing the malicious right-wing narrative that Biden is purportedly suffering from "cognitive decline"  -- that Graham got around to admitting that Kessler is right:

There was a point in here. The White House described this as a “pool spray,” which suggested in advance they would cut off the feed to the media once the president turned to questions. But the president clearly didn’t wait for his team to cut the feed. He plowed ahead.

That's right -- the cutoff of the  feed was planned in advance, and the media knew it. Which means Republicans were lying by claiming the feed was cut off to save Biden from embarassment.

But when Kessler accurately pointed out that Republicans "made a mountain out of a molehill" and that "readers should be wary of partisan efforts to craft a narrative out of misleading clips," Graham attacked Kessler, not his fellow Republicans, with lame whataboutism:

So Kessler isn't really "fact checking" here. He's objecting to "partisan efforts to craft a narrative." As if The Washington Post is never guilty of this! The newspaper whose reporters have pumped out three hyperbolic anti-Trump books in 2021.

Yeah, whataboutism is pretty much all that Graham has here. He's justifying Republicans spreading a lie, complaining that they got caught spreading it, and refusing to admit they were right to do so. That's not "media research" -- that's partisan hackery at its worst, and it doesn't make anyone want to trust anything the MRC does.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EDT

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