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Wednesday, October 27, 2021
MRC Still Won't Admit That COVID Misinformation Objectively Exists
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center wants you to believe that misinformation about COVID and its vaccines isn't really misinformation -- it's just someone's opinion, man, and nobody should be "censoring" it even though it could be so dangerous that it gets people killed. Because it furthers the MRC's victimhood narrative, it is clinging to that belief. Autumn Johnson complained in an Aug. 19 post:

Facebook is taking action after pressure from the White House. The Biden administration blamed the platform for the majority of coronavirus “misinformation.”

The news comes after the White House blamed accounts on the platform for spreading misinformation.

"There's about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.


Still, Facebook has not removed every account linked to the original 12 accounts, saying that "the remaining accounts associated with these individuals are not posting content that breaks our rules, have only posted a small amount of violating content, which we've removed, or are simply inactive."

Some argue pressure from the federal government should classify Big Tech social media platforms as “state actors.”

But public health and politics are two very different things. The MRC was a loyal pro-Trump defender during his presidency; did that make it a "state actor"? Note also that Johnson won't admit there's COVID misinformaton on Facebook -- she uses scare quotes and refers to "so-called COVID-19 misinformation."

Alexander Hall repeated that narrative in an Aug. 23 post:

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy nagged social media companies for not doing more to censor so-called misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Murthy in an August 22 appearance of CNN’s State of the Union, the American people are so-called “superspreaders” of misinformation by questioning the government narrative, according to the Biden administration. America’s current surgeon general responded to Facebook’s most recent transparency report by scourging social media

Murthy commented on the “profound cost of health misinformation,” observing that “we’ve been seeing the health misinformation as a problem for years, but the speed, scale and sophistication with which it is spreading and impacting our health is really unprecedented.”

But rather than why he's ranting about "so-called misinformation" instead of admitting that misinformation objectively exists, Hall played victim: "In contrast to Murthy’s claims, Facebook has been notoriously sloppy and all too  quick to censor conservatives and narratives with which it disagrees. Facebook fact-checker PolitiFact came after the Media Research Center (MRC) for citing a graphic first released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." As we documented, that was an inaccurate graphic that the MRC used to create a false meme that the Delta variant was nothing to worry about -- meaning that the MRC got busted for pushing misinformation.

Gabriela Parseau continued the denial/victimhood narrative in an Aug. 27 post:

YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said in a recent blog post that the platform has “removed over 1M videos” with information on COVID-19 since February 2020. He justified censorship in favor of “accountability” and “balance” on the platform.

Mohan downplayed the censorship when he said that YouTube removed allegedly “dangerous coronavirus information.” He claimed that YouTube attempts to “strike a sensible balance between freedom of speech and freedom of reach” and implied that censorship on an “open platform” offers “greater accountability to connect people with quality information.”

The YouTube executive also cited that the platform removes “nearly 10 million videos a quarter.” He admitted, however, that removing too much content can be dangerous. “An overly aggressive approach towards removals would also have a chilling effect on free speech,” said Mohan. “Removals are a blunt instrument, and if used too widely, can send a message that controversial ideas are unacceptable.” [Emphasis added.]

He ignored the fact that YouTube seemingly sends that exact message every time it censors users and health care professionals.

Mohan all but conceded that people define misinformation in different ways but stopped short of admitting that YouTube subjectively defines misinformation and acceptable conversation for its users. “One person’s misinfo is often another person’s deeply held belief, including perspectives that are provocative, potentially offensive, or even in some cases, include information that may not pass a fact checker’s scrutiny,” he said. [Emphasis added.]

Of course, Pariseau and the rest of the MRC believe that any idea that doesn't advance right-wing agendas are "unaccepable," and Parseau won't admit that she's subjectively defining misinformation to advance that very agenda.

Jiohnson wrote in another Aug. 27 post:

In a blow to Big Tech, Reddit is refusing to censor so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19, instead choosing to allow “debate, dissent, and protest.”

The online platform is well-known for its users who have anonymous usernames to discuss a wide range of topics, such as politics, sports, video games and more.

Reddit has previously faced criticism for >caving to the left and censoring content, including banning "r/The_Donald, r/ChapoTrapHouse, and about 2,000 other communities," according to The Verge June 29, 2020. The platform also suspended over 7,000 subreddits for alleged “hate” content, despite Reddit's acknowledgement that it is not always able to identify precisely what "hate" means.

Now, Reddit is going against the recent social media platform trends that censor alleged misinformation about COVID-19 and its vaccines.

Actually, the r/The_Donald was notorious for its hate and incitement to violence, and one did not need to "identify precisely what 'hate' means" in order to determine that. Or is Pariseau so morally compromised that she doesn't see anti-liberal hate as "hate"?

The talking point was rehashed again in a Sept. 14 post by Catherine Salgado:

Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to Amazon last week demanding that the company more stringently censor so-called COVID-19 “misinformation.”

Warren (D-MA) wrote her letter on Sept. 7 to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy warning about the spread of “misinformation about COVID-19.” She suggested Amazon enables misinformation by promoting books which the senator claimed contain “falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and cures,” even going so far as including such books on the website’s best-seller list. She accused Amazon of “an unethical, unacceptable, and potentially unlawful course of action.”

Warren stated that when her staff searched the Amazon site with terms such as “COVID-19” and “vaccine,” they discovered that books like The Truth About Covid-19: Exposing the Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and the New Normal were included in the top results. The book, written by Dr. Joseph Mercola, is listed as the #1 best-seller in both the “Censorship & Politics” and “Political Freedom” book categories.

The senator asked Amazon to prevent “misinformation” books from becoming best-sellers or showing as top results.

Salgado failed to tell her readers that Mercola is an indisputable quack and his book has been utterly discredited as, yes, misinformation. But because and the rest of the MRC she believes there's no objective definition of misinformation -- except, of couse, when non-conservatives do it -- a dangerous quack gets a pass.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
CNS Parrots GOP Congressman's Factually Deficient Claim About Waiting 'Months' For A Microwave

Craig Bannister gave a right-wing senator space to rant in a Sept. 21 article:

President Joe Biden’s “$5 trillion tax-and-spend bill masquerading as an infrastructure bill” will worsen the rampant inflation he’s already inflicting on American families, House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) warned Tuesday.

Americans are already paying more for everything they’re buying – even having to hold off for months before buying microwaves – Scalise said at a press event, explaining how Biden’s plan to raise and create taxes will hurt low-income families:

Scalise did not offer any proof to back up his claim that microwave ovens are in such short supply that one must wait "months" to buy one, and Bannister clearly did not ask for any. In fact, while chip shortages and supply chain issues are affecting supplies many appliances, there's no evidence microwaves are particulartly affected -- or that anyone is being forced to wait "months" to buy one. Indeed, for instance, Walmart appears to have dozens of microwave models in stock and ready to ship.And neither Bannister nor Scalise identify how President Biden is supposed to fix this nonexistent problem.

This claim is simply too good to fact-check -- but applying simple logic causes to to crumble. Is that the way to run a "news" organization?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:54 PM EDT
MRC's Uber Driver Complaint Over Texas Abortion Law
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Mark Finkelstein ranted in a Sept. 10 post:

Journolist is no more. In 2010, the online forum where leftist journalists congregated to decide on the liberal talking points of the day was shut down by its founder Ezra Klein when the group was exposed.

And yet, leftists still manage to spout remarkably similar lines. When it comes to the Texas abortion law, the liberal trope of the times is the poor, besieged, "Uber driver." The notion is that Uber drivers who transport women to abortion clinics will be sued by private citizens under the law, seeking an award of up to $10,000.

On Friday's Morning Joe, MSNBC liberal analyst Jonathan Lemire, who also poses as a "reporter" for the Associated Press, mouthed the "Uber driver" line. We've put together a mash-up of multiple liberal worthies, starting with Lemire, all trotting out the "Uber driver" trope. leftists prefer to focus on supposedly beleaguered Uber drivers even though very few are likely to be sued because they want to deflect attention from what the true target of the law would be: the abortionists themselves.

Among those making appearances are Joy Behar, Gloria Allred, Laurence Tribe and Chris Hayes. Most egregious is CNN's Ana Navarro, who whines that an Uber driver could be sued by "a deer hunter in Alaska." Nice two-fer, Ana: not only sliming those crazy pro-lifers, but somehow working in a swipe at Bambi-killing gun nuts!

Here's the defense Finkelstein offered up:

The "Uber driver" trope is a flaming red herring. It would be difficult if not impossible for a plaintiff to prove that a driver knowingly transported a woman for purposes of an abortion. The plaintiff would first have to prove that the driver knew that the woman was pregnant. According to Planned Parenthood,  92 percent of abortions are performed within the first 13 weeks, when pregnancy might well not be visible. 

And even if it could be proved that the driver somehow knew that the woman was pregnant, the plaintiff would also have to prove that the driver knew that she was going to seek an abortion. After all, Planned Parenthood claims that only three percent of its services are abortion. For all the driver knew, the woman was going for one of the other 97 percent of services.  Bottom line: few if any people are likely to waste their time suing Uber drivers.

But Finkelstein offers no evidence that the Texas law exempts Uber drivers if they did not know they were transporting a patient for an abortion -- which means that they are open to liability. If not, both Uber and Lyft would have felt no need to offer to pay legal fees of drivers charged under the law.And if Finkelstein doesn't bellieve anti-abortion activists would spend the time and effort to prosecute an Uber driver in the hopes of racking up a $10,000 bounty, he clearly has not seen their zealotry in action. (Has he forgotten how many abortion doctors have been murdered by protesters?)

Despite the holes in Finkelstein's defense, the Uber-driver complaint became a thing at the MRC. The next day, Autumn Johnson noted the Uber and Lyft defense funds in a story about Salesforce offering to move employees who object to the law out of its Texas office. And on Sept. 12, Kristine Marsh complained that HBO host John Oliver "whined about how the law allows for suing Uber drivers who assist in transporting women to get abortions"; her only attempt at rebuttal was to link to Finkelstein's post.In a Sept. 28 post, Marsh quoted Trevor Noah noting the Uber driver exposure but did not rebut it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT
WND's Dubious Doc Fearmongers More About COVID Vaccines, Defends Dubious Drugs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Orient of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is the de facto leader of WND's COVID misinformers, so it's not a surprise she has continued to violate the Hippocratic Oath and misinform people. In her Aug. 30 column, she's continuing to cling to pushing dubious meds taht eve she admits are "primitive":

In the war against COVID, the U.S. is counting on its magnificent pharmaceutical industry to deploy novel drugs and vaccines. Meanwhile, it is engaged in unilateral disarmament, trying to thwart the use of the primitive remedies being used in less affluent countries that for some reason have much lower COVID death rates.

By March 2020, there were reports of successful treatment with chloroquine (CQ) or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), derivatives of one of the oldest lifesaving remedies known, quinine from cinchona bark. The Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy was able to acquire 62 million doses of these drugs before both China and India shut off their exports to the United States. Health and Human Services Secretary Azar directed the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug (IND) authorization for HCQ. Instead, with the advice of Janet Woodcock, who is now acting FDA commissioner, then-BARDA Director RickBright restricted access through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to hospitalized patients only.

No EUA is needed for "off-label" use of an approved drug. But combined with official pronouncements about alleged danger to the heart and the lack of "sufficient" evidence of benefit, few patients received HCQ. Supporting the global and U.S. fear campaign against HCQ were the federal government's many allies: state medical and pharmacy boards, organized medicine, Big Tech and the mainstream media. Hundreds of thousands of patients may have died needlessly for lack of early treatment, but "the science" was saved.

Now ivermectin, another drug that has been used safely by hundreds of millions of patients for decades, is coming under attack by the disarmament advocates. Master of sarcasm Rachel Maddow is ridiculing people trying to save their lives by taking "horse dewormer." That is one of many uses for this Nobel-Prize-winning drug. 

Orient continued to fearmonger about vaccines: "So far, more than 5,000 cases of myocarditis/pericarditis, more than 6,000 heart attacks, nearly 18,000 permanent disabilities and nearly 14,000 deaths post jabs have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). So far, no cardiac damage from HCQ has been reported." As Orient well knows, VAERS reports are not verified, so she's lying by suggesting they are. Also, there are plenty of documented side effects to using HCQ to treat COVID, which include blindness, heart failure, and renal toxicity -- she's just playing dumb in order to demonize vaccines.

In her Sept. 13 column, Orient declares her fealty to a right-wing authoritarian -- and went on a right-wing anti-Biden rant -- because of vaccine mandates:

Today we have two contrasting quotations from world leaders. One said: "Mandatory vaccinations will never be allowed because [this] is a free country and its people are sovereign." The other said: "This is not about freedom or personal choice."

The first was by Vladimir Putin. Russia, a free country! The second was by Joe Biden.

The U.S. is no longer a free country, and the people are not sovereign. Nor are the once-sovereign states. If state governors won't cooperate with Biden, he says he'll "use my power as president to get them out of the way." It is not clear exactly how he would accomplish that. Invade the state and occupy its capitol and its courts? Arrest the governor and perhaps the legislature and throw them into prison without bail like some Jan. 6 demonstrators? Already, many states are suing over the latest mandate – perhaps we will learn whether the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has any meaning.

Who would have believed that a U.S. president would ever say such things?

That answer to that is a president who cares about the public health of his country. If Orient likes Putin so much, maybe she should move to Russia.

Orient's Sept. 21 column was all about following WND in defending the honor of ivermectin:

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) learned that doctors were writing 88,000 prescriptions a week for ivermectin, mostly for COVID-19, it apparently felt it necessary to message the yahoos of America on Twitter.

From @US_FDA: "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it."

I, for one, agree completely. I am not a horse. In particular, I am not their horse, or their cow, to be ridden, milked, or slaughtered for the greater good. They do not own me and have no right to decide that I must take the COVID-19 vaccine, supposedly to protect the vulnerable of the herd. By the way, it doesn't.

The FDA also has NO authority to dictate or deny medical treatment. Once it approves a drug for safety for any indication, it does not have the legal right to tell physicians that they can use the drug for this, but not for that. Or veterinarians either. The only reason to go through a billion dollars' worth of studies to get a new "on-label" indication is to allow a company to market a drug for that use. If it's a cheap, non-patentable drug, why would a company make such an investment? But doctors are allowed to talk about it, and journals may publish articles. Normally, such discussions are not automatically smeared as "harmful misinformation" by social media fact-checkers.


Message to the FDA: Americans are not livestock on a government ranch – or lab rats. This massive human experiment can hardly be called scientific, since the control group is being wiped out through coercion.

Americans are human and have fundamental human rights – inalienable rights, not canceled by a virus.

People taking unapproved drugs like HCQ or ivermectin to treat COVID are lab rats too. But Orient will never admit that.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
MRC Suggests There Isn't Enough Anti-Abortion Violence
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kristine Marsh wrote in a Sept. 6 post:

In the mixed up world of far-left MSNBC, the real threat of violence at an abortion clinic is not from the doctor performing the gruesome killing, but from pro-life activists picketing or praying outside. During at least two shows on Monday, MSNBC hosts and guests had full blown meltdowns over Texas’s new law restricting abortions and smeared pro-life activists as violent extremists terrorizing vulnerable women.

On Deadline:White House always rational host Nicolle Wallace whined like a teenager who just got grounded. “There are women in Texas today who feel like their lives are over,” Wallace wailed. “I just think we can't lose sight in our political analysis of the daily hell now that is any woman who doesn't have this choice available to her,” she moaned, adding that every woman is Texas is now “a victim.”

Her guest, MSNBC legal analyst Matthew Miller, hailed the Department of Justice touting how they would not “tolerate violence” against anyone seeking an abortion in Texas. He insisted that this was a routine occurrence: “And it's important that the department said that because every time this issue is in the news, the threat of violence does unfortunately rise at clinics and the department has an obligation to police that.”

This "threat" is overstated, to put it mildly. According to the pro-abortion National Abortion Federation’s latest report, there have only been 11 people that have been killed in attacks at abortion clinics since 1977. Contrast that with the 600,000+ babies killed in abortion in this country, every year.

Marsh's comparison of the amount of people killed in "attacks at abortion clinics" -- note that she doesn't admit that anti-abortion protesters are responsible for those murders -- to "the 600,000+ babies killed in abortion in this country, every year" comes off as a challenge: She seems to be saying that her fellow anti-abortion zealots need to kill more "killers."

 (Also, note how Marsh denigrated Wallace's concerns, claiming she "wailed," "moaned" and "whined like a teenager who just got grounded." That's highly unprofessional behavior and is not likely to make anyone take the MRC's "media criticism" serious.)

Lest you think we're exaggerating here, Marsh concludes by furthering the point: "The media is constantly trying to tarnish anyone on the right as a violent extremist, without any basis, while they ignore blatant violence from the left. Not to mention, the irony of worrying about violence outside a murder clinic is lost on them." First: Who does Marsh think killed those 11 people in "attacks at abortion clinics"? Second: By calling abortion clinics "murder clinics," she's making it clear there isn't nearly enough violence happening outside the clinics to providers and others. After all, if abortion is "murder," and conservatives believe murderers deserve the death penalty, there is no reason whatsoever to do what a person deems necessary to stop it, including murder. Life for a life, right?

Marsh didn't mention that her employer has been spending the past year and a half trying to tarnish anyone on the left as a "violent extremist," a Marxist or an member of Antifa simply for speaking out about police brutality and social justice.

In other words, Wallace's concerns seem quite valid. Marsh ably proved that.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT
Newsmax Columnist: GOP Should Be More Like Boebert, Greene
Topic: Newsmax

Kenny Cody ranted in a Sept. 21 Newsmax column:

Over the last month, the United States has witnessed two shocking actions raken by President Joe Biden. Not only did Biden leave behind hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan, but he's now acting like a tyrant by recently signing an executive order imposing a vaccine mandate for millions of Americans.

In the EO, if a business with 100 employees or more does not force their employees to get weekly COVID-19 testing or a COVID vaccine, the federal government will fine them up to $14,000.00 per violation.

While congressional Democrats impeached President Donald Trump for a phone call and words spoken at a rally, Republicans have been mostly silent in terms of bringing some action against the 46th president.

Neither the Senate or House GOP leadership has called for the impeachment or removal of the president beyond tweeting ambiguous messages. A question arises, especially before the 2022 midterms, why neither of the Republican conferences is attempting to fight harder against a foreign policy disaster and an authoritarian executive order.

The Senate and the House GOP leadership need to learn from how Reps. Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado approached these atrocities.

The congresswomen worked on calling for the impeachment of the president, as well as worked on actual articles to send to the House floor. These women, freshman members of the GOP congressional delegation, set the tone for how the GOP needs to stand up against the Biden administration.

Tone-setting is the name of the game when it comes to politics.

Yes, it is a definite statement to let Greene and Boebert -- two women obsessed with bogus far-right conspiracy theories -- set the "tone" for your party, though probably not in the way Cody intended. And when a president's "words spoken at a rally" helps to incite a riot that heavily damages the seat of democracy in the United States, he can and should be impeached for it. Or is Cody trying to downplay the Capitol riot like other Republicans?

Cody had previously called for Biden to be impeached over the Afghanistan withdrawal, which may explain why he's so eager to align hismelf with two of the most extreme members of Congress to try and make it happen.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 8:43 PM EDT
Joseph Farah And 'Contempt Prior to Examination'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah wrote in his Sept. 9 WorldNetDaily column:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination."

Some of the best historical quotes – like the one above – are unattributable with any degree of certitude. It has been attributed to several people including Edmund Spencer and William Paley as far back as 1794.

Still, there is wisdom in these words – especially in regard to their meaning in our times insofar as what we have come to know as "fake news" and "conspiracy theories."

Think about it.

The key words in this parable are "contempt prior to examination."

It means making up your mind before the facts are in. We're all guilty of it sometimes. But it has become de rigueur for far too many.

Farah will never admit it because he's shameless and dishonest, but he is among that crowd. That has been the modus operandi for how Farah has run WND for the past 25 years. On story after story -- from Barack Obama's birth certificate to Seth Rich to election fraud -- he first came to a conclusion that reflected his vengeful far-right ideology, then directed his minions to backfill with claims regardless of their accuracy. That utter disregard of the truth has put WND in the precarious financial position it is in today -- not to mention making it so radioactive that almost no credible people want to do business with it. 

Rather than admit those inconvenient facts, Farah went on his usual tirade against the "deep state" and "Russia collusion" and painting Donald Trump as a victim, huffing that "Visceral hatred of Donald Trump, his manner and his ideas are tearing America apart, destroying our social fabric, rendering justice and self-government nearly impossible."

Does Farah think his visceral hatred of Obama and Joe Biden isn't divisive and destroying the social fabric? He has chosen to believe a lie about the 2020 election and is spewing Biden derangement -- which, yes, renders justice and self-government nearly impossible. He is a major contributor to the conditions he purports to decry.

Nevertheless, Farah continued to indict himself:

No matter what you might believe about Donald Trump, is it inarguably true that "contempt prior to examination" is foolishness, error, absurdity, craziness?

If so, why do we practice it? Why just accept what you hear from those with the biggest megaphone?

It has to do with the survival of the greatest society the world has ever known. The time is short.

If Farah wasn't so utterly gutless, he needs to ask himself that question. It would make his call for atonement less hollow, since he's amply demonstrated that he's a religious hypocrite who has no intention or desire whatsoever to atone for his legacy of hate, lies and divisiveness -- not to mention contempt prior to examination.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

CNSNews.con went back to an old Obama-era tactic in reporting on Septembner's employment statistics: downplay the decline in the unemployment rate by focusing on the labor force participation rate. Susan Jones pushed that in the headline of her main article on the numbers, "BLS: Labor Participation Rate Stalls, With 61.6% of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population Working":

September was a month of slow job growth, with a measly 194,000 nonfarm payroll jobs added -- the worst number of the year.

It was well below analysts' expectations of 500,000, and it follows the disappointing (revised) 366,000 payroll jobs added in August, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The unemployment rate fell, but so did the important labor force participation rate, which has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020. And the number of people who are not in the labor force -- have no job and are not looking for one -- is the highest it's been since March.

Jones suggested that "pandemic-related unemployment benefits have ended," which should have pushed employment higher, but did note that "Labor Secretary Marty Walsh put some of the blame on the delta variant." Still, she also included a Republican congressman ranting that President Biden "has lost the confidence of the American people to lead the economy."

CNS didn't offer its usual sidebars on goverment employment or the jobless rates for Black or Hispanic workers. But it did publish a couple of follow-up articles that pushed its anti-Biden editorial agenda. An Oct. 11 article by Melanie Arter uncriticaly repeated Republican Rep.  Steve Scalise insisting that "President Joe Biden’s policies are to blame for last month’s disappointing job numbers." Arter did add that "Biden blamed the Delta variant" for those numbers, but did not quote Scalise making mention of that. She did note that Fox News host Chris Wallace said the numbers were disappointing even though extra unemployment benefits ended at the beginning of September, but quoting Scalise blathering about "other welfare programs."

That was followed by an Oct. 12 commentary by Nick Stehle of the right-wing Foundation for Government Accountability weirdly cheering over the end of the "job-killing federal unemployment bonus." Stehle was silent on the disappointing numbers, which in his theory should have been better due to the end of those extra benefits.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Monday, October 25, 2021
MRC Cheers Another Right-Wing Authoritarian Leader's Attacks on 'Big Tech'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's long tradition of embracing right-wing authoritarian leaders who hate "big tech" as much as the MRC does coninues in a Sept.9 post by Gabriela Pariseau:

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro made a bold move, marking one up for free speech in his nation. The embattled president signed a provisional measure that will make it illegal for Big Tech to arbitrarily remove legal social media content.

The Government of Brazil claimed in a tweet thread that the law was sparked by concerns of Big Tech’s actions “that have been perceived as harmful to healthy debate and freedom of expression in Brazil.” The provisional measure “forbids selective deplatforming” and “the removal of content that may result in any kind of ‘censorship of political, ideological, scientific, artistic or religious order,’" according to the Twitter thread. The Brazilian government account said it “hope[s] [the law] will serve to help restore online political dialogue in the country.”

The measure protects freedom of expression but excludes illegal content “such as nudity, drugs and violence, or if they encourage crime or violate copyrights,” reported The New York Times. Tech companies also purportedly need a court order for permission to remove any other content, according to The Times.

Actually, Bolsonaro is more a threat to free speech than the champion Pariseau wants you to think he is. In 2020, Bolsonaro enacted a law that effectively opens his critics to arrest under the guise of "national security." Since then Bolsonaro revived a law from the country's dictatorship era to arrest critics of his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, last year Facebook suspended a network of accounts it said were run by employees of Bolsoaro and his family to spread divisive political messages, so it's clear Bolsonaro knows his way around misinformation.

Still, Pariseau was determined to make him a part of the MRC's bogus "victimhood" narrative:

The Brazilian president is up for reelection, and like former President Donald Trump, has been repeatedly censored by Big Tech. YouTube removed 15 of his videos for so-called COVID-19 misinformation in July, according to the BBC. The New York Times reported that “[l]ast year, Facebook removed statements by Mr. Bolsonaro after he promoted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus. Around the same time, Twitter deleted posts from the far-right Brazilian president for pushing [allegedly] false remedies and calling for an end to social distancing.”

In July, the MRC declared that Bolsonaro was "censored" for having "dared to question the liberal narrative concerning COVID-19" -- which translates into getting caught spreading COVID misinformation that the MRC will never admit is misinformatoin.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:31 PM EDT
Newsmax Repeats Lie About Biden's Video Feed
Topic: Newsmax

Jeremy Frankel repeated a right-wing conspiracy theory in a Sept. 13 Newsmax article:

During a trip to Boise, Idaho, on Monday for a briefing on wildfires with federal and state officials, President Joe Biden's feed was abruptly cut by the White House.

Biden said during the briefing he wanted to hear more from George Geissler of the National Association of State Foresters. Biden asked Geissler if he could ask him a question, and Geissler replied "of course."

Biden then said, "One of the things that I've been working on with some others is —," before his feed was cut. It was then replaced by a full-screen graphic saying, "Thank you for watching."

Biden's feed has been cut by the White House before. Last month, it happened when Biden was about to respond to a reporter's question concerning the military's withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan. It also occurred in March, during a virtual event, when Biden said, "I'm happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do."

Politico reported last week, when Biden speaks in public, some White House staffers might "mute him or turn off his remarks," because they are "filled with anxiety that he's going to take questions from the press and veer off the West Wing's carefully orchestrated messaging."

But as we documented when the Media Research Center pushed this same Republican-hyped claim,this claim isn't true -- the feed was always planned to be cut off, which journalists covering the event knew because it was described beforehand as a "pool spray," in which the feed would end when Biden turned to questions.

But Newsmax never did a follow-up article to tell the truth, so Frankel's lie remains live and uncorrected.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:09 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2021 6:11 PM EDT
CNS' Donohue Pretends Anti-Abortion Protesters Aren't Violent
Topic:'s favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, spent his Sept. 15 column railing against Attorney General Merrick Garland for the commonsense comment that "We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act." How dare Garland imply that anti-abortion protesters are violent, Donohue raged; unfortunately for him, in serving up his version of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy, reminded us of exactly that fact while pretending the violence wasn't representative of anti-abortion protesters:

If pro-life Americans are so violent, Garland should be able to rattle off the names of abortionists whom they have killed. In the 21st century, there have been four such killings: one in 2009 and three in 2015. Two men, both ex-cons, were responsible, and neither was assisted or associated with a pro-life group. They acted alone.

In 2009, Dr. George Tiller was killed by Scott Roeder. When it happened, I condemned it. "We have to get the message out that life means we have to respect all life," I told CBS Evening News, "including somebody as bad as Dr. Tiller was." 

Tiller, by his own admission, performed over 60,000 abortions. His specialty was killing babies in utero who were nearly born, or were partially born. Hence his nickname, George "The Killer" Tiller.

Roeder was a deranged man who was hardly representative of pro-life activists. He had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and got into trouble when he stopped taking his medication. His wife testified that she thought he was bipolar, and his brother also spoke about his mental problems. He had previously been arrested for carrying explosives, and he spent time in prison for other violations.

In 2015, Robert Lewis Dear Jr. killed three people in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. He had previously been arrested and convicted for carrying a "long blade knife" and illegally possessing a loaded gun. 

His mental state was worse than that of Roeder's. A judge ordered him to undergo a mental competency exam to see if he was sufficiently competent to represent himself. After fielding the results, the judge ruled that Dear was not mentally fit to stand trial: he cited findings that he suffered from a "delusional disorder." Dear was sentenced indefinitely to a Colorado state mental hospital.

Donohue is trying to have it both ways --  effectively endorsing Tiller's death for being a prolific "killer" while insisting that the man who killed him was an outlier who was "hardly representative of pro-life activists." In fact, as we've documented, Roeder had contacts with anti-abortion group Operation Rescue before he killed Tiller, and a phone number for the group was found in his car when he was arrested. He also did not mount an insanity defense at his trial and a psychologist found him competent to stand trial -- which kinds blows up Donohue's dismissal of him as a "deranged" schizophrenic.

As for Dear, he had undeniably absorbed the messaging of the anti-abortion movement. He was quoted as ranting about "no more body parts" -- a reference to a key storyline at the time involving undercover anti-abortion activists secretly taping and deceiving Planned Parenthood about purported trafficking in fetal parts .Just because Dear has been found incompetent to stand trial doesn't mean he was not influenced by mainstream anti-abortion rhetoric frequently skirts the line between activism and advocacy of violence.

Donohue waled that very line in his conclusion: "And lest we forget, while the killing of unborn babies is legal, the fact remains that abortion clinics are a much more deadly place for children than they are for those who do the killing. Think about that, Mr. Garland and Mr. Biden." Donohue will never admit it, but Roeder and Dear certainly didn't forget about that.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Big Lie Moves To Arizona
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily embraces the highly dubious Arizona election audit because it cast the aspersions on the 2020 presidential election that align with its Trump-friendly agenda. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Virtue Signaling: Met Gala Makes MRC Reach Meltdown Mode
Topic: Media Research Center

Who coiuld possibly find offense at a museum fund-raiser? The Media Research Center, of course.

The Met Gala is a fund-raiser for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, though it's perhaps more notable for being a gathering for the rich and famous wearing outlandish or provocative costumes. And that's where the MRC can step in for some lazy right-wing virtue signaling to make fun of goofily dressed non-conservatives. Add in that one guest was the hated Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearoing a dress stating "Tax the Rich," and the MRC was in virtue-signaling overdrive.

Krstine Marsh took a shot at AOC in a Sept. 14 post complaining that she was discussed on "The View":

None of them brought up the hypocrisy of a congresswoman who makes $174,000 a year attending a $30,000 dollar a ticket event lecturing the "rich." While “rich” is a relative term, (nearly all Americans would be considered rich compared to the rest of the world), even Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is “rich” next to the average American. The Census Bureau’s latest report shows the Median household income (pre-coronavirus) was $68,703 in 2019.

AOC was a guest of the museum and didn't get to keep the dress, but why let inconvenient facts interfere with a fit of virtue-signaling? The MRC was ready to not only bash AOC but rich-shame anyone who defended her.

(It's also funny to see right-wingers switch frrom trying to shame AOC for having once worked as as bartender to trying to shame her for accepting the same salary every other member of Congress gets.)

Scott Whitlock whined in another post the same day:

Talk about tone deaf. The co-hosts at CBS This Morning touted socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearing a “tax the rich” dress, ridiculously insisting that it didn’t apply to them because “We ain’t rich.”

Duthiers gushed, “We are talking about style.... Starting with the biggest fashion moments at the night at the Met Gala in New York City. A-list stars were flashing some creative looks.... Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's gown game with a message. Can you see that?” Gayle King repeated the message, “Tax the rich.” 

Co-host Tony Dokoupil joked, “Were there any rich people last night?” Clueless Duthiers replied, “Not us. ‘Cause we ain't rich.” According to The Sun, co-host Gayle King is estimated to be worth $40 million. According to Bugle, co-host Dokoupil is worth $6 million. According to FamousIntel, Duthiers is worth almost a million. Nor rich? What do these journalists think rich means?    

Whitlock went on to rant: "In June, Dokoupil channeled his inner socialist, hyping a probably illegally-obtained ProPublica report about the wealthiest Americans." That would be the exact same report Whitlock's MRC co-worker Joseph Vazquez touted for exposing George Soros' financial information, and he didn't complain about the info being "probably illegally-obtained."

Yet another Sept. 14 post, this one by Kathleen Krumhansl, served up more AOC-bashing and how Spanish-language networks covered her:

The nation´s Spanish-speaking liberal media do a great job at keeping fatuous Latina congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez out of the news. And for good reason, as you will see in the following Telemundo News “interview” captured during her appearance at the red carpet of the $30k-a-plate Met Gala, where she donned a haute-couture gown with a printed message bashing those she was comfortably mingling with.


The irony of her theatrics not only escaped the anchors and reporters of the morning talk shows and midday news editions at both networks, but actually made them gush at her “genius”. In the words of Telemundo anchor Aranxta Loizaga “I liked those, I have to say, concealed political messages'.

In case you wonder how AOC, who earns a $174,000 salary subsidized by taxpayers, was able to dish out $30,000 for a high society event read on. According to a Tweet from the very own AOC, “NYC elected officials are regularly invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing our city's cultural institutions that serve the public.” How conveniently hypocritical of the so-called socialist AOC.

Wedon't recall Krumhansl speaking out against Republican politicians getting tickets to events as a benefit of their position.

In the fourth (!) post of the day on the subject, Mark Finkelsten huffed:

CNN's New Day panel on Tuesday morning unanimously defended Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for wearing a "Tax the Rich" dress to the $30,000-a-ticket Met Gala. 

Maggie Haberman —a New York Times correspondent who doubles as a CNN analyst—suggested that it was brave of AOC to go an event filled with rich people wearing such a dress. Haberman claimed AOC's message was not "popular" with that crowd, and therefore that there was something " risky" in her wearing the dress.

To which we politely reply: baloney! The notion that a crowd of NYC elites was offended by the dress, and that it was brave of AOC to wear it, is absurd. Most in attendance were likely amused, and/or thrilled to have such a liberal celebrity in attendance! And of course she was hobnobbing! What better place to fish for big-time campaign donations than in a room filled with rich Manhattan elitists!? How many in attendance already were, or soon will be, on her donor list?

Finkelstein wouldn't even begrudge her not having to pay for the ticket: "If AOC was given a free ticket worth $30,000, why wouldn't that constitute a gift or a donation by the Gala?" Finkelstein apparently believes that AOC is so dumb that she wouldn't check House ethics rules before accepting the ticket.

So too, apparently, does Gabriel Hays, who cheered the inevitable right-wing ethics complaint in a post the next day:

Little Miss Champagne Socialist and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) could have violated congressional ethics with her recent attendance at the uber elitist Met Gala in her designer “Tax the Rich” ball gown.


The American Accountability Foundation asked the congressional office to “immediately open an investigation” into whether AOC received a ticket as an illicit gift.

AOC’s attendance at the gala was a wildly successful publicity stunt that paradoxically drew attention to her hypocrisy. Here was a politician, who constantly cries about rich people and their abuse of the system, going to one of their parties, schmoozing it up with them, and then telling people she was trying to hold said rich people accountable with the not-so-subtle “tax the rich” messaging on her dress.

Conservatives didn’t buy it, accusing the politician of enjoying elitist prestige while using her dress to virtue-signal against said privilege as a shield from criticism.

Hays concluded by sneering: "And even if it ends up being technically true that AOC was welcome to attend,  it doesn’t change the fact that AOC looks like a total hypocrite." Because nothing defines right-wing virtue-signaling more than accusing non-conservatives of hypocrisy -- ironic, given its treatment of that "probably illegally-obtained" financial information.

AOC wasn't the MRC 's only Met Gala target, though. Equally as hated is soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and John Simmons huffed in a Sept. 15 post under the overwrought headline "Megan Rapinoe Taunts America at Met Gala With Pro-Gay Messages":

Monday night’s Met Gala was a cesspool of rich politicians and celebrities showing off their wealth and status to compete for media attention. While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stole the show a gown with the ridiculous message “Tax The Rich” painted on it, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team star Meghan Rapinoe had an equally nauseating message to convey at the gala.

Rapinoe, a staunch supporter of LGTBQ+ rights and any message that is anti-America, walked into the gala in an American flagged-themed pantsuit holding a clutch bag that said, “In Gay We Trust.” It clearly was a jab at our nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.”


Gays are not oppressed people anymore. When you have an entire month of the year dedicated to celebrating you, businesses change their logos to rainbow colors, and sports leagues are hosting “Pride Nights,” you have lost the right to foolishly claim that you are oppressed. You are anything but.

In a nutshell, Rapinoe’s actions display classic leftist tactics to get their agenda approved: claim oppression, say America is the problem, and then get what you want.

First: If you're the sixth MRC post to whine about AOC's dress, it wasn't ridiculous and you helped achieve her goal. Second: Yes, Simmons really did equate being gay to being "anti-America." Third: Yes, Simmons really did melt down over Rapinoe's cluch bag. And fourth: Simmons sounds like a guy who desperately wants to make sure gays are oppressed again.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 24, 2021 8:34 PM EDT
CNS Hypes Bishop's Attacks On Pelosi

Part of the multi-pronged war has waged against Nancy Pelosi is a holy war -- bashing her for being insufficiently Catholic because she won't support the outlawing of abortion. CNS has ramped things up by serving as a stenographer to the archbishop of her San Francisco diocese, dutifully repeating his partisan attacks on her. Editor Terry Jeffrey wrote in a July 23 article:

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, whose archdiocese includes all of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district, issued a statement on Thursday rebuking Pelosi for a statement she made at her press briefing that day explaining why she is pushing for federal funding of abortion.

At her briefing, Pelosi had an exchange with a reporter about the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill for fiscal 2022 that is moving through the House and that, as the Appropriations Committee puts it, includes "repealing the discriminatory Hyde Amendment."


Later that day, Archbishop Cordileone put out a statement. It was headlined: “Statement of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defending efforts to permit federal funding of elective abortions.”

“Let me repeat: no one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it,” said the archbishop.

An anonymously written Aug. 6 article hyped Cordileone's attacks again under the hype-laden headline "Pelosi’s Archbishop Smacks Her Again for Supporting Tax-Funded Abortion: ‘Catholics Stand for Human Life’":

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, who presides over the archdiocese where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) lives, sent out a tweet on Sunday of a story in that was headlined: “Nancy Pelosi Blocks Vote on Bill to Ban Taxpayer-Funded Abortions for the 55th< Time.”

“The Hyde Amendment saved 2.4 million innocent babies,” Archbishop Cordileone said in his tweet. “Catholics stand for human life and core human rights.”

A Sept. 6 article -- also anonymously written -- started to sound repititious in parroting Cordileone again:

Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, the diocese where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) resides, published a commentary in the Washington Post on Sunday stating that you cannot be a good Catholic and support the killing of unborn children through abortion.

“You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings,” said Cordileone. “The answer to crisis pregnancies is not violence but love, for both mother and child.”

Cordileone specifically addressed the response of both Pelosi and President Biden—both of who profess to be Catholics—to Supreme Court’s refusal to issue an injunction against a Texas law that bans the abortion of babies who have a detectable heartbeat.

CNS cranked up the biased attacks with a pair of Oct. 18 articles, both by managing editor Michael W. Chapman. The first hyped an anti-Pelosi prayer campaign the archbishop was promoting:

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has repeatedly implored pro-abortion Catholic politicians, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), to accept the pro-life teaching of the Church, recently called on all Catholics to say some special prayers (and fast) every Friday for Pelosi to have a conversion of heart. 


“Speaker Pelosi speaks fondly of her children," he added. "She clearly has a maternal heart.  Pope Francis has called abortion murder, the equivalent of hiring a hitman to solve a problem.  The solution to a woman in a crisis pregnancy is not violence but love."

"Please join me in praying the rosary and fasting for a conversion of Speaker Pelosi’s maternal heart to embracing the goodness and dignity of human life not only after birth, but in the womb as well," said the archbishop.

The second promoted Cordileone saying that "While discussing his prayer and fasting for the conversion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi," he called abotion a "Satanic practice."

This being a highly biased right-wing "news" outlet, CNS gave Pelosi no opportunity to respond to Cordileone's attacks. It did, however, publish a Sept. 23 article by Craig Bannister featuring Pelosi responding to the bishop:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she and San Francisco’s archbishop “have a disagreement about who should decide this,” when a reporter asked her to react to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s declaration that her abortion bill constitutes “child sacrifice.”

“This proposed legislation is nothing short of child sacrifice,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in a Tuesday statement regarding the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755).


Pelosi replied that “it’s none of our business” to tell others they can’t have abortions, that no one has the right to talk about the issue unless they’ve given birth – and that she and Archbishop Cordileone disagree about who should decide whether or not an unborn child is aborted:

Bannister featured several other anti-Pelosi quotes from  Cordileone, even though none of the Cordileone-promoting articles permitted a rtesponse from Pelosi.

CNS' mission statement states that it will "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." It has failed to do so yet again.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 24, 2021 12:27 AM EDT
Saturday, October 23, 2021
MRC's Graham Takes Cheap Shot At Alec Baldwin
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center hates Alec Baldwin -- for being a provocative liberal, for mocking Trump on "Saturday Night Live," and for generally just existing; a particularly hateful review of a Baldwin hosted talk show called it "A Bloated, Self-Aggrandizing Snooze-fest - Just Like Him." The MRC has even demanded that Baldwin's acting career be destroyed (a sign that its cancel-culture attacks on him have failed, and tha they'll admit it). It's even still mad at Baldwin for a 1998 fit of hyperbole about wanting to stone Henry Hyde during the Ciinton impeachment drama.

So after a tragic accident on a movie set in which a prop gun fired by Baldwin killed a cinematographer and wounded another person, it's sadly not surprising for the MRC to mock him. An Oct. 22 tweet by MRC executive Tim Graham -- pinned to the top of his Twitter feed, no less -- felt the need to make hay on the tragedy by repeating a 2006 statement by Baldwin in the wake of then-Vice President Dick Cheney shooting a hunting companion in which he called Cheney a "terrorist" and demanded that he go "into a courtroom to answer some direct questions."

Never mind that there's no evidence this was anything other than an accident or even that he was aware that the prop gun contained an apparently live round -- indeed, he was reportedly told the gun was safe before the incident. Never mind that Baldwin is fully cooperating with police. Graham has nothing but pure hate for Baldwin, and he decided it was his duty to exploit this tragedy for the sole purpose of taking a partisan shot at the actor.

Remember this the next time any MRC employee claims to have standards, scruples and morals.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:59 AM EDT

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