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Monday, November 8, 2021
MRC Can't Stop Insisting That COVID Misinformation Is 'So-Called'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has continued to push the narrative that there is no objective definition of misinformation, that it's all siubjective and partisan and "so-called." Gabriela Pariseau huffed in an Aug. 19 post:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CBS This Morning host Gayle King that his platform has removed over 18 million pieces of so-called “misinformation,” but King appeared to want more. She pressed Zuckerberg to reveal how many people view the content before it is taken down.

Zuckerberg bragged to King about how much content his platform has removed: “We've taken down more than 18 million pieces of misinformation.” King praised the enormous number as “good” and said she thinks “everybody agrees that Facebook has done a lot to combat misinformation.” But she wanted to know how many people have “acted upon” the information viewed and shared. King then said that Facebook announced it has actually removed 20 million pieces of so-called “misinformation” after she conducted the interview.

Alexander Hall took it further by going full anti-vaxxer in a Sept. 29 post, declaring misinformaton to be mere "dissent" and the fact that COVID vaccines are safe and effective as just "the left’s preferred narrative":

Big Tech has been hard at work censoring content that runs afoul of the left’s preferred narrative on COVID-19. Now, YouTube is stepping things up a notch and will reportedly begin removing videos questioning any approved medical vaccine.

COVID-19 turned countless institutions into dystopian enforcers, and YouTube is no exception. 

YouTube announced Sept. 29 that it will censor so-called “medical misinformation” concerning vaccinations. The new content purges will cover a wide array of vaccine skepticism: “Specifically, content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed.” 

Hall did not explain why spreading deliberate misinformation is "dissent" instead of the lie that it is.

In an Oct. 12 post, Autumn Johnson declared that "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that she wants more censorship from Big Tech giants like Facebook," having "joined President Joe Biden and other liberals in calling for more censorship of so-called misinformation online." Johnson went on to put "disinformation" in scare quotes despite offering no evidence that anything that Clinton identified as disinformaton was not.

Hall used an Oct. 19 post to hype that Twitter "reportedly censored Grabien Founder and Editor Tom Elliot for questioning the COVID-19 narrative" -- he offered no proof this was the case, only the ranting of other right-wing activists making the unsupported claim. Nevertheless, he added; "Big Tech has used COVID-19 as a carte-blanche excuse to restrict speech that they have deemed to be dangerous misinformation. Yet, at the same time, some of the tech giants have allowed actual dangerous propaganda from foreign powers."

Catherine Salgado played the "so-called" card in an Oct. 27 post:

It’s not the first time a Big Tech executive bragged about censoring speech online, and it likely won’t be the last. A YouTube executive testified at a Senate hearing yesterday that the platform had removed more than one million videos for so-called COVID-19 “misinformation.”

YouTube Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy Leslie Miller testified at an Oct. 26 U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation hearing that the Google-owned platform had removed over a million videos with alleged “COVID misinfo,” including over 130,000 videos on “Covid vaccine misinfo.” The hearing was titled, “Protecting Kids Online: Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube.”

Salgado went on to huff: "YouTube has repeatedly censored users for alleged COVID-19 'misinformation.' YouTube censored a Hoover Institute doctor for challenging the COVID-19 narrative in September 2020." That's a reference to a video of onetime Trump COVID adviser (despite having no expertise in virology) Scott Atlas, which the MRC ranted about when it happened in September 2020. But the MRC censored the fact that the video did, in fact, contain documented misinformation; a YouTube spokesperson pointed out that Atlas' video contained a statement "disputing existing international and local health authority guidance by falsely stating that a certain age group cannot transmit the virus."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 8, 2021 9:20 PM EST
CNS Dings Pelosi For Quoting Gospel -- But Links To Wrong Bible
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com hates Nancy Pelosi for many reasons, but mainly because -- in the eyes of the uber-Catholics who run the "news" organization -- she's insufficiently Catholic because she doesn't believe in imposing the Catholic Church's anti-abortion agenda upon a country that is mostly non-Catholic. It's been wating a holy war on her, calling in the archbishop of San Francisco as backup, and even gets outraged whenver she says in public that she's Catholic. 

CNS has even lashed out at Pelosi for quoting the Bible. This happened in an anonymously written Oct. 21 article:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) participated in a press event on the “Build Back Better Act” in front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, where she quoted from the Gospel of Matthew.

“Not this past Sunday, but the Sunday before this one, the Gospel was about the children in the Catholic Church,” said Pelosi.

“It was about the children,” she said. “And it talked about the Pharisees–hypocrites that they were--the Pharisees in long robes saying that children of divorced parents and all the rest were not as worthy as other children.

“And that's when Christ said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me,’” said Pelosi. “All children–all children in our country are about our country's future. And we want to make sure that all children have the opportunity that they deserve.

“They're all blessings containing their spark of divinity,” said Pelosi.

The funny thing about this attack is that the article's link on "Gospel of Matthew" is to a an online King James Version of the Bible. But the Catholic Church does not use the King James Version, which was commissioned by, yes, King James for use in the Church of England -- which was created by King Henry VIII out of the Catholic Church so he could divorce Catherine of Aragon after he was unable to receive an annulment of the marriage in the Catholic Church -- and omits certiain books from the Old Testament that Catholics recognize but Protestants don't. Catholic Masses use a different version, the New American Bible.

You'd think the uber-Catholics who run CNS would know enough to not make such a basic theological mistake. Apparently not.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 8, 2021 6:01 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: So Nice, The MRC Attacked Them Twice
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Joseph Vazquez bashed a New York Times commentary in two posts a month apart. He also praised a ProPublica story for exposing George Soros' finances -- then attacked it for exposing the finances of other rich people. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EST
WND's Losing Battle Against Google Is Its Latest Extinction-Level Event
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been squabbling with Google for years, from an early battle over Google wanting to pull its ads from WND over all the race-baiting it was doing to blaming Google for "censoring" WND content in its searches (when all Google wants to do is improve its product by deprecating factually dubious, conspiracy-driven content). The war between WND and Google's ad services flared up again a few months ago when Google once again refused to host its ads on WND because of the aforementioned low-quality content, and now Google has made its final decision, as a panic-stricken Nov. 2 WND article detailed (though not so panic-stricken that it didn't forget to portray WND as a victim):

Over the last few years, Big Tech has unleashed many different attacks on WND, the pioneering Christian journalism organization now in its 25th year. From classifying WND as an "extremist group," to writing WND out of its search algorithms, to de-monetizing WND's YouTube channel, to confining WND to "Facebook jail" for over a year, the attacks never end.

However, as of this week, Big Tech has upped its game: Google has now officially de-monetized WND – permanently.

That could end up cutting WND's online ad revenue roughly in half, since not only does de-monetization mean the removal of all Google ads, but the removal of ads from alternate advertising services as well, since many of these companies utilize Google Ad Manager to serve their ads. So, what did WND do to merit such a punishment?

According to Google's "Violation Explanation," WND is loaded down with "dangerous or derogatory content," as well as "misrepresentative content" and "unreliable and harmful claims."

WND is misleading here by claiming that Google Ads "demonitized" WND. That's not what happened -- Google and WND had a business agreement, and WND violated the terms of that agreement. Typically, if one party violates the terms of a business deal, the other party has every right to terminate that deal. That's what happened here.

Unspririsingly, WND served up its own factually deficient interpretation of the terms of Google's cutoff:

We do not allow content," explains Google, "that incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization." Or which "harasses, intimidates, or bullies an individual or group of individuals."

WND's longtime vice president and managing editor, David Kupelian, translated: "That means, dare to report honestly on the transgender agenda – where men can give birth to babies, where boys in dresses raping teenage girls in school restrooms is ignored by the school board, where ‘biological men' can compete in and destroy women's athletics, and where a man who identifies as a woman is proclaimed to be ‘the first female 4-star admiral in history' – and you're ‘inciting hatred' and ‘promoting discrimination.'"

With regard to WND's supposedly "unreliable and harmful claims," Google says that it does "not allow content that makes claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process." Or which "promotes harmful health claims, or relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus."

"That," explains Kupelian, "means reporting truthfully and accurately on the Biden administration's insane mismanagement of the COVID pandemic – from imposing vaccine mandates that are shutting down the country right now, to suppressing early outpatient treatment of COVID with inexpensive, proven-safe-and-effective medications that could have prevented hundreds of thousands of COVID deaths in America, to pretending ‘natural immunity' isn't real even though 92 studies prove it's superior to vaccine immunity – is not allowed. Only the official narrative – the one that is failing at every turn to end the pandemic, while introducing a level of tyranny never before seen in America – is allowed."

Thanks, Mr. Kupelian, for demonstrating the transphobic hate that justified Google's monetary cutoff (though that's probably not what he was going for). He's also lying about reporting "truthfully and accurately" on COVID; we've documented example after example of WND peddling misinformation and outright lies on the subject.

WND finally got around to admitting one key component of Google's ceasing of its business agreement:

Strangely, one key component of WND's supposedly "dangerous, derogatory, unreliable and harmful" content, Google contends, has to do with comments posted by WND readers. If, for example, a reader posts his or her personal views in WND's commenting section, and if those comments are interpreted by Google to be racist or derogatory or unreliable, WND is held responsible.

As a result of being de-monetized by Google, WND has temporarily suspended all commenting on WND stories to give its tech team the time to investigate how best to bring back WND commenting while, hopefully, not losing all the advertising that helps support the site.

"To be clear," comments Kupelian: "Once we bring commenting back online, we will not be censoring comments (unless of course they're pornographic, obscene, openly racist, promoting violence, etc.), but rather, we're working on a technological fix that will allow us to restore commenting while also allowing WND to continue to exist."

Does this purported commitment to non-censorship of comments mean WND will stop blocking us from posting comments? Not likely -- WND doesn't want us telling the truth about it directly to its readers. Meanwhile, the article repeated Kupelian's lie that WND reports "truthfully":

Of course, it is not merely reader comments to which Google objects. A good measure of WND's news reporting published daily currently focuses on the three big topics Google cites as most troubling: "COVID misinformation," allegations of voter fraud, and the transgender issue.

"For the record, WND will not cease, nor slow down in any way, from reporting truthfully on these issues," says Kupelian. "We cannot betray our very reason for existing as a news organization – reporting on the crucial developments that matter most to our readers, and which are currently ripping our country apart and destroying the next generation. We intend to keep on doing what we've done for 25 years, and doing it boldly, accurately and professionally – and with a Christian spirit."

We've also busted WND for spreading lies and misinformation on "allegations of voter fraud." Unsurprisingly, the article ended with begging for money for the "WND News Center," which was begun way too late to make a significant dent in WND's current financial situation.

Editor Joseph Farah somewhat lazily repeated much of this in his Nov. 4 column, with additional counterfactual whining: "What they've done to WND is tyranny – nothing short of it. No business – certainly none with unprecedented profits – has any claim to such powers." (He also begs for money.)

As a private business like WND, Google has every right to run it the way it wants -- which includes giving low priority to WND's low-quality "news" in its searches and terminating business agreements with companies that repeatedly violate its terms. Nobody is obligated to do business with WND, as should be painfully obvious by now to Farah, Kupelian and Co.Only at WND would normal business practices that don't go its way be depicted as "tyranny."

WND created the financial hole it has found itself in for the past few years. It has no one to blame but itself for what may be the endgame it now faces.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EST
Sunday, November 7, 2021
MRC Promotes More Right-Wing Meltdowns From Washed-Up Musicians
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a bit of a thing for washed-up rock stars who go all right-wing and/or anti-vaxxer, despite the fact that they no longer have much of an audience that anyone cares about. Nevertheless, Gabriel Hays promoted one in a Sept. 15 post:

Biden’s blunder in Afghanistan was so disastrous that it has already inspired musicians to write songs about it.

One artist moved to create out of anger and disappointment in the 46th president’s braindead pullout of Afghanistan was lead singer/songwriter of the group “Five For Fighting,” John Ondrasik.

Ondrasik, who wrote the unofficial 9/11 anthem “Superman (It’s Not Easy)" composed the new 2021 track “Blood On My Hands” after the suicide blast which killed 13 U.S. service members outside Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan less than three weeks ago. 

Talking to conservative outlet On Balance, Ondrasik remarked, “I was angry and frustrated. And did what songwriters do. I went to my piano and banged out some chords.”

Hays even helped Ondrasik -- who is essentially a one-hit wonder and hasn't had a major hit in close to 20 years -- play victim by hyping his claim that his Facebook ads promoting the song were flagged for divisve political content: "Yep, so now you can’t post songs slamming dumb*ss politicians on Facebook. Sounds like a convenient ploy to keep the heat off of heads of state who totally deserve it from mainstream artists."

Two days later, Hays found another largely irrelevant oldster to gush over:

The lead singer and guitarist from Megadeth, and one of the founding members of Metallica, Dave Mustaine is actually embracing the spirit of metal and sticking it straight to the freaking man. During a recent concert in New Jersey, Mustaine gave a speech about how Americans are living in “tyranny” right now.

Mustaine has been writing songs about government tyranny, the military industrial complex, and the new world order for more than thirty years, so this not a big stretch. 

In a set on September 15, a show featuring blistering metal classics and some new tracks, Mustaine made a point to share a moment with the crowd and bask in the unity that we’ve all been missing since the outbreak of the Wuhan virus. 

He remarked about the power of being in a raucous crowd of like-minded people away from the bureaucratic nags who demand that we stop the fun because it risks spreading Coronavirus.

Mustaine began by asking, “is there anybody here besides me who’s having a great fucking time?!” The crowd roared back affirmatively, flashing devil horns signs and cheering him on. For both the metalhead and crowd, it’s clear it had been too long without a show. 

“But I just wanna tell you how great it is. Look around you guys. Look to your right, look to your left and look how wonderful it is,” he said. “We’re all here together, we’re not in fucking bags, you know? We’re not freaking out and we’re not yelling at people, ‘Where’s your fucking mask?’” he added.

Funny how the MRC is suddenly cool with obscene language and flashing of devil's horns when it's done in service of right-wing narratives.H ays continued to gush:

It became more clear that the Megadeth frontman was speaking to the political moment we are facing with the leftist authoritarians in our society, especially when he dropped that big “T” word. “See the thing right now -- what’s going on is tyranny. This is called tyranny. Look it up when you get home,” he urged his fans. 

“And tyranny isn’t only in government. Tyranny right now is in the schools and tyranny is in the medical business,” he explained. He's correct. As Americans, seeing critical race theory and enforced mandates burdening our kids in public school, and seeing any semblance of open debate about vaccinations being absolutely crushed in the public square, we recognize the tyranny. 

Mustaine continued: “We have the power, especially us … heavy metal fans, we have the power to change things.” Well as long as Mustaine and others like him are sticking out their middle fingers to the ambitious authoritarians in office, there’s plenty of hope.

But as Rolling Stone noted, the state in which Mustaine made his rant has seen 27,000 people die from COVID, and Mustaine himself is a survivor of throat cancer, a pre-existing condition that makes him more susceptible to catching COVID. That "tyranny" he's raging against just might keep him alive -- not that Hays cares about Mustaine's health.

Further, by contrast, the lead singer of the band co-eadlining with Megadeth on this tour, Lamb of God, urged concertgoers to get vaccinated and "wear a fucking mask." Hays somehow forgot to mention that.

So, which singer cares more about the health and safety of himself and his audience? Who's more likely to be alive at the end of this tour? Care to speculate, Gabe?

By contrast, Hays was much, much harsher to an old musician who failed to spout right-wing talking points. He sneered in a July 28 post:

Musician and peace and love enthusiast David Crosby is currently moonlighting as a bloodthirsty fascist who thinks about shooting people who promote politics he doesn’t believe in. Yeah sure, the first member of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young embodies that hippy lifestyle, though today it seems in a way less reminiscent of John Lennon and more akin to Charles Manson. 

In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, the songwriter who inflicted “Almost Cut My Hair” on the world had some brutal words for the creator of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, saying that he should be “ taken out and shot” because of all the fake news being pushed out of his network. Oh he also went on about how evil Trump is.

Geez, Another has-been with a negative opinion of right-wingers? Ooooooh, Daily Beast., talk about exclusive scoop!

But yes, how’s that for partisan journalism? Begin your interview with the mustachioed musician talking about his music and then switch right into talking about Trump. Readers could see that Crosby knew that this was going into cheap political clickbait, when he responded to the Trump pivot, with a simple, exhausted, “Ah, jeez.” 

Yeah we hear you, Croz. No one wants to do this.

Yet Hays did it anyway. Go figure.

Hays' headline called Crosby a "cranky old hippie," even though he's no more cranky than Ondrasik or Mustaine. Also note that Hays didn't describe the right-wing rants from Ondrasik and Mustaine as "cheap political clickbait" the way he did Crosby's, even though it is by virtue of the fact that Hays fell for it and ate it up.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
CNS Still Playing Mask Gotcha With Biden
Topic: CNSNews.com

One of thte pettiest, nitpickiest fronts of CNSNews.com's war on President Biden is its juvenile need to play mask gotcha -- loudly calling out any time, however brief, that Biden is not wearing a mask in public. That pettiness has continued. Susan Jones did the deed in a Sept. 30 article:

A maskless President Joe Biden strolled into Nationals Park on Wednesday evening, briefly interrupting the annual congressional baseball game during the second inning.

The unmasked president leaned in to kiss an unmasked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; then he mingled closely with unmasked Democrats, both at the edge of the field and in their dugout.

As he made the rounds, he was greeted with cheers and some boos.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, Biden also greeted (unmasked) Republicans on the other side of the field. Republicans won the game, 13-12.

Biden received his COVID booster shot on Monday. In fact, he was wearing a black face mask when he rolled up his sleeve.

[...]

The city-owned Nationals Park says all ticketed fans are required to wear an approved face covering at all times when in an indoor area, regardless of vaccination status, unless they are actively eating or drinking.

Melanie Arter served up her dose of gotcha in an Oct. 18 article:

President Joe Biden and the first lady were caught on camera walking maskless through a D.C. restaurant on Saturday, despite the city’s indoor mask mandate.

The incident took place at the Fiola Mare restaurant in Georgetown.

When asked to explain why, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki downplayed it, saying, “there are moments when we all don’t put masks back on as quickly as we should.”

Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki, “There’s a mask requirement inside D.C. restaurants. Yet, President Biden and the first lady were not wearing masks while walking around a D.C. restaurant on Saturday. Why?”

Over at CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, Curtis Houck gushed over Doocy's mask gotcha, proving that it's a right-wing talking point and not actual news. And that, of course, is why CNS has repeatedly pushed this pettiness.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 AM EDT
Saturday, November 6, 2021
MRC Gets Mad When People Said Biden Speech Didn't Suck
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is so filled with hate for President Biden that it even lashes out at him for simply giving a speech and that anyone would dare praise him for giving one. Tim Graham complained in a Sept. 21 post:

MSNBC launched right out of President Biden’s speech at the United Nations with praise from “objective” newspaper journalists about it hit “all the right notes,” that “you couldn’t get the words, the sheet of music much better than this.”

New York Times diplomatic correspondent Michael Crowley seized on how Biden could say America is no longer at war, which is at contrast with 20 years of American war-making after 9/11...including (ahem) eight years of Obama-Biden:

[...]

Notice that they're saying Biden's globalist rhetoric is music to the ears of the United Nations audience, and liberals don't question whether the aspirations of the United Nations audience can be quite a contrast with what a domestic audience wants.

[...]

No one said "Biden uncorked a lot of empty platitudes about inflection points in history and global challenges, and no one will remember this by next Tuesday." Because MSNBC would find that too cynical....when Democrats are in charge. 

An hour and nine minutes later, it was Scott Whitlock's turn to complain:

Joe Biden hit the low standards that NBC apparently has for the Democrat on Tuesday, politely praising his speech to the United Nations as “normal,” “standard” and “good.” The reporters were clearly doing their best to offer the standard liberal media talking points expected for a Democratic President. However, Richard Engel and Andrea Mitchell also offered some concern and doubt in the wake of the Afghanistan disaster.

This was a normal speech. We can disagree on some of the points. But this was a normal, standard outlining of American priorities about democracy, about internationalism, working with our allies.” He contrasted, “Last time, President Trump said, ‘No other president has gotten more done in two years.’ And people started laughing.”

That's right -- on just over an hour's time, the MRC cranked out two posts about a speech. That's because in the MRC's highly skewed right-wing bubble, it is forbidden to praise a liberal.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 AM EDT
WND's Farah Defends Pro-Trump, Glory-Stealing Marine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Because Joseph Farah needs to create another supposed victim of President Biden, he wrote in an Oct. 4 column:

You know the signature picture from the Afghanistan debacle.

Everybody does.

It was the Marine who helped hoist a baby over the walls of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul last month.

Well now he's under investigation for making a cameo appearance with Donald Trump at a rally in Georgia Sept. 25.

His name is Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark, and he was simply helping guard the Afghanistan airport in August. A picture of him went viral as he helped save a baby lifted up by an Afghani parent outside of the airport walls.

[...]

Later, Trump invited Clark, who is from Georgia, up on stage to say a few words.

"We're also honored to be joined by one of the Marines who bravely served in Kabul during the withdrawal and helped evacuate children over the airport and over the airport wall," Trump told the crowd. "You saw him, he did a great job, Lance Corporal Hunter Ian Clark. Lance Corporal, get up here!"

Clark introduced himself as "the guy that pulled the baby over the wall," and said it was "definitely, probably one of the greatest things I've done in my entire life."

The Marine choked up as he said: "I just want to thank all the support from y'all. It really means a lot and I'm glad to be home now."

He then shook Trump's hand as the crowd chanted: "USA!"

Clark didn't endorse Trump. Nothing else was said about the appearance. But he became another enemy of the people to Biden – another American soldier who maybe likes Trump.

"Maybe" likes Trump? If Clark was not a Trump superfan -- who perhaps was summoned by Trump himself -- there would be no reason for him to be there.

Farah went on to complain: "Clark did not wear his Marine uniform while on stage with Trump, and he did not campaign for any political candidate – even though the former president was there to rally for three different Republican candidates in Georgia." Sure is strange that Trump knew Clark would be there even though he was wearing his civvies, isn't it? It's as if Clark was actively taking part in a political event -- which active-duty military members aren't allowed to do.

Farah finally got around to mentioning the even bigger reason Clark is in trouble:

[Capt. Kelton Cochran, a spokesman for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit that Clark beongs to] also said that Clark was not the Marine shown in the viral photo from Aug. 19 of an infant being pulled over the wall. Multiple Marines were seen helping desperate Afghans to safety during the airlift, and Clark did not provide specific details of when he helped the child.

You can see what a big offense this is in today's military.

He'll probably be charged with treason for claiming credit for the baby hoist. Who knows?

Yes, the military does tend to not take it well when members are caught lying. It's not necessarily treason as Farah insists, but it does look like a recipe for a dishonorable discharge.

Of course, Farah concludes by inventing a conspiracy, blaming Biden for the misbehavior of a low-ranking member of thte military:

Do you see a pattern here?

I can't believe it! Who would have thought it would come to this in America?

Can Joe Biden be this petty? Is there anybody safe from his jealousy, this rage against Trump?

Where will it end?

If Clark hadn't try to steal glory he didn't earn at a rally held by a man who tried to foment an insurrection against the United States, he wouldn't be in this predicament. He's simply being held accountable for his behavior, all of which was proscribed against in military conduct procedures long before Biden became president. Why is Farah so mad about that?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, November 6, 2021 1:30 AM EDT
Friday, November 5, 2021
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Curtis Houck was a Doocy-gasm mood for his summary of the Oct. 18 White House press briefing with a round of mask gotcha:

On Monday’s Psaki Show, Fox News’s Peter Doocy returned to the Briefing Room (after colleague Jacqui Heinrich took a turn last week) and, as usual, he didn’t make it easy on Press Secretary Jen Psaki as they went toe-to-toe over President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden walking maskless in a Washington D.C. restaurant despite a citywide mandate and the President’s hypocrisy in calling for prosecution of those who defy January 6-related subpoenas.

As always, Doocy immediately cut to the chase with a short but biting question “There is mask requirement inside D.C. restaurants, yet President Biden and the First Lady were not wearing masks while walking around a D.C. restaurant on Saturday. Why?”

Psaki brushed it off as images from when they were “walking out of a restaurant after they had eaten, masks in hand where they had not yet put them back on yet, so I would say, of course, there are moments when we all don't put mask back on as quickly as we should.”

She added that people shouldn’t “lose the forest through the trees here” when the real focus should be on both vaccinating people and instituting mass vaccine mandates.

Given the level of mask hypocrisy over the past year and a half, Doocy wasn’t having it:

Needless to say, Doocy (and Houck) would never have treated Kayleigh McEnany the same way or played a similar gotcha game with Donald Trump, and Houck would never concede that a hated "liberal media" reporter "wasn't having it" regarding anything  McEnany ever said. But Houck devoted his entire post to fawning over Doocy, going on to gush over his badgering Psaki aboutthe idea of prosecutingTrump administration officials and various hangers-on who are defying subpoenas from the congressional committee invesigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

On Oct. 19, Houck cheered that Doocy was pushing more right-wing talking points:

On Tuesday, it was a spicy day inside the White House Briefing Room as Fox’s Peter Doocy brought the heat against Press Secretary Jen Psaki on coronavirus vaccine mandates, flights for illegal immigrants, and the Treasury Department monitoring our bank accounts. And as we’ve seen plenty of times, Doocy received help as other reporters tackling Biden’s influence on the Justice Department, his Build Back Better plan, and the supply chain crisis.

Doocy started with new reporting from the New York Post that government flights of illegal immigrants were landing in places like Westchester County, New York in the dead of night: “Why is the administration flying thousands of migrants from the border to Florida and New York in the middle of the night?”

Psaki went the condescending route, quipping that she’s “not sure that it's in the middle of the night, but let me tell you what's happening here.”

Did Houck ever criticize McEnany for being "condescending"? Not that we recall -- heck, he probably loved her condescension.

Houck quicky added at the end: "At the back end of the briefing, the penultimate exchange featured Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson talking about Buttigieg’s unannounced paternity leave, but instead of engaging, Psaki made clear that she, at best, loathes her. But as a less biased reporter pointed out, the reason Psaki didn't "engage" with Robinson was that she continued to shout questions after her allotted time had ended while Psaki moved on to another reporter. And, really, Robinson has amply earned the contempt of people by spewing COVID conspiracy theories, which means she has never earned the respect Houck demands she receive simply for being a right-wing reporter.

For the Oct. 21 hearing, Houck had a different target in deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, but was having the same old Doocy-gasms over his slavish recitation of right-0wing talking points -- mixed in with praise for Doocy's wife, also a biased Fox News reporter, which sounds a bit awkward:

With The Psaki Show off on Thursday, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary and former MSNBCer Karine Jean-Pierre filled in, but it wasn’t an easy day as she faced incoming fire from not only Fox’s Peter Doocy, but Doocy’s other half in wife Hillary Vaughn of the Fox Business Network as the two brought the heat with hardballs on inflation, the supply chain crisis, and our country’s overall economic malaise.

Doocy began with immigration and wanted to know whether it’s that “the year Joe Biden was sworn in as President promising more a humane immigration system is the same year that an all-time record 1.7 million migrants have been detained at the southern border.”

Houck gave Doocy and Vaughn more cookies for spouting right-wing narratives in the Oct. 22 briefing:

After a day off and a guest appearance by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, The Psaki Show was back with a new episode on Friday and, for the second day in a row, the Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy and wife Hillary Vaughn of the Fox Business Network applied the heat to the Briefing Room podium.

Other reporters asked insightful questions about Biden’s poll numbers, the DHS investigation into the fake whips story, gas prices, press access, but it was Doocy who battled Psaki over vaccine mandates and President Biden not having visited the U.S. southern border while Vaughn focused on the economic pinch Americans have found themselves in ahead of the holiday season.

Most of Doocy’s time focused on immigration, but he led off with news that “[t]he leader of the union representing FedEx, UPS, and DHL is saying that supply chain problems are going to get worse with labor shortages right before the holidays unless the President postpones the requirement to get vaccinated by December 8.”

With that said, Doocy wanted to know: “[W]hat is more important to this President: The vaccine mandates or fixing the supply chain as fast as possible?”

Psaki deflected, arguing that’s “not actually what we've seen at companies that have implemented these vaccine requirements” and instead the labor market would be in worse shape if the Covid vaccine wasn’t mandated.

Houck did cheer other right-wing messaging as well: "In two other notable moments, the New York Post's Steven Nelson called out the White House's ongoing curtailing of press access for Biden events in the East Room and the Daily Caller's Shelby Talcott inquired about the Department of Homeland Security investigation into the (fake) whips story that's now a month late." Cookies all around for staying on message!


Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EDT
WND's Brown Wimps Out, Defends Anti-Vaxx Misinformers In The Name Of 'Freedom Of Speech'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown did his best to sound ominous in his Sept. 29 WorldNetDaily column:

The Sept. 29 lead headline on DrudgeReport was even more apocalyptic and alarming than normal, featuring a giant YouTube logo, front and center, covered by a red "cancel" circle. The headline declared, "YOUTUBE BANS ALL 'ANTI-VAX' CONTENT.'"

Secondary headlines also sounded ominous tones: "Sydney warns unvaccinated face total social isolation IDEFINITELY when lockdown ends …"; "UNITED AIRLINES firing employees who refuse shot"; "Biden Order Mandate Enforcement With Up To $700,000 Fine …" – and more.

Are things really as bad as they seem? In a word, yes.

At this point, Brown had the opportunity to tone things down and stand with reality against anti-vaxxers and partisan alarmists who want to maliciously frame public health measures as issues of freedom. But he turned wishy-washy in explaining his own position on COVId vaccines:

But let me say at the outset that I am not an anti-vaxxer myself. My official, oft-stated, public position on the COVID vaccines is this: Do the research, pray for wisdom, and make an informed decision. As for my personal choices, I'm keeping those personal, since I do not have the health expertise to influence others in either direction.

If he's not an anti-vaxxer, why is he afraid to admit wether or not he has gotten the vaccine? Because he's virtue-signaling -- he apparently believes he has a significant number of anti-vaxxers in his target audience, and he doesn't want to offend anyone, which is why he took the "do the research" copout (which is an anti-vaxxer trope).

So, unsurprisingly, he goes on to frame anti-vaxxer misinformation and disinformation as just another viewpoint that deserves ewual treatment:

The rationale behind the decision is this: "Misinformation researchers have for years said the popularity of anti-vaccine content on YouTube was contributing to growing skepticism of lifesaving vaccines in the United States and around the world. Vaccination rates have slowed and about 56 percent of the U.S. population has had two shots, compared with 71 percent in Canada and 67 percent in the United Kingdom."

But what if it is not just misinformation? What if there are genuine scientific concerns? What if there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence supporting those concerns? And, in any case, who decides what is and is not "misinformation"? More importantly, who decides which "misinformation" is permitted and which is forbidden?

Should a video with blatant misinformation about the Bible be permitted on YouTube, even if it will lead many people astray spiritually? (The answer is yes, it should be permitted.)

What about a video with misleading information about UFOs? Should that be permitted? (Again, the answer is yes.)

But if you have genuine, well-researched, carefully considered issues with vaccines in general, not to mention COVID vaccines in particular, your content will be banned on YouTube.

This really is ominous.

That's a bizarre argument. "Misinformation" about the Bible or UFOs doesn't kill people -- but misinformation about vaccines does.

He then hearkened back to a 2018 commentary defending misinformer and liar Alex Jones to argue that nobody should ever face accountability for spreading lils and misinformation, then concluding with the mention of one more right-wing martyr:

In the past, a major newspaper like USA Today may have had 2-3 million subscribers, while, to this day, major network news shows may draw 5-7 million viewers per network. In contrast, YouTube currently has 2.29 billion users, meaning that when YouTube bans you, it really hurts.

Add to this the fact that we began this year with Twitter banning the most powerful man on the planet from its platform – the sitting president of the United States – and you realize that things are quickly spiraling out of control.

Let us, then, push back with wisdom, with truth, with courage, with strategic action and – for people of faith – with prayer.

Seems like Brown ought to be praying for the courage to call out those who spread misinformation -- and the courage to tell people whether or not he's vaccinated.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, November 5, 2021 3:37 PM EDT
MRC Invents Conspiracy Over Fox News Drone
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro was quick to go conspiratorial in a Sept. 16 post:

In an apparent attempt to cover up the border crisis, the Biden administration has shut down Fox News’s ability to fly their drone over the U.S.-Mexico border to report on the border crisis, which swelled in August and again in the last 24-hours.

On Thursday’s Special Report, national correspondent Bill Melugin showed the over 9,000-person crowd of illegals under the international bridge. But on Tucker Carlson Tonight, two hours later, he was forced to report that the FAA had issued a temporary flight restriction or TFR over the entire area.

[...]

While on with Carlson, he broke the news that the FAA was shutting them down. “What does that mean? It means our drone can no longer fly and show those images,” he said. “It is a two-week TFR, and according to the FAA, it is for special security reasons. We’ve reached out to the FAA to get a little clarification on what the heck that means.”

Noting that the “timing on this, the location, a little bit curious,” Melugin explained that they’ve been there almost “seven months now” and there’s “never been an issue” with them flying the drone. “All of a sudden, the last 24-hours, we start showing images at this bridge and a TFR goes up, we can no longer fly. When we can update from the FAA we will be sure to let you know.”

Because he is a dishonest right-wing hack who is effectively moonlights as a Fox News PR person, Fondacaro offered no actual evidence that the ban was designed to specifically retaliate against Fox News. He waited until nearly the end of his piece before mentioning that the FAA had responded to all the right-wing conspiracy-mongering by issuing a statement that everyone's drones -- not just those from Fox News -- were grounded because they were interfering with law enforcement and that the "media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area." Fondacaro sneered in response: "Now, given that the FAA says that the media can make a request for flight clearance, we have to wait and see if Fox News gets granted that access."

Because the entirety of the MRC is effectively the PR division of Fox News, Tim Graham devoted his Sept. 17 podcast to trying to advance the nonexistent conspiracy theory, summarized in the post promoting it as "Team Biden trying to shut down the Fox News camera exposing their maladministration of the border." Graham went on to rant: "It is one of those things where you say, hmmm, I think we can all imagine if we flip the script on this how this would be handled," playing imaginary whataboutism speculating how a Trump administration would be treated had it done something similar.

The funny thing is that Fox News followed pricedure, applied for flight clearance and was granted it the same day Graham went on a tirade about it. And the MRC never mentioned it again -- so it's yet another situation where the MRC hyped something that turned out not to have thepartisan legs it hoped so it just went silent without bothering to tell readers that the situation essentially resolved itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 AM EDT
CNS Touts Putin Critic Bashing ... 'Tech Giants'
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com absolutely loves it when Russian president Vladimir Putin trashes the United States in general and President Biden in particular, so it's loath to publish much criticism of Putin, even though he's very much an anti-democratic authoritarian leader who acts like a dictator -- normally something CNS would be opposed to if said leader was less right-wing. So it was unusual when Patrick Goodenough devoted a Sept. 24 article to Putin's biggest critic, Alexey Navalny. But the focus of the article wasn't his criticism of Putin -- it was on tech companies who bowed to Putin's demands to withdraw voting-aid apps:

Angered by U.S. tech giants’ decision to remove a voting app promoting opposition candidates in last weekend’s Russian parliamentary elections, imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has accused them of turning into Vladimir Putin’s “accomplices.”

In a series of searing tweets, Navalny slammed Google and Apple for complying with Kremlin dictates, saying that in doing so Big Tech was acknowledging “the right of an authoritarian thief to subjugate the Internet, turning it into an instrument for seizure of power.”

“It’s one thing when the Internet monopolists are ruled by cute freedom-loving nerds with solid life principles,” he said. “It is completely different when the people in charge of them are both cowardly and greedy.”

“One of the modern challenges is that false prophets now come to us not in sheep’s clothing, but in hoodies and stretched jeans,” Navalny wrote. “Standing in front of the huge screens, they tell us about ‘making the world a better place,’ but on the inside they are liars and hypocrites.”

That's more in line with the war CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has been waging against "Big Tech."

However, Goodenough waited until the last few paragraphs of his 18-paragraph article to note"widespread allegations from opposition parties of vote-rigging and fraud" and that "The Washington-based democracy watchdog Freedom House, which grades countries each year on political rights and civil liberties, ranks Russia under the Putin regime as 'not free'" -- though, weirdly, Goodenough did not mention Putin's name in making those claims even though he's the person behind all that. Wouldn't want to upset the boss, after all.

This came after a Sept. 19 article by Goodenough in which he highlighted criticism of Apple and Google by "Russian opposition activists" in which Putin's name doesn't appear at all.

As we documented, CNS ran to Putin's defense after Biden called him a "killer" over his treatment of Navalny and other opposition figures., happily printing Putin's attacks on Biden in response to the claim.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Though It Embraced His Milley Story, MRC Still Hates Bob Woodward
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center pounced on the revelation -- as reported in the new book by Bob Woodward -- that Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Mark Milley secretly contacted Chinese officials to assure them that the U.S. wouldn't attack because of Donald Trump's increasingly unstable mental state after losing the 2020 election, but that doesn't mean the MRC has taking a liking to Woodward. It had a meltdown over Woodward's last book for making Trump look bad -- even though the book was based on interviews Woodward did with Trump -- and it even whined that the media covered Woodward's revelations more than a Nobel Peace Prize nomination Trump got.

In his Sept. 15 podcast, MRC executive Tim Graham ranted against the book and even took some needlessly personal shots at Woodward's co-author, Robert Costa: "Oh, how CNN loved this book's debut. They are just wallowing in it like it's Christmas morning and Woodward was Santa Claus. I guess this would make Robert Costa Buddy the Elf." The MRC likes to portray Costa as "liberal" even though he first gained journalistic notoriety at the conservative National Review.

Graham dismissed the Milley story as an "alleged scoop" -- even though the MRC was not treating as "alleged" -- insisting that it was not "likely" or "remotely plausible" that Trump was unstable because Trump didn't launch any wars and declaring that "this is just the kind of story that our  so-called news media just adores, this cartoon of the president as a completely unhinged, dangerous person." Apparently, Graham was not observing the Trump presidency in the previous four years. He went on to lament that "books like these are trying to make Trump more radioactive than he already is for 2024." Funny, we've never read anywhere at the MRC that Trump is "radioactive."

Graham then ranted that Woodward's book is the third book critical of Trump to come out this year because the Post is a "Democratic rag!" 

Graham used his Sept. 17 column to further complain:

Liberal outlets often try to ignore conservative journalism, refusing to recognize facts and substance that they fear are damaging to the Democrats. The closer the election gets, the more hypersensitive their censoring instincts become. They repeated Democrat claims of “Russian misinformation” and moved on.

This never happens to Bob Woodward, the “legend” of The Washington Post. He is, to liberals, the gold standard of information. He never commits misinformation. Nothing ever needs to be substantiated. No source ever needs to be identified. No “reconstructed conversation” is ever doubted. The Bible is treated less reverently than Woodward’s latest gospel.

The alleged scripture this time around is that Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was so frightened by what President Trump might do in late 2020 and January 2021 that he had conversations with a general in China, advising him that if there was going to be some crazy nuclear attack from Trump, he would give the communists a heads-up.

Conservatives were immediately up in arms at the treasonous sound of this. But the first question should be: Can Woodward be trusted?

Graham didn't mention that neither he nor his MRC co-workers apparently asked that question in its using Woodward's book to brand Milley a traitor.

Graham went on to rant that "Sometimes, Woodward’s hot scoops crumble under scrutiny" -- but he had to go to a book Woodward wrote more than 30 years ago to find an example. He also cited this old book in his podcast as well.

When Woodward and Costa did media appearances to promote their book, the MRC's attack mode continued. Writing about an appearance from them on ABC, Kristine Marsh huffed on Sept. 20 that the host "eagerly accepted Woodward and Costa's pathetic, partisan defense that Joint Chief of Staff General Mark Milley was justified in tipping off China, because Trump was just that dangerous," insisting that "making serious and unsubstantiated claims about the president being crazy doesn’t even warrant pushback at ABC, it's become routine for the media." She went on to whine that "The media has a history of trumpeting anonymously sourced, salacious claims against President Trump, particularly by Woodward," linking to Graham's podcast.

Kyle Drennen invented a motive for Woodward writing the book in a Sept. 22 post:

On CBS’s Late Show Tuesday night, left-wing “comedian” Stephen Colbert eagerly welcomed on The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward on Robert Costa to hawk their new anti-Trump book designed to distract from the massive failures of current President Joe Biden. Accepting all of the wild claims in the book as gospel, Colbert declared that he had to take breaks from reading it in order to “quietly weep” for the country.  

Drennen offered no evidence to support his claim that the book was "designed to distract" from Biden -- books are typically months if not years in the making, after all. That appears to be a figment of Drennen's imagination and, as such, has no business in anything claiming to be "media research."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 PM EDT
Newsmax's White House Reporter Busted For Spewing Another COVID Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Newsmax

Last year, we caught Newsmax TV White House correspondent Emerald Robinson -- whose scant resume before joining Newsmax as dominated by work at the even-further-right One American News Network -- spouting coronavirus conspiracy theories on Twitter, for which she apparently faced no discipline. Now, she's gotten busted for pushing a conspiracy about COViD vaccines. Tell us all about it, Washington Post media writer Erik Wemple:

Right-wing media outlet Newsmax had no choice on Tuesday but to issue two statements. One came from Elliot Jacobson, Newsmax’s executive vice president and chief content officer:

Newsmax is a strong proponent that Covid 19 vaccines are overarchingly safe and effective. while at the same time raising concerns that mandates infringe on personal liberty and privacy. We have seen no evidence to suggest LUCIFERASE or LUCIFERIN are present in any vaccines or that they are used as any sort bioluminescent marker.

And here’s the other, from parent company Newsmax Media:

Newsmax strongly believes and has reported that the Covid 19 vaccines are safe and effective. We do not believe the vaccines contain any toxic materials or tracking markers, and such false claims have never been reported on Newsmax. The many medical experts appearing on Newsmax have supported the use of the vaccine.

What on earth could have prompted these bizarre statements? A tweet from Emerald Robinson, Newsmax’s White House correspondent:

And that statement was: "Dear Christians: the vaccines contain a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so you can be tracked. Read the last book of the New Testament to see how this ends."

In fact, the vaccines do not contain luciferase (though it was used in some vaccine trials because it is an enzyme that can produce light and helped to analyze how the vaccines work, working in a similar way to what make fireflies glow).  Wemple added: "Which is to say, the two-thirds of Americans who’ve taken at least one vaccine dose needn’t worry about acquiring a subcutaneous glow."

Wemple added that Robinson has been placed on a tepid kind of quasi-suspension, according to a Newsmax statement: “Newsmax is currently reviewing the posts and during that period Ms. Robinson will not be on air but continue with duties for the network.”

Having a vocal anti-vaxxer as your White House correspondent is not the way a "news" organization builds credibility -- and neither does having to make public statements distancing yourself from those anti-vaxxer sentiments. Newsmax doesn't seem to have figured that out yet.

(Copy of Robinson's tweet via Justin Baragona)


Posted by Terry K. at 6:30 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: MRC, Fact-Check Thyself
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center keeps getting busted by fact-checkers for the less-than-truthful memes it tries to spread -- and it can't stop whining about it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 5:47 PM EDT

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