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Wednesday, November 17, 2021
MRC Backs Bongino's Fight Against Vaccine Mandate -- But Is Bongino Just Virtue-Signaling?
Topic: Media Research Center

Right-wing radio host Dan Bongino has been a favorite of the Media Research Center for a while, particularly when he claimed to be an investor in right-wing social media site Parler. Of course, the MRC still hasn't told its readers that Parler is controlled by a major MRC donor, Rebekah Mercer, or that Mercer has reportedly screwed Bongino out of his share of the company (or that Parler founder John Matze reportedly got the same treatment). Nevertheless, the MRC wants you to think Bongino is a free-speech champion; in July, Alexander Hall gushed that Bongino co-founded "a payment processor so Americans won’t have to worry about PayPal or other woke corporations blacklisting them," and in August, Christian Toto touted a Bongino-hosted series that "highlights the lives impacted by Cancel Culture as well as the microscopic offenses that sparked those cancellations."

So when Bongino got into a tussle over vaccine mandates with the company that syndicates his radio show, MRC chief Brent Bozell was eager to defend him, as detailed in an Oct. 19 post by Joseph Vazquez:

Bongino hammered Cumulus Media — his show’s partner — during the Oct. 18 edition of The Dan Bongino Show on Fox Nation. The company had recently instituted a draconian vaccine mandate against its workers. The mandate reportedly led to firings at Cumulus. Bongino called the move by Cumulus “stupid” and leveled an ultimatum against the media company. “You can have me, or you can have the [vaccine] mandate. But you can't have both of us,” Bongino said. Bozell took to Twitter to express his solidarity within Bongino: “I'm vaccinated, but I stand with anyone with a moral or medical objection to the vaccine. This is about freedom. We should be free to take the vaccine or not. #StandWithDan.”

The popular radio host had a sharp response for the actions by Cumulus: “I’m not playing along with that. And I’ll invite, by the way, any of those hosts who — according to an article I read today in Inside Radio who had been let go because of it — you’re welcome to come on the show.”

[...]

Bongino didn’t let up, and said that vaccination mandates were “antithetical to everything I believe in, my company believes in, I believe in myself, my wife believes in and anyone associated with my company.” 

He then declared, “I’m not going to let this go,” and went right at his partnership with Cumulus media: “You have a choice. I work with you. I do not work for you. I never will. You may have had other people in a corner, but you don’t have me. And it’s my obligation — given everything I’ve been through health-wise — it’s my obligation to stand up for them.” 

Bongino had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this year before announcing a clean bill of health in March.

Vazquez didn't mention that Bongino is a bit hypocritical on the subject -- he is fully vaccinated, as well he should be since he is immunocompromised from his Hodgkin's treatment. He also didn't mention that Fox News, whose Fox Nation division also airs his radio show, also has a vaccine mandate that requires non-vaccinated employees to tested every day.

Over at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Rob Shimshock dutifully repeated Bozell's expression of support while also censoring the full story. It got repeated at MRCTV as well.

Bongino went off the air on the radio after that, and Cululus had been airing reruns even as there was an off-year election that his right-wing audience needed to be riled up over. But some conservatives are starting to suspect taht Bongino is just virtue-signaling, and that his theatrical rage against Cumulus is just an attempt to break his radio contract. As Mediaite reported:

The Cumulus vaccine policy was announced in the summer, with pretty clear deadlines: first shot in September and a second by October 8. Anyone who did not follow the policy was let go by the company by that date.

A source with direct knowledge of the company’s policy revealed to Mediaite that anyone on the chopping block for refusing to get the vaccine was already fired. So the notion that Bongino is taking a principled stand against mandates as a means of protecting the freedom of his colleagues doesn’t make much sense.

It has raised eyebrows among industry insiders who suspect that Bongino’s protest has a different motivation than a principled stand against vaccine mandates.

Take, for example, North Alabama-based conservative talk radio host Dale Jackson, who called out Bongino for “virtue signaling” his opposition to the mandate. “The reason why I called it virtue signaling is very simple: the mandate went into place a week after he said he wouldn’t work for a company that had a vaccine mandate.”

Jackson is not alone in his criticism of Bongino. The self-imposed exile, sources say, is more about Bongino’s flagging commitment to continuing his three-hour daily show. There is a lot of rumbling within Cumulus — and stations that syndicate his show — that Bongino’s stand against mandates is actually a naked attempt to break a contract he does not like. His colleagues are not happy about it.

Bongino has since posted a video to Facebook denying he's trying to get out of his Cumulus contract.

This development is nowhee to be found at any MRC online platform, nor has been mentioned on Bozell's Twitter account.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EST
Fossil-Fuel-Funded CNS Takes Shots At Electric Cars
Topic: CNSNews.com

Given that the Media Research Center, has accepted donations from fossil-fuel interests, it's not really a surprise to see its "news" division, CNSNews.com, take lazy shots at electric vehicles. An anonymous CNS writer was first up in an Oct. 4 article:

A new Rasmussen Reports survey revealed that only 25% of American adults believe electric cars are practical.

The survey also found that 52% of Americans think electric cars are not practical, and another 23% said they were not sure. 

Seven years ago, a similar survey found that only 19% of Americans believed electric cars are practical.

The anonymous writer failed to tell readers that Rasmussen polls have a pronouced pro-Republican bias, so maybe its results aren't necessarily the most accurate.

This was followed by an Oct. 12 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who bashed electric cars for not selling well:

In its latest report on the best-selling cars, trucks, and SUVs of 2021, Car and Driver's top ten are gasoline-fueled vehicles. There is not one electric vehicle (EV) on the list.

Some of the top ten cars and trucks are offered as hybrids (electric and gas), but they currently do not out-sell the traditional, internal-combustion-engine-run cars and trucks.

No doubt, electric (and hybrid) car sales are slowly growing. In 2019, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, a total of 700,407 EVs, battery-run, and hybrids were sold in the U.S.  However, in that same year, total used and new car sales totaled 62,107,000. So, the EVs, battery-run, and hybrids made up about 1.12% of U.S. car sales (used and new) that year.

But Chapman is being dishonest here. The Car & Driver list is of the top 25 best-selling cars, not the top 10, and selectively quoting the list allows him to omit the fact that 19th best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is the all-electric Tesla Model Y.

It seems that CNS feels it must be dishonest with its readers in order to protect its funding.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 PM EST
Newsmax Sensitive About Its Far-Right, Pro-Trump Sycophancy Being Linked To 'Domestic Terrorism'
Topic: Newsmax

As much as Newsmax tries to cater to the far-right, election-fraud-conspiracy-theory crowd, it's weirdly sensitive about that inconvenient fact being called out. A Sept. 29 article by Eric Mack is devoted to highlighting how Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley being questioned about a revelation in Bob Woodward's book that he had linked Newsmax and fellow right-wing Trump-sycophant outlet the Epoch Times to "domestic terrorism":

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley denied listing Newsmax in his personal notes after Jan. 6 as among those he claimed were a part of a "big threat: domestic terrorism," as claimed in Bob Woodward's book "Peril."

"It says that you told Bob Woodward that you wrote in a list in your notebook of groups that you personally believe were responsible for the attack and that you associated with it: Quote and you called these groups, quote, 'domestic terrorists' or domestic terrorism," Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said in grilling Milley during his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

"That list included, in your notebook – according to Bob Woodward and your conversations with him – Nazis and Oath Keepers, but it also included two conservative media outlets that you listed in your notebook, including The Epoch Times – which by the way is a news outlet that was founded by critics of the Chinese Communist Party – and Newsmax, which is the second most-watched conservative media outlet in the country today.

"Do your notes about Jan. 6 reference both Epoch Times and Newsmax on a list of domestic terrorists?" Banks asked Milley bluntly in an exchange that wrapped the lawmaker's five minutes of questioning. That questioning had begun with Banks pressing Milley on his alleged belief the military should not be politicized.

"I'm not recalling this conversation at all," Milley said of Woodward's book alleging notes labeling Newsmax among domestic terrorists.

"It's in the book," Banks shot back.

"It may be in the book," Milley responded. "I'm not recalling a conversation about Newsmax, Epoch Times, or . . ."

Mack didn't mention that Newsmax's enthusiastic support for Trump's bogus claims of election fraud -- which not only helped sparkthe Jan. 6 Capitol riot but numerous lawsuits against Newsmax for spreading said bogus claims -- might make a reasonable observer think such a link exists.

Just to cover its bases, Mack also made sure to attack Woodward as well, claiming that "Woodward has been dogged by allegations of fabrication in the past,"but citing an alleghed incidenct from more than 30 years ago. You ight recall that that its fellow ConWeb denizens at the Media Research Center did the same thing in bashing Woodward while also hyping his reporting about Milley.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
WND Trots Out Its Favorite Right-Wing Prophet To Bash Biden
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember Jonathan Cahn? He's the far-right messianic Jew who has been an obsession (and attempted cash cow) of WorldNetDaily for years. He was also cool with the Islamic extremists of ISIS destroying a 2,000-year-old archeological relic because it was reportedly once the site of a temple to Baal (though it was later a Chrstian church). Cahn and WND editor Joseph Farah led a publicity stunt by preaching during a WND=sponsored Holy Land tour at the site of Jerusalem's Temple Mount despite an official prohibition on such activities by the Israeli government.

Cahn gave his blessing to Donald Trump's presidency, so you know he's not afraid to use his purported prophecy skills for partisan reasons. Unsurprisingly, Cahn played politics with religion again -- this time to attack President Biden -- and WND's Art Moore was eager to serve as his stenographer in an Oct. 11 article:

Is there a "prophetic sign" in the disastrous U.S. withdrawl from Afghanistan? Is there an ancient mystery, from 9/11 to the Taliban takeover, that presents a warning to America?

Those are questions messianic rabbi and author Jonathan Cahn asks in a new video message.

He points to a chapter in his bestselling book "The Harbinger" called "The Isaiah 9:10 Effect," which shows how the events of 9/11 repeated a pattern seen in ancient Israel with astonishing precision. One of nine "harbingers," he found, was that a nation's attempt to undo judgment apart from returning to God will be reversed and bring calamity.

"So, for years I’ve watched to see if America’s victory against the terrorists in Afghanistan would be undone – if the Taliban would come back – and with them al-Qaida and the agents of terror," Cahn says.

He begins his explanation of "the mystery" he found in the Afghanistan withdrawl by recounting his belief prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that 2020 would be a year of "great shaking." He based that on the pattern he found in God's judgment of Israel, in which the nation received a warning strike in 605 B.C. that was followed by "greater shakings" 19 years later.

Remarkably, the event that put in motion the "the undoing of America’s war" and "the return of the terrorist" began when then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Qatar to begin talks with the Taliban on Sept. 11, 2020, exactly 19 years after 9/11.

Then President Biden, he notes, "vowed to complete the retreat of America from Afghanistan" by Sept. 11, 2021, "the end of the time period that marked the 19 years."

"When you see this happen, you are a witnessing a harbinger of coming judgment, a coming judgment that threatens to be much greater than the first," Cahn says.

Moore uncritically repeated more of Cahn's politically charged "prophetic" statements:

In May, Cahn released a video message in which he showed a "prophetic template" behind the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, relating it to the Temple of Baal in the Bible.

In January, Cahn delivered a video message for President Biden, recalling the first inaugural address 232 years ago when President George Washington gave the nation "a prophetic warning."

In that May message -- as Moore dutifilly repeated in a May 4 article -- Cahn effectively endorsed the Capitol riot because two days earlier there was a Hindu prayer in Congress and Democrats were "presenting arguably the most radical agenda in American history":

"An agenda, that as with the Temple of Baal, contained sexual immorality being enshrined, the oppression of God's people, the encroaching of religious liberty in the form of the Equality Act and other legislation, and the killing of the unborn as it had never been championed before," he says.

On Jan. 6, the Democratic Party sealed its power in Congress, when the two Senate races in Georgia were called. And later that day, the election of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was certified.

That's when the next mystery of the paradigm, occurred, he says.

Cahn, who sees Trump as a prototype of King Jehu, cites 2 Kings 10, in which Jehu calls for a solemn assembly, calling people from all over the nation to gather in the capital city.

On Jan. 6, he says, the template manifests in two gatherings.

"One is that gathering called for by the president," Cahn says. "The other is going to take place inside America's temple, in the gathering convened, by law, of leaders."

Moore mentioned nothing in either article about Cahn cheering ISIS' destruction of priceless historic artifacts.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 AM EST
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
MRC Sad That Homophobic, Racist NFL Coach Lost His Job
Topic: Media Research Center

When Jon Gruden lost his job as coach for the Las Vegas Raiders after homophobic, racist and misogynistic remarks were revealed in a series of emails he sent several years ago, and the Media Research Center's sports bloggers are very sad about this development. First up was the mysterious Jay Maxson:

Who came off worse in the Jon Gruden controversy – the lightning rod former coach of the Las Vegas Raiders or the egg-faced National Football League? It may come down to a coin toss.

Gruden stepped down Monday after it was revealed, according t The New York Times, that he “used misogynistic and homophobic language for years, a review of his emails shows. He denounced the emergence of women referees, the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of protests during the national anthem.”

In one email after the then-St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam from Missouri, Gruden said they should not have been pressured into drafting “queers.” The ex-coach also called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “faggot” and “clueless anti football pussy.” In light of cancel culture and the power the LGBT movement has to destroy careers over their word choices, those were reckless things to write down.

Gruden also criticized NFL Players Association President DeMaurice Smith for having lips the size of “Michelin tires.” Smith is black and that was another very stupid thing to say. Gruden tried to excuse it away by claiming he uses the term "rubber lips" when he accuses people of lying.

Note that Maxson apparently doesn't think Gruden came off bad here, aside from the racism. But we know that Maxson is a fellow homophobe. Instead, he (or she) played whataboutism by reciting other scandals involving NFL players or coaches who apparently weren't (yet) treated as harshly, concluding by huffing: It’s just another day, another shameful day for the NFL. Heads or tails on that coin toss?" Again: Maxson doesn't think what Gruden did was shameful, but that his punishment was.

That was followed by John Simmons also complaining about the punishment:

Last night, Jon Gruden saw his tenure as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach come to an end – because of comments he made 10 years ago.

The New York Times published a report that revealed a series of emails containing comments where Gruden used gay slurs and potentially racist comments to voice his frustration at executives, coaches, and things that were happening in the NFL from 2011 onward. One comment that was potentially seen as racist when he said that the Executive Director of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, had “lips the size of Michelin tires.”

Let me be clear: Gruden should not have said any of these things. If you read the report, you will see that he did use language that was unwholesome and made comments that a guy who is in a position of authority should not be saying.

But firing him for saying these seven years ago? That’s absolutely absurd. It wasn’t like he was saying these things to the press after each game, completely losing his temper and lashing out irrationally.

The most frustrating part of situations like this is that the person that was accused of saying racist things isn’t given a second chance to better himself. It’s a one-strike policy, with the scary part being they could dig up your past to invent a strike that gets you out.

What’s worse, the NFL has an inconsistent and confusing standard for league personnel when they violate behavior policies.

Note that Simmons only specifically called out the racist, alluding only in passing to Gruden's homophobia and misogyny in passing, bizarrely claiming that hs remarks were "unwholesome." When has the NFL ever been known as wholesome?

Like Maxson, Simmons played whataboutism, then flip=flops on the whole wholesomeness thing: "If saying something crass or inappropriate a decade ago is a fireable offense, then you would not be able to find one player or coach who should have a job today. Football is a rough sport played and coached by rough individuals, so there should be at least a better understanding of what to expect from your personnel when they speak."

Simmons returned two days later to complain that Raiders quarterback Derek Carr "offered a solution to make sure this never happens again: initiate a witch hunt on every NFL coach and general manager and see what dirt they can find on them." Then it was lecture time:

If there is one thing that all of us are good at, it’s messing up. We are bound to at one point or another (even those who think they are pious and righteous, like Carr and the Raiders’ leadership), especially those in the world of football. The players and leaders of teams who make living organizing and playing a brutal and rough game are usually brutal and rough people. As such, it should be expected that you will hear people say things that make you cringe or that cross a line.

Flushing out the people who have said offensive things in the past will not solve this, and it will likely only replace these "offenders" with other offenders. At some point, players and coaches will have to accept that coaches will say hurtful things and that they must learn to move on.

The fact that players can’t understand this has shown the lack of emotional maturity of those in the NFL – especially in Las Vegas. Carr’s call to action seems to stem from someone who can’t even fathom that there is such a thing as negativity or hurtful words in the NFL and that it can be – and must be - eradicated to make a safe space for people before they can continue living.

Simmons then whined that "Defensive end Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first active player to come out as gay, took a 'personal day' after hearing that the emails came out, which apparently contained anti-gay language." The homophobes at the MRC have already taken it badly that an openly gay player exists in the NFL, with Simmons portraying his existence as the opposite of "faith-based, American-loving, conservative values." Which helps explain why he's not terribly bothered by Gruden's homophobia.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EST
WND's Farah Still Believes In Fantasy Of Trump Sneaking Back Into Whtie House
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah's fantasy that Donald Trump will return to the White House before the 2024 election through a convoluted process in which Republicans take control of Congress in thte 2022 midterms, name Trump speaker of the House, then impeach President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, which will then elevate Trump to the presidency. Farah is still clinging to this fantasy in an Oct. 8 column:

I take some degree of pride in first proposing Donald Trump getting essentially six more years as president, by first becoming speaker of the House, leading the impeachment of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and taking over the White House after being cheated out of the 2020 election.

Now it seems more viable than ever.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., one of Trump's most ardent supporters, has not only heard the call, but has the tentative approval of the president to be nominated for speaker of the House after the midterm elections, assuming all goes well.

Trump would then lead the inevitable impeachments of Biden and Harris and succeed them as president for the next six years (taking into account his reelection in November 2024).

Don't worry, you don't have to be a House member to be speaker of the House! Any American can serve at the pleasure of the House – even temporarily. It's the only way Trump can serve another six years as president. After all he's gone through, it seems like the best way to reward him!

If it looks like a viable path following the midterms next year, he will do it.

Farah does see a hitch in his plan -- which, of course, doesn't involve his own delusions or the fact that Gaetz may not even make it to 2022 given the investigation into him over having sex with a minor among other things:

So what could go wrong?

Well, there's someone else who wants to be speaker – Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. But who in his right mind would see this as an obstacle? To give Trump almost two extra years as president? McCarthy can compete for the speaker's post after the smoke clears and the position is vacant. Shouldn't Trump get the chance to impeach Biden and Harris? This would be historic.

What does Trump say?

"Well, I've heard the talk, and it's getting more and more," Trump told Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody back in June about becoming speaker. "But it's not something that I would've considered, but it is certainly – there's a lot of talk about it. I have a good relationship with Kevin [McCarthy], and hopefully we will do everything traditionally. But the election was a horrible, horrible thing for our country."

I'll take that as a definite yes.

Time is short, but the payoff is huge.

But it all hinges on a free election next November. It must be a victory that stuns even the Democrats. And with Biden at 39% in his approval rating, it's looking like a landslide for the Republicans.

This is where Farah's over-the-top Trump fanboyism has led him. Also, there's a whole year for Biden to get his approval numbers back up. He's willing to lie about election fraud, so it's no surprise he's chosen to delude himself with this fantasy.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:21 PM EST
Newsmax Deals With Another COVID Controversy
Topic: Newsmax

Emerald Robinson spouting bizarre, bogus conspiracy theories is the only COVID-related controversy Newsmax has had to deal within the past couple weeks.

Mediaite reported on Nov. 5 that Newsmax would institute a vaccine mandate for its employees -- either ger vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. That apparently didn't go over well there, where rage against vaccine mandates -- as mandated by right-wing narratives -- is a staple of Newsmax programming and content. Host Steve Cortes declared he would never comply with such "medical apartheid," and host Eric Bolling denied any such mandate was taking place.

In an effort to tamp down the controversy, Newsmax published an unsigned editorial on Nov. 7, a Sunday morning, in which it insisted that "Newsmax has no vaccine mandate nor do we require it for employment," but noted that it would follow federal law, which includes opt-outs for weekly testing, though they are "not good and probably illegal" as well as "a dangerous overreach of federal power." The editorial tried to find a place to stand on both sides of the issue, straddling a line between being reasonable while not abandoning the anti-vaxxers who make up a notable portion of its audience:

Even with no business mandate in effect today, both COVID cases and deaths are falling dramatically.

The vaccine, which has been demonstrated to be safe and effective, is clearly playing a role.

Newsmax has encouraged citizens, especially those at risk, to get immunized.

As a company we have seen first-hand how those at risk have suffered without the vaccine. In 2020, Newsmax lost its contributor Herman Cain due to the coronavirus.

And radio hosts like Dick Farrel, Phil Valentine, and Marc Bernier have all died as a result of not having taken the vaccine.

While the vaccine works, so does natural immunity.

Several studies show natural immunity provides even more protection than the vaccine.

The major media has berated us to "follow the science," but they ignore the science on natural immunity. Why?

And why are employees, for example, not given an exemption if they have strong antibodies?

At Newsmax we do not ignore the science nor the facts.

President Donald Trump provided the funding for the vaccine and cut through the red tape to see it implemented.

And Trump himself has been vaccinated. Publicly, he has encouraged others to receive the vaccine.

[...]

Government provides an opportunity, but an informed citizenry in a free nation should make its own health decisions.

That might sound reasonable if Newsmax hadn't given a platform to various and sundry COVID conspiracy theorists spouting misinformation. Newsmax knew it was playing with fire by publishing them but labeling the writer as a "non-clinician," but that doesn't fully absolve them from responsibility.

The editorial remained on Newsmax's front page for several days afterward, and according to the Washington Post, its TV hosts repeated the same party line on its shows, ultimately morphing the story into a "fake news" attack in which outslde forces were going after the channel.

Meanwhile, Newsmax may be getting around to solving its Emerald Robinson issue. Newsmax had at least temporarily taken her off the air after her COVID misinformation blew up; meanwhile, she continued to push misinformation on Twitter, which earned her a permanent ban from the platform. Mediaite is now reporting that Newsmax is not returning Robinson to her job but may retain her as an independent contractor.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 3:04 PM EST
CNS Follows MRC's Lead, Pushes False School Board Narrative
Topic: CNSNews.com

As it often does, CNSNews.com took cues for its editorial agenda from its parent, the Media Research Center -- this time, repeating a lie the MRC aggressively pushed.

Susan Jones surprisingly started out an Oct. 5 article by sticking to the actual facts:

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday announced a new effort to "address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel."

Garland pointed to an increase in "harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools."

Many Americans have seen video of emotional parents packing into various school board meetings to protest what the schools are trying to teach their children -- everything from critical race theory (whites are racists) to transgender "rights" (use the preferred pronoun or else), etc. Tempers also have flared over masking policies in the nation's schools.

Threats of violence are one thing -- clearly illegal, as Attorney General Garland noted. But there may be a fine line between "harassment/intimidation" and legitimate protest.

So the Justice Department said it is offering "specialized training and guidance for local school boards and school administrators." According to the news release, "This training will help school board members and other potential victims understand the type of behavior that constitutes threats, how to report threatening conduct to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, and how to capture and preserve evidence of threatening conduct to aid in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes."

However, Jones quickly started casting doubt on the letter from the National School Boards Association that prompted Garland's effort, then quickly embraced the bogus narrative:

The letter cites more than twenty instances of (alleged) threats, harassment, disruption, and acts of intimidation that have transpired during school board meetings and that are targeted at school officials. "As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes," the NSBA wrote.

The following are various instances of "threats, harassment, disruption and acts of intimidation" cited by the NSBA: (Some sound like legitimate protest, but that will now be up to the Justice Department to determine.)

[...]

As part of its crackdown on parents objecting to the leftist political indoctrination of their children, the Justice Department announced it will create a task force "to determine how federal enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes, and ways to assist state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement where threats of violence may not constitute federal crimes."

As we've documented when the MRC pushed this narrative, at no point did the NSBA letter explicitly portray mere criticism as terrorism, making it a lie for Jones to suggest that it did.Indeed, the MRC has claimed only that the link was "suggested," which leaves lots of room for partisan interpretation.

The next day, however, Jones was fully on board with the false narrative that school boards and the DOJ want to silence any school critic and portray them as "domestic terrorists," uncritically repeating Republicans politicians' bogus claims calling it a crackdown on all "parental speech":

Several Republican lawmakers are condemning what they call a "dangerous overreach" in "going after parents."

"Obviously, every state has laws on the books for criminalizing violence or criminal threats," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told Fox News on Tuesday:

[...]

Cotton said parents will now think twice about going before their school boards: "But that's as American as anything -- going to your local elected leaders and voicing your concerns, especially when it comes to educating your kids."

Melanie Arter joined the dishonest pile-onin an Oct. 6 article that began with reciting the actual case made by the NSBA and Garland, then weirdly waited until the ninth paragraph to discuss the issue that was the actual headline, as promoted by the MRC's favorite biased White House reporter, Peter Doocy:

When asked whether the administration considers parents who are upset about their children’s curriculum to be domestic terrorists, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that threats and violence against public servants, particularly school board members, is illegal.

Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked, “A week ago, the National School Boards Association wrote to the president to say that their teachers feel like some parents protesting recently could be the equivalent to the form of domestic terrorism, and then the attorney general put the FBI on the case, so does the administration agree that parents upset about their kids’ curriculums could be considered domestic terrorists?”

Arter lazily left Psaki's answer -- that "threats and violence against public servants is illegal" -- buried in a transcript excerpt, though that statement was also the headline of her piece.

Ater followed up on Oct. 7 with an article uncritically quoting Republican Sen. Marco Rubio complaining that "parents who show up at school board meetings to protest critical race theory or mandatory mask mandates are being demonized while left-wing protesters are encouraged by Democrats and the media to harass members of Congress that they disagree with":

“First of all, it's alarming, and second of all, it’s hypocritical. It’s alarming because this idea that somehow if parents show up at a school board to complain, if somebody there decides, well we don't like his tone of voice, we don't like how loud he’s speaking, we don’t like how often he shows up, you can be reported,” Rubio told “Fox News Primetime.” 

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which should be focused on things like organized crime, things like drug traffickers, things like terrorism and others who seek to harm this country, is now going to divert resources to investigate parents because they scream too loudly or maybe even rude at a school board hearing and hypocritical because let me tell you, there is very few of any senators, certainly people on the right, members of Congress, as well who have not been harassed in their private life,” he said.

CNS clearly had its marching orders -- to work with Republican and rightiwing activists to repeat this bogus claim far and wide and as loudly as possible. And so it did:

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman used an Oct. 7 article to serve as stenographer for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who cited Garland "directing the FBI to treat parents who speak out at school board meetings as 'domestic terrorists" as evidence that Democrats are "jackbooted thugs."Chapman uncritically called in other right-wing firepower: "According to the conservative Heritage Foundation, 'The Garland memo looks like an effort to use the FBI to threaten and silence parents who are outspoken opponents of critical race theory in schools. That alone would be a stunning partisan abuse of power. What Garland has done, however, is even more disgraceful.'" But threatening and silencing school boards is apparently perfectly finew ith Heritage and Chapman.

The same day, Arter gave another politician's lying, paranoid rant a pass:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who was accosted by Black Lives Matter protesters while he was with his wife, said Wednesday that the DOJ is criminalizing parents who show up at school board meetings angry over mask mandates and critical race theory curriculum in schools, but protesters on the left who use violence are getting off with a slap on the wrist.

[...]

ldquo;Well, I think the problem is it's become so normalized to use government to search out and seek out your opponents. So for example, when FISA warrants, which are supposed to be foreign intelligence surveillance court warrants - they’re supposed to be used on foreigners - were used on Trump campaign and Trump campaign operatives, the left didn't blink an eye,” Paul said.

Chapman returned to bring his favorite hateful evangelical activist to spread the lie:

Noting that communist governments use their power to silence their citizens, Rev. Franklin Graham said the Biden administration is doing exactly that by trying to silence parents who oppose the teaching of Critical Race Theory in their children's schools.

[...]

In an Oct. 7 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham said<, "It’s an ominous sign when the government uses its power to try and silence the voice of the people. That’s how communism works. Anyone who speaks against communism or the goals of communism becomes the enemy."

"And we’re seeing this happen right in our own country," said Graham. "The Biden administration, which bows to the radical progressive left, would like to silence parents who voice strong opinions against critical race theory and trans radicalism at school board meetings."

"Unbelievably, the National School Boards Association asked that parent protests at school board meetings be treated as possible acts of 'domestic terrorism,'" said Graham "This tactic of intimidation is meant to silence parents with views the Left doesn’t agree with."

Chapman did no fact-check on Graham, even though his reporters had previously outlined the truth about what Garland and the NSBA are doing. That's because Chapman knows pushing employer-mandated right-wing narratives is more important to keeping his job than reporting the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Monday, November 15, 2021
MRC Lashes Out At Facebook Whistleblower For Getting More Attention Than The MRC Has
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has an issue with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen: She's been much more effective in drawing attention to issues with the company than the MRC has been, despite years of spreading its bogus partisan victimhood narrative. (Plus, the fact that the MRC brags about how well its biased conservative content does on Facebook further undermines that argument.) So rather than embrace Haugen, it's attacking her. Autumn Johnson complained about her effectiveness in an Oct. 4 post:

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has called on the government to regulate social media–and the left is following suit.

In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Haugen, a data scientist and former Facebook employee who worked to combat so-called “misinformation,” said the platform bears some responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot.

“Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,” Haugen said. She will testify before Congress this week and hopes that her testimony will propel the government to put regulations in place to govern Facebook.

After the interview, some media personalities on the left called on the government to force Facebook to censor more content in the name of “safety” and public health.

"The problem is this is the biggest platform. This is the platform where people get their news across the globe," Kara Swisher, podcast host and social commentator, told MSNBC. "They're the biggest and therefore, they have to be the best at safety. Not 'we tried.'"

The next day, Johnson lashed out at Haugen for not being conservative:

Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, is a far-left activist and AOC donor, The Daily Wire reported.

In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Haugen, a data scientist and former Facebook employee who worked to combat so-called “misinformation,” said the platform bears some responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot.

“Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,” Haugen said. She said she hopes that her testimony will encourage the government to put more regulations on Facebook. 

According to The Daily Wire, Haugen has a record of donating to far-left politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“She is working with Democrat operatives to roll out her complaint and has the same lawyers as the anonymous Ukraine “whistleblower” whose allegations led to Donald Trump’s impeachment, but who reportedly turned out to be then-Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisor on the country.”

She also seems to have a history of accusing her employers of being biased, saying “if we don’t build with an eye towards inclusion, we can end up enshrining bias.”

In 2015, she reportedly accused Google of not being inclusive enough of women in the workplace.

Of course, the MRC prefers its "big tech" whistleblowers to be right-wing nutjobs whose backgrounds actively undermine their claims. By contrast, the MRC hasn't proven Haugen wrong about anything.

Another Oct. 5 post, by Catherine Salgado, complained that Haugen's testimony at a congressional hearing gave "another opportunity for the left to call for online censorship." Salgado also complained that Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar claimed at the hearing "that lack of censorship by Facebook during the 2020 election process facilitated the 'Jan. 6 insurrection' at the Capitol." Note the scare quotes around "insurrection," as if the MRC no longer believes what happened that day was even remotely serious.

Mark Finkelstein contributed yet another Oct. 5 post that sought to get the right-wing Facebook narrative back on track: 

An ironic political dynamic surrounds Facebook. On the one hand, the company and its leaders tilt hard to the left. More than 91% of employee contributions during the 2020 cycle went to Democrats. Going back to 2018, CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to a "pro-immigration" group. And COO Sheryl Sandberg donated $400,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund.

But while conservatives have their beefs with Facebook, by far the fiercest criticism of Facebook comes from the left, which accuses the platform of not having done enough to censor pro-Trump postings and what it sees as right-wing conspiracy theories. 

Within the liberal media, Morning Joe has been a leader of the anti-Facebook gang. The show renewed its crusade this morning, prompted by allegations by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who testified before a Senate committee Tuesday.

It's so cute how Finkelstein isn't pretending his fellow right-wingers aren't as "anti-Facebook" as "the left."

Tim Graham rehashed those same talking points in his Oct. 6 column, as if trying to demonstrate that right-wingewrs were anti-Facebook before being anti-Facebook was made cool by Haugen:

It does not matter one iota that Facebook employees donated 90 percent of their political money to the Democrats in the last cycle. Or that Zuckerberg donated $400 million to a “civic integrity” group that funded election monitors and health measures at the polls in 2020. It doesn’t matter how many Facebook posts they censored to please the Left before the election. The outcomes weren’t favorable enough to the Democrats

Liberal journalists compared the harm of Facebook to smoking, and Zuckerberg to a tobacco CEO. The team at Morning Joe used the CEO analogy after touting a poll that Zuckerberg now is less popular than Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

Both sides are angry. Conservatives don’t like how much they are censored on Facebook. Liberals don’t like how conservatives are never censored enough for their tastes.

[...]

CNN has gone so fiercely after Facebook in recent days you might think Facebook was somehow like Fox News Channel multiplied by 100. They went live to a hearing on October 5  where Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen ripped her ex-employer as “one of the most urgent threats to the American people,” that they drive children to suicide, stoke division, and weaken democracy.

The Democrats want a dramatic content crackdown.

Graham is lying of course. Nobody is trying to censor "conservative" content -- unless he's claiming that election fraud conspiracy theories and COVID vaccine misinformation are mainstream "conservatrve" values. But the MRC has a narrative to push, however fraudulent, and Salgado did her duty in trying to advance it in an Oct. 6 post:

Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen is being treated by the left and media as a hero. But The Wall Street Journal, Glenn Greenwald and Ben Shapiro, to name a few, have blasted Haugen’s push against free speech online.

Haugen’s critics see this social media scandal as the Democrats’ latest ploy to arrogate more censorship power to themselves. New revelations reported that Haugen donated to multiple leftist groups and was a member of the team that censored the Hunter Biden laptop story while at Facebook.

An opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, the very source of The Facebook Files, and written by The Editorial Board, is titled, “Facebook Needs to Empower Parents, Not Censor Political Speech.” The Journal agreed with Haugen’s critiques, but added, “This is a problem that can’t be solved by government.” The Journaladvocated instead giving users and parents more control. The Journal objected to the Democrat focus on alleged “misinformation.” “They’ve proposed eliminating Section 230 liability protection for algorithms or requiring Facebook to submit its algorithms to regulators for review. Just what we need—a Bureau of Algorithms,” The Journal observed drily.

Glenn Greenwald slammed both Haugen and her leftist, anti-free speech fans in his newsletter. “ Much is revealed by who is bestowed hero status by the corporate media,” Greenwald warned.

[...]

Facebook’s civic integrity team, of which Haugen was a part, censored the Hunter Biden laptop reports during the 2020 election. The team was dissolved after Biden was declared president, when Haugen reportedly became discontented with her job. Furthermore, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s PR firm is reportedly representing Haugen. Bill Burton, former Obama deputy press secretary, and his consulting firm are also reportedly giving Haugen “strategic guidance.” Haugen is purportedly a leftist activist and AOC donor whose lawyers also worked with the “whistleblower” who was the catalyst for Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Senate hearing wherein Haugen testified included multiple calls from Democrats for more online censorship.

By the way, the MRC had no problem with Haugen's revelations as reported by the Journal before it was revealed that Haugen was the source. A Sept. 16 post by Salgado, for instance, hyped how the Journal "reviewed Facebook research and documentation and said the social media giant 'knows' Instagram is toxic for teen girls, and a Sept. 20 post by Johnson noted Facebook's response to the Journal's "deep-dive investigation into the platform and some of its practices."

Johnson took another stab at reclaiming the narrative from Haugen in an Oct. 9 post: "While much of the recent media attention regarding Facebook whistleblowers has gone to former employee and liberal donor Frances Haugen, it's worth noting that she wasn't the first former employee who has warned about the company."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 PM EST
CNS Helps Pence Whitewash Capitol Riot
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones was in cleanup stenography mode for an Oct. 5 CNSNews.com article:

Former Vice President Mike Pence says he's focused on the future, while Democrats cling to the past -- specifically, the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which they are using to demonize the 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump.

Pence spoke with Fox News's Sean Hannity about President Biden's "failed agenda" and President Trump's success in making the nation more secure and the economy more prosperous. He explained how the withdrawal from Afghanistan would have worked under President Trump. And he said he "parted amicably" with Trump:

"Look, you can't spend almost five years in the political foxhole with somebody without developing a strong relationship," Pence said:

And, you know, January 6 was a tragic day in history of our Capitol building. But thanks to the efforts of the Capitol Hill police, federal officials, the Capitol was secured. We finished our work.
And the president and I sat down a few days later and talked through all of it. I can tell you that we parted amicably at the end of the administration, and we've talked a number of times since we both left office.
{...]

I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in January. They want to use that one day to try to demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020.

But as Wonkette summarized in a way that Jones won't editorialize about when it comes to prominent conservatives when Hannity does a ridiculously softball interview:

Trump ordered Pence to ignore the Constitution and support his mad plan to remain in office forever. They didn't have a falling out over policy. Trump also directly attacked Pence in front of an angry mob that he wound up and unleashed on the Capitol. Trump and his democracy-shredding Big Lie is the entire reason why January 6 was a “tragic day."

[...]

Trump has held rallies attacking the Black Capitol Police officer who fatally shot one of the insurrectionists. Pence, who once promised to “hold the thin blue line," doesn't condemn this. He boasts about how Congress was able to complete the electoral vote count, but he ignores how Trump hoped that the insurrection would delay the process to his own advantage. When he “talked through" the incident, he was probably once again explaining why he couldn't help him steal a presidential election.

[...]

OK, One Day In January sounds like some 1990s coming-of-age, angsty teen drama. Peter Gabriel's “In Your Eyes" would play in the trailer. In reality, January 6 was the day Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol, with the intent to stop the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the Electoral College. Cops had their asses beat, and people died. Congressional staff hid in the dark for hours as a deranged mob roamed the building like slasher film villains. They crooned, “Where's Nancy (Pelosi)?" and shouted “Hang Mike Pence!" That last one doesn't give much room for a benign interpretation. If they'd found Pence, they would've killed him. They'd constructed a makeshift gallows outside the Capitol. That wasn't avant-garde sculpture.

Pence was evacuated from the Capitol and even reportedly feared that rogue Secret Service agents would abduct him to help Trump's ongoing coup attempt. Maybe he can walk off the memories of that single day but that's not the case for so many who were left traumatized. This includes members of Congress and cops who are still struggling with PTSD. Four officers on the scene that day who later took their own lives.

But Jones isnt' a reporter -- she's a stenographer who, in this is=nstance, is simply transcribing a softball TV interview and won't lift a finger to tell her readers the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:30 PM EST
MRC Is Up For A New Season of Hate-Watching 'Supergirl'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Medis Rsearch Center loves to hate-watch "Supergirl," whining about its insistence on working the issues of people who aren't white heterosexuals into its superhero plots. It's a new TV season now, and with original hate-watcher Lindsay Kornick having moved on to spread her bias at Fox News, Karen Townsend was stuck hate-watching the show for a Sept. 21 post:

It must be white guilt week for network television shows as the fall season gets underway. Even in the world of superheroes, the white characters are taken to task for not being woke enough for their black counterparts. The struggle is real.

In the episode of The CW’s Supergirl titled “Blind Spots,” which aired on September 21, the newest superhero, Guardian, realizes it is time to step up and protect victims who "look like" her. Kelly Olsen (Azie Tesfai) is overwhelmed when a low-income housing development suffers from an explosion and collapses to the ground. Many residents suffer injuries and breathing difficulties from the dust and debris, including a young boy she has taken under her wing.

Kelly finds it difficult to get Supergirl and the others interested in her fight on behalf of the residents as they are hospitalized. The white city councilwoman who represents the housing project is also injured at the scene but she is able to use extortion to obtain a very expensive experimental drug to heal quickly. She threatens to pull the grants the hospital is in line to receive if she isn’t given the drug. She’s an evil character as she considers the building collapse to be a gift. Now she doesn’t have to be bothered by low-income housing and she can provide high-tech companies with more office space when the area is rebuilt. She is gentrifying the neighborhood.

Kelly confronts her superhero friends and they quickly apologize for their lack of awareness of the plight of black Americans.

[...]

At the end of the show, there is a scene where Kelly is relaxing at home after her very long day fighting racial injustice. She is wearing a t-shirt with the text “Say her name” on the front. On the back is the word “Justice”. This is something that Black Lives Matter activists say at rallies. On her coffee table are two books. One is Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” and the other is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me”.

Supergirl has a long liberal history. With each season the stories have become more so. The addition of Guardian, a black lesbian female superhero, is the latest character in charge of virtual-signaling the audience. She is coming on strong this season.

Being a right-wing "media researcher" who gets paid to hate-watch TV shows means never having to apologize for anything, apparenty.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Fluffing The MyPillow Guy At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has not only uncritically promoted Mike Lindell's outlandish -- and false -- claims about election fraud, it stealth-edited an article to tone down praise for a conference he held after it proved to be a failure. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:59 AM EST
Sunday, November 14, 2021
MRC Still Pushing Big Lie That Trump Was Kicked Off Social Media For Calling For 'Peace'
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center has tried to falsely impugn social media platforms with its wildly dishonest claim that Donald Trump was banned from those platforms because he called for "peace" during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, while ignoring the fact that Trump helped to incite that riot. Believe it or not, the MRC has never stopped making that claim since we last reported on it in June.

Kayla Sargent wrote in a June 2 post that "Trump was banned from at least 10 platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Stripe, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify, after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in which the former president called for 'peace.'" That slippery wording doesn't come out and directly make the false claim, but it's heavily implied there's a linkage that doesn't actually exist.A June 3 post by Casey Ryan, however, actually said the lie: "Before his ban, Trump had the biggest megaphone calling out Big Tech’s hypocrisy, and Facebook suspended him after he called for peace following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot."

Sargent compounded the lie in a June 4 post written with Michael Morris attacking Facebook VP Nick Clegg for keeping its ban on Trump: "The platform, in continuing to censor Trump, absurdly concluded that it is still convinced Trump’s calls for 'peace' during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol constituted a “risk to public safety.” Clegg said in the Facebook statement: “Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols.” In fact, nowhere in Clegg's statement does he reference Trump calling for "peace" as the reason he was suspended.

A June 5 post by Autumn Johnson declared that "At the beginning of the year, Twitter suspended then-President Trump after he called for peace in the wake of the deadly riots at the Capitol. Sargent repeated her bogus boilerplace in a June 8 post, claiming that "Donald Trump was suspended from at least 10 platforms following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after he called for 'peace.'" Sargent made a similar claim on June 11: "Twitter removed former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after he called for 'peace.'" Sargent returned to her full boilerplate in a June 15 post: "Former President Donald Trump was banned from 10 platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Stripe, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Shopify, following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after he called for 'peace.'"

Alexander Hall similarly wrote on July 7: "Trump was banned from at least nine other platforms after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, during which the former President called for 'peace,'" which was copied nearly word-for-word in a post by Sargent the same day, as well as a post on July 8. On July 12, Sargent stated that "YouTube, along with at least nine other platforms, banned Trump after he called for 'peace' following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. She declared on July 14 that "Former President Donald Trump was also banned from at least 10 platforms after he called for 'peace' following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol," repeating the statement in a July 15 post.

Ryan returned in a Sept. 3 post to take the lie further:

Twitter banned Trump after he called for peace following the Capitol riot in January. In a tweet, Twitter Safety appeared to falsely accuse Trump of inciting violence: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” The platform has not allowed him back on since.

In fact, it's been amply demonstrated that Trump played a major role in inciting the riot.

Hall tried to forward the bogus narrative again in an Oct. 29 post complaining that Facebook has a history of sabotaging conservative politicians.

Facebook suspended then-President Trump indefinitely, even as he called for peace amidst the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Trump assured his supporters, “I know your pain. I know your hurt,” but told them “you have to go home now. We have to have peace.” President Trump also said he agreed the election was “fraudulent,” but warned, “we can’t play into the hands of these people.” Zuckerberg declared on Jan. 7 that blocking Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be extended indefinitely, as “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”

That's a highly selective reading of Trump's words, ignoring the part where he incited the riot and also encouraged the rioters by saying, "We love you. You're very special," and falsely claimed that "We had an election that was stolen from us." 

Another MRC writer, Catherine Salgado, pushed the bogus boilerplate in a Nov. 2 post, stating that "Trump was also banned from at least 10 platforms after he called for “peace” following the Capitol 'riot.'" She didn't explain why she put scare quote around "riot," though elsewhere in her post she referred to the riot only as "the events of January 6th."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:16 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 15, 2021 6:33 PM EST
CNS Keeps Pushing Narrative That Biden Is Going Senile
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loves to take incidents out of context to make President Biden look senile and out of touch -- "four second mental meltdown," anyone? -- and it hasn't really stopped, even though that right-wing-driven narrative isn't really going anywhere and despite its own objections to anyone questioning Donald Trump's mental faculties even though his continued insistence against all legitimate evidence that he won the election and everyone else cheated can been seen as evidence of a mental disorder of some kind. By contrast, every verbal misstep by Biden -- no matter how minor -- is copiously documented and presented as implicit evidence of Biden's purported "cognitive decline."

Here's what CNS has been doing in recent months to push this narrative:

We don't recall CNS publishing article after article about Trump's many verbal gaffes, let alone portray them as evidence of his failing mental health.

CNS got help from across the hall at Media Research Center headquarters in pushing this narrative. Tim Graham wrote a March column:

At a March 8 White House event to announce the nomination of two female generals to lead U.S. military combatant commands, President Joe Biden seemed to forget the name of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and where Austin works. Since the theme of the president's mental acuity is still associated with memes of former President Donald Trump, the media desperately wanted to forget this happened.

Just like CNS and the MRC desperately wants you to forget about all those Trump gaffes and his continued cloudcuckooland insistence that he won the election (a delusion the MRC has helped Trump maintain)?

CNS also gives uncritical free reign to Republican politicians to smear Biden and his purported "cognitive decline":

  • In February, Jones touted Rep. Matt Gaetz saing that "Biden is "not in a position to really make decisions day in and day out" and adding, "You look at a growing number of Democrats who are now concerned about giving Joe Biden the codes for the nuclear system. I'd be concerned about giving Joe Biden a code to my garage door opener."
  • A June 18 article by Jones uncritically quoted Rep. Tommy Tuberville saying of Trump that "he's got his handlers running this country. He can't do anything on his own. And people are losing confidence in him every day," adding that "Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), the former White House physician, sent a letter to President Biden, Biden's physician, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, urging a cognitive test for Biden, the results to be shared with the American people."
  • A July 14 article by Jones quoted Newt Gingrich saying, ""A lot of people worry about President Biden and his cognitive abilities."
  • On Aug. 9, Melanie Arter uncritically quoted former Trump director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe saying, "There's that other elephant in the room, in terms of cognitive difficulties from the leader of the free world. What does that tell our adversaries across the world?”
  • On Aug. 24, Arter wrote that Republican Rep. Mark Green "questioned Biden’s cognitive abilities and his ability to lead as commander-in-chief because of his handling of Afghanistan," uncritically quoting him as saying, "The way the president is thinking, it calls to mind where his cognitive abilities really are."
  • Another article the same day by Arter uncritically quoted Republican Rep. Michael Waltz ranting, "He cannot handle it. He is not prepared for this. He is not cognitively fit to be our commander-in-chief right now."

That would seem to demonstrate all one needs to know about CNS' partisan motivation.

CNS tried to push questions about Biden's supposedly failing physical health as well. Melanie Arter leaned hard into that in a Sept. 16 article:

President Joe Biden’s frequent coughing during public speeches recently, including Thursday during a speech about his economic proposals, prompted NBC News White House Correspondent Kelly O’Donnell to ask about the president’s health.

“Many of us were in the East Room watching the president. We’ve seen him on many occasions where he has a repeated cough. What is the situation with that cough, and is that a concern?” O’Donnell asked.

“It’s not a concern. He has a doctor that travels with him obviously who checks in if it is ever warranted, and certainly, that continues to be the case as it has been since the beginning of his presidency,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

“Is there an explanation for why he coughs so frequently in situations like that? I’m sure you saw it,” O’Donnell said.

By contrast, CNS touted Trump's purported manliness and perfect health, his cavalierness in associating with people know to be infected with COVID and  uncrirtically repeating his lackeys' insistence that Trump was wonderfully healthy even as he because infected with COVID himself (which we now know was not the case, though CNS has yet to tell its readers).


Posted by Terry K. at 11:18 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 14, 2021 3:38 PM EST
Saturday, November 13, 2021
MRC Promotes Anti-LGBT Right-Winger's Stunt To Attack School Board
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to complain about softball interviews in the media -- but the MRC has conducted its own softball interviews. Take, for example, this Sept. 30 piece of sycophancy from MRC writer Gabriel Hays, who is interview right-wing columnist and anti-LGBT activist Matt Walsh. Hays doesn't call Walsh that, of course -- that would be too honest. Instead, he gushes that Walsh is a "Loudoun County resident and Daily Wire blogger" who is in the county to rage against the idea that Loudoun County schools might dare treat LGBT people with respect.

The sycophancy started early, as Hays wrote in the post accompanying the video: "The popular conservative columnist explained why it was important to stand up against this child abuse, which is not only destroying our young children in public school and destroying their parents’ right to a say in what their kids are being taught, it’s also denying the truth about biology." In the video, Hays' first sycophatic question was "Why is it important that you're here today, in this fight?" Hays then teed up various softballs for Walsh talk smack about LGBT people.

Surprisingly, Hays inserted a clip of a Walsh screed that showed his true hatred: He irrationally ranted that school board members were "child abusers" who "indoctrinate" children into a "insane, ideological cult" of transgenderism, going on to screech, "You are poison. You are predators." Hays followed up, however, by letting Walsh spout further on his extreme claim that letting transgender people be who they are is "child abuse" and never questioning him on it -- perhaps because Hays hates transgender people as much as Walsh does. Hays remained a passive interviewer even when Walsh insisted the way to handle transgender teens is "to lovingly correct them, to affirm them in the truth," even though nothing Walsh has shown thus far shows he is capable of love toward anyone, let alone transgender people.

Hays also gave Walsh space to reframe his stunt of leasing space in Loudoun County for the sole purpose of being able to harangue school board members after the board made the commonsense decision to limit speakers at meetings to county residents. As Hays sycophantically summed it up in the post accompanying his video:

In a hilarious work-around, Walsh signed a lease and rental agreement for Loudoun County property just days prior to the meeting so he could speak. In jest we asked if his new Loudoun County residency was a “coincidence” and he played along. “Just like they changed the rules before I showed up was a ‘coincidence,’ they said … coincidentally I just happened to decide to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a Loudoun County resident,” he quipped. 

Well we’re honored to welcome Matt as a new Virginian. Hopefully he can move up here anytime there’s another LCPS board meeting looking to take advantage of our kids.

"Our kids"? We were not aware that Hays 1) had any kids, and 2) has meaningful residence in Loudoun County to send them to county schools. While Walsh did claim to have a kid, it's highly unlikely he uprooted her from his actual home in Tennessee to enroll her in a school just to pursue a hateful tranphobic vendetta -- which means he has abandoned his family to pull this stunt. Indeed, he simply paid a friend $1 to claim he was a Virginia resident, a tactic that probably wouldn't hold up for tax purposes. Hays didn't ask for proof of his residency, of course.

Further, as Wonkette points out: Pretending to be a resident of another state for the sole purposes of denigrating LGBT people and insulting school boards is not the mark of a healthy, well-adjusted man. Wonkette added: "Walsh isn't interested in honestly engaging on this topic nor even attempting to empathize with the people, including vulnerable children, he actively demonizes. This is all a sick game to him."

Walsh has no personal stake here -- no actual residency, no kids in public school (here or anywhere). He just wants a platform to spew hate. And Hays was just the hateful sycophant to eagerly provide that to him.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 AM EST

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