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Monday, November 22, 2021
MRC Now Denies Jan. 6 Insurrection Was An 'Insurrection'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is getting in line with its right-wing, pro-Trump contemporaries who want to downplay the events of Jan. 6. It's now in revisionism mode, insisting that it wasn't an "insurretion."

An Aug. 28 column by right-wing movie reviewer devoted to attacking Stephen Colbert declaring that the Afghanistan withdrawal was "the first of several body blows against the far-left propagandist. This week also saw a damning report saying the Jan. 6 Capitol riot weren’t an insurrection, nor were they egged on by President Donald Trump or any other body." Toto linked to a Reuters article about an FBI report claiming there was little evidence the Jan.6 riot was "the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result." The word "insurrection" appears nowhere in the article, and Toto didn't explain why there has to be an "organized plot" for it to be called an "insurrection." But the article also noted that "FBI investigators did find that cells of protesters, including followers of the far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups, had aimed to break into the Capitol," though they allegedly lacked "serious plans about what to do if they made it inside."

On the basis of that report -- even though it showed there was some level of coordination happening -- the MRC began downplaying the events of Jan. 6 were an "insurrection," mostly by putting scare quotes around the word:

  • In his Sept. 25 column, Jeffrey Lord complained that the media was "suppressing footage that shows the actual events on the 'insurrection' story"; Lord did not back up his claim.
  • Catherine Salgado wrote in an Oct. 5 post that in a Senate hearing about Facebook, Sen. Amy Klobuchar "claimed that lack of censorship by Facebook during the 2020 election process facilitated the 'Jan. 6 insurrection' at the Capitol."
  • Kristine Marsh wrote in an Oct. 11 post about Hillary Clinton appearing on "The View" that "Co-host Sara Haines started out worrying that Trump’s attempts to 'delegitimize President Biden’s win,' caused the 'insurrection on January 6.'"
  • An Oct. 24 post by Marsh repeated the false narrative that parents who merely speak out at school board meetings are being portrayed "as radical rioters who were like the January 6 'insurrectionists.'"

Jay Maxson took his (or her) own approach in an Oct. 13 post featuring Donald Trump whining that a New York City borough is ending its management deal with the Trump Organization of a local golf course stated that one writer said "the golf course seizure stems from the events of the Jan. 6 'insurrection' at the U.S. Capitol." In fact, there is no "seizure"; the city owns the course and is seeking to end the management deal because the riots associated with the Trump name have tainted the course.

Maxson then declared that "The FBI has previously declared there was no insurrection in D.C. that day, but news filters slowly through the mayor’s office and Mediate." Maxson linked to a right-wing Washington Examiner summary of the Reuters article on the FBI, prefaced by a dictionary definition of "insurrection," which claims "an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence." Again, the FBI never used the word "insurrection" let alone specifically denied that's what happened on Jan. 6, and the FBI has shown that there was some level of organization happening.

But neither the Examiner nor Maxson define the prcecise level of coordination they're using to avoid calling Jan. 6 an "insurrection." It looks like right-wingers are playing games with language to downplay what happened.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EST
CNS Commentaries Push False School Board Attack
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com latched on to the false right-wing narrative that school boards are seeking to criminalize all parents who merely speak out at meeting about right-wing-fueled controversies. That bogus narrative spread to its commentary section as well.

An Oct. 6 commentary by the Heritage Foundation's GianCarlo Canaparo and Mike Howell didits best to mislead readers:

issued a memo on Monday directing the Department of Justice and the FBI to “launch a series of additional efforts in the coming days designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.” 

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.

Maybe Garland doesn’t actually intend to use the FBI to go after parents—maybe he knows that he doesn’t have that power. In that case, he’s trying to trick parents into thinking that he does. This tactic, he hopes, will suppress parents’ free speech, and throw a bone to a powerful ally of his political party.

Even a few FBI agents questioning parents may be enough to convince others that standing up for their values is not worth the risk.

Canaparo and Howell complained that Garland provided no incidents of "criminal conduct" against school boards and that the "powerful leftist group" National School Boards Association memo that inspired Garland's involvement referenced "vague claims" and "only one example of violence against a school official (likely a security guard), which was handled by local law enforcement." (The writers offered no evidence that the NSBA is a"leftist" group.)

Why should anyone wait until a school board member gets injured or killed before action is taken here? Shouldn't law enforcement be proactive in a volatile environment where things can easily escalate to viloence? Interestingly, neither Canaparo explicitly denounce violence or the threat of violence against school boards; infeed, they praise parents for being "justifiably angry," and that "The tactics thus far employed certainly are nothing compared to the riots of the summer of 2020 that destroyed  over a billion dollars in property and resulted in multiple deaths" -- thus, it seems, implicitly endorsing violence against school board members.

The right-wing Family Research Council's Meg Kilgannon contributed an Oct. 7 column to false fearmongering as well (though she, unlike the Heritage writers, did denounce violence):

Family Research Council condemns violence. Parents who have tried in good faith to work with elected officials to remove pornographic books from school libraries or to expose injustices in programs for children with disabilities are often harassed and demeaned, banned from meetings, or silenced. This latest insult from the DOJ, at the behest of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), is dangerous and authoritarian.

In a ridiculous complaint to President Joe Biden, NSBA executives invoked the Patriot Act as they effectively charged parents and citizens who are advocating on behalf of children with "domestic terrorism." They asked for federal law enforcement protection from parents and citizens -- their own voters.

If the NSBA's complaint was so "ridiculous," why did Kilgannon feel the need to remind readers that the FRC "condemns violence"? Because it knows that things could easily escalate to that level, given how it and other right-wing activists have whipped up the frenzy over critical race theory and other hot-button issues.

KIlgannon went on to tout the FRC's resources for parents, which include a "School Board Boot Camp," which certainly doesn't sound very benign.

FRC leader Tony Perkins tried to manufacture a conspiracy theory in an Oct. 14 column:

The federal government isn't exactly a bastion of efficiency. In fact, entire late-night comedy routines have been written about the glacial pace of Washington. So how is it that Joe Biden's Justice Department managed to snap to attention and mobilize against parents within hours of the National School Board Association's complaint? That's simple, one legal group says, if it was the president's idea to begin with.

How much did the White House know about the NSBA's campaign against local parents -- and when did it know it? That's the question on everyone's minds as more people debate the attorney general's unusually rapid and over-reaching response.

Like the other writers, Perkins doesn't explain why officials should wait for injury or death of a school board member before getting involved. He also doesn't mention the fact that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has demonstrated that right-wingers will resort to violence. Indeed, threats against public officials have surged, making it even more important to be proactive.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:11 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Culture War Toy Box
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center melts down over Muppets (repeatedly), Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head and Legos for committing the offense of not not hating certain people enough. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:12 AM EST
WND Peddles Lies To Further Its Victimhood And Try To Save Itself
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is continuing to take the end of its ad-hosting business deal with Google -- which it falsely frames as "de-monetization" -- poorly. Joseph Farah used his Nov. 9 column to once again trot out his anti-Google conspiracy theories and blaming it for its financial problems because it allegedly buried WND in search results:

Back in normal times, WND regularly showed up among the top of Google News results; now it never does. Even worse are the words it uses to characterize our stories – "dangerous," "derogatory," even "shocking content." These labels are all applied to TRUE stories – all of which have panned out. But few got to read them, because Google made sure its algorithm condemned those stories to the internet's black hole.

I don't want reform. I want real justice for those harmed by these companies. What they have done to the American landscape with these tactics is a disgrace!

Here's a primer on why companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Twitter must be broken up through anti-trust actions, stripped of their inexcusable protections against consumer liability, stopped from invading the privacy of Americans for profit, blocked from using the most intimate personal data to inject extreme bias into the national debate, prohibited from rigging elections and held accountable for the restraint of trade practices against WND.

Furthermore, and most important, they need to be stopped from blocking, banning and blacklisting legitimate political speech, imposing speech codes, enforcing "political correctness" standards in either content or advertising sales or punishing those expressing opinions with which they disagree.

Under no circumstances should these corporations be permitted to engage in political lobbying, soliciting, accepting government contracts or participating in any political activities, operating as they currently do under special government protections against liability claims.

This, of course, completely ignores that Google, as a private business, has a responsibility to users to deliver quality search results from reliable sources, and WND's history of misinformation and conspiracy theories makes it anything but reliable.

Farah went on to cite anti-Google crusader Robert Epstein, but censors the fact that Epstein's research has been called into question because of its dubious and partisan nature. He went on to rant:

But there's not much time left for WND, the site that once set the records for breaking the mold. I'll be honest, we are in SURVIVAL MODE. We have less than one-fifteenth of the resources we had in 2016! Why? Because we had the audacity to support Donald Trump. That was our "crime."

Farah is lying. The current state of WND's finances is directly attritubate to the low quality of its "news" -- again, littered with misinformation and conspiracy theories -- and not because it supported Trump. Other Trump-friendly outlets are doing well financially; how does Farah explain that?

Farah then announced a money beg: "Our goal is to raise at least $100,000 through the end of the year for the kind of hard-hitting, breathtaking journalism you've come to know us for!"

Farah devoted his Nov. 15 column to attack Google as well:

"Extremist group."

"Dangerous or derogatory content."

"Unreliable and harmful claims."

Those are among the ways Google describes WND.

Is such language libelous? Is it abhorrent? Is it totally unfair? Is it in the eye of the beholder?

Yes, of course, it's all those things. But these are more than slurs, accusations, slanders.

They are part of a narrative that goes back 25 years – when WND and Google were just getting started.

Actually, they're all true, but Farah will never admit it. Farah went on to repeat his like about Google targeting WND because it supported Trump, adding:

It started, as I've said in the past, in 2016. We were enthusiastically supportive of Donald Trump. That was our major "error." We plead guilty. But for Google, this is a capital offense.

Of course, there is much more 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.

I can assure you, we will never cease, or slow down in any way, from reporting on these or any other issues – truthfully, honestly, eagerly. We will never stop this kind of genuine journalism. We intend to keep on doing what we've done for 25 years and doing it professionally – so help me God.

We've caught WND publishing misinformation and lies about all those things. Again, Farah will never admit it. This time, he asked for prayers on top of money.

This was followed by a Nov. 18 article touting the appearance of Farah's wife, Elizabeth Farah, appearing with Gina Loudon "on her popular 'Dr. Gina Prime Time' show on America’s Real Voice network." This was the same "popular" show (WND offered no metrics that proved its alleged popularity) that WND managing editor David Kupelian appeared on in August to push his election fraud conspiracy theories. If you'll recall, Loudon is a former WND columnist who tried to armchair-diagnose President Obama as a psychopath and demonstrated some serious pathology of her own by spreading lies. You might also remember her for trying to make hay off her teenage daughter being in a relationship with a 57-year-old actor -- then later making sure WND deleted the column she wrote quasi-defending it.

Strangely, WND didn't (or couldn't) embed the interview in the article, so one must travel to the Dr. Gina website to access it. Elizabeth Farah starts out by embellishing WND's history: "We started out as a for-profit news organization, a business that just wanted to do the right thing in journalism." Actually, WND started out as a division of Joseph Farah's right-wing nonprofit Western Journalism Center and was then spun off as a for-profit business. And "the right thing" always meant right-wing bias at WND.

Farah went on to claim that Google met in the Obama White House "four or five hundred times" to create "plans of suppression" against "alternate news." Farah is surprisingly correct about the number of Google-related visits to the Obama White House, but the idea that they were somehow forming "plans of suppression" against right-wing media appears to be a figment of her imagination designed to boost WND's victimhood narrative.

Loudon returned the favor by going into full suck-up mode: "It says so much that they did go after you because there was such a crediblity there, as you said, with award-winning journalists and everything else, but also those who were willing to mentor folks like me who ended up in professional media, so you've done a service, you deserve people to fight back for you." Yeesh.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 AM EST
Sunday, November 21, 2021
MRC Censors Inconvenient Details Of School Assault It Has Fearmongered About
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center spent weeks hyping an alleged sexual assault by a student in a school in Loudoun County, Va., on another student for two reasons: to advance its anti-transgender agenda (since the alleged assaulter was described as "a boy in a skirt") and to help get a  Republican, Glenn Youngkin, elected Virginia governor. But it turns out that the MRC has been effectively censoring the full truth about the alleged assault. Katelyn Burns wrote at MSNBC:

The Youngkin campaign has taken an incident at a Loudoun County school that involved a student sexually assaulting a classmate in a girl’s bathroom and twisted it into an effective campaign talking point. This, Youngkin and his supporters in right-wing media have trumpeted, is the mythical unicorn of the trans bathroom panic. The one case, they thought, that would finally help sway the public on the trans bathroom issue they’ve been unsuccessfully pushing since 2015.

But the facts of the case don’t match up with the trans stranger danger happening that they have painted it to be. The sexual assaulter didn’t lie secretly in wait for his victim to unknowingly enter the stall next to him. Instead the meetup was arranged beforehand. The attacker and victim had had sex in the same bathroom before. This time, however, the girl said no, and the boy didn’t stop. The crime is no less awful, and should be outright condemned. But it was not the attack facilitated by a trans-friendly bathroom policy as conservatives claimed it was.

Of the numerous articles the MRC has published referencing the assault, we could find only two that referenced the fact that the students previously had consenual sexual relations and that the incident in which the assault allegely occurred started out as consensual.

An Oct. 25 item by Nicholas Fondacaro complained that a Washington Post article on the case was "stealth-edited" to remove the claim that the assaulting student was "gender-fluid," further complaining that the article "seemed to hint that the girl wasn’t really a victim because “the 15-year-old victim in the first case testified she had consensual sexual encounters with the defendant on two occasions in a girls’ bathroom…” In fact, the edit reflects the reality of the case and that it's much more complicated than the "depraved transsexual" narrative Fondacaro and the MRC would like to impose on it for political reasons.

(Of course, Fondacaro didn't mention the MRC's own record of stealth-editing articles, making his complaint more than a tad hypocritical.)

THe only other instance was an Oct. 29 post by Clay Waters, who quoted the facts of the case as reported in a New York Times article in an attempt to accuse the Times of trying to "neutralize the story." Waters didn't comment on the part of the article he excerpted stating that "testified that she’d previously had two consensual sexual encounters with her attacker in the school bathroom. On the day of her assault, they’d agreed to meet up again…." but he was ultimately forced to admit that the incident happened months before the school board voted on "trans bathroom policies" -- which undermines a key attack line right-wingers have been using.

Still, Waters insisted on whining: "The Loudoun County school board’s shameful silence; the possibility the assault was hushed up to avoid the wrath of trans activists; the gross irresponsibility of allowing boys free access to girl’s safe spaces in the first place….all these points Goldberg studiously ignored in the name of chipping away at a story that may prove devastating to the election hopes of Terry McAuliffe." Waters didn't mention how he and his fellow right-wing activists were hyping the story in an attempt to boost the election hopes of Youngkin.

As Waters continued to huff about the Times calling the right-wing narrative abaout the assault a "big lie," he is certainly not going to concede that  the MRC's near-complete refusal to tell its readers the full facts of the case is a lie by omission.

Censoring information that interferes with a political narrative is not exactly a hallmark of credible "media research," is it?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:08 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:50 PM EST
CNS Hyped Herschel Walker For Years -- Then Suddenly Stopped
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has long been a fan of former college and pro football star Herschel Walker for his right-wing views (even though right-wingers tend to rage at athletes when they express liberal political views). It began way back: In 2017, Craig Bannister was touting how Walker said that "NFL players, and all Americans, should never protest the country that has given them all that they have," and an October 2018 post by managing editor Michael W. Chapman hyped Walker's criticism of CNN anchor Don Lemon for criticizing Kanye West's fealty of Donald Trump.

As Walker ramped up his political activism in 2020, CNS devoted numerous articles to his right-wing pontifications in the runup to the presidential election:

Not only was Walker sounding like a Trump campaign surrogate, he was sounding like a political candidate. CNS didn't point that out, of course; it was happy to serve as Walker's -- and Trump's -- PR division.

CNS' first post-election article on Walker was not until a February article by Susan Jones, in which he "told a House Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday he opposes reparations for slavery on a number of grounds, including his religion." Jones did not explain what made Walker an expert witness on reparations.A March 11 article by Craig Bannister -- who wrote many of the 2020 Walker-touting articles -- showed someWalker love from his (and CNS') favorite president:

Former President Donald Trump wants Herschel Walker to run for the Senate in the state where Walker won a Heisman Trophy playing for the Georgia Bulldogs in college.

Trump said Walker would be just as unstoppable as a candidate as he was as a star running back at Georgia and for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, The Washington Times reported Wednesday:

[...]

Trump and Walker have been friends and mutual supporters ever since 1983 when Walker played for Trump’s team in the now-defunct United States Football League. Walker has long been a vocal supporter of Trump’s political policies, often voicing his praise on social media.

That was the result Walker and CNS seemed to be gunning for. Strangely, though, the only article referencing Walker since then is a July 27 piece by Jones that cited another prominent Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham, touting a potential Walker Senate bid: ""I hope Herschel Walker runs. Herschel Walker is talking like the average Georgian. He wants his mom to be able to go to the store without being hurt."

But when Walker actually did announce his Senate campaign in August, CNS reported nothing. And when Walker racked up key Republican endorsements, CNS was silent about that too. Why? It could be because of disturbing revelations about Walker's past.

The Associated Press reported that Walker's ex-wife cited "physically abusive and extremely threatening behavior" in filing from divorce from him in 2001 and later sought a protective order from him in court. He has also been caught falsely exaggerating the size of his chicken-products business and has a history of unpredictable behavior. Walker has admitted a long struggle with mental illness, but has claimed that therapy and his Christian faith has turned things around.

CNS hasn't told its readers anything about this, of course -- it simply stopped reporting on him at all. But CNS is nothing if not a loyal pro-Trump Republican booster, so look for it to clamber back onto the bandwagon as the 2022 midterms start to get closer.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EST
Saturday, November 20, 2021
MRC's Weird Takes On Clinton Impeachment Miniseries
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center apparently wasn't too happy with FX's recent miniseries about President Clinton's impeachment and the events that led up to it -- perhaps because it was a little too evenhanded and called out people it didn't want called out. Kyle Drennen complained in a Sept. 7 post:

On Tuesday, NBC’s Today show promoted the upcoming FX series on Bill Clinton’s impeachment following his affair with Monica Lewinsky by painting one of his sexual harassment victims, the late Linda Tripp, as a “treacherous” villain who was guilty of “betrayal.” In addition, the broadcast featured a live exclusive interview with Lewinsky, who was a producer for the mini-series set to premiere that evening.

“Monica Lewinsky is back in the spotlight this morning with a highly anticipated new series premiering on FX tonight, Impeachment: American Crime Story,” co-host Savannah Guthrie announced as the segment began. Before talking to Lewinsky, a brief taped report ran reminding viewers of the scandal that swirled around President Clinton in 1998.

“An affair...And a betrayal,” Guthrie narrated as clips from the dramatized series played on screen with actress Beanie Feldstein depicting Lewinsky and actress Sarah Paulson depicting Tripp. Moments later, Guthrie made it clear the “betrayal” she referred to was an attack on Tripp, not Clinton:

[...]

During her lengthy chat with Lewinsky, Guthrie noted: “It’s not a documentary. It’s a dramatic series.” The anchor then eagerly asked: The host even chuckled as mentioned the insult of Tripp.

Chuckling as well, Lewinsky responded: “Yes....People will understand when they see the series why.”

The treatment of Tripp by Clinton defenders in the liberal media was similarly atrocious at the time.

Drennen concluded by huffing: "Even after two decades and the #MeToo movement, the media are still eager to blame others like Tripp – one of his victims – for the scandal that Clinton caused through his own sleazy behavior."

But Tripp did, in fact, betray Lewinsky. Tripp pretended to be her confidant regarding her affair with Clinton, then worked with book agent Lucianne Goldberg to expose the affair. Drennen doesn't even bother to argue that she wasn't, only desperately trying to reframe her somehow as a "victim" of Clinton.This desire to defend Tripp over Lewinsky (who, again, served as a producer on the miniseries so "the media" is not the one laying blame here) shows us that the anti-Clinton right cared nothing for Lewinsky as a person (and still don't), only as a tool to destroy Clinton by any means possible.

It took both Karen Townsend and Alexa Moutevelis to write an Oct. 6 post about a later episode in the miniseries because it "appeared to work in a hit against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh," who was working for independent counsel Kenneth Starr at the time:

Perhaps as a nod to liberal obsessions with sexual assault allegations at Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the script has Kavanaugh (Alan Starzinski) saying, “I never like to take 'no' for an answer...” It was an odd turn of phrase that stuck out like a sore thumb.

[...]

Were the writers hoping the audience thought of the smear campaign against Kavanaugh and the attempt made by liberals to paint him as a serial rapist by using that line?

[...]

That is a lame attempt to keep the false narrative alive that Kavanaugh is a sexual predator. The unproven allegations against Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings paled in comparison to those that were proven against Bill Clinton.

The MRC does know how to defend its ideological cronies.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:57 AM EST
WND Columnist Parrots Ridiculous Claim That College 'Brainwashing' is Worse Than N. Korea
Topic: WorldNetDaily

James Zumwalt wrote in his Oct. 8 WorldNetDaily column:

Life experiences provide us with an opportunity to develop an expertise in certain areas. For example, teachers develop an expertise enabling them to quickly identify students with learning issues, which the educator can then help them overcome. But what about a situation in which these roles are reversed – the rare situation in which a life experience has imbued a student with a certain expertise the teacher lacks? And, more importantly, if the student wishes to share the benefit of such expertise, will the teacher even listen?

Such is the case at an Ivy League college where a student with a unique background is pursuing an education. The student is Yeonmi Park. She lived in North Korea for 14 years before escaping to China in 2007, where she was forced into the sex slave trade, later making her way to South Korea before moving to the U.S. in 2014.

What then is Park's area of expertise? She says she is grateful for two things in her life of 27 years – first, being born in North Korea and, second, escaping it. Her reasoning is that it is both these events that have shaped who she is today.

The rest of Zumwalt's column is simply parroting Park's narrative, centered on her ridiculous claim that her "brainwashing" education at Columbia University is worse than the indoctrination she allegedly underwent in North Korea. But as we documented when WND and the Media Research Center previous promoted her story, Park is simply allowing herself to be used by right-wingers to advance an anti-education narrative, and there are questions about her origin story, parts of which appear to be lifted from the accounts of other North Korean defectors.

But Zumwalt didn't bother to fact-check Park; two days earlier he lashed out at fact-checkers for fact-checking conservatives (another right-wing narrative). He simply swallowed her story because she said what he wants to hear and what meshes with his right-wing attitudes. He uniroinically concluded:

Escaping North Korean indoctrination empowered Park to rekindle her critical thinking ability. While Columbia University's professors turn a deaf ear to Park's warning, the big question now for other educators is whether they can rekindle their own critical thinking to heed it.

Zumwalt clearly didn't use any critical thinking in regurgitating Park's story -- he was just a servile stenographer.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 21, 2021 6:10 PM EST
Friday, November 19, 2021
It's Another Context-Related Fact-Check Fail for MRC's Graham
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center executive Tim Graham. it seems, just can't stop whining about context -- namely that fact-checkers point out when right-wingers like him omit it in their false attacks on Democrats (while demanding that conservatives always be put in full context). He was at it again in his Sept. 22 column in which he once again complains that fact-checkers busted right-wing activists for taking President Biden out of context, then willfully promoted that lack of context:

Twitter makes it easy to realize that the purpose of “fact-checkers” is most commonly rushing to defend Joe Biden from misinterpretation...and mockery.

On September 20, Twitter warned “A video of President Biden discussing hurricane preparedness has been edited out of context, according to fact-checkers.”

Tweets aired this clip of Biden from August 10: "Let me be clear: If you're in a state where hurricanes often strike — like Florida or the Gulf Coast or into Texas — a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated now.”

It’s easy to see his point: you might not want to be stuck in a shelter and unvaccinated. But it does sound a little funny that your “vital preparations” would be: board up the house, or batten down the hatches, and then get the shot. It sounds like “insert a plea for vaccination in every public statement.”

This message was later mocked with humor and sarcasm, and the protective “fact-checkers” are very sensitive about viral hot takes against Biden. Twitter cited “fact checks” from Snopes, and AP, and PolitiFact. Line them up!

[...]

They added “Biden’s remarks echo hurricane preparedness tips published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Twitter wants us to understand all the experts and facts inevitably line up for Biden.

It had an “all hands on deck” sound to it. Everyone leapt on defense. The defense was plausible, but the energy felt very personal.

Yet Graham offered no evidence that the "experts and facts" were wrong -- indeed, it appears that Biden did the responsible thing by relying on experts to make his statement. Graham didn't explain why this was somehow a bad thing.

Instead, Graham pretended the real issue is that right-wingers were fact-checked:" "It’s always interesting when the media complain that presidential statements and actions are edited to 'remove key portions.' They’ll pretend this never happens in media coverage of Republicans." Funny, we had no problem finding a fact-check finding that images of Donald Trump were misleading or photoshopped. It seems Graham wants to pretend that fact-checkers have it out for conservatives -- it feeds his and the MRC's victimhood narrative about fact-checking, after all.

Nevertheless, Graham continued to complain:

PolitiFact also jumped on the TikTok video: “The video takes Biden of context and misleadingly captions his remarks.” Just in the last year, Twitter has pounced on nine TikTok videos critical of Biden. On Election Day, they protested a Biden bumble: “Biden says he doesn’t need voters to get elected.” That’s the way words actually came out of his mouth – “I don’t need you to get me elected” – but they were upset it was mocked.

Their headline read “Video misrepresents Biden’s speech in Michigan.” No, the video shows it’s what came out of his mouth, but their energy was “You know what he meant!”

But Biden didn't say that. The PolitiFact fact-check pointed out that Biden actually said "I don’t only need you to get me elected, I need you once I’m elected," but that the word "only" was not enunciated clearly. Once again, context and the full facts are not Graham's friend.

The fact-check fails are piling up again for Graham.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:02 PM EST
Fauci Derangement Syndrome At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In India, the Bar Association is now suing one person within their medical establishment (with a position similar in influence and visibility as Fauci in the U.S.) for suppressing as a matter of public policy, the reality of effective early treatments for COVID-19 via existing drugs.

It's a legal action that is designed to culminate in the criminal prosecution of this person for each death of an individual denied access to early treatment with existing drugs, because of this person's policies.

And due to his vocal role in suppressing early treatments of COVID-19 using available drugs, Anthony Fauci should be the first to be similarly prosecuted in America.

Anthony Fauci's policies of disinformation against early treatment using existing drugs have resulted in the unnecessary deaths of an estimated 323,000 Americans, as calculated as a time weighted rate to account for the early learning curve for these treatments and based on current metadata. This equates to an approximately 50% cumulative rate in unnecessary deaths to date, and climbing.

These numbers are inexcusable.

And India is showing us how to hold these kinds of people accountable.

It's time to follow their lead.

-- Michael Schisler, Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily column

Think you've heard it all about medicrat Anthony Fauci? Well, there are a few things you still don't know about the foolish Fauci. That's because all other news analysts, left and right, have an agenda. "Hard Truth," with David Vance and yours truly, has only one agenda: unvarnished, nonpartisan truth.

Between March 5 and April 5, 2020, 10,598 Americans died from COVID-19 (see: https://covidtracking.com/data/national/deaths), very likely because Fauci warned them, then, against purchasing the N95 mask. "Don't you dare," terrorized Gnome, M.D. As noted here: "Kung Flu is a killer, all right, but so are the bureaucrats."

The COVID carnage under Fauci does not take into account his role in delegitimizing therapeutics. Just imagine if Fauci had similarly downplayed and delegitimized treatment for HIV/AIDS, and had insisted, as he does today, that salvation lay predominantly in a vaccine against that particular RNA strand?

-- Ilana Mercer, Oct. 7 WND column

HE SAID IT.

I say, "No way, Anthony Fauci. Stick it where the sun don't shine."

Fauci recently held a school lecture where he said we in the West just need to "give us their individual right of making your own decision" about the vaccination "for the good of society."

[...]

After lying through his teeth for years, it's amazing that this professional prevaricator still has people believing him. He also admitted recently that he's told dozens of half-truths and full-scale whoppers over that last year. Why? Because he was telling us what we wanted to hear – or needed to hear.

This does not include the biggest phony story he ever told, of course. What was that? You know, the one about his personal role in developing the pandemic in conjunction with the Chinese!

This guy is shameless.

-- Joseph Farah, Oct. 7 WND column

It falls to our judicial system to prove the guilt of the wicked and sentence them accordingly, but if (for the sake of illustration) the citizenry of open-eyed patriots can be considered an informal "grand jury" in the matter of public health tyranny and the enormous death toll associated with public health policy, there are clearly enough facts in hand – many summarized in the Peterson opinion – to indict numerous public officials for murder, starting with the morally depraved patent-holding Anthony "gain-of-function" Fauci, his key minion, Rachel Waleski [sic], and their craven, sociopathic Big Pharma paymasters. And under the legal doctrine called "Felony Murder Rule," every person involved in their felonious criminal conspiracy, even the getaway driver (the drive-by media?) is also guilty of murder if anyone died during the criminal acts. (Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo comes to mind.)

-- Scott Lively, Oct. 21 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EST
MRC Hypocritically Attacks Candidiate For Deleting Tweets
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth wrote in an Oct. 4 post:

On Monday's New Day, frequent CNN and MSNBC guest-turned Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of Texas, Matthew Dowd received more of a challenge from co-host Brianna Keilar than he usually gets on the liberal news network.

After spending the first few minutes cueing up Dowd to make his typical attacks on his home state's Republican leaders as he runs for lieutenant governor, Keilar then turned to question him on why he deleted about 270,000 tweets before launching his campaign, pressing him with several followups.

She also hit Dowd from the left by hinting that he was being hypocritical in running for office after he previously argued that white men should step aside and let minorities acquire more power.

By contrast, the MRC gave one of its favorite right-wingers a pass when he deletedold tweets prior to launching a politial campaign.

J.D. Vance is a venture capitalist who got attention in right-wing circles for writing a book called "Hillbilly Elegy," a memoir in which he largely blamed liberal welfare culture for creating a lack of work ethic among the poor Appialachian white culture he came from. The MRC cheered Vance' move further right touting, for example, his investment in the right-wing video platform Rumble (where, as it so happens, the MRC has a space). He even got to be a player in the MRC's bogus "big tech" victimhood narrative when Twitter briefly suspended the Twitter account for Vance's campaign for the Repuvblican nomination for a Ohio Senate seat.

Vance has been saying all the right things as far as the MRC is concerned. In July, Alexander Hall promoted how Vance "accused Google of 'conspiring' with China" and "suggested that the conservative movement needs to get out of its own way" and embrace using power. In August, Clay Waters defended Vance from a New York Times profile of him that pointed how Trumpy Vance has become.

But the MRC wants to bury the fact that Vance, like Dowd, deleted tweets befor declaring for political office -- in this case, tweets from 2016 that criticized Trump, whose supporters Vance is now trying to court for his Senate bid, and proclaimed that he would be voting for Evan McMullin instead. Vance even went on an apology tour of sorts, delcaring that "I regret being wrong" about Trump.

You'll read none of that at the MRC. Instead, the only reference to it is in passing in Waters' piece defending Vance, copying an excerpt from the Times article noting that Vance "has deleted inconvenient tweets" but calling no additional attention to it.

Selective, partisan-driven criticism is not "media research." The MRC has not figured that out yet.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 19, 2021 12:34 PM EST
CNS Weirdly Attacks Biden's 'No Joke' Verbal Tic (But Ignored Trump's Tics)
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com loves to do hostile, nitpicky coverage of President Biden -- definitely not the way it covered Donald Trump's presidency -- while also writing weird articles about him (i.e., obsessing over his hair). Susan Jones served up one of the latter in an Oct. 6 article:

"You built the country," President Joe Biden told union workers in Howell, Michigan on Tuesday. "No, not a joke. You have built the country," he said.

Biden was in Michigan to plug his $1.5-trillion infrastructure bill and $3.5-trillion reconciliation bill.

During his 34-minute speech, Biden used his "not a joke" phrase six times, as follows -- not that anyone thought he was joking.

Jones did not explain why she considered this revelation to be deserving of a "news" article.We don't recall Jones or anyone else at CNS devoting an article to Donald Trump's numerous verbal tics and malapropisms in the same way she's going after Biden here, with the apparent intent to make CNS' right-wing audience swallow its long-running narrative that the presient is sinking further into "cognitive decline."

Jones also slipped a partisan political attack in her supposedly objective "news" article: "Biden, who was greeted by hundreds of protesters on the ride from the airport, insisted that his physical infrastructure bill and his much larger social agenda bill are not divisive." Actually, Biden's infrastructure bill has broad support among Americans.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EST
Updated: Friday, November 19, 2021 12:15 AM EST
Thursday, November 18, 2021
MRC Attacks Political Donations Of Murdoch's Son For Not Being Right-Wing Enough
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez has been branching out from attacking George Soros to bashing other rich non-conservatives who donate money to cause that Vazquez disapproves of. His latest target is a slightly surprising one: James Murdoch, son of Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The MRC has been Heathering James Murdoch for a while because he became uncomfortable with with the family business. An April 2019 post by Clay Waters, for instance, complained that a New York Times article portrayed James as "the good son, an aggrieved centrist who wants nothing to do with Fox News’ nasty far-right nationalism," and a September 2019 post by Tim Graham groused about a Times profile of James' wife purportedly designed to helpher "dissent from the Fox News line on climate," further grousing that she gave political donations to non-conservatives. Graham went on to make a point of insisting in a January 2020 post it was "not new" information that "James Murdoch (and his wife) publicly split with his family on climate issues years ago, and now James has no role in the Fox News business. His brother Lachlan's in charge."

Then it was time for Vazquez to target Murdoch and is donations (even though the MRC loudly complains whenever corporate donations to Republicans are called out).A March 30 post noted that "Kathryn Murdoch, the climate activist wife of former Fox News heir and fellow eco-activist James Murdoch" donated to a "commission led by radical liberals to fight “mis- and disinformation.” A Sept. 14 post by Vazquez started attacking James directly:

News Corporation Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s estranged son and avowed climate activist James Murdoch used his Quadrivium Foundation to fund a leftist organization behind Google and Facebook’s notorious 2020 election strategy.

The Media Research Center was informed by Facebook last year that it would be partnering with the radical left-wing organization Democracy Works to help formulate the online platform’s 2020 election strategy. However, Big Tech giant Google was also working with “Democracy Works to make sure it's surfacing only true information — and not, Google engineering VP Cathy Edwards said, things like false claims of victory,” according to Protocol.

[...]

Murdoch apparently had no problem throwing his political weight behind such an extremist organization with an explicit anti-American agenda.

The only "anti-American agenda" of Democracy Works cited by Vazquez was the the organization (accurately) noted that the country was "built on Black enslavement" and its desire to reckon with "the racism embedded in our way of life." He did not explain why any of this is "anti-American." Vazquez went on to complain:

Murdoch’s involvement with a leftist group aiming to manipulate the 2020 election is revealing given his recent pontificating about disinformation. In a joint statement with his climate activist wife Kathryn, James decried “[s]preading disinformation — whether about the election, public health or climate change — has real world consequences.” It now looks as though the Murdochs had no problem with a leftist organization controlling the flow of information on Facebook and Google.

Vazquez apparently has no problem with disinformation as long as it advances right-wing narratives and agendas.And he presumably has no problem with right-wingers like the folks who run Fox News -- and the MRC -- using their millions to influence the 2020 election.Does he not realize that's the kind of thing the MRC is paying him to do?

In a Sept. 22 post, Vazquez complained that "Climate activist James Murdoch gave at least $1 million to a group fighting to undermine state oversight of elections. That same group also backed Big Tech censorship against former President Donald Trump," adding:

Murdoch may have had political reasons for funding a group that was openly advocating for the ability of Big Tech to censor Trump. James and his wife Kathryn ;gave “$20 million to Biden’s campaign, groups supporting him and opposing Trump, and organizations dedicated to disrupting online threats and extremism.” An MRC study published in December found that Twitter in particular had censored Trump and his campaign 543 times since May 31, 2018. Biden and his campaign weren’t censored at all.

The accurate way to report that statistic is that Trump and his campaign had violated Twitter rules and policies -- which Twitter, as a private business, is allowed to have -- 543 times while the Biden campaign didn't violate them at all. And a good part of that "censorship" was Twitter merely labeling Trump's false information as such while still retaining access to the false tweet itself.

On Sept. 29, Vazquez raged that "Murdoch has used his foundation to funnel more than $14 million to a leftist group that crusaded against America’s so-called 'environmental racism,'" while taking another partisan shot at him and his wife: "The couple also represents the epitome of climate hypocrisy. James has shown particular interest in taking carbon-emitting flights on a corporate jet and the couple finances a climate fund run by the world’s biggest investor in fossil fuels." That was followed by more shots:

It gets worse. The Australian Financial Review reported in July 2021 that the Murdochs were the “most prominent investors in a US$250 million ($335 million) fundraising round for BlackRock’s new ‘climate finance fund’ targeting ‘carbon-free infrastructure projects’ in the developing world.” Here’s the glaring hypocrisy as reported by AFR: BlackRock has been tagged as “the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels.”

So the climate-obsessed Murdochs seem to have no problem being investors in “the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels.”

Is that hypocrisy on a par with whining about corporate political donations to Republicans being exposed while targeting donations from wealthy liberals? How about cheering a news report's release of tax information about George Soros while later attacking that same report for releasing the tax info of non-liberals? Vazquez didn't offer an answer to that.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EST
Fake News: WND Hypes Yet Another Bogus Voter Fraud Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's hyping of bogus election fraud claims just never stops. Bob Unruh huffed in a Sept. 28 article:

The state of Georgia has opened a review of the ballot drop boxes used in a Democratic stronghold during the 2020 presidential election because of suspicions raised by a media report about problems with them.

Weeks ago, an elections official in Georgia admitted that "a few" legally required forms documenting the chain of custody for ballots during the 2020 presidential election are missing, blaming the significant problem on the fact some "core personnel" were quarantined due to positive COVID-19 tests at the time.

It was the Georgia Star News that now has revealed "43,907 of the 61,731 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in the November 2020 presidential election in DeKalb County, Georgia – 72 percent – were counted in official tallies certified by the county and the state, despite violating chain of custody requirements set forward in Georgia Emergency Rule 183-1-14-1.8-.14 promulgated by the Georgia State Election Board at its July 1, 2020, meeting."

The state outlines requirements for ballots placed in drop boxes, including that they be "immediately" transported to the county registrar by specified security procedures.

"Of the 61,731 absentee ballots DeKalb County recorded as being deposited into drop boxes during the November 2020 election, 46% - or 28,194 of the absentee ballots - were not documented as being received by the elections registrar or the director's designee until the day after they were collected from the drop box," the report said.

The report said another 26%, representing 15,713 absentee ballots collected from drop boxes during the November 2020 election, there was no receipt time recorded at all by the elections office, as is required by the July 2020 emergency election code rule.

But as an actual news organization that cares about facts reported when Donald Trump pushed this same claim:

This is a good example of the ways in which the complicated process of running elections opens up all sorts of opportunity to inject procedural complaints. The story does not suggest that any votes were altered in any way, if such a thing were possible without detection. It does not indicate that anyone had talked to the county about why the forms might have been incomplete (in some cases) or indicated gaps between collection and being logged. There’s nothing to suggest that this was anything other than, say, a team collecting ballots at the end of the day and finishing the job the following morning. There’s obviously good reason for ballots to be transmitted as quickly as possible, but there’s nothing to suggest this was anything more nefarious than campaign workers doing their jobs a bit less assiduously than one might hope.

But Trump doesn’t even actually claim there was fraud, since there’s no evidence there was. He just says the equivalent of Hey, you seeing all this fraud? and then asking Raffensperger to throw out the whole election somehow because of the gaps on those forms. It’s not even a Hail Mary. It’s like showing up on the field the day after the Super Bowl and loudly complaining that your opponent was offsides.

It’s useful to point out, too, that there’s no evidence anything weird happened in DeKalb County anyway. Overall, Georgia voted about five points more Democratic last year than it did in 2016, about the same shift as seen in Kansas (where Trump has spent no energy accusing people of fraud). In DeKalb County, Trump went from losing by 63.5 points then to 67.4 points last year, a shift of 3.9 points away from Trump — less than in the state overall. If you assume that all 43,000 of those votes were for Biden, itself not a fair assumption, DeKalb County would have become more supportive of Trump than it was in 2016. This is … unlikely.

It further went on to note of the dubious website that first reported the claim Unruh is parroting, the Georgia Star News: "It’s part of a group of sites established to mimic local news coverage but largely promoting stories friendly to the right. The author of the DeKalb County story, for example, writes for 'The Georgia Star News, The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star and The Arizona Sun Times,' which must yield her a ton of mileage reimbursements."

In other words, it's more fake news from WND. And they wonder why Google no longer wants to do business with them.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:45 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 18, 2021 4:46 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's 'Free Speech' Authoritarians
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writers are having a love affair with some of the world's most censorship-loving right-wing leaders -- because they spout the MRC's anti-"Big Tech" narrative. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:11 AM EST

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