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Wednesday, November 24, 2021
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's War on Jen Psaki (And Man-Crush On Peter Doocy): September 2021
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck keeps up his biased schtick of lashing out at the White House press secretary and fawning over a Fox News reporter. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:42 PM EST
Another CNS Attack On Pelosi Fails For Citing Wrong Bible
Topic: CNSNews.com

Remember that time we caught CNSNews.com sneering at Nancy Pelosi for quoting the Bible but linking to a version of the Bible that Catholics like Pelosi don't use (something the uber-Catholics who run CNS ought to know)? Well, we found another example. From an anonymously written Oct. 18 article:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) quoted from the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins from the Gospel of Matthew at a press event focused on public housing that she held in San Francisco on Friday with San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

“Madam Mayor, it's always a joy to be with you while we're talking about low-income housing, affordable housing, public housing and the rest, and to hear you speak from your own personal experience about it,” Pelosi said.

“‘When I was hungry, you fed me. When I was homeless, you gave me shelter.  When I was naked, you clothed me.’ All of those things in the Gospel of Matthew, the Mayor brings to the experience,” Pelosi said. 

“Madam Mayor, thank you for your tremendous leadership and how that experience has benefited so many people,” she said.

But the article's links on the "Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins" and the "Gospel of Matthew" go to an online edition of the New King James Version of the Bible. As we documented, the Catholic Church does not use the King James Version because it was commissioned for the Church of England and it omits certain books from the Old Testament that Catholics recognize but Protestants don't.

Again, this is all malicious partisan pettiness on CNS' part. But you'd think that it would know better than to try and own Pelosi with a Bible that Catholics don't use.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:41 PM EST
Newsmax Parrots Right-Wing Narrative In School Board Incidents
Topic: Newsmax

Living up to his name, Charlie McCarthy parroted right-wing narrataives in an Oct. 13 Newsmax article:

The evening news broadcasts on all three major commercial networks failed to report on the Loudoun County Public School Board's alleged cover-up of a 14-year-old girl being raped by a boy in a skirt to pass a transgender bathroom policy, the Media Research Center said Wednesday.

The Daily Wire reported Tuesday that the alleged victim's father became the poster child for what the National School Boards Association has suggested could be a form of "domestic terrorism" after he was arrested at a Loudoun County, Virginia, school board meeting in June.

Neither ABC's World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, nor the NBC Nightly News, however, reported on the alleged cover-up of the rape Tuesday night following The Daily Wire's bombshell story.

"SHAME. How can one call itself a news organization when it blacks out coverage of a story like this, which has such broad impact on the safety of our children and education? And they wonder why ratings and trust of the media continue to tank," tweeted Brent Bozell, founder and president of Media Research Center.

As we've documented, Bozell's MRC has been pushing this story to push right-wing transphobia and to help get a Republican, Glenn Youngkin, elected Virginia governor.But as we've also documented, this simplistic narrative McCarthy is dutifully repeating obscures a more complicated truth about the incident: The boy and girl previously had consensual sexual encounters before, and the incident in question began as a consensual encounter.

McCarthy is also repeating another false narrative: that school boards and the Department of Justice want to portray any parent who merely speaks out at a school board meeting as a "domestic terrorist." Further, McCarthy censored the fact that the victim's father, Scott Smith, was in fact found guilty in court of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; in the incident in question, "Smith was arrested during an argument with a woman for whose daughter Smith’s wife had been a Girl Scout leader. Deputies dragged him to the ground, then outside, where he continued struggling and arguing with them, threatening to kick their teeth out." Instead, McCarthy offered a whitewashed version of events that made the aggressor out to be the victim:

When a female left-wing community activist told Smith she did not believe his daughter, the father said he became incensed and had a heated exchange of words with the woman.

When a police officer — who was there to keep the peace — pulled on his arm, Smith yanked it away. That quickly resulted in Smith being hit in the face, handcuffed, and dragged across the floor, with his pants pulled down.

Smith was clearly acting in a violent and terroristic manner and a court of law agreed with that assessment -- but Newsmax doesn't want you to know that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 PM EST
Misinformer WND Columnist Spreads Even More COVID Misinfo
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joel Hirschhorn is in a race with Jane Orient to be WorldNetDaily's lead COVID misinformer, and he's doing his best to try and make himself the front-runner.

In his Sept. 27 column, Hirschhorn wrote of Army doctor Theresa Long, whom he praised as "a rare courageous truth-teller willing to jeopardize a military career for the greater good and to try and steer the Department of Defense to policies that protect military personnel from dangerous and unnecessary COVID vaccines and defend our national defense." He then forwarded some of Long's conspiracies as fact:

With regard to the Pfizer vaccine, "One of the primary ingredients of the Lipid Nanoparticle delivery system is ALC 1035." This is a toxic material. It "comprises between 30-50% of the total ingredients." Among a number of serious possible effects is this reality: "Caution: Product has not been fully validated for medical applications. For research use only." Also noted: "Other journals and scientific papers also denote that this particular ingredient has never been used in humans before." The lieutenant colonel correctly notes, "My assessment is that ALC 1035 is a known toxin with little study, specifically restricted to 'research only' and effectively has no prior [medical] use history."

In fact, there is no ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine called ALC 1035. It's a sign of her shoddy work that in a related affidavit she filed in a lawsuit by her fellow anti-vaxxers aiming to stop vaccine mandates in thte military in which she repeated this claim, she also calls this phantom ingredient "ALC 0315" and "ALC 3015." In fact, the correct answer is ALC 0315, a lipid that serves as a carrier for the messenger RNA in the vaccine. No legitimate medical source claims the lipid is a "toxic material."

Hirschhorn continued:

Another ingredient in the vaccine is a known toxic chemical: "Polyethylene Glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze." There have been countless cases where people have been fatally poisoned with this chemical. This comment by Dr. Long is especially impressive: "I cannot discern what form of alchemy Pfizer and the FDA have discovered that would make antifreeze into a healthful cure to the human body."

Long is lying. The active ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol, not polyethylene glycol, which also exists in many other products. Hirschhorn continued:

Another important point is that "Moderna's key ingredient, SM-102 … is significantly more dangerous than the Pfizer ALC 1035." Noted is that "this Moderna ingredient is deadly."

As a fact-check from an actual news organization detailed, anti-vaxxers are citing a biotech company's  fact sheet for its formulation of SM-102 to make this claim. In fact, that formulation is not for human use and is made up of a solution that is 90 percent chloroform, which is toxic; the actual SM-102 itself is not. Hirschhorn continued to write:

Continued Long: "I have also reviewed scientific data and peer reviewed studies that discuss, analyze results and conclude that natural immunity is at least as good if not far superior to any COVID vaccine available at this time." Exactly correct. 

This ignores the fact that one has to catch and suffer through COVID in order to gain that "natural immunity." In fact, unvaccinated peiople are far more likely to die of COVID than vaccinated people, meaning the risk is much greater to remain unvaccinated. But Hirschhorn continued to parrot Long's misinformation anyway:

And here are several correct observations on harmful vaccine impacts: "None of the ordered Emergency Use COVID-19 vaccines can or will provide better immunity than an infection-recovered person [with natural immunity]. All [current] vaccines in the age group and fitness level of my patients are more risky, harmful and dangerous than having no vaccine at all, whether a person is COVID recovered or facing a COVID-19 infection.

"Direct evidence exists and suggests that all persons who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are damaged in their cardiovascular system in an irreparable and irrevocable manner. Due to the spike protein production that is engineered into the user's genome, each such recipient of the COVID-19 vaccines already has micro clots in their cardiovascular system that present a danger to their health and safety. … Such micro clots over time will become bigger clots by the very nature of the shape and composition of the spike proteins being produced, and said proteins are found throughout the user's body, including the brain."

Hirschhorn concluded: "To sum up, we have a highly educated and credentialed senior military officer stepping up to tell those above her and the public about the major risks of COVID vaccines for military personnel. This physician strongly needs public support in the fight for pandemic truths." The fact that Hirschhorn wants you to trust someone whose claims have been so thoroughly discredited -- and that despite that, she is telling "pandemic truths" --  tells us that Hirschhorn is a quack as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EST
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
MRC's Sports Blogger Keeps Up Anti-Vaxxer Rants
Topic: Media Research Center

Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson just can't stop using his MRC platform to peddle anti-vaxxer activism and rage against COVID vaccine mandates.

In an Oct. 5 post, Maxson got upset that NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (whose name he misspelled as "Kareen") "managed to link coronavirus vaccinations with race, particularly Black Lives Matter" in an NPR interview, huffing in response:

Kyrie Irving and other non-vaccinated players who fully supported BLM beg to differ. The two issues are not conjoined at the hip. These players are showing this by their actions, by their personal discernment.

[...]

What’s also not fair is that in this NPR interview, A Martinez never broached the subject of adverse reactions to vaccines, which were fast-tracked through to federal approval. If everyone thought vaccines were safe to use, it wouldn’t be such a big issue, but that’s not the case. Oh, that’s right, leftists are doing diligent research through so-called reputable sources like Dr. Anthony Fauci and MSNBC. And unlike the unvaccinated rubes, they have all the correct information.

Two days later, Maxson got upset that Canada was enforcing vaccine mandates and didn't exclude pro basketball players, invoking Kyrie Irving again:

There is no point in unvaccinated NBA players making the road trip to Toronto. That Canadian city can sentence them to jail time and fine them $750,000 for leaving their hotel, according to a report in The Athletic. Other NBA cities will prevent such players from playing in games and also from attending practices. Yes, it’s one big, tangled web of freedom-dousing nonsense gripping the league.

[...]

Irving calls the limitations “oppressive.” The city of Toronto calls them “criminal.” Brooklyn, the Bay Area and New York haven’t yet gotten the memo about the land of the free.

Maxson's whining continued on Oct. 10:

ESPN’s blog, The Undefeated, jumped down LeBron James’ throat for not calling on all NBA players to submit to COVID-19 vaccinations. The coronavirus pandemic is actually an act of social justice and a fight for equality rivaling opposition to police brutality, says The Undefeated’s senior writer David Dennis Jr.

[...]

The ESPN Undefeated writer also says that Kyrie Irving and other vaccination resisters are perpetuating the possible spread of an epidemic ravaging black folks and this contradicts every statement they’ve ever made about standing for black folks in America. They can no longer be trusted when they speak of how black lives matter.

The dictatorial Democrats could not have stated this anti-freedom, race-baiting sentiment any better than Dennis.

Maxson was perversely happy in an Oct. 17 post cheering how turning thousands of college football fans into guinea pigs ended up working out better than people expected:

Have a plate of crow, fear-mongers Dr. Anthony Fauci and Joy Reid. Your expectations of huge college football stadiums packed with thousands of fans serving as super-spreaders of COVID-19 have been disproven.

College football has reached the mid-season point, and COVID-19 outbreaks are on the decline in many of the states with the largest stadiums. Through weeks of mostly unmasked fans sitting side by side at college football games in huge stadiums, the dire predictions of the doomsday crowd have fallen flat on their face.

“As soon as I saw it (the opening of college football stadiums to fans in September), I thought COVID’s about to have a feast,” Reid told Dr. Fauci on NBC Today. “What did you think?” Fauci said, “I thought the same thing. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

What’s that? Dr. Fauci wrong? Again? He seems to keep failing upward, in the view of those on the Left who have all but bestowed sainthood on him despite his sorry track record.

This partisan Fauci-bashing was an echo of a post Tim Graham had written the day before.

Of course, just because there was no spike in COVID cases during that period does not mean that COVID did not spread at stadiums.

In an Oct. 21 post, Maxson cheered that Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich, who was fired for refusing to get vaccinated, was contemplating legal action against the university. Maxson went on to complain that other media outlets pointed out that Rolovich's attempt to claim a religious exemption becauseof his Catholic faith was shot down because "Pope Francis and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have stated that 'all Covid-19 vaccines are morally acceptable and that Catholics have a duty, responsibility or obligation to be vaccinated.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 26, 2021 2:13 PM EST
WND Conspiracy Theory Corner
Topic: WorldNetDaily

No one (or group) can be this bad by accident. We've heard from early on just how incompetent Lunch Box Joe and his administration are. I'm sure, and polls appear to bear this out, that liberals (not leftists) are regretting their vote for the man.

Many suburban soccer moms, who were turned off by that big meany Trump, are the same parents showing up at school board meetings carrying signs and speaking out against Critical Race Theory, pornography and the masking of their young ones.

The question still to be answered is whether these parents have seen the real purpose of this radical agenda, or if they'll be placated just enough to go back to sleep.

However, liberal or conservative, it should be becoming obvious to Americans that everything happening in the U.S. is not by accident, mismanagement, a lack of communication or incompetence. It is all purposeful.

The cost of energy, housing, food, virtually all goods and services are markedly higher than pre-Biden. Energy costs are now at a 10-year high. Coincidence? I think not. It's the Green New Deal.

The border is a sieve, with thousands upon thousands of illegals crossing our southern border weekly. As many know, this is what the left has coined as the Great Replacement. Just replace those finicky American voters you must convince to vote for you with new, more acquiescent bodies that are much more accustom to doing what they're told.

It's no accident that the bulk of the left's new base is being shipped off to red and battleground states.

[...]

Government mandates and the usurpation of God-given rights have nothing to do with safety and security. It's all about control. This has become apparent as Attorney General Merrick Garland is attempting to further weaponize the FBI in an effort to nullify the First Amendment right to freely assemble and speak out. Those who speak against school boards may run the risk of be branded domestic terrorists. You can thank the Bush Patriot Act for getting this ball rolling.

But there is still hope. Employees all over the country are walking off the job, rather than take the COVID jab. Many more will endure being fired rather than give up their right to choose. The next time you hear of hospital or other shortages and supply-chain problems, be aware that it is nothing more than free people deciding to remain free.

This may not help us in the short run, but it is heartening that there are still many Davids willing to stand and fight the authoritarian Goliath.

-- Brent Smith, Oct. 15 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 7:48 PM EST
Another 'Non-Clinician' Newsmax Columnist Weighs In With COVID Misinformation
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax probably should know better. Given how some columnists it publishes stuff their work so filled with COVID misinformation, it shouldn't publish them at all; instead, it simply tags the column with the statement that it has been written by a "non-clinician." The latest to get that tag is an Oct. 12 coumn by Nicholas Chamberas, which is a mix of grudging concession that COVID vaccines work and rage at the very idea of vaccine mandates:

When did the United States of America become a country led by pseudo-scientists and phony rage-peddlers?

When did tumid bureaucrats decide that they could modify the Hippocratic Oath on their own in one fell swoop?

This happened when the most failed politicians in America decided that instead of saving lives by fighting criminals, they could scapegoat all law abiding citizens making medical decisions based on what their doctors advise them instead of blindly following a narrative peddled by these same failed politicians.

To be clear, COVID-19 vaccines have saved many lives globally.

Yet, the undisputable truth is also that not everyone can or should take a COVID vaccine.

The health and well-being of these individuals should not be discarded because they disrupt a cute sounding slogan like "Let’s all get vaccinated."

The real goal and slogan should sound something like "Let’s Make Sure That We Are All Safe From COVID Without Needlessly Sacrificing The Lives Of Others As If We’re Some Cult."

Welcome to the cult-like world of vaccine mandates.

Chamberas then cited the case of a woman who died from blood clots after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine -- but omitting the fact that it was a extremely rare conmplication. He huffed that the woman "had strong reserevations about taking a COVID vaccine, she finally succumbed to taking the vaccine because of the pressure from her employer," then ranted:

The obvious truth is that Jessica died as a sacrifice to the insanely irresponsible dictates based on the capricious, facile diktats of bureaucrats more akin to health policy derived from mad scientists than respected physicians.

[...]

The long cherished medical principal of "do no harm" has been replaced by government technocrats proclaiming that everyone must do exactly as they say or their life will be permanently disconnected.

Not only will their non-compliance will be publicly castigated but they will be marked as "impure" and a perfect illustration of all that is wrong with our society.

Jessica Berg Wilson never should have died from taking an injection she didn’t need and didn’t want.

Everyone who is serious about ending the pandemic must rise up and reject the pseudo-science one size fits all social matra-driven edicts that harm and divide our nation.

It's time to really follow the actual science — the medical science.

Chamberas will not admit that one big reason there are vaccine mandates is to protect those who cannot due to health reasons. By portraying the woman as a victim instead of an outlier, he's being very dishonest. Many more people will die from COVID because of people putting their purported "personal freedom" first than ever have, or will, from getting a COVID vaccine. That's following "the actual science — the medical science," not whatever he's peddling.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:41 PM EST
CNS Bashes Biden Over Meeting With Pope
Topic: CNSNews.com

The uber-Catholics who run CNSNews.com hate President Biden, a fellow Catholic, for not imposing his religious beliefs on an entire nation by outlawing abortion. So they were predictably galled that Biden went to Rome last month to meet with Pope Francis. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman huffed in an Oct. 22 article:

Because President Joe Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion and yet still presents himself for Holy Communion at Sunday Mass -- in defiance of Church teaching -- the Catholic-based Life Site News has launched a petition calling on Pope Francis to formally discipline Biden when they meet in Rome on Oct. 29.

The petition urges the Pope "to tell Biden that he will face formal excommunication because of his public and obstinate promotion of abortion, and that if he wishes to return to communion with the Church he must immediately and publicly stop and repent from his active support of the culture of death."

[...]

The petition also notes that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has done nothing "to directly and publicly address how Biden's radical, public promotion of abortion affects his standing in the Church."

It's interesting that Chapman describes LifeSite News as "Catholic-based" when it's better known for violating a commandment or two by spreading lies and misinformation about COVID. And CNS really hates U.S. bishops for following Rome and not Republicans by its refusal to make a big show of punishing Biden over his abortion stance.

Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey devoted his Oct. 27 column to bashing Biden for being un-American for not opposing abortion:

A Catholic American president will travel to Rome this Friday to meet with Pope Francis.

There is a very profound and obvious issue they could discuss: Is it OK for a politician of any religious faith, or even none at all, to violate the natural law and support the deliberate killing of unborn babies?

President Joe Biden unambiguously supports legalized abortion and forcing taxpayers to pay for it. That puts him at odds not just with his church but with the founding principle of his country.

[...]

Is this something that Pope Francis should discuss with Biden when they meet on Friday? Should the pope tell Biden to change his position on abortion now and stop advocating for the extermination of unborn babies and instead defend their God-given right to life?

The same day, right-wing Catholic agitator Bill Donohue spewed his usual hate:

President Biden is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis in Rome on Friday. For the pope, it will be routine: he meets with heads of state all the time, and he has no compelling reason to meet with Biden. The reverse is not true: Biden is in trouble with U.S. bishops and needs to milk this event for all it's worth.

[...]

The White House knows that the president will be on the minds of the bishops when the USCCB meets in a few weeks in Baltimore. It is in their interest, then, to put a happy face on the meeting with the pope. The optics are critical: pictures of the two men smiling and shaking hands will be posted everywhere.

To what end? It's a defensive strategy. This will enable the Biden team to argue that although some of his policies depart from, or undercut, Church teachings, they are of no real consequence.

Biden is not only pro-abortion, he has become increasingly more rabid in his support for abortion rights the older he gets. For most of his career in politics, which spans a half-century, he at least put the brakes on his support for publicly funded abortions. No more—the brakes are shot.

Biden not only supports gay marriage, he officiated at one. And as president, he has shown his contempt for the Church's teaching on gender ideology, even going so far as to promote to admiral a man who falsely claims to be a woman. Worse, the president refuses to label sex transition surgery on minors as child abuse.

Another Oct. 27 article, by Melanie Arter, noted that "When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked at her briefing on Wednesday whether President Joe Biden agrees with Pope Francis that abortion is murder, she responded that Biden 'believes in a woman's right to choose.'" A separate, anonymously written article posted a couple hours later reiterated much of Arter's piece.

The next day, Donohue declared that because "The media have been mostly barred from covering the meeting" between Biden and the pope, "the optics that the White House was counting on are dead in the water," adding: "Kudos to the Vatican. They know when they are being used."

Patrick Goodenough hyped that "Shortly before meeting with a Catholic president who according to the White House 'supports a woman’s right to choose' to abort her baby or carry it to term, Pope Francis publicly reaffirmed the church’s teaching that the life of 'every child conceived … is sacred and inviolable.'"

On the day of the meeting, Jeffrey promoted a tweet from a bishop who apparently believes he can lecture the pope about being Catholic:

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, publicly urged Pope Francis in a tweet he sent out on Wednesday to challenge President Joe Biden on his support for abortion.

“Dear Pope Francis,” Bishop Tobin said in the tweet, “You have boldly stated that abortion is ‘murder.’ Please challenge President Biden on this critical issue.

“His persistent support of abortion is an embarrassment for the Church and a scandal to the world,” the bishop said.

CNS' only "news" article after the meeting, however was an anonymously written piece rewrote and partially copied a New York Times report in which Biden said" the pope had told him he was happy Biden was a 'good Catholic' and said that he 'should keep receiving communion,'" and that "the issue of abortion had not come up during their meeting." From there, it was left to Donohue to whine. In one column, he wrote:

The Vatican has not confirmed the veracity of Biden's account. 

Like everyone else, we at the Catholic League have no way of knowing whether Biden's remarks are accurate. But from what we know about the Vatican's handling of the meeting and Biden's long record of lying about many important matters, we are maintaining a healthy skepticism about the president's rendition.

It is certainly in Biden's interest to have everyone think that the pope encouraged him to keep receiving communion.

We could bring up Donohue's lengthy history of dishonesty, but that might be a bit gauche. Donohue, however, is not troubled by feelings of gaucheness or shame, so he ranted some more in a Nov. 2 column:

At the same press conference, Biden was asked, "Did you discuss the U.S. Conference of Bishops?" He answered, "That's a private conversation." This begs the question: Why would a discussion of the bishops' conference be considered a private matter but not one that affects him personally, namely his suitability to receive Communion?

It is entirely possible that Biden is lying. 

After admitting that abortion never came up, he quickly pivoted. Why? Because he saw an opening, an opportunity to report to the press the most important thing he wanted from the pope—a chance to undercut those U.S. bishops who are deeply troubled about his pro-abortion record (they will be meeting in less than two weeks to discuss this subject). Having been denied the photo-op the White House desperately wanted, he had to come away with something that served his interest. The Communion issue had to be in the forefront of his mind.

[...]

Our incurious media are not asking these questions. That's because they want to protect the pope and the president, both of whom they like.  

There are too many unanswered questions to put this matter to rest. The unwillingness of the Vatican to confirm or deny Biden's account, and Biden's inconsistent and implausible responses—only adds to the problem. This doesn't make either side look good.

Donohue doesn't explain why he is at war with the head of his church. If he is the devout Catholic he wants us all to believe he is, shouldn't he be subservient to the pope? He's too busy bashing Biden's purported disloyalty to the Church to explain his own.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 8:59 AM EST
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

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