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Monday, January 10, 2022
MRC Keeps Melting Down Over Facebook Whistleblower It Doesn't Like
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center attacked Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for not being the right-wing kind of whistleblower it prefers. The attacks continued in ways both subtle and overt.

An Oct. 13 post by Autun Johnson and an Oct. 14 post by Catherine Salgado both put "whistleblower" in scare quotes when refering to Haugen; Johnson kept up the scare quotes in complaining that Haugen "called for more government regulation to censor 'misinformation,'" while Salgado huffed that "Haugen has multiple ties to leftist individuals and causes."

Joseph Vazquez went full fearmonger on Haugen in an Oct. 22 post that added his hatred of rich liberals into the mix:

One of the most notorious liberal billionaire mega-donors in the United States is reportedly aiding Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who advocated for more Big Tech censorship.

Pierre Omidyar — the founder of eBay — is using his philanthropic organization Luminate to handle “Haugen’s press and government relations in Europe,” according to Politico. In addition, Omidyar’s foundation “last year gave $150,000 to Whistleblower Aid, the nonprofit organization that is providing Haugen’s legal representation and advice.”

Recent reporting revealed that Haugen donated to multiple leftist groups and was a member of the team that censored the Hunter Biden laptop story while at Facebook, according to The Post Millennial. Haugen reportedly also has a history of donating to far-left Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). She is being represented by the “same lawyers as the anonymous Ukraine ‘whistleblower’ whose allegations led to Donald Trump’s impeachment,” according to The Daily Wire.

Haugen’s ties to Omidyar should concern every American who’s wary of the left controlling the content that flows on Big Tech platforms. The causes include those that want to censor conservatives.

The next day, Johnson returned to surprisingly portray Haugen somewhat positively (and, even more surprisingly, didn't put "whistleblower" in scare quotes again or mention her alleged liberal ties) in an apparent attempt to make Facebook the real bad guy:

Employees and pundits have accused Facebook of prioritizing profit over safety. The platform has been criticized for allowing so-called “misinformation” over the COVID-19 pandemic to remain online. Some want the platform to do more to regulate content online.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen argued government intervention is the answer.

“No one at Facebook is malevolent,” Haugen said. “But the incentives are misaligned, right? Like, Facebook makes more money when you consume more content. People enjoy engaging with things that elicit an emotional reaction. And the more anger that they get exposed to, the more they interact and the more they consume.”

"Misinformation, angry content, is enticing to people and keeps them on the platform," she said.

Johnson also uncritically portrayed Haugen's accusations in an Oct. 26 post that also similarly attacked Facebook.

Salgado, however, was still in scare-quote attack mode, whining in a Nov. 1 post that a proposed British "online safety" law "reportedly follows the suggestions of Facebook 'whistleblower' Frances Haugen. Haugen lauded the bill’s approach as 'world-leading,' according to Olson on Bloomberg Opinion. Haugen was discovered to be a leftist activist with ties to prominent Democrats. Haugen also has openly advocated for increased social media censorship." Salgado similarly attacked Haugen over the UK law in posts on Nov. 3 and Nov. 9. There was more:

  • Salgado complained in a Nov. 11 post that "Social media algorithms and online free speech have been a major political issue ever since leftist activist turned Facebook 'whistleblower' Frances Haugen began her revelations."
  • A post the same day by Johnson avoided the scare quotes but complained that Haugen "has been an advocate for more regulation and censorship online." Johnson, however, returned the scare quotes to "whistleblower" in a Nov. 14 post.
  • Salgado grumbled on Nov. 19 that "Democrat U.S. senators and leftist activist turned Facebook 'whistleblower' Frances Haugen have also called for more aggressive censorship of alleged 'misinformation' online recently."

Salgado fully melted down in a Nov. 24 post when Haugen made the cover of Time magazine:

TIME magazine may need to take some time off after defending a censorship advocate. Leftist activist turned Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen has become internationally famous for allegedly taking on Big Tech, and calling for more censorship and oppressive government regulation along the way.

TIME magazine tweeted an image of its new issue cover on Monday, depicting Frances Haugen. The title read, “The Making of A Whistleblower: What Drove Frances Haugen to Sound the Alarm About Facebook–And What Happens Next.” TIME promoted Haugen as a “wunderkind,” and noted how she considered herself an educator rather than an activist, eager to inspire young people to “push back against” harms caused by social media.

The “whistleblower” told TIME she joined Facebook specifically to work on “misinformation,” because she “lost” a friend to “online misinformation” leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Haugen said Facebook should “intervene sooner,” indicating that the platform should stifle alleged “misinformation” before it even reaches an audience. Haugen said “the idea that George Soros runs the world economy” was among the “conspiracy theories” her friend believed at the time. It is interesting to note that George Soros said in 2019 he is trying to “bend” the “arc of history.” 

TIME gushed praise for  “Haugen’s atypical personality, glittering academic background, strong moral convictions, robust support networks and self-confidence.” What the magazine did not emphasize was Haugen’s questionable past and present connections and censorship push. The long article also buried Haugen’s questionable ties to leftist billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Likening anyone to right-wing bogeyman Soros is apparently the biggest insult that Salgado can come up with -- never mind that Martin Luther King Jr. also said something similar.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2022 6:56 PM EST
CNS-Mark Levin Stenography Watch, Lack-Thereof Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com closed out its already lackluster year of Mark Levin stenography with a surprising whimper. Here's what CNS did in the final two months of 2021:

That's it -- just four articles, making for a total of just 52 articles for 2021, less than half of the average for previous years. That last article appeared on Nov. 12 -- and none have appeared since, meaning that CNS has gonenearly two months as of this writing without a piece of Levin stenography.

What happened? Did Levin's check to the MRC not clear? CNS didn't even publish the softball intervew Levin did with Media Research Center (and CNS) chief Brent Bozell to promote his new book, which did appear over at the MRC's NewsBusters site. CNS' fall intern -- who did many of the Levin stenography posts over the past few months -- was on the job until early December, meaning that her absence doesn't explain the lack of Levin posts. That Nov. post was considered a "news" article and written by "news" reporter Susan Jones.

And because CNS only does Levin stenography, there was no mention of the fact that Levin pre-emptively -- and falsely -- declared that Democrat Terry McAuliffe was trying to steal the election for VIrginia governor. After all, CNS will never hold Levin accountable for anything.

What will 2022 bring on the Levin stenography front? Will Levin send some cash CNS' way to goose that promotional engine into life again? We shall see.

UPDATE: Someone must have been reading our minds -- while we were writing this post, a Levin stenography item appeared at CNS. Thus endeth the longest time we can remember CNS devoid of Levin stenography.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:50 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 10, 2022 5:12 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Melting Down Over Climate Criticism
Topic: Media Research Center
Because the Media Research Center can't handle criticism, it predictably lashed out at a group that exposed how it spread misinformation about climate change. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 PM EST
Orient's Vaccine Misinfo Still Has A Platform At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Orient of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has been peddling misinformation about coronavirus and its vaccines at WorldNetDaily since the pandemic began, and she shows no signs of slowing down. She called on a couple of her fellow misinformers to help her fearmon ger about vaccinating children in her Nov. 24 WND column:

In the 0–14 age group, mortality is below average now. What will happen when we rush the youngsters to vaccination centers?

Nothing would be worse at Christmas than having your child die or be in the hospital with heart failure. Are such events extremely rare or "usually mild," as the FDA and public health authorities proclaim? The world's most published cardiologist, Peter A. McCullough, M.D., says myocarditis is "neither rare nor mild."

Truly serious data was presented at the VRBPAC meeting where one-third strength Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for children age 5–11, with no negative votes.

High-tech engineer Steve Kirsch estimated that in the U.S. COVID-19 vaccines would kill 150,000 and save about 10,000 lives. Citing risk-benefit expert Dr. Toby Rogers, Kirsch estimated that the Pfizer product would kill 117 children for each life saved. One cardiologist reported seeing 100 times more myocarditis since the vaccine rollout.

If your child gets an inflamed heart for Christmas, he might recover, but won't be able to ride his new bicycle or run and play for three to six months.

McCullough is a prominent misinformation, as is Kirsch. She kept up the fearmongering:

Despite the unknowns, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others promote widespread jabs, even without parental consent or knowledge. Parents unaware of the jab are not likely to recognize the significance of mild chest discomfort.

Your family doctor may advise, or insist, that you and your children be "fully" jabbed. Could it be that, like the Grinch, many doctors' hearts are two sizes too small? Could it be their misplaced faith in government, Big Pharma, academics and organized medicine? Distrust of their own judgment or opinions of those outside of medicine, like Steve Kirsch, who are not subject to delicensure or cancellation? Fear of loss of their career?

In her Dec. 13 column, Orient complained that doctors were getting reported to state medical licensing boards for spreading misinformation:

"Harmful misinformation" appears to mean anything that contradicts or asks questions or raises doubt about the dogma that "vaccines are safe and effective," or suggests a treatment not endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and their corporate sponsors.

One source of the allegedly "harmful misinformation" is a database created and maintained by the CDC, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Anybody can enter a suspected vaccine adverse reaction, and the public can access it. So, "it can be abused by people trying to sow fear," write Shayla Love and Anna Merlan in VICE News. One person filed a fraudulent report, promptly removed, claiming that an influenza vaccination had turned him into the "Incredible Hulk."

Orient did concede that "correlation doesn't prove causality" regarding VAERS, but she wouldn't admit that unscrupulous anti-vaxxers have been caught cherry-picking VAERS data to fearmonger about COVID vaccines. She went on to whine that her favorite dubious COVID medications could be cause for getting reported:

Also viewed as "misinformation" is the opinion of physicians and researchers that hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin and other "repurposed" drugs are beneficial in COVID-19, as shown in more than 1,000 studies. Reports of dying patients who recovered when hospitals were legally forced to step aside and allow off-protocol treatment are ignored.

The safe option for doctors is to promote the jab or keep silent, and not to suggest anything different from what Anthony Fauci approves. By silencing doctors who are ethical professionals, one opens the gates for the reckless charlatans.

Her source for the claim thst such medications have been proven beneficial "in more than 1,000 studies" is an anonymous website that may or may not be operated by Orient's AAPS.

Orient used her Dec. 29 column to attack the testing process of the COVID vaccines:

Ideally, there should be a 50:50 allocation of treated and control subjects. If only 30% of subjects are in the control group, the study loses significant power. If only 10% are in the control group, the power of the study is only 40 to 60%, writes Mark H. White, II, Ph.D. At the moment, about 30% of Americans have not taken the COVID vaccine. And government keeps trying to reduce that percentage to as close to zero as possible.

There was a 50:50 allocation in the preauthorization studies of the COVID vaccines. But the blinding has been broken, and those who received placebo are now eligible to receive active vaccine. Thus, there is virtually NO control group for potential late adverse consequences.

[...]

The NIH is again following the model of therapeutic nihilism for COVID, suppressing promising treatments on the basis that hundreds of favorable published studies including some RCTs are inadequate.

Vaccines, however, are exempt from the demand for scientific rigor. The Biden administration is calling for all Americans to get vaccinated and boosted, and has pledged to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech product to low and lower-middle-income countries and the African Union.

The worldwide, coercive mass vaccination campaign is not a scientific experiment. In addition to a control group, ethical research would require voluntary informed consent, free medical care of subjects who experienced complications, provision to stop the experiment if it were doing harm and an Institutional Review Board.

So, where is the science, and where is the anti-science?

It seems Orient is the anti-science one here, who would allow a pandemic to continue unabated and deprive people of a proven and effective vaccine -- not because she really believes it needs further testing, but because delaying it feeds her anti-vaxxer agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Updated: Monday, January 10, 2022 8:18 PM EST
Sunday, January 9, 2022
The MRC's Year In Hurling Personal Insults At Joy Reid
Topic: Media Research Center

One of the Media Research Center's year-end articles was a Dec. 28 rant by Curtis Houck against MSNBC host Joy Reid for saying things he didn't agree with:

With a full year under her belt hosting MSNBC’s The ReidOut, far-left pundit and generally awful human being Joy Reid made her presence felt with a night-after-night hatefest against conservatives, Republicans, and anyone who stands in her way, painting them as enemies of the people. All in all, Reid ran a show with rhetoric bordering on incitement.

[...]

NewsBusters was there to cover it all as we had over 120 posts to The ReidOut's tag with comments from Reid and guests ranging from the baffling to deranged to mind-numbing, to unstable.

Yes, Houck wrote most of those 120 attacks, showing that he hates Reid at least as much as he loves Peter Doocy. How much? He seemed desperate to find a new way to insult Reid in each post by working her name into a headline epithet.

If one has to resort so quickly to personal insults, it usually means there is no substance to the attacks being made. Houck has amply proven that with his eagerness to slur Reid in any way he can.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2022 9:34 PM EST
CNS' Right-Wing Priest Spreads More Anti-Vaxxer Attitudes, Won't Admit Trump Isn't King
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com columnist Michael P. Orsi insists on acting like a right-wing activist instead of the Catholic priest he's supposed to be. That attitude continued in his Oct. 27 column, which began by complaining about a statue of Thomas Jefferson being removed from New York's City Hall, then quickly advanced to bizarrely likening vaccine mandates to abortion:

There’s an unfortunate tendency to judge the acts and standards of previous generations from the perspective of our own time. But on what basis do we assume that our current standards qualify us to call out previous wrongs?

Ours is a time when abortion is accepted, indeed advocated and encouraged. The proposed 2,500-page, so-called “infrastructure” bill even requires that abortions be paid for by public funds.

In addition, just now we face the prospect of vaccine mandates that would force us to inject unproven chemical formulations into our bodies against our will.

Do such situations not reflect a kind of slaveholding mentality?

All of this is part of the darkness that’s befallen our time, a darkness that includes a strong element of deception.

Vaccine mandates are like slavery too? Wow.

Orsi's anti-vaxxer attitudes continued in his Nov. 9 column: "What we’ve always assumed to be basic rights have been seriously eroded. The issue of vaccine mandates is only the most visible area in which the assault on personal autonomy is taking place. At any time we could be called upon to defend ourselves, our families, or our beliefs." Orsi then whined about the alleged moral dilemma of patronizing "LGBT-friendly" restaurants:

In our socially-networked age, when your every move is observed and can be posted online, did he wish people to question why he would frequent restaurants known as LGBT-friendly? More importantly, what right did his employer have to insist he patronize establishments that make it a point to publicly endorse sexual identities and behaviors to which he objects?

This was a serious intrusion upon his personal reputation and sense of morality.

This, unsurprisingly, turned into yet another attack on the idea of a bisexual Superman:

One small, recent incident got my dander up. Our local newspaper gave significant play to a national release about what some people probably consider an issue of great “progressive” importance: DC Comics has introduced a new story line that has the son of Clark Kent (AKA Superman) coming out as bisexual.

Displaying a rainbow banner with the declaration “DC Pride,” the new comic book series has 17-year-old Jon Kent in a “relationship” with a young (male) reporter. The two have determined to carry on a fight for global social justice.

I realize that, by current pop-culture standards, a bisexual Superman is nothing special. Indeed, the idea is as stupid as requiring that insurance clients be entertained at LGBT-friendly restaurants.

But the moral assumption by which such a concept is given national publicity shows how far we’ve moved beyond Christian virtue. Besides that, it’s an assault on the children who will read about such tripe and then buy the comic books.

Will the Church raise objections? Will individual believers write in to their local news outlets that ran this story? Is there anything we feel compelled, as a community, to say about such harmful nonsense?

Orsi spread more anti-vaxxerism in his Nov. 22 column:

All this is of a piece with the mandates being imposed on hospitals, doctors, and health workers over vaccination. Institutions that had provided services for two years during the pandemic are now being threatened with loss of Medicare payments if they don’t force their critical personnel to accept inoculation with substances whose effectiveness is highly questionable, and whose dangers are becoming increasingly obvious. Personal religious exemptions are being curtailed.

This assault on individual autonomy is a moral wrong. It’s an attack on religious freedom. And that is the truth.

Orsi also went on a rant against HHS secretary Xavier Becerra because he "had argued before the United States Court of Appeals that the Little Sisters of the Poor should be required to provide birth control-related insurance coverage to its lay employees under the Affordable Care Act." As we've noted, Becerra didn't sue the Little Sisters of the Poor; the order filed to intervene in a lawsuit Becerra had filed against the Trump administration over contraceptive coverage.

Orsi concluded his column by huffing, "Jesus is the king — not Joe Biden, not Xavier Becerra — and there is no truth but the Lord." Note that Orsi refused to concede that Donald Trump is not the king, an omission in line with his right-wing activism.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EST
Saturday, January 8, 2022
MRC Botches Facts In Bogus Attack On Major League Baseball
Topic: Media Research Center

Let's pick apart the factual errors and misrepresentations in this Oct. 1 Media Research Center post by Jay Maxson, shall we?

The proliferation of American professional sports leagues sucking up to communist China continued this week. Major League Baseball is closing the Miken Sports plant in Caledonia, Minnesota, and moving operations to China. On Wednesday, Republican congressmen responded by aiming a legislative beanball at MLB’s head.

Miken Sports employs more than 1,000 Americans (more than a third of Caledonia’s population) who produce bats, helmets, gloves, bags and apparel, earning $11 million in revenue. Now the town is losing most of its jobs to cheap labor in China, a country with a notorious reputation for slave labor and oppressing its citizens’ freedom.

Based on an article from an actual news organization, we learn:

  • Major League Baseball does not own Miken Sports, nor did it make the decision to close it. Miken is owned by sporting goods giant Rawlings, in which MLB has an ownership interest of less than 20 percent and has no say in day-to-day business.
  • The Caledonia plant does not employ 1,000 people. Before the pandemic, it employed 150 people, a number that had decreased to 80 by mid-2021.
  • The batting helmets that the plant produced for MLB will continue to be made in the U.S., in a plant in Missouri. Production of bats made for softball -- not an MLB sport -- will be moving to China.

But the truth doesn't matter to Maxson -- this article has been up three months and has never been corrected. What matters is the political attack, and he (or she) concluded:

Caledonia is just 160 miles away from the field of dreams in Iowa, but unlike that feel-good town of Dyersville, Iowa, it’s fielding unemployment nightmares.

Thanks, MLB, for throwing the town of Caledonia out at the plate, and thanks for hitting a foul ball at the expense of American jobs. Job horribly done.

Maxson did an even more horrible job of putting a political narrative ahead of the facts -- which harms the MRC's credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 8, 2022 10:26 AM EST
WND's Farah Wants His Fellow Right-Wingers To 'Occupy D.C.'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in September, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah started floating the idea of an "OCCUPY D.C." movement to fight back against President Biden with the goal of "peacefully occupying Washington. You can go anywhere you want, as long as it's legal. Don't go near the Capitol, though, until it is liberated." He gushed at the potential: "Do you think we can get a million people a day to win our freedom back? I think it's possible." A week later, Farah was cheering the rally for arrested Jan. 6 insurrectionists as a dress rehearsal for his plan, showing how "several hundred peaceful protesters gathered near the Capitol" could work. (Actually, as we noted, there were a couple hundred protesters at most.) He went on to enthuse: "Think of it! An OCCUPY D.C. movement by the deplorables! It's rich. Do you remember Occupy Wall Street? This should be the polar opposite."

Farah set his original deadline to start this so-called occupation on Nov. 8, but that clearly didn't happen. So he spent his Nov. 10 column trying to get readers exceited at the idea of it again, which might have worked had he not lied in the process:

I know. You're busy people. You work hard. There's little time for protests, demonstrations and rallies. But (do I need to remind you?), we're close to losing our heritage of freedom in America. And nowhere does this threat emanate more dangerously than from Washington – the belly of the beast, so to speak.

It's where the most momentous protests, demonstrations and rallies have taken place. Two quickly come to mind for me – Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and the Jan. 6 rally for President Donald Trump, attended by somewhere near 1 million people earlier this year.

Speaking of Jan. 6, there are at least 100 people, maybe more, in solitary confinement still and far more detained and awaiting trial for drummed up on charges involving the fracas at the Capitol. Tucker Carlson's preeminent series called "Patriot Purge," available now on Fox Nation, delves into the cases of these so-called "insurrectionists."

Do we want the truth about that Jan. 6 rally, where hundreds of thousands peacefully gathered, to be remembered like King's speech? Or do we want it to be remembered like Nancy Pelosi and Liz Cheney would like to?

It's up to you. The Jan. 6 defendants are mostly in jail in Washington – in harsh conditions. They are political prisoners in every sense of the phrase.

In fact, the crowd at the Trump rally was not  "somewhere near 1 million people" -- it was closer to 10,000 and maybe as many as 80,000. And there are not "at least 100" people arrested for their actions on Jan. 6 in solitary confinement -- the vast majority are not in custody while awaiting trial. The approximately 40 people imprisoned in the D.C. jail have an entire wing to themselves and have 5 1/2 hours a day to roam outside their cell. They're treated no worse then other jail inmates, which we don't recall Farah ever complaining about when the jail population didn't involve far-right white insurrectionists.

Farah rehashed parts of his earlier columns on the alleged movement, concluding:

But what I'm hoping to hear in Washington every day for the next year is the chant "Let's Go Brandon."

Can you dig it?

Shout it real loud – so it echoes around in Joe Biden's non-cognitive brain and through the Washington Correctional Facility that holds Jan. 6 political prisoners.

The insurrectionists are not "political prisoners" -- but does anyone expect Farah to tell the truth?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EST
Friday, January 7, 2022
MRC Psaki-Bashing, Doocy-Fluffing Watch, Year-End Laziness Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck finished out 2021 with increasingly sporadic renditions of the Jen Psaki-bashing, Peter Doocy-fluffing antics he has been paid to do all year. After nearly a week's break, Houck returned for the Dec. 13 briefing with more of the same gushing over Doocy for pushing right-wing narratives:

On Monday’s abbreviated edition of The Psaki Show, Fox’s Peter Doocy came prepared (as always) with tough questions many of his colleagues refuse to ask, focusing this day on issues pertaining to the cost of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better (BBB) boondoggle, whether Vice President Harris is still in charge of combatting illegal immigration, and the role of liberal prosecutors contributing to rising crime.

Doocy led with BBB and whether President Biden would support the bill’s host of new social programs being “made permanent” despite the fact that, as per a new score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in which “they assume that social programs are going to be made permanent and, in that case, it would add almost $3 trillion.”

Psaki roundly dismissed it, repeatedly calling it “a fake CBO score” since it’s “not based on the actual bill” led by an ask of the CBO by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (whom Psaki first referred to as a woman in a Freudian slip).

[...]

Closing with the terrifying issue of rising crime and smash-and-grab robberies, Doocy posed to Psaki a basic question: “Do you think it’s possible that big cities are dealing with these smash and grab robberies right now, an increase in criminal activity because some prosecutors are too soft on crime?”

Psaki said she wouldn’t “attribute the reasoning from here,” but she did the opposite as, before talking about the White House’s focus on “ensuring local police departments and cops have the funding they need,” she blamed the coronavirus as “we have seen an increase of crime over the course of the pandemic.”

Doocy followed up by blowing holes in this argument: “[W]hat good does it do if you’re going to give police departments extra money if they arrest bad guys and they bring them to jail and then they’re not prosecuted. They’re just right back out on the streets.”

After she doubled down on her previous answer, Doocy questioned whether Biden believes it’s “good governing” for those running New York City to have cases like “pickpocket[er] with more than 30 arrests” and the suspect in the burning of the $500,000 Fox Christmas tree both being allowed “back out on the streets.”

Psaki wanted nothing to do with this, stating she already had “spoke to the President’s concerns about retail theft.”

The Doocy-gasms continued for Houck for the Dec. 14 briefing

Hours before Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s lame attempt at humor, Tuesday’s White House press briefing similarly featured moments of stupidity as liberal journalists hit Psaki from the left on gun control, January 6, cutting back holiday parties due to Covid, and, worst of all, the dark red voting tendencies of Kentuckians who lost their homes in violent tornadoes. However, it wasn’t all lost as Fox’s Peter Doocy brought the heat on Afghanistan and crime.

Doocy didn’t waste time in cutting to the chase after being called on: “Why is it that there are still Americans stranded in Afghanistan?”

Psaki insisted the U.S. has kept its promise to “help” any American “get out” seeing as how, since the country’s collapse, “we've directly assisted 479 American citizens” and “450 lawful permanent residents and SIV holders and SIV applicants” in “depart[ing] Afghanistan.”

Doocy pushed back, repeatedly noting that “479 left behind is a lot higher than the 100 to 200 that President Biden was talking about at the end of August.”

[...]

With his remaining time, Doocy went back to what she’s said about rising crime having come during “the pandemic” via “a range of reasons.” “Would you consider one of the reasons in the range prosecutors who are cutting people who are accused of many criminal offenses loose too quickly,” he asked.

Psaki demurred, arguing she wasn’t going to analyze the reasoning other than tie it to the pandemic.

Doocy’s final line of questioning stemmed from “reports that these smash and grab robberies are being organized on social media platforms” and whether “the administration is doing anything about that.”

After praising other right-wing reporters, Houck whined that a non-right-winger asked a question: "At the other end of the spectrum of insightfulness, Bloomberg’s Nancy Cook inquired about any plans for the White House “to commemorate January 6” (because everything has to be about January 6 for the media)."

Houck didn't check in again until the Dec. 23 briefing, which he started by insisting that his repeated references to "The Psaki Show" during the year weren't derogatory (after all, we don't recall him dismissing any of Kayleigh McEnany's press briefings as a "show" despite having shown much more affection for her than he has ever demonstrated toward Psaki):

Affectionately referred to here as The Psaki Show, Thursday featured 2021’s final White House press briefing and it served as solid encapsulation of the year as Fox’s Peter Doocy tangled with Press Secretary Jen Psaki on a variety of issues (with Covid and crime on Thursday’s docket) mixed in with other reporter questions that ranged from solid to inoffensive to boring to hitting from the left.

Doocy began by wishing Psaki a “Merry Christmas” and then got right to the questions: “So, why is the President saying about this new variant, ‘nobody saw it coming, nobody in the world’ if that's not true?”

Instead of trying to clean up what Biden said, Psaki largely doubled down by saying “how transmissible they would be,” or “what they would look like,” so they’ve spent this year “preparing for a range of contingencies.”

Drilling down on the questionable nature of that last part, Doocy wanted to know “why” has the administration “propos[ed] 500 million tests next month if you haven't even signed a contract to buy the tests.”

Psaki went on for a little while and insisted there’s “no concern about the contract being finalized” since “[w]e just announced” the ramp-up “two days ago,” so Doocy made sure to follow-up:

[...]

Before calling it a year on his end, Doocy asked two questions about crime in light of Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) being carjacked on Wednesday in south Philadelphia[.]

And with that, Houck also called it a year as well on his biased hackery. He did, however, serve up one last bit of obsequiousness in a Dec. 30 post recounting "Peter’s Top Briefing Room Tangles With Jen Psaki in 2021." That branding, though, clashes with his insistence that Doocy was "respectfully challenging an administration," unlike what enemy of the MRC Jim Acosta purportedly did during the Trump years. Houck then praised other right-wing reporters for asking "cordial yet probing questions" while refusing to admit their right-wing bias.

Needless to say, Houck didn't mention that time he stealth-edited one of his briefing articles to cover up the fact that Doocy pushed a false story at Psaki.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:55 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 7, 2022 7:56 PM EST
Big Bird Vaccine Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

They are coming for the 5 to 11-year-olds.

That should be the realization of any critical thinker – with the FDA expanding its Emergency Use Authorization approval of the Pfizer "BioNTech" vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old and the unleashing of propaganda clearly aimed at those children – as well as the parents of that age group.

If the past is any predictor of the future, this "vaccine and mandate creep" is headed in the direction of the children – and the children are worth fighting for.

Over the weekend, Big Bird – a giant yellow puppet for the Public Broadcasting Station – came out to publicly push and propagandize for the vaccine.

"I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it'll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy," the puppet said. "Ms @EricaRHill (CNN) even said I've been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!"

It wasn't just the bird – Elmo, too, got into the cringe-worthy act – tweeting, it must be presumed, to parents as much as children: "Elmo was so happy to talk to @DrsanjayGupta (CNN) at the town hall today! Elmo learned that Elmo's friends can get the COVID-19 vaccine now, and soon Elmo can too!"

[...]

There are hills worth dying on – getting canceled over, losing your job or a potential client over or even offending a family member or a close friend.

The medical freedom of individuals– or children who are of little to NO risk from a disease– and the right of the parents to have a say so in the decision-making process when it comes to their child's health – is that hill. Now and, even more importantly, for the future.

[...]

From the president, to the media, to actors and actresses and now characters on "Sesame Street" – these people are vaccine salesmen and paid spokespeople. You and your child should have the right to refuse what they are selling.

This is not a strictly partisan issue. Between the timing and the nature of Operation Warp Speed, you can easily argue that the vaccines Biden sells now are indeed "The Trump Vaccines."

[...]

The hatchet aimed at individual freedom and bodily autonomy is in the air – it has already struck several blows.

The time to parry it is now – before it is too late.

-- Matt Keener, Nov. 10 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EST
MRC Sports Blogger Lashes Out At Magic Johnson For Not Dying Of AIDS
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson let his (or her) hate rage in a Nov. 8 post lashing out at basketball legend Magic Johnson. Maxson started out relatively nice at first:

Sunday was the 30th anniversary of Magic Johnson’s shocking announcement that he had HIV and was retiring from pro basketball. With NBA Commissioner David Stern and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by his side, Johnson immediately volunteered to become a spokesperson and poster child for the virus.

Then and now, he was hailed as a sympathetic figure. In 1991, Sports Illustrated quoted him saying he had been merely “accommodating needy women”. Now SI praises him for “still doing lifesaving work.”

By the middle of the post, Maxson huffed that after Johnson's diagnosis, "the sex-addicted former athlete with HIV reaped adulation," going on to rage:

Johnson said Sunday that God has blessed him by keeping him alive. We will never know the fate of his many sex partners. Have any of them died of HIV? Did he ever apologize or tell any of them of his disease? Ethics and morality are seriously lacking from this ongoing story.

The fawning media and medical fanboys and girls ignore how Johnson got to this place. There is no talk of the married man’s faithlessness and his lack of discipline and restraint. Most importantly, there is absolutely NO consideration for the multitudes of women he may have infected with HIV. In comparison, another former athlete who took the high road sexually, Tim Tebow, is mocked and scorned.

In 1991, The Sporting News reported that Johnson’s closest friends said he frequently disclosed details about the “freaks” he had sex with across the nation.

Maxson concluded by suggesting that he (or she) fervently wished that Johnson had been fully punished for his behavior by dying of AIDS: "In a bygone era, Lou Gehrig contracted a fatal disease through no fault of his own. Magic Johnson lived the life of a stray dog and reaped what he sowed. Unfortunately, the media has a blind spot with Johnson and refuses to tell the full story."

By contrast, Maxson was totally cool with Aaron Rodgers lying about his COVID vaccination status and engangering the health of his teammates.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EST
CNS Plays Whataboutism To Attack Omar
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has long hated Rep. Ilhan Omar for being 1) a liberal and 2) a Muslim. Susan Jones went the whataboutism rolute to attack Omar in a Dec. 6 article:

CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday gave Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar a platform to condemn the "hateful, bigoted comments" made about her by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. But Tapper never mentioned the "hateful, bigoted comments" for which Omar was forced to apologize in February 2019.

"So, I want to obviously start with those comments, Boebert comparing you to a terrorist suicide bomber," Tapper told Omar in an exclusive interview on "State of the Union." "What is it like to hear that kind of blatant bigotry, blatant Islamophobia coming from a fellow elected member of the House of Representatives?"

[...]

Tapper steered the interview in a direction that allowed Omar to describe the House Republican leader as "a liar and a coward" and to paint all Republicans as Islamaphobes:

"This is who they are," Omar said. "And we have to be able to stand up to them. And we have to push them to reckon with the fact that their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry."

Jones then recited a litany of "anti-Semitic remarks" by Omar, most of which was merely critical of Israel and not actually anti-Semitic. Jones went on to lament that Tapper doesn't hate Omar like she does:

But none of that was mentioned by Tapper on Sunday, who helpfully asked Omar, "What do you think Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders should do, if anything, about this" (Boebert insult)?

"I think it's important for us to say, this kind of language, this kind of hate cannot be condoned by the House of Representatives," Omar said. "And we should punish and sanction Boebert by stripping her of her committees, by rebuking her language, by doing everything that we can to send a clear and decisive message to the American public that, if the Republicans are not going to be adults and condone -- condemn this, that we are going to do that."

Tapper played a hateful voicemail left for Omar, threatening her life.

Omar said she receives such threats all the time: "And we know that the kind of man who leaves that voice-mail for a member of Congress is not going to spare a young Muslim girl when he sees her taking the bus or walking home from school or when he runs into her at the grocery store.

Jones didn't criticize Boebert for maliciously likening Omar to a terrorist, let alone mention any of her other far-right comments -- as expected, since CNS is a major promoter of Boebert's extremist behavior -- nor did she expess any regret that Omar regularly receives death threats.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EST
Thursday, January 6, 2022
MRC Gloats Over CBS Evening News' Allegedly Low Ratings
Topic: Media Research Center

CNN is not the only channel whose allegedly low ratings the Media Research Center engages in unseemly gloating over. The MRC attacked Norah O'Donnell when she took over as anchor of the CBS Evening News, then cheered that her ratings were not high. The low-ratings gloating continued in an Oct. 24 post by Nicholas Fondacaro that parroted a gossipy attack piece from the right-wing New York Post:

In 2019, NewsBusters reported that in her first six weeks at the helm of CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell was floundering in the ratings. A couple of years later and things weren’t much better. And according to a Sunday report by The New York Post, she was “in danger of losing” her job “as cost-slashing execs at the broadcasting giant quietly search for her replacement,” and internal frustrations and backbiting mounted.

According to The Post via reporter Alexandra Steigrad, O’Donnell’s contract was “in the ballpark of $8 million a year” and the new network executives (co-presidents Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon) were getting tired of the newscast being “stubbornly stuck in third place” behind ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News, respectively.

Fondacaro was too busy gloating to disclose the New York Post's right-wing -- and, thus, anti-CBS -- bias. He went on to regurgitate the article's quoting of "CBS insiders" -- read: anonymous sources that the MRC hypocritically  loves when trashing liberals but hates when criticizing conservatives -- attacking O'Donnell's purported "diva-like behavior" and elitist mentality."

Fondacaro didn't mention that O'Donnell's purportedly low ratings were still higher than any program on Fox News, nor did he provide any evidence that the Post tried to balance its gosspiy tone by talking to anyone who wasn't an anonymous critic. But liberal-bashing is clearly Fondacaro's and the MRC's idea of "balance."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EST
Ex-Reporter Returns To WND To Sperad False Narrative Over Raid On Extremist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leo Hohmann has been allowed back at WorldNetDaily in recent months where he has continued to practice the dishonest, hateful journalism that (near as we can tell) almost got WND sued for falsely defaming a yogurt maker. He served up more dishonesty in a Nov. 22 article:

An FBI SWAT team raided the home of an activist mother of four in Colorado on Tuesday, Nov. 16, knocking down her door, bursting into the house with guns and handcuffing her while she was homeschooling her children.

This is the first known case of the federal government making good on its promise to not only intimidate but actually carry out a raid on a mom who was involved in her local school board politics, said Brannon Howse, who interviewed Sherronna Bishop at Lindell TV Wednesday night.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland issued an Oct. 4 memorandum directing federal, state and local law enforcement to look for parents to prosecute nationwide who may have made “threats” and made “harassing” phone calls to school board members nationwide, equating such parents to domestic terrorists.

Now a mother, Sherronna Bishop of Grand Junction, Colorado, has felt the brute force of the FBI’s heavily armed SWAT unit used against her family.

She was at home with her three children about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday when she heard someone pounding on the front door, then using a battering ram to break it down. She said the officers “manhandled” her 18-year-old daughter, pulling her up the stairs by her hoodie, while another officer put her in handcuffs and ushered her out of the house. They proceeded to search the entire house.

Hohmann is lying by linking the raid to the Department of Justice memorandum (and he's leaning into the false narrative about the memo pushed by WND and elsewhere in the right-wing media). It wasn't until the 10th paragraph that Hohmanngot around to hinting that other factors were involved.

She said the agents would not tell her why they were searching her home. They did leave behind documents related to the search warrant, saying they entered her home because she was suspected of causing “intentional damage to a protected computer, wire fraud and conspiracy to cause damage to a protected computer.”

“I don’t know anything about this. They couldn’t explain any of this,” she said. “I will tell you why: they were at my home to intimidate me, to shut me up, because I was using my First Amendment rights to advocate for [Mesa County Clerk] Tina Peters on the issue of Dominion [voting machines] and the damage done in our election. And they’ll never be held accountable. Instead they will criminalize this woman who has stood up.”

Instead of elaborating on that, Hohmann continued to push the bogus school link and portrayed Bishop as a victim, a "suburban housewife and mom" being "targeted" by the government, going on to rant: "Now, an activist mom has been targeted, raising the question: Has the FBI become the political shock troops for the White House, seeking to harass and intimidate anyone who speaks out against its policies?"

Hohmann is censoring the truth about the raid. Bishop is an associate of Tina Peters, the county clerk who gained notoroiety by taking part in a "cyber symposium" held by MyPillow guy Mike Lindell last august with the goal of uncovering election fraud (which didn't happen).She brought with her what she claied was proof that county election data was altered -- which turned out not only to ber not true, but also resulted in her getting fired from her job for allowing an unauthorized person to copy election-related hard drives and shutting off security cameras to hide that unauthorized copying.

On top of that, Bishop's story about a battering ram being used to enter her house -- treated as fact by Hohomann -- appears not to be true either. The Colorado attorney general and the local district attorney responded: "At no time was force used on Ms. Peters or her home. Ms. Peters was allowed to move around her home and fix herself breakfast while agents gathered items before departing....We are issuing this statement to clear up inaccuracies about what occurred during yesterday’s enforcement action."

Hohmann also failed mention that Bishop is a former campaign manager for Lauren Boebert, the far-right extremist who is now a congresswoman from the state. (It appears, however, that Bishop was unhappy with Boebert praising the district attorney's approach to the Peters investigation, so they're on the outs right now.)

It's clear that Hohmann couildn't be bothered to fact-check anything Bishop said -- bad move on his part. The fact that WND invited Hohmann back to write this dishonest piece demonstrates bad judgment on its part, and it proves yet again why nobody believes WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EST
CNS' Donohue Serves Up More Bad Takes
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've noted right-wing Catholic activist and CNSNews.com columnist Bill Donohue's dishonest campaign to blame homosexuality for Catholic priest sexual abuse of children (most of whom, he insists, were post-pubescent and purportedly weren't technically "children"), but that's not the only bad take he has served up lately.

Dononue attacked HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in his Nov. 19 column for purportedly "trampling on religious liberty," adding: "In his capacity as California Attorney General, he sued the Little Sisters of the Poor for resisting the HHS mandate of the Obama Administration; it tried to force the nuns to provide for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans." In fact, as we've documented, Becerra sued the Trump administration in 2017 for broadening exemptions to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and then the Little Sisters of the Poor filed to intervene and eventually became a party to the suit. In other words, Becerra didn't initiate legal action against the order, despite Donohu'ss dishonest suggestion.

In his Nov. 23 column, Donohue tried to claim Thanksgiving as a Catholic holiday because Squanto spent some time with monks in England (after he had been, um, kidnapped and sold into slavery):

Then there are the Catholic roots to Thanksgiving that Jensen and his ilk do not want to discuss. Author and host Eric Metaxas has done the best work on this subject, recalling the travails and triumphs of Squanto, a brave Patuxent Indian boy. 

In 1608, when Squanto was 12 years old, he was kidnapped by English colonists and was taken to Spain as a slave. Fortunately for him, some monks bought him. They cared for him, taught him their language, and introduced him to Christianity. The monks knew the young Indian Catholic boy wanted to go back to America so they sent him to live with a London merchant, John Slanie, and his family. He learned English well, and after spending five years with the family, he boarded a ship to America. 

Squanto arrived in Plymouth, Mass., which is where he grew up. He was stunned by what he found: everyone he knew was dead. Contrary to what left-wing liars say, they were not bludgeoned to death—they died of smallpox. According to Metaxas, the Pilgrims "basically adopted him." Lucky for them, he spoke English and was able to help them.

[...]

Meanwhile, let's all partake in "self-indulgent family feasting" on Thanksgiving and thank the Lord for our Catholic-rooted national holiday. 

The fact that Donohue is citing a children's picture book by Metaxas as an authoritative source on the life of Squanto shows all one needs to know about Donohue's own research skills (that, and the fact that Metaxas has been exposed by historians for his shoddy biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Donohue also conveniently overlooks the fact that -- as numerous Twitter users roasted Donohue for -- the Puritans were fanatically anti-Catholic, which would seem to negate any Catholic claim to Thanksgiving that Donohue is trying to make.

Donohue served up another bad take in a Dec. 3 column:

He just won't leave Catholics and Jews alone. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is now telling Catholic and Jewish school employees that they must be at least partially vaccinated by Dec. 20. In Catholic schools, 88 percent of school employees are already vaccinated, making absurd the mandatory measure.

[...]

De Blasio's vaccination mandate on yeshivas and parochial schools is being done, he says, to treat religious and public school employees the same. This, however, ignores our nation's long history, grounded in the First Amendment, of extending religious exemptions from government edicts on a wide range of issues. To conflate public and religious institutions is constitutional nonsense.

This is just the updated version of the bad take CNS and editor Terry Jeffrey pursued at the beginning of the COVID pandemic -- that religious institutions are exempt from public health mandates. That's not true, of course; religious gatherings are not exempt from COVID spread simply because they are not religious. Similarly, Donohue offers no evidence of any faith-based objections to COVID vaccines. Instead, he ranted about purported "government overreach." And he went on to push a conspiracy theory about de Blasio:

There is something else going on here that is troubling. De Blasio's mandated vaccination for religious school employees begins Dec. 20. The last day of school in Catholic schools in the New York Archdiocese, before the Christmas break, is Dec. 23. De Blasio's last day in office is Dec. 31. 

This is a ploy. De Blasio is intentionally leaving his successor, Eric Adams, with a lot of baggage. The mess he has created, on many fronts, will take months, if not years, for Adams to rectify. This is his parting shot. It is aimed not simply at Catholics and Jews, but at Adams and his new administration.

Donohue provided no evidence whatsoever that de Blasio has any specific animosity toward religious institutions or, again, that requiring religious schools employees to be faccinated is an attack on religion instead of a promotion of public health.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EST

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